Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow

My favorite cookbook (Run Fast Eat Slow) now has a sequel and I couldn’t be happier! I am so excited to get back in to the kitchen and cook / bake / create some of the recipes from the new Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow.

 

So excited!! Shalene Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky and their second cookbook! Some of my all time favorite recipes are from their first cookbook, so I am super happy to find new favorites in this one, too.

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Favorite Undies 2018

It goes without saying that the only brand of lingerie that I “buy” is Natori. Just like almost everything else in life (granola, jeans, grocery stores, colors, fabrics, most anything and everything), I am super picky, but undies are by far the most important part of my daily ensemble. If I am wearing the wrong pair, I do not feel right or comfortable so it has been ESSENTIAL that I have the most perfect undies. And I did find them, but GASP, they are no longer going to be made and sold (I have tried to convince my husband to continue to make them, but he will not take my advice,

 

 

1) My current favorites are the Feathers Boyshorts . If you see them in the store, STOCK UP AND BUY THEM NOW. You will not regret it. If you can’t find them, it is because I purchased every single pair online that I could find….

 

I kept the tags on all these undies just so it didn’t seem weird or odd to everyone. These are fresh undies, never been worn. And let me tell you, I LOVE these undies more than anything. Seriously they are the perfect pair.

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Interview with Dr. Heather Rogers

I wrote about my obsession with Doctor Rogers RESTORE Healing Balm earlier this Spring — and it is true — I am fully addicted and can’t live without it. Therefore, it is quite an honor to interview Dr. Heather Rogers, the creator of RESTORE and a renowned dermatologist in Seattle. This is a must read for information on the balm, good skincare, and tips on how to live a healthy life! Thank you so much, Dr. Rogers!

 

And of course, as a talented doctor and entrepreneur she is also STRIKINGLY beautiful!

_____

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Reusable Bowl Covers

Like most Oregonians, my parents are constantly (and thankfully) looking for ways to create less garbage and be more environmentally conscious. In their attempt to eliminate saran wrap and aluminum foil, they use reusable bowl covers. It is a simple switch that reduces waste and takes little effort. Plus, the various patterned tops make your fridge look hip! I ordered some for NYC and can’t wait to use them.

 

How cool? And cute? And practical?

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Currently Loving August 2018

August feels like one big Sunday to me — I love it, and yet I also dread the reality that real life is around the corner. Even though I try to take one day at a time and live in the moment, I suffer from worrying about what is going to happen in 2-3 weeks time…..I know, great habit of mine. I am trying to make more of an effort in enjoying all the little things around me; weather, nature, freedom, space, and all the below. Enjoy!

 

1. Hazelnut Butter

 

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Oregon Coast 2018

Oregon has everything:  mountains, rivers, ocean, hills, valleys, lakes, etc. One minute you can be in the Willamette Valley, and the next, in the Cascade Mountains or on the Pacific Ocean. The kids and I just had an amazing weekend at our friends’ (Sara and Colin) family’s retro cabin on the Oregon Coast. Located 60 miles from Eugene, it was the perfect getaway full of outdoor adventure, fresh air, beautiful scenery, and good old fashion fun. Thank you so much, Sara!!!! Truly the best.

 

Oregon Coast is unlike any where else. It has dunes, sand, shrubs, rivers, lakes, etc…One of a kind.

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Leatherology

Like most women, I love handbags. But today they are super expensive and a big financial commitment. So I was incredibly happy to find fun, colorful, personable and reasonably priced bags at Leatherology. Leatherology is a direct to consumer website that has dozens of handbag styles, colors, and options. They also monogram! Since it is summer and I always love a pop of color, I decided I NEEDED a bright hot pink cross body bag with my initials. Ever since I got it, I have been wearing it nonstop.

 

HOW CUTE AND FUN IS THIS BAG? I love the brightness and it just makes me oh so happy.

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Overnight Train

When we were mapping out our summer travels, I knew that at one point, I wanted to take the kids on an overnight sleeper train adventure. Luckily, we had planned to go on our annual trip to Sonoma, so I knew that the magical train dream would be able to happen. It was perfect timing as my best friend from college, Bridget, had been visiting us in Eugene, and we were both aiming to get to California at the same time. So the five of us — me, Bridget, my two kids and her daughter — all went on the adventure together. And it was exactly that: an adventure. Not a mode of transportation to get us from Point A to Point B, or a luxurious beautiful hotel, but a memorable and fun experience. It was so much fun that I hope to make it an annual tradition — there was something about it that was nostalgic, peaceful, romantic, and comforting.

 

The five of us. And yes, Bridget and I are wearing matching outfits. Why would we NOT wear matching outfits?

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Aperol Spritz Slushee

My (and everyone else’s) summer drink, the Aperol Spritz, has been consumed in many different ways.  But I think I have found my favorite… the slushee.   I may never drink anything else again: this slushee is the most incredible, light, fruity, delicious, buzzing, refreshing, oh-so-good drink. It is truly perfection.

 

It is even better than it looks. SERIOUSLY, so good.

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Marathon Training

I am currently in the process of training for two fall marathons (Chicago Marathon in October, and NY Marathon in November where I will be running as a guide for a disabled runner). Although the training is tiring, long, and challenging, it is also my favorite part of the whole marathon. In all of my previous marathons (10 overall), I have had different techniques / training / ideologies and approaches. Here is what I am doing THIS time around.

 

Mid long run stretch. I think between miles 14-15. I sometimes takes breaks to drink / eat / breathe / rest.

 

Like most marathon runners, I am competitive and type A. Typically when I run a marathon, I care about my time and have a strong desire to get a personal record (PR).  There have also been marathons where I have not focused on time (NYC last Fall and Boston this Spring) and simply run. But for the most part, I go out there to prove to myself that I am doing my best and getting faster.

 

Training in Oregon is great with its beauty of all the trails and rivers.

 

So how do I prepare? It takes MONTHS to get ready to run a marathon. I tend to start 16-18 weeks ahead of the marathon to get ready in prime marathon shape. All of this to say, that to prepare for a marathon you RUN a lot. I know that this is stating the obvious, but I usually run between 45-60 miles a week, each week. But in every run, I vary the intensity, the distance, the course, and the overall effort.

 

I am lucky to have a good friend, Nancy, who is 60 and a marathon runner herself, who will often times get on her bike to pace me and keep me company in those long runs in the early morning. Makes the biggest difference!

 

So I run 6 days a week with one rest day. During these six days of running, I have some easy runs (at a slow pace), a long run (with varied speeds, some with progressively getting faster and faster and faster), speed runs on track, speed runs on pavement / trails / roads, and tempo runs. There are days when I feel like I have had the best run and days when it is a challenge and I want to throw up. All of these runs make me faster, stronger mentally, and up for the challenge of facing the day.

 

Eugene is filled with lots of runners (a ton of elite runners train out here) and the neighbors lare all runner-friendly. Makes my heart all warm and fuzzy, and helps me on those long runs!

 

Basically, I am stating the absolute obvious, but to prepare for a marathon, you simply RUN. RUN A LOT. But short story, you mix up those miles and change here and there, and then finally, wam bam 16 weeks go by,and it is marathon day! So, Fall marathons, I am getting ready for you and can’t wait — but also enjoying the current state of preparation.

 

I did a progressive run this past weekend – 4 miles at an easy pace, 4 at 8 min pace, 4 at 7:30 min pace, 4 at 7:00 pace, and last mile HARD. I was super nervous leading up to the run, but I gave it my all. And I did it. Super hard work that I am really proud of myself for doing.

 

If anyone has specific marathon questions, let me know. I love talking about running (kind of like some people talk nonstop about their jobs or kids, well, I can do that with running!). Hope you are off to a great week and enjoying August!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Sour Beer

For the first time since college, I started drinking beer this past week. The last time I drank a beer was probably when I was shotgunning it just so I could get alcohol in my system rather than because I enjoyed the actual taste. But during our Orcas Island week, I was introduced to Sour Beer by my brother and sister-in-law. It is a perfect combination of Kombucha and Beer — makes you feel like you are drinking kombucha but with an extra dizzying aspect. I love it and recently have found myself craving them in the afternoon….

 

Luckily, Oregon is known for its microbeers, and here is a picture of the SOUR BEERS in the local grocery store. As a novice, I had no idea what to get or what to buy….so I picked this one.

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Random Thought

This is totally random and not my normal post, but, well, I am random and not completely normal. So it all seems fitting 🙂 Just a simple message to say that it is important to reach out to friends even if you feel like you know what is going on. Often times, what appears on social media (or say, in a blog), is just a fraction of reality. Social media is a great tool because it gives you a glimpse into your friends’ lives and whereabouts, but it is not actual communication with a friend. Writing an email, making a phone call, sending a text, making IRL plans –> that makes the biggest difference. Connecting and communicating with friends and loved ones is a two way street and oh so important.  Don’t forget to check in on your strong friends. A great article on this is here. And this applies to family, friends, mentors, colleagues, or inspirations. I know this is something that I need to continue to work on, but I also know that when I do hear from loved ones, it means the world to me.  A simple 2 minute effort goes along way. Happy Wednesday!

 

Me and the kiddos.

 

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Summer 2018 Orcas Island

We just finished up a full week in Orcas Island (a part of the San Juan Islands) with my family. It was a super fun filled week of hiking, biking, swimming in lakes, swimming in the ocean, swimming in the pool, roasting marshmallows, and breathing in the super fresh air. Orcas Island is an incredibly hilly island (made my runs extremely challenging….) but with ridiculous beautiful views and scenery. I can’t wait to return again and hope to make it an annual trip. Enjoy the pictures!

 

We rented a house in Rosario, one mile away from Moran State Park. This meant great access to hikes, trails, lakes, and views. At the top of Mount Constitution, there were breathtaking views of the other San Juan Islands, the Cascade Mountains, and all the lush greenery. HEAVEN, truly heaven.

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Nike Windbreaker

I am currently on Orcas Island off the coast of Washington State in the San Juan Islands. It is incredibly beautiful with its lush green mountains, crystal clear lakes, Cascade Mountain views, and the Pacific Ocean. It is literally a summer dream, except for the fact that it is quite brisk and on the colder side. Going into the week I had no idea about the chilly temperatures, so when I got to Seattle with ONE sweatshirt, I ended up at the Nike Store (in Seattle) and bought a windbreaker. Yes, it was a spur of the moment purchase, but I am SO happy with it, I can’t seem to take it off (and not just because I need it). It is lightweight, retro stylish, cool, unique, and the perfect layer on piece.  I plan to wear it on runs, casually, and basically, all day everyday!

 

Retro windbreaker — both the design, the look, and the color. But I love it!

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Butter Culture

As many of you know, I love butter. Not just ‘like’ butter, but LOVE butter. It is actually my go-to snack. I smother it on bread, croissants, rice cakes, anything… And because of this, I am a butter snob.  And here in Oregon, the land of hand batched, artisan everything, there is GREAT butter. Thanks to Butter Culture, I am now eating more butter than ever.

 

Butter Culture. Not only does it taste great, but the packaging is spot on.

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Summer 2018 Greece

In late June, we were fortunate to spend a week of vacation with my inlaws in Greece, my first trip there in 20+ years. As the kids and I had just come off a week of cultural visits (in Paris), we used our time in Greece to rest and relax. Despite the fact that Greece is full of a rich history, we were located in a remote part of the mainland of Greece and didn’t travel outside of the resort (except for one day where we were on a boat). We fell in love with Greece — the resort was absolutely DIVINE and I hope that we will be returning again soon. And of course, next time, we will have to check out more cultural sites as well as many of the islands.

 

Everything about the hotel was perfection. Absolutely perfect. This is where we ate breakfast every morning overlooking the ocean and mountains.

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Currently Loving July 2018

During the summer, not only does my life slow down a lot, but so does my brain. Life is very simple in Oregon with no work obligations, few friends, no errands, and just time to rest and relax. I hope you’re also finding some relaxation during these summer months! Here is what I am currently loving this July!

 

1. Christine and the Queens: Doesn’t Matter

 

French Pop sensation, Christine and the Queens, and her latest single, “Doesn’t Matter.” Everything about the song makes me smile and dance. I hope you like it as much as I do!

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Aperol Spritz

Although late to the game, I am now fully invested in the summer “It” drink, the Aperol Spritz. Last year, I saw the bright orange drink everywhere I went, but never tried it. I started during our recent trip to Europe, and now I can’t stop. Aperol Spritz is made with aperol (a liquor), prosecco, a splash of soda, and some fresh orange. It is refreshing, zesty, sparkly, and basically makes you feel like you are drinking an orange Fanta. OH SO GOOD.

 

Yes, I am a dufus. But can’t stop, won’t stop.

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Little Creative Factory Girls Swimsuit

Hello from Oregon! We just returned from our 3 week European vacation and flew directly (via Sardinia via Amsterdam via Seattle to Eugene) to our home away from home; Eugene, Oregon. We arrived Monday morning and have been nonstop since then — camp for the kids, hiking, biking, running, berry picking, and trying not to fall asleep to early and succumb to jetlag….I will post pictures of our time in Greece and Sardinia, but I also don’t want to overload and do a lot of #humblebrags….so instead, drum roll…..little girl’s bathing suits!

 

I am currently obsessed with my daughter’s swimsuit and want her to wear it every single day (and want it for myself, too). It is the chicest, cutest, most unique, and oh-so-beautiful bathing suit! It is by the brand Little Creative Factory.

 

In Greece, wearing the ruffle swimsuit. I love the color combination, the ruffle, the fit, and the cut.

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Kindle

Hi (or Yassou) from Greece! We have spent the past week R and R’ing with my inlaws on vacation. It has been incredible to do nothing but rest, recuperate, relax, walk, eat, and be together as a family. Due to my heavy travel schedule this summer (combined with my ability to read a lot over the summer months), I bought a Kindle so I didn’t have to lug around heavy books in all my travels. Although I love physical books, I must say that I have been LOVING my Kindle. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It has been so great to have multiple books in one little device, and know that even if I run out of books during the summer travels, I can easily buy new ones. But the best part has been the fact that my son has all of a sudden had a HUGE interest in reading on it. He loves to read, kinda sorta maybe. But somehow, reading on the Kindle has created this whole new interest in reading, and he can’t seem to put it down. The only downside in this is that I then have to fight with him for it (but it’s a battle I’m happy to “lose”).

 

Cruzzie loves his lego catalogues more than anything. Since he was young, he has carted them around on car travel, restaurants or any sort of activity. He loves to read his catalogues. But ever since he discovered that he could read on my Kindle…..

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Summer 2018 Paris

Greetings from Europe!  I was just in Paris with the kids and we had so much fun. I am a lover of anything French, especially Paris. And it makes me so happy and excited to have the ability to show the kids a city and culture that I love so much. There is a je-ne-sais-quoi about France that I just feel so strongly about. Here are some pictures of our adventures:

 

Paris, oh Paris. You forever have my heart. Everything about you is dreamy, romantic, lovely, and grand.

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Wary Meyers Candles

I am a sucker for any candle, especially a nice smelling one. When recently shopping, I bought a bunch of new ones, and this one is my favorite. The design is simple and the smell subtle, but refreshing and crisp. Wary Meyers makes these chic, discrete, and beautiful candles. Bonus is that they are under $30 which is always great.

 

I love a simple candle, particularly this transparent and gold combination.

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Jump Rope

As a little girl, one of my favorite activities was to jump rope on my front steps with my brother. Since I grew up without a TV in the house, I had to create my own fun after school. To me, that meant climbing trees, playing with yoyos, creating secret gardens, and jumping rope. My brother, Giora, and I were very competitive with one another and we always tried to outperform each other. As a result, I became a pretty good jump roper (yeah, super proud of this #HumbleBrag). I love it — it is fun AND the best workout. And as you know, I love to have fun and love to exercise, so the two together is the perfect whammie. Recently inspired, I bought two new jump ropes for my summer of travels and adventure and I couldn’t be happier.

 

After a failed purchase on Amazon (too long, and expensive – 60 bucks!), I went store to store in NYC in search of the perfect jump rope.  I bought these two, which are similar (at least I can’t tell the difference between them).

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Summer 2018 Running Playlist

Summer has officially started and tonight I leave for a European adventure.  And yes, another summer, another marathon training season! Here is my newest playlist for running and training!

 

Summer running means hydrating and drinking a lot of water. On long runs, I always carry a water bottle and then whenever I find a refilling station, I fill my bottle up. Thank you, NYC!

 

Summer 2018 Running Playlist

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