{Weekending}

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}

{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}

{Snow Day!}

Well, remember last week when I said “Hopefully I won’t have anymore snow photos to share with you anytime soon”… I clearly spoke to soon because Sunday morning we woke up to a beautiful blanket of fresh white powder! But seeing as it was Sunday and I didn’t have anywhere to be (more specifically, a train to be on headed towards the office…) I was giddy with excitement. I practically jumped out of bed, threw on 17 layers of clothes and took off for a snowy morning walk with my boys. It was early enough that most of the city was still sleeping, so we had the fresh snow all to ourselves. I loved every minute of it! Now that it’s back to work for the week I am back to hoping it doesn’t snow again… At least until the weekend 🙂
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Winter Weather}

Yesterday I finished reading Luisa Weiss’s “My BerlinKitchen”. I loved the book for so many reasons – for inspiring me to cook more, for making me long for a trip to Paris, New York, Berlin and Italy, but most of all for how much I could relate to her writing. One passage in the entire book really stuck with me, as I happen to be in the middle of one of these merciless winters she writes of – just not in Berlin, but in Amsterdam instead.
It’s not that it’s particularly cold here – although for me it is! – but it’s more that the sun rarely shines. The darkness feels never-ending, waking up in pitch black, leaving the office in pitch-black. And don’t even get me started on how one single snowflake sends the Dutch train system into a tizzy. There will barely be a dusting on the ground and trains get canceled left and right, leaving us stranded in the cold. Winters in Amsterdam are bleak and I feel like I’m on the verge of a meltdown – I need some sun, stat!
Truth be told – Holland is stunning in the snow. And even though I am already tired of it and hoping it doesn’t make any more appearances this winter, I am trying to focus on that beauty instead of the annoyance it causes. Here are a few iPhone photos from this winter in Amsterdam so far. Hopefully I won’t have anymore snow photos to share with you anytime soon 😉

{Montreux, Switzerland}

Before our trip to Switzerland, I’d honestly never heard of the city of Montreux. We passed through it by train on our way from Geneva to Val d’illiez and noted how beautiful it looked perched on the edge of Lake Geneva, the Alps appearing to plunge right down into its waters right before your eyes.  We were so captivated that we decided we’d day trip back to check it out. Unfortunately, had we done our research ahead of time we would’ve realized that Montreux is home to one of Switzerland’s best Christmas Markets. We were a day late, and walked through the market as all the vendors were closing up shop for the year. We were bummed we missed it, but happy we chose the day we did to visit because it was absolutely beautiful. The sun was shining and it glimmered so brilliantly off the water that it really did blind you (in the best way possible). We were so enjoying the sun and our perfect walk along the Lakeside Promenade that we ended up abandoning our original plan to visit the Chateau de Chillon. I’m a little sad we didn’t make it there, but happy we spent time basking in the sun instead! The entire time we walked along the water’s edge I couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing Montreux must be in the summertime. I decided right then and there we had to come back someday – hopefully when the weather was warmer!
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Champery, Switzerland}

Champery is a small village that was located a 10-minute tram ride from the town we were staying in. It’s the quintessential Swiss ski resort town I had always imagined in my head. All the stores and restaurants with views of the Alps, everything made of wood with Swiss flags swaying every way you turned. On Christmas Eve we were feeling antsy to get out of the house so we decided to make the short trip over to walk around, ride the gondola up the mountain, have some hot chocolate, and ultimately have dinner at a cozy restaurant back in the town center. It was incredible to climb up the mountain in the gondola and come face-to-face with the peaks we had been staring up at for days from the window of our chalet. It was windy when we were up there, but it was so breathtaking we didn’t even care! We missed our families so much that day, but experiencing this awe-inspiring sunset together on top of the world definitely made us feel a little better!
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Our Swiss Chalet}

Staying in a Swiss chalet was very much like my dream of staying in a Tuscan villa. So cliché, yet so necessary. When Corey and I realized we wouldn’t be making it home for Christmas we knew we had to go somewhere super awesome to help temper the sting. And we couldn’t have picked a better place to spend a week relaxing. We were in the most beautiful, tiny Swiss Alp town of Val d’illiez. There’s not much to do there except stare at the gorgeous mountains and cuddle up by the fire. Exactly what we had in mind! I started every day with a bubble bath (pure heaven!) and ended each one with a glass of wine, a cozy fire and a Christmas movie. The only thing missing was our little Henry. There will be many more posts about our trip to Switzerland to come… For now, here are a few photos from our dream Swiss chalet
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Cozy Up in Fair Isle}

Working in the e-commerce industry means the holiday season is our busiest! Lately the long workdays and nights have got me counting down to our Swiss Christmas! I can’t wait to cozy up by the fire with my honey, a good book and a cup of {spiked} hot chocolate. And if I had it my way, I’d live in nothing but fair isle (so chalet chic!) for a week straight. A few of my favorite fair-isle picks below! What do you think? Do you love or hate this trend?

{Video: Our Weekend in Venice!}

Ciao ciao friends! How are you all? Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday? Corey and I had an amazing dinner with some expat friends and then we took off for Venice on Saturday. We got back from our dreamy weekend yesterday and I was so inspired I put together this video of our trip! I haven’t made a video since our trip to Paris over a year ago, so I thought it was about time I made another. It’s such a fun way to document memories! I am definitely not a professional moviemaker, but this video captures a few of my favorite moments from our trip. Hope you enjoy it! Photos to come…


Venice from Liz Denfeld on Vimeo.

P.S. I stole this song from Brittany’s awesome Italy video 🙂