Week Nineteen: Illustrator Love // Monica Ramos

january 30 | what i wore

january 30 | part of the series ‘what i wore to the studio’

Completely charmed by the artistic stylings of Brooklyn-based illustrator Monica Ramos. Her Tumblr is full of sweet-but-not-cloying watercolors: my favorites are her contributions to the series ‘what i wore to the studio’ as I love a good fashion illustration.

october 7 | lucky peach

october 7 | illustration for lucky peach magazine’s gender issue

november 18 | needs & wants

november 18 | jacket illustrations for needs & wants

august 19 | wedding invitation

august 19 | custom wedding invitation illustration

images courtesy of monica ramos | a selection of her illustrations are available as prints at Etsy

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Photo Faves: April 2014

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

As improbable as it seems for May to be here, I’m equally excited for summer (whatever summer in England means) as well as freaked out by the fact that we’re moving house in just over two months. After living in one place for almost 14 years, to be packing up after one year is a bit unsettling, and yes, stressful. I just figured out where things were stored in this house! That said, we’re hoping that this next move will carry us through our London experience so ….. fingers crossed.

I’ve been enjoying my garden walks in April, drinking in the seemingly daily changing landscape, and marveling at how many plants I’ve never seen before. I’m sure the other residents on the garden (should they be spying on me) are wondering why I’m taking so many photos of flowers. I can’t help it: the lushness is completely enchanting. I’ve been sharing most of my pics these days at Instgram — my activity on Flickr is waning (though I’m keeping to my one-photo-a-day policy, as it’s highly motivating) — and this change is reflected in my April favorites. I hope you’ll enjoy them all the same: there are lots of flowers, illustrations, and pretty scenery to linger over:

  1. *
  2. Late-night distraction mechanism
  3. Wish I was in Milan for the Merci pop-up ….
  4. “Kindy” disregard the misspelling
  5. Untitled
  6. Coffee stop at wheelers yard
  7. good to be home
  8. Thursday afternoon
  9. The fog is rolling in…
  10. nice boat – ahoy! roosevelt island, #nyc.
  11. in the middle of a thought.
  12. Dramatic ending. //
  13. Happy weekend TO you!

photo at top posted to Instagram April 23  by janepotrykus

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Week Eighteen: Two Fantastic French-inspired Cookbooks You Need Now


I like cookbooks that inspire me visually — sort of an elegant melding of a coffee-table book and cookbook. These two new-releases fit that mold and are quite simply, perfection.

Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food (Grand Central Publishing, $30)

mornings at buvette


Buvette is the restaurant I visit without fail whenever I’m in New York. The space exudes charm and is known for its delicious range of small-plate treats. I first fell in love with Buvette over a Stationery Show weekend dinner of mussels — the sauce was amazing! — but have been known to pop in simply to enjoy an afternoon glass of rosé at the bar. And now, I’m a fan of Buvette’s Paris location* + have fallen for a good French 75 cocktail. Those of you who’ve asked me for NYC travel recs will no doubt remember my pleas to “go to Buvette and make sure you order the chocolate mousse!” As such, I’ve been anticipating Jody Williams’ cookbook for ages, and I’m so happy it’s finally available. Filled with gorgeous photography by Gentl & Hyers, flipping through ‘Buvette’ is like taking a virtual visit to Williams’ gastrothèques. The book’s recipes span breakfast to late-night, and happily includes my favorites, the croque monsieur with cornichons, and yes, the famous chocolate mousse.

Paris Pastry Club (Hardie Grant, $29.95)

crème brûlée for one

crème brûlée for one

Fanny Zanotti is having a moment: not only is she head pastry chef at one of the hottest reservations in London (that’s the Chiltern Firehouse, for those of you keeping score) but she’s also put together a knock-out début cookbook. Out this month in the UK — and coming soon to the US — Paris Pastry Club is a pâtisserie-lover’s dream. Whether you revel in spending an afternoon baking the perfect brioche, are assembling a repertoire of favorites as you dream of opening your own pastry shop someday, or simply take pleasure in ogling beautifully photographed madeleines (guilty), this is the book for you. The recipe I’m hoping to master is Fanny’s ‘crème brûlée for one’. Portion perfection in dessert form.

image credits: buvette photos by gentl & hyers, courtesy of grand central publishing // paris pastry club photos courtesy of hardie grant publishers

the may 2014 issue of bon appétit features buvette paris waiter gabriel galand on the cover. over the weekend, we were in paris again (and at buvette, again) and gabriel sweetly let me know about his Q&A feature at the bon appétit website. enjoy!

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Week Seventeen: Simple Pretty Picks / April 2014



While there are many, many reasons to buy paper goods, sometimes you need to get back to the basics, and amass an arsenal of supplies that will take you from list-making to desk-organizing to birthday-card-sending without having to run to the store every five minutes. It’s Everyday Stationery with a twist, and here’s what you need:

  1. Muji B5 Spiral bound notebook  first off, I think B5 is the perfect size paper. It’s large enough to hold a decent amount of notes and information, but small enough that said lists don’t become overwhelming. The cover is in a plain dark charcoal/black, which means you can leave it simple, or personalize it with stickers and labels.
  2. Dandelion Paperweight  I think desk accessories are a nice way to make a bit of a statement on a utilitarian desk. Hafod Grange’s line of botanical globe weights are not only substantial (they’ll get the job done) but très elegant. And yes, gorgeous.
  3. Uniball Signo Gel Ink Pen  I cycle through favorite pens with regularity. My current fave, from Uniball, is comfortable to hold, and its slim .38 nib makes my printing a bit more presentable — even, dare I say, artistic. Which of course, I appreciate.
  4. Muji B5 White Lined Notepad with PP Cover at £1.25, Muji does it again. I use these notepads for everything: grocery lists, blog ideas, to-do lists, doodles. They were out of stock for months this winter and I anxiously anticipated their return to the shelves so I could run in and stock up.
  5. Spring Once More Screen-Printed Occasions Card in order for a greeting card to be considered “everyday”, it has to be cool enough to speak to the design-lover in me, yet appeal to a wide range of recipients. I found these Spring Once More typographic cards (available in a range of greetings) last fall at Choosing Keeping, and months later, they are still a favorite.
  6. MT Washi Tape late to the game, I am now a huge proponent of washi tape. Functional but pretty, I used the tape extensively at Christmas: attaching gift tags to presents, adhering school photos to cards, and for everyday, I use it to turn any paper note into an insta-post-it.  I stick to solid colors: pink and grey, to be exact. (suprise!)
  7. Owl Paper Clip every desk needs a paper clip, and while the ubiquitous gem will do the job, why not choose the slightly quirky — yet still functional — option? These attractive Japanese owl-shaped clips will sate your need for design and keep your tear sheets perfectly organized.

layout and type by jane potrykus. image credits: 1. muji.com 2. matomeno.in 3. jetpens.com 4. muji.com 5. springoncemore.com 6. cutetape.com 7. lion-jimiuki.co.jp

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Week Sixteen: A SimplePretty Guide to Marylebone


Centrally located, and an easy walk from the Baker Street and Bond Street Tube stations, the charming village of Marylebone could easily be my favorite place in London to explore. At the very least, it is where I choose to spend most of my free time, and thus is the perfect spot to launch a new series: SimplePretty Travel Guides.

In these guides, I’ll be highlighting my favorite spots in a neighborhood or city to give you a flavor of what makes the location special to me.

For a visit to Marylebone, I suggest you:


  • La Pâtisserie des Rêves a pastry lover’s dream: madeleines, tartes, éclairs + more displayed under scientific-looking glass cloches like works of art. (43 Marylebone High Street // @LPDR_London)
  • La Fromagerie whether you pop-in to shop its well-known cheese room, contemplate your fresh fruit and vegetable options, or simply want to sit and enjoy some charcuterie and a glass of wine, La Fromagerie is the unpretentious foodie’s place to be. (2-6 Moxon Street // @LaFromagerieUK)
  • Monocle Cafe a quick stroll from the Lilliputian Monocle Shop (on George Street), I prefer the more open space at the Monocle Cafe. You can peruse (and purchase) the current issue of the magazine over a coffee and cardamom bun, or for something more substantial, come for lunch — I suggest the grilled-cheese sandwich. (18 Chiltern Street)
  • Roots & Bulbs cold-pressed juice is hot hot hot right now in London. Roots & Bulbs has a comprehensive (and beautifully packaged) range of juices, but my go-to is their organic chicken + rice meal in a box. So good and good for you. (5 Thayer Street // @Rootsandbulbs)


  • The Conran Shop a fantastic array of merchandise, ranging from furniture to tabletop to books to all things gifty. Conran’s buying team knows just what I want + the shop’s displays make me want it all, right now. There’s even a cafe at the back of the shop — don’t miss it! (55-57 Marylebone High Street // @TheConranShop)
  • Daunt Books London is home to a bevy of top-notch book shops, and Daunt’s Marylebone location is a great bookshop to get lost in. The building has impressive book-world credentials as the site originally housed Francis Edwards, a antiquarian bookshop (ca. 1912). Daunt’s travel section is extensive, the cookbook section (my favorite) is full of enticing titles, and the shop is well-known for its author events series: I was fortunate enough to catch Adam Gopnik’s talk at Daunt over Thanksgiving 2011. (83 Marylebone High Street // @Dauntbooks)
  • Green’s along with bakeries, newsstands will always have a place of honor on any SimplePretty travel guide. Green’s stocks a wide variety of UK and international titles, including a good selection from the US to allay my twinges of homesickness. And bonus: they sell flowers, too. (17 Marylebone High Street)
  • Le Labo my entire fragrance wardrobe revolves around Le Labo + its sublime selection of scents. Stop in and stock up on my favorite, Rose 31, or sample the London exclusive fragrance, Poivre 23. (28A Devonshire Street // @lelabofragrances**)
  • Mouki Mou if I were to open a boutique, it would look a lot like Mouki Mou. A bit of utilitarian luxe® fashion (from the likes of Crippen, Arts & Science + more) some simple jewelry from 10,000 things, and a smattering of objets and accessories to obsess over. (29 Chiltern Street // @moukimoulondon**) 
  • Plain English Design Plain English bespoke kitchens are perfection in my book, and the company’s Marylebone showroom is an oasis of design serenity and beauty. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit how often I walk by (and sometimes am brave enough to pop in) and dream of the day when I own a house again, because I want my kitchen to look very Plain English-y. (28 Blandford Street)


  • Paddington Street Gardens a bit of green space is always a welcome sight in a city. Paddington Street Gardens graciously welcomes you in for a stroll among the flowers. Or, simply relax and watch the world go by from one of the many benches that line the park. (ps: there are public toilets, too.)

note: “@” addresses denote twitter account names, with the exception of ** which indicates an instagram handle.

map layout, design & type by jane potrykus

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