Here we are in mid September and here is what I am currently loving!
At the very start of the summer, I was at a friend’s house where she served a plate of the most delicious cookies I had ever eaten. The cookies were all broken in to pieces which made it very easy to eat and sample all the different flavors. Each cookie was better than the last and I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Or eating them. They were BEYOND. Thankfully, these cookies, Synful Eats, can be bought in NYC / Hamptons — and hopefully soon nationally. They are the next Levain Cookies — top quality, incredible combinations, the best ingredients. I can’t wait to see what this company does next — and until then, I will continue to support (and eat!) these unbelievably tasty cookies.
My new favorite Natori undie is — gasp, even more than the Natori Feathers Brief — the new Embolden Brief. They are the absolute perfect pair of undies, and I am so so so so happy I discovered them. They are lacy but full coverage, flattering and different. Run to the store (or buy online) before they disappear — I stocked up on them!
This summer came and went. It was a good solid summer. Nothing spectacular and extraordinary, but simple and straightforward. We hiked and biked, swam, read, and watched movies. We ate at our favorite Japanese and taco restaurants. Visited tons of parks and playgrounds. And spent all our time outdoors. I miss the west coast and the nature already….
If you are a needlepointer (or interested in needlepointing), then this post is for YOU! In the past 16 months of my new found hobby, I have done a lot of research (and trial and error) on what works and doesn’t work. And because I am a sharer, here are various tips / pointers on websites, threads, anything and everything needlepoint that has worked for ME! (And if you have any favorites, please share with me, too!)
I realize that Monday’s post was on a drink (hibiscus tea) but now I have to tell you all about water kefir — my newest obsession! And yes, apparently I am on a drink kick! And makes sense because it has been over 100 degrees the past week in Oregon….yes, I have been melting! In any case, I have always had a love hate relationship with kombucha. I love it, but it has made me (violently) sick and so I had to quit for a decade. I have successfully only had good batches in the past year, but I still am weary about it. That said, I always love looking at the drink aisle in the hippy dippy grocery stores because they always have the best products. And lo and behold, that is how I first found out about water kefir — a probiotic water. It is similar to kombucha, as they are both fermented and probiotic rich. But they taste slightly different and as of now, I am preferring water kefir.
As many of you know, my mother is from Mexico., and because of this, most of her cooking is influenced by her heritage. The main drink that we always have in our house is Hibiscus Tea. She goes to the local Mexican tienda and buys pounds and pounds of dried hibiscus flowers to make the juice / tea throughout the year. Unfortunately, I am both lazy and unfamiliar with a Mexican tienda in NYC, so I have yet to recreate this drink. However, recently, at the local grocery store, I came across, sachets of hibiscus tea! Yes, more expensive than bulk leaves — but so convenient and easy! I can’t wait to try all the different flavors and make it in NYC!
Yes, one would think that I would always have all the newest products from Natori, but truth is, unless I order them for myself, I don’t get them. And in order to order them, I have to browse the Natori website, which happens way less frequently than I would like. But this past week, I was able to scroll online and I found SOOOOOO many items that I want slash need! Here they are!
I already miss the Olympics and they just ended yesterday!!!! Usually, I am tied to the Olympics and watch every single moment they are on TV. However, this Olympic Games, the time difference made it a little more tricky and I wasn’t as in to it as normal. That said, I still love the stories, the dreams, the challenges, and the grit. Here are my favorite Tokyo Olympic Game moments. And yes, they are track and field heavy because (a) I am a runner and (b) the Track and Field Olympic trials have been held in my hometown for the past five consecutive games!
As many of you know, since April 2020, I have become an avid needlepointer. I spend a lot of time planning a project, working on it, and finishing it. I love (and hate!) the process of it, but I absolutely love having a final product — especially when I am proud of the work. I have spent hours upon hours searching for canvases that strike a chord with me, but more often than not, I am left uninspired and wanting more. I absolutely loved making my Notorious BIG footstool, as well as my Tupac pillow, and I wanted to find something in the same genre — cool, hip, unique, exotic, and colorful. Unfortunately, after my own search, I never found anything. Thankfully, a friend told me to contact Denise, of DNS by Design, who can custom paint any canvases, any size, any photo. And boy, did I luck out in finding her! What a gem!!!!
This past month I have listened to a plethora of podcasts. Here are my favorite episodes this month. They are all MUST listen to and all have major take aways.
As I mentioned in Monday’s post, we went to Jackson last week and had a great fun-filled time. There was never a dull moment and had so much to do that we could have stayed the entire summer! Everyone we met in Jackson was so incredibly nice and welcoming. My favorite run-in was with an old student’s parents from NYC that I taught way back when and they moved to Jackson 5 years ago. They sent several emails with hikes and trail runs and activities. And of course, another favorite meet up was with our bestie’s grandma who spends her summer there. So in many ways, this random small town felt familiar and welcoming.
Sorry for the silence last week — I didn’t anticipate going rogue on the blog, but we were in Jackson for a family trip and had less down time than I thought. But here I am! Back at it! And more on Jackson on Wednesday — lots to recap! In the meantime, here is my Summer 2021 Running Playlist. Lots of fast, high beat, power mode songs!
Over the weekend, we went to a Lavender Festival along the McKenzie River. It was a small but wonderful community event that brought people together to enjoy the beauty of lavender, u-pick, food, music, and option to buy local lavender products.
I just spent the week in Beaver Creek (near Vail, CO) with some dear friends from Graduate School and had the best time. My friend planned the most perfect time and everyday we had a super fun activity. So if you are going to Vail area during the summer months, or just want to see some highlights of our time, take a look!
Through a random rabbit hole instagram search (via Mandy Moore, who hiked Mount Kilimanjaro together in a group), I started following Chase Weideman — a dude Influencer. He and his husband created some sauces during quarantine, and what started out as some jars for some friends has turned in to a legitimate business, Batchworthy. Intrigued (and a lover of sauces), I bought two of the six flavors — the Husband Sauce and the Soft Caesar, and am THOROUGHLY HOOKED to both. They deliver locally and ship nationally, and you need to try them out! They are beyond delicious.
This past weekend, on our final NYC day before heading out west for the summer, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (our favorite activity) and then had lunch at the Golden Diner. I have read about Golden Diner for many years as it serves classic NY diner dishes that are influenced by the neighborhood, Chinatown. Everything had an Asian spin to it — even the tuna melt.
As many of you know, over the past 12 months, I have become an avid needlepointer. It started as a hobby during COVID lock-down, and now I can’t stop. I love the process (well, actually, sometimes I hate it, but can’t stop) as well as having something tangible when I’m done. It is no surprise that I have the tendency to love creating something with textiles, as my mother has been knitting my entire life. She taught herself during college, and since then, she has a million projects at a time. Mother like daughter, she never sits without a project, and is constantly knitting. She is always running late because she can’t put her knitting down, and I now fully understand why. As a proud daughter, I wanted to share with you all her most recent projects because they are SO different. They are not a sweater or a hat or a scarf, rather they are PILLOWS and a BLANKET. Yes, she knitted pillows! And a blanket!
In celebration of my 5th grade son’s last day of school, we went to Governors Island with some of his besties and their moms. Governors Island has always been one of my favorite places — an easy afternoon IN the city, but OUT of the city. It is an 172 acre island in the heart of New York Harbor, located only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan. In recent years, we have visited dozens of times but have only been there for a couple of hours each time. Basically, there is not much to do but walk, scoot, look, eat, and hang out (but what else do you really need?) This time around, I thought ahead and booked us for an overnight stay, glamping at Collective Retreats.