Currently Loving November 2019

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.

 

2. Modern Love

 

Best 8 episodes of TV I have ever watched. I binged watched it in an entire weekend. And I want to rewatch it. It is sad, happy, loveable, realistic, powerful, and heartwarming. So good, so good.

 

3. Galantis & Dolly Parton

 

This song makes me so happy. Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? And the video is just as fun and endearing.

 

4. Dumpling Galaxy

 

Last weekend, I spent an hour googling the best dumpling restaurant in NYC. Of course it is in Flushing (Queens) and is called Dumpling Galaxy. They have hundreds of different options of dumplings…..We can’t wait to go as a family as my son loves dumplings and calls himself the Dumpling Dude. We will definitely be trying it out in the near future!

 

 

5. Yayoi Kusama @ David Zwirner

 

Infinity Room. Everyone on Instagram is posting themselves in this room (and waiting hours to go inside for 1 minute). And yet, I can’t help but want to go as well. I actually saw one of her exhibitions in Paris at the Louis Vuitton Foundation in April and it was unbelievably cool, so of course, I want to go see this as well. Any takers in wanting to stand in line with me?

 

So there you have it — what I am currently loving this month! Now, do tell me what you are loving and interested in doing this month! Thank you and hope you are having a great week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Corn Bread

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.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Nami Nori

If you live in NYC, you have to RUN right now to Nami Nori, the newest Japanese restaurant in the West Village. Only one month old, it was created by three ex-employees from Masa (whose tasting menu costs $595 per person!!!!). This new restaurant is casual elegant with accessible prices specializing in Temaki (hand rolls). Absolutely everything about this restaurant is perfection: the zen Japanese vibe, the appetizers, the temaki, the desserts, the staff, everything! So if you live in NYC, make a reservation and GO! And if you don’t live in NYC, it is an excuse to come in to the city and eat!

 

The appetizers: FRIES, spicy tuna on crispy rice, shishito peppers, and nori chips (oh my god, the best).

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Eataly Rooftop – Serra on the Roof

While running family errands this past weekend, we stopped in at Eataly’s rooftop for lunch. Ken and I had been there during early summer years ago and loved the ambiance, decor, and food so much. Newly decorated for Autumn, it was the perfect place to grab a bite to eat in a beautiful setting. The rooftop restaurant, Serra on the roof, serves Italian cuisine and drinks. The food is simple and great, but the DECOR, my god, it is so beautiful! My daughter (who didn’t love her lunch) was so in awe of the space that she kept saying she wanted to have her birthday party there.

 

Magical.

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Chicago Marathon 2019

Marathon #14 in the books! Over the weekend, I completed (and set a personal best time) in the Chicago Marathon. It is one of my favorite weekends of the year, as I stay with a dear friend that I met in the Paris Marathon while running. For those of you who have read the blog for many years, this is a repetitive story, but it always reminds me that you can find a great friend in a stranger and to be kind, loving, and open to everyone. I feel incredibly fortunate to have Michelle in my life and to share this special weekend on a yearly basis with her. It was so great to just be with her and her family. And the race is just an excuse to visit them, and something to train for. One thing for sure, is I love the journey of training! Sign me up for the next one (actually, I am already signed up for LA Marathon March 8th).

 

Straight from the airport to the expo to get my number. The pants I am wearing are my favorite jeans but let me tell you — THEY ARE NOT PHOTOGENIC. They are so cool in person. But in a picture, they scream BIG THIGHS and MOM JEANS.

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ImmuneSchein Ginger Elixir

A friend recently gifted me ImmuneSchein ginger elixirs gift pack and I can’t get enough. These elixirs can be added to hot water, sparkling water, or any beverage to create your own special drink. I typically have a hard time drinking the recommended amount of water every dat (always my New Year’s Resolution), so adding these elixirs to my water is the perfect way to consume more.

 

little potions

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Sister’s Fruit Company

While in my happy place this summer (the grocery stores of Oregon), I bought some apple (and pear) chips that turned out to be the most delicious snacks I have ever eaten. Sister’s Fruit Company. Made by a small family company in Oregon, these all natural fruit chips are made out of USDA Grade A Pacific Northwest fruit, that are sliced and dried in an all natural process. The chips just have a touch of pure cane sugar but are not overly sweet. You can eat them on cereal or oatmeal, but I tend to eat them just straight out of the bag. The kids are also huge fans and we can polish off a bag in one sitting. Mainly sold on the west coast, you can also buy online (thank you, internet).

 

All of the flavors are good — you can’t go wrong! Except for once you start, you cannot stop.

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Currently Loving End of Summer 2019

Here we are, another season has flown by, and now onto the new same old (a la Alanis, isn’t it ironic?). Tomorrow, we go in to our same old routine but now, a summer under our wings with new experiences and thoughts….so, that said, here is what I am currently loving.

 

1. Lizzo Tiny Desk Concert

 

MAD CRUSH

 

All summer, I was obsessed with Lizzo. I listened to all her songs, read her interviews, and fell madly in love with her. So now, I can’t wait to see her in September at Radio City Hall. She is one flipping incredible musician and loving and personable person — I want to meet her and become friends with her. You need to listen to her interview on Fresh Air and watch the Tiny Desk Concert linked above. Wildly talented.

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Ume Onigiri House

The local community pool in Eugene, Oregon (Amazon Pool) is unlike any other public pool. Sure, there is a random mixture of people (Olympic athletes, White Trash, professors, and a mish mash of kids),  incredible views and greenery, and endless options of fun (high dive, platform dive, loopty-loop slide, tunnel slide, obstacle course, water sprays, sandbox, you name it). But it is the snack grill that is my ultimate favorite. It is not your typical pool snacks — no corn dogs or french fries — but rather hippy dippy Asian cuisine served at Ume Onigiri House. Kombucha, of course, and even better their dumplings and onigiri. Even though Ken is half-Japanese, I had never tried an onigiri until this summer. AND MAN, how I love it. Seriously, if you ever go to a restaurant and see it on the menu, get it. It is essentially a rice ball filled with various fillings — teriyaki chicken is my kids go to, but I have had the kimchi and teriyaki tofu and they are DELICIOUS.

 

Placing the order. Each onigiri costs $2.50 — A STEAL OF A DEAL! That alone makes it amazing.

The kids love it so much that they can barely wait to eat it.

It comes with homemade pickles, spinach, and the rice balls.

Tusia loves to mix hers up…making it a mixture of rice and chicken.

Cruzzie loves the dumplings.

Dumpling dude.

A portrait of feet and onigiri.

Another day, another onigiri dinner.

Basically, twice a week at swim lessons, the kids would eat onigiri for their dinner.

Perfection.

 

So yes, I understand that Ume Grill is unique to Eugene, but wherever you are, go find ONIGIRI. So good and so healthy, too. The perfect little meal.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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CSA Chickens

There is SO much I love about my hometown, Eugene, Oregon, but one of the things I love most is the quality of the food. We get two deliveries of CSA vegetables per week (Turnip the Beet and Wintergreen Farm — my parents have been members of both farms for over 20 years!!!) as well as fresh chickens and eggs from Havurah Farms every other week. You literally don’t have to go to the grocery store except for pantry and freezer items. And the chickens?!?!?! MAN they are good. Who knew chickens could taste THAT good. They come from Havurah Farms and are pasture raised and non-gmo fed. Also, kosher, organic and killed young. You can literally taste the difference.

 

Every other Monday, my parents go to someone’s house for pickup. You get your chickens and eggs, check off your name, and then you are on your way. Old school, honor code. The chickens are killed the morning you pick them up.

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Dehydrated Peaches

Earlier this week, we went peach picking (one of my favorite pastimes in Oregon….  fun, beautiful, and super inexpensive. WIN WIN all around). In 20 minutes, we gathered 35 pounds of delicious and perfect peaches. As much as I love peaches, that is a WHOLE lot of peaches to eat….especially since they go bad very quickly. So within minutes, I made two crisps (a little bit of oatmeal, a little bit of butter, a little bit of sugar and VOILA).  But there was still 30 plus pounds left….so we decided to dehydrate them and they are oh so good.

 

Me and my partner in crime. She weighs just slightly more than the peaches.

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Cilantro Jalapeno Vegan Pesto

The other day, my mom made the most incredible pesto — the typical basil, pine nut, parmesan combination. It was so delicious, I found excuses to eat it (chip, carrot, spoon, you name it). But because everyone KNOWS how to make pesto, I decided to find a more creative (and cost effective) vegan pesto. Instead of pine nuts and parmesan, hellloooo cashews. Instead of basil, welcome cilantro and jalapeno. It is green, healthy, and has just a minor kick to it (next time, I want to add more jalapeno). Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Root Beer Float

OK, this might be the stupidest and most obvious post ever (or genius, depending on who you ask), but I recently became reacquainted with root beer floats, and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. Seriously, two ingredients lead to the most refreshing and delicious snack slash dinner. It truly tastes like heaven, especially if you use high quality ice cream and root beer.

 

TWO — just two — ingredients!

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Capitol Fizz

My hometown of Eugene, Oregon is in the center of the Willamette Valley — the new hot spot for wineries and breweries (less of a hot spot for aperol spritzes, sadly). I enjoy going to the wineries on bikes (which I do at least once every summer — it is super fun and also a hard workout) as well as discovering new wines. So when I was in the my favorite grocery store (thank you, Oregon, for selling wine in the grocery store!), I discovered a single serving of sparkling rose wine from the area — it was like discovering a treasure under a rainbow — everything I like in one bottle — single serving! pink! Sparkling! and from the Willamette Valley!

 

This little bottle of sunshine is Captol Fizz by Illahe.

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Currently Loving July 2019

Here we are, (mid) JULY! And here is what I am currently loving this month! And please share with me what you are loving — I love hearing what books, articles, songs, sweatshirts, anything and everything that you are loving oh so much.

 

1. Avett Brothers song “No Hard Feelings

 

Good song — makes me want to cry. But super musical and beautiful.

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Turkey Jerky Sticks

Readers of the blog know that I love gourmet grocery stores. It so happens that I go to the grocery most days while in Eugene. The local grocery store is my dream come true and I could literally spend hours patrolling the aisles to see what’s new and what they have to offer. Last week while jetlagged and bleary from our France travels, I went searching for good, high-protein snacks. I have always liked beef jerky, but never loved it. So when I found these three different brands of turkey sticks, I knew it was going to be a good snack summer. These three are my top favorite and I hope they have them in the NYC stores (and if not, thank you world wide web, not sure I know what to do without you!)…..

 

Top 3

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Paris June 2019 Highlights

Bonjour! My apologies for the slow posts these past two weeks — it was quite difficult to get on the internet to do any posts especially because I had a major computer issue a…..turns out, all is okay with my computer but the head of the charger died — who knew that that was a thing? In any case, I am now back in the USA *with* a working computer, so back to normal post schedules. I wanted to first share with you all some of the pictures and highlights of my time in Paris with the kids — we did go to the South of France for an amazing trip as well, and I will post those later. In the meantime, enjoy these photos!

 

In the Tuileries, one of our favorite activities is the trampoline park. It is an old school little hut with a man that got to know us because we went so often. Everyday when we would get there he would say hello and when we would leave, he would say “See you tomorrow.”

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Bar Pisellino

On a beautiful summery day last weekend, we went with friends-that-are-family to Bar Pisellino, a bar that I had read about and was so excited to try out. If you know me, I have been obsessed with Aperol Spritzes for the past 12 months, and Bar Pisellino not only serves them, but has them on TAP. YUP — Aperol ON DRAFT.

 

Nothing better than summer nights in Manhattan….especially with epic and gorgeous skies as documented by @ken.natori

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Rise Brewing Oat Milk

I live for my hot brewed coffee every morning — and I can’t imagine life without it. But every so often, I want an iced coffee mid day. Not only for the extra oomph and caffeine boost, but also for the flavor. Nothing is as good as coffee (except maybe tequila). I recently found this bottled iced coffee made with oat milk — it’s like all my dreams come true! Rise Brewing Oat Milk Latte –a dessert in a can! Oh so delicious.

 

Slender, petite, and the right size.

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Ralph’s Coffee

After months of hearing about Ralph’s Coffee, I finally made it inside. And it is even more divine and fabulous than I ever imagined — chic, beautiful, and old school glamorous. Located inside the Ralph Lauren flagship store on 72nd and Madison , Ralph’s Coffee is a relaxing and delicious place to grab a drink and snack (Ralph Lauren partnered up with the team at La Colombe to create Ranph’s Coffee’s signature blend). It also helps that the people inside are just as beautiful as you would expect, making for great people watching.

 

Sidewalk art signage. Although the store does not open until 10 am, Ralph’s Coffee opens at 8 am. I can’t wait to go back!!!

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Sakara Daydreamer Dressing

Creamy and oh so dreamy. This salad dressing from my new favorite cookbook “Eat Clean Play Dirty,” is great to make for the week ahead and drizzle on crudites or any salad. It was so good that immediately after I made the first batch, I QUADRUPLED the recipe to have more to grab for any and every salad!

 

Ingredients:

 

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