Monday, January 6, 2014

Coeur de La Photography Weddings 2014

Coeur de La Weddings


Photographing weddings is something I take rather seriously. Serious in the sense that I am a hopeless romantic, love the teeniest of details, and could spend hour upon hour thinking about wedding photography. So, for quite some time now I wanted to photograph a styled wedding shoot that would capture my wedding photography in a nutshell ... a love letter to my craft. Sarah and Simon are two friends of mine that helped me bring my woodsy forest "wedding" to life.


The way I approach wedding photography is simple and sweet. Getting to know each couple throughout their wedding process is by far my favorite part about wedding photography. This allows me to photograph each couple in a fun, unique, and creative way. I do not have a set of go to poses as I approach each and every couple differently. Your wedding day will be just that ... yours.



Wedding photos need to be more than a good photo ... they need to stand up to time ... and exactly how do they do this? Photos have to convey feelings, emotions, and tell stories. Ultimately, I am not a just a wedding photographer ... I am a storyteller and your storyteller for one of the most cherished, sweet, and intimate days of your life.



I love photographing the little moments in between pauses, laughs, and kisses.




I encourage couples to be themselves and the more creative, original, and authentic they can be the better!


Sarah and Simon were so sweet to photograph. I love when couples know how to laugh and just get each other. Afterwards, we sipped champagne and indulged in a sea salted maple cake made by the talented Tara of Fox and Fawn Bakehouse. The cake was to die for and both Sara and Simon were eager to take it home (a definite perk). By far, the morning was exactly how I imagined it .... and I feel the photos are a tangible love letter to couples I have photographed and the couples I will photograph in the future.


Coeur de La Photography is booking weddings and elopements for 2014 ... any destination welcome!!

*cake courtesy of Fox and Fawn Bakehouse *Coeur de La Photography for styling, flowers and photography

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Noggy Russian


I am feeling pretty festive over here ... so festive that I decided to break the radio silence and blog. Our tree is decorated, stockings are hung, and I've been enjoying the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Now, if you think shopping, braving stores or buying gifts when I say hustle and bustle ... you are wrong.  Christmas for me is about enjoying traditions. Unwrapping ornaments that are older than both Marc and I, connecting with family and friends, and supporting local artisans and crafters are all things I cherish during December. This year,  I am making Coeur de La caramels to send to friends and family something that has become my tradition.

Holiday Sweetness: One of my favorite holiday beverages is our version of a White Russian .... a Noggy Russian. And, once you make yourself one you will most certainly crave another. Recently, I have found out I am severely lactose intolerant so, I use eggnog for Marc and I get Silk's version of eggnog (it's not the same but I can settle). The recipe I am sharing with you uses Bud's Famous Eggnog (from San Francisco) and I stole a teeny itty bitty sip while making Marc his nightcap and oh my is it outrageously good.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not ... this holiday cocktail will have you feeling all kinds of merry. So, from my house to yours ....

The Coeur de La "Noggy Russian"

- one cup of egg nog (I use Bud's for Mr. Claus and Silk's version for myself)
-two shots of Kahlua
-a teaspoon of nutmeg (more if you love nutmeg)
-a pinch or two of cinnamon
-5 ice cubes
*for a naughty good time add vodka*

1. Fill a martni shaker (I use a large mouth mason jar) with a cup of eggnog, two shots of Kahlua, nutmeg and cinnamon, and ice cubes.
2. Shake for about 30 seconds
3. Pour into a chilled glass
4. Serve with a fun straw and a sprig of mint
5. Sprinkle a little more nutmeg for a little more merriment


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Portland Photo Sessions ... Into the "Woods" we go

Coeur de La Photography is headed to PORTLAND for some fun, creative, and thoughtful portrait sessions with yours truly and my good friend stylist extraordinaire ... Lauren Hartmann. For one day, my partner in crime Marc and I will be photographing couples, families, friends, pets, and babies for Into the "Woods" Portrait Sessions styled by Lauren.

Whether you are in need of holiday photos, family photos, couples photos, or baby photos .... we are your one stop shop on November 16th! We promise to make you and your family laugh, smile, and then laugh some more.  If you are in qualms with what to wear Lauren is your gal. She is a style guru ... girl has skills. Tell a family member or friend and pass this info along.

What the session includes: pre styling and outfit help from Lauren, two photographers (yours truly and my partner in crime), a half hour portrait session for 89 dollars, and 5 of your favorite images.

Sessions will be held in a cool Portland studio aka our FOREST for the day (address will be given upon booking).

To reserve a spot (space is limited) send me an email at:

Last bit ... thank you to the girls at Chalk+Dot for their work on this cute little flyer. If you are need of doing something more with your holiday photos they are it!! Plus, their work is pretty darn cute.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

dinner in on Orcas Island

Dinner In 
the ability to dictate your own menu, linger over a glass of wine without the worry of taking too long, and connect over a meal you prepared with someone you love.


In the beginning of our marriage Marc and I would go out to eat often and of course with age comes wisdom (you hope) ... because now ... we love slow and thoughtful dinners in.


While on our Orcas Island we spent most of our evenings in. Sitting on our deck with local beer, playing cards, and watching bald eagles nest in the trees that surrounded our vacation rental. I knew the  Orcas had an abundance of small farms so we made it our sole intention to support the local farmer while there. On our last day we wanted to make a dinner sourced entirely from the island so we set out for a drive that would include lots of stops so we could collect our island bounty. Our first stop was at Black Dog Farms where we picked up veggies, greens, and a bag of snap peas that had no chance of making it home.


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After Black Dog we stopped at a farm stand and picked up flowers, then popped into the island's local brewery for a growler of beer that we used to wash down our Buck Bay oysters and steam our clams. We asked for tips from the farmers and they happily shared their favorite recipes with us. Is there anything better than talking about good food?



It would have been easy for us to shop at the supermarket but we wanted to support the Orcas farmers. We cherished the conversations we had at each farm learning bits and pieces about the island, about what we were eating, and the island itself.



Our dinner was fresh, local, and incredible. I swear we were drunk because we could taste the terroir of Orcas Island in each and every bite or I may have added a little too much beer to our clams .... ha!


I firmly believe our trip would have been entirely different had we shopped at the supermarket. We cut out the middle man and went straight to the source. Each farm, the local bakery, the brewery ... all had a place at our table. Our meal that evening was more than special ... quite frankly it will be a meal I will always remember. The fresh crab tasted so sweet that no butter was needed. The clams were cooked just right and the oysters were devoured and drizzled with tabasco. The dill danced with the purple potatoes and the apricot pie that cooked in the oven was simply ... the icing on the cake.


So my advice ... while on vacation take the time to dine in, create a meal that tells a story with each bite, and cook with intention. I still dream of our Orcas Island meal. A meal that showed us just how special a meal at home can be. A meal that still has me savoring and craving the tastes of our little island ... Orcas.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Traveling and Orcas Island


The need to travel is a something that runs through my veins. One of the things that I love about Marc is his love for travel. Each year we set aside two weeks to travel to a place where we can be carefree, explore, and simply just be. It is also quite convenient that Marc and I are the best travel partners ... and for me ... it is a true blessing. My idea of a great vacation is having an unplanned plan. Marc likes having a plan thus ... we balance each other out.


The next couple of posts are going to be dedicated to Orcas Island. An island that is part of the San Juan Islands just off the coast of Washington. When I first told friends and family where we were vacationing I either got two responses .... where is that or ... I loveeeeee it there.

Part of me wants to keep "my" little island adventures to myself in hopes that I will be the only one to ever adventure Orcas.  One of the reasons Orcas is such a special place is the lack of foot traffic there. There were times when we honestly felt like the only ones on the island and for me ... that is my type of vacation.


Our vacation to Orcas was simple: we ate homemade meals that Marc and I prepared together, enjoyed chilly fog lit mornings with cups of coffee,  took carefree hikes filled with wanderlust, and had lazy drives around the island where we purchased local produce and fresh flowers on an honor system. My faith in humanity was restored knowing there are still places with honor systems. It is nice to know people believe others are not out to rip each other off.  Our vacation was perfect in that perfectly imperfect kind of way.  It was simple. Simple in the sense that we did not have any grand plans other than just relax and enjoy everyday things with each other.  So, for now here is a little photo sneak peek of my posts to come.
Happy Thursday!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Ode to a Good Customer ... from a barista


Good customers may seem easy to come by, but in this day and age where coffee shops are filled with an over abundance of laptops or people who assume macchiatos are made with caramel ... being a good  customer is something that is learned. "Good customers" ... the kind of customers that make eye contact, actually speak to you and not into their cell phone while ordering, are the kind of customer I cherish.

Ode to a Good Customer
1. you make eye contact and know that a good cup of coffee solves all problems (at least for a little while)
2. you know that with quality there comes a price, and that price is something you don't mind paying for, because again coffee solves all problems
3. you are able to engage in a 2-3 minute conversation with me ... your barista ... your morning friend ... someone who takes your order. you make eye contact and do not tell me to wait while you are ranting into your cell phone.
4. you are patient ...  again with quality sometimes there is a wait ... a wait well worth it
5. you know my name because we meet almost every morning and I know yours
6. you abide by the cafe's unspoken rules ... you know that clearing your dishes is a kind gesture, not expected, but is polite. that leaving the entry door open wastes electricity and you don't mind if I politely ask you to close it.
7. you are enthusiastic or eager to learn about coffee
8. MOST IMPORTANTLY ... I know my job as a barista is to create good customers. My job is to educate you on coffee, anticipate what you want or would like to order, and that most likely 9 times out of 10 you are right ... and again, if you are not right I will never tell you that you are wrong.
9. I appreciate you good customer and thank you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vanilla Bean Blood Orange Margaritas ... oh boy!


February at the farmers' market means one thing ... blood oranges (at least here in California). I am not a huge fan of citrus but I LOVE blood oranges. On Valentine's Day Marc and I decided to ditch noisy, over crowded restaurants for dinner at home. What was I in charge of? A Coeur de La signature cocktail was the only request. 


Being that I love adding vanilla bean to just about anything and everything and had just purchased blood oranges at our local farmers' market I decided to make vanilla bean blood orange margaritas. I love how vanilla beans add natural sweetness and cut the tartness when added to citrus. Now, I am not a tequila connoisseur so we had a hilarious interaction at BevMo when we grabbed the Jose Cuervo … the cashier with huge eyes said … wow you guys like your tequila rough. Say what!??? He then kindly brought us to the tequila section and showed us several options of tequila that would be smoother and more $$. He added that we would have less of a headache in the morning if we had one too many margaritas (good call). So ... thankfully we went with the $$ tequila ... it was worth it. 

While Marc was busy searing ahi tuna, making a sesame sticky rice, and then an avocado mango salad I was busy dipping chilled mason jars with sugar and playing mixologist. Quite frankly ... there is not a restaurant out there that could have outdone the both of us … staying home was priceless.

My advice: The next time you want to stay in make it an event, create a signature cocktail, buy smooth tequila, and get tipsy. Ok, so if getting tipsy is not your thing make your margaritas sans alcohol and play Twister. I promise either option will be a good one. If you need the definition of tipsy read #2 here.

In other news … the winner of the Addie Lu's Bowtique Giveaway is Micaela of Dolce Vita … CONGRATS!!! Happy Wednesday everyone and until next time … BISOUS!

 Coeur de La Vanilla Bean Blood Orange Margaritas
3oz of fresh squeezed blood orange juice
2oz tequila
a teaspoon of fresh lime juice
1oz of triple sec
half of a scraped vanilla bean

    In a standard cocktail shaker, add a handful of ice, your triple sec, tequila, and fresh blood orange juice, and a teaspoon of fresh lime juice. 
Then, scrape half of a vanilla bean and get to shaking. The vanilla bean pods will break apart with the shaking.
  Pour into small frosted mason jars that have been rimmed with sugar.
 Serve with a cheesy straw. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Valentine's Giveaway ... and a new series


February is one of my favorite months for several reasons. I love the abundance of red hearts, Valentine's cards, and the opportunity to celebrate love. I know there are some people that cringe at the "holiday" ... but I have always taken February 14th as a day to celebrate ... LOVE. 

Love for friends, love for family, love with a significant other, or simply loving what you do. 

For a while now I have dabbled with the idea of an ongoing series on Coeur de La but could not narrow down what exactly I wanted to feature. Being that Coeur in french means heart, and that I put love into everything I do and admire others who do the same ... I have decided to feature artists, creators, crafters, and people that are doing what they love. Once a month I will share with you various individuals that I hope will inspire you to take some time out of your busy schedule to sit down and do something you love. Thus the series will be called ... Do What You ... LOVE

So without further ado ... I am happy to feature Candis of Addie Lu's Bowtique. Over Christmas I had the privilege to photograph Candis and her sweet family for some fun holiday photos. I have known Candis for quite some time and she has always been a positive and vibrant person.



I was excited when I found out Candis was doing something she loves ... making bows for little ones. I scoured her selection of bows and thought ... these would be perfect for adults and asked her if she could make a couple of bows for me and my Coeur de La readers. And ... lucky for us she agreed. Each bow is handmade, handcrafted, and made in various sizes, colors, and patterns. Personally, I love them all.

About Candis of Addie Lu's Bowtique:
a mama to two little girls
an artsy crafter
why did she start making bows: her girls had a lot of outfits but not enough matching bows so she decided to make them herself
making bows is her creative outlet
she recently has started making adult bows and headbands ... all of which I love.

Valentine's Giveaway Details: 
wearing an Addie Lu original bow

To enter the Valentine's Giveaway to win one of Candis's signature bows, leave a comment telling me something you love to do, your favorite bow in Candis's etsy shop, and would your bow be for you or your little one? One winner will be picked at random this Friday, February 15th. Make sure to visit her Facebook page at Addie Lu's Bowtique and give her a sweet like or visit her etsy shop for more sweetness.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

being a barista and ... a sometimes blogger.


Well, I had all the intentions in the world to blog a bit more in January and then ... life happened. I pretty much have come to the conclusion that I am a "sometimes blogger" and I am ok with that. Ideally I want to give this little site an overhaul but I am not sure what direction I want it to go. What I do know is that the best way for me to find inspiration is going out and doing. So Coeur de La readers, if there happens to be a couple of weeks of silence you can all take comfort in the fact that I am out there in the big wide world ... doing, creating, and adventuring.

Latest and Greatest: For the past five months I have picked up a part time job as a barista. Yes, I am behind the counter steaming milk, pulling shots of espresso, and creating tasty beverages for coffee lovers. The job is difficult, fast paced, tiring at times, and honest to goodness work. I have so much more respect for individuals who work with food and in customer service now. Working as a barista has been ideal for my photography schedule as well. I work during the week as a barista and on weekends I get to escape behind my camera. Thus far, working in coffee has taught me several things that I did not know about myself and others ... some good and some bad ... so, I thought I would share it with you.

10 things I have learned as a barista
1. The smell of warm milk occasionally repulses me
2. If you can't repeat your drink order to me and say it five times fast ... please do not bother ordering it
3. No we do not serve grande cappuccinos ... a cappuccino is one size
4. PLEASE look at me when you order ... your phone call can wait
5. Fancy shoes do not offer support while working
6. Even nice people can be mean if you mess up their cup of jo order
7. Sometimes latte art looks a bit phallic when one is first learning ... this makes for some awkward yet hilarious moments
8. THE CUSTOMER is always right ...  but a good barista knows they are wrong ;)
9. Other Baristas are so much cooler (insert sarcasm)
10. When it comes down to it ... working with coffee makes me happy ... I like the ups and downs, the crazy customers, other baristas sharing their knowledge (maybe over sharing), the free perks, and the coffee community. Most importantly, there is an infinite amount for me to learn.
11. I have to add this .... ONE CAN HAVE TOO MUCH COFFEE ...

These 11 things are facts, but they are my truths and my facts, and they are most certainly not your truths, so if you don't think they are true ... well they probably aren't ... for you that is.
Hopefully I got a smile out of you.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

how to ... do it yourself holiday photos


It is that time of year when there is a pressure to get in a holiday photo session. Being a photographer, I too feel the pressure. But, as Christmas comes speeding around the corner finding a good photographer might be tricky. So my friends, I want to inspire you to take your own. Even if you do not print out your photos for cards they will make great gifts or frame worthy photos for your home. Here are some of my tips for great do it yourself holiday photos.

1. Do not match in that awkward lets all wear black and white kind of way. Wear similar patterns but have fun with it. I always encourage clients to wear colors that are opposite but throw in a scarf or sweater that will tie all the colors together. Marc and I settled on greens and reds, colors that are opposite but for obvious reasons (Christmas) go. Dress to your character ... if you do not own a lick of plaid don't go out and buy plaid. Use what you have in your closet. You will be comfortable and your photos will show that. I pulled out Marc's favorite beanie and a hat for me that we have owned for years. Be yourselves and dress like you!

2. Bring props but not props that are overly pinterest inspired. While pinterest is amazing for inspiration try to bring props that you have from your home. The less stressful the better. We had an old vintage camera and some binoculars (we love antiques and recently I've wondered if I hoard antiques haha) a wool blanket, and a Noel decoration we had up in our house. We chose Noel because Marc is a Frenchie and well ... I am a Francophile ... you should know that by now. Pick props that convey who you are. Both Marc and I are lovers of Oregon, love plaid, goofy, obsessed with Parks and Rec, fun loving people and I wanted props that show that. Be yourselves and use whatever props you want.

3. Use a tripod. This will save so much time and allow for steady shots. Set your camera on continuous for a series of photo booth like shots.

4. Change your poses. Come on you can only smile looking straight into the camera for so long. Have FUN, be goofy, make silly faces ... go with it.

5. After your shoot grab holiday drinks and make your photo session an event ... something you will remember and better yet, make it a tradition.

6. If the do it yourself thing is not up your alley find a photographer that is fun, easy going, and can capture your family for who they are and if they tell you to match your outfits ... run for the hills. Ok not really, but do find a photographer that will bring out the best in your family members.

Happy Holidays and Bisous.