Upper SweetsideNYC Ilana

Honestly, nothing makes me happier than homemade baked goods, creative touches, and a hard working and inspiring mother. And Ilana, the founder and creator of Upper SweetsideNYC is all that. Ilana has created her own business of custom cakes, cupcakes & cookies for kids bdays and special occasions. Not only are the baked goods beautiful, but they are delicious too. Ilana is a fellow mother at my kids’ preschool, and through our morning chit chats and social media, I discovered her incredible talent. Ilana is a true example of a strong, empowered, and passionate woman who dreamed and created her own destiny! Here is an interview: — thank you!

 

One of the beautiful cakes created by Ilana!

One of the beautiful cakes created by Ilana!

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NYC Fall To Do List 2016

So far, Fall has whooped my butt. I feel like I am always behind (like writing the weeks’ blog posts) and I can’t keep up. I know that everything is temporary, but right now, it is like 0 for me vs. 100 for everything else. So why not add on to how behind I am by creating a Fall wish list of activities for me to do :).   Here it is:

 

Start to school has kicked my bootie, but also the kids. This picture is of Toosh in the middle of the morning, who decided she was just going to rest instead of doing anything else. #Jealous

Start to school has kicked my bootie.  Same for the kids. This picture is of Toosh in the middle of the morning.  She decided she was just going to rest instead of doing anything else. #Jealous

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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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To-Do-Spring Wish List NYC 2016

It seems like 2016 just started; and yet, school is about to end. I can’t believe I only have 6 weeks to squeeze in everything I want to do in Spring in NYC. Better start…..yesterday! Here is my list. (For last year’s list, go here).

 

1. Go see Hamilton (again).

 

Yowsers, I can't stop raving about it.

Yowsers, I can’t stop raving about it.

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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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Jar Bar NYC

As someone who loves almond milk, berries, nut butters, and oatmeal, I am officially hooked on Jar Bar NYC. What is it? It’s a jar of a healthy parfait / overnight oats and chia seeds made with healthy ingredients (read: no dairy) — the perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert. This mom-and-pop-shop makes the goods at home and delivers them throughout NYC.

 

Box of goodies

Box of goodies — ordered a pack of 5, and within five days, they were gone. Every last stinking spoonful of heaven.

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Flower Girl NYC

A couple of weeks ago, I co-hosted a baby shower for one of my besties in NYC. It was a huge over-the-top, atypical, and insanely beautiful event.  While it took place in a formal location, we wanted it to feel down-to-earth… solution:  we hired Flower Girl NYC to do the flowers. And man oh man, were the floral arrangements *out of this world beautiful*!  Although we dealt with a minor snafu with the delivery of the flowers, I can’t speak highly enough of the flowers themselves. They stole the show (although my friend was beyond radiant and gorgeous with her tiny baby bump, so it was a tie).

 

Every angle is perfection

Every angle is perfection. Can you take the beauty? I can’t….. Still dreaming of them.

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Spring Activities in NYC 2015

Believe it or not, Summer is around the corner! 6 more weeks! So better get going on the Spring Activities in New York City. My list is long and I hope to accomplish most of them this season!

 

1. Stroll the grounds at Storm King

 

A way of being outside in nature and enjoying art at the same time. Looks so beautiful and interesting and fun in the Spring or Fall!

A way of being outside in nature and enjoying art at the same time. Looks so beautiful and interesting and fun in the Spring or Fall!

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Mah Ze Dahr Nutella Hand Pies

Hello friends! I am so happy to write about Mah Ze Dahr once again! This past winter, the amazing online bakery founded by former Goldman Sachs executive Umber Ahmad was written up in the NY Times as having the best doughnuts in the city. As a loyal fan, I couldn’t wait to taste the doughnuts, so I went online to buy. And yet, instead of following my plan, I indulged in half a dozen of the Nutella Hand Pies. AND OH MY, they are amazing. True perfection. The New York Times needs to review THEM!

 

Bundle of deliciousness

Bundle of deliciousness

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Ample Hills Creamery

Even in sub-freezing temperatures, nothing is better than Ample Hills Ice Cream. Sold at three different Brooklyn locations and as of YESTERDAY, at the Gotham West Market in Manhattan, this ice cream is like no other. More like a pot of 24K gold in comparison to bronze.  Not only does it taste delicious, but it is the only ice cream parlor in New York City that makes ice cream completely from scratch on the premises. It gets its eggs and dairy from local farms, and each aspect of the ice cream is handmade with premium ingredients. Holy cow.

 

The store

The Gowanus Ice Cream Parlor on a recent cold, snowy, freezing weekend afternoon. Check out the roof deck up top. I want to have a party up there — for lazy people who don’t want to come to my party in Brooklyn, they will not know what they are missing. It is simply amazing.

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Instacart

After a feud with Fresh Direct last week (where I promised that I would never use their site again! And I am holding to that promise!), I suddenly found myself in a bind. Seriously — without Fresh Direct, how was I going to do a million things and be efficient / organized / get my food if I didn’t use them?  I love grocery shopping – love – but most weeks I unfortunately don’t have the extra time to go myself or with the family.  Below is my email to Fresh Direct…

My email to Fresh Direct, aka Monopoly of Delivery Groceries in NYC and SUCK

… sharing

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NYC Marathon Expo

After another night of no sleep (hello, jet-lag), I managed to pop in to the TCS New York Marathon Expo. I know, I know, I know….we had no choice to attend (we had to personally be the ones to pick up our number, no task rabbit messenger service for the marathon), but in addition to being a check off on my to-do-list, it also sparked some energy and fireworks into my veins. WE ARE RUNNING THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON IN TWO HOLY CRAP DAYS!

 

Big grin (better than sore muscles)

Big grin (better than sore muscles)

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NYC Marathon- Here We Come!

Big announcement from the Natori Family — Ken and I are running the 2014 New York City Marathon! November 2nd — just a little over one month away! We are both excited, nervous, energized, inspired, and motivated to run. After a full summer of runs out in the Pacific Northwest, we agreed that this was the year to do it. And…. the couples that run together, stay together! Inspired by Joanna, and her fight for life, we are running on behalf of Team In Training, a charity benefiting research for Leukemia and Lymphoma. We both feel moved and committed to run to raise money on behalf of the life and memory of our dear friend and family member. Joanna gave it all she got, enduring chemo, radiation, hospital life, isolation, pain, and discomfort. Running 26.2 miles is nothing in comparison. So we are doing this for Joanna.

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to run the NY Marathon 18 mile Tune Up Race. It was exhilarating. Great race! It helped that I made a friend on the course, Stephanie. STEPHANIE — where are you? Who are you? I don’t know your last name and want to find you!

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Karlie’s Kookies

So, apparently when you follow supermodels on instagram, you start to think that you yourself are IN FACT a supermodel. Yep, that is right. I strut like one, dress similarly, resemble one, and I am a model now. OK.  Not really, but I *do* eat Karlie’s Kookies which most supermodels boast about chomping down on instagram.  So that makes us similar, right? What is a Karlie’s Kookie? Well, all the celebrities and fashionistas eat them (and post them on instagram), so they must be healthy AND delicious at the same time. And what do you know? They really are. Cross my heart, swear to god, these little cookies are made out of healthy ingredients and are so tasty good, too.

 

My goodie bag.

My goodie bag.

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Daily Harvest Smoothie Delivery NYC

Call me lazy, but sometimes I would rather pay $10 for a smoothie than find all the ingredients and make it myself. It sounds lazy, but finding the various ingredients, then washing, chopping, measuring them all = too much effort. So what do you know, there is a service (currently only offered in New York City) which delivers packs of frozen fruit / vegetable combinations so you can MAKE your own smoothies without the hassle. And it’s way cheaper than buying smoothies at a store.  Ah-mazing, right? Daily Harvest, thank you.

 

DH

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US Open 2014

Happy (belated) Labor Day! Can’t believe how fast the summer flew by….the only thing that keeps me from being depressed with the change of seasons / responsibilities / obligations / reality / back to NYC, is the fact that I spent a big portion of last week at the US Open! And I will be there off and on this week, too (including today). Nothing better than to mourn the end-of-summer with some tennis, sunshine, and my Papa’s company (a huge tennis fanatic who comes every year for the 2 week tennis tournament. THANK GOODNESS — his presence in NYC makes the transition back that much easier. And yes, I am 35.) Here are some pictures of last week. (Not shown: my sweaty, smelly nastiness post hot matches, the night sessions, the gallons of water I consumed to stay hydrated, my hour long subway commutes, and the mother’s guilt I had for leaving the kids.)

 

Blue on blue on blue. Blue tri-facto.

Blue on blue on blue. Blue tri-fecta.

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Fishtail by David Burke

Here’s Ken with a guest post.  Take it away, hubby!

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The Josie Girl and I have had some really fun and adventurous culinary experiences.  Roberta’s Blanca tasting menu in Bushwick (coolest eating experience ever), Blue Hill Stone Barns in Pocantino Hills (educational and delicious), and even Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon (chicken wings + Oregon love).  We also try our own recipes as well, such as Beer Can Chicken (fun and easy, if not a little invasive for the chicken).  This one, however, takes the cake.  We haven’t eaten at Fishtail by David Burke on the Upper East Side since 2009.  However, we have been able to see what kind of food they serve due to the exposed garbage on the street we have seen over the last 5 years.

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From Saturday morning

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Xmas with the Natoris

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.

White Winter Wonderland! Last year, the decor was pink, this year, ALL WHITE.

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Pratima Spa

In October, I was lucky enough to participate in a 50-hour intensive Ayurvedic workshop. It was incredible. Learning about the doshas, the mudras, the mantras, the practice, the breathing, ALL OF IT, was an unbelievable, life changing, unforgettable opportunity.  Two months later, I am still reflecting on this journey, and am beginning to incorporate parts of my studies into my everyday life. I want to share more about this experience with you readers, bit by bit. And today, Pratima spa!

Pratima

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OMilk

I always learn about the coolest and newest products from friend and contributing editor, Ali Berlin. So, no surprise, that Ali has found my newest obsession. Thanks, Ali, take it away!

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OMilk is by far my favorite milk ever.  It is made from NUTS, is thick and creamy, sweet and fresh and is made with care, love and mastery right here in Brooklyn.  I don’t drink dairy milk but even when I did, it always left me wanting something different. OMilk hits the spot.

OM milk

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