Ken’s 40th Birthday!

Happy boy

 

My husband Ken is one of the most caring, down-to-earth, and fun people I know, on top of being extremely brave, courageous, and committed. For his 40th birthday, he threw a concert (similar to his 38th year birthday recital) but instead of doing it solo, he cobbled together a full band (frequent readers know he started taking guitar lessons 3.5 years ago when he won an O.A.R. Sound Check at a silent auction). So, with a lot of work, practice, and dedication, he had a fabulous 40th birthday party last weekend.  I am so proud of him for putting himself out there and taking risks. Here are the photos (most of them are taken by Cynthia Delconte, our wedding photographer!) Enjoy!

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D.S. & Durga Candles

I can never have enough candles in my home.  And for some reason, candles are one thing that I tend not to be price conscious about. In my closet full of presents (one of the best lessons passed down from my mother), most of the presents are candles. After reading a lot of reviews on candles (yes, they exist), I instantly bought cult-favorite D.S. & Durga. D.S. & Durga is a husband-wife team that makes the candles in Brooklyn (but of course).

 

Packaging.

Packaging.

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Sweet Potato Pudding

Ever since January 6th, I have been trying to decrease my sugar intake. I must admit (pat on my back) that I have done a very good job for the most part, with only some small slips here and there. Recently, I developed a recipe for sweet potato pudding that I can’t stop making and eating. Warning: there is some maple syrup in it — so while  sugar-cane free, there is still some (a very small amount) of sugar.

 

Yam / sweet potato. (Tomato / Tomat-oh)

Yam / sweet potato. (Tomato / Tomat-oh)

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Beauty Routine: Irene Kim

I love knowing people’s beauty routines, and I love my friends, so by the transitive property, I absolutely LOVE love knowing my FRIENDS’ beauty routines! First up, my beautiful, special, talented, smart, and funny friend, Irene Kim. Not only is she an ex-banker, mother of two, but also the founder of the company Box.  She is one of those people who does it all (and you want to hate her because of it, but she is too damn cute to do so). To read about her company, go here.

 

And she's got a rocking body. Check out those legs.

And she’s got a rocking body. Check out those legs.

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Josie Natori RTW Fall 2016 Fashion Presentation

Josie Natori presented her Fall 2016 Ready-To-Wear Collection this past Wednesday at The Doubles Club (the club where Ken and I had our rehearsal dinner). As always, the presentation was beautifully and elegantly put together. Unlike previous shows or presentations, this was held more like a cocktail party than a typical show (bring on the champagne!).

 

Invitation.

Invitation.

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Winter Grilling: Gruyere Burger with Breaded Portobello Mushroom

Final burger

 

Happy Super Bowl Friday!

The mostly warm weather this winter has given us more grilling opportunities than normal.  Here is Ken with a recipe you can try this weekend if you’re able to grill and looking for something sinful.

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The Josie Girl is all about healthy recipes.  This is not healthy.  It’s also not really a “recipe” (there was lots of winging it, improvising, and playing things by ear – my wife and I are quite different).  But it was good.. enjoy!

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The Green Sheep – Custom Quilts

I must confess that I am very #blessed; I have a mother that knits the most incredible and divine sweaters and spoils us with her creations, and a mother-in-law that is Queen of Fashion and Taste, and generously gifts us an obscene amount of clothing for the children, especially cashmere sweaters.  (YUP, totally #spoiled, my babies both had more cashmere than I have ever had in my entire lifetime). I never knew what to do with all the old cashmere, until I found on social media (thanks again, Facebook), that a friend had a custom quilt made from all of her kid’s leftover cashmere.  GENIUS. So, since 2012, I have saved every sweater with the plan of eventually having a quilt. After 4+ years of collecting, I sent everything last spring to Joan of The Green Sheep so she could make a quilt for each child. I got them this past weekend, and holy smokes, they are beyond beautiful. I am so so so so in love with the beautiful pieces of art that Joan created and am in total awe of her artistic and thoughtful viewpoint. Take a look. And start saving your kids’ sweaters!

 

Luxurious blankets!

Luxurious blankets!

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Raw Brownies

Four years ago, I posted (yep, been writing this blog for over 4 years …. no major breakout new blogger award, but happy to still be posting, promoting Natori, and contributing to the world wide web) the recipe for Raw Brownies. Since many of you readers have not been reading since Day 1 (thank you to my parents and college girlfriends), I decided it was time to share this wonder of a recipe again! 4 ingredients, no refined sugar, super delicious, easy to make, no baking, holy ka-bomb done done done.

 

Rich, delicious, decadent and NO guilt!

Rich, delicious, decadent and NO guilt!

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January 2016 Playlist

We listen to music at our house nonstop — and believe it or not, most of the time, our Pandora station is set to “Bailando” — Spanish pop music… the kids love it. Go figure. With that in mind, here is my workout playlist for the month…with lots of dance beats, latino twists, and energy to get you moving. (Note: If I could, my whole playlist would just be Bieber. I would marry him if I could, you better be-bieb it). Enjoy!

 

If you run with this playlist, you will end up an elite runner like these athletes.

If you run with this playlist, you will end up an elite runner like these athletes (Chicago marathon, October 2015).

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Why Teach? This Is Why…

In my previous life, I was a math teacher. I taught for ten years; in a public high school in the Bay Area, a public high school in New York City, and then a private middle school. Each school had its strengths and difficulties, but I was drawn to teach, not just because of my love of the subject matter, but because of my love for the students. Many students were my first children; people that I cared for, worried about, cried over, and loved.

 

Graduating from Stanford with my MA in 2003.

Graduating from Stanford with my MA in 2004. I thought graduate school was hard, but nothing is as hard as your first year teaching.

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Must Read Book: When Breath Becomes Air

Everyone is talking about it…. so call me generic or mainstream, but I can’t stop raving and oohing and crying about When Breath Becomes Air. I am obsessed: I have ordered four copies and given them to friends. I figure out a way to bring it up in every conversation. I think about it. I want to re-read it with a highlighter and underline the important lines. It is heart-wrenching, gut-punching, soul-defining good.

 

Fresh Air.

Fresh Air.

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Special Plate and Announcement

DRUM ROLLLLLLLLLLL…….my hubba hubba husband is now El Capitan of The Natori Company (also know as President). For some readers, you might think OBVI, he is the son, so of course, he is President. But that is not the case. Ken never thought he was going to work for his mother and set out to make a name for himself. He was a TV and radio broadcaster at Bloomberg for 5 years (Ken Natori, What’s the story?), then went to Stanford Business School (near-perfect GMAT scores), worked at Lehman Brothers for several years (left before the crash), and then joined the family business in 2007. I am proud of my husband for working hard, committing to what he believes in, being a diligent and thoughtful worker, and at the same time as being the smartest person I have ever met (other than my brother and father —  they all tie for first place). So now, a new era of new life for the Natori business, and I am proud and in awe of my husband’s dedication, drive, and talents. So to celebrate, I got him this plate (this is not a joke).

 

YUP, "You are special today" BEST GIFT EVER.

YUP, “You are special today” BEST GIFT EVER.

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Brunch at Sadelle’s

One of our favorite Sunday family activities is to go downtown for early family brunch — no traffic, easy parking, and it makes us feel young, hip, and in the know (wishful thinking).  Even with a 6 and 3 year old in tow -> #HipstersEatBrunchAt9. Yesterday, we drove down to Soho to Sadelle’s, a new hip restaurant/Jewish deli run by Major Food Group (the people behind Dirty French, Carbonne and Parm) and ate ourselves silly. Highly recommend — the food, experience, service, ambiance — 5 stars from this family!

 

Beautiful flowers sprinkled throughout the room. At night, there are lots of candles (says a good friend of mine).

Beautiful flowers sprinkled throughout the room. At night, there are lots of candles (says a good friend of mine).

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Sunriver Christmas 2015

Happy 2016 and back to reality! We are back to the routine (school, work, pressure, paying attention to time, the hustle and bustle of the city, oh me oh my!), which makes me even more nostalgic of last week’s Sunriver vacation with my family. Although my dad claims that there is “family” and “vacation” and no such thing as “family vacation,” I happen to disagree. We had the best time with my brother, sister-in-law, parents, nieces and nephew; and loved every minute of our time with them. Here are some pictures to enjoy!

 

SNOW! And lots of it! Unlike the 70 degree Christmas in NYC, the west coast was hammered with cold temperatures and lots of show -- perfect for a ski vacation!

SNOW! And lots of it! Unlike the 70 degree Christmas in NYC, the West Coast was hammered with cold temperatures and lots of snow — perfect for a ski vacation!

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Savory Zucchini Pancakes

Happy New Years! Happy 2016! I am currently in the process of coming up with my New Year’s Resolutions, and will post those on Monday.  In between my deep thoughts; mad rush packing up west coast for east coast (sob!); savoring the last minutes, hugs, and kisses with my brother, his family, and my parents; and waking up at 3 am to catch a 5:15 am cross country flight (no joke), I have had little time to thoughtfully compose the resolutions. So stay tuned! Until then, here is a recipe for some zucchini savory pancakes — nutritious and delicious.

 

Ingredients:

 

Ingredients

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