Exciting times for our family of four…..we are expanding! NO, NO NO NO, not to a family of five, but to a bigger apartment. We are currently (as of a few weeks ago) combining our apartment with the apartment below us, to give us more space and a forever family home. We are *INCREDIBLY* fortunate to have this dream come true, and we couldn’t be more excited. Thanks to the handful of friends who have looked through the plans, walked through the space, and given advice. Thank you for being my support system — I wouldn’t be able to do it without you. And of course, main thank you to my Babers for giving us this dream and putting up with my anxiety and fear of being displaced for 6 months…
The stairs! Toosh’s old room upstairs is now becoming the top landing of the stairs! It’s currently a big hole — but I can totally envision the stairs!
We are expanding the entry way on both floors to be more open.
Let there be light!
uuuuhhhhh…..quite the mess…..basically, we are basically changing every single room in both apartments except for our bedroom and bathroom.
You can’t tell, but this is my dream kitchen. An open kitchen! We removed a wall between the kitchen and living room, to make one big kitchen and dining room.
Our architect and contractor busy at work. We also opened Cruzzie’s bedroom (the green wall in the far back) to have an open office for me (us).
A lot of walls removed.
The new living room.
The guest bedroom.
Every time I get photos from the architects (since I am in Oregon and the renovation is taking place in NYC), I burst with excitement and happiness. I beam with pure joy — this is going to be our forever home in NYC and I can’t wait to make it totally how we want it to be! Thanks for allowing me to share with you. Stay tuned!
This past weekend, the kids, parents and I went to the Oregon Coast to escape the hot temperatures of Eugene (in the 100s) and surround ourselves in the beauty of the Oregon Coast. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed nature, and family (minus Ken, who was in New York). Take a look at the pictures.
The Oregon Coast is always much colder than inland …. which makes sense, but this past weekend it was 30 degrees colder. 30!!!!
My college best friend, Midge, is a cartoon character.; goofy, cooky, adorable, fun, funny, and colorful. Her look and aesthetic matches perfectly with her bubbly, outgoing personality, and her new glasses match her hipster vibe 100% (Note: she doesn’t just dress like a hipster, she *is* a hipster, I mean, she participates in Trivia every Monday, does things like “1/4 of a marathon on a treadmill race” and has salsa competition parties). Her glasses, Costalots, made by her good friend, Matt Costa, are the perfect accessory to round out her Oakland look. She has both everyday Costalots glasses and sunglasses (she was always the one the past 15 years that wears her sunglasses OVER her everyday glasses — quite the look). Costalots prides itself on quality and simplicity, and are the definition of hip.
It’s like her bitmoji came alive…..spot on for the most perfect bitmoji EVER to exist.
I am fortunate that I have a lot of teachers in my life; not just academic teachers (many of whom I am still in touch with 30 years later), but running, yoga, spiritual and life teachers as well. One of the most influential is Pamela Gold. Many of you remember her post from early this summer; she is articulate, intelligent, and brings clarity to things that can be difficult to comprehend (you, your relationship with yourself, and life). Take a look for yourself in the below interview — grab a cup of coffee and read this novel (yes, novel).
Beautiful Pamela and her 8 year old son, Jesse.
With a flat of blueberries in our house from our local CSA, I went on a hunt to find the best blueberry pie recipe. That said, searching “best blueberry pie” on the internet does not necessarily lead to the best blueberry pie, especially when I add words such as “low sugar” or “healthy.” So instead, I went the old fashioned route and asked a friend for a recipe. Needless to say, this much more experienced baker (read ‘older’) instantly emailed me her go-to-blueberry crisp recipe. So I made it (but of course, with some minor adjustments) and IT IS SO DELICIOUS.
Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping:
I love a) onesies / rompers / jumpsuits b) leopard print c) Natori. So all three together is a perfect combination. This new Josie Natori leopard jumpsuit is luscious, silky, airy, and dreamy. Perfect for a late summer beach cover-up or lounge wear.
I love my summers with my parents in Eugene. It couldn’t be any different than our routine in New York, and I love the change of pace both for me and for our family. Not very glamorous or fashionable or social; but very nature-centered, kids focused, with lots of fresh air. Take a look.
I wake up very early and do my morning workout before the kids eat breakfast. I just get up, and do it. Then, after the kids are fed and dressed, I take Cruzzie to camp (in the car). From there, Tusia and I start our day of Tusia-Mama Camp (the oh so exciting camp) which means:
Trips to the grocery store…who knew that they could be so exciting? And who knew I needed to go most days? (Her cousin Nadia is pictured – Toosh is hiding behind the grocery cart).
Everything about my biffle‘s house is blog worthy. It is like walking into a perfectly curated store that carries only the best of the best. Literally, every nook and cranny could be photographed and written about as her taste and style is impeccable (I will take one of each, please). She is also a phenomenal cook who meal plans for her family with healthy, simple, and varied recipes. Here are her top cookbooks of Summer 2016. And perhaps if we have the same cookbooks, then we have the same dinners?
If you have an hour and a half of free time, I highly recommend watching the Tony Robbins documentary on Netflix. Urged by a good friend to watch it (exact words: “Urgent”), I watched it immediately and found it riveting, emotional, powerful, inspirational, and curious. A must see. If only more people could be as authentic, sincere, deep, and real.
Last month on our California tour, one of our highlights in Sonoma was learning about our friend’s bees. YUP, bees. Kim, is the proud new owner of thousands of bees and can add “beekeeper” to the many prestigious titles on her resume. After taking a class in Marin (with lots of young-professionals-in-Teslas), Kim bought her kit and bees, and is now a bee-keeper. It is fascinating and so interesting, that even though I got stung recently from a yellow jacket (yes, I know, it is different), I am still committed to set up a beekeeping shop in Pound Ridge this Spring (thanks for letting me do this, Babers). Read on!
How did you get interested in beekeeping?
One of my dearest friends from Ken’s Stanford Business School class, Katie, is someone I have always looked up to. Not only is she brilliant (obviously), fun (best dancer ever), smiley, honest, and real, but she also has the best homemaker skills of anyone I know. Yes – totally sounds sexist, but when I met her when I was 25 years old, I didn’t know anyone who sewed their own curtains, made their own scalloped potatoes for dinner parties, and hosted lavish, extravagant sit down dinners with all homemade dishes. So I am thrilled to have Katie guest blog today on “Ice Cream Flower Pots.” Thanks so much, Katie. Love you dearly.
My mom first made these “ice cream flower pots” for my 10th birthday party which was a joint party with my dear friend Carrie who had a birthday the same week as mine. We themed the party “Pink and Purple” so all our friends wore everything pink and purple, as did our moms and my older sister who was the “helper”. The party was afternoon backyard games and a BBQ at Carrie’s house, and then a slumber party at my house. The ten or so girls in attendance are still some of my closest friends, and to this day, everyone remembers the “ice cream flower pots” that thrilled us all when they were revealed as dessert. They embody the creative and festive flair that my mom was known for bringing to everything she did. She passed away 6 years ago and I miss her every day, but making treats like this on a lovely summer day for the ones I love makes her feel close in my heart again.
Beautiful flowers….but wait, it’s a delicious dessert!
Constantly researching fashion blogs, articles, magazines, instagram, and people, I have admired the recent resurgence and hipness of Gucci. So many beautiful, glamorous, and whimsical pieces of late, each one cool and hip in their own way. That said, the BLING BLING price tags have prevented me from buying anything. I love the Gucci’s bombers and sweatshirts, and yet haven’t pulled the trigger due to price. So when I came across a Gucci *inspired* sweatshirt at H&M, it was BLING BLING a true winner. 39.99 dollars. YES PLEASE, thank you, SUCKER.
Preppy and fun.
Last Friday, my sister Courtney and I hosted a Bridal Luncheon to celebrate our baby sister, Galen, and her upcoming wedding. The lunch took place at Olympia Provisions in Portland. Located in a hip / up and coming industrial area of Northwest Portland, the restaurant (which also is known for its meat sold nation wide) was the perfect venue. The lunch was super special with a great group of girls, delicious food, bubbling sparkling wine, and a glowing bride-to-be.
Truly, a la Portlandia; garage, brick, burlap, and meat.
Inspired by the Flower Crown Gathering and the scrumptious appetizers served, I re-made the basil vinaigrette. It is delicious, healthy, and GREEN!
Earlier this month in California, my sista-from-another-mister, hosted a Flower Crown Gathering (yes, I feel the need for it to be capitalized) at her home in the Bay Area. As always, Amy pulled it together like Martha Stewart and made everything look so beautiful and perfect. The party consisted of a couple of friends, delicious home-made appetizers, free flowing drinks, and a class on flower crown making led by florist and designer Sarah Padilla.
Another proud flower crown made by yours truly.
Are you curious about Josie Natori’s habits and everyday routine? Here is a quickfire interview with my mother-in-law. Enjoy!
The beautiful Josie Natori.
Jeans: not me but if I have to choose, then I like my Balenciaga jeans
Heels: Gianvito Rossi
Flats: Do not wear flats.
Day bag: tote
Jewelry you wear everyday: Josie Natori
Workout wear: leggings and t shirt
Designers: Alaia and Alexander McQueen
Lingerie or underwear: Natori
Where do you shop: Paris
Shopping mecca: Paris
Just returned heavier and happier from another great California trip with the family. We started the week in Yosemite and ended in beautiful Sonoma. Invited by close friends from Stanford, we spent last weekend with several other families to enjoy nature and beauty in wine country, on a ridiculously beautiful ranch filled with plums, pears, apples, peaches, berries, vegetables, bees, hiking, pool, tennis, and MORE. Every step I took, I was reminded of the movie Parent Trap (top 5 movies for me, and yes, the one with Lindsay Lohan). To take a look at our California Dreaming, see below.
ATV picnic. I love how California can be so high class and cowboy at the same time.
So far this summer, I have failed at most of my motherly duties of teaching my kids how to: (1) tie their shoes (big fail), (2) do their school summer math workbook (I am a nagging Jewish mother, my GOD, I want to punch MYSELF), (3) become a self-sufficient swimmer (the fact my younger Toosh is in the water at all is a huge success), (4) ride a two-wheel bike (what was I thinking – at least I succeeded last summer with Cruz), etc….the list goes on and on of what I have failed at. The one thing that I feel proud of in regards to my mothering is having the difficult conversation about race, religion, injustice, and the world current events with my kids. The thoughts and conversations have been far from perfect, but they have been a start. Although at times it feels rather forced or weird, it is a dialogue that we want to have with our kids. They are mixed children, in terms of religion, race, and culture, and we want them to see the world as a WHOLE. With the tragedies occurring in our world / country with race relations, it is imperative that we have real conversations about what is happening.
I recently found four books (at the library) that have been helpful with our daily conversations; I want the kids to understand that even though people may look different or have different traditions, they are the same, and should be treated with the same amount of kindness. Also, here is an interesting article on how to talk to your children about race (from last year, but still relevant).
I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by such strong, empowering, creative, smart, and talented friends. My friend, Sawako, is no exception. Not only is she beautiful, caring, insightful, smart, and a wonderful mother and friend, but she also runs her own business selling bike helmets and accessories. The company’s name is her namesake, Sawako. (To watch a video of the company’s story, go here). Take a look at our interview below. Thanks, Sawako!
Saddened.. yet again.. by another mass tragedy. France is incredibly close to my heart as I spent all my summers going up with my French exchange family and try to go back as often as I can.
I am sad for all of the victims, and for humanity.
Let me count the ways that I love the West Coast: 1) Oregon 2) California 3) Washington. This past week, we traveled to Yosemite with Stanford Classmates where we lounged, hiked, made smores, laughed, swam, and simply enjoyed the simplicity of the California Nature. AHHHHHH California.
Yosemite National Park is known for its waterfalls, meadows, giant sequoias, and vast wildnerness. This is a photo from our hike on Day 1. It was an easy hike yet truly beautiful, surrounded by trees, water, and waterfalls.
This past week, the Natori team had the pleasure of hosting an event for More Than Me, an incredible organization founded by Katie Meyler whose mission is to provide education for young girls in Liberia. Guests gathered together at the Josie Natori Boutique for live music (provided by Ken and fiddler Heather Cole), drinks, and shopping, with a portion of sales donated to the More Than Me organization.
Ken and Katie have been friends for awhile and it was really moving to see them team up for a greater cause.
Sorry about the hiatus. I had the below post scheduled for Friday, but it didn’t seem right to post anything given all of the craziness going on.
Particularly coming from a mixed-race marriage/family, I wish I had something intelligent / insightful / constructive to say. But all I feel is sadness and helplessness. It feels like we are in a bad movie right now, and my fear is it’s only going to get worse.
The only thing I know I can do is to hug my kids and talk to them about race and everything that is going on. And to pray for all of the families and friends directly affected.
Last month, while spending a weekend with dear friends, I was served (lucky me) the most scrumptious broccoli I have ever eaten in my life. I didn’t care that there was anything else being served, the broccoli was TO-DIE-FOR. It was a grilled broccoli recipe from Barefoot Contessa. Here it is.
A green forest
Happy short week (and happy belated birthday, USA)! I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend and off to a great July (holllllly smokes). As always when with family, we had a great weekend celebrating with my brother and his family in Seattle. The only bad news was that Ken was unable to fly out as planned due to a storm on Friday night in NYC. After 4 hours on the tarmac and his flight being canceled, he sadly didn’t make it to the west coast. We missed him but will be reunited with him for 10 days on Friday! Here is a recap of our weekend!
We went sailing in the evening on Lake Washington (pictured: son Cruzzie, brother Giora).
Last week, we ventured to a nearby farm to harvest raspberries and cherries. Not only was it a family fun activity, but we also brought home pounds and pounds of fresh fruit. We made (although the term “we” actually doesn’t include “me”) cherry cobbler and cherry pie. I made raspberry chia jam with no refined sugar. Take a look!
My raspberry picker.
Handmade + Parisian + Earrings = Victory. Tambour Paris was founded by Etsuko Harada, who was born in Tokyo and began crocheting when she was two years old. She opened her store in Paris in 2012 in the 11th arrondissement and has a beautiful selection of items. Especially these insanely awesome earrings.