Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

Every time I am at Whole Foods, I end up picking up a “Morning Glory” Muffin to snack on. Both my daughter and I love them:  sweet, moist, and healthy.  So I decided to bake a batch of them myself! After scouring the internet to find the recipe that suited my taste, here is the one I found on eatingwell.com. I modified them slightly and love the result! They are refined-sugar free, gluten-free (because I used gluten-free flour), and nutrient packed!

 

Ingredients:

 

Ingredients

 

 

* 1 cup whole-wheat flour

* 1/2 cup oatmeal (old fashioned, not steel cut)

* 2 teaspoons baking powder

* 2 teaspoon cinnamon

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* a splash of nutmeg

* a splash of clove

* 2 eggs

* 1/3 cup of honey

* 2 teaspoons vanilla

* 1 cup applesauce

* 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil

* 2 cups of shredded carrots

* 1/2 cup of shredded coconut

* 1/2 cup of raisins

 

 

Directions:

 

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray

 

* Mix together the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, and spices in a bowl..

 

Dry ingredients. The little specks of dirt are actually flax seeds that were in my oatmeal.

Dry ingredients. The little specks of dirt are actually flax seeds that were in my oatmeal.

 

* In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla.

 

Wet

Wet

 

* Slowly whisk in the coconut oil. Then add the flour mixture.

 

Mixed all together

Mixed all together

 

* Fold in the coconut, carrots and raisins.

 

Orange!

Orange!

Coconut!

Coconut!

Raisins!

Raisins!

 

* Place the dough in the tins, and sprinkle the muffins with shredded coconut atop.

 

In tins.

In tins.

Healthy sprinkles.

Healthy sprinkles.

 

* Bake for 20 minutes or until a fork / toothpick comes out clear.

 

Done! They don't look that different from the muffins unbaked.

Done! They don’t look that different from the muffins unbaked.

Even Ken thinks that they are tasty (hard critic!).

Even Ken thinks that they are tasty (hard critic!).

 

Sorry for posting so many recipes recently, but I can’t help myself! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend — go Seahawks (Pacific Northwest Pride!)

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Mini Melissa Kitty Shoes

stretch

 

While it hit other states hard, Juno the Blizzard didn’t really hit NYC….but we still had (a tiny amount of) snow, no school, lots of hot cocoa, sledding, and snow angels. I was a little disappointed to wake up to 2 (ok, 6 total) inches of snow, but super happy to be with the kids and play in the snow.  I hope all the JG readers in New England are doing OK.

 

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Currently Loving….

Almost February (and there’s a blizzard coming…. SAY WHATTTTTT?), here is what I am currently loving (other than my husband, kids, parents, siblings, friends, sunny warm weather, cheese, chocolate, peanut butter, granola, and television):

 

The Wet Brush

 

This brush is a miracle worker. It allows you to brush your hair (and your kids’ hair) when the hair is wet (or dry) without tear! It detangles the hair quicker and more easily than any other brush around. Cheap and effective.

 

wet brush

The “wet” brush

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Healthy Banana Coconut Cookies

The right size.

 

For the past couple of months, I have been more into *real* desserts than *healthy* desserts. But now that it is the start of a new, clean, fresh year, I am back to loving / craving / wanting / needing healthy desserts. And this dessert is the perfect one — incredibly healthy, no refined sugar, no wheat, real ingredients, easy to make, and super delicious. WIN WIN WIN — almost like digging into an overflowing ice cream hot fudge sundae. This recipe is from 101 Cookbooks, one of my all-time favorite food blogs. Check it out! And make these cookies! They are part banana bread — part oatmeal — part macaroon. All in one deliciousness!

 

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9/11 Memorial & Museum

Last Friday, I had the opportunity (and privilege) of visiting and touring the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. To say I was blown away is a true understatement. It took my breath away and has preoccupied my mind since. Mind you, I did not live in NYC during the 9/11 attacks, nor did I know anyone who was directly affected.  As a result, I had never been overly emotional about it.  But visiting the museum changed everything.

 

Freedom Tower

The power of the tallest building in the United States, The Freedom Tower. An eerie view from the memorial looking up to the sky.

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Early 2015 Reading List

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a restful weekend — I know I did! Before I get going with the books I want to read, here is a must-watch video. I have watched it numerous times and I cry every single time….so watch it….And Yes, I tend to watch more videos than I read. Not that I have a lot of time / energy / stamina these days, but there are SOOOO many books that I want to read! Just need to make it more of a priority (and find more hours in my day)…..here are the books that I want to devour in the coming weeks and months!

 

1. All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 7.52.57 PM

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Broccoli-Arugula Soup

Theoretically, you could just go to the GOOP website and find this soup. But hey, it is more fun when I post, right? So full acknowledgement, this soup is copied EXACTLY from GP. AND IT IS SO GOOD! And healthy! And the perfect way to start the New Year! So go on and make it. And pretend that I was genius enough (or had the staff) to create it myself.

 

Ingredients:

 

Ingredients

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Josie Natori Jersey Pencil Skirt

Maybe it is from the extensive NYC Kindergarten interview / application process this past Fall, but for whatever reason, I became obsessed with finding the right pencil skirt. Nothing screams more “conservative” and “boring” and “grown up” than a classic pencil skirt, and yet…….I needed to have one! I scoured the internet for a hip looking skirt, to find that the best one was sitting right in front of me. Yep, a pencil skirt from Josie Natori. And I must say, that it is by far, the most perfect pencil skirt I have ever owned (yes, I only own one, but this is hands down a gold medal winner). I could have saved countless hours and just purchased with one single click. So ladies, you owe me! If you, too, want a great basic in your closet (that is actually FAR from boring, and grown up), then simply go here. And tada, all done. You are set! AND BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS PLUS DRUMROLL…it is on sale! And will not last long….so hit it up PRONTO.

 

Nothing worse than taking one's own picture, but worth it to show the beauty of this skirt!

Apologies for the selfie, but it’s worth it to show the beauty of this skirt!

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New Year’s Goals 2015

Why hello, end of 2014!!!! Can you believe how fast the year flew by? I feel like it was just January, and what do you know, it is almost January AGAIN. Crazy how the years just get shorter and shorter??? On the blog, the past several years I have created a list of New Year’s goals to match the year (14 for 2014, etc….). However, this year, I am a little more realistic…..so here are my 5 goals for 2015.

 

flower

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Seattle 2014

We just arrived in Florida after a solid week of lounging / eating / lounging / eating / lounging / eating at my brother’s house in Seattle. My brother, who happens to not just be my brother but also Ken’s best friend from college, along with his wife, 3 kids, cat and dog hosted the 4 of us, my parents, sister and mother-in-law all in their home. Gracious, open, and welcoming as always, we had the best time with them all. Thank you so much, Proskurowski-Rob family for taking us in to your beautiful home and letting us bounce off your walls for the week. And thank you to my parents, who like always, fed, spoiled, and took care of us all. Although I am wider than last week, I am more refilled with love from those closest to me. We love you so much and miss you all, already! Here are pictures to recap our vacation in Seattle.

 

Space!!! Needle! Space Needle!

Space!!! Needle! Space Needle!

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Martha Stewart/Holiday 2014 Workout Playlist

Happy Monday!  We are in Seattle with my brother, his family, my sisters and parents.  Basically my whole side of the family under one roof.  Couldn’t be happier.  Our cross-country travel was mostly without incident, unlike 2 years ago.  Regardless, Ken likes making fun of me when I travel (I can’t help myself).

 

Josie-Girl-Blog-Travel-Instagram

 

So, exciting news!

 

I am so excited to share that I have been asked to be a contributor to Martha Stewart’s website!    The site reached out to me and asked me to contribute posts as part of their effort to cultivate more original content.  My profile is here and first post on celebrating the holidays is here.

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Vegan Spinach Dip

This past weekend, we had our dear friend Katie Kaiser from Stanford visit.  In addition to being a great friend, she is one of the most phenomenal cooks I have ever encountered — as I still remember all her dinner parties during Business School and the meals she put together. So I asked her if we could cook together so I could learn some of her tips, skills, and recipes. POT OF GOLD! We cooked up a storm and she taught me so much — stay tuned for her various recipes that will be featured on the blog, Thank you, Kaiser! We love you! And so here is one of her recipes, delicious Vegan Spinach Dip!

 

Ingredients:

 

Ingredients

Ingredients

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Bauble Bar Pearl Earrings

If you live in NYC, then you are more likely to be in touch with certain fashion trends. What does that mean? It means that the common person (like myself) knows about who wore what earrings to what fancy gathering, who is the spokesperson for what company etc….Like Jennifer Lawrence is the spokesman for Dior. And therefore, in the Dior advertisements, she wears certain Dior earrings, wears these earrings at various events, and represents Dior. AND MAN, does she look good! And THOSE EARRINGS!!!! Hot damn, those earrings.

 

The earrings -- front and back pearls, small and big.

The earrings — front and back pearls, small and big.

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Saltine Cookies

Top

For those of you who have been reading the blog for a long time (first, huge THANK YOU!), then you have already seen this post. But I can’t help myself and need to include it again because these holiday treats are SO VERY DELICIOUS and addictive. And if you are new to the blog (welcome, and thank you!), enjoy the very best cookie / goodie / chocolate heaven / salty-sweet-thang. Hands down, the best holiday treat. And because you will not be able to stop at just one cookie (or ten of them), better get started on your holiday workout.

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Serial

Confession: The past week I have not been holiday shopping, running, sleeping, or socializing. Instead, I have been listening to “Serial” from start to end in 4 days time. Some of you may know what I am talking about — the story line, the who, the what, the details. Others, may think I am referring to “cereal” and not understanding my mish-mash-grammar (not the first time). So what is it, for those of you not on the band wagon? Serial is a podcast from WBEZ Chicago. It is a spin off from “This American Life” about a real true story murder mystery of a reporter piecing back together a murder and trial in Baltimore, Maryland from 1999. I first read about it on many different blogs, then the NYTimes, and then I wanted to fit in, so I did it. I downloaded the podcast and I just sat and listened. To say I was hooked is a lie — I was engrossed and obsessed. I started on a Friday and finished on a Tuesday — all 10 episodes that were available then (they come out each Thursday). And LORD, is it GOOD!!!!

 

Team Serial

Team Serial

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Currently Loving

Now that it is the second week of December (heart palpitations….so much to do! gasp!), I am running trying to whittle down my growing to-do list….so since I am in the listing, bullet type of writing, here are my current loves!

 

1) My mother-in-law’s jewelry

 

I have an insanely generous mother-in-law who not only GIVES me presents but lends me her own jewelry from her personal jewelry collection. I am one lucky duck wearing these drop dead diamonds galore (and my husband is lucky, too, since he doesn’t feel the need to get me my own jewelry).

 

jewels

I was lent some pretty spectacular jewels by my mother-in-law to celebrate her award at the ACC (Asian Cultural Council) several weeks ago. It was a cinderella moment…..and I made sure to return them before my children lost them! (Has happened before – temporarily….nerve wracking!)

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Lego Organizational System

I have a love-hate relationship with Legos. I love that they entertain my son and daughter for hours and simultaneously increase creativity, problem solving, and imagination. But…..I hate the clutter, the tiny pieces, the fact that they are everywhere everywhere in our little home. So last month, I decided to tackle a huge project and *organize* our lego problem. After three trips to The Container Store, hours of sorting, trial and error work, a massive headache, and pulling out my hair, I finally came up with a system! A system that works and is effective. I won the lottery; worth the stress!

 

Lego mess = my current reality.

Lego mess = my current reality.

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Grizzlie’s Granola

Best Granola Ever. I am addicted and obsessed with granola and this is HANDS DOWN MY FAVORITE brand. No other type of granola comes close to this heavenly bowl of goodness! For the past several years (at least 5 years, or even more!), my dear mother in Eugene, Oregon, has been sending me boxes of this granola from the bin in our local grocery store (which is ten times better than any Whole Foods) to New York City. I never knew that it was sold elsewhere! Until I found it in a random Korean Deli Store in Upper Manhattan. It was startling, exhilarating, and life changing! Grizzlie’s Granola — Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola — the best of the best.

 

Heaven in a bag

Heaven in a bag

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Tabio Socks

Thanks to everyone for all your encouragement and support in regards to Ken becoming a rock star for the day…..Still feeling buzzed and pumped by the experience. Seriously, I am in love with the guys of OAR….and now I can’t stop listening to Peace. On repeat. Ten million times in the last 3 days. Call me obsessed. Watch out, Babers, you have COMPETITION. Anywho, back to reality. That reality, is socks. Yep, socks.

 

My mother’s go-to-present for everyone in the family is socks. Handmade knitted socks, skiing socks, everyday socks, fancy socks, socks, socks, socks, socks. As a result, I am fond of socks. I can never have too many and am always on the lookout for the new, best, prettiest, cutest sock (odd, quirky, and so me). So it was a perfect coincidence when I stumbled upon a sock store in Paris in October (was that really 2 months ago??). And not just any sock store — but a hip, high-end, and luxurious store. Tabio, is considered the hot and trendy sock. The sock is actually made in Japan by a crafts person. They come in all shapes and colors: ultra trendy, thigh highs, as well as models in cashmere, angora, lace, super soft wool. To view the various sock options, go here.

 

socks

One of the pairs of socks that I purchased. Of course, it looks avant garde, tie dye, and artsy. It is the perfect thickness and height (not too high, not too low…Goldilocks a la socks).

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O.A.R. Sound Check

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! The highlight of the long weekend…or month of November….or 2014, was this past Saturday when Ken had the opportunity to perform during the sound check with his all-time-favorite-band, Of A Revolution (O.A.R.). It was the equivalent of PR’ing his marathon. Not only was it a rush for Ken, but for me, too. And I am a self-acclaimed Miss Sour Puss who *HATES* jam bands, dislikes guitar and saxophone solos, and despises fratty crowds. And yet, OAR was unbelievable. CRAZY GOOD, FUN, AWESOME, and now I am a huge fan. HUGE OMG HUGE! Count me in as the newest member of #OARgroupie. And having the good fortune of watching Ken experience a lifetime dream was pretty awesome, too. I love my Babers and watching my Babers be happy, makes me happy (transitive property).

 

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Happy T’giving!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  We are in New York and had dinner with Ken’s family, minus my mother-in-law, who is in the Philippines.  We are laying low this weekend in New York, outside of a fun event tomorrow night (more on that next week).

 

Around Thanksgiving, I always think about the following story that I shared with you a couple years ago.  A true story of tragedy, inspiration, and determination involving one of our amazing friends, Laura Wales Holliday, who survived, and another friend, James Hsu, who didn’t. The story is re-copied below and the link to the original post is here.  Have a great Thanksgiving weekend with your loved ones.

Laura

Laura — pretty as can be. Always a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.

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