Bauble Bar Pearl Earrings

If you live in NYC, then you are more likely to be in touch with certain fashion trends. What does that mean? It means that the common person (like myself) knows about who wore what earrings to what fancy gathering, who is the spokesperson for what company etc….Like Jennifer Lawrence is the spokesman for Dior. And therefore, in the Dior advertisements, she wears certain Dior earrings, wears these earrings at various events, and represents Dior. AND MAN, does she look good! And THOSE EARRINGS!!!! Hot damn, those earrings.

 

The earrings -- front and back pearls, small and big.

The earrings — front and back pearls, small and big.

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Saltine Cookies

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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.

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Zara Leopard Shoes

I am a huge fan of slip-on comfortable shoes that are hip and easy to walk in. And these Zara Leopard shoes check off the boxes. These flat leather ankle boots are made out of natural cowhide with elastic side panels and white rubber soles. They are quick to slip on, flat to run a marathon with, and a la mode en ce moment. I imagine that my Parisian Girl Crushes are wearing them now, too.

 

shoes

shoes

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Birthday Interview Book

One of my all time favorite gifts is the “Birthday Interview Book.” This tiny little book is a simple way of keeping track of your child’s favorite items each year. Every year, on his birthday, we ask Cruzzie the same 20 questions (favorite color, song, friend, meal, etc…) and record it in the little keepsake book. We will start the same tradition with Toosh this May when she turns 3.  It is a fun (and smart) way of collecting information about your child as they grow up (tear — not too fast, kids!). And the kids love to answer and record the questions as well! To purchase, go here. It is the perfect gift for your child (or a friend!).

 

Tiny, little blue book with powerful, meaningful keepsakes.

Tiny, little blue book with powerful, meaningful keepsakes.

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Josie Fragrance / Bloomingdale’s Event

Josie-Bloomingdales-Invite

 

As the Josie girl, I love everything Josie. The prints, the material, the vibe, the lifestyle, and especially the new fragrance. Launched this past Summer, the fragrance is effortless, confident, and light. Just the right amount of subtle sweetness paired with crisp. The scent is a vibrant accord of crisp Asian Pear and Bergamot (LOVE!), followed by Sampaguita (the national flower of the Philippines), Freesia, and Wild Orchid. The perfect harmony of smells. And now, what is even more amazing is that the fragrance comes in a rollerball! Perfect for your purse, a stocking stuffer, or travel.  Cha-ching.

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Kitty Shoes

Every parent thinks that their kids are the cutest in the world.  I am no different. I am also aware that they are a little more exotic looking than plain-Jane (or myself).  I definitely get stopped a lot in the streets by strangers commenting on how beautiful they are. I always appreciate the straight-forward remarks and admire people’s courage to speak openly to strangers.

 

Indulgence: Thinking my own kids are cute.

Indulgence: Thinking my own kids are cute.

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Crane Crest Real French Dressing

I have a close friend who is hands down the best cook in the world (actually, tied with my mother). Everything she makes in the kitchen is scrumptious, delicious, and out of this world good (she is also beautiful, loving, caring, stylish — damn I have AMAZING FRIENDS!!!!!). So when I was at her house last week and devoured a whole gallon of salad, I had to know HOW DO I MAKE THAT DRESSING? The salad was simple — cabbage and tomatoes — but I couldn’t stop eating it. It was the most delicious two ingredient salad I had ever tasted — all because of the dressing. My friend, embarrassed, said that the dressing was store bought (not her typical style) and said it cost her $17 for the bottle (NYC — your prices are totally bonkers a$$ crazy!).

Salad! But what makes the salad is the dressing....

Salad! But what makes the salad is the dressing….

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Jacobsen Salty Black Licorice

Enamored with anything Oregonian and delicious, I recently stumbled upon (in my mother’s kitchen) the most INCREDIBLE, tasty unusual, and delicious treat, made by a Local Company, Jacobsen Salt Co. A little background: my parents met and married in Stockholm, Sweden, 42 years ago. I also lived there as a 5 year old for a year. Soooo, I feel a connection to anything Swedish (add that to my long list of special connections: Oregon, Paris, hippy, etc..)  One of the many Swedish food loves is black licorice, and especially salted black licorice. It is definitely an acquired taste, but if you do like it, you LOVE it. And my mother is royally obsessed with black licorice and stocks up on it when in Scandinavia. So it was a treat for her to find her favorite candy made by a local company. Hip hip hooray!

 

Catchy

Catchy name, classy presentation.

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Rod Lavers

Not sure what is happening, but I am reliving all my fashion trends from college. Overalls, tie dye, and now Rod Lavers. I used to wear Rod Lavers every single day in college. Literally — with dresses (yup, guilty), shorts (cute), and jeans (typical). And what do you know? On trend! Rod Lavers are back in action!

 

sneakers

Rainbow of sneakers (courtesy New York Times)

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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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Kinfolk

Coffee table goodness.

Obsessed with anything from Portland, Brooklyn, and / or Stockholm, I recently came across the magazine, Kinfolk, from Portland, Oregon. And now, I am hooked. This inspirational, quarterly, ad-free print magazine is a piece of art, not just a magazine. Goodbye, Cosmo, and Hello, Basquiat! (And yes, I had this planned before the New York Times Sunday Styles article yesterday! The Josie Girl and the NYT apparently think alike!)

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Fingerless Gloves

Winter is here in NYC, which means it’s hat, glove, scarf, and mitten time. One has to bundle up to survive the cold. However, doing errands (especially pushing a stroller, carrying kids, picking up toy cars and airplanes) is almost impossible with normal gloves.  My new jam?  Fingerless gloves! They are warm, cozy, and give you the freedom and flexibility to move your fingers around. PLUS, they look cool. Kind of like leg warmers for your wrists.

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Candy Store

I am a health freak as I love my gym, nature, fresh air, chia seeds, coconut, and vegan concoctions. And yet, I am a sucker for candy, too. I KNOW, right? Hard to believe, but I love it. I hoard Halloween candy all year because I love the shiny wrappers and the delicious, chocolatey, oh-so-sweet treats inside. Drooling now. And it is so cliche, but a candy store to me, is well, like one big candy store. I can’t just look, and I want to taste everything — it all looks delicious and I NEED. EVERYTHING. THEN. AND. NOW. SHAKE. SHAKE. CONVULSIONS.

Picturesque.

Picturesque Sockerbit in the West Village of NYC.

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Amber Necklace

This past summer in Oregon, I noticed that every little baby wore amber necklaces (just like the adults wore tye dyes and birkenstocks). It looked hip — the orange, yellow twinkle and shine — but I knew that there was more to the story than just aesthetics (hippies don’t care about being stylish). And sure enough, there was.

Baby Girl

But check out the cuteness! The look alone is worth it to me.

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Clogmaster

Nothing is more comfortable than clogs (tied with birkenstocks, obvi), so when I found out about Clogmaster — custom fit clogs — I got super excited. While store bought clogs are already almost like the perfectly fit glass slippers, CUSTOM fit clogs seriously make me Cinderella. And yet again, an awesome product from my very own, Oregon (but available elsewhere!).

 

clogmaster

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Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery

Through wonderful friends, Ali and I were introduced to Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery and the woman behind it, Umber. Both the baked goods and Umber are such inspirations that I think about them all the time. Not only is her food incredibly delicious, scrumptious, and heavenly, but Umber is also such an elegant, eloquent, composed, intelligent, and beautiful person. Umber ‘s success, happiness, and talent shine through, immediately wanting us to become friends with her. Both Ali and I fell head over heels for Mah-Ze-Dahr AND Umber!

mah-ze-dahr

Mah-Ze-Dahr is a bakery created by Umber and is a Tom Colicchio Discovery brand. Umber, taught at a young age that food is a language on its own, studied genetics and business. She spent much of her career in finance on Wall Street, and then moved to help luxury brands, chefs, and restaurateurs expand their concepts globally. She also started the bakery (the perfect combination of her talents — business, science, and culture!) with Colicchio, the chef/owner of Craft restaurants (as well as a Top Chef judge).

Umber. Isn't she supermodel worthy? HOLY COW!

Umber. Isn’t she supermodel worthy? HOLY COW! (Photo taken by Vanessa Rees)

Umber and Tom.

Umber and Tom. Again, another beautiful photo taken by Vanessa Rees.

In Urdu, the word mazedar describes the taste essence of food, its flavor and magic that make it delicious. As Umber describes, it is the “Je-ne-sais-quoi” that describes something wonderful. It is something that one cannot describe but wants to experience over and over again. And the items from Mah-Ze-Dahr are exactly that.

The simple brown box, logo and ribbon is classic and tasteful.

The simple brown box, logo and ribbon is classic and tasteful.

MY FAVORITE! I am still dreaming of this cheesecake. Made from sour cream and cream cheese, it is light fluffy and refreshing -- who knew that cheesecake could be so light and airy?

MY FAVORITE! I am still dreaming of this cheesecake. Made from sour cream and cream cheese, it is light fluffy and refreshing — who knew that cheesecake could be so light and airy?

A favorite, Mah-ze-dahr bars

A favorite, Mah-ze-dahr bars that were featured in Food & Wine Magazine an Editor’s Top Ten Pick (February 2013). This bar has an oatmeal cookie base topped with toasted pecans and chocolate bits and covered in a brown butter caramel sauce.

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36 Hours

Every Sunday, The New York Times Travel section has a column titled “36 Hours” where they highlight all that you can do in a specific city for 36 hours. The popular column helps you create a a dream weekend with realistic and approachable itineraries — ideal for us OCD planners. The Times and book publisher Taschen came together to create a series of books with updated and new versions of the columns– a perfect gift for Father’s Day, an anniversary, a housewarming, or just a token to say I-love-you.

The colorful trio of books.

The colorful trio of books.

Not only are these books incredibly informative and practical, but they are also beautiful and special. Put them on your coffee table to stir up a conversation or place them on your nightstand to read before bed!

On shelf.

On shelf.

I bought three books from the series, USA Northeast, USA Westcoast, and 150 weekends in USA and Canada (which is the whole American/ Canadian series in one book. Ken would point out that buying all three of these is unnecessary.  OOPS!).

West Coast Love.

West Coast Love.

Northeast Like.

Northeast Like.

USA weekend trips!

USA weekend trips!

Below is a sample of 36 Hours from the Times online.  Auckland, New Zealand!

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Urban Moonshine Bitters

For some horrible reason, my tum tum has been killing me recently. Like SHARP AWFUL pains, nausea, gas, on and on and on. Not fun. (Yes, I am going to the doctor soon, as my pains are unreal). So a friend told me to try bitters to aid my digestion.

The only type of organic bitters sold at The Meadow is Urban Moonshine. So, I happily picked up a bottle and tried it immediately.  The listed benefits of bitters are staggering! Bitters soothe gas and bloating, relieve occasional heartburn, and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.  There are about a million other things they are supposed to help with too.

bottles

Three different varieties of bitters: original, citrus, and maple.

Bitters original.

Bitters original.

The theory behind bitters is fascinating. Everyone is supposed to consume daily the 5 main flavors: sweet, salty, sour, umami, and bitter. Each flavor has a different effect on the body, and bitter flavor effects the digestion. Unfortunately, current diets focus mainly on sweet and salty, and lack bitter.  So bitter supplements in theory help your body balance.

Dandelion.

Dandelion.

I am so excited to make this a part of my daily health regime. It’s only been a week, but my stomach is already feeling better.  I am going to keep going with this, and hopefully my repeated stomach problems will permanently go away.

Digestion relief.

Digestion relief.

You can buy Urban Moonshine bitters on their website. Happy Spring — a toast to getting our bodies working correctly, and feeling great. Have a good weekend!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Winter Jammies

Winter Jammies! Time to get some good looking pajamas for those family holiday nights. Goodbye t-shirt and undies, hello beautiful. Here are my top three ensembles for winter nights.

Natori Essence PJ

I am the first one to admit that I prefer undies and tees to pajamas (ironic, don’t you think?). But as I get older, I am more attracted to the retro and sophisticated, old-school pajama look. Classic, chic, feminine, and practical.  I love the Essence PJ, and the fabric is a perfect combination of sateen and cotton, making it silky but breathable.

essence PJ

The Essence PJ comes in four different colors: black, blue, rose, and blush.

real life

Real life model. How cute would it be if all the ladies and guys wore these on Christmas morning? I love the idea.

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