Sunny days are pretty sparse here in Seattle this time of year. February often holds only the promise of rain, rain and you guessed it : more rain. Winter tends to feel like it’s dragging on every year at about this time and you start to feel like you’ll be stuck in a dreary dramatic grey haze forever. When the sun peeks its head out you run towards it. You sprint actually.
So when some of my favorite blog and creative gal pals along with the kind folks at Bing reached out to me a couple of months back about spending a few days in Palm Springs this week for a creative brainstorming powwow, there was ZERO hesitation in my step – a definite no brainer for this Vitamin D starved Seattleite. Sunshine, poolside cocktails, & great conversation with inspiring women for four days in the dead of winter? Uh, yes please!
Some items I’m currently coveting this week as a hop on a jet plane to the land of palm trees and sun-kissed cheeks today.
silk headscarf | sunblock | poolside reading material | sandals | strappy bralette | sunglasses | lip balm | denim overalls (just nabbed these ones from Madewell that I LOVE and will likely wear daily for the next year)
Happy New Year friends. I spent the morning listening to the rain fall outside our Seattle living room window while working on client proposals, mood-boards for upcoming projects and finishing up on the last of those unanswered emails that trickled in while I was away for the holidays.
Yesterday, for the first time since the new year, it felt like my first really productive and assertive work day. The holiday excitement has officially worn off and the desire to set goals, make progress and try new things has valiantly taken hold. Adam and I have some pretty amazing/nerve-racking/exciting/scary things happening in the near future (will be sharing that news soon), so I’m trying to just deep breath and remember that no matter what happens everything will be okay. We have each other and that’s enough. Everything that I need to get done, will get done, and everything that’s supposed to happen will. Things happen for a reason and I should trust that those things are for the right reasons.
I’ve always known that I’m a person that allows fear to run many parts of my mind, and my life for that matter. When anything new presents itself, when change comes knocking on the door, I’m the type that always turns and runs to that place of fear. Sure, I eventually find it within myself to brave the unknown and plunge forward, but it’s not without first stewing for hours if not days within the yuck. Finding myself in the theory : “the worst that could happen WILL happen” and believing it to be true instead of turning over the coin to the other side and saying “what’s the BEST that could happen?”. As my dearest friend Emma reminded me this morning : BOTH are equally possible. Yes, bad things could happen as a result of any decision, BUT great things are just as likely to result too. I’m taking her ‘wise well beyond her years’ advice and trusting my gut and moving forward with a smile and assurance that life will be great - yes, inevitably challenging – but beautiful and wonderful too. That’s the thing about true good friends : they can see things about yourself that you can’t and can hold your hand while you (however slowly) open your blinders.
I had some fun pictures I was going to share with you today from a recent event I designed in November, but I realized I needed a day to just write and get some quiet clarity. To meditate for a few minutes and find calm & peace within myself and this blog while the world swirls around me. I always find peace in my travels so I’m ending today’s post with some black & whites of my 2013 adventures as a way to remind myself that life is grand & great & beautiful and to encourage myself to push back against todays fears and just ride the wave of life today, one hopeful step and raindrop at a time.
*Today’s post is dedicated to my Emma – a friend who always somehow knows exactly how to tap into my strengths when I feel uncertain.
Stockholm was the last city I visited this summer on my nearly month long adventure in Europe and I couldn’t imagine ending on a more perfect note. Like Copenhagen, I’d always wanted to visit this Scandinavian city and there were so many attributes of the city that reminded me of my favorite places.
Although the weather wasn’t always cooperative (rain, oh rain!) there were so many highlights to my stay here, and I left wanting to return as soon a possible. Markets, boutiques and a plethora of hidden corners kept me intrigued and inspired over my five day stay. Some must stops if you ever get a chance to visit this majestic place :
Grandpa (fantastic curated shop – wanted one of everything) Södermannagatan 21, 116 40 Stockholm, Sweden.
Herr Judit (vintage heaven) Hornsgatan 65, 118 49 Stockholm, Sweden.
Papercut (one of the best magazine shops I’ve ever visited) Krukmakargatan 24, 118 51 Stockholm Sweden.
Steam (never been a big fan of dumplings, but this place changed my mind) Krukmakargatan 19, 118 51 Stockholm, Sweden.
B.A.R. (fantastic fish and chips and in a great spot near the water) Blasieholmsgatan 4A, 111 48 Stockholm, Sweden.
Ostermalms Food Hall (your eyes and tastebuds WONT be disappointed) Ostermalmstorg 114 39 Stockholm, Sweden.
Centralbadet (1904 bath house in gorgeous art nouveau building in the middle of the hustle and bustle of city life) Drottninggatan 88, 111 36 Stockholm, Sweden.
photography : jenn elliott blake.
I woke up this morning with this overwhelming ache in my gut. For the past few days I can’t get Paris off my mind. I’ve mentioned it many times before on this blog, but Paris has quite a grip on my heart. When I’m there wandering its mysterious streets, I feel just so so alive – my senses so keenly in tune with my surroundings. I’ve been trying to figure out a time when I can make it back there before the end of the year, but for today I’m taming my nostalgic feelings for that gorgeous place with this photo my friend Michael captured of me during our shared time in the city of lights last fall.
Hope you’re enjoying this blustering Autumn weekend! I’ve been watching the leaves flutter across our street from my window all morning.
Copenhagen was one of the cities on my trip to Europe this summer that I’d wanted to visit for longer than I can remember. So many creative folks whom I greatly admire have spoken of how much Denmark changed their lives and it made me curious of all the beauty that lie ahead.
It didn’t take longer than the bus ride from the airport to my apartment rental to realize and appreciate the charm and uniqueness of this wonderful city. Although there were a few bumps in the road during my four days there (a broken sandal, an ATM malfunction (2000 danish krona instead of 200), and blanketed pouring rain) it truly did capture my heart. I visited the Torvehallerne market five times (at least) during my stay and was immensely inspired by the plethora of amazing artists studios trickling across the small city. It was also the first time in my ENTIRE life I actually felt short (I teeter between 5’11 and 6 ft)! So many tall, blonde women who inspired me to stand a little more upright upon returning home to the states.
A couple of must see Copenhagen spots :
Torvehallerne (amazing amazing AMAZING market with the most sophisticated stalls, produce and products you’ll ever see! You cannot visit Copenhagen without checking this place out! I went 5 times during my stay) : Frederiksborggade 21 1360 Copenhagen K
The Coffee Collective (there are a couple of locations throughout the city, but the overall aesthetic and taste of the coffee makes this place a winner) : Jaegersborggade 10 2200 Copenhagen N
Frederiksberg Flea Market (so many perfect and affordable vintage treasures – open every Saturday during the season) : Bag Frederiksberg Radhaus 2000 Frederiksberg
Hay House (to put it simply : I could live here. A home interiors mecca full of endless “must have” items) : Oestergade 61, 2nd & 3rd Floor 1100 Copenhagen K
Vanishing Point (beautiful handmade studio with lovely gift or souvenir options. I bought the most adorable toddler swimsuit there) : Jaegersborggade 45 2200 Copenhagen N
Stilleben (one of those boutiques that convinces you that you must take home one of everything they offer. My favorite shop I visited by far) : Niels Hemmingsens Gade 3 1153 Copenhagen K
Jaegersborggade Street (my favorite street in all of Copenhagen, nestled into the beautiful neighborhood of Norrebro. Too many great shops to count – a must stroll spot)
Gorms Pizza (one word? yum!) : Torvehallerne Market Nyhavn 14 1051 Copenhagen
Ladyfingers (very cute jewelry spot specializing in geometric shapes. I bought a beautiful gold triangle ring that hasn’t left my hand since) : Jaegersborggade 4 2200 Copenhagen N
Natural History Museum Botanical Gardens (one of my favorite places of the entire trip. I spent an entire afternoon wandering amongst the peaceful beauty) : Oster Farimagsgade 2 B Copenhagen
Designer Zoo (wonderful studio full of fantastic glassware and ceramics from local designers) : Vesterbrogade 137 1620 Copenhagen V
If you are even considering a trip to Scandinavia (Denmark especially) book your trip. Seriously. No regrets. I promise.
photography : jenn elliott blake
photography : jenn elliott blake
Out of all the cities I visited on my trip to Europe this summer, Berlin was by far my favorite. There was something so special & unique about the raw/dark edge of this european spot on the map; the history of the city actually overwhelming me at times. An afternoon visit to the Berlin wall instantaneously flooded me with emotion, and I left feeling like I learned and engrained more than I ever took in from a history class in school.
I was also pleasantly surprised by how good the food was (seriously I had the best Italian dish of my life one night!) and the shops here are SO well curated it hurts. I could have easily brought home an entire extra suitcase just from Berlin treasures alone! Also, if you ever get a chance to visit, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the vintage photo booths scattered throughout the city streets. Such an amazing opportunity to capture mid-day adventures and memories.
A couple of my Berlin must stop spots…
Cafe Anne Blume (best breakfast/people watching spot) : Kollwitzstrasse 83 10435 Berlin
Madchenitaliener (lovely italian spot – hands down the best meal of my life!) Alte Schönhauser Strasse 12 10119 Berlin
Good Morning Vietnam (some of the best yellow curry I’ve ever had) Alte Schönhauser Strasse 60 10119 Berlin
Do You Read Me?! (AMAZING Bookstore in heart of Mitte) : Augustrasse 28 10117 Berlin – Mitte
& Other Stories (everything in this shop is absolutely gorgeous) : Kurfürstendamm 234 10789 Berlin
R.S.V.P. (well curated stationary shop in Mitte) : Mulackstrasse 14 10119 Berlin
Checkpoint Charlie (spent over three hours reading the info lining the streets of this historical place) : Friedrichstrasse 43-45 10117 Berlin
photography : jenn elliott blake.
On Monday I took the early morning train from Seattle to Portland to spend a couple of days with my parents in Oregon. They had flown into San Fransisco last week, and driven up the California coast to see my Dad’s family, before heading north to visit Adam and I this week in the good ol’ PNW.
We spent the better part of Monday exploring Portland’s charm, before leaving early the next morning for the Oregon coast. I’ve been dying to get back to Cannon Beach for over a year, and luckily we were blessed with the most magical day. My parents had never been to the Oregon coast before, and boy oh boy did she show off that day. There were moments during our walk along the beach where I actually had trouble catching my breath…the beauty just took over. The colors….ohhhh good golly the colors. Blues, greens, even purples I wished I could bottle up and bath in, fog perfectly rolling across the sweet sleepy town, and reflections off the sand that made you question what was up and what was down. Perfect was the only way to describe the beach that day and it will be an afternoon with my parents that I will forever treasure.
photography : jenn elliott blake.