Archive | lifestyle

blurb books for the holidays


’tis the season, you guys! in some years past, i’ve been known to be a little bit of a scrooge, but having a baby has really changed my perspective on the holidays. children have this way of making the holidays magic. and this year, i’m really excited to have had the opportunity to partner with blurb books to create customized photo books to give as gifts to some of my closest relatives. adam’s grandparents and great-grandparents are always pestering me for more photos of adam, so i know that these little books will bring them lots of joy. i have to admit, even i got a little teary-eyed when the package came in the mail and i flipped through the images of adam over the past two years. i arranged the book in reverse chronological order, so as you turn the pages, you watch him transform from a rambunctious toddler to a squishy little baby to the very day he was born. it’s kind of fun to get lost in memories as you reminisce further back in time to days not so long ago, but forever in your memories.

and the best part is that the entire process was totally painless. the books are completely customizable, but virtually foolproof. i get completely overwhelmed by projects like this, but i was able to do the whole thing online. you can start by choosing a book size, pick from a few different style options, and then simply upload your photos and insert text wherever you desire. my hard drive is currently a mess, so i was happy to see the option to pull all of your images directly from your instagram account. and that’s pretty much it! of course, if you happen to be a design pro, then there are also a lot of other options for publishing your book, but i definitely like that you can keep it simple, and still come away with a really beautiful book.

this post was created in collaboration with blurb books.

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little owl


i know, i know, it’s kind of sacrilege to be posting these three whole days after halloween, but i couldn’t resist sharing a few snapshots of adam’s owl costume. if i had been a good blogger, i would have had the whole thing completed and photographed at least a week before halloween, but the reality is that i barely finished it the night before! i had even originally planned to buy the costume from an etsy seller called tree +vine, but unfortunately, i failed to place my order the requisite three weeks in advance. so without many other options, i set out to make it myself! unfortunately, i am not the world’s craftiest person, and quickly after i began cutting the felt, i realized that the whole operation was going to require a lot more geometry and precision than i had initially anticipated. i literally ended up making a very complicated paper pattern using a giant compass as my guide. don’t ask me how i had a giant compass on hand…

but a lot of math, a lot of cutting, and a bit of sewing later, his costume was complete! and at this point, i was getting concerned about whether or not my 21-month-old would want anything to do with said costume! but after convincing him to try it on, he got super excited and started running and jumping around and hoo hoo-ing about the house. in fact, he’s still wearing the mask on top of his head today, so i’m going to count it as a success… and i have the pictures to prove it! ;)

self-made costume fashioned after a design by tree + vine, leveret brown shirt and leggings, zuzii loafers in cocoa brown






glad to give


we may be in the middle of yet another heat wave, but the seasons are changing and it’s officially fall. i’ve been slowly getting into the mood with a few decorations here and there, but more importantly, i’ve been doing a lot of cleaning up and clearing out. hard to believe it, but adam is 21 months now, and he’s just about grown out of all his summer clothes. i’ve even had to say goodbye to many of the baby toys he once loved so much! he’s still occasionally entertained by a rattle or little wooden clutch toy, but i have to face it, my little baby isn’t so little anymore! but having to cycle through new things so frequently while he grows and changes has been a good exercise. it helps me to realize how fleeting these moments truly are, and it reminds me not to get too attached to stuff. our collection of stuff is not what defines us, and once it’s served its purpose, it’s time to move on.

but of course, most of the things that adam has outgrown have barely been used, and still have lots of life left to them! so it was perfect timing when glad asked me if i’d be interested in teaming up for this post, in hopes of inspiring others to donate their gently used goods to those in need. you can visit glad to give to schedule a free donation pickup from a local charity of your choice.




summer snapshots


i’ve been a little scarce around these parts lately. sort of a forced “vacation” thanks to a pretty nasty bug that found me spending most of last week stuck in bed! but of course, life has still been moving along as usual. adam has been keeping me thoroughly entertained. he may be hard to keep up with (especially when i’m sick), but it’s fun to watch him grow and learn and play. just about every day he says a new word that i’ve never heard him say, and we have little conversations about trucks or trains or owls or the moon. we picked up a pumpkin at the grocery store and a book about pumpkins at the library and he now incessantly talks about pumpkins. i have a feeling that halloween is going to be especially fun this year.

and now i’m off for a mini 10-year-anniversary celebration with brendan. we basically just took the day off to spend together while adam hangs out at his grandma’s house. it’s a pretty modest celebration for such a big milestone, but we have plans to make up for it soon!



he occasionally lays himself down on the ground like this. it’s also become a really great strategy for passive resistance when he doesn’t want to do something!


here adam decided to draw on me with sidewalk chalk, thanks dude!


contemplating his it’s it ice cream sandwich. they have a new online shop, so they sent this toddler tee to adam as a gift.




new shop to watch: bitte


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.




thing industries


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.




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


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!




#pinmeetup recap!


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.




the wild one


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!


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.



run free


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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