Renovation Post #2

In August, I posted about our renovation and how lucky we are to be able to combine two apartments together to form our dream home. So here we are, now in November, and while we are progressing, the end doesn’t seem much closer (still living with my in-laws). IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT, but man, it can be difficult not having my own home or space. My in laws are incredibly generous with their home, yet, it is still not our own…..

ZEN -- my in law's apartment is ZEN, of course, until you see our side and mess and chaos and craziness.

ZEN — my in law’s apartment is ZEN, of course, until you see our mess and chaos and craziness.

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David Monn: The Art of Celebrating

On Monday, I attended a book party launch for party planner extraordinaire, David Monn and his new book “The Art of Celebrating.” David is not only a good family friend, but also planned our wedding (almost 10 years ago!). He is the master of style, elegance, luxury, and entertaining. Everything he creates is regal, beautiful, and thoughtful.

 

David Monn's book.

David’s book.

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Roberta Roller Rabbit

I have been a big fan of Roberta Roller Rabbit since my son was born seven years ago. The kids and I love the prints, the softness, and the ease of the pajamas. Additionally, all our master bedroom bedding is from RRR as well. I had the opportunity to interview Roberta Freymann, Founder and President of the company, along with her team at Roberta Roller Rabbit, so please read on for more on the company!

 

My kids almost exclusively wear Roberta Roller Rabbit pajamas. Here, in this sunset picture in Mexico, Cruzzie is wearing one of his many pairs.

My kids almost exclusively wear Roberta Roller Rabbit pajamas. Here, in this sunset picture in Mexico, Cruzzie is wearing one of his many pairs.

 

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Valley Nails

There is a new neighbor in my hood, a nail art salon, Valley Nails. YEP, who knew, nail art! I mean, I guess I did, but I had never experienced it.

 

Welcome to the block!

Welcome to the block!

 

It was everything that I expected it to be — a treat for a special occasion, such as a wedding (my excuse to get them done) or Halloween. A little pizazz and jazz to spice up a simple manicure. It felt fancy and fun, and I will definitely return to get more nail art before my next special event.

 

Halloween nails. I love these, but would never have the patience to sit there for that long, or actually be able to carry off this look.

Halloween nails. I love these, but would never have the patience to sit there for that long, or actually be able to carry off this look.

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Evolve Fit Wear

First of all, thank you so much to your comments, emails, texts, and love for the 5th year of the JGB. I am blushing and so appreciate it all– thank you so much, and most of all, thank you for reading and letting me be in your life!  On to today’s post…

 

I spend half my life in fitness clothes — or at least, a big chunk of my morning — and therefore, like to be dressed in high performance (makes you run faster, right?) and cute (makes you hotter, right?) gear. So when I came across the fitness clothing site, Evolve Fit Wear, I was incredibly happy. AND THEN WHEN I FOUND OUT that the owner and creator of Evolve, Kyla Smith, is a blog follower (#humbled), I jumped at the opportunity to interview her. I love digging into people’s business and seeing what makes them tick and operate. Kyla is a strong entrepreneur who created an e-commerce fitness website from scratch. Take a look — what an inspiration!

 

Kyla -- can you handle the cutness? I want her whole look. Puppy included.

Kyla — can you handle the cuteness? I want her whole look. Puppy included.

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The Josie Girl Blog- 5 Years!

Hi.  This is Ken.  The Josie Girl’s Husband.

 

I am hijacking the blog today to let you know that today is the 5 Year Anniversary of the Josie Girl Blog, which all started with this post here.

 

I am incredibly proud of my wife (Yael if you call her by her middle name, Anika if you call her by her first) for having the commitment, creativity, and discipline to put forth such great content over the last 5 years.  Since her “go-to” toast is lists, I wanted to share the Top Five Things you didn’t know about The Josie Girl / writing a blog:

 

1)      She is the anti-blogger.  Working in the industry, I can safely say writing good content is only 20% of being a mainstream blogger.  The other 80% is promoting yourself, through social media, networking, etc.  While The Josie Girl loves the 20%, she refuses to do the 80%.  She is the shyest blogger ever.  Her Instagram is private.  Her Twitter is run by the company (outed).  And she literally has never shared a single one of her posts on Facebook (and won’t let me do it either).  The vast majority of her friends don’t know about her secret blogger life, and she wants to keep it that way.  (NOTE: If you are a loyal reader, please recruit your friends!)

 

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-8-59-10-pm

Me and wifey

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Beef Pork Sticks

Since I got a heads about a new butcher in the neighborhood, I have (oddly) spent a lot of time browsing their website and visiting their store. Located on 76th and 3rd avenue in NYC, they are exactly what I have been looking for: high quality meat from local farms. They have beautiful honeys, jams, yogurts, and spices… along with raw meat and cured beef sticks and beef jerky.

 

Simple sausage.

Simple sausage. Beef and pork raised right.

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Glimpse Guides – Travel with Kids

Introduced by a good friend, I had the privilege of meeting Jordan Rhodes, the creator of the website Glimpse Guides. The website shares Jordan’s travel finds, reports on current fashion for children and adults, and provides a wide variety of travel tips for families. It is a great resource when booking trips with kids. (She also featured my tips on traveling in Paris… take a look here). As a mother of two (with the third on the way!), Jordan manages to visit, write, and post inspirational and helpful content — thank you so much!

 

Jordan (pregnant with her third child) and her husband this past Fall in Scotland.

Jordan (pregnant with her third child) and her husband this past Fall in Skibo Castle in Scotland. Her family loves Scotland as there are so many outdoor activities for all ages, and the beautiful, remote landscape is unrivaled.

 

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Storm King

FIIIINNNNALLLLLLY, after ten years of putting it on my to-do-list for Fall, we made a trip to Storm King! And it was absolutely picturesque, glorious, beautiful, and enjoyable. Yes yes yes, our kids whined a little too much, and there are things we could have done differently, but overall, it was the perfect weekend activity….and we can’t wait to go back again!

 

Like person, like sculpture.

Like person, like sculpture.

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Superhero Muffins

As I mentioned last week, my new favorite cookbook is “Run Fast Eat Slow” by Olympian Shalane Flanagan — I literally can’t get enough of it.  My most recent obsession is the “Superhero muffins,” as I have made four batches in the past two weeks (no joke). They are moist, filling, sweet, delicious, and healthy. And refined-sugar and gluten free.  And they make you feel like a superhero.

 

Run Fast. Eat Slow. (Not Run Slow, Eat Fast).

Run Fast. Eat Slow. (Not Run Slow, Eat Fast). Basically, all you need in life is a stick of butter and some veggies.

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Healthy-ish Desserts

I love dessert. Almost as much as I love my family. But I don’t like to eat too much sugar because I get jittery, emotional, and always have a sugar crash. So, when I don’t have time to bake my own health(ier) dessert, than I go to my local stores to purchase healthy-ish desserts. Here they are:

 

Yes, they are packaged food and store bought. But I like to think that they are healthier than a snickers bar, and made with higher quality ingredients in a more thoughtful process. But yes, you are so right, it is always HEALTHIER and better to make your own food at home, where you know exactly what is going into the food. But, YOLO (you only live once), so sometimes it is nice to just grab and go.

Yes, they are packaged food and store bought. But I like to think that they are healthier than a snickers bar, and made with higher quality ingredients in a more thoughtful process. But yes, you are so right, it is always HEALTHIER and better to make your own food at home, where you know exactly what is going into the food. But, YOLO (you only live once), so sometimes it is nice to just grab and go.

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Clog Master, Take 3

Yes yes, it is true. I now own three pairs of custom made clogs. Not necessarily a hip Upper East Side choice of footwear, but I can’t help myself; they are just too good to be true. I have a normal red pair, a higher heel-ed black pair, and now a crazy nude / fringe / boho one. Now that the Clogmaster has all my measurements, it is super easy to order. You call them, pick out the leather, the wood of the sole, the height, and voila — a custom fit beautiful clog. Check out how they make it here. For those of you who have never seen the Clogmaster to get your correct measurements, they are based in Southern California but make frequent trips to New York and San Francisco to fit customers. Trust me, it is worth it.  Ken even has 2 pairs (but the male clog trend isn’t exactly spreading through New York… yet.)

 

Nude and fringe

Nude and fringe

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Best Pens: International Arrivals

I have a daughter who loves to draw and color, and as a result, I have bought many and many sets of pens, pencils, markers, and paints. For whatever reason, she only uses certain sets (picky about everything in life) and ALL of these sets are from a company called International Arrivals. Now I know not to bother buying any other type of pen. These coloring sets are fun, unique, and great for gifts, too.

 

Our typical breakfast routine....eating while coloring.

Our typical breakfast routine….eating while coloring. And as you can see, she is much more interested in her art than her food.

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Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee

I am a big believer in having quick-easy-access to coffee. Sure, I love my morning hot coffee in the morning (but not if I have to make it — thank you, Babers, for prepping the coffee maker every night). But after my first (of two) cups of coffee, I want something quick and effortless. I am also a coffee snob which makes it that much more difficult. Thanks to Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee, I get everything I want just by opening up my fridge.

 

Big jugs of coffee.

Big jugs of coffee. Actually they are coffee concentrates, so they can be diluted. It depends on how jacked up on coffee you want to be.

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NYC Fall To Do List 2016

So far, Fall has whooped my butt. I feel like I am always behind (like writing the weeks’ blog posts) and I can’t keep up. I know that everything is temporary, but right now, it is like 0 for me vs. 100 for everything else. So why not add on to how behind I am by creating a Fall wish list of activities for me to do :).   Here it is:

 

Start to school has kicked my bootie, but also the kids. This picture is of Toosh in the middle of the morning, who decided she was just going to rest instead of doing anything else. #Jealous

Start to school has kicked my bootie.  Same for the kids. This picture is of Toosh in the middle of the morning.  She decided she was just going to rest instead of doing anything else. #Jealous

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September 2016 Work Out Playlist

One of Ken’s pet peeves is listening to me LISTEN to music to add to my playlists. Yes, it is a lot of stops and starts, but I need to in order to find good workout music! Since I am yet again running the NYC marathon and doing lots of long training runs, I am fired up for my newest running playlist.  Sorry, Babers! And yes, a reminder on why I run.

 

Hiking this summer. Yes, hiking is not running, and there is no ipod or music involved in hiking, but it is the closest photo I have of running.

Hiking this summer. Yes, hiking is not running, and there is no ipod or music involved in hiking, but it is the closest thing I have to a recent running photo

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Park City, Utah

It feels like a million years ago that we were on vacation with our dear friends in Deer Valley / Park City, Utah. In reality, it was just a week ago (another trip to the West Coast this weekend for my sister’s wedding sure makes time confusing). Deer Valley was the perfect ending to a fabulous summer, filled with lots of activities and simple family fun with great friends. Here is a recap of our trip with recommendations.. Deer Valley is a PERFECT summer getaway (particularly at the end of the summer after Utah schools start up… everything was empty which was perfect!)

 

Utah

Utah

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Josie Natori RTW SS 2017 Fashion Presentation

What better way to get back into the New York flow from the summer than by attending the Josie Natori SS2017 presentation.  I am in love. Presented at the Waterfall Mansion on the Upper East Side, the collection is airy, earthy, romantic, feminine, summer-y, and modern. Take a look at the pictures.

 

Rusty earthy colors.

Rusty earthy colors.

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Feathers Leopard Bra

I am so stressed out right now — beyond belief — so here is something to cheer everyone up (including myself): a new FEATHERS leopard bra (color actually called “Exotic Dk Grey Print/Khaki” in the dropdown). Can you stand the cuteness? It might even make me smile and forget about all that has to be done? Check it out! Nothing like a racy – va-va-voom – bra to start out the new school year!

 

Yeehaw, or actually, ROOOOOAR

Yeehaw, or actually, ROOOOOAR

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Napa Weekend

On our final weekend on the West Coast (Best Coast), we went to Napa to celebrate our best friends’ joint 40th birthdays. It seems like there were a lot of California trips this summer (there were), but this one topped them all.  Just like we did 10 years prior for our friends’ wedding, we stayed at The Carneros Inn. Over the weekend, we had an incredible (INCREDIBLE) dinner at Ad Hoc, one of Thomas Keller’s restaurants, brunch at The Fremont Diner, and the party at The Barn at Cornerstone. Not only was it hog heaven food wise, but the weather, the company, and the experiences were all top notch. I already miss the ease of flying from Eugene to San Francisco, and all our West Coast friends….

 

White farm flowers.

White farm flowers.

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Oregon Coast 2016

This past weekend, the kids, parents and I went to the Oregon Coast to escape the hot temperatures of Eugene (in the 100s) and surround ourselves in the beauty of the Oregon Coast. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed nature, and family (minus Ken, who was in New York). Take a look at the pictures.

 

The Oregon Coast is always much colder than inland .... which makes sense, but this past weekend it was 30 degrees colder. 30!!!!

The Oregon Coast is always much colder than inland …. which makes sense, but this past weekend it was 30 degrees colder. 30!!!!

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Pamela Gold: Post #2

I am fortunate that I have a lot of teachers in my life; not just academic teachers (many of whom I am still in touch with 30 years later), but running, yoga, spiritual and life teachers as well.  One of the most influential is Pamela Gold. Many of you remember her post from early this summer; she is articulate, intelligent, and brings clarity to things that can be difficult to comprehend (you, your relationship with yourself, and life). Take a look for yourself in the below interview — grab a cup of coffee and read this novel (yes, novel).

 

Beautiful Pamela and her 8 year old son, Jesse.

Beautiful Pamela and her 8 year old son, Jesse.

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Blueberry Hazelnut Crisp

With a flat of blueberries in our house from our local CSA, I went on a hunt to find the best blueberry pie recipe. That said, searching “best blueberry pie” on the internet does not necessarily lead to the best blueberry pie, especially when I add words such as “low sugar” or “healthy.” So instead, I went the old fashioned route and asked a friend for a recipe. Needless to say, this much more experienced baker (read ‘older’) instantly emailed me her go-to-blueberry crisp recipe. So I made it (but of course, with some minor adjustments) and IT IS SO DELICIOUS.

 

The result.

The result.

 

Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping:

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