the adventures of a girl in love with autumn

autumn tree red

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!

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dinners and beer out on the town – gotta share the avl secrets w/ our swedish friend!
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vintage store obsessions
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ah-freaking-mazing moments: 7:30 am yoga class + midday mountain ride + $2.50 cans of beer and slices of pizza.

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

welcome back, dear autumn.

pumpkin

tonight is special. it is the autumn equinox. or in other words, fall begins tonight in the northern hemisphere. and i just love fall. but, before i get all wrapped up in the coziness and beauty of autumn, i want to pause today to let the equinox energy do its thing.

what i’m talking about is the fact that with the autumn equinox, nature is in balance. from the beginning of summer until today, the days have been longer than the night. after today, the reverse is true. the nights become longer. and the season of darkness creeps in.

for tonight, however, the light and the dark are equal. everything is in balance.

and this can mean a lot to our lives symbolically, if we take pause. as it is the middle of the harvest season, it is a time for celebration of all of the gifts of life. it is a perfect time to take stock and reflect on what has happened so far in life. it is a perfect time to be aware of the abundance we have received this year, not only in food, but in everything that we have experienced. and it is a time to plan and prepare what is needed for the next season in our lives. we can spend some moments, if we choose, on this autumn equinox night putting our lives in balance – focusing on remembering all that we have been given and preparing to let the season of darkness and coziness inspire us to go even further than we have in the past. it’s a time to finish up our old projects and begin to plant seeds for new ones. it is a time to celebrate and balance our life.

trees fall

so, i decided to spend some time, on this absolutely gorgeous day in the north carolina mountains, by myself. thinking, reflecting, and enjoying nature.

i headed over to a bar that is kind of like a park. grabbed my camp chair out of my car, ordered a pint of beer, and went to sit by the river. i let the sun warm my face, the water and the trees inspire me, and the blue sky fill me with awe and gratitude. i did a few things i love: i took some photos, wrote a little in my journal, and meditated a bit. i only spent about 45 minutes there, but it was the perfect little break in my day – and the perfect opportunity to welcome this next season in the cycle of life.
the bywater the bywater the bywater the bywater the bywater the by water french broad river the by water french broad river

at home, i gathered some candles, got a pumpkin, and made a dinner from fresh, local veggies. i am in the midst of creating a cozy, warm space for the coming dark, chilly nights.

every time this season rolls around, i am always ready for it. i am ready for sweaters and boots and scarves. ready for deep blue skies and nights that nip at your nose. i can’t wait to slide on some fingerless gloves and wear beanie caps. i love lighting candles all over my home, and making chili + soup. and the leaves, of course the leaves on the trees in the mountains. it’s a breathtaking, beautiful, restful time of year.

pumpkin ego self autumn vegetables

i hope that you will take some time over the next few days to let autumn (or spring if you are in the southern hemisphere) sink into your bones. i hope that you will find some peace and quiet, and feel the balance of the earth as nature moves on, reminding us that our lives move on too. and it’s time, my friends, time to let the summer (or winter) go – time to begin to move indoors and begin to let the long, sometimes difficult, but always amazing season of autumn (spring) inspire us.

peace + love.

40 | a playlist + photo challenge for september

september playlist

happy september, all you lovelies out there! i love this month. i love how it is a transition month, moving us from the last long days of summer, to the colorful, cozy days of autumn (or vice-verse, if you live in the southern hemisphere. you know what i mean… winter to spring). this september is extra special to me. and here is your warning: you may be annoyed by me by the end of the month.

you see, i am turning 40 this month! and i am super excited. not scared, not upset, not anything, but joyful and grateful – and in the mood to celebrate all 30 days (and 10 more days into october. hehe.). it feels like this is a high milestone, bigger than the ones of the past. 16, 18, 21, 25, 30. they were all big, of course. rites of passage and such. but, this seems monumental. like a huge shift. and, while that may be scary for some, it feels exciting and overwhelming (in an amazing way). 

therefore, i want to celebrate. all. month. long. poor lina. poor you, too, dear readers.

i want to celebrate that feeling of coming into my own. and the knowledge that it just just better (even if it gets worse or difficult). it’s always a journey of transformation and growth. ever-moving forward. never backward. always up higher and much deeper. and i welcome that. i cherish that. 

september playlist

click on the photo above to be redirected to the playlist on spotify.

so, here’s what i’ve done. i’ve decided to make a playlist on spotify. yay! something that incorporates lots of new songs, but with a definite “liz” feel to them all. i found them mostly all on the radio – listening to a local, independent, channel that plays things that are as far away from top 40 music as possible. then, i just put them all together. all 40 of them (40 on purpose, you know. wink, wink.). i also decided that for the next year, until my next birthday, i will create a playlist every month – and i am super duper looking forward to capturing my 40th year in music!

click on the title or the photo above to go to spotify and follow the playlist (40 | september.14).

i’d love to share music with you for the month. if you have any suggestions for october’s playlist, i’m already beginning to assemble songs and ideas. just leave a comment and let me know!


 

i also did something else. i created a photo challenge for the month! i haven’t created a challenge since may (i think). it was so great to have a break, after about 3 years of photo challenges. and i ended up taking three months off. but, belovelive photo journeys are back starting today! 

now, i’ve been racking my brain trying to some up with some kind of theme for weeks. knowing that i wanted to do this. but, nothing came to mind. at. all. until yesterday. 

since i had this playlist, and it was something that i was going to use to set the tone/vibe for my september, i decided not to spread myself too thin, but to make my photo challenge based no the playlist. so, this month, we’ve got a music-inspired photo journey – and i am so excited!

i looked at my playlist and hit the “time” button to arrange the songs by time (that way they are also shuffled around a bit). and i went from there creating my photo challenge. so, all 40 songs are there. arranged from the shortest to the longest. and it just so happened that “setting forth” by eddie vedder is the first song! how crazy is that. talk about the universe lining up. hehe.

so, i simply used the titles as the word prompts for the day. now, this may be challenging, or irrelevant, or confusing for all of us. but, i thought, that if we are confused, we can simply listen to (or google!) the lyrics and see if the lyrics or music inspire us in anyway. that should help us decide how to photo something in our every day. this means that we all have bunches of creative freedom with our photos. so, just let the song of the day speak to you, and see what you want to snap for your photo. no pressure. just enjoy. and maybe, you’ll find a new song or two that you love. (remember, most of the songs are new for me too).

so, let’s get out there and take some photos! remember, to use the has tags #bllphotoaday and #mymonthofmusic if you are sharing your photos on instagram or Facebook or twitter. i would loooove to see what you come up with!! 

september photo journey

| i have also included a list here of all of the artists and their songs, so you can search for them online, if you would like. just in case you don’t have spotify. they are arranged in the same order as the photo challenge. here, i’ve listed the artist first and then the title of the song. here you go! |

Eddie Vedder – Setting Forth
Leftover Salmon – Liza
Fred Perry – Our Day Will Come – Mashup Remix
Jason Isbell – Stockholm
Lucero – A Dangerous Thing
Tracy Grammer – Gentle Arms Of Eden
Pina – I Loved The Way
Mandolin Orange – Birds of a Feather
The Milk Carton Kids – Hope Of A Lifetime
The Wailin’ Jennys – One Voice
Leftover Salmon – Stop All Your Worrying
Chris Knight – House and 90 Acres
Frazey Ford – September Fields
Of Monsters And Men – Mountain Sound
Gregory Alan Isakov – That Moon Song
First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
Sarah Jarosz – Build Me Up From Bones
Holly Williams – Drinkin’
Eddie Vedder – Society
Agnes Obel – Brother Sparrow
Keira Knightley – Lost Stars
Shovels & Rope – The Devil Is All Around
Shovels & Rope – Lay Low
The Gabe Dixon Band – All Will Be Well
Leftover Salmon – Mountian Top
Mandolin Orange – There Was A Time
Holy Ghost Tent Revival – Right State of Mind
Trampled By Turtles – Alone
The Milk Carton Kids – Years Gone By
Passenger – Life’s for the Living
The Honeycutters – Fancy Car
Ben Fields – Extraordinary Light
Lou Reed – Beginning Of A Great Adventure
The Head And The Heart – Down in the Valley
Pierce Edens – Montana
Pierce Edens – Wayfaring Stranger
Ben Howard – Old Pine
Lera Lynn – Out to Sea
Trampled By Turtles – Wild Animals
Gregory Alan Isakov – The Stable Song

peace, love, & music. xoxo