That cosy feeling

That cosy feeling

If you know me, you know that one of the most predictable things about me – besides taking a trip to Italy every.single.year. – is an almost absolute preference for all things Scandinavian. Never mind the fancy restaurant, take me to IKEA and you’ll make my day😊 Just kidding… actually, take me to IKEA and order some good food on the way and that will do it.

On a more serious note, remember that Swedish company I mentioned here? Well, it just so happens that I came back, after one year…

While you ponder on this (believe me, I did too), corporate matters aside, let me lay the explanation out there: it’s really nothing very complicated, it’s just the cosy and comfortable feeling that I find in all things Nordic.

Flatlay on www.storiesandcolours.com, cosy, Scandinavian, Nordic

First and foremost, interior design. It’s still a wonder for me how Nordic homes manage to be so simple and yet so warm and welcoming. When furnishing my apartment, I literally devoured interior design magazines and websites and one of my go-to places was and still is the apartments section on www.freshome.com. They feature a lot of Scandinavian homes and I just found myself naturally drawn to them. It’s probably because they somehow feel lived-in or, to be more exact, made to be lived in. And, by the way…that IKEA thing, not a joke. I do love their products and, more then that, their philosophy.

Moving on to another type of design, Nordic clothing labels. COS, H&M and &Other Stories forever. I really am a simple girl, don’t need anything more than this. There are very few occasions in which I walk into a COS store and don’t find anything to my liking, I think &Other Stories cosmetics are the equivalent of candy and one of my favourite pastimes is to hunt for H&M items that look 10x their price. And no, this is not a myth, it can really be done.

I guess the question needs to be asked: what’s that damn special about them? Again, easy answer: timeless design and quality fabrics. It can actually get annoying at times; I mean, when your dresses don’t really get worn out, it’s a bit difficult to justify buying new ones, isn’t it?

Flatlay on www.storiesandcolours.com, cosy, Scandinavian, Nordic

Making it in my top 3, coffee. Not just the beverage, but the entire culture around it. Swedes, for example, do love their fika. And it seems that I love Espresso House, as the recent trip to Stockholm proved it. While going to the office, me and my colleagues used to spice up our morning train rides with a stop at Espresso House to fuel up for the day. Well, that and getting lost in the subway…but, shhh, that’s secret, don’t tell anyone😊

And to finish the list with a personal staple: at least 10.000 steps everyday. I think my Fitbit was ecstatic. At home, I get to reach the 10.000 goal only if I take a run or go to the gym or forget my phone or my coffee in the car and then forget the key when going to get them from the car…you get the drill. Not here, where people seem to walk everywhere and are impossibly fit considering all the sweets they eat. Yeap, if you feel envy coming up from the screen, that’s me counting calories…or something like that.

 

What about you? What’s your special attraction when it comes to foreign cultures?

Flatlay on www.storiesandcolours.com, cosy, Scandinavian, Nordic

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S&C Features: AMA session

S&C Features: AMA session

I have been away for a while… a bit of vacation, changing jobs, feeling a bit sick. Just life, mostly. On the vacation front, this means new places to write about, so do drop by soon for some new travel posts.

In the meantime, I realized I haven’t shared the AMA session I’ve been invited to hold recently, so I thought to do a quick post about it.

To be honest, I was quite flattered by the invitation, but at the same time pretty sure that no one will be interested in asking me anything. I’ve taken a look on the AMAfeed site, the platform facilitating the event and was impressed by the variety of topics and the interesting people who hosted similar sessions. So I said yes quite reluctantly, being very curious about the entire experience but not really expecting too many questions coming my way.

Turns out I was wrong. Granted, there weren’t hundreds of questions, but still a fair amount of them. And the nice thing is they weren’t easy questions; I mean I needed to take the proper time to think about the answers and just the fact that someone was interested in finding more about me and my blog made me treat this with genuine responsibility.

The session was hosted in the Blogging section of the site and the aim was just to share my honest journey in search of creativity. If you want to find out more on this and would like to take a look, you may follow this link. And should this spark any more questions or ideas to discuss, just let me know, I think I’ve developed a taste for it😊

Enjoy!

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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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