The Colourful Home Interiors You Need This Fall – My Top Picks

Ceiling light – by Rydéns, table – Ellos , flowerpot – Ellos , yellow pillow – Gant, purple pillow – Gant , pouf – Jotex, chair – Jotex , cabinet – Ellos, sheepskin – shepherd, table lamp – Ellos (adlinks)

Every fall it comes sneaking up on me, the desire to make our house cozier. 

Every summer I crave to remove, throw away and make our home clean and simple and then when September hits I want it all back again. Pillows, throws, deliciously scented candles, big tea cups for lazy mornings, sheepskin and good lightning find their way back up from the basement where it has been hibernating over the summer months.

It always baffels me how much difference you can do with very little input. At the moment I fancy jewel-colours, interesting textures like velvet and ceramic. I want more patterns, warm shades, and interesting details to look at. Our home feels a bit like an empty canvas ready to be coloured in.

I want to invite all the colors from the outside. In the collage above I have collected some of my favorites that won’t break the bank, but still make a big difference and fits perfectly into my autumn palette.

I’m removing all the light and bright, put sheer fabrics and blue and white striped items in a box to go in the basement until next spring. to make space for a new season. Of course, there are trends in interiors, but the most important thing is to create a home that’s individual and reflect my taste (and Garth’s too of course). The biggest issue at the moment is where to put things.

Ace now climbs up on the back of the sofa and tries to pull down the frames from the wall… He is growing like a weed and every week he can reach a new surface that used to be “safe”. Our home is slowly but surely moving up the walls, it’s almost comical.

BUT I won’t let it stop me. Textiles are baby friendly and things like candles, pretty pots and lamps are pretty and useful even on shelves so I will focus on those.

Maybe you have some great advice on how to decorate with a 1-year old in the house? ( apart from nailing everything to walls and cielings. Ha!)

 

The Monday Check-list

We are back home to our normal lives in London again after almost 3 weeks of traveling.

I love being away, but it’s amazing to get to come back to normal routines again. I’m back at Minnow working away, Ace is in nursery and Olive is snoring on my jacket next to me. All is as it should be.

Now I’m ready to take on the new season!

The mantra of the week – ”Things happens for me, not to me”. It’s very important to see the difference between actively participating and working to get somewhere in life and just letting things happen to us. Things happen because I choose to work for them, I make a choice in everything I do.

The affirmation of the week – ”We are our habits. We become what we chose to do”. To become successful/happy/healthy etc is not easy and something we have to work hard for. It has to become a habit before it can happen. It’s a lot easier to create new good habits than to break bad ones. So if we start by making good ones, the bad ones will go away as we grow.

The goal of the week– Now we need to find our way back to our routines again. Ace is a baby that likes a good routine and I’m exactly the same. It’s amazing to get to travel, but not always completely healthy. So I’m looking forward to work, eat, train and sleep on set times again.

The dream of the week.  – It might sound a bit weird, but I dream of becoming super organized. I love when everything is easy and I know that everything will get done. At the moment I have recurring appointments in my diary for things like my hairdresser, nails, Olives vet visit for her allergy shots, dental hygienist etc. It makes more space in my mind to focus on other things and I can just follow my calendar.

The vision of the week – I see a whole bunch of cousins laughing, playing and having fun in the grass on a warm early evening whilst me and my sisters watch them and talk about life. I have four younger sisters and Ace already has one cousin on my side and three on Garth’s side. So there will be a lot of family for him to hang out with in the future. It would be amazing if they, even though we live in different countries, could grow up as much as possible together.

This week’s focus – To get our routines back and to get organized at home. I have for the first time 3 half days to work whilst Ace is at the nursery. You will most likely find me right here at Minnow with my latte and porridge, working away. I have told them they can throw me out if I’m here too often…

The event of the week – This week the only event is Ace’s 8-12 month check up. But apart from that, it’s a pretty chilled week. After a few weeks on the go, I really don’t mind some time to regroup.

My lesson from last week –Even though I love my routines, it’s important to break them now and then. It’s ok for Ace to go to bed one hour later if it means we get to have a nice dinner out in Paris one night. It’s all about balance and I have to learn to relax a bit more.

The every-day luxury of the week– I’m going to go to yoga on Wednesday. It’s a luxury for me to go mid-week since I have only been able to go on weekends until now. I’m going to take the last hour of Ace is nursery every week for myself, so I get to stretch and have some me-time.

This week’s inspiration – Josefina sent over an article on life that really resonated with me. I just have to share it with you  – Happiness & The Gorilla.  Simple!

Jeans – Stradivarius, t-shirt- Asos, sneakers – Adidas, hairband – Asos Design. (adlinks) Location – Minnow. Photo – Ida Zander.

 

9 Secondhand and Vintage Statement Earrings From Vestiaire Collective

1 – Chanel, 2 – Dior, 3 – Versace, 4 – Non signé, 5 – Non signé, 6 – Non signé, 7 – Anissa Kermiche, 8 – Balenciaga, 9 – Céline. (adlinks)

I’m really getting into secondhand and vintage shopping lately. Not only because it’s better for the environment and my wallet, but also because it’s a great way to build a truly unique wardrobe.

I’m not really a vintage person. To rummage around musty old secondhand shops is not really my jam. Some people love it and I admire them for their dedication, myself, I find it hard to find the pearls amongst all the crap.

Instead I buy my vintage and second-hand online on pages like “The RealReal” (US – so be aware of custom charges to Europe) and “Vestiaire Collective” (EU).

I have to say that I’m slightly obsessed and I know exactly what is new on both pages. It’s so easy just to scroll, like and put things on my wishlist. I, of course, also end up purchasing items now and then, lately a beach tunic by Isabel Marant (whilst driving up through France on our way from Lake Como to London).

I tend to focus on designer items. But when it comes to jewellery I quite like the non-signé stuff too. These are things with no visual branding, so very much one-offs and usually a bit cheaper too. At the moment, my thing is statement earrings.

I was a bit hesitant posting these 9 statement earring favorites from Vestiaire collective, since there are only one of each for sale and I don’t know if I might want to purchase them myself. But hey ho, if you get there first, it’s my loss and I’m happy for you.

These pages are a bit like Ebay, but with a full-on quality check. Each item has to go to Vestiaire or RealReal for inspection after purchase. And if they find the item not up to scratch, they will either refund you some of the money or cancel the purchase. It’s a great way to make sure all the designer items are in fact genuine and that the sellers are honest in the ad.

It makes me feel a lot more at ease shopping second hand or vintage online.

So what do you think? Should I recommend more vintage and second hand pieces here on the blog. Itäs better out of a sustainability view, but the downfall is that there are only one of each item. 

 

How To Save Your Relationship After Having A Baby

I knew a lot was going to change when we had a baby, it was a given. 

And I was prepared for most, well as much as you can when you have no idea what is going to hit you. I was, of course, wrong about most things. But my biggest fear was that the relationship between Garth and I was going to change.

I had read about all these couples fighting and even separating in the first year after the first child. All because of the change in the dynamics. You go from being two selfish people who only care for each other, to becoming two selfless people who only care for a third little person who has to get to be the only ego in the room.

Big change.

Both Garth and I are very strong-willed and know exactly what we want. Luckily most of the time we want the same things since with two alphas in one relationship it could very easily lead to conflict.

When we do disagree we have learned to go away and come back on a neutral ground when the emotions can be put to the side and we can talk rationally. It might sound mature, but believe me, it took a lot of practice. At the beginning of our relationship, one of us would always fold and then walk around secretly bitter about it.

Before we got married we got a great piece of advice from another couple. They recommended a 10 session pre-marriage counseling. They had done it and even though they didn’t have any major problems and it had helped them lots. So we did the same.

The months leading up to the wedding, we went to see a lovely lady that helped to give us the tools we needed to deal with conflict in a beneficial way. We learned how to work as a team and not to pull in different directions in moments of stress.

…and I have to admit it has been such an important tool this last year.

Because the change is great.

In the beginning, you are very much a team, working together to keep that little thing alive. But then when things start rolling on a routine and other aspects like jobs, friends, me-time and how to raise the child comes up, it changes.

Garth is born and raised in Zimbabwe, I’m from Sweden. You can only imagine the differences…

So we had to have a sit-down. I got to say no to certain things Garth suggested and he got to veto some suggestions from me. We met half-way on some subjects and there are still a few things waiting to be resolved in the future. But we will get there.

It has been really hard not to be able to prioritize each other and our relationship. We did, however, try to make the best of it from the start. We have had date nights, not many, but enough to just get to breathe and be man and wife for a couple of hours.

We also make sure to steal little moments now and then. 

Like when Ace fell asleep when we walked around in Stockholm. With a sleeping baby in the buggy, we took the opportunity to sit down at “Dramatenterassen”, have a drink and just talk about life for an hour. Those moments are worth all the gold in the world right now. A small break where we don’t talk about babies and we can just hang out like we used to.

It probably sounds a bit strange to those of you who don’t have kids. But these days we have a lot more “musts” and our conversations ends up basically becoming to-do-lists. So we have to actually make the decision ta relax and enjoy. It’s so important to get to laugh together now and then.

One of the most important things for us has been not to keep anything inside. But at the same time never bring things up when we are emotional. Instead, we wait until the earliest possible opportunity when we are both on a neutral ground to bring up the issue and then we can discuss it like actual adults.

We allow ourselves to have discussions in front of Ace. That way he will learn that it’s ok to not always get along. But we never raise our voices around him, we talk calmly and with respect. I don’t believe in pretending all is good when it’s not, kids are clever, they know. It’s much better for the parents to find a formula that works for them. So that the children never have to feel insecure about what’s going on and to know that conflicts are there to be solved.

Now when I’m working during the day instead of at night, it will be even better for us. Because then I can actually use the evenings to get some us-time with Garth. I can have a nice dinner and talk to him instead of burying my nose in my laptop.

What I want to say with this post is, yes, it’s a big change to become first-time parents. Yes, there will most likely be conflicts when you are both tired, irritated and confused (and trust me, you will be at some point).

No, you are not allowed to separate in the first year (unless something bad happens, you know what I mean…). No, it’s not forever, it will get better and easier, quickly!

My best relationship advice to new parents;

– Be proactive, make a plan before the baby comes. Who does this and who is in charge of that?
– Talk about your expectations of raising a child. What did you like from your own childhood? or dislike? Do you want to do the same things or different?
– Lean on each other for strength, you cannot afford not to be a team.
– If you feel like tiredness and irritability is clouding your judgment, Go away, take a break. Just make it happen, it’s very important to take a breather now and then.
– If you disagree, keep the respect for one another and never raise your voices in front of the baby.
– Steal little moments together now and then.
– Put some date nights in your calendar. The only rule is – you cannot talk about babies.
– Repeat the mantra – It will get better!
– If none of this work, don’t hesitate to get help. There is nothing to be ashamed of, a relationship expert could be the best thing that has happened to your relationship.

Now almost one year into the baby journey I can honestly say that Garth and I have found our balance again. We can look back at these first few months with Ace and know that we did the best in a very pressured situation. And even though it’s such a cliché we are actually stronger now.

As they say – What doesn’t break you makes you stronger. 

 

20 Instagram Facts – How to Get More Followers, Engagement, Verification, The Algorithm and News

Ok, guys, are you ready? I have the full scoop on Instagram, from Instagram themselves!! All on how to get more Instagram followers, engagement, verification, the algorithm, and the news 

You might wonder how I got all this information and I have to give massive credit to my agent United Influencers who got me a MEETING WITH INSTAGRAM at Facebook’s headquarters in Stockholm. Yes, you read right, I MET WITH INSTAGRAM!

…ok, so I’m slightly overexcited and starstruck.

But Instagram is such an important tool for us digital creators and there are so many legends and myths surrounding the app. So to get an invite to learn more about the news and ask any questions I had was a dream come true.

I did live broadcast the seminar, however, it was all in Swedish, so here is a translation and summary of the 20 most important points from the 3 hours we spent with Instagram;

1. If you haven’t tried Instagram TV, then it’s time to do so. It’s the newest addition to the Instagram family and is according to Instagram going to be the next big thing. The difference from stories is that TV stays on your account, you can scroll in the film, pause and watch it like a YouTube video. Also, the clips are up to one hour long!

Instagram predicts that social media is going more and more towards moving media, so get in there early!

2. Now, unfortunately, the chronological feed will not make a return. However, your feed will now tell you when you have come to the end of the photos you haven’t seen already. Someone like me, who follow a good 900 people will probably never see that message, but it’s there. 

The reason a lot of us lost engagement when the feed changed over, Instagram explains as an influx of users and content. The competition is stronger and you really have to make sure to actually like and interact with accounts you like if you want to keep seeing them in your feed. 

3. There is no such thing as a ”shadowban”. It’s basically just Instagram’s spam filter who accidentally sometimes puts a regular post in the “trash can”. But apparently it’s quite rare. The spam filter is needed to keep bots at bay and is constantly improved. It’s the main reason why we don’t see lots of naughty stuff like viagra adverts in our feeds. 

4. We will soon be able to apply for verification (blue tick) ourselves. If you get verified or not usually depends on how much information Instagram can find about you, ie articles and interviews.

5. Being verified and having access to branded content tags (in collaboration with… at the top of the photo.) is completely different things. To get them takes two different processes and you can have one without having the other. 

6. If you use fewer hashtags then the algorithm will put more emphasis on them. So rather use 5 really specific # than 30 general ones for a better reach. It’s really important to actually use hashtags and you won’t ever be punished by the algorithm for using them.

Also, it makes no difference if you put your hashtags in the first comment or in the caption, it’s all the same to Instagram. 

7. The algorithm never “punishes” anyone, but it can boost your engagement if you post often and generate content with lots of engagement. 

8. There is no difference between a regular account, a business account or a verified account when it comes to the algorithm. All of them have the same opportunities for reach and engagement. It’s up to us as creators to produce good content that engages our followers. 

9. Use all that Instagram has to offer. Have fun with GIFs, stickers, paint, write, geotag, hashtag, mention…you name it. You will always win when you are active and a part of the community. 

10. Even if you don’t have time to answer all your comments, make sure to at least <3 them. Instagram is a community, be a part of it. 

11. Use tools like questions and polls on Instastory to get your users to interact with your content. It’s also a great way to get feedback. 

12.  Be unique and do your own thing! It might sound pretty obvious, but too many of us feel that Instagram should look a specific way and often copy accounts larger than ours, thinking they have “cracked it”.  Just stop, do you and people will follow you for you.

If you still need inspo, get yourself a “finsta” fake-insta. Where you follow people and brands who do Instagram well, but you don’t want to follow on a day-to-day basis and get inspiration from there. However, remember – inspiration, not copy. You do you!

13. Make sure to have your Instagram set to the language you actually use. So for me who writes in English it’s important I have the English version

14. Don’t be afraid to ask your followers for feedback. To know what they like or dislike is key and it’s also a great way to get them interacting with you.

15. Likes is not the end all. The algorithm also looks at how long your followers stay on your feed, stories and how much they generally engage in your content. 

16. Always use the 2-factor authorisation. Ie, you have to get a message with a number to be able to log into an account. It’s the best way to protect you Instagram from getting hacked. Unfortunately, this happens quite often and even though Instagram is doing all in their power to prevent it, it’s important you do your bit too.

17. The algorithm focuses on your followers, not you as a creator. So think the opposite, what would you do and want to see as a follower of your account?

18. Instagram is all about ”micro-moments”. The short time when someone is in a queue or scrolling on the bus. How can you catch their interest as fast as possible?

19. 2.5 photos a day is a good ratio if you have under 1 Million followers, if you have more, you should post more often. 

20. There is no specific time when it’s best to post. It’s individual to your target group. If you know that most of them are moms with young kids, why not post in the evening when the children have gone to bed? Or if they are all professionals, maybe catch them on the commute to work? Micro-moments people!

So did you learn anything new?

Me, myself, I will try to post a bit more often, keep on having fun with my stories, use more questions and polls and also try InstaTV when I get a chance to.

I’m also going to do my best to get access to the branded content feature. So I can be just as transparent on my Instagram as I am here on the blog regarding collaborations. Now I always put “sponsored post” as my first sentence, but it would be great if my followers knew it was a collaboration already before the photo shows up in the feed.

Thank you Instagram for having me, it was such a treat and I’m so grateful for all the useful information!

 

The Monday Checklist

I have a feeling that this will be a great week. I can’t wait! Let’s dive right in with our affirmations, mantras, goals, visions and dreams.

Today I got to meet Instagram at Facebook Stockholm ‘s headquarters organized by my new agent, United Influencers. Then I’m traveling back to London and my little family. Ace is doing his first proper week at daycare, so I have actual allocated time to work for the first time since he was born.

Then on Wednesday, we all head to Paris until Sunday. So lots of fun coming up!

The mantra of the week – ”Just go for it!” Maybe not a classic mantra, but exactly what I feel like doing right now. It’s time for me to get going with work again and I’m ready.

The affirmation of the week – “If I dare, I will win”. I want to be a yes-woman and see what opportunities come knocking when I have an open mind. No matter what, it will make life a lot more interesting.

The goal of the week – To get back to normal again with the blog after my maternity leave. Now when I have allocated time to blog and a new agent, it’s the perfect time for me to get all my ducks in a row.

Dream of the week – I want to live in at least one more country before I die. Preferably one with a better climate than the UK. Or maybe we could just spend half the year somewhere warm and the other half in the UK. It would be the dream! (But quite hard with kids and schools).

My vision of the week – I bought myself a  Jaeger LeCoultre watch when I booked my first modeling gig worth over 100K. So maybe I should aim for a Rolex the day a blog collaboration makes the same amount?

This week’s focus – Inspiration and positivity! I want to really get inspired and hold on to the great momentum I have at the moment.

Veckans händelse – To meet Instagram of course. It’s such a cool business and a very important tool for us who create digitally. A close second is heading to Paris again, we haven’t been since Ace was born, so I’m very excited.

The lesson from last week – Change is important. It’s very easy to keep plodding along doing the same thing day in and out. Eventually,y we will lose our sparks and then it’s really important to dare to take a gamble and change.

This week’s everyday luxury – To walk around Paris with the buggy and stop for a coffee and a cake is a great luxury to me.

Inspiration of the week  – Meditation! I know I have spoken a lot about it before, but it’s such a great tool to give our brains some rest. Especially if you, like me, tend to stress a lot.  ”Headspace” is a great app if you are new to the art of meditation. It’s easy to use and free for the most basic beginners package. I used it a lot during my pregnancy, and it was a great way for me to relax and unwind. Now I always try to find 10 minutes to give my brain a boost when Ace sleeps in the day.

Foto – Ida Zander. Blus – The Fold.  Location – The Grand Café Picadilly

 

A Stranger In My Own Hometown

Jeans – JBrand, blouse – Ted Baker, bag – Chanel, watch – Jaeger LeCoultre & new heels by Marzio. (adlinks)

It’s always a bit strange for me to come back to Stockholm, my hometown. 

It has been such a long time since I lived here, but still, I know it so well. It’s like a really vivid dream I dreamt a long time ago, but I still remember all the details. I walk around feeling nostalgia and knowing every corner of every street, but I still don’t feel like I fit in.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Stockholm. It’s one of the prettiest places on earth. But I don’t know if I could actually ever feel at home here again. After 14 years in London, I truly feel like a Londoner and I’m pretty sure I act more English and Swedish these days.

I’m always the one to start a conversation and to be open and in general pretty upbeat and happy. Here in Stockholm I often get funny looks if I talk to strangers, whilst in London, it’s the norm.

It’s a bit sad really since I would love to have more friends in Stockholm, but I find it hard to meet the right people here. Most people seem to be set in their ways and not too keen on talking to strangers, even at fairly intimate events. Or maybe I just smell, who knows…

However, we did have a lovely weekend in Stockholm. Garth came and joined Ace and me on Thursday, we spent the Friday with my sister Steffi, her partner Nalle and Ace’s cousin Harry.

Saturday we met up with them and added my sister Nickis and Mom with her partner Mats and went for our traditional lunch at Tures in Sturegallerian. We are like a walking circus with kids and all, but luckily the staff at Tures have a lot of patience.

After Garth and I headed down to the water to take Ace for a walk and to snap a few shots. It’s so pretty around these areas and I grew up basically just around the corner on Nybrogatan. When Ace fell asleep we sat down at “Dramatenterassen” for a drink and to enjoy the sunshine.

I have just waved goodbye to Garth and Ace who are heading back to London. I was meant to go with them, but I got an invite to meet Instagram at Facebooks Stockholm offices tomorrow. And that is not an invitation to turn down!

I’m actually mega excited, the whole United Influencers team is invited to meet Instagram so I will get to say hello to the other profiles UI represent too.

I really hope we get to ask Instagram lots of questions, I find the whole algorithm thing very confusing.

What would you ask Instagram if you could?

 

Bloglovin’

I’m having some trouble with Bloglovin’ not finding my Swedish blog at the moment. It’s very annoying at means that all of you who follow me on Bloglovin’ automatically end up here on the English version.

It will get sorted really soon. There are always a few small bugs when you move a blog like this, so please have patience with us. Until it’s sorted, just click the “SE” button in the top right corner or click here – TessM.se. if you are looking for the Swedish version of this blog. 

xx Tess

Photo – Ida Zander

 

The Best Swedish Designer Fashion Right Now

Blouse – Filippa K, pink dress – by Malina, skirt – Filippa K, bag – Acne, sneakers – Tiger of Sweden, top – Ida Sjöstedt, coat – Tiger of Sweden, blouse – Dagmar , dress – Filippa K. (adlinks)

As a Swede, at the moment in Sweden attending Fashion week, I do find it my duty to educate you guys a bit on Swedish fashion. (And show you the best by Swedish designers in stores right now.)

Don’t worry I’m not going to dig deep into all the different designers and their vision. But simply show you what I like by our designers that actually is available in shops at the moment.

Often fashion is either in the future or sold out. So to take a quick peek at what is available now is a bit more helpful than showing you what will arrive in a while.

At the moment I’m very much into dove grey and it seems that Swedish designers are too, yay! Look at all these amazing bits I found, I honestly kind of want them all…

Right now I’m really enjoying Filippa Ks simple, but perfect silhouettes, Dagmar’s prints and cuts, by Malina’s feminine touch, the prettiness of anything Ida Sjöstedt comes up with and the Scandic cuts by Tiger of Sweden.

Don’t worry if you have never heard about these designers before. They might not be as famous as Acne and Cheap Monday outside of Scandinavia, but they are truly at least as talented. For some reason, I find that Swedish design tends to get stuck in stuffy places like Harrods when they launch abroad. Don’t ask me why? The Danes really do it soo well!

What do you think of Swedish fashion (that is not made by H to the M)? Would you choose to buy any of the items above?

For the Swedish version of this blog go to TessM.se

 

I Put On My Pyjamas …And Went To A Fashion show

Pyjamas from Parasol Rose, booties by Tara Jarmon & bag from Chanel. Photo – Ida Zander.

If there is one fashion trend I will never ever let go of it’s wearing your pyjamas out and about.

I mean, can you get any comfier than in your PJs? We all know the answer is no unless you sleep naked I guess.

Since I’m a new Mom I basically spent my last year in sleepwear and softies, so it felt right to keep on doing my thang when I go to fashion week. Yes, it is a slightly fancier pyjamas than most and yes those are naked women on the print.

This set is by London brand Parasol Rose.

They make the kind of sleepwear that rich lawyers on tv show wear to bed. The kind I have on my vision board for when I’m wealthy enough to only have silk and cashmere against my skin when I’m lounging at home instead of the hubby’s old trackie bottoms.

They will nevertheless most likely be covered in banana and ice cream stains, but still.

As we know by now, I don’t really play by fashion rules. Who makes them anyway?

So I took my baby and went to fashion week in my Pjs. And I felt great, Ace was super cute, I was super comfy and I didn’t even need to change when I got home. That’s a result when it comes to saving time.

The show we attended today was by Camilla Thulin and without getting too detailed about Swedish politics, she made a strong pro-woman statement and there were standing ovations and double finales. A power-show, so refreshing! Check out my Instastory from today to see pics and a clip or two from the show.

So have I convinced you? Will you be adding a pair of heels and wearing your PJs out? Are you in your PJs now? Add a pair of heels and send me a photo!

Can you imagine, I have a feeling there would be some hilarious combos. But seriously, do get yourself some fancy pyjamas and wear them out. It’s totally liberating!

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