New year, new …

Me?

I’m not sure if the saying: “new year, new me” is anything particularly positive as I shouldn’t have to completely change myself with the start of the year. I think it’s better to make small changes.

At least half of the time when I make them I fail, because I don’t plan and half of them I just write down because I feel I have to. This year I think is going to be different I’m gonna make goals that are realistic yet far enough away for me to work towards.

There’s always the typical: “I want to lose weight, I wanna travel” but those kind of goals are a bit broad. My goals this year are going to be more specific. More focused. More about me.

1. Start Bullet Journaling

I saw this type of journaling by an Instagrammer I follow called Sorelle Amore. I admire her for her minimalistic lifestyle and amazing selfies that she takes. (Go check her out of you haven’t already) I am a person who needs to write things down all the time otherwise I forget or lose track of what’s going on in my mind I am pretty sure it’s because I’m so smart, haha! Bullet journaling is not only a way to keep track of my thoughts but also a creative outlet. I want to give this a proper go and dedicate five minutes a day, which I think is a realistic goal!

2. Learn French.

I’ve always wanted to learn French I’m just terrible at studying. I did some French courses during this year (once a week for a few months) It was a good introduction but I need to get back into it I am also moving to the French speaking part of Switzerland after my seasonal job, here in Zermatt.

3. Travel abroad.

At least once a year I want to get in a plane and fly overseas to a new country or maybe again to one I’ve been to before! Getting away from every day life is something important. It’s so I can reflect on how I live my life and appreciate what I have. If I could choose an unrealistic travel destination, I would love to go to Iceland or Norway! I really want to see the northern lights! Of course if I could add more to that list it would be very long.. I will leave it at that.

It’s short and sweet but that’s my list. I think anything else would just be too much on my plate for right now I can always add more I don’t think there’s ever a limit!

What are your new year’s resolutions or motto for the new year that you want to live by? I’m interested to know let me know in the comments below.

‘Tis the season

As it comes to that time of the year where everyone is having family Family dinners and friend gatherings there is also a lot of other people who have to work through this happy season. I am one of those people. About three months ago I decided to take a seasonal job here in Zermatt. I knew that this job would be hard I knew that there would be long hours, knowing that around Christmas time I would be slaving away and have no time to enjoy it here. Yet I found some time on Christmas Eve for a beautiful walk around midnight and no sadly there was no Santa to be seen or his reindeer. I managed to just enjoy the moment of being in such a beautiful place in Switzerland surrounded by mountains which were actually lit by moonlight as it was a full moon. I really recommend this to anyone who feels overwhelmed around Christmas or New Year’s time, their own birthday or some big event. Go outside get some clarity, calm down and have a good nights sleep. It works magic.

Sometimes I forget that other people have to work on Christmas as well around the festive season and it’s easy to forget that this feeling of anxiety or feeling left out often passes and life is actually beautiful there’s no reason to not enjoy the exact moment you were in it all the time.

There’s a lot of other things that I also had to get done before the end of the year which I still haven’t done but I will when office hours are open here in Zermatt. I can finally tell the city council I’m moving in. (I’m very excited about that because the taxes and health insurance for cheaper here. It’s funny how in Switzerland the taxes and health insurance can be so different from one kanton to the other even though they just an hour apart.) I’ve also not sent any Christmas presents to Australia yet which I started creating well over a month before hand. Oh well!

Now this is for my friends and family: I’m sorry if I don’t write back or I don’t text back or I don’t give you a call back sometimes working here is a bit too hard-core for me and even I need a little nap in the afternoon on my break during my split shift. Having less communication with the outside world can sometimes automatically make you make me feel left out. Trust me. I feel it already taking a toll on personal life and my own day to day routines!

All in all, I’m enjoying it here in Zermatt. I’m looking forward to the new year and actually starting a bullet journal! I’m also looking forward to working towards new goals whatever I want them to be. I need to take life by the balls more often. Time keeps flying by. Until next time, I wish you all a happy new year!

Black velvet

About 2 months ago, a local photographer advertised doing a photoshoot for other locals/ willing models – like me! After trying to find a date which would work for us both we found a perfect day in May.

She’s passionate and really has a good eye for location – I noticed even only after 10 mins of scouting a shoot location with her.

I admit it, I kinda wanted to feel like a model for an hour and yes – it was totally worth it! I did smile in many shots but these are her favorites…

If you’re in Bern and need a photographer, I’d highly recommend her! Click here for her details.

Going minimal

Image: midlifetribe.com

A few months ago I came across a blog about being a minimalist. At the time It didn’t really seem like a concept that I could do it because I looked around my apartment noticed how much I had collected over the years. I thought it was a great concept but it didn’t feel like a concept I could actually use in my day to day life. Up until a few days ago, I stumbled across a Netflix documentary about the guys who started that blog, and it clicked: I can do it my own way of becoming a minimalist.

Now, I know how good it feels to clean out my closet, clean up my room/apartment/garage and get rid of all the crap and to someone start new again. Using that momentum, I think I can reduce, resell and recycle all of the things I thought I needed. Like 5 different cardigans and kitchen appliances I last used 2 years ago (just an example, there are many more things I’m getting rid of)

What I think I learned from the blog and from the show on Netflix is that minimalism is a way of life and it’s about having less noise, less things and being more focused on the moment and your social surroundings more than anything else.

It actually sparked something inside of me and for the past few days I’ve been clearing my entire apartment and sorting through anything from Tupperware, lipstick to bed linen. And I’ve been trying to look at each item carefully and then decide if I want to keep it or to let it go. To really thoughtfully think about it’s purpose in my life.

Without it sounding too corny, I found this whole experience of cleansing my apartment to be motivating and energizing and feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

As much as I’d love to just throw everything away I’m also trying to sell things online through Facebook marketplace. It might be a slower process than just to throw it all away but I’m a bit of a cheap ass like that and I’d love to get some money back for all my crap. Of course if there are things I can’t sell or just wont sell, I will definitely give them away to my close friends, family or to my local secondhand shop. There’s a little second hand shop just a block away from where I live and its my favorite place to browse. Might do a blog one day about all my amazing finds there!

This actually ties in well with a concept from the man himself: Gary Vaynerchuk. He started a movement well many movements but one of them was to flip things. It’s a term used when you buy things cheap and then resell them at a higher price to get a little bit of spare change in the piggy bank (or a lot!). The movement was even on Instagram tagged as the #2017flipchallenge. People were raiding their own houses and going to garage sales to find things valuable enough to sell and getting money for. The goal was to get to $20,170 before the end of 2017 which at the time, only gave competitors seven weeks. I like a challenge but even for me I felt that was unrealistic, but that’s just me. I love the spirit and the incredible motivation Gary has to all his followers some people even made it to the end of the challenge and did end up with that $20,170 which is incredible.

Along with becoming a minimalist I also want to do my own sort of flip challenge ends with anything that I see is remotely sellable I will sell and with all the profits that I make I will hope to put towards a holiday or further education for myself rather than “stuff”. I’d rather spend my money now on experiences with friends and family rather than things to collect and own. The darker logic to it all is that we can’t take all these things with us when we go – and by “go” I mean when we die, pass on whatever happens when we all finally kick the bucket. The sooner we all grasp this minimalist living concept and realize this that it’s about experiences not things that we will focus more on being one as a community. Even the idea of it being remotely reachable is quite romantic and yes I’d love to be part of the change.

It was all to do with a small idea from a blog which caught my eye or at least stuck in my mind enough to help me think or we think about changing how the way I live. Which is part of the reason why I’m blogging right now is because I want my blogs to be motivational and somewhat helpful not just to do with seasonal styles and things that I think are coming into trend – although I do kind of like that stuff too. The thing that really stuck with me was that (in the Netflix documentary) it was said that minimalism is more of a recipe and you can use any sort of ingredients you want and apply them to your own life. I really hope to learn from this and hope to minimize what I have, yet create a space which is more open to possibilities of caring less about if my clothes are going to match or not because I hope to fill my closet with clothes that go together quite easily. Well yes, that’s on a smaller level but I mean in the bigger picture, I hope to consume consciously and even go as far as leaving less of a footprint on the earth. (So just being a better person in general)

What I also really liked about the Netflix documentary about minimalism is that the guys are huggers and after each talk they did about their minimalism journey, they get up and hug people which I thought was yeah just wait I’m sure there’s a psychological reason that they do it to get a physical closer connection to the fans or whatever it is it’s just sweet I think that’s really nice.

So stay tuned I will keep you updated and maybe even keep score of what I sell and how much or even just how much in total I can save or collect from selling everything that I don’t need. I’m still going to keep my favorite hand bags and shoes – for now…

April

It all went by so quickly! I managed to make a birthday cake for a friend, lay out in the sun every chance I could get and caught up with friends and family. It doesn’t sound like much but it somehow takes up a lot of my weekends – not that I’m complaining!

Now, I’m not going to go into detail about the amazing weather we have had, as a typical swiss person will tell you, because the weather has been quite perfect so far… Oh, no! I just did. What am I becoming? All jokes aside, I’ve learnt to appreciate the good weather as it comes. In Switzerland, it can change from sunny to cold in a matter of hours. This is something I always found amusing: the amount of people confused by the weather. I’ve seen people wear coats and scarves, and  people wearing shorts and a singlet – both on a perfect 24 degree day.

As mentioned before, I like to lay out in the sun as often as possible! So naturally being the woman I am, I ordered myself another bikini for the summer. Black, high waisted bottoms and a nice classic triangled top. After trying them on, I’m still not sure if I can pull of the look of being a 2018’s Baywatch extra.

Here is a pic of me nearly asleep after a pedicure and relation in the sun at the Montreux palace spa. It doesn’t get better than that.

What most surprised me about making a cake for a 5 year old is that I can actually do it! In the back of my mind I always thought it would fall apart or I would drop it just before the party. But no, it turned out well. It wasn’t perfect – but I know now how to make it look better next time I make one. Maybe after a few more practice cakes I could make a tutorial…

Not sure why, but this year I’m very excited for summer and can’t wait to have an excuse to wear less clothing. I’ve been planning a few outfits I want to wear – including many things I’ve had in my closet for a long time but never wore! Oops… I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.

Until I have more important things to report, I’ll leave it at that. I hope everyone is having a great day/night. Xx

Chocolate brownies

Here is an idea on how to use up your old Easter chocolate: brownies! Instead of forcing myself to eat it as just chocolate, (which is usually great but Easter holidays have put me off chocolate for about a week or two) I transformed it into something just as delicious. Here is my recipe and some photos I managed to take along the way…

Ingredients:

330g Chocolate

700g Sugar

590g Butter (softened)

480g Egg (9-10 eggs)

50g Cocoa powder

240g Flour

2 pinches of Salt

200g Nuts (of your choice, roughly chopped)

(This recipe is enough for a whole tray of brownies – use a tray similar to 30cm by 40cm dimensions or halve the recipe)

For this, I have a hand held mixer. I would prefer/recommend a Kitchen-aid but you gotta do what you gotta do.

1. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

2. Slowly add the eggs, one by one.

3. Add the melted chocolate while still mixing the batter.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients, (but the nuts at the end!) either on a low speed or fold it in by hand using a spatula/wooden spoon.

5. Spread the batter out evenly on your tray. Making sure the tray has aluminum foil on it or baking paper! Butter alone won’t do much…

6. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 mins. But check them at the 15 minute mark – every oven is different! Use the knife technique to check of it’s done (stick a knife tip in the center and remove, if the knife is clean, it’s done baking!)

7. Leave to cool and then remove from the tray. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

Cool tip: use a tin to put some in and give them to loved ones. I got mine at my local thrift shop for CHF 1.-

I hope you enjoy making these brownies and let me know how they went – better yet, let me try some! Comment below about your experience with my recipe.

X Gill

Important things I’ve learned so far.

On my birthday weekend, I went to Zermatt. There was even a flight in a helicopter and it was amazing! On my birthday or leading up to it, I like to reflect back onto my life around my birthday to see how far I’ve come. I’ve learned so much over the past few years whether it’s just about life in general or things I wish I was told when I was younger, there is now a list! Here are mine, what would you add?

1. Learn to appreciate the small things.

2. Learn when to react and when to ignore. Your energy and effort is not infinite.

3. Be kind.

4. Stop putting impossible pressures on yourself.

5. Go at your own pace.

6. Have a hobby, preferably also one that keeps you active.

7. Travel as much as possible, experience different cultures, try different foods.

8. Save your money! Set a budget, put aside some money with every paycheck. It never seems like much but over a few years it adds up.

9. Do what you want to do – plan it, execute it, don’t ask for permission.

10. Communication is key. I’d rather repeat myself than miss out important information. In relation to: relationships, work environment, etc.

11. Go with your gut instinct.

12. Don’t rely on someone else for your own happiness.

13. The important people to keep in your life will make an effort.

14. Find out what works for you when it come to self care. It’s different for everyone.

15. You are enough.

16. Saying “I love you” doesn’t cost anything. Say it to those you care about!

17. Failure is just a lesson on how not to do “it”. Fail until you figure “it” out.

18. Fake it til you make it. We are all just hacking. Not everyone knows what they are doing.