sensory overload. part 5.

it’s tuesday, and time to stop for a moment and think about all that has touched and piqued my senses in the last week… it was kind of a blended week, i think. busy times and relaxing times. a bit of just regular ole life, which is not a complaint at all. i’m feeling quite lucky that things are just rolling on. let me show you…

quiet mornings all by myself…

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fika meet up with TEN women from asheville – lots of new people this week!
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a working lunch at a fave cafe.
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friday celebrations with my love & my bro…

lina has officially completed her first semester at an american university! i am one proud wife!IMG_6466

so far, so good. ten days done! finding inspiration in my morning ritual.IMG_6488

headed down to raleigh saturday for a scandinavian christmas fair/market. road trip!IMG_6494

found this awesome button: i’m officially swedish!
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scandinavian people everywhere. so crazy and kinda weird. hehe.DSC_0899

my love was a bitty swedish girl, running around grabbing up swedish goodies that she is missing. it’s a proven fact… one of the biggest things that expats miss the most is food!DSC_0909

traditional swedish christmas yummies!! IMG_6497

and st. lucia was there too. a huge, amazing tradition in sweden during advent (dec. 13).DSC_0941 DSC_0947

on our way home, we decided to be a little spontaneous and stop at the festival of lights in tanglewood park. it is the largest light show in the southeast, i think. anyway, the little side trip put us back about 3 hours, but it was so worth it. fun traditions!! 
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we celebrated the 2nd sunday in advent with a cozy, relaxing day at home. i wrote an article for the newspaper, we finished all of the seasons of breaking bad, and… that’s about all i can remember. basically, it was a pj day. awesome.IMG_6584 IMG_6588

Seeing: christmas decorations and lights everywhere. oh, gosh i love this time of year!

Smelling: tea, coffee, cinnamon, evergreen leaves. wonderful smells of the season.

Tasting: yummy swedish food!! and some special, locally brewed beer at the brewery about a block from our apartment.

Touching: receiving hugs from the little kids that i taught when i visited the school to talk about being a writer. having a chance to be around a classroom full of children again was just wonderful!

Hearing: the voices of new friends and interesting women during my fika meet up. it is so crazy to listen to the stories and adventures of different people, discovering how we all ended up here in asheville at this moment in time.

Feeling: calm and peaceful in the early mornings before the sun rises. it’s my own private time to just breathe and ease into the day. i have been trying very hard to soak in this december, intentionally focusing on the season, in the hopes of not getting all caught up in stuff.

though it’s already tuesday, it has been and is going to be a very festive week! dinner out last night, friends coming over tonight for a little, cozy christmas celebration, family time drinking beer at the brewery again (we loved it), going to the theater, and parties this weekend – more on that later!

hoping that your week is going well… only two weeks till christmas! sending you lots of cheer and love today.

peace. xx

winding down.

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it’s late sunday night. well, not so late. but late enough. or perhaps i’m just tired. i’m feeling mellow. chill. good.

it’s been a fairly busy weekend, what with being at work every day. but, it’s all been good. or perhaps i’m just in a good mood. i don’t exactly know what i am right now. my head hurts terribly, i can barely keep by eyes open as i tap my finger on my phone’s keypad. it probably doesn’t help that I’m already laying down. still, back to what i was saying… i feel drained, exhausted. but good. peaceful.

besides the work of the weekend, my love & i managed to knock off almost all of our christmas shopping, watched a movie at the theater, and decorated our apartment. go us. the holidays have arrived here! it is so cozy, warm, & beautiful, if i do say so myself. it feels great. we tapped off our night with a swedish christmas tradition… drinking glögg. mmm…

the upcoming week looks to be busy too, but that’s the nature of the season, huh? of course, a lot of busy-ness is amazing & fun stuff… like going to the theater and having our thanksgiving dinner with friends. i’m also determined to get some more writing of my story done & posted on here. and, of course, every day brings us one more closer to my love & i to our trip to the states. only 3 weeks now!

i hope y’all had a great weekend, holiday or not. i wish you a night of peaceful rest & a new week filled with new opportunities to follow your dreams. enjoy the season!

peace & love.

autumn in everything.

it’s thursday night and my weekend has begun! i have the next 3 days off & not that much planned. feels really, really good. especially after last weekend; which was good, but over-the-top busy. i think i pretty much lived at the church. so, besides a little meeting tomorrow, everything else i do over the weekend has not even been planned yet. hmm… what are we gonna get into?!

i’m pretty sure it will involve calm, cozy moments with each other. the best thing about this season is the coziness, ya know. it’s dark pretty early here in sweden. it’s been chilly & rainy every day. and i’m not really complaining about it at all because all i wanna do is hunker down at home & just be. soak up the autumn all around.

i thought i’d share a few pictures of the past few autumn days in my corner of the world…

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our fall wreath is now hanging on our door. funky & natural. love it.

on monday we went to a pub to celebrate our friend’s birthday. cooozy.

i got a haircut. yay.

my love brought me flowers. just because.

we set our alarm for 3am & watched the presidential debate live. crazy girls. yep.

a new, funky cafe. gonna visit here often from now on.

inside the cafe. soooo cozy.listening to live music on a wednesday night. carpe diem, right?

no words. just beauty.

popcorn nights with my love.

a fall sunset in norrköping

“Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.”
― Hal Borland

hope your autumn days have been as calm and cozy as possible. wishing you days of golden leaves, flickering candles, and  snuggly blankets.

peace.

everyone’s out & about.

it was the first weekend of spring. we changed our clocks ahead & the days grew longer. the weather was beautiful. it was pay day on friday (for most people). and everyone – and i mean everyone – seemed to be out & about, enjoying every single moment of the weekend. it was also a work weekend for lina & me = tons of work hours & working at night. but, we managed to squeeze in some time outside under the sunny, blue skies just like everyone else.

we have all emerged from our winter blues & have our sights set on summer – even if it is only spring & there is the possibility for a snow day. nevertheless, right now in sweden, it’s all about seizing the day. spirits have been lifted & we have crawled out from under our winter blankets & out onto our balconies (which lina & i don’t have. but that is a whole other story. you don’t want to hear me whine.) and into the parks.

here are some snapshots of early spring days in sweden!

on my way to work friday night. the tree is yellow!!!

fika on friday with my love. blueberry pie. yum.

spring decorations in the shopping area. they make me so happy.

bought a paris guide book. we’re going in may & we’re booking our flight tomorrow! i cannot contain my excitement!

sipping coffee & soaking up rays.

saw a sunday matinee: the hunger games. go see it. the hype is right!

pasta carbonara a la lina. sunday night at home. dinner & a movie.

i hope that your weekend was great & that you feel ready to tackle a new week. thanks for reading, following, & commenting. you have no idea how much it means to me, my friends. and no, i didn’t forget my little quote of the day. i am taking sundays off. so, it’s just a little peek in pics for this post. but, there will be a quote tomorrow morning! see ya then!

g’night. peace.

coziness.

it’s the night before christmas eve, and there are only a few hours left before the  holiday craziness is in full swing. i must admit, though, that tonight i’m feeling a bit like a child about the burst from excitement! as i may have said before, the big celebration in sweden happens on christmas eve, so tomorrow feels like christmas day for me… and that makes tonight christmas eve!! in the morning, we’ll open our stocking gifts & then we’ll begin a long day filled with swedish traditions, candles everywhere, family visits, and stuffing our faces. can’t wait! and then, tomorrow night it’s christmas eve all over again because (well it IS actually christmas eve) we will celebrate the american way, with gifts from santa in the morning, on the traditional celebration day in the states… christmas day (sunday). it is absolutely amazing to be able to celebrate christmas in 2 ways! but, before all the busy fun begins, tonight, my love & i are taking it easy, just enjoying ourselves. i’m calling it christmas coziness…

 wishing you a very merry christmas full of joy & peace!

it’s time!

well, it’s the end of november and we’ve celebrated thanksgiving – that cozy all-american holiday. lots of planning, lots of waiting, lots of cooking, a little stress thrown in, & lots of food. yes, today, we had thanksgiving here in our little apartment in sweden with some of lina’s family. it was a cozy, relaxed evening together & it was super fun to see swedes try out some typical american thanksgiving food (that’s right. i cooked. a crapload of food!). some of our dishes were completely new to our guests (green bean casserole – which i now declare the favorite thanksgiving dish of all swedes), and some guests were doing thanksgiving with us for the 2nd time. in any case, it was good fun & we definitely all had the required food coma afterwards! i am so grateful that all the guests were willing to come & celebrate with us… feels like i had a real thanksgiving & that means so much to me!

but, directly after the guests left, it was time… time to put out all of our advent/christmas decorations! well, no tree. following swedish tradition (and because it’s more logical too), we will get our real swedish tree during the week before christmas. still, we’ve got candles galore (but, you all know by now that candles are a must in this household) and beautiful lights in our windows… another swedish tradition. i know that in the states, some people put a single candle (plug in, of course) in the window, but here it’s multiple candles or big stars. we’ve got some of both! let me just say here that being an international couple has it’s perks… it is so much fun to blend our traditions, create new ones, and celebrate holidays from both countries. how freaking lucky am i?!

ok. here are some pictures… check ‘em out!

the big christmas tree is up in the city hall square… waiting for lights.

 sweet potato pie comin’ up!

 green bean casserole. a favorite of everyone!

 the table is set.

 the food is ready!

and we’re ready to sit down!

 i noticed that the big tree is now lit! so, it’s time to get busy decorating!

 other buildings are in the christmas lighting spirit too. i love it!

 dinner is over, the guests have gone, and now it’s time for us to bring the christmas cheer home!

 typical window decorations, with some indian-inspired candles also. oh! and a christmas tree lit up outside (in the little apartment square/park below us).

 an amazing star in the window (and another shot of the tree outside our apartment). i looove this pic (by lina).

 and of course, christmas candles.

so, we’re all ready to begin our advent journey and officially begin the christmas season! it’s here! it’s finally here!

hope you are having a beautiful, beginning of the holiday season weekend! peace & love.