One of the reasons I love my hometown is that it feels so 1960s. Like a happy hippy commune. Nothing is upscale, fancy, or pretentious. Everything has a super “love makes the world go round” “kumbaya” type of vibe. Case in point: Eugene has ‘poetry boxes’ dispersed throughout the town. They perfectly describe Eugene — random mailboxes in town with poems to share with the community (what is NOT to love about this).
Two blocks from my parents house is this mailbox with poetry. They change it once a month.
Although I love August, the fact that summer is almost over makes me emotional and sad. I love summer so much and knowing that the end is near is always so hard. That said, here is what I am currently loving (and yes, I am trying hard to be “present” and “current”)
August in Oregon. Dry and hot.
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.
Last week, we jumped into the car and drove to Crater Lake. Although I had gone as a child, I didn’t remember my experience and the trip had been on my to-do-list for several years. This year, I was determined to make it happen, and despite the long car ride (Thanks Pups for being our driver), it was INCREDIBLE. A MUST SEE. A MUST GO TO. A MUST A MUST A MUST.
On our drive South, we stopped at Watson Falls, for a quick hike and lunch pit stop. Oregon always blows me away with its natural beauty and divine power. We were all mesmerized with the water, the green, and Mother Earth.
This past weekend, we went on our annual mini-reunion with close friends from business school to Sonoma. It is a tradition I love and look forward to each summer. We had a jam-packed weekend (see the blog on Wednesday for a recap) full of lots of laughter, adventure, and hang out time. Coming to Sonoma from Oregon, I decided to bring the hosts a little bag full of Oregon goodies. I want to give myself a pat on the back because it is cute, well thought through, and useful. Thank you, thankyouverymuch. (Thank you, Kimmers!) Here are the details.
A Eugene little tote bag, stuffed with all small goodies. You can never have too many of these tote bags — especially if it has an extra special strap, like this one.
This summer, we have gone to lots of local Oregon farms to pick our own fruit. The best trip was to the raspberry farm, when we came home with 9 pounds. I wanted to make a raspberry crisp but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere, so I improvised and made my own! It was so good that I made not one, not two, but THREE! This recipe is low sugar, tart, but oh-so-good.
First, you pick.
Toosh is officially my picking partner. She never wants to leave.
One of my favorite line of clothing is Upstate (throwback to some shout outs here and here), so when Josie Natori and Upstate got together for a design collaboration, I couldn’t help myself but gasp. DREAMS DO COME TRUE!
Special collaboration of two artists!
Last month while still in NYC, my West Coast biffle stopped in for a sleepover on her way through NYC. As always, she gifted us the most unique, thoughtful, and special housewarming gift: a collection of coffee table books. (Her last gift, which I also posted on, is here.) Each book is beautiful, interesting, and special, but what makes them even more special, is that they are so me! Take a look at the selection — I love the idea of presenting friends with a collection of books that they can flip through and read for years to come.
The large heavy stack!
Readers of the blog know we recently finished a major home renovation. One of my favorite hacks is in our laundry room, where we had an old-school (retro like 1960s) lobby intercom AND an electric wiring box that required covering up. Since we need access to the electrical box, we wanted something cheap, easy, and replaceable. The laundry room is fun and playful (my favorite room in the house), so we added to the fun by covering the wall with place posters and washi tape.
UGLY! HELP! SOS!
It is hard to believe that ten days ago, I was in NYC….it feels like I’ve been gone for months! My life in Oregon is quite simple, but it is easy, wonderful, and I love it. Here are some pictures of the past week – Enjoy!
We do a lot of biking in Eugene. My parents actually don’t drive anywhere. So we have fun biking around the river, picking the kids up from camp, or just doing errands. In this photo, I am with my daughter and my littlest niece, Nadia. (My helmet is from Sawako Furono Helmets)
The most recent decorative addition to our daughter’s room is this fun Indian tribal wall decor. It is colorful, bright, cheerful, and adds a different touch to the room.
Greetings from Oregon! The kids and I have officially relocated for the summer. Every year, I am a broken record with very similar summer to-do lists. It either means that I set the right intentions that I want to repeat OR that I have goals that I never end up accomplishing….I really hope that this summer, I am able to commit to my list and make it happen!
1. Learn how to breathe.
Waves = calming sound = meditating?
With a blink of an eye, Ken and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary. Together, we have gone through a lot (fertility treatments, family dynamics, crazy New York, major home renovation, and all of the other normal life stuff), and through these ups and downs, we are constantly working together trying to try to become better people and a stronger couple. Ken is my favorite companion, and I love him up to the sky, down again, around the world and back again. I anticipate that there will continue to be other obstacles and challenges in our life, but I am also confident that we will work together as a team to get through anything in our way. To celebrate, here are some photos to walk down memory lane (and notice how young, thin, and carefree we once were! And how little we knew back then!)
BTS: the first and only time I have ever had curlers in my hair. Here is Olivier Echaudemaison, the creative director of Guerlain (and also a good friend of my mother in law’s) who came from Paris for the wedding and was kind enough to do my make-up.
On Monday, I had the privilege of attending the CFDA Fashion Awards. Although I am not a designer, celebrity, socialite, or someone that anyone cares about seeing, it was fun to get dressed up and attend. The CFDA Awards is basically the Oscars for the Fashion World. My mother in law, Josie Natori, has been a member for forever, but due to her travel schedule, Ken and I went instead. It was a fun evening with great people watching, flowing champagne, and an opportunity to get all dolled up.
My favorite celebrity sightings of the night were Heidi Klum (striking! Amazing) and Gigi Hadid (beautiful — resembles my daughter!)
I am all about random pops of color in our house, so I love the baskets from Baba Tree. They add the perfect touches in the living room and make me so happy.
Baskets at the edge of the chair.
I have found my new favorite place: Governors Island. What is it? I had no idea before 3 weeks ago when a friend mentioned to me that she went with her family. Since Ken has been traveling due to work, I decided to take the kids to Governors Island for Mother’s Day. It was such a huge hit that we went back this weekend.
In one of those cant-sleep-instagram-frenzy-rabbit-holes, I came across a bakery in Brooklyn with the most beautiful cakes; Broken Tart. I knew the minute I saw the cakes that (a) I needed to follow Broken Tart on instagram (b) I had to have a cake for Tusia’s 5th birthday party. The cakes are not only beautiful, magical, whimsical, and unique, but they are tasty and delicious. The perfect duo (pretty AND yummy).
The cake arrived in the perfect package. Who says not to judge a book by its cover?
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?
Now that we have completed our renovation, we are figuring out where we want to spend time in the new apartment. Like most houses, we spend most of the time in the kitchen. And the rest of the time, we are in the playroom. This room makes me incredibly happy as it is bright, cheery, green, and fun.
The whole shabang.
Today is a special day… the 70th birthday of my fabulous and wonderful mother-in-law, Josie Natori! I used to think that 70 meant old age, but she makes 70 look chic, young, energetic, and fashionable — more than anyone else I know. My mother in law is incredibly talented, bright, smart, with-it, creative, accomplished, successful, caring, and wonderful. Here is a look at her throughout the decades — and happy birthday to such a lovely lady, I love you.
Here is the beautiful Josie Natori as a young girl. I love her bangs!
I have a range of favorite kid clothing: from beautiful-fancy-pants-super-expensive Bonpoint, to cheap-and-trendy Zara. In addition to those retailers, here are some more obscure brands for kids clothes that I currently love and shop. (And sorry in advance for the photos….although I think my kids are super cute, they are not models, so no judgements).
Hip, California cool style. What is not to love? Fun summer clothing for the kids.
This shirt is currently Cruzzie’s favorite. It is super soft and comfortable with a good message.
I love Zara — both the adult and kids’ clothes are my go tos for shopping. And now, I am in love with Zara Home. Although there are no stores currently in the United States, Zara Home is all over Europe and online. Think home decor at Zara prices — a win win for everyone! They have a terrific selection of linens, bedding, tabletop, accessories, and more. Recently, on my quick trip to Paris, I went in and oohed and ahhed at the selection (and prices).
The beginning of April was a complete whirlwind — the night we traveled back from our Spring Break (Puerto Rico, Florida, and Oregon!), we moved into our new apartment. Then, that Friday, it was the Passover Seder at my daughter’s preschool which I have been co-chairing for the past four years (a huge event for 400 plus people). That night, I flew to Paris to run the Paris Marathon. Call me a complete NUT CASE, because all of that on its own is stressful. Put it together, it is insane. Anyways, now I am back and readjusting to life…….and here is what I am currently loving!
1. Flying Tiger Flower Pens
For those of you who do not know Flying Tiger, you need to. It is a Danish store, similar to Ikea, but for home goods and gadgets. It has everything and anything, at super cheap prices. Luckily for me, it is a block away from my son’s school, so I always find myself in there when I am early for pick up. It is great for party favors, silly gifts, and your own home. Check it out!
This pen cost ONE DOLLAR. Isn’t it beautiful?
I just returned from a quick trip to Paris where I completed by 4th Paris Marathon (7th marathon total). It was great fun — both the trip itself and the run, and now I am looking forward to not traveling, not doing long runs, and staying put….. at least for the next couple of months (I have already planned my next two marathons…). Here are pictures of the weekend! (And what day is it today?)
We landed at 2 pm on Saturday, 16 hours before race time. So the only thing we could do that day was go to the Expo to pick up our bibs and get settled for the race next morning. YUP. The race at 8:20 am the next morning! Here is our feast pre-race.
Greetings from Paris! More to come after I recover, but I ran the Paris Marathon again yesterday – as beautiful and rewarding as ever. Excited to share pics and the experience (different than the past ones here, here and here) later this week. But for now….
One of my absolute favorite recent presents is a clutch / carry-everything-holder from Minor History. It literally holds everything and is the perfect size, color, and leather texture. A perfect small bag!
Flat like an envelope.
For sizing purposes, here it is in comparison to my hand.
You can also fold it over and use it as a clutch.
It holds cosmetics, other little carry holders, glasses, everything and anything.
This roomy zipper clutch is the perfect addition to my bag wardrobe. And it is also a great gift! Au revoir..