poolside office with hp spectre


nope, not on vacation, but doing the next best thing. hanging out at my mid century poolside office on a lazy hazy summer day! over the past several weeks, i’ve partnered with my friends at hp to share a bit about the new spectre laptop (see my first and second post). and today, i’m rounding things out and looking back at how it’s helped me to get inspired, and dive back in to blogging full time. as a mother to two small children, it’s really important for me to be as flexible as possible with my schedule. i don’t work the traditional 9 to 5, so having a super lightweight laptop that packs a powerful punch has become my secret weapon for getting work done. i had previously thought that i would need to be tethered to my desktop computer in order to upload and edit all of my photos. these tasks take up a huge amount of memory and require fast processing if you don’t want your computer to slow to a snails pace. but thankfully, with 9 hours of battery life, up to 512GB of PCIe-based SSD storage, a 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i Processor, and up 8GB of memory, my laptop can do all the heavy lifting even when i’m sipping iced coffee by the pool.

once i realized that i had all of this capability right at my fingertips, i was feeling inspired and really hit the ground running. i set up a super lightweight at-home workspace with a standing desk so that i could quickly and easily stop by to answer emails, edit photos, and keep on top of my social feeds, while still having the flexibility of switching gears when i need to pick adam up from school or take edie on an afternoon stroll. the space turned out to be really beautiful and inviting, and just having some fun setting things up was really what i needed to get into the right creative headspace for blogging. and of course, the spectre fits in perfectly with the decor. the simple hinge design was inspired by high-end furniture details, and it’s crafted with carbon fiber and aluminum for a luxurious finish.

but just as important as it is for me to have a beautiful and functional workspace inside the home, sometimes it’s good to get outside to clear your head. adam has been having fun learning to swim this summer, so i’ve gotten into the habit of setting up my laptop poolside while he takes his lessons. it’s a nice change of pace, and it really helps me to get the creative juices flowing, especially when i can take short breaks to play with the kids or swim a few laps in the pool. this shift in how i approach work and productivity has made a huge difference in my life, and for the first time in a long time, i’m feeling really excited about blogging. i feel like i’m rediscovering my creative voice and i have so much i want to continue to share. so here’s to being positive and looking forward to great things ahead!


my new workspace with hp spectre

calivintage - hp spectre standing desk

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.

calivintage - hp spectre standing desk
calivintage - hp spectre standing desk
calivintage - hp spectre standing desk
calivintage - hp spectre standing desk

new tools: the hp spectre

calivintage + hp spectre

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!

calivintage + hp spectre
calivintage + hp spectre
calivintage + hp spectre
calivintage + hp spectre

my happy place

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

you may remember a couple of months back, i teamed up with hp to share a glimpse at how i’m able to work remotely utilizing mobile technology. well, for their latest campaign, they decided to expand upon the concept and encouraged a group of bloggers to share how we work from our ultimate happy places. at the time, i’d been spending a lot of time getting sun and snapping photos at the park. when i’m feeling overwhelmed, i pack myself a little picnic and head out for a leisurely hike and a bite to eat before diving in to a busy week. it gives me a chance to clear my head and get the fresh air that i need to tackle my countless jobs, and it’s a great place to take adam so he can run free and explore nature. but not so far off the beaten track that i can’t stay connected using my hp stream 8 tablet.

they just released the video, and it’s so much fun to catch a glimpse of my own happy place among so many other varied worplaces. it’s really inspiring to see the way others work, and a good reminder to myself to turn those dreamy aspirations into a reality in my own life. if you could work from anywhere, where would you go?

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

this post was created in collaboration with hp. thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible.


outfit: outdoor inspiration

after all of the upheaval of moving into our new place over the last couple of weeks, i’m finally starting to settle back into a normal routine. there’s still tons of work left to do, but i try to make a little bit of time to work on creative projects to keep myself sane. so when hp sent me the new sprout and challenged me to create something with this new technology, i was more than ready for the opportunity to get creative. this new all-in-one computer combines a regular pc with a 3d camera, a touch mat, and a touch screen, transforming your desk’s surface into a digital-physical workspace. being the very hands-on person that i am, i was pretty excited to give it a try. so after brainstorming a bit, i decided to bring some of the outdoors in, and i headed out to my aunt’s garden to forage for natural objects to scan into the computer. you simply place on object on the touch mat, and the computer scans your image so you can start creating.

at first, i was a little overwhelmed with all of the possibilities. you can use the images to create greetings or invites, you can scan in fabric swatches to create moodboards for interior design, or you can create digital scrapbooks with photos and small objects. the possibilities are limitless, so i really had to reign myself in for my first project. but after playing around with some of the foliage, i decided to create my very own custom print for fabric! it’s something i’ve always wanted to do, but always seemed a bit too complicated before now. i just sent my pattern out to be printed using spoonflower, and should expect the fabric to arrive in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for part two of my project very soon!

the post was created in partnership with sprout! thank you for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible.

four days, four outfits


one thing i’ve noticed is that life has changed so dramatically over the past couple of years, that it’s really hard for me to get into the routine of photographing my daily outfits like i used to. i’m just so distracted by whatever i’m doing that i never seem to stop and think about taking a picture. i certainly haven’t lost interest in my personal style. in fact, getting “dressed up” every day has been an important part of my routine. it just makes me feel good about myself, and more prepared to tackle the day. but i haven’t exactly been documenting it!

so last week, i decided to bend the rules and do things a little differently. i partnered up with HP and Megan Trainor to feature the four ways you can use the HP x360, and i saw it as the perfect opportunity to take it along with me while i documented four days in my life, outfits included! instead of trying to make a big production out of getting the usual head-to-toe outfit shots, i just kept my camera by my side so that i could snap a few quick pictures of whatever i was up to.



the weather has been so ridiculously nice lately, that we’ve been taking every opportunity to head out and explore the parks and nature areas around town. my brother has been really into photography lately, so we’ve been getting together a lot to visit new places and snap a few photos. when i lived in northern california, it felt like we did this kind of thing just about every weekend, so it’s been fun to finally get into the routine here in our new home. i certainly never knew we had this cool little spot hidden in our own back yard!

wearing: gaia black shift dress from earth & beauty, elizabeth suzann raw silk tie, rachel comey mars boots, claire v. messenger tote, warby parker jasper sunglasses



my sister usually has one day off during the weekday, so we’ve made a routine out of getting together once a week to cook a meal or two. we’d been doing it so often, that it’s actually what motivated us to try our hand at food blogging. i just never thought to take a picture of myself in the kitchen!

of course, i spend an embarrassing amount of time on pinterest, which is where most of our new recipes are born. the HP x360 was a nice new companion because we could convert it to tablet or display mode while we browsed around the web looking for new ideas.

wearing: cardigan new york marc sweatshirt dress





i tend to get my work done in very brief intervals throughout the day, usually for a couple of hours while adam is napping. we got this really cool coffee table that converts to a desk so that i can set up my laptop to answer emails and work on blog posts whenever the opportunity arises. it was a ridiculously sunny day, so i was actually quite happy to perch myself at the couch with my new HP x360 in tablet mode to get some work done. i am terrible at typing on a tablet or phone, so it’s nice that the 360 has a keyboard so i can get through emails more quickly. later on, i may or may not have cheated a little and switched it to tent mode to catch up on new episodes of broad city

wearing: apiece apart crop top, lauren moffatt jumpsuit, swedish hasbeens braided high in natural




i don’t get out as nearly much as i used to, but luck had it that i was able to get away for a quick daytime date with brendan. so of course, i used it as an opportunity to throw on this silly vintage dress i picked up at the antique mall downtown. it’s a little different than what i normally wear, but it was fun to try out for afternoon drinks.

wearing: vintage dress, warby parker jasper sunglasses, swedish hasbeens peep toe high in black


this february and march, HP is going on the road with Meghan Trainor to cover her u.s. tour in a new documentary series, “all about that tour,” giving you a glimpse behind-the-scenes as they travel from vancouver to nashville with some of their favorite Meghan Trainor fans from her lips are movin’ video to help bring the tour to life—check it out here!

this post was created in partnership with HP. thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible!

outfit: wherever i wander

Over the weekend, I decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm California winter weather by borrowing my dad’s vintage Alfa Romeo for a little spin. I should preface this by saying that I don’t have a ton of leisure time because when I’m not busy with Adam during the week, I’m cramming in as much work as possible into the weekends. My Saturday mornings are most often spent tethered to my computer for hours on end, editing photos, writing blog posts, answering emails, and working on freelance gigs. I count myself as lucky because I’m able to do what I love, but I certainly wouldn’t mind a little more fresh air once in a while. So of course, when HP & Intel asked if I’d like try out the new HP Stream 8 Tablet with Intel Inside®, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get out of the house and into the world again.

I have to admit that before now, I hadn’t gotten on the tablet bandwagon before. Call me old-fashioned, but I usually get all of my work done on a regular desktop computer. So I might have been a little more excited than the average person to discover all of the features you can get on these things. HP Stream is a new kind of tablet with Intel Inside®, and one of the more intriguing features is that all of the HP Stream products include a free 4G data plan for life. They also include Office 365 (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Access) along with 1TB of free cloud storage for one year. Did I mention that the tablets run on the Windows operating system? They essentially operate like a mini desktop computer with Intel Inside® for lightning fast performance. Clearly I am behind on the times because I did not know that mobile technology had come this far.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a lot of fun zipping around town in my dad’s car, toting around my tablet and setting up my own little workspace wherever I wander. I’ve been going off on vintage shopping excursions, scouting new photo shoot locations, and just getting out of the house and getting inspired. I’m still working, but now I’m free to work from my happy place.

This post was written in collaboration with HP & Intel. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible!