Tag Archives: resolutions

a very different new year

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 has been treating you kindly so far.

In the two months since I last blogged I’ve wrapped up my office job as well as my photography business, closed my Etsy shop until spring, packed up our apartment, stripped our new house of all wallpaper and supervised the rest of the renovations, moved us and the cats to our new home the weekend before Christmas, celebrated Christmas and New Year’s and finished most of the decorating in our house. Phew.

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On our new home

To say it’s been a lot would be an understatement but even though it has been an exhausting few months it was so worth it. The house is nearly done apart from a few minor details and is starting to really feel like home. Next up on the agenda are pictures on the walls and finishing baby’s room.

With the little one due in just a few weeks I have been more anxious than usual to get everything done in time. With a newborn I expect we’ll have neither time nor motivation to tie up lose ends in every room. J has been working tirelessly for weeks now, first renovating then putting together the entire kitchen by himself and then putting up light fixtures and shelves and mirrors and a million small things. Going back to work today must feel like a holiday to him, poor guy.

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The cats have settled in quite well even though it took Finn nearly two weeks to figure out the stairs – after camping out in our bedroom for ten days he was amazed to discover this house has a basement, a ground floor and an attic studio too!

On new year’s resolutions

2016 will be a completely different year than any other time in my life so far. In the last few years I’ve been working a full time job plus building up a business and shop on the side in the wee hours of the morning and on weekends. In 2016 I will be on maternity and parental leave for the whole year (yay German maternity laws). Though saying goodbye to my office job for over a year was hard (I really do have the best co-workers and will miss them awfully) I’m now very much looking forward to spending a few quiet weeks at home preparing for the little one’s arrival. We did a Hypnobirthing course way back in October in preparation for the birth and it’s high time I started practising regularly to ensure I can use the techniques when I go into labour.

My goals for 2016 are simple. I want to take it slow, live in the moment and soak up the whole experience of becoming a mother. Being mindful, spending time in nature and finding a rhythm to our new life will be the priority. Documenting this and picking up the camera to capture our everyday life will be my creative challenge for the year. I adore Jodi’s blog and 52 series and hope to create a similar reminder of childhood for my baby.

On the last few weeks of pregnancy

It’s still hard to imagine myself as a mom, but I trust everything will fall into place and there’ll be a lot of ‘learning by doing’. I’m most scared of the sleep deprivation that is inevitably around the corner. I just don’t function at all on little sleep. Even now at 33 weeks I still manage to get a good 10 or 11 hours in at night.

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I know a lot of women have a hard time being pregnant but I can honestly say I’m one of the lucky ones. Sure, I have a few annoying symptoms (mainly exhaustion and lots of dizziness these days) but on the whole this pregnancy has been very kind on my body! The chronic back pain I’ve been struggling with for years has gone (thank you pregnancy hormones for softening up those joints and muscles in the hip and lower back), I’ve had hardly any nausea or other discomforts and I can even eat lots of dairy products again which I’ve had to avoid in the last few years.

For all you ladies out there suffering through less enjoyable pregnancies – I really feel for you and trust me, I know all too well what it’s like to be in pain and to feel like crap every single day. Hang in there!

Any pregnancy / delivery advice or new year’s resolutions you’d like to share?



happy new year!

I’m wishing you all a wonderful start into 2014.
happy new year. tidytipsy
On the whole, 2013 was a good year for me. I opened my Etsy Shop and learned a ton about having an online business. I was lucky to do some lovely client photoshoots. I also got to travel a bit which always keeps me happy and refills my batteries like nothing else.

The year has gone by so fast that I can hardly believe it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions again! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know I’m a big believer in making resolutions. Some of last year’s resolutions worked out quite well and I’m proud of that. Writing them down and thinking about practical ways to achieve each resolution is a big step to accomplishing them.

happy new year. tidytipsy
For 2014 I want to keep my resolutions simple:

  • healthy eating and living. On the list every year, but I feel I really made some progress here in 2013. I will be sharing this in more detail in its own post but my goal for 2014 is to keep on track. This includes a. healthy eating (meaning essentially less sugar, carbs and grains and more vegetables and fruits), b. drinking lots of water and c. regular exercise (daily yoga and walking plus horseriding and weekly yoga class).
  • do my thing and stop comparing myself to others. Knowing your competition is good but especially in photography it can be numbing to see all the talent out there and feel inadequate in comparison. I am happiest when I’m in my creative bubble, doing work I am passionate about and this year I want to remind myself that while drawing inspiration from other artists is great, it is equally important to deliberately step away and immerse yourself in your own creative world. I’m looking at you, Pinterest.
    This year I want to do more work I feel intensely passionate about as this is the work that pushes me in the right direction and makes me really happy.
  • less internet time and distraction. this really goes hand in hand with #2. I love the internet but we all know it’s a time sucker like nothing else. Carefully managing and restricting my internet time is a must to make room for working efficiently and having time for creativity.
  • get out more. Being in new places and surrounded by nature is intensely satisfying and inspiring for me. In 2014 I want to plan two weekend breaks to just get away for a change of air in between.
  • blog more. I love this little space and I feel I haven’t spent enough time here lately. I’ll also be doing an overhaul on my photo blog but redefining this personal space here is important to me.
  • grow my business. Obviously 😉 This year I want to focus on what really matters to me and inspires me and I’m so looking forward to it!

Ahem, forget keeping it simple. Once I start writing I usually can’t stop. The boyfriend asked me yesterday what my resolutions are and I replied ‘It’s still a bit vague in my head, but ask me again tomorrow. Once I’ve written about it I’ll know.’ That’s just one of the things I love about blogging…I get to know myself so much better by writing about stuff!
happy new year. tidytipsy
One more thing: The start of a new year is always a good time to listen to this wonderful and inspirational speech by Neil Gaiman. If you don’t know it yet, treat yourself to 20 minutes and listen to it. Actually, even if you do know it, treat yourself and watch it again. I’ll wait here.

Feeling inspired? New Year’s day is a great day to ask yourself ‘What is my mountain? Did the things I did last year take me nearer to or further away from my mountain?’
For me I can say I am moving in the right direction. The way is not always clear but it gets clearer the further I get along.
happy new year. tidytipsy
Thank you for reading and sharing this little corner of the internet with me!

happy new year

happy new year. tidytipsy
I hope you all had a great start into the new year! As always, I try to take the time to reflect on the past year at this point and even though the year has rushed by these reflections have been on my mind a lot in the last days.
It’s always interesting to read back to the last new year’s post and compare. 2012 has been quite a year! It started with a very emotional time for us due to a family member’s illness which stayed with us for a good part of the year too. Thankfully things are looking up a bit on that end a year on!
2011 was the year where I struggled with the transition from student life to full time office work and to be honest I was feeling a bit low and unfocussed by the end of it. I really tackled that in 2012 when I realized that I was ready to go into business with my photography. It was a huge step for me but it has paid off better than I could have imagined.
I went through all the scary paperwork and officially opened my business in February.
Don’t be fooled: having a business while also working a full time day job is HARD. It means long hours on weekends and weekday evenings, a lot of unexpected challenges and a lot of patience when you have inspiring ideas but simply have to accept the fact that there are not enough hours in the day, week, month and it will just have to wait.
But: it is also inredibly rewarding! I can honestly say I have never looked back and enjoy every minute of it. It has challenged me and helped me grow in my photography in ways I could not have foreseen. It has brought wonderful clients my way and allowed me to capture and give a lot of joy. In 2012 I have designed my own website, created a photography blog and a facebook page and taught myself to send email newsletters (subscribe here if you like). I have done it all on my own and I am incredibly proud of that. I needed and need this to define who I am. I have no intention of giving up my day job (in case you were wondering) but I am excited to see what 2013 will bring for my business.
happy new year. tidytipsy
So, resolutions for 2013.
Health ::

  • Keep going to my weekly yoga class and do yoga at home daily. I started yoga class early in 2012 and found out I really love yoga. It has given me a completely new feeling for my body and helps me battle back and neck pains. I really need to extend the part yoga plays in my life by doing at least a few minutes daily. At the moment I am using this 10 minute morning yoga session to wake up in the morning and it feels great.
  • Drink water. I went to see a doctor about two months ago because I kept having really bad headaches, as often as two or three times a week and they were getting worse. I was also starting to get tummy aches from taking too much aspirin. She told me to start drinking 2.5 litres of pure water (in addition to every other liquid) every day before trying other treatment. I laughed in her face because I thought I was already drinking enough water. Guess what, I wasn’t. I am not up to 2.5 litres a day yet but the headaches have nearly stopped and I feel much better. Turns out the body adjusts to it after a while, it even makes you more thirsty the more you drink and I don’t even have to run to pee every five minutes anymore. Wish I had known this 15 years earlier.
  • Eat better. This one is on my list every single year. We do get better at cooking and eating healthier (still going to the farmer’s market every weekend) but there is still too much frozen pizza. This year I’m planning to tackle this by writing down 10-15 recipes we already know how to do and have them ready at hand, so we’ll have something healthy and easy to make without the pressure of having to search for a recipe and then shopping for it.
  • Keep up my daily lunch time walk even in rotten weather and when the cafeteria is warm and inviting.


  • Expand and grow my Photography business in new ways. Keeping up the inspiration by setting myself challenges and goals, both overall and for each new photoshoot. Being self-taught I feel there is just so much I do not know and master yet. At the same time I need to learn not to be too hard on myself, to value my work and learn to be more patient.
  • Improve and keep up my Italian language skills by listening to a language CD at least once a week in the car on my way to work. Unused language skills fade all too quickly.
  • Keep on simplifying. In 2009 we gave up television. In 2011 we decluttered and got rid of probably half of what we owned. In 2012 we have reaped the rewards by having less stuff to manage and worry about. Keeping our home clean and cozy is much easier, since picking up and putting things back where they belong takes hardly any time at all. Living simply is an ongoing project that needs managing and supervising and I’m excited to continue doing it in 2013.
  • Be a kinder person. Also on my list every year and the hardest resolution to keep. I think I’m good at this at work and with friends, but less so with family and those closest to me. I think it’s so hard to keep because it is vague and there are less obvious steps to achievement. I will just try to remind myself often to be kind and caring and patient even when I’m tired.

happy new year. tidytipsy
If you’ve kept on reading until here, thank you! Thank you for being here in this space and reading and commenting and sharing and encouraging.


Another year gone and I know I’m repeating myself, but how fast it’s come and gone!
This time last year I was looking forward to slowing down a little. My dad’s health problems only a few short months ago, myself still coming to terms with the anger and frustration that I had just left behind in a bad job situation and changes in daily life that came with adjusting from college to corporate world.

Looking back on 2011 now, it was a year of little outward changes for the first part of it- until we moved that is. Instead it was a year of taking a step back, trying to define for myself where I fit into this picture of having achieved my diploma, having settled down in an office job and accepting that this place (geographically even) is where I’ll be for as long as I can think ahead right now.
I was very reluctant to move apartments, which seems silly now that we love our new place so much. The reason was probably that I wasn’t “done” thinking all this through yet.

My New Year’s resolutions last year were:
1. Eat healthier and more local, which will include growing as much stuff as possible ourselves
2. Educate myself further in photography, gardening and sustainable living
3. Simplify and declutter.
Funnily enough, although a big part of the year felt like I was losing focus and looking to find it again, I achieved my resolutions. We now shop at the farmer’s market every Saturday and eat better at least at the weekends.
I did some nice photo shoots throughout the year (although still nowhere near where I’d like to be yet) and did the big balcony garden experiment, which was very successful in parts and will definitely continue in 2012. I realized “going green” is not one big overhaul but a step-by-step process that we are well on (now’s the point where I guiltily realize that I’ve been planning a post on that for months).
We threw or gave away approximately a third of our belongings and it was a long and painful process. Having worked hard at this for many months it feels so good now to be starting into a new phase in life with a clean slate.

So what’s in store for 2012? A lot I hope 🙂
:: More steps towards a simpler and greener life, more growing food and learning.
:: Hopefully a big step in photography.
:: But also, and very importantly, becoming better at keeping a balance between time and projects and resources, living more in the moment.
I have always been high-strung and this year I realized I am a highly sensitive person (here’s a great personal article about it), a term I wasn’t familiar with before but which makes so much sense now that I can’t believe how I lived without the knowledge. It means, in a nutshell, that I can get more absorbed in ideas, projects, creative endeavours, even my office work than most people. I burn for my ideas and experience and perceive things very intensely. The price for that is crashing harder at the end of the day than most people, both physically and emotionally.
My body lets me know fairly reliably when I run out of strength. The hard part is learning to stop to listen to it, dealing with the frustration of wanting to do so much and accepting that I can’t, that I must take it more slowly.

I realize I have blogged less in the past year and have sometimes failed to answer a comment and email and that is a trend that, quite frankly, will probably continue as 2012 gets busy. I love this blog and the friends I have made here but I find that too much online time makes me nervous. As one step towards more balance I’ve decided that in 2012 I will limit my online time to a reasonable amount.
Another step (and another resolution) will be learning how to meditate and incorporating that into my daily routine.

If you’ve actually read to the end of this, thank you! I am so grateful to have this blog as much as a personal outlet and as a place to interact and meet people from all over the world. Thank you for being here and I’m looking forward to sharing another year here with you 🙂

*As you’ve probably realized the photos in this post had nothing to do with the text, they’re just random horse shots from my now finished Project 52

focus 2011: thrifting

In January I posted some New Year’s resolutions and a couple of months on I think we haven’t done too badly. I’ll be addressing some things related to these resolutions in a couple of posts.
One of my resolutions for the year was simplifying the way we live. Part of that for me is to buy only things that are of real value to me. I love buying and having new things but I am trying to restrict shopping in everyday life. I love having one-of-a-kind and unique items in my home and be reminded of where they came from.
And there are so many sources for these! I’ll be talking about thrift stores in this post and tackle handmade items in another one to keep this post from getting enormous 😉
I go thrifting regularly with a friend. The stores we go to accept donations from everyone, so there is often tons of stuff there. Finding the treasures among it can be time consuming, but we love our treasure hunts!
In thrift stores you can often find wellmade and sturdy items for very little money.
Throughout this year I’ve replaced our chipped Ikea plates with lovely vintage plates, our generic glasses with printed 1970s glasses and fruit bowls with painted china bowls.
I especially love finding these pretty glass canning jars and using them to store flour, sugar, pasta and other stuff:

Painted china bowls and a silver fruit bowl:

A glass pitcher and some pretty glasses on a thrifted tray:

Less exciting, but sturdy and practical:

I sometimes find nice textiles as well, like bedsheets with a pretty pattern. I wouldn’t normally buy bathroom towels, but this cheerful towel with hearts all over it totally wanted to be my guest bathroom towel (not that we have a guest bathroom. But we are apartment hunting after all). Also, the kitty wouldn’t let me have a post without him of course.

And last but not least, these boxes will be holding tea and cookies. The stoneware in the background was also thrifted and holds loose tea.

I have this dream kitchen in my head where all of these mismatched but lovely items will be displayed on open wood shelves and look cool together. We’ll see 🙂

happy new year!

Here’s to a wonderful 2011!

We’re having a foggy start to the new year here, but the signs are pointing to sunny skies I do believe 🙂

I already did some reflection on the year in my birthday post in September, so I’ll try to keep this sweet and short.
For 2010 my new year’s resolutions were:
1. embracing the changes that are to come
2. be more deserving of the great life I have and the wonderful family and friends (both national and international, both human and furry) that fill it
3. be more patient and less grumpy

Number 1, I definitely think I’ve done that. Sadly, most of the changes weren’t what I’d hoped they’d be: My dad had a heart attack and underwent surgery repeatedly throughout the year. My first job turned out to be really crappy. I didn’t get as far with my photography as I would have liked to.
Come to think of it though, out of all that bad stuff came pretty good stuff: My dad, though not perfectly well again, is finally taking it down a notch, working less, smoking way less, and getting there.
Practically hitting a wall with my first job made me more sure of myself, of who I am and who I am not and now my second job is so much better and so much more fun and I can appreciate it more than if I would have without the crappy experience first.
As for photography, I’ve got my goals but I think I’ll be taking it more slowly next year and see what happens.
Number 2, I don’t know if I am more deserving, but I am definitely even more thankful and grateful. Nobody could be richer in kind and supportive family and friends than I am and I am reminded of that every day.
Number 3, big fail on that one. I feel I got more impatient and grumpier, not good. That one stays on the list for 2011.

New resolutions for 2011:
::: Eat healthier and more local, which will include growing as much stuff as possible ourselves
::: Educate myself further in photography, gardening and sustainable living
::: Simplify and declutter. A big revelation this year was that less is more in consuming. Less stuff = more happiness. The realization came easy, living by it is going to be harder.