Category archives: france

Paris in March

Last month I made a spontaneous trip to Paris to celebrate my dear friend Anne’s birthday and meet my long time blog friend Susan in person while she was in town from Philly.  It was the most beautiful spring weekend which makes the city even more charming than usual. Susan asked me to take some portraits of her and we had the best time strolling around together taking photos. She and I first connected a few years ago leaving comments on each other’s blogs and meeting in person felt more like hanging with an old friend, rather than the sort-of-stranger that she was.  Which is typically how it always is when meeting online/blog friends in person for the first time. The weekend left me feeling so thankful for the amazing friends I have connected with over the last few years blogging.  Lindsey wrote a really lovely post about friendship and my thoughts on online turned real life friends are very similar.  I would have never imagined that most of my friends living abroad would be made online in some way or another, but I LOVE technology and the connections I have made online. Actually as I type this right now, I am sitting between Thea and Toni Neubauer, who are also two amazing online turned real life friends and we spent the day photographing Emily here in Dublin, another blog friend who we connected with at the Hive Conference two years ago. Which just goes to show yet again that the internet is amazing. We are all set to meet up at Blogtacular in London in a few weeks and I am super excited to hang out all together again for the first time in a couple years.  Are any of you guys going to Blogtacular?  I haven’t been such a great blogger as of late, but conferences are always lots fun and pretty inspiring.

A peek at one of my favorite images from my shoot with Susan, I will be sharing the rest soon :)

Susan hosted the loveliest brunch and had picked up a large selection of macarons from Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, we managed to put together a little taste test between the two Parisian macaron giants.


The coffee “revolution” of sorts in Paris means you are never very far from amazing coffee.  We stopped by The Boot Café on our way back from Susan’s brunch and I love that the teeny tiny cafe kept the original facade of the old cobbler shop.

When Susan, Lindsey and I all showed up to brunch with our ONA camera bags, we just HAD to take a dorky photo of us carrying them.  ONA just released a few new spring styles and I am currently lusting over the leather capri tote.

I only wish their women’s bags were large enough to carry my 15″ macbook pro AND my camera + a couple lenses.  Short weekend trips on budget European airlines are mighty tricky when you try and bring cameras, lenses and a computer.  Most of the time lately I just leave my computer at home.

It was Anne’s birthday while I was in town and we started the celebrations off at the Used Book Café at Merci.  Those perfect hard boiled eggs and the giant hunk of butter served with the perfect dipping-sized slices of bread are basically my favorite breakfast ever. Anne’s bread/butter ratio is perfect.  I heart french butter <3


A few other favorite places from the weekend without photos:

Dinner at Semilla, particularly the shitake mushrooms and scallops (drool!).

Lunch at Tuck Shop, where we ate an amazing lentil tart I have been trying to recreate at home (sadly not super successfully)

Filter coffee at Foundation Café

An afternoon in Strasbourg

StrasbourgTravel Photo

This month has been a pretty busy one.  The traveling started a few weeks ago when we spent a long bank holiday weekend with Andreas’s family in the Black Forest, followed by a road trip to London (post and stories to come!) and we are currently in Detroit, Michigan for a wedding I photographed yesterday and will fly to Boston later this morning to spend a week in Cape Cod.  I think I might have perfected the art of living out of a suitcase.

During our trips south to the Black Forest, we usually spend our time in Andreas’s home village relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends.  This trip was a bit longer than usual so we had the chance to take the train across the border (a whopping 10 minute train ride) to Strasbourg, France.  It was really fun to be back in a city we both love, even if it was just for the afternoon.  We picnic-ed in our old picnic spot along the river, walked the streets with Hazel and took a whole lot of pictures.  The city is particularly lovely in the spring time.

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2011 in photos

I am posting this about a week late, but I had a great time looking through photos from the last year and thought I would share them.  Be warned, this is a very photo-heavy post.  Although I am sure you are probably used to them around here :)

We rang in 2011 with Travis Jay and Randall eating WAY too much delicious food and champagne in Santa Barbara.  Intimate New Year’s celebrations are my absolute fave.

We gave Andreas a proper (and very short) tour of Los Angeles

sent out our save the dates

traveled to Berlin to photograph a story for Matchbook Magazine’s second issue
< celebrated Andreas's 29th birthday in Karlsruhe watching fußball
spent a few lazy afternoons by the river in Strasbourg

took lots and lots of bike rides

sold my car and bought a VESPA!

went to Messdi and drank some schnapps

visited Istanbul and fell in love with the city (again) and wrote a travel story for Matchbook Magazine

we spent our summer exploring new lakes and appreciating our gorgeous region

went to Paris to celebrate Nica & Didier’s wedding

went to Santa Barbara to celebrate Travis and Randall’s wedding.  this was right before I gave my maid of honor speech…. on a stage in front of 150 people.  so so nervous.

I photographed my dear friend Kala’s new baby, Elaia.  She was one week old :)

my girlfriends in San Francisco surprised me with a bachelorette party on a boat!

we fell head over heels for Emmy Lou

watched the Giants crush the Dodgers

enjoyed the glory of summer in the Black Forest.  Late evening swims with our niece and nephew

went to the Titisee for my birthday

we got MARRIED!

explored Provincetown

relished in newlywed bliss

made our annual Faux-giving

freezed in Munich visiting Mary for her birthday.

celebrated our first Christmas together in Germany.  and then moved across the country.

all in all, 2011 was pretty amazing… but I think 2012 might be even better :)

Hope 2012 is off to a great start for you too!

Strasbourg - Capitale de Noël

Last weekend we visited Strasbourg’s famous Christmas Markets, along with what felt like half of Europe who seemed to have the same idea.  The unseasonably warm weather we have had this year makes everyone want to spend as much time outside as possible before the cold days come our way.   Strasbourg is the self-declared Capital of Christmas and virtually every inch of the city is covered in Christmas.  We soaked up the holiday cheer, and enjoyed roaming the streets with a vin chaud in hand- I am a big fan of their mulled white wine :) But a bit of advice for my blog friends who are looking to visit the city during the holiday season, I would highly recommend trying to visit on a weekday and avoid some of the crowds.  It is a bit difficult to enjoy all of what the markets have to offer when there are so many tourists, fortunately we have visited the market many times and know lots of ways to avoid the majority of the chaos.  I am starting to realize how much I will miss the opportunity to hop across the border whenever I want a bit of French culture in my life, hopefully we can fit in a few more visits to Strasbourg in the next week- and at least one more visit to the Christmas market :)

It still seems impossible that Christmas is in ONE WEEK!  I know I always say this, but time seems to be flying by- I cannot believe we move in only 9 days!  With so much going on in the next weeks, please forgive me if things are a bit quiet here…. My parents are visiting us right now and I have lots to share, but little time to actually sit down at the computer and compose a post.  Hope all of you are enjoying the pre-holiday season!

film swap

Amidst all of the wedding hoopla, I never got around to posting my film swap photos!  This was the second year I took part in Rhianne’s Photoswap, where I sent an un-developed roll of film for my partner to develop, and I received their film in return.  I carried my trusty Diana mini camera around with me for months, and whenever I remembered I had it, I would try and snap a few photos. I am the absolute worst about setting the exposure and focus on the little plastic camera, so my rolls of film are always quite interesting…. this particular roll had some pictures from San Francisco, Paris, Munich, Strasbourg and lazy summer days here in the Black Forest and it brings back all the great memories of summer :)

more photos from It’s A Photoswap 2011 in the Flickr Group

On LOVE - Fleurishing Blog

While I am off preparing for the wedding, I asked a few of my favorite bloggers to blog-sit and write a bit on the topic of love.  Susan and I originally bonded over Strasbourg, my current home and a city near and dear to her heart, and I feel very lucky to have found such a lovely and supportive blog friend.  Her blog, Fleurishing, chronicles her love of France and all things French as well as her fabulous finds from the internet.  She also owns Nesting, an interior design company specializing in designing baby and children’s rooms, and surely when the time comes for us to grow our little family, I will definitely be enlisting her help!

The dress, the day, the celebration of  love with friends and family. It is a beautiful and dreamy time in life.  When I think back to my wedding in 2009, I am happy to say that the details of the day are a bit of a blur, and I look to photographs to relive them. What has stayed with me is the feeling of the day, and the joy and comfort that I felt.  Knowing I had chosen to spend my life with the man who was right for me…was, and is, an amazing feeling.  We are continually in awe of how our love has grown since then. I wish this happiness for everyone, and especially you, Ashley & Andreas, as you begin this beautiful journey together.

and we are back!

Our travels were quite a whirlwind and full of adventures, and I am very sorry to have neglected this poor little blog. :(  There are so many stories to share, and so so many photos to sort through.  We returned back to Germany exhausted after two and a half weeks jam packed with celebrations, friends, family, laughter and love.  While I may be in need of a few full days of sleep, I am once again reminded how incredibly blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life, and was even lucky enough to make a few new friends amidst all the wedding hoopla. :)

Our adventure began in Paris, where we started Wedding-polooza, to celebrate the marriage of our friends Nica and Didier.  The forecast the day of the wedding predicted rain and the sky was grey until a few moments into the ceremony when the sun popped through the clouds, which later made for the most amazing sunset.  We celebrated with a charming ceremony in the park and spent the night dancing the night away as we cruised by boat along the Seine, it was a truly lovely evening.

Between the weekend’s wedding celebrations we did a little shopping, roamed the streets, ate heaps of delicious food, rented velib bikes (for the 1st time!), and bought my weight in macarons at Pierre Hermé (for the wedding, Nica picked the perfect pre-wedding job for me).

We searched VRBO and found the most darling little apartment in Montmartre, which is an area of the city I love, but rarely spend much time in. Having a little “homebase” there for a few days was a refreshing new perspective, as when we visit we usually spend most of our time in the same areas of town.  I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable apartment in Paris, the owners have several flats around Montmartre and the prices are really hard to beat.


(last) weekend with diana

The weekend post was a little delayed…. On Sunday we hopped on the train for the 20 minute ride to Strasbourg and cruised around the city with diana in hand enjoying the summer-esque weather, first Amorino ice creams of the year and a long overdue trip to the Musée d’Arte Moderne.

I hope you are all enjoying your easter weekend, the 4 day weekend here has so far been AMAZING.  I am trying to take a break from technology (mainly my computer), and in the last two days we have driven almost 200 kilometers on the vespa.  Pictures to come soon, I promise!


Just a couple snapshots from Saturday afternoon in Strasbourg, we strolled through the streets, hung out by the river, had a dinner date and saw the fighter (I know, we are a bit behind the times here in Europe, but what a great movie!!).  We mixed things up a bit from our typical days in the city, finding a new spot by the river to sit and people watch (although I still love our usual picnic spot), tried a new sushi restaurant, and I showed Andreas the movie theater I used to go to before I met him (watching movies solo on Sunday afternoons).  The city felt new again, and I loved it.  I realize now, after two and a half years living here, the excitement that comes with living somewhere new and foreign has started to fade.  It all feels a bit too comfortable to me, sometimes it is easy to forget not only how far away I live from my home in California, but also how lucky I am to be here and experience this life.  I have set some new goals for spring to get out and explore and try some new things whatever they might be.

On Sunday I drove with two girlfriends through the Black Forest to Solemar, a spa in Bad Dürrheim.  We had heard great things about the Salzgrotte, a room made entirely of salt, where you sit and relax wrapped up in a blanket for 45 minutes.  It is supposedly great for the skin and lungs and very therapeutic.  I found it to be a nice 9€ nap and not quite sure what all the hype was about.  Their thermal baths and Schwarzwald sauna are fantastic, with a variety of different saunas and steam rooms with different aromas and temperatures, although as a warning, like most (or all) saunas in Europe they are co-ed and nude, so definitely not a place for the modest.  ;)

I hope your weeks are all off to a good start!