Sustainable Sustainability – Why not a keepcup?

Sustainable sustainability - Fancy a keepcup?

If you read my blog somewhat regularly, then you probably know by now that I’m on a bit of quest to become a better habitant of this planet.

I’m trying to become more sustainable.

But as with any change in our lives. If we go all in straight away, we probably burn out pretty quickly. We go from 0 days in the week at the gym to 5, we become vegans from one day to another or we throw out the tv and promise to never look at a screen again. …until we can’t keep it up,  cancel the gym, order a burger and load up Netflix on the laptop.

The trick to actually stick with things is to make sure they are not extreme and to do small changes over a large amount of time.

The changes need to be sustainable.

It’s a lot more doable to have a big goal that’s divided up into smaller part-goals. If we want to become vegans, then maybe start by only having meat one day a week as a first step. Next goal can be to only eat fish, switch cows milk to a substitute..etc. This way we will get used to every little step before we go onto the next one.

It’s all about creating new habits and to make the change feel natural.

So to become more sustainable in a way that’s sustainable to me and my lifestyle. I will have to start with small things. The stuff that I won’t really notice, but will make a difference if we all do it. I can always aim higher later. My plan is to become and stay more sustainable for life, not just for as long as I can keep it up.

So my third little change, after buying a water bottle and using a fabric bag, is to buy a keepcup for my coffee. 

I drink a lot of coffee on-the-go. Who doesn’t in London? We don’t always have the time to sit down, but we do need our caffeine fix. So off we dash with our plastic/paper/polystyrene cup. …that most likely will end up as landfill…

It would be interesting to see in a visual how big a mountain of used coffee cups we would each go through during our lifetimes. I have a feeling it would be quite the scary picture.

So that’s why I got myself a really nice looking keepcup. I picked one in glass with a nice cork handle and I always keep it in my bag or the buggy. I thought I would forget it at home or leave it to grow fur, but so far so good.

And it has a few other benefits too. It’s a lot more stylish to carry around, tastier to drink from, it keeps my coffee warm for longer and most coffee shops will give you a discount if you bring your own cup. So chicer, tastier, warmer and cheaper coffee? It’s a no brainer!

If you like me are up for a small change that only comes with loads of benefits. Get your own reusable coffee cup. You don’t have to get a fancy one, but if you do like the look of mine then you can find my keepcup in glass and cork here – adlink

It’s also a great gift to give. I gave one to Garth for Valentines and Ace got a small one for babyccinos from his friend Axel on his first birthday. Super cute!

Sustainable sustainability - why not a keepcup?

Photo – Ida Zander. Location – Minnow. Dress – Whistles (adlink), necklace– Van Cleef & Arpels & heels – Saint Laurent. 


One-item-a-month in April – How about pre-loved?

I would estimate that about 50% of my wardrobe consists of pieces I have bought “pre-loved”.

The phrase “second-hand” probably makes people think about dusty old charity shops. (Don’t knock them though, they can be a veritable treasure chest at times). But I guess pre-loved does have a better ring to it.

I much rather buy a beautiful designer item that has had a previous owner than a new one by Zara. They will probably end up costing about the same and one is timeless and the other trend-led.

Sure I do love a spot of bargain hunting in a charity shop, but I tend to find 90% of my pre-loved clothes on pages like Vestiaire Collective. Ebay is great too. But I like the sense of security that comes with having the item authenticated and checked to make sure it’s in the condition stated in the ad before I receive it. I have had emails från Vestiaire telling me an item wasn’t up to scratch and they have either canceled the sale or offered me a discount.

The one thing I do tend to tell people to look out for is where the item is from. If it happens to be the states, then you might get stung by customs fees, so be aware.

I have to admit I’m a bit addicted…or a lot addicted to Vestiaire Collective. I go in every day after Ace goes to bed and browse through all the new items. I have a pretty decent wish list and a very long like list. I can mull over an item for months before I go for it. Or sometimes I have to be quick in case it’s something I know will go fast.

But you should always make an offer. All sellers expect you to do a bit of bargaining before you buy. So start low-ish and negotiate a figure you are both happy with. I shaved a good £45 off my latest buy.

I also sell off anything I feel I’m done with or won’t use. You can find my items for sale here.

In April I think my one-item-a-month should be something pre-loved from my giant wishlist. I have put a few of them in the collage above. The prices are pretty amazing, right? Imagine a tad of negotiating and Bob’s your uncle.

So what should it be? A splurge on a pair of Balenciaga party heels? Or a bit more of a conservative Chanel scarf or a Céline belt maybe?

I do know it’s a bit of a risk to put my favorites up on the blog since one of you might buy it. There is only one of each item. But I have decided that if it’s meant to be, it will.

Do you have a favorite and what do you think I should pick as my April purchase?

You can read all about my one-item-a-month challenge here. 

My pre-loved favorites

Ganni coat
Chanel scarf
Balenciaga heels
Blonde no 8 coat
Self Portrait dress
Casadei heels
Céline belt
Stella McCartney bag


Mindful Monday 18th March – My vision, event, mantra, and affirmation this week

Mindful Monday - This is my vision, event, mantra, and affirmation this week;

Mindful Monday is by far my favorite post to write. It’s just such a lovely positive thing in my life.

I would have written all of this down in a diary if I didn’t have this blog. Because it’s so good for us to evaluate, reflect, collect our thoughts and set up an action plan at a regular basis. It makes me both happier and a lot more productive.

Today I’m feeling great and energized. This is going to be a great week. I will focus on being creative and immerse myself in any task I have at hand. Some weeks are just that little bit more golden than others.

Ok, are you ready? Let’s go!

This is my vision, event, mantra, and affirmation this week;

My mantra this week – “Stop thinking and start doing”. I’m an overthinker. Often when I have a great idea I end up thinking myself out of actually executing it. So this week my task is to think less and do more. I have loads of great ideas and goals I would like to reach that are just waiting for me to give it some attention.

My affirmation this week – “I’m awesome”. I need a really positive week where I back myself up completely. It’s really easy to spiral into negative self-talk. So this week I’m getting my inner cheerleader to put on her sparkliest pompoms and go all in. “Go, Tess, I believe in me!”

My goal this week  – So boring, but I really need to clear my inbox. I have too many flagged emails waiting. Some weeks I fail to keep up and then I can easily get behind quickly. And once that mountain of emails grows, I’m more and more reluctant to start. But if I sit down one evening this week and just get it done, then I will be up to speed again. I might need to get some nice dark chocolate to sweeten the deal a bit.

My dream of the week– It’s such a material dream, but I have always wanted an Aston Martin. Or at least since I did a modeling job for them maybe 10 years ago in Mallorca. I just find the cars perfectly understated.

My whole thing is great quality, but not what everyone else has. That’s why I bought a Jaeger LeCoultre watch instead of a Rolex, have a smaller but perfect diamond in my engagement ring and prefer my jewelry from Van Cleef & Arpels than Cartier. I just rather have something that’s a bit more unusual than “right in your face” items.

This is my vision, event, mantra, and affirmation this week;

My vision this week – I’m finding myself planning for the future, the far future. Like 5, 10, 30 years ahead. And I see myself in my 60s with long flowing silver hair, wearing large shirts, perfect jeans and great sneakers. With a small but perfectly curated wardrobe. I want to have those amazing kind of dresses I could pull out for a charity ball or a gallery opening and feel great in. I vision myself on a beach in the sunset with a whole bunch of grandkids playing around me. Happiness and harmony, that’s what life is about.

My focus this week –This is a focus and motivational week for me. I feel like I have the energy to go full steam ahead. I feel good, I’m in a great place in my cycle and I don’t have too much of a hectic schedule. This is when my creativity flourish.

The event of the week  – I’m off to a lovely afternoon tea event tomorrow with L’Occitane. And then on Thursday, I have planned drinks with my friend Gia. Finally, I feel like I have a life aside from being a Mom again.

My lesson from last week– I have to get a bit more strict with Olive (my Frenchie). We stayed at Josefina, Matthew, and little Leo’s house this weekend. They have two massive dogs and Olive has known them forever. However, she bitched off to the Italian Spinone who is 5 times her size and ended up with a ripped ear and an emergency visit to the vet. She now has 6 staples in her ear and looks like a very cool little chick. But it showed me that I need to be on her case a bit. She is too small to have all that attitude and this time it was a big dog who said enough in a very soft way compared to what could have been. Next time she might not be as lucky.

My everyday-luxury this week – I’m really in need of a massage, I have always loved spas, but since I became a Mom any treatment and me-time are just so much more valuable.

My inspiration this week – Greta! I can’t believe she is nominated for the Nobel peace price. We really need to listen to young voices. Maybe not in every instance, but at least when we are talking about things that will affect their lives more than ours, like the environment.

Time for you to set your own vision, event, mantra, and affirmation for this week!

Photo – Ida Zander. Skirt – Asos, jumper – Oasis & boots – Marzio.  – adlinks


Skincare in your 30s – To Retinol or not to retinol?

Skincare in your 30s - To Retinol or not to retinol?

So I have been on a bit of a beauty quest recently and one of the things I decided I wanted to try was retinol.

It is one of the few products that most dermatologists agree makes a big difference to fine line and elasticity in our skin. However, it is quite the active little bugger, so you do have to be careful of exactly what retinol product to use.

They come in a variety of different strengths, mixed with different things and called different names. To be honest it’s a bit of a jungle to try to figure out the difference between a retinoid, Retin-A, and retinol.

Trial and error work well in most cases when it comes to makeup and skincare. Retinol is, however, the one product you don’t want to get wrong. It can be a massive irritant to skin and could leave your face burning up and peeling off if you are not careful.

I used to have skin that could take almost everything. But since I had Ace it has gotten a lot more sensitive. To be honest I think I might have a slight case of rosacea on my cheeks these days. They tend to flare up red every so often, especially when I exfoliate or use active skincare. I’m going to see a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis, but all the signs are there.

So to be on the safe side, I chose to begin with a really low % retinol product. I picked the retinol 0.2% in Squalane (oil) by The Ordinary. (adlink) Why make it more complicated than it needs to be? I can’t believe how inexpensive their products are. It’s crazy that this bottle only cost me a few quid.

I have used it two nights a week for the last few weeks and even though it’s too early to see any real difference yet, I thought I would share my first impressions.

Skincare in your 30s - To Retinol or not to retinol?

When I applied the oil the first night I was convinced I was going to wake up bright red and flaky. To my big surprise, I did not. My face was actually less red than the day before. I did read that people with rosacea can go either way on retinol. It can help or make it worse. For me, it seems to be the former rather than the latter.

So far I’m over the moon with this product. My skin feels glowy and my redness is not as bad as before. My plan is to stick to this routine for 6 weeks when I start using the product every other night for a few more weeks. Then I’m planning to give what is left to my hubby and move on to a stronger version.

Because The Ordinary’s products are so inexpensive it’s totally doable to keep switching up whenever my skin has gotten used to the strength of the retinol.

…and why shouldn’t guys use retinol anyway? They have skin that ages too. (And I don’t have to throw away perfectly good retinol). Win-win.

So now I want to hear all about your retinol experiences! What % are you on and has it worked for you?

You can find The Ordinary 0.2% retinol in squalane hereadlink


Mindful Monday 11th March – My mantra, vision, event, and affirmation

Mindful Monday 11th March - My mantra, vision, event, and affirmation

Monday, are you excited or do you need another coffee?

I might need another cup myself and then I’m almost there. I’m feeling a bit slow today actually. I hope spring will come with fewer nursery bugs. These days our little family are constantly sniffling.

Garth is going away for a couple of weekends for work this month and I will be on my own with the little one. I know we will be completely fine, I just have to go to bed a bit earlier, to make sure I get enough sleep. But it still makes me feel a little bit uneasy.

And to be honest, I tend to get a lot more done when I’m on my own at night. I never watch tv, only work or read books. So I will try to think of it as a positive.

This is my mantra, vision, event, and affirmation this week;

My mantra this week–  “If I’m comfortable, it’s time to move on. If I’m terrified to take the next step, then I’m on the right path”. Don’t get me wrong. It’s really nice to get to chill out for a bit, but then it’s time to challenge myself again. I have a few things in the pipeline that only needs a little push to start rolling. It’s both scary and fun.

My affirmation this week – “I attract what I think”. I’m always trying really hard not to allow myself to get stuck in negativity. I do allow myself to feel it for a moment and then I send it off again. There is no need to dig too deep into negative emotions. I really need to stay positive to be able to be creative and inspired.

This week is a bit of a pondering week for me. I have a few things I need to figure out before I can move forward with them. The problem is if I start over-thinking. Then I might instead try to talk myself out of it… So it’s important to keep the inspiration going until everything has fallen into place.

My goal this week – I need to figure out how a concept will work in moving media. It has been marinating in my brain for a while and I think I know what I want to do with it now. Next week I will make sure to get it all down onto paper and make a plan out of it.

My dream of the week – I dream of being able to work from anywhere. With blogging, I can, but with modeling, I’m best off staying put in London. Also, I will always be tied to wherever Garth works and later to Ace’s school. But I still really like the idea of being completely free to move wherever I like. Or at least feel like I have the option.

Mindful Monday 11th March - My mantra, vision, event, and affirmation

My vision this week  – Not every vision need to be a great big one. Right now I’m thinking a garden big enough to house both a magnolia and a cherry tree. They only blossom for a little while, but it looks so beautiful when they do.

My focus this week  – I lost a bit of valuable momentum last week. Too much else was going on. But now I need to find my focus again and zone in on things that re-charges my motivational and inspirational batteries. I have two new books to read, that should boost both those things.

The event of the week  – Garth is away this weekend, so I’m going to take Ace and Olive and go to Josefina over the weekend. 3 dogs, 2 kids, and a best friend. It will be chaotic awesomeness.

My lesson from last week – I have to stop taking on everyone else’s energies. A certain amount of empathy is incredibly important, but not to the point that it’s detrimental to myself. I’m learning how to observe and not step into other people’s shoes all the time. Because it drains me if I’m not careful.

My everyday-luxury this week– Tomorrow I’m booked into a lovely facial with Elemis. I can’t wait!

My inspiration this week – I love when successful women generously share their experiences, like this article about Amber Venz Box at Sheerluxe.

Have you had a look at your mantra, vision, event, and affirmation this week?

Photo – Ida Zander. Find my lovely blazer by Forever New here. (adlink)


Sustainable Sustainability #2 – Who needs an ugly plastic bag anyway?

Sustainable Sustainability #2 - Who needs an ugly plastic bag anyway?

When I went to the Facebook event at Soho farmhouse the other week, they kindly gifted us this fabric bag saying –  “Make your thing – a thing”.

It’s a double hit.

Every time I use it I get reminded to do my own thing. I rather make my own thing a thing than try to do something someone else thinks is a thing. I just have to believe that my thing is a good thing.

The other great plus with this bag is that it’s the perfect size for me to fit almost anything into it. I can fold it up and it will barely take any space at all. I can get all my shopping home without having to buy a plastic bag.

I actually always carry a fabric bag these days. Either this one or an even skinnier one that actually fits into my Chanel bag. How glam is that?

The reasons why I choose a fabric bag over a plastic bag are;

– I hate having to pay for bags at the shop.
– I don’t like running after my oranges when the silly plastic bags break in the middle of the street.
– It’s a lot more stylish. I mean those orange Sainsbury’s bags. Yuck! They are a no-go with any of my outfits. (I’m kidding a little bit, but I’m also a little bit serious).

But mainly I do it because it’s better for the environment.

If enough people decided to do the same, then it could make a difference. Of course, we have to make sure that PPW (price per wear) is good for our fabric bags, just like any item of clothing. We can also use paper bags, or a plastic bag made out of other old bags. Whatever floats your boat. It’s just about being aware that our choices are important.

If you don’t have a fabric bag and fancy one, why not go for this one from Help Refugees? (adlink)

Find my sustainable sustainability choice #1 here.

Sustainable Sustainability #2 - Who needs an ugly plastic bag anyway?

Photo – Ida Zander, location – No32 Old Town, t-shirt, kjol, sneakers. (adlinks)


This is my “One-item-a-month” purchase for March

Golden Goose sneakers - my "One-item-a-month" purchase for March

I almost got those awesome sneakers by Givenchy. But decided last minute that I need something a bit more versatile, so instead I went for a pair of  “Superstars” by Golden Goose Deluxe Brand. (adlink)

Actually, I have been wanting these bad boys since I first came across the brand more than 10 years ago in LA. I found them out shopping with my exboyfriend Jordan who lived there. It feels like a lifetime ago! I actually almost got them then, but there was one thing stopping me. They already looked “used” out of the box.

I know it’s kind of the point with Golden Goose, but it doesn’t sit right with me. I want to have an actual new pair when I buy a new pair of sneakers and I want to scuff them myself. I don’t want them to have a “fake story”, but a real one created by me and my life.

And I want to have the option to keep them pristine and white if I fancy.

And then 10 years later they go and release a pair of Superstars that actually looks new. Woohoo! If there was ever a reason to indulge, this is it. It’s a sign!

I might not be cool enough to go for the pre-scuffed version, but I am now finally proud owners of a fabulous (and very white) pair of Golden Goose sneakers.

Golden Goose sneakers - my "One-item-a-month" purchase for March

…now it’s my job to keep these lovelies looking good. Or scuff them and pretend I bought them that way. Ha!

No matter what, it was the perfect item to buy for March. We already have magnolia and cherry blossom all over London, so spring is officially here. It won’t be long until I can wear my new sneakers on a daily basis.

It’s kind of funny. I don’t actually want to buy anything at the moment. My wardrobe is really airy and spacious after my Marie Kondo clearout. I can actually see all my clothes and shoes now and I don’t want it to get cluttered again. Funny what a big clean can change… I used to be such a shopaholic in the past!

I have completely allowed myself to disregard trends and only get items I know I will use for years to come. It’s totally liberating.

As digital creators/bloggers/influencers or whatever you want to call us, the pressure is on to show all the newest, most interesting and trendiest clothes all the time. It’s really easy to get caught up in the consumer carousel and not even realize what we are actually doing.

That’s when it’s nice for our minds (+ the environment and our bank balances) to get off the ride and say “thanks, but no thank you” and head off in our own direction instead.

Golden Goose sneakers - my "One-item-a-month" purchase for March

That is what the one-item-a-month challenge paired with my Marie Kondo clear-out has done for me.

Sometimes we just have to realize ourselves that what we are doing doesn’t actually reflect who we are and what we stand for. I don’t think anyone can honestly say they haven’t been swept away into things because other people were doing it. No matter if it is simple things like clothes or more complex things like ideals and philosophy of life.

I wonder what else I could do a Marie Kondo on….?

I have gone through my clothes/books/blogs and Instagram already. We are about to do a big clear out the rest of the house. I’m thinking we should be able to use this principle on more things in life. Maybe friends? Hobbies? Work? What do you think?

I know a few of you are also doing the one-item-a-month challenge. What are you getting in March? …and if you haven’t gotten on board yet. Isn’t it a little bit tempting? How about it?

This is what I got in January and in February.


Digital Detox & The future of social media

Digital Detox & The future of social media - #Mindfluencing

I treated myself to a proper digital detox this weekend when we headed to Exter to see friends and family.

The fact is, we are addicted to our mobile phones. If it’s close we constantly have to fight the urge to pick it up. It’s always there in the back of our minds using up valuable brain energy. It’s kind of scary when you think about it.

I realized how addicted I was myself a few months ago and I decided to see if I could beat my addiction with a set of strict rules. I only allowed myself to have my phone on me during my “work hours” in the mornings and at night. So whenever I spent time with Ace, I would just leave it in my bag. This way I could focus on him and only him.

As with any addiction, it’s really easy to make excuses to why we have to “quickly do this small thing…” on our phones. So I made sure to carry my little camera with me. In case Ace did something cute that I really had to take a photo or make a clip of. Because I noticed that the excuse of taking photos became a gateway to scroll my Instagram feed…

Only yesterday I picked up my phone to quickly google a recipe and found myself liking photos on Instagram. Say what? I didn’t even notice my fingers hitting the Instagram icon! It just happened so quickly and it actually scared me a bit.

So this weekend I kept my phone in my suitcase the whole time. I kept the volume on during the day, just in case someone needed me for an emergency. But I also relied on people calling Garth in case they really had to get hold of me.

I do feel like I have got digital addiction under control these days. I can stay off my phone for long periods of time without missing it and I only bring it out when I actually need it for work or to contact someone. I have noticed that it has freed up my time massively. I didn’t even realize how much time I spent scrolling away. Now I use that time to read books instead and I feel nourished in a completely different way.

My beloved hubby is still stuck in the scrolling-swamp though. I’m trying to get him to put down his phone now and then, but it takes a lot of effort and clever tricks from my side. As soon as I see him pick his phone up and start scrolling, I make sure to ask him to help me with something that will take up all of his attention. So far he hasn’t cottoned on.. but we will see how long it lasts. My ideal would be for us both to be able to leave our phones in the living room at night. This will be my goal for the next few months.

I often think about how we are going to relate to these things in the future. How we will think “OMG, did we really do that?!” about things that we see as completely normal now. Like smoking inside in the 80s. My Mom sat amongst us kids on the sofa, going through her packs of yellow “Blend”, not having a clue that it could affect anyone else than herself. Obviously now, we know better.

I predict that sugar, alcohol and screens will be 3 of the things that we will have realized is really bad for us in the future.

However, I don’t think it’s actually social media that is dangerous, only the way we are using it at the moment. A big part of the addiction to scrolling is all the information we can access really quickly. Our brains don’t even get the chance to focus before we move on to the next thing. This is one of the reasons I prefer to read blogs and posts that will actually pique my interest. I want something more than a pretty picture.

I have actually completely changed the way I use Instagram and these days I follow mainly people who are using their captions well. There are sooo many great photos out there, but great texts are a lot harder to find. I want to experience things to relate to, something thought provoking that makes me feel stuff. Something more than “nice picture, like, next“.

I do feel that Instagram is focusing more and more on captions and moving media now. So I do hope the days of scrolling is numbered. I myself really like to watch IGTV and I’m quite keen to produce more moving material to publish there and on Facebook watch. To be able to actually say something real and make an impact. The tricky thing with clips on-the-go is the sound. It’s not always it’s appropriate to blast sound out of your phone…

If I’m going to put my valuable time into social media then I really want it to feed me in some way. I want an interesting caption, an informative video or something that exercises my mental muscles a bit. That’s when social media is amazing. The rest just feels like a massive waste of our time.

This is pretty much what  #MINDFLUENCING is about. How we can choose to use social media in a healthy and inspirational way. 

What do you prefer? Scroll photos, read captions? Se little clips on stories, longer videos on IGTV, YouTube or Facebook watch? Sound on/off?

Photo – Ida Zander for #MINDFLUENCING. Location – Megan’s Clapham Commo


Mindful Monday 4th March – my focus, mantra, vision, and goal this week

Tess Montgomery by Tomila Katsman - my focus, mantra, vision, and goal this week

Hi guys, how are you doing? Did you have a nice weekend?

Our little family got in the car and headed to Exeter to see as many friends as possible in one weekend. It was lovely! We even managed to squeeze in a lunch with all of Garths family on Sunday.

Ace had such a good time with his 3 cousins, his little friend Carlo and he also got to play with a 12-week old puppy… Little Albie the cavapoo. Guess whats Aces favorite word is now. Albie, Albie, Albie. Everything is Albie now.

It was an intense couple of days, but exactly what we all needed.

This is my focus, mantra, vision, and goal for this week:

My mantra this week– “Healthy body, healthy mind”. My stomach ulcer is a lot better. So I have decided to come off my pills and try to heal my body naturally instead. I don’t want to be stuck eating pills for the rest of my life. Instead, I’m doing my best to reduce stress, eat really well and do yoga at least 2 times every week.

I eat a lot less meat than I used to, I barely drink alcohol at all, I stay away from things that are fried or spicy and I’m eating a lot more veg. The only thing I can’t give up is coffee. I have to have a cup every morning, for my sanity and creativity. But I am trying to have it with coconut milk instead of regular milk. To see if it makes any difference.
Too often we treat the symptoms instead of the actual problem. And in my case, the problem is stress and an unbalanced diet. I much rather address those things than taking pills.

My affirmation this week  – “We can change almost everything”. If we head down a path that doesn’t lead anywhere, we can just reverse back to where we came from. We can choose a new and different route to before, discover another way of doing things or just bring out the machete and make our own path in the jungle of life.

All we need to do to change something is to make the decision. Of course, change itself can take time, but at least then you have started the process. And if it doesn’t work out, hit reverse and try something else. It’s really that simple.

My goal this week – I’m going to clear out my books this week. It’s step 2 in our Marie Kondo journey. I have actually done most of them already, but I have a few more to get rid of. I don’t really know what to do with the Swedish books I have? I’m not sure Save the children here in the UK will be able to sell them. Any suggestions?

My dream of the week – I want to buy a big stone barn in a lovely spot in the countryside and redevelop it. It would be amazing to remove one of the walls and replace it with as much glass as possible. Then the living room could have the full ceiling height and the second floor could be a mezzanine. It would be really cool to keep one original large stone wall throughout the house. The contrast between glass and old stone is just stunning.

Tess Montgomery by Tomila Katsman - my focus, mantra, vision, and goal this week

My vision this week – ” A calm and relaxed Tess with my feet on the table, wearing fluffy slippers and sipping on a nice cup of tea. Ace is playing on the floor and I’m stroking my massive belly and wondering if our number 2 is a boy or a girl”. We want two kids, but to be completely honest I’m terrified of having to go through that first year again. I really struggled the first time. I’m not worried about the pregnancy, last time I felt great, so hopefully, I will be just as lucky next time.

It’s about having to still work when I have an infant. I had no help at all with Ace and I look back at that time remembering the feeling of never being able to put in enough time and energy anywhere. I was stretched past what any human should ever have to experience. I was blogging and pumping milk at the same time at 5 in the morning to be able to both keep my career and have a family. It was insane. On top of it all, I had horrible mastitis and a breast abscess… I have no idea how I even did it all.

If we are going to have a second child, then I’m either going to need a lot of help so I can work the 16-20 hours a week it will take to keep the blog/Instagram etc going. The other option is to quit completely. It would be horrible to get to the point where I had to choose between my career and another child. It makes me so angry to think about how these things only affect us women.

My focus this week  – I’m going to feed my soul positivity and inspiration. There is a noticeable difference between the weeks I make sure to go to bed earlier, so I have the time to read and those where I watch crap tv instead. As soon as I’m not feeding my creativity I end up losing momentum. So my focus now is to not overanalyze or give in to anything that zaps my energy. I want to surf the wave of positivity.

The event of the week – On Thursday I got a much-needed girls night planned with Gia and Josefina. We are going to a new restaurant in Shoreditch. It’s actually the perfect area for us all to meet, basically halfway between us. And there are loads of great places to try out. If I hang out in Shoreditch, does that make me hip and cool now?

My lesson from last week – Everything is a phase. When Ace isn’t sleeping and Garth and I become walking dead it’s easy to never see an end to the sleep deprivation. But then all of a sudden it changes and the child finally sleeps again. Halleluja! And we are trying to enjoy it as much as possible because we know that this is but a phase too.

My everyday-luxury this week – Tomorrow I’m heading to the salon to get my shellac done. I’m going to listen to a podcast and just get pampered for a little while. Bliss!

My inspiration this week – All of the people in the Facebook group “Sustainable sustainability”. We are discussing everything from palm oil to period cups and eco eggs. There are loads of great ideas, suggestions and tips flying around. If it sounds interesting, feel free to join us!

Have you decided on your focus, mantra, vision, and goal for this week yet?

Photos – Tomila Katsman. Now It’s my job to pick 20 photos from 90 of these contact sheets. Wish me luck! 


Sustainable Sustainability # 1 – A water bottle to love a long time

The whole point with Sustainable Sustainability is to make it really easy to be kind to the environment.

It’s for busy people like you and me, who can’t do everything, but can change a lot of small things. And together we can make a real difference. Little choices in our everyday life that won’t feel overwhelming or even like much of an effort at all.

So my journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle starts with something as simple as a reusable water bottle. 

I know it’s terribly basic, but surprisingly not all of us has made the switch yet. (Hrm me…) I think sometimes we overlook the smallest and simplest of things and focus too much on the grand gestures to mother nature.

First I had to find the perfect water bottle. I went for quite a fancy one – A collaboration between S’well and Liberty London. It’s terribly Tess! I love carrying it around since it’s almost like a fashion accessory in itself. (get your own here – adlink)

So far I have not only saved the ocean from more plastic, but I have also saved myself loads of money on bottled water on the go. Especially in airports (why are they sooo expensive?).

A third very unexpected perk of carrying around my water bottle is that I now always have water with me. So I’m a lot better hydrated than before. Not only is it keeping my brain on the top of its game (as much as it can be with very little sleep due to a tiny human who thinks night time is for partying), my skin is also over the moon.

See, there are basically no downsides to going reusable.

You don’t have to go for anything as fancy as mine. As long as you can fill it up, it’s easy to clean and has a good drip-free lid – go for it!

If you find all of this terribly interesting and would like to join us in the quest for a more sustainable lifestyle, one small thing at the time.  Please consider joining the Sustainable Sustainability Facebook group where we share lots of fun ideas, thoughts, and encouragement.

Photo – Ida Zander. My jumper is by Vila,  jeans by Monki and my S’well + Liberty water bottle here. – adlinks