Category archives: travels

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 :)

Dutch Design Week

On the way to the train station, I may have made Thea and Anne throw leaves up in the air solely so I could take some photos :) Being the lovely friends they are, they didn’t call me weirdo- I love fall.

a lovely light lunch at Ketelhuis with Anne

I loved these ceramics which are made by hand in Vietnam, and these gorgeous lamps made by a local Eindhoven designer.

Just a few photos from our time exploring the last day of Dutch Design Week in the Strijp S area of Eindhoven.  Anne and I were quite smitten with the former factory town and the old Philips buildings which are now the center of the city’s bustling design scene.  To be completely honest, I did almost no research before our trip about Eindhoven so I really had no idea what to expect.  Sometimes I prefer to travel that way, especially for really short trips like this one, because I feel like I am better able to form my own opinions about a place and I somehow absorb more.  Not sure if that is weird or not, but this trip it completely worked in our favor because we spent our free day just sort of roaming around, exploring and taking lots of pictures.  We were also quite lucky that the owner of our hotel also gave us some great tips for Dutch Design Week- thanks again for that, Hans :)

In addition to the fabulous offerings at Dutch Design Week, Anne and I stumbled upon two great restaurants in Strijp S, both of which I would highly recommend:

Radio Royaal
Ketelhuisplein 1
5617 AE
Eindhoven / Strijp-S

Ketelhuisplein Eindhoven
Ketelhuisplein 10
5617 AE
Eindhoven / Strijp-S

A day in Copenhagen

I have been dreaming of being able to use Brittany’s beautiful paper flowers in a shoot since the first time I laid eyes on them!  So of course I was beyond thrilled when Thea asked if I was available to go to Copenhagen to photograph not only her flowers but Brittany and her studio as well.  Thea and I spent a quick 36 hours in Copenhagen and we had a very fun and very successful shoot with Brittany yesterday (I cannot wait to share the photos)!  Brittany’s studio is so colorful and inspiring and we commented it was as though we had literally stepped into her blog- a craft disneyland of sorts.  I also did a little shopping while we were there and filled my suitcase with some fabulous items from her etsy shop, if only I had been able to bring some giant paper flowers back on the plane with us.  Darn you easy jet and your 1 bag requirement!

Brittany was such a trooper modeling short-sleeve tops and skirts on a very chilly day in Denmark.

This plate from B’s Royal Wedding Collection is now proudly hanging on my kitchen wall, next to the Royal Copenhagen plate I painted at Blog’nhagen

This morning I woke up long before the sun to catch our flight back to Berlin and somehow in my very sleepy state, I agreed to run the Berlin Half Marathon with Andreas.  I ran one 4 years ago, but admittedly have not been much of a runner since then.  Oh man, not quite sure what I just got myself into….. eeeek!

I hope you all have lovely weekends!  We are off to the Black Forest this afternoon to visit family and friends and it will be Miss Hazel’s very first road trip!  Our little city pup is going to love running through the fields which surround Andreas’s childhood home, and I am looking forward to my mother-in-laws baked goods and catching up with a some old friends.  After a wild week of traveling, I am actually looking forward to the 7 hour drive south this evening and being able to relax and finally catch up with Andreas and hear all about his week.  Although let’s be honest, I will most likely sleep most of the drive.  :|

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.

Colorova Pâtisserie | Paris

My trip to Paris was not complete without a trip to the darling new left bank patisserie, Colorova, which both Anne and Lindsey had raved about.  In addition to the incredible food, the design had me swooning and wishing I lived closer.   Apparently during my week in town the word had spread around the city about this gem and their delicious brunch, so make sure to call ahead and reserve a table!


Colorova Pâtisserie
47 rue de l’Abbé-Grégoire
75006 Paris

** and we obviously needed to stage an impromptu photo shoot when we realized Anne’s nails matched their SMEG fridge perfectly :)

Wine Bars of the 12th Arrondissement | Paris

Last month in Paris, Lindsey and I got the chance to go on a new Paris by Mouth wine tour in the 12th Arrondissement. Sadly I had a really nasty cold and couldn’t fully enjoy (smell or taste) the wine we tasted, but I learned a lot about some lesser known French varietals and had a great time nevertheless.  We toured the Faubourg Saint Antoine (another area I haven’t spent too much time in) and I will definitely head back to some of the wine bars we visited on my next trip to Paris.

For more info on this tour, and many other Paris by Mouth food tours, here.

A funny side note: When we arrived for the tour and everyone introduced ourselves, Lindsey discovered one of our tour mates was an instagram friend of hers who just happened to be visiting paris- oh how I love the internet!  Sara just moved to Rome and I am loving following her adventures in her new home city through her instagram.  She  was so sweet and invited Lindsey and I to come visit her in Rome- fingers crossed we can make it happen soon!!

a new side of Paris

I somehow never knew there was a Statue of Liberty in Paris until a wedding last summer celebrated on a boat on the Seine.  Andreas told me we were about to pass the statue of Liberty and I thought he had helped himself to one too many glasses of Champagne.  Turns out, I was the crazy one. Oops.
I feel like I know my way around the city of Paris pretty well, as I have been lucky to visit countless times before and after my year living there.  Although that said, it feels like we somehow always seem to hang out in the same parts of the city and there are still so many places I have yet to discover.  This trip was especially fun because I got to explore with both Anne and Lindsey, two locals living on different sides of the city, which meant I got to see lots of new-to-me places :).  Anne, Angelo (her friend visiting from the US) and I spent one full day together, most of which was spent working on a project together (which I can’t wait to show you!), but after we were finished we ended up by the Eiffel Tour and we just started walking west along the Seine- an area I had never explored.  We ventured pretty far from the normal tourist path (which always makes me mighty happy), admired some wild 80’s high rise buildings, and I snapped a few photos along the way.

Droog | Amsterdam

Travis, Randall and I spent a the majority of one of our mornings in Amsterdam oohing and aahing over everything at Droog– it is one of those stores where I literally one of EVERYTHING. While we were there we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek at Hôtel Droogwhich will open its doors later this week. The term hotel is used a bit loosely, as this hotel has only one guest room, but there is a beauty salon, cafe, art gallery, and fashion boutique all housed overlooking the Fairy Tale Garden. The concept is best described by the co-founder and director, Renny Ramakers:

“The concept of a hotel has been reversed. Whereas a hotel is usually mostly about sleeping, here we have enlarged and emphasized all the aspects that many hotels also offer and made them central to the hotel experience— and it even has a room to sleep in.”

It was still a work in progress back in June when we were visiting, but I am headed back to Amsterdam next month and a stop to check out the finished hotel is definitely in order.

Droog | Staalstraat 7A | Amsterdam
Hotel Droog opens September 16th :)

an Amsterdam video

I put together a little video from our trip to Amsterdam back in June.  I am having the best time playing around with video, and learning how to edit in Photoshop CS6.  I just need to try and remember when I am out and about that my camera does more than just take pictures- I guess I sort of need to retrain myself to not just see the world as still images, but also as moving pictures.  I also need to learn to hold the camera a bit more still while filming video ;)

Thanks again to House Trip for hosting our Amsterdam trip!  The sunset shots were taken at the amazing apartment we stayed at.

More Amsterdam posts:

High Tea at Gartine  |  Instagram Amsterdam  |  Amsterdam