she’s back! i was so bummed when wendy mullin shuttered her stores several years back. she was probably one of the first “indie” designers that i learned about back in my formative fashion years. and for that reason alone, i will always have a fondness for her designs. so you know i was excited when the email popped up in my inbox letting me know that she’s back at it again! this time, with a really awesome collection of ’80s and ’90s-inspired basics in a range of unexpected colors and combinations. that slight nod to the past speaks both to my personal nostalgia for the brand, but also to the current trends that we’ve been seeing lately. i think if anyone was going to get me excited about seeing those bamboo sandals and a bright quilted tote bag in teal blue, it would be built by wendy.
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.
as i’m sure you can imagine, with a 2-month-old and a 2-and-a-half-year old, i’ve been in pretty desperate need for some “me time.” especially during the postpartum period when i’m still dealing with a major drop in hormones and everything that comes along with it. my hair hasn’t started falling out yet, but my skin has done a complete 180 from slightly oily to completely dried out. it’s not a huge deal in the scheme of things, but it’s definitely one of those small frustrations that stacks up against you when all you want to do is feel normal. so i was pretty excited when luzern labs asked me if i’d be interested in trying out a fancy spa treatment at the peninsula spa in beverly hills using their sustainably-harvested, organic swiss extracts and ingredients.
my entire pregnancy, i was careful to avoid any ingredients that could be potentially harmful to the baby, which meant saying goodbye to my beloved vitamin a treatments. it also meant that my skin was seriously overdue for some deep exfoliation and intense moisture. thankfully, luzern’s products are all natural and free of toxic ingredients, synthetics, and chemical preservatives, so i knew i was in the right hands. my spa treatment consisted of a custom luzern facial and my very first oxygen treatment. the aesthetician sloughed off tons of dry skin and helped plump things back up with the help of some concentrated serums delivered through an oxygenated mist. it was relaxing and surprisingly refreshing at the same time and i kid you not, when it was all over, i felt like i looked years younger. i didn’t even realize how much all of the sleep deprivation and dry skin was aging me. it was definitely the pick-me-up that i needed to start feeling a little bit more like myself after all of the changes that i new baby brings.
after everything was done, i also got to go home with a few serums and lotions to continue using at home. i picked out the serum absolute rehydrate oil, radiance, and the force de vie pure oxygen lotion and have been using them religiously ever since. my hormones are starting to balance out, and these products are making a huge difference in keeping my skin bright and hydrated in the meantime, which is especially helpful when things are so busy that i can’t always get to my makeup routine!
it’s been a little while since i’ve posted a giveaway, so i’m really excited to share that i’ve teamed up with wol hide to offer you a chance to win a $200 gift card! if you’re not familiar with the brand, wol hide was founded in 2014 by knit designer leah d’ambrosio in 2014. the line focuses on clean, soft yarns knit into relaxed silhouettes inspired by the ease of everyday clothes. the collection is all made in the usa, with all sweaters hand loomed in philadelphia. for the spring 2016 collection, they teamed up with sally fox, who has spent years researching and growing organic, color grown cotton. the chenille yarn in the lounge set comes directly from sally’s farm, and the color is completely natural. in addition to the beautiful chenille sets, i’m wearing one of their incredibly soft a-tanks made with cotton yarn from a small family-owned mill in italy. it’s one of my new favorites and i just love the folded collar and swingy shape.
want to snag a piece for yourself? simply visit wol hide and leave a comment in the section below telling us which item in the shop is your favorite.
bonus: click here to earn an additional entry on instagram!
this giveaway is open to international readers, so anyone can enter. only two entries per person, one via calivintage.com and one via instagram. giveaway ends on july 12, 2016 at 11:59pm p.s.t.
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!
we’re in the middle of a heat wave here in southern california. on the first day of summer, the high was 112 degrees with wildfires blazing so bad that ashes were literally falling from the sky. on days like this, all i can really do is keep sipping on my iced coffee and make sure i’m decked out in nothing but linen if i have to leave the house. i just got the new friend linen shirt by canadian-based brand, power of my people, and i could easily see myself wearing it every single day. it’s a perfect summer weight linen, slightly sheer so that you can breathe, but with two strategically placed front pockets so you don’t feel like you’re revealing too much. a simple shirt like this is so perfect for any wardrobe, especially if you live someplace hot. and i’m a huge fan of linen lately, not only because it’s such a beautiful textile, but because it’s also a more sustainable option than cotton because it requires no pesticides to grow the plant. which is made even better by the practicality and versatility of all of the offerings made by power of my people. for this outfit, i tied it at the waist to show off the high rise on a pair of vintage linen pants and finished it up with some fun accessories for a kind of 1950s vacation vibe. but it’s also just as cute worn simply with a pair of jeans and sneakers. and i’ve teamed up with the brand to offer a discount, so go check them out!
get 20% off at power of my people using code “calivintage” now through july 12!
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!
it’s officially caftan season, and this new caftan by storq is so perfect that it almost makes me miss being pregnant. fortunately for me, i still have a postpartum belly to contend with and an 8-week-old baby nursing on demand. oh, and i’m human. so yeah, this caftan is awesome. it was designed to be worn before, during, and after pregnancy, so i’m basically gonna be wearing it every single day. the fabric is super soft and sturdy, while the cut is generous and forgiving while still having some interest. i really love the subtle shape of the collar and sleeves, and i appreciate that there’s a button front, which is pretty much necessary for breastfeeding.
speaking of clothes to wear during the “4th trimester,” i was thinking about creating a guide on what to wear during recovery, breastfeeding, and babywearing. but instead of holding out on you guys for one big lookbook, i thought i’d just start sharing some of my favorite looks as outfit posts and then rounding them all up into one post at the end. i’ve definitely learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t after having two babies, but i’m sure there are tons of great brands out there that i haven’t even heard of, or styling tips that i haven’t considered, so please let me know if you have any tips or recommendations while i go along!
and in the meantime, you really should check out storq if you haven’t already. lots of really great basics for maternity and beyond!
i don’t know if it’s just me, but it feels like i am forever on the hunt for the perfect pair of undies. i’ve always preferred a high rise style, and i particularly like wearing them under breezy dresses. but they’re not always easy to find, especially if you’re looking for something made in the usa out of organic cotton. enter pansy co. this bay area-based brand makes all of their undies in san leandro out of organic cotton that has been grown and milled in south carolina. from there, the underwear is dyed in novato, ca. before it makes it’s way to your doorstep. they have a simple selection of underwear, from a classic high rise to a low rise and a cute little bralette. but it’s the colors that really get get me! they have the most beautiful shades of apricot and pale pink and rust. not colors you can ordinarily find when you head to the department store.
over the years, i’ve worn my hair a lot of different ways, but one look that will always define my style is a short, blunt bob. and today, i am excited to have partnered with dove hair to share my own hair story. my mom still recalls the first time i requested the cut at the tender age of 7. i was the type of kid who danced to the beat of my own drum, and apparently, i very confidently picked out the style from the selection of books at the hair salon. the hair stylist asked me one last time if i was really sure, before snipping off my long brown locks into a short little bob. of course i loved the look because i felt so very daring for chopping off my locks. but when i got to school, the other kids were less impressed. i didn’t get teased, but i definitely recall that none of the other girls in class wore their hair short. and while i definitely opted to embrace my look, it still made me feel “different” in a way that was hard for me to understand at that age.
over the years, i mostly kept that same short cut. and as i got older, i decided to experiment even more. in 8th grade, i cut my hair even shorter. and by freshman year, i was rocking a pixie cut in every shade of the rainbow. i tried pink, turquoise, purple, and orange. it got to the point where i didn’t even know what color my hair was underneath all of those bottles of bleach and punky colors. but of course, there was alway someone nearby to judge my looks. i can still remember boys telling me i would be “prettier” if i let my hair grow long. my teachers would roll their eyes at my rebellious phase and inform me that my looks would never be acceptable in a professional setting. even my mom, who was definitely very supportive of my choices, occasionally suggested that perhaps i should wear earrings or makeup to look a bit more feminine. but all of the commentary only made me more determined to prove them all wrong. i knew in my heart that there was no one way to be beautiful, and i didn’t want anyone to define what that was for me.
fast forward more years than i care to count, and i still have that same resolve. i may have gotten over my rainbow-headed punk days, but i’ve still remained true to myself. sure, i’ve tried longer locks. but i’ve also tried bowl cuts and more pixies. and i have always, always come back to that same blunt bob. something about it just seems to suit me. when i wear my hair short, i feel light and liberated. it gives me a sense of strength and confidence. and isn’t that what beauty is really all about?
dove hair is committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, and not anxiety for women. celebrate how you #LoveYourHair by sharing photos of your own unique, beautiful hair on instagram, twitter, and facebook. visit dove hair on pinterest for more inspiration, and watch the dove love your hair film.