About

Thanks for reading!

I’m Dani, I write, I take photos, I like to cook and I like to travel.  I’m a Mama to a little man named Will and the partner in crime to my husband and best friend Chris.  We just finished up two years in Chengdu, China, now we live in New Delhi, India…after that who knows?

On this blog you’ll find an absurd number of photos, a few recipes, and many stories about Mamahood and what its like to see the world and raise a family, moving from country to country every few years.

If you like reading about babies and food and travel and travel with babies and food and that sort of thing, you’ve come to the right place!  Welcome!  We’re so happy to have you here!

If you find baby/domestic blogs totally nauseating, you are probably looking for my other site, Wander This World.  On there you’ll find stories about current events, the places I live in and the people I meet.  Not a baby picture in sight.  Enjoy.

Some recent history:

My husband and I got married in a backyard ceremony in Mt. Pleasant on the 4th of July in 2009.  Hubs said he wanted to give me fireworks for our every anniversary.  You can find out more about the whole shin dig here (getting readyfooddetailsdancing), photographed by Stephen Voss.

I used to work for a wonderful international non-profit organization called Ashoka.  I met some of the most amazing people in the world there and travelled a little while I was at it.

In April of 2010 we moved to Chengdu China.  I had to quit my job and wrote about my struggles coming to terms with unemployment. I also wrote alot about living in China, you can find some of those posts here.

In July of 2011, our son Will was born.  This is his delivery story.  I’ve also written about our experience cloth diaperingdealing with jet lag in a 7 week old, and traveling with baby.

Want to have me write or take photos of something for you or your publication?  Want to just chat babies and mamahood?  Email me at danielle(dot)dumm(at)gmail(dot)com.

And the necessary disclaimer: this is my extracurricular baby/food/home blog, as such, all opinions expressed here are personal, not professional in nature.  There will likely be no earth-shattering political opinions on this blog, but if there were, they would not in any way be representative of nor endorsed by the U.S, government.  Just so you know.

A Much Longer Explanation and Why Hot Pot?

Because hot pot is messy.  Because it never stops moving.  Because sometimes you just have to adapt, be patient, encounter a little luck, and possess a certain willingness to dive in deep and hold on to the good stuff, come hell or burning-hot soup.

Because sometimes when you think you want some lotus root, you end up with doufu, and at the end of the day, it’s a better meal for it.

Because every once in awhile, we all need a little help from our friend’s and their soup spoons–and a chopstick fight over a quail egg among friends or family can only bring you closer together.

Because you can never have too much garlic, or sesame oil for that matter.

And because it’s one of Chris and I’s favorite meals while we were living in Hot Pot’s hometown of Chengdu, China.

Chris and I started this blog in February 2009 as a sort of scrapbook for our lives, our hikes, our meals, our kitchen adventures.  Had you told me then that in the mere 14 months that followed we would get engaged, plan a wedding, get married; endure a 3 week separation while I worked round-the-clock in India, then 8 weeks later move to China, I would have not believed you.

Follow that up with a baby boy born in July of 2011 and a move to New Delhi in August 2012 and it doesn’t look like we’ll be slowing down anytime soon.

Through it all though, this blog has remained a scrapbook of sorts.  It’s our way of holding onto the good stuff, even when it’s way down at the bottom of the pot.

These days, I do most of the posting but it’s still a place to document our lives and experiences together so that someday when we are old and grey and arguing over exactly what was on the menu at Mr. Yu’s Family Kitchen for the 100th time, we can go back and look it up and remember all of the wonderful times we had.

And rather than house our photos and memories in a leather-bound book somewhere that we would likely misplace eventually, we’re sharing it here on the internet with you.  Sharing is caring after all and if there’s anything useful that you can take from my daily prattling, whether it be a recipe or a travel destination or just the knowledge that you are totally not alone, unemployed, on your computer at 2 in the afternoon, well that makes me really happy.

So, this is our story, told through the photos we take, the food we make and the adventures and misadventures we have together living in China, traveling Sichuan in Das Beast, growing as people, growing in our marriage, and becoming a family, and a nomadic one, at that.  Thanks for joining us on this wild ride.

10 Other Random Things to Know

1. We have a baby boy named Will, born July 2011.  He goes by Will, Thumper, Grunty, Will-da-beat, Argentina (as in “Don’t Cry For Me…”) and Sven (in honor of the recessive genes that make him look sort of like a pale Norwegian).

2. Family Rule #1: Always display adaptability

3. Family Rule #2: You can never have too much garlic (except when you do).

4. That’s as far as we’ve gotten with the rules. We actually really don’t like rules much, so it’s sort of funny that we have 2 our own.

5. Activities we enjoy doing together include: cooking, drinking coffee, hiking, walking around town, reading,  laughing, talking about food, trying new recipes, trying new restaurants, playing tennis for no more than 15 minutes at a time, lounging in bed on lazy Sunday mornings, BRUNCH, planning hypothetical vacations and having friends over for dinner.

6. We also apparently enjoy moving.  We do it a lot.  Across town, across the world, often.

7. Our idea of a really great time? A Saturday spent going to the market and cooking up a feast to serve for our nearest and dearest friends.  Or a hike in the mountains.

8. As true DC-ites at heart, did I mention that we love brunch? We love making brunch, hosting brunch, going out for brunch. Love us, love brunch.

9. We were in China from April 2010 to April of 2012, now in New Delhi from August 2012-2014.

10. We are always looking out for our next big adventure…and our next meal.

The photo below, and others from our wedding are by Stephen Voss www.stephenvoss.com
chris and i making out

18 thoughts on “About

  1. Great blog. Informative and funny at the same time – a good trait for people in the Foreign Service. Keep up the good work and good luck in the future.

  2. Hey There!
    I had the pleasure of living and working in Chongqing for three and a half years. I loved the huo guo(hot pot)! I miss China so much, I even miss the brutal heat of the long Chongqing summers, where the temperature would hover around 39-41 degress celsius! Little if no rain at all. I miss the throngs of people at Jie Fang Bei.
    I never made it down to Chengdu, but hear it is beautiful, and a little more “foreigner friendly.”
    I hope you’re enjoying your time in China!
    Please do….I loved it so much, I’m so sorry I left. I will return one day. China has a way of getting into your blood, your heart, your soul, and never leaves you! The Chinese people are very near and dear to my heart. I will be reading your blog often. Please visit my blog as I just did and article “The Internet Experience And Blogging Behind The Great Firewall”. Your comments would be welcomed, as you’re having that actual experience now…….Enjoy China, I did!
    Best to you…

  3. Hi U2,,, Hello from Honk Kong, wish I have more time to drop by you… happy thanksgiving and what was for dinner !!!! Dani when the cook book is coming…. and I am hungry for a “souffle” now…. and all the other dishes…..
    have a happy heart
    Jean-Luc

  4. Pingback: A Few Changes & Some Hot Pot Housekeeping « Hot Pot

    • Thannk you so much for this! Sorry I’ve gotten so behind in the comments but I very much appreciate your kind words, thank you so much for making my day!

  5. Pingback: A Cheerful Dose Of Bangkok Vibrance | The Urge To Wander

  6. Beautiful photos! I’m a designer and I’m interested in using one of your photos for a brand that I’m working on. When you have a minute, send me an e-mail and we can discuss details. Thanks!

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