Dress That Mama: Hansel From Basel, and a Giveaway


Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so I thought I would show my appreciation for my Dress That Mama readers with a little giveaway! Hansel From Basel has been my go-to online store for tights and socks for years now (and if you have a little girl, check out these adorable tights and these leggings!). I am always impressed with the quality of product they produce — the tights hold up well and are nice and thick (and warm), perfect under all kinds of dresses and skirts through winter. I love the bit of whimsy and interest that colorful patterns give to outfits. And this pair of seamed tights in particular is such a rich maroon color, I couldn’t resist!

(Also, if you need a little style inspiration, check out Hansel From Basel owner and designer Hannah Byun’s style on Closet Visit)DSC_0073


The seam up the front of the tights is a light beige color, while the one in the back is a bright yellow — so much fun!

I have one unworn, unopened pair of these tights in size small/medium up for grabs. Just leave a comment (with your email address) and a winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, November 30th. I will contact the winner via email on Monday! Good luck, and Happy Thanksgiving!

P.s. — Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers only, sorry I can’t ship abroad! 

P.s.s. — There will be a couple more giveaways during the month of December, one of which I am really excited to be a part of… check back in early December to find out more! 

Weekend Shenanigans


I almost, almost, did not blog at all for this coming week. Last week on Wednesday and Thursday, I finally started to feel better. My ballet teacher pulled me aside to say you have lost weight, dear, please rest and I assured her I would, I have been, and will. Friday morning I woke up and realized it was all worse, I felt like death warmed over. Andrew, newly returned from a three-day trip, took over and for the next two days I slept more than I was awake — waking up only to drink hot water and homemade chicken noodle soup and change the water in the vaporizer. There was definitely a secondary infection going on, but my doctor’s office was closed for the weekend. And then, on Sunday morning, after sleeping a solid 12 hours straight, I woke up better. Again. DSC_0026DSC_0038DSC_0023DSC_0034DSC_0021DSC_0025

This time I’m thinking it’s gone for good, a nearly three-week ordeal, good grief! But the one good thing about hanging out around the house for the past couple of weeks is the amount of coziness I’ve been surrounding us with — I have hung so much greenery inside and outside the house, it’s beginning to look a bit like a forest! A good thing, I think. DSC_0027

Emil’s contribution to the household chores is always cleaning up after himself in the spill department, which, from the above picture, is a common phenomenon. The wet cloths and tablecloths accumulate on the radiator to dry… DSC_0032DSC_0035DSC_0044DSC_0005

Emil and I also snuck two mini trees into the boys’ rooms while they were out. We will decorate them after Thanksgiving and use them as night lights — a special tradition we’ve enjoyed over the past few years. It really makes it so nice to wake up to, especially when it’s snowing (which, by the way, it did this weekend, but it didn’t stick — boo). DSC_0012

Thank you for your kind words and ideas for healing, and I promise, I am a million times better! Have a wonderful Monday!



A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson

I just started this one — it’s meant as a companion to Life After Life, which has been so far my favorite of Atkinson’s books. This one takes many of the same characters (and then some) and tells the story of the younger brother of Ursula (the main character in Life After Life), Teddy, who grows up to become a bomber for the RAF in World War II. As usual, I am really enjoying the character development early on. I am especially enjoying the train wreck that is Teddy’s daughter, Viola. Really enjoying this one, and looking forward to reading more about the British perspective of World War II!

Dress That Mama: Layers


Still feeling pretty rotten, hiding behind layers of clothing to stay cozy even though it was pretty warm yesterday… I missed ballet last week but I’m going to try to go today as long as I can stop coughing for a good chunk of time, maybe ten minutes? Ugh. Hope you’ve missed whatever bug is going around!

I promise to post a better outfit post next week (maybe one that is in focus?), right before Thanksgiving!

Bowood Farms


With the holidays fast approaching (it’s mid-November, what?!!), I wanted to share a favorite establishment in the Central West End of St. Louis: Bowood Farms. This is often the first place I stop when I’m looking for a special gift for friends or family, and admittedly, I go there on rainy or gloomy days, sometimes to pick up a small plant and other times just to be inside the beautiful space for a pick-me-up. In fact, I took these photos yesterday, during the pouring rain. Clearly, the thoughtfully repurposed warehouse space has beautiful natural light! DSC_0001DSC_0003DSC_0004DSC_0007

Aside from a wide array of unique, sometimes rare, plants, Bowood has the best kids’ gifts (especially the books). They have amazing coloring books, locally made stuffed animals, art supplies, and a wide range of creative kits. I bought this book here last spring and my boys love to cuddle up on the couch and look at the beautiful illustrations. This book also caught my eye… Milo and Oliver might find this under the tree on Christmas morning! DSC_0012DSC_0024


My favorite items in the store right now are all the lovely ceramic sculptures which resemble dahlias and succulents and sea anemones. They would bring the charm of an air plant without the care. I also love all the little glass houses… isn’t there a saying…

But really, all the home goods are fantastic. There are amazing-smelling candles, soaking salts, decorative pillows and throws, the whole place is packed with beautiful things! DSC_0025DSC_0011DSC_0013DSC_0015

The care with which each item is stocked and presented makes visiting Bowood Farms an experience. Also, the employees are super knowledgeable about all things garden; I have asked many rookie questions about our growing vegetable garden over the years and have never been led astray. And speaking of gardening, this is the place to go if you need anything at all: tools, organic fertilizer, repellants, chicken manure, bulbs, seeds, supplies, seedlings in the spring, greenery in the fall and winter. DSC_0017DSC_0019DSC_0021DSC_0022

The textures of the pots shown above are perfection. I get the most compliments on the succulents I have growing throughout our house in those pots! They are pricey, but really make a statement. Also, they naturally grow moss on the outside if kept moist, but remain pink if allowed to dry out between waterings. DSC_0039DSC_0040DSC_0036DSC_0044DSC_0041

And though I’ve never eaten there, I hear Cafe Osage (which is just to the right as you walk into the main building) has a delicious lunch menu. Cafe Osage also takes advantage of fresh vegetables and herbs grown on site, which is located across the street from Bowood Farms in their lovely urban garden. DSC_0043DSC_0049DSC_0052DSC_0051DSC_0055DSC_0056


Read more about Bowood Farms here, and if you’re in the area, be sure to stop by in person!

Bowood Farms — 4605 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63108       phone: 314.454.6868

Weekend Shenanigans


I’ve been fighting a nasty head cold for a week now, canceling all plans to rest and hydrate and place warm compresses on my sinuses, which ache constantly. I rested all day Saturday so that I could muster the energy to attend Circus Harmony’s Juggling Ball Saturday night. I desperately wanted to be there to support the program we love so much, so I sucked it up, took some decongestants, and went out on the town with my main man. Andrew and I had so much fun goofing off, I totally forgot how awful I felt until the following morning, when the full force of sinus hell made itself known again. Blah. But yesterday I was encouraged by the strong effects of natural remedies for sinus inflammation, alternating drinking hot cups of water mixed with turmeric, honey, and lemon, and hot cups of water mixed with apple cider vinegar. Yum, I know, but I swear it has been working. I want antibiotics to be a last resort. Let me know if anything in particular works for you when you feel a sinus infection coming on!

But moving on, check out these kids. Amazing!

We all enjoyed Emil thoroughly this weekend. He played for us many songs on his ukulele; the soft, upbeat sound combined with his death metal lyrics and voice were… interesting. Milo could hardly stop laughing. None of us could, especially when the concert turned into a march around the downstairs while singing and playing. He is an interesting character, that one! Andrew foreshadows a death metal band in Emil’s future called “The Dark Side,” in which Emil his bandmates dress like dark side characters from Star Wars while playing heavy metal. Oh, dear. DSC_0007DSC_0009

Hope your weekend was great! And bear with me if the blogging is light this week, I’m just trying to make it through!

Darth Vader


Emil has fully embodied Darth Vader. And assuming this is a passing phase, much like the days of the red pajamas Emil wore nearly every day for a year straight when he was two, I wanted to record this fleeting childhood moment for us all to look back on.

Every morning, Emil wakes up dressed in his Darth Vader pajamas (and recently, black winter gloves which he wears all night so he can awaken to a more genuine embodiment of his hero), and shoves two socked feet into hand-me-down black cowboy boots held together with black electrical tape. He then fastens his black “E for Emil” cape, and puts on his Darth Vader mask. Last, he picks up his lightsaber and is ready to exit his room for the day. It is only then that he feels prepared to use the restroom.

Emil has expressed to us on more than one occasion that he wants to be Darth Vader. That his name is not Emil Thelonious Knight, but Emil Darth Vader Knight (equally weird, I know). Recently, on the way to school, Emil stated, “I will not be taking baths anymore. Darth Vader doesn’t take a bath, he just wears his clothes all the time,” to which I replied, “Oh, but he does! He takes baths with extra bubbles! He just likes to take his baths in private.” Milo and Oliver tried to convince Emil, but he was skeptical, probably trying to picture the dark, masked, mysterious man climbing into a clean white tub filled to the brim with sweet-smelling frilly bubbles, his cape spreading like ink across the top of the water.

When I picked him up from school earlier this week, he proudly showed me his darkening and swollen black eye, which he had collected at the playground after falling onto a stump in a play of misfortune. I hugged and comforted him, a look of concern on my face, but he smiled back at me and said, “I LOVE my black eye! I want another one, because now I look like Darth Vader!” His favorite colors, of course, those of a bruise.


Everything he does is done only after considering if Darth Vader would do that thing; would Darth Vader eat candy? Only if it was a dark colored tootsie pop, or maybe dark chocolate. A popsicle? Only red, like a lightsaber. Would Darth Vader draw a picture? Only using the black marker. Maybe also the red. Does Darth Vader poop? No. (Unfortunately, there’s no getting around that last one).

Emil eats, breathes, and lives Darth Vader. We picked up a Star Wars book from the library, and the only page Emil is interested in reading is the one with his favorite guy. He will bring you this book, but you must not begin reading the page until Emil is completely dressed as Darth Vader. Once you are finished, so is he, and life can go on.

The way Emil is convinced of getting dressed for school every morning is through a gentle reminder that his Darth Vader pajamas, cape, boots, gloves, mask, and lightsaber will be safely awaiting his return from school. It goes without saying that Emil will discuss his impending costume change on the drive home from school, just for reassurance. “We will go right home today? And I will change into my Darth Vader jammies.” Yes, buddy, you can change as soon as we get home.

If you hear, “You have failed me for the last time,” don’t take it personally. It’s just my four-year-old son Emil, being everything he has ever dreamed of being.

Dress That Mama: Woolpower

DSC_0004If there’s one thing the Swedes know (other than value of being out in nature, the value of maternal and paternal leave, how to make an egalitarian society work, how to care for their people, how to design great furniture, renowned urban planning ideas, free or subsidized contraception for all, strong female characters and role models, how to provide high-quality education for its children… okay, clearly I love Sweden — it’s in my blood!) it’s how to stay warm.

I’ve been searching for the perfect mid-weight layer/sweater for the fall and winter, and am so pleased with Woolpower, a Swedish clothing company that has perfected the art of keeping the body warm during cold days, using what nature already knows — that wool is the best way to keep warm. The sizing is unisex. I ordered an extra-small in the crewneck 200 and there is plenty of stretch, thanks to a bit of elastine added to the warm (not itchy at all) merino wool. It is so incredibly warm and comfortable, I know I’ll be wearing it all fall and winter. And it is really warm. If there’s one sweater you buy this year, I highly recommend this one. Plus, you can grab one for your partner too. I want to get Andrew the green color!