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.

You do you

Over the few past few months I’ve noticed that my wardrobe has been looking a bit dull. It’s made me want to try and change it up a bit more. I remember to back when I was younger, I used to be a bit more crazier in the way used to dress. Prints. Stripes. You name it, I tried it. Way back when I owned a lot of Black Milk Clothing , I got people staring at me because I stuck out too much. As a young 18-year-old girl it sometimes felt like it was the wrong sort of attention. So I went into hiding…under the sea of black, navy and grey! (I’m not trying to say Black Milk was the problem, more the problem was that I was not yet confident enough to ignore the stares/looks I got!)

Now maybe it’s a coincidence but I think it has also something to do with the fact that I’ve been living for the past eight years in Switzerland. One might just start to learn how to blend in a little too well… I was sick of being noticed as an “outsider”, soon after, being asked as to when I’m going back to Australia.

Now nearly turning 26, I realise to not take everything so seriously! Yes, people can be nosey, but it doesnt mean you have to explain yourself. You can have style and you can be glam BUT you can also wear tie-dye T-shirt and tracksuit pants if you want, without having to have a reason. It’s all about getting that balance and I guess. I was going to turn into one of these long preaching moments of mine, but I know aint nobody got time fo dat that! Moving onto the highlight of my week:

facetune_15-03-2018-21-22-09

I just bought a pair of MoonBoots. Which are crazy enough as they are on their own but they are in the color; lime green. Trying these bad boys on, I felt how comfortable they are. They are super soft and don’t match with anything in my closet but I love them! It’s nearly real spring weather but I’m secretly (not so secretly) hoping for some snow to wear these boots out in. I recommend them! Galaxus is having a sale here, if it was the price that was stopping you..

Signing off now, that’s it for my latest little update. I’m going to enjoy the rest of my night covered in face mask and having some soup aka, I’m doing me!

Model behaviour

Hey, hey to everyone reading this blog. You’ve been very patient! Thank you! I’ve had my days of totally avoiding social media to having a full “pig out” sessions, completely letting it distract me from life. But I’m back, with a plan to be more focused and in general to get better at the things I enjoy doing. I enjoy this quite a bit, I just worry about how to start. And then one thing leads to another and I’ve put off writing a blog for almost half a year! So again, I thank you for being here and truely hope I’m a positive influence or at least an entertaining read.

So, with an introduction like that you can tell I get quite easily distracted watching the fancy and glamorous lives of the people of instagram. I hate to admit it but social media can get the best of me at times. In the past, I saw I was comparing myself to how the other people looked online – and we all know, we only show what we want to. If one is not careful, it can be dangerous. In the sense that it can distort your view on reality and may even result in some sort of self destruction; whether it be negative thoughts or as far as even physical self harm/ body dismorphia.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

I get my dose of reality from, ironiclly enough, from the amazing handful of humans I follow on social media. It took me a while to figure out who is actually amazing and who is just faking it (not in a good way). I also had to realise that my role models might not be the same for everyone else – and it’s ok!

It took a bit to delete some apps and unfollow a few (ok, alot) of toxic people/pages but I’ve gotten to a place where I love my body, life and the people I choose to have in my close circle. Even just repeating that last sentence out loud makes me feel empowered. I CHOOSE who I share my life with. I CHOOSE to surround myself with loving and positive vibes. I CHOOSE to have less energy spent on people who don’t respect me or are constantly being negative. Social media can be a nasty place, but if it’s used for it’s original purpose (connecting people, spreading positivity, etc.) it’s a great place to be.

The online community you dip into is important. It should be a mix between people/pages that challenge your ideas or people/pages you can totally relate to. I’ve narrowed a little list of my favourites down to 4-5, which I will share below. Now, again, I know not everyone will have the same opinion… so let me know down below in the comments who your top favourite positive influences are!

  1. Robine Nina. She’s Swiss, she blogs about her life adventures and most importantly, she comes across as a really down to earth kind gal – which can be rare these days!Robine Nina
  2. Sonny Turner. She’s so real about her own body hang ups but isn’t afraid to show her body confidence. She let’s us know that you’re allowed to be both a work in progress and also a masterpiece simultaneously. Sonny Turner
  3. Lateicia Thomas. She’s young and ambitious. She’s making all other Aussies living abroad super proud and in some ways I feel like I can relate to her about how much she loves to dance to music around her apartment when she’s in a good mood.Laticia Thomas
  4. Abby Pollock. She’s continueously giving out free fitness and biology lessons on her YouTube channel and talks a lot about mental health in the fitness community. I like how she is not like the “others” of the fitness community, I get a feeling she genuinely wants to help others correct their training.img_0482
  5. Gary Vaynerchuck. Just to throw a curve ball in, I decided to include him to the list. He is definitely one to just cut through any bullshit and thrive on good vibes. He’s loud and sometimes talks over others but his messages are positive and pure.img_0481