The Vessel at Hudson Yards

Last weekend, we played tourists in our own city, and decided to visit “The Vessel” at Hudson Yards. After many years of construction and 200 million dollars, this new landmark and public structure opened up last week. Located outside Hudson Yards — a development of retail stores, office space, apartments — this structure is quite the site. It looks like a pineapple, or a honeycomb, and is the newest Instagram hotspot for all.

 

Pineapple. Shining and shimmering in its brand new splendor.

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Funny Text Message Exchange

So if you follow my husband, Ken, on instagram, you may have already seen this whole post. But if you are NOT on social media, or do NOT follow Ken, or do NOT look at stories, then take a look at the below. Quick synopsis is that last Thursday night, there was a text message exchange between Ken and our 9 year old son, Cruzzie, in which Ken thought it was me…pretty funny — take a look. And good job, Babers, on being able to recreate the situation in a way that makes sense and is funny (I wouldn’t be able to do either!)

 

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Rummikub

For the past year, my favorite board game has been Rummikub. It is the perfect game for kids, families, or even adults to play. It is easy enough to play with kids, but also challenging and smart enough for adults.

 

Family game — that you can also put in a bag and travel with. We took it over Winter Break and it was the perfect downtime activity.

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Currently Loving February 2019

Well, geez, February went by in a FLASH! I feel like it just started and now it is days away from being March…..Here is what I am currently loving this month.

 

1. Any podcast with Alex Honnold

 

Alex, you are a dare-devil, but I admire your strength (both mental and physical) and commitment and devotion to making the impossible possible. Lance — not a fan, but you gave a good interview.

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Winter 2019 Running Playlist

I am currently back on the marathon track — training for Boston Marathon 2019 in April….I must say that it is much harder to find motivation and inspiration to run in the freezing cold in the dead of winter….which is why having the right playlist is THAT much more important. Here are the tunes that I am currently loving to run to.

 

One of the things I love most about running is I get to be a part of my surroundings. This past weekend, I had a 15 miler and ran the whole perimeter of Manhattan — I love seeing the views, the people, the energy, the natural beauty, my island, everything and anything.

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Currently Loving January 2019

Back at it again….here is what I am currently loving this month!

 

1. The Dawn Wall

 

 

Recommended by a friend to watch, I saw this movie before we went to see “Free Solo” — another exhilarating and amazing film that I highly recommend. I loved everything about “The Dawn Wall” — and the message of how you don’t know anything is impossible until you try to make it possible. Tommy Caldwell is inspiring, strong, talented and a serious bad a$$. Since watching “The Dawn Wall,” I have read every article about Tommy and listened to every podcast that he has been in. Incredibly addicting and mesmerizing.

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New Years Goals 2019

NOT SURE WHAT HAPPENED but those past two weeks went by in a flash / blur / second, and I didn’t post at all! OOPS! It is not that I didn’t have lots of down time — I did — but I chose just to sit instead of working….but now, I am back….and HELLLLLOOOOO 2019! Here we are!

 

2019, we see you, because, we are HERE.

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Currently Loving End of December 2018

A belated Merry Christmas! I hope everyone who celebrated found a way to find some joy and happiness. Right now, we are in Sunriver, Oregon with my family and have been leading a very slow paced and relaxing week. We are spending a lot of time eating, sleeping, skiing, and being together! I can’t believe how fast the time flies…..With less than a week left of December AND 2018, here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Whole Foods Peanut Butter Trail Mix

 

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Beyond Yoga Velvet Workout Pants

I am loving velvet this season. Not sure if it is the major influence of the 90s or the holiday feel, but I love everything and anything velvet — especially when it is unexpected. So when I found velvet workout pants, I knew that I needed them. And not just normal velvet but CRINKLED PINK velvet workout pants.

 

I saw them folded on the table like this, but I knew immediately that I needed them. I love how they twinkle with the light — and just glow and are so happy.

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Chicago Skates Pulse

The internet was down in my house for four days so I apologize for the silence on my end. It still amazes how we ever lived without the world wide web — no music, no TV, no internet browsing — just quiet complaints about why there was no connection….But alas, all has been fixed and now back to reality of writing posts, sending emails, buying presents, and spending too much time connected. So here we are in the middle of Hannukah, a holiday that my family celebrates, along with many others. It is a simple holiday with just lighting of the candles, a prayer in hebrew, and gift giving. My favorite present for the season so far is this pair of metallic light up skates. I saw them at a always-in-the-know-super-cool-and-chic-friend’s house and instantly knew they were something I needed RIGHT AWAY. And sure enough, they have added so much value and happiness and joy into my life.

 

Metallic, light up, cool sneakers ON ROLLER SKATES. How could this not make you smile and laugh and want to be on skates?

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Domino Park – Tacocina

Yesterday, we went on a little adventure to Domino Park in Williamsburg (in Brooklyn). This new park opened in June and was created in the ruins of the Domino Sugar Factory. Designed by the same firm as The High Line (James Corner Field Operations), this water front six acre green space is a terrific new addition to the city. Although we froze our bottoms off, it was great fun to run around, breathe fresh air, and look at the views of our incredibly beautiful city. I can’t wait to come back on a sunny Spring Day (which will not happen for half a year….)

 

These cranes previously occupied the site remain, and have been painted in the park’s signature turquoise.

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Fall 2018 Running Playlist

Is November Fall or Winter? Officially it is Fall, but with Christmas decorations in stores and freezing temperatures, it kind of feels like Winter.  Now that my two Fall marathons are done, I am resting and recuperating before starting to train for my April 2019 Boston marathon. That said, you always need good music for runs or workouts or inspiration! Here you go.

 

Last week in Central Park, I took this picture on a walk. Every day when I am in the park, I am thankful for its insane beauty and colors.

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Treibdesign on Traveling

I feel incredibly fortunate that a lot of creative and inspiring friends come from my hometown, Eugene, Oregon. Not sure if it was the water we drank growing up or the liberal hippy air; but somehow most Eugenians happen to be extremely talented. Kaspar Heinrici, a friend from middle school and high school just happens to be one of those people. Not only is he extremely fun, charming, interesting, and smart; but he is also artistic, talented, and motivated. When he has an idea, he gets it done. Kaspar is married (go figure) to the coolest, most beautiful, sincere, smart, introspective, and talented Native New Yorker, Ali Filippelli. Kaspar and Ali have spent the past 18 months traveling and seeing the world — their stories and pictures are remarkable and it has been incredibly inspiring to follow their travels. I was able to sit down with them and discuss their traveling — please read!  A must!

 

Ali and Kaspar.

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Favorite New Cookbooks October 2018

I have not been into cooking recently — not sure what it is, but I just don’t feel like being in the kitchen and cooking. I have been tired from marathon training (and here I go with another marathon next month), the start and craze of school, and September life is just busy…..I guess I don’t even feel that into food these days — I just want to consume some calories and then be done. But that doesn’t stop me from buying new cookbooks. Here are my current three favorite new ones!

 

Cookbooks might be retro and outdated, but they are almost like coffee table books — just beautiful and easy to flip through.

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Trademark Bag

I am a sucker for handbags — especially practical bags. Ones that you can lug around with all your junk that are not too precious and expensive, but that also look cute and hip. So when I first came across Trademark Bags, I wanted to get one immediately — I mean, come on, who doesn’t love gingham??? But every time I looked them up, they were sold out across the country. So finally, I found one that wasn’t yet sold out (black for the new Fall season vs the original red color I wanted in Summer….). So I pounced and bought it and CHECK OUT THE CUTENESS.

 

It is truly the perfect shape and size. And it is machine washable so when I am lugging snacks around for the kids and they spill everywhere, I could care less! WASH THE BAG AND NOT ONE WORRY!

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Natori Botanica PJ

Last week, Ken came home from work to find me and the kids lying in our pajamas reading books. Not that this was an unusual sight at all, but I was in brand new Natori pajamas and he didn’t blink an eye. When I asked him what he thought of my new pajamas, he said that he thought I was wearing a new outfit (vs new pajamas). One of the many reasons I love my husband is that he is oblivious to my crazy patterned clothes and outfits — to him, this set of pajamas was a new outfit. I do have to give him credit though, because the pajama outfit is a current trend and more and more people are dressing in beautiful silky looking pajamas for a night look. See this article from two weeks ago in US Weekly of “Celebrities are Rocking Pajamas Like Streetwear.”

 

These are NOT the new pajamas — this was me at a store trying on a pajama STREETWEAR look. I was intrigued by the idea, but then didn’t end up buying it….

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Brooklyn Crab

Back in the early 2010’s, we used to spend our weekends driving out to Red Hook (in Brooklyn) to grocery shop at Fairway, gaze at the Statue of Liberty, eat cookies at Baked, and pretend like we lived in the outer boroughs/suburbs. We were religious about this weekend ritual and tried to keep it up as long as we could. But then Fresh Direct (and a second child) came along, which made it impossible to drive 30 minutes just to grocery shop. This past weekend, we decided to go back. And now I can’t wait to go back and make it a monthly ritual — Red Hook is a special and unique neighborhood and I just love it so much. The highlight was our brunch at Brooklyn Crab. I want to have a big blow out party there. The food is delicious, the views are great, and it just screams FUN PARTY.

 

Looks like you are on the coast of Maine, but NOPE, in Brooklyn!

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Doctor Rogers RESTORE Face Wash

I have written a lot about Dr. Rogers in the past couple of months, but she deserves all the write up — her products are THAT amazing. So I am sorry to spam with you more information about her, but her new face wash is fabulous and everyone needs to know about it.  Like her RESTORE healing balm, all the ingredients in the face wash are natural yet effective.

 

Although in theory, you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, I do with products. And I love this packaging. Clean and simple. Just like the product itself!

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Reusable Bowl Covers

Like most Oregonians, my parents are constantly (and thankfully) looking for ways to create less garbage and be more environmentally conscious. In their attempt to eliminate saran wrap and aluminum foil, they use reusable bowl covers. It is a simple switch that reduces waste and takes little effort. Plus, the various patterned tops make your fridge look hip! I ordered some for NYC and can’t wait to use them.

 

How cool? And cute? And practical?

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Oregon Coast 2018

Oregon has everything:  mountains, rivers, ocean, hills, valleys, lakes, etc. One minute you can be in the Willamette Valley, and the next, in the Cascade Mountains or on the Pacific Ocean. The kids and I just had an amazing weekend at our friends’ (Sara and Colin) family’s retro cabin on the Oregon Coast. Located 60 miles from Eugene, it was the perfect getaway full of outdoor adventure, fresh air, beautiful scenery, and good old fashion fun. Thank you so much, Sara!!!! Truly the best.

 

Oregon Coast is unlike any where else. It has dunes, sand, shrubs, rivers, lakes, etc…One of a kind.

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Overnight Train

When we were mapping out our summer travels, I knew that at one point, I wanted to take the kids on an overnight sleeper train adventure. Luckily, we had planned to go on our annual trip to Sonoma, so I knew that the magical train dream would be able to happen. It was perfect timing as my best friend from college, Bridget, had been visiting us in Eugene, and we were both aiming to get to California at the same time. So the five of us — me, Bridget, my two kids and her daughter — all went on the adventure together. And it was exactly that: an adventure. Not a mode of transportation to get us from Point A to Point B, or a luxurious beautiful hotel, but a memorable and fun experience. It was so much fun that I hope to make it an annual tradition — there was something about it that was nostalgic, peaceful, romantic, and comforting.

 

The five of us. And yes, Bridget and I are wearing matching outfits. Why would we NOT wear matching outfits?

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Marathon Training

I am currently in the process of training for two fall marathons (Chicago Marathon in October, and NY Marathon in November where I will be running as a guide for a disabled runner). Although the training is tiring, long, and challenging, it is also my favorite part of the whole marathon. In all of my previous marathons (10 overall), I have had different techniques / training / ideologies and approaches. Here is what I am doing THIS time around.

 

Mid long run stretch. I think between miles 14-15. I sometimes takes breaks to drink / eat / breathe / rest.

 

Like most marathon runners, I am competitive and type A. Typically when I run a marathon, I care about my time and have a strong desire to get a personal record (PR).  There have also been marathons where I have not focused on time (NYC last Fall and Boston this Spring) and simply run. But for the most part, I go out there to prove to myself that I am doing my best and getting faster.

 

Training in Oregon is great with its beauty of all the trails and rivers.

 

So how do I prepare? It takes MONTHS to get ready to run a marathon. I tend to start 16-18 weeks ahead of the marathon to get ready in prime marathon shape. All of this to say, that to prepare for a marathon you RUN a lot. I know that this is stating the obvious, but I usually run between 45-60 miles a week, each week. But in every run, I vary the intensity, the distance, the course, and the overall effort.

 

I am lucky to have a good friend, Nancy, who is 60 and a marathon runner herself, who will often times get on her bike to pace me and keep me company in those long runs in the early morning. Makes the biggest difference!

 

So I run 6 days a week with one rest day. During these six days of running, I have some easy runs (at a slow pace), a long run (with varied speeds, some with progressively getting faster and faster and faster), speed runs on track, speed runs on pavement / trails / roads, and tempo runs. There are days when I feel like I have had the best run and days when it is a challenge and I want to throw up. All of these runs make me faster, stronger mentally, and up for the challenge of facing the day.

 

Eugene is filled with lots of runners (a ton of elite runners train out here) and the neighbors lare all runner-friendly. Makes my heart all warm and fuzzy, and helps me on those long runs!

 

Basically, I am stating the absolute obvious, but to prepare for a marathon, you simply RUN. RUN A LOT. But short story, you mix up those miles and change here and there, and then finally, wam bam 16 weeks go by,and it is marathon day! So, Fall marathons, I am getting ready for you and can’t wait — but also enjoying the current state of preparation.

 

I did a progressive run this past weekend – 4 miles at an easy pace, 4 at 8 min pace, 4 at 7:30 min pace, 4 at 7:00 pace, and last mile HARD. I was super nervous leading up to the run, but I gave it my all. And I did it. Super hard work that I am really proud of myself for doing.

 

If anyone has specific marathon questions, let me know. I love talking about running (kind of like some people talk nonstop about their jobs or kids, well, I can do that with running!). Hope you are off to a great week and enjoying August!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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