Sunday NYC Brunch- Bubby’s, Meatpacking District

As I am in Italy on a fun girls trip (more later), here is Ken with a quick guest blog post from his solo weekend with the kids:

________________

 

Most people think of the Meatpacking District as a trendy neighborhood in Manhattan with shopping, night clubs, and buzz.  It is also our favorite neighborhood to have early Sunday brunch (actually breakfast), as it is completely empty, has really easy street parking, and sets you up for a bunch of post-breakfast activities.  Our old stomp was Pastis (mostly known for being trendy, not for being a kids-friendly brunch place).  But since that closed down, our new Sunday morning brunch spot is Bubby’s on Gansevoort.  Easy, empty, delicious, and well-located.

 

Parking isn’t allowed in the neighborhood until Sunday 6 AM.  So early Sunday morning parking is a breeze.

Continue Reading

Sriracha Salmon

Spice, zest, tart, and sweet — the perfect bite. And with good salmon, it is truly perfection. This sriracha salmon recipe is from Gwyneth Paltrow and is a must make. Although I have had the cookbook for years, I had never made the salmon until this week. And in six days, I made it twice. OOPS. But so good. Make it, trust me.

 

Ingredients:

 

Continue Reading

Green Goddess Dressing

A new year and a new dedication to eating green! I love having homemade salad dressing in the fridge as an easy snack, and this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow is one that I make frequently — so delicious and easy. A must make and a must eat!

 

Ingredients:

 

The only difficult part of this recipe is buying all 0f the ingredients for it.

Continue Reading

New Years Goals 2018

2017 was somewhat of a rocky year with a lot of growing pains; on the national/political side to the smaller, less important personal side as well; physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am thankful for so much and grateful for everything, but it was challenging year in many ways. So now that we are in 2018, I am looking forward to continuing to grow, to feel, and to experience, but with a more positive and calm approach. Here are my goals for 2018! (and here are last year’s goals, which are very similar if not the same…) It is the year of love: loving myself, loving people, being in love, and channeling love, and doing things I love!

 

Love the smiles.

 

1. Be more gentle and kind to myself. Too often, I expect myself to be super woman and when I fall short it makes me feel worse.  This year, I am going to try my best, do the best, and be my best, but also be okay and loving even when I don’t.

 

2. Drink more tequila. As much as I love hot water with lemon, tequila is way more fun.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Holiday Traditions

As hard as I try, the holiday celebrations in our family are far from instagram-worthy. Most of my friends put on the most incredible Christmas with holiday cheer, traditions, beauty, and fanfare. But for whatever reason, (maybe it is because I am Jewish and did not celebrate Christmas growing up), I always fall short. Simply put, I am #BadAtXmas. I was never told about how Santa operates, the magic of Elf-on-a-shelf, the music, the outfits, the sugar-cookie-creation; all of it is a different language and I don’t know how to speak it. I am the first to admit that I need a private tutor to help me understand HOW CHRISTMAS WORKS.

 

My kids are also at the age now where they ask about it… why our presents are under the tree in early December, why we open presents well before the 25th (we generally leave town as soon as Winter Break starts), why we don’t have stockings, why there is no Christmas Dinner…we just have never had a “normal” Christmas, and I am having tremendous Mom Guilt. I have to remind myself that I do a lot of things well — like their predictable and constantly well performed bedtime routine, or the fact that I never forget them at school. But holiday traditions are something I need to work on — perhaps a goal for 2018?

 

As a mixed religion family, we celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas. That said, Hannukah in the Jewish Tradition is not a big ordeal: it is simply lighting of the candles, a prayer, gift exchange, and maybe some latkas and dreidel playing. So we do that and it is fun and all, but there is nothing BIG and HUGE that makes it that memorable and exciting. For Christmas, we are always together as a family somewhere that is not home. We do have a Christmas Tree in our home in NYC, but we don’t have the same traditions and customs that most of my friends do.

 

So with all of that said, I always breathe a sigh of relief when Christmas and the holidays are over. Once it has passed, I no longer fear my failure as a mom and can concentrate on the things I am better at. So, for those of you who are good at holidays, what and how do you do it? And is it fake it till you make it? Or is it genuine and real? Or do I just embrace the fact that “this” is something I am not good at, and learn from my weaknesses?

 

Lighting of the candle.  With the Christmas tree in the background.

Another night lighting.

The smile.

 

I hope everyone has a great week and finishes up 2017 in a strong and loving way.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

Blog Home Page

Tony’s Chocolonely

I love chocolate almost as much as I love my kids (I joke, I joke….eeks!). And this chocolate, Tony’s Chocolonely, is the best chocolate in the whole wide world. It tastes like gold (if gold tasted good) — just so rich and pure and holy chocolateness. And to top it off, it is from the coolest place in the world, YUP, Oregon. But of course, right? If I were you, I would buy as much of this chocolate as possible and give it out to people as their Holiday presents — it is that good.

 

My favorite three bars: Milk, Milk Caramel Sea Salt, and Dark Almond Sea Salt.

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

Best Beauty Secret

A dear friend of mine, who also happens to be extremely opinionated and firm on all her decisions, told me that the best beauty secret for her skin was coconut oil. Yes, yes, I am a huge believer in coconut oil for the body, and have always splurged on the expensive kinds that are made for the body. This friend told me not to buy the expensive kind, but rather, the kind in a health food store, and to use it all over your body, including your face. So, after a while of experimenting on my face and skin, I have finally figured out the right amount (a little goes a long way), and man DO I LOVE IT. SERIOUSLY, it is the best moisturizer and feels so good on the body and the face, makes your skin glow, and is inexpensive too. TRIPLE WHAMMY WIN!

 

Looks and appears basic. BUT IT IS FAR FROM BASIC.

Continue Reading

Salmon Fritters with Eggs

Here is Ken with a guest blog post:

_________

 

As much as I love Thanksgiving, I think I love Thanksgiving leftovers more.  I don’t get the chance to cook much due to our schedules (nor do I get time to guest post on my wife’s blog), but the four day weekend allowed for some time to do both.

 

Every year, in addition to turkey, my family goes big on the poached salmon… and there are always tons of leftovers that we never know what to do with.  It may be an Asian thing, but I get a weird sense of satisfaction from eating leftovers, and moreover, finding creative ways to make dishes from leftovers.  With that, check out this post-Thanksgiving breakfast we enjoyed:  salmon fritters with fried eggs:

 

Continue Reading

Currently Loving November 2017

So here we are at Thanksgiving….I am not sure how or when it happened, but we are 11/12th done with 2017. Last year, for the holidays we were in Oregon (Naked Thanksgiving), the year before in Colorado (a special Friendsgiving Aspen edition). And here we are this year, staying in the city and having a mellow holiday. We have a lot of fun activities lined up (not one but TWO blow up balloon parties today for the Macy’s Day Parade, seats for the actual parade tomorrow, indoor skydiving on Friday, and visits with best friends from both coasts). So although it will be a local staycation, I am looking forward to not traveling, and a lot of downtime (always good for me to do). Here is also what I am loving this month! Take a look.

 

This is Us

 

Last night’s episode, HOLY CRAP. Ken and I both cried the entire time. It was so good — I was so hysterical that I had to sit upright (instead of lying down) because I was going to choke on my tears…..best show since Parenthood…

 

SLT pilates

 

I actually hate this class, but I like what it does for me. It is so hard that I stare at the clock the entire time dying in agony because it hurts so much. But….I feel and see my abs for the first time in a long time.

 

Kale Salad from Cook Beautiful

 

My new favorite kale salad. This is full of delicious extra goodies: cheese, apples, raisins, hazelnuts…and the tahini garlic dressing is SO good.

 

Tusia’s coat

 

Rainbows, butterflies, and flare. What is not to love? Everything about this is my favorite and I wish it came in my size….

 

Rhye song

 

Mellow, chill, and emotional……a must listen to.

 

Cheddar TV

 

For those of you haven’t heard, Cheddar is a relatively new financial news station that broadcasts live on Twitter, Amazon, and a number of other different outlets as well. Ken was on in May to promote Natori Caftan Day, and was on again yesterday too. Check his interview out here!

 

_____

 

There you have it, another list of everything I am currently loving! Do share with me what you are loving — thanks to my friends and readers that text, email, or message me what they are loving at the moment as I love to be inspired and introduced to anything new, so please share. In the meantime, have a great Thanksgiving however you plan to celebrate. I am grateful for the opportunity to write this blog and share my stories with you all, so thanks for checking in and being a part of this journey.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

Blog Home Page

Nut Butter Chocolate Truffles With Sea Salt

I always crave sweets right after Halloween, but instead of grabbing a Snickers (which are so delicious), I decided to make nut butter chocolate truffles with no sugar. They turned out absolutely delicious and I highly recommend making them. SO GOOD. Plus, once you make them, you put them in your freezer so you can have a stash for a long time!

 

TRUFFLES! Healthy ones!

Continue Reading

Le Botaniste

One of my favorite neighborhood go-to’s is Le Botaniste. It is perfect for days when you want to be uber healthy and are looking for a quiet place to eat and relax. Le Botaniste was concepted by the creative force behind Le Pain Quotidien (more here) and serves healthy, organic, vegan, and gluten-free meals. Although I have been over two dozen times, I always get the SAME thing — I make my own bowl.

 

This meal is a rainbow.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

Currently Loving in the Kitchen

And just like that….here we are in October! Nothing says fall more than pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, woodfires, foliage, and scarves. And spending more time in the kitchen and becoming more of a homebody! Since I love food, here are four food products that I am currently loving — all so different, but all so delicious.

 

The current four favorite.

Continue Reading

Mexican Corn Quinoa Salad

Last week, I had a Mexican themed dinner and made the most delicious corn quinoa salad! It was cheese-less, oil-less, but full of flavor, spunk, color, and taste. You must make it — even if you don’t like quinoa or corn, make it! (I served it along with a green salad, kale-chicken enchiladas, and salsa….yum!)

 

When I cook, I am a mess. But then I clean up. And hello tequila in the background. You must serve tequila when eating Mexican food.

Continue Reading

Ronnybrook Butter

Hands down my favorite food product is “butter.” YUP, butta. Love it. LOOOVE it. Like an unusual amount — I can actually eat it by the spoonful if it is good butter. Sounds gross, but good butter is better than anything. European butter is my favorite, but in the USA, I used to settle for Kerry Gold Butter. That is, until I discovered Ronnybrook Butter, and it is to die for.

 

Heaven. Sweet and salty. The perfect combination.

Continue Reading

Casey 2 Cook – TV Chef

Today we go behind the scenes with a TV chef (one of my favorite types of TV). Casey (aka, Casey2Cook) is a successful chef who won a season of Cooks vs. Cons! (BTW, that is my biggest nightmare — being quick and fast in the kitchen). Such an inspiration and I learned so much from the interview. Thanks so much, Casey! And FYI, her partner Steven is Natori’s E-Commerce Shipping manager!

 

Talented and beautiful, too! Thanks, Casey for this interview and inspiration for all of us.

____

 

How did you start cooking? What inspired you to become a chef?

Continue Reading

Currently Loving September 2017

Happy September, happy back to real life! I hope everyone settles in to the fall with ease and peace despite the craze and chaos it tends to bring. I know that I am trying to take one day at a time; better yet, hour to hour. I am not sure how summer disappeared as fast as it did, but I’m happy we created fond and wonderful memories that will forever be in our hearts! That said, here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Slides. Yes, I know, shower slides from the 1990s are finally back in. I have been a fan of them the past two summers and have worn them non-stop. I love that they are easy, and go with everything. Although not practical for urban daily city life, I plan on wearing them once again NEXT summer, too. Thank god they are finally in fashion — last year I got a lot of weird looks.

 

Shower slides.

Shower slides. With no shower.

Continue Reading

Wine in a Can – Union Wine / Underwood

My love of Oregon runs deep; as I am a sucker for anything that comes from Oregon or looks like it is FROM Oregon. So I am giddy that Union Wine (an Oregon company) is now sold all over the country. Union Wine (Underwood) has been selling wine in a can for quite some time and has always been my go-to-dinner-party-gift, but now they sell SPARKLING WINE and RIESLING in a can, and I can’t control my happiness. Last week when visiting my sister in Portland, I visited a grocery store (truly, my favorite hobby) and I came across these new cans and I am sold. Pretty! And you can order them online, here.

 

I think these are the prettiest cans I have ever seen. SO SO pretty and feminine and fun.

I think these are the prettiest cans I have ever seen. SO SO pretty and feminine and fun.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading