2020 here we are! And here is what I am currently loving this month!
HI! HELLO! HOWDY! Happy New Year! Back in action over here at josiegirlblog.com and ready to post on my regular schedule! I hope you had a great break and feel rested and ready for a new YEAR! Nothing better than starting the year off with some great books — so here are the books I want to read this winter (or year, TBH). Take a look! Most of these books (1-9) were recommended to me by a friend who works at Penguin Random House as a publisher…..
Please, oh please, immediately after you read this post, order the book They Called Us Enemy. It is an ever so powerful and important book and a part of our American history. The graphic novel is the story of George Takei’s personal story of the years he and his family lived behind barbed wires, prisoners due to his ethnic background. Although this story touches me personally due to my own connection to the Holocaust, I was unfamiliar with how the Japanese-Americans were treated in America during the war. It is crucial that we all know about this part of history and how this legalized racism existed, not so long ago.
AHHHHH April….Spring, but in terms of the school year, feels like almost Summer. From April to June, it feels like a sprint to the finish line of the year: so much going on with recitals, meetings, wrapping it up. Often times, I forget how to breathe during this time. So, I need to remember to be in the present and here is what I am currently loving!
One of my besties gifted me this cookbook last week and I cannot wait to make all of the recipes, which are uber healthy, vegan, plant based. A great way to start off the Spring – Summer in a healthy detox way. I especially want to try the breakfast recipes and the salad dressings — they all look so good.
Last summer, I had the privilege of interviewing good friend and dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe on the blog. And now, my ever so smart, charming, and oh-so-beautiful friend just wrote a book called “The Beauty of Dirty Skin” available in bookstores and on Amazon. As a fan (and friend) of Dr. Bowe, I was super excited to get the book and read it. It is educational with great resources and information on nutrition, skin care, and aging. Read below for a behind the scenes interview with Dr. Bowe!
One chapter of your book is on “the secret to great skin”. Can you give us a quick summary?
One of my favorite instagram stars / poets / activists is Cleo Wade. Not only is she super-model-gorgeous, but she is also articulate, poetic, and inspirational. I feel a connection to everything that she writes and posts — so much that I just want to hug her. Since I basically stalk her, I knew that her book was coming out in March and pre-ordered it. I read it for inspiration, sage wise advice, and comfort. It is the equivalent of a hot cup of tea with honey, just soothing and loving.
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.
Pat on my back…..one of the few things I am good at doing over the summer is reading. (Forget about reading the rest of the year!) Check out my Summer 2017 Reading List!
There you go; you set a goal, you work towards it, and you make it happen. I guess I try to do that as much as possible, but there are always roadblocks or excuses….which is why I am so intrigued by my good friend, Pamela Gold, who sets her mind to something and actually makes it happen. No ifs, ands, or buts. Pamela is Wonder Woman, and GETS THINGS DONE!!!! This year, Pamela wrote her own book — YUP — her own book. I am lucky to have read it in its first draft and have bought several copies of it now that it’s out (highly recommend it — buy it here). Here is an interview with the one and only Pamela Gold, enjoy!
For personal family reasons, I have had a difficult past week with lots of tears shed and feelings of despair and sadness. Many friends went above and beyond and have been an incredible support. Thank you for listening, thank you for the wine, thank you for the lunch, thank you for check ins and calls, and thank you for being my shoulder to lean on. It means the world to me, so thank you.
It is also during these times that I miss my parents the most. Growing up, whenever I got upset (either by throwing a temper tantrum or having my feelings hurt), my father would type up letters with some big moral and place them on my pillowcase. My father (the smartest man in the world) is also incredibly sensitive, wise, articulate, and thoughtful. It was during those hard times that I looked forward to his letters the most. Especially right now, I so wish I had these letters and could relate them to my feelings.
So when I came across this book “Letters to My Baby” it tugged at my heart strings and I had to buy it. Not that they are similar to my father’s typed up letters, but they are a great keepsake and something a child can have forever. Write now, read later, treasure forever. They are little paper time capsules that contain 12 letters where a parent can write to their child. Each letter has a different prompt for the parent to write about, and then you date, seal and keep the letters for your child. I love this idea.
For the holidays, Cruzzie was gifted President Obama’s children’s book “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters.” (I’m not sure how iI missed this for so long… it was published in 2010.) The book is thoughtful, educational, emotional, and beautiful. The first time I read it to my kids, I cried (yes, I am prone to crying, but still — this book is powerful). When you read the book, you can hear President Obama’s voice — and what an awe inspiring and powerful speaker he is (can we talk about his farewell address? We were in tears. How I will miss him!). This book is a must have for everyone –it is also a perfect gift.
On Monday, I attended a book party launch for party planner extraordinaire, David Monn and his new book “The Art of Celebrating.” David is not only a good family friend, but also planned our wedding (almost 10 years ago!). He is the master of style, elegance, luxury, and entertaining. Everything he creates is regal, beautiful, and thoughtful.
Last week, I had a hard time communicating with my 6 year old son about good behavior and his treatment towards me and friends, post-school. During school, Cruz is an angel (so I’m told); incredibly well behaved, sweet, loving, empathetic, and caring. But the moment I pick him up – whether it is due to exhaustion, the pressures of school, or the fact that he doesn’t eat much lunch – he often crashes and throws a fit with me. Not only is it trying for me, but I find it difficult to communicate with him about how he should act. So, last week in NYC when the rain was out of control, I found myself seeking solace in a bookstore, searching for new books. And there it was, “How to Be; Six Simple Rules for Being The Best Kid You Can Be”
Everyone is talking about it…. so call me generic or mainstream, but I can’t stop raving and oohing and crying about When Breath Becomes Air. I am obsessed: I have ordered four copies and given them to friends. I figure out a way to bring it up in every conversation. I think about it. I want to re-read it with a highlighter and underline the important lines. It is heart-wrenching, gut-punching, soul-defining good.
June, here we are! Love the summer, love the sunshine, love the following random assortment of goodies:
Ladies, HEAD TO THE BOOKSTORE NOW (or order on Amazon) to get your copy of Love and Miss Communication. The debut novel from my smart, beautiful, successful, and witty friend, Elyssa Friedland. This book came out yesterday (!!!) and has already been named a “must read” by InStyle Magazine and Popsugar. I couldn’t agree more — I had the privilege of reading it before it came out, and I absolutely loved every minute of it. The novel provided a great look into modern living in New York City through the eyes of Evie Rosen, the main character who swore off the internet (hard to imagine!). I loved every part of Elyssa’s book — the flow, the story, the concept, the humor, EVERYTHING! I could not put it down. And I was fortunate enough to sit down with Elyssa to discuss her amazing book.
How in the world do you write a book? You are a mom to three kids, a wonderful wife, super social, the PA of Preschool, always perfectly coiffed, immaculately dressed and stunning — AND JUST WROTE A BOOK??? And a great book. How did you fit everything into your schedule?
One of my all time favorite gifts is the “Birthday Interview Book.” This tiny little book is a simple way of keeping track of your child’s favorite items each year. Every year, on his birthday, we ask Cruzzie the same 20 questions (favorite color, song, friend, meal, etc…) and record it in the little keepsake book. We will start the same tradition with Toosh this May when she turns 3. It is a fun (and smart) way of collecting information about your child as they grow up (tear — not too fast, kids!). And the kids love to answer and record the questions as well! To purchase, go here. It is the perfect gift for your child (or a friend!).
Obsessed with anything from Portland, Brooklyn, and / or Stockholm, I recently came across the magazine, Kinfolk, from Portland, Oregon. And now, I am hooked. This inspirational, quarterly, ad-free print magazine is a piece of art, not just a magazine. Goodbye, Cosmo, and Hello, Basquiat! (And yes, I had this planned before the New York Times Sunday Styles article yesterday! The Josie Girl and the NYT apparently think alike!)
My husband says that my stories need to be shorter and funnier, but I am not sure how I can tell a quick story about the background on this AMAZING project by my friend, Alyse Edmur…
Alyse is not only cute, adorable, pinch-able, smart, artsy, and likeable, but she is also the girlfriend of a close friend, Michael Parker, a classmate of mine at Pomona College. Michael Parker (he is one of those people I have to always address by first and last name) was the hot stud on campus (of the surfer, artsy, maybe never showered crew). Michael Parker is the type of person that you want at YOUR party because he is just so fun, wild, charming, interesting, interested, and hubba hubba good looking.
So you couldn’t put two better people together than Alyse and Michael Parker. They are just the oh-so-perfect-match-made-in-heaven. You want to take them both and fit them in your pocket to carry around at all times — they are just both so perfectly cute and fun.
But this isn’t about their love story. Instead, it’s about the spectacular and fascinating book just released by Alyse (both Alyse and Michael Parker are talented LA based artists).