// week twenty six // summer has really begun + our beer is ready for tasting!

happy monday! isn’t it crazy how the weeks just fly by? i suppose that keeping a record of my weeks here on the blog makes it even more obvious to me. it feels like monday rolls around so fast every week.

i’ve come to the conclusion that this little show-and-tell time that i have with you all, where i share some snapshots from the week that has just passed, is a way to deal with the monday blues. most weeks, however, i do not usually suffer from the monday blues too badly (which is good, but it most likely due to the disheartening, sad fact that i am still unemployed). but, if i do happen to have a bit of beginning-of-the-week anxiety, creating this post every monday seems to give me a better perspective.

that’s the power of gratitude + living in the present moment.

looking back, i always see that, even in the middle of stress, anxiety, failures, tough times, frustrations, disappointments, and just all around sucky days, there is always something for which to be grateful. there are always moments that are beautiful.

and this is what i cling to. this (and meditation) is what reminds me that things will be ok. that there is always hope. and that with another monday, we have yet another chance to create the life that we want once again. it’s all up to us.

so, with that little self-pep-talk, i am ready to share with you the beauty that i found last week. take a peek!

i got a little obsessed with making BLTS for lunch. my summer go-to sandwich.
BLT-sandwich
my love worked from home for three days. poor thing didn’t feel good at all. but, zola took care of her. (i tried too!)

lina-zola-sofa

taco Tuesdays, baby!
taco-tuesdays
loving the long cozy evenings at home. this photo was taken at 10 PM. uh huh. i said 10 PM. Nordic love!home-evening-cozy
and then the sunsets… still blowing my mindsunset-sunshine
took a short walk around downtown uppsala after lunch on thursday. just because i’m also blown away that i freaking live here.
uppsala-gamla-torget-buildings uppsala-river uppsala-old-buildings uppsala-tunnel-cathedral uppsala-steps-me
stopped in for fika + a little skype date with my awesome friend in atlanta, georgia (lanie).cafe-linne-uppsala
chocolate cake to. die. for.uppsala-fika-cafe
summer reading?! yes, please! (hehe)
summer-reading-amy-poehler
sunset from our friend’s BALCONY. you know, cause we BBQ every chance we get. helloooo, it is summer.sunset-mickes-place
enough said! GAAAAAHHHH!!!IMG_6557
lina’s work had a summer party friday night. she works with awesome, fun people. and i get to hang out too. lucky me.work-summer-party-lina
saturday evening, we needed to change our moods. and it looked amazing outside, so we decided on a 9:30 PM walk in our neighborhood. hand in hand. together. soaking up the simple joys of summer evenings. perfect. neighborhood-uppsala-sunset-walk-1 neighborhood-uppsala-sunset-walk.-2 neighborhood-uppsala-sunset-walk.-3-sun-flares neighborhood-uppsala-sunset-walk.-4 moon-summer-walk
we spent all freaking day outside on sunday because… 75 degrees (20 something celsius) + sunshine!
but the highlight was our afternoon soft release of our first two batches of home brewed beer!! so. much. fun.
two-chicks-brewing-beer-saison
secret-garden-beer-soft-release strawberries-summer
so exciting!two-chicks-brewing-beer-tasting
here we go….two-chicks-brewing-beer
cheers! we were so nervous.cheers-two-chicks-brewing-first-batch-beer
success!two-chicks-brewing-soft-release-beer me-two-chicks-brewing-beer me-my-love-two-chacks-brewing-beer two-chicks-brewing-beer-soft-release
and one more sunset…uppsala-sunset

and now… now that i am filled with the images of the past week, the unexpected + created moments, the big + small moments, all of the moments that brought a smile to my face… now i am ready to tackle this week. so, bring it on!

sending lots of love + light to you too! go out there + get yours!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

// week twenty five // midsummer + other little moments

happy summer (or winter) friends! we have made it through the solstice, and are on a new journey now. some of us enjoying the light and warmth of summer, and some of us snuggling into the coziness of wintertime.

me, i’ve been reveling in nature as much as i can this past week. i’ve been outside some, but mostly enjoying it from the inside, as the weather has not been too summery up here in the nordic lands. still… i  do what i can, whether it’s bringing nature in, taking photos out the window, or baking + cooking with fresh veggies and fruit.

plus, i’ve had some great times with some friends + family. lina and i have decided that we are super lucky to live here, surrounded by good people, beauty, and tons of opportunities for beautiful moments. so, even in the midst of longing and yearning for the mountains of north carolina, we still find ourselves completely blessed and grateful.

so, here’s how last week looked in my little part of the world:

made a trip to IKEA for some much needed kitchen items that we still didn’t have. but, now we do!

uppsala-sky-clouds

and i used them the next day for some pico de gallo. taco tuesdays, baby!taco-tuesday-pico-de-gallo
i’m doing a 21 day mantra meditation which is rocking my world. so powerful. i should have known that meditating with + chanting words would really inspire me (lover of words, i am!).
meditate-mantra-buddha-floor
bringing nature inside. the lilacs are slowly coming to the end of their blooming season.lilac-flowers
coffeeeee in the morningcoffee-arm-me
and white russians at night. recipe from our asheville friend who stayed with us.white-russians-recipe
hellome-solstice
i made some peach cobbler for our midsummer celebration. mmmm!kitchen-peaches-counter
and, yes, we celebrated midsummer. inside, of course, because it was rainy + cold. but, it was still fantastic! dinner. friends. laughter. loved it!midsummer-table
the traditional snaps (shots) time during dinner. it pretty much killed me, people. put me over the edge. but, i still had fun. yep yep.midsummer-cheers-snaps
summer solstice coffee + communing with nature. i’m the girl who hangs outside her window in the mornings ‘cuz i love that hippie sh*t.coffee-nature-window-solstice
soaking up some solstice sunshinesolstice-sunshine-floor
my love + i had a mini-adventure to a little suburb outside of uppsala. we did a little shopping at a mall, then found this country bike path that lead us back into the city. it was freaking fantastic.granby-uppsala-bike-ride-my-love uppsala-granby-fence-field uppsala-granby-field
and sunsets galore! (see many more on yesterday’s post)sunset-uppsala-solsticewishing you a beautiful week filled with energy, love, and tons of moments that take your breath away. remember, the sacred is found in the ordinary. all we have to do is stay open + aware.

onwards + upwards! xoxo

// week twenty four // the first peek at swedish summer

it’s monday again! and, we’ve got a short week here in sweden. friday is midsummer’s eve, so everyone will be off from work + dancing around maypoles, drinking like fish, and worshipping the sun, celebrating her longest day of the year. it’s definitely a midsummer night’s dream – and the night where the sun never really goes to bed. i’m not sure what our plans are yet (and it looks like it may rain… booooo!), but you can be sure we’ll be outside come rain or shine!

last week, though, summer finally arrived! there were days of bright sunshine, and that meant that we took advantage of every chance we could to soak it all up. i dare say that my love + i even got a little sun coloring on our skin. it felt soooooo good. all of that vitamin d. my energy level was high, my spirit was high, everyone walked around on a great big sunshine high.

so, here’s what my week looked like up here in the land of the midnight sun, where the nordic summer takes your breath away…

a little beer bottling adventure for two chicks brewing (read more about that –> here)

beer bottles two chicks brewing

the cat is sleeping all the time. it got that hot in our apartment. zola-sleeping-sunshine
strolling through our secret gardensecret-garden
lilac-tree
no socks!! green-shoes-flowers
staying grounded + inspired (mercury retrograde…. gaaah!)
meditate-candle-mala-beads
…which is necessary, when everything falls off of your bike + a BBQ sauce jar breaks + explodes everywhere in the middle of a square in the middle of town.bike-disaster
more meditating. this time in the park, on a bench. because it was hooooot + beautiful outside.me-meditate-park-bench
purple pom pom flowers!purple-flower
a skype fika date with my friend in atlanta!skype-fika-date
no jacket + sandals! happy friday to me! me-sandals-walking
beer. fries. sunshine. my love. meeting my love after work.beer-fries-outside-churchill-arms
sunshine makes us silly + giddysunshine-my-love-fun
the first BBQ of the year!bbq-grill-home
grilling out with friends + familybbq-picnic-outside-friends-uppsala
cheers to the perfect summer eveningbeer-outside-foam
mmmmm!grilling-outside-bbq
sunset at 11pm. i love this so freaking much.sunset-11-pm
urban vibes in downtown uppsalaurban-shoes-wire-downtown-uppsala
my favorite block in the whole city: svartbäcksgatanuppsala-svartbacksgatan
the river + the cathedraluppsala-river
everyone’s loving ituppsala-park
river loveuppsala-river-industrial
silos in the industrial part of townsilos-industrial-uppsala

i don’t really have any photos from sunday, but i can share with you what i did: i blogged in the morning and then the rest of the day my love + i completed season three of “orange is the new black”. it rained all day, so it was a pretty near perfect ending to the day + the week.

here’s to sending you lots of love + light as you begin your new week!

onwards + upwards!

sensory overload. part 15.

oh friends, i think i am dying to take a trip. i’m pretty sure that my weird mood this past week (which seems to be hanging with me even through today) is partly due to the fact that i need a change of pace. my wanderlust is in overdrive right now. i’m restless and antsy and i do not feel grounded at all.

luckily and amazingly, i’ve got a trip to NYC planned in may. woo hoo!! so, that will take care of my wanderlust. we are actually going to meet lina’s brother & cousin in the big apple and spend 5 days, 4 nights in the city – eeek! we’ve rented an apartment in alphabet city/east village on airbnb – that has rooftop access! we’ve gotten tickets to see les miserables on broadway – i’m dying. and i’ve made note of lots of coffee shops i need to visit during my stay – that’s right. just like my 40 days of fika last fall, the fika girl (me), is taking fika to nyc and i’ll have a whole nyc fika section on my fika blog!

anyway. the trip takes care of part of my restlessness. the other part of my ungroundedness (i just made up that word) is going to be solved through a 21 day meditation challenge – which begins today. i need to get in touch with my soul. i need to relax and meditate. and while i try every single day to live in the power of the present moment, soaking up every little thing, if i am not meditating, then i am not as deeply connected as i can be. i am observant, but i am not living from deep within my soul. and i am missing a certain sense of calm and inner peace when i don’t make time for candles, breathing, and “om”‘s.

so, for the next 21 days, the mediation in on! 20 minutes every single morning. and i can’t wait. i need it so much.

of course, posting my sensory overload posts every monday morning is a very good practice of living with gratitude and presence. when i select my photos and go through them, i am aware of the beautiful moments that i have experienced throughout the past week – and i am reminded that, even if i feel unsettled and blah, that i have so much for which to be thankful. and usually, it is people and nature that seem to lifting my spirits and provide me with inspiration & peace.

so, here you go. the moments of beauty and peace from last week, in the midst of a weird, strange, disconnected, restless week. you know, we all have them. and it’s so good to look back and realize that things are not as bad as they feel. it’s so good to reflect and redirect my thoughts and attitudes – from grumpy irritation to calm, grateful peace.

meditate french press coffee balcony white tree spring IMG_1131 coffee work green sage green trees willow trees sunshine balcony sunrise moon sunset nighttime pink trees sunshine balcony wine bottle grilling out bbq

happy mid-april week, my friends! hope you have lots of fun plans in store for the week ahead!

sending you lots of love and peace. xx

sensory overload. part 10.

hi folks! i don’t have much time to write today, so i’ll be brief. the past week was quite fantastic with lent beginning and our first european visitors coming to town! they’re still here now = why i don’t have much time to write. i’m spending all my time having too much fun. so, i’ll just give you a post of lots of photos of moments that overwhelmed me and made my soul sing. hope you enjoy!

IMG_9753 IMG_9763 IMG_9776 IMG_9782 IMG_9802 DSC_0043 DSC_0084 IMG_9834 IMG_9853 IMG_9864 IMG_9898 IMG_9932 IMG_9934 IMG_9938 IMG_9942 IMG_9952 IMG_9948

wishing you a beautiful week!

peace & love. xx

march’s photo challenge is ready… lucky us!

who’s ready for a photo challenge?! it’s march 1 today, and that means that it’s time to embark on a new journey. yessss. this month i collaborated with paige at for the love of wanderlust to come up with a theme based on every day life.

it’s so easy to always wish for big, crazy, super exciting moments in life and forget that the daily, ordinary moments can be (and are!! just as extraordinary. so, this month we are celebrating the mundane. the regular. the ordinary. the little moments that make up our days, which, in turn, make up our lives. here’s how we’re gonna photograph these moments:

there is a specific theme for each week, a certain time of day. but, there are no word prompts to challenge/inspire you. rather, you are left on our own to snap a shot each day of what’s happening in your life. and, if you say there is nothing much happening in your life, then i say, get creative!

here’s your challenge:

march photo challenge

how to play:

the ways to participate are the same as always. but, if you’ve forgotten or if this is your first time participating, here are a few tips:

  • week 1 march 1-7: take photos of your mornings, one photo per morning
  • week 2 march 8 – 14: now, snap a photo every noon/midday. again, one a day
  • week 3 march 15 – 21: moving on the evenings. how are you spending your evening this week? snap one photo a day
  • week 4 march 22 – 28: finally, snag a shot of what is happening at night, once a day
  • for the last 3 days i have something interesting planned:
  • march 29: what’s your favorite time of day? take a picture of it!
  • march 30: highlight of the day: what was your favorite moment today?
  • march 31: my day in 9 frames: take 9 photos throughout your day, and if you have a collage app on your phone, make a 9 square collage and share your entire day with us!

here’s a link to instagram so you can sign up & get started! click here to join in.

and if you want to become part of the bllphotoaday community, just follow me at @_belovelive_ on instagram. and use the hashtag #bllphotoaday when you post your IG photo. then, you’ll see everyone else’s photos too. and there are some amazing people taking part from all over the world. check ‘em out!

if you don’t have or don’t want instagram (which is totally fine!), then simply post your pics on facebook or on your blog. but, let me know, so i can follow along. i’ll do my best to spread the word that you are participating. however, the best way to create a photo journey community is actually on instagram. buuuuut, there is one more option… you can post your photos every day to belovelive’s facebook page! perhaps we can get that community growing as well! invite your FB friends to “like” belovelive’s page and then our community will spread even further & wider! think of all the inspiration! click here to go to belovelive’s page.

 happy snapping!

love & peace (and the luck of the irish this month!) xx