La Colombe Black and Tan Coffee

Last week, one of my biffles introduced me to La Colombe “black and tan.” And now, I can’t stop thinking about it. Literally, every morning and afternoon, I dream of getting a black and tan from La Colombe.  Although there are 30 locations nationwide, and 8 in NYC, none are in my neighborhood.  So when I was talking to her the other day complaining about how much I wanted this drink, she said that I should take the canned version and create my own version of it. And then she made fun of me about how I was going to make a blog post out of it — and even got the exact phrasing and thought process of how I write blogs. And so, YEP, she knows me well. And so here we are, and I am doing exactly that. I am writing a blog post on my new favorite drink and thanks to Fresh Direct, I can create it without going downtown. Thanks, B, for being my editor, content contributor, and supporter of my caffeine intake and the Josie Girl Blog.

 

Dynamic Duo.

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Blue Birkenstocks

BEST 40 BUCKS I HAVE SPENT ALL YEAR! Birkenstocks (best shoe on the planet), are one of the few shoes I wear all summer long (along with van slides and running shoes). But these birkenstocks — GASP — so fun, comfortable, different but the same, and OH SO INEXPENSIVE (because they are plastic versus leather)! 40 BUCKS!! FOR BRIGHT BLUE BIRKENSTOCKS — how could you possibly say no?

 

Electric blue

Ultralight, these birkenstocks are made with high-quality EVA. They are flexible, odor neutral (phew — hate the smell of plastic chemicals) and are waterproof and washable.

And they look good on your feet (even with ugly feet — DON’T LOOK!…..I am a runner. Harumph) and feel like a pillow.

So easy to wash and clean — the best summer shoe. Who wants high maintenance shoes in the summer?

Bleu blue.

 

They currently come in a variety of colors (black, silver, pink, yellow, orange, and white!) but of course the one other color I want them in is green (because green birkenstocks just seem like perfection). To buy these great sandals, go here. Best purchase of 2018.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Grapefruit Beer

I haven’t drunk a beer since college when I would chug them, so I was pleasantly surprised to try a grapefruit beer and actually like it. Love it, to be honest. It is girlie, refreshing, and tastes like grapefruit soda with a hint of beer. So you lose a little edge but still hydrate — win win!

 

I have actually had two different kinds of grapefruit beer: from a can (as pictured) or from a bottle. Equally good and crisp!

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Crap Eyewear

Yes I realize that summer is now over so sunglasses are less important. BUT, big but, there is always a time and place to wear sunglasses. I found a pair of sunglasses in June, and they immediately became my favorite pair. They are cheap (although not GAP cheap), good looking enough, durable, and snazzy (super important adjective). And they have the best name, Crap Eyewear. I know, right? The line was born in reaction to the expensive eyewear market, but the glasses are fashion forward and… affordable! Win-win.

Here I am in ny crap eyewear.

Here I am in my Crap Eyewear.

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End of Summer 2017

To us, summer is ending. We return to NYC tomorrow night after 2 plus months in Oregon, and as usual, the time flew by and summer disappeared in a *snap*. We had the best time doing a lot of nothing except for exploring Oregon and California, spending time together as a family, and taking advantage of the beautiful nature. It is fun to look back at the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the summer as I accomplished ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THEM. It is almost funny, um, well sort of funny. Literally, NONE OF THEM. Take a look. Maybe looking at my failing my goals will make you feel good about yourselves!

 

First off, thank you to my parents for always being so generous, loving, and wonderful. They hosted many of my friends (and their families) and always let their house feel like my house. I can't thank them enough -- forever grateful for them.

First off, thank you to my parents for always being so generous, loving, and wonderful. They hosted many of my friends (and their families) and always let their house feel like my house. I can’t thank them enough — forever grateful for them. They are the reason I am who I am, and I couldn’t love them anymore (even if my mom wears socks with her birkenstocks and my dad’s fancy shoes are New Balances).

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Interview with Dr. Whitney Bowe

Dermatologist to the stars/TV personality Dr. Whitney Bowe is a dear friend of mine who happens to also be on the of the most beautiful and smart people I know. She has the looks (the bowe-glow), the charm (no one more charismatic and charming ), and the smarts (she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale and then was awarded a full scholarship to study medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated top of her class). Luckily, I was able to interview her on Summer Skin — this is a must read! Thanks, Whit, I love you!

 

Dr. Bowe and her dewy glow.

Dr. Bowe and her dewy glow.

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1st Week of Summer 2017 in Oregon

It is hard to believe that ten days ago, I was in NYC….it feels like I’ve been gone for months! My life in Oregon is quite simple, but it is easy, wonderful, and I love it. Here are some pictures of the past week – Enjoy!

 

We do a lot of biking in Eugene. My parents actually don't drive anywhere, they SOLELY bike. So we have fun biking around the river, picking the kids up from camp, or just doing errands. In this photo, I am with my daughter and my littlest niece, Nadia.

We do a lot of biking in Eugene. My parents actually don’t drive anywhere. So we have fun biking around the river, picking the kids up from camp, or just doing errands. In this photo, I am with my daughter and my littlest niece, Nadia. (My helmet is from Sawako Furono Helmets)

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Summer 2017 To-Do-List

Greetings from Oregon!  The kids and I have officially relocated for the summer. Every year, I am a broken record with very similar summer to-do lists. It either means that I set the right intentions that I want to repeat OR that I have goals that I never end up accomplishing….I really hope that this summer, I am able to commit to my list and make it happen!

 

1. Learn how to breathe.

 

Waves = calming sound = meditiating?

Waves = calming sound = meditating?

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1509 Perfume

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).

Also comes in a travel size. Just as cute (with baby breath, too).

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Park City, Utah

It feels like a million years ago that we were on vacation with our dear friends in Deer Valley / Park City, Utah. In reality, it was just a week ago (another trip to the West Coast this weekend for my sister’s wedding sure makes time confusing). Deer Valley was the perfect ending to a fabulous summer, filled with lots of activities and simple family fun with great friends. Here is a recap of our trip with recommendations.. Deer Valley is a PERFECT summer getaway (particularly at the end of the summer after Utah schools start up… everything was empty which was perfect!)

 

Utah

Utah

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Blueberry Hazelnut Crisp

With a flat of blueberries in our house from our local CSA, I went on a hunt to find the best blueberry pie recipe. That said, searching “best blueberry pie” on the internet does not necessarily lead to the best blueberry pie, especially when I add words such as “low sugar” or “healthy.” So instead, I went the old fashioned route and asked a friend for a recipe. Needless to say, this much more experienced baker (read ‘older’) instantly emailed me her go-to-blueberry crisp recipe. So I made it (but of course, with some minor adjustments) and IT IS SO DELICIOUS.

 

The result.

The result.

 

Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping:

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My Eugene Summer Routine 2016

I love my summers with my parents in Eugene.  It couldn’t be any different than our routine in New York, and I love the change of pace both for me and for our family.  Not very glamorous or fashionable or social; but very nature-centered, kids focused, with lots of fresh air. Take a look.

 

I wake up very early and do my morning workout before the kids eat breakfast. I just get up, and do it. Then, after the kids are fed and dressed, I take Cruzzie to camp (in the car). From there, Tusia and I start our day of Tusia-Mama Camp (the oh so exciting camp) which means:

 

Trips to the grocery store...who knew that they could be so exciting?

Trips to the grocery store…who knew that they could be so exciting? And who knew I needed to go most days? (Her cousin Nadia is pictured – Toosh is hiding behind the grocery cart).

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Ice Cream Flower Pots

One of my dearest friends from Ken’s Stanford Business School class, Katie, is someone I have always looked up to. Not only is she brilliant (obviously), fun (best dancer ever), smiley, honest, and real, but she also has the best homemaker skills of anyone I know. Yes –  totally sounds sexist, but when I met her when I was 25 years old, I didn’t know anyone who sewed their own curtains, made their own scalloped potatoes for dinner parties, and hosted lavish, extravagant sit down dinners with all homemade dishes.  So I am thrilled to have Katie guest blog today on “Ice Cream Flower Pots.” Thanks so much, Katie. Love you dearly.

______

 

My mom first made these “ice cream flower pots” for my 10th birthday party which was a joint party with my dear friend Carrie who had a birthday the same week as mine.  We themed the party “Pink and Purple” so all our friends wore everything pink and purple, as did our moms and my older sister who was the “helper”. The party was afternoon backyard games and a BBQ at Carrie’s house, and then a slumber party at my house.  The ten or so girls in attendance are still some of my closest friends, and to this day, everyone remembers the “ice cream flower pots” that thrilled us all when they were revealed as dessert.  They embody the creative and festive flair that my mom was known for bringing to everything she did.  She passed away 6 years ago and I miss her every day, but making treats like this on a lovely summer day for the ones I love makes her feel close in my heart again.

 

Beautiful flowers....but wait, it's a delicious dessert!

Beautiful flowers….but wait, it’s a delicious dessert!

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Summer 2016 To-Do-List

I realize that for many of you, summer started almost a month ago.  But it is never too late to create a summer 2016 to-do-list / wishlist.  (Here is my To-Do-List from last summer). Enjoy!

 

1. Go to Hot Yoga twice a week. (Already been twice in this past week, so we are off to a good start! #HumbleBrag)

 

Shavasana counts in yoga, right? (This is my dad last year on the Oregon Coast)

Shavasana counts in yoga, right? (This is my dad last year on the Oregon Coast)

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Summer 2016 Reading List

Summer (for me) officially begins tomorrow when I fly out to Oregon with the kids to spend the summer with my parents. Once out there, I have no friends, no life, no tutoring, and no real responsibilities (not necessarily very “summer-like” for most people….but it is my way of recharging). It is the PERFECT time for me to read. I have a long list of books I would like to read this summer, so here they are.  If you have any book suggestions, please share.

 

Books / xoxo / Cruz

Books / xoxo / Cruz

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Typical Summer Meal

Here is a sample meal from my mother. And yes, she is a creative genius in the kitchen — she rarely looks at recipes and constantly uses her imagination to combine the freshest ingredients she finds. The key is organic and fresh veggies!

 

Tomato, Cucumber, Parsley, Anchovy salad. Fresh veggies from the CSA. True perfection.

Tomato, Cucumber, Parsley, Anchovy salad. Fresh veggies from the CSA. True perfection.

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Some of the Reasons I Love Eugene…

For new readers of the blog (thanks The New Potato!), I live in New York with my husband Ken and two kids.  But I “summer” in my hometown of Eugene, Oregon with my parents, and Ken comes back and forth.  New York and Eugene couldn’t be more different, and I have come to love the contrast, and appreciate the positives (and negatives) of both.  Here are some of the reasons I love Eugene, my first and always true home… (I bleed tie dye)…

 

And I am trying my hardest to make tie-dye a big part of my kids' life, too.

And I am trying my hardest to make tie-dye a big part of my kids’ life, too.

Bike Rides

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