How has your experience been purchasing furniture online?
This is SUCH a good question! As long as the return policy is reasonable, I’ve had mostly positive experiences. For example, we ordered a couch from Pottery Barn that wasn’t made correctly and they took it back for a full refund, no questions asked – they were completely loyal to their quality standards and I love them for it. I also love PB Kids and PB Teen and have ordered numerous items including light fixtures, this gold shelf and mirrors. Ballard Designs is another retailer that makes super high quality furniture, has regular sales (I only buy during the sales) and the products look exactly as they appear online – and even better, to be honest! Our headboard, dining chairs, living room rug, counter stools and sideboard are all from Ballard. I’ve also had luck with Joss & Main, Crate & Barrel, One Kings Lane, Serena & Lilly and Wayfair.
My best advice is to read the return policy before ordering, read product reviews if they’re available, type the product name into google to see if anyone has blogged about the item and also check Pinterest to see if anyone has photographed the item in their own home. It may seem a little “extra” to take all of those steps, but it can also make you much more comfortable with your purchase.
Do you save money? As an influencer, it’s helpful to know you don’t spend it all.
This is also a great question! I’m not a financial expert by any means (Kevin is really smart about finances and investing), but saving is, and always has been a huge priority for us. While I don’t share specifics because like most families, we keep our finances private, we have the ability to save quite a bit given that we both work full-time in senior level and managerial roles and I also make a full-time income blogging.
We’ve also always purchased a home we could afford on only one income. Oftentimes prospective homeowners qualify for huge home loans based on their income but they don’t take into account all of their other expenses or circumstances like if one person were to lose their job, become sick or decide to leave the workforce.
I know it can seem like influencers spend a lot because we shop more often than the average person, but that is part of our job and how we earn an income, so you have to factor that into the equation. Spending doesn’t mean not saving – there’s a much bigger picture to look at. A lot of influencers I know have a spouse who earns a good salary and thus any money they make blogging has the ability to be saved or used for things like travel, home renovations, etc. I also know many bloggers who have out-earned their spouses. I’ve found The Money Diaries series to be an interesting take on how people with different incomes in different parts of the country spend their money.
How do you plan your outfits for the work week?
I don’t (hides behind desk). Basically, I look at my calendar the night before and if I have important meetings or media shoots, I make a mental note to dress a little more polished. If I don’t have any meetings and will mostly be at my desk, I dress business casual. I know it’s not very organized, but I prefer to dress for my mood. Sometimes I want to wear color and other times I want to be super basic and neutral. By the way – I have an entire blog post about my favorite dress pants for work – see it here!
What are your current favorite TV shows?
We just finished the most recent season of SUITS (we’ve been watching from the start – big fans and love that “Rachel” is now married to Prince Harry!) We just binge-watched the new season of Orange is the New Black and we’ve also started The Crown. I honestly don’t watch a ton of TV – Kevin has it on as background, but many evenings I’m either working on a blog post while we hang out on the couch or if I work out that night I don’t really watch TV at all. Other shows I love are HGTV favorites – Love It Or List it Too (with Jillian Harris) and Fixer Upper. We also watch the Bravo real estate show that’s based in NYC sometimes. I used to watch a lot of TV but we mainly watch Netflix and HBO series now. Another series I LOVE is Black Mirror on Netflix. SO GOOD. Past series we’ve loved are: The OA, Ozark and Big Little Lies.
Did you ever think of moving to Europe? If so, where would you settle with kids?
No, it’s not something we’ve ever considered, especially since it’s such a dramatic change. We like where we live, our careers, etc.
Can you do a daily outfit post? Would love that so much!
For a while, I was sharing my daily work outfits on Instagram stories but our mornings are usually so fast-paced (I always choose extra sleep!) that I’m just trying to get out of the house as quickly as possible and I forget to stop and take a picture or record a video. I’d love to do one post a week sharing all of my outfits, but I don’t know how consistent I can be about it. I also often wear items to work that I’ve had for quite some time (of course I wear new items too) so I can’t link those and I know a lot of my readers are frustrated when they can’t buy what I’m sharing. Now that Harper is starting Kinder, we will have to adjust our morning routine so I’m going to think about whether or not it’s realistic to shoot outfits as part of that.
What is the best under eye concealer?
I’ve used many over the years and it’s hands down Tarte Shape Tape. I use the color “fair” (the lightest shade) and apply it directly to my under eye area and then use a beauty blender or Tarte’s blender sponge to blend it out before setting it with powder. I promise you will LOVE Shape Tape. Buy it here.
How did you sleep train Lincoln?
It seems like so long ago that we did this – we did a sort of modified “cry it out” with some check-ins. Fortunately, in just a few days, he was sleeping through the night. Basically, we would make sure he was fed/dry etc. and when he woke up and cried at around the same times every night, we would wait before going in. Oftentimes, he would settle himself back to sleep before we had to go in and eventually he either didn’t wake up or fell back asleep pretty soon after waking.
Sleep training is such a personal decision and you have to do what feels best for your baby and family. We didn’t start until Lincoln was 7 months old (he was sleeping in our room before that) because he had a lot of gastrointestinal issues as an infant and we didn’t want to sleep train until those were resolved because when he was younger he would truly be experiencing pain and discomfort and of course we would hold/comfort him. Once we knew he was medically in a good place and wasn’t having stomach issues anymore, we decided to move him to his crib. I’ve heard good things about The Cradle Coach if you’re struggling with sleep training.
How do you keep your light colored furniture/rugs/sofa clean with two children?
I have a blog post on just that topic – with multiple contributors – see it here! I feel super strongly that you should have a home you love and not worry about things getting ruined – there are strategies you can use to keep your space looking great and they teach children that it’s important to respect your home and the things in it.
How do you keep your mind focused and stay sharp?
This is actually something I really struggle with. I’ve had issues with this since I was a teen. I tend to want to do 100 things at once and I struggle with anxiety which can also make it more difficult to focus. I’ve been taking this adrenal wellness supplement that is said to help combat stress and I find when I exercise regularly and try to get to bed at a decent hour, my focus is better. I’m also going to be trying to get back into the routine of taking Natural Calm about an hour before bed. Another thing that helps particularly at work is that I keep a document of all of the projects and stories I’m working on and it allows me to “at a glance” see the scope of my work and allows me to prioritize my week. So at the beginning of each week I make a list of things I will focus on so that I have a clear path for that week. *As always, check with your doctor if you want to try a new supplement.
Are you still doing P.Volve?
Yes and no! Going on vacation and then returning and immediately being super busy with the Nordstrom Sale, Amazon Prime Day and a ton of other content I had due has totally taken me out of my workout routine. Having said all of that, I can and will get back into my P.volve workouts ASAP (read my review here).
At times like this, I’m truly thankful that I changed my diet because now that I eat well, I’m able to maintain my results just by eating the way I do. Of course I lose a little visible definition when I’m not exercising, but I have not gained weight because I continue to be consistent with my diet (to be clear – I am not ON a diet, I mean the food choices I make). You can read more about how and what I eat, here.
How do you and your husband make time for each other? Date nights, etc.
Like many couples with young kids, this is an area we need a lot of improvement in and we’ve vowed to hire babysitters this year and go out more, even if it’s just for a child-free dinner. On Friday nights we usually watch a movie or show together as a way to relax after a long work week. I sometimes think that putting dates nights on the calendar as a non-negotiable needs to be our next step. Let me know if you guys have any systems that work for you!
Do you ever see yourself changing careers?
Not at this time! It’s hard to think 10, 15 or 20 years down the line because life will be so different then. Right now I’m in a career that’s a good fit from a work and overall life satisfaction perspective and I also have this blog which has allowed me to explore and grow other skills I have so that has been really fulfilling. You can read more about my day job, here.
Do you plan on staying in Houston long term?
Yes! Unless we win the lottery. Haha!
Do you have a retinol serum you love?
I have prescription Tretinoin cream that I got at the dermatologist, but I’ve actually been using it on my arms to help with my keratosis pilaris. My full skincare routine is here and I don’t use retinol (on my face) at this time, but I have heard this retinol serum is great!
I love your hardwood floors on the main level of your home – what are they?
Thank you! They are real hardwoods that were then stained a very dark brown color – which I honestly completely regret. I will never get dark hardwoods again and strongly advise against them to anyone building or renovating. They show every speck and make a home look darker overall. I wish I would have gotten lighter hardwoods like the ones Jillian Harris has in her new home. Trust me when I say dark wood floors and cabinets are not easy to maintain and prevent a space from looking as light and airy as it can (especially a smaller space like ours…maybe in a huge home it wouldn’t be as much of an issue but I’d still go lighter).
Why did you decide to go brunette instead of blonde?
I’m a natural brunette and blonde hair was high-maintenance and costly in terms of upkeep. It also really damaged my hair. As I started going closer to my natural color, I realized that it was a much better fit for my skin tone and way lower maintenance. Now, I actually dye my hair darker than my natural color since it fades in between coloring. Overall I feel more like “myself” and happier with my appearance as a brunette.
Did you always want kids and how did you decide you were ready?
I’ve always wanted children and to experience being a mother. I always said that if I didn’t find a partner by a certain time, I would still find a way to be a mother since it was so important to me. I feel very lucky to have two amazing kids.
We decided we were ready when we were both in jobs we saw ourselves being in longer term and financially in a place where we would be able to afford to have the life we wanted but with the added cost of childcare and child-related expenses.
What are you looking forward to wearing in the fall/ what’s on your wish list?
I’m crushing hard on jackets right now, even though the weather is no where near jacket appropriate. I’ve also started to think a lot about Christmas music already, so there’s that!
If it wasn’t about to be fall, I would 100% buy this TB gemini tote in white. I just love the crisp design.
Do you have curtains in your living room or master bedroom?
No – we have roman shades from Blinds.com. They’re an off-white color in a linen fabric. I do plan to add curtains to our master bedroom as part of its redesign.
Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!