Thursday, 26 June 2014

Give a Little Less of a Fuck

Norwegian physician and professor of public health, Per Fugelli has enriched the lives of many people with his life-philosophy. Here are six of his top tips.

Per Fugelli. Foto: Wikipedia commons.

1. We put excessive demands on ourselves and those around us, so much so that they can never be met. This makes us unhappy. A good prescription for a good life is to give a little less of a fuck.

2. Fugelli has introduced the term "the Enough Point." The book of the same name is a "gameplan written for the incomplete man and the generosity of the community." Here Fugelli writes, for the sake of our own happiness, we should say we're satisfied with "good enough", an almost revolutionary concept in today's materialistic and achievement driven society.

3. Stop Worrying! As Norway became rich in oil money, discontent grew. The Wailing Wall of everything that is bad has grown high because of the abundance and increasing expectations that we can afford everything, and therefore are entitled to everything, says Fugelli. When it turns out that life does not respond to these expectations, we complain.

4. "Here are the joys and sorrows" can be found framed on the walls of many old people. It should be adopted by several generations, says Fugelli. By accepting that life also consists of defeat and loss, we have every opportunity to thrive today.

5. The good life and quality of life is about much more than the physical. We must rather look at how our souls can flourish. A little too often all of our resolutions are about only one person: the self. We forget that we are part of a community. The dream that next year will be better, therefore, is not only about myself, but about how to make it better by dancing with people around me, making it more pleasant and interesting with others. Happiness and being part of a herd are two basic conditions under which the soul to thrive.

6.  Be yourself - the imperative call of two values​​: freedom and dignity.
You must have the power and ability to move toward their own goals. It is freedom.
You must have self-respect and be seen and accepted as you are. There is dignity.

From an article on the Norwegian newspaper, Bodø Nu.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Easy Banana Bread

Posted by popular demand! 


1 ¾ cups flour,  whole wheat (or 2 cup whole grain spelt)
½  cup sugar
1tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
(1 tsp cinnamon, optional)
(1cup chopped walnuts, optional)

100g butter, very soft or  melted
2 eggs, beaten - optional *
3 over ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract (can be substituted with 1 tsp vanilla sugar)
(1Tbps molasses, optional)


Heat the oven to 175oC.
Grease and flour a loaf tin (23cms x 13sm, approx.)

Combine dry ingredients.
Combine wet ingredients.
Add wet to dry and mix to combine. Do not over mix, as this will make the bread tough.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or un til a skewer comes out clean.

Serve warm or allow to cool. 
This doesn't keep well in warm weather, so store it in the fridge.

*The bread in the picture is made with eggs. Bread made without eggs is also delicious, but will not rise as much.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Handbag Epiphany

I've been doing this all wrong! I've been looking for a handbag which will satisfy all of my handbag requirements. One I can use every day, never have to swap out for a smaller, bigger, shinier, more casual bag.

Tips for decluttering your technology-filled handbag

The fact is, handbags are like shoes. It's necessary to have more than one pair of shoes. Necessary, I say!


The plan now is to have a system (something I lack in the shoe department). I will organise the contents of my handbag, have a box or a shelf where I'll store my purse, keys, glasses case, etc. Then, when I'm going somewhere, I will choose, as I do with shoes, the right bag for the outfit.

I also need to find a way to store them, (and my shoes) in a suitably minimalist fashion.

This is a slide out bit for some wardrobes we have JUST for handbags (& hats). LOVE it.
More like this...
How to organize your stuff, on MSN
... less like this.

I can't believe it's taken me so long to figure this out. I need to try it out for a while, of course. I have already tried having one of those handbag organisers. It may have been that it was a low quality one, but I really didn't like it. It didn't function as I'd imagined. It was so much hassle getting things in and out of it as well as getting it in and out of the bags.

Look at this - once this is in your bag, how do you get to the stuff in the outside pockets?

It is more than likely that I'll hate the whole swapping exercise and go back to having everything in my big, black shopper, but it needs to be explored!

Needless to say, I would love to find that one of them turns out to be the all purpose, luxury companion I've dreamt of!

Here's an interesting article on the handbag habits of women in the UK.

How on earth does this work?! A purse that charges your phone!

Monday, 9 June 2014


In a recent post, I was very enthusiastic, almost evangelical, about my new motto, Have less, But Have the Best. I would rid myself of all unnecessary belongings and start investing in high quality pieces that would stand the test of time. They would crystallise the aspects of me that I want to pin down and keep, and help them to shine.

I also wrote about the bag that would be the first pin in my quest. It would be my barometer - a high quality, soft leather tote. Very minimal, with raw edges and no hardware. I ordered after many hours of deliberation. I scrutinised all the photographs and eventually decided on the mustard yellow.

Well, the bag arrived a few days ago and it was a bitter disappointment. It wasn't the bag in the photographs, it's not the same colour, it doesn't have the same finish, it's hard and stiff with a plastic seal around the edges of the leather (something I would never choose), the straps were too short and, until yesterday, I was convinced that it was not even leather!

The bag I received... 
Bonded plastic edges.

Needless to say, almost immediately, I was back online, looking for 'the' handbag. 

I am still convinced that there is such a thing as 'the one' when it comes to handbags, and I know that I'm not alone. I have sisters. I have friends. I have this conversation with them. I read blogs and magazine articles on how to find 'the one'.

Old flame.

It sounds a lot like looking for true love, doesn't it? 

Some people believe in true love, others don't. Many look for true love, and expect that you won't have to change to accommodate the other person. They also expect that the other person will be the ideal they have in their mind of what they should be, and, if necessary, morph into that ideal. When this doesn't happen. heartache and disappointed ensue, along with the resolve that true love simply doesn't exist. 

The trouble with a handbag is that it will never change. It is incapable of morphing, incapable of compromise, so it has to be right at the beginning of the relationship.

Another thing to consider is the reality vs. expectation conundrum. As my daughter pointed out, the main reason I was so disappointed with my bag was because my expectations were so high. I'd waited so long to invest in a proper, 'grown up' handbag that, maybe, whatever bag I'd received would have been a disappointment? 

According to Dan Gilbert, the longer we deliberate, the less satisfied/happy we'll be with whatever decision we make.

It seems there's something to be said for impulse buying!

While I was looking through pages and pages of bags, on Pinterest, Google Images, eBay, AliExpress, I realised that I'm just going to have to buy some of these bags. Become a slut, if you like.


I've come to accept that this new direction, this dream of floating effortlessly through life with as few physical accompaniments as possible, will be a lengthy process. 

I also realised that the bag that I bought, the mustard yellow, minimalist, leather shopper, just isn't me. Why did I think it was? 

I wanted it to be me. I wanted to be that woman, the one who doesn't need everything neatly packed away into its own compartment. The words 'organiser bag' haunt me - I don't want to be an organiser bag lady! 

The challenge now is to find out what kind of bag lady I am, and I fear that the only way to do that is to spend some money on the exercise (even though it contradicts the Have Less resolve).

Maybe it’s as much about learning to buy wisely as it is about accepting the fact that mistakes will be made. You’re not an idiot for making a bad purchase, just as you’re not an idiot for making a bad life decision... or dating a creep.

Current crush.

Disclaimer: It's taken me far too long to write this post! I started this morning at around 10, and I've had so many interruptions (including a lengthy handbag conversation with my sister via Skype) that i just have to post it now without another proof reading. If you find any errors or discrepancies, please let point them out to me. x

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Colour Fan-tastic

Along with your Personal Colour Analysis comes this invaluable little colour fan to take with you when shopping for clothes and accessories.

You can also use it to reduce your wardrobe.

This is my Dark Winter colour fan. I've just used to sort through my nail colours.
Winners on the right, losers on the left.