For the holidays, Cruzzie was gifted President Obama’s children’s book “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.” (I’m not sure how iI missed this for so long… it was published in 2010.) The book is thoughtful, educational, emotional, and beautiful. The first time I read it to my kids, I cried (yes, I am prone to crying, but still — this book is powerful). When you read the book, you can hear President Obama’s voice — and what an awe inspiring and powerful speaker he is (can we talk about his farewell address? We were in tears. How I will miss him!). This book is a must have for everyone –it is also a perfect gift.
This book is very timely It is also a good reminder of how many strong people have shaped our history.
Thanks to my mother-in-law’s company and industry, I have had the privilege of meeting and socializing with some of her amazing friends and colleagues. Jaqui Lividini is one of the most interesting- beautiful, elegant, ever-so-glamorous, always fashionable and chic, creative, and inspiring. Jaqui runs her firm, Lividini and Co, which is a brand strategy company and works closely with many high profile companies such as QVC, Ellen, Hudson Bay, and many more. She is smart, strong, fierce, sweet, and the most beautifully decked out lady I have ever seen. Anything she wears is perfection. I had the opportunity to do a quick fire interview with her, so take a look!
If you find yourself having some time (HA! During this time of the year, NEVER!), here are some interesting reads from around the web. Enjoy!
Things I google and then sreenshot
47 ways how to feel alive and be happy.
One of the best desserts / gifts / party favors I have in my little “rolodex of presents” is the Mint Malt Balls first introduced to me by event planner extraordinaire, David Monn. He put them in our hotel goodie bags for our wedding (10 years ago) and since then I have been a big fan. Yet, one can only hoard so much candy, so I eventually forgot about them. Fast forward to David Monn’s Book Party, and there they were. Green malt balls in little containers on every table throughout the entire New York Public Library. BINGO, sold, addicted all over again.
Pretty green, perfect sphere, DELICIOUSNESS
My newest social media go-to is Instagram Stories. For those not very tuned into social media, it is a new-ish feature on Instagram that is similar to Snapchat, and allows you to post pictures and videos throughout your day. The plus is that the pictures expire after 24 hours, so there is less pressure to make your posts “perfect”, and more of an ability to let you be more impulsive. It allows you to give people a glimpse into your life, without having the posts permanently associated with your name. It is fun and easy, colorful and playful. You can add filters, colors, and text.
Silly-ness. I like taking pictures that are cute but not AMAZING and then adding some pizzazz and flair with colors and texts. Basically, I love pretending I am a 15 year old girl.
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.
On Monday, I attended a book party launch for party planner extraordinaire, David Monn and his new book “The Art of Celebrating.” David is not only a good family friend, but also planned our wedding (almost 10 years ago!). He is the master of style, elegance, luxury, and entertaining. Everything he creates is regal, beautiful, and thoughtful.
Sorry for not doing my typical three posts last week. Truth be told, I was a little (or a lot) paralyzed by the election results and just couldn’t function. I have been experiencing the grief cycle, and finally feel able to be a little more positive… I hope that feeling lasts more than an hour. In the meantime, here is what I am currently loving this November:
1. My number 1 podcast, How I Built This
I go through phases with different podcasts, but “How I Built This” is the one that I listen to every single week. And can’t wait for the following week’s edition.
I am a sucker for paper / stationary / gift stores. Whenever I go in to a paper store for a specific item, I leave with four additional items that I decide I can’t live without. So recently, when I needed thank you cards (because my whole life is in storage due to our renovation), I walked out with so much more. And my most exciting purchase was Calendar Stickers. Yes, yes, I know, most people use phones and computers for their calendar and organization system, as do I, but I ALSO use an old school pen and paper calendar as well. I know, OLD SCHOOL. I am also totally obsessive and get the same moleskin calendar every year. These calendar stickers are playful, fun, and serve as the perfect accessories to brighten up my calendar. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Two different editions with two different sets of stickers — both that I needed and wanted.
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
One of Ken’s pet peeves is listening to me LISTEN to music to add to my playlists. Yes, it is a lot of stops and starts, but I need to in order to find good workout music! Since I am yet again running the NYC marathon and doing lots of long training runs, I am fired up for my newest running playlist. Sorry, Babers! And yes, a reminder on why I run.
Hiking this summer. Yes, hiking is not running, and there is no ipod or music involved in hiking, but it is the closest thing I have to a recent running photo
What better way to get back into the New York flow from the summer than by attending the Josie Natori SS2017 presentation. I am in love. Presented at the Waterfall Mansion on the Upper East Side, the collection is airy, earthy, romantic, feminine, summer-y, and modern. Take a look at the pictures.
Rusty earthy colors.
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.
On our final weekend on the West Coast (Best Coast), we went to Napa to celebrate our best friends’ joint 40th birthdays. It seems like there were a lot of California trips this summer (there were), but this one topped them all. Just like we did 10 years prior for our friends’ wedding, we stayed at The Carneros Inn. Over the weekend, we had an incredible (INCREDIBLE) dinner at Ad Hoc, one of Thomas Keller’s restaurants, brunch at The Fremont Diner, and the party at The Barn at Cornerstone. Not only was it hog heaven food wise, but the weather, the company, and the experiences were all top notch. I already miss the ease of flying from Eugene to San Francisco, and all our West Coast friends….
White farm flowers.
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).