Archive | lifestyle

new shop to watch: bitte

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you may remember a couple of months back, i wrote about the fundable campaign behind a new online children’s boutique, bitte. well, since then, the venture has been backed and shop owner maia mcdonald smith has been a busy bee getting everything in order! the shop just launched last week, and i am currently scrolling through the inventory trying to resist temptation to buy all of the things!

every item in the shop was chosen with a focus on sustainable practices and modern design. if that’s not enough for you, they’ll also be featuring some of their top makers so you can get to know the people behind the brands. and they’ll also be teaming up with top bloggers to share helpful gift guides and top picks. first up, they’ve profiled the talented founder of petit collage, one of my favorite oakland-based children’s brands. and they’re sharing top picks from ashley muir bruhn of hither and thither and erin heimstra of apartment 34.

images courtesy of bitte.

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thing industries

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as i’m sure you’ve noticed, for the first time in my life, i have become interested in home decor. probably because it’s the first time in my life that i’ve actually owned a home! so now i tend to sit in my little house, looking up at the walls and imaging all of the different things i might do to spruce things up here and there. and i spend tons of time browsing the internet for new ideas, and dreaming about the possibilities. i came across thing industries not too long ago, and i just love their minimalist yet quirky design aesthetic. i have a lot of basics and neutrals around the house, but things start to get really boring if you don’t pick a few interesting accent pieces. i can see just about everything in their shop making a surprise appearance in some little corner of my house to keep things interesting. adam would go nuts over the banana pillow, i could certainly use the sacrificial chair for my constant mess of clothes, and oh, how i am swooning over the indoor stoop!

all of the pieces are designed by bridie picot and matt smith who are based in new zealand and new york. it started as a passion project for them a couple of years ago, and has now grown into an award winning studio now on their third collection.

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a new gallery wall with framebridge (and a discount code!)

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in this beloved digital age we live in, it seems that everyone is spending more and more time documenting just about every moment of our lives. now that adam is around, i know i pull out my phone at least once a day to snap a couple of photos. and i’m certainly not the only one in constant battle against that little pop-up on my phone warning me that my storage is almost full. but even with all of this picture-taking, i’ve somehow never gotten a single image printed, let alone framed, in the entire 19 months since adam was born! it’s actually kind of embarrassing to admit, but the task always seems so ridiculously daunting. i have so many photos to go through, and then i have to find a printing service, load adam up into the the car, and either attempt to frame them myself, or take them into a framing shop. it’s pretty much the last thing on my mind, until adam’s grandparents and great grandparents remind me that they’re still waiting on all those portraits i’ve been promising…  so you can imagine my relief when framebridge asked if i’d be interested in partnering with them to try our their online framing services.

the way it works, you simply visit the site, upload your photos, select your frame, and kick back while framebridge does the rest. you can do a live-preview of each photo within it’s respective frame to get an idea of how it will look, but if the selection of frames feels too daunting, you can always opt for the designer choice to have one of their professionals on staff help you pick the right frame for your photo. or you can take a peek at their cheat sheet for a few different ideas to help you get started. and i especially like that they have an “instragram mini” option with perfectly-sized frames for only $39. i’ve personally been getting into the swing of thing when it comes to home decor, so i got a little carried away planning out a whole theme for the portraits and frames i chose, with a focus on capturing all of the different stages of adam’s life. i decided to go with simple white frames as a base with a selection of different wood frames to compliment the mix of mid century and bohemian decor in my house.

the only problem? i was kinda sorta planning on giving the photos as gifts, but once they arrived, i couldn’t resist the temptation to try out a gallery wall in our entryway. and once all of those photos were up there, i couldn’t bear to take them down! so it’s a pretty good thing we have a 20% off code, because the next time we get a visit from the grandparents, we’ll all be fighting over who gets to keep what!

get 20% off your first framebridge order of $59 or more using code “calivintage20” now through november 30, 2015!

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#pinmeetup recap!

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just wanted to pop in to give a big thanks to everyone who came out to our very first los angeles area #pinmeetup at mixed business! i’m still pretty new to the world of event organizing, so i have to admit that i was a little anxious about how things would turn out. but i am happy to report that things went really well! i got to meet a lot of new people, and had tons of fun building my own bouquet with the bosky dell, and designing a necklace with melissa sonico. i even walked away with a new favorite jumpsuit that i have now been wearing for two days straight, ha!

i did my best to capture a few images of the event, and the entire thing was rather pinterest-worthy, don’t you think? the whole space was flooded in bright light while all of our guests gathered for our workshops, sipped champagne, and ate it’s it ice cream sandwiches! the whole thing has got me really excited to plan our next event, and next time, i want to make it even bigger and better. you can keep an eye on future local pinterest events here, or hop on over to pinterest for more inspiration.

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the wild one

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the other day, i opened the door and adam took off running down the sidewalk. i did the trick that most parents do and told him, “ok, bye bye, adam!” and turned my back. he usually comes running right back after me, but not this time! he’s only very recently mustered up the courage to step more than a few feet away from me, so it’s pretty fun for me to watch him go off “on his own.” i know a lot of parents say it’s hard to let their babies go, both figuratively and literally. but i really do enjoy seeing his independent spirit beginning to crop up. it makes me proud to see him learn and explore and grow. and i really don’t mind having a little space to myself now and then. although as you can see, now i spend a lot more time running after him!

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and omg his curly little ducktail! he still doesn’t have much hair, but what he does have is super curly! it came as a surprise to me because my hair is so stick straight, and brendan only has a little wave. the jury is still out on whether or not he’ll be a brunette. only time will tell!

his top is from american apparel, the cycling cap was handmade by niko’s naptime, and the romper was handmade by skadoodlee.

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run free

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hard to believe it, but my little adam is already 18-months-old! no longer a baby, he’s now a rather rambunctious toddler, and these days i have to get pretty creative to complete even the simplest of tasks. i put on my makeup in the bathroom while adam takes a quick bath in the morning. i answer emails with one free hand while i nurse him in the afternoon. i even practice my lunges while dancing him to sleep in my arms. because let’s face it, i’m not about to get a break. which is why i was especially excited when bugaboo asked me if i’d be interested in teaming up with them to try out their new bugaboo runner. before this shiny new beacon of light arrived at my doorstep, i was struggling to find time for even a quick jog a couple of times a week!

so when the package arrived, it was basically like christmas day. adam was squealing in delight over the big cardboard box, and i was already pulling on my jogging shorts while i ripped apart the wrapping and snapped everything into place. we’ve never tried a bugaboo before, so the first thing i noticed was the seat. adam is a particularly picky customer when it comes to strollers, so if the seat is too deep, or the harness is too clunky, he kinda freaks out because he’s basically feels ‘stuck.’ so it was pretty cool when i sat him down without the slightest protest, and he was able to sit comfortably upright with a really nice vantage point while we rolled around town. not only that, but you actually have the ability to position the seat facing you or facing the world, a unique feature among running strollers. but of course, if you already have a different bugaboo seat (like the bee3, chameleon, buffalo, or donkey), you can easily snap it into the runner chassis.

but the real test is once you get moving. the three-wheeled suspension is so smooth that it practically begs you to run. in fact, it almost feels like it glides along more smoothly the faster you go. and if you’re lucky like me, your child will also act as an exceptionally motivating personal trainer. adam particularly likes it when i run very fast for short spurts and then abruptly slow down for a bit before picking up the pace again. yep, apparently he is already versed in interval training. and if he were to have a preference for speed, it would definitely be very fast. hey, i’m not gonna argue with the kid. he clearly knows what’s good for me!

but joking aside, it’s really is huge relief to have found such an amazing stroller. it’s enabled me to get out into the world and to get more exercise while still being able to bond with my little guy. and it’s just as useful while walking around town or through the park. sure, it’s a running stroller, but it’s just as practical even when i’m not trying to fit in a workout. we’ve been taking it out for walks around town or through the park, and people even stop to complement me and ask where i got it. it’s not big or clunky or garish, just a really good tool that fits right in with our lifestyle.

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slowing down

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i’ve been pulling out my camera a lot more these days to capture little snapshots of life as it is. i think it has to do with the fact that i’ve been trying to slow down a little bit more. i’m always busy, running around trying to complete a million tasks at once. i forget to stop and smell the flowers, as they say. but once i do, i suddenly find myself appreciating the little things, like the simple act of preparing a meal. i had just bought beets and figs when i came across this recipe by five and spice on pinterest, so i decided to give it a try. my rendition is pretty much the same, except i swapped out the grilled kale for fresh spinach. the original is obviously much prettier than mine, but it still felt really good to put it together, and i was still really proud of myself for trying something new.

and isn’t it funny how the moment we slow down a little, we actually end up being more productive? when i try to work too hard, i just end up spinning my wheels. and when i try to make everything perfect, i just end up hampering my own creativity and drive. so here’s so taking a few deep breaths before taking on the week ahead.

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the toddler-friendly version of most meals usually involves a little platter with all of the ingredients separated out so adam can pick and choose what he’s interested in tasting. it usually also includes something i know he will like. he’s been eating blackberries by the carton lately!

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building blocks

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i’ve been a little scarce around these parts lately. the past two weeks have been… challenging, to say the least. adam has begun to transition from two daily naps to only one, but the transition has not been so smooth. needless to say, there have been many cranky, overtired days between the two of us while we try to figure out our new normal. thankfully, it seems like we’ve started to hit our stride again over the past couple of days. i’ve been trying to keep up with answering emails on my phone and posting a few instagram photos here and there, but most of my life has been operating offline. so i thought i’d share a few tidbits:

1. the weather is hot, so i’ve been building adam’s summer wardrobe around plain t-shirts and an assortment of different lightweight rompers, like these amazing linen overalls by jasmin lucero. they are my favorite thing ever and they basically make him look like a little vintage doll. we frequently get stopped on the street by older ladies exclaiming how he reminds them of spanky from our gang. life goals? achieved.

2. we’ve been spending a lot of time indoors, partly due to the weather, and partly due to the aforementioned sleep challenges. last week, i started taking a good look around adam’s room and realized that it was time for a few upgrades. play is super important around our house, and while i try to keep his toys age-appropriate, i also want to mix in a few things that will be challenging for him without being too frustrating. it’s a hard balance, but mega bloks are a pretty big hit around here lately. he especially loves this set because it comes with a little car base that you can build up and push around. and it’s really fun to watch his little gears going while he builds and rebuilds little structures. he’s also currently obsessed with crayons. i have a massive roll of drawing paper that i lay out on the dining room floor. i cannot believe how much time he spends drawing, making sound effects, and even telling me what he’s drawn (mostly owls, dogs, and the moon).

3. while little adam is getting lots of new things, i’m in the middle of yet another purge. since moving into our new house, i’m actually quite impressed with the number of boxes i haven’t unpacked. it’s really showed me just how much stuff i’ve been holding onto without ever actually using it. this week, i’ve been selling off a good portion of my personal wardrobe over in my instagram shop. and i still have a million more boxes of other stuff to go through. it really feels good to let go of all that literal baggage, especially because i’m currently in the process of clearing out said garage and converting it into my very own studio space. which means more room for fun stuff like the re-opening of a more permanent online shop with lots of vintage and handmade goods….

4. speaking of fun stuff, i’m about to start working on a bunch of crafty projects in the upcoming weeks! i have a couple of really awesome vintage patterns that i can’t wait to try out, and i’ve got all of my supplies lined up for a really big indigo-dying session. i’ve been doing my homework on new shibori techniques that i’m especially excited to try on some white cotton bandanas.

5. and if you’re curious about adam’s room, the shelf and baskets are all from ikea! the artwork is by fine little day, the camera is by fisher price classics, we got the badger toy pram from target, the desk is vintage, and the little toy kitchen is by hape. feel free to ask if you’re curious about anything else!

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around the house

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the weather is hot and it seems like all of my house projects have come to a standstill. over the 4th of july weekend, i started insulating our garage in 100 degree weather. i got about two thirds of the way done (on a 900 sq foot room) with the help of my brother before i decided that i might pass out from heat exhaustion if i stayed out there any longer. i also really want to get a start on clearing out our landscaping so it will be ready for planting in the fall. and i’m dreaming up the blueprint for an attached pergola for our back patio. but i’ve finally decided that with this heat, i need to shift gears and try to focus on indoor projects for another month or so.

so while i daydream about all of the outdoor spaces i want to create for this house, i’ve been making my best effort to work on my interior design. the living room is starting to come together! at first, i was a little daunted by that big blank wall near the entryway, but i took the plunge and opted for a bench and made the coatrack so there would be a place for our hats and shoes and things.

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when we first moved to our new place, i almost chucked this ikea shelf that i had in my office. but then i totally realized that it’s pretty much the perfect thing for a toddler’s room. plenty of storage for our millions of baskets, all within reach for little hands. of course i still need to actually hang the artwork, but it still looks kinda cute propped up against all of the furniture.

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quiet time with latch

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with adam hitting the 18-month mark just the other day, quiet time around the house has become more precious than ever. developmentally, this little guy has a lot going on, so it’s only natural that we’ve started to see the very first of his terrible tantrums. like pretty much every kid his age, he’s super adorable and awfully cheerful most of the time, but we’ve definitely reached the point where we’ve gotta have an arsenal of tools to help keep him calm when he gets worked up. this, my friends, is no easy task. it actually makes the entire previous 18 months of his life look like a walk in the park. in fact, some days it takes all of my effort to simply convince him to go on a walk in the park with me! so today i’ve teamed up with munkchin to share a few of my tips and tricks for helping toddlers (and babies!) get the quiet time they need. because a happy baby means a happy mama.

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create a calm and peaceful environment. there are certain areas of the house that we use as “chill out zones.” they’re places we go to be calm and quiet, rather than play. adam’s doesn’t have a playroom, so we simply used a large shelf to divide his bedroom into two spaces: a play area and a sleep area. we have a rocking chair set up with comfy pillows and a white noise machine, cues that help him understand that it’s time to wind down. we don’t play with toys in that area of the room, and if he wanders over when it isn’t nap time, we lay our heads on the bed and pretend to sleep (fake snoring and all!), so that adam knows what the space is for. this is really helpful for those moments when baby is wound up and overtired and just needs a break. in fact, now that he’s a little older, he even sometimes takes me by the hand and guides me to the chill out zone to let me know he’s feeling tired.

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the munchkin latch pacifier. munkchin developed their latest pacifier with the help of pediatric dentists and the experience of real moms. it’s a one-piece, lightweight silicone made in a variety of different shapes to help your baby comfortable latch on no matter what their stage of development, from 0 to 3 to 6 months and up. i actually wish these were around when adam was younger, because he had a terrible time trying to keep a latch on his pacifiers! and even if he could, sometimes they had such an odd shape that it didn’t fit well on his tiny face. the latch has a nice, ergonomic heart shape that fits perfectly beneath baby’s little nose. and having something soothing to suck on is really helpful when your little one needs to calm down and chill out, especially because there are times when mom can’t always breastfeed on demand.

p.s. i made the pacifier clip above using cotton string and wooden beads! it was super easy to make, i really should share a how-to!

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aromatherapy. it’s true! back during my pregnancy with adam, i had a seriously rough case of morning sickness that lasted well after the first 12 weeks. my mom is super into holistic medicine, so she gave me a tiny bottle of grapefruit essential oil to help. the first time i took a little whiff of that stuff, i was sold. aromatherapy really works and i’ve totally turned into one of those crunchy granola moms with an arsenal of different essential oils and herbs to cure what ails you. this includes infusing a bit of lavender or chamomile in an evening bath (assuming baby doesn’t have allergies!), and placing fragrant herbs around the house to help calm the senses.

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you can find the munchkin latch pacifier in-store or online at target.

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