Sometimes I think it is May, sometimes I think it is August 2021. Basically, I have no idea what day or month we are currently in. So here is what I am currently loving RIGHT NOW. Apparently it is August 2020.
This past weekend, we finally completed the mural. Originally, we were only going to do the center part of the cement wall, but with the abundance of time and the fact that the cement wall is quite ugly, we thought it would be fun to complete the whole wall.
Late Spring, I went on a mad search for the perfect summer hat — I wanted something practical, comfortable, chic, and unique. It was way harder than expected as I didn’t just want a simple straw hat. I wanted something with a little more flair, personality, and character. So when I came across Teressa Foglia — I instantly fell head over heels. The first one has some embroidery details, straps, cowboy vibe. I loved it so much that when I was in LA, I made an effort to go to her Malibu store and fell in love with Teressa (holy cow, chic and beautiful as ever) and ALL OF HER HATS. I walked away creating another summer straw hat — with some leather, flower ribbons, and more of a hipster attitude. After weeks of wearing both hats daily, I purchased TWO MORE straw and basic hats that the kids and I have been using on all of our hikes, bikes, river, water adventures.
I spend a lot of time in Oregon on designated runner’s trails, which have lots of signs (other than keep 6 feet away and maintain social distancing) that are little inspirational quotes. Throughout my summers in Oregon, I always smile and laugh when I see them. To some they are just words, but to me, they are motivation and inspiration. No matter how silly or short they are, just knowing someone out there is cheering us on, makes all the difference.
This past Saturday, I did something I never thought I would do — I ran a 50K (31 miles). It wasn’t just any ultra — it was an unofficial one. Originally, I had signed up with a childhood friend, CJ, to run the Mt Hood 50K at the beginning of July. But due to COVID, it was canceled. We both decided that even though it was no longer happening, that the two of us would run together creating our own date and route. So for the past several months, I have been training for this ultra. Most ultras happen on trails, hills, mountains, and are flipping hard. And this proved to be true. It was incredibly hard and challenging — all the trails, hills, and long distance — but thankfully I had CJ who is a veteran ultramarathoner (who runs 100K, 50 miles, 50Ks all the time), to help me through it all.
My parent’s house in Oregon has an alley on one side of the house (a great big cement wall) which is an eye sore — especially when there are no plants that hang down on it. So this summer, my dad asked if my niece, Alagna, who is a very talented artist (at the ripe age of 12) could draw a mural on the wall. Since YOLO and I thought it would be a fun project to do with all the cousins, I decided to help with it. It has been SO fun and a lot of work. And god bless my parents who had faith in us to create something fun and pretty!
Sadly, my favorite undies of all time (I still can’t believe it) will no longer be sold. This loss feels huge to me — feathers undies have been a part of my wardrobe staple since they first came out over a decade ago. I have tried many other undies (all Natori, but of course)…..but have ALWAYS come back to the Feathers ones– they were absolutely perfect in every single way and nothing compares. But now that I can’t find the undies anywhere and have to adapt to this new reality, I went on a search for a new favorite pair. After a lot of trial and error, my new love is the Natori Calm Cotton Brief. They are super cute, light, airy, shapely, and one of a kind. I like how even though they are cotton and briefs, they have a VA-VA-VOOM appeal to them as well. No, they aren’t Feathers hipster undies, but these are my new go-to undies, and I think you should try them, too!
Thanks to my dear friend from Stanford, Katie, who wrote today’s post on what she is loving during quarantine. Not only is she brilliant and smart, the best cook ever, interesting and interested, but she has great taste and style, too. Thank you, Katie, for sharing with us your top 10 best finds during COVID — love you loads! Check out Katie’s other contribution to this blog years ago with her Ice Cream Flower Pots post. Take it away!
While in quarantine, some people have mastered making sourdough starter from scratch, planted a vegetable garden, or otherwise lived their #bestlife, I have chosen in many ways to slow down. Yep. Slow. Way. Down. Being tucked in, cozy at home, can be calming and comforting in so many ways if you choose to see it that way. In these insane past few months, I have found a variety of things that make my life a little easier, a lot happier, and definitely more fun. I am happy to share the best of them in hopes that it might bring a little bit of ease, happiness and fun to your life too. Here are my Top Ten Best finds, thanks to sheltering in place and slowing way down:
Planes, trains and automobiles — or in Oregon, hikes, bikes, and more hikes! Although I have only been in Eugene for a handful of weeks (what month are we in? Where are we? Who am I?), we have done countless miles of hikes, dozens of bike rides, and even more hikes. With the kids not in any type of camp or activity, hiking and biking throughout Oregon is our daily plan. Sometimes, I think “what’s the difference between the first 4 waterfalls and do I really have to see 3 more?” and sometimes I love just looking at nature and being in awe of it’s rawness and organic beauty. I hope, in the end, all these nature adventures make my kids stronger but, at some point they might revolt and start only liking fast food chains and hate exercise….Here are some pictures of our Oregonian beauty these last few weeks. And I am thankful for my father who has taken the role of camp director and guides us on all these adventures — without him, I would watch netflix all day.
After an incredible week in LA, we spent another incredible week in Sonoma. Here are some pictures of our adventures.
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.
A little over a month until my first ultramarathon (virtual 50K since the one I had originally signed up for was canceled), so lots of running and listening to music! Here is a summer playlist to help you jog / skip / hop / run to some fun beats!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.