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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

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

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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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bitte tastemaker talks

bitte tastemaker series - calivintage

so excited to share that i was interviewed by bitte as part of their tastemaker talks series! this is especially awesome because bitte is easily one of my favorite online children’s boutiques, and the place where i get a lot of the cute toys and clothes you see around my house. the shop was started a few years back by maia mcdonald (of pinterest and rue magazine fame) shortly after her adorable daughter was born. together with her mom as her partner, she’s managed to create a beautiful shopping experience filled with ethically made and aesthetically pleasing toys, books, and clothes for kids of all ages. but enough talking, you should go see for yourself! read my interview here and take a look at my collection of favorites here!

bitte tastemaker series - calivintage

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0

my new workspace

calivintage - hp spectre standing desk

since getting my new hp spectre, i’ve been feeling inspired, and itching to put it to good use. it’s literally the thinnest laptop in the world and it weighs only 2.5lbs, so it’s been super easy to tote it around wherever i need to get work done: on the sofa while adam eats breakfast, laying in bed while the baby naps, propped up at the coffee shop when i head out of the house for some fresh air. but most-importantly, at my brand new dedicated workspace. i have an office, but with life as busy as it is these days, it’s more important than ever for me to have an inviting workspace that can still function while fitting in with my busy schedule. having my spectre laptop ready at my standing desk has become my new secret weapon for getting the job done.

like i mentioned in my last post, a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into maintaining this blog. i’ve been doing it for eight years now, and i’ve had a lot of people ask me for advice on how to make it as a professional blogger. a lot of people talk about strategy and social media, but my number one recommendation is almost always to make sure you have the right tools to get the job done. i remember when i decided to start taking this blog more seriously, the first thing i did was go out and invest in a brand new computer, a professional camera, photoshop, and a host of other essentials necessary for independently running my own self-hosted wordpress site. strategy is certainly important, but without these essential tools, i never would have been able to launch this blog into a full-time career. and as time moves on, it’s been more important than ever for me to evaluate my technical needs to make sure i can be as productive as possible, especially when i’m pressed for time.

so here’s my new setup. a lot of the usual suspects: computer, software, a stash of chocolate bars hidden in my drawer. but things have been upgraded with my new standing desk and some clean and simple decor for a calm and inviting workspace. it makes it so that i’m able to stop in at any time of the day to type out a few emails or edit some photos. and it’s where i’m standing right now as i type out this post. it’s really important for me to have a beautiful space to work, and love the way my spectre fits in perfectly with my setup, while still being able to do some seriously heavy lifting. it comes with windows 10, up to 512gb of pcie-based ssd storage, intel® core™ i processing, up to 8gb of ram, and three multi-use usb type-c™ ports. so while it may look pretty, it’s also helped me to change the way i approach my work, and to reinvent my obsession with this blog so that i can continue grow and evolve this ever changing space.

calivintage - hp spectre standing desk
calivintage - hp spectre standing desk
calivintage - hp spectre standing desk
calivintage - hp spectre standing desk

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10

adam and edith

calivintage - tortoise and the hare

it’s been a little while since i’ve shared some photos of my little ones, so i thought it was time for a quick update! edith is two-months-old now, and adam will be 2-and-a-half in july! adam is still completely infatuated with his little sister, asking to kiss her or to hold her about 100 times a day. she doesn’t particularly love being handled by a toddler, but they actually do pretty well together. now that she’s growing out of the newborn phase, she seems to be pretty fascinated by him. and thankfully, he enjoys singing her songs or shushing when she cries. and he get better about being gentle with her every day. edie is still pretty new, so she doesn’t do too much besides the usual. she smiles a lot and coos, which is darling. and she’s discovered her hands and toes, even reaching out and grabbing just a little bit.

and when i look at these photos, pretty much any of the stress or exhaustion of having two little ones just melts right away. these moments are so brief that i just want to do my best to soak them all up!

adam and edith are both wearing the most adorable rabbit caps by tortoise and the hare. edith is also wearing a kimono top by imps and elfs and the softest little organic wool diaper cover by lana care. and adam is in his petite soul tee, which happens to be on sale!

calivintage - tortoise and the harecalivintage - tortoise and the hare
calivintage - tortoise and the hare

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1

new tools

calivintage + hp spectre

part one: introducing the new hp spectre

here’s a rundown of a typical morning: i wake up around 7am with a rambunctious toddler running around the house and an infant ready to be fed. i get adam dressed and ready for nursery school, then i attempt to pull myself together so i can head out to the coffee shop with edie in tow. it’s a quick walk for some fresh air, and then it’s time for business. once the baby is asleep, i start my work: answering emails, negotiating sponsorships, planning my editorial calendar, brainstorming new content. at the same time, i’m usually going down the list, checking-in on social media, and browsing the web for inspiration. and that’s if i’m lucky! most days, this can be a lot easier said than done if adam isn’t in the mood to cooperate or edie just won’t fall asleep. and up until a few weeks ago, my desktop computer was in my converted studio — in a detached garage. it’s a really great space in theory. but to be entirely honest, i don’t know how i’ve actually continued to get any work done since the baby was born.

needless to say, i have been desperate for a change. tools to help me get inspired enough to get the job done. enter the spectre. i’ve teamed up with hp to try out their luxurious new laptop. this carbon fiber beauty with a glossy copper trim weighs-in at only 2.5lbs and just 10.4mm thick, making it the world’s thinnest laptop, while still boasting a full hd display with three usb-c ports and full intelcore power. and it could not have come at a better time. it arrived in a beautifully curated box full of goodies to help me get started, so i’ve been playing around with it, downloading some new software (hello, photoshop!), and enjoying my new treats while i gear-up to create more.

i think what surprised me most when it arrived is that it doesn’t look like your typical laptop. it’s a subtle ash-colored matte aluminum with copper trim and architectural details that make it look like it would be at home in a department store. then i noticed that it’s thinner than my moleskine notebook! and then i realized that it actually packs a powerful punch when it comes to performance, which is what i really need when i’m blogging. for a computer to work for me, i need to be able download raw images quickly, browse through and make selects in bridge, and then edit them in high-resolution using photoshop before uploading them online. if you don’t have a quick processor and lots of memory, that can slow things down to a snails pace, which is the last thing i need when i’ve got a looming deadline and a baby threatening to wake up from a nap at any moment.

but so far so good! things are moving along really well and i’m feeling a renewed excitement at the prospect of churning out some of the ideas that i’ve had on the back burner, just waiting to get off the ground. and i’m excited to share more of what i’ve got up my sleeve with my hp spectre, so stay tuned!

calivintage + hp spectre
calivintage + hp spectre
calivintage + hp spectre
calivintage + hp spectre

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4

babywearing

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it’s been a pretty busy week, so i didn’t get the opportunity to take any proper outfit photos, but if you follow me on instagram, then maybe you’ve seen a few peeks at what i’ve been wearing. and speaking of wearing, i’ve been doing a lot of babywearing. edith just turned seven weeks, so she’s right in the middle of her “fussy stage.” i’ve read that it starts at around 2-3 weeks, peaks at 6 weeks, and subsides by 3-4 months. which is pretty much in line with our experience when adam was a newborn as well. she’s generally pretty easy going and sleeps most of the time, but i find that she’ll have a fussy time of day either right in the middle of the afternoon, but usually in the evening before bedtime. it’s completely normal, so i try not to let it worry me or stress me out, but i do hate to hear her cry. one of the easiest ways that we’ve dealt with it is to alternate between nursing and carrying her in a wrap or sling until she chills out and falls asleep.

in fact, that’s pretty much where you’ll find her if she isn’t napping, having tummy time, or engaged in stimulating activities like listening to us read or sing, or hanging out in her baby play gym. just as important as it is to fill their little brains with information, it’s important to avoid getting them overstimulated or overtired. holding her close to my chest in a wrap is kinda like having her swaddled, but we both get to bond and share those feel good hormones.

so yes, i’ve been inducted into the cult of babywearing. i wrote this post about it last year when adam was still small enough for me to carry in a wrap. and this time around, i’m having even more fun collecting a little stash. so far, i’m using a very lightweight happy baby wrap in ivory, which is really nice for the super hot weather where we live. and i have two beautiful linen sakura bloom ring slings. i have the classic sling in maple, which is a heavyweight linen. and the chambray sling in twig, which is a slightly softer, lightweight linen. and now i’m on the hunt for a really nice ivory woven wrap. i like woven wraps a lot because there are a million different ways that you can wear them, many of which are able to evenly distribute weight across your back, which makes a huge difference when baby starts to get bigger. and of course i have a lot of fun coordinating them with my outfits, haha!

anyone out there as obsessed as i am? do you have any favorite wraps or slings?

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