something funny happened the minute we got out of the taxi from the airport and walked in the door, where suddenly i just HAD to fix all the glaring problems i've always ignored pretty well about the place. things like how our dining chairs were too short for our table, and how my side chair in the living room wasn't making me happy, and etc etc etc. poor brandon. i came in like a wrecking ball, dude.  

i was able to sell most of the offenders this week and we're starting to make the moves on some replacements. except for that chesterfield. that chesterfield will always live in my dreams, and in my dreams alone. 

and now, home items i've been eyeing lustfully...
product sources // one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten
image sources // one, two, three, four

this post is part of an ongoing collaboration with eBay. to see all of my collections, click HERE. you'll like them, i promise. :) #followitfindit


oh hey! hiiiiii. 

and now we have the very best of portland! according to me.

okay but first a shot of huck to start us off.


oh yeah and p.s. this is totes bella's truck, isn't it? okay okay okay.

this is a long one, so i've put it after a jump.
click to keep reading...



the other day i was wandering through our local anthropologie, as you do, and huck brought over one of those in store moroccan straw market totes for putting your junk in, and i looked at it and i had one of those moments that i have every time i go into an anthropologie store and see those totes, where i think "where on EARTH do they find these things!?" because truly the anthropologie straw totes are the end all be all of straw totes. seriously. ten bucks to whoever can solve this for me.

last summer i carried a straw market tote from zara as my handbag, but it was already falling apart by the end of august so preemptively i'm on the hunt for another. this time i want something sturdier. i just love the way a straw tote finishes off a simple, casual summer outfit. i want to use it for picnics, i want to use it for toting home wet swimsuits from the playgrounds, i also want to take it... to the market with me. you know. and until then they'd come in real handy around the house for corralling miscellaneous small messes, like throw blankets.

anyway, it got me on a huge moroccan straw market tote search online last night, and you are about to be the beneficiary! how very jane birkin of you. a few of my favorite inspiration images and my favorite sturdy, inexpensive moroccan straw market totes you can buy on the internet. 
just click to keep reading :)



one / two / three / four / five / six / seven

just a few things i've been enjoying lately: the accessories edition. these days getting dressed involves picking a pair of skinny jeans, throwing on some boots, and then choosing between the same rotating handful of grey, white, and black sweaters that i brought out to oregon, over and over and over. the happy part of packing light + staying longer than expected is the realization that i never need to wear any other thing pretty much ever. color be gone! i've never felt more like myself. and what's even more fun is how much i've enjoyed that moment at the end where i go to the dresser, dab on a fragrance, and pick out a fun little extra to jazz things up.

these are a few of the pieces i've been playing around with lately. none of them are exactly the style i'd go for usually (minus the feral watch... brown leather straps and a big white face make my heart go pitter-pat), but that's been the most fun. bangles usually stress me out, but the two on their own set against the minimalism of the rest of my outfit, i really like it. a few times i've worn both of the pradman gemstone rings at the same time on the same finger, which makes for a kind of luxe crazy-person vibe, but only on one finger, and that's real good by me.

pradman jewelry has generously offered to give a cushion cut ring of the winner's choosing to one lucky hey natalie jean reader. to enter, simply scroll through the selections at their website HERE, then come back and tell me which ring you'd choose. (and please check out their instagram at @pradmanjewels!) our winner will be chosen monday and contacted privately. good luck and happy commenting!



been working on this one on and off for the last month. :)
i love this life of ours so much i could spit.
happy valentime's, beeb.

p.s. on me:
everlane short sleeve sweatshirt
maxi skirt
and penguins!



the thing about portland is all it takes is a two degree dip in the wrong direction and all that rain turns into all that snow.

over the weekend we got completely snowed in, it was pretty delightful. we got just about a foot or so, it didn't stop dumping for three days straight. grandma did a lot of baking, i got a lot of writing done (and good thing too, as i'm pretty sure everything i've written since yesterday has been straight up crap), and henry watched a lot of spider man with his grandpa. which is funny because the way this kid carries on about spider man you'd think he'd seen at least one already, but nope, this weekend was his first spidey and judging by the amount of wrist jutting, hero stances, and little boy grunting going down, i'd say it was a hit.

snow days bring out the best in everyone. at one point over the weekend i walked past the front door just in time to see a wild pack of cross country skiers out the window, and on saturday while driving back from costco (just to prove what a bad ass i was, i miss driving in the snow, thanks idaho) i passed a dude hitchhiking in a bear coat. in the two minutes it took me to crawl past him with my car we exchanged some funny looks. i was sort of apologetic that i wasn't going to pull over for him, and he made it pretty clear he didn't really want anyone to pick him up, because then nobody else would get to appreciate his bear coat. and wouldn't that be a shame?

the snow is long melted by now and i think i'm in the home stretch of this thing. i think. depending on how i'm feeling when you ask i'll either be finished in a week, in two weeks, or never. today i'm leaning toward never. get back here, mojo!

the snow, the snow...

just a buncha cooped up chickens. we later risked our lives to go see the lego movie (cute cute cute, two thumbs up). portland still has approximately zero snow plows, it's pretty thrilling.

here is huck's proudest accomplishment to date, this squatty little penguin snowman. honk honk.

these fat robins had the time of their lives pecking berries out of the snow. they played there for hours while i typed, we got to be pretty good friends. they give only so-so writing advice.

this isn't the first time portland unexpectedly snowed us in
once? when we were supposed to be in portland just long enough to catch a flight out to to hawaii? 
(don't let brandon's astonishing paleness blind you.)



you know penguins mate for life, right? it's terribly romantic.

by the time the evening rolls around these days my brain is so fried from leaking all these words out that i just need something mindless to do with my hands while i decompress. the other day huck and i were talking about valentine's day and debating whether we should buy angry bird valentines or pirate ship valentines when i had a sudden vision. 

"hey hen, wanna make your friends some penguin valentines?" 

two flightless arctic birds, one stone. 

nailed it.

it was such a relaxing way to end the day (with a little netflixed sherlock added in to really take it home), and now that they're done i'm in a bit of mourning. 

you will need 
// felt: two sheets of black, one sheet of orange, one sheet of white, one sheet of pink 
// thread to match: in black, white, orange, and pink 
// pin backs 
// scissors 
// some time 
// and some sherlock

i wanted huck to be able to help, so i set him up with a blunt needle and the box of pin backs. i fully expected to go back in and redo some things once he'd gone to bed, but the kid surprised us both by deftly maneuvering that needle and successfully getting four pins stitched into place on four penguin backs before getting entirely bored with it and going up with his grandpa to watch play dough videos on youtube (which are SO weird by the way). i'm honestly not sure what to make of this kid. just today i watched with astonishment as he put down an entire chicken teriyaki using a fully functioning set of chopsticks. how does he do this stuff? #huckforpresident

to assemble the penguins, use a blanket stitch to sew together first the feet, then the tummy onto the front of the penguin, then the heart onto the chest, and then you put it all together like a penguin sandwich and stitch around his sides. stop with about an inch left on one side to puff in some puffers, then finish the job and toss him in an envelope.

one night while i worked i set huck up with a box of washable markers and a stack of card stock so he could draw cards for his friends. there was a small paint brush in there and huck asked to paint, so i filled a little bowl with water, and he pulled out these really beautiful little water color cards that i am sort of obsessed with. i don't know about this kid. am i going to have to call mensa here? (he also learned to write his name over the weekend. am i bragging now? okay i might be bragging now.)

we sent them off today with a little kiss and a wave. we're excited for his friends to have them and hopefully wear them around for a day or two. huck's been pretty homesick for all his buds.

sometime you should ask huck what a penguin says. he'll honk and waddle at you like a native.

happy valentine's day! honk honk!



on friday when b was in town we drove down to the coast for some chowder and a salty walk along the water. it was an intensely beautiful day. there is something so energizing about the sheer enormity of all that ocean, isn't there? and the gray shake sidings against all those shaggy fir trees. it was a really good day. brandon and i took turns nearly killing everyone on the car on the ride there and back, bonus! it was pretty thrilling.

click to keep reading!
(i'm trying this out on the photo heavy posts for a bit. it might not stick.)



heyyyyy, it's brandon! are you surprised? I WAS SURPRISED.

so this is how it went down. i was sitting on the couch on thursday night, it's about 10:30, huck is in bed, i'd just shut down my laptop for the day when in walks brandon holbrook like it's no big thing. hey guys, what's up!? that sort of thing. i was shocked straight off the couch. did you know he was doing this? i guess it'd been in the works for weeks. my mom knew he was doing this, my grandma knew he was doing this, our friends back home knew he was doing this, my parent's neighbors even knew he was doing this. that is a lot of people to swear to secrecy! he sent a decoy postcard that week telling me to hurry home, he came up with an alibi for the hours during his flight (he told me he was seeing a late movie and going straight to bed), he even went out of his way to tick me off on purpose the hour his plane took off so i wouldn't want to text him while he was in the air. I AM TELLING YOU, THIS GUY. huck was thrilled out of his gourd when he woke up that next morning and there was his dad, grinning in his face. "dad you're in oregon!" he shouted before he'd even fully woken up all the way. i don't think i stopped grinning once the whole weekend. life is just so much better when when brandon's around. he teases me and pushes me and makes me so frustrated sometimes that i feel like i just wanna smack him, but good crap. i love that man. i am terribly, stupidly lucky.

so anyway.... on saturday we went downtown, hey!

here's some of the stuff we did. we went to nike town! only one of us walked away with a pair of these vintage air jordans and i'm really starting to regret that it wasn't me. so maybe there's another trip to nike town in my future. i guess i could promise not to wear mine when you wear yours, huckles. mmmmmmaybe.

hey that's my high school up there on the wall at nike town--go timberwolves!

we parked the car and decided to make like new yorkers and case the joint on foot. huck stood there with those sea lions in complete befuddlement for a couple good minutes. seals? i can never remember these things.

we hit the food trucks for lunch. these photos aren't that amazing, but that dog was. you know, the food trucks stress me out. is the honest truth first you have to choose a truck, there are easily a hundred of them. and then the food trucks in portland are not anything like the food trucks in new york. these food trucks are s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-ow. so i got a burrito, it was a hard decision. it was a good burrito, i think i really wanted thai food though. you know what i mean?

but did we hit up some blue star donuts for dessert after? hell yes we did. (as a blogger i think i'm contractually obligated to eat and take photos of all of the donuts, all of the time. i think that's how that one goes.)

so, huck now. the faces this kid pulls somehow just keep on getting better and better, every stinking day. i don't know how he does it. and he is funny. i mean, sure i'm biased, but i swear he has legit comedic timing. last night he was making play dough "purple minions" with my dad, and my dad said offhand that he needed his glasses to really get things right, so huck stood up straight and puffed out his chest and said "well, hop to! on the double!" we exchange looks with each other on the daily, us grown ups in this house. little shakes of the head and cocked eyebrows and all that. who is this kid? where is he getting this stuff!? 

back to the donuts. we ordered the mixed dozen and the box it came in was so big and unwieldy, it actually felt like gluttony even just walking it to our table.

my mom attempted to get a good photo of the two us for easily five minutes before we finally had to give up. here we have a man who will go to elaborate lengths to surprise his wife for a weekend visit but won't even crack smile for a photo if he doesn't feel like it. i mean, i must be married to the most romantic grouch in all the world. 

we rounded out the afternoon with a little light reading over at powell's. i'm not even kidding. that's a copy of fifty shades of grey he's got there. 

brandon flew back home sunday night and immediately i started to look at flights home. it's time to finish up and get us back where we belong. baby i miss you! the weekend was a dream. thanks for always being my pal. be home soon. promise. 

p.s. on me:
sweater / hat (i got it on clearance at anthro, this one seems similar)
oh and those jordan's!