This past weekend was the most rainy and depressing weekend in NYC in a long time. There was not a minute of sunshine and it absolutely poured rain for 99.9 percent of the time. That said, we had committed to volunteer with NYC Parks doing a park cleanup on 114th Street at Thomas Jefferson Park and we did not want to cancel just because it was raining. Despite the bad weather, the four of us had a great afternoon and loved giving back to the parks. I hope to do this more often — they need all the help that they can get.
It poured the entire time. We planted 200 plus bulbs that will produce purple flowers in the early Spring.
Mulched afterwards. (I am not a gardener and also learned about the process — which I truly enjoyed).
We got ice cream as a thank you. Too bad it was rainy!
We got dirty. Luckily, the rain made the soil easy to dig!
Merch. They gave us hats for our work.
I am looking to do additional volunteer work with NYC Parks, as well as with Central Park Conservancy. If anyone wants to join me, let me know! They make all the parks so beautiful and bring so much joy, that I want to give back.
I posted this a million years ago, but they are SO good that I wanted to post them again. Lalo cookies from Gwyneth Paltrow. Everything about them I love — a bowl mix recipe, wholesome ingredients, delicious for breakfast / dessert / snack. They are so good that you cannot just eat one.
This past weekend, we were in the city with no plans on Saturday night. Although I love nothing more than a night in, we decided to go on a field trip to Long Island City, where I had not been in years. And HOLY COW — it is SOOOOOOOOOOO different and a city in itself (hence the name). It was super easy to get to in the car (just over the 59th street bridge) and fun to explore a new part of our backyard. I can’t wait to go back there and eat at different restaurants, see the sights, and experience a different part of our eclectic city.
Trip over the bridge with the iconic sign “Silver Cup”
I know school just started, but man, how is it already mid month??? Here is a list of things I want to do in the next couple of weeks!
1. Visit Picasso in Fontainebleu at the MoMa
I love going to museums — especially when it is just for one exhibit and then leave. I am excited for this exhibit which comes at the start of October.
2. See Manet / Degas at the Met
A friend saw this in Paris this past summer and said it was one of the best exhibits she has seen. I can’t wait to go — end of this month!
3. Eat at the Golden Steamer
I have heard great things about this chinese bakery, and it just opened up another location, so will definitely be checking it out! Steamed buns! Moon cakes!
4. Watch Jaja’s African Hair Braiding on Broadway
I love everything that Manhattan Theatre Club puts on, and this is looks great. I hope to go during the time it is on Broadway!
5. Read a book
This list looks great — I really, really need to get back on track and start reading more! I want to — I just need to focus more!
6. Make something at the Brooklyn Craft Company
There is a HUGE list of different types of classes, and I cannot wait to try one out!
7. Relax at the World Spa
This place looks unbelievable. I want to go STAT.
8. Watch Taylor Swift Eras Tour Movie
I mean, who is NOT excited for this?????
What do you want to do in the next couple of months? Do share!
According to the NYTimes, these are the best undies! Natori Bliss French Cut! The article in Wirecutter reads “Why This Natori Underwear Is the Best I’ve Ever Worn.” This was announced over the weekend, and sales have been great for this pair of undies — so good, that I felt that I *HAD* to share with you all, too, just in case you wanted to know about them, too!
Thank you, NYTimes!
Yesterday, after my long run, we had a lull in what activity we were going to do. I was not highly motivated to get the kids on a bike or take a hike (and they surely didn’t want to do it unless I encouraged them to do so), so my mom asked if we could drive out to the McKenzie River Highway and pick up some lavender buds to make some lavender sachets. So although I hate to drive, we have been LOVING listening to Taylor Swift in the car, so we jumped in to the car and went on our adventure. We went to get the lavender buds in order to make homemade lavender sachets (thank you, Mama for the great idea for the afternoon!).
Gorgeous fields of lavender.
The Oregon Coast is one of the most majestic and unique places to visit. It is not tropical or very warm, but it is a scenic escape from inland. On very hot days in Eugene, we love to go to the Oregon coast where it will easily be 30 degrees colder. Also, when it is smokey in Eugene (which unfortunately it has been the past week due to the wildfires), the coast is a nice relief with the wind and little to no smoke. If you ever go to Oregon, I highly suggest visiting the coastline and seeing all the natural beauty the state has to offer.
One of my favorite places to visit on the coast is inland at a friend’s cabin. Her house is on a lake (which is 1/2 mile away from the ocean). You can canoe and kayak and play on the tunes — but you are on a lake.
As I mentioned before, I was lucky enough to attend the Taylor Swift concert in late July in Seattle — and ever since then, I have become totally and utterly obsessed. Dare I say it, I am on the road to become a die hard Swiftie. Everything targeted at me on my instagram reels is Taylor, I have read every article about her, etc….I am (gasp) obsessed. And that means I have listened to hours upon hours of her songs — I can NOT stop. All that said, my biffle from undergrad is at a whole OTHER level of Swiftie-hood. She knows every word to every song, has gone to one show in North America and already has tickets for Europe, etc…She lives and breathes Taylor Swift. She is *also* an incredible artist — INCREDIBLE — unbelievable. If you ever give her an art assignment, she rocks it and blows it out of the park (like my 25th birthday party invitation, my Master’s Thesis cover –yes, very true, the alley mural). She is THE person you call when you need anything (art related or not) and is the most loyal and unbelievable friend. Lucky to have her in my corner and have the opportunity to see all her beautiful artwork. All that to say — she created the most unbelievable unique pieces for her Taylor Swift concert that I have to show you all! Talk about inspiration!!!! It is insanely beautiful.
This is Bridget on the left and her daughter Olive. Bridget embroidered the jean jacket with all Taylor’s albums and then made shoes with all the flowers that Taylor mentions in songs. Yes, Bridget went DEEP.
I copied a dear friend who makes biscuits for her dog — and now you should do the same! They were a fun (and easy) activity — and healthy and delicious for the dog! They are vegetarian (not vegan as they contain milk) and not gluten free because they have flour! But come on, still good and yummy for the dogs!
End result! Don’t YOU want to make these for your dogs???
I can never own too many hats — I wear them all day, everyday during the summer, every summer. And this summer, when in Provence, we stumbled upon a french store that had the cutest straw hats. I went to get my mom and I both hats, and then I loved my mom’s style so much (we got different styles), I went BACK to get the same style. They are versatile, light, fashionable, and will never go out of style. So yes, although it is almost the end of the summer, I am telling you about these two hats from Souleiado because they are that good. (Souleiado is a local Provence store with many locations all over France that specializes in “Provence lifestyle.”
The bob hat. Easy and simple.
On my mama.
Cruzzie also loved wearing the hat. Here, they are twins eating ice cream.
Yes, hats are a PAIN to travel with and I need a solution to this problem asap. In the meantime, I ask the kids to wear some, and I stack the rest and put in my bag.
So many pictures of him wearing this hat.
More classic french.
I love the long brim and the black tie. More girlie.
Anyone else have other hat recommendations they love? Or a travel solution for hats? Hope you have a great week! And I am back with my 3 times a week posting dont you worry! So many ideas right now!!!
After our gulet trip in Turkey, the kids and I returned to the United States, whereas my parents continued to travel around in Turkey for another 9 days. One of their favorite stops was the spice market in Istanbul. My mother, an incredible cook, got suckered into spending a fortune on spices (more on that in a future post) — and yet, they have not gone unused. Quite the contrary, we have been using them daily since she returned to Oregon. Our favorite, is a Turkish crystal / spice that you put in a cup with hot water and inhale. It is like Vicks Vapor Rub — but natural. My mother was told that it was a cure all for everything — congestion, cough, sore throat, depression, anxiety, you name it. And I have to say, that it feels AMAZING when you inhale it.
My parents bought a ton — and are freezing the bulk of it — to keep it fresh. All you need is a little bit.
(Oops I did it again — a week off from writing. It has been so nonstop busy with more airplane rides than one can count, so I just stopped writing. But here I am, BACK AGAIN!)…..One of my favorite things to do in summers in Oregon is to pick local fruit and to bake. This past week, the fruit of the week was PEACH! So we headed to pick peaches — it is currently the start of the season, but nonetheless, we had two different varieties to pick from, and they were both oh so delicious.
We ate so many peaches while picking them — how could you not? First, it was to try to figure out the ripeness based on how they felt, and then, they were too good not to eat them.
…and just like that, we are almost to August. Of course, when it comes close to August, I start panicking about the end of summer. Summer is BY FAR my favorite season — the weather, the freedom, the travel, I love it all. And August is like a BIG ‘OL SUNDAY…..So, trying to focus on the present moment, here is what I am currently loving!
1. Crochet Top
Crochet is definitely having a moment this summer, and I love this top. It is great over bathing suits, or on a hike 🙂 I love it so much.
Yes, it happened. I went to a Taylor Swift concert. And it was better than I ever imagined — and I can NOT wait to go again sometime soon (world tour 2024, here I come!). I went in excited but not knowing much, and came out a total Swiftie. I am 100% more obsessed than I thought would be possible. Taylor Swift is incredible — talented, musical, beautiful, genuine, authentic, and a total rockstar. I love her so much — a new love!
We were incredibly fortunate to have been given access to tickets last minute through a friend of Ken’s (who happens to be the founder of the record company TS is under). They were incredible seats and we feel very very fortunate. All that said, we decided to drive up instead of fly. What should have been a 5 hour drive ended up being 6.5 hours. NOT FUN. But we did see a lot of other cars that were driving to the concert….
Introduced to Biologique Recherche skincare products over a decade ago, my favorite thing to do in Paris, is to go get a facial at the Headquarters of Biologique Recherche. The headquarters is located at the base of the Champs Elysees in Paris, (just so happens to be 2 blocks away from my in-laws apartment, so easy to get to). It is a peaceful, serene getaway — not only to pamper oneself with a facial, but the prices for the services AND the products are a fraction of what they are in the USA. So I love to go there and stock up!
This is what you see from the street — just a doorway.
There is nothing more summery to me than a flower chain — fresh weeds / flowers picked from a meadow AND the time to just make a flower chain. I love it.
Any time I find a field with flowers, I just CANNOT NOT (yes double negative) stop to make a flower chain.
My favorite new (to me) brand is Caron Callahan. I love everything she does and I bought several pieces for my summer travels. I have worn them everyday and love them so much. Especially these embroidered shirts — and they are now on sale! So hurry up if you like and buy! I have worn them buttoned up and / or as a second layer and I love them oh so.
The brown version!
I know everyone has their list of favorite places in Paris and what’s the best thing to do, but here is my current list of favorite activities I did this past month while in Paris.
This restaurant was recommended to me by a french friend — and it was perfect in every way. VEGETABLES, ONLY FRENCH, ROOF TOP, BEAUTIFUL. I loved every second.
Hello! Or should I say Bonjour! I am so sorry for the lack of posts in the past two weeks — it has been a whirlwind of 10 days of sightseeing and being a tourist in Paris, and am now finally in Provence with a slower pace of life. So much to write on all different subjects (the best Parisian restaurants, French beauty products, must do’s in Paris, etc…) but as I ease my way back into connecting with the internet, and with the posts, I thought it would be best to write a post on Games! We picked these two games up in Paris and we LOVE them so much that we cannot stop playing them. I highly suggest getting them for all your summer fun — they are quick, easy to learn, and fun for every age group.
When we were in Paris on a rainy weekend, we ended up at my exchange sister’s home for a snack, which turned into dinner and games. It was so much fun as I have a long long history with Elsa, my french sister, who I love very much. And it was so fun to be with her husband (sadly her kids and parents were not there), but we had a great time. AND LEARNED these games!
This week, we celebrated the end of the school year with my daughter’s friends by taking a special trip to the Statue of Liberty. My mother in law is on the board of Ellis Island, so she helped organize a special VIP treatment with guide and tour. It was a lovely afternoon and the girls will remember it for the rest of their lives — as will I. If you have not gone to the Statue of Liberty — I highly recommend. Especially at the end of the day when it is not crowded.
We took the girls out of school 45 minutes early so that we could go downtown and catch a ferry to give us time to explore Liberty Island.
This past weekend, I attended the Bat Mitzah of the daughter of a dear friend. It was an incredibly beautiful event — everything was done perfectly. The ceremony, the flowers, the food, the music, everything. As it had been a long time since I had attended a Bat Mitzvah (I had one waaaaaay back when, when it was VERY different), I did not know what to wear. Luckily, I found a pair of pants that I became obsessed with, and so I decided to wear them. I love them so much that I wanted to share them with you all! They are LACE pants! Yes, they show some skin, but you just need to wear Natori Feathers Undies (my absolute favorite undies!) in black lace, and then it all matches!
The lace pants.
HOLY CRAP IT IS JUNE AND I AM IN DISBELIEF AND SO BEHIND IN EVERYTHING WITH LIFE. Including blog posts. Apologies, here I am! It is one thing after another and next week, I have to take my dog to Oregon and the week after, I leave NYC for the summer. Gulp. Lots to do. So without further ado, here is what I am currently loving!
1. Emmy Squared Pizza
Detroit style pizza — crusty, scrumptious, cheesy, and ever so delicious. Highly recommend.
Inspired by a Tik-Tok trend, my daughter with her friends planned a “board night.” Basically, a fancy rebranding of a “potluck,’ The girls with their partners created “boards” with different themes — dessert, movie, candy, drinks, savory dip, sweet dip, and sushi. Then, they all came together to assemble the boards and have dinner together. It was a perfect way to celebrate the end of school — truly a great night.
Girls getting together and putting their boards together.
I absolutely love the Brant Foundation in the East Village. Years back, they featured Brant’s collection of Basquiat, and it was so amazing that I went back 3 or 4 times (with my girlfriends, kids, my brother, etc…). The space of the foundation itself is magical and beautiful, and the artwork itself is incredible. So, this past weekend, I went with my son and his brother-from-another-mother (aka his best friend), and we visited the newest exhibition, Andy Warhol. This collection contains over 100 pieces of artwork — all but one personally owned by Peter Brant. The only piece of art not owned by Brant is this huge Mao silkscreen on loan by The Met (and Brant donated it to the Met years ago). This exhibit is open to the public until July 31st and I HIGHLY recommend going. Plus, there are so many fun and different restaurants nearby, that you can make it an extra special outing!
You start on the top floor (4th) and then walk down the stairs to the rest of the floors.
One of my absolute favorite gifts ever was this personalized monogrammed lipstick set from La Bouche Rouge. I absolutely love everything about it — the uniqueness, the leather cases, and the lipsticks themselves.
The four tubes come separately so you can place them inside the leather cases. So when a lipstick runs out, you can buy a new one and put it inside the leather tube. Refillable, reusable, and beautiful!