Wedding inspiration – Why you really should have a look at alternative wedding dresses

Why you should have a look at alternative wedding dresses.

If I would have gotten married this year I would probably not have bought a classic wedding dress. Instead, I would have gone looking for more alternative wedding dresses.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the dress I wore to our wedding in Zimbabwe in 2014. But it does annoy me a little bit that I spent sooo much money on a dress I only wore once…

I have a feeling that I will feel a little bit less wasteful the day I actually get to show it off again. My grand plan is to unpack it from the box it’s resting in at the moment and instead place it on display in the middle of my walk-in-closet in our next house. Then it will become a part of the interior and I will be able to enjoy it and remember our wedding every day.

But still, I would probably have chosen something a bit more alternative if I got married today. I’m a different person now and I dare to think outside the box even more now than I did then. (As if a wedding on a lion sanctuary in the middle of the bush is inside any box…)

Because why does a wedding dress have to be from a wedding brand? And why does it have to be so crazy expensive?

Why not get a beautiful evening gown from a regular designer? And who says it has to be long, there are plenty of beautiful shorter dresses out there. It doesn’t even have to be white if you fancy something different. I would have looked at dresses with a pattern or interesting details.

You can still get it fitted to suit your body shape perfectly. Just go to a really good seamstress. It will most likely still be a lot more cost effective in the long run.

I found that as soon as the word “wedding” is placed in front of any other word. The price multiplies. A great tip is to not even mention that it’s a wedding when you look at venues, flowers, and catering until you actually have a price set.

In the collage above I have found a few alternative dresses that would work for a classic, the 90s, boho or vintage-bride. In one category you find dresses under £1000 and in the other dresses above a grand.

My favorites are 2, 4, 6 and 9.

Under £1 000 – 1. Self Portrait,2.  Temperly London*, 3. Halston Heritage, 4.  Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, 5. Georgia Alice (adlinks)

Above £1 000 – 6. Oscar de la Renta, 7. Michael lo Sordo, 8. Galvan, 9. Galvan, 10. Giambattista Valli (adlinks)

Shoes Jimmy Choo, Sophia Webster (adlinks)

*Woopsie, this dress is actually above a grand at £1500. Sorry!

I’m still super happy with my wedding shoes by Jimmy Choo. I’m so glad I chose shoes I wanted to wear again. They are super comfy and still a favorite in my wardrobe. So a great tip is to skip the classic wedding shoes and go for something you really love and would wear over and over again.

I hope I have inspired you, brides-to-be, to look at slightly more alternative wedding dresses. In the long run, I think it’s a great decision.

By the way, do you remember our engagement video?


Mindful Monday 14th January

dream, vision, goal and focus

Hello Monday! How are you guys doing this week?

I have spent the weekend thinking really hard about what I want to do with my life.

Recently I have found my priorities shifting quite radically. I used to live for work and making money was such a big thing in my life. I think it was because my career was what got me out of Sweden and a situation I wasn’t very happy in when I was younger. So to me, money equals freedom.

But lately, I have realised that I don’t need that kind of “runaway” capital anymore. My worth is not in how much I make, I have biggerthings in my life now.

I’m not saying I want to become a housewife, just that I’m not sure I want to do what I’m doing.

I wouldn’t mind still doing a bit of modelling, but only with companies I actually like and feel I can support. The blog is great fun too, but I’m not sure it’s the fulfilling career I’m craving. I would like to keep both as hobbies and have a third career on top. Something that I can grow and feel that my hard work actually pay off. Both modeling and blogging are sometimes more about luck than hard work. It’s fun in many ways, but I feel like I need more.

The “cool” lifestyle is a bit “been there, done that, got the Gucci-t-shirt”. I have flown to Ibiza in private jets, stayed in opulent castles and mansions, been flown across the world first class for photo shoots, had lots of champagne and dated celebrities. I have followed trends, gone to events and galas, been a part of the jet set crew and lived the whole Instagram-lifestyle. It was all great fun, but looking back I’m not really sure if I did it for me or someone else.

I need to figure out what I’m actually good at and most importantly what makes me happy. I crave a change and I have matured in the speed of an avocado lately. Basically, everything changed over Christmas and now I’m all of a sudden onto a new chapter in my life.

Obviously having kids is a big part of it. But I also think I have gotten a lot more stable, calm and grounded. All in all, I think it’s a great thing. So my big goal in 2019 is to find my Ikigai – my passion in life.

Here is my dream, vision, goal, and focus this week:

My mantra this week – “If it doesn’t feel good, it’s probably not right”. At the moment I’m trying to evaluate my lifestyle. How does a certain situation make me feel? What do I want to keep in my life? I basically want to Marie Kondo my entire lifestyle. Only keep the things that “spark joy”. The key is gut feeling and I’m trying to get better at listening to my own intuition.

My affirmation this week  – ” I can do and become what I want”. There are no frames except my own, no must except the ones I chose and no pressure except the one I put on myself.

My goal this week– I need to take time to think and plan. Garth is off to Amsterdam on Thursday and will be away for a week So I will have time in the evenings to plan, organize and figure things out. I have an idea where I want to end up in the future, but I will need an action plan.

My dream of the week – At the moment I’m craving nature. I’m dreaming of a proper adventurous trip with Ace and Garth. Maybe to South America, climb a mountain and spend some time in the jungle. It will, of course, have to wait until Ace is old enough, but that’s ok.

My vision this week  – I want to wake up in the morning, get a log fire going, make myself a cup of coffee and read on the sofa to the sound of crackling wood until the rest of the family wakes up. After a long breakfast we all get dressed and head out for a walk in the woods. We only have to step outside to be in nature. Garth and I walk whilst Ace and Olive runs circles around us. It’s a dream about a house not situated in the middle of a big city…

My focus this week  – It’s time for me to find a new routine. One with more focus on mindfulness, less stress, more quality time with myself and my little family. Less musts and more laughter. I want to switch tv for books and late nights for early mornings. (Not that I have a choice with a 15 month old in the house haha)

dream, vision, goal and focus

The event of the week – On Thursday I have a casting. It’s a company I like and would enjoy working with. I have turned down a few castings lately. Mainly because I’m tired of not feeling that the product is something I actually would want to personally recommend or if the brief has been weird*. Here on the blog it has always been me who chooses who I collaborate with. But with modeling us models are always so worried about upsetting the agency that we take almost any work we get. I want to only do work with companies I like. I know it’s a luxury, but I feel like it’s time.

*I had a casting sent to me lately where they were looking for “natural ” girls. But then in the brief, they said that we under no circumstance could have moles, scars, stretch marks or any flaws on our skin. Natural right?

My lesson from last week – I’m beginning to realize that I don’t have to take life so bloody seriously all the time. It should be fun to live and if we listen too much to the nay-sayers and those who like to criticize then it won’t be fun at all. It’s quite liberating to go “thank you for your opinion, I will keep it in mind, but for now, I’m going to do it like this”.

Another lesson I learnt last week was to not forget a half-eaten tampon (Ace got to it) in my pocket and then put the trousers in the machine. There is white fluff everywhere! I won’t make that mistake again…

My everyday-luxury this week – I’m aiming to be in bed for 10 when Garth is away. He is usually the one who is up with Ace in the morning ( I do nights) so I will have to be in bed at a decent time to be able to function the next day. I’m also planning a 30-minute digital detox curfew. It will give me some time to read a book in bed.

My inspiration this week – This week I’m inspired by my own #MINDFLUENCING  campaign on Instagram. If there is ever a place that could do with some mindfulness, it’s social media. If you haven’t checked it out yet, do it now. 

Now it’s your turn. What’s your dream, vision, goal, and focus this week:


My 7 best fashion purchases in 2018

My 7 best fashion purchases in 2018

It’s really fun and also clever to have a look back at the last year’s purchases and evaluate if the clothes we chose to buy actually lived up to our expectations. 

It’s hard to know straight away in the shop what will end up being a favorite and a good purchase and what will be left to be forgotten in our closets. So looking back like this helps us identify our good purchases so we can get a feeling for what we actually tend to like and use a lot of.

These are my 7 best fashion purchases in 2018. I have taken into account if they still are favorites, how I feel wearing them and also what PPW* is now. *(Price Per Wear)

All the outfits in this posts are the kind that *sparks joy* to quote Marie Kondo (I’m obsessed by her Netflix show and are waiting for the book to turn up in my mailbox soon.)

The first item I’m really happy I got last year is my blue teddy coat from River Island.  I have used it loads and it probably has the best PPW of all things I bought last year. …or maybe not. The other item in this photo that I’m super happy I got is my light blue Maje jumper. I think I might actually have used it even more than the jacket. I often wear them together since I love the tone-on-tone effect. No matter what, these were two og my great buys!

You can find the teddy coat on sale on Asos here  (adlink)

My 7 best fashion purchases in 2018

Another favorite of mine is this kimono with matching trousers by Sisters of the tribe *  I bought in spring 2018. I have brought it on loads of trips and worn it to plenty of events since. I love that it’s such a unique, versatile and comfortable outfit to wear.

* Any post before September 2018 has the English translation at the bottom after the Swedish one. I only separated the two blogs recently. 

My 7 best fashion purchases in 2018

Another proper hit of an outfit is this set by Micha lounge I wore in Paris. It looks a lot more expencive than it is and looks amazing both with sneakers and heels. I just take some heels and lipstick with me in my bag and change from day to evening in a second.

My 7 best fashion purchases in 2018

I looooove this jumper från Neon Rose. I have never been stopped out and about as often as when i wear this tasseled beauty. Even in Galleries Lafayette in Paris! I honestly used it last yesterday and PPW is as good as it could ever be. I really hope I will love it just as much next winter. It’s such a wardrobe hero – warm, comfy and cute!

My 7 best fashion purchases in 2018

A sure card in my closet when I want to dress up, but not go crazy is this dress with little flying birds by Warehouse*  It’s classic, timeless, but still has an interesting little twist to it. I have a feeling that this dress will be an outfit saver for many years to come.

* Any post before September 2018 has the English translation at the bottom after the Swedish one. I only separated the two blogs recently. 

My 7 best fashion purchases in 2018

Last but not least is another set by Micha Lounge. A matching set is such an easy way to look put together on an everyday basis. It’s relaxed and comfortable, but still stylish. I tend to wear it with my hair tucked in and sneakers.

Do you have a favorite? Why not make a list of your own best fashion purchases in 2018?

Photos – Ida Zander


Mindful Monday – 7th January 2019


This is the first Monday back in London and also the first Mindful Monday of 2019!

I have had a great time visiting the family in Sweden. 10 days of food, laughter, nature, and people I love. Could it get any better? I did, however, miss writing down my mantra, affirmations, and goals in the last few weeks. So I’m really looking forward to picking this habit up again. It’s my favorite post every week and one of the few I always make sure to include in both my blogs. I’m a big believer in starting the week out on a good note and if I can inspire someone else to do the same, then that’s a massive plus.

Ok, now I can’t wait to stuck in! This is my goal, vision, dream, and affirmation this week.;

My mantra this week– “Be water”. This is actually my mantra in life. I think it’s appropriate to remind myself of my core beliefs now when I have a brand new year to plan. I have realised that water is my element. I’m always at my best close to, in, on or beside water. Even snow! Something in me just craves water.

Water is strong enough to wear down mountains, but can at the same time hold a baby without harming it. It can be completely still or flow with immense power. It’s very hard to stop water, it will just find a new way to reach its goal. I also love how much water change, but still remains water. No matter if its ice, steam or in a glass, it’s still just H2O.

My affirmation this week – “I have a good life balance and I will do what it takes for me to be happy and healthy”. 2019 is all about getting my health back on track. 2018 was hectic both physically and mentally for me. I’m planning on prioritizing inner peace, sleep, healthy food, vitamins and quality time with my loved ones. My career is still a priority, but not the top one.

My goal this week –  My most tangible goals this week is to unpack our bags, wash clothes and have a look at all of our lovely Christmas gifts. I want to get everything back in order and find places for new items. I like to have a set rhythm at home and feel a bit out of balance when it’s too messy. I’m also going to pack up Christmas. The tree is sooo 2018…

My dream of the week– I was lucky enough to spend last Friday at the spa with my sister Steffi, we both got it as a Christmas gift from our Dad and stepmom. It was amazing and it made me realize how much I want a bathtub at home. In the next house, I will make sure we have one. maybe even a little spa-area with a nice chair for reading, some aromatherapy, good sound system, and a yoga mat. It would be like a little oasis in everyday life.

My vision this week  – It’s Saturday morning. Garth Olive and I are fast asleep in our bed when little Ace come tiptoeing over and snuggles in between us. We all wake up slowly and have breakfast in bed. At the moment Ace is too young (15 months) to have a calm cozy morning with us. He literally vibrates from all the energy he has stored up during the night. He also still sleep in his crib since he is so little. So I guess this will have to happen after he gets his first big boy bed. I’m really looking forward to it already though.

My focus this week  – I want to clean and tidy everything at home. We have been travelling non-stop since 21st December and I have been craving to get back and into our routines again. It’s amazing to be on holiday, but it’s pretty great to come home too. So now I’m going to focus on clearing out, put away stuff and make space for calm.

 mål, vison, dröm och affirmation

The event of the week – Tomorrow I’m meeting up with my good friend Kicki * who is in town. We are going for breakfast at Ivy Chelsea Garden. I’m very much looking forward to seeing her. I consider Kicki a bit of a mentor to me and other influencers.

My lesson from last week – I’m going to trust my gut feeling more often. The #MINDFLUENCING campaign is actually something I have been wanting to do for a while, but I was worried I was the only one who actually cared about these things. Still I felt it was important, so I went with it. And it is a success! I never had as many DMs from people I don’t know! It’s amazing how people are engaging and sharing the message. Maybe I can even make a bit of change after all!

I’m thinking I should develop this concept even further. What do you think? I’m really passionate about the subject. I would love to write a book, talk to influencers and companies or something similar. Maybe you have some clever suggestions on how I can take this further?

My everyday-luxury this week – It’s just great to be home and back working in my favorite cafés. Today I’m in Minnow. I need this little break to feel like I have all the pieces of my life cake. It’s all about balance.

My inspiration this week  – I’m about to buy this book.  It’s time I clean and clear out for real. I feel almost weighed down by all the stuff we have. I’m actually a bit scared to read this book since I’m pretty sure I will be super inspired and that will mean a lot of work. Have you read it. Did it change your lives?

Ok, your turn! Do you have a goal, vision, dream, and affirmation this week? 

Photo – Ida Zander


My New Year’s Resolutions 2019

new year's resolutions 2019

I sometimes think that new year’s resolutions are nothing but a bunch of half-assed promises about going to the gym more often, eating less crap and quitting a bad habit. Most of the time we already know we are not going to keep to it, but we want to pretend to make ourselves feel good in the new year. 

The problem is that a goal without a plan is more of a dream.

We love to go all-in and make big resolutions that kick off right after that last sip of champagne on new year’s eve. However, the likelihood of going from 0 gym visits to 5 in the first week is pretty slim. It’s also really hard just to go cold turkey on something. It’s just not sustainable in the long run.

The trick to a good new years resolution is to pick a few areas where we want to make a change, make a plan and set small goals along the way. To start slow and work our way up.

We tend to overestimate what we can get done in a short time, but easily underestimate what we can do in a year. A new years resolution is for the full year, so it’s important to make a plan that makes us reach the end destination at the end of the year, not straight away. Sometimes the journey is the goal, right?

These are my 3 big goals this year;

1. To take better care of my physical and mental health.
2. I want to do more for others and care more about the environment.
3. I want to figure out what my passions in life are and do more of that.

1.To take better care of my physical and mental health.;

When our bodies say stop, we have to listen. I have a feeling that I was quite close to a full body breakdown in 2018. I was way too overstretched, stressed and frazzled. But I realized I was heading in the completely wrong direction. So I slowed down, had a think and changed my priorities.

I have always been very good at taking care of my body both physically and mentally. But since I had Ace it has been hard to find the time. So now I will have to prioritize. If I don’t feel well, then I can’t be a good mom, wife, worker och friend. So I have to put my health up there to make sure I keep it all together.

These are the changes I will make in 2019;

A. I’m going to “steal” another hour from my work time every week to fit in another yoga class. So far I have been going on Wednesdays and sometimes on the weekend. But I need more and will add a session on Mondays too. It will make me happier, more inspired, more creative, relaxed and happy- It might sound like I will get less productive, but I have a feeling it will be the complete opposite.

B. I want to read more books. The plan is to read 2 books in January and then continue with 2-3 books a month. It gives me that much-needed break and  I always feel inspired and motivated by reading. I’m planning on using the time when Ace naps to get some reading done. And if I can fit in half an hour before bed, then I will. It’s much better to fall asleep after reading anyway.

C. I was really great at taking my vitamins and eating my superfoods in the past. The plan is for me to re-engage my interest and also add to eat more plant-based food. Both for my own sake and for the environment.

D. I’m going to listen to my body. Only this little bit of time over Christmas and New years when I decided to update a bit less gave me a massive break. I have barely had to take my stomach pills at all! My plan now is to before every week get an idea of my stress levels and burden of work so I can plan my work and other commitments around this. If I’m having a bad week, I will take on less. It will be a lot more flexible and suitable for my health.

2. I want to do more for others and the environment, 

I have already started with my project #MINDFLUENCING . An initiative to try to make social media a better place. On top of this, I want to get better at thinking about the environment, recycling and re-purposing. I’m also interested in a more sustainable view of clothes and would like to work to counteract the trend of fast fashion.

This is how I will reach these goals in 2019;

A. The #MINDFLUENCING campaign is running from for 28 days during January and I’m posting 1 photo in my feed and a few stories every day on the subject. You really should check it out! So far it has been incredibly well-received and I’m so excited to see other people engaging in the #.

B. We don’t really recycle as well in London as they do back home in Sweden. But we do separate into regular trash and recycling at the moment hopefully we will also get a food bin too. I will make sure to always carry my own reusable bags when I go shopping and I want to avoid anything with a lot of plastic packaging. I want to try to buy what’s in season and I would like my groceries to have been grown and produced locally if I can find it. I’m already very good at buying organic and fair trade.

C. When it comes to my wardrobe, I want to get even better at buying pre-loved. I rather have a few items of quality than buying big quantities of clothes. I want to sell or give anything I don’t use to charity and only buy what I really want and need. Maybe I should even give myself a little challenge?

D. I want to find “my” charity this year. So far I donate money every month to a couple of charities. But I don’t have one particular one I’m passionate about yet.

I want to find my big passions in life and do more of it. 

What do I like to do and what am I really good at? I’m actually not really sure to be honest. So this year I will do my best to find my Ikigai – my passion in life. 

This is how I will find my Ikigai in 2019;

A. I need to give myself time and space to think and feel more often. Now and then I want to take a timeout and just spend some time in my own mind. Maybe if I arrive early to my yoga class or when I walk Ace to nursery in the morning.

B. I want to widen my horizons and read more biographies. There are so many passionate people out there. I want to know what makes them tick and how they found their calling in life.

C. I would like to try new things.  Right now I don’t have another hobby apart from yoga. It would be fun to find something to lose myself in that doesn’t have to do with career or kids. I don’t really know where to start with this goal yet. I need to have a good think about it before I create an action plan.

What do you think, do my goals sound realistic? Have you had a chance to decide on any new year’s resolutions of your own yet?

Photo – Ida Zander


#MINDFLUENCING = Mindful Influencing


As you guys probably have noticed I took a bit of a break from the blog over Christmas and New Years. It was for a specific reason – I needed to do some serious thinking.

I had to try to figure out if social media is a good or a bad place.

I have recently felt that the climate on platforms like Instagram, is getting tougher. It’s not as much fun to create and share as it used to be. It has gotten too negative and too serious. Now it’s more about engagement, algorithm, and general anxiety than creating and being part of a community.

I had to ask myself the question if I was part of the problem or the solution? And if Social Media is, in fact, a negative thing. Would I be able to keep going knowing it goes against everything I personally stand for?

My conclusion after a lot of pretty deep pondering is that Social Media is neither negative nor positive. It’s just platforms. Some HTML, algorithm and other stuff thrown together. Social media is neutral. We are the ones who make it good or bad. We who create and share, but also we who follow.

Its up to us to make sure that we promote, follow and lift things that makes us and others happy. I see it almost like the secret but in the shape of tech.

What am I putting out there and what am I lifting by liking, following and commenting on? I have plenty of choices. Am I using them properly?

Social media can be a place that breeds anxiety, stress, loneliness, jealousy, and feelings of inadequacy. Or it can widen our horizons, inspire. motivate and make us feel closer to each other. Both options are just as possible.

So I have decided that if I’m not a part of the problem I need to be a part of the solution. 

I have from today instigated a 28-day crusade under the hashtag #MINDFLUENCING (Mindful Influencing) on Instagram to do my bit to make social media more positive. I have a voice and I have a platform, so it only makes sense to use it.

So during January, I will share all my thoughts, ideas and advice to help make social media a better place.

#MINDFLUENCING is not just for us who create content, but also for us who follow, like and comment. We all need to work together if this is going to work.

If you like me think that you can make a difference and want to be a part of the solution. Use the hashtag #MINDFLUENCING to show your support. If a lot of people do a little we can make sure that Social Media is a positive part of our lives.

Photo – Ida Zander. Location – Megan’s Clapham Common.


5 epic new year’s outfits

5 epic new year's outfits

5 epic new year’s outfits ; Grey dress – Filippa K, glitter heels – Michael Michael Kors (on sale), pink dress – Asos design, pink heels – Halston Heritage (on sale), blue tulle dress – Marchesa Notte (on sale), butterfly heels – Sophia Webster (on sale), blue sequin dress – Asos edition – ombre heels – Carvela (on sale), pink sequin dress – Badgley Mischka (on sale), pink dream heels – Jimmy Choo (adlinks)

It always surprises me how New Year’s Eve sneaks up on us. We barely get to recover from Christmas and all of a sudden it’s time to party again.

It’s less than a week between the two. I at least focus so much on Christmas that New Year becomes an afterthought and I end up scrambling for a suitable outfit last minute.

This year I’m going to have it all done in time. I’m planning (and purchasing) my outfit now (or why not ask for something sassy for Christmas?).

If there is a time to be extra, it’s on New Year’s Eve. You can literally get away with anything. I prefer to be overdressed than underdressed in general and on this one day of the year I go all-in.

I actually have two great reasons to feel fabulous on the 31st. The second is that it is, in fact, our wedding anniversary! Clever Tess here made sure we got married on a date the hubby could never forget. And we have a great reason to make sure New years eve is extra special every year.

Our tradition is to go away and so far we have celebrated in Zimbabwe (the actual wedding), the Caribbean, Scotland, Cape town and this year for our 4th anniversary we will be in Sweden.

My dream outfit this year is the princess dress by Marchesa Notte matched with those amazing Sophia Webster butterfly heels I have been loving for ages now. But honestly, I would be ecstatic to wear any of these 5 new year’s outfits. Those Jimmy choo tulle heels… it’s pure shoeporn!

When we are on the subject of clothes, I have finally put some more stuff up for sale on Vestiaire Collective. Lovely items I don’t use as much anymore that would need new loving homes. Mainly from brands like by Malene Birger, Gryphon, McQ, Giuseppe Zanotti, Maje and more.

You can find all my listings here. 

Actually, almost all the things I’m selling are black! I made myself a promise to wear more color, so I’m glad to see a few items go (even though I’m a bit worried I might regret selling the feather jacket).

I have also given at least one bag of clothes a week recently to “Save the children”. I’m having a proper clear-out and only the creme de la creme will stay. It’s time for my wardrobe to grow up and I finally feel settled enough in my personal style to go for bigger investment pieces over trend-led highstreet items.

Ok, queens! Have you planned your new year’s outfits? If not, get on it now, so you don’t have to buy something you only half-like last minute later.


Mindful Monday – 17th December

It’s the last week before Christmas. Are you stressed out or have you already found your festive spirit?

I’m beginning to slow down and looking forward to having some time off with my little family. I’m actually almost done with all my Christmas gifts, and I have even wrapped them pretty this year. Go me!

I have found the time to send Christmas flowers, written about half of our cards, unpacked the bags from the weekend and planned the food for when we are away. We are going to the Cotswolds for Christmas with a little visit to Garth’s family in Somerset on Christmas day.

Our lovely friend Leon has offered up his beautiful house whilst he is in Cape Town, and we jumped at the chance to get to spend some time outside of London. Meanwhile, some friends will stay in our flat, so it’s a bit like we are playing musical chairs with our homes this Christmas haha. Why not? Sharing is caring!

Then on the 28th, we head off to Sweden to celebrate New years with my family. I can’t wait! It will be the best kind of busy for the next few weeks coming up.

This is my dream, vision, focus, and goal for the week;

My mantra this week – “To evolve we have to eliminate”. It’s hard to realize we can’t do everything we want to do in life. There is just not enough time and energy. I have so many different ideas and things I want to do all the time. But I have to limit myself a bit, not to get anxiety about everything I’m not doing. So these next few weeks I’m going to really have a good long old think about what I really want in life. I need to eliminate anything that is not a part of my life-plan and that doesn’t give me joy. Life is too short!

My affirmation this week – “Pour from a full glass”. I have used this affirmation before. It’s a great one when life feels a bit stressful and I’m tired. It reminds me that if I have nothing in my glass, then I have nothing to give. For me to be at my best, I have to prioritize my own well-being. If I don’t take care of myself, sleep well or try to do too much, no one wins. We have to have before we can give.

My goal this week – I’m going to make it to 2 yoga classes before we leave on Saturday. I didn’t go at all last week and I can feel it both physically and mentally. I really need those few hours to get really warm and sweaty, to re-charge and just move whilst focusing only on my own thoughts. It’s like charging my phone batteries with a really good charger.

My dream of the week – Lately I have begun to realize that I would like to work with something positive. We are meant to work to live and not live to work. For this equation to add up we have to work with something that really makes us happy. I crave to do something positive for others, but I still don’t really know what. A little seed has been planted in my brain, but I’m not exactly sure what it will become just yet.

My vision this week – “The sun is rising over a calm sea, the air is balmy and slightly humid. I roll out my yoga mat, take a deep breath and start my session. My body feels strong and healthy even though I’m well past 50.”

This is a vision that could start with a yoga trip somewhere warm and later develop into living in another part of the world during the winter months. I often think about what I would like my life to be like when I’m in my 50s,60s and even 70s. Even though there are many years between me now and me then, I have to set the foundation for that life now.

My focus this week – I’m choosing to focus on the calm. I want to keep the pace from our weekend away and focus on one thing at the time. I’m going to finish reading my new book and just enjoy our beautifully decorated home before we leave.

The event of the week – Ida and I are shooting for a really fun project launching in January on Thursday. After the shoot, I’m going to declare Christmas officially. Bring on the food, family, songs, and gifts! Whoop!

My lesson from last week – I choose how I react to things around me. I chose how much energy I want to put where, what my focus is on and how I feel. In the end, all of these things come down to choices and I always challenge myself to look at every situation in a positive light. What can I learn, what could this lead to and how can I use this experience in the future?

My everyday-luxury this week – I’m going to treat myself to a full-body massage on Friday and a pre-Christmas treat.

My inspiration this week – The book I’m reading at the moment is called “Ikigai – The Japanese secret to a long and happy life” and I find it totally inspiring. I have only read half of it so far, but it’s already challenging me to think about my life in a different way. “Ikigai” is the Japanese word for “purpose of life”. Not only do we need to eat well and exercise to feel good, but we also need to find our purpose in life. This really resonates with me at the moment. I have felt a little bit lost since I had Ace. I’m not sure that the goals I had for my life previously are aligned with what I want now. I think I need to find my purpose in life again.

Have you had a chance to look at your dream, vision, focus, and goal for this week? 


My birthday weekend at Langshott Manor

langshott manor

So my secret birthday getaway was an amazing stay at the stunning Langshott Manor. Don’t I have the best hubby ever?

This is such a gorgeous part of the world. The manor is from the 16th century built in Tudor style. It’s absolutely gorgeous! There are beautiful gardens and where once it used to be a moat, there is now a small lake and a pretty pond.

It felt a bit like walking into a gingerbread house.

The service was exactly as properly old-fashioned as the manor itself. Waiters wearing white gloves, polished silver with every meal and even the smallest detail planned to perfection.

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Even though the service is quite formal, they all took their time to chat, joke and play with Ace.

He is such a little chatterbox now. He only knows a few words but uses them well. One of the other guests taught him to high 5, so whenever someone entered the room, he quickly toddled over and offered up a small palm.

And if anyone left, he waved and said: “bye bye”. He is truly the happiest little soul on earth. It makes it so much easier for us to go away to nice places. He is just so amazingly easygoing and seems to be able to make a friend out of anyone.

I’m of course biased, but he is the best baby a mom could ever ask for.

langshott manor

We had some time to explore the gardens and all Ace wanted to do was to try to go for a swim… so I ran after him a lot. After an hour of adventures, we headed inside for some afternoon tea by the fire.

He now understands that fires are “hot” and that he isn’t allowed to get too close. But he is still mesmerized by them and can sit and watch the staff setting up the logs and lighting the fire all day if he had the opportunity.

We had a lovely Christmas themed afternoon tea. Ace had all the sandwiches and Garth and I shared the scones and the sweet stuff. There will be time for sugar later in his life, but for now, I don’t see a reason to give him any. He doesn’t understand what a treat is and is just as happy with some salmon or an orange.

I know it won’t last, but for now, I’m “that” mom.

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We stayed in a suite with 2 rooms, so when Ace slept at night, we could hang out in the “living room” without disturbing him. We also made it to the restaurant with the baby monitor. It was next door, so if he cried, we could be there in under one minute. All couples need some grown-up time now and then.

During his daytime nap I actually even managed to read a book in front of the roaring fire. It was heaven! I can’t remember when I prioritized reading last, but I miss it terribly. So I have decided that I will make the time to read more from now on. It’s good for my soul.

I would highly recommend a visit to Langshott Manor. One of the best things about it for me personally is how close it is to London. We only had to travel for an hour to get there. It’s actually right next to Gatwick airport. So if I ever have a stop-over I would much rather go to Langshott Manor than some boring generic airport hotel.

This was the best birthday week ever and I’m so happy I got to spend it with my two boys in such a beautiful place. 

My jumper is by Really wild and Ace’s by Ralph Lauren.

langshott manor

It’s my birthday & wearing the sparkliest sequin dress I could find!

why 36 will be my best year

Today is no ordinary day, today is a sparkly-sequin-dress-kind-of-day. Why you wonder? Well, It’s my birthday and I’m turning 36!

I love my birthday, it’s only once a year and I love surprises and getting pampered. So I milk it as much as I possibly can.

I’m not one of those people who are upset about getting older. I feel like all the knowledge and self-insight I get each year is worth the whole ageing thing.

The only thing I’m worried about is that life will end one day. I want to live forever, I’m enjoying it too much. So it does upset me a bit that I’m closer to the end, but I guess we all are every second of every minute every day. So a birthday is really no different. 

swedish blogger tess montgomery

35 was a good year for me. I became a mom “properly”. The first few months last year I was mainly just confused about what I was actually doing. But since Ace became about 4-5 months I really started feeling like I have that whole mom-thing down. And I’m only getting better and better at it.

36 will be the first year when I’m closer to 40 than 30. I enjoyed being a mid-30s woman. Not a girl, not an old lady, just a grown up. I always feel like people take me a little bit more seriously every year. Like when I turned 30 I remember really using that if anyone tried to belittle me based on my appearance or perceived age. And the stupid thing is that it worked!

These days I use the mom-card. Like if some guy says something a bit sleazy these days I just thank him for making a 35-year old Mom’s day a bit brighter. Most of the time that puts them off a bit. Ha!

how old is tess montgomery

40 still feels really far away, a lot can happen in 4 years. Like will I have another baby? Will we have bought the flat on the top of the house and made it into a great big family home and will we even still be in London?

By then will blogging still be my main income and focus and will I be doing any modeling at all anymore? Maybe I will even have 4 more kids (two sets of twins of course), live in Singapore and be a shoe-designer Who knows!

That’s the thing about time. No one knows what will happen in the future. We can guess, we can work towards goals and we can dream. But considering that I moved to the UK on a whim and have been here for 14 years, I’m really not going to try to plan anything.

I rather just be surprised!

tess montgomery birthday

To celebrate my big 36 Garth has taken the day off work and is taking me out for breakfast. Ace is at nursery so it will be a little mini-date. After I will head to get a shellac mani/pedi in before Christmas before we pick Ace up from nursery and go out for Lunch.

We are really lucky, he is such a well behaved little boy in restaurants. As long as he got plenty of food to nibble on, he is a happy chappy. It makes life a lot easier since we can basically take him anywhere.

Ok life, bring on 36! If it’s anything like 35 then I’m super excited to see what will happen in the next year!

You can find my very sparkly dress here, (adlink), my shoes are by Pierre Hardy and my bag is too old for me to remember where it’s from. Photo – Ida Zander.

tess montgomery age