I was lucky enough to work with this gorgeous family for my first photo session in Alaska. I'm already in love with the dreamy morning light, mountains, and wonderful people I've met here.
My recent trip to London was my first experience in Europe. I was blown away by the architecture, food, style and history that characterized the city. Our trip was also the first time my parents had been to Europe, so we got to experience it together with fresh eyes. We marveled over how we never ate a bad meal - especially after hearing about London's reputation for less than stellar food. Half of these spots were wonderful suggestions from friends. The other half were places I researched or happy accidents that we stumbled upon! Hopefully this list of restaurants and pubs will help you enjoy your culinary experience in London as much as we did.
Dishoom: Inspired by the disappearing Irani cafés of Bombay, Dishoom has a cool vibe and delicious food.
The Wolseley: This is a well-known and extremely impressive establishment. It will be helpful to make a reservation, dress up a bit and prepare your budget for the occasion. An excellent choice for afternoon tea.
Rabbit: Tapas! Exquisite tapas, delicious drinks and a laid-back vibe. I can't say enough good things about this place.
Cafe Concerto: If you see one of these and you're hungry for lunch, go in and sit down. One of the best salmon niçoise salads I've ever eaten.
The Botanist: This spot is typically busy, so I recommend making a reservation. Incredible drink list and delicious food.
Chelsea Potter Pub: We stumbled upon this pub, but apparently it is quite well known! I recommend the Pimm's and Lemonade or a pint of Pironi to go with your fish and chips.
Da Scalzo: The best pizza! Their gluten-free crust was impressive as well. Live jazz makes this little piece of Italy even more cozy.
No. 11 Pimlico Road: Go here for breakfast! I'm sure they make great dinner as well, but trust me, you need to eat their breakfast. The design in this place is on point!
San Diego was our next stop in California. I fell in love with that city during two super fun trips I took to visit my good friend Stefanie during college. San Diego has it all: great food, great beaches and a laid back vibe.
Time to keep moving! We hit the road for Arizona and couldn't resist pulling off for photos as the sun began to set. I have a deep affection for the desert.
Next up: the Grand Canyon!! My geologist heart was exploding during our day at the canyon. Absolutely incredible.
White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, NM. I've been here once before during geology field camp, so I had a blast showing Jared around the area. This was our last stop before continuing on to Del Rio!
I love ice cream. It is easily my favorite type of dessert. But I don't love dairy (unless it's in the form of goat cheese in which case YES PLEASE.) This coconut milk ice cream tastes so similar to Molly Moon's - arguably the best ice cream in Seattle.
For the ice cream base, I used this recipe from the Kitchn.You will need two cans of full fat coconut milk, agave nectar, corn starch, salt & vanilla extract.
After I had completed the base mixture, I split between two bowls and chilled in the fridge. Once the mixture had set up a bit, I added chopped sea salt dark chocolate, chopped almonds and unsweetened shredded coconut to one bowl. I created this flavor combo with Jared in mind. (Spoiler alert: he loved it.) After mixing well, I placed it into the freezer and checked back every 1-2 hours to stir. This prevents icy patches from forming.
In the second bowl, I added the juice + zest of 1 lemon, as well as 1 tsp of optional lemon extract. I had popsicles in mind with this flavor. They were amazing - the perfect way to welcome in warmer weather! In case you're interested, I used these ZOKU molds that I found on Amazon.
If you're looking to cut back on dairy or just curious about coconut ice cream, I hope you'll try this simple + delicious recipe out this weekend! Enjoy!
It was a quick stay in SF before we started heading south once again. We realized that we weren't going to be able to make it all the way to Monterey Bay, so we started looking for a hotel south of SF. We stumbled upon the Costano Lodge in Pescadero, CA and decided that it would be a good place to take a break from driving in the dense advection fog. It was nearly midnight when we arrived, so we went straight to our room. We noticed that there wasn't a TV or even WIFI available, which we thought was pretty cool! It feels nice to unplug - even when it is due to an unexpected situation. The next morning, we stepped onto our patio and were stunned. Apparently Costanoa Lodge is a gorgeous wellness retreat with a lodge that makes incredible, healthy foods. It was a remarkably lucky accidental discovery.
After breakfast, we headed to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Jared had been wanting to visit this aquarium for years, so exploring it together was a dream! It is undoubtedly my favorite aquarium. I love the design of the building and the kelp forest exhibit is incredible! The views from the back pier are stunning. Pretty much everything about it is wonderful and I highly suggest you go check it out next time you are on the west coast!
That evening, we drove farther south until we entered Big Sur. One of my favorite bloggers had mentioned Big Sur Bakery and I'd wanted to eat there ever since. We had a delicious dinner that night and found lodging nearby in Caramel. The next morning, we went back for ginger scones and coffee. After exploring the area, we had lunch at a restaurant with incredible views: Nepenthe.
Our final stop in Big Sur was Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. It doesn't get much better than that.
After a night at the nearest Air Force base, we headed to LA. This was Jared's first time to the city. When the desk clerk at The Standard found out, he said "Welcome to LA" and gave us a $300 room upgrade.
We left the hotel early, grabbed coffee at Handsome Coffee Roasters and headed to our motel near DISNEYLAND!!! We were up early the next morning and enjoyed a full day at the happiest place on earth. I visited Disneyland with my family every two to three years during my childhood, so I have tons of fond memories there.
Stay tuned for Part 3!
See also: West Coast Road Trip Part 1
Three months ago, my mom and I planted my first garden while she was visiting over spring break. Little did I know, it would turn out to be one of my biggest joys. Watching large, dark zucchini grow from little seeds is a really cool process. Luckily, I've had a healthy harvest so far - and a girl can only eat so much green curry before she needs another use for her zucchini.
That's where this zucchini bread comes in. I adapted it from Minimalist Baker's Gluten Free Zucchini Cake and used the HEB brand GF flour that my mother-in-law brought us from Texas. I can't vouch for other types, but any gluten free flour blend should work!
- 1 full cup grated zucchini
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2/3 c agave nectar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 free range eggs
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend
- 3/4 cup almond meal
- 1 TBS coconut flour
- pinch salt
- 1/4 c chopped walnuts to top the bread
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease + flour an 8x8 baking dish.
Mix the zucchini, vanilla extract, agave nectar, grape seed oil, appleasauce and eggs together.
In another bowl, mix the gluten free flour, almond meal, coconut flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Add the DRY ingredients into the WET gradually, whisking to incorporate well.
Pour the thick batter into the greased pan and top with chopped walnuts. Bake for 45-50 minutes. You will know the bread is done when the edges are brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let is cool for five minutes and serve warm! This bread also keeps well in the fridge for several days. Make sure to keep it covered with tin foil to preserve the moistness of the bread. This recipe is softer and sweeter than most zucchini breads, since it is adapted from a zucchini cake! I can't wait to try the original version with the Minimal Baker's dairy free cream cheese frosting. Yum.
Let me know if you try this out! Hope everyone is having a great start the the week. :)
Jared and I started our married life together up in Seattle during the summer of 2012. After a glorious ten months in the Pacific Northwest, it was time to move to the Texas desert for J's pilot training in Del Rio. Naturally, we decided to take two weeks of leave to make the move into a west coast road trip. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
Now, we are living in Florida two years later and I still look at these photos time to time and think about the awesome variety of experiences in America. I don't know if we will ever get stationed out of the country, but I do know that there are plenty of adventures to be had here at home.
A couple of days before we hit the road, we met up with some of our friends at the Bastille back bar. It was really hard for me to leave knowing that we would be living so far away from many of our favorite people. We had a brilliant, talented, caring community of friends surrounding us during our first year of marriage and I knew there would be a void in my life for quite some time as I prepared to move to a city where I knew no one. (Spoiler alert: I ended up meeting many incredibly awesome people in Del Rio, but the Seattle crew still holds a huge part of my heart.)
We made one last trip to Gasworks Park to take night shots of the city skyline.
A few days before heading out, we decided to head to a place that we had not yet explored, Lake Chelan. We stayed at The Lakeview Hotel and it was delightful. Anytime there is a fireplace in my hotel room, I am automatically loving it.
Once we left Seattle, we drove until we hit the upper corner of California (with a quick stop for dinner in Portland). We arrived in Crescent City late that night and got up early to explore the beaches.
As we made our way down HWY 101, we found ourselves in the redwood forests. Very few things will make you feel as small as a towering forest of redwoods.
After a long day of driving, taking breaks to hike, attempting to drive through a redwood tree (the truck was just too big), and jamming out to Macklemore, we made it to San Francisco! We were lucky enough to stay with our dear friend Kate Gilbert in her beautiful home. We also got to see Bob & Natalie Clark! It was Jared's first time in SF, so it was fun to show him around. We spent the whole day walking and admiring the sights.
Stay posted for PT 2!
November 2014 // During our last weeks in Texas before moving to Florida, we decided to take a trip we had been longing to make for years. Del Rio was likely the closest we will ever live to Marfa, TX and Big Bend, so we decided to make the drive. It was one of those weekends that reminds me why Texans have so much pride in our state. It's freaking awesome.
We stayed at El Cosmico in Marfa, which was a no-brainer for us since we had longed to check it out for some time. The first night was spent in a trailer worthy of the world's coolest trailer park. It was a bitterly cold night, so we let Zuri share our full-size bed. It was a bit of a squeeze.
If you haven't been to the McDonald Observatory in West TX, put it on your bucket list. We attended a star party that blew my mind. So many amazing celestial bodies out there. There's something cool about being in such a remarkably dark part of the country. You simply can't find that kind of remote darkness near big city limits.
The second night was spent in a glorious teepee. Again, freezing cold night, but this time we had a fire pit in the middle of our abode. Why don't all homes have a fire pit in the middle of the living room? Can't we find a relatively safe way to make that work?
Aside from El Cosmico, we came to Marfa for the art. Donald Judd's 15 untitled works in concrete and 100 untitled works in mill aluminum stand out as two of my favorite things that we viewed. Photos of the mill aluminum aren't allowed, so you will have to trust me when I say that it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. As far as food is concerned, I suggest Pizza Foundation, but there's a whole host of things that we weren't lucky enough to try. Apparently most places close on Sunday and Monday - two of the days that we were there. This link is a fairly complete list of options. I've heard great things about the Grilled Cheese Parlour and Comida Futura.
After exploring Marfa for a couple of days, we headed out to Big Bend (and almost accidentally crossed into Mexico in the process). There's something special about Texas sunsets. Sunsets are the thing I miss most from Del Rio - along with the shaved fruit ice and $3 movie theatre. The sunsets over the ocean in Florida are obviously gorgeous, but they don't hold the same wow-factor as Texas sunsets for me.
It was certainly a trip for the books. Texas desert, thank you for sharing your harsh sunlight, fat raindrops and charming towns with us one last time. We're gonna miss you.
J and I decided that we need to make the most of our brief time in North Texas. I had never been to Oklahoma before, so we drove up to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, OK. As we crossed the border, I taught J about Oklahoma! the musical and we sang the title song with gusto more than a few times. Upon arriving at the refuge, we encountered herds of longhorns (Hook em'!), coteries of prairie dogs and a lone buffalo. I got out of the truck to achieve a better view of the prairie dogs and I think we bonded a bit. One of the brave little dogs came close enough to get some tight shots with my zoom lens. Funny little fellows!
After enjoying the scenery for a few hours, we made our way to Meers thanks to a recommendation from my brother-in-law. The historic restaurant raises their own herd of longhorns for meat. This results in an ethical, lean and absolutely delicious burger. If you are ever in that area, please make the trip to Meers! Bon Appétit Magazine dubbed the Meerscheeseburger one of the top three burgers in America. In my opinion, the accolades are not hype.
Note: I've had requests to purchase the longhorn photos. Select prints for sale at Society 6: society6.com/paigebecker
Thanks to Kristopher at Path Salon, I have new hair! It's not dramatically different, but I did cut three inches and add a bit of ombré balayage. If it gets me closer to looking like Alexa Chung, I'm happy.
This past weekend was spent in Dallas with family. We visited the Bush Presidential Library, ate at Whiskey Cake and had a great time catching up with each other. I'm thankful to have so much family in Texas!
I made this salad for dinner last night and it was so delightful that I had it again for lunch today. The best part is that it came together quickly with the help of the Whole Foods salad bar!
Now I know you must be thinking "Paige, you didn't really make that salad if it came from the Whole Foods salad bar. You just assembled it."
Okay, fine. But I did add my own spinach, goat cheese, avocado, olive oil and roasted kabocha squash to the cilantro tofu, zucchini, roasted corn, roasted endive and roasted red bell peppers that I picked up from the bar. :)
So there you have it! All of the items I used in this delightful salad. By the way, have you tried kabocha squash before? It's so good. Here's the blog post that taught me how to cook this delightful fall squash: Eat Live Run. You can also blend cooked kabocha squash up into a super creamy soup! Yum.
J and I are currently living about six hours apart while he is training and I am shooting weddings in Austin. We had planned to go five weeks without seeing each other, but we were both feeling worn down by our own workloads and the distance between us after three weeks. A few days together was the perfect way to recharge and encourage each other to keep going strong through this unsettled, busy, transient season. Thanks to some help from Vonlane bus line and Jared's wonderful grandparents allowing me to borrow a car, I was able to get there and only drive 2.5 hours of the trip each way! This gave me the time I needed to continue editing weddings.
If you travel between Dallas and Austin frequently (or just occasionally!), I highly recommend Vonlane. I've ridden on their luxurious buses three times and had a consistently awesome experience. If you use this link, you will receive $20 off your first trip!
One I arrived in Wichita Falls, I got acquainted with the base and settled in to temporary lodging. Over the course of three days, Jared and I had some awesome meals. Between (two) visits to Bahama Bucks, Taco Tuesday at Fuzzy's Taco Shop, and an awesome spinach, goat cheese & cucumber burger at Smashburger, I was a happy foodie.
While Jared was at work, I spent time working on the business side of Paige Becker Photography, researching zoom lenses and getting a better handle on the capabilities of my flash. I'm always thankful for productive spurts of work that I had been putting off! I'm so blessed by the help of my husband, parents and countless others who encourage me to pursue photography as a business in addition to a much-loved hobby.
I'm currently on the bus back to Austin and looking forward to dinner with a dear friend and a weekend full of wedding photography. Life is taking me all over the mighty (and rather large) state of Texas this fall, but I'm super excited for the chance to spend time with a wide range of family and friends before we pack up and move to Florida!
Last week, I grabbed coffee with a friend that I originally met through Instagram. We had both been traveling quite a bit recently, so I was excited to be in Austin at the same time as Chee. It was a perfect chance to catch up and chat about cameras, future plans and, most importantly, our awesome dogs.
We decided to meet at Vintage Heart Coffee in East Austin. While Chee had been there before, it was my first time to try this spot. I was impressed by the iced soy lavender latte. The last time I had one was in Seattle and I always enjoy that combo of lavender and espresso.
The afternoon light in the desert can be harsh, to say the least. It can also be really great for an impromptu shoot in celebration of Madewell's #denimmadewell contest. J helped me get these images of my favorite black jeans.
Avocado is one of my all-time favorite foods. It's up there with fresh figs, goat cheese and ice cream. I throw it in green smoothies, spread it on toast, use it in salads and eat it straight up. This creamy pasta is one of the best uses for avocado I have ever tasted. You can find the delicious recipe at Oh She Glows. Because I like to limit my gluten consumption, I cook this dish with quinoa & corn-based pasta. Make this tonight! You won't regret it.