And I am back…..

Sorry for the silence on my end. It has been a whirl-wind week with Parent Nights, kindergarten applications, marathon tapering, and a trip to Paris. YEP, a trip to Paris. I think Ken and I are the only people in the world who live in NYC who are planning to run the NYC marathon (this weekend), who decide to leave the weekend before for a quick adventure to Paris. Nothing says “rest” and “don’t do anything out of the ordinary” more than a 3 day trip 5-days-till-marathon with 7 hour per day walks and rose wine. But hey, you only live once. Crossing my fingers that this fun and beautiful trip will not hinder my marathon experience or expectations. Perhaps wishful thinking, but I am happy we did it. And since you haven’t seen enough pictures of Paris recently on the blog (here and here and here and here and here), here are some more. Enjoy!

Eiffel Tour -- haven't seen you in 3 months. Still as beautiful as ever.

Eiffel Tower — haven’t seen you in 4 months. Still as beautiful as ever.

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Shark Party!

Per request, here are photos of my son’s 5th birthday party! (JK no one asked to see them, so thank you for letting me share them with you!) My son, who turns 5 in nine days (who is counting?) celebrated his birthday with friends from school this past weekend up in Pound Ridge. Dedicated to sharks and the ocean (perhaps he will take after my brother), the party was shark centric. Here are the pictures!

 

Eeks, there is a shark in the grass!

Eeks, there is a shark in the grass!

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Heidi Hat

YET AGAIN!!! Another fabulous friend with a fantastic fashion sense and ambition. (I like to think that if I surround myself with these beautiful and wildly successful women that I, too will become beautiful and successful). Ladies, Kelly of Heidi Hat! Heidi Hat is a legging and hat centered brand, with the most fun, vibrant, crazy, and unique prints for your workout needs. I can’t get enough of these hot-shorts (if I had the courage to wear them) and the ease and oomph of the leggings. LOVE!

 

Heidi Hat is an accessory based line from Aspen, Colorado.

Heidi Hat is a hat + yoga line from Aspen, Colorado. Its founders are a mother and daughter team, Heidi and Kelly (daughter). Kelly was born and raised in Aspen while her mother is from Manhattan! Together, they share a passion for urban, chic fashion statements in country settings.

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Iron Mountain Hike, Oregon

I had the opportunity to go on a day hike with my Papa yesterday without the kids (Thank you, Nana!!) and it was a gorgeous 8 mile loop. Iron Mountain is known for its wildflowers — with over 300 species of flowers scattered throughout the meadows and mountain. It was a gorgeous terrain with a mixture of fields, forest, views, flowers, and trees. Enjoy the pictures!

Oregon trees. The very best.

Oregon trees. The very best.

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Hampton Popcorn Co.

Truly a sugar addict, my heart and mind fell in love when I was recently gifted a tin of Hampton Popcorn. I had NO IDEA that popcorn could taste SOOOO good. A nibble here, a handful there, and in no time, the gallon tin was almost empty. I can’t even begin to explain the deliciousness of this guilty pleasure.

 

Classic, classy blue and white tin. With HEAVEN inside.

Classic, classy blue and white tin. With HEAVEN inside.

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Upstate Shirt

Front.

Here I go AGAIN (and again and again) with some love for tie dye! It doesn’t matter what year or season it is, I will always have a love for the look. And thank you, Upstate, for creating this beautiful shirt! Upstate creates one of a kind pieces of wearable art by using dye techniques based on Japanese shibori. Each of my Upstate items, I LOVE and WEAR and ROCK.

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Wah-X-Soludos Espadrilles

Ironic, right? We are in a massive Polar Vortex Part 2 in NYC, and I am writing about summer shoes??? BUT…..Espadrilles are my new jam –especially when they are colorful, playful, fun and different. Which makes the We Are Handsome x Soludos the perfect shoe! (And yes, I realize that in most places in the country it IS still winter, and will be for quite some time, but hey, SPRING BREAK is around the corner!)

Beachy!

Beachy!

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Josie Natori RTW Fashion Show

Nothing better than celebrating the New Year with the Josie Natori Ready-to-Wear Spring/Summer 2014 show! Fashion! Glamour! Beauty! Camera! Action! Inspired by the potent sophistication of 1930s Hollywood, the Josie Natori Spring/Summer 2014 collection captured the eternal style of this glamorous fashion moment, envisioning modern life through the enchantment of the silver screen.

 

Invite.

Invitation.

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Carbon38

As a fitness-buff with an unconventional professional career (math tutoring and blogging), I wear workout gear more than normal clothes. I know, embarrassingly true, but between workout and kid activities, it is hard for me to get (properly) dressed and am therefore often “that mom.” So when I stumbled across Carbon38, a new website with athletic gear catering to fashion-forward women, I was in hog heaven.

 

Carbon38

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Josie Baggu Giveaway

Giveaway, giveaway, giveaway!  Details below, but first, I hope everyone had a great 4th of July! I must say, that it was pretty uneventful on my part. Not much BBQing or chugging beer over here in Oregon with two little kids and Ken in New York. That said, it was simple and sweet.

We went to the playground in the afternoon -- with sprinkles and watering holes. AH-MAZING.

We went to the playground in the afternoon — with sprinkles and watering holes. AH-MAZING.

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Two Dollar Bills

We recently discovered that the husband of one of Ken’s old friends is obsessed with two dollar bills. Amazingly awesome, right? I had no idea that two dollar bills still existed (use the two!) and so I swapped some cash for some of his two dollar bills. Turns out, Matt loves using two dollar bills as doing so has helped make the simple process of exchanging money lead to amazing stories, connections, and interactions. Odd, quirky, and inspiring! Talking to him made ME want to start collecting two dollar bills and handing them out to people; taxi drivers, manicurists, coffee shops, you name it!

 

 

2 dollar bill

 

 

Matt goes to the bank each week to get his stack of bills for the next week or two. His story about his interest in 2 dollar bills was so touching and elegantly odd (ironic?), that I knew I had to interview him and inspire us all to BRING BACK THE TWO! As Matt likes to say, he does not like to collect twos.  He just likes using them.

 

 

Elias with his stash

Elias, Matt’s 10 month old son, is also highly interested in two dollar bills.

Birthday gift

One of Laura’s birthday gifts to Matt this year, was a 2 dollar bill stamp (because apparently, Matt also really likes stamps.)

Every Tuesday

According to Matt, “Everyday is Mardi Gras for me. Another ‘Fat Twos’ Day.” Love it.

pocket full of dough.

 

Random and fascinating, here is the interview with Matt! Enjoy! (I want to start a collection that is so unique and obscure that people find my hobby and collection inspiring and touching!)

 

When did you become interested in $2 bills?

 

I started on this path in the summer of 1992 when I was living in San Francisco, working in the financial district (I was at Lehman Brothers at the time) and I discovered that my local bank could supply me with $2s. I was hooked. Subsequently, I cashed all my paychecks in $2s. My mantra is to spread the joy of $2 bills and to make transactions and merchant interactions fun and to spread the happiness of $2 bills throughout our system.

 

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Josie Palms Pants

A new favorite Spring Lounge pant — Thank you, ever-so-stylish-mother-in-law, Josie Natori! Everything about this pant screams WEAR ME NOW! I love the easy drawstring low-drop waist, the black/white combination, and the fun palm print.

Palm pants

Palm-pants. Can’t get much better than this.

the tush

The tush.

Front shot. Too early to have a picture of my face.

Front shot. Too early to have a picture of my face.

Polish TUSH!

Polish TUSH!

Feather palm print.

Feather-palm-print.

Ombre.

Ombre.

I love the look — and not just for bedtime! Buy now here, and don’t forget to get an extra pair for your Mother! Happy Mother’s Day!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Surf Bazaar

Now that it finally feels like spring, I am even MORE ready for tank tops, sunglasses, neon, florals, gingham, and flip flops (birkenstocks, too)! After this never-ending east coast winter, I am itching for sun and heat (who isn’t???). Some of my favorite go-to summer looks are the multiple tops from Surf Bazaar.

surf bazaar

Surf Bazaar’s clothing is oh-so-summerish. All the clothing looks like vintage beach wear but updated and improved with beautiful natural fabrics and more progressive and flattering silhouettes. Beach heaven in an urban setting!

Easy, soft, light, gauze, flattering, fresh tank.

Easy, soft, light, gauze, flattering, fresh tank.

Perfect cover up for swimming!

Perfect cover up for swimming!

A little, light tee!

A little, light tee!

Dress for a pool party!

Dress for a pool party!

Pom Pom dress!

Pom Pom dress!

The fabric is unlined cotton gauze which everything look beachy, sexy, and airy. OR, you can wear a light white camisole underneath for a good layering look.

Me in the tank. But even cuter, the little baby girl!

Me in the tank. But even cuter, the little baby girl!

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Smorgasburg

The best reason to skip breakfast on a Saturday or Sunday is to save space to party at the Brooklyn Flea’s giant all-food market, Smorgasburg.  Set at the East River State Park in Williamsburg or in the old tobacco warehouse under the Brooklyn Bridge in Dumbo, it is a full-on adventure in deliciousness.

Smorgasburg

Some highlights:

Hash Bar:

No -- not hash to smoke.

No — not that kind of hash

Hash and eggs.

Hash and eggs.

Bon Chovie:

Fried Anchovies, Jersey style. WHAT WHAT????

Fried Anchovies, Jersey style. WHAT WHAT????

Butter & Scotch Bakery:

S'mores Pie. Absolute perfection.

S’mores Pie. Absolute perfection.

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Etsy Cat Shirt

If I had all the time (and money) in the world, I would look (and buy) everything on Etsy. So many creative, fun, and handmade toys / clothes / pictures / purses – you name it -, to choose from. (For those not familiar with Etsy, check out my post on my visit to their pop-up shop here).

Etsy

And this includes, a super-duper cute and fun cat top. First spotted on my sister, Galen, it was something so whimsical and fun that I had to immediately get it for myself too. It was worth every cent of the $24 I paid it.

Tee-shirt version

Tee-shirt version

Tank version.

Tank version.

Although sold on Etsy, these cat shirts are created by BAF (Burger and Friends), an Austin, Texas based t-shirt and accessories company whose clothes feature great colors and neo pop-inspired illustrations. They also have a love of cats and feature a variety of different tees with different cat phrases and designs.

BAF

Rocking out

Rocking out

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Jambox

Until recently, my music listening set-up in our apartment was less than ideal.  We have Sonos set up, but for whatever reason, we rarely use it, and when we do it is to listen to NPR.  So like a college student, I basically only listened to music on my iPod and through computer speakers.  But no longer, now that I have JAMBOX!  Not fancy enough to have a built-in speaker system, but too old to not have speakers, I have found the perfect middle ground, with this tiny, amazing, innovative, and hip speaker system (thanks for the gift, brother and sister in law!)

big vs lil

Jambox comes in two different sizes; big and little. Both use the same wireless technology and have a deep, rich sound!

It is like a modern day ghetto-blaster! WHAT UP!

TINY

TEENY TINY!

Even the packaging is ultra-chic, modern, and fresh.

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Happy Anniversary!

It’s hard to believe the blog is a year old!  It all started with this post.  A year later,  I am amazed at how much fun (and time consuming) this has been.  Of course, a blog is nothing without its readers, and I thank all of you for taking the time to check in. Means so much to me. Thank you!

To celebrate our year anniversary, we are going to do a week of giveaways of some of my favorite things!

Melting. Best cookies in the world. Can I win?

Today’s giveaway: 12 of my FAVORITE cookies in the world from Levain Bakery.  (Yes, they deliver around the country.)  The official rules are here, but basically, you can enter by joining our email list, which you can do by putting your email address in that red box on the top of the right sidebar.  Good luck!  If you haven’t had Levain cookies yet, you are missing out on one of the best things in the world!

To celebrate the blog’s first birthday, below are my favorite posts over the past year.  Of course, in the form of a top 10, because as you know, I love lists almost as much as I love my children. DRUM ROLL…..

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