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.

 

This cookie dough is the best thing I have ever tasted.

 

Perfect compact to bring on my carry on.

Peanut butter cookies, too, because I can’t ever turn away anything with peanut butter.

I only got six cookies — and I wish I had bought way more.

And six peanut butter ones? I need to call and see if they ship to the east coast! They are that delicious.

Look at the chunks of chocolate.

So good to eat as dough, too.

But warmed and baked — MY GOODNESS, heaven.

Perfect.

 

Happy weekend! Definitely check out Merci if you are in the area. And follow them on insta, too. So delicious.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Taylor Swift Pajamas

Instagram ads finally got me! I bought my FIRST instagram targeted ad purchase — and I couldn’t be any happier. TAYLOR SWIFT PAJAMAS. Yep, Instagram is smart!!!!!! I know, I know, I know, not Natori Pajamas (Natori pajamas are the best — other than these), but somehow I have to convince my mother-in-law to make Taylor Swift pajamas. Until then, these are amazing, and I love everything about them: cute, great price, comfy, and current!

 

Taylor! And yes, I had to get them for my daughter, too! I couldn’t resist. She is an XS (too big but whatever!) and I got a S for myself. We are both huge fans of the pajamas (and TSwift, too!)

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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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Brooklyn Museum

I have been dying to go to the Brooklyn Museum’s newest exhibition (Alicia Keys and Swiss Beatz Private Art Collection) since it opened three weeks ago. So this past Saturday, in a crazy rainy downpour, I ventured to Park Slope to see it. It took one hour by the  subway, got absolutely sopping wet, had issues with my tickets, lost my umbrella, and STILL found it worth it.

 

OY was it rainy!!! You had to check in your umbrellas — meaning, you couldn’t bring them in to the museum. Unfortunately, the check in for the coat check was SO ABSURD that I left my umbrella in a corner (a risk) and lost it (dumb me). Which meant, that my trek home on the subway was even more wet, long, and smelly than it was coming to the museum. OY!

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FLOWERS!

Flowers! I love every type of flower — real, in nature, picked, fake, photo, drawing — any and every type of flower. And in the past week, I have had three new flower encounters that I want to share!

 

1. Fotografiska Exhibit “Human / Nature – Encountering Ourselves in the Natural World”

 

I loved all the different art work in this exhibit, but I especially loved the Lewis Miller Flash Flower Photos — as I have seen most of them in person and love everything about them.

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An Atlas of Es Delvin

This past weekend, I finally had the chance to stop by the Cooper Hewitt Museum  to see the exhibition of “An Atlas of Es Delvin” and WOW it was incredible. So intrigued, I came home to spend the rest of the afternoon watching a documentary on Es Delvin and looking through all her art work. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend going to the museum to see this exhibit, or if not in NYC, to look through Es Delvin’s work (and watch the video on her) to see what it is all about — absolutely inspiring. Es Delvin is a British stage designer that starts with all her projects first on pen and paper, then models, and then unimaginable set designs.

 

Cooper Hewitt is located on 90th street and 5th avenue in Manhattan. It costs 19 dollars for an adult and free for 18 and under. WORTH IT.

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Serpent Sea Customized Needlepoint Canvas

My favorite new needlepoint to create (and gift) is a customized needlepoint zipper pouch that looks like an old school air envelope. There is something fun, retro, beautiful about it that instantly called my attention. So since I discovered Serpent Sea, I have made four of these pouches!

 

So many different options!

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From Lucie

I love cakes — both eating them and admiring them. This past weekend, I needed some cakes, and instead of going with an old reliable basic one, I decided to find a new and different one. And I am SOOOO happy that I did! I found “From Lucie” located in the East Village — and they were exactly what I wanted — delicious and beautiful.

 

Fresh flowers.

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Victoria Beckham Beauty

A dear friend gifted me the most incredible and luxurious set of Victoria Beckham Beauty — and now I am the biggest fan. As soon as I opened the gift, it was like Christmas Morning! I love it all — seriously, LOVE IT ALL (and love you, BK). I am now a huge Victoria Beckham Beauty fan and I want to spread the love to you all,  too. It is the best makeup and a serious competitor to my other favorite makeup Westman Atelier. (Right now, VB Beauty wins in my book).

 

The little pouch! Such a great way to give the makeup as a gift, and then to keep it in and travel with it, too.

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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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Mercer Labs

It was arctic temperatures in NYC this past weekend (and week!), which meant, finding fun indoor activities to get us out of the house. So with a little research, I found Mercer Labs, a new light and technology museum in TriBeCa. I had high hopes of this museum as the reviews were great — and it was even better than I expected. Mercer Labs is a 15 room immersive and interactive experience. Each room was SO cool and we absolutely loved every part of it. We stayed for a full hour, but could have easily been there a lot longer.

 

Everything about the museum was terrific — not just the exhibits, but the staff, the cleanliness, all of it.

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Montana Winter Break

FIRST OF ALL -Happy New Year! 2024 — here we are, (and let’s make it a great year)! Secondly, I am so sorry for disappearing. Yes, I disappeared. In December, I taught, got sick, went on trips to Florida and Montana, and then came back to NYC to just jump right back into teaching…..it’s been a blur. Oh and yeah, the first week back teaching, I got sick again — damn kids and their germs!!! But I am back. It will be my first time ever trying to teach full time and write this blog, so it might take a while to get in to the rhythm, but I love this blog, so not giving it up! So thank you for being patient with me as I figure out how to do everything in one day! In the meantime, I want to share pictures with you from Montana because this vacation was spectacular. One of a kind, and I feel so lucky to have gone.

 

The colors — all the colors — night and day are one of a kind. Spectacular. Here we are with the six kids taking sleds up a teeny tiny hill to sled down.

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Lunar Phase Calendar

Every year, for the holidays, my mom gives me a lunar phase calendar. It is one of my favorite traditions (receiving this gift) and one of my favorite gifts ever. I always post it up on the back of my office closet door, so that I can look at the moon phases during the year. I know it sounds random, but I look more often than you think one would. I love knowing about the cycles of the moon, and knowing exactly when the moon is full.

 

Comes in a tube — easy to send! This year, since we will not be with my parents for the holidays, my mom shipped (thank you, Mama!) a care package with presents for all of us in the family. This one — aside from all her handmade knitting and embroidery work — is always my favorite gift.

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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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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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Natori Adapt Strapless Bra

A devoted and loyal Feathers Bra lover, I veered away from my normal route of only wearing Feathers bras, and tried a different strapless bra. Yes, I will only ever wear my daily Feathers bra, but for strapless bras, I loved the Adapt Bandeau Strapless! It was uber comfortable AND pretty. Win win.

 

A sleek and supportive underwire bandeau designed to be both functional and beautiful.

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Heatless Curlers

My daughter is OBSESSED with heatless curlers these days. Although she has incredibly beautiful hair as is, she does not love the fact that her hair is wavy only in the back. Therefore, she likes to have it curled most days, to look more polished and even. That said, she is aware (probably from my complaining) that curling your hair is not good and can damage your hair due to the heat. So, she found online, (thank you TikTok), heatless curlers. It is easy, simple, cheap, and SUPER effective.

 

The curling set. You put this in your hair when going to bed.

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Watson Adventures Scavenger Hunts

I had lots of different ideas for my son’s 14th birthday party, but due to last minute planning and bad weather, we ended up with an organized scavenger hunt in Grand Central. Although thrown together last minute — it was a hit and I highly recommend for adults and kids alike. It was a private event, created by Watson Adventures, and it was sooooo much fun. The questions were quite difficult and we ran all around Grand Central trying to figure out each clue.

 

We met with our guide at a meeting spot, downloaded the information we needed on our phones, and took off. Since there were only 6 boys (and myself), we were one team, but I created prizes for everyone. It was highly competitive, everyone was very engaged, and we all had so much fun.

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Natori Lolita Cami

I love a twofer — when you can wear a piece of lingerie as a top! Bang for your buck! Natori makes the prettiest camisoles — they come in an array of beautiful, vibrant colors made from the best 100% silk. This past weekend, I wore my Natori Lolita cami as a top to a bat mitzvah.

 

This is the cami with the shorts — which you can wear to bed.

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Chicago Marathon 2023 Recap

I know not all of you are runners, so this post might not be that interesting to you, but just for my own records, wanted to put it out there to the universe. Also — if you ever want to run a marathon — you should. I love it so much — it is a journey and a process — bot the training and the race itself. This past Sunday, not only did my son turn 14 (!!!) but I ran my 21st marathon at my favorite marathon, the Chicago Marathon. It was a great day — perfectly chilly weather and a happy outcome.

 

As always, I left on Saturday morning for Chicago, and went straight to the expo to pick up my bib. I hate expos — they are so nerve wracking and stressful, and I much prefer to not discuss my race with strangers…I was in and out as fast as I could be, and asked someone to take this photo. I always get a little sad when I am at expos alone — it is usually something you share with others, but alas, I traveled to the race alone and on this rare weekend, my friends that I normally stay with, weren’t there.

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