PERFECT PRESENT: KARL JOHNSON CUT ARTS.

A few weeks ago at DayOne Baby there was an event with Karl Johnson of Cut Arts. I have been wanting to get a silhouette of Lillian done by Karl for some time now and the dates that he was at DayOne Baby never worked with our schedule. He was trained in silhouette art by his father and Karl travels around the United States creating these pieces of art for families in just under five minutes.

It is the most incredible thing to see Karl look at a rambuctious and busy-moving toddler's profile and create such a beautiful keepsake. I don't need to go too much into how special these cut arts are because the image is worth a thousand words.

What I do want to share is how incredible his team is! At our appointment I ordered two and then could have sworn that I had ordered a third because I loved it so much. When I got home I realized I only had two cut arts. I was partly upset because I really wanted three to give to my mom and Jesse's mom and have one for our house. But I was mostly confused and thought I was losing my mind!

I emailed Karl to say that I think I am losing my mind and that I wanted three and wasn't sure if I had lost one or if there was a miscommunication. They were so helpful and told me to email them a picture of the original cut art. So I did and paid for two more copies and they sent them in the mail, I swear, the very next day!

So crisis averted and I couldn't be more thrilled with how it all turned out. You can check Karl's schedule or you can send him an email to coordinate a silhouette by mail! Hurry, don't wait so that you can get it in time for Mother's Day!

xo,

PERFECT PROJECT: SF DECORATORS SHOWCASE.

Last week I had the special honor to visit the San Francisco Decorator's Showcase home! It was such an amazing experience to see the home under construction before the designers come in and start installing their designs. I am not kidding when I say that the house is a true construction zone-- throughout the tour I had to be careful of wet paint, chain saws, drop cloth, and much more.

The reason why this year is so special is because San Francisco Decorator's Showcase is celebrating its 40th year! Hard to believe that forty homes have gone through this special transformation! 

If you are unfamiliar with Decorator's Showcase than this is the year to visit! For the past 40 years, the San Francisco Decorator Showcase has raised over $15 million to benefit the San Francisco University High School financial aid program.  This event allows hundreds of deserving Bay Area students access to a world-class college preparatory education. 

The story of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase began in 1977, when Nan Rosenblatt, a former San Francisco University High School parent and an accomplished interior designer, and Philip Fernandez, the first president of the school’s Parents Association, conceived the first Showcase to raise funds for University’s financial aid program. In its first year, the Showcase netted $26,000, and today this prestigious event raises over $500,000 annually!

While I was at Convent, University was one of our biggest competitors in volleyball and basketball. I am happy to put my high school rivalries aside to support this wonderful cause! What makes this year's Showcase particularly interesting to me is that I have such vivid memories from my childhood of trick-or-treating at this house and they always decorated the exterior so scary!! I'll never forget when the guy in the mask popped out from behind a coffin! It was frightening!! 

The Showcase allows designers to show their work on behalf of a greater cause. Seeing the house amidst construction made me even more excited to see the final results in just a few short weeks!I I think it would be so amazing to have a timelapse of the installation process to see all of the hard work that happens so fast and under crunch time! I hope you will join me in supporting this great cause! You can tour the home April 29 through May 29.  Learn more about visiting the Decorator's Showcase here! 

xo,

(Ps- if this is your first time to my blog, welcome! You can read more about me here and my story here! Hope you'll come back soon!)

Here I am before my tour of the beautiful Showcase home!

Here I am before my tour of the beautiful Showcase home!

Photography by Michelle Drewes.

Here is the full list of designers for this year's Showcase!

2017 Showcase Designers

Benni Amadi Interiors

Benni Amadi

 

Bjorn Design

David Bjorngaard

 

Catherine Kwong Design

Catherine Kwong

 

Cecilie Starin Design, Inc.

Cecilie Starin

 

CME Interiors

Chris Eskra

 

Courtney Springer Interiors

Courtney Springer

 

Croworks Luminosity

Victoria Weiss

 

Diane Rosenblum

Diane Rosenblum

 

Dina Bandman Interiors

Dina Bandman

 

DLC-ID

Jon De La Cruz

 

Elan Evans Decorative Finishes

Elan Evans

 

Geddes Ulinskas Architects

Adele Salierno

 

Ian Stallings Design

Ian Stallings

 

Jaimie Belew Interiors

Jaimie Belew

 

Jane Richardson Design

Jane Richardson Mack

 

Jonathan Rachman Design

Jonathan Rachman

 

K Interiors

Kristen Pena

 

Kari McIntosh Design

Kari McIntosh

 

Krista Hoffman Design

Krista Hoffman

 

Martin Group

Beth Martin

 

Martin Kobus Home

Martin Kobus

 

Mead Quin Design

Mead Quin

 

Molie Malone Interior Design

Molie Malone

 

Redmond Aldrich Design

Chloe Warner

 

Simon Breitbard Fine Arts

Evie Simon & Stephanie Breitbard

 

Stephen Stout Design

Stephen Stout

 

Studio SHK

Sherry Hope Kennedy

 

Zeterre Landscape Architecture

Jarrod Baumann

 

PERFECT PRODUCT: BUILDING CONNECTED.

This week has been one of those really busy weeks. Like really busy. So busy that for a second we forgot that tomorrow, April 1 marks four years since Jesse and Dustin joined forces to really start BuildingConnected.

Lillian is napping right now so I thought I would take a few minutes to share my thoughts on what is has been like being the wife and partner to a co-founder in a San Francisco-based tech company, as well as share some highlights.

Jesse is the hardest working person I have ever met and this post isn't meant to brag about him but to share how proud I am of him. In addition to being so hard working he is also the most modest and down to earth person ever.

We always laugh about that one time I came home to our apartment in April of 2013 to see Jesse and Dustin sitting in our living room with a small whiteboard with just an outline of the United States. Impulsive is the one thing Jesse definitely is not but when I came home and saw these two guys in their mid-twenties and saw their plan of taking over the United States I thought for a second maybe Jesse shouldn't have left his full-time job quite yet. Ha! Just kidding, sort of.

In all seriousness, since April 1, 2013, Jesse and Dustin have worked so hard together to bring their vision to life. From their hilarious, I mean humble, beginning of just the two of them in our living room to two weeks later with initial investments of $250,000 to present day with a team just shy of 40 in three offices across the country in San Francisco, New York, and Cincinnati, it is incredible to see what these two have done!

A lot of people ask me if Jesse works a lot and if I am okay with that as his wife with a toddler. The answer is of course, yes. But what people might not know is a couple of things. Jesse is hard wired and actually his happiest (except for being in Sonoma with us girls) when he is working. When we were 23 and first dating he would work on the weekends. It actually really surprised me and was something I always respected. I grew up with my dad in real estate working weekends, especially Sundays so I guess I was unconsciously accustomed to it.

I'll never forget the time I told him I wanted to start a company and he said, "wonderful, now let's sit down and write the mission statement" and we pulled out a FiveStar notebook and started writing down our ideas. Pretty sure we both knew we were going to be partners for life after that moment.

While most couples in their early twenties spend time day drinking and playing frisbee, the two of us bonded over playing sports and talking about work. We often missed out on activities with friends because Jesse had a deadline for a side project he was working on or I had a class to attend. So while Jesse does work a lot it wasn't like he started BuildingConnected and then doubled his working time. Instead, he stopped taking on side projects and focused 100% with Dustin on building their company and product.

I don't really remember the conversation when Jesse told me he was going to leave his full time job to join Dustin but I always knew there was going to be a day when he would start his own thing. It was just a matter of time and I am so happy for him and for Dustin that the two of them got together (thanks to their time at Davis and their friend Chris who rekindled their connection).

As you can imagine in the beginning no one really knew what Jesse was working on and it has been incredible and extremely rewarding to see their users grow and to speak with people in the commercial construction industry who use and love their product.

A lot of people ask me, so what is BuildingConnected? What do they do? To put it simply, BuildingConnected is software for the commercial construction industry. They facilitate the processes involved with pre-construction. So when you're driving around and you see large commercial construction projects being built, most of the bidding and communication has been done through BuildingConnected's platform. They have a lot more great features rolling out soon and it's really going to help the entire commercial construction industry.

It's hard to say what I am most proud of Jesse for during these past four years. He has worked tirelessly with Dustin through stressful rounds of fundraising, built an incredible team of the most hardworking engineers, designers, and product managers (who are also really awesome people), and one of the best looking and working products in software across any industry. He's also been the most incredible father to Lillian and seeing their bond grow has been so special.

Actually, what I am most proud of Jesse is the fact he gets up every single morning when it's still dark out. Even if he is absolutely exhausted he gets up. I can't get over his discipline sometimes!!!

Some of my most favorite time spent with Jesse is the time we spend talking about his company during our walks with Lillian or long car rides to Sonoma. I never get tired of what chatting with him and I love learning from him about their technology stack, their goals, upcoming features, big accounts their sales reps landed, and their plans.

It is with a genuine heart that I can say BuildingConnected has enriched Jesse's life and mine and Lillian's. The things we have learned, opportunities we have had, people we have met, and bond the two of us have formed in being each other's support has made life better. We have been able to have heartfelt, serious and deep conversations about success and more and I am so grateful.

More notably it's made our everyday life better. I always tell people the key to a happy life is to love your everyday life. It's not about the stuff, or the travels, or the Instagramable stuff-- it's about loving your day in and day out with your work and people in your life. I've learned this first-hand from my parents who showed us the joy in being a family, building a community, and celebrating the everyday moments.

I never wish Jesse worked less because he is so happy and fulfilled. He has the lucky circumstance to build something that can really make a difference. Every night when Jesse comes home I can't wait to hear about his day and talk through everything. I cannot express my gratitude to Dustin for choosing Jesse to walk down this path together. Life has become better since BuildingConnected and I cannot wait to see what the next year brings for the BuildingConnected family!

Lillian just woke up from her really late nap but I hope she looks at these posts one day and reads how much fun these early days have been!!!

xo,

PERFECT PICKS: EASTER BASKET IDEAS.

Easter is just a few weeks ago and if you haven't gotten your monogrammed Easter Basket for your little one, there is still time!! Most of you know that I'm not kidding! Easter has always been special in my family and I am very excited to celebrate with Jesse and Lillian this year.

While I know a lot of people, especially parents, love celebrating Christmas it's no surprise to my readers that other holidays have my heart-- namely, Valentine's Day and Easter! There's something so nice about these two holidays in which you are celebrating a sentiment and the presents are secondary and the perfect addition, rather than Christmas where it is all about the gifts. Even if you try to personally not be about the gifts for Christmas our culture is all about it-- especially our capitalist consumer culture! Ha laughing that I just typed that but it's true.

Easter was always a special time in our family because of the nice celebrations at school, a special family celebration with Mass and the most epic Easter egg hunt at my grandparents teeny, tiny backyard in Noe Valley with all of the hidden nooks and crannies for hiding those plastic eggs. We would be with our cousins and we would have so much fun hiding and finding and rehiding and re-finding the eggs. We would do it for hours. The most secret spot was putting an Easter egg in a plastic bag and then hanging it from the clothesline with a clothesline pin and sending it out on it's way on the clothesline!

This year I got especially excited for Lillian's Easter Basket and got her this adorable Seer Sucker one with her name on it. I can't wait to fill it with goodies that she already has and a few new items. I'm going to put a little outfit, some shoes, and a few treats. Okay, yes and there is a monogram pillow in there for her-- I couldn't resist.

xo,

PERFECT PRINT: ROBERTA ROLLER RABBIT.

One of my absolutely favorite brands Roberta Roller Rabbit relaunched their website and is having a 20% off sale!! We absolutely love their pajamas, dresses, accessories and now, with our new house, I am loving all of their home items! I really have my eye on their quilts! And I might have to get another pair of pajamas for Lillian's Easter basket!

Check out their website now for great deals on fan favorites!

xo,

PERFECT PLANS: WEEKEND RECAP.

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This weekend was so much fun with our adventures with Miss Lillian! We watched basketball, celebrated Caitlin's birthday, hung out in Golden Gate Park, and had a quick visit to Marin Country Mart (our favorite place for weekend adventures).

The highlight of the weekend might have been getting caught in the rain yesterday afternoon in Golden Gate Park and walking home laughing because I couldn't even keep my eyes open because the rain drops were like little darts!

Jesse had some work to do Sunday morning so Lillian and I headed to Marin Country Mart in Larkspur to check out a few spots and see if the ponies were there. On Saturdays they have a great farmers market with a petting zoo and pony rides and I thought they might have something fun on Sundays and they do! They have food trucks!

Here are some of our favorite places at Marin Country Mart:

Roberta Roller Rabbit

Poppy Store Marin

Intermix

Rustic Bakery

FarmShop

Coming soon! Jenni Kayne!!

They also have a fun play area that kids love running around. The highlight for Lillian was seeing all of the turtles and fish in the big fountain!

If you are looking for a fun place to go check out Marin Country Mart-- see their full directory of stores here.

xo,

 

 

PERFECT PLACE: A HAPPY HOME.

The rain is here in San Francisco and it is absolutely lovely! I know people like to complain about it but there's literally nothing we can do about it so why not just enjoy it! I love when it rains because I feel like it's the perfect excuse to skip getting ready. What's the point of doing your hair if it's going to get all wet!

One of the things that I have really experienced recently is that when your house is a beautiful and inspiring and calming place then it's easier to stay positive. After a busy day or a jam-packed schedule on the calendar, there is nothing better than coming home to a serene space.

I cannot tell you how happy we are that we moved. We are loving our new house and the space and the location and truly, just everything about it. Something funny though is Jesse has been at work or out of town for work a lot since we moved so I was teasing him that it's like he is on an interior design reality tv show and each time he comes home there is something new to show him! He gets the best part, though-- Claire and Mike have helped me move more things into our place than I can really thank them for!

My New Year's resolution this year was to just create a home for our family and for our friends. We love watching Lillian grow and thrive in this new space. 

We had a lot of initial costs when we moved in so we have been very budget friendly with our recent projects. Aside from splurging on textiles and pillows, I have loved getting most things at Target! I don't think you can really go wrong with anything from the Threshold Line from Target.

The image above is from one of my favorite designers Caitlin Wilson. I love her rugs but they are too expensive for our budget so I am keeping an eye out for something similar!

Have a great weekend!

Caroline

PERFECT PLACE: OUR HOME.

Slowly but surely our house is coming together! We've cleaned, painted, and bought new rugs! My father-in-law installed window guards on our living room windows that look beautiful but really serve the purpose of making sure Lillian doesn't go through them! Over the weekend we hung shelves and curtain rods and are adding little decor touches.

Our next project is reupholstering our dining room chairs and getting some artwork for our walls! I am sharing this photo above because I love this piece of art. I find it so difficult to find the right piece of work. Well, actually it's hard to find the right piece of art for the right price!

Stay tuned for more updates!

In the meantime, everyone has asked me about the rug in Lillian's room and we got it from Birch Lane. Have you checked out their site yet? Lots of great stuff! I love going through it when Lillian is napping!

xo,