sensory overload. part 13.

hi friends! it’s monday, again. time for a new week and time for my weekly sensory overload post! i find it pretty fun to go through my photos from the past week, and notice the things that were inspiring, amazing, and just simply really helps me to focus on seeing the beauty and amazingness that is contained in regular, everyday life. and that, i believe, is an important thing to practice.

we spend so much time wishing for this or that – always thinking that the grass is greener of the other side. these monday posts help me to focus and see that, no, life is pretty damn good exactly where i am. and it’s all these little moments that make me grateful for life, instead of wishing it away.

this past week i del like a drank a lot of coffee – and i was quite social. i worked on a coffee article about beans in the beginning of the week, and that gave me an amazing opportunity to have conversation with some seriously passionate people. plus, i am now wanderlusting about doing a coffee trip to a coffee farm overseas. how amazing would that be? i also had my regular fika meet up in a super funky, eclectic cafe in west asheville. battle cat is a definite favorite place to hang out. (i went twice last week!). and, during the weekend, i had two coffee meetings with panels i was chairing for two articles i am writing for and asheville eats & drinks guide that the local newspaper is publishing. so, yes. lots of people. lots of coffee. and that equals lots of fun!

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the winter weather just won’t seem to let up this year. it’s a crazy roller coaster ride, but i think we are in for some awesomeness this week as it will be in the 70s (20s celsius!). i’m keeping my fingers crossed – it is going to be april tomorrow, you know! time for a little spring!IMG_0579 IMG_0584 IMG_0719

i had my second book club meeting last tuesday, and it was so very great. there were about 12 women, lots of conversation and debate, glasses of wine, and a snowy evening all making it a perfect, cozy gathering. i just love meeting new people, hearing different takes on a book, and finding inspiration. plus, i get to channel my inner spiritual direction/teacher. bonus.IMG_0597 IMG_0602

here are a few more shots from the drive up north of asheville for that teaching interview i had. i’ll hear back something this week – not to determine if i got the job or not, but to coordinate my thoughts with the director = see where we both stand and what we are both thinking. i’l tell you what i’m thinking: i’m thinking that i want this job!

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my parents came to town, so we did quite a bit of eating out (nothing new, i know. hehe). yummy places, fun times, and good to be together again. they split their time between my brother’s place and ours. it was short and quick, but meaningful to me.IMG_0558 IMG_0639 IMG_0666

enjoyed a few things that i love to the max this week: bubbles to drink, snuggles with our favorite little american, girl time with her mom, and cozy nights at home.IMG_0670

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how was your week? any amazing moments? i hope that not only have you had a good weekend, but that this upcoming week is filled with joy and happiness and peace. sending you lots of love. xx

p.s. tomorrow is my belovelive anniversary! stay tuned for a celebration & april’s photo challenge! 


sensory overload: part 9

you know how some weeks are just regular weeks? well, that’s how this past week was. just regular life – not that that’s bad. but, it’s those weeks that seem regular, boring, mundane, and/or ordinary that are the ones that teach me to find the extraordinary within the ordinary. and believe me, if you look, you will find it.

so, even though there were not ground-breaking moments, i quietly moved through the week just doing what i do. and looking back, i can see just how amazing some of those moments actually were. however, if i am really aware, then i am present in the moments as they happen. that, of course, is my goal.

the past week was full of little things that, as i looked through my photos, reminded me that i am so blessed -just to live the life that i do. that there is inspiration all around me.

in fact, i dare say that inspiration was actually the theme during the week:

an evening beer and cozy lights.


we rearranged our bedroom. a new perspective, and a funky loft feel. love it!bedroom

finished an amazing book: The Invention of Wingsthe invention of wings

Had my first book club meeting! so. much. club

my new favorite breakfast place: Biscuit Head & a great Fika meet up with incredible conversationsbreakfast

a lot of work/writing at home. ok. not as much as it should have

sunrises, sunsets, and silent momentssunrise


on saturday, I attended an amazing LGBT conference  – inspiration. networking. support. information. activism.
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sunday morning laziness with my little familysunday morning

and finally, the oscars on tv! it was a great show with (again, I use the word) inspiring actors, speeches, & moments


i need to seriously be really productive this week. motivated. effective. and creating that paradise that i say is my own inspiration for 2014. perhaps all of that inspiration that i soaked up last week will carry me through this week.

so, i’m gonna try to be all about business this week – and also taking care of my family (who are sick and having a rough time) – because next weekend some friends from germany come to visit! so, time to get moving. here’s to wishing you a great week, friends!

peace & love. xx

sensory overload. part 8.

hi everyone! happy monday! we’ve gone from from snow to spring since last week’s sensory overload. that’s right, this past week gave those of us who call asheville home a chance to get outside and have our first attack of spring fever. with the gorgeous weather,  though, came the challenge to soak it up and enjoy it as much as possible… because we ashevillians know that winter is not done with us yet. that’s just how the weather goes here in north carolina. there are at least two more months where possible winter storms can blow in at any given time. so, when it feels like spring, it’s time to act like spring. and i did just that!

doors flung open. driving with the windows down. fresh salads to eat. coffee to drink. adventures to be had. new places to explore. smoothies to sip. it was a great week.

monday morning coffee love


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smoothies all week long. yes.


downtown asheville after the rain.


spring birdie singing in the tree. love it.IMG_9305

fika meet up at biltmore coffee co. with 12 fabulous people. and the owner gave me a “free lunch for 2” coupon for bringing my group in. score!IMG_9316

about to relaunch my fika blog. woo hoo!IMG_9324

more weekday, spontaneous wanderings & discoveries…IMG_9336 IMG_9346

yes. this is a laundromat and a bar. together. asheville awesomeness.IMG_9365

look at this adorable cat. she was in there when i opened the drawer. what?!IMG_9376

adventure saturday underway! cherokee & bryson city were on the list. (check back on thursday, when i introduce you to this amazing indian reservation only 45 minutes from us. a blast from the retro past).IMG_9388 IMG_9387 IMG_9389 IMG_9401 IMG_9406 IMG_9411 IMG_9421 IMG_9432 IMG_9435 IMG_9445

sunday morning moments in the sun. perfection.IMG_9471

brought home a dreamcatcher to hang on the wall. swoon. looking all springy at home!

spent the whole entire day reading. amazing!
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monday morning beauty.IMG_9513

wishing you a beautiful, fantastic, amazing, & productive week!

love & peace. xx

sensory overload: part 7

this past week was all about one thing: S N O W ! i’m pretty sure that there was snow falling from the sky at some point for six days straight. crazy! at the beginning of the week paige was still here with us, and we were hoping she’d get snowed in. but, she made it to the airport on tuesday and we had to say goodbye for a few months. very sad… but, very exciting that she’s moving here in july! eeeek!

on monday, i did a little freelance work, interviewing an amazing hungarian lady who’s opened a fabulous european inspired cafe in downtown asheville. one of the amazing perks of reporting on coffeehouses and cafes is free stuff. not only the free coffee, but the free goodies as well. on monday i got 3 different incredible cookies.then, lina had three snow days and we were at home from tuesday afternoon until friday night – which, of course, i think is amazingly fun and cozy. luckily, i had done the crazy shopping thing that we southerners do whenever there is snow in the forecast. so, we were hooked up with all kinds of yummy comfort food. we ate that yummy food and enjoyed every bit of it. we also took a few walks in the snow. took photos. netflixed some. and i did a lot of blogging, writing, and planning. i loved just nesting and being together.

but, i am definitely over winter now. that was the perfect winter weather week and opportunity to hunker down at home. but, now, i’m absolutely ready for spring. i’m ready to throw open the balcony door and be out & about with the sun shining. however, i know that spring will not be coming for at least another month and a half. the good thing about north carolina, though, is that the weather can change quite quickly. for instance, this week, it’s going to be 60sF/20sC! it’ll be a fantastic little break from the cold. but, the threat of cold and snow is always there until the end of april. so, real spring doesn’t start until then – much like in sweden. i’m gonna soak up the warm weather this week anyway and work on enjoying the weather moments as they come.

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hearing: laughter coming from some of the most important people in my life.

tasting: cookies from old europe patisserie.

seeing: the snow falling day after day. so beautiful.

touching: the warm sun touching my skin on sunday afternoon. ahhhh-mazing.

feeling: overwhelmingly grateful for the beauty of nature, the opportunity to nest and be cozy at home, amazed at the incredible friendship/family-ship between paige, lina, nick, & me.

smelling: lots of coffee brewing throughout the week to keep me warm.

sending out peace & love to you all, dear readers. xx

the top 10 lessons i learned in 2013.

1. set a goal and make it happen.


for the past 2 years, i have chosen a word to focus on for the entire year (see the upper right corner of this page). that word or phrase has served as my inspiration. i tend to let the word come to me, but of course i am impatient and i want to know what it is on january 1st. however, sometimes the word has to seep into my consciousness. in 2013, the word (free-spirited) did not appear until sometime during the first week of the year. nevertheless, it did appear and i based everything i did throughout the year on seeking to be faithful to my word – my vision for 2013. this year has been all about nurturing that free-spirited nature within me through risk, adventure, and living life to the fullest. and wow, what a ride it has been!

2. music feeds the soul.


oh, how i love music. all kinds of music. and i make playlists like crazy – based on certain moods or times of the year, all because they speak to my soul. but, there is one song, one song in particular, which touched me in ways that i haven’t felt in a few years.

in february, on the 7th to be exact, i was sitting at my desk in our downtown apartment in norrköping, sweden… writing. and listening to music. it was the avett brothers newest album (at that time) – they are my pick for artist of the year in my world. anyway, i heard some of the lyrics and suddenly it was one of those moments… a moment when the universe connects things and i receive a message and my soul feels like it just might burst.

I went on the search for something real.
Traded what I know for how I feel.
But the ceiling and the walls collapsed
Upon the darkness I was trapped
And as the last of breath was drawn from me
The light broke in and brought me to my feet.

There’s no fortune at the end of the road that has no end.
There’s no returning to the spoils
Once you’ve spoiled the thought of them.
There’s no falling back asleep
Once you’ve wakened from the dream.
Now I’m rested and I’m ready
I’m rested and I’m ready
Yeah I’m rested and I’m ready

as listened to this song, named february seven, on february 7th, and as the light broke in, i knew. i knew that writing was what i needed to focus on. that it was time, i was completely ready to focus on this passion of mine. that once i have wakened from this dream, once it had become part of me, it was time to chase it… and chase it i did.

3. explore. set sail. discover. drive. walk. fly. just go!


it’s no secret that traveling is my favorite thing to do – and when i travel, i am with my love, i write, and i take photos = so traveling is pretty much perfection for me. i considered not including it on this top 10 list because it is so obvious. but, then, i decided that it is such a part of me, that i need to remind myself over & over again to nurture this part of me. this is where my inspiration comes from. this is how i get my education. this is how i learn and grow and laugh and feel alive. and whether i am traveling on my own town, an hour away, or an ocean away, this no matter what year it is, this will always be a top ten in my world.

4. drink champagne & celebrate everything.


live life! celebrate! find something every single day to celebrate  (you don’t have to drink champagne every day). some days it’s little things and some days it’s really big things. this past year i drank champagne on a regular friday when i met a friend at a bookstore (that sells bubbly all day!). just because. lina & i drank champagne on our flight from sweden to the states to celebrate our huge move. i drank champagne and danced on random weekend nights when we had music jams at our friend’s home in sweden. i drank champagne for my 39th birthday brunch.

of course, the point is not to drink champagne (though it’s yummy)… the point is to nurture at attitude of celebration, of gratefulness, and of joy. because, even though there is much that is difficult and painful, there is something beautiful and worth celebrating every single day. i promise. how about just celebrating that you are alive?! woo hoo!

5. live with less.


in june, before leaving our apartment in sweden. my love and i had a moving sale. we turned our entire apartment into a flea market for a weekend and invited friends and family to come. what happened was that so many people came and bought so much of our stuff (for super duper cheap), that now our stuff is spread out over sweden, which feels so amazing to us. the rest of the stuff we gave to charity.

this entire process reminded me first, what is really important to me. and second, how much i do not need in order to be happy. material things do not matter – oh, they are fun. but, simplicity is much more fulfilling. and not having so much extra stuff, but only stuff that i will use is how i want to live for the rest of my life.

i’ve gotten rid of stuff before a big move 3 times now. all that i own is in our apartment – and we are renting that. it feels much more freeing and light to not hoard stuff, and to go through my things regularly, giving things away as i see that i am not using something. i think that trying to live simply is psychologically and spiritually good for the soul.

6. connect with nature.


this is another absolute must in my life: i need the trees. i need the sky. i need the wide open sea. i need, and appreciate, all types of landscapes. and, i’m lucky enough that i have had the joy of visiting and seeing so many different types of land and sea on earth. but, more than just soaking in the beauty of nature, when i wander in nature or just sit and stare, i can breathe. i am grounded (no pun intended. hehe.). i feel organically connected to all living things in the cosmos. i remember how small and great we are at the same time. i am inspired. and i need to feel all of these things to help me keep life in perspective.

7. fika is a spiritual  experience.


ok. i’ll admit it. i have loved coffee for as long as i can remember – even before i drank it, when i watched my grandparent’s sip a cup after meals. but, it became even more important to me this year. in sweden, i loved having fika and being a part of the fika culture so much that i brought it with me to asheville – and began to share it and spread it.

and while it’s still about good coffee, it’s become so much more than that now. it’s about spirituality. about being alone, or in the company with others, and truly connecting on a deep level. it’s about slowing down and focusing on relationships – my own with the divine, or seeing the divine between me and another. fika was how i lived out my faith in 2013. and i am certain that it will continue to be that in the new year.

8. spur of the moment decisions are best.

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and boy, did i have some doozies this year. one of the most influential ones was my decision to rent out a little office space in a historical building in downtown asheville. my reasoning? it would be a place where i could focus on writing, plus it would be a great opportunity to meet new people, seeing as i was downtown in the middle of everything. it was a huge risk because, though it was cheap, i still had not secured a job and was, in a sense, saying that my job was going to be a writer = make no money.

i rented that little space for only a month before i told the landlord that i wasn’t going to keep it. but, it wasn’t really a sad decision to let it go. and i had not failed at anything. in fact, it was quite the opposite. that little space, just having it for a month and a half, was the turning point for me accepting and understanding that i am a writer. and i went after my dreams full speed ahead after that. and you know what happened? i became a freelance writer for a local newspaper! amazing!

i took a risk. i followed my soul. and the universe co-conspired with me. but it did it all from my gut, my intuition. there were no pros and cons lists. no long sleepless nights. i just did it, and trusted that it would be exactly as it should… come what may.

9. surround yourself with positive people.





i cannot stress this enough. everyone has energy that they put out into the world. positive and negative. life is too short and there is too much to deal with and celebrate at the same time, so i choose to surround myself with those people who are positive, those who inspire me, make me think, challenge, me, and touch my soul. i want people around me who will celebrate with me when i’m excited and inspire me when i am feeling down.

i honor and respect the humanity in people that are a bit more negative, but i will not let their negativity affect my life, my goals, and the fact that we need as much love, hope, and inspiration in this world as possible. the end.

10. seeds are growing underneath the snow.


be patient. trust the universe. you and i may not see what is happening, what is being prepared for us. we may not believe it at times. we may lose hope when times get tough or when we don’t get the answers we want, or any answers at all… but trust me. i have experienced time and time again, that all is working for good. we may not understand the process. we may even hate the process, but we are growing and learning and being transformed. and one day, when we look back, we will understand.

as i look back over 2013, it all makes sense to me now… the fear and pain of my love being sick, the stress over moving, the impulse to leave my dream behind just to ensure financial security, the need to work and do something that i did not feel called to do anymore, the changes and transitions and goodbyes. the hidden meanings. the hidden messages. the misunderstood moments and times of waiting.

of course, i still don’t understand it all, because life continues into 2014 and my journey continues. but, as time passes, i understand more and more. but, more importantly, i trust more and more. and i slow down. i try to read the signs and be aware of the present moment, leaving the past behind as a beautiful memory and something from which to learn, and leaving the future in it’s mysterious, unknown place.

for now, i give thanks for today. i trust that i am exactly where i am supposed to be. and i relax and enjoy whatever comes my way, knowing that today i am more true to my authentic self than i was in the beginning of 2013. i have changed. i have grown. and i have learned and experienced so much. for all of you out there, for my family and friends, for the mere fact that i live and breathe, i am grateful.


here’s to an amazing 2013! i believe that i did fulfill my vision to begin to authentically live up to the spirit that is within me. i began to claim my life, my story, and i began to tell it. but, oh, this is only the beginning… now, what amazing lessons and adventures lay head for us in the coming year?!

peace and love. xx

fika dreams do come true.


you know, 2013 was a year of making dreams come true. but, more of that later when i do a few posts on looking back through the year. one of the dreams, though, is a recurring dream… it happens over and over again. and, because all of y’all have been so supportive and interested in following my dream of writing, i thought i’d share with you the next little opportunity in that dream.

so far, i have had the opportunity to write 3 fika articles and 1 food article for the mountain xpress (a grassroots independent newspaper in asheville focusing on art, culture, & local news). and i get paid for it!  you know, i even get to keep writing for them into the new year…. my articles are an ongoing series in the paper. i guess you could say i have a beat, or a column. woo hoo!

my latest article, which was published today, was another opportunity to meet an inspiring person and share my experience at one of my new favorite cafes, filo (fee-lo). to get to enjoy fika and write about my ponderings, reflections, and experiences is humbling, and so much fun. all i want to do is inspire and encourage people to slow down in their face-paced, american lives so that they will be able to focus for a little bit on the things that are truly important in life… relationships, spirituality, connections, and peace. i want the idea of fika to spread, because i think it is such an important part of life.

there is something else that i am not sure that i have shared with y’all very much. you know, the fika blog and my articles in the paper have led people to begin to ask if it  would be possible to set up a fika group  – a time for people to get together, enjoy coffee, conversation, and meet new friends.

so, i went to the online website called “meet up” and created a fika group called “asheville fika”. and do you know what has happened? there are 43 people who have become members of this group!! 43 people in asheville who want to meet each other and sip coffee together. sooooo cool. and you know what, we’ve done just that! every wednesday for the past 5 weeks i have met with anywhere from 4 to 13 people, some new each week and some who have now become regulars. it’s freaking amazing! interestingly, almost every single person who has come to the fikas has been someone who is new to asheville, having just moved in the past few months, which makes for even more crazy awesome stories to listen to.

so, my writing keeps rolling on, and now fika is actually spreading and becoming part of peoples’ lives in asheville. what more could i ask for involving fika?!

anyway, i’d love for you to check out my latest article and let me know what you think. and then, if you like, give it a try (for all you non-swedes out there). have an intentional fika with yourself or someone else. and, if you are a swede, then know that this little american girl is fika-ing her heart out here in the states, doing everything she can to spread the love of this powerful, important part of swedish society.

now, grab that cup of coffee and click on the photo below to read my article. it’s time to fika!


to read my article in the newspaper click here or on the photo above.

peace & love. xx

sensory overload: holiday festivities!

well, this past week i have engaged in some seriously serious decking the halls and such. and before i know it, we are even closer to christmas and the new year. it’s been amazing having my love at home with me and enjoying some time together – without stress and crazy schedules. in fact, last week we found a way to eat dinner out/celebrate every single evening. yes, it was a fun, fun week filed with new traditions and old.

a quiet, cold wintery morning. it’s always great to spend a few moments outside, enjoying a bit of solitude.


christmas shopping!!IMG_6603 IMG_6683


a new fika meet up record! 13 people meeting together!IMG_6650

after an amazing dinner at nine mile in montford park, my brother, my love & i went to a cozy, waaaaay off-broadway performance of charles dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. IMG_6669

an afternoon of writing and sipping chai at home.

ready for our first annual eat, drink, & be merry party!IMG_6675 DSC_0998 DSC_1001 DSC_1007 DSC_1004 DSC_1008

still loving all the cozy decorations in our home.IMG_6686

our guest bed is all ready for my parents to come for a few days.IMG_6691

a sunday visit to the famous grove park inn to look at the gingerbread house winners & just soak up the festive decorations in the amazing place.IMG_6713 IMG_6728 IMG_6745 IMG_6738

happy third of advent! only one more candle to go!IMG_6698

seeing: the stage performance of one of my favorite christmas stories: a christmas carol. thirteen new friends at our fika meet up!

hearing: laughter and amazing conversation at our eat, drink, & be merry party. it was so much fun to connect with new friends and reconnect with old ones – and playing hilarious, crazy games together was wonderful.

tasting: delicious punch at a christmas party saturday night – we were invited to a part at my former co-worker’s home, and they had tons of yummies, laughter, and some amazing “adult” punch to share with their guests. i was so honored that she thought to invite me & lina.

touching: the cold, winter air on my skin…. freezing and yet, crisp and invigorating.

smelling: appetizers & goodies baking in our home as we prepared for our holiday party.

feeling: you know, there are just some people in your life that are good for your soul. on friday night, in my home, i had two of those friends here with me. to have a chance to talk with them, to catch up with them, even for just a little bit, was such a great gift. we have been friends for almost 22 years, something that does not happen very often in my transient life. having a few hours to be in their amazing presence and do some soul-talking with them was exactly what i needed at that time. i am ever so grateful for them taking the time to come to our party.

how are your holiday activities going? can you believe it’s only 9 days until santa comes?! i hope that you are finding some peace and quiet during this season as well.

sending love & peace. xx.

sensory overload. part 3.

hi! it’s tuesday, so i’m a day late. but, oh well. i’ve been pretty busy on account of it’s not your ordinary week here in the states… it’s thanksgiving week!! and that means that the holiday season is officially starting and getting into full swing. christmas music will be playing in my home, in my car, and everywhere i go as of thursday evening after i’ve downed all my turkey and stuffing.

but, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. this post isn’t about what’s coming, it’s about what has been. what i’ve experienced in the past week that blew my mind and touched my heart. and i’ll have to say one thing about the week: it was definitely a social one! lots of people and lots of fun.

see: amazing, beautiful, gorgeous nature. my eyes feel like they just might explode out of my head. for real. i am forever pulling over to stop& take photos, certainly annoying all of the people behind me. oops.

taste: a bellini. my new favorite over the mimosa. i went to the battery park book exchange & champagne bar with a blogger friend and, instead of coffee, i had a bellini – champagne and peace. delicious! and a fabulous way to start the weekend.

touch: i thumbed through lots of books at a local bookstore, and of course ended up making some interesting purchases. hee hee. i just cannot resist books. even thought the stack beside my bed keeps getting higher and higher.

feel: right now, i am most definitely beginning to feel the holiday spirit, especially after going to a tree-lighting ceremony in the area. i’m also feeling so thankful for my family – my amazing, inspiring brother and wife. the two of them are so important to me, making my days, and this whole entire autumn, incredible, meaningful, and fun.

i cannot forget to mention the how i have felt since writing my posts on the United Methodist Church and LGBTQ issues. getting all of that out, processing my feelings and thoughts, and hearing your replies has, again, touched me very, very deeply. 

hear: the voices and laughter of making new friends at the second fika meet up that i hosted. it’s freaking amazing to meet other people and make connections. last wednesday, there were seven of us that gathered together for coffee. so much fun! on saturday, i also heard all of the noise and voices and music in a new pub that we visited with a new friend. it was an afternoon of feeling really alive and just enjoying the present moment.

smell: pumpkin cheesecake! i made some yesterday and my whole apartment smelled like the holidays. can’t wait to eat some on thursday.

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another amazing week has passed, and a new one stretches out in front of me. with all of the thanksgiving and christmas goodness that begins this week, i bet that i’ll have tons of photos next week. wishing you a lovely week, wherever you are, my friends.

peace & love. 

sensory overload. part 2.

friends, we are only about one week out from thanksgiving!! woo hoo! i know that there are quiet a few of you who are not american, so you’re not really counting the days, but, i sure am! i cannot wait! a little mini-vacay back at my parents’  place at the beach sounds just perfect. and then, it’s full swing into christmas! exciting and cozy times are ahead.

this past week, it felt as if autumn sort of fell away into very late autumn/early winter. i was all cozy in boots and sweaters all week long. and loving it to pieces. there were lots of fabulous little moments, every day kinds of things, i suppose. but, i am working so hard on being present, so i am more aware of the little things lately. i seem to be appreciating the tiniest things these days.

here are a few of the things that made my senses go into overdrive and left me feeling inspired and overwhelmed with gratitude. that’s right. i kept my promise this week and here’s my sensory overload, part 2! go me.


  • i had another article in the paper last week!! it was my second fika article and you can read it here, if you want. i cannot believe that i have the opportunity to do this!!
  • also, i noticed that most of the leaves were suddenly gone from the trees. it’s like it happened overnight. wow. but, you know what? the bare branches are just as beautiful.


  • i enjoyed a steaming hot bowl of corn chowder at home on a very windy and cold day. the perfect warm-me-up and autumn moment.
  • and, oh the joys of a saturday morning brunch complete with eggs, biscuits and gravy, bacon, potatoes, coffee, and… mimosas. perfection.


  • the leaves on the sidewalk as the crunched beneath my feet.
  • the feel of the leather chair i sat in for a few hours at the book exchange/champagne bar.
  • my new annual pass card to the biltmore estate in my hands – oh the fun!


  • the rain pattering down on my windshield as a drove around the city doing errands. while i always prefer to be home under a blanket when it’s raining, it is also quite cozy to drive and hear the rain beating down on the car. at least that’s how i felt that day.
  • i also heard the voices and laughter of strangers becoming acquaintances over coffee during my first fika gathering – that completely warmed my heart and made me giddy with glee.


  • the first night of crawling in bed and pulling the covers up around my head, when the sheets have just been cleaned. need i say more?


  • the chilly, crisp, early winter air as the wind whipped through the trees.
  • the joy of going to a movie & the pain of watching a true story on the big screen about a man who was a slave for 12 years.
  • sharing these moments with my wife and my brother = pure happiness.
  • other feelings: excitement, pride, peace, sadness, silliness, hope, mystery,  love.

IMG_5811 IMG_5819 IMG_5847 IMG_5856 IMG_5875 IMG_5884 IMG_5885

IMG_5927 IMG_5936 IMG_5940 IMG_5941 IMG_5893what has make your senses come alive in the past few days? what has overloaded and overwhelmed you? i’ll bet you can think of at least a few things for which you are grateful, right?

just letting you know, once again, that the fact that you click on my blog and read the things i write and post, overwhelms me too. so. very. much. i am so thankful for the fact that you care to check in and share your thoughts, or just read my words. it makes all the difference.

happy week before thanksgiving, loves!


wednesday wisdom: it’s all about community.

today i hosted a fika at a cafe for local coffee lovers who have stumbled onto my 40 days fika blog, followed my fika project, and/or been on my asheville coffee page on facebook. last week, when i met with a blogger friend for fika, we decided that we would meet every wednesday and open it up to any coffee lover who wants to join. my blogger friend has been featuring my fika posts on the asheville blog throughout the autumn. she has been an amazing catalyst for making connections with individuals through facebook and the blog she designs/hosts. so, with my 40 days fika project complete, it only seemed natural to begin to meet for fika with people, instead of on my own. and since i had gotten a local following, i thought i’d invite them to fika with me (us) – some of them had even asked my blogger friend if we could do this.

so, we did. and today was the official fika meet-up start!

just a bunch of strangers, meeting at a cafe, to drink coffee, talk about life, and share an hour or two together. let me tell you this, friends… it was awesome. we laughed. we joked. and we even talked about some serious life stuff as we swapped stories and shared our souls to with other.

what we did was create community. and that is what fika is all about.


in honor of sweden, the birthplace of fika, we set the swedish flag on our table. xx

“Everybody is a story. When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories. We don’t do that so much anymore. Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along. The stuff that helps us to live a life worth remembering.” 
― Rachel Naomi Remen

“We must delight in each other, make others conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body.” 
― John Winthrop

peace and love.