5 Things To Do For Free

The day to day drone of media marketing can be a daunting maze of ‘buy me’, ‘sale now’, ‘discount here!’ It seems like advertisements are constantly bombarding to get you to buy anything, at any time of day.

It is good to take time to remind yourself, that everything you are, and everything you have is ok. It is also good to remember your dollar is a vote towards the life you want to live, and the community which you want to live in, so by not spending, that shows you value your bottom line. Happiness doesn’t always have to be inspired by a purchase, and a purchase definitely should have any control over the way you live.

With this in mind, I have collected 5 things to do without spending a dime. Leave the wallet at home, no need to grab any spare change, everything on my list is for you to do on your own, no transaction necessary!IMG_5298.jpg

First up is to shop your wardrobe. We have all heard the phrase about retail therapy. And while you might be saving up for the special something in the store, you do not need to fill your weekends with endless shopping trips for random objects. One of my favorite things to do is dive into my wardrobe and start mixing and matching. The hours pass brilliantly as you try on old favorites, play with different combinations, and have some fun dressing up.

 

The second task on the list is to take a book. I suggest a proper book, so no online screens where any submissive adverts can slip through. Just you doing you with some analog entertainment. I keep my reading material on constant rotation by frequenting my local library.

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Third to do is the ever classic, exercise! So many times I fall into the trap of wishing I had the trendy gym membership or browsing athletic equipment for the newest props, but actually, all of that is just bogus! You can get your workout without any props required. Plus, we all know that endorphins make you happy!

IMG_5366.jpgNext up, and one of my favorites, is to go on a photo mission. Originally I heard about this kind of activity through watching Youtube and people vlogging about ‘Instagram Missions’, but whether you post the picture to share or keep it for yourself, it is a great activity. Take the opportunity as an excuse to get outside and explore your neighborhood. No matter if you are using your phone, a DSLR, point and shoot, or just nostalgic for some film photographs, this is a classic activity. Enjoy your life while searching for those moments of joy to capture forever in a photograph.

 

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Similar to the previous tip, the fourth is on the creative side of life. Take a journal and draw something, or make a list if you’re like me and that gives you thrills. Even if the list is for groceries or next seasons wishlist for your closet, taking the time to be conscious about what you consume can help alleviate some of the anxieties from spending.

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Last on the list of freebies is to take a walk with a friend. Spending quality time with someone is one of those faithful and true activities that money can’t compete with. When life feels daunting with external messages and advertising trying to influence your every move, some one on one time could be just the trick to escape that toxic environment.

IMG_5474.jpgAs I created this list and then lived it on a Saturday afternoon, I spend the day listening to a new, and favorite, album by Troye Sivan. So a bonus tip for all of you reading is to make a playlist. Explore new music, or dig deep into the archives to pull out some of the old favorites. Incorporate this tip with any of the previously listed activies.

However, you chose to spend your time, keep in mind it doesn’t require you to spend any money at all! So maybe you spent a little too much money on vacation last month, and you’re trying to save this month. Maybe you want to incorporate this routine into your weekly schedule, say a ‘Spend-less Sunday, that is perfect too. The point of the matter is money can buy things like shelter and nutrition, but you have the power to create your own entertainment and happiness.

Pelago

When my husband decides he is ready to buy something, he does his research, and roughly 6-18 months later, he decides to buy. With this kind of decision making, it can be assured that the product is worth the investment, and the patience. So when he told me about getting a Pelago, I was astonished by his proactive interest.

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To set the record straight, I am a bike enthusiast. I do not consider myself an expert, but I do get all the butterfly feelings when there is a little grease on my hands after a long ride, checking out other bikes in the streets, and like this day, when my husband and I were standing in the Pelago store as owners of our very own Pelago bicycle. Never before had I been so excited to hold an owners manual.

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For anyone interested in bikes, or Nordic design, the Pelago flagship store is a wonderful must see. Located on Kalevankatu, there you can find their sweet little set up with retail merchandise and bikes, and around back are the maintenance and mechanics. The building is classic, historic and compliments the detail and effort put into each and every product.

Now we just need to find the perfect rustic old crate to attach to the front. Once we do, running errands around town will never be the same. They say you shouldn’t conform to others standards, but when the standard is this gorgeous design blended with adding elegance to an otherwise mundane commute, why not jump on the bandwagon? I do not see myself ever driving a car again, so adding a traditional ride like this to our little family collection feels like the perfect way to cruise around on a Sunday.

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By the way, we named her Ruska, which is the Finnish word for autumn foliage. 🍂

Friday Feels

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

Eternal City

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

Packing List

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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!