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!
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.
melbourne house by robson rak via design addicts.
malia grace mau.
eat burger by amber road design.
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.
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!
a very bare “before.”
a little peek at the mini eyelash catchall by indego africa. the perfect tiny basket for keys or change or little trinkets.
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.
the perfect large and medium nelson planters by shiraleah and the basant block print pillow by shiraleah hanging out with some vintage throw pillows.
the nelson gourd vase by shiraleah sitting pretty.
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!
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!
it’s kinda fun that mother’s day is so close to edie’s birthday. i couldn’t think of a better mother’s day present than to see these two together for the very first time. before she was born, i was pretty anxious about what it would be like for adam to meet her. he’s only two, so we tried our best to talk to him about her arrival without confusing or scaring him. it’s a fine line to walk with little ones. but of course, the moment they met, all of my anxiety melted away. adam actually walked right past me and made a beeline to his new baby sister. he smiled and cooed and hugged her and kissed her, and everything was well in the world. now edith is one week old, and while adjusting to a new family member is not without it’s challenges, i’m just completely focused on the love that i’m feeling right now.
right before she was born, enrou reached out and asked me to answer the question, “what do you love about being a mother?” at the time, i was heavily pregnant and feeling pretty grumpy, but in hindsight, it was all worth it. i still remember the day that adam was born over two years ago. i’d been in labor for over 24 hours, but my progress had stalled. i was exhausted, i was shaking, and i was crying because i was terrified of having a c-section. by the time we reached the operating room, i had to ask brendan to hold down my arms because i was shaking so violently. but the moment that i laid my eyes on him, my entire body relaxed. i took in a deep breath and felt warm tears fill my eyes. i was instantly in love, and none of the fear or trauma could change that. i will never ever forget that moment. and since then, my love has only grown. he’s taught me so much these last couple of years about what it means to love so unconditionally. he’s taught me patience. he’s taught me how to slow down and live in the moment. he’s changed my life forever in a way that i never thought was possible. and now i have two! before edith was born, people warned me that it would be twice as hard. but you know what else? my heart has grown to love twice as much. and i am so excited for what she has in store for me.
this month, enrou has launched a made for moms, by moms mother’s day collection, including this beautiful handwoven chiapas throw, made by a mayan artisan and mother of 10 in southern mexico. i couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate mothers than to support the fair trade of goods to help women like elena to put food on the table and send her kids to school. not only that, but 10% of the proceeds go towards supporting artisan education, youth academic scholarships, and community health initiatives for the artisans of aid to artisans. this is not a sponsored post, it’s just something that i truly support, and i’m honored to have the opportunity to help spread the word.
use code ‘calivintage10‘ to get 10% off your orders for mother’s day!
hard to believe it, but we’re actually coming up on the one year anniversary living in our little 1920s home. even though our house isn’t huge, it’s still been a long process pulling everything together from scratch. and while we still have a long way to go until we can say it’s “complete,” we’ve been making some good progress on all of the rooms. today i’m excited to finally share a little glimpse at how things are shaping up in our bedroom!
i have never, ever decorated my bedroom as an adult. it has always just literally been a bed, a closet, a pile of laundry. i don’t think i’ve ever even had matching linens! so even imagining what i might do with this room was a daunting task, make infinitely easier with the help of my friends at framebridge and paper jam press. i teamed up with them and a few other instagrammers on for a cute feature called art we love 5 ways: paper jam press. it’s really fun to see all of the different ways we styled our prints. and as a bonus, paper jam press is offering 20% off your next order with code “FRAME20” through may 15, 2016.
but now back to my bedroom! it’s still not 100% complete, but it feels so much better now that i have a little gallery wall around this cool mid century modern vanity that i scored on craigslist last year. from the left, the artwork is: fine little day eye eye poster in blue in the sonoma frame, secret holiday co. it’s ok banner, margins imprint live by the sun/love by the moon print in the marin frame, and paper jam press today was a good day print in the irvine frame. oh, and a special shoutout to my sacrificial chair from thing industries.
just wanted to let you guys know that i’m guest-pinning over on the krrb pinterest page for a bit! they’ve invited me to share some inspiration for their apparel & accessories and for the kids boards! over the years, i’ve become so completely obsessed with pinterest. honestly, if it weren’t for all the hours i spend on that site, i would have no clue how to decorate my home. it’s become a super important tool for me when i’m planning new projects or can’t figure out what to wear for the day.
oh, and if you’re not familiar with krrb, it’s a really nice online classifieds page where i’ve found some really awesome furniture for my house!
smile and wave.
as many of you know, my life has changed pretty dramatically over the past couple of years. after making a big move across the state, having our first baby, and buying our first home, we just found out that we’re expecting another baby early next year! with all of these constant changes, we’ve been making a lot of big adjustments. one adjustment we didn’t anticipate? the shrinking size of our bed! we’re all about attachment parenting, and we’ve been co-sleeping with adam since he was born. and while we are beginning to transitioning him to his big boy bed, we still fully expect him to occasionally wake up during the night and wander over to our bed… which is soon to see yet another new occupant! so when eve asked us if we’d like to try out a mattress, i jumped at the opportunity to upgrade!
eve just launched in the us earlier this month, so i was pretty excited to be among the first people to give it a try here in the states. the model is simple and straightforward: they designed one ridiculously comfortable mattress, cut out wholesalers and middlemen, and ship the mattress in vacuum-sealed packaging so it can easily fit through a doorframe, or up a flight of stairs. the result is a luxury mattress experience at a fraction of the price. when it came time to pick my own, i didn’t even hesitate: i knew we needed a king sized bed to accommodate our growing family.
when the mattress arrived, it was tightly wrapped up in its compact box. we slid it into the bedroom, pulled it out of the packaging, and watched as it magically unrolled and filled with air right in front of our eyes. the yellow trim and cheeky packaging was unexpected and delightful, but we were sold once we stretched out on our new massive expanse of bed. adam hopped around while i dressed the bed in new linens. and we spent the rest of the day anticipating bedtime to give it a try. as expected, the mattress is super comfortable thanks to four different layers of squishy memory foam. and all of the extra space feels like a major luxury after sleeping on a much smaller bed for the last couple of years.
one major perk? eve offers a 100 night trial – if you don’t like the mattress, they pick it up and give a full refund – no questions asked. but we’ll be keeping ours, thanks!
this post was sponsored by eve. all content and opinions are my own.
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.