{Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Graham!}

Our weekend in Scotland was absolutely perfect.
Megan and Stephen tied the knot on a rare + gorgeous sunny day in Glasgow.
We then wined and dined and celebrated the happy couple at the ridiculously amazing Cameron House in Loch Lomond.
It was an incredibly beautiful day that honored an incredibly beautiful couple. 
Keep an eye out for wedding photos and recaps over on Megan’s blog.
Once she’s finished recapping I’ll post some photos over here too!
Thanks again to the Grahams for letting us be a part of their special day – and an even bigger thanks for trusting me enough to photograph this momentous occasion. I truly hope I did your wedding justice – it was pure perfection!

Love you guys and congrats again!
{Photo © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Madrid: Around Town}

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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}

{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}

{Three Things}

Happy, happy Friday! 
I’ve got three things for you today…

First… Hop on over to Aspiring Kennedy to see the maternity photos I took for Lauren and her hubby, Tyler! She is seriously glowing and they were so much fun to take pictures of.
Second.. We’re off to Madrid for the weekend to hang out with Nicole, drink sangria and check out the city! I’m losing count of how many cities Nicole and I have met up in… San Francisco, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Seville…Now we’re adding Madrid – it’s going to be a great weekend! I’ll be Instagraming my little heart out – so follow me there if you’d like to see what we’re up to 🙂
Lastly.. I have spots for sponsorship opening up. Shoot me an email if you’re interested, I’d love to have you! exploredreamdiscoverblog {at} gmail.com
Have a great weekend!

{This Weekend…}

It was so much fun to head to London for the weekend to celebrate Lauren and her twin girls!
We had a bumpy start on Friday night.. But all was well by Saturday morning.
It was a pretty low key weekend filled with girly chats and brunch dates. My idea of perfect!
I even got to take some photos for Lauren and her hubby to mark this special time in their lives. I can’t wait to share! 
Sadly, I’m still sick, so I’m back to bed today. Learned my lesson last week that I won’t get better unless I rest, so I’m making that a priority!
What did you do this weekend? Anything fun? Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

{Italy: The Good // Part II}

As the late afternoon snuck up on us, we decided it would be fun to grab dinner in Florence – just an hour’s drive away. So we got gussied up, hopped in the car and made our way to the beautiful city just in time for every photographer’s dream – golden hour – and caught one of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen.
I’m so grateful for these fun memories. It made the trip completely worth it despite my bad luck with food poisoning! I can’t wait to meet up with these ladies again someday (hopefully sooner than Megan’s wedding in Ireland next June)!

P.S. Did you hear Lauren’s exciting news?! Hop on over to her blog to find out!!
The gorgeous views from Piazzale Michelangelo
A stunning sunset on the Ponte Vecchio
Aperitivos at the Ferragamo Hotel
{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Italy: The Good, Part I}

Before things went downhill, I happened to have one of the most fun 24 hours ever. Lauren and I arrived in Italy Thursday afternoon, got our rental car, and set off to find our Tuscan villa. I’d be lying if I told you we didn’t get lost on those tiny Italian roads a time or two, but it made it all the more fun! We spent hours catching up, not one moment unfilled by chatter. I’m sure this isn’t news to all of you, but what I share (and most bloggers, for that matter) here on my blog is a small fraction of my life. The same went for Lauren, so we had endless topics to cover as we got to know each other outside of our blogs. By nightfall, it was time to pick Megan up from the airport. From there, we stayed up until the wee hours in the morning (okay, it was only 2AM, but still, that’s late for me!) having a major girl talk session over a bottle of red and some yummy food. The three of us were fast friends, just as I had expected.
The next day we woke up late and made our way out to the pool where we lounged, took a lot of pictures (we’re bloggers – gotta document!), talked some more and generally just chilled out. It was perfection. And yes, we all are wearing black one-piece bathing suits, and no it wasn’t planned 🙂
 {photo #8 by Lauren, all others ©  Liz Denfeld}