spruced by marlene

basics: the black maxi dress

By Marlene | Published: 24. July 2014


We booked our summer holiday this week. That would be next year’s summer holiday. I know, I know. Who plans anything that far in advance? Parents that’s who. Which I sometimes still can’t quite believe I am now. But as much as I like the idea of rocking up at the airport with a carry-on and taking the first flight to somewhere sunny, well, I never really used to do that even when I didn’t have roughly ten tons of baby stuff to pack. Still, it makes me feel terribly grown-up, knowing where I’ll be in 12 months time. On a family vacation. On Mallorca.

On the other hand: that gives me a whole year to look forward to lounging around by the pool, drinking alcohol (!) and wearing all of the lovely dresses that I couldn’t wear this summer for evident reasons.

Steffi took these pictures of me on our last trip to Mallorca. I wore that dress from Ganni almost every day – to the beach, in the city, out at night. It’s so easy to throw on and still looks chic paired with heels and gold jewelry. It’s really the only dress I need in the summer (although I’m going to deny I ever said that when James asks me next year why I’m trying to fit my entire wardrobe into a suitcase).

My dress is from Ganni, here are a few others that I like in the shops right now.

With a pleated skirt from Mango | A great simple version from Monki | For evening from Filippa K | For when the money fairy has been to visit from Tibi | Not a dress, but this overall is just as chic, from Zara


wild heart free soul

By Marlene | Published: 9. July 2014


„Do what you love“ – how many times have I seen a print with that line on Instagram, Facebook and blogs lately. It should also hang on the wall in the Wild Heart Free Soul studio. What the three founders and friends Jana, Lena and Beyza have created together truly gives meaning to those words.

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shopping for baby

By Marlene | Published: 30. June 2014


I was almost certain that I’d manage to keep to the list my midwife gave me of the necessary baby clothes. After all, the little ones grow faster than you can say „You’re not old enough to drink yet!”. But then I spotted a denim overall at Baby Gap and basically lost all control.

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it’s a boy

By Marlene | Published: 17. June 2014


I know it’s been quiet around here lately. Perhaps you’ve guessed the reason for my silence already. It’s because life elsewhere suddenly got a lot noisier. Our boy Arlo Elliott was born four weeks ago, surprising us with both his early arrival and with a joy so overwhelming we couldn’t have dreamt was possible to feel. There are moments I still can’t quite connect the human being that was growing inside of me with the little baby sleeping beside me on the sofa right now. So that was him, kicking every time his dad talked to him through my belly button. Now he’s very much his own person already. One who still knows how to properly kick.

There are also moments when I start to do something besides sitting next to him on the sofa, admiring his perfect little nose and coming up with idiotic nicknames (isn’t that right, my little potato?). And then he wakes up and next thing I know it’s three days later and I still haven’t finished whatever it was I started doing. I wrote the first sentence of this post last Thursday. Maybe I’ll manage to write the last one today.

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the glow

By Marlene | Published: 8. May 2014


A couple of months ago James asked me if I enjoyed being pregnant. I was confused why he’d think that I didn’t. Well, he said, I talked a lot about how uncomfortable I felt, moaned about the dark circles under my eyes, complained that I didn’t fit into any of my clothes anymore and how much weight I had gained. He thought that was strange. Because what he saw made him look at me in absolute wonderment.

I’m not sure he knows this but it’s the most beautiful thing he could’ve said to me.

Because I do enjoy being pregnant. But I’ve also had days in the past nine months when I’ve felt wretched. Because my swollen feet wouldn’t fit into any shoes (and my swollen bum into any pants). Because I take more pills every morning than an 80-year-old granny. Because I can’t walk 25 meters without being out of breath. Because I can’t lift, can’t sleep, can’t remember what the hell it was I just walked into the room for. At the end of those days I stand in front of the mirror and ask the tired woman looking back at me where she’s hiding Marlene. Her answer is always the same: She’s busy building a baby, let her be. And perhaps just once in a while believe people who say you look marvelous.

Because that’s what I think when I see other pregnant women. They’ve got that glow that no beauty product in the world can give you. Don’t you think my friend Steffi looks radiant? Maybe she didn’t feel like it on the morning we took these pictures – I know myself how uncomfortable it can be to be photographed when your own body suddenly feels like an unknown entity, – but I look at her with absolute wonderment. And I hope she believes me.

She’s showing some of the maternity wear she got for summer on her blog ohhhmhhh today and if I weren’t already at the end of my pregnancy I’d hit all of her recommended online shops. For me she put on a pair of Racer Skinny maternity jeans from Citizens of Humanity and a white tux shirt from Cos. A look I’d love to wear – pregnant or not.


With thanks to Prag PR for the jeans.