Aperol Spritz

Although late to the game, I am now fully invested in the summer “It” drink, the Aperol Spritz. Last year, I saw the bright orange drink everywhere I went, but never tried it. I started during our recent trip to Europe, and now I can’t stop. Aperol Spritz is made with aperol (a liquor), prosecco, a splash of soda, and some fresh orange. It is refreshing, zesty, sparkly, and basically makes you feel like you are drinking an orange Fanta. OH SO GOOD.

 

Yes, I am a dufus. But can’t stop, won’t stop.

HA, YOLO and need to take lots of pictures of heaven.

AH so good! AH so fresh! And the color — my absolute favorite.

Orange you glad this is the last photo?

 

I am now on a mission to find the best Aperol Spritz in Eugene, Oregon….which, cough cough, might be difficult. The Willamette Valley is known for its pinot noirs and its beer, but not necessarily its drinks. That said, I will find the best one. Have a great weekend! And drink up!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Little Creative Factory Girls Swimsuit

Hello from Oregon! We just returned from our 3 week European vacation and flew directly (via Sardinia via Amsterdam via Seattle to Eugene) to our home away from home; Eugene, Oregon. We arrived Monday morning and have been nonstop since then — camp for the kids, hiking, biking, running, berry picking, and trying not to fall asleep to early and succumb to jetlag….I will post pictures of our time in Greece and Sardinia, but I also don’t want to overload and do a lot of #humblebrags….so instead, drum roll…..little girl’s bathing suits!

 

I am currently obsessed with my daughter’s swimsuit and want her to wear it every single day (and want it for myself, too). It is the chicest, cutest, most unique, and oh-so-beautiful bathing suit! It is by the brand Little Creative Factory.

 

In Greece, wearing the ruffle swimsuit. I love the color combination, the ruffle, the fit, and the cut.

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Kindle

Hi (or Yassou) from Greece! We have spent the past week R and R’ing with my inlaws on vacation. It has been incredible to do nothing but rest, recuperate, relax, walk, eat, and be together as a family. Due to my heavy travel schedule this summer (combined with my ability to read a lot over the summer months), I bought a Kindle so I didn’t have to lug around heavy books in all my travels. Although I love physical books, I must say that I have been LOVING my Kindle. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It has been so great to have multiple books in one little device, and know that even if I run out of books during the summer travels, I can easily buy new ones. But the best part has been the fact that my son has all of a sudden had a HUGE interest in reading on it. He loves to read, kinda sorta maybe. But somehow, reading on the Kindle has created this whole new interest in reading, and he can’t seem to put it down. The only downside in this is that I then have to fight with him for it (but it’s a battle I’m happy to “lose”).

 

Cruzzie loves his lego catalogues more than anything. Since he was young, he has carted them around on car travel, restaurants or any sort of activity. He loves to read his catalogues. But ever since he discovered that he could read on my Kindle…..

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Summer 2018 Paris

Greetings from Europe!  I was just in Paris with the kids and we had so much fun. I am a lover of anything French, especially Paris. And it makes me so happy and excited to have the ability to show the kids a city and culture that I love so much. There is a je-ne-sais-quoi about France that I just feel so strongly about. Here are some pictures of our adventures:

 

Paris, oh Paris. You forever have my heart. Everything about you is dreamy, romantic, lovely, and grand.

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Wary Meyers Candles

I am a sucker for any candle, especially a nice smelling one. When recently shopping, I bought a bunch of new ones, and this one is my favorite. The design is simple and the smell subtle, but refreshing and crisp. Wary Meyers makes these chic, discrete, and beautiful candles. Bonus is that they are under $30 which is always great.

 

I love a simple candle, particularly this transparent and gold combination.

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Jump Rope

As a little girl, one of my favorite activities was to jump rope on my front steps with my brother. Since I grew up without a TV in the house, I had to create my own fun after school. To me, that meant climbing trees, playing with yoyos, creating secret gardens, and jumping rope. My brother, Giora, and I were very competitive with one another and we always tried to outperform each other. As a result, I became a pretty good jump roper (yeah, super proud of this #HumbleBrag). I love it — it is fun AND the best workout. And as you know, I love to have fun and love to exercise, so the two together is the perfect whammie. Recently inspired, I bought two new jump ropes for my summer of travels and adventure and I couldn’t be happier.

 

After a failed purchase on Amazon (too long, and expensive – 60 bucks!), I went store to store in NYC in search of the perfect jump rope.  I bought these two, which are similar (at least I can’t tell the difference between them).

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Summer 2018 Running Playlist

Summer has officially started and tonight I leave for a European adventure.  And yes, another summer, another marathon training season! Here is my newest playlist for running and training!

 

Summer running means hydrating and drinking a lot of water. On long runs, I always carry a water bottle and then whenever I find a refilling station, I fill my bottle up. Thank you, NYC!

 

Summer 2018 Running Playlist

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La Colombe Black and Tan Coffee

Last week, one of my biffles introduced me to La Colombe “black and tan.” And now, I can’t stop thinking about it. Literally, every morning and afternoon, I dream of getting a black and tan from La Colombe.  Although there are 30 locations nationwide, and 8 in NYC, none are in my neighborhood.  So when I was talking to her the other day complaining about how much I wanted this drink, she said that I should take the canned version and create my own version of it. And then she made fun of me about how I was going to make a blog post out of it — and even got the exact phrasing and thought process of how I write blogs. And so, YEP, she knows me well. And so here we are, and I am doing exactly that. I am writing a blog post on my new favorite drink and thanks to Fresh Direct, I can create it without going downtown. Thanks, B, for being my editor, content contributor, and supporter of my caffeine intake and the Josie Girl Blog.

 

Dynamic Duo.

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NYC Moment

For many, the end of the school year is extremely busy, hectic, time consuming, and stressful. Especially when my work involves working in schools and tutoring students, the days seem to be marathons with a long list of to-dos. So, it was especially joyful and happy when a couple months ago, I discovered a neighboring apartment that had a statue that gazed out on to the street. This statue wasn’t just any statue, but one where the owners would frequently rotate the hats that the statue was wearing.  For some reason, this was exciting and something I looked forward to every day.

 

The hat on the corner apartment of the building across the street.

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Ball Girl For The Day

One of my lifelong dreams is to be a ball girl for the US Open. Not as a joke or as a ‘maybe someday’ … but an actual ‘this is going to happen at some point’ dream.  One of the prerequisites to be a US Open Ball Person is to volunteer at the Jana Hunsaker Wheelchair Tennis Tournament that takes places annually at Flushing Meadow (where the US Open is held). So, despite it being an incredibly busy time in the end of the school year rush, I signed up to volunteer (and even got two friends to join)!  And I am so glad I did — truly a highlight of my week, month, and YEAR!

 

To say we were excited was an understatement. The three of us were giggling nonstop, before, during and after. Truly, a fun and highly enjoyable day. And we all want to do it again next year — this specific tournament as well as sign up to try out to be official Ball People at the US Open. I was a little unprepared and had to buy myself some tennis shoes — I only own running shoes (which scuff up the courts) — literally, they arrived the night before.

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OurHarvest – Organic Grocery

Every September when I move back from the West Coast, I make a list of Fall goals. Every year, I say that I am going to go to the Farmers Market to get fresh, local produce, fruit, and any other random goodies. And yet, every year, I fail miserably and never make it to one.

 

Way back when, Good Eggs, existed. But that was short lived in NYC and didn’t last long (and it didn’t deliver to the Upper East side of Manhattan). So I was thrilled when I randomly came about (via instragram stories, nonetheless) OurHarvest. It is an online New York farmer’s market and gourmet grocery with local, farm-fresh, organic ingredients in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Long Island. It has existed in NYC since 2014, and even though I am late to the game, I am  so thrilled to have found it NOW! IT IS AMAZING bold italic exclamation point. It is coined Manhattan’s Farmers Market, and I get it. It is a farmers market that delivers throughout Manhattan. GENIUS.

 

The prices are good, the selection incredible, and the products themselves are the best. And the online platform is super easy, beautifully laid out, and great to work with (unlike instacart which I hate with all my might). There is so much to choose from and everything is fresh and local. You can get meat, fish, dairy, produce, fruit, pantry items, baked goods. Anything and everything.

 

I can’t get to a store without getting a fake sweet. Meaning, I love dessert, but want to curb my sweets so anytime there is a date sweetened goodie, I am a sucker for it.

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CFDA Awards 2018 Recap

On Monday, I attended the CFDA Awards with my mother-in-law. Held at the Brooklyn Museum, it was a night full of glamour, fashion, celebrities, and celebration. It is always fun to go with my mother-in-law as she is part of the fashion scene, whereas, I am in fact not.  This awards ceremony was even more glamorous than usual, making it an even more fun than usual.

 

Going to these awards ceremonies also means that I need to dress the part. Which in my case, means getting out of my sweats or jeans, and putting on a dress and heels. My shoes for the night. And yes, they feel as tall and uncomfortable as they look. After years of exclusively wearing sneakers and sandals, these were a MOTHER difficult choice of a footwear.

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CFDA 2018 Prep

Tonight is the CFDA awards; the Oscars for fashion designers (and “the biggest night in Fashion you have probably never heard of“). And for the fourth year in a row, I have the privilege of attending. Although I am a big nobody at these award shows, it is still fun to get all dressed up and see all these celebrities up close and personal.  While I’m not overly excited about Kim Kardashian, I am SUPER excited that my girl crush Busy Phillips will be there — who I love with all my heart. I am going to make it a mission to seek her out and tell her how much I love her….I hope it’s not awkward. BUT I LOVE HER.

 

CFDA 2017. Me and my hubba hubba date, Ken Natori.

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Grizzlies Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola

My favorite food in the world for any meal or snack is granola. And not any granola, but granola from Grizzlies who just happens to be from my hometown of Eugene, Oregon. This granola is THE MOST AMAZING GRANOLA IN THE WORLD. It has the perfect amount of sweetness, chunks, flavor, and nuts. The granola, Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola, is a staple at all the grocery stores in Oregon. But guess what — they ship! In the past, I have always requested (demanded) that my parents ship it to me (along with my favorite Oregon coffee). But now, I go straight to the source and order a 5 pound bag from Grizzlies website. I am apparently a grown up now.

 

One of the many canisters that are filled with my beloved granola. It is like precious gold to me. Only true granola snobs can eat it — which in my family is me and my daughter.

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Phlur Annica Candle

You can’t have too many candles, perfumes, or chapsticks IMHO. I got this one as a surprise present (the best) and have fallen in love with it. This candle is Annica by Phlur (my real first name is Anika) so cheesey cute and fun, right??? And let me tell you, this candle looks and smells like airy fresh perfection.

 

It comes in a beautiful box.

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Blue Birkenstocks

BEST 40 BUCKS I HAVE SPENT ALL YEAR! Birkenstocks (best shoe on the planet), are one of the few shoes I wear all summer long (along with van slides and running shoes). But these birkenstocks — GASP — so fun, comfortable, different but the same, and OH SO INEXPENSIVE (because they are plastic versus leather)! 40 BUCKS!! FOR BRIGHT BLUE BIRKENSTOCKS — how could you possibly say no?

 

Electric blue

Ultralight, these birkenstocks are made with high-quality EVA. They are flexible, odor neutral (phew — hate the smell of plastic chemicals) and are waterproof and washable.

And they look good on your feet (even with ugly feet — DON’T LOOK!…..I am a runner. Harumph) and feel like a pillow.

So easy to wash and clean — the best summer shoe. Who wants high maintenance shoes in the summer?

Bleu blue.

 

They currently come in a variety of colors (black, silver, pink, yellow, orange, and white!) but of course the one other color I want them in is green (because green birkenstocks just seem like perfection). To buy these great sandals, go here. Best purchase of 2018.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Vintage Denim Jacket

As of a few months ago, I had not bought something at a vintage store since High School (when I was a regular at our local Goodwill to buy denim). Fast forward to this spring when I was on a mad and unsuccessful hunt for the perfect denim jacket.  I was looking for something perfectly weathered / cropped / and that fit like a glove.  Wherever I looked or asked for help, I had no luck. Then, at the recommendation from a stylish friend, I went to 9th Street Vintage, and bought my new favorite piece of clothing, a vintage denim jacket.

 

This jacket is from the 30s! How cool is that! Almost 90 years old — and so supers stylish and cool. GAWD I love it.

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22 Interiors – Styling 101

Once again, our dear friend Lucie Ayres from 22 Interiors joins the blog for some designing and styling tips. I love her work and styling, so don’t just read the post for advice…. follow her on instagram to see her Californian digs and designs. Thanks, Lucie!

_____

 

The finishing touches are what make a room feel designed or not. One of 22 Interiors FAVORITE things to do is style bookshelves and coffee tables. We love discovering what clients already have, adding to it, and finalizing a curated look that works for them….We recently went to a client’s house to do some bookshelf and coffee table styling as part of our design service. Our client already had put some objects up on the shelves along with some books. This is what it looked like:

 

Before:

 

before

Before

Dermovia Individual Face Mask

Beauty Masks are having a moment right now. They are catchy, sweet, and functional all at the same time. Recently when at Barney’s picking out my MIL’s birthday present, I decided to buy one and try it myself. See below for more on the Dermovia Rejuvenating Collagen Lace Your Face Mask.

 

It comes in this little packaging which is perfect for traveling or a care package.

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Currently Loving May 2018

Memorial Day is right around the corner, but it still feels like unpredictable-March-like weather in NYC. I am having a hard time remembering what month we are in because the weather truly makes it feel like early Spring and not LATE Spring. But here we are. Sitting. Waiting. So here is what I am currently loving this month! Take a look:

 

1. Chanel Healthy Glow Lip Balm

 

Chanel + Moisture + Color = Perfection

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Banana Date Shake

I am always looking for something sweet that doesn’t have much sugar, so when I found this recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Healthyish, I made it right away. And since last Friday, I have made it officially seven times (#obsessed). It is super easy, delicious, vegan, and curbs my sugar craving without involving sugar! Win win win!

 

This is not the banana date smoothie. This is a vanilla milkshake — which is what it is supposed to be similar to. Kinda. Sorta. Similar. Maybe not. Ish. Still great.

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Saturday Night Live Taping

This past weekend we had the experience of a lifetime, attending Saturday Night Live and hanging out backstage with cast member Mikey Day and his partner Paula, who is a friend of Ken’s from college. Paula and Mikey are incredibly friendly, interesting, funny, and grounded. So when they invited us to attend the dress rehearsal, hang out in the dressing room during the show, and then go to the after party (!!!!), we jumped at the opportunity… especially Ken, who is the show’s biggest groupie. We had SO MUCH FUN.

 

We had tickets for the dress rehearsal which required us to be there at 6:30. There was a lot of security to go through before it actually started at 8 pm.  The dress rehearsal lasted 2 hours and has more skits than the live taping.  They are militant about not allowing pictures. 🙁

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HICKIES No Tie Elastics

Through the retail world, we recently met the owner and creator of HICKIES No Tie Elastics. And I am now a huge fan! I love how fun, colorful and easy they are to use and assemble. What are no tie laces? Well instead of laces, you place HICKIES laces in the shoelace eyelets. And voila, no tie, easy to slip on, shoes! You can get creative and have different designs, tightness and looks. There is a huge assortment of colors and looks of the HICKIES to match all your different shoes and needs. They are not just for kids, but adults, too.

 

Playful laces.

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