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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
My friend Pamela is annoyingly awesome at whatever she does. One minute she decides to get into perfect shape, so she instantly becomes muscle-mania. The next minute, she decides to go back to work, and becomes PRESIDENT of a company. Then, she decides that she wants to become more spiritual and mindful, so she becomes a guru specialist excelling in anything and everything. GAG, right? The thing is, that instead of being disgusted by her talent, energy, intelligence, beauty, and commitment, I am in awe of her. What? Who is she, right? And did I even mention that she has two kids with no help whatsoever, and a husband that also works full time?
Pamela Gold does exist. And my life is better because she is in it. She makes me be a better person, and wants me to make myself a better person. She rubs off on everyone and makes them want to try harder. I feel that not only can I learn from her, but the world can too. And so that is why I want to share info on her new company / platform / idea to enrich other people’s lives by breaking down mindfulness and the search for inner peace.
Hottie McHottie. And Yale Grad. And inspirational mother. Yada yada yada. SHE IS GOOD AT EVERYTHING.
Last weekend, Ken and I had the good fortune of attending an incredibly special wedding in Quogue (on Long Island in NY). The ceremony, venue, atmosphere… everything… was perfect. Enjoy the pictures… you’ll meet a number of people who have contributed great content to the blog over the years!
The beautiful bride, Lynn Rasic, one of Ken’s good friends from growing up. She and her husband Mike are very dear to us, even though we just lost them to San Diego. #Jealous. Lynn used to be the head of external affairs for the 9/11 Memorial, which led to this post.
It’s the last week of April, so here is what I am loving April 2016.
1. Hamilton celebrating Prince.
Two weeks later and I am still beyond obsessed. And now THIS. I mean, come on! Lin Manuel is a genius and my future friend (#goal)
It seems like 2016 just started; and yet, school is about to end. I can’t believe I only have 6 weeks to squeeze in everything I want to do in Spring in NYC. Better start…..yesterday! Here is my list. (For last year’s list, go here).
1. Go see Hamilton (again).
Yowsers, I can’t stop raving about it.
There is only one person I really trust to give me make up advice, and that is Oscar Caballero. I first met him 4 years ago at Barney’s in the makeup department where he works for Natura Bisse. He also works independently as a make-up artist. From day one, there was just an instant feeling of comfort and trust, and I went to him for advice on skincare and makeup. Since then, he has done my makeup countless times, as well as my mother-in-law’s. He is also a friend. Enjoy this interview… ladies… here are some great tips from an expert!
Oscar! Applying makeup to Miss Honduras.
Readers know that for his 40th Birthday party, Ken put on a concert at Red Rooster with his guitar teacher on bass and a bunch of other musicians that he cobbled together through friends, Facebook, and random interactions. Heather Cole was the fiddler, and she was great- Ken checked her out when she was busking in Grand Central. I love listening to street musicians, but I’ve always wondered what the experience is like on the other side. The perfect opportunity for a Josie Girl interview!
Meet Heather Cole! Pictures from Ken’s 40th.
This past Christmas, Santa brought my six year-old-Cruzzie (well, um, actually… me) a wireless printer! A polaroid printer! It is my teenage-self dream. Check it out.
The size of my palm. Chic, apple-esque, petite, and functional!
Everyone is talking about it…. so call me generic or mainstream, but I can’t stop raving and oohing and crying about When Breath Becomes Air. I am obsessed: I have ordered four copies and given them to friends. I figure out a way to bring it up in every conversation. I think about it. I want to re-read it with a highlighter and underline the important lines. It is heart-wrenching, gut-punching, soul-defining good.
Recently, I was gifted a big coloring poster. YUP, for the family to color on. Apparently, the new it thing is for adults to color to release stress, calm the mind, and channel a worry-free life. SOOOOOOO…..it happened.
One of our favorite Sunday family activities is to go downtown for early family brunch — no traffic, easy parking, and it makes us feel young, hip, and in the know (wishful thinking). Even with a 6 and 3 year old in tow -> #HipstersEatBrunchAt9. Yesterday, we drove down to Soho to Sadelle’s, a new hip restaurant/Jewish deli run by Major Food Group (the people behind Dirty French, Carbonne and Parm) and ate ourselves silly. Highly recommend — the food, experience, service, ambiance — 5 stars from this family!
Beautiful flowers sprinkled throughout the room. At night, there are lots of candles (says a good friend of mine).
Happy 2016 and back to reality! We are back to the routine (school, work, pressure, paying attention to time, the hustle and bustle of the city, oh me oh my!), which makes me even more nostalgic of last week’s Sunriver vacation with my family. Although my dad claims that there is “family” and “vacation” and no such thing as “family vacation,” I happen to disagree. We had the best time with my brother, sister-in-law, parents, nieces and nephew; and loved every minute of our time with them. Here are some pictures to enjoy!
SNOW! And lots of it! Unlike the 70 degree Christmas in NYC, the West Coast was hammered with cold temperatures and lots of snow — perfect for a ski vacation!
Greetings from Sunriver, Oregon, where Ken, the kids and I are spending post-Christmas with my parents, brother, his wife, and their three kids. Lots of family (and kid cousin time) which has been great, as always. We have spent tons of time here both in the winter and summer, and regardless of when we come, it is an amazing escape and reminds me of home.
Ken and I have talked about prioritizing skiing for our kids, but the reality is that living in New York, it is easier said than done. East Coast skiing is a long way from NYC, a huge time commitment, and not ideal weather (wind, ice = opposite of powder and dryness). West Coast skiing is even further from New York, and super-expensive. And frankly, if given the choice of where to vacation during the winter, I will take beach over mountain nine times out of ten.
This vacation with my family was the first good opportunity to really push skiing on Cruz, and so far, it has been a success. Here are Ken (The Josie Guy’s) pointers after his first venture on mountain with Cruz. Enjoy!
While we initially hoped Cruz would be gung-ho about ski school, he wasn’t. All good. I didn’t ski a ton growing up and am definition intermediate/(old) with below average technique, but I was excited to give it a shot. Kind of the blind leading the blind, but so be it. If you are in a similar position (want your kids to ski, not an awesome skier yourself, trying to figure out how to tackle things), you may find this helpful.
Morning of Day 1
If you need a good movie to watch over the remainder of the holidays, I highly recommend the documentary Twinsters available on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes. It is a highly emotional, heart warming film about Samantha Futerman and her unexpected reunion with Anais Bordier, the identical twin sister she never knew she had, 25 years after their birth in Korea. It is fascinating, pulls at every string in your heart, and gives you good insight into the life of adoptees and siblinghood.