Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykavik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

This year we celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary with a trip to Iceland. We couldn't resist, with the great deal on flights (thank you WOW Airlines) and all the Insta-fame the country's been getting over the past few years. We started the week off in Reykjavik, Iceland's capital. Though there were plenty of restaurants and shops to browse, I thought the city was a little generic. It had European charm but was really catered toward the droves of tourists. The restaurants were decent but way overpriced and there wasn't much good shopping except for typical cheesy souvenirs. 

Luckily, our adventures outside of Reykjavik made up for it (more on that later). Regardless, I don't think you can visit Iceland without seeing the town of Reykjavik, but I'd recommend limiting your time in the city and getting right to the beautiful natural wonders the country has to offer.

Reykavik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Reykavik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Reykavik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog
Reykavik, Iceland | J for Jamie Blog

Cool Cousin

Cool Cousin | J for Jamie Blog

Earlier this year, while browsing on Instagram, I discovered Cool Cousin - a handy app for city guides curated by locals. At the time, San Francisco wasn't listed so I reached out to see if they were planning on launching in our beautiful city. Sure enough, they were already working on it and asked me to be one of the first Cool Cousins for San Francisco! Along with making recommendations of my favorite places around the city, I got to do a fun photoshoot around town. You can check out my Cool Cousin profile and all my favorite spots around the city here.

Cool Cousin is expanding their community to cities all over the world and is great for local recommendations if you enjoy traveling off the beaten path. You can also request to be a Cool Cousin for your own city and share all your favorite places with people from around the world. 

Download Cool Cousin on the App Store for your next trip!

Cool Cousin | J for Jamie Blog
Cool Cousin | J for Jamie Blog
Cool Cousin | J for Jamie Blog
Cool Cousin | J for Jamie Blog
Cool Cousin | J for Jamie Blog
Cool Cousin | J for Jamie Blog

Flora Grubb Gardens

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Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco, is a beautiful (dog friendly!) nursery and cafe in the most unexpected industrial neighborhood and one of my favorite places to go. My friend and fellow plant lover, Katie, and I would bring our dogs, grab a cup of Ritual coffee and meander around the garden - sometimes leaving with a new plant to take home. If you're a plant nerd, this is a great spot in the city for a relaxing outing or some creative yard inspiration.

Flora Grubb | J for Jamie Blog
Flora Grubb | J for Jamie Blog
Flora Grubb | J for Jamie Blog
Flora Grubb | J for Jamie Blog
Flora Grubb | J for Jamie Blog
Flora Grubb | J for Jamie Blog
Flora Grubb | J for Jamie Blog

Life lately

Our Wedding | J for Jamie Blog | Photo by The Manchiks

I'll keep this brief. The past couple months have been a whirlwind to say the least. About a month ago, we lost my beautiful father to amyloidosis. It was an excruciatingly painful experience that I hope one day I'll have the strength to share. To be honest, I haven't actually felt like blogging or "doing" social media at all. I normally lean on on these outlets as a form of therapy, to find comfort in sharing my experience. But this time was different - I needed to retreat, disconnect, and surround myself with the love of my closest friends and family. 

But so, life goes on. While I still haven't fully absorbed what life will be like without my dad, I know he'd want us to keep on - to keep smiling and making happy memories. So here I am, back at it, trying to navigate through life as best I can. And hopefully while I'm at it, I can share some of those happy memories in honor of my dad. Thanks for sticking with me. 

Anthropologie Instagram Takeover

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The new Anthropologie & Co. store in Palo Alto is one of my favorite places so my dreams came true when I was asked to style a photoshoot for an Anthropologie Instagram takeover. The concept was a Spring dinner party, which included food prep, tablescape, appetizers, cocktails and dessert. My job was to pick out Anthropologie products and style them accordingly for each photo. I think the hardest part was deciding from all the beautiful options.

I worked along side the amazingly talented photographer, Eileen Roche of Buena Lane Photography; and floral designer, Rebecca Zver of Milsom & Bloom. The cocktail and food were provided by Terrain Garden Cafe - which of course, we got to taste afterwards. It was a hard day's work but so much fun to do, I hope more opportunities like this come my way!

Hiking in Hong Kong

J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong

After being in the urban jungle of Hong Kong for a few weeks, I was really excited to go on a day hike with my cousin Liz and her friends. It was uni (sea urchin) season, so they picked a little fishing village known for their uni, to hike to. Little did I know this hike was about 4 hours long, pretty much uphill the entire way and involved climbing giant boulders in order to get up the mountain. Also, it was humid AF but for some reason, Liz's friends didn't even break a sweat and practically ran up. Meanwhile, I pretended like I was stopping to take photos but was really just trying not to faint from exhaustion.

Anyways, I had never felt so relieved to see the cute little fishing village at the bottom of the mountain. Unfortunately, they weren't able to catch any uni that day (gah!) but we had a lovely and interesting seafood dinner and walked around town for a bit. I'm really happy I got to spend some time with Liz and her really nice friends, outdoors for a day. I miss them all!

J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong
J for Jamie Blog | Hiking in Hong Kong