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blue skies + worshipping the sun

you know, spring in sweden is a little bit all over the place. rain, snow, and sometimes sunshine. – i am sure many of you experience the same where you live.  it’s not usually that warm, but when that beautiful sunshine shows her face, then her rays make even 5 degrees C/45 degrees F feel warm + nice. i’ve said this before, but the sun in sweden is something very special.

when the sun shines in the spring, it’s time to get outside and soak it up. the dark days are over, the cold has left us behind, the light has begun it’s return, the days are getting so much longer, and i (along with every other swede) become a sun worshipper. i literally stand and face the sun. i close my eyes… meditating, soaking in, breathing deeply, living in that very moment.

so, the other morning, after days and days of clouds, rain, and snow, when it was so beautiful, i decided to take a long walk for my meditation time. i explored the neighborhood behind ours, passing apartment buildings, houses, and cozy, little yards + gardens. the sun was warm, the breeze was cool, people were  out + about, and i simply gave thanks for the joy of walking and discovering and being.

i thought i’d share with you a little snippet of the amazing blue swedish skies that i have seen a little of this week. the blue skies make me feel so alive. i hope these photos do the same for you in a tiny, little way. enjoy!

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happy easter weekend, everyone. here in sweden, everyone has a little holiday from friday until monday. we are taking the train down to norrköping to visit lina’s family for a few days. but, we will be back home again on sunday, to enjoy the last little bit of the holiday here. so, it’s all about relaxing + enjoying for the next 4 days. wishing you a fabulous few days! and, if the sun shines wherever you are, turn your head up to her, close you eyes, and give a little thanks for the warmth + life that she brings. love + light to you all!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

welcome back, dear autumn.

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.

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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.

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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.

sensory overload. part 13.

hi friends! it’s monday, again. time for a new week and time for my weekly sensory overload post! i find it pretty fun to go through my photos from the past week, and notice the things that were inspiring, amazing, and just simply nice.it really helps me to focus on seeing the beauty and amazingness that is contained in regular, everyday life. and that, i believe, is an important thing to practice.

we spend so much time wishing for this or that – always thinking that the grass is greener of the other side. these monday posts help me to focus and see that, no, life is pretty damn good exactly where i am. and it’s all these little moments that make me grateful for life, instead of wishing it away.

this past week i del like a drank a lot of coffee – and i was quite social. i worked on a coffee article about beans in the beginning of the week, and that gave me an amazing opportunity to have conversation with some seriously passionate people. plus, i am now wanderlusting about doing a coffee trip to a coffee farm overseas. how amazing would that be? i also had my regular fika meet up in a super funky, eclectic cafe in west asheville. battle cat is a definite favorite place to hang out. (i went twice last week!). and, during the weekend, i had two coffee meetings with panels i was chairing for two articles i am writing for and asheville eats & drinks guide that the local newspaper is publishing. so, yes. lots of people. lots of coffee. and that equals lots of fun!

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the winter weather just won’t seem to let up this year. it’s a crazy roller coaster ride, but i think we are in for some awesomeness this week as it will be in the 70s (20s celsius!). i’m keeping my fingers crossed – it is going to be april tomorrow, you know! time for a little spring!IMG_0579 IMG_0584 IMG_0719

i had my second book club meeting last tuesday, and it was so very great. there were about 12 women, lots of conversation and debate, glasses of wine, and a snowy evening all making it a perfect, cozy gathering. i just love meeting new people, hearing different takes on a book, and finding inspiration. plus, i get to channel my inner spiritual direction/teacher. bonus.IMG_0597 IMG_0602

here are a few more shots from the drive up north of asheville for that teaching interview i had. i’ll hear back something this week – not to determine if i got the job or not, but to coordinate my thoughts with the director = see where we both stand and what we are both thinking. i’l tell you what i’m thinking: i’m thinking that i want this job!

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my parents came to town, so we did quite a bit of eating out (nothing new, i know. hehe). yummy places, fun times, and good to be together again. they split their time between my brother’s place and ours. it was short and quick, but meaningful to me.IMG_0558 IMG_0639 IMG_0666

enjoyed a few things that i love to the max this week: bubbles to drink, snuggles with our favorite little american, girl time with her mom, and cozy nights at home.IMG_0670

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how was your week? any amazing moments? i hope that not only have you had a good weekend, but that this upcoming week is filled with joy and happiness and peace. sending you lots of love. xx

p.s. tomorrow is my belovelive anniversary! stay tuned for a celebration & april’s photo challenge! 

namaste.

sensory overload. part 8.

hi everyone! happy monday! we’ve gone from from snow to spring since last week’s sensory overload. that’s right, this past week gave those of us who call asheville home a chance to get outside and have our first attack of spring fever. with the gorgeous weather,  though, came the challenge to soak it up and enjoy it as much as possible… because we ashevillians know that winter is not done with us yet. that’s just how the weather goes here in north carolina. there are at least two more months where possible winter storms can blow in at any given time. so, when it feels like spring, it’s time to act like spring. and i did just that!

doors flung open. driving with the windows down. fresh salads to eat. coffee to drink. adventures to be had. new places to explore. smoothies to sip. it was a great week.

monday morning coffee love

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asheville from aboveIMG_9230

smoothies all week long. yes.

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downtown asheville after the rain.

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spring birdie singing in the tree. love it.IMG_9305

fika meet up at biltmore coffee co. with 12 fabulous people. and the owner gave me a “free lunch for 2″ coupon for bringing my group in. score!IMG_9316

about to relaunch my fika blog. woo hoo!IMG_9324

more weekday, spontaneous wanderings & discoveries…IMG_9336 IMG_9346

yes. this is a laundromat and a bar. together. asheville awesomeness.IMG_9365

look at this adorable cat. she was in there when i opened the drawer. what?!IMG_9376

adventure saturday underway! cherokee & bryson city were on the list. (check back on thursday, when i introduce you to this amazing indian reservation only 45 minutes from us. a blast from the retro past).IMG_9388 IMG_9387 IMG_9389 IMG_9401 IMG_9406 IMG_9411 IMG_9421 IMG_9432 IMG_9435 IMG_9445

sunday morning moments in the sun. perfection.IMG_9471

brought home a dreamcatcher to hang on the wall. swoon. looking all springy at home!
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spent the whole entire day reading. amazing!
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monday morning beauty.IMG_9513

wishing you a beautiful, fantastic, amazing, & productive week!

love & peace. xx

sensory overload: part 7

this past week was all about one thing: S N O W ! i’m pretty sure that there was snow falling from the sky at some point for six days straight. crazy! at the beginning of the week paige was still here with us, and we were hoping she’d get snowed in. but, she made it to the airport on tuesday and we had to say goodbye for a few months. very sad… but, very exciting that she’s moving here in july! eeeek!

on monday, i did a little freelance work, interviewing an amazing hungarian lady who’s opened a fabulous european inspired cafe in downtown asheville. one of the amazing perks of reporting on coffeehouses and cafes is free stuff. not only the free coffee, but the free goodies as well. on monday i got 3 different incredible cookies.then, lina had three snow days and we were at home from tuesday afternoon until friday night – which, of course, i think is amazingly fun and cozy. luckily, i had done the crazy shopping thing that we southerners do whenever there is snow in the forecast. so, we were hooked up with all kinds of yummy comfort food. we ate that yummy food and enjoyed every bit of it. we also took a few walks in the snow. took photos. netflixed some. and i did a lot of blogging, writing, and planning. i loved just nesting and being together.

but, i am definitely over winter now. that was the perfect winter weather week and opportunity to hunker down at home. but, now, i’m absolutely ready for spring. i’m ready to throw open the balcony door and be out & about with the sun shining. however, i know that spring will not be coming for at least another month and a half. the good thing about north carolina, though, is that the weather can change quite quickly. for instance, this week, it’s going to be 60sF/20sC! it’ll be a fantastic little break from the cold. but, the threat of cold and snow is always there until the end of april. so, real spring doesn’t start until then – much like in sweden. i’m gonna soak up the warm weather this week anyway and work on enjoying the weather moments as they come.

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hearing: laughter coming from some of the most important people in my life.

tasting: cookies from old europe patisserie.

seeing: the snow falling day after day. so beautiful.

touching: the warm sun touching my skin on sunday afternoon. ahhhh-mazing.

feeling: overwhelmingly grateful for the beauty of nature, the opportunity to nest and be cozy at home, amazed at the incredible friendship/family-ship between paige, lina, nick, & me.

smelling: lots of coffee brewing throughout the week to keep me warm.

sending out peace & love to you all, dear readers. xx

sensory (super)overload. part 4.

there has been some serious sensory overload during the past week. from a 9 hour road trip in pouring rain to family to super amounts of yummy food to holiday fun to christmas tree hunting adventures, it’s more than i can write about in one blog post. so, i’m not going to write much at all. in fact, i can’t really put it into words. so, instead, i’m gonna share my sensory overload only through my photos – a lot of photos. you’ll get it when you see all the amazing-ness that i have been blessed to enjoy over the past few days. ready?!

thanksgiving at the beach

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back at home in the mountains!e16c83d45a8311e3a2810e71a3fcc52d_8 IMG_6281 IMG_6282 DSC_0719 DSC_0724 IMG_6305 DSC_0727 DSC_0728 DSC_0729 DSC_0734 DSC_0736 DSC_0738 IMG_6340 DSC_0756 DSC_0759 DSC_0767 IMG_6336 DSC_0769 IMG_6327 IMG_6334IMG_6348 IMG_6352 IMG_6361 IMG_6364

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hoping that your days have been filled with happiness and peace. and if they haven’t, then i send peace and love to you… and i challenge us all, no matter what, to seek to find something to be grateful for. because this world, even as dark and messed up and corrupt and harsh that it is, is also filled with tiny snippets of joy and beauty. it may only been seen in a little flower for one short moment, but it is there. and i wish a lifetime of beautiful moments for you…

peace and love.