Favorite New Cookbooks November 2017

Now that it is cold and dreary in NYC, I like to spend my time inside cooking. One of my favorite hobbies is looking at cookbooks (actually cooking out of them is less of a passion, but I’m working on it). I recently bought three new cookbooks and love them all.

 

Pretty books (and yes, pretty flowers).

There is something about food photography that I just love! Therefore, one of my musts for a good cookbook, are good pictures!

 

Smitten Kitchen Every Day

 

I have been a big fan of Smitten Kitchen for a while and love the social media account as well as the previous cookbook.

Lots of recipes and I am looking forward to making this dessert this week!

 

Cook Beautiful

 

I have loved the blog Eye Swoon for the past several years as Athena is the most tasteful and beautiful lady out there. So when I found out she was creating a cookbook, I knew that everything about it would be beautiful, and sure enough, it is one of my absolute favorites.

I am making this kale salad for dinner tonight! I can’t wait for a new kale salad recipe!

 

Dining In

A different type of food photography but still great and so beautiful.

I am most excited about the summer salads and will make them as soon as it is SUMMER (which can’t come soon enough but is far far away from now).

 

There you have it, my top three new favorite cookbooks! Of course, now that I am on a cookbook kick, I keep finding more and more that I want…..I hope you have a great week, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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November 2017 Chill Playlist

Most of my playlists are for when I run, but here is what I like to listen to during the day when I am working on my computer (writing blogs), cooking food, getting dressed, etc…  It’s a whole different feeling than my running playlists, but there is still a lot of teeny bopper pop and electronic. I love what I love! Enjoy!

 

I also like to listen to music when my legs are up the wall….

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Sunny with an A

As I get older, my network of awesome and talented women keeps expanding (one of the many upsides of getting older).  One of my newest mom friends, Sana, happens to be nice, smart, sweet, inclusive, open, interesting, beautiful, and inspiring. And not only is Sana a great person, but she is also the founder of kid’s pajama company, Sunny with an A.  I recently bought a pair for Tusia, and she literally will not take them off — they are amazingly soft, perfectly thought out, and super colorful. Take a look at the interview below, and thank you, Sana! (And mom, it may be time to start doing kids!)

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Sunny, indeed.

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Man Repeller Announcement

I used to read a lot of blogs (and a lot of magazines), but as the blogs have become more commercial and less authentic (and the magazines have become thinner and flimsier), I stopped. Now, I only check two blogs daily and after that, I like to get off my computer and get my daily inspiration of fashion / food / entertainment by talking to people and being on the New York streets — there is a lot out there by just looking around. Last week, I randomly visited a-previously-loved-blog (but now never frequented), Man Repeller.  And I found a post that brought me to tears. It was real, emotional, sensitive and raw.

 

Leandra Medine, the founder of Man Repeller, had been very vocal about her struggle with infertility over the past years. And as someone who struggled to get pregnant (I did 5 rounds of IVF), I felt for her. (More from me on the topic here). Those years of trying to get pregnant were some of my (and our) hardest, and I always empathize with anyone going through those emotional, mental, and physical struggles — so incredibly painful. Although I do not know Leandra personally (we have worked out next to each other several times in a workout class), there was always something so honest and true in her posts about her struggle.

 

She announced that she is now pregnant with twin girls in a beautiful, authentic and real post. She expresses her gratitude and appreciation and love of being pregnant, while understanding and giving hope to everyone who is struggling/has struggled with infertility. I value her words, articulation, position, and message. So please, read her post HERE. And thank you, Leandra, for being sensitive, emotional, empathetic, and real. I wish you all the best in your pregnancy.

 

Circa 2009 hiking Spencer’s Butte in Oregon. Such a baby expecting a baby.

 

Thank you for reading and understanding that everyone is going through their own sh$t.  We all need to treat each other with love and kindness. Have a great week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Nut Butter Chocolate Truffles With Sea Salt

I always crave sweets right after Halloween, but instead of grabbing a Snickers (which are so delicious), I decided to make nut butter chocolate truffles with no sugar. They turned out absolutely delicious and I highly recommend making them. SO GOOD. Plus, once you make them, you put them in your freezer so you can have a stash for a long time!

 

TRUFFLES! Healthy ones!

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2017 NYC Marathon Recap

At this point, loyal readers are probably sick of hearing about my marathons and the recaps. I know —  I get it, in the past 4 years, I have completed 9 marathons — and in the last 7  months, THREE! There is not much more to say that is different about each race, and yet, this race is different. The NYC marathon is the most incredible marathon on the planet, and this year, when I gave up any expectations and ran to enjoy myself, was even better and more successful than imaginable. Giving up expectations, having no pressure, and just relaxing in to the moment made all the difference. I soaked up every second, looked at the views, talked to people, applauded my fellow runners, and truly enjoyed every minute.

 

Good or bad, I decided that my outfit for the marathon was going to be the exact same one that I wore a month ago for the Chicago marathon — yes, much colder temperature wise in NYC (my mistake in Chicago) but the shirt was a success in Chicago, so I went for it again in NYC. And man oh man, SUCCESS it was. Literally, once a minute, someone in the crowd would yell “Go Mama” — and I would yell “Thank you” and wave my hand up. It made me feel connected to the crowd and all their energy and positive vibes definitely helped.

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NYC Marathon- Congrats!

(Guest post from the Josie Girl’s husband)-

 

Congrats to the Josie Girl for ROCKING the NYC Marathon yesterday, finishing in a personal best 3:26 just 4 weeks after running Chicago.  She is recovering this morning and will have a full recap later this week.  Go Mama!  Congrats to all of the runners out there, especially Shalane Flanagan, the first American woman to win in 40 years.

 

More to come from the JG later this week..

 

Greats Royale Shoes

Earlier this Fall, I saw one of my besties with the perfect shoe on, and so….I bought them for myself! They are the perfect luxe, high-end sneaker, with great Italian leather, but at an accessible price point. The brand is Greats, and great indeed they are. They are basic and subtle, but made with the most perfect quality material.

 

Biffle got the blush perforated version of the shoe.

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Josie Natori X Moda Operandi

While my mother-in-law made her name in sleepwear and bras/underwear, Natori has truly become a lifestyle brand with its establishment in a number of other collections, most notably in Ready-to-Wear.  Since she established RTW 8 years ago, the collection has evolved every year, and has reached a new high point with its Spring ’18 trunk show on Moda Operandi.

 

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Currently Loving October 2017

One more day left of October, so not too late for “Currently Loving” for the month! Here they are! Here is what I am currently loving in October 2017!

 

1. Busy Philipps

 

Her name is Busy. Her daughters names are Birdie and Cricket — now do you wonder why I want her to be my BFF?

 

I don’t know her from tv or movies, but I somehow landed on her instagram account (isn’t that how everything works these days….everything leads back to instagram…) and became obsessed with her instagram stories. She is genuine, authentic, beautiful, and oh so funny. I love her taste in music, clothes, and random thoughts. You must watch her on her stories — too funny. I also am determined to become friends with her…anyone have a connection? Sign me up please!

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Le Botaniste

One of my favorite neighborhood go-to’s is Le Botaniste. It is perfect for days when you want to be uber healthy and are looking for a quiet place to eat and relax. Le Botaniste was concepted by the creative force behind Le Pain Quotidien (more here) and serves healthy, organic, vegan, and gluten-free meals. Although I have been over two dozen times, I always get the SAME thing — I make my own bowl.

 

This meal is a rainbow.

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Nike Cropped Sweatshirt

Since I spend 40% of the time in workout gear (the other 40% is equally divided by Natori pajamas and day clothes i.e.jumpsuits and rompers), I was ecstatic to find a new silhouette of a sweatshirt — cropped and boxy. It is Nike and comes in multiple colors, and as soon as I saw it, I knew that I needed two immediately.

 

Cropped. Boxy. Petite. SWOOSH.

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Inside Natori: Megan, Receptionist

The past two months, Natori Team members have shared how they incorporate Natori (and Josie) into their lives and wardrobe. We have seen Talia (the Josie designer) and Mariah (E-commerce). And now we turn to Megan, the receptionist (and first impression to the company)! Thank you so much Megan! I love your sincere words, how you dress in Natori, and the love you have for your mother!

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Hello Josie Girl readers! It’s me, Megan Tencza, the receptionist at Natori. The month of October is almost over, and has Natori releasing clothing and sleepwear with rich colors to go with the Fall season. October is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Natori is showing their support for those affected by breast cancer by “Glowing All In”. Natori will be donating 100% of October sales of our fan favorite, Feathers Bra in the Rose Glow color to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

 

This act of generosity and kindness from Natori means a lot to me personally since my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 years ago at the age of 46.

 

Being 19 years old at the time and having your parents tell you that your mom is diagnosed with stage ­­two breast cancer was terrifying. Obviously, I assumed the worst and had begun to imagine what my life would be without her. My world seemed to just come crashing down. That was a rough year for everyone in my family because not only does cancer affect the ones diagnosed, but it also has an effect on their loved ones. My mother’s cancer luckily was not genetic, which gave my sister and I a sigh of relief for what our futures would hold for us. My mother is a prime example of why it is so important to get your annual mammograms because she would have never caught it so early otherwise. I am very grateful to say that after one surgery and a year’s worth of radiation, my mom is healthy, happy and still chugging along!

 

Breast Cancer walk.

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Sotte le Stelle

Last weekend, we went on a family adventure to Queens to visit the Queens Museum. As we decided we wanted to have dinner on the way back, I researched hip but kid-friendly restaurants for an early dinner. We landed on Sotte le Stelle, which had rave reviews on Eater as the #3 hot spot in Queens.  And… pizza.  The new restaurant was DELICIOUS.

 

The restaurant only has 30 seats and is super small and cute. All of the waiters and staff are Italian, and super nice and friendly.

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Josie Pink Pajamas

Although not a millennial, I looooooove millennial pink. I mean, come on, what is not to love about the perfect blush / pale pink? It is a neutral, but with a tiny surprise, full of romance and hope. And now Josie has not one but TWO perfect pajamas in this delicious color. Both sets are soft, luxurious, comfortable, and desirable.

 

The color of the moment. A grapefruit shade of apricotty salmon.

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NYC Fall To Do List 2017

HERE I GO AGAIN….another list, another set of goals…..

 

1. Go to a new restaurant each month.

 

We are spoiled in NYC with access to the best food and restaurants in the world. And yet, Ken and I have the tendency to go to the same three (who am I kidding, ONE) restaurant. So I want to make more of an effort and take advantage of all the great food around us.

 

There are over 850,000 (Thanks, Alexis) restaurants in NYC! So many types, cuisines, atmospheres, and experiences to try.

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22 Interiors – Fall Fix

Remember last Spring, we interviewed old friend Lucie Ayres of 22 Interiors and then she posted on The Guide to the Perfect Bedroom? Well, she is back at it again for us all! Thanks so much, Lucie! And this time she is going to give us some Fall tips for rugs, pillows, and robes! Take it away!

 

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Fall is the BEST time of the year – it’s cooler, the cocktails are heartier, and the social calendar is filled with parties.  Many of us will have guests who spend the night or three, and why not make that the perfect excuse to revamp the guest room? Or any room, really.  All one needs to do this transformation is a great rug as the anchor, a few fun throw pillows to help set the mood and maybe something for your guest (or you) like a gorgeous robe to compliment the decor, from Natori of course.

 

We put together our favorite rug / pillow / robe combos to achieve a FAB FALL design update.

 

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2017 Chicago Marathon Recap

This past weekend, I ran my 8th marathon in Chicago. It was a terrific day but not a great race (or even run). It was super hard out on the course and I walked away disappointed and upset. I went in hopeful after a good training season with high mileage, fast speed runs, and a strong mental set….but for whatever reason, Sunday wasn’t my day and I didn’t do well. Without making any excuses, one thing after another happened — I had a side ache from the get go (and still have it!), my Nike App was totally off (it said I ran 27.5 miles so therefore was off the whole time, making me super confused…), I lost my caffeine gum, the top of my water bottle with my nutrition in it fell off, I sweat uncontrollably (it was 77 degrees), yada yada yada….nothing went well. And so I started to derail mentally, and thought I should quit because each step was hard on my side and nothing felt great – …..all of that to say, it was my hardest marathon to date, both mentally and physically. I clocked in a 3:33, but know I can do much better.

 

The trip was quick — I left Saturday morning at 9, and came back Sunday night at 930. Quick turn around, but happy to make it short and the marathon the focus of the weekend. Before I left for Chicago, I did lots of legs up the wall to help relax my body…

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Marathon Packing- Chicago Here I Come!

Tomorrow, I leave for Chicago for my marathon weekend. This time, I am going totally solo and will fly, run, and stay COMPLETELY alone. I am not sure what I am more nervous about; the 26.2 miles on Sunday, or the fact that I will be alone for 36 hours (I am not good alone for long periods of time). I know I have a bajillion friends and family to call, and I am actually staying at a runner friend’s extra apartment (I met her when running the 2015 Paris Marathon and stayed with her at the Chicago 2015 Marathon — and yes, that is only after meeting her once while running… runners are AWESOME), BUT BUT BUT, who am I going to wake up in the middle of the night to tell them I am nervous????? MY BABERS WILL NOT BE THERE TO TELL ME TO GO BACK TO SLEEP AND NOT TO WORRY. ***GULP**** In any case, I am packed and ready to go on my adventure. And here is what I packed.

 

This is of me, two years ago, eating dinner before the marathon. I am planning on eating there AGAIN. So cute and good. I look tired, because heck, I was most likely tired. And I probably look even worse now. ALSO, please note my red nail polish. It is a belief of mine to always have my nails painted BRIGHT red before marathons (mind you, my nails are almost painted red year round, but especially right before marathons), because my sister, Courtney, told me that it is a good reminder to “run like fire.” And so red nails, it is.

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Rachel Comey Earrings

I NEVER EVER EVER EVER take off my studs. They are a part of my ears (body) and just never leave. I shower, run, sleep, and do everything in my studs. But recently, I came across these aceate hoop earrings by Rachel Comey, and they are light, comfortable, hip, and easy….I love them and actually think I can rotate them into my ear repertoire.

 

The box. I have always been a fan of Rachel Comey’s clothes, and now I am a fan of her earrings (and for some reason, I love the box that they come in….it’s the small things….)

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Currently Loving in the Kitchen

And just like that….here we are in October! Nothing says fall more than pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, woodfires, foliage, and scarves. And spending more time in the kitchen and becoming more of a homebody! Since I love food, here are four food products that I am currently loving — all so different, but all so delicious.

 

The current four favorite.

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Utah- Via Ferrata Climbing

Ken and I went to Utah this past weekend for a belated 10th anniversary celebration. And what a weekend it was — can’t rave enough about the extraordinary experience we had during our stay. It was to date, one of my favorite vacations and involved everything I love: adventure, exercise, beautiful sunny weather, nature, great food, and relaxing. One of my favorite activities was a climb in the mesas of the Canyon Valley of Southern Utah. The type of climb we did is called a Via Ferrata which involves steel rods / climbing ladders, and a steel cable that you are connected to. So yeah, JV type of climbing, but so fun and scary nonetheless!

 

This activity involved a guide, and I told the guide that we were both in good shape (#humblebrag) and wanted the hardest via ferrata climb that they had…..so look at the mesa we climbed. OY.

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September 2017 Running Playlist

Since my next marathon is 11 days away (but who is counting?), I am compiling motivational songs to help my runs and overall energy. Here is my latest running playlist. Enjoy!

 

Me running, or pretending to run. Looks like I am on Mars, but I am in Utah. We just returned from a short belated 10th Anniversary celebration.  Stay tuned for full details!

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Mexican Corn Quinoa Salad

Last week, I had a Mexican themed dinner and made the most delicious corn quinoa salad! It was cheese-less, oil-less, but full of flavor, spunk, color, and taste. You must make it — even if you don’t like quinoa or corn, make it! (I served it along with a green salad, kale-chicken enchiladas, and salsa….yum!)

 

When I cook, I am a mess. But then I clean up. And hello tequila in the background. You must serve tequila when eating Mexican food.

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Ronnybrook Butter

Hands down my favorite food product is “butter.” YUP, butta. Love it. LOOOVE it. Like an unusual amount — I can actually eat it by the spoonful if it is good butter. Sounds gross, but good butter is better than anything. European butter is my favorite, but in the USA, I used to settle for Kerry Gold Butter. That is, until I discovered Ronnybrook Butter, and it is to die for.

 

Heaven. Sweet and salty. The perfect combination.

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