Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

The New Life


When I asked you what you wanted to read more about here on my blog there were some questions on “my new life”.

Rebecca wrote: I'd be curious to see the ways in which your new life is reflected in the work you do with your home. Not sure what that would mean, but maybe you'll go about things in a new way.

Lena said: I actually am quite curious how the separation will affect your living situation. It sounds like Martin will move out or already moved out? If yes, what changes will that bring (for example what will you do with the boat room, what things will he take with him, how are you deciding who gets what, is the separation influencing your decorating because you can do things he didn't like, maybe he would even like to share his new apartment with us?). I think it really would be interesting and maybe helpful to some others to see how in a friendly separation like you two have these decisions are handled and decided.

Nancy wrote: If you are up to sharing about how this change has impacted your life, (for better or worse, design wise or just life in general) then I would be interested in hearing about that too.

015 kop

Well, here’s the deal.
Martin did move out already. He’s staying with his new girlfriend. I know… But the thing is, our separation would have happened anyway but with him finding someone else it sure speeded things up. Please don’t worry about me though, I’m much MUCH happier now than a month ago so all really is well!

The fact that he’s moved in with someone who already has a complete home means he didn’t really need a lot when he left so most of his stuff is still in the house. I've started bringing things into the boat room which will stay intact for the time being and his side of the closet is getting less crowded so I’m taking over more space in there. I’ve never had this much closet space before!

Our aim is for Wille and me to stay in the house for another three years until Wille leaves school at which point he’ll be nineteen and may want to start living on his own anyway. If we’re able to do so depends on if Martin will stay where he is now or if he will want/need to get a place of his own sooner. I’d be totally ok with moving but Wille really likes the thought of us two staying here with Mini and Bonus so for his sake I’m hoping this will work out.

As for what I will do around the house now that I have total freedom (+ input from Wille of course!) it’ll be evident here on the blog :). I’ve done a few changes already, like moved Martin’s books out of the way and removed the boat from the living room wall. But I also foresee some other changes for the future (subject to cash flow), possibly a new sofa and armchairs, new light over the dining table, a rug (!), new color on front door etc.

When we do sell the house at a later stage I’m ok with Martin taking whatever he wants without reservation (+ all the stuff in the boat room, storage room and dining cabinet that I’m loving the thought of finally seeing the back of). As a matter of fact as fara as I’m concerned he can take anything he wants right now. I’ll be happy to start over with less stuff and MY stuff. Actually I can hardly wait :).

Financially it will be a bit of a struggle for me to keep the house as I’ll be the sole bill payer even though we’ll still co-own it. I’ve already started to cut down on unnecessary stuff like a monthly lottery ticket and I’ve successfully renegotiated all our insurance policies. Two phone calls later and the yearly bill will be 1700 Kronor (USD 225) cheaper. Little things like that.

One major difference will be that I will go back to work full time as of October 1st. My aim for these past couple of years has been to work less on my day job and more on projects of my own but with the change that’s happened it’s just not possible. The great thing though is that I’ll be switching jobs! I’m staying with the same company but I’ll be working with other things. I’m dropping the visual merchandising part of my job and will be working with the company website, social media and other aspects of the internet. For the time being I’ll still keep parts of my original job but will be fazing them out over time. I’m really quite excited to have this opportunity to do something else so the thought of saying bye-bye to Fridays off isn’t as hard after all.

As for things in general I’m changing my routine a little bit. I used to go straight from the computer at work to the lap top at home and write tomorrow’s post while Martin made dinner. Now I do a bit of grocery shopping on my way home, cook, do the dishes and hang out with Wille. Instead of writing finished posts Sunday through Thursday (which I post early the next day) I write (and photograph) the bulk part of the following week’s posts on Tuesdays (when Wille often goes to his friend Leo after school) and on the weekend when Wille is busy with friends, homework or his computer. I still finish each post off the night before posting it. It’s just a different way to go about the same thing.

So I hope that answered a few questions and satisfied a bit of curiosity :).

Peace out!


  • Bonnie says:

    I can’t express how much I admire you – it would take nothing less than who you are to deal with life with such grace. I wish you all the best!

  • Jo says:

    Of course I now have allsorts of dead nosey personal questions that I want to ask.. but I’m not going to because 1. I don’t know you well enough, and 2. because my mum would turn over in her grave at the thought I was being so rude.. ;o)
    What I will say, is that I genuinely hope that things stay as amicable as they have been to date… and that you and Willie do indeed get to stay in the house.
    And that the new direction at work turns out to be more fulfilling for you than what you were doing before..
    I know you’ve said in the past that it wasn’t your taste really..
    Seems to me like almost an extension of what you are doing here in blogland.. so I’m certain you’ll be great at it..
    Jo xx

  • Ella says:

    Dearest Benita,
    Wishing you love and courage in your “new life”

  • YSC says:

    Dear Benita — many blessings to you. >hug<! I hope you will find much happiness in your new life.

  • Linda says:

    jag befinner mig oxå mitt i en skilsmässa, vi är vänner och det känns bra, vi har lite yngre barn så det var det jbbiga att berätta för dom och få de att förstå, men det verkar som de tycker det är okej, än så länge, jag flyttar och maken stannar i huset..
    Då jag kommer att bo mycket mindre från 180 till 95 kvadratmeter på 4 personer, så behöver jag förvaringstips, därför smyger jag omkring här inne..
    Sen ser ju den nya lägenheten ut på ett visst sätt och man har inte möjlighet att bygga om eller liknande, man får helt enkelt hitta billiga och praktiska lösningar på egna vis..
    Jag älskar din blogg, och det känns som man har någon att dela saker med trots att man inte känner varandra..
    Kram Linda

  • Gül says:

    Many changes, little and big, but all for good! 🙂
    The other day I read and online article (a real story) & your writings somehow reminded it to me. If you (and readers) have some time, I hope you’ll like to read as well:

  • Julia says:

    Benita, I thoroughly admire you and wish you all the best! You cope so well with your situation and I hope that, If ever I was in a similar one, I will have the strength to keep so calm and reasonable – and cheerful!
    It would be really great to have someone like you as a neighbour – but then, I do have you every day in form of your blog although you are living far away!
    Thank you so much for sharing, I get inspiration from you every day!

  • Diana says:

    Wishing you happiness in your new life and admiring your courage and gracefulness,

  • Michelle says:

    You really are an inspiration in so many ways. I wish you well in this new phase of your life.

  • Skönt att höra att ni lämnar ert långa liv ihop som vänner, även om det finns en ny med i bilden.
    Min skilsmässa var lite annorlunda, och jag trodde att jag skulle vilja behålla huset, men upptäckte att det var för mycket vi, så nu har jag ett lite mindre hus. Följer oxå din blogg primärt för alla ypperliga fixartips, men ser förstås fram emot eventuella reflektioner över ditt nya liv.
    All lycka till dig och Wille.

  • Judith says:

    Wow, Benita – thanks for sharing such personal stuff with us. It does satisfy a little of that evil curiosity, but it also makes it feel like you know we’re here for you.
    A huge congratulations on the job duty switch! That sounds like it’s right up your alley. Hope the extra workday after such a long time with Fridays off doesn’t end up feeling like too much. But I think I know a little how you feel – when you make a big (welcome) change in your life, working harder is also a welcome change in a way.

  • Zara says:

    Wow – I used to sympathize with Martin sometimes previously – but no longer. Good luck Benita on your new life. You’ve got a whole lot of online support.

  • Barbara says:

    Delurking today to say that an amicable split that takes into account children can work quite well. I say this 12 years on from a similar situation.
    Sometimes people would rather hear a negative story but the positive ones are out there and there are plenty of us. Thanks for your open and honest discussion of your life. Very courageous of you to put it on such a public medium. Have a great time!

  • Petra from NL says:

    Thanks Benita for letting us in on these changes in your life. I think you will do really well in your new job, it sounds like it’s right up your street… Thanks for all the personal info too. I hope you two do indeed get to stay in the house, although it would have made a few wonderful posts for sure if you started all over :-)).

  • misstorina says:

    I’m amazed how lightly you take this huge change. How pleasantly. For me every change is a catastrophe. I can’t eat, I can’t make meals it’s a disaster. Even the thought of a change makes me ill.

  • nuttula says:

    I have been reading your blog for a long time now and I really admire your style and ideas and your warm way to write about your son. Wishing you all the best in the future!

  • Thank you Benita! I think you will have a great “new life”!

  • Mal says:

    Dear Benita, you’re doing so well. I hope that you, Wille, and the cats can stay put as long as you want. You have really inspired me to start taking control of my small, scruffy house with a minimal budget, and I have very often followed your tips. Does Wille cook? maybe he could make dinner one night a week, his choice of food! Best wishes, M

  • Sara says:

    Only a miracle girl could get through this with such grace and style… xoxo

  • Karen says:

    I wish you great fortune and fun in your new job and new life!

  • Jane says:

    Thank you Benita for sharing so openly, you are being very mature and in the long run that will make life easier. Well done!

  • First of all, I wish you all the best in this new, less stressful life!
    Your positive outlook is amazing!
    Secondly, I am very curious about the differences in divorces there versus here in America. If a spouse is involved with someone else before the divorce is final, the other spouse receives alimony. Alimony is a monthly payment, paid by the spouse that didn’t wait until the divore was final to find a new boyfriend/girlfriend. The alimony payment ensures that the faithful spouse can go on living in the financial manner they were accustomed to in the marriage. Alimony payments continue until the faithful spouse re-marries. I’m assuming that there is no alimony in Sweeden?

  • RebeccaNYC says:

    You are an amazing woman. If you are upset by this change, I can’t see any evidence of it here! Your new posts are positively “chipper” and you seem pleased with how everything has worked out. And I am pleased for you. Especially about the new job! It sounds like just the thing for you! Thank you for your honesty and including us in your life.

  • Jen says:

    Wow. I admire your positive attitude, especially considering Martin’s living situation. Men! My mom was a real role model for me because she never once said a bad word about my brother’s “real” father (even though he was pretty horrible) in front of my brothers. It’s the best thing for the kids and, I think, pretty positive for the spouse too. Getting on with things really helps a tough situation. I wish you the best!

  • Such an inspiration – as always!! You are brave and fearless and make it look easy (but realistic) … pretty much the way you approach even the most challenging project at home! Congratulations on the new job – well deserved. And with the finances being a concern (how could they not be with a change such as this) – would it be possible to add more ads to the blog? It wouldn’t bother me a bit – I’d be curious what other readers think – and I would be very glad to think you are being properly compensated for such hard work and amazing advice!! Just a thought 🙂

  • Goneril says:

    My dear I am in awe, you are such a grown up! We are about the same age but I realize I am not the adult you are. I really admire the way you are handling these circumstances. When I visit your blog I get inspiration on organizing and housekeeping and really maintaining standards throughout (even the back of some drawer), and I feel like that is what you are exemplifying again. Your high standards, your fidelity to yourself and your vision. It is not easy, and you are brilliant at it. I salute you!

  • Shelly says:

    I so admire you Benita! It takes so much courage to change your life. I think sometimes when you are going through things it doesnt seem that way. Your feel like you are just doing what you have to, but trust me…your an amazing and talented lady with a beautiful son!

  • y says:

    “maybe he would even like to share his new apartment with us?”
    Wow. Talk about nervy. There’s a huge gap between curiosity based on concern & just plain nosiness & stupidity.
    That aside, I’m glad that you’re doing well. Keep your chin up!

  • He does cook a little bit and enjoys it but on week nights there’s homework etc. I’ll definitely try to include him more on weekends and maybe we can learn together 🙂

  • Oooh, alimony sounds nice 🙂 doesn’t seem to be the law over here though.

  • I considered that but I already think I maxed out my ad space. I don’t want to over clutter the space. A good thing is that I’m now (since two weeks ago) part of Martha’s Circle (Yay!)so the large ads which used to be only Google ads now generate a little bit more income than before I noticed 🙂

  • Kari says:

    I admire your being so positive and really “grown up” about the whole thing. Congrats on the new job and the new life–you have earned it and I feels rue you will make the most out of it!

  • I love your openness to change, from your day-to-day happenings to the big unknowns. And also refreshing is your unattachment to physical “stuff”–that Martin could take anything and everything from the house and that would be fine. I can’t say anything new that all the other comments have already heartfully said about wishing you luck and hugs and kudos, etc., but I do hope you have a good girlfriend to go have coffee with and get a real hug from. 🙂 Thank you for being so open with all of your fans!

  • C.M.G. says:

    Hello Benita – I’m a long time reader from California and I’ve never commented before. This post of yours has really touched me and your resilency is inspiring. I too am a divorced single parent, although I was married for a much shorter time than you, and now my only child (joy of my life!) is in her 20’s, working towards her doctorate. I always had a full time job, and maintained our home together until she left for college, with no financial help. What worked for us was establishing a partnership: we shared household chores wherever possible. If I made dinner, she cleaned up. We took turns doing laundry. We shared gardening jobs and she is now a great gardener on her own. These tasks went along with her studies – and she thrived with the responsibilities, getting top grades all along. I know every child is different, and you know Willie better than some person commenting from California! But I urge you to engage him in helping you run your beautiful household, and I think he will flourish with more responsibilities. You have a lot on your plate, and I wish you the very best!

  • Lena says:

    Thank you for answering so many questions, I am excited to see more changes in the future!

  • Jean S says:

    Benita, I just have one thing to add to all the other comments here:
    YOU ROCK!!!!!

  • Petra from NL says:

    Would love to hear more about being part of Martha’s circle…

  • Samantha says:

    Wille is so lucky to have you as a mother!!

  • Linda W says:

    Thanks for sharing, Benita.
    You inspire us all!

  • paula says:

    dear benita
    i recently applied for a rotary scholarship to sweden, and today i found out im going to represent my city in cordoba to get it! ive read your post and found it so inspiring, you sound so cool and peaceful about it…. i send all good vibrations from argentina for this new time of your life. a big hug.

  • Nanna says:

    Härligt att höra att du har så positiv inställning! Det ska bli kul att se hur du ändrar om så småningom! Hoppas också att du kan bo kvar i huset de tre åren!
    Stor kram!

  • Carin says:

    Wow Benita, you truly amaze me! I really admire your openess and honesty on such a personal subject. You’re handling it with such grace. I wish, you, Willie and the cats all the best. You truly deserve it.
    Oh, and even this post managed to contain an organising tip that I just soaked up- I have been wondering how I was ever going to fit more blog posts into my life than I do now. I’m such a slacker when it comes to posting. You may have provided me with some answers!

  • Paula says:

    Benita, you are my greatest role model in so many ways. Warm wishes brewing for you here in Minnesota!

  • Tiffany says:

    I am a long-time follower and fan and have also recently started a “new” life…due to my husband leaving for a “new” life. I am inspired by your grace and strength…changes such as these are so tremendous…but like a butterfly who emerges from the cocoon…I truly believe as artistic and creative souls…that we emerge as beautiful “new” creations from such challenges.
    From another woman who is also going through the same thing…I’ll be sending you warm thoughts for your journey!
    Much love and blessings!

  • Mary Ann says:

    Absolutely none of my business, but I have a strong urge to smack Martin in the head.

  • Jamie says:

    Thanks for sharing, Benita.
    I am so glad to hear that you are feeling happier.

  • Gaby says:

    Hats off to you, Benita. It´s amazing how gracefully you describe your new life, strongly grounded on your two feet.
    I only hope that Martin will soon take away his stuff, because leaving his things in the house is somehow an attachment, in a wrong way.
    Best regards and kisses!

  • megan says:

    As someone who is divorced myself, I found it to be incredibly exhilarating as well as terrifying to start anew. Good luck with everything and though I am sure there will be ups and downs, you sound like such a strong person and you are going to kick some ass in this newfound freedom!

  • Monnah says:

    Jag hejar på från kanten! Det låter på dig som att du har tagit dig an den här utmaningen med en beslutsamhet och ett mod som jag inte tror är vanligt.

  • Kristin says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of change for one person! My thoughts are with you!
    And….. CONGRATULATIONS on the new job. You’ll be wonderful.

  • Gül says:

    And to watch Benita in Marta’s TV show, doing some DIY with Marha would just be thrilling 🙂

  • jja says:

    I love this post since it is so familiar with my situation ;-). My english ist not perfect so I am not sure do you like or not like dining room cabinet? I adore this peace just for the case you are selling it one day :-))
    And even if you have much less time for blogging and we get less new posts, don’t worry – your reader will stick with you no metter what!

  • Yamila says:

    Benita, your post is so honest and transparent. Congratulations on having the strength to start a new life and I am sure you are an inspiration for your son in all you do. Good luck!

  • Faith says:

    Benita- You are truly someone I admire. You are such a good example for Willie and I’m so glad to see that you’ve created such a stable and fun environment for him in this time of change. It is also refreshing to hear about your positive outlook, as some would complain about having to take on more responsibilities and going back to a full time job. Thanks for showing women from all around the world (your readers) that a female can work hard and provide for her family while also creating a warm, creative and organized place to live!
    On another note, it seems your divorce laws are very different than here in the U.S. While my state, Kentucky, is a no-fault state, meaning there is no alimony, usually a divorce can be a long and drawn-out process, even when the parties are in agreement about splitting their assets. If children are involved, it is an even longer process. Usually, all decisions regarding the separation of property, debt, the selling of a home, etc. must be made before the divorce is final. Lucky you! It seems you were able to do this so efficiently, which I am sure makes it a little easier emotionally. As I’ve always said, we could learn a thing or two from you guys.

  • Martha’s Circle is an Ad Network. They source advertisers and run ads on my and other blogger’s blogs. If Martha’s Circle ads aren’t showing I have a redirect that shows Google Ads but the Martha’s Circle ads pay a little bit more and are more well known brand names such as Home Depot. I’m not getting rich by any means, believe me, but it’s a nice little extra income.
    I actually applied to Martha’s Circle about two years ago, forgot all about it after some initial e-mails and heard back from them just a few weeks ago :). Now that I’m “in” it seems great and my contact there is a really great guy!

  • Azy says:

    Benita, you are such a strong woman and an inspiration to all of us. I felt sad when I first read about it but you sound like you have found peace and a fresh purpose in life. Good luck with the new job!

  • devil says:

    Benita, it appears that you tackle your personal life the way you do your home projects – with logic and careful consideration. I love this about you. 🙂
    All is going well now and will go even better later.
    Thanks for being so open with your readers. Here’s to a very happy future!

  • Fiona says:

    I’m a long time lurker and just wanted to wish you all the best for this new phase. Your attitude is inspiring. I wish nothing but good things for you and Willie

  • heather says:

    Benita you are so organized, it’s just as interesting to me to read about _how_ you get stuff accomplished as it is to see what you have done. For instance how you are re-organizing your week to incorporate cooking and blog posting. For those of us who are not organized it is really illuminating to see how you manage to keep such a pretty home _and_ work _and_ blog!!!

  • Shauna says:

    I truly admire your grace and optimism here… so excited for you and this new phase of your life.

  • Inga says:

    I started reading your blog about two years ago but I never comment. Today I have to tell you I’m a huge huge fan of yours!

  • Oh fantastic! That is great news!

  • nattie says:

    Oh wow! reading your blog really inspired me! You totally rock! Good luck for everything in the future and keep us posted 🙂

  • April says:

    I’m probably too late for you to see my question, but just in case…
    How is Willie doing? I’m glad you’re doing well, but I’m worried about him.

  • Don’t worry, he’s great 🙂

  • Imene says:

    I am glad you’re taking everything with a stride. I hope you will get through this and just keep in mind that it’s sometimes good to cry and wallow and pick up the pieces and move on. You’re such a strong woman.

  • Anna @ D16 says:

    Benita, your honesty and candor is just so refreshing. You are such an inspiration, really. Thank you for sharing as much as you do. x

  • Halley's Mommy says:

    I am new to reading your blog and found through an outside link to one of your old posts. I went through a similar path to what you describe here as your amicable parting with Martin. It always amazes me how tough times reveal our common humanity… and the internet makes it possible to feel this connection with people in every corner of the globe. I understand and respect your need to smile and describe things so glowingly right now, but to be honest… and I am always honest… I hope as your life changes you will find this space as a welcome environment to share the tough times too with your readers. The reality is that being a single mom and separating from a long term relationship is NEVER easy… and it’s ok if now and then you need to acnowledge that truth. Clearly you have many devoted fans who regularly read your blog and will be ready with the hugs and encouragement, if needed.

  • Adrianne says:

    I just discovered your blog. My very best wishes to you, and I hope that all the joy you are bringing your readers such as me, gets reflected back into your life.

  • Cristina Queiroz says:

    You were pretty transparent with your plans! Good luck and enjoy your new life!

  • Tania says:

    I’m a bit late on this post as I’m a new reader but I wanted to write and let you know my heart goes out to you. My divorce became final in 2010 and it was the most difficult time I’ve ever gone through. The surrounding circumstances are likely very different than your situation but as you know life and marriage is very complicated and it is very very difficult for anyone to truly understand what you are going thru. I’m sending you a big virtual hug from Hawaii and wishing you all the best.