After a slow start for my freelancing business, when June came around things took off, and before I knew it all my hours were booked with a lot of responsibilities for the rest of the year.
With a busy, new routine drawing me in, I hoped to eventually learn to manage my time in a way that I had more time for myself. I was hoping to recover from some personal issues, finishing up painting projects and in general, just enjoy life again.
Finding myself repeatedly failing at it, stress started to take the best off me – again. It scattered my focus as well as put me back into some bad habits. Spending money – since I finally feel like I do not have to worry about money. Eating unhealthy – since feeling stressed all the time, makes it easy to justify. Although I have accomplished a lot more in this short time than I imagined, I am longing for proper breaks along the way.
And that is what B and I are trying to do more of. ( Btw, B is my new boyfriend if you were curious. He lives in London but is around in Oslo until the holidays). I am glad to have him around to unwind together. And last weekend we had our first walk together in Østmarka.
The fun thing about going for walks with my lovely B is to be constantly challenged to walk off the beaten path, in the literal sense. Once he heads off the trail, there is not turning back. Until I start complaining about my wet shoes and desperately needing to pee.
In the end, I really appreciated the unknown parts of this beautiful landscape. It was really my kind of “zen”- experience, a beautiful opportunity to feel more in touch with the senses. And when I thought I knew a lot about Østmarka, it turned out to be a walk of small discoveries for both B and me. A bonus was coming home with both our cameras full of photos, and that has not happened in a long time for me!
Not many things have changed since I last posted here. Things are moving along job wise, but I am waiting on settling a project so I can start focusing on trying to get back to a routine. As fun as it is to break routines once in a while, or even often, I do enjoy rebuilding new and good ones.
This weekend I took time away from the city and visited my mother on the countryside. My favourite thing about visiting her in the spring is to see how much the garden around our house has grown compared to the last time I was around.
In the month of May we have the gorgeous cherry tree blossoms.
Beautiful tulips in all shapes and colours. Our house is situated in a mountain valley, so our tulips come quite late.
My mom gave me a bouquet of Lilly of the Valley when I went back to Oslo yesterday. I completely understand why my great grandmother chose a bouquet of these as her wedding bouquet. They are just so sweet, lush and simple at the same time.
Buzzing bees in the rhododendron blooms make me happy.
And admiring these black tulips from the warmest spot in the garden. While reading and having coffee.
The blooming cherry trees are astounding this year. We pruned our trees earlier this year, and weather conditions so far have been perfect. If everything goes well from now on, we should have a lot of cherries in July and August.
But for now I will enjoy the fresh rhubarb that I brought with me back to the city. Hopefully I will have time to make myself a quick rhubarb crumble this weekend.
In order for me to avoid becoming too sluggish about my schedule, I’ve aimed to get up at the same time as Baptiste’s alarm goes off, around 8.00. I usually have planned an outfit, and defined a list of tasks that should be done by the end of the day.
Nevertheless, it is Friday today. Which was just another great excuse to sleep in. This week has been all about getting my first freelance gig and I can’t remember last time I have felt this busy meeting people and spending hours in front of my Mac, without really producing much. It feels like I am working very slowly and my attention is scattered among taking care of leads, building my website and doing accounting.
It is quite frustrating to focus on four very different things, not really knowing what comes first. I feel tired and distracted, and when arriving at Tøyen library an hour ago, I realised I had forgotten my charger. Typical…
So as you can see, I am not in the mindset to be very glamorous today. But I am trying to set myself up for relaxation and calmness. My super comfy burgundy velvet shirt is saving me on these cold days in Oslo. And a spritz of Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea Mimosa definitely helps to freshen up my mood today.
Lately I’m enjoying the album “What Color is Love” by Terry Callier.
It is hard to define a single genre that this album belongs to. “What Color is Love” is an elegant collection of folk, funk, jazz and blues. Callier’s tender lyrics and passionate voice are beautiful elements that give the album continuity. Maybe this makes the album so interesting to listen to, over and over again, from start to finish.
At the same time, these songs are very comforting. Perfect for cold, rainy spring days in Oslo.
You Goin’ to Miss Your Candyman was funny enough my gateway song to this album. I first heard the song on a Late Night Tales compilation, made by the Cinematic Orchestra. (The Late Night Tales compilations are a great way to discover new favourites and are small gems in themselves.)
At this very same time last year, me and my friend Michelle went for a conference trip to Lisbon. We decided to spend a couple of extra days to enjoy the city.
I did an exchange semester in Lisbon a while back, so the trip was a lovely reunion with the city. I remember long walks admiring the tiled buildings, the river, eating Pastel de Nata and overlooking sunsets from the old town, Alfama.
This time I had a little more money and a very close friend with me. Michelle and I rented a gorgeous French-style apartment, which was close to the seafood restaurants, small shops and not too far away from the main square of Lisbon. My favourite part of this little trip was of course – the botanical garden.
As you may know I have a soft spot for everything green. Even more when it is exotic, accompanied by colourful peacocks and surrounding old terracotta buildings. The botanical garden is really worth a visit if you are in Lisbon.
Today is my first day of working as a freelance designer. I have followed up on some leads, reorganised all my notes and done accounting. Now I’m admiring my gorgeous bouquet, a parting gift from my former coworkers. I will miss them dearly.
After working in companies for five years, freelancing feels like the ultimate blank slate. Maybe things won’t change as much as I imagine. Or maybe they will. Whatever happens, I am repeating my goal to myself: To free up time and focus for the things that matter to me. I have been telling myself that if I could control my time I would learn this or do that. Now is the chance to put those ideas in motion. My challenge from now on is to keep myself busy with enough work. And to find that balance I am searching for.
I am grateful for all the experiences that have given me a chance to build the confidence to take this step. And I am happy to set out on a brand new chapter.
I just adore my little woven handbag from Monti Belli.
It was a lucky find from Fretex, a Salvation Army thrift store, around the area where my mom lives. It had been used a lot before I bought it, but I still imagine that it will become my “go-to” handbag. It has just the perfect size and my is sizable enough for my DSRL-camera, with which I am having a renaissance these days.
With the consciousness that is around climate change and overconsumption I find it harder and harder to justify buying brand new things. I already feel pretty guilty about my frequent perfume purchases.
The solution is to crave less and being grateful for all the things I already have. In the meantime I am using these second hand finds to “transition” a bit.
For about a decade she has kept a tradition of making her Fridays glamorous and writing about it on her blog. Over the years she has gathered a community of followers who share their Fridays. (She had a blogging break for a while, which made me a little nervous she wouldn’t come back. I absolutely adore her posts!)
Making your Friday glamorous can be everything from wearing your favourite blouse, to drinking a tasty tea in the morning, or something entirely different that makes the day feel a little more special than any other weekday. I have really fallen in love with this little tradition.
My Friday has been made a little extra glamorous with a recently opened perfume – Fleur de Pecher – a zesty spring composition by Karl Lagerfeld. I have been saving for proper spring to come around. I added a very light stroke of my brightest Sensai lipstick, because I couldn’t be bothered to get it perfect today. The company that I am working for today has a fancy coffee machine, and I am looking forward to spoil my lipstick on a shot of espresso.
Later today, my recurring visitor from London is flying in. I have prepared some birthday presents, and will be shopping some dinner ingredients and a nice wine before I meet him at the station later tonight. My apartment, which is actually just a room with a kitchen, will be a mess with the two of us living together for a month, but it will be nice to have him around for longer. It is a pretty good Friday indeed!
How I like those little sunny marks on my sofa coming through the window.
I am completely cheating with having strawberries this early in the season. But I was too tempted. And I’ve rediscovered having passion fruit for dessert.
And not mention the gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous blossoms happening in Oslo at the moment. It is happening a little soon, when you think it’s Norway and it concerns me a bit thinking about all those fires going on in different parts of the country. People are happy with the warm weather, but I am hoping for a little rain soon.
Big apologies for the continuing changes of style on the blog. I am trying to figure out how it should look and experimenting a bit. I will go back and forth a bit, so bear with me. Hopefully it will look great in the end!
So far this spring I am enjoying four scents from my collection.
Juicy Couture – Juicy Couture
This first perfume in the Juicy Couture line is described by many as a hidden tuberose gem, being very different from the rest of the perfumes in the line. I absolutely love tuberose, and here it is blended with notes like watermelon and caramel, and it works surprisingly well! There is something about this scent that reminds me of watching a spring evening sunset by a fireplace, eating Norwegian lapper (small pancakes) with brown cheese. Having multiple glasses of wine and kissing.
Neroli & Orchidee – L’Occitane
Such a retro little concoction. It reminds me of Orchidee by Yves Rocher – a perfume I sniffed a lot when growing up. One little spray of this and I feel very much at home anywhere. This a very discrete, comfortable and modern version of Orchidee. A very fitting choice for the office.
Green Tea Honeysuckle – Elizabeth Arden
I have very muched jumped on the Green Tea bandwagon this year. Green Tea Revitalize was my first perfume in the collection. Revitalize is crisp, and actually very fitting for late winter or early spring. Honeysuckle must be the youngest sister in the Green Tea collection. She is refreshing, a tiny bit immature before she dries down on the skin and smells very rounded and clean. This was a blind buy, but as most of the Green Teas, it works nicely on my skin.
Quatre En Rose – Boucheron
I cheated a little with starting to use this in early in spring.
But I couldn’t help myself! Quatre En Rose is my go-to scent when I feel summer couldn’t come soon enough. The blackcurrant and rose are so deliciously blended together. My friend says this is comes of a little “slutty”. And I agree that it is sexy and confident, but not in a cheap way. It reminds me of Armani – Si, but it is neither as overpowering, nor as sweet.
I’m not a fan of picking favourites. I like all my perfumes and they all work for different moods and occasions. That being said, I have reached for Juicy Couture very often this spring. My 30 ml bottle is almost halved since it was new in March! I was craving that cozy feeling paired with a little sensuality, and Juicy Couture gives me just that.
If you try it, let me know if you find yourself sniffing the bottle and smiling. I guess that must be a true sign of being the “scent of the hour”. Don’t you think?