Posts in Places
Meet Me In Hamburg This Saturday, 10 September - FeierLaune Buch Party

Hello dear friends. This is a quick post to let you know that on Saturday morning I'm going to be in Hamburg at the for  International Design Fair from 10-11 am to present the German edition of my new book, [easyazon_link identifier="3421040362" locale="DE" tag="cattledogs09-21"]FeierLaune[/easyazon_link], for the first time - it's not even out yet so no one has a copy and won't for a few more weeks! If you'd like to come, we'll be having breakfast and talking about the book and I'll be signing copies and meeting everyone - it will be very nice and my little boy will be with me so he can meet everyone and be at mama's book launch party. I'll also have some time between 11:15-12:30 for interviews if you'd like to meet one on one. Decorate-for-A-Party,-p39,-photography-by-Janis-Nicolay

To register, just use and I'll see you there!

Thank you and Blickfang for hosting this special event in celebration of my 4th book.

(Photograph: for Decorate For a Party)

8 Messages From The World's #1 Chef Massimo Bottura

I just arrived back home after a whirlwind trip to Berlin to interview Massimo Bottura, chef patron of the Michelin three-starred restaurant , who was recently crowned the (as voted by a panel of nearly 1,000 gastronomic experts worldwide) presiding over the #1 restaurant in the world. When I was given this assignment, I viewed it as an honor but also a challenge since the food scene is not entirely on my radar YET I do know about passion, art, culture and the craving one can have from the very core to follow dreams and live their life immersed in what they love. So after seeing Massimo on Netflix ( Episode 1), I felt entirely ready to meet this hugely talented and successful man and experience his passion first hand. meetmassimo

After I arrived at the , I watched a fantastic presentation by Massimo for about his goal to change the way the world looks at food through (his non profit organization) and his collaboration with Grundig for their #RespectFood movement. #RespectFood focuses on how much waste food. That we need to use the leftovers, clean our plate, use what is in our refrigerator and don't let it go to waste, don't put more on our plate that we will eat, have a conscience when it comes to the meal before you, etc. With so many starving in the world and 1.3 billion tons of food being wasted, it's a call to action to put more thought into cooking than just the recipes we make.

Grundig #RespectFood Manifesto 1. Eat Leftovers 2. Know Your Fridge 3. Check The Dates 4. Shop Smart 5. Love Food Hate Waste 6. Take Leftovers Home 7. Use It All 8. Clean Your Plate 9. Eat What You Need

During Massimo's presentation, he jumped in with the chef he originally had there to prepare his recipe for him and instead, he asked us if he could cook while he spoke and of course, the audience didn't object - it was a great privilege to watch him at work - directing the chef while speaking to us and making some jokes along the way. He is focused and intense but also all over the place and very spirited and energetic - you can't predict what will come next, I love it - so it's fun to watch him in his element with pots and pans and delicious aromas filling the air... His energy is contagious and it's obvious that he loves being in the kitchen. We even got to sample his broth with breadcrumbs and parmesan which was light and lovely.

After his presentation, I was ushered into a private area for the press - I was with CNN Turkey, Wallpaper magazine and several members of the British press, and I had 15 minutes to meet Massimo in a small conference room and that is exactly what happened -- and it was an exhilarating ride. After we wrapped up, I asked if he'd like to present in a video a few words from his heart for the cattledogs audience - I told him it could be any message he'd like to send forth, and below, you will find my video of Massimo. But first, here are 8 messages from this famous chef that I had to share from our meeting together...

  1. ON LOVE: When I asked Massimo about his relationship with his American wife, Lara Gilmore, what she brought to their partnering, he immediately said, "Culture, Poetry and Balance. Mi the Italian irrational way of acting with the pragmatic way of an American is the perfect mix." I personally loved hearing this, he is so in love with his wife but also has so much respect for her, it's very touching.
  2. ON RESPONSIBILITY: "Cooking is an act of love but today, cooking is a call to act. Chefs today are much more than their recipes, we can do so much more, we have a responsibility, much more than the sum of the recipes." He is referring here to how much food we waste and how chefs and all of us need to think more about what we are using. He was raised in a culture where you eat the entire animal so to speak, so nothing is wasted, and this is important to him in a world where so many are starving.
  3. ON GETTING YOUR MESSAGE OUT: "You communicate, it is your job, you are writing, you communicate with hundreds of thousands of people. It's you, the press, that is the most important thing, if you evolve, if you transfer these kinds of messages.We (chefs) have so much spotlight that we are moving from us to others so we can do like this repertoire and have the full attention of the people, that's a very good thing." Massimo feels very thankful for the press that he gets now from being the world's #1 chef, not for his own ego, but because now he is able to get bigger, more important news out to the world like his nonprofit, Food For Soul.
  4. ON FUTURE CHEFS: He sees a lot of chefs who think success comes overnight or from winning a contest on television. He believes this is just not the case, "The young generation, they have to know that being a chef takes a very long time. You have to grow like a tree, very very slow with big roots, and then you can shine. But first of all, you have to know everything and then forget about everything, but first you have to know everything and to know everything you have to travel a lot, experience a  lot, you have to do all this."
  5. ON INSPIRATION: "When I watch a movie and go to the movie theater, most of the time, I go and watch the most stupid thing ever but what I need is two hours for me to isolate myself, I don't even know what I watched." He said that is when the ideas come, and we both agreed that isolation can often breed inspiration.
  6. ON MUSIC: "When I leave the restaurant, in my house there is a room, a music room, and this is where I decompress. The music is perfect, most of the time in there especially in the darkness I find a creative earthquake, a very important moment in which I really find myself mi so many different aspects of my passion... Art, music, especially when I'm alone." He mentioned Opera, Pavarotti, Billy Holiday, Led Zeppelin - all great music inspires him.
  7. ON DESIGN: "We grew up with a kind of feeling and passion for design, we waited 6 years for finding the right sofa. I was walking on the streets of New York, and I saw two shadows, two gray chairs and I put them on my shoulder and I walked from mid own to uptown with them on my shoulders and I walked back home... How can you throw away two chairs like that? Now they are in my living room." Massimo is a big fan of recycling and using everything, from food to the objects he uses to decorate his home.
  8. ON PERSEVERANCE: I asked him about the time when he was not the most popular chef in Italy, when reviews were not so positive. I asked him how he pressed forward and stuck to his ideas and he simply said, "I was so sure about what I was doing, it was so clear to me that I was on the right way. For the young chefs if you have a good idea, keep doing it, go ahead, if the idea is really right... you will be recognized."

Here is Massimo with a message for all of you...

* is a non-profit organization founded by chef Massimo Bottura to promote social awareness about food wastage and hunger through a wide range of initiatives in collaboration with chefs, artisans, food suppliers, artists, designers and institutions. You can get involved .

(Photo + Video by Holly Becker for cattledogs)

Blog Book Tour UK: Decorate For a Party

Hello everyone! Today is a very special day because it begins a full two week period of reviews for our new book, Decorate For a Party, by bloggers in mainly the UK with the exception of Avenue Lifestyle since she helped us shoot the book! Each day, for the next two weeks, someone will review the book on their blog. Holly Marder, one of the wonderful photographers who helped and I take photos for the book, kicked off the reviews today on her blog and we are really pleased and happy by what she's said because even though this is my 4th book, each book always feels like the first all over again - the anticipation, the shaking knees, the pounding heart... It's such a rush to see what people think about your projects and ideas once they are out there. Leslie and I really hope that you will enjoy it. IMG_9947

Here is the line-up for the next two weeks if you'd like to follow the reviews, I can't wait to see what each person thinks and what they are responding to from the content and photos.

Monday 5th September - Avenue Lifestyle - Tuesday 6th September - Wednesday 7th September - Thursday 8th September - Friday 9th September -

Monday 12th September - Tuesday 13th September - n Wednesday 14th September - Thursday 15th September - Friday 16th September -



A big thank you to Jessica for planning this blog tour and to all of the bloggers who will do the reviews, thank you so much!

Pre-order your copy here:

USA/CANADA: [easyazon_image align="none" height="500" identifier="1910254290" locale="US" nw="y" src="" tag="cattledogs09-20" width="421"]

UK: [easyazon_image align="none" height="500" identifier="1910254290" locale="UK" src="" tag="cattledogs0a-21" width="421"]

German edition: [easyazon_image align="none" height="500" identifier="3421040362" locale="DE" src="" tag="cattledogs09-21" width="424"]

Italian and French coming soon!

xo Holly

(photographs Holly Marder)

PlacesHolly BeckerComment
Questions For Massimo Bottura

Hi friends! Later this week I will travel to Berlin to meet , Italian restaurateur and the chef patron of , a three-Michelin-star restaurant based in Modena, Italy that was just named THE in the world. I'm very excited to attend his #RespectFood event and have a chance to interview him for cattledogs - so to all of you out there who love food and his work, do you have any specific questions that you'd like for me to ask him and I will do my best to share his answers with you either on on Friday via my cattledogs page OR next week here on my blog... bottura-casa-5_MGbig


These photos are of his beautiful home with his American wife and business partner, , whom I have a girl crush on after watching her in the Netflix show, , with Massimo. She is such an amazing woman!

Leave your questions in the comments section below please!

(Images: for , Styling: )

Join Me at Meet The Blogger in Amsterdam!

Two great things to share today... First, ! Next, I feel so good if I just say the word... Suit, Suit, Suitcase! Yes I'm a dork, I know... But I have a lot of travel coming up, including Amsterdam on October 1 for MTB, and I needed luggage so SuitSuit collection in MINT arrived and totally saved the day. Best part... I'll never miss them on the conveyer belt at the airport because they really stand out. And there are three in the collection so I scooped the smallest one up for my little boy so he can travel with a matching bag to mama. At least we'll see how long that lasts until he wants his own with cars and trucks on it. :) suitsuitBlogPost

I have so many nice places to visit this Autumn and Winter, and I may be getting back to America, so I'm really looking forward to being on the road seeing nice people and dear friends to give lectures, sign books and just hang out with cool people that inspire me. I love work travel, it hardly feels like work, so I consider myself very lucky in this regard.

So... Are you going to in Amsterdam on October 1? Please do! I haven't been at an event in years - the last was in London in 2012, so this is a big scary step for me to get back out there into the world of blog conferences, speaking engagements and book events. I'm very excited but definitely have shaky knees. I took time off during my pregnancy and the first few years of being a new mom so I could really stay home with him, write books (I finished two since I was pregnant) and focus on re-launching  and other business-related goals.  I'm glad I did, but now I'm eager to go back out there and meet bloggers and creatives again, see what has changed since I took a leave of absense from it all, and most importantly, to connect and inspire as well as be inspired.

On Saturday, October 1st I will be at Meet The Blogger  at 10:15 am - a 45 minute discussion to include q+a about creating content – photography and words – for social media and publications from the heart and with passion and courage. I have A LOT to share that I've learned in my 10 years of having a career as a blogger and writer, and I promise it will be a discussion like no other because I plan to share my failings and successes and most importantly, help everyone attending to walk away with a lot more than they entered the room with! It's going to be a very intimate discussion, that is my goal at least, so I do hope you will be there.

To please for Saturday which includes my presentation along with a bunch of other speakers and workshops. Tickets are nearly sold out to act fast. You have to join us!




(Photograph: Holly Becker for cattledogs)

Magical Midsommer In Gotland Sweden

Good morning friends, I hope that you had a very nice weekend. I spent time in the countryside which was refreshing and rela - picking flowers, walking through the vast fields, taking photos and enjoying time with my little boy. I woke this morning to realize that I'd not shared many photos with you from my trip to Gotland. If you recall this past June, I was on a styling and photography retreat taught by German Artist  in Sweden... And do to begin the week here is my Midsummer photo story with a strong focus on the land where we stayed and the golden sunlight. midsommer_gotland_01

All of these were taken on the last evening of my stay on when the sun bathed the island in the most radiant golden, warm light. When I first started taking photos, the light was more clear and white... Then it slowly became more and more golden. You will notice this in the photos I think. It was surreal to experience the sunset there; I'd not experienced light quite like this before, it was magical and left me in love with Gotland even more. I felt like the island was a special place for not only its natural beauty and stillness, but for the light quality. I noticed it constantly no matter how clear the skies - the island always had the most beautiful light quality so taking photos was a dream come true for me.





midsommer_gotland_07 I hope you've enjoy these photos as much I enjoyed taking them. As I was roaming the property where we stayed to capture my surroundings, I felt overwhelmed with emotion as I knew the next morning I would fly home and I didn't want the magic to end. I could have easily spent a month on that island (or the entire summer) if my little boy could have been by my side. I kept thinking that the island was perfect for children and families because there was so much to explore and was like going back in time - everything there was so simple, fresh and connected to nature. The bakeries, the farms where we ate, even the little gift shops - simple and authentic in every way.





If you ever get a chance to vacation to the island of Gotland, or take a workshop with Dietlind, don't even think twice about it - go - and bring your camera! (Photography: Holly Becker for cattledogs)