champagne

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.

americans-uppsala

americans

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!

snowy-window-view

five days. two continents. and a ton of adventures.

hello blog! hello friends!

we did it! we made the move to sweden! i am embarking on my third (!!) expat journey, my second in sweden. it feels surreal + unbelievable that we are here. i will not bore you with all of the details, but just know that, as every single trip/journey that my love + i take together, this was was no different: filled with adventures, stress, tears, laughs, and craziness. whenever we travel, near or far, you can count on us having lots of stories to tell. so, i thought i’d share a few with you from our journey from asheville to sweden!

last saturday, lina and i walked downtown and soaked up the gorgeous asheville weather + sights. of course, we met a few friends, had some beer, and i decided to do something a little different. i went brown! yep. my hair is now a dark golden brown, and i am totally in love with it. 40 years old. a new year. new adventures. a new move. all of that was the perfect recipe for giving myself a little hair-do-over. let’s see how this brunette thing goes for me… so far, though, so good. it feels totally perfect for my whole empowered theme for 2015.

asheville-north-carolina-downtown me-ego-brown-hair

sunday morning, the journey began. my parents drove to my brother’s house to pick us up. they have a jeep wrangler, so it’s not that much space for 5 suitcases, a big cat crate, two little overnight bags, and 4 humans. lina and nick squeezed it all in, and then it was time to head north as far as we could make it.

i had to say goodbye to my brother (oh lord. i’m tearing up just typing this.), and it just about ripped my heart into pieces. i cannot even begin to describe the joy and love that i have for the past year and a half that we have been able to spend together in asheville, seeing each other practically every day. oh, how i am going to miss him. how i miss him already. but, this one photo i snapped just before i squeezed into the jeep will be something that i hold so close to me everywhere i go. except for my amazing wife, my brother is it for me – my best friend, my confidant, and a huge inspiration. sunrise-asheville-last-day me-and-nick-brother car-riding-newark-

we made it all the way to allentown, pennsylvania – only an hour and  half from newark where we were catching our flight to sweden on monday. we checked into a hotel, let zola out of her crate after being so good during our 9ish hour ride, and settled into our room to eat mozzarella sticks and drink beer.

the next morning, we ate breakfast with my parents, took our time getting ready, and then headed on to the airport – which took no time at all, and the drive was super easy, even if we were just outside of new york city. whew.

the airport was my next emotional breakdown moment. time to say goodbye to my parents – the two people who would do anything in the world for me, my brother, and lina. they always go out of their way to make sure that we have exactly what we want +/or need. their thoughtfulness blows me away. and having to leave for another country yet again (here come the tears…) broke my heart.

luckliy, we all had stressful things to deal with immediately after saying goodbye, so we couldn’t dwell on the sadness. my parents had to find their way out of the airport, around NYC (without going INTO NYC), and up to connecticut. lina and i had to immediately figure out where to take zola and begin the process of leaving her at the airport.

soon, though, we were at the gate (after a bit of stress + some biting off of each others’ head), and only had to wait about 30 minutes before boarding. time to fly! mom-and-me luggage-newark family-newark-airport airport-newark-usa

the flight went well – as good as those 8 hour overnight flights can go. but, it did seem to go by pretty fast, and before i knew it, it was tuesday morning and we were landing in sweden! still, completely blown away by the fact that we were there. not really believing it, even though i saw all of the familiar sights at the airport.

we got our luggage and began the process of getting zola – a process that i cannot write about here because it would take forever to tell you the whole story, i would cry the entire time i typed it, and it’s just so unbelievable + so painful to think about. basically, i want to forget that it ever happened. let’s just say that, although we knew that she was on the plane with us since we saw her crate being taken out of the cargo hold, it took us 3 hours, lots of extra paperwork, many tears, a lot of driving, and more stress than i can imagine to finally pick her up at a warehouse.

however, we got her and headed home to lina’s parents. all of us safe + sound + completely worn out. how is it possible that after all of the months of waiting and anticipating and dreading this process of this trip, it was finally over?! we were exhausted with joy.

so, we slept. and 10 hours later, late on wednesday morning, we woke up to a new day. our first full day in sweden! and what a beautiful, snowy, wintery day it was! take a peek at the view outside our window:morning-view-sweden-norrkopingwell, we finally got up, showered away our travels, ate some food, and got dressed to head downtown. lina was meeting a friend for a massage and i was psyched about a little fika time all alone – a chance to land a little bit and to let it all begin to soak in. i snuggled in with a book and a chai latte at a favorite cafe while the snow continued to fall outside.

sweden-fika-chai-latte

at 4, lina called to tell me she was done, so we could meet up and head to dinner + drinks with a friend (her masseuse). this is 4:00 pm in sweden. the sun has set. crazy, huh? but, oh so beautiful.sunset-sweden-winter-norrkoping

we walked through the snow + ice, with the wind gently on our faces, to dinner. we found a table near the bar at a cozy cafe/pub and sat down for food + beer. this place, tucked away on a little street here in norrköping, is not like most places in sweden. it’s less formal, more relaxed, and has a definite asheville vibe. so much so, that we ate our food, drank a lot of beer, laughed loudly, and enjoyed ourselves for about 5 hours. we were definitely channeling our asheville souls. and that felt so good. the perfect asheville/sweden balance for a bit.broadway-cafe-norrkoping dinner-broadway-cafe-sweden friends-broadway-cafe

this morning (thursday), we woke up to even more snow. heavy, thick, wet snow that is still clinging to the trees even as i write this late at night. but, it’s a magical winter wonderland, and i love it. plus, it’s not too cold. the fresh air feels amazing and freeing and like letting all good things into my lungs. i don’t know  how many times today i simply took a deep breath, looked up, and gave thanks. for everything.norrkoping-snowy-trees

yep. i’m away from home, and yet i’ve come home. i still feel every emotion possible, just as i did back in asheville. but, just as in asheville, my soul is content. of course, the other night, as i lay in bed, having texted my brother and having not heard back from him yet, i began to cry. ok, sob. i cried and cried on our first night here. i was so tired. and so sad. and so relieved. part of my heart is missing, and part of my heart is filled again. but, it’s all just an amazing, wonderful gift – this life that i have.

since then, i have talked with my mom and dad, and texted with my brother. i have chatted with some friends in asheville and met up with some friends i have missed here in sweden. i got to connect with my soulmate + kindred spirit today for a sushi lunch. and, though we’ve been apart and haven’t seen each other since the summer, he + i are in very similar places in life. always paralleling each other in some way, yet in uniquely different ways too. it was so good to see him.

me-swedenso, here i am. all settled into the thought of being in sweden again. loving the snow + the cozy atmosphere. completely overwhelmed + grateful that i get to share this life with my amazing love.

mind you, we are not settled settled yet. there are many, many more adventures to come – like finding a place to live. that’s right, we don’t have a place to live yet, oh, and i’m job-hunting. for now, though, we are here with lina’s parents, in the town where we used to live. we will be here for a week and a half more, then lina is headed up to uppsala – where we will make our new home (though we have no home yet). we will see if zola and i can go too… depending on that home situation. still, that’s about 10 days away, and a lot can happen in 10 days. so, stay tuned to follow the next adventures.

in the meantime, join me in tapping into the power and balance and peace and fierceness that is within…

onwards + upwards, my friends!

friends

the people of 2014

people-2014i shared so many beautiful moments with so many beautiful people in 2014. i couldn’t just let the turning of the new year slip by without recognizing the fact that it is the people in my life that make my life what it is. i would be nothing if i were all alone. and i am so very thankful for the people that surround me and make me giggle, and think, and teach me what life is all about.

however, by no means is this an exhaustive collection of people. there are many that i know of that i have not included in this collage. but, at some point, for the sake on moving on in life instead of sitting by the computer for a week straight, i had to stop sorting through every single photo of 2014 and complete this post. hehe.

many of you, who are not pictured here, are people who i may have never met face to face. many of you blog readers + instagram followers. many of you are people i care deeply about, but i haven’t spent much time with you in 2014 (different countries and all that).  please know that you all have a special place in my heart as well.

this post, as a whole, sums up just how blessed i am to have so many wonderful people in my life. positive people. challenging people. people who inspire and push and irritate and constantly are there for me. i cherish each and every moment, the good + the bad, and i am completely + fully aware of the joy that you each bring to my life in your own special way.

so, thank you, for an incredible year! from the bottom of my heart, i wish you all peace, light, empowerment + love.

love, liz

 

nickel creek

asheville + music + me

it’s friday night… and what am i doing? i’m sitting under a blanket, with candles lit all around the living room, sipping on some cold mountain winter ale, blogging away, + catching up on some thursday night shows. yep. the weekend is here, and i’m at home nesting. and i don’t feel bad about that for one second. i’m not feeling old or boring or lazy or anything negative because i’m staying home on a friday night. it feels pretty damn great actually.

you see, the reason i don’t feel bad is because i live in asheville… where any + every night is like friday night. just last night (thursday) my love + i went to see some live music at a local brewery about 5 minutes from our home. like many ashevillians, we do that quite often in the middle of our regular week routines. because it’s asheville. and because we can. and, in asheville, music is as much of a god as beer and art and nature and food are.

asheville’s music scene is incredible. there are music venues dotted all over the city – downtown, west asheville, east asheville. the breweries are constantly having local + not-so-local bands come to their tasting rooms to entertain the beer lovers. there are concert halls, little holes-in-the-wall, pubs and funky dives where you can find music any night of the week.

and it’s not just little, local no-name artists either. big names have played here. big names still play here. but, there are also grassroots bands and groups and singer/songwriters who play here. it’s such an eclectic mix of music opportunities. the main thing i’m trying to say is this: if you like music, asheville is a city to visit.

for me, asheville has been heaven for the past year. i have had the incredible, amazing joy of seeing three of my all-time favorite groups play here. on top of that, i’ve gotten to know other local musicians/artists, thanks to having the chance to meet so many cool, new, artist friends since moving back. basically, what i am saying is this: i’ve been both star-struck + made some sweet, dear, new friends + been inspired my music dreams all in a matter of a few months.

check out a few of the amazing acts that i’ve seen in the past year. imma lucky girl!

nickel creek

first aid kit

the avett brothers

the wilhelm brothers

these guys are good friends of ours who live in asheville – and who we are planning a european tour with in 2015. yep! lina and i will be setting up some venues across europe with them +  touring with them… me photographing, lina designing + perhaps singing. it’ll be a tour of friends + music + pure joy, i promise! these guys are total sunshine. can’t wait!

my love has even gotten in on some of the musical artistry action in asheville, meeting for a jam session + leading the group with her amazing voice singing “hallelujah”. so much fun.

whether you are looking for a big, blown-out, exciting concert, or a cozy, intimate one, you will be sure to find both here in asheville. so, friends, when you’re in asheville, here’s what you do: eat brunch downtown. visit the biltmore estate. ride on the blue ridge parkway + do some hiking. visit breweries. do a little local, fair-trade shopping. hang out in the river arts district. drink coffee (fika!) at a local coffeehouse. visit museums + art galleries. people watch. and… listen to music.

there is so much to do in asheville. so much i love about asheville. but, the music scene… it is freaking amazing. get online, book a ticket, + trust me.

peace out, man. light + love. xx

36 hours in atlanta

happy tuesday! if you follow me on instagram, then by now you know that my love + i snuck off this past weekend for a little getaway in atlanta, georgia. it’s only three hours away, so it’s totally doable, but the real reason we left (besides just having some time to reconnect + have pure, simple fun), was to visit some amazing friends that we haven’t seen since new year’s!

weekend bag

so, we packed one little bag and headed down south on a gorgeous, beautiful, autumn day. traffic wasn’t too bad, and the excitement of driving in the big city again made me super happy. i totally love the challenge of driving on a big ass highway. weird, i know. and probably because i don’t have to fight traffic on a daily basis.

atlanta highway road trip

first up on our list – a little zombie adventure. so, we drove straight on through the city, right through all the big skyscrapers, and headed south – out of town. we were on a mission: visit the filming locations for the awesome series the walking dead!! lina and i had lists of places to go. i drove. lina navigated. we may have gotten a little lost + a teeny bit frustrated/worried on the rural roads of georgia, but i’ll never tell…senoia, georgia rural

however, after driving and turning around and driving some more… jackpot! we suddenly spotted zombies outside a restaurant! gaaaah! be prepared for a lot of walking dead photos and lingo right now – so sorry if you are not a fan! and if you are, and aren’t up to the current episode, then there may be some spoilers here.

the walking dead zombies

check this out: right behind that fence is the prison! of course, we never saw the prison, because there was a no trespassing sign since that area belongs to a filming studio. go figure. still. those woods. that fence. the prison!

the walking dead prison

so, we kept driving a bit more and ended up in the little bitty town of senoia, georgia. here we were planning to find some houses used in some scenes in the movie, according to our little map. what i did not expect was to see this when we turned onto main street:the walking dead woodbury

what?! it’s woodbury – the sick little town that the governor set up. they filmed everything right here in the middle of town! senoia IS woodbury! soooo cool. ok. so, now we were officially geeking out. there was even a walking dead store on the corner underneath the water town. and in the basement of the store… a little museum of things using in filming episodes. like i said, we were geeking out, people!

the walking dead

the walking dead darryl motorcycle

the walking dead prison

the walking dead prison

the walking dead

the walking dead carl pudding

this is the house where carl finds pudding + sits on the roof!

the walking dead train tracks to terminus + the bridge that they used for a tunnel (season 4)

railroad tracks leading to terminus + the bridge that they used to film the tunnel scene in (season 4)

the walking dead hershel's farm

the entrance to hershel’s farm!

the walking dead terminus

t e r m i n u s !!!!

the walking dead terminus

the walking dead terminus

after leaving terminus, we sped through downtown atlanta, making our way to the world of coca-cola (a museum about coke, which was invented by a pharmacist in atlanta). we spent about an hour there and then headed over to meet one of the friends we were staying with for some drinks in the funky little five points neighborhood – love that area.

atlanta

world of coca cola

world of coca cola

world of coca cola

world of coca cola

world of coca cola

world of coca cola

world of coca cola

world of coca cola

friends atlanta

beer drinks friends

the evening consisted of dinner, drinks, friends, + so much fun. back at our friends’ home, we had talked about the walking dead so much, we decided to all curl up on the couch and watch the first episode again – you know, just for the hell of it. so, two dogs, a cat, and two couples all snuggled in reliving the craziness of the beginning of an amazing series.

friends atlanta

friends atlanta

friends atlanta beer

in the morning, we got up + began our morning with some coffee. one of our friends had to go to a work interview for a few hours, but we kept it cozy + real at home. i got lots of pooch snuggles, drank an insane amount of coffee, had delicious quiche and hashbrowns for breakfast, and enjoyed the company of my love + by blogging buddy, lanie. we talked and talked and talked and talked some more, catching up and having such a wonderful time together. you know, just simple, good ole friend time.

friends atlanta dogs

friends atlanta dogs

friends atlanta coffee

our friend’s wife returned and she was so shocked to still see us sitting there. yes, it had been about 4 hours, and we had not moved. but, we were getting in some major quality time together. but now that charlie was back, we decided to make a move and take the dogs on a walk.

it was a gorgeous atlanta day, and the girls showed around their neighborhood. we just wandered and strolled for about an hour or so. it was perfect. relaxing, hilarious, fun.

friends atlanta walking avondale lake

friends atlanta walking avondale lake autumn

friends atlanta walking avondale lake autumn

friends atlanta walking avondale lake autumn

friends atlanta walking avondale lake autumn

friends atlanta walking avondale lake autumn

friends atlanta walking avondale lake autumn

friends atlanta walking avondale lake autumn

unfortunately, we had to leave mid-afternoon to get back to asheville. regular life and responsibilities called us back. but, i was so refreshed + energized by our 36 hour retreat to atalanta. we crammed a bunch in, but it didn’t feel stressed. and, i got to be with my love – focusing on her and enjoying her company. oh, she’s my everything – my best friend + my soulmate.

 we had an amazing weekend, and it was oh so much fun to see lanie + charlie. we gotta get together soon again, girls – thank you so much for letting us crash! in the meantime, a beautiful north carolina sunset greeted us as we crossed the state line.

atlanta north carolina sunset

if you could do something fun for 36 hours, what would you do?!

light + love xx

the adventures of a girl in love with autumn

so, autumn is in full swing here in asheville, north carolina and it just could not be more cozy and beautiful. october is absolutely a stunning month up here in the mountains. but, i’m telling you, this is only the beginning. the beauty, the coziness, the autumn amazingness will only grow more + more.

here’s an example: right now, as i type this, i have candles lit in my living room. a blanket on my feet. a glass or red wine by my side. halloween lights glowing outside my door on the balcony. the debate for north carolina’s next senator on tv (we vote in just 4 weeks – and it will be a big one). and tons of photos to share with you in this post.

yes, i am enjoying a very low key, relaxed night after about 2 glorious weeks of adventure, fun, and  friends. i gotta get my balance on, you know. so, here are bunches of snaps from the past 2 weeks – snaps of food, drinks, nature, laughs – of sharing life with one another. and, just as a bonus, they include lina’s high school friend from sweden who came to visit us for 10 days. take a peek!

happy october!

IMG_8055 IMG_8074

dinners and beer out on the town – gotta share the avl secrets w/ our swedish friend!
IMG_8081 IMG_8086 IMG_8115 IMG_8116 IMG_8132

vintage store obsessions
IMG_8140

ah-freaking-mazing moments: 7:30 am yoga class + midday mountain ride + $2.50 cans of beer and slices of pizza.

IMG_8143 IMG_8177 IMG_8194

a huge fika group (20 were there!) and then some alone time at my “secret” hiding spot
IMG_8216 IMG_8242

pub crawl. i mean, we’ve got 15 micro-breweries in asheville. what else to do?!IMG_8258 IMG_8260 IMG_8266

a small mountain town visit + railroad tracks + true bluegrass + the best burger ever at a lonesome country barIMG_8283 IMG_8292 IMG_8294

live music + another brewery + asheville’s drum circle (there is nothing quite like the downtown drum circle. anywhere. ever)IMG_8305 IMG_8310 IMG_8331 IMG_8334

biltmore estate + wine tasting IMG_8338 IMG_8344 IMG_8361 IMG_8364

the first frost + golden sun + the blue ridge parkwayIMG_8391 IMG_8398 IMG_8399 IMG_8405 IMG_8407 IMG_8429 IMG_8437 IMG_8452 IMG_8458 IMG_8467 IMG_8475

a celebratory last night out with our swedish friend (she left this morning)IMG_8511 IMG_8520 IMG_8524

dedication: 7:30 am yoga class – even though it was dark + rainy when i left home
IMG_8535

autumn peaceIMG_8541

you see? i told you it was a lot. hehe. i sure do hope that your autumn/spring has gotten off to a beautiful start. sending you lots of peace and happiness.

love + light. xx