Currently Loving December 2022

Here we are — December! Cross that out — MID DECEMBER! Here is what I am loving!

 

1. The Old Man and The Pool

 

I went to this in early December and it was SOO funny. I loved the 75 minute one man show and highly recommend anything that Mike Birbiglia does. In this production, it was about aging, and it could not have been more relevant or in tune with life. LOVED it.

 

2. Rat Ornament

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Telestrations

Over Thanksgiving Break, we were introduced to Telestrations, and it is hands down, the most fun board game I have played in a long time. It is the perfect family game — fast moving, easy, enjoyable for every age, and so much fun.

 

Immediately after the first time we played this, I purchased one for our family. It is a game that the kids ASK and BEG to play — it is so fun for everyone in the family.

 

The game is exactly what it sounds like  — a combination of telephone and pictionary. You receive a word, you have to draw it, and then the next person guesses it, the next person draws it, etc….It is so fun and every time I play, we laugh SO much.

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Autry Sneakers

I am a lover of sneakers — I wear Nike Dunks and Vans more than I wear any other shoes. They are comfortable, practical, AND hip. And now, I have a third sneaker to add to my rotation, Autry. I have a feeling that these shoes are going to be the next Golden Goose (aka luxury sneaker, but not at that ridiculously price point) and men, women, and kids will be all wearing them soon (and if my prediction is wrong, at least everyone in my family will be wearing them). Move over, veja, these sneakers are the best.

 

I like them all in all color ways, but for my first purchase, I picked the green and white. I LIVE in my black and white dunks, so these are a similar flair and style.

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Currently Loving Early November 2022

Yesterday, I wrote that the date was November 2021. I can’t believe that it is not 2021, and in fact, it is almost 2023! Here is what I am loving right now in Early November.

 

1.  Zara Marine Jeans (for kids)

 

These jeans are the cutest and I wish they had them in adults sizes. They are Tusia’s first jeans (ever) and she loves them just as much as I do (which is never the case).

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Wordle Communication

Ever since I discovered Wordle, I play every. single. day. without. a doubt. It is part of my daily rituals and something I love. Even more important, it is a way I stay in touch with an old friend of mine. We do not text or talk about anything, but every single day (without fail! for the past 9 months), we send each other’s results to one another.

 

 

 

Literally all our conversations look like this.

 

 

Back and forth.

 

Back and forth.

 

It seems silly — it is — but there is something so meaningful about these simple interactions. It is a way to check in (non verbal) and somehow feels very loving and supportive. So, highly suggest connecting with someone — it doesn’t have to be a traditional form of connection, but even something this little, makes all the difference. Happy week!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Mochinut Donuts

I love the food website, The Infatuation, that writes about all the new restaurants,bars, cafes, bakeries, in any and every city. Most of all, I love their random guides such as “Best pizza in NYC’ or “Best donuts in NYC“. And of course, not only do I love reading the articles slash lists, but I love trying all their random recommendations. For best donut in NYC, I decided to try something new and different, Mochinut Donuts. Mochinut is a chain with locations all over South Korean, Thailand, and most states in the United States (literally everywhere!). What makes these donuts unique is that they are made with rice flour.

 

Two locations in Manhattan — I went to the one on 38th and 6th. Super friendly, clean, and easy.

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Doorless Helicopter Tour of NYC

For Cruz’s 13th birthday last week, all he wanted was a doorless helicopter ride of the city. Since I had very few presents to give him, I thought that this gift would be extra special to him as it was an experience he could remember forever. Mind you, I hate heights, and don’t like to be on balconies of buildings, but in the end, it was worth it to see how happy Cruz was. I did a lot of research leading up to it and found that FlyNyon had the best reviews. Sure enough, the customer service was amazing and our experience unforgettable, and would definitely recommend this company to any one that is crazy enough to do it.

 

I didn’t make the reservations until the morning of. I couldn’t figure it out online (and I wanted a later time), so I called the number, and was greeted by the most HELPFUL person ever, Colleen.

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Currently Loving October 2022

Here we are in October! Fall in New York….here is what I am currently loving (and please send me what you are loving, too! I love to hear!)

 

1. Flash Flowers by Lewis Miller Design

 

Walking home from drop off yesterday and I saw this beautiful flower flash installation by Lewis Miller Design — always so beautiful.

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Beat the Bomb

Beat the Bomb – an immersive group experience! I have heard amazing reports about this interactive activity, which is a mixture of an escape room and a video game, so I signed up and took some kids to have some fun. Absolutely everyone had a blast and it was the perfect rainy indoor day activity. Located in DUMBO in Brooklyn, Beat the Bomb is a privately owned company that started five years ago. It was first built for adults, for group bonding activities and fun, but after the pandemic, they realized that kids were wizards at ipads. So now, it is 50% adults, and 50% kids.

 

When you get to the space, you have to put on a hazmat suit. Blurry photo, but gives you an idea of what the suit looks like.

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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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