Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson




No. And I mean it in the nicest possible way.

Since the breakup with Martin at the beginning of September I’ve increasingly felt the need to streamline my life.

Both in practical ways such as packing Martin’s stuff away into boxes (he has yet to come pick them up) and clearing out and purging my own. As far as worldly possessions go I’m almost there, I have what I need, like and want and I even have some gaps that need to be filled with new things. Nice.

Emotionally I feel great, I’m really happy being single, I’m really happy living with Wille, Mini and Bonus and the four of us are doing really, really well!

Here’s where the no comes in.

I think I’ve been spreading myself too thin since I entered the online world.

I would never have anticipated the amount of attention I’ve been given (thank you!) since I uploaded that first photo on Flickr just a little over two years ago, and never in my wildest dreams did I think that I’d shortly after have a successful blog. But I also never ever anticipated how much time I would spend online.

Right now I feel the need to concentrate on what’s most important to me. Wille is obviously always no.1 and Mini and Bonus are of course there right behind. Creating and keeping a cozy and stable home for them and myself is my top priority.

My day job is important to me because it’s what enables the cozy and stable home I want to provide. This blog is very important to me because it’s my creative outlet and I love what it’s brought to me in terms of online friends, opportunities and even a little bit of extra cash on occasion.

So, here’s the deal. In order to get my life onto a more manageable route in 2011 I’m going to say no.

I’m saying no to Flickr. I’m keeping my pro-account so the content already there will stay as an archive but I won’t be adding photos there on a regular basis anymore. And of course I’ll still pop in once in a while to check out what my Flickr friends are up to and to marvel at everyone else’s creativity.

I’m saying no to Twitter. I never really got the hang of it. To be honest it really stressed me out trying to catch up with the twenty people I followed and trying to have anything of interest to tell those 811 (eighthundredandeleven!) lovely people who follow(ed) me. Again I’m keeping my account so I can pop in once in a while but I’m not actively tweeting anymore.

I’m saying no to regular guest post such as Get Organized. I’m always really flattered when asked but there’s just no time for it unless it brings tons of money or opportunity, but alas it never really does.

Don’t worry, you can still drop me a note and I’ll try to answer it and I’ll do the occasional guest post here and there and a give-away too if I feel it’s a good one. I’m still game for the odd interview and I’m still up to submitting a photo here and there when I have the time.

I just need to say no more.


  • Danyelle says:

    There is such power in setting boundaries, isn’t there? Good for you, Benita! Cheers to a Happy New Year!

  • Sophia says:

    It’s the best time around to set new resolutions, and stick with them! I really enjoyed this first post of the new year and I see your point! Internet is such a useful tool but it can also be extremely time consuming and after all, life exists out of it! Thumbs up, Benita!

  • Good for you for saying no! But I’m relieved you’re still saying ‘yes’ to the blog, which always brightens my day. 🙂 I always look forward to reading.
    Happy New Year!

  • May says:

    Uncluttering one’s life always feels good yet it may be painful at the beginning. I guess it is the right thing for you to do now, Benita. Happy 2011.

  • Maggie says:

    Good work on deciding what you want and saying no to the rest. Glad you’ll still pop in here though. Happy New Year!

  • Monica says:

    Here’s a “Yes!” to saying “No!”. Good for you and good for us that you are still here.

  • Leena says:

    Yay for you!
    Happy New Year!

  • Di says:

    Brava, good for you Benita. I am glad that you will still keep your blog. I visit it every day – just to see what lovely thing you share with us. I am grateful for how candid and real you are with us.
    Happy New Year – to you Willie, Mini and Bonus.
    Diana from San Francisco

  • jane says:

    Happy New Year!
    Thank you for sharing your story and I’m just happy that you keep your blog.

  • Ramona K says:

    God fortsättning! Am so glad you are going to continue with your blog but delighted to hear that you are continuing to keep control over your life and lifestyle. I totally agree with your priorities. Go for it Benita!!!

  • Jamie says:

    Phew! I’m so glad to hear you are keeping your blog, Benita.
    But I am even more glad to hear that you are prioritising to make things manageable.

  • you go, girl, good for you!! all the best for you and your familily in 2011 and thanks so much for sharing a part of your life with us out here 🙂

  • Peg says:

    I was worried when I started to read this post – I thought it meant no more Chez Larsson in the morning. I’m relieved that you’ll still be here, and that you’re streamlining your online life so you don’t get burned out! Happy New Year indeed!

  • Julia says:

    I totally agree with Peg, I was worried for a short while that Chez Larsson might leave my everyday routine. But – since I am now assured that you won’t leave us – I totally agree to your downsizing your internet time. A great idea and a good example. I will try to cut down some of my own time-consuming occupations! Cheers and all the best for the new year 2011! Looking forward to all the good things that will happen to you and that we will read about :-))

  • Rebecca says:

    One of my friends always says that if you never say no, what is your yes worth? Here’s to saying no!

  • ibabe says:

    I wish I could be as strong as you. I wish I could say no…and say no, and be happy to leave things go.
    I have been a bit out of everything, lately…and probably I will be more..I cannot find out my way…Probably will be so easy as saying no…as you.
    So I am so proud of you, strong girl.
    Start 2011 with all the best wishes, travel, dream and visit…and if you want to meet spain…don´t forget the north.

  • hannahk says:

    great decision Benita ~ it’s bold and it’s courageous ~ well done.

  • Bianca says:

    I can so understand you!!! I wish you all the best for 2011.
    Greetings from Germany, Bianca

  • Judith says:

    Good for you! Claim the peace of mind you deserve, Benita. And you know what they say – saying No to other things means saying Yes to yourself.
    Like a lot of my Chez Larsson buddies I read your post with an increasing sense of dread, till it was clear you wouldn’t be saying No to the blog. Whew! Even though it would be totally understandable if you wanted to cut down on or stop blogging, we would greatly mourn CL’s demise 😉

  • alex rae says:

    A very good New Year’s resolution I think. Perhaps this is something I will have to have a think about too. I often wonder why there is so much guilt involved in saying the little simple word “no”!

  • sara says:

    You go, Miracle Girl!! Just please, please, please don’t ever cancel your blog… It’s one of my favorite things in each day. Happy New Year!!!

  • Lies says:

    I wish you and your family al the best in 2011, and I’m happy you keep your blog!!

  • Celia says:

    I love this line!

  • Luiza Castro says:

    Hi, I understand perfectly what you mean because I went trought a similar situation. I have it all registered on my blog . What a pitty it’s written in Portuguese! I think you would probably feel confortable in sharing the same path with others. So say No to everything but continue saying YES for life! You deserve it.
    All the best in 2011.

  • Elizabeth D says:

    Bravo! I have wondered how you found time to do all those things and still have time to just live your life. I particularly enjoyed reading this post as I begin excavating my desk. A small start, but a good one.

  • Kate says:

    Happy New Year Benita – I am so pleased you are keeping your blog going! I look forward to reading it every day. Decluttering is great, we have just done the same thing in our house and it feels really good. Thank you for your daily blog, please don’t stop! :O)

  • Anne says:

    Yes to no! Good decision.

  • judith b says:

    Here’s another vote for those “no’s” of yours! What a (widely-shared!) relief that your wonderful, always refreshing blog will continue to delight me every morning- we don’t know what we would do without it/you!
    A very happy new year to you, Benita – you are such an inspiration (idol?) for all of us!

  • jja says:

    I was very worried when I started to read, I thought it meant no more Chez Larsson blog. But thnak you for setting boundaries so you have more time to live :-))

  • Dawn Marie says:

    I completely understand. I have learned the hard way that I need to say no more often. Saying yes to everyone is not working for me. Plus it has become expected now from many. I enjoy your blog so much. But it is your blog…your life. You need to do what is best for you and your family. I am glad you were able to sit with all these on line outlets and choose what works best for you. And I am happy the blog won. 2011 is going to be a good year.

  • My word for 2011 is also NO!
    Fine minds must think alike.
    It’s ok to say no to other opportunities and obligations in order to say yes to your family, yourself, and all that is of true importance to you!

  • Kari says:

    Good on you! And I am glad you will still be blogging–Id miss Chez Larsson in the morning.

  • Jen says:

    Me too! And once you’ve said no the first couple of times, it become much easier. Truly.

  • jonie says:

    Dear Benita
    I am so glad you didn’t say “no” to blogging…:)
    Have a great year ahead!

  • Laurel says:

    What a great goal – good for you!

  • Dear Benita, Wille, Mini&Bonus – Happy New Year!
    I’m also glad that you didn’t say NO to blogging. That would be very sad!!!
    It’s important to have priorities and so it’s okay to say NO!
    Oh…and if you are in need for a blog content idea…I’m highly interested in a roundup of your guest posts. I would like to read them all!!
    Greetings from Germany,
    Frau DingDong

  • A.J. says:

    Good for you. Saying no is very healthy and very self-nurturing.
    I work with someone who is very organized and takes care of business, but people exploit those qualities in her, which causes her stress. We have decreed that in 2011, she is going to set boundaries and make people do their own work.
    I applaud you both.

  • Michelle of Montreal says:

    I too was scared that you were going to close down the blog, as I love it so, but I am glad to hear you saying no. Women don’t know how to say no and we (as a group) need to learn how to do so. Real life is so much more important than online life. Go live it to the fullest. Happy new year to you and yours.

  • Carin says:

    Yikes, for a moment there I thought you were saying “no” to this blog too. So relieved you’re not as I love it. Good on you though for setting these new boundaries. It’s something we all need to do in some way or another. Here’s to a great streamlines year, Benita! All the best. xo

  • BARB says:

    Oh my goodness! I was so worried that you were going to say no to your blog. Whew! I am happy for you that you have realized what you need to do to clean up and de-stress your life. I stopped going to facebook every day and found a lot more time for other things. Unfortunately I started reading so many scrapbooking and organizational blogs that I am now feeling married to my computer. I need to take a serious look at what I do and eliminate what is unimportant or does nothing to improve my life. I shall still be reading your blog because I do love it.
    Congratulations and Happy New Year.

  • First a very happy New Year to all of you! And I too, was worried a little, because checking your blog is part of my morning routine.
    I really loved this post and will do some thinking for myself as well. What would I like to say No to? And more importantly, when saying No to something, you also say Yes to something else. What would you like to say Yes to in the year ahead of you? Mmmm….some good questions I will think and blog about!
    Wish you and your loved ones all the best!

  • CC says:

    Although the specifics are different — I’m right there with you! I’ve been inspired by your passion for creating a beautiful and elegant life — thank you!

  • Querencia says:

    I’m with the majority, grateful your blog is staying. Glad you will continue to allow us, your readers, a glimpse into your life. Glad you’re continuing to take care of yourself and curate not only your home but your activities too.. I think it’s one of the things that draws people to you. And so you get applause for saying no and making yourself a bit less accessible. Your focus on quality and knowing yourself and priorites is what brings me here nearly every weekday mornng. It’s easy to have blog-crush-hero-worship and want to just emulate things about you, I know I am not the only one who feels that way. But what I really admire and would like to emulate is knowing what my priorities are and what matters to me. Thank you for sharing that part of yourself with the world. I know you have been a force of change in peoples lives who quietly watch and don’t comment, who have pulled themselves from years of self defeating behavior because they’ve stopped to reevaluate what matters to them. Thank you.

  • Sandra Yeong says:

    Happy New Year!! I am grateful, you did not said “no” to your blog’s follower. Thank you

  • deborah says:

    Good for you. (I was really afraid for me that you were going to stop blogging – so happy that you will continue to blog!) Happy New Year!

  • Laura says:

    I was wondering how you did it all (and I didn’t even know the “all” that you did! Cozy and stable sounds wonderful.

  • nicolezh says:

    Happy new year to you and your loved ones! I am happy that you keep the blog, but I understand your need to downsize web time. I did the same in September and I have sooo much more time… Go for it!

  • valeria says:

    Good for you! Great decision! Glad you are keeping your blog! Happy New Year! X

  • Kudos, Benita! And, like everyone else, I am relieved that your blog is still a YES! It is part of my morning routine!

  • sunny says:

    *WHEW* you’re still blogging. I remember when you just had flickr photos and no blog yet. It’s been two years since then?!! Thank goodness you’ll keep posting to Chez Larsson, one of my most favorite blogs to read!!
    I love that you are happy where you are now and with those you’ve surrounded yourself with. I love that you can say “no” to online services that many people feel they have to do. I may take your idea and run with it. I can’t keep up with twitter anyway – and I stopped posting to flickr regularly last year.
    YIPPEE that you’re still posting here though. Great news!

  • Nancy in Canada says:

    I too was worried that you were going to say no to your blog and was relieved to hear that it was no to the other online outlets. I never did say yes to the Flickr and Twitter because I knew that it would just suck me into the vortex and I would be spending even more time online.
    Here’s to saying yes to a more balanced and sane life in 2011!

  • Kathleen S. says:

    Oh my, what a relief. I thought you were going to say no to the blog. I’m with you on all the other nos. Smart move!

  • christine says:

    when i first saw the word NO… my heart took a dive!
    so glad you will keep your blog as i do love checking in with you & get energy from your creativity! yes – willi, the cats, the job which allows you to be independent & more importantly, “self care” (which includes time for friends, a glass of wine, sleep, etc) is key…
    i too weathered a divorce in 1998 & reinvented myself in the process. at that time, my eldest daughter kept reminding me that 1998-1999 was my “re-birth” and how true that was!
    looking forward to your posts… happy new year to you from the coast of central california.

  • Jill says:

    You have your priorities straight. There’s only 24 hours in a day. I’m glad you are keeping your blog! It’s never good
    to force things. Happy New Year!

  • lisa h. says:

    Right on, Benita! I’m in the middle of making some big changes with regard to my on-line practices. The internet can eat up all of my free time if I let it.
    As always, you are an inspiration.
    Happy New Year from New York!

  • MiaKvack says:

    Jättebra beslut! Ibland måste man ta ett steg tillbaka och fundera över vad som är viktigt i livet… Och kanske VILKET liv som är viktigast, nätlivet eller det verkliga livet? Vad tar mer energi än vad det ger tillbaka? Vad värdesätter jag högst?
    Jag är så oändligt tacksam över allt du delar med dig av, att du är så generös med tips, idéer och beskrivningar. Du är en fantastisk inspirationskälla på alla tänkbara sätt och jag älskar allt du gör! Även detta beslut. Inte för att du väljer att behålla BLOGGEN utan för att du väljer att säga NEJ till de saker du inte orkar/hinner/har lust med. MODIGT!
    Ta hand om dig!

  • Christine says:

    Yes! Glad you’re choosing for you. Happy New Year!

  • I’m with you on spreading yourself too thin. Things always seem much easier in your mind than when you actually have to sit down and do them! I tend to do this myself, so I think it is a good thing that you will let some things go. I hope you will post some pics on flickr from time to time, that is how I stumbled on your blog. Otherwise I am just happy you aren’t shutting the blog down 🙂 I’d be genuinely disappointed if that were to happen!

  • Linda27 says:

    So happy you will keep up the blog! But I know just what you mean and you are right: sometimes you have to say NO.
    Will try to take a leaf out of your book!
    Happy 2011 to you and Wille and the cats!

  • yvestown says:

    Happy New Year Benita and well done, I couldn’t agree more.

  • maria says:

    Good for you. And me. I was afraid that you would close the blog. Happy 2011!!

  • Angela says:

    I admire your decision! I can never really find a purpose for twitter either. I mean, I try to think of clever things to post but I end up sounding like a bore. Maybe, I’m just not clever. So away with you, Twitter! God Bless you and your sweet family! I look forward to keeping up with you here on your blog.

  • Låter som Ali Edwards “One Little Word”. Det här nejet kommer säkert att få dig mer fokuserad och lugn. Jag är glad över att du fortsätter med bloggen. Jag gillar den! Ha ett riktigt härligt 2011 och grattis till ditt beslut!

  • Du gör såklart helt rätt! Man måste vara hård med vad man gör och varför man gör det. Någonstans måste man inse att om man inte får någonting för sitt “arbete” vill man inte det ska påverka ens andra liv särskilt mycket. Jag älskar att läsa din blogginlägg och gör det om de kommer en gång i veckan eller en gång i månaden! Ta hand om dig och de dina. Önskar dig en riktigt god fortsättning på 2011!
    Kram Jenny

  • Simplicity says:

    Yes, everything in it’s right place. Thanks for your blog, I love it! I have advertised it on mine. I have been working for the past years on organizing and decluttering my home… and I think the time has come for me to share bits and pieces on my blog:) Happy new Year!

  • Annie Pazoo says:

    Yay, Benita — sounds like an excellent decision 🙂 One we should all follow.

  • Lynn says:

    I’m grateful for your blog and hope you can continue, but would still applaud you if even this should need to go some day too.
    It’s interesting; I’ve heard more and more people saying the exact same thing about Twitter.

  • Dear Benita, I’m so glad you are keeping your blog. I only found it a few weeks ago, but I quickly became very addicted to reading it.
    Congratulations on your decision. I know how hard it is to say no, but I also know how good it feels after the initial pain of letting things go.
    Best wishes and Happy New Year!

  • Satu says:

    I smiled when I finished reading your post, because I know and feel what you are saying. It takes a lot of courage to make that decision and I’m proud of you. It’s all going to be alright. Happy 2011, Benita! 🙂

  • Mary Ann says:

    Yay, you!!

  • Mira says:

    yay for you! Every person needs to learn when to say NO. I hop eyou will keep blogging.
    And as for your private life: keep calm and carry on. 🙂
    Happy 2011!

  • Eunice says:

    Querencia – Thank you forputting into words what many silent readers are thinking without writing the words 🙂
    Benita – I am so pleased you are keeping your blog going! I can only imagine how difficult it is to maintain the balance in both your online life and your real life. I admire you for saying “No” to other obligations – and saying “Yes” to you & your family.
    Happy New Year – all the best to you, Wille, Mini and Bonus in 2011.
    Eunice, Prince Edward Island, Canada

  • Donna says:

    Congratulations on getting your life sorted out! I’m glad you are continuing with this blog. I really enjoy reading your blog and I love your photograph. Have a great year!

  • jeannette says:

    miss b., thank you for the straight skinny on monetizing the blog. i do love it best when your authentic creative/nesting/neat freak/designer voice comes through and — well, you’ve sounded a little distant lately. i missed you and am wishing you a truly peaceful new year filled with everything your heart desires. thank you for such beautiful living and beautiful work.

  • AnneinPortland says:

    Add my voice to those who expressed relief and congratulations. Good for you for establishing boundaries; thank goodness I can still get my Chez Larsson fix every day!!

  • megan says:

    good for you! i’m so proud of you!

  • cassie says:

    It’s so freeing to be able to say N0. Family should always come first no matter what! Good luck with everything!

  • Jonella says:

    Since I only recently discovered your blog, and love it, I’m glad you plan to continue. You’re a wise woman to recognize your limits and then take steps to maintain them. Gott Nytt Ar!

  • It’s more than understadable what you say… sometimes we have to streamline things and keep what really make us happy… blogs are time consuming and when you expand into more stuff they take a life of their own… look forward to read more of you this year and appreciate it too… have a great 2011 and wish you all the very best!

  • Jo says:

    Ditto what Monica said.. couldn’t have put it better myself,
    and PHEW !! ‘cos I thought for a moment that post was going somewhere else.. ;o)
    Jo xx

  • bitt says:

    I guess I have to find some way to get your blog other than by twitter. Shucks.

  • I’m keeping the automated posts on new blog posts but I won’t be tweeting “manually” any more, so you’ll still be able to find your way here via Twitter if that’s what you normally do :).

  • Noga says:

    Dear Benita!
    I think that No. 1 is you. (It does’nt say you love less)
    You have define your mission for this year: ballance in your life
    Sounds as a perfect goal for the new year!
    I’m so glad that I’m reading a blog of such a clever women. I’m proud to read your blog. I’m very happy with your priorities, they are inspiring. You are focusing. Good for you!
    I wish you luck and great success, and a year full of love, joy, and great things to make!
    Happy new year!

  • Berglind Á says:

    thats so true! thank you for this.. and good for you Benita! I love your blogg and am happy you did say yes to blogging 😉

  • Rebecca says:

    It’s not always easy to do is it, but I really believe this statement! A useful guideline for life I think.

  • mama ring says:

    i like this post a lot – but i’m also soooooooo glad you are still blogging! 🙂

  • Herta says:

    Hi Benita, I echo many of the earlier comments; first rule of life be kind and true to yourself otherwise nothing else works.
    I love catching up with your posts; your creativity and honesty, and little by little you are helping me declutter and simplify my home/life. Thank you!

  • Serena says:

    Hurrah for you!!!

  • Gemma says:

    This is my mantra for 2011 as well! It has been greeted with great surprise by a number of people and, dare I say, a little glimmer of envy in daring to do it! Best wishes for the new year 🙂

  • paula says:

    great to hear! when a hand is open to give, is inmediatly open to receive! happy to know you have the power to do it!