my husband is this constant mystery to me. nearly ten years in and there are all sorts of things about him that still make no sense. for instance. he claims his favorite food is spaghetti, yet he always turns down an offer to get dinner at italian places.

but there exists this magical pocket of brandon-ness where i know i've got it made. i know i can do right by him, if only it involves: conversations about the merits of high rises with a balcony over brownstones with a green space // sunflower seeds // eddie vedder // any new flavor of chip or soda made by dorito or mt dew // discussing however many floors tall the new construction in our neighborhood has gotten to that day // going to the bronx zoo.

sometimes i let him feel morally superior to me because i possibly missed the cutoff to being a "gen x-er" by maaaaybe one year. he really enjoys that one for some reason. 

on friday we went to see the bronx zoo. brandon's first time! as luck would have it we made it there on the coldest, drizzliest day of our lives. we were so under dressed. even looking at these photos makes my toes feel numb. but we stuck it out, because the bronx zoo, even in lousy weather, now that is a fun afternoon. and because for that brandon of mine i would count the floors on sky scrapers and listen to grunge rock that i pretend not to know the words to and dump shelled sunflower seeds into the garbage can until my dying day. 

a few photos from our zoo day the second day, the bronx zoo edition.

▲▲▲ this boy and his "pack pack." he wears it constantly. thank you laura for our fresh summer kankens
▲▲▲ the tiger exhibit at the bronx zoo is balls to the wall. we were there right at lunch time so they were just hanging out on the rocks, waiting on their antelope drumsticks. this was worth the train ride there, full stop.
▲▲▲ these sweet snuggling monkeys made me so intensely happy.
▲▲▲ how cool are all those horns hanging out under the eaves. something i can't get over about the bronx zoo is how many animals we were able to see. it may have been the weather, but everyone was out ready to party.
▲▲▲ the butterfly room!
▲▲▲ this cold wet toddler was a trooper. you know how well-intentioned people like to declare a kid's future based on whatever random thing he's into at the time ("he's going to be a fire fighter!") if i were that sort i'd peg this boy as a future zoologist, he loves him some animals. buuuuut i'm not, because that's silly. we'd be a country of princesses and truck drivers if two-year-olds were any indication of things.

p.s. we've always used a kanken for holding huck's diapers and snacks, it's the perfect size and shape and they're waterproof too. my friend laura sent us a matching set of kankens over the weekend and we felt pretty misty-eyed. laura's shop, johan's-son, is rad. she specializes in swedish goods and has a really great eye for curation. 

my romper is from anthropologie 
huck's tee is from cute attack.



we've had a lot of interest in our little play school group so i figured i'd answer a few of your questions before launching into the last play school we hosted.

we hold our play school during the school months (september through june) for kids aged 2-3. we meet every tuesday from 10:30 till about noon, and each mom takes hosting duties one month at a time. those of us who have studio apartments host in the warmer months at the park. there are usually eight kids in attendance, give or take a vacation or a runny nose, and babies and big siblings who aren't in school yet usually come too. they just know all the answers that much faster, and are so helpful at keeping the little kids interested and focused.

the basic layout is: free play as everyone arrives (usually 15 minutes or so), a quick 5-10 minute lesson (this can be a book, a quick discussion, even short educational videos), then craft time. then we usually have an activity, something physical to get some wiggles out, and then another craft, or another short story book, depending on time. lunch is served around 11:30, and then free play goes down until the kids need to be home for naps.

we have a box of craft supplies we all went in on together that we've passed around as each mom takes on hosting duties. it's got glue, washable markers, safety scissors, construction paper, a few stickers . . . your basic toddler crafting supplies.

for our last play school we learned about april showers. 

▲▲▲ our craft project was an umbrella made from paper plates (oh paper plates you genius craft medium you), craft paper and yarn for the rain drops, and paper straws for the handle. paper straws aren't really for drinking from, are they? they have such a funky texture.
▲▲▲ we talked about rain and weather and what we wear on rainy days (here in the city, rain gear is a ne-ces-si-ty), and then i had each child make and decorate a few raindrops for playing "pin the rain drop under the rain cloud." evan's mom had the genius idea to add a lightning bolt at the end.
▲▲▲ lunch and then free play. and then our apartment was sad and empty. we love having all of huck's friends over! this apartment was made for a party.
▲▲▲ p.s. this would have been our ". . . brings may flowers" follow up craft for the week of play school  following (p.s. smash on in the background, rude that it got canceled just when i was getting into it), but 6/8ths of our class called in sick that morning so we decided to cancel.



how do you like huck's strategically placed chocolate milk spill from lunch! he's a master with that chocolate milk.

and so it came to pass that brandon had himself a super extended holiday weekend, thanks to the past few weeks of bonkers billing hours and a very nice boss who basically kicked him out of the office. he's back at work today and i barely know what to do with myself. 

brandon requested a full weekend of zoo trips for our huck the animal lover. i've been enjoying a chest cold all week so it was kind of a slow motion zoo day for me, but still a real good afternoon. i have this magical body where after two days of allergies it all gets trapped in my chest and i sound like an old smoker. it's really pretty.

and now, here is what we saw on our zoo day (sick day) memorial day the first day, at the central park zoo.

▲▲▲ we rolled in just in time to watch the sea lions eat lunch and perform a few tricks. it was also rather humid out. i am just giving you the background info here.

past cpzoo trips, for the sake of whatever:

my dress is from forever 21
(three years ago) 
my shoes are from zara



i've been dreaming about gold jewelry, specifically the kind that manages to be both dainty and masculine at the same time. i just want for my hands and arms to be filled with bangly, geometric, stackable rings and bracelets this summer. it seems like the best counterpoint to a very sparse summer wardrobe. (see: my inner minimalist and maximalist at war yet again) maybe i'd throw in a straw hat.

for the first time in a long time i'm even wearing earrings. i don't love wearing earrings, but those brvtvs vectis studs haven't left my ears since they arrived in the mail, they've completely made my life. (it doesn't hurt that i know the designer and she's stinking rad. the knees on my bees, caroline!)

know of any good sources for spare, bold, angry, delicate gold jewelry? i'm on the hunt. pictured above, favorites from odette ny, brvtvs, and another feather.

(i'm trying out some editorial calendar nonsense these days and planning to do a style or home post every friday along with my usual babble links for the next little bit)

and now! the good, the bad, the babble:
and its red headed step child,



today was really rather funny.

first you should know, these trees and i are not getting along too well. i'm a sneezing mess but let's not dwell on it. somehow i peeled myself off the couch and pulled on some proper clothes, stuffed my toddler in his stroller, that sort of thing. adventures aren't going to have themselves, you know.

and then it was so soupy out. my hair went pfffft and that's when you learn what you're really made of, when the hair you've just carefully brushed into place goes all rogue on you. i blame the weather for this next part, too: stupidly i spent nine dollars this morning on a bottle of green juice from organic avenue. i drank it really fast (while pulling all my most attractive faces, seriously, yuck), and then i suddenly turned into a freaking superhero. holy the what, kale juice! i am telling you i was unstoppable. 

so anyway.

i went on to have a very you've got mail-y type afternoon. 

we passed barney greengrass while running errands so we stopped in for a bagel (this is where birdie and kathleen have the discussion about the "book district" and the "vice versa" and also that very crunchy sounding tuna sandwich or whatever that was).

i bought an enormous bouquet of lilacs plus two peonies because they were on sale at a corner deli and i'm no fool (they're not daisies but i feel impulse flower purchases of all types are a very kathleen kelly thing to do)

once errands were accomplished we went to riverside park for an afternoon playground date and got to walk past that sweet little flower garden at 91st street.

and then by sheer accident we walked down 89th street on our way home. 89th being where they filmed the exterior shots of kathleen's apartment (i am pathetic and/or awesome for knowing this stuff).

to make things even nuttier, i remembered on the way home that some of brandon's shirts needed to be picked up from the dry cleaners. and this is where we come full circle, because our dry cleaner dude used to be on columbus avenue but recently moved into the space that used to be cafe sonatina, which before that used to be maya's cheese shop, which before that used to be . . . the shop around the corner. no i am NOT kidding you and that is why i'm willing to walk eight blocks out of my way to still use our old neighborhood dry cleaner dude.

sometimes i am such a cliché of myself. but today i was real happy to have them. even in this big old city where it can sometimes feel like it's me against the world, and where i sometimes feel so off my game, i have somehow made these little pockets of "me" here and there. little pockets that remind me that this big place is mine, too. 

i think it's important to have little pockets like that, where ever we may live.

a few photos from our afternoon at the park. my kid is a giant.