Currently Loving December 2017

With a snap of a finger, lightning speed, here we are in December. Mid December, in fact. Not sure how time flies as fast as it does, but, it does. So without further ado, here is what I am currently loving this month! Enjoy!

 

Holiday Card Display

 

GENIUS.

 

I like how it is mid December, and we have already received 100 cards. Mind you, I also sent out my cards on the 1st of December, so just like me, most of our friends like to be early….. This holiday card ring hack has changed my life — it literally makes me so happy every day to have the cards OUT, without cluttering up the house!

 

Haim Walking Away — Mura Masa Remix

 

Not only do I love the song and Haim’s music in general, but I also want the leopard coat on the left.

 

I sat around with a friend last week trading music (she is way more hip than me), and this was one of the dozens of songs she recommended. Since then, I have played this song a good 50 times. It is just a mixture of happiness, electronic, folk, and fun. I can’t get enough.

 

Ikea Gingerbread Houses

 

Gotta love Ikea.

 

A couple weeks ago I made the trek to Ikea  (in Brooklyn) to buy these gingerbread houses. A dear friend had told me that the Ikea versions were the best, so I took her word. Although I have yet to build or decorate them (hopefully sometime soon!), I am excited that I have them and can’t wait to get going.

 

Josie Natori Charlize Chemise

 

Best present for a loved one — a comfortable and good looking chemise from Natori.

 

Recently, I decided to up my pajama game and switch from my typical undies-tshirt-pajama look to a new Natori chemise. So I “bought” this Josie Natori chemise, and I couldn’t be happier. It is the softest and most comfortable material and has the right amount of cling (not too much) and swing (good) on my body. I couldn’t be happier with my new outfit — I highly suggest this chemise.

 

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There you have it, the list of randomness that I am currently loving. So now, your turn. Do share. Thanks to all of you that send me what you’re into after every single “Currently Loving” post — truly love those emails more than anything! I hope you are having a great week in MID-December.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Le Botaniste

One of my favorite neighborhood go-to’s is Le Botaniste. It is perfect for days when you want to be uber healthy and are looking for a quiet place to eat and relax. Le Botaniste was concepted by the creative force behind Le Pain Quotidien (more here) and serves healthy, organic, vegan, and gluten-free meals. Although I have been over two dozen times, I always get the SAME thing — I make my own bowl.

 

This meal is a rainbow.

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Currently Loving in the Kitchen

And just like that….here we are in October! Nothing says fall more than pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, woodfires, foliage, and scarves. And spending more time in the kitchen and becoming more of a homebody! Since I love food, here are four food products that I am currently loving — all so different, but all so delicious.

 

The current four favorite.

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Ronnybrook Butter

Hands down my favorite food product is “butter.” YUP, butta. Love it. LOOOVE it. Like an unusual amount — I can actually eat it by the spoonful if it is good butter. Sounds gross, but good butter is better than anything. European butter is my favorite, but in the USA, I used to settle for Kerry Gold Butter. That is, until I discovered Ronnybrook Butter, and it is to die for.

 

Heaven. Sweet and salty. The perfect combination.

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Currently Loving September 2017

Happy September, happy back to real life! I hope everyone settles in to the fall with ease and peace despite the craze and chaos it tends to bring. I know that I am trying to take one day at a time; better yet, hour to hour. I am not sure how summer disappeared as fast as it did, but I’m happy we created fond and wonderful memories that will forever be in our hearts! That said, here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Slides. Yes, I know, shower slides from the 1990s are finally back in. I have been a fan of them the past two summers and have worn them non-stop. I love that they are easy, and go with everything. Although not practical for urban daily city life, I plan on wearing them once again NEXT summer, too. Thank god they are finally in fashion — last year I got a lot of weird looks.

 

Shower slides.

Shower slides. With no shower.

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Paris Food 2017

Although the US has great healthy options (salads, smoothies, greens, etc…), Paris ultimately has my favorite food, which we enjoyed last week at the Paris Marathon. We had great luck with the restaurants we chose and couldn’t have been happier (well, our stomachs are a little bigger, but C’EST LA VIE!).

 

Sunday Brunch: Our favorite, Cafe Charlot. Not many restaurants are open on Sundays (and Mondays), but this is a classic French bistro where all the cool kids go to brunch for seven hours. We ate and drank for hours on end. The food is delicious, the sun was shining, life was (is) good.

 

This burger was the best thing I have ever eaten. And this was AFTER my huge caesar salad with smoked salmon. The waiter looked at my crazy when I ordered two main courses, but hey, you only run a marathon every so often, so when in Rome......

This burger was the best thing I have ever eaten. And this was AFTER my huge caesar salad with smoked salmon. The waiter looked at me crazy when I ordered two main courses, but hey, you only run a marathon every so often.

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Paris Marathon 2017

I just returned from a quick trip to Paris where I completed by 4th Paris Marathon (7th marathon total). It was great fun — both the trip itself and the run, and now I am looking forward to not traveling, not doing long runs, and staying put….. at least for the next couple of months (I have already planned my next two marathons…). Here are pictures of the weekend! (And what day is it today?)

 

Crazy as it was, we landed at 2 pm on Saturday. Which meant, the only thing we could do that day was go to the Expo to pick up our bibs and get settled for the race next morning. YUP. The race at 8:20 am the next morning! Here is my feast that morning pre-race.

We landed at 2 pm on Saturday, 16 hours before race time. So the only thing we could do that day was go to the Expo to pick up our bibs and get settled for the race next morning. YUP. The race at 8:20 am the next morning! Here is our feast pre-race.

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Healthy-ish Desserts

I love dessert. Almost as much as I love my family. But I don’t like to eat too much sugar because I get jittery, emotional, and always have a sugar crash. So, when I don’t have time to bake my own health(ier) dessert, than I go to my local stores to purchase healthy-ish desserts. Here they are:

 

Yes, they are packaged food and store bought. But I like to think that they are healthier than a snickers bar, and made with higher quality ingredients in a more thoughtful process. But yes, you are so right, it is always HEALTHIER and better to make your own food at home, where you know exactly what is going into the food. But, YOLO (you only live once), so sometimes it is nice to just grab and go.

Yes, they are packaged food and store bought. But I like to think that they are healthier than a snickers bar, and made with higher quality ingredients in a more thoughtful process. But yes, you are so right, it is always HEALTHIER and better to make your own food at home, where you know exactly what is going into the food. But, YOLO (you only live once), so sometimes it is nice to just grab and go.

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Food Truck Wedding

My sister got married this weekend in an amazing wedding in Portland, OR (yes, we just relocated the family back from the West Coast the weekend prior… lots of travel!)  It was beautiful, heart warming, emotional, and fun. I am so #blessed (#sorrynotsorry) that I love my family as much as I do — my sisters, brother, and parents (obviously, my husband and kids too)– so much that I just want to be with them all the time (which makes my re-entry to NYC all that much more difficult).  Outside of the event and family, the highlight of the wedding was my sister’s WEDDING FOOD! BEST WEDDING FOOD EVER EVER EVER.  And not just any food, it was FOOD TRUCKS. Yep, food trucks at a wedding. And it was AWESOME. There were three food trucks for the main meal, and one food truck for dessert #Winning.

 

hawaiian

Hawaiian Cuisine? Yes please! This truck was from 808 Grinds and served an assortment of meats, rices, and sides. My favorite dish was the Fried Chicken.

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Blueberry Hazelnut Crisp

With a flat of blueberries in our house from our local CSA, I went on a hunt to find the best blueberry pie recipe. That said, searching “best blueberry pie” on the internet does not necessarily lead to the best blueberry pie, especially when I add words such as “low sugar” or “healthy.” So instead, I went the old fashioned route and asked a friend for a recipe. Needless to say, this much more experienced baker (read ‘older’) instantly emailed me her go-to-blueberry crisp recipe. So I made it (but of course, with some minor adjustments) and IT IS SO DELICIOUS.

 

The result.

The result.

 

Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping:

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Russ & Daughters

The new Russ and Daughters inside The Jewish Museum is a must eat and must see destination! This past Sunday, when my father was in town, we had the chance to go to Brunch with the family and celebrate my side of the family’s heritage.

 

Located in the basement of the museum, it is in fact sub-terranean, but still a great location to visit even with no windows.

Located in the basement of the museum, it is in fact sub-terranean, but still a great location to visit even with no windows.

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Mexican Spice Tajin

Last week when I was in Mexico (actually we left this morning at 4 am, #triste), I discovered Tajin and instantly became hooked. It tasted so good; that I had to put it on anything and everything. Truth be told, I was a little scared of looking at the ingredients because it was so addictive and good that I was convinced it had MSG. Reluctantly, I checked, and NO MSG, and instead, all natural ingredients (big sigh of relief).

 

Tajin. Vive la Mexico.

Tajin. Vive la Mexico.

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Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix

My mother is one of those people that always knows the bohemian cool, beautifully crafted, hip food products, way before anyone else. I am not saying she is a New Yorker fashionista (she is not), but she is very much in the know with all things West Coast cool and East Coast significant. When she visited us two weeks ago for Ken’s 40th birthday party, she gifted me a cookbook (she has more than 300 cookbooks at home — no joke) which is sooooooooo cool that I can’t stop reading it! Mark Bittman was a New York Times food columnist who created a book with a matrix of possibilities. It is unbelievable — everyone must have it for their kitchen! It also makes a perfect hostess gift for a friend. Take a look!

 

Kitchen matrix. How clever, imaginative, and smart.

Kitchen matrix. How clever, imaginative, and smart.

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Llama Inn – Sunday Brunch

The perfect bite.

After our big celebration this past Saturday night, we went out to cure our hangover / adrenaline / socialization with a big brunch. My brother, Giora, who lives in Seattle and is always up to speed with pop culture and what is cool (way more than any other New Yorker I know) told me about a restaurant that he wanted to go to — Llama Inn, a new Peruvian restaurant in Williamsburg that has a lot of buzz about it.

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Currently Loving December 2015

Here we are with Winter Break around the corner (SAY WHHHHHAAAT!!!??) and so here is a round-up of what currently makes me smile, laugh, and blush with love and affection. Like a cuddle or a kiss, this is what I am currently loving (almost as much as a big smooch and embrace from my loved ones)! Enjoy!

 

2015 Pop Music Mash-up

 

On repeat. On you-tube. On my computer. Not the best sound system, but this hit will make you dance and dance and DANCE!

On repeat. On you-tube. On my computer. Not the best sound system, but this hit will make you dance and dance and DANCE!

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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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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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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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Seaweed Sesame Seed Seasoning

Seaweed Sesame Seed Seasoning (Sally sold seashells at the seashore?) is my favorite touch to any dish. My freshman year in college, I was randomly placed in an all Asian hall (maybe the reason I ended up marrying Ken?) and therefore quickly learned many Asian customs and preferences (rice cookers, chopsticks, bowls for food, etc…). One of the best take-aways from that experience (definitely not my crazy roommate) was a Seaweed topping for rice. It simply is a small canister with seaweed and spices. Currently, my favorite variety of this seasoning is Seaweed Gomasio. And man oh man, is it good!

 

All of Eden Organic products are healthy, original, and delicious. ESPECIALLY, this seasoning!

All of Eden Organic products are healthy, original, and delicious. ESPECIALLY, this seasoning!

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5 Things That Should Be In Your Fridge

READERS!  Sorry about the lack of post yesterday but I am having still unresolved major computer issues.  Lame.  Really lame. Hopefully everything will be back to normal next week! On to today’s post…

 

My mother, the master chef and creative cook, has a kitchen full of unique ingredients and products. Here are five items in my parents’ fridge that are most likely not in YOUR fridge, but SHOULD BE!!!!

 

Five obscure-but-must-have-items!

Five obscure-but-must-have-items!

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How To: Meal Planning

My dear friend from childhood Katy is not only a good runner, but also a phenomenal teacher, mother, wife, and on-top-of-it-resident-chef.  Moreover, she is my 100% inspiration in terms of meal planning and cooking for her family. She is so impressive that I don’t know where to start — on top of being a full time teacher and mother of two she manages to cook 6 nights a week for her family by meal planning and organizing the menus two weeks at a time! As someone who needs guidance and help, I was fortunate to be able to sit down with her and ask a bzillion (sorry there are so many — worth reading through, PROMISE) about how she is able to meal plan.  It saves her time, indecision, and money.

 

Pinterest at its finest !

Pinterest at its finest !

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Eugene Saturday Market

Eugene, Oregon; home to the Oregon Ducks, elite athletes, homeless teenagers, and hippies stuck in the 1960s. One of the best random activities in Eugene is the Saturday Market (which takes place on Saturdays, obvi) where the perfume of choice is BO (and weed), white people serve a variety of ethnic food, wannabe musicians perform, and there is tie dye everywhere. What is not to love?

 

And if you go to the saturday market and want to fit in, then you OBVIOUSLY have to wear tie dye. And birks. (This is the closest I will get to "dressing up" in a costume).

And if you go to the Saturday Market and want to fit in, then you OBVIOUSLY have to wear tie dye. And birks. (This is the closest I will get to “dressing up” in a costume).

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Quince Paste

Quince paste, known as membrillo in Spain, is phenomenal when paired with cheese (especially Manchego cheese). I first discovered this paste (more like a firm jelly) from my mom, who always has it in stock. It is sweet without being overly so, and truly is a great addition to a cheese plate.

 

Who knew? (My mom did).

Who knew? (My mom did).

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