Natori Luxe Shangri-La Notch PJ

It is official. I am old and now like to wear pajamas around the house…obviously, Natori pajamas. Soon, I will like robes (haven’t graduated to that stage yet in my life). And I say this in a sincerely  —  these Natori Luxe Shangri-La Notch pajamas are luxuriously soft, feminine, practical, and absolute perfect. FTW.

 

Classic with a twist of lace.

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ImmuneSchein Ginger Elixir

A friend recently gifted me ImmuneSchein ginger elixirs gift pack and I can’t get enough. These elixirs can be added to hot water, sparkling water, or any beverage to create your own special drink. I typically have a hard time drinking the recommended amount of water every dat (always my New Year’s Resolution), so adding these elixirs to my water is the perfect way to consume more.

 

little potions

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Royal Native Pouch

I can’t get enough of African prints — especially my shorts, pants, and overalls made by Royal Native. Although I have been thoroughly obsessed with African wax prints since late 1990s when I studied abroad in college in Cameroon, my love has become even more pronounced since I found Royal Native. Her clothing is a modern look made with the African print and it is truly perfection. Not exaggerating at all, I own 6 shorts, 3 overalls, and 5 pairs of her pants….and I want more. They are that good. AND NOW, I am a proud owner of a pouch. I am using it for everything and even a night time clutch! Versatile, practical, beautiful, and easy.

 

Look at it! Doesn’t it scream HAPPY????

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Lizzo Concert

One of the items on my Fall To Do List was to see more live concerts, and this week I did! I convinced my biffle from Oakland (California) to fly out to come see Lizzo with me at Radio City Hall, an iconic venue for an unbelievable performer. For those of you who don’t know Lizzo (which means you are behind on reading my blog posts :)), she is a must listen to and must watch in person. She is a true musician and incredibly talented. She also is relatable, fun, warm, and interactive (future friend?). 100% Goddess.

 

As I get older, I realize I love shows, but I want them not too long and not too short. And this was a perfect amount of time. #Goldilocks

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Sister’s Fruit Company

While in my happy place this summer (the grocery stores of Oregon), I bought some apple (and pear) chips that turned out to be the most delicious snacks I have ever eaten. Sister’s Fruit Company. Made by a small family company in Oregon, these all natural fruit chips are made out of USDA Grade A Pacific Northwest fruit, that are sliced and dried in an all natural process. The chips just have a touch of pure cane sugar but are not overly sweet. You can eat them on cereal or oatmeal, but I tend to eat them just straight out of the bag. The kids are also huge fans and we can polish off a bag in one sitting. Mainly sold on the west coast, you can also buy online (thank you, internet).

 

All of the flavors are good — you can’t go wrong! Except for once you start, you cannot stop.

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Other Stories Socks

Currently, I am trying to dress more out of my comfort zone and take more risks. Like wearing ankle socks with skirts and pants, but showing off the socks. So in my attempt to be BRAVE, I searched high and low where to find the PERFECT ankle sock. And if you can believe it, it is way harder than one would expect! But thanks to the internet, Other Stories socks are the perfect ankle sock with pizazz, color, and fit!

 

And of course, I couldn’t just buy one, I had to get 4! And I cant wait to buy more….#hoarder

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Reebok Club C 85 Vintage

For the past several years, my go-to-sneakers have been the checkered slip on vans. And although I still love them (and believe they are a classic), I also don’t love the fact that EVERYONE and their mother wears them….so I have been searching for a new sneaker to wear. When I was in Paris this past summer, I noticed that white sneakers were having a big moment. The big fat ugly dad sneakers. And as cool as I think I am, I am not sure I can pull off that look. So I decided to go old school and bought the classic Reebok Club C 85 Vintage. And I have to tell you, I love them.

 

So 90s, so in love!

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Quick Living Room Refresh: Lucie Ayres

Back to the swing of things and back to my favorite interior designer friend and guest blog extraordinaire, Lucie Ayres! Take it away, Lucie and thanks so much! A Fall refresh for your living room!

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Every time the kids go back to school, I a) feel normal again and b) feel like the living room needs to be refreshed (and de-toy-ified).  Whether or not you have children, it’s always nice to change things up for a new season. Fall + Winter translate into more time spent indoors, so let’s make the indoor areas you value feel fantastic.

 

A few ideas/things that I like to do-

 

1 – General “Kondo method” time 

At this point in early Fall, I realize we all need a bit of a clean out. The question of “does this spark joy?” is a good one.  In my living room there are too many toys that don’t spark joy for me, but do so for my kids. Luckily I found these amazing storage ottomans which hold all those joy sparking toys and don’t create an eye sore. Or if you are lucky to have built in storage – put those things away (I also encourage the children (“gently force”) to look through their toys and donate the ones they are no longer playing with).

 

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Westman Atelier Mascara

I am a tough critic with mascara — so when I say I am IN LOVE with Westman Atelier, please do not take it lightly. I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS MASCARA. It is the most incredible, luxurious, and out of this world mascara and I have never encountered *any* mascara that compares. Westman Atelier mascara, hands down, the best mascara and best money I have spent in a very long time. This mascara is far from inexpensive ($62) but it makes a huge difference.

 

Looks like a baton. YES, it’s large and luxurious but oh so worth it.

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11 11 Body Oil

I basically bathe in my 11 11 essential oil — I have bottles throughout my entire house, and when I have only 1 or 2 left, I panic and hoard more of them. I love the smell so much that I constantly reapply it because I can never actually smell it on myself — it is not just my personal scent, but part of who I am (dramatic, but oh so true). The local store that sells 11 11 told me that there is a cult following for the scent, and I am one of their top buyers of it (I think I deserve more because of this). Last December, Lake and Skye came out with a candle, last summer a perfume, and THIS September they introduced body oil. And I am in love.

 

It is basically the essential oil, but in a super large size. Super hydrating, rich in essential fatty acids and enriched with anti-inflammatory Vitamin E, the body oil naturally nourishes and soothes dry skin. It’s the perfect compliment to the 11 11 fragrance collection.  Not too strong, just the right amount.

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To Do Fall 2019

SUMMER DON’T GO, but since you are, in fact, *gasp* gone, here is what I want to do this Fall…some repeats to last year, but as a lover of lists (and planning), I like setting goals for the season. Here they are:

 

1. Be more current and attend more live concerts.

 

Live concerts….so much fun to go to. And I don’t go often enough.  We are going to see O.A.R. in Port Chester in November, but otherwise need to get live music on our calendar.

 

2. See more theatre.

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Ume Onigiri House

The local community pool in Eugene, Oregon (Amazon Pool) is unlike any other public pool. Sure, there is a random mixture of people (Olympic athletes, White Trash, professors, and a mish mash of kids),  incredible views and greenery, and endless options of fun (high dive, platform dive, loopty-loop slide, tunnel slide, obstacle course, water sprays, sandbox, you name it). But it is the snack grill that is my ultimate favorite. It is not your typical pool snacks — no corn dogs or french fries — but rather hippy dippy Asian cuisine served at Ume Onigiri House. Kombucha, of course, and even better their dumplings and onigiri. Even though Ken is half-Japanese, I had never tried an onigiri until this summer. AND MAN, how I love it. Seriously, if you ever go to a restaurant and see it on the menu, get it. It is essentially a rice ball filled with various fillings — teriyaki chicken is my kids go to, but I have had the kimchi and teriyaki tofu and they are DELICIOUS.

 

Placing the order. Each onigiri costs $2.50 — A STEAL OF A DEAL! That alone makes it amazing.

The kids love it so much that they can barely wait to eat it.

It comes with homemade pickles, spinach, and the rice balls.

Tusia loves to mix hers up…making it a mixture of rice and chicken.

Cruzzie loves the dumplings.

Dumpling dude.

A portrait of feet and onigiri.

Another day, another onigiri dinner.

Basically, twice a week at swim lessons, the kids would eat onigiri for their dinner.

Perfection.

 

So yes, I understand that Ume Grill is unique to Eugene, but wherever you are, go find ONIGIRI. So good and so healthy, too. The perfect little meal.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Minnie & Emma Phone Case

During one of our California trips this summer, I spied the cutest and most fun iphone case from my soul sister bestie. So with permission, I asked her where she got it and if I could copy her. Sure enough, when it arrived this week, it felt like my phone was finally representative of who I AM!!!! TIE DYE AND CRAZY COLORS. Oh my god I love it so much.

 

Purple pink and yellow! And tie dye!

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Whitagram App

There are a lot of filters and apps to make photographs better, whether it is to have for your own personal photo collection or to post on social media. Currently, I have seen a lot of people using “Whitagram” which leaves a very artsy and clean white frame around photographs. I recently downloaded the app and used it on some pictures.  I love the look. Download it on the app store on your iphone and use it on any photo in your library. PLEASE NOTE: It is hard to really tell what the end result looks like with the pictures here — as the blog post is a white background and the frames around the photos are white, it is hard to really picture what I am talking about. But trust me, it looks good and chic.

 

SUPER easy to use.

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Cilantro Jalapeno Vegan Pesto

The other day, my mom made the most incredible pesto — the typical basil, pine nut, parmesan combination. It was so delicious, I found excuses to eat it (chip, carrot, spoon, you name it). But because everyone KNOWS how to make pesto, I decided to find a more creative (and cost effective) vegan pesto. Instead of pine nuts and parmesan, hellloooo cashews. Instead of basil, welcome cilantro and jalapeno. It is green, healthy, and has just a minor kick to it (next time, I want to add more jalapeno). Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Que Water Bottle

Goodbye plastic bottles (be gone!), hello collapsible water bottle! Who knew that a single tiny little bottle could bring so much joy? This lightweight bottle is perfect for traveling or everyday. You just smoooosh it and it is half the original size. No more lugging around heavy glass bottles or bulky bottles. This is the perfect solution for everyday on the move. Que bottles.

 

BIG — fill it up with water!

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La Ligne Meredith Top

A lover of tank tops (and anything summer), I was thrilled when I came across this fun, easy, flirty top by La Ligne. The top is a ruched bodice (I love the ruched look — my wedding dress top was all ruched lace) and easy to pair with any high waisted pants, shorts, or skirts. I also love the subtle floral pattern and the girliness of it. I tend to not wear tight tops, and although this top is tight, it doesn’t feel revealing.

 

The shape is really simple — literally just a rectangle. But the ruching is what makes it hard to recreate….

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Sunset Hues

I returned to Eugene last night from Sonoma where we spent four days lounging and relaxing at our annual get together with three other families from Stanford. It is one of my absolute favorite weekends of the year and is guaranteed fun. We have been doing this get-together for the past five years and plan on always doing it (Thanks, Kimmers!). We eat, drink, run, hike, bike, cook, play tennis, swim, rollerskate, talk, make smores, and just enjoy each other’s company (and all of our kids). None of us live in the same city as each other (LA, SF, NYC, and Denver…) so it is fun to always know that we will get together every summer. This year, I was inspired to have a theme at our adult dinner out of the house (the rest of the time we cook at the house). For the longest time, I have wanted to have a get together where everyone wore sunset hues. I KNOW, sounds so weird, but I once saw that Mandy Moore (who I love so very much) did it, and I knew I just had to do it at some point. AND man, it was SO much fun. I know, getting dressed in colors is fun?!?!? YEP, it really is. It was *so* fun.

 

Sunset hues (minus Paul in the blue shirt — but he says that the sky is blue when the sun sets….)

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Capitol Fizz

My hometown of Eugene, Oregon is in the center of the Willamette Valley — the new hot spot for wineries and breweries (less of a hot spot for aperol spritzes, sadly). I enjoy going to the wineries on bikes (which I do at least once every summer — it is super fun and also a hard workout) as well as discovering new wines. So when I was in the my favorite grocery store (thank you, Oregon, for selling wine in the grocery store!), I discovered a single serving of sparkling rose wine from the area — it was like discovering a treasure under a rainbow — everything I like in one bottle — single serving! pink! Sparkling! and from the Willamette Valley!

 

This little bottle of sunshine is Captol Fizz by Illahe.

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Summer 2019 Running Playlist

Yes, I run a lot, but it is during the Summer months that I do my hardest training and running. My light schedule, the perfect Oregon weather, and upcoming Fall marathon makes these months the perfect time to run hard. Here is my summer 2019 running playlist:

 

Running in Oregon is ideal: beautiful non humid weather and incredible views on every twist and turn. Yesterday, on my long run, I had the privilege of running along the Willamette River….

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Currently Loving July 2019

Here we are, (mid) JULY! And here is what I am currently loving this month! And please share with me what you are loving — I love hearing what books, articles, songs, sweatshirts, anything and everything that you are loving oh so much.

 

1. Avett Brothers song “No Hard Feelings

 

Good song — makes me want to cry. But super musical and beautiful.

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