holiday comforts

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hard to believe it, but i’m already more than halfway through my pregnancy! it’s not my first time celebrating the holiday season while pregnant, but if there’s one thing i’ve learned from the past, it’s that you gotta dress comfortably! but of course, i still want to look nice for the few holiday parties and new years celebrations that i will be attending, glass of sparkling cider in hand. so this year, i partnered with zappos to shop my holiday looks using the style room. it’s basically a one-stop shop for all of your holiday outfit needs, and everything is listed in tidy categories based on your personal style preferences. for this simple holiday look, i went for a mix of classic and contemporary. but since my belly is just starting to emerge, i was a little bit unsure of what size to order. the nice thing is that they have free two-day shipping and free returns, so when the first dress turned out to be the wrong size, i was able to quickly make an exchange with plenty of time before christmas and new year’s.

now, i know this outfit isn’t your traditional holiday outfit, but i’m not exactly going to be hitting up the club. my christmas eve will be spent with family, most likely unwrapping a present or two and stuffing my face with tamales. christmas day is also a pretty casual affair around here, and new year’s eve will be similar. i’ve invited a few people over for the celebration, but we’ll probably be turning in a little early with a nearly two-year-old in tow. but that’s alright with me! there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays, and i’m totally ok with going super low-key this year.

wearing:
vince camuto turtleneck sweater dress courtesy of zappos
sam edelman petty boots courtesy of zappos
vintage jacket
clyde mohair pinch hat
clinique lip pop in cola pop

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mexican albondigas soup

if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you may remember this post from last year. but i just couldn’t help but post it again since it’s officially that time of year. in the past couple of weeks, i’ve already made three giant pots of this favorite family recipe. so here it is again!

coming from a mexican family, i grew up eating mexican food, with all of the recipes being handed down from generation to generation on my mother’s side. and as soon as the weather gets chilly, we all start craving a pot of caldo (soup) to warm our bones. albondigas (meatball) soup is one of my ultimate comfort foods. in fact, after adam was born, i asked my mom make a giant pot for me, and it was literally the only thing i ate for at least a week after i got home from the hospital. i just didn’t have the stomach for anything else. she would serve me a warm bowl of soup with a rolled up tortilla, and i would be in heaven.

last week was grey and rainy, so it was the perfect time for us to practice our family recipe. my sister and i made a big pot of soup under my grandmother’s supervision so that we could share the recipe with you. mind you, this is a recipe that we’ve all committed to memory, we eyeball the measurements for all the ingredients, and each of us tweaks the recipe to our own personal taste. there really are no rules, especially when it comes to making soup! i’m offering you the base for how we make it in our family, but feel free to add or subtract whatever ingredients you prefer.

albondigas soup

for the meatballs

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup brown rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped mint
garlic salt, pepper, and cumin to taste

for the soup

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup rice
1 tbsp crushed garlic
cumin to taste
3 cups vegetable stock
3 cups of water
1 small can of tomato sauce
2 cups cubed red or yellow potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
green beans or any other vegetable you prefer!

garnish (to taste)

cilantro
green onions, chopped
oregano

after prepping all of your veggies and meatballs, coat the bottom of a large pot with a thin layer of olive oil. saute onions until translucent, then add crushed garlic and saute for another minute before adding the cumin. finishe sauteing for another minute, then add the vegetable stock, water, and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil.

once the soup is boiling, carefully drop in the meatballs. let boil for about a minute before adding in the vegetables. reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer until all of the ingredients are tender, about 30 minutes.

serve with cilantro, green onions, and oregano to taste. then warm a tortilla and enjoy!






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a giveaway for the littles!

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i hope you’re looking at this post on a mobile device, because i’ve teamed up with bitte to share a really amazing giveaway with a host of talented bloggers and makers. the giveaway is on instagram, but i thought i’d share it here in case you missed the post!

i have to admit, with my own little one on the way, i might be just a teensy bit envious of whoever wins this. one winner will receive a massive prize package including:

$100 gift certificate to petit collage
an ella lou play mat (value $89)
$100 gift certificate to bitte
$100 gift certificate to parabo press
a pair of lex & liv moccasins (value about $80)
$60 gift certificate to umi shoes
2 pairs of loungewear from skylar luna (value about $80)
baby brezza baby food maker (value $159)
one duo diaper bag (value $145)
$75 gift certificate to le petit organic

enter here!

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makr cards for christmas!

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this time of year, i haven’t had much time for anything other than holiday prep – and i’m not complaining! i mentioned it in another post, but having a kid around during the holidays makes everything just a little more delightful. seeing the way adam’s eyes light up when we set up the tree, or watching him react to all of the silly christmas decor is enough to make me melt into a big sappy puddle. we’re even sending out christmas cards this year, which i have never ever done in all of my life. but when makr asked us if we’d like to partner up to try out their service, i was totally on board. and you bet i pulled up our cheesiest family portrait just for the occasion. i know that all of our aunts and uncles and distant relatives will be delighted to see our little family, and to hear about our new addition to arrive early next year!

i ordered the happy holidays pack, which includes a set of cards that you can customize front and back, along with little matching gift tags! the tags came in handy because i’d already put together my own little hot cocoa recipe to send as gifts for friends and family who live in faraway places. and i had a lot of fun putting together a customized calendar using pictures of adam throughout the last year. but of course, who could resist our silly little family portrait? it’s very rare that we pose like that, but looking back, i’m glad we did it at least one time this past year so that we’ll have a little token of our memories as time goes by.

get 20% off your holiday pack order via makr.co with code “CALI” now through 1/31/16!

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this post was sponsored by makr.

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good night, day knits

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i know i already wrote about good night, day earlier this fall, but designer tara-lynn has created yet another beautiful set of photos to accompany her hand made knits! and she has just released a beautiful new knitting patterns book! her sustainable knits are handcrafted in canada by tara-lynn herself using carefully sourced, fair trade wools from uruguay and peru. if you’re at a loss for gifts to give, i highly recommend this collection. you know your money is being well spent on a practical item that will last for years to come. adam has a couple of her handmade toques that we absolutely love! they’re super soft and warm, and he loves them so much that he requests to wear them nearly every single day.

photos by arden wray.

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breakfast in bed with eve

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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!

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this post was sponsored by eve. all content and opinions are my own.

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blurb books for the holidays

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’tis the season, you guys! in some years past, i’ve been known to be a little bit of a scrooge, but having a baby has really changed my perspective on the holidays. children have this way of making the holidays magic. and this year, i’m really excited to have had the opportunity to partner with blurb books to create customized photo books to give as gifts to some of my closest relatives. adam’s grandparents and great-grandparents are always pestering me for more photos of adam, so i know that these little books will bring them lots of joy. i have to admit, even i got a little teary-eyed when the package came in the mail and i flipped through the images of adam over the past two years. i arranged the book in reverse chronological order, so as you turn the pages, you watch him transform from a rambunctious toddler to a squishy little baby to the very day he was born. it’s kind of fun to get lost in memories as you reminisce further back in time to days not so long ago, but forever in your memories.

and the best part is that the entire process was totally painless. the books are completely customizable, but virtually foolproof. i get completely overwhelmed by projects like this, but i was able to do the whole thing online. you can start by choosing a book size, pick from a few different style options, and then simply upload your photos and insert text wherever you desire. my hard drive is currently a mess, so i was happy to see the option to pull all of your images directly from your instagram account. and that’s pretty much it! of course, if you happen to be a design pro, then there are also a lot of other options for publishing your book, but i definitely like that you can keep it simple, and still come away with a really beautiful book.

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this post was created in collaboration with blurb books.

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baby on the way

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that’s right, we’re going in for round number two! today i am exactly 17 weeks along with my second little dude or dudette. i don’t really have much to share other than one of my typical outfit posts. at this stage in the pregnancy, i basically just look like i ate a really big burrito, though i’m sure that will change any day now. yesterday i discovered that i can no longer button my largest pair of jeans, so i’m scrambling to pull together my maternity wardrobe! it’s actually a funny coincidence that i even have this dress. kinwolfe reached out to me a few months ago and asked if i’d like to try one of their maternity nursing dresses since i’m still breastfeeding adam. little did i know that only a few weeks later, i would find out that i was pregnant! needless to say, it was a lifesaver to have it hanging in my closet when i started to burst out of all my normal clothes.

and this time around, when it comes to getting dressed, i’m a lot more focused on comfort and practicality than when i was pregnant with adam. now i kinda feel like this seasoned veteran, and in a way, it’s fun to be able to have this whole arsenal of learnings from the last time around. it’s really helped me to feel much more calm and positive about the whole process. and i am so excited to see what this next little human being is going to be like!

wearing:
silk radiant maternity/nursing dress courtesy of kinwolfe
benah for karen walker handbag
hatch cashmere socks
swedish hasbeens pearl high

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the indigo collection

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i haven’t mentioned it on here, but over the past several months, i’ve gotten increasingly more involved in my little vintage shop. i’ve sold vintage on and off since i was a teenager, mostly due to the fact that, if left unchecked, my vintage habit can easily escalate to hoarder status. i almost impulsively collect racks of clothing, so it only makes sense for me to have a shop. it’s a fun, creative outlet for me because i just genuinely love vintage clothes. these days, i’ve been quietly selling on instagram under the name shopcalivintage, mostly dealing in minimalist vintage basics with a focus on really nice textiles like silk, linen, and cotton.

in the meantime, i’ve also gotten increasingly interested in crafty things! over the summer, i started mixing up large batches of indigo to overdye some of the beautiful vintage pieces that i’d been collecting. so finally, without further adieu, i will be posting some of my collection for sale, starting today! and in honor of the occasion i put together a mini lookbook, styled and modeled by my internet pal emily theobald. she came down for a visit to southern california, so i took her out to a wilderness area by my house to shoot a few of the pieces that will be up for sale.

to  keep an eye on my listings, you can follow me at shopcalivintage. i usually list around 10 new items per day, and i try to keep them spread out so i don’t spam your feed too much. if you’ve never purchased anything on ig before, you can take a peek at my shop rules here.

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wearing: calivintage indigo collection dress, ayr top, brookes boswell hat, vintage shoes from pretty penny, emily’s own jewelry.

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wearing: calivintage indigo collection jacket, lauren winter wrap top, brookes boswell hat, vintage pants, soludos sandals.

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wearing: calivintage indigo collection top, vintage pants, vintage mules.

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wearing: calivintage indigo collection jacket, vintage top and pants, maryam nassir zadeh roberta heels.

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devoted to denim with hudson jeans

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when it comes to my personal style, you know i love an easy vintage dress, but nothing beats a good pair of jeans. when you find that perfect pair of dark wash skinny jeans, you pretty much know they’re going to be the hardest working staple in your wardrobe. they’re universally flattering, and they fit into any wardrobe, regardless of your style. they’re like the fashion thread that binds us all together. so of course, when i teamed up with zappos + hudson jeans for my latest outfit post, picking these jeans was pretty much a no-brainer. they’re made of a super soft and stretchy viscose-denim, so they’re insanely comfortable, and they’re the darkest shade of inky blue, which is one of my favorite colors. i really have to hand it to hudson: they have cool british roots, but with an ease that captures the whole laid-back california vibe.

so far this fall, i’ve been really obsessed with comfort, so these were an especially good match with a super warm and cozy oversized sweater. and i went with a totally neutral palette because who says you can’t wear black and blue and even brown all together? that happens to be one of my favorite color combinations. but of course, you could just as easily dress the whole thing up with a flowy top, fancy heels, and a bright pop of lipstick for a night out on the town.

wearing:
hudson krista super skinny jeans in delilah courtesy of zappos
colorant sweater
brookes boswell wakefield hat
j.w. hulme legacy handbag
maryam nassir zadeh roberta heels in midnight suede

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this post was created in partnership with zappos + hudson jeans.

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