I like to start these off with the very best photos of us I can find. Here we have Huck looking thirty, Brandon looking all debonair with his beard growing in (hallelujah!), and, I can admit it, I look pretty sexy too. These might be my most flattering photos of all time.

Here we go! 

I took this photo on my phone from the D train as we crossed the Manhattan bridge a few weeks ago. It's a pretty lovely view, as far as views go. We've been loading and reloading our MetroCards all month, zipping back and forth from the UWS to Brooklyn, and here is what I love most about crossing the Manhattan bridge: If you sit on the south side of the train as it climbs from underground, you're treated to this (sort of ugly) view. A jumble of buildings to your left, the urban sprawl of Queens to your right, and the gray and brown chaos of the Queensboro bridge straight ahead. It's a cool view, I guess, but it's this depressing mix of flat colors and fighting patterns, it won't exactly inspire a sonnet or anything. I like to think about how, if all you ever did was sit on the south side of that train, and all you ever saw was that view to the north, then you'd have to conclude that it was the ugliest train ride probably of all time. But if you just turn around, BAM. You get THIS. And is this not a nice metaphor for something? Do you not feel super inspired and things? I do love me a good metaphor. Anyway, use it in your next motivational speaking engagement, I won't mind. ;)

This is of my favorite photos from our weekend in the Catskills. Does this couch make me look short?

Speaking of our weekend in the Catskills...

People of my blog, meet Barry. Barry is a handsome old feller I saved from a sad, lonely life in an antiques junkyard. He wasn't even inside! Poor friend! The shop owner told me he was 75 years old (plus however old he was when he was... well..), and I've taken it upon myself to make up for all those lost years of love by showering him with affection whenever I walk by (which is how I found a hidden cobweb on Thursday, just under his ear. Barry! The gift that keeps on giving!) He needed me, I needed him, we named after Barryville, the town where he grew up (???), or at least the town where we adopted him, but the more I get to know him the more I'm starting to think he might be Barry short for Barack Obama. You'd have to meet him to see it. I can't put my finger on it. He does seem like the type of guy to be friends with Beyonce. 

In my defense, this appears to be genetic, and I just don't know what else to tell you. My mom's got mounted pronghorn and a stuffed goose named Ferdinand Ralph Lauren, which she got to replace Alex and Blake, respectively, when they went off to college-slash-went on a mission... respectively. When Huck woke up our first morning back and saw Barry on the table, he said, "Aww. Barry's still dead." (He'd dreamed Barry came back to life and that they'd become best friends.)

Speaking of Huck.

We're teaching him all the important life skills. We're really good parents.

This week I got to hold two brand new babies, and I am telling you. Newborns! Nothing bad can exist when you're holding a newborn. This is a good time to be me, I love playing auntie when my closest friends have babies. I posted this photo to my Instagram the other day and there was a really great discussion in the comments about all of our favorite things to give brand new babies as gifts. I always give a pack of my favorite white onesies and a beautiful blanket, you can never get enough blankets. This one is from PlumStitch, it says "you are my sunshine" across the front in yellow thread. It's just about the most perfect. Not to mention it's gender neutral, which, let it be whatever but above all, let it be gender neutral. (What do you like to give to new mamas? I have a friend who goes over and does the dishes. Right?)

Huck offered to make cookies for us the other night, don't they look delicious? He created a very splendid mess in the process, but those cookies bought us a full Game of Thrones, and not to mention I'm fairly certain this is Montessori approved. ;) Best Parents Ever. In case you're interested, Huck's recipe seems to be about seven cups of flour, all of the sugar in the world, three bottles of stale sprinkles I'd forgotten we had, and a couple handfuls of oats. You know, so they're healthy.

We'd already decided not to take our dry goods with us to Brooklyn, since most of it is pretty old and I only seem to bake in the winter, and this brings us to, yes! Brooklyn!

We finally found ourselves a dream of a space in Brooklyn. Oh Brooklyn we've missed you! We are beside ourselves. We found it in the most cosmically beautiful kind of way. It's zoned in one of the very best elementary schools in all of the city, it's mere steps from a bagel shop, AND, dot dot dot .... Claw Foot Tub. (This deserves its own post, and it will have it.) It's pretty perfect, as though the Universe picked it out, wrapped it up, presented it with a trumpet cadence, then patted us softly on the head and sent us off with kisses from the skies. I walked in and, after uttering a slow motion cuss word, plunked down the deposit so fast you'd blink and you missed it. Truly, I'm a quick draw with a wallet, but this one was extra impressive.  

Huck will be getting his own bedroom (!!!!), his parents will be getting a spiffy lofted bed situation that I'm already nervous I'll fall off of (no no, there'll be guard rails, I'm sure), and I've got a good-sized pile of clothes going that I'm planning to sell on IG later this week (editing my closet's gotten addicting). 

Speaking of!

I got an email the other day about an app called FittingRoom that made me laugh so hard and then get kind of excited, and I instantly knew I had to share it with you. I love this idea. You know when you're in a fitting room (or even at home getting dressed), and you've put something on that you're not sure you're pulling off, so you take an awkward selfie of it then desperately text it your sister, all, "IS THIS AWFUL Y/N," and then you wait and wait and wait and hope she answers before you've been in there too long and the sales associate starts to get suspicious? Fitting rooms are the loneliest places, I've always said. So, this is an app where you take a photo of your outfit, then submit it for opinions from a group of people who are also sharing their outfits for feedback (so there's generally good karma in there). It's kind of like having a whole bunch of sisters to text that you don't happen to be related to. You'll never be alone in a dressing room again! I've been uploading photos of a few of the pieces I'm toying around with selling. It's kind of like Instagram meets Hot or Not, only with this one you can blur yo face, soooo. Someone finally came up with it. It makes me giddy. :)

HERE is the FittingRoom app, and HERE is my closet shop IG account. Look for some stuff starting Thursday ish. :)

P.S. Huck's Animal Trackers box came this month and it was all about zebras. Zebras, if you didn't know, make for pretty great grocery store buddies, I discovered.

Nat, over and out.


  1. Uh. Hello....am I the first to comment!?!?! Hooray! I am so happy that you guys found a new place. I am dying for a claw foot tub! That fitting room app sounds right up my alley and Zebra Huck. Good grief. My nice is like, a week older than Huck so it's always super fun to see his photos. Right now, she's ALL ABOUT flamingos! Can't wait to see what Brooklyn holds for the Holbrooks! :)

    1. Check it out at www.AnimalTrackersClub.com

    2. Check it out at www.AnimalTrackersClub.com

  2. ^woops! meant to say "niece."

    1. flamingoes! huck is having a moment with aardvarks lately, it's pretty amazing :)

  3. I adore all of this, but especially that white dress with the pocket. Where is it from!?

  4. oh I can't wait for the home posts on this place! claw foot tub is my dream!!! wish you guys the best in brooklyn. I hope you run into lena dunham again while crossing the street. :)

  5. What a happy post:)

  6. Congrats on your new home!! Just that one glimpse of your new place makes me excited to see how you're gonna decorate it! I can't wait for more photos! I can't wait to read your book! And I can't wait til your closet sale! So many good things Natalie :) THRILLED for you!

  7. I think Barry is my favourite, and omg I need a friend that comes and does the dishes!!

  8. is your amazing closet sale only for american buyers or do you post internationally?! (i'm in australia!) xx

  9. Oh my god.
    Hot or Not.
    I haven't heard anyone talk about that in a good ten years.
    Helloooooo 2004!

  10. Baby is amazing.. i love this post!! Fantastic pics!!


  11. I love you! In the non-creepy way. This post was super uplifting and just what I needed in my bedridden tonsillitis state. And congrats on your new home and most importantly your claw foot tub! Soho!

  12. whoopsie, silly auotcorrect. Woho! not Soho..

  13. Bleep bleep bleep this is the very best post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Newborns, Huck as a zebra, those amazing photos right up top (wow, he actually does look 30... that is crazy!), your eyelashes also in the photo right up top (are those things natural becuase WOW)

    That app is also fantastic... I've got an unfortunate time difference of 11 hours with my sisters which is inconvenient when I want to try on ridiculous things and need their feedback STAT because usually they are asleep when I am awake and I fear I have made some terrible shopping choices consequently when they haven't been able to reply to my 'ohmygod should I buy these gumboots? What do I do? Emergency!' viber messages... I know, sleeping at 3am when I want their feedback at my 4pm... rude!

    I am really happy about this Brooklyn move, too. The bathtub is a whooooole other thing. And loft spaces are like the stuff of dreams so that's pretty good too.

    Congratulations on the find! So exciting!

    jemima x


  14. Baby gifts... I order a personalized towel set. I used to get them from Lands End, but they discontinued them. I did find a fun shop on Etsy that sells the towel (white, Threshold/Target..nice quality) and washcloth for about $30. You choose the embroidered 'picture' the font, color, etc. I have yet to have a new mom want to return it.

    I then put it in a small colorful basket or reusable container. I wrap cellophane around it with a colorful ribbon at the top.

  15. love these photos! and that zebra mask? amazing.


  16. Where is your muscle tee from in the picture with Barry? It's cute!

  17. 1. can't wait to see more photos of your new place! very exciting stuff for all of us.
    2. love that quilt! i usually throw in one of these in whatever other gift i get for a new baby in my life: https://www.etsy.com/listing/101959170/red-bib-these-fools-put-my-cape-on?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=these+fools+bib&ga_ship_to=US&ga_ref=auto1&ga_page=3&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery
    for my nieces and nephews, i make them a blanket for their first christmas (gives me some time to feel out their personality a bit) and an ABC scrapbook-type-thing filled with words from their own lives for their 2nd birthday (a random yet strictly-adhered-to policy).
    3. zebras! what a wonderful animal to be obsessed with at this age because YOU CAN MAKE UP ANY ANIMAL NOISE YOU WANT FOR THEM. for example, my nephew was all about hippopotamuses for a while and, since he was ever asking "What sound does a _____ make?" we convinced him that a hippopotamus says "hippo-po-po-po-po." it was hilarious for everyone.

  18. Natalie, first of all, love seeing all of your great news/lovely life snippets. How wonderful!

    Second, where did you get the glass canisters for your dry goods? I've been looking all over the place for cylindrical, ascending-in-volume-and-height, glass canisters with lids that include the ever-so-essential rubber ring. I've found some like yours, but they come without the rubber thing (what is that, a gasket?). Did you have to buy them separately? These are all very important questions, obviously.

    Thanks for keeping such a nice blog. All my best to the Holbrook crew.

  19. your little boy is adorable. I love those photos of his crossed eyes. you guys have so much fun!

    love, arielle
    a simple elegance

  20. Love the photos and CONGRATS on your Brooklyn place and quite honestly that Fitting Room app is an amazing idea!! I've honestly walked out and asked salesgirls what they think before but don't trust them because they work on commission. Strangers on the Internet are brutal and therefore to be trusted ;)


  21. AnonymousJuly 22, 2014

    Congrats on the new place...it looks gorgeous! Since you seem to be an expert at the whole NYC apartment hunting game, I would LOVE your advice, since I'll be moving to the city soon. Where do I even begin? Do you use a broker, or do you search on your own (websites?)? Any and all advice would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you! :)

  22. AnonymousJuly 22, 2014

    I just wanted to say, this was such a satisfying post. I'm so happy everything seems to be going right for you and your family, and I loved this, it was like catching up with an old friend. Can't wait to see your new place!

  23. So happy for you that you finally found a Brooklyn place!! New house = new house rule? That permit metaphors? Maybe. ;) P.S. your eyelashes.. woah.

  24. Yay for Brooklyn! I cannot wait to see more of your space and Barry is a dream. :)

  25. New apartment??? Oh my goodness, let the decorating begin! I can't wait for those posts! Brooklyn is wonderful!

    xoxo, kerri

  26. Like! Must be the change of latitude. Same thing happened to us when we moved from Manhattan to Staten Island. (I know, don't say it. That was 25 years ago...)

  27. Hooray for Brooklyn - lived here our entire time in NYC! Which part are you landing in? Best of luck with the move and excited to see the new place, with your twist!

  28. That new place looks downright dreamy. And: Huck! Always so good.
    Also just wanted to shout a big THANK YOU for the gender neutrality of your go-to baby gift. Good lord, if there's anything to open your eyes to just how ridiculously gendered and ridiculously girly, it's going to a (very southern) baby shower where your present--a stuffed animal, book, and blanket (this one self-made, as it was for my now-7-month-old niece)--is the only thing that's not completely pink or purple. Maybe it's just the feminist in me or the little girl version of myself who hated wearing dresses precisely because I was expected to like them, but waiting in the hospital when that baby was being born and hearing people plan out everything she would like because she's a girl gave me all kinds of an irritated itch under my skin.
    (That rant being ranted, I've just taken it upon myself to be the decisively not-pink-unless-you-choose-to-love-it influence in her life ;)
    Best of luck with the move!!

  29. juste sent you a demand on your IG closet shop...love your style ♥


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