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.
Pizza and baseball playoff game (someone was very happy at our table).
Even at 4:45, there were other people eating and enjoying the food and drink.
I’ve been a fan of Lambrusco for a couple of years now… it is definitely becoming more popular — hooray! It basically tastes like sparkly fermented grape juice, and that is AWESOME.
Waiting to eat….although it was super fast and made right in front of us.
Delicious all around.
Prosciutto and arugula salad.
The most insanely delicious salad.
We left happy, full, and wanting to return a second time soon! To see their menu, go here. We also want to try their sister restaurant, SoleLuna, also in Queens. It was also a good reminder that it is nice to get out of our neighborhood, and do something totally different and out of the box (I achieved one of my Fall goals!). We can’t wait to try other restaurants in Queens in the future, too! Have a great weekend.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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…
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.
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….)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Time for another inside look into how the Natori team incorporates Natori fashion into their lives! First, we had Josie designer, Talia. And now it is Mariah, works on both Natori.com and licensing. She looks stunning and gorgeous in her Natori pieces… take a look! Thanks so much, Mariah!
Hello! This is Mariah, the e-commerce and licensing assistant at Natori. As we kick off fall, I’m happy to share how I mixed my love for kimonos with my love for the jersey shore over the past few months. My go-to ensemble at the beach has always included various wraps/kimonos to pair with my bathing suits. They are truly multi-functional, tripling as a robe for indoors, cover-up for the beach and kimono jacket for outerwear. Good thing I work where I do!
Pictured here is my latest favorite, The Xanado robe, from the Fall collection.
Today we go behind the scenes with a TV chef (one of my favorite types of TV). Casey (aka, Casey2Cook) is a successful chef who won a season of Cooks vs. Cons! (BTW, that is my biggest nightmare — being quick and fast in the kitchen). Such an inspiration and I learned so much from the interview. Thanks so much, Casey! And FYI, her partner Steven is Natori’s E-Commerce Shipping manager!
Talented and beautiful, too! Thanks, Casey for this interview and inspiration for all of us.
How did you start cooking? What inspired you to become a chef?
This past Tuesday, my mother-in-law had her Josie Natori Ready to Wear Spring 2018 Fashion Presentation. It was a low-key event with great press and turn out. Every Fashion presentation takes a lot of effort, organization, and design. Enjoy these behind the scene photos!
Great view for the photo shoot.
One of my friends, Scarlett Baily, is a talented artist based in Mexico City. She is young, fun, stylish, and oh-so-cool, painting mainly caricatures of people and animals for different events and companies. Scarlett also has painted two portraits for us that are my favorite two pieces of art in our house — they make me so happy and give such a fun flair to the playroom. So when she texted me this summer that she was coming to NYC, I came up with the idea of having her paint a shark in the kids’ bathroom. You see, Cruzzie is obsessed with sharks and loves everything about them. They are his go-to stuffed animals, his favorite books.. and he can basically name every shark in existence. So I wanted something special in the kids’ bathroom to reflect his love for the animal (and yes, first child’s love is overlooked by second kid’s interests. oops). Here they are, I love the final Sharkie! It is so different, special, and unique. It brightens up the bathroom and looks fresh and young!
While the transition from summer to fall (and from Oregon to a New York State of Mind) is always a whirlwind, it has been especially so this year. While Cruzzie started 2nd grade, Tusia started Kindergarten, which feels really symbolic. It seems like yesterday the kids were born, and WAM BAM, all of a sudden they are in elementary school. To say it is a wild ride is an understatement. I can’t believe how much they have grown (and therefore how old I *am*).
Cruzzie started 2nd grade on Wednesday. He has a uniform of coat and tie, but can wear anything. So of course, I bought him a NEON orange shirt, bright shorts, and a fun tie. Why not make a uniform full of pizazz and color?
Yes I realize that summer is now over so sunglasses are less important. BUT, big but, there is always a time and place to wear sunglasses. I found a pair of sunglasses in June, and they immediately became my favorite pair. They are cheap (although not GAP cheap), good looking enough, durable, and snazzy (super important adjective). And they have the best name, Crap Eyewear. I know, right? The line was born in reaction to the expensive eyewear market, but the glasses are fashion forward and… affordable! Win-win.
Here I am in my Crap Eyewear.
Happy September, happy back to real life! I hope everyone settles in to the fall with ease and peace despite the craze and chaos it tends to bring. I know that I am trying to take one day at a time; better yet, hour to hour. I am not sure how summer disappeared as fast as it did, but I’m happy we created fond and wonderful memories that will forever be in our hearts! That said, here is what I am currently loving!
1. Slides. Yes, I know, shower slides from the 1990s are finally back in. I have been a fan of them the past two summers and have worn them non-stop. I love that they are easy, and go with everything. Although not practical for urban daily city life, I plan on wearing them once again NEXT summer, too. Thank god they are finally in fashion — last year I got a lot of weird looks.
Shower slides. With no shower.
My love of Oregon runs deep; as I am a sucker for anything that comes from Oregon or looks like it is FROM Oregon. So I am giddy that Union Wine (an Oregon company) is now sold all over the country. Union Wine (Underwood) has been selling wine in a can for quite some time and has always been my go-to-dinner-party-gift, but now they sell SPARKLING WINE and RIESLING in a can, and I can’t control my happiness. Last week when visiting my sister in Portland, I visited a grocery store (truly, my favorite hobby) and I came across these new cans and I am sold. Pretty! And you can order them online, here.
I think these are the prettiest cans I have ever seen. SO SO pretty and feminine and fun.
To us, summer is ending. We return to NYC tomorrow night after 2 plus months in Oregon, and as usual, the time flew by and summer disappeared in a *snap*. We had the best time doing a lot of nothing except for exploring Oregon and California, spending time together as a family, and taking advantage of the beautiful nature. It is fun to look back at the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the summer as I accomplished ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THEM. It is almost funny, um, well sort of funny. Literally, NONE OF THEM. Take a look. Maybe looking at my failing my goals will make you feel good about yourselves!
First off, thank you to my parents for always being so generous, loving, and wonderful. They hosted many of my friends (and their families) and always let their house feel like my house. I can’t thank them enough — forever grateful for them. They are the reason I am who I am, and I couldn’t love them anymore (even if my mom wears socks with her birkenstocks and my dad’s fancy shoes are New Balances).
Over here at the Josie Girl Blog, we thought it would be fun to have employees from The Natori Company share how they incorporate the House of Natori into their every day wardrobes. So first up is the super cool, super young, super HIP designer of the contemporary Josie collection, Talia. She has been with Natori for a couple of years, and has brought a great new energy and direction to Josie, under the tutelage of my mother in law Josie Natori. So here she is… thank you, Talia!
Hi Everyone! This is Talia (the Josie designer) taking over for the Josie Girl! This past weekend I enjoyed some much needed time in the ‘country’ with my husband, sister, and brother in law. We rented the cutest little cottage in Barryville, New York- just a short 2 hour drive from the city. The cottage was surrounded by lush greenery, fresh air and best of all decorated with an eclectic charm!
The perfect cottage with a red door. And the matching flowers and pillows on the lounge chair. Nice coordination.
After spending the weekend in Costanoa, we continued our California vacation by spending a couple of days around Stanford University. As readers of the blog know, Ken and I started dating at graduate school at Stanford (although Ken and my brother were best friends and roommates at Amherst for undergraduate). It was extra special to be there with the kids and show them the various places that had an impact on our life (i.e. dating –> love –> marriage –> life –> kids). Not only did we go to Stanford, but my father did as well for graduate school (right after marrying my mother), so this place is special to the whole family, and not just me and Ken. Take a look at the pictures (and I promise this will be our last post on our vacations, as we return to NYC so soon).
My (good looking) squad at the hotel.
Greetings from beautiful Northern California! We just had an amazing weekend catching up with our Stanford friends in Costanoa. Part camping, part hotel; basically high-end roughing it. Not camping, but pretending to camp.
Our bungalow, aka a yurt. This little shelter is made up of plastic walls. Like a tent, but actually a little cottage.
A good friend of mine who happens to be a kick ass triathelete, ultra-maranother, and marathoner (slacker), turned me on to Generation UCan for fuel during my training runs and marathons. This friend is so fast and knowledgeable that whenever *she* tells you to do something, you do it.
This friend gave me a care package for one of my recent marathons, and it had everything a marathoner would want or need; water bottles, sleeves, gu blocks, and lots of UCan packages. As always, such a sweet and loving friend, thank you!