Bits of Creativity #2

Bits of Creativity #2

 

Back on the creativity front, the search continues.

We’re not there yet, but haven’t abandoned the fight either and, as sometimes happens in life, opportunity presents itself like a rabbit out of a hat. Well, maybe not exaaaactly like that, but if you’ll have a look at the pictures below, you’ll realize what it is about this analogy that I found appealing.

Now, as the opportunity presenting itself is not that actionable (other than not letting it pass without taking advantage of it, obviously) and, also, as I’m not going to send you hunting for rabbits, today’s advice for finding creativity is, I’m afraid, still not that out of the box as I wished. But, hey, it appears that it does work anyway!

So, here it goes: dare to step out of your comfort zone, whatever that might mean to you!

 

 

 

To illustrate how I put this into practice, I’ll just renew the invitation to have a look at the pictures below. They are the product of an unexpected opportunity – a closed road and of the decision to do something I wouldn’t normally do – just sit there on the road and take some pictures, even if there were people passing and staring.

I’m quite pleased with the result, so I guess I’m gonna be on the lookout for rabbits…erm, opportunities, presenting themselves from now on.

Have a great end of the week!

 

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Bits of Creativity #1

Bits of Creativity #1

Might be an abused principle or a Holy Grail, what’s for sure is that creativity it’s something most of us aspire for.

With the risk of sounding super stereotypical, must confess that lately I’m finding myself in kind of a struggle in this direction…which is a fancy way of saying that I’m totally lacking it. And it’s actually funny, because why would anybody create a blog if not because of creative overflow, doh?:)

In any case, as clearly I’m in no position of offering any advice on the matter, I thought that it might be useful to share the simple steps I’m taking in the pursuit of creativity. And, mind you, no guarantee here, I’m only taking the steps now, who knows if it works or not?

Still, if you’d like to read some pro advice, I suggest heading off to Kika’s blog, who is one of my favourite creative persons at the moment. I was actually going to direct you to a specific blog post, but I’m seeing now that she has an entire section on creativity, so do check it out.

Now, for my BIG first advice…. Well, it’s a quite simple one: JUST DO SOMETHING, FOR GOD’S SAKE!

I mean, it’s quite obvious, but if you don’t start somewhere, you’ll never get anything done, so better to try even if you’re not trusting that the result will be the best one.

So what I did to make good on my own advice is experimenting with Instagram (even if I’m not the one taking the photos) and one way of keeping yourself motivated in this respect is by joining challenges.

The photos below have been inspired by the #mycreativemmer_letscelebrate challenge and I must say it was quite fun doing it. I even took one of the photos myself:)

To make it a little more personal, I decided to add a theme to the challenge, so this became #myflowerweek.

Hope you’ll like it!

Creative flower glasses
girl with flowers bouquet
girl with flowers bouquet
flowers flatlay
creativity
creative flowers
dlowers hairdo

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When it comes to style

When it comes to style

Starting this post with a disclosure: this is not my first blog. I’ve tried twice before, once with a very personal, borderline depressive 😊 blog and then again with a fashion inspired one. I can’t say for sure what made me abandon them, but I obviously did, and it might have something to do with the struggle to write relevant pieces, while subconsciously trying to keep it a bit not too personal. Which might actually be kind of a nonsense, but there you have it.

Anyway, this entire introduction is because I’ve been reading about relevance in blogging (well, yes, if inspiration fails you, you might us well do some studying) and one approach equals relevance to usefulness. Which in my mind rings something like an area in which one is talented and able to give some pertinent advice on. Which, in turn, leaves me puzzled, because I do not consider myself to have any outstanding talent.  So, not feeling particularly gifted, I turned to the mundane and one thing that my friends say about me (erm, maybe because they are MY friends?) is that I am not that clueless when it comes to selecting, combining and wearing clothes, to put it like this. Told you it’s not rocket science!

So, supposing I do something good in this area, here are my fail-proof guiding lines.

girl in black
streetstyle

Black is always a good idea. If there’s one single advice that I could give this is it. Of course, it’s a matter of personal preference, but I do find that any clothing piece somehow looks better on black. It’s for sure the absence of noise that gives a black outfit its elegance, but the optical benefits are not to be overlooked, either. It does make you slim, if that it’s what you’re looking for, and more put together. I am a firm believer that you don’t need pinks and reds to look sunny, it’s the whole package that sells the attitude. And if you think black is dark, you always have grey, don’t you? (yes, that was ironical)

streetfashion
fashion photography

Less is easier to handle. Wouldn’t go full speed with “less is more”, because I think that some people have the ability to wear a busy outfit and make it work wonderfully. Things like statement pieces, chunky jewelry, intricate hair dos, they just look great on people who know how to handle them. Not on me. I feel like a show monkey the minute I put on heavy jewelry or anything that falls into the “too much” category. So, if you keep it minimal, it is definitely easier to handle. After all, less room for mistakes.

fashion shoot
photoshoot

Obsessing over clothes is not that bad. As long as you realize that’s what you’re doing – simply obsessing over some clothes (and please read the word “obsess” in a low key here) – and know there are more important things in life than that. Keeping all things in good measure, I see no harm in saving for a designer piece, if wearing those shoes or that scarf makes you happy. Just don’t cross that line when you start thinking that all the things you wear should be designer pieces or otherwise they’re worthless.

black skirt
nude booties

Shoes are life. They simply are. And they can make or un-make any outfit. Especially when you are wearing predominantly black, some interesting shoes (yes, maybe in a colour other than black😊) will definitely add personality to the look.

Feeling good in your clothes will never be overrated. I mean, there are out there some really good-looking clothes, really artsy, but which might be a nightmare to wear. Now, leaving art aside, quite often we see people wearing clothes that are too tight, too large, which maybe need some hemming…. You get the picture. It’s quite to be expected that one does not really feel good in such clothes. And it might be the age or something😊, but if you do not feel good wearing something, it’s game over. Comfort really should be a given, then everything else follows.

fashion portrait

So, what do you think? What’s your recipe when it comes to style and fashion?

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On words and images

On words and images

Since starting the blog, we’ve been playing a lot with photography, trying to give the texts here that visual kick that hopefully would get them noticed.

Truth be told, although this is meant to be a storytelling driven space, I’ve been fully aware from the very beginning that great visuals are not merely a plus to the words, but quite simply a necessity. So this is not a post about me realizing that people do not spend anymore too much time reading and they prefer visual content, that’s a known trend nowadays and, beyond debating whether this is good or bad, I absolutely pledge for always producing and using good quality photo content.

But…we’re not all professional photographers and there’s always a learning curve, which is also the case of this entire blogging venture. It’s a team effort here (don’t you just love my mastery in using corporate language? :)) and – if you’ll allow a bit of shameless promo – I would say we’re getting better and better at it.

This all is, in fact, just a long, long introduction about how this post is about photos, these Black&White photos that we’ve playing with and which all …well, they just came up too good not to be published. I’ll be posting some of them on Instagram, but there’s nothing stopping me from posting all of them here. Well, the perks of having your own blog!:)

 

Hope you’ll enjoy them, do let me know what you think!

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Healthy eating tips from a French fries lover

Healthy eating tips from a French fries lover

Let’s be honest here: healthy eating is not easy, especially if you are like me and your favourite dish in the whole world is a bucket of fries, just plain golden and crispy perfection, no fancy addition needed.

But life is not fair and most of us will not be able to indulge too much in the fries kingdom (wouldn’t that be nice? like a gingerbread house, or town, only much better😊) without that taking its toll, eventually.

So, when you need to join the healthy eating clan, but you’re a newbie lacking motivation, here are some tips to keep you on the straight path…as much as possible.

Getting started is hard, but then it gets better. Oh, my God, the hunger! Not joking, I was hungry all the time. And, mind you, my before diet was not that bad. But when you change the oh-so-good bread with basically green stuff and you eat salmon and lentils for days in a row (by the way, don’t do that and try to keep your menu varied), the first thing you feel with utmost clarity is hunger. And you probably become the definition of “hangry”.

Being stubborn helps. As said above, it does get better. All you need is a bit of consistency, strong will or, if I may, good old stubbornness. That will get you to the point when the good stuff kicks in and you start feeling the benefits. Amazingly, you’ll find that the healthy diet is indeed more nutritious (well, isn’t that a wonder?) and you actually get used to that.

And, then, everything should go on smoothly. Except that…

You’ll need to put some effort into it. And I’m not talking here about the psychological effort, but the very obvious one of preparing your meals. If you are a talented cook, then you’re fine, good to go, but if not, you might end up eating salmon and lentils for days in a row. Ok, it was weeks, but who’s counting? Not much philosophy here, being prepared means you will not make any rush decisions and, thus, not stray too much from the healthy part of things.

That being said, it is ok – and this is my personal bit of not-very-informed, average healthy eater – to indulge from time to time.  Therefore…

Keep the French fries in the mix. Or insert here your favourite food. After all, we’re not saints and is probably better to sin a bit than spending your time thinking about that tasty dish of …whatever. My sin time is during weekends, which is actually something that I’ve read somewhere that is not recommended, but, well, I’m not that strong and it seems to work. So, however you do it, allow yourself the pleasure of tasty food even if it doesn’t rank too high on the absolute healthy meter.

So, there you have it, my very obvious, not too fancy tips for keeping your diet healthy, even if just a bit.

I would love to be in the posture of offering some real advice on how to do it properly, but I’m not there yet. I’m hoping, though, that you can relate to this and I’ll also share some thoughts on the other element that goes in the healthy mix – exercise. But, that, in another post.

 

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Book: “The Last Anniversary”, by Liane Moriarty

Book: “The Last Anniversary”, by Liane Moriarty

I’m a very selfish reader, meaning that I will leave unfinished any book, however accomplished in style and plot, if it doesn’t make me feel good or if it doesn’t keep me interested. Or if it’s too painful to read, as some of the great books are. Following the same logic, I’ll probably cut some slack to a not so good book if it’s entertaining or somehow comforting. Well, I’m only human, I guess.

“The Last Anniversary”, by Liane Moriarty pertains to the latter category, but is nevertheless something that I would recommend when you are in the mood for an easy and uplifting read.

The book tells the story of Sophie, a fairly accomplished professional, single, nearing 40 and looking for a Mr. Perfect to father her baby. Yes,” have a baby by 40”, not very new, not very unexpected, is the tagline which opens the entertaining, but definitely not plausible sequence of happenings in the book.

Sophie receives an unexpected inheritance from Aunt Connie, the relative of Thomas, her former lover, whom she broke up with because… well, because he wasn’t the love of her life, basically. Aunt Connie leaves Sophie her house on Scribbly Gum Island, which, I’m sure we all agree, is totally normal and happens every day in real life.  Sophie moves in the house and gradually becomes part of the family owning the island, a collection of perfect beings, with perfect mysteries and perfect flaws. And, mind you, “mystery” is the other tagline that runs through the entire book.

The wealth of the family is based on the Munro Baby Mystery, an unfortunate happening that left a newborn girl orphan, but turned the small island into a tourist attraction. All members of the family are part of the enterprise keeping the mystery alive, but also living their personal dramas or stories of growth. I will not go too much into the actual plot, not to spoil the fun of an otherwise pleasant story, but cannot keep myself for saying once again that everything is waaaay too perfect.

Sophie is pretty, successful, has a perfect family. I mean, she goes out every week with her parents and the three of them have a little game reviewing gourmet restaurants. And there’s no irony in saying that her mother is her best friend. Aaaand, still, Sophie thinks she’s the ugly duckling when she compares herself to Grace, Nordic-like beauty, graphic designer turned children books writer and illustrator, married to Callum and mother to newly born perfect baby Jake. Actually, Grace’s life is the life Sophie dreams of, Callum is the kind of man for the potential love of whom poor Thomas was dumped, Jake is perfect even if only by being a baby. Even so, Sophie does not wish Grace to vanish or something like that, no, because Sophie cannot do such a thing. For God’s sake, no character in this book would genuinely do something like that, because – you got it – all characters are perfect. 🙂

Actually, no, only one character is not likeable and it is intentionally built like that. And that is Thomas’s wife, whose name I cannot be bothered to remember, whom he married after Sophie broke his heart and who is in fact the travel agent whom he bought a honeymoon ticket from, when he unsuccessfully proposed to Sophie. Aham… yes, you guessed it, Thomas is still in love with Sophie and the un-named unlikeable wife and mother of his baby (in the book she does have a name, but I really cannot remember it) knows about this and hates Sophie. Wow, somebody in this book is actually capable of hate.

Long story short, if you want to find flaws in the plot, this book will give you lots of opportunities. But at the same time, it is undeniable charming. Probably is the writing itself, or maybe the fact that, however hard to believe, the perfect imperfect life of these imperfectly perfect characters really draws you to the book and makes you really enjoy the read. I would say that a gloomy autumn Sunday, with a warm cup of coffee, cozy blanket and this book makes for a nice treat.

 

 So, go on, enjoy it, it’s perfectly ok to do so! 🙂

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