Things you might not need

When it comes to our home, the stuff we own should be useful. Not here just because everyone has got it or it is “the norm” to own them. I am not talking about decoration, art or stuff that makes us happy, those are more than useful and an expanding of our personality.

Here is a list of things you might consider not having in your life / home, especially if you live in a big city.

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  1. A car. Let’s start with a big thing. If you live in a big city, you do not need a car (at least in Europe.) Public transport is well thought, you can do everything and go everywhere easily. As for us, yes we do not have our driving licence (yet) which explain why we do not own a car but honestly, we really do not need one. Plus, it costs a lot of money and is bad for the environment.
  2. A fridge. It is absolutely possible to live without a fridge. For the story: last august, my ex-roomate left with the fridge and the washing-machine. We had to choose to spend our money in one item because we could not afford to buy both. With a baby, we chose the washing-machine (but for ten years I lived without one and it was totally ok.) Without a fridge, we do need to go more often to the groceries to buy fruits and vegetables, we cook only for one meal in order to have no leftover… but there is no big constraint. We do not eat fish, meat, milk or eggs so maybe it helps. As for the cheese (we do eat cheese), my brother-the-farmer told me that it is better to keep it outside the fridge in a special box: it will taste better (and smell stronger too.) My mum told me I had an great-aunt that lived 40 years without a fridge and died at almost 100 years old… See, very possible.
  3. A micro-wave. No need to explain. A micro-wave is a modern ustensil for hurry people. You really do not need one.
  4. A TV. I can not understand why people still have TVs nowadays. It is pure crap and with the internet, you can choose what to watch and when to watch it. In France in some places, the internet is very slow or barely exist but still: putting the radio on, listening to music or opening a book still are options.
  5. A cell phone. I did a post about living without a cellphone.
  6. Too many clothes. I have a reasonable amount of clothes (less than the majority but more than some people I guess) and a few pair of shoes and I do appreciate all of them. When we met with my boyfriend,  he had only a pair of jeans, one pair of shoes, two t-shirts and a coat… We bought him some new stuff since (for work or a big event like a wedding) but he really is what you can call a minimalist and you know, he is doing fine. If you love clothes, feel free to have a lot of them but only if you really enjoy having them around. If not, consider having less of them and keep the stuff you do wear. You can be stylish with just a few items.
  7. Too many cosmetics. I used to love beauty products and makeup, it was my “péché mignon” for a while. I still own a few makeup products (although I barely use it especially since I gave birth), a shampoo, a product to wash my face, a face cream and a deodorant. It is hard for me to let go but deep down I know I need less than that. My boyfriend use only soap (because I tell him to, if not for me he would use only water…), coconut oil (very useful) and sometimes pure clay. Maybe one day I’ll do the same beauty routine as he does… “If you can eat it, then you can put eat on your skin” he told me. Well, kind of logical but obviously, most of the products that are sold in stores are poison for our health, let’s keep that in mind before buying our next shampoo or body cream. Recently my friend Jamie gave me a soap and a creme that she made back in the US: check the Goat’s Goods it is all natural !
  8. Too many household products. Some soft soap (“savon noir”) and vinegar should be enough. Although I still find myself using wipes or bleach pastilles. Bad girl is still learning.

Any suggestion ? Which things do I not need without knowing it ? 

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Riikka Sormunen

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Super Books (a selection)

Those books I love and I always come back to. Beautiful books, funny books, super books I own and open on a regular basis just because it feels good.

  • Two books from an artist I really love (if I could I would buy everything she’s done) Aurélie William Levaux: “Sous ta barbe mon âme est morte” and “La Poutre de mon oeil.”

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I+I+I

Lack of inspiration? Check these websites, they are going to make you happy and full of new ideas! But don’t procrastinate too much and find time for action.

I spend a lot of time on this website… All these female artists are so inspiring! My passion? Reading the “About” part or the biography behind the visual.

Women Who Draw is an open directory of female* professional illustrators, artists and cartoonists. It was created by two women artists in an effort to increase the visibility of female illustrators, emphasizing female illustrators of color, LBTQ+, and other minority groups of female illustrators.

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I went through (almost) every interview, this is how much I love the concept and the sincerity of this project. It is for everyone but if your are a creative person, you must take a look at it. Check also The Design Files if you have not already.

Extraordinary Routines is an interview project dedicated to discovering the daily routines of creatives.

Finding out how someone spends their day is not about glorifying productivity or finding the perfect routine, but rather shining a light on how people we admire really get through their day – the imperfect moments and hurdles, as well as the triumphs and achievements.

From morning rituals to sleeping habits, creative spaces to creative slumps, Extraordinary Routines highlights that it’s how we deal with the seemingly ordinary parts of our daily lives that makes them extraordinary.

Lifestyle, tips, design, fashion & style, culture… This website has a lot of ressources. The creator of Wit & Delight has very good taste in general and I like the way she writes. There are also some articles about motherhood and I think it is how I ended up there.

Wit & Delight became Kate’s way of considering all areas where style is concerned, serving as a platform for her thought process in developing her own personal style.

Kate-Arends

Pregnancy tips

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Obvious pregnancy tips

As I am in the middle of my second trimester, I thought I would share some tips. Nothing unexpected or that you have never heard before but I can see it is working for me or at least until now. It is helping me to stay healthy and relax during this special time.

  • Your body is changing and you can get tired very quickly so one advice: take it easy ! Don’t rush, don’t push yourself too hard especially at work. You are now breathing for two, it can be exhausting.  On the other hand, you can sometimes feel a lot of energy within yourself. Take advantage of these days to do yoga or to go swimming. It is good in every way: body, mind, spirit. Being slow does not mean being inactive.
  • Eat clean. Although I tend to eat as clean as I can (I am not perfect), I also never restrain myself. Variety is the key. No meat or fish for me but I am used to do so since I am fifteen. There is not one single rule when it comes to food. Except maybe no alcohol and listening (at least considering it) what your doctor tells you.
  • Follow an easy and simple routine. I never wear a lot of makeup but I am trying to focus on the quality of my skin. Dry skin is never confortable so I use a body cream (odorless) more than usual. After the first semester, your hair won’t need a lot of caring: the hormones make them grow faster and less oily that is why I tend to keep a very minimalist routine.
  • Love yourself. Your baby will thank you and your partner will love you even more. It will help you going through the pregnancy, no doubt. Obviously, you will gain some weight but it is for a good cause, it is better not to care too much as long as you are healthy.

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  • Read as much as possible! Having a brain activity is so important. Essays, fiction, non-fiction, books about pregnancy… Whatever. The point is to stimulate your imagination, your critical thinking, to get informations and a lot more.

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  • I know, I said to take it easy. But being pregnant also means that you have a lot of administrative procedures to do, documents to fill in and appointments to attend. I am very very bad at doing these things but since september I try to do it on time because I am no longer on my own. Yes it is boring and not fun but it is for the best. Getting stuff done is important.

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  • I never thought I would be pregnant while living in Paris, I always thought I would be in the countryside. I need fresh air, trees, long walk in the forest or just being surrounded by silence or the singing of the birds. Observing nature is necessary if I want to stay positive. I know I should go more in parcs or force myself to escape the city even a few hours…

Above all, I believe the key is to listen to yourself and your body. Make some small changes in your everyday life if you feel the need but nothing too dramatic. Try to avoid stressful situations and take care of yourself. And as my doctor said “you’re pregnant, not sick.”

PS: Happy birthday my love.
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Pregnancy in January

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Pensive girls, abstract & landscapes

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1) Cathy Cullis 2) Xuan Loc Xuan, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 3) John William Goodward, Curlowe 4) Charles Wilkin, Mouni Feddag 5) Carl Wilhelmson, Misato Suzuki 6) Devon Aoki by Mario Sorrenti, Petra Collins 7) George Spencer Watson, Antra Svarcs 8) Photo of Jane Burden Morris, Monica Barengo 9) Olga by Picasso, Bertha Lum 10) Fairfield Porter (& last painting), Anne-Sophie Tschiegg.