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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LA Marathon 2020

On Sunday, I ran my first LA marathon and my 15th marathon overall. I decided on the LA marathon as one of my close friends from Ken’s Business School class lives there and we decided to run it together. It was a glorious day — made even better to be with a good friend in a spectacular setting. WHY DON’T I LIVE IN LA????

 

Bib pick up downtown. All I wanted was a shot with some palm trees, and my friend, Katie, was a good Instagram Husband and took a million shots for this one. YOLO.

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Donald Judd @ MoMA

Yesterday was one of those rare days where both kids were gone from the house for a big chunk of the day. So, I decided to take advantage of it and go see the newly opened Donald Judd exhibit at the MoMA. Although it was opening day to the public, I arrived right when it opened and there was no line whatsoever, I literally waltzed in solo to the exhibit.

 

I was first introduced to Donald Judd’s work when we went to Marfa in 2014 and have been a fan ever since. It is simple, geometric, different, and a statement.

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Spring Sandals

It is not yet Spring in NYC, but I am already creating my spring slash summer sandal wish list as I DESPERATELY wait for Spring and Summer to arrive. Here they are (and obviously I have a type of sandal that I like to wear….):

 

1. Birkenstocks x Il Dolce Far Niente

 

Don’t you love? I actually bought these a month ago as they sell out very quickly and I knew I had to rush to get them. I know that I will wear them everyday all day.

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Goodbye, Barneys!

Over the weekend, Barneys New York finally closed. After months of staying open despite a change of ownership, it closed its doors forever over the weekend. Truth be told, I did not visit the store in the past several months as it was too depressing and nostalgic. When I first moved to NYC, Barneys was my favorite store to shop for new dresses and clothes  and, ultimately, where I fell in love with fashion. And not only was Barneys an important part of my life, but the restaurant Fred’s was truly our second kitchen and a part of our everyday life. The matire d, waiters, staff, had been family to us and we felt truly at home. Although Fred’s is still currently open, it no longer has the ambiance and vibe of the past and it is too hard to visit. We spent countless Sunday night Family dinners, nacho parties, birthday parties, friend lunches, drinks, so much more…

 

Iconic building, no longer…..it will be interesting to see what replaces Barneys. It will never be the same and I will miss everything about it!

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Grimm Artisanal Ales

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.

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Casamigos Mini Bottles

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.

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Josie Natori FW20 RTW

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…

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