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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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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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:

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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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?

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Virtual Cooking Classes

For the past several months, I have been taking virtual private cooking classes and they have changed. my. life. Through a kids’ cooking program, I became acquainted with Kate and loved her so much that I poached her from the program, and hired her to teach me how to cook. It has been absolutely incredible. Not only do I work with her on a weekly basis, but she does classes with both my kids — for special occasions here and there and in the past on a weekly basis. Kate offers cooking classes and baking classes and they are ABSOLUTELY incredible.

 

This is Kate. SHE IS AMAZING. Personable, super friendly, knowledgeable, patient, funny. I love her. If she lived in NYC, she would be my friend.

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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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Absolute Bagels

This past Friday, while sifting through magazines and food websites, I decided it was time to try “the best bagel” in Manhattan. So after researching some of “the best bagels,” I decided that we would try out “Absolute Bagels” on the Upper West Side (108th and Broadway). I liked it because it seemed gritty, authentic, unique, and off the beaten path. I like bagels — don’t necessarily love them — but holy smokes, these bagels were AMAZING and I cannot wait to return. Absolute Bagels has been run by a Thai couple for the past 27 years and although a typical bagel shop with all the different cream cheese offerings, they also have thai iced tea. Perfect random touch. It did not disappoint.

 

A huge line outside — mostly Columbia University students — but a mish mash of people. The lady in front of us waited in line for ONE bagel.

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Natur Shampoo and Conditioner Bars

A dear friend recently launched Natur Shampoo and Conditioner Bars. These bars are non toxic, super luxe, high performing hair care in a bar format. This means that there is no plastic, less waste, no preservatives, no chemicals, a more minimalist shower experience and a healthier way to wash your hair. I am not just saying I love these products because I want to support a friend (which of course, I want to in ADDITION), but these shampoo and conditioner bars are really transformative and top notch. They will change your shower, your hair, and your approach to plastic.

 

Simple and chic boxes.

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Movies / TV Shows

In the past month, I have had a lot of screen time (even more than normal pandemic increased screen time). Here are the movies and shows that I have enjoyed watching.

 

1. The Blind Side

 

A MUST WATCH WITH THE KIDS! I saw this movie ages ago (when it came out) but we watched it as a family this past week and it was hands down a winner for all of us. A must watch.

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