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less of the excess Posts

New book!

kindle

 

I’ve been a little busy and distracted lately, but it’s because I was busy launching my new book!

The book contains poems I wrote over 16 years, about my experiences with unrequited love. It was a personal project and something I wanted to put together for a long time now. I had all these poems and songs sitting around with nowhere to go, until now. Some have been turned into songs so there are links in the book you can go to.

If the topic of love, relationships, lust, dating, and attraction are interesting to you, or you want to reconnect to a long forgotten place, feel free to check it out below. Hope you are well!

<3 Pia

to all the boys who broke my heart, and turned my feelings into art

Written over a 16-year period during adolescence into young adulthood, ‘to all the boys who broke my heart, and turned my feelings into art’ is a collection of poetry about the emotions that love and lust can stir within us as we navigate through first crushes and relationships while trying to figure out who we are.

This book is for anyone who has ever felt the cold rejection of caring for someone who doesn’t love them back. Let this book serve as a reminder to always love yourself first.

Buy this book here!

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5 days of Walking 10,000 Steps A Day!

I was recently inspired by a friend who has walked 10,000 steps, EVERY DAY consistently for TWO YEARS STRAIGHT. Incredible! She even walked the 10,000 steps during the busiest times in her life including Christmas.

I’ve been checking my iPhone Health App, and I usually get anywhere from 4,000 to 8,000 steps a day. I do want to invest in a better fitness tracker like the FitBit.

So this week I’m challenging myself to do 10,000 steps a day. The whole 10,000 steps idea actually first came from Japan as a marketing campaign for one of their pedometers.

As someone who does most of her work at a desk, I need to get up and start walking more. And our bodies are designed to move. Not sit on our butts all day. Although I do exercise as much as I can – riding my bike, weights, runs etc. But walking throughout the day is an added bonus.

Like I keep mentioning, comfort is a lie. Yes, sometimes there are times when the sofa looks so comfortable, because walking might be too much effort. (This is what goes through my head anyways lol). I’m trying to stay as fit as I can, so this will be good for me.

So who’s with me this week! Let’s see how we feel 🙂

*Update*

I did it! Five days of 10,000 steps (or more) a day.

Monday: 10,057 steps
Tuesday: 13,616 steps
Wednesday: 10,126 steps
Thursday: 11,247 steps
Friday: 17,983 steps

Not bad! Can I keep it up?

The first few days, I was exhausted and my body was burning out as it wasn’t used to moving this much. But now, I’ve gotten into the groove, and it’s not as tough as I thought it was! I think having some sort of step tracker is a really great way to gain awareness on how much we move. I also have more energy, and feel less sluggish in general.

I bought the Misfit Flash (below) to keep track of my steps. But the tracker kept falling out of the wristband, so I was using the clip-on instead. But I kept forgetting to keep it on me.

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So my partner also ordered me a Jawbone Up2 (below) for my birthday. I’m excited to start using it to track my progress.

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That’s all for now folks!

I’ll keep you posted on the next challenge 🙂

 

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What is Hygge?

If you have not been introduced to the Danish concept of coziness, I highly recommend that you check it out. It’s a growing lifestyle trend in Europe and the United States, with bloggers, writers and lifestyle social media personalities talking all about the benefits of it. But its no secret to the Danes, who have had hygge embedded into their culture for centuries.

To me, hygge embodies what Less of the Excess is all about. A lifestyle of getting rid of distractions, slowing down, connection and living meaningfully.

An awesome blog about hygge to check it is www.hellohygge.com. You’ll get all sorts of coziness delivered to you in one space.

Here’s a little introduction in case you want to learn more – an excerpt from my book, The Cozy Life.

What is Hygge?

Hygge, pronounced HOO-gah, is both a noun and a verb and does not have a direct translation into English. The closest word would have to be coziness, but that doesn’t really do it justice.

While hygge is centered around cozy activities, it also includes a mental state of wellbeing and togetherness. It’s a holistic approach to deliberately creating intimacy, connection, and warmth with ourselves and those around us.

When we hygge, we make a conscious decision to find joy in the simple things. For example, lighting candles and drinking wine with a close friend you haven’t seen in a while, or sprawling out on a blanket while having a relaxing picnic in the park with a circle of your loved ones in the summertime are both hygge.

Though hygge is often a planned affair, it can be as simple as curling up and reading a good book on the sofa. It’s about surrounding ourselves with everything we love and treasuring the moment. In a big departure from modern culture, we intentionally enjoy the domestic and personal aspects of life, rather than rushing through them just to make it through the day’s tasks. We seek and embrace that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Danish researcher, Jeppe Trolle Linnet, even suggests that translating hygge into homeyness is more appropriate because in Scandinavia, the home is the one place where we can be ourselves and shut out negativity from the world outside. It’s so important to have a place where we can go and feel protected from it all; it’s something we all deserve.

While hygge is typically associated with the colder seasons of fall and winter, you can hygge in the spring and summertime as well. Picnics in the park, lazy beach days, music festivals, barbecues, and bicycle rides are all hygge. There’s nothing better than spending the day at the beach with friends and having no other plans scheduled.

When we can enjoy what is right in front of us, we end up living a life that is truly present. With Hygge we create a safe haven where we can relax without pressures to be anyone else but who we are. We invite those we love into our world and create an environment of togetherness.

Read more here.

 

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5 Days of No Junk Food

Alright folks, I’m on week 2 of my 5 day Comfort Is A Lie Series! 

Week 1 of having no coffee was awesome. I was able to wean off my coffee addiction with full awareness. I’m still continuing the no coffee habit, and I’m ready to introduce a new lifestyle habit.

The idea behind the 5 day challenge is to notice and learn how our bodies react, while slowly introducing new lifestyle habits (or seeing if it’s something you want to continue) so that we can get rid of excess distractions and live more intentionally.

What that means for me this week is no processed foods.

Nothing packaged and filled with chemicals and preservatives, no processed sugar, no chips, no french fries, no chocolate (except the raw, natural 2 ingredient kind), no ice-cream (except nice cream!) and no donuts.

I was doing SO WELL on eating clean (I even lost 4 pounds in a week from doing that!), and then I went on vacation and it all sort of went down hill again. So I’m back at it again, because the person I want to be takes good care of her body, and feeds it nourishing foods. Whole foods. Real food from the earth.

We all need food to survive, but it’s important to ditch the crap.

This is where comfort really is a lie. Oh, I’m craving those donuts so bad! They taste SO GOOD. They make me so happy! Your body is lying to you in that moment. Because, eat too many donuts and you’re on your way to:

  • weight gain (junk food is high in calories)
  • type 2 diabetes (so the research says)
  • depression (my mood has definitely not been in tip top shape)
  • pimpes (blech)
  • dull looking skin
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • digestive problems
  • fatigue (yep, I’m pretty dopey)
  • afternoon crashes
  • foggy brain
  • memory problems
  • irritability
  • increases risk of heart disease and/or cancer
  • cravings for even more crappy food

Yup, I don’t want any of these things. I want:

  • A clear mind
  • A healthy body
  • A good mood
  • An efficient digestive system
  • Nice, glowing skin
  • Steady energy levels
  • A flat non-bloated stomach
  • Better sleep

And yes, yes, yes. Everything in moderation. But I need to start somewhere.

So who’s going to join me! Starting tomorrow (Monday!) Let’s see what we can learn and how our bodies react.

Stay tuned for updates on Friday as an edit on this post.

xo

Pia

*Edit*

It’s now Saturday and how did my 5 days of no junk food go?

I’d say, overall it was… okay. I failed once on the Monday, because I had leftover chilli flavoured Crispy Mini’s in the cupboard (whoops), so I caved and ate them.

But from that, I learned that I should not stock unhealthy foods in my cupboards, so I’m not tempted to eat them. Healthy snacks should only be available.

On Tuesday, I noticed I had wayyy more energy and was able to wake up early, without feeling like I was hungover. I feel intensely groggy and sleepy in the mornings when I eat poorly.

By Wednesday I had even more energy. I rode my bike to work, was up at 6am and felt great! Thursday was positive too.

There were several times I wanted to eat something that wasn’t healthy so that I could cover up boredom or some other feeling. Sometimes it was just for the sake of convenience. I wasn’t even hungry. I was probably also just thirsty too at times. It was great to learn to be aware of when my cravings came up.
I’m going to continue this habit, as well as no coffee into next week. And next week I have a few ideas in mind for what I want to do for my next challenge.
Stay tuned!

Xo
Pia
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Series Kickoff – 5 Days of No Coffee!

I’m so excited for today’s post.

Today I kick off a new series of 5 day challenges.

What does that mean?

We all want to be the best version of ourselves. Maybe we want to exercise more, or quit eating sugar. Maybe we want to go vegan, spend less money, meditate or be less wasteful. Or maybe our goal is to spend more time towards our personal dreams or careers, instead of choosing Netflix.

But doing all of these things all at once can be overwhelming. I don’t know about you, but I’ve tried to change my habits in one go and it just led to failure. There were too many things to keep track of at once.

Comfort always kicked in. But comfort is a lie. In this context, I am referring to those times when we wish to be or do certain things, but choose the easy option that feels good instead. Like choosing the sofa instead of going for that run we promised ourselves we’d do.

Of course comfort is good in healthy doses, we all deserve some relaxation, but when you find yourself frustrated in where you’re at in life, this is when comfort is the enemy.

Realize that in every moment you have a choice. You can choose to build character and look back on your life knowing you lived it as the person you wanted to be, or you can choose the easy thing.

**Let me emphasize that everyone’s struggles are personal. What I struggle with, you might not struggle with at all and vice versa. The way I want to live my life, is not necessarily the same way you want to live your life. Everyone’s ideal self is going to be their own depending on their environment, personality, situation etc. With that being said, if you can relate to these challenges, follow along! 🙂 If not, maybe you’ll be into the next one.

Starting tomorrow (Monday), I kick off the Comfort Is A Lie Series with 5 days of no coffee!

The idea is to build upon my habits, to notice and track my experience, learn something new and hopefully ease my way into a new and improved me while inspiring others to do their own version.

There are many benefits to drinking coffee such as improving your energy both mentally and physically, and preventing certain diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes.

But there are also some drawbacks to coffee such as altering your state of mind from what you would naturally be, staining your teeth, causing anxiety/restlessness, and it is dehydrating.

Right now, I’m experiencing more drawbacks than benefits. I’m addicted to coffee, and if I don’t get my daily 3+ cups of coffee, my head starts to pound, I become angry and irritable, depressed and I hate everyone around me. It stains my teeth (yuck) and my mouth just doesn’t feel as clean as it does when I don’t drink coffee. Coffee breath anyone? I want to rely on my own energy and get it naturally from eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Coffee also bloats me like crazy, well, it’s probably the cream inside the coffee, but the combo isn’t good for me anyhow. I’m too dependent and feel like I can’t go a day without a cup or 2. I want to free myself from that.

But oh, the warm aromatic scent of fresh coffee in the morning and the boost of energy are very enticing and comforting, but I can do this! As an alternative, I’m going to only allow myself to drink Green Tea (it has much less caffeine) or Water.

I’ll follow up on my experiences by editing this blog post this Friday, and maybe in between as I go. I’m excited (and nervous) to see what I can learn from a week without coffee. I’ve done it before, so I’m prepared for headaches and flu like symptoms haha!

Anyone want to join me? It’d be fun and I’d love to hear your experience below if this is something you can relate to. Follow along as I attempt other 5 day challenges to make myself more into the person I want to be. And if you relate, join me, or create your own personal challenges that resonate with who you want to become.

<3 Pia

**Edit**

5 Days Later (Friday)

I made it! Here I am, and it’s been 5 days of NO COFFEE.

This week, I noticed a few things. I didn’t crash as badly as I thought I would. No Advils were needed. I was however, extremely tired. Especially by 9pm at night, and waking up in the morning was very difficult as well for some reason. Even today, on the fifth day.

On Monday, I was nauseous, and fell asleep really early.  On Tuesday, I was still very tired, and my brain was super fuzzy, I couldn’t form a proper thought. My eyes were really itchy and tired too.

On Wednesday, I realized that my gums were less swollen and red. Coffee is acidic, and if you have sensitive gums like me, then they suffer a bit. My mouth felt clean, and I didn’t have morning breath anymore. By Thursday I was still tired and had low energy, but felt ok.

Today is the last day, I’m lethargic, but it’s good for me to continue the no coffee thing. I even lost a couple pounds because I didn’t crave as much food as usual. Coffee is known to increase cortisol, the stress hormone, which makes you crave sugary, salty and fatty foods. And I wasn’t bloated this week because coffee and cream bloats me.

So the benefits of no coffee for me? And maybe you?

  • No more morning breath
  • No bloating
  • Clean mouth, no swollen gums
  • Weight loss
  • Less cravings for sugary, salty, fatty foods

So that’s that! Next week I will do a new challenge and see what I learn from it.

If you have any suggestions you’d like me to try, please let me know!

 

 

 

 

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Benefits of Being on Facebook

Hello everyone!

It’s been an exciting past couple weeks since launching my book on simple slow living, through the Danish concept of Hygge – The Cozy Life. Thank you everyone who has downloaded or bought the book and for your beautiful kind words. We made it to #1 in 3 Kindle Categories, and I even got the Amazon Best Seller orange ribbon! It’s my dream to make a difference and inspire others, and I have more books on the way! If you haven’t checked out this book yet, (shameless plug), I really think you should. It’s life changing 🙂

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I kept stalling on updating this blog because I had too many ideas floating in my head – I had a bit of paralysis, but I said screw it, I am going to just start with one and keep going. Today, because my blog post about the benefits of NOT being on Facebook was my most visited blog post, I wanted to update you all on the Facebook situation.

I was off Facebook for about two years, but I’ve recently logged back on. It started with my job, I was doing some Social Media work, and I needed to promote our business on Facebook, and I didn’t want to start a new personal account (I hate multiples and unconsolidated things), so I chose to log back in to use my account. It wasn’t for personal reasons, and I was very reluctant but I signed on anyway. I started realizing the benefits of Facebook from a business perspective.

Then I signed up for a Self Publishing course to help me get my book out, and with that you get access to an online Facebook Mastermind Community. This community has been INVALUABLE. As a new author, with no knowledge on self publishing, I was able to gain access to hundreds of brains all in one supportive place.

*Side note, if you’ve ever had a dream to write your own book, I HIGHLY recommend signing up for Self Publishing School. Everything is there for you, step by step. Let me know if you end up signing, I’d love to hear/help out.

Then I discovered there were several other entrepreneurship groups, that I decided to join. Another one of my dreams is to be my own boss and make money for myself. So another one of my favourite groups was the Screw The Nine to Five community. Wow, what a great bunch of people to speak to who just ‘get’ you. You help them, they help you, and your dreams come true!

I’m not in the habit of posting personal things on Facebook anymore, except for the occasional shared post because I like the message. I’ve been reading that people are posting less and less personal information on Facebook than they used to. Of course Facebook probably doesn’t like that, because they like to gather and use our personal information. But I think that’s a good thing for us. I don’t really use, or even want to use, Facebook very often, except for work related things.

So in a nutshell – the new Benefits of Being on Facebook (as an entrepreneur)

  • Sharing news regarding book or business announcements to a wider audience
  • Joining business and interest related communities, to learn from others and share a space with people who ‘get’ you
  • Sharing articles/videos about particular causes you believe in to spread the word
  • More exposure to potential people who would be interested in your business
  • Increase web traffic to websites or this blog for example!
  • Amazing communication tool to stay in touch with old friends of far away loved ones
  • Learning new things!

What about you? Are you on Facebook? What are your pros? Cons? I’d love to hear!

xo

Pia

 

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A New Beginning: I Wrote A Book!

Hi everyone!unnamed

I’m sooo excited to announce something very dear to my heart! I know I’ve been MIA for the past months. But it’s for legitimate reasons 🙂 I’ve been spending my time building businesses, building my health and fitness, and building my character. I escaped the 9-5 to do what I love. (I’m still helping on a part-time basis, but now I have a lot more time to focus on my dreams!)

But my proudest accomplishment is my new book, The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge. It takes minimalist and simple living concepts up a notch and will hopefully inspire readers to enjoy what’s truly important.

It’s about the Danish concept of coziness (hygge) and how it helps us embrace the simple things in life, be more authentic, and reconnect with ourselves and our loved ones. It also includes illustrations I’ve drawn, practical tips, activities and personal stories.

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EBOOK: There is a FREE PROMO for 2 days starting tomorrow for the official launch (April 10th, and 11th) for the Kindle version here.

PAPERBACK: If you prefer holding a real book in your hands, you can grab one here. The book is definitely the cozier option and looks the prettiest.

If you decide to purchase the book, it would also mean the world to me if you could leave a review and share my book with your network. The more reviews and downloads I get, the higher I can climb in the Amazon charts and hopefully become a best-seller!! <3

 

 

Here is a description:

In today’s world, we’re constantly rushing from one thing to the next and are struggling with information overload. We’re more disconnected from ourselves and our loved ones than ever before. Rediscover the joy of the simple things through the Danish concept of Hygge in The Cozy Life. This book will inspire you to slow down and enjoy life’s cozy moments!

  • Learn about the Danish cultural phenomenon of Hygge, and the secret to why Denmark is consistently rated the happiest country in the world
  • Embrace the little things and take simplicity and minimalism up a notch
  • Add Hygge into every aspect of your life with practical examples and tips
  • Say goodbye to the Winter Blues and live a healthier, centred life

This charming little book, filled with hand drawn illustrations, beautifully addresses that yearning we all have for a more authentic life, created by ourselves instead of external forces.

What’s stopping you from living a more meaningful and connected life?

This book marks the start of my next chapter in life. Expect more posts on this blog as well! I can’t wait to share the magic of hygge with the world! 🙂

What’s most important is I want to thank all of you for inspiring me to write this book and spread the message about living meaningfully and authentically. This book would not exist without you and I know it will bring you infinite amounts of joy and inspiration.

<3
Pia

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Simple Living, Nature, Tiny Homes & Art

Just a little Saturday morning inspiration…

I came across this YouTube vide below. It’s a little documentary about a travelling hobo artist named Dan Price. He tours his underground home, talks about his art and philosophy. He is all about the simple living. Really simple living, living off the land mostly, and connecting with nature, and making art. He never wanted to grow up and be an adult, and loved the magic you had back then as a child. So he applies that artistic magic to his lifestyle. He’s lived in tents and teepees, but now lives in a hobbit style home in the hills. Watch the video below.

He’s written a couple books too, one on Radical Simplicity. Now edited to My Simple Life, and a book about his Tiny House.

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And one on How To Make A Journal of Your Life. This one inspired me to connect with the outer world, and document my life again. I used to write everyday as a teenager to document my high school life. It’s’ wonderful to pick one up and read through it again. Albeit slightly embarrassing too haha.

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He’s written a Moonlight Chronicles Series that documents his life traveling the world and the many adventures and observations, and he’s definitely inspiration to the style of books I want to write. I’m really glad I came across this.

Check him out, if you enjoy whimsical things about the meaning of life. It’s a really beautiful breath of fresh air.

Adios and enjoy the weekend!

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The Highs and Lows About Living Intentionally

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Does anyone else here struggle to commit to their goals, or intentional ways of being? I’ve hit a wall over the past couple weeks. I was on a roll. Then I crashed. That’s me, like the waves of the ocean, I swell and I’m intense, and hardcore in my commitments, I’m doing well, and then I burn myself out and crash onto the sea, in pain, and exhaustion, nearly drowning, only to begin the process all over again.

I disappoint myself. But maybe I try to do too much at once? Or maybe I need to focus on one day at a time. I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) so ‘doing’ things physically on a regular basis exhausts and burns me out. I’m more in my head. I enjoy things that are intellectual. Maybe I’m just making excuses. I need to work on my ‘grit’.

So I’ve crashed for the past two weeks, but I am back riding on the ocean wave. I am beginning to recognize my patterns. I’m practicing being comfortable with discomfort. I just need to not overthink everything and just do them and let the compound effect do its thing.

Break Down your Goals into Small Chunks

I’m going to break down my goals into smaller achievable chunks and not get weighed down by the big end goal. I won’t get anywhere, I will burn myself out. Perfection doesn’t get you anywhere. So my next step this glorious rainy Saturday is to chart my goals in baby steps, and start making stuff happen.

“The days are long but the years are short.”

A thought provoking quote. You gotta make shit happen!! Or before you know it, you’ll be at the end of your life having nothing to show for it.

Anyone else relate?

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