This might seem like the most random and odd post, but I swear, it is not. Nothing on this blog is sponsored, paid for, or advertised; everything I post is about something I believe in, experience, and truly support. Recently, the greatest addition to my life is MUJI pens. YUP, yep yep. Who knew a simple pen could be such a game changer, but these pens are truly that — a reason to smile. I had no idea that something so small could make such a difference, but they truly do (and I am not being over-dramatic).
Not sure what makes me happier — flowers or pens? BOTH. Love them both.
Greetings from India! Ken and I are at a friend’s YOLO wedding in Rajasthan, four hours north of Delhi. We are having a blast (more to come), but in the meantime, check out the below interview with one of my favorite accounts to follow on Insta- @JillMarjeanWagner . Think awesome travel photos and engaging/hysterical comments/questions. Definitely worth the follow! Check out more on Jill below (including a bunch of things we have in common)… enjoy!
How did you decide to start your IG account? Is it mostly a product of your love of travel?
I have the tendency to fall head over heels in love with a certain song and then listen to it on repeat at least 1,000 times. It KILLS my husband. KILLS. And yet, I can’t help myself. So last weekend, I was introduced to a French singer, Christine and The Queens, and the ENTIRE album is incredible. There are a couple of songs that are *mind-blowingly good* but in general, the whole album is remarkable.
Here is Ken with a guest blog post and Christmas wishes!
Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate. We are in Sunriver, Oregon with the Josie Girl’s parents, enjoying being out of the city, in the mountains, and… relaxed.. Deep breath.
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.
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?
Guest blog post from The Josie Guy! Here he is….
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of The Natori Company, the fashion brand my mother started 40 years ago, the company I joined 10 years ago. Fashion… is not easy. Trends change, patterns shift, things go wrong… it’s hard. And having seen how much effort and love my mother and our employees have put into making Natori thrive made this Tuesday all the more special.
Natori Dragon, greeting guests as they entered.
In my past life as a teacher, I became good friends with our school counselor, Emily McClatchey. Her warmth, humor, listening skills, and supportive nurturing care instantly led us to be friends. Although we now are both in different places and careers, we have managed to stay in touch (thank you, Facebook!), so when I read about her new business, Kidolences, I knew I had to interview her. Kidolences is a care box for a kid suffering loss: divorce, death of a pet, death of a family member, saying goodbye to a binkie, etc… In each of the carefully curated boxes, there are items that help the kids cope and learn about their loss and feelings that surround it. To learn more about kidolences, go here. To shop a box, go here. And to learn even MORE, read on. Thank you, Emily! You are an inspiration!
Dr. Emily McClatchey.
Dermatologist to the stars/TV personality Dr. Whitney Bowe is a dear friend of mine who happens to also be on the of the most beautiful and smart people I know. She has the looks (the bowe-glow), the charm (no one more charismatic and charming ), and the smarts (she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale and then was awarded a full scholarship to study medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated top of her class). Luckily, I was able to interview her on Summer Skin — this is a must read! Thanks, Whit, I love you!
Dr. Bowe and her dewy glow.
Although I have never met IRL Ashlee Carignan, she is the new hot pilates teacher in LA. Strong, cool, motivated, interesting, and fun, we were put in touch when Ashlee agreed to participate in Natori Caftan Day (thanks Mary!). Always interested in health, wellness, fitness, and cool, I had the chance to interview sweetheart Ashlee, so take a look. Thanks so much, Ashlee, and I can’t wait to come to Los Angeles and take a class from you!
Beauty Ashlee of PWA (Pilates With Ashlee)
There you go; you set a goal, you work towards it, and you make it happen. I guess I try to do that as much as possible, but there are always roadblocks or excuses….which is why I am so intrigued by my good friend, Pamela Gold, who sets her mind to something and actually makes it happen. No ifs, ands, or buts. Pamela is Wonder Woman, and GETS THINGS DONE!!!! This year, Pamela wrote her own book — YUP — her own book. I am lucky to have read it in its first draft and have bought several copies of it now that it’s out (highly recommend it — buy it here). Here is an interview with the one and only Pamela Gold, enjoy!
Maisonette, founded by Sylvana Ward Durrett and Luisana Mendoza Roccia, two (beautiful) alums from Vogue, is the new (online) hot destination to buy anything KID. Everything on their site is perfectly curated and tasteful… it makes you want Sylvana and Luisana to be your new BFFs. They are certainly smart, creative, fashionable, gorgeous tastemakers, and their website offers the best of the best of children’s brands — think Net-a-porter for kids. I had the opportunity to interview them, so take a look.
Sylvana and Luisana, and their kids.
How did you come up with the idea for an e-commerce kids site? What was the inspiration?
The other day, I was walking down the street with a good friend and was entranced by her smell. It was divine, amazing, luscious, and beautiful, and I knew I needed to know more about the scent ASAP! Luckily, she put me in touch with the creator of the perfume who happens to be a good friend of hers. This incredible scent, ILARY, is created by Hillary. Hillary currently lives in Chicago with her husband and 2 young sons. and is busy building her perfume empire. I had the opportunity to interview her about her company. Take a look! And Thank you Hillary!
How did you start your own perfume?
I recently posted tips from our friend Lucie Ayres of 22 Interiors on how to make a great master bedroom. Read below for more insight into her interior decorating and her business. Thanks Lucie!
When and how did you decide to become a designer?
I’ve wanted to be a designer ever since I was a little girl and rearranged the furniture in my room constantly.
Lucie at age 8.
We are so fortunate to have a lot of great friends, many of whom are incredibly talented in their field. One of these peeps is Lucie Ayres, a dear friend of Ken’s from his junior year study abroad program in Prague. Lucie is an interior designer for her company 22 Interiors based in Los Angeles. She has a beautiful eye, incredible taste, and great style. If you ever need a designer, I highly recommend her. And even if you want some inspiration, subscribe to her blog and follow her on instagram. In the meantime, here she is for a guide to the perfect bedroom!!!! Thank you, Lucie! Take it away!
The perfect bedroom, styled by 22 Interiors.
Holy moley, speaking to Jennifer Maanavi is like speaking to a legend! She is the founder of Physique 57, the boutique barre class that helped change the fitness scene in New York, and now, globally. She is not just smart, beautiful and fit, but she is also incredibly thoughtful, sweet, and incredibly friendly. Take a look at the quickfire interview, and thank you so much, Jennifer!
As a devoted regular of Taryn Toomey and her class, I have met a group of tremendously talented and incredible women. One of them, is Larissa, who just started Onda, a store that sells natural beauty products. She has incredible taste and has curated the best assortment of products currently on the market. She is incredibly thoughtful, knowledgeable, and is a walking encyclopedia on every item — Enjoy!
Larissa: a beauty inside and out!
Honestly, nothing makes me happier than homemade baked goods, creative touches, and a hard working and inspiring mother. And Ilana, the founder and creator of Upper SweetsideNYC is all that. Ilana has created her own business of custom cakes, cupcakes & cookies for kids bdays and special occasions. Not only are the baked goods beautiful, but they are delicious too. Ilana is a fellow mother at my kids’ preschool, and through our morning chit chats and social media, I discovered her incredible talent. Ilana is a true example of a strong, empowered, and passionate woman who dreamed and created her own destiny! Here is an interview: — thank you!
One of the beautiful cakes created by Ilana!
As the (still?) New Year is a time of reflection and improvement, I sought out my ever so wise friend, Pamela Gold, to answer all my dying questions. Forever a source of knowledge, she was the perfect person to ask a series of neurotic and panicked questions! Thank you, Pamela! You are the best! And yes, her answers are novels because she has so much to share always. It is a lot of information all at once, so if I were you, read it now, save some for later, but READ IT. It is worth the length and time it takes to read it. (NO PICTURES BECAUSE THE WORDS ARE WHAT IS IMPORTANT).
Peaceful images for peaceful thoughts.
Don’t you love how small the world is? I was raving about Truly Madly Guilty this summer, and the next week Ken discovered that his friend’s wife, Faye Bender, is the literary agent for Liane Moriarty (not to mention a number of other authors). I had the privilege of interviewing Faye and finding out more about literary agents and the writing world. Take a look!
Meet Faye Bender, Literary Agent Extraordinaire.
Hi. This is Ken. The Josie Girl’s Husband.
I am hijacking the blog today to let you know that today is the 5 Year Anniversary of the Josie Girl Blog, which all started with this post here.
I am incredibly proud of my wife (Yael if you call her by her middle name, Anika if you call her by her first) for having the commitment, creativity, and discipline to put forth such great content over the last 5 years. Since her “go-to” toast is lists, I wanted to share the Top Five Things you didn’t know about The Josie Girl / writing a blog:
1) She is the anti-blogger. Working in the industry, I can safely say writing good content is only 20% of being a mainstream blogger. The other 80% is promoting yourself, through social media, networking, etc. While The Josie Girl loves the 20%, she refuses to do the 80%. She is the shyest blogger ever. Her Instagram is private. Her Twitter is run by the company (outed). And she literally has never shared a single one of her posts on Facebook (and won’t let me do it either). The vast majority of her friends don’t know about her secret blogger life, and she wants to keep it that way. (NOTE: If you are a loyal reader, please recruit your friends!)
Me and wifey
Although it seems like it should have been a joyous weekend celebrating my son’s seventh birthday (thank you so much to everyone who sent me greetings on his special day — truly felt like my birthday, thank you), it was darkened by the political climate in our country. I spent many “birthday greeting phone calls” talking and worrying about what was going on — it feels like a bad, bad movie. It’s a scary world out there, and let’s make sure we do what is right for EVERY single person in our country, regardless of race, religion, gender, etc. Here are some important links around the web.
Family ice cream birthday party (celebrating Cruzzie’s 7th birthday and my sister’s 36th birthday) — the ice cream cake was DELICIOUS and I ate more than my fair share…..but YOLO.
Sorry for all the personal posts recently! Seems like there has been a lot of traveling and exploring, and therefore lots of pictures and stories to share with you all. So here is a break from my personal life (thank god, right?) and links to things around the web that I find interesting!
My cool kid in the gorgeous state of Oregon.
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.
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!