New Kid

In light of all the inequity evident in our world right now, I am actively trying to educate my family in order to try to become even more anti-racist. In addition to the many books on anti-racism, I ordered a graphic novel, New Kid, for my kids to read. In one sitting, I devoured it. It is an honest, heartbreaking, realistic view of a student of color who starts up at a new prestigious school in NYC surrounded by students of different socioeconomic and racial makeups. At times, I felt my heart pounding as it was so realistic it hurt…Cruzzie is also in the process of reading this book, and although a lot of the stories of inequity and racism are subtle, I think he will understand it the more he reads of it.

 

Thank you, Jerry Craft, for a beautiful book.

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Aviator Nation Bandanas

Due to the fact that COVID now seems to be a lifestyle and is not going away anywhere soon, I am investing in many different masks / face coverings for the family. Although the bulk of the time, I am not in public, there are times when we are (a) at the grocery store (b) on a hike with our people on the trails (c) traveling, and find it necessary (and respectful) to cover our noses and mouths. I have found that masks are good for planes and grocery stores, but when out and about on a walk in the city or on a more crowded trail, a bandana is the best as it goes around your neck and you can pull it up when needed. You can buy regular bandanas on amazon but because it is fun (and frivolous) I bought these ombre and colorful Aviator Nation bandanas and I love them oh so much!

 

Color on top of color = CAMO

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Traveling During COVID-19

I have had a lot of questions asked about flying during COVID so I thought I would write a post about my experience! First of all, I know that everyone has their own level of comfort with this pandemic and so one must always do what feels best for themselves and their situation. As we had already flown in April (from FL to NYC), we were not scared or anxious about flying and knew the airline protocols and practices. We felt confident in our ability to protect ourselves from germs and knew that we would be safe.

 

1. Wear Masks

 

It is required to wear a mask during the whole process of flying — boarding, on flight, and deplaning. And absolutely everyone adhered to that rule. You saw a whole variation of masks on the planes — some people also had the plastic shield on TOP of the masks, some people wore goggles, some had balaclavas and some people wore gloves. We simply wore our masks and that felt comfortable and good.

 

California loving. How can one not WANT to fly out here???? We didn’t wear masks on the beach but we were far from people.

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Paint By Stickers

Last week, like us all, I could only think about all the racial inequality more evident than ever in our country.  As a result, I did not post at all, as it didn’t feel appropriate to post my typical light and frilly posts during something so heavy and important. So although I am back to posting, my mind is still on black lives matter. Like all of you, I want to educate myself to become even more anti-racist, and continue to have conversations with friends and family on how to live in a more equal and loving world.

 

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On a desperate search to find activities for the kids to do BESIDES play on their devices, I came across “Paint By Stickers” — where you literally color a picture with numbers by stickers. It is not just fun for the kids but adults, too. I immediately bought two books for adults and one for the kids — and I can’t wait to put them all together.

 

The three books I purchased — and I can’t wait to get more!

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Juicer

To change things up, I bought a juicer and now, I can’t stop. CANNOT stop. Literally, I dream about juicing and look forward to it first thing in the morning. Because it is somewhat of a pain to clean, I make two batches in the morning — a morning juice and an afternoon juice — and that way, I only have to clean the monster of equipment once. Even though it is bulky, I highly recommend getting this juicer — so easy. In the morning, I have been making a ginger, lemon juice — sometimes adding an apple and a carrot. I love it because you feel the ginger go down your throat and it just feels HEALTHY.

 

I bought 5 pounds of ginger and it lasted just over a week — yep, a lot of ginger. So much, that I actually googled “how much ginger is too much” just in case I was over consuming ginger….but I think I am good so far….

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Needlepointing

Going old school and needlepointing! Over the weekend, after watching movie number 2 of the day  (it was raining), I decided that we needed to bring needlepoint in to our lives. I grew up without a television and a very artistic mother, so at a very young age, my brother and I cross stitched. I have fond memories of us camping and sitting by the fire and cross stitching. So, we piled in to the car, and drove to an embroidery store (The Enriched Stitch in Wilton, CT) to get the supplies. I really don’t have a clue on what I am doing, but I taught Cruzzie, too, and it is theraputic, frustrating, and extremely rewarding. I can’t wait to finish our first project and then start another one. They are so addicting!

 

There is a basic stitch that is easy to learn and then you just do it. We spent hours on the couch stitching….

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Made-In-The-Pan Chocolate Cake

I have had the tab with this NY Times recipe open for months, so finally I decided to make it (COVID 19—- 19 pounds over normal weight here weeeeeeeee commmmmmmeeeeeee). Super easy, fun to make, and delicious. Randomly, it is vegan too (which just means no eggs in this cake recipe) so my dairy free friends can make this and love it. It is a great cake to make with kids and when you are sick of dishes.

 

Ingredients:

 

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Currently Loving May 2020

Here we are, mid May. I get more confused with what month than what day it is. Can it really be MAY? LIKE SCHOOL IS ALMOST OVER? Then what? What happens next??? Well, for now, here is what I am currently loving this month! Enjoy!

 

1. Warm Romper

 

Acid wash, pink, comfortable, cozy, and perfect for a range of temperatures. I love my new romper. I think it is perfect for a beach cover up, or a golf excursion!

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Zoom Wedding

I attended my first zoom wedding this weekend, which happened to be my sister Courtney’s. Courtney and her now-husband-Evan had planned a small wedding for May 9th with their 3 month old son Alston, and Courtney’s two stepdaughters at their newly finished built home. Unfortunately due to COVID, they had to cancel the in-person ceremony but decided to do it over zoom. Totally zoomed out with the kids’ remote learning, rollerskating, tutoring, I was a little skeptical of how this would take place. But HOLY COW, it went above and beyond any of my expectations. It was extremely beautiful, really emotional, and a uniquely special and intimate experience. There were many many tears and it will forever be a wedding I will never forget. Congratulations, Court and Evan — love you both so much!

 

Courtney is biologically my cousin, but in 1995, her parents (and middle sister) were killed in a tragic car accident. So Courtney and Galen moved from California to Oregon to be raised by my parents. Courtney was 15 at the time, and Galen was 8. In honor of Courtney’s mom, she wore her mom’s original wedding dress. Seeing her walk down the stairs in the Mexican Pink Hippy dress brought tears to us all — it was a way of including her parents when they could not be there.

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Normal People – Hulu

One of my favorite books from last summer was Normal People by Irish author Sally Rooney. I loved it – a coming of age story following two people weaving in and out of their lives, trying to figure out who they are together and apart. It was a memorable book and I devoured in days. So when the book was produced as a TV series on Hulu, I knew that I had to watch it. Sure enough, over the weekend, I watched all 12 episodes. It is beautifully put together with raw, real, racy and honest emotions. I sobbed at the end of it…..wanting more of the complicated, messy relationship and magnetic pull of the characters.

 

I must say that I didn’t love the series until episode 3 and then I couldn’t put it down.

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Friendship Beaded Pins

Going back old school — friendship beaded pins! When I realized that we were going to be at home for a loooooooong time, I realized I needed more activities that would interest both me and the kids. So I bought a ton of friendship bracelet embroidery thread as well as friendship glass beads to put on pins. It is simple and super easy but also fun and retro.

 

Big box of beautiful glass beads!

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Currently Loving April 2020

So sorry for the lack of posts this past week — there was a technical issue that came up (I found out that the subscription of the posts were no longer being sent out — so I had to deal with that, and as you can imagine, it was a slow process to get this fixed!) but here we are now! Back at it again! PHEW, after being in Florida for 5 weeks, NYC for a handful of days, we are now in Westchester where we will be for the next several weeks…..it’s been hard. Days are super long and repetitive. For all of us. But here is what I am currently loving.

 

1. The Last Dance

 

10 part documentary series on Michael Jordan and the Bulls Dynasty. Even though I am not a fan of basketball, I have been thoroughly enjoying this series.

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Gjelina Warm Date Cake

A month ago when I was in Los Angeles to run the marathon, I dined at Gjelina not once but twice. It quickly became my favorite restaurant with the most scrumptious veggies, pizzas, sides and desserts. Immediately upon returning to NYC, I bought the Gjelina cookbook. This past weekend, I decided to make the warm date cake and HOLY SHMOLY HOT DAMN this cake is amazing. It is sweet, moist, and oh so delicious. I highly recommend this cake and can’t wait to eat it all up (and to make it again shortly thereafter).

 

Ingredients:

 

 

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How I Sleep Really Well

Guest post from friend and ultra chic interior designer, Lucie Ayres! How I Sleep Really Well (can’t wait to read her tips because I don’t sleep really well!!!). Thank you, Lucie!!

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HOW TO SLEEP AMAZINGLY WELL – EVEN DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

 

Some of you may know I’m an interior designer  but many of you don’t know that I am an unofficial expert on sleep.  Why? Because I sleep well pretty much every single night. Even through this crisis.  I realize I’m in the minority – so I thought I’d share with you how I do it and why I do it.

 

First and foremost, it’s a decision you have to make and you have to stick to it – pretty much like any other goal you’d like to accomplish.  But in my opinion, this is not a painful process -it’s actually incredibly pleasurable. And it starts the minute you wake up.

 

ONE: (a) MAKE YOUR BED – and don’t half-ass it, make it like it’s going to look like a hotel room bed when you get ready to get into it later.  Fluff those pillows, the comforter, whatever you need to do to make it look delicious.

 

Photo credit: 22 Interiors shot by Amy Bartlam

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COVID Running Playlist

Although I am not currently training for a marathon, I am running as if I were. Not at the same high intensity, but as my only form of exercise, I am running everyday, a lot……I can’t wait to start back at my training to give me some variation in speed / miles / direction….but for now, it is just a lot of miles for a lot of days….so here is my COVID running playlist. Enjoy!

 

Sometimes I run along the ocean, sometimes on a path, it’s not a lot of variation but MAN is it pretty!

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Wiggle Your Toes

Congratulations to all of us for making it through another week of this pandemic. I know it is not easy on anyone. And like everyone, I oscillate between tears / anxiety and laughter / savoring the quiet simplicity.  For us Natori Family, I am struggling with the fact that the kids and I are currently in Florida away from our own home and more importantly, without Ken. Ken has been at home in NYC dealing with business and as soon as he was planning on driving down to Florida to get us, the board of the building forbade him from coming as he was coming from the epicenter of the COVID crisis. So, here we are; managing, trying to get through one day at a time. It has not been easy on ANYONE — all the uncertainties, fears, unknowns. Running helps me. Talking to friends and family. Laughing with the kids. Mint Chip ice cream. Rollerskating with the sunset. Hot baths. Survivor on CBS…..But what has helped me most is advice my father told me — WIGGLE YOUR TOES.

 

TOES!

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Lounge Bottoms

Right now, most everyone is hunkered down at their home and not going out. As much fun as it is to only wear the same thing over and over again, it also gets tiring and boring. And who wants to wear jeans while helping your kids get homeschooled?? I have been scouring the internet for lots of loungewear bottoms and here are my favorites. So many good ones!!!!

 

1. Natori Winter Peony PJ

 

These are technically pajamas but they are so pretty and happy. They brighten any day or night!

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Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys

Time is flying by and my ten year old soon will soon be a teenager (yes, I know, in a couple of years, but still…..) but I want to be prepared for discussing puberty and the physical – emotional – mental changes that take place during this time. Thankfully, a good friend told me about this book, Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys, and I immediately bought it online. She suggested reading it out loud with my son, and although there are awkward moments, it is something we have been doing (and enjoying!).

 

Guy stuff. They also have another one for girls, too.

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Madewell x Warm Jean Shorts

One of my favorite clothing lines is Warm. Not only is it my favorite store in NYC (it carries all different lines not just Warm) but I am also friends with the designer, Winnie, who I love, respect, and adore. Everything Winnie does is GOLD and her style is impeccable. When she launched a collaboration with Madewell, I knew that I would love everything. Sure enough, I do. But especially the high rise denim shorts. LOVE oh love! They are so comfortable and the perfect fit. It comes with a belt that you can tie, but I prefer it without…. If you are looking to support small businesses, smart people, and a good look, then these are the shorts for you!

 

Shorts. Perfect color and fit.

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