PERFECT PAGE TURNER: MAGNOLIA STORY.

What a great weekend we had!! The best part was it was pretty low-key and we spent time around the house, exploring the neighborhood, and just being a family. While Lillian was napping I was able to start and finish Magnolia Story by the lovely couple on Fixer Upper, Joanna and Chip Gaines.

Although we don't have cable and I have only seen a handful of episodes over the years, I was so excited to borrow the book from my sister Claire. Talk about a real page turner!!! Such a heart-warming story about this lovely couple and their journey through life.

I am not kidding when I say that I shed a tear about every ten pages. My mom has taught my family a lot about the power of synchronicity- the power of meaningful coincidences. Their story through the ups and downs is all about how every experience got them to where they are.

I couldn't help but laugh at the funny situations they find themselves in because of Chip's personality or the way their love grows when they are together. 

I love reading about happiness and the reason why I was crying is because it was so touching. I feel like they are a couple who really loves each other. It made me think of Jesse and our relationship. We are such an incredible partnership and I adore so many things about him. Going through the moving process, or really any process, always brings us closer together. We become stronger the more time we spend and work together.

A lot of people ask me if we ever fight. And the truth is we don't really. Jesse and I are both easy-going and not a lot of things upset us. Jesse has taught me to be more patient, thoughtful in decision-making, resourceful, and rational. I have taught him (haha) that it's not bad to be quick thinking, try new things, and not have a plan. What I love about Chip and Joanna is that when you read the book or watch the show you know how much they love each other. It is so refreshing!

There are so many great lessons you can learn from the book but a few that I took away were: have faith, we're stronger together, authenticity is the most important thing, and it's better to build a home around your family rather than building a picture-perfect home that you can't enjoy.

The authenticity points throughout the story are so meaningful to me because the world we live in rewards inauthenticity. Jesse and I always talk about how we want Lillian to grow up with authentic parents since that was the way we were raised.

I found Joanna's words about seeing her family thrive once they were in a home that was made for them to be comfortable rang really true for me as we move and get settled and purchase new items. While I absolutely love all of the gorgeous homes from Elle Decor, I want something more realistic for Lillian and our family.

I could go on and on but I just want to share that you really should get a copy of this book because these two are the real deal and it makes me happy that they are so popular and well-loved!

xo,

 

 

 

PERFECT PRINT: KATE SPADE.

If you're looking for that dress that is perfect all year-round then go ahead and step right up and get yourself this lovely Kate Spade Petal Dress. The black and natural color make this the most versatile dress you can own- perfect for all seasons, occasions, and locations, you don't want to miss adding this dress to your wardrobe.

I wore it yesterday to a luncheon and the tea length makes it festive and comfortable. Recently I have traded in all of my shorter dress for this length and I haven't looked back.

Ways to wear it:

  1. Add a blouse, black tights and flats plus a Chanel cross-body bag a la Mindy Lahiri
  2. Pair it with nude block sandals for a summer wedding
  3. Add a string of pearls and wear it to your best friend's baby shower
  4. Wear a black sweater over it so the dress looks like a skirt

Whatever you do, just have fun with it! Oh, and smile!

Here are some of my other favorite Kate Spade pieces:

xo,

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Thank you to Kate Spade for partnering on this post. It was a dream come true!

 

 

PERFECT PRODUCTS: TODDLER PICKS.

We are getting settled into our new place and we are so happy! It has been such a special treat to receive so many wonderful house warming gifts and I thought I would share some of the ones we are really loving for Lillian!

Moms always want to know the best products. I have found that once you find a brand you like you usually stick with it. I was fortunate enough to find some great brands when Lillian was a newborn from our time together at DayOne Baby.

A few of the brands we love around here are SkipHopBabyganics, and Beaba.

Here are some of our recent gifts we are loving:

  1. SkipHop Tuo Convertible Chair: Lillian recently grew out of her beloved Ingelsina Chair that attached to the table. And when I say grew out of it I mean that she would stand up in it! We knew we needed something that would keep her contained-- she's a wild woman! We love this SkipHop high chair because it turns into a toddler chair by simply swapping out the legs and adding covers the to the armrests. We love that we can have this chair for a while and the design is so sleek and matches our new dining room! It's so fun to hear Lillian say, "high chair!" when she wants to go eat.
  2. SkipHop Mealtime Items- We just got the Insulated Food Jar, Bento Meal Time Set, Training Chopsticks (so cute!!), and Lunch Box which is perfect for our weekend travels and upcoming preschool lunches. Check out all mealtime items here.
  3. Babyganics: We have always loved Babyganics sunscreen (and used it our entire time at Bacara Resort) and loved receiving the Babyganics Essentials Gift Set for our new place. It could not have come at a better time-- we now have a big bathtub for Lillian so all of the bath products have been great. I especially love the toy and highchair spray cleaner and wipes! We can't wait for summer adventures in Sonoma and the color-changing swim diapers are perfect.
  4. Beaba BabyCook: With our kitchen out of sorts it was a dream to receive the Beaba Baby Cook. We have had a blast looking up recipes and making food!

xo,

 

 

PERFECT PHOTOS: LIFE RECENTLY.

Life has been so much fun recently! Here are some images that I just discovered on my phone! Well, except for the photo above. Jenna took that of us two weekends ago at her daughter's baptism. Recognize that white eyelet dress? Yes, I wear is all of the time! It's my go-to dress when it's sunny out. Last seen here.

Pictures of: Lillian in my favorite pink pants from Janie and Jack. // Our new dining room and prints from Caitlin Wilson that I am trying to decide on. A candid moment of Jesse and his best friends with Lillian, I like to call it "Three men and a baby". // Some other fun moments.

xo,

PERFECT PLANS: WEEKEND RECAP.

We had a great weekend and today Lillian is off from daycare so we are going to spend the day together. A lot of people message me when they see so many Instagram stories of Lillian and ask if/ when I work! Ha- I'm never insulted, I think it is funny. 

Lillian is in daycare four days a week but between school holidays and her recent bout of ear infections we have spent a lot of days together. I usually drop her off at daycare at 7:45am and pick her up at 4pm. So, I work during those hours and Jesse and I also work at night after Lillian has gone to bed.

This weekend was a real blast! It marked our first weekend in our new place and we spent a lot of time getting organized and just enjoying the space. We also had a nice baptism for my nephew Augustine and his cousin Shane.

It was so great to dust off my camera and snap some great photos from the day. I absolutely loving taking photos of friends and family and have really enjoyed growing my headshot portfolio and business.

I even managed to get this photo of Lillian and me! The rain stopped for a little bit on Sunday afternoon and we were able to capture our Sunday rainy day hair. People often wonder why I am so down to earth and it's because of my siblings. Danny said to me, "This is not an insult, but do you brush Lillian's hair?" I just crack up at stuff like that. Her hair is always crazy because she is crazy!! She runs around everywhere, slipping and sliding like a monkey. Yes, we brush her hair every night, Danny.

Oh! One of the highlights of the weekend was being introduced to Heartbaker on Clement by my friend Jessica. Lillian and I had a lovely brunch there while Jesse worked. Omg the huevos rancheros were out of this world. I can't wait to explore more spots in the Inner Richmond!

I hope everyone has a great week and day off!

xo,

PERFECT PAINT.

Happy Friday!! It's been a fun process since we signed our lease on January 25 to being all settled in our new place. The move was wonderful and could not have gone any better. We hired One Big Man, One Big Truck and I loved how FAST they moved!! They packed up our old place in an hour and a half and unpacked in just under two. They were great at helping me put every thing in it's new spot. I highly recommend them.

The last three weeks have been such a process in selecting the paint colors. The original paint was an off white that really needed some loving. We painted the living room and dining room initially, and after a small snafu with the painters painting the incorrect paint color, we were thrilled with the results.

We ended up painting the two bedrooms, sunroom, and one of the bathrooms last week and since everything looked so great I thought the kitchen looked so drab and so they are painting it today. The place is coming along great but we still have so much to do-- we need new rugs, to refinish the dining room table, reupholster the dining room chairs, and get new furniture for the living room. It is definitely a work and process and I hope to have it done by June- our fifth wedding anniversary and Lillian's 2nd birthday! So hard to believe!

I have to tell you that picking the paint colors was so difficult! I know I am not the only one who picks a color based on how it looks on a swatch and then is completely shocked when you see it up on the walls. I understand why interior designers have their go-to colors.

I knew I wanted to go with a grey and the image above was inspiration for the living room. We ended up going with a bluer-grey and I couldn't even tell you the name because the painters picked it.

While I do have a history of going to Loews on a whim and picking up a gallon to paint an accent wall (I can't tell you how many times Jesse came home from work and was like, "again?? really??"). I wasn't so impulsive. I spent time looking online for paint ideas and to see what I liked. Initially, I thought of going with Sherwin Williams and just picking colors from their Pottery Barn collection but to be honest, I didn't care for the quality and coverage. 

I ended up going with all Benjamin Moore paint and really love their Natura line. It has the least amount of omissions and goes on really well.

Our previous place had walls that were very warm and I knew that I wanted something on the cooler side. I am not kidding I honestly spent over $125 in pint size samples (they're $7 each so you can see that I was trying to get it just right). After trying a lot of colors we settled on Benjamin Moore Classic Grey with Simply White trim and Swiss Coffee ceiling.

I find it helpful to just try the colors you like on your own and then once you have found the one you like ask for help on what to pair it with. I found it very frustrating to ask paint color consultants for advice or tips in selecting the initial color because I didn't feel like they knew what I was going for. Our bathroom is painted Benjamin Moore Kensington Blue on the bottom and Simply White on top.

Once the paint is finished I can't wait to get moving on purchasing some furniture and rugs so that it can be more comfortable!

Here are some images of the colors we selected! I'll share some images of our place soon!

xo,

BENJAMIN MOORE- CLASSIC GREY

BENJAMIN MOORE- CLASSIC GREY

BENJAMIN MOORE- CLASSIC GREY

BENJAMIN MOORE- CLASSIC GREY

 

 

PERFECT PARK: GOLDEN GATE PARK.

Well it's been two nights in our new place and we are loving it! I think I am most surprised at how much we love the location!! I drive through Golden Gate Park every day to take Lillian to daycare and yesterday on our way home we stopped at the Japanese Tea Garden and had an absolute blast!

We love that the nights are getting lighter and we can't wait for warmer weather!! Did you know if you have a San Francisco address on your license you can get free admission to the Botanical Garden. It's my favorite place to take Lillian because it's so quiet and they have a nice bridge she loves walking over. The last entrance is at 5pm and we just missed it by a few minutes. Maybe we will go back today!

I can't wait to share more of our afternoon adventures!

xo,

PERFECT PLANS: VALENTINE'S DAY!

Happy Valentine's Day!! If you know me personally or have been reading this blog for a while you know that Valentine's Day is definitively my favorite holiday. It combines everything I love: red and pink, hearts, happiness, generosity and LOVE!!

We moved yesterday and so our Valentine's Day plans are to unpack the kitchen-- now talk about true love! I bought a card for Jesse and I told him I thought it would be fun if we fold the card in half and each wrote on one-half so that are messages are together. We have a frame like this with our wedding vows in it and I always love seeing our words next to one another.

Last year we sent our Valentine's Day cards with Minted and I had every intention of doing that again this year but we were just too busy. 

I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine's Day!!!

xo,