WEEKEND GETAWAY ESSENTIALS

April 15, 2014

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what to bring and what to wear… one. a captivating book is essential for downtime. two. affordable & stylish noise-canceling headphones. three. refillable water bottle. four. your favorite shades. five. KIND snack bars. six. violet pastilles for breath fresheners. seven. a spacious tote bag to fit everything (even a cat if you wanted to) in. eight. something to brighten your lips. nine. your camera/DJ boombox/communications medium/iPhone. ten. a versatile every-day summer dress. eleven. hippie necklace. twelve. versatile woven gladiator sandals. thirteen. a “cat nap” travel kit for bright lights/loud noises/wanting to get away from it all. fourteen. moroccan hair oil to keep your hair healthy and smelling luxurious.

Wow, how is it already Spring? The seasons are just flying by faster than I can grasp. It’s the middle of April and we are just now beginning to solidify our weekend trips for the next few months. The biggest trip we have coming up is to Vancouver, BC at the end of May! Since I finally acquired my very first passport (!!!), we can plan a trip to Canada (my boyfriend will get his first very soon, also). I have never been to Canada and have only heard wonderful things about the country. We are staying for 5 days at an Air BNB apartment and I am more than ecstatic to finally book with Air BNB. We wanted something a little more than a hotel, to feel like we were really “living” there during our stay, like locals. Plus, it ended up being more affordable that way! We initially dreamt of taking the train up there so our vacation would start as soon as we hopped on and we could relax, read, listen to music and take it all in, but due to a few snafu’s, we decided we’ll likely end up driving. It’s only about a 5 hour drive from Portland, all things considered, and it would be cheaper (plus no taxi dependence!). Only 2 hours North of Seattle! It’s crazy how close (yet so far) it is. I love how Portland is such a central hub to going pretty much anywhere within a day of driving, if so desired.

In spirit of that, I decided to put together a little “getaway” collage of things I love that I’ll likely be bringing with me on the trips ahead. Besides a trip back home for one of my grandpa’s birthdays (he’s turning 90!), we have camping trips planned for near the Oregon coast and at Silver Falls State Park. I also recently acquired a Northwest Forest Pass to gain access to parking near hiking trails for the next year so I’ll be planning some hiking trips on my days off coming up pretty soon here. Dog Mountain, Angels Rest and Cool Creek are high up on the list. Anyway, what about you? Where are your feet taking you this summer? Have any of you ever been to Vancouver? What are your favorite places I should check out while I’m there? Any helpful hints or tips or recommendations would be greatly appreciated! So far this is my list of places to check out:

Phew! That’s all for now, folks!

DISCLAIMER: All of these products are ones that I own, use and love regularly. I am not “paid” by any of these companies to endorse these products, however some of these items link to my Amazon Affiliate account which I would receive a small portion of each sale from. KIND was kind (ha!) to offer me mailed samples of their product, also. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps fund the time and energy to run this blog. 
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LIFE IN INSTAGRAMS: LATE WINTER EDITION

April 3, 2014

This morning. #trailrun #pushyourselfYou would think I would get around to posting these photos weekly/more frequently than sporadically barfing 50 plus images out into a post at once. I get kind of lazy when it comes to posting photography, edited phone or Instagram photos. Using Instagram is just so easy sometimes… I tend to leave that as my photo gallery. But it is always nice to go back through the months and see the nice moments I took the time to capture. It always fathoms me how quickly time passes. I feel like I took these photos yesterday. But they date back to the beginning of the year. Here goes.
Because it's a Cream-y kind of Caturday. #recordrelaxation #creamDefinitely one of the best album art covers by one of the best 60s British rock groups ever.
Caturday mornings can't get any better than this. Post-Seinfeld laughing so hard my temples hurt hangover, my sweetie makes me breakfast in bed, and Swayze is passed out cuddling next to my leg snoring and switching his little rabbit feet. #caturday #happA lazy weekend in bed with my cutie pies & their rabbit feet/belly up back sleeping poses.
Hi. ❤️@fabDot & Sway love spacing out while sitting in boxes. I leave packages from things I order out in the living room as a part of their “jungle gym”. Sometimes it drives me nuts to have clutter and boxes all over the floor, but it keeps them entertained. All for the love of cats.

An afternoon well spent cleaning and reorganizing the entire living room. 5 hours of hard work and I feel a million times better. #newyear #livesimple

 

Attempting to clean & organize the apartment. Let’s just say it doesn’t look quite like this anymore…I have a shrine dedicated to Carl Sagan, Capistrano, teeth, owls, cats, and Golden Scalers.

OMGOMGOMG. Four rows away from the stage. I may quite possibly explode from excitement. #seinfeld

A lifetime achievement bucket list event to have checked off the list: seeing Jerry Seinfeld LIVE at the Arlene Schnitzer Hall. It was amazing. I love that man. It was a wonderful pre-birthday treat. My cheeks were sore the entire next day from laughing so hard.

Gigantic green juice with everything in it, and a humongous stack of decorating books from the library. And kitten snuggles of course.

Checking out styling books from the library, and green moose juice.

Faucet fascination. #bathcat #catsofinstagram

The cats have been fascinated by the faucet lately. First it was the bathtub, now they’ve moved to the faucet. I love it.

Good morning Portland. #photorun

A surprisingly blue skied sunny day in Portland at the beginning of February. It was a wonderful surprise.

Fact: donuts are the best running fuel. Ran Wildwood like a boss this morning. I love running, particularly trail running, for so many reasons. 1. It forces me to be brave and run through my fears and anxieties, especially when I'm out all alone by myself

Trail running in Forest Park.

Mud bath. #trailrun

And getting muddy and loving it.

Worked on hanging these today. Starting my outdoor print wall collage and I'm pretty excited about it. #dottiehelped #bedroom #vsco

Really loving the new landscape prints. I can’t wait to eventually fill an entire wall with them!

Christening my new crazy cat lady candle on this cold blustery day. #crazycatlady

Christening my “Crazy Cat Lady” candle from the Burlap Bag on a blistery rainy day.

Decaf and Janet Jackson radio. Good stuff.

I’ve really been loving grey nails, stripes & decaf coffee lately. (Not to mention cat mugs, also.)

Thank you for the awesome lady date @kimsmithmiller!

I had a wonderful lunch at Tasty ‘n Alder (raddichio salad all the way!) with the lovely and talented Kim Smith Miller. Check out her beautiful photography!

As much as I love to bake, donuts are always my favorite sugar rush.

Donuts are always a good idea.

Feeling awesome today after 11 hours in bed and sleeping in, and then embarking on a perfect 6 mile hike. Feeling rested yet simultaneously worn out is an amazing feeling.

Hiking new trails.

This little cutie has been passed out on me all evening. Luckily @hiwattage grabs me snacks when I need em cause I can't move. #catstaycation #
This little penguin stinker managed to print my open window on Facebook, close all my open tabs (it must be a sign with my 9,000 tabs open at a time), toggle to Photoshop, and open my "etc" and characters folders. She knows how to work my laptop better th

Kitten jackpot.

Surprisingly impressed with the new vegan Indian place. The squash kofta and kale are spot on. Ordered a lavender blueberry cocktail even though I should know by now I'm not a huge gin fan. But I still enjoyed it all!

The new vegan Indian place, Sudra.

The main reason I look forward to summer: these passion fruit tea lemonades. But they're nice in winter, too.

I love the passion fruit tea lemonade at Starbucks. My go-to thirst quencher.

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Decaf latte’s at Coava Coffee Roasters.

So happy to have been able to meet up with one of my SC homies this afternoon. Shawn T, keep on rockin from the land down undah.

One of my Santa Cruz homies who moved to Australia came to town! So exciting.

That defining moment when you realize you're starting to become a record nerd: receiving a sealed copy of Santo & Johnny's 1967 Golden Guitars LP and getting a little too excited about it.

Unopened original copy of Santo & Johnny’s Golden Guitars record. Thanks eBay!

My happy place. Also- super excited to read this! Thank you Portland public library! ❤️

Checked out Cat Sense from the library but didn’t have enough time to finish it. Definitely going to purchase it soon.

Is it weird that I secretly love rearranging wall art and pulling out nails so that I can patch them with spackle? It's like frosting a cupcake without baking anything. Anywho, gold moon print from @alittlelark and a Nell & Mary pillow from @honeykennedy

A little living room wall re-do. How in the world did moons get so popular all of a sudden? I swear, I developed a random fascination with astronomy, especially after starting to watch Carl Sagan, and moons started popping up everywhere. It’s a zeitgeist thing.

Salted Honey Pie for @summerannallen's wedding tomorrow!

Salted Honey Pie for Summer‘s wedding!

Congratulations #summerandchris ! We love you guys and are so excited for your new chapter. We'll miss you but California will treat you well. ❤️ @summerannallen
#summerandchris
#summerandchris
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The first signs of Spring.
Sleepy time warm milk with turmeric, licorice, cardamom, honey and rosewater. And this amazing Italian issue from Fool. #idreamofitaly

I’m in love with this Italian issue of Fool Magazine.

The three golden rules.

Lauretta Jean‘s pie.

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So happy to be able snuggle with this sweet little soul all day long.
Ain't nothin gonna break my stride, nobody's gonna slow me down oh no, I got to keep on movin. Ain't nothin break my stride I'm running and I won't touch ground oh no, I got to keep on movin. #bestrunningsongever? #repeat #fistbump #9point6baby

Positive vibes while out running. This has been a favorite power-song of mine lately.

Afternoon pick me up.
Definitely one of the best mail days ever: my very first passport arrived (photo accepted!) and received a free review copy of the most gorgeous baking book Love Bake Nourish.  @wild_delicious you are my baking HERO.

I got my passport! And free cookbooks are always nice. I’m in LOVE with this one, Love Bake Nourish by Amber Rose. The recipes and photography are SO lovely. My kind of baking book, to the max.

Second try at vitamixing: handful of spinach, several leaves of kale, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup OJ, hemp hearts and bee pollen on top. Hopefully as good as it looks!
Best window art display I've ever seen if I do say so myself.
Made an acai bowl for the first time in a million years. I always love experimenting with these.
Dear Laurelhurst Park, you are absolutely gorgeous right now, without a doubt, but I curse you for activating my immune response again and making me feel like I couldn't catch my breath during my run this morning. Can't wait to get allergy testing next Tu
Got my hair did by the always lovely @robincarlisle then headed down to Music Millennium's 45 anniversary birthday party (thanks @kimsmithmiller!) for some complimentary Voodoo and diet coke action, and finally sprung for some vinyl by my favorite band of
Post-work revitalization: pj pants, kitty on lap, and a greens smoothie experiment. Kale, cucumber, green grapes & apple, lemon, ginger, pineapple, coconut water. Working on it.
It's Friiiidaaaayyyy!

My favorite spaghetti carbonara at Tasty n Sons.

My handsome. #stoic
It's been too long. Rose, chai and earl grey. I'll take 10 more chai ones, please.

My favorite macarons from Nuvrei. The chai ones were out of this world!

(Taken last Tuesday) even though it looked exactly like this today but with about 200 people mingling around. #spring

Springtime by the waterfront. Unbelievable.

I loved the hike we went on Saturday so much so that I decided to return and trail run the entire 10.25 miles of it today in about 2 hours. It was the most magical experience... it was like a lush, green pixie fairy forest out there. Despite the rain and

I found my new favorite trail run… over 10 miles and perfect in every way.

Bath time.

Happy (almost) Friday!

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PINK GRAPEFRUIT ROSEMARY CORNMEAL CAKE

March 30, 2014

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After owning Katie Quinn Davies amazing cookbook, What Katie Ate, for quite awhile now, I figured it was time to bust out a recipe of hers. If you are not aware of Katie’s work (amazing blog & photography), you need to be redirected over to it now (just be sure to come back!). She is phenomenal/my food photography recipe-developing blog role model based out of Sydney, Australia (why do the Aussie’s always know how to do everything right?!). I love everything she puts out and I am so thrilled she is coming out with two new books!

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Anywho, she has a recipe for a Blood Orange & Rosemary Cake in her book that is breath-taking. I have always been a fan of incorporating savory herbs into my baking projects, so I knew this would not disappoint the rosemary/thyme/sage loving girl in me. Additionally, Spring time is all about bright, colorful pastel colors and I have a gravitational pull towards those pastel pinks, purples, blues, greens and whites during this time of year. I wanted to make a happy cake to showcase these gorgeous colors and pretend I was inviting Barbie over for some cake and tea. Because, let’s be honest, this is definitely the kind of cake Barbie would like.

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Since blood oranges were hard to pin down at any of the grocery stores I frequent, I just decided to take a gamble with pink grapefruits. Why not? They’re pink (but not as strong of a color as blood oranges) and definitely pair well with rosemary. Remember my popsicles? This is very similar to the idea behind those, and I did in fact add some St. Germain to the mix! Because St. Germain always goes well in cakes (see recipe) and it has those wonderful citrusy grapefruit notes (it’s also the perfect liquor for Springtime cocktails!). The grapefruit icing didn’t pack the colorful punch I was hoping for, so I added a little bit of gel coloring (I hope you’ll forgive me). But doesn’t the hot pink take this to a whole other level? Thought so.

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I was very pleased with how it turned out. The grapefruit paired extremely well with the cormeal, rosemary and St. Germain. I made it into my own thing, but I think Katie would approve. This would also be perfect for an Easter Brunch! Enjoy.

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PINK GRAPEFRUIT ROSEMARY CORNMEAL CAKE

Serves 8-10

Adapted from What Katie Ate

Ingredients for Cake: 

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup St. Germain liquor
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 pink grapefruit, peeled, pith removed & cut into segments
  • 1 orange, peeled, pith removed & cut into segments
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornmeal (or polenta)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Ingredients for Icing: 

  • juice of 1 grapefruit
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon St. Germain liquor
  • pink food color gel

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 6-cup capacity bundt pan (see similar).
  2. Beat the butter, oil, sugar in a large bowl until light and creamy. Add the St. Germain and combine. Add the eggs, one egg at a time, blending after each addition, and set aside.
  3. In a food processor, whizz the grapefruit, orange and rosemary in a food processor until the rosemary leaves are finely chopped and the citruses are blended to a pulp. Add to the butter/sugar mixture, and beat together on low speed until combined.
  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder together. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, beating between additions, until everything is well combined.
  5. Pour cake into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile, make the icing by combining the grapefruit juice and confectioners sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Add in the St. Germain (you may need to add a bit more sugar to even out consistency), and pink coloring gel until you reach desired color (a little goes a long way with those). Drizzle on top of cooled cake, and chill cake in fridge for about 20 minutes before serving. Yum!
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