Post 67…

This week I received a long-awaited investment. The Sustain Yearly magazine created by a few lovely ladies in Denmark finally arrived and I am beyond thrilled to own this beautiful piece of literature.

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After learning about the Sustain Daily movement a couple months ago, it did not take long before I was completely and utterly enthralled by everything their Danish team is doing. This magazine encompasses a kind and honest approach to real-world problems being tackled by beauty and elegance. Just like the title describes, each page goes through articles, recipes, and interviews to get you through a full calendar year of sustainable and ethical choices.

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SaveTHe This the first publication made available in English to an international audience. Originally the concept evolved in Danish but quickly grew in popularity and has now officially launched their first annual edition.

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I have taken the time to savor each page, article, and image. Unlike most things in 2018 that are consumed at rapid rates and praised for binging, this little beauty is my new coffee table book for the next year. The edition going through all four seasons with guides to sustainable living, recipes, and Nordic lifestyle.

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The opportunity is still available for you to get your magazine here. Unfortunately, the content is predominately in Danish, but with a little help from technology, it is simple to keep up with all the latest news.

-xx

Post 62…

So some of you may know that my new year’s resolution was to start making steps towards a zero-waste lifestyle. This has been an interesting resolution because unlike previous goals, this transition has pushed me to rethink almost every aspect of my life. The original concept was developed for businesses to be less linear and more circular with production. Now, people are taking action into their own hands, and homes, to become more conscious consumers and users.

It is nearly impossible to stop all waste in a single moment. It takes time, practice, research, and discipline. Fortunately, the more you educate yourself, the better you are at developing these skills. The switch is simple in my opinion, but it requires a dozen tiny changes to your daily life.

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 The first image above and one of my favorite substitues to plastic, it is a dish scrubber. It is a beautiful wooden design, with only small metal pieces of hardware to hold it together. I also use a bar of soap versus a plastic soap dispenser to clean my hands before and after cooking.

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The second switch is package free beauty products. After waiting for certian items to products to go empty, I switched to purchasing package free items from Lush. Another aspect to zero waste is slow shopping. Do not purchase items for the sake of buying it, wait for the need to arise and then make a new more concious investment. After trying a few of these I may never go back to the packaged items, they are just that good!

From left to right, deodorant, hair mask, and facial cleanser.

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A great switch for me has been the wooden toothbrush. I really enjoy this brand and even though it does have a little packaging to get from production to your home, it is all 100% recyclable. At first, I doubted the durability of a biodegradable brush, and really cringed to think about paying 7euros or more at the local organic store. But after waiting for a sale, and later receiving a couple as gifts, I am fully stocked for the next year or more! Seriously, these brushes are amazing. Unlike plastic brushes which lose strength, the Humble brush has stood the test. As for someone who has always had a difficult relationship with dental care, this is huge upgrade!

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Lastly are the small reusable produce bags.. In many grocers, it is required that the customer weigh the items first before checking out. Instead of grabbing a cheap plastic bag, why not make the easiest switch ever to these little mesh pouches. Add the price sticker on the tag and off you go, back home to make yourself a lovely meal, with little to no waste involved.

Now as a disclaimer, I am not perfect, and my home and lifestyle still have a long ways to go before being 100% zero waste, or even 50%. I will say these small changes have made a huge shift in my motivation. Even with a couple small changes, I feel more conscious, more proactive, and enjoy the smaller details of my routines. So, now is the time I will encourage you to make the switch. Next time you are in need of a plastic object, reconsider and invest in a more sustainable option.

-xx

Post 60…

It is -19c outside with the wind chill so today I am getting cozy in my closet. I wanted to share some of my thoughts on shopping, style, and wardrobe investments. As someone who pushes to live more consciously, step one is all about what is in the closet!

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I have had a “basic wardrobe dream” since I was 17 years old. A collection of perfect timeless essentials that would get me through all of life’s events. It is hard to determine where this interest started, maybe it was watching my older sister grapple with what to wear, maybe it was my father bragging about having the same windbreaker for a decade. No matter the origin of my interest, the seed grew as I got older to be a full passion. Now, with Capsule Wardrobes, #30wear, and buying fairtrade it is easy to live and dress consciously.

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I do not identify my current closet as a capsule wardrobe, but by all definitions, I think it fits. Two factors helped me attain such a minimal closet. The first was moving abroad in 2015. This transition forced me to pack all my things into one suitcase, and everything else was donated. The second factor is my mentality. I have always been attracted to this minimal style. I believe less is more. My closet is living with me, so once a month or more I clean it out. Also, when you live with less, sometimes it is worth your while to pay more. Investing in quality over quantity will last years instead of buying for a single season is a huge game changer.

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In the future, I would like to deconstruct my closet and share everything with Y’all. For now, I will keep things light and avoid any ominous threats about fast fashion or maximalism. With the temperature steadily under -10c for the foreseeable forecast, my ensemble will strictly be layers, sweaters, and thermals!

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-xx

Post 57…

This morning started out like most days, caffeinated and optimistic. It took some time to get the nerve to get out the door. After navigating slushy streets I found myself at the local thrift store. I visit frequently, usually to drop off donations, yet this afternoon I spent some time to explore the aisles. IMG_3280.jpg

Although I lingered a little longer than the usual drop off, I did manage to find a few treasures. One, in particular, being the stellar new pair of scissors as seen in the next image. Another treasure of Dutch creation, a game of pick up sticks, was a must for my home entertainment.

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The errands continued, and so did the slushy streets. I managed to walk a few miles before meeting with my husband and ending our Friday evening at a local spot for our weekly coffee date. Tonight was special though, we indulged in a few glasses of wine and had a colorful conversation of politics, humor, media. and social conduct.

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This is definitely not the blog post I assumed I would be writing when I woke up this morning but sitting here now, I am grateful for the day. I struggle with getting outside, especially during winter. But it is days like today that inspire and motivate me to push the anxious behavior aside and be proactive in my life.

xx

Post 56…

Another birthday abroad, this year in the Eternal City. It is difficult to settle on a thought that summarizes the trip. I had never been to Italy before, and after the weekend, I feel as though I would not need to go anywhere else. The beauty is in the details in Italy.

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 There was a moment while wandering a small street in Trastevere I passed a table of 8 or so friends enjoying a Sunday lunch. The bottles were empty, the table stained with red wine, and the plates clean using scarpetta. Everyone was talking at once, and each person conducting the conversation in their own way. Although I do not speak Italian, I imagine their conversations had something to do with food, art, politics, or local gossip. It does not matter honestly, because the aura of their group was stunningly bright and left me mesmerized as they ordered a final course, tiramisu, for just a select few and some to share.

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Another detail I enjoy abroad are the sunsets. Scandinavia does not see consistent sunsets, it just is not part of the culture here. It is a daily ritual that goes missing in my current routine. So every time I travel south, it is always an emotional time of day to witness such glory. It adds to the romance that is daily life in Rome. The image above may be one of my favorites from the weekend. A cozy walking street at dusk in an Italian January.

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Most of all I have to take the time to thank my husband for being the best this past weekend, and every weekend. I am grateful each and every morning to wake up and live the adventure with my best friend. The support, generosity, and humor you share make my days better. Thank you for a wonderful birthday, Kulta!

-xx

Post 55…​

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This week is the first trip of 2018 and I wanted to share my travel tips and tricks. There are a few rules I live by when it comes to globe-trotting.

The first being carry-on! I use a 20-liter backpack, and it is perfect. Although it is not the most stylish accessory, it is reliable. No matter if you are traveling for a weekend, or a couple weeks, odds are you can manage with a carry-on. The key is organization!

Which leads me to my next tip, pack similar clothing colors. Plan and organize your outfits in advance. It makes life much easier when you want to wake up in your destination. Without a second thought, you can put a sensible ensemble together, and focus your energy on more important things like sightseeing, food, and entertainment.

My third tip and maybe an odd one is to plan your showers. If you know your hygiene routine and if you can foresee the next 48-72 hours easily. Then it is easier to know what toiletries to bring and exactly how much of each. Sometimes, it might even be worth it to go to your favorite soap stores, I like Lush or Aveda and pick up some samples.

Lastly, my personal indulgence is travel entertainment. In an effort to keep things lightweight, I will opt for a journal, an agenda, and Bluetooth headphones. In my journal, I have dedicated a page to my favorite Italian phrases and words that may come in handy during our trip. Thus I am prepared to use the local language, and feel a little more confident playing my donna all’estero role.

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Until next week,

Arrivederci!

Post 54…

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No that is not some crazy edit, that is the Helsinki Cathedral on Wednesday night. It was the LUX Light Event earlier this week. An amazing spectacle where artists use light as their medium and the canvas is city buildings. Scattered throughout the streets, spectators can wander the long nights and check out what has become of their city in the darkness. This week was the 10th annual production of this event.

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The Design Museum was the beginning of the tour, and my favorite show to witness. A sound and light production captivated audiences whilst gazing at the side of this building. It is one of a kind entertainment, and definitely a wild concept. Other artists contribute with mural pieces or more literal installations. Like this Love piece, it was accompanied by about five other black light pieces.

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This event is one of the great things about the Finnish mentality. Even though the nights are cold, long, and currently their darkest, it is simply inspiration for the community. I appreciate this kind of work and attitude. As the Christmas lights will soon be all gone, and the winter lingers on, light is cherished.

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As well as giving me a reason to go out once more and practice night photography. I am starting to get comfortable in low ISO situations. Like this photo above which demanded I stand one foot on the side of a brick of a building, the other on a handrail, all while my husbands shoved my center of gravity towards the wall, just to prop my camera on top of a metal awning. Creativity and winter demands push inspiration to the limit. a challenging combination which adds up to glowing memory.

-xx