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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Kid’s Jewelry Hanger- Woonwinkel

Last Fall when I visited Portland, Oregon for my sister’s wedding, I came across the hippest, cutest modern home decor store, Woonwinkel. Even though we were in the midst of our massive renovation, I wanted to buy everything in the store for the new house.  I couldn’t justify buying a lot of the items (where to store them for 8 months?) but I couldn’t pass up this necklace holder for my daughter’s room. I lugged it around for several months, and finally got around to hanging it up. And I couldn’t be any happier!

 

So fun and whimsical.

So fun and whimsical.

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1509 Perfume

And yet again…another essential oil to add to my list of favorite scents! This scent, 1509 Baby Breath Bud, is subtle, clean, and comforting. Each bottle of 100% pure fragrance oil is hand packaged and created.  The healing oils (amber) are free of synthetic material and safe for your body. The smell is rich and soothing at the same time — a must for summertime.

 

Also comes in a travel size. Just as cute (with baby breath, too).

Also comes in a travel size. Just as cute (with baby breath, too).

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CFDA Awards, June 5th, 2017

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!)

My favorite celebrity sightings of the night were Heidi Klum (striking! Amazing) and Gigi Hadid (beautiful — resembles my daughter!)

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Governors Island

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.

 

Governors Island.

Governors Island.

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Interview with Maisonette

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

Sylvana and Luisana, and their kids.

 

How did you come up with the idea for an e-commerce kids site? What was the inspiration?

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Happy Birthday, Josie Natori!

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!

Here is the beautiful Josie Natori as a young girl. I love her bangs!

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Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Thanks to Instagram, I saw a recipe for a peanut butter pretzel truffle from Minimalist Baker and knew I had to make it. The recipe is simple, easy, and a huge win.

 

How good does this look?

How good does this look?

 

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup pitted medjool  dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes then drained

* 1/2 cup salted natural peanut butter

* 3/4 cup raw almonds

* 1/2 cup mini pretzels

* 1.25 cup chocolate chips

* 1 tsp coconut oil

 

Directions:

 

Before and after dipped. I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

Before and after dipped. I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

 

* Place almonds in the food processor and process until you reach the consistency of a meal.

 

* Then add in pretzels and  soaked dates in the food processor and process until small bits remain and/or it forms into a ball.

 

* Next, add the peanut butter and mix until well combined. You don”t have to do this in a food processor, and can really just mix it in with a spoon.

 

* Once you have a dough that’s easy to form into balls, scoop out 1 Tablespoon amounts and roll/carefully form into balls. Set on parchment paper and place in freezer to chill.

 

*  In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and add the coconut oil (which helps thin out the chocolate).

 

* Remove truffles from freezer and, one at a time, dip them into the melted chocolate. Transfer back onto parchment paper and place in to the freezer.

 

* Store them in the freezer until you eat them (or else they will melt — they will still be delicious, but they will melt).

 

They will not last long, mainly because you will eat them because they are so good.

They will not last long, mainly because you will want to eat them right away.

 

Happy weekend! Spring here we are, thank goodness!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Ilary Perfume

The other day, I was walking down the street with a good friend and was entranced by her smell. It was divine, amazing, luscious, and beautiful, and I knew I needed to know more about the scent ASAP! Luckily, she put me in touch with the creator of the perfume who happens to be a good friend of hers. This incredible scent, ILARY, is created by Hillary. Hillary currently lives in Chicago with her husband and 2 young sons. and is busy building her perfume empire. I had the opportunity to interview her about her company. Take a look! And Thank you Hillary!

 

ILARY

 

How did you start your own perfume?

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Zara Home

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).

 

Zara Home.

Zara Home.

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Currently Loving April 2017

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?

This pen cost ONE DOLLAR. Isn’t it beautiful?

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Minor History Clutch

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.

Flat like an envelope.

For sizing purposes, here it is in comparison to my hand.

For sizing purposes, here it is in comparison to my hand.

You can also fold it over and use it as a clutch.

You can also fold it over and use it as a clutch.

It holds cosmetics, other little carry holders, glasses, everything and anything.

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..

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Bloomingdale’s Pop-Up, Party

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Natori designed an amazing ready-to-wear collection exclusively at Bloomingdale’s and on Bloomingdales.com. The collection is on display in a pop-up in New York (third floor), Short Hills, Aventura, and Century City. Amazing island-inspired prints, fun handbags, and accessories, and all at a more accessible price point than the high-end Josie Natori collection. LOVE, LOVE LOVE!!!!  (And read through the post for info on the launch party this Thursday).

 

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In between the escalators at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street. Prime location!

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Sweaty Betty Ski Pants

I buy new snow pants every 15 years, so when we had our ski trip last week, I knew that I needed an updated pant that was more durable, water proof, and a little more fashionable. There are an incredible amount of ski pant options on the internet (thank you world wide web), but they are either absurdly expensive, way too trendy, or just not good enough. So when I came across Sweaty Betty’s ski pants, I knew that they were the one.

 

 

Suspenders (or you can zip them off)

Suspenders (that are detachable if you don’t want them). They are wind and waterproof fabric with fleece lining, stretchy, lots of pockets, and fit perfectly over your snow boot.

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Quickfire Interview with Jennifer Maanavi – Founder of Physique 57

Holy moley, speaking to Jennifer Maanavi is like speaking to a legend! She is the founder of Physique 57, the boutique barre class that helped change the fitness scene in New York, and now, globally. She is not just smart, beautiful and fit, but she is also incredibly thoughtful, sweet, and incredibly friendly. Take a look at the quickfire interview, and thank you so much, Jennifer!

 

Jennifer.

Jennifer.

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Onda Beauty

As a devoted regular of Taryn Toomey and her class, I have met a group of tremendously talented and incredible women. One of them, is Larissa, who just started Onda, a store that sells natural beauty products. She has incredible taste and has curated the best assortment of products currently on the market. She is incredibly thoughtful, knowledgeable, and is a walking encyclopedia on every item — Enjoy!

 

Larissa: a beauty inside and out!

Larissa: a beauty inside and out!

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Favorite Fragrance Oil Scents

For the past several weeks, I have been on a fragrance scent kick. Essential oil blends that smell divine versus perfumes full of harsh chemicals and overpowering smells. Here are my top three fragrance oil scents — I honestly can’t get enough of them.

 

Big little small; all divine.

Big little small; all uplifting, clean and bright scents.

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Natural Deodorant: Agent Nateur

I am constantly on the search for several things: the best granola, natural deodorant, lipstick, and cookie (who needs anything else?). For each, I always think I have found “the best,” until my next new discovery. But honestly, I just found the best new natural deodorant, and I don’t think I will ever say that again… because THIS ONE, is seriously… The. Best. Natural. Deodorant. Ever.

 

Don't judge a book by its cover, but COME ON, this packaging is gorgeous. Seriously, I felt bad recycling the box! (But I am not a hoarder, and what would one do with a deodorant box anyways!)

Don’t judge a book by its cover, but COME ON, this packaging is gorgeous. Seriously, I felt bad recycling the box!

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Allbirds Shoes

Before the holidays, one of my best friends introduced me to the most amazing wool shoes. She and her husband both have them in multiple colors. Made from New Zealand merino wool, they are lightweight, breathable, fashionable, chic, comfortable, (and warm)! (Links: women and men.) Not only are they good looking but they are a good price point ($95) for a shoe you will wear everyday!

 

Wool and good looking!!

Wool and good looking!! (These are a men’s pair I got for Ken.. I am buying a pair soon!)

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Quickfire Interview with Jaqui Lividini

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!

 

Jaqui.

Jaqui.

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Donna Wilson Sweater

Since it is now cold in NYC, I only wear sweaters. I have a variety of solid every-day sweaters, but there are days when I crave a sweater with more pizzazz and color. Thankfully, I came across a Donna Wilson sweater which is fun, poppy, colorful, and comfortable.

 

A contemporary version of a Fair Isle sweater.

A contemporary version of a Fair Isle sweater. I love the description: ‘Into the Woods’ is inspired by walks in the forest, thoughts on what it would be like to have a pet llama, and plans for a trip to the Arctic Circle.

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