125 articles

for the cat lover (gift guide #2)

Holy sh*t I can’t believe my eyes. It’s a stylish-yet-understated cat carrier. This thing is such a miracle that I’m actually afraid I’m going to see pigs start flying or lightning is going to strike or something…

All of your cat loving friends are going to love it. And so are their feline counterparts. Brought to you by the folks at Cat Caddy, it’s available on Amazon for $89.99. Well worth it, if you ask me.

It takes a few extra days to process, so you should go order one of these babies now if you want to make sure it gets to it’s intended destination by the holidays.

And get ready to be showered with gratitude.

for the well dressed kid (gift guide #1)

Flora and Henri is one of those lines of kids clothing that I generally stare wistfully at from afar whilst wondering about what kind of life allows hundreds of dollars to be spent on clothing that your beloved little angel is only going to wear for 6 months or so. And probably draw all over.

And then, somehow, I got my hands on something from them. A gift? A splurge? I can’t remember. But now I’m hooked. And every season, I manage to get my hands on at least one piece, which, me being me, I can milk over several years of long-dress-to-mini-to-tunic wear before I hand it over to somebody else’s kid to enjoy.

The clothes are impecable. Beautifully made. Exquisite detailing. Subtle colors. The kind of stuff your grandmother would approve of– if your grandmother were the Duchess of Windsor or Jackie O. With no horrible logos or cartoon characters anywhere. And man, do they make great gifts. Even the socks are impressive. (You can find the above pictured skirt here.) Plus, they LAST, so they make great hand-me-downs if you have more than one little munchkin in your house.

And every once in a while, they have a sale. Like today, Saturday November 26, in honor of Small Business Saturday. You can get 25% off any full priced item just by typing in the code BLACK25 when you check out.

And then, once you’re hooked, you will find yourself trolling the sale and clearance section of their online shop for other deals. Which do come around every so often and are sooooooo worth it.

Because lets face it, today’s kids are going to be tomorrow’s leaders so they may as well start dresing the part. The sale is in effect till midnight tonight, Pacific time.

things people want – greetings

It’s not too late.

You can still order these cards, write a bunch of short but heartfelt messages on the inside and get them in the mail before everybody takes off for the end-of-year festivities.

Spread a bit of the magic and wonder of the holiday season via pen and paper. You will look like a champion. Plus you’ll be helping the poor US Postal Service, which needs all the business it can get these days what with e cards and all. (I am, for the record, TOTALLY AGAINST e cards, though the kids’ versions that we’ve gotten can be sort of cute…)

These cards are hand made on a letterpressĀ  by this Brooklyn husband and wife team called Campbell Raw Press that I discovered on Krrb

There is a lovely story about keeping a grandmother’s child like wonder at the glory of Christmas alive via these cards that you can read if you head over to their onlne shop…

Plus they have this card, too, which to be honest, was the first one that caught my eye.

Happy writing!

giving thanks

Just wrote a little dissertation for the Krrb blog about how to write a thank you note. FIgured it’s actually useful information, so I’m linking it to it here.

For all of those in doubt about how/when/why to send a written thank you, your days of uncertainty are over.

Oh and this is well timed, because the annual Brooke Williams holiday gift guide starts tomorrow and will continue most days between now and when it’s pretty much too late to get a gift under a tree/menorah/etc…

Keep checking back, because “Tis the season” is now…

hello jack

I just wanted to give a little shout out to our 2011 jack o’lantern.

Child designed.

Father produced.

Truly a lovely collaborative effort. I am going to miss him…

Though he did begin to decompose and leaked a horrible mess of liquid before I realized that it was time to throw him in the compost pile.

Live and learn.

bedtime stories

My three and a half year old is a precocious devourer of stories and will listen as happily to The Cat In The Hat as she will to The Lord Of The Rings (which can get a bit exhausting to read aloud, night after night– especially as the chapters are quite long.)

So to satisfy her love of complex plot lines and superheroic magical characters who fly, shoot arrows and throw thundrbolts, etc, we picked up a copy of the 1967 classic volume chronicling the exploits of the Norse gods and goddesses (and giants and trolls and other creatures) by the D’Aulaire family.

Click below for more:

The stories in D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths are told in a straightforward but by no means condescending manner (ah, the 60′s when it was cool to smite your enemy with a giant hammer) and the illustrations are themselves works of genius, striking a perfect balance between beautiful and strange. Which is probably what these creatures would have actually been like, had they ever really roamed the earth.

My kid can now casually discuss the difference between a jotun and the aesir and makes reference to Thor whenever thunder strikes. And I get to brush up on a bunch of old stories that I actually never really knew, so I don’t get bored reading them over and over (which is worth more than I can even relate in words.) They also have a book of Greek myths that is equally compelling.

Back in print after 20 years, you can probably pick up a copy just about anywhere, though I always check Alibris for used copies in good condition as the price is always right and secondhand is the way I like to go.

keeping it smooth

I’ve decided that this fall is going to be all about keeping it simple. Paring down. (Or at least making room for more appropriate stuff…) I’m feeling all of my belongings bearing down on me like some kind of swiftly rising tide, and who knows what’ll become of me if I don’t do something about it– and fast.

So I’m gonna start posting more stuff on Krrb in the hopes that people want it.

And I’m also going to clear my head out a little bit by posting more here, whilst ceasing to worry too much about being profound. Although maybe I should take that back, because the topic of this post, a lotion horribly named Vanicream, is pretty damned amazing.

click below for details…

My skin is really dry. My husband’s skin is really dry. And, as the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so is our kid’s. I bought all kinds of baby lotions, but they were all too light. And then I was tipped off to this stuff. Dermotologists are into it. It’s not organic (egads!) but it is free of any scents and extra chemical irritants, so it’s great for sensitive skin. And it isĀ  the one thing that stopped everybody’s skin from flaking in the cold winter months. (well, Red Flower has some good body creams too, but I’m feeling a bit frugal these days)

Anyway, they sell it at the more elaborate drug stores and the usual amazon-like web venues. Or check out their site for more info. If you are in need of a hearty lotion, I cannot reccomend this stuff enough.

15 minutes of fame

A few months ago, somewhat randomly, I got an e mail from Sarah Engler, an editor whom I’d worked with at Cookie Magazine (may it rest in peace) who is now happily ensconsed at Martha Stewart Whole Living (formerly known as Body and Soul magazine.) She wanted to know if I’d be into giving some style tips to their readersĀ  for their September issue.

Seemed easy enough. I get to sing the praises of wearing vintage, give some shout outs to some favorite designers, plus I figured it’d be good karma, as I spend a lot of time on the other sdide of the coin as a Krrb editor trying to get people to do similar things.

In reality, these things take forever, and to actually answer the questions in a halfway decent manner took me AGES. I am now officially way more impressed and grateful when anybody ever agrees to be interviewed by me– especially if that means answering questions via email.

The piece was published a few weeks ago, and I must say it is a testament to the good people of MSWL (as it’s affectionately known) how spot on it is. And when I spent time actually reading the magaizne (which, to be honest, I hadn’t really done in years) I found recipes I wanted to try, books I wanted to read and all sorts of stuff I wanted to buy (hmmm… maybe that last one’s not such a good thing…)

So, as we get ready to begin another school year (and are hopefully finished with hurricane related power outages and the like) I would like to take this time out to publically thank all of the people at Whole Living for doing such a thoughtful job, from the wardrobe to the photos (by the talented Johnny Miller) to the text itself. It really is a nice portrait that’ll be fun to look back on in the distant future when I have more time to sit and casually read again.

Sigh. If that day ever comes…

a perfect sumer dress

For your kid, that is.

While trolling through the listings on Krrb, I happened upon this super cute dress by a company called Rasany which, were I in the vicinity of the Dekalb Market in Brooklyn, I would just go pick up right now. So I figured I’d share it with you all here, and then maybe somebody I know’s little girl can be flouncing around in this little number before the summer’s out.

For me, it’s the perfect dress: not too frilly, not pink, a print that’s sophisticated without being obnoxious… and yet it can be described as a princess dress, which is, right about now, all a certain someone is interested in wearing…

And look! They make quilts and other stuff too. Like these kaftans that I can buy and parade around in, pretending to be a 70′s movie star hanging out by the pool.

Which sounds like a pretty nice life, right about now…