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.

The back of the box has the story of the company (love a good success story).

And look at the ceramic ball! It is so cool and practical and modern and smooth. (This is my son’s hand — so it is the size of an 8 year old’s dirty little grubby hands).

Looking good.

I liked the candle even before I smelled it!

And then when you smell it, it is so airy and perfect and fresh.

Fresh smell and glowing, gotta love it.

 

This cool ceramic orb candle is made without parabens, phthalates, and animal products. Which just makes it even more cool — smells good, looks good, and is good! Win win win! Also, another winning bonus is the fact that after the candle is fully burned away, you can use the ceramic sphere as a desk organizer. Love a twofer. Anika loves the Annica.  Have a great long weekend!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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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!

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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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The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

I have never been good at making the perfect hard boiled egg, so thanks to my good friend Katie Kaiser, I now know how to make them. Thanks Katie for the guest blog post!

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I’ve developed this method over the years combining tips and tricks I’ve read or heard about from various sources. The trick is four simple principles:

* Eggs that are room temperature and not too fresh

* Baking soda in the water – it somehow helps separate the internal lining of the shell from the boiled white of the egg

* EXACT timing in two segments (on heat and off)

* Ice bath immediately after boiling

 

All you need are eggs and baking soda. But here is the first tip: if the eggs are too fresh, they will be harder to peel. Eggs about a week old are usually perfect. You also want them room temperature.

 

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Chocolate Buttons

My favorite chocolate bar is the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate bar. It reminds me of childhood trips to Europe. So this past week, I was craving a fruit and nut chocolate bar, but didn’t know where to get one. So instead, I made little chocolate buttons with fruit and nuts in them. While you can’t go wrong with your fruit/nut choices, I used cranberries, raisins, almonds, and hazelnuts.

 

A new and improved version of the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bar.

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Dr. Whitney Bowe & The Beauty of Dirty Skin

Last summer, I had the privilege of interviewing good friend and dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe on the blog. And now, my ever so smart, charming, and oh-so-beautiful friend just wrote a book called “The Beauty of Dirty Skin” available in bookstores and on Amazon. As a fan (and friend) of Dr. Bowe, I was super excited to get the book and read it. It is educational with great resources and information on nutrition, skin care, and aging.  Read below for a behind the scenes interview with Dr. Bowe!

 

The newly released book: The Beauty of Dirty Skin

 

One chapter of your book is on “the secret to great skin”. Can you give us a quick summary?

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Boston Marathon 2018

On Monday, I proved to myself that not only was “Boston Strong” but that “I was strong.” In the middle of freezing rain, super windy conditions, and low temperatures (mid 30s), I ran and completed my first Boston Marathon. It was not at all pretty, fun, or wonderful. It was actually quite the opposite; horrible, gruesome, difficult, and treacherous. Boston is considered the most prestigious of all world marathons with everyone having to time qualify to run, and I was super excited to attempt the master of all races. Due to the weather conditions, I knew that it was going to be difficult to run my hardest. So instead of racing, I focused on perseverance and completion.

 

Expo picking up my number.

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Eco String Bag

Like any people trying to be more environmentally conscious, I like to carry reusable bags in my purses. One of my favorite bags for groceries is the string bag. Not only is it stylish (oh so french chic), but it is also washable, expandable, and nondescript.  Totally affordable as well.

 

Neutral bag.

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Grapefruit Beer

I haven’t drunk a beer since college when I would chug them, so I was pleasantly surprised to try a grapefruit beer and actually like it. Love it, to be honest. It is girlie, refreshing, and tastes like grapefruit soda with a hint of beer. So you lose a little edge but still hydrate — win win!

 

I have actually had two different kinds of grapefruit beer: from a can (as pictured) or from a bottle. Equally good and crisp!

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Doctor Rogers Restore Healing Balm

For the past two solid years, a good friend of mine has been telling me about Doctor Rogers Restore Healing Balm and how it was THE NEXT BEST THING. Unfortunately, I kept forgetting about it (#blonde and #BeautyAddict) until this past weekend when she gifted it to me. And now, I am wondering HOW IN THE WORLD DID I FORGET AND NOT REMEMBER THIS LITTLE MIRACLE IN A TUBE? It is so good, so memorable, so powerful, and a must have. This little miracle tube, created by a Seattle based dermatologist (Dr. Rogers) is incredibly soothing and healing for dry, damaged skin, lips and nails. It not only has lots of hydration powers and protection, but it is also made with high quality ingredients (non-petroleum and all-natural), making it a must.

 

Heaven tube placed on a heavenly flower….

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To-Do-Spring Wish List NYC 2018

Despite the fact that it still feels like winter in New York, it actually *is* Spring. Since I love planning new adventures and outings each season, here is what I am currently hoping to do this Spring in New York! Take a look!

 

1. See Hamilton again….because it has been two years since I first (and last) saw this magical performance.

 

I had the opportunity to see the original cast in April 2016 and it was truly one of the highlights of my year. I am still listening to the music nonstop and can’t wait to go back….

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Theo Chocolate Tour

Over Spring Break in Seattle, we had the privilege of visiting Theo Chocolate Factory and going on a tour (my beloved Gwyneth is the one who told me about it). It was fun, tasty, interesting, and a unique experience. Definitely worth going to — but probably best to do it AFTER lunch and not before. Cough, cough, we were the idiots who went with five kids at 10:30 am and ate ten chocolate bars before lunch.

 

Classic beautiful warehouse (an old brewery) in which the factory is housed.

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Currently Loving April 2018

So here we are in April. It snowed here in NYC on Monday. I thought April was SPRING for GOD SAKES? In any case, need to stay positive, so here is what I am currently loving for April 2018! Take a look.

 

1. Amy’s Andy Dandy Candy

 

It is made with organic chocolate, so it’s healthy, right???? Yeah right, but somehow, it makes it taste better, like the organic chocolate is better for your body and your body knows that. And if you are going to indulge, then might as well indulge in some organic chocolate (or that is my rationale….)

 

Creamy or Crunchy? OR BOTH?

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Fresh Deodorant

It’s almost DEJA VU because I write so much about deodorant (read here and here). That said, I haven’t found the perfect deodorant (total Goldilocks over here….). I use natural deodorant (almost exclusively Agent Nateur) but there are times that I need to use stronger stuff (like Secret… GASP) so I don’t sweat (and then smell).  Recently, when I was at a local boutique in Seattle, the salesperson told me that there are times she has to use a sorta natural deodorant — natural because it is alcohol free, but only sorta because it has aluminum in it. She says Fresh Sugar Deodorant is better than Secret, but worse than Agent Nateur, and is the perfect deodorant for those special situations. SO HAPPY.

 

Fresh sugar. Apparently, Sugar is a natural humectant that helps attract and seal in moisture. Who knew?

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Cleo Wade

One of my favorite instagram stars / poets / activists is Cleo Wade. Not only is she super-model-gorgeous, but she is also articulate, poetic, and inspirational. I feel a connection to everything that she writes and posts — so much that I just want to hug her.  Since I basically stalk her, I knew that her book was coming out in March and pre-ordered it. I read it for inspiration, sage wise advice, and comfort. It is the equivalent of a hot cup of tea with honey, just soothing and loving.

 

Heart Talk. And yep, it does talk to your heart.

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Bainbridge Island, Washington

Happy Spring Break all!  Greetings from Seattle.  After a week skiing in Big Sky, Montana, we are now in Seattle, mixing some of Ken’s work obligations with a visit to my brother’s.  My parents came to Seattle via Eugene.  As always, it is great to be with the family.

 

While here, Ken also wanted to show the kids and me his grandparents’ old house on Bainbridge Island, where his father and uncle grew up and where he used to spend his summers as a young child, escaping the concrete jungle of New York.

 

 

To get from Seattle to Bainbridge, we took the ferry, which was Ken’s favorite part about spending his childhood summers in the PNW. The kids (with cousin Alagna in the middle) had a blast.

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