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.
On Monday, I proved to myself that not only was “Boston Strong” but that “I was strong.” In the middle of freezing rain, super windy conditions, and low temperatures (mid 30s), I ran and completed my first Boston Marathon. It was not at all pretty, fun, or wonderful. It was actually quite the opposite; horrible, gruesome, difficult, and treacherous. Boston is considered the most prestigious of all world marathons with everyone having to time qualify to run, and I was super excited to attempt the master of all races. Due to the weather conditions, I knew that it was going to be difficult to run my hardest. So instead of racing, I focused on perseverance and completion.
Expo picking up my number.
On the last day of our recent trip to India, I left early, but Ken had time to kill as he had an evening flight to Manila. Friends we made at the wedding invited Ken on a street food tour in Old Delhi. While “street food” and “Delhi” and “right before an international flight” may seem like a terrible combo, Ken enjoyed the day, and for the most part, emerged unscathed (depending on your definition of unscathed.) Enjoy the pictures!
The tour was conducted by Delhi Food Walks and it was legit. The guide was a Delhi resident who was trained in culinary school, and he took the group from street vendor to street vendor, explaining the food and negotiating along the way. This was the meeting point. Legit Old Delhi.
Readers of the blog know that I love tie dye, especially when it is done Upstate. I not only own a dozen pieces from Upstate, but they also did a collaboration with Natori that is to-dye-for (get it?). I am a huge fan, so when they recently came out with dye kits for you to do at home, I knew I needed to get one.
The kit. Plant-based dye kit in rose. Safe, easy, clean, and super duper fun.
While in India for a friend’s wedding, I had the privilege of wearing the most beautiful Sabyasachi sari. Before our trip, a friend lent it to me saying that it was by “the biggest Indian designer” and that everyone would know what it was one when they saw it. TRUTH! As soon as I was dressed for the night of the ceremony, everyone approached me asking how an ignorant white American girl got her hands on one. Literally, everyone knew.
The sari is a three piece ordeal: a top (bra like), a skirt, and then the wrap over it all.
Happy March! It feels like it was just January. Time has flown (probably because of my recent travels to Italy and India) but in any case, here we are! I was just gifted three new cookbooks by two dear friends and I love them all so much (both the friends and the cookbooks) that I wanted to share.
I am officially my mom: a collector of cookbooks. I have more cookbooks than real actual books! And I love it……
As I mentioned on Monday, after our full two days in Rajasthan, we went on a pilgrimage to see the Taj Mahal. It was quite the trek — a full 5 hour drive from Rajasthan, and then 4 hours back to Delhi, but when in Rome…. How could we not see the Taj Mahal? Although it was an incredibly long day (on no sleep as the wedding was the night before), it was pure magic.
It was quite the racket to even get IN to the Taj Mahal. First of all, we had to be dropped off by our car 2 kilometers away and walk to the gates. We had not eaten a thing that day (we left before breakfast and street food was not happening for us), so the walk felt like miles and miles……but once we got through the ticket purchasing, the security, and all the lines, we saw this. MAGIC.
Hello! I am back from a whirlwind 4 day trip to India. Currently, I don’t know the difference between up and down, India vs. USA, where I am, and what time zone I am in, but HEY, all worth it. It was a *once in a lifetime* trip and I am so glad that I went and experienced it all. I am sure I am going to have a serious whoop-a$$-kicking-week with work / kids / life / reality, but all worth it….YOLO (you only live once). Here are some pictures of my trip — sorry in advance for the number — I couldn’t help myself!
We arrived at 12 am Monday night — basically Tuesday morning. And had to wake up and drive 5 hours to the wedding site, which was located in Rajasthan. This is a picture of us on the roadside on our way to the wedding. We saw monkeys on the side of the freeway and couldn’t pass up the photo opportunity.
My favorite month of birthdays and Valentine’s Day! Here is what I am currently loving in this love month:
1. Natori Magnolia PJ
I can’t wait to get my hands on this silky, frilly, and oh-so-beautiful pajama set. It is perfection. And no, you can never have too many sets of pajamas. Especially if they are Natori pajamas.
Floral flirty fun.
2. Light pink tape dispenser
One of my new favorite beauty products is a recent gift from a dear friend — and I can’t get enough of it! This little bottle for your lips is addicting. It exfoliates your lips and removes dead skin, while at the same time hydrating them, making them kissable and soft. Such a difference maker. Plus, who doesn’t want to be a FRENCH GIRL?
French Girl Lip Polish — yes please, polish up the puckers.
Don’t you love having a soundtrack to your life??? I sure do. I listen to music every waking minute — literally, music is blaring from 6 am until we go to sleep…..Not one of Ken’s favorite qualities about me — actually, a daily argument (I love music. LOUD music). This has been my go-to-playlist for the past couple of weeks….not music for running to, but music for everyday life duties (cooking, writing, eating, etc….). Enjoy!
Central Park is incredibly beautiful in the snow — but even MORE so when you have good music to listen to as you walk.
One of my biffles is an amazing cook — even though she claims she hates cooking. She can easily throw together a five course meal for her family where *everything* tastes divine. Although she likes to experiment and try new recipes, she also has a set of ‘go-to’ recipes that she makes throughout the week. This is her go-to-kale salad. It is so good that this past week, I made it THREE times. So easy, and so delicious!
As I mentioned in Monday’s post about the Domino article, my favorite room in our apartment is actually our laundry room. Why? Because it is whimsical, unexpected, different, and light. It is definitely not your typical laundry room — and I always love marching to my own beat. At first, it was intended to be the way we enter the apartment (there is a backdoor entrance from the service elevator), but we continue to enter from the main door, and are totally fine with it.
Does this officially make me a housewife if the laundry room is my favorite?