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Sharing My Story at Long Last

Writing a book about minimalism has been a dream of mine since the very beginning of my minimalist journey. This story, which chronicles my time at Oxford, in the mountains, and all the way up to present day, has been brewing in my head for a while. This is the culmination of the three-year-long English adventure that for some reason I kept telling myself was too small a story to tell.

Reading over it one last time before hitting publish, I realize how personal a story it is! Here are the ups and downs of my journey that put Fashionably Light in context. Most of all, I hope that in reading my story you will discover the courage to take charge of and to share your own.

Today, I am officially an Authoress.

miss xandra bee

The Live Book Launch Party

Last night, Caroline and I had a little book launch party/interview! If you missed it, never fear, the video is here:

Fashionably Light: Becoming My Own Heroine hits digital bookshelves tomorrow. So if you want to read about minimalism, heroine-ism, and Miu Miu in the mountains…

Pre-OrderAlso, have a look at these awesome lady-editors from across the globe [5 countries!] who helped make the book better:

The Live Book Launch Party

1. Kristin writes addictive geek-chic posts fit for a bibliophile at My Life as a Tea Cup that make me want to curl up with a good book and a cuppa.

2. Erin, besides being my writing partner since age nine, is a singer and composer of gorgeous songs that have heroine-ism written all over them.

3. Sarah is the “urban pixie” over at The Laughing Medusa, and just happens to be a grammar guru and copywriting pro as well.

4. Dana offers awesome advice over at Writer’s Bucket List. I highly recommend signing up for her free coaching sesh if you’re entering the digital publishing biz.

5. Kate, lifestyle coach at Make Your Own Magic, is the lady who helped me brainstorm and find the courage to tell my story even if it seems small.

6. Sara is my personal Business Best Friend, and since that’s the name of her blog, I guess we can share her.

7. Caroline, my partner-in-podcasting, writes the most fabulous, glamorous, and dreamy posts at Sparkles & Crumbs, bringing cheer and Hollywood into the everyday.

miss xandra bee

My Simple Blogging Editorial Calendar

My Simple Blogging Editorial Calendar

I schedule everything. Sort of like Ashley Olsen’s character in New York Minute. So of course, when it comes to blogging, I’m all about the editorial calendar.

My system is simple.

My Simple Blogging Editorial Calendar

In my Moleskine journal, I write a numbered list to signify days in a month. I highlight lines to show weeks, and pencil in content so I can see everything at a glance. Obviously, it changes. But it’s nice to have a plan.

If you want a pretty print out, Ché made a great one, and links to many others too. 

As for generating content, here’s a secret.

It’s all about the categories.

I was inspired by XO Sarah‘s clean categories, and Nubby Twiglet‘s sleek features-centric blog. Here’s my twist on their awesomeness.

To fight blogger’s writer’s block, I restricted myself to a pattern.

  • Monday – Simple Fix
  • Tuesday – video
  • Thursday – Wardrobe Weekly
  • Friday – FabulosiTEA tie-in

Now, these are structurally-themed posts. What still didn’t jive was the content. So I went through my recent posts, and defined some broad themes that I cover:

  • Being a Heroine
  • Capsule Wardrobe
  • De-Cluttering
  • Habit Building
  • Mindfulness
  • Mini Adventures
  • Minimalist Lifestyle

All of my posts fall into one of these categories. Identifying those really helps me in the planning process!

If you’re a blogger, or a maybe-one-day blogger…

Check out this week’s episode of FabulosiTEA! We’re talking about “the beauty of blogging”, from navigating the sea of web platforms to meeting likeminded ladies online.

How do you organize your editorial calendar?

miss xandra bee

How People USED to Dress for Warmth

How People USED to Dress for WarmthSHIRT IBEX | HOODIE FREE PEOPLE | SKIRT [HAND-ME-DOWN] |TIGHTS AMERICAN APPAREL | BOOTS DR MARTENS

One of my favorite ways to acquire new clothes is by shopping in my Mama’s and Halmoni’s closets. Free vintage! I snagged this skirt – a pleated green wonder from circa 1980 – from Halmoni.

Wearing an ankle-length 100% wool skirt got me thinking - why am I wearing short skirts in the winter? Why is that popular? Long is deffo the way to go. It’s like wearing a blanket on one’s legs. 

Ever wonder how the Regency and Victorian chicks kept warm? Two words: full. skirts.

miss xandra bee

The Stuff My Electronic Stuff is In

The Stuff My Electronic Stuff is In

 I love my electronics, so I like to give them cozy homes. I take case-hunting very seriously.

  • Carrie the 11″ MacBook Air has a case made out of a recycled wetsuit made by Looptworks, a company that specializes in upcycled clothing and accessories.  
  • Toadette the iPod Touch’s case is by Tovicorrie, a Bristol-based company that makes leather cases by hand.
  • Samsung flip phone - No capes! [case.]
  • Severus the Kindle lives in a Harry Potter Cozy by Life Geekery, based in Hawaii. I found them on Etsy.

More on the cases:

miss xandra bee

My Life, in Table of Contents Form

My Life, in Table of Contents Form

Perhaps you’ve heard that I wrote a book.

Yay! But I will be honest – it’s daunting to share, because of its genre. It’s mostly a memoir – and aren’t I a bit young to be writing a memoir? 

Thinking back to when I started experimenting with minimalism, I could have used a young lady’s memoir for inspiration. That’s why I faced my doubts and wrote it, and I hope that you find it helpful. 

At the end of each chapter, I include some prompts for you to ponder. Optional homework.

As for what’s inside, take a peek at the table of contents!

  • Meet the Heroine
  • Our fashionable heroine discovers minimalism
  • Our heroine develops an appreciation for quality and containers
  • Our heroine applies minimalism to time management
  • Our heroine gets a new name
  • Our heroine learns life lessons whilst learning to climb
  • Our heroine climbs in Spain, and finds Miu Miu in the mountains
  • Our heroine reflects on stories worth telling 
  • Our heroine contemplates self-worth and writing, with the help of Doctor Who
  • Conclusion: Our heroine is fashionably light

You can pre-order the book for $0+ here (it’s super easy), and get more info here.

Also, I hope that you will join me on Sunday for my pre-launch Google Hangout party!

Pre-Order

miss xandra bee

Why I Write in Coffeeshops

Why I Write in Coffeeshops

When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be a professional figure skater when I grew up.

(Spoiler alert: that’s the first sentence of my ebook).

Obviously, that didn’t happen. But when I was a little older, I changed my mind and wanted to be an author. Specifically, I wanted to sit in coffeeshops and write for hours. In fact, my AIM screen name was “coffeeshopauthor”. I was like eight years old. I had a bookmark of a “Café Girl” and it embodied my ideal future life.

My coffeeshop dreams have come true, in a way. I spend a lot of time in coffeeshops, sometimes for the pleasure of the atmosphere, but more often for what I call “coffeesquatting” – the act of renting a seat at a café in the form of a cup of tea. I coffeesquat when the library isn’t open, or when I need free wifi. 

But when it comes to productivity, my friend Connor puts it best: it’s perfectly acceptable to scroll through Facebook in the library. But if you are clearly a student in a coffeeshop, you have to be a student in a coffeeshop. You have to appear to be hard at work or you look like an idiot.

At age eight, I was using a visualization technique without realizing it. Marie Forleo asks, “How would you behave if you were best in the world at what you do?” Eight-year-old me answered, “I would do my writing in a coffeeshop”.

Today’s episode of FabulosiTEA is one of my favorites. We discuss the spaces that have inspired artists from Monet to J.K. Rowling. Beyond being a fun conversation, I enjoyed gaining insight on my own spaces – what does my ideal artist life look like, and how can I build it into a reality?

I think I’ll go journal in a coffeeshop to find out.

Episode 10: In Which We Discuss Artists in Residence goes live at 15:00 EDT.

Listen or Subscribe: iTunes | Show notes: FabulosiTEA.com

 miss xandra bee

How to Dress with Versatile Style: From Class to Tea

When Modcloth asked me to create a look surrounding their Shoreline Memories Dress, two occasions came to mind: going to class and going to tea.

We get a lot of “day to night” looks. But my “night on the town” is more like “Sunday afternoon in the tearoom”. 

While I am no longer a full-time student, I am still a lifelong learner, and still love dressing up for “back to school”. Plus, I have just enrolled in B-School. That counts, right? 

So here’s what I would wear:

 
Modcloth: From Class to Tea
 

Why it’s fashionably light: The yellow detachable collar and belt transform the look. Take them off, add some powder green accessories, and it’s a whole new dress. I also stayed true to my tactic of adding wacky tights – there’s a little minimalist secret for making it look like you own more clothes than you do!

miss xandra bee

P.S. Modcloth did not pay me to write this post, but I was flattered by their invitation to style a board for them. I am a particular fan of their in-house design label Myrtlewood, made in California – just check out my dress in the FabulosiTEA Oxford video!

P.P.S. My ebook is coming out in two weeks! Read all about it :)

I Wrote a Book!

I Wrote a Book!

Oh my goodness. I can finally say that the book I claimed to be writing has actually been written.

The title: Fashionably Light: Becoming My Own Heroine.

This part-memoir, part-workbook tells the story of my becoming minimalist, and is filled with prompts so that you can follow along.

The video explains it all:

As for the price, it’s up to you. You can have the book for free. You can also treat me to ice cream or to the theatre. All you have to do is set the slider to wherever you feel is best. 

One week after publication, I will finalize the price at the average of what my first readers set. The choice is yours.

I will be revealing tidbits over the next couple of weeks, so please post any questions you have in the comments! On Sunday 23 March, my FabulosiTEA co-host Caroline will be interviewing me on Google Hangouts – RSVP here.

Fashionably Light: Becoming My Own Heroine

Thank you for joining me in this new adventure!

miss xandra bee

Simple Fix for Feeling Trapped in the Mundane

Simple Fix for Feeling Trapped in the MundaneOn Thursday night, I prepared for a seven-hour car journey. I fluttered about, almost in a panic: How I can I use this time productively? How will I avoid being utterly bored?

A few months ago I had the heart of London at my doorstep. Now I’ve returned to the rural outskirts of Boston, off a major road, with no car. 

When it came time for enduring Friday’s journey, to my dismay, my video entertainment had not downloaded. But it was okay. I found myself staring out the window at my America. 

With fresh, intentional eyes, there is so much to see.

Simple Fix: Allow yourself to be interested.

We don’t have to go somewhere to do something interesting – we just have to remember that we are already somewhere.

miss xandra bee




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