Saturday, January 14, 2017

caturday is for oxytocin


Ever since I started my own business, 5 years ago now, I haven't made much distinction between weekdays vs weekends. Because I've felt so very fortunate being able to be quite flexible of when and where I work. Tuesdays and Wednesdays can be just as much weekend as Saturday and Sundays. And vice versa. The freedom of it all is as much holiday as 5 weeks scheduled summer holidays. 


However this past year I've come to treasure my weekends and especially my Caturdays. I've made them my obligatory one day per week when I make sure not to think too much, just be. No worrying, just lazying. Reading, knitting, watching TV, cooking, eating and most of all cuddling. 


The main part of the day is in fact spent stretched out in sofa with cats on my tummy, lap and legs, wrapped around my neck, sitting on the sofa table eagerly patting me on the arm for more cuddles.


I love my Caturdays. They are for filling up of oxytocin. Gratitude and love from a not so crazy cat lady.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

my professional goals 2017

hi! december 2016

From personal to professional, this post will be all about my 5 (main) business goals for 2017. I only ticked off two of the five goals I had for 2016 - getting 3 new clients, long and short-term + be better at follow up with people/potential clients.

But with 2016 being a rubbish year (with, granted, glimmering highlights) I'm glad I ticked any goals off at all.

This year my enclasping goal will (obviously) be to reach financial stability and independence. With worry comes incentive. I have to trust that everything will be alright of course. But that doesn't mean I can settle down and just trust that everything decent and great will land in my lap all by itself (besides my lap is already full of cats). I have to work towards it, without losing myself, my values and visions amidst it all. And I believe that if we put ourselves out there the universe will give more back.

Here are my 5 goals to get there -

  • Do at least 1 active thing per day with the enclasping goal in mind - it can be book lunches and meetings, write articles and posts on LinkedIn, reach out to people and network, research potential clients or places of work and so forth.
  • Take an online course - one of my goals for last year that I never accomplished. One of the topics I had in mind then, and have been for a long time, has been graphic design. As great as it is to be able to pass inquiries on to friends and contacts, it also seems a waste from a personal point of view when I could be able to offer both copywriting and graphic design in my own package. Maybe 2017 will be the year I start this journey?
  • Commute to work - I read this nifty article about secrets to homeworking success. And while I already tick most of those boxes I don't tick the 'commute to work' one. I've been meaning to go out for a walk every day for ages, but the truth is I haven't. I have a tendency to overdo it, instead of a short walk every day I go for longer, brisk walks and then end up with muscle soreness because I overdid it and then end up feeling blah about it. Until I overdo it next time. I need to get a bit of regularity without overdoing it. And if I look at it as commuting to work every day (without the awfulness of rush hour traffic!) it might do the trick.
  • Get 3 new clients - just like the ticked goal last year, at least three and for both long and short term jobs.
  • Be active and open to part time employment - as much as I do not want to be chained to a desk 9-5, deal with rush hours and office politics, I do feel I need to be part-time part of some greater goal and working with likeminded people. As much as I love the freedom of working for myself and being fortunate to do it at (mostly) my own terms from my home office I do lack the opportunites to make a real impact for a a greater sustainability cause which can only be achieved working with others. To inspire and be inspired. 

    We are all constant works in progress and what you feel you want and need one year might very well change next year. Especially so if your life changes drastically. It's all part of my process of redefining myself I guess. There's no perfect time to make a change, just the now. Noone knows what will happen next year, next month, next week, not even tomorrow. Some times I'm really good at being patient, others not. The now is my (very) impatient time.
Bring on the good times 2017, 
I'm ready to go get going!

Sunday, January 08, 2017

my personal goals 2017



Last year I began my new tradition of setting 5 personal (plus 5 bonus) and 5 professional/business goals respectively. For devastating reasons out of my control not many of those were reached. But I'm really grateful and happy about those I did reach.

Like the personal ones; travel alone abroad, get rid of the runny nose, give at least 1 bag to charity each month. I've way surpassed the last one, so many big, black garbage bags with clothes, fabrics and stuff have gone to charity in 2016. The very smart thing that I didn't know about until last year is that you can call your charity of choice and they come pick all that stuff up. So I didn't even have to worry about the fact that I have to get someone with a car to drive me and stuff to the shop. I'm so very grateful for that. Circular economy is a fine fine thing.

I will definitely continue with my cleansing of clothes and stuff in 2017. It's such a liberating feeling. With the goal being to just keep things I really love (which also is a lot, but more graspable) and am inspired by. I will not set it as a goal for 2017 though, seems pointless when I already know that a good, regular cleansing has proven to be good for the soul, so I'll not have any troubles continuing with it.

Remember I also signed up for a mentor/friend-programme for people new in Sweden? Obviously a couple of important criterias for me were that the new friend-person I matched with was vegetarian/vegan and non-religious. Which apparently and sadly are really tough criterias, I never did hear back from the mentor/friend-programme... Despite that I signed up this year too, maybe things have changed.

So first up my 5 personal goals for 2017 (the professional ones in another post) -

  • Improve my skin condition back to normal - 2016 was a bad bad year for my skin too. I've previously blogged about how difficult it has been these past few years to find great skincare products that fit my both sensitive and often dry skin, but things brightened up when I began using Dermalogica and Bare Minerals. Though with all the sorrow and stress last year things have become so much worse than ever before. Since I eat healthy and well, don't drink or smoke or have any other bad habits I take it as a very visible sign of a worrisome year. It might be rosacea, I had that checked years ago and it wasn't then, but who knows if that has changed. I need to do something about this now, time to face it. No pun intended.
  • Start a new hobby - I've been thinking about joining a choir of some sort for many many years. And taking a vegan cooking class. Perhaps 2017 will be a year for that?
  • Try a new recipe every week - I know, it was one of my goals of 2016. It didn't happen. I've obviously cooked a lot during the year that was, take out-meals have been non-existing all year for financial and logistic reasons. But I've mainly cooked ol' reliable recipes or just improvised something depending of what I have in the freezer and fridge. Now is the time to try new things regularly. I've already cooked three new recipes, so I'm on my way for a 52 new dishes year!
  • Finish one old knitting/crocheting/sewing project every month - another one of my 2016 goals that didn't happen. Still think is a brilliant and worthy goal, since I'm notoriously bad when I'm close to the finish line. I've already finished the first project of the year, these mittens for my mum. Next up, finishing either a scarf or mittens for me.
  • Seriously clean up two rooms that I basically use as lumberrooms - not my proudest moment to admit this to the internetz, but there you are. And most of the stuff piling up in those rooms will obviously go to charity. One room I will also repaint and turn into a craft room (finally somewhere to have my sewing machine, yarn, fabrics and beads all in one place). The other room used to be the guest room, it will continue to be even if I'm not very keen on having guests as such. But it's nice to have a fresh spare room.
I won't set any bonus goals this year. These will keep me quite busy. (Plus as a now sole provider I really need to concentrate on ticking off the professional goals.) And obviously I haven't set any goals like yoga or meditation (the first really failed miserably last year, the other one just petered out). I think it would be great to do something or other like that, perhaps I'll have another go one of these days. Without setting any goals obviously.

How about you, any special personal or professional goals for 2017?

Sunday, January 01, 2017

goodbye 2016, hello 2017

luddkolt's british shorthair, december 2016 -

2016 will go down in history as my worst year ever. And one of the planet's worst too. I'm so relieved it's finally over. For me the sudden death of M has haunted the whole year, even if the grief process doesn't come to an end just because the clock chimes 12 on New Year's Eve you shouldn't underestimate the symbolic power of being able to close the door to an awful year.

In a few months only it's a year since he passed. A year. A whole year. That's nothing short of crazy. I still find it unbeliveable that people who've meant so much to us can just be snatched away from one day to the other without prior notice. They're just gone, no chance of goodbye. Suddenly the only thing left is memories.

Amidst all the sorrow, worry and stress of the year that was it was also a year that forced me to take a good, hard look at myself and my life, continue to cultivate resilience, make changes, reinvent myself. Something that is an ongoing process obviously. But it was a year of growing up, in many ways. And part of that growing was the lovely Schwarzwald trip - yes I'm well aware of that I have yet to write something more substantial about that experience. Stay tuned.

I've also realised that the people I call(ed) friends and family are much fewer than I thought. It's an uncomfortable part of the sorrow process to realise that you really don't matter that much to those people, that those so called friends have evaporated because apparently the words 'supportive', 'care' and 'kindness' aren't part of their vocabulary and lifestyle. And some of them have in fact been plain nasty. Nothing like the death of a loved one to get people to show their true colour.

Clearly I need to find some new friends. And see the above mentioned ones as acquiantances, people I once met on the path of life, they may not have been reliable in the long run, they still meant something then but not anymore.

On the other hand I'm deeply grateful for the other part of the social coin during the rough year that was, people and the few friends who have gotten in touch regularly with kind and encouring comments, letters, postcards, emails and offers to talk, suggestions of reads, jobs, possible clients. Some of these things have been surprising and very special. Thank you, thank you, thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

Now I'm looking forward to a wonderful fresh year full of amazing possibilities and new beginnings. Dreams and visions. It feels exciting, it's an important year, so much needs to happen, must happen. I will make it happen, you will make it happen, we will all make it happen, right? Right.

Happy, prosperous, meaningful,
kind, compassionate, peaceful
and inspired year
to all earthlings ~

Saturday, December 24, 2016

the holiday called christmas


I hope you have a lovely holiday season and get to spend it just the way you want it and not just in a way that's expected with a lot of musts and shoulds.

Needless to say mine isn't very happy as such, but I get by with the help of cat cuddles, books (and things can't be too bad when one actually manage to read instead of brooding), marathon watching of 'Location, Location, Location' and lots of cups of tea. 

The book heap above consists of 5 read (bottom) books and 5 currently reading (top). I would grade the read ones 2-4, perhaps I'll make a review one day. And I hope to finish the last 5 before December is over.

I'm also very grateful that the snow and ice have completely melted away. Hooray.

Hopefully I'll have the inspiration to blog a bit more before this awful year is over - I am so so looking forward to a fresh new year of inspiration, great work and happy days! - and I'd really like to write that/those post/s about Schwarzwald... But for now, have a lovely Christmas!

Now where's that saffron bun that's calling my name...

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

goodbye november 2016


As a stark contrast to wonderful October my November has been an uninspiring blah month. The stressful mess of substitute buses, the crazy snowfall, chaos in traffic, icy streets that were so limiting (because even if one works from home it's obviously a must to get out for walks and a bit of socializing regularly. 

But the tension with trying to navigate forward on icy streets, well that's not an option if it can be avoided), the fact that Yelp suddenly shut down its operations all over Europe (so no more Yelp Stockholm events only the options to continue writing reviews and upload photos), the mad outcome of the US election, more sad news regarding climate change and the point of no return. Brooding and mourning. It has certainly been a month for an abundance of that. Reading, watching movies, cuddling cats, drinking a gazillion cups of tea has been my blues remedy, but no inspiration for blogging. Obviously. (And the Schwarzwald thoughts post will be left for another month.)

Though putting together the #november2016 for Instagram I realise it has also held some really great days and stuff. Only overshadowed by all the blah.

So - I will never again complain about reasonably rainy days, because they wash away any icy streets and aren't difficult to navigate only liberating.

The #VeganVikings week with Yelp Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen (at least it ended with a bang) - it was lovely. Even if I couldn't take part as much as I would have liked due to those darn substitute buses. But a vegan dinner, a lunch, a breakfast and a wonderful rawfood fika, that was sweet too.

During that week, on its worst possible day - because my bus/train was 1,5 hours delayed and her train 3 hours delayed... - I rekindled with a friend I hadn't seen for 7 (!) years. It was via her and her then boyfriend (who was a childhood friend of M) I met M all those years ago. She and I studied law together back then. It was lovely to meet up again, hopefully our contact will be much regular than once every 7 year from now on... 

- On a side note I learnt that her then boyfriend and M's childhood friend also suddenly passed away in November. Even if we hadn't had any contact for many years and he didn't come to M's funeral it was sad to hear of another too early passing. And how odd that both M and he doing it so unexpectedly and only a few months apart. This year has held so much deaths of good people. And with every passing I hear of my own sorrow surface again.

On an especially blah day, when even more snow fell, I decided to make a snow angel in the garden. (Things that is possible to do when you don't have a dog that has hid pooptastic secrets under the snow.) And despite my hair looking scary gray (no of course it must be snow, of course) it was so much fun. Making snow angels it's impossible to be sad.

Then on the last Sunday of the month, first of Advent, the snow unfortunately began to fall again - hello nasty, icy streets - I went to a group seance with my mum. Simply because I'm open and curious. There are so much in this world we don't know about, things we can't explain. I'm all for having a healthy sceptical attitude, there are many charlatans out there, but I also believe it's important to have an open mind. 

You are completely anonymous and whatever message you get there is no possibility whatsoever the medium could have researched you beforehand. I'm deeply grateful I went. I got a personal message, even if it wasn't a greeting from a special person but more general it was so very accurate with details I've never told anyone. I should have taken notes perhaps, but I remember the most important things. And the one thing that made me tear up once I was out on the snowy streets of Stockholm again was the detail that there's a little bright, happy dog that accompanies me. That's such an endearing, comforting notion. Little Loaf with his liquorice nose.

It was an emotional Sunday, but a very good one and it gave me more reason to really trust that everything will be alright, it really will. I will continue to work on my focus, my goals, but it is also high time for this worrying kind to enjoy herself more.

The last Sunday of November also held the purchase of a gorgeous dress. My intention was only to have a wee look at it in the Marimekko store - it's the same fantastic Pieni Pioni pattern as my coat, only in red, grey and white for a perfect winter dress - but when I tried it on it was simply to perfect to not get. Wonderful heavy viscose crepe fabric, brilliant cut. And pockets. As the coat was a symbolic birthday gift for myself, this dress is the same for Christmas. Bring on the good times.

The month was rounded off with a rare movie visit - 'Fantastic beasts and where to find them'. Loved it. A perfect simple way to end a month of much blah on a light note.

Goodbye November, you were a rough month but in hindsight a good teacher.
Hello December, please be bright, kind and awesome.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

world kindness day 2016


'In a world where you can be anything be kind.'

Given the state of the world never has this quote been more apt. Sadly. 

On this World Kindness Day let's spread some love, kindness and compassion. I'm sure you're not short if ideas yourself but I think this article has some neat ones

and never forget to give compliments

Let every day be Kindness Day! 💗💚💗

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

first snow 2016



Today I was going to blog about

a) the first snow that fell in Sweden/Stockholm a few days ago. And upload a sweet video of the overratedness of snow according to cats. 

But 1) the Blogger app oddly enough doesn't allow the uploading of videos from smartphones. 

And 2) today we experienced a crazy snow blizzard and traffic chaos followed (because as usual everyone but the traffic guys, whomever they are, know winters here still - despite global warming - mean snowfall) and the notion of hibernation seems awfully appealing.

The b) topic today was going to be about how love and intelligence trumps hate. And that despite all her flaws (and obviously not being the best option in an ideal world) how rather brilliant it is to wake up to a winter wonderland where there's finally a female president on the other side of the pond.

That didn't happen. And I am not surprised alas. Shocked and deeply saddened yes, surprised not really. A brutal wake-up call for us all. For the environment, for equality, for reason.

Ah, Weltschmerz.

So instead of those sweet topics I simply give you the army of kindness, compassion and cuteness in snow - because that truly trumps everything.

Keep on fighting the good, kind fight!

❄️❤️💛💗💚💙💜❄️

Monday, October 31, 2016

goodbye october 2016


Goodbye October, you have been overall gorgeous and awesome in many many ways. I'm ever so grateful for that after a very tough seven months, that you have given me much more highs than lows. My deepest wish is of course that will continue for the months, the years to come.

The hashtag #october2016 on Instagram is limited to nine photos only, which in no way is enough to show every highlight from my month that was, but at least it gives an idea.

So what has been my highlights of October? Here goes -



:: The new glasses from the Smarteyes Non-violence collection (have not had the opportunity to wear the new sunglasses becasue honestly we've only had about 8 hours of sun during October...).


:: The writer's talk at the local library with one of my favourite writers, Arne Dahl (Jan Arnald). He seems like such a very likeable guy. And I got to tell him how fantastic I think his language is. And he signed some of my books. (I only chose to take three of them with me, all 15 would have been a bit too much...)


:: The charity picking up yet more big, black plastic bags hence me cleansing more of my home and life of stuff. Oh the relief.


:: That I was able to invoice a reasonable amount of money. To be able to do that regularly would be heavenly.


:: A great evening about the health of our planet hosted by the Consumer Association Stockholm (Konsumentföreningen Stockholm) with speakers such as Tristram Stuart and Mattias Klum. The talks and their subject on sustainability made me both angry and hopeful. 

But to be really honest, I do believe everything we do now is too little too late to save our planet. Most humans want a change, but they don't want to make changes in their own lifestyle. And the politicians we have are just spineless cowards and opportunists without visions and power of action. The best we can do now is to be as good and kind as we can and enjoy life as much as possible while the planet still exists.


:: My Schwarzwald trip. A growth experience on so many levels. So so much to show and tell. And I will. In a post of its own, one day in November.


:: Birthday. The perfect day for inaugurating the Marimekko flowery happy coat. And I loved the Tove Jansson/Moomin exhibition at MillesgÄrden. Followed by a lovely late vegan breakfast/lunch/dinner at HÀlsocafét (The Health Cafe). And I bought a couple of raw food pastries that I enjoyed lots the day after.


:: The Yelp elite event making vegan freakshakes with Djurens RĂ€tt (Animal's Rights, the oldest animal rights association in Sweden which does a great job for animals. I've been a member since I was 7 years old.)

The event was a kick-off for the #VeganViking campaign in Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen that starts tomorrow on World Vegan Day and lasts for the first week of World Vegan Month. Use your Yelp-app to check in to different restaurants, cafe and shops in these cities to get great offers during November 1-6.

Alas this week will coincide with the same replacement buses for commuter trains calamity as this past summer so I won't be able to take part of as many things as I'd like. But I will go for one dinner, one fika and host a breakfast at least. Edit: I did have a lunch too and it was lovely.


:: Finishing the month off with a sweet afternoon tea with my mother and Stadsmissionen (The City Mission) - not vegan alas but at least all vegetarian. And very good value for money (sadly the only place that do offer that in Stockholm these days. Every other afternoon tea here is posh and expensive nowadays, such a pity.)


:: The cats. Always the cats. They brighten up every month, come rain or shine.


So thank you so much, October, for all your highlights and good people, good things, good food. 

Hello November, please be kind and brilliant.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

happy birthday to me 2016


Another year has passed. And it has indeed been a milestone one. Which, to be honest, few years are. But this one has certainly been a wake-up call on loud.

The sudden, heartbreaking passing of M. Sorrow, pain and on top of that financial, practical worries galore. Life turned upside down and a lot of insights on people's behaviour (both good and bad), that I'm actually capable of a lot of problem solving on my own. But also the realisation that melancholy has forever moved into my heart.

A long long summer of many thoughts. And now autumn, October, another birthday even. 

Last week's trip was brilliant, I've seen, done and eaten so much lovely things! Not least realised that travelling on your own can be a pretty neat thing. Of course the trip will get a post or more of its own (you who follow me on Instagram already know the highlights). But for now, apart from all the loveliness, I loath Deutsche Bahn and its, to say the least, inefficiency and I'm also very happy to be home with the darling furries.

Today is a glum day in Stockholm, no gorgeous birthday weather. But really, a perfect day to inaugurate my fabulous, flowery coat and visiting the new Tove Jansson (the multi-talented artist behind Moomin) exhibition at MillesgÄrden followed by a cosy fika with pastry. Looking forward to that!

And my wish, hope and plan for my new year is that it will be filled with love, kindness and many new, great clients for Prosit.

So, happiest of birthdays to me!
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