I am very thankful that my family and I have good health, the ability to afford food, internet, a roof over our heads, and options. And yet, our life is not perfectly pink rosy. Natori, like other fashion brands and retail companies, is hurting in our economic climate. There are a lot of unknowns SOOOOO, to keep me sane during these less than perfect times (for all of us), here are my necessities (obviously in addition to the connection to my friends and family, which is #1).
1. My rollerskates
There are certain things that bring me joy: my loved ones, running, fresh flowers, a fire, and rollerskating. Every time I put on my skates, I smile. I love to dance, skate, glide. We rollerskate as a family, or I do it alone (and take zoom classes from my teacher). It is a time of complete happiness and joy.
So sorry for the lack of posts this past week — there was a technical issue that came up (I found out that the subscription of the posts were no longer being sent out — so I had to deal with that, and as you can imagine, it was a slow process to get this fixed!) but here we are now! Back at it again! PHEW, after being in Florida for 5 weeks, NYC for a handful of days, we are now in Westchester where we will be for the next several weeks…..it’s been hard. Days are super long and repetitive. For all of us. But here is what I am currently loving.
1. The Last Dance
10 part documentary series on Michael Jordan and the Bulls Dynasty. Even though I am not a fan of basketball, I have been thoroughly enjoying this series.
A month ago when I was in Los Angeles to run the marathon, I dined at Gjelina not once but twice. It quickly became my favorite restaurant with the most scrumptious veggies, pizzas, sides and desserts. Immediately upon returning to NYC, I bought the Gjelina cookbook. This past weekend, I decided to make the warm date cake and HOLY SHMOLY HOT DAMN this cake is amazing. It is sweet, moist, and oh so delicious. I highly recommend this cake and can’t wait to eat it all up (and to make it again shortly thereafter).
Congratulations to all of us for making it through another week of this pandemic. I know it is not easy on anyone. And like everyone, I oscillate between tears / anxiety and laughter / savoring the quiet simplicity. For us Natori Family, I am struggling with the fact that the kids and I are currently in Florida away from our own home and more importantly, without Ken. Ken has been at home in NYC dealing with business and as soon as he was planning on driving down to Florida to get us, the board of the building forbade him from coming as he was coming from the epicenter of the COVID crisis. So, here we are; managing, trying to get through one day at a time. It has not been easy on ANYONE — all the uncertainties, fears, unknowns. Running helps me. Talking to friends and family. Laughing with the kids. Mint Chip ice cream. Rollerskating with the sunset. Hot baths. Survivor on CBS…..But what has helped me most is advice my father told me — WIGGLE YOUR TOES.
I have a lot of time on my hands. A lot. It has been hard to focus on anything other than homeschooling and the news, but I hope that as things become normal (or the new normal), I will have more concentration / strength / willpower to read. Here is a list of books I want to read during this isolation period!
Right now, most everyone is hunkered down at their home and not going out. As much fun as it is to only wear the same thing over and over again, it also gets tiring and boring. And who wants to wear jeans while helping your kids get homeschooled?? I have been scouring the internet for lots of loungewear bottoms and here are my favorites. So many good ones!!!!
1. Natori Winter Peony PJ
These are technically pajamas but they are so pretty and happy. They brighten any day or night!
Time is flying by and my ten year old soon will soon be a teenager (yes, I know, in a couple of years, but still…..) but I want to be prepared for discussing puberty and the physical – emotional – mental changes that take place during this time. Thankfully, a good friend told me about this book, Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys, and I immediately bought it online. She suggested reading it out loud with my son, and although there are awkward moments, it is something we have been doing (and enjoying!).
Guy stuff. They also have another one for girls, too.
Introduced to me by my go-to-about-everything-friend, Grass Roots Coop is a farmers’ coop that sells chicken, beef, and pork online and ships it to you directly. This is a great alternative to going to the grocery store during this chaotic time, as well as a great way to get fresh, 100% pasteurized meat grown on family farms across the country.
It feels good to know that you are supporting small local farms, buying good quality meat, and not needing to go out in public to get some food! Everyone wins.
How it works.
I am usually bad at fulfilling any of my “to-do” lists or goals for the certain season, but for whatever reason, I accomplaished a lot of the goals I set out for myself in February and March. So I give myself a pat on the back and now want to set some new ones as I head into the third month of the year. Obviously top goal: not get corona virus or get quarantined somewhere…..but here are a couple of my less important goals / to do list for the next several weeks.
1. See Matthew Broderick and SJP in Plaza Suite
How can I miss this? Must get tickets soooooon — anyone want to come?
Yesterday was one of those rare days where both kids were gone from the house for a big chunk of the day. So, I decided to take advantage of it and go see the newly opened Donald Judd exhibit at the MoMA. Although it was opening day to the public, I arrived right when it opened and there was no line whatsoever, I literally waltzed in solo to the exhibit.
I was first introduced to Donald Judd’s work when we went to Marfa in 2014 and have been a fan ever since. It is simple, geometric, different, and a statement.
Hands down, my favorite ice cream of all time is Coolhaus Banana Foster. Decadent, rich, creamy and oh so delicious — it tastes exactly like Banana Foster (my all time favorite dessert) but in ice cream form. Then I found out, *ALL* of the flavors Coolhaus makes are incredible, and that you can’t go wrong. Right now, I am especially fond of their ice cream sandwiches aka “sammies“. And believe it or not, they have dairy free sandwich options so vegans and lactose-intolerant people can still enjoy these scrumptious desserts.
You should see my freezer — I like to hoard ice cream. But we also eat a lot of it — 4 pints, 2 boxes of Ice Cream bars, and multiple sandwiches PER WEEK.
I realize that blogs are a dying breed and have been replaced by instagram, tik tok, snapchat, twitter, etc….That said, I still read two blogs on a daily basis and I love them dearly. I dropped most other blogs when I realized most of their content was sponsored or no longer of interest. But I am thankful for Cup of Jo and Cupcakes and Cashmere that continually publishes authentic, honest, beautiful, helpful, and interesting content. Earlier this week, I found a post on Cup of Jo about green pancakes and I knew immediately that I had to make them. So glad I did because they are DELICIOUS. So whatever you are doing right now, stop, and make the green pancakes. Thank you, Cup of Jo!
I know Winter is almost over (or is that wishful thinking?) but here is a list of activities that I want to do in NYC in the next couple weeks (doesn’t winter feel like eternity?)
1. Groove (in my seat) at Hip Hop Dance Performance Off Broadway, Beyond Babel
Read about this performance in the NYTImes and I canNOT wait to go. I am buying tickets STAT.
2020 here we are! And here is what I am currently loving this month!
1. Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later
I read this article over a month ago when it came out and yet I still think about it. It is extremely powerful and moving — an incredible story that is worth the long read. Gotta love a good ‘ol love story.
My favorite breakfast of all times is muesli. Whenever I go out to breakfast (usually when on vacation), I will never NOT order muesli (aka will always order). In hopes to eat a tad bit healthier at the start of the New Year, I made paleo muesli every day while on break. Instead of oatmeal based, this muesli is coconut based. Very delicious and easy to make — the key is the Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Style Muesli.
Grain free. You just add this with some fruit, cover it with milk, place in fridge and wait until the morning and VOILA, delicious muesli with less carbs.
As most of you know, I am highly obsessed with anything from Dr. Roger’s RESTORE product line. I don’t leave my house without the healing balm and have a tub of it in every room. I use it on my lips, under my kid’s noses (to prevent bloody noses which they seem to get all winter long due to the dryness), on bruises and scratches (I had a bad fall last week and have been using the healing balm to keep it moist), and I even use the healing balm as a face cream when in super dry climates (high altitude). SOOOOOOOO, I am ecstatic that there is now a face cream that is available to purchase. And even though I just bought it, I feel like I am going to be equally obsessed with it and won’t leave my house without it. RESTORE face cream! Soft, pillowy, and rich!
These products make me so happy — they are made with natural ingredients and make such a difference on my skin.
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.
MUST READ. NOW.
Thanks to friend and interior designer, Lucie Ayres, for the guest post! Always love hearing slash reading what she has to say! Take a look!
Want to know a secret? An interior designer’s hardest job is finding good art for our clients. It is a process that can take months or even years. Often more than one person is involved in the decision making which is what makes it extra challenging.
So, when I saw Christy Schnabel’s Bike Path images, I was floored. Not only are the colors of the photographs so beautiful – but the characters and details are just perfect. I said we must collaborate! Our clients (and friends and family, I mean almost everyone) are always searching for stunning, unexpected art and photography pieces that can be rendered on a large scale and convey a strong sense of place.
To me, Christy’s work celebrates the diversity of Los Angeles in a simple, joyful, and strikingly original way – with the artist’s punk-rock spirit and sense of humor shining through – using one of the city’s most iconic locations as a backdrop. Several of our clients, including one of LA’s premiere fitness chains, have become fans and collectors of Christy’s work.
We had a launch event at her house where we framed and hung about 45 pieces and the feedback was tremendous – people engaged and discussed who these characters could be. The breakout stars from the show were the athletic California woman and the young girl walker below. Both embody a clear female confidence with a good dose of intrigue.
Bikini Girl Star
I am jumping back on the 1990s velour track suit look and I couldn’t be happier! But this time around, it is not Juicy Couture, but instead New York City designer, Suzie Kondi. The track suits come in a selection of color and I want them all. Not only that, but they also come in kid’s sizes, too, so you can match your daughter. It’s as if my dream came true — matching, velour, track suit, comfortable, and rainbow colors.
YUP. We are living the dream.
Recently, I read about a $20 yogurt all over the internet — and of course, I was intrigued. This is not just any yogurt, but a special probiotic yogurt — more of a supplement. The Coconut Cult is full of probiotics and delicious, made in small batches with 800 billion highly active probiotics into every quart! That is a whole lot of probiotics; which is so good for you and your gut! This yogurt is unlike any other yogurt and you don’t eat it normally (with granola, berries, etc). Rather, you eat just 1-2 spoonfuls per day. It’s like medicine — but tasty and delicious! People are obsessed and rave about how it has changed their digestive system, sleep, headaches, and the way they feel…..I have yet to see a difference (Week 1….) but I am enjoying the sweet and creamy taste. It is like dessert but oh so healthy!
Delicious (and cute packaging, too)….
Recommended by a friend, I stopped by Korean Beauty store Innisfree last week and FELL IN LOVE! I was so excited that I didn’t know what direction to look at. Finally, I decided that I was going to stock up on masks as they make great gifts (’tis the season of giving) and are affordable, fun, and different.
You can get them in a gift box right now, too! 13 sheets for 17 dollars! I plan on taking them out of the box and bundling up 3-4 of them together for little gifts to pass out to people.
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),
Me and my teacher.
This past weekend, we found ourselves with zero plans. We originally were scheduled to go up to Pound Ridge for a cozy and relaxed weekend, but after a change of orthodontist appointments on Saturday and Ken needing to go on a business trip on Sunday afternoon, we decided to stay put in the city. This gave us an opportunity to be a tourist in our own city — and I am so glad we explored! We discovered Ice Skating at Bryant Park which was a great family activity. Unlike other rinks in the city, admission is FREE (rentals cost money, but if you have your own skates, then it is FREE!) and it opens up at 8 am! We drove downtown for breakfast and on our way back uptown, parked right in front of the ice skating rink to do some laps!
Bryant Park Winter Wonder Land — lots of shops, food, people watching, ice skating — truly, a winter wonderland.
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.
1. Glossier mascara
I realize that I do lots of posts on mascara, but I can’t help not…..this mascara is the perfect inexpensive, non gloopy, not dramatic, everyday mascara.
This past weekend (sadly) felt like Winter….so time to hibernate and cook. And that is exactly what we did. On Saturday night, we made chili, veggies and CORN BREAD. Years ago at our annual Sonoma trip, one of our friends made the most delicious and moist corn bread you have ever tasted. So that was the recipe I used — and it was just as good as I remember. Thank you, Katie Daly! Mind you — it is NOT healthy, but it is #WorthIt.