and the holbrooks are off! we're taking a mini US history road trip for an extended birthday weekend excursion (a few years ago we did something similar--birthday road trips are really fun, you should try it). for the occasion, mazda's lent us a very  rad, very electric blue mazda 3 for the weekend (we will not be losing it in any parking lots). we're hoping to bottle up some of this lovely early fall weather and see the historic sights of philadelphia, washington d.c., maybe some virginia, hopefully some amish country too. this is something i've wanted to do for a long time, ever since we moved back to the east coast. just two history buffs in a borrowed blue car with a mostly amenable toddler... it's going to be one really nerdy weekend. i'm excited!

here are some babbles to keep you entertained while i'm gone

i did a series of "how i wear my ..." posts for levi's



the other afternoon a friend stopped by the apartment to use my gel manicure lamp and tell me all about the interesting things in her life and also to share some sprinkles cupcakes she'd picked up on her way over.

i was doing that classic mom maneuver, where you shout out "i'm listening!" while chasing down your toddler and fetching snacks and wiping whole bunches of smeared champagne grapes off the floor.

it was during one such "i'm listening!"that i stepped into the bedroom and shrieked. ooh it was blood curdling, you'd have been impressed. i shrieked because there was an entire dead person on my bed. 

a dead dragon fly person.

it was so big! and SO DEAD. and all sprawled out in such a pathetic way, like it was the victim of some horrible homicide with part of its wing broken off, and not to mention it's head was HUGE, almost the size of mine and honestly this is no exaggeration, i was completely terrified of it. i was absolutely freaked. it was probably the most frightening thing i had ever seen, ever. 

i squealed and wiggled my fingers in the air and shuddered from head to toe and then it only got worse when i realized it was dead RIGHT WHERE I HAD JUST BEEN LYING NOT AN HOUR EARLIER NURSING MY BABY.

i was the kind of squicked out i usually only get around those mosquito hawk things because you just know those guys have no control over where they are flying. 

i am sorry for that link, by the way.

so obviously my first inclination was to take a photo of it and put it on instagram. 

once that was done (check!), then i had to fret over what on EARTH to do with the body.

the enormity of its enormous body was such that i couldn't just pick the thing up and drop it in the toilet.... i mean, it would dangle

so, ohhhhh goooooshhhh.

so the next obvious thing to do was to text the photo to brandon. 

i found this on the bed! right where i was laying! I WAS LAYING ON IT!

i mean, the horribleness and the awfulness of it will never actually be forgotten.
(name that movie please.)

brandon wrote back and suggested the thing had obviously COME IN ON MY SHIRT, but is this not too terrible a thought to even consider????????

no no, he must have come in through the living room window. breathe. i had opened it just an hour earlier, because i was enjoying the early autumn breeze like an idiot. maybe he'd flown in, somehow gotten past my face and on down the hall, then rested his furry body on the bed and felt all happy with himself until big old fat me had to come in and crush him totally to death by nursing my baby down for a nap on him. 

(at least he got to die with a boob in his face.)

no matter no matter. he was dead and occupying my bedroom and now i could never go in there any more ever again. ever. and my faux leather leggings from forever 21 had just arrived and i wanted to try them on! it was becoming such a tragedy.

when the holbsinator got home he dealt with its remains. i was just glad it was him and not me. i am sure brandon's eulogy was quite elegant, but i wasn't invited to the service. i had to stay away, you see. out of respect for the dead. since i killed him.

and so now you know the story of how i had a dead dragon fly corpse rotting on my bed until 10pm one night a week or so back.

you're welcome.



we invited a few friends over for a homemade pizza night the other night and okay, i am hooked. i want homemade pizza for every meal for the rest of my life. i think the trick is having a killer dough recipe (i don't), or else buying the trader joe's premade dough from the refrigerated section and just lowering your homemade standards already.

we set out toppings and a beet salad and some cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto and made three pizzas--a margherita, a veggie, and a meat lovers. they all came out really, really great. 

and this is my favorite salad to make in the whole world, it's intensely good.

i now think arugula should be a requirement on all pizzas. 



so a few weekends ago we hit up sara beth's in tribeca for brunch with our friends,
followed by the playground at pier 25

the other weekend we attempted to get to governor's island for the millionth time this year...

...only to find out after ten minutes underground that the train we needed wasn't running for the day.
(it's just not be meant to be, governor's island.)

we've been going on endless picnics in the sunshine this month, 
and brandon's been testing the various roach coaches about town.
(gives this one a "bland, yet heavily garlicky" rating.)

and my latest mystery to solve:
i've never actually seen any of these newsstands stocked with newspapers....

and now we are all caught up.

if you're in the city you should really try sara beth's for brunch.
the tribeca location, to be precise.
because the one uptown, as my good friend nicole says, "looks like a retirement home."



... that would be my brandon.

sometimes husbands deserve a birthday post in their honor. it is what it is.

i generally like living with the holbs. he's a pretty funny cat. i used to call him the holbs but i don't really so much anymore. here are some of the better things he's said to me lately:

while watching a commercial for lays potato chips:
"who even eats potato chips? why do they even exist anymore? what if we deleted potato chips... like, replaced them with fruit.... my life would not change at all."

one night at 2AM when i was trying so hard to be asleep but huck was shouting for me, and i impaled my elbow on the doorknob so hard that i had no choice but to say some choice words:
"i feel like we should talk about your anger issues."

saturday evening while i was out at girl's night, via text:
"henry loves corn!"

one time while watching ice hockey:
"nobody noticed my new socks today. is this what it feels like to be a woman?"

in between bites of dinner one time:
"so, guess what i recorded for us tonight? two episodes of ...... bunheads!" 
(i guess you'd have to have seen the look on his face to really get this one. we're talking, like, legit excitement.)

one night when i was describing my monday morning ritual of running to the wifi cafe to write, then getting an egg and cheese bagel on my way home for lunch, 
"that is so carrie bradshaw of you."

here's one:
"wouldn't you love to live on an arugula farm?"

here's another one, which came one evening from the couch following a deep, soulful sigh:
"so, we maaaaaaay have to become brooklyn nets fans."

and now a cute story, with an aside in the middle you'll just have to power through, and then this post will be over.

so there is a hotel in town that brandon is positively obsessed with. he walks past it on his way to and from work every day. he nearly almost always sees at least one celebrity coming out of the lobby. it's like a game. we always text each other when we see a celeb there and keep a running tally of who's seen the best so far. i've seen alec baldwin, i've seen bryce dallas howard. that sort of thing.

the other day brandon saw bruce willis. BRUCE WILLIS! I WIN!
so, he won. 

one time we saw the dude who plays schmidt on new girl. my mom was with us, and brandon and i started employing that trick we use when one of us spots a celeb but wants to play it cool while still alerting the other one to what is going on so they can see the celeb too, and really we're pretty subtle about it, but my mom could tell something was up but not what exactly, and she got so frustrated by us not telling her why we were wobbling our elbows all weird that she finally shouted, "WHAT IS GOING ON!???!" in the middle of the street right next to schmidt! and then we had to shush her and giggle like silly people until we were out of earshot, though i'm sure schmidt would have been cool about it because he seemed really cool. and so, yeah.

right so one afternoon while i was writing up a storm in the wifi cafe across the street, brandon suddenly appeared at my side, grinning like a cheshire cat. 

"of all the cafes in all of manhattan!" he said.

he'd been given the day off for good behavior and decided to hunt me down. 

next he went to stand in front of this favorite hotel of his for a while to see who all he could see. he'd heard a rumor that american idol was taping nearby, so he was feeling lucky.

fifteen minutes later, he texted me this:

what up, DOG!

and then after that in quick succession, these:

so, that's my husband for you. 

when he puts his mind to something, when he puts his mind to seeing randy jackson, he sees randy jackson AND he sees nicki minaj AND he sees keith urban too.

because the universe will stop whatever it is doing to deliver for my husband.

because my husband is a hero, that's why.



on friday night we saw bon iver play radio city music hall for brandon's birthday. it was suuuuch a great show, in such a freaking rad venue. aaand basically i cried all the way through it because apparently my "this is way rad" sensor is tied to my "i'm going to cry" sensor. who knows, girl things.

happy birthday to mah brandon! muah!



buster is the name of my phone.
well, buster lord voldemort the third is the name of my phone.
here are some of buster's favorite shots from around the town these days.

this week (last week?) on the babbles:

the new cradle from babybjorn is so pretty you guys

emerson fry's fall line is CUTE (and apparently not very good in person???)



i had a silly thought this evening as i was frosting brandon's birthday cake.

the frosting was melting everywhere because i haven't found patience yet in my old age 
and i can never wait for a cake to cool properly before i start to ice it,
and as i was layering gloopy frosing on that too-warm cake i thought, 

well no wonder i haven't gotten pregnant yet.
how could i get pregnant in the summertime?! the baby wouldn't have a fall birthday!

because apparently you can't be a holbrook unless you have a fall birthday.
these just seem to be the rules.

we call it birthday season,
brandon's comes first.
(followed by mine two weeks later, followed by huck's three weeks later.)
(followed by halloween followed by thanksgiving followed by christmas! whew.)

brandon's birthday kicks us off. 
it falls on the first day of fall (or the last day of summer, whatever), 
and as i thought about it even more, i realized that this was all for very good reason.

because you see, all the best stuff starts with brandon.

you're our hero, brandon holbrook.
and aging with such grace! ;) 

happy birthday, baby!



now that it is fall, my kitchen has started to look at me funny. 

last night we had a few friends over for homemade pizza. one of our friends, who is living in a loft studio in a cute little old brownstone in a way radder neighborhood than ours, took one step into my kitchen and said "i am getting vertigo from all the space in here! wait! is vertigo the opposite of claustrophobia?"  

so now my kitchen is getting all these ideas. 

so i cracked open a few cans of coconut milk for a big old pot of curry. and then i figured i should share the recipe, since my nat nests tag has also been giving me the wonk-eye lately. 

we like our curry really, really chunky.

sautee minced garlic and a few tablespoons of olive oil in a big old pot.

add half a yellow onion.

chop your vegetables. we like carrots, baby potatoes, and celery, 
four of each or so.

cook vegetables in pot until softened, stirring occasionally.

season with salt, pepper, and as much yellow curry powder as you can stand.
i don't actually have any idea how much i usually use. 

add two cans of coconut milk (we like lite coconut milk, let's not get crazy here), 
a cup or so of frozen peas, and some seasoned, grilled extra firm tofu, if tofu is your bag of chips.

serve to your toddler with brown rice and a slice of ham.
your husband won't be home from work for, like, three more hours.