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.
My favorite food in the world for any meal or snack is granola. And not any granola, but granola from Grizzlies who just happens to be from my hometown of Eugene, Oregon. This granola is THE MOST AMAZING GRANOLA IN THE WORLD. It has the perfect amount of sweetness, chunks, flavor, and nuts. The granola, Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola, is a staple at all the grocery stores in Oregon. But guess what — they ship! In the past, I have always requested (demanded) that my parents ship it to me (along with my favorite Oregon coffee). But now, I go straight to the source and order a 5 pound bag from Grizzlies website. I am apparently a grown up now.
One of the many canisters that are filled with my beloved granola. It is like precious gold to me. Only true granola snobs can eat it — which in my family is me and my daughter.
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.
On Monday, I proved to myself that not only was “Boston Strong” but that “I was strong.” In the middle of freezing rain, super windy conditions, and low temperatures (mid 30s), I ran and completed my first Boston Marathon. It was not at all pretty, fun, or wonderful. It was actually quite the opposite; horrible, gruesome, difficult, and treacherous. Boston is considered the most prestigious of all world marathons with everyone having to time qualify to run, and I was super excited to attempt the master of all races. Due to the weather conditions, I knew that it was going to be difficult to run my hardest. So instead of racing, I focused on perseverance and completion.
Expo picking up my number.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.