I am a granola snob and nothing makes me happier than eating delicious and great granola. I have yet to find a homemade granola recipe I love — until now. And now I am obsessed. This granola is not overly sweet, delicious and has the perfect mixture of nutty, sweet, and grains. The beauty of it is that you can add whatever you want to customize it to how you love granola!
After Spain, we traveled to Provence where we spent two HOT but glorious weeks. We just returned this past weekend to the States and I am already missing Europe so much. It was a wonderful trip and I am already planning next year’s summers’ adventures. We didn’t do much, but it was all simple and easy, and I loved it all. Here is a look at what we did.
The view from my window. We were located in the village and had access to everything right there. We could go to the gelato store in 1 minute and 30 seconds, and same with the bakery. Which of course, what we did twice a day….
Who knew that there was such thing as Almond Butter Almonds or Cashew Butter Cashews, but they exist. And they are amazing — and you need to know about them. They are the perfect blend of sweet and filling, and count as a protein snack or a dessert. I love them both so much that before my European vacation, I had to go to Trader Joe’s to load up on them. They are perfect to have in a bag when you just need something to hate (which is always for me).
Sweet, salty, crunchy, and the best coated smooth cashew butter ever.
I love sunglasses as they are add style, pizazz, and flavor to any outfit without breaking the bank. And of course, they are essential for sunshine and protecting your eyes (obviously). I love to have a wide selection of sunglasses because you never know what mood or style you want for the day….but I love sunglasses that are off the beaten path and not as mainstream, well known, or at times, expensive. Here are the brands (and styles) that I am currently loving:
1. Grey Ant Status
I have had the black pair since 2016 and love them so much — and I love this color. Different but great shape.
2. Crap Eyewear The Speedway
Scandinavians always do EVERYTHING right — not only are the most beautiful people, but they create a standard and quality of products that outdo any other region in the world. So when I found out about Amundsen Sports, a Norwegian outdoor apparel company, I knew that I would love it. And yes, it also helped that one of my closest friends is Norwegian with the chicest taste and style who is even more outdoorsy and adventuresome than I am, is the one who told me about this company. It didn’t take much and now I am sold — obsessed with my newest Amundsen shorts (to start with) for all my outdoor summer plans.
Pop up in Soho! GO, RUN, LOOK, TRY ON!
Nothing makes me happier than a citrus-y dessert — key lime pie, lemon tarts, YUMMMMMMM. So when I came across the recipe for strawberry lemon loaf cake, I knew I had to make it. Easy, delicious, summer in a cake, yes please.
It’s unbelievable to me that we are almost half way through the year — I have been hibernating the past 2.5 months, so it feels a little surreal, and yet, here we are. Here is what I am currently loving!
1. Trader Joe’s Egg Wraps
A low carb version of a tortilla or a wrap and just as delicious! So good to eat as a savory or sweet snack.
In my dreams, I am still very young, but even though I am not, I still love some of the fads that all the young people love….such as Boba Tea! I love it — it is sweet, milky, fun with the tapioca balls, and oh so delicious. And what better place than NYC to try all the different Boba Tea places. Thankful to google and eater, I found a bajillion boba places and they all look AMAZING. So, due to logistics and where I was in the city, I ended up at Raccoon Cave. It is very Tik-Tok crazy and an instagram moment, but the tea was delicious and I would absolutely return for more.
The window where the boba comes out…
My newest beach bag obsession is the recycled plastic woven Mexican bolsa! They are inexpensive, colorful, practical, and oh so fun. You can buy them anywhere in Mexico — from a high end store to the airport — all different colors and shapes, but the same fun look.
Not precious, but oh so precious.
Last summer, I purchased a (daring? brave? risque? bootielicious?) pair of checkered biker shorts and have been wearing them nonstop the past week. Yes, they are a little particular, but I love them — especially when I found on netaporter.com a similar pair for almost triple the price! So because now I see them on a more mainstream and expensive website, I feel the need to tell you all about them!
Me and the shorts!
Every morning for the past several years, the first thing I do is complete the mini NY Times crossword puzzle. I have a competition on who can do it fastest with my brother and father and send them my times when I am proud of them (anything under 40 seconds). I usually can tell how smart I am going to be that day based on my success on the mini crossword. I have it as an app on my phone, but you can also do it on the computer. It is fun, addictive, and not time consuming — which I love!
In the app, there is also the bigger crossword (thanks but no thanks) and Spelling Bee!
One of my favorite accounts to follow on instagram is NYC based florist, Lewis Miller. He puts together beautiful floral arrangements with a great sense of style and eye — but mostly, I love him for his flower flashes he creates in the city. Initially, Lewis started these flashes as an experiment to reconnect himself with the craft, but then quickly saw the beautiful shared experience with New Yorkers and what joy and beauty it brought to everyone. So they became his gift to New Yorkers — with his goal to create “a positive, emotional response through flowers, and that seeing people’s reactions to the flashes emphasizes the basic goodness in all people and prioritizes compassion.”
Yesterday, I saw on my insta feed, that he had done his first 2021 installation at Hudson Yards. So, immediately, ran down there to see it. He wrote that he wanted something fun and playful for the kids of the city — and that it is. Different, fun, and beautiful.
For the holidays, my 8 year old daughter — a plant lover — asked for faux ivy leaves to decorate her room. As someone who loves plants too, but can’t keep them alive, agreed that it would be a nice addition to her room. So, one of her Hannukah- Christmas gifts, was several packs of faux ivy leaves. She was beyond giddy (it’s the smaller things that matter) and so excited to put them up.
They come in a pack of 12. I didn’t know how long or what to expect (and even when online they give me measurements, I can never make sense of them)….so of course, I over bought and bought 4 packs. We only used 1.5 for this project….
Since fresh flowers are one of the things that bring me joy, I decided that this year, I would make my way down to the Flower District in NYC (28th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues) on a weekly basis. Ever since I made that commitment (to myself), I have gone every. single. Monday. Literally, rain or shine, I figure out a way to pack it in to my schedule. I have walked there, taken cabs, or most often, I run there. I love this adventure so much — not just because I get the freshest of fresh flowers at a great cost, but also, because I get to meet new people and see the city. I now have a guy at my flower shop and he knows I come every week, so he always tells me what is the freshest and even gives me discounts. These small little interactions, and the fresh blooms, are what keep me going — pandemic, gloomy weather, remote learning, feelings of isolation, nothing to do — it’s the little things that make the big difference.
This past Monday, it was SOOOO rainy and dark. But, nothing stopped me.
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.
The three books I purchased — and I can’t wait to get more!
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.
If you live in NYC, you have to RUN right now to Nami Nori, the newest Japanese restaurant in the West Village. Only one month old, it was created by three ex-employees from Masa (whose tasting menu costs $595 per person!!!!). This new restaurant is casual elegant with accessible prices specializing in Temaki (hand rolls). Absolutely everything about this restaurant is perfection: the zen Japanese vibe, the appetizers, the temaki, the desserts, the staff, everything! So if you live in NYC, make a reservation and GO! And if you don’t live in NYC, it is an excuse to come in to the city and eat!
The appetizers: FRIES, spicy tuna on crispy rice, shishito peppers, and nori chips (oh my god, the best).
End of September, a new season, and back into the swing of things….Summer is in the past and seems like decades ago…but here is my random list of what I am currently loving!
Jouer Lip Enhancer
One of our (and many of our friends’) guilty pleasures is The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise series. Reality TV shows come and go, but The Bachelor (especially Hannah’s season) has always been fun to watch.
Through a work colleague, Ken got connected to Sydney, who was a contestant on Colton’s season and is on the latest season of Bachelor in Paradise. She came to the Natori showroom for a meeting and was super down to earth and fun to work with.
Yes, I have written about my love of this coconut oil before, but it is oh so good that I need to write about it again. Tony and Tina Coconut Bliss is unlike any other body lotion. Seriously, it is the perfect consistency that just melts into your body and hydrates it to the core. This coconut oil is even better because it is also infused with bergamot and lavender oil, so it smells divine and relaxes your mind. I know, I know, essential oils is very hippy dippy, but I believe.
Big jar of heaven.
One of my favorite parts of our Pound Ridge home is the bulletin board wall in the playroom. Although we don’t spend much time in the room, it screams happiness. When we were re-decorating our home five years ago, I wanted a place to display the kids’ artwork, so we came up with the idea of having one full wall in cork so we could easily tack pictures. While I unfortunately haven’t updated the artwork in years, I just love the dimension, character, and color the wall brings to the room and house.
Color clutter! Although I am obsessively neat and like to have everything completely organized, somehow I love this little splatter of chaos and confusion. I am surprised that the last time I re-did the art wall, I didn’t organize it by colors…
I am a sucker for any candle, especially a nice smelling one. When recently shopping, I bought a bunch of new ones, and this one is my favorite. The design is simple and the smell subtle, but refreshing and crisp. Wary Meyers makes these chic, discrete, and beautiful candles. Bonus is that they are under $30 which is always great.
I love a simple candle, particularly this transparent and gold combination.
For many, the end of the school year is extremely busy, hectic, time consuming, and stressful. Especially when my work involves working in schools and tutoring students, the days seem to be marathons with a long list of to-dos. So, it was especially joyful and happy when a couple months ago, I discovered a neighboring apartment that had a statue that gazed out on to the street. This statue wasn’t just any statue, but one where the owners would frequently rotate the hats that the statue was wearing. For some reason, this was exciting and something I looked forward to every day.
The hat on the corner apartment of the building across the street.
My favorite food in the world for any meal or snack is granola. And not any granola, but granola from Grizzlies who just happens to be from my hometown of Eugene, Oregon. This granola is THE MOST AMAZING GRANOLA IN THE WORLD. It has the perfect amount of sweetness, chunks, flavor, and nuts. The granola, Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola, is a staple at all the grocery stores in Oregon. But guess what — they ship! In the past, I have always requested (demanded) that my parents ship it to me (along with my favorite Oregon coffee). But now, I go straight to the source and order a 5 pound bag from Grizzlies website. I am apparently a grown up now.
One of the many canisters that are filled with my beloved granola. It is like precious gold to me. Only true granola snobs can eat it — which in my family is me and my daughter.
BEST 40 BUCKS I HAVE SPENT ALL YEAR! Birkenstocks (best shoe on the planet), are one of the few shoes I wear all summer long (along with van slides and running shoes). But these birkenstocks — GASP — so fun, comfortable, different but the same, and OH SO INEXPENSIVE (because they are plastic versus leather)! 40 BUCKS!! FOR BRIGHT BLUE BIRKENSTOCKS — how could you possibly say no?
Ultralight, these birkenstocks are made with high-quality EVA. They are flexible, odor neutral (phew — hate the smell of plastic chemicals) and are waterproof and washable.
And they look good on your feet (even with ugly feet — DON’T LOOK!…..I am a runner. Harumph) and feel like a pillow.
So easy to wash and clean — the best summer shoe. Who wants high maintenance shoes in the summer?
They currently come in a variety of colors (black, silver, pink, yellow, orange, and white!) but of course the one other color I want them in is green (because green birkenstocks just seem like perfection). To buy these great sandals, go here. Best purchase of 2018.