PERFECT PIECES: BLUE.

I will be sharing more about our trip to Hearst Castle and Bacara Resort later this week but had to share this favorite Red Valentino blue dress from Rent The Runway! If you are looking for a baby shower dress for a boy then you HAVE to get this dress!!

After being sick last week (and I'm still not 100%) and a short week this week, I am ready to hit the ground running and get a lot of projects done!!

I hope everyone has a great week!

xo,

PERFECT PICKS: THINGS I LOVE.

I am still recovering from being sick so my head is a little foggy but I wanted to share some things I am loving right now:

  1. Scrub Daddy. Since I got this two weeks ago I have been having soooo much fun scrubbing the pots and pans after messy mac and cheese meals! It was a phenomemon on one of my favorite shows, Shark Tank, and it is worth the hype. I am definitely going to start giving this as gifts!
  2. Emily and Merrit Duffle BagI am in desperate need for a new weekend bag and love this classic black and white one from Pottery Barn Teen-- there are some good items at PB Teen and I always check out their website for new arrivals.
  3. BonesThis has been a long-time favorite show for me and I took a little break and am now back to watching it non-stop. I have to watch it during the day because it is way too scary to watch at night, especially the recent episodes with the serial killer!!
  4. Real Simple recipes for toddlersI'm always looking for new recipes to try for our family and loved the simplicity that Real Simple always offers.
  5. I don't want to live forever song with Taylor Swift- definitely have this on repeat.Bus
  6. Busybees Kids Clothing I am a sucker for adorable kids clothing for Lillian and love this clothing line! They're also having 50% off sale right now so check it out!
  7. Arrowood Vineyards- I got three bottles of wine from my wine tasting adventure last weekend and have been loving them!! I cannot recommend this winery enough!!
  8. Heating pad- I know I always talk about this heating pad and people are like wow, that's so odd, but I seriously love my heating pad from Walgreens! I used it a lot when I was pregnant but now I use it every night since it's been so cold. I usually turn it on, take a shower, and then get in bed to a warm and cozy bed.
  9. Story time at Charlie's Corner This adorable Noe Valley book store has such an amazing story time! You have to take your little one there!
  10. Ice cream- Everyone who reads my blog knows how much I loooooove ice cream and sad news, I haven't had any in so long so once I am healthy I am going to eat a lot of ice cream!!!!!!!

 

xo,

PERFECT PARENTING: TODDLER-PROOFING.

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TGIF! Grateful that it is the weekend, especially after an eventful evening last night in our house. Our very own Little Miss Lillian locked herself in her bedroom!! And yes, Jesse had to break down the door. I felt like I was on an episode of Rescue 911 (such a classic growing up)!

Everyone is safe and there isn't too much damage to the door (thank goodness for older San Francisco homes being made with wood that over the years has gotten softer!!). The whole thing actually happened perfectly. Lillian ran into her room and closed the door, like she always does, but this time somehow managed to twist the lock on the knob. I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and went to go get her and couldn't open the door. I thought it was difficult from my slippery hands from cooking. Jesse walked in the house two minutes later from work and when he tried opening the door and couldn't I knew something was up. 

We stayed very calm because we knew her room was safe and luckily Jesse kicked down the door within five minutes! Needless to say, we will be toddler-proofing our house asap. Jesse and I make a good team and always turn stressful situations into teamwork successes! I know a lot of people think when you become a parent all of the excitement is gone from your life and I just want to let you know we have found the opposite to be true!

It reminds me of when I was growing up my parents (mostly my dad) called me Destructo Baby because I would get into everything and break everything. All I can say is that we are grateful Lillian is fine and cannot wait to see what she does as she grows up!

Have a great weekend!

xo,

PERFECT 10 SF: LIFE RECENTLY.

I have to share with everyone that I have the flu! This is the very first time that I have had the flu-- in my entire life! It's been a rough couple of days around here because before I had the flu, Lillian was sick. So we have had a lot of busy nights around here.

I haven't been sick since October when I had my sinus infection and oh boy, the flu is a beast! I have heard that it lasts over a week. I woke up Sunday feeling sick so hopefully it will pass soon. I mentioned this before, but when I was young I would just let my immune system do the fighting.

Now, I am older and much wiser and know that you have to fight these things head on!!!! I have my alternating Advil and Tylenol, decongestant, cough syrup, Airborne, fluids, soup, heating pad, cozy pillows, tea, and cough drops. The worst part of the flu is when my Advil wears off and my body starts aching like crazy!!! 

I have to so much to share about our trip to Hearst Castle and Santa Barbara and am hoping to do that this week depending on how I am feeling! Some people emailed me asking if I was taking a break from the blog and no, I am not. A lot of people I know look at their blog as a pain, something that is hard to do when they are busy. I find it the opposite- I find that it is therapeutic, especially when I am at my busiest. It's my way of meditating before or after a long day and I have actually missed writing and posting.

One thing to mention is that one of my goals for 2017 is to have a calm experience. What I mean is that in 2016 I felt like I was running from meeting to meeting, taking on a lot of personal and professional work, and constantly had a long list of to-do items. For 2017 I am wrapping up projects, cutting back on some things, and hoping to spend my time focusing on family and health. I felt in 2016 I barely had time to exercise.

We tend to think of New Year's resolutions are something you add into your life: cook more, travel more, read more, whatever more. My approach is less so that I can enjoy everything I am doing and have more balance.

Have any tips for treating the flu? Send my way, please!

xo,

PERFECT PARENTING: TODDLER TRAVEL TIPS.

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From quick weekend trips to Sonoma to longer cross-country flights, it seems like Lillian has jet-setted more in her first nineteen months than I did my first nineteen years! We have been so fortunate to travel to Sonoma, Bodega Bay, Lake Tahoe, Hawaii, New York, West Virginia, and more recently, Santa Barbara.

We feel so fortunate to have these opportunities and are grateful for the ways they allow us to learn, grow closer, and make special memories. Recently I have gotten a lot of emails and messages about how we travel so much, so I thought I would share some of our tips and tricks that we have learned along the way. And I was just in the shower thinking about this topic and I wanted to make sure I included details about what we do at home to make traveling even easier.

The challenges in traveling with a toddler range from worrying about what to pack, meal times, sleep routines, time changes, staying on schedule and balancing adventures and relaxation. Here are some of our tips.

Before I really dig into this post I want to share that we didn't travel too, too much when Lillian was under three months. Which is honestly the most ideal time to travel because babies are great at sleeping anywhere and are not quite on a routine, they're sleeping in your room, and if they're not yet eating solids meal planning is a cinch. Looking back I wish that we had taken a trip just the three of us for two to three nights. But ce la vie!

Challenge: What to Pack?

Our solution: Weekend trips have become second nature to us. You'd be hard-pressed to find a weekend in a month where we aren't leaving the city. So packing takes me two seconds. When packing you need to consider the duration, weather during the day and at night, and activities. If traveling by plane make sure you pack an extra outfit for yourself and the little one as altitude makes babies have blow-outs. I'd also suggest wearing dark clothes to avoid stains everywhere.

Pro-tip:  Get your little one their own bag or suitcase. Of course I like a monogrammed bag :) but any bag will do. Having their own designated bag that fits their clothes, sheet (we never leave home without one of Lillian's sheets), diapers and toiletries makes things easier.

Challenge: Staying on baby's sleep schedule.

Our solution. This is one that I get asked a lot. We are fortunate that Lillian is used to a schedule, mostly because of her time at daycare where she has a pretty structured day. When we travel we do our best to stay stick to the same schedule. Even to the point where we plan our day around her schedule. When we drove to Hearst Castle (more on our amazing visit tomorrow), we woke up at 4:00am to get on the road so that Lillian could sleep in the car, we could visit the Castle, and then get back in the car for her nap time as we continued down to Santa Barbara.

When we traveled to Hawaii and New York we were more flexible with her nap schedule because of the time change. We just tried to always make sure that she didn't have too many consecutive hours of wakefulness so that she wasn't overtired. We also let her stay up later than normal, especially when we were sharing a hotel room.

Pro-tip: If possible, get a suite or a bigger room that allows your little one to have their own space. When we were in New York and staying at West House it was simply AMAZING because we had a two room suite, which meant that Lillian could go to bed earlier in a dark room while we stayed up a little later in our own room. Then we would open the door right before we went to bed so we could hear her.

As for naps when we are at our location we usually wake up, go do an activity and then one of us will put Lillian down for a nap while the other goes to the gym, goes for a walk, or does some work. We find that it allows everyone to have their needs met. Usually I will stay with Lillian and take a nap or read or work while Jesse works, makes phone calls and exercises. Or he will stay with her and I will go sit by the pool or go the spa.

It's all about finding the perfect balance of being flexible and sticking to a schedule. We don't use the clock as much when we are traveling but rather look at how Lillian is doing and decide if she needs to nap.

Pro-tip: Always call the hotel in advance to reserve a crib. At Bacara they had a crib and a toddler bed so we reserved both. Lillian slept in the crib at night and the toddler bed was like a couch for her. It was so fun seeing her play on there and have her own space. I didn't know hotels had toddler beds but it is definitely something I will request in the future!

Challenge: Managing expectations.

Our solution: This is probably the biggest challenge for new parents when taking a vacation with a baby. Some parents think that it's going to be a normal vacation where you get to do whatever you want. I've heard about some parents who feel like they didn't really get a vacation or get to do what they wanted to do or even sleep so terribly that they end up coming back feeling more exhausted and kind of bitter.

Let me tell you that our vacations are an absolute blast because we look at them as being time that we get to spend together as a family. It's not so much about the pool or adventures or the dining. Managing your expectations or your partner's expectation is one of the biggest things to ensure a great trip. We see vacations as a time to enjoy our family life in a different place. Does that make sense? 

Pro-tip: Before we had Lillian, Jesse and I would have our entire trip planned out. Now when we travel with Lillian, instead of making a day by day itinerary, we usually come up with a few things that we want to do on the trip. We have found that it makes for a better trip because we are realistic about our time and activities.

Challenge: Mealtime with babies, toddlers, children.

Our solution: This is probably our biggest obstacle when we travel. Lillian is a great eater at home but when we travel it can be hard for her to get the same quality and quantity of food. She is very well-behaved at restaurants but really can only seat for twenty minutes-- just long enough to get seated, place our orders and get our drinks. There is a little bit of craziness as we wait for our food. When it finally arrives she eats quickly and then we divide and conquer: one of us distracts her while the other eats quickly and then we swap. Most of the time we look at the menu online and decide what to eat and order right away or we try and find restaurants that are quick serve or we get a picnic and eat outside. Finding WholeFoods is our super power-- yes, when we were in New York we ate at WholeFoods for two meals (the Columbus Circle WholeFoods is soooo big and has everything.

Pro-tip: We always bring Lillian's Inglesina high chair that attaches to the table. We find that the consistency helps her a lot.

A few other tid-bits:

  • Get an early morning start- either an early flight or early departure time. That way your little one will be tired and can take their morning nap easily.
  • Bring music. Every single night since Lillian was a few months old we play a playlist for her with soothing music that also serves as a cue for bedtime. We have literally played it every time we put her to bed and it helps so much when traveling. We press play and she knows it's time for bedtime. 
  • Clean your house before you leave for your trip. It is the absolute WORST to come home to a messy house!

Safe travels!

xo,

Had to share some of our favorite adventures over the past 19 months:

PERFECT PLANS: 2017 CLEANUP.

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Happy 2017, right? This week has been so busy and although I have not been posting on here (sorry!), I have been doing a lot of things behind the scenes to be more productive for the rest of the year.

Going on vacation over the holidays gave me a refreshed perspective on time-- and how I spend it. Jumping back into the new year and hitting the ground running with exciting projects (stay tuned!!) for my blog and my Curran Creative clients was wonderful but for a minute there was a tad overwhelming. I went from having little to do poolside at Bacara to having a notepad FULL of my action items.

So what do I do when I feel overwhelmed? I smile. Yes, I smile. If I'm driving in my car, or walking to a meeting, and I start to feel overwhelmed I just force myself to smile. It instantly makes me feel better and then I laugh at myself for doing this and then I feel even better.

I wanted to share my tips for getting organized, things I like to do, and what some of my goals for 2017 organization-wise are. I have to add that growing up I was particularly organized and one of the biggest impediments to staying organized is time. Being busy with commuting, working, traveling, grad school, a relationship, friendship, life with a baby, life with a toddler, all make it difficult to stay organized.

Here are some thoughts:

  1. Smile. If you're overwhelmed and busy, just smile.
  2. Stock up. Be prepared for the month of January. Stock up on household items that you need to replenish after the holidays. The biggest time-eater for me is running to the store for last minute things- a tube of toothpaste, a roll of papertowels, etc. While I frequently do Amazon prime for household items, sometimes when the delivery is so large breaking down all of the boxes is a time-waster. So i went to Target and got EVERYTHING we needed around the house- soap, sponges, cleaners, etc. Hopefully I won't be making a last minute purchase for the rest of the month.
  3. Master your calendar. This is difficult for me and something I plan to work on in 2017. I always have last minute meetings popping up and being canceled, so it can be difficult to keep my calendar in order. I am searching for the perfect calendar app to stay organized.
  4. Being realistic about special events. One of my hardest things is being realistic about my week night time. I am VERY fortunate to be invited to events almost every night of the week. It's lovely to be invited and I have started saying I am a maybe until the night before when I will confirm. Between my schedule and Jesse's schedule it can be so hard to predict.
  5. Ask for help. One of my favorite mentors and friends told me that one of my greatest strengths is that I ask for help. Honestly, I didn't know that others find it hard to ask for help. Sit down and think about all of the things on your to-do list. Is there a friend or family member who can help? Solicit their help. If not, consider hiring a professional or student to do it for you. Jesse has taught me that spending my time on valuable things is the most important thing.
  6. Hook up your printer. Okay, this is a metaphor for others but definitely true for me. What is holding you back from doing a lot of those things on your to-do list? We unplugged our printer over the holidays to make way for holiday decorations and I had so many things that I needed to print in order to cross things off of my to-do list. Once I set the printer back up I was back in business: return labels printed, preschool applications printed and submitted, and other paperwork was done! It made me feel so productive and be able to tackle other things on my list.
  7. Clean out your inbox. Ha, you'd be surprised to know that I haven't been posting here because I have been spending my chunks of time unsubscribing to annoying email newsletters. After the holidays my inbox was FULL every morning with emails from brands. Cleaning it out each morning is a waste of time. It made a lot more sense to spend 30 minutes going through and unsubscribing so that I could wake up with a leaner inbox. Goodbye spam!
  8. Take on that big project.  Oh vey, if there is one thing that I have been avoiding the last couple of months it has been organizing my photos! That is on my to-do list for January. I have thousands of photos and I need to go through and organize them one Saturday for two hours. Find out what the one big project is for you and get to it!

Happy Cleaning!

xo,

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PERFECT PARTY PAJAMAS: ROBERTA ROLLER RABBIT.

Happy 2017!! Geeze, I will never forget when it was 1994 and I was writing on my homework 1994 and I thought, wow, I will never get used to writing this!

And yet, here we are! After a simply wonderful 2016 (you can see my previous post about some of the highlights) we are ready for a fabulous 2017. I absolutely loved seeing everyone share their favorite memories, best nine, and hopes for the new year.

Since returning from our amazing vacation to Santa Barbara, which I will share more on later this week, we have been practically living in our pajamas. We absolutely adore our new Roberta Roller Rabbit matching heart pajamas (mine can be found here and Lillian's can be found here). We've enjoyed spending so much time as a family just the three of us, especially since 2016 was so busy and because 2017 is looking just as busy!

We had a lovely relaxing New Year's Eve at home in our pajamas, let Lillian stay up and late and then we had a little champagne. It was the perfect celebration. I was thinking about it today as I was cleaning that it is so funny and ironic that most people start out their year feeling like garbage from the night before. We prefer to start our year off by getting up and seizing the day!

We've spent some time cleaning and organizing our home. My New Year's resolution this year is to focus on our home and really building a place for our friends and family to be welcomed. My goal is to host Christmas 2017!! Hopefully that happens!

I also suggested to Jesse that we should come up with 12 things we want to achieve; one each month. Like hiking 20 miles in a month, reconnecting with old friends, eating all weekend meals in, taking a class. I guess we will have to come up with each one as we go along throughout the year!

For January we are focusing on meal planning. Too often we find ourselves running to Whole Foods to get something quick because we each have had such long days. We are going to try new recipes, prep in advance and come up with better systems! We are so excited! I am going to use Real Simple for my recipe ideas!

One thing that's for sure: we are going to be spending a lot of time in our cozy pajamas! I think I might just have to get this pair of pajamas from Roberta Roller Rabbit for Jesse!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2017! I wanted to say thank you again for following along!

It means so much to me!

xo,

PERFECT POSTS: FAVORITE OF 2016!

What a wonderful year 2016 has been! We are savoring the last few hours of it before a big New Year's Eve celebration, in our pajamas of course!

Highlights of the year include, but not limited to:

One // Launching the Business of Blogging section on my blog--> first post here; entire collection here.

Three // Celebrating my favorite holiday with my two Valentines!! <3 See the full post here!

Four // Announcing the news that someone in my family was expecting! It was Caitlin and we are so happy to have welcomed Augustine into our lives! Read the full post here!

Five // Meeting Ayesha Curry was on my list of goals for the year and I am so happy I was able to meet her! Read the full post here!

Six // Our weekend memories with Lillian are our favorite. Like when we went to Sonoma Train Town. See the full post here!

Seven // Celebrating Lillian's 1st Birthday was a highlight of our year!!! I love looking back at the photos! And I love how we captured her each month in these photos!

Nine // Love our adorable pajama parties!! See the full post here!

Ten // Family moments spent in Sonoma. See the full post here!

 

A special highlight of the year was our trip to New York visiting the Eloise Suite at the Plaza, of course! 

I also had a blast traveling to Sonoma, Napa, and Santa Barbara! More on those in my travel roundup later!

Thank you for following along on all of our adventures during this incredible year. I am so excited to see what 2017 has in store!

xo,