Last week, one of my biffles introduced me to La Colombe “black and tan.” And now, I can’t stop thinking about it. Literally, every morning and afternoon, I dream of getting a black and tan from La Colombe. Although there are 30 locations nationwide, and 8 in NYC, none are in my neighborhood. So when I was talking to her the other day complaining about how much I wanted this drink, she said that I should take the canned version and create my own version of it. And then she made fun of me about how I was going to make a blog post out of it — and even got the exact phrasing and thought process of how I write blogs. And so, YEP, she knows me well. And so here we are, and I am doing exactly that. I am writing a blog post on my new favorite drink and thanks to Fresh Direct, I can create it without going downtown. Thanks, B, for being my editor, content contributor, and supporter of my caffeine intake and the Josie Girl Blog.
For many, the end of the school year is extremely busy, hectic, time consuming, and stressful. Especially when my work involves working in schools and tutoring students, the days seem to be marathons with a long list of to-dos. So, it was especially joyful and happy when a couple months ago, I discovered a neighboring apartment that had a statue that gazed out on to the street. This statue wasn’t just any statue, but one where the owners would frequently rotate the hats that the statue was wearing. For some reason, this was exciting and something I looked forward to every day.
The hat on the corner apartment of the building across the street.
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.
Every September when I move back from the West Coast, I make a list of Fall goals. Every year, I say that I am going to go to the Farmers Market to get fresh, local produce, fruit, and any other random goodies. And yet, every year, I fail miserably and never make it to one.
Way back when, Good Eggs, existed. But that was short lived in NYC and didn’t last long (and it didn’t deliver to the Upper East side of Manhattan). So I was thrilled when I randomly came about (via instragram stories, nonetheless) OurHarvest. It is an online New York farmer’s market and gourmet grocery with local, farm-fresh, organic ingredients in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Long Island. It has existed in NYC since 2014, and even though I am late to the game, I am so thrilled to have found it NOW! IT IS AMAZING bold italic exclamation point. It is coined Manhattan’s Farmers Market, and I get it. It is a farmers market that delivers throughout Manhattan. GENIUS.
The prices are good, the selection incredible, and the products themselves are the best. And the online platform is super easy, beautifully laid out, and great to work with (unlike instacart which I hate with all my might). There is so much to choose from and everything is fresh and local. You can get meat, fish, dairy, produce, fruit, pantry items, baked goods. Anything and everything.
I can’t get to a store without getting a fake sweet. Meaning, I love dessert, but want to curb my sweets so anytime there is a date sweetened goodie, I am a sucker for it.
On Monday, I attended the CFDA Awards with my mother-in-law. Held at the Brooklyn Museum, it was a night full of glamour, fashion, celebrities, and celebration. It is always fun to go with my mother-in-law as she is part of the fashion scene, whereas, I am in fact not. This awards ceremony was even more glamorous than usual, making it an even more fun than usual.
Going to these awards ceremonies also means that I need to dress the part. Which in my case, means getting out of my sweats or jeans, and putting on a dress and heels. My shoes for the night. And yes, they feel as tall and uncomfortable as they look. After years of exclusively wearing sneakers and sandals, these were a MOTHER difficult choice of a footwear.
Tonight is the CFDA awards; the Oscars for fashion designers (and “the biggest night in Fashion you have probably never heard of“). And for the fourth year in a row, I have the privilege of attending. Although I am a big nobody at these award shows, it is still fun to get all dressed up and see all these celebrities up close and personal. While I’m not overly excited about Kim Kardashian, I am SUPER excited that my girl crush Busy Phillips will be there — who I love with all my heart. I am going to make it a mission to seek her out and tell her how much I love her….I hope it’s not awkward. BUT I LOVE HER.
CFDA 2017. Me and my hubba hubba date, Ken Natori.
Almost summer, which for many (including me) means more time to read. Here are the books on my reading list for the summer — and please share other books that you have enjoyed and / or are looking forward to reading.
1. An American Marriage
2. The Great Alone
You can’t have too many candles, perfumes, or chapsticks IMHO. I got this one as a surprise present (the best) and have fallen in love with it. This candle is Annica by Phlur (my real first name is Anika) so cheesey cute and fun, right??? And let me tell you, this candle looks and smells like airy fresh perfection.
It comes in a beautiful box.
BEST 40 BUCKS I HAVE SPENT ALL YEAR! Birkenstocks (best shoe on the planet), are one of the few shoes I wear all summer long (along with van slides and running shoes). But these birkenstocks — GASP — so fun, comfortable, different but the same, and OH SO INEXPENSIVE (because they are plastic versus leather)! 40 BUCKS!! FOR BRIGHT BLUE BIRKENSTOCKS — how could you possibly say no?
Ultralight, these birkenstocks are made with high-quality EVA. They are flexible, odor neutral (phew — hate the smell of plastic chemicals) and are waterproof and washable.
And they look good on your feet (even with ugly feet — DON’T LOOK!…..I am a runner. Harumph) and feel like a pillow.
So easy to wash and clean — the best summer shoe. Who wants high maintenance shoes in the summer?
They currently come in a variety of colors (black, silver, pink, yellow, orange, and white!) but of course the one other color I want them in is green (because green birkenstocks just seem like perfection). To buy these great sandals, go here. Best purchase of 2018.
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.
Beauty Masks are having a moment right now. They are catchy, sweet, and functional all at the same time. Recently when at Barney’s picking out my MIL’s birthday present, I decided to buy one and try it myself. See below for more on the Dermovia Rejuvenating Collagen Lace Your Face Mask.
It comes in this little packaging which is perfect for traveling or a care package.
Memorial Day is right around the corner, but it still feels like unpredictable-March-like weather in NYC. I am having a hard time remembering what month we are in because the weather truly makes it feel like early Spring and not LATE Spring. But here we are. Sitting. Waiting. So here is what I am currently loving this month! Take a look:
1. Chanel Healthy Glow Lip Balm
Chanel + Moisture + Color = Perfection
I am always looking for something sweet that doesn’t have much sugar, so when I found this recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Healthyish, I made it right away. And since last Friday, I have made it officially seven times (#obsessed). It is super easy, delicious, vegan, and curbs my sugar craving without involving sugar! Win win win!
This is not the banana date smoothie. This is a vanilla milkshake — which is what it is supposed to be similar to. Kinda. Sorta. Similar. Maybe not. Ish. Still great.
This past weekend we had the experience of a lifetime, attending Saturday Night Live and hanging out backstage with cast member Mikey Day and his partner Paula, who is a friend of Ken’s from college. Paula and Mikey are incredibly friendly, interesting, funny, and grounded. So when they invited us to attend the dress rehearsal, hang out in the dressing room during the show, and then go to the after party (!!!!), we jumped at the opportunity… especially Ken, who is the show’s biggest groupie. We had SO MUCH FUN.
We had tickets for the dress rehearsal which required us to be there at 6:30. There was a lot of security to go through before it actually started at 8 pm. The dress rehearsal lasted 2 hours and has more skits than the live taping. They are militant about not allowing pictures. 🙁
My favorite chocolate bar is the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate bar. It reminds me of childhood trips to Europe. So this past week, I was craving a fruit and nut chocolate bar, but didn’t know where to get one. So instead, I made little chocolate buttons with fruit and nuts in them. While you can’t go wrong with your fruit/nut choices, I used cranberries, raisins, almonds, and hazelnuts.
A new and improved version of the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Chocolate Bar.
My new favorite pajama to sleep in is the Natori Luxe Shangri-La set. It is incredibly soft, simple, easy, and beautiful to boot. It is also machine washable which makes everything that much easier (who has time to hand wash or dry clean pajamas???)
Shorts and tank. Perfectly cute.
Adapted from my new favorite cookbook, Leon Happy Salads, this cabbage salad is crunchy, tasty, and super easy.
Last summer, I had the privilege of interviewing good friend and dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe on the blog. And now, my ever so smart, charming, and oh-so-beautiful friend just wrote a book called “The Beauty of Dirty Skin” available in bookstores and on Amazon. As a fan (and friend) of Dr. Bowe, I was super excited to get the book and read it. It is educational with great resources and information on nutrition, skin care, and aging. Read below for a behind the scenes interview with Dr. Bowe!
The newly released book: The Beauty of Dirty Skin
One chapter of your book is on “the secret to great skin”. Can you give us a quick summary?
For the past 12 years, I have been drinking the same morning shake / smoothie. Here it is!
Sometimes it is green….
Like any people trying to be more environmentally conscious, I like to carry reusable bags in my purses. One of my favorite bags for groceries is the string bag. Not only is it stylish (oh so french chic), but it is also washable, expandable, and nondescript. Totally affordable as well.
I haven’t drunk a beer since college when I would chug them, so I was pleasantly surprised to try a grapefruit beer and actually like it. Love it, to be honest. It is girlie, refreshing, and tastes like grapefruit soda with a hint of beer. So you lose a little edge but still hydrate — win win!
I have actually had two different kinds of grapefruit beer: from a can (as pictured) or from a bottle. Equally good and crisp!
For the past two solid years, a good friend of mine has been telling me about Doctor Rogers Restore Healing Balm and how it was THE NEXT BEST THING. Unfortunately, I kept forgetting about it (#blonde and #BeautyAddict) until this past weekend when she gifted it to me. And now, I am wondering HOW IN THE WORLD DID I FORGET AND NOT REMEMBER THIS LITTLE MIRACLE IN A TUBE? It is so good, so memorable, so powerful, and a must have. This little miracle tube, created by a Seattle based dermatologist (Dr. Rogers) is incredibly soothing and healing for dry, damaged skin, lips and nails. It not only has lots of hydration powers and protection, but it is also made with high quality ingredients (non-petroleum and all-natural), making it a must.
Heaven tube placed on a heavenly flower….
Despite the fact that it still feels like winter in New York, it actually *is* Spring. Since I love planning new adventures and outings each season, here is what I am currently hoping to do this Spring in New York! Take a look!
1. See Hamilton again….because it has been two years since I first (and last) saw this magical performance.
I had the opportunity to see the original cast in April 2016 and it was truly one of the highlights of my year. I am still listening to the music nonstop and can’t wait to go back….
Over Spring Break in Seattle, we had the privilege of visiting Theo Chocolate Factory and going on a tour (my beloved Gwyneth is the one who told me about it). It was fun, tasty, interesting, and a unique experience. Definitely worth going to — but probably best to do it AFTER lunch and not before. Cough, cough, we were the idiots who went with five kids at 10:30 am and ate ten chocolate bars before lunch.
Classic beautiful warehouse (an old brewery) in which the factory is housed.