sharing is caring

coffee love

there are a couple of things i have been thinking about lately. one, a little selfish and narcissistic, and the other, much more loving and outside of myself. let’s get the narcissism out of the way first.

i’m pondering what’s happening with my blog. the comments and likes have seemed to drop off so far in 2014. and when that happens, i begin to question what i’m doing and writing. am i doing something wrong? am i boring? or is this normal? i also end up getting “tagging anxiety” after i write every post. can nobody find my blog because i am a sucky tagger? what about you all? does this happen on your blog – have you ever experienced a lull in comments and likes? and do you freak out about it – and begin to question yourself? clearly, i’m not handling myself well.

you know, my readership/views are generally the same (= good), it’s just that i’ve got no interaction going on right now. and i really miss that.

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which leads me to the second thing I’ve been thinking about…

yesterday, i ran across a new-to-me blog that had an interesting link in her top menu. it was called “random kindness blog tour”. intrigued, i clicked on it. and, lo and behold, as i read the post (read it for yourself here), i became more and more a fan of what the author was proposing.

at the beginning of 2014, the author committed to discover & read one new blog per day throughout the whole year. and then to comment on it and add it to her ongoing list of blogs. but, these blogs aren’t just any blogs. the author, meg, has chosen to only include blogs that are positive and uplifting. so, in a sense, she is paying forward the effort of all the authors of all the blogs she discovers who are trying to create positivity and inspiration on their blogs. and by doing this, meg, is not only finding new people who inspire her, but linking all kinds of people and all kinds of blogs. it was such an awesome idea, i thought.

meg also talks some about our fast-paced nature and how it shows up even on the internet. how we don’t take the time to leave comments to others, but instead quickly skim blog posts and then move on. we may be inspired by someone’s words or photos, but we often just move on to the next thing, without thanking the author for touching something in us. sometimes we even feel stressed because we are “behind” in in our reading.

DSC_0867when did blogging and reading blogs become a chore? this is not at all what i intended when i created belovelive. i only wanted to share my everyday life and find others that inspire me and are willing to let me sneak in on their lives just a little. the relationships that formed through blogging were an unexpected gift – like a cherry on top. as a fairly well-established blogger(read: been doing it for a while, not that i am doing it right), i realize that any relationships i have formed have been because of a willingness to leave comments and engage other bloggers in conversation. but, i too, have fallen into letting blogging, and more often, blog reading, become a stressor – something that i just need to get done.

but, all that ends today. right now. with this post.

today, i reclaim blog reading as a joy and as a place to interact and connect with people from all over the world. i reclaim it as an inspirational, spiritual act that i have the privilege of adding to my day. basically, all i am doing is resetting my attitude.

but, more importantly, in honor of the amazing blogging world and all that it has given to me throughout the past 3 years, i commit to paying it forward. i plan to take one day each week to focus on new blogs that i discover. i am taking a page from meg’s book and letting myself peruse the blogosphere, soaking up the beauty that i find in new blogs and enjoying the wisdom and inspiration in the ones i have faithfully followed for years.

here’s what i’m going to do:

  • i pledge to visit a new blog every day
  • i pledge to leave a positive comment on each new blog i discover.
  • i also pledge to highlight one blog a week on my blog, either through a post that i write or through a guest blogger.
  • finally, i pledge to create a “random kindness blog tour” page on my blog to highlight the new blogs that i encounter & comment on. hopefully, all of you readers will then have a list of new blogs that you may want to visit. hence, spreading the love.

i want to connect us to each other. i want to support you and all of those other blogs out there. i want to, like meg, lift up people who are writing and photographing and sharing posts that encourage, empower, challenge, and uplift. god knows we have enough difficulty and depressing things in our lives. and, as a response to the darkness, i hope to shed a little light and a little joy.

little did i know, as i read meg’s post yesterday, knowing that i would find a way to incorporate her idea into something on belovelive, that my blog would show up on her list. that’s right, on february 5, meg visited this blog, belovelive, and included it in her blog tour, labeling me a positive blog. what a surprise. and what an incredible honor!

it’s only right that i share that love and acknowledgment with others now. and i can’t wait to get started!Β let the fun (and love) begin!

now, what was that narcissistic thing i was worried about at the beginning of my post? you know, it’s not about how much i receive. rather, it’s all about how much i give. and i can’t wait to share so much good stuff with all of you!

peace and love. xx

i can get a little design crazy.

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for the second part of my photo journey, i thought about focusing on simplicity at home. we all want a peaceful, cozy, friendly, welcoming home. and, if you’re like me, you want your home to be a sanctuary as well. a place that reflects creativity and inspires. a place where everything has a meaning and everything has it’s purpose and place.

i must admit, i’m a sucker for interior design blogs/websites and photos. there are a few blogs that i follow purely because they share amazing photos of inspiring homes. like this one. and i also pin photos of rooms and designs to pinterest. click here to see what inspires me. i’m a mess of contradictions. i love clean, simple, white, black, & gray. at the same time, i love funky, quirky, second-hand, vintage, and warm. my love is exactly the same… lucky for us, huh? somehow, though, we always seem to work out a good balance, even thought our tastes may seem all over the place.

as we prepare to move into our new dream apartment in asheville, we have begun planning what we want our home to feel like. how we want it to look, yes. but also what we want the vibe to be. we want it to be all the things i mentioned above: clean, simple, warm, and a bit funky. so, as we look at websites for new furniture, and pack up very important things that we want to take with us, we realize over & over again, that it isn’t at all about the stuff. sure we love the stuff. we love cool & clean & funky design. but, the meaning behind it, the purpose of it all, whether it is old or new, is what’s most important. so, i’m working hard to keep all in mind.

i’m working hard to remember to make my new home, a simple, loving environment. where moments are filled with laughter and coziness. where we rejoice and enjoy the simple things… quiet mornings on the balcony. dinners around the table with friends. game nights. nights reading in bed. cooking & baking together. rooms filled with music & art.

ultimately my only dream is to make my house a home. it’s that simple.

here are some of the last photos of my home here in sweden… we’ll be moving out of this apartment in about a week or 2. mixed feelings. yeah. it’s been a great, great, great home. take a look at my simplicity journey for the past 5 days:

day 6: corner – my favorite spot to hang out by myself in the mornings. sipping coffee. reading. writing.

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7: bowl – my favorite bowl. lovingly made by my creative sister-in-law potter, who i’m gonna live near very soon!

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day 8: family – in the midst of some chaos at home this weekend, we found ourselves in the hall at one point & decided it was time for a silly, crazy family portrait. my family is everything to me.

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9. table – with the apartment in disarray, i sat down for a moment with my mac on the only empty table to catch up on some blogs and find some inspiration.

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10: DIY – check out my love DIY-ing it like a boss. yeah.

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wishing you a peaceful morning or night, wherever you are. may you steal away a few moments of silence and peace somewhere in your home.

a tip for all you google reader users.

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hey people!

i’ve noticed that quite a few of you that i follow are having a little bit of anxiety about the fact that google reader is shutting down (in july, i think). i don’t use google to read my blogs, and i had no idea it was so popular. sounds like it’s been THE go to place for reading blogs.

now, i am in no way an expert or anything. i don’t really know much about all of this, but I know what works for me. and, since i don’t use google reader, i thought i’d share with y’all two other ways i’ve found that help you easily organize and keep reading your favorite bloggers.

1. WordPress (for wordpress blogs only!)

if you read a wordpress blog, you may notice a little follow button at the top left side of the blog’s page. click it and the posts will begin showing up in your wordpress.com reader.

where is your wordpress reader? go to wordpress.com, sign in, and click on “reader”. your favorite bloggers newest posts will appear chronologically (newest first) and you can easily “like” the post right there on that page, or click on the post and read it on their blog page (the thing to do if you want to leave a comment). the blog opens in a new window. easy peasy.

2. Bloglovin’ (for ALL blogs – which perhaps is easiest, since it can be any blog from any server/website).

Bloglovin’ is simply another website where you can add blogs/websites that you follow. it organizes blogs in the same way as wordpress does. newest first. it is really user-friendly, i think. and you can add/register your blog as well, and hopefully gain new readers! i am following most of you here.

ironically, when i clicked on my Bloglovin’ bookmark a few minutes ago, i saw this:

Google Reader is shutting down July 1st.

Make sure that your blog readers know that they’ll still be able to follow your blog through bloglovin.

P.S. You can import blogs from Google Reader to bloglovin here.

so, Bloglovin’ is directing you to a page in order to easily import all the blogs you follow in google reader into bloglovin’… i’m guessing with just a few simple clicks. nice.

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because i want things as simple as possible, i stay signed into my wordpress account and my bloglovin’ account all the time, and i have them as bookmarks at the top of my browser. then, when i click on either bookmark, all the newest blogs appear on my screen and i can see what amazing things y’all have been writing about.

i hope this helps a little. and i hope you understood my information. if you have any questions or need clarification on something, just let me know! good luck!

peace out.