Currently Loving February 2018

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

 

All of a sudden, I am completely feeling the millennial pink phenomenon and want everything and anything in blush pink. It is subtle, feminine, pretty, and plain old FUN. So when at the Container Store recently stocking up on bins for my daughter’s markers, I saw this tape dispenser and absolutely had to buy it. How could I not?

 

Blush. I not only love the color, but I love the word “blush.” Doesn’t it describe so much in five little letters?

 

3. Ganesh

 

The other day while at lunch with friends, I noticed that I had a new friend seated next to me… Ganesh. It was at that moment that I decided that I was going to start collecting Ganeshes. Not sure where I will put them, but I do feel that they need to be a part of my life going forward.

 

I am specifically in love with this Ganesh statue. How beautiful? In the entry way?

 

4. Tequila Testing

 

Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday with one of my best friends, whose birthday is the day after mine. The couple knows my love of tequila, so we had a bug tequila taste test. Although I am partial to Casa Dragones, I was introduced to Clase Azul and instantly fell in love. It is a sweet and smooth drinking tequila in a beautiful bottle. So it makes a great present (and a great drink).

 

Can’t go wrong.

 

5. Clean Desk

 

I love our playroom, which is also supposed to be the homework room for the kids. Although they do draw and play a lot in the playroom, the desk is not used for homework and is never clean (even though I am OCD and like everything put away at all times). So when I do see a clean desk, I breathe a sign of RELIEF and HAPPINESS. CLEAN DESK = HAPPINESS.

 

Clean desk with messy bulletin board.

 

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So that is what I am loving this month. Do share with me what you are enjoying and smitten over. Have a great weekend!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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French Girl Lip Polish

One of my new favorite beauty products is a recent gift from a dear friend — and I can’t get enough of it! This little bottle for your lips is addicting. It exfoliates your lips and removes dead skin, while at the same time hydrating them, making them kissable and soft. Such a difference maker. Plus, who doesn’t want to be a FRENCH GIRL?

 

French Girl Lip Polish — yes please, polish up the puckers.

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February 2018 Playlist

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.

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Go-To-Kale Salad

One of my biffles is an amazing cook — even though she claims she hates cooking. She can easily throw together a five course meal for her family where *everything* tastes divine. Although she likes to experiment and try new recipes, she also has a set of ‘go-to’ recipes that she makes throughout the week. This is her go-to-kale salad. It is so good that this past week, I made it THREE times. So easy, and so delicious!

 

Ingredients:

 

 

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Our Laundry Room

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?

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Chana Masala

Ken recently read the book Eat to Live, and as a result, has been a little insane so far in 2018.  I have never seen him eat so many vegetables and beans (and so little meat and dairy).  Not sure what’s in the book, but it has really made a change in his diet, and he is enjoying it too.  In the spirit of vegan bean dishes, we decided to make Chana Masala the other night.  It was both of our first times making Indian, which was fun, if not without its challenges.  But we put together a tasty (and healthy) meal.

 

Ingredients

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Leblum Flowers

I love having fresh flowers in our apartment. I range from buying them at the corner bodega to having a florist put together nice bouquets. The problem is that although the corner bodega flowers are cheap and don’t last long, and the florist flowers are always gorgeous but way too expensive. So, when I found out about Leblum, I flipped!

 

Nothing makes me happier than flowers. Even more than chocolate. Or TV. Or a new gorgeous outfit.

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Firenze 2018

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.

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Beauty Counter Facial Oil

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!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Christine and The Queens

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.

 

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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:

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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.

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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:

 

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Currently Loving January 2018

Maybe it’s because my kids didn’t go back to school until January 8th, but it feels CRAZY and BIZARRE that here we are in MID JANUARY. How in the world did that happen? I can’t believe how fast time flies these days. So here is what I am currently loving January 2018! And as always, do share with me (as so many of you do) what are you are currently loving.

 

1. Super Soul Sunday Podcast

 

 

Turned on to me by my biffle, I have not been able to do anything BESIDES listen to Oprah and her podcasts. They are perfect while I wait at the doctors office, walk the 30 blocks to school pick up, or just listen to as I prepare meals. In any case, each episode has been inspiring with huge takeaways. I cannot recommend them enough and am so thankful that Amy told me that they changed her life (they are changing my life — dramatic or not). A must listen to.

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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.

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Onepiece Onesies!

While we have thawed out a little bit the last two days, it was FRIGID in NYC for the days and weeks before. To top it off, our heat hasn’t been working that well in our apartment. Double whammy. Thankfully, we have these incredible onesies from Norwegian company Onepiece to keep us warm and happy. They were given to us by our dear friends for a 40th birthday celebration last March. They were so great for that special weekend and I can’t wait to wear them the rest of the winter!

 

Never ever have I met a jumpsuit I didn’t love.

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Carrie Pinkstaff Calendars

One of the random things I love about the New Year is having new calendars. I am still old school and carry around a calendar planner in my purse (along with an electronic copy on my phone / computer). I also have a pretty calendar displayed on my desk. For the past 2 years, my “pretty desk” calendar has been created and illustrated by the childhood best friend of my sister, Carrie Pinkstaff.

 

Carrie groups the months by seasons and has pretty, whimsical and fun pictures to go along. Last year, the seasons had a floral theme.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Interview with Sold Out Founders

On Monday, I highlighted Sold Out NYC, my new collection of sweatshirts that I wear every. single. day… — they are just so easy, comfortable, and good looking! Today, we meet the gorgeous, smart, and talented co-founders Kiane and Kate. Take a look, and thank you Kiane and Kate — you are such empowering and inspirational women!!!

 

Kate and Kiane — and can we talk about how cool, hip, stylish and gorgeous they are? DAMN.

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New Favorite Tee: Unfortunate Portrait

My number one fashion love is jumpsuits, but a close second is t-shirts. YUP, simple, cotton, every-day tees. And so it makes me giddy that I just bought myself a new tee that is fun and unique. My new tee is The Air Barack from Unfortunate Portrait. There are a lot to choose from, but since my love for Obama runs deep, I decided on this one.

 

Air Barack. (Sigh. I miss Obama).

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