10 things that made me happy: 08│2016

This will be a bitter sweet one, just the way I’ve been feeling lately.

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To start off, I have to anounce that I don’t plan to come back to the blog just yet. I’ll take at least another month for myself, trying get some work done. PhDs work like that. They request your full attention.

Summer was kind to me (or maybe I was kind to myself this summer). I had time to think, relax, assess, get over a break up and feel vulnerable again (click on that link, it’s a good one!). I met people, heard opinions, read books, drew my own conclusions and moved on from the past. In a moment of deep thought, I decided that I’ll take happily whatever the future brings and, more importantly, with grace. It still seems like a good way to tackle the unknown, gracefully that is. I gained back a long lost sense of freedom. I did things I hadn’t done since I was teenager (and my parents hadn’t seen me do since then either, big shock, I know!). I came home after dawn, drunk one too many cocktails, celebrated with friends, lied about unimportant stuff, followed no rules and no plan, said yes more times than I said no, had a break down at the beginning and then another one before the end, went back to Trondheim with a new set of rules that are mine and mine alone and didn’t feel a moment of regret. Now back to a temporary reality.

Here’s what made me happy in August.

– Sing duets in the car with a friend who is just as bad at singing as I am

– The fact that my ears blocked when I drove up to Lycabettus hill

– Unpredictable, but welcome, kisses and hugs

– Break glasses in the heat of an argument*

– Give away a book I had just read to a stranger, who I later on got to know better

– Late night Aikido lessons in the middle of the street

– A sugar rush, after years of not eating sugar

– Dates that go surprisingly bad**

– Silence in the car, at home, in the bus,…

– Sleep when I was way too tired

How was your month?

* Apparently I get very into the topic of living conditions of 6-month olds in Norway.
** Because then you get to enjoy more the ones that go well.

ps. Photo from Sifnos.

10 things that made me happy: 07│2016
+ What happens in Oslo

July began with a weekend trip to Oslo. For people living in Trondheim (sorry Norwegians, it’s a small town, if not a village), Oslo is the big city. That trip was wonderful apart from the fact that it was raining all day long and we couldn’t spend as much time as we wanted drinking cappuccino and sunbathing in the balcony. The middle part of the month went by so fast with long hours and way too much work. Then, around the end of July, I went back home to Athens for my summer break. As always, I’ll be going around, visiting different places, without any real plan, expectations, Internet and sometimes my phone, just as I want.

Like every summer, I decided to take August off of blogging and focus on finding balance and spend some quality time with my very lovely extended family (who are always there when I need them and I couldn’t be more grateful for that). I’ll be back at the end of the month with more things that made me happy and hopefully back to a normal schedule (more on that next month).

Sidenote: I don’t really believe in astrology, but I read my monthly horoscope and it predicts lots of fighting, in a very literal sense, towards the end of August. Let me just say, bring it on. May my kick boxing training be useful.

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My happy things

– Look into strangers’ houses from the street at night (or from the tram)

– Beautiful solutions to mathematical problems

– When I think I’m out of toilet paper, but there’s more in the storage room

These pepper mills every time I cook (I have them in coral and yellow)

– Selfies with a view

– Browse tattoos I am never going to get on Pinterest

– 5 year olds dancing ballet

– The smell of bacon cooking

– When my lipstick lasts all day

– Overhear an interesting conversation

ps. More photos from my Oslo trip. Hope you like them.

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Minimalism challenge review

July is ending and the last day of my minimalism challenge was yesterday. It’s time for a quick review.

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I prepared for the challenge for a good 4 months, making plans for different aspects of it, like my closet and my make-up. It was a good way to get control over my life after some radical life changes. This was the minimalist fresh start I needed. Halfway through I had a way more positive attitude in life and a more positive perspective. It took me more than a month to complete the challenge, because I didn’t want to be too strict with myself, but I still felt the benefits of the challenge. It was like a cleanse for my mind. At the end, I was very happy with my life. Here’s my review.

Actual duration of the challenge: 2 months.

Favorite day: Cleaning up my make up collection.

Least favorite day: Journaling.

Something I learned about myself during this challenge: Most of the time I am way too strict on myself and on others. I can break my bad habits in a much more gentle way. Gentle can be effective too.

Overall feeling after finishing the challenge: Positive.

Something I would add to the challenge: I would like some days with a bit of self-care. Let’s say take a long bath, or treat yourself to something, or celebrate something. Maybe take care of yourself for half an hour. These would add to the overall positive feeling.

Would I do it again? I loved it and I would like to do it again. Maybe next year…

Inspired? Try it for yourself. It’s not that time-consuming and it’ll change your life. I especially recommend it if you’re going though a break-up or divorce. It’ll help you learn how to take care of yourself, how to love yourself a little bit more.

Hugs and kisses,

Joanna

ps. Now what about this happiness challenge? I think I’ll be starting that one sometime soon…

Minimalism Challenge Day 30:
Evaluate your last 5 purchases

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Kielhs Midnight Recovery Concentrate 50ml

484 Kr (apr. 60 USD)

I bought the Kielh’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate in Copenhagen airport on the way to Norway after my Easter vacations. I love the Daily Reviving Concentrate and I had to have this as well. This thing makes me happy and relaxed every single time I put it on my skin. It is also very hydrating, but I don’t know what to compare it too. I am very happy with my purchase, especially since it retails for 72 USD.

H&M Patterned Loose Fit Pants

99 Kr (apr. 13 USD)

This was something I bought for my trip to Singapore. We were warned that the weather is very warm, but it can be cold inside the conference centre, so I wanted something versatile. A friend of mine was wearing something similar last summer and I love how effortless it looked on her. Purchase justified.

MAC Dozen Carnations Lipstick

179 Kr (apr. 22 USD)

Guilty purchase. This is a bad habit of mine. Whenever I feel down, I go by the MAC store and swatch things. I tried this lipstick on and it brightened my mood. I couldn’t leave without it. The next few times I wore it I realised I prefer So Chaud over this, because it’s much brighter and pigmented and because this one has a weird perl finish I’m not sold on. I may buy a bright orange lipliner to see if I can make it work that way. All in all, I could have skipped that.

Casall Sports Bra

399 Kr (apr. 50 USD)

I’m not sure I needed that, but I saw it in a newsletter (before I unsubscribed from all the newsletters as part of this challenge) and I wanted to make it mine. In my defence, I only have one sports bra and this will be used a lot. I could have bought something cheaper though, but look at these details. Ohhhhh…

Nike Lunarglide 6

799 Kr (apr. 100 USD)

I bought these on the same day I bought the sports bra. I was so ready to retire one of my old pairs and my feet had been hurting a lot from running with the same shoes for a couple of weeks. I love Lunarglide 6 and I have another pair of these. They may be the best running shoes for me. Totally worth the splurge. Plus they were on sale!

I wrote this post on May 3rd, 2o16 and my first of the 5 purchases was on March 28th, 2016, which means I spent 1.960 Kr (apr. 245 USD or 212 Eur). All in all, apart from the MAC lipstick (why, why, why couldn’t I buy Lady Danger instead?), all my other purchases are things that I don’t regret buying. I could live without Kielh’s face oil, but I enjoy it and it make me happy. Is it necessary? No, not really, but I do use it every day. Now I need to curve that MAC habit and find some other, more healthy way to fight my blues.

ps. Oops! Later on I realised I also purchased one more thing, a Jamie Olive non-stick pan, because I was sick of not being able to make pancakes. I’ve since made pancakes a couple times per week and they haven’t sticked once. So happy about that one too.

Minimalism Challenge Day 29:
Turn off notifications

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Since I’ve never had notifications on on my phone, I decided to make that day all about unsubscribing from newsletters. I very rarely read all these emails, most of the time they end up in my trash folder. What a waste of time! The very few times I end up reading a newsletter, I buy things that I don’t need, because of a sale or a promotion. This had to stop. I was ruthless. I unsubscribed from each and every newsletter I was on. I hope this leads to fewer and more important emails in my inbox and less wasted time. :)

Hugs and kisses,

Joanna

Minimalism Challenge Day 28:
Let go of a goal

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In a very #goals oriented society, setting all these, sometimes unrealistic, expectations on ourselves can lead to disappointment. Browsing quickly through Pinterest, you’ll see perfect bodies doing perfect yoga poses with the perfect face expression and the perfect hair and make-up and that fucking (excuse my language) thigh gap. Few years ago, I set some #goals for my body. I came a long way, loosing 20 kg, in a very healthy way and I’ve maintained my ideal weight for over two years now. I became strong and I learned to love my body. Through this journey I realised that I don’t need to look like anybody else. I don’t have to have the perfect body. I don’t need to wear anything on my face or my body to look more sexy, more fashionable, more anything really. It’s OK to be me. So no more #body #goals for me.

Hugs and kisses,

Joanna

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