30 Before 30: My First Tattoo!

I'm so happy.

Even if I'm not sure if this is authentic happiness or just the adrenaline rush from doing something that really scares the socks off you, I'm just glad that I'm feeling this way.

After crossing off two biggies from my 30 Before 30 list (going vegan and going freelance!) I today took on yet another rite of passage: my first-ever tattoo (that's definitely not the last one).

I've wanted this tattoo for about ten years. I'm not kidding: ten years. The three stars on my shoulder represent me and my two sisters: we live in three different countries and I love to carry a little reminder with me that tells me that we belong together, whatever the circumstances.

At the same time, the stars represent "aiming for the stars" and never settling for less than amazing. This last concept is kind of my thing with stars: I have a star-print dress, love my starry Converse and re-bought the same pair of star earrings from a tiny shop in a little seaside Tuscan town after I lost them twice! Stars just have a special meaning with me, so of course my first tattoo was something that was 100% me:


Random Snapshots: Stockholm

It's always a bit bittersweet to leave Stockholm. I don't get to come home a lot: I see my family about twice a year, which I've gotten used to over the years, but it never stops being painful. I miss laughing with my sisters and talking to my parents. I also miss my friends tons, all the time. I love meeting new people but nothing compares to the friends you grew up with. Even if I'll never stop wandering the world, Stockholm will always be home.

My hometown.


Stuff My Mother Says

Mothers. I'm sure all of you would have lots to say on this topic.

My mom's an amazing, lovely woman. She loves taking care of her children. She adores her job as a teacher and does it extremely well. She's also one of those really traditional, old-fashioned Good Wives and Mothers, and she can't quite get her head round the fact that somehow a woman like her ended up with a vegan, freelance, soon-to-be-tattoed (she doesn't know that one, though) nomad kidult for an oldest daughter. So sometimes little clashes happen. Correction: little clashes happen every day.

Read on for an excerpt of Best of My Mom...

picture from Pinterest that has nothing to do whatsoever with my mother. 
It's just a reminder to myself that if - IF - I ever become a mother, I want to be like Lorelai.

On veganism:

Mom: but what is wrong with drinking milk?
Me: well, you know, cow's milk is nothing but a cow's breast milk, used to make the calf grow. So, naturally milk only comes out when the cow has had a calf. So she's kept pregnant almost all the time and the calf is taken away at a very young age to become veal. So drinking milk is practically like eating meat. And for me personally, cutting out milk has led to my stomach pains completely stopping.
Mom: oh, okay. I get it. You're lactose intolerant.


Why Hairdressers Are Life Savers

You might think you have terrible hair, but trust me, chances are I know the meaning of the word "bad hair day" better than anyone you know. Among other things, I have been blessed with shoulder-length brown hair that just happens to be that awful, neither-straight-nor-curly kind with a rebellious streak.

So how did I end up with this?

Answer: my hairdresser.


Happy Birthday to Me

...and here I am.

This morning I woke up and was one year older, but none the wiser.

For the first time in my life, I don't care about what I'm going to wear, what I'm going to eat or drink, or what my presents are going to be. I don't care if it's going to rain on my fresh-from-the-salon hair or if the train into town is late. I don't even care if the only vegan food in the restaurant is the side salad. I just want to be with the people I love.

I want to laugh, I want to dream, I want to see the smiles on my friends' faces. I want to start fresh and look at a new, happier me in the mirror. And today is the first of many, many sparkling new days to come.

Lucky clover!


Home Vacation

I'm sitting on my bedroom floor surrounded by clothes. And shoes. And I think the neighbor's cat snuck in there somewhere.

Packing is my nightmare. I don't sleep well before a flight because I know that as soon as my alarm goes off, I'll inevitably have to face the spirit-crushing ordeal of cramming, stuffing and bending out of shape to make my entire world fit into Ryanair's merciless 15kg limit. I mean, who on the planet can survive a week with 15 kg? Besides the Dalai Lama? Every ten minutes, I take a deep breath, visualize a peaceful lake in a green "oasis of calm" and start over: do I really need this dress? This pair of shoes? Come on, I can do without this jacket. Yes. The jacket goes. There. Perfect.

It's just that...the jacket goes with the shoes. And what if it's cold? It's Sweden, it gets cold. No, the jacket stays. And maybe a scarf, too. See, I can still close it. Kind of.

picture from Pinterest


Crazy Stupid Us

I have a confession to make: I fight with my fiancé a lot.

I mean a lot.

We can start fighting out of nowhere on a perfectly fine, breezy day. Like, the sun's shining and everything's perfect and we're holding hands and then BAM. Sometimes I don't even know what hit us. And in five minutes, just like that, it's over and we're back to laughing and cuddling again. We're a quite schizo (and at times somewhat diabetes-inducing) couple.

Last week we watched Crazy Stupid Love, which was my choice (duh) mainly due to the "you're photoshopped!" scene, which finally got me to join the rest of the world's female population in the Ryan Gosling Appreciation Society (nope, The Notebook didn't do it for me as much as this movie). David's reaction to the movie: "why didn't you tell me Steve Carell was in this? If I knew, I would actually WANT to watch it."

After I turned off the DVD (if you've seen it: I know, right? And if you haven't, watch it tonight!) I really felt like sharing lots of things with you, but other stuff got in the way, so here I am now. I've been looking all over YouTube for these clips and here they are (please excuse the beyond-cheesy background music, which I just discovered is Bruno Mars. Come on Bruno, you can do better!):

oh, what do you know, there are Ryan's abs again. Damn you, Eva Mendes, you're such a lucky lady. 


New Beginnings

Today is my last day at the office. My final day as an employee before becoming self-employed forever (or, you know, until a really cool job comes along).

It feels like the last day of school: you're happy it's over, but at the same time you're scared about what's to come, as you have no idea who you are without this thing that has defined you for so long.

I read this post yesterday on Amber's blog and it just hit home. I, too, feel like "I'm wearing this invisible halo of optimism. There isn't this nagging feeling of being unstable or constant thought of "what am I really doing with my life?" and "Who am I?"

 I finally know who I am: a writer. That's what I was put on this Earth to do (that and eat dark chocolate). 


Boredom Intolerance

While reading GLAMOUR this weekend, I stumbled across the expression "boredom intolerance" and was knocked off my feet by it: that's what I have. Boredom intolerance! That's so me!

One of the reasons I'll be going freelance soon is that sitting in front of a computer is just getting to me. I need to be in a place where I can go for a walk whenever I feel like it, clear my head, have a coffee or chat to someone. Otherwise my mind goes so dull I couldn't concentrate if my life depended on it. And weekends? Even worse! On "chill" weekends (the worst kind of weekend there is) I feel my mental sanity slowly slipping away. I've come to the conclusion that the only way to keep from going totally batsh**t  is to keep my days so full that I don't have time to get bored. Boredom is my kryptonite.

Things I Do When I'm Bored:

Re-organize my Youtube playlists.
Pin my heart out on Pinterest.
While I'm already on Pinterest, drool over pictures of Jared Leto.
Not clean my house.
Google videos of Labrador puppies.
Flip through my Fashion: the Century of the Designer book and just get lost in the pictures.
Go on Failblog (warning: do not do this if you don't want weird stares because you're laughing so hard)
Make up excuses not to go the gym.
Make lists of recipes I'm never going to make and what I need to shop to (not) cook them.
Make Polyvore moodboards.
Instagram a picture of my nail polish.
Play Angry Birds.
Look up those apps that let you try on hairstyles virtually and try to picture myself as a blonde.
Chat to everyone on every chat app in human memory: Skype, Viber, Kik, iMessage, What'sapp...you name it, my iPhone's got it.
Call David (again) and tell him I'm depressed. Luckily he's learned to detect if this means really depressed or just bored.


Please Don't Watch Euro 2012

I never talk about sports on this blog (unless it's Pilates) but now that the horrible Euro 2012 soccer championship has started, I feel that I have to speak up about this - mostly because I'm realizing that outside of Italy very few people know this.

The 2012 soccer championships are held in Ukraine and Poland. While getting ready for this event that would bring tourists to their country, the Ukranian authorities have taken to extreme measures: all stray dogs had to be taken off the streets.

Great, you'd say, we're all for getting stray dogs off the streets...and into nice homes, right? Wrong. During the preparation for Euro 2012, Ukrainian authorities ordered a mass-killing of over 20.000 dogs by shooting, poisoning, or burning alive. This to make the city streets "clean" for the tourists and get their pretty face on for the championship.


Things I Love Movies: Dark Shadows

I happen to think Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are an unbeatable team. Every time a new Tim & Johnny movie comes out, I'm first in line to the theater. I loved the playful quirkiness of  Alice in Wonderland and the fairytale-meets-dark-edge of Willy Wonka, but I have to say that maybe Dark Shadows, latest in  the lineup of the Burton & Depp horror-infused dramedies, is one of the winning team's finest efforts yet - go ahead and hate me, but I loved this movie. Tim Burton's beautiful direction and trademark gothic eeriness creates an other-worldly atmosphere, the acting is all-around supreme and Colleen Atwood's costumes are to DIE for (any girl with a smidgen of a fashion sense will remember the fabulous outfit worn by Victoria in the scene when she arrives at the manor). And I also found the story quite interesting and, at times, funny.


Inspiration: City of Angels

I don't know if I told you this, but when I was 19 (which is ten whole years ago! How time does fly) I moved to Los Angeles from Sweden by myself.

I'd finished high school at 17 and hung around in Stockholm for another year because I was in a musical (I was an actress and a really bad singer back then). But when we wrapped our last show, I knew my days in the land of cold days and long summer nights were over. I packed my bag and hopped on a plane to the City of Angels. And I'll never regret it.


10 Reasons to Love Pilates

Today there was this drop-dead-oh-my-God-I-want-to-have-your-babies guy in my Pilates class (don't tell my fiancé) that didn't speak Italian, so guess who had to translate the entire class? Duh - yours truly of course. While I was telling this statuesque man to keep his glutes and abs tight (biting my tongue to keep myself from offering to feel how tight they were) I started thinking about my favorite workout and why, while every other workout gets a "do I have to? Really now?" reaction from me, I always have energy for Pilates. I've become addicted to it and there are way more reasons than hot dudes (although they certainly don't hurt) to keep me coming back.

Read on for my top 10 reasons to never miss a Pilates class again!


Stepping into Summer: Ballet Flats, Wedges, and a very Special Pair of Converse

It's officially summer.

Well, not officially. But it's really super weather here in Milan: the sky is blue (so everyone can stop bs-ing about Milan being "grey"), the few trees we have are green and blossoming, and people are sunnier as well. Everyone's sipping their cappuccinos outside, wearing sunglasses and cute little summer dresses.
...and I can finally stop wearing boots!

I happily packed away my winter wardrobe a couple of weeks ago (with David protesting: "you're going to need these boots when it starts raining again!") and brought out my miniskirts, my floral dresses and - most importantly - my summer shoes.

Here's a top selection of my season favorite ballet flats, low wedges and sneakers (they're all vegan: no leather in sight!)

Blue polka-dot fabric sandals with a small wedge and ankle strap, bought almost four years ago (!) at Swedish low-cost shoe chain Din Sko, which I love.


Really Important and Very Fun Super-Girly Questionnaire

So I just got nominated in this questionnaire thing (I love these silly things, so go ahead and nominate me all you want) by Penny from Spaghetti Rock - I'm so happy to have readers like Penny. She seems like a really cool chick and she's passionate about music, so I'd love to meet her in real life!

Here we go with the questions (I warn you, they're not exactly Pulitzer prize material):

What's your last purchase?
New gym stuff! A pair of grey leggings and a neon-blue tank, both from Tezenis.
That same day I also bought Bottega Verde's awesome bronzing moisturizer with SPF and a faux-leather bracelet from H&M for David.

What's your summer must-have items?
A pair of denim shorts I handily DIY:d by cutting off a pair of jeans (I'll show you later!) my famous pink headphones and aforementioned sunscreen bronzer.

Short or long nails?
Short all the way! I had long acrylic nails when I lived in LA, but that phase of my life is so over. Now they're short and outrageous colors. Blue, yellow, green, glittering black - bring it on!

Lipstick or lipgloss?
Lipgloss is something you put on on top of your don't-leave-home-without-it red lipstick.


Things I Love TV: Girls

Ok, so I'm a little bit behind on my TV.
Give me a break: I've had a tough week. I've got 17 days of office life left and two of my all-time favorite coworkers (two of the awesomest people I've ever met in my entire life) left this week, so I feel like I've spent the last five days either a) crying b) celebrating their new lives...and mine! or c) getting over a stomach bug (yet another reason to finally go completely vegan!). So bear with me.

Yesterday I finally watched Girls. I've been meaning to for a while and after reading extreme raves all over the internet (words like "blows every other TV show out of the water" were used) my expectations were as high as an Alexander McQueen Armadillo wedge. Just the fact that the show was created, written and directed by the lead actress, indie darling Lena Dunham, was interesting enough to tune in. Here's this chick who got sick of auditioning for other people's TV shows and made her own. Respect. Then there's  Rolling Stone that hyped the crap out of this show and its writer/director/creator/lead star, as well as my everyday hangout HelloGiggles.com that brilliantly compared it to My So-Called Life (a much more apt comparison than the obvious one to Sex and the City. I believe that Girls is basically Angela Chase grown up and in NYC, rather than a poorer Carrie Bradshaw).

pic from Rolling Stone