Mr. Jones

Mr. Jones

Alexander Lervik has designed the beautiful, soft-minimal Mr. Jones sofa for ADEA. “When I was commissioned to design a new sofa for ADEA, the first vision that came to me was of the archetypical British Howard sofa. I decided to contemporize the classic, giving it neater, stricter lines. It takes its name from one of the idols of my youth, synthpop artist Howard Jones” says the designer Alexander. This new with a classic touch sofa is available in two widths through ADEA.

Styling: Susanna Vento
Photography: Riikka Kantinkoski

Pauliina Salonen

Pauliina Salonen

Pauliina Salonen is a brilliant Finnish Photographer. The beautiful images above are part of her work for Wilma Kalusse and Asun Magazine in collaboration with the great Stylist Pia Kalliomäki from Studio Kalliomäki who is also based in Finland. Pauliina’s work has been allover the Minimalism world — The quality of her work and her brilliant collaborations have given her the recognition she clearly deserves. Visit her website for more.

Childish Tales

Childish TalesIn the hands of playfulness, Ferm Living explores new textures, and the result is a new line of textiles that lets you touch the design, instead of only looking. Common to all cushions and pillows this season is that they act as mo…

JM Premium Apartment

JM Premium Apartment

JM has launched a new Premium concept and the talented Marie Ramse and Emily Laye have partnered to create a beautiful concept apartment in beautiful Sweden.

With over 70 years of experience in residential development projects and 4,000 completed homes per year in Sweden, Norway and Finland, JM has a unique insight into what type of accommodations customers demand. The new trend of premium tailored homes in the response to their customer’s demand and a wonderful thing to look at — even from afar.

This home is just a small taste of what we’ll be able to see JM do in the future with the help of brilliant people like Marie and Emily.

Styling: Marie Ramse
Photography: Emily Laye

Mindfulness In The Creative Process

Mindfulness In The Creative Process

Before throwing myself into my creative career and purpose, I had more than my fair share of atrocious jobs the kind of jobs that made me feel like curling up on the floor in a fetal position and waiting the month out for my paycheck.

There was the one where I was a call center sales and customer service representative… then there was the personal assistant one — to a mingy bully of a high school principal who we affectionately named Mrs. Hitler… an interpreter for medical brigades in Costa Rica… and the list goes on. I shudder to think how my life would have turned out had I not discovered something that I was deeply passionate about.

Considering a creative career wasn’t something that even seemed possible. The world tends to see designers as a new breed of hipster who grow their beards, wear oversized glasses and drink coffee out of mason jars — and I just didn’t come close to that or any other preconceived notion.

Once I stopped everything I was doing and dedicated myself to doing nothing except tinkering around with new ideas, I realized that creativity itself was the antidote to my mental inflexibility. So, as scarcely creative as any previous jobs were, once I had dipped my toes into this venture that was Design, I was astonished at how little things I had picked up from my past kept cropping up and were rather quite useful, mind you. Now I was creating my own product and caring for my own customers.

No matter how many lousy jobs or ups and downs you’ve personally experienced up to this point, just know that coming to terms with and giving yourself to those things that you’re truly passionate about, is the best decision that you’ll ever make and that this is just one of the things that you’re good at. Whatever you decide to do now or in the future for your well-being, you’ll be able to pull through because you’ll already have embodied and experienced the courage you need.

Creativity

The thought of the term creativity often feels bigger than us and that’s probably because it transcends our own beliefs about ourselves. I believe it to be an ability not exclusive to just a select few of us. All of us are responsible for acknowledging creativity within ourselves and grabbing the bull by the horns.

Creativity is not a manifestation of only those who make beautiful things with their hands or come up with ideas that change the world. Anything that you create or transmit in an original way — tangible or intangible — and which provokes a positive response, is creativity at its best.

To tap into your own creativity, you’re going to need to strip away the preconceived notion that creativity is only related to art.

Each of us is born to follow our own unique breadcrumb trail of ideas — be it in the area art, mathematics or science. It is when we become aware of our own special abilities, that we are able to contribute. Then we begin to walk in the confidence that we are finally doing what really defines us.

You decide to be creative by making a conscious decision to dive into your passions in a very self-indulgent way — where you look to satisfy your own needs and your own curiosity first. Saving the world? Maybe you will. But that will only be consequential and will have to wait a tad.

Creatives

We all have a genius living inside of us but as we grow older, we start trying to slot into patterns that already exist, instead of scratching our itch to be who we naturally are. Before long we resign ourselves to there only being a few, limited ways to achieve the results we want and that is what ultimately gives rise to a creative disconnect. When I think of creative souls, I think of people who understand that creativity inhabits them — in bucketloads that innate power within them that makes their deepest desires tangible. Your soul is willing to turn off the “impossible” as long as your mind lets it.

Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” — and you can see the truth of it in people who understand that beauty has a million different faces.

People who live their creative passions live in the uncertainty of the outcome of what they create — and they’re fulfilled by the mere act of producing something despite that uncertainty.

It’s simply impossible for you and I to look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we are not creative when we’ve already set our minds on something that’s wildly as creative as blogging is. I’m glad we agree.

That said, feeding the creative you doesn’t assure that failure is never on the table. Rather it assures you that if failure does ever come knocking, you will be able to pick yourself right back up and try again — because that thing you are trying to unleash is much bigger and more powerful than any obstacle — within and without.

Process

Whatever we set our sights on, we get bombarded with ideas that are sometimes brilliant and sometimes not so brilliant.

Everyone and I mean everyone that’s in the business of creating their own online editorials, has this type of artistic streak — and more often than not, channeling it all is an uphill battle.

There’s no secret formula to unleashing ideas in your life. There’s no one-process- fits-all method —it takes knowing what our end goal is and focusing on that to make the right decisions.

What often fails us is not creativity or inspiration it’s our fixation on the things that we are pouring our time into. We need to examine our motivations before we decide to create and to ask ourselves:

Am I really doing what I deeply want to be doing?

If you answer is “yes”, ideas will have your back and they will grow in you as something intelligent, dynamic and interactive. Where there’s passion there’s inspiration and where there’s inspiration, you find a way.

The windfall of accepting that creativity is a part of us is a steady flow of ideas that can truly be of service to us. While your process is unique, the following stages are essential in every Creative’s life:

Preparation — This is the first phase — and it focuses on sharpening your skills so that you can warm to those ideas: Creating a monthly mood board, for example, can help keep you in the flow for the next step.

Incubation — Gives your ideas time to sink in. In this stage, your conscious and subconscious
minds converge, making true connections that allow you to rest on your thoughts without letting them overwhelm you or clutter any area of your life.

Illumination — This is your “Aha!” moment — when a concrete idea hits you and you are able to discern the essence and worth of it. At this point you write down 3 key benefits of your general idea.

Implementation — It’s time to put your idea out there. This when a product is shaped, a post is written, a marketing idea comes to fruition fill in the blank.

Eventually creativity works with us as opposed to “for” us when we focus on things that truly motivate us and when we come to understand that perfection is the killer of progress.

Embracing those recurring moments where ideas are born is something that can help you build a better relationship with your process. It helps you to be better prepared and to rest on something — instead of feeling the urge to poke at it endlessly — which makes for a more mindful outcome.

My personal advice is that you live your life fully, and manifest your creativity by making sure that your focus is on things that move you… that you satisfy your curiosity and never stop working with your own set of skills and beliefs. Do not give up when you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall. Those obstacles are there to shape us, not to have us throw in the towel.

Whatever you do, don’t ever tether your creativity to praise — or the lack thereof. If you even subconsciously make it dependent on that, you will continuously sell yourself short. There’s no hollower place to be than having your happiness lie at the whim of others.

If what worries you the most is to either meet everyone’s expectations (or to avoid criticism), maybe you need to realize that most people are so caught up in their own love affair with perfection to notice your “unforgivable” imperfections, that what you think are mammoth-size mistakes are really tiny specs of dust falling through cracks without anybody noticing them.

So… be kind to yourself when it comes to judging your own work — and instead of resisting, open yourself up to other people judging it, otherwise you will never find the courage to put it out into the world, to be who you want to be and do what you want to do. And for God’s sake! Be inevitably, unashamedly and humanly imperfect.

Let your work flow and develop your style organically. Have the Universe know that you are up to the challenge.

 From my book 30 Days To Minimal Blogging — Chapter 10: “Creativity”.

BUY THE BOOK

New Blogger & WordPress Themes

New Blogger & Wordpress Themes

A big thank you all of you who have once again made a new, breathtaking and responsive collection possible. Over the years, Blog Milk has had the best of clients in terms of encouragement and collaboration.

This collection is to honor our clients who are constantly in search of beautifully elegant ways to express themselves. We felt the need to vindicate our minimalistic views and passion, and wanted to dispel the misconception that being a Minimalist deprives us of indulgence and that it is neither sustainable nor functional.

My personal views on minimalism are exactly that: A way to sustain, simplify and make use of every last detail in a design. In this light, our new collection is crystal clean and makes it a cinch for both starter and pro-bloggers alike to use.

I designed 6 new responsive and SEO friendly themes for you and we will only make available 15 issues of each theme. Each of these themes has everything you need: each in turn expressing itself distinctly, enhancing different areas of your content. We are incredibly proud to have created seamless canvasses, which our clients can put their very own mark on.

The Wordpress themes in this collection are underway — and since we know a lot of you have been anxiously sitting tight for this news, we’ve wanted to launch a pre-sale. A new mailing list will be created for the clients who are re-ordering the themes and we will keep you informed each step of the way until you get your new theme in your inbox.

All themes will be delivered between January 31st—February 13th and custom installations will also be scheduled upon completion.

We absolutely know that this collection is going to knock your socks off.

Feel free to continue to make requests and send us feedback. This one goes out to you.


Ana Degenaar + The Blog Milk Team

0117 Collection

0117 Collection

2016 was not what I expected it to be. It was in fact one of the worst years of my life but somehow it all turned out well. I feel very excited about this new year and I also feel deeply grateful for the resilience and the inner strength that last year helped me build.

Last year I went from losing my father to being able to finish up my book which I cannot even start to explain how hard and transforming it was all at the same time. I launched a theme collection, worked on some projects with a lot of success and on some others that turned into utter failure, but that’s life in the end, isn’t it? A continued falling and dusting off.

I’m looking to 2017 with the same expectation I did last year, fully knowing in my heart that this is going to be a better year — that I will keep striving, pushing through bad moments and embracing the good times with an open heart.

There’s so much I want to do this year, one step at a time of course, but the road ahead is always very exciting: New projects are in-the-making and new people I’m collaborating with this year who keep me feeling inspired, a new collection is almost finished and my book is being read and commented on by many Bloggers — which means the world to me.

I cannot thank YOU enough for all your support, your kindness and the honor of having you as clients, partners and most importantly, friends.

The collection above sets the tone for what you’re about to see in this quarter. I hope you’ll join me and take small steps until the unveiling of my new projects. You will also see more of me on social media… so if you’re interested in taking a peek into my life and work, feel free to follow.

Have a wonderful, blessed and peaceful 2017.

In case you missed them, here are the top 5 posts of 2016:

How To Upgrade Your Blog’s Image
Why You Should Only Buy Linen From CULTIVER
5 Ways Minimalism Can Change Your Life
How To Stay Productive When You Don’t Have A System
30 Days To Minimal Blogging

Hugs,
Ana

1 2 3 4 5 6

Susanna Vento For Tikkurila

Susanna Vento For Tikkurila The magnificent Susanna Vento has created a perfect dark atmosphere using paint from Tikkurila’s new Clay Color Collection 2017. It’s safe to say that de-saturated dark colours will keep making an appearance next year …

Happy Christmas And A Present For You

Happy Christmas And A Present For You

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: The beautiful and talented Anna Kubel with thanks.

Why You Should Only Buy Linen From CULTIVER

Why You Should Only Buy Linen From CULTIVER

A couple of months ago I picked out these beautiful linen sheets from CULTIVER … and I have to say that these are the best linen sheets I have ever owned, hands down.

This brilliant brand based in Sydney, Australia focuses on enhancing peoples’ everyday routine through the luxury of their accessories — and that is very much what they’ve brought into our lives. Everyday luxury.

If you’ve been part of this blog for a while, you might already know that I’m a linen advocate and I speak very freely about my growing passion — that is because linen happens to be one of the most comfortable, stunning and giving materials in the entire world… and that will not only be my opinion as soon as you get your hands on some.

Of course, you might have already guessed that this is not the first pair of linen sheets I’ve own — but they are definitely the highest quality, the purest in color and the most fitting for all kinds of climates.

CULTIVER also offers stonewashed bedding, vintage silk velvet cushions and premium Turkish robes. The selection of colors they offer are to die for and I’m regretting not having picked up some of their gorgeous pink cushions. But I cannot complain — not only do they offer care and quality in their products, they also provide the best customer service I have ever experienced.

The only painful part was waiting just a couple of days for them to ship the package all the way from Australia to my neck of the woods in Brazil. Luckily the package didn’t take long to arrive and soon enough I had a carefully packed box on my doorstep: their Linen Flat Sheet With Border in charcoal gray, a Linen Duvet Cover in ice blue and a Linen Sheet Set With Pillow Cases in Indigo. I tried to pick a favorite, but as I mix and match sheets, I discover different moods — which makes it impossible to pick only one.

We’ve been enjoying the sheets for a while now and as expected, they only get better with time. I’ve received endless compliments on the new look of my bed so I can only encourage you to either run to a store if you are close to one of their beautiful boutiques… or to indulge yourself and place an order today. All I can say is you will never regret it.

Follow CULTIVER for more inspiration and insights via Facebook Pinterest or Instagram

Photography: Ana Degenaar

Birthday Thoughts

Birthday Thoughts

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.

Photography: Sara Medina Lind and Passenger with thanks.

How To Upgrade Your Blog’s Image

How To Upgrade Your Blog’s Image

Last week I launched 2 surveys via social media asking followers to tell me:

1. What stops them from hiring a Designer to brand and design their blog for them.
2. What they thought the fair price was for a well-designed blog.

In conclusion, the surveys showed that the biggest problems were budget and vision. I completely understand where people are coming from. The reality is that custom designed blogs are becoming unnecessarily expensive and I continue to believe that’s due to the demand. As unfair as this may seem, I find it extremely exciting to see that in this social media age, blogs are still being created and developed into unbelievably profitable businesses.

Let’s be realistic now — not everyone has the time, the vision nor the money to pay four figures for a custom designed blog… and nor should anyone who simply doesn’t want to make such an investment. Now, this is no reason to throw in the towel. A strong blog, friends, is a lot more than that.

For those who are not in the position where a custom design is a necessity (or even if you’ve already had your blog designed), there are a few things you can do to better the general look of your blog without spending a penny.

1. Vision
Understanding the purpose of your blog will help you deliver quality content and build an image for yourself that people will be able to recognize and trust through and through. Vision is what takes you from wanting something to working for it — and this is in fact something I go through one-on-one with my clients when I do coaching.

So ask yourself:

What do you want to achieve with your blog?
How do you want to be perceived?
What’s the main adjective that describes your blog?

Knowing that will establish you and reassure you in every decision you make and it will allow you to take your blog from where it is now to where you want it to be. So take your time and ponder on this. Commit to one idea and turn off all the noise telling you what to do. You already know what you have to offer, so don’t diminish that by ignoring your own vision.

2. Audience
Once you have vision, you need to know who you’re delivering content to. If you are yet to discover who your audience is, let me tell you, you’ve been missing out. Not having a clear understanding of this is exactly like making a dress for someone without having seen that person or asked for their measurements.

Instead of shooting blanks, get to know who the people are who read you. I use all kinds of methods to do this: I look at social media, use analytics, launch a yearly survey and check for comments or emails from the people who read me — so I know my readers are:

Mostly women between the ages of 18-37 who are currently making the switch to living a simpler and more mindful life through minimalism. 87% are Bloggers and the rest are planning to becoming one.

What do you do with this information? You make the most of it by being of service to your readers, who in the end are the most important part of the foundation of a successful blog.

3. Consistency
Most blogs I see fail in practicing this one thing. We often want to do everything instead of understanding and making the most of our limitations. I’ve seen hundreds of beautifully designed blogs that butcher their image by not upholding consistency in 3 main areas:

V I S U A L
Your blog needs to be consistent visually no matter what. If you are trying to do it all, you will confuse your visitors and soon lose them because you’ll be sending them too many random messages. Here are the 3 main areas that need to make sense to better your image:

Fonts: Use 2-3 fonts for your blog only. This improves the quality of your visual brand and it makes things look seamless so you are not distracting your readers with a million different looks. Use fonts that compliment one another — not just random ones you like. To aid you in this you can use the web to search for free web-font combinations.

Colors: Choose 2-4 colors within a palette that compliments your brand and your vision. Most platforms allow you to change these easily. Use online applications like Colour Lovers to grab the HEX codes for each color and pick them strategically to use on your blog. For example: You want your links to be a different color than the text for easier access — so make them pop.

Images: The images you use for your blog are a focal point — and the better the quality, the better your brand looks and the more chances you’ll have to get attention from other Bloggers and potential clients. When choosing the images for a post, see to it that they have the same feeling as your brand and if they compliment the overall look, please, always — and I mean always: Make your photos line up with the blog post’s width. This makes your blog look that much more cohesive and professional.

C O N T E N T
Your voice should be the same in every post you write and I’d advise you to write exactly the same way you speak to others. Personalizing this area of your writing process is key. People build an online relationship with you and they can recognize when you are trying too hard or not at all. Be mindful of the way you write and how much your write. We live in an information-polluted time, so people are becoming more mindful of the things that they dedicate their time to — so only things that are beneficial, honest and entertaining make it to their list.

S C H E D U L E
This is something we all struggle with at some point and I’m no one to say slips never happen, specially if you’re going through a hard time in your life or career… but it is possible to uphold a certain consistent posting schedule if you are realistic and make everything work for you instead of biting off more than you can chew. Ideally I’d like to post every day on the blog and commit to launching posts every morning between 8:00-10am — but as we all know, the process from ideation to completion is complicated. At this point in time in my life, I’ve realistically been holding myself accountable to a schedule I can manage. That’s 3 times per week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:00-2:00pm. If you commit to a schedule you can follow, you will be creating and meeting your readers’ expectations with very targeted (and smart) effort.

In a nutshell, your blog’s image is far more than just pretty graphics and catchy phrases. It’s the overall journey that you take your reader on and how you keep their attention. Committing to simple steps will take you a long way and show you the value of consistency and focused work, so that when you’re ready to have your blog designed, you’ll find yourself working with it and not for it.

Feel free to learn more about my book, 30 Days To Minimal Blogging and purchase it today. Your download will start automatically after checkout and you can jump into it as soon as you receive it.

Photography: Marazzi with thanks.

COS × Market Art Fair

COS×Market Art Fair

I just stumbled upon COS’ Market Art Fair for past Summer and as everything COS does, this too is absolutely stunning. To celebrate this year’s Market Art Fair, an annual gathering of leading Nordic galleries in Stockholm, they created a temporary social space and store installation inspired by the shapes and textures of the COS Spring Summer 2016 collection and by the looks of it, it was a brilliant success.

Photography: COS

Why Your Blogging Efforts Are Not Paying Off

Why Your Blogging Efforts Are Not Paying Off

The Blogging world — what a mystery, am I right? One day we seem to be riding an endless wave of opportunities and the next one we feel like we’ve hit a sand bar face first. This, believe or not, is a common sentiment among all bloggers, myself included.

It’s no surprise that as our achievements ebb and flow, so does our passion and emotions about this career… and it’s a given that at some point we will all fall into a state of complete disinterest or anxiety about what the future has in store for us.

The thing is, we get used to the feeling of sending things off to the virtual world and having an immediate reaction from people — we send off a picture on Instagram and like counts start rising, giving us a feeling of accomplishment. 

Because of how automatic everything is nowadays, we forget how personal something like blogging is. Very unlike social media channels, blogging requires three things of you in order to get that feeling of satisfaction:

1. That you have an unwavering mission
2. That you know who you are in this story
3. That you have a strategy to get you to where you want to be

In my e-book, 30 Days To Minimal Blogging, I explain how essential mindfulness is in creating the blog of our dreams. That sense of awareness is what makes the difference in our lives day in and day out. It’s was solidifies that feeling of achievement even on days when nothing seems to be happening for us in this blogging career. Why? Because we know why we are doing this, who we want to be and how we will achieve it. There’s no undue fear… and that is a beautiful thing.

I’ve personally learned a lot in my years of blogging. I’ve learned about quality. I’ve learned that follower counts say nothing, that value is hidden in things that touch every chord in our lives and hearts — and above all, I’ve learned the value of focusing my efforts and mapping my steps, so that I can not only give of my best, but I can also do so without fear, anxiety and uncertainty.

“Although life and business are unpredictable, we need to set up a strategy (or safety net) to fall back on so we can continue to put one foot in front of the other without exhausting all of our resources and creating an antagonistic relationship with our work.

Real entrepreneurs do not simply turn over every stone until they run out of options. They follow a blueprint and are systematic about what they do, so they can see what gives them result when. That’s clever not only in the business sense, but also in the sense of providing value to your clients. My technique of poking at things and investing an excruciating amount of time, money and energy only paid off insofar as qualifying me to write a dissertation on “How to Try Anything and Everything — and Still Hit A Brick Wall”. Now I can sit here and tell you… that’s not going to work for you. 

I blame my lack of an immediate and appropriate response to the workaholic-glorified days we live in. Everything tells us to do more — which makes us feel lazy or guilty, because we think that productivity should always translate into money, lack … …of sleep or both. Thankfully, that is untrue — and we can still look at our future with the expectation of being successful and having something that more than resembles a life.”

Excerpted from 30 Days To Minimal Blogging — Chapter “Strategy” Page 252

If you feel like things have not been working out for you the way you wanted, it’s important to understand that you haven’t completely and utterly wasted your time…  you’ve actually gained more than you can imagine — and it can all pay off sooner rather than later. Right now, you can choose to throw in the towel… or you can do something unexpected and take a new approach to the blog you love so much.

This is not about visualizing, it’s not about expecting returns by doing nothing — it’s about knowing what you’re doing in a state of full awareness and feeling every day that you are doing what you love, because you will be doing exactly that.

Who of you feel like your efforts have not been paying off? Say “Me” in the comment section if you identify.

Feel free to learn more about my book, 30 Days To Minimal Blogging and purchase it today. Your download will start automatically after checkout and you can jump into it as soon as you receive it.

Photography: Kristina Krogh with thanks.

Outdoor Chairs

Outdoor Chairs

These stunning designs are part of Living Divani’s new collection featuring brilliant designers: Massimo Mariani, David Lopez Quicoces and Piero Lissoni to mention just a few. Living Divani is a dynamic and vibrant family-owned company, that has successfully made its trademark of upholstery since the 1970’s. Out of this wonderful Outdoor Collection I’m the most enticed by the George’s Chair by David Lopez which displays a black supporting frame and wave in waxed rope, seat in solid Iroko wood — that of course, in combination with the Notes Table by Massiomo Mariani, as shown above, is a stunning work of art.

Photography: Tommaso Sartori
Styling: Ossino Studio

108 Restaurant by René Redzepi

108 Restaurant by René Redzepi

René Redzepi is the renowned genius behind NOMA and now also the proud owner of the high-end restaurant 108.

SPACE Copenhagen is responsible for NOMA’S interiors as well as for transforming an ordinary warehouse into a stunning minimal industrial space for René’s clients to feel comfortable. The furniture has also been designed by SPACE Copenhagen. The pendant lamps have been manufactured by Bomma and the restaurant’s woven chairs by Jørgen Bækmark.

The restaurant seats around 80 guests and includes a small bar serving coffee and wine. Altogether this space is a display of René’s characteristic organic, Scandinavian approach. In fewer words, it is perfect.

Photography: Joachim Wichmann

How To Stay Productive When You Don’t Have a System

I wanted to tackle a topic that I know interests most of you and after a bit of lurking I came to the realization that Productivity is general concern, and rightly so. Most of us who blog are usually multi-passionate which puts a lot on our plates every single day.

Having a custom strategy is important to ensure that you don’t have deadlines coming out of your ears, it’s also essential in preventing burn out – but sometimes just taking the time to build a realistic plan is far from possible.

I’m not an expert when it comes to time management and productivity but I haven’t gone insane… yet. I believe that at least qualifies me to tell you which bits and pieces of productivity advice have worked for me when I didn’t have a strategy or at times when life’s challenges have thrown that carefully planed structure out the window:

01. Write Sh*t Down
Dave Kolo’s WSD productivity method is the thing that makes the most sense. If you have something in writing to remind you of what you’re supposed to be doing and when you’re supposed to do it chances are, you will do it.

02. If it takes less than 2 minutes, do it now!
Is part of Davi Allan’s GTD philosophy. Why write it down or stress out about it when you can get it out of the way? Quick calls, short emails or even small household tasks. Get them out of the way before seeing them in writing overwhelms you. Now, this is only successful when you focus on 1-2 tasks. There’s no point in this if you end up spending an hour doing 2-minute tasks.

03. Eat your frogs
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” – Mark Twain.

Certainly Mr. Twain didn’t paint the prettiest picture but it’s great advice for those of us who constantly feel pushed to the point of not knowing where to get started completing our tasks. Work on the most difficult task first.

Simple.

04. Focus
This is something I’ve always done, even before reading more about productivity. My approach is similar to the Power Hour technique. It’s about limiting yourself to focusing on one task for 1 hour – my only exception is that I change the time-frame according to my needs.

This works only if I don’t reply to messages, personal emails or even worry about other work that might be queued. If you’re a natural multitasker and you’re happy juggling things all the time, this will be difficult but it’s done wonders for me.

After completing the task, I allow myself the time for out-of-work activities for 10 minutes, I use those to stretch, fill up my water bottle or maybe send out a quick tweet about something completely unrelated to work and then carry on with the next task.

05. Relax and drink water
Believe or not one of the things that stop us from being highly productive is that we are in constant reaction mode, to the point in which our productivity becomes sporadic through out the day without letting us maintain a healthy pace.

We’re also trained to think that caffeine equals alertness, therefor ups our productivity. The reality is that caffeinated drinks not only make our stress hormone go off the charts it also dehydrates our bodies. Dehydration causes mental fatigue which results in lack of concentration. I make it an every day ritual to drink at least 2 liters of water and you should too.

Not taking care of our minds and bodies is the perfect road to hitting brick-walls. When you are not working it is important that you give yourself true relaxation time, be as intentional with the “doing nothing” part as you are with the work. Make it a practical and mental exercise to disconnect from your lists and deadlines.

Whether you want to take your weekend off or a couple of hours of your every day, this will change your complete approach.

Try it.

You can apply one or all of the tips above by determining if it fits your lifestyle or not. The key thing to understand is that we will either run our day or the day will run us. Reclaim your productive life back by making it work for you.

How do you keep yourself from getting distracted throughout the day?

For more advice, tips and a full productivity strategy: Purchase my book 30 Days To Minimal Blogging.

Photography: Nina Holst with thanks.

Solid Studio

Solid Studio

The beauty of natural fashion becomes more captivating as I see it evolve. The Russian-based Solid Studio Wear is a brilliant demonstration of organic fashion. Their minimal and conscious approach is pure perfection — touching on all key points without compromising look or quality.

I thought it would be hard to ever admit that I’m very much a supporter of wearing chokers — but that one above, I feel, completely justifies (and maybe even encourages) my opinion.

Photography: Solid Studio

The Sensory Kitchen

The Sensory Kitchen

Ronny Emborg is a renowned Chef based in Denmark. He’s part of the highly enticing movement ‘The Sensory Kitchen’ — a cooking style where the dinning guest must use both eyes, ears, nose and taste during the meal. His book The Wizard’s Cookbook presents 112 detailed recipes with pictures of every sensory dish. Dishes like: Frozen halibut, salted and dried cod roe and anchovy crème and Juniper bush parfait, forest berries and crispy lichen. From front to cover, this book is filled with absolute stunning imagery and stories.

Photography: Signe Birck

White Spaces

White SpacesThis beautifully renovated loft located in Stockholm is a display of light and well-thought design. From top to bottom, from room to room, this home is clearly a project of love. I’m particularly attracted to the openness of this…

Kinfolk Gallery

Kinfolk Gallery

The Kinfolk Gallery and office space is a collaborative space between Norm Architects and the team at Kinfolk — A space where friends and partners can come together to share ideas and showcase their work and an office space that has an informal, elegant and homey atmosphere. The space is located in Copenhagen, Denmark and it visually represents Kinfolk’s philosophy: slow living. As usual these two brilliant studios display impressive quality, attention to detail and uniqueness.

Photography: Norm Architects

30 Days To Minimal Blogging

30 Days To Minimal

Yesterday was one of the biggest days for me this entire year. I was finally able to finish my book! I can hardly believe it’s finished and that people are already buying it and commenting on it.

I can tell you is it was a ride… the writing, the editing, the daily rush I felt, wanting this to be true to my story, to my practices and most importantly to the battles I’ve gone through since I started this mad career. I can truly say that I am thrilled with the result.

I struggled for months trying to convince myself that I could do this and once I started writing, I was on a mission. I poured so much of myself into this book that last night, for the first time in months, I went to bed with the biggest of smiles on my face — grateful that I could do this and that this will forever bond the person who reads it to me and my story.

You’re probably still wondering why 30 Days To Minimal Blogging and why I decided to write this. Well… we live in a world that is filled with the hustle mentality and I lived in a state of go, go go for a long time, only to find myself where everyone does at some point in this career (a rut). Minimalism and mindfulness have helped me change my entire approach and I’ve come to realize that I still have the same opportunities now that I did before.

The book focuses on teaching you a practice a day. I touch on subjects that are inherently important in any blogger’s life and at the end of each chapter you find a quick worksheet that helps you put into practice what we have covered that day. My hope is that people are patient enough to embark on this with me one day at a time — not skipping chapters and not doing more than one chapter a day.

Mindfulness and focus are life-altering practices and that’s what I want you to take away from this book — apart from the hands-on practicalities of monetization, SEO practices, branding, etc. I want bloggers to be able to feel their shoulders relax, to have peace of mind every single day that they are doing the right things, that we don’t find ourselves in a world of trying to rack up numbers… but rather creating community.

You’ll also find interviews with some of my favorite influencers in the Minimalism world. I had the best time reading their replies and experiencing that wonderful side of this world where people still want to be a part of each others’ lives and projects. A big thank you to Satsuki Shibuya, Jennifer Hagler, Darren Firth, Carl Barenburg, Caroline Birk… and last but not least, Karine Kong who never hesitated to jump into this adventure with both feet with me.

This book is neither spiritual, self-improvement-oriented, nor just a practical guide. It will definitely guide you, inspire you and give you a new approach to your career… but that is only because you will find those things within yourself as you work through it.

I can’t wait for you to read it. I can’t wait for you to experience it and to get your feedback. That will have made all those hours, the countless batteries I had to buy these months, the crashing of computers and the sacrifice of my beach time worth more than you can imagine.

Feel free to purchase the book below or learn more about it in the shop. Only for today, use the code: THANKFUL to get a 10% discount.

Thank you for sticking around while I was gone. There are more exciting things to come on the blog now that this little nugget is out.

Love and light,
Ana

H&M Home

H&M Home

The cozy season is here and H&M as per usual has done it again with the launch of their new collection. The Art Direction and Photography for this project is flawless and clearly speaks of the company’s vision to transform your home for the change of Season. I’m liking the rawness and texture of these walls more and more. If you’re feeling inspired, head to the site and check out the entire collection.

Photography: Glen Proebstel and Pia Ulin

How To Curate A Minimalist Wardrobe

How To Curate A Minimalist Wardrobe

Talking about minimalism and cutting down on acquiring things is becoming more and more polemical… but it doesn’t compare to what I’m about to do now: meddling with your wardrobes.

It’s a reality that people spend the most of their free income on fashion – and even when we value the power of those purchases that much, there’s still a universal, lingering feeling that there’s not enough clothes in one’s closet.

The common belief in any circle, no matter your social background, is that the more clothes we have, the better we dress – and that just isn’t true. Decision making is more difficult when we are swamped with useless options. Have you ever notice that the more clothes a person has the harder it is for that person to find the bulk of it enough?

People create the biggest resistance to living a Minimalistic life when it comes to the point of pairing down their wardrobes – and that is because there’s still the misconception that Minimalists are people with martyr complexes that only wear black or white and have 5 pieces of clothing hanging from a rack.

The truth is that it’s not about cutting down and wearing uniforms every day of the week. It’s not even about not having much – it’s about owning enough, it’s about quality over quantity and about not putting the value of your self-image in clothes.

I will admit when I started cutting down on my purchases I was more an idealist than a practitioner of the art of minimalism. I wanted to make my life easier and I wanted to be able to, in the first place, not want to desire buying clothes as deeply as I did – and instead invest that money in something of higher value.

What I eventually learned was that I was not only throwing money into purchases… but I was also letting go of the beauty of a simple, well-curated life – one with less decisions and more freedom.

Instead of owning 14 white shirts we could own 2 really quality ones… but that’s easier said than done.

The truth is that minimalism looks different for everybody. Your life is not the same as mine. I not only work at home but I get ready for my afternoon gym session in the morning because it conditions me to actually work out instead of losing myself in my work, meaning: I live in gym clothes 5 days a week (which I love by the way).

Your situation might look very different, yet there are some principles than can help everyone when it comes to curating a minimalist wardrobe:

01. Clarify what’s most important for you. Is it quality or is it quantity?
02. Start easy by removing all eyesores from your closet. If there’s anything there that resembles a rag (been there, done that) it’s got to go!
03. Do not break the bank when shopping by getting four kind-of-good pieces when you can get one quality piece and take good care of it.
04. Divide your closet into two sections: Clothes you wear often and clothes you wear rarely. This exercise is very telling of our habits. We usually wear only 20% of the clothes we own… which makes it easier to let go.
05. Get comfortable with waiting. Instead of pulling the trigger on a purchase, sit on it for a while. It’s not your life’s mission to take advantage of a sale nor is it crucial for your image to buy something that you don’t absolutely need.

The beauty of knowing what to acquire when is that it makes us understand that we are the ones who wear our clothes, not them who wear us.


How do you curate your wardrobe?

Photography via Aritzia with thanks!

Minimalist Bathrooms by Clay

Minimalist Bathrooms by Clay

Clay is a bathroom furniture design/production company based in the Netherlands. They focus on their client’s wishes when they design spaces–better than that, they accommodate those wishes to an environmentally friendly approach. Regardless of whether you’re a Minimalist or not, the streamlined, Zen-inspired qualities of their spaces can put you in the right state of mind to face a hectic day. I’m finding it very difficult not to want to soak in that tub right now.

Via: Clay Bathrooms

New Interior Decoration Trends

New Interior Decoration Trends

Fall is coming… and with it my yearly obsession to soften the whiteness of my home and add more natural elements to the decor. I couldn’t be more excited to see this new wave of Fall trends for 2016 that are not exaggerated or overwhelmingly orange. I’m particularly fixated on the rawness of the colors and materials used in the apartment pictured above – and unsurprisingly I (once again) feel like I’ve found the perfect color for my walls. Since a lot of the elements in this home already match the look of objects I have scattered around my home, I will (in baby-step fashion) pull the trigger this time and give that beautiful textured wall a try. Because, why not?

Styling: Linnéa Salmén
Via: Fantastic Frank

Don’t Throw Your Siblings Under The Bus

Don’t Throw
Your Siblings Under
The Bus

Sisters is a brand based in Istanbul and founded this 2016. Free Spirit is the first thing that comes to mind when you look at their site; evoked by the style of their photography and catch phrase “Don’t Throw Your Siblings Under The Bus” – Sisters’ mission is to put a light on positive women relationships and empower them through fashion. The genius behind the visuals is Designer Ozan Akkoyun who focused on the sartorial intersection between the unfussy L.A. style and casual French elegance.

Photography: Ozan Akkoyun

How To Mindfully Achieve Balance

How To Mindfully Achieve Balance

When it comes to leading a balanced life, I’m a true believer that while this is a very romanticized and idealistic thought in my own personal life, perfect balance is seldom achieved. This would mean I’d have to give equal attention to everything and everyone at all times… and being that circumstances are constantly changing, this might never be the case.

The reality is that we only look for balance because we live in constant pressure. If we learn to live intentionally we immediately take that out of the equation and automatically learn to live in the in-between.

A couple of years ago, I was working 20-hour days both at home and outside of home and doing extra hours, often consisting of 8 hours on a Saturday and 8 on a Sunday. Needless to say, I didn’t need to have someone telling me I was going to have a breakdown. I did. 


Life and work are sometimes a matter of redefining and reshuffling to me. The same way I rearrange my living room, I rearrange the how, when and where I do things. Focusing too much on balance itself deviates from doing what’s important when it’s needed.


I’ve always thought about this subjet with a bit of guilt – that is until I realized there’s nothing wrong with shifting my focus and giving my undivided attention to what feels to be the most important thing to me at that time. In order to do that, I needed to learn not only to be very perceptive and aware of the needs of those around me, but also my own needs. 


For the most part, this advice will sound like a list of no-brainers but more often than not it’s the simplest, most practical things that we overlook that brings us the highest benefits:

You
The first shift you need to make is realizing that taking care of yourself is not selfishness – it in fact allows you a sense of readiness when it comes to taking care of things and people other than yourself. There’s no point in trying to achieve so much and slide towards a breakdown.

Limits
Just as kids need boundaries, we – the infamous breed of workaholics, also need them: carefully planned 8-10 hour work-days with breaks in between and a way to draw a line between work time and personal time are crucial.

I’m not saying you should have it all together but you should strive every day to see your work tools (desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone) as your “place of work”, understanding that if you’re off the clock, you shouldn’t even be near those tools. Making a pledge to simple shifts like: Neither will you eat at your desk nor take it with you while I’m on holiday.


Move
Although I find exercise to be of utmost importance in my life, this point has nothing to do with it. It has to do with being stuck in your office for long periods of time.

This little change will make an incredible difference in your life.

I frequently use my office for my design work but once I’m in the replying to emails stage, I move to a different location every day. I set my times and I dedicate myself to that – fully aware of what I’m doing.

These tiny shifts of location can help you, honestly, not to lose your mind.

Relax
When a pressing matter consumes your every waking moment or you get sick (as with every other human being), you need to learn to listen what your body is trying to tell you. Be safe that the internet will be OK without you and that you will be OK without it.

If something goes terribly wrong, then you’ll have the time to explain yourself, apologize and move on. Of course, I could only get to this point after getting sick and realizing that although I am a very responsible and hardworking person, we all experience misfortune and have our ups and downs.

There’s a time to be productive but there’s also a time to feed our bodies and our souls and the latter shouldn’t be at the mercy of how much we are able to get done in a day.


Wrap It Up
At the end of each day, go through all the things in your productivity list. If there are things you didn’t manage to do within those 8-10 hours, simply move them to the next day.

Closing off your day means you have already gone through your set work hours and that you need to regroup. Forcing yourself to work further can result in sloppy work and work that you’re not proud of. Don’t be ashamed to log out – confident that you did everything you could and enjoy some special time of cell regeneration, otherwise known as sleep. 


Restart
When you start your days, Do not jump in with both feet too fast. Waking up early and allowing yourself a leeway of 30 minutes to 1 hour can benefit you more and make your mind and home less frantic in the morning.

Easing into your routine is something you can condition yourself to. Maybe even try a few minutes of meditation, sitting in the quiet and stillness of the morning. 


After these bits of advice, the most important advice I always give, is to do whatever’s best for you and your family. Remember that all of this will one day pass… so treasuring everything in the mix, not only work is important. 


Be honest to yourself and to the ones who rely on you. You cannot do everything but you sure can do enough.

How do you maintain balance?

Photography: Ana Degenaar (From my latest roadtrip).

RaFa Kids

RaFa Kids RaFa-kids originated from the shared dream of two architects: Agatha and Arek. Agata takes care of the esthetic side of the designs. Arek is the technical brain of the duo. Their mission as parents of Robert and Frank (hence the name Ra-F…

Coconut Yoghurt with Blackberries, Cocoa Nibs and Bee Pollen

Coconut Yoghurt with Blackberries, Cocoa Nibs and Bee Pollen

When you read this, I’ll be perusing the beautiful Brazilian coastal city of Natal, eating some of the purest açaí bowls in the world… and very probably still thinking about this simple yet delicious recipe. I’ve been on a health stint lately and I couldn’t be enjoying it more than I am right now – making every decision in my day count. I don’t know if you knew: Coconut and Cocoa Nibs are the best decisions – always. I’m sorry, I don’t make the rules.

Renee Kemps – A talented Photography based out of Amsterdam and London – is responsible for re-awakening my passionate affair with both because her recipe hits your taste buds up just the way they like it. Renee also includes a recipe for Double Chocolate Brownie with whipped Creme Fraîche Cream and toasted Hazelnuts. I know.

Photography: Renee Kemps

How Minimalism Will Improve Your Blog

How Minimalism will Improve Your Blog

If you are a Blog Milk reader or client, chances are you are part of the growing percent of the world’s population who has an interest in Minimalism. Though Minimalism is not new, it’s been highly popularized these days by a wave of brilliantly detailed designed products – from physical products to virtual goods, minimalism is all around us.

In my journey with Minimalism I’ve understood several key things – The most important one being that Minimalism is not the lack of something but a focus on the things that are of utmost importance.

As a Designer, one of my biggest concerns when creating items for Blog Milk is to be able to add value to every section of a blog or website. It’s not just about having less but about having a reason behind everything that will exist on your blog. The more emphasis those elements have, the more and better results you get – this is not to say that visuals are everything, they’re not… but they’re definitely the first thing that attracts a visitor.

There’s a misconception that Minimalism deprives us of emotion, of color, femininity or warmth – this is far from the truth: Minimalism can also be all of that. It’s the interconnection of things which you display what gives you (1) the readers, (2) the clicks, (3) the followers and (4) eventually the great relationships that we’re able to create through Blogging.

In the years that I’ve grown in this Minimalism world and challenged myself to create better themes with each collection, I’ve realized that people who dip their toes into the Minimalism world won’t look back any time soon. The effect that Minimalism has in someone’s life is far more beneficial than anything that we can ever accumulate – as it has an inherent way of allowing us to do more and achieve more while doing and having less.

Whether you have a Blog Milk theme or not here are 3 steps you can take in order to achieve focus in your Blogging career:

Visual Focus

Allow more negative space in your visuals. The spacing between each element, image or text can create a perfect experience for the reader so they can easily drive their focus to x object and truly submerge themselves in it. Negative space simple refers to the space that it’s unused. The more breathing space you give your images and text, the better the experience for the visitor.

Content Focus

Mean what you say. Always make sure that you’re giving the readers valuable information or entertaining content without adding to the already noisy world of information we live in. Draw a simple template for your posts by simply answering questions about any given topic. e.g. If I talk about a new shop or brand, I’d ask myself basic but purpose-driven questions like:

Who? created or established the brand
Where? is it located
What? do they create
Why? do I think it has value

Process Focus

Always, and I mean always: Plan ahead. Think about what your next week will look like at the beginning of Friday and settle on x amount of posts to publish. Commit to those without stressing about how much more you could be doing if you had to sacrifice more time. This guarantees that those x amount of posts that will go live are going to be of quality and value to your readers.

This is just one of the topics that I’ll be diving deeper into in my book it’s something that’s easy to do and increases our ability to produce and impact your readers in a very positive way. This content is also part of what I share via newsletter every Wednesday. If you haven’t signed up yet, you are missing out. I hope to see you there next Wednesday for a special edition.

As always, let me know your thoughts on this.

Graphic: Ana Degenaar
Photograhy: Chris Tonnesen
Styling:Per Olav Sølvberg

Styling Trend: Mirrors

Styling Trend: Mirrors

We all know that mirrors introduce light and a sense of space and depth. People usually use them to create a visual illusion in a small or dark room but they can become the perfect addition to any room regardless of size. Over-sized or decorative mirrors, the question is what fits your style the most. I’m not a narcissist by any means but I definitely wouldn’t mind packing my home with some large mirrors from the one and only, Ikea or maybe those stunning pendants make by the savagely creative hands of Elke Kallehav from Elkeland Studio.

Get your mirror fixed and ask: Who’s the fairest of them all? It’s you.

Photography: Enok Holsegaard & Ragnar Ómarsson

The Secret To Effortless Exercise

The Secret To Effortless Exercise

Full disclosure: I’m writing this post as I eat my third zucchini cookie of the day – and experiencing zero guilt.

To be fair, for someone who’s job statistically labels her as “sedentary” – and completely backing up that fact – I have a moderate to good relationship with fitness and health. But let’s face it: Blogging, designing and running a creative business from home sets up the perfect atmosphere for a sedentary lifestyle, especially when squeezing in an extra hour of work is sometimes a bigger priority in our lives.

I believe that the place where we put *ourselves* on our mental priority list directly dictates how good of a relationship we have with exercise and spirituality (or at least that has been true in my own life). Awareness plays a lead role in making us believe we deserve something and in understanding that one hour dedicated to ourselves is an hour gained, not an hour lost – or that eating healthy is not a temporary quick fix but a life habit.

Being aware of ourselves first when it comes to a healthier lifestyle is (surprisingly) not just about vanity and shedding the pounds, although it’s a nifty side effect, don’t you think? Being aware of ourselves makes us uncomfortable enough with our sedentarism to provoke us to action.

The secret to effortless exercise is learning to redefine the way we see effort itself, not as something that sucks the life out of us. It changes from, “There’s no time for it” to, “I’ll make time for it”. That’s where the rubber hit the road and makes us more prone to creating a realistic system for ourselves that fits into our lives and that we can maintain.

You exercise and live healthy effortlessly when you:

1. Ease into it – Most people fail at creating healthy habits because they don’t ease into it. You need to start from the beginning when it comes to building a healthier lifestyle, no exception. Start with something that your mind recognizes as effortless. For example, move at a slow pace for 15 minutes today rather than signing up for a military style boot camp… or switch out white bread for wholewheat bread. Simple is always smart.

2. Redefine your limiting beliefs – Our beliefs are shaped by past experiences, logic and emotion. Once a belief is formed we reject the thought that something can be any other way: If you believe that you can’t do something, you speak and act like someone who can’t, so you actually can’t. Reshaping a belief is about changing the way we speak about things and ourselves. I love the way Tony Horton puts it: Instead of saying, “I can’t” say, “I presently struggle with…” – then act on that new belief.

3. Be present – Creating healthy habits is a day-by-day process. It’s about what you’re doing today that’s good for you… not about what you will be able to do, feel or look like a year from now. Practicing mindfulness inherently allows you to find the process itself satisfying not only the outcomes.

4. Align it with your personality – If your actions and habits don’t align with your personality you will soon lose your interest… and you know how that goes. First despondency… and then you’ll jump ship. It’s key to recognize how beautifully different we are and how that triggers what we fall in love with. I love yoga and practice it once a week for 1.5 hours – but doing that every single day just doesn’t align with my personality. Things that have me jumping, moving and rolling on the floor are more *me*. Like Plyometrics. So that’s the highlight of my week. The same can be applied to healthy eating. If you’re not someone who loves smoothies, why drink them? Eat the way you like and make smart healthy choices.

5. Condition yourself for it – A lot of us have all these good intentions but when it comes time to put them into practice, we find something better to do or to eat because we don’t condition ourselves and our lives for action. For example, you are much more likely to exercise if you intentionally focus on simply putting on your gym clothes and shoes. Just the way you’re more likely to eat better by planning your meals in advance. Conditioning is setting yourself up for success which in the end is winning.

Keep in mind that this is not all about getting shredded abs… it’s about creating new habits and new beliefs so that exercise is always effortless no matter it’s shape, form or level of intensity. No fitness Guru in the world is going to talk you into making the shift to living a healthier life style if you don’t set yourself up for success.

Do you have any limiting mindsets when it comes to exercise and healthy living?

Please, let me know if you want the recipes for these cookies. I tell you, they’re scrumptious.

Photography: Adidas Originals

Minimal Offices via Finnish Design Shop

Minimal Offices via Finnish Design ShopThe ever so brilliant Finnish Design Shop has released a beautifully curated collection of minimal home office pieces. I have to fully agree with their belief that a well-planned storage system, comfortabl…

Fall Pants

Fall Pants

Need Supply Co. has launched a brilliant Fall collection, filled with unique pieces that give us a new take on colors, shapes and materials. Like this Roslyn Pant in *gold* by Stelen. An in-house line from Need Supply Co. Stelen offers statement silhouettes that draw lead inspiration from the finest Scandinavian style. – Blending the spirit of Swedish whimsy with Danish rationality and a focus on materiality, Stelen does wearable yet forward pieces that transcend seasonality. How would you wear those Roslyn pants?

Prothography via Need Supply Co.

The Essential Principles of Decluttering

The
Essential Principles of
Decluttering

Living one’s life intentionally is easier said than done. People have started to throw out Minimalism quotes like bible verses from Sunday’s mass… and though they’re empowering, there’s a massive gap between the believing and the doing. Jumping in with both feet is scary for anyone, unless, like myself, life has not given you an option. It’s safe to say that your journey to becoming more mindful about material things will be a tad uncomfortable to say the least.

Introducing change into our lives, no matter how adventurous our brains are, will always generate a little discomfort. Human beings are bound to resist change because in changing there’s a lot of uncertainty (and living on the safe side is always more appealing) – so the immediate answer to something new and challenging is most often NO.

Decluttering is not about tossing things away that are broken or rummaging through your drawers trying to find things that you haven’t seen since 1982 – It’s about bringing more meaning into your life, it’s about enjoying every single thing you have. It’s not as much about letting go as it is about keeping things that add to your life.

Human beings can only truly cherish a limited number of things at one time… that is why I want to cherish properly the things I love, and that is why I have insisted on tidying so much of my life. – Marie Kondo

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What if we all saw decluttering as life-giving instead of life-depriving? That micro mind shift alone can be so powerful that resistance will stop taking the drivers seat in your life. That internal talk has sharpened my desire for simplicity and taught me the value of the principles I’m about to talk about.

01. Start Easy The best way to get started decluttering is by simply cleaning up, getting rid of the no-brainer types of things. If you start with the hard things first (like things that right now have emotional value to you), you will be challenging your ability to make progress yourself.

02. Keep Memories Not Things There are many ways to honor the love that you receive from others. There’s no need to keep every single letter, gift or souvenir. Your memories are louder and more meaningful than things that are put away in drawers.

03. No Space For Junk If you dedicate a special shrine in your home for junk… chances are junk will always be a part of your life. Clear all junk-rooms, junk-drawers, junk-basements and re-purpose their use. Everything that you own takes your time to maintain. Are you wasting your time on junk?

04. Stop The Incoming Flow Taking (old) things out will be a waste of your precious time if you keep bringing (new) things in. Making new habits is important to allow you to buy what you need, not what you think you will need “if”. Learn to put off buying things rather than splashing out with impulse buys.

05. Don’t Spend: Invest This practice will forever change your life. Learning to invest rather than spend will have the greatest of impact – simply because you automatically give more value to the things you decide to bring into your life. Learning to invest in things that have purpose and function is life altering. Make smart decisions when it comes to function, purpose and durability.

Mindfulness cannot be achieved unless is exercised – so if you’re having trouble in this area of your life make small trigger goals that can help push you through: For example – if you are having issues getting rid of something, try using it a few days in a row. Chances are you’ll see how invaluable it really is to your life and end up getting rid of it. Gather a tribe and start hanging out with people doing the same thing you’re doing. Accountability and shared experience are an enormous source of inspiration.

Focus on outcomes – not activities – and the “doing” part of it all will become something automatic in your life.

Which of these principles do you find the hardest to apply in your life? For me it was Investing rather than Spending.

I’d love to know.

Photography: Sara Medina Lind with Thanks

Poached Egg Over Millet Cakes

Poached Egg Over Millet CakesMy current breakfast routine is nothing to write home about. I usually just go for the easiest bet which in my book is oatmeal, while my head indulges in graphic breakfast images like this Poached Egg Over Millet stunner. …

Københavns Møbelsnedkeri

Københavns Møbelsnedkeri

Københavns Møbelsnedkeri is a brilliant handmade furniture workshop and online shop based in Copenhagen. Since the company was founded in 2006 they have designed a collection of new classics and left a strong fingerprint on private homes, shops, offices and restaurants around the world. Their amazingly talented staff has given a new meaning to the craft as they continue to create a new wave of fine designed home furniture. My visualization board now includes them because, who wouldn’t want these pieces in their home?

Photography by: Line Klein

QWSTION

QWSTION

Qwstion is the result of the creative dream of founder Sebastian Kruit, Swiss industrial designers Christian Kaegi and Fabrice Aeberhard and graphic designers Matthias Graf and Hannes Schoenegger. In 2008 they set out to create a bag bag could close the gap between functional sports bags and elegant fashion bags and they achieved it. Their desire to create products that are for everyday use and independent in style led to the development of bags that work just as well on a bicycle as in a business meeting.

Qwstion’s impeccable detailing and functional approach has gained them well-deserved recognition in the Minimalism world.

I stumbled upon their stunning Simple Shopper Bag via Minimalism & Co. — A parcel-based shop that is eager to help you build a more balanced relationship with the things you acquire and discover objects worth owning. The Simple Shopper Bag is part of their Style Staple Parcel which will quickly become the perfect addition to your Autum wardrobe.

Photography via Minimalism & Co.

Message Candles Branding

Message Candles BrandingMessage Candles is a gorgeous Company that gives you the genius option to send someone you love a candle and a message at the same time. Their hand-crafted luxury candles make a perfect and thoughtful present for ot…

The Beauty of Not Perfect Linen

The Beauty of Not Perfect Linen

not Perfect Linen is a family-owned shop by Simona Rimkiene and based in Lithuania. Simona grew up watching her mother sew, surrounded by her brilliant ingenuity and craft. After testing the professional field as a Lawyer, Simona decided to embark on her business adventure with her mother and they started their absolutely stunning brand not Perfect Linen. I felt immediately compelled to share after reading Simone’s words which very much encapsulate why I love linen so much: “The beauty of linen is that it is not perfect.”

The Rimkiene family focuses exactly on the idea that linen shouldn’t anything but simple, natural and honest. I have to agree with that because after falling in love with linen a couple of years ago and repeatedly, thinking of it and gushing over it here – I’ve found that it only gets prettier with the pass of time. All non Perfect Linen items are made in a home studio with Baltic linen and as far as I can see, a load of dedication, passion and love. Raise your hand if you love linen.

Photography: notPerfectLinen

Bedroom Styling Tips From A Pro

Bedroom Styling Tips From A ProSoft, muted colors, tranquility and light form part of Pro-Stylist Amanda Rodriguez’s dream bedroom vision. Amanda Rodriguez is a freelance concept stylist, based in Stockholm. She works on the borderline between re…

The Fabulous Études Studio

The Fabulous
Études Studio

Études Studio is a savage Fashion House for men that creates far beyond clothes, they also offer highly creative services: Art direction, Consulting, Photography, Graphic and Product Design. They’re the epitome of a flawless designed and developed brand, from their Shop to every single campaign and fashion show, Études knows how to put their stamp in every detail. The Studio was born in France and that’s not to anyone’s surprise, right? Is there anything the beautifully-minded French can’t do?

Their stunning Paris Store and Office space was designed by an equally fabulous Architectural Studio: Ciguë and the result is so exciting that it’s almost hard to put this into words. Some of the features include poured light gray concrete floors, grey glass display bench, directional halogen spotlights and birch plywood counters. The result is an open, soft industrial style that exudes the feel of everything touched by Études. Office goals, anyone?

Photography: Études

5 Ways Minimalism Can Change Your Life

5 Ways Minimalism Can
Change Your Life

Minimalism is getting to be one of those things that people either hate or live by. I’m one of those who lives by it – and though there are many ways it’s changed my life and turned it around for the best, I’m going to give you 5 reasons why you should at least be up to giving it a try before you knock it.


What is minimalism?
 

Minimalism, by definition, is a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.


This might be where people say, “Wait, what?!” – Let’s face it, no one wants to live in “extreme spareness” – but how can having and doing less give you more? I agree that minimalism is simple… but it’s not in any way deprived of value. In fact, minimalism is a tool that can help every area of your life because it’s all about maximizing your outcomes with less effort.


I personally see it as a state of mindfulness in which you are able to live your life in a rich, effortless and more fulfilled way.


What can minimalism do for you?
 

1. Give you more energy

Minimalism helps you declutter you life in general, it helps you to be more mindful of the things you dedicate yourself to, the things you attain and the effort you spend taking care of anything – whether material or otherwise. The less you have on your plate, the more energy you can focus on those things that will truly make an impact in your life.


2. Give you more time

Minimalism changes your life by teaching you how to use your time more effectively and it frees up a crapload of that time so that you don’t always feel spent. Minimalism dispels the myth of the “glamour” that many relate to living as workaholics. It teaches you the value of time well used and the necessity of taking time out to do nothing at all.


3. Give you more money

The less money you spend on trivial things, the more money you can save or invest in things that are going to be of value. That will improve the quality of your life. It helps you understand that everything you purchase at some point will either break, need maintenance or wear out – and it instantly helps you make the right decisions when it comes to spending. Think about it as the voice of reason. How many times have you worried about not being able to afford something important because you’ve spent your money on superfluous stuff? I know you know what I’m talking about.


4. Give you more quality

Minimalism allows you to create a life of quality: It organizes and adds breathing space to every area of your life – from your home to your mind. It allows you to let go of material things and notions that have been weighing you down. The more you allow it to fill your life, the more you’ll enjoy your life (and those who are part of it).


5. Give you more peace

Focus is a side effect of decluttering your life. With that comes peace – an inner feeling of satisfaction and certainty that you are taking the right steps and the right decisions for you and the ones you love – that you are living within your means and that you are being productive and present. Simply, it helps you sleep better at night.


I can assure you that the benefits of minimalism far exceed the effort of undergoing a shift in perspective – letting go of the things or practices you might be convinced are the right way to do things right now. It’s up to each person to find their way through it: Start with what makes you feel the most comfortable and see how it adds more value to your life… and before long you’ll reap the rewards of making those simple shifts – and you’ll start experiencing the 5 things listed above.


Now, which side are you on in the minimalism battle?

Photo: Studio Kalliomäki

Ports 1961 Bow Sneakers

Ports 1961 Bow Sneakers

I just fell deeply in love with these white goatskin bow sneakers from Ports 1961. Ports was founded in 1961, by Luke Tanabe, a Canadian entrepreneur. The company began as a business that imported silk from Japan, but gradually evolved to become an upscale women’s clothier with a reputation of making well-crafted garment. By 1966, the company was renamed Ports International, reflecting Tanabe’s itinerant spirit of global travel – a distinctive characteristic that would become the defining narrative of Ports.

Photography via: Mouche
Source: Ports 1961

Nordic Design Collective

Nordic Design Collective

Nordic Design Collective is a Swedish-based shop like no other. The owner and curator Maria Richardson focuses on creating a marketplace, passionate about supporting independent designers from the Nordic region. She picks like-minded Designers for her shop that are able to convey the same passion she has for hand-crafted pieces and shares beautiful stories about these geniuses’ minds, processes and lives. The entire shop concept and the hard work put into every section of it speaks to how much passion goes into creating, curating and supporting this amazing group of Artists.

Nordic Design Collective’s Manifesto says it all – and it’s not only inspiring to us as buyers and admirers, but also to the people who are behind the crafting tables. The images above are part of a wonderful set of prints by By M – Nordic Design Collective supports other amazing artists sauch as: Camilla Engdahl Dan Isaac Wallin Eva Levin Jenny Kåberg Metalldesign Jois Lundgren Jollygoodfellow La Boheme Magdalena Tyboni Saga Melina and Toril Bækmark – to mention but a few. You can learn more about Maria and Nordic Design Collective by visiting their Facebook, following on Instagram, subscribing via Bloglovin’ and following via Twitter or Pinterest. Maria has also kindly created a coupon just for our readers. You can get a 15% off discount by using this code: blogmilk15 and support these wonderful Artists. Expires: August 14th 2016.

Bicker Design Studio

Bicker Design StudioBicker is a creative Design Studio based in Melbourne, Australia. They focus on functional creative solutions and design stunning spaces that improve the quality of their client’s space. The amazing Highett House pictured above …

Vifa: Helsinki Loud Speakers

Vifa: Helsinki Loud Speakers

Vifa is an award-winning speakers brand that has made their way to every Minimalist’s heart. Their passion, abilities and ethical approach to their designs is undeniable and a proof of that is their recent collaboration with textile Danish power-house Kvadrat—The Helsinki speaker above is one of the many from their new collection. As is the case with all of the products: The fabric was specifically created to let sound pass perfectly through the woolen threads. The solid aluminum frame is molded in one piece to avoid any assembly marks or frail spots. And the leather strap has been carefully selected and crafted by Swedish leather manufacturer Tärnsjö Garveri.

Photography: Vifa

Melo: Handcrafted Minimalism

Melo: Handcrafted Minimalism

Melo is handcrafted minimalism. Combining humble aesthetics that remove all the unnecessary details with quality craftsmanship from Dalarna, the heart of Sweden, using only the best materials and taking no shortcuts in production. Carmelo Medina Tadeo or Melo, was the inspiration for the Studio, he lived in Gran Canaria and had several professions during his lifetime, all with the hope of sharing his passions and creations with others. Melo is all about minimalistic design. They aim to create a modest look, enabling our products to blend into any enviroment. That’s why they refer to their products as humble minimalistic design.

Photography: Sara Medina Lind
Styling: Pella Hedeby

Collection: Breather

Collection: Breather

I’ve been struggling with anxiety attacks lately, I guess it’s partly because of my dad’s recent loss and another tiny part might be because life has been getting quiet hard for almost everyone in Brazil. Last week I had an episode while I was sleeping – that has never happened to me and it scared me to no end. I dreamed that I was crying about my dad and couldn’t wake myself up, once I could open my eyes and feel sort-of awake, I realized I was physically crying and gasping for air. That moment made me realize that I need to get back on my feet, emotionally, mentally and every way possible… I need some time to be able to be patient with myself and regain the focus that lost from the time that my dad got ill until he passed away.

As you know, I’m in the homestretch of writing my book and I’ve now understood that practical things that I used be able to finish within seconds are taking me much longer because my heart is still very heavy and my enviroment is less than helping me through the healing process. So, I’ve decided to give myself a week off blogging while I focus on finishing up my book for you and so that I can complete projects with clients and sponsors and be able to give myself 100% to the people that are putting their trust in my even through these difficult times.

I can’t thank you enough for always cheering me up and making my day with your kind comments and messages. I’ll see come back next week, hopefully with better news.

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Jasmine Aloe Perfume

Jasmine Aloe PerfumeI’ve recently gotten a new itch to experiment with making some of my own skincare products at home. It truly worries me to think about the amount of chemicals that I’ve been smudging all over my face for almost a decade. In my se…

Northern Lighting

Northern LightingNordic Lighting is an Oslo-based shop established in 2005 by a group of designers, tastemakers and innovators from around the world. Whether crafted into pendant lights, floor lamps, wall lights, table lamps, candle holders or tea…

She Be The Sound

She Be The SoundBella Thomas is a 19-year-old Fashion Blogger from Australia. Her blog She Be The Sound stands for inspiring people’s lives through unique art, outfits and Bella’s beautifully crafted graphic posts. Her outfit above features: Cardig…

Ferm Living SS16

Ferm Living SS16

Ferm Living has been a source of inspiration for minimalists for a little over a decade now. It was the dream of Trine Andersen after creating her own Graphic Design Studio in 2005 she turned her passion into what Ferm Living is now, a well-rooted design and interior products shop that just about every minimalist (myself included) rages about with each stunning collection. Trine favours honest materials that craftsmen have used for millennia – and prefers sustainable and organic alternatives. Their SS16 Collection displays a beautiful array of new products and the use of wonderful painted walls that are inspiring me to finally stop faffing around and get some walls painted in my home.

Photography: Ferm Living

The Chronicles Of Her

The Chronicles Of Her

The Chronicles Of Her is a blog written by our gorgeous Australian client Carmen Hamilton. She uses a customized version of last collection’s Stockholm Theme on her blog and this is a visual representation of why we encourage our clients to put their own touch to everything we make, the result is simply stunning and very telling of her essence —Fun, classy and modern. Carmen has an incredible sense of style. She makes it seem effortless to put together simple, neutral outfits but we all know it isn’t. Her Instagram feed is equally brilliant and jam-packed with interesting sunset views, scrumptious food and an inside to her daily life. All the #clientlove goes out to her today. See our shop your theme. We’re here to walk you through the process so you can give it your special touch.

Photography: TCOH

Change Is Coming

Change Is Coming

Over the past years, I’ve been in what I consider a privileged position of watching along intently, as people get introduced to the blogging world and break stereotypes, barriers and trends. I’ve invested my life in working with you one on one – and for over a year now I’ve had the desire to offer those who want to better their changes in this field with more than just a lovely website layout. I want to be able to do more, and for that reason I started writing a book that is almost finished and waiting for the final stages. Once this is published I will continue to send weekly and monthly workshops, newsletters and tips to those who want to learn more about building their career, hear real-life stories of gosh-darn real people and learn more about minimalism. Please join our growing group and sign up here. To start we will surprise one of our friends with a free theme this week. I’m grateful for those who will join me on this journey and I thank you for allowing me to share this with you. Love and Light, Ana.

WHAT NOW? SIMPLE, ALL IT TAKES IS YOU EMAIL: PLEASE, ADD YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND HIT ENTER TO JOIN.

Summer House

Summer HouseSurrounded by stunning Swedish nature you’ll find this beautiful Gotland Summer home. Beautiful exposed beams and raw concrete give this home so much character and that Summery feel we all want to experience year-round. Maybe ev…

Muuto Framed Mirrors

Muuto Framed Mirrors

Muuto Does it again with the new, stunning Framed Mirrors by Anderssen & Voll. A series of mirrors in two sizes and three color versions. Mirrors with colored glass that challenges the function of a classic mirror and adds the dimension of decoration to an interior setting. Combining different mirrors together creates the playful, warm and eye-catching visual you see above.

Photography: Muuto

Out In The Open

Out In The OpenClub Monaco is an international retail brand that designs and creates modern yet timeless clothing and accessories for women and men. They invite you to the outdoors with these jumpers with open lacework, generous draping, and tie f…

South Valley

South Valley

This Summer land of a home is located in the growing of valley in Järfälla. The apartment is 99 square meters a patio and large kitchen. The stunning interiors and natural light make this apartment a true paradise. The brilliant mind behind the styling and interiors is of course, the one and only Marie Ramse or Hitta Hem. What a lovely result, yes?

Photography: Sara Danielsson
Interior & Styling: Marie
Ass: Jenny Martinsson

Väkst

Väkst

Väkst is a new restaurant by Cofoco – family of Höst also based in Copenhagen. Väkst’s gastronomic centre of gravity is Nordic, and the vegetables of the season take priority. The wines are modern, light and European – and the list offers several natural wines. The heart of the restaurant is a large greenhouse, built through the two floors of the space, thereby transporting the guest into the sensation of a lush garden – right inside the city. On the top floor of the restaurant, plants, growths, and leaves thrive in the light from the large windows facing the street of Sankt Peders Stræde. A true Summer paradise.

Photography: Cofoco

Pale Nude Samoa

Pale Nude Samoa

Adidas has revived the 00’s famous Samoa’s and given them a trendy makeover using a soft minimal approach that has made me want to buy something for the first time in a long time. The “Pigskin Pack,” features three beautiful, pastel tonal-colored Samoa’s in Vapour Pink, Vapour Grey, and Pale Nude. Adidas partnered with Woodie White from Oyster Holdings for this project and the result is brilliant as expected.

Photography: Adidas

Linum

Linum

I’ve had some very rough days after my dad’s passing and after struggling between continuing to work or taking some days off I decided I wasn’t being any productive or any creative and that called for a breather. I’m putting all my energy into taking a step forward today, coming back to work full time and trying to make plans ahead. Change is hard, I’m learning to live life a very different way and as hard as it may be I’m partly excited for the process of rebuilding and allowing myself to be once again inspired and full of good energy again. I’m stepping into this with the right foot, just fell in love with Linum and I of course, needed to share.

Linum was founded over 50 years ago when an unexpected friendship blossomed between Swedish design and Indian craftsmanship. During his travels in India in 1966 Linum’s founder met two ambitious brothers, and this began what would become a life-long friendship and business partnership. They had shared visions and values concerning tradition, quality, and durability, and wished to create long lasting products in harmony with both nature and humans. Their SS16 Collection is inspired by Mrs. Cherry Hope. The name is a flirt with the jazz musician Don Cherry. His music has set the tone for the whole collection.

Photography: Jonas Ingerstedt

Grøn+White

Grøn+White

Grøn + White is an online concept store based in Canada, focusing on Scandinavian style and lifestyle. The owner and curator Britt Nilsson has a keen eye for Nordic and is constantly updating the shop with wonderful products from well established brands like Menu, Ferm Living and Normann Copenhagen as well as independent designers such as Silke Bonde, (By) Garmi, Hanna Konola and Magdalena Tyboni. Her frequent trips to Denmark allow Britt to be immersed in the culture of Scandinavian design and to expand the shop’s inventory, offering the best and most current of that world.

Some of my favorites from the shop: This gorgeous Hema Plate by Norman Copenhagen, Marble Cutting Board by Blomingville, Bollard Lamp by Menu and this gorgeous Wallmo Print by Magdalena Tyboni. After taking a look you’ll surely be excited to know that Grøn + White ships internationally and is offering you a 15% discount using the code: GRON + MILK the code expires July 31. For more Grøn + White visit the Facebok page or follow via Twitter and Pinterest. Enjoy!

Photography: Menu

New Frama Copenhagen

New Frama Copenhagen

The new Frama is located in central Copenhagen in the historic and protected neighborhood of Nyboder. Former home of the St. Pauls Pharmacy established in the 1800s, the building still has it’s original woodwork and architectural elements. The synergy between the past and present elements of the space is a direct link to how Frama defines their main interest within the creative field as a dialogue between two opposite poles; classical and contemporary approach – between digital and analogue production.

Photography: Hannah Trickett

The Poster Club

The Poster Club

The Poster Club is a Copenhagen-based online store, offering a unique handpicked selection of posters and art prints from both upcoming and established artists – local as well as international. The shop delivers internationally and it’s perfectly curated and filled with the best and most-wonderful Scandinavian-inspired pieces of art.

The thought of those Randi Vesterbæk Bro’s pieces makes me want to base my entire home interiors on them… and don’t get me started on the ethereal and inspirational Fairytale pieces by Landstedt/Bååth. Truly every piece in the shop is pure perfection. Thomas can do no wrong and you can see the passion and care involved in all this.

As you can see, the shop includes all the greats: Playtime, Silke Bonde, Atelier CPH, Kristina Krogh and a list so packed of geniuses that I fully doubt you’ll lurk and dash. Get ready to be immersed in the world of printed art you’ve always dreamed of.

For more of The Poster Club, visit Thomas’ Blog and Follow via Facebook Instagram or Pinterest. I’m already a fan.

Photography: Anders Bergsted, Anna Kubel and Nathalie Schwer

Collection: Stillness

Collection: Stillness

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

Vegan Cardamom Ice Cream

Vegan Cardamom Ice CreamI’m thrilled to have gotten back to the healthy lifestyle I used to live and now I find myself at the point of indulgence. To illustrate what I mean by that just look above. Sarah’s recipe for Vegan Cardamon Ice Cream will …

Dadaa.

Dadaa.The beautiful blog Dadaa. belongs to one of our sweet clients. The brilliant, Anna Pirkola – Whom you’ve definitely seen around the web. Anna is a Designer and Stylist… and in my opinion a heck of a blogger. Anna’s work and blog are incredib…

Mateus Ceramics

Mateus Ceramics Mateus ceramics merges the essence and beauty of Portugal and Sweden in several-astonishing pieces of art. I call it art because each piece is carefully handcrafted from clay and carefully planned by brilliant Portuguese Designers a…