Sunny with an A

As I get older, my network of awesome and talented women keeps expanding (one of the many upsides of getting older).  One of my newest mom friends, Sana, happens to be nice, smart, sweet, inclusive, open, interesting, beautiful, and inspiring. And not only is Sana a great person, but she is also the founder of kid’s pajama company, Sunny with an A.  I recently bought a pair for Tusia, and she literally will not take them off — they are amazingly soft, perfectly thought out, and super colorful. Take a look at the interview below, and thank you, Sana! (And mom, it may be time to start doing kids!)

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Sunny, indeed.

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Man Repeller Announcement

I used to read a lot of blogs (and a lot of magazines), but as the blogs have become more commercial and less authentic (and the magazines have become thinner and flimsier), I stopped. Now, I only check two blogs daily and after that, I like to get off my computer and get my daily inspiration of fashion / food / entertainment by talking to people and being on the New York streets — there is a lot out there by just looking around. Last week, I randomly visited a-previously-loved-blog (but now never frequented), Man Repeller.  And I found a post that brought me to tears. It was real, emotional, sensitive and raw.

 

Leandra Medine, the founder of Man Repeller, had been very vocal about her struggle with infertility over the past years. And as someone who struggled to get pregnant (I did 5 rounds of IVF), I felt for her. (More from me on the topic here). Those years of trying to get pregnant were some of my (and our) hardest, and I always empathize with anyone going through those emotional, mental, and physical struggles — so incredibly painful. Although I do not know Leandra personally (we have worked out next to each other several times in a workout class), there was always something so honest and true in her posts about her struggle.

 

She announced that she is now pregnant with twin girls in a beautiful, authentic and real post. She expresses her gratitude and appreciation and love of being pregnant, while understanding and giving hope to everyone who is struggling/has struggled with infertility. I value her words, articulation, position, and message. So please, read her post HERE. And thank you, Leandra, for being sensitive, emotional, empathetic, and real. I wish you all the best in your pregnancy.

 

Circa 2009 hiking Spencer’s Butte in Oregon. Such a baby expecting a baby.

 

Thank you for reading and understanding that everyone is going through their own sh$t.  We all need to treat each other with love and kindness. Have a great week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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NYC Marathon- Congrats!

(Guest post from the Josie Girl’s husband)-

 

Congrats to the Josie Girl for ROCKING the NYC Marathon yesterday, finishing in a personal best 3:26 just 4 weeks after running Chicago.  She is recovering this morning and will have a full recap later this week.  Go Mama!  Congrats to all of the runners out there, especially Shalane Flanagan, the first American woman to win in 40 years.

 

More to come from the JG later this week..

 

Josie Natori X Moda Operandi

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.

 

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Currently Loving October 2017

One more day left of October, so not too late for “Currently Loving” for the month! Here they are! Here is what I am currently loving in October 2017!

 

1. Busy Philipps

 

Her name is Busy. Her daughters names are Birdie and Cricket — now do you wonder why I want her to be my BFF?

 

I don’t know her from tv or movies, but I somehow landed on her instagram account (isn’t that how everything works these days….everything leads back to instagram…) and became obsessed with her instagram stories. She is genuine, authentic, beautiful, and oh so funny. I love her taste in music, clothes, and random thoughts. You must watch her on her stories — too funny. I also am determined to become friends with her…anyone have a connection? Sign me up please!

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Sotte le Stelle

Last weekend, we went on a family adventure to Queens to visit the Queens Museum. As we decided we wanted to have dinner on the way back, I researched hip but kid-friendly restaurants for an early dinner. We landed on Sotte le Stelle, which had rave reviews on Eater as the #3 hot spot in Queens.  And… pizza.  The new restaurant was DELICIOUS.

 

The restaurant only has 30 seats and is super small and cute. All of the waiters and staff are Italian, and super nice and friendly.

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NYC Fall To Do List 2017

HERE I GO AGAIN….another list, another set of goals…..

 

1. Go to a new restaurant each month.

 

We are spoiled in NYC with access to the best food and restaurants in the world. And yet, Ken and I have the tendency to go to the same three (who am I kidding, ONE) restaurant. So I want to make more of an effort and take advantage of all the great food around us.

 

There are over 850,000 (Thanks, Alexis) restaurants in NYC! So many types, cuisines, atmospheres, and experiences to try.

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2017 Chicago Marathon Recap

This past weekend, I ran my 8th marathon in Chicago. It was a terrific day but not a great race (or even run). It was super hard out on the course and I walked away disappointed and upset. I went in hopeful after a good training season with high mileage, fast speed runs, and a strong mental set….but for whatever reason, Sunday wasn’t my day and I didn’t do well. Without making any excuses, one thing after another happened — I had a side ache from the get go (and still have it!), my Nike App was totally off (it said I ran 27.5 miles so therefore was off the whole time, making me super confused…), I lost my caffeine gum, the top of my water bottle with my nutrition in it fell off, I sweat uncontrollably (it was 77 degrees), yada yada yada….nothing went well. And so I started to derail mentally, and thought I should quit because each step was hard on my side and nothing felt great – …..all of that to say, it was my hardest marathon to date, both mentally and physically. I clocked in a 3:33, but know I can do much better.

 

The trip was quick — I left Saturday morning at 9, and came back Sunday night at 930. Quick turn around, but happy to make it short and the marathon the focus of the weekend. Before I left for Chicago, I did lots of legs up the wall to help relax my body…

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Josie Natori RTW Spring 2018 Fashion Presentation BTS

This past Tuesday, my mother-in-law had her Josie Natori Ready to Wear Spring 2018 Fashion Presentation. It was a low-key event with great press and turn out. Every Fashion presentation takes a lot of effort, organization, and design. Enjoy these behind the scene photos!

 

Great view for the photo shoot.

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Bathroom Shark Painting

One of my friends, Scarlett Baily, is a talented artist based in Mexico City. She is young, fun, stylish, and oh-so-cool, painting mainly caricatures of people and animals for different events and companies. Scarlett also has painted two portraits for us that are my favorite two pieces of art in our house — they make me so happy and give such a fun flair to the playroom. So when she texted me this summer that she was coming to NYC, I came up with the idea of having her paint a shark in the kids’ bathroom. You see, Cruzzie is obsessed with sharks and loves everything about them. They are his go-to stuffed animals, his favorite books.. and he can basically name every shark in existence. So I wanted something special in the kids’ bathroom to reflect his love for the animal (and yes, first child’s love is overlooked by second kid’s interests. oops). Here they are, I love the final Sharkie! It is so different, special, and unique. It brightens up the bathroom and looks fresh and young!

 

Mr. Sharkie!

Mr. Sharkie!

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Kids in School

While the transition from summer to fall (and from Oregon to a New York State of Mind) is always a whirlwind, it has been especially so this year. While Cruzzie started 2nd grade, Tusia started Kindergarten, which feels really symbolic. It seems like yesterday the kids were born, and WAM BAM, all of a sudden they are in elementary school. To say it is a wild ride is an understatement. I can’t believe how much they have grown (and therefore how old I *am*).

 

Cruzzie started 2nd grade on Wednesday. He has a uniform of coat and tie, but can wear anything. So of course, I bought him a NEON orange shirt, bright shorts, and a fun tie. Why not make a uniform full of pizazz and color?

Cruzzie started 2nd grade on Wednesday. He has a uniform of coat and tie, but can wear anything. So of course, I bought him a NEON orange shirt, bright shorts, and a fun tie. Why not make a uniform full of pizazz and color?

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Inside Natori: Talia, Josie Designer

Over here at the Josie Girl Blog, we thought it would be fun to have employees from The Natori Company share how they incorporate the House of Natori into their every day wardrobes. So first up is the super cool, super young, super HIP designer of the contemporary Josie collection, Talia. She has been with Natori for a couple of years, and has brought a great new energy and direction to Josie, under the tutelage of my mother in law Josie Natori. So here she is… thank you, Talia!

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Hi Everyone! This is Talia (the Josie designer) taking over for the Josie Girl! This past weekend I enjoyed some much needed time in the ‘country’ with my husband, sister, and brother in law. We rented the cutest little cottage in Barryville, New York- just a short 2 hour drive from the city. The cottage was surrounded by lush greenery, fresh air and best of all decorated with an eclectic charm!

 

The perfect cottage with a red door.

The perfect cottage with a red door. And the matching flowers and pillows on the lounge chair. Nice coordination.

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Stanford Vacation

After spending the weekend in Costanoa, we continued our California vacation by spending a couple of days around Stanford University. As readers of the blog know, Ken and I started dating at graduate school at Stanford (although Ken and my brother were best friends and roommates at Amherst for undergraduate). It was extra special to be there with the kids and show them the various places that had an impact on our life (i.e. dating –> love –> marriage –> life –> kids). Not only did we go to Stanford, but my father did as well for graduate school (right after marrying my mother), so this place is special to the whole family, and not just me and Ken. Take a look at the pictures (and I promise this will be our last post on our vacations, as we return to NYC so soon).

 

My squad at the hotel.

My (good looking) squad at the hotel.

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Poetry Boxes

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 the poetry. They change it once a month.

Two blocks from my parents house is this mailbox with poetry. They change it once a month.

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Natori- 40th Anniversary Celebration

Guest blog post from The Josie Guy!  Here he is….

 

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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. 40th Annuversary Celebration at The Prince George Ballroom

Natori Dragon, greeting guests as they entered.

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Crater Lake, Oregon

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.

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.

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Hostess / Thank You Gift

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.

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.

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Raspberry Crisp

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 and could stay all day picking the fruit. She never wants to leave when we decide we are done.

Toosh is officially my picking partner.  She never wants to leave.

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Housewarming Gifts 101: Coffee Table Books

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!

The large heavy stack!

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Fun Posters- Renovation Hacks

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!

UGLY! HELP! SOS!

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1st Week of Summer 2017 in Oregon

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, they SOLELY bike. 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.

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)

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Summer 2017 To-Do-List

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 = meditiating?

Waves = calming sound = meditating?

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