Breaking the looong radio silence over here today to share some photos from our February family trip to London and Copenhagen! My photography was a little sporadic — a mix of iPhone and SLR, so I’m just sharing the SLR here. Click on over to my Instagram to see more! A few things made this trip come together. 1. My parents ultimately went to Sweden to pick up their new Volvo! Yes, you can go to Sweden and buy a Volvo and they will ship it back for you and it’s pretty cool. 2. Our family friend, Laura, was getting married in London and invited us all. 3. We love London. So why Copenhagen? Because none of us have been! In London we stayed in Marylebone and rented a house through OneFineStay. I loved our little “Mew” and that all of us could stay together in such a nice, big space. The house also came with a garage, which was necessary because my Dad’s greatest joy is driving on the other side of the road (!!). One of our favorite meals in London was lunch at Lyle’s. This is where we truly had then best mussels EVER. I know you don’t believe me from this photo. How could you? But they were grilled and the balance of smoke with the broth was so delicious. Not to mention the perfect, tender texture. Dan looked at me and said, “So this is how mussels are supposed to taste.” We’re ruined! After Lyle’s we walked around Shoreditch, the neighborhood we stayed in on our honeymoon. We snuck into some shops to warm up until the cocktail bar Happiness Forgets opened. The morning after the wedding, we drove up to Muswell Hill for brunch, and then around Highgate to visit our hold stomping grounds; the homes we lived in and my nursery school! These next two photos still make me laugh! As we were walking back to our car, this van driver asked Dan, Willy, and my Dad to help him push his car because the engine was dead. At one point it started rolling forward, which I think freaked them all out and they momentarily forgot the brakes still worked. So they all grabbed the car in a moment of panic as if they could stop it from rolling away! The day we left I stopped by Fitzroy Square to visit the flat I lived in during my semester abroad. I felt so nostalgic walking around there! That semester was some of the best months of my life. How lucky was I to live in such a beautiful and posh square as a college student!?Copenhagen was such a beautiful city. It has the perfect dichotomy of history while being very cool, and relevant. There are castles, classic historic architecture, modern nordic cuisine restaurants, wood fire pizza, great coffee, and artisan food markets — all within walking distance of each other. Everyone rides bikes (even if it’s freezing), and they always have the right of way. We stayed in this spacious flat which was in a great location for walking to various sites and restaurants. We definitely had some of the most memorable meals of my life while in Copenhagen, especially at Relae and Pony. Baest was recommended as the “Copenhagen version of Roberta’s in Brooklyn.” Which was totally accurate and that is a very good thing! We also really enjoyed the vibe and cocktails at Ruby. Below are a few photos walking around Nyhavn, Rosenborg Castle, and the National Gallery of Denmark. Europe, you are the best. Such a wonderful trip!
At the end of April, The Whaling Club hosted a gin cocktail and oyster shucking workshop at The Jefferson in Culver City. Gin and oysters are one of our favorite pairings, and we loved sharing some knowledge on both from the professionals: Chef Noah Rosen and House Spirits Distillery’s Director of On Premise Outreach and Education, Brooke Arthur. Noah kicked it off with the oyster shucking lesson. He brought three kinds of oysters to shuck and taste: Kumiai, Beausoleil, and Shigoku. I was so proud of everyone! Bunch of pros right off the bat (and no one cut themselves!). Once everyone had shucked and enjoyed a few oysters, Dan taught everyone how to make their first cocktail: The Blind Date. The Blind date is a refreshing and delicious shaken gin cocktail with lemon, Lillet rose, and St. Germain. Dan then discussed the history and evolution of the classic martini, and lead everyone in stirring their own. Brooke taught us all about Aviation Gin; the flavor profile and how it’s distilled in Portland. At the end, she offered tastings of the other House Spirits products, and I think I caught a few people tasting out of their oyster shells! Love it! Thank you to all who attended! We had a wonderful time meeting each of you!
2014 will always go down in history in my life story because it’s the year I married Dan. So many of my favorite memories are wrapped up in 2014: wedding (and all the festivities that go with it), honeymoon, launching The Whaling Club catering, new “Margot & Marie” episodes and two original live shows, exciting photography clients and collaborations, shooting a small pilot role, and lots of travel to see family and friends. One of my favorite parts of the new year is taking a moment to reflect. Dan and I spent a relaxing week celebrating Christmas in Lake Bluff, IL, and I returned to LA feeling recharged for January 2015. This year I aim to continue to be actively creative and my motto is “if you can dream it, you can do it.” Dan and I also had these black-eyed peas for the New Year’s good fortune and prosperity, and if that’s not a sure thing then I don’t know what is.^^Annual Christmas dinner (before Christmas) at The University Club of Chicago. One of my favorite traditions! ^^Christmas dinner at home. ^^Dan made his Grandma Prior’s famous cream pie with a graham cracker crust and meringue on top.^^And my Dad made a Yuletide Log. These two are such pastry chefs! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Cheers to 2015!
We’re headed to one of my best friend’s wedding this weekend, the last wedding we’re attending in 2014, and it feels like it’s probably about time to share the last of my photos from our honeymoon. From Paris we took the Eurostar to London (with a baguette and cheese in hand, naturally) and sat across from two super giggly and chatty teenage drama students. Dan fell asleep for most of the ride, but I was impressed by how they switched back and forth from French to English so fluidly and fluently. We stayed at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, not far from Spitalfields Market which I frequented very often during my semester abroad. Dan proposed to me at the Ace in Palm Springs, so staying at the newly opened London location felt romantic and very luxurious after our small Parisian quarters. London is SO COOL! I adore this city. The Shoreditch neighborhood is very hip, and we spent a lot of time roaming around and discovering shops, cafes, and bars. We visited our friends, Kristi and Henry, at their adorable flat in Notting Hill the first night we arrived. They welcomed us with an incredible spread and we dined in their lush garden.We took the tube to Buckingham Palace and luckily happened to arrive just in time for the changing of the guards. We then strolled through St. James Park, over to the National Gallery, and continued along through Neal’s Yard and Soho. There was a bus that took us straight from our hotel to Borough Market, which is full of so many treats including these Scotch eggs. We have a black and white photo I took during my semester abroad of the Borough Market egg man up in our apartment in Los Angeles. We looked for him, but unfortunately he didn’t seem to be there.
^^A beautiful and delicious Indian restaurant around the corner from the Ace in Shoreditch. London, and particularly this neighborhood/Brick Lane are famous for Indian food. ^^We saw a matinee of Julius Caesar at The Globe (where I studied during my semester abroad). Above you can see a few of the actors putting on a puppet show of what has just happened prior to the start of the play. They were hilarious and it was very helpful and informative! We then walked along the South Bank and took it all in. ^^We met up with my childhood friend, Laura, from when my family lived in London. I was so lucky to have seen her mum, Tricia, at our wedding the week before, and it was such a treat to be reunited with Laura! Our parents have remained very close over the years, and both Laura and Tricia will always be very special to me. There are a few things I don’t have photos of that must be mentioned. First, possibly the best dinner of the whole trip was at The Clove Club, which turned out to be walking distance from our hotel. It’s located in the old Shoreditch Town Hall and absolutely worth the splurge (thank you honeyfund!). We also had a fun dinner, complete with freshly baked Madeleine cookies, at St. John. And on our last evening we had cocktails at The Artesian Bar in the Langham Hotel and saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (incredible direction, movement, and set) and took a double decker bus ride home to the Ace. It goes without saying that I miss this trip. Full of so many happy and romantic memories that we’ll talk about forever. On the plane ride home (business class, deserves its own blog post!!) Dan and I made a pact to try and go back to Paris or London every five years. I really hope that’s possible! Dan, I love you. xoxo
On our last day in Paris we walked to the Jardin du Luxembourg with a baguette and soft cheese. Why is the cheese so good?? It was hot out, so we snagged some grass in the shade among and ate our (now VERY) soft cheese. While Dan relaxed and cooled off a bit I strolled through the gardens and took a few photos. ^^Reminds me of the lions outside the Art Institute of Chicago!
From there we walked to the Musee Rodin, a museum dedicated to the works of French sculptor Auguste Rodin. The museum used to be a hotel, and looks like a beautiful old mansion surrounded by beautiful gardens. I loved it here. ^^Dan’s holding a bottle of Amer Picon that he picked up on our walk from Jardin du Luxembourg to the Musee Rodin. He traveled with it all the way back to Los Angeles for a very special upcoming Whaling Club.
That night we had a delicious dinner and cocktails at Le Mary Celeste. We strolled back through Le Marais toward our flat, ate a nutella crepe, and stopped to have a few glasses of red wine and peanuts at a sidewalk cafe. Such a picturesque last night in Paris! In the morning we left our sweet Parisian flat and took the Eurostar to London. Last honeymoon post and London pictures up next!
Everyone told us that Paris is a very walkable city–and it’s true! We walked almost everywhere with a few trips on the metro. (The metro, however, is amazing. So clean and we never waited more than two minutes for a train.) Walking also took us through neighborhoods we were interested in exploring, but didn’t have a specific destination for. We walked from our flat down to Sainte-Chapelle, and on the way Dan stopped for a jambon and cornichon baguette he had spotted the day before. Cornichons are one of his favorite foods, and we’d never seen them IN a sandwich before! ^^The line to get in to the Sainte-Chapelle was intimidatingly long, and we weren’t sure we’d get in in time to make our lunch reservation at Septime. But luckily it moved quickly. I read that each column was a different biblical story, and each window frame was a moment of that story. It’s kind of like the original comic strip, you know? ^^The winding stairs leading to the stained glass.We walked from the Sainte-Chapelle to Septime, which is in the Bastille neighborhood. Septime was one of the most highly anticipated meals of our trip, and it did not disappoint. Our friends Carly and JB had gifted us this meal through our Honeyfund, and scoring a reservation had been a challenge. So we were thrilled to get in. We arrived just in time for our reservation to a completely full restaurant, and we waited briefly at the bar for our table. The restaurant was simple and beautiful, with gorgeous light. The patrons all seemed to be speaking French, and we got the sense that it was mostly locals. The staff was very welcoming, and almost all spoke English. They brought us this bowl of thinly sliced ham and fresh bread while we waited (the bread and wine were consistently great everywhere we went). One of the waitresses came over and explained the menu to us, and we decided to go for it and have the tasting menu. She asked us if there was anything we wouldn’t eat, and we said no…One of the courses was pigeon, and there was an item on our plates that we couldn’t quite identify. We asked our server what it was, and she put her hand to her heart and said “it makes you strong.” It was the heart of the pigeon! Dan couldn’t quite bring himself to eat that, so I went for it and ate mine AND his! I’m extra strong now. As we were walking back to our flat, Dan commented that he felt like it was one of the most current meals we’d had, meaning we had experienced what the modern Paris cuisine scene was like right at this moment, and potentially where it would continue to go.^^Dessert was peaches, raspberries, and lily ice cream.^^That evening (after a little post-Septime nap) we went to the Arc de Triomphe. The light was beautiful, and we walked to the top for a 360 degree view of Paris. If you look closely, you can see all the people on the top of the Arc in the photo above. ^^View of the Champs-Elysees.From there we walked down the Champs-Elysees to Laduree, a luxury French bakery, famous for their macarons. ^^I ordered rose ice cream (it really tasted like roses, in a good way!) with four mini macarons on top. And then, because we couldn’t be stopped, we headed back to the Bastille neighborhood and went to Septime’s casual sister spot, Clamato, for a romantic dinner at the bar, where we continued the culinary adventure with snails, shrimp, and the highly recommended razor clams, all served on Falconware. The place was packed!
The next morning we tried to get to the Louvre early to beat the long lines. We entered from the underground entrance, since it was so hot out, which I think saved us some entry time. ^^Napoleon III Apartments The Louvre is so huge! We spent hours taking it all in, then retreated to the Jardin des Tuileries to find a little shady spot after being surrounded by people in the museum. I was leaning back in one of the green park chairs, when I felt something wet drop onto my chest. A bird pooped on me!! That’s the first time that’s ever happened to me, and I know they say it’s good luck, but I’m pretty sure that’s just what they say to make you feel better (like rain on your wedding day). Luckily it didn’t land on my clothes, just skin, and Dan ran to an ice cream stand for some napkins and wiped it off because I was freaking a little. What a guy! From there we walked back to Le Marais, stopping at Berthillon for ice cream and sorbet.^^As you can see in many of these photos, Dan sweetly carried my beloved Ona camera bag whenever it started to feel heavy.
We had a croque madame and charcuterie plate at a cute cafe around the corner from our flat, then cocktails at Candelaria, a taqueria with a speakeasy in the back. This took us a little bit north of our flat into part of Le Marais neighborhood we hadn’t explored yet. We loved seeing all the different cafes with outdoor seating. Dan pointed out that all the chairs were positioned to face out, so you ate sitting side by side and could look out to the street. This seemed to be the set up everywhere in Paris. It makes me smile to think about that evening, walking through “our” neighborhood, and taking it all in together. I have a bit more to share from Paris, then we’re off to London! Thanks for indulging me!
Paris and London lived up to everything we hoped and expected. Our honeymoon was nothing short of spectacular! We registered with the Honeyfund, and knowing that so many of our family and friends gifted us parts of our honeymoon really made the whole trip extra special and truly connected to our marriage. We talked about and toasted so many of you during our trip! Oh, and you get to say husband a lot when you travel, so that’s fun! In Paris we decided to rent an apartment through Airbnb. After lots of searching we finally decided on this one for the amazing location and AC (a rare find!). Our host greeted us with flowers and a bottle of red wine to welcome us to Paris!We arrived late the evening before, but jet lag had me up at 4am. I tried not to squirm as long as I could, but around 5:30am Dan woke up too and we watched the sun come up from our flat window. Our apartment was cozy (small) but completely renovated in an old Parisian building. We were on the top floor, and if you leaned out you could see the Eiffel Tower to the right! Below were the cobblestone streets of Le Marais with a mix of boutiques and falafel shops. Since we couldn’t sleep, we decided to roam the streets early that morning. Almost everything was closed at that hour, but it was such a calm and beautiful time to take in the city. ^^The courtyard of our building.^^A bunch of people had recommended L’As du Fallafel. We knew it was in our neighborhood, but it turned out to be almost directly below our flat! We may have stopped in for second dinners a few times…it was too good and convenient to pass up! I don’t have a photo of it, but it’s directly across the street from this bright red store (also a falafel shop).^^Paris really knows how to embrace flower boxes! I felt inspired to add some greenery to our little balcony back in LA.^^Shortly after 8am we stumbled upon Cafe Loustic for coffee. I diligently did my best to order us two cappuccinos in French, although we found out later the barista was Australian. It became one of our favorite spots because it was one of the few spots we “discovered” rather than seeking it out as a destination. From there we walked down to the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) and across the river to Notre Dame. The cathedral had just opened, and while there were plenty of people gathering, it was still relatively sparse. When we walked by a few days later in the afternoon, we were a bit shocked by the crowds in comparison.^^Totally unrelated but we passed this shop with the most massive meringues I’d ever seen! ^^The famous love locks!We had lunch reservations at Derriere (thank you, Gillian!), a large, eclectic restaurant that’s designed to look like a family apartment. The idea being that you entertain friends at home each night. Each corner of the restaurant is styled like a different room, and if you go upstairs, there are even bedrooms and boudoirs to dine in. We ate in what I think was the living room, right next to a ping pong table. The atmosphere was really fun, and the food here was simple and delicious. We had a string bean appetizer that was one of our favorite dishes from the trip, and I ate some of the only mushrooms I’ve ever liked in my life. Everything was really fresh and full of flavor. I’ve been told they also have an amazing brunch. I highly recommend checking it out. I made the reservation online and could only get lunch, but I think if you are able to call it would be easier to score a dinner reservation.After lunch we went to the modern art museum, Centre Pompidou, just down the street, and then headed back to our flat for a jet lag induced nap. Most of our days in Paris had us up early, with a nap in the afternoon. But the days were so long during this time of year (the sun didn’t set until 10pm!) that when we woke up it still felt like there were plenty of hours of daylight to take in the city. So we took the metro over to the Eiffel Tower, grabbed a bottle of rose just before the stores closed, and sat in the grass to watch the sunset. ^^The other direction. We weren’t the only people with this idea!^^Right after sunset the tower starts sparkling with hundreds of glittering lights for about ten minutes. It was so romantic! (Apologies for the blur, I had to shoot this handheld on a really low shutter speed to get any of the crazy fast sparkling lights.) Then we hightailed it to Le Relais de l’Entrecote for double portions of the yummiest steak frites! Can I please end every day like this??
Earlier this summer I photographed a lifestyle session for Sparrow Park Goods, a high quality, American made cotton goods company launching later this year. The company was started by Jennifer Andersen and her fiancé, and Jenn flew out to Los Angeles to oversee the shoot. I scouted a few locations before her arrival, and decided on the gorgeous El Matador State Beach for the views and large rock structures for our first spot. The main focus was on the blankets, which as you can see come in a variety of fun and colorful patterns. They are nylon on the bottom side, which is perfect for the sand or damp grass, and they roll up easily to carry and store. The blanket also has a corner zipper pocket, which I LOVE for storing your cell phone and things you don’t want to get sandy. Good looking AND functional! Yes, please. Our goal was warm lighting, bright colors and whites, and an overall feeling of relaxed happiness. Sounds like the perfect beach day, right? Styling: Jennifer Andersen and Carlene Moore
Location: El Matador State Beach
I have so much to share from the past few months (more on the wedding and honeymoon to come!) but I do want to post some photos from our last Whaling Club event with Simon Ford of The Eighty Six Company. Dan took things a little tiki with his Cana Brava rum cocktail menu this round, serving drinks that sometimes get a bad rap for being too sweet or processed. But when Dan served up these fresh and perfectly balanced cherry and strawberry daiquiris, mojitos, and pina coladas in frozen pineapples, everyone was rethinking what they thought they knew about these classic tiki drinks! Not only were they delicious, they were beautiful. I must say, a good looking cocktail might be the perfect accessory. Thank you to Simon Ford and all of our lovely guests! This was such a fun night. I keep opening the ice chest and hoping to find rows on rows of cored pineapples ready for sipping out of… For more on The Whaling Club, please visit our website or follow us on instagram @thewhalingclub. If you’d like to be added to our event email list, shoot us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today I’m excited to share this lifestyle session with Chelsea Briggs in Venice. Chelsea is a host and executive producer for the entertainment site Hollywire and has a huge online and social media following–spend a little time with Chelsea and it’s easy to see why! Her energy and smile is infectious, and she’s the kind of client who instantly feels like a long time girlfriend. Capturing Chelsea’s goofy and adorable personality is a breeze–she doesn’t hold back and is willing to try anything (like ask a skater if he will let her hope on his skateboard)! And her sense of style certainly doesn’t hurt. We chatted about a few potential locations for the shoot, and Chelsea settled on Venice for its rad colorful walls and beachy vibes.