• Photography © Evelyn Bencicova

    Last year after I wrote my book I was left with an urgent feeling of wanting to embark on that 30 day journey again, this time taking the place of the reader rather than the writer and experience the rebirth of my own brand.

    Having committed to several projects in the first quarter of the year meant there wasn’t much time left for that . . . and so it was a time to take a step back and take an important decision. That of practicing what I preach and being mindful of my time, my work and myself.

    Going through the process from start to finish was eye-opening. I realized that my blog and my workflow was no longer satisfying to me. I was in a different place emotionally, I had grown to value connection over achievement and no longer craved feeling live like a productive “boss” in any area of my life.

    We live at a point in time where it sounds almost irresponsible to not want to be busy at all times, or not attempt to keep all the plates spinning simultaneously . . . so, giving in to those personal impulses is exactly what I didn't do.

    I realized soon enough that spending hours researching material, publishing posts and working on endless projects that not longer represented me was a waste of my time . . . and that sadly, no-one would benefit from anyways. Don’t get me wrong, the passion for my work is still there — I just decided that something needed to be done now so that I could allow myself to write and work on things that bring me fulfillment in other areas of my life.

    Going through my book's guide for the entire month of June was what opened up endless opportunities in my brain. I had even forgotten a few pieces of advice I'd given you . . . and then I realized how much of what I wrote can be perceived as a contradiction — a fortunate one, that is.

    That entire month I felt like I wasn’t doing anything because I had taken a step back from the blog and social media for so long — but at the same time I was doing it all: I was transforming, I was creating methods and mindfully re-routing my life. I was thinking of myself, I was enriching my experience and my visitors' experience. I was creating something that could reflect who I am and fulfill me.

    These days, not actively partaking of social media, not having an online presence and not forcing ourselves into a thousand commitments is going against the grain . . . but sometimes that's exactly what we need to come out on the other side fully grounded and fully prepared to take on the future with determination.

    I’m ready to get more personal, I’m ready to embark on a new more mindful and more caring season and I thank you for joining me.

    Welcome to my new blog! If you’ve subscribed to be part of the community, you’ll receive a newsletter detailing what has changed and why.
  • Photography © Anna Kubel with thanks It took me more than a while to get into the Holiday spirit this year. It usually takes a little time for me to fall into that frame of mind — with family being miles away from us the excitement for celebrating fades very quickly in this house, although, we always seem to manage have a decent time.

    This year, we’re enjoying a gift-free Christmas. We’re also not hosting a party this year and instead we will play the roll of guests. We’ve never had a Holiday with no presents and I’m hoping this experiment allows us to hug each other tighter and to focus all our energies into loving one another rather than having to divide our emotions with the expectations of material things.

    I won’t lie… I’ve thoroughly enjoyed not feeling the rush to buy presents or the worry that someone would over-spend on a present for me. It’s been lovely to stay at home instead of pushing my way through crowded markets and malls but what I've loved the most is channeling that time into one very important thing: The science behind the perfect Chocolate Cloud Cake — which will be my contribution to the party, so... wish me luck.

    Having said that this will be a gift-free Holiday for us, it doesn’t mean that I will miss the opportunity to thank you* with a gift this Holiday. Each one of you who comes to my blog, leaves a comment, emails me, follows me on social media or that simply lurks around deserves a big virtual hug and an extra one for all your light and the good energy you send our way on the daily.

    Get a 25% discount on non-promotional themes using the code: HOLIDAY25 and the same discount on my book 30 Days To Minimal Blogging using the code: CHANGE at check out. A lot of people have been telling me they are saving the book for this break so they can read it intently and silently. I hope you get to do that as well.

    The biggest gift for me would be that you read my book and send through a review so I can feature you on my book’s landing page. I want to know how the book is changing your vision, how it’s helping you but most importantly how much meaning is adding to your life and blog.

    Enjoy a wonderful, meaningful and love-filled Christmas break with your loved ones.
    Hugs,
    Ana
  • Photography © Sara Medina Lind It’s my birthday today and I cannot help but to go into full introspection mode and think about how the last year for me has been. If you follow me, you know how terrible it was at times... but for the gift of resilience and for the constant love I’ve gotten from my little one all year long, I’m profoundly grateful.

    Clearly, nobody wants to go through loss and hardship the way I did this year - but deep in my heart I know and understand how momentary everything is. So much so that the only way to have no regrets is to learn to embrace people wholeheartedly. To love our families, to make material things secondary, to hug people tight... and to be kinder to ourselves.

    I have 2 birthday wishes: one is cake and... the other one is to be able to pass on some of my happiness and feeling of being celebrated and loved today.

    There's a code for you ready to be used. Use the code: CAKE at checkout to get my book, 30 Days To Minimal Blogging at 25% off today.

  • I’ve been wracking my brain trying to put my thoughts into words and have you somehow know what’s been going on in my life for the past year and more importantly the past week.

    I had decided to come back to blogging as soon as I was ready but I realized just a few minutes ago that most of you have been with me for a long time, through thick and thin and have celebrated with me my achievements and happy moments - so I couldn’t just sweep this one under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen.

    For over a year my dad suffered from cancer, I won’t tell you all the details but as you could imagine, there’s a reason why people refer to it as a “battle”. Being a continent away from home and not being able to be close to him when he was undergoing surgeries, treatment, memory loss and a million other things, was the biggest, most anxiety-inducing roller coaster I’ve been on in my life. Every call, every message, every email caused a panic attack and it continued to be like that for a year.

    Earlier this year the treatments and surgeries took their toll on my father and they discovered that after a long period of chemo, he still had cancer and was sent back home to spend his last days with his loved ones. In a matter of minutes I got the news that he was suffering from pneumonia and then it sunk in that he was going to pass away before I could even try to be there with him.

    He passed away on Sunday evening. I felt a mix of relief that he wasn’t going to suffer the way he had and a deep pain that my father wasn’t going to be with us any longer, that he wasn’t going to enjoy the company of his wife, children and grandchildren that he loved so much. Weirdly enough, I wanted him to be able to comfort us. I needed my father as he was passing away.

    I realized on Monday that we’d gone through so much and I had been trying to push myself above and beyond my limits, blogging on days when I felt torn inside, obsessing over the quality of work I do for my sponsors, writing a book while feeling physically out of breath from all the emotions running through my body and fighting so hard so that my business didn’t go up in flames while my life felt exactly like that.

    Clearly, I understand I’m not the only person who has gone through this and the only person who will ever go through it, but as I write these words, they feel unreal to me - that I won’t see him again and at the same time, liberating. I hope you understand why I’d battle between telling you and keeping this to myself.

    The fact that you know I’m not a slacker, that I do love what I do, that I do want to continue... and I want to launch that book... and the urge to continue designing beautiful blogs is still alive in me. I needed a moment of stillness, a time of silence I haven't had in a long time. I cannot in any way say I'm "recharged" but there's more calmness withing me.

    I want to be able to get through this and make my father proud. I’m sure this black cloud will lift one day but in the meantime, I thank all of you for being kind and understanding, for still giving me the chance to work with you and for your kind and healing words and prayers.

    Photography: Kristofer Johnsson

  • Photography © Mikkel Mortensen The older I get the more I feel like I'm failing at life by killing everything green that comes into my home. I've mastered killing indoor plants in such way that succulents have passed away in my living room. I'm actually a big fan of green so I decided it was time to tackle that horrible habit of buying plants and tossing them in the trash a few days later and learn how not to kill them. I recently bought 4 new plants for my apartment and did a bit of research. This article I found via Apartment Therapy helped me the most. It's simple, to the point and makes all the sense in the world. My hope is that in a few months my home would be a cozy retreat, like shown in the images above taken my Mikkel Mostensen for Elle DK and not plant-slaughter house that is right now.

  • Photography © Mikkel Mortensen It's been more than a while since I've taken the time to simply rant about here on the blog, but as I daily battle the state of the heat and the mess that is my hair I keep considering chopping my locks and the haircut above looks like would do the trick. Only thing is, whenever I go about cutting my hair I start missing it 48-72 hours after it's done. Do you feel the same?
  • Post Christmas Photography © Ana Degenaar How's the most wonderful time of the year treating you? After months of work, deadlines and traveling I finally got to wind-down and indulge in laziness, the sea and good food yesterday e.g. This redcurrant breakfast bowl. As the new year approaches I cannot help but feel excited and grateful for what the last 360 days have been, as usual we've launched a Theme Sale on Christmas eve that will end on January 1st while we work on a new and special collection that our European clients have been requesting to see. I've also partnered with some amazing Artists and Designers recently and their websites are starting to launch. I couldn't be happier for your trust, your wonderful and constant emails and all your views. You've kept me inspired this year and for that I wish I could give you a real hug. Here's to a good Holiday time.

  • Photography © Lauretta Suter I don't know if you'd agree but life on my side of the woods is a constant up and down these days...so I've decided to not fight it and just go with the flow. To be very honest, this is harder for me than just keeping on going but after years and years of doing this I know better (sort of) and if I don't stop now, life and exhaustion will force me to.

    All that to say, lovelies... I'm taking a 2 week break from blogging. I cannot thank you enough for how lovely and patient you are when times out here get rough. In the meantime there are a few things you can do so we can stay connected, you can follow on Facebook and take advantage of the Giveaway closing today, see what we're up to via Upbeet Juice on Instagram, keep in touch via Twitter or just make a mental note that I'll be coming back soon.

    Have a great Summer time and soak up the sun before it's gone. Peace and light.
  • Photography © Ana Degenaar "Life doesn't stop for anyone" is probably the truest thing I've heard lately. Life really does not stop and so we can't. The overwhelming thought of that gave me so much anxiety in the beginning but ended up helping me learn to pick my battles, to work the hardest when I can and to cut myself some slack when I cannot. The poster above has become more than an item of decoration, it is at this time of my life something that means much more and I'm happy I can see it every time I get into my office. Let us never forget how valuable life and family is. Here's to a love-filled week. Cheers!
  • thank-you

    Photography © Unknown I know... Haven't I become the epitome of post-titling creativity? Enough bragging.
    All I wanted was to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. This is probably my favorite celebration of the year and even though I'm not doing anything except working tomorrow I still feel a rush of gratitude and peace.  Thankful people are definitely happy people. I also wanted to find a way to say "Thank You" that goes beyond words make sure to stop by our Shop tomorrow and enjoy beautifying your blogs. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


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