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 i have loooved being part of, 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 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 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, 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

sharing is caring

there are a couple of things i have been thinking about lately. one, a little selfish and narcissistic, and the other, much more loving and outside of myself. let’s get the narcissism out of the way first.

i’m pondering what’s happening with my blog. the comments and likes have seemed to drop off so far in 2014. and when that happens, i begin to question what i’m doing and writing. am i doing something wrong? am i boring? or is this normal? i also end up getting “tagging anxiety” after i write every post. can nobody find my blog because i am a sucky tagger? what about you all? does this happen on your blog – have you ever experienced a lull in comments and likes? and do you freak out about it – and begin to question yourself? clearly, i’m not handling myself well.

you know, my readership/views are generally the same (= good), it’s just that i’ve got no interaction going on right now. and i really miss that.


which leads me to the second thing I’ve been thinking about…

yesterday, i ran across a new-to-me blog that had an interesting link in her top menu. it was called “random kindness blog tour”. intrigued, i clicked on it. and, lo and behold, as i read the post (read it for yourself here), i became more and more a fan of what the author was proposing.

at the beginning of 2014, the author committed to discover & read one new blog per day throughout the whole year. and then to comment on it and add it to her ongoing list of blogs. but, these blogs aren’t just any blogs. the author, meg, has chosen to only include blogs that are positive and uplifting. so, in a sense, she is paying forward the effort of all the authors of all the blogs she discovers who are trying to create positivity and inspiration on their blogs. and by doing this, meg, is not only finding new people who inspire her, but linking all kinds of people and all kinds of blogs. it was such an awesome idea, i thought.

meg also talks some about our fast-paced nature and how it shows up even on the internet. how we don’t take the time to leave comments to others, but instead quickly skim blog posts and then move on. we may be inspired by someone’s words or photos, but we often just move on to the next thing, without thanking the author for touching something in us. sometimes we even feel stressed because we are “behind” in in our reading.

DSC_0867when did blogging and reading blogs become a chore? this is not at all what i intended when i created belovelive. i only wanted to share my everyday life and find others that inspire me and are willing to let me sneak in on their lives just a little. the relationships that formed through blogging were an unexpected gift – like a cherry on top. as a fairly well-established blogger(read: been doing it for a while, not that i am doing it right), i realize that any relationships i have formed have been because of a willingness to leave comments and engage other bloggers in conversation. but, i too, have fallen into letting blogging, and more often, blog reading, become a stressor – something that i just need to get done.

but, all that ends today. right now. with this post.

today, i reclaim blog reading as a joy and as a place to interact and connect with people from all over the world. i reclaim it as an inspirational, spiritual act that i have the privilege of adding to my day. basically, all i am doing is resetting my attitude.

but, more importantly, in honor of the amazing blogging world and all that it has given to me throughout the past 3 years, i commit to paying it forward. i plan to take one day each week to focus on new blogs that i discover. i am taking a page from meg’s book and letting myself peruse the blogosphere, soaking up the beauty that i find in new blogs and enjoying the wisdom and inspiration in the ones i have faithfully followed for years.

here’s what i’m going to do:

  • i pledge to visit a new blog every day
  • i pledge to leave a positive comment on each new blog i discover.
  • i also pledge to highlight one blog a week on my blog, either through a post that i write or through a guest blogger.
  • finally, i pledge to create a “random kindness blog tour” page on my blog to highlight the new blogs that i encounter & comment on. hopefully, all of you readers will then have a list of new blogs that you may want to visit. hence, spreading the love.

i want to connect us to each other. i want to support you and all of those other blogs out there. i want to, like meg, lift up people who are writing and photographing and sharing posts that encourage, empower, challenge, and uplift. god knows we have enough difficulty and depressing things in our lives. and, as a response to the darkness, i hope to shed a little light and a little joy.

little did i know, as i read meg’s post yesterday, knowing that i would find a way to incorporate her idea into something on belovelive, that my blog would show up on her list. that’s right, on february 5, meg visited this blog, belovelive, and included it in her blog tour, labeling me a positive blog. what a surprise. and what an incredible honor!

it’s only right that i share that love and acknowledgment with others now. and i can’t wait to get started! let the fun (and love) begin!

now, what was that narcissistic thing i was worried about at the beginning of my post? you know, it’s not about how much i receive. rather, it’s all about how much i give. and i can’t wait to share so much good stuff with all of you!

peace and love. xx

let’s get started!



hi friends! for the past few days i’ve been working on organizing my blog a little – making it more user-friendly and such for all of you faithful readers and all of your newbies, as well. hopefully, it makes the blog a little more interesting and pretty to look at too. of course, it’s possible that you may not notice any of the new designs/additions, so this post is designed to point them out to you. hehe.

it all started when i read this post over at, a couple’s blog that inspires me  with every post. they had decided to revamp their blog and add a “start here” page to their top menu. i commented on their post and the addition of that page, and as usual, they commented back, giving me a few tips & a little pep talk to do my own version here – such sweet bloggers they are!

so, this is my new “start here” page! welcome! it’s a place where you can begin and get a little snippet of what belovelive is all about.  i’m posting it as a blog post right now, but you’ll be able to find it in the top new menu from now on (look up there now. see it?).

i also created links over in my left sidebar to my three main categories (be, love, & live). just click on the photos to see the posts in each category. they are also in the top menu in word form. hopefully this streamlines everything and makes it even easier to navigate in the belovelive world.

so, here ya go! presenting my new “start here” page:


hi! i’m liz. and welcome to belovelive!

i’m your host in this little corner of cyberspace. i started belovelive in the spring of 2011, soon after i married a swede and moved from the united states to sweden. since then, i have just recently moved back to the states (july 2013) and i brought this blog with me.

in the three years i lived in sweden, i hoped to keep in touch with family & friends and give them a glimpse of what life in northern europe was like. well, i did just that. however, i had no idea that i would be sitting in asheville, north carolina in 2014, 900 blog posts later, with so many new friends and connections from all around the world – all because of this little place where i write down my thoughts and share my photos as i process this amazing journey called life. this blog has opened up so many amazing opportunities and been such a gift to me. i hope it will be the same for you.

if you are new here, then take a peek at this page and click on any links you find interesting. these are the basics, or a little snippet of the kinds of things that i post.

here at belovelive, i share my philosophy of life and my adventures in life on an almost daily basis. i am simply a pilgrim on a never-ending, adventurous, blissful journey toward inner peace – and i choose to chronicle that journey through my writing and photos. for me, that journey toward inner peace is found through being, loving, & living. the real journey, though, is sharing that journey with you, here on the web, and with other family & friends in my daily life.

if you want, click on the “you’ve got mail” button on the left sidebar and get my posts in your email, or click here to follow me on my facebook page. of course, there is also instagram and twitter – i’m pretty active on (addicted to) social media. you can find links to everything just to the left in the sidebar.

so, let’s get started…


meet liz
word of the year
celebrating two years



skulls and flowers
open hearts? no. open minds? no. open doors? no. open wounds? yes!
what’s your motto?



“there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be”
i’m rested & i’m ready
observe all that is around you
wednesday wisdom: how to live
different people, same spirit

finland lake


same love
the lost art of snail mail
her words
a closet is no place to live
the beauty of a woman blogfest



how to have an adventure every day
i’m ok. even though i got an email
don’t get so busy
own your moments
a restaurant that feeds your soul
the top ten lessons i learned i 2013

mojito at pappa grappa


travel confessions from a pilgrim
dublin 2.0
a time to remember in berlin
sunrise over the mediterranean sea
a magical swiss-irish wedding
lindos, greece
when i said adventure, i didn’t mean this
rhodes city

lindos, greece


nothing is weird in avl
who i am an north carolina girl
i left my heart in asheville
big big big news!

asheville alley


pinch me, i’m an expat
just for you, mom & dad
i wanna graduate from high school in sweden
midsummer love
st. lucia day: the girl with the crown of candles
full of archipelago love
immigration said yes

skeppsgården swimming


a girl and her fika
a cup of coffee cures everything
making dreams come true over a cuppa

coffee cup

i hope you’ve enjoyed this little introduction into the belovelive world. please hang out for a while and explore more deeply. or become a follower and receive emails whenever i post something new – which is pretty often. so, go ahead, make a pot of coffee or grab a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. curl up in your little corner of the world and spending some time… just being, loving, and living.


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!

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

peace and love. xx

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

how inner peace unfolds.


you may think that my hit-and-miss blogging is due to the fact that i am super busy, and in some ways i am. you may think it has to do with all of the holiday stuff that is underway as well, but i really am taking time to slow down and savor this holiday in ways that i usually find difficult. this year, though, it all feels natural. or you may think that my mostly photo posts arise from my inability/non-desire to write, and you’d be somewhat right.

but what i really think is going on is that i am simply living life.



you know, i’ve been thinking and chatting with some different people in my life lately about this whole living life thing. i’ve spent a little time reflecting being alone, but not as much as i usually do. and, you know what? that doesn’t bother me. i used to feel guilty or stressed or ungrounded whenever i wasn’t writing all the time or reflecting all the time. and i suppose that i still have some of those feelings too. but, more than that, i feel at peace. like i’m sailing along right now. simply living and enjoying my moments as they come. there are no big things out there that i feel stressed out that i need to do in order to be truly happy. because, to tell you the truth, right now i am truly happy. like contented and peaceful in perhaps a way i have never been before.


i’ve thought some about my blog’s name: be. love. live. and what i’ve come up with is that when i thought of that name, i envisioned what that kind of life would look like – being, loving, and living. i think it became a set of goals for me, without me even specifically thinking that i was going to work on being, loving, and living. however, guess what has happened? i have done just that.


moving to the states has given me the time and distance to see that i have moved through my life since i was 33 in these 3 stages of being, loving, and living. and, as i said before, i never planned it that way. but, looking back now, i can see that is exactly what has happened…




i spent a very specific time in my life learning how to just be: to stop focusing on what i needed to do and instead, focusing on who i am. learning how to accept and simply be who i am created to be. exploring myself. my hopes, my dreams, my goals. the things that kept me from being truly me. it was quite a long period of getting to know myself, but it was a part of my journey so rich with deep, soulful connections. of learning to listen to my voice, to my soul.

and then, somehow, i naturally passed from that stage to the stage of loving. of course, i carried my sense of simply being along with me, but the focus shifted to learning about love: how to love and how to be loved. i now call my 3 years in sweden my loving period. it was the first three years of being married to my amazing wife. it was a time of learning how to love myself – the person i had gotten to know the years before, but in a much deeper way now that i was living in a foreign country. it was a time of learning what i means to love someone unconditional and to let go of control as i watched my wife almost die. it was 3 years of devoting my life to helping her on her journey back to health. however, that unconditional love was showered onto me as well. lina never stopped loving me, never gave up on me or herself. on top of that, she challenged me to learn how to put myself first  – whether it was just stating my opinion on something or making sure that i was connected to things that nurture my soul.


for a while she was my main priority. and then, when i lost all sense of control and she was taken from me and placed in the hospital, i had to learn how to love and live on my own. i had to learn to care for myself and trust in the process of her recovery. we hated being apart from each other, but all of these “sick” years have also made our love much stronger and deeper.


and then, we made the crazy, life-changing decision to move to the states, back to our beloved asheville. it was literally a decision made in one quick moment that took about 9 months to make happen. but, we did it. and we knew all along the way as we prepared that this was right – 100% right. our souls had been whispering it to us for a while, and we followed those whispers and have now embarked on this next part of our journey in life.

being back in asheville has been heaven, though we both greatly miss people & things in sweden. still, we know we are fulfilling our destiny for right now. and by moving here the universe has just continued to open up more and more to both of us.

IMG_3956 - Version 2

it is in the midst of all of this, that i began to see this pattern of living out my own being, loving, and living. it was during this autumn in asheville that i began to realize that i am embarking on a completely new chapter in my life, that things are transitioning and transforming, that i have learned so much about myself throughout the past 6 years of being and loving, and now… now, it’s time to live.


and without making any conscious decisions, i did just that. i began taking bigger risks, living as authentically as possible. but more than anything, just fucking enjoying every little moment. literally. back in january, i dubbed 2013 as my free-spirited year, and boy, have i lived that promise to myself!

so, i haven’t made time for writing. i haven’t needed to. i didn’t need to reflect or figure out anything. i didn’t need to analyze or overanalyze. i didn’t need to focus on sickness and death. i didn’t need to be all caught up with deep thoughts in my head.


what i needed was to do was live. i needed to laugh, drink beer, reconnect with my family, chase crazy dreams, eat dinner out, celebrate, sit on my balcony, take road trips, meet new people, hang out with old friends, and stop thinking. you get what i mean, right? of course, i still thought and reflected and wondered. of course, i nurtured my solitude by meditation and alone-time. but, instead of living such an inner-focused life, it was time to push my introverted-self to be extroverted, social, and just… free-spirited.


again, i did not actually decide any of these things, it all just unfolded this way. and it has only been in the past few weeks that i have realized these patterns. but, what a gift it has been to make these connections, to realize how life has built on itself. that being led to loving, which then led to living. all of these three phases in life have not come and gone, but have spiral upwards so that now that i understand living, i understand it only because first i spent years just being me, and then learning to love as i was being. now, all three exist in my life – and these phases have prepared me for what comes next.


and you know what? i think i know what my next step is. well, let me explain that. i have no specific plans and i don’t know how anything looks at all. in fact, i have no idea what’s around the corner. but, what i do know is that it is time to take my dreams to the next level. how? no clue. but, i don’t need to know. it will unfold. the thing that i know that i need to get busy doing is disciplining myself. of course, i am still the world’s worst procrastinator and non-disciplined person. it’s time i have a schedule. make myself more available so that i can read the signs and be aware what the universe is offering me next.


one thing i have learned over time is that the best decisions are not the ones that are made when writing out a pros and cons list, but made in a crazy, spontaneous, completely risk-filled moment. of course after that decision, there may be a need (or there will be a need) to buckle down and make things happen… a time to take action. but, the decision happens like a leap of faith.


so, i am beginning my preparations for 2014. beginning to dream and vision and wait for a word to come to me. through the lens of beings, loving, and living, i am waiting to receive whatever the world has to offer me. and i am ready to get to work on this next phase in life – to incorporate into my life in a very concrete and real way.


i’ve wondered if all of this means that is coming to an end… but, no! after considering it, my gut is telling me that i am only now beginning to embody the belovelive vision for my life. those three words, which i understood when i put them together 3 years ago, have now become my way of life. so, it is just now that i am living my vision fully. there’s much more to blog about on this blog. besides. belovelive… that’s who i am. that’s the life that i seek to live.


and i cannot wait to see what that next phase looks like.

peace and love. xx

missing you & moving on.

you know what? i miss blogging here on a regular basis. i miss it a lot. i miss y’all a lot. i suppose that my lack of blogging has been mostly because of my blogging on my forty days of fika blog. visiting 40 cafes and blogging for 40 days (almost in a row) really took up my time. and then, with the paper and stuff… i have really given my attention to my coffee/fika/writing experiences and projects lately. and that’s all really good. reaaaaally good.

but i miss being here. i miss good ole being. loving. and living.

although, when i stop to think about it, i suppose that i have done the being part for some years. and also the loving part for some years. now, it’s time for the living part. and that, i am doing! it’s been all full speed ahead and such in my life since moving back to asheville.

but, that’s amazing. no complaints here. i have not been so wrapped up in my head lately, analyzing everything. but, i’ve been more active and social. living life to the fullest. enjoying moments with people. establishing new routines, new connections. and re-connecting with family and friends. and nature. i’ve found myself in nature more and more. and that is truly filling my soul.

so, i suppose it’s not all that bad that i’ve not been very active on this blog lately. i suppose it’s even exactly what i have needed at this point in my life. and i am proud of myself for living in the moment. going with the flow. and getting out into the middle of life, focusing on the here and now – not the past or the future. just being all about the present moment.

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click on the photo to watch my october highlights: some of the ways i’ve been living life.

still, i miss y’all. and i miss writing here every day.

you know, i’ve just wrapped up visiting my 40th cafe yesterday for my 40 days of fika blog project. i’m still behind on getting out the last few blog posts, but nevertheless, the journey has pretty much come to an end. i’ll finish all the posts this weekend, and then i will close the door on the project. however, i’ll continue to publish “the fika files” in the mountain xpress, and i’m even looking into finding a way to publish my project as an entire book.

but, it’s time to move on. time for a new phase. a new project. i’ve been asked to do two different series (for the asheville blog i am a part of voluntarily). one on beer and one on food trucks. so, that’ll be fun! and i think i may add those posts to this blog too. maybe?

however, what i am really looking forward to is beginning work on my memoir. i have it all planned out. i know what time periods i am going to include and what my three main sections of the book will be about. i am so excited to get started on this. and i am going to get this thing done! first things first, though, i’m planning to do a large inspiration board for each of the three sections – with photos, words, thoughts, earlier writings, etc. i am basically gonna research myself, since i am going back in time a little. i can just feel that it is time to buckle down and get this done.

so, in the interest of moving on, i have made a photo journey based on just that. it was actually a theme suggested by one of my instagram friends, and when i saw her suggestion, it fit so perfectly with what i was thinking and how things were moving in my life right now. everything just lined up like magic. like it was meant to be…

during november, all of the word prompts for the photo journey have something to do with moving, be it moving on, or forward, or in, or around, or away. it’s a month to focus not so much on the future, but on where we are and how we deal with/think about where we are. moving on inspires us to keep moving, to not be static or get stuck. and anyway, life keeps moving on no matter what. i suppose the ultimate decision is whether we decide to move on with life, like a river flowing over rocks and around bends; or whether we just become stagnant, filled with bacteria, stopped, plugged.

this month, i want to challenge myself to remember each day to keep moving. to go with the flow. and to not just float along, but to make things happen as well.

well, what are you waiting for? what are we waiting for? let’s get moving!


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:

save the photo journey list to your desktop or on your smartphone, so you know what the word is for each and every day. each of the word gives you something to focus on for those 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. 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.

my dear followers and friends, i think that i will be more visible here again, even as i begin new projects. i need to be more visible and active here. this space is all me. it helps me breathe. it grounds me. and i have missed being here regularly so very much. at the same time, i recognize that times have changed. my life has changed. i am no longer an american in sweden searching for where she belongs and experiencing a new way of life every day. i do not need this place to process my new swedish life. however, i still need this place. but, instead of putting ideas or thoughts into my head as to what i need this space for or how i will use this space, i will let it evolve organically. i will let it come naturally. because i trust the process.

so, here i am. returning to belovelive (though i never really left, i only put it on the back burner). returning to see where i go next. where my words and thoughts take me. as always, i will share with you my dreams, my everyday life, my photos, my thoughts, and all that inspires me. and we’ll see whatever else pops up…

as i move on.



i’m working on the re-launch!


the blog-over has begun! that’s right. for the next little bit, belovelive will be under construction. and i’m so excited. gonna be a new look & a new feel, but the same old belovelive posts, photos, & thoughts. i mean, so much is changing in my life right now, it just felt right to makes some changes here. so, i ask for your patience, and i warmly invite you to check back in over the next few days! things will be all new & updated before we leave sweden on thursday!

peace & love.

time to go into the wild.

hi friends, near and far!

it’s down to the wire now. there’s not that much time left before the big move, and the time that is left, i’m gonna be a little sporadic here on belovelive. so, i’m going old school with my journaling for a week or 2. the little back moleskin notebook & a black pen will be my best buddies during this transition time. ok. my camera will be my third best buddy, of course. but, i’m gonna be checking in here every couple of days. and hopefully have a post or 2. but, you’ll survive. so will i. it’ll be good.

here’s what’s coming up (besides the move):

IMG_3238photo from last year’s camp. the one really good day of weather. when it’s good, it’s goooood.

today i am leaving for the swedish archipelago. this is an annual trip for families & church friends (the church where i work – yes, i still work there). lina’s family has been going to this particular camp for like 30-some years, so it’s a major tradition that you don’t want to miss. of course, it’s also a camp for the church, as i said before, so i’ve got duel roles going on this week. i’m the camp’s “official” minister, which means i plan 2 worship services, and then a devotional hour every day. other than that, it’s all about relaxing & enjoying the people, nature, and relaxation. and let me tell you, the wilderness, the water, and the simplicity is an amazing part of this upcoming week. and then, there’s the fact that this is a great chance to hang with important people before we jet over the pond.

so, this coming week, i’ll be on the coast on sweden, in the island/archipelago area, and there’s no good phone service, and of course no WIFI out there. this is a good thing. a chance to be off the grid and into the wild. and to just be. especially right before our move. gonna soak up every little moment i can. now, it’s just to ask the weather gods to provide us with sunshine & warmth… and to take away all mosquitoes and ticks. ewww.

anyway, i’m back on the grid next saturday sometime, and then it’s only FOUR super duper intense days until we fly! crazy!

i’ll be thinking of you… sending you lots of love & peace.


things are really rolling now.

first of all, let’s take care of business. i put all of your names in a little bag (those of you who commented), and my love drew out the winning name…


congratulations, nicole! our dear swiss friend married to an irish man, living in dublin is the winner of belovelive’s first contest! nicole, text me your address, and i’ll put together a few swedish goodies and send them your way!

now, i want to say a great big THANK YOU to all of you who voted, commented, and visited my blog!

it has been humbling, overwhelming, and enlightening to read your thoughts & opinions. i will take them most definitely to heart as i work on this space and prepare it for it’s relaunch in about 2 weeks! as for the poll, it seems that most of y’all just like to hear me ramble on about my daily life, with a bit of spirituality/faith and a tidbit of my memoir thrown in. so, i’ll just keep doing what i’m doing… sharing my life and my thoughts and my photos with y’all. and soon, it’s time to bring you all along with me as i make my way back in my home country, except not exactly the same person as i was when i left; and most definitely an expat with a different perspective. and don’t forget this… i don’t have a job yet, so it’ll be super exciting to see what unfolds!

i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again (and surely more times after this too!), this blogging community is amazing!! those of you who have been long-term readers, i cannot describe what it means to me that you keep coming back for more. and for you newbies, i am so thankful that our blogging paths have crossed. this blog has gone global, and for that i am amazed and grateful. there are many of you who i have never met face to face, but i hope that our real lives cross soon, or at least one day. it would be my honor! family members & american friends, it has meant so much to me to be able to share this journey i have been on in sweden for the past 3 years with you so that we might stay connected in the least little way. and, dear swedish readers, stay tuned, because it’s now your turn to follow along and keep up with this ex-pats american experience. we simply must stay in touch!

in my daily life, still in sweden right now, it’s full speed ahead. visiting people, meeting up with friends, saying goodbyes, or rather, see you laters, and trying to squeeze in a little bit of work time. yes, i am still working some. this week, we’re fully-booked it seems with friends & such, and then next week we will be in the swedish archipelago for the week, so i’ll be way off the grid. we’ll be at a camp for families and people in the church where i work. i’m the “resident minister” during the camp, so i’ve got some worship services and devotions to plan this week! but… after working for a few weeks to try to decide on a theme for the week, i have finally come up with one! super yay! now, it’s just to hammer out all the details this week for each day’s cozy moments together during the camp.

after the camp, we have 4, yes i said FOUR days before we leave sweden! gaaahh. time is on super warp speed now. but, it’s totally exciting!

for now, in addition to meeting people & working some, we’ve begun the ordering process! yep. we are now officially ordering things for our apartment! here’s a tiny sneak peek. if you wanna see what everything really looks like, you have to come to visit. hehe.


and finally for tonight, i wanted to share with you a few shots from our weekend in gothenburg. we left on friday & came “home” on sunday. the main reason for going was for lina’s cousin’s confirmation. but, we made a long weekend of it with some of lina’s family. a little hotel visit. some shopping. a ton of cold, rainy weather. good food. and a trip down memory lane – lina & i met in gothenburg six years ago! but, that’s another story coming up one day soon. now, you’re welcome to scroll through some gothenburg pics.



IMG_1784 e0168194e0ab11e283f722000a1fbd91_7IMG_1806 IMG_1808 DSC_0959 IMG_1832c0ba454ae17a11e297d322000aaa0a71_7

hope your weekend was a good one and that your first week in july is shaping up to be a good one too! thanks, again for reading & following along! it means so much!

peace and love.


only one day left to vote, people.

have you voted yet?!

have you entered yourself in belovelive’s first ever contest?!

if you haven’t, you still have one day left to do it!  just click here to go to the blog post where all you need to do is leave a comment and… poof! you’re entered!

what are you gonna win, you ask? well, in honor of my/our big move from sweden to the states, i thought i’d celebrate by sending the winner a little swedish care package with some of my favorite and most popular things in sweden. yay! and a few little belovelive-inspired surprises, of course. anyone, anywhere around the world can enter. so, go write down your thoughts & opinions before sunday is over, and then check back here on monday (july 1). i’ll announce the winner here!

click here to leave a comment, vote, & enter!


don’t forget that the new belovelive relaunch/redesign is during the week of july 15 (before july 18 – the day i fly!). it’s gonna be fantastic!

peace, love, & sunshine to you all! it’s almost july!