spruced by marlene


the five minute fix || pleated skirt

By Marlene | Published: 31. December 2016


I had similar expectations of this five minute fix that a 17-year-old has of New Year’s Eve. I wanted to build a small set for taking the pictures. Buy fabulous props. Borrow loads of great tops and shoes and pleated skirts. All before Christmas so that you’d be able to buy everything online in time to have it delivered by the end of this year. As in the end of 2016.


By Marlene | Published: 22. December 2016


What a week this has been. What a year. I can’t quite comprehend what happened in Berlin on Monday night. Just as I can’t comprehend Aleppo. Can’t comprehend the Philippines. I had prepared a few posts for this week, pretty things for Christmas and outfits for New Year’s Eve, this is after all a place for the lighter stuff. But my heart’s just heavy. It didn’t feel right. And so I want to give attention to something else: White Helmets, the Syrian civil defense. Instead of buying big presents, I donated to them. I chose this organisation, but there are many others that offer relief to those most in need. I’m not asking you to do the same as I did. But in the face of all of the horrible news, all of the failings of human kind, I often feel that I can’t make a difference. But I can. And if you’re feeling the same way, you can, too.

This year will soon be over. Until then, I’m wishing you all restful, healthy and peaceful holidays. And hold your close ones even closer right now. I am.






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good reads

By Marlene | Published: 17. December 2016


It’s the last shopping weekend before Christmas and if you’re anything like me that means you’re currently in a state of mild full-blown panic about all the presents you still need to get. Before I go out and brave the crowds, here are six books that would make great gifts. And if you’re not giving them away, give them to yourself. As a treat for all the December crazy.

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the 2016 christmas giveaway

By Marlene | Published: 5. December 2016


Can I mention my book? Just one more time? Yes? I’ve talked about it so much here lately that I’d understand if it was getting a bit annoying. But I MUST tell you about Stilvoll again today. Because one of you who bought the book through my relentless harping on aboutthisbookiwrote, or perhaps even for other reasons, is going to get a present.

In fact, so many presents at once that I couldn’t fit them all into the picture. It’s my big fat thank you to you. Because getting Stilvoll published and having so wonderfully and quite surprisingly many of you read it, like it and recommend it, was a wish come true long before Christmas. You can find the instructions on how to win at the end of the post. But now – Drum roll! Confetti canons! Champagne fountains! – the goods. One winner gets all.

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