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i let go of half of the clothes in my closet and it feels amazing

Here's the deal. My closet was never big. I used to go through my closet at least twice a year and donate what I didn't wear or like to our local charity. But over the past year I felt more and more like I just had to keep the clothes in my closet - even though I disliked some of them. Having a closet full of clothes didn't feel like enough, like I had anything to wear the next day.

This past week I've been going through all of the stuff I own. Through boxes and boxes of things like old diaries, memories, books and I let go of the things that didn't feel like they belonged to me anymore. I threw out my old diaries that made me feel less than good and I donated the books that I didn't like anymore too. Things change.

Then this past weekend I decided it was time to give my closet a holistic cleanse. Not the kind where I clung to old clothes just because if I let that one thing go I would only one other left that I really liked but the kind where I truly asked myself 'is this me?'. Some clothes were easy to put into one of the piles for charity and others were kind of hard. The memories and situations when I wore this or that. I knew I wanted to minimize my clothes down to 2 medium size suitcases and I did.

Right now I actually only have 1 1/2 suitcases full of clothes, winter jackets, shoes and bags. Feels good. Much lighter. Like I can breathe. All the old clothes that just didn't belong, fit or were expressing any part of myself are in the donation box just around the corner - and I bet someone is going to love that dress or those pants and it's going to make them smile.

Right before I put the bags full of clothes, shoes and bags in the donation box I had to just take a moment and thank my clothes for being in my life. This might sound silly but it felt like the right thing to do. Generous gratitude all the way. So here I am 1 1/2 suitcases of clothes lighter.

Here's how I decided what to keep and what to purge

// Go with your gut. Deep down you know that you are not going to wear that one thing although it is pretty and fashionable and all, but that that simple shirt will be your first choice on a regular day

// Don't cling. Make room. This one is easier said than done - but here's the deal. Once you start thinking about when you wore this or that, it's hard to let it go.

// Why are you doing it? Do you want to just make space in your closet, your life, your apartment? Or do you want to release some of the old stuff and let go of the past?

// How do you want to feel? This is a question I ask myself daily and about major decision and it all started with The Desire Map. One of my feelings I want to feel is 'free' and 'generous' - letting go of old clothes and donating them makes me feel both. Good one.

// Sometimes when looking through your closet you see completely new possibilities of combining different items. It's the perfect time to get inspired and see what can work together and what can't.

// Things that don't really fit you. I've had a couple of things like pants that are just too long but that I was going to shorten one day - be bold and just let it go.

// Have fun with the whole thing. Going through your closet is the perfect time to put on some good music and do a little fashion show at your own home

// You could organize a fashion swap. Invite all your friends and swap clothes. Fun and maybe that's exactly the motivation you need for making some (radical) wardrobe changes

I know that I will have to replace some of my favorite clothes in the next couple of months. I love them so much that I wear them all the time and I know letting go of those favorite items might not be easy but replacing them with hopefully new favorites is exciting.

For now, I really want to be more conscious about what clothes I buy (especially when it's time to start replacing some of my old faves). I want to ask myself if I really love it or if this piece of clothing would be a substitute for something else I am missing in my life. I really love making decisions that truly feel good in the core of my being and extending this process into making decisions about what clothes I am going to buy feels like it's just the right thing.

Have you ever had one of those big closet cleanse moments? How did you sort through your clothes and decided which to keep and which to give away?

how i once got accepted into art and design school and ended up not going

This had always been a dream of mine. Once art, painting and designing had gotten its space in my heart I knew I was at least going to try to get into art school. Back then I really wanted to go. And I remember finding one that I really loved. They had different programs for graphic design and 3D animation and all the other cool stuff. 

When I received the letter that I was invited for an interview and for a portfolio review I was ├╝ber excited. They gave you a list of 10 different design themes and projects and you had to bring those to the review as well. I had four weeks and I had the best time creating and making all the different designs. I felt so inspired and creative. 

I tried out at least 3 different designs for each topic and theme and learned a lot along the way just preparing my portfolio. The day of the interview came and they loved my portfolio and they told me right then and there that they'd love to have me on board for the upcoming year. I was thrilled. They were going to send the paperwork over to my house and I travelled back home happy and just excited. 

When the paper work arrived and I looked at the schedule, all the classes I was going to take, all the things I was going to learn - I started getting this feeling in my gut that something just wasn't right. I wondered how I could go from feeling so excited to feeling so not excited. The initial thrill of the whole 'getting into art' school wore off and I knew in my heart that it wasn't actually about going but about the whole journey along the way. 

The application process, the creative process of creating the portfolio opened new doors for me. New ways of seeing things and making things. It was such joy! And that's what I have kept from that experience. The joy. Although I ended up deciding not to go - I don't regret it, it is more of a life can change in an instant thing and I went with my gut. 

After deciding not to go I felt more confident about my art and started selling some of my paintings. It gave me the courage to think more outside the box and I believe that it was kind of like a kick off to becoming a better artist. There is so much more to share about my journey as an artist and how I ended up where I am today but I am going to share that another time. 

Have you ever gotten something that you really really thought you wanted and then ended up not going or doing it? Have you ever had that 'this is so exciting' turn into an 'not so good' gut feeling? What did you do?

present: i'm loving

I'm loving morning snuggles with my cat. 

I'm watching heart warming movies like 'About Time'. You just have to see it. Too good.

I'm reading about Science and I'm actually finding it super interesting.

I'm enjoying family time. My sister is coming this week and I cannot wait.

I'm fascinated by all the things my DSLR can do.

I'm writing lots and lots of thoughts down in my journal.

I'm listening to the birds chirping and the leaves in the wind. My instant stress-relief these days.

I'm loving all the fresh flowers we have in our house. Spring is really here.

I'm making my own long distance post cards.

Other things I am adoring these days and am thankful for: that recording yourself has never been this easy  all the cat snuggles I am getting these days  looking forward to something  singing out loud to this song from Frozen  following new inspiring and happy instagram feeds like this one from wholehearted  soft sheets and fluffy pillows  finding a new favorite sweater to replace one of my old ones  random laughter ♥ watching silly 90's movies  our subscription to FMTV  unmounting old paintings from their wooden frame. Feels big  spontaneously deciding to dance to some ballroom kind of music at a department store  blowing bubbles on the street and making other people smile  finding old journal entries and thinking how far you've come  random every day magic    

What are you loving these days? What good feeling things are you giving room in your life these days?

long distance love postcards //1

I will be and have been sending out lots of long distance love postcards to Christina and I just love knowing that I can make her day by sending a simple love filled card. Handwritten notes totally rock. Here's the deal though - I love simple cards that knock your socks off with truth, simplicity and design. A lot of German postcards are quite the opposite and of course they are in German so I decided to start making my own. 

Another fun way to be creative and send handwritten notes to my love. It's a win win if you ask me. Over the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing different tutorials on how to create your own love postcards - simple and only a few materials needed. I'm all about simplicity and not over complicating things these days so this is a fun project to be working on.

I got inspired for the washi tape postcard on pinterest when I found Omiyage's tutorial. So cute. What you need for both postcards

// simple note cards (I love mine to be white but you can use any color)
// scissors
// glue
// washi tape
// black ink pen

Washi Tape Card

Take one of your note cards and stick washi tape all over the lower half of it. I chose to not align it horizontally or vertically but to go a little off balance.
Make a template or model of your chosen word. In this case of the word 'YOU'. Cut it out and lay it on your washi taped notecard. See if the size fits. I chose to connect all the letters by adding a thick line on the bottom. 
Face the washi tape side face down and draw around your 'YOU' shape. Make sure the 'u' is on the left and the 'y' is on the right.
Cut it out and adhere it to your notecard. 
All that's left to do. Add the rest of your phrase. You could say 'I heart you' or 'I cannot wait to see you'. Whatever works for you. I chose to add some washi tape at the bottom to create a nice border. I love that I decided to go neither with horizontal or vertical washi tape. The slightly slanted position brings out the pattern of the washi tape.
Heart Shaped Card

Take one notecard and fold it in half. Cut out half of a heart while it is folded that way your heart will be symmetrical. 
Adhere some tape to the back of the heart and tape it onto the center of another notecard. Make sure to use tape that you can easily remove a little later. Take your black ink pen and start drawing lines from the center of the heart to all sides. 
When you are done remove the heart and maybe add some hugs and kisses xoxo on one side of the card. 
I'm very excited that these two are already on their way over to Christina's house. I love making her smile!

why i decided to go vegan 99 days ago

I always thought being vegan was something kind of abstract. To me it sounded like a lot of hard work and the real life vegans I've met always looked quite haggard and just unhappy - and I am not sure for what reason but I automatically linked that to them being vegan. I honestly have to say that being vegan didn't really look inspiring to me.

But then something changed. I discovered Kris Carr while I was looking for interviews with Kate Northrup and I instantly fell in love with her presence and real-ness. So I hoped over to her website and started learning more and more about green smoothies and green drinks and when I found an article about non-dairy milk I just knew I had to try this thing.

I had been trying to figure out what gave my skin rashes and what made it itchy so many times, why I had breakouts at the weirdest moments and although I believe that stress has a lot to do with it, I basically decided to go vegan because I wanted to see if my skin would find its way back to its natural balance. And it did!

Right from the start I looked for new recipes, the vegan alternatives for lots of things and it never felt like I was missing something or depriving myself of certain foods. My initial plan was to only try it for about 4 weeks but when I realized that I wasn't missing anything and that I felt better than ever I just kept going and I am having so much fun trying new things in the kitchen and how my body reacts to food these days.

When I jumped on the vegan train I also jumped on the green smoothie wagon. I love my green smoothies and super foods like chia seeds. Baking is still challenging sometimes especially if the normal recipe calls for eggs. But I am figuring it out and it is fun.

I haven't had any skin irritations since I've started this journey and I feel like my skin has been more radiant and looking more healthy overall. For me being vegan is part of my self love journey at the moment. It feels good. My body loves it and craves lots of greens and other plant based deliciousness. I feel more relaxed and at peace somehow. And it's all good.

Maybe one day I will change back to my vegetarian organic lifestyle and that is good too. Everything at its right time. I won't stand in the way of my own joy. I will continue this journey for as long as I can say 'Heck, yes!'

Have you ever thought about going vegan? Are you vegan? What made you decide to go all plant based deliciousness?

I am in no way trying to convince anyone that vegan is the only way to go or that other lifestyles are not as good as this one. Every body is different and everyone needs something different. We should celebrate all this variety in lifestyles and support one another. Yay for you! And yay for me!

The picture is from my recipe post 'vegan walnut wild garlic (or ramson) pesto' and it was edited with the A Beautiful Mess actions set for PSE.