// week thirty one // part 2


on saturday morning, just a mere 24 hours after my brother left to go back to the states, lina and i headed back to stockholm for the big stockholm pride celebration.

the actual pride festival had been going on all week long throughout the city, and we were pumped to get to be part of the closing celebrations: the big pride parade!

stockholm’s pride parade is always the biggest in scandinavia/northern europe, and from what i could tell, that is most definitely true. helloooo people! what was amazing was to see how many couples of all kinds, families, elderly, gay, international, and straight people all took part. this is not just a day for the lgbtq community to get together, but a day that the general swedish public makes its way to the center of stockholm to celebrate the right to simply be who you are. it basically took my breath away.

speaking of rights, lina and i decided to go all in with this parade, having never even been to the stockholm parade before. and we decided that we’d kill two birds with one stone by walking  with an eating disorder organization that seeks to work for a community where everyone is free to be themselves, just as they are. (that’s their slogan!). so, to be able to support this eating disorder organization and lgbtq rights at the same time ws a double powerful bonus for us.

here’s how the day went.

we met up at noon with our group and found our place in the parade line. the sun was shining, it was super warm (the first time in about three weeks), and everyone was pumped. love was spilling out all over the streets. the energy itself would get you high.

we waited + waited for our turn to finally start walking, all 20 of us who were marching together. in the meantime, we snapped pictures, ate snacks, people-watched, and got more + more excited.

by the way, we waited so long because there were 45,000 people marching in the parade! what?! amazing! (and just a measly 400,000 ish lining the streets).

stockholm-pride-parade-waiting stockholm-pride-parade-me-lina-friends

finally it was time to start walking through the streets of stockholm, starting at mariatorget in södermalm and ending at östermalm’s sport park. it would be a long, slow walk that took about 2 and a half hours. but, the time flew by!

all along the way people cheered, clapped, yelled, laughed, and lined the streets and bridges. many people hung out of their apartment windows, or decorated their balconies with rainbow flags. it was seriously breathtaking and overwhelming.stockholm-pride-parade-group stockholm-pride-parade-me-lina-walking stockholm-pride-parade-window-lookers stockholm-pride-parade-hornsgatan

it was at this point, near the beginning of the parade that i was overcome with emotion. so many people. so much love. so much support. eeeeeee!
stockholm-pride-parade-sodermalm stockholm-pride-parade-me-lina-excited stockholm-pride-parade-slussen stockholm-pride-parade-walk lina-me-stockholm-pride-parade stockholm-pride-parade-bridge frist-och-fri-stockholm-pride-parade photo from frisk & fri.

after the celebratory parade came to an end, our feet were aching, our stomachs were growling, but we were so satisfied + happy. we met some friends/family at a restaurant to refuel, swung by our killer airbnb apartment, then headed out for drinks in the late swedish sunshine.

stockholm-pride-parade-friends-family-apartment stockholm-pride-parade-mosebacke stockholm-pride-parade-mosebacke-sunset stockholm-pride-parade-mosebacke-sunshine stockholm-pride-parade-slussen-sodermalm stockholm-sunset-stockholm-pride-paradeall in all, it was a day + and experience that i will never forget. a day that i was proud to call sweden my home. and a day that most definitely exceeded my expectations. what a celebration of love + acceptance + the basic human right to simply be who you are!

my wish is that all people, everywhere, one day have the opportunity to feel so welcomed, so loved, so accepted. that different is beautiful. and that we are all created to be exactly who we are. we’ve got work to do, my friends, to make that dream come true!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

// week thirty one // part 1

alright. i’m blessed beyond belief.

and because i am so grateful for so many different things this week, i am gonna need about 3 different posts to share with you my week 31. just to whet your appetite a little (and in case you haven’t had me bombing your instagram feed) here’s a little of what these posts are going to cover: my brother visiting sweden. stockholm’s pride parade. an airbnb vacation weekend with my love in the funky part of stockholm.

part one is dedicated all to my brother – and the insane joy that it was to have him visit us. i was a complete disaster after he left last friday (you may have seen this post as a result of that melancholy). but, before all of the sadness + missing his presence, we had some great times. nothing fancy, just sharing a bit of my life + sweden with him.

and it meant more than i can ever express.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset IMG_8042 IMG_8097

drottningholm palace :: the home of sweden’s king + queen
stockholm-harbor-drottningholmdrottningholm-boat drottningholm-palace-2 palace-ceiling-drottningholm drottningholm-ceiling Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset drottningholm-chanelier drottningholm-selfie drottningholm-chapel drottningholm-gardens drottningholm-palace drottningholm-stockholms t o c k h o l m
stockholm-norrmalm-hotel-view stockholm-gamla-stan-alley stockholm-gamla-stan stockholm-dinner-vasastan stockholm-norrmalm-hotel stockholm-sodermalm-books stockholm stockholm-omnipollo-2 stockholm-omnipollo stockholm-view-buildingsu p p s a l a

cathedral-uppsala friends-brother-beer-uppsala uppsala-brothers-and-sisters-my-love gamla-uppsala gamla-uppsala-mound gamla-uppsala-brother-nick gamla-uppsala-mounds-path gamla-uppsala-mounds gamla-uppsala-fence gamla-uppsala-flowers fika-cafe-linne-uppsala uppsala-pub goodbye-uppsala--brother-lina-mein the midst of all of the challenges + changes + tough times + beauty of our lives, all of that stuff that makes up life, it was good to just be together. to just have some time. and, in the end, that’s all that really matters. that’s what we hold on to. and, any chance that we get to feel blessed + at peace + loved, well, then we have been given a most wonderful gift. how incredibly amazing it was to have my brother here!

onwards + upwards!



40 | August 2015 // milestones (a collection of favorites from my 40th year)


well, friends… this is it. this is my 12th playlist. my last month. i started last september by creating a playlist to celebrate turning 40 that month, and challenged myself to create a playlist every single month throughout the entire year…

i wanted to create a soundtrack to my 40th year.

and, with this august playlist, my 12 months, my 40th year, is coming to a close. the playlists are done. and i have a year’s worth of music that defines my 40th year. 12 months of playlists that stir up emotions, rekindle memories, pump me up, calm me down, remind me who i am, inspire me, and introduce me to new favorite artists. it has been an incredible, fulfilling journey, one which i will not soon forget. and for those of you who have joined in throughout the past year + sent me messages and words of encouragement, you have inspired me even more. your support has challenged me to keep pushing through, though, i must admit that this has been a challenge that i have excitedly anticipated every single month.

about the final playlist:

for august, i wanted to do a kind of wrap-up playlist. you see, i have discovered that i have unearthed a few new-to-me artists who have become my favorites throughout the year = you may have noticed that they seem to show up on almost every single playlist. sorry ’bout that. but, they are my go-to inspirations at this point in my life.

so, i decided to make this list a summary of my most played tracks.

i went through each month’s playlist and added a few songs from each one to this final august one. it turned out to be 100 different songs. so, yeah. we’ve got over 6 hours of listening pleasure this month. a little something from all of the previous playlists.

now, these are my favorites, mind you. the ones that i just can’t get enough of, or have touched me in some very real + deep way. in fact, as i previewed the playlist today, listening to it all the way through, i found myself feeling quite emotional. i had no idea that it would be such a powerful playlist to listen to. i found myself being transported back to specific times and places and memories. and that feels wonderful and heartbreaking all at the same time. but, even more than that, i found myself feeling how i felt during the month that i listened to a specific song, transporting me back to where i was spiritually or emotionally on any given day. and that reveals to me how things have changed. how i have changed.

a lot has happened since i turned 40 last september. the biggest thing being my move back to sweden. so, many of the songs have a specific asheville, north carolina vibe, while others have a beginning a new life in sweden vibe. but, all of them bring me a sense of peace + calm. they all remind me who i am, where my feel have walked, how far i have come, how life has been transformed through the course of a year.

and so, i decided to name this month’s playlist: milestones. 

celebrating turning 40 was an obvious, big milestone, but there have been many small milestones, each important in their own right, throughout the year. in addition, my dear friend nicole, who was visiting us in june, requested that august’s playlist also be dedicated to her + her baby, who is due in the middle of the month. another beautiful milestone, right?


click on the photo above or right –> here to get to the new playlist!

so, there you go. the story behind my year of playlists. and the story behind this month’s celebration of my top 100 songs. while this journey has come to its close, there are so many more journeys out there. it makes me wonder… what in the world will come about during my 41st year?! i can only keep walking, keep listening, and keep letting the music inspire every step i take.

 find all of the playlists + links to them below:
september 2014
october 2014
november 2014
december 2014
january 2015
february 2015
march 2015
april 2015
may 2015
june 2015
july 2015
august 2015

(behind the scenes belovelive tip: the playlist will continue well on past, just in other forms! stay tuned for a very, special, collaborative, interactive playlist for september. you are gonna love it!)

onwards + upwards! xoxo

August’s playlist:

Breathe – Elephant Revival
The Stable Song – Gregory Alan Isakov
Extraordinary Light – Ben Fields
Drinkin’ – Holly Williams
On My Way – The Melodic
The Nights – Avicii
Violently Wild – Horse Feathers
Just One Day – Mighty Oaks
House By The Sea – Moddi
Don’t Let It Get You Down – Johnnyswim
Woodland – The Paper Kites
Glory (From the Motion Picture Selma) – Common, John Legend
I Will Rise – Cattle & Cane
Full Moon In June – Black Prairie
Without You – Dark Dark Dark
Love Life Now – Paper Bird
Agape – Bear’s Den
Moon Miss Me – The Ragbirds
Old Ties and Companions – Mandolin Orange
The Jewel Of June – The Milk Carton Kids
Summertime – The Head And The Heart
Believe It – The Ragbirds
Lucky – The Honeycutters
Passing Afternoon – Iron & Wine
Silver Light – Trampled By Turtles
Under The Same Sun – Ben Howard
What We Do – Shook Twins
Feathers Rise – Elephant Revival
Sing It All Away – Walk Off the Earth
Settled Down – Mandolin Orange
Never Been Alive – The Avett Brothers
Down to the River – Brown Bird
Honey, Honey – The Milk Carton Kids
Flowers In Your Hair – The Lumineers
Leaf Off / The Cave – Jose Gonzalez
Don’t Let the Sun Steal You Away – Bear’s Den
Live And Die – The Avett Brothers
Wherever Is Your Heart – Brandi Carlile
Bloom – Bonus Track – The Paper Kites
Wild & You – My Bubba
Overcome With Light – Bowerbirds
Morning Song – The Lumineers
Vårens första dag – Laleh
Let’s Be Still – The Head And The Heart
The Universe – Gregory Alan Isakov
Souls Like The Wheels – The Avett Brothers
Springtime – The Head And The Heart
Lay Your Burden Down – Wilhelm Brothers
Take Up Your Spade – Sara Watkins
I And Love And You – The Avett Brothers
Love of Mine – Nickel Creek
Love is All – The Tallest Man On Earth
Love Love Love – Of Monsters And Men
Coffee & Cigarettes – American Aquarium
Open Ended Life – The Avett Brothers
Walk Unafraid – First Aid Kit
Remember Me This Way – Steve Martin, Edie Brickell
Say Goodbye – Beck
Home – Johnnyswim
Winter Song – The Head And The Heart
Winter Coat – Dark Dark Dark
I Thank God – The Avett Brothers
The Song the Season Brings – Beta Radio
Christmas Time Is Here (Intro) – Johnnyswim
Winter Eclipse – Beta Radio
River – Joni Mitchell
The Earth Stood Still – Future Of Forestry
Wildflower Honey – The Stray Birds
Come Out Of The Woods – Matthew And The Atlas
Brave World – Bowerbirds
Caves – Brown Bird
Wild Soul – The Law, Langhorne Slim
Half Moon – Iron & Wine
Magic Arrow – Timber Timbre
Down to the River – Jesse Woods
Sing To The Mountain – Elephant Revival
Ring Around The Moon – Elephant Revival
November – The Wilderness of Manitoba
Pine Ridge – George S. Clinton
Wolf – First Aid Kit
My Own – Tin Sparrow
The River – Samantha Crain
You and Me – Sara Watkins
Wide World – Blessed Feathers
Devil’s Backbone – The Civil Wars
Blue Ridge Mountain – Hurray For The Riff Raff
This American – Joe Purdy
Dark Road – Sarah Jarosz
Ghosts – The Head And The Heart
Hymn #35 – Joe Pug
Emmylou – First Aid Kit
Skin And Bones – The Avett Brothers
My Silver Lining – First Aid Kit
Build Me Up From Bones – Sarah Jarosz
Setting Forth – Eddie Vedder
Mountain Sound – Of Monsters And Men
There Was A Time – Mandolin Orange
Wild Animals – Trampled By Turtles
The Devil Is All Around – Shovels & Rope
Everything – Ben Howard