Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year (Shana Tova!) Since I have the tendency to be bad at holidays (across all of our religions), this year, I decided I want to be more festive, and threw together a last minute holiday dinner with friends (4 Jewish-Catholic/Christian families… go figure!). One of the main traditional Jewish dishes is Noodle Kugel, something that is very Jewish but not something I ever grew up eating. I was looking for recipes on the internet when I decided to contact one of my old-time friends who I met when we were on a Teen Tour of Israel together. And sure enough, Heidi-ho got in contact with her mother (who just happens to be a chef!) and immediately sent over her go-to Sweet Noodle Kugel. Although it has been decades since I last saw Patty Padawer (can we talk about the awesomeness of her name), I remember her delicious food fondly. Talk about helpful — she saved the day — thank you SO much, Patty!
Not just any kugel, special and easy sweet kugel.
We just returned from the Best / West Coast where we spent a whirlwind holiday weekend outside in nature with my side of the family. It is best summed up by Ken’s instagram post:
My parents have spent the past 20 Thanksgivings at Breitenbush Hot Springs, at the base of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. So instead of indulging in food, turkey, booze, and football, we spent Thanksgiving off the grid in natural hot springs, rain, lush forests, and togetherness (vegetarian togetherness). My brother and his family have gone the past seven years, so this year, we decided to make the trek out to Oregon. It was quite the haul, but it was a special and joyous time for the cousins and all of us to be together.
Happy short week (and happy belated birthday, USA)! I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend and off to a great July (holllllly smokes). As always when with family, we had a great weekend celebrating with my brother and his family in Seattle. The only bad news was that Ken was unable to fly out as planned due to a storm on Friday night in NYC. After 4 hours on the tarmac and his flight being canceled, he sadly didn’t make it to the west coast. We missed him but will be reunited with him for 10 days on Friday! Here is a recap of our weekend!
We went sailing in the evening on Lake Washington (pictured: son Cruzzie, brother Giora).
A short and sweet, simple Merry Christmas to you and yours. As you read this, we are somewhere on an airplane traveling from Florida to Sunriver, Oregon to spend a week in the snow with my side of the family.
Happy everything! And yes, those sweaters are hand knit art work created by my mother. Next on her list of projects, a matching sweater for me! I can’t wait.
Although most people take the week off from posting on the world wide web, I will be doing regular posts (#JosieGirlNeverStops), so please stop on by! Thanks so much for all your continuous support and viewership (#ForeverGrateful) and have a very Merry Holiday.
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 holidays are upon us. If you’re like us, you have a lot of travel over the next month and a half. So here is my Fall 2015 Book list. Enjoy!
Cold and rainy days are perfect for cuddling up on a couch and reading.
1. The Japanese Lover (Isabel Allende)
The Kiini bikini! This new popular all-over-the-place bikini is completely mainstream, but I am hopping on the bandwagon. Obsessed! I love the look, the colors, the vibe. This crochet bikini is handmade, so no two are alike. The classic triangle form is the perfect shape and the material embodies the bohemian Josie Girl vibe. What is not to love?
Crochet form. (Note: this is inside out — the tag should be inside and not showing)
Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a restful weekend — I know I did! Before I get going with the books I want to read, here is a must-watch video. I have watched it numerous times and I cry every single time….so watch it….And Yes, I tend to watch more videos than I read. Not that I have a lot of time / energy / stamina these days, but there are SOOOO many books that I want to read! Just need to make it more of a priority (and find more hours in my day)…..here are the books that I want to devour in the coming weeks and months!
1. All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)
For those of you who have been reading the blog for a long time (first, huge THANK YOU!), then you have already seen this post. But I can’t help myself and need to include it again because these holiday treats are SO VERY DELICIOUS and addictive. And if you are new to the blog (welcome, and thank you!), enjoy the very best cookie / goodie / chocolate heaven / salty-sweet-thang. Hands down, the best holiday treat. And because you will not be able to stop at just one cookie (or ten of them), better get started on your holiday workout.
Happy 4th of July! I hope everyone has a wonderful celebration today and this weekend. Ken made it out to Oregon late last night (despite an East Coast weather scare) and we’re so excited to all be out here together.
The kids in their bike trailer
BOOYAH Spring Break is here! Although less exciting now (since I just tutor and am not a practicing teacher), it still means I get a little vacation and time away from NYC. Here is a list of items that I am currently loving (similar to earlier this year).
Ulla Johnson Harem Pant
We are in Florida now after an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable week in Sunriver, Oregon with my parents. Although not as bad as last year, we missed a connection on the way out and had to rent a car and drive four hours from Portland. No matter what a pain in the arse traveling across the country is with two kids, two car seats, a stroller and five million bags, it is worth every second to be with my parents. Enjoy the pics!
The area around the Sunriver resort is usually covered with snow this time of year. Not this time. So no ski-out cross country skiing. At least we got to enjoy the high desert scenery.
Happy Christmas! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday eating lots of delicious food and staying in your PJs all day long!
We safely arrived yesterday in Oregon where we will spend the next week lounging, eating, skiing, reading, and laughing with my parents, also known as Nana and Tata. (I wrote that sentence before our flight. We are here missing a bag and had to drive four hours through the mountains because we missed our connecting flight and they couldn’t guarantee us on another flight until Tuesday. So we are flustered, but yes, still safe!) We are all so happy to be with them and to celebrate the holidays. As Ken’s parents just left for the Philippines to be with Ken’s grandmother, we had a “pretend Christmas” (as Cruzzie said) at the end of last week at the Natoris. Here are Christmas posts from 2012 and 2011, and now CURRENT shots of the Natori Srs apartment from this year! Enjoy!
White Winter Wonderland! Last year, the decor was pink, this year, ALL WHITE.
NEWS SHOCKER! I have no boobs. I mean, literally, nothing. They are cute, petite, and basically…just nipples. Sometimes, I wish I had bigger boobs, but then I realize how care-free life is and how easy no boobs are (easy to dress, easy to run, no males drooling over them). So boob-less I will always be! However, bra shopping for flat chests isn’t easy…saying I wear a 32A is a stretch. For many years, I struggled with what fit correctly with my no-chested-body. But thanks to Lynne (National Fit Specialist and Manager of Retail Services for Natori Intimate Apparel) and my bra-fitting this year, I now have the perfect bras for flat chests! Drumroll….
My current collection.
YEAH, I KNOW, this post is totally in your face about buying Natori, but hey, that is in part what I’m about. And not only should I promote Natori items, but I want to as well! So here are my top Natori gift items for Holiday 2013. And some pictures of the Natori (senior’s) Winter Wonderland apartment.
The holiday tree at my in laws apartment (Josie Natori)
Happy December! And Happy belated Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend celebrating your loved ones, your life, and your health. We had a terrific holiday full of resting and family activities with the Natoris, although we missed my parents and brother who were all together celebrating Thanksgiving a la Oregon style. Here are some pictures, thanks for looking at them!
Not that there is much difference between a weekend and a weekday during my summer vacation in Oregon, but we have had a great last couple of days. My brother and his family came down from Seattle, and there was a constant influx of noise, commotion, and chaos, combined with love, laughter, and happiness. When the two of our families are at my parents house (minus Ken, who is working in New York but coming out on Friday!), there is A LOT going on, but we all love being together so much. Here is a look at what we did. A lot of outdoor activities, as normal:
We set up a tent in the backyard for the cousins to sleep in.
Morning! For those of you who celebrated Passover last night — or who are celebrating it again tonight (and even for you NON Jews who want a special treat!), my lovely friend Heidi-ho (nickname) made an AMAZING treat for all us Josie Girls (Jews, Christians, and all religions alike)! Since I am solo in Florida with the kids, and therefore being a bad Jew and eating bread, more bread, and MORE bread, AND not having a seder or two or ten to attend….. I am thrilled Heidi-ho is riding to the rescue with a great post on the tradition of Passover .and the food that comes with it! (And come back for another guest blog on Friday on Easter traditions from Georgia Frasch). Without further ado, my lovely friend and guest blogger Heidi will take it from here:
Heidi. Don’t you just LOVE her already? So fitting that we met each other in 1996 on an Israel Team Tour. She didn’t know Oregon had Jews, and I had no idea someone could be so fun. (Good trade off, huh?)
Does your kitchen smell like brisket today? Ah, mine does! The sweet celebration of Passover is upon us and, while we may lose out on bread and some other fun carbs for eight days, we do okay with some Passover specialties. Favorites like matzo ball soup (this is the version simmering on my stove this year!), matzo brie (trust me), matzo bark (the kosher-for-passover version of this) and I haven’t even started on the real desserts yet. Stay with me – it’s coming.
Who loves being thoughtful and writing cards, but HATES sending them out? Me! There is something way too tedious about getting a card, handwriting your note, finding a stamp, writing out the address, and mailing. I love the idea of being thoughtful and writing cards — for thank yous, for birthdays, for any occasion. But usually, I become overly lazy and just skip it. Until I discovered treat! And boy, is it a TREAT!
Treat is an online store that sends out personalized greeting cards that really stand out. A new company (originally a part of Tiny Prints), Treat has set up a system where you can create a personalized greeting card that reflects your style with your own photos, nicknames, and thoughts. And then you can even make it so Treat mails the card directly to the recipient. Unbelievable!
I don’t drink much, but when I do, it is often with my in-laws, which means champagne (my mother-in-law has definitely rubbed off on me!) Mrs. Natori is picky about her champagne, but me… not so much. What I have discovered is a cute new way to drink it!
PINK! CAN! STRAW! SPARKLE! POP!
Nothing says “celebrate” more than champagne. In a can. In a PINK can. With a straw. A PINK straw. Oh my god, it is like I died and went to heaven!
Back in the saddle after Monday’s hiatus. It’s been a long week – overly tired (baby Zoe is teething so no sleep for me), busy traveling (quick family-of-four trip to Florida), and gift wrapping (lots of presents), therefore had no time to write. I hope everyone had a super duper Christmas (and Hannukah earlier in the month!) We had a great night with my in-laws and family. Here are some highlights of Christmas Day Night with the Natoris!
PINK TREE! Electric, neon, modern, cool, fresh, unique, and awesome!
Hats are like workout clothes: they can be difficult to buy because they seem so damn expensive, but then you end up wearing them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So it is worth it in the end. Also, you want nice looking hats (and workout clothes, too) as there is nothing worse than a bad hat in grey cold weather. Eugenia Kim hats are my splurge.
Eugenia Kim launched her namesake hat line in the early 2000s, and won a CFDA award for Accessories Design (2004). She is known for her innovative wovens and inventive, quirky felts and straws trimmed with vintage ribbons and feathers. Her hats and head accessories are sold at Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks, net-a-porter, shop bop, Zappos, as well as 200 smaller boutiques. DAMN girl. But of course, she has her own e-commerce site, so go there! Straight to the source!
Check out the hat selection. LOVE.
I love Etsy. And I love pop-up shops. So while I was on a three hour day-date with my better half last weekend in SoHo (best three hours EVER), I couldn’t have been more excited to stumble across the ETSY HOLIDAY SHOP!
The sign outside of the store. This is what immediately got my attention.
For those of you unfamiliar with Etsy, it is a website that allows local artisans and merchants to sell handmade or vintage items to a broad community. It is a great one-stop shop for anything homemade, and it is a terrific place to find unique gifts. The holiday store does a great job of bringing that web concept to brick-and-mortar. As described on the site, “Imagine a magical place where you can shop directly from the collections of guest curators, meet the artists and collectors of the marketplace in person, learn to make something with your own two hands, and enlist the help of a whole squad of Etsy experts for your gift list. It’s Etsy in real life!” So true, and so magical. But unfortunately, the shop is closing this Saturday (December 8th)…. so go now!