luxurious and natural skin products

Ok, so I have yet to try these products from Herbivore Botanicals, but I like the simplicity of the packaging and the quality of the ingredients.  It's such a luxury to have beautifully packaged products on my bedside table and bathroom shelves.  Their products are natural, vegan and non-toxic and sold in glass containers. All sounds good to me!

Sweet Spot

We are generally pretty healthy eaters but that doesn't mean we don't have a sweet tooth. Birthdays are celebrated with City Bakery cookies (classic chocolate chip) and chilly days are best with a soy cortado and biscotto from Toby's. But on days when we feel a bit more wholesome, we love Sweet. by jana

Jana Keith-Jenning, the former Executive Pastry chef at Pure Food and Wine, started the company during a quest to marry her passion for pastries and health. Everything from Sweet. by jana is vegan, gluten free, raw, and unrefined. Her dreamy concoctions-- chocolate cream sandwich cookies, coconut macaroons, mallomars, and salted chocolate coconut squares, to name a few -- taste as good as they look and leave us feeling nourished, not sugar bombed. We buy them from a natural shop in the neighborhood but they ship as well. Delicious!



Brushstroke art

We love watercolor, but not as much when it's too proper and perfect.  We prefer a modern spin when simple brushstrokes speak volumes, and do so casually and elegantly.  A perfect example of this is the Brushstroke Women series painted by Aurore de la Morinerie.  Simple, but still so much attitude and style in each of them.  She makes it look so easy!

Playful, Pop Fashion Sketches

You may recall from this post that we are big Instagram fans. A new to us discovery is Donald Robertson, the astoundingly prolific Creative Director for Special Projects at Estée Lauder. Each morning, Robertson takes pen to paper (or tape or milk cartons...) and produces lively pop art pieces that engage with the fashion world. We love his bright paintings and whimsical take on life with the beautiful people. 

Here's a great interview and peek into his Westchester home.

Our Favorite Frenchie at the NY Historical Society

Yesterday we took a trip to the New York Historical Society to see Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans. It was marvelous!

The exhibition tells the story of Bemelmans' fascinating career and life in New York City during the early and mid twentieth century. Each gallery of the small show is filled with playful drawings, paintings, and a few special artifacts. There are funny, illustrated stories about his escapades at the Ritz Hotel and sweet letters from famous friends. We especially loved his old painting kit, complete with vibrant watercolor pallets and a jumble of brushes and pallet knives.

The show runs through October 19 and we'd highly recommend a visit.

image via Viking Press

Natural Beauty


We're big believers in natural beauty and love learning about new products. One of our recent discoveries (thanks to Into the Gloss) is Evan Healy and her eponymous line of holistic and naturopathic skincare. 

We love the luxurious oils and mists made from ingredients cultivated on small, organic farms. For us, it started with a sandalwood hydrosol, the distilled co-product of essential oil. Spritzing on the smoky floral water revived our spirits and complexions during the sticky New York summer. Now that the weather is cooling down, we're partial to her silky serums and moisturizers.

A few favorites, culled from our own beauty cabinets: Tea Tree Gel Cleaner, Rose Geranium Hydrosol, Sandalwood Hydrosol, Neem Immortelle Purifying Infusion

Seasonal change at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

New York is just starting to transition into autumn -- crisp mornings, apples in the farmer's market, and slightly shorter days. So last week we took a field trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to catch a last glimpse of summer. 

We spent the afternoon strolling around and noticed a beautiful variety of reds, rusts, and purples dotting the landscape. Lucky for us, there were still some heady roses in full bloom and we sniffed our way from bush to bush. It was a revitalizing trip and has us looking forward to ushering in a new season. 

Gorgeous Travel pics from Tiny Atlas Quarterly

When we're designing away in the studio, it's fun to take a few minutes for a dreamy desk vacation. Our recent trick is browsing the stream of exotic locales on the Tiny Atlas Quarterly instagram. Globetrotting instagrammers tag their snaps with #mytinyatlas and TAQ regrams their favorites.

Aren't the images incredible? We love the variety and discovering new photographers. 

clockwise from top left: @oliviathebaut outside Marseille, France; @charlottelavinia in Kenya; @nadinbrendel in Copenhagen at Sp34; @joelbennetts in Bondi Beach, Sydney; @lulamae_yleny in Sicily; @saysthefox in La Jolla, CA

Sea cyanotypes from the NYPL archive


One of our favorite sources of inspiration is the New York Public Library archives. They have an incredible digital anthology of hundreds of thousands of images from the library's collection. 

We've recently been mooning over these beautiful prints from Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. The book was published in the mid 1800's when seaweed collecting was all the rage. Aren't the watery blues and delicate shapes amazing?

Here's a fascinating article, if you'd like to read more. 

A New Favorite Podcast: After the Jump

You may recall from this post that we love a good podcast. Lately we've been enjoying After the Jump, the radio program of Design*Sponge founder Grace Bonney. Every Wednesday, she interviews guests from the creative community about design, business, and personal growth. We love her candor and good humor and always learn something interesting. A few favorite episodes: Russ and Daughters Brand UpdateHandmade Design, and Inspiration

image via Design*Sponge

Paper Flowers Craft Day

A few weeks ago, we had an office craft day and made paper flowers (you may have noticed a sneak peek on our facebook). Don't they look dreamy? 

We took inspiration from Paper to Petal and The House that Lars Built and then let our imaginations take over. Once we got into a rhythm, it was surprisingly simple to make a bunch of blooms. We're already dreaming up new techniques and a big TTH style bouquet!

A visit to the Met

We recently visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Gary Winogrand retrospective.

Winogrand was an iconic American photographer and one of the most prolific artists in history. His subject matter was American life, particularly documenting the shifting cultural and political climate of the 1960's and 70's. His images are brimming with life, humor, and a sense of investigation -- he called himself "a student of America." 

An obsessive artist, Winogand would shoot hundreds of pictures each day and at his untimely death left behind a whopping 6,600 unreviewed rolls of film! The show features an array of previously unpublished images and some personal artifacts. If you're in town, we highly recommend a visit.

image via the Met

the New Yorker à la Paris

Kirby was recently in Paris and brought back the most charming souvenir -- a pair of La Parisianer prints.

Le Parisianer is a fictitious twist on the New Yorker. Last year, graphic designers Aurélie Pollet and Michael Prigent invited 100 artists to each create a cover for the imaginary magazine. The result is a keen, playful, romantic take on life in contemporary Paris.

The collection debuted at the Galerie de la Cité Internationale des Art in December and sold out within hours! Lucky for us, they complied the images into a book and released a set of art prints. 

images via La Boite Verta

An Unconventional Atelier

Kirby is in Paris this week, which has the rest of us thinking of France. We found this little series of videos about Petite H, the dreamy workshop of Pascale Mussard (great-great-great-granddaughter of founder Thierry Hermès). Pascal rescues imperfect and prototype pieces from the Hermès factory and turns them into whimsical, one of a kind curiosities. Aren't they delightful? We love seeing such an established fashion house think creatively about reducing waste.

(found via Agnes Baddoo)

Tea Time

Rose Green tea and gooseberries for an afternoon snack

Rose Green tea and gooseberries for an afternoon snack

New York is starting to get steamy, which means that our refreshing beverage search has begun in full force! Kirby's neighbor, a Tokyo native, clued her into the wonderful unsweetened teas from Ito En.

Ito En is the most popular brand of iced tea in Japan. We've noticed them under the name Tea's Tea in our local bodega. The entire range of flavors is delightful, but our current favorites are Rose Green and Green Jasmine. Perfect for a stimulating afternoon sip!

What are some of your favorite ways to stay cool?

Drawing the line

ben butler

A new artist on our radar is Ben Butler.  He creates complex, beautiful images using hundreds of finely drawn lines. We like how elemental the drawings are, each constructed with the simple building block of a thin line. New lines are added, converge and build into an organic mass. At times these masses resemble a cloud, a net, a topographic map, or maybe a thought.


The images feel orderly and random at the same time. Some remind us of an undulating sea, calm but brimming with potential energy. Take a look through his website to see more.

images via Ben Butler

Black Magic

During Staycation week, Kirby picked up a package of activated charcoal from the shop at the Noguchi Museum. Since then, our interest has been piqued about this incredible natural purifier.

People have known about the detoxifying properties of charcoal for thousands of years. Ancient Hindus used it to purify their drinking water and Egyptians found a variety of medical uses.

Modern activated charcoal is carbon that has been heated to super high temperatures, creating thousands of tiny internal pores. These crevices trap undesirable odors, dyes, oils, metals, and chemicals. If you have a water purifier, you’re probably already familiar with how much better tap water tastes after a run through the filter. 

Activated carbon can also be incorporated into your beauty routine. Charcoal masks sop up excess oil and leave you with a fresh, glowing complexion. Recently, we’ve been eying the carbon infused scrub towels and toothbrushes from the fabulous Japanese shop, Rikumo. Links to a few favorites below.

1. Cube Air Purifier 2. Cleansing Mask 3. Body Scrub Towel 4. Facial Soap 5. Charcoal Toothbrush 6. Loose Charcoal




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A New York design studio celebrating simplicity and the little things that count.