a photography tip: steller – where everybody becomes an artist + a storyteller

like we all need another app on our already maxed out smartphones. right? and like we need one more thing to take our focus away from real life + the present moment. right?

we don’t. our 21st century everyday life is already filled up with obsessively checking texts, Facebook, instagram, emails, news, and tweeting things all from our little phones. we do it constantly. so much so that it just might be a problem for some of us. i often wonder about myself. at least i’m trying to keep myself in check, yeah?

but, even with all of that information, and my unsolicited advice to take it easy with our phones, to put them down + look around instead of down at a screen, to go off the grid on a regular basis… even with all of that said, i am still going to share with you a tip about a fantastic photography app.

and even though this app takes up some more time that we could use to be doing something else, i actually believe that it is something that can inspire us.

perhaps 21st century creativity has just made art + creativity more available to us through apps like instagram… and stellar.

steller is a photography app for sharing photos, but unlike instagram that shares one photo at a time, steller tells stories through images. it’s an app that allows you to upload a series of photos from your camera to create whatever kind of story you wish. it’s a great tool for telling beautiful visual stories. capture that perfect weekend getaway you just had. snap shots of your outfits over a week, or share an entire recipe through photos. take photos of your favorite design ideas. the possibilities are endless.

click –> here to get a little sampling of what some people are posting on steller right now. i’ll wait for you to come back…

now that you’ve seen and explored some of the stories on steller, i’ll bet you’re as blown away as i am at the talent that’s out there. my inspiration soul is pretty much set on fire every time i look at steller stories. and, instead of thinking, “i can never create something that beautiful”, i find myself motivated + knowing that i absolutely can create something that beautiful.

so, here are a few tips on how to do just that:

1. choose the theme you wish to use // steller has some fantastic themes already ready for you to simply add your photos to.  just choose whichever you like and begin to build your story.

2. choose + upload your photos (a series of something that will tell whatever story you wish to tell).

3. choose the layout for each photo page // it’s super easy. there are templates for the theme you chose at the bottom of the page. give your story just the look + feel that you want.

4. add a new page to add some text to your story // it’s easy to add a page and then type out an fun introduction explaining what your story is about. but, it doesn’t have to stop there. add a page with quotes, or tel your story with alternating word + photo pages.

5. you can even add videos //  now, i haven’t added any videos yet, but i’ve seen some beautiful examples like –> here and here.

6. don’t forget to add a page for text as your last page // leave your contact info, some hashtags, ask questions. anything to engage others + provide a way to contact with you in other places around the internet

7. rearrange your pages // you can see your pages, move them around and even delete some if you want. then, go back and add more if you want.

8. preview your story, fix whatever needs fixing, and then publish!

9. it’s easy to find inspiration by exploring using the little compass icon at the bottom of the app. click through the collections that pop up, or search for hashtags. the stories are boundless, endless wells of beauty and wonder.

you can find my profile on steller –> here. or just click on the widget right over here ——->

i haven’t created that many stories… i am trying to pace myself. hehe. still, i have already been featured by steller a few times. exciting!!

here is my most popular story on steller. it was so easy to create, and it ended up being in steller’s top 20 for 2 days! click on the photo to see the whole story.

summer in stockholm steller-1

the most recent feature was when steller created a story to inspire others to take photos of the streets around them (steller often gives great tips and ideas, so be sure to follow their profile). the hashtag they asked everyone to use is #stellerstreet.

in their little instruction story, they featured my cover photo for my summer in stockholm story. so freaking cool! (click on the photo to see the story on steller – and my photo in it!).


so, there you go. a new app for you to explore – and download, if you’re into it. you can download it from itunes  here or simply type “steller” in on your smartphone’s app store.

app or no app, we can all use a boost of in our creativity. am i right? and telling stories through images is a perfect way to capture a moment or challenge ourselves to find a series of shots and put them together as a collection. it’s like having a chance to show our art in our own little gallery.

of course, this can be done with any kind of camera. it can be posted on instagram, Facebook, emailed, or even printed out and hung on our walls.

i’m gonna invite each of you to join me in september in creating our own collections of stories  throughout the month of september. i’ll pick a few themes and share the challenges here, and then you can join me in picking up your camera and creating your own art, telling your own stories through photos and text. images and words.

all of us are artists. all of us have our own stories to tell. let’s use september to share that with each each? are you in? *more details to come soon!*

until then, happy snapping!

onwards + upwards! xo

eggnog latte computer fika

follow me [and lots of other cool people] on bloglovin

morning, friends! i was wondering… have you ever heard of Bloglovin? it’s a great website where you can discover and follow blogs. once you follow a blog, it shows up in your Bloglovin feed (Bloglovin’s word for reader) along with all of the others newest + latest posts of all of the blogs you follow. and now, my website, www.belovelive.com is on Bloglovin! yay!

i’ve been a part of Bloglovin before, but with the switch to a self-hosted website in the past week, my previous belovelive link on Bloglovin does not work anymore. none of my new posts here show up there. so, i created a new belovelove.com link on bloglovin. what that means is that if you were following me on bloglovin before, you need to go to my profile and follow me again to make sure you are following the correct blog. make sense? you can tell that you have the correct blog because you can see this post as one of the posts in your feed/on my profile page.

in any case, for all of you (new to Bloglovin or old pros), just click on the image in the sidebar to the left that looks like a drawing of a woman. then, you’ll be directed to Bloglovin and can follow me, getting updates of all of my posts as soon as i post them in your feed (reader). easy peasy, huh?

you can also find a direct link to my profile: –>  here}

hope to see you there! until then, happy blogging + reading! and, of course, if you have any questions, just leave me a comment + i’ll do what i can to help you out!


light + love xx



how you can move with me: be|love|live is growing up!

good morning, everyone! and happy hump day!

ok, guys. it’s happening. the blog transfer is in the works, and within a few days (or later today possible!) i will no longer be part of wordpress.com. i have loooved being part of wordpress.com, but it is time to move on to bigger + better things. i need my own space, my own website where i can do whatever i want and build it exactly how i (or lina, the new media expert) want to build it). i need a space for advertisers, so i can begin to make some money as i blog – because that is the ultimate dream of rme, you know. and, i need to relaunch, restart, and refresh everything about belovelive. and, what better time than at the beginning of a new year and with an actual move to a new home on the horizon?!

now, here’s how it’s gonna go:

well, i don’t really know. hehe. i do know that my domain will remain www.belovelive.com. so, anytime you type that in, you’ll end up here with me. however, right after the transfer is complete, i will no longer be part of your wordpress reader, so you will have to add belovelive.com to your favorites and re-follow me.

you will do that, right?! because i don’t want to miss one minute with you guys. and you will not want to miss one minute with me either. this blog is going to grow. it’s going to expand + there will be a whole new set of adventures as i move back to sweden. of course, it will forever remain focused on being, loving, and living. that is at the heart of everything i do here.

so, keep an eye out here for changes. and, if for some reason, you can’t find belovelive.com, or you end up with some kind of error, just type it all into your search engine and you will move over with me.i’ll keep you posted all over social media too! just wanted you all to be prepared + ready…

onward + upward, friends!

light + love xx

making me all weepy.

think of this post as a little celebration on a completely random day.

one year ago today, i wrote an important post (click here to read it). it may not have been important to anyone but me. but, nevermind that. it was one of those serendipitous days that occurs every so often when you just know that everything is right. when your soul is not whispering to you, but shouting with joy and you feel as if you might burst. a day when everything makes sense and life seems exactly as it should.

it was a very powerful day for me. a day where i realized that i was ready. ready to really chase my dreams. ready to accept and understand and move forward. ready to admit that i would never go back – i could never go back – to simply living my old, “regular” life, but i knew that it was time to embrace the calling and the feeling that i was meant to write. no matter what.

and while it made sense to me, how any of that would be possible, i had no idea. i knew that i was going to do it. i had no idea how, but i believed. lina and i were already committed to moving to asheville so that lina could follow her dreams, but this time last year, i embraced that this move meant that i would also be following my dream as well.

it was as if i gave myself permission to just jump. to take a leap of faith and risk it. and that’s what last year’s post was all about.

this week, Facebook turned 10 and they created little videos for users based on their photos and updates – things they had posted on Facebook since they first began using it. i joined Facebook in 2007, just a few weeks after meeting lina. and i actually joined so that lina and i could keep in touch. so, our entire relationship was based on a friendship started in sweden and developed through Facebook messages and webcam chats.


when i clicked on my little one-minute video to see what Facebook had created for me, i was brought to tears by the photos and words that appeared before my eyes. it was a collection of beautiful moments from the very beginning of our relationship to now, in addition to some great highlights of my family and other amazing memories. i was so touched by my little video, and it brought to mind this incredible journey that i have been on throughout the past year. well, actually the past seven years…

so, i just had to share it with you. i wanted to share it as a way of honoring my life and reminding me of how overwhelmingly grateful i am. i wanted to share it with you to “prove” to you that you can make your dreams come true, that it is possible to live the life that you dream of and to find your passion. and i wanted to encourage you to never give up.

i hope that you, too, can look back over your life, whether it be 10 years or 10 days, and find things to celebrate as well. but, more than anything, i wish for you to feel hope and excitement and peace as you look forward.

click below to watch the video:

 peace & love. xx

learning to love yourself through a photo challenge.



february. the month of love. awww. and a new month for a new photo journey. woo hoo. now, i know that we all have mixed feelings about february and the holiday represented by flowers and chocolate and a little arrow-toting baby that creeps up on us every year. depending on our life’s circumstances, it can be the most beautiful, romantic day or the most heart-breaking, gut-wrenching day. for most of us, though, it’s probably somewhere in between the “high in the clouds” or “in the depths of hell” feelings.

well, this february, i’m being practical. i decided that, in the interest of learning to love others, we would focus on our selves. that’s right. i said it. this february it’s all about you. just to clarify, this is a strong belief that i have… the belief that we nurture our souls first, and then the love that we want to share with others, the ways that we want to make a difference in the world, will simply grow from our self love and self care. it makes sense, right? we have to learn to love and accept and appreciate ourselves before we can really put any true, real energy out there that is good for others.

so, for our february photo journey, we are gong to love ourselves. we are gonna combine selfies, body image, self-love, self-confidence, and acceptance all into one photo challenge.

and here’s how we’re gonna do it:

february photo challenge 2014

 now, i can hear your moans and groans from all the way over here. you don’t want to focus on yourself for 28 days. it’s embarrassing. it’s scary. it’s revealing.

it can be those things, yes. but, that’s why it’s called a photo challenge and a photo journey. because after challenging yourself to take this journey, there will be a transformation – or at least some lessons learned. so, while it is all of those things above, it is also these things: empowering. inspiring. freeing.

admittedly, we all have things that we don’t like about ourselves. things we wish we could physically change or are not satisfied with. and things we wish we could internally change. ways we want to grow. and we don’t want to capture these things in a photo, much less share them with the world through social media. and speaking of media – we get so many twisted, messed up, wrong messages about what it means to be beautiful. and we think we don’t measure up. we are scared to not be perfect. so, we do not want to take part in any photo challenges that focuses on ourselves for 28 whole days – putting all of our flaws and real-ness out there.

but, my friends, i say “let’s do it anyway!” let’s claim ourselves as the beloved, amazing, beautiful, unique people that we are. let’s show the world that we know that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, ages, and nationalities. and ultimately, beauty comes from within. how about it, my friends?let’s claim february 2014 as the month that we begin to learn to appreciate who we are – exactly as we are!

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:
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.

 are you in?! 

peace and love. xx

the power of blogging. or, the day that paige came to town.

if you’re reading this, then you must know a little about blogging. you may even have your own blog. and if you’re not a blogger yourself, then you at least appreciate the blog world in one way or another. perhaps you are simply a supporter and reader of blogs. perhaps you are a long-time blog enthusiast, or perhaps you just stumbled onto this page. most likely, though, you fall somewhere in the middle of the blog-lover spectrum.

no matter what kind of blogger or blog-reader you are, though, you are aware of the power of blogging. whether blogs are places to receive inspiration or information, or places that you go to, to share your thoughts and ideas, they are little corners of cyberspace that connect like-minded people and provide endless ways to feel a connection with the world.

they can be a way to keep in contact with family and friends that are far away (the reason i started this blog when i moved to sweden). or they can be a way to seek out new connections. but, if you think about it, it actually doesn’t require any commitment to read a blog, or to even leave a comment on someone’s blog. and, unless you are blogging for work, it doesn’t require any commitment to write on your own blog. it’s up to each one of us how much we want to put into or get out of the blog world. which is a good thing, i believe. it means that blogging and blog-reading is an individual decision that we can adapt and add to our lives in the ways that we want to.

no pressure. no rules. just inspiration and fun.

so, since blogging is so unrestricted and free, requiring no real commitment, can it ever be really powerful as a social tool? like, to make friends, i mean. of course, the content of a blog can be a powerful way to send out a message to the world. however, how many of you have considered that it is a place to form real friendships? i suppose we most often read blogs of people we don’t know, and assume we will never know. but, then, there are some of us who blog and comment and comment and blog on each others’ blogs for a while, and actually feel like we have become what i like to call “blogging buddies”. we know little bits and pieces of each others’ lives, but we don’t know what it’s like to be together IRL (in real life).

until we do…


i suppose it can seem a little creepy to follow someone’s posts and thoughts online for a while, and then decide to meet him or her in real life. it’s creepy because, there is that “no rule” rule with blogs. what if you plan to meet someone and you, or they, have not been totally honest? what if in real life the person (or you) is not how they “appear” or present themselves online? what if you don’t get along? or if it’s awkward? or dangerous – most likely it won’t be if you have actually formed an online, long-term relationship of comments and emails and support back & forth.

plus, there’s the whole distance issue. so many people that i am blogging buddies with live all over the world, so it’s not very practical to meet up. practical? it’s not possible.

but, every now and then, something serendipitous happens, and it becomes possible to meet a blogging friend face to face. and, in my opinion, it’s a good idea to just go for it! especially if that person’s blog, photos, and words have been an inspiration. especially if that person has been someone that you’ve followed and read for a long time – and the feeling (stalking. hehe.) has been mutual.

i had my first opportunity to meet a blogging buddy last fall. lanie and i had been reading & commenting on each others’ blogs for about 2 years before we met face to face. and it was soooo much fun meeting her. the bonus thing was that i brought along my love and she brought along her love, and the four of us girls became fast friends (IRL). so much so, that we keep in contact with each other and even spent new year’s eve together this year. it’s been such a blessing to have taken that leap of faith! the four of us are true friends now  – and my life is richer because of it.

about 2 weeks ago, i had the opportunity again to meet a fellow blogging buddy of mine. fortheloveofwanderlust is a blog i’ve been following for more than two years. i have no idea how paige and i found each other, but we immediately became supporters of each others’ blogs, and more importantly, lives. our friendship then extended to instagram, which allows you to be able to connect with someone in a more daily, intimate way. we kept in touch through our blogs, photos, comments and emails, and have even snail-mailed each other a few times.


i just knew that this wanderlusting, travel-loving chick was an awesome person, and definitely someone i’d love to meet one day. well, one day became possible a few weeks ago, as i found out that she was doing a solo road trip across the southeast in january. of course i invited paige to stay with me & lina so we could meet and so she could see asheville – i knew she’d love it here.

so, the day that lina and i returned from walt disney world, my amazing blogging buddy paige made it to asheville to spend the weekend with us!

what has happened because of that little weekend – which was extended to 4 days because we were having so much fun and because there was so much to see & do – is that we have formed a very real, very tight, amazing friendship, keeping in touch via texts and phone calls every day since she left asheville. this amazing chick totally clicked with us – and it actually felt like she just belonged here.

all this to say:

  1. we had a ton of fun together!
  2. our friendship grew because of a chance to meet face to face.
  3. we got along so well, that we have exciting plans to share more things in the future. eeeek!
  4. liz (me) & lina (my love) love paige, who is an amazing travel blogger (go check her out at for the love of wanderlust by clicking here).
  5. if you have a blog and it is at all possible to meet a fellow blogger… DO IT.

so, while blogs are fun little hobbies, they can also be powerful ways to strengthen and form relationships. i had no idea when i started blogging that i’d make actual, real friends. i had no idea that spending time with someone that i had “met” through similar interests on the internet could become such a great friend and support. but, it’s possible. and it’s powerful. and i am so thankful. paige, you have reserved yourself a special place in our hearts. we love you to pieces.

now, it’s time for y’all to enjoy some fun photos from the amazing time that we had when paige came to town! hopefully it’s inspire you to go out and meet new friends!

IMG_8023 IMG_8056 DSC_0322 DSC_0341 DSC_0764 DSC_0773 DSC_0348 DSC_0369 DSC_0782 DSC_0785 DSC_0797 IMG_8049 IMG_8058 IMG_8085 IMG_8096

alrighty, peeps. who do i get to meet next?!

peace and love. xx

* photos with me & paige taken by my love, lina. thanks, baby.

stairway to heaven… there’s a job out there somewhere.

remember that i had a little networking meet-up the other day? no? i didn’t mention it here on my blog? well, i secretly mentioned it… it was the inspiration behind this post. hehe.

anyway, i did have a little networking meet-up with an inspiring guy who’s a journalist/blogger here in asheville. i’d never met him before, but i have been having a little twitter contact with him for the past 4ish months. that’s not much contact considering you only have 140 characters in twitter messages. but, it was just enough to establish a little connection with each other and set up a time to chat over coffee. my purpose? to make new contacts in my new/old city, especially in the writing field. to put myself out there as someone who wants to write for a living with every fiber of her being.

so, at 10am on thursday, i met this fellow writer at a cafe downtown.


i parked my car in the parking garage on the top level. there’s always a great view of asheville from up there and i was feeling especially inspired that morning. i took the stairs down to the street level and realized that i had gone one too far. so, i was on the street that was one level below/behind the street where the cafe was. fortunately, there was a staircase directly in front of me, leading up to the street where i needed to be. i stood there for a moment just staring at the stairs going up, leading to what looked like the sky. there was a stop sign also that i could see. and i thought to myself:

perhaps these stairs lead to my future. to the next part of my journey, whatever that may be. and i felt excited. not scared at all for what comes next. i simply trust the universe. and know that up those stairs is the beginning of the next part of my life, the next chapter. if not literally, then figuratively.


i climbed the stairs, aware of every step forward. i opened the door of the cafe, ordered a regular coffee, poured a little milk in, and began my first real job-ish kinda connection!

we sipped coffee at a little table in the corner of the cafe, as people rushed in and out, getting their work day started with take away coffee in their homemade mugs (eco-friendly asheville!). a few people sat huddled at tables nearby, chatting about life & work, i suppose. and we sat and shared with each other about our lives, our love for asheville, and simply got to know each other. will it ever turn into any kind of job or opportunity for me? i have no idea. but, i put myself out there. and we’ll keep in touch. so, it all feels worthwhile.

but, then, something else happened later on in the day…

i got a little text from my friend jessica, asking if i would be willing to teach at an elementary school. hmmm… well, i have been working on trying to find a teach job for many reasons:

  1. i have quite a bit of experience.
  2. i love the diversity & challenges of working in special education
  3. it’s a good schedule (vacations, holidays, etc. so i can travel to sweden easily!).
  4. steady pay and good insurance.
  5. time to write more
  6. time to work on getting certified as a yoga teacher
  7. fulfills my desire/calling to work in a mission field – being a teacher is mission work, and damn hard mission work i believe. much harder (in a different way) than working in a church, in my opinion. for me at least. (and i am not dissing all my preacher friends at all! i know that being a pastor/minister is incredibly time-consuming, as in a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week job, exhausting, and misunderstood – people think all you do is sit around & read and prepare sermons. and mind you, i have never been a senior pastor – nor do i want to be!).

of course, this does not fulfill my dream of writing full-time, but that is a goal that i have. i know that it is not really possible to just do that right now. so, teaching will also give the opportunity (=time) to grow my blog even more and work on my book, while making more connections in the writing/blogging world.

after i processed all of those thoughts (and the knowledge that i just need a job) in about 1 minute, i responded to jessica, “YES!”. i’m interested.

long story short, i emailed with the director of special education for the county (haywood county – where i used to work in the church, the next county over, about 20-30 minutes away), and she said she sent my resume to a principal at a school. and it’s the school where jessica works! crazy! this was all thursday afternoon, by the way.

friday morning, i was cleaning in our studio, when my phone rang. i didn’t recognize the number and didn’t think anything about it.

me: hello?
man on the phone: may i speak to elizabeth?
me: (still clueless) this is she.
motp: hi. this is ** from ** elementary school. i was just sitting here looking over your resume, 
and would like to know if you would like to come for an interview on monday.
me: (stunned. shocked. confused)oh? (brief pause, because it seemed surreal) absolutely! that soundsgreat!

the conversation continued, and we found out we had both lived in the same areas in the middle part of north carolina. and he freaked out when he realized that i worked at a church in canton (same little mountain town) for 7 years, thereby already having a connection with the area. needless to say, it was a very relaxed phone call, and the principal reassured me that the interview would be very relaxed as well.

and then, the conversation was over. hang up the phone. stare for a moment. run out of the room to tell lina. call mom. text jessica. update facebook status.


i can’t believe it! i have an interview on monday! woo hoo! wish me luck, send me vibes, and i’ll be sure to keep you posted.

looks like that stairway to heaven, to my future, really was a step into the next part of my life. we’ll see what happens. and come what may, i know that it will be exactly as is should be.

keep on walking, friends. peace.


instagram 1100

you know how i have been doing photo a day challenges for over a year now? well, i have and i love it. i love it so much that i began to make my own challenges last december. and that whole process has been amazing in itself. it is really humbling to have people from all over the world join in the photo journeys that i have created. some months i have created the list on my own, and other months i have asked other to get involved by suggesting word prompts of their own. these monthly photo journeys have blossomed into a collaborative, global, theme-centered experience. and i am overwhelmed and excited by all of it!

may has been a stellar month for the bllphotaday (belovelive photo a day) challenge. somewhere in the past week we passed 1,100 bllphotoaday tags on instagram! what that means is that there are now more than 1.100 photos that have been tagged and a part of this photo journey. (take a peek here!) that’s amazing!!! we now have followers and participants from all areas of the world, making it a fun opportunity to see little snippets of each others’ lives, countries, and cultures. 

in addition, by turning the challenges into journeys, i hope that to inspire us all to not just think about taking and sharing cool photos, but also reflecting on who we are, our lives, what’s important, and life in general. and the awesome part is, we get to share these journeys with each other. 

so, today i want to say a great big THANK YOU to those of you who are  joining in and creating such an amazing IG community. i have been so blessed and inspired by all of your talent, beauty, & peeks into your daily lives. you have enriched my journey and my life.

for me, it has meant so much to “get to know” people from different places; so much so, that given the chance, we would love to meet up for a cup of coffee or a pint of beer one day. i suppose this is one way to actually form friendships in the globally connected, social media driven, 21st century world we live in today. not something i would have ever imagined in the past, but now something i could not imagine living without.

i encourage you, if you have instagram, to join in bll’s photo journey for june. and if you haven’t yet, search for the hashtag #bllphotoaday and check out all the inspiring people and beautiful photos you find there! soon, you’ll be clicking and liking others’ photos, and they will in turn be clicking & liking your stuff. and you will being building an amazing, wonderful, supporting community through images and words.

 with all that said, let me now say this:


in june it’s all about enjoying the simple things in life… a time to remember that, even in the middle of our messy, busy, complicated lives, we can choose to live simply and to simply live. there’s also alot of craziness going on in my life personally in june, and i was afraid that i might get out of control & all wrapped up in the stress and craziness of moving out of our apartment. so, that is another reason i decided to focus on simplicity. to help keep me grounded, focused, and calm. this month i invite you to join me in finding one simple, beautiful moment every day & sharing it on instagram (or other places) by tagging it #bllphotoaday. can’t wait to see all of your amazing photos!! an amazing, supportive community is waiting for you!

here’s june’s list! 

june photo a daysave it to your desktop or on your smartphone, so you know what the word is for each and every day. as i was thinking about simplicity, i realized that there are so many ways we can make our lives more simple, so i organized the month into six different themes that are centered on simplicity. each of the five words under each mini-theme give you something to focus on for those five days. remember that it’s all about how you interpret the word. be creative and express yourself however you want! 

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 @lizslens on instagram.

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.

so, there ya go! we’re all ready for june. 

i just wanna give one more shout out to all of you #bllphotoaday photographers & friends. it has been an amazing ride, and i can’t wait to see what’s in store next!


keepin’ it simple. peace & love.

the way of the heart.

for the month of may, i decided that it would be fun to reflect a little on myself. who i am. what my personality is like. what i use the most in my life… my mind? my heart? my body? or my soul? do i engage all four of these parts of being human in my life, or do i neglect one of the areas? if so, why do i neglect it? well… i decided to do this little reflection and exploration in the form of a photo journey. and i invited y’all to join me.

and join me, you have! i have met new bloggers, new instagrammers, new artists in just one week and my inspiration cup is overflowing. you people are amazing! whether you are posting on twitter, your blog, or instagram, you are growing the belovelive photo journey into something even bigger this month… bigger than it’s ever been! we’ve all got so many more people to connect with. and i am so excited and humbled. what a gift this journey has already become.

by the way, if you have not yet joined in, there is still plenty of time left in may. so, just download and save the may photo a day challenge and begin snapping away. you can go back & do the heart words from days 1-8, or just pick up with the mind words beginning tomorrow. no biggie. you choose! it’s you’re journey, make it whatever you want.

week one of may’s journey of self discovery has been all about the heart. what touches your heart? what’s heavy on your heart? are you a heart person? do you live from your heart?

heart people are the lovers. obviously. if you live life from your heart, then you crave freedom, spontaneity, and emotions. you live in the moment. you laugh and enjoy life. you care about others and are most likely a people person – that doesn’t mean that you are an extrovert in my opinion. only that people, humans, are important to you. you’re passionate and independent. you’re moved by music and beauty. and you can be quite impulsive. how much of a heart person are you? how much am i?

the words for this week were all what i’d like to call “heart words”. they reflect the values and desires and passions of a person who lives life from their heart. it was my intention to use the heart words as a way to let my heart be active this week. to interpret the word prompts and be creative, and to see what touches my heart on a daily basis. i’ve come to the conclusion that i engage my heart quite often. i am quite an emotional person, and while my photos may not stir emotions for you, i guarantee that when i look back on these photos at a later date, i will remember exactly what emotions i felt when i snapped the shot. for me, being a heart person has now come to embody living a life where i feel what i feel. and there are so many things that happen within a day, within a week, that affect my emotions. but, i think that’s a good thing.

here’s a little snippet of what my heart felt every day during the first week of may.

1. selfie: we had to begin here. while a photo does not define or capture the essence of a person, it is a snapshot of who i am. and this photo reminds me exactly who i was, how i felt on this particular 1st day of may 2013.


2. feeling: when i took this picture i was feeling all kinds of emotions. someone had just come by the apartment to photograph it for the next renter…. i felt sadness, excitement, joy, fear, everything! it’s so crazy the adventures that await us!


3. spontaneity: an unplanned day at home with my love. we were both sick… like all week. ugh. but, it was cozy.


4. independent: i stared at this bird building her nest for at least an hour, watching her every move. delicate. strong. determined. living her purpose. i wrote a blog post on my little birdie friend the other day. you can read it here.


5. bliss: pink. blue. may. warm. need i say more?!


6. music: it was another beautiful, warm day, which means only one thing… it was a michael buble kinda day.


7. creative:  i spent some time browsing around one of my fave fair trade stores that sells unexpected, recycled goods made into new & funky designs. so smart. so caring. it’s important for us to love the earth… are ya with me?


8. friends: just 2 american friends having a mexican lunch in sweden. a little crazy fun in the middle of the day.


by the way, here are some of the fabulous bloggers who are participating this month:

pennies in the jetstream

the musings of a lesbian writer

a year of rejoicing

and here are some of the beautiful selfies from all over the world on instagram:

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if you would like to “meet” fellow bloggers or instagrammers, just leave me a comment and i will be sure to feature you in my next may photo a day post in a week! and make sure when you post to use the hashtag #bllphotoaday!

it was really good to get in touch with my heart this past week. to feel things. to find something to be passionate about and grateful for every single day. but, now, it’s on to part 2/week 2 of my self discovery…

my mind. hmm…

peace on your journey, my friends.

may’s photo journey: who am i?

it’s the last day of april and spring has sprung in the northern hemisphere. fall is on the way for those of you south of the equator. and it’s time to embark on what i consider one of the most beautiful months of the year. in my world, it warms up. the flowers burst. the sun shines. and everyone is buzzing around, busy and feeling alive again. we’re all like butterflies flitting about, excited to have a little more energy again.

now, whether it’s spring or fall, we can all use a little more energy and inspiration and kick to help us follow our dreams. i’m a big dreamer, you know. but, how do we know what are dreams are, what goals we have, or what to put on our bucket lists, if we don’t know who we are? and i mean all sides of us!

a few months ago, i stumbled upon a website that “analyzes” your blog/website and then gives you a diagnosis… what type of personality you have. i think it’s fun to think about these kinds of things, but they are also useful for all the reasons i stated above (= following your dreams!). so, for the month of may, i challenge you to join me in a journey of self-discovery. what is your heart like? your soul, your mind, your body? who are you from the inside out? and who do you want to be?

i’m a big believer in being. who we are defines what we do, and not the other way around. it’s not about what we do that tells others who i am, but who we are. i am more than a writer, a theologian, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an american, an ex-pat. i am all of those things, but i am so much more that that as well. it goes deeper than my roles and titles. and once i have a firm grasp on who i am today (and i mean only today because we are ever-changing and transforming), then what i do will naturally flow out of me.

so, i want to explore myself a little more in may. perhaps this desire to embark on a journey of self-discovery is a result of the changes that are coming to my life in about 2 months. i am moving form sweden to the states, and once again, the possibilities seem endless. another chance to follow my dreams and start over is upon me once again.

the other thing that is important to me is the idea of living an authentic life… of being exactly who you are. because all of us are unique, beautiful, and wonderful… exactly as we are.

now, i invite you, my dear friends, to spend the beautiful month of may with me exploring who you are, through the art of photography and reflection!

may photo a day 2013

if you decide to join me, the only thing i ask is for you to:

  • let me know you’re participating – here on my blog (comment below), on belovelive’s new Facebook page, on instagram (@lizslens), or on twitter (@elre74).
  • use the hashtag #bllphotoaday on your photos
  • try to snap a picture each day & use an original one (no throw-backs, unless you just have to. that’s a part of the challenge)

now, there is no pressure here. if you begin the challenge & then wimp out… no biggie. i’ve done that soooo many times. make it what you want. all i ask is that you give yourself a chance to express yourself. and if it’s not for you, then no prob. if you feel stressed out, skip a day or two & come back to it. it’s all about you – being creative and being you.

not totally on board yet?

ok. well, here’s why i love these photo challenges = what you get out of it:

  1. the community – if you share your photo,use the hashtag (#bllphotoaday) and explore other people, you will meet some pretty cool fellow artists from all over the world. i guarantee it.
  2. the juices – creative juices start to flow. overflow, even. you’ll find yourself taking pictures you never thought you’d take. you’ll beging to develop your artist’s eye, and start to see art every freaking where you look. downside: you may annoy people you are with because you want to stop & snap a photo every few feet/meters.
  3. the roses – looking for a way to capture the theme word for each day teaches you to slow down. to notice things you don’t normally notice because you are usually too busy flitting about. you begin to see that every day holds something beautiful to discover.

save the image on your phone, or on your desktop, or on your facebook page, or bookmark this post. check out the word for the day – all of them are something you can use to reflect on who you are.

now, this list may look challenging. i think it is. i’m a little freaked out by it. plus, let’s not mention how personal and intimate this photo journey is. but, i’m gonna see what i come up with. no need to just take pictures of the same old stuff over & over again, right?

every day you’ll find a word that has something to do with either your heart, your soul, your mind, or your body (not to worry! no body pictures are required!) use the words for each day as a prompt. i’m not gonna give any suggestions for each of the words. i’ll let you interpret them how you will. some are tough. some are not. just snap a shot of something that represents or symbolizes the word of the day. reflect on it a little. it will come to you. and whatever you do, it will be a beautiful expression of you.

happy snapping!! enjoy your journey of self-discovery!