Chicago Marathon 2023 Recap

I know not all of you are runners, so this post might not be that interesting to you, but just for my own records, wanted to put it out there to the universe. Also — if you ever want to run a marathon — you should. I love it so much — it is a journey and a process — bot the training and the race itself. This past Sunday, not only did my son turn 14 (!!!) but I ran my 21st marathon at my favorite marathon, the Chicago Marathon. It was a great day — perfectly chilly weather and a happy outcome.

 

As always, I left on Saturday morning for Chicago, and went straight to the expo to pick up my bib. I hate expos — they are so nerve wracking and stressful, and I much prefer to not discuss my race with strangers…I was in and out as fast as I could be, and asked someone to take this photo. I always get a little sad when I am at expos alone — it is usually something you share with others, but alas, I traveled to the race alone and on this rare weekend, my friends that I normally stay with, weren’t there.

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Sport Studs

My daughter is not allowed to wear earrings for sports at school. Because of this, there have been times that she puts earrings on and then takes them off at school before sports, or times that she doesn’t wear her earrings for long extended periods of time. In both cases, her ear piercings are not happy with her. Her ears are sensitive and the off and on continuously irritates them, and when she doesn’t wear earrings, they partially close up. THANKFULLY, we came up with a genius solution that I had never heard about, and so want to share with you all — sport studs.

 

Clear Sport Studs! Hypoallergenic silicone studs!

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Great Gift

The other day I co-hosted a small group of friends for a class that taught us to arrange flowers — (which by the way, I HIGHLY recommend — super fun), and one of the guests gave us the most genius present — a wine cooler sleeve! I have not even heard of it but am so in love with it that I am now going to give it as a present for wherever I go!

 

Before I share photos of the wine sleeve, here are some of the photos of the flower class. Look at the blush selection of colors of the flowers. LOVE.

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Currently Loving September 2023

Here is what I am loving this month! And as always, please email / text / call / message me with everything and anything you love — I truly love hearing the little snippets of joy that you enjoy, too!

 

1. Manet x Degas Exhibition at The Met

 

One of the beauties of NYC is the access to all the museums. As I walk by the Met every single day to get to my daughter’s school, I became a member, and love popping in just for a quick look. On Thursday, on a whim, I stopped by the newly opened “Manet x Degas” — there was no line (I went an hour before closing) and IT WAS AMAZING. I loved every single thing about the exhibition and learned so much! I had no idea that Manet and Degas were friends and the similarities and differences between the two. I stayed for an hour, and will go back to soak it all in again. I highly recommend. And great to go when no line!

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Volunteer with NYC Parks

This past weekend was the most rainy and depressing weekend in NYC in a long time. There was not a minute of sunshine and it absolutely poured rain for 99.9 percent of the time. That said, we had committed to volunteer with NYC Parks doing a park cleanup on 114th Street at Thomas Jefferson Park and we did not want to cancel just because it was raining. Despite the bad weather, the four of us had a great afternoon and loved giving back to the parks. I hope to do this more often — they need all the help that they can get.

 

It poured the entire time. We planted 200 plus bulbs that will produce purple flowers in the early Spring.

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Long Island City

This past weekend, we were in the city with no plans on Saturday night. Although I love nothing more than a night in, we decided to go on a field trip to Long Island City, where I had not been in years. And HOLY COW — it is SOOOOOOOOOOO different and a city in itself (hence the name). It was super easy to get to in the car (just over the 59th street bridge) and fun to explore a new part of our backyard. I can’t wait to go back there and eat at different restaurants, see the sights, and experience a different part of our eclectic city.

 

Trip over the bridge with the iconic sign “Silver Cup”

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The Retrievals – Podcast

It has been a good long while since I have listened to a series on a podcast — 2014(!!!) with Serial.  So when a friend told me that I had to listen to The Retrievals and I finally found a big chunk of time (urgent care waiting to be seen after a stray cat bit me), I started. And once you start, you cannot stop.

 

SO GOOD.

 

The series is composed of 5 episodes produced from Serial Production and The New York Times. It is the story of dozens of women who went to Yale Fertility Center for their egg retrievals (egg freezing or IVF), and endured incredible pain, as a result of their nurse swapping their pain medicine with saline water to feed her own drug addiction. It is an incredible series with all sides looked at and examined.

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Things to do this Sept / Oct

I know school just started, but man, how is it already mid month??? Here is a list of things I want to do in the next couple of weeks!

 

1. Visit Picasso in Fontainebleu at the MoMa

 

I love going to museums — especially when it is just for one exhibit and then leave. I am excited for this exhibit which comes at the start of October.

 

2. See Manet / Degas at the Met

 

A friend saw this in Paris this past summer and said it was one of the best exhibits she has seen. I can’t wait to go — end of this month!

 

3. Eat at the Golden Steamer

 

I have heard great things about this chinese bakery, and it just opened up another location, so will definitely be checking it out! Steamed buns! Moon cakes!

 

4. Watch Jaja’s African Hair Braiding on Broadway

 

I love everything that Manhattan Theatre Club puts on, and this is looks great. I hope to go during the time it is on Broadway!

 

5. Read a book

 

This list looks great — I really, really need to get back on track and start reading more! I want to — I just need to focus more!

 

6. Make something at the Brooklyn Craft Company

 

There is a HUGE list of different types of classes, and I cannot wait to try one out!

 

7. Relax at the World Spa

 

This place looks unbelievable. I want to go STAT.

 

8. Watch Taylor Swift Eras Tour Movie

 

I mean, who is NOT excited for this?????

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What do you want to do in the next couple of months? Do share!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Natori Bliss French Cut Undies

According to the NYTimes, these are the best undies! Natori Bliss French Cut! The article in Wirecutter reads “Why This Natori Underwear Is the Best I’ve Ever Worn.” This was announced over the weekend, and sales have been great for this pair of undies — so good, that I felt that I *HAD* to share with you all, too, just in case you wanted to know about them, too!

 

Thank you, NYTimes!

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Currently Loving August 2023

I realize that August is practically over, but wanted to squeeze in with some of the things I love right now!

 

1. Taylor Swift Maroon

 

can NOT stop. This is one of my absolute favorite songs right now. Must listen to. Taylor did not perform this at her concert, but because I have been on a deep Taylor Swift dive, I am listening and loving them all.

 

2.  Nike

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Lavender Sachets

Yesterday, after my long run, we had a lull in what activity we were going to do. I was not highly motivated to get the kids on a bike or take a hike (and they surely didn’t want to do it unless I encouraged them to do so), so my mom asked if we could drive out to the McKenzie River Highway and pick up some lavender buds to make some lavender sachets. So although I hate to drive, we have been LOVING listening to Taylor Swift in the car, so we jumped in to the car and went on our adventure. We went to get the lavender buds in order to make homemade lavender sachets (thank you, Mama for the great idea for the afternoon!).

 

Gorgeous fields of lavender.

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The Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast is one of the most majestic and unique places to visit. It is not tropical or very warm, but it is a scenic escape from inland. On very hot days in Eugene, we love to go to the Oregon coast where it will easily be 30 degrees colder. Also, when it is smokey in Eugene (which unfortunately it has been the past week due to the wildfires), the coast is a nice relief with the wind and little to no smoke. If you ever go to Oregon, I highly suggest visiting the coastline and seeing all the natural beauty the state has to offer.

 

One of my favorite places to visit on the coast is inland at a friend’s cabin. Her house is on a lake (which is 1/2 mile away from the ocean). You can canoe and kayak and play on the tunes — but you are on a lake.

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Taylor Swift Crafts

As I mentioned before, I was lucky enough to attend the Taylor Swift concert in late July in Seattle — and ever since then, I have become totally and utterly obsessed. Dare I say it, I am on the road to become a die hard Swiftie. Everything targeted at me on my instagram reels is Taylor, I have read every article about her, etc….I am (gasp) obsessed. And that means I have listened to hours upon hours of her songs — I can NOT stop. All that said, my biffle from undergrad is at a whole OTHER level of Swiftie-hood. She knows every word to every song, has gone to one show in North America and already has tickets for Europe, etc…She lives and breathes Taylor Swift. She is *also* an incredible artist — INCREDIBLE — unbelievable. If you ever give her an art assignment, she rocks it and blows it out of the park (like my 25th birthday party invitation, my Master’s Thesis cover –yes, very true, the alley mural). She is THE person you call when you need anything (art related or not) and is the most loyal and unbelievable friend. Lucky to have her in my corner and have the opportunity to see all her beautiful artwork. All that to say — she created the most unbelievable unique pieces for her Taylor Swift concert that I have to show you all! Talk about inspiration!!!! It is insanely beautiful.

 

This is Bridget on the left and her daughter Olive. Bridget embroidered the jean jacket with all Taylor’s albums and then made shoes with all the flowers that Taylor mentions in songs. Yes, Bridget went DEEP.

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Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

I copied a dear friend who makes biscuits for her dog — and now you should do the same! They were a fun (and easy) activity — and healthy and delicious for the dog! They are vegetarian (not vegan as they contain milk) and not gluten free because they have flour! But come on, still good and yummy for the dogs!

 

End result! Don’t YOU want to make these for your dogs???

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Souleiado Hats

I can never own too many hats — I wear them all day, everyday during the summer, every summer. And this summer, when in Provence, we stumbled upon a french store that had the cutest straw hats. I went to get my mom and I both hats, and then I loved my mom’s style so much (we got different styles), I went BACK to get the same style. They are versatile, light, fashionable, and will never go out of style. So yes, although it is almost the end of the summer, I  am telling you about these two hats from Souleiado because they are that good. (Souleiado is a local Provence store with many locations all over France that specializes in “Provence lifestyle.”

 

STRAW BOB

 

The bob hat. Easy and simple.

On my mama.

Cruzzie also loved wearing the hat. Here, they are twins eating ice cream.

Yes, hats are a PAIN to travel with and I need a solution to this problem asap. In the meantime, I ask the kids to wear some, and I stack the rest and put in my bag.

So guapo,

So many pictures of him wearing this hat.

 

LONG BRIM

 

More classic french.

I love the long brim and the black tie. More girlie.

 

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Anyone else have other hat recommendations they love? Or a travel solution for hats? Hope you have a great week! And I am back with my 3 times a week posting dont you worry! So many ideas right now!!!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Turkish Crystals

After our gulet trip in Turkey, the kids and I returned to the United States, whereas my parents continued to travel around in Turkey for another 9 days. One of their favorite stops was the spice market in Istanbul. My mother, an incredible cook, got suckered into spending a fortune on spices (more on that in a future post) — and yet, they have not gone unused. Quite the contrary, we have been using them daily since she returned to Oregon. Our favorite, is a Turkish crystal / spice that you put in a cup with hot water and inhale. It is like Vicks Vapor Rub — but natural.  My mother was told that it was a cure all for everything — congestion, cough, sore throat, depression, anxiety, you name it. And I have to say, that it feels AMAZING when you inhale it.

 

My parents bought a ton — and are freezing the bulk of it — to keep it fresh. All you need is a little bit.

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Summer 2023 Running Playlist

I have so many new playlists this summer that I find it almost overwhelming to choose which one to listen to! Recently, one of Ken’s best friends from boarding school and I decided to share music with one another, and it has been so fun building these playlists.

 

On my run last Friday when I picked up Cruzzie from camp, I spent most of the time taking pictures of all the beauty I was surrounded by.

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Peach Cobbler

(Oops I did it again — a week off from writing. It has been so nonstop busy with more airplane rides than one can count, so I just stopped writing. But here I am, BACK AGAIN!)…..One of my favorite things to do in summers in Oregon is to pick local fruit and to bake. This past week, the fruit of the week was PEACH! So we headed to pick peaches — it is currently the start of the season, but nonetheless, we had two different varieties to pick from, and they were both oh so delicious.

 

We ate so many peaches while picking them — how could you not? First, it was to try to figure out the ripeness based on how they felt, and then, they were too good not to eat them.

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Currently Loving July 2023

…and just like that, we are almost to August. Of course, when it comes close to August, I start panicking about the end of summer. Summer is BY FAR my favorite season — the weather, the freedom, the travel, I love it all. And August is like a BIG ‘OL SUNDAY…..So, trying to focus on the present moment, here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Crochet Top

 

Crochet is definitely having a moment this summer, and I love this top. It is great over bathing suits, or on a hike 🙂 I love it so much.

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Taylor Swift 7/22/23

Yes, it happened. I went to a Taylor Swift concert. And it was better than I ever imagined — and I can NOT wait to go again sometime soon (world tour 2024, here I come!). I went in excited but not knowing much, and came out a total Swiftie. I am 100% more obsessed than I thought would be possible. Taylor Swift is incredible — talented, musical, beautiful, genuine, authentic, and a total rockstar. I love her so much — a new love!

 

We were incredibly fortunate to have been given access to tickets last minute through a friend of Ken’s (who happens to be the founder of the record company TS is under). They were incredible seats and we feel very very fortunate. All that said, we decided to drive up instead of fly. What should have been a 5 hour drive ended up being 6.5 hours. NOT FUN. But we did see a lot of other cars that were driving to the concert….

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Biologique Recherche Headquarters

Introduced to Biologique Recherche skincare products over a decade ago, my favorite thing to do in Paris, is to go get a facial at the Headquarters of Biologique Recherche. The headquarters is located at the base of the Champs Elysees in Paris, (just so happens to be 2 blocks away from my in-laws apartment, so easy to get to). It is a peaceful, serene getaway — not only to pamper oneself with a facial, but the prices for the services AND the products are a fraction of what they are in the USA. So I love to go there and stock up!

 

This is what you see from the street — just a doorway.

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KasMaria Floral Hat

OOPS sorry for that hiatus — it was not my intention to go rogue on the blog, but I was in Europe traveling around, and even though it was relaxing and not busy, I didn’t have the motivation to put these together. I apologize! But now I am in Oregon and am MOTIVATED and ready for so many great posts — so BE PREPARED. THE BLOG IS BACK. I already have so many ideas to share with you all! First up, is my new favorite floral hat. Years ago, I purchased a pair of floral shorts made in NYC (as seen here) and I have worn them and loved them oh so for the past 3 years. I finally purchased another item from KasMaria, and this time, my floral hat.

 

This was taken on Sunday — our first day in Oregon — totally jetlagged after 3 hours of sleep, but we still went on a hike. And I love my new hat so much.

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