Linda Löfling

Inspiration

BACK TO BASICS NO. 2 : ON MY WISHLIST

The fashion industry is the second most water-polluting industry in the world, after agriculture. Fast fashion is built on an unsustainable process, where the bottom line and speed of the trend cycle are prioritised over all else. You all probably know about this already, but have you started to make a change about it?

I started the process of building a suistanable wardrobe some years ago (it is kind of a lifetime project) and in the same time I started also to buy most of my clothes, shoes and accessories second hand. I have entirely stopped “panic-purchase” or doing shopping as a some kind of hobby. Nowadays, I am keeping a wishlist and if I find myself lusting over something, I write it down. I have the wishlist saved in my iPhone notes where I add items that I believe I need or that would fulfill my wardrobe and make it more complete and wearable.

Some of the things I have on my wishlist right now:

White wool coat

Perfect crispy white shirt (aren`t we always looking for that one?)

Pinstriped pants 

A pair of Madrid mocasines

A black trenchcoat for the warmer spring days to come

Perfectly fitted jeans

Lower shoes to wear together with a costume

 

I am not in a rush of buying any of those yet, I enjoy the hunt for the perfect item and I take my time finding it. Building the perfect wardrobe from scratch takes time, and a lot of trials in different shops finding the right size for my loooong legs and curves 🙂

How about you? What`s on your clothing wishlist these days?

 

 

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Expat Life My City Tips

IS IT EXPENSIVE LIVING IN SPAIN?

Many people dream about moving ot Spain and live a happy life in the sun, so did I! Now when I am here, I get many questions about how much it costs to live here, so I thought that we could go through the economical situation here a little:

The cost of living is relatively low here compared to other European countries, which for me means that I can enjoy a high quality of life without having to break a bank.

First of all, the cost of living dependa a lot on which city in Spain you live in. The following cities are the most expensive ones to live in Spain:

  1. San Sebastian
  2. Madrid
  3. Barcelona
  4. Tarragona
  5. Bilbao

Spain is a very popular destination for expats, it’s relaxed culture, never ending shining sun, and cheap living costs have an appeal that is difficult to resist! The country had to suffer turmoil during the financial crash, but from 2015 the economy started to show signs of recovery. Today, the standard of living is balancing out in accordance with salaries, though the average salaries as well as the minimum wage, remain low compared to the rest of Europe.

Now since I live in the capital, this blog post will be focused on Madrid. To begin with, we can have a look at Madrid’s cost of living in comparison to other main cities, taking into account the costs of food, housing, clothes, transportation, entertainment and personal care. IT is not for free to live here, but it is way cheaper than for example London (and the weather is better too).

  • 42% less expensive than New York
  • 39% less expensive than London
  • 33% less expensive than Los Angeles
  • 14% less expensive than Munich
  • 4% less expensive than Brussels

Where to live and how much to pay for it?

Finding a place to live is not that tricky, but prices of housing vary a lot and for the central areas where I looked for apartments, prices are the same as what I paid for renting in Oslo, Norway! Between 1000-1800 eur a month for an apartment suitable for a family does not seem as chocking, at least not while I was looking for a rental apartment. Of course you can always find alternatives, renting a room and share costs with flatmates, live a bit outside of the city center, there are many options if you are a bit flexible. I think that the whole central part of Madrid is a safe and nice place to live, when coming as a tourist or if you want to profit of the city life. For me who has a little one, I prefer to stay a bit more outside the center, and closer to Retiro and the more calm part of the city. Retiro/Goya/Salamanca/Pacífico are all calm areas nearby Madrid’s central park: Retiro, I love living here and I can warmly recommend the are for everybody coming to Madrid with children. However, if you are Scandinavian, maybe you want to stay around la Moraleja, also known as the Scandinavian part of Madrid. I thought that was way too far away form the city center, and despite the pretty surroundings, that area did not appeal to me much.

Many Spaniards live smaller than Scandinavians are used to, and the standard of the apartments are not at all in comparaison with what we have in the North. Large apartments are always available if you want them…but with Spain’s warm climate and outdoor lifestyle, you may find yourself spending much of your time out, sitting at cafés with friends, enjoying the beach (not in Madrid though but in other cities!), or exploring the city, so maybe not that much need for that enormous flat neither, one has to make compromises, right?

Conclusion is that housing in Madrid, is much more expensive than I thought and I honestly do not know how people do to get around here, since an average salary is around 1600eur brut per month! Maybe all Spaniards are lucky to be born with rich grandparents? 🙂

Eating outside everyday? Yep, absolutely!

For the best value, there are good deals around lunchtime, called “menú del día” (the menu of the day, or lunch special). Lunch is the big meal of the day, a sit-down affair of at least an hour, and it’s filling and well-balanced. In most places, the menú del día usually costs between 12 to 20eur. For that price, you get a first course (generally a salad, soup, paella, or vegetable dish), a main course (usually meat or fish, though vegetarian options are increasingly common), a beverage (which can be beer or wine), bread, and often either dessert or coffee.

Though individual grocery bills can be hard to estimate, 100eur per couple per week is ample. In fact, if you like to eat out (and many people do), your in-home grocery budget will likely be below this amount. We eat out often and the grocery bill has so far not gone over 100eur per week.

How about getting around the city?

Madrid is designed for walking, with most shopping centers easily accessible on foot and most attractions easily accessible by public transport. For longer distances (or bigger shopping trips), public transportation is readily available too. Excellent bus and train service gets you quickly around town or around the country. 10 metro/bus rides cost around 12eur and I do not use the public transport often at all, I feel I can get myself to wherever I need, in 20-30 minutes by foot. Madrid is not that big 🙂

Healthcare and such?

Spanish healthcare consists of both private and public healthcare, with some hospitals (hospitales) and healthcare centres (centros de salud) offering both private (privado) and state healthcare services (asistencia sanitaria pública). You don’t need to have private health insurance to get medical treatment, but it usually allows you to get faster treatment for non-emergency procedures, diagnosis tests, and specialist consultancies.

The Spanish healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world and from what I’ve seen, luckily not that much, it is fast, professional, and affordable. I have had good help from the times I have been at the doctor here, both for myself and for my son, and the prices have been as expected.

 

If I should draw a little conclusion about how I feel life is here in Madrid, then I must say that I really appreciate the possibility and habit of eating and meeting people outside instead of inside. I feel that I have a higher quality of life when I have more activities to choose from, thanks to the weather, which is also something that makes that life itself feels easier. I do not spend that much money on clothes or interior things as I did when living in Scandinavia, as I do not really care that much about my home anymore, I live most of my life outdoors – and shorts are cheaper than jackets. Briefly, less money (salary) in my pocket if I want to stay and work here, but way much more life lived!

This is not a fully accomplished list of what you need to know about the cost of life in Spain versus other places in the world, but many people have asked me questions around this topic so I thought that a small introduction could be at it’s place. If you would have any further questions about life in Madrid, then please give me a shout and I will try to answer as good as I can!

 

Besitos! <3

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Expat Life Food & Travel Inspiration My City Tips

MY MADRID : GOOD CO-WORKING AT STARBUCKS ARGÜELLES

I am not a big fan of chains, and least of all Starbucks, but this spot is actually a really nice one to sit and work so I must recommend it for that reason! Food and drinks are as expected, but the location and the ambiance is really nice. I have not seen it very crowded ever and I normally arrive around 10am or so, so it is not super early and yet many of the good spots left to choose between.

There are tables upstairs too, so you can choose a calmer place if you feel like it becomes too noisy downstairs.

Maybe not the fanciest café tips for tourists travelling to Madrid, but a good tips for the ones who seek a place to sit and work!

Today I am in Aranjuez working, one has to travel while one can! Soon enough I’ll be sitting tied to a desk somewhere, being employed and not able to enjoy my freedom as I do today! God I really love to be able to work from everywhere in the world, so much more worth than a big, fat payslip! Freedom!

Carpe Diem etc, right? <3

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Inspiration

MONDAY MOTIVATION : EXERCISING AFTER ILLNESS

Hola chicos!

Yet another sunny, but cold (1 degree only this morning) and beautiful monday in Madrid, and we are in February! Already!

My training has been on almost zero last week, due to life problems and a busy week, I was so happy when I woke up this morning feeling that the migraine was gone, so today I ho pe I will feel good enough to go for a run later, the first one in a while!

In these times, many people are having a cold, the flu, or other illnesses going on. When getting abck on track I guess the no 1 thing to have in mind is to listen to your body and not force too much. I do it often, as I am so eager to get back to where I was before the illness, and it has happened more than once that I bounce back into migraine or fever due to my excessive exercising, so it is important to take things easy the first days and slowly increase the intensity.

I try to remember these simple basics before I set my mind on exercising again:

 

  1. Walk before you run (literally). May seem like a challenge if you are used to run and lift weights everyday, but it is a good way to start. Walk longer if you feel like it, and try to investigate how your body response, then you can gradually increase.
  2. If you have the possibility, go for a swim! Swimming is the most gentle form of movement for the body, and hence a very good activity to begin with.
  3. Reduce your efforts by at least 20% of what you think you can do and work your way up. Focus on making a steady progress instead of forcing yourself back to where you were earlier. Steady pace, wins the race, don’t forget that.
  4. It is worth repeating: Work up gradually.
  5. Stay hydrated. And keep holding focus on nutrition during the recovery. Feed your body the best, most anti-inflammatory foods you can, including plenty of leafy vegetables and sufficient water.
  6. Let fatigue guide you. And remember that pain is pain. Some fitness enthusiast live by the motto No pain, no gain, but when setting that motto in context with illness or injury, then nothing could be more wrong. Pain is a signal of the body telling you that you’ve gone too far, or too much, listen to it and give your body time to recover properly.

 

Take it easy with your bodies during the colder winter months, those warm and sunny spring evenigs are just made for longer runs or more motivation, so no need to rush during January and February.

<3

 

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Inspiration

WHEN LIFE HAPPENS

Well, last week did not really turn out as planned, to say things mildly…I had server problems, migraine, birthday parties, dinners…and some stomach flu on top of it. Gah!

So today when I woke up feeling all muscles on my shoulders and neck blocked, and the oh so well known pain behind my right eye – then I thought I would become mad. No more MIGRAINE! I have hence just been taking this day very slowly, staying in bed as much as possible, only been out for a walk in the park to make sure Mini is not tearing the house apart due to an excess of energy. Phew, it is not an easy task being a parent while being ill, maybe one of the most challenging things you can have to deal with actually.

So, a sad week for the blog, but with all this bad luck it can only mean GOOD STUFF for next week! And monday is my favourite day of the week, so I really look forward til tomorrow!

I will do no more today, it is a date with me and my bed in a little while, and a can of ice cream because…well just because.

Hope you guys are having a good sunday! <3

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