All packed and ready to go… speak to you from London. x
My time at the gym is my quality time with myself. It’s the most private state you’ll ever find me in. I think I even look different, my face changes, my facial expressions become intense. Every emotion that I am feeling, whether it’s happiness, excitement, sadness or worry, intensifies and I work through those emotions there on the cross trainer or in my plank position. Last week I went in late at night and there was only a couple of people in the gym. After an hour of running I went to do my sit-ups and suddenly burst into tears. I must have looked like a man woman and trust me I was just as surprised as the guy lifting his weights next to me. It wasn’t that I was sad or upset…I just felt this rush of built-up emotions that I needed to get off my chest. Walking home I felt so much lighter, those were the kind of tears worth crying. The kind that make you feel better. We all know the benefits of exercising on our physical well being, but we seem to forget they way it helps improve our mental health. I will always tell a friend who is feeling low or depressed to exercise. Just have a look at some of the chemicals and hormones which are released as you work out:
Endorphins - These chemicals released by your pituitary gland make you feel exhilarated and happy. They block any feeling of pain so you can power through any discomforted caused by exercising.
Estrogen - these hormones determine whether carbs or fat fuel the body during exercise. Women tend to burn fat for fuel hile men tend to burn carbs because women have higher estrogen levels.
Serotonin – this chemical is responsible for happiness, restful sleep, and a healthy appetite. Serotonin works with endorphins to make working out a pleasurable activity.
Dopamine – a pleasure chemical. Studies have found that a brain with a dopamine receptor deficiency is more prone to weight gain, because eating quickly easily raises dopamine levels. Those with fewer receptors need more dopamine in the bloodstream (aka more food) to reach the same level of satisfaction as someone with a normal amount.
Hello lovers, how are you spending your Sunday? I am in a super relaxed mode, sitting in my favourite cafe and blogging. The photo above is obviously not from today, if it was then I would be wearing layer on layer as it’s freezing cold here in London. This photo was taken during my visit to UCLA in California. It was a really good day and even if I’m not smiling ear to ear you can tell my mood from my eyes. It’s the Oscars day in LaLa-land, wish I was there. My friend Bahman Kalbasi will be covering it from the red carpet and he always brings the best coverage of the event. I’m proud of my boy, always.
Lovers, Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m one of those rare people who loves this day. It’s not because I think we need a reminder to show our loved ones that we care for them, this should be an every day mission. I just like that there is a day to mark love in our lives, the love between two lovers, between friends, between family members. I’m not big on the teddies and heart shaped chocolate though ;)
Was it all a dream? The most amazing ten days of my life. I have found home at last, on the beach in Santa Monica, in the traffic jams of LA, in a cosy restaurant in Newport Beach and somewhere between Sunset and Hollywood Boulevard.
Meet one of my closest friends Lavenna, she is one of a kind. I can spend days on and days out with this girl without any of us getting bored or risking to run out of things to talk about. When we get together it’s always so much laughter…and sometimes tears. I’m a very private person but Lavenna is someone I can bare my soul to and know I can trust her. One only needs one or two friends like that and I am lucky to have found them, you know who you are.
I am currently in a place in my life where big changes are ahead, amazing changes which I am working very hard for…. and as always there will be obstacles in the way to test our will and power. This text message from Lav summarizes the kind of friend she is, the type that will always make you feel like a winner: ”They could never stop a force like you, they are not strong enough. Use the lessons to fuel the journey, they’ll make you get there quicker”. Thank you my darling, I won’t let you down. I know we will both achieve all our dreams.
The most precious kind of post arrived over the weekend – a letter from my father. I kissed the words and inhaled the sentences hoping his scent would still be on those papers. Blessed I am for being born into our family and for being raised by the pair of you, for having people of integrity behind me. I hope some of your character has rubbed off on me.
Mum and dad – I know you’ll read this:) I want you to know how much I appreciate everything that you have done for all your children. Because of your faith in me I’ll always find peace. Thanks for loving me unconditionally and reminding me of what really matters. You are my everything!
I never thought I would be filling in one of these lists that bloggers often post with random info about themselves, but when one of my favourite Swedish readers sent me the questions below I dived right into it. Thanks Malin for being so incredibly sweet and following my journey. This blog has gone from a project to find out how the fashion and beauty blogging world looks like and how PR’s can best collaborate with bloggers, to become a dear space I call my own where I can type out my random thoughts. I am so glad you and others have continued to follow me and it makes keeping this “diary” worthwhile. The questions were in Swedish, I’ve translated them as close as possible:
What’s your mood like today?
Calm and happy. I am home in Stockholm with my family. I’ve had a really fantastic week, met up with good friends and I feel charged for when going back to London tomorrow.
What are you wearing today?
Green knit jumper from Acne, black leggings from Lindex, Boots from Filippa K, coat from Zara.
Favourite London hangout?
You can always find me at the Elgin- my favourite London pub near Ladbroke Grove and Portobello road. It’s fantastic during the day if you’re after a home away from home where you can eat good food and use the wifi. The staff is fantastic and you quickly feel like home at the Elgin. In the evenings they often have great live music and it gets very busy during the weekend. I have declared Mau Mau on Portobello rd as the official pre-party place of Friday’s. I would say most of my favourite places are spread around Portobello road hence why I live there.
What’s your favourite drink?
Non- alcoholic ones are chai-latte, lemonade or green tea. If Alcoholic then it has to be Vodka and remember I lived in Russia for a couple of years, it has to be quality Vodka.
What type of men do you go for?
The type I shouldn’t go for?! Joke aside, I’ve always said that I go for men that are rich in layers and it’s pretty much true. I once tried the safe and reserved type and I truly loved him, but it wasn’t the right combination for me. If you’re with the wrong kind of man for you (and may I stress the “for you” bit) then it often leads to an unhealthy relationship. There are many kinds of unhealthy relationships and we have all experienced them in some shape or form. The one thing they have in common is that when you are in them you end up losing your sense of self little by little and you will never be happy as you should and deserve to be. Having said this, it doesn’t mean I want someone unsafe. I just know that I need my man to be spontaneous, full of life and capable of expressing feelings, in joy, in sadness and even in anger. The kind who can laugh from the heart and bare his souls without the fear of being judged, esp around me. I like men who notice the small details because it’s the small details that make the difference. I generally like people who are passionate about things they are interested in and who are real. These kind of men never bore and I refuse to be bored. Life is too short to ever allow yourself to get bored.
What’s the latest book you’ve read?
I’m halfway through Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
The best thing about living in London is…
That there’s always plenty of things to do and people to see and you have easy access to everything.
Who inspires you?
People who have a positive energy and create a good life for themselves. People who express real emotions and love over and over again despite the scars. People who give without expecting anything in return, people who make those around them feel good about themselves- that’s an art these days. It’s so easy to pulls others down while trying to make your way up, easy and dirty. So I respect talented people who can win without trying to make losers out of those around them. People who can write. It’s all about writing for me….Lana Del Rey has been the biggest inspiration for me this year, everything from her looks to her fantastic story telling.
Qualities you like and dislike about yourself?
I’m a hopeless dreamer and that’s my best quality. I will see good in everything and find good in everyone. It helps me get on in life, be forgiving, be able to let go and believe I can achieve something big without restrictions. I am intense, that’s a good and bad quality. I have learned to save my intensity for those who understand and appreciate it. I am restless and have no patience what so ever – not my best qualities. My mum always says: “Dena give it time”. ..but time is limited. The clock is ticking away and I want what I want and I want it now, though I’ve learned recently that good things can’t be rushed. My worst quality is that I sometimes only hear what I want to hear, this is something I am working on. To accept the other person might not feel, think or act as I wish they did, or that sometimes they don’t mean it as I perceive it and I must allow them to share that with me. Growing up one has so many insecurities, so much we want to change about ourselves. I learned early on thanks to a very supporting family to accept what I cannot change and build the courage to change the things I can. I am constantly working on myself and that will never end.
What are your favourite brands to wear?
I carry my Scandinavian brands with pride. I go to COS for my basics. I love Acne, House of Dagmar, Filippa K, Whyred, Tiger of Sweden. I also love Helmut Lang, got a few pieces that I know will stay in my wardrobe for a very long time.
Best life lessons learned?
To always be honest with yourself, to be brave enough to follow that little voice inside of you because only that can guide you right. Don’t live for others, unfortunately trying to make people around you happy doesn’t always result in you being happy. By doing things my own way, by taking my own path, I am a happier person and so are my loved ones because in the end of the day they only wish me the best. Perhaps some decisions will hard for them to accept but I have to do what feels right for me, that way I will not have any regrets. That’s the life I am leading now days and I’ve never been happier. My relationships with those close to me have never been stronger. And one more thing, it’s not meant to be hard, nothing in life is meant to be hard. If something doesn’t make you happy, let it go. Be it work, a relationship…. as simple as that. Why haven’t we learned this yet?
How do you unwind?
By having coffee with a good friend, sharing stories and having a laugh, or by hitting the gym, a good work out makes me relaxed and happy.
As Nietzsche once said: “without music, life would be a mistake.” I have loved music since early childhood when I learned to play the piano and even tried the violin, but I soon realized that I wasn’t very musical that way. So instead I focused on dancing which is also related to music, nothing makes me as happy as moving to music. I’m from the MTV generation and spent my teens in front of the telly singing along to my favourite tunes. There was a couple of years when I first moved to London that I lived without music and they were the unhappiest years of my life. I am on a constant treasure hunt in the music world, looking for new bands, new sounds. A day without music would be like a day without food or water to me, it’s a necessity.
The future is…
somewhere that doesn’t scare me but makes me hopeful. Life is really good right now, it’s good because I have experienced my share of bad and without the bad I would never quite appreciate good as much as I do right now. I’m at a stage in my life where I’m creating myself, the life I’m leading and the future I want. I am a strong believer in us creating the future we wish for, creating our own lives. I don’t wish for an amazing 2013, I am making it an amazing 2013.
Have a great Wednesday lovelies, you are half way through the week. I got a lot to do before flying out to Sweden on Friday. And it might be cold but I gotta show off my tan from Marrakech.