travel adventures: london!

Posted on: Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hi friends! We just got back from our two week trip to Europe for our anniversary! Both E and I absolutely love traveling and exploring new cities and it was so fun to go to several new places on this trip. I’m going to be sharing photos and blog posts for each of our stops in Europe – London, the south of France / French Riviera, the Provence region and Paris – and highlight some of our favorite activities, places to eat/drink, where to explore, etc. To kick things off, I’m going to start with our first stop, London!

Where we stayed: The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch  | So many friends told me I would love this ‘hood and we really did! There were tons of places around there and the neighborhood was hip and trendy, kind of had SF Mission vibes. We loved staying at The Ace and especially loved that we could use their (non-touristy looking) bikes every day! Every day, the lobby was filled with people working on their computer or catching up over coffee and each evening, there was louder music or a DJ with people hanging out near the cool plant-filled (!!) bar. Plus, our room had a bathtub which is always ideal for me.

Where we ate & drank:
Poppies Fish & Chips for fish and chips (diner-y, but super tasty)
Fleet River Bakery
Wheatsheaf (near Borough Market)
Friends of Ours for a super yummy breakfast (I had corn and beet fritters topped with avo and a poached egg, E ordered corn and pancetta hash) and very cute vibes
Homeslice Pizza for late nice pizza slices
NOLA for yummy cocktails
BrewDog for amazing beer (looooooved this place and would go again anytime)
Boundary Rooftop (super awesome view!)
Beach Blanket Babylon (would recommend for cocktails only, no food)

Highlights:
Visiting the different markets around town: Borough Market was absolutely incredible with tons of food vendors, the huge Spitalfields Market where you can find “regular” stores like Lululemon, MAC, etc. but also food vendors and smaller shops, the stunning Sunday flower market on Columbia Road, and Camden Lock Market with soooo many shops, food vendors, everything – it was huge (but also a little more tourist-y and packed than I prefer).

Catching up and grabbing drinks with my good friend Courtney’s sister Carli and her husband Phil

Sunday morning yoga at ETHOS (thanks Classpass!)

Biking allllllll over the city and visiting all of the “London spots” like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Covent Gardens, etc.

NOT a highlight, but a funny story: all weekend, we were talking about how we were leaving London out of Heathrow Airport to get to France and discussing how to best get there. We ended up taking Uber to the tube (subway) and taking it over an hour to the airport. Once we got there (and literally, not until RIGHT when we got there), we realized we WENT TO THE WRONG AIRPORT. Gatwick airport would have been at least an hour taxi ride and we didn’t think we could make it. We ended up getting re-booked out of London City airport a few hours later (annnnnd went back on the tube for another hour). Soooo during our four day trip to London, we visited all three airports. Yay.

Have you been to London? I always love saving recommendations from friends so definitely let me know your favorite spots to visit and explore! xo

London 8

Breakfast at Friends of Ours

London 3

Big Ben!

London 9

London 10

London 6

Sooo many olives at the market!

London 5

London 4

London 7

London 2

London 1

The cutest flower shop

Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse Recipe

Posted on: Thursday, August 25, 2016

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

I recently made this dark chocolate avocado mousse for an event I hosted and it was a huge hit! I got a lot of questions about it, so wanted to share the recipe! I first discovered the dark choco avo mousse from my friend Mady’s gorgeous IG feed (here’s her photo that sucked me into this dessert!). I adapted the original recipe, found here, and was super happy with how it turned out! You can always adjust things like # of avocadoes, dates, etc. to your liking too. Enjoy!

DARK CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
4 small avocados
1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk (add a little more at end too)
2 tablespoons of raw organic cocoa powder
1 bar of your favorite high quality dark chocolate, melted
4-5 dates, pitted
1 teaspoon of organic vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Melt the dark chocolate over the stove.

2. Add all other ingredients to the blender (I used Vitamix) and pour melted dark chocolate over.

3. Blend until creamy / fluffy

4. Let set in freezer for approx. 15-30 minutes so it’s super cold when you serve!

5. Top with raspberries and Bare Snacks coffee coconut chips!

Photo via Tory Putnam

THIS

Posted on: Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Floral Wall

Shauna Niequist truly is my patron saint or long lost big sister or something to that effect. I’ve read all of her books several times and find myself flipping through them, over and over, to soak up more wisdom and encouragement frequently. It’s like everything she writes, I am screaming YES YES YES out loud because her words hit so close to home and really resonate with me. I also like to think we would be besties IRL, but that’s for another blog post.

I recently started reading her latest book, Present Over Perfect, and one part of the What the Lake Teaches chapter made me stop and pause. I read it again and re-read and re-read and re-read. I showed it to Eric, telling him, “this is me! This is exactly what I need to remember every day!” and he agreed (and told me to print out these words). I read it to my mom, who said something similar; that I need to keep reminding myself of these truths over and over.

This was a powerful reminder to me – an extrovert, a die-hard people pleaser, an affirmation seeker – that I need to stop craving approval and acceptance from external sources and lean into what I know to be true about myself, what God thinks about me, and who I am without all of those compliments and affirmations and heavy expectations.

Here’s the excerpt. Hope you get as much out of it as I do and I highly recommend her new book! <3

But this is what I’ve learned the hard way: what people think about you means nothing in comparison to what you believe about yourself. Essentially, my identity depended on outwards approval, which changes on a dime. So you dance and you please and you placate and you prove. You become a three-ring circus and in each ring, you’re an entirely different performing animal, anything anyone wants you to be.

The crucial journey, then, for me, has been from dependence on external expectations, down into my own self, deeper still into God’s view of me, his love for me that doesn’t change, that will not change, that defines and grounds everything.

I bet it all on busyness, achievement, being known as responsible, and escaping when those things didn’t work. What I see now is that what I really wanted was love, grace, peace, connection.

When you decide, finally, to stop running on the fuel of anxiety, desire to prove, fear, shame, deep inadequacy – when you decide to walk away from that fuel for a while, there’s nothing but confusion and silence. You’re on the side of the road, empty tank, no idea what will propel you forward. It’s disorienting, freeing, terrifying. For a while, you just sit, contentedly, and contentment is the most foreign concept you know. But you learn it, shocking as it is, day by day, hour by hour. You sit in your own skin, being just your own plain self. And it’s okay. And it’s changing everything.

After a while, though, you learn you weren’t made only for contentment; that’s only half the puzzle. The other part is meaning, calling, love. And this is a new conversation, almost like speaking a second language – faltering, tongue-twisting, exhilarating.

happy friday & lovely links!

Posted on: Friday, August 12, 2016

Friyay

Happy FriYAY! I’m in Nashville this weekend, where E and I met up with my parents and sisters for a few days. So happy to be here with them and to be in real summer weather. ;) I haven’t shared a lovely links blog post {all available HERE} in awhile, and wanted to share. Whenever I discover/read a good article, I try to save it on my phone or in a draft email so I can re-read in the future or pass along to a friend. Here’s some of the latest articles I wanted to share with you. Enjoy your weekend, friends!

My awesome friend Kelly and her boyf’s popular Greetings From Tour was recently featured on Conde Nast Traveler! // Follow @greetingstour to see if they are coming to paint an epic mural to YOUR city!

A freelancer’s guide to SF + Oakland // I contributed to this blog post and shared some of my favorite wifi + work spots in SF (more here!)

Our fiddle leaf fig plant is growing! // Here’s some tips & tricks on how to care for a fiddle leaf fig.

Pretty, Affordable Art // Awesome round-up from my friend Cait!

Doesn’t this heirloom tomato and ricotta tart look incredible?

Just bought Present Over Perfect, the just-released book from my fave author Shauna Niequist. CAN’T WAIT to dig in!

Kid Lessons from Dallas Clayton, “bite-sized life lessons to make your life and the lives of those around you better.” // He’s one of my favorite people to follow on Insta @dallasclayton

{Image via}

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