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December 2014

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December 30, 2014

Let’s check out, through some questions and answers, what 2014 was like!


What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
The majority of the things I did for the first time, were school related. Figure drawings. And I used a drawing pad on a regular basis. Modeled digital in 3D, and animated movies (3D and 2D). 2014 was a year full of school challenges where I faced and found myself in situations I wasn’t too familiar with, but that taught me a lot. I also visited Disney World in Florida and spent my 30th birthday in New York with Liz, my brother, and my cousin. Saw the musical Les Miserables on Broadway! Was my sister’s bridesmaid and jumped into a jam session here in Asheville.


Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t really make any. I will make some for 2015, but keep them for myself at the moment.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes. Several friends ♥.

Did anyone close to you die?

What countries did you visit?
Sweden and the States – not really an exciting year of travels (to different countries)…Guess this past year was just a regular everyday life-kind-of-year…but you gotta have those too, I guess.


What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Way more traveling to several different countries. I guess living in Europe will help a whole lot with that. We already have thoughts of going to France, Ireland, England, Germany, and the States (since we’ll be living in Sweden from January).

What days from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Disney World in the beginning of 2014, it was an amazing trip. Our trip to NYC in May, the beach week with Liz’s family – loved it! My sister’s wedding, and when we decided to move back to Sweden.



What was your biggest achievement of the year?
To learn so much at the University here in the States and to get such good grades.


What was your biggest failure?
To not exercise. I have to get into that routine in order to get stronger and more fit.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
No colds or such, but a lot of stomach aches :/

What was the best thing(s) you bought?
The trips we took (Florida, NYC, and Sweden). We scored to be in Sweden when the weather was fantastic! Warm, sunny, and just gorgeous.


Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mine! First year in forever, I didn’t have to spend a lot of time in the hospital! Go me.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Not gonna mention it here, but some sure made me upset. Not as much to make me depressed though.

Where did most of your money go?
Just regular life and probably the trips.

What are you really, really, really excited about?
To start working again! I’m also really stoked about being close to my friends and family in Sweden again.


What song will always remind you of 2014?
» Sarah Jarosz’s version of Bob Dylan’s Simple Twist of Fate
» Håkan Hellström’s Valborg, Du är snart där, and Pistol
» Damien Rice’s My Favourite Faded Fantasy and I Don’t Want to Change You
» Rodriguez’s Sugar Man
» First Aid Kit’s Silver Lining, Emmylou, Stay Gold, and Cedar Lane
» Tomas Andersson Wij’s En gång till ska gatorna ropa
» Weeping Willows’s album The Time Has Come
» Sleeping At Last’s album Atlas: Year One
» Random songs by Nickel Creek and the Avett Brothers

Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier. Ups and downs – like everybody, I guess, but in general, more happy.
b) bigger or smaller? Don’t know. Probably bigger, but trying to not care…
c) richer or poorer? Poorer. Spent so much money on education and trips. Hehe.


What do you wish you’d done more of?
Talked more with friends in Sweden.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying and stressing about various things. Everything. Will. Be. Fine.

How did you be spend Christmas?
Together with my parents, who are visiting from Sweden, and Liz’s parents and brother here in Western North Carolina. Christmas Eve with some Swedish traditions, and Christmas Day with the American traditions. A lot of food, a lot of great conversations, and a lot of Christmas gifts.



What was your favorite month of 2014?
May, July, and December.

Did you fall in love in 2014?
I’m in love with Liz, my wife ♥.


What was your favorite TV program?
Kelly & Michael (a morning TV-show here in the States)

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t do the hating.

What was the best book you read?
Didn’t read that much (except school stuff), but the ones I read were good, but sad.
» I kroppen min : resan mot livets slut och alltings början by Kristian Gidlund 
» I kroppen min: vägsjäl by Kristian Gidlund

What was the best serie(s) you watched?
The Walking Dead and The Fosters.


What was your greatest musical discovery?
Most of the artists I mentioned in an earlier question above ↑.

What did you want and get?
Several Swedish/international friends and family members who came and visited us! So. Much. Fun.



What did you want and not get?
Some Swedish/international friends who couldn’t make it this year to the States.

What was your favorite film of this year?
I really enjoyed Wild that recently came out in the movies here in the States.



What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30 this year and Liz and I flew up to New York City, stayed in a really great apartment in Alphabet City in Manhattan, met up with my brother and one of my cousins who had flown over to the States, from Sweden! Walked all over the city, drank drinks, watched the musical Les Miserables, and ate yummy food. It was pretty much perfect.


What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To not focus on some negative stuff that I couldn’t really change anyway.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Jeans shorts or black shorts when it’s warm. Otherwise jeans and black pants, a tank or a t-shirt, jewelry, and toms. Pretty relaxed and oversized. Hats.

What kept you sane?
Liz and some really close friends.



Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Hmmm. All the live bands we saw in 2014. Nickel Creek, First Aid Kit X2, The Avett Brothers, Motopony, and The Wilhelm Brothers. Fantastic musicians!


What political issue stirred you the most?
SD (Swedish Democrats a.k.a racist party) who got to be part of the Swedish Government. SCARY and ok (now I’m gonna hate some..), I hate it.

Who did you miss?
So many friends and family…♥

Who was the best new person you met?
The new friends we have/have had here in Asheville ♥


Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014
Don’t waste your energy on some people who you’ll never get energy from.


December 28, 2014

You might already know this, but for those who don’t…If you want to, you can follow me on bloglovin’ which is a blog following platform where you collect all the blogs you’re following, and once you get on that website, you’ll see if I have any new blog posts and you can read them and not have to get on my website and check if I have any updates. You can also download the bloglovin’ app and read the blogs you’re following, on your phone. It’s free. You can read more about here.

If you would like to follow my blog through bloglovin’, you can simply click on the link below and then click + follow ↓



December 24, 2014

christmas_collageAll pictures from my XMAS Pinterest board, found here.  You can also find my whole Pinterest account here.

Hope you’re having a great Christmas in just the way you wish it to be ♥.



December 23, 2014



Today, we (mom, dad, and I) relaxed and listened to music at home while Liz was working some.




We also opened up a Swedish chocolate box, and I gladly ate a bunch of pralines while we were having fika.





Once Liz was done, we all headed to the Grove Park Inn, a luxury hotel that opened in 1913, where plenty of celeberties have stayed when visiting Asheville, where they have a National Gingerbread House Competition. The rule is for everything to be edible. Pretty amazing, I think. (The Santa has hair..just the crappy light outside that makes it look like he hasn’t. Hmpf.) We also checked out the Christmas lights on the beautiful houses/neighborhood of Montford, and ate a yummy, early dinner in West Asheville at one of our favorite restaurants – Walk.

tuesday9We ended the day with hot cider in front of a Christmas movie.


December 18, 2014

Having a pretty tough day today…I’m so emotional. Today is December 18th which means it’s only one month until we leave Asheville, going by car to Newark, NJ, and then to the airport to fly out on the 19th. It’s only one month! I’m freaking out because there’s so much I wanna do here, so many people to hang out with, and so much more beer to drink – all in so little time. But lets focus on the positive things, because we have great and fun plans ahead of us.

♥ My parents are coming here and we’re going to pick them up at the airport on Saturday!

♥ We have a really cozy apartment.

♥ Christmas shopping.

♥ Christmas baking and cooking.

♥ Spend time with both our parents/families, together.

♥ All the secrets with Christmas gifts and the excitement around that – to give and to get.

♥ Move out of the apartment, stay downtown for a week, eat really good food, spend time with friends, and drink yummy local craft beer. Everything. All the time. Every day.

I am truly a kid when it comes to Christmas. I love it. And as someone said to Liz at the Christmas parade the other week, “Christmas is not only for the kids” – and gave her a bunch of candy. True that.

Ok, I believe it’s time to set some plans with close ones in Sweden as well, because we need to be reminded of all the positive things there, and to look forward to that, when we’re being sad for having to leave Asheville and the States (it’s sooo bittersweet this whole move). I love the States. I love Sweden.


December 17, 2014

Monday afternoon, we were invited to our friend Stacy’s place for a baking date. Stacy was going to bake her grandma’s coffee cake, and I went for Rocky Road (based with mostly Swedish chocolate and candy). The front porch was really neatly decorated with some really nice red balls/baubles. Love it.



We started off, warming up some yummy cider and then spiked it with cinnamon whiskey. It was so yummy!





Then it was time to bake!










I totally forgot to take a picture of the coffee cake, but Stacy posted a picture on her Facebook page so I’m totally borrowing it..



December 16, 2014

Liz and I got our new headphones from Urbanears delivered yesterday! Hallelujah. I don’t know why, but I have a special love for headphones and own a few different ones. However, I’d lost my smaller mustard yellow (called Bagis in the Urbanears’ world) ones somehow, and “needed” some new. I already have Plattan (bigger on ears) in turquoise, and then a pair of the classic Marshall Major Black headphones. So when this Black Friday deal came out, Liz and I decided to order some. This time, I ordered the color Dark Grey, and I’m in love. Urbanears change colors after season so if you’re interested in getting some as well, and have seen a specific color, they might not have it in stock right now. Just a tip or a hint. Wish this was a sponsored post, but it’s not..haha. I’m just so in love with these ones.





December 15, 2014

The picture above, totally borrowed from Frisk&Fri’s website, and says; “We work for a society without eating disorders where everybody is free to be themselves.”  

It’s the holiday season, and I love every bit of it. Decorating at home, lighting a bunch of candles, planning, buying, and wrapping gifts, cooking and baking, and so on. But it has not always been like that. There was a time where I faked my happiness in front of everybody, a time where I had to fight my thoughts and fear of eating, and I was completely stressed out about it all. I was sick.

I know I could focus on the poor, the homeless, and so many other life situations that are going on in the world today, but there’s one thing really close to my heart and something I have first hand experience from- those who suffer from an eating disorder and literally fight for their lives. Imagine your biggest fear (could be heights, spiders/snakes, being in big crowds…), and then have to face it about six times per day. That’s what it is like suffering from an eating disorder.

There’s an organization in Sweden, called Frisk&Fri (Healthy & Free) that works on spreading information about eating disorders, supporting people who are sick and their close ones, working on preventing the sickness, and influencing better professional care. They have mentors spread out around Sweden, chat and phone supports, support groups. It’s pretty much an amazing organization. Check out their website!



This it the first page you come to when you get to their website (which you can find here), and where you navigate around to find what you need. Read about what Frisk&Fri does, support for people who are close to the sick one, how to get help for the one who are sick, how to support the organization, and facts about eating disorders.



You can also check out what kind of support there is, based on where you live. This is an organization where the volunteers have been sick themselves, but have recovered, and therefore have first hand experience of eating disorders. You find this page, here.



The organization’s support is really important, but it’s also significant to get professional help, which list you can find here.



So why do I write about this now? Of course, this is really important year around, but during this holiday season, it’s extra tough for someone with an eating disorder since there is so much is focus on the food. Frisk&Fri needs extra economic support so they can offer extra time to be there for people who contact them. You can easy donate money by texting:

FRISK50 or FRISK100 to 729 80 and you donate 50 or 100 kr (Sweden only!)


Lastly I want to share this text I found on Facebook



Don´t talk to your kids about their bodies, except when trying to explain how the body works. Don´t talk to your kids about their weight, even when they have gained or lost weight. If you think your child will have an amazing body when he or she is grown, don´t say it. Here are tips on what you can say instead: “You look healthy” is a really good alternative. Or what do you think about “You look strong!” or “I can tell that you´re happy, you are glowing!”. Even better is talking about things that don´t have to do with their bodies, at all.

Do not comment on other peoples bodies. Not even once, even if it´s a positive comment. Teach your children to be nice to others, but also to themselves . Don´t you dare, even for a second, talk about how you hate your body, in front of your children, or talk about your new diet. Don´t do diets in front of your children. Buy and cook wholesome food, but don´t say “Oh I´m not eating carbs right now!”. Your kids aren´t supposed to be thinking about if carbs are good or bad, or feel shame about eating things you are not. Shame only leads to more shame. Encourage your kids to run, since running reduces stress. Tell your kids to dare to climb mountains, ’cause there are few places that are so perfect for finding inner peace. Teach your kids to surf, climb or bike far or high (or both) so they know it can be good to challenge themselves.

Teach your kids to love sports. Sport makes you a better leader and increases your self confidence. Tell your kids that age doesn´t matter, you will have to cooperate in groups all of your life. Don´t ever force your kids to participate in sports they don´t like. Maybe you have a daughter who isn´t as tiny or thin as other girls? It is very easy for her to start hating her body. Tell her that she, if she wants, can run a maraton with her strong legs and that her broad frame lets her scream high or sing or lift the world.

Maybe you have a son, who is smaller than other boys. Tell him his worth doesn´t lie in his muscles, but in his thoughtful being. Tell you children that they with their strong, healthy bodies, can move their beautiful souls wherever they want.

Freely translated from Spanish by Erika Geraci Ulvstranden


December 14, 2014

Liz and I hung out in West Asheville on Friday – had fika, visited some breweries we hadn’t been to, and then checked out a new pop up shop. I just love the concept of pop up shops which is literally what it sounds like – a shop that just pops up somewhere and is open for a limited time. The East West Pop Up Shop is all based on vintage and hand made local stuff (ceramics, t-shirts, leather books, glasses, woodblock print posters, jewelry…). The shop had their grand opening Friday night and it will only be open for four days in total (December 11th – 14th). You can check it out some more, here. The quote below is from their website!


We collaborate with local crafters, artists, furniture makers, and vintage collectors to bring an ever changing array of items to our unique space.  Combine that with the eye of an interior decorator, who has a warehouse full of vintage furniture, and you have a beautifully arranged retail store that you’ll wish was there all year.  Alas, the beauty of the pop up shop is its temporary nature.  Open for only four days at a time, our shop is an event not to be missed.