After an incredible week in LA, we spent another incredible week in Sonoma. Here are some pictures of our adventures.
I did a lot of running, as usual. And one day, I even did a marathon (26 miles).
Vineyards — so many of them — so much beauty. We were fortunate to go to several different wineries during our stay for some quick and easy tastings. How good is life in Sonoma?
Our friends had the most beautiful fields of lavender — which meant I had an abundance of lavender twigs to make crowns with. I made a million crowns during the week.
And a huge garland to lay on a table to make a center for the table. It was beautiful and smelled even better.
I also experimented with different ways of making the crowns — this one consisted of fewer flowers and more braiding…
We went on several ATV rides on the property. Even had a picnic one afternoon on the top of the hill.
So many kids…..
Like last year, I enforced a “sunset hues” dinner where we all wore sunset hues colors. It’s the small things right?
This year, for the first time, we spent two days on Lake Sonoma. It was so much fun to do water sports (I don’t do them, I am not fun in the water). But the kids had a blast tubing, water skiing, wake boarding…
We spent a full day there (over 8 hours one day) and then one evening there for a sunset cruise (not in our sunset hues though — next year!)
Cruzzie even got up on the first time water skiing — it was SO fun.
Thank you to our wonderful hosts — as always — one of the best weeks of the year! Sonoma has a special place in my heart because of our yearly memories there! Now, we are in Oregon, where we are trying to figure out what our summer will look like (no clue thus far) and what we are going to do (no clue so far, once again!).
In light of all the inequity evident in our world right now, I am actively trying to educate my family in order to try to become even more anti-racist. In addition to the many books on anti-racism, I ordered a graphic novel, New Kid, for my kids to read. In one sitting, I devoured it. It is an honest, heartbreaking, realistic view of a student of color who starts up at a new prestigious school in NYC surrounded by students of different socioeconomic and racial makeups. At times, I felt my heart pounding as it was so realistic it hurt…Cruzzie is also in the process of reading this book, and although a lot of the stories of inequity and racism are subtle, I think he will understand it the more he reads of it.
Thank you, Jerry Craft, for a beautiful book.
A little over a month until my first ultramarathon (virtual 50K since the one I had originally signed up for was canceled), so lots of running and listening to music! Here is a summer playlist to help you jog / skip / hop / run to some fun beats!
Dreamy Southern California
Due to the fact that COVID now seems to be a lifestyle and is not going away anywhere soon, I am investing in many different masks / face coverings for the family. Although the bulk of the time, I am not in public, there are times when we are (a) at the grocery store (b) on a hike with our people on the trails (c) traveling, and find it necessary (and respectful) to cover our noses and mouths. I have found that masks are good for planes and grocery stores, but when out and about on a walk in the city or on a more crowded trail, a bandana is the best as it goes around your neck and you can pull it up when needed. You can buy regular bandanas on amazon but because it is fun (and frivolous) I bought these ombre and colorful Aviator Nation bandanas and I love them oh so much!
Color on top of color = CAMO
I have had a lot of questions asked about flying during COVID so I thought I would write a post about my experience! First of all, I know that everyone has their own level of comfort with this pandemic and so one must always do what feels best for themselves and their situation. As we had already flown in April (from FL to NYC), we were not scared or anxious about flying and knew the airline protocols and practices. We felt confident in our ability to protect ourselves from germs and knew that we would be safe.
1. Wear Masks
It is required to wear a mask during the whole process of flying — boarding, on flight, and deplaning. And absolutely everyone adhered to that rule. You saw a whole variation of masks on the planes — some people also had the plastic shield on TOP of the masks, some people wore goggles, some had balaclavas and some people wore gloves. We simply wore our masks and that felt comfortable and good.
California loving. How can one not WANT to fly out here???? We didn’t wear masks on the beach but we were far from people.
Hello from LA! The kids and I started the summer out west with a California adventure before we ultimately end up in Oregon. So far we are truly enjoying the laid-back-vibe, the Pacific Ocean breeze, the sunshine, and just being out here! LA is truly la-la-land and such a beautiful and idyllic place to live — if NYC doesn’t work out, LA here I come! In the meantime, here is what I am currently loving this month, June 2020!
1. Money Heist
Spanish TV series — SO GOOD. Must watch!!! I am at the beginning of Season 2 and I can’t wait to watch it. OBSESSED.
Last week, like us all, I could only think about all the racial inequality more evident than ever in our country. As a result, I did not post at all, as it didn’t feel appropriate to post my typical light and frilly posts during something so heavy and important. So although I am back to posting, my mind is still on black lives matter. Like all of you, I want to educate myself to become even more anti-racist, and continue to have conversations with friends and family on how to live in a more equal and loving world.
On a desperate search to find activities for the kids to do BESIDES play on their devices, I came across “Paint By Stickers” — where you literally color a picture with numbers by stickers. It is not just fun for the kids but adults, too. I immediately bought two books for adults and one for the kids — and I can’t wait to put them all together.
The three books I purchased — and I can’t wait to get more!
To change things up, I bought a juicer and now, I can’t stop. CANNOT stop. Literally, I dream about juicing and look forward to it first thing in the morning. Because it is somewhat of a pain to clean, I make two batches in the morning — a morning juice and an afternoon juice — and that way, I only have to clean the monster of equipment once. Even though it is bulky, I highly recommend getting this juicer — so easy. In the morning, I have been making a ginger, lemon juice — sometimes adding an apple and a carrot. I love it because you feel the ginger go down your throat and it just feels HEALTHY.
I bought 5 pounds of ginger and it lasted just over a week — yep, a lot of ginger. So much, that I actually googled “how much ginger is too much” just in case I was over consuming ginger….but I think I am good so far….
Going old school and needlepointing! Over the weekend, after watching movie number 2 of the day (it was raining), I decided that we needed to bring needlepoint in to our lives. I grew up without a television and a very artistic mother, so at a very young age, my brother and I cross stitched. I have fond memories of us camping and sitting by the fire and cross stitching. So, we piled in to the car, and drove to an embroidery store (The Enriched Stitch in Wilton, CT) to get the supplies. I really don’t have a clue on what I am doing, but I taught Cruzzie, too, and it is theraputic, frustrating, and extremely rewarding. I can’t wait to finish our first project and then start another one. They are so addicting!
There is a basic stitch that is easy to learn and then you just do it. We spent hours on the couch stitching….
I have had the tab with this NY Times recipe open for months, so finally I decided to make it (COVID 19—- 19 pounds over normal weight here weeeeeeeee commmmmmmeeeeeee). Super easy, fun to make, and delicious. Randomly, it is vegan too (which just means no eggs in this cake recipe) so my dairy free friends can make this and love it. It is a great cake to make with kids and when you are sick of dishes.
A friend of a friend makes the most delicious, dense, European style, filling, and healthy gluten-free bread. Like many things cool and hip, the bread from Knead Love Bakery is handmade in Brooklyn. First started as a ‘joy project’ (perfect term), Sarah now bakes bread daily that can be shipped nationally. All the breads are gluten free, nutrient dense and baked in a “high vibe” way. I recently received my first shipment — sesame and wildcard tumeric — and I can’t wait for future orders and trying out all the varieties and flavors.
I even love the packaging — how could I not — neon pink hearts? So cool.
Yes, my favorite luxurious loungewear of all time is Natori, but sometimes a good cotton and hippy set hits the spot. The Great knitwear is exactly that — 100% cotton, comfy, relaxed, and easy. It is BEYOND soft and oh so dreamy. I bought a limited collection that was already tie dyed, but you can purchase your own and dye it yourself.
Love everything about this combo.
Here we are, mid May. I get more confused with what month than what day it is. Can it really be MAY? LIKE SCHOOL IS ALMOST OVER? Then what? What happens next??? Well, for now, here is what I am currently loving this month! Enjoy!
1. Warm Romper
Acid wash, pink, comfortable, cozy, and perfect for a range of temperatures. I love my new romper. I think it is perfect for a beach cover up, or a golf excursion!
I attended my first zoom wedding this weekend, which happened to be my sister Courtney’s. Courtney and her now-husband-Evan had planned a small wedding for May 9th with their 3 month old son Alston, and Courtney’s two stepdaughters at their newly finished built home. Unfortunately due to COVID, they had to cancel the in-person ceremony but decided to do it over zoom. Totally zoomed out with the kids’ remote learning, rollerskating, tutoring, I was a little skeptical of how this would take place. But HOLY COW, it went above and beyond any of my expectations. It was extremely beautiful, really emotional, and a uniquely special and intimate experience. There were many many tears and it will forever be a wedding I will never forget. Congratulations, Court and Evan — love you both so much!
Courtney is biologically my cousin, but in 1995, her parents (and middle sister) were killed in a tragic car accident. So Courtney and Galen moved from California to Oregon to be raised by my parents. Courtney was 15 at the time, and Galen was 8. In honor of Courtney’s mom, she wore her mom’s original wedding dress. Seeing her walk down the stairs in the Mexican Pink Hippy dress brought tears to us all — it was a way of including her parents when they could not be there.
The other night while surfing the internet, I came across a piece written by The Man Repeller that really struck a chord with me. It was a simple list of things that she misses, doesn’t miss, won’t miss, and won’t forget — all of the feelings during the COVID pandemic that we are all currently facing. I loved it OH so much and so many of her items rang true for me, too. So I decided that, I too, in honor of Man Repeller’s thoughtful post (thank you!), I would sit down, reflect, and write similar lists. I know these are ever-changing, but these are the items that I came up with today:
Oh so true of this time — busy doin’ nothing.
One of my favorite books from last summer was Normal People by Irish author Sally Rooney. I loved it – a coming of age story following two people weaving in and out of their lives, trying to figure out who they are together and apart. It was a memorable book and I devoured in days. So when the book was produced as a TV series on Hulu, I knew that I had to watch it. Sure enough, over the weekend, I watched all 12 episodes. It is beautifully put together with raw, real, racy and honest emotions. I sobbed at the end of it…..wanting more of the complicated, messy relationship and magnetic pull of the characters.
I must say that I didn’t love the series until episode 3 and then I couldn’t put it down.
Cloth masks are the newest necessary fashion statement, and these cloth masks are my absolute favorite. To purchase, simply go on instagram and DM NYC jewelry designer Chloe.
I requested two adults, two kids, in african prints. A lot of options to choose from and I knew I wanted that style.
In the ultimate grocery ordering fail, I ended up with 13 pounds of key limes. Granted, this would be a win if I were having a tequila and taco party (oh please, doesn’t that sound so dreamy????) but since there is no party to be had, I have LOTS AND LOTS of key limes to use! So I went searching on the good ‘ol internet and found this recipe for a key lime pie — thank you Bon Appetit!!!
Going back old school — friendship beaded pins! When I realized that we were going to be at home for a loooooooong time, I realized I needed more activities that would interest both me and the kids. So I bought a ton of friendship bracelet embroidery thread as well as friendship glass beads to put on pins. It is simple and super easy but also fun and retro.
Big box of beautiful glass beads!
I am very thankful that my family and I have good health, the ability to afford food, internet, a roof over our heads, and options. And yet, our life is not perfectly pink rosy. Natori, like other fashion brands and retail companies, is hurting in our economic climate. There are a lot of unknowns SOOOOO, to keep me sane during these less than perfect times (for all of us), here are my necessities (obviously in addition to the connection to my friends and family, which is #1).
1. My rollerskates
There are certain things that bring me joy: my loved ones, running, fresh flowers, a fire, and rollerskating. Every time I put on my skates, I smile. I love to dance, skate, glide. We rollerskate as a family, or I do it alone (and take zoom classes from my teacher). It is a time of complete happiness and joy.
So sorry for the lack of posts this past week — there was a technical issue that came up (I found out that the subscription of the posts were no longer being sent out — so I had to deal with that, and as you can imagine, it was a slow process to get this fixed!) but here we are now! Back at it again! PHEW, after being in Florida for 5 weeks, NYC for a handful of days, we are now in Westchester where we will be for the next several weeks…..it’s been hard. Days are super long and repetitive. For all of us. But here is what I am currently loving.
1. The Last Dance
10 part documentary series on Michael Jordan and the Bulls Dynasty. Even though I am not a fan of basketball, I have been thoroughly enjoying this series.
A month ago when I was in Los Angeles to run the marathon, I dined at Gjelina not once but twice. It quickly became my favorite restaurant with the most scrumptious veggies, pizzas, sides and desserts. Immediately upon returning to NYC, I bought the Gjelina cookbook. This past weekend, I decided to make the warm date cake and HOLY SHMOLY HOT DAMN this cake is amazing. It is sweet, moist, and oh so delicious. I highly recommend this cake and can’t wait to eat it all up (and to make it again shortly thereafter).
Guest post from friend and ultra chic interior designer, Lucie Ayres! How I Sleep Really Well (can’t wait to read her tips because I don’t sleep really well!!!). Thank you, Lucie!!
HOW TO SLEEP AMAZINGLY WELL – EVEN DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Some of you may know I’m an interior designer but many of you don’t know that I am an unofficial expert on sleep. Why? Because I sleep well pretty much every single night. Even through this crisis. I realize I’m in the minority – so I thought I’d share with you how I do it and why I do it.
First and foremost, it’s a decision you have to make and you have to stick to it – pretty much like any other goal you’d like to accomplish. But in my opinion, this is not a painful process -it’s actually incredibly pleasurable. And it starts the minute you wake up.
ONE: (a) MAKE YOUR BED – and don’t half-ass it, make it like it’s going to look like a hotel room bed when you get ready to get into it later. Fluff those pillows, the comforter, whatever you need to do to make it look delicious.
Photo credit: 22 Interiors shot by Amy Bartlam
This coffee recipe is fun, easy and super delicious! I read about it on the NYTimes and knew that I needed to make it — highly recommend this tasty treat. Dalgona coffee, also known as whipped coffee, is frothy, creamy, decadent and only requires instant coffee, milk, sugar and water.
LOOK! Final result — oh so delicious.
Although I am not currently training for a marathon, I am running as if I were. Not at the same high intensity, but as my only form of exercise, I am running everyday, a lot……I can’t wait to start back at my training to give me some variation in speed / miles / direction….but for now, it is just a lot of miles for a lot of days….so here is my COVID running playlist. Enjoy!
Sometimes I run along the ocean, sometimes on a path, it’s not a lot of variation but MAN is it pretty!