weekends are for catching up.

what could be better than having a very lazy summer saturday morning in your new home, enjoying a yummy breakfast, blogging away, seeing the love of your life sitting beside you, having a cute kitty snuggled up at your feet, and “watching” reruns of beverly hills, 90210 on the tube in the background? seriously. pretty damn near perfect, right? or perhaps i’m just a lover of the simpler things in life… i hope i am. i strive to be that kind of person.

in any case, this weekend has gotten off to a fabulous start. and that’s following a pretty awesome week too. sometimes i feel like i’m just going to burst from being overwhelmed by my life.

at the same time, as i enjoy the moments here in asheville, i find myself thinking about those of you, my friends & family, back in sweden. i miss you. and i cherish all of the memories that i have… feeling excitement already about the time when we will see each other again.

but, since i’ve been up to so many different things this week here in the states, i thought i’d update y’all on what’s been going on. so, here we go!

monday: got my iphone back (after it took a little swim in the ocean last week). and went to a protest. you can read about that amazing experience here! and found out, thanks to @murderingtime on instagram (one of my original IG buddies), that my belovelive photo journey now has passed 2000 uploaded photos by people from all over the world! you can see them all here.

photo a day


a little postcard i got in the mail all the way from australia! it’s a greeting from @murderingtime. see how amazing instagram is?!

tuesday: we took care of our bonus-niece for the afternoon. love that girl! love her whole family!


bella and the owl.

wednesday: stayed home all day & took care of business = emails, applications, blogging. cozy, fun stuff. at least that’s how i feel about it.

cozy work space

thursday: drank lots of coffee. yes, i usually drink alot. but this day was an unusually large amount. hehe. met with a journalist/blogger at a downtown asheville cafe for a networking session. we discussed my blog, writing, what my niche is, and just got to know each other a bit. sent out more applications (mostly teaching gigs).

world coffee

friday: well, it was a top-notch, amazing, one of my fave days back in asheville so far, kinda day! and i’ve got tons of photos to show you. ready?


the sunrise from our balcony.


meditating outside. on said balcony. it doesn’t get more inspiring!


after the premiere workout session in our gym, we had the premiere dip in the pool!


no i did not get another… our friend, jessica, got her first! yay! (but i did make plans for my 40th birthday next year. hehe).

the gourmet chip company

made a stop at the gourmet chip company downtown for an afternoon snack. YUM.

the girls

happy girls. that’s jessica in the middle. she’s extra happy with her new tat.

asheville tourists

time for the great american pastime: a baseball game!!


bella’s first baseball game. and lina’s second. my 1000th.

play ball!

the national anthem is over… play ball!

baseball game fireworkssaturday is well underway now, and i’ve enjoyed my morning and am ready to move on to a few errands and then perhaps another dip in the pool this afternoon. tough life, huh? but, in my defense, it’s still summer… and i have a few things/plans underway next week on the job front. wink wink. you’ll have to wait fro another blog post to hear about that.

until then, have a fantastic weekend. take some time to breathe/meditate/be/listen. and seek out ways to be aware and present in the moments that you are given.

all my love & peace.


red, white, and woo hoo!

i celebrated the fourth of july with a few fellow americans in sweden for the first time this year. fun! of course, i have celebrated every year one way or another… last year was extra special. anyway, it was a fun evening last night, so i thought i’d give you a little peek into our celebrations! hoping all you americans had a happy 4th! warning: there are more american flags than one should have around them at any given time…


we stuck flags in our bags. hehe.






our hosts. american on the left!!







happy weekend to each of you! TGIF! peace out.

having an expat moment.

forgive me, but i must share a little bit of my american pride. even though i’m way over here in sweden, i made sure to sit myself down in front of this computer screen i’m typing on right now in order to watch the 57th presidential inauguration in the USA today. fun fact: i learned how to spell “inauguration” correctly today. it’s a tricky, weird word.

anyway. it’s been a good day for the states, in my opinion. i was so excited about the second inauguration of president obama for today! i had a feeling it was going to be powerful & touching ceremony. and sure, enough, as soon as the ceremony started, all of my american-ness welled up in me, made a lump in my throat, and fell down my cheeks in the form of tears. as i watched the whole thing unfold before my eyes on my screen, i was moved & inspired time & time again. from the beautiful, long opening prayer to james taylor’s simple song to the amazingly realistic poem (by a hispanic gay, btw) to kelly clarkson & beyonce’s powerful music to obama’s stirring, uplifting, ground-breaking speech. all of it was amazing.

i just have to share one thing, that directly affects me, that obama said today in his speech. he took the notion of and the belief in equality even farther than it has ever been taken before in a presidential speech on inauguration day:

“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

beautiful, huh? and so promising! things are changing. i believe it.

yep. today i am a proud ex-pat – not just because of the above statement, but for everything that being an american living in swedent means to me. yes, i’m feeling a bit homesick. a bit nostalgic. a lot of hope. and so very blessed to call two countries, which i admire, home. but today… today, i devote all of my pride to my home land, the place where i was born. the country which holds my past & my heart. the place where i first learned about diversity, acceptance, carefree spirits, opportunity, and beauty – and what it means to be a well-rounded citizen of, not only the us, but the entire world. today, i dedicate all my thoughts, hopes, dreams, & prayers to the place from where i come, the place that made me who i am. the place that taught me to fly… the united states of america.

and that’s how it ended. whoa. over the top flood of emotions enveloped me, so i grabbed my love, and our german friend, and headed out to a new bar & food place for some dinner & beer to do our own kind of international celebrating. and we did just that.

happy inauguration day, americans! hope & peace.

monday’s message.

hello, world!

it’s a gray, cozy monday here in the northern land of sweden. i’m thinking that we haven’t seen the sun in about 2 weeks here, but i’m not really complaining. it is quite cozy. and, i mean, it’s fall… so it’s supposed to be rainy, chilly, & darker.

it’s been a really good weekend, i think. i was off & it felt quite calm, even if we were pretty busy. nothing was rushed, everything was fun, and the company we kept was tip top. so, here are a few snippets from my fall weekend…

after a lazy saturday morning, we headed out into a foggy, misty norrköping to the industrial area by the river. the old factory buildings are now museums, art galleries, and cultural centers.

we went in the yellow building in the above picture for a workshop… and heard an amazing & inspirational woman speak about life & freedom. the theme of the day was: ge into upp! don’t give up!

after the workshop we were invited to dinner at our friend’s home… an american!! and of course, when americans get together, all craziness can happen. fajitas for dinner (she’s from new mexico, so the fajitas rocked. wine, music, singing, video games. i haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

sunday was crazy, yet calm. we were home all day, but we had a revolving door, with people coming in and out all day. lina was busy with projects, i’m not sure what i did, but i loved it. the last visitor was our friend, g, and we watched “the phantom of the opera”, well most of it… g had to go early. a really cozy sunday.

and here comes the message for monday…

i thought it was so inspiring and wonderful. something to think about… no matter where you are, or what you choose to do, even if it’s not much at all, soak it in. do it 100%. and enjoy every little moment of your day.

my monday morning: i’m gonna write today. ♥

what you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. ~author unknown

peace and love.

time to get cultured.

here i am sitting on my sofa, sipping on a glass of wine, with about five blog posts swirling around in my head. so much to write, so little time. isn’t weird how you feel like you’re either gonna explode from ideas and things that you can’t wait to write about, or you’re gonna curl up into a little ball in a corner somewhere because you can’t think of anything at all to write about? oh, come on. it’s like that for you, right? i can’t be the only one. pleeeeease don’t let me be the only one…

well, i’m only gonna put out one post tonight, but tomorrow is my day off! happy dance. so, i’m gonna work on stuff all freaking day long. drinnk coffee. stay in my pj’s. of course, as luck would have it, i’ll probably be in that curled up in a corner mood when i wake up. just kidding. i have some goals, so i’ve gotta get some stuff done. or at least begin it.

but, tonight, i’m gonna share some pics from my weekend. i worked friday night (a blog post in itself. it totally deserves it.). awesome. incredible. and the rest of the weekend has been pretty amazing as well. saturday was “culture night” in my city (kulturnatten), a day/night that i love! there is live music, free concerts, good food, lots of little plays, poetry slams, eclectic art, and local shops stay open, welcoming you in with candles, snacks, and more music. it’s an artist lovers dream night. if you wanna know more about it you can read here. it’s like a funky, artsy, eclectic vibe pulses through the city and the streets are crawling with people.

enough chit chat. take a look!

saturday (culture night)

first stop… a little second-hand, vintage boutique. loved it.

bought a bag. THE bag. exactly what i’ve been looking for, for a year. and i found it about 5 blocks from my apartment. hehe. but, i’m totally in love. oh, and the necklace is new too! a birthday gift from some native english speaking friends.

vintage. boho. love-o.

on to an antique bookstore. freaking cool.

and then, a funky record shop. see the pattern? yes, i like old things. all things retro & vintage.

next up: a concert in the church where i work… swedish, russian, & gospel. sweet. (and my love was singing too!)

then, time for a pub or something with my love & a fellow american. on the way, we heard music. so, what did we do… we danced, of course. crazy, carefree americans. and proud of it. uh huh.




this here is what is known as a cinema (with a funky misspelling on purpose)… a place where only indie films & documentaries are shown = we love it.

we watched a documentary on olaf palme, sweden’s prime minister, who was assassinated in 1986. it was awesome. and i’ve found a new hero to add to my list.

on our way out… headed home for the evening.

all-righty, my dear friends & family. i suppose that’s all for this day. it’s late & time for bed. can you believe that tomorrow is october?! time is flying by. i blinked & september has just become a memory. i racked up tons of good memories this september, though. looking forward to october and fall settling in big time. i hope y’all have had a great weekend. if you feel like it, leave me a comment & let me know what you did!

sleep tight, my lovelies. peace.

happy 4th!

it could’ve been a bad day. it could’ve been insanely emotional, filled with tears and sobs, and the longing of being in the states with the rest of my family. it could’ve been a day ruined by homesick feelings, leaving me bed-ridden and under the covers.

but it wasn’t.

it was the complete opposite. of course, i missed (and still do now in the quiet moments of the evening) celebrating the 4th of july today in the states with my family’s traditional bbq and crazy, insane fireworks. it hurts in my soul when i think of it, and i am longing to be there.

still, i am very, very excited by and thankful for this day, which is coming to a close. i went to work, had another amazing time working with my college… geez we work together beautifully. then, i was invited to a fun & yummy lunch with some fabulous ladies. after that, i did some errands (which involved a little shopping. always fun errands), and finally spent some time with my love.

when i met up with her, i was greeted by whitney houston singing “the star spangled banner”, there was a big “happy 4th!” greeting on the wall, and a basket full of american junk food, candy, and soft drinks (stuff i don’t get here!) waiting for me. it was crazy amazing and i could’ t believe that she had co-conspired with her parents and gone to all this trouble just for me… because it is the fourth of july. america’s independence day. i seriously was in shock, going from laughing, to my eyes filing with tears, and then laughing again. needless to say, she surprised me in the most awesome way. ♥

at one point this afternoon/evening, lina and i were sitting outside on a blanket. we were listening to music, laughing, talking. i looked at her, and she looked back. i was mesmerized and captivated by her, sinking deeper & deeper into her blue, doe-shaped eyes. at that moment, i remembered something. no matter where i am, or where we are… no matter what happens. no matter what we face. no matter how homesick, scared, confused, or sad either one of us feels (she’s homesick for the states too), everything will always be fine. i will always be home… because of our love.

ok. here come some pictures of my july 4th celebration:

now, the sun is setting on this 4th of july. it has been quite different than most 4th of july’s i’ve experienced; and yet, it’s been really good. i’m headed to bed now feeling overwhelmed & blessed, like my cup is overflowing.

whether you are an american or not, i hope that you found something to celebrate today. if not, perhaps you’ll find something tomorrow!

red, white, & blue peace. (i just had to).

morning. (noon. and night.)


i woke up early this first morning of june because this cute little thingy jumped up next to my face, and began meowing for me to get up. i heard the rain pattering on the window outside, saw the gray clouds through my curtains, checked the temperature on my phone, and decided to ignore her little cries and snuggle back under the covers for a few more minutes.

i lay there thinking, “is june really here? how can it be that we are beginning the 6th month of the year already? 2012 is flying by.” zola kept bugging me to get up, so i decided it was time to get this month started. i wandered into the kitchen, started a pot of coffee, and fed the super-talkative zola. then, i continued my pondering about the beginning of june, wondering what this month has in store for me.


at noon i went to lunch at a yummy mexican restaurant with a fellow american! the picture above is the freaking awesome floor in the restaurant. the other american & i know each other from the church where i work, and have said many times that we’d love to get together, but you know how that goes… life flying by so fast. everyone so busy. what was i saying before about having a hard time believing it was june already? anyway, we passed each other on our way to work on wednesday. she sped by on her bike, as i walked  in the opposite direction. about 5 minutes later, i got a text: “was that you that i saw on my way to work?” and a few texts later we had set up a lunch date for today. cool!

it was so much fun to hang out with a fellow american, even if she’s lived here for about 20 years. i guess you’re always american deep inside. we clicked and probably could have stayed there all afternoon, but we went our separate way after an hour of talking about the states, our families, comparing notes on the plusses & minuses of living in sweden/usa, and a little theology. it was so great to connect with someone from the states… not something i get a chance to do very much. feels a little bit like home.


i have spent the evening hanging out with my love. just being together. at one point she took a nap, and i entertained myself by snapping some self-portraits. hehe.

the rainy, windy, cold weather has continued from this morning, so it has been a cozy night to be inside. but, what a way to begin june. oh, north carolina summer weather, how i miss you so right now. still, in an effort to be present in this moment, i am working hard to focus on how relaxing and wonderful this evening has been.

sending you warm thoughts of sunshine, fireflies, bonfires, sand between your toes, bbq’s and late night summer walks. and if you have the pleasure of enjoying anything those things now, just know that i will be living vicariously through you… until the day that summer returns again to sweden.

peace & love.

by the way… i’m gonna mix it up with my instagram/photo a day pictures this month. but, there will be a post everyday inspired by the word of the day. promise.

26: 12 o’clock.

an american classic for lunch at 12.00: a BLT (bacon, lettuce, & tomato). summer memories flooded my brain & my taste buds thanked me.

left the apartment just after 12 & discovered the circus is coming to town! in the square a few blocks from our apartment. course, i don’t think i’ll be going. but, it’s still cool to see. ya gotta love a big top.

kept on walking through beautiful norrköping on this spring saturday.

walking home on a warm, spring evening. i just thought the building & sky looked beautiful. and i’m having a little balcony envy too.

i’m ending the day at home like every other swede, or european for that matter, watching the eurovision song contest – a european american idol, except way bigger & definitely waaaay more interesting. each country sends a singer that won a contest in their home country. so, sweden had a song contest back in the winter to pick the singer who would compete tonight. you just gotta check out sweden’s chick… loreen. she is amazing! and all of europe is talking about her. go sweden!

listen to some good music tonight! peace out.

update: it’s now well after 12 o’clock am & sunday has arrived. i simply must get myself to bed. but, i had a little eurovision song contest update… loreen (the chick from sweden) won!! woo hoo! a proud moment for sweden!

 loreen singing “euphoria” right after she won tonight!

first class all the way.


hanging out here in first class on the train to gothenburg for the weekend. surfing the net for free, sipping coffee, eating chocolate, soaking in the Swedish sunshine warming me through the window. train rides are sooo cozy. just another day in the life… hehe. not really. we never travel first class, but it wasn’t that much more expensive thjs time, so we went for it. and i’m loving it.

inevitably i always hear some english when I travel, and just now i discovered that there are 2 american men sitting a few seats in front of me. it feels so cool when i hear american english, like i’m instantly connected with fellow patriots from across the pond. they are speaking quite loudly, so i am staring intensely. hehe. can’t stop. and there’s also this elderly Swedish lady making tons of phone calls about random things. she speaks very slowly & very loudly, so we all know what’s going on with her. great people watching on a train, if the view outside the windows bores you (which should never happen here – boredom – since the countryside is beautiful!),

anyway, we’re headed to the west coast to visit friends this weekend and just hang out. youknow there will be a little shopping, a little fika, a little wine, and tons of pics. gonna be so great to have 3 days completely off. yay!


quote of the day:

“the very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. the joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”
~ Chris McCandless

wishing you a fabulous weekend! peace.