tiny comforts

i meant to share this post about a week ago, before the proverbial shit hit the fan… and since then, i’ve been trying my best to cope with a completely different routine that keeps me at home all day long with two little kids while my partner still has to leave every day to do clinical work in families homes. it scares the crap out of me. and then there’s the anxiety that i always have to cope with, but turned all the way up. so it’s taken me about a week to go through some highs and lows, trying to figure out how to stay sane in isolation, but also trying to move forward in the face of so much uncertainty. for the entire global economy, for those who are at risk or immunocompromised, for my own little family stuck here at home.

it’s a lot to feel, a lot to process. and i don’t have a definitive answer. but i’m moving forward out of necessity. time doesn’t stop because we’re all scared out of our minds. and if we spend every moment in utter despair or deep fear, we will have done nothing to change the current situation. we can only be diligent about flattening the curve, and do the best that we can.

i’m trying to keep my grocery trips cut down to as few as humanly possible, which turns out to be pretty difficult because i usually only buy enough for a couple of days at a time! i often find my pantry bare by the end of the week and just buy whatever i need when i go to the store because i hate to buy too much and risk food spoiling. so even attempting to stock up on a weeks work of supplies feels like a lot! but then public goods sent me this little care package, and i realized that it would probably help me to start ordering some of my pantry goods online (including toilet paper, they have some)!

cedar & suede candle

chocolate variety

whole bean coffee

vegetable broth

herbal tea

carrot soup

use code CALIPGA for 15% off your first purchase at public goods for you to use any time


also, don’t go out! but do use reusable bamboo straws at home, they’re fun for the kids. just make sure you wash them thoroughly! the little juice cups are from eastfork pottery.

millie & lou

staying true to form in puff sleeves and mom jeans today. this top from millie & lou is the latest addition to my growing collection of puff sleeved blouses, and of course i’m wearing it every chance i get. this canadian brand makes the same style in a whole rainbow of colors and fabric, and they clock in at only $75 with free shipping to the us! there’s also a dress version. and a huge selection of both house-made clothing and amazing vintage finds.

but very honestly, i can highly recommend every article of clothing that i’m wearing today. the pants are the agolde pinch waist denim and i rotate between these and the ’90s loose fit as much as i can get away with lately. i wear my usual size in the pinch waist, and just cut the hems on these because i wanted that look. but they do come with a hem.

and the boots! i can’t not mention the boots because they were a totally out-of-the-box choice for me that have turned into something i want to wear with almost every single outfit! honestly, if you had asked me even six months ago if i’d ever wear a white boot or a western boot or even a boot, i would have said no way haha! but something about these makes them feel very neutral so they match with everything, but they also kinda jazz up any outfit. even dresses!

so there you have it, my outfit of the day:
millie & lou bobbi top in brown eyelet lace
millie & lou ivory sheer crinkle scrunchie
agolde pinch waist jeans in realm
everlane western boots
clare v. bag

the photo box

so here’s the story: i have a digital archive of photos stretching back to before my kids were even born (don’t we all?). i always told myself i’d get prints made, fill up some photo albums. and inevitably, i’d keep putting it off because i knew i had all of the photos nestled in their little digital folders. until i didn’t. i never mentioned this on my blog, but last year, our studio was burglarized and in addition to several bikes being taken, two of my computers were stolen along with their contents… all of the photos from the births of both of my children! i was devastated for almost a year until i finally uncovered an old hard drive in a drawer that miraculously had back-ups of all the photos i thought had been lost forever. so yeah, it’s time for me to start printing hard copies of our most beloved photos.

i always loved flipping through my mom’s photo albums filled with grainy film photos of the family. so of course, i wanted to do the same for my kids. at first, i thought i’d do one of those fancy hardcover albums by artifact uprising, and i would like to try that someday, but the amount of photos that i need to print is feeling pretty daunting at this point. so i opted to sift through my archives of the past couple of years and print out 50 of my favorite photos to put in this little brass & wood display box for the kids. when it came in the mail, i couldn’t wait for christmas day, so i just plopped it right on the kids’ shelf so they could discover it on their own. and honestly, i think it may have been a better gift than straight-up toys. both of them just love to sit and flip through the photos, mostly pictures of them together or with the whole family.

and i think just about any of our relatives would love the same. in fact, i might have to get a few more for all of the grandparents who are also wondering where i’ve been stashing all those thousands of photos i take of the kids! if you’re also doing some holiday shopping, then click here for details on shipping deadlines. this sunday, dec 15th is the last day to order for usps shipping to receive by dec 24th, and dec 19th is the last day to order for fedex overnight! and…

use code CALI20 for 20% off at artifact uprising through december 19!*

*one coupon code per person. does not apply to shipping, wedding design services, bundle deals or gift cards.

all of the sweaters + practical shoes

my winter uniform so far? all of the sweaters paired with perfectly worn-in denim, and practical shoes. there’s something i love about the simplicity of getting dressing in cold weather. cozy sweaters, vintage denim, and comfortable shoes. and lucky for all of us, everlane is killing it in the sweater AND shoe departments this season, so i thought i’d pull together a little wishlist of all my favorites, either to get for yourself or to gift to someone who has taste as good as you. ;)

so here’s my look, all cozy in a cropped alpaca cardigan in almond, vintage levis, and the day boot in brick. i’m an everlane affiliate, so they kindly sent these two items as gifts so i could try them for myself. they were both at the top of my wishlist because i’ve been slowly building my collection of both sweaters and boots this season. and one thing that i’ve discovered over the past couple of years? i’ve never met an everlane shoe that i don’t like. in particular, i’d been meaning to try the day boot for ages and i’m so glad i finally went for it because they are just as awesome as everyone says. i bought my usual size, but i could see going for a half size larger if you know you’ll be wearing them with warm socks. and then keep scrolling because there’s a promo going on today that you won’t want to miss… ends today (tuesday, december 10) at 9pm PST!

the cashmere lantern sweater in brass

the recashmere varsity cardigan in spice chai

the recashmere vintage crew in heathered clay

the cropped alpaca cardigan in almond

the recashmere stroopwafel crew in faded sienna

the oversized alpaca crew in heathered java

square toe slingback in burnt orange

day glove in caramel

the day boot in brick

the tapered square toe slingback in black

the foundation bodysuit

it’s november, which means… it’s time to share the universal standard pick of the month. each month, they highlight one wardrobe essential to help you build your perfect capsule wardrobe, and this month is the foundation bodysuit. it comes in multiple different styles and colors from the short sleeve crewneck bodysuit i’m wearing here to a long sleeve and a turtleneck. and besides the fact that it’s ridiculously soft and stretchy, it comes in sizes 00-40 because size inclusivity is at the core of everything universal standard does. what i especially love is that not only do they offer every size, but the website literally shows every body type imaginable so that you don’t have to wonder how it will look on your body. honestly, even as a straight-size person, it is super stressful browsing a traditional online shop for clothes with image after image of the same body ideal. there is more than one body type out there! so i am really glad to be able to partner with a brand like universal standard so that i can share clothes for every body.

but back to the bodysuit for a moment! while i could literally just wear it around the house with literally nothing else because it’s so damn comfy, i decided to style it in a super classic look with a pair of high rise denim and their tirsa trench coat (which also comes in sizes 00-40, by the way). add a swipe of lipstick and a pair of red shoes, and you’re good to go.

use code calivintage20 for 20% off your entire purchase at universal standard through november 30

holiday gifts for kids

Now that my kids are a tiny bit older, and we’ve been through the whole Christmas thing more than a couple of times, I figured I’d share my take on kids gifts and toys: Less is more. Over the years, we’ve fallen into the rabbit hole with several different “collections.” Adam has baskets overflowing with Hot Wheels and Monster Jam trucks. Edie has probably every single My Little Pony. Calico Critters are super cute at first, but somehow manage to multiply before my eyes. And then there are the mountains of Legos. I’m not saying I wouldn’t give any of those things to my kids, I’m not a monster. But if I could go back and start over, I really think I would have slowed down and put a little more emphasis on choosing a few really good open-ended toys as the foundation for their play.

I read a quote recently that said, “a good toy is 10 percent toy and 90 percent child.” And from my own observations of my 3.5 and almost 6-year-old, I have to say that I 100% agree. So these are the gifts that are working for our entire family. The gifts that I am literally planning to get my kids this year, or that we already have. Then you can call me in a few years to see how we’re doing, because once I think I’ve figured it all out, these kids will throw me for a loop! But hopefully these gift ideas will help make your holiday season just a teeny bit less stressful!

above: Woodchuck Umi Play Kitchen

Raduga Grez Wooden Tea Set 

Way to Play Rubber Roads – 

KidArtLit Subscription Box

Bravery Magazine

Sarah’s Silks Play Frame Fort Kit

Ollie Ella Holdie World

Wobbel Waldorf Balance Board

…and for those of you searching for a kids’ bike, a lot of people were asking me about this last year, and I highly recommend you check out Cleary Bikes. My brother builds bike frames for a living, so I asked him to rig it up with training wheels to start him out, though their official recommendation is to actually remove the pedals so they can use it as a balance bike at first. But really, it’s whatever makes the most sense for you and your kid!

halloween costumes for imaginative play

since having kids, halloween costumes have always been a challenge for me. don’t get me wrong, i love halloween, but i don’t love all of the waste. you know how it goes, once the holidays begin, the consumerism picks up and just keeps growing until it peaks at christmas and your house is filled with piles of stuff. i love all the cute decorations and the kids have a blast trying one costumes at the store, but i just can’t justify all of the disposable stuff. so for the past couple of years, i’ve tried to focus on finding costumes that can be used or re-used beyond just the school carnival or halloween night. two years back, i bought the kids black pajamas and used scraps of fabric to turn them into little bats. then last year, we found these amazing and durable canvas capes from lovelane. it was a lot to spend upfront, so i was really nervous about making the purchase, but my kids still have so much fun playing in those capes a year later.

so this year, i knew i wanted to get them some new open-ended costumes for imaginative play to add to their little play chest. they already love the playsilks i put in their easter baskets earlier in the year, so when sarah’s silks reached out and asked if we’d like to try some of their costumes, the kids were so ridiculously excited. edie picked out the fairy dress, rainbow garland, and rainbow streamer. and adam picked out a reversible silk crown, star cape, and soft sword. we still have a couple of weeks left before halloween, but they have been playing with the silks nonstop and it is literally the cutest thing i have ever seen.

use code HALLOWEEN for 20% off costumes from sarah’s silks!

our 1927 bathroom restoration with true value

Since our one really big renovation last year, I haven’t had a whole lot to share about the house. We’ve mostly just been enjoying the space and keeping things mellow. But the one space we haven’t been enjoying? THE BATHROOM. It was the one really big, glaring project that didn’t get done last year despite the fact that our little vanity was literally falling apart, our bathtub was pitted beyond belief, and the window was… well, nonexistent. Our house was built in 1927 and even though it may be small, it’s always been big on charm. Except for the bathroom. And we only have one bathroom in the house! It had one unfortunate remodel somewhere around 1967 in which almost all of the original vintage features were removed and all that was left was a very hideous faux marble (?) sink and the persistent smell of old people. Literally. No matter how many times we cleaned, you’d always get the strongest waft of powdery perfume and mildew when you opened the cabinet door or the medicine cabinet. No, we weren’t living in squalor, but it was definitely creepy. A gross. And time for a change.

It’s always been my dream to restore this little house to it’s former 1920s glory. And I’ve always had some pretty strong ideas about what I’d like to do with the bathroom. I did a ton of research on vintage bathrooms from the time period and really wanted to go as historically accurate as possible while still, of course, acknowledging that we do live in modern times. I could write an entire post dedicated purely to all of the little details (and I probably will), but it’s not nearly as much fun as talking about (drumroll, please…) PAINT. I’m not kidding! It’s so funny, but of all the decisions that I had to make about this little bathroom, the paint color was definitely the most debated topic. For those of you who followed along on my Instagram stories, you’ll know what I’m talking about!

The bathroom itself is fairly simple. I went with an antique white subway tile and black accent details with just a little splash of green in the daisy pattern mosaic tiles on the floor, so we started with a nearly neutral base. I really enjoy designing this way because it means you really can’t go wrong with just about any color palette you choose for decorating. And even though changing the paint color is a lot easier than pulling out all of your tiles, it still manages to become one of the hardest decisions to make! Perhaps because it’s one of those final decisions. The color that finishes off the design and really pulls the room together. After comparing various brands, I decided to work with True Value’s EasyCare Ultra Premium Paint, which is known for their long lasting and superior products! I was quickly able to narrow it down to three options: a bold mustard (EasyCare Paint SUNBATH), a unique green (EasyCare Paint PARSLEY ROOT), and a soft pink (EasyCare Paint ROSE QUARTZ). Despite being my favorite color of the bunch, I could tell as soon as I swatched the mustard that it wasn’t going to work for the tiny space. Still, you always have to try something really out-of-the box because you never know until you get it up on the walls. But then it came down to team green vs. team pink. Do I echo the color of the floor tiles on the walls? Or do a bit of complimentary pink to balance it out?

In the end, I went with my gut. The kids were both taking a bath and singing and playing. I sat there watching them with three little swatches painted on the wall above them and just chose what jumped out at me in that very moment. Something about the pink just felt so fun and cheerful for a period bathroom. Using the EasyCare Paint Color Gallery, I explored the pink options and in the end, I landed on THE COLOR:  EasyCare Paint GLEE, in the Interior Satin finish. (Also available in flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, and gloss sheens for both interior and exterior applications, btw.)

I’ve been a fan of EasyCare Paint since I worked with the brand to find the perfect neutral yet complex white for our living room and fireplace. It’s become my go-to paint around the house, so I was really excited about this project because I knew I wanted to have some fun playing with COLOR. And it’s super easy to use because it’s a paint-and-primer in one that offers durability, smooth application, impeccable finish, and rich color. It has superior stain resistance and delivers long lasting color and performance which is especially important for a bathroom that has to endure tons of moisture and plenty of wear and tear, particularly when you’ve got two little kids! And most importantly for them, it’s low-odor, low-VOC, and certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. It minimizes irritants and pollutants in the air, creating a healthier indoor environment for your whole family in a range of colors to suit literally everyone. Picking a color is literally the hardest part, and they even make that easy.

Available at True Value stores nationwide and many independent paint and hardware retailers. Visit the Store Locator on EasyCarePaint.com to find a retailer near you.

I used the fan deck to get an idea of what colors to swatch, comparing against some of the tile and decor

Ready to sample swatches!

Are you team mustard, team green, or team pink?

Drumroll, please…

Just doing the final touch-ups to the room with the winning shade: EasyCare Paint GLEE



This post was sponsored by True Value and EasyCare Paint. 

universal standard pick of the month

ok so it officially rained for two seconds this morning and i ran to my closet to finally style my new universal standard leather jacket. it’s been like 100 degrees every day, so you know everyone in southern california was just waiting for the chance to wear more than one layer haha.

but i am especially excited because this is my first time working with universal standard, and i am so blown away by the brand. if you’re not familiar, universal standard was founded by two friends who were determined to create an inclusive shopping experience where both “straight” and “plus” sizes could shop side by side. they carry garments in sizes 00-40, which is truly amazing. i’ve talked a lot about ethical fashion and slow fashion over the years, but one big issue that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough is size inclusivity in fashion in general! i love that i can share a photo of myself wearing this jacket and know that anyone who wants a leather jacket can find one in their size at the same store as everyone else.

not only that, but universal standard has a program called “fit liberty” that literally allows you to exchange any of their core collection pieces for a different size within one year of purchase. because yes, our sizes fluctuate and we shouldn’t be stuck with something that doesn’t fit just because our bodies change.

so here is the universal standard pick of the month, the leather jacket. each month, the editors choose a different seasonal style to help you build a timeless and effortless capsule wardrobe. it is such a classic and so fun to wear. i’ve been playing around with the styling and it pretty much goes with everything. just throw it on over any summer look and you’re good to go for fall. yes, you. whether you’re a size 00, a size 6, or a size 40.

get 20% off your entire order from universal standard with code calivintage20 now through october 14!

the lindsay robinson tia dress

and just like that, it’s fall. we don’t exactly get that season here where i live in southern california, but when i pulled on this linsday robinson tia dress in bronze and headed out to the park for a photo shoot, it certainly looked like fall with all of the bronzy dried flowers to perfectly match my outfit. one of the things i struggle with is finding a good “going out” dress. i tend to be so super casual in my style, and i try to be so thoughtful about what i buy and own, that i have a hard time justifying anything that might seem “frivolous.” i have such a strong desire to have clothes that i can wear every day, which is definitely a smart approach. but then, when i’m the mood to dress up or a have a little bit of fun, i realize that i don’t really have anything hanging in my closet to match my mood! which is why i love this sparkly dress so much! it’s still casual enough that i could wear it out for an afternoon burrito date with brendan (which i did on this particular day), but it’s also something that i can throw on for a holiday party and still feel appropriately dressy. it’s a middle ground that i really think i need to explore more often when i picked out new clothes to wear.

not to be pushy or anything, but i should probably note that this particular dress is a limited release, so you’re interested, now’s the time to check it out before they sell out! or if you’re looking for something a little more subtle, it also comes in a 100% sand silk noil.

linsday robinson tia dress in bronze, gift from brand
winden nicole barrette in pearl, gift from shop boswell
maryam nassir zadeh mules
clare v. petit lea in cream, use this link for $25 off your first order

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