Category Archives: Lifestyle

Breath of Fresh Air

Seattle, you’re a dream.

Thank you for a much-needed weekend of nature, city, memories, and fresh air. Here’s to our next rendezvous…

 

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The Lark

 

Happy Birthday, Babycakes.

We recently celebrated a dear friend’s birthday on a Sunday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, situating ourselves amongst the tombstones to nosh on cupcakes and bagels. All reservations aside, the afternoon was incredibly peaceful and surprisingly joyful as we loved on our birthday girl. Despite a near-death experience with an aggressive swan, I walked away feeling like cemeteries might actually be the perfect locales for a quiet afternoon with friends.

I guess I’m 2 for 2 with cheerful jaunts through cemeteries!

 

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Happy birthday, babycakes.

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Château de Sceaux

Temperatures in Southern California are rising into the 90s and all I can do is reminisce about fall in Paris last year. Scarves, boots, auburn trees – it all served as a reminder of the season we were leaving and the one we were quickly approaching. There’s been no shortage of change for me this autumn, but as usual it seems the weather has not quite gotten the memo.

 

When Emilie and I were studying abroad in Paris together, one of our absolute favorite adventures was visiting Château Vaux-le-Vicomte just outside of the city. On our return trip to Paris a year ago, we knew we wanted to set aside at least one day to visit another château in the area. This time, we took the RER out to Sceaux, built for Louis XIV’s minister of finance, Jean-Baptiste Colbert. Most of Colbert’s original estate, however, was destroyed during the French Revolution. The grounds that were originally designed by the famed André le Nôtre were used for crops and all of the contents of the château were sold for the benefit of the nation.

 

The château as it exists today was restored by the duc de Trévise in the style of Louis XIII. Since 1922, Château de Sceaux has been open to the public living in the surrounding city of Sceaux. It was such a nice, fall day and I particularly loved to see the grounds populated with families and joggers enjoying one of the last few days of nice weather before the rainy season.

 

Paris Château de Sceaux

 

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Sundays in the Arts District

The Arts District of Los Angeles is quickly becoming one of my favorite nooks in the city. We spent a recent Sunday meandering around its streets for a bit of urban exploration. And of course, no trip to the Arts District is complete without a stop at Urth Caffé.

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I love juice!! 🙂

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Having grown up in a city that pushes cookie-cutter suburbia to the extreme, the Arts District is always such a welcome reminder of creativity and culture in an urban setting. Rather than tearing down historic buildings to replace them with modern conveniences, the structures in the Arts District are re-purposed and upcycled to evolve with the culture around them. I love this. A shining example is the old National Biscuit Company (NABISCO) warehouse on Industrial, now converted into luxury lofts. The coveted French bistro Church & State resides on the ground floor and is most assuredly calling my name…..hoping to pay that one a visit soon!

 

If you’re heading Los Angeles definitely plan some time to stop by this area! Some of my other favorite eateries and drinkeries are:

The Pie Hole | 714 Traction Ave  Los Angeles, CA 90013

Wurstküche | 800 E 3rd St  Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Daily Dose | 1820 Industrial Street #104  Los Angeles, CA 90021

Angel City Brewery | 216 South Alameda Street  Los Angeles, CA 90012

What are your favorite places?

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Erin | Graduation

I had the great pleasure of spending some time with Erin recently to snap some portraits in celebration of her graduation from UC Irvine. We had such a lovely time exploring, catching up, and talking about the vast, hazy, amorphous future. It seems our generation is in a bit of a strange transitional phase where the security and comfort of college life is quickly receding and the hope for a stable career is just beyond our grasp. So here we are, caught between two life stages in this strange middle ground, learning what it means to live fully in the present because neither the past or the future are readily accessible. I can’t help but think that maybe this is for the best. My time with Erin left me feeling encouraged because she is taking a huge step of faith by moving across the country to see how Florida suits her. If your 20s are for trying new things, Erin is doing just that.

Erin, you are truly beautiful! I’m so grateful that God crossed our paths 5 years ago (wow…time flies!) and I’m so excited for the plans he’s laid out for you! You’re going to be great in Florida!! 🙂

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Danielle | Graduation

Danielle is the type of person who inspires everyone around her to recognize the beauty that surrounds us. I think this is partly due to her newly acquired college degree in English with an Art History minor, but I also think that this is just how God made her. As we chatted our way through San Juan Capistrano’s Los Rios district, “Dano” expressed to me her deep, unwavering, and warmfuzzies-creating love for the smell of horse manure. Yeah, I said it. But her explanation makes perfect sense: she grew up around horses and whenever she smells this otherwise unsavory scent, her mind quickly jumps to memories of childhood and her heart swells with expectancy, anticipating an encounter with her favorite animal. School just can’t teach you to experience the world in this way…only God can.

Time spent with Dano is always soaked in passionate conversation and the sharing of interests and experiences. She and I share a particular love of France, having both studied abroad there, and whenever we get together we tend to hover somewhere between English and French with a few stereotypically French hand gestures thrown in for good measure. I love that.

I am so excited to share in celebrating Danielle’s graduation from UCI. I have had the privilege of watching her develop in both her studies and her character over the past several years, and I am truly amazed by this woman. She has an immeasurable heart for Christ, an unending wealth of literary knowledge, and the type of spunk and passion that is going to leave an amazing impact on the people she meets in the coming years.

Dano, you are beautiful. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you up in Portland. You’re going to love every last perfectly overcast minute of it!

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I cannot adequately express how much joy it brings me to bless my friends and family with photography. I have come to the realization that this is how I love people. In this life, God gifts us with certain talents, aptitudes, and passions. We can choose to use these for our own benefit, sure, but how much greater it is to share our giftings with others.

How are you sharing your gifts??

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Just another hunting lodge

Like many French castles, Château de Vincennes was originally constructed in the 14th century to serve as a hunting lodge for the monarchy. Louis VII was the first to reside there, and after centuries of royal weddings, deaths, wars, executions, and even a brief stint as the site of Vincenne’s porcelain manufacturing, this château is now an austere reminder of France’s armed forces and military defense.

Being in the presence of such deep and enduring history is almost more than my brain can comprehend. I find myself at a loss, struck dumb by the thought of just how much happened here, how many people lived and died here, and how miniscule my life is in comparison. When this castle was first constructed, society’s greatest worries revolved around avoiding the plague and living under an oppressive monarchy. As I strolled the grounds, I think my concerns were no more significant than choosing the best Instagram filter.

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p.s. for anyone who is curious/interested/aware…only one post remaining in my Paris par arrondissement series. I’m not sure who’s been following along, but if you have been…we’re almost there!