wednesday wisdom: rules of living #12


happy may day! i hope that you’re having a beautiful start to your month. i just love may – it’s a transition month. from spring to summer (for me at least). and it is almost always ner perfect weather. this month we’ve got a lot going on in our home – visitors from sweden!! two different weeks out of the month. plus, we’re spending a week in NYC! aaaand my love turns 30!!

with all of the excitement ahead for this month on my mind, today’s quote from the dalai lama brought me back down to earth, yet seemed to connect a lot of what i am thinking and feeling right now with what’s really important in life. so, i thought i’d combine a little photo challenge with my dalai lama series this week. it just made sense to me.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

so many times, we seem to think the rules of living, no matter who has made them up, are rules that are just all about us. rules of living so that we can be happy, successful, at peace, etc. and, while they are that, they are also so much more. they are suggestions on how we live life with integrity – making the best impact that we can, while we chase our own dreams and live life to the fullest.

today’s rule is one of those that, if we follow it, will make a huge impact on our world – individually and globally. i believe that it is so important for us to realize that we do not own the earth, but that we are simply stewards of it… caretakers.

swedes have an idea/belief/philosophy/law that is known as the freedom to roam. Allemansrätten gives a person the right to access, walk, cycle, ride, ski, and camp on any land—with the exception of private gardens, the immediate vicinity of a dwelling house and land under cultivation. it also gives the right to pick wild flowers, mushrooms and berries (provided one knows they are not legally protected), but not to hunt in any way. swimming in any lake and putting an unpowered boat on any water is permitted unless explicitly forbidden. visiting beaches and walking by a shoreline is permitted, providing it is not part of a garden or within the immediate vicinity of a residence.

it basically means that you can camp, walk, or be anywhere that is not a private yard-garden-farm. in other words, no one person owns any major property in sweden. everyone has access. why? because land is not something, according to swedes, that can be owned by a person. we have the privilege to enjoy it. however, it is our responsibility to care for it. and we should be more than willing to do our part in keeping this world as amazing as it is.

isn’t that simply amazing? (oh, how i miss being surround by swedish laws/thoughts/beliefs)

in my opinion, in addition to taking care of the earth, living as greenly and environmentally friendly as possible, it is also important to be aware of and appreciate nature. but, not just nature, the whole world around us. all of earth – the people, the beauty, the moments that make up our lives.

so, for the month of may, inspired by the dalai lama, i decided that i’d create a photo challenge all about color! the earth is bursting with color – both natural and man-made. and it is the color that gives life, evokes emotion, and affects our moods. up here in the northern atmosphere, we are beginning a month that is known for bright colors bursting forth everywhere – life is finally coming back to our part of the world. for those of you in the southern part of the world, autumn and all of its warm, muted colors are beginning to appear.

so, just grab your camera or your phone and take a photo every day of the color of the week. be aware of the colorful, beautiful world around you. you may be in the country or in the middle of the city or somewhere in-between, but i am certain that there are gorgeous, vibrant colors everywhere. so, share them with me – with each other!

may photo challenge

this month let’s bask in the vibrant colors that surround us. snap a photo every day of the color of the week and share it with us on instagram or Facebook or your blog using the hashtags #bllphotoaday and #ajourneyofcolor. i can’t wait to see all of the amazing colors of your life!n

namaste. xx

orange is the new black.

have you heard of that netflix series yet? that’s the name of it: orange is the new black. and  it is abso-freakin-lutely awesome. my love and i got seriously stuck and watched the first season in a fairly short amount of time. we have now moved onto other series while we wait for season 2 to be finished. i hope you have netflix. and i hope that you have OITNB on it. it’s a series made exclusively for netflix. anyway, if you can, check it out. so amazing.

this post isn’t actually about the series, but the title worked well for what i’m going to share with y”all – a bunch of photos that i had flagged to do in this post which i soon realized, as i looked at them in their folder in iPhoto, all had an orange, warm glow to them. so, there ya go. the story behind the title. plus a tip for an awesome tv series. you’re welcome.

now, in celebration of the fist week of fall, my birthday, and just life in general, here are some photos from the past week. they make me happy. and they are quite meaningful captures of fabulous, cozy, fun, super moments from an incredible week…


i spent last sunday morning wrapped up in a blanket, reading a magazine, sipping coffee. near perfection.IMG_4121
then, i headed out for a birthday brunch with my parents & bro & wifey. deliciousness + family = happy liz.IMG_4186
the trees are turning! the trees are turning!IMG_4215
my pal ash, challenged me to show my day in nine shots last monday… so here it is. it was a good day. really good. and birthday eve!IMG_4228
basking in my birthday morning, all natural glow. and soooo excited about the mala meditation beads my love got me. i was speechless and filled with joy!IMG_4230
zola got in on some empty box action. cutiepatootie.IMG_4279
dinner with my brother and my love was out of this world. the food was good, but more than that was the company and conversation. it was a pretty damn near perfect evening that left my heart filled with laugher and love. IMG_4289
wednesday lunch was with my parents, and even though it was a rainy, dreary day, it was cozy and good to just sit with them and enjoy a little bit of time together. and eat tomato soup. comfort and coziness.IMG_4294
i drove around in the rainy, misty beautifulness of the mountains for a little while. ahhh…IMG_4297
a few halloween decorations for our door. the holiday craziness begins now. yes!IMG_4300
pumpkins at the grocery store. gotta get some more!IMG_4328
i saw this amazingness in a parking lot on thursday. all i could think was: road. trip. out. west. now. IMG_4334
dinner silliness with my bro again. we love us some eatin’ out.IMG_4336
and it continued… with my two most favorite people in the whole world. i am a lucky girl.IMG_4346
autumn colors on a sunny, warm, gorgeous friday.IMG_4355
this amazing woman, the love of my life, my wife did something… on friday evening, while i was in my pj’s sipping on a beer on the balcony with my brother, there was a knock on the door. lina told me to go get it… i opened it and it was my awesome friend (former youth member), julia. she doesn’t live in asheville, so i was so freaking confused! a few minutes later, there was another knock… still in my pj’s (i’d been planning or assuming we were having a quiet night at home) and jessica was there! she came in and then 5 more people came in after her. surprise to me!! everyone was in on it, and we were going out to eat to celebrate my birthday! AMAZING! IMG_4374
here we are… minus a couple, enjoying mexican. and yes, they did sing to me some spanish song and put a sombrero on my head and put ice cream all over my face. it was super fun!IMG_4357
julia, lina, and i then headed downtown for some nightlife. we ended up at a new bar, a speakeasy actually, that literally just opened that night. we had cocktails and little bites of food to eat. the food we got out of an old post office bix. they gave us a key and we went on our own to get the food. crazy. IMG_4362
it was dark, cozy, relaxing, and so much fun.IMG_4363
i had the hemingway martini. and i loved it.
IMG_4366the rest of the weekend i have not left the apartment. it has been cozy, relaxing, and really great. i think i’ve needed to soak up all the amazingness of the past week. i’ve also slept some, written some, listened to my fall playlist, and gotten myself addicted to breaking bad – and yes, i am behind the rest of the world with that series since it ends tonight. but, i’ll just get to enjoy it longer.

ok. now i’m ready for a new week… a week were i actually have some work to do! i’ve got to write an article, plan the belovelive photo journey for october, meet some new blogging contacts, and of course, fika! then, it’s off tothe beach for about 5 days next weekend since it’s lina’s fall break. feels like it’s gonna be another good week.

i don’t even know what to saw about how awesome september has been.

peace and love and warmth to each of you.

april is for living!

hey lovelies!

well, it’s only a week and some days before we rip down another page on our calendars and begin a new month. crazy, huh? i was thinking… since it was so much fun to have your input on the march photo a day challenge, i thought i’d open it up and make it a blogging community effort again!

ok. i’ll just get right to it. the theme for belovelive’s april photo a day is…


april is a month when spring (in the northern hemisphere) really begins to be visible. colors burst out everywhere. birds chirp. little bugs creep. flowers bloom. nature comes alive! and for those of you in the southern hemisphere, nature begins its journey towards slumber & rest. it’s a time to see life in a different way. but, for all of us, we are in some part of the cycle of life of nature.

with that in mind, i thought that celebrating life would be perfect for this month! of course, we don’t feel like celebrating life every day, some days are quite dark & gray. still, if we look hard enough, if we focus long enough, if we breathe deep enough, i guarantee that there is something that we can find to celebrate every day. seriously. i guarantee it. if nothing else, we are alive!

my aim is for this month’s photo challenge to inspire us all to celebrate life in some small way every day, inspired by the word of the day. one of the things i have come to appreciate  in my 38 years of life is that we only have a certain amount of time on this earth. and not only is our time limited, but we only have one chance to live this life. there is no replay button. so, i have pledged to myself, to my soul, to live life to the fullest. to sing, dance, create, have adventures, breathe, and soak in all of the simple and amazing moments of life. it’s not so complicated, ya know. it’s just taking the time to listen to ourselves and create the life that we desire… and though it may be a long road, it is all about the journey of life. not the destination. so, i’m throwing my hands up, rolling down the windows, pumping up the music, turning my face to the sun, and letting life inspire me.

ok, now you’ve got the scoop: gimme all the words you can that have to do with life and celebrating life and living life to the fullest!

a little business: please send me your word(s) no later than next friday (29 march!) i’ll post the new photo a day challenge as a blog post, on instagram (i’m lizslens on IG), and on belovelive’s facebook page on sunday, march 31.




excitedly waiting to read your suggestions! peace & love.

pink is not usually my favorite color.

but, today, i’m all about that girly, happy, soft color. just look at the weather we’re having on this first day  of the weekend!!! one of the swedish newspapers is calling it a “super weekend” – it was payday (everyone gets paid on the 25th of the month), it’s gonna be summer-y warm, and it’s a long weekend (the end of april/beginning of may/coming-of-spring celebration monday & tuesday!). sounds like a super weekend to me! and what a way to get it started!

helloooo, spring! 

enjoy your friday, peace-making peeps!

what’s your favorite color?

i took a group of about 12 teenagers across the united states from north carolina to wyoming one summer about 7 years ago. we drove. it took 3 days. i must have been crazy. hehe. we were going to the arapaho indian reservation near riverton, wyoming. we spent a week living in a cathoic mission, painting & reparing homes, and playing with kids. all of the people we met were living without much hope or joy. to drown out their sorrows or to help them avoid the fact that they felt unloved, left behind, and were unemployed, they abused alcohol, drugs, and each other. and the kids on the reservation copied all the behaviors they saw. it was a tough week, that was full of amazing moments…

one night, after we had been to a pow wow (an traditional indian dance around a fire),  i was sitting in the back of the van with some of the teenagers. a 15 year old boy turned to me and asked me my favorite color. i have no idea what i said. perhaps green or blue. and then , i asked him. and he replied that his favorite color was that – and he pointed out the window toward the pink, orange, yellow, red, blue, & purple sunset that was casting a magnificent glow over the distant mountains and empty prairies. he then explained that he has a different favorite color almost every day… based on what he sees in the world around him. what he saw on that night was more than beautiful colors, though. he saw beauty and life, even in the middle of one the most ugly, deserted, and forgotten places & people. he saw the beautiful sunset as a sign that there is always hope, even in the most hopeless situations. we can always find something to admire, if we simply open our eyes and our hearts.  i am honored that i have had an opportunity to work with teenagers… they are inspiring and out of nowhere they reveal that they are deep, thoughtful, wonderful human beings with the potential to make a huge difference in their lives and in the world.

so, for the past 7 years, i have learned to open my eyes even more and to find the beautiful colors of each day and in every place. here are my favorites colors (found on the streets of sweden) today…

walking in our neighborhood this morning.

the square 2 blocks from us. spring is here!!!

people moving about as the morning starts.

look at these colors!!

peace to all.