I love chocolate almost as much as I love my kids (I joke, I joke….eeks!). And this chocolate, Tony’s Chocolonely, is the best chocolate in the whole wide world. It tastes like gold (if gold tasted good) — just so rich and pure and holy chocolateness. And to top it off, it is from the coolest place in the world, YUP, Oregon. But of course, right? If I were you, I would buy as much of this chocolate as possible and give it out to people as their Holiday presents — it is that good.
My favorite three bars: Milk, Milk Caramel Sea Salt, and Dark Almond Sea Salt.
I am guilty of loving the Oprah magazine…..a loyal reader for more than a decade! This past issue, she featured little animal speakers that connect via bluetooth to your phone. I decided to get them for the kids for the holidays, but of course had to check them out myself. And it is magic! Such a tiny little animal that makes such a good loud sound!
Look how cute!
My number one fashion love is jumpsuits, but a close second is t-shirts. YUP, simple, cotton, every-day tees. And so it makes me giddy that I just bought myself a new tee that is fun and unique. My new tee is The Air Barack from Unfortunate Portrait. There are a lot to choose from, but since my love for Obama runs deep, I decided on this one.
Air Barack. (Sigh. I miss Obama).
In my past life as a teacher, I became good friends with our school counselor, Emily McClatchey. Her warmth, humor, listening skills, and supportive nurturing care instantly led us to be friends. Although we now are both in different places and careers, we have managed to stay in touch (thank you, Facebook!), so when I read about her new business, Kidolences, I knew I had to interview her. Kidolences is a care box for a kid suffering loss: divorce, death of a pet, death of a family member, saying goodbye to a binkie, etc… In each of the carefully curated boxes, there are items that help the kids cope and learn about their loss and feelings that surround it. To learn more about kidolences, go here. To shop a box, go here. And to learn even MORE, read on. Thank you, Emily! You are an inspiration!
Dr. Emily McClatchey.
This past weekend, we went on our annual mini-reunion with close friends from business school to Sonoma. It is a tradition I love and look forward to each summer. We had a jam-packed weekend (see the blog on Wednesday for a recap) full of lots of laughter, adventure, and hang out time. Coming to Sonoma from Oregon, I decided to bring the hosts a little bag full of Oregon goodies. I want to give myself a pat on the back because it is cute, well thought through, and useful. Thank you, thankyouverymuch. (Thank you, Kimmers!) Here are the details.
A Eugene little tote bag, stuffed with all small goodies. You can never have too many of these tote bags — especially if it has an extra special strap, like this one.
And yet again…another essential oil to add to my list of favorite scents! This scent, 1509 Baby Breath Bud, is subtle, clean, and comforting. Each bottle of 100% pure fragrance oil is hand packaged and created. The healing oils (amber) are free of synthetic material and safe for your body. The smell is rich and soothing at the same time — a must for summertime.
Also comes in a travel size. Just as cute (with baby breath, too).
The other day, I was walking down the street with a good friend and was entranced by her smell. It was divine, amazing, luscious, and beautiful, and I knew I needed to know more about the scent ASAP! Luckily, she put me in touch with the creator of the perfume who happens to be a good friend of hers. This incredible scent, ILARY, is created by Hillary. Hillary currently lives in Chicago with her husband and 2 young sons. and is busy building her perfume empire. I had the opportunity to interview her about her company. Take a look! And Thank you Hillary!
How did you start your own perfume?
As mentioned Friday, I have a newfound love for Zara Home. When in Paris a couple of weeks ago, I bought a simple candle that made me happy. Most candles these days seem to cost 40 dollars plus, so when I found this pretty (and beautiful smelling) candle for 17 euros, I knew I had to buy it.
Pink and green box. Tuberose smell — sweet and perfect. (Minorly crushed in my carry-on… apologies)
Greetings from Paris! More to come after I recover, but I ran the Paris Marathon again yesterday – as beautiful and rewarding as ever. Excited to share pics and the experience (different than the past ones here, here and here) later this week. But for now….
One of my absolute favorite recent presents is a clutch / carry-everything-holder from Minor History. It literally holds everything and is the perfect size, color, and leather texture. A perfect small bag!
Flat like an envelope.
For sizing purposes, here it is in comparison to my hand.
You can also fold it over and use it as a clutch.
It holds cosmetics, other little carry holders, glasses, everything and anything.
This roomy zipper clutch is the perfect addition to my bag wardrobe. And it is also a great gift! Au revoir..
Last week I received a present that made me smile! A box of candy! But not just any candy, it was an email saying that I was given a box of goodies from Sugarwish, and that I needed to pick out what I wanted.
First, you receive an email saying that you were gifted some sweets, then you select what you want. Everything I picked arrived in a slick little box.
For personal family reasons, I have had a difficult past week with lots of tears shed and feelings of despair and sadness. Many friends went above and beyond and have been an incredible support. Thank you for listening, thank you for the wine, thank you for the lunch, thank you for check ins and calls, and thank you for being my shoulder to lean on. It means the world to me, so thank you.
It is also during these times that I miss my parents the most. Growing up, whenever I got upset (either by throwing a temper tantrum or having my feelings hurt), my father would type up letters with some big moral and place them on my pillowcase. My father (the smartest man in the world) is also incredibly sensitive, wise, articulate, and thoughtful. It was during those hard times that I looked forward to his letters the most. Especially right now, I so wish I had these letters and could relate them to my feelings.
So when I came across this book “Letters to My Baby” it tugged at my heart strings and I had to buy it. Not that they are similar to my father’s typed up letters, but they are a great keepsake and something a child can have forever. Write now, read later, treasure forever. They are little paper time capsules that contain 12 letters where a parent can write to their child. Each letter has a different prompt for the parent to write about, and then you date, seal and keep the letters for your child. I love this idea.
Vintage Air Mail look in a great little booklet.
I just bought the most clever napkins ever, introduced to me by my bestie Amy at a brunch she threw. Yet, they are presents not for myself (currently, we do not have our own home, so there’s no need to hoard napkins quite yet) but to have in my stash of presents for friends. These witty and creative napkins by August Morgan are the perfect hostess gift, pick-me-up present, or even a birthday present (who said napkins for your birthday are not the best!). You can buy the napkins as mix and match which makes it even more fun.
A set of four comes in a little nifty box with a ribbon to close it with.
Before the holidays, one of my best friends introduced me to the most amazing wool shoes. She and her husband both have them in multiple colors. Made from New Zealand merino wool, they are lightweight, breathable, fashionable, chic, comfortable, (and warm)! (Links: women and men.) Not only are they good looking but they are a good price point ($95) for a shoe you will wear everyday!
Wool and good looking!! (These are a men’s pair I got for Ken.. I am buying a pair soon!)
For the holidays, Cruzzie was gifted President Obama’s children’s book “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.” (I’m not sure how iI missed this for so long… it was published in 2010.) The book is thoughtful, educational, emotional, and beautiful. The first time I read it to my kids, I cried (yes, I am prone to crying, but still — this book is powerful). When you read the book, you can hear President Obama’s voice — and what an awe inspiring and powerful speaker he is (can we talk about his farewell address? We were in tears. How I will miss him!). This book is a must have for everyone –it is also a perfect gift.
This book is very timely It is also a good reminder of how many strong people have shaped our history.
I have been a big fan of Roberta Roller Rabbit since my son was born seven years ago. The kids and I love the prints, the softness, and the ease of the pajamas. Additionally, all our master bedroom bedding is from RRR as well. I had the opportunity to interview Roberta Freymann, Founder and President of the company, along with her team at Roberta Roller Rabbit, so please read on for more on the company!
My kids almost exclusively wear Roberta Roller Rabbit pajamas. Here, in this sunset picture in Mexico, Cruzzie is wearing one of his many pairs.
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).
As you can see, I have a love for socks (Pause…read this article on People Who Wear Crazy Socks Are Smart). I can never have too many… the more the merrier. While Zkano is now my favorite US brand, Tabio socks are my favorite foreign brand. I wrote about them 1.5 years ago, and they continue to be my favorite sock to stock up. On my recent trip to Paris, I bought several pairs as presents….but in the end, couldn’t give them away (they had me at “hello”).
The three pairs that I can’t part with.
If you want to give your mother something that will make her feel special and loved for Mother’s Day, I highly suggest you MOZIE ON DOWN TO www.natori.com, stat. Because honestly, where *else* would you go to get your mother a present for Mother’s Day? And even better, the site is offering 20% off orders of $200 or more (excluding bras). Here are my top 5 Mother’s Day gifts from Natori.
ANNNNNND 20% off? Thank you, Universe.
1. Cotton Voile Lace Gown
There is only one person I really trust to give me make up advice, and that is Oscar Caballero. I first met him 4 years ago at Barney’s in the makeup department where he works for Natura Bisse. He also works independently as a make-up artist. From day one, there was just an instant feeling of comfort and trust, and I went to him for advice on skincare and makeup. Since then, he has done my makeup countless times, as well as my mother-in-law’s. He is also a friend. Enjoy this interview… ladies… here are some great tips from an expert!
Oscar! Applying makeup to Miss Honduras.
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.
I can never have enough candles in my home. And for some reason, candles are one thing that I tend not to be price conscious about. In my closet full of presents (one of the best lessons passed down from my mother), most of the presents are candles. After reading a lot of reviews on candles (yes, they exist), I instantly bought cult-favorite D.S. & Durga. D.S. & Durga is a husband-wife team that makes the candles in Brooklyn (but of course).
This past Christmas, Santa brought my six year-old-Cruzzie (well, um, actually… me) a wireless printer! A polaroid printer! It is my teenage-self dream. Check it out.
The size of my palm. Chic, apple-esque, petite, and functional!
DRUM ROLLLLLLLLLLL…….my hubba hubba husband is now El Capitan of The Natori Company (also know as President). For some readers, you might think OBVI, he is the son, so of course, he is President. But that is not the case. Ken never thought he was going to work for his mother and set out to make a name for himself. He was a TV and radio broadcaster at Bloomberg for 5 years (Ken Natori, What’s the story?), then went to Stanford Business School (near-perfect GMAT scores), worked at Lehman Brothers for several years (left before the crash), and then joined the family business in 2007. I am proud of my husband for working hard, committing to what he believes in, being a diligent and thoughtful worker, and at the same time as being the smartest person I have ever met (other than my brother and father — they all tie for first place). So now, a new era of new life for the Natori business, and I am proud and in awe of my husband’s dedication, drive, and talents. So to celebrate, I got him this plate (this is not a joke).
YUP, “You are special today” BEST GIFT EVER.
Remember Kenny Lao and his terrific book on Dumplings?
HEY THERE! Dumpling book.
Before I get to the post today (and be sure to read to the bottom for a special treat), I want to share three links. First, I am so proud of my beloved hometown Eugene, Oregon for making it into New York Magazine as a weekend escape. To read all about my hometown, go here. And for you loyal readers (a million thank yous!), I am sure you recognize a lot of the places from previous blog posts (Voodoo doughnuts, Spencer’s Butte, and King Estate). Secondly, here is a great article for New Yorkers currently dealing with the crazy-traffic-grouchy-tourist-filled-city! Read it here. Thirdly, this Josie Robe was mentioned as a perfect gift in Kylie Jenner’s blog (who knew) so read about it here! And now, a great last minute gift: this Josie sleepshirt!
How fun is the print? Colorful, vibrant, trippy, and oh-so-fun.