Dim Sum NYC

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had a craving to go to dim sum in the city. After an extensive search online on what the best dim sum restaurant is, we ended up at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. It was everything that I had hoped for, and I highly suggest going (and waiting) for a great dim sum meal if in the city.

 

Down a car free street. It was a cold morning and despite it opening up at 11 am (and us getting there then), we still had to wait for 45 minutes. That said, it was worth it.

The line! But once we were in it for 15 minutes, I was committed and not giving up.

Freezing. We did jumping jacks and drills, but still it felt cold in the tunnel of cold air.

The line only grew longer with time.

Written up in every food magazine, website, and GOOP, it attracts tourists and locals alike. I loved the decor on the outside.

We were SO hungry.

Not exactly full of ambiance or character, but the food was the shining star.

Cruzzie loves pork buns more than anything else in life. They were BEYOND.

Fried rice and chinese broccoli. The greens were delicious.

Closer shot.

Definitely worth it, and fun to do on a cold morning when there is not much else to do (and a good field trip to get out of the apartment). Visit Nom Wah Tea Parlor!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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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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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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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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Mochinut Donuts

I love the food website, The Infatuation, that writes about all the new restaurants,bars, cafes, bakeries, in any and every city. Most of all, I love their random guides such as “Best pizza in NYC’ or “Best donuts in NYC“. And of course, not only do I love reading the articles slash lists, but I love trying all their random recommendations. For best donut in NYC, I decided to try something new and different, Mochinut Donuts. Mochinut is a chain with locations all over South Korean, Thailand, and most states in the United States (literally everywhere!). What makes these donuts unique is that they are made with rice flour.

 

Two locations in Manhattan — I went to the one on 38th and 6th. Super friendly, clean, and easy.

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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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Currently Loving August 2022 Part 2

It is so true that January and February creep by — each day seems sooooo long, and then July and August just whizzzzzz by. So here we are, end of August, and here is what I am loving.

 

1. Good Quote

 

Seen on a hike, “Expect noting. Celebrate everything.” I love this quote and think about it often.

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Natori Summer Blues

Every summer, we go to our dear friends’ home in Sonoma to celebrate a weekend with many of our Stanford Business School friends. It has happened the past 8 summers and is always one of the best weekends of the year. We lounge, hike, eat, indulge, rollerskate, and laugh. OOOHHHH we laugh and it is so fun. It is also our second time we have picked a theme of an evening — in 2019 we did Sunset Hues.

 

Sunset Hues. That was our guideline — and everyone could dress how they wanted to.

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BeReal

I spent the past week with my teenage nephew and niece, and not only do I love the time together because I adore them, but I also love that they introduce me to what is hip / new / relevant in their life. Currently, what is hot in their social circle for social media is not instagram or tiktok, but rather BeReal (and Snapchat). I had never heard of BeReal so it was fascinating to learn more about it.

BeReal sends you a notification at different times each day and asks you to photograph in front and back of you in the 2 minute time limit. There is no way to track the number of friends you have and there are no “likes.”

 

BeReal is a French social media app that was released in 2020. After a couple of years of relative obscurity, it eventually gained popularity rapidly in mid-2022. More specifically, BeReal is a photo-sharing app that allows users to post one photo per day in real time.

An example of my BeReal. I was sitting at the pool with the kids — and it took a shot of what is in front and what I looked like.

You can look at both as the main photograph.

 

Currently, I have two friends (one is the sister of my ex boyfriend who is married to Amy Schumer, and one is my niece — my nephew does not want to be friends with me on this app….). So it is obviously not yet popular with my age group….

 

Another example….And it is important to note that you can only see other people’s daily BeReals if you post one that day yourself, and previous ones disappear from the feed.

And another.

 

Who knows if it will take off as a huge mainstream social media app, but I appreciate the authenticity and realness, and how it is different and unique…..To read more about BeReal, go here and here and here.

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Killer Burger

The friend who told me about Dave’s Hot Chicken, also told me about Killer Burger. A very different type of cuisine than I normally eat, but a huge hit for everyone in the family (including myself). Currently, Killer Burger is a Pacific Northwest Chain, but hopefully in the near future, it will become more mainstream and located nationally. If you happen to be in the PNW, you must try Killer Burger — home of the PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON BURGER. Yes, PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON. And I have to tell you — it is SO good. So good.

 

Killer Burger with the family.

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Ice Cream Cake

Apparently I am on a dessert kick because all my recent posts have been about dessert — apologies — but this one NEEDS to be shared (again). I posted this recipe seven years ago (yes, I have been doing this blog for a looooong time) and it is so good that I need to remind you about it. Ice Cream Cake made with Ice Cream Sandwiches! I learned this genius recipe hack from my sister-from-another-mister.

 

Finished product! Look how gorgeous — and they are even more delicious.

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Homemade Baklava

I love most desserts (yes, I know, sugar isn’t good for you, but I love it), but especially baklava. It is one of my absolute favorites (along with red velvet cake, key lime pie, blueberry crisps….so many), and yet I have never made it myself. So during a heat wave in Oregon, I decided IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN, and made my first homemade baklava, and let me tell you, it is delicious and I plan to make it again! It is that good!

 

Ingredients:

 

 

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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

One of my favorite activities in the Pacific Northwest is to go fruit picking in the summer. Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries and peaches. Yesterday, I went blueberry picking (the season is almost over) and within an hour we had over 7 pounds of fresh, delicious, beautiful, organic and inexpensive berries ($19 for 7 pounds).

 

I love this one blueberry picking spot — right near one of my favorite hikes — but there are so many different places you can go and get the berries.

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Currently Loving July 2022 Part 2

OH MY GOODNESS STOP SUMMER, STOP! It is going too fast and *GULP* it is almost the end of July! Here is what I am loving.

 

1. Never Have I Ever

 

So yes, the past month I have been with my 75+ parents and my 10 year old daughter, so it is not a shocker that I have been mainly watching teenager shows, but I am OBSESSED with ‘Never Have I Ever.” I love the characters, so charming, cute, loveable. Paxton — I love you.

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Spain 2022 Highlights

I was fortunate enough to spend the last 2 weeks in Southern Spain with my parents, daughter, and Ken (for a week) where we relaxed and explored together. It was refreshing and rejuvenating to leave the US and get fresh air and tastes of a different culture. Here are the highlights:

 

Every morning, I ran. Over the two weeks, I ran 98 miles. Up hills, down hills, and NEVER on flat surfaces. It was the hardest place I have EVER EVER RUN in my entire life, and I hope that it makes me a stronger (and faster) runner. Each morning, I would dread my run, but I loved it so much afterwards. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to explore my surroundings and really have a feel for the area.

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Currently Loving June 2022

It is almost mid June and so the end-of-school-rush and start of traveling is in full swing. I am trying to pack for two camps, a cross country trip, a Europe trip, and still manage to get the kids to school. Needless to say, I feel like a chicken without a head. All good things, and I am happy to be here and healthy….so here is what I am loving this month.

 

1. Notorious BIG Metro card

 

A lover of BIG, I had to get this special metrocard. Going to frame it — love it. Definitely cost more than a normal metrocard, but it will last a lifetime.

 

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Pizza Calzone

In the constant search to find new recipes and things to eat, my-sister-from-another-mister told me about an easy pizza calzone recipe from NYTimes that everyone in the family loved. Not only was it super easy, but also very tasty. I altered the recipe (shocker) to include more greens, but it is one of those recipes that you can do what you want with it, and it will turn out delicious.

 

Ingredients:

 

filling!

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