Spring Break 2017 Week 1

Spring Break!  We were fortunate enough to spend our first week in the sun, first in Puerto Rico with my in-laws, and then in Florida (just me and the kids). Lots of sunshine, beach, pool, french fries, chicken fingers, and sunscreen. Here are some pictures to recap our week! Enjoy (and thanks for letting me indulge).

 

Love the combination of beach and then pool. And of course, minutes soaking up the Vitamin D on the ground.

We stayed at Dorado Beach for the fourth straight year.  Good combo of kids activities and things for my in-laws to do.  Love the combination of beach and then pool. And of course, minutes soaking up the Vitamin D on the ground.

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Renovation Post #5

OK, so this is the LAST renovation post because SOON, OH SO SOON, there will be a REVEAL POST which shows the apartment. So here are the latest photos of what is going on. Yes, still not liveable, still not a lot of lighting (and 3/4 of our belongings are still packed), so there is a lot to do. But here are the latest pics!

 

One wall in Cruzzie's room is this whole world map -- it is where eventually his bunkbed will go.

One wall in Cruzzie’s room is this whole world map — it is where eventually his bunkbed will go.

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Roasted Kale / Brussels / Broccoli

OK, this is the easiest recipe EVER, but it is so good that I have been re-creating it  (or some variation) for the past several weeks. Lunch, snack, dinner, WHATEVER…. I have even eaten it for breakfast! What is it? Basically, roasted veggie with pine nuts, goat cheese, olive oil and salt. I know, glamorous and sophisticated recipe, right?

 

So green, so good.

So green, so good.

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Renovation Post #4

Drum roll……This is our last official night living with my inlaws.  Spring break starts tomorrow and when we return, we will be in OUR NEW APARTMENT! We have been living in temporary digs since June 2016, so the return home will be that much better and sweeter. Our home! Here are some pictures of the current state of our apartment…not everything is done, like wallpaper, and lights, etc…but that will take place in the next two weeks (or so we hope!).

 

This is our future dining room and living room. I love the new floors (they are the same floors just sanded down and stained light vs the original dark color).

This is our future dining room and living room. I love the new floors (they are the same floors just sanded down and stained light vs the original dark color).

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Sugarwish Candy Delivery

Last week I received a present that made me smile! A box of candy! But not just any candy, it was an email saying that I was given a box of goodies from Sugarwish, and that I needed to pick out what I wanted.

 

It comes in a slick little box.

First, you receive an email saying that you were gifted some sweets, then you select what you want. Everything I picked arrived in a slick little box.

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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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Val D’Isere

We just returned from a special 40th birthday party of a very dear friend in the French Alps. It was a weekend of snow, ski, rose, fondue, meat, relaxation, and lots of fun. An incredible experience that we will never forget.

 

Val D'Isere is located in the French Alps, a three hour drive from Geneva. We landed early morning in Geneva, took a bus to our chalet, got fitted for skis, and went straight to the mountain. No wasted time on this trip!

Val D’Isere is located in the French Alps, a three hour drive from Geneva. We landed early morning in Geneva, took a bus to our chalet, got fitted for skis, and went straight to the mountain. No wasted time!

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Currently Loving February 2017

Here we are in the final stretch of February…a little odd because we are just in the middle of February, but because of the short month, it is near the end (#MathTeacher). Here is what I am currently loving this month.

 

1. Katy Perry ‘Chained to the Rhythm’

 

I first heard this song at the Grammy’s where she performed live with Skip Marley, and it instantly got stuck in my head. Now, we play it on repeat and everyone in the family dances along.

 

Katy Perry.

Katy Perry. What is not to love about this song? Everything about it — the lyrics, the beat, the tune, everything just makes me so happy and makes me want to dance, dance, dance to the distortion.

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Letters to My Baby

For personal family reasons, I have had a difficult past week with lots of tears shed and feelings of despair and sadness. Many friends went above and beyond and have been an incredible support. Thank you for listening, thank you for the wine, thank you for the lunch, thank you for check ins and calls, and thank you for being my shoulder to lean on. It means the world to me, so thank you.

 

It is also during these times that I miss my parents the most. Growing up, whenever I got upset (either by throwing a temper tantrum or having my feelings hurt), my father would type up letters with some big moral and place them on my pillowcase. My father (the smartest man in the world) is also incredibly sensitive, wise, articulate, and thoughtful. It was during those hard times that I looked forward to his letters the most. Especially right now, I so wish I had these letters and could relate them to my feelings.

 

So when I came across this book “Letters to My Baby” it tugged at my heart strings and I had to buy it. Not that they are similar to my father’s typed up letters, but they are a great keepsake and something a child can have forever. Write now, read later, treasure forever. They are little paper time capsules that contain 12 letters where a parent can write to their child. Each letter has a different prompt for the parent to write about, and then you date, seal and keep the letters for your child. I love this idea.

 

Vintage Air Mail look in a great little booklet.

Vintage Air Mail look in a great little booklet.

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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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Upper SweetsideNYC Ilana

Honestly, nothing makes me happier than homemade baked goods, creative touches, and a hard working and inspiring mother. And Ilana, the founder and creator of Upper SweetsideNYC is all that. Ilana has created her own business of custom cakes, cupcakes & cookies for kids bdays and special occasions. Not only are the baked goods beautiful, but they are delicious too. Ilana is a fellow mother at my kids’ preschool, and through our morning chit chats and social media, I discovered her incredible talent. Ilana is a true example of a strong, empowered, and passionate woman who dreamed and created her own destiny! Here is an interview: — thank you!

 

One of the beautiful cakes created by Ilana!

One of the beautiful cakes created by Ilana!

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August Morgan Napkins

I just bought the most clever napkins ever, introduced to me by my bestie Amy at a brunch she threw.  Yet, they are presents not for myself (currently, we do not have our own home, so there’s no need to hoard napkins quite yet) but to have in my stash of presents for friends. These witty and creative napkins by August Morgan are the perfect hostess gift, pick-me-up present, or even a birthday present (who said napkins for your birthday are not the best!). You can buy the napkins as mix and match which makes it even more fun.

 

A set of four comes in a little nifty box with a ribbon to close it with.

A set of four comes in a little nifty box with a ribbon to close it with.

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February 2017 Links Around The Web

With a blink of an eye, we are now 1/12th done with the calendar year! My oh my, and what a whirlwind it has been. Here are some good links and reads around the world wide web.

 

This is a picture of my handsome father in 1961. Born in Poland as a Jew, he was kicked out in 1969 and Sweden granted citizenship to refugees like him. In 1974, he immigrated to the United States where he went to Stanford University for another graduate degree. Thank you, Sweden, for accepting my father and welcoming him into your arms. And America, let's continue to welcome people of every religion, race, and background. We are all children of immigrants.

This is a picture of my handsome father in 1961. Born in Poland as a Jew, he was kicked out in 1969 and Sweden granted him citizenship, along with other refugees. In 1974, he immigrated to the United States where he went to Stanford University for another graduate degree. Thank you, Sweden, for accepting my father and welcoming him into your arms. And America, let’s continue to welcome people of every religion, race, and background. We are all children of immigrants.

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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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Elm Street Books

This past Fall, I discovered a small independent bookstore in New Canaan that I fell in love with — Elm Street Books. Not only does it have a great selection of books, but the employees are incredibly knowledgeable and give great recommendations. Last weekend, I went in with three needs: books my emerging reader son can read on his own, books that I can read to BOTH my kids, and books for myself. Two different employees helped me out and all of their selections have been spot on perfect. Here is what they recommended! Thank you, Elm Street Books! We will be back!

 

Elm Street: Walked out with a new bag filled with books -- nothing better.

Elm Street: Walked out with a new bag filled with books — nothing better.

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Vegan Green Dressing

My new favorite green salad dressing — better than green goddess as it has no dairy or mayo. A must try! Super easy and delicious. A great way to start the new year — fresh and green.

 

Ingredients:

* 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

* 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

* 1 cup fresh parsley leaves

* 1/4 cup olive oil

* 1 tablespoon white vinegar

* 1 teaspoon salt

* juice of 1/4 a lemon

 

Directions:

 

Green leaves!!!

Green leaves!!!

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Renovation Post #3

We are officially five months into our home renovation project, and slowly, it is taking more form and becoming more like a real home! The lights are now in (not the light fixtures, but the electrical outlets and lights on the ceiling), the walls are in place, and the stairs connect the floors!!! Mind you, it is far from done, but I now have a better sense of what it is really going to look like, and I can’t contain my excitement. Take a look at the newest pictures:

 

The new entry way!

The new entry way!

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Pangulasian, El Nido, Palawan

Hands down, the highlight of our 2016 trip to the Philippines was our visit to Pangulasian, El Nido, Palawan. To say the resort, scenery, environment, location, food, service, experience was amazing is an understatement. I will go out on a ledge to say that it was the most beautiful and breathtaking vacation I have ever been on. It was so incredible that I would fly across the world again tomorrow to spend more time there.

 

To get to the resort, we had to fly from Manila to El Nido, then take a van to a boat. The boat was a tiny speed boat that took 20-30 minutes to get us there. Worth every travel minute to get to this paradise.

To get to the resort, we had to fly from Manila to El Nido, then take a van to a boat. The boat was a tiny speed boat that took 20-30 minutes to get us there. Worth every travel minute to get to this paradise.

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New Years Goals 2017

Happy New Year! For whatever reason, this year, I felt ambitious and decided to come up with 17 resolutions (goals / to do list / aspirations) for 2017 rather than just 5 or 10. (I think I had time to think about it for 24 hours when traveling back from Asia on Friday!) Here they are:

 

Heading into 2017

Heading into 2017.. a dock in Palawan in The Philippines (more on our vacation to come!)

 

1. Give myself more credit. I am hard on myself and rarely acknowledge (and applaud) my own accomplishments and successes.

 

2. Accept (and love) my body for the way it is. Be kind to myself.

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Kidzania

As we are halfway around the world with Ken’s family, The Josie Guy is helping me with some blog posts this week.  Fair trade.  Here he is:

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As discussed in the Josie Girl’s Punta Fuego post, we have been rotating between stints in Manila and out.  One of the highlights (outside of family) of being in Manila has been Kidzania.  What is Kidzania?  In short, it is a huge indoor pretend city that allows kids to role-play by conducting adult activities.  There are currently more than 20 locations around the world and it is on its way to the States.

 

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