Helsinki Sisu-9

In Search of Sisu in Helsinki

The Danes gave us Hygge to make our lives that little bit more cosy. The Swedes balanced it all out with the concept of lagom (everything in the right amount). Now its the Finns’ turn to influence us all with their own very unique take on life with the concept of “sisu”. Sisu describes the typical Finnish trait of rising up to meet life’s challenges, even in the face of the fiercest of adversity. It’s about having guts and determination, stepping outside your comfort zone and  giving it everything you’ve got.

On my recent trip to Helsinki, I went in search of sisu based on only a shamefully low level understanding of what it is. And so it was through my tour of saunas and (Baltic) sea swimming that I found not so much sisu, but a fabulously relaxing, rejuvenating and invigorating side of Finnish life. Continue reading “In Search of Sisu in Helsinki”

Luberon Provence 7

Planning your next trip to Provence | 5 Villages to visit in the Luberon

Provence is one of those places where the reality lives up to its reputation. The dramatic hilllside villages. The dreamy lavender fields. Vineyards stretching across rolling hills. Drinking rosé under the stars. Shopping for the freshest local produce at village markets. Mouth watering cuisine and the romantic lifestyle made famous in books and films.

On a recent trip to Provence we focussed our efforts on the Luberon area and found so much more than we expected. Before you plan your next trip to Provence, read on for planning tips plus five villages to visit in the Luberon. Continue reading “Planning your next trip to Provence | 5 Villages to visit in the Luberon”

Career Change

Leap of Faith – Making a Career Change

Six months ago, I left full-time employment as a lawyer to embark on a career change that I should have started years ago. I’m now in that transitional period of working part-time as a lawyer and every-other-waking-minute as a writer and blogger.

Since starting this career change, I’m fascinated by the whole process. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are contemplating a career change, or who have already taken their careers in totally new directions. What is clear from all these conversations – the what-ifs and the I-wish-I’d-done-it-years-ago’s – is that the decision to change one’s career isn’t one that’s made over night. It’s a process that can take months or even years.

Three very fascinating people I have spoken to about their own career changes are: Jennie Hogg, a former insurance lawyer, now founder of Lois Avery Italian made cashmere scarves. Katharine Paterson, a spa therapist who branched out and started her own beauty business, KMP Skin. And Bola Marquis, an IT programme manager who founded Okun an African-inspired beachwear fashion label.

Between the four of us, it seems there are definite stages that were common to each of our decisions to change career. And those stages lead us all to that point of making a (well-researched and informed) leap of faith…

Continue reading “Leap of Faith – Making a Career Change”

New Years Day 2

New Year’s Day – the new New Year’s Eve

As the end of the year draws near I usually start to reflect on what I’ve achieved, what could have gone better, and what the hell am I going to do for New Year’s Eve. I’ve never planned my New Year’s Eve festivities much in advance. So I usually end up deciding last minute to head to a party, which varies in quality from year to year, as does my party outfit. And while I have had some pretty amazing New Year’s Eve parties in my life, on many occasions the pressure to have the best night ever takes a lot of the spontaneous fun out of the whole affair.

With all this lack of organisation on my part, the pressure to have the most incredible night ever and my less than dazzling party outfits, my focus at the end of the last couple of years has moved from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day. Continue reading “New Year’s Day – the new New Year’s Eve”

Diane Von Furstenburg 1

Following a Dream

Today I embark on the first phase of a major career transition. And while I know in my heart of hearts that it is the best thing I could ever do for myself, it’s bloody terrifying.

Last Friday, I finished up my role as Legal Director for an international media company. Today, I start the whole freelance thing as a legal consultant. It’s the first step in my transition from lawyer to (eventually) doing what I love – fashion, travel and writing – as my full time gig… Continue reading “Following a Dream”

Gratitude 1

I Kept a Gratitude Journal – Here’s What Happened

If 2016 were shoes, they’d be crocs. And not worn in an ironic Christopher Kane kind of way as currently advocated by Vogue. No. 2016 was the kind of crocs that are worn by a fat, balding middle aged man, named something like “Murray”, down at the beach with a pair of yellow and aqua geometric patterned euro-shorts. And Murray’s a racist. That’s the kind of year 2016 was. Continue reading “I Kept a Gratitude Journal – Here’s What Happened”

Milan 7

Milano Tiamo – Milan City Guide

Each time I visit Milano I am blown away by it. Not for the same reasons that Rome blows me away. In Rome, every corner you turn, you stumble across one iconic site after another. Milan is like Rome’s cooler, glamorous sister.

While Milan doesn’t have the sheer volume of historical sites of Rome, it has something else. It has in-your-face unapologetic glamour and sex appeal. The streets in Milan are like a catwalk where the beautiful locals strut their stuff with a unique mix of nonchalance and arrogance that only the Milanese seem to possess.

On my recent trip to Milan I got to thinking about what it is that I love most about this city and which keeps bringing me back. You’ll see below, that the style and the Milanese men seem to play a large part here. So before I get to my city-guide, let me first share with you a couple of my favourite things about this awesome city. Continue reading “Milano Tiamo – Milan City Guide”

Bar Luce 3

Milano – Bar Luce

I have always been a total movie-nerd. When we were young, my sisters and I would watch our favourite movies over and over again, to the point where we knew the dialogue by heart and would act out the scenes in our living room. To this day, our conversations are littered with obscure movie quotes from “classics” like Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (“You don’t wanna get mixed up with a guy like me. I’m a loner, Dotty, a rebel“) to Dumb and Dumber (“What is the soup du jour?“, “It’s the soup of the day.”, “Mmmm, that’s sounds good. I’ll have that.“)

Before you judge too harshly, I am pleased to say that my taste in cinema has improved since then. Also, I no longer act out the scenes in my living room (unless my sisters and wine are in any way involved).

Through my love of film, I discovered Wes Anderson with his early movie, Rushmore, and I’ve been hooked on everything there is about his wonderfully quirky and colourful work ever since. The poignant stories, complex characters, dialogue that fizzes and pops its way along (“I love you two, but I’m gonna mace you in the face!“), but most of all his meticulously designed and beautiful sets – I love them all. So when I heard that Wes Anderson designed the interior of the bar at the Fondazione Prada in Milan, Bar Luce, I knew I’d be there with bells on, the biggest, bell-laden movie-nerd in all the land. Continue reading “Milano – Bar Luce”