How to Get Free Tickets to the California College of the Arts Graduation Fashion Show!

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Photos by Stevan Nordstrom

It’s one of my favorite times of year. Not only did some amazing cruise fashion presentations happen in far-flung locales around the world, but here at home in San Francisco, the senior fashion students are putting on their graduate fashion shows. They’re always a ton of fun, and not what you might imagine when you picture a “student” fashion show. We have serious talent in this city, and some of the best will be on display this Friday when the California College of the Arts Fashion Design Program sends their hard work down the runway.

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The CCA campus at 1118 8th Street will become a full-blown runway tomorrow night, and as you can see from these photos taken at previous years’ shows, you won’t want to miss it. You can support the school by purchasing a ticket to attend the event for $40, or $100 for VIP entry, which includes wine and hors d’oeuvres at our a pre-show party from 6:30-7:45. Show starts at 8pm!

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Or, you can win free entry by commenting on this post! Just say hi, or tell me your favorite color, or if you’re feeling creative I really like poems. I will announce the randomly selected lucky winner tomorrow morning! I hope to see you there!

Acceptance, Hope, and a New Closet

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So this list of the seven phases of grief has turned out to be pretty spot on for me when it came to mourning the loss of my closet. Steps 1: shock and denial—yep that happened. Pain and guilt? Yes. Especially the guilt about feeling the pain. Anger, bargaining and depression—less important but, excluding anger, they may have had a place in my emotional landscape for a minute.

Backstory: We welcomed a new family member into our home, and my former closet and office became his room. That meant I had to move an entire room-full of belongings—including my motherlode of beauty products because that room has a sink and vanity area (!)—into the corner of mine and my husband’s bedroom. It started out as a fun challenge, morphed into a monster task I never thought I’d finish, and now is an accomplishment I will probably brag about for months to come or forever.

Wallpaper courtesy of NousDecor and Mark Cutler

Wallpaper courtesy of NousDecor and Mark Cutler

After the brief depression I quickly moved on to “the upward turn,” taking pleasure in the fun wallpaper we installed for The Teen.

Clothing rack by Danny Montoya

Clothing rack by Danny Montoya

Then came the “reconstruction and working through” phase. There was construction: My friend Danny Montoya, a brilliant carpenter, built me a clothing rack with awesome, sturdy redwood feet and a gold bar. LOVE the gold bar! It so suits my ’70s obsession. Check out Danny’s latest project, The Butterfly Joint, a program for little kids to learn woodworking. He and his wife RedTri SF editor Erin raised $53k through Fundable to launch the program. They have secured a space in San Francisco, which Danny has been working hard on building out, and they tell me they’re about ready to announce an opening date. Stay tuned!

There was also a lot of construction in the form of Ikea furniture assembly. I hope my handsome clothing rack doesn’t mind hanging out with the hoi polloi, but they seem to be playing nice together so far.

This is an Ikea "laptop table" that I spray-painted gold.

This is an Ikea “laptop table” that I spray-painted gold.

And now I find myself firmly in the “acceptance and hope” stage. I have to say it’s great to have all of my clothing, bags, jewelry, makeup and toiletries all in my bedroom. Everything feels very convenient and I can keep track of what I own much better than before. The fact that our bedroom is on the top floor near the front door is also a bonus since I always ALWAYS forget something and have to run back—with my old setup that meant running down and back up a flight of stairs.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the move is that I am enjoying sharing space with my husband again. It’s close quarters, but in a nice way. I see him more, we talk more, and it’s like we’re more of a unit than before when I had my own domain—the “doll house” as he liked to call it.

The home office and former man cave

The home office and former man cave

We also now share the downstairs as a joint home office, so that brings us together more often than the previous configuration.

I’m still not finished. Although a visit from Tend.com’s video squad (video coming soon) forced me to get everything 90 percent in place, I still have a few boxes in the garage that must be dealt with if I ever want to park my car in there again. Also, Frida’s two closets are filled with clothing I intend to sell. I will have to address that sitution at some point before she becomes a teenager like our new family member.

I also got the living and dining rooms in order for the video shoot.

I also got the living and dining rooms in order for the video shoot.

Have you ever had to downsize? How did you make it work? I would love to hear, please share your stories below!

A Backyard Pirate Ship

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Our neighbors two doors down asked if we had seen the boat yet. Not in the ocean, which is just a few blocks away, but in the neighbors’ backyard oba dare (That’s how Frida says “over there.”) We had to tramp through some pretty high grass and, I suspect, some poison sumac. But our short hike led to a pirate ship, complete with a mast and sails, a ship’s wheel, and a bin of clothes for dressing up like pirates! Ahoy mateys!

Frida was in heaven, even though she fell off the ladder trying to get down out of the boat (I feyl off boat! I feyl off boat! Was her refrain the rest of the evening.). Two little boys came tearing out of the neighbor’s house, followed by their sweet mom, who invited us to come play on the boat anytime.

As you can see, I was wearing an unconventional outfit. I grabbed this blazer on the way out of the house because there was a little chill in the air. And I don’t usually hike in my Freda Salvador booties, but sometimes when a toddler is involved, you have to favor speed over appropriateness. Anyway, slightly inappropriate is better than bland, right? Arrr!

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Get Beautiful and Raise Money for Clean Water

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You know water is a critical issue in San Francisco and all of California, and will be for the foreseeable future. And it’s Earth month, so Aveda is doing its part by hosting a ‘Cut-A-Thon’ to benefit the Clean Water Fund at its salons around the world. In San Francisco, tomorrow, April 14, head to Cinta Aveda Institute (305 Kearny), where 100% of proceeds from all services will be donated towards Aveda San Francisco’s local clean water partner, Clean Water Fund.

Whether you need a haircut, blow dry, color, facial, or wax, all of the money will go towards clean water.

Last year’s Cut-A-Thon at CAI San Francisco, raised $18,000. This year they’re hoping for $20,000 this year. Help them out, won’t you? The prices are pretty amazing, check out the menu below:
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Closet Elimination Project Steps 4-5: The Joy of Custom Wallpaper

With the first three phases of grief behind me, I’ve moving on to the step four of seven: depression, reflection, and lonliness. I am a bit depressed, mostly because every morning when I wake up I’m staring at a giant pile of my clothes, shoes and bathroom “necessities” that I’ve been putting off organizing for a week. Reflection? I am reflecting on how much clothing and makeup I purged—several large garbage bags worth—and how I still have piles with no home. Lonely? I do feel that ironic loneliness that happens when you’re surrounded by so much, but still feeling alone this world. And I am indeed alone in my responsibility to get it all in order.

But let’s take a baby step towards step number five, “the upward turn,” by celebrating the amazing custom wallpaper we’ve installed in The Teen’s room. Truth be told I didn’t lift a finger to install it. The kind folks at NousDecor recruited celebrity interior designer Mark Cutler (he did JLo’s house!) to design a wallpaper featuring all of our boy’s favorite things, plus a design for the rest of the room! Read more about it here.

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I’m focusing for now on the wallpaper because 1. It’s the coolest thing in the room, 2. The Teen called it “sick” when he saw it for the first time, which cool/young people in my life tell me is a positive review, and 3. We still have a little work to do on the rest of the room.

But stay tuned, because I have a deadline. Tend.com is filming our home at the end of this month, so both my room and The Teen’s must be ready by then! This is a good thing, because otherwise things may continue as is, with my bags of bags (Yes I have several bags that contain nothing but other bags. At least they are together with their kind) piled atop bags of shoes which are wedged in between my bags of beauty products.

Toddler Poop Is the Worst Poop

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At 2.5, there is some real incentive to get your toddler potty trained. I don’t think I need to go into any more detail than I already have in the headline. Unfortunately, the incentive is typically felt mainly by the parents, and toddlers will continue on pooping in their diapers until you instigate some serious change.

Meanwhile, I apparently got a little too aggressive with our previous diaper pail and busted it. So when Munchkin got in touch to collaborate on a post about the Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail, I was all in.

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I found these stickers at the dollar store (bonus: they are made in the U.S.A. of eco-friendly materials—even the dollar stores are getting green!), and thought they’d be a fun way to help Frida personalize her new diaper pail.

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We were literally saying cheese in this photo. The great thing about this pail is that when you insert the dirty diaper and close the lid, a mechanism twists the bag to seal it off and mitigate any stinky odor. It also has a refillable Arm & Hammer Baking Soda capsule for that same purpose. Thank goodness because we need all the help we can get!

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Frida could care less about her stinky poop, she just wants to dance.

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She wanted to investigate the inner workings of the pail, but luckily that door stays securely shut against curious toddlers.

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Our finished work of art :) This pail is a life saver at the moment, but I do have to admit that I hope we won’t need to use it too much longer!!

This post was sponsored by Munchkin.

Use White, Not Brown Eggs for Easter Coloring and Other DIY Lessons

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I was so excited to color Easter Eggs this year, because Frida kind of got what was going on (though her coordination when it comes to using dye needs some work), plus we’ve been spending weekends with her older brother Joel, and I figured it was something fun we could all do together.

I stocked up on dye last year, but only had a basic kit, nothing fancy. So I hit the internets for some DIY ideas and found this tutorial on using flowers and plants to make designs on the eggs. We headed outside and collected flowers, clover, rosemary and random weeds from our backyard.

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The next step was the most laborious: cutting a nylon into pieces and fastening it around the foliage and egg. I used those teeny, clear hair fasteners you can buy at the drug store. At this point the kids lost interest. Too complicated! But I persevered and dunked each one in dye.

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They looked kind of pretty—before I removed the hosiery.

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When I removed it, I learned a lesson that you probably already knew: egg-dying doesn’t really work with brown eggs. Alas! So, I went to the store, bought some white eggs and boiled them up.

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This time we used crayons to color on the eggs (if you do it when they’re still pretty warm, the crayon melts onto them) and then dunked them. I used the nylon method for a few, just to see if it would work better with white eggs.

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Things got a little messy but who would be surprised by that??

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The results may not be the stunning designs of my dreams, but I wouldn’t call them unappealing. I wonder if the dye lost some of its effectiveness over the past year, because it lacked saturation even on the white eggs. Also, only the relatively thick and sturdy plants made noticeable patterns on the eggs. The others were too thin and flimsy to block the dye.

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Lessons learned:

  • Use white eggs
  • Use fresh dye
  • Use sturdy plants/flowers
  • Egg-coloring is fun even if the results are not Martha Stewart worthy

Let’s eat some chocolate! HAPPY EASTER!

I Finally Found the Perfect Curling Iron

Hair by Barbara at Barrow Salon in SF

Hair by Barbara at Barrow Salon in SF

I’ve talked a lot here on the blog about how I do my hair, and I’ve talked about it elsewhere. I used to wash my hair pretty often, because I dance a lot and get sweaty. But over the past two years, my hair-washing frequency has significantly decreased, which likely has a lot to do with the small human in my life.

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That would be her! That means my previous technique of letting my hair dry in twists to create a beachy wave now has its limits. After a few days, the curls gets a bit frizzy and flattened and needs some attention. So I’ve taken to using a curling iron to clean things up, but I’ve never found one that creates a shape that I’m in love with. Until now! Barbara Thompson at Barrow Salon introduced me to the Hot Tools 1.25-inch curling iron, and I’m finally happy with my dirty, iron-curled hair. Previous irons were too big, too small or weirdly tapered (I still dont get the point of those). Also, they didn’t get hot enough. This one solves all of that, it’s pretty, and it only costs $40 (on sale on Amazon now). It’s less expensive because it’s not made of fancy ceramic or tourmaline, which the experts say is healthier for your hair. But I haven’t experienced any damage, yet. Just be careful not to burn off your hair like this poor girl.

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What’s in Your Bag for Spring Break?

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I’ve collaborated on a video with Glam to talk about a topic near and dear to my heart: spring break. The truth this year mine will be spent welcoming a new member of our family in to our home and my vacation will likely come in July, when I’ll finally pack up this cute BluKicks bag with my favorite Mara Hoffman kaftan and a few other essentials and lounge for hours on the warm sand.

Watching the video made me realize some serious sunscreen would also be vital, like Maria emphasized in her segment, and a giant hat like Nkechi mentions. Both of them and the Glam crew were so much fun on set, can’t wait to do it again! What are your essentials for spring break?

One Reason for Wearing a New White Shirt to Play With a Toddler

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Photos by Kourosh Karimkhany

We’ve had a lot of house guests recently, one of which will soon become permanent. My office/closet is the default guest room, so when someone is visiting, I have to grab everything I’ll need out of there for the length of their visit. I always, always forget something (of course I do), and end up sneaking back into the room for underwear or deodorant or whatever. On this particular day, we were trying to get out the door for a walk and I realized I had no shirts available, except for this Tommy Hilfiger one I had just bought at Nordstrom (on sale!). I threw it on even though it was pristine white and we were heading to the park with Frida. File it under reasons why a mom might wear a crisp white button down to the park with her toddler. I’m happy to report it survived the trip shockingly dirt-free.

It’s all good incentive to get started on the massive reorganization in my near future. It’ll be much easier when everything is in one place. Danny of Key & Kite Woodworking is building me a clothing rack that I’m pretty excited about, and I have some Ikea visits that I’m much less excited about in my future!

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Wearing: White shirt by Tommy Hilfiger, similar here,The Stevie Jeans by Goldsign, Stella McCartney for Adidas shoes, similar here, Ralph Lauren sunglasses, similar here.