Tuesday, October 11, 2016

{where to eat in Nashville}

Rolf & Daughters

At the end of September I visited Nashville for the first time! I haven't spent much time in the southern part of the USA, so I was excited to venture into the heat and check out the home of country music.

Since I was there for a work (and spent most of the time at the hotel/conference center), I can't give you many tips on what to do or see in Nashville. But what we lacked in tourist stops we made up for in food, so I wanted to share them here.

Tequila Cowboy | visit
Okay, I didn't eat here (and I wouldn't want to...), but I did attend a cocktail party at this bar. If you're looking for a fun spot on Broadway complete with country music and a mechanical bull...this is your place.

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack | visit
There are two popular places in Nashville to get the city's famous hot chicken: Hattie's and Prince's. We chose Prince's, since we'd heard about a three-hour-long line at Hattie's. Prince's is bare bones and as simple as can be—paper plates, cash only, and picnic tables inside. But the chicken looked and smelled so delicious (I couldn't eat it), my mouth watered the entire time I was there. Though the lemonade they served made up for their lack of gluten free options, my co-workers confirmed this place lives up to the hype.

Josephine | visit
The service was outstanding (seriously! we were obsessed with our waitress) and the food was even better. The brussels sprouts and pretzel bread are a must. They even sent us all home with homemade cookies.

Le Sel | visit
The decor of this restaurant was so beautiful, it didn't feel like we were in the south! The mussels and french onion soup were the favorites at the table, but the bread served before the meal shouldn't be overlooked.

Rolf & Daughters | visit
Thanks to the low humidity on our last night, we were able to eat on the gorgeous patio in front of the restaurant. Their housemade lemonade was perfectly refreshing, but the butternut squash appetizer was even more so. It was crisp and spicy and unexpectedly my favorite dish of the night. Order it, if you go.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream | visit
We were all so excited to try this Nashville staple and weren't disappointed! Their ice cream is made with the best ingredients possible, and you can taste it in every bite. I paired Darkest Chocolate with Black Cat Espresso—a great combo.

Five days wasn't long enough. I can't wait to go back!

(ps. Most of these were recommended by the goop guide. Thanks goop!)

Monday, September 5, 2016

{july and august}


For the July 4th weekend, Dylan flew up to SF and we went to Big Sur! I've wanted to drive down the coast since the day I moved here, so it was a nice little getaway. The weather wasn't ideal—most of the time it was overcast and freezing—but we eventually were given a nice bout of sunshine.

I had a newborn session towards the end of the month - my second ever! Babies are always more nerve-wracking to photograph, but this little girl was a very good model. She and her mother were gorgeous!


This was the month where I became obsessed with the Olympics. I also had a birthday! The big 2 5. My friends and family totally overdid it on the celebrations. I had a cake in SF, cupcakes and a lovely dinner on top of Oklahoma City, a BBQ in Irvine, and then partied with Dylan in LA. We went to Wizarding World of Harry Potter and it made all my Hogwarts dreams come true. I sadly do not have any photos, but don't worry—I did buy a wand.

I also photographed my friend's baby's FIRST birthday at the most perfect Hawaiian party. I felt like I had stepped into a Pinterest board. So fun!

That about wraps up the summer. I'm traveling a bunch for work the next few weeks but it'll be topped off by a trip home!

P.S. I'm about to celebrate my THREE year anniversary living in SF. Crazy. It totally flew by.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

{may and june}

Splitting summer updates and photos into two different posts.


goop opened a San Francisco pop-up back in May, so I snuck in a little early and took some photos of the space. It was so beautifully designed and I wanted to purchase the entire store. I didn't end up buying anything, but I did pay the Streicher Sisters something close to $75 to braid my hair. (I KNOW.)

I also visited NYC for a shoot and ate allllll four of those gluten-free pastries for breakfast. My GF people - check out Erin McKenna's if you're ever in Manhattan.


I baked this pie!!

My sister and I went to the Sound of Music Sing-A-Long at the Hollywood Bowl and it was one of our favorite nights this year. So magical. We can't wait to go again.

She also moved into a new apartment that is so cute and stylish and totally opposite from my living sitch in SF. However jealous I am, though, I'm still so happy she's in California!

Lastly, I finally finished putting together my photography website and updated it with photos from recent sessions. Check it out!

July/August is up next.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


A few people have casually said various versions of this: "You don't blog anymore!" or "You should blog!" or "Wait, do you even still have a blog?"

So, here we go:

Life is really busy. It's tough to write on here when my weeks have been blurs of the same thing. You don't want to read about it, I promise. I am happy and stressed and feeling (generally) really good about it all, but my personal laptop literally sits next to my bed, gathering dust, on 100% battery all the time because I rarely have a second to open it.

The past five weeks, in particular, have been really challenging. Without divulging any info, I'll just say that my job is stretching me in a way that makes me uncomfortable (in a good way!), and even though it's a grind, I'm fortunate to be excited and inspired by it daily. I don't take it for granted, even on the hard days.

But to do that, I'm sacrificing this blog and responding to personal emails/texts and even calling my parents. I had a pb&j for dinner twice this week because I didn't have time to go to the store.  I've been meaning to switch my fall/winter wardrobe to spring/summer for weeks now and still haven't done it. I have not been playing my keyboard or singing, except for this one thing for work where I had to perform a Tina Turner song. (It was as intimidating as it sounds, and me singing Tina Turner? umm it was hilarious.)

On top of all of that, we were thrown back into the Craigslist hunt to find a new roommate, and if anything tests your patience, it's that. (But we found someone!)

It's a balance we're all trying to juggle, right? I know I'm not the only one.

This is what my week looks like:

Monday though Friday I work until 7ish. Wednesday or Thursday nights I do SoulCycle, and it's a blessing because it forces me to pause my racing mind for 45 minutes. Fridays I am usually so beat I stay home and read or catch up on TV. (I just finished Catastrophe, Girls, and Togetherness; all very good.) It sounds as lame and as wonderful as it is.

On Saturday or Sunday I drive to this little town across the GG Bridge with an amazing gluten-free bakery. I get the same thing every weekend from the same girl who works there and have been unsuccessful in trying to get her to know my name (and vice versa). One day I'm hoping to walk in and hear, "Here's your blackberry Earl Grey scone, Olivia!" and until that happens, I'm gonna keep trying.

To keep me centered, I've done three portrait sessions recently and it's truly unreal how much I love to do it. I really like that top picture of me because I look confident and happy, thanks to the camera in my hands. Seriously, if you are reading this and want a new LinkedIn photo or just a candid that makes you feel pretty, please contact me!

I'm off to LA tonight for 24 hours (a shoot) & then again later this week because...my twin sister is moving to California! After living in separate states for almost seven years, we will finally be living in the same one. I'm so excited I don't know what to do with myself. I may write more about it soon but—honestly—it'll just be a prose of overwhelmed emotions. :)

So that is life in a nutshell. I miss it here; I miss the writing and the sharing, and I really miss creating things just for this space. I haven't picked up a paint can in over a year and all of the design ideas I had for my room and blog posts have been shoved to the back of my mind. Everything in my life has been compartmentalized in my brain and the only two things winning are work and photography. And I think I'm okay with that, for the time being.

With that, I'll close with some of my favorite recent portraits below, because my friends and family are beautiful.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

{nov & dec & jan recap}

lots to catch up on. via my camera & phone.


Thanksgiving was perfect. Our table, as always, looked so pretty. The only photo I have of the food is of the pies because #priorities. {spoiler alert: that raspberry pie makes a return appearance.}

We also made the hike back to our family tree to add the year & a tribute to Cooper. I love the fact that my mom & stepdad carved our initials in the bark all those years ago. Such a simple, but meaningful gesture.

I ended the month by going on my first "real" run since physical therapy. Dylan lovingly captured the moment for her snapchat followers. I'm still catching my breath.


I baked that gf raspberry pie again for my team's secret santa party & it was deemed a "hit." I don't want to brag, but I cut those hearts by hand with a steak knife. #nextmartha

My agency's holiday party was FUNNN. Not only do I love where I work, but I also love the PEOPLE I work with. So lucky, I tell ya.

This is where things get hazy. In memory, it seems like I spent half of December in the middle-of-nowhere Montana trying to get to my final destination {in actuality it was...15 hours{?} of travel hell}, but all worked out in the end. Because I ended up here:

My uncle's mountain house in Big Sky, MT, aptly named Happy Trails. {PS. because I'm not above family promotion, find out how you can rent it by clicking here.}

It was h e a v e n l y. And snowy. And so, so starry.

Those last two photos were taken by a drone! {I'm actually one those tiny people up there.} And some of those photos were taken by my uncle, full disclosure.


I began the year taking many many portraits...my favorite thing. Dylan modeled her new scarf—brought all the way back from Paris{!} by our mom. I'm so happy to have these photos so I can use them to recreate the beautiful way she wrapped it. Because I usually stick with the wrap-it-around-once method.

And Dylan even took some of me! A rarity. I'm wearing my amazing new goop sweater.

I also took some photos of one of my oldest, most beloved, favorite friends. Dylan & I met Kiera in first grade & have been BFFs ever since. {Check out her blog Kieroyal to see more photos & fashion looks.}

What else...

I got published! I know! I can't believe I'm outing myself on the internet, but I was published in—you guessed it—O Magazine. LOL. In all seriousness, I still think about the article all the time. I can't find it online, but if you see a Nov/Dec issue of O Mag lying around, pick it up & read "Comfort & Joy." It's amazing.

Finally...I finished the month by forcing a hit on my savings account by buying:

1) Some really cool sneakers. {I'm just now getting into high tops? lol}
2) Coldplay tickets. Coldplay tickets. Coldplay tickets. My plan is to attend two of them. No shame in my obsessed Coldplay game. {Also, moment of silence for the fact that I'll be out of the city next Sunday when Coldplay is here in SF playing the halftime show. DREAM.}

I'm gone the next three weekends {shoot in LA, vacation, shoot in LA}...then DYLAN comes to SF. Expect lots of pics.

I miss this space. I'll try to be back more this year.