Zoe de las Cases: Paris and London

zoé de las cases: london and paris travel guides | simple pretty

I STILL miss travel. I particularly miss London and Paris, and have spent far too much time during this year-of-going-nowhere mooning over shops in those two cities on Instagram. Which is why I was thrilled to discover these two new travel guides from Paris illustrator Zoé de las Cases. (Instagram: @zoedelascases) Each is part coloring book and part travel book, and they perfectly serve either function. Care to spend a day — because you have nothing but time — getting creative and coloring in a page? Get out your pencils and have at it. Would you prefer to spend these slow pandemic months making exhaustive lists of all the places you’re going to visit just as soon as travel is allowed? (Hello, people like me.) These books will more than satisfy that need. I found quite a few new places to discover, and was happy when personal favorites made the books.

The books are harder to find in the US (Hachette really should think about wider distribution) but they are available — shipped internationally — via Amazon. (I bought mine through Amazon.co.uk earlier this summer, and that’s still an option.)

paris travel guide by zoé de las cases | simple pretty

paris excerpt

london travel guide by zoé de las cases | simple pretty

london excerpt

For a deeper, French language dive, Hachette.fr has a video and an article celebrating the launch of these charming books on their website.

book covers via amazon.com (layout by jane potrykus); excerpt photos by jane potrykus

Everyday Award Ribbons by Frankie and Claude

everyday award ribbons

It’s hard to discover new things — actually, it’s hard to discover anything — when your trips out of the house are limited to essential grocery and Target runs.* However, I managed to spy these ribbons through a gift shop’s window while waiting to collect my takeaway lunch order.

Frankie + Claude‘s clever take on “Everyday Awards” is fantastic. I love the idea of recognizing someone in this moment of crazy for just being; celebrating (and honoring) a quirk with a ribbon worthy of display. Two of the ribbons below correctly describe a personal idiosyncrasy: one of these things is not like the others. Can you guess which one?

frankie and claude everyday award ribbons

overthink everything

frankie and claude everyday award ribbons

in bed by 9

frankie and claude everyday award ribbons

5 minutes late

images via frankieandclaude.com

*and yes, the occasional take-out order as well.

Thie Studios


As the year of staying home drags on, I think we could all use a dose of happiness in our mailboxes. These cards, by Hamburg designer Katja Kirchner’s Thie Studios, are graphic and minimalist and feel so very summery. (Which means act now*: summer is waning.)

thie studios sundowner card | simple pretty


thie studios BFF card | simple pretty


images via thiestudios.com

* I discovered these via my favorite Berlin paper shop, RSVP, but in the US, McNally Jackson is a suggested stockist.

Before Breakfast

beyond breakfast work pad | simple pretty

work pad

Completely besotted with the industrial-elegant paper goods from London-based purveyor Before Breakfast (Instagram: @beforebreakfast_london). Any of these items on your desk denotes your seriousness about proper tools that also have design bona fides: it’s like having secret access to a cool stash of office supplies.

The line is dedicated to sustainability, not only in their printing methods but also in repurposing scrap cuttings and leftover paper. In 2020, Before Breakfast has been using these scraps to create a series of one-off notebooks : you can follow their progress at Instagram.

For your organizational consideration, there’s a plethora of planners to choose from as well. I’m too late for their brilliant 2020 wall calendar; hopefully there’s a 2021 version in the offing.

beyond breakfast stack of boxes | simple pretty

stack of boxes



before breakfast ruled bookstand | simple pretty

ruled bookstand

images via www.beforebreakfast.london

Wanderlust Paper Co.

wanderlust paper co | simple pretty

assortment from wanderlust’s portrait collection

In a season of confinement that never seems to end, I find myself drawn to connection more than ever, seeking out friends for bits of commiseration and support. An upside to connections via snail mail is the joy of selecting the perfect paper goods to express yourself. Recently, I discovered Wanderlust Paper Co. (instagram @wanderlustpaperco) Artist Lucy Brackin has a knack for simple, romantic artwork printed in a palette of understated, sweet pastels. Based in Hove, England, and printed by hand on a vintage press, it doesn’t go unnoticed that the company’s name perfectly suits the moment: if I’m to be denied the pleasures of travel this year, at least I can send some Wanderlust through the mail …

wanderlust paper co "hello you" card | simple pretty

“hello you” card … the illustration reminds me of my mother

wanderlust paper co | simple pretty

wanderlust paper’s nudes collection

images via wanderlustpaper.co