dinner-featured

ten on ten: april 2015

hi everyone! yesterday was friday the 10th, so that means that i took a bunch of photos to chronicle my day! i am taking part in a little photo challenge called ten on ten. it’s so much fun! it was actually a pretty busy + exciting day, so i love my photos bunches..

here’s a lttle summary of what happened: after my morning at home, i headed to the train station to meet lina’s sister, who was coming to spend the weekend in uppsala. lina’s brother lives here, too, so they planned this weekend as a sibling weekend together – of course, i get ot be with them too (and jonas’ fiancée too!). i spent a relaxing afternoon with my sister-in-law, soaking up the crazy awesome spring sunshine. then, we met up with everyone else after work, for some beer and then dinner out. we ended the night together at lina’s brothers place for a long, cozy, evening just talking and enjoying each other’s company. it was a really great friday.

here come the photos!

morning on the sofa with my love. breakfast. coffee. the news.

morning-home

i spent the morning at home: writing, blogging, doing chores – like taking care of my amazing herb collection that seems to just keep on living!herbs

off to the train station to meet my sister-in-law’s train!train-station

waiting… in the sun. in my spring-inspired outfitspring-clothes

oh you know, just a regular fika in the sun with a castle in the background
cookie-and-coffee outside-fika-castle

what’s a day without a cathedral visit?

cathedraltime to stock up: a trip to the alcohol store. what all swedes do on fridays (it’s closed on the weekend!) alcohol-store-sweden

afternoon drinks on the rooftop terrace of my love’s office building.
rooftop-terrace

cheers! dinner time with the fam!cheers-family

we spent a super cozy evening at lina’s brother’s place. and then walked home at midnight – and it wasn’t cold. woo hoo!nighttime-apt

so, friday wasn’t the only fun time this weekend. it just gets better… today we are going to take a train to stockholm and then board a boat for a cruise! that’s right! we are gonna cruise in the baltic sea to a little island between sweden + finland. 24 hours of food, fun, dance, and adventures with 8 family + friends. you know… the family that travels together, stays together!

have a great weekend!! xoxo

yes, i posted more than 10 photos. hehe. 

tree-buds-blue-sky

blue skies + worshipping the sun

you know, spring in sweden is a little bit all over the place. rain, snow, and sometimes sunshine. – i am sure many of you experience the same where you live.  it’s not usually that warm, but when that beautiful sunshine shows her face, then her rays make even 5 degrees C/45 degrees F feel warm + nice. i’ve said this before, but the sun in sweden is something very special.

when the sun shines in the spring, it’s time to get outside and soak it up. the dark days are over, the cold has left us behind, the light has begun it’s return, the days are getting so much longer, and i (along with every other swede) become a sun worshipper. i literally stand and face the sun. i close my eyes… meditating, soaking in, breathing deeply, living in that very moment.

so, the other morning, after days and days of clouds, rain, and snow, when it was so beautiful, i decided to take a long walk for my meditation time. i explored the neighborhood behind ours, passing apartment buildings, houses, and cozy, little yards + gardens. the sun was warm, the breeze was cool, people were  out + about, and i simply gave thanks for the joy of walking and discovering and being.

i thought i’d share with you a little snippet of the amazing blue swedish skies that i have seen a little of this week. the blue skies make me feel so alive. i hope these photos do the same for you in a tiny, little way. enjoy!

sunshine-roof-window neighborhood easter-tree-square blue-skies square-tree-feathers sunshine-walk tree-buds

happy easter weekend, everyone. here in sweden, everyone has a little holiday from friday until monday. we are taking the train down to norrköping to visit lina’s family for a few days. but, we will be back home again on sunday, to enjoy the last little bit of the holiday here. so, it’s all about relaxing + enjoying for the next 4 days. wishing you a fabulous few days! and, if the sun shines wherever you are, turn your head up to her, close you eyes, and give a little thanks for the warmth + life that she brings. love + light to you all!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

IMG_2925

it’s my four year blogaversary!

hi friends! be.love.live turns 4 today!

on the 1st of april 2011, i began this crazy, beautiful, wonderful blogging journey and here i am, four years later, still going strong. and loving every single moment that i get to blog + read + create + meet people. what began as a simple diary of my new life as an american in sweden, has turned into a true love of writing + even inspired the beginning of my own book.

so, since i’ve got so many plans and ideas for the future, today, i’m not going to do any looking back over the past four years at all. no celebrating where i have been. for that is all here on the blog. right now, it’s all about looking forward. about moving ahead and following the next part of my path in life. it’s time to dream and work and cast my eyes on the vision that is before me, while i focus on that ever-so-delicate balance of also living in the present moment.

still, it’s my blogaversary, and i do want to do something to celebrate. and i want to celebrate with you.

so, i’ve created a little mini blog challenge. fun, right?! i invite you all to join in with me over the next 7 wednesdays, if you’d like. i’ve created a little list of post ideas, one for each wednesday, and i’d love for you to take part in the challenge with me to simply write one blog post every wednesday for the next 7 wednesdays on each of the prompts that i have shared in the image below. my hope is that over the next 7 weeks we will meet new bloggers, feel inspired, leave + receive comments, create images, and grow our love of blogging + our blogging community.

now, if you don’t have a blog, then you are more than welcome to take part in this challenge on instagram. i’ll be posting there as well. it’ll just be a bit shorter than my post here on the blog.  and, i you don’t have a blog or instagram, then feel free to share your answers/”posts” as a comment here on my blog.

belovelive blogaversary

this blogaversary celebration is open to any and everyone! i am so looking forward to the opportunity for us to make new blogging and instagram connections, plus following through with challenges that get our creative juices flowing. think of it as a 7 week party together!

just in case you need it, here are a few tips/rules if you are interested in participating (and i so hope you are!). in addition to making friends, hopefully there is something in this challenge celebration that will challenge you on your blog or give you a chance to enhance something you are already doing.

 A FEW RULES FOR THE MINI BLOG CHALLENGE

// follow my blog on bloglovin here.  you can follow me on instagram here if you like.

// once we start posting next wednesday, start following other blogs and if someone comments on your blog with the hashtag #beloveliveblogaversary, then visit them back and comment.

// this will be a live link party starting april today (and happening every wednesday through the 20th of may), so don’t forget to come back and link up! (more info on that soon!)

that’s it! let’s celebrate!!

 

onwards + upwards! xoxo

 


reading-park

one powerful week: a photo essay

sunday at homesunday-morning-home-cozy

monday moments of peacemeditating home-sunset

tuesday: strategizing, enjoying the sun, knocking on doors to create opportunities, celebrating st. paddy’s day with my lovedesk-writing-home uppsala-river svartbacksgatan IMG_2373 guiness-beer-bar- st-patricks-day irish-dancingwednesday: creating my routinewriting-desk

thursday: feeling. so. much. inspiration. selfie

our neighborhood in uppsala… so colorful!
falhagen-neighborhood neighborhood-falhagen train-station-mall

soaking up the sun with a solitary fika outsidespring-flowers
cafe uppsala-cafe-fålsången
park-river-uppsalatake-away-coffee

friday: a powerful solar eclipse + the first day of spring.

there was so much energy on this day, in our home with all of the cosmic stuff going on. we could literally feel the shift that was occurring. and we are still feeling the effects + the inspiration today. the photo below is at the height of the eclipse, so dark at 11:00am. weird. and yet, beautiful.eclipse-home-sweden

a fika at homefika fika-sofa-home

my spring circle of magicspring-equinox

saturday: cozy at home all day long. perfection.saturday-morning

as i eluded to above, this has been a powerful week for me. my intentions, my energy level, my inspiration… they have all been off the charts this week. i thought specifically about the new moon and eclipse and the beginning of spring, and i knew that it all symbolized big changes. what i did not know is how in tune i would be with it all. and with myself. i began a new meditation series this week as well, focusing on success. and somehow, i just knew that i was turning to a completely new chapter in my book of life. better yet, i was beginning a whole new book with this past week. and, i have done just that.

on friday, our home was filled with energy. the shift was palpable. a new beginning was actually something that lina and i both felt. we are both making changes and huge steps forwarding life right now. leaving behind old ways, and embracing a completely new way of living.

this morning i woke up and checked instagram (as always). someone i follow had a picture of herself and a beautiful caption. her words are here:

“Today, we welcome a Solar Eclipse in Pisces on the same day as the Spring Equinox ! This is something rare, & a reason to celebrate ! This new moon is about allowing the old to fade away into the darkness of winter & allowing the new light of spring to come in & shine on what has been manifesting within us & let it grow wildly! It is all about evolution, growth, the act of moving forward. Change is the ONLY constant, so embrace it ! It is time to restart and begin anew. Whether you realize it or not, a new beginning & fresh start is happening around you. If you’re aware of this energy & open to the possibilities you might be able to see the potential in your own life. This is a powerful time to set intentions for yourself, make amends & look forward to new beginnings. It is finally time to embark on new & exciting journey in uncharted territory. And I couldn’t be more excited to finally put the pieces of life back together & dive right into all the new beginnings that are to come. Take a moment & give thanks to our universe for everything that surrounds us.”

i could not have said it any better myself. it has been an incredible week. and i cannot really express it all in words. it is my sincere wish that you have had some moments of introspection, joy, and newness as well. if you want to chat or just write and process your thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact me. i am here to listen + talk, if you should want that. simply use the contact form in the top menu to email me.

so,how was your week, my friends? what were the moments that stuck with you. share with me!

 

onwards + upwards! xoxo

routine-desk

my daily routine: or, “how to make shit happen”.

enough is enough. based on my little energy breakthrough the other day on success, i decided it was time to buckle down. as i move from an amazing seven year period of being and discovery and exploration, to making a physical move to a new country + embarking on a period of outward focus in my life, it was time for me to decide what i really want to accomplish in my life + how to make that shit happen.

so, i made some lists:

what i need to accomplish (in order to successfully live authentically, be myself, follow my bliss, and make a difference in this world)

and

what i want to accomplish (in order to successfully live authentically, be myself, follow my bliss, and make a difference in this world)

buuuut. in order to do all of the things that i need and want to do, i need some discipline. i need a plan. and what i am beginning with is a routine. everywhere i look, i find references to creating a routine from with to work. now, of course, routine has come naturally in my life when i had worked as a teacher. and i kind of had a routine when i worked in a church, though i worked basically 24/7 and had to create space to have a day to myself. but, these past 7 years have given me tons of freedom. freedom without any real routine. and, come to find out, i do not thrive in that type of lifestyle when i need to get stuff done. it was great during my exploration + discovery time, but, now it is time to get busy and be productive.

so, yesterday, i created a routine. something structured that gives me the discipline that i need in order to be creative. as crazy as it sounds, a routine actually creates more freedom. within the disciplined frame of a routine, focus becomes clearer, and it is easier to live in the moment. this, in turn, allows creativity to flow. and being more effective allows me to do more, without the stress of freaking out about what i need to do next. there’s no stress because i’m planning it all out + living in the moment.

so, here’s my routine, based on the things that i want and need to accomplish.

6:30-7:45 wake + make coffee. breathe for 5 minutes. check and update social media with a cup of coffee by my side. during this time, i read blogs and leave comments. i also check and respond to comments on my blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. i respond to emails, send messages to friends and family, and if i have some time left over, then i start some blogging.

finally, i write a daily task list of things to do – but i don’t over do it. there’s nothing like the feeling of defeat when you have an unfinished to-do list at the end of the day. so i make it realistic, by asking myself what i can really be sure to complete. | on mondays i make a general task list for the week, noting any meetings, meetups, or activities planned that may cause me to need to adjust my routine.

7:45-8:45 prepare and eat breakfast. a little wife time before the day gets started. clean the kitchen, make the bed, tidy up.

8:45-9:00 shower/freshen up and dress. i only shower every other day, so some days it takes me 15 minutes to get ready. other days, when i shower, i start earlier than 8:45 and/or go until about 9:15. i’m no drill sergeant with myself. as long as i stick with my routine, i’m good. i don’t need to have timers set to “make” me do things at precise times. one has to be flexible, you know.

9:00-9:30 meditate. the ground of my being. nothing, absolutely nothing happens without this time to just be.

9:30-12:30 writing + photography. this is the big chuck of time that i do what i love. blogging, photography, and working on my book. some say that you should do the thing that you dislike the most first, but i am not following that rule. mostly because i am more inspired and alert in the mornings, and these are my passions, so i want to be at my best when i work on them.

i give myself roughly 30 minutes for blogging, 2 hours for writing on my book, and 30 minutes for photography editing/posting and/or more blogging.

12:30-1:00 lunch. i also take a social media break, check in online, and perhaps read some.

1:00-5:00 freelance work + job hunting. this is the part of the day that i give to things that i need to do at this point in my life: top priority right now is finding a job and networking/making connections. so, sometimes i am home and other times i am out and about. it’s all about research, phone calls, meetings, emails, etc.  if i am lucky, then i have some freelance work (writing + photography) to take care of too! oh, and a fika (coffee break) will most deftly be part of my afternoon!

5:00-7:00 work time is done. perhaps a little more blogging. housework. grocery shopping. dinner preparations + dinner with my love. of course, some days, i will meet my love in town for dinner and errands. who knows?! spontaneity is my friend.

7:00-11:00 friends + family time. for now, the computer is off. we may be out and about, at home cozy on the couch, or spending time with others. hopefully, i will find a little time to read. and then, it’s off to bed. i realize that there may be some days that i do some blogging, photo editing, writing, etc during this time. but, the idea is to keep it reserved for family most of the time. and yet, if i want to publish a book/blog full-time, i gotta write!

there you have it. my routine for now. hopefully i will have to change it soon (as i will have gotten a job), but i don’t want ot have to change it too drastically because this still allows me to do what i love and follow my dreams. however, i know that i must be practical and realistic too. so, for now, it’s all about managing my time better, being more effective, and making shit happen. making those dreams come true.

do you have a routine? do you need one? have you given yourself the time to think about what the things are that you want to accomplish?! go ahead and give it a whirl, if you need to or want to. especially if you are a creative-type or do not have a set schedule. i’ll be here cheering you on!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

7-shoes-floor-shopping

ten on ten | march 2015

hi guys!! it’s ten on ten day again (woo hoo!) – yesterday was the 10th of march, and that means that i snapped 10ish different shots throughout my day, chronicling the beauty of the everyday. this ten on ten was pretty damn special, as lina and i have now moved into our new apartment!! yep. we moved a whole week early, and that’s why it’s been so silent here on the blog for the past 4-5 days. we’ve been super busy traveling to pick up all of our things, moving them up to uppsala, getting them in the apartment, doing some shopping, and unpacking + organizing everything.

oh, we’re not completely finished yet, but we’ve done a whole lot. and it feels so freaking amazing to have our stuff around us. and everything survived the journey across the atlantic. and, now we have brought some asheville vibes into our swedish apartment. it’s truly beginning to feel like home.

so, we’ve gone from the ten on ten in january, the day where we completely emptied our asheville apartment; to the ten on ten in february, where we made the best of our time in our empty, cold, weird, temporary apartment; to yesterday’s ten on ten, as we begin to create our new home in uppsala. it all just blows my mind. and i am so unbelievably grateful.

here’s a peek at what i was up to yesterday. lina was back at work in her office, and i spent most of the day unpacking and taking care of the apartment. basically, i had a great day! then, we enjoyed our first real cozy evening at home together. i have a feeling it’s going to be fantastic living here. more on the apartment + this past weekend in a few other posts. so, stay tuned + check back!

breakfast-kitchen-home decoration-home 3-sunshine-cat-zola 4-shower-europe 4-books-window 5-basement-apartment 6-me-ego 8-errands-shopping 9-tv 10-bedroom

happy hump day, friends! hope you are having a great week! sending you lots of love + light.

onwards + upwards! xoxo