hugos kaffe: a funky café in uppsala with an asheville vibe (a throwback to my “fika girl” days)

back in my asheville days, i was known as “the fika girl“.

this is all because i decided to do a little blog project, which then turned into a little freelance gig with a local, independent newspaper. pretty much a dream come true. i began by deciding to visit 40 different cafés in asheville in 40 days. yes, there are that many cafés in asheville – even more, actually. i started a blog about it, and i wrote a post after each daily visit. my goal was three-fold: 1) to get to know asheville again + to find my new, favorite coffehouses. 2) to bring the swedish concept of fika (an experience of drinking coffee, usually with something sweet to eat. a time to enjoy an intentional cup of coffee with friends, family, or colleagues. an important social part of everyday swedish culture) to asheville. 3) to see how spending 40 days in coffeehouses sipping coffee might change me.

well, 40 days in 40 coffeehouses led to some amazing insights and opportunities. not only did i meet my three goals mentioned above, but i got that freelance job out of it – a chance to write a column called “the fika files” in the mountain xpress, i met tons of amazing people, and i became an official coffee snob. i got to interview café owners, coffee roasters, and write articles about coffee events. i was the go-to person about coffee for a while in asheville, even snagging the nickname “the fika girl”.


i also started a meetup group called “asheville fika“. as people began to read my fika blog, they began to question me if they could meet with me. so, i decided to start publicising an open meeting that would meet at a different café every week from 11:30-1:30, during the lunch hour. my group met every single wednesday, all over asheville, from november 2013 until i left in janauary 2015. actually, they are still meeting! i passed it on to another leader. during these meetings, we simply sat and talked and drank coffee. no agenda. no pressure. no commitments. pure, simple, open community. and we grew from about 4-5 people every week to having over 20 every week. now, mind you, there are actually over 200 people who are now part of this group. not everyone comes every single week, of course, so there are always some regulars and some new people at every single fika meeting.

this was an amazing experience, and i have made some very good friends thanks to the fika group. i cannot wait to meet up with them again the next time i am back in asheville!

in a nutshell, coffee was a huge, huge part of my life in asheville. and my passion for coffee blossomed as i wrote about it, researched it, and met people in the coffee business, or simply chatted with other coffee lovers. it became a spiritual practice for me – sitting down and enjoying coffee with someone. opening doors and possibilities and listening stories of people following their dreams, discovering who they are, and living their passion. everything coffee-related became a chance to connect with others by taking the time to intentionally slow down and, well, connect.


svartbãcksgatan: a street in uppsala | photo taken in february

now that i am back in sweden, the motherland of fika, i feel very differently about coffee. i realize that, in asheville, i made the transition from simply being a coffee lover to being someone who truly wishes to learn + share more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into coffee. i find myself wanting to teach people about coffee beans, roasting, making good cups of coffee. and, of course, i want to fill my home with all of the coffee gadgets i can. coffee has truly become a craft, like the craft beer industry in the states, and i think that it is amazing that the coffee culture is growing into a mindful, earth-friendly art form.

speaking of craft coffee, i have also acquired a passion for supporting local, independent coffeehouses and cafés – those seeking to not only provide customers with a good cup of coffee, but those who serve their customers with a purpose. there is nothing like discovering a small, local business, with an owner who absolutely loves what he or she does. and in the coffee business, it is usually not only a love of coffee for them, but also a love for connecting with people as well.

now that i live in uppsala, sweden, i want to seek out these places here. i want to find the people who burn for their unique, independent place in the business world. those people who not only want to turn a profit, but who want to make a difference in the community as well. because, in my opinion, the best businesses are those that have a mission or a vision to not only make their business successful, but to make their community successful as well. it’s all about working together. that’s the asheville, north carolina way. and i believe that there are plenty of places in uppsala that have the same philosophy.


and guess what? i found one of those places.

i have decided not to do a 40 days of fika: uppsala edition right now. but, i have been searching and trying out difference cafés + coffeehouses, looking for the ones with soul. and, boy have i found one.

hugos kaffe (hugo’s coffee) is a tiny, funky, vintage-inspired coffeeshop on what i have dubbed my favorite street/block in uppsala: svartbäcksgatan. the café called to me the very first time i walked by it. i knew it was not uptight, not fancy, not pretentious, not a like-everything-else kind of place (and swedish cafés can be all of those things). this place had its own soul. it’s own character. it was friendly + relaxed. charming + funky. interested in local, organic, and making a difference. and i got all of that just by passing it.

needless to say, i have been in multiple times now. and i every time i enter, i feel as if i am transported back to asheville. the vibe is incredible. and the owner, well, all of those descriptions above ring true for him as well. this place feels like home to me. and, not home in some nostalgic way (ok, a little bit of nostalgia), but home (asheville) in a unique, independent, local-loving, fair-trade dealing, community-supporting, artsy, eclectic kind of way. hugos kaffe possess all of the things that are good about the coffee community of asheville and other like-minded cities around the world.





this poster says that if you bring you own mug, you get your coffee for half price, and that it’s all about thinking green. 

for these kinds of coffeehouses, it’s all about creating a better community, making a difference in the world, and serving good coffee in their own unique way. and, after visiting cafés like that, i do not want to go into places that are stale, similar to each other, and do not think so much about what they are doing. i always seek out a place that creates a coffee culture.

so, coffee lovers, if you live in uppsala or visit uppsala, then by all means visit hugos kaffe! i promise you that you will feel welcomed + cared for, and you can sip on your coffee with the knowledge that your cup is making a difference in the lives of the coffee farmers whose beans fill your cup, the lives of the coffee roasters down in malmö + in your own community.

and, who knows, perhaps i will start a new meetup group here in uppsala?! perhaps we will meet at hugos once a week?! stay tuned. in the meantime, contact me and let’s fika!

onwards + upwards! xox

Hugos Kaffe | Svartbäcksgatan 21 | 753 32 Uppsala, Sweden |

map hugos kaffe* this post is not sponsored


playing tour guide in uppsala

happy friday, everyone! i’ve been super busy the past 2 days + i just thought i’d say hello and wish you all a great weekend. lina and i are entertaining our first visitors this week! woo hoo! our american friend, who lives in sweden in the town where we used to live, came to visit us for a few days – and she brought her teenage daughter. so, it’s been a foursome of girl fun since wenesday. yippee. of course, lina’s had to work through it all some. but, we’ve definitely squeezed in some shopping, sightseeing, fikas, and dinners out all together.

everything got started off on a great foot because our friend arrived at the train station with a bottle of champagne for us! needless to say, we cracked that baby open later on that night and started all of the chatting, laughing, and general american craziness that always happens when we are together. and pretty much that hasn’t stopped since the champagne.



i’m just about to head out for another fika date and some more sightseeing, before we meet up with lina this evening for one last night together! happy happy weekend, folks!

onwards + upwards!


stockholm is for lovers

for valentine’s day, my love and i took the 30 minute train ride from uppsala to stockholm. how amazing is it that we live so close to stockholm! it blows my mind, and i even had a chance to visit the capital city two times this past week.


well, my lovely wife is a huge fan of musicals, as i am – but i think she may be a little bit crazier than me. so, last fall, after we decided/found out we’d be moving back to sweden from asheville, she suggested that we go and see a musical that starred her most favorite singer ever, helene sjöholm. co-starring with her would be peter jöback… a singer/broadway star that i am just in love with. like, i really want to be his best friend. truly. for some reason, i think we’d get along just splendidly. he and his husband live outside of stockholm, and i can just imagine lina + i hanging out with them. hehe. but, seriously.

so, we bought tickets last november for their valentine’s day matinee, feeling like it was forever until we’d get to see the play. but, time passes quickly + life changes + yesterday we spent the day in stockholm, with the highlight being seeing the musical “livet är en schlager” – no idea how to translate that phrase into english. it’s the story of a housewife who lives in a regular old neighborhood, where no one famous comes from or nothing worthy of talking about ever happens. well, she sends in a song that her friend/client wrote to a swedish/european musical competition, and suddenly finds herself a star. however, it is just assumed that she has written the song and she doesn’t really say anything against that. peter jöback plays her brother, a transgender drag queen, simply doing the best he/she can to be true to him/herself. the stories all intertwine, making it a beautiful story of dreams, acceptance, and being true to who you are.

however, the play was just part of our day in stockholm. we decided to hop the train in the morning and were in stockholm by 11 am. our first stop was a cozy, newly remodeled coffeehouse that we love. it was very important to begin our day with a fika, to warm us up + give us energy. of course.

3-coffee-fika then, we headed out onto the streets of the city, shopping, wandering, soaking up the sunshine. it was a beautiful day. chilly, but i wasn’t cold at all.


we ducked into a popular restaurant at just the right time. it was packed, and we had to wait quite a while for our lunch. but, it was so worth it… and it was perfect timing as we were done just in time to take a long, refreshing walk to the theatre. i mean, it was a loooong walk, but it was beautiful – and i was stuffed after all of the pizza i ate and the beer i drank. hehe. 7-vapiano 8-pizza-vapiano


we finally reached the theatre, called cirkus, and found our seats. they were amazing. first row in the second level up – hard to explain. just know that this short girl had no problem seeing. the musical began, and we were both in joyous tears as the cast sang the first number.

now, for the not-so-great news. lina’s favorite singer, the star of the play, was sick. that’s right. her understudy filled in for her. it was such a disappointment to my love (and to me). my heart was breaking, though, for lina – who had waited so long to see her role model perform again. however, the chick who was the understudy had clearly literally studied helene sjöholm because her mannerisms and even the way that she sang seemed to mimic the certain traits that make helene sjöholm, helene sjöholm. so, that was super good.



the musical as a whole took our breath away. we laughed. we cried. we clapped. we sang. i loved it. and i saw peter jöback perform! geez he’s so talented.


afterwards, we walked forever back towards the train station a bit, stopping to have dinner at an american restaurant – which is not so famous in america anymore, but really popular here. we ate + drank + discussed the day’s events, but mostly the musical.

then, it was time to make our way to the train station and head home.


it was a beautiful, fun day. only the first half of this wonderful valentine’s day weekend. an perfect balance between a day of being active and touristy and doing something special together, and a day spent at home cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, and sipping on coffee. no matter where we are or what we do, i am filled with love + gratitude that i get to share this life with my love.


hope you all had a wonderful valentine’s day – no matter if you were with someone, or spending the day loving yourself. in the end… it’s all really about beginning with loving ourselves + then spreading that love with any + everyone we meet.


onwards + upwards!


when life is like the movies

there is a scene in one of my favorite movies, ‘you”ve got mail’, that, when i see it, i think to myself, “i want that to be part of my life”. i’ve looked all over the internet for a photo of that exact moment in the scene to share with you, but i can’t find it anywhere. so, bear with me as i share a photo of just after my favorite little moment + describe this short snippet…


photo from here

meg ryan plays a free-spirited, live from her heart, children’s bookshop owner named kathleen kelly whose business is closed down by the money-hungry, big business tycoon joe fox, played by tom hanks. seriously. a tom hanks/meg ryan movie. sooooo good. they are just magic together. anyway, in this scene near the end of the movie, kathleen has lost her store and is faced with reinventing her life. she is spending some of the newly acquired free time sitting at a window counter, sipping coffee, reading a book. all alone. just enjoying a quiet moment in busy new york city. soon, joe fox (spoiler!: they are now friends) appears outside the window, waving, and goes in to join her. that’s it. just a short, non-important scene in the movie. but, one that has stuck with me.

it’s such a typical nyc city scene, i think. and ever since i first saw that scene, crazy as it may sound, i found myself wanting to be her in that moment. alone. with my book + a cup of coffee. in the middle of the city. reading in the middle of whatever day it was. with a friend suddenly popping up to join me.


today, i found myself doing just that. and, it wasn’t until i was in the middle of the moment myself, that i realized that i was living out that silly little scene from one of my favorite movies.

now, is this something that is petty + tiny +and really unimportant in the grand scheme of things? why, of course it is. i mean, c’mon, it’s me dreaming of living out something that happens in hollywood. something that wasn’t even real to begin with. it’s, as i’ve said… silly.

or is it? there is a part of me that thinks it’s not unimportant. of course, there are more important things than me finding the time to recreate a scene from a favorite movie. but, at the same time, this moment that i lived out in reality reminded me that movies make us dream + wish, and that’s a good thing. as long as we don’t go too far or get obsessed or forget to be grateful for what we have in our lives already. but, this was such a simple snippet of a movie, and i haven’t spent my life thinking about it, pining away for the moment i could be like meg ryan in ‘you’ve got mail’. this moment just happened. and it made me chuckle to myself and then give thanks for the crazy life that i live.



here’s how it happened: today, when my love went off to fika with a friend, i decided to have my own little fika, but i had no idea where i would go. suddenly i saw a little cafe that was new – it wasn’t here when we lived here before, and i decided to go in. as i passed by its windows, i noticed a little window counter with some stools and decided i’d grab my coffee and plop myself down there to read and watch people. so, i ordered a blueberry muffin and a french coffee press, and made my way to this cozy space. it was not until i had cracked open the book, eaten my muffin, and drank half of my coffee, that i realized that i was leaning over, devouring the words on the page, resting my head on my hand, and completely enjoying this simple solitary moment in the middle of the day. however, i still had not even thought about the movie. just then, i looked up and saw a dear friend/family member appear outside the window, waving at me. he came in, walked over to me, we embraced, and then he joined me for a bit.



when he had gone, i turned back to my book and my mind drifted to the the movie… i’d just lived out that favorite scene of mine! which, in itself is no big deal, but in the scheme of dreaming dreams about life and creating the kind of life that you want, it is a damn big deal.

so, with a quirky little grin on my face, i gazed out the window at the people passing by, took another sip of coffee, and turned back to the words on the page on the counter. here i was, an expat living in sweden, once again. creating the life that i had dreamed of, and giving thanks for all of the simple little things that make my life what it is.

me-fika-reading me-fika

onwards + upwards! xo


the best thing about thanksgiving (besides the food – nothing can care to the food!) is gathering together. it’s such a simple concept. just get together and enjoy. but, i love the word, gather. it sounds so cozy. and it sounds so much more gratitude-filled that simply getting together. to gather takes time and intention and awareness. so, a holiday that has gathering at the heart of its purpose (and nothing else involving consumerism and competition and money) is most definitely a holiday for me.

this is exactly how i see thanksgiving. a chance to intentionally gather and simply be with people. it’s about stopping for one little day to really give thanks for the simple things that make life so sweet: food, shelter, family, friends, conversation, laughter. and, for me, i have so blessed as to have each one of these simple things in my life.

my fika group gathering the day before thanksgiving. what an amazing set of eclectic, unique people.

fika group asheville

gathering at home with my love + our friend… i cooked and baked thanksgiving food, and they roasted marshmallows. hehe.thanksgiving prep

roasting  marshmallows

thanksgiving day was spent at my parents’ house at lake junaluska. it was a snowy, cozy, lovely day. ♥tg11









i am so thankful for the life that i live. for the people + places + gatherings that i have the opportunity to experience. now, it’s time to turn our sights to the holiday season – and all that comes with it. i wish each of you a peaceful, meaningful, and beautiful holiday. and, i invite you to join me on mediation mondays each week from now until the new year… as we gather together to celebrate, to say goodbye to 2014, and to set our dreams + intentions for 2015.

light + love xx


fika comes full-circle

today is my love’s last day of school at her university. ever. i dropped her off this afternoon, and will pick her up tonight after 8:30 – this is her long day. in the meantime, i have my book club meeting and we are discussing the geography of bliss – woo hoo! i totally choose that book because i read it this summer, and i knew i’d go crazy trying to get another new book read. plus, i loved it and i think it is a perfect book to lead a discussion on. what’s not to like? travel + the search for bliss. sounds like something i could have written. hehe.

however, that doesn’t begin until 6:30, so i’ve got some time on my hands…


back when lina started studying right after we moved to asheville, i also found myself with some extra time on my hands. actually, all i had was time since i had no job. basically, the world was wide open. so, how did i decide to use my time? well, i went to cafés and coffeehouses. i decided that, in order to reacquaint myself with this city that i adore and in order to take care of missing the swedish tradition of fika, i’d drink coffee all over the city and begin writing. i would hunker down in a corner, trying to figure out my next step in life. and before i knew it, i had dreamed up a crazy project – my 40 days of fika project  – yep. i visited 40 cafés in 40 days, and i blogged about it. you can find that blog {here}.


so, for most of the fall semester last year, i was busy drinking coffee, meeting people and writing + blogging. it was during these months that i finally began to call myself a writer. i claimed it and it empowered me. this crazy project of mine even led to me freelance for a local, independent arts + cultural newspaper. and, after my 40 days of fika were over, i created a fika group – because people (who i didn’t even know!) were wanting to meet and fika. to this day, we have 171 members of that group that visits cafés + coffeehouses once a week, meeting to sip on coffee and enjoy conversation. soon, my time while lina was in class was taken up by meeting people, facilitating my fika group, writing, and doing other life-errands. but the 40 days of fika was over – and it was a very special time for me.




a year and a half has passed now, and everything is winding down with our move to sweden just around the corner. and, as i said in the beginning, today is lina’s last day of classes at her university. she worked so very hard to make this dream happen – and now, she’s gotten her absolute dream job , and it’s time to look to the future.

so, when i dropped her off today, i knew exactly what i was going to do until my book club meeting: i was going to visit a café and fika – like i used to do.


here i am now, in my happy place. doing what i do. in the midst of people, ready to interact, if the opportunity to arises. but, otherwise sipping on my coffee and typing away. as i reflect on the time that has passed while we have been in asheville, what I have come to understand is that i am a storyteller. and this is the life that i seek to live: coffee. people. places. words. images. so, here I sit. feeling like things have come full circle. that this part of my journey is coming to a close… and I am ready to move on, continuing to tell my stories and to live life to the fullest.

light + love xx

the beauty of the everyday

hi friends! It’s been a while since i’ve done a regular ole “what i’m doing now” post, so i thought i’d surprise you with a little wednesday greeting. it’s been a pretty cozy day for me, but the november weather has most definitely taken a turn for the worse. all of those lovely, bright, colorful days of october are just a distant dream now. and, even though it hasn’t been cloudy + chilly every day, the leaves are in a whole different phase – the turning muted, brownish kind of phase. beautiful in their own way, though, as lina is teaching me to say (since i complained about it yesterday. hehe).

yellow tree

so, here’s how my day has gone:

i took the car to get serviced this morning. fun fun. i had my computer with me, though, so i got a little writing and planning done. plus, there was an adorable little girl + her dad there who kept me entertained.

then, i went to fika with my fika group. yep, i am still meeting with my little coffee group on every wednesday in a different cafe in asheville. my year anniversary is coming up next week – how freaking crazy is that?! i believe that i now have over 150 fika lovers as part of the group. of course, on any given week, between 12 and 18 usually show up. which, in itself is a big group for a cafe. today, however, there were only 7 of us. and that was super cozy. i had a chance to really talk with some people.

it’s crazy. it’s such an eclectic group of people. one of my members lives in his car – keeping his footprint on the earth as minimal as possible. a few have swedish relatives + connections. most are new to asheville. there are older ladies, middle-aged men, a few lesbian couples, some young working people,  a few high maintenance people, some complainers + bitch-ers, some sunshine-y, thoughtful people, and a lot of creative, eclectic artists. all in all, a super amazing group of people from all walks of life.

and, even though the group has driven me crazy sometimes, like when people complain to me about the size or shape of the tables at the cafe (seriously!) or leave rude, hurtful bullying comments, it has been a true blessing and an incredible opportunity to meet people and help connect people to one another. i suppose that it has become my little fika congregation.

me selfie ego

but, the highlight of my day so far has been a friend request on Facebook. one of my former students at a high school i used to teach at in asheville 4 years ago found me on fb and asked me to “friend” him. so, i did. now, this kid (who is now an actual adult – gaaaah!) was very special to me back when i was teaching. he and i had a great working relationship, and i ended up being someone he learned to trust and count on. he was just a sweetheart, and all i wanted was for him (like my other kiddos) to succeed and feel good about who he was.

anyway, after friending him, he sent me a message, which humbled and touched me to my core. it is not often that teachers (or anyone) have the chance to hear how they have (hopefully) affected a student. but, this student of mine, wrote to tell me that i made a difference to him, that he could not have made it through high school without my help.

yep. now i can die happy. if there is one thing that i have always wanted in life, it is to know that i have made a difference to someone’s life. that who i am and what i have done matters – that’s what we all want. needless to say, hearing all the kind warms warmed my heart greatly, but knowing that this student is doing well, is happy, and is working, and has a girl that he loves, makes me even more happy. i am one freaking proud teacher. *wipes a tear from her eye*


now, i am all settled in at a cozy, funky cafe with my love. we are having a little working date together, sipping on chai and pumpkin spice lattes. soon, it’s time to go to a dinner party at our friends’ home around the corner from here. we’re gonna make some amazing plans for the summer – they are musicians/artists and we are planning a tour for them to europe! (gesine and nicole and midas, if you are reading this, we probably be contacting you regarding this soon!).

i just have one more thing to say, then, i’ll let you get on with your day… days like this, regular days, may seem ordinary and boring. but, when we look back and look at all of the little moments together, we see that our lives are actually extraordinary. at least that is how i feel today. blessed. inspired. grateful. and so very happy.

what have you done today? what do you have planned? i’m sending you lots of love + light + and wishing you a beautiful evening or morning. all of my love and peace i leave with you.


rocky coast sweden

crossing sweden: coast to coast

hello! well, it’s been a whole week – or more, actually! – and i’ve been totally off the grid. no telephone. no internet. no nothing. only the bright blue swedish sky, the hot yellow sun, the shimmering baltic sea, and the dark green forests hugging the swedish archipelago. it’s been like living in a little sliver of heaven for a week – a little taste of how life is supposed to be lived, within a community of friends and family, laughing together, working together to take care of one another, and enjoying the peace and joy of simply being with each other and with ourselves.

however, before i show you the photos from my little place of bliss, i have a few road trip photos to share. before we ended up at the archipelago last sunday, we drove from norrköping (home) on the east coast to gothenburg, on the west coast. we left norrköping on saturday and headed toward gothenburg to watch our niece and lina’s cousin complete their confirmation – a big rite of passage in sweden. so, saturday was a little road trip day – complete with a roadside fika. how swedes do rest stops. we arrived in gothenburg mid-afternoon, which gave us a chance to explore the city with paige, who’d never been there before. fun times.

road trip car jonköping fika

ego me self fika fika

we strolled the streets of this city that i love, popping in and out of shops, and enjoying the super warm temps that were moving into sweden. we met an old friend for dinner, and then headed out of the city to a camp-retreat center where we were going to spend the night – for free! you gotta love connections, huh?


now this little camp lies only about 30 minutes outside of gothenburg, but when you are there, you feel completely immersed in a simple, slow life. even if you are staying for only a night. of course, just a short walk (and an even shorter drive) from the camp lies part of the west coast’s archipelago –  a rocky coastline and harbor, which reminds me a bit of maine’s coastline in the states. we headed over there to enjoy the scenery and give paige a taste of what was to come in the upcoming week at the swedish archipelago back on the east coast.

for our one night outside of gothenburg, however, it was a mostly cloudy, but warm summer night of endless light. it was just the perfect thing to get me excited about our upcoming week deep in the swedish nature.

harbor sweden west coast rocky coast sweden photo sweden west coast

self timer west coast

self timer west coast girls three girls coast sweden red house west coast west coast archipelago sunset west coast sweden boat gothenburg house west coast sweden harbor west sweden sweden harbor sunset sweden harbor

on sunday, we woke up and drove back into gothenburg for the confirmation ceremony/worship service at the church where i first met lina – so many good memories there. i’ll admit that being there stirred many feelings inside of me, from missing my grandfather, to falling in love with lina, to connecting with my past as a minister and a long-time methodist. all of the feelings were good ones, i might add. nostalgic and happy.

after lunch, we headed back on the road – this time from the west coast back to the east coast  – it only takes about 4-5 hours to cross sweden from coast to coast. nothing like what it takes in north carolina. hehe. however, it took a bit longer for us because, after the usual fika break on the side of the road, we noticed a weird sound outside the left windows in the car. we pulled over, and what do you know. a flat tire. luckily swedes can do anything – the perk of being a country full of practical and always prepared people – so it didn’t take long until we were on our way again. yipee.

road trip sweden flat tire sweden

then, finally, after criss-crossing the country twice in two days, a little mini-camp break, a less than 24 hour visit to gothenburg, and a chance to see the west coast a bit, and a flat tire, we made it to our destination:

skeppsgården! – the camp in the archipelago by the baltic sea that we visit with lina’s family and friends every summer. oh, i can’t wait to share with you the beauty that is this place. there is no week like camp week here in sweden.  if you just can’t wait, though, to see what it looks like, then you can always sneak a peek at some blog posts from the past few years: just click here and here.

trees skeppsgården sweden

love and peace, dear readers. xx


hello, there, friday lovers. just wanted to pop in and greet you as we begin the weekend. who’s ready for it?! i’m sure my dear, sweet love is ready. she’s been incognito all week with her head in her physics and pre-calculus books. ewww. but, in about 2 hours, she’s done with those two finals and only has two more next week. by next tuesday at lunchtime, she’s my free, summer-lovin’ girl. i can’t wait for her to be able to take a break. i have never seen someone work so hard and be so dedicated to whatever she does. i am one proud wife! she is an amazing woman!

as for me, i am at complete peace right now (while lina is struggling away at her math final). i feel bad. i really do. but, we’ll be able to celebrate and enjoy life together later this evening when we meet up with some ladies for cocktail hour at a wine bar. fun fun!

odds cafe

anyway, back to right now. at this moment, i am sitting in a new cafe that has opened up in west asheville. odd’s cafe. i’ve been in contact with the owner for a few months now, after i heard that she was opening a new coffee bar. of course, my ears perked up. west asheville? coffee bar? peeeerfect.

i’ve been following the process, having contact every now and then with audrie, knowing that she was close to opening, and then i got an assignment to cover the story for the paper – which i was gonna pitch to my editor anyway. yes! so, last friday, i did some photos and interviews, and got a story ready for the web. by the way, i loved how the cafe looked. the owners, audrie and mel, were waiting for their health inspection and then they were ready to open. sometime on saturday i received a message from them that they had the inspection and would be open for business on monday! i felt as if i was almost as excited as the owner – well, almost. hehe.

take away coffee

of course, i dropped in on monday for their grand opening, bringing lina with me. we sat and enjoyed a little dirty chai and fell in love with everything instantly. the feel. the art. the chai. the space.

today, i am back. with time to kill while lina’s taking a final. so, i thought i’d drop by and grab another chai – i’m a creature of habit. and it was yummy. when i ordered the chai, i found myself saying that i wanted a small plate too. hummus. naan. and carrots.

hummus lunch

i sat down, pulled my stuff out of my bag, began munching on my food, and sipping my chai. and i just felt at peace. and grateful. and excited. i also decided that featuring this cafe on my fika (coffee) blog is the absolutely perfect way to re-launch that blog and begin my next adventures in the coffee world – i got plans. oh, i got big plans!

i’m thinking that this is the perfect start to the weekend! slow, quiet, and at peace. rowdiness and craziness to come later. hehe.

wishing you a beautiful weekend filled with all of your favorite things! xoxo

goodbye, weekly sensory overload.

well, folks. i think it’s time to retire the ole sensory overload title. i’m not retiring the category, though. so, you can always click on the tab at the top of the page that says “sensory overload” and be taken to all posts where i share how life makes my senses go crazy.

you see, i feel that i have gotten into some kind of a rut with my blog by having specific things to post on specific days. that’s not what this blog is all about – and to try to fit a circle into a square hole just doesn’t work. this blog is a spontaneous, whatever inspires me in the moment, daily life blog. like a journal. so, i am not setting any specific days for anything – expect for wednesdays, but wednesdays of wisdom will continue throughout my dalai lama series. at the end of that series in june, i will reevaluate that as well.

so, to sum up, i’m going back to posting whenever and wherever i feel like it! and that feels amazing. i know that people say that bloggers should have a blogging editorial calendar with stuff all planned out for about 3 months. that sounds great. i even kinda tried it. but it just does not cut it for this blog. that is for my fika blog – something that is a bit more professional and not a daily life kinda place.

anyway, i have a lot of stuff to share with you this week from the past week, so this will look like all of my previous sensory overload posts. but, after this, it’ll be all about just posting from day to day, whatever inspires me. it’ll be more like sensory overload as it happens – which, if i think about it, is even more awesome. so, posts will be more frequent, more focused, and more exciting!

here we go!

clouds pink tree green tree blue sky purple flowers feet road and spring trees green and blue gunni and spooky fika group zola cozy balcony bella and me ego sunshine legs beer morning coffee car snack balcony reading coffee sermon balcony video sermon parkway lina video us video parkway

as you can see, it was a week filled with some stunning nature, beautiful moments with people and pets, cozy and quiet moments of peace, and an opportunity for lina and i to have some contact with the church i worked at in sweden – they asked me to say a few words on their theme for sunday. so, lina prepared the camera and i drove us up on the blue ridge parkway, and we video-taped me talking (in swedish) to the congregation. they played it yesterday morning in church. it was so much fun to send it to them – though the sending part was an insane, long process! hehe.

over here in our little home, this week is gonna be a bit crazy. my love has a test today, then two days for study, then 4 finals between thursday & next tuesday. so, she’ll be out of commission for a week and a half. i’ve got some writing, job applying, my book club, and some planning to do for our NYC trip in a few weeks!

happy monday, dear readers! xx