Archive | lifestyle

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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my new workspace

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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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adam and edith

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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!

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calivintage - tortoise and the hare

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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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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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a fab entryway upgrade

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slowly but surely, over the past year, i’ve been pulling together this little house of mine. and while things have been shaping up in many parts of the house, there are still a few spaces that could use an upgrade. and despite the fact that the entryway is obviously a pretty important focal point in my living room, it’s mostly remained sad and empty. i have a big round mirror and a nelson-style bench, but other than that, we just throw off our shoes under the bench and let piles of mail collect there. so when fab asked if i’d like to upgrade my everyday with some new decor from their site, i jumped at the chance to spruce-up this sorely neglected space. if you’re not familiar with fab, they offer a massive selection of unique and stylishly functional objects from home decor and women’s accessories to tech gadgets and kid’s toys.

i was obviously focused on finding some bright and interesting objects to transform this barren space to something more warm and inviting. i really love that they have such an expansive selection of items, including a lot of handmade goods by independent designers. i decided to go for a mix of mid century and ‘bohemian’ to match the decor in my house, and was able to choose items from a non-profit organization that donates 100% of their profits to the economic empowerment of women in rwanda, in addition to some really cool mid century inspired, nelson-style pottery. the packages arrived in a few days and i was able to turn this lonely little corner into a proper, inviting entryway. in fact, after everything was set up, adam was so intrigued by what i was up to, that he asked if he could pose for a picture with me in our newly decorated space.

i’ve also learned that fab is hosting a massive giveaway, so make sure you head over and enter to win a $1,000 fab shopping spree!

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a very bare “before.”

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a little peek at the mini eyelash catchall by indego africa. the perfect tiny basket for keys or change or little trinkets.

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fueling my basket addiction. the two in the back are vintage. the pom palm tote bag by indego africa and mini eyelash catchall by indego africa.

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the perfect large and medium nelson planters by shiraleah and the basant block print pillow by shiraleah hanging out with some vintage throw pillows.

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the nelson gourd vase by shiraleah sitting pretty.

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don’t be fooled by that face, this little guy insisted that i let him pose for a picture with me in front of our newly decorated space. he’s such a sweetheart!

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it’s ok

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if you follow me on instagram, then you may have already seen a few glimpses of edie and adam’s shared nursery/toddler room. but what you may not know is that her crib is largely ornamental. we didn’t buy a new one, it’s the same crib that we got for adam when he was born. but back at that time, we didn’t know that we’d ultimately end up co-sleeping. so much for buying a crib! but a nursery doesn’t really seem complete without a crib in it, so i don’t mind having it around for show. and we do get a bit of use for it, usually during daytime naps or tummy time. it’s a convertible style, so adam used it as his toddler bed for a short time before we transitioned him to a montessori-inspired floor bed a few months back.

anyway, all of this is to say that the more “functional” set up can actually be found hidden in our bedroom. a simple moses basket placed in a rocking stand so we can remove the basket and carry it with us to any other part of the house. it’s really nothing fancy, but i still wanted to spruce it up a little bit so she could have a pleasant spot to hang out. and as per usual, i always fall the most in love with the little spaces that i set up for my babies.

if you love that “it’s ok” banner as much as i do, make sure you enter my instagram giveaway because one lucky winner will be getting one at the end of the week!

natalie joy house plant mobile, “it’s ok” banner by secret holiday co., tadpoles moses basket, moses basket rocking stand from dada boutique, kosas home kilim rug from overstock, fog linen baby blanket. and those are my favorite solid state custom slides hiding out in the back!

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tiny moments

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about a week after edith was born, i was surprised to discover that her precious baby skin started to peel! my only experience was with adam, and this never happened when he was born. it was a little disconcerting to see so much of her skin start to flake and peel off, but i talked to her pediatrician who reassured me that it’s completely normal for most babies. she recommended that we take care not to bathe her too frequently, and that we could apply a very gentle lotion to help keep her skin moisturized. so when we got home, i decided to incorporate a daily moisturizer into her routine.

when babies are so tiny, their skin is sensitive, so i was thankful when Aveeno got in touch and asked if i’d like to try their Baby Wash & Shampoo and Baby Daily Moisture Lotion. i especially love the moisturizer because it’s a hypoallergenic formula that is free of fragrance, harsh chemicals and allergens. i’ve been using their products since i was a kid, so i felt more than comfortable using it on edie, and i’m so pleased with the results. her skin is baby soft, just the way it should be.

this time around, when it comes to bath time, my trick is to wait until her belly is full and she’s been napping for a few minutes before i gently pick her up and very slowly dip her into a luke-warm bath with the water running. with the temperature just right and the white noise of the water, it’s such a soothing experience that she actually stays asleep or just flutters her eyes a little bit during the entire bath! she stays completely calm and relaxed, even as i gently remove her from the water and quickly wrap her in a warm towel. then it’s the perfect opportunity to moisturize her skin with some lotion while i give her a baby massage. it’s great because i can tend her delicate skin and enjoy some special bonding time with my baby while i rub her little fingers and toes. it’s tiny moments just like this that i know i will cherish forever.

share your #TinyMoments and tag @AveenoUS to show off your #AveenoBaby.

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i partnered with Aveeno® on this post. all opinions are 100% my own.

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finding the perfect diaper bag

calivintage_diaper_bags

i may have had my maternity style all figured out, but even after two years with adam, i never quite figured out the most important of all baby accessories: the diaper bag. i’ve used a few different bags and backpacks, but i’ve never actually settled on anything i love. somehow, my diaper bags has always been more of an afterthought, even though it’s such a crucial item to have with me when i leave the house! so now that i have two kids to contend with, i’m thinking i might finally need to up by game and ditch that canvas tote for something a bit more grownup. granted, only one of my top picks was actually designed as a diaper bag, but i really don’t want anything that screams baby. i’m not one for puffy-sided totes or juvenile prints, and i really want something that can also be used for years to come, even after my kids are potty trained.

the julien backpack diaper bag by leader bag co. this is the only pack on my list that was truly designed as an actual diaper bag. it’s got all of the bells and whistles: it’s very chic and comes in a variety of neutral colorways, it has detachable stroller straps so you can keep it handy while walking baby, and you can buy it in a bundle with a matching change pouch and mat, so you can keep all of your diapering essentials right at hand. and it’s handmade in nyc.

the harvest backpack by kika ny. while not designed solely for the purpose of carrying baby things, the sleek and simple all-leather design of this backpack makes me swoon. it’s essentially a leather tote with a zipper top, but instead of shoulder straps, it’s got backpack straps. it does come with a divider and large pocket on the inside, as well as a small zipper pocket on the outside. the leather is vegetable-tanned and water resistant, and i love that it will come in handy long after the toddler years as a regular backpack. it’s also hand-made in nyc.

the mini bike to beach bag by alite designs. this simple canvas and leather bag is both a tote and a backpack. i like the minimal design and easy-access to all of the things inside. the straps across the front of the bag can actually be adjusted so you can secure a rolled up a blanket or jacket, so it’s got a bit of sneaky extra storage. and it’s made in san francisco.

the clare v.messenger tote and flat clutch. i actually already own this classic design from one of my favorite handbag designers, but i was recently thinking that it might be a great contender. as you can tell, i definitely prefer backpacks, but this messenger tote can be comfortably worn cross-body so you don’t have to worry about dropping it off your shoulder while trying to manage a newborn and a toddler. simply add some zippered pouches to keep everything compartmentalized, and you’re ready to go.

so what do you think? do you have any favorites? any seasoned mamas have a few words of wisdom to impart?

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enter to win big with olly kids’ wellness boosts!

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i can still vividly remember taking vitamins when i was a kid. my dad was a pretty big health nut, so he insisted that we swallow these terrible, uncoated, yellow speckled horse pills every morning. every time he would call us over to take our vitamins, there would be lots of moaning before we took them. and no matter how hard i tried, i would always get that bitter taste in my mouth before i was able to force it down. sure, it was good for us to supplement our diets since kids can be picky eaters and vitamins are important for growing bodies, but taking those nasty pills bordered on traumatic, haha. so when my friends at olly asked me if i’d like to try their new kids’ wellness boosts, i was totally on board. i’m a fully grown adult and i still can’t force myself to take anything but their women’s vitamins, so i knew that their new kids’ formulas would be a huge hit with adam.

the best part is that each formula has a different color, flavor, and purpose. every day, as part of our routine, adam gets to pick between four options: happy tummy is bright yellow with probiotics, prebiotics, and peppermint. super brainy is aqua blue with omega-3s, blueberry, and choline. growing bones is pretty in pink with calcium, vitamin d, and sea minerals. mighty immunity is dark orange with cherry, elderberry, and zinc. he gets to pick his favorite (lately he really likes the pink!) after dinner and before our bedtime routine. the best part is that he comes running from wherever he is in the house and happily takes his vitamin every single time. in fact, as you might expect, we have to hide all of the bottles or else he asks to take them all the time!

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to celebrate the new kids’ boost launch, olly vitamins is giving away a huge prize package! click here to enter their up, up and away giveaway for a chance to win:

  • a year supply of your choice of two OLLY Kids Wellness Boosts 
  • $250 gift card to tea collection to keep them suited up in style.
  • $500 gift card to target for all the gadgets and gear needed to keep their day action-packed.
  • $100 gift card to starbucks so you can keep up as their trusty sidekick.
  • and a year supply of method cleaning products so you can transform their super world back into your home.

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