wednesday wisdom. rules of living #11.

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today’s post is all about one of my other favorite things (besides travel and photography and spirituality!)… nesting. and what i mean by that is creating a home that is warm, inviting, friendly, comfortable, and cozy.

the dalai lama says this about homes:

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

it’s true, i believe, that one of the most important and intimate things that we can do is to offer hospitality to others. for lina and me, what that means is that our home is a place that, when people come to visit – for an hour or for a week – they feel relaxed, at home, and loved. having a home that provides an atmosphere of peace and calm is what we strive for most, i believe. and it’s something we actually talk about.

my love and i really do sit down and discuss what we can do to make our little corner of the world a sanctuary for visitors and for ourselves. we talk about future placement, knick knacks, decorations, art, flowers… just about everything. and we change how things look every so often, just because. how our home feels is very important. we want it to be a place of positive vibes. yes, a home should truly be a sanctuary. a safe place to nest and to feel free to be exactly who you are.

in addition to having a spot to return to every day that makes you feel relaxed and at peace, we want our home to be that place where everyone finds a place of retreat from the craziness of the world. there is so much stress. so much pain. so much confusion and craziness in our every day lives. so, i think that our homes are the places we can return to find safety and security. having a home that is a sanctuary provides us with a place to recharge. it truly can be the place that is the foundation of our lives – and i’m not only talking about the material things that surround us at home – but the people at home, the feeling that you get when you walk in your home.

with that said, i thought i’d share with y’all our secrets to creating our sanctuary at home  – remember, this is what makes our home a place of retreat. it’s what makes us feel cozy and home-y and relaxed. it looks different to each one of us, but perhaps we can glean a little inspiration from each other.

we try to keep some fresh flowers on our island (and some candy in a bowl!). they are one of the first things you see when you enter… creating a welcoming, friendly, organic atmosphere.

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we think that having a spot to sit in a corner is super cozy. a great place to read or snuggle up. i totally love mixing the brown leather and the metal lamp with a soft blanket. cozy, huh?DSC_0559

it’s always so great to have something green. a bit of a reminder of life and our connection to each other & the world.DSC_0562

oh, and yes. a couple of big, fluffy, huge blankets to wrap up in and have a movie or netflix marathon. the perfect way to spend a rainy day – or any day, actually.DSC_0564

we think it is very, very important to have music in our house – from the record player or our iphones, it doesn’t really matter. but, music sets the tone. and we have tons of playlists with tons of all kinds of music for every kind of situation and mood. and some musical art is an extra bonus. hehe,DSC_0568

a place to sit and share a meal together is a definite necessity. of course, in our opinion candles on the table are also a must. well, actually, candles all over our home are a must.DSC_0569

photos of some of our favorite places, people, and moments hung on the walls are some of our favorite things at home. it reminds us who we are and where we belong.DSC_0577

we’ve also designated places in our home that are meant to draw our creativity and dreams out. when i sit here, i am surrounded by things that remind me of what i want out of life, where i’ve come from, and where i hope to go. having a space like this designates a special area of focus – something that lina and i both need, as a student and a blogger/writer.
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books. books. books. one day i want a whole room of books – i want a library. but, for now, i have books that i have read that inspired and challenged and changed me on display. any visitor is welcome to grab one and read. but, for me, these books represent a lot of who i am and what matters to me. DSC_0584

lina and i changed our bedroom around a few months ago – we decided to move our bed under the windows. why? because windows mean a lot to us. they are our connection with the outside world, with nature. i can lie in bed at night, look up, and see stars. and there is something about that is magical for me. so, whether it is a bed or a chair or a window seat, having a place to rest by the window does a lot for the soul.DSC_0545

lights. lina and i have lights hanging everywhere. over the bed. on top of our kitchen cabinets. around our balcony doors – inside. on our balcony – outside. there is nothing quite like the glow of lights hanging in a room. talk about magical and cozy and warm.  – one other thing worth mentioning, we both have very important momentos beside our side of the bed. i have a little blue bird that came from my mom and my grandma; and also some origami prints from two very special friends who mailed me these photos. they just make me feel all cozy and loved.DSC_0537

lina and i love travel. like obsessively love it. so, it is completely necessary to have a map in our home. this one is on the wall beside my bed. i see it every morning – first thing, and every night – last thing. every time i look at it, i smile. and i’m inspired. i dream and wish. and i remember how big and beautiful this world is – and how much i want to see every little part of it. hanging things on your walls that inspire you and remind you who you are is a great way to make your home a place where you know you belong, i believe. and my map helps me remember that i belong everywhere. DSC_0531

one thing we did when we moved our bed was to put it directly on the floor. we wanted simplicity, coziness, and a minimalistic feeling. being right on the floor makes everything feel much more simple. and the covers we have, we made sure they were bigger than you would usually have so we could create a fluffy, cozy, squishy spot. don’t you just wanna hang out there all day?DSC_0557

create a space that is your own. lina and i each have a space that is the core of who we are. lina’s space is in our studio – at her desk and on the floor. you can find her there every single day. creating, drawing, being inspired, learning, and designing.

as for me, this is my special space – my personal little altar space. i have the most influential books i have read (minus to kill a mockingbird), my japa mala beads i hold during meditation and wear every day, elephants – because they are amazing & holy, and candles. i sit in front of this space at some point during every day, on my pillow on the floor, in order to meditate. i light candles, breathe, and write in my journal. it is my very special place – where i listen to my soul.DSC_0522 DSC_0527

so tell me. what are your favorite things in your home? what kind of atmosphere do you want to have? what’s your decorating style? have you got any tips on how to create a sanctuary at home? if so, please, share them!

namaste, dear friends.

party time!

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happy friday, friends! here in the mcguire-eriksson household things are full speed ahead with preparations for a full-blown housewarming/christmas party called “eat, drink, & be merry”! that’s right. tonight we’re the hosts with the most. we’ve contacted friends and acquaintances from all parts of our life here in asheville and invited them to drop in for lots of christmas coziness – food, drink, carols, games, laughter. it’s gonna be legen – wait for it – dary! and we loooove to throw a party.

so, if you’re in the area, drop on by anytime after 5pm. and if you’re not in the area, or can’t come, then we wish you a friday filled with celebrations wherever you are.

i reaaaally need to get busy with all of those preparations, like right now. but first, i’d like to share with you some of the decorations we have in our home: we love to decorate (as you will see) and it’s all about creating a cozy, christmas-y atmosphere for us…

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that’s our place… third floor with the lights on the balcony and stars in the windows!

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ok. time to get busy. wishing you a lovely weekend and lots of moments of holiday cheer!

peace and love. xx

nesting day.

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i’ve got nothing special planned today – which is always a good thing in my world. it’s really gray outside. drizzly and chilly. and the hard rain, with possible thunderstorms, is on it’s way. so, i’m gonna hunker down on my sofa and read some new magazines. of course i’ll sip on coffee. and perhaps do some writing. but, we’ll see about that. in a little bit, i’ll light my autumn candle and fill the apartment with the sweet smell of spices and cinnamon. there will also be blankets involved, and definitely some comfort food, like a grilled cheese sandwich or swedish pancakes. oh, and some netflix time too. can’t forget that.

life is moving at warp speed. my days are filled with activities, meeting people, driving around town, exploring new places, spending time with my brother, and writing. and i get to share this life with the woman that i love, my inspiration and my everything. i couldn’t ask for anything more. truly. i have never, ever felt so content and at peace.

so, today, i am going to slow down and simply bask in that peace. it is international peace day, you know, and this is how i am going to celebrate.

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you see, i believe that to be peacemakers, we have to live as peacemakers ourselves. that does not mean that we have to board a plane and go work for the peace corps, though we can do that – and that would be awesome. what i believe about living as a peacemaker is more simply than trying to be like a saint or a guru that has achieved enlightenment. it means to live a life of peace in our every day lives, to  get to know ourselves from deep within, to work on ourselves, and to try to be true to who we are deep within our core – and that includes following our dreams and having the courage to acknowledge who we are, what we want, and how we have been created to use our own unique gifts. we were not made to follow a crowd, but to simply be who we are – and each of us is magnificent, beautiful, and amazing. each of us is already a powerful peacemaker in the making.

inner peace, enlightenment, contentment, happiness, whatever you call it, is already within us. nurturing our inner life will only lead us to live lives filled with deep peace. if we turn inward, if we explore our inner light, our inner soul, our inner truth, and then have the courage to follow it, we will exude peace in our daily, outer lives. others will see it and feel it. and that, my friends, i how we teach peace.

we teach peace by being peace.

i must admit to y’all, there is nothing like some good ole raw, honest, genuine bluegrass/folk rock for a rainy day to bring me to a place of deep peace. right now the darkness is closing in, the rain is  pouring down, and i have this video on repeat. these guys always touch my soul with their music & their lyrics. i cannot describe it, but i feel whole. grounded. well, simply peaceful. so, curl up somewhere for a few minutes and take a listen:

“we came to leave behind the world a better way” ~ the avett brothers

today, i am not going to march in any peace parade. or go to any protest. or take part in any community peace anything. i could, this is asheville, you know. hehe. instead, i’m staying home. i am going to let all the peace that is within me settle and soak deep into me today. i am going to nest. and i am going to nurture this peace that i feel, and listen to that still, small, quiet voice that whispers to me to simply be.

for me, today, peace begins at home.

“His ambition was not to become wealthy or to be well known, an image which society for some reason dictates each individual should prescribe to, instead his only ambition was to be at peace with himself, if he could achieve that than anything else he might need would follow. From now on he would question all things in life, but especially the rules and regulations of all authority institutions; he would take nothing on face value and only would accept what he personally knew to undeniably be true.” ― Andrew James PritchardCharnel House

sending you wishes for a calm, restful, peaceful weekend.