Dim Sum NYC

The weekend before Thanksgiving, I had a craving to go to dim sum in the city. After an extensive search online on what the best dim sum restaurant is, we ended up at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. It was everything that I had hoped for, and I highly suggest going (and waiting) for a great dim sum meal if in the city.

 

Down a car free street. It was a cold morning and despite it opening up at 11 am (and us getting there then), we still had to wait for 45 minutes. That said, it was worth it.

The line! But once we were in it for 15 minutes, I was committed and not giving up.

Freezing. We did jumping jacks and drills, but still it felt cold in the tunnel of cold air.

The line only grew longer with time.

Written up in every food magazine, website, and GOOP, it attracts tourists and locals alike. I loved the decor on the outside.

We were SO hungry.

Not exactly full of ambiance or character, but the food was the shining star.

Cruzzie loves pork buns more than anything else in life. They were BEYOND.

Fried rice and chinese broccoli. The greens were delicious.

Closer shot.

Definitely worth it, and fun to do on a cold morning when there is not much else to do (and a good field trip to get out of the apartment). Visit Nom Wah Tea Parlor!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Thanksgiving 2022

Just got back from a whirlwind away on the west coast in the Bay Area. We decided to visit our best friends from Stanford for the holiday, and it was truly one of the best weekends yet. We laughed, ate, ate some more, ate even more, laughed some more, and just had great quality time together. Here is what we did (and great recommendations for anyone going to the Bay Area, too!)

 

MUIR WOODS

 

National Forest north of San Francisco in Marin. A beautiful, relaxing, and incredible sigh of redwood trees. Redwood trees are supposed to be healing, and just being in their presence felt magical. They are HUGE and ANCIENT.

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Stutz

A MUST WATCH — Stutz! This documentary is about Jonah Hill’s therapist. It is part film, part therapy, and 100 percent worthwhile. It focuses on Jonah Hill (an actor and director)’s therapist, Phil Stutz, who he says changed his life. Stutz gives tools to Hill (and therefore to all the viewers) on how to have a better life — and I loved every part of it. We *ALL* have things to learn from this film.

 

You can watch “Stutz” on netflix, and I highly recommend watching this film today, tonight, ASAP.

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Autry Sneakers

I am a lover of sneakers — I wear Nike Dunks and Vans more than I wear any other shoes. They are comfortable, practical, AND hip. And now, I have a third sneaker to add to my rotation, Autry. I have a feeling that these shoes are going to be the next Golden Goose (aka luxury sneaker, but not at that ridiculously price point) and men, women, and kids will be all wearing them soon (and if my prediction is wrong, at least everyone in my family will be wearing them). Move over, veja, these sneakers are the best.

 

I like them all in all color ways, but for my first purchase, I picked the green and white. I LIVE in my black and white dunks, so these are a similar flair and style.

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Knockout Beauty Skin Routine

Last Spring, I had the opportunity to take a “master class” at Knockout Beauty. Knockout Beauty is a beautiful skincare store with highly educated and informed salespeople, where I have been purchasing skincare items for years. That said, it was my first time taking a class and getting a one on one experience of what worked best for my skin. It was INCREDIBLE. I learned SOOOO much and bought products that are right for my skin (without being pushed on me) and I highly suggest stopping by Knockout Beauty, or calling them and asking them for a skin consultation. These are my favorite four products that I cannot live without.

 

The bag.

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Currently Loving Early November 2022

Yesterday, I wrote that the date was November 2021. I can’t believe that it is not 2021, and in fact, it is almost 2023! Here is what I am loving right now in Early November.

 

1.  Zara Marine Jeans (for kids)

 

These jeans are the cutest and I wish they had them in adults sizes. They are Tusia’s first jeans (ever) and she loves them just as much as I do (which is never the case).

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Wordle Communication

Ever since I discovered Wordle, I play every. single. day. without. a doubt. It is part of my daily rituals and something I love. Even more important, it is a way I stay in touch with an old friend of mine. We do not text or talk about anything, but every single day (without fail! for the past 9 months), we send each other’s results to one another.

 

 

 

Literally all our conversations look like this.

 

 

Back and forth.

 

Back and forth.

 

It seems silly — it is — but there is something so meaningful about these simple interactions. It is a way to check in (non verbal) and somehow feels very loving and supportive. So, highly suggest connecting with someone — it doesn’t have to be a traditional form of connection, but even something this little, makes all the difference. Happy week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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LV 200 Trunks, 200 Visionaries: The Exhibition

This past Sunday, I visited the old Barneys building (RIP) as Louis Vuitton is hosting an exhibition there until December 31st. This exhibition is the fourth and final stop of this traveling show. Not only is it an exhibit, but Fred’s (the restaurant, SOB, RIP) is also temporarily opened while Louis Vuitton is in the building.  The exhibit is located on three of the floors, presenting 200 trunks that were created by 200 different artists.

The building. Entrance is free — you can reserve a ticket online, or just simply walk in, depending on the time of the day and how busy it is.

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Doorless Helicopter Tour of NYC

For Cruz’s 13th birthday last week, all he wanted was a doorless helicopter ride of the city. Since I had very few presents to give him, I thought that this gift would be extra special to him as it was an experience he could remember forever. Mind you, I hate heights, and don’t like to be on balconies of buildings, but in the end, it was worth it to see how happy Cruz was. I did a lot of research leading up to it and found that FlyNyon had the best reviews. Sure enough, the customer service was amazing and our experience unforgettable, and would definitely recommend this company to any one that is crazy enough to do it.

 

I didn’t make the reservations until the morning of. I couldn’t figure it out online (and I wanted a later time), so I called the number, and was greeted by the most HELPFUL person ever, Colleen.

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Currently Loving October 2022

Here we are in October! Fall in New York….here is what I am currently loving (and please send me what you are loving, too! I love to hear!)

 

1. Flash Flowers by Lewis Miller Design

 

Walking home from drop off yesterday and I saw this beautiful flower flash installation by Lewis Miller Design — always so beautiful.

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Beat the Bomb

Beat the Bomb – an immersive group experience! I have heard amazing reports about this interactive activity, which is a mixture of an escape room and a video game, so I signed up and took some kids to have some fun. Absolutely everyone had a blast and it was the perfect rainy indoor day activity. Located in DUMBO in Brooklyn, Beat the Bomb is a privately owned company that started five years ago. It was first built for adults, for group bonding activities and fun, but after the pandemic, they realized that kids were wizards at ipads. So now, it is 50% adults, and 50% kids.

 

When you get to the space, you have to put on a hazmat suit. Blurry photo, but gives you an idea of what the suit looks like.

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Good Eats

Through a friend, I was introduced to Good Eats, a program that feeds elementary school children, every weekend. Sadly, all over our country, there are children that eat all their meals at school through government subsidized programs. As a result, over the weekend when they are not in school, they do not eat. Good Eats comes in to schools where there is a need and gives students a package of food to put in their backpacks for the weekend. Often times these kids do not have can openers or fridges that work — so the food has to be nonperishable and have a shelf life. Yes, the goal is to change the world through KALE (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE KALE), but the reality, is that the food needs to be accessible and easy for the kids to eat. Basic hunger.

 

A distributor that is partnered with Good Eats, delivers the food to the school once a month. We were supposed to meet him at 830. He did not show up until past noon…..but grateful even more so.

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Grace Street – Shaved Ice

I LOVE SHAVED ICE — not the snow cone with sugar syrup, but the Asian Shaved Ice with condensed milk and so much flavor and taste. It is my favorite thing in the world — so much that when I was in Undergrad, I would drive with all my friends to a place in LA and get Taiwanese Shaved Ice in the middle of the night — I have so many fond memories of that place (wish I could remember the name!) and all the times I had shaved ice with tapioca balls, red beans, mango and shaved ice with condensed milk. So, fast forward to this summer, when I was in Seattle with my family, we went to an incredible Shaved Ice place, Snowy Village (go if you are in Seattle!) and I fell head over in heels. I tasted my college experience!

 

Seattle shaved ice — Snowy Village. SO good and tasty, loved every single bite.

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Date Better Snacks

I am constantly hungry and simultaneously, always on the lookout for the best snacks — yes, I can always grab fresh veggies and fruit, but sometimes I want something sweet — just a nibble. So when I came across Date Better Snacks, I knew it was the perfect snack for me. And sure enough — they are SO good, SO delicious, and just the amount of sweet.

 

Date Better Snacks are actually what they sound like — dates! Medjools dates are full of fiber, potassium, B-family vitamins, magnesium and calcium! And are the perfect texture.

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Mister Dips

If you happen to be in NYC and want an adventure, I highly recommend going to Mister Dips, an all-American restaurant that serves (supposedly great hamburgers) and ridiculous soft serve ice cream downtown on South Street Seaport.

 

We decided to make it an adventure — so we took the East River Ferry that loads at 34th Street (and the East River) and then got off at Wall Street. It was an extremely hot and humid day in the city, so the 15 minutes on the boat felt marvelous. Highly recommend doing just the boat trip!

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Homemade Granola

I am a granola snob and nothing makes me happier than eating delicious and great granola. I have yet to find a homemade granola recipe I love — until now. And now I am obsessed. This granola is not overly sweet, delicious and has the perfect mixture of nutty, sweet, and grains. The beauty of it is that you can add whatever you want to customize it to how you love granola!

 

Ingredients:

 

Ingredients

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Currently Loving August 2022 Part 2

It is so true that January and February creep by — each day seems sooooo long, and then July and August just whizzzzzz by. So here we are, end of August, and here is what I am loving.

 

1. Good Quote

 

Seen on a hike, “Expect noting. Celebrate everything.” I love this quote and think about it often.

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BeReal

I spent the past week with my teenage nephew and niece, and not only do I love the time together because I adore them, but I also love that they introduce me to what is hip / new / relevant in their life. Currently, what is hot in their social circle for social media is not instagram or tiktok, but rather BeReal (and Snapchat). I had never heard of BeReal so it was fascinating to learn more about it.

BeReal sends you a notification at different times each day and asks you to photograph in front and back of you in the 2 minute time limit. There is no way to track the number of friends you have and there are no “likes.”

 

BeReal is a French social media app that was released in 2020. After a couple of years of relative obscurity, it eventually gained popularity rapidly in mid-2022. More specifically, BeReal is a photo-sharing app that allows users to post one photo per day in real time.

An example of my BeReal. I was sitting at the pool with the kids — and it took a shot of what is in front and what I looked like.

You can look at both as the main photograph.

 

Currently, I have two friends (one is the sister of my ex boyfriend who is married to Amy Schumer, and one is my niece — my nephew does not want to be friends with me on this app….). So it is obviously not yet popular with my age group….

 

Another example….And it is important to note that you can only see other people’s daily BeReals if you post one that day yourself, and previous ones disappear from the feed.

And another.

 

Who knows if it will take off as a huge mainstream social media app, but I appreciate the authenticity and realness, and how it is different and unique…..To read more about BeReal, go here and here and here.

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Killer Burger

The friend who told me about Dave’s Hot Chicken, also told me about Killer Burger. A very different type of cuisine than I normally eat, but a huge hit for everyone in the family (including myself). Currently, Killer Burger is a Pacific Northwest Chain, but hopefully in the near future, it will become more mainstream and located nationally. If you happen to be in the PNW, you must try Killer Burger — home of the PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON BURGER. Yes, PEANUT BUTTER PICKLE BACON. And I have to tell you — it is SO good. So good.

 

Killer Burger with the family.

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Ice Cream Cake

Apparently I am on a dessert kick because all my recent posts have been about dessert — apologies — but this one NEEDS to be shared (again). I posted this recipe seven years ago (yes, I have been doing this blog for a looooong time) and it is so good that I need to remind you about it. Ice Cream Cake made with Ice Cream Sandwiches! I learned this genius recipe hack from my sister-from-another-mister.

 

Finished product! Look how gorgeous — and they are even more delicious.

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Homemade Baklava

I love most desserts (yes, I know, sugar isn’t good for you, but I love it), but especially baklava. It is one of my absolute favorites (along with red velvet cake, key lime pie, blueberry crisps….so many), and yet I have never made it myself. So during a heat wave in Oregon, I decided IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN, and made my first homemade baklava, and let me tell you, it is delicious and I plan to make it again! It is that good!

 

Ingredients:

 

 

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Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

One of my favorite activities in the Pacific Northwest is to go fruit picking in the summer. Raspberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries and peaches. Yesterday, I went blueberry picking (the season is almost over) and within an hour we had over 7 pounds of fresh, delicious, beautiful, organic and inexpensive berries ($19 for 7 pounds).

 

I love this one blueberry picking spot — right near one of my favorite hikes — but there are so many different places you can go and get the berries.

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Provence 2022 Highlights

After Spain, we traveled to Provence where we spent two HOT but glorious weeks. We just returned this past weekend to the States and I am already missing Europe so much. It was a wonderful trip and I am already planning next year’s summers’ adventures. We didn’t do much, but it was all simple and easy, and I loved it all. Here is a look at what we did.

 

The view from my window. We were located in the village and had access to everything right there. We could go to the gelato store in 1 minute and 30 seconds, and same with the bakery. Which of course, what we did twice a day….

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