Living the Dream

4 women 4 cities 4 goals

November 20, 2014
by Carina
1 Comment

There is always a time…

…somewhere in a life, at some place and time along the road, when it is time for closure.

Recently I have had some closure in my life.  Because I needed to. Because I was once taught by a friend that life deserves that you do that, find closure, now and then. That you deserve that. That I deserve that. And that you, to be able to open new doors might need to close some others. To find closure and to close down. In order to open up. Something else.

And I have opened many new doors lately. I sometimes wonder if there have been a few too many in a bit too short a time. But that is just the way I am. And lately (and in time for God’s sake!) I have learned to live with that side of me too. The side that turns my life in to a constantly ongoing circus. I like circuses. I’m beginning to think I might even need them.

Anyway – I was offered some new keys, and wanted to try them all. I have found a lot of fantastic things behind those doors. Things I was longing for, things I didn’t know I was longing for before I found them, and things that were missing in my life and that I was actively searching for.

Some of my keys fitted right in, were easy to turn and immediately gave me a view of what was hiding on the other side of that door. Others were a bit hard to turn, the lock was fighting me and needed special treatment. Some are still unopened and waiting.

And I keep on collecting keys, realizing that, that is actually what I have been doing all my life. Collecting keys. Saving them. One by one. Cause you never know when you’ll find the door to where the key fits.

And at this point I am closing this door, the door to this blog. It is not without a certain amount of pain. It is not without a feeling that I might change my mind. In about five minutes. So if it is fine with the person who once gave me the key, I will keep it, along with the rest of my collection. Because you never know what is waiting around the corner. Isn’t that amazing?


So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu.
It’s been a pleasure.





*** Updated 23rd November – this post was published on  20th November, under the wrong author name. The writer of this magnificent piece was of course Miss Carina, as pictured above! ***

November 14, 2014
by Viveka

Then there were 3

This week, we say Goodbye to our lovely friend and contributor Melanie from down under.

Mel’s story with us has been short, but very sweet. I was personally bowled over by Miss Melanie’s writing talent which exceeded any expectations we may have had, and I hope it will be nurtured and kept alive for a long time to come.

Here are some of the highlights from Melanie’s time with us here at Living The Dream;


On the subject of feminism in

To label, or not to label

Cambridge Dictionaries define feminism as “the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power, opportunities and treatment as men”.

So, as author Margaret Atwood has said, “does feminist mean an unpleasant person who’ll shout at you, or someone who believes women are human beings?”

To me it’s the latter, so I sign up.


On trying out pole-dancing in

When was the last time you tried something for the first time? 

I don’t know if Pole Dancing is something you’ve ever thought about. But in case it is, and you haven’t done it yet, I’ll let you in on a few secrets:

1. You have to wear short shorts. Really short shorts. Like those ones you used to wear under your netball skirt. Because it’s all about skin-to-metal contact, so the more skin the better.

Getting beyond this point was achievement enough for us, but ok, what’s next?

2. There are mirrors everywhere.

Oh, good.


3. It really hurts. I mean, it hurts much more than I anticipated. All that metal on skin is actually quite a bit on the ouchy side. Not to mention you need to wrap your feet and lower legs around this thing – this is high-bruise territory!

Sheesh, I don’t know about this, but ok… Next?

4. It’s really awesome. Truly…


On life with or wihout children in

Through the Looking Glass

I have been thinking over the past few weeks about what it would be like to not have children.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

The first is that there seems to have been a recent flurry of pieces about women who have chosen this path, and the family and societal pressures often felt by them about their decision.

The second is that I have been living vicariously through a lovely and wonderful couple I know, who do not have children, and who have just returned from (what Facebook-appears to have been) a brilliant, indulgent, memory-making holiday complete with music festivals, private dinners, first class lounges and airline PJs…


And how it all started, one of the most goose-bumpy pieces I’ve had the pleasure of publishing here.

Jumping into the Deep 

For the decade of my twenties I feel like I knew who I was. I mean it wasn’t perfect – I had insecurities, I was mostly broke, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew me. I knew my values, I knew who I was, I knew my priorities and I knew where I was headed.

For the decade of the thirties I think I lost that. I moved from London to Brisbane, I married, had three babies – crushingly losing one of them <3 – and I have worked really hard building this happy life, raising my amazing children. And yet I feel like I have somehow settled. Settled onto this very long road of routine and expectation. Because being so busy on the road of life, I have forgotten who I really am.

And so it came to me, my goal.

Know yourself. And to thine own self be true.


And on that note, we wish you all the best for the future Melanie, and hope you continue your journey to knowing your true self!

Good luck!


Image 1 courtesy of The Prague Review

Image 2 of the “Layout” courtesy of

November 7, 2014
by Laura

Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady

It’s been a while…

For the summer months my life was totally consumed with wedding plans… Writing from our extended honeymoon, I can safely say that it was all more than worthwhile!

During the relentless preparations, we did manage to sandwich in the annual homage to Glastonbury, and yet another yoga retreat, both providing a much-needed respite…!

So… what did I wear?

Well, it had to be Westwood. I’ve always loved Westwood. Her Union jack rug takes centre stage in my living room and she dominates my wardrobe. Creating the dress with the amazing team was an experience I will always treasure.


On my way to the big day… luckily someone was on hand to remind me to pick up my bouquet!

And for The Husband, it had to be Burberry, another prominent presence on my rails, totally unplanned but completely apt for us to both be wearing British designers.


The handsome husband.


We did it!


Mr & Mrs.

The three-day celebration was everything and more than we could have dreamt and hoped for. (Even changing the wedding venue six weeks before the big day couldn’t put a spanner in the works!)

Why wouldn’t it be? Marrying the love of my life, and my best friend, with all of our loved ones coming together from all corners of the world. The whole occasion was full of love and laughter.


Time to start the celebrations.


Me and my girls.

And now….?

Well, we are still on our extended honeymoon and spending time on the White Isle, interrupted briefly to hit the runways of London and Paris… Oh and not forgetting to mention Kate Bush’s amazing return to stage… Phenomenal!




The lady herself, Dame Vivienne Westwood, London Fashion Week, Red Label.


Paris Fashion week, front row, Vivienne Westwood, Gold Label.

So, what’s next? A hectic but exciting time lies ahead, as I move country, launch new businesses, and enjoy married life.

This is therefore my last post… I have loved sharing my life with you, and would like to say a special thanks to the editor, my best mate, who has inspired me to continue putting pen to paper… A magnificent woman, and one that I am proud to have had standing beside me, not only on THE day, but always.


Dreams can change. Dare to dream. Live YOUR dreams. Dreams really DO come true!


Oh… and shopping will always make you happy!



Mrs Laura Barwick Maggs xx



November 6, 2014
by Viveka
1 Comment

Change is afoot…

Much like life, which I’ve only just realized at 40+, is a perpetual work-in-progress, in a constant state of evolution, so is this here blog.

And it feels fitting, that the blog in this way reflects life, as that was pretty much the idea!

So it’s time for change again.

First we were 4.
Then we were 4.
And then we were 3,

We have all realized for many different reasons, that blogging is quite different to the dream we may have had. For some, time is an issue, while for others the high standards they set for themselves can be inhibiting, and for sure we’ve all experienced writer’s block at times.

They say; if you love someone set them free. And I do, so my beautiful friends are free to go off and live their dreams in their own different ways.

As for me, I will stay here, and continue to do what I do.

Because, my dream was to live in Spain. And once in Spain, I wanted to write about my experiences here. So that, for me, is Living The Dream.

I hope you keep coming here, to find out how the solo version of this here blog will turn out! There are quite a few changes in store…

So 1 by 1, it’s time to say Goodbye to my dear friends and contributors, Laura, Melanie and Carina.

First up; the ex-bride-to-be, the newly-wed-Mrs; our very own Laura.


Here are some of the highlights of Laura Living the Dream, and tomorrow you’ll hear from the Mrs herself, a post I promise you, is not to be missed!

Island hopping in Thailand

Laura-Barwick-Thailand-Island-hopping-5Shady Lady…

Laura-Barwick-Shady-Lady-Ray-Bans-sunglassesThe C Word…


Playing Dress-up…


How it all started…

Laura in front of the sunset at the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia.


Until tomorrow…


October 28, 2014
by Viveka
1 Comment

Another week…

Another whirlwind week has flown past and left a somewhat withered 40-something in its wake.

It’s taken a whole week to just regroup and recap.

A week of networking in the south of France which used to include late-night meetings on the lawn of the Grand Hotel, turned into a more subdued version, with no bed-times past 1am, and still I’m paying for it!

Anyhoo, here’s what I got up to…



Trying to learn a few things from one of the most successful people in television, ever. But it was mostly about flattering Mr Cowell.


Simon Cowell proving he does(n’t) have the X Factor.


Running up and down La Croisette at all times of day and (early) night.


My office for the week.


Having the best ever Dry Martini in the cosy confines of the Grey D’Albion Hotel.



Catching up with industry girlfriends on top of Chanel No5. What would be a better address for a Chanel store, than No 5?


A balcony with a view. If I was at the ‘real’ festival, Brad and Angie would be right behind me, flashing their smiles at adoring fans, and a legion of paparazzi!


Goodbye Palais Des Festivals. Or as those of us who have been inside, fondly refer to it; The Bunker.


When in France, why not top it off with a final flurry in the City of Lights? Couldn’t answer that, so spent the weekend in Paris, with a host of blonde Swedish ladies celebrating a new 40-something’s entrance into my decade!

Paris by day…





Paris by night…



Au revoir, à la prochaine!


October 27, 2014
by Carina
1 Comment

A week…

…that comes & goes.

I decided to see what I actually do during a week. The best way to do this is of course to check the photos in your iPhone. Behold – my last, and maybe not very exciting week.


Waking up at my hotel in Milan at 06.00. The driver picks me up at 08.00 and takes me 40 minutes out of the city, to Rotolito, where the printing of our next issues, (yes we are doing three of them at the same time), of STIL is taking place.

It takes time. More time than we were hoping for and we spend 14 hours adjusting colors. A little bit more red here, some more yellow there, maybe just a touch of black…

It is midnight when we get back to the hotel. Everybody goes straight to bed but I just have to take a 30 minute walk. On my own. To breathe.


Milan. Not my favourite city in the world. But some things there are quite impressive.

Milan. Not my favourite city in the world. But some things there are quite impressive.



Throw away. Start again. We do waste a lot of paper before we are happy.


Magazines. I see them. I smell them. I love them.

Magazines. I see them. I smell them. I love them.



Waking up. Same procedure as yesterday. Only difference that I’m flying back home in the afternoon. Realize that I won’t have time to see the printed covers before I leave. Bad. But I have my printing experts in place for the rest of the week. They will do a far better job than I could ever do. Still hard to accept for the control freak who lives inside of me.

Coming home late afternoon. Tired. Happy to be with my little family again. J spent last week in Barcelona and we just missed each other at the airport last Sunday when he came back and I left.



Done. For this time.



Having a look at some new collections for ss 15. Falling in love with the pieces from The Case Factory. Yes, I have a thing for snakes and other reptiles. It is nothing new. I even had a pet snake many, many years ago.



Snakes in all shapes and colours…


Real snake with blue stains. Perfection.

Real snake with blue stains. Perfection.


Also fell in love with the long pink dress in the middle of the first rail. Pink is not a favourite, but this is. From Swedish Menckel.

Also fell in love with the long pink dress in the middle of the first rail. Pink is not a favourite, but this is. From Swedish Menckel.



Workshop from early morning to lunch with some colleagues. A new magazine will soon see the light. Always thankful to be asked to give my input, to be able to be a part of something new. And great to sometimes have another reader than my usual in mind. Some hours of popping out ideas and thoughts in a crowd where you can be really free and have the opportunity to think after talking.

Some people would say that you need to think before. I think you need to do both. First, just let it out. The very first thought, before you actually start thinking about it, might be genius. Never hold it back. But always be prepared to take it back.

Nothing to show though. It is all very, very secret.



Getting inspired by the absolutely gorgeous Carolyn Murphy in this issue of The Edit.







Woken up by a sound, that at first, I couldn’t identify. Probably since it was totally new to me. It was W. Sitting by the table doing his homework.

Spent the main part of the day emptying the boat. Feels like it was only yesterday she went into the water for the season and I was preparing her for all those lovely summer days and nights out in the archipelago. Now she is going back up on dry land. Hate it.



Woke up on Saturday morning and felt that he wanted to do his maths homework. My fantastic, peculiar, wonderful and very special child. Full of surprises.


The days when I can leave the city behind like this are over. For now.

The days when I can leave the city behind like this are over. For now.



I would prefer not to talk too much about my Sunday. But just to give you some kind of idea. It included: Waking up at 06.00. Football.

Did you get that?! Sunday morning. At 06.00. And the reason is football.

I have always, without any real supported reason or argument and therefore quite unfairly, thought that ”parents who are really involved in their children’s sports activites (and maybe the starting time of the same) are of another kind of species than myself”.
Now, after a visit in this world and the experience of it, I can confirm that: ”Parents who are really involved in their children’s sports activites (and maybe the starting time of the same) are of another kind of species than myself”.

Or I could also sum it up like this: Madness.




Some figures from the week.
I have been:

-       Times transporting myself by scooter – 14.

-       Kilometers spent running – 22 (I wish I could write 42 km, but 22 it is).

-       Dinners cooked – 5.

-       Times shopping for groceries – 6 (Bad planning).

-       Hours slept – definitely to few.

-       Times kissing my family – uncountable and still never enough!




October 23, 2014
by Viveka


As the predominant nationality of us here at LTD Blog, is Swedish, I thought I’d give you a quick insight into our background, which may, or may not, help you understand us that little bit better.




October 15, 2014
by Carina
1 Comment

Things you need on a grey day…

…and they are all bargains. And they will all make you look like a million. At least. That’s the way I like it!


A coat that puts a little more glamour in to an ordinary day.


A top that shows what a winner you are.


A skirt that floats around your legs when you take those determined steps down the street.


A bag that tells everybody that you have the speed and strength of a crocodile.


Boots with heels that help you reach for the sky. And the stars upon it.

Just basic things you need. For one reason or another.




October 7, 2014
by Viveka
1 Comment

Work, work, work

So it’s that time of the year again, when I have to shoulder the responsibility of representation at a rather large conference in Cannes.

First things first. I like to keep my work life and blogging separate. Kind of. That’s just my inner Swede, wanting to compartmentalize and keep things nice and neat in separate boxes.

But it has occurred to me that it may make sense at this point to clarify, that I actually do have a calling, or higher purposes, if you like, other than the endless task of self-improvement and visiting family and friends around the world. Subtle clues have been dropped herein, so let’s backtrack a little; what do we know so far?

Exhibit A – We know that this is not the first time I’m going to Cannes, somehow something to do with Sponge Bob Squarepants...

Exhibit B – We know that I’ve had to go to Amsterdam for a “’business trip” which involved going to a stand-up comedy show

Exhibit C – Further it was revealed that I went to Brussels for another comedy show, which was also deemed “work-related”.

And now we find out it’s time to go to Cannes again.

So there you have it.
Clearly and obviously I sell TV programmes.
Programmes of the standing-up type of comedy variety.

And there it is, the full truth and nothing but the truth.

Moving on then, yes?
‘Objection – I didn’t know that was an actual job’, you say?
And you wouldn’t be the first to raise this very valid point.
I often get this response.

All I can say is, it is, and it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it, and that someone is me. And about 11,500 other people on their way to Cannes for the 2nd week of October.

Which brings us back to reality, and the fact, that today, I am late in posting because I’m rushing to prepare my arduous trip to Cannes.


And now you know me a little better.




PS – Don’t worry if you hadn’t put this together yet. My parents have only just grasped what it is that I actually do.