Paris Biggest Croissants

The morning of Tusia’s birthday, we went on a hunt for the biggest Pain Au Chocolate / Croissant in the city. I had done some research and found that it was 1.5 miles from the apartment. So, that is what we did. We walked, we looked, and we HUNTED for the croissant. Thankfully, our scavenger hunt worked out, and we got it. It surpassed our expectations and highly recommend everyone do this on their next Parisian Adventure. The croissant is from Philippe Continci and it was not just beautiful to look at it, but incredibly delicious. We kept asking how something THIS big, could be so flaky, light and tasty. 10/10 recommend.

 

Croissants.

Photo opp with the Eiffel Tower, don’t mind if we do.

LOOK AT THE SIZE.

DO YOU SEE HOW enormous this is???

Side view.

So good.

Took the entirety of the bag.

 

Thank you, best chocolate croissant ever! You were definitely one of the surprise highlights of the trip! Have a great weekend everyone — can’t believe it is almost June.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Currently Loving Paris Edition

Went on a quick 3 day trip to Paris last week to celebrate Tusia’s 12th birthday and there are so many highlights from the trip! Here is what I loved from Paris last week (and will always love)

 

1. The Random Street Art

 

is there anything more beautiful than art all over the streets of Paris? I could spend days just looking at the walls along the streets!

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Currently Loving #2 April 2024

The days are long, the weeks are short, but here we are to almost May! So much has happened this month — mainly, going back to school (and teaching) after Spring Break, a cross country tip to visit schools, a family medical situation, more work, more rain, more running, more forgetfulness. Not sure what happened, but the month went WOOSH by. Now, I am getting ready to plan for summer, go BACK to the west coast for a marathon, finish up the school year, and all the other normal busy end of the year obligations. So apologies for the sporadic posts, I am committed to being more consistent going forward. And here is what I am currently loving:

 

1. Flowers in NYC

 

Nothing beats the flowers in the city in Springtime. My favorite thing is to look at the difference stages of all the tulips along Park Avenue, the various magnolia, cherry trees, the violets, the pansies, all the bright colors and smells. LOVE.

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Merci Montecito

Last weekend. Cruzzie and I spent the weekend in Montecito / Ojai / Los Angeles AKA HEAVEN. All three of those places are my favorite places in the world — they are beyond beautiful and I just love the area so much. So when coming home, I knew I needed to bring a piece of Montecito with me. This trip, it meant cookie dough from Merci — the best coffee, cafe, food (but let’s be honest, everything in Montecito is “the best,” because, truly, it is. But yes, back to cookie dough, yes, I traveled across the country with cookie dough, and lord, was it worth it.

 

Ah, California. I love you so much.

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Spring Break 2024 Highlights

Sunday Scaries ending Spring Break is REAL. We are ALL feeling it……the two week break went by in a flash, or was so long, did it even really happen? Well, here we are! Monday, April 1st! Back to school (for the kids, and for me!) and so here are the highlights of the past two weeks where we traveled and explored. We were fortunate enough to have three legs — Skiing in Oregon with my parents, Mexico beach vacation the 4 of us, and then ending up in Palm Beach with just me and the kiddos. Here are the highlights:

 

OREGON

 

Cross Country skiing with my parents everyday, while Ken took the kids downhill. I no longer downhill but the kids love it (and Ken is a great dad to take them every day to ski together), but I much prefer the exercise, nature, silence, and togetherness of cross country. Especially with my parents!

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Currently Loving March 2024

And here we are! March! This is what I am currently loving (of course also longer days, more sunlight, sparkling water, hot showers, etc)…

 

1.  Hot Cocoa from Glace

 

A TikTok trend of Smores hot cocoa at a cute (and small) boutique on Madison Avenue. Worth it! VERY VERY sweet but so fun and different (especially on a cold, snowy day, like we treated ourselves to these on).

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Currently Loving February 2024

January was a long year….and now we are at the shortest month, but it’s still winter (which I don’t love) but this is what I AM loving!

 

1. H Mart Haul

 

H Mart is a Koren grocery store that has every kind of Asian food that you want. Last weekend, we went there as an activity, and there was so much to look at and buy, we could have all stayed there for HOURS! This was some of our goodies that we picked up. Chocopie — HUGE hit with Cruzzie. His favorite — and now I need to go back and get more for him.

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House of Joy – Dim Sum

After our excursion downtown to Mercer Labs, we went to Chinatown for dim sum lunch. Through a friend I met on vacation (an Australian Chinese woman), we went to House of Joy. This was truly a cultural experience — very authentic — and I loved every minute of it.

 

Girls outside the restaurant. I love Chinatown, it has such character, flair, and high energy.

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Currently Loving January 2024

ANOTHER YEAR, another Currently Loving post! And so here we are! Here is what I am loving:

 

1. No.6 Store Socks

 

My forever style muse sent me an email to get these socks — and whatever she tells me to get, I do! (She used to have her own style newsletter and I wish she still had it!!!). These socks are fun (not necessarily warm for NYC winters, but cute and stylish) and I can’t wait to wear them!

 

2. Cityscape Needlepoint Project

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Craftsman and Wolves Granola

I AM A GRANOLA SNOB. I say that all the time, because it is true — I love love love granola. And I eat it everyday, but it has to be good granola. My all time favorite still is the Eugene Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola, but when in San Francisco, I was (thankfully!) introduced to a new one — Craftsman and Wolves  — and it was so good that I had to bring three packages home. Even more perfect, we walked by the bakery on our food tour, so I was able to quickly run in and buy the granola (as well as some other treats to eat on the spot).

 

Yes, in my tiny carry on, I brought these three packages home. I would have brought more if I had more space….

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Avital Food Tours

We just returned from our 4 day Thanksgiving Break to our besties in the bay area. We had the BEST time — came back with a very full stomach and extremely full heart. I laughed the entire 4 days (and ate the rest of the time) — all in all, the best time ever. One of my favorite parts was the Avital Food Tour — just the 8 of us on a guided food tour of the Mission District in San Francisco. We had a tour guide take us, by foot, to four different restaurants as a progressive meal. Each one was delicious and something I would have NEVER tried before.

 

California – I love you. West Coast – I love you.

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Needlepoint Canvases

Holiday season is upon us, which means more traveling and time to needlepoint! I love getting lots of canvases to work on during my travels (and down time), and here are some websites that I have recently loved purchasing my different canvases.

 

1. The Red Thread Atelier

 

I bought several canvases from this new website, and I love them all. Especially love this future pouch for all my emergency candy!

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Currently Loving November 2023

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT THANKSGIVING IS PRACTICALLY HERE? I have no idea how that happened. Literally, the other day, I was convinced it was September (maybe I am losing my mind a little). A lot has been happening on my end — I accepted a job to teach again, applying my son to high schools, dealing with the insanity and sadness of the antisemitism in the world, and just trying to balance everything else out! It has been an adjustment (and I haven’t even started full time yet!)….so here is what I am loving this month.

1. Christie’s Auction Sale

 

Did you know that during the auction sales, anyone can go to the auction house (for free!) and see all the art work? I stopped by this past week for 30 minutes and it was glorious — just a quick runby to see all the work (and they have the prices on them, which is FASCINATING!). I loved this Frida Kahlo painting that she did of her sister….

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Upper Sweetside

One of my favorite people I follow on Instagram is a baker — Upper Sweetside — who happens to be a mother from my kids’ preschool. Everything she bakes is fun, creative, and delicious. She not only cares about the look of the cake / cookie / treat, but also the taste. My type of dessert! Pretty and delicious. She recently posted Taylor Swift cookies, so I purchased several, to accompany us to see the Taylor Swift movie.

 

I couldn’t decide which one to get, so I ordered a mixture of them all.

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Currently Loving October 2023

There is a lot of sadness and heartache in the world right now — it is all so hard to hear and read. So here is what I am currently loving right now.

 

1. Pumpkin Banana Pudding

 

I know it sounds weird — but it might have been the most amazing and delicious thing I have ever eaten. HIGHLY recommend. It tasted like pumpkin cheesecake and was so rich and decadent, and I finished the whole thing (over the period of a couple of days).

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Great Gift

The other day I co-hosted a small group of friends for a class that taught us to arrange flowers — (which by the way, I HIGHLY recommend — super fun), and one of the guests gave us the most genius present — a wine cooler sleeve! I have not even heard of it but am so in love with it that I am now going to give it as a present for wherever I go!

 

Before I share photos of the wine sleeve, here are some of the photos of the flower class. Look at the blush selection of colors of the flowers. LOVE.

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Currently Loving September 2023

Here is what I am loving this month! And as always, please email / text / call / message me with everything and anything you love — I truly love hearing the little snippets of joy that you enjoy, too!

 

1. Manet x Degas Exhibition at The Met

 

One of the beauties of NYC is the access to all the museums. As I walk by the Met every single day to get to my daughter’s school, I became a member, and love popping in just for a quick look. On Thursday, on a whim, I stopped by the newly opened “Manet x Degas” — there was no line (I went an hour before closing) and IT WAS AMAZING. I loved every single thing about the exhibition and learned so much! I had no idea that Manet and Degas were friends and the similarities and differences between the two. I stayed for an hour, and will go back to soak it all in again. I highly recommend. And great to go when no line!

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Long Island City

This past weekend, we were in the city with no plans on Saturday night. Although I love nothing more than a night in, we decided to go on a field trip to Long Island City, where I had not been in years. And HOLY COW — it is SOOOOOOOOOOO different and a city in itself (hence the name). It was super easy to get to in the car (just over the 59th street bridge) and fun to explore a new part of our backyard. I can’t wait to go back there and eat at different restaurants, see the sights, and experience a different part of our eclectic city.

 

Trip over the bridge with the iconic sign “Silver Cup”

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Things to do this Sept / Oct

I know school just started, but man, how is it already mid month??? Here is a list of things I want to do in the next couple of weeks!

 

1. Visit Picasso in Fontainebleu at the MoMa

 

I love going to museums — especially when it is just for one exhibit and then leave. I am excited for this exhibit which comes at the start of October.

 

2. See Manet / Degas at the Met

 

A friend saw this in Paris this past summer and said it was one of the best exhibits she has seen. I can’t wait to go — end of this month!

 

3. Eat at the Golden Steamer

 

I have heard great things about this chinese bakery, and it just opened up another location, so will definitely be checking it out! Steamed buns! Moon cakes!

 

4. Watch Jaja’s African Hair Braiding on Broadway

 

I love everything that Manhattan Theatre Club puts on, and this is looks great. I hope to go during the time it is on Broadway!

 

5. Read a book

 

This list looks great — I really, really need to get back on track and start reading more! I want to — I just need to focus more!

 

6. Make something at the Brooklyn Craft Company

 

There is a HUGE list of different types of classes, and I cannot wait to try one out!

 

7. Relax at the World Spa

 

This place looks unbelievable. I want to go STAT.

 

8. Watch Taylor Swift Eras Tour Movie

 

I mean, who is NOT excited for this?????

___

What do you want to do in the next couple of months? Do share!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Currently Loving August 2023

I realize that August is practically over, but wanted to squeeze in with some of the things I love right now!

 

1. Taylor Swift Maroon

 

can NOT stop. This is one of my absolute favorite songs right now. Must listen to. Taylor did not perform this at her concert, but because I have been on a deep Taylor Swift dive, I am listening and loving them all.

 

2.  Nike

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Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

I copied a dear friend who makes biscuits for her dog — and now you should do the same! They were a fun (and easy) activity — and healthy and delicious for the dog! They are vegetarian (not vegan as they contain milk) and not gluten free because they have flour! But come on, still good and yummy for the dogs!

 

End result! Don’t YOU want to make these for your dogs???

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Peach Cobbler

(Oops I did it again — a week off from writing. It has been so nonstop busy with more airplane rides than one can count, so I just stopped writing. But here I am, BACK AGAIN!)…..One of my favorite things to do in summers in Oregon is to pick local fruit and to bake. This past week, the fruit of the week was PEACH! So we headed to pick peaches — it is currently the start of the season, but nonetheless, we had two different varieties to pick from, and they were both oh so delicious.

 

We ate so many peaches while picking them — how could you not? First, it was to try to figure out the ripeness based on how they felt, and then, they were too good not to eat them.

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