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.
So here we are in April. It snowed here in NYC on Monday. I thought April was SPRING for GOD SAKES? In any case, need to stay positive, so here is what I am currently loving for April 2018! Take a look.
1. Amy’s Andy Dandy Candy
It is made with organic chocolate, so it’s healthy, right???? Yeah right, but somehow, it makes it taste better, like the organic chocolate is better for your body and your body knows that. And if you are going to indulge, then might as well indulge in some organic chocolate (or that is my rationale….)
Creamy or Crunchy? OR BOTH?
It’s almost DEJA VU because I write so much about deodorant (read here and here). That said, I haven’t found the perfect deodorant (total Goldilocks over here….). I use natural deodorant (almost exclusively Agent Nateur) but there are times that I need to use stronger stuff (like Secret… GASP) so I don’t sweat (and then smell). Recently, when I was at a local boutique in Seattle, the salesperson told me that there are times she has to use a sorta natural deodorant — natural because it is alcohol free, but only sorta because it has aluminum in it. She says Fresh Sugar Deodorant is better than Secret, but worse than Agent Nateur, and is the perfect deodorant for those special situations. SO HAPPY.
Fresh sugar. Apparently, Sugar is a natural humectant that helps attract and seal in moisture. Who knew?
One of my favorite instagram stars / poets / activists is Cleo Wade. Not only is she super-model-gorgeous, but she is also articulate, poetic, and inspirational. I feel a connection to everything that she writes and posts — so much that I just want to hug her. Since I basically stalk her, I knew that her book was coming out in March and pre-ordered it. I read it for inspiration, sage wise advice, and comfort. It is the equivalent of a hot cup of tea with honey, just soothing and loving.
Heart Talk. And yep, it does talk to your heart.
Happy Spring Break all! Greetings from Seattle. After a week skiing in Big Sky, Montana, we are now in Seattle, mixing some of Ken’s work obligations with a visit to my brother’s. My parents came to Seattle via Eugene. As always, it is great to be with the family.
While here, Ken also wanted to show the kids and me his grandparents’ old house on Bainbridge Island, where his father and uncle grew up and where he used to spend his summers as a young child, escaping the concrete jungle of New York.
To get from Seattle to Bainbridge, we took the ferry, which was Ken’s favorite part about spending his childhood summers in the PNW. The kids (with cousin Alagna in the middle) had a blast.
In the past month, we have been gifted Royce’ Chocolate by two different couples. I had never heard about it before and now I am a fan. Made in Japan, this chocolate is unique, beautiful, and delicious. Definitely different than a normal chocolate bar — more special and rich, making it a great hostess gift.
This one is one of their specialties: Ghana bitter.
This might seem like the most random and odd post, but I swear, it is not. Nothing on this blog is sponsored, paid for, or advertised; everything I post is about something I believe in, experience, and truly support. Recently, the greatest addition to my life is MUJI pens. YUP, yep yep. Who knew a simple pen could be such a game changer, but these pens are truly that — a reason to smile. I had no idea that something so small could make such a difference, but they truly do (and I am not being over-dramatic).
Not sure what makes me happier — flowers or pens? BOTH. Love them both.
As discussed last week, one of my favorite new cookbooks is The Wellness Mama Cookbook. This week, I took on my first recipe: “Angel-ed Eggs” — avocado deviled eggs. Although I love deviled eggs, I have actually never made them myself…so I loved this take on deviled eggs with a healthy angle of avocado in them (good fat). They were super easy to make and uber delicious:
And who doesn’t love green?
On the last day of our recent trip to India, I left early, but Ken had time to kill as he had an evening flight to Manila. Friends we made at the wedding invited Ken on a street food tour in Old Delhi. While “street food” and “Delhi” and “right before an international flight” may seem like a terrible combo, Ken enjoyed the day, and for the most part, emerged unscathed (depending on your definition of unscathed.) Enjoy the pictures!
The tour was conducted by Delhi Food Walks and it was legit. The guide was a Delhi resident who was trained in culinary school, and he took the group from street vendor to street vendor, explaining the food and negotiating along the way. This was the meeting point. Legit Old Delhi.
Readers of the blog know that I love tie dye, especially when it is done Upstate. I not only own a dozen pieces from Upstate, but they also did a collaboration with Natori that is to-dye-for (get it?). I am a huge fan, so when they recently came out with dye kits for you to do at home, I knew I needed to get one.
The kit. Plant-based dye kit in rose. Safe, easy, clean, and super duper fun.
While in India for a friend’s wedding, I had the privilege of wearing the most beautiful Sabyasachi sari. Before our trip, a friend lent it to me saying that it was by “the biggest Indian designer” and that everyone would know what it was one when they saw it. TRUTH! As soon as I was dressed for the night of the ceremony, everyone approached me asking how an ignorant white American girl got her hands on one. Literally, everyone knew.
The sari is a three piece ordeal: a top (bra like), a skirt, and then the wrap over it all.
Happy March! It feels like it was just January. Time has flown (probably because of my recent travels to Italy and India) but in any case, here we are! I was just gifted three new cookbooks by two dear friends and I love them all so much (both the friends and the cookbooks) that I wanted to share.
I am officially my mom: a collector of cookbooks. I have more cookbooks than real actual books! And I love it……
As I mentioned on Monday, after our full two days in Rajasthan, we went on a pilgrimage to see the Taj Mahal. It was quite the trek — a full 5 hour drive from Rajasthan, and then 4 hours back to Delhi, but when in Rome…. How could we not see the Taj Mahal? Although it was an incredibly long day (on no sleep as the wedding was the night before), it was pure magic.
It was quite the racket to even get IN to the Taj Mahal. First of all, we had to be dropped off by our car 2 kilometers away and walk to the gates. We had not eaten a thing that day (we left before breakfast and street food was not happening for us), so the walk felt like miles and miles……but once we got through the ticket purchasing, the security, and all the lines, we saw this. MAGIC.
Hello! I am back from a whirlwind 4 day trip to India. Currently, I don’t know the difference between up and down, India vs. USA, where I am, and what time zone I am in, but HEY, all worth it. It was a *once in a lifetime* trip and I am so glad that I went and experienced it all. I am sure I am going to have a serious whoop-a$$-kicking-week with work / kids / life / reality, but all worth it….YOLO (you only live once). Here are some pictures of my trip — sorry in advance for the number — I couldn’t help myself!
We arrived at 12 am Monday night — basically Tuesday morning. And had to wake up and drive 5 hours to the wedding site, which was located in Rajasthan. This is a picture of us on the roadside on our way to the wedding. We saw monkeys on the side of the freeway and couldn’t pass up the photo opportunity.
Hello from India! Ken and I have had a whirlwind week, flying to India to celebrate the wedding of our friends. For a number of reasons, (spotty wi-fi, severe jet lag, a packed schedule, #DelhiBelly), I won’t be able to post in detail until I get back to New York on Saturday (solo.. eeks… Ken is meeting with potential suppliers here and then flying on to Manila), but here are some quick pics of our wedding outfits in the meantime.. Enjoy!
There were a lot of parties. This was the first party on Day 1. Some people were in Indian outfits, others were in dresses. I decided to wear a top and skirt that looked both Indian and American — I love the color and the fit.
Greetings from India! Ken and I are at a friend’s YOLO wedding in Rajasthan, four hours north of Delhi. We are having a blast (more to come), but in the meantime, check out the below interview with one of my favorite accounts to follow on Insta- @JillMarjeanWagner . Think awesome travel photos and engaging/hysterical comments/questions. Definitely worth the follow! Check out more on Jill below (including a bunch of things we have in common)… enjoy!
How did you decide to start your IG account? Is it mostly a product of your love of travel?
My favorite month of birthdays and Valentine’s Day! Here is what I am currently loving in this love month:
1. Natori Magnolia PJ
I can’t wait to get my hands on this silky, frilly, and oh-so-beautiful pajama set. It is perfection. And no, you can never have too many sets of pajamas. Especially if they are Natori pajamas.
Floral flirty fun.
2. Light pink tape dispenser
Don’t you love having a soundtrack to your life??? I sure do. I listen to music every waking minute — literally, music is blaring from 6 am until we go to sleep…..Not one of Ken’s favorite qualities about me — actually, a daily argument (I love music. LOUD music). This has been my go-to-playlist for the past couple of weeks….not music for running to, but music for everyday life duties (cooking, writing, eating, etc….). Enjoy!
Central Park is incredibly beautiful in the snow — but even MORE so when you have good music to listen to as you walk.
As I mentioned in Monday’s post about the Domino article, my favorite room in our apartment is actually our laundry room. Why? Because it is whimsical, unexpected, different, and light. It is definitely not your typical laundry room — and I always love marching to my own beat. At first, it was intended to be the way we enter the apartment (there is a backdoor entrance from the service elevator), but we continue to enter from the main door, and are totally fine with it.
Does this officially make me a housewife if the laundry room is my favorite?
I just returned from an incredible four day trip to Florence (Firenze), Italy with a big group of girlfriends. As you can imagine, there was never a dull moment with lots of food, wine, no sleep, and lots of activity. The trip was incredibly planned and I thoroughly enjoyed my first trip to this beautiful city.
We stayed at the most beautiful place. This is the view from one of the apartment’s kitchens. DUOMO. Stunning.
A friend of mine recently threw a trunk show with her friend that represents the beauty brand, Beauty Counter. To help support my friend (and therefore her friend), I attended and bought a couple of products, and I am totally in love! My favorite hands down is the Facial Oil … I used an entire bottle in less than a month. It is my go to for morning moisturizer, morning runs (if cold outside, I like to run with a lot of moisturizer on my skin), and nighttime. So now I am on my second bottle (and bought two more so I have extra stock #hoarder).
My newest skin obsession….love the smell, the feel, the glow it gives my face, and the moisture — a must have. Brightening and vitamin C facial oil.
Little but powerful.
Smooth, soothing, and oh so good.
The oil is a citrus scent but not overly strong, just the perfect amount of smell. It is lightweight, silky, and truly gives your face a nice glow (who doesn’t want to be glowy and dewey?) I highly suggest buying and using it all year round. Try it!
I have the tendency to fall head over heels in love with a certain song and then listen to it on repeat at least 1,000 times. It KILLS my husband. KILLS. And yet, I can’t help myself. So last weekend, I was introduced to a French singer, Christine and The Queens, and the ENTIRE album is incredible. There are a couple of songs that are *mind-blowingly good* but in general, the whole album is remarkable.
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.
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.
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!
The only difficult part of this recipe is buying all 0f the ingredients for it.