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.
One of my best friends happens to be one of the most organized people I have ever met. She literally has a folder for everything, a labeled box for anything, AND she has a genius way of organizing holiday cards — by hole punching them and putting them on a ring. No clutter, no loose mail, and everything is all in one place. So I did as all fans do and copied her. It sounds so silly, but it’s been a game changer! It might be an overstatement to say it has changed my life, but I kinda feel like it has. #Dramatic
You simply punch a hole in the corner and put it on the key ring. So easy (and cheap). And it feels so clean and organized.
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.
One of the best desserts / gifts / party favors I have in my little “rolodex of presents” is the Mint Malt Balls first introduced to me by event planner extraordinaire, David Monn. He put them in our hotel goodie bags for our wedding (10 years ago) and since then I have been a big fan. Yet, one can only hoard so much candy, so I eventually forgot about them. Fast forward to David Monn’s Book Party, and there they were. Green malt balls in little containers on every table throughout the entire New York Public Library. BINGO, sold, addicted all over again.
Pretty green, perfect sphere, DELICIOUSNESS
My newest social media go-to is Instagram Stories. For those not very tuned into social media, it is a new-ish feature on Instagram that is similar to Snapchat, and allows you to post pictures and videos throughout your day. The plus is that the pictures expire after 24 hours, so there is less pressure to make your posts “perfect”, and more of an ability to let you be more impulsive. It allows you to give people a glimpse into your life, without having the posts permanently associated with your name. It is fun and easy, colorful and playful. You can add filters, colors, and text.
Silly-ness. I like taking pictures that are cute but not AMAZING and then adding some pizzazz and flair with colors and texts. Basically, I love pretending I am a 15 year old girl.
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!
Since it is now cold in NYC, I only wear sweaters. I have a variety of solid every-day sweaters, but there are days when I crave a sweater with more pizzazz and color. Thankfully, I came across a Donna Wilson sweater which is fun, poppy, colorful, and comfortable.
A contemporary version of a Fair Isle sweater. I love the description: ‘Into the Woods’ is inspired by walks in the forest, thoughts on what it would be like to have a pet llama, and plans for a trip to the Arctic Circle.
The only bras and undies I ever wear are Natori Feathers. I love the fit, the lace, the look…. everything! So when I found out that Natori not only started making legwear (hosiery, socks, tights, stockings) BUT Feathers legwear, I jumped with joy. They also remind me of a pair of tights that my super-fashionable-friend wore recently and I fell in love with, but these are even more fun, unique, and better priced — so win win win.
Art in the form of a legging.
We just returned from the Best / West Coast where we spent a whirlwind holiday weekend outside in nature with my side of the family. It is best summed up by Ken’s instagram post:
My parents have spent the past 20 Thanksgivings at Breitenbush Hot Springs, at the base of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. So instead of indulging in food, turkey, booze, and football, we spent Thanksgiving off the grid in natural hot springs, rain, lush forests, and togetherness (vegetarian togetherness). My brother and his family have gone the past seven years, so this year, we decided to make the trek out to Oregon. It was quite the haul, but it was a special and joyous time for the cousins and all of us to be together.
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.
Don’t you love how small the world is? I was raving about Truly Madly Guilty this summer, and the next week Ken discovered that his friend’s wife, Faye Bender, is the literary agent for Liane Moriarty (not to mention a number of other authors). I had the privilege of interviewing Faye and finding out more about literary agents and the writing world. Take a look!
Meet Faye Bender, Literary Agent Extraordinaire.
Yesterday, my schedule was all mixed up. I got cancelled on by my hair dresser, so instead of getting my hair done (trust me, I was super annoyed), I studied calculus, listened to Hamilton Mixtape, and found my new favorite food: Poke bowls from Pokeworks!
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.
Sorry for not doing my typical three posts last week. Truth be told, I was a little (or a lot) paralyzed by the election results and just couldn’t function. I have been experiencing the grief cycle, and finally feel able to be a little more positive… I hope that feeling lasts more than an hour. In the meantime, here is what I am currently loving this November:
1. My number 1 podcast, How I Built This
I go through phases with different podcasts, but “How I Built This” is the one that I listen to every single week. And can’t wait for the following week’s edition.
I can’t. I’m sorry. Here’s Ken to kill space.
As many of you know, these are our kids. Japanese-Filipino-Polish-Mexican-Catholic-Jewish bundles of love. Three of their four grandparents are immigrants (and the one who isn’t is third-generation Japanese-American, born in an internment camp during World War II).
I used to think they represented America. I now realize that a lot of America doesn’t see it that way.
I did it! Two days later …..and the obsession and high continue. Here is my recap of the New York Marathon 2016.
Breakfast. Oatmeal, coffee, and flowers (thanks Laura, for so much more than just these flowers!) And yes, I ate the oatmeal as Breakfast #1 before the day began.
Many of you readers are old timers who have been a part of this process since the very beginning (Thank you so much, loyal friends and family!). Others are new to the Josie Girl Blog, so thank you for signing up, clicking on the link, and just simply reading the posts. I really love sharing my family, life, and thoughts with you all — and I hope some resonate with you as well. Since many of you readers are new, I wanted to share with you 10 of the most read posts over the past 5 years. Enjoy!
Five years ago….when I was a little younger, less stressed, more energy, and healthier….but wouldn’t trade my sleepless nights or wrinkles for anything!
1. Tsunami Survivor
The story of our good friend Laura Wales. A MUST READ story about tragedy, circumstance, and perseverance.
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.
I am a sucker for paper / stationary / gift stores. Whenever I go in to a paper store for a specific item, I leave with four additional items that I decide I can’t live without. So recently, when I needed thank you cards (because my whole life is in storage due to our renovation), I walked out with so much more. And my most exciting purchase was Calendar Stickers. Yes, yes, I know, most people use phones and computers for their calendar and organization system, as do I, but I ALSO use an old school pen and paper calendar as well. I know, OLD SCHOOL. I am also totally obsessive and get the same moleskin calendar every year. These calendar stickers are playful, fun, and serve as the perfect accessories to brighten up my calendar. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Two different editions with two different sets of stickers — both that I needed and wanted.
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!
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.
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 cuteness? I want her whole look. Puppy included.
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!)
Me and wifey
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. Beef and pork raised right.
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 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.
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.