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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new shop to watch: bitte


you may remember a couple of months back, i wrote about the fundable campaign behind a new online children’s boutique, bitte. well, since then, the venture has been backed and shop owner maia mcdonald smith has been a busy bee getting everything in order! the shop just launched last week, and i am currently scrolling through the inventory trying to resist temptation to buy all of the things!

every item in the shop was chosen with a focus on sustainable practices and modern design. if that’s not enough for you, they’ll also be featuring some of their top makers so you can get to know the people behind the brands. and they’ll also be teaming up with top bloggers to share helpful gift guides and top picks. first up, they’ve profiled the talented founder of petit collage, one of my favorite oakland-based children’s brands. and they’re sharing top picks from ashley muir bruhn of hither and thither and erin heimstra of apartment 34.

images courtesy of bitte.




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




3-step skincare with clinique!


remember last week when i tried out a few new shades of lipstick in partnership with clinique? well, since then, i’ve also been following the 3-step skincare system every day, morning and night. and i’m happy to report back that it’s been working out really well! one of the first things that jumped out at me about the system is that they don’t try to be one-size-fits all. everyone has different skincare needs, so it’s nice that they have a variety of different formulations depending on your specific skin type. they’ve got you covered whether you’re skin is very dry to dry, dry combination, combination oily, or oily. if you’re not entirely sure which category you fall into, you can schedule an appointment with a consultant at one of their locations, or you can take a little quiz on their website to get you started.

i know you can’t necessarily tell from a few photos, but i’m feeling really good about the improvements i’m already starting to see since starting the routine. a big part of that comes from simply taking the time to pamper my skin a little bit, and using products that are clinically tested, unscented, and gentle on skin. it sounds simple, but it’s so easy to forget! which really is a shame because when i think about it, i’ve actually been way too self conscious to even consider leaving the house without makeup on. and it’s been that way for a while. i wear makeup and neglect my skin, it starts to break out, i cover it up with more makeup, it becomes a vicious cycle. so being able to shoot these photos with only a bit of mascara and lip color was a surprisingly liberating experience for me, as cheesy as that may sound. but it really is true! we gotta take care of ourselves every now and then! or, you know, every morning and night with a little skin care routine.

step one: cleanse

what i love about the liquid facial soap is that it’s super gentle and mild on my skin, but it completely washes off all of my crazy waterproof eyeliner and mascara at the end of the day without making my skin feel tight or dry. bonus points for being completely scent-free (like most clinique products), making it much less likely to irritate skin.

step two: exfoliate

it’s so easy to forget to use a toner, but gently sweeping clarifying lotion across your face after cleansing and before moisturizing really helps to wipe away any excess oil, and clears your skin to help your moisturizer work better. since i’ve been using it, i’ve noticed a pretty big difference. my skin seems a just a little bit brighter, and my makeup seems to go on just little bit more evenly. who knew?

step three: moisturize

i may be a bit biased because this classic little bottle of dramatically different moisturizing lotion has had a spot in my medicine cabinet since i was a teenager, but you really can’t go wrong with the lightweight, yet potent mix of skin-strengthening ingredients. you can smooth it over your entire face, or simply apply to areas that feel a little dry. i tend to focus mostly on cheeks and under-eye area.


i’ve also been supplementing with a few other products that are even more specifically targeted for my skincare concerns. one of my favorites is the new pore refining solutions charcoal mask that i’m now using 1 – 2 times a week to help detoxify and clear my skin. it’s such a simple ingredient, but charcoal naturally draws out excess oil and impurities, and leaves your skin feeling fresh and smooth. i’m also a fan of the even better clinical dark spot corrector. it’s a nice serum that i’ve been squeezing-in between steps two and three to help lighten some of the acne marks left behind from previous breakouts.

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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



thing industries


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.




pop lip


i know i don’t write about makeup all that often, but increasingly over the past couple of years, i’ve become totally obsessed with trying new skincare and beauty products. yet despite this little known fact, i still very rarely approach the beauty counter. i sometimes casually pass by when i’m at the mall and take a timid peek at the products, all neatly lined up in their shiny packages. but i tend to shy away if anyone behind the counter ever asks if i need help! so when clinique asked me if i’d be interested in making an appointment with one of their consultants, it was just the push i needed to finally try it out for myself. clinique has been a gold standard in the beauty industry for years, and they’re well known for having wonderfully formulated products with top notch staff, so i knew i would be in good hands.

when i arrived at the mall, i was greeted with a cute little menu of different options specifically targeted for whatever skincare concerns i might have. i got to rattle off my specific skin situation: that i have combination to oily skin with a tendency to break out. i have little dark spots from previous breakouts that kinda drive me nuts. and of course, i’m beginning to see the first signs of aging, and while i’m not trying to fight it, i know it’s important for me to up my skincare game. then we talked through what we would try and i got the luxury treatment: cleanser, my new favorite charcoal mask, the 3-step system, and an assortment of other products to compliment my new beauty routine. she explained the benefits of each product and talked about specific ingredients and addressed all of my concerns. i’ve been following my new routine every day, and will be reporting back with the results next week.

but for today, i wanted to talk about makeup! i tend to keep things pretty simple: a bit of foundation and concealer topped with a very light blush, mascara, and a swipe of liquid liner. i’m not really interested in contouring or a smoky eye, but i do love to play around with different lip colors. my consultant totally understood and let me guide the way, helping me pick a few colors from the new clinique pop lip collection to compliment my skin tone. it combines a bold, saturated color with a smoothing primer and a velvety finish. it’s moisturizing and surprisingly lightweight considering the bold pigment, which is a welcome change for me because i’d been trying increasingly dry, matte formulas that just weren’t as appealing to me anymore. pop lip still lets you wear a bright color, while still feeling totally comfortable all day long. so of course, i will now grace you with some silly photos of my new lip colors.

wow pop is a demi-matte bubble gum pink shade.

love pop is a demi-matte violet shade with little flecks of glimmer. i was surprised that this one turned out to be my favorite!

cola pop is the darkest shade. it’s considered a demi-matte nude, and comes out as a classic neutral burgundy.

grape pop is a demi-matte violet. it’s purple, but not so dark that it’s overpowering.

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brookes boswell fall 2015


as i’m sure you’ve noticed, this past summer, i’ve had a certain brookes boswell hat permanently glued to my head! i have light sensitivity, so i’ve been hopelessly dedicated to sunglasses, but the wide brim on my wakefield hat finally offered me an alternative to the eyewear that i’d been getting kinda sick of wearing all the time. i’ve worn it so much that if i had to pick my number one piece of the summer, my wakefield would be it. but as summer is drawing to a close, i’m starting to think about what i’ll wear in the cooler months ahead, so i’m pretty excited that the fall 2015 collection is out now!

















the blat: bacon lettuce avocado tomato


yesterday i had a a sudden craving for a blt with avocado. and while i know it’s just an ordinary meal, i couldn’t resist the temptation to document my sammich in all it’s glory, haha. it’s simple, it’s easy, it really doesn’t need a recipe. it’s just what i like to eat for lunch some days, even though i know i should probably skip the bacon… and i usually do. but sometimes nothing satisfies a craving like the real thing.

if you’re curious, we used dave’s killer bread, which is a favorite around our house these days. and i used earth balance mindful mayo. and one little trick is to sprinkle a tiny dash of salt and pepper on both the tomato and the avocado to really help bring out the flavor. nope, not reinventing the wheel, just making lunch on a wednesday afternoon!



tradlands summer shirts


i know a lot of people are talking about “back to school” and “pre-fall,” but out here in southern california, we’re still in the thick of summer. in fact, i’m still stocking up on summer pieces like the new women’s shirting by one of my favorite brands, tradlands. this season, design duo sadie and jeremy released a collection of short sleeved shirts in soft cotton plaids and stripes, and the most perfect white linen. along with a selection of classic button-ups that will always have a perfect place in any wardrobe.

and i know i’ve talked about this brand before, but i can’t tell you how highly i recommend them! they are hands down the best menswear-inspired button-up shirts i have ever worn. they are specifically designed with a women’s body in mind, and as a rather busty gal myself, i can attest to the perfect fit, even if you usually find yourself popping buttons on all of your tops! not only that, but each shirt is constructed using quality materials right here in the united states.

get 20% off all orders from tradlands with code “calivintagelove” now through august 24th!

photos courtesy of tradlands.