How to make your own colorful glamping experience

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I’m a bit bummed that we can’t travel this summer. While I’m not too eager to board a plane and jet off somewhere, I am very eager to get out of town! Glampsites have been filling airbnb recently and we are loving it! Whether you want to stay in a canvas tent in a national park, a boho vintage airstream in the desert, or a mini hut in California. That’s right, glamping doesn’t even always have to happen in a tent!

Glamping is the perfect solution for people whose trips were cancelled and might not be down for a major camping trip. A few years back, I made a few camping DIY projects and then glamped overnight in a friend’s treehouse. Yes, it was magical. I’m itching to go again!

Keep reading to learn how you can make your own luxury glampsite anywhere! Up the canyon, or in your own backyard. Trust us, even a stay-cation is worth it right now.

SLEEP WELL

The main reason we never camped much was that none of us could ever fall asleep in a tent. It isn’t really the tent that was the problem though – it was the sleeping arrangements. Typical sleeping camp gear is lightweight, portable, and made out of nylon and polyester. None of that sounds comfortable!! Sorry outdoorsy people, but I’d pick a mattress with sheets and a comforter over a sleeping bag every time. Fancy outdoor retailers sell genuinely comfortable sleeping pads, but I’m looking for real luxury. I’m talking about a folding and portable memory foam mattress pad. I’ve slept on one of these babies before and can confirm that it rocks. Put two together and you’ve literally got a king sized bed.

My next tip for glamping is to bring your own bedding! Bring your sheets, pillows, and a nice quilt to wrap up in. I’m pretty attached to my pillow and know that I’ll sleep better with it than without it. If you aren’t backpacking, there’s no need to worry about space. Bring a fur throw blanket! A body pillow! Get luxe!

 

TOUCHES OF HOME

Before you head out to glamp, I recommend tossing in a few things from home. These items shouldn’t be entirely frivolous, but they shouldn’t be “necessary.” For example, I practically live in velvet slippers these days. What could be better than waking up somewhere beautiful and pulling on clean, warm slippers? The real trendy glampsites are filled with comfy poufs, plenty of pillows for lounging around eating s’mores, and rugs underfoot. We are all for this kind of glampsite decorating, especially if you only travelled as far as your backyard. But if you would rather leave your textiles at home and opt for a regular sleeping bag, there are still ways to beautify your campsite

I’d also plan ahead of time what kind of entertainment you’re bringing. If your camping company is musical, toss in a few portable instruments! We added this DIY guitar strap to ours last time we went camping so we could sing campfire songs all night long!

Games are a big hit with my extended family, so that’s a must-have. Cafe lights would be the perfect accessory to make your night outside feel like a scene from the magical play A Midsummer’s Night Dream. 

You can even include some DIY touches, for real summer camp vibes. Make some outdoors themed felt banners to hang in your canvas tent, or these DIY camp chair covers. And for a campsite craft everyone can get in on, these DIY yarn “God’s eye”s are classic!

Summer camp crafts - DIY yarn God's eyeDIY camp chair cover

EAT WELL

One time in college I went camping with friends and was in charge of planning dinner for us. Mind you, we didn’t camp as kids, so I didn’t know what was normal camp food. I scoured grocery store aisles for a long time, debating which nonperishable items would be best. By the time I was done, I left with what we would call today a charcuterie board! Truly, I brought cured meats, snacking fruits and veggies, an aged cheese that would be fine in the cool night air, and a beautiful rustic loaf of french bread. Yes, my friends made fun of me, but we ate GOOD. I guess they were expecting dehydrated lasagna from a bag.

If you want to level up your camping cuisine and actually cook, try a tin foil dinner! The only real prep required is slicing, all of it can be done in advance. The tin foil packets can be cooked directly over a flame or grill, so there are no dishes to wash! *Cue the Hallelujah chorus.* My family makes tin-foil dinners like this one on the grill quite often. Pick any combo of veggies, starch, and protein, add some seasoning, and you’ve got a real meal! Before you start cooking, start the fire with this homemade herb firestarter and the whole campsite will smell great all evening long.

Another glamping food tip is to bring sliced produce and herbs to put in your water bottle. Who doesn’t love cucumber water? Load up all your snacks in advance in eco-friendly dishware and go enjoy nature. And of course we didn’t forget the American staple – s’mores! Learn how we make these homemade heart marshmallows here!

Here are some of our favorite colorful camp dining supplies below. Pro tip: For extra cuteness cover your coolers and waterbottles in stickers!

 

PLAY WELL

Glamping DIY - printable shadow puppetsglamping DIY - painted rock dominos

Bringing your own hand-painted cornhole set will just the touch of ~homemade fancy~ your glampsite needs, for looks and for entertainment. Or mix crafting and nature with these DIY painted domino rocks! Level up your scary stories with some fitting DIY shadow puppets. Of course card games and friendship bracelets are a must.

DRESS WELL

To wrap it all up, I think traditional camping is filled with unnecessary suffering. Yeah, I said it. Glamping, however, is easy and actually fun! If it’s cold, pack a tent-safe space heater. If it’s hot, bring a battery operated fan! Pack a big bowl to wash your hair in, and use shower wipes often to stay fresh. Oh, and wear clothing you actually like – any washing machine can handle a little dirt. I however, cannot, which is why I glamp.

 

 

The House That Lars Bought: Garden inspiration and first update!

Home renovation update

Before we jump into gardening inspo, I wanted to start off with a little house renovation update. There was one wall in the basement that was…how do we say…naked when we closed. It looked like this.

Every contractor who saw it said that they had never seen anything like it. Frankly, it made me a little nervous hearing things like that.

Earthquake proof and everything proof foundation walls

TURNS OUT! The people who built it got in touch with me on Instagram and have provided a lot of insight. It’s so thrilling. They said that it’s called pollysteel–steel framing with styrofoam. It’s earthquake proof, termite proof, fire proof, and provides better insulation. VERY cool, right? I’m hoping to learn more about the house from them. They’ve already shared a few really touching stories.

I had some drywall experts come on over and they finished it up beautifully.

Ta dah!

Up, that’s the only update. Kind of boring, but I’m all about the baby steps right now.

Landscaping

Ok, now to garden inspiration…The landscaping is mostly super boring town right now. Only lawn but some beautiful sycamore trees. Sycamores remind me of my grandparents home in Los Angeles so I do feel like it’s coming full circle and I’m super stoked about them.

We’ll probably do some different entrance path at some point, again, low on the priority list.

Side yard

And here’s the side yard.

And the other side yard. It’s very slopey so I’ll need your input on what to do here to make it more interesting and garden-y.

Here’s a better view of the side yard . Just grass. And I know a lot of people LOVE grass squares, but honestly, they give me a major case of the snoozies. It’s kind of a swear word to me when someone says “oh, and there’s a big open lawn, you’ll love it”. The amount of flowers you could plant! (dear pun intended).

And how weird is this. Two times I’ve come to the house and the same deer has been in this exact spot munching away. I missed a couple of opportunities on Instastories for this pun and I can’t ruin it again so…it was a major case of deer-ja vu. Hardy har har.

Please diagnosis this tree

Bonus points to whoever can tell me what’s wrong with the side tree. Also, I think I have tryphobia because this picture gives me the chills up and down my spine.

The backyard

The back of the house is long and narrow. There’s a deck coming out from the kitchen with some fir trees. I believe, but need to verify the boundary lines. I was told it’s that telephone post to the right of the shed, which is not ours. I think there’s room to be creative here, but we’ll have to figure out what that is.

Ok, that’s what we have to work with. Now what do we do? This is the fun part…the dreaming! Every phase needs a dream because you need to feel excited about something, right?!

Side yard inspo

Here’s what I’m thinking: put that side green grass square to work by making a more formal symmetrical path with a beautiful gravel and hedges and flowers. These inspiration photos are to illustrate the idea of the paths and types of hedges.

You following?

A place for walking and exploring, beautiful flowers, foot paths, a place to sit and relax. A spot for manicured topiaries contrasted with more wild shrubs.

Front yard

I haven’t flushed out the front yard yet, but I know there’s one thing on the agenda and that’s hydrangeas. There’s ONE type of hyrdangea that grows here in Utah. All the others don’t survive the desert heat. My sister has a neighbor where they are thriving. See?

They only come in that one color and I don’t know the name yet, but they’re so lush. And this house is north facing, as it ours, so I’m feeling like it would be a good plan for the front of the house.

As for the backyard, I don’t have any idea yet…but I’m open to suggestions. Side yard too.

In the mean time, in my mind I’m sitting in the south of France in my side yard and I’m feeling PRETTY good.

Favorite gardeners to follow on Instagram

If you’re needing a big dose of garden inspiration, I ADORE following Danish garden expert, Claus Dalby on Instagram. He’s SO informative and his grounds are out.of.this.world. He gives constant live tours (“livesending” he calls it and he begins every video with “hallo hallo”. I live for it.) We might need to bring a little (a lot!) of Denmark into this project. It’s only right 😉

Also, Monty Don has gotten me through COVID so do yourselves a favor and go watch all of his documentaries ASAP.

Would love your input, especially about sloping side yard and back yard!

Inspiration photos found here, here, here, here, here, here

DIY pool noodle recliner

How to make your own pool noodle recliner

We made this DIY recliner for a comfy way to rest poolside all summer long. It is incredibly simple to make, but so fun to personalize! Now you won’t have to worry about the kids spilling melting popsicles on your nice outdoor chairs.

When completed, this recliner lays out flat. So you can enjoy a nap or work on your tan. Or bundle it up anyway you like to create the way you prefer to rest. Stack just a few of the noodles at the end and make yourself a bed for an outdoor movie! Or stack up a full back rest. So you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite magazine – just like Jasper.

Supplies:

Pool noodles – We used 17

Parachute cord – 128 feet total. We used 2 alternating colors.

Instructions:

  1. Line up your pool noodles. You can use alternating colors, or 3 or more colors to create any pattern you like! See the best color options we found here!

2. Cut your cord into 16 ft lengths. Fold one of the 16 ft lengths of rope in half. Take the loop end & lay it under the noodles, then pull the two loose ends through the loop to secure it around the first noodle.

3. Lay the length of the secured rope under the noodles. Fold another 16 ft length of rope in half and lay it on top of the noodles, tying it to the secured loop on the first noodle.

4. Weave the noodles together by taking the top and bottom lengths of rope and weaving them above and below the noodles, through the loops made by each rope. (The top rope will go below the noodle & bottom rope will come above the noodle, they will intersect & the two strands of one rope will go between the two strands of the second).

5. Continue weaving in this way all the way to the end & secure all 4 ties to the final noodle with a loop or a knot.

6. Weave 4 rows of rope to secure the noodles, with two 16 ft lengths of rope used to make each row.

7. After each row is secure, prop the noodle chair up against a wall or bend it in half to create a stable back. Enjoy your new outdoor pool noodle recliner!

DIY pool noodle recliner

Check out our similar tutorials

Here are some other comfy seating tutorials from Lars days past. Including our rainbow floor pouf, DIY camp chairs to level up your GLAMPING game,

Other summer staples

No pool? No problem! Check out our favorite pool floats here. And our full summer style guide here!

DIY colorful cornhole and bean bag set

DIY Cornhole Set

Most of the cornhole sets for sale online cost around $80. We were able to make our own DIY painteset for around $40, buying the wood ourself! We already had some of the tools needed on hand.

Instructions:

  1. Used this guide for the measurements
  2. Cut 2 of your 2x4s in half, to create (4) 4 foot long sides for your cornhole set.
  3. Cut (4) 21 inch long pieces out of 1 of your other 2x4s, to create the inside edges of your borders. All of the pieces you have cut so far will create the border shown below, you will have one for each cornhole board. Screw these pieces together.

DIY cornhole setDIY cornhole set

4. The (2) 2 foot x 4 foot plywood pieces you have are already the perfect size! Screw the plywood boards to the boards you created in steps 1-3.

5. Now to cut out the holes – On each of these boards, use a 6 inch wide bowl to trace the edge of the circle, placing the circle 6 inches away from each edge of the board, as shown on this guide.

6. Use a jigsaw to carefully cut around the circle edge you drew. Once cut, use sandpaper to smooth the edge.

DIY cornhole setDIY cornhole set

7. Now you just need to add the legs! Cut (4) 10 inch long legs our of your remaining 2×4.

8. Place your board on top of something that raises the top edge 12 inches off the ground.

9. Use a clamp to hold each leg in place while you drill it in place. Complete these steps for the other cornhole board.

how to build your own cornhole sethow to build your own cornhole set

Other resources

If you do not have a jigsaw to cut the circle out of your wood, you can also purchase these pre-made cornhole boards here and just add the border and legs yourself.

If you prefer to buy a pre-made set to paint yourself, here are the best options we were able to find:

Paint your own cornhole set

DIY painted cornhole set

We choose this pattern because it is fun and bold, yet easy to tape off! Choose your paint colors, and get to painting!

We took a nod from one of our favorite design companies, Dusen Dusen and their awesome stripes!

Painting tips

We recommend taping off every other column, painting those blocks your desired colors. Then, once those areas are dry, tape off the reminding columns and finish painting those. Doing it this way will save you time and tape! This way you will only have your change the vertical tape one time, and will only need to move the horizontal tape for each color change. You can see what we mean below – we painted the purple, pale blue, and bright blue columns first, before retaping the vertical lines and adding the other colors.

DIY painted cornhole set

As you can see above, we painted our cornhole set so that when the 2 boards are next to eachother the pattern is complete!

DIY Cornhole Bean Bag Set

Now that your DIY painted cornhole set is complete, all you need are bean bags before you’re ready to play!

Check out our favorite fabrics for projects like this here! Pick out a fabric that matches your outdoor decor and your painted cornhole set, to complete your yard’s look this summer!

DIY bean bag patterns for cornhole

Instructions:

1.     Using a tailor’s pencil (you can use a regular pencil too, when finished you won’t see the lines) to trace the outline of bean bag patterns (star, triangle, circle & square).

2.     Cut out 2 of your bean bag templates for each shape. We layered our fabric and cut two at once.

3.     Once the pieces are cut out pin them together and begin sewing a 1/4” seam around each shape.

4.     Start sewing from the bottom (backstitching at the beginning of your sewing and at the end) and once you return around the shape leave 2″-3″ of the seam open so you can flip the pattern inside out.

5.     Clip and notch the curves appropriately.

6.     Once sewed flip your pattern right side out. You can use a crochet hook or chop stick to push out all the edges.

7.     Use an iron to press out any wrinkles.

8.     Begin stuffing your bean bag with beans or rice.

9.     Once your bean bag is stuffed to your liking, use your need and thread and close the opening using an invisible stitch!

DIY bean bag patterns for cornholeDIY bean bag patterns for cornholeDIY bean bag patterns for cornhole

DIY painted cornhole set

How to Select Outdoor Furniture

Tips for planning your outdoor furniture

First things first – be realistic about the climate and maintenance

If you live in a dry, hot climate, metal pieces might not be the best bet for you. If you live in a humid area that gets a lot of rain, be careful about any textiles you select for the outdoors. Before selecting a piece, think about what kind of work it will require and if you’re willing to deal with upkeep. If you want something that will work anywhere, consider resin or poly-wood furniture. Outdoor furniture made of these materials comes in lots of different price points, colors, and styles. Remember this post from a few weeks back? The svelti chair would be perfect! 

Decorate by material

Wood outdoor furniture

Metal outdoor furniture

Metal chairs like this one come in tons of fun colors and are all the rage right now. They make for the perfect Palm Springs inspired throwback for your backyard.

Rattan outdoor furniture

Rattan furniture is the perfect way to bring some southern charm to your back patio. Click here to find our full list of rattan pieces we love!

2nd – think about location! 

Will the furniture be under a covered patio or out on the lawn? Is your space large or a small apartment balcony? Regardless of the size, you can transform any space to feel magical! If you have a smaller space, choose short outdoor furniture pieces with slats that let light through. This way your furniture won’t be too visually obtrusive. If the space you’re designing is covered, go crazy with cushioned fabric, pillows, and outdoor rugs! In a large space, there is nothing more inviting than a long, low table or bench flanked by mismatched chairs. Add cafe lights and some potted plants and you’ve created your own secret garden!

3rd – what is your goal? 

Comfortable seating for chatting with friends and watching the kids? Or, are you hoping to dine al fresco? Achieve both with this two-birds-one-stone tip: get comfortable seating that works around an outdoor dining table. Move it around to suit your space and circumstance, which will likely change. Remember to have fun and play with the design; that flexibility is what makes outdoor furniture fun! It should be useful, comfortable, and flexible. Goodness knows summer can catch anyone off guard! 

Outdoor dining and bistro

 

4th – unify your outdoor living space with your interior design

Exterior design should go hand in hand with your interior style. If that seems like a difficult task, consider a few things. What colors do you have featured in your home? Are there any patterns you have showcased throughout it? What textures could you replicate outside? A shag carpet might not work, but rattan is foolproof (and weatherproof.) Pillows atop your outdoor furniture that match your interior will help create this luxe indoor-outdoor living experience. Rehome a few accessories (or find coordinating ones) and voila! You’ll have a livable and lovable outdoor space in no time flat. 

Outdoor decor

Once you have turned your backyard into a summery dreamland, check out our long list of outdoor family activities and games so you can put your hard work to good use!

Interview with Sofia Vusir Jansson

Interview with Sofia Jansson of Mokkasin

What do you consider yourself? 

I used to say that I’m a creator and a photographer mainly.  I’m not sure if creator is a commonly used word in English, but I am a person who does a lot of creative projects. My focus is often on prop/set design and DIY. And my job as a photographer, which I am almost exclusively doing these days, includes building the scene for the photos and hand making all of the props. Absolutely not a business person, that is the last I would call myself.

Who helped you “become” who you are?

I would say that my four kids have made me into the person I am. Their free way of seeing the world and their never ending fantasies have influenced me so much. In their minds they’re not so anxious about their worlds, it’s true and imperfect which, for me, is a very perfect way of being. 

Do you feel like you’ve arrived at what you set out to do? 

Yes I think so. Nowadays I do so many different things. No two days are alike, and I love it that way. It’s very easy for me to say YES even if I didn’t know if I could manage the project load. Maybe it is for this reason that I love my job so much, it is never boring and makes me stretch and develop every minute to meet the needs of each project. 

What more would you like to “become”? 

I would like to work more with set design. If I could do it all again I would probably go receive my education in art directing, that’s a dream of mine. Nowadays I work on projects within this spectrum, but I dream about the big traditional theaters and doing set design and art direction. It would also be very fun to be really good at building things, like a carpenter. Or a glass artist! Ohh there are so many things I would love to learn.

Where did you study, and what did you study? 

I haven’t studied more than high school, and after high school I studied to be a hairdresser. I worked in this field for 10 years and loved every day. But, one day I decided to quit, and I have never looked back. I think, if you do something creative you must have some fire inside you, you must love your work.  If you don’t, as it was for me that day, it’s better to find another path. 

How did you get started doing what you do? 

Actually, everything began when I started to run a little shop. I built all the marketing with my own pictures. The same day I started the shop I also started a blog, and THAT is where everything started. The blog transformed from a business blog that connected to the shop, to a lifestyle blog featuring almost exclusively my own pictures. People found me that way and the blog continued to live as a sort of portfolio. In that way, beside running the shop I got more and more assignments with focus at photography, styling and DIY. One lead to the other. 

When did you discover your love for your work? 

I think I have the blog to thank for that, I love the format. I love to tell stories with words and pictures. The blog has let me create my own universe that only my way of seeing things exists.

Were you scared when you first started looking for jobs? How did you overcome this? 

This sounds like some kind of humble brag, but I’m so lucky that the question of “will I have work?” crossed my mind but was never an issue, I have not had to ask or go looking for work. However, I’m not a nervous person in general and I say “yes” without thinking if I can really manage the job people are asking for. After I have said yes, I sometimes can doubt myself. But I’m lucky to have a husband that always gives me encouragement time and time again. 

What’s your goal with your work? 

To always do jobs that follow my gut feeling and heart. And to always have the work have as much of my personal touch on touch in it as possible, not to follow some others. To constantly be true to myself even in the work I do. 

What are you most proud of in your career? 

I am proud of many things! That Numero 74 chose me as their photographer many years ago and that I still get to work with them, they are always passionate their work and their way of seeing the world. This has helped me to develop myself and my vision.

I am always proud when people ask for props/set design and use them in theater and books. These occasions make everything seem so real. That someone would choose the things you have made by your own hands to achieve their dreams.

And, of course, I’m proud of the book Hidden Places. I’m so proud that that book is exactly as I want it to be. I wished to create a kind of book that hadn’t been done before. Something new and more than just a DIY-guide. During the whole process I wanted the book not to be anxious and stacked in norms and structures. I wanted the photographs to have big spaces and to let the text take space and be grounded in the amazing fantasies of my children. I wanted the illustrations and format to be skewed in a good way. When viewing the book you shouldn’t have the feeling that everything is perfect, things are not always but rather creative and full of fantasy and life. Every time someone gives me feedback about the book I’m so very proud and it makes me really happy!

What is it like working with your family? 

So many projects during the year have involved my family. My husband and my four kids. I really love this and for me it is a huge gift, that everything is like a family affair. My kids have helped me relax and let go of control in a very good way. Before, when I was younger, I was a person that wanted control of everything and everyone. When they were born, 4 kids in 4 years I couldn’t live up to this perfect surface anymore and I think that was my rescue. My husband always saves me, both in life but also with jobs and projects. When I am lost he always has a good idea. He is hugely creative and I trust him one hundred percent. I think many people perceive us as quite a messy family with a thousand projects that go on. And, maybe our house is a little bit different but I think it is only in a good way. 

How did your childhood influence what you have become? 

I played a lot and fantasy was always intense, close and felt very real. I remember when I and one of my sisters ventured into imaginary lands years after our friends had stopped. We built our own worlds and a with games we loved we could continue for weeks, nobody was allowed to clean it away. Every summer we stayed at my parents little cottage in the woods, there was no electricity and the TV was from a car battery which meant that we just had TV for a short moment in the morning. We played from sunrise to sunset during those endless summers, our stick horses took us around in the woods. We had our own fun fair, where the old stroller doubled as the roller-coaster. 

Did you feel pressured in any way to pursue a certain career path? 

Not at all, my mom and dad have always encouraged me and my two sisters to go our own way and told us that the future is ours, exactly equal as it is for everyone else. 

What’s your work space like? 

We live in a big house built in 1913, the whole house is my work space. It’s my photo studio and it’s a space that makes it possible (for everyone) to be creative all over the house. Every part of the house, from cellar to attic, is filled with things and ongoing projects. 

What’s a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from?

 I think it comes from when I was little – to always believe in myself. Always go with your gut feeling and to follow your heart. And as I have grown up my husband has always supported me in this. It is so important to have someone by your side, that believes in you. I think one should “collect” people that follow their own paths in life, people that are beyond over thinking and that are not afraid to be themself.

What artists/designers/creatives do you look up to?

Both historical and present, my list holds so many but it’s always women and especially those that have always followed their own path and weren’t afraid to be different. One historical figure that inspires me a lot is Karin Larsson, the wife of Carl Larsson, who is Sweden’s most famous artist. Her way of looking at life and things is very inspiring, things don’t have to be so finicky “the hand should be seen” was one of her saying – that means that you should see that the craft is made by hand. She designed a lot of her own furniture that the carpenter thought was so ugly so he delivered in the night. Another inspiration is the illustrator of the book Hidden Places, her name is Maja Sten and I love her way of painting and her way of seeing artistry and creativity. She always makes everything by hand instead of using a digital program and you can really feel the life in her art. My Feldt – she’s a writer (and running a café, and a ecologic apple farming, and a TV personality ) soon releasing her second cooking book. I love her way of being herself , she is one of the most transparent people I know.

How has social media influenced your work? 

I think I can thank my blog for almost everything, and of course also Instagram in the latest years. I have used it like a portfolio and in that way it has been so important. And of course also the people who have I have crossed paths with on social media.

Who is your work intended for? 

I hope I can inspire people and give them another way to look at the world. Everything doesn’t have to be so perfect and correct. I hope people feel that and also are inspired to be creative. I think people have so much to win in being creative in different ways, everyone should be creative in the way that suits them. I think the future will require us people to be more creative, dare to think outside the box in so many ways. To use the creative part of the brain more often. Nowadays, when so many things are served in front of you is it so easy to forget that you have so much creativity inside yourself. 

What’s inspiring you lately?

Actually, Swedish glass. We have had a long tradition of glassmaking, with lots of glassworkers in a particular part of Sweden.  Unfortunately, this is a craft that is disappearing, more and more every year. That is really sad, so I am reading everything that comes around. I am also planning to visit one of the glassworkers that still practices the craft. 

You can find Sofia:

Instagram @sofiaatmokkasin
Website of Sofia

Photos of Sofia by Kristen Krickelin