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the top moments from last week: a photo journal

i miss doing a weekly photo update. sharing the random little snippets of my life that i capture on my phone. so, i think i’m going to begin that again. then, the rest of the week i can focus on other kinds of posts: beer, travel, tips, spirituality… those things that are the passions of my life.

but, one of the things that i am most passionate about is learning to live in the present moment, or living a mindful life. all of my other passions, come from my desire for peace, to live an authentic life, in the moment, grateful for all that i have and all that i am.

but some of my passions lend themselves to sounds like amazing, crazy adventures. and, sure,  i love amazing, crazy adventures as much as the next person, but the heart of life is found in our every day moments.

so i don’t want to highlight only all of the unusual, special, amazing moments and adventures that i have on this blog. no, i want to share my love for the everyday as well.

when we learn to live every single ordinary day as something extraordinary, knowing that the adventures are found in those mundane, ordinary moments, then we begin to live a life full of gratitude. and we find that we want for nothing, that we already have so much. that life is beautiful, even in the midst of the struggles and chaos and stress. when we tune into those moments that make us smile, if even for a second, then our whole attitude changes. and life becomes one big adventure. every single second of it. a sense of peace falls over us and we stand grounded, like a tree, rooted to the earth, letting the winds and storms and rain blow by. soaking up the sun when it shines.

so, this weekly photo journal is my way of sharing with you those regular moments that have passed by in my life. hopefully you will get a little peek into my expat life in sweden, or find inspiration, or simply enjoy the photos. but, more than a photo journal for you, this is for me. to remind me that my life is amazing. to give thanks for every little thing. not to ignore the not so great things, but to claim the beauty that is life, even in the midst of all of the suffering and confusion and stress and uncertainty.

besides, i/we have but this one life to live. so, why not live it to the absolute fullest, enjoying it?!


my love’s birthday was this past week
birthday-breakfast-lina lina-birthday-morning tapas-lina-birthday me-coffee- cafe-linne-uppsala-coffee

i cycled outside of uppsala + discovered some beautiful placesbiking-sweden- biking-sweden-country

we spent the weekend in stockholm: shopping for my brother-in-law’s wedding, drinking local beer, celebrating europe’s eurovision song contest victory (sweden won!) with some friends, and enjoying the super spring weatherstarbucks-stockholm-shopping shopping-street-stockholm omnipollo-soder-stockholm-microbrewery microbrewery-taps-beer-omnipollo omnipollo-beer me-beer-sodermalm-stockholm omnipollo-taps-sodermalm tacos-friends sweden-eurovision lina-me-melodifestivalen-eurovision late-night-stockholm-sky sodermalm-stockholm- stockholm-spring old-town-stockholm-alley lina-me-ice-cream-stockholm stockholm train-home-uppsala-sweden

happy monday, dear friends + family! wishing you a week filled with exactly what you need.

onwards + upwards! xoxo


ten on ten: may 2015

i’m gonna cheat a tiny little bit. most of my photos are from yesterday, the 10th, but i am also gonna sneak in a photo or two from saturday. so, let’s call it a little ten on ten weekend, ok?

there was a bit of a theme this weekend, and if you saw my post yesterday, then you know that the theme was beer. oh, how i love me some beer.

but, let me be clear about this. i am no drunk. (yeah. i am just gonna be blunt about it). i don’t drink to get drunk. ever. and i don’t really even ever get drunk. i enjoy beer for many reasons, but it is never to escape or hide. i love beer, especially craft beer, because of the art of it. the process, the care, the beauty, the organic nature of it, the creativity, and the simple social part of enjoying something that was created out of passion with others.

so, this weekend, we enjoyed some beer – and then we made some beer! that’s right, my love and i brewed our first batch of beer. american pale ale. right now, it’s fermenting in a dark closet and our fingers are crossed tight. i guess we will see in a few weeks. exciting!

anyway, here some my 10 (ish) beer-themed photos from the weekend. enjoy!

lunch-churchhill-arms me-beer family-beer-saturday-boathouse morning-cozy preparing-homebrewing temperature-homebrewing homebrewing-me

waiting-boiling- homebrewing-wort-boil

home sofa tv-relax-me

here’s to hoping that you had a great weekend! and, that your week is productive, beautiful, and filled with adventures of all kinds!

and… never, ever forget to do what you love.

onwards + upwards! xoxo



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.


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.

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. 


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


it’s my four year blogaversary!

hi friends! 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.


// 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



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

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