Dress and nanny

This afternoon my awesome assistant Simon and I went to By Malina to find a dress for the EY Gala next week. I have always loved their gowns so it was an obvious choice.

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Notice that Flattered is sold in By Malina and Soft Goat’s common concept store.

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I tried on these dresses from the spring collection. Powdery pink, light, and sea blue. You will see which dress I picked next week…

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I also found a white dress for tomorrow’s party with LCC. The feather jacket was so pretty in combination with the dress so I just had to bring it home too. You have asked me before if I’m collaborating with By Malina. Sometimes I borrow clothes for an event when I’m only wearing it once. However, most of the time I have their tailor recut a dress, and then I’ll purchase it as usual. Today I had time to talk with the founder Malin before leaving. She also has two young kids at home. I love meeting other entrepreneur moms. If they can make their everyday life work, so can I.

Although I have started to realize that I need to work overtime once a week. Now I’m leaving the office at 3:30 pm and pick up the kids at 4 pm with Odd (We’re carpooling). Before we picked up the kids at 3:30 pm (And finished work at night). Now we want to find a nanny that can pick up the kids once a week and make dinner for them. It would be such a luxury to stay at the office as late as I want to. Emma, who was Sally’s previous nanny, has started studying full time so that doesn’t work. It’s time to find a new person. It’s always difficult finding the right nanny, but Emma was so great that the kids was longing for her. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Anyway, someone who takes care of the kids once a week, plus maybe some night here and there if both Odd and I have work. That would be great!

 

Jury for Show the Way

Before Christmas I received an honorable request; If I would like to be on the jury for Samhall’s Visa Vägen Award (Samhall is a Swedish organization working with employment for disabled people. The award is translated to Show the Way). The award is given every year to people who are driving spirits for disabled people within the work field. I don’t know if you remember, but I was on stage with Salky in my belly, and talked about my life with ADHD. You can find it here in YouTube. I was so nervous before my eight minute long presentation. The audience is intimidating to say the least, with owners and CEO:s from Sweden’s largest companies.

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I had breakfast with Jan Scheman last week here at the office. He’s the chairman of the jury.

When I received the question if I wanted to be on the jury I was so happy, and of course said yes! This is an important matter to me; For everyone to have a place in the work field, regardless of your condition. That’s why I’m not so tough on my employees having an education, because that’s not all. It’s not even top 3 of my priorities when recruiting. I want people who goes the extra mile. People that I enjoy being around and that I trust. Without going in on details about our employees neuro psychiatric disabilities, it’s really not a big deal for me, and it will never be. It’s all about the right person for the position.

You’re more than welcome to read more about the jury here. It’s a great group of people!

 

Weekly agenda

Every day on our way to work, Odd imitates a dog and goes “woof woof” to me as a joke. Especially on Mondays. He thinks I’m like a pitbull who pulls the leash and just wanna run ahead. That’s exactly what it feels like. Every cell in my body is longing to get to work. This week will be fun:

Monday: Weekly staff meeting. Writing of “Stock Queen” (preliminary name), with the help of the journalist Linda Newnham. Skype meeting with a man in Switzerland regarding a place on the LCC board. Try out a dress at By Malina for the EY Gala next week (!).

Tuesday: EY manuscript rehearsal all morning with Ola Lauritzson and the writer. Interview and cover photoshoot for the magazine Amelia. LCC has a big party at night, arranged by Bindefeld AB. We have invited all our clients.

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I always get a feeling of happiness when I step into the office, one floor up in Sturegallerian. I bought a smoothie this morning since I’ve been slacking off the greens this weekend. I’m way better during the weekdays.

Wednesday: Day at the office and a few meetings.

Thursday: Cover photoshoot for “Stock Queen”

Friday: Spending the day with Pingis and Linda to record the book as an interview while Linda is typing. Way easier.

Sunday- Monday: Odd and I will fly to Åre to participate at the Porsche Winter Experience 2017. Driving on ice. The kids will be with my mom so Odd and I will have some alone time. We look forward to that. Checking in at the hotel, going to the spa, dinner, and driving on ice all Monday. Fun!

 

Setting boundaries

A while ago I promised I would write something on boundaries. To me, setting boundaries is something I often talk about, namely being your own best friend. To stand up for yourself at all times. To set boundaries and then making sure I stick to them has always been important for me, as a mark of respect for myself. It has also made it easier to keep my integrity as a public person. There has been all sorts of circumstances and situations where I have had to set boundaries. I remember when I was single and went out on dates. If a guy that I was interested in, but he couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted a relationship or not, I made a deadline of how long I would wait. When that date arrived, I asked him the question straight out and if the answer was still vague, I broke it off.

Out of respect for myself.

It might be in relation to interviews. Like when Swedish radio station P1 got in touch and wanted me to participate in one of their shows. I was really pleased at first. But when I realized that the questions wouldn’t be about any of my current projects that I wanted to discuss, but just about private matters from the past that I could really do without, I declined.

Out of respect for myself.

It might be about photo sessions and the photographer wants me to pose in a way that I am not comfortable with. When I was younger I didn’t know I could actually say no. I was just so grateful for having been asked in the first place. But after a few years I developed a more hard-nosed attitude and stopped ending up in this sort of photo shoot:

Isabella Lowengrip asserting limits

Out of respect for myself.

It might be a situation like when I was Malou von Sivers’ sidekick in her TV show “Efter Tio” on Swedish TV and had to face too much hassles and insults, work took more energy out of me than it gave back. Then I declined when I was offered to carry on, even though it was “a big opportunity” and a way of getting to do more TV if I had wanted to.

Out of respect for myself.

It might be that I swap banks if they treat me badly. I remember how an office manager at Handelsbanken didn’t want to accept that my blog actually is a business enterprise, which pays people’s wages and how she at least once said “Your little blog”. This was not during my teenage years, but approx. 1.5 years ago. Later that day I called her back and told her how customers should be spoken to and how they should be treated. I changed banks later on that day too.

Out of respect for myself.

It might be that I have to break the connection to a family member, because I have had enough of being scared or being trampled all over, and there isn’t much left of me. Time and time again over a period of many years. When the courage within had grown strong enough, I said my goodbyes, and even if that was the toughest decision I have had to make in my life, I know I deserve much better than that.

Out of respect for myself.

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In what area of your life do you need to become better at setting boundaries? Your boss? Your friends? Your partner? Your mother-in-law?

Right, I’m off to tackle my long-awaited evening job 🙂

 

Twice a week

I have received so many questions about my weekend hair bun and what that actually means. It is not complicated, just that I come home on a Friday afternoon and put my hair up in a bun and usually leave it like that until Sunday. If we don’t have anything special planned, of course. In my job I need my hair to be styled and I need to wear make-up as I represent a beauty brand, so I find staying au naturel over the weekend absolutely wonderful. It is also good to let your hair and skin rest for a couple of days a week.

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I only wash my hair twice a week. Sundays and Wednesday/Thursday. Never more. I don’t exercise all that often, so that isn’t a problem. If I had done, I would have had to wash it more frequently. The last time was last Wednesday. My hair is used to this, so despite many days between the washes, it rarely gets greasy. I use our The Cure range, but Back to Balance is even better for oily scalps.

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Newly washed, woohoo! I always style my hair straight away and put all the products onto it. That way it keeps nice for several days and then I use dry shampoo too when need be. My everyday hero!

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And now, can’t wait to taste the Swiss roll that Odd’s just baked! 

 

New layout

As I mentioned, we’re thinking about renovating. This idea popped up after we visited our neighbors and got to see what their very different first floor looked like in a house that is identical to ours. So Odd and I started pondering. This is what our first floor looks like today: 

There is no proper landing up here, but lots of corridor and pretty dark. Odd and I sleep in the bigger room (and so do the children every night). The bedroom “above” ours in the picture is Sally’s and the one to the left is Gillis’. In the lounge we have combined TV room and playroom. What has changed is that Gillis has been wanting to move his bed into Sally’s room and now when they are sleeping in the same room, they don’t wake up as often during the night. They do also walk over to our room together in the middle of the night. So cute, my heart just melts. Anyway, we starting to settle into the idea of the children wanting to share bedroom for a few years. They are so incredibly close, which is why we are considering changing the layout to this:  

Removing Gillis’ room to make a great big landing. Then we’ll have a window and everything will be much lighter. This is what it looked like at the neighbours’ when they moved in just a short while after we did: 

A huge difference. Airy and spacious! The lounge will be split into two bedrooms, so that we will still have four rooms up here, but better sizes. The idea is to make the landing into a smaller TV room / lounge, one of the bedrooms will become a playroom and the other one will become a walk-in closet for me (Odd will then have all the wardrobes in the bedroom). We really think this could work out a treat. No furniture will have to be bought, I just want to wallpaper the children’s new joint bedroom and when the day comes when they want to have separate bedrooms, we’ll just make the playroom into a bedroom. Simple! We don’t need another guest bedroom as we have one downstairs and that’s enough. What do you think? Do your children want to share a room?

 

A visit to IKEA

We went to IKEA this morning. Both Odd and I thought that would be nice. Isn’t it strange that we both feel a sort of coziness about the place? It must be linked to a feeling you had as a child. We wanted to buy some shelves for the garage (note to self: OMG, that felt so grown up) and then a few other bits and bobs.

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Weekend hair bun in place.

Isabella Lowengrip IKEA trolley kids

You see us rollin…. 

We do have a few renovation projects going on at home actually. Tomorrow a couple of carpenters and Ida, or interior decorator guru, are coming over so we can decide everything relating to the guest bathroom. And we have also decided on a new, fun thing. Will tell you more in my next post. 🙂 

 

Inauguration of Donald Trump

I was in shock yesterday and watched the inauguration of the new president of the United States of America. All of this felt like a big, fat joke. I had hoped to see a new, real Trump, but he stuck with the same hard tone in his speech. I thought the speech was difficult to follow and couldn’t make head or tale of what he was really saying. Extremely populistic. I struggle to understand how he can stand there and say that he’s one of the people. He is a crazy, but clever man, who has used dissatisfaction and contempt as his main topic. When he now turns into a part of the establishment, it will be interesting, albeit sad, to see what solutions he will present to the people.

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If I were to try to look into the future, I think this wave of discontent will continue and at the next Swedish election we’ll see Sverigedemokraterna being the largest party in Sweden. I think we will get to hear a similarly populistic speech from Jimmy Åkesson during that election night. “I am a man the Swedish people have voted for and I will now solve your problems. Make Sweden great again.” That’s the last thing I want to happen, but I sadly think that is the most likely outcome. History is cyclical, just like everything else, and sometimes a few years with leaders like this are needed to rouse the bigger parties. The people will then realize that there is no long-term, sensible politic agenda behind this, they grow tired of it and go back to voting for the safe, stable parties that work for the entire country.

That’s why I am not panicking too much about what is going in the world. The wave of discontent will pass. I remain calm and steadfast and will just sit this out, even it if takes several years. What keeps me going is the strong belief in equality and that we all have to pull together when the going gets tough, even if there is a cost to pay in the short term. The alternative of shutting people out and just taking care of yourself and the people closest to you, is something I will never buy in to.

 

Luxurious Friday feeling

Not all bad to have a couple of little patients at home. Sally is actually quite well today, but she should have a day without fever before going back to nursery. Gillis is a bit snotty, but still bright and bubbly. This sort of day is such a luxury, spending time together. When Odd went to the office this morning, we made some sandwiches and had breakfast on the sofa. Watched Laban the Ghost and then we played hide and seek. I worked for a while when the children were drawing, and then we have had left-overs for lunch and strawberries with nutella for dessert.

It is Friday, after all.  


Sally is having a nap, Gillis is watching a film and I’m seizing the opportunity to work for a short while. When Sally wakes up, we’ll go to the supermarket to buy some dinner ingredients and get some fresh air. That will be today’s adventure.

 

LCC is seeking a COO

Welcome to the best team in the world! I have something fun to share with you this morning, LCC is looking to hire a Sweden manager, or rather a COO. I think it’s so cool that our expansion now means we need to fill such a position. Pingis will focus on the foreign markets and we therefore need a Sweden manager in place. You will be my closest colleague, so obviously I’m excited and eager to see who will apply for this.

You can find the ad here too.

About you:
We think that the person applying for this position is a problem-solver with a positive attitude. You are proud of your previous achievements and you can see opportunities and possibilities in every challenge you are faced with. You are very patient and like helping out with both smaller and bigger matters. If the abilities, skills and personality traits below apply to you, we await your application with baited breath.

Business focus:
You have a keen nose for business.
You are brave and decisive.
You are stable and inspiring.
You are generally passionate and find it easy to inspire and enthuse.

Economic competence:
You have an understanding of budget responsibility, liquidity management responsibility and cash flow mean.

Responsibilities:
Personnel responsibilities
Budget responsibility
Business responsibility

As our Sweden manager you would be running Löwengrip Care & Color’s national and operative aspects. You have full budget responsibility. We also expect you to be generally competent when it comes to business economics, as you will have full budget responsibility and are expected to manage this with the help of an external controller. Line management of the various managers within the company is also included in your role. You are expected to act as an operative and strategic sounding board in any matters that might arise. We would like you to have experience and passion for business deals as we are a business-focused company. You will also have an executive role in our company and will be expected to make decisions in matters that require a quick resolution. This might be in consultation with the owners, but you have overall responsibility for implementation. As COO you will be a part of the leadership team and will be able to influence our business straight away, especially our future developments.

Isabella Lowengrip LCC team

A part of our team, we have already expanded to 20 people after this photo was taken

We strive for gender equality and we would love to receive male applicants for this role, competence is still top priority though. Please send us your CV and a personal letter should you wish to apply for this role. We will handle applications on as they come in. If you have any questions relating to the process or position, please contact hr@lowengripcarecolor.com
Our subsidiary company ZUG AB is responsible for this process and contact person is Odd Spångberg. Send in your application to hr@lowengripcarecolor.com