Archive | lifestyle

home improvements

calivintage - munchkin vibe

as you know, a big focus around the house lately has been in making improvements wherever we can–some large, some small. but with edie and adam to watch after, we’ve had put off some of our bigger projects until we can figure out the logistics of living through renovations. which means we’ve had to do a lot of improvising when it comes to creating a pleasant and kid-friendly space in the meantime. i’ve talked about this before, but a lot of the guiding principles in our home decor are centered around creating a montessori environment whenever possible, but as any parent will tell you, that isn’t always possible. especially when you have a half-finished kitchen that isn’t exactly toddler-proof!

which is why we were so excited to partner with munchkin to try out the vibe gate. the idea behind the design of this sleek baby gate was to turn an everyday safety item into a beautiful addition to your home decor. and you know how much this concept speaks to me! even though we’re putting a big focus on function, it’s still really important for me to have a beautiful space that both kids and adults can enjoy together. this gate functions exactly as it should, it’s constructed out of incredibly sturdy steel and mesh with a very simple turnkey mount that literally takes a few minutes to install, and it comes in a range of 5 different colors and designs, whether you want something minimal and neutral like ours, or you want to go more bright and playful with a pink hello kitty! from the moment i opened the box, i could tell they paid attention to all of the details, from the simple packaging to the easy closing latch that clicks perfectly into place.

it’s taken adam a bit of getting used to, but it’s given me some peace of mind without being an eye sore. i love the way it blends in with our mid-century modern decor, and i feel so much better knowing that i don’t have to worry about my toddler sneaking in to the kitchen–or his baby sister crawling in after him!

calivintage - munchkin vibe
calivintage - munchkin vibe
calivintage - munchkin vibe
calivintage - munchkin vibe

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a nursery tour on apartment therapy!

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i’ve got some really exciting news to share today! first off, i recently started writing for apartment therapy! i’ve been a huge fan of the site for years, so i’m incredibly honored to be a part of the team even in a small way. and it comes at the perfect time because i’ve really become obsessed with pulling our little house together, so this is a really great outlet for all of the energy i’ve been pouring into all of our upcoming renovation projects.

which brings me to the title of this post: i was so excited when my editor asked me if i would like to share a before and after of adam and edie’s shared nursery/toddler room! i’ve been sharing more and more glimpses into the space over the past several months and while i do still plan to make some changes, this is pretty much the big reveal. i do plan to share a few more detailed posts that talk a lot more about why i chose everything in the space, but for now, you can get a look at what we’ve done. it’s funny, too, because even though i’ve been there for the whole transformation, it’s still kinda blows my mind to see the before and after shots.

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don’t sweat the small stuff

calivintage + stainmaster carpet care

as i’m sure you know, the past couple of years have seen a lot of change around here. it’s been an adjustment getting used to life with a toddler and an infant, on top of settling into our first home together as a family. the place has really started come together decor-wise in recent months, but it hasn’t always been that way. let me tell you a little story: before adam was born, i was never really into home decor. i was into punk as a kid and as i grew older, my various apartments were mostly filled with random thrift store furniture, house plants, half-finished art projects, piles of laundry… i didn’t know a thing about lamps or rugs or accent pieces. but in those last moments before adam was born, my hormones kicked into high gear and i suddenly found myself in a nesting frenzy. i was literally rearranging furniture at 38 weeks pregnant, and in a panic because his nursery wasn’t even finished. and in my rush to get the house perfect for the baby, i made some… interesting design choices. for one, i fell in love with a very stunning (and very expensive) vintage kilim rug with a pale floral pattern. and then adam was born.

shortly after his birth, our doctor referred to him as a “happy spitter,” which was basically a polite way of saying that he was a puking machine. he didn’t have anything medically wrong with him, he wasn’t sick or suffering from reflux or anything, he just puked. a lot. within months, my entire apartment was literally covered in baby puke. and that beautiful pastel rug i was talking about? let’s just say it was a small sacrifice to pay for a happy, healthy baby. fast forward a couple of years and i’ve learned quite a few lessons about decor and housekeeping. for starters, it’s probably a good idea to choose a rug in a more forgiving color scheme and pattern, preferably something that was designed for high traffic areas and lots of messes. we swapped out our beloved vintage rug for indoor/outdoor rugs made of 100% recycled plastic bags! they look like wool, but they do a really good job of repelling dirt, so they require a lot less care than a super absorbent natural fiber. but also, there are such things as cleaners that you can use to clean up messes before they get out of hand. yeah.

enter stainmaster carpet care. we teamed up with the brand to try their line of carpet care products, which are specifically designed to treat stain-resistant, nylon, and polyester carpets and rugs like the ones we now use. they have several different formulas designed to remove tough stains while leaving behind an invisible shield to repel dirt and protect against future stains without sticky residue. those two simple solutions have totally changed the way i react to my little “mess makers” around the house. now when edie spits up or adam drops his food, i’m not stressing myself out over ruined rugs. we simply wipe it up and move one to more important things. which is exactly the type of outlook us mamas need to keep sane and enjoy these precious moments with our little ones before they’re all grown up! oh, and it doesn’t hurt when dad pitches-in and helps us clean our messes, too!

calivintage + stainmaster carpet care
calivintage + stainmaster carpet care
calivintage + stainmaster carpet care
calivintage + stainmaster carpet care
calivintage + stainmaster carpet care

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misha and puff fall 2016

calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016

true story: i’ve been a fan of children’s knitwear designer misha and puff since before i even knew if i wanted kids! and now that i have two of my own, my love for them has grown even more. knitwear is so perfect for little ones because it’s so soft and stretchy, while still being a tad more interesting than your standard issue onesie. don’t get me wrong, i still love a good onesie, but i am absolutely nuts over all of misha and puff’s adorable designs. this season is decidedly playful with stripes and geometric patterns, rich colors, and a perfect confetti yarn that looks like birthday cake. i also love that each season mixes and matches perfectly with the last so that you get plenty of wear out of whatever your choose, just as long as your baby fits in it!

personally, i’m starting to come to terms with the fact that edie will be my last baby, so i’m even more tempted to splurge on all of the cute clothes for her. in a few months time, i won’t even be able to call her a baby anymore. so yeah, i don’t think i’ll be able to resist a few of these pieces. especially with a family portrait coming up for the holidays!

shop misha and puff.

calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016
calivintage - misha and puff fall 2016

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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.

calivintage - dining decor
melbourne house by robson rak via design addicts.

calivintage - dining decor
ledansla.

calivintage - dining decor
malia grace mau.

calivintage - dining decor
eat burger by amber road design.

calivintage - dining decor
another ballroom.

calivintage - dining decor
am designs.

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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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2

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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summer picnic vibes

calivintage - janie and jack

stopping in on a hot summer day to share a few photos of my littles. edie is already three months old, and adam turned two and a half earlier this month! seeing them together like this, i can’t believe what a big boy adam has become! it’s almost more than my heart can bear. they’re both dressed up for summer in head-to-toe janie and jack, but adam is kinda stealing the show with his too-cool-for-school attitude. if i had to choose one photo to commemorate summer, this would definitely be it. these two kids are my whole entire world.

if you’re looking for some cool summer clothes, janie and jack has tons of timeless classic styles to choose from. adam has a slightly nautical vibe with his chambray, linen, and boat shoes while edith is working on her tomboy vibes in a classic baby boy outfit that works just as well on little girls. shop their looks below:

edie’s look:
gingham one piece | saddle crib shoe | bucket hat | plush giraffe rattle

adam’s look:
chambray shirt | linen blend pant | classic boat shoe | tortoise sunglasses

calivintage - janie and jack
calivintage - janie and jack

this post was created in partnership with janie and jack.

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along for the ride

calivintage_0457

having a new little addition to our family means we’ve had to acquire a few new things to accommodate her. one super crucial item was a car seat. in california, you literally can’t leave the hospital without one that is properly fitted for an infant, so it was pretty high on our list of essentials. unfortunately, i was feeling pretty immobile towards the end of my pregnancy, so you know i breathed a huge sigh of relief when maxi cosi sent us two brand new car seats for the big day! the timing could not have been better because adam was rapidly growing out of his (and destroying it with cheesy crackers and juice in the process), and of course, edie had to have hers for her very first car ride home.

so the day before edie was born, i unwrapped these beauties from their packaging. i picked out the mico max 30 for edie, and adam got the pria 85 in matching black. call me boring, but i wanted something subtle that would fit in with the grey interiors of our car, but they also have a ton of bright colors from navy to green or even pink and purple! the infant car seat is great because it works for babies from 4 – 30 pounds or up to 32″ while the convertible car seat will work for a child from 14 – 85 pounds or 52″ tall. adam is a really big kid for his age, so this is really great because we literally won’t have to buy another car seat for adam at all! and hopefully edie to take his place once she reaches the limit in hers. and it makes me happy to see them both sitting in the back of the car in their little matching seats!

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