the new kid on the block


for the first time since i started the blog way back in 2008, i am very excited to announce that i’m finally adding a new member to the calivintage team! and if she looks familiar, that’s because we both share the same genes! that’s right, it’s my sister, erica! i’ve written about her a few times before, and she’s actually made some behind-the-scenes appearances on my blog. most notably, she helped me out with a series of family recipe posts and holiday d.i.y. projects. but today, she’s officially joining calivintage to share plus size style tips and to help me expand my little vintage shop. in particular, she’ll be helping me to increase my plus size vintage offerings and helping to introduce housewares to the shop.

i am so incredibly excited to have her onboard with me, and i can’t wait to see what she adds to the mix. so please join me in giving her a warm welcome to calivintage!

erica is wearing:
vintage dress
vintage coach doctor bag
brookes boswell boro in black panama straw

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indigo days


it seems as though things have been taking a rather crafty turn around here lately! i just posted about my wrap top diy last week, and now i want to talk about indigo dye! you may remember my first foray into the technique last summer. but what you may not know is that since then, i’ve set up my own little shop in my mom’s backyard several more times. and more recently, i’ve been experimenting with different techniques about once a week. it’s not an especially glamorous process… i’m usually sweating over a big vat of stinky dye in 100 degree weather, so i never even think to get photos. but i finally pulled out my camera to get a few shots of what i’ve been up to!

on this particular afternoon, i tried a few different shibori techniques on cotton bandanas that i’ve been using as accessories around my neck, or tied to my purse. i dip-dyed a few tote bags and dresses. and i’ve been over-dyeing vintage dresses with really beautiful results. the mexican dress i’m wearing is one such piece that i’ve completely fallen in love with. yes, the original garment was beautiful with all of its rainbow colors, but i do really love the finished result, with its deep inky hue and muted tones.

i’ve actually amassed such a large collection of pieces that i think it’s time for me to set up a little shop! would you be interested in vintage pieces that have been hand over-dyed with natural indigo?

hand dyed vintage mexican dress
ricardo medina botines
brookes boswell wakefield in panama straw


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the refashioners: diy wrap top


you may remember last month i mentioned that the talented portia of makery asked me if i would like to take part in the refashioners. if you aren’t familiar with the program, it’s an annual sewing project that she hosts on her blog, challenging a group of people to refashion an item of clothing into something new. the theme for 2015 was “get shirty,” and she selected a group of 19 bloggers to reconstruct a men’s shirt into something more wearable. even though i’d still consider myself to be a sewing novice, i dream of one day being able to sew my own clothes, and i really love the idea of creative reuse when there are so many garments being literally thrown into the garbage.

so last month, i happily got to work transforming this vintage cotton linen blend men’s shirt into my own wrap-back crop top. and i’m so excited to finally be able to share the results! no, i wasn’t especially meticulous in my execution, but it was actually a really simple d.i.y. with only a couple of steps to complete! and the best part is that it’s totally wearable, and it now has a permanent home in my wardrobe. if you’d like to try it out yourself, you can view the tutorial here along with all of the other participants projects. and if the whole thing has got you feeling inspired, portia has also opened up the challenge to the entire community. you can refashion your very own shirt and submit it to the contest by september 27th for a chance to win a massive prize, including 2 bandanas that i hand-dyed with natural indigo just for the occasion.

self-made back wrap top
asos high waist wide leg jeans in indigo
clare v. petit kenya bag


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giveaway: enter to win a reifhaus bolo necklace!


today i am pleased to announce my latest giveaway courtesy of reifhaus! this portland-based brand was started by lindsey reif with a focus on creating unique, yet approachable designs that are versatile and easy-to-wear. in addition to an amazing fall 2015 collection that has just been released, she’s also designed a small collection of bolo necklaces including the duet bolo which i’m wearing for this post. and today we’d like to offer you the opportunity to win any one in-stock bolo necklace from her collection, which also includes the eclipse and infinity styles.

enter to win a reifhaus bolo necklace!

reifhaus duet bolo necklace
vintage top from scoutla
jesse kamm sailor pants in bill cunningham blue
clare v. kenya bag 
brookes boswell wakefield in panama straw
vintage kork ease wedges


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summer transition


yesterday it suddenly donned on me that we’re in that weird summer to fall transitional period. it hadn’t occurred to me before then because we just got through a really intense (read:110 degree) heat wave, but i’m pretty sure most of the kids are back in school and i somehow missed the whole shopping craze. but as i was browsing through the racks at the thrift store, i started to realize that it’s probably time for me to stock up on my fall goods. nothing crazy, but i’m starting to prepare myself for the inevitable fall vibes ahead. so now i’m playing around with summer staples like a jute tote and straw hat in an inky black hue. still appropriate for the heat, but sorta hinting at what’s to come. perhaps a little summer goth?

brookes boswell boro hat in black panama straw
apiece apart crop top
vintage flax linen pants
clare v. kenya bag (with a bandana that i shibori-dyed with indigo!)
shinola runwell watch
swedish hasbeens peep toe high


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linen for days


i remember when i was much younger, i always inexplicably hated linen. but never say never because over the past couple of years, i’ve suddenly come to appreciate the natural, woven fiber and the way it wrinkles up from wear. and i especially love how comfortable and breathable it is on a super hot summer day. i’ve been wearing a lot of this stuff lately and just playing around with different accessories, like this cute vintage purse i found at the thrift store. it’s my little statement piece that does all the work so i don’t have to worry about fussy clothes. it’s a pretty big shift in my style because once upon a time, i would opt for statement dresses to pair with really classic accessories. and now i’m basically doing the exact opposite!

vintage linen tank, pants, and handbag
swedish hasbeens peep toe high
raen optical flowers sunglasses

shinola runwell watch



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looking forward, looking back


the weather is hot. it’s so oppressively hot and humid here that it’s the only thing i can consider when getting dressed. so of course my new summery shift dress from canadian designer eliza faulkner has become a go-to. accessorizing is hard when it’s so sticky and sweaty, but scarves and bandanas have been doing the trick for me.

but enough about my outfit! summer is halfway over, and i’ve suddenly found myself in a rather reflective mood. i was counting the months and realized that july marked our one year anniversary living in redlands, and our three month anniversary living in our new home. and of course adam turned 18 months. but the really big one was 10 years ago when when i first met brendan at the berkeley annual kite festival. neither of us remembers the exact date when we made our relationship “official,” so we’re calling august our anniversary month.

it’s crazy looking back on our past ten years together. it was filled with so much angst and so much excitement. we grew up together, and we started our own little family. and now when i step outside to snap a few photos for the blog, adam comes running out of the house calling, “mama mama mama,” and i scoop him up and hold him in my arms and i squeeze him tight and do my best to hold on to the memories of these hot and sticky summer days when our lives really began.

eliza faulkner chambray shift dress
vintage silk scarf
swedish hasbeens peep toe super high in mustard 

clare v. messenger tote in navy
raen flowers sunglasses

oracle star id bracelet and star band by laura lee jewelery

no, i’m not petite. this kid is just huuuuuge! at 18 months, he’s literally off the charts for height, and at the tippy top of the weight scale.

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run free


hard to believe it, but my little adam is already 18-months-old! no longer a baby, he’s now a rather rambunctious toddler, and these days i have to get pretty creative to complete even the simplest of tasks. i put on my makeup in the bathroom while adam takes a quick bath in the morning. i answer emails with one free hand while i nurse him in the afternoon. i even practice my lunges while dancing him to sleep in my arms. because let’s face it, i’m not about to get a break. which is why i was especially excited when bugaboo asked me if i’d be interested in teaming up with them to try out their new bugaboo runner. before this shiny new beacon of light arrived at my doorstep, i was struggling to find time for even a quick jog a couple of times a week!

so when the package arrived, it was basically like christmas day. adam was squealing in delight over the big cardboard box, and i was already pulling on my jogging shorts while i ripped apart the wrapping and snapped everything into place. we’ve never tried a bugaboo before, so the first thing i noticed was the seat. adam is a particularly picky customer when it comes to strollers, so if the seat is too deep, or the harness is too clunky, he kinda freaks out because he’s basically feels ‘stuck.’ so it was pretty cool when i sat him down without the slightest protest, and he was able to sit comfortably upright with a really nice vantage point while we rolled around town. not only that, but you actually have the ability to position the seat facing you or facing the world, a unique feature among running strollers. but of course, if you already have a different bugaboo seat (like the bee3, chameleon, buffalo, or donkey), you can easily snap it into the runner chassis.

but the real test is once you get moving. the three-wheeled suspension is so smooth that it practically begs you to run. in fact, it almost feels like it glides along more smoothly the faster you go. and if you’re lucky like me, your child will also act as an exceptionally motivating personal trainer. adam particularly likes it when i run very fast for short spurts and then abruptly slow down for a bit before picking up the pace again. yep, apparently he is already versed in interval training. and if he were to have a preference for speed, it would definitely be very fast. hey, i’m not gonna argue with the kid. he clearly knows what’s good for me!

but joking aside, it’s really is huge relief to have found such an amazing stroller. it’s enabled me to get out into the world and to get more exercise while still being able to bond with my little guy. and it’s just as useful while walking around town or through the park. sure, it’s a running stroller, but it’s just as practical even when i’m not trying to fit in a workout. we’ve been taking it out for walks around town or through the park, and people even stop to complement me and ask where i got it. it’s not big or clunky or garish, just a really good tool that fits right in with our lifestyle.


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a family affairs midsummer dream treat!


i have always been a big fan of vintage workwear. i love the mix of retro vibes with a very utilitarian aesthetic. so of course, i was immediately drawn to the family affairs river jumpsuit. they are inspired by a pair of mechanics coveralls, but made in a bright and crisp pastel blue and white cotton perfect for hot summer days. it looks really cute on it’s own, but i couldn’t resist pairing it with a lightweight linen blouse for a slightly more literal take on the look.

get the family affairs river jumpsuit for 50% off (only $95!) with code ‘midsummertreatriver‘ july 20 & 21!

family affairs river jumpsuit (half-off july 20 & 21st only!)
vintage jaeger linen blouse
vintage clogs from wear it well vintage
shinola runwell watch


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as dedicated as i am to denim, lately i’ve been finding myself equally attracted to beautifully woven textiles. in particular, pretty pieces like this guatemalan dress i found at the thrift store a while back. it is soft yet sturdy, and so beautifully hand made with all sorts of amazing colors woven in. it really makes you appreciate the fine handwork that goes into textile design.

vintage guatemalan dress
vintage coach bucket bag
swedish hasbeens braided high in natural


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