Currently Loving October 2019

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.

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Chicago Marathon 2019

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.

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Natori Luxe Shangri-La Notch PJ

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.

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ImmuneSchein Ginger Elixir

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.

 

little potions

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Royal Native Pouch

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????

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Lizzo Concert

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

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Sister’s Fruit Company

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.

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Other Stories Socks

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

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Reebok Club C 85 Vintage

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!

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Quick Living Room Refresh: Lucie Ayres

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!

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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).

 

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Westman Atelier Mascara

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.

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11 11 Body Oil

I basically bathe in my 11 11 essential oil — I have bottles throughout my entire house, and when I have only 1 or 2 left, I panic and hoard more of them. I love the smell so much that I constantly reapply it because I can never actually smell it on myself — it is not just my personal scent, but part of who I am (dramatic, but oh so true). The local store that sells 11 11 told me that there is a cult following for the scent, and I am one of their top buyers of it (I think I deserve more because of this). Last December, Lake and Skye came out with a candle, last summer a perfume, and THIS September they introduced body oil. And I am in love.

 

It is basically the essential oil, but in a super large size. Super hydrating, rich in essential fatty acids and enriched with anti-inflammatory Vitamin E, the body oil naturally nourishes and soothes dry skin. It’s the perfect compliment to the 11 11 fragrance collection.  Not too strong, just the right amount.

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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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