Big Sur / Carmel Weekend

A week ago, I traveled to Northern California to complete my 22nd marathon. There were a lot of changes going in to the weekend, as the landslide on Highway 1 had affected the route of The Big Sur Marathon, and also impacted our hotel stay. After many bumps and turns, the marathon ended up happening and it was truly a great weekend — the run, the company, and the nature.

 

I landed on Friday at SFO and was picked up by my bestie, sister from another mister, who is truly the best caretaker and friend in the world. She took care of me by rubbing my feet, making me electrolyte water, and cooking up these delicious pancakes for breakfast. She is truly Martha Stewart 2.0.

On Saturday am, I had to do a 20 minute shake out run, so I went to my favorite trail in the Bay Area — Sawyer Lake Trail. Nothing makes me happier than running on this path and seeing these views.

This is a great quote — it made me happy.

Me and my sister from another mister eating some more (we ate a lot in the 24 hours I was with her). This was taken from Zott’s, one of my favorite places that reminds me of my former life when I lived in the area.

Carbo loading of nachos and pretzels — so delicious.

Then, I was dropped off to a different friend, Michelle. Due to the closing of our hotel, we stayed at a crappy hotel on Saturday night (pre marathon night) in Carmel, close to the start of the race. When I say this hotel was crappy, it was CRAPPY. But all I needed was a bed for one night, so it worked out.

The map to the start. I ended up running to the start (over 2 miles). Easiest way.

My outfit for race day.

I woke up at 3:30 am to eat, and watch Suits, and then I realized that I matched the bed.

The race started at 6:15 am — kinda loved the early start, because that meant I was done earlier than normal.

This was the hardest hardest course I have ever ever run. Yes, lots of double words, because it was that hard. IMPOSSIBLE almost. So many hills. So many.

Gorgeous views. And lots of hills.

I did it. Marathon 22 in the books.

I hate professional running photos — they look like I am barely running. I promise you, I ran.

Incredible scenery.

LOOK AT ALL THE HILLS.

The sunset that night — which Michelle and I then moved to a different hotel — and then drove the entirety of the marathon. I loved doing that, because I told her stories about each part.

The next morning, we went on a hike — which actually helped my legs.

And boy, was the hike insanely beautiful.

I am not sure I love anything more than California Poppies.

More hills.

Flowers, hills, and THE OCEAN.

I love California. I loved this marathon. I loved this weekend.

 

It was not a fast marathon time (3;19), but I was very happy with the end result, because I felt strong and fast with all the hills and incline. So, I was happy. And thankful.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Enamor-Art Hat

When we were in Mexico over Spring Break, I saw a straw hat that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I knew the minute I saw it, that I wanted to get it, but I always like to make sure I REALLY want something before I actually buy it. But sure enough, I could NOT stop thinking about it, so now I have a hat from Enamor-Art Hat and I love it!

 

I loved everything about it — but especially the neon pink and the metallic silver.

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Currently Loving #2 April 2024

The days are long, the weeks are short, but here we are to almost May! So much has happened this month — mainly, going back to school (and teaching) after Spring Break, a cross country tip to visit schools, a family medical situation, more work, more rain, more running, more forgetfulness. Not sure what happened, but the month went WOOSH by. Now, I am getting ready to plan for summer, go BACK to the west coast for a marathon, finish up the school year, and all the other normal busy end of the year obligations. So apologies for the sporadic posts, I am committed to being more consistent going forward. And here is what I am currently loving:

 

1. Flowers in NYC

 

Nothing beats the flowers in the city in Springtime. My favorite thing is to look at the difference stages of all the tulips along Park Avenue, the various magnolia, cherry trees, the violets, the pansies, all the bright colors and smells. LOVE.

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Brooklyn Museum

I have been dying to go to the Brooklyn Museum’s newest exhibition (Alicia Keys and Swiss Beatz Private Art Collection) since it opened three weeks ago. So this past Saturday, in a crazy rainy downpour, I ventured to Park Slope to see it. It took one hour by the  subway, got absolutely sopping wet, had issues with my tickets, lost my umbrella, and STILL found it worth it.

 

OY was it rainy!!! You had to check in your umbrellas — meaning, you couldn’t bring them in to the museum. Unfortunately, the check in for the coat check was SO ABSURD that I left my umbrella in a corner (a risk) and lost it (dumb me). Which meant, that my trek home on the subway was even more wet, long, and smelly than it was coming to the museum. OY!

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FLOWERS!

Flowers! I love every type of flower — real, in nature, picked, fake, photo, drawing — any and every type of flower. And in the past week, I have had three new flower encounters that I want to share!

 

1. Fotografiska Exhibit “Human / Nature – Encountering Ourselves in the Natural World”

 

I loved all the different art work in this exhibit, but I especially loved the Lewis Miller Flash Flower Photos — as I have seen most of them in person and love everything about them.

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An Atlas of Es Delvin

This past weekend, I finally had the chance to stop by the Cooper Hewitt Museum  to see the exhibition of “An Atlas of Es Delvin” and WOW it was incredible. So intrigued, I came home to spend the rest of the afternoon watching a documentary on Es Delvin and looking through all her art work. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend going to the museum to see this exhibit, or if not in NYC, to look through Es Delvin’s work (and watch the video on her) to see what it is all about — absolutely inspiring. Es Delvin is a British stage designer that starts with all her projects first on pen and paper, then models, and then unimaginable set designs.

 

Cooper Hewitt is located on 90th street and 5th avenue in Manhattan. It costs 19 dollars for an adult and free for 18 and under. WORTH IT.

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Victoria Beckham Beauty

A dear friend gifted me the most incredible and luxurious set of Victoria Beckham Beauty — and now I am the biggest fan. As soon as I opened the gift, it was like Christmas Morning! I love it all — seriously, LOVE IT ALL (and love you, BK). I am now a huge Victoria Beckham Beauty fan and I want to spread the love to you all,  too. It is the best makeup and a serious competitor to my other favorite makeup Westman Atelier. (Right now, VB Beauty wins in my book).

 

The little pouch! Such a great way to give the makeup as a gift, and then to keep it in and travel with it, too.

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Currently Loving February 2024

January was a long year….and now we are at the shortest month, but it’s still winter (which I don’t love) but this is what I AM loving!

 

1. H Mart Haul

 

H Mart is a Koren grocery store that has every kind of Asian food that you want. Last weekend, we went there as an activity, and there was so much to look at and buy, we could have all stayed there for HOURS! This was some of our goodies that we picked up. Chocopie — HUGE hit with Cruzzie. His favorite — and now I need to go back and get more for him.

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Dog Photos + Exhibit

I love dog photos. I mean, I love my dog. So, I love taking photos of her.  These days, I take more photos of Stevie than I do of my kids!!! I can’t help myself, she is just my love bug.

 

Nothing feels better than cuddling with her.

 

So this past weekend, when Tusia and I passed Fotografiska which had “Best in Show: Contemporary Photos” exhibition, I couldn’t resist! It was a quick and easy visit, but we both LOVED it so much! I couldn’t stop taking photos!

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Mercer Labs

It was arctic temperatures in NYC this past weekend (and week!), which meant, finding fun indoor activities to get us out of the house. So with a little research, I found Mercer Labs, a new light and technology museum in TriBeCa. I had high hopes of this museum as the reviews were great — and it was even better than I expected. Mercer Labs is a 15 room immersive and interactive experience. Each room was SO cool and we absolutely loved every part of it. We stayed for a full hour, but could have easily been there a lot longer.

 

Everything about the museum was terrific — not just the exhibits, but the staff, the cleanliness, all of it.

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Currently Loving January 2024

ANOTHER YEAR, another Currently Loving post! And so here we are! Here is what I am loving:

 

1. No.6 Store Socks

 

My forever style muse sent me an email to get these socks — and whatever she tells me to get, I do! (She used to have her own style newsletter and I wish she still had it!!!). These socks are fun (not necessarily warm for NYC winters, but cute and stylish) and I can’t wait to wear them!

 

2. Cityscape Needlepoint Project

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Montana Winter Break

FIRST OF ALL -Happy New Year! 2024 — here we are, (and let’s make it a great year)! Secondly, I am so sorry for disappearing. Yes, I disappeared. In December, I taught, got sick, went on trips to Florida and Montana, and then came back to NYC to just jump right back into teaching…..it’s been a blur. Oh and yeah, the first week back teaching, I got sick again — damn kids and their germs!!! But I am back. It will be my first time ever trying to teach full time and write this blog, so it might take a while to get in to the rhythm, but I love this blog, so not giving it up! So thank you for being patient with me as I figure out how to do everything in one day! In the meantime, I want to share pictures with you from Montana because this vacation was spectacular. One of a kind, and I feel so lucky to have gone.

 

The colors — all the colors — night and day are one of a kind. Spectacular. Here we are with the six kids taking sleds up a teeny tiny hill to sled down.

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Lunar Phase Calendar

Every year, for the holidays, my mom gives me a lunar phase calendar. It is one of my favorite traditions (receiving this gift) and one of my favorite gifts ever. I always post it up on the back of my office closet door, so that I can look at the moon phases during the year. I know it sounds random, but I look more often than you think one would. I love knowing about the cycles of the moon, and knowing exactly when the moon is full.

 

Comes in a tube — easy to send! This year, since we will not be with my parents for the holidays, my mom shipped (thank you, Mama!) a care package with presents for all of us in the family. This one — aside from all her handmade knitting and embroidery work — is always my favorite gift.

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April Vase

Over Thanksgiving when we were at our brother/sister from another mister (friends that are truly family), they had set the most beautiful table for dinner. And as always, everything they do, is perfection and makes me want to copy every last detail (imitation is the best form of flattery?). My main take away was the flower vase — yes, a vase — but so so beautiful, unique, and oh so perfect.

 

Look at the perfect Thanksgiving table!

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Craftsman and Wolves Granola

I AM A GRANOLA SNOB. I say that all the time, because it is true — I love love love granola. And I eat it everyday, but it has to be good granola. My all time favorite still is the Eugene Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola, but when in San Francisco, I was (thankfully!) introduced to a new one — Craftsman and Wolves  — and it was so good that I had to bring three packages home. Even more perfect, we walked by the bakery on our food tour, so I was able to quickly run in and buy the granola (as well as some other treats to eat on the spot).

 

Yes, in my tiny carry on, I brought these three packages home. I would have brought more if I had more space….

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Avital Food Tours

We just returned from our 4 day Thanksgiving Break to our besties in the bay area. We had the BEST time — came back with a very full stomach and extremely full heart. I laughed the entire 4 days (and ate the rest of the time) — all in all, the best time ever. One of my favorite parts was the Avital Food Tour — just the 8 of us on a guided food tour of the Mission District in San Francisco. We had a tour guide take us, by foot, to four different restaurants as a progressive meal. Each one was delicious and something I would have NEVER tried before.

 

California – I love you. West Coast – I love you.

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Needlepoint Canvases

Holiday season is upon us, which means more traveling and time to needlepoint! I love getting lots of canvases to work on during my travels (and down time), and here are some websites that I have recently loved purchasing my different canvases.

 

1. The Red Thread Atelier

 

I bought several canvases from this new website, and I love them all. Especially love this future pouch for all my emergency candy!

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Currently Loving November 2023

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT THANKSGIVING IS PRACTICALLY HERE? I have no idea how that happened. Literally, the other day, I was convinced it was September (maybe I am losing my mind a little). A lot has been happening on my end — I accepted a job to teach again, applying my son to high schools, dealing with the insanity and sadness of the antisemitism in the world, and just trying to balance everything else out! It has been an adjustment (and I haven’t even started full time yet!)….so here is what I am loving this month.

1. Christie’s Auction Sale

 

Did you know that during the auction sales, anyone can go to the auction house (for free!) and see all the art work? I stopped by this past week for 30 minutes and it was glorious — just a quick runby to see all the work (and they have the prices on them, which is FASCINATING!). I loved this Frida Kahlo painting that she did of her sister….

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Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts

I had lots of different ideas for my son’s 14th birthday party, but due to last minute planning and bad weather, we ended up with an organized scavenger hunt in Grand Central. Although thrown together last minute — it was a hit and I highly recommend for adults and kids alike. It was a private event, created by Watson Adventures, and it was sooooo much fun. The questions were quite difficult and we ran all around Grand Central trying to figure out each clue.

 

We met with our guide at a meeting spot, downloaded the information we needed on our phones, and took off. Since there were only 6 boys (and myself), we were one team, but I created prizes for everyone. It was highly competitive, everyone was very engaged, and we all had so much fun.

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Upper Sweetside

One of my favorite people I follow on Instagram is a baker — Upper Sweetside — who happens to be a mother from my kids’ preschool. Everything she bakes is fun, creative, and delicious. She not only cares about the look of the cake / cookie / treat, but also the taste. My type of dessert! Pretty and delicious. She recently posted Taylor Swift cookies, so I purchased several, to accompany us to see the Taylor Swift movie.

 

I couldn’t decide which one to get, so I ordered a mixture of them all.

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Currently Loving October 2023

There is a lot of sadness and heartache in the world right now — it is all so hard to hear and read. So here is what I am currently loving right now.

 

1. Pumpkin Banana Pudding

 

I know it sounds weird — but it might have been the most amazing and delicious thing I have ever eaten. HIGHLY recommend. It tasted like pumpkin cheesecake and was so rich and decadent, and I finished the whole thing (over the period of a couple of days).

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Chicago Marathon 2023 Recap

I know not all of you are runners, so this post might not be that interesting to you, but just for my own records, wanted to put it out there to the universe. Also — if you ever want to run a marathon — you should. I love it so much — it is a journey and a process — bot the training and the race itself. This past Sunday, not only did my son turn 14 (!!!) but I ran my 21st marathon at my favorite marathon, the Chicago Marathon. It was a great day — perfectly chilly weather and a happy outcome.

 

As always, I left on Saturday morning for Chicago, and went straight to the expo to pick up my bib. I hate expos — they are so nerve wracking and stressful, and I much prefer to not discuss my race with strangers…I was in and out as fast as I could be, and asked someone to take this photo. I always get a little sad when I am at expos alone — it is usually something you share with others, but alas, I traveled to the race alone and on this rare weekend, my friends that I normally stay with, weren’t there.

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Great Gift

The other day I co-hosted a small group of friends for a class that taught us to arrange flowers — (which by the way, I HIGHLY recommend — super fun), and one of the guests gave us the most genius present — a wine cooler sleeve! I have not even heard of it but am so in love with it that I am now going to give it as a present for wherever I go!

 

Before I share photos of the wine sleeve, here are some of the photos of the flower class. Look at the blush selection of colors of the flowers. LOVE.

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