Currently Loving August 2022 Part 2

It is so true that January and February creep by — each day seems sooooo long, and then July and August just whizzzzzz by. So here we are, end of August, and here is what I am loving.

 

1. Good Quote

 

Seen on a hike, “Expect noting. Celebrate everything.” I love this quote and think about it often.

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Natori Summer Blues

Every summer, we go to our dear friends’ home in Sonoma to celebrate a weekend with many of our Stanford Business School friends. It has happened the past 8 summers and is always one of the best weekends of the year. We lounge, hike, eat, indulge, rollerskate, and laugh. OOOHHHH we laugh and it is so fun. It is also our second time we have picked a theme of an evening — in 2019 we did Sunset Hues.

 

Sunset Hues. That was our guideline — and everyone could dress how they wanted to.

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Governors Island Glamping

One of my favorite places in NYC is Governors Island, a 172 acre island that is 800 yards from Manhattan (a 7 minute ferry ride!). It is the perfect place to spend a day wandering and feels like a vacation, when it is only minutes away from home (well depending on the traffic….). And even better — you can spend the night there! It is an upscale camping experience and is a memorable and truly perfect way to spend the night. Recently, I took my daughter “glamping” on Governors Island mid week and it was the highlight of our Spring.

 

This is Tusia on Governors Island in 2017. Since then, the green space has turned in to the property for the glamping, Collective Retreats.

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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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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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Lost Stickers

In my walks and runs in NYC, I love to look at all the stickers posted everywhere — they are little signs full of joy, wisdom, hope, and mystery. My favorite current series is by Irish artist, Asbestos, who has created and posted street art everywhere since 2003. I love to see them as they are all in random places around the city — never making much sense but bringing a smile to my face.

 

Lost leek

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Needlepoint Chair

As you all know, in the past two years (thank you, pandemic hobby), I have become an avid needlepointer. I have made hundreds of coasters, pillows, sunglasses holders, and ornaments. I keep them or give them to friends and family. But this past week, I finally *SOLD* one of my creations and I am so happy. Yes, I  made about $2 per hour, but I love the process and the creation, so the money in the end isn’t the important part. I collaborated with upholster, Chairloom, to make a beautiful chair and I am so proud of the final creation that I had to share with you all — thank you for letting me share! We worked together to find the right vintage chair, perfect fabric to match, and then Chairloom put it all together. Take a look!

 

The chair! I did the BIG needlepoint and then teamed up with Chairloom. The chair is actually a tiny small chair — which we loved — BIGGIE SMALLS in a tiny kings chair.

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Wordle and Nerdle

For the few of you who don’t know about WORDLE, I feel like I need to tell you about it. It is a word game that gives players six chances to randomly guess a five-letter word. If your letter is in the right spot, it shows up as green, and if it is a correct letter but in the wrong spot, it shows up as yellow. So you figure out which letter is in the word and if it is in the correct spot. You have six chances.

 

The hardest part for me is to try to figure out which five letter word to use….In general, I am not very good at wordle, and am much better at the mini crossword and at Spelling Bee.

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Glamping on Governors Island

In celebration of my 5th grade son’s last day of school, we went to Governors Island with some of his besties and their moms. Governors Island has always been one of my favorite places — an easy afternoon IN the city, but OUT of the city. It is an 172 acre island in the heart of New York Harbor, located only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan. In recent years, we have visited dozens of times but have only been there for a couple of hours each time. Basically, there is not much to do but walk, scoot, look, eat, and hang out (but what else do you really need?) This time around, I thought ahead and booked us for an overnight stay, glamping at Collective Retreats.

 

Private boat to Collective Retreats (The company / hotel where we glamped). The complimentary water taxi runs from 430 pm to 10 pm, which is crucial since the public ferry stops service at 6 pm. The water taxi only holds up to 6 people, so it was just us on the ride. They made it a scenic ride and took us to the Statue of Liberty and other spectacular views of the city.

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You Are Loved Bracelets

In one of my online middle of the night scrolls, I discovered You are Loved — a Swiss designer creating fun, easy, and beautiful bracelets. I love them so much and now they are my go-to-present and just ordered a slew more to put in my gift closet (I always like having gifts on hand). They are the perfect addition to any outfit as they are bright and cheery.

 

Three beads on fabric. So simple, yet genius.

Cute packaging.

How they arrive.

I love all the little touches.

On my wrist.

With my watch.

 

To buy, go here. To follow on social media, go here. I love them because they are simple, inexpensive, but add some fun and flair to any look. Happy Monday!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Dried Apples

As an activity, we went apple picking and brought home 18 pounds of apples — not very much in comparison to the 40 pounds of peaches from a couple weeks ago — but still enough that I knew I had to do something with them before they rotted. I know, seems backwards, buy to get rid of ??? Right, like as soon as I bought the apples, first thought was HOW AM I GOING TO GET RID OF THEM? The best trick is to make dried apples — so super duper easy — but it requires time — almost 12 hours in a low heat oven. A lot of time.

 

The apple of my eye, holding an apple.

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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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Needlepointing

Going old school and needlepointing! Over the weekend, after watching movie number 2 of the day  (it was raining), I decided that we needed to bring needlepoint in to our lives. I grew up without a television and a very artistic mother, so at a very young age, my brother and I cross stitched. I have fond memories of us camping and sitting by the fire and cross stitching. So, we piled in to the car, and drove to an embroidery store (The Enriched Stitch in Wilton, CT) to get the supplies. I really don’t have a clue on what I am doing, but I taught Cruzzie, too, and it is theraputic, frustrating, and extremely rewarding. I can’t wait to finish our first project and then start another one. They are so addicting!

 

There is a basic stitch that is easy to learn and then you just do it. We spent hours on the couch stitching….

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Roller Dancing

I know it might be #oversharing, but last December, I picked up a new hobby of roller dancing and it has made such an impact on my life. I know it sounds so cheesy, but it is really true, and something I want to share with you all. When I look back on the past 12 months, what strikes me the most is how much joy, laughter and fun roller skating (specifically roller dancing) has brought me. Since January, I have consistently roller skated at least twice a week and I have loved every minute. When in NYC, I take lessons in my dining room (god bless my husband and his patience) and in the summer in Oregon and California, I would skate on the streets. There is something so freeing, liberating, joyful, and fun about it all. I have absolutely loved picking up a new hobby and seeing my weekly improvements, listening to music loud and dancing to it, working out (it is so hard),

 

Me and my teacher.

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Skating at Bryant Park

This past weekend, we found ourselves with zero plans. We originally were scheduled to go up to Pound Ridge for a cozy and relaxed weekend, but after a change of orthodontist appointments on Saturday and Ken needing to go on a business trip on Sunday afternoon, we decided to stay put in the city. This gave us an opportunity to be a tourist in our own city — and I am so glad we explored! We discovered Ice Skating at Bryant Park which was a great family activity. Unlike other rinks in the city, admission is FREE (rentals cost money, but if you have your own skates, then it is FREE!) and it opens up at 8 am! We drove downtown for breakfast and on our way back uptown, parked right in front of the ice skating rink to do some laps!

 

Bryant Park Winter Wonder Land — lots of shops, food, people watching, ice skating — truly, a winter wonderland.

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Leopard Print Midi Skirt

I am a sucker for anything leopard print. I have always loved anything leopard but when it recently became on trend, I couldn’t help but buy anything and everything leopard. Over the past several years, I have collected a rather large assortment of leopard items. So when I read the article in the NYTimes about the Leopard Print Midi Skirt being a must have, and since it was the ONE item that I didn’t own in leopard, I knew that I had to join the trend (in this case, yes a follower). It arrived earlier this week and I am IN LOVE. LOVE oh so much. And by the way, I scoured the internet searching for the perfect leopard midi skirt, and ended up on the first one the NY Times recommended. I LOVE IT.

 

It is silk, comfortable, easy to wear.

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Pari Roller

Greetings from France!  I came with the kids and have loved every minute I have in this beautiful country. I love the light, food, fashion, language, art and culture. And now, I have my favorite event to add to the list: Pari Roller. Pari Roller is a weekly event in Paris full of roller skaters and roller bladers along specified routes in the city. Every Friday, all year long, starting at 9:30 pm, skaters have the opportunity to skate on closed down roads for 40 kilometers. Since roller skating has become a new passion and hobby, I was excited to try it out and be a part of this unique and special celebration. At the last minute, I convinced my friend Jean from NYC to come with me for a portion of the trip *IF* she roller skated with me that night. Always positive and enthusiastic, she said she had not been on skates for 35 years but was confident in her ability and thought it sounded fun. Jean is an incredibly upbeat, fashionable and creative friend, so it was no surprise that she picked out an outfit that corresponded with her skates.

 

Jean flew to Paris with her complete outfit (on the right). I thought it would be a great idea to match her, so the DAY OF, I went to Zara and lo and behold, found the silver pants. It was like I won the lottery I was so excited.

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Spring Break 2019 Part 1

Spring Breeeeeakkkkkkkk! After a long and grueling cold winter in New York City, nothing feels as good as warm weather, sunshine, and the beach. For the first week of our break, we went to Imanta in Punta de Mita, Mexico with my in-laws. It was rustic AND luxurious, eco friendly, secluded, beyond beautiful, and very relaxing. Take a look at the pictures, enjoy the sharing overload!

 

The kids are at a great age where they can play in the pool alone and not be supervised at all times…..The kids loved to go skinny dipping in the pool (good old Hippy Roots!)

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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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Braided Hair

As a gift for my birthday this past Saturday, I was sent a hair stylist and make up artist by the CEO of Glamsquad. She is the mother of one of my students and insisted that she was sending the best of the best to make me feel special on my special day. I don’t love getting my hair and make up done, but this time, I told them I was open to them doing whatever they wanted (more flexibility when you turn 40?!?!?). And holy smokes, I was so happy with the result. I loooooooooove my hair and now if I get my hair done, I am going to show them pictures of this because I loved it so much.

 

I told the stylist that I loved braids but could do a crown braid myself, so to do something different and unique. The top portion is a normal inside out braid and then it goes in to a fish tail braid.

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