Ken’s here! So happy to have our full family back together for the next week and a half. On his way out from New York, he had the privilege of seeing the Friday night show of the Grateful Dead’s final three concerts in Chicago. Here’s The Josie Guy. Enjoy!
Greetings all! When one of our best friend’s from Stanford mail ordered and scored tickets to all three nights of the Chicago shows and invited me for Friday, making it work was a no-brainer. See great music and something historic. Check. Catch up with great friends. Check. Logistically easy (conveniently on the way out from New York to Oregon). Check. Turning back the clock and feeling like I’m in my college again (with some blatantly obvious adjustments since we are getting old). Winner. Here’s our (complete) day in pictures.
Not what you expected as the first picture? I landed at O’Hare at 10:30. By 11:15, we were at “Chicago’s Original Real Urban Barbecue.” This restaurant is a concept they are testing out near McDonald’s headquarters. While I don’t usually eat barbecue (or two pounds of meat) before noon, it was awesome. I hope this concept catches on and spreads… particularly to New York. Part one of our large day.
Hopefully for your sake, one of these opens up soon in a neighborhood near you.
After lunch (or shall we call it “pre-lunch”), we went to my friend’s sister’s house for more revelry. Any time you are pairing iced coffee with rose, you can bet you are heading for a decent day. #ThisIsHowOldYuppiesPre-Game
En route to Soldier Field with our beer, water, and sandwiches… in a Whole Foods bag. #ThisIsHowOldYuppiesTailgate
The parking lot. An amazing scene. If I had to sum up the Dead tailgate overall scene in ten words, I would go with something like: tie-dyes, aimless wandering, people holding up fingers looking for a miracle (ticket), drifting (physically and mentally), an amazing lack of port-o-potties, stranger love, rampant public urination, stickers, patchouli, and awesome. A great three hours that got everyone really fired up for the show.
Lots of people handing out stickers. The guy who gave us this one thought we may want to give him a free ticket in exchange.
This is a security guard. They were all wearing tie-dyes. Amazing.
These were the Friday tickets. Each night’s ticket had a different fan-submitted design.
At our seats!
The concert starts.
In full swing
Scarlet/Fire, the highlight of the show (for me). An amazing night. Incredible amounts of happiness and appreciation all around.
The night fittingly ended at an amazing diner called The Country Cup. It’s attached to a bowling alley. Enough said. You will never be looking for food after a Dead show in Chicago ever again, but if you get transported backwards in time and face this situation, go there. Things that were consumed, by three people, in no particular order: fried chicken, fried shrimp, a pork chop, corned beef hash and eggs, an omelette with gyro meat in it (don’t ask), two chocolate milkshakes (by the same person), a decaf coffee, a Sprite, orange juice, and the following sauces (hot, barbecue, tartar, cocktail, honey). Late night dining at it’s best..
…And finally, an admittedly too short four second video..
Thanks to our friends who hate the Internet (O.F.W.H.T.I) for getting the tickets and organizing an awesome and unforgettable night. Fare Thee Well….
One of the things I love most about spending my summers in Oregon with my parents is my mother’s cooking *AND* her collection of cookbooks. She literally could open up a cookbook library. This past week, I came across a cookbook, The Forest Feast, given last year to my mother by my bestie. This cookbook is not only beautiful, but the vegetarian recipes are healthy, easy, and simple. Here is my first find: peanut butter – coconut – no bake balls! SO DELICIOUS!
I have a friend who always wears the most fun, quirky, and playful jewelry. Everything she wears, I want to copy / steal (imitation = sincerest form of flattery) and this time around, I copied her exactly and got the same bracelet from Venessa Arizaga. (Thank you!) And look how FUN and COOL and PLAYFUL it is? I feel like I am 14 years old… youthful and whimsical.
Focus on the middle one with the words. Do you get it??? And yes, I am a “bomb-shell” in birkenstocks. #obvi
How do you teach your child how to ride a bike? CALL YOUR FATHER! (not joking). YUP, as with everything, kids take direction from other people more than their parents (next thing you know, there will be “bike riding consultants” for children in NYC….if there aren’t already…). So happy that my papa taught C how to ride a bike in three days!
Here we are, Oregon Summer 2015! I arrived just a little over 24 hours ago from New York and it feels like I never left. I must say that I have had a hard time adjusting the first week….I always want to make a plan and have a hard time not having a “busy schedule”. That said, after a week in Eugene, I get the hang of doing nothing and get to be way more mellow and relaxed (all of it disappears the moment that I land in NYC). Totally jet-lagged, exhausted, and tired, here is a quick look at some photos of my first 24 hours in Eugene.
A walk to a flat area (we live in a steep hill in every direction) where Tata (my father) was able to teach Cruzzie how to ride a bike. (and yes, That’s Life!)
You know what makes me nervous and sweaty? Traveling across the country with two kids. YUP, that is what I am doing right about NOW! As you read this, imagine a dotted line somewhere between the Pacific and the Atlantic with the two kids swiping all the energy out of me and making me swear I will never fly again. Oh, and then add on the smell of my stinky sweaty armpits. Great, right? Except that the reality is that I am actually smelling AWESOME because I have three deodorants in the mix. YUP, three different natural, wholesome, non chemical deodorants. And all of them work. And I am obsessed with all three of them.
The lucky three! I have officially sworn off mainstream deodorants with antiperspirant
I hope everyone had a nice Father’s Day! I had a wonderful time celebrating with my guapo, devoted, hands on, loving husband who is the BEST father out there; by riding carousels, sweating buckets at the Playground, drinking milkshakes and eating at Fred’s with my Father-in-law (also a terrific father). Next up, celebrating my own incredible fanny-pack-wearing, dependable, loveable, and smartest man alive father– when we go to Oregon on WEDNESDAY!!!! Not only do our packed bags signify the summer, but so too does my stack of fun books to read. So here is my summer 2015 Book List!
Recently, I have heard so many good things about kelp and its nutritional benefits. First and foremost, is kelp a noddle or a plant or a string? What is kelp??? Kelp noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy to eat raw noodle. Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water, Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories.
Men’s fashion alert! As many of you know, I grew up in Eugene, Oregon, where there are as many men’s dress shirts as there are Republicans…(I only knew one or two families that were Republicans….call me a hippy liberal). That’s not to say I don’t have a view on men’s shirts, because I am EXTREMELY OPINIONATED. I can’t stand (bold underline italic) men’s dress shirts that are too big (or men’s clothes in general). Why is it hard for so many men to find clothes that fit well? Fortunately, Ken has found a new custom-fit shirt service that is user-friendly, reasonably priced, and makes great looking shirts.
My favorite form of social media is instagram, mainly because I love the square cropped photos with various filters that instantly make me look like a photographer. (Yes, I realize the irony behind the fact that I am a public blogger but have a private instagram account and don’t really like posting photos. I’m an enigma. But if you send a request and your profile isn’t obviously psychotic, I will accept it!) So recently, I did a DIY project where I hung some instagram photos in my son’s room. I know, super creative.
Since summer’s now here (well, kind of. Yes my kids are out of school but I am still in NYC…), I put together my personal to-do list for the season, filled with things I’d love to accomplish before Labor Day. Lots to do in just a small amount of time.
1. Drink rose and gobble up oysters at Grand Banks on Pier 25 in NYC. Doesn’t it look ridiculous? Unreal, oh-my-god-I-want-to-go-now.
The restaurant is on a BOAT! But not this type of boat. And definitely not this captain.
Quince paste, known as membrillo in Spain, is phenomenal when paired with cheese (especially Manchego cheese). I first discovered this paste (more like a firm jelly) from my mom, who always has it in stock. It is sweet without being overly so, and truly is a great addition to a cheese plate.
I am always on the lookout for new workout gear as I spend a large portion of my existence schlepping around / working out / thinking about running. Bandier has mastered most of my workout closet, but I was still searching for the perfect short (vs legging). I have found that many things are wrong with workout shorts: too short, too tight, cotton inside (vs mesh), not flattering, generic, the list goes on and on. Until I came across Tracksmith. And now I am in love. They are expensive ($60) but worth every single cent. Seriously, they are the perfect short.
A couple of weeks ago, I co-hosted a baby shower for one of my besties in NYC. It was a huge over-the-top, atypical, and insanely beautiful event. While it took place in a formal location, we wanted it to feel down-to-earth… solution: we hired Flower Girl NYC to do the flowers. And man oh man, were the floral arrangements *out of this world beautiful*! Although we dealt with a minor snafu with the delivery of the flowers, I can’t speak highly enough of the flowers themselves. They stole the show (although my friend was beyond radiant and gorgeous with her tiny baby bump, so it was a tie).
Every angle is perfection. Can you take the beauty? I can’t….. Still dreaming of them.
Self help books for kids???? Sounds a little new-age-y and crazy! But let me tell you….they are AWESOME! A bundle of self-help-positive-books were given to Tusia for her first birthday (which if you can do the math, is two years ago) by a dear friend, and I find myself enjoying the books just as much as my kids do. They serve as good reminders, and help me have positive discussions with my 3 year old, 5 year old, and myself! So much that I wanted to share them with you all, too! I feel that these books give me the tools and ability to talk with them about being mindful and what really matters. NAMASTE.
The perfect bundle — how special and perfect is this assortment of books? (A lot more unique and touching than a beautiful onesie…)
Totally biased, but I tend to think my kids are the cutest little munchkins in the world (#humblebrag) and people always ask me where I buy my clothes for them. EASIEST ANSWER EVER: Little Circus! Little Circus is an e-commerce site for kids clothes, toys, and gifts. It really has everything and anything that you want to buy for kids, and better yet, it is created, owned, and operated by my dear friend, Jenna Lonstein. Jenna is a hip, young, fashionable mother of two, who started this company several years ago. (Read on for a special promo code for Josie Girl readers!)
New pajama alert! Love these spring, light cotton pajamas (100% cotton). They are lightweight printed cotton voile with a drawstring waist and uber comfortable. Plus, the cherry blossoms are festive, floral, and summery. Hello flowers, goodbye snow!
This photo is not staged. Taken yesterday morning pre-coffee.
Spring Beer cocktail, pure deliciousness, and the perfect drink for a summer day (Memorial day weekend is NEXT WEEKEND!). This drink is made with grapefruit soda and lime and beer. YUP, good ol’ fashioned bottled beer.
Ladies, HEAD TO THE BOOKSTORE NOW (or order on Amazon) to get your copy of Love and Miss Communication. The debut novel from my smart, beautiful, successful, and witty friend, Elyssa Friedland. This book came out yesterday (!!!) and has already been named a “must read” by InStyle Magazine and Popsugar. I couldn’t agree more — I had the privilege of reading it before it came out, and I absolutely loved every minute of it. The novel provided a great look into modern living in New York City through the eyes of Evie Rosen, the main character who swore off the internet (hard to imagine!). I loved every part of Elyssa’s book — the flow, the story, the concept, the humor, EVERYTHING! I could not put it down. And I was fortunate enough to sit down with Elyssa to discuss her amazing book.
How in the world do you write a book? You are a mom to three kids, a wonderful wife, super social, the PA of Preschool, always perfectly coiffed, immaculately dressed and stunning — AND JUST WROTE A BOOK??? And a great book. How did you fit everything into your schedule?
A trip down memory lane…..Three years ago (to the date), I gave birth to my little baby girl, Zoe Esther (also known as ‘Tusia” or ‘Toosh”) Natori. Maybe it is from watching videos like this or this or reading about when she was 1 but DAMN, being a mother is such an emotional and rewarding job. And with Tusia’s birthday today, I can’t seem to hide my tears. I tear because I never knew that this type of love was possible; that she is no longer a baby; that we are now in a new phase of our life; the concern of future hardships; the pride I beam for who she has become; the curiosity of her mind. I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart). “Tusia Na-ta-tori” as she calls herself is my little princess, and I love her up to the sky, down again, around the world, and back again. Happy 3rd birthday, Toosh! I love you.
Big girl Toosh celebrating her birthday and Mother’s Day yesterday eating a “Hello Kitty” sorbet and relaxing in Central Park.