Poppie Press

The moment I saw a good friend’s photo albums in her home, I knew that I wanted to copy her exact arrangement. Started by this friend’s good friend, Poppie Press is a service that puts together your photos by year into gorgeous albums. As someone who takes thousands of photos per year, I have never been able to put together a photo album to save my life. I despise the process and I never get around to it. It gives me the worst headaches and point is, I don’t like doing it. So when I found out that Poppie Press had some availability for new clients, I rushed at the chance. And I couldn’t be happier.

 

Not my stack of books, but I can’t wait to soon have a stack like this!

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Currently Loving January 2022

I know that the month has just begun (Omicron — go away already! Winter — go away, too!), but here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. The Sex Lives of College Girls

 

Hands down the most LOL show I have seen in a long time. It is so right on about liberal art colleges and I love the characters so much. A must watch! I am just sad I have no more episodes to watch — it is binge worthy (25 minutes each episode) and so fun, funny, and smart.

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Buffalo Cauliflower

One of my favorite Hanukkah / Christmas / Holiday presents was the new cookbook “Vegan, at Times” by Jessica Seinfeld. All of the recipes look delicious and the first one I made,  Buffalo Cauliflower, is so delicious that I imagine all the other recipes are just as tasty and good. So flavorful, semi healthy, a great way to eat cauliflower, and something different! Here is the recipe for buffalo cauliflower!

 

A new cookbook that I love! Can’t wait to try all the different recipes!

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Pea Hummus

My favorite restaurant in NYC is ABCV. It is an all vegetarian restaurant with so much flavor and deliciousness. Everything they make is incredible and one of my favorite items is the pea hummus. So I decided to try to make my own! It definitely isn’t as good as ABCV, but I was very happy with the result!

 

Ingredients:

 

 

* bag of frozen peas

* can of drained garbanzo beans

* 1-4 tablespoons of Olive oil

* a spoonful of tahini

* lots of salt

* a huge handful of mint

* juice from one lemon

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Currently Loving December 2021

Last month of 2021! I can’t believe it — this year has come and gone…..here is what I am currently loving this month!

 

1. We Can Do Hard Things: Glennon Doyle podcast, episode “Runners and Cheerers: Marathon Life with Shalane Flanagan

 

I love Glennon Doyle — she is honest and acknowledges when she makes mistakes. I really liked this episode as it talked about marathons and what happens during them — her wife ran it and spoke about it. I also love Shalane Flannagan, but found the first half of the episode better than the portion when Shalane was featured.

 

2. Crying in H Mart

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Paper and Glue

Over the weekend, I watched the documentary film “Paper and Glue,” and I loved every minute of it. Recommended to me by a documentary producer friend in LA, I knew it had to be good. Upon reading more about the film, I realized it was about the artist JR, who I have been following and admiring over the past year.

 

Paper and Glue — you can watch it on Youtube.

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Banh Mi Zon

Over Thanksgiving break, I decided it was time to start my food hunts again in NYC to find “the best ofs.” Last Winter, I found the best dumplings, the best pizza, and the best Italian Food. So, this time, I thought it would be fun to find the “best Vietnamese” in Manhattan. It was a throw back to when I was pregnant with my 12 year old, and only wanted gazpacho and Vietnamese Summer Rolls…..So after reading several articles and reviews, we headed down to 6th Street in the Lower East Side to Banh Mi Zon to pick up a selection of items.

 

Vietnamese sandwich — perfect crusty bread with vegetables and meat. Loved every bite.

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Natori Mens

Natori now has a mens collection and I am soooooooo excited! It has a mixture of pieces — solid colors to crazy and wild prints. I have three favorite pieces — (1) Hoodie (2) Crew Neck Tee and (3) Jogger Pants. Here they are, right in time for the holidays!

 

(1) The Hoodie!

 

This fleece chenille hoodie comes in three different colors, and in the comfiest luxurious chenille yarn. It is a modern take on a classic sweatshirt and is the perfect addition to the men’s lougewear.

 

Soft, warm, fuzzy, and looks good!

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Tricount App

Thanks to a girls trip, I discovered a new life changing app, Tricount. This app helps organize the expenses for all the different people involved. For example, this past weekend, instead of four people constantly splitting the bill, we just rotated who paid what and put it in the app. At the end of the trip, it calculated who owed what to whom. It was also very helpful as different people were present for different portions of the expenses, and this helped keep track of it all.

 

Girls trip — where I was introduced to Tricount!

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Sleep Help

Ever since September, my 9 year old daughter has had major sleep anxiety and issues falling asleep. It has been extremely challenging (and tiring for me) and I have experimented with almost everything. Nothing has worked…..until, recently, I tried a guided sleep meditation to listen to and it has been the ONLY thing that seems to be helping. So, even though this is a total overshare of my problems, I wanted to throw it out to anyone else experiencing sleep anxiety with a child.

 

For NINE years, Tusia was the most incredible sleeper. She would fall asleep at 7 pm and wake up anytime after 7 am. But now, since our return home to NYC after the summer away, it has been terrible. She is nervous, anxious, worried, and does not want to fall asleep.

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Happy Pencils

My mother is the best at sending care packages as everything she puts in them are unique and cool. The most recent care package included the new Amanda Gorman book, vintage stickers, notebooks, and whimsical, fun pencils. I love these pencils — not only because they are functional and have a purpose — but because they are happy, joyful, and make you smile!

 

Sprinkle fairy dust on a gold pencil! SCREAMS JOY! I love this!

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OC Skate Ramps

My 12 year old, Cruz, loves skateboarding. All summer long in Oregon, we went to various skate parks and it definitely became a passion of his. Now that we are in NYC, he goes with his besties to Brooklyn to an indoor skate park on a weekly basis. He loves it, and we love that it is a form of exercise, socialization, and an opportunity for him to do something he loves. So we decided to get him a half pipe for our home in Pound Ridge. This half pipe installation was quite a process — we had to dedicate 2 full days of putting it together (well not me personally, but I was involved with carrying the pieces from the truck to the deck).

 

The truck was supposed to arrive any time between 9 and 5, and showed up at 4:30 pm. It then said that it couldn’t go up the driveway, but we convinced the very kind driver to try. And it worked. There is NO way I could have carried everything up the driveway. Even with 3 of us.

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Chicago Marathon 2021

This past weekend, I completed my 16th marathon and my 5th (or 6th) Chicago Marathon. It was a crazy busy weekend with first a visit from my beloved brother and his wife, Cruzzie’s 12th birthday, and then flying to Chicago and running the marathon and flying home. It was overall a great full weekend and now I am exhausted!

 

The expo was INSANE. Usually, I am in and out in 20 minutes, but due to COVID regulations and checking proof of vaccine, it was incredibly delayed. Took over 2 hours to pick up my number. And always awkward for me to ask a stranger to take a picture of myself holding up my number, but hey, YOLO.

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Gratitude Journal

The start of this school year has felt a little off — whether it is COVID or the city or just life — it has not been as peaceful or calm as I would like. So with the advice and encouragement from two separate friends, I started writing in a gratitude journal. And this simple act of acknowledging five points every. single. night has made a tremendous difference. It is just a subtle shift of my energy that instead of focusing on the negative or what I have not done, I see all that I have and what I am thankful for. One tip was to make the fifth point about myself — which obviously is harder to write down — but it really has helped. In the two plus weeks that I have made this a part of my nightly routine, I clearly see the benefits of this practice. I actually look forward to writing the words down and having a journal full of positivity and gratitude. I highly recommend this daily homework and see such beauty and strength that has emerged from my own recognition of what I have.

 

My calendar on the left, and my gratitude journal on the right. I use just a dotted moleskine (I dont like lines).

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Currently Loving September 2021

Here we are in mid September and here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Harriman State Park

 

Last week, we had a day off from school and a parent organized a hike to Harriman State Park — which is about an hour away from NYC. It was a great day filled with beautiful nature. It made me miss the ease of Oregon nature and hikes, but I am thankful to have been introduced to Harriman State Park and can’t wait to return.

 

2. Dahlias

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Natori Embolden Brief

My new favorite Natori undie is — gasp, even more than the Natori Feathers Brief — the new Embolden Brief. They are the absolute perfect pair of undies, and I am so so so so happy I discovered them. They are lacy but full coverage, flattering and different. Run to the store (or buy online) before they disappear — I stocked up on them!

 

They come in three colors: black, beige and blue. They are mainly lace, with just a little hint of fabric at the bottom.

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End of Summer 2021

This summer came and went. It was a good solid summer. Nothing spectacular and extraordinary, but simple and straightforward. We hiked and biked, swam, read, and watched movies. We ate at our favorite Japanese and taco restaurants. Visited tons of parks and playgrounds. And spent all our time outdoors. I miss the west coast and the nature already….

 

We hiked MILES and MILES and MILES. Tusia went to one week of camp the entire summer, so the rest of the time was Mama time — which meant, a lot of exercise outdoors.

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Hibiscus Tea

As many of you know, my mother is from Mexico., and because of this, most of her cooking is influenced by her heritage. The main drink that we always have in our house is Hibiscus Tea. She goes to the local Mexican tienda and buys pounds and pounds of dried hibiscus flowers to make the juice / tea throughout the year. Unfortunately, I am both lazy and unfamiliar with a Mexican tienda in NYC, so I have yet to recreate this drink. However, recently, at the local grocery store, I came across, sachets of hibiscus tea! Yes, more expensive than bulk leaves — but so convenient and easy! I can’t wait to try all the different flavors and make it in NYC!

 

Not only does my mom loves hibiscus tea made from scratch, but she also loves tea. She is a tea snob and knows more about tea than anyone. And apparently, this tea company, Steven Smith Tea Company, is wonderful and she loves it.

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Jackson Hole

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, we went to Jackson last week and had a great fun-filled time. There was never a dull moment and had so much to do that we could have stayed the entire summer! Everyone we met in Jackson was so incredibly nice and welcoming. My favorite run-in was with an old student’s parents from NYC that I taught way back when and they moved to Jackson 5 years ago. They sent several emails with hikes and trail runs and activities. And of course, another favorite meet up was with our bestie’s grandma who spends her summer there. So in many ways, this random small town felt familiar and welcoming.

 

We literally arrived at the airport and went straight on a hike in the Grand Teton National Park. Recommended to us by a friend, this hike didn’t disappoint. We wore our swimsuits and once we arrived at the top, there was a great lake and we went swimming.

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