After another night of no sleep (hello, jet-lag), I managed to pop in to the TCS New York Marathon Expo. I know, I know, I know….we had no choice to attend (we had to personally be the ones to pick up our number, no task rabbit messenger service for the marathon), but in addition to being a check off on my to-do-list, it also sparked some energy and fireworks into my veins. WE ARE RUNNING THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON IN TWO HOLY CRAP DAYS!
Big grin (better than sore muscles)
TCS marathon knows how to party. DJ at the Expo!
Big lights, big city.
Map on a shirt.
New York State of Mind.
In addition to Team Babers running the marathon, here is a list of celebrities who are also running. I am most excited by my pal, Caroline Wozniacki (not really my true friend, but a tennis player, and therefore, a “friend.”) For those of you who are planning to be out there, there is a free app where you can track runners real time (search for TCS NYC marathon). We will be running “stage left” (on our left as we run). I will be running between a 3:45 and 3:55 pace, and Ken hopes to be running between a 3:55 and 4:10 pace, depending on how his injured calf holds up. We appreciate any and all support. Thanks so much! And here we go…….run Babers run!
Sorry for the silence on my end. It has been a whirl-wind week with Parent Nights, kindergarten applications, marathon tapering, and a trip to Paris. YEP, a trip to Paris. I think Ken and I are the only people in the world who live in NYC who are planning to run the NYC marathon (this weekend), who decide to leave the weekend before for a quick adventure to Paris. Nothing says “rest” and “don’t do anything out of the ordinary” more than a 3 day trip 5-days-till-marathon with 7 hour per day walks and rose wine. But hey, you only live once. Crossing my fingers that this fun and beautiful trip will not hinder my marathon experience or expectations. Perhaps wishful thinking, but I am happy we did it. And since you haven’t seen enough pictures of Paris recently on the blog (here and here and here and here and here), here are some more. Enjoy!
Eiffel Tower — haven’t seen you in 4 months. Still as beautiful as ever.
One of the best aspects of running the marathon is the ability to eat more than normal. HELLLOOOO carbs, HELLLOOOO sweets, HELLLOOOO doughnuts!
Bag and Babers
This past Spring, we spruced up our Living Room in our NYC apartment and made it more hippy, laid back, colorful, and low key. We wanted a relaxed and fun feel, without breaking the bank. So, this footstool was the perfect touch. The bright embroidered suzani footstool, handmade in Los Angeles by Barrington Blue, adds a pop of color, touch of vibrancy, and special oomph. I love it — makes me so happy. Not only is this stool a great buy, but everything on the Barrington Blue website is gorgeous and a must have.
A foot stool. A PINK foot stool.
Although I do my fair share of typing on computers and phones, I also spend a lot of time writing, whether it is for thank you notes (most recently for Cruzzie’s birthday party and the donations for the marathon), to-do lists, and / or snail-mail cards. Not only am I particular about the paper I write on, but even more so, the pens that I write with. So I was ecstatic when I was gifted the coolest pen EVER. Swiss made (of course), this ball point pen is not only durable, beautiful, and unique, but it is also easy and smooth to write with. AND it comes with the coolest case ever.
A whole lot of orange going on.
As the self proclaimed Granola Queen (both in terms of the noun “granola” and the verb “granola”), I have played around with making granola bars. This granola bar is a winner. It takes under 30 minutes, requires no baking, has no sugar (unless you count honey and/or dates as sugar), and is delicious (obviously). MAKE ‘EM!
In addition to having a talented mother-in-law, I also have a skilled mother. Lucky for us, my mother spoils me rotten with her handmade knit creations for the kids and myself. I have countless projects that she has made for me; all that I will keep forever and ever. She is hands down the most crafty, talented, creative woman I know. Not only does my mother have a full time job, cook better than any chef, dance flamenco multiple times a week, and care for her children and grandchildren (and husband), but she also knits / sews / embroiders every single day. She has multiple projects at once and is never sitting doing nothing. No internet surfing, no TV watching, just plain good ‘ol fashioned fun. Here is one of my mother’s most recent creations. It is a dress made for Tusia (our nickname for Zoe) — knit on top with Liberty print fabric on the bottom (that of course, she sewed together). I am a proud daughter! Check it out!
The model, my daughter.
Guest blogger alert! Here’s Ken… When he starts watching too much football on Sundays, I can usually guilt him into cooking/doing a guest blog post during commercials. And his Jets are terrible so it’s not like he’s missing much. Enjoy:
If there’s anything in the vicinity of unhealthy on this blog, it’s a safe bet that it’s coming from me. While I try to make an effort to combine healthy and, um, not-totally-girly, (see: Grilled Artichokes, Grilled Fruit, Grilled Romaine Salad, Lemon-Mint Pasta with Bacon, and a Guy’s Guide to Pregnancy), things like Beer Can Chicken are more up my alley. Without further ado…. heart stopping mac and cheese.
As followers of the company know, Natori opened a retail store in June, its first boutique in Manhattan! Located in Nolita on 253 Elizabeth Street (between Houston and Prince), the store changes themes every couple of months. So I popped down earlier this week to see the current installation focusing on Ready-to-Wear. Take a look at the pictures and make sure to check it out when in NYC!
253 Elizabeth Street
Big announcement from the Natori Family — Ken and I are running the 2014 New York City Marathon! November 2nd — just a little over one month away! We are both excited, nervous, energized, inspired, and motivated to run. After a full summer of runs out in the Pacific Northwest, we agreed that this was the year to do it. And…. the couples that run together, stay together! Inspired by Joanna, and her fight for life, we are running on behalf of Team In Training, a charity benefiting research for Leukemia and Lymphoma. We both feel moved and committed to run to raise money on behalf of the life and memory of our dear friend and family member. Joanna gave it all she got, enduring chemo, radiation, hospital life, isolation, pain, and discomfort. Running 26.2 miles is nothing in comparison. So we are doing this for Joanna.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to run the NY Marathon 18 mile Tune Up Race. It was exhilarating. Great race! It helped that I made a friend on the course, Stephanie. STEPHANIE — where are you? Who are you? I don’t know your last name and want to find you!
So, apparently when you follow supermodels on instagram, you start to think that you yourself are IN FACT a supermodel. Yep, that is right. I strut like one, dress similarly, resemble one, and I am a model now. OK. Not really, but I *do* eat Karlie’s Kookies which most supermodels boast about chomping down on instagram. So that makes us similar, right? What is a Karlie’s Kookie? Well, all the celebrities and fashionistas eat them (and post them on instagram), so they must be healthy AND delicious at the same time. And what do you know? They really are. Cross my heart, swear to god, these little cookies are made out of healthy ingredients and are so tasty good, too.
My goodie bag.
Every parent thinks that their kids are the cutest in the world. I am no different. I am also aware that they are a little more exotic looking than plain-Jane (or myself). I definitely get stopped a lot in the streets by strangers commenting on how beautiful they are. I always appreciate the straight-forward remarks and admire people’s courage to speak openly to strangers.
Indulgence: Thinking my own kids are cute.
Per request, here are photos of my son’s 5th birthday party! (JK no one asked to see them, so thank you for letting me share them with you!) My son, who turns 5 in nine days (who is counting?) celebrated his birthday with friends from school this past weekend up in Pound Ridge. Dedicated to sharks and the ocean (perhaps he will take after my brother), the party was shark centric. Here are the pictures!
Eeks, there is a shark in the grass!
I have a close friend who is hands down the best cook in the world (actually, tied with my mother). Everything she makes in the kitchen is scrumptious, delicious, and out of this world good (she is also beautiful, loving, caring, stylish — damn I have AMAZING FRIENDS!!!!!). So when I was at her house last week and devoured a whole gallon of salad, I had to know HOW DO I MAKE THAT DRESSING? The salad was simple — cabbage and tomatoes — but I couldn’t stop eating it. It was the most delicious two ingredient salad I had ever tasted — all because of the dressing. My friend, embarrassed, said that the dressing was store bought (not her typical style) and said it cost her $17 for the bottle (NYC — your prices are totally bonkers a$$ crazy!).
Salad! But what makes the salad is the dressing….
Happy Monday! Nothing better to start the week than to look at some beautifully handmade spoons! And these spoons are HANDSOME! Created by Wind and Willow, these are an updated version of your grandmother’s kitchen spoon. They are part wood, and part rubber. The rubber is soft, food safe is easy to grip and comfortable to use. And the colors are vibrant, fun, and cheery. A more modern and chic look to your everyday kitchen needs.
Wind and Willow
Call me lazy, but sometimes I would rather pay $10 for a smoothie than find all the ingredients and make it myself. It sounds lazy, but finding the various ingredients, then washing, chopping, measuring them all = too much effort. So what do you know, there is a service (currently only offered in New York City) which delivers packs of frozen fruit / vegetable combinations so you can MAKE your own smoothies without the hassle. And it’s way cheaper than buying smoothies at a store. Ah-mazing, right? Daily Harvest, thank you.
Everyone is doing it, so just do it, too! (peer pressure!) The Natori Company is launching a social media effort called #NatoriNights. And it is exactly what you think, a display of one’s nighttime routine (hopefully in Natori pajamas!) So, you too should post (via instagram / facebook / twitter / blog / whatever) your #NatoriNights. Here is my (super glamorous) nighttime routine. I want to hear how you all wind down each night, and celebrate the end of your day. Do share.
Night with Natori! The best type of nights. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
I am not going to lie, but the past week has been difficult. It has been a hard transition for me to move from Summer to Fall, lounging to responsibilities, house to apartment, and Oregon to NYC. It is during those times — when I feel down and irritable — that I try to remember that everything is relative. At least I am alive and well with my family and loved ones. Unlike Joanna. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Joanna. On good days, bad days, cherished moments with my children, phone calls with my siblings, walks in the park, and routine activities, Joanna flickers through my mind. It is with a heavy heart that I remember my sister-in-law’s sister, Joanna. Might seem like a convoluted relationship, but she was more than just a distant relative; she was the sister of my brother’s wife as well as a friend, a mother, a daughter, a partner. Although Joanna passed away more than 2 years ago, it seems like yesterday and still brings tears to my eyes. 9 months after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, the world lost her. And what a great loss it was.
The first day of Cruzzie’s last year of pre-school. Sad! Our baby boy is growing up!
Yellow blazer from Bonpoint (thanks Mom!). Birks from Birkenstock (thanks me!) It looks like he has a little belly, but it must be the angle.
He was extremely nervous (hence the worried look on his face), but everything went well (the mama-son lunch date at Fred’s, accompanied bythe super huge Lego set afterwards helped). Here is to a great 2014-2015 school year, Fall season, and upcoming weekend. Have a great one.
Mexican + Salad = Perfection. This is a must-make salad for the end of summer, beginning of fall, or quite frankly *anytime* of year. It is one of the dozens of delicious recipes in ‘Fried Chicken & Champagne‘ (highly recommend this cookbook!).
After shot. Rainbow veggies.
One of my besties is someone whose style and taste is impeccable. Everything she wears, owns, makes, likes and buys is top quality and perfect. She offers great outfit advice, gift options, and decor styling. This is in addition to being the most loyal, fun, funny, beautiful and loving friend. I am lucky to have her in my life. I am also incredibly lucky that she gifted me these hip and up-and-coming short stack cookbooks. Check them out!
On the first day of Fashion week, Josie Natori presented her beautiful SS 2015 Ready-To-Wear collection with high praise! Summery, colorful, classic, and chic ensembles slithered through the floors at The DiMenna Center. All the looks were breath-taking, elegant, and wearable. Like always, I can’t wait to get my hands on the luxurious clothes. Huge congratulations to mom and the entire design team!
Happy (belated) Labor Day! Can’t believe how fast the summer flew by….the only thing that keeps me from being depressed with the change of seasons / responsibilities / obligations / reality / back to NYC, is the fact that I spent a big portion of last week at the US Open! And I will be there off and on this week, too (including today). Nothing better than to mourn the end-of-summer with some tennis, sunshine, and my Papa’s company (a huge tennis fanatic who comes every year for the 2 week tennis tournament. THANK GOODNESS — his presence in NYC makes the transition back that much easier. And yes, I am 35.) Here are some pictures of last week. (Not shown: my sweaty, smelly nastiness post hot matches, the night sessions, the gallons of water I consumed to stay hydrated, my hour long subway commutes, and the mother’s guilt I had for leaving the kids.)
Blue on blue on blue. Blue tri-fecta.