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).
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.
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.
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).
In between the escalators at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street. Prime location!
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!
I love crock pots and how you set it and forget it. So this past weekend, when I was able to think straight and could organize a meal 8 hours before dinner time, I found a recipe for a healthy Chicken Tikka Masala from Well and Good. It was super easy, delicious, and healthy.
Years ago, I discovered, Treat, a website that allowed you to write and send cards (snail mail) without actually handwriting them or sending them yourself. Sadly, Treat no longer exists. Luckily, I discovered a new company, Postable, that does the same thing but even better!
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. 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.
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.
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!
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!
For the past several weeks, I have been on a fragrance scent kick. Essential oil blends that smell divine versus perfumes full of harsh chemicals and overpowering smells. Here are my top three fragrance oil scents — I honestly can’t get enough of them.
Big little small; all uplifting, clean and bright scents.
Inspired by What’s Gaby Cooking, I have been making a raw brussels sprout kale salad weekly. Basically, it is shaved brussels sprouts, finely chopped kale, and a variety of nut and fruit to give it some JAZZ.
What would I do without KALE?
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!
Almond and peanut free! Sugar free! Gluten free! Baking free! SOLD. And even better — they taste divine.
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.
This past week, I made the most delicious and healthy banana chips. These are both satisfying and sweet with no sugar whatsoever (other than the banana itself). The only issue is that we ate them so fast that now I need to make more!
Scrumptious banana chip!
Before the holidays, one of my best friends introduced me to the most amazing wool shoes. She and her husband both have them in multiple colors. Made from New Zealand merino wool, they are lightweight, breathable, fashionable, chic, comfortable, (and warm)! (Links: women and men.) Not only are they good looking but they are a good price point ($95) for a shoe you will wear everyday!
Wool and good looking!! (These are a men’s pair I got for Ken.. I am buying a pair soon!)
For the holidays, Cruzzie was gifted President Obama’s children’s book “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.” (I’m not sure how iI missed this for so long… it was published in 2010.) The book is thoughtful, educational, emotional, and beautiful. The first time I read it to my kids, I cried (yes, I am prone to crying, but still — this book is powerful). When you read the book, you can hear President Obama’s voice — and what an awe inspiring and powerful speaker he is (can we talk about his farewell address? We were in tears. How I will miss him!). This book is a must have for everyone –it is also a perfect gift.
This book is very timely It is also a good reminder of how many strong people have shaped our history.
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!
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:
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.
Our holiday trip to the Philippines has been a mix of time spent in metro Manila where most of Ken’s family lives, and time spent out of Manila, which is more know for beautiful beaches, nature, and tourism. (Fortunately, Typhoon Nina didn’t do as much damage to Manila as some had forecast). Our first getaway was to gorgeous Punta Fuego, where we went with Ken’s 11 cousins (on his mom’s side of the family), 4 kids (including our two), and 2 of 3 spouses (including me). Enjoy the pics!
Club Punta Fuego has an amazing infinity pool. Toosh enjoyed her lounge time.
I love chocolate cookies, but even more, I love ginger cookies. So when I stumbled upon ginger-molasses-healthy cookies on goop, I knew I had to make them. Shockingly, I followed every single ingredient and step, but they miserably failed (turned into liquid and melted all together). So, the next day, I altered the recipe, and now they are perfection. Sweet, chewy, not not overly sugar-y, spicy, and peppery. NOTE: You must refrigerate the cookies for at least 12 hours, so you have to think ahead in terms of timing.
End result: spicy perfection. I am giving myself a high five because the second time around, they were absolutely perfect.
If you find yourself having some time (HA! During this time of the year, NEVER!), here are some interesting reads from around the web. Enjoy!
Things I google and then sreenshot
47 ways how to feel alive and be happy.
David Monn, the style guru and event planner extraordinaire, is good friends with my mother-in-law, as well as our own wedding planner (from almost 10 years ago!). Glamorous, chic, and stylish as ever, he was nice enough to sit down for a quickfire interview. Take a look!
David Monn, and his dog, Sammy. What a handsome pair!
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 mess and chaos and craziness.