Category archives: family

Christmas on the Central Coast

a gift I am hoping is a joke & FaceTime with Hazel in Germany on Christmas morning.

my sister-in-law’s impressive wrapping skills

I have made cinnamon rolls every year on Christmas morning for as long as I can remember.

wine tasting in the evening at my favorite local winery, Kynsi.

checking out the butterflies at Monarch Butterfly Grove

Andreas was very excited about a walk on the beach

No Christmas is complete without a stop at the wonderfully gaudy and fabulous, Madonna Inn. It is one of our favorite places to grab a cocktail, people watch, and admire the explosion of Christmas decor.

All in all, it was a wonderful two weeks of relaxing, eating and celebrating with family and friends. I took a very lovely and much-needed break from my computer, which those of you who own your own business know, is very hard to come by. I am starting the new year off playing catch up, but it was well worth it! I hope all of you had a great holiday as well. I have a sneaky feeling 2013 is going to be a really great year!


It is really starting to look and feel like Autumn around these parts and I am loving it.  I grew up on California’s beautiful central coast, where the weather is pretty much 75 degrees year round and the hills turn green in the winter and brown in the summer – no real seasons to speak of.  Now living somewhere with real seasons, I relish in the changing colors of leaves in fall, the snow in winter, and the warm evenings of summer.  Andreas still laughs at my excitement over falling leaves :)

Last week I got an email from my dad saying he had a last minute business trip and would be spending the next week in Dresden and between his travels around Europe, could spent the weekend with us in Berlin.  We had so much fun exploring new parts of the city with him and watching him play with Hazel made me oh so happy.  My mama and dad call her their “grand-dog” and I think my mama is convinced she is actually part child.

On Saturday we woke up and took a long walk around Mitte, showing off our neighborhood to my dad, afterwards he was my photo assistant/driver and drove me around while I filmed my two models scooting around town on a vespa.  Afterwards we explored the old underground Kindl Brewery in Neukölln and tried some locally made beer at the Privat Brauerei Rollberg which is housed atop the old brewery.  Yesterday we took him to Tempelhof Field where Hazel got to run wild in the dog park and finished the day off at my new favorite restaurant- 3 Schwestern in Kreuzberg.  It was such a great weekend and so nice to get out of our neighborhood and explore some new places!  It is so easy in this city to spend all your time in your own little hood, and I am happy we have Travis Jay arriving this week which will guarantee more exploring in the coming days :)

sliding rock | asheville

Something you may not know about me, hot weather and I are not friends.  I melt, and it is in no way cute.  Sure I like summer, but really hot weather is not at all my idea of fun.  The East Coast had been suffering from record high temperatures during our time in North Carolina and it was H-O-T.  I had read a bit about the waterfalls and swimming holes in the area surrounding Asheville and we decided to check them out for ourselves. We cooled off with a quick trip to Sliding Rock, which is a giant natural water slide and it is as amazing as it sounds.  We might have been the oldest people enjoying the slide, but that made no difference to us :) it was perfect way to beat the heat.

Also, rest assured that this will be the first and last time I will post pictures of myself in my bathing suit. It hurts my own eyes to see how pasty I am – eeek!  :|

As much as I love my pale skin, I think a little sun might do me some good!

Asheville Sunsets

When we booked our trip to the US in July, we planned to spend a few days in North Carolina, after my brother’s wedding in California, to visit my 96 year old grandmother who Andreas had never met.  Sadly, just one week after we purchased our tickets she passed away after her health quickly deteriorated following a surgery.  She was such a gem in all of our lives and would have loved Andreas, but it is comforting to know that she passed quickly and without pain.  We were blessed to able to attend her funeral during our time in North Carolina and it was a beautiful celebration of her long, well lived life.  She lived 20 minutes away from Asheville, which I had somehow never visited before, and this trip we spent time exploring the charming little mountain city and completely fell in love.  We spent our days doing things my nana would have loved and also witnessed some of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen- I know Mimi Nana (as she was affectionately known) would have been as in awe of them as we were.

Some of our favorite food in Asheville:

Thirsty Monk– My dad has turned into quite a beer connoisseur in the last few years and he was really excited to show us “the monk”.  The basement serves a huge selection of Belgian style beers with a delicious menu of creative beer-infused pub food.  We had a great time trying out different beers and learning a bit more about beer.

Curaté– an lively authentic spanish tapas restaurant, we loved everything we tried.  Sangria is always a winner in my book as well :)

Tupelo Honey Café– Southern cooking with a creative twist at a darling downtown restaurant.  The chorizo crusted scallops were out of this world.

Grove Park Inn–  We sat at the sunset terrace and had a cocktail as the sky turned pink. Although I was a terrible date, as I spent half my time there taking photos out the window :)

Santa Barbara

a boy madly in love with California ♥
It is funny how time and distance can completely change your perspective.  I attended college in Santa Barbara and while it is an undoubtedly a beautiful place, I was never in love with the small city.  Now as I get older I see Santa Barbara in a whole new light, and while it may never be “my city”, I love spending time there while we are in California.  We spent 5 days there in July for my brother’s wedding and one night while waiting for a table at Brophy Bros we stolled around the harbor at sunset and I suddenly could no longer remember any of the things I disliked about Santa Barbara when I lived there- that California sunshine is some kind of magic.

on comprehending loss

You all know that I try and keep this blog an upbeat and positive place of the internet, but this week has been insanely difficult.  Yesterday the world lost a shining light- one of the most loving, generous and wonderful people I have ever known, who will be missed beyond measure.  I am not even sure as I write this that I am able to truly comprehend what I am typing, and that this is not just a terrible dream.  And while I have loads of lovely things to share from our recent travels, it just doesn’t feel right to be posting any of it right now.  So instead of leaving the blog quiet, I will be sharing some of my favorite photos from my portfolio this week which have never been posted here before.  xo

Lilies in Cape Cod, 2008

rehearsal dinner + tacos

To be completely honest, I have never been much of a taco girl.  I love fish tacos, but I have been known to be a little obsessed with veggie burritos and always thought tacos were too greasy. After my recent taco experience, I am sold.  My brother and his new wife, Katie, wanted to have a big rehearsal dinner so everyone could attend, as it was a mini-destination wedding and almost everyone was traveling to get there.  My mama and I did lots of research to try and help plan the friday night dinner, but when they mentioned the idea of a taco stand, it was clear that was the best choice ever.  The taco stand came up from LA for the occasion and their food was AMAZING.  Even just writing this post my mouth is watering just thinking about the tacos, quesadillas and guacamole- what I would do for a homemade corn tortilla!  I really should have posted this while I was still in California, because looking at these tacos is torture right now.  Berlin might have some mexican food, but I don’t think it comes close (although, I guess I haven’t tried it all yet).  To my California friends looking for a caterer for an upcoming event, Nana’s Tacos were amazing and really affordable.

brooks & katie

Today, my brother will marry his long time love, Katie.  I have considered her my sister for years already, but I feel so blessed to be here in Santa Barbara to celebrate with them as they finally make it official. Katie makes Brooks so unbelievably happy, and surely that joy will only continue to blossom as they continue to grow together.  Congratulations to my dear brother and my new sister, I love you both so much!

I was lucky to have been able to take engagements photos while I was back in California in February- these are two of my favorites :) 

to the black forest we go!

We are hopping on the train to spend a long weekend in the Black Forest visiting family and friends.  When we moved to Berlin, I never imagined getting homesick for the Black Forest, but I am really looking forward to catching up with friends, taking long walks through the forest, riding my vespa through the fields, eating cherry streusel from my favorite bakery and hopefully enjoying some spring weather!  It is the said to be the warmest region in Germany, so hopefully it will live up to that claim this weekend!


Andreas’s parents have been here in Berlin for the last week and we spent the weekend walking the streets and exploring the city.  Friday we had a super fancy dinner of currywurst and beer at Curry 36 and showed off some of the city’s landmarks by night.  Saturday we visited Wannsee and the city of Potsdam, where we walked through the enourmous park admiring the three castles housed there.  I have heard the park is gorgeous in the spring when everything is in full bloom, but I actually liked the grey winter day and the bare trees- I found it all very picturesque.  Having house guests gets us to visit some of the tourist attractions which we might otherwise not visit and although I normally despise the usual touristic haunts, I am loving every minute exploring our new home- this city has so much history and I am endlessly fascinated by it.