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!


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.


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!


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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!

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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Summer Activities in NYC

Just finished a great weekend with the family all together, as Ken is out for the week here in Oregon. We went on a hike, attended a puppet show, drank some coffee, and ventured to the Oregon Country Fair. So, although I am not in New York for the summer, here is a list of ten activities that I would do if I were there.

1.  Shop at the Artists and Fleas pop up store at Chelsea Market.

Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market

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Blue Apron Food Delivery

Although I love to cook, I get stuck in my own routine of cooking only a handful of meals. I am bored of my own repertoire, so I can only imagine what my meat-potato-husband thinks of my crunchy-green-leaf-dominated limited offerings. But I think I have found a solution: Blue Apron to the rescue!

Blue Apron

Blue Apron is a service that sends you the ingredients and recipes of three delicious meals a week. You pick meat/fish versus vegetarian, they prepare the recipes and the portions, send you the fresh ingredients and deliver it to your door. Ridiculously awesome. All you have to do is COOK the food, and VOILA, an amazing-wholesome-fresh meal for you and your family to eat!

Perfectly balanced meal.

Perfectly balanced meal.

The weekly subscription (that you can cancel at any point — or skip for a week or 9) can be delivered to most states in the Northeast (Santa Claus year round!) They deliver to: CT, DC, DE, IL, IN, KY, MA, ME, MD, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VA, VT, WV and in some parts of AL, AR, GA, IA, MI, MO, MS, NC, SC, WI. Basically, half the United States. Brilliant. The food comes tightly packaged in a box with ice to keep the ingredients fresh and intact. Then, you place the items in the fridge, plan out the weekly meals, and relax.

Insulated box, fed-ex over night shipped.

Insulated box, fed-ex over night shipped.



The weeks worth of ingredients.

The week’s worth of ingredients. The produce is whole, the meat and fish is uncooked, and there are not any (or very few) processed ingredients, so you KNOW you are eating fresh and in-season produce and meat. Dream come true.

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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.


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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Coconut Mylk (Organic Avenue)

I love anything with coconuts. Coconut water, coconut lotion, sunscreen with a coconut smell, coconut flakes…you get the point. I am nuts for coco-nuts. And the most recent coconut obsession is creamy coconut “mylk” from Organic Avenue.


Organic Avenue is a NYC based boutique that sells organic (shocker) juices, salads, wraps, and anything else healthy and wholesome. It also features beautiful (and sustainable) packaging, catchy phrases, and delicious drinks and snacks. You walk into the store, and you want to buy everything because it all looks so healthy and delicious. And the coconut mylk is no exception.

Creamy Coconut Mylk

Creamy Coconut Mylk is a natural drink that is recommended to maintain electrolyte balance. Good for athletes — especially when consumed POST workout.

Some recent studies have suggested that coconut mylk has a number of medical benefits, including hyperlipidemic balancing. Amazing! And let me tell you, nothing tastes richer, better, complete than this Organic Avenue Coconut Mylk after a long run.


And of course, it is also a good match with Clearly Coconut Water ,which is also delicious and is a good source of hydration PRE run.

Etsy Holiday Shop

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

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!

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There is nothing more beautiful than a fresh, crisp orchid in the house. Problem is, orchids from florists tend to be expensive – easily between $100 and $200. And if you are anything like me, no matter how well you try to care for the orchid, their life expectancy is a month, 6 weeks at best. So, if you live in New York, the flower district on West 28th street is the best deal in town! Not only are there beautiful fresh flowers for you to choose from (all event planners go to 28th street to get their flowers for events), but they sell the most affordable and beautiful orchids in the city! AND THEY DELIVER!

aisles of orchids

Rows upon rows of orchids in every color, size, and style.

Although most of the stores in the flower district deliver, it also makes for a fun early morning adventure to see all the colorful flowers, holiday plants, and New York Flavor.

my little buddy

My little buddy on our search for the perfect flowers and orchids.

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NYC Tourist Adventure

While Ken doesn’t necessarily tout the fact that he is a born and bred New Yorker (far from it), he does take pride in his ability to successfully navigate the city and its surroundings.  Tourist traps and ripoffs? He identifies and avoids them. Local roads, highways, short cuts, and parking spots? He knows them (and will be happy to tell you about it). Hidden gems off the beaten track?  He loves them. So it is somewhat ironic that we decided to celebrate Cruz’s third birthday by taking the family on the symbol of all things tourist:  the New York City sightseeing Double Decker Bus.

Cruz loves all things transportation.  And we love Cruz.  So we decided to bite our lips and make his dreams come true.

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3 NYC Adventures

This past month after summer break at home, I returned to my life in NYC of work, kids, school, city life, friends, and responsibilities. Although it was hard to leave my world of paradise and simplicity on the West Coast, I made the decision to bring more Oregon to NYC. Although it sounded impossible, I wanted to simplify, slow down, and not have to worry about much other than myself and my family. One of these shifts included making a conscious effort to embrace all that New York City offers. I researched some adventures off the beaten path to explore together with the kiddos and completed some of them. These little adventures have been unbelievable and have helped me set the right tone for the New Year ahead. Shana Tova, everyone!

Here are three adventures that I found to be extremely kid friendly, easy, interesting, and adventurous. New York is so big and too often, we all get trapped in our own lives, and stuck in the same routine and neighborhood.  I highly recommend these afternoon trips solo, with friends, with kids, or on a date.

1. Tram to Roosevelt Island



With only a metro card and a quarter, you can take the tram from 60th street and 2nd avenue to Roosevelt Island. Once you get there, you can take a bus (for 25 cents) all around the island. The highlight of the trip was seeing the view of Manhattan and the East River from up high.


Cruzzie was in heaven pointing out all the cars, trucks, cement mixers, tow trucks, and every other kind of truck on 2nd avenue.

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Best Chicken Truck in NYC

OK.  Left turn, today.  This blog has given you uber-healthy recipes for weird concoctions like Cauliflower-Broccoli Mash, Raw Brownies, and Kale Salad. Today, we are looking at… Street meat! I never thought I would be into it until I tried the chicken truck on the corner of 62nd and Madison.  Now, I am a convert.


Meet Tony, the chef of this street cart.

This cart has been situated on various corners of 62nd and Madison for the last 25 years. So, Tony, is a legend. People come from all over — schools, businesses, apartments — to eat Tony’s food. Every day when I pass the line, I am always in awe of the number of people who line up for such a long time to eat street food. But let me tell you, it is so incredibly delicious and out-of-this-world, that I am hooked!


Cooking up the meat (chicken and steak), onions, and peppers.

When we ventured out to try this cart, it was late in the day (no line), so we could ask embarrassing questions like “what do you sell?” etc…No menu, so we were clueless. Basically, you can get a salad with whatever meat, a platter of salad/rice/meat, a sandwich on pita, or a sandwich on a baguette. Every item looked scrumptious.

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Spring To-Do Wish List in NYC

Nothing is better than New York in the Springtime (well besides the Pacific Northwest in the summer….). The trees bloom, flowers blossom, birds chirp, people shed off their layers, and the energy is vibrant. There is magic in the air and in the streets and you don’t seem to notice the cars honking, the pollution, the garbage, or the negative people; everything just seems to glisten and glow. This Spring, I have a lot to accomplish on my to-do list of activities, because before you know it, mid-May will be here, and I will have a little Baby Girl in one arm, a Toddler Boy in the other, and it will be nearly impossible to move off the couch. So even though I am a waddling whale, I want to take advantage of the city in the spring and knock off some of my wish list activities STAT. Here are some of them:

High Line Kids Earth Day


This Earth Day, Sunday, April 22nd between 2 – 4 pm, the High Line will celebrate with live music, a giant communal mural, face painting, wildflower seed balls you can grow at home, and the Children’s Workyard Kit. Families will be able to dance, draw on a 15-foot mural, and partake in planting wildflower seeds in a garden. Kids will also be able to build vehicles, forts, creatures, structures, and machines from custom-designed wood planks, nuts, and bolts by Cas Holman. What seems better than that? I know that the past two summers, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking the little boy down to the High Line, playing and splashing barefoot in the water, eating popsicles, and being a part of a New York City moment. So for Earth day, 2012, I am so excited about heading down there and being a part of this celebration.


Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge

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Levain Bakery

I am slightly obsessed with desserts. So much, that now I have to worry that I have borderline gestational diabetes (obviously, not awesome). I live to eat sweets — I have the biggest sweet tooth ever and feel that my meal is not finished unless I have a nibble of sugar. One of my favorite treats is a cookie from a bakery on the Upper West Side, Levain Bakery. The bakery is a true New York City establishment.  Tucked away at the bottom of a brownstone building, the little tiny room barely holds more than 10 people either waiting in line or sitting on bar stools chowing on their cookies. Often times, there is a wait up the stairs to the sidewalk because the cookies are just that good. AND HELLS YEAH, they are that good.

The tiny little entrance down to the bakery.


The steep stairs. Don't go with a stroller.


Sampling of goodies.

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