Portland Bound Part II: Road Trip to the Oregon Coast

Portland Bound Part II: Road Trip to the Oregon Coast

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FLASHBACK…to my 3/11 post Portland Bound. I promised a sequel and here it is. Recall my last reflections in the city…

That’s what this trip made me realized, that I don’t have to do anything too fancy and I can just be with people I love and do simple things and be satisfied. Like playing games after dinner or teasing my mom about how I feel she has replaced me with her new furry baby. Her Yorkie, Dallas, Dallas after the Dallas Cowboys of course. Talking with my auntie and brother or cleaning my mom’s kitchen after she makes me my favorite, fried pork chops and green beans. This trip was a major success but I couldn’t quite fit everything I wanted to do in. The Oregon coast is my second favorite place to go to the beach (my first is St. John, USVI) because you can walk forever in rubber boots a sweater and shorts and you’ll probably never see another person, no bikini necessary on this beach. It is so peaceful and I have to go back. So there will be a part two to this post but it won’t come until later this year. So keep coming back to my website, pretty please with a cherry on top. Subscribe, leave a comment or ask a question. I would love to hear about your Oregon experiences as well.

Remember that?

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FLASH FORWARD…so I’m back flying into Portland to celebrate my Mom’s 60th birthday. She has decided to host us all in an Airbnb right on the beach in Walport, Oregon for four days. Major Costco runs, crab dinners, long walks on the beach and endless card games are sure to take place. We arrived after a near three hour drive from Portland and I am pleasantly surprised at how good I am getting at picking great Airbnbs. The house is right on the beach, its beautiful and large enough to accommodate seven adults. Once everyone was settled and seemed to be please with their rooms our getaway commenced. We spent days exploring the small shops in nearby Newport Beach, we even stumbled upon a farmers market. We tested clam chowder from several restaurants, we fished, and shopped. The weather was so good to us. It was cool and the sun made occasional appearances between clouds. We took long morning and afternoon walks on the beach. We got to get really close to a group of seals relaxing on the shore not too far from our house. At night we had large family style dinners. We stayed up late, talked, drank wine, and played games. We had a blast! It was peaceful and relaxing, and we couldn’t have asked for a better trip to the Oregon Coast.

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Until next time.

Signing Out With Love,

Kapfanny

On Island Time in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

On Island Time in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

DSCN3143Located in the Caribbean Sea, St. John is one of the three main islands that make up the United States Virgin Islands. Surrounded by the most beautiful water you’ll ever see, St. John will take your breath away. I have been to St. John a handful of times and always during carnival season. The first thing you should do when you arrive is get your hands on a cocktail called a pain killer. It consists of a mixture of coconut cream, orange and pineapple juices and the star of every good Caribbean drink, RUM, of course. It is traditionally topped off with a light dusting of nutmeg and some fresh fruit. This is my number one favorite drink of all time. It will get you in the spirit to embrace the slow and peaceful pace that native Caribbean people like to call “island time”.

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If you are on St. John in the weeks prior to carnival you will get to experience the live music and dancing that is set up each night in the Village. It’s a main area in town where different food and drink stands pop up in a huge square anchored by a large stage and in the middle there is plenty of room to dance, eat and mingle. Every night we indulge in johnnycakes, chicken and pain killers from our favorite food stands. We listen to the live local music and dance. This gets everyone ready for the big party usually held on July 4th to celebrate the emancipation of the slaves. All day an amazing party parades through the streets, there are different groups in lavish costumes preforming dance routines and playing instruments. There are decorated floats playing music and hyping the crowd up. The weather is hot and the drinks are flowing. Carnival is definitely not to be missed, you’ve got to see it to believe it.
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Days on the island should be spent laying on the gorgeous beaches and swimming and snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea. We stay at the Westin Hotel and Resort. It has a private beach, plenty of pools, restaurants and bars. They have an over water trampoline among other water toys and activities that will keep you entertained.  But if you venture outside of your resort you’ll discover some amazing beaches. Hawksnest, Cinnamon and Maho are my go to spots. If you are feeling ambitious Hawknest has a fun trail over rocks that lead you to a secluded little stretch of sand that can temporarily serve as your own private beach. I also recommend booking a catamaran trip to nearby British Virgin Islands to experience The Baths at Virgin Gorda, White Bay and Soggy Dollar Bar. There are stunning sugar mill ruins spread around St. John to explore. They are stark reminders that although beautiful the Caribbean has a horrific history of slavery and oppression; it is an opportunity to reflect on how cruel mankind can be. Even in the midst of all the splendor such an ugly institution can thrive. But it is also a teaching opportunity to remind us that we must do better, because we know better.

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Afternoons in St. John can be spent shopping at Mongoose Junction, eating ice cream, snacking, be lazy, followed by dinner at great restaurants. Some of my favorite restaurants on the island include Zozo’s at Caneel Bay, Skinny Legs, Miss Lucy’s and Ocean 362. Ocean 362 is the best place to enjoy a relaxing sunset with dinner. The incredible part is that the entire back side of the building does not have a wall, each floor is an open terrace which allows you to take full advantage of the view. The bar is on the top floor perched over Gallows Point it overlooks the surrounding islands, the water, and the slow onset of twinkling city lights that turn on as the sun fades. This island is pure magic you must visit for yourself.

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Until next time.

Signing Out With Love,

kapfanny

About A Book: This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

About A Book: This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

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I had a fun time reading This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. This book is so entertaining in so many ways. You will go through every emotion while reading it. It follows Judd Foxman while he experiences a rather trying time in his life. As the saying goes, when it rains it pours. Judd must come to terms with some of the most difficult obstacles in life, a parent’s death and the demise of his marriage. The cherry on top, his family must suddenly come together to sit shiva for seven consecutive days in one house. Oh the drama that ensues will have you flowing amidst laughter and sadness to surprise and then to anger and back through in a loop of sentiments. The characters are easy to connect with and each of their stories touch and tangle together like all families to create a complicated and broken but loving and supportive chaos. A chaos that, unbeknownst to Judd, will carry him through to the other side of this wearisome time. This book was turned into film in 2014. However, you must read the book before you watch the movie, not because the movie is bad but because the book is always better, everybody knows that.

Signing Out with Love,

kapfanny

The Huntington Library & Gardens

The Huntington Library & Gardens

One of my favorite spots to spend the afternoon is at The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, California. The best time to go is on a beautiful day in the month of April because everything is blooming and it’s warm but the heat isn’t unbearable. I have a few spots I love to sit and linger but it seems like every time I go I find something new to appreciate. I recommend doing a yearly pass to this garden or the garden of your choice, if you know you are going to go back it comes in handy and could end up saving you money in the long run.

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The rose garden is spectacular in the spring. You’ll find artist who picked their favorite spot and set up their stands to paint the landscape. The koi fish in the Japanese and Chinese gardens are very friendly. The herb garden smells delicious in the spring and summer and sometimes you’ll find the most interesting exhibits in the various buildings throughout the grounds.

There is a traditional tea room that I have yet to try out. You need a reservation, just go on opentable.com to reserve your spot. Also there is a dining area in the Chinese garden where they serve great dishes. Last time I got crispy cauliflower lightly tossed in an Asian sauce over steamed white rice. Near the entrance you’ll find a beautiful gift shop and a store with all necessary refreshments you might need.

You should definitely take the time to check out this garden. When you live in a big city you really need places like this to get you back to nature. Let me know in the comments what you think and if you frequent any other gardens you might like to share, I’d love to hear about them. Until next time.

Signing Out with Love,

kapfanny

Turmeric Love

Turmeric Love

Turmeric is quickly becoming one of my favorite ingredients to have in the kitchen. It is grown in the roots of a plant that comes from India. Turmeric has a multitude of benefits to offer, most notable are its anti-inflammatory properties and its being studied as an asset to help fight against several diseases. So far I use it most often in the following three ways, turmeric fried rice, turmeric infused tea and in a turmeric and chai almond latte.

TURMERIC FRIED RICE

-2 teaspoons of sesame oil

-Half finely chopped onion

-3 minced cloves of garlic

-2 heaping tablespoons of fresh graded turmeric root

-.5 cup chopped broccoli or frozen peas (or both if you like)

-1 cup shredded carrots

2-2.5 cups cooked white or brown rice

(I’ve also tried cauliflower rice, they are all great in this dish, Add shrimp or a pouched egg on top to make a meal of it.)

TURMERIC INFUSED TEA

For the tea I use a turmeric/ginger tea bag and I add a small square of fresh turmeric root to the cup while it steeps.

TURMERIC/CHIA LATTE

When I stop at a coffee shop eight times out of ten I end up coming out with an almond chia latte. However, I often find that most places make them too sweet so I add a half teaspoon to a teaspoon of the turmeric powder to the cup and stir; this helps to mellow out the sweetness of my almond chia lattes. It’s kind of like a play on golden milk along with the flavors of a chia latte. I have seen that some shops offer a turmeric latte, although I have never officially had one I’m sure they are delicious.

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Five Tips for Mastering the Art of Getting Dressed

Five Tips for Mastering the Art of Getting Dressed

Recently I’ve been trying to refine my personal style while still nurturing the parts of me that want to be radical and unpredictable. As a result I have become the type that starts to plan my outfit as soon as I know I’m going somewhere important, even if it is months down the road. I never used to do that. It has been a process for sure and I am still a work in progress. I think half of it is being prepared and the other half is staying true to you. I have learned some important lessons during my journey that may help you, I’ll share them below.

Tip #1:  Plan ahead! Ideally you should never get caught having to be somewhere with no plan on what you’re going to wear. I know that’s not always possible so I started a Pinterest board where I layout my favorite outfits and photograph them. When it’s time to find an outfit I just look on that board to get inspiration or to just copy an outfit verbatim. It also helps me create new combinations, as opposed to always buying new things. I can see everything without actually having to physically take it out of my closet. That can be such a burden when you are in a rush not to mention a huge mess.

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Tip#2:  Find out where you are going and look at photos on Google, Yelp, or Pinterest to see if you can gain any insight from what other people wear to that particular place.

Tip#3:  Simply check the weather. Now I know that some occasions call for a certain dress or shoe no matter what the cost. No amount of frostbite or length of a cold thereafter can stop you. However, for the most part I like to dress according to the weather. Don’t you?

Tip#4:  Do a closet cleanse twice a year. Take a day to remove everything from your closet and drawers. Make logical choices about what you should keep and what you need to get rid of. If you’re not using something or it doesn’t give you joy it shouldn’t be taking up space in your wardrobe. (I recommend reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, it taught me a lot.) Then try to organize your items as you put them back. This cuts down on confusion and clutter when you’re trying to pick an outfit.

Tip#5:  Stay in line with your natural character. Make sure that you are comfortable with your outfit choice. Try it on the night before including the shoes. Walk around the house in it, there’s nothing worse than getting out and wishing you had made a different choice in attire. If those heels are too high, dress too tight, or those pants are too big. Sell those shoes on Poshmark, donate that dress and take those pants to a tailor if you love them. You shine when you are comfortable in your clothes. Confidence goes a long way people!

I hope these tips help you along the way. In the meantime check out my Pinterest Boards by clicking the icon at the top of the page. The Outfit Inspiration and My Favorite Outfits boards should be of particular interest to you. It will show you how I lay out my combinations to use them as a reference when I get dressed. Also click on the Poshmark icon at the top of the page to check out my Poshmark closet, see the items I’ve decided to part with.

Next topic on my posting agenda will be about the trip I took to The Big Apple. So come back and visit my site pretty please with a cherry on top. Click the follow button on the screen and you will be updated every time I have something fun for you to read or look at.

Signing Out With Love,

Kapfanny