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.
Almost summer, which for many (including me) means more time to read. Here are the books on my reading list for the summer — and please share other books that you have enjoyed and / or are looking forward to reading.
1. An American Marriage
2. The Great Alone
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?
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?
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.
Adapted from my new favorite cookbook, Leon Happy Salads, this cabbage salad is crunchy, tasty, and super easy.
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!
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 my Crap Eyewear.
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. 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).
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.
If I had to pick my top four beauty items for the summer, this would be my list (well actually, I would include Tony and Tina’s Coconut Butter Bliss that I swear by, too…..)
Must Haves — every single one of them.
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. 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)
Pat on my back…..one of the few things I am good at doing over the summer is reading. (Forget about reading the rest of the year!) Check out my Summer 2017 Reading List!
Books to read….but not THESE math books.
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 = meditating?
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).
A chic friend (she is European, therefore, she is chic) was sporting sunglasses the other day. I loved them, and had to ask where they were from. And the answer…. GAP! Cheap and stylish! So of course, I copied her (thanks, Iva!)
Iva! Chic, beautiful, and oh-so-European.
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!)
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.
Ingredients for Crumb Crust and Topping:
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? And who knew I needed to go most days? (Her cousin Nadia is pictured – Toosh is hiding behind the grocery cart).
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!
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)
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
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.
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.
Ladies, take a look at my new sandals. I get happy just LOOKING at them. They are bright, fun, flamboyant, colorful, special, unique, and simply happy.
Party on my feet!
Wonder what to do with a weekly CSA veggie box? Take a peek inside our Wednesday box (my parents get a box twice a week in Oregon) and see the creations assembled and imagined by my wonderful Mama!
Fresh, crisp, local, organic veggies. My dream come true.
Summer uniform: elastic wear shorts! More precisely, Josie Patch Isles Shorts. Soft woven… drawstring… the fabric is extremely soft, comfortable to slip on, and light for summer days and nights.