stay inspired.

as i sit next to the fire - socks and sweaters layered thick - i crave a little inspiration for the new year ahead. 

nick and i have been in Europe for 15 days. and for the first time in our relationship, we have had the opportunity to spend a lot of uninterrupted time together. it has been refreshing to say the least. the last four years of our relationship have been busy - with what seems like endless tax seasons &  me being in school during the day and at night, starting my own business and juggling three jobs. 

nick and i are in such a fun season of life. one that is so comforting and sweet. every ounce of awkwardness from a new relationship has flown out the window and we have found such beauty in each others daily habits. we have learned over the last four years how to live together. not just to live together, but how to really- effortlessly- live together. we have created the best routines and traditions together. he is my safe place, my home, my everything. 

this year brings many new things to our routine. i have now finished school and will be focusing my energy toward my business. i will have much more free time to cook, clean & maintain our home. i want to start a blog- one that is all about living simply. i will finally have time. 

-this year we hope to buy a house. a place to make our own. a place to create memories and traditions. a place to bring a baby home to. 

-this year i hope to expand my business. to create beautiful timeless memories for my clients. to meet new and inspiring people. to learn and to never stop exploring new things. 

-this year i hope to create a lifestyle - one that you create when you are done with school. one that has routine & order but is open to lazy sundays with endless coffee and meal planning in my pjs. 

- this year we hope to welcome a babe to our little family. a little boy or girl that has nick's heart and my eyes. a little one to inspire us, make us smile, and one to make memories with. 

i hope for each of you that you will find something this year to keep you inspired. remember to live for each day and to do what you really what to be doing instead of what your "supposed" to be doing

one for the books.

aka. day 5.

day four was a day full of jet lag. a day in the fog. we drank a bit. laughed a lot. tosses and turned through the night and then it was...


today was the best day. one to remember for sure! 

today we went to tilberg, netherlands. we visited our sweetest friends evy, frans & sofike. the day started off like any other. coffee. breakfast. coffee. more coffee and then off on our way to tilberg. 

when we arrived at tilberg we were greeted by the sweetest of guests. they had prepared a very nice dutch lunch for us and we enjoyed an hour around the table. reminiscing. they gave nick and i both a wedding gift. i a long silver chain necklace & nick a nice new leather wallet. both things that we love so much. after our gezellig lunch we went to sofike's store. she owns a store in the heart of tilberg where they sell - a little bit of everything-  its called KADE LIVING. here nick and i bought a couple gift and a nice new apron and bottle opener. after this we went to frans' work and saw what he is working on, he is an architect. then we went and say evy's home- she lives in student living in the city! something about seeing the real thing vs. FaceTime makes it so much better. 

after our afternoon of seeing the town we sat down at la trappe tilberg for our first beer. this place was so interesting it was an old church that was made into a big beer tasting hangout. first we had a beer with a shot of grenadine- it was delicious but a bit sweet for my liking. we enjoyed a cheese plate met bitterballen. following our borreltje we went to Villa Pastorie for dinner- enjoyed good wine, delicious food and a nice dessert. nick had rabbit and i fish. it was so nice to be around the table with such sweet friends and good conversation. 

i am so thankful for all the relationships that have maintained over the years. as we drove out a tear ran down my cheek. to live here, to enjoy these gezellig places and people is something that is so important to me. i am so grateful to share this big part of my life with my sweet husband and to teach him the most important things in life.

until tomorrow. 



day 3.

i just spend a lot of time blogging and some how the internet glitch and WOOSH went my blog. *


I'm pissed.

long story short-- today was a good day- relaxed. 

we had a day full of exploring, eating good food and drinking good beer. we walked along the streets in hillegersberg rotterdam and bought oude kass. it was a great day. i can't wait for tomorrow. 




day 2.

and to think i thought my heart was its fullest yesterday. 

today we went to de big in rotterdam. it is my favorite place to eat in the city- we have gone here since i was born. the walk to de big is beautiful- you are surrounded by a big forest as you walk to this gezeelig little restaurant. you know that feeling you get when something feels like home? thats the feeling i have here. the same two ladies and their son/grandson have run this pannenkoeken house for over 20 years. dogs roam the restaurant and forest and it it the best feeling. it was so special to bring nick here for the first time and tell him about all the sweet memories that have been made. nick and i ordered pannenkoeken- nicks with rum & raisins and mine with stripe. mama and oma enjoyed their house famous soup. we also enjoyed a glass of gluwien - a warm spiced wine. such a yummy start to the day. 

following our delicious breakfast mama took nick on a little tour of rotterdam. we brought him around to all of the importance places in our live- mama's past schools, the house where i was born, our favorite shops, bars, etc. we then followed our afternoon tour with a drink at loos- rotterdam. this was one of my opa's favorite cafe's. nick and i enjoyed a beer and mama and oma a coffee. i loved this cafe- i love how much the dutch enjoy their days. the dutch live much much different than the americans. a much slower and enjoyed pace of life. 

following our afternoon borreltje -we drove past schorem - a trendy barber in rotterdam where nick wants to get his hair cut. we then went home and nick and i walked to a local patat shack and enjoyed an afternoon patat met bitterballen. following our delicious afternoon we sat down for a dutch meal - zuurkool met worst- sauerkraut mash with potatoes and sausage. i then prepared the dough for the homemade bread that i will make tomorrow with a vegetable soup.  

today was such a sweet day- filled with so many firsts for my sweet husband. i am so thankful for this trip and all the experiences that it has put in our way.  it has already taught nick so much more about me than he ever knew. tomorrow will be filled with rain, tea, good company and lots of different beers. 







it feels like home to me.

the biggest anticipation. and always the best results.

the feeling i get when i travel to the netherlands is the best feeling to me.

it feels like home.

it feels like i am where i belong. this isn't a new feeling this is something that always comes every time i am here.  i was born in the netherlands and when my sweet mother brought me to california she never stopped raising me like the dutch would. i am dutch from my fingers to my toes. there is no place i love more in the entire world. this is my first time ever coming here with a man, my husband- something i have so often dreamed of. a place to share with someone i love. the traveling was already such an adventure. long story short we RAN to make our flight. 

yesterday we arrived in rotterdam, netherlands and this time it was much different. my opa was not standing at the gate as we walked out. and this was the hardest thing ever for me to swallow. this was the first time ever being here without my opa. my aunt and uncle picked us up from the gate and brought us home to my oma.

my entire life my oma and opa have lived on the straatweg in rotterdam and this home ties together all of my fondest memories. it is by far my favorite place in the world. my favorite place to sit at the fire, my favorite place to cook a warm meal, toast my glass and sit and have a gezellig time. 

december 18, 2016

when we arrived we had a pie with some tea. followed with warm carrot soup and a delicious bread. it was the warmest my heart has felt in a long time. we shared our travel story with the family and enjoyed a quiet afternoon in the city. i showed nick the city... okay not the whole city- just the part where my oma lives. we went and had a coffee at a local coffee shop and then we went to the local albert heijn.. bought food for dinner.. and then cooked! it was a quiet night filled with good conversation and the sweetest of memories. 

december 19, 2016

we did it!!!  we someway- somehow- slept the entire night and stayed up the entire day! as we woke at 8:30 we made our way down stairs (2 flights) to the dining room, in holland we sit down for a formal meal- every meal. nick enjoyed his first dutch breakfast as we drank endless cups of coffee and tea.

we then got ready to go to my tante Co's flat. on the way we stopped for fresh flowers- her favorite! when hugs were squeezed and kisses were sealed- we enjoyed a kroket sandwich and chatted about our trip. following this we went to a new building - the markthal rotterdam- where we enjoyed a good walk, the new architecture and a fresh stoopwafel! after that we visited a local children's shop- de kleine kapitein- where i daydreamed about kids toys and bought the kids i nanny for a postcard. we then visited a place that holds so many memories for me- hotel new york- we had a beer and some bitterballen! SO LEKKER (good)!! following our delicious afternoon treat we went home and my cousin was there to have dinner with us! we walked to albert heijn, got stuff to make dinner and i cooked us a delicious dinner. the conversation was perfect- my heart so happy. it was such a nice day. one for the books. one i never want to forget. i miss my opa so much but think of him often. can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store for us. 




44 days.

a post to try and relieve some... i dont know... stress!

when the days feel tedious, your home is anything but clean, the laundry is piled pretty darn high, and at night you dream about cozy days cuddled on the couch with coffee & nothing to do...

thats me right now. im pooped you guys. 

i feel over worked and exhausted.

finishing up my last semester of college is becoming a drag. but- with two weeks of instruction left I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. i feel as if i have left all my beliefs of the slow life behind. i am a VERY easy going go with the flow kinda chick but lately i feel like a crazy person. between school, work, nannying and photography (which i guess are both also work) i am clocking about 65-70 hours a week. yes. 65-70. its insane. i don't remember the last time i woke up with nothing to do or hours to just relax with the husband.

with 44 days until the new year- i am setting some boundaries & goals for myself.

- i must work less. for the well being of not only myself but for my husband and our relationship.

-i must must must have one day a week off to be at home, listen to good tunes, and clean our house. 

- find more uninterrupted time to stretch.

-i am curious? what do you guys think about disconnecting? yes, i am asking you. what do you think about turning your phone off. putting it away when you are home? i realize this is going to be an extremely hard task for me and that my husband will probably laugh at the idea. BUT i am going to try. i think it will help if i set a time. maybe between the hours of 4pm-8am i am disconnected? and maybe even one weekend day completely. i don't believe that this will be easy for me at all. BUT i do think that in the long run i will be so happy that I don't have to be "on" all the time. i have been looking into the Echo Dot- amazons mini smart system. this would connect to my BOSE speaker system and i wouldn't have to look at my phone to turn on good music, set a timer, look up a recipe etc. OKAY i realize this is quickly turning into me sharing my sickening obsession with my phone but i think I'm not the only one. 

- i want to find more time to cook. cooking is something that i LOVE. and i want to find more time to make delicious dinners for my hubby and i. 

- i hope to find more time to go out into nature. i love being outside with my dude. some of my favorite times with him are when we are just outside walking. 

you guys as i grow older i am really realizing that this is it. this is life. we must live for today & not rely on the future. yes as nick and i get older things will change a bit but today is the day. i look forward to January when i will be done with school. i will fill my days with cooking, putting smiles on faces of children with special needs, photography and time with my husband. oh i can't wait. i will be so much less busy with school off my plate and i feel i can actually fully dive into this thing we call life. 

i have a very minimalistic simple approach to my life. i want to wake up in my dudes arms. go make coffee. enjoy my morning with my hubby and hopefully soon child. take beautiful photos. make people smile. cook a good dinner. have good conversation and go to bed. i don't have huge aspirations. i don't hope for more. i am so happy in my days and my life and i only hope to slow down and enjoy them to the fullest. 

slow down and enjoy today. set achievable goals and work hard to get there. 8 months ago i owned a crappy DSLR camera and i was taking photos for fun. today i have a nice nikon, own a profitable business and have met so many wonderful people along the way. i have worked so hard to get here and i hope to water my business daily and watch it grow. 

a little food for thought-  stop and slow down. today is the day. own it.




falling into fall

october is here. school has begun and we have fallen back into a routine. the days are slowly becoming more organized and calm. the house is slowly filling up with new wedding gifts. these new things are so special to the both of us. as they are used in our daily lives we will get to reminisce about who got them for us and this special time in our life. something about saying goodbye to summer and falling into fall makes me feel at peace. I am ready to celebrate our first thanksgiving and christmas as a family, to wear big chunky sweaters and cuddle for hours. fall i am ready for you.

what do you do to make your routine of life calm and effective? I am going to share our tips with you for making the days flow. we have found that keeping on a routine allows us to enjoy our life to the fullest. 


weekdays go pretty quickly in our home. I wake up around 5:30-6:30 depending on the day. I make coffee within a couple minutes of waking. I use two methods a chemex poor over and a bialetti- I LOVE them both so much. nick stays warm in bed until about 7. we enjoy the news together for about 15-20 minutes and then our busy days start. nick and I both work full time and I also go to school and have a photography business. I pack lunches for the both of us the night before. they typically consist of left overs or meat with fruit, veggies and nuts. we keep lunches simple and clean that way if we do want have a beer or some yummy pasta we don't feel so bad. i cook every night. I love to cook and find importance in the time spent together in the kitchen and around the dinner table. 

we each find time during the week to do things that we enjoy, our "me" time. monday nights nick fills his time with a weekly poker club at a local cigar shop. he also spends hours and hours in our garage woodworking. I love his passion. I find myself happiest sweating at the gym, blogging or editing photos. we both find so much importance in a hobby - something other than work and life to get your mind working. 


saturdays are almost always spent together. saturdays are typically for projects, cleaning the house and dates. i LOVE spontaneous afternoon dates at a bar enjoying a nice cold beer and great conversation with my sweet husband. saturdays give us time together that we miss during the week. now that the weather is getting better I look forward to morning bike rides and walks in the park. 


sunday is almost always my favorite day of the week. the house is clean. we spend slow mornings together cuddled on the couch with hot coffee. we prepare for the week ahead. i sit-down and meal plan for the next week. we go grocery shopping, filling our fridge with delicious foods waiting to be cooked. lately my sunday afternoons have been filled with fall family photo shoots. oh how I love my job- I love capturing the raw&organic moments that a family creates. It is my time to become inspired. to watch how others live, interact, love. I love these sessions - they are so intimate and mean the world to me. 

I belive finding a routine will bring peace into your life. creating rituals and getting on a rhythm with your loved ones. lately I have been working hard to create a more organized living space. I am a minimalist but we all have our "catch all" drawers. ours are becoming less messy and more organized. my next post will be on organizing your home and living space. 

start today. create a routine. become more organized. it will help you live more simply and create less stress. remember that it is okay to cut some things out of your life. never become too busy to have you time. simplify the days because after - how we spend our days is , of course, how we spend our lives. 




the sweetest day of our lives.

an alarm was not needed on friday. the both of us were like children on christmas morning. we woke up with the most excited feeling rushing through our bodies. as we quickly packed the car we were listening to mumford&sons and being goofy. finally the car was packed we were ready to go.

i sang too much-- way tooooo much.

we stopped in los banos for coffee. 

i sang a little more. took a selfie. turned left. turned right. 

and then we were there.

we pulled into our air b & b in pebble beach. it was even better than we imagined. after we unpacked and settled in it was time to head to lunch.

our favorite spot in town is carmel belle. the cutest farm to table spot ever!! sitting next to a warm fire. enjoying two delicious beers. two avocado toasts. and a goat cheese and stone fruit salad. our tummies were very happy.  the sweetest conversation was had about all the preparation and time that has gone into our wedding.

we then decided it would be a good idea to head over to the cheese shop and wine taste. 

our second favorite spot in carmel is the cheese shop. must i say more. cheese shop. here they pair wine and cheese for you to taste and enjoy. we listened to the shop owner educate us on all six wines we were tasting. he took us on a journey all the way from paso to spain and then back to napa. 

i love wine tasting with nick. wine is something has has really grown with our relationship. we enjoy wine more than most people our age. we have found enjoyment in not only drinking it but the atmosphere it gives. the smelling. tasting. and enjoying of the wine is a process and one that we have learned to love. 

of course after a great hour of wine and cheese- nicks favorite shop was our next stop. the cigar shop. 

we stopped to pick out a cigar and started an afternoon stroll. i look at nick and am constantly amazed at how much he has grown into his own. the was he tastes wine. finds a cigar. looks at me. he is the sweetest and most passionate person i have ever met. from him i have learned to be goofy. to be comfortable with who you are. and to never let anyone else get in the way of what you want. 

the afternoon went on to be a fun one. we wine tasted more with my sweet aunt and uncle who came into town for the wedding. we reminisced with them. a lot. mostly about me and how I've grown. we really enjoyed their company and sweet conversation. 

it was then time to get ready for dinner. i found the cutest brewery in monterey. alvarado street brewery. it was great. this is where the whole family gathered together for the first time. we tried delicious local beers and ate some yummy food. nick and i both felt so full with all our love ones and friends around.

the night then continued on to barmel. the girls and nick and i wanted to enjoy a couple more drinks. so we found a local dive bar in carmel. it was adorable. live music. dancing. great hosts. a man walked around with a Spanish Porrón full of white wine- a wine decanter with a long thin spout. he walked around offering to poor the wine in your mouth... of course i had to try!

it was the sweetest pre wedding night we could have possibly had. as we got back to the house the rest of our friends had arrived. the girls and i all snuggled in a room laughing and sharing stories about nick and i. it was 1am. time for bed and a big day ahead. everyone said their goodnights.

three kisses were given. we said i love you. snuggled up close and fell asleep. 



of course i woke up at 6am! it was finally here OUR WEDDING DAY. i rolled over woke nick up and we got dressed and went out to scout our spot. 

we chose our spot the day of the wedding. it was our decision and something we thought was simply perfect for us. we drove five minuets down to 17- mile drive and there it was. the perfect beach for us to exchange our vows. we had walked this beach many many times but- this time was different. i was so full of emotion. the excitement i had been dreaming of was finally here. 

we walked around. giggled. hugged. kissed. agreed this was our spot. the most perfect spot in the world for us. a spot we have already shared so many memories at. a spot we can bring our children to and have picnics at. a spot that will forever be in our lives. 

my heart was so full. 

the plan next was to meet at carmel roasting company at 9:30. i really wanted to walk the beach with our friends and enjoy the morning together. the walk on the beach was the sweetest. we took pictures. had the best talks with our loved ones. we enjoyed the morning together as a big group. 

the boys and girls then split.

us girls headed off to lush to get masks to give us all a pre wedding glow. then we went back to carmel belle for lunch. i had a yummy green juice it was the perfect lunch. we then headed to whole foods to pick out the flowers that would soon make a beautiful bouquet.  its was now 2pm and time to take showers and get ready for the ceremony. we popped champaign. munched on chips and salami. and wrapped up in our robes. i felt so pampered as the girls worked on my hair and makeup. 


of course it was 4:20 and the boys were still not home...


the boys went to Monterey to enjoy another local brewery and play mini golf. the loser of mini golf then bought dip and dots for everyone. such kids at heart! they had a fun and memorable afternoon together.  these three boys put the biggest smile on my face. they have grown up together since elementary school and have such a close bond. 


at 5pm everyone met at the house. all 19 friends and family and our lovely photographer alex smith.

pops and diego stayed at the house with me until we got the call that everyone was at the beach. we then hopped in the jeep and set off to go get married.

diego with rings in hand. pops with my dress and diego in hand. and me trying not to fall on the rocks we stumbled down the beach. 

my heart was full. the beautiful unplanned ceremony was about to happen. as i looked down at all my loved ones i felt the most love i have ever felt. i was about to marry the man of my dreams. the man who makes me giddy. i walked down. everyone was watching. everyone gathered around as nick and i stood next to each other. 

my sweet uncle terry then began. he spoke the sweetest words. ones that will stay with me forever. 

then it was nicks turn. 



his vows read: 


i can't believe the day is actually here. i still remember the first time we met. it was at a fresno state football game, a game you had thought about not going to because you were sick. I'm truly lucky for your poor decision to go out in the cold while being sick because if you were like every other normal human being you would have stayed home and we might have not ever met. thats one of the reasons i love you so much, you aren't like anybody else. you're kind and loving; passionate and inspiring; and your smart and hardworking. emma doos, i vow to love you, to encourage you, to trust you and to respect you. i promise to create a loving environment for you and our future children; one filled with compassion, laughter, patience and lots of love. i vow to grow with you each and every day - no matter what obstacles are in our way. its those very obstacles that help us become a better and stronger team. a team that i promise to never give up on, a team that i promise to strive to make better each and every day. today i close you to be my wife, forever and always.


my vows read:

hey sweet guy- today i give you my heart. every single day with you has been my favorite day. you have taught me to have patience. to stick up for myself when times are rough. and that its okay to be wrong. when we first started to date you told me that we are a team and that we will always work together- we are the best team.

I vow to love all of you - always. to bring out the best of you. and to always be your best friend. I will forever love our spontaneous date nights out and our quiet nights in cuddledn the couch with pizza and beer.

I promise to love you not only for the man you are today but for the man you will grow to be. to support your dreams both big & small. and to hold your hand through everything this sweet life puts us through.

I vow to be the best wife to you and mommy to our children. to create simply the sweetest moments together as a family. to wake you up on Saturdays with a cup of coffee and a yummy breakfast. and to always say goodnight with three kisses. 

may we never forget that we are just two kids playing house and laughing is always the best option.

I will always love you more. I promise that on the cloudy days- I will bring sunshine into our life. home will always be wherever I am with you. 


it was the sweetest ceremony we could have asked for. it followed with dinner at Il Fornaio in the heart of Carmel. the night was beautiful. filled with wonderful speeches and memorable conversation. 


cheers to the sweetest day of our lives. 




choosing happiness

nick and i are getting married in sixty four days- i can't believe it. i am so excited to be his wife and to see what this life has in store for us. i live these days for what they are and make sure to enjoy the moments big and small. currently i nanny for a family that i have been with for five years. i feel very lucky to have them in my life. they have taught nick and i so much about ourselves. they have also taught us about how we will want to parent when the time comes. i am also pursuing a career in photography. i love photography so much- it allows me to capture the moments that people never want to forget. 

nick and i have been talking a lot lately about our life and all the dreams that we have for it. we both hope to have a family, maybe 2 or 3 children. we want them to be brought up in an environment that is enriching, allowing them to learn and to have a wonderful imagination . an environment that is free of harsh chemicals and toxins. we want them to learn to cook and build things for our home. to learn to be active members of our society and help with local organizations. we want to give our children what so many children miss. a life that is slowed down and full. we want to give them our time and patience. we want long conversations at the dinner table and giggles on sunday mornings as we all pile into bed and cuddle. we want our children to have the opportunity to be who ever they want to be. this is why we have decided that i am going to be a stay at home mom. i am going to continue to work hard on my photography business and that will be my only job. there will be no 8-5 job for me. our children will be raised at home and taught by nick and i. i am so excited and my heart is so full. 

i feel lucky. we live a simple life but one that is so incredibly full. i feel fulfilled everyday in my relationship with my fiancé, in myself, in our health and with our home. we have created a life together that is so peaceful. nick has taken the stress i used to carry and has taught me to relax and trust that everything will always work out. i am so thankful to have found a man that puts me first. who picks me up when i fall. and who is always there to be my best friend. 


living for today

sometimes we move at such a quick pace- the days turn into weeks- quickly you blink and the season is over. take time for your self to slow down and enjoy the moments. as i grow older i am finding myself more and more everyday. i am realizing that there is no right or wrong way to live your life. as long as you are happy- all will be okay. 

times have changed. i no longer want a job where i earn a pay check and use it to pay my bills. i want a job that makes me smile and and feeds my soul. i want to work for myself, capturing photos of beautiful things and people. and enjoy the simplicity of the days. i want to become connected. really connected. with our local businesses. i want to plant roots with my sweet(soon to be)husband. make a family and enjoy those moments together. i want to have taco tuesdays. movie nights. make homemade bread. and banana pancakes on sundays. this is the life i am choosing for myself and my family. a simple one. big expensive things may never be in the picture for us but that is just fine with me. if we wake up in bed, snuggle and drink coffee. go for walks. and make delicious meals together sitting around the table having the sweetest of conversation. that will be just fine with me.  

i challenge you to find yourself and to live for today. do what you really want to be doing instead of what you think you should be doing. stop worrying. stop planning. things will always work out in the end- and if they don't- its not the end. 

in less than three months i get to marry the man of my dreams. i am so lucky. he is my best friend. we support each other in the best way. he knows me and i know him. i can't wait to start a family with this man. who knows how many little people we will get to share our days with 2.3.4.. we shall see but i hope they have his eyes and heart. i can't wait for this next part of my life. i can't wait to be a mama and a wife.