Category archives: blogging

a weekend at citizenM London Bankside for Blogtacular

Earlier this month I spent a long weekend in London for Blogtacular, along with my friend Anne, who was speaking at the conference.  We stayed at citizenM London Bankside, which was the perfect home base for our time in the city, close to Borough Market and a short tube ride from the Royal Institution of Great Britain in Mayfair where Blogtacular was held.  We had the best time exploring the city together, did some shopping, and walked a ton (which is not the best when walking in new shoes, ouch). We treated ourselves to a “Smooth Wavy” blowdry at Hershesons Blow Dry Bar – which looked great until the wind and rain attacked my poor hair (darn you London weather!!!). It was lots of fun having two stylists work their magic on my hair at the same time, I only wish I could have someone come to my house and blow dry my hair every week, someday hopefully I can afford to make that happen.

CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (23)London Travel Photo London Travel Photo London Travel Photo London Travel PhotoLondon Bankside Travel Photo CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (20)

I loved the giant atrium in the middle of the hotel and the bright colors in the design.

CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (19)

The rooms are all modular, so every room is the same.  Even though they are on the smaller side, they are super well designed so even with a ton of bags, the room didn’t feel small or cramped at all.  The beds are massive and super comfy and the lights, TV and Music were all controlled by a samsung tablet, which was awesome but it took me a bit to get used to as it is so different than my ipad. They have a huge selection of free movies to watch, which we tried to take advantage of, but both nights fell asleep in the middle of the movie :-|  After doing a fair amount of travelling these last few months, I have had a lot of hotels to compare to one another and my most common complaint has been hotel rooms without enough outlets to charge my computer and phone. citizenM not only had a lot of outlets, they had outlets for the US, Europe, UK and a USB port all lined up, which made me oh so very happy. :) It also made it so Anne and I didn’t have to fight over adaptors or outlets.  If only other hotels would get the memo.

CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (18)

Yes we are the weirdos who take selfies in reflective surfaces, example 1 & example 2

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The hotel caters to both hotel guests as well as locals with free wifi and lots of desk space in the restaurant.  It looked like a great space to spend the day working and I love staying places that give me a feel of the neighborhood and city.  They also had really beautifully designed conference rooms for guests or Londoners to conduct meetings.

CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (14) CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (12) CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (11) CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (10) CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (9) CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (8) CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (7) CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (5) CitizenM London Bankside London Travel Photo (4) Blogtacular London Blog Conference Pret a Voyager

Anne spoke about valuing and respecting yourself and your work.  She has been such a supportive friend these last few years and she always pushes me to know my worth as a professional.  She definitely brought some fresh conversation and motivation to the conference.   They just posted a fun highlight video from the weekend and you can buy the virtual conference to watch from the comfort of home in case you are interested.

London Bankside Travel Photo

Thanks so much, citizenM for a great stay in London.  Andreas and I are already planning our return later this year and I will definitely stay at the hotel again.

citizenM London Bankside Hotel

20 Lavington Street
London, UK, SE1 0NZ

a look back at 2012

I still can’t believe a year has passed since we moved to Berlin and at the same time, it feels so much longer than that.  I owe all of you, dear friends and readers, a huge thank you for all the love and support you have shown me this past year.  Taking the leap to full-time freelancing has taught me so much about myself, at times was terrifying (and still sometimes is), and it has once again shown me how amazing this blog world is.  I feel blessed to be a part of it.

Here are a few of my favorite 2012 memories:

we started 2012 off with an apartment full of boxes and no furniture but were thrilled to finally call Berlin home.

we were welcomed to the city with -20C temperatures, a cold I had never felt before. Fortunately I had a trip planned to California so I escaped before I turned into an icicle.

I was blessed to be able to photograph my brother Brooks and his fiancé (now wife!) Katie while I was home. We were both super sick with a nasty flu, but we managed to take some beautiful engagement photos at sunset in our hometown.

We celebrated Andreas’s 30th birthday in Hamburg and I fell for the charming harbor city.

After months of searching, we found and quickly fell in love with sweet little Billy Jean, who we quickly re-named Hazel Blue.

we are obviously slightly obsessed with her, and totally okay with that :)

The first Hive Conference took place here in Berlin in March and I finally got the chance to meet some fabulous blog friends in real life. I feel so very blessed to call these girls dear friends!

Andreas and I met up with our lovely friends, Travis Jay and Randall, in Amsterdam and combined a travel photography trip with lots of shopping and eating.

I was thrilled to take part in the first Blog’nhagen in Copenhagen with 8 other bloggers. To say it was fun would be a huge understatement.

The Blog’nhagen group: Thea, me, Brittany, Isabelle, Annaleena, Anne, Emma, Maria, Jenny.

we spent most of our summer exploring Berlin’s parks and lakes.

In July, we celebrated Brooks & Katie’s beautiful wedding in Santa Barbara, a town Andreas has decided is heaven on earth.

I photographed the cover of Issue 4 of sisterMAG as well as a fashion story inside the magazine.

I was thrilled to be asked to shoot a “Lover’s Guide to Berlin” story for Reverie Magazine, which was styled and produced by Thea and Toni from sisterMAG

Thea, Anne and I traveled to Eindhoven for Hello Etsy, which was super inspiring and so fun to meet lots of talented and creative new faces.

I photographed a story written by Lindsey, of Lost in Cheeseland, for The New York Times T MAG in Paris.

After a few months of teaching myself how to shoot and edit video, I shot my first video for a commercial client, celebrating the new and improved Everplaces iPhone app.

I hosted my very first giveaway on my weddings blog and winners Daryl and Steven came to Berlin for their couples shoot, we had a great time exploring the city and taking pictures together.

although my hometown is pretty amazing all year round.  We celebrated Christmas with family, friends, cinnamon rolls, 4 hour games of Monopoly (I finally won!!), walks on the beach, afternoon hikes, burritos, and lots of sunshine- the perfect California Christmas.

I hope 2013 is off to a great start for all of you! I have a feeling this will be a great year :)

Breakfast with Friends | Kaffee Peijnenburg

I love long leisurely breakfasts with friends, it is one of the things I miss most about the US where I met friends for breakfast a few times a week.   Here most of my friends have different schedules, it is more of a treat.  Our breakfast at Kaffee Peijnenburg during our stay in Geldop was one of the best breakfasts I have had in ages.

me playing around with Thea’s camera, Thea and Anne.  Fortunately the cafe was not too crowded, because 3 bloggers at a table means 3x the photos of food and each other- people would have really thought we were crazy.

Thea had to explain to me what these “Hagelslag” sprinkles were, which are basically nutella in sprinkle form. I brought a box back for Andreas but I can’t really stay away from them, because they taste just as good as you would imagine. The Hagelslag paired with the fried egg topped with cheese and ham and fluffy bread made up our “Dutch Breakfast” and it was delicious, but huge (we shared one breakfast between the three of us).

Kaffee Peijnenburg
Heuvel 1b
5664 HJ Geldrop

Hotel Nijver | Geldrop, The Netherlands

When Anne, Thea and I started planning our trip to The Netherlands for Hello Etsy, we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  Over a Skype call one morning, Anne and I were scouring the internet for design hotels in Eindhoven, we stumbled upon Hotel Nijver in the small neighboring town of Geldrop.  Although the hotel’s site is only in Dutch, after one look at the images we knew we had found our place (and yes, it is very important for hotels to be photogenic).   The hotel is even more lovely in person, and the all the staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly- after 2 meals a day in the attached café, we got to know most of them quite well.  The owner Hans Snoeijen designed the newly opened hotel himself, celebrating Eindhoven as an emerging design hub as well as the city’s industrious past.  As a photographer I obviously loved the photo covered walls.  The small hotel has 19 rooms and 4 long stay apartments and a beautifully designed and delicious cafe next door, Kaffee Peijenenburg.  Normally I am more of a city girl, but we all fell for little Geldrop and the charming design hotel.

Hans was so nice and even made us a special breakfast when we forgot to order one ahead of time. He described his boss, the other Hans, “as the nicest boss in The Netherlands” and said working at the hotel is a joy.

The honeymoon suite’s walls were covered with images of families and some famous couples on their wedding day.

I loved this pink tiled bathroom and the rubber ducky perched by the tub. Our room had a lovely mint green tile.

I stay in a lot of hotels during my travels for work and usually I can’t wait to get back to Berlin and my own bed (and of course Andreas and Hazel!!), but this time part of me didn’t want to leave Hotel Nijver.  Good thing we are already planning our trip to Dutch Design Week in 2013 so we have an excuse to come back!

Hotel Nijver
Heuvel 1a
55664 Geldrop
The Netherlands

Check out Anne’s post about the hotel and Thea’s hotel post on the sisterMAG blog and on her personal post about our breakfast at the café.

A big thank you to Hotel Nijver for hosting us during our stay in Geldrop!  I always try and maintain full transparency here on Chasing Heartbeats, although we partnered with Hotel Nijver and stayed free of charge, the content of this post is my own, honest opinion.  We had a fabulous stay :)

Hello Etsy 2012

Satish Kumar, former monk and editor-in-chief of Resurgence Magazine, spoke on living our passion, being happy and making the world a better place. His enthusiasm for life lit up the room.

Anne brought lots of tattly tattoos back from New York with her. I had the camera, obviously :)

I spent last weekend in Eindhoven to attend both Dutch Design Week and the Hello Etsy Conference with Thea and Anne.  Just as expected, we had a great time together and got the chance to catch up with friends and meet some new people.  Hello Etsy was inspirational and focused a great deal on achieving your dreams and helping grow your small business.  Everyone from Etsy was ridiculously nice, as were the speakers I got to chat with during Happy Hour.  The event was held in Dutch furniture designer Piet Hein Eek‘s beautiful event space which was furnished with some of his unique designs.  Known for his scrap wood furniture, Piet Hein Eek has turned a former Philips factory building into a stunning design space, housing his studio and workshop, a restaurant, and event space.  Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to visit his studio, but I am loving the photos Janine Vangool blogged on the UPPERCASE blog.  It was such a great weekend in The Netherlands, stay tuned for more photos from Eindoven and Dutch Design Week!

You can watch the conference online here – now, go get inspired!

On a different and more important note, I am so thankful to know my family and friends on the East Coast are safe and sound, but the images of destruction are completely heartbreaking.  Sending prayers and love to all of those affected.

New Home

After months of slowly working on this new site, and really working overtime on it last week- my new blog home is finally finished!  I will be continuing to update my portfolio in the coming weeks and am working on a new logo too, but I am thrilled to finally have a little piece of the internet where I can blog and share my professional work all together.  I am also working on a separate wedding photography blog and site too, which will be finished next week!  As always, thank you for visiting and reading and all of the support you have shown me and my little blog.  This blogging world never fails to amaze me. :)


And also…. if you find any weird bugs on the site, or have any feedback- please send it my way!  xo

my blog'nhagen video

I was too busy enjoying myself and taking photos to remember to film much video while I was in Copenhagen, but it did have some funny footage I thought was too good not to share :)  Blog’nhagen was pretty much non-stop fun and laughter, and by the end of the day we were all so tired from a jam packed day and lack of sleep that things got a bit wacky as you can see from the last bit of the video.   A big thank you once again to Brittany and Maria for organizing such a great event and inviting me to take part.

More Blog’nhagen:  Part 1 & Part 2

& for the official Blog’nhagen videos, check out the vimeo page

I hope you all have wonderful weekends planned and get a chance to enjoy these last days of summer!

Blog'nhagen Part 2

My first Blog’nhagen post left off after our plate painting at Royal Copenhagen, our next stop was to walk next door to The Royal Café.  We walked into the cafe and immediately started photographing the restaurant- it was so beautiful and the space just begged to be photographed.  We were treated to their famous “smushi”-which is a combination of the two words “smørrebrød” and “sushi” and is a play on the traditional danish open faced sandwiches.  If our lunch was not enough, we then moved outside to the garden area of the restaurant to tables filled with the most incredible desserts- this was really one of the best lunches of my life.

The prettiest (and most delicious) gaspacho I have ever eaten.Bloggers eating lunch- everyone with a camera or phone in their hand :)Smushi!Even though we had already had an abundance of sweets, I could not resist trying each of these and might have had more than one of each- ridiculously amazing.Anne the hand-model.  Round two. Our next stop was at the Vipp flagship store.  Vipp is known for their “pedal bins” which is a lovely, much more sophisticated word for a trash can. :)  Their store is beautiful and they design a whole lot more than just pedal bins- even kitchens!  I was drooling over their new matte black kitchen.Annaleena photographing the new matte black kitchen at Vipp
Anne enjoying her very first coffee, ever!!! (I know, really!) at The Coffee Collective, where we learned the art of filter coffee.  Not only is their coffee delicious, they take part in direct trade which offers farmers 25% more than fair trade.

Agnes Cupcakes were on our tour more than once in the day

the group (minus Jenny, who took the photo)

Our next stop was A XOCO by Anthon Berg, aka chocolate paradise.  We learned about working with chocolate and made “Foam Kisses” which are a meringue-marshmellow “kiss” atop a layer of marzipan, then covered in chocolate.  No one could resist sneaking tastes of the treats and dipping our fingers in the chocolate fountain- we were joking the entire time about being a part of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  It was ridiculous and somehow being there turned us all into kids again!  Our chocolate teacher, Jesper, had an incredible amount of patience :)

We all could not resist- like little kids in a chocolate factory :)

Foam kisses dipped in chocolate
 Our carts all lined up in a row!
Our last stop was at Anton Dam, a design shop I desperately wanted to move in to.  They had the most incredible furnishings and provided tons of inspiration for our apartment.  If only I could have found a way to bring back some pieces on the plane!
Anne & Liv

The evening ended with a picnic alongside the water’s edge and we were treated to an amazing sushi dinner from Sticks’n’Sushi.  I had literally never seen so much sushi in one place all together in my life and definitely enjoyed helping to make it all disappear ;)
Our lovely Videographer, Liv, who was such a trooper filming ALL DAY long

Thea & JJ-who was an enormous help keeping us on schedule- he rode his bike along our Blog’nhagen tour!

Brittany and Juliane
Our Blog’nhagen group!  From left to right- Brittany, Emma, Thea, Maria, Jenny, Isabelle, Annaleena, moi, & Anne
As I mentioned before, Blog’nhagen was pretty much non-stop fun.  It was my first trip to Copenhagen and having the opportunity to explore the city with locals was an incredible experience, and on top of that I met some fabulous new blog friends as well!  The best part?  This is just the first in a series of city tours!  Stay tuned for what fabulous things Brittany whips up next :)

Kong Arthur Hotel in Copenhagen

In Copenhagen we were lucky to be hosted by Brøchner Hotels and stayed in a beautiful suite at Kong Arthur Hotel.  Anne was my roomie for our two nights in the city, and my only wish was we would have had more time to enjoy all the hotel had to offer- we heard such great things about their spa and sadly did not have the chance to check it out (next time!!).  The day following our Blog’nhagen extravaganza we had breakfast at their sister hotel, Ibsens Hotel, which is a more modern design hotel located next door to Kong Arthur, and tried their “breakfast in a cup” (shown above).  It was such a lovely stay and great fun to experience their two, completely different, hotels.  A big thank you to Brøchner Hotels for our wonderful stay in Copenhagen!

I always try and maintain full transparency here on Chasing Heartbeats.  Although our stay in Copenhagen was sponsored by Brøchner Hotels, the content of this post is my own, honest opinion.  :)

Blog'nhagen Part 1

To be completely honest, Blog’nhagen was so much fun I am not really sure where to start this post.  I thought about dividing the day into two posts, one of all the food we ate and one filled with the other amazing stuff we did, but looking through all my food shots from the day made me so hungry I decided to just break the day in half- before lunch and after lunch :)

The concept of Blog’nhagen was created by Brittany, of The House that Lars Built, and Maria, of Wallnut.  It all started with the idea of driving electric carts around the city and it grew from there- I was honored to be invited to take part in the adventure.  The two of them organized the most amazing day touring Copenhagen in electric carts from Copenhagen by Cart, stopping at some of Copenhagen’s must-see design and foodie spots and we had the most incredible day.  Somehow putting a group of bloggers together always equals insane amounts of fun and pretty much non-stop laughter and Blog’nhagen was NO exception.  People must have thought we were absolutely nuts driving around town with pastel balloons attached to the carts, each of us with a camera or iphone (I was guilty of holding both at the same time) in hand documenting the day, but obviously none of us cared :)  A few tourists even snapped photos of us as we drove by- I wonder who or what they thought we were :)

We stopped by Meyers Bageri a bakery from renowned chef Claus Meyer and picked up bread for our breakfast at Maria’s gorgeous apartment.  Their cinnamon bread was divine- seriously what breakfast dreams are made of!

Maria’s apartment is beautifully designed and of course our table was set with some beautiful paper flowers from Brittany’s shop :)

We stopped by a local designer’s boutique, Baum und Pferdgarten, who had the most beautiful clothes- I desperately wanted to take home that gold coat (and maybe the gold pants too!!)

my friend and travel buddy of the trip, Thea from Sister Mag
Our next stop was Royal Copenhagen, where we learned about the history of the company- they have been creating porcelain since 1775!  And we had the chance to paint our own porcelain plates!  I am not very skilled in the painting department, but it was SO much fun.

all of our plates :)
Isabelle from Dos Family
This was just the first half of our day, I have so much more to share!  Here is a group shot from the Vipp store in their gorgeous matte black kitchen- more from Vipp in my next post :)
Stay tuned for a silly little video I made of our day as well!
A big thank you to all of our amazing sponsors for helping to make our day in Copenhagen AMAZING!  Check out our #blognhagen hashtag on twitter and instagram and our Pinterest page for more Blognhagen fun!