Tabio Socks

I have been a big fan of Tabio socks for the past five years when I found them in a little store in the Marais district in Paris. Every time I went to Paris, I would stock up on them myself and buy presents too (nothing says I love you more than socks…). But I just discovered that Tabio is now sold online in the USA! Hands down, these are my favorite socks in my closet.

 

The socks arrive in this great origami package. A present within a present. All the little details are so Japanese — and so beautiful.

 

The socks are made in Japan (kinda like Brooklyn and Portland, Oregon — true hipness and style root from Japan). The quality of the socks is amazing — they source the best material from around the world. And truly, these socks are not just uber stylish and fun, but they are also super comfortable with the right amount of material, height, and thickness.

 

I love that their socks always have something super special about them — a little shimmer, a little secret touch.

These are my current three favorite socks.  And I love their designs and pizazz, a splash of color to any outfit.

 

And believe it or not, they just started making athletic socks. As goldilocks with socks, I am even pickier with athletic socks. While running, I really care about the material, the feel, if they fit correctly, etc…and these are the best athletic socks I have tried. I can’t wait to add more to my collection.

 

And I love that they are bright, cheerful, and YELLOW!

Love these!

A little history of Tabio.

 

My feet are happy, and therefore, I am too! Happy feet, and happy week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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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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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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NYC Marathon 2018: Achilles Guide

This past Sunday, I ran as a guide for Achilles International, an organization for disabled athletes. Although it was my overall 12th marathon, it was my first marathon as a guide. It was an incredibly difficult, overwhelming, emotional, and beautiful experience. I was paired with a 25 year old blind runner, Eddy, who I had met with twice beforehand. Before our marathon together, Eddy showed me his spirit of positivity, gratefulness, and sincerity, so I knew that that would help carry me through our run together. And it did.

 

 

Me and Eddy after the marathon (and after the shower) at his family’s apartment on Roosevelt Island. Yes, I took a tram after running a marathon, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

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Chicago Marathon 2018

Here we are again, another marathon. It was an especially important one as it was the first one that my whole family traveled to watch.  I also atrained really hard, hoping fora personal best. And it turns off that despite my lack of confidence and the bad weather going in to the race, I ended up with my fastest time ever, 3:19:47. I am still on cloud 9 (and also very sore) and just so happy and proud. Take a look at all the pictures from the whirlwind 34 hours in Chicago!

 

We left NYC on a 9 o’clock flight Saturday morning. I was so happy to have the whole family together as I tend to be a basket case before a marathon. Traveling alone with just my thoughts is never a good idea…..

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To Do Fall 2018

Almost October, so that means there is only 1 and a half months before it becomes Winter in NYC. Fall is a very short lived season and there is so much to do between now and then! Here is what I want to do this Fall:

 

We still have green leaves on the trees, but sooner rather than later, the colors will change and then the Park will be orange / yellow hues…

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Chai Cashew Butter

I have always been a Peanut Butter Princess, devouring spoonfuls of peanut butter by the gallons. Especially during marathon training, I crave the richness and fattiness of peanut butter, almond butter and any nut butter even more. So when I came across “Chai Cashew Butter” in the new Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow cookbook, I knew that it was something I was going to fall in love with. And sure enough, once I made it, I could not stop eating it. It is rich, full of protein and good fats, sweet and filling. The perfect snack before a run, or to keep me going on a given day. Creamy, smooth, and tasty. A must eat and a must make!

 

Final product. I could sell this on the street and people would line up for it — that good!

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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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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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Nike Windbreaker

I am currently on Orcas Island off the coast of Washington State in the San Juan Islands. It is incredibly beautiful with its lush green mountains, crystal clear lakes, Cascade Mountain views, and the Pacific Ocean. It is literally a summer dream, except for the fact that it is quite brisk and on the colder side. Going into the week I had no idea about the chilly temperatures, so when I got to Seattle with ONE sweatshirt, I ended up at the Nike Store (in Seattle) and bought a windbreaker. Yes, it was a spur of the moment purchase, but I am SO happy with it, I can’t seem to take it off (and not just because I need it). It is lightweight, retro stylish, cool, unique, and the perfect layer on piece.  I plan to wear it on runs, casually, and basically, all day everyday!

 

Retro windbreaker — both the design, the look, and the color. But I love it!

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Jump Rope

As a little girl, one of my favorite activities was to jump rope on my front steps with my brother. Since I grew up without a TV in the house, I had to create my own fun after school. To me, that meant climbing trees, playing with yoyos, creating secret gardens, and jumping rope. My brother, Giora, and I were very competitive with one another and we always tried to outperform each other. As a result, I became a pretty good jump roper (yeah, super proud of this #HumbleBrag). I love it — it is fun AND the best workout. And as you know, I love to have fun and love to exercise, so the two together is the perfect whammie. Recently inspired, I bought two new jump ropes for my summer of travels and adventure and I couldn’t be happier.

 

After a failed purchase on Amazon (too long, and expensive – 60 bucks!), I went store to store in NYC in search of the perfect jump rope.  I bought these two, which are similar (at least I can’t tell the difference between them).

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Summer 2018 Running Playlist

Summer has officially started and tonight I leave for a European adventure.  And yes, another summer, another marathon training season! Here is my newest playlist for running and training!

 

Summer running means hydrating and drinking a lot of water. On long runs, I always carry a water bottle and then whenever I find a refilling station, I fill my bottle up. Thank you, NYC!

 

Summer 2018 Running Playlist

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Ball Girl For The Day

One of my lifelong dreams is to be a ball girl for the US Open. Not as a joke or as a ‘maybe someday’ … but an actual ‘this is going to happen at some point’ dream.  One of the prerequisites to be a US Open Ball Person is to volunteer at the Jana Hunsaker Wheelchair Tennis Tournament that takes places annually at Flushing Meadow (where the US Open is held). So, despite it being an incredibly busy time in the end of the school year rush, I signed up to volunteer (and even got two friends to join)!  And I am so glad I did — truly a highlight of my week, month, and YEAR!

 

To say we were excited was an understatement. The three of us were giggling nonstop, before, during and after. Truly, a fun and highly enjoyable day. And we all want to do it again next year — this specific tournament as well as sign up to try out to be official Ball People at the US Open. I was a little unprepared and had to buy myself some tennis shoes — I only own running shoes (which scuff up the courts) — literally, they arrived the night before.

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Vintage Denim Jacket

As of a few months ago, I had not bought something at a vintage store since High School (when I was a regular at our local Goodwill to buy denim). Fast forward to this spring when I was on a mad and unsuccessful hunt for the perfect denim jacket.  I was looking for something perfectly weathered / cropped / and that fit like a glove.  Wherever I looked or asked for help, I had no luck. Then, at the recommendation from a stylish friend, I went to 9th Street Vintage, and bought my new favorite piece of clothing, a vintage denim jacket.

 

This jacket is from the 30s! How cool is that! Almost 90 years old — and so supers stylish and cool. GAWD I love it.

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HICKIES No Tie Elastics

Through the retail world, we recently met the owner and creator of HICKIES No Tie Elastics. And I am now a huge fan! I love how fun, colorful and easy they are to use and assemble. What are no tie laces? Well instead of laces, you place HICKIES laces in the shoelace eyelets. And voila, no tie, easy to slip on, shoes! You can get creative and have different designs, tightness and looks. There is a huge assortment of colors and looks of the HICKIES to match all your different shoes and needs. They are not just for kids, but adults, too.

 

Playful laces.

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Boston Marathon 2018

On Monday, I proved to myself that not only was “Boston Strong” but that “I was strong.” In the middle of freezing rain, super windy conditions, and low temperatures (mid 30s), I ran and completed my first Boston Marathon. It was not at all pretty, fun, or wonderful. It was actually quite the opposite; horrible, gruesome, difficult, and treacherous. Boston is considered the most prestigious of all world marathons with everyone having to time qualify to run, and I was super excited to attempt the master of all races. Due to the weather conditions, I knew that it was going to be difficult to run my hardest. So instead of racing, I focused on perseverance and completion.

 

Expo picking up my number.

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Boho Bandeau

This past weekend, I had two friends from Oregon come and visit. They brought a bunch of gifts to help remind me of home. My favorite is the Boho Bandeau — a rainbow tie dye running buff — that is so Oregon, so me, and so practical. I love it! SO SO much.

 

 

Me and the wonderful Eugene friends wearing my Buff gift! The buff is the rainbow ear muff / headband / multipurpose WONDER piece of fabric.

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Sunriver December 2017

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great finish to 2017 and a strong start to the New Year….I was happily in bed and asleep by 10:30 NYE after a fun dinner out with family and friends. I am still trying to create my goals for 2018, but in the meantime, here are some pictures of our adventure out west last week in Sunriver, OR with my parents, and brother’s family.   It is truly a great family friendly place for everyone to experience the beauty and nature of Oregon. We never get tired of it, even when going twice a year (this year in March and again in December). Enjoy the photos of beautiful Oregon!

 

Once again, Ken was the one who went downhill skiing with the kids. I only went one day (Christmas Day) and although it is fun, nothing compares to cross country skiing. So Ken is the downhill guy, and I am the cross country gal. yin and yang.

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Currently Loving December 2017

With a snap of a finger, lightning speed, here we are in December. Mid December, in fact. Not sure how time flies as fast as it does, but, it does. So without further ado, here is what I am currently loving this month! Enjoy!

 

Holiday Card Display

 

GENIUS.

 

I like how it is mid December, and we have already received 100 cards. Mind you, I also sent out my cards on the 1st of December, so just like me, most of our friends like to be early….. This holiday card ring hack has changed my life — it literally makes me so happy every day to have the cards OUT, without cluttering up the house!

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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!)

____

 

Sunny, indeed.

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2017 NYC Marathon Recap

At this point, loyal readers are probably sick of hearing about my marathons and the recaps. I know —  I get it, in the past 4 years, I have completed 9 marathons — and in the last 7  months, THREE! There is not much more to say that is different about each race, and yet, this race is different. The NYC marathon is the most incredible marathon on the planet, and this year, when I gave up any expectations and ran to enjoy myself, was even better and more successful than imaginable. Giving up expectations, having no pressure, and just relaxing in to the moment made all the difference. I soaked up every second, looked at the views, talked to people, applauded my fellow runners, and truly enjoyed every minute.

 

Good or bad, I decided that my outfit for the marathon was going to be the exact same one that I wore a month ago for the Chicago marathon — yes, much colder temperature wise in NYC (my mistake in Chicago) but the shirt was a success in Chicago, so I went for it again in NYC. And man oh man, SUCCESS it was. Literally, once a minute, someone in the crowd would yell “Go Mama” — and I would yell “Thank you” and wave my hand up. It made me feel connected to the crowd and all their energy and positive vibes definitely helped.

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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..

 

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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