Autumnal Change

Despite going to bed at midnight, I woke up at 6:30 this morning.  I’m in a reflective mood – thinking about the last year and just how different my life is now.  This time last year, I was living a double life – pretending to be happy for fear that the reality would consume me.  Today, I feel like myself again, and that feels great.   This morning I decided to change up the breakfast routine with toasted seeded bread with home-made lemon curd (so easy and much nicer than shop-bought) and home-made hot chocolate (a Danish friend’s recipe) with my favourite magazine – The Economist.  I always start reading magazines from the back.  I wonder if this means anything… Any psychologists out there?

October marks an important moment in my life, a new chapter so to speak, for so many reasons. Today is my first day back at school.  It’s a part-time degree which I’ve been thinking about for the last two years.  It is a major life change and an investment mentally, financially and socially. To be honest, despite being offered a place on the course, I wasn’t going to enrol.  I don’t know why, I suppose I was afraid of change, fear that I’d be the oldest person in the class, that I wouldn’t be able to keep up or be as good as the other students after so many years out of education and the list goes on and on.  I shared all of this with a friend – Lasca – over afternoon tea at The Savoy (review to follow shortly) recently and let’s just say that she gave me the proverbial kick up the backside I needed! Enrolment done, fees paid and student ID card received.  School starts today! Excitement overload. I still have some fears but my life motto has always been “no regrets” and that’s not about to change.

Speaking of change, I’m so happy with my newly-designed website. What do you think? I wanted a change – something more professional and gorgeous – and instead of getting drastic and cutting my hair short (never a good idea when you have crazy curly hair), I have a new blog design. I had so many ideas and inspirations and was so excited to start my search for a web developer. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know all about the tears of frustration, faux-developers and those four minutes when I thought I would not only teach myself CSS, but would also design my own website. Craziness in London! Like I said, four minutes. I feel no shame in admitting that I have sat staring at my laptop, hands in my hair, wailing “I don’t understand why you’re doing this to me!”. Okay, maybe a little shame but hey, we’re not all perfect.

Enter Jenny Beaumont. I met Jenny when I lived in Paris for all of a few minutes at one of these fun expat evenings and subsequently found her on Twitter and since then, she’s been my WordPress, Linux and well, anything geeky guru.   To this day, I don’t know how she knows all of this stuff.  What I really like about Jenny’s approach is that she is about do the technical yet explain in an idiot-proof way.  Before any work commenced, Jenny had me look at designs I like, narrow it down to two and then I sent her a list of likes, dislikes and changes.  Simple yet effective.  Probably the most important question she asked was “is this design your ultimate site?”, which allowed me to think about all the features and styles I’d incorporate into the site without any time or financial constraints.  Adding a Japanese section is something I’ve wanted to do for years but I simply didn’t know how to do it.  I spoke to so many so-called developers who told me it couldn’t be done or that would have to be done with different programmes which aren’t available on WordPress etc.  Two long conversations later, without any technical misunderstandings, Jenny began working on my little ole blog.  I think it’s fair to say that I have never exchanged so many emails with one person in such a short period of time.   Over 3-4 days, Jenny designed and developed my blog.  It would have taken me months, maybe even years.  I’m not going to lie, I’m hard to please but other than the use of Serif font, which I’ve never liked, there wasn’t anything to change. Somehow Jenny was able to understand the site that I wanted before I even knew!   I’m so crazy in love with the blog – if it were a person, I’d break British tradition and hug it!  The best part about working with Jenny is that she wanted me to be happy with the site.  It wasn’t a case of just get it done and more on to another project.  For me, working with someone who cares about what they’re doing is a rare and wonderful treat. As if the design and development weren’t enough, she emailed detailed guides on how to use the translation plug-in, image functions and notes about how to change little things so I can be in control of my own site.  The problem with the internet is that there is so much conflicting information available. Having Jenny as my trusty source is an absolute bonus.  I highly recommend Jenny so if you have a blog or website and need some help, check out her site and/or Twitter.

Sometimes change really is a good thing.


  1. auscanucksarah 2 October 2012 / 12:37

    I definitely need to meet Lasca! She was starting to help Mum and I with planning our London trip but I think things got lost in cyberspace and I never heard back after the initial email. I’m glad she gave you a kick up the you-know-what. This will be a great experience and I look forward to hearing all about it!
    Hahaha 4 minutes was all it took eh?! I’m so glad you’re happy with the new design and you got what you wanted. It’s very flash but sophisticated at the same time!
    P.s. How yum does that hot chocolate look?! I’m putting in my order now!

  2. LatteLisa 2 October 2012 / 12:44

    G&B chocolate! What are you doing to me girl?!!

    I so enjoyed reading this post. How wonderful that you’re going back to school (me curious to know what you’re studying? mais non,!!!).

    And I’m glad that your friend Jenny was able to help you design your blog as you want it to be. In my opinion, tech-savvy friends like that are essential in life, so those who don’t have one should all go looking for one!

  3. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) 2 October 2012 / 12:59

    Your site looks lovely Milla :) Jenny’s work is beautiful. Wishing you luck in this next chapter of your life – I have no doubt you are going to do amazingly at school!

  4. sandy@oohlafroufrou 2 October 2012 / 16:05

    Love your new site, Milla. I’m just beginning thoughts about a new website and blog design too … so much to think about. One of the things that I’ve been considering is having a series of illustrations, like the series of photos in your header. Now that I see yours, I know I love that idea … but much more planning is in store lol! So glad that you’re feeling so much more like yourself this October … what a wonderful feeling that must be, to know you’ve made the right choices. Hurrah! Happy Autumn to you, sweets … hope it’s marvelous! ~xoSandy

    SANDY M Illustration

  5. Jenny Beaumont 2 October 2012 / 16:09

    Am so touched, and on so many levels! Thank you for this flattering review. I’m so glad we were able to connect and complete this project together – building a website should always be a fun an rewarding experience, not one that leads to tears! And congratulations on your big decision to go back to school…that takes guts. Look forward to hearing about it in the weeks to come!

  6. 52martinis 2 October 2012 / 19:28

    Jenny just helped me out with some problems on my site too – she’s great!

  7. petra 3 October 2012 / 09:44

    it looks gorgeous. I just redid mine. by myself. I wonder if working with someone else is the way to go, though. I miss the shooting ideas back and forth. as to school. well, you don’t need another kick in the backside, otherwise I’d give you one. I’m currently at the other end of it. 2nd degree done. now what to do with it. same thing. I’m too old. not good enough. wtf am I doing? that’s life. no regrets. just a lot of trepidation and doubt…

    you are going to be great!!!

  8. CinZilicious 7 October 2012 / 12:31

    A very inspiring and insightful post, i have to say. It seems like you have been through a lot for the past year but its good to hear that you are happy with where you are at now. I suppose i somehow can relate to you as my life was quite different last year too but i’ve learned a lot, and trying the make the best of myself=) Life is an ever changing cycle and i suppose we always walk away with something, be it good or bad. And i’m glad to hear you finally joined the course and that you beat the fear! Fear can sometimes take the best of us but glad u stuck to your guns=) Sometimes we just need our friends to give us a wake up call, lol. My friend also believes in the saying “live life with no regret” and i’m sure you’ll have a fab time with the part time degree. Btw, what are you studying if you dont mind me asking?

    Now onto the food!!! The toasted seeded bread sounds healthy and delish and your home made chocolate looks yummy!!!! I gotta give you the thumbs up for the home made stuff, it’s so hard to do that over here cuz i guess everything’s so convenient and yes, i’m lazy too,haha.

    I dont know if you got my message last time but i meant to say, i really like the new lay out of your blog and it looks very professional – great job to Jenny indeed!!!! Sounds like she did a superb job and the entire process on keeping you updated is definitely impressive!!! Because i do remember you had a bad experience last year with an illustrator or something??? But i feel ya regarding the “im gonna design my own blog” moment and it just took forever for me and as you can see, it’s still not happening!!! lol….

    Anyhow, love your new blog layout and it’s awesome that you have the Japanese language option=) I’m glad that Jenny was able to help you after so many bloody people told you it wasnt possible!!! hehehe

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Milla!!!=)


  9. Caterina - Not Just A Pretty Dress 8 October 2012 / 21:27

    That hot chocolate looks delicious…Dear Milla, congratulations on the beginning of your new academic adventure! It’s a great decision and I think that when you go back to school after some years of working, there is a different ‘appreciation’ of the things and understanding of the things that you are going to study. Also, congratulations to you and Jenny on the lovely blog layout! I treated myself, I mean my blog, on a layout makeover for my birthday this year and it has been one of the best presents ever! Keep us posted on the classes and best of luck for everything! PS: Thanks for your comment in one of my last outfit posts…did you live in Brussels?!

  10. Andrea 19 October 2012 / 14:19

    The new design looks great, very minimalist which is always the way to go I think. Congrats on taking the big step of going back to school. I hope to hear all about when we catch up at WTM.

  11. flaneriefeminine 6 November 2012 / 08:44

    Lovely web design!
    And, btw, I always start reading magazines from the back, too! 😉

  12. SomeKindOfStyle (@somekindofstyle) 6 November 2012 / 11:09

    really really adore your new layout design clean & chic! .. so happy for your new endeavors and journey in life.. wish I will get there soon as well somehow! .. will check out Jenny’s site for sure! hope to stay in touch sweet, long time to see! 😉

    wishing you all the best for your studies and new life change! woohoo .. xo

  13. classiq 7 November 2012 / 16:33

    I’m so craving some chocolate right now, Milla! I think it’s wonderful that you’re going back to school. I think it’s important to take a course every couple of years. I enrolled to learn Italian three years ago (it was a six month course) and it felt so good. I love foreign languages and this is what has helped me more than my other degrees in my professional life so far. It was so challenging and what I liked about the course is that people of all ages were attending, from high school students to 40+ persons. I’m thinking of starting another course in the near future and I’m weighing in the options right now.
    PS: I also read magazines from the back. :) I guess it has a little to do with my zodiacal sign: cancer. I think I’ve already told you how much I like your new blog design. xo

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