2020 here we are! And here is what I am currently loving this month!
HI! HELLO! HOWDY! Happy New Year! Back in action over here at josiegirlblog.com and ready to post on my regular schedule! I hope you had a great break and feel rested and ready for a new YEAR! Nothing better than starting the year off with some great books — so here are the books I want to read this winter (or year, TBH). Take a look! Most of these books (1-9) were recommended to me by a friend who works at Penguin Random House as a publisher…..
Please, oh please, immediately after you read this post, order the book They Called Us Enemy. It is an ever so powerful and important book and a part of our American history. The graphic novel is the story of George Takei’s personal story of the years he and his family lived behind barbed wires, prisoners due to his ethnic background. Although this story touches me personally due to my own connection to the Holocaust, I was unfamiliar with how the Japanese-Americans were treated in America during the war. It is crucial that we all know about this part of history and how this legalized racism existed, not so long ago.
I know it might be #oversharing, but last December, I picked up a new hobby of roller dancing and it has made such an impact on my life. I know it sounds so cheesy, but it is really true, and something I want to share with you all. When I look back on the past 12 months, what strikes me the most is how much joy, laughter and fun roller skating (specifically roller dancing) has brought me. Since January, I have consistently roller skated at least twice a week and I have loved every minute. When in NYC, I take lessons in my dining room (god bless my husband and his patience) and in the summer in Oregon and California, I would skate on the streets. There is something so freeing, liberating, joyful, and fun about it all. I have absolutely loved picking up a new hobby and seeing my weekly improvements, listening to music loud and dancing to it, working out (it is so hard),
It is now cold on the East Coast and yet that is not stopping me from running outside (LA Marathon 2020, here I come!). I find it even more important to have a good playlist to help motivate on those cold and chilly runs. Here is the current playlist! Enjoy!
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.
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.
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!
More than half way done with the month and almost to Halloween! Here is what I am currently loving this October! Take a look.
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.
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…
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.
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.
2. See more theatre.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
My new favorite complement to any meat, fish, or veggie is a chimichurri sauce. It is green (and I love anything green), healthy, and oh so delicious. Here is the recipe, enjoy!