I've been mesmerized and intrigued with visiting Ireland for years ... from the rolling green hills, the sleepy coastal villages, Irish Trad with its moving and compelling tunes, and all things that involve Irish folklore. Not to mention I am obsessed with Irish Breakfasts, and lucky for me Irish Breakfasts were everything I dreamt they would be ... out of this world.
We arranged stays in Ireland solely based on their breakfasts and the first place we stayed in Dublin ... Cliff Townhouse ... had an incredible breakfast. I ordered a traditional Irish breakfast, tea, and Marc of course had coffee. If you are staying in Dublin I highly suggest staying at Cliff Townhouse from their breakfasts, decor, and location (a stone's throw away from Saint Stephen's Green) it was perfect.
Our first night in Dublin started off by indulging in oysters and washing them down with the obligatory pint of Guinness. Afterwards, we treated ourselves to dinner at Forest Avenue.
We had a four course meal, sat next to a Dublin woman who was also a well known food writer, and the chef drank wine with us. He was thrilled that we came all the way from San Francisco and we were thrilled to be there. Forest Avenue was so good that we reserved a table for lunch on our very last day in Ireland.
We sipped port and fever tonic, enjoyed great wine, savored each course, and ended our meal with dessert that pretty much had us wanting to move to Ireland. Our stay in Dublin was perfection and everyone at Forest Avenue made us feel ... special. I was completely inspired by the chef and his wife ... a husband and wife duo who are following their passion.
And in true Coeur de La fashion our final stop was for coffee at 3FE . The espresso was delicious making it difficult for us to leave Dublin (yes spoken like a true coffee addict). After eating our way through Dublin (don't worry we got in some training runs too) we packed up our car, put on our game faces to drive on the other side of the road (thankfully Marc is a a pro) and ventured out on our Irish adventure. I am looking forward to sharing more with you ... next up ... Cork, The Ring of Kerry, Adare Manor, and my favorite town ... Dingle.
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.
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
Coeur de La Photography is headed to PORTLANDfor 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: email@example.com
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.
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.
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.