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

 

prime-time procrastination.

what i should be doing is packing. like for real. i mean, i’m moving to another country in 2.5 days for pete’s sake. so, i should be pulling out things, making my packing inventory list (so i know all the weird things i’ve packed when customs & border control questions me why i have 9 mugs in my carry on baggage, a big round tray, 2 wire baskets, pillow cases…), thrwing more things away, and cramming stuff into every nook & cranny i can find.

but, what i’m actually doing is this:

lizzie needs some new music! any suggestions?

moving

think usa, wandering, new chapter, adventure, life, nature, bliss. leave a comment with your suggestions! and then i’ll post the playlist. promise.

so, yeah. we are in that overwhelmed-so-let’s-ignore-everything mode. i’m making a playlist, and lina’s reading a magazine. like we have absolutely no care in the world. and nothing to do tomorrow or wednesday. at one point today, i curled up into a ball on the bed and just stared at the ceiling till i fell asleep. seriously. i need help. we need help.

eh… think i’ll try to skype my dad for a minute. and then go to bed and dream about all the possibilities and amazing adventures that await me on the other side of the ocean. so, how was your monday, dear friends?

rock on. peace.

vårkänslor. the feelings sweeping over sweden.

ego

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.