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40 | april 2015: a playlist for free spirits

it’s playlist time, folks!! another month has come + gone, and i don’t know about you, but i am ready to welcome april with open arms.

i just have to say, i am so humbled + excited that many of you have started exploring the playlists that i have created as part of my turning 40 playlist project. each month, as i create the lists, i feel so energized + inspired. i think of a theme, or usually it seems to be something obvious somehow, and then i just let the songs come to me. sometimes i search around, sometimes i’m inspired by something i hear out + about, but one thing is for sure, i truly, truly look forward to putting the list together. then, when it is complete, i’m like a child on christmas eve, waiting to reveal it to you all – and to begin listening to it myself.

what i am really trying  to say is THANK YOU! thanks for listening + following + inspiring me. next month, i am looking to do a collaborative list, though i don’t know the theme yet. so, be on the lookout for me asking for your help and advice. i think it’ll be fun to create a list together.

in the meantime, let’s focus on april’s playlist! i knew that i wanted it to be nature-centered. so, it is very earthy + celebratory. it’s all about nature, outdoors, being free, and feeling alive. we have weathered the winter, those of us in the northern atmosphere, and life is slowly returning to earth. i personally, have been stuck in my head and wrapped up with myself a lot, and i know that it is time to just live life a bit. to get back to basics and channel my inner flower child. so, i’ve mixed in some upbeat, fun songs and some peaceful, thoughtful songs. all of them make me want to get outside, take my shoes off, lay/run in the grass.

yes, this month is all about channeling our inner bohemian self, our inner nature-lover. it calls to mind cool, magical nights under fairy lights + stars, warm, sunny afternoons reading under a tree, long walks in the late setting sun, rainy sunday afternoons and bursts of color painting us a beautiful world. i’m thinking that freeing my inner bohemian nature is exactly what i need in april. join me!

click below for the playlist:

link: 40 | april 2015: a playlist for free spirits

Wherever Is Your Heart – Brandi Carlile
See It For Yourself – Sugar & The Hi Lows
Come Away – Handsome and Gretyl
Open Your Eyes – Handsome and Gretyl
She’s Like the Swallow – Cara Dillon
Fuel The Fire – Sarah Jarosz
King of the World – First Aid Kit
In Our Talons – Bowerbirds
Overcome With Light – Bowerbirds
Vines – Lost In The Trees
The Foothills – Sara Watkins
Apple Blossoms – Blessed Feathers
Wild & You – My Bubba
Rise – Eddie Vedder
Ducks On The Pond – Rising Appalachia
Sun It Rises – Fleet Foxes
Don’t Let It Get You Down – Johnnyswim
You and Me – Sara Watkins
Land of Opportunity – A Great Big World
Pull Down The Moon – Cattle & Cane
Bloom – Bonus Track – The Paper Kites
Ring Them Bells – Sarah Jarosz
Mountain Sound – Of Monsters And Men
Wide World – Blessed Feathers
Wide Eyed Immigrant – The Greencards
The Morning Bird – Carolina Story
Flower – Amos Lee
into the wild – Lewis Watson
Follow You Anywhere – Monica Heldal
Woodland – The Paper Kites
Here Today – Aloe Blacc
Windows Are Rolled Down – Amos Lee
Map Of The World – Monsters Of Folk
Don’t Let the Sun Steal You Away – Bear’s Den
Live And Die – The Avett Brothers
Core of Nature – Midlake
Rivers And Roads – The Head And The Heart
Silver Moon – Roo Panes
Leaf Off / The Cave – Jose Gonzalez
Down To The River – The Duhks

la vie boheme! xoxo

march playlist

40 | march 2015 // a playlist created for wanderers + dedicated to angela

as i sit at the kitchen table, blogging this morning, sipping on coffee brewed from our brand new, very own coffee maker (more on that in another post!), the wind is whipping like a madman outside. typical march weather. because, yes, guys, it’s march. al-freaking-ready! that means that spring is on its way for those of us in the northern hemisphere. wooooo! of course, it’ll be about 2 more months before any warm weather settles in, but in the meantime, birds will be chirping, flowers will begin blooming, and vivid colors will be returning, taking the place of the cold, but beautiful, nordic shades of blues, whites, and grays.

now that it’s a new month, it’s also time for a new playlist – part of my year-long celebration of turning 40 last septemeber. since then, i’ve made a playlist for every single month. turns out, it has been an amazing little project, which has brought tons of new music into my life. (you can find all of the links to the playlists at the end of this post).

for march, i knew that i wanted to do something about wandering. not because i feel like i am wandering so much. in fact, for me, it is the exact opposite, i am in the process of beginning to settle somewhat. still, i knew that having songs that bring about a sense of calm + peace, in the midst of wandering – which is what we are all doing in some ways as we journey through life – would be exactly the perfect theme. i am sure that it also has to do with my own personal celebration of lent (to read more about my take on lent this year, click –> here).

in any case, i wanted to capture a sense of wandering calmly, with a sense of trust + peace. a low anxiety, low stress, playlist that reminds us that we are all ok, or that we will be ok,  even without knowing the exact destinations of our journeys. a reminder that is reflected in nature’s journey at this time of year, the journey from winter to spring.

march playlist

i was already at work on this playlist when i received a message from an IG friend – a follower who i have never met. she said that she loved my playlists, and asked me if i could make one for her because she is facing surgery tomorrow (march 2). she went on to tell me that she wanted something calming + peaceful. i told her about my work on march’s playlist, and then said that i would keep her in mind as i completed it. in the end, her request was the perfect (and completely humbling) thing to spark my creativity – she became my muse.

but, as i thought about her, i also thought about many others as well. i thought about all of us. i reflected on the fact that we all need a little space, a little peace and calm to remind us to keep on going. to keep on wandering, even though the desert seems scary and the path is unknown. even though the mountains are high, the valleys are low, and everything in between seems confusing, empty, or overwhelming.

so, for march, as the winds blow, bringing about the change of the seasons, i hope that this playlist blows through you, reminding you that even in the midst of the storm, even in the middle of the desert, and even when our wandering seems pointless or we fear that we are lost… there is peace. there is hope. and life continues to renew itself.

soak up the music. let it fill your soul. if you’d like, choose one song a day (i usually shuffle the playlist, so i have no idea what the song of the day might be), and close your eyes + let that song inspire you all day long. of course, listen to the entire playlist all day, every day if you wish. but, if you’d like to have something to focus on, let the first song of the day that you listen to be your muse for that day. and if you want to take it a step further, use the title and the song as inspiration for a photo of the day. snap it + share it on instagram or Facebook. let the march playlist help you chronicle your journey through the art of music + photos.

march-playlist

ok. here’s a summary of my suggestions for how you might want to use march’s playlist (use them all or only one) to let your creativity flow.

// click on the photo or the link (both above) to be taken to spotify, where you can then follow the playlist.

// start each day by hitting shuffle on the playlist or follow the playlist in the order that it is listed below (song # 1 for march 1st, for example). let the first song you hear (whether shuffling or following the numbered order) be your “song of the day” to inspire you + be your focus for the day.

// follow the playlist in the order that is is listed below (or use the shuffle idea from above) and take a photo of the day. post it on instagram and/or Facebook.

| artists first, song titles second |

1. Trampled By Turtles – Alone
2. Laleh – Better Life
3. Uzo Aduba, Godspell Ensemble – By My Side
4. Bifrost Arts – Come O Spirit! (feat. Aimee Wilson)
5. Matthew And The Atlas – Come Out Of The Woods
6. Sarah Jarosz – Dark Road
7. Butterfly Boucher – Drift On
8. The Civil Wars – Dust to Dust
9. Bearfoot – Feel Free
10. Joshua Meltzer – Gypsy Moon
11. Joan Osborne – Holy Waters
12. Bifrost Arts – Kyrie (feat. Shara Worden, Sarah Fullen and Megan Rederick)
13. Dixie Chicks – Landslide
14. Shovels & Rope – Lay Low
15. Aoife O’Donovan – Lay My Burden Down
16. Wilhelm Brothers – Lay Your Burden Down
17. The Head And The Heart – Let’s Be Still
18. Sarah Jarosz – Long Journey
19. Snatam Kaur – Long Time Sun
20. Tina and Her Pony – Medicine
21. Horse Feathers – Middle Testament
22. The Lumineers – Morning Song
23. Sarah Jarosz – Peace
24. Iona – Prayer on the Mountain
25. The Milk Carton Kids – Promised Land
26. Nickel Creek – Reasons Why
27. Gregory Alan Isakov – Second Chances
28. Pierre Bensusan – Silent Passenger
29. The Avett Brothers – Souls Like The Wheels
30. Joy Kills Sorrow – Spring
31. The Head And The Heart – Springtime
32. The Farewell Drifters – Starting Over
33. Sara Watkins – Take Up Your Spade
34. Gregory Alan Isakov – The Universe
35. The Milk Carton Kids – There By Your Side
36. Horse Feathers – Thistled Spring
37. The Secret Sisters – Tomorrow Will Be Kinder – from The Hunger Games Soundtrack
38. The Greencards – Traveler’s Song
39. Laleh – Vårens första dag (Spring’s First Day)
40. Horse Feathers – What We Become

 

happy listening, lovely people. and happy march!! onwards + upwards! xoxo

 

previous playlists: february 2015 | january 2015 | december 2014 | november 2014 | october 2014 | september 2014

 

february playlist

meditation mondays: a playlist for february

happy monday, lovely people – and happy february 2nd! january has been a blur and it seems to have taken forever all at the same time. and here we are, at the beginning of a new month. hopefully you are feeling empowered + inspired. i know i certainly am. so much, so fast, so crazy. that’s how i feel right now – but in the best possible way actually. like i’m about to burst with excitement, creativity, and possibility. and yet, there is something that is telling me to slow it down. don’t get me wrong, i am not saying that i want to be quiet + still. no, i want to be active + in motion. what i mean with slowing down is intentional, thoughtful, aware. so, while it’s full speed ahead, i want to make sure that my head is on straight. that i’m thinking + feeling. doing + being. and not rushing into anything… that’s the key.

i know that the changes that are occurring in my life are all happening at lightning fast speed, and with such excitement + craziness. i just want to be smart in all of the decisions i make, in the opportunities i take, and in the collaborations i begin. so far, everything feels fan-freaking-tastic. and i feel that this month will only deepen and widen what the universe is opening up to me. so, instead of just being completely spontaneous (never fear, i’m still spontaneous!), i am taking it all in at the same time. i am letting this month be the one where i dig really deep into the changes i make and the dreams that i hope to fulfill. for some reason, the timing (for what, i have no idea) just feels right.

in the meantime, i’m also gonna focus on… l o v e. it is february, you know. and while i am no huge fan of valentine’s day, i do cherish a month where i think just a little bit more about love. with that said, i want to share with y’all my february playlist, which i called “come fly with me”, after the swooning frank sinatra tune. it’s a song all about exotic love – and everything about my life feel exotic right now. and as for being in love, well i am most definitely that! lina and i are extremely excited about enjoying the beginning of a new chapter of our story together. so, the playlist is a compilations of love songs… but not your regular, ordinary love songs… honoring the love + excitement of sharing life with my soulmate.

head on over to spotify now + subscribe to the playlist, then you can listen anytime! you can find the playlist {here} or by clicking on the photo below.

40-february-playlist-2015i hope you enjoy the music! and i hope it inspires you to spread a little love to others – and to yourself.

onwards + upwards! xx

here’s the playlist, for those of you who don’t have/want spotify. (artist first, song title second)

Sheila Kay Adams – Awake, Awake!
My Bubba – Wild & You
Sufjan Stevens – To Be Alone With You
Eilen Jewell – Home To Me (feat. Big Sandy)
Dawn Landes – Try to Make a Fire Burn Again
Mandolin Orange – Birds of a Feather
Kings Of Convenience – Homesick
Tegan And Sara – Don’t Find Another Love
James Taylor – Fire And Rain
Sara Watkins – You and Me
Anna Ternheim – Come Fly With Me
The Tallest Man On Earth – Leading Me Now
Brandi Carlile – Heart’s Content
Brandi Carlile – Heart’s Content
Foy Vance – At Least My Heart Was Open
Bob Dylan – Girl from the North Country
Steve Martin – You
Mariee Sioux – Love Song
Anna Ternheim – The Longer The Waiting (The Sweeter The Kiss)
The Barr Brothers – Even The Darkness Has Arms
Monica Heldal – Follow You Anywhere
American Aquarium – Coffee & Cigarettes
Of Monsters And Men – Love Love Love
The Milk Carton Kids – Whisper In Her Ear
Dawn Landes – Love Song
A.A. Bondy – American Hearts
The Tallest Man On Earth – Love is All
Wilhelm Brothers – Dare to Dream
Joni Mitchell – A Case Of You
Bear’s Den – Agape
Nickel Creek – Love of Mine
Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
First Aid Kit – Cedar Lane
Monica Heldal – Boy From The North
Kelley Mickwee – River Girl
Roo Panes – Silver Moon
Bob Dylan – Forever Young
The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
Beta Radio – A Place for Me
Monica Heldal – The Road Not Taken

 

 

playlist january 2015

sometimes all over the place is exactly where you are supposed to be

hi there, friends! it’s early saturday morning and i’m up enjoying a few quiet hours blogging + sipping coffee. i’ve needed this down time all alone. i can’t seem to stay awake at night to get it, so when i wake up early, i suppose it’s best to go ahead + get up + take advantage of these quiet, before dawn moments.

so, are you easing into 2015, or has it started off with a bang like mine? true to my word of the year (empowered), this year has started off with me doing fist bumps in the air to myself – both to pump me up + to remind me to kick ass, and also to simply celebrate. i continue to find myself swinging from extreme excitement and giddiness to sadness and heartache (all related to my upcoming move to sweden this month – freak out moment). but, it is what it is, folks. and, this is life. and i freaking love the ups, down, and craziness that is my life. and, by the way, so far, after two days, i believe that simply saying that you have the power (empowered, is what i’m talking about here), means that you do have the power.

me-2015-ego

anyway… i thought i’d share with you a few photos from my first 2 days of 2015. unfortunately, i ended 2014 with a cold + it reared it’s worst ugly head guess when? yep. new year’s eve and new year’s day. i did push right on through with our celebrations on new year’s eve… hacking + coughing + being generally a disgusting person to be around. and, on new year’s day, i was utterly useless. super bad timing, because the dawning of the new year meant time to kick things into gear for packing + moving (our movers come next week to pack the stuff we are shipping!). needless to say, i rolled around in bed most of the day, while lina slaved away going through things and packing (i am soooo sorry, baby.). i did manage to squeeze out a few hours of work in the afternoon though. but, my love? she’s amazing.  really freaking bad timing for my worst cold of the past 12 months.

busy-lina-moving-asheville home

yesterday, i woke up feeling better. perhaps that was due to the fact that i may have overmedicated myself at 3am in order to put myself to sleep. it’s good that i felt better because i hit the ground running yesterday. i did some cleaning at my brother’s airbnb apartment (the last guests he will have! and then lina and i move in next weekend for our last week in asheville!), talked with the movers, drove home to get my passport, drove to the movers to let them get a copy of my passport, filled up the car with gas, went to the bank, and finally stopped by the pharmacy to get more drugs for my cold. a quick shower at home, then a trip to my favorite brewery in asheville for a half a pint of beer + to show it off to lina’s parents, then a short drive to my parents’ house for one last family dinner together (with lina’s parent’s, i mean).

highland-beer-nick

in the midst of all of the above stuff, i have gathered together some music and created my playlist for this month. as you may or may not know, i started this little monthly project back in september, when i turned 40. i created a playlist for that month – just because it felt right. 40 songs, many of them were new to me, that just felt like me. since then, i’ve decided that until my 41st birthday next september, i am going to create a playlist a month. so, i’ve done just that. this playlist for january makes my 5th one, out of 12.

i am really excited about this one because it’s all over the place. hehe. well, somewhat. you see, i love to have themes for my playlists, but i couldn’t decide on one theme for january. there was too much rich, great stuff from which to draw upon. so, i’ve smashed together different genres of music in addition to the different themes. so, you’ll hear all kinds of music about beginnings and endings, saying goodbye, getting out there and giving it your all, mountain songs, starting over, road trip/travel songs, songs about home, songs that make you dance, winter songs, songs about the wild. it may seem like a mess to you, but to me, they all remind me of all of the crazy, various experiences and newness that this month brings. it’s music that makes me feel and think. it inspires me, moves me, and excites me. it feels like home + it feels like far away at the same time. i’d say that it’s the prefect wacky combination to reflect my wacky, all over the place feelings this month.

here’s how to listen:

  1. click on the photo below to be directed to the playlist on spotify. if you don’t have spotify (get it, it’s free!), then i’ve listed all of the artists + song titles below as well.
  2. subscribe to (follow) the list in spotify + feel free to add songs to the playlist! yep. this month i’m making it collaborative, so it’ll be our playlist. if you want to add a song that inspires you as this new year begins, then please do!
  3. you can also click { here } to find the link to the playlist.
  4. and you can click { here } to sign up for spotify. if you are not in the US, then simply change the country in the bottom right corner of the page.

january-playlist

 

i sincerely hope that your 2015 has started off well, and that you are feeling hopeful + excited + inspired. we have a whole year of unknown adventures and tons of possibilities right before our eyes, so let’s make the best of it together. grab a cup of coffee, turn on the january playlist, and begin to let 2015 sink into your soul. what kind of year do you wish it to be? what are your hopes + dreams? where are you headed? if you have a word for the year, reflect on that word… does it still seem to fit? if you’d like to chat with me, send me an email. i’m here to listen.

until tomorrow, dear friends, enjoy the music + keep on creating the life that you want!

 

onwards + upwards! xoxo

| as promised: the artists + song titles |

Sufjan Stevens – Auld Lang Syne
Simon & Garfunkel – Homeward Bound
The Head And The Heart – Winter Song
The Detroit Cobras – You’ll Never Change
Regina Spektor – My Dear Acquaintance [A Happy New Year] – iTunes Live Session Performance
Willie Nelson – Bring It On
Nina Simone – Feeling Good
Carolina Story – Almost over Now
Dark Dark Dark – Winter Coat
Blessed Feathers – Winter Sister
Simon & Garfunkel – El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
Patrick Park – Here We Are
Patrick Park – Let’s Go
Imagine Dragons – On Top Of The World
My First Tooth – Sleet and Snow
Janelle Monáe – Dance Apocalyptic
Ben Sollee – Letting Go
Beck – Say Goodbye
Johnnyswim – Home
Steve Martin – Remember Me This Way
Sarah Jarosz – Fuel The Fire
Mindy Gledhill – Winter Moon
Levon Helm – The Mountain
Ben Sollee – A Change is Gonna Come
Patrick Park – Time For Moving On
Patrick Park – Come What Will
The Gospel Whiskey Runners – Hold On
The Barr Brothers – Even The Darkness Has Arms
Chris Thile – On Ice
Elephant Revival – Remembering a Beginning
Carole King – New Year’s Day – Acoustic
The Gospel Whiskey Runners – Breaking Through
Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
Camera Obscura – The Blizzard
The Wailin’ Jennys – Glory Bound
ABBA – Happy New Year
The Gospel Whiskey Runners – Shake It Off
Nickel Creek – Jealous Of The Moon
Delta Spirit – Into The Wide
Elton John – Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long Long Time)
The Avett Brothers – Open Ended Life
Joni Mitchell – Urge For Going
First Aid Kit – Walk Unafraid
Dark Water Rising – Love Me
The Cave Singers – Northern Lights
Damien Rice – Eskimo

nickel creek

my year in music

it’s no big secret that i love music. and i listen to it – a lot. especially on spotify – a music app for your computer and/or mobile device. it’s a streaming service, which is either free (with commercials) or paid for monthly (think netflix, but for music). since becoming a spotify user, i have used it probably 95% of the time i wish to listen to music, and i take it with me wherever i go. what i love most about it is the ability to create playlists, gathering together my own personal collections of music into one list – and boy, have i done that! hehe. it’s like making mixed-tapes for the 21st century.

for the end of the year, spotify has provided users with a chance to find out what their listening habits of 2014 have been. i had a sneaking suspicion as to what mine would be, and i was pretty correct. so, here comes a little summary of what i listened to most, what i loved, and the music that rocked my soul in 2014. it’s been a great year of music for me!

i obviously have a favorite genre:

spotify year in music 2014

and i would agree… these have most definitely been my favorites:

spotify year in music 2014

clearly i’m streaming on my phone a lot: an indication that i am driving + listening to music. one of the things i love most to do:

spotify year in music 2014

this little statistic of my favorite artists/songs throughout the seasons is spot on! and it is exactly how i would describe my favorite music for each time of the year. i love this!

spotify year in music 2014one final summary of everything:

spotify year in music 2014

if you want to find my profile on spotify just click {here}. and if you are looking for some good music to listen to, then i can highly recommend:

 

first aid kit | the avett brothers | sarah jarosz | trampled by turtles

playlists i made in 2014 (click on the title to be linked to the playlist):

 

get your own year in music –> {here}

 

keep on groovin’. light + love. xx

 

40 | a playlist + a photo challenge for december

ok. ok. better late than never, right? i know it’s december 2/3 and if you are not following me on instagram [you can do that { here }], then you have not yet seen my playlist + photo challenge for december. but, have no fear… i’ve got it right here for you!

december belovelive playlist photo challenge

the only other photo challenge i have created in a few months was the one i made for my birthday month of september – you can find that playlist {here}. it’s been so great to have a break, after about 3 years of photo challenges every single month. and after taking five months off this year, belovelive photo journeys are back starting this month! my goal from now until my 41st birthday next september, is to not only be creating a monthly playlist, but i will also be creating a photo journey to go along with it. and i am so excited!

i think that combining music + photos is a perfect thing for this very special season… it gives us a chance to slow down and listen. and to create + stretch + take risks. we will be challenged to follow through, but i guarantee that we will be inspired and that it will make the holiday season even richer than we imagined.

here’s how it works:

1. listen to the song for the day (i have listed the artists + the song titles, in that order). if you have spotify then you can simply subscribe to the playlist there. otherwise, you can search from the image above. or sign up for a free spotify account.

click on the title or the photo above to go to spotify and follow the playlist { or here –> 40 | dec | music + photos } so you can easily access the music.

2. as you listen to the song, pay attention to what you feel or think. and let the music + lyrics guide you to what you might focus on for your image throughout the day. or just let the feeling sit with you, and as you go through the day, notice whenever you remember the song or when you see something that is representative of the song. be creative. let it simply come.

3. get your camera out, take it with you, and snap away!

4. share your inspiration for the day on social media: instagram, Facebook, or your blog. wherever you wish to share. but, please let me know. i’d love to see your images


here is a list of the artists + songs again… one artist/song for every day from december 1 – 31. i just want to make sure that it’s easy to access the music. if you have any questions or comments, please let me know! i will be more than happy to help you out. now, get out there and capture some beautiful moments!

Norah Jones – December
Future Of Forestry – The Earth Stood Still
Johnnyswim – Christmas Time Is Here (Intro)
Christina Perri – something about december
Punch Brothers – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Jewel – I Wonder As I Wander
Blitzen Trapper – Christmas Is Coming Soon!
Low – Just Like Christmas
Beta Radio – The Song the Season Brings
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas? – 1984 Version
the bird and the bee – Carol Of The Bells
Glasvegas – A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like a Kiss)
Sufjan Stevens – Coventry Carol
Ron Sexsmith – Maybe This Christmas
She & Him – Blue Christmas
Joni Mitchell – River
Brandi Carlile – The Heartache Can Wait
John Denver – When The River Meets The Sea
The Hot Hearts – In The Bleak Midwinter
Sara Bareilles – Winter Song
Beta Radio – Winter Eclipse
Johnnyswim – O Come All Ye Faithful
Emmylou Harris – The First Noel
Priscilla Ahn – Silent Night
Johnnyswim – Christmas Day
The Wilderness of Manitoba – Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
The Civil Wars – I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
She & Him – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
The Avett Brothers – I Thank God
Johnnyswim – What Are You Doing New Years Eve
Andrew Bird – Auld Lang Syne

have fun, friends! light + love. xx