This past weekend, we found ourselves with zero plans. We originally were scheduled to go up to Pound Ridge for a cozy and relaxed weekend, but after a change of orthodontist appointments on Saturday and Ken needing to go on a business trip on Sunday afternoon, we decided to stay put in the city. This gave us an opportunity to be a tourist in our own city — and I am so glad we explored! We discovered Ice Skating at Bryant Park which was a great family activity. Unlike other rinks in the city, admission is FREE (rentals cost money, but if you have your own skates, then it is FREE!) and it opens up at 8 am! We drove downtown for breakfast and on our way back uptown, parked right in front of the ice skating rink to do some laps!
Bryant Park Winter Wonder Land — lots of shops, food, people watching, ice skating — truly, a winter wonderland.
You wait in line to get a wristband — even if you have skates.
MIDDLE OF THE CITY! On 42nd street — bananas!
I asked what their busy time was and they said ALL DAY EVERYDAY, but especially at night. I can imagine that it is quite beautiful in the evening with the building lights…..
The rink is outside, but there is an indoor space to put on your skates.
Beautiful urban setting.
I waited inside while they skated #PartyPooper
It was cold!
The skaters waiting while the zamboni cleared the ice (only 15 minutes versus other rinks that are 30 minutes).
I highly recommend this (free) activity for a family outing in New York. The rink is open from now until March 1st between the hours of 8 am – 10 pm and you can reserve your time slot online!
Mid way through November dot dot dot…..which means only 1.5 more months until 2020. I have no idea, absolutely NO CLUE, how that happened. Seems like the days and weeks (and months and years) are just flying by…..In the meantime, here is a quick reflection at what I am currently loving this month. Of course, there is so much to love — family, friends, health, and connection — but here are the little tid bits and extras that I am loving.
1. Glossier mascara
I realize that I do lots of posts on mascara, but I can’t help not…..this mascara is the perfect inexpensive, non gloopy, not dramatic, everyday mascara.
This past weekend (sadly) felt like Winter….so time to hibernate and cook. And that is exactly what we did. On Saturday night, we made chili, veggies and CORN BREAD. Years ago at our annual Sonoma trip, one of our friends made the most delicious and moist corn bread you have ever tasted. So that was the recipe I used — and it was just as good as I remember. Thank you, Katie Daly! Mind you — it is NOT healthy, but it is #WorthIt.
If you live in NYC, you have to RUN right now to Nami Nori, the newest Japanese restaurant in the West Village. Only one month old, it was created by three ex-employees from Masa (whose tasting menu costs $595 per person!!!!). This new restaurant is casual elegant with accessible prices specializing in Temaki (hand rolls). Absolutely everything about this restaurant is perfection: the zen Japanese vibe, the appetizers, the temaki, the desserts, the staff, everything! So if you live in NYC, make a reservation and GO! And if you don’t live in NYC, it is an excuse to come in to the city and eat!
The appetizers: FRIES, spicy tuna on crispy rice, shishito peppers, and nori chips (oh my god, the best).
Zara kids FTW again! After realizing that my daughter had no clothes that fit her (thank you growth spurt), I went online to purchase replacements. I fell in love with the paperbag corduroy pants so ordered her two pairs. She loved them the minute she saw them, which is a huge success because she never likes anything I buy….and they were *so* good that I decided I need to buy a pair for myself. I couldn’t find them in the women’s section, so opted for the biggest kids’ size and they fit great! So comfortable and perfect for Fall and Winter! I have already worn them twice …..
Paperbag pants with elastic waist. Pockets in front and back.
Recently, I heard a lot of chatter about the Magician at the NoMad hotel and how amazing the performance was. So, since I am on a big kick of entertainment-is-better-than-dinners-out, we went with some friends on Friday night. To say HOLY SMOKES is an understatement. It was absolutely incredible and a must see. HOLY SMOKES! Amazing, ridiculous, smart, and oh so magical. It was unclear what to expect, but I knew that the Magician, Dan White, is widely respected, and therefore, I was hopeful for a good show. And indeed, it was a good show. And has left me thinking about it since the performance. Regardless of how Dan makes the magic happen, he is a genius and oh so smart.
Not only brilliant, but also funny, charismatic and compelling. A+ performer. Would go again in a heartbeat.
Although it is currently glorious and spectacularly perfect Fall weather in NYC, I know that soon enough, it will be raining and snowing and freezing cold…..and since I am a planner and like to be prepared for Plan A, B, and C (yes, I am OCD) , I bought rain booties for those future rainy days. And I love them so much that I kinda (sorta) want to wear them on non rainy days! They are the perfect Chelsea bootie look, but rubbery and waterproof. Madewell made (them) well! Check out these Madewell rainbooties!
Every year, I like to make a trip up to Storm King Art Center. A 500 acre open air museum in the Hudson Valley, it is beautifully landscaped with large-scale incredible sculptures. Everything about the property is breathtaking and it is truly a fun adventure with family and friends. This year, we were lucky enough to be invited to an intimate Harvest Party which included a private tour, blue grass band, picturesque snacks and cocktails (thanks to a college friend I was reacquainted with this summer who just happens to be the Senior Curator for Storm King). It was an incredible way to learn more about the museum and its works of art. Thank you, Nora!
The foliage! The leaves! The colors! It was the *perfect* day
While running family errands this past weekend, we stopped in at Eataly’s rooftop for lunch. Ken and I had been there during early summer years ago and loved the ambiance, decor, and food so much. Newly decorated for Autumn, it was the perfect place to grab a bite to eat in a beautiful setting. The rooftop restaurant, Serra on the roof, serves Italian cuisine and drinks. The food is simple and great, but the DECOR, my god, it is so beautiful! My daughter (who didn’t love her lunch) was so in awe of the space that she kept saying she wanted to have her birthday party there.
Three of my favorite things all combined together: socks, embroidery and MUJI! In recent months, a new MUJI opened nearby, which is the store that carries my all time favorite pens and umbrellas. So naturally, I went to pop in and see what other goodies they carry. Of course, I became even more excited when I found out that they have an embroidery station on site. This embroidery service allows customers to choose from over 300 embroidered designs and letters to add to any of the brand’s clothing or textile items. I chose socks — and as geeky as it sounds — I couldn’t be happier. But you could pick anything! Backpacks, fannypacks, jackets, bags, shirts, anything and everything. SO FUN!
Colors, font, pictures — so many options to choose from! I went with just my name. A little pop of humor and fun to my everyday outfit.
More than half way done with the month and almost to Halloween! Here is what I am currently loving this October! Take a look.
1. Freestyle Love Supreme
I went last night to see this incredible improv, hip hop, audience interactive show. AND HOLY SMOKES, as soon as I got home, I was searching tickets for future dates. If you are in New York City before January 5th, this is a MUST SEE. Absolute, bold italic highlighted 42 font size must go see.
Marathon #14 in the books! Over the weekend, I completed (and set a personal best time) in the Chicago Marathon. It is one of my favorite weekends of the year, as I stay with a dear friend that I met in the Paris Marathon while running. For those of you who have read the blog for many years, this is a repetitive story, but it always reminds me that you can find a great friend in a stranger and to be kind, loving, and open to everyone. I feel incredibly fortunate to have Michelle in my life and to share this special weekend on a yearly basis with her. It was so great to just be with her and her family. And the race is just an excuse to visit them, and something to train for. One thing for sure, is I love the journey of training! Sign me up for the next one (actually, I am already signed up for LA Marathon March 8th).
Straight from the airport to the expo to get my number. The pants I am wearing are my favorite jeans but let me tell you — THEY ARE NOT PHOTOGENIC. They are so cool in person. But in a picture, they scream BIG THIGHS and MOM JEANS.
I am currently tapering (Chicago marathon is this Sunday!) and so I am not doing my normal workouts which means I have even MORE time on my hands…..so baking healthy concoctions it is! Healthy and delicious energy balls!
Aren’t they pretty?
It is official. I am old and now like to wear pajamas around the house…obviously, Natori pajamas. Soon, I will like robes (haven’t graduated to that stage yet in my life). And I say this in a sincerely — these Natori Luxe Shangri-La Notch pajamas are luxuriously soft, feminine, practical, and absolute perfect. FTW.
Classic with a twist of lace.
A friend recently gifted me ImmuneSchein ginger elixirs gift pack and I can’t get enough. These elixirs can be added to hot water, sparkling water, or any beverage to create your own special drink. I typically have a hard time drinking the recommended amount of water every dat (always my New Year’s Resolution), so adding these elixirs to my water is the perfect way to consume more.
Not that I have picked up a book since the start of school but here are the ten books I want to read by the end of 2019! Take a look…
1. Where to Begin: A Small About Your Power to Create Big Change in our Crazy World
I can’t get enough of African prints — especially my shorts, pants, and overalls made by Royal Native. Although I have been thoroughly obsessed with African wax prints since late 1990s when I studied abroad in college in Cameroon, my love has become even more pronounced since I found Royal Native. Her clothing is a modern look made with the African print and it is truly perfection. Not exaggerating at all, I own 6 shorts, 3 overalls, and 5 pairs of her pants….and I want more. They are that good. AND NOW, I am a proud owner of a pouch. I am using it for everything and even a night time clutch! Versatile, practical, beautiful, and easy.
Look at it! Doesn’t it scream HAPPY????
One of the items on my Fall To Do List was to see more live concerts, and this week I did! I convinced my biffle from Oakland (California) to fly out to come see Lizzo with me at Radio City Hall, an iconic venue for an unbelievable performer. For those of you who don’t know Lizzo (which means you are behind on reading my blog posts :)), she is a must listen to and must watch in person. She is a true musician and incredibly talented. She also is relatable, fun, warm, and interactive (future friend?). 100% Goddess.
As I get older, I realize I love shows, but I want them not too long and not too short. And this was a perfect amount of time. #Goldilocks
End of September, a new season, and back into the swing of things….Summer is in the past and seems like decades ago…but here is my random list of what I am currently loving!
Jouer Lip Enhancer
While in my happy place this summer (the grocery stores of Oregon), I bought some apple (and pear) chips that turned out to be the most delicious snacks I have ever eaten. Sister’s Fruit Company. Made by a small family company in Oregon, these all natural fruit chips are made out of USDA Grade A Pacific Northwest fruit, that are sliced and dried in an all natural process. The chips just have a touch of pure cane sugar but are not overly sweet. You can eat them on cereal or oatmeal, but I tend to eat them just straight out of the bag. The kids are also huge fans and we can polish off a bag in one sitting. Mainly sold on the west coast, you can also buy online (thank you, internet).
All of the flavors are good — you can’t go wrong! Except for once you start, you cannot stop.
Currently, I am trying to dress more out of my comfort zone and take more risks. Like wearing ankle socks with skirts and pants, but showing off the socks. So in my attempt to be BRAVE, I searched high and low where to find the PERFECT ankle sock. And if you can believe it, it is way harder than one would expect! But thanks to the internet, Other Stories socks are the perfect ankle sock with pizazz, color, and fit!
And of course, I couldn’t just buy one, I had to get 4! And I cant wait to buy more….#hoarder
For the past several years, my go-to-sneakers have been the checkered slip on vans. And although I still love them (and believe they are a classic), I also don’t love the fact that EVERYONE and their mother wears them….so I have been searching for a new sneaker to wear. When I was in Paris this past summer, I noticed that white sneakers were having a big moment. The big fat ugly dad sneakers. And as cool as I think I am, I am not sure I can pull off that look. So I decided to go old school and bought the classic Reebok Club C 85 Vintage. And I have to tell you, I love them.
So 90s, so in love!
Back to the swing of things and back to my favorite interior designer friend and guest blog extraordinaire, Lucie Ayres! Take it away, Lucie and thanks so much! A Fall refresh for your living room!
Every time the kids go back to school, I a) feel normal again and b) feel like the living room needs to be refreshed (and de-toy-ified). Whether or not you have children, it’s always nice to change things up for a new season. Fall + Winter translate into more time spent indoors, so let’s make the indoor areas you value feel fantastic.
A few ideas/things that I like to do-
1 – General “Kondo method” time
At this point in early Fall, I realize we all need a bit of a clean out. The question of “does this spark joy?” is a good one. In my living room there are too many toys that don’t spark joy for me, but do so for my kids. Luckily I found these amazing storage ottomans which hold all those joy sparking toys and don’t create an eye sore. Or if you are lucky to have built in storage – put those things away (I also encourage the children (“gently force”) to look through their toys and donate the ones they are no longer playing with).
Back to the routine and life in the city…also back to the kitchen and looking for yummy and healthy recipes to cook. I came across this Red Cabbage salad from my favorite salad cookbook, Leon Happy Salads. It did in fact make me happy — super delicious.
I am a tough critic with mascara — so when I say I am IN LOVE with Westman Atelier, please do not take it lightly. I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS MASCARA. It is the most incredible, luxurious, and out of this world mascara and I have never encountered *any* mascara that compares. Westman Atelier mascara, hands down, the best mascara and best money I have spent in a very long time. This mascara is far from inexpensive ($62) but it makes a huge difference.
Looks like a baton. YES, it’s large and luxurious but oh so worth it.