Provence 2022 Highlights

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….

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Spain 2022 Highlights

I was fortunate enough to spend the last 2 weeks in Southern Spain with my parents, daughter, and Ken (for a week) where we relaxed and explored together. It was refreshing and rejuvenating to leave the US and get fresh air and tastes of a different culture. Here are the highlights:

 

Every morning, I ran. Over the two weeks, I ran 98 miles. Up hills, down hills, and NEVER on flat surfaces. It was the hardest place I have EVER EVER RUN in my entire life, and I hope that it makes me a stronger (and faster) runner. Each morning, I would dread my run, but I loved it so much afterwards. Plus, it gave me the opportunity to explore my surroundings and really have a feel for the area.

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Brooklyn Drive In Movie

I always claim that we are a Manhattan family that spends more time in Brooklyn. For whatever reason, there are so many different activities and adventures to go on there! Last Friday night, we went to the Brooklyn Drive In Movie Theater, Skyline Drive In, and I cannot wait to go back again! It was a super fun adventure for everyone in the family (although I am a rookie at the drive in game, and need to step it up next time with what I learned). Skyline Drive Inn is located right on the East River in Greenpoint with killer views of Manhattan (if it is not foggy….) and plays two different movies on two screens — one current film and one old school film that changes daily.

 

Skyline Drive In.

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Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace

As a die hard roller skater, it made me so very happy that NYC opened up its first Roller Skating Rink, Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace, this past weekend. So sure enough, the kids and I ventured to skate and dance on opening day. It was such a great hour and I cannot wait to go back — pure simple family fun. Located in the heart of Manhattan at Rockefeller Center, it is a great place to people watch and soak up the energy of the city.

 

Smack dap in the middle of the city! So much fun.

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Pickleball

Over Spring Break, we became pickleball obsessed. So much that we played every single day and even bought our own equipment — which is big news for our family that never partakes in racket sports together….

 

We were first introduced to the sport at our resort in Mexico where they had a court. Pickleball is basically a small court tennis but played with a wiffleball type of ball.

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Natori Wish List

Yes, one would think that I would always have all the newest products from Natori, but truth is, unless I order them for myself, I don’t get them. And in order to order them, I have to browse the Natori website, which happens way less frequently than I would like. But this past week, I was able to scroll online and I found SOOOOOO many items that I want slash need! Here they are!

 

1. Shangri-La V Neck Chemise

 

All the items from the Natori Shangri-La collection are top notch quality and comfort. They are my go-to items for any gift — classic, simple, soft, and flattering. This new silhouette seems great for the transition to Fall. I can’t wait to get one of these!

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Jackson Hole

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, we went to Jackson last week and had a great fun-filled time. There was never a dull moment and had so much to do that we could have stayed the entire summer! Everyone we met in Jackson was so incredibly nice and welcoming. My favorite run-in was with an old student’s parents from NYC that I taught way back when and they moved to Jackson 5 years ago. They sent several emails with hikes and trail runs and activities. And of course, another favorite meet up was with our bestie’s grandma who spends her summer there. So in many ways, this random small town felt familiar and welcoming.

 

We literally arrived at the airport and went straight on a hike in the Grand Teton National Park. Recommended to us by a friend, this hike didn’t disappoint. We wore our swimsuits and once we arrived at the top, there was a great lake and we went swimming.

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Rollerskating

For those of you who know me well, I have been rollerskating for over 2.5 years and am absolutely head over heels in love with it. It changed my life — the challenge of learning something new, putting in hard work and seeing the improvement… not to mention the simple joy of doing something that I loved. Biweekly, I have lessons (even throughout the pandemic — over zoom and or in person), and they just make me so happy. Not only is it a form of exercise, but dancing, listening to music, ahhhhh, it is so great! All this to say, it is now funny to see how en vogue it is. NYTimes ran an article this past weekend, New Yorkers Are Crazy About Rollerskating (Again), as more and more rinks and skating get-togethers have emerged.

 

The day of my actual 40th birthday, just the four of us went to a rollerskating rink. Made me so happy!

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Shoah Through the Eyes of a Child

As the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, I have always been fascinated by and interested in World War II. From a very young age, I would question my father on any and every experience he remembered from growing up as a Polish Jew in the mid 1940s. Although he was born in 1944 at the very end of the war, his entire life was dictated by his religion. So as a young girl, I would ask questions to him, and to my uncle — nine years older than my father.

 

My uncle, Wlodek, on the left. My father, Andrzej, on the right.

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Stevie Nicks Natori

Last Thursday, we welcomed the newest member of the Natori Family, Stevie Nicks Natori. Our little 11 week old Cavapoochon pup is so cute and a warm, cuddly, wonderful fun addition to the family. She is also SO MUCH FLIPPING WORK AND OMG I AM SO SICK OF RIDING UP AND DOWN THE ELEVATOR but I know, I know, it will all be worth it. Here are some pictures of her — because puppy pictures make everyone smile, right????

 

First night with Stevie. And Ken pre haircut.

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Mural

My parent’s house in Oregon has an alley on one side of the house (a great big cement wall) which is an eye sore — especially when there are no plants that hang down on it. So this summer, my dad asked if my niece, Alagna, who is a very talented artist (at the ripe age of 12) could draw a mural on the wall. Since YOLO and I thought it would be a fun project to do with all the cousins, I decided to help with it. It has been SO fun and a lot of work. And god bless my parents who had faith in us to create something fun and pretty!

 

The night before we started, we went to Home Depot to get the paint and primer. It took WAY longer than expected because someone actually mixes and makes the colors? WHO KNEW?????

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Zoom Wedding

I attended my first zoom wedding this weekend, which happened to be my sister Courtney’s. Courtney and her now-husband-Evan had planned a small wedding for May 9th with their 3 month old son Alston, and Courtney’s two stepdaughters at their newly finished built home. Unfortunately due to COVID, they had to cancel the in-person ceremony but decided to do it over zoom. Totally zoomed out with the kids’ remote learning, rollerskating, tutoring, I was a little skeptical of how this would take place. But HOLY COW, it went above and beyond any of my expectations. It was extremely beautiful, really emotional, and a uniquely special and intimate experience. There were many many tears and it will forever be a wedding I will never forget. Congratulations, Court and Evan — love you both so much!

 

Courtney is biologically my cousin, but in 1995, her parents (and middle sister) were killed in a tragic car accident. So Courtney and Galen moved from California to Oregon to be raised by my parents. Courtney was 15 at the time, and Galen was 8. In honor of Courtney’s mom, she wore her mom’s original wedding dress. Seeing her walk down the stairs in the Mexican Pink Hippy dress brought tears to us all — it was a way of including her parents when they could not be there.

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Quick Paris Trip With Josie Natori

This past weekend, I was a true jetsetter and flew to Paris for a getaway with my mother-in-law. Yes, spoiled. Yes, privileged.  Yes, extravagant. But oh so fun and wonderful. As I age (thank you, 40), I realize that time together with loved ones becomes more and more important. And even though we live in the same city, I rarely have the opportunity to sit down with my mother-in-law just to be together.  We had a great time, simply walking around, shopping, eating, drinking champagne, conversing, and soaking up the beauty of Paris. Here are pictures. Enjoy!

 

I am a giant compared to my oh so glamorous MIL….

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Sakara Daydreamer Dressing

Creamy and oh so dreamy. This salad dressing from my new favorite cookbook “Eat Clean Play Dirty,” is great to make for the week ahead and drizzle on crudites or any salad. It was so good that immediately after I made the first batch, I QUADRUPLED the recipe to have more to grab for any and every salad!

 

Ingredients:

 

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Spring Break 2019 Part 2

Last week, we finished off spring break with good quality fun in Central Oregon with my parents. Generally when we are in Central Oregon, we go to Sunriver, but this time, we went to Black Butte Ranch. Beyond beautiful with spectacular views, we had a great time skiing, walking, lounging, watching movies, building puzzles, and being together. Enjoy this oversharing of family photos!

 

Family — the one shot that we got (minus Ken, who went back to NYC)!

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Funny Text Message Exchange

So if you follow my husband, Ken, on instagram, you may have already seen this whole post. But if you are NOT on social media, or do NOT follow Ken, or do NOT look at stories, then take a look at the below. Quick synopsis is that last Thursday night, there was a text message exchange between Ken and our 9 year old son, Cruzzie, in which Ken thought it was me…pretty funny — take a look. And good job, Babers, on being able to recreate the situation in a way that makes sense and is funny (I wouldn’t be able to do either!)

 

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Rummikub

For the past year, my favorite board game has been Rummikub. It is the perfect game for kids, families, or even adults to play. It is easy enough to play with kids, but also challenging and smart enough for adults.

 

Family game — that you can also put in a bag and travel with. We took it over Winter Break and it was the perfect downtime activity.

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Palm Springs January 2019

In my last overly-personal-post, here is my round up of pictures on our second week of vacation in Palm Springs, California. Thank you in advance for looking at the photos and learning more about Palm Springs — and I promise you that next week, we will be back to NORMAL posts that are not overly personal or sappy……After Sunriver, we decided to spend a week with our best friends from Stanford (who live in San Francisco) somewhere warm(ish), so we picked Palm Springs. I actually spent time in Palm Springs growing up as my childhood best friend’s parents had a home there, so I had fond memories. Although NOT warm this year, we had a wonderful time exploring a new place for the family and quality time with our friends — they are friends that are family, where they  know you so well (that they can give you unsolicited feedback) and will always be close to us despite the fact we live on different coasts.

 

Palm Springs is really retro and is a serious throwback to older times. We had amazing meals, all arranged by our friends (who did the research and reservations — thank you!).

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Sunriver December 2018

So before we get *totally* back to regular posts, I want to show pictures of our first week over Winter Break in Sunriver, Oregon. For the loyal readers, you know that Sunriver is a place that I have gone to my whole life, and as a result is truly a special spot. Not only is it gorgeous, but I have loads of fun memories of skiing, relaxing, and family time with the whole Proskurowski Family. I love that I get to share this place with my kids now, and that they get to experience the beauty and perfection of Winter Wonderland in Oregon. Take a look at the pictures!

 

We were fortunate enough to overlap with my brother and his kids (unfortunately, my sister in law had to work) for a couple of days. The kids love each other deeply…cousin love is REAL.

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Seattle Fall Weekend 2018

The past two Falls, I have made a trip out to Seattle with my son to have special alone time with him and his cousins. My brother lives in Seattle with his wife, three kids, two dogs, and two cats. As a lover of the Pacific Northwest, I love this trip to go visit him and just spend quality family time together. We don’t do much while there but it is nice to be all together. Here are some pictures of the weekend.

 

My brother’s house. ISN’T IT SO CUTE? Even with the scary decorations (my brother’s kids wanted it to be the spookiest house in the neighborhood), it is so cute. And so Fall.

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Overnight Train

When we were mapping out our summer travels, I knew that at one point, I wanted to take the kids on an overnight sleeper train adventure. Luckily, we had planned to go on our annual trip to Sonoma, so I knew that the magical train dream would be able to happen. It was perfect timing as my best friend from college, Bridget, had been visiting us in Eugene, and we were both aiming to get to California at the same time. So the five of us — me, Bridget, my two kids and her daughter — all went on the adventure together. And it was exactly that: an adventure. Not a mode of transportation to get us from Point A to Point B, or a luxurious beautiful hotel, but a memorable and fun experience. It was so much fun that I hope to make it an annual tradition — there was something about it that was nostalgic, peaceful, romantic, and comforting.

 

The five of us. And yes, Bridget and I are wearing matching outfits. Why would we NOT wear matching outfits?

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Random Thought

This is totally random and not my normal post, but, well, I am random and not completely normal. So it all seems fitting 🙂 Just a simple message to say that it is important to reach out to friends even if you feel like you know what is going on. Often times, what appears on social media (or say, in a blog), is just a fraction of reality. Social media is a great tool because it gives you a glimpse into your friends’ lives and whereabouts, but it is not actual communication with a friend. Writing an email, making a phone call, sending a text, making IRL plans –> that makes the biggest difference. Connecting and communicating with friends and loved ones is a two way street and oh so important.  Don’t forget to check in on your strong friends. A great article on this is here. And this applies to family, friends, mentors, colleagues, or inspirations. I know this is something that I need to continue to work on, but I also know that when I do hear from loved ones, it means the world to me.  A simple 2 minute effort goes along way. Happy Wednesday!

 

Me and the kiddos.

 

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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