kids: play osmo

with adam turning 4-years-old in a little over a week, i’ve been thinking a lot about what toys and games we can get him to keep on track with his development. and one thing that i’ve pretty much avoided until now, is technology. we did have a period of time where we were letting him watch netflix on the ipad, but i decided to pull back and re-evaluate whether he really needed to be using a device so young. but the reality is that he’s obviously not getting any younger over here, and technology is a fact of life. and if i take the time to actually think about it, i think the important thing is to strike a balance. i want my kids to be familiar with tech and to have a positive relationship with it. there are so many amazing things we can do and learn as long as we know how to use it the right way.

and that’s when i got a message from osmo. i had never heard of them before because i am living under a rock over here, but i was so delighted when i started checking out all of their educational games. they sent us the creative set and an iphone and ipad base so that adam could try it out. as soon as the package arrived and he saw the monster game with all of the dry erase markers, he got the biggest smile on his face. we set it up, and he was over the moon. the monster game is seriously the cutest thing ever. “mo” appears on the screen and guides your child on an interactive adventure where they draw pictures of objects and watch them come to life on the screen. seriously, technology has come such a long way. it was super easy to set up and we haven’t had any problems with frustrating glitches. just pure childhood joy.




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giveaway: win a campaign sofa!

it’s that most wonderful time of year, and i’ve teamed up with campaign furniture for a very special holiday treat! i’m taking over their instagram feed to share some photos of some of our holiday traditions, which you should definitely check out. but more importantly…

we’re giving away a campaign sofa to one lucky winner! head on over to my instagram for details on how to enter.

we’ve had our campaign sofa for several months now, and i love it. the first thing that stood out to me was that it’s built with a steel frame, meaning it’s virtually indestructible. and true to it’s name, it’s perfect for travel. i remember how annoying it was to move large pieces of furniture when i seemed to be hopping from apartment to apartment every couple of years, but this sofa can be easily disassembled so you can fit it in the back of your car. and with that, you can actually remove all of the upholstery to throw into the hand wash cycle whenever you need to clean it– or completely replace it if you want a different color. in fact, we started out with almond white and decided to switch things up with this harvest yellow color just for a change. it truly is a great piece of furniture and i look forward to enjoying it for years to come.



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gift guide: for a very curious 20-month-old

just like my previous gift guide for the brainy not-quite-4-year-old, today i’m sharing a very specific gift guide. it’s my christmas list for edith. she’ll be close to 20 months on christmas day. but if you could ask her, she’d tell you she’s as big as her brother and that she can do anything he can. edie is on a mission to get into everything: inside the cabinets, on top of the dining room table, up the christmas tree, into adam’s toys and clothes… there isn’t really anything she isn’t into. she’s a super curious kid, and she’s still really young, so she’d probably like just about anything we gave her. but she is forming some pretty strong interests, too! she is obsessed with babies and dolls and tiny figurines. she loves to hold them and kiss them and brush their hair. she enjoys playing in the dirt more than any kid i’ve ever seen. and would you be surprised if i told you that my own daughter is obsessed with dressing up? oh yeah. so below are some of the things that i’ve added to her list this year.

alphabet blocks – since edie is singing her alphabet (and just about every nursery rhyme she hears), i figured it’s the perfect time to get familiar with the letters. plus all of the blocks by uncle goose are adorable!

bambi hoodie hat – did i mention that my daughter loves to play dress up? she has a little collection of hats and shoes, and she’s made a little game of trying them all on. she’ll demand that i change her clothes at least once a day. i see a future with a very large collection of dress-up clothes and i think she’ll really get a kick out of this bambi hat!

the holdie house – i know she’s still a bit young for doll houses, but on a recent trip to the local toy shop, we could hardly pull her away from the display of calico critters. so while we aren’t quite ready to go all out with teeny tiny pieces, we picked up a few of the figurines and this adorable little house to go with them!

big sister mouse in a box – adam has one of these little matchbook mice and ed has all but claimed it for herself. it’s on the same tip as her early obsession with calico critters. the little boxes with their tiny pillows and blankets are hours of entertainment for this little one.

farmer’s market playtime kit – edie spends a good amount of time playing with adam’s play kitchen, so i think this little activity set would be a fun addition to our collection. and i think the little matching game with be a great primer for her because she’s about to start a toddler program in january!

animo 4-piece sand play set – digging in the dirt is a serious pleasure for my daughter. her current set of garden tools was yet another hand-me-down from adam that has seen better days. i think she’ll really enjoy these pretty colors and shapes. but really, it’s all about the dirt!

 

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gift guide: for a brainy almost 4-year-old

i’m gonna cut to the chase: this is my christmas list for adam. i know that gift guides are usually a bit more broad and general, but i know my own kids better than any others, so i thought i’d get really specific and just show you what we are literally buying for adam. he’ll be 4-years-old in january, so he’s already got a pretty good collection of classic toys like legos, magnatiles, thomas the tank engine, and about a million hot wheels. we’ve got art supplies up to our armpits. he’s still really into those things, so when i ask him what he wants, he basically just asks for more of the same. so i had to get a little more creative in thinking about what might spark his imagination.

and what i know about adam, is that he loves school. he’s in a primary program at an associate montessori internationale school. and while my primary concern at this age isn’t academics, i know that the curriculum there has really captured his interest. every day after school, he tells me about his lessons on the solar system and geography. he loves drawing maps of the world and identifying the planets. they start broad, and then focus in on tiny details like the lifecycle of a butterfly or the cross-section of a pumpkin. he gets to dig into the earth and plant flowers, fruits, and veggies to watch them grow. it’s such a beautiful, fascinating world. so i decided to compliment what he’s learning with some fun toys. no pressure to be academic at home, just free play with a focus on the subjects that i know he really loves.

1. areaware blockitecture parkland and areaware blockitecture deco – when i asked adam what he wanted for christmas this year, the only thing he asked for that he didn’t already have was “a city.” it took me a while to figure out what he meant, but after doing some sleuthing, we settled on this set of blocks. he already has one set of buildings by the same brand, and he plays with magnatiles and legos almost every day. these fun geographical features like pastures, rivers, trees, and bushes will help to round out his collection quite well.

2. all kinds of cars – since day one, adam has been obsessed with vehicles. i know it’s a phase that will eventually pass, but he’s still on that kick. this illustrated guide is a dream come true for a child that loves reference books like adam. oftentimes, when he sees something remarkable, he asks if we can “look it up” in a book so he can read about it or draw comparisons. i’m not kidding. but what’s fun about this book is that it has a sense of humor. i just know that adam will be cracking up at the carrot car and the igloo car.

3. atlas of adventures – i don’t know anyone who loves maps quite as much as adam does. he loves when we pull out regular city maps, but i know that what he really wants is an atlas of his own. he likes being able to point out the different continents and countries, so this illustrated guide is going to be hours of enjoyment for this kid.

4. tegu magnetic building blocks – with the cars again, i know. adam already has more hot wheels than i can count, so i think these tegu magnetic blocks will be great fuel for his imaginaion. he can dream up some new cars of his own!

5. seedling galaxy rocket adventure cape set – what’s really great about this set is that it will make for hours of imaginative play, but it starts out as an activity so that you can customize it however you’d like. double duty!

6. professor astro cat – i know this book is recommended for kid’s a little bit older, but i think it’s fun to start exploring things a bit out of reach with the help of mom and dad. some of the picture books can get monotonous, reading them over and over again. a reference book like this is fun because we can be a bit more open ended about the subject matter and spark conversations instead of just reciting words from a book. we have the first book from this series and adam loves it, so this will be fun to add to our rotation.

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book tour: make yourself at home bts

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal

i know i already told you that our little house would be making an appearance in moorea seal’s latest book, make yourself at home. but up until now, i’ve really only shown you a few tiny little glimpses of what you would find within its pages. so today i thought i’d lay it all out and share not only some of the images that were published, but many of these images didn’t make the cut! but the photography by marissa maharaj was so beautiful, i couldn’t keep it to myself! and it’s so fun for me to have a document of that particular moment in time. when edie was still a baby and couldn’t even walk. when she still had a crib and we hadn’t made the full transition into a montessori toddler room like we have now. it’s amazing how time flies and how quickly things change when you have two little ones growing up right before your eyes. and the space around us seems to change just as rapidly.

which is really at the heart of make yourself at home. sure, it’s got tons of beautiful and inspirational images, but it’s much more than just a coffee table book. it contains a series of vignettes, really getting up close and personal with the entire process and meaning behind making your house a home. but  of course, you can read more about it here. and get your copy of make yourself at home wherever books are sold!

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
the floor bed was a diy project with bedding from camomile london, the crib and matching dresser are by babyletto, but they’re hand-me-downs from when adam was a baby, so i don’t believe they’re still in production. the rocking chair you see in the back is the nurseryworks sleepytime rocker.

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
we purchased the shelf from ikea, but it turned out to be a seasonal offering, so it’s no longer available! so bummed because i wanted to buy another one for edie’s toys now that she’s a bit older! the print is from fine little daythe baskets were mostly purchased at joann’s or found at thrift stores.

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
the robot monkey is by monroe workshop. we got the balancing blocks from bitte, and the little tools are mostly melissa and doug.

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
the little clothing rack was another simple diy project that we made without plans. just a few pieces of wood from the hardware store! the print on the left is from marrimekko, but is no longer available and the print on the right is from fine little day.

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
we love those little city blocks by areaware. and adam listens to revolver by the beatles on repeat with our little crosley portable record player.

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
a small thing to note, but we got the solid brass switchplates from rejuvenation. our house was built in the 1920s, so we decided to bring back some of the charm with those little details. 

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
a better look at the diy house frame and the beautiful bedding from camomile london

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
adam has had that little lucy owl since he was a baby!

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
the kids and their hats. adam’s is the black waxed camp cap by fairends and edie is wearing the ladybug pixie bonnet from petite soul.

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
the plant is just a giant bird of paradise that we found at the local nursery. it makes for a nice indoor plant if it’s in a spot with lots of light. and the little baby play gym was yet another diy project.

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
so many wooden toys: holztiger safari animals, uncle goose blocks, bajo truck, plan toys sheep lacing game, hazel village jeremy owl, bajo toys wooden duck, baby basics soft book, manhattan toys skwish.

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
in my bedroom: the it’s ok banner is by secret holiday co. and i found that little side table at a thrift store for 5 bucks! the mirror is ikea.

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
my vanity is swedish mid century modern found on craigslist!

calivintage in make yourself at home by moorea seal
i loved this setup. the moses basket is by tadpoles with a naturepedic mattress pad and the wooden stand is from dada baby boutique. and how beautiful is that monstera deliciousa brass mobile by natalie joy jewels? oh, and that little baby blanket peeking out is from camomile london.

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gift guide: earthtiles (and a giveaway!)

christmas came a little early for adam this year… we let him open up one extra special present the other day because we couldn’t wait to share what was inside: earthtiles. as a parent, i’m always looking for ways to reduce our use of plastic, particularly when it comes to toys. i’m not a purist about these things, adam has tons of duplo, he’s moving onto legos as we speak, he owns about a million hot wheels, the list goes on. but whenever we can find a more eco-friendly alternative, we definitely look into it. and it really has paid off because all of the wooden toys that adam played with when he was little have been lovingly handed down to edith as she gets old enough to play with them, and will still have plenty of life left to pack up and store for their own kids one day.

but back to the point here! magnetic tiles are one of those special toys that have provided hours of entertainment for adam, so we were so excited when big future toys met their kickstarter goal earlier this year and started putting this awesome toy into production. and the timing is perfect because they are now available just in time for christmas! these were on the top of my list for adam, so you can imagine my excitement when the brand got in touch and asked us if we’d like to give them a try ahead of the big release! and judging by adam’s reaction, i think our only complaint is that now we need more of them!

and we’re giving away a set of earthtiles to one lucky winner. to enter, simply visit this post on my instagram!




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book tour: make yourself at home

you guys, i’m in a book! earlier this year, i had the privilege of inviting moorea seal into my home to shoot some very special photos for her latest book project, make yourself at home. and it’s now available at fine book sellers across the nation!

if you aren’t familiar with moorea seal, she is the owner of her very own namesake seattle-based and online shop, in addition to being the best-selling author of the 52 lists project and 52 lists for happiness. both of which have become personal favorites for gift-giving, especially around this time of year. not sure if i can get away with gifting a book that features my own home, but you should because it’s such a special book and there are many other people featured among the pages. though if you are interested in what role our little house plays in the book, you’ll find us in the bedroom section where i talk about my daily life and share a few ideas for decorating your own room, or your kid’s room!

Organized room by room, each chapter of Make Yourself at Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Self, delves into what individual rooms represent in our lives, and how we can feel at home in our spaces and at home in ourselves. You don’t have to have the perfect life or perfect home in order to infuse your space with your unique perspective and cultivate a truly you home.

Each chapter includes:
–  A personal essay from Moorea Seal about the meaning and purpose that defines each space in her home, with guidance on how to discover yourself in your own spaces.
–  Exclusive looks into her home and work spaces with tips for inspired, mindful living.
–  Modern, affordable, and beginner-friendly DIY projects to personalize and decorate your home.
–   Looks into the unique homes and inspiring lives of a diverse set of creative women, with their best tips and tricks for comfortable, imaginative decor: Erin Perez Hagstrom of Calivintage, Diana LaCounte of Our City Lights, Brandy Brown of Marabou Design, Laura Gummerman of A Beautiful Mess, Brooke Eide of Fonchie and Flint Made, and Kim Kogane of Fresh Tangerine.
–   Lessons on how to use colors, stylistic choices, different eras of vintage and antique decor, and more to reflect your unique personality and perspective in your home.
–   Questions to guide you through what each room in your home represents to you, your well-being, and how you can best decorate to reflect your modes of being.
– All beautifully photographed by Marissa Maharaj.

get your copy of make yourself at home wherever books are sold!

in these photos, i’m wearing: mock neck sweater and recycled cotton + tencel apron dress courtesy of moorea seal


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kids: bat babies

calivintage - diy kids bat costumes

i think that making diy halloween costumes has become a new tradition around here. last year, i made adam into a pumpkin and edie was a little kitty. a year before that, i made this cute owl costume for adam. this year, neither of the kids really had any opinions about what to wear. the only request from adam was to wear all black, so i ordered these pajamas from primary and just added black linen wings and bat ears. edie’s are actually the same cat ears from last halloween. and adam’s were a diy that i fashioned after her headband with black grosgrain ribbon. add black shoes and you’re good to go. i really like the simplicity of these looks and i appreciate that they weren’t “too much” for my teething 18-month-old and picky 3.5-year-old.

hope you all had a happy halloween!

get 20% off plus free shipping on your first order at Primary.com with code AFF20PCT

calivintage - diy kids bat costumes
calivintage - diy kids bat costumes
calivintage - diy kids bat costumes
calivintage - diy kids bat costumes

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morning & night

i know most of your feeds are probably overtaken by halloween costumes and party pictures, but i’m just over here enjoying these first few days of real fall weather here in southern california. it was 107 degrees one day last week, so this sudden turn to foggy skies and chilly mornings has got me in the mood for the coming holiday season.

having said that, i’m a realist. i’ve decided to do all of my holiday shopping super early this year in an effort to keep the stress from getting too overwhelming, but first, i had to treat myself to a few new things from my newest partner, moorea seal. they make great gifts for yourself, but are also perfect as small gifts for friends or family. a cup of coffee in the morning is exponentially better in the pour over ii. and you can’t forget to unwind at night with the coconut milk bath soak and a host over other luxurious bath goods by herbivore.

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kids: soor ploom fall 2017

calivintage - soor ploom fall 2017

the new soor ploom fall 2017 collection is out, and as always, i am in love. this brooklyn-based brand is one of my most favorites for kids because everything is made from beautiful cotton and linen textiles in classic yet fun styles that really allow for both ease of movement and room to grow. i first bought one of their little tunics for edie when she was a newborn and she was able to wear it until she was nearly a year old!

on the flipside,when adam was born, i bought him tons of clothes from fast fashion brands, and felt pretty bad when i realized how much of it he never even wore. so with edie, we’ve taken a slower approach. i try to keep her wardrobe small and simple with versatile pieces like those from soor ploom so that we still have fun getting dressed, but we know that we’ll get lots of use out of everything we buy. and once she does finally grow out of them, i tuck them away in a box as keepsakes because they truly are so special!

you can shop the new soor ploom collection here.

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