Cafe des Deux Moulins | Montmartre, Paris


Let me take you back to 2001. I just graduated from high school and was in my first year of college. I spent four years bumbling through high school, hating everything and everyone, most of all myself. I really didn't know who I was. No one liked the same things I did and deep down I knew I was different than my parents, my family and my friends. So I spent a lot of that first year feeling alone and misunderstood. That all changed in November when I watched the French film Amélie. I know it's weird to say that a film changed your life, but in a way it did. I've always loved movies and stories, but no other movie affected me in such a way.  

Everything about the movie resonated and helped me realize that it was okay to be different. She was so quirky and interesting and there was a quality to the movie that a lot of films lack. One of my favorite lines from the film is, "Les temps sont durs pour les rêveurs," or "Times are hard for dreamers." It's crazy how this is still so relevant. I could go on and on about it, but I think that would have to be a story for another time. If you've never seen the movie, I highly recommend it. So that brings me to our recent trip to France and how Amélie ties in...

Amélie is set in Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. When we knew we were going to be in Paris for two days, I purposefully planned to spend a day exploring the same streets and haunts as Amélie. The first place that we stopped at was the very same place she worked, Cafe des Deux Moulins. I will admit the place is a bit of a tourist trap and overrun with tourists gaping and gawking outside. It took me forever to get a chance to get a photo in front and there were still heaps of people hanging around. Nevertheless, Cafe des Deux Moulins still retains it's charm. There are locals that frequent the place and can be seen having a cafe and reading the newspaper. Markus and I decided to have breakfast instead of stopping in and taking photos. We ordered the, Petit déjeuner (12€) that came with coffee, orange juice, viennoiserie, butter bread with jam and three eggs. It wasn't a fancy outstanding meal, but it definitely was a small price to pay to spend an hour or so in such an iconic place. 

Joyeux Noël 2016 | Chicago, Illinois

For the past two years, Markus and I have sent out Christmas cards from some of our travels. The first year was from the woods of Michigan at this quaint bed and breakfast. I loved that photo and was worried that the next year wouldn't be as good. Thankfully, Markus and I went to Iceland last year and took an awesome photo at Jökulsárlón, Iceland's Glacier Lagoon. Since our apartment was featured in Apartment Therapy this year, I thought it would be nice to showcase some of our favorite pieces in our home. All of the pieces are vintage and most of them are from our favorite shop in Chicago, Vintage Quest. I was really pleased with how the photo turned out and I'm already thinking of what next year's photo will be! I hope all of you have a Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year! 

Djúpalónssandur and Dritvik Part 3 | Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

Djúpalónssandur beach is definitley one of those magical places that you stumble upon in Iceland. When you walk down the steps to the black pebbled beach it's an incredible site. The pebbles on the beach are called Djúpalónsperlur or the Pearls of Djúpalón. In its heyday, the bay used to house sixty fishing boats and was once one of the most fruitful fishing villages in Iceland. Today the bay us uninhabited and is one of the most beautiful places on the Snaefellsnes peninsula.  

Ytri Tunga Beach Part 2 | Snæfellsnes, Iceland

This second part of Ytri Tunga Beach focuses mainly on the rocky shoreline. The beaches of Iceland are so different then what I'm used to. They're mostly rocky and when they aren't, they are covered with black sand. This only furthers the otherworldliness feeling when you explore the island. As I stated in part one, the beach is known for being a seal colony. We kept hoping to run in to a random seal sunbathing, but they continued to evade us. I read recently, that the best time for seal spotting is June and July. We were there right at the start of the season and I guess they weren't ready to be seen yet. It's okay though, we were in San Francisco a month before this trip and we saw heaps of them at Fisherman's Wharf! 

Colorful Rock Formations | Route 1, Iceland

I know it seems like all Markus and I did on this road trip was stop every five minutes. Well, you wouldn't be wrong. By day 6, we tried to be concious of this and only stop for really interesting things. One of those stops were for these beautiful rock formations. Previously, we saw the stunning basalt columns in Vik and at Svartifoss. These formations were greenish in color and we couldn't help but pull over. I kinda wish I knew why these rocks were so different from the previous ones we saw. If you happen to know, please let me know in the comments below!