Happy Tuesday! Hope you all had a restful long weekend. We stayed local and despite some health issues in the household, we had restful days in the city with little excursions here and there (and lots of movie watching when the stomach bug hit). One of the highlights was a Sunday excursion to Grimm Artisanal Ales in Brooklyn. Every time we go back to Oregon or Seattle, we end up drinking a lot of sour beer, a new hipster craze, especially in the Pacific Northwest. The trend is starting to pick up elsewhere, so we were excited to check out this local brewery, which had a bunch of great beers, both sour and traditional.
The outside. 990 Metropolitan Ave in Brooklyn, an easy drive from Manhattan, or just off the L.
The beer menu, or 1/2 of it!
We went with friends, and sampled all of the sour beers. Delicious (though probably in general less sour than the Pacific Northwest counterparts… Breaking in the soft East coasters gently…)
The bar… Great natural light!
The place was happening.
Food truck food in the background. Both kid and dog friendly.
Our buddy Goose!
If you’re in NYC, be sure to check out the Grimm. And if you haven’t tried sour beer yet, get on the train! The trend is definitely gaining steam.
I love tequila. Always have, always will. When I turned 25, the only drink served at my birthday party was tequila. I claimed that it is because I am half Mexican (true). Now a days, it is EVERYONE’S favorite drink and I am so glad that it is mainstream and you can find good tequila anywhere and everywhere. Even in tiny little airplane sized bottles!
A teeny tiny bottle with loads of fun as a result.
Last Thursday, Josie Natori presented Fall/Winter 2020 Ready To Wear. Unlike previous seasons, my mother in law decided to do a show/ presentation at her home versus renting out a space. The most fun and chaotic part about it is that the models were housed in our apartment to get dressed, hair and make up done. From 10 in the morning until 7 pm at night, our house transformed into a backstage of a photo shoot and runway show. In addition to the show itself, the highlight was having my son and his friends come over in the afternoon to get ready for their dancing school amidst a flood of models, hair and make-up artists, and show staff.
It looks calm at this very moment, but there were 40+ people there. Hair, make up, people who ironed, photographers, etc…
I realize that it is February and so we are already 1/12th of way through the year, and so you might not be interested in buying calendars, but I am here to tell you that my mom just sent me a calendar from The Brown Paper Movement, and it makes me SO happy that I had to share with you all. It is not too late!
Don’t judge my mess. It is unorganized and not very representative of my OCD organization, but regardless, I love the look of my little clipboard calendar. It is neutral and classy.
Hands down, my favorite ice cream of all time is Coolhaus Banana Foster. Decadent, rich, creamy and oh so delicious — it tastes exactly like Banana Foster (my all time favorite dessert) but in ice cream form. Then I found out, *ALL* of the flavors Coolhaus makes are incredible, and that you can’t go wrong. Right now, I am especially fond of their ice cream sandwiches aka “sammies“. And believe it or not, they have dairy free sandwich options so vegans and lactose-intolerant people can still enjoy these scrumptious desserts.
You should see my freezer — I like to hoard ice cream. But we also eat a lot of it — 4 pints, 2 boxes of Ice Cream bars, and multiple sandwiches PER WEEK.
I realize that blogs are a dying breed and have been replaced by instagram, tik tok, snapchat, twitter, etc….That said, I still read two blogs on a daily basis and I love them dearly. I dropped most other blogs when I realized most of their content was sponsored or no longer of interest. But I am thankful for Cup of Jo and Cupcakes and Cashmere that continually publishes authentic, honest, beautiful, helpful, and interesting content. Earlier this week, I found a post on Cup of Jo about green pancakes and I knew immediately that I had to make them. So glad I did because they are DELICIOUS. So whatever you are doing right now, stop, and make the green pancakes. Thank you, Cup of Jo!
I know Winter is almost over (or is that wishful thinking?) but here is a list of activities that I want to do in NYC in the next couple weeks (doesn’t winter feel like eternity?)
1. Groove (in my seat) at Hip Hop Dance Performance Off Broadway, Beyond Babel
Read about this performance in the NYTImes and I canNOT wait to go. I am buying tickets STAT.
Like everyone else in the US, I can’t stop watching and talking about Cheer — the mini series on Netflix. It is a highly addictive 6 part series that follows around nationally ranked 40-member Navarro College Cheer Team as they prepare for the Nation Cheerleading Championship in Daytona. Five of the members lives are highlighted and you get insight into what makes them who they are — and you will fall in love with Jerry, as I did. You will laugh, cry, cringe, and binge watch the show. I guarantee you that if you start watching the show, you will finish it in a matter of days. I highly HIGHLY recommend it and can’t wait to discuss with fellow watchers.
Part Friday Night Lights (Tim Riggins, #33, I love you), and part Real World.
A self proclaimed snob (and expert) on granola, I recently sampled Park Lane Pantry, and I can’t get enough! Wholesome, delicious, nutritious. And on top of that, the back story of how the granola was created is truly inspiring — read about Elaine here and how she decided to create her own granola after her experience with cancer.
Granola perfection. Small batch
A New Year and a new commitment to listen to more podcasts instead of music. I love music and therefore listen to it on every run, workout, errand, subway ride, basically anytime I am in the house or walking somewhere out of the house. And although I love this, I also want to become smarter and interested in other things. Several years ago, I was a dedicated podcast listener, but then, I fell off. So now, it is time to get back on the podcast train! Here is a list of my go-to-podcasts as well as ones I want to start listening to more frequently.
1. Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations
Every person Oprah interviews, no matter if I am interested or not, I leave feeling smarter and more informed. Yes, everything Oprah touches is gold to me, but this podcast is my ultimate favorite.
You all know that my favorite bra of all times is the Feathers Bra — it is truly the perfect bra. Yet, in an effort to try something ew, I just purchased the Natori Obsession Convertible Bra. Although it is not an everyday bra like Feathers, it is a great bra and I am happy that I have it in my collection. So if you are looking for some va-va-voom and added oomph in your life, the Natori Obsession Convertible Bra is right up your alley!
Thank you, beautiful Natori model!
2020 here we are! And here is what I am currently loving this month!
1. Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later
I read this article over a month ago when it came out and yet I still think about it. It is extremely powerful and moving — an incredible story that is worth the long read. Gotta love a good ‘ol love story.
HI! HELLO! HOWDY! Happy New Year! Back in action over here at josiegirlblog.com and ready to post on my regular schedule! I hope you had a great break and feel rested and ready for a new YEAR! Nothing better than starting the year off with some great books — so here are the books I want to read this winter (or year, TBH). Take a look! Most of these books (1-9) were recommended to me by a friend who works at Penguin Random House as a publisher…..
1. The Book of Unknown Americans
Thanks to friend and interior designer, Lucie Ayres, for the guest post! Always love hearing slash reading what she has to say! Take a look!
Want to know a secret? An interior designer’s hardest job is finding good art for our clients. It is a process that can take months or even years. Often more than one person is involved in the decision making which is what makes it extra challenging.
So, when I saw Christy Schnabel’s Bike Path images, I was floored. Not only are the colors of the photographs so beautiful – but the characters and details are just perfect. I said we must collaborate! Our clients (and friends and family, I mean almost everyone) are always searching for stunning, unexpected art and photography pieces that can be rendered on a large scale and convey a strong sense of place.
To me, Christy’s work celebrates the diversity of Los Angeles in a simple, joyful, and strikingly original way – with the artist’s punk-rock spirit and sense of humor shining through – using one of the city’s most iconic locations as a backdrop. Several of our clients, including one of LA’s premiere fitness chains, have become fans and collectors of Christy’s work.
We had a launch event at her house where we framed and hung about 45 pieces and the feedback was tremendous – people engaged and discussed who these characters could be. The breakout stars from the show were the athletic California woman and the young girl walker below. Both embody a clear female confidence with a good dose of intrigue.
Bikini Girl Star
I am jumping back on the 1990s velour track suit look and I couldn’t be happier! But this time around, it is not Juicy Couture, but instead New York City designer, Suzie Kondi. The track suits come in a selection of color and I want them all. Not only that, but they also come in kid’s sizes, too, so you can match your daughter. It’s as if my dream came true — matching, velour, track suit, comfortable, and rainbow colors.
YUP. We are living the dream.
Recently, I read about a $20 yogurt all over the internet — and of course, I was intrigued. This is not just any yogurt, but a special probiotic yogurt — more of a supplement. The Coconut Cult is full of probiotics and delicious, made in small batches with 800 billion highly active probiotics into every quart! That is a whole lot of probiotics; which is so good for you and your gut! This yogurt is unlike any other yogurt and you don’t eat it normally (with granola, berries, etc). Rather, you eat just 1-2 spoonfuls per day. It’s like medicine — but tasty and delicious! People are obsessed and rave about how it has changed their digestive system, sleep, headaches, and the way they feel…..I have yet to see a difference (Week 1….) but I am enjoying the sweet and creamy taste. It is like dessert but oh so healthy!
Delicious (and cute packaging, too)….
I am a grazer and am constantly snacking and eat nonstop. My new favorite go-to snack is Zesty Z popcorn. It is flavored popcorn with the perfect amount of flavor and zest. Kind of like a healthy cheeto, but not cheese…but once you start, you cannot stop!
Big bag! Big flavor! It is air-popped Mediterranean Popcorn and comes in three different flavors — my favorite being thyme and herbs. The popcorn has 47 calories per cup, 1g sugar, 2g of protein, and is both gluten free and Non-GMO. So it’s a healthy option for snacking and tastes delicious too!
I have always loved Uniqlo as the qualities and prices are unbeatable. And even more specifically, I love any of their Heattech products — they truly make such a difference and keep your body warm. Seems impossible that a tiny piece of clothing can actually keep you warm, but it works. Trust me. And all of a sudden, this Fall, I have been drawn to turtlenecks (a new thing for me) and you cannot beat the Uniqlo turtlenecks. They are actually magic. They are thin, weightless, inexpensive ($19), look great, and keep you so warm! I wear my striped ones all the time, so much that I just ordered two new ones (a yellow and a black one).
I love it as a base layer (under a sweater) or as the main top! Can’t go wrong. For sizing — I wear an XS and feel like it is the perfect fit. They are so good looking and can you believe that they cost 20 bucks. 20 BUCKS!!!!
I know it might be #oversharing, but last December, I picked up a new hobby of roller dancing and it has made such an impact on my life. I know it sounds so cheesy, but it is really true, and something I want to share with you all. When I look back on the past 12 months, what strikes me the most is how much joy, laughter and fun roller skating (specifically roller dancing) has brought me. Since January, I have consistently roller skated at least twice a week and I have loved every minute. When in NYC, I take lessons in my dining room (god bless my husband and his patience) and in the summer in Oregon and California, I would skate on the streets. There is something so freeing, liberating, joyful, and fun about it all. I have absolutely loved picking up a new hobby and seeing my weekly improvements, listening to music loud and dancing to it, working out (it is so hard),
Me and my teacher.
It is now cold on the East Coast and yet that is not stopping me from running outside (LA Marathon 2020, here I come!). I find it even more important to have a good playlist to help motivate on those cold and chilly runs. Here is the current playlist! Enjoy!
This past weekend, we found ourselves with zero plans. We originally were scheduled to go up to Pound Ridge for a cozy and relaxed weekend, but after a change of orthodontist appointments on Saturday and Ken needing to go on a business trip on Sunday afternoon, we decided to stay put in the city. This gave us an opportunity to be a tourist in our own city — and I am so glad we explored! We discovered Ice Skating at Bryant Park which was a great family activity. Unlike other rinks in the city, admission is FREE (rentals cost money, but if you have your own skates, then it is FREE!) and it opens up at 8 am! We drove downtown for breakfast and on our way back uptown, parked right in front of the ice skating rink to do some laps!
Bryant Park Winter Wonder Land — lots of shops, food, people watching, ice skating — truly, a winter wonderland.
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.
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).
Zara kids FTW again! After realizing that my daughter had no clothes that fit her (thank you growth spurt), I went online to purchase replacements. I fell in love with the paperbag corduroy pants so ordered her two pairs. She loved them the minute she saw them, which is a huge success because she never likes anything I buy….and they were *so* good that I decided I need to buy a pair for myself. I couldn’t find them in the women’s section, so opted for the biggest kids’ size and they fit great! So comfortable and perfect for Fall and Winter! I have already worn them twice …..
Paperbag pants with elastic waist. Pockets in front and back.
Recently, I heard a lot of chatter about the Magician at the NoMad hotel and how amazing the performance was. So, since I am on a big kick of entertainment-is-better-than-dinners-out, we went with some friends on Friday night. To say HOLY SMOKES is an understatement. It was absolutely incredible and a must see. HOLY SMOKES! Amazing, ridiculous, smart, and oh so magical. It was unclear what to expect, but I knew that the Magician, Dan White, is widely respected, and therefore, I was hopeful for a good show. And indeed, it was a good show. And has left me thinking about it since the performance. Regardless of how Dan makes the magic happen, he is a genius and oh so smart.
Not only brilliant, but also funny, charismatic and compelling. A+ performer. Would go again in a heartbeat.