Capetown and the Winelands: PART II

5 Apr

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i.

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ii.

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iii.

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iv.

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v.

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vi.

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vii.

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viii.

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ix.

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xi.

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I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put into words what this trip meant to me. Even looking back at these photos, over six months later, I cannot believe I was actually able to take a trip like with my Dad. I’m notorious for hating the phrase “a trip of a lifetime” because I believe a person can have several of those. But I will say that this trip was unforgettable, incredibly sacred, and one the greatest adventures yet. Many thanks to my Dad and Felice who let me take the reins on this one. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the arrival of my 30th year on this planet.

i. Penguins at Boulders Beach

ii. Martin Senekal’s booth at the The Old Biscuit Mill

iii. Simply Italian Pizza booth at The Old Biscuit Mill

iv. Butternut and tomato gnocchi, buffalo mozzarella, tomato jam, spring relish at La Motte Estate

v. Rose custard filled doughnut with toffee and guava ice cream at La Motte Estate

vi. View of Hout Bay from Chapman’s Peak

vii. The Twelve Apostles

viii. Signal Hill

ix. View from the cable car going up to Table Mountain

x. Breakfast at the Cape Royale Hotel

xi. View of the Franschhoek Wine Valley from La Petite Ferme

  xii. My traveling companions taking it all in

Drink This Now, Call Me in the Morning

26 Feb

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I was having one of those days. Or nights to be exact. When there was miscommunication, hurt feelings, and then silence. Those nights are the worst and often make me turn to my kitchen, aka my therapist. I was seeking comfort but also knew I didn’t want to sabotage an otherwise pretty healthy day of eating, only to feel guilty about it later. Guilt was about the last thing I needed. Therefore my therapist prescribed this: a banana milkshake. Well, it’s a nearly vegan banana milkshake sans ice cream but you could’ve fooled me. It did the trick either way. Hopefully it’ll brighten your day (or night) when you need it most.

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 frozen bananas cuts in half
  • 1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt (optional)*
  • 2 Tbs. Almond Butter
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 5 ice cubes

Blend baby, blend. Milkshake glass and bendy red straw are also optional.

*the yogurt is optional and if omitted turns this into a vegan delight. Personally, I love the tang and richness that it added.

JNB>VFA>DUR: PART I

23 Feb

When my father first proposed the idea of taking me to South Africa for my 30th birthday he only had one condition:

“I don’t want to plan a bit of it.”

How could I resist?

My dad clued me in on the budget and gave me free reign creating an unforgettable 16 day itinerary for our family. In order to do so it was important for me to keep my travel companions in mind. (Sadly, E. Dohrmann had to sit this one out due to a work conflict.) A brief overview: My dad and step-mom are a social, outgoing and fairly active couple in their mid sixties. My dad’s perfect vacation normally involves Disneyland, a cruise ship, and noise cancelling headphones. Felice is a dance teacher who cares deeply for the preforming arts and culture in general. Her ideal vacation normally includes: attending a performance of some kind and a day at the spa. They both love to cook, drink red wine and look to traveling as a way of connecting with the world. It was important for me to create an itinerary that included fun, sun, adventure, culture, good food and enough creature comforts that this trip would feel unique and exciting without being too scary or out of the box.

First let’s get one thing straight: There’s no easy way to get South Africa from Portland, OR. It’s as simple as that. It took multiple flights, 31 hours, and several laps around the plane before we arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa. And don’t forget about the impromptu airport yoga that happened between layovers (important to keep the blood flowing!), and the constant shuffle of Bob Marley, Paul Simon, the Talking Heads and Nina Simone on the iPod. The first ten days of our trip went something like this: Jo’burg>Victoria Falls>Durban>Hluhluwe. It was a crazy amount of traveling to do in such a short amount of time but I wouldn’t change a thing. After all, how often do you have the opportunity to visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, dip your toes in the Indian Ocean, and take in a 6 day safari tour?

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE ( but are not limited to):

01. Hunting and finding the most beautiful seashells alongside the local fishermen in Durban
02. “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh my!” We supplemented elephants for bears and cheetahs for tigers on this trip but “Oh My” is right! I didn’t realize how emotional I’d become being so close to these beautiful beasts. I was simultaneously freaked, elated, nervous and incredibly humbled (and tearing up more often than not!)
03. A visit to a local Zulu Village and neighboring elementary school outside of Hluhluwe
04. Watching adventure junkies putting in rafts just below the towering Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls
05. Drinking cocktails at sunset, also known as a “sundowner” in these parts
06. Sunsets in general. With or without booze. Absolutely brilliant, full, and breathtaking.

IMG_8793Jo’Burg Airport

IMG_8908Sundowner Cruise on the Zambezi River
(I could get used to this!)

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Victoria Falls

IMG_9057Durban Sunrise

IMG_9065Durban Boardwalk

IMG_9061(photo by Felice)

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Zulu Ancestor’s Hut

IMG_9410Zulu School

IMG_9406  IMG_9454Lion Pride

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IMG_9109 One of many breathtaking sunsets

Stay tuned for PART II: Capetown and the Winelands

Dirty Thirty, Indeed

15 Feb

Dirty Thirty

Oh my gosh, it’s been awhile. The party and the trip to Africa happened. Not to mention a few others big revelations. First and foremost being: we’re moving to L.A.!!! Evan accepted a job offer in Los Angeles to continue working with Stumptown Coffee Roasters. I’ll be leaving my post at the Woodsman Tavern in March in order to join him down south. My departure from this group of people is bittersweet, as we really have become family. That said, I miss my husband, who has been living in DTLA since the first of the year.

Now…where did we leave off? That’s right! Back to the party!

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So many wonderful people were involved to make this special event successful. I wanted to indulge my Francophilia and love of Woody Allen so I chose “La Vie en Rose” as a theme. (An added bonus: I finally wear my hatband in public!) I am deeply indebted to our many friends and family who invested their time and energy to see my vision come to life. Fittingly for this animal lover, proceeds from the event benefited our friends Amy’s animal rescue and adoption organization The Pixie Project. You can see more photos and silly costumes from the event by skipping over to Paige’s blog or by checking out the gallery from StudioBooth. Once again, many, many thanks to everyone involved. Literally. Could Not. Have Done it. Without You. Thanks for making my entry into “adulthood” so memorable. Especially Mr. E. Dohrmann: It’s a pleasure growing old with you, Sir.

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Photography: Paige Jones / Invitations: Inclined to Create / Dinner Location: Little Bird Bistro / Party Location: Boothster / Flowers and Event Design: Rosemary Stafford Floral / Party Spread: Self Catered* / Cocktails:  Tender Bar / DJ: Tim Betterly / Photobooth: StudioBooth / Photobooth Props: Paperfinger / Dress: A.B.S. By Allen Schwartz (snagged at Goodwill + and black trim from a local fabric store)/ Wig: The Lippman Co. (5+ years ago) / Hair accessory: Ruche / Sponsored Charity: The Pixie Project

*The party spread was pretty ridiculous and entirely self catered! It took about a week to nail down my “Midnight in Paris” menu and required the help of several family members in order to pull it off. The menu included:

Rosemary Almonds

Olives with Orange and Fennel

French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms

Cheese and Charcuterie boards with various pickles, jams and mustards

Pissaladieres (Provencal Pizzas with caramelized onions and anchovies)

Mini Ham and Brie Sandwiches wrapped in craft paper tied with bakers twine

Cookie Platter complete with Macarons Et Madeleines (naturally!)

Next up: AFRICA!

Have Passport, Will Travel

6 Jun

Thanks to an extremely generous gift from my dad I will be celebrating my 30th birthday at La Petite Ferme Restaurant, Guest Suites and Winery in Franschhoek, South Africa.

Photo courtesy of La Petite Ferme

To say I’m ready to embrace this new chapter of life is an understatement.

Hello: Los Angeles, CA

24 May

I recently joined E. Dohrmann on a business trip down to Los Angeles. I used to live there but man-oh-man, how things have changed over the last eight years. One of our bestest friends in the entire world recently escaped the Portland rain and moved to Downtown LA. Being in his presence over the week made this large city feel very small and quite familiar. We spent a lot of time up on the roof of his building taking in the sights and marveling at the glorious weather.

We booked at The Standard in Downtown LA. We loved our spacious room and the vibrant hotel scene. (Emphasis on the word scene). While E. tended to business during the day I sipped on rooftop poolside cocktails. The location proved perfect for nighttime bar hopping, catching up with friends, and discovering this blossoming area. Continue reading

Spotted @: Gjelina Take Away (GTA)

9 May

We’re in Los Angeles for work and play. E. Dohrmann suggested we stop at one of his favorite Venice haunts for breakfast. The baked goods hit the spot but in full disclosure, the coffee was “meh.” (I added milk to mine but E. poured his out…because he is a professional coffee snob.)

Mixed Berry and Oatmeal Scone

Granola With Yogurt and Fruit

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