. . . rocking matching shoes. 

But only matching shoes. 

Okay. And sometimes clothes. 



MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is stepping on plastic Rescue Bots, knowing how to do each voice just right, and realizing one afternoon that not only do you know all the lyrics to all the cartoon theme songs ever written (including every blasted iteration of Power Rangers--seriously there must be at least thirty of them), but you can also pull them up on demand when running errands and things get hairy. 

Motherhood right now is wondering if that kind of catalogue is the reason you can never remember if you paid the cable bill or not. 

The Rescue Bots theme song is really kick ass though. EARN THEIR RESPECT!

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is buying an apricot he swears he'll eat, watching him take one tiny bite before coming up with creative ways to wriggle out of finishing it, and then resignedly finishing it for him, because you aren't really hungry, but what else are you going to do with it? 

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / means sometimes being a human compost bin.

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / is the occasional massive meltdown, where all you can do is count to ten and clench your fists and wish for strong sedatives. 

(And then let your husband take a picture of it.) 

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / means a lot of fart jokes. 

And a lot of reminders that he gets only one fart joke a day.

MOTHERHOOD RIGHT NOW / means occasionally having to break your baby's heart.

A few weeks ago, on a Saturday afternoon when the sun was at its warmest and the breezes still cool, we set out to find us some lunch. Huck wanted Vietnamese noodles and I wanted Mexican food. Brandon just wanted to find a place to sit down (redhead in the sun problems), and I think that's what's really great about our part of Brooklyn. You can find all of it and more within three blocks, and then you can congregate in one place where everybody's pretty chill about outside food making its way in, and then there's usually a soccer game on a TV in there somehow?

The waiter at this Mexican food place was wearing a pretty silly vest and his curly blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and also there were suspenders, because, Brooklyn. Upon seeing this dude Huck immediately went weird. Grinning like a loon while trying to keep a straight face, occasionally scurrying under the table, covering his eyes with his hands and peeking through his fingers, your classic four-year-old-having-a-moment type behavior.

Brandon, being Brandon, leaned over and loudly inquired what was up, and then he pulled out that classic dad maneuver where he takes that information and straight up asks the dude, "Hey, you wouldn't happen to be a Power Ranger, would you? My kid thinks you look like one. And can I get a Coke when you have a minute?"

The possible Power Ranger didn't miss a beat. He wriggled his eyebrows and glanced from side to side before saying out the side of his mouth, "Well. I'm not supposed to tell anybody."

And then he winked.

And then Huck died.

I swear it, you have never seeeeeen a happier child. He was thrilled. Stars in his eyes, circling in a spiral of glee for daaaays and days and days. "They're REAL!" He'd everybody he met on the street. "THERE'S A REAL POWER RANGER! ON SEVENTH AVENUE!" We went along with it, because, adorable, but pretty quickly things started getting tricky.

"Well, I know Power Rangers are real . . . but mom, are fairies real?"

"Are you sure Power Rangers are real, buddy? I think he might have been having fun with you when he said that . . ."

"Oh no, dey real. But FAIRIES. "

"Well . . . okay. No, not fairies."

One afternoon Huck marched up with his Power Ranger costume and requested that I make him a real Power Ranger suit. WITH LASERS.

Insert your best distraction techniques [HERE] and pray he forgets about that one.

Another time Huck told he wanted nachos for dinner again, and that "dis time I KNOW I won't be shy, I KNOW I'll ask him, and I KNOW he'll make me a Junior Power Ranger! Because I know dey need me, mom."

Then one night he requested that I buy him a spirit animal, and that's when I knew the jig was up. Because . . . I mean, Amazon doesn't stock spirit animals. What does a spirit animal even look like?? (A pink rhino floating in a glass ball, obviously.) It broke my heart to do it, to definitively pop this tiny little bubble in his ever fading bubble bath of childhood. How special of a time is it when he can wholeheartedly believe such magical, exciting things! And how can I keep him in it longer? I wondered again if we were wrong to let him believe as long as we did. I didn't want him to feel betrayed, or that I'd been lying to him. That fine line between nurturing a kid's imagination and setting him up for disappointment is so fine I sometimes don't know if I've imagined it or not. Sometimes I'm pretty certain I'm taking this stuff too seriously; other times I'm not so sure.

I broke it to him as gently and as patiently as I could, hopefully preserving that crucial tie where my word connects to his trust. It's hard. That trust is my entire parenting collateral.  It's what I rely on when I tell him he can't have a new toy today, but later when he's earned enough allowance, and I promise him I'll help him earn it. That trust is how I get him to try the broccoli, or the chicken with the weird sauce, even if it looks gross. It's how I can tell him it's not spicy and he'll respond, 'Ok!' and dig right in. It's how I get him to wear a sweater when he thinks it's not cold out, it's how I convince him to get into bed when he swears he's not tired. I have to be able to follow through on my word, I want him to know that I'm always on his team. With me and Huck, it's that he knows I'm paying attention to him, I think. It's that I won't brush him off, so he knows I'm not just saying 'no' for the fun of it or because I don't understand how important something is to him.

Later that night I watched as Huck grappled with this newfound knowledge of life, this harsh glare of the real world intruding on his Eden. I was so proud of him for taking it like a champ, but it was also a little melancholy, like adding a tiny weight of maturity to his precious baby shoulders that I wasn't ready for him to have. Hell, I'm still hoping for the rewind button to show up some day so I can get more Huck baby time before it's all over. Maturity, no bueno! Anyway, what's the rush!?

Meanwhile totally out of nowhere Huck groans, "Aw man, does that mean my enemies aren't real, either?!"

It took a full week to fully convince him. But in the end, he finally believed me. Trust fully intact, so far as I can tell.

Now to work on the merits of having his nails trimmed. I got my work cut out for me there. ;)



It's kind of the craziest time ever at the Holbrook house right now, I can't even go into it, but I did just get these photos back from our day at the beach a little bit ago, and I figured, well, in lieu of coherent thoughts, how about this? A few of my favorites from the day, in all its monochrome splendor :).

My friend Isabelle is super talented. Nashville, you should hire her.


GET ME DRESSED / 014-018

And now for a few weeks' worth of outfit photos taken along our white wall-kers.

(Been reading too much A Game of Thrones. I've been having the weirdest dreams hashtag Jon Snow)

So we're going to break this one up according to the five basic categories of my wardrobe! Isn't that splendid! They are:


Complicated system I got there! Some day my grandkids will discover this post and think either of the following: Wow! Grandma was stylin'! or else Wow! Grandma was potentially brain damaged for thinking anyone cared about this!

Alright Rescue Bots, roll to the rescue.

This is as fancy as it gets, people.
skirt: madewell / top: zara (similar) / tote-me! / shoes: kork-ease  (try here too)

I have two pair of these mom-style jeans and since you only come by vintage Levis when you come by vintage Levis, I thought I'd let you know that the Madewell option is a good safe bet.
shirt: everlane / jeans: madewell / shoes: bensimons / sunnies: ray-bans / tote: me! / watch: casio

Get ready, Huck took these next ones :).

I call these my Kathleen Kelly Duck Pants, you know, because of how she sort of duck-waddles away from Joe Fox just before meeting NY152 in the 96th Street Garden?
shirt: everlane / pants: american apparel / shoes: saltwaters / tote: me! / belt: madewell / watch: casio / sun glasses: ray-bans

Blue Lightning is a Huffy. She just got her tires refilled :).
shirt: tradlands / tee: hanes / shorts: madewell / shoes: puma / watch: casio / bag: urban

I get more questions about this romper than the Dalai Lama does about the meaning of life. Does that seem like an exaggeration?
romper: h&m (this one's similar) / clogs: swedish hasbeens (similar) / watch: casio / tote: me!

Hey Happy Wednesday and things!



If you're looking for an Official Holbrook-Sanctioned Summertime Activity (TM), try the paddle boats in Prospect Park! And then eating too much at the splash pad cafe to be able to comfortably ride your bike home for a little while! And then waiting too long to start for home so that you get totally rained on.


(Bring Your Own Blow Pops)

On the southwest side of Prospect Park, just south of the Prospect Park Zoo is the LeFrak Center  at Lakeside, which on its own is such a wonderful name. There's a roller rink and a giant splash pad, you can rent out crazy looking family-size bikes and paddle boats (kayaks, soon!), and there's a really great cafe where you can sit and stuff yourself silly while watching your kid run around in the ankle-deep water like a lunatic. (Try the macaroni!) 

I'm not your bro, bro!

And then there's the burger with the bacon and the avocado. Comes with crazy good fries. And insane chocolate cupcakes with fudge-y pudding centers. WE CLOSED THIS PLACE OUT. Huck had his first encounter with root beer (not sold on it). It was a pretty great day.

And now you know! Quit yer whining, turkey!

Open till 7 (6 on Sundays)
At the southwest side of Prospect Park
Take the Q/B to the Prospect Park stop
blow pops not included



Something fun today thanks to Verizon!

Living in a loft like ours means making a lot of compromises on the entertainment + media we get to play around the house. If I want to listen to a podcast while working on my needlepointing, if Huck wants to watch cartoons but we want to watch a "grown up" movie, if I want to listen to music but Brandon has a conference call, or if Brandon is snoring and I'm having a hard time falling asleep and need some extra-concentrated white noise power, haha, well. We haul out the ear buds.

We have many, many pairs of earbuds floating around the house. Sometimes we get a little territorial over them? I've been known to stash a secret set under my pillow so Brandon can't take them to work. For a while we had two identical sets going but only one was working all the way--the other was missing sound in the right ear bud--and Brandon and I went back and forth covert-ops style for weeks over that one, swapping out the busted set for the working set when we thought the other wasn't looking. It gets pretty tense around here. We're the same way with the last Diet Coke in the fridge. Survival of the fittest! 

Verizon sent us a pair of Powerbeats by Dr Dre to try out, and we've had a lot of fun fighting over sharing them (lol). Major street cred with the Beats, and thank you for that, Dre + Lebron, because street cred is not something I come by otherwise. :) They're sun + sweat resistant, lightweight, and durable enough to withstand punishing work outs. Such as when Brandon takes them to the gym, and when I use them while I do needlepoint . . . on the couch . . .  intensely. The sound quality is great, dual drivers separate bass + treble for super accurate audio so so you can catch every cultural reference on Gilmore Girls even when Lorelai is talking at full Gilmore speed, they're comfortable enough to wear to bed for when you need that white noise app running at full power--and I don't have to worry about accidentally strangling myself in my sleep with my earbud cords anymore, hah! 

Look how strenuous that is! I have such stamina.

I get to give away a pair of Powerbeats by Dr Dre to two of you lucky ducks today! An $180 value! I'm so excited for this! 

To enter, please comment in this blog post, or on the corresponding promotional giveaway photo on my Instagram tagging two friends, or by sharing on your Twitter account the following message: "I just entered @heynataliejean's #HNJPowerBeatsGiveaway!" Or! Do all three! Enter as many times as you can physically withstand, I'm talking, like, multiple entries. Do it. :)

Winners will be chosen by Verizon + announced by me on Twitter. There it is! Good luck + happy entering!!

This post was sponsored by Verizon. I was sent these products to review and was compensated for my time to write this post. All opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.



Hi! Hi! Hi!

Well, so this is our wall. I'd like to introduce you all to our wall. Wall? This is People. Shake hands and be friendly, guys. I occasionally post Instagrams of me standing in front of this wall looking dumb wearing various outfits that all look the same. One rad instagrammer person took to hashtagging "your wall" in the comments of these photos, and I think it's funny every dang time. So on we roll. Brandon tells me that if I insist on taking photos of the things that I wear that I should at least be switching things up a bit with new and exciting walls, and of course he's probably right, but where's the fun in that? So sue me. Do I feel silly about it? Of course I feel silly about it! But that there is the element of danger, you see. ;) 

Huck seems to get a kick out of this funny little tradition of ours and has been known to request multiple poses + faces and I'm telling you, somehow this is going to ruin his whole life, I am just sure of it. ;) But he's really good with an iPhone, and what a waste of talent it would be . . . ;)

Huck somehow still fits into a lot of the clothes he wore as a baby. A lot of his shirts and pants he's managed to wear for three years running! It's changed the way I think about his clothing allowances. He's like the incredible not-growing growing boy, which mostly comes down to how suuuuuuper fat he was. He's now stretching up into his clothes, rather than out. I'm perfectly fine with this, because once you find good kids clothes it's hard to let them go. I have a hard time finding clothes for Huck that I like. Huck has no issue with the way he dresses, I suppose we've reached a mind-meld when it comes to finding things for him to wear that we both like, but I mean, I know what I want Huck to look like, and it's not like he's ready to join a construction team or start a hip hop group. But that's just what I think. I say, let's dress our boys in neutrals and basics, and let's make these basics be the kind of clothes that are meant to stick around a while. With good fabric and strong stitching. Reinforced seams! I've realized that it's actually helpful in the long haul if I make a few investment style purchases here and there for Huck's wardrobe, because we really get our money's worth. For so long I'd had it drilled into my head for so long that spending any more than necessary on a kid's closet is a total waste, but it turns out it's not true. Not all kids are going to grow out of their clothes right away, and it's good to plan for an item to stick around beyond a few months.
Any time I come across a good source for kid's clothes I get pretty excited and want to inform the world, so here, I got one for your filing cabinet! Melijoe.

Melijoe is a French company started in 2007 by Nathalie Christen-Genty, a mother of 5 (five!). It's since become one of Europe's top e-commerce sites, carrying all of the industry's very best children's clothing brands in one place--120 in all!--and also featuring super quick worldwide shipping (hard to come by!) and customer service in six languages. I'd never heard of Melijoe before they this season and now I think that is just a shame. They carry a huge selection, so you'll find your basics as well as your hip hop options. :) Any time we can skip the big department stores and support a female-owned business instead is a good time by me. Plus there's a kick ass summer sale going down right now in case that's fun. (Of course that's fun.)
We recently picked out a few transition pieces for Huck. A light, spring weight cardigan, a summer tee, an updated stripe, and a pair of rain boots to fit his newly-enormous feet, and right away you notice they just feel different. The cotton is thick, the rubber is strong, they're constructed to last, they're the kinds of pieces he'll be able to wear over and over, on into fall, on into winter, maybe even on into next spring! So, consider this post a tally in the "sometimes investment duds for kids is a good idea" column. Sometimes. 

This post is also just a really good excuse to show off Huck's patented Stink Face. :)

Because it is a glory.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Melijoe. Hey thanks, Melijoe!