Pre-holiday musings

I'm sitting in the office sipping an espresso (no, I'm not blogging on the job, it's my lunch break!) contemplating the fact that starting from tomorrow for a week, the last thing on my mind will be deadlines, copy, edits, research and my business plan (well, my business plan will probably stay on my mind...if only there was a way to lock all work files to keep yourself from accessing them during your holiday!). Starting tomorrow for a week, the only issues I'll be pondering will be:

1. How to get tan
2. How not to get burned
3. How to be vegan in a tiny Spanish seaside town


Tips for visiting the Notting Hill Carnival

Yesterday we explored another London event: the Notting Hill Carnival, a Caribbean-inspired two-day festival in one of London's most gorgeous areas. I couldn't wait to go - I was expecting colour, music and an explosion of experiences to share with all of you here on the blog. Well...let's just say it's an experience. I'm happy I went, but I would have been even happier if I had found a post like this one that provided me with some savvy tips on how to navigate this very unique London happening.


Workout update: backbends and buttkicks

I wouldn't want anyone to think I wrote this post and then quit exercising - so here's a quick update! 

First of all, a confession: I never went running. It just BORES me to tears. I guess there is no "one size fits all" formula to exercising and for me personally, running just doesn't do it. The fact that it's impossible to do in bad weather doesn't exactly make it more enticing.

So, for cardio, I have downloaded the GAIN Fitness Method Yoga interval cardio app - awesome. I really need my cardio - the first minute of the app left me almost breathless. Seriously, after sixty seconds of "running butt kicks", I was praying for death. Cardio has never been my thing, but this app might be just what I need to finally apply myself (I have a feeling that's what wasn't working before). 


Flathunting in London: an adventure story

When David and I first arrived in London, we were lucky: we found a place to live straight away. It literally didn't take us longer than four days.

When I say "place to live",  I use the term in a very "London" way, meaning that it is what it is: a room in a flatshare. Back then, we were beyond happy. The room is big, the flatmates were nice and who's to argue with a location where you can actually walk to Westminster Abbey? Not to mention Southbank that we're just crazy about.


What I'm looking forward to right now

Our holiday in Spain in just ten short days! There's something very indulgent about knowing that when everyone else will be back from their holidays, I will be just going on mine.

Going back to the Victoria & Albert museum very soon - we went yesterday but there's just so much to see that we have to go back!

Heading to London VegFest - want to come? Check out the info here and join me for a weekend of vegan fabulousness!


On being homesick

Sunset in my hometown of Stockholm 

There's one thing that I feel no one ever talks about when discussing moving to a different place to live. Everyone is quick to give tips on how much money to save, where to look for a flat and a job and even where to meet people. But the one thing that for some reason is never talked about (maybe because it's somehow implied) is the undeniable fact that you will feel homesick.

I first left home at nineteen, eleven years ago, to move to Los Angeles. As excited and happy as I was, leaving my family and friends was so difficult that when I think about it now, I still feel a ball of pain in my chest. But evidently it wasn't enough to scare me off - I proceeded to move to Florence, Milan, and now London. If you discount the one year I spent living in Stockholm doing internships in 2009-2010, I have now lived out of my home country on and off for almost ten years.

 When I moved back home after uni in 2009, I took David with me. Born and raised in Milan, moving to Sweden for a year was David's first time being away from his family for a long time, although he'd spent summers away working before. In 2010, we moved back to Milan and now we're close to celebrating a year in London, so he's lived outside Milan for three years. I guess it takes a while, because he's not half as homesick as I am.


Morgan Bogle: stylish, fabulous...and vegan!

I love seeing vegan fashion showcased on mainstream fashion websites like Fashionista, who featured Morgan Bogle, founder of amazing vegan handbag brand Freedom of Animals. Morgan is a former stylist who was raised vegan and designs a range of eco-friendly vegan handbags - read my post on them here!


From Vogue to Vegan: get Daria Werbowy's look

Daria Werbowy is my all-time favourite supermodel. She may not be the most famous woman in the world, the most scandalous or the one you're used to seeing stumbling out of a club in her underwear (hello Kate Moss) and I doubt she'll make the "transition" into a cinema career (something that seems to be a mandatory clause in modelling contracts these days), but she is a MODEL in the most versatile and true sense of the word: she could sell old used Band-Aids if she wanted to. David is in love with her and I totally see that! She's one of the most beautiful women in the world and such a chameleon - she can go from chic Céline to dishevelled-cool Isabel Marant in a heartbeat. Which she does this year - we can enjoy her versatility in both campaigns.

 I find her VOGUE UK editorial (photographed by Patrick Demarchelier; styled by Kate Phelan) one of the best ones of the year so far:


Little updates on my magazine project

So...a little update on how my Big Business Idea is coming along. You know, the one I told you about in this partly excited, partly terrified post.

Yesterday I had my first official meeting with my mentor Poppy Dinsey (you probably know her from What I Wore Today and her own blog, PoppyD) at the beyond-cute Orchard in Holborn - it's a nice vegetarian café that I definitely will be coming back to!


Reason nr 1000 why I heart Mindy Kaling

I find that my role models have changed a lot with the times. As I have grown up (yes, it's inevitable to admit that I have, in fact, grown up, no matter how much I may want to deny this) I no longer want to be the glossy, impossibly beautiful actress; I now aspire to emulate the spirited, successful businesswoman, the inspirational activist or the really funny writer. Especially the latter appeals to me, as writing is my passion in so many ways. This is why my new idols include fabulous TV writer Tina Fey, brilliant journalist Caitlin Moran and the infinitely genius actress and writer Mindy Kaling. Reading the "Don't Peak in High School" chapter of Mindy's autobiographic book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) on the Tube today, I felt like jumping up and down and yelling, "yeah!". Which would have been a very special treat for the other passengers. But I'm fairly certain that if they knew what I was raving about, most of them would agree with me.


VOGUE on fur

Daria "so gorgeous it hurts" Werbowy photographed by Patrick Demarchelier on VOGUE's September 2013 cover

I'm not a  huge VOGUE reader - it's too much "look at all the tennisball-sized diamonds on this 'society' girl whose name means nothing to you!" for my taste, but when I do read VOGUE, it's pretty much always VOGUE UK. The US version is even more show-offy, full of ads and "socialités" (which is just a fancy word for "unemployed") wearing Ralph Lauren, while the Italian one just doesn't do anything for me. I'm not drawn in by it at all, whereas Alexandra Shulman's beautiful, polished yet interesting magazine sometimes makes for luxurious reading, or just flipping through the glossy pages with their stunning photos.

This month's September issue is jam-packed - my arm actually hurt a bit carrying it home yesterday. I love the beyond-beautiful Daria Werbowy on the cover (David has an enormous crush on her - and can you blame him?) and very much enjoyed her editorial and interview - did you know she lives in Cork and is married to a carpenter? Awesome. But one of the main reasons why I was curious about this issue is that this time VOGUE turned their attentions to a quite sticky subject and one that's particularly important to me - FUR!  VOGUE journalist Emily Sheffield actually travelled to Denmark to see a mink farm and investigate the fur trade. Even if I have mixed feelings about the article itself, I'm glad that VOGUE took the step to actually speak out about this very important issue. And it had to be VOGUE UK - I seriously doubt this article would pop up in pelt-pusher Wintour or more-is-more luxury queen Sozzani's respective publications.


An evening of vegan deliciousness: SAF in Kensington

My discovery of amazing places to eat vegan food in London is still just beginning, even if I've been here for ten months now. Yesterday, thanks to the wonder that is Groupon, David and I visited the lovely SAF (stands for Simple Authentic Food, but also is Turkish for "pure) on High Street Kensington. By the way - if there's anyone out there that has a flat on High Street Kensington that you just feel like donating to me, feel free to email. We fell in love with the area and sadly contemplated the fact that there may be a good ten to fifteen years before we can afford to live in a place like that.


Cruelty-Free Beauty Review: B Pure Micellar Water

If you're obsessed with fashion and beauty magazines like me, you've already heard of micellar water. Made for cleansing, it comes from "micelles", oil particles suspended in water, that cling to the impurities of the skin and eliminate them.

I saw the review of B. Pure's cruelty-free and vegan micellar water cleanser on Karris' blog last week and, being that it's £3,32 at Superdrug, I figured I'd give it a shot!


Hi, I'm Sascha and I like to eat

I have a confession to make: I like to eat.

And I don't mean the typically girly, "oh I eat soooo much, look at my fat tummy" *pinches 2mm of skin on stomach* but I really eat. Like a horse. Or worse: like a guy.

I thought of this today when I went to this amazing place next to my office, one where you can make your own salad (my version of heaven...they have houmous and Greek dolma rolls!) and made myself a HUGE takeaway box. That I then ate in the office kitchen. I put almost all of it on a plate, ate it...and then, after some consideration, proceeded to eat what was left in the takeaway box. I care about beans and tomatoes too much to throw them out just because everyone else around me nibbles on a lettuce leaf going, "it's too hot to eat".