Urban Foraging in Copenhagen

Urban Foraging in Copenhagen This summer, I've fallen widely in love with foraging. And there is no better place than Scandinavia to do so. Let me preface this by saying I have two main passions in my life: food and photography. Food is what nourishes me. It's what I'm most inspired in this world by. It's what has healed me. I love little more than beautiful vegetables and fruits of all colors, the healing power of wild herbs, the way food brings people together and the depth of color and texture of organic foods grown in a sustainable and loving way. A few years ago, while living in the Pacific Northwest, I took a mushroom foraging workshop in the beautiful Gorge located outside of Portland, Oregon with Wildcraft Studio School, taught by one of my favorite ladies Yellow Eleanor. Since then, I have been so inspired by wild foods and the act of foraging. During my recent trip to Sweden, I spent many of my days walking in the forest, collecting currants, chanterelle mushrooms, bitter greens and blueberries. It was the most meditative and calming experience for me. It grounded me and brought me to a place that felt like a deep, instinctual experience. After leaving Sweden, I craved the grounding and calming properties that foraging provided me with. So I decided to start urban foraging in Copenhagen. And to by surprise, this city has an abundance of wild foods, you just need to open your eyes. August is the perfect month to start urban foraging because there has been plenty of sunlight for lots of the late summer fruits and even early fall fruits to begin ripening. On a simple walk through my neighborhood I've found everything from plums, apples and blackberries to bitter dandelion and plantain leaf greens to herbs and edible flowers like oregano, chamomile and rose hip flowers. While berries and fruits are always so fun to forage for, I truly love the bitter greens for my morning smoothies (and no one minds you picking these "weeds." I thought I'd share some of the best spots to start urban foraging in Copenhagen.

Where To Forage

Østebro is one of the best places to begin foraging for all that I've mentioned above. It is easily accessible and close to the center of Copenhagen. It is a bit more spacious than other neighborhoods in the city and that means more space for patches of green. Wander around the train tracks beyond Østerport or around the sea by Svanemøllen. There are a variety of densely green patches between houses in the residential area around there rich with bitter greens, apples and plums.

Amager Fælled is filled with tons of wild food to be foraged. Apples, blackberries, bright orange buckthorn, sea herbs and loads of bitter greens. It's also such a nice opportunity to get a bit out of the city and spend some time by the sea.

Frederiksberg Garden is mostly filled with a "salad bar" of bitter greens. You can collect enough bitter greens for a weeks long of green smoothies. But beware, there are many bushes that appear to have red currants but are not an edible variety of berries.

Frederiksberg is another neighborhood that is filled with a variety of amazing wild foods like apples, blackberries, wild herbs and edible flowers. I love snagging some "rail road worker's roses" to put on top of salads. But take care here to only take a few things as these are often part of someone's property.

Those four places should get you on your way to some light foraging. One thing I should mention is to take care when foraging. Always be able to identify 2-3 things really, really well before you go out foraging. For example, when I go mushroom foraging, I generally go after three varieties that I know are completely safe, are easy to identify and hard to mistake. Anything beyond what I find is fun to try and identify back home but I never eat something unless I know that is one hundred percent safe. Also, always leave some behind for other foragers. It's not cool or nice etiquette to take every single last berry from a bush. Take only what you need. Also, don't pick things that aren't ripe just for the sake of increasing the volume for foraged goods. I know this can be tempting as it's kind of like a treasure hunt to pick as much as possible. But picking berries before their prime to have a big volume isn't that great when you actually get home and realize they didn't reach their potential. Also, to keep up to date with things that are in season in Denmark, I love to follow Noma forager Michael Fitzner. As any wise forager does, he keeps his locations to himself, but shares nice grams of his bounty for the Noma kitchen. If you have any other suggestions of where to forage in Copenhagen, I'd love to hear your favorite spots!

Road Trip in the Swedish Countryside

Swedish Country Side Roadtrip Well, this probably won't surprise you, but I am crazy about road tripping. After my breakup last Summer, I went on a road trip from Oregon to California. It was just me and the road (and a Taylor Swift CD) for twelve hours. And it was empowering. And it made me realize that everything would be okay. Now, road trips are one of my favorite ways to travel. I recently went road tripping from from Helsingborg, Sweden to a super small town, Molcom, in the Swedish countryside where the Ängsbacka Yoga Festival was held. It was so fun and wild. What was supposed to take us five hours in the car ended up taking us over 24 hours because we kept stopping to jump in lakes, pick berries and follow the beaten path. It was the best way to explore the Swedish countryside and I totally fell in love with the farmland dotted with sweet red houses. I now have dreams of living in one where I just tend to my garden and drink tea while reading. I can't recommend road tripping through Sweden enough (and it's extremely inexpensive to do so.) We rented a car for a minimal fee and ended up camping at free locations by the sea. Also, just a note to my gluten-free friends, which I know is so many of us—Sweden has epic salad bars everywhere you can imagine. Big supermarkets and small gas stations, particularly our favorite Preem, had the best and healthiest salad bars to keep us healthy as we drove. Also the wild foraged berries were a perfect little sweet treat. So on top of being a stellar and fun road trip filled with endless beauty, we were able to remain healthy and feeling good the whole time.

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August '16 Health Goals

ItsmeCharlotte Well, I've just returned from one week spent in the Swedish country side at a yoga festival hosted at the beautiful Ängsbacka retreat center. I spent the my days frolicking in the woods collecting berries and bitter greens, practicing yoga, eating vegetarian/ayurvedic meals, learning about different healing modalities, singing around campfires, swimming in the lake and sleeping in a yurt. It was a pretty life-changing experience and felt like a very healing and rejuvenating week—just what I needed before heading into the last month of Summer. I was disconnected from any sort of technology for the majority of the week and that brought me so much peace of mind. My work is largely revolved around my camera, phone and computer and at times, it can feel like my head is going to explode. A week without the latter two (phone and computer) made me realize that I need to create some boundaries around these beautiful yet addicting and time-consuming pieces of technology. More so than that, I left the festival feeling totally inspired to make some radical shifts to my daily health care. I've definitely let some things slip lately in terms of rituals and habits in trade for late nights with friends, eating out and letting go of any sort of schedule. I returned home on July 31st and wrote a list of some health goals that I know will elevate my life. I'm going to really try to focus on striking that fine balance between staying healthy and indulging in life this month. So I thought today I would share some of my attainable health goals for the month of August.

August '16 Health Goals

1. Phone and computer off between the hours of 8pm and 8am. This is a big one for me. In the past I've definitely been guilty (as many of us are) of lying in bed scrolling through social media before going to bed and upon waking up. To be honest, this gives me a foggy brain and is not how I'd like to start or end my day. When I was at Ängsbacka I noticed how much better I slept and felt by not using my phone. So this is my real-life compromise. At 8pm, I turn off my phone and don't turn it on until 8am. I'm loving this new habit so far and find that I fall asleep so much earlier. In terms of an alarm clock, I just trust my internal clock, which wake me up right around 7:30-8am. If I wake up later, then usually that means I needed. If you don't have this luxury, go old school and switch to a (gasp!) regular clock.

2. Move between the hours of 9am and 11am. While movement is a big part of my day, I have decided to commit to morning workouts instead of seeing how I feel during the day. It's about creating a routine in my very spontaneous and ever-changing daily life. I've decided that everyday at 9am I'm going to move my body in one way or another. That may mean crossfit, yoga, running or simply a walk. But everyday I'm going to be moving at 9am. This is a lifestyle change I'd like to make in the longterm. Not only is working out in the morning great for your health but it also makes sure you get your daily exercise in, which is hugely important for supporting optimal health.

3. Big morning smoothie. This is a bit new to me. But as many of you know, I am always experimenting with my diet for optimal wellness. And these days, smoothies are really resonating with me. So I've been doing a large green(ish) smoothie to refuel after my fasted workouts. I basically sip on it post-workout and into the early afternoon. Here's what I generally put into my morning smoothie (which is subject to daily changes): 2-3 cups steamed kale, 1 cup arugla, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 medium banana, hemp seeds, chia seeds, brazil nuts, coconut oil, coconut milk and two scoops of my favorite protein powder.

4. 10,000 steps per day. In an effort to move more. To walk more. To get out and stretch my legs. This is an extremely achievable goal yet one that takes a bit of intention. This goal has pushed me to get up from the computer and walk around my neighborhood. The best part? It's been the perfect opportunity to practice my foraging skills. On walks this month I've found dandelion greens for green smoothies, blackberries, chamomile, plums and apples. Such a delight!

5. Tracking my nutrients. I'm a big fan of Dr. Mercola and love his straight-forward advice; it really resonates with me. Anyways, thanks to him, I'm embarking on a month of tracking my nutrients via Cronometer, which is a free app. I'm really trying to support my metabolic and mitochondrial health this month and am curious about where I stand in terms of reaching the nutrients my body needs for optimal performance. For example, I've been taking a fat soluble vitamin-c recently but according to cronometer, I am already blowing that daily requirement out of the park so taking that supplement is completely unnecessary. Suffice to say, it's been really interesting to track my daily nutrients. This is definitely something that I will only be doing in the short term (for the month of August!)

So there you have it. Those are my health goals this month. Note that they aren't about losing weight or anything of that sort but rather about implementing strategies to elevate my life and how I feel on the daily. Do you have any current health goals you've recently implemented in your life? I'd love to hear!

Roasted Carrots with Warming Spices (Inspired by Stedsans!)

Stedsans Clean Simple Local A few weeks back I had the pleasure of hanging out on the Østegro rooftop garden taking photos of all the beautiful seasonal dishes from Stedsans CleanSimpleLocal. You've definitely either heard me mention them or have read my blog posts about Stedsans (I took my dad there for his birthday and here I talked about my first Stedsans long table dinner) but suffice to say I'm obsessed with the concept, the execution and Mette and Flemming who are the creatives behind the beautiful restaurant. The food is always beautifully fresh, seasonal and local. Mette and Flemming cook according to real food values—meaning plenty of gorgeous vegetables, sustainably raised meat, biodynamic wine, saturated fat like butter and coconut oil and use plenty of medicinal and nourishing herbs. I couldn't love the way they prepare food more and it definitely aligns with how I nourish my own body. Anyways, when I was there, Mette brought out this absolutely stunning dish of roasted carrots. She was extra excited because they were the first farm fresh carrots of the Summer season. And boy were they sweet and delicious. The key to any meal is starting out with beautiful, fresh and organic ingredients. I've been very inspired by Mette and Flemming's food and have been cooking out of Mette's stunning cookbook Sundt & Simpelt non-stop lately. The funny thing is the book only comes in Danish and I'm joking that it's how I will learn Danish. I've been doing my own little rendition of roasted carrots these days inspired by Mette.

Roasted & Spiced Carrots

Preheat oven to 250C/450F. Prep farm fresh carrots (the sweet and soft kind) by cutting off the stems but savings just a bit as pictured. If using regular grocery store carrots make sure to half or even quarter them as they are often much harder. Place carrots into a baking dish and liberally coat with a combination of olive oil and ghee or butter. Next sprinkle liberally with cinnamon, turmeric and ginger powder. Give plenty of pinches of coarse sea salt and pepper. Next, garnish with dried or fresh thyme. Roast carrots until they are fork tender and then broil for five minutes. Serve with loads of fresh basil, and the kicker, cacao nibs (a la Mette Helbak). These are so dreamy and an incredibly nutrient-dense, body loving dish. Enjoy, my sweet friends!

Back in Copenhagen and Celebrating with Yelp's Ice Cream Week

CPH Ice Cream Week I'm back in Copenhagen after a truly whimsical and mind-blowing few days in the Faroe Islands. I can't wait to share images and words from my trip. But for now, I'm just slowly moving out of vacation mode and back into real life mode. And the best way I know how to do that? Softening the blow by hanging with friends. Especially when hanging out means jointly celebrating Yelp's Copenhagen Ice Cream Week, which was created by my lovely friend Camilla of Copenhagen By Me. Some of my favorite places in Copenhagen for ice cream and nice cream (the name for dairy-free ice cream or "not ice cream") such as Social Foodies and Nicecream Copenhagen are running amazing deals all week. Today, Camilla and I met up at Nicecream and shared a few delicious popsicles and some of their crazy delicious bowls (the one on the left is a peanut butter Banana Bowl and on the right is a traditional Acai Bowl.) What I love about Nicecream is that it is gluten-free and vegan, boom boom. Not to mention absolutely delicious. I love health-ified treats. Social foodies is a close second favorite and they have amazing dairy based ice creams as well as fruit sorbets and homemade chocolate. Don't worry friends, I went there yesterday and sampled the green smoothie sorbet and salted caramel ice cream. I'm definitely not missing out on this week. Anyways, point is, if you're in Copenhagen, you too can partake in this midsummer ice cream eating fest. Just check out the facebook page I linked to above to find out where you can find the scoop of your dreams. Until then, I'm hoping the ice cream sugar rush fuels me into some major blog writing and updating. Also, coming soon is a new IMC site, which I am so thrilled to share in a few weeks. Sending all of you so much love.

Hej Fra Færøerne, Friends!

Hej fra færøerne friends! For the past four days I’ve been on a photo trip in the Faroe Islands with one of my best friends and adventure partners in crime, Kristian (ok—he’s my ex-boyfriend too!) We’ve been mostly unplugged as we’ve been driving, hiking and getting lost in the various islands. I can’t believe I’m actually here—it’s been on my must-travel-to list for quite sometime and it has surpassed all of my wildest dreams. It is pretty unreal here. Rolling green hills dotted with sheep of every color and texture. Weather changing in an instant from the brightest sunshine to sideways rain to mystic fog accompanied by howling wind. I’m massively relishing in the healing nature of this land. To be honest, I’ve needed a break from Copenhagen city life to clear my mind, get in touch with my intuition and to press my feet into the lush earth. Aside from driving, hiking and photographing every corner we can, we’ve been eating loads of seafood, drinking cheap gas station kaffe, picnicking, camping and so on. Yesterday we actually took a ferry to the island of Mykine’s and then got airlifted off the island in a chopper today as the waves of the Atlantic were too rough for travel. I overheard in the helicopter, “getting from A to B in the Faroes is always an adventure.” After a few days here, I’d have to agree. I can’t wait to share more with you, but until then, here is a self-portrait post card of myself, blustered with wind, hair in my face but bright eyes and a big smile. Hejhej, Friends!

Denmark's Famous Roskilde Festival

RF_CD-1 So I'm sitting here on Monday morning after having spent the last several days at Denmark's famous Roskilde Festival. I'm listening to , drinking coffee and working on managing a killer headache that seems to want to hang out longer than I'd like. Roskilde Festival was some kind of magic, you guys. It was kind of insane. Crazy. A full on love-fest. Debauchery of sorts. So please, if your sensitive to scandalous imagery, this might not be the post for you. But I kind of love how steamy all these images turned out. It's not my typical style, but it certainly is fun to share. I wouldn't say I'm a huge festival-goer, if that's even a phrase. I like my rest. I like to be comfortable. I don't like days spent endlessly on my feet covered in mud and a belly full of fries. But the past few days at Roskilde changed my mind on festivals. It was a different kind of world where, despite horrible stormy weather, everyone was glowing from the inside out. I spent a lot of time with my partner in crime Jacqui photographing interesting people and situations at the festival on top of eating bowls and bowls of chili, sipping on gin and tonics, enjoying our media passes, dancing, laughing, hugging, hand holding, meeting incredible people and the likes. I'm pretty sure we walked something like 45km over a three day period. So sore feet we do have. And that headache. The typical aftermath of a festival. But it was all worth it. I love you, Roskilde. I'll be back. And next year, I will most certainly camp it.

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Images take in collaboration with Jacqui Hogan

Celebrating My Dads Birthday at Stedsans CleanSimpleLocal

Stedsans CleanSimpleLocal One of the most exciting things happening in my life right now is that my Dad is visiting Copenhagen. He traveled here all the way from San Francisco and it makes me feel so special that he made the effort to come visit Denmark. He's here for a week and I planned the raddest list of activities for us. I'm not into typical tourism at all. When I travel, I like to sit at local cafés, eat at amazing restaurants, wander around pretty streets and meet all sorts of people. And this is exactly how I wanted to show my dad Copenhagen. In the past three days that he has been here we've picnicked by the sea, went for a swim, drank spritz and gin and tonics with all the hipsters in Vesterbrø, did the chef's tasting at PONY, broke my dads late-night kebab eating v. card, bought him two pairs of Stan Smiths from Keyoto to fit in with the local style, have had breakfast and coffee at my favorite spot RIST Kaffe Bar (two days in a row) and last night we dined at the Stedsans Rooftop Garden. As you may know, I'm absolutely crazy about Stedsans. I knew my dad would be as well. It was actually my birthday present to him! He's turning, um, "40" this week. At least that's what we say. It was such a beautiful night filled with amazing food, wine and great company. We loved it and ended up staying up on the rooftop until midnight and then biked home tipsy from wine and bellies filled with amazing food. Here are some of my favorite pictures from our night celebrating.

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Jumping Into My 24th Year

24th birthday portraits Last Saturday I celebrated my 24th birthday here in Copenhagen with friends, amazing food, champagne, a swim in the sea, lots of chocolate and the most blissful late night bike ride!! I usually like to minimize my birthday and would rather just glaze over the day. I'm not really sure where that mentality came from but from this birthday on, that changes. I had a flight booked to London to celebrate with old friends but last minute I decided to spend my 24th birthday in Copenhagen celebrating with new friends. It was a completely spontaneous birthday day that was so full of amazing small and big moments. I feel grateful for each and every moment and the beautiful people who made it the sweetest it could be. My birthday day celebrations made me realize how far I have come in a single year. Last year, when I turned 23, I was completely heartbroken, feeling sicker than ever and was pretty confused with what I was doing in life (typical 23 year old issues!) Pretty sure I was too sad to even celebrate last year. 24 marks a new era. I can feel that some of the best years of my life are on the horizon. My 24th birthday was filled with SO MUCH LOVE, LIGHT, POSITIVITY that it truly showed me how much I expanded my life during my 23rd year.

Last year was REALLY hard. It included some really amazing times but also some really hard times. It was the first time in my life that I had my heart broken. I felt that I might never be able to move on and woke up crying for months. It was also when I hit rock bottom with my health. It was when I finally, 10+ years later, grieved the last bit of my mom's death. But it was also a year that I picked up all the pieces of my heart and began to grow as a stronger and more independent person. It's when I decided to jump fully into my art and career as a photographer. It's when I went on my first solo journey and fell in love with a city and decided to sell all my belongings and leave everything I knew to go after my dream. And it was the year that I was able to reclaim my health. It was filled with meeting insanely inspiring people. It was full of tears, late nights, dancing on tables, dozens of road trips, finding love in every day small moments and people. Lastly, it was the year of practicing self-love in every hard, sad and joyful moment. I embarked on a self-love portrait series this year, which I will continue working on through my 24th years. And as a way to commemorate one of the biggest themes of my 23rd year, self-love, I asked my best friend in Copenhagen, Jacqui, to take some birthday portraits of me to celebrate this journey into 24 (I trust her more than anyone to take my images.) We've been working a lot together and she has been working as my stylist/project manager, but I can't believe how much she's grown as a photographer. SO talented. I'm thrilled for her. So here is me at 24. These are super special images.  Anyways, it's taken my about a week to think about what it feels like to be 24. What my dreams are for this year. Where I am and where I want to go. I'm so excited to jump straight into this year.

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When New and Old Worlds Collide

Copenhagen Botanical Garden Last week was so wonderful. It was filled with an abundance of satisfying creative work and opportunities. It also included making the sweet acquaintance with an old friend, GLÓ! And her beautiful man! I love when new and old worlds collide. Eygló and I attended IMG Academy together during high school way back when we were both basically professional athletes. She played golf and I played tennis at the top international junior sports academy in the world (no big deal!) Gló, as I am calling her these days, is from Iceland but she has been living, studying and is now working in Sweden. And last week she was in Copenhagen for a very special event and I got to hang with her. It was the best thing ever. I literally adore her and her energy. And if I'm being honest, I always had a girl crush on her. Anyways, we strolled around the Copenhagen Botanical Garden, only my favorite place in the city. And I even got to take some glorious portraits of her and her beautiful boyfriend, the ever-handsome Emil. Talk about a beautiful couple. I took the opportunity to edit these images in a more experimental, ultra-filmy way. I kind of love it. And I hope you do to.

Copenhagen Botanical Garden

Copenhagen Botanical Garden

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Celebrating Sankt Hans Aften (Mid Summer's Eve!)

Midsummer It's June 23rd!  And it's a very special day here in Denmark! Today is the day that Danes celebrate Midsummer's Eve—the shortest night of the year. It's referred to as St. John's Eve or Sankt Hans Aften. Danes will be celebrating all around Denmark tonight (and so will I!) and in particular, Copenhagen will be a very fun place to be as there will be big bonfires around the city. Midsummer is always a super special time to me and in my opinion, the perfect time to celebrate and embrace all things summer: picnics, strawberries, friends, late nights, bike rides, picking flowers and wearing light airy dresses. I can't wait to celebrate tonight with most of those things mentioned. I took this sweet little picture yesterday when I was riding my bike home from a summer picnic in Kongens Have, also known as the King's Garden. I always pass this little park on my way home from Nørreboro and yesterday, the light was golden and I saw a sweet little cherry tree loaded with the rainier variety. So I pulled over and foraged some fallen cherries, a sweet rose, a feather and some sweet other little things that made my heart skip a beat. I'm wishing you all a beautiful midsummer to all of you wonderful babes. I hope you get to celebrate with all things sweet and joyful.

Summer Picnic with 42Raw, Klix Communications and Copenhagen Bloggers

Gosh, sometimes a little girl time in the park is all you need. Today I was invited to the loveliest picnic by my sweet friend Camilla of Copenhagen By Me. She texted me a few hours before the event to see if I wanted to come—and so perfect that she did as I'm a very spontaneous person and hate making plans any earlier than day-of (so not very Danish of me!) The event was a little press picnic to celebrate summer with 42Raw, Copenhagen's best quick and healthy food option offering amazing gluten-free and dairy-free, as well as vegetarian fare, for when you're on the go or want something healthy but don't feel like cooking. I got to meet the amazing CEO and Founder today, Jesper Rydahl, and definitely gushed to him about how I ate at 42Raw basically every day I was in Copenhagen last summer. Um, the avocado pesto sandwich anyone? Yes. Definitely go ahead and try that as soon as possible. Anyways, this picnic was such a wonderful Wednesday afternoon event. I enjoyed the hot weather in Copenhagen with some seriously amazing bloggers and instagrammers. I was totally smitten to be included. I really love the blogging world and am feeling so grateful to be welcomed into the Copenhagen bloggers scene with wide arms and full hearts. We were totally spoiled with so much green food goodness like green smoothies, salads with extra avocado, iced matcha lattes and raw bounty bars. Was amazing. And as usual after these kind of events, I left with a completely lifted mood. If you want to check out my new friends, you can find them tagged on my latest instagram photo here. And if you're traveling to Copenhagen, I'd definitely suggest swinging by 42Raw and getting an avocado sandwich, a matcha latte and some sort of glorious raw treat because, well, dessert is the best.

A Few Notes on Being Sick While Abroad

Notes On Being Sick Last week I came down with a virus. The most brutal and mean virus I think I've ever experienced. I'm pretty sure that every year in June I come down with something. I think it comes from the change of season. It always comes right when the weather warms and the pollen count is high. It almost always happens right around my birthday. So I guess this year it's right on time. Generally it comes and goes. It's brutal, for sure, but I cry and sleep and get hugs from family and it passes. This year is a little different. As you know, I'm here in Denmark. And being sick, like really sick, in a foreign country away from family is pretty hard. I thought I hit the climax of this virus last night when I found myself sobbing to a pharmacist at the only 24-hour pharmacy in Copenhagen at 2:30am basically begging her to just give me all the drugs. But then this morning happened. I wandered back to my doctor's office early this morning, with very little sleep, begging for more answers than just a virus and the advice that I need to sleep and have tea with honey (seriously yesterday I used nearly a half of a bottle of honey in efforts to sooth my raw throat.) So then, he ran a full blood panel, like nothing I had ever seen. 14 vials of blood later and I found myself woozy, feeling sick and wobbling to the nearest chair to lie down. I've never experienced anything like that but I passed out. And then woke up on the doctor's table. And then ran to the bathroom sobbing. It's not fun being sick in a foreign country, I tell you. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the worst is over. That this too shall pass. Because I know it will. And this weekend is my birthday weekend and I'd really like to celebrate my 24th year with a fresh face and throat that is not this sore. So I returned from the doctor, made myself a nice big smoothie full of vitamin c and other healthy things, showered, put some real clothes on and took myself to my favorite coffee shop, RIST Kaffebar, right around the corner to my house. Don't worry, I'm not coughing on anyone. But getting out is helpful. Coffee always helps too. I've also just been fully returning to the fundamentals of healing and allowing myself the time my body needs to rest and repair. So please, if you would, send me some healing vibes. I can use all that I can get right now. Tusind Tak, friends. That means one thousand thanks.

Lifestyle Branding Session with Cookbook Author Linn Grubbström

Linn Grubbström Meet my sweet friend Linn. Originally from Sweden and now living in Copenhagen. Self-employed blogger and two (soon to be three) time cookbook author. Major #LadyBoss vibes? I'd say yes. I was so thrilled to get an email with Linn's proposal to have me photograph her portrait for her upcoming cookbook Mad For Begyndere Mere Grønt. Linn's book is a follow-up on her first book, just with more vegetable focused recipes. If you've been following me long enough, you know I'm a huge fan of a plant based diet. In fact, these days I'm following much of a plant-based with a side of paleo style diet. Suffice to say, Linn and I got along juuuuust fine. We started our session at Torvehallerne, an incredible food marketplace in the middle of Copenhagen with a glorious outdoor market. We picked out tons of fresh produce that can be found in Linn's beautiful recipes (think rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini and so on!) We then biked around Copenhagen to a few favorite spots in Frederiksberg and so on as we snapped fun images of Linn. Lifestyle branding sessions are just my favorite because I get to hang out with the coolest people and prance around during golden hour. Anyways, if you want to find out more about Linn, be sure to check out her rad blog, FRK. KRÆSEN. She does some seriously mad good food photography. Anyways, hope you enjoy seeing a few of my favorite images from the session!

Linn Grubbström

Linn Grubbström

Linn Grubbström

A Hard Week Filled with Love and Showing Up For Myself

Copenhagen I can't lie, this week has been beyond brutal. I've been completely knocked out with the most brutal case of the flu or some sort of virus I've ever experienced. And I've basically had to take 100% care of myself save for my amazing roomie Craig who makes me lemon + honey tea and gives me hugs while I cry on the bathroom floor ‪#‎truestory‬. But feeling sick alone in a foreign country is not easy. And it makes me want to be home more than anything regardless of how much I love my little sweet life here in Copenhagen. I miss my sisters, the dogs, the fresh mountain air, walks on the ranch, those sweet pacific northwest vibes, swimming in the river, kombucha fills at the gas station, farmers markets, whole foods, drive through coffee and Central Oregon. It makes me realize that Central Oregon is really my home. It's the place I crave to return to as a means to find balance in my life. Something about that mountain air. Anyways, counting my lucky stars that my sweet godmother Rebecca was in town last week to give me so many hugs, words of wisdom and all the feels. I'm sure things will get better from here. Expat life comes with so much beauty accompanied by all the very, very hard bits.

A Magical Night a Stedsans ØsterGRO

Stedsans-3 I wanted to share some images from a beautiful evening I had at Stedsans ØsterGRO, which is a stunning rooftop restaurant that is set inside a Scandinavian greenhouse. I've been dreaming of my night at Stedsans since last Summer, when I first found out about the restaurant. Although it feels a little funny calling it a restaurant because it truly is more of an experience. It's a fixed price event with a constantly changing five-course menu that fluctuates with the available produce of the season. The night was grander than I could have imagined in the most low-key and non-pretentious way possible. We ended up having the this sort of unreal-magical evening. Despite coming down rapidly with the flu, it was like for four hours, my body let me have this surreal experience, with incredible people, unbelievably beautiful food and the most magical weather of storming clouds and golden light and a delicate rainbow in the distance. I was able to share the experience with my sweet godmother who was visiting all the way from Central Oregon. We are shooting a farm-to-table cookbook together this fall in collaboration with the ever-lovely Rainshadow Organics Farm, and much of our relationship is founded on mutual love of organic, beautiful, simply prepared food where the quality of ingredients and the love that goes into preparation is what matters. So suffice to say, dining at Stedsans was an experience we both will treasure forever. She deemed it "the highlight of her year" and secretly, I kind of already knew it would be. It was SO up her ally. And mine too. And I'm so grateful for the absolutely LOVELY people that we got to enjoy this dinner with. What a night.

More than anything, recently, what I've come to realize is my desire to do more physical work. To work with food. And the earth. And to move away from a desk life. Mette and Flemming, the beautiful creators of Stedsans, have the un-canning ability to inspire you to be more intentional with food—where you get it, to consider who grows it, to prepare it with love. And if I've ever felt a time to start working more with my passion for food, it was certainly after this evening. Of course still continuing to pursue my photography, but with more physical work that breeds creativity in the realm of food, florals and health/wellness. So many thoughts in my head. And dreaming up big plans going into my 24th year and beyond! But more and more I'm attracted to a simple life rich with things I love like movement, beautiful food, being in touch with nature and incredible people. I'm not really sure I need more in life. Anyways, dining at Stedsans was truly inspiring and each dish was a delicious as the next and I truly hope that if you visit Copenhagen over the summer, that you find yourself sitting in the Stedsans greenhouse sharing a meal with new and old friends. 

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FindersKeepers Design Market in Copenhagen

FindersKeepers Design Market Copenhagen This past weekend I had the honor of being the photographer for an amazing design event called FindersKeepers in Copenhagen, Denmark. The event was created by amazing #LadyBoss Herle Hansen, who also owns the local Finders Keepers boutique in Frederiksberg. For my U.S. peeps, this event is similar to Renegade Craft Fair with a great Scandinavian flare. The event was held in a gorgeous industrial space in Vesterbrø and housed nearly one hundred amazing booths filled with beautifully designed and locally made products by Copenhagen's coolest movers and shakers. The weekend was a total blast as I ran around the event taking images, meeting all the amazing artisans and wearing my ‘crew member’ badge with pride as I climbed onto the tallest ladder, despite my fear of heights, to get the shot above. Some of my favorite brands at the event included these super fun blankets by Melker Design, all the amazing clothing from cool Danish meets French brand Forét and all the jewelry by Handcrafted—Anders Forup

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Lifestyle Branding Session with Wellness Practioner Torea Rodriguez

Torea - Lifestyle Branding Session When you get a text message saying, "maybe we can romp around in the van to fine a good location" all you can say is HELL YES. At least that’s what I did when I got this message from Torea. We were brainstorming about locations and the theme of her Lifestyle Branding Shoot she booked with me for late February. Just hearing the words romp and van in the same sentence and I knew we were bound to have a great time. And my session with her did not disappoint. Torea, is a functional diagnostic nutritional practitioner, #LADYBOSS and adventurous spirit who lives in gorgeous Santa Cruz. You can read more about what she does here. But my impression of T? I think her natural habitat is the great outdoors; it’s clear she is inspired by the beauty of nature. Her spirit and zest for life is contagious. And I adored spending time with her. We actually totally became great friends during our shoot. We even decided to have dinner together after our shoot. And we are already planning a girl’s road trip. We spent our afternoon together adventuring (or shall I say romping) around Santa Cruz in her rad white VW van, Serenity. Yup, her van totally has a name. And her van, well, it’s now my dream van. We took tons of amazing images to help support her business branding. Here are some of my favorite shots. 

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I hope this gives those of you who are interested in a lifestyle branding shoot a little taste into what kind of images you will get!

A Tour + Interview with Copenhagen's Matcha Bar

Matcha Bar, Copenhagen Denmark

I’m thrilled to share a little interview and some images from one of my favorite cafés in Copenhagen, Matcha Bar. With an emerging health food scene in Copenhagen, Michael Kristensen opened Matcha Bar in the Fall of 2015 as a way to share his passion for health and nutrition with the city. After a trip to California in 2013, he fell in love with matcha tea as an addition to a wellness lifestyle (we're all about that here on IMC!) He returned to Copenhagen only to be disappointed that it wasn't super available. He decided to make matcha his business. But the greatest challenge? Getting Danish people to try matcha. So what did he do? He created Matcha Bar—an uber trendy spot to grab healthy beverages and treats all centered around the antioxidant rich green powder. The interior is to die for, featuring Menu furniture, dreamy plants and classic Scandinavian touches. During my winter stay in Copenhagen, I spent a lot of time at Matcha Bar. I really, really love it. I also adore the fact that Michael makes his own cashew milk for the best damn matcha latte I’ve ever had. I asked Michael a few question about his business, inspiration and all the deets on Matcha Bar. 

What inspired you to open matcha bar?

I have a great passion for health and nutrition. When I went to California in the Spring of 2013, I went to this cafe and they had a lot of matcha drinks. I said, okay, matcha, what is that? I’ll order something. I tried it and I loved it. So I started replacing matcha for coffee. And I loved how it made me feel. When I got back to Copenhagen, I couldn’t find any places serving matcha. So the idea of matcha bar was born. Matcha Bar, Copenhagen Denmark

How long have you been open?

We opened on the 31st of October 2015. So we are brand new. Although I was selling matcha to businesses all around town long before that. And people have been quite excited about matcha bar; especially the locals in Vesterbrø . It’s very exciting to have a healthier option in the neighborhood. 

Matcha Bar - Copenhagen, Denmark

What is the best part about your job?

Freedom from not having a traditional job. I have an opportunity to work with my hobbies and interests and passion everyday and to share matcha with people. Everyday I’m not going to work, I’m just going to live out my hobby and interest. I can actually educate customers as well. That’s the most important thing. I can show them, tell them, and teach them so when they head out the door, they really understand what matcha is and how to use it. 

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Do you have a mission greater than matcha bar

I want to help improve the general health in Denmark. Education is very important. You know, educating people on how they can improve their health. Why they should drink matcha over coffee. It’s a gateway to a greater conversation around health and nutrition. 

The space is beautiful—what inspired the design?

My world is black and white. I actually don’t like colors so much. If you go to my home it’s also minimalistic. So matcha bar is very much a reflection of who I am as a person and how I see the world. This is my vision come to life. The idea is that it is kind of a showroom. This space was designed in collaboration with Danish home goods brand Menu. 

Matcha Bar, Copenhagen Denmark


If you're in Copenhagen, make sure to stop by Matcha Bar and tell Michael I sent you!