Last Friday, my sister Courtney and I hosted a Bridal Luncheon to celebrate our baby sister, Galen, and her upcoming wedding. The lunch took place at Olympia Provisions in Portland. Located in a hip / up and coming industrial area of Northwest Portland, the restaurant (which also is known for its meat sold nation wide) was the perfect venue. The lunch was super special with a great group of girls, delicious food, bubbling sparkling wine, and a glowing bride-to-be.
Truly, a la Portlandia; garage, brick, burlap, and meat.
Inspired by the Flower Crown Gathering and the scrumptious appetizers served, I re-made the basil vinaigrette. It is delicious, healthy, and GREEN!
Earlier this month in California, my sista-from-another-mister, hosted a Flower Crown Gathering (yes, I feel the need for it to be capitalized) at her home in the Bay Area. As always, Amy pulled it together like Martha Stewart and made everything look so beautiful and perfect. The party consisted of a couple of friends, delicious home-made appetizers, free flowing drinks, and a class on flower crown making led by florist and designer Sarah Padilla.
Another proud flower crown made by yours truly.
Are you curious about Josie Natori’s habits and everyday routine? Here is a quickfire interview with my mother-in-law. Enjoy!
The beautiful Josie Natori.
Jeans: not me but if I have to choose, then I like my Balenciaga jeans
Heels: Gianvito Rossi
Flats: Do not wear flats.
Day bag: tote
Jewelry you wear everyday: Josie Natori
Workout wear: leggings and t shirt
Designers: Alaia and Alexander McQueen
Lingerie or underwear: Natori
Where do you shop: Paris
Shopping mecca: Paris
Just returned heavier and happier from another great California trip with the family. We started the week in Yosemite and ended in beautiful Sonoma. Invited by close friends from Stanford, we spent last weekend with several other families to enjoy nature and beauty in wine country, on a ridiculously beautiful ranch filled with plums, pears, apples, peaches, berries, vegetables, bees, hiking, pool, tennis, and MORE. Every step I took, I was reminded of the movie Parent Trap (top 5 movies for me, and yes, the one with Lindsay Lohan). To take a look at our California Dreaming, see below.
ATV picnic. I love how California can be so high class and cowboy at the same time.
So far this summer, I have failed at most of my motherly duties of teaching my kids how to: (1) tie their shoes (big fail), (2) do their school summer math workbook (I am a nagging Jewish mother, my GOD, I want to punch MYSELF), (3) become a self-sufficient swimmer (the fact my younger Toosh is in the water at all is a huge success), (4) ride a two-wheel bike (what was I thinking – at least I succeeded last summer with Cruz), etc….the list goes on and on of what I have failed at. The one thing that I feel proud of in regards to my mothering is having the difficult conversation about race, religion, injustice, and the world current events with my kids. The thoughts and conversations have been far from perfect, but they have been a start. Although at times it feels rather forced or weird, it is a dialogue that we want to have with our kids. They are mixed children, in terms of religion, race, and culture, and we want them to see the world as a WHOLE. With the tragedies occurring in our world / country with race relations, it is imperative that we have real conversations about what is happening.
I recently found four books (at the library) that have been helpful with our daily conversations; I want the kids to understand that even though people may look different or have different traditions, they are the same, and should be treated with the same amount of kindness. Also, here is an interesting article on how to talk to your children about race (from last year, but still relevant).
I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by such strong, empowering, creative, smart, and talented friends. My friend, Sawako, is no exception. Not only is she beautiful, caring, insightful, smart, and a wonderful mother and friend, but she also runs her own business selling bike helmets and accessories. The company’s name is her namesake, Sawako. (To watch a video of the company’s story, go here). Take a look at our interview below. Thanks, Sawako!
Saddened.. yet again.. by another mass tragedy. France is incredibly close to my heart as I spent all my summers going up with my French exchange family and try to go back as often as I can.
I am sad for all of the victims, and for humanity.
Let me count the ways that I love the West Coast: 1) Oregon 2) California 3) Washington. This past week, we traveled to Yosemite with Stanford Classmates where we lounged, hiked, made smores, laughed, swam, and simply enjoyed the simplicity of the California Nature. AHHHHHH California.
Yosemite National Park is known for its waterfalls, meadows, giant sequoias, and vast wildnerness. This is a photo from our hike on Day 1. It was an easy hike yet truly beautiful, surrounded by trees, water, and waterfalls.
This past week, the Natori team had the pleasure of hosting an event for More Than Me, an incredible organization founded by Katie Meyler whose mission is to provide education for young girls in Liberia. Guests gathered together at the Josie Natori Boutique for live music (provided by Ken and fiddler Heather Cole), drinks, and shopping, with a portion of sales donated to the More Than Me organization.
Ken and Katie have been friends for awhile and it was really moving to see them team up for a greater cause.
Sorry about the hiatus. I had the below post scheduled for Friday, but it didn’t seem right to post anything given all of the craziness going on.
Particularly coming from a mixed-race marriage/family, I wish I had something intelligent / insightful / constructive to say. But all I feel is sadness and helplessness. It feels like we are in a bad movie right now, and my fear is it’s only going to get worse.
The only thing I know I can do is to hug my kids and talk to them about race and everything that is going on. And to pray for all of the families and friends directly affected.
Last month, while spending a weekend with dear friends, I was served (lucky me) the most scrumptious broccoli I have ever eaten in my life. I didn’t care that there was anything else being served, the broccoli was TO-DIE-FOR. It was a grilled broccoli recipe from Barefoot Contessa. Here it is.
A green forest
Happy short week (and happy belated birthday, USA)! I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend and off to a great July (holllllly smokes). As always when with family, we had a great weekend celebrating with my brother and his family in Seattle. The only bad news was that Ken was unable to fly out as planned due to a storm on Friday night in NYC. After 4 hours on the tarmac and his flight being canceled, he sadly didn’t make it to the west coast. We missed him but will be reunited with him for 10 days on Friday! Here is a recap of our weekend!
We went sailing in the evening on Lake Washington (pictured: son Cruzzie, brother Giora).
Last week, we ventured to a nearby farm to harvest raspberries and cherries. Not only was it a family fun activity, but we also brought home pounds and pounds of fresh fruit. We made (although the term “we” actually doesn’t include “me”) cherry cobbler and cherry pie. I made raspberry chia jam with no refined sugar. Take a look!
My raspberry picker.
Handmade + Parisian + Earrings = Victory. Tambour Paris was founded by Etsuko Harada, who was born in Tokyo and began crocheting when she was two years old. She opened her store in Paris in 2012 in the 11th arrondissement and has a beautiful selection of items. Especially these insanely awesome earrings.
I realize that for many of you, summer started almost a month ago. But it is never too late to create a summer 2016 to-do-list / wishlist. (Here is my To-Do-List from last summer). Enjoy!
1. Go to Hot Yoga twice a week. (Already been twice in this past week, so we are off to a good start! #HumbleBrag)
Shavasana counts in yoga, right? (This is my dad last year on the Oregon Coast)
My mother is multi-talented. In addition to being a great chef, she is also a flamenco dancer, champion knitter, embroider, biker, and nia participant. In the kitchen, she is known to experiment, and loves to buy random kitchen gadgets to try different cooking techniques. She owns a dehydrator, a Vitamix (who doesn’t?), more pots and pans than imaginable, and…..an air fryer…..yes, an air fryer. What *is* an air fryer? An air fryer fries your food without the grease and fat. Last night, we opened it and made potato chips (seemed like an easy recipe to try without too many steps or ingredients!)
A BIIIIIG machine…not NYC apartment friendly, but good for Oregon where there is a lot of space!
My friend Pamela is annoyingly awesome at whatever she does. One minute she decides to get into perfect shape, so she instantly becomes muscle-mania. The next minute, she decides to go back to work, and becomes PRESIDENT of a company. Then, she decides that she wants to become more spiritual and mindful, so she becomes a guru specialist excelling in anything and everything. GAG, right? The thing is, that instead of being disgusted by her talent, energy, intelligence, beauty, and commitment, I am in awe of her. What? Who is she, right? And did I even mention that she has two kids with no help whatsoever, and a husband that also works full time?
Pamela Gold does exist. And my life is better because she is in it. She makes me be a better person, and wants me to make myself a better person. She rubs off on everyone and makes them want to try harder. I feel that not only can I learn from her, but the world can too. And so that is why I want to share info on her new company / platform / idea to enrich other people’s lives by breaking down mindfulness and the search for inner peace.
Hottie McHottie. And Yale Grad. And inspirational mother. Yada yada yada. SHE IS GOOD AT EVERYTHING.
Summer (for me) officially begins tomorrow when I fly out to Oregon with the kids to spend the summer with my parents. Once out there, I have no friends, no life, no tutoring, and no real responsibilities (not necessarily very “summer-like” for most people….but it is my way of recharging). It is the PERFECT time for me to read. I have a long list of books I would like to read this summer, so here they are. If you have any book suggestions, please share.
Books / xoxo / Cruz
Here are traveling tips when going abroad to Europe with kids (I need tips from you all on how to bring kids to Asia — GASP SWEAT GULP….6 months away and so nervous).
* Bring a scooter!
Below was my itinerary in Paris for my recent trip with Cruz. While it was just from my own research, childhood memories, recommendations and experiences, it worked great. Stay tuned for Friday, for tips on *how* to travel to Europe with children, and things that *worked* for us.
Day 1: Jardin des Tuileries, Ferris Wheel, Place de la Concorde, outside of the Louvre, crepes.
A view of La Place de la Concorde in the Ferris Wheel. It was great elevating and showing Cruz where our adventures would lead us the rest of the trip
I’m back from a whirlwind mother-son-Paris-adventure with Cruzzie, and I am more tired, jet-lagged, exhausted, and yet more full, cultured, and educated than I ever knew was possible. Who knew that a trip to Paris with a 6.5 year old would be so difficult and yet so rewarding! Currently, I feel like I could write a book (a best selling book, too!) about what to do in Paris with children….and I *also* feel like I could pass out from being up for 40 hours straight-and-traveling-across-the-Altantic-WITH-child. So come back on Wednesday for a 5 day guide for Parent-Child-trips-to-Paris, and until then….
Paris Guide Coming to the JGB soon!
I am currently in Paris, France (shocker, I know….my posts are either about Paris, Oregon, NYC) but this time with my 6.5 year old son. Not sure why I scheduled this trip, but I wanted to “show him the world” and have “global experiences.” I have been terrified of the agony and pain of a whiny, tired, jet-lagged child. While I have a hard enough time powering through the jetlag and not being cranky myself, my son is about 100 times more whiny and difficult than I am (#MyHusbandDisagrees). That said, here is my #1 packing secret….packing bags!
Before we get to the bag packing, I want to show you a picture of me when I was 8 years old in France. I know, right, I am the CUTEST kid you have ever seen? Mullet and perm. Why YES, that is the best look EVER EVER EVER.
Last weekend, Ken and I had the good fortune of attending an incredibly special wedding in Quogue (on Long Island in NY). The ceremony, venue, atmosphere… everything… was perfect. Enjoy the pictures… you’ll meet a number of people who have contributed great content to the blog over the years!
The beautiful bride, Lynn Rasic, one of Ken’s good friends from growing up. She and her husband Mike are very dear to us, even though we just lost them to San Diego. #Jealous. Lynn used to be the head of external affairs for the 9/11 Memorial, which led to this post.
As a kindergarten graduation present to myself (yessir, my son graduates kindergarten, and I am the one that gets the present #logic), I bought myself a diamond ear cuff. Now that everyone is back to wearing multiple pierces (a la 1990s), I wanted to go back to my 16 year old self with five ear holes (#truth) and a piercing in my ear lobe. Thing is, I didn’t want to re-pierce them myself, or actually go to a tattoo-piercing-store again (Did that, done that), so instead I went the cuff route. And I am giddy with excitement. It is not just any cuff… it is a high-class, super-fancy, DIAMOND cuff. Check it out, egad, I am in love.
Bat-a-bing! Ca-ching. (And yes, I feel slightly overexposed with the close-ups of my neck hairs, ear fuzz, and freckles. Don’t mind the zoom on the camera).
Introduced to me by a dear friend, these bracelets are a taste-the-rainbow flirty, fun, summery addition that add (lots) of pops of color to your wrist. Roxanne Assoulin bracelets. They remind me of chiclets (the gum) and instantly bring a smile to my face. It doesn’t hurt that these were recently mentioned in the NYTimes….
Trio Package. Screams HAPPY SUMMER!
Readers of the blog know that Ken and I first started dating at Stanford from 2003-2005, when he was at Business School and I was getting my Masters in Education. To say that his class had some amazing people would be a huge understatement. (By the way, if you’re wondering what the most read post in the history of the Josie Girl Blog is, click here): Today, we feature a power COUPLE from Ken’s class, and speak to Jess Yagan. She shares how she and her husband approach work… and life … Enjoy!