PERFECT PERSON: MY NEPHEW.

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Happy Holidays from my nephew Augustine Patrick Curran Kavanagh! It feels so weird to type "my nephew" still since we are used to having so many girls in our family.

You can read my previous post about Augustine's arrival here.

We are looking forward to a great holiday season with this guy. Lillian loves playing with him, and by playing with him I mean saying "baby! baby! baby!"

Happy holidays to all!

xo,

caroline-curran

PERFECT PLACE: WHITE HOUSE NAPA INN.

I am delighted to share photos from our recent visit to White House Inn Napa Valley! This past weekend Jesse was traveling for work so we decided to get out of town for a girls weekend and enjoy our wine country backyard. While we usually spend our time in Sonoma (see previous post about Chateau St. Jean here, Cornerstone here and country living here).

I've been to Napa over the years for bachelorette parties, day trips, and wine tasting but always stay at a friend's house or rental so I really was not too familiar with any hotels in Napa. After a quick search I luckily discovered the White House-- I mean, what's not to fall in love with when you see it's beautiful exterior! Looking through the website the close proximity to downtown Napa, classic yet playful design, and beautiful pool made me instantly intrigued.

Our stay was even more fun than I could have imagined. We stayed in Room #7 and had great views on the balcony. The rooms are beautifully appointed, spacious and have everything you need for a comfortable stay: bottled water, Apple tv (perfect for watching Shark Tank and Modern Family), iPads with preloaded apps of activities and restaurants, bluetooth speakers, and extremely comfortable beds!

The best part about our stay was that it felt like we had the place to ourselves. Traveling with a toddler you are up earlier and to bed earlier so you don't really cross paths with people who are out wine tasting. Lillian enjoyed climbing the stairs, hanging out in the lounge, and having the delicious breakfast. She was raving about the oatmeal! She reminded me so much of how Eloise acts at the Plaza (read about our visit to the Eloise Suite at the Plaza here).

The Inn really is the perfect getaway and we cannot wait to return in the summer when the weather is warmer. Although the pool was too cold to go in, I enjoyed lounging by the pool and going for a relaxing dip in the hot tub. Next time we will definitely do the Lark Hotels Instagram scavenger hunt!

I loved the interiors and was pleasantly surprised to discover that the White House is part of the Lark Hotels group. All of their hotels are so gorgeous and I hope to visit 76 Main on Nantucket (and read all of the Elin Hildebrand books again), Gilded in Newport, Rhode Island and visit The Breakers and Newport mansions, and Summercamp in Martha's Vineyard. More realistic is a visit to nearby Mendocino to the Blue Door Group.

Learn more about White House Inn Napa Valley and all of the beautiful hotels in the Lark Hotels group here.

Happy travels!

xo,

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A special thank you to White House Inn Napa for hosting us for our girls weekend.

PERFECT PIECES: J.CREW COATS.

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A lot of people ask me what is an item that I can't live without. Without hesitating I respond a good wool J.Crew coat. They are functional, durable, and add that finishing touch to your look. They are also especially timeless. My trick is to always buy them this time of year when there are great sales or in the New Year when there are a lot of after Christmas sales and spring items are arriving in stores.

While you might be tempted to get a camel, grey or black coat, I can't suggest a more colorful choice. It adds vibrancy to your wardrobe and is eye catching. Here, here, here, and here are some of my previous outfits with J.Crew coats.

Here are some of my favorite coats from J.Crew.

xo,

PERFECT PARTY: AS QUOTED.

This morning Lillian and I had the special privilege of joining my best friends Andie, Lori and her niece Samantha at As Quoted's holiday cookie decorating party! As Quoted is always busy and booming, especially on a Saturday (hard to believe this photo from when they were under construction in my previous post)! Now couples, families, neighbors line up for their delicious food, work in the back, laugh at the communal table, and sit outside on the sidewalk tables.

Lillian had a blast and it was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season. I also learned that Lillian loves marshmallows and probably ate two dozen!!

Check out As Quoted today! We decorated gluten free gingerbread cookies. Here is a recipe I found online for #gfcookies if you want to make them at home!

xo,

Ingredients

Cookies

3 cups Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour 

3/4 cup Brown Sugar packed

1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon 

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger 

3/4 tsp Baking Soda 

1/2 tsp Ground Cloves 

1/2 tsp Salt 

3/4 cup Butter softened slightly

3/4 cup Unsulphured Molasses 

2 Tbsp Milk 

Royal Icing

1 large Egg White 

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract 

2 cups Powdered Sugar 

  Food Coloring if desired

Instructions

1.    In a food processor or mixer with the paddle attachment combine Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, brown sugar, spices and salt. Add the butter and pulse or mix until the mixture resembles sand.

2.    With the processor or mixer running, add the molasses and milk until the dough is evenly moistened. Remove the dough, wrap tightly in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

3.    After chilling, remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into two sections. Keep one piece chilled while working with the other. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/8-inch thickness, carefully removing and replacing the parchment paper as needed to reduce sticking. Cut the dough into desired shapes but leave the cookies on the parchment paper. Return the rolled and cut dough to the refrigerator to set up while repeating step 3 with the second pieces of dough.

4.    After both pieces of dough have been rolled, cut and chilled, carefully remove the cutout cookies from the parchment sheets using a flat spatula and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. The scraps of dough can be rerolled and chilled for more cookies.

5.    Bake the cookies in the preheated oven until the centers are firm, about 15 – 20 minutes, rotating the sheets about half-way through the baking time. Let cool completely before decorating.

6.    While the cookies are cooling, prepare the royal icing. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the egg white and vanilla extract until frothy. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix on low until shiny (add any food coloring as desired at this time). Increase the mixer to high and beat until stiff and glossy, about 5 – 7 minutes. Decorate cooled cookies as desired.

 

PERFECT PICKS: LUV.IT

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Last week I went to Indian Springs Resort with my sister Colleen (you can read the full post here) and I brought my new beach tote from The Little Market with me. I just got this bag on the Luv.it app for a trip we are taking after Christmas but it's so cute and spacious (someone even stopped me when I was stark naked in the locker room to ask me where it was from-- yes, it's that cute!) that I couldn't resist using it.

While The Little Market has been around for a while I had never really looked at their pieces until I saw them on my new favorite fashion app Luv.It (read my previous post about Luv.It here). The Little Market is an online fair trade shop founded by Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla where customers can purchase beautiful products handmade by artisans around the world. They provide design insights, helping our partners to showcase their traditional skills and cultural techniques to a broader audience. They practice fair trade principles, and every purchase from The Little Market generates meaningful income for the artisans and their families.

Once I discovered The Little Market on Luv.It I was so inspired!! Luv.it has been my favorite app recently because like this tote, I have made so many great purchases from designers that are new to me.

Luv.it is the perfect app for when you're standing in all of those holiday lines getting coffee, at the post office, or Walgreens. With LuvIt you can create a style network, shop and discover trending brands, and collect cash back on every purchase.

Luv.it is also great for people who shop a lot-- it gives you cash back every time you buy a product and every time you inspire someone else to shop. Yes. You earn real money when someone on your network buys a product you Luv'd or shared!! How great is that?! 

Download the Luv.it app for yourself and join me in discovering great designers and companies! Make sure you follow me @CarolineMCurran to see all of the pieces I luv!

xo,

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Thank you to Luv.it for partnering on this post.

PERFECT PIECES: RED VALENTINO.

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I've been wearing a lot of Red Valentino dresses and I absolutely love them because they are the perfect combination of classic and playful. Below are some of my favorite Red Valentino dresses for the holidays! Take any of the dress below and add tights and a red lip and you are good to go!

xo,

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PERFECT PROUST.

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On Thanksgiving my family had an amazing time eating and drinking and after dinner my sister's mother-in-law pulled out the Proust Questionnaire from Vanity Fair so that we could all reflect and share. Even though we spend so much time together and have close relationships, it was really fun to answer these questions. We were all laughing and having a blast.

I spend a lot of time reflecting so it was easy for me to answer most of the questions quickly. The ones that are hard for me are the ones about what you deplore. Sharing these so that you reflect! Feel free to email me your answers or any questions you have about my answers!


The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Just being with my family on a warm Sonoma day and sitting by a pool reading a good book.

What is your greatest fear? An untimely death of anyone in my family.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Can't think of one.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Negativity.

Which living person do you most admire? My husband.

What is your greatest extravagance? Getting my hair done.

What is your current state of mind? Happy!

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Preparedness.

On what occasion do you lie? When two friends tell me something about themselves and then the other one asks about the other one.

What do you most dislike about your appearance? The right tooth on the bottom that is slanted.

Which living person do you most despise? Trump.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Thoughtfulness.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Thoughtfulness.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? "You know what I mean?"

What or who is the greatest love of your life? Jesse and/or ice cream. And Lillian, but that's a different type of love.

When and where were you happiest? Always happy when in Sonoma.

Which talent would you most like to have? Singing!!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? That I was better at graphic design, interior design, painting.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? A 100% natural birth with Lillian.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? The Queen.

Where would you most like to live? Sonoma, of course.

What is your most treasured possession? Murray! My baby blanket that I still sleep with every night and never leave home without.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? The passing of a family member or best friend.

What is your favorite occupation? Creator. Mother. Writer.

What is your most marked characteristic? That I will have a conversation with anyone.

What do you most value in your friends? Positivity and a sense of fun.

Who are your favorite writers? Elin Hildenbrand.

Who is your hero of fiction? Harry Potter and Hermione Granger.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? Serena van der Woodsen. jk.

Who are your heroes in real life? Women who take risks.

What are your favorite names? Lillian, Audrey, Charlie, William

What is it that you most dislike? Complaining, negativity, hurtfulness

What is your greatest regret? Talking my orthodontist out of getting bottom braces.

How would you like to die? Very, very old in my bed with loved ones around.

What is your motto? Don't f*ck with me! This had everyone in stitches when I shared at the dinner table!

xo,

 

 

PERFECT 10 SF: WEEKEND UPDATE.

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a nice long weekend! We had an absolute blast-- you can always tell when I am having fun because I take less photos! Here are some snaps from the weekend. We ran in a Turkey Trot on Thursday before having dinner at my sister Caitlin's house with the whole gang. We headed up to Sonoma for a bit and spent time with Jesse's parents. We then spent some time outdoors and cleaning, working and relaxing.

I am in the holiday spirit and have already done most of our Christmas shopping!! Looking forward to a great week ahead! Hopefully we will get our Christmas tree this week! We have been looking to move and are keeping our eyes and ears out. If we find the right spot then we will move, if not we will just sit tight! So many fun things happening this holiday season and I can't wait to celebrate with Jesse, Lillian and our families.

xo,

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Have fun shopping the best Cyber Monday sales!

Favorites from J.Crew 40% off