PERFECT PLACES: SF EATS.

Last night we went out to dinner to celebrate my father-in-law's 60th birthday (happy birthday, Steve!) at Lolinda. If you haven't been there then you must try it! I've been three times recently. It is family style and everything is so flavorful and delicious.

I am very fortunate that I have had the opportunity to attend so many wonderful events and dinners to try the delicious restaurants in San Francisco. A special thank you to my friend Emily of JetSetting Fashionista who always invites me to the best dinners!

One thing you need to know about me is that I love going out to dinner for the experience. Getting dressed up, sipping on some wine, and trying delicious and creative food that I could never even dream of making! But when a restaurant is popular and is getting a lot of hype I actually like to stay away from it. I have this weird aversion to doing things or going to places that everyone else is in to. Like you won't see me at the Liholiho Yacht Club because it's just not my taste but I know that it is a frequently visited and photographed place.

I love the details of restaurants and love when there are themes but recently it has felt like restaurants are decorating and going over the top to get those insta posts. Here are some places that I have heard are really great but you probably won't see them on Instagram.

Here are some places that I think are great and some I want to try!

As Quoted !!!!

Frances

Arguello

What are some of your favorite restaurants?

xo,

PERFECT PLACES.

From a very young age I loved home tours, architecture, and art. When I was in third grade my family went to Hearst Castle in San Simeon and I still remember the impact it had on my nine year old self. I am convinced it was this trip that I really fell in love with art history and pursued it as a minor in college. I must have been alive in a different era because whenever I walk into a great estate like Hearst Castle I feel like I am home.

I have been saying for years to Jesse that I want to go back home to Hearst Castle and we finally are able to go this fall! I cannot wait!! I am so excited! I am going to dress up and have a ball. Maybe I will wear my wedding dress!!

Like I mentioned before, you don't need to travel far to feel like you have really gotten away. Here are some of the places I love and some of the places that are on my list.

Place I Have Visited and Love:

Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California

The Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island

Arches National Park in Moab, Utah

Sorrento and Capri in Italy

Grand Canyon in Arizona

Yosemite National Park in California

Miami Beach in Florida

 

Place I Would Love to Visit:

Charleston, South Carolina

Niagara Falls State Park in New York

Catalina Island

Amalfi Coast in Italy

Anywhere on the Croatian Coast

Grand Teton National Park in Montana

 

What are some places you love to visit?

xo,

 

 

 

 

PERFECT 10 SF: LIFE RECENTLY.

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a nice weekend! I am sorry I have been so absent from writing! It is so unlike me-- I have published consistently since I first launched in 2014 and have taken a little bit of a break because we have been out of town, I had a sinus infection and lingering cold, but I am back!!

Here is a picture of Lillian at Boon Fly Cafe at The Carneros Inn. The funny thing is we didn't even eat or stay here! We went up Saturday afternoon and tried to go to Cornerstone but they closed at 5pm so we headed to Boon Fly because I've driven by it so many times over the year. When we got there we realized it wasn't really for us at the time so guess what? We headed to Whole Foods salad bar and got food and had a picnic under the setting Sonoma sun. Now that is what I am talking about! The best part about Boon Fly Cafe was the swinging bench outside. Lillian loved swinging and would scream every time we tried to take her off!!!!

I've spent every weekend the past three months in Sonoma and every time I am there I keep thinking this is where I want to live. More on that later!!!

I hope everyone has a great week!! 

xoxo,

Ps- How cute is Lillian's dress? Jesse got it for her for Valentine's Day!!! 

 

PERFECT PLACE: THE HAPPY RIGHT NOW.

Good Morning Critters and Happy Monday!!!

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend! We had a wonderful weekend enjoying some Sonoma sun and spending Sunday with friends. Honestly for the past eight weekends in a row we have been out of town, mostly to escape the cold San Francisco weather, which has been great but it also meant that we hadn't seen friends in quite some time. As someone who really values relationships with friends it is important to actively maintain friendships amongst busy schedules, work obligations, travels, and more.

I had to share this image of Lillian because I love it so much. This is what life is like around our house. Lillian is usually playing in her room and I'm in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning or reading. I just got off the phone with Claire and I was telling her that I realized last night that if Jesse and I had gotten pregnant after her wedding like we had originally discussed we would have a newborn right now! Hard to believe how life all works out. I couldn't imagine waiting-- the last thirteen months (and the 10 months before that when I was pregnant) have been absolutely amazing.

Claire and I were talking about how important it is to be happy with your every day life. I call this the happy now. Are you happy right now? Things can make you feel like you need to be traveling more, have a bigger house, have better things (I spoke about this in last week's post) but it really is important to love your every day life. You can't keep thinking things will be better when....

Some of my happiest moments are dropping Lillian off at daycare and seeing her classmates smile when she arrives, getting texts from Jesse that just say "do" but I know mean "xo" and autocorrect failed us yet again, laughing when Jesse can't stop playing with his new remote control app for our lamps, wrapping Lillian up in a towel after bath and singing our favorite post-bath song, hearing Clementine speak in full sentences, seeing my hard-working dad take a nap on a Saturday, walking through Golden Gate park, pushing Lillian on the swings, eating Cowgirl Creamery triple cream cheese on a baguette, driving through Sonoma, the list goes on. I feel so blessed to have these happy moments.

In today's world it seems like having a lot of expensive things and being a VIP is true happiness. You have to proactively remind yourself what your true happy now is. The reason why I keep revisiting this topic is because I really enjoy thinking, reading and writing about it. It is quite a change from the original topic of the blog but there's been an evolution and I felt like I had to share with my readers since I got a few emails asking where my Instagram account went.

When I realized that blogging is a business I went after it 110%- got some partnerships, made some money, had some great experiences. Fast forward and I've decided to abandon the business route and just write for the joy of writing and share for the joy of sharing. I've cancelled a handful of sponsored posts I had coming up, have stopped going to blogging events, and decided to temporarily disable my "business" instagram account @CarolineMCurran (I have another account @CarolineCP831 that I've had for years if you want to follow that- or you can follow me on Snapchat @CarolineMCurran).

I always loved blogging, going to events, meeting new people, taking photos, business develop, etc. etc. etc. but recently I've heard so many accounts of bloggers from big to small not enjoying themselves. Actually being very upset, lost, lonely, and self-conscious. I think the entire commercialism of blogging and the value of influencers is going to bottom out soon. When you are living for likes, followers, and praise from other you are not going to be happy. I never really operated that way or played the game so I always enjoyed it but I also saw a plateau in followers.

Jesse always says that I bring life into the room. I hope that over the years the blog has done that for you and I thank you for reading! In a few weeks I will be turning 31 and I could not be more excited!!!!! 31 is my golden year!!!!! I have been waiting to turn 31 for as long as I can remember. I always thought to myself that I'd have everything together by the time I turned 31! I'm spending the next couple of weeks really working on myself to grow into who I want to become! I'm getting rid of negativity and trying to be even more optimistic and positive.

Now I'm in our house laughing because all of our lamps are on and I don't have the app installed on my phone and can't turn the lights off. I think Jesse can do it from work though! Ha! life is so funny!

I hope everyone has a great day!

xo,

PERFECT PEOPLE: CURRAN FAMILY.

I am looking at this photo and I am almost brought to tears. Okay, now I am crying. This is my wonderful family. Everyone in this photo means the absolute world to me. Look at how happy we look. When we were growing up there were a few places that were special to my family: The St. Vincent de Paul gym (it's where my parents met and where we all spent many, many nights playing sports), our house in the Castro that we call Douglass- like the 8th member of our Curran family, Disneyland because it was a magical place growing up, and Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe. 

Our annual week spent in Squaw Valley was the happiest week of the year. Since the 1980s my parents vacationed in Lake Tahoe, staying at a good family friend's 2 bedroom condo. Over the years, as our family grew and grew and grew, we still stayed in the same condo. Pullout couches, inflatable mattresses, and couch cushions on the floor made it work. To others this seems like complete INSANITY. But for our family it was pure joy. I am serious, pure joy. We have created some of the BEST memories in Lake Tahoe that stick with us today and still make us smile.

Sadly, in the last few years (i am being serious, we are sad about not sharing a two bedroom condo) we've had to rent a house to fit all of us. And I have to be honest, last week we were in Lake Tahoe with a five bedroom, five bathroom two story house and it felt odd. It was amazing to breathe the fresh mountain air and experience the beauty of Lake Tahoe, but it was different. 

When I look at this photo of us I can't help but think that the only thing that matters is family and laughter. That is true happiness. A few days before Jesse and I took Lillian to the village and snapped this photo and I knew that I just had to have a photo of my entire family in the chair. I wanted a keepsake from the trip. With 14 different personalities and schedules it was difficult to get this photo but afterwards everyone really cherished it. I think it's one my favorite photos of us ever.

I also can't help but share something important and I hope it gives readers a perspective about me. While this blog is written by me and mostly about me, I honestly don't see myself as someone who thinks they are better than others. I mean, look at the photo- you can barely find me. I'm not the first person your eyes go to. I simply see myself as the middle child who is the messenger for this family. Please know that I know who I am and what I stand for based on the context of my family. I am who I am because of all of these people.

Looking at this photo it is clear to me that my family is special and i am extremely grateful. It can be so hard today with all of the messages we are getting from social media that you need more things, you need expensive things, products and services will make you happy, this specific product will make you happy. 

Everyone is trying to make their life look perfect and I never would have guessed when I launched this blog over two years ago with a self-deprecating title about my huge size 10 feet that it would have even more meaning today. Life isn't perfect. Perfectly arranging flowers and products for a flatlay doesn't mean you're happy or your life is amazing. I don't claim to have a perfect life and I'm sorry if my title and photos throw you off. 

What I do claim to have is a really great family, not any better or worse than yours, just mine. We have our most fun when we are stuffed together, either in an undersized living situation or oversized chair.

Thank you for reading my blog-- it really means a lot. A special thank my parents and siblings for teaching me happiness. 

xoxo,

PERFECT POTTERY BARN.

A lot of people have asked where we got Lillian's red chair (last seen here in her monthly birthday photos) so I thought I would share that it is the Pottery Barn Kids Any Where Chair in oversized. I know this sounds so funny but it has really been amazing to see Lillian's interaction change with the chair as she has gotten older. She has gone from laying there to sitting to crawling up and now stepping up and sitting on the arm rest. I love when I see her playing in her room and she picks up a book or a toy and walks over to the chair and climbs up on it and starts reading.

Pottery Barn is having a great sale with a lot of bedding, furniture and decor on sale! I love seeing all of their designer collaborations. There are so many cute Any Where Chairs available now that it is hard to choose a favorite. I hope to get another chair with our next baby's name on it and do the same photo series. Fingers crossed I remember!

You can see in the background that Lillian's room looks a little different. A few weeks ago we painted Lillian's nursery with the help of PaintZen and I will be sharing more on that later!!!

I hope everyone has a great day!

xo,

PERFECT 10 SF: LIFE RECENTLY.

Good Morning, Critters!

We had a lovely family vacation to Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe last week and got back home yesterday afternoon and enjoyed the perfect San Francisco weather!! I will be sharing more on the magic of Lake Tahoe, tips for car rides with a little one, and my favorite travel products this week.

Lillian loves exploring and runs every where! It is impossible to get a photo of her sitting still and looking at the camera at the same time! I am not complaining, we love that she is so active! I can't believe she sat long enough for this photo in the Olympic Village.

Things on my mind....

Greatest Hits. Have you seen this new show on ABC?? I discovered it last night and was watching it on my laptop. Hanson's acoustic version of MmmBop is 100% amazing!! 

Friday Nights at the DeYoung. I am hoping to go to one of the Friday Nights at the DeYoung in the next couple of weeks.

All that matters is family. The world is feeling extremely crazy and it's scary, especially as a new parent, and it makes you remember how important being kind and loving one another is.

One Medical. I've mentioned OneMedical before and I have to praise them again because I've been sick for over a week and think I have a sinus infection and love that I can just call and get an appointment.

I hope everyone has a great week!! I want to thank you for reading this blog! Whether you stop by every day or occasionally or if this is your first time, THANK YOU!

xo,

Pullover, shorts and shirt c/o Vineyard Vines

Lillian's oneise and bathing suit: Janie and Jack

@CarolineMCurran govino c/o Toss Designs

PERFECT PLANNING: RETURNING FROM A TRIP.

Pillows from Caitlin Wilson.

Pillows from Caitlin Wilson.

Good Morning, Critters!

After a wonderful long weekend it can be so hard to get back into the swing of things. I had been counting down to the 4th of July weekend for the past couple of weeks and unfortunately I got very sick and am still recovering. Luckily, I got to relax in the perfect Sonoma sun, swim, picnic, go for long walks and catch the local 4th of July Parade. We had a really lovely time and it was the quintessential summer celebration weekend and I wish we could go back!

We've spent the last five or six weekends outside of the city and we've gotten the whole pack up and unpack system down. I can't think of anything worse than spending a great weekend away and coming home to a messy house! Is there anything worse!? Especially a late night before heading back to work! We've learned that we really have a great start to the week if we spend time getting our house extremely organized before we leave. Here is what I normally do and I recommend doing at least a handful of these before you leave for your next trip. We just got home and we're unpacking and repacking for our next trip!

  1. Do laundry before you leave. After a weekend away you'll inevitably have clothes that you need to wash so doing a few loads and folding and putting it away before you go ensures that you only have to do your vacation laundry. 
  2. Make the bed. Before we leave I always put fresh sheets on our bed and in Lillian's crib. Coming home and sleeping in your own is even better when the sheets are crisp and clean.
  3. Empty out the fridge. Before we go we always empty out the fridge of anything that might go bad. 
  4. Go grocery shopping and plan your first meal for when you return. It's the worst coming home from a trip to an empty pantry!!! Before Lillian, Jesse and I were fine coming home late and just finding whatever we had in our cabinets for dinner- popcorn, crackers, soup. But now I will go to the store to get a new carton of milk and ingredients for our first meal back. 
  5. Put odds and ends away. Right before we walk out the door I just walk through the house and tidy up a few things that can be put away- fold the throws, fluff the pillows, put away Lillian's toys, etc. This makes such a big difference when you come home there is no clutter!

What do you do to get ready for a trip?

Our pillows pictured are from my favorite designer Caitlin Wilson. She is currently having 15% off of her entire site and new arrivals are coming tomorrow! I can't wait! Shop some of my favorites below.

xo,