new year’s eve entertaining (with bed, bath, and beyond)!

i know that new year’s eve is often celebrated with over-the-top glitz and glamour– and partying into the wee hours of the morning. but for as long as i can remember, my new year’s eve tradition has been a lot more casual and low key. i mean, i love a good party, but after all of the festivities of the holiday season, i’m usually ready to just relax and unwind with a few close friends and family members. one last warm and cozy gathering before we refresh our palettes and look forward to new beginnings.

and speaking of new beginnings, i don’t know that i’ve mentioned it much, but we just got through a pretty major home renovation a couple of months ago and have yet to show it off! we have some time until the big reveal (more details on that to come), so we’ve been taking it easy and slowly refreshing the decor throughout the house in anticipation of the big day. one of our main goals in renovating the house was to be able to do more entertaining. a lot of my family lives here in town, and we really like having our doors open for family dinners, play dates, impromptu bbqs. so when bed bath & beyond asked me to share some of my tips for new year’s eve entertaining, i was all over it. i’ve basically spent the past 3 years in our house just planning out how to use this space once we were able to invite guests over, even if it is just a casual affair!


my bed bath & beyond NYE checklist:

artisanal kitchen supply edge dinnerware collection in linen
artisanal kitchen supply edge nesting bowls in linen
artisanal kitchen supply edge flatware in satin
relaxed cotton oblong tablecloth in natural
relaxed cotton napkins in blue
danske matera napkins in bark
artisanal kitchen supply acaia footed paddle boards
j.k. adams co. 3-piece appetizer tray set
artisanal kitchen supply cheese knife set
godinger hammered stainless steel bar set
libbey glass signature kentfield champagne flutes
dailyware stemless champagne flutes
nambe grove candlesticks


like i said, i’ve been scheming all of the things i need for entertaining for quite a while, so i felt like a kid in a candy store shopping around at bed bath & beyond. for our new year’s eve gathering, i knew i wanted something that was totally decadent, yet still comfortable and casual. it took a lot of restraint on my part, but i opted to go super neutral with the table settings because i knew that i wanted to add lots of color with bright red peppers, deeply hued pomegranates, glossy black olives, rich cheeses, and fatty meats. i even added vodka and cranberry to the champagne! so for the tableware itself, i decided to stick with neutral colors and luxurious textures: perfectly rumpled napkins and a tablecloth fashioned into a runner, matte dinnerware and bowls, natural wood-grain peeking through the serving boards and trays. and i added a spray of foraged dry florals over the table to add a breath of fresh air to remind us of the coming new year, even when it’s gloomy and cold outside.

as i was shopping for all the perfect pieces, one theme that started to emerge as i started to put my list together? i really love their in-house brand, artisanal kitchen supply. it was a great starting point for me because they have a lot of very on-trend options like marble, wood, and cast iron in really beautiful complimentary color schemes. i decided to go for the linen colorway on the dinnerware and expanded from there. a quick search for cotton and linen came up with beautifully textured napkins. i went for a mix of both classic and stemless champagne flutes. and since we have a lot of mid century furniture in the house, i was even able to find a set of perfectly retro candlesticks to tie things together. i literally didn’t have to step foot into any other shop (besides the grocery store) and my place is now totally holiday ready. if you need your own starting point, they have tons of holiday shops, which include hanukkah, christmas, even halloween all in one destination so you can sleigh the holidays.








this post was sponsored by bed bath & beyond. all content is by calivintage.

simplify gift giving with the brass clothing kit gift

giving gifts is always very tricky. you have to balance your own taste with that of the receiver. you have to know them well enough in the first place to even know what they might like at all! and even then, there’s still that looming fear that you’ll either miss the mark or you’ll get it so right that they already own the darn thing. i’m already having flashbacks to the last time i had to buy birthday presents for adam’s classmates. i spent over an hour at the local toy store trying to find the most thoughtful and well-curated gift only to throw my hands up and buy gift cards so that those sweet kids can just get what they really want. i mean, what’s better than that?

so when brass reached out and asked if i would be interested in trying out the kit gift, i was there for it. because seriously, who doesn’t love getting to pick out exactly what they want? so of course, i got myself a kit to try out on my own. but you know who else would appreciate the kit gift? my sister. and my sister-in-law! probably my mom. the list goes on! when you place an order, they send you:


the kit gift from brass

the closet kit gift card: a gift card that allows them to create a closet kit of their choice: 3 foundation pieces plus the clean out bag – a pre-paid mailer that sends old clothes directly to a recycling facility. ($310+ value)
the black everyday sweater: the brass clothing best-selling sweater that they’re guaranteed to love. ($98 value)
a facetime appointment: 1-on-1 time with an expert stylist to talk about upgrading their wardrobe and how to style their new clothing. ($50 value)
free shipping: a code to use through february to get anything else they might want! ($20 value)
(total value: $478)
YOUR PRICE: $348



and i can now tell you why the everyday sweater is their top-seller. it’s a dream! super soft and comfy, i’d be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t like it. it’s a great introduction to the brand and a perfect starting point for building a more thoughtful closet. from there, you can schedule your face-time appointment with a stylist who can help recommend what to get with your gift card. a quick browse through the site pulls up a selection of really great basics to add to your wardrobe, so you really can’t go wrong for even the pickiest gift recipient– myself included haha.


get free shipping on all of your orders at brass with code CALIXBRASS now through the end of the year!


 

festive season

it’s official. the festive season is here and i’ve got mariah carey christmas songs playing in my head on repeat. i don’t really go over-the-top for the holidays, but i do enjoy a lot of the traditions. we went out and got a christmas tree the weekend after thanksgiving, we strung christmas lights on the house the other day, and i even made some wooden ornaments after i saw a diy whole scrolling through pinterest haha. and today, i pulled out this perfect kimono jumpsuit from milk & thistle that i’ve sort of been saving for this time of year. i love it because it’s so comfortable and easy to wear, yet it really has a high impact with that beautiful paprika color. the type of thing that you can wear on christmas day and then turn around and pack for a vacation the day later– which is exactly what i’ll be doing this year. we’re heading to hawaii for our first family vacation in quite some time. i think the last time we packed up the whole family and went somewhere on a plane was when edie was only a few month old! so this year, i guess you could say we’re going a little bit christmas, a little bit resort. not sure exactly how it will all pan out, but at least i’ve got the right jumpsuit for it!


wearing:
milk & thistle kimono jumpsuit in paprika (also comes in chalk and blush)
clare v. pot de miel
mari giudicelli leblon mules






coveralls, but make it fashion

now that the holidays are upon us, my solution to “dressing up” has been to add a blouse with big, puffy sleeves. done.

case in point? i could have easily worn these coveralls with a t-shirt and sneakers. and i have done just that. but when times are festive, you gotta turn things up a notch. add heels and lipstick and you’re ready for a proper party. unfortunately for me, most of my parties invites actually require me to be a chaperone for toddlers at venues such as school plays, indoor playgrounds, and chuck e cheese. but that’s where the coveralls come in handy, right?


wearing:
doen o’keeffe blouse (past season)
loup dark indigo rhoda coveralls
clare v. petit alistair in cuoio leather
nisolo ecuador huaraches (this link will take you to a 10% off code)



ten years

at some point in the year 2008, i started the calivintage blog as you see it today. i don’t remember the exact date i started, because at some point i went back and deleted some of my first posts out of sheer embarrassment. i’m not sure how many of you have been around since i started (or even before i started, when i was on weardrobe and chictopia and lookbook.nu), but if you have been around since the beginning, i started by sharing daily outfits of myself inside my old apartment in oakland. at a certain point, i graduated to the tiny balcony outside our house, and most notably, to the rooftop of our apartment building overlooking the grand lake neighborhood. i remember getting comments from people who were afraid i might fall off, but i promise it was safe!

it was and still is a creative outlet for me. at first, it was because i really didn’t know anyone who had the same interest in fashion as i did. then it actually catapulted me into a legit career in fashion, which was totally unprecedented and such a wild ride. i was going to nyfw every season, meeting with designers whose clothes i only ever dreamed of wearing, partnering with brands and getting paid to basically just wear pretty clothes?! my blog actually got me a job in the fashion industry, and then later became enough to sustain me independently so that i could quit said job to stay at home and raise my two kids who are now nearly 5 and 2.5-years-old. it was and is way beyond anything i ever could have imagined. and i know i’m not in the “big leagues” over here, either! these days, my “fashion blog” isn’t a whole lot like it was in the beginning, but then again, neither is anything! it’s been 10 whole years!

but here i am. still in this space, still doing this blog thing. still learning, experimenting, stumbling, and getting back up again.

i actually snapped these photos this morning without any intention of even sharing them. it’s a format that i never use for my “outfit posts” and the look isn’t anything i would normally share, i don’t even know why. but this is me. on a wednesday morning without my hair and makeup done. finishing my cup of coffee and getting ready to style a shoot in this exact room for a client that i’m really excited about. i don’t really know what the next 10 years will look like, but i can only hope it will be as amazing and challenging and rewarding and complicated as the last 10. and i hope you’ll stick around for the ride with me!


wearing:
babaa knitwear sweater
elizabeth suzann petra crop in ivory
jesse kamm sailor pants
mari giudicelli leblon mules




the basics: huaraches

i know it’s fall, but i live in southern california, and my unexpected shoe choice as of late? the bestselling nisolo women’s ecuador huarache sandal. i don’t even know how i got by without them before! i chose them in the natural color, which does tan over time. or you can choose from two darker shades, or get all three! i’ve been pairing them with kick flares and white tops lately, so i thought i’d share two versions of the look that i’ve been wearing. and more importantly, i wanted to share that nisolo is offering a special sale on all three colorways through the end of the year!

from now until december 31st, follow this link to get a 10% off code on all nisolo huaraches!


suunday picnic top in dew
vintage sailor jeans
nisolo ecuador huarache in natural
clare v. petit alistair (get $25 off with this link!)



tradlands 116 varsity sweatshirt in shell
re/done jeans
nisolo ecuador huarache in natural
clare v. petit alistair (get 25% off with this link!)



a little cameo from edie, who decided to photobomb my shoot to show off her bellybutton!

super halloween

before i had kids, i didn’t have any preconceived notions about what holidays we’d celebrate or what traditions we’d adopt. but ever since adam was born, i’ve always really enjoyed the process of picking a costume, making it, and doing a little photo shoot. it’s the one time of year that i’ve consistently taken photos, so i can go back and look at what we’ve done year after year. this was the first time i broke my tradition of making their costumes from scratch, but i was really struggling with the idea of making something that might fall apart by the end of the night and ultimately end up in the trash. last year, i got them both matching black pajamas from primary as the base for simple bat costumes, which turned out to be really nice for reusing again and again. so this year, we went with the same concept and got these adorable hats and capes from lovelane designs that they could wear with their regular clothes. they’re made from a really sturdy cotton canvas, so the kids can wear them, wash them, and play in them any time of the year. they’re fun for open-ended imaginative play, and the brand sells other fun accessories so you can swap them out.

in fact, i’m planning on getting them a wooden trunk to fill with more fun “costumes” for play. when i was little, my mom would pick up fun accessories like opera-length gloves and vintage hats that she found at thrift stores and estate sales, and we spent hours playing with them until they became threadbare. i wonder if that had anything to do with my current penchant for “dressing up”…?


adam is wearing:
lovelane green moto set
soor ploom rosie coveralls (this color is from a past season)
cienta shoes

edith is wearing:
lovelane pink cape + gold crown set
petits villains victoire puff sleeve dress
mabo t-strap leather shoes








the olive festival

over the weekend, we headed out to highland springs ranch & inn in cherry valley for their annual olive festival. we started going there after we moved back to redlands a few years ago, and it’s become one of our favorite “hidden gems” in the area. i very rarely even bring a camera when we go out, and i hardly ever manage to sneak my way into a photo with the kids. usually because i’m the one snapping quick snapshots on my iphone between juggling things like the stroller and the diaper bag, or handing out snacks and managing tantrums. going out with the kids can sometimes feel like running a marathon, but if i remember to slow things down just a little bit, if i stop trying to see and do everything, then we manage to have a pretty good time. and i can even stop to get a few pictures to add to our photo album.

but anyway, back to the olive festival! if you live in the area, it’s definitely worth checking out highland springs ranch & inn. they have several different festivals and events throughout the year, most notably, the lavender festival in the spring. but they also have a cultured food festival in addition to things like burger wednesdays at the restaurant or just shopping at the organic galleries on the weekends, if you want a mellow spot to hang out. in fact, i really should do a more well-rounded guide to everything they have to offer… but for now, a few more snapshots of our weekend.


eating olive oil vanilla bean ice cream with a view of the lavender fields.


my trusty gear: a bugaboo stroller and leader co. diaper backpack.


why yes, i ate a giant bowl of olives for lunch.


edie is judging me for ordering a dirty martini, but it’s the *olive* festival, you guys. i had to do it.


they have a lot of kids crafts, including these olive leaf crowns. not pictured: the inordinate amount of time spent in the bounce houses.

the (faux) leather jacket

as i’ve been going through my wardrobe and focusing on the basics, i recently realized that there was one very crucial item missing from my closet: a biker jacket! in all my years of writing this blog, i have never owned one. how is that even possible? it’s such a classic, the type of thing that you find on pretty much every list of “wardrobe essentials.” and now that i got my hands on one, i can really see why. i went a little unconventional, for an olive green in a super soft faux suede and i’m so glad i did. i hate the feeling of being even a little bit restricted, so i really appreciate how lightweight and comfortable this is to wear. and it’s the perfect thing to throw over jeans and a t-shirt, it just works.

and to balance things out, i opted to pair the look with these new mary janes from zouxou. i have been searching for a pair like this for the past two years with no luck, so they are a bit like a dream come true. another total wardrobe essential that i know i’m going to be reaching for over and over this fall. if you’re not familiar with the brand, all of the shoes are handcrafted by argentinian shoemakers, responsibly produced in small quantities to reduce waste and energy use. and designer katherine theobalds splits her time between new york and argentina to oversee the responsible production of her shoes.

similarly, i’ve talked about fauxgerty before, but if you haven’t read-up on them, they’re based in st. louis and focus on using deadstock fabrics, sustainable fabrics, pvc-free faux leather, and faux-suede produce with post-consumer materials, in addition to employing workers right in st. louis and los angeles. they’d also like to offer up a discount code for those interested:

use code CALIVINTAGE for 15% off everything at fauxgerty!


the swazey jacket courtesy of fauxgerty
the muscle tank courtesy of fauxgerty
re/done ultra high rise jeans
eugenia flat in black glaze courtesy of zouxou
clare v. pot de miel






natural at-home waxing with parissa

when it comes to hair removal, i’m pretty low-maintenance. to be honest, i don’t frequently shave any of my body hair, and i certainly can’t be bothered with daily shaving. i’d much prefer to keep my shower routine simple, so i tend to use an electric razor on those occasions when i want smooth legs. but as someone who is (not so) secretly beauty-obsessed, i have to admit that i’ve always been really curious about waxing.

so when parissa asked me if i’d be interested in partnering to feature some of their products, i was more than ready to give it a try! then i started reading the story behind the brand, and i knew that it was something i had to share. it’s a family-owned company based in canada with a certified green and eco-friendly production facility created with the goal lowering their impact on earth’s resources. all of their ingredients, packaging, and components are sustainable and ethically sourced: the waxes are made from ingredients like tree resin, cane sugar, beeswax, vegetable oils, and plant extracts, which are safe for your body and for the planet. not only that, but they’re cruelty-free, a certified canadian women-owned company, and all of their packaging and paper products are certified by either the forest stewardship council or the sustainable forestry initiative. and that’s not even getting into the incredibly inspiring backstory of their founder, azar maoyeri, an accomplished chemical engineer and a canadian immigrant from iran.

and now onto the fun part: waxing my own legs! i went with the parissa wax strips super pack because i’m a complete waxing newbie. for me, i’m more interested in using a product that’s going to be relatively easy and low-maintenance. i’d thought about waxing before, but was always too intimidated to try, worried that it would hurt or that it would just be plain too hard for me to do correctly! luckily for me, the kit i used doesn’t even require heating! using their strips for waxing, you simply soften the wax with your own body heat, slap them on, and pull them off. that’s it.

i’ve done this a couple of times since i got my first pack, and i can also share a few pointers (which are also outlined in the instructions) in case you were wondering about trying them yourself. the first time i tried them, i thought i could cheat by doing it on really short stubble. don’t be tempted to do it! you really do need to wait the approximately 2 weeks it takes for your hair to grow at least 1/4″ in length! but the results are totally worth the wait. i have light skin with really dark and thick hair, which means that you can always see the hair follicles underneath my skin, even when i get a close shave. waxing turns out to be the perfect solution to this because it removes the hair from the root, giving you ridiculously silky smooth skin with no stubble even days after you’ve done it, which i’d honestly never quite experienced before!

it’s so funny that i was ever intimidated about giving waxing a try. once i started thinking about it, at-home waxing really is the more low-maintenance option for hair removal because the results last for so much longer than shaving. you have to shave every single day to achieve a smooth look, but with waxing, it takes 2 weeks! so we’re talking about hair removal about once a month versus every day. and once you get the hang of it, you can do it comfortably and at your own leisure. i could see myself applying a face mask and waxing my legs before settling down on the sofa to watch netflix. nbd.

the bottom line? i’ve been converted. it’s so easy and the results are way better than you get from a razor. the ingredients are all-natural, safe, and effective. they’re cruelty free, sustainable, and woman-owned. need i say more?


the contents of the parissa wax strips super pack (which can be purchased separately as well): wax strips for legs & bodywax strips for face & bikiniazulene aftercare oil, and an exfoliating glove for use in the shower to keep ingrown hairs at bay.


the parissa wax strips for legs & body.


warming up the wax. this is so you can separate them into two individual strips.


separating the two strips.


apply in the direction of hair growth and remove in the opposite direction of hair growth. see that stubble? i’m not faking this– it’s about to go!


ta-da!


the parissa azulene aftercare oil and an exfoliating glove.


ok, this aftercare oil is basically like little baby angel wings that came floating down from heaven on a silken cloud to soothe and soften your skin. you do experience some redness immediately post-waxing that goes down in a couple of hours, but i took these photo immediately before and after waxing, and the camera can hardly pick it up. the oil seriously helps with this, and you’ll love it so much that you’ll be spraying it on your legs every day. it’s better than lotion!


this post was created in partnership with parissa. thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible!

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