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.

Cold, refreshing.

Family photo — the first time the four of us have been together in a month.

The next day, we went to Yellowstone. It was a lot of driving (2.5 hours each way), but we knew we had to do it if we were so close by. This was a bison we saw.

We went to two main stops (and one hike) on the lower loop. We saw Old Faithful (totally anticlimatic, but a must see nonetheless)

Grand Pristmatic. My favorite part of Yellowstone.

My favorite hike was at Phelps Lake which my old student’s parents told me about. It was in a specific parking lot (Rockefeller Park) in Teton National Park. We hiked 2.5 miles to a jumping rock where many people jumped off.

Ken and Cruzzie jumped off. I did not. I almost did. But then I chickened out.

The hike back .

Immediately after our hike, we went to the Ropes Course which the kids LOVED. They loved it so much that they requested to return everyday…..(but we didn’t have enough time to do so)

We had dinner at The Bird, which is mainly a locals restaurant. It was burger and fries and so delicious and the nicest people! Everyone asked us where we were from (in a nice way) and engaged in conversations. We loved it.

…and then the Rodeo! A must do in Jackson! Especially for us, as our besties uncle was one of the main riders in the rodeo. It was so fun to see him!

Fish out of water.

Here he is! Super famous to us!

And again! And look at the beautiful sky. It was a truly special and unique night.

My favorite photo.

Ken and Cruzzie mountain biked and had so much fun.

Tusia and I hiked up the face of Jackson Hole mountain on a trail called “Wildflower Trail.” It was covered in wildflowers and extremely gorgeous (and difficult terrain!)

Look at the wildflowers!

We had the opportunity to paddle board on Jenny Lake in Teton Park one evening. It was so peaceful — no one was there (except bears) and the views were grand.

I love the juxtaposition of the water and the mountains — so much to do both on the water and in the mountains.

Sunset.

We also went rafting down the Snake River, which was mellow and tame. Tusia and I have rafted three times this summer!

This was the kids during the rafting trip, which meant not that many rapids and not much to see (other than 6 bald eagles!)

We went down the Alpine Sled which was so fun! We also did this in Vail and years ago at Deer Valley.

We ate a lot of good food, including Mexican food at a super hip place called “Hatch.”

Hammocks on the final night.

 

All in all a great and busy trip to Jackson. We can’t wait to explore more and go on even more hikes and adventures in this beautiful state! Thanks for letting me share these photos with you all! Happy last week of August!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

Blog Home Page

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Summer Activities in Vail

I just spent the week in Beaver Creek (near Vail, CO) with some dear friends from Graduate School and had the best time. My friend planned the most perfect time and everyday we had a super fun activity. So if you are going to Vail area during the summer months, or just want to see some highlights of our time, take a look!

 

GOGA — Goat Yoga

 

Goat yoga is basically yoga with goats walking all over your mats and the smell of pee and poo, but it was also really relaxing, a great stretch, and calming to be around the goats.

Continue Reading

Batchworthy

Through a random rabbit hole instagram search (via Mandy Moore, who hiked Mount Kilimanjaro together in a group), I started following Chase Weideman — a dude Influencer. He and his husband created some sauces during quarantine, and what started out as some jars for some friends has turned in to a legitimate business, Batchworthy. Intrigued (and a lover of sauces), I bought two of the six flavors — the Husband Sauce and the Soft Caesar, and am THOROUGHLY HOOKED to both. They deliver locally and ship nationally, and you need to try them out! They are beyond delicious.

 

These sauces go on everything and anything!

Continue Reading

Golden Diner

This past weekend, on our final NYC day before heading out west for the summer, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (our favorite activity) and then had lunch at the Golden Diner. I have read about Golden Diner for many years as it serves classic NY diner dishes that are influenced by the neighborhood, Chinatown. Everything had an Asian spin to it — even the tuna melt.

 

First, the Brooklyn Bridge! And yes, we have a million of these pictures, but I love them….

Continue Reading

Knitting Projects

As many of you know, over the past 12 months, I have become an avid needlepointer. It started as a hobby during COVID lock-down, and now I can’t stop. I love the process (well, actually, sometimes I hate it, but can’t stop) as well as having something tangible when I’m done. It is no surprise that I have the tendency to love creating something with textiles, as my mother has been knitting my entire life. She taught herself during college, and since then, she has a million projects at a time. Mother like daughter, she never sits without a project, and is constantly knitting. She is always running late because she can’t put her knitting down, and I now fully understand why. As a proud daughter, I wanted to share with you all her most recent projects because they are SO different. They are not a sweater or a hat or a scarf, rather they are PILLOWS and a BLANKET. Yes, she knitted pillows! And a blanket!

 

The pillows! Aren’t they divine???

Continue Reading

Currently Loving June 2021

WHAT THE — here we are half way through 2021. I have no idea how that happened, but it has been a wild ride! Right now, this is what I am loving! And please share with me what you are loving as I so love to hear any and all!

 

1. Coast by Augustine

 

Indie band (from Brooklyn) Augustine’s song, Coast, is so peppy and fun. It puts everyone in a good mood, and EVERYONE will love this song. Listen!

Continue Reading

Glamping on Governors Island

In celebration of my 5th grade son’s last day of school, we went to Governors Island with some of his besties and their moms. Governors Island has always been one of my favorite places — an easy afternoon IN the city, but OUT of the city. It is an 172 acre island in the heart of New York Harbor, located only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan. In recent years, we have visited dozens of times but have only been there for a couple of hours each time. Basically, there is not much to do but walk, scoot, look, eat, and hang out (but what else do you really need?) This time around, I thought ahead and booked us for an overnight stay, glamping at Collective Retreats.

 

Private boat to Collective Retreats (The company / hotel where we glamped). The complimentary water taxi runs from 430 pm to 10 pm, which is crucial since the public ferry stops service at 6 pm. The water taxi only holds up to 6 people, so it was just us on the ride. They made it a scenic ride and took us to the Statue of Liberty and other spectacular views of the city.

Continue Reading

ABC Kitchen Roasted Carrot Salad

I was first introduced to this Roasted Carrot Salad at one of my favorite NYC restaurants, ABC Kitchen. Although it has been years since I have last eaten there, I distinctively remember the salad — the rainbow colors, the mixture of elements, and most of all how delicious it is. Ever since I found the recipe (Thank you, NY Times!), I have made this salad 5 times (in 2 weeks). It is SOOOOOO GOOD! A perfect salad for summer (or winter) and alone (or for guests).

 

The perfect salad!

Continue Reading

Rollerskating

For those of you who know me well, I have been rollerskating for over 2.5 years and am absolutely head over heels in love with it. It changed my life — the challenge of learning something new, putting in hard work and seeing the improvement… not to mention the simple joy of doing something that I loved. Biweekly, I have lessons (even throughout the pandemic — over zoom and or in person), and they just make me so happy. Not only is it a form of exercise, but dancing, listening to music, ahhhhh, it is so great! All this to say, it is now funny to see how en vogue it is. NYTimes ran an article this past weekend, New Yorkers Are Crazy About Rollerskating (Again), as more and more rinks and skating get-togethers have emerged.

 

The day of my actual 40th birthday, just the four of us went to a rollerskating rink. Made me so happy!

Continue Reading

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

Blog Home Page

Frozen Key Lime Pie

Hands down my favorite dessert is key lime pie –(remember last year when I ordered 13 pounds of key lime pies by accident). And so I decided to start off the week on a sweet note by making key lime pie — but not just any key lime pie, but FROZEN key lime pie. The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa and is so stinking easy that I hope I dont start making it every week just to have in the kitchen…..

 

(Pre frozen — I couldn’t stop myself, it is that good)

 

Ingredients:

Continue Reading

Little Island

Last Friday, Little Island, New York’s newest Park opened up to the public. It was received with excitement, buzz, and energy. I had the opportunity to run down there and see it on opening day and it did not disappoint. It is unusual, beautiful, and a great green space.

 

This park, Little Island, is funded primarily by The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation. It is a great addition to the Hudson River on Manhattan’s West Side, and is interesting to visit as a walk, or more of a destination to sit and hang out.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

In Fiore Baume Pour Le Corps

Hands down, one of my favorite birthday gifts is from my sister-from-another-mister who lives-on0-the-opposite-coast-but-knows-me-so-well. She sent the most luxurious, luxe, incredible body balm for the body, and every time I use it, I feel like I went to the spa. This body balm, In Fiore Tangier is absolutely the silkiest, most incredible hydrating balm. I am in love. And if you get it for yourself, you too, will be in seventh heaven. It is not inexpensive, but it is really a special and beautiful gift (to yourself or to someone else)!

 

Beautiful bottle. It helps that it is also beautiful.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Isola Rosa Perfume

Over the past 5 plus years, I have never strayed from my signature scent 11:11. I wear it everyday, allday, and actually don’t smell if because it is truly just a part of me. I leave them splattered all over the house so I just can pick it up, and use it whenever I want. I know — totally obsessed. But recently, I came across a new scent and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So here we are, really loving this new perfume, Isola Rosa.

 

Chic bottle. The friend who I smelled it on told me to get it quickly as each shipment sells out fast. And sure enough, when I went to the store, they had one left. They said they can NOT keep it in stock and even the company sells out of it on their website.

Continue Reading

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…..

 

____

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

Blog Home Page

Bliss Perfection One Size Boy Short

In my quest for the perfect pair of underwear (because I will never not get over the fact that Feathers Boyshorts are no longer being made and sold), I found my new favorite pair: Bliss Perfection One Size Boy Short.

 

A normal brief, but with a beautiful Natori-esque piece of lace at the top. Just this simple touch adds something beautiful to your normal pair of every day undies.

 

At first I was a little skeptical how a pair of undies could be one size fit all, but to my surprise, they not only fit perfectly, but felt good! These boy shorts offer full back coverage and the lace wrist creates a dig free fit.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

Interview with Virtual Cooking Teacher

Last week, I wrote about virtual cooking chef / teacher, Kate, and the classes she offers online. I love her so much and her background is so fascinating that I wanted to share more about her with you! (And don’t you just love reading and finding out more about people — people are so fascinating!)  Read below to find out the questions and answer session with Kate! And thank you, Kate!!! (Please note: all pictures are taken from Kate’s instagram page).

 

Kate! Don’t you love her already?

Continue Reading