As I pack my suitcase for my New Year's vacation at my family's currently snowed-in house in Sweden, I can't help but let my mind drift to that inevitable subject: resolutions. Every year on the hazy final days of December, as we toss out the Christmas gift wrappers and finish the mulled wine, most of us dream away planning the new year, setting goals, making resolutions. Making promises to ourselves. Some of these promises dissipate into the January fog, melting off with all the holiday cheer. Others stay put, grow into dreams, plant the seed of motivation. Whether it's a gym membership or a passport and a suitcase, a new year's resolution holds power.

For 2012, I vowed to become a freelance writer, go vegan and move to London. It all went quite well: I quit my job on 15 June and pretty much converted to veganism on the spot. Both of these things brought challenges, motivation crises and tighter purse strings, but they ultimately made me a stronger, braver, more interesting person. And on the 4th of September, my plane to London lifted, carrying me into a new, head-over-heels life. I'll always remember this crazy, gutsy move as one of the best decisions I've ever made. 2012 was a dream-come-true year for me and even more proof that when I set my mind to something...sooner or later I will move there.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Review: Lily Lolo at CutECOsmetics

I remember when I was in fashion college and spent hours in the fantastic fashion library my school had. I always left with piles of books that made my arms ache for days from carrying them and my heart flutter with longing for the evening, so I could curl up in my room and flip through them, savouring every page. One of these books was VOGUE Beauty, where makeup mavens laid down gorgeousness commandments. I remember one particular rule: line your eyes with liquid liner, never kohl pencil. It was the first time I broke a beauty rule, and I haven't stopped since.


Coffee and Heels Closet: Little Red Riding Hood

Having a fashion blogger moment!

This little red coat was my Christmas present from David. It may come as a surprise that I only own one - yes, ONE - winter coat. Well, that's not entirely true. I just happened to leave the other one in Milan because I emotionally outgrew it - I actually feel like ten years ago when I'm wearing it, and not in a good way. So off we went on the hunt for another statement (read: not black) piece to see me through London winter.


Sunday Inspiration - Christmas Edition

Twinkly lights. Festive decorations. Hot chocolate. 

The scent of pine. Fluffy snow. Glossy present packages.

Hugs, smiles, laughter.

May your Christmas be filled with all of the above.


Gift-Giving (and Receiving) Dos and Don'ts

Ah, the art of Christmas gift shopping. As wonderfully exciting and Love Actually-esque the idea may be to stroll along the snowy streets (or, you know, Westfield Shopping Centre) laden with carrier bags overflowing with expertly wrapped, ribbon-decorated bundles of amazingness that will send the recipient's heart in a flutter of joy, the reality of festive gift-giving is often that we find ourselves on Christmas Eve with four identical Body Shop shower gel kits and no idea how to avoid Mum, your work colleague, your cousin and your boyfriend's sister finding out that their gift from you came from a take-four-pay-for-two deal.


New Year, New Job!

So yesterday...I got a job offer!

I've been applying for jobs for a while - London is so full of opportunities, and missing out on them to sit at Costa Coffee and wonder about my next paycheck seemed like a waste of chances. So I set out on a search for something that seemed interesting and flexible - something to combine with freelancing and at the same time provide me with opportunities to meet some people, since, in the words of Britney, "my loneliness is killing me." And after a number of interviews, I finally got an offer for a temporary position as a copywriter with a really cool online fashion boutique retailer!


Seven Women That I Want to Be

Alicia Silverstone

I don't only love her for the fabulous Aerosmith videos and Clueless - Alicia inspires me because she's dedicated her life to being kind and compassionate, and teaching others to do so! She inspired me to go vegan and is pretty much my role model. I love her website The Kind Life!


Cooking in Heels: The World's Best Vegan Rice Dish

The other week I decided to experiment with throwing together a few ingredients and so The World's Best Vegan Rice Dish was born. I figured it was criminal not to share such a discovery with the world.

Above, you see the ingredients: long grain rice (this time we had the cheap one from Tesco, but obviously brown rice is a million times better), a carrot, a tomato, some garlic and tomato sauce - and some no-meat meat! Mine is from Holland & Barrett, a British health-food store chain that's heaven on Earth!


London Street Feast: Art Meets Music Meets Food Meets Christmas

One of the reasons why I love this city is because there's always lots more to discover. There's always something new around the corner and three months into living here, I still feel like a tourist. I guess that's part of the magic of London.

This weekend we went to see a friend play with his band at the London Street Feast and the Christmas event that's taking over this Hackney food market this month. I couldn't believe how cool this place was - it was like a secret little Christmassy underworld in there. If you like art, music, food or Christmas, this is your thing. If you just like mulled wine, it's still your thing.


End of an Era: Gossip Girl Says Goodbye

By now you probably know that I watch a few too many TV shows for my own good, but there are a few that become classics over time. Gossip Girl is a decadent guilty pleasure, like a double chocolate cake, and today it's time for the very last bite.

After six scandalous, outrageous and very stylish seasons, GG is offering up her final XOXO tonight in a dazzling double episode (my boyfriend has already been alerted that if he as much as speaks to me during this, it's off with his head) that is sure to be nothing but extraordinary. Whether you're a Blair or a Serena - I'm so a Serena - join me in a festive final-episode preparation.


Sunday Inspiration - 16 December

Yesterday I went to this supercool place, the London Street Feast (now, if I can just make my photos look decent, a post on it is coming up soon) - a friend of ours was playing there with his band. If you happen to be in London this month, you HAVE to go - promise me you'll go! I'll go with you if you want.

This place inspired me to give this week's batch of inspiration a cozy, wintry theme - enjoy!


A Love Letter to London

David and I first got the idea to move to London in late 2009.

I remember that I was sitting cross-legged on the floor of our living room in Stockholm, packing for an autumn trip to see David's family in Milan. My internship at Cosmopolitan had just ended and there was really nothing to keep me in Stockholm any longer (except for friends and family, who were used to me running off somewhere new every once in a while, sending happy postcards and coming to visit twice a year with little presents and big stories) and David wasn't keen on the idea of moving back to his hometown either. He had told me about an old dream of his: living in London. As a musician, he was longing to spread his wings in the city that gave us Queen and the Beatles, the city that still had that rare quality that is so elusive in music nowadays: soul.

"So why don't we do it?" I said. And there, on a living room floor, in October 2009, a dream was born.


Getting Back On the Scales

I finally got back on the scales - after almost seven years of proudly ignoring my weight.

Yesterday, after three months living in the UK, I finally registered with the NHS (for all of you not from the UK, the NHS is the National Health Service). About time, I know.

So, I show up at the clinic and expect it to take five minutes, so I can speed off and get started on a brand-new magazine piece. The lady behind the counter hands me a couple of forms and says, "okay, just fill these out and then go over there and get the machine to measure your height, weight and blood pressure."

I freeze. My height, blood pressure and my what?


Remixed (and fabulous!): Hedvig Opshaug

I've fallen in love with a blog (again).

You HAVE to check out The Northern Light by Norwegian model-slash-banker-slash math genius (yes, really) Hedvig Opshaug. She's drop-dead-amazing looking and ultra-stylish. I can't stop looking at this blog.


30 Before 30: Learning to Meditate

One of the things I've wanted to learn forever is meditation. I've always envied people that say things like, "Oh, I did this amazing cleansing meditation last night." They seemed so calm, centered and zen - I wanted to get in on that. Plus, all the articles about how good meditation is for you really sparked my curiosity. So, naturally, meditation was on my 30 before 30 list.

Trouble is, even after having read all the amazing meditation guides  out there, I still couldn't fully grasp the concept of "clearing out my mind". I couldn't stop thinking. I just couldn't do it.


Sunday Inspiration - 9 December

Guess what I'm doing right now? Watching Elf (well, technically I'm watching the Asda commercial - thanks Channel 4, but you know, it's actually quite a nice commercial), a Christmas movie I love, so I felt so full of cheer and merriness, I thought I'd post some inspiration pics! Enjoy!



Things I love about winter:

Vegan hot chocolate.

Christmas movies.

Big, chunky scarves and jumpers.

Christmas lights.

Really pretty yet cold-proof winter boots (leather-free of course)

Those rare sunny Saturdays. Like today.

Christmas songs.

Snow, at least a little.

Having an excuse to stay in and read Christmas at the Cupcake Café

Having an excuse to buy nice new winterwear.


Festive London: Winter Wonderland

If, like me, you're lucky enough to live in London, you have an entire month of merry, twinkly holiday atmosphere to look forward to - and it doesn't get any better than the all-out glitter, tinsel and mulled wine-fest that David and I visited last weekend: Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.


How to...Make Your Wardrobe Cruelty-Free

I made the transition to cruelty-free fashion a little over a year ago. With that, I mean that I stopped buying wool and silk items. I hadn't bought any leather in a long time and fur has never been a part of my life. At the time, I was living in Milan and working in fashion, which made it both easier and harder to make the transition to cruelty-free. Harder because so many people seemed to think the only option in the world available for stylish footwear is leather. Easier because I acquired lots of knowledge about fashion and knew where to find the items to fit both my style and my beliefs.


Girl Crush: Kat Dennings

I love Kat Dennings - I think she's incredibly gorgeous. She has that old-school Hollywood movie star look, but she's also totally approachable and real, like she could be your best friend. And aren't we all girl-crushing on her character, Max, in 2 Broke Girls? I love Max - she's anti-stereotype in every single way you can think of, but at the same time she's refreshingly cool and down-to-earth. Every time I watch that show, I want to hang out with Max and Caroline - heck, I even want to work at their diner and make cupcakes with them!


I Want: Statement Necklaces

Lately, I've been way more of a bracelets-and-rings girl (I refuse to call it an "arm party", sorry), but now with all these big, chunky necklaces hitting more affordable shops than Marni and Mawi, it's hard not to get distracted by those huge, sparkly pieces of amazingness.

I'd love to wear one of these luxe, lavish necklaces paired effortlessly with the cool, charming nonchalance of a faux-leather jacket or a cozy winter coat, a pair of jeans, an oversize jumper and messy hair. Or, on a lazy Saturday, with a denim skirt and faux-leather leggings. And, of course, a big dose of confidence - these babies ain't no wallflowers.

Here's a bit of inspiration featuring the new super necklaces:


Sunday Inspiration - 2 December

This week, I'm inspired by random things: the light of a candle, a wedge heel, a guitar solo (yes, my boyfriend is a huge source of inspiration!), a cup of tea, a sunset, a lipstick shade. As 2012 comes to an end, let's laugh at the "end of the world" prophecies and get inspired by the tiny, beautiful miracles in everyday life.


Happy December!

One of my favourite months is finally here!

I adore December (my other favourite month is June, because that's when my birthday is) for millions of reasons: Christmas lights, vegan hot chocolate, Christmas songs, cozy scarves and snoods, the scent of Christmas trees, family, Christmas shopping, mulled wine, Christmas movies...okay, I admit it: although I'm not at all religious, I love the holidays! I think December has an atmosphere about it that's so unique - I always try to capture every joyful minute of this marvellous month, worried that it'll somehow slip through my fingers and leave room for dreary January and sleepy February way too early.