One of my best friends happens to be one of the most organized people I have ever met. She literally has a folder for everything, a labeled box for anything, AND she has a genius way of organizing holiday cards — by hole punching them and putting them on a ring. No clutter, no loose mail, and everything is all in one place. So I did as all fans do and copied her. It sounds so silly, but it’s been a game changer! It might be an overstatement to say it has changed my life, but I kinda feel like it has. #Dramatic
You simply punch a hole in the corner and put it on the key ring. So easy (and cheap). And it feels so clean and organized.
We just returned from the Best / West Coast where we spent a whirlwind holiday weekend outside in nature with my side of the family. It is best summed up by Ken’s instagram post:
My parents have spent the past 20 Thanksgivings at Breitenbush Hot Springs, at the base of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. So instead of indulging in food, turkey, booze, and football, we spent Thanksgiving off the grid in natural hot springs, rain, lush forests, and togetherness (vegetarian togetherness). My brother and his family have gone the past seven years, so this year, we decided to make the trek out to Oregon. It was quite the haul, but it was a special and joyous time for the cousins and all of us to be together.
In August, I posted about our renovation and how lucky we are to be able to combine two apartments together to form our dream home. So here we are, now in November, and while we are progressing, the end doesn’t seem much closer (still living with my in-laws). IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT, but man, it can be difficult not having my own home or space. My in laws are incredibly generous with their home, yet, it is still not our own…..
ZEN — my in law’s apartment is ZEN, of course, until you see our mess and chaos and craziness.
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 can’t. I’m sorry. Here’s Ken to kill space.
As many of you know, these are our kids. Japanese-Filipino-Polish-Mexican-Catholic-Jewish bundles of love. Three of their four grandparents are immigrants (and the one who isn’t is third-generation Japanese-American, born in an internment camp during World War II).
I used to think they represented America. I now realize that a lot of America doesn’t see it that way.
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
Introduced by a good friend, I had the privilege of meeting Jordan Rhodes, the creator of the website Glimpse Guides. The website shares Jordan’s travel finds, reports on current fashion for children and adults, and provides a wide variety of travel tips for families. It is a great resource when booking trips with kids. (She also featured my tips on traveling in Paris… take a look here). As a mother of two (with the third on the way!), Jordan manages to visit, write, and post inspirational and helpful content — thank you so much!
Jordan (pregnant with her third child) and her husband this past Fall in Skibo Castle in Scotland. Her family loves Scotland as there are so many outdoor activities for all ages, and the beautiful, remote landscape is unrivaled.
FIIIINNNNALLLLLLY, after ten years of putting it on my to-do-list for Fall, we made a trip to Storm King! And it was absolutely picturesque, glorious, beautiful, and enjoyable. Yes yes yes, our kids whined a little too much, and there are things we could have done differently, but overall, it was the perfect weekend activity….and we can’t wait to go back again!
Like person, like sculpture.
Although it seems like it should have been a joyous weekend celebrating my son’s seventh birthday (thank you so much to everyone who sent me greetings on his special day — truly felt like my birthday, thank you), it was darkened by the political climate in our country. I spent many “birthday greeting phone calls” talking and worrying about what was going on — it feels like a bad, bad movie. It’s a scary world out there, and let’s make sure we do what is right for EVERY single person in our country, regardless of race, religion, gender, etc. Here are some important links around the web.
Family ice cream birthday party (celebrating Cruzzie’s 7th birthday and my sister’s 36th birthday) — the ice cream cake was DELICIOUS and I ate more than my fair share…..but YOLO.
Can’t believe it’s the beginning of October! Here is what I am currently loving.
1. Starboy by The Weekend and Daft Punk
I can’t help my tween music taste, but really, The Weekend and Daft Punk together is the best duo ever. Kinda like if Coldplay were to jam out with Justin Bieber. This song is everything. And helps me move.
The other morning when I was at my good friend’s house, she had just pulled banana bread out of the oven (how she makes banana bread while dealing with two kids on a school morning amazes me to no end!). She offered a piece, and although I had already eaten breakfast, I couldn’t say no. And HOLY crap, this was the best banana bread ever. Thankfully, she sent me the recipe and here it is!
This is how I bake….6:30 am on a Sunday morning, in my pajamas, totally disheveled, with my little baking partner (my 4 year old), and flour all over myself. But at least I am wearing FEATHERS undies. (I promise you this photo was not staged — Ken took a photo of me because he said it looked ridiculous with the hand print).
I have a daughter who loves to draw and color, and as a result, I have bought many and many sets of pens, pencils, markers, and paints. For whatever reason, she only uses certain sets (picky about everything in life) and ALL of these sets are from a company called International Arrivals. Now I know not to bother buying any other type of pen. These coloring sets are fun, unique, and great for gifts, too.
Our typical breakfast routine….eating while coloring. And as you can see, she is much more interested in her art than her food.
As a kid, I made my own personalized designed plates. I have such fond memories of drawing them with my brother and our friends. Even now during the summers, my parents pull out those same plates so our kids can use them.
So far, Fall has whooped my butt. I feel like I am always behind (like writing the weeks’ blog posts) and I can’t keep up. I know that everything is temporary, but right now, it is like 0 for me vs. 100 for everything else. So why not add on to how behind I am by creating a Fall wish list of activities for me to do :). Here it is:
Start to school has kicked my bootie. Same for the kids. This picture is of Toosh in the middle of the morning. She decided she was just going to rest instead of doing anything else. #Jealous
My sister got married this weekend in an amazing wedding in Portland, OR (yes, we just relocated the family back from the West Coast the weekend prior… lots of travel!) It was beautiful, heart warming, emotional, and fun. I am so #blessed (#sorrynotsorry) that I love my family as much as I do — my sisters, brother, and parents (obviously, my husband and kids too)– so much that I just want to be with them all the time (which makes my re-entry to NYC all that much more difficult). Outside of the event and family, the highlight of the wedding was my sister’s WEDDING FOOD! BEST WEDDING FOOD EVER EVER EVER. And not just any food, it was FOOD TRUCKS. Yep, food trucks at a wedding. And it was AWESOME. There were three food trucks for the main meal, and one food truck for dessert #Winning.
Hawaiian Cuisine? Yes please! This truck was from 808 Grinds and served an assortment of meats, rices, and sides. My favorite dish was the Fried Chicken.
It feels like a million years ago that we were on vacation with our dear friends in Deer Valley / Park City, Utah. In reality, it was just a week ago (another trip to the West Coast this weekend for my sister’s wedding sure makes time confusing). Deer Valley was the perfect ending to a fabulous summer, filled with lots of activities and simple family fun with great friends. Here is a recap of our trip with recommendations.. Deer Valley is a PERFECT summer getaway (particularly at the end of the summer after Utah schools start up… everything was empty which was perfect!)
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.
Exciting times for our family of four…..we are expanding! NO, NO NO NO, not to a family of five, but to a bigger apartment. We are currently (as of a few weeks ago) combining our apartment with the apartment below us, to give us more space and a forever family home. We are *INCREDIBLY* fortunate to have this dream come true, and we couldn’t be more excited. Thanks to the handful of friends who have looked through the plans, walked through the space, and given advice. Thank you for being my support system — I wouldn’t be able to do it without you. And of course, main thank you to my Babers for giving us this dream and putting up with my anxiety and fear of being displaced for 6 months…
The stairs! Toosh’s old room upstairs is now becoming the top landing of the stairs! It’s currently a big hole — but I can totally envision the stairs!
This past weekend, the kids, parents and I went to the Oregon Coast to escape the hot temperatures of Eugene (in the 100s) and surround ourselves in the beauty of the Oregon Coast. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed nature, and family (minus Ken, who was in New York). Take a look at the pictures.
The Oregon Coast is always much colder than inland …. which makes sense, but this past weekend it was 30 degrees colder. 30!!!!
My college best friend, Midge, is a cartoon character.; goofy, cooky, adorable, fun, funny, and colorful. Her look and aesthetic matches perfectly with her bubbly, outgoing personality, and her new glasses match her hipster vibe 100% (Note: she doesn’t just dress like a hipster, she *is* a hipster, I mean, she participates in Trivia every Monday, does things like “1/4 of a marathon on a treadmill race” and has salsa competition parties). Her glasses, Costalots, made by her good friend, Matt Costa, are the perfect accessory to round out her Oakland look. She has both everyday Costalots glasses and sunglasses (she was always the one the past 15 years that wears her sunglasses OVER her everyday glasses — quite the look). Costalots prides itself on quality and simplicity, and are the definition of hip.
It’s like her bitmoji came alive…..spot on for the most perfect bitmoji EVER to exist.
I am fortunate that I have a lot of teachers in my life; not just academic teachers (many of whom I am still in touch with 30 years later), but running, yoga, spiritual and life teachers as well. One of the most influential is Pamela Gold. Many of you remember her post from early this summer; she is articulate, intelligent, and brings clarity to things that can be difficult to comprehend (you, your relationship with yourself, and life). Take a look for yourself in the below interview — grab a cup of coffee and read this novel (yes, novel).
Beautiful Pamela and her 8 year old son, Jesse.
I love a) onesies / rompers / jumpsuits b) leopard print c) Natori. So all three together is a perfect combination. This new Josie Natori leopard jumpsuit is luscious, silky, airy, and dreamy. Perfect for a late summer beach cover-up or lounge wear.
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).
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?