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!

 

Ingredients:

 

 

* 3 cups of raw cashews

* 3 tablespoons of coconut sugar

* 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

* 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

* 1 teaspoon ground ginger

* 1 teaspoon vanilla

* 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

 

I decided to be a multi-tasker at 7 am and feed the kids breakfast, get them ready for school, and prepare this butter. Was 80% successful and calm during the process.

 

Directions:

 

* Combine everything in a food processor!

 

The recipe calls for roasted cashews, but I prefer raw, so I used raw ones. I guess both work!

Coconut sugar — a huge fan.

All together.

I started in the vitamix, but DON’T USE IT. Use a food processor — much better — and it works 10 times better.

So smooth and creamy. It looks like I the real stuff!

One of my favorite all time breakfasts is a banana with nut butter. Filling, healthy, and delicious.

 

You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 months, but let me tell you, I don’t think that this will last me a WEEK!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Hydro Flask

Non plastic water bottles have become increasingly more and more popular, and each year, a different company seems to lead in popularity. bkr bottles, klean kanteen, nalgenes — all different brands that have been super popular in the past years. And this year, Hydro Flasks are everywhere. Made in Bend, Oregon, I knew I was going to love them (as I love all Oregon products / people / places) and sure enough, love at first sight. These water bottles are by far the best.

 

They come in every size. Big, small, extra big, extra small, etc…

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Haven’s Kitchen Sauces

Now that I am back to NYC, I am all about fast, easy dinners. I like simple, delicious, and healthy meals that do not require much thought but are still tasty and good for you. So when I came across Haven’s Kitchen Sauces on Fresh Direct, I jumped especially because my friend Katie Carey, happens to be the brains and beauty behind these delicious sauces! Can you believe how small this world is? TINY! And can you believe how amazing these sauces are? INCREDIBLE.

 

So good. So good. So good. Worth repeating and eating more and more and more of them.

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Sweet Noodle Kugel

Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year (Shana Tova!) Since I have the tendency to be bad at holidays (across all of our religions), this year, I decided I want to be more festive, and threw together a last minute holiday dinner with friends (4 Jewish-Catholic/Christian families… go figure!). One of the main traditional Jewish dishes is Noodle Kugel, something that is very Jewish but not something I ever grew up eating. I was looking for recipes on the internet when I decided to contact one of my old-time friends who I met when we were on a Teen Tour of Israel together. And sure enough, Heidi-ho got in contact with her mother (who just happens to be a chef!) and immediately sent over her go-to Sweet Noodle Kugel. Although it has been decades since I last saw Patty Padawer (can we talk about the awesomeness of her name), I remember her delicious food fondly. Talk about helpful — she saved the day — thank you SO much, Patty!

 

Not just any kugel, special and easy sweet kugel.

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Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow

My favorite cookbook (Run Fast Eat Slow) now has a sequel and I couldn’t be happier! I am so excited to get back in to the kitchen and cook / bake / create some of the recipes from the new Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow.

 

So excited!! Shalene Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky and their second cookbook! Some of my all time favorite recipes are from their first cookbook, so I am super happy to find new favorites in this one, too.

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Favorite Undies 2018

It goes without saying that the only brand of lingerie that I “buy” is Natori. Just like almost everything else in life (granola, jeans, grocery stores, colors, fabrics, most anything and everything), I am super picky, but undies are by far the most important part of my daily ensemble. If I am wearing the wrong pair, I do not feel right or comfortable so it has been ESSENTIAL that I have the most perfect undies. And I did find them, but GASP, they are no longer going to be made and sold (I have tried to convince my husband to continue to make them, but he will not take my advice,

 

 

1) My current favorites are the Feathers Boyshorts . If you see them in the store, STOCK UP AND BUY THEM NOW. You will not regret it. If you can’t find them, it is because I purchased every single pair online that I could find….

 

I kept the tags on all these undies just so it didn’t seem weird or odd to everyone. These are fresh undies, never been worn. And let me tell you, I LOVE these undies more than anything. Seriously they are the perfect pair.

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Interview with Dr. Heather Rogers

I wrote about my obsession with Doctor Rogers RESTORE Healing Balm earlier this Spring — and it is true — I am fully addicted and can’t live without it. Therefore, it is quite an honor to interview Dr. Heather Rogers, the creator of RESTORE and a renowned dermatologist in Seattle. This is a must read for information on the balm, good skincare, and tips on how to live a healthy life! Thank you so much, Dr. Rogers!

 

And of course, as a talented doctor and entrepreneur she is also STRIKINGLY beautiful!

_____

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Currently Loving August 2018

August feels like one big Sunday to me — I love it, and yet I also dread the reality that real life is around the corner. Even though I try to take one day at a time and live in the moment, I suffer from worrying about what is going to happen in 2-3 weeks time…..I know, great habit of mine. I am trying to make more of an effort in enjoying all the little things around me; weather, nature, freedom, space, and all the below. Enjoy!

 

1. Hazelnut Butter

 

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Leatherology

Like most women, I love handbags. But today they are super expensive and a big financial commitment. So I was incredibly happy to find fun, colorful, personable and reasonably priced bags at Leatherology. Leatherology is a direct to consumer website that has dozens of handbag styles, colors, and options. They also monogram! Since it is summer and I always love a pop of color, I decided I NEEDED a bright hot pink cross body bag with my initials. Ever since I got it, I have been wearing it nonstop.

 

HOW CUTE AND FUN IS THIS BAG? I love the brightness and it just makes me oh so happy.

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Overnight Train

When we were mapping out our summer travels, I knew that at one point, I wanted to take the kids on an overnight sleeper train adventure. Luckily, we had planned to go on our annual trip to Sonoma, so I knew that the magical train dream would be able to happen. It was perfect timing as my best friend from college, Bridget, had been visiting us in Eugene, and we were both aiming to get to California at the same time. So the five of us — me, Bridget, my two kids and her daughter — all went on the adventure together. And it was exactly that: an adventure. Not a mode of transportation to get us from Point A to Point B, or a luxurious beautiful hotel, but a memorable and fun experience. It was so much fun that I hope to make it an annual tradition — there was something about it that was nostalgic, peaceful, romantic, and comforting.

 

The five of us. And yes, Bridget and I are wearing matching outfits. Why would we NOT wear matching outfits?

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Aperol Spritz Slushee

My (and everyone else’s) summer drink, the Aperol Spritz, has been consumed in many different ways.  But I think I have found my favorite… the slushee.   I may never drink anything else again: this slushee is the most incredible, light, fruity, delicious, buzzing, refreshing, oh-so-good drink. It is truly perfection.

 

It is even better than it looks. SERIOUSLY, so good.

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Sour Beer

For the first time since college, I started drinking beer this past week. The last time I drank a beer was probably when I was shotgunning it just so I could get alcohol in my system rather than because I enjoyed the actual taste. But during our Orcas Island week, I was introduced to Sour Beer by my brother and sister-in-law. It is a perfect combination of Kombucha and Beer — makes you feel like you are drinking kombucha but with an extra dizzying aspect. I love it and recently have found myself craving them in the afternoon….

 

Luckily, Oregon is known for its microbeers, and here is a picture of the SOUR BEERS in the local grocery store. As a novice, I had no idea what to get or what to buy….so I picked this one.

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Random Thought

This is totally random and not my normal post, but, well, I am random and not completely normal. So it all seems fitting 🙂 Just a simple message to say that it is important to reach out to friends even if you feel like you know what is going on. Often times, what appears on social media (or say, in a blog), is just a fraction of reality. Social media is a great tool because it gives you a glimpse into your friends’ lives and whereabouts, but it is not actual communication with a friend. Writing an email, making a phone call, sending a text, making IRL plans –> that makes the biggest difference. Connecting and communicating with friends and loved ones is a two way street and oh so important.  Don’t forget to check in on your strong friends. A great article on this is here. And this applies to family, friends, mentors, colleagues, or inspirations. I know this is something that I need to continue to work on, but I also know that when I do hear from loved ones, it means the world to me.  A simple 2 minute effort goes along way. Happy Wednesday!

 

Me and the kiddos.

 

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Summer 2018 Orcas Island

We just finished up a full week in Orcas Island (a part of the San Juan Islands) with my family. It was a super fun filled week of hiking, biking, swimming in lakes, swimming in the ocean, swimming in the pool, roasting marshmallows, and breathing in the super fresh air. Orcas Island is an incredibly hilly island (made my runs extremely challenging….) but with ridiculous beautiful views and scenery. I can’t wait to return again and hope to make it an annual trip. Enjoy the pictures!

 

We rented a house in Rosario, one mile away from Moran State Park. This meant great access to hikes, trails, lakes, and views. At the top of Mount Constitution, there were breathtaking views of the other San Juan Islands, the Cascade Mountains, and all the lush greenery. HEAVEN, truly heaven.

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Summer 2018 Greece

In late June, we were fortunate to spend a week of vacation with my inlaws in Greece, my first trip there in 20+ years. As the kids and I had just come off a week of cultural visits (in Paris), we used our time in Greece to rest and relax. Despite the fact that Greece is full of a rich history, we were located in a remote part of the mainland of Greece and didn’t travel outside of the resort (except for one day where we were on a boat). We fell in love with Greece — the resort was absolutely DIVINE and I hope that we will be returning again soon. And of course, next time, we will have to check out more cultural sites as well as many of the islands.

 

Everything about the hotel was perfection. Absolutely perfect. This is where we ate breakfast every morning overlooking the ocean and mountains.

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Currently Loving July 2018

During the summer, not only does my life slow down a lot, but so does my brain. Life is very simple in Oregon with no work obligations, few friends, no errands, and just time to rest and relax. I hope you’re also finding some relaxation during these summer months! Here is what I am currently loving this July!

 

1. Christine and the Queens: Doesn’t Matter

 

French Pop sensation, Christine and the Queens, and her latest single, “Doesn’t Matter.” Everything about the song makes me smile and dance. I hope you like it as much as I do!

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Aperol Spritz

Although late to the game, I am now fully invested in the summer “It” drink, the Aperol Spritz. Last year, I saw the bright orange drink everywhere I went, but never tried it. I started during our recent trip to Europe, and now I can’t stop. Aperol Spritz is made with aperol (a liquor), prosecco, a splash of soda, and some fresh orange. It is refreshing, zesty, sparkly, and basically makes you feel like you are drinking an orange Fanta. OH SO GOOD.

 

Yes, I am a dufus. But can’t stop, won’t stop.

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Little Creative Factory Girls Swimsuit

Hello from Oregon! We just returned from our 3 week European vacation and flew directly (via Sardinia via Amsterdam via Seattle to Eugene) to our home away from home; Eugene, Oregon. We arrived Monday morning and have been nonstop since then — camp for the kids, hiking, biking, running, berry picking, and trying not to fall asleep to early and succumb to jetlag….I will post pictures of our time in Greece and Sardinia, but I also don’t want to overload and do a lot of #humblebrags….so instead, drum roll…..little girl’s bathing suits!

 

I am currently obsessed with my daughter’s swimsuit and want her to wear it every single day (and want it for myself, too). It is the chicest, cutest, most unique, and oh-so-beautiful bathing suit! It is by the brand Little Creative Factory.

 

In Greece, wearing the ruffle swimsuit. I love the color combination, the ruffle, the fit, and the cut.

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Summer 2018 Paris

Greetings from Europe!  I was just in Paris with the kids and we had so much fun. I am a lover of anything French, especially Paris. And it makes me so happy and excited to have the ability to show the kids a city and culture that I love so much. There is a je-ne-sais-quoi about France that I just feel so strongly about. Here are some pictures of our adventures:

 

Paris, oh Paris. You forever have my heart. Everything about you is dreamy, romantic, lovely, and grand.

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Wary Meyers Candles

I am a sucker for any candle, especially a nice smelling one. When recently shopping, I bought a bunch of new ones, and this one is my favorite. The design is simple and the smell subtle, but refreshing and crisp. Wary Meyers makes these chic, discrete, and beautiful candles. Bonus is that they are under $30 which is always great.

 

I love a simple candle, particularly this transparent and gold combination.

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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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La Colombe Black and Tan Coffee

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.

 

Dynamic Duo.

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NYC Moment

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.

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