Currently Loving April 2022

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.

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Boba Tea NYC

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…

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Checkered Biker Shorts

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!

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NYTimes Spelling Bee

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!

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Lewis Miller Design Flower Flash

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.

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Faux Ivy Leaves Decor

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….

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Flower District

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.

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Paint By Stickers

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.

 

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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!

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Grimm Artisanal Ales

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.

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Nami Nori

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).

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The Bachelor- Sydney Lotauco

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.

 

Sydney!

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Tony & Tina Coconut Bliss

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.

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Playroom Bulletin Board Wall

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…

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Wary Meyers Candles

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.

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NYC Moment

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.

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Grizzlies Aunt Maple’s Crunchy Granola

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.

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Blue Birkenstocks

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?

 

Electric blue

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?

Bleu blue.

 

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.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Boston Marathon 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.

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Delhi Street Food Tour

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.

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Upstate Plant Based Dye Kit

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.

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Sabyasachi Indian Designer

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.

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Favorite New Cookbooks March 2018

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……

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