preparing-homebrewing

ten on ten: may 2015

i’m gonna cheat a tiny little bit. most of my photos are from yesterday, the 10th, but i am also gonna sneak in a photo or two from saturday. so, let’s call it a little ten on ten weekend, ok?

there was a bit of a theme this weekend, and if you saw my post yesterday, then you know that the theme was beer. oh, how i love me some beer.

but, let me be clear about this. i am no drunk. (yeah. i am just gonna be blunt about it). i don’t drink to get drunk. ever. and i don’t really even ever get drunk. i enjoy beer for many reasons, but it is never to escape or hide. i love beer, especially craft beer, because of the art of it. the process, the care, the beauty, the organic nature of it, the creativity, and the simple social part of enjoying something that was created out of passion with others.

so, this weekend, we enjoyed some beer – and then we made some beer! that’s right, my love and i brewed our first batch of beer. american pale ale. right now, it’s fermenting in a dark closet and our fingers are crossed tight. i guess we will see in a few weeks. exciting!

anyway, here some my 10 (ish) beer-themed photos from the weekend. enjoy!

lunch-churchhill-arms me-beer family-beer-saturday-boathouse morning-cozy preparing-homebrewing temperature-homebrewing homebrewing-me

waiting-boiling- homebrewing-wort-boil

home sofa tv-relax-me

here’s to hoping that you had a great weekend! and, that your week is productive, beautiful, and filled with adventures of all kinds!

and… never, ever forget to do what you love.

onwards + upwards! xoxo

 

flowers trees blue sky

40 | may 2015: the sky is smiling (a playlist!)

 

oh, may! it is the prettiest month of the year in sweden, i do believe. blue skies. sunshine. flowers. warm weather. it is the perfect month to be outside as much as possible. and that’s pretty easy to do, considering that the sun sets later and later. by the end of the month, it’ll still be light at 11pm.

it’s a month that makes me feel alive. and in love – even if june is usually the month reserved for lovers. for me, may has not always been an easy month, but i think that is what makes it all the more sweeter. my love was very, life-threateningly sick for 2 mays in the past. and, so, now, we celebrate life + love + health every may. all month long, we focus on living life to the fullest. being in love with each other. soaking up the simple moments. and enjoying the beauty of the earth during the late spring.

so, all of that was my inspiration for this month’s playlist. it’s a playlist made for lovers + gardens. sunshine + blue skies. it’s all about laughing + being together. taking it easy, dancing, rejoicing. and squeezing every ounce of beauty + happiness out of every single moment.

so, go ahead. click on the photo below and follow the link to the playlist on spotify.

go outside, twirl in the sunshine, smile, give away free hugs, hava a picnic, gaze at the clouds, and remember that life is precious. let’s make the most of every single minute. there’s no time to waste!

spring-tree-playlist

happy may!

onwards + upwards! xx

you can also click here to get the playlist! 

vårkänslor. the feelings sweeping over sweden.

so, i know i’ve said this before some time, but the weather is sweden is extreme. when it’s good, it’s amazing. and when it’s bad, it’s awful and depressing. and the weather tends to hang around for a while = it doesn’t fluctuate much from day to day. when it snows, it dumps. when it is gray and chilly, it’s that way until you think you just can’t stand one more day. and when the sun shines, it does so for days. it warms your skin with its intense rays.

right now, we’re in a period of amazing, unbelievable, perfect weather. and we went straight from winter to summer. i must admit, all of this warm sunshine and deep blue skies has affected my mood. you know, we also have the super long daylight hours gong on now. anyway, my mood. it’s off the charts. i have so much energy. i feel so alive. i just wanna soak in every little bit of the amazingness that is around me. i’ve even been more social. and i never, ever want to be inside.

people

today, as i worked in my office, i had the old, creaky windows flung wide open. i could hear the hustle and bustle of city life below me: people laughing, children running, babies crying, bike bells dinging, feet shuffling.

i also had my spring playlist playing as i worked. and i realized that i made a freaking good playlist. hehe. it’s dreamy. organic. happy. sunny. calming. upbeat.

so, i thought i’d pay it forward. i’d love to share my playlist with you. i’d love to share with you the feelings of hope, beauty, peace, and excitement that flutter through me when i hear the music and listen to the lyrics. of course, it may not strike you at all. it may not be your cup of tea. on the other hand, it may inspire you, or some tune may stir something within you. anyway… think of this as me spreading some of the sunny cheer that we are experiencing here in sweden with all of you.

click on the album covers below to access the playlist on spotify. if you don’t have spotify, then leave a comment and i’ll get the list of songs/singers to you, if you’re interested. 

vårkänslor

speaking of sunny swedish cheer… there is a word in swedish that i love… vårkänslor. spring feelings.

or if you’d like a more detailed description: the feelings of extreme happiness, giddy expectation, dizzying euphoria, etc. one gets when it finally appears as though spring is coming. 

in other words: woo0 hooooo! yeeeee haawwww! (spoken like a true american. wink wink).

it is a madness that sweeps the nordic nation every year. and it’s happening now. after surviving the long, dark, seemingly never-ending nights, there are signs of life. literally. it may take mother nature until may to show us, but nature is beginning to wake up. the sun has risen high in the sky again. no more 2 hours of the sun barely peeking over the buildings. little purple flowers are popping up in the grass, which has turned green and is thickening up. and, again, the sun. have i mentioned the sun yet? that glorious bright circle in the sky, sending down hot, bright rays to warm our bare skin. the sunglasses come out. every face is turned upwards toward the sky… literally. every time i go somewhere, i cross the street multiple times just to make sure i am walking in the sun as much as possible. the cafes have built all of their outdoor seating spaces. people are everywhere. the ice cream kiosks have opened. parks are filled. even if the temperature is a little chilly and you need to wrap up in a fleece blanket as you sip your coffee outside, it doesn’t matter. as long as there is sun, there is hope. there is life. the time has arrived….vårkänslor!

in the states we refer to this as spring fever. and i’ve dealt with spring fever my whole life. it’s an intense desire for spring. like cabin fever is an intense desire to get out of the house. but, after living in sweden for three years now, and living through 3 winters, i understand that vårkänslor is a much deeper, even more intense, insane disorder that all of swedish society experiences. it is part of the swedish culture. and it is a beautiful thing.

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today, after i couldn’t stand be cooped up at work any longer, i packed up my stuff, did a few errands, and headed home on foot. i walked slowly. i breathed in the air. felt the breeze. i didn’t even have a jacket on today. it was not chilly at all. i strolled down queen street, smiling, and perhaps even whisteling to myself. seriously. when i reached a crossroads, i felt my vårkänslor inspire me to go by a friend’s restaurant to grab a late afternoon beer. my friend’s wife (another friend, of course) was there and i asked her to join me. it was a little before the restaurant opened, but since her husband (my friend) manages the restaurant, we were given to ok to park ourselves at a table out back, on their porch. in the sunshine. within minutes, two cold beers were delivered to us and we chatted it up for an hour or so. the perfect spontaneous spring afternoon.

river

later on at home, my love asked if i wanted to go & sit by the river. on  day like today, it was a must! so i slipped on my flip flops and we walked the one block to the river, sat down, and basked in the sun. chatting. sitting in silence. just being. what a fabulous way to end the day.

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yep. vårkänslor. i love them.

peace.