August 2018 Playlist

Here is the playlist that I have been using on all my long runs this Summer. Enjoy!

 

Playlist is full of color and energy, just like the outfits in this picture.

 

August 2018 Running Playlist

Eastside (benny blanco, Halsey, Khalid)
No Brainer (DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber)
Happy Now (Zedd)
Rise (Jonas Blue)
Swish (Tyga)
Ocean (Martin Garrix)
La Cintura Remix (Alvaro Soler)
I’ll Be There (King Henry)
Toluca Lake – Imad Remix (Tep No, Imad)
Sun Models (ODESZA)
This Time (High N Wild)
Don’t Stop (D-Sol)
Dreamer (Axwell Ingrosso)
Mama Look At Me Now (Galantis)
Attention (Fat Joe, Chris Brown, Dre)
1997 DIANA (Brockhampton)
IPlayListen (ODESZA)

 

WHOA patterns! Pizazz! Energy! Passion!

 

Happy running, hiking, biking, listening! Happy Friday!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

Blog Home Page

Leatherology

Like most women, I love handbags. But today they are super expensive and a big financial commitment. So I was incredibly happy to find fun, colorful, personable and reasonably priced bags at Leatherology. Leatherology is a direct to consumer website that has dozens of handbag styles, colors, and options. They also monogram! Since it is summer and I always love a pop of color, I decided I NEEDED a bright hot pink cross body bag with my initials. Ever since I got it, I have been wearing it nonstop.

 

HOW CUTE AND FUN IS THIS BAG? I love the brightness and it just makes me oh so happy.

Continue Reading

Overnight Train

When we were mapping out our summer travels, I knew that at one point, I wanted to take the kids on an overnight sleeper train adventure. Luckily, we had planned to go on our annual trip to Sonoma, so I knew that the magical train dream would be able to happen. It was perfect timing as my best friend from college, Bridget, had been visiting us in Eugene, and we were both aiming to get to California at the same time. So the five of us — me, Bridget, my two kids and her daughter — all went on the adventure together. And it was exactly that: an adventure. Not a mode of transportation to get us from Point A to Point B, or a luxurious beautiful hotel, but a memorable and fun experience. It was so much fun that I hope to make it an annual tradition — there was something about it that was nostalgic, peaceful, romantic, and comforting.

 

The five of us. And yes, Bridget and I are wearing matching outfits. Why would we NOT wear matching outfits?

Continue Reading

Aperol Spritz Slushee

My (and everyone else’s) summer drink, the Aperol Spritz, has been consumed in many different ways.  But I think I have found my favorite… the slushee.   I may never drink anything else again: this slushee is the most incredible, light, fruity, delicious, buzzing, refreshing, oh-so-good drink. It is truly perfection.

 

It is even better than it looks. SERIOUSLY, so good.

Continue Reading

Marathon Training

I am currently in the process of training for two fall marathons (Chicago Marathon in October, and NY Marathon in November where I will be running as a guide for a disabled runner). Although the training is tiring, long, and challenging, it is also my favorite part of the whole marathon. In all of my previous marathons (10 overall), I have had different techniques / training / ideologies and approaches. Here is what I am doing THIS time around.

 

Mid long run stretch. I think between miles 14-15. I sometimes takes breaks to drink / eat / breathe / rest.

 

Like most marathon runners, I am competitive and type A. Typically when I run a marathon, I care about my time and have a strong desire to get a personal record (PR).  There have also been marathons where I have not focused on time (NYC last Fall and Boston this Spring) and simply run. But for the most part, I go out there to prove to myself that I am doing my best and getting faster.

 

Training in Oregon is great with its beauty of all the trails and rivers.

 

So how do I prepare? It takes MONTHS to get ready to run a marathon. I tend to start 16-18 weeks ahead of the marathon to get ready in prime marathon shape. All of this to say, that to prepare for a marathon you RUN a lot. I know that this is stating the obvious, but I usually run between 45-60 miles a week, each week. But in every run, I vary the intensity, the distance, the course, and the overall effort.

 

I am lucky to have a good friend, Nancy, who is 60 and a marathon runner herself, who will often times get on her bike to pace me and keep me company in those long runs in the early morning. Makes the biggest difference!

 

So I run 6 days a week with one rest day. During these six days of running, I have some easy runs (at a slow pace), a long run (with varied speeds, some with progressively getting faster and faster and faster), speed runs on track, speed runs on pavement / trails / roads, and tempo runs. There are days when I feel like I have had the best run and days when it is a challenge and I want to throw up. All of these runs make me faster, stronger mentally, and up for the challenge of facing the day.

 

Eugene is filled with lots of runners (a ton of elite runners train out here) and the neighbors lare all runner-friendly. Makes my heart all warm and fuzzy, and helps me on those long runs!

 

Basically, I am stating the absolute obvious, but to prepare for a marathon, you simply RUN. RUN A LOT. But short story, you mix up those miles and change here and there, and then finally, wam bam 16 weeks go by,and it is marathon day! So, Fall marathons, I am getting ready for you and can’t wait — but also enjoying the current state of preparation.

 

I did a progressive run this past weekend – 4 miles at an easy pace, 4 at 8 min pace, 4 at 7:30 min pace, 4 at 7:00 pace, and last mile HARD. I was super nervous leading up to the run, but I gave it my all. And I did it. Super hard work that I am really proud of myself for doing.

 

If anyone has specific marathon questions, let me know. I love talking about running (kind of like some people talk nonstop about their jobs or kids, well, I can do that with running!). Hope you are off to a great week and enjoying August!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

Blog Home Page

Sour Beer

For the first time since college, I started drinking beer this past week. The last time I drank a beer was probably when I was shotgunning it just so I could get alcohol in my system rather than because I enjoyed the actual taste. But during our Orcas Island week, I was introduced to Sour Beer by my brother and sister-in-law. It is a perfect combination of Kombucha and Beer — makes you feel like you are drinking kombucha but with an extra dizzying aspect. I love it and recently have found myself craving them in the afternoon….

 

Luckily, Oregon is known for its microbeers, and here is a picture of the SOUR BEERS in the local grocery store. As a novice, I had no idea what to get or what to buy….so I picked this one.

Continue Reading

Random Thought

This is totally random and not my normal post, but, well, I am random and not completely normal. So it all seems fitting 🙂 Just a simple message to say that it is important to reach out to friends even if you feel like you know what is going on. Often times, what appears on social media (or say, in a blog), is just a fraction of reality. Social media is a great tool because it gives you a glimpse into your friends’ lives and whereabouts, but it is not actual communication with a friend. Writing an email, making a phone call, sending a text, making IRL plans –> that makes the biggest difference. Connecting and communicating with friends and loved ones is a two way street and oh so important.  Don’t forget to check in on your strong friends. A great article on this is here. And this applies to family, friends, mentors, colleagues, or inspirations. I know this is something that I need to continue to work on, but I also know that when I do hear from loved ones, it means the world to me.  A simple 2 minute effort goes along way. Happy Wednesday!

 

Me and the kiddos.

 

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

Blog Home Page

Summer 2018 Orcas Island

We just finished up a full week in Orcas Island (a part of the San Juan Islands) with my family. It was a super fun filled week of hiking, biking, swimming in lakes, swimming in the ocean, swimming in the pool, roasting marshmallows, and breathing in the super fresh air. Orcas Island is an incredibly hilly island (made my runs extremely challenging….) but with ridiculous beautiful views and scenery. I can’t wait to return again and hope to make it an annual trip. Enjoy the pictures!

 

We rented a house in Rosario, one mile away from Moran State Park. This meant great access to hikes, trails, lakes, and views. At the top of Mount Constitution, there were breathtaking views of the other San Juan Islands, the Cascade Mountains, and all the lush greenery. HEAVEN, truly heaven.

Continue Reading

Nike Windbreaker

I am currently on Orcas Island off the coast of Washington State in the San Juan Islands. It is incredibly beautiful with its lush green mountains, crystal clear lakes, Cascade Mountain views, and the Pacific Ocean. It is literally a summer dream, except for the fact that it is quite brisk and on the colder side. Going into the week I had no idea about the chilly temperatures, so when I got to Seattle with ONE sweatshirt, I ended up at the Nike Store (in Seattle) and bought a windbreaker. Yes, it was a spur of the moment purchase, but I am SO happy with it, I can’t seem to take it off (and not just because I need it). It is lightweight, retro stylish, cool, unique, and the perfect layer on piece.  I plan to wear it on runs, casually, and basically, all day everyday!

 

Retro windbreaker — both the design, the look, and the color. But I love it!

Continue Reading

Butter Culture

As many of you know, I love butter. Not just ‘like’ butter, but LOVE butter. It is actually my go-to snack. I smother it on bread, croissants, rice cakes, anything… And because of this, I am a butter snob.  And here in Oregon, the land of hand batched, artisan everything, there is GREAT butter. Thanks to Butter Culture, I am now eating more butter than ever.

 

Butter Culture. Not only does it taste great, but the packaging is spot on.

Continue Reading

Summer 2018 Greece

In late June, we were fortunate to spend a week of vacation with my inlaws in Greece, my first trip there in 20+ years. As the kids and I had just come off a week of cultural visits (in Paris), we used our time in Greece to rest and relax. Despite the fact that Greece is full of a rich history, we were located in a remote part of the mainland of Greece and didn’t travel outside of the resort (except for one day where we were on a boat). We fell in love with Greece — the resort was absolutely DIVINE and I hope that we will be returning again soon. And of course, next time, we will have to check out more cultural sites as well as many of the islands.

 

Everything about the hotel was perfection. Absolutely perfect. This is where we ate breakfast every morning overlooking the ocean and mountains.

Continue Reading

Currently Loving July 2018

During the summer, not only does my life slow down a lot, but so does my brain. Life is very simple in Oregon with no work obligations, few friends, no errands, and just time to rest and relax. I hope you’re also finding some relaxation during these summer months! Here is what I am currently loving this July!

 

1. Christine and the Queens: Doesn’t Matter

 

French Pop sensation, Christine and the Queens, and her latest single, “Doesn’t Matter.” Everything about the song makes me smile and dance. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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…..

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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).

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading