Spring 2022 To Do Wish List

Although we are in already a week in to May, NYC has not been very warm or Spring like….better weather to come, here is what I am hoping to do this Spring (both in the city and in general).

 

1. Drive In Movie Theater in Brooklyn

 

I am dying to try out this Brooklyn Drive In Movie Theater where you not only watch the movie, but you have beautiful views of the city. Right now they are showing Clueless.

 

2. Visit The Whitney Biennial

 

I must go! I must go! I must!

 

3. Overall Spring Cleaning

 

I love Spring Cleaning – a fresh start to clean and purge and tidy everything.

 

4. See The Basquiat Exhibit

 

I love Basquiat and cannot wait to see this special exhibit.

 

5. Finish my Dr. Dre Needlepoint

 

Dr. Dre needlepoint — loving this creation but ready to move on to something new!

 

6. Enjoy a Show At The Forest Hills Stadium

 

Live music!

 

7. Devour Pizza

 

A newly opened Pizza restaurant in the Lower East Side, yes please!

 

8. Play MiniGolf in Williamsburg

 

A great family activity — mini golf in Brooklyn! It reopens May 16th!

 

9. Glamp on Governors Island

 

One of my favorite adventures was glamping on Governors Island — different, unique, picturesque, and fun. A must do at least once in your life!

 

10. Roam on Pier 57 Rooftop

 

A new rooftop park to explore — sign me up!

 

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What are you looking forward to doing, exploring, engaging in this Spring? Do share!

 

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Currently Loving April 2022

It’s unbelievable to me that we are almost half way through the year — I have been hibernating the past 2.5 months, so it feels a little surreal, and yet, here we are. Here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Trader Joe’s Egg Wraps

 

A low carb version of a tortilla or a wrap and just as delicious! So good to eat as a savory or sweet snack.

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Spring 2022 Running Playlist

Spring, here we are! Nothing beats running in nicer and warmer weather…here is what I have been listening to when I run!

 

(yes, I am not running in this picture, and it is me biking, but imagine I am RUNNING in this beautiful background with this fun playlist. And yes, I am not wearing earphones in this, but if I were, I would be listening to this…)

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Pickleball

Over Spring Break, we became pickleball obsessed. So much that we played every single day and even bought our own equipment — which is big news for our family that never partakes in racket sports together….

 

We were first introduced to the sport at our resort in Mexico where they had a court. Pickleball is basically a small court tennis but played with a wiffleball type of ball.

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Currently Loving October 2021

I blinked, and here we are in mid October. I know that as you get older, the time starts to fly by, but really, in the past year, it feels like a month ago was yesterday! And it literally feels like school JUST started, but here we are almost Halloween (gulp, my least favorite holiday). Here is what I am loving this month!

 

1. The Night She Disappeared (on audible)

 

Almost 3/4 of the way done with this book (listening to it) and I am now a huge fan of audible books and this story! A must read (or listen to!)

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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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Favorite Tokyo Olympic Moments

I already miss the Olympics and they just ended yesterday!!!! Usually, I am tied to the Olympics and watch every single moment they are on TV. However, this Olympic Games, the time difference made it a little more tricky and I wasn’t as in to it as normal. That said, I still love the stories, the dreams, the challenges, and the grit. Here are my favorite Tokyo Olympic Game moments. And yes, they are track and field heavy because (a) I am a runner and (b) the Track and Field Olympic trials have been held in my hometown for the past five consecutive games!

 

1. Women’s Marathon

 

Talk about grit, heart, and determination! Molly Seidel ran her third marathon ever and won a bronze medal. Super inspiring!!!

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Summer 2021 Running Playlist

Sorry for the silence last week — I didn’t anticipate going rogue on the blog, but we were in Jackson for a family trip and had less down time than I thought. But here I am! Back at it! And more on Jackson on Wednesday — lots to recap! In the meantime, here is my Summer 2021 Running Playlist. Lots of fast, high beat, power mode songs!

 

Teton Village on my run last week. So beautiful.

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Currently Loving July 2021

Mid July, here we are. Second half of the year, here, too! Here is what I am currently loving this month:

 

1. Martha Stewart’s Blueberry Crisp Recipe

 

We went blueberry picking this week and picked over 12 pounds of blueberry. So I decided to make a blueberry crisp (and follow a recipe!) I made two of these crisps (used 6 pounds of blueberries) and found this recipe perfect — not too sweet, but light and refreshing.

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Fox Box

After my Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim run, I was sent a box from a dear friend congratulating me on my run. Not only was I deeply touched by her thoughtfulness and generosity, but I fell instantly in love with the present she sent. It was three items that were SO me and SO right up my alley. It was a personalized gift from Fox Box, a company that allows you to gift thematic, expertly curated options or allows you to build the perfect gift box for any occasion.

 

Some options of the ready to ship boxes. So many great options!

 

My box was perfectly packaged and beautiful.

Wrapped and chic.

My three items — so perfect! Apple Cider Vinegar, Bath salts, and a first aid kid! So perfect for post ultra marathon!

 

The already built boxes are perfect for any occasion — graduation, get well, nightstand, housewarming, SOOOO many. They are so beautifully packaged and the items inside are top quality, chic, and feel personal and special. And you can build your box to be even more specific to the occasion and friendship. I am equally pleased to have such a caring and generous friend as well as to have been introduced to this company, Fox Box! Check it out!!!!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Currently Loving May 2021

It is that time of the year where I can NOT believe that school is weeks away from being over. It has certainly been an unusual year, but nonetheless, a good year. Now I am in panic mode of organizing summer and figuring out all the logistics. In the meantime, here is what I am currently loving.

 

1. NormaTec Recovery Boots

 

These compressions boots saved me during my preparation for the Rim to Rim to Rim. I wouldn’t have been able to do the number of long runs without these boots. They reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and decreases muscle fatigue. They work MAGIC! Not cheap, but oh so worth it.

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Rim to Rim to Rim

Last Thursday, May 6th, 2021, three friends and I set out to run the Rim to Rim to Rim – a trail run in the Grand Canyon from one side of the canyon (South Rim) to the other (North Rim) and back again. It was over 42 miles and a huge obstacle to undertake. After months of training and planning, we successfully completed the journey. It was a one of a kind experience and I am still in disbelief that we actually did it! Unlike other marathons, this was a self assisted ultramarathon, meaning it was only us on the trail (although we ran in to two groups of 2 guys doing the same thing that we were doing). It was also more risky than a marathon, not just because of the heat and the longer distance, but because once you go in to the canyon, you cannot be rescued. Our half way point – the North Kaibab trailhead is closed in Winter months – which means that once we got there, the only way back was to do the full 21 miles all over again.

 

A map of the Grand Canyon. The route that we took was from South Kaibab Trailhead to the North Kaibab and back the same route. Other people opt to go down or up the Bright Angel Trail as it is more gradual, shady, and has more water sources — but it is also 4 miles longer.

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Spring 2021 To Do

NYC has had some rough moments this past year — the cold, COVID, an increase in crime — it’s been through a lot. So many of my friends are moving away and it feels like the end of an era. For good or bad, we are staying in NYC and there is so much to love and do. Here is a list of things that I want to do for Spring 2021!

 

1. The Rooftop at the Met

 

The Met rooftop is one of my favorite places to visit. I used to be able to sneak in a sandwich, but due to COVID, no food is up on the roof. Nevertheless, the Blue Big Bird flying in the sky is a fun sculpture to look at and enjoy the beautiful NYC skyline.

 

2. New York Botanical Garden: Kusama exhibit

 

Open through the end of October, this KUSAMA exhibit is a must see. Beautiful polka dots surrounded by all the beautiful nature — a must.

 

3. Scoot / Walk around Governors Island

 

Governors Island just reopened on May 1st and I cannot wait to return. It is always one of my favorite places to visit on a sunny weekend. Scoot, walk, and take in all the views and fresh air!

 

4. Eat at Via Carota

 

I’ve only eaten once at Via Carota many, many years ago. But the memory of this green salad still is with me. I am dying to try to go down to the West Village and eat not just this salad, but all the other many delicious dishes.

 

 

5. Take a Dog Leash Making Class

 

This weaving class is a hit with my kids, and I am now so excited to take a class myself. A dog leash making class!!!!

 

6. Visit Coney Island

 

I have no idea why I am dying to go (but every year I put this on my list of things to do for Spring), but I want to go and be super cheesey and eat hot dogs and go on the rollercoaster.

 

7. Watch a movie at the Paris Theatre

 

I love this movie theatre so much — it is classy, retro, beautiful, and you don’t see rats there…..

 

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I also want to organize my photos, purge kids’ clothing, organize my linen closet, and figure out summer plans….what do you want to do this Spring?

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Trail Running Gear Guide

The biggest run of my life — both mentally and physically — takes place next Thursday. It is not just any run, but a trail ultramarathon in the Grand Canyon — from South Rim down to base, to top of North Rim, down to base and back again to South Rim. If all goes well — and there are a lot of IFS, ANDS, and BUTS — the run will be 43 miles long. It is not on flat surface or on streets, but on trails. So I have had to learn (and buy) a lot of gear for this new adventure. Though trial and error, and recommendations from people I trust, here is what I have that I love.

 

My upcoming run. EEKS.

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De La Heart Lymphatic Drainage Tool

When I was complaining to a friend about my constant body aches, she told me that I needed to get a“De La Heart” lymphatic drainage tool. This tool aids in DIY massage and using it for just a couple minutes per day helps with body aches, and eliminates excess fluid and toxins in the body. I purchased it immediately and absolutely love it!

 

This tool is made of 100% pine wood. It is light, easy to travel with, and is very inexpensive. It is absolutely worth it — especially if your muscles get tight or achy.

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Currently Loving March 2021

This hasn’t necessarily been the easiest month of my life: stitches, emergency room trips, COVID, isolation, cold weather temperatures, and the winter blues. But, I think I see the other side of all of this (a huge improvement from a week ago), and here is what I am currently loving this month.

 

1. Promising Young Lady

 

A twisted thriller. Uncomfortable and hard to watch, but loved it nonetheless.

 

2. Ted Lasso

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hydroMATE Water Bottle

After reading about hydroMATE water bottles in the NYTimes in the article “The Water Bottle That Won’t Leave You Alone” I bought one to use. I have always struggled with consuming a lot of water and instead, turn to La Croix, which is not necessarily a good addiction. It has been one of my goals for many years; TO DRINK MORE WATER. And this hydroMATE is actually helping me. In the week that I have owned the inspiring/annoying bottle, I have completed the goal every. single. day.

 

This bottle is BIG. It is half a gallon but feels even bigger.

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Currently Loving February 2021

February is a bizarre month — it is the shortest, feels the longest, yet is gone before I know it. So here is what I am loving this month (before it is March — hip hip hooray, Spring, we cannot wait!)

 

1. In & Of Itself

 

Identity is an illusion. I don’t want to say much because it is best to go in to this movie / documentary / performance blind. It is absolutely incredible, 100% worth watching, and afterwards, read this and this. Available on hulu. Powerful.

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Birthday Treat

Earlier this week, I celebrated my 42nd birthday, and randomly the highlight was shoveling snow with a homeless man. The actual day was one of the best birthdays I have had in a long time — probably because I had zero expectations of a COVID birthday and so everything was so much better, lighter, and happier than other days (and birthdays). But honestly, my 90 minute shoveling experience was the best. OK, so let me explain.

Yes, I shoveled a track.

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2021 Goals / Resolutions / Hopes / Dreams

Happy 2021! What a year 2020 was….so much and yet so little happened, all at the same time. And here we are in a New Year…I didn’t MEAN to take two weeks off from writing blog posts, it just actually happened. And it was the most time I have ever been silent on this blog since I started way back when. Maybe it was the wear and tear of 2020, but I just felt like I had little value to add. My days felt repetitive and mundane, and there was little creative juice or positivity flowing in my blood. But now, I am back! And what a way to push myself with writing out my goals / intentions / dreams / resolutions / hopes / wants for the New Year. Here they are…..

 

Wav(ing) goodbye to 2020.

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Winter Running Gear

It is that time of the year where it is cold, dreary, and rainy or snowy or cloudy. Yet, despite the weather, as a runner, I am outside no matter what. Many people ask what I wear when I run in the cold weather, so here are my top gear choices for Winter Running!

 

This is me after my long run (15 miles) when it was 28 degrees out. I would rather sweat a lot than be cold, so yes, I overdressed and LOOK AT MY SWEAT. It felt so good. The sweat is my whole shirt — even in the cold!

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