Posts in daily
How I Know You're My Person: A Saturday in February
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A saturday in February. We spent the morning watching The Office. Because even though we’ve already watched all the seasons within the last year, we decided to re-watch them all. And this is why I love you. This is how I know you’re my person. We took the bridge over to North Vancouver, then past West Vancouver, all the way to Horseshoe Bay. We just wanted a coffee. You told me to put the phone away, just like I had asked you to tell me a couple of days before. A weekend without the phone, please.

We looked for a place to eat. The sun was shining, it felt like April. We went to a place called Trolls, which is just a regular diner. Known for their chips. I had a shrimp sandwich - it was extremely mediocre. You had chips and chicken fingers so there were no complaints on your part. I sighed and sulked; we always go to your kind of places for food, never to my kind of places. I’m so tired of diners and fries and boring Canadian food. Boring Irish food too, for that matter. I let it go though. There’s nothing I like better than to eat out with you and talk about nonsense. It doesn’t really matter where it is.

We got a coffee in Starbucks, and headed out to the pier. I had a long speech about creativity and vulnerability. That people who are really talented at what they do often lack vulnerability and therefore they stop evolving. They get millions of people to look at their stuff, but no one will remember their actual name because they didn’t really put themselves out there. I spoke about the importance of being personal, of getting people to remember who you are. Of not being afraid of criticism. Surely it’s better to have a few people know about you, I mean really know about you, than having a million people getting your attention for a couple of seconds and then they go back to not knowing where you came from or where you want to go. I used other people as examples, but we both knew I was expressing my own fears.

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We left and went to Lighthouse Park after strolling around for a while, but more on that later. For now let’s just admire this picture of a you looking like the glorious angel that you are.

daily, vancouver, winterEmma Carlsson
The Day That Kacey Musgraves Conquered The Grammy Awards

The snow arrived yesterday. Me and Andrew walked down to Olympic Village, it was our only plan for the day (I love sundays). When we left our apartment there were only tiny, tiny flakes floating around. As we walked through the residential areas of Mount Pleasant, house spotting, the wind caught up and heavy flakes started dancing around in every direction.

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If I ever, for some reason, had to get a truck, this would be the one.

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We went to Craft Beer Market for lunch. We’ve been there a couple of times before, being one of the first restaurants we visited last year when we arrived. There’s definitely sentimental value to the place. We always get the exact same thing. Andrew gets the hot wings, I get the fish tacos. We sat there for hours drinking beer, talking and watching the snow outside the window.

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While eating, I couldn’t resist taking these photos of the cutest little girl eating her chicken wings. I die! I DIE!

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Heading outside a couple of hours later the snow had properly turned Olympic Village into a winter wonderland!

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Outside in the Olympic Village Square, they have these amazing big statues of birds that we had never seen before. The snowy weather made them fit in perfectly.

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This diary-entry-thing is very photo heavy but it’ll have to do. Sometimes visuals are way better than text - sometimes it’s the complete opposite. I loved spending the day with Andrew just walking around, people watching, dog spotting and exploring familiar and unfamiliar areas of Vancouver.

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We took the bus home. Traffic was a bit crazy, and I don’t blame people going a bit crazy when so much snow came in the space of just a couple of hours.

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Andrew arriving home to find his second girlfriend Misty the Mazda completely covered. It continued showing all that night. It was the brightest evening in a long time all thanks to the snow lightning up the streets! We thought about going out in the evening to take some more pictures, but with the heater on inside and tired from the pints of beer and the wet shoes, we decided against it. Plus the Grammys were on, so.

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daily, vancouver, winterEmma Carlsson
Traditional Cappuccino $4.25
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What follows is a list of things I sincerely enjoy and should do more often:

a) shower
b) use deodorant
c) cut nails
d) brush hair
e) moisturize face
f) moisturise upper arms and lower legs
g) put on foundation
h) powder
i) blush
j) brow gel
k) mascara
l) pink lipstick
m) brush teeth (preferably before applying the pink lipstick)
n) use perfume
o) drink a glass of water
p) take necessary pills (allergy, headache, sinus, fever, vitamins (sometimes) - whatever it is that that day requires)
q) put on fresh underwear
r) black jeans
s) soft sweaters
t) same old shoes (the ones with holes in them)
u) huge fluffy jacket
v) huge fluffy scarf
x) pack a bag with notebook, computer, wallet, pens, book
y) leave the house
z) listen to music without vocals (on your walk to a coffee spot or a park or just around the neighborhood or wherever) because sometimes your own voice in your head is enough to overwhelm almost anybody


A Saturday in January

Hey listen. If you told me to read the previous post out loud to you, I’d refuse because it probably doesn’t make sense, and I’d be too embarrassed. I was writing it with an extremely cloudy mind due to hormones and migraines and stress, oh my. But I’m going to keep it there as a reminder of my imperfection. Or something.

I need to recap some saturdays here. Ever since I stopped working, I’ve been off on saturdays which has completely c h a n g e d my life. Who knew you could have two days off together with your loved one instead of just one? Is this how normal people live? Also, how sad is it that I’m AMAZED at the opportunity of spending 2 full days with doing exactly what I want. Is that really the type of life we should be striving for? I want more. I demand more than just 2 days.

Anyway. We spent a saturday in January, the first one we had off together, at the Riley Park’s Farmers Market. It’s one of two farmers markets here in Vancouver that are open year around.

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Loads of food trucks, but also local businesses showcasing honey, cheese, deli meats and exotic teas. You name it. You can do your weekly shopping here, if so inclined. Eggs, vegetables, bread - you know. We bought maple bacon that was To. Die. For. Apart from that, we were mostly just dog spotting.

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Andrew wanted a plain crêpe. Just sugar, no butter, no lemon, no nothing. This dog, a regular, obviously wanted one too. He was confident that his charm would eventually break a kind customer into submission. He was right.

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Dogs deserve anything they want and more. I didn’t end up getting a crêpe; instead I absolutely devoured these Cochinita YVR empanadas from Marimba. They were honestly one of my favourite dishes I’ve ever had here in Vancouver. Just thinking about them makes me hungry - and I just had lunch.

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After lunch and a nice stroll around all the stalls, we decided we weren’t done with the day quite yet. We went to Main Street which is my favourite part of Vancouver (which is lucky considering we live just next to it). First stop was The Fish Counter because Andrew was still hungry! While he doesn’t eat fish, he does enjoy a good chipper.

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A big portion of fries for $4, who can resist? It’s all in the batter. After The Fish Counter we headed to Liberty - a bakery / coffee shop that reminds me very much of a European fika place. I’ve already showed you a picture of Liberty in my recent post, but I’ll just add that they have the best cinnamon + cardamom buns in Vancouver! As Swedish as you can get.

Oh, and this is how I looked like. In case future me is wondering.

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eat, daily, winter, vancouverEmma Carlsson
The Art of Doing Nothing
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Getting closer to 30 is just as exhilarating as I assumed it would be. For as long as I can remember I’ve been longing for 30. For me, 30 always meant being able to live the “boring” lifestyle everyone claimed I lived anyway, without feeling any guilt about things I should be doing. It’s almost like how babies become a grand excuse to get out of things. “I can’t go to that thing with you tonight, you see I’m 30 now.”

I’ve always enjoyed doing nothing. I played on my own a lot as a child (I know, major surprise there). I enjoyed going on trips or staying over with my grandparents. Their slower pace suited me; there was so much space for all that daydreaming I was occupied with. Anyway. As you grow up, you start realising that doing nothing is not valued by our society. On public transportation you see people working, to save time. Instead of just enjoying the train ride, you could do some work on your laptop, or at least read a book. As technology progressed, this became even more prominent. There are now more and more tools for us to use in order to secure productivity at all times.

I could never be productive all of the time. I get spurts, and if I miss one of those spurts it’s g o n e. On buses and trains I prefer to do nothing at all. At cafes, my favourite pastime is to do absolutely nothing at all. Maybe browse on the internet, maybe listening to music, maybe read or write down some words in my journal. But for me, those activities is just an extension of a daydream. Not something that will actually lead to something. It’s doing an activity with an end goal in mind that I have a problem with, not the act of doing itself.

One of the perks of almost being 30, especially as a woman, is knowing how your body works in seasons, too. You become aware of when you have energy to produce, invent, organise, analyse or when you should simply do nothing other than just rest. Let things simmer. Otherwise the flavours won’t come out etc. My body has worked the same for many years now; there are a couple of hours a day where I can be creative - but not every day. I cannot study or write an essay after 5pm. My brain shuts down.

I remember days in college where me and my friends would all go to Starbucks for an intense study-session, and all I did was just stare at pictures of dogs (probably). I called it procrastination. I thought it was me trying actively NOT to work. We look at procrastination as something negative, and maybe it is. But maybe we don’t always procrastinate just cause we choose not to do something? Maybe we just need that time to be spent doing absolutely nothing at all.

None of those days where I rested instead of working did me any harm. I still graduated. With good grades, mind you. I went to bed early. I avoided all-nighters like the plague. I knew that wasn’t my style, I couldn’t handle it. And this I hold very dear: the knowledge of exactly what my body needs.

Right now I’m not working. I’m in between jobs. I’m taking some time to do absolutely nothing at all. It helps that the first weeks of my unemployment is being spent pre-menstruating and menstruating. Yes I said it. It helps slow things down, it allows me to not rush into things and then feeling like shit because it wasn’t the right type of thing. I know there will be a time when I won’t like resting, where I thrive on being creative and productive. But I know that that time is not right now. And acknowledging your seasons gives you all the power.

Some inspiring articles:

“In a world that has glorified hustling and exhaustion in pursuit of creative production for far too long, my cycle has shown me sustainable creativity is not only possible, but wildly effective.” - Claire Baker
https://wepresent.wetransfer.com/story/claire-baker-periods-and-creativity/

“We don’t have to glorify work. … There are only so many hours in a day, and I’ll be damned if I will work more of them than I have to.” - Laura Jane Williams
https://www.redonline.co.uk/red-women/blogs/a25829735/laura-jane-williams-death-to-the-hustle/


Less Showreel More Scrapbook

The title is a quote by Lucy Sheridan from her text regarding the worry we feel over Instagram/Blog posts; the hesitation to showcase our life due to our "content" not meeting imaginary expectations. Bottom line: let go of comparison and focus on showing a scrap-booked version of your life and not the highlight reel. 

Yesterday was filled with so many of my favourite activities. Me and Andrew left home early to drive south, a block away from the border. Misty, our very charming car, doesn't have a working AC so we were boiling in no time. We stopped at a gas station to get breakfast; medium roasted brewed coffee and a blueberry muffin. Andrew had a kinder egg. We parked up at an RV park close by, to look at a dog show. Growing up I always went around with mom to different dog shows. I love the feeling of a dog show, so even though we don't own a dog ourselves we love to visit "dog events" and just stare. Due to the heat people were spraying their dogs with water bottles and many of them wore cold dog show capes. We decided to opt out of the dog show hot dogs that were served, and went to White Rock instead. White Rock is a beach town named after a - you guessed it - white rock. We had fish and chips on the beach. Reapplied sun lotion. Even though I brought my swim suit, I was too lazy to get it from the car but I desperately wanted to swim in the water so I went in with my under garments. Due to the low tide the water was shallow and so, so warm. I couldn't stop smiling; I was so happy. During the summer months all I want is to be in the water, and this was the first dip I had this year. Tired from the sun, the beach and the food but still not ready to go home we decided to book tickets for the cinema that evening, the new Mission Impossible film. Honestly, I was so amazingly surprised. I had no expectations because action films are not usually my thing, but I loved, loved this movie. You have to see it. On the big screen, with good speakers. I couldn't stop smiling throughout the film, it was so incredibly well made. It was also such a perfect ending of a perfect day here in Vancouver. I didn't take a single photo. Or I did, but they're not worth showing to anyone since they can't possibly convey what was actually going on. Here instead follows three pictures not taken by me but would fit well into this page of my scrap-book-life: 

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Pictures are all taken from Tumblr, credit sources here: mvisional

dailyEmma Carlsson
Lately
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Lately I've been loving the warmer weather, blue skies and trees dressed in bright green, pink, white and peach. Spring came so fast: all of a sudden after a couple of rainy days people were wearing summer clothes and walking around looking a bit happier, like life now was a bit easier. 

Lately I've been watching The Office with Andrew like a mad person. We only have a couple of episodes left now, and I'm already in mourning. How one cannot crush on John Krasinski is beyond me - I even forced Andrew to come with me to see The Quiet Place, which turned out to be a great film honestly. 

Lately I've been full time at the pet shop I'm working at. Overall I really enjoy working there: there's always something to do, you're always on your feet and you're bound to pet and say hi to at least 10 dogs per day. 

Lately I've been eating pretty badly: I try my best to cook and eat at home, but it's hard. The prices for groceries here scare me. Add a low paying job to that and a high rent and voila! It's a problem that I'm working on fixing. We're heading into May, we've been officially in our apartment for a month and I've been working full time for a month so better, more planned and stable days are coming. I hope. 

Lately I've been really excited for dad to come to Canada on Saturday! He'll be staying in Alberta, and then sometime in June we'll meet up for a holiday. It'll just be so great to have him here in the same country, in the same time zone. I'm also super excited about Jennifer moving to California on Saturday as well! Two of my favourite people in the world, in the same time zone as me! Yay! 

Lately I've been missing home/Sweden like crazy. It's the "summer" days. I think of Swedish lakes and Swedish trees and Swedish traditions and food and houses. What I wouldn't do right now for a BBQ outside in the sunshine with my family right now. 

daily, familyEmma Carlsson
Ten Days Later

So. Seems like I had an unintentional blog-break. That's ok. 

In the meantime I started my new job, which is always exhausting because you're learning so many new things all at once. Not just how to actually do your job, or detailed facts about the products you're selling; what the company stands for etc. - but also about the humans working there. You learn who's in charge, who's responsible for what and who you might become friends with. You keep yourself as neutral as possible, because you don't want to offend or overshare or step on anyone's toes. At least that's me. Trying to fit it, trying to establish myself little by little; see what spot's available. At the moment I'm one of the new girls, the one with the accent. 

The job itself is only part-time, so I still have to look for another one. And learn all the office politics all over again. Whatever pays your rent, right. Speaking of rent, we signed a lease to an apartment we get to move into at the end of this month! It feels both good and scary. Good because the landlord is amazing, the location is amazing and the apartment itself is pretty sweet. Scary because it's a huge commitment, and neither me or Andrew really have the required income yet. I mean we have savings, but it's still scary because we're definitely taking a risk here. Commitment is scary for me in general. I always like to have one foot in one place, the other foot in another place and the rest of my body somewhere else. Like I'm divided equally between past, present and the future. This is the wrong way to live and I know that. But it's the only way I know how to.  

Other than that me and Andrew have been obsessed with a South Korean show called Hello, My Twenties on Netflix! Don't ask why, just watch it. We loved it. 

dailyEmma Carlsson
The Patriarchy Will Fall (And Other Good News)
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Welcome, welcome first Monday of March! With every passing day it's getting warmer and brighter, and I can't tell you how much we all need it? Collectively? If you survived February without a hint seasonal affective disorder I need to congratulate you and tell you that you were one of the few lucky ones. For most people I know, this winter has been tough. As the world is growing smaller, I have a feeling we're more inclined to be absorbed by each other's sense of desolation. With more accessible information, we also now know more about ourselves (and others) than ever before: we're learning that our behavior could be a sign of something else. The realization makes us sad, as we go deeper into our wounds. It's not all bad, since in order to heal you need to realize that healing is what you need. Rather than being an endpoint, it's a start. 

Anyway.

Last night Andrew and I were watching the Oscars in front of our fake fireplace. How gorgeous was the set-design? I was blown away. Shape of Water might have deserved Best Film but Timothee Chalamet should've won Best Actor. This weekend was a good one; we walked on the beach, I got a job offer and we went to our first apartment viewing. I developed a cough, but apart from that, I was as happy as can be.

Earlier that day, we went to Canada Place to visit the Outdoor and Adventure convention, mainly to attend one of the photography workshops. It's amazing how photography is still so dominated by older men. What amazes me more is their confidence in their own art. If only women could let themselves feel the same pride in their art? The same self-respect? Imagine a world in where women all over are taking up space and being celebrated for it, in where they celebrate themselves for their own achievements (small or large). There's a quote by Swedish singer Lisa Ekdahl, which once translated goes something like this: "The patriarchy will fall, within your lifetime". Repeat it over and over again till it becomes the truth. 

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Setbacks
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After a long, unpublished text of mine got deleted for some mysterious reason, I've been feeling unmotivated to write anything else. That, and my mind is completely clogged up and blurry. It's worse whenever a Monday comes around and you're not ready to let go of the weekend. You feel like you need more time to do absolutely nothing other than resting and reflecting. Why we only have 2 out of 7 days "off" per week is beyond me. 

There's an inner stress I don't seem to be able to shake off. There's also a rebellion, going on inside me. The start of something bigger. Whenever you feel uncomfortable, it usually means something else, something bigger, is heading your way. And I feel so uncomfortable right now, so unstable. But I've been here before, and I know some things you just have to wait out.

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dailyEmma Carlsson
North Vancouver Getaways

If you were to ask me what it looks like exactly from where I'm sitting right now, I'd show you this picture: 

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Announcement: we've fallen in love with North Vancouver. Why? Well for many reasons. The slower pace, the cleaner streets, the mountains, all the trees. The trails. The way you can see the snow from here, and you can easily go up and roll in it if you want to. Just take the bus! (We did, over the weekend. I'll show you later; it was pretty magical)

You get to North Vancouver on the Seabus (ferry). It's honestly so convenient. Many people complain, how there aren't enough bridges here, but we love it. Who doesn't love a ferry? 

(ps. these pictures of us going from Canada Place to the Seabus are from my instagram stories. follow me here.) 

Anyway. Today's monday; me and Andrew are both sick with a cold but loving the sunny weather so can't resist being outdoors. The forecast is looking pretty good this week, believe it or not (we can't). It's such a completely different experience being here when it's not constantly pouring rain and all you see are dark skies over wet, cold and tired people.

We're going to start looking for jobs + accommodation in North Vancouver. I don't know if there's enough jobs, but I'd love to find something here, close to the mountains with the skyline of downtown as my view instead of my playground. You can take the girl out from the forest but you can't take the forest out of the girl and all that jazz! 

daily, vancouver, winterEmma Carlsson
Inner City Life: Inner City Pressure

Sorry for that Flight of the Conchords title. Fun fact: Andrew has never watched Flight of the Conchords but loves when I sing the songs to him and "can't wait" to watch it. 

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If you were to ask me how a normal day is, here, in Vancouver. While I'm unemployed and spending every minute with my best friend. Then I would say this is it. Us taking the bus and us waiting for more buses to come our way.  

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It's also this. Us finding cafes to have fika and/or lunch at. Do they have power outlets? Do they have WiFi? Then me ordering whatever that's on the menu, and you special ordering whatever you can eat. For example on this day, when we went to Prado on Fraser and you had two Belgian waffles with nutella and a side of bacon for lunch (I love you). 

Even though I hope we both get jobs (that we like) soon, I'm doing my very best to enjoy this. Just exploring with you, all the daily stuff. (I love you)

daily, vancouver, winterEmma Carlsson