For those of you who don’t know, Triple A is an animal rescue organization taking care and rehoming homeless animals, mainly dogs. Not all of us are able to adopt another pet but I recently found out that we can still help. How? Through years of hard work they have now a strong colaboration with Germany, Finland and also Sweden. Many of the dogs and cats find new foster homes there. These animals need to fly to their new family and can of course not travel alone. Meet Dock, a pit bull that has spent several years at Triple A shelters and now just been adopted by a Swedish family. When I anyway was flying to Sweden I offered to bring Dock along to his new home. It was a very easy experience. Triple A added a dog to my booking and they brought him to Malaga airport and helped with the check in there. All I had to do was pick him up at bagage claim in Stockholm, take him through customs, showing his passport and out to the arrival hall, where a very excited family was waiting for their new family member. It was a great feeling to see this happy ending for Dock as he walked off into his new future of love.
Happy Saturday 😉 Maybe an odd subject but who cares right? Fact is, I often get asked how I can be so happy all the time. So without being over enthusiastic I am going tell you a few of my tricks! Most importantly, good sleep! If you are tired, everything is shit. Then I have realized that if you go to bed with a good thought, you usually wake up happy and vice versa. The power of your own thoughts are so strong. I bet that all of you can get really sad in just an instance if you focus on something sad. So train yourself to focus on happy things. So how do you do that? I play, like, a little game with myself: the “to-see-the-best -in-each-situation” game. My “game” can be to try to pick out as many positive things in a situation as I can think of. It is just like a private little mind game with myself lol. In the beginning it was quite difficult and I had to remind myself, but as you get used to it, all of a sudden it just becomes a natural reaction. Give it a try and enjoy the best of each day 🙂
(*This post is obviously not meant when it comes to illness or death to someone we love. That is a different ball game.)
Most people giving advise about fitness, forget one of the most important subjects- to rest! It’s all well and good to learn how to train and eat right but it is just as important to sleep and recover. There is a reason why it’s called “beauty sleep”. For example, did you know that you burn fat while sleeping? Not only that, but it also prevent aging, wrinkles and inflammations and it stimulates your muscle growth. As a normal adult, you should aim for minimum 7 hours good sleep/night. I have always slept a lot and I really think that’s one of the reasons as to why I have been able to eat a lot without gaining weight and when training I gain muscles easy. Without getting too scientific, basically we release insulin while sleeping that makes our fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent fat storage. Bad sleep or not enough sleep makes you more insulin resistant. Also your Growth Hormone (HGH) rises during deep sleep which often begins about 30-45 minutes after you have fallen asleep which is when the muscles growth is stimulated, especially in the muscles you have trained that day. So my advise is to prioritize sleep, not only to benefit more from the hard work you put in at the gym, but also you will feel happier in general!! Win-win situation 🙂
The other day I wrote about how I got back to the gym and how great it makes me feel. So to continue from there, I want to tell my story of starting to compete in bikini fitness at the age of 38. Many of you probably ask yourself: “What the hell got into her?” I actually don’t really know myself to be honest 🙂 I know that among the amazing new friends I met at the gym , two girls were competing in fitness themselves and they both encouraged and motivated me. They made me feel like I could do it too. I like achieving goals and that is probably what made me go for it. At first it was just a thought but once I decide to do something, I do it 100%. I was introduced to a well known Spanish trainer, Hector Defez and he set up a 3 month training program including cardio along with a tough diet plan. I have a very strong upper body but my legs and bum were lacking size so the training program included leg training 4 days/week. The following 3 months were really tough but mainly fun 🙂 It was so amazing to see my hard work pay off! It was like fine tuning a car haha, every little detail matters. Each meal is carefully measured and weighed. One thing I must say is, I wasn’t really hungry. I ate 5 meals/day of just the right quantities. It was just like fueling a car. The problem was the munchies, omg, haha, I was dreaming of cakes. We measured my body fat with calipers and I went down from 8.5 mm at the front belly and 19 mm at the back on the 7th February to 4.5 mm belly and 8 mm back the day before competing 1st of May 2015. To give you and indication, the fat on a normal hand is aprox. 3 mm. Another important part is the posing. Presentation is everything and the posing is very hard. Belly in, bum out, straight back and a relaxed and effortless smile to go with it.
You need to have a strong will power and while prepping for competition you focus only on that. You need a lot of sleep and the mood is not the best haha. But on competiton day, when the blingy bikini and the tint is on, I look myself in the mirror and think: Wow, how proud I am for standing here now. I did it!
Before moving to Spain, I was training at the gym back in Sweden but once I arrived to Marbella in my early twenties, I forgot all about that. It wasn’t until 3 years ago I decided to take it up again. Luckily we have muscle memory!
I started by training 3 days/week, after work, at Centro Plaza Gym. After a few weeks I moved up to 4 days/week. I got so much energy from the training and I felt generally more content and positive. Slowly my whole lifestyle started to change and for the better.
I often get the question if the gym is not just full of self-centred people that like to look themselves in the mirror. You couldn’t be more wrong! The people that are there to train and look after themselves are so kind and helpful. I got so much genuine help and advise from people I hardly new. Today some of the people have turned into close friends. As for my body, the hard work paid off and from being slim, I became fit. It isn´t always about losing weight. For me it was about looking healthy and have a nice figure so I actually gained some weight! Slim may look nice in clothes but fit looks much nicer naked 🙂
For anyone that want to get started but just cant get a move on: My advise is to make a plan of action in writing and stick to it. It might be hard at the beginning but it will also be absolutely fantastic for your mental health to not give up on something that you set out to do!
I am happy to help with advise get started 🙂 If I could do it, you can!
I have worked in the real estate business in Marbella since 2001, so I experienced both Marbella’s big property boom 2003-2006 as well as the crisis that started in 2007. Later on I will tell some of my real estate memories from the past years but today I want to talk about the present 🙂
I am working at Nordica, a Swedish owned real estate agency based in Nueva Andalucia golf valley. I love my job. Apart from great colleagues, it gets me to meet many interesting people from all over the world. Every day is a new story so it never gets boring. Apart from the search for holiday homes, more and more foreigners come to find a permanent home here. I enjoy the process of getting to know my clients and guide them through their property search. It is a lot about understanding needs so I always ask many questions. Maybe too many haha! Once I understand needs, I can advise correctly and sometimes that actually means pointing out “negatives”. The challenge is not just to sell but the satisfaction of knowing my clients will be happy with their final choice and recommend me to their friends.
I love working for a company that specializes in a certain area and especially as I live here and find this the safest area for investments along the coast. (I base that on my previous experience from the years of real estate crisis on Costa del Sol and to some extent to my own personal opinion of course.) I am too honest to sell something I don’t think is a good buy…
For those of you who are interested in property in Marbella, below is a selection of my favourites at the moment!
Most people will relate to Marbella as a party place and yes, if you want party, you will certainly find it here. I must say that I have done my fair share of Marbella partying but now I don’t really find it as fun as I used to. Maybe I am getting old hahaha. I just feel Marbella has so much more to offer. Don’t get me wrong though, I love to dress up and go for a nice dinner and occasionally I will have a late night out with the girls but I much rather get up in the morning, have a nice breakfast on my balcony followed by a morning hack out on my horse Tango. Horse riding in Spain is beautiful. Off season, we can ride along the beach and some of the horses will even walk out in the sea. Tango is too scared of the waves, bless him. Early morning, the view is often clear so we can see both Gibraltar and the coast of Morocco and sometimes we will set up a small pic nick on the beach with the horses tied up next to us.
Weekend is my time to recharge myself after the hectic week at work along with an early morning gym routine. I try to make as little weekend plans as possible so I can just do whatever I feel like. Today though, I had accepted an invite to a big Swedish “get together” lunch at Victor’s beach, which is one of the most well known chiringuitos on the coast. Known for their amazing grilled sardines!! I must say it was the perfect end to a relaxing weekend. Great food, nice company, live music and the best view of all the sail boats, yachts and paddle boarders!
Tomorrow the alarm goes at 6.15 am, weekend is over, it’s gym time 🙂 so night night ❤
Living in a holiday area like Marbella has both its pro’s and con’s. Not to mention the amazing weather and the beach life, my main positive has always been the international atmosphere. We are spoiled with many great restaurants and for dinner and we can easily be 12 people from 10 different countries. I am a very social person and I love meeting people with different backgrounds so this is extraordinary. Another great thing is that you can dress any way you like. People will go out in anything from a ball gown to a bathing suit and nobody will judge or look weird at you. I love that about Marbella. Be yourself and if you feel like dressing up, well so you should! The sad part being a holiday place would obviously be that many people come and go. I have made some amazing friendships here over the years and some of them have left and I miss them very much.
As for activities, Marbella has it all, well no, one thing I miss would be the cultural life of a city like Stockholm, London or Paris where I can go to a musical or the opera from time to time. But apart from that, we have it all, even skiing in Sierra Nevada is just 1.5 hour drive. Oh, and Puerto Banus is missing a Louboutin store and Victoria Secrets 🙂 Thank god for online shopping eh!?
Over the last year, finally the wellness and health frenzy has hit Marbella too. Wicked 🙂 Now I can find ecological fruit and vegetable shops, health shops and several organic lunch restaurants and coffee shops. And I am a strict recycler so I love seeing more and more people using the correct bins!
There is a lot to say about what made me choose Marbella as my home but that is all for today folks 😉 so to be continued …
Hi and welcome to my first blog post which is a small introduction of myself:-)
My name is Marianne and I am from Sweden. I came to Marbella for the first time in 1982, only 6 years old and fell in love with this beautiful place. In 1999 I made a temporary move to Puerto Banus but I never moved back home again. I had found my home.
My blog welcomes you on a tour through Marbella and the life I live.
For the past 16 years I am working in the real estate industry on Costa del Sol. It is a job I absolutely love as it gets me to meet many interesting people from all over the world and help them find their dream home. I never get bored of showing off the amazing properties we have around here.
I have always been very sporty, I have my own horse and I am always up for testing new sports out! 3 years ago I got back into the fitness world and with a lot of hard work, dedication and determination, I entered my very first fitness competition in May 2015. It was an amazing experience and now a year later and a few medals and experiences richer, I truly enjoy my healthy fitness lifestyle.
Recently turned 40- feeling stronger, healthier and happier than ever, I can only say: 40 and fabulous- it is all a mind set!
I hope my blog can inspire you and make you feel great about yourself and life in general!