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0117 Collection
2016 was not what I expected it to be. It was in fact one of the worst years of my life but somehow it all turned out well. I feel very excited about this new year and I also feel deeply grateful for the resilience and the inner strength that last year helped me build.

Last year I went from losing my father to being able to finish up my book which I cannot even start to explain how hard and transforming it was all at the same time. I launched a theme collection, worked on some projects with a lot of success and on some others that turned into utter failure, but that’s life in the end, isn’t it? A continued falling and dusting off.

I’m looking to 2017 with the same expectation I did last year, fully knowing in my heart that this is going to be a better year — that I will keep striving, pushing through bad moments and embracing the good times with an open heart.

There’s so much I want to do this year, one step at a time of course, but the road ahead is always very exciting: New projects are in-the-making and new people I’m collaborating with this year who keep me feeling inspired, a new collection is almost finished and my book is being read and commented on by many Bloggers — which means the world to me.

I cannot thank YOU enough for all your support, your kindness and the honor of having you as clients, partners and most importantly, friends.

The collection above sets the tone for what you’re about to see in this quarter. I hope you'll join me and take small steps until the unveiling of my new projects. You will also see more of me on social media... so if you’re interested in taking a peek into my life and work, feel free to follow.

Have a wonderful, blessed and peaceful 2017.

In case you missed them, here are the top 5 posts of 2016:

How To Upgrade Your Blog’s Image
Why You Should Only Buy Linen From CULTIVER
5 Ways Minimalism Can Change Your Life
How To Stay Productive When You Don’t Have A System
30 Days To Minimal Blogging

Hugs,
Ana

Check out Taja's blog for a chance to win a copy of my book.
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0117 Collection

Minimalism for Creatives in
search of mindfulness. Blog Milk is a confluence ofsimplicity and inspiration, aiming to showcase the best of the Artists
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Susanna Vento For Tikkurila
The magnificent Susanna Vento has created a perfect dark atmosphere using paint from Tikkurila's new Clay Color Collection 2017. It's safe to say that de-saturated dark colours will keep making an appearance next year and I'm very excited about the introduction of darker browns and lighter pinks, in fact the color of 2017 is the gorgeous H466 Angora.

Photography: Riikka Kantinkoski

Susanna Vento For Tikkurila



Happy Christmas And A Present For You
It took me more than a while to get into the Holiday spirit this year. It usually takes a little time for me to fall into that frame of mind — with family being miles away from us the excitement for celebrating fades very quickly in this house, although, we always seem to manage have a decent time.

This year, we’re enjoying a gift-free Christmas. We’re also not hosting a party this year and instead we will play the roll of guests. We’ve never had a Holiday with no presents and I’m hoping this experiment allows us to hug each other tighter and to focus all our energies into loving one another rather than having to divide our emotions with the expectations of material things.

I won’t lie… I’ve thoroughly enjoyed not feeling the rush to buy presents or the worry that someone would over-spend on a present for me. It’s been lovely to stay at home instead of pushing my way through crowded markets and malls but what I've loved the most is channeling that time into one very important thing: The science behind the perfect Chocolate Cloud Cake — which will be my contribution to the party, so... wish me luck.

Having said that this will be a gift-free Holiday for us, it doesn’t mean that I will miss the opportunity to thank you* with a gift this Holiday. Each one of you who comes to my blog, leaves a comment, emails me, follows me on social media or that simply lurks around deserves a big virtual hug and an extra one for all your light and the good energy you send our way on the daily.

Get a 25% discount on non-promotional themes using the code: HOLIDAY25 and the same discount on my book 30 Days To Minimal Blogging using the code: CHANGE at check out. A lot of people have been telling me they are saving the book for this break so they can read it intently and silently. I hope you get to do that as well.

The biggest gift for me would be that you read my book and send through a review so I can feature you on my book’s landing page. I want to know how the book is changing your vision, how it’s helping you but most importantly how much meaning is adding to your life and blog.

Enjoy a wonderful, meaningful and love-filled Christmas break with your loved ones.
Hugs,
Ana

Photography: The beautiful and talented Anna Kubel with thanks.

Happy Christmas And A Present For You



Why You Should Only Buy Linen From CULTIVER
A couple of months ago I picked out these beautiful linen sheets from CULTIVER ... and I have to say that these are the best linen sheets I have ever owned, hands down.

This brilliant brand based in Sydney, Australia focuses on enhancing peoples' everyday routine through the luxury of their accessories — and that is very much what they’ve brought into our lives. Everyday luxury.

If you've been part of this blog for a while, you might already know that I’m a linen advocate and I speak very freely about my growing passion — that is because linen happens to be one of the most comfortable, stunning and giving materials in the entire world... and that will not only be my opinion as soon as you get your hands on some.

Of course, you might have already guessed that this is not the first pair of linen sheets I've own — but they are definitely the highest quality, the purest in color and the most fitting for all kinds of climates.

CULTIVER also offers stonewashed bedding, vintage silk velvet cushions and premium Turkish robes. The selection of colors they offer are to die for and I’m regretting not having picked up some of their gorgeous pink cushions. But I cannot complain — not only do they offer care and quality in their products, they also provide the best customer service I have ever experienced.

The only painful part was waiting just a couple of days for them to ship the package all the way from Australia to my neck of the woods in Brazil. Luckily the package didn’t take long to arrive and soon enough I had a carefully packed box on my doorstep: their Linen Flat Sheet With Border in charcoal gray, a Linen Duvet Cover in ice blue and a Linen Sheet Set With Pillow Cases in Indigo. I tried to pick a favorite, but as I mix and match sheets, I discover different moods — which makes it impossible to pick only one.

We’ve been enjoying the sheets for a while now and as expected, they only get better with time. I’ve received endless compliments on the new look of my bed so I can only encourage you to either run to a store if you are close to one of their beautiful boutiques... or to indulge yourself and place an order today. All I can say is you will never regret it.

Follow CULTIVER for more inspiration and insights via Facebook Pinterest or Instagram

Photography: Ana Degenaar

Why You Should Only Buy Linen From CULTIVER



Birthday Thoughts
It’s my birthday today and I cannot help but to go into full introspection mode and think about how the last year for me has been. If you follow me, you know how terrible it was at times... but for the gift of resilience and for the constant love I’ve gotten from my little one all year long, I’m profoundly grateful.

Clearly, nobody wants to go through loss and hardship the way I did this year - but deep in my heart I know and understand how momentary everything is. So much so that the only way to have no regrets is to learn to embrace people wholeheartedly. To love our families, to make material things secondary, to hug people tight... and to be kinder to ourselves.

I have 2 birthday wishes: one is cake and... the other one is to be able to pass on some of my happiness and feeling of being celebrated and loved today.

There's a code for you ready to be used. Use the code CAKE at checkout to get my book, 30 Days To Minimal Blogging at 25% off today.

Photography: Sara Medina Lind and Passenger with thanks.

Birthday Thoughts



How To Upgrade Your Blog's Image
Last week I launched 2 surveys via social media asking followers to tell me:

1. What stops them from hiring a Designer to brand and design their blog for them.
2. What they thought the fair price was for a well-designed blog.

In conclusion, the surveys showed that the biggest problems were budget and vision. I completely understand where people are coming from. The reality is that custom designed blogs are becoming unnecessarily expensive and I continue to believe that’s due to the demand. As unfair as this may seem, I find it extremely exciting to see that in this social media age, blogs are still being created and developed into unbelievably profitable businesses.

Let’s be realistic now — not everyone has the time, the vision nor the money to pay four figures for a custom designed blog... and nor should anyone who simply doesn’t want to make such an investment. Now, this is no reason to throw in the towel. A strong blog, friends, is a lot more than that.

For those who are not in the position where a custom design is a necessity (or even if you’ve already had your blog designed), there are a few things you can do to better the general look of your blog without spending a penny.

1. Vision
Understanding the purpose of your blog will help you deliver quality content and build an image for yourself that people will be able to recognize and trust through and through. Vision is what takes you from wanting something to working for it — and this is in fact something I go through one-on-one with my clients when I do coaching.

So ask yourself:

What do you want to achieve with your blog?
How do you want to be perceived?
What’s the main adjective that describes your blog?

Knowing that will establish you and reassure you in every decision you make and it will allow you to take your blog from where it is now to where you want it to be. So take your time and ponder on this. Commit to one idea and turn off all the noise telling you what to do. You already know what you have to offer, so don’t diminish that by ignoring your own vision.

2. Audience
Once you have vision, you need to know who you’re delivering content to. If you are yet to discover who your audience is, let me tell you, you’ve been missing out. Not having a clear understanding of this is exactly like making a dress for someone without having seen that person or asked for their measurements.

Instead of shooting blanks, get to know who the people are who read you. I use all kinds of methods to do this: I look at social media, use analytics, launch a yearly survey and check for comments or emails from the people who read me — so I know my readers are:

Mostly women between the ages of 18-37 who are currently making the switch to living a simpler and more mindful life through minimalism. 87% are Bloggers and the rest are planning to becoming one.

What do you do with this information? You make the most of it by being of service to your readers, who in the end are the most important part of the foundation of a successful blog.

3. Consistency
Most blogs I see fail in practicing this one thing. We often want to do everything instead of understanding and making the most of our limitations. I’ve seen hundreds of beautifully designed blogs that butcher their image by not upholding consistency in 3 main areas:

V I S U A L
Your blog needs to be consistent visually no matter what. If you are trying to do it all, you will confuse your visitors and soon lose them because you’ll be sending them too many random messages. Here are the 3 main areas that need to make sense to better your image:

Fonts: Use 2-3 fonts for your blog only. This improves the quality of your visual brand and it makes things look seamless so you are not distracting your readers with a million different looks. Use fonts that compliment one another — not just random ones you like. To aid you in this you can use the web to search for free web-font combinations.

Colors: Choose 2-4 colors within a palette that compliments your brand and your vision. Most platforms allow you to change these easily. Use online applications like Colour Lovers to grab the HEX codes for each color and pick them strategically to use on your blog. For example: You want your links to be a different color than the text for easier access — so make them pop.

Images: The images you use for your blog are a focal point — and the better the quality, the better your brand looks and the more chances you'll have to get attention from other Bloggers and potential clients. When choosing the images for a post, see to it that they have the same feeling as your brand and if they compliment the overall look, please, always — and I mean always: Make your photos line up with the blog post's width. This makes your blog look that much more cohesive and professional.

C O N T E N T
Your voice should be the same in every post you write and I’d advise you to write exactly the same way you speak to others. Personalizing this area of your writing process is key. People build an online relationship with you and they can recognize when you are trying too hard or not at all. Be mindful of the way you write and how much your write. We live in an information-polluted time, so people are becoming more mindful of the things that they dedicate their time to — so only things that are beneficial, honest and entertaining make it to their list.

S C H E D U L E
This is something we all struggle with at some point and I’m no one to say slips never happen, specially if you’re going through a hard time in your life or career... but it is possible to uphold a certain consistent posting schedule if you are realistic and make everything work for you instead of biting off more than you can chew. Ideally I’d like to post every day on the blog and commit to launching posts every morning between 8:00-10am — but as we all know, the process from ideation to completion is complicated. At this point in time in my life, I’ve realistically been holding myself accountable to a schedule I can manage. That’s 3 times per week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:00-2:00pm. If you commit to a schedule you can follow, you will be creating and meeting your readers' expectations with very targeted (and smart) effort.

In a nutshell, your blog’s image is far more than just pretty graphics and catchy phrases. It’s the overall journey that you take your reader on and how you keep their attention. Committing to simple steps will take you a long way and show you the value of consistency and focused work, so that when you’re ready to have your blog designed, you'll find yourself working with it and not for it.

Feel free to learn more about my book, 30 Days To Minimal Blogging and purchase it today. Your download will start automatically after checkout and you can jump into it as soon as you receive it.

Photography: Marazzi with thanks.

How To Upgrade Your Blog's Image

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