.: Sunlight and brownies :.

Today was planning to go out for a walk but after baking brownies in the kitchen, I’m feeling a bit tired. Probably the heat doesn’t help either (30 degrees in the living room!)
So instead of going out now, just decided to detox in the room.
I’m actually struggling to find a position where I can actually held my notebook and write while the music is playing in the room and you are moving inside me. It smells brownies all over the house, such a delicious dark chocolate smell.
It would be quite tempting to go back to my computer and get distracted with social media… but sometimes we need to disconnect. No e-mails, no flashing notifications, no distractions, just the here and now. Appreciating the warm light that tries to enter the room, the music playing and the dark chocolate smell.
Considering you are just days before coming out, I should be feeling more stressed and anxious, but actually I’m feeling calm and peaceful. Not because I’m not scared (because I am) but because I’m determined to rest and take it easy. You’ll be born when you decide you are ready, so I’m trying to be ready for you as well.
All I did pretty much this year was to let stress take the best out of me. I felt miserable for a long time (something tells me the hormones had a say on it as well), but it felt I wasn’t being me.
I was moaning and complaining every single day and I even ended up crying on my way back home after a shitty day at the office.
Well you know what? That’s not what I want for me and surely not for you either.
Truth to be told I still don’t know what I want to be and what I should be doing career wise, but I do know who I don’t want to become.
I don’t want to let the child in me die, and I hope the creative me will start to wake up again bit by bit. With so many options out there do I how do I know which road to take? All I know for sure is that I want to spend good quality time with you and dad and give you the same childhood memories as the ones I grew up with.
We never had a luxurious life, on the contrary quite a modest one, but looking back we had the luxury of time well spent together. Running in the beach, gathering sea-shells, building castles in the sand. Running in the fields on the back of our house, grabbing lemons below the tree or grabbing fresh oranges on a sunny day. Or maybe a drive to the mountains where we would jump on the rocks and try not to fall into the river (most likely I would end up doing that and getting my feet wet, whereas my sis would jump faster and more skillfully than clumsy me). We didn’t need any more than that.
Not many of my friends who had better houses, better toys and branded clothing can say the same and I don’t remember being that bothered either even as a kid. Because time is priceless so I want to give the same to you.
There is no point in getting fooled by “lady boss” and “women on leadership” and let’s continue to try to grow as high as I can if that means I won’t have enough time for you. I know for a few years now that I don’t want that life, just haven’t figured out what is my middle ground yet. There’s a part of me that hopes you’ll bring clarity into my head and I’ll end up figuring out what’s best for all of us.
Because in the end all I want is afternoons like this, where I’m here with you, relaxing, stretching my feet, feeling free and enjoying the sun through the windows. Because moments like this have no price, they are memories that will stay with me forever.

.: My headspace :.

Ah is there anything better than a long weekend? I went to South Wales on this one, which I find is one of the best places in UK to slow down and relax surrounded by all the green scenery. For instance I loveย Lake Districtย a lot, but it just takes forever to get there, especially if we’re talking about a long weekend! I’m hoping to be back at some stage, in any random weekend to spend a few days there. South Wales is a much easier option as it’s just 2h15 from London (or 3h and a bit with the traffic on a long weekend).

The point of a weekend away tends to be to relax, and starting the weekend stuck in 6h queues isn’t a great start. Finally one that was far more relaxing! We’ve managed to reach the hotel for dinner at 08h! I will be sharing the photos of the hotel and the weekend on my other blog here

What I really want to stay is that I took this weekend to turn a page in my book of live and to learn to let it go. I’ve been way too stressed lately. A month ago I ended up crying on my way home after leaving the office due to the stress and frustration. Maybe I can blame it on the hormones, but… this not the way anyone should live. Not worth it as everyone around me says, especially not now. I’ve been having all my priorities all wrong (I’ve been saying this for a while, have I not?)

Recommended by a friend I’m now doing daily meditation (using Headspace), reading a book about it and just joined yoga classes that will start in June. I do want to change for real, taking the train of the biggest change ever! I want to look back and say:

“I was doing it all wrong, but now it’s better. I’ve managed to change and I feel a lot better. I feel that for once I can grab life with both hands rather than feel it keeps on escaping through my fingers like water drops.”

The truth is I’ve just arrived home and I feel so much better! Just 2 days away and I feel almost brand new. The full test of fire will be once I’m back into the office, but for now I’ll enjoy it, peacefully.

About Headspace (Disclaimer: I’m not being sponsored at all for this post, it’s a genuine review as I really enjoy the program and the design of the app)
Headspace is a really lovely animated app that you can use on your computer and phone, with tailored programs for meditation. I’m still using the free program, which includes a 10 days guide for beginners.

For more information check their website or app.

Which relaxation techniques do you use to handle a stressful life? Anything you would recommend?

.: Dress with less :.

Recently there’s been quite a trend of de-clutter or simply owning less. I guess if space becomes so expensive the more the need to rationalise what we have. Having just moved houses and being forced to pack all I have in boxes, we’ve realized we have quite a lot more than I imaged. How many things do you have in your wardrobe that you don’t even remember you have at all?

I’ve packed a few things and used the container downstairs which is used to donate clothing (in good conditions) to people that may need it. If I analyse what I have I’m sure I can find ย more things that I don’t really need.

On this lines, I was just reading about Project 33. As the name says it means owning a total of 33 pieces (including accessories). Not sure if I can really come down to 33, not when you are supposed to dress professionally all the time and every day you are expected to come to the office with a different outfit (even if you use the same pieces to create a different look). The expectations on women are quite demanding! Whereas my male-friends can go away with changing the shirt and having the same suit the whole week, not valid for us. But still it feels I have more than I need.

They have a lighter version which is choosing 33 pieces for the next 3 months (e.g. spring season), that seems more realistic. I may try that, but surely will try to think twice before buying anything extra. I tend to have a lot of underwear, e.g. white t-shirts which I use to save my shirts.

My Tips

Well, I’m not sure I’m a good example here, but here’s something I’ve started to do last year:

Need some inspiration?

Tim Gunn’s 10 key items may help you:

My List

1 – Little Black Dress

2 – Statement Necklace

3 – Day Dress

4 – Working trousers

5 – Sleeveless shirt

6 – Jacket

7 – Jumper

8 – Jeans (I have the same pair of jeans for the last 4 years!) and I have some jean-leggings as well

9 – Boots

10 – Flats – I have these flats for more than 3 years now, they are really comfortable!

11 – Leather bag – I have this bag for almost 4 years now, and I use it on a daily basis and it’s still impec! It’s a good idea to invest in a good bag, and by that I mean quality rather than brand. Mine still smells like leather!

Final tips:

  • Think about your existing colour pallet, if you go for soft tones: beige, white, light grey and then black they will always be trendy. You can then have 1 or 2 pieces in the colour of your choice to acessorise your wardrobe.
  • Save to a list before buying
  • Think about the items you love the most and why you love them and those you barely use.
  • Don’t fear to give away!

In a few months time I may show where I’ve got to ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck!

.: Inspiring Saturdays :.

It’s a sunny Saturday but as I’ve started to pack I’m feeling a bit sad. It’s hard to realise I’m leaving this place, this house, this home! We love being here, but oh well

So just sharing a few things that inspire me today:

Yap, this quote makes a lot of sense to me. This is something I’m trying to live by. Rather than waiting for big moments and exciting surprises, I’m trying to enjoy all the little things from a daily perspective. A smile, a hug, that gorgeous sunset you’ve almost missed ๐Ÿ™‚

Minimalistic Home

If I ever buy a house / flat this is the style I would love to have. Quite minimal and soft colours ๐Ÿ™‚

Alentejo Houses

It’s my favourite areas in the world! Beautiful landscape, gorgeous coast, lovely white houses and the best wine ๐Ÿ˜€


Finally here ๐Ÿ™‚

Inspiring Portraits

I really love this portrait, it’s certainlyย one of the best portraits I’ve seen in ย while

You can visit Gianstefano’s Photos here.

Amazing sounds

Such as this video. So beautiful

Beautiful colours

Like this photo

We are in Blue

Any inspirations you would like to share?

Monthly goals – March

First of all a look into February, where my goal was to eat less outside:

Well sort off, I said I wanted to go maximum 2 times eating out, I went 3 times. But most of the time I’ve actually managed to eat more at home. I didn’t made it, but I believe it had to do with my lack of time to cook at all, once we had to order food because I couldn’t go shopping neither cook. So I’ve ordered a huge pizza for dinner and to have lunch the day after (while working from home).
I don’t consider a pure failure because we’ve been cooking more and cooking a bit healthier too, compared with last year.

For March the goal is to get rid of stuff I rarely use or don’t need (inspired from The busy lady and the stripy cat). This goal applies not only to physical stuff but to time as well: prioritize! Spend more time with my friends and family, focus on what’s important and “ignore” what’s not important at all.

Let’s see how it goes!

More or less: A story to think about

I’m not sure that many of you know that I’ve been started to follow the minimalistic approach and that less is indeed more. I’m applying this in baby steps, well trying to ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I saw this movie (from Becoming a Minimalist blog)

Which shows how important it is to value relationships and value special moments. I think many times we let things own us, rather that allow more time for people to gain a special place in our heart. This is a short and beautiful story, that shows that sometimes all we need is a true friend, and if we share what we have with our friends the “stuff” we have becomes more meaningful ๐Ÿ™‚

Wish you all a great weekend ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

Minimalistic Photophraphy

One of my favourite styles in photography is indeed minimalist photography. It’s just the expression that indeed Less is so much more!
Love the focus in a certain detail, or just a game between textures and colours.

Here’s some good photographers in this area:
David Burdeny (Canadian)

It’s all about focusing on details that are normally unnoticed, different shapes or just combination of colours. Some random examples

Normally minimalistic photos are just a specific case of long exposures, to smoother the water and focus on specific elements. I wish I could so such a thing! One of my poor examples
Some tips here. Apart from the photo above, all credit goes to the original photographers ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a nice weekend and keep it simple ๐Ÿ™‚