Currently Loving January 2023 Part 2

Is this month over????? Always SOOOOOOO long. Luckily it has not been THAT cold in NYC this past month. I mean, definitely hat and jacket weather, but not my big BIG coat. Here is what I am currently loving.

 

1. Feel Better Live More Podcast

 

Super insightful and love all of his shows. A must listen to.

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Currently Loving January 2023

January is always the longest month. It feels like February is right around the corner, but it actually isn’t — it still is weeks away! Here is what I am loving this month!

 

1. Anything Pendleton-pattern-esque

 

I love everything Pendleton. I’ve had the blue coat since Cruzzie was in my belly (13 years ago) and it is a coat that I imagine I will have as long as I am alive. And I keep adding to my collection…now the dog has one (if only she liked it — she hates clothes).

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Sunday in Brooklyn

In the past month, we have been going to Brooklyn for brunch. There is something and fun and different to get in our car, drive to a different borough, and eat where we are not going to know a single person. Recently, we ended up at Sunday in Brooklyn, on a SUNDAY in BROOKLYN (very meta). It was after I researched where “the best pancakes are served in NYC,” and this was at the top of every list I came across.

 

It takes reservations, but on the Sunday we went, there were not any available spots, so we walked in, and put our name on the waitlist and walked around Domino Park — which had beautiful views of Manhattan. Windy and cold, but still beautiful and picturesque.

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Graffiti Workshop

Last month to celebrate the end of school, I took Cruzzie and his friends to a graffiti workshop in Brooklyn. I thought it would be a fun and unique outing — something different — and sure enough it was. We were all a little skeptical (the teacher was late and the building that the class was in was a little unusual), that said, it was so fun and the boys had a great time and learned so much. I highly recommend — but if you do it, just know that there might be a couple kinks but it will all work out.

 

A quick background on the history of graffiti and then a lesson on how to do it.

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Currently Loving December 2022

Here we are — December! Cross that out — MID DECEMBER! Here is what I am loving!

 

1. The Old Man and The Pool

 

I went to this in early December and it was SOO funny. I loved the 75 minute one man show and highly recommend anything that Mike Birbiglia does. In this production, it was about aging, and it could not have been more relevant or in tune with life. LOVED it.

 

2. Rat Ornament

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Flower Class

Last week, I had the opportunity to take a private class with a florist, Denise from Flower Girl, and it was THE HIGHLIGHT of my month. Not only did we walk around the flower district where I learned which shop was best for plants vs flowers, where to get vases, the best orchids, and more, but I also made a floral arrangement. It was a very different experience — and I cannot wait to do it again.

 

We first met at a shop and discussed all the different flowers we needed for the arrangement. I asked Denise, the founder and owner of Flower Girl, what sparked her interested, and from there, we picked the rest out. It was very different from what I would have picked (which is why I went with her) and it was so fun to see it all come together.

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Telestrations

Over Thanksgiving Break, we were introduced to Telestrations, and it is hands down, the most fun board game I have played in a long time. It is the perfect family game — fast moving, easy, enjoyable for every age, and so much fun.

 

Immediately after the first time we played this, I purchased one for our family. It is a game that the kids ASK and BEG to play — it is so fun for everyone in the family.

 

The game is exactly what it sounds like  — a combination of telephone and pictionary. You receive a word, you have to draw it, and then the next person guesses it, the next person draws it, etc….It is so fun and every time I play, we laugh SO much.

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Thanksgiving 2022

Just got back from a whirlwind away on the west coast in the Bay Area. We decided to visit our best friends from Stanford for the holiday, and it was truly one of the best weekends yet. We laughed, ate, ate some more, ate even more, laughed some more, and just had great quality time together. Here is what we did (and great recommendations for anyone going to the Bay Area, too!)

 

MUIR WOODS

 

National Forest north of San Francisco in Marin. A beautiful, relaxing, and incredible sigh of redwood trees. Redwood trees are supposed to be healing, and just being in their presence felt magical. They are HUGE and ANCIENT.

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Stutz

A MUST WATCH — Stutz! This documentary is about Jonah Hill’s therapist. It is part film, part therapy, and 100 percent worthwhile. It focuses on Jonah Hill (an actor and director)’s therapist, Phil Stutz, who he says changed his life. Stutz gives tools to Hill (and therefore to all the viewers) on how to have a better life — and I loved every part of it. We *ALL* have things to learn from this film.

 

You can watch “Stutz” on netflix, and I highly recommend watching this film today, tonight, ASAP.

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NYC Marathon 2022 Part 2

Almost 2 weeks have passed since the NYC Marathon, and although it feels like a lifetime ago, I still think about the run all the time. More than any other marathon due to the fact that I ran with Eddie, the blind athlete, and our unfortunate ending of the race. Eddie continues to be an inspiration to me — blind, and yet fully loving and appreciative of life. He does not let his disability define him and seeks challenges, joy, and happiness in everything he does. I hope to be more like Eddie in my daily life. This was our most recent exchange.

 

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Autry Sneakers

I am a lover of sneakers — I wear Nike Dunks and Vans more than I wear any other shoes. They are comfortable, practical, AND hip. And now, I have a third sneaker to add to my rotation, Autry. I have a feeling that these shoes are going to be the next Golden Goose (aka luxury sneaker, but not at that ridiculously price point) and men, women, and kids will be all wearing them soon (and if my prediction is wrong, at least everyone in my family will be wearing them). Move over, veja, these sneakers are the best.

 

I like them all in all color ways, but for my first purchase, I picked the green and white. I LIVE in my black and white dunks, so these are a similar flair and style.

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NYC Marathon 2022

On Sunday, I ran the NYC Marathon as a guide for Achilles International. Achilles is an organization for people with disabilities in which they help their lives through athletic programs and social connection. It is my second time running as a guide with Achilles, and second time with my blind athlete, Eddie. It is always a very difficult, but extremely humbling and rewarding experience. The most heartwarming is meeting other athletes and hearing their stories — they are warriors and truly survivors.

 

I met Eddie at the expo on Friday. He came with a fellow visually impaired friend and it was so difficult to see them find their path in the expo. All of a sudden it came back to me how hard it is to guide someone and to be their eyes, ears, bodyguards, pacers, water fetcher, and protectors.

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Currently Loving Early November 2022

Yesterday, I wrote that the date was November 2021. I can’t believe that it is not 2021, and in fact, it is almost 2023! Here is what I am loving right now in Early November.

 

1.  Zara Marine Jeans (for kids)

 

These jeans are the cutest and I wish they had them in adults sizes. They are Tusia’s first jeans (ever) and she loves them just as much as I do (which is never the case).

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Wordle Communication

Ever since I discovered Wordle, I play every. single. day. without. a doubt. It is part of my daily rituals and something I love. Even more important, it is a way I stay in touch with an old friend of mine. We do not text or talk about anything, but every single day (without fail! for the past 9 months), we send each other’s results to one another.

 

 

 

Literally all our conversations look like this.

 

 

Back and forth.

 

Back and forth.

 

It seems silly — it is — but there is something so meaningful about these simple interactions. It is a way to check in (non verbal) and somehow feels very loving and supportive. So, highly suggest connecting with someone — it doesn’t have to be a traditional form of connection, but even something this little, makes all the difference. Happy week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Natori Revive Brief

A loyal Natori fan, I only wear Natori briefs (shocker). Since I am constantly looking for new ones to replace my Natori Feathers Panties RIP, I just purchased several pairs of the Natori Revive Brief, and I am *FINALLY* happy. They are not Natori Feathers, but they are ALMOST as good. So if you are looking for a new pair of undies, HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend these Natori revive briefs.

 

They come in two colors (beige and black). I got two of each. And I can’t wait to order more….

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LV 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition

This past Sunday, I visited the old Barneys building (RIP) as Louis Vuitton is hosting an exhibition there until December 31st. This exhibition is the fourth and final stop of this traveling show. Not only is it an exhibit, but Fred’s (the restaurant, SOB, RIP) is also temporarily opened while Louis Vuitton is in the building.  The exhibit is located on three of the floors, presenting 200 trunks that were created by 200 different artists.

The building. Entrance is free — you can reserve a ticket online, or just simply walk in, depending on the time of the day and how busy it is.

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Doorless Helicopter Tour of NYC

For Cruz’s 13th birthday last week, all he wanted was a doorless helicopter ride of the city. Since I had very few presents to give him, I thought that this gift would be extra special to him as it was an experience he could remember forever. Mind you, I hate heights, and don’t like to be on balconies of buildings, but in the end, it was worth it to see how happy Cruz was. I did a lot of research leading up to it and found that FlyNyon had the best reviews. Sure enough, the customer service was amazing and our experience unforgettable, and would definitely recommend this company to any one that is crazy enough to do it.

 

I didn’t make the reservations until the morning of. I couldn’t figure it out online (and I wanted a later time), so I called the number, and was greeted by the most HELPFUL person ever, Colleen.

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Beat the Bomb

Beat the Bomb – an immersive group experience! I have heard amazing reports about this interactive activity, which is a mixture of an escape room and a video game, so I signed up and took some kids to have some fun. Absolutely everyone had a blast and it was the perfect rainy indoor day activity. Located in DUMBO in Brooklyn, Beat the Bomb is a privately owned company that started five years ago. It was first built for adults, for group bonding activities and fun, but after the pandemic, they realized that kids were wizards at ipads. So now, it is 50% adults, and 50% kids.

 

When you get to the space, you have to put on a hazmat suit. Blurry photo, but gives you an idea of what the suit looks like.

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Pier 57

New York City’s newest largest rooftop park! This past weekend, we explored new outdoor space and loved seeing the city from a different perspective. Pier 57 is located on W 15 St. & Hudson River Park — a mixture of office space (Google), public park, and soon a Food Hall by James Beard Foundation (JBF).

 

It is hidden and a little more discreet to get to. It is located just north of Little Island, so you can hit them both up at the same time.

Walking along the pier to get to the entrance of the park.

Great views, even more you go to the roof.

The elevator to get to the park. YES, AN ELEVATOR!!! I found that part so amazing. And I love the colors in this photo — Ukraine Flag colors.

This made me laugh — a button for the park.

The rules — you *CAN* bring dogs, which I didn’t know, but they need to be nice dogs.

Great views of Little Island and southern Manhattan.

The city up high.

Grassy area.

Views to the North.

A wedding was happening! A very small wedding, but we loved seeing the bride and groom.

You could rent this out for an event!

Then we crossed the street and went to Chelsea Market and had doughnuts and tacos for lunch.

 

Definitely worth doing on a beautiful Fall day — incredible views, great use of space, and something different!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Vegan Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread and pumpkin bread symbolize FALL like no other. Since I posted about my favorite pumpkin bread a couple years ago, I thought I should investigate zucchini breads. I fell upon this NYTimes Vegan recipe, and since my husband is not currently eating dairy, I thought it was a great one to try. And I love the outcome — so definitely recommend!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Good Eats

Through a friend, I was introduced to Good Eats, a program that feeds elementary school children, every weekend. Sadly, all over our country, there are children that eat all their meals at school through government subsidized programs. As a result, over the weekend when they are not in school, they do not eat. Good Eats comes in to schools where there is a need and gives students a package of food to put in their backpacks for the weekend. Often times these kids do not have can openers or fridges that work — so the food has to be nonperishable and have a shelf life. Yes, the goal is to change the world through KALE (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE KALE), but the reality, is that the food needs to be accessible and easy for the kids to eat. Basic hunger.

 

A distributor that is partnered with Good Eats, delivers the food to the school once a month. We were supposed to meet him at 830. He did not show up until past noon…..but grateful even more so.

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Shadow Box

From the age of six months old, Tusia wore amber necklaces around her neck at all times. As time went on, she never took them off and instead added more to her pile. FOR TEN YEARS, she wore 3 amber necklaces and only took them off once (for a ballet recital when she was in Kindergarten). They were a part of her body, her vibe, her look. And yet, this summer, she told me she no longer wanted to wear them. It broke my heart and I told her she had to…..(to which I was told that I was not “pro choice” if I controlled some one else’s body….) so I realized that it was in fact her choice, and I could no longer control her necklace situation. Because they were such a huge part of her life (and mine), I decided to put them in a shadow box, frame them like art, so that we could always have them to look at.

 

Tusia this summer with her necklaces.

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Grace Street – Shaved Ice

I LOVE SHAVED ICE — not the snow cone with sugar syrup, but the Asian Shaved Ice with condensed milk and so much flavor and taste. It is my favorite thing in the world — so much that when I was in Undergrad, I would drive with all my friends to a place in LA and get Taiwanese Shaved Ice in the middle of the night — I have so many fond memories of that place (wish I could remember the name!) and all the times I had shaved ice with tapioca balls, red beans, mango and shaved ice with condensed milk. So, fast forward to this summer, when I was in Seattle with my family, we went to an incredible Shaved Ice place, Snowy Village (go if you are in Seattle!) and I fell head over in heels. I tasted my college experience!

 

Seattle shaved ice — Snowy Village. SO good and tasty, loved every single bite.

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Mister Dips

If you happen to be in NYC and want an adventure, I highly recommend going to Mister Dips, an all-American restaurant that serves (supposedly great hamburgers) and ridiculous soft serve ice cream downtown on South Street Seaport.

 

We decided to make it an adventure — so we took the East River Ferry that loads at 34th Street (and the East River) and then got off at Wall Street. It was an extremely hot and humid day in the city, so the 15 minutes on the boat felt marvelous. Highly recommend doing just the boat trip!

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