Monday, February 25, 2013

{Weekend in Bruges}

Goodness, is it Monday already? This weekend flew by! 
We had tons of fun on our quick weekend in Bruges – despite the fact that it was absolutely frigid (we woke up to snowy rooftops on Sunday morning!!). Here are a few {iPhone} highlights from our weekend getaway! More to come...

Friday, February 22, 2013

{Happy Friday + Meet Bri!}

Happy, happy Friday!!
What. A. Week! Phew! I'm feeling super drained after a long week and I'm so happy tonight I get to just lay low, have some comfort food for dinner {gnocchi with mushrooms + pesto!}, share a bottle of red with my love and generally just relax. 
Tomorrow morning I'm whisking Corey away to Bruges for the weekend. He has been wanting to go since I went with my sister last summer so I surprised him with a little weekend getaway. I'm excited to go back and spend the weekend eating waffles, chocolates and frites and indulging in the best Belgian beers! Hope you all have something fun planned for the weekend!

You may have noticed a cute little critter has joined the right hand side of my blog recently. I'd love for you to meet Bri from the Pink Piglet! You may have known her from her previous blog, Travel. Eat. And Repeat. Her blog has just gotten a complete facelift with a new name, new content and new focus! She posts drool-worthy salad recipes (yes, I said "drool-worthy" to describe salad!) and the cutest videos of little piglets named Chris P. Bacon. What more could you want?! Learn more about Bri and her wonderful blog below - and then hop on over there and check her out!
Hi Everyone! I'm Bri from The Pink Piglet by Chef Bri! The Pink Piglet is my lil space where I combine my loves of food, cooking and travel. I love to travel, and I'm lucky to have married a pilot too, but sometimes home calls. So I love to cook recipes from all over the world and bring that sense of travel to my kitchen table. To me food brings out the best memories and when I travel the best memories are made, so I like to relive them in my kitchen! So join me as I cook and travel my way through life!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

{Madrid: Around Town}

When we moved to Europe we made a huge list of cities we wanted to visit while we were living abroad. The list was long. Way too long to accomplish seeing all these beautiful places in two years. We’ve put a dang good dent in those cities, but there are still many on our list. One that wasn’t on our list? Madrid.

To be honest, as an American, you hear way more about Barcelona than you do about Madrid. And I remember a year and a half ago when we researched Madrid for a quick weekend away, we realized there really weren’t any notable sites we felt like we had to see, so we scratched it off our list.

Well, then Nicole moved to Madrid and she raved about how incredible it was – even saying it was more amazing than Barcelona. I trust that girl’s opinion, so a few months after she moved Corey and I booked a quick weekend visit. I am so glad we did. Madrid isn’t about any specific sites, it’s just about being a big beautiful city packed with charm, beautiful architecture and really good Italian food (What! I know, strange, but true.). We so enjoyed our weekend in Madrid and only wished it would’ve been a teensy bit warmer (but when do we not wish that?!). Hanging out with Nicole is always such a treat! And what's not to love about having a personal city guide?! She showed us all the best parts of her new home. Here are some snaps from all around town. I hope they give you an idea of just how gorgeous Madrid is!

P.S. A few travel tips below the photos if you're looking for Madrid suggestions :)
 {If you find yourself in Madrid - here are a few places we suggest you don't miss (many pictured above!): Retiro Park, Mercado de San Miguel, Chocolateria San Gines (for the most amazing churros - be prepared to wait in line), Plaza de Oriente, al fresco lunch at Cafe de Oriente, Plaza Mayor, Vertical Garden at CaixaForum followed by coffee and a treat at the Vertical Cafe, Templo de Debod, and my biggest tip of all (thanks to Nicole), dinner at Piccolo Diavolo - get the pasta with pear and ricotta. I know it sounds crazy, and we were totally skeptical, but Nicole convinced us it was the best thing she's ever eaten, and goodness was she right. We returned the next night to have that dish!}
{We stayed here. We found the location to be great, the price to be fantastic, and the place was comfortable and cute}

Monday, February 18, 2013

{High Tea}

\\ high tea \\
n. Chiefly British
A fairly substantial meal that includes tea and is served in the late afternoon or early evening.
High tea happens to be one of my favorite things about Europe. It's a concept I know exists in the U.S., but nobody really practices. But in England it's, like, a totally real thing. People really do drink that much tea and eat cute little sandwiches and a good helping of cake. Can you imagine a more wonderful way to spend an afternoon than by sipping tea out of perfect vintage china teacups, nibbling on tasty puff pastries and sandwiches, and devouring five pieces of cake? Well, that's exactly what my good friend Jeanelle and I did on New Years Eve day. It was wonderfully girly and the perfect way to catch up after both of our Swiss Christmases. Ah, we live a charmed life (when we're not getting stuck on Dutch trains and commuting 2-3 hours a day... but we'll forget about that for a second!). My goal is to make it to the Orangery in London next time we're there (who knows when that will be - but it's only a 50 minute flight, so I'd say sooner than later! Plus, I need to meet these girls when they get here!). It looks right up my alley.

Have any of you experienced high tea? Do you love it? Clearly I do ;)

P.S. Jeanelle and I had high tea at this most adorable place in The Hague - Bloem. We highly recommend it!

{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Saturday, February 16, 2013


With a very busy travel itinerary on the horizon, we are soaking up this relaxing weekend at home in Amsterdam. This morning we slept in, spent a lazy morning laying in bed drinking coffee and reading (well, I was lazy, Corey went for a run...), and then headed out for brunch at one of our favorite spots, Le Pain Quotidien. The best part of the morning was running into our good friends Carly and Marcus (who are moving to Portland in a few weeks!) - so brunch for two turned into brunch for four, and it was just perfect! 
Another plus for this wonderful Saturday is that temperatures are back above freezing (for now), so I took advantage and left my big black puffer at home and wore my favorite leather jacket instead. Paired with a cozy sweater and my wedge sneakers, it was the perfect match for a put-together yet casual weekend look, if I do say so myself! What do you think about wedged sneakers? Would you wear them? They're all the rage here in Europe!
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!
{Leather Jacket: Mom, Sweater: Zara, Scarf: Urban Outfitters (old), Skinny Jeans: Paige Premium Denim, Wedge Sneakers: Nike, Hat: Tie Rack}
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

{Madrid: Retiro Park}

We started our first morning in Madrid with a run through Retiro Park. Clearly I had to go back so I could take pictures. It was pretty quiet in the earlier hours of the morning when we were running, but once we returned later that day it was packed with runners, roller bladers, dogs, strollers, you name it. It was chilly out, but the sun was shining, and everyone was out enjoying it. We even saw an adorable impromptu puppet show being watched by a huge crowd of kids - it was the most darling thing ever! We've noticed that almost every major European city we've visited has a massive city park (or two or three or four) right smack dab in the city center - something you don't find much outside of New York City's Central Park. Visiting all these parks has become one of our favorite things to do on weekend getaways.
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}