looking forward, looking back

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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.

wearing:
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

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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.

8

our first los angeles #pinmeetup at mixed business!

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i am so pleased to finally announce the first ever los angeles #pinmeetup! part of my role as a pinterest ambassador is to plan a series of events in the los angeles area to meet with the community. and for our very first event, we’ll be gathering at mixed business on august 8 from 1 – 4pm for sips and snacks and two awesome d.i.y. workshops, one on floral arranging with maggie carson romano of the boskydell and one on jewelry design with melissa sonico.

floral arranging workshop with the boskydell
jewelry-making workshop with melissa sonico

saturday, august 8
1 – 4pm

mixed business
1820 hyperion avenue
los angeles, ca 90027

r.s.v.p. here. it is a public event, but we’d love to get an idea of how many people to expect so that we have enough goodies for you to take home with you!

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maggie carson romano has a professional background in fine art, fashion, and photography and is the found of the boskydell, an independent floral studio based in silverlake, ca. she will be teaching a workshop on creating beautiful, minimalist floral designs.

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melissa sonico handcrafts beautiful necklaces using clay, leather, brass, and tassels. she’ll be giving a demonstration on designing clay beads, and will be providing supplies to make your very own necklace.

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mixed business is a specialty retail shop in silverlake, california providing an effortless line of everyday basics. you’ll find a collection of their own in house designs, fine vintage clothing, and a selection of other contemporary brands with a focus on natural fibers with clean and simple construction.

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3

run free

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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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4

slowing down

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i’ve been pulling out my camera a lot more these days to capture little snapshots of life as it is. i think it has to do with the fact that i’ve been trying to slow down a little bit more. i’m always busy, running around trying to complete a million tasks at once. i forget to stop and smell the flowers, as they say. but once i do, i suddenly find myself appreciating the little things, like the simple act of preparing a meal. i had just bought beets and figs when i came across this recipe by five and spice on pinterest, so i decided to give it a try. my rendition is pretty much the same, except i swapped out the grilled kale for fresh spinach. the original is obviously much prettier than mine, but it still felt really good to put it together, and i was still really proud of myself for trying something new.

and isn’t it funny how the moment we slow down a little, we actually end up being more productive? when i try to work too hard, i just end up spinning my wheels. and when i try to make everything perfect, i just end up hampering my own creativity and drive. so here’s so taking a few deep breaths before taking on the week ahead.

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the toddler-friendly version of most meals usually involves a little platter with all of the ingredients separated out so adam can pick and choose what he’s interested in tasting. it usually also includes something i know he will like. he’s been eating blackberries by the carton lately!

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4

building blocks

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i’ve been a little scarce around these parts lately. the past two weeks have been… challenging, to say the least. adam has begun to transition from two daily naps to only one, but the transition has not been so smooth. needless to say, there have been many cranky, overtired days between the two of us while we try to figure out our new normal. thankfully, it seems like we’ve started to hit our stride again over the past couple of days. i’ve been trying to keep up with answering emails on my phone and posting a few instagram photos here and there, but most of my life has been operating offline. so i thought i’d share a few tidbits:

1. the weather is hot, so i’ve been building adam’s summer wardrobe around plain t-shirts and an assortment of different lightweight rompers, like these amazing linen overalls by jasmin lucero. they are my favorite thing ever and they basically make him look like a little vintage doll. we frequently get stopped on the street by older ladies exclaiming how he reminds them of spanky from our gang. life goals? achieved.

2. we’ve been spending a lot of time indoors, partly due to the weather, and partly due to the aforementioned sleep challenges. last week, i started taking a good look around adam’s room and realized that it was time for a few upgrades. play is super important around our house, and while i try to keep his toys age-appropriate, i also want to mix in a few things that will be challenging for him without being too frustrating. it’s a hard balance, but mega bloks are a pretty big hit around here lately. he especially loves this set because it comes with a little car base that you can build up and push around. and it’s really fun to watch his little gears going while he builds and rebuilds little structures. he’s also currently obsessed with crayons. i have a massive roll of drawing paper that i lay out on the dining room floor. i cannot believe how much time he spends drawing, making sound effects, and even telling me what he’s drawn (mostly owls, dogs, and the moon).

3. while little adam is getting lots of new things, i’m in the middle of yet another purge. since moving into our new house, i’m actually quite impressed with the number of boxes i haven’t unpacked. it’s really showed me just how much stuff i’ve been holding onto without ever actually using it. this week, i’ve been selling off a good portion of my personal wardrobe over in my instagram shop. and i still have a million more boxes of other stuff to go through. it really feels good to let go of all that literal baggage, especially because i’m currently in the process of clearing out said garage and converting it into my very own studio space. which means more room for fun stuff like the re-opening of a more permanent online shop with lots of vintage and handmade goods….

4. speaking of fun stuff, i’m about to start working on a bunch of crafty projects in the upcoming weeks! i have a couple of really awesome vintage patterns that i can’t wait to try out, and i’ve got all of my supplies lined up for a really big indigo-dying session. i’ve been doing my homework on new shibori techniques that i’m especially excited to try on some white cotton bandanas.

5. and if you’re curious about adam’s room, the shelf and baskets are all from ikea! the artwork is by fine little day, the camera is by fisher price classics, we got the badger toy pram from target, the desk is vintage, and the little toy kitchen is by hape. feel free to ask if you’re curious about anything else!

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5

a family affairs midsummer dream treat!

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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!

wearing:
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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5

around the house

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the weather is hot and it seems like all of my house projects have come to a standstill. over the 4th of july weekend, i started insulating our garage in 100 degree weather. i got about two thirds of the way done (on a 900 sq foot room) with the help of my brother before i decided that i might pass out from heat exhaustion if i stayed out there any longer. i also really want to get a start on clearing out our landscaping so it will be ready for planting in the fall. and i’m dreaming up the blueprint for an attached pergola for our back patio. but i’ve finally decided that with this heat, i need to shift gears and try to focus on indoor projects for another month or so.

so while i daydream about all of the outdoor spaces i want to create for this house, i’ve been making my best effort to work on my interior design. the living room is starting to come together! at first, i was a little daunted by that big blank wall near the entryway, but i took the plunge and opted for a bench and made the coatrack so there would be a place for our hats and shoes and things.

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when we first moved to our new place, i almost chucked this ikea shelf that i had in my office. but then i totally realized that it’s pretty much the perfect thing for a toddler’s room. plenty of storage for our millions of baskets, all within reach for little hands. of course i still need to actually hang the artwork, but it still looks kinda cute propped up against all of the furniture.

5

textile

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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.

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

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5

quiet time with latch

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with adam hitting the 18-month mark just the other day, quiet time around the house has become more precious than ever. developmentally, this little guy has a lot going on, so it’s only natural that we’ve started to see the very first of his terrible tantrums. like pretty much every kid his age, he’s super adorable and awfully cheerful most of the time, but we’ve definitely reached the point where we’ve gotta have an arsenal of tools to help keep him calm when he gets worked up. this, my friends, is no easy task. it actually makes the entire previous 18 months of his life look like a walk in the park. in fact, some days it takes all of my effort to simply convince him to go on a walk in the park with me! so today i’ve teamed up with munkchin to share a few of my tips and tricks for helping toddlers (and babies!) get the quiet time they need. because a happy baby means a happy mama.

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create a calm and peaceful environment. there are certain areas of the house that we use as “chill out zones.” they’re places we go to be calm and quiet, rather than play. adam’s doesn’t have a playroom, so we simply used a large shelf to divide his bedroom into two spaces: a play area and a sleep area. we have a rocking chair set up with comfy pillows and a white noise machine, cues that help him understand that it’s time to wind down. we don’t play with toys in that area of the room, and if he wanders over when it isn’t nap time, we lay our heads on the bed and pretend to sleep (fake snoring and all!), so that adam knows what the space is for. this is really helpful for those moments when baby is wound up and overtired and just needs a break. in fact, now that he’s a little older, he even sometimes takes me by the hand and guides me to the chill out zone to let me know he’s feeling tired.

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the munchkin latch pacifier. munkchin developed their latest pacifier with the help of pediatric dentists and the experience of real moms. it’s a one-piece, lightweight silicone made in a variety of different shapes to help your baby comfortable latch on no matter what their stage of development, from 0 to 3 to 6 months and up. i actually wish these were around when adam was younger, because he had a terrible time trying to keep a latch on his pacifiers! and even if he could, sometimes they had such an odd shape that it didn’t fit well on his tiny face. the latch has a nice, ergonomic heart shape that fits perfectly beneath baby’s little nose. and having something soothing to suck on is really helpful when your little one needs to calm down and chill out, especially because there are times when mom can’t always breastfeed on demand.

p.s. i made the pacifier clip above using cotton string and wooden beads! it was super easy to make, i really should share a how-to!

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aromatherapy. it’s true! back during my pregnancy with adam, i had a seriously rough case of morning sickness that lasted well after the first 12 weeks. my mom is super into holistic medicine, so she gave me a tiny bottle of grapefruit essential oil to help. the first time i took a little whiff of that stuff, i was sold. aromatherapy really works and i’ve totally turned into one of those crunchy granola moms with an arsenal of different essential oils and herbs to cure what ails you. this includes infusing a bit of lavender or chamomile in an evening bath (assuming baby doesn’t have allergies!), and placing fragrant herbs around the house to help calm the senses.

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you can find the munchkin latch pacifier in-store or online at target.

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6

nadinoo giveaway

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today i am very pleased to share my latest giveaway courtesy of nadinoo. i have been a fan of designer nadia izruna’s work since her very first collection several years ago, and i’ve enjoyed every single piece that i’ve owned over the years. one thing that’s fun about following a designer over the years is to watch the way they evolve over time, and even more fun is when their style evolves right along with your own. for her latest collection, the good life, nadia was inspired by the english countryside, but she was also interested in creating a practical collection that she could wear fir herself since becoming a new mother with a very active toddler to watch after. so of course, every piece in the collection is pretty much perfect. she has loads of pretty illustrated prints with very practical construction in mind. i love the swingy smock dresses and form fitting wraps. and today, i am so excited to offer you the chance to win any one item from the good life collection!

wearing:
brookes boswell wakefield hat in panama straw
vintage chambray shirt from the wares shop
the good life pinafore courtesy of nadinoo
sven low heel criss cross clogs
vintage coach bucket bag

you can get up to two entries below:
1. visit nadinoo and pick your favorite piece from the good life collection
2. leave a comment below this post sharing your favorite
3. bonus entry: sign up for the nadinoo mailing list directly below:


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