June challenge

It’s a new month and there is always something special with a new month I think. It’s feels like a new start. I’m a huge fan of setting goals and I have my long term ones and my short term ones. I write down and read my long term goals every day to remember what I am doing and why. Setting goals can be a hard thing to do, because I believe that we learn to not aim to high and to be too realistic. I have had to work through some serious blocks to be able to dare to set super high goals for myself and learn that it’s okay to want it all.

The book I am reading right now is called “Get rich, lucky bitch”, so far phenomenal by the way, and she mentioned something really interesting about how we even learn from when we’re young that we shouldn’t say our dreams and wishes out loud cause then they won’t come true…

Anyway, this is a huge part of my personal development, working through my fears and blocks about aiming high, setting goals, money and mindset. And I’m also planning on setting up some challenges for myself.

So except for my goals I’m setting up some June challenges for myself.

  • Seriously reduce my time in front of the TV.
    I’m one of those people who actually do a lot at the same time as watching TV so I never really saw it as a problem. Lately I’ve felt that even if I can be productive, I’m definitely not as effective or present. And also it makes me spend a lot more time inside, at home.
  • Write my goals down and visualize them every single day.
    Not only every other day but every single day. And really work through the blocks that pop up when my mind starts telling my I can’t do it or that my goals are too high.
  • Completely prepare for baby.
    Not one single item or thing left on the list of things to do to prepare for this little baby girls arrival.

Do you accept the challenge?
Decide your own 3 challenges that you think will help you develop during the next month?

Time saving products

I work with beauty products and it’s super important for me to take good care of myself. It can also be a way to relax and have some self care time. We all love a good mud mask now and then, but I am also a bit lazy, so I love products that make my day 2 day life easier. Since I’m on my way to become a mum I’m thinking these types of products will be exactly what I’m gonna need. So this is why I have created a list of products that are perfect for the stressed, the lazy, the mamas. Here we go

Tinted moisturizer – this one is phenomenal, I usually don’t wear that much make-up, and a moisturizer with a little color is sometimes all I need to feel a bit more fresh looking. Super easy to apply, good for your skin and good coverage.

Instaglow – You don’t have time or patience to lay in the sun all day? Or maybe you’re just one of those who doesn’t really get tanned? Or maybe you just want a little bit of glow and color in your face? This one is amazing. It smells minimal, super easy to apply, natural color that gets even straight away and it leaves an amazing glow. Mix bit of this one and the tinted moisturizer in the morning and your set.

AHA facial peel – this is a chemical peeling that just preforms miracles on your skin. It’s an amazing treatment and I do it once a week (while not pregnant). It’s dipped pads, so you just pick one, scrub it around, leave for 10 minutes and then do step 2, which is the same thing but a different pad. Super easy, super fast, and makes a huge difference. It’s also anti-ageing!

Hydrating mask – After the AHA peel, or just in general, throw some hydration on your face. I’ve been living for this while pregnant too, since my skin has gotten a bit more dry. It’s so soft and mild and feels great. It is a mask, but you don’t need to use it like one, you can just put a thinner layer and leave it on, I usually put it on before bed.

Hair mask – now you might be thinking, time saving? Really? on this one. But yes! My beloved miracle hair mask is of course amazing as a mask, for when you take a bath, or have that time to leave it in. But my time saving tips in regards to this product is, put it in before bed and leave over night for when you’re gonna shower in the morning, or just put a bit in the lengths after washing your hair, when it’s still wet, of course not a lot, just a bit, like a leave-in product. It’s amazing for dry and split ends.

Lumispa – for me, this device is time saving, and also super easy to use. Since it does everything that you need to cleanse properly, even removes your make-up, all in 2 minutes, and it’s also super relaxing, like a mini face-massage.

If you like any of these products and want to try them you can leave a comment with which ones your like and what country you live in and I will provide you with a link with a special offer, 15% discount that is. You can also reach me through my facebook page.

Thoughts on what it takes to be a great parent

I’m so excited to become a mother. Also scared shitless of course, but excited. I really think that I could be really good at it. I know they say that women have this maternal instinct. I think some people have it, but I don’t know if I believe that everyone does. My mum did though, she was just the most natural mother and I hope it’s genetic. These are some of the things I believe that a person should have or do to be a good parent. Just keep in mind that I don’t really know what I’m talking about:

  • Confidence – I think that you need to believe in yourself and have confidence in yourself when it comes to this. As in most things in life, if you doubt yourself the chances are bigger that it will go wrong.
  • Love – let’s me honest, we need to keep a human alive, and that’s really scary. Not only that but we are also hoping that the human will turn into a good person. But at the end of the day, we all get fucked up one way or another, and life happens, we need to be loved, we all need to be loved.
  • Support – we have our heads filled up with what we should and shouldn’t do, what everyone else thinks about what we do, and how we should be living our life. Be the support, be the person that the kid can go to, even with the weirdest ideas in the world. And support, help and support. But promote to get creative and make things happen for yourself.
  • Be selfish sometimes – I believe that to take care of someone else you need to take care of yourself first. I feel like in society you need to be stressed, busy and completely occupied by your kids to be a good mum, to be only a mum. But we are still the same people. And we have become these people through life. I want to be an inspirational parent, and to do that I need to be me, to be the best version of myself, I need to take care of myself. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

I also think it’s important to lead by example, like in all other situations in life. People and kids especially do as you do, not as you tell them to. But I might also have a very naive view of things, not being a parent yet myself. At the end of the day I think we all walk around with way to high expectations. Living in a society where everything is looking very perfect around us, no wonder we do. We can all afford to be a bit more kind and understanding sometimes, we’re all just doing the best we can! So let’s finish of with my biggest point, that I’m probably going to have to remind myself of about 10 times a day when I’m there myself

  • GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK, YOU’RE DOING GREAT

Examples for creating a morning routine that works for you

So for me a morning routine is very important. I feel a huge difference when I have done my morning routine and when I have not. It’s setting a tone for the rest of the day.

I have had a few different routines, and there are so many different versions. What’s important is to create a routine that works for you and that doesn’t feel like a chore but feels like something that makes you feel good.

I like to start off with something clean. To wake me up and make me feel fresh

  • A proper skincare routine
  • Wash your face with cold water
  • A shower
One of my favorite skin care systems
Let me know if you wanna know more about it!

Then I like to do a quick stretch session, I have tired to do the full on yoga session or a long walk, but the morning is just not the right time for that for me. I do think it’s important to do some sort of movement.

  • Take a walk
  • Go to the gym
  • Go for a run
  • Do some exercises at home
  • A full on yoga session
  • Stretching

I try to start my day in silence in general, no music, or podcasts, or tv, just silence. It makes me feel calm. I have listened to music and podcasts and motivational videos but for me the silence is what I need. Get some space in your mind, calm those rushing thoughts. Give yourself a break.

  • Meditation
  • Praying
  • Breathing
  • Calming music

Writing. Journaling. Now this is my favorite one. I could not be without it. For me journaling is like organizing my thoughts and mind. I have an amazing planner that I fill out every morning and night, but also just a notebook where I write freely. I make sure to write down what is happening in my head, gratitude and visualization.

  • Gratitude list
  • Visualize
  • Journaling
  • Reflections
  • Affirmations
  • Goals
  • To do’s for the day
  • Morning motivation video (example here)

Other things that I think are important for my mornings are

  • Get up on time, no stress
  • Have a good breakfast
  • Enjoy my cup of coffee
  • Cuddle with my pups
  • Get dressed and ready
  • Air out the bedroom (especially important when one is allergic like me)
  • Reading

I wish I could make the bed in the morning, but I need to air out properly for some time before I can do that. The last point on the list here is not really true for me yet. I really want to incorporate reading into my morning routine, but I’m not quite there with the time I have.

What are your best tips on how to create a good morning routine?
What are the routines that are the most important to you?
Do you believe that starting your day in a good way changes the rest of your day?

Buying for baby and nursery

Something that I found really hard was what to buy, what to start buying and when to buy those things. It really is a jungle of things that you need – or don’t need – when having a baby. Now since this whole thing was really hard to wrap my head around, and probably is for everyone, reading books and preparing through buying things, has been how I’ve made myself feel calm and how I’m getting prepared for what’s to come. And I have asked my mum for help in terms of what you actually do need and what things on the lists that you don’t really need.

I have kept myself pretty calm though and not gone completely crazy. We did start buying some things. First of all we got a crib when we went to Ikea, since we were getting things delivered anyway.

Since we were getting a new closet for our bedroom we decided to move out dresser into the baby room and turn it into a changing table. We’ve also gotten some totally adorable clothes. We haven’t gone too crazy there either actually, and also we made sure to get some clothes in different sizes and not only for a newborn.

We also went to get a stroller pretty early. Being the beginning of a new year and all, the new models were coming in and the old ones went on sale. So we made sure to get one on the sale.

At first we were thinking that we would get one of those beds that you can attach to your own bed. But then we found this one, on sale, so we decided to get that instead. Since it’s a crib but also a raised bouncer, high chair and table chair. It’s called Chicco Baby Hug 4n1

We are also getting some things from my parents, that they have saved since me and my brothers were kids. But otherwise we don’t really have anyone with babies in our surroundings. We have also made a decision to be done with everything one month before the due date. Every tiny little detail that we might need, so that we can really relax the last month.

We also decided to keep our extra bed and use the baby room as a guest room, at least for a while.

I love this room. We both just go in there and sit sometimes. I guess trying to picture that there will actually be a baby there soon.

When did you prepare your nursery?
What was the most important items for your baby?

Tips from a non expert on how to keep a healthy and loving relationship

Today I wanted to talk about relationships. Now this is a subject that I have thought a lot about over the years. Spending my entire life in the singles lane, I have had a lot of time to think about and learn what it is that I want in a person. Having parents who are still in love with each other, also made me reflect a lot about why they managed to stay that way when a lot of people don’t.

Now I have only been in one relationship in my life, and that relationship is only in it’s third year. So I’m no expert in the area, but I still wanted to share a few things that I think can be the keys to success when it comes to lifelong love.

First of all, I believe that falling in love is a choice. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not completely up to me who I fall in love with, but for me it still kind of was a choice, a choice to let myself fall in love, to allow this person into my life and decide to give it a try. I was of course still lucky to have met this perfect and amazing person that I had feelings for, but at the end of the day, I could made a choice to not let him in or let myself get to that point of actual love.

Second of all, staying in love is a choice. Same goes for this point, not completely, but still. I don’t believe that staying with someone for the rest of your life is something that has to do with luck. I don’t believe that if you’re lucky enough you’ll end up in a relationship that is just good and functioning and the love will last forever. I don’t believe that a lot of things in life has to do with luck, actually. I believe that staying in love and staying together is a choice and it’s hard work. Now here, of course, come the question if it’s worth it, if it’s too hard, maybe it’s not right.

Me and my fiance have not been together for very long, but we have gone through what feels like 10 years of challenges in these 2 years. And all along, the both of us, have continued to choose each other and us. We have not accidentally, by luck, stayed together through all of it. We could have left this relationship and moved on a long time ago. But we decided that we are worth it.

I don’t think that people walk around and choose to not love each other any more. But I believe that people let their love fade and that they give the problems more space than the solutions. I think that staying in love and staying together means that you have to make that choice and stay in the game every single day for the rest of your lives.

Here are my best tips on how to keep the love alive

  • Appreciate the small things. Feel gratitude for just being together in the simplest ways, sitting on the couch, watching a movie.
  • Say “I love you” at least once a day.
  • Give compliments, even on your worst day, find something that you really appreciate or like about your partner and say it.
  • Grow together but apart, it’s important to grow, and maybe you want to help your partner grow, but at the end of the day, remember that you also want to keep the person you fell in love with.
  • Support each other. This is one of my favorite points, and so important. I have never in my life felt so supported as I do in my relationship. My fiance believes in me more than I do myself.
  • Take time for each other. Go away just the two of you, a weekend or just a long walk once a week.
  • Have fun together. It’s easy to forget to have fun together when life gets too serious, but try to do stuff together that you both enjoy.
  • Dream together. We have a lot of things that we want to achieve on our own but we also have a lot of dreams together. We dream about travels we want to do, or the house we want to live in, together. Then we plan those trips, save for them, look at houses for sale, together.

I’m a sucker for a good love story and I’m a huge movie nerd. But I do believe that from all the stories we grew up with, we take away that there is someone special out there and everything is just gonna fall into place on its own. But we’re missing that in those movies and books and stories are also these choices and struggles. My biggest belief when it comes to a a life long love is that in contrary to popular belief, it’s not always for the best to go with the person who makes your mind go crazy. For me, my life partner was the first person who could make my mind be still and quiet.

Tips for having a baby in another country

As you might now I’m Swedish and my fiance is French and we’re living in Barcelona. So I wanted to tell you all a little about my experience and thoughts so far. It’s of course a challenge to be living in a different country when this huge life-changing thing happens. Especially when you don’t know the language very well. And let me tell you, the beginning of this pregnancy was not easy for us. You can read more about the emotional process in this post The shock and struggles of the first weeks of pregnancy.

So when we found out I was pregnant we
1. Didn’t really have any experience with the Spanish health care system
2. Didn’t speak Spanish very well
3. Were living in an apartment that had mold in it, and the contract was until the end of July, around the due date.

So the first few weeks were very stressful, and even though we knew that it would be okay, it felt so stressful to get everything in order. We started with making an appointment with a midwife. We were registered in a specific place, in the area we lived, and we went. I was still in shock about being pregnant and I just needed to know what to do. However, the midwife did not speak a word of English, and didn’t slow down the Spanish for us to understand either. She was rude and just kept in talking, to Odi, not to me, and the panic grew. Eventually I couldn’t help it, I started crying, and what does she do? She turns to Odi and asks HIM if I even wanted the baby…

We also contacted the agency we were renting the apartment from, about needing to end the contract because of the mold. Since I’m also super allergic and was very very sick most days, so that was not a very good situation and at first it seemed like they were gonna fight us too.

But eventually everything turned out okay. We got recommended a doula and went for a meeting with the two women we got recommended. And let me tell you, I didn’t even know what doula was. They explained that they worked a lot with expat mums and they were a support system for us, they could also help with the language people if needed, and they would be with us all through this pregnancy and for the birth. After that meeting both me and Odi felt that we could breathe again. That we would have someone to turn to and someone to help us through this whole thing. We managed to get off the contract and we were super lucky to find an amazing apartment super fast. So in just a few weeks, we moved. When we moved we also got signed to another CAP (medical center), and got a different midwife. We went for the first appointment, and we got one that spoke English. And after that all the midwife visits and ultrasounds, we got people who spoke English.

We feel comfortable in the CAP that we’re in now, with the midwives we have had, with our doulas and we love love love our new apartment.

So here are my tips for having a baby in another country, more specifically in Barcelona, but maybe it can be helpful for people living in other places too. Also, I don’t have a baby yet, so this is more so for the pregnancy. I’ll write a similar one after actually having a baby here.

  • You have a choice, you can change medical centers, hospitals and doctors. Make sure you’re comfortable. You have rights!
  • Hire a doula, now this is of course personal, but if you feel uncomfortable or insecure it’s really nice to have support from someone who knows what they’re doing.
  • Get all your papers in order. We were all over the place with the documents we needed and where we kept them, and as a organized person this one gave me so much comfort.
  • Contact your consulate and ask all your questions. I sent an email and got a long respons with information about documents for registering a baby and what we need to do. Once again, feeling prepared usually gives some comfort.
  • Join communities for mums on social media. Ask all the questions you have and start connecting with people who are or have been in your situation.
  • Use the last point to also find groups and meet ups to join and attend.
  • Relax. Everything is gonna be fine. For me, the problems seemed bigger than the turned out to be, and I stressed out a lot for no reason.

Have you had a child in another country?
What was your experience?
What are your own tips for others in the same situation?