the refashioners: diy jacket

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you may remember last summer, i took part in portia lawrie’s the refashioners challenge and made myself this simple wrap top out of a thrifted men’s shirt. well, this season, she asked me if i’d be interested in taking on a new challenge. despite my success last time around, i was still feeling pretty intimidated. i don’t know how to draft a pattern and my sewing skills are still sitting somewhere in the beginner level. but despite those restrictions, i still love a challenge, however daunting it may seem.

the new challenge? refashion a pair of jeans (or two or three or ten) to create an entirely new garment. i have to admit, this was a but perplexing at first since the only denim clothing i own are pairs of jeans. but after spending some time thinking about my favorite simple designs, i came up with an idea: a poncho! and yes, this was in large part due to the fact that a poncho is essentially two pieces of fabric sewn together with a hole for the head. my version is simply open in the front with some sleeves attached for a sort of modified poncho jacket. if you’re interested in trying it out yourself, grab a few pairs of old jeans and head on over to the diy!

 

wearing: elizabeth suzann georgia midi in raw silk, young frankk necklace, brookes boswell cortland hat, j.w. hulme legacy handbag, martiniano glove shoe

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along for the journey with backpacks.com

calivintage - backpacks.com

summer is officially over at our house. the fall semester at adam’s school started on monday, so he’s off to his toddler program once again. and while a backpack isn’t yet a requirement at his age, and my own school days are well behind me, i still couldn’t resist getting matching backpacks to welcome the fall season. because really, whether you’re 2 or 32 (cough), headed to play school or high school, a backpack will always come in handy. so of course, i was very excited to partner with my friends at backpacks.com to share my personal experience. with a new baby to look after, i’ve got tons more stuff i need to bring with me for pretty much any excursion out of the house, so my new strategy involves two backpacks: one for myself filled with diapers and baby things, and one for adam so he can bring along anything he might want or need. he loves packing his bag before we head out, and toting it around with him wherever he goes. and it helps to lighten my own load just a little bit.

since i was feeling a bit nostalgic thinking about back-to-school times, i took a browse through the student collection. and while i was tempted to pick up a jansport like the one i carried as a kid, i got way too excited when i spotted the fjallraven kanken mini backpack in just the right size for adam. and of course, i got a fjallraven kanken laptop backpack for myself. i love the style of them for their simple design and cute little fox logo, but i also appreciate that they’re made of a sturdy, water-repellant fabric that is nearly indestructible. of course, if you’re looking for something different, backpacks.com has you covered. whether you’re headed back-to-school, back to the office, or on a hiking adventure, they’ve got backpacks that will suit your needs. us? our journey has us headed to nursery school, play dates at the park, and grandma’s house.

 

i’m wearing: zady japanese gathered blouse, vintage linen pants, greek sandals from avenue boutique, sunglasses from eyeconic
adam is wearing: black crane kids linen square top in fat stripe, tiny cottons trousers, saltwater sandals, linen cycling cap from niko’s naptime on etsy

calivintage - backpacks.com
calivintage - backpacks.com
calivintage - backpacks.com
calivintage - backpacks.com
calivintage - backpacks.com

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long layers

calivintage - long layers

over the past couple of years, i’ve been wearing a lot of crop tops. and while i still love them to death, lately i’ve been having fun playing around with different proportions. especially now that we’re transitioning into fall and i’m itching to change up my style a little bit, while still keeping cool in these hot southern california temperatures. this loose, swingy dress by jane sews is definitely long enough to wear on it’s own, but it’s also really great for layering.when the weather gets a little cooler, i plan to pull it on over a dark turtleneck and under an easy trench coat for a completely different look.

wearing:
jane sews layah dress
mih nautical trousers
maryam nassir zadeh roberta suede pumps
clyde angora pinch hat

calivintage - long layers
calivintage - long layers
calivintage - long layers

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solid state sandal workshop!

calivintage - solid state sandals

several months ago, i got my very first pair of custom-made mules from solid state. they were handmade-to-order in los angeles by shoe designer julio chavez, and have quickly become a favorite. and being the collector that i am, i now want to own one of every single design he makes! so of course you know i was beyond excited when he let me know that he has just opened his new chinatown studio and will now be hosting sandal-making workshops. his first two classes will take place on september 24 & september 25. for $200, you get to learn a new skill and walk away in a new pair of custom slides. needless to say, i will be there, and you should come, too!

of course, if you are not in the los angeles area, you can always place an order as well! after you make your purchase, you can choose your own leather or textile and send a scan of your foot so they can be made exactly to your size. shop solid state here.

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young frankk fall 2016

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the new young frankk fall 2016 collection is out and it is so good! i have long been a fan of hand-themed jewelry, so those earrings up top are a dream come true! now my only question is whether or not i can pull them off. if you aren’t looking to make quite as big of a statement, the richmond-based designer christine young has also come up with plenty of other options in both gold and sterling silver. i really love the mix of geometric and organic shapes. everything is interesting, but still wearable enough for every day.

like what you see? go shop young frankk now!

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night cereal: butternut squash rolled oats

calivintage - night cereal: butternut squash rolled oats

it’s a funny time of year right now. we’re still in the middle of an epic heatwave, but the seasonal shift is undeniable. the shadows are getting longer, cute little pumpkins are lining the windows at our local fruit stand, and adam is getting ready to start the new school year. those lazy days of summer are coming to an end, and we’ve been kicking into high gear with adam’s school schedule, edie’s sleep schedule, and a very busy mom and dad. but that doesn’t mean we don’t find time to prepare dinner, especially when it’s something quick and easy that only takes a few minutes on the stovetop.

which is why we are so excited to have partnered with our friends at got milk to share a quick and easy, kid-friendly night cereal recipe! this variation on classic oatmeal is a simple, hearty meal that has quickly become a family favorite around here. it’s packed with tons of nutrients important for a growing body, and it’s simple enough that adam can be involved in the food prep from beginning to end. which means more time to enjoy each other’s company at the end of a long and busy day.

and the best part? the variations are pretty much endless. simply cook a hot cereal of your choice and add a savory puree like butternut squash, yams, or even zucchini. add fruit and nuts, then top it all off with wholesome california milk. here’s our favorite:

night cereal: butternut squash rolled oats
 
ingredients
  • 1 cup hot cereal (we used bob's red mill 5 grain rolled hot cereal with whole grain plus flaxseed)
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 oz cooked and pureed butternut squash
  • brown sugar to taste
  • nuts, dried fruit, or fresh fruit toppings as desired
  • ½ cup whole milk
instructions
  1. boil together water and cereal in a small saucepan.
  2. reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired consistency.
  3. add butternut squash and brown sugar to taste
  4. serve in a bowl with your favorite toppings (we used mixed nuts, craisins, and fresh figs)
  5. then top it off with wholesome california milk and enjoy!

 

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dining decor

calivintage - dining decor

we’ve been living in our little vintage home for over a year now, and while many of the rooms have really started to take shape (with some fun renovations underway, more on that later), there is one room in the house that has been sorely neglected: the dining room. it’s a really pleasant space with sliding doors opening out onto a large patio, but there is literally just an old table with rickety chairs, a very bare bar cart, and my stereo system that i haven’t even bothered to hook up. when the entire house was in disarray, i didn’t even notice it, but now that things are coming together, it’s starting to look more sad by the minute! so of course, i’ve taken to pinterest in search of some good ideas for how to pull the space together.

and as you can see by some of my favorite photos, i’m staring to get a pretty clear picture of what i’m looking for. minimalist, slightly artsy, with bentwood chairs, and a few large statement pieces. which is pretty much the direction i want to go in for most of the house, but i’m not trying to get too far ahead of myself! now the challenge is just trying to find some good furniture at the right price. you can find any of these as reproductions on sites like design within reach if you’re ready to spend a pretty penny. or you can scour thrift stores and flea markets if you are lucky enough to have hours and hours of free time at your disposal. or you can sit around waiting for a magic fairy to delivery them to your doorstep, right?

above: tom dixon.

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melbourne house by robson rak via design addicts.

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ledansla.

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malia grace mau.

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eat burger by amber road design.

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another ballroom.

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am designs.

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esby apparel fall 2016

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for a few seasons running now, i have been so in love with everything that esby apparel puts out. even though i’m still not quite ready for summer to be over, this new fall 2016 look book is definitely getting me in the mood. you know how much i love a good one piece, so of course their new duffy jumper in ivory is at the very top of my list. as are many of their other effortless wardrobe staples for fall. one thing i especially love is their use of natural fibers like cotton, linen, and silk. i have a jumpsuit from last season that has been washed and worn that only seems to get better with time. and i can’t wait to incorporate even more of their lovely clothes into my wardrobe this season.

the fall collection is already up and available on the site. so definitely go shop esby!

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montessori at home

calivintage - montessori at home

i haven’t written an official post about it here on the blog, but if you follow me on instagram, then you may have seen me talking a bit about how we’ve adopted the montessori method at home. before adam was born, i was vaguely familiar with the philosophies behind it, in large part because my mom was a reggio educator and had a lot of experience with early childhood education. but that was pretty much the extent of it. in fact, to this day, i’ve never read a parenting book or how-to. so when it came time for me to pull together his nursery, i kinda just did the traditional thing: crib, dresser with a changing table, shelves filled with brightly colored toys, a rocking chair. i hadn’t even considered that there might be alternative ways to set up a room that might be more “kid friendly.” and it totally worked for the baby stage. but they’re really only immobile for about 6 months before they begin to start crawling around, ready to explore the word around them. and it was around that time that my little mister decided to start reaching up for toys sitting high above his head on the shelf in his room or at the dinner table, a recipe for disaster.

my first instinct was to buy a baby gate to restrict his access to dangerous parts of the house (which is a really good idea, by the way). but he was so interested in playing in the kitchen, pulling out utensils and things, touching, exploring. it seemed more natural to give him a safe way to access those or similar items to fuel his curiosity. i didn’t realize it at the time, but this post i pulled together about “what’s in adam’s bag” was totally my first experiment with what you might consider montessori. i tried to think like a baby and essentially shrunk down the adult version of my own purse into a bag full of developmentally appropriate toys for a curious baby.

fast forward a couple of years and adam is now enrolled in a local montessori school, and we’ve gone full-fledged montessori at home. we aren’t militant about it or anything, but whenever i see a way that i can adapt my home that allows adam to do things independently, then i certainly try to do it! his room is probably the best example, with a low shelf filled with baskets, each one containing a different activity. the same goes for his book shelf, clothes rack, and floor bed. the idea being that if i shrink down everything to his level, then he can do practically everything he needs without having to ask for help. it’s a bit harder in the kitchen, but he has a step stool that he can move around the room so he can climb up to the counters and help us with food prep. and he has a little set-up under the work bench with a few canisters of snacks, a tiny cup and pitcher so he can serve himself water, and wooden bowls and utensils that he can get for himself.

like everything with parenting, it’s just a work in progress. we don’t think we’re perfect, and we’re not trying to be, but it’s something that we’ve found has worked really well for our family. so as i pull together the house, i hope to share more about the why and how when it comes to adopting montessori at home. so stay tuned for more of my little “montessori series” here on the blog!

calivintage - montessori at home
calivintage - montessori at home
calivintage - montessori at home
calivintage - montessori at home
calivintage - montessori at home

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poolside office

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nope, not on vacation, but doing the next best thing. hanging out at my mid century poolside office on a lazy hazy summer day! over the past several weeks, i’ve partnered with my friends at hp to share a bit about the new spectre laptop (see my first and second post). and today, i’m rounding things out and looking back at how it’s helped me to get inspired, and dive back in to blogging full time. as a mother to two small children, it’s really important for me to be as flexible as possible with my schedule. i don’t work the traditional 9 to 5, so having a super lightweight laptop that packs a powerful punch has become my secret weapon for getting work done. i had previously thought that i would need to be tethered to my desktop computer in order to upload and edit all of my photos. these tasks take up a huge amount of memory and require fast processing if you don’t want your computer to slow to a snails pace. but thankfully, with 9 hours of battery life, up to 512GB of PCIe-based SSD storage, a 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i Processor, and up 8GB of memory, my laptop can do all the heavy lifting even when i’m sipping iced coffee by the pool.

once i realized that i had all of this capability right at my fingertips, i was feeling inspired and really hit the ground running. i set up a super lightweight at-home workspace with a standing desk so that i could quickly and easily stop by to answer emails, edit photos, and keep on top of my social feeds, while still having the flexibility of switching gears when i need to pick adam up from school or take edie on an afternoon stroll. the space turned out to be really beautiful and inviting, and just having some fun setting things up was really what i needed to get into the right creative headspace for blogging. and of course, the spectre fits in perfectly with the decor. the simple hinge design was inspired by high-end furniture details, and it’s crafted with carbon fiber and aluminum for a luxurious finish.

but just as important as it is for me to have a beautiful and functional workspace inside the home, sometimes it’s good to get outside to clear your head. adam has been having fun learning to swim this summer, so i’ve gotten into the habit of setting up my laptop poolside while he takes his lessons. it’s a nice change of pace, and it really helps me to get the creative juices flowing, especially when i can take short breaks to play with the kids or swim a few laps in the pool. this shift in how i approach work and productivity has made a huge difference in my life, and for the first time in a long time, i’m feeling really excited about blogging. i feel like i’m rediscovering my creative voice and i have so much i want to continue to share. so here’s to being positive and looking forward to great things ahead!

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