NYC Sunday Brunch: The Standard Grill

Although it currently feels like Spring in New York, Christmastime is in the air!; bells, fir trees, red, green, tourists,  presents, ribbons, gingerbread, candy canes. We had a terrific Sunday morning last weekend, and I highly recommend recreating it for some family fun.

 

Anything with these two is fun and festive....except when they are poking each other, in each other's faces, whining, complaining, crying, and hitting. #TheJoy

Anything with these two is fun and festive….except when they are poking each other’s faces, whining, complaining, crying, and hitting. #TheJoy

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Jaffa Dolls

Thank you for supporting Jaffa Dolls!

 

As a member of the tribe, it is with great excitement that I introduce Jaffa Dolls, a company based in Israel in which Jewish and Arab women come together to make dolls by hand.  Especially during a time when politics are getting OUT OF CONTROL, it is the perfect time to introduce a product that supports co-existence and unity, not discrimination and racism.  Jaffa Dolls support WOMEN and PEACE between two ethnic groups. Peace and women — double your pleasure, double your fun. And to top it off, the dolls are unique, cute, and happy. I had the privilege of sitting down with good friend, Laura Newmark (also the wife of $2 bill Matt), who is the US Distributor of Jaffa Dolls.  Read on to find out about this new venture. Thanks, Laura!

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Dimes Restaurant

Dimes has been on my list of places to eat for quite some time, not just because of its cool and hipster vibe, but also for its healthy (and colorful) menu. We recently ventured downtown (49 Canal Street) to this eclectic, health-concsious hippie dippy, hipster minimalist, holy cow delicious restaurant. I was in pig heaven  — so many healthy choices to choose from!

 

Dimes.

Dimes.

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Josie Natori’s Beauty Routine

The minute my mother-in-law walks in the door, people stare at her. She carries herself regally, impeccably dressed, and is constantly glamorous and beautiful. In the 12 years (!) that I have known her, I have constantly been in awe of her beauty, grace, and class. So, I decided to ask her questions on how she takes care of herself (with the unrealistic hopes that it would give me the tools and hints on how to be as beautiful as she is). Take a look at her answers!

JCN and me at the CFDA's

JCN and me before the CFDA’s

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Thanksgiving 2015

It is rare to find friends that are family; people you love unconditionally and can be completely comfortable with in any setting. Luckily, we have found our New York non-family family, so it was an extra special treat to be invited to spend Thanksgiving with them in Aspen, Colorado. HOLY COW was it amazing, perfect, and incredible. Take a look at our pictures (#humblebrag #sorryimnotsorry)!

 

The kids get along swimmingly. Best friends for life.

The kids get along swimmingly. Best friends for life.

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Switchel – The New Hipster Drink

In my search for the best New York Kombucha (because I miss every day, my Humm Kombucha from Oregon), I came across “Switchel.” Switchel, originated in the Caribbean and popular in America in the 17th century, is the new ‘wellness’ drink on the east coast.  I bought a case (very hopeful that it would work out).  Love.

 

Up Mountain Switchel

Up Mountain Switchel

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NuttZo

Although I am not currently training for a marathon, I still indulge in nut butter like it is my job; a spoonful in the morning, a slather on toast mid-afternoon, and a cup for dessert. I just can’t get enough. Always on the lookout, I recently came across NuttZo, a nut butter made up of 7 nuts and seeds (a nut-allergy person’s nightmare!), and it instantly became a favorite.

 

Nutz about NuttZo.

Nutz about NuttZo.

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Natori Cable Knit Sherpa Robe

Before I talk about my new robe obsession, I have to discuss something that makes me so happy; Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton dating. YUP, I know, totally pathetic and oh-so-weird, but I am a huge fan of The Voice. And I kinda feel like I did watching Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf when they were together – same type of butterflies and happiness.  Gwen and Blake are just too cute, and oh so fun. So watch this. I promise you that you will laugh and smile.

 

Gwen and Blake. My pals.

Gwen and Blake. My pals.

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Matcha Latte

I just hopped onto the matcha bandwagon and made myself a matcha latte! What is matcha (besides a word sounding like it is yiddish instead of Japanese)? It is a finely ground powder of green tea leaves. It is also all the hype in hipster, hippy coffee shops. And since I love all of the above (hipster, coffee, tea, Japanese, and hippy), I am now a matcha lover. Plus, it is gentle on your stomach, fights sickness, and makes you smarter. WIN WIN WIN. NO LONGER WILL I BE A BLONDE.

 

What's not to love about a green drink?

What’s not to love about a green drink?

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Opening Ceremony x Pendleton Coat Redone

The night before I gave birth to Cruzzie (10/7/2009), I was shopping online (obvi), and I ordered myself a Pendleton x Opening Ceremony coat. I wore it night and day for years. To the ground! After much love, I became a little tired of the silhouette and pregnancy shape, so I retired it to the hall closet. On a mad search for a jacket this Fall, I stumbled upon my beloved coat. So out it came; but it needed some updated tailoring.

 

October 2009 -- one week after giving birth. Love the color, pattern (and kiss), but the shape is outdated, boxy and huge.

October 2009 — one week after giving birth. Love the color, pattern (and kiss), but the shape is outdated, boxy and huge. Hi one week old Cruzzie! Hi same hair style!

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Smarty Pants Vitamins

Don’t you love how small the world is and how everyone is connected somehow and someway? Well, lo and behold, I recently was introduced to the CEO of my newest find and obsession, Smarty Pants Vitamins. I first came across them at the Chicago Marathon, where they placed a sample of their vitamins in the goody bag from the race expo. Upon trial (I love freebies with good marketing and packaging), I was hooked! These vitamins are delicious, smart, and healthy. Read more to find out about the company from the founder and CEO, Courtney! Thank you, Courtney!

 

Smarty Pants: First grabbed me by the packaging, and then won me over by the taste, health benefits, and the company itself.

Smarty Pants: First grabbed me by the packaging, and then won me over by the taste, health benefits, and the company itself.

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Spiralizer

I shelled out the big dough and bought another kitchen gadget; and I couldn’t be happier. YUP, a spiralizer. What is a spiralizer (good question, kinda sounds like a pencil sharpener)? It is a device that transforms vegetables into “angel-hair” strands as well as spiral cuts, shoestrings and ribbon “noodles” — amazing, right?

 

Spiralizer! Even the name sounds spunky and happy! SPIRALIZE!

Spiralizer! Even the name sounds spunky and happy! SPIRALIZE!

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Halloween / NYC Marathon 2015

One of my favorite events in the Big Apple is the New York City Marathon. There is a buzz, energy, and pride that fills the city air. I cry, I smile, I weep, and I am just so happy for all the runners and finishers! And this year, it fell the day after Halloween, making it a BIG weekend for kids and adults. A memorable, fun, and inspiring weekend.

 

Snow Fairy Princess and Hipster Batman brother.

Snow Fairy Princess and Hipster Batman brother. (Neither of the shoes are an official part of their costume).

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Gwyneth Paltrow Candy Bars

Readers know that I love Gwyneth Paltrow as much as I love my kids (#joking #notjoking). So here is yet another recipe from her cookbook, “It’s All Good.”  Candy Bars! Hellooooooo healthy-ish Halloween treats! (way better than M&Ms). They are gluten-free and refined-sugar-free…  but heavy duty sweet.   But still healthier than a typical candy bar…..so go for it!
THICK GOOEY AWESOME

THICK GOOEY AWESOME

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Cotelac Leggings

Cotelac, one of my all time favorite brands, is a French company with two stores in NYC (Soho and the Upper East Side). It is very French, but more practical, motherly, rustic, classic than the other French brands I am in love with (Isabel Marant, Roseanna, Maison Olga, Vanessa Bruno, etc…). All of the clothes are machine washable and low maintenance. Each season, I buy a version of the tie dye jean which I can never have too many of. In addition to my new jeans, I also bought a pair of leggings which I am dying over. They are unique but subtle, versatile and comfortable, and perfect for layering in the cold winter months.

 

I ordered a size 1 to have it baggy at the ankle (typically, I would wear a size 0 in their clothing, but I preferred the looser look to that of tight leggings).

I ordered a size bigger than normal to have it baggy at the ankle

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Smudge Stick

Smudging is the act of burning sage (or other dried herbs, but most commonly sage) and is an ancient art, considered one of the oldest and purest forms of cleansing a person or place.  I love the hippy dippyness of cleansing a room or the spirit of a person with the strong, distinct smell of smoldering (sage) smoke.

 

Me getting smudged.

Me getting smudged. Negative energy BE GONE!

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Dumpling Love: Interview with Kenny Lao

I love my friends, and I love my friends’ friends! So it is no surprise that I now have a crush on chef / author / food expert / culinary entrepreneur, Kenny Lao, who I met through a mutual good friend, Lynn. I had the opportunity to interview Kenny, and hear more about his book Hey There, Dumpling! Take a look.

 

Confession: I was scared to buy this book as making dumplings seem a little "advanced" and "sophisticated," But as soon as I opened the cookbook, I couldn't put it down. Every page of the book was fascinating and interesting, it felt like reading a novel rather than a cookbook. BUY IT. RUN AND BUY IT. AND COOK THESE DUMPLINGS.

Confession: I was scared to buy this book as making dumplings seem a little “advanced” and “sophisticated,” But as soon as I opened the cookbook, I couldn’t put it down. Every page of the book was fascinating and interesting. RUN AND BUY IT. AND COOK THESE DUMPLINGS.

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Natori Granny Panties: Pure Allure

Super early in the morning, I tend to browse the Natori website, searching for the next addition to my ever-growing collection of Natori goodies. So when I came across Natori’s new Pure Allure Brief in its + Support collection, I immediately clicked-clicked-clicked (YUP, this homegirl loves granny panties!).  While I’ve always been a fan of big undies (Feathers Undies and Bliss Undies), reading “+” and “support” made me a tad bit skeptical. But low and behold, the undies blew me away and immediately became my new favorite pair of undies EVER.

 

When you have a round tush like this, you need some "support." #PolishTush #Badankadank. And yes, in this picture, I am sporting the Pure Allure Panties (and no panty lines!)

When you have a round tush like this (front and center), you need some “support.” #PolishTush #Badankadank. And yes, in this picture, I am sporting the Pure Allure Panties (and no panty lines!)

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Chicago Marathon 2015: The Race

Not that any of you asked, but for the 0.5% of the people that are interested in the running aspect of my recent marathon, here it goes! (I am an over-sharer, not an under-sharer). Marathons are HARD MOTHERS, like flipping H-A-R-D. Not only is it a physical exercise, but it is also a mental / emotional / spiritual challenge. Somehow, you have to dig down into your body and make it happen — and like I said before, it is only you yourself that can make it happen….so the race recap, begins!

 

I am SOOOO beyond heinous in this picture, but I think it is a good image of what a marathon feels like. My eye is half closed, my body hurts, I am trying to smile but I can't. I AM A HOT MESS. But proud of it.

I am SOOOO beyond heinous in this picture ( I AM A ONE EYED MONSTER!), but I think it is a good image of what a marathon feels like (this is post marathon — notice my medal). My eye is half closed, my body hurts, I am trying to smile but I can’t. I AM A HOT MESS. But proud of it.

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Flap Jacked Muffins

For someone who likes to push myself physically, I often get lazy with cooking breakfast. I have normal routines of smoothies, yogurt and granola, but I always crave more protein and less carbs. So, when I found the perfect protein packed muffin, I was instantly sold. Tastes like pure carbs (my favorite), but packed with protein (it makes you JACKED — get the name) and probiotics. CHA-CHING.

 

Mighty muffins!

Mighty muffins by Flap Jacked.

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Chicago Marathon 2015

I was fortunate enough to run the Chicago Marathon  this past Sunday, and man oh man, what a rush, joy, privilege and honor it was! Sorry for so many marathon posts (YUP, fully addicted #cantstopwontstop), but here is the recap from my weekend. First and foremost, huge shout out to two special people that made this weekend possible: Michelle, my dear friend I met on the course at the Paris Marathon this past April, who hosted me and was so generous and giving; and my bestie in the whole wide world, Amy, who flew across the country to support me and my crazy habit. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. I love you! And of course, also another thank you to my running-widow-husband who allows me to disappear and do what I love… thank you!

 

My bib. And a ticket for a free beer after the race (didn't use it). Notice, I was in the slowest wave and it mentally handicapped me for a little bit. That said, I managed (I dug deep) to get through it and overcome that setback.

My bib. And a ticket for a free beer after the race (didn’t use it). Notice, I was in the slowest wave which  mentally handicapped me for a little bit. That said, I managed to get through it and overcome.

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