Soulful Voices in Concert 2018

On November 24th, my choir Soulful Voices did our concert! I think this might have been our best concert so far! I would like to share some highlights.

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We did tributes to both Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson, a medley with songs from The Greatest Showman, sang gospel songs, pop hits etc, and I can never resist making an choir arrangement of a Keith Urban song :)

Enjoy the videos and pictures below!

Lot’s of love to all the singers in my song groups! See you all in 2019!

Don't Let September Slip

Hi all!

How’s the weekend been? Mine has been really great, thanks for asking!

September is really such an amazing month. Years ago I even made a playlist called September with songs to listen to during September because I was so pumped (starting with Earth Wind and Fires “September” of course). September is to great to just slip away. I made a list with things that I think you should do before September is over.

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1. Make that first move towards the new project you want to set into motion.

For me September, and the start of fall, means new beginnings. New ideas and inspirations sets in during summer, and I start making plans in August. Then, as soon I get back into work, my mind gets too busy and those ideas tend to fade. It’s easy to find excuses and find the time to get started with new projects. I find it so hard to make that first step sometimes. I’m guessing I’m not alone. But I think this fall could be different. Let’s dig up those ideas and set them in motion. Maybe it’s getting that renovation or home decorating project started, or getting a work-out rutin started. Maybe you want to start up a new business and need to take that first brave step towards getting started. Experts tells us to write down those plans and set dates and have time frames for when things should get accomplished. Instead of finding excuses for not getting started, let’s do just that.

2. Enjoy nature.

Number one was demanding, that’s why I think we should also just enjoy life and nature. Let’s take those long walks, sit outdoors with a coffee in our hand and just be in the moment. On Sundays I go to church and I deceied that I will, either before or after, take walks. It’s a must to enjoy before it get’s to crazy cold to be outside without layers and layers of clothes to prevent from dying from cold.

3. Don’t dress like it’s winter quite yet.

Okay, I love black, but can we wait just a little while before we wear all black, grey and beige? I was people watching a little bit yesterday, and I saw people in black outfits, and even in scarfs and mittens… Depending on where you live, if it’s not at freezing point, don’t go there just yet. I even think you could still use some of your colourful cute summer outfits and mix them with some fallish stuff. Like a dress over a pair of jeans. It still rocks.

4. Get yourself flowers and plants!

One of my favourite things about this season is the colours of all flowers, plants and trees. I struggle to find space for all the beautiful plants I buy, but I can’t stop myself. I have to have them. I’ll find them a place eventually.

5. Turn the TV off and get yourself a great book.

Why? Because I told you so! Seriously, there’s nothing like a great book, a nice cup of tea with some candles burning. That’s why we love the fall, right! It makes you sleep better too, to read before you got to bed. It’s an awesome way to relax when the demands of work and fall makes you stressed out.

Before I go, here’s some highlights from the weekend. Dressing up because I suddenly felt the need to, all in black although I just said I think we shouldn’t. Oh well..

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…and dinner with this beautiful friend!

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Love,

Johanna

Soulful Kids

On The 7th of April some of the children from my choir Soulful Kids performed at a concert in remembrance of the 11 year old Ebba who tragically lost her life on the terror attack in Stockholm in April 2017. The choir sang Hero, and it was really special to be a part of such a special concert alongside Swedish artists such as Lisa Ajax, Janne Schaffer, Cotton Club, Nano, Anders Ekborg, Gladys Del Pilar and many more. Here's some pictures of the choirtaken by Jimi Guldstrand  from that day.

On May 16th the Soulful Voices choirs will be doing a full concert at Kyrkan vid Brommaplan at 19.00. Buy your tickets here

My Prague Recap

Hello!

I decided a couple of years ago that I need to prioritise traveling to places I hadn't been before. So far, so good! I just had the opportunity to spend a few days in the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic, Prague, and I'm mesmerised! What a stunning city! If you live in Sweden there's really no reason why you shouldn't go there. It's not far away, the flight is cheap and the hotels are inexpensive. I was a little hesitant about going to Prague at the end of February since I thought it would be too chilly. Well, I was right about that! However the entire Europe was FREEZING! I haven't experienced cold like that in years. So, with that being said: I would recommend you going there later in the spring. 

Here's seven reasons why I think you need to visit Prague at some point in your life! 

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1. The beautiful architecture and surroundings

I feel like these pictures says it all and needs no introduction!

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These front doors had me dreaming...

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2. The historic landmarks

Here I am staring at the Charles Bridge. It was built 1357 (I just knew off the top of my head) (okay, no I didn't but I could see it was old :) It's suppose to be one of the most beautiful bridge in the world, and I agree!

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 Hi guys, how you doing?

Hi guys, how you doing?

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3. The concerts and the ballets 

There's a huge amount of different concerts and ballets that you can go to when in Prague. I loved listening to Parnas Ensemble play. Who wouldn't want to hear a mix of Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and Smetana etc on a Wednesday night? If I stayed longer I would have visited several concerts.

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4. It's priceworthy

The food is lovely, and the hotels are nice, and you pay SO LITTLE it almost feels weird when you get the check!

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5. To buy crystal and perhaps jewellery

Prague is known for their crystal and jewellery. I didn't buy any diamond rings (!!!) but I thought they were mighty pretty. A beautiful crystal carafe seems like a big enough investment to me.

As you can see on these pics my poor hands were FROZEN!!!

6. The design and decor

If you visit Deelive Design store you can buy art from new and very talented designers from the art school in Prague. 

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7. For views like this:

I could stare at this view forever! So romantic and beautiful that I'm ready to write a new song after this trip!

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Before I let you go I have to share one last picture that just had me giggle. I'm never missing an opportunity to be in a picture. Look at me peeking out there in the crowd, ha ha!

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Love,

Johanna

My Realistic New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year Everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season! Here in Sweden Christmas isn't officially over until January 13th actually, so I'm gonna keep enjoying.

After resting, being surrounded by family and loved ones, I feel so ready for the new year. I've been thinking really hard about my expectations for 2018. I always love new beginnings. At the start of each new year, I write down all my goals for the new year. I'm full of ambitions and dreams as I write, but pretty often I don't get quite as far as I aimed for. Maybe I'm not completely sure of what I want and how I'm gonna get there. So this year I've decided to be very concrete with my plans and dreams.

Looking back on 2017, I can see that when I was most successful in reaching my goals, was when I had a certain date set. For instance I was very determined about when I wanted to sell my condo. As I was getting closer to the deadline I actually panicked a little bit, but as I let go of that feeling I got very focused and efficient. 

I won't get into details on what my hopes and dreams are for this new year. You might not be that interested in that as a matter of fact, haha, but what I want to share is how I think you could make those dreams reality. 

So about those goals for the new year... 

1. Make plans and set deadlines. To get started I'm going to take a few hours and sit down and write down what my plans are. Then I will set deadlines for each week and each month. 

2. Figure out how to make it possible. If you want a major change in your life, you have to figure out how to make it possible, and plan for it ahead of time. Every time I failed at making a change I wanted to make, it was because I was too late in putting the wheels in motion. (I'm a time optimistic... maybe my New Years resolution should be to change that, haha).

3. Gain energy. I give a lot of energy through my work, and I love that about my job. I do however need to find activities and situations where I can get really energised and inspired myself. I also need to eliminate things and situations that is draining me out of my energy.

4. Be in command of where I'm heading. I've met a lot of people through in my life that is not in command. Yes, you can go with the flow, but you also need to be aware that if you don't make a choice, life will make a choice for you! Is that what you want? I want to sit at the driver's seat of my life and decide myself where I'm heading.

5. Make it possible to do what I wanna do. What am I trying to say here? Well, let me explain: In order for me to get a work done, or head in a certain direction, I might need to prioritise my time in a new way, or prioritise financially in a different way.

6. Preparations. I feel so often like things are getting in my way when I'm trying to do something, and things end up getting pretty hard and draining. I'm gonna make time this week to prepare and organise to make my life a little easier. 

7. Do life with the people I want to do life with. My pastor says: Show me your friends and I'll show you your future. Isn't that a good one?!! This just dawned on me a few years ago, that I actually had a choice. Share your life with people that are uplifting, that makes you laugh, gives you energy and that you can share you dreams with. Life is too short not too.

8. Believe in myself. Sorry for the cliche, but I feel like I've been very hard on myself this last year. So many times have I doubted myself and where I'm heading. This year I'm gonna let go of that I remember that we all got a purpose. 

Wishing you all a lovely first week of the year!

Love,

Johanna

The First of Advent

Happy first of Advent!

What a glorious time... (also very stressful time)... this is! As I'm writing this I'm lying down on the floor with my legs resting on the sofa. Not because this is a position that I would choose, but because I hurt my back! It started a little bit at the end of the week, and on Friday night it got worse. Yesterday morning I could not get out of bed. I called the E.R., and they were pretty sure I've got Lumbago. Very bad timing. I missed a rehearsal yesterday, and I'm trying to figure out how I'm gonna manage next week. I think I got it from carrying some very heavy amps the other day, but enough about that. I'm so happy Christmas is around the corner, and about doing Christmas decoration at my new place. I had a realisation about Swedish Christmas traditions after I lived in the US, and it occurred to me that Swedes decorated pretty different. I now mix it up with the best of both. Here's a couple of pictures from Svenskt Tenn that I think shows a very Swedish style. 

I started decorating a  little bit last week, and then I added a little bit more yesterday... and next week I'm gona go all in! 

My favourite Christmas decoration is the star. There's something so magical about it hanging there in the window, and I imagine all cars seeing up in my window from a far distance. (Gotta check it out next time I'm able to drive without being in such a pain that I have to scream).

It's always so special to light the first candle for the first of Advent. The term Advent is a version of the Latin word meaning "coming". If you didn't know, now you know. 

I did some invetsment in new Christmas decor last year. I'm especially happy about this Advent candelabra showing on the picture below.

I got this cute hyacinth last week from a kid in my kids choir! Love it, and love the Ernst design on the vase.

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I was home last night, with my bad back... It's not such a bad thing to stay home on a Saturday night as a matter of fact. It's nice to rest a bit between all different engagements at this time of year. Also the moon shine was stunning, and Stockholm looked pretty beautiful too!

I'm now gonna lay down on the floor and rest and try to heal my back and hopefully get better. Wishing you all a very happy first of Advent!

Love,

Johanna

Soulful Voices In Concert

Hey everyone!

In case you didn't know, I'm a choir director, and Sunday night my choirs had their concert! After all the hard work you put in it's always bitter sweet when it's over. I'm so proud of all the choirs who did such an amazing job, and I wan't to share some pictures and clips from our concert. 

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What do you think the  dresscode was? Take a wild guess ;)

I had such a fun time conducting the choir on this concert. They sounded so good! I've put together a video with some of the songs. First video is from the grown choirs performance.

I started a younger kids choir this fall, and they exceeded my exceptions by far!!! You gotta watch them sing on the video below. 

We ended the concert with all the choirs singing together a song called "A Thousand Voices." Thank you everyone in Soulful Voices, and to the musicians: Ted Hector, Magnus Ahlgren and Oscar Eriksson Uggla for making this such a wonderful night! And thank you for sharing your pictures with me Jimi Guldstrand!

The Autumn Leaves of Red And Gold

Hi all!

Hope you had a wonderful weekend. It's the perfect temperature in Stockholm today to be outside. It's not too cold, not too hot, and with the clear nice air that autumn brings. 

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Today on the blog I'm sharing some of my autumn decoration at home. Who else likes to do seasonal decor? September is almost over, and here comes October with all it's beautiful colours. I LOVE when the leaves turn red and yellow. It looks pretty awesome outside my window right now, and it's about to look even prettier in a week or so.

You don't need to change your entire decor at home. I just did a little thing here and there, and it instantly felt more cozy and autumnish :) 

I started by switching out some of the pink decoration´. (Yes, there's plenty). Instead of pink roses, I chose just greeneries this week, and I switched the of pink candles to burgundy coloured ones. Also, I can't stop eating plums. They taste amazing right now. I should make a pie and invite my new neighbours over!!! (Or no, I'll save that for another time :)

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There's so many pretty plants and flowers everywhere. I can not go outside without shopping flowers and plants I later try to find a place for at my place. Ornamental Cabbage is one of them. 

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Got these decorative (fake) leaves. You can mix with real plants, or put them in a vase by themselves, which I did. 

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I know I'm early, but I couldn't resist decorating the plants on the balcony with little pumpkins. 

I'm planning to hang out at my balcony even though summer is over, so I'm trying to make it as cozy as possible with pretty lighting.

Okay, that's it for today when it comes to decoration. 

Autumn really has some perks! Cheers to spending time indoors again! Imagine all the nice restaurants, coffeeshops or cool lounges where you can hang out for hours while it's windy and cold outside. I might look a little sad at the picture, but I'm just trying to look as cool as the place :)

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Last but not least, I'm painting my nails red again in this color. OPIs "Big Apple Red".

Have a wonderful week!

 

Love,

Johanna

Shorty Like A Melody In My Head

Hi everyone!

Hope you're having a great Monday! It's been so sunny and beautiful in Stockholm today.

So, on my upcoming blogposts I'm gonna share some of my highlights from the summer. Highlight number one comes here: 

I went back to LA for a couple of weeks this summer. Last night in town me and my friend Melody went out to one of our favourite spots in LA. It's in downtown, it's on a rooftop, and they have live music and delicious food. What more can you ask for??? The place is called Perch, and you need to go there if you're in LA. (No, this is not an add :) 

Melody and I are just so silly when we're together, and since she's a singer too, our hangs are always a mix of laughing and singing. Life is like a musical when we're together. Melody is from South Carolina, and we've known each other since we studied music together in LA. We pretty soon realised that we have the same sense of humor, same values and love to sing together. We had a band together and had the best time. Whenever I visit LA we just pick up from where we left. How awesome is that! Our combo is a little loud and obnoxious though, but we just can't help it. We actually have really deep conversations where we talk about life, relationships, our faith and everything in between, but this night was not one of those times, ha ha ha! I will share some videos from this night, and from the following day actually. For those of you who are of a more serious type, the video below may not be for you... And for the rest of you, here's a video:

We got this table on the outside on the patio, and it kind of feels surreal when you sit there with view!

The laughing started in the car when Melody listened to latin music (I didn't know she was a fan) and we all of a sudden realised it was a latin version of "Blame It On The Boogie". It then escalated as we ordered a salad to share as a starter, and when the the waiter approached our table with our salad asking: "Caesar"? Melody quickly responded: "No, I'm Melody". I just thought this was so funny, I could not stop laughing. It was this couple sitting next to us, trying to have a romantic dinner... We tried to keep it down, but I could see him rolling his eyes. Sorry!!!

 Caesar?!?

Caesar?!?

I love the decor at the place. I just hade to pose in the staircase. 

Whenever you are in LA... Drive in style!

The morning after, before I went to the airport to go back to Stockholm, we hung out by the pool and it just made my last minutes in LA so much better.

Miss you Melody!!! 

Lunching Like Royals

Happy Sunday friends!

It's been forever since I blogged. It's been a busy summer moving and settling at my new place, and I've also been getting back to work. Let me start off by saying though that I absolutely LOVE this time of the year and I can't wait for September. It's one of my favourite months. I could feel that September is on the way, it was in the air today: crisp but still warm, and I love the feeling of new. Fall feels like a new beginning. 

Sundays, are always fundays. First church and then lunch with this wonderful friend whom I haven't seen in FOREVER!

So much catching up to do, it took me forever to finish my lunch! And I have to mention that I was totally starstruck! Princess Madeleine was lunching with her hubby and their friends at the table next to us. Oh Lord, she's one RADIANT woman!  She just has such a glow, and is so natural looking! She was wearing a blue shirt, and Jo D really nailed it when she said: "All she needs is a blue shirt and she's good to go"! Yes! So true.

Apparently news broke today that she's pregnant too! Nobody was bothering the Princess as she was sitting there... but I wonder if people at the table behind them were eavesdropping. Sure looked like that one certain lady was leaning back very closely. Well, the Princess however made an official announcement on her Facebook a couple of hours ago about the pregnancy. Yay for another little royal baby, and congratulations to Princess Madeleine and her husband Chris.

Best thing about early fall is putting on a little bit of more clothes again. I spent most summer in very hot climate, and it feels good to wear pants again, but still get to wear short sleeves. I wish this temperature would last all fall.

As eager as I am for September, I'd still like these kind of summer nights to linger. Stockholm is just so beautiful in this kind of light! It was so nice out Friday night. I've been working really hard on getting settled in my new place that I've had very few nights, or days for that matter, just out, walking, feeling totally relaxed. 

Alright... time to make dinner and chill! I think this is the season when I'll start blogging more, so see you soon!

Love,

Johanna

Road Trippin' Part 2

Happy Friday!

I'm taking a little break in the middle of my packing to catch you up on the last part of my trip last week. Packing to go where, you might wonder. Well, to my new home. Before I get down to business, this is how lovely last week was. By the way, it's like a storm going on outside my window. Looks like the treas are about to give in to the wind. 

My parents have a little summer cottage at Öland. Took a few days and visited.

So lovely to just hang out and chill and then come home and feel rested. Mom and I went for runs and walks and swims, and I read a whole book. That's a proper vacay to me!

Lunching down at Kårehamn.

Those fields of poppies... I wish I could live somewhere where they grow all year around!

Wish I had time to write more, but I seriously have to get going with the packing, or I'm gonna have a problem next week! Wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Love,

Johanna

 

 

Road Trippin´ On The Countryside

Hello everyone!

How's summer so far? It's still June, it's still the beginning, and I'm loving everything about that! Last week I did something I do all too rarely... I went road trippin' in my own country! Sweden is too beautiful in the summer NOT to do that!!! From now on I will do this each summer. I have so many pictures to share with you today. 

First stop was to a south part of Sweden called Blekinge. Can't really recall ever spending time here. I've missed out, BIG TIME. Look at the beaches at this little place called Hällevik.

We had such warm and lovely whether. I couldn't resist taking dips in the Baltic Sea. Sooooo crazy cold, but very refreshing :) Doesn't these beaches almost look a little tropical, but with a Swedish touch, ha ha! The air was so fresh, couldn't stop talking about it the first night. 

Imagine living like this, and take little beach walks at night! By the way... These pictures are taken like after 9pm! Love the light in Sweden during summer time.

I kind of felt like Anne of Green Gables in this environment (Only kind of...) (I mean, where's Marilla???)

Look at the houses and the nature... I'm thinking that if I lived like this it would inspire me to write a book! I don't know if anyone would wanna read it, but I'm imagining myself sitting there writing, with a cup of tea, while staring out over the breathtakingly beautiful views. 

And I would go for hikes on this little path and look at the view from the mountain top! 

And you would have to have animals if you lived like this...

Look at my friends little puppy! I did a complete 180 last summer. I went from being afraid of dogs to wanting to have a dog! As I child I used to love dogs, but while I was living in Africa as a teenager we had a really crazy guard dog that freak me out (ironically). So after that I've avoided dogs altogether. However, last summer I managed to bond with a dog, and now I'm not afraid anymore! Look at this little puppy girl right here!!! I can't handle the cuteness...

I'm realising as I'm writing this blog that I'm gonna have to make a part two for the second part of this trip... So many pictures. You might be bored by now! But before I let you go I just have to show you Hällevik by night... so peaceful and wonderful!

I'm leaving you with this little cliffhanger that more is to come! Thank you for reading!

Love,

Johanna

What Are You Doing For The Rest of Your Life?

Hi there!

How are you all doing? It's the beginning of summer, and I'm just starting to relax and feel at ease. I love to sleep in each morning, and get up and figure out during my breakfast what I'll do with the rest of the day.

Yesterday I took a little roadtrip to the south of Stockholm. Sweden is mighty beautiful in the summer. 

What I love most about the summer, is that I finally have time to think again. How often do you really sit back and just think when it's winter. I don't. I keep busy, all the time. Maybe if I lived somewhere where the weather is more tropical, I would have a more laid back personality, haha! 

I usually take the opportunity to travel somewhere when it's summer. However, each year I'm like: but why am I leaving now that's it's actually so beautiful in Sweden? Every spring and summer I'm like: Wow, Stockholm is so beautiful. I never really look at the architecture during rainy, cold and foggy February days... Then, so suddenly, you have nights like this is Stockholm. Look at these backdrops!

Traveling though, or just getting a change of environment, gives me inspiration and ideas I wouldn't get if I was just staying at home. It makes me stop and think about my life, and what I want to do with the rest of my life. Have you heard that song: What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life? It's an oldie but goldie. Summerish and beautiful. I was just humming on it the other day, and thought about my own life. It's been a quite demanding spring I must say, both mentally and physically. I love the feeling of working hard. However I need to find more balance. Anybody feeling the same way?

One of my favourite things about this season is to not have to wear layers of clothing! This jumpsuit is my favourite. I got it last summer. By the way... Unpacking my box with spring - and summer clothes is like Christmas Eve!!! So much fun to see what dresses I bought last and previous summers. Such a short season here in Sweden, so the clothes last forever. Finally I get to wear colourful clothes again!

I will start my summer off with a concert with Celine Dion tomorrow. CAN'T WAIT!!! Wishing you all a beautiful weekend!

Soulful Voices In Concert

Hello!

Last weekend my choir Soulful Voices did a concert. I'm so happy about how everything turned out! Here's some highlights from that night!

Photographer: Abraham Engelmark

 

Here's a little taste of how the concert sounded!

Thank you everyone in Soulful Voices and to the excellent musicians for making this night really magical!

I'm Back

Hello!

Please excuse my absence. It's been a while, but now I'm back. In the meantime I've been very busy with selling my place, buying a new place, singing, working with my choir. On top of that I also went to Wuppertal (!!!) A place I never heard of before, so don't feel ashamed if you didn't either. It's in Germany. I went there for a course to learn about a voice training called Estill. I feel so inspired and full of new thoughts. I immediately worked on my students using new tools. It's so important to take that break every now and then and go somewhere and just get refilled yourself.

Okay, so I gotta share my thoughts about selling and buying property in Stockholm. I decided to sell first and buy after. Everything was sorted within a month. People around me were very worried about whether I would find something, but I wasn't that worried. It was just kind of a draining process. I wasn't worried about finding something, but whether I would end up buying something darn awful without realising. Every time I looked at a place I wondered if I could trust the real estate agent. I hope I'm not offending anybody here, but it's very hard to know if they're gonna rip your pants off. Anybody knows what I'm talking about? Before I sold my place I interviewed different agents. I was really happy about the one I ended up choosing and totally felt like I was in good hands. However, I felt completely different about most agents I met when looking for a place to buy. If I hadn't been slightly suspicious and very cautious about buying, I would have been in trouble now.

1. I almost bought a place where airplanes are basically landing on the top of the building. Well that would have been a bit of a mistake, wouldn't it!?! I would never have to go to the airport again. Just get on the rooftop and grab a wing while those planes are passing by.

2. I almost bought a place where the tax rules are HORRIBLE. (Taxes are already horrible in Sweden to begin with, but here they were beyond horrible).

3. I wasn't about to, but an agent showed me a place and offered to sell it to me before the official viewing. I decided not to. I wasn't crazy about the place anyway and decided to see where the bidding went. So the place ended several hundred thousand swedish crowns (our currency) below the price he offered. After the place were sold to somebody else the agent texted: "Thank you everybody for your dedication. The final price was... " I wanted to write him back: "I'm glad I didn't buy it for the price you offered". (No I didn't write that! No need to). 

Anyway. Now that it's all sorted I'm exited about the move and the change. Now I can go back to focus on other things again... and I'll be back on my blog more often :) This is how excited I was after signing the contract!

Stylish While Freezing

Hello there!

After a few intense days where big decisions been made, I'm sitting here unwinding. (I will tell you about those decisions later on... gotta give you that cliffhanger you know :)

Just as I FINALLY turned the underfloor heating off in my bathroom (my place has been BOILING HOT), the temperature outside turned really cold again. As I'm typing this I'm wearing wooden socks and a big sweater. 

How do you dress when it's April and you wanna go for a spring style, but still don't wanna freeze your little butt off?!? I don't know... but this is what I've been wearing. 

I love my pink trench coat. I have to dry-clean it all the time because it's, well, pink... but it's worth it! A trench coat is such a good investment, especially if you live in Sweden or other places where even summer nights can be a little chilly. 

Another thing I like to wear this time of the year is short pants. Feels more springlike, but not too bare to make me cold. 

Here's another pair of short paints in a navy style I found in Berlin. 

I like the big buttons on the side.

That's it for this time. Hopefully next time I get to wear dresses! Let's all pray for warmer temperatures :)

Love,

Johanna

Pray For Stockholm

The light will overcome the darkness

Yesterday was a very tragic, dark and sad day for Stockholm. I was home eating a late lunch when I got the news alert on my phone about a truck ramming down people - an assumed  terror attack. Just a couple of hours earlier I had been close to the area. My first thought was to contact everyone in my family. When I was talking to my mom I completely broke down in tears. I was so scared and saddened. I kept hearing sirens of police cars and ambulances from the highway. 

I'm so sad that something I've been worried about for so long actually happened, and I'm so heartbroken for the people that was killed or hurt or had to witness this tragedy.  

But in the midst of the tragedy we saw such warmth, love and care from people yesterday. So many people reached out to help. I'm also so thankful for our police officer and the emergency staff. I pray for our city, for those who lost someone and for those who's still in the hospitals. I refuse to live my life in fear. Hate is not the answer. I'm convinced that the light will overcome the darkness. 

You'll Find Me In The Attic

Hi!

Now that it's lighter and the days are longer I feel the need to clean and organize. I know I share this longing with a lot of people. So I just started my big spring cleaning and want to inspire you to do the same. I go through every box and I throw away or give away as much as possible. Unfortunately there lives a little hoarder in me. (I just googeld hoarder pictures and it gave me the chills and inspired me even further to get rid of stuff. Do the same if you need a kick in the behind).

Today I wanna share my a few tips on how to organize. This is not revolutionary in any kind, but here's my favourite help for organzing at my place. Here's a some of my favourite.

First of all, I wish I had a shoe closet like Goldie Hawn in "Overboard". I found this on the instagram page called Chique Le Frique. I so wish this was my shoe closet...

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1. Shoe organizer.

Until my shoe closet dream will come true, I'll start by trying to find different ways to get things off of the floor. Also I want to store them somewhere not visible. (Only my pretty shoes are out for display). Anything that can help me hide and store things is welcome at my place, so this is what I've got hanging inside my closet. 

 

2. Pretty decorating boxes.

Okay, so I have a thing for shoes, and it's a bit of a problem since I don't have endless of space at my place to store them. So if the shoes comes with a pretty box I might just save it and keep the shoes in the original box .

Plus, you can store all kind of things in shoe boxes, or other pretty boxes. I store lamps, my sewing kit, jewellery, sunglasses, office supplies etc. I never mix things. That way I can easily find whatever I need whenever I need it. 

Whenever I find a cute box I have a hard time resisting it. Then I organize and keep things in them. I'm all about hiding the ugly!

This one is perfect for hiding candy in, if you wanna keep it all for yourself!

 

3. Transparent storage boxes. 

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Last year I spent about 5 days straight going through my attic. I was horrified at all the gross things that I saved, and also annoyed at myself for not talking care of it sooner. One of my problems was that I just couldn't see what was in all those boxes. Just the thought at opening them made me cringe. I went to the mall I got A LOT of big transparent boxes.

Now I can easily find whatever I need, whenever I need it. Like, when my little niece comes over to hang out, I just easily slip up to the attic and get those boxes with barbies, and also really easily pack things back in those boxes afterwards.

Finally...  CLEAN THOSE WINDOWS!!!

Like every second year my mom helps me to get this done. How awesome is that!?! I was so happy this morning when I was sitting in my kitchen, drinking my coffee, and looking out the cleeeeaaaan windows. Thank you mom!

Let's all start our cleaning and organizing! 

Love!

Johanna

April Love

Hello Sunshines!

Sunday funday indeed! It's April, it's sunny and it's lovely! The sun was so bright this morning that it woke me up sometime after 9. Is spring here to stay? Let's say a little prayer and hope for the best. 

How wonderful it is to not have to wear heavy clothes anymore and to just wear a cardigan, vest and sneakers. 

Y'all, I'm not smoking! Haha...

Church tonight... Soooo good! I really needed this! You gotta listen to the podcast when it's up.

There's nothing like a good coffee on a lazy Sunday!

Have a great week everyone!

Love,

Johanna

 

 

Welome To My Place

Hi!

Today I wanna share some pictures of my place with you. I renovated it last spring/summer, and was so happy with how it turned out. Before I get started I gotta take a moment and take in what a beautiful day it is in Stockholm today! As I'm writing this I'm actually sitting on my balcony. The sun is shining on my pale skin, and the birds are singing in the trees. I just love life right now. The other day when it was so sunny, I went a little nuts and started planting flowers out here. I know they're gonna die within hours, but just for a moment I'm gonna be happy about it. 

 Please survive another night dear flowers!

Please survive another night dear flowers!

I decided to renovate my entire place last spring. After endless of hours of sitting on my coach staring at my place and thinking about all the things I wanted to fix, I actually got around to get the project started. Well not me exactly, but the builders did. Oh those poor builders... I must have been their nightmare personified. I'll tell you all about it later... I think it needs it's own blogpost! 

Anyway... I was really afraid of getting started. I think my fear was that I thought I was gonna make the wrong decisions and ruin my place. I've done little projects through the years, such as painting the walls etc, but nothing major. Now that I know how great a place can look with a touch up, I'm so inspired and want new projects!!! It's really fun to create and see the whole process. I have a friend who's done a lot of renovations projects, and he recommended me the construction company, and he also gave me a lot of advice during the way. It was so helpful. It's hard to believe in yourself when you start such a big project for the first time, but next time I know how to do this on my own! (I think).

First off... The colours! I went from quite colourful to all white walls and grey on doors and window frames. I also had my parquet floors white stained. I went out of my mind a little bit whether to go white or dark, but decided on white, and I'm happy I did. I loooove my floors now.

I also decided to through the kitchen door out and make the entrance bigger. It's amazing what difference that made. So much more light and spacious.

I had the electrician put in ceiling spotlights with dimmer in both the hallway entrance and in the bathroom. So worth the money. I feel completely different when I step in to my place nowadays with the great lighting! 

The whole kitchen needed to be done. I went from green walls, to white, grey and brass/gold with a marble countertop. I ordered the details from different places and shops to make it more personal.

Since I went with white walls I could go with grey cupboards. In my opinion, when you go with all white, it tends to feel stiff and sterile. 

I kept my green rugs from my green kitchen days. 

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I've been dreaming of owning a fridge and freezer from Smeg, and I finally made that dream come true. Love it! I actually hugged it when it arrived, (partly because I had been without a fridge and freezer for like 1 week and was starving because I could never buy groceries). 

Even though I had pretty recently painted this room white (from a light purple colour by the way), I had this whole room repainted. I was afraid that if I didn't do that, it might look old in comparison to the rest of the place. The painters also painted all the ceilings. Huge improvement, especially in the hallway entrance. They also smoothed out the unevenness from old wallpaper. I never had the energy to grind it down, so worth the money to let the painters fix it!!!

I bought both my bed, bedskirt and the curtain from my friends at Sänghuset Elgen. They had the headboard, bed skirt and the curtain all custom made just for me.

In my bathroom I lowered the roof and put in ceiling spotlights with dimmer. Great lighting is crucial to have in your bathroom. (Anyone trying to do their makeup in shady lighting knows what I'm talking about). I got a new sink and toilet cabinet, and I put in new patterned clinker floor, but kept the walls as they are. Then I threw out the old bathtub, and put in a shower instead, plus, my best buy: a washing machine. May I never have to share a washing machine again with strangers in a building! I love my little bathroom so much now.

What I've learned from my renovation:

1. Time and preparation. Before starting, don't underestimate the time the renovation will take. Also, don't underestimate the amount of time it will take to get your home ready for it. Take time to organize. It took me forever because I am manic about it, but it made the process much easier when it was time to unpack. 

2. Decide on a color and a theme. If you have a compact living, like I do, decide on a theme for the whole place. At one point my kitchen was green, my hallway entrance was blue and the big room was white. It just felt messy and smaller. Save those ideas for when you get a bigger home. I will for sure.

3. White can be fun!  I never saw myself as the all white walls girl, but actually, it enabled me to be so much more creative with the decoration.

4. Inspiration. I love to get inspired. I get inspiration from peoples houses, places I've seen while traveling, or beautiful movies and interior magazines. When it's time for styling, I take all those ideas and mix it up  and make it my own style. You don't wan't to just copy something you see, it tends to look soulless, and it might not fit the architecture of your home.

5. Ask questions. At each store and before each order, I asked a million questions to make sure it would be right. Don't hesitate to do that. Salespeople like to help and usually have pretty good knowledge of the things they are selling! 

6. Don't rush it. I was very quick with my decisions ones I got started, but I had been thinking about everything for a while. I feel like every home needs to be lived in, or at least, you need to feel what the home needs before just force a style on it. Does that make sense?

7. Don't live in your renovation project. If possible, live somewhere else. I moved back a little bit too early, and it was quite awful. However, it saved me some time while working on unpacking and fixing the place. I will say this though: I woke up each morning coughing from the dust, and I was hungry all the time since the kitchen wasn't ready. I think I lost a couple of pounds. 

8. Think long term. Yes, it's fun with trends, and yes I did go with some of them, but I also really tried to be pretty classic. You don't wanna invest a lot of money in something that next season already feels dated.

9. Don't yell at your builders. They might be big, and they might take their stuff and leave. Make them coffee and give them icecream (preferably päronsplitt). You're paying for their work and you gotta make sure they work. Therefor be firm, but at all time, be nice and charming!

 Biggest man I ever met. Yes, he used to be in the military but now works with kitchen countertops. Those muscles could come in pretty handy with all that lifting!

Biggest man I ever met. Yes, he used to be in the military but now works with kitchen countertops. Those muscles could come in pretty handy with all that lifting!

10. If first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again! You live you learn. Be creative. 

Not that I'm an expert at this subject after one renovation project, but feel free to ask questions or to just leave comments!

Love,

Johanna

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