PERFECT PARTY: FAIRMONT GARDEN PARTY.

Good Morning, Critters!

Last night I had the special opportunity to attend the Fairmont's Garden Party to introduce their new regional director, their locally brewed honey beer with bees harvested on their property, and to reveal their new signature scent 1907 with my sister Claire and we had an absolute blast! It was a win-win-win for everyone: this mom got a night out on the town (and I was home by 8:45), Jesse had dinner with friends, and Lillian got to spend some quality time with my parents. 

I will be sharing more pictures from the event soon (you can see the tea party I attended at the Fairmont here to preview the Oscar de la Renta collection with André Leon Talle here). Everyone who works at the Fairmont is so lovely and I cannot wait to come back! 

As much as I love wearing my Pixie Pants, it was really fun to dress up and wear a dress and heels. For my entire life I have always loved getting dressed up. Pregnancy and post-partum experiences made me pretty conservative with my style and I would just throw on pants and a collared shirt. I am looking forward to lots of dresses and shorts this summer. I also want to throw in some patterns because I always go for solid colors.

Looking forward to a great weekend! Lots of love! Don't forget to stop and smell the roses!

xo,

 

 

PERFECT PLAYDATE.

Good Morning, Critters!

Yesterday Lillian and I went to one of our favorite places, the Legion of Honor to walk around, see the new exhibits and of course, check out Monet's Water Lilies. You can see some photos from another one of our visits here-- still love how adorable she looks in these photos. 

I would love to hear where other parents like to take their kids for adventures. On our list we have the Bay Area Discovery Museum and the Academy of Sciences. We get most of Lillian's clothes at Dottie DooLittle, Gap, and Janie and Jack. I'm not the type of person to spend a lot of time searching for hidden gems of baby clothes on the internet. I know some moms who spend hours going through Etsy, Instagram, and other websites to find unique pieces and I love that but I usually head to Burlingame Avenue and shop the sale section!

There are so many great summer sales happening now that it is a great time to purchase some staples like white onesies, which is basically Lillian's uniform. She'll also wear a cream onesie if we're feeling like we need a little change ;) 

We are looking forward to a great weekend with lots of sun and swimming!

xo,

 

 

PERFECT POSHAHOOLIE.

Good Morning, Critters!

I am delighted to introduce you to a newly discovered female-owned company, Poshahoolie! I stumbled upon their playful Instagram account and love them! I connected with the owner Kristi and was delighted to learn more about her newly launched company.

I love the name Poshahoolie and had to ask about it! Kristi said that means to add posh to a party. Hoolie is an Irish slang word for party. How fun is that?! This Irish girl absolutely loves that! Kristi came up with the idea when she was planning her own daughter's 1st birthday (read my posts on my planning here and Lillian's 1st birthday here). 

Be sure to check out Poshahoolie and consider them for your next birthday party!

xo,

PERFECT PLANS: WEEKEND RECAP.

Good Morning Critters! 

(If you don't get the reference you can read the explanation here)

This weekend was really one for the books! And I am not just saying that. I realized after writing this post and reflecting over the weekend, that I really don't give Jesse and myself enough credit for how much we travel. We love to get out and explore, especially Northern California, and while it might not be the international travel I yearn for it has provided some really incredible experiences and memories for us.

I'll keep this post short and sweet because I am honestly a little bummed from the Warriors loss last night and have a lot of things to say about it but I think the best thing to do is just keep my mouth shut and say I am looking forward to next year. But I did experience my first heart break with that loss. We are lucky to have such a great team full of talent and class.

The Fab Three headed up north to Bodega Bay on Friday night and spent Saturday morning adventuring. We headed even further north to Lake Sonoma to check it out and see if it was worth visiting again for 4th of July weekend. They have great boat rentals, hiking trails, and a family-friendly beach (that we didn't get to visit and plan on going to next time). The lake is so big that you really can't do it all in a day. Not like Tahoe big, but definitely takes a little bit more planning to see it all.

Jesse and I love taking Lillian on hikes every where we go. Our favorite hikes in the city are Lands End and Fort Funston. We love hiking at Bodega Head and Mt. Hood in Sonoma. We love our Stokke Carrier because it is lightweight but very sturdy! I highly recommend it! Jesse and I love this one because it is so easy to adjust quickly, which is great since we both use it. I know some couples who have their own carriers because of personal preference and ease. One thing I suggest for parents when hiking is to bring water, sippy cup, snacks, sunscreen, a hat, wipes and a diaper, swaddle blanket and set an alarm for every 30 minutes to remind you to reapply sunscreen to your little one! I get lost in the moment when we are out and about and I have to make a conscious effort to remember to reapply sunscreen to Lillian and constantly check on her.

Heading back from our hike at Lake Sonoma we passed a dozen wineries and decided to just pop over to Ferrari-Carrano before heading to lunch at Dry Creek General Store. Since it was a weekend of adventuring, it was a weekend of YES! Jesse saw it and said should we go there and I just said YES! We're not the type of couple to plan an itinerary down to every last detail. I know some people who plan out every single activity when they travel. They go on Pinterest, websites, ask friends for recommendations, etc. We like to have a general idea and then just see where the day takes us. This attitude has helped us stumble upon some of the most beautiful beaches, waterfalls, overlooks, and activities.

Ferrari-Carrano is absolutely gorgeous! The grounds are beautiful and they have a garden where you can stroll around. I was saying to Jesse that I felt like we were in Tuscany and I am going to start calling Healdsburg Tuscany. Everyone was so friendly and I am not kidding, there were only a handful of people at this winery which made it so nice. The gardens were beautiful and I couldn't help but think I wish I was in a beautiful summer dress and sandals with a glass of wine in my hand rather than my workout clothes!!

I fell in love with Healdsburg this weekend and cannot wait to go back. If you are looking for a weekend adventure and want great weather, wine, ambiance, and relaxation than I would suggest Healdsburg!!!! Honestly, I am sooooo in love with it here. This is how Sonoma used to be a few years ago. I could not get over how quiet Healdsburg is. I would suggest staying near wineries and then venturing into downtown Healdsburg for the day and check out the shopping, town square where all of the kids play, and of course, get ice cream at Noble Folk.

On Sunday we celebrated Father's Day with my family in Sonoma! I loved seeing all of the photos friends shared about their father's and especially husbands who are new dads! Jesse is good at everything he does so I am not surprised how incredible of a father he is. I'm glad we could celebrate him with pancakes, hikes, ice cream, laughter, and Warriors.

Follow our weekend adventures on Snapchat! @CarolineMCurran and Instagram!

Lots of Love!

xo,

PERFECT PAST: ADVICE TO MY YOUNGER SELF.

A happy 26 year old!

A happy 26 year old!

Good Morning Critters!!! Every day when I drop Lillian off at daycare I say "Gooooood morning, Critters!!!" to all of her classmates! You can take the educator out of the schools, but you can't take the Catholic school habits out of the educator. Or something like that! I want to start every post now with Good Morning Critters!!! How does that sound?

Earlier this week Claire and I were out at lunch at the Presidio Golf Club Cafe (yes, we were just there for Lillian's birthday party but it is a nice quiet spot that is off the beaten path and allows us some privacy for our business meetings. I was joking with Claire that we are basically members at the golf club) and Claire was asking me what I wish I had known when I was twenty six, her current age.

I'm not sure if this is clear by now, I think it's pretty evident, but I take my role and job as big sister to Colleen and Claire seriously. Very seriously. I know a lot of pieces talk about how special it is to have a sister, I am loving the new Vanity Fair issue all about sisters, but one thing that cannot ever be explained to others is how special the role of big sister is. And lucky me! I get to do it twice. Colleen let me practice on her and Claire helps me get it right.

It took me some time to even remember what I was doing when I was 26 so I went through the photo archives and found this photo of me from our engagement photoshoot and was instantly brought back to this time in my life: newly engaged to Jesse, working at Sacred Heart Prep, just moved in to our first apartment together, and excited and energized about what was ahead.

There are some things I felt like I did right, and that's mostly because of the guidance of mom and dad and watching Caitlin, and then there are some things that I really wish I did differently. Here are some of the things I would tell my younger 26 self. Also, I've been watching this video of Emilia Clarke over and over because she is so darling when she's not being Queen of Dragons.    

Travel as much as possible. Jesse and I were fortunate to take a few trips but definitely not as many as we would have liked. Between tight budgets, lots of weddings, busy work schedules and my grad school obligations, it was hard to make traveling frequently work. I have a feeling when it comes to travel that when you have time, you have no money. And when you have money, you have no time. I guess I always thought that traveling would happen at some point. But the truth is, our careers have only gotten busier and now with Lillian, jetting off to London is a little bit more complicated and expensive. But it makes weekend trips and family trips to Hawaii so much more enjoyable. 

Constantly challenge yourself and grow. Go to events, lectures, anything that helps you grow. Go back to school, travel, move to a new city, do anything that seems hard at first. Your 26 self is great but you don't want to be your 26 self when you are 30, 35, etc.

Know friendships will change. Friendships change so much post-college and that's great. You'll find that you gravitate towards people who are in similar situations, going through the same life stage, and who share some of your guiding principles. 

Know when to end relationships. This is something I am always working on. I feel sad when friendships sort of fizzle out and am always the one trying to rekindle a connection. But truthfully, I've learned friendships should end when the other person isn't trying or doesn't care. Also, it is so important to end relationships that are unhealthy-- for me this relates to my professional experience. There are a handful of times I wish I had left a job, transferred or done something to get out of a negative experience of working with people who were difficult, mean, and just plain horrible. There are so many jobs available now, new careers popping up, and new ways to make a living that I wish I had taken the risk of leaving jobs sooner. I always thank Lillian for being my lucky charm and setting me on a new career path.

Work with great people. Echoing what I just said. But working with great people is hands down the biggest key to success, job satisfaction, productivity, and happiness. I am so blessed to sincerely love all of the people I get to work with through Curran Creative. It makes work so enjoyable and motivates me to work harder.

Have something that is all yours. This is so important. Have something that you work on or enjoy independently. While friendships change and you start to see less of your friends, having something to do solo is key. It is something to fall back on in times of transition, happiness, and joy. For me, it has always been running, writing, and painting (actual walls, not canvases). It is especially important when you partner up with someone because it allows you to keep something that is just yours.

Buy fewer, better things. I have always purchased a mix of high and low items over the years but guess what, it's the better quality items that are still hanging in my closet-- like this pink Kate Spade dress that I still have and almost wore to Lillian's birthday party. For Lori's bachelorette party I didn't buy a single thing, I went shopping in my own closet and got so much satisfaction out of wearing things I already owned. It made me feel so proud that I know my personal style so well that something I wore years and months ago still reflects who I am.

Don't compare yourself to others. I've actually never done this but the more I talk to other women who are trying to start their own business I hear them say how they're not ready to put themselves out there and they wish they had this and that and they don't want to be criticized....blah, blah, blah. Just stop. Just stop. Who cares. Don't compare yourself to others, it get's you no where. Spend time on doing things and thinking things and dreaming things that will get you somewhere!

Learn about finances. Buying fewer, better things is great but there is more than that when it comes to adult finances. Save money, learn about the stock market (I am still trying to do this) and just learn about personal finances and business finances.

Embrace technology. Jesse has taught me that technology is a tool and you should let it work for you. Have the best tech items that make your life faster, better, more efficient.

Focus on yourself. Be the center of your world because let me tell you when you have a baby it is all about them, rightfully so. But honestly, one of the biggest reasons why I love motherhood so much is because I spent enough time focusing on myself and now I can put that energy into Lillian. Don't worry about others thinking you are selfish or self-centered, get it all out of your system before you have a baby and have to find a spare two minutes to brush your teeth and your hair.

Remain optimistic. It's easy as you get older to get more cynical but it is more important than ever to remain optimistic, positive, and actively seek moments of happiness. I try and do this every day. Some days it's harder than others but focusing on the positive helps so much.

Avoid arrogance. I never really knew how much disdain I had for arrogance until a recent conversation I had in which it was abundantly clear that this person had no idea how arrogant they were being. Arrogance + a lack of self-awareness= run as fast as you can away from the person. It was almost comical because after reconnecting with this person I realized how even more calm, secure, and happy motherhood has made me. Arrogance doesn't get you anything except some spit in your food (too gross, but I can't help but think that's what happens to arrogant people). If there is one trait I appreciate more than anything it is the perfect intersection of confidence and humility. Which is why I always have to share the great things about Jesse.

 

Did I miss anything? What would you add? Thanks for reading, Critters!

xo,

PERFECT PINEAPPLE PARTY.

Last weekend I had the special privilege of celebrating my dear friend Lori at her bachelorette party in Sonoma. Lori and I have gone to school together our entire lives- from Kindergarten to college (with a two year break when I transferred schools and then reunited at Convent high school). 

The weekend was planned by Lori and her friend Samantha and the theme was Pineapple Party! No detail was spared and we had an absolute blast and I can't share too much because what happens in Sonoma, stays in Sonoma.

I have been missing the fun of the weekend celebrations all week so I have been wearing my favorite Vineyard Vines pineapple sweater (last seen here and here). I am so excited to celebrate Lori and Rob so soon!

Shop my favorite pineapple products below! I love the Trina Turk shorts and the Milly top!

 

xo,

PERFECT PARTY: 1st BIRTHDAY TIPS.

Hard to believe that our darling Lillian July is a year old! You can see the post about her arrival here! What an incredible year it has been and we could not be happier! We had the most special birthday party for her, really as a thank you to our family who has been so helpful, loving and supportive to us this first year. 

Bringing people together has always brought me great joy and I am fortunate that it is easy and enjoyable for me to do. I really don't get stressed and have been lucky enough to plan large scale events at various times in my career (read more about that here).

While I have event planning experience, there was something unique about planning Lillian's first birthday. I really had to pause and think about what I envisioned. We have been fortunate to attend a lot of first birthday parties, from very tiny to big in size, and I have found wonderful things about each party so it was fun to plan Lillian's birthday. I am thrilled to say it turned out exactly as I had hoped- intimate, special, and fun.

If I had my dream and unlimited budget I would have hosted #Lillianpalooza in Sonoma and made it a three day pool party (as originally brainstormed here). I mean, I felt like I had so many people I wanted to invite to thank for being such an important part of our lives. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we wanted just family. And while it was difficult to not invite all of our friends, I think it worked out (you're not mad, are you?). The tipping point in this decision was when I was talking to Claire about her wedding (something we do often because it was AMAZING!) and the thing she said was that for her wedding she just wanted a certain feeling. A feeling of love and warmth. And that is exactly what we experienced at our wedding and exactly what we wanted for Lillian's birthday.

Here are my quick tips for planning a party, wedding, dinner, etc. and then I will share some new tips I learned through our experience planning Lillian's party.

  1. Set your budget. How much do you want to spend? Decide that before falling in love with a venue, menu, decor.
  2. Find your venue. Indoors? Outdoors? Close? Destination? Venues usually take up the largest portion of your budget.
  3. Set your date. Find a date that your venue has available.
  4. Invitations. Order invitations or use Paperless Post.
  5. Decide menu, entertainment, decor. We went to a friend's birthday party and they hired a music teacher to play for the kids! It was SO fun!!
  6. Order desserts, goodie bags, miscellaneous items.
  7. Pay deposits to vendors, venue, etc.
  8. Create a timeline of the event.
  9. Enjoy yourself at the event!!
  10. Send hand written thank you notes.

So, here is what I learned in planning my first 1st birthday party!

  1. Think about your goal. Jesse and I wanted a small get together so that we could really enjoy ourselves. We knew that if we had a big party we wouldn't be able to be with Lillian or really visit with guests. Our goal was to keep it easy, simple, beautiful and special. 
  2. Rent what you can. I didn't want to purchase a bunch of items that we would only use for the party so we rented the linens from La Tavola Linens on Sacramento Street (follow La Tavola on Instagram for major event inspiration). We rented Glassy Baby votives for the tablescape and Claire put peonies (same as my wedding bouquet).
  3. Desserts matter. We got most of our desserts from our favorite bakery, Noe Valley Bakery on 24th Street. We love their M&M cookies and love that there was hardly any mess. Rather than spending a lot of money on a smash cake, I just picked up a pink cupcake from Susie Cakes. Our favors were small bags of kettlecorn with stickers of all of the nicknames we have for Lillian. We had these same bags as our wedding favors!
  4. Get a group photo. We have a group photo from our wedding (you can see here) and I love looking at it hanging on our wall and wanted to capture the guests at the party. 
  5. Eat cake first. We didn't do this but I think it would make a lot of sense to sing Happy Birthday and have Lillian eat her cake before the meal. We have been to a lot of birthday parties and by the time the cake portion comes around the adults are so excited but the kids are exhausted-- hence Lillian's epic yawn
  6. Enjoy yourself. I am so grateful that we honestly enjoyed ourselves at this party. We purposely planned it to be stress-free and with the help of my sisters our set-up was a breeze. The worse thing in the world is to worry too much about details or things that don't matter and take you away from enjoying yourself. Also, my biggest tip is to take photos of the set-up and your little one and family photos in the beginning and then just enjoy the rest of the party (I mean I am setting up and inadvertently photobombing as Jesse is photographing). It is not fun to try and take photos during the party. If you're having a big birthday bash I would hire a photographer to take photos so you don't have to worry about it at all. If you took maternity or newborn photos just hire them again.
  7. Dress to impress. The theme for the party was pink gingham and when I saw this dress at Dottie DooLittle I fell in love. It was quite pricey and I waited on it, searched a little more but eventually came back and purchased it. Yes, it was just like a wedding dress experience. And truth be told, it was three times the cost of my dress (!!!!) but I mean Jesse has to practice what it is like when his daughter finds the perfect dress for a big day!
  8. Etsy. Papersource. Target. Those who cannot do, buy. That is my philosophy. And while I think a lot of people are into creating the "perfect" details for the day, my philosophy is to find that sweet spot where everything is cute and makes you happy. I think there is a tipping point (and mine is a lot lower than other bloggers ;) ) when trying to make things "perfect" is a real pain. With so many Ls in Lillian's name I had to buy three sets of banners. But I loved them so much that we ended up hanging the Lillian banner above her bed (which feels safe because we didn't have anything over her bed because I am so afraid of an earthquake shaking something off the wall and falling on her!!)
  9. Balloons. Everyone loves balloons and Lillian can play with them for hours.
  10. Thoughtful gifts. We thought we were going to surprise Lillian with a great 4-in-1 tricycle but my brother Danny upstaged us with Steph Curry basketball shoes for Lillian. Sometimes bigger isn't always better! We also had the notes from my baby shower to open (see that post here)
  11. Bring your own high chair! We purchased this simple white Ikea high chair for my parents house in Sonoma and when I saw it I knew it was perfect for the party! I think it was $20! You have to get it for your party because it is a great height and simple and easy to decorate.

 

Just remember that the most important thing is to have a special celebration of your little one and guests at the party!!!!!

xo,


Lillian's Dress: Dottie DooLittle

Kettlecorn: Peter's Kettle Corn

Table Cloths: La Tavola

Votives: Glassy Baby Rental

Location: Presidio Golf Club Cafe (where we had our rehearsal dinner)

My dress and shoes 

Photography: Jenna, Tim Curran, Jesse Pedersen, Caitlin Kavanagh, Me

 

PERFECT PERFORMANCE: LEXUS RX 350.

For Mother's Day I got a Lexus RX Sport 350! Spoiler alert: I had to give it back. I was very fortunate to receive a special invitation from Toyota of San Francisco to pick a vehicle for a week in celebration of my 1st Mother's Day! I had a blast driving around San Francisco and up to Sonoma to meet Ayesha Curry

I spend a lot of time in the car driving to meetings with clients and so it was a special treat to have a brand new, clean, high performance smooth ride to bop around town in. I feel like I have so much stuff in my car that driving the Lexus, affectionately named "The Whip" by Claire, was a fresh start and a clean slate. I am not sure if it was a good or a bad thing that Jesse and I just finished paying off our car literally a few days before I got the Lexus because now I am in car searching mode!!

Alright, the Lexus RX Sport 350 is great! Here are some of my favorite features:

  1. Comfortable Interior. Parents know how important a roomy back seat is so you can fit your big convertible car seat (this is the one we have and love). Lillian had plenty of room back there and we could put our seats all the way back.
  2. Keyless entry. This is a must and I am not sure I can live without it now! When you walk up to the car with the keys in your pocket or purse it unlocks it! I loved this because my hands are always full and I find myself digging around my huge bag to locate my keys. And with the push start ignition, you never need to take your keys out of your purse. Love it!
  3. Back-up assistance. Most cars have rear view cameras to assist with reversing but the camera on this Lexus was so good you could film a movie on it!
  4. Big sun roof. The photo is pretty self-explanatory. I loved sticking my head out the sunroof like I was in a teen movie!!
  5. Lexus Enform Technology. I don't even know how to describe this other than an amazing computer in your car that is so advanced. I obviously did not take full advantage of this aside from connecting my phone, listening to music and making calls. Actually, I also used it when I was low on gas and a notification popped up on the map feature with the nearest gas stations. That was really great because (ha) I didn't realize I was low on gas and because I didn't know where any gas stations were.

I miss The Whip so much that I swear, I spot every single Lexus on the road. I suggest you check out the Lexus Sport vehicles for a test drive!! They are so fun!

PS- Here is the outfit I wore from our adventures in Sonoma-- Perfect Polka Dots post.

xo,

Thank you to Toyota of San Francisco for this fun ride!