To Do Fall 2019

SUMMER DON’T GO, but since you are, in fact, *gasp* gone, here is what I want to do this Fall…some repeats to last year, but as a lover of lists (and planning), I like setting goals for the season. Here they are:

 

1. Be more current and attend more live concerts.

 

Live concerts….so much fun to go to. And I don’t go often enough.  We are going to see O.A.R. in Port Chester in November, but otherwise need to get live music on our calendar.

 

2. See more theatre.

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Currently Loving End of Summer 2019

Here we are, another season has flown by, and now onto the new same old (a la Alanis, isn’t it ironic?). Tomorrow, we go in to our same old routine but now, a summer under our wings with new experiences and thoughts….so, that said, here is what I am currently loving.

 

1. Lizzo Tiny Desk Concert

 

MAD CRUSH

 

All summer, I was obsessed with Lizzo. I listened to all her songs, read her interviews, and fell madly in love with her. So now, I can’t wait to see her in September at Radio City Hall. She is one flipping incredible musician and loving and personable person — I want to meet her and become friends with her. You need to listen to her interview on Fresh Air and watch the Tiny Desk Concert linked above. Wildly talented.

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The Bachelor- Sydney Lotauco

One of our (and many of our friends’) guilty pleasures is The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise series.  Reality TV shows come and go, but The Bachelor (especially Hannah’s season) has always been fun to watch.

Through a work colleague, Ken got connected to Sydney, who was a contestant on Colton’s season and is on the latest season of Bachelor in Paradise.  She came to the Natori showroom for a meeting and was super down to earth and fun to work with.

 

Sydney!

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Ume Onigiri House

The local community pool in Eugene, Oregon (Amazon Pool) is unlike any other public pool. Sure, there is a random mixture of people (Olympic athletes, White Trash, professors, and a mish mash of kids),  incredible views and greenery, and endless options of fun (high dive, platform dive, loopty-loop slide, tunnel slide, obstacle course, water sprays, sandbox, you name it). But it is the snack grill that is my ultimate favorite. It is not your typical pool snacks — no corn dogs or french fries — but rather hippy dippy Asian cuisine served at Ume Onigiri House. Kombucha, of course, and even better their dumplings and onigiri. Even though Ken is half-Japanese, I had never tried an onigiri until this summer. AND MAN, how I love it. Seriously, if you ever go to a restaurant and see it on the menu, get it. It is essentially a rice ball filled with various fillings — teriyaki chicken is my kids go to, but I have had the kimchi and teriyaki tofu and they are DELICIOUS.

 

Placing the order. Each onigiri costs $2.50 — A STEAL OF A DEAL! That alone makes it amazing.

The kids love it so much that they can barely wait to eat it.

It comes with homemade pickles, spinach, and the rice balls.

Tusia loves to mix hers up…making it a mixture of rice and chicken.

Cruzzie loves the dumplings.

Dumpling dude.

A portrait of feet and onigiri.

Another day, another onigiri dinner.

Basically, twice a week at swim lessons, the kids would eat onigiri for their dinner.

Perfection.

 

So yes, I understand that Ume Grill is unique to Eugene, but wherever you are, go find ONIGIRI. So good and so healthy, too. The perfect little meal.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Minnie & Emma Phone Case

During one of our California trips this summer, I spied the cutest and most fun iphone case from my soul sister bestie. So with permission, I asked her where she got it and if I could copy her. Sure enough, when it arrived this week, it felt like my phone was finally representative of who I AM!!!! TIE DYE AND CRAZY COLORS. Oh my god I love it so much.

 

Purple pink and yellow! And tie dye!

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CSA Chickens

There is SO much I love about my hometown, Eugene, Oregon, but one of the things I love most is the quality of the food. We get two deliveries of CSA vegetables per week (Turnip the Beet and Wintergreen Farm — my parents have been members of both farms for over 20 years!!!) as well as fresh chickens and eggs from Havurah Farms every other week. You literally don’t have to go to the grocery store except for pantry and freezer items. And the chickens?!?!?! MAN they are good. Who knew chickens could taste THAT good. They come from Havurah Farms and are pasture raised and non-gmo fed. Also, kosher, organic and killed young. You can literally taste the difference.

 

Every other Monday, my parents go to someone’s house for pickup. You get your chickens and eggs, check off your name, and then you are on your way. Old school, honor code. The chickens are killed the morning you pick them up.

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Dehydrated Peaches

Earlier this week, we went peach picking (one of my favorite pastimes in Oregon….  fun, beautiful, and super inexpensive. WIN WIN all around). In 20 minutes, we gathered 35 pounds of delicious and perfect peaches. As much as I love peaches, that is a WHOLE lot of peaches to eat….especially since they go bad very quickly. So within minutes, I made two crisps (a little bit of oatmeal, a little bit of butter, a little bit of sugar and VOILA).  But there was still 30 plus pounds left….so we decided to dehydrate them and they are oh so good.

 

Me and my partner in crime. She weighs just slightly more than the peaches.

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Leopard Print Midi Skirt

I am a sucker for anything leopard print. I have always loved anything leopard but when it recently became on trend, I couldn’t help but buy anything and everything leopard. Over the past several years, I have collected a rather large assortment of leopard items. So when I read the article in the NYTimes about the Leopard Print Midi Skirt being a must have, and since it was the ONE item that I didn’t own in leopard, I knew that I had to join the trend (in this case, yes a follower). It arrived earlier this week and I am IN LOVE. LOVE oh so much. And by the way, I scoured the internet searching for the perfect leopard midi skirt, and ended up on the first one the NY Times recommended. I LOVE IT.

 

It is silk, comfortable, easy to wear.

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Whitagram App

There are a lot of filters and apps to make photographs better, whether it is to have for your own personal photo collection or to post on social media. Currently, I have seen a lot of people using “Whitagram” which leaves a very artsy and clean white frame around photographs. I recently downloaded the app and used it on some pictures.  I love the look. Download it on the app store on your iphone and use it on any photo in your library. PLEASE NOTE: It is hard to really tell what the end result looks like with the pictures here — as the blog post is a white background and the frames around the photos are white, it is hard to really picture what I am talking about. But trust me, it looks good and chic.

 

SUPER easy to use.

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Cilantro Jalapeno Vegan Pesto

The other day, my mom made the most incredible pesto — the typical basil, pine nut, parmesan combination. It was so delicious, I found excuses to eat it (chip, carrot, spoon, you name it). But because everyone KNOWS how to make pesto, I decided to find a more creative (and cost effective) vegan pesto. Instead of pine nuts and parmesan, hellloooo cashews. Instead of basil, welcome cilantro and jalapeno. It is green, healthy, and has just a minor kick to it (next time, I want to add more jalapeno). Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Que Water Bottle

Goodbye plastic bottles (be gone!), hello collapsible water bottle! Who knew that a single tiny little bottle could bring so much joy? This lightweight bottle is perfect for traveling or everyday. You just smoooosh it and it is half the original size. No more lugging around heavy glass bottles or bulky bottles. This is the perfect solution for everyday on the move. Que bottles.

 

BIG — fill it up with water!

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Root Beer Float

OK, this might be the stupidest and most obvious post ever (or genius, depending on who you ask), but I recently became reacquainted with root beer floats, and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. Seriously, two ingredients lead to the most refreshing and delicious snack slash dinner. It truly tastes like heaven, especially if you use high quality ice cream and root beer.

 

TWO — just two — ingredients!

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La Ligne Meredith Top

A lover of tank tops (and anything summer), I was thrilled when I came across this fun, easy, flirty top by La Ligne. The top is a ruched bodice (I love the ruched look — my wedding dress top was all ruched lace) and easy to pair with any high waisted pants, shorts, or skirts. I also love the subtle floral pattern and the girliness of it. I tend to not wear tight tops, and although this top is tight, it doesn’t feel revealing.

 

The shape is really simple — literally just a rectangle. But the ruching is what makes it hard to recreate….

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Natori Feathers Thong

I have been vocal about my love of the Natori Feathers Bra and the Natori Feathers Girl Briefs. They are HANDS DOWN the best thing you will ever buy and I can’t say it enough. Trust me. The bra. The girl briefs. They are literally the ONLY BRA AND UNDIES I WEAR. And read this article from earlier this month in Glamour magazine about the cult following of Natori feathers. So, recently, when wearing certain pants, I decided I needed to wear a thong to not have VPL (visible panty lines). But I don’t like thongs. Hate them. But, sometimes fashion is more important than comfort, so I went online to the Natori website and bought a slew of thongs to try out. And sure enough, which was my favorite?? — the Feathers Thong. And I didn’t hate it. Not as comfortable as the Girl Briefs, but looked better with my outfit, and was certainly the best thong I have ever worn. So do me a favor… if you need a thong to wear, then get yourself a Feathers Thong.

 

The front. Pair with the Feathers bra and you have a great set.

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Sunset Hues

I returned to Eugene last night from Sonoma where we spent four days lounging and relaxing at our annual get together with three other families from Stanford. It is one of my absolute favorite weekends of the year and is guaranteed fun. We have been doing this get-together for the past five years and plan on always doing it (Thanks, Kimmers!). We eat, drink, run, hike, bike, cook, play tennis, swim, rollerskate, talk, make smores, and just enjoy each other’s company (and all of our kids). None of us live in the same city as each other (LA, SF, NYC, and Denver…) so it is fun to always know that we will get together every summer. This year, I was inspired to have a theme at our adult dinner out of the house (the rest of the time we cook at the house). For the longest time, I have wanted to have a get together where everyone wore sunset hues. I KNOW, sounds so weird, but I once saw that Mandy Moore (who I love so very much) did it, and I knew I just had to do it at some point. AND man, it was SO much fun. I know, getting dressed in colors is fun?!?!? YEP, it really is. It was *so* fun.

 

Sunset hues (minus Paul in the blue shirt — but he says that the sky is blue when the sun sets….)

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Capitol Fizz

My hometown of Eugene, Oregon is in the center of the Willamette Valley — the new hot spot for wineries and breweries (less of a hot spot for aperol spritzes, sadly). I enjoy going to the wineries on bikes (which I do at least once every summer — it is super fun and also a hard workout) as well as discovering new wines. So when I was in the my favorite grocery store (thank you, Oregon, for selling wine in the grocery store!), I discovered a single serving of sparkling rose wine from the area — it was like discovering a treasure under a rainbow — everything I like in one bottle — single serving! pink! Sparkling! and from the Willamette Valley!

 

This little bottle of sunshine is Captol Fizz by Illahe.

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Bonton Girls Heart Swimsuit

I have a thing for fancy little kid’s bathing suits….I think it is because my kids wear swimsuits all summer long, so investing in a cute suit is worth it if you break it down by cost per wear. As a result, when I came across this swimsuit in Paris from Bonton, I knew that I had to get it. Right now, you can find this suit (on sale) here and here.

 

I love the ruffles, the look, the colors, the hearts.

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Summer 2019 Running Playlist

Yes, I run a lot, but it is during the Summer months that I do my hardest training and running. My light schedule, the perfect Oregon weather, and upcoming Fall marathon makes these months the perfect time to run hard. Here is my summer 2019 running playlist:

 

Running in Oregon is ideal: beautiful non humid weather and incredible views on every twist and turn. Yesterday, on my long run, I had the privilege of running along the Willamette River….

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Currently Loving July 2019

Here we are, (mid) JULY! And here is what I am currently loving this month! And please share with me what you are loving — I love hearing what books, articles, songs, sweatshirts, anything and everything that you are loving oh so much.

 

1. Avett Brothers song “No Hard Feelings

 

Good song — makes me want to cry. But super musical and beautiful.

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Turkey Jerky Sticks

Readers of the blog know that I love gourmet grocery stores. It so happens that I go to the grocery most days while in Eugene. The local grocery store is my dream come true and I could literally spend hours patrolling the aisles to see what’s new and what they have to offer. Last week while jetlagged and bleary from our France travels, I went searching for good, high-protein snacks. I have always liked beef jerky, but never loved it. So when I found these three different brands of turkey sticks, I knew it was going to be a good snack summer. These three are my top favorite and I hope they have them in the NYC stores (and if not, thank you world wide web, not sure I know what to do without you!)…..

 

Top 3

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Paris June 2019 Highlights

Bonjour! My apologies for the slow posts these past two weeks — it was quite difficult to get on the internet to do any posts especially because I had a major computer issue a…..turns out, all is okay with my computer but the head of the charger died — who knew that that was a thing? In any case, I am now back in the USA *with* a working computer, so back to normal post schedules. I wanted to first share with you all some of the pictures and highlights of my time in Paris with the kids — we did go to the South of France for an amazing trip as well, and I will post those later. In the meantime, enjoy these photos!

 

In the Tuileries, one of our favorite activities is the trampoline park. It is an old school little hut with a man that got to know us because we went so often. Everyday when we would get there he would say hello and when we would leave, he would say “See you tomorrow.”

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Chicago IRCE / RetailX

Guest Post Alert:  The Josie Girl is in France with the kids.  Her computer died en route from Paris to the South of France (tough life), so I agreed (was told) to come up with some content.  I was in Chicago for a (possibly interesting?) work trip this week.  So bear with me and enjoy!

Dinner Tuesday at Soho House Chicago, hosted by ShoppingGives, a new platform that promotes corporate social responsibility (CSR) among retailers. They asked  me to record a podcast on how Natori thinks about CSR.  It sounded like a cool initiative, so I agreed to do it.  A fun dinner at a cool spot.

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