I asked you all to send me your questions last week for a Q & A I wold publish on my blog and these were your questions! Thank you to all who submitted one and happy Tuesday.
Where is your gold Harper/Lincoln necklace from?
It’s from Lola James Jewelry and it’s the “mini squad goals” necklace.
How do you keep your house so clean on top of working full-time, blogging and being a mom?
My house isn’t always perfectly clean or organized if I’m being honest. Currently I have three loads of laundry that need to be washed, a ton of gallery wall frames sitting in our hallway (project remains unfinished) and there are clothes strewn on the floor of our closet. Having said all of this, there are a few key things that help us keep our main living space looking decent.
Number one is that we have a dedicated playroom (see the full space here), so while we do keep a couple toy baskets downstairs, it’s pretty limited. I have a lot of friends that convert guest rooms, offices and even formal dining rooms into play rooms to contain the toys and have a place where kids can feel free to have fun and be a little bit messy. I think that when they’re young, it’s worth it to use a space in your home as a playroom. Most families rarely use formal dining rooms – use your real estate wisely in a way that makes sense for your season in life!
The second is that I’m very focused on de-cluttering. I read Emily Ley’s Simplified Life book and it changed my perspective about the things we have (read my review here). If you have less things in your home that you don’t need or use, it makes your space look more organized. One common theme when I watch HGTV shows like Love it Or List It is that most of those homes are brimming with clutter. Yes, many of the homes have layout issues, but the sheer amount of stuff in some of those homes keep them from looking like the bright, airy and inviting spaces they have the potential to be. Being super selective about the things you allow inside of your home can help make it look more organized. You don’t need to fill every single space and surface with something. I also sell a lot of items in local/neighborhood Facebook groups when I don’t need them anymore as well as donate items to keep our home as clutter-free as possible.
The third is that we hired a cleaning lady who comes twice a month to clean our entire home. In between her visits we do general maintenance like vacuuming (I LOVE our new Dyson), wiping down counters and cleaning messes, as needed.
Where do you get your hair done?
Brigitte Schwartz does my hair color + cut and she’s amazing. You can find her here. Brigitte is near the Houston Galleria area.
Do you ever go back to your hometown to visit childhood friends?
I do! We went to Canada in May of 2017 to visit family and friends and then we vacationed together with one of my best friends from Toronto and her family at Disney World that September. I don’t know when we will visit Canada next – there are so many places we’d like to travel so we’re working on ways to meet with friends while we travel/take trips with our families.
What is your favorite item you like to splurge on?
For me, sunglasses and handbags are items I don’t mind splurging on since I use them daily. My favorite sunglasses are here. My two favorite bags this season are this one and this one. I also like to splurge on items for our home because having a beautiful (IMO) home makes me happy.
Are you close with Kevin’s sister? Do you have any siblings?
I’m an only child! In some ways I’m glad but in others it can feel lonely. I see large families who are really close and spend a lot of time together and though it brings me joy for that person/their family, I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness that I never had that and that my kids won’t have cousins they’ll grow up with (I am very close to my cousons. My sister in law lives out of state so we see her a couple of times a year, but we make an effort to text and call each other 🙂
Did you ever do a post about your Disney trip?
It totally got away from me. I have a lot of that content written already, but it was so much work to cull, edit and re-size all of the photos and I was overwhelmed at the time so I never published it. I do intend to publish it but it’s such a time-intensive post that I need to do it when things slow down a bit.
Do you like the GloPro? I’m just “eh” on it and use it religiously.
I do like the GloPro, though I can’t say I use it as religiously as you have. If you’re using it many times a week, you should replace the mironeedle mechanism part to ensure you’re getting the best results. The GloPro is intended to increase collagen production in the skin and make it look more plump, thus reducing the appearance of fine lines and overall making skin look smoother – if you’re not noticing that then maybe try the chemical route and change up your skincare products!
What do you do with your family photos? Print books? Make old school photo albums?
I wish I had a better answer, but like many parents, my photos live in the digital abyss – on my phone, computer, external hard drives. It’s a mess, truly. I always thought I’d be one of those moms who’d be on top of it and do yearly photo books but alas, with working, blogging, etc, I just haven’t found the time or motivation. I sometimes picture myself in retirement, multiple external hard drives plugged into a new MacBook they’re not even compatible with, bemoaning technology, as I try to make photo books when my kids are having kids. Living the dream over here.
I’m taking baby steps and doing a gallery wall of family photos in our hallway – these are the gold frames I’m using. I also have a gallery wall of family photos at my desk at work.
Botox – would you ever?
Would I ever?! Botox is the best thing ever! Read my post about it, here.
Any plans to add a family pet?
Not at this time. We aren’t home a lot during the work week, would like to travel more often and think it’s better to wait until the kids are older.
Top 3 parenting tips for sometimes unruly toddlers?
I need as many tips as I can get myself! I’m not a perfect parent and don’t have any magical solutions, but these things work for me (sometimes).
One – take a breather before you lose your cool. I admittedly don’t always do this, but when I do, the outcome is always better. Two – try to imagine yourself in your child’s shoes. I do this a lot and it makes me realize that the “little things” are often not worth the struggle. Three – follow through on consequences. I find when you aren’t consistent and don’t follow through, the behavior worsens.
How do you fit in self-care as a busy working mom?
Self-care is such a buzzword and I think when people hear it, they picture days at the spa or weekly blowouts. For me, self-care sometimes means listening to a podcast while I fold laundry. Sometime it means bingeing on Netflix. Sometimes it means working out a few times a week. I think changing your perception of what self-care actually is can make you feel like you’re getting more of it. The other night I tinted my eyebrows at 10:30 at night (I use this kit and it’s amazing, BTW). I often paint my nails in bed before going to sleep. I watch Instagram stories and just relax. That all, to me, qualifies as self-care. If you’re a working mom, one way to get more time for self-care is when your partner is doing his or her share. If you’re shouldering the entire physical and mental load of making your family function – then you should have a conversation with your spouse so that you both have time for self-care.
If you weren’t a blogger, what would you be doing with your extra time?
I’ve been blogging for nearly 10 years so it’s hard to imagine my life without it. If I didn’t have my blog (in addition to my FT job and raising two children) I’d probably have more time to exercise, watch TV, read, etc.
What is your dream car?
I’m not super into cars, TBH. I appreciate a nice car, I just don’t care what brand or make of car I have as long as it works and is comfortable. We rented a suburban XL when we were in Toronto and I LOVED it (it’s huge). Basically, I love huge SUVs. The larger, the better. But I guess if money weren’t an object, I’d test drive a fancy range rover or something. I like “boxy” looking cars.
Can you tell us about your transition from one to two kids?
In a word: it was hard. It is hard. Zero to one child was, for me, much, much easier. Lincoln had colic, a lot of gastrointestinal issues, I had major PPA and it was hard to adjust, I won’t sugarcoat it. Having said that, I love having two. It’s so special to watch their sibling bond grow. The sweetest moment was when we were in Seaside and Harper was playing with some girls her age in the green space. They were playing ring around the rosie and Lincoln wanted so badly to join. She kept including him and making sure he was right next to her and when he fell because they went too fast she helped him back up. He even got a little shy to participate and she stood to the side with him and hugged him until he was ready to play again. I seriously get teary just thinking about it.
Do your kids ever fight?
All the time! I always share cute moments they have on Instagram, but they fight just like any other siblings. We have to break up the fights, separate them, oversee their apologies, etc. The struggle is real.
What are your favorite cheat meals?
I love Torchy’s Tacos (and all Mexican food), Chinese food (pork dumplings and sesame beef with chicken fried rice), pizza, crepes, ice cream with bits of cookie dough and Italian food. I never deprive myself – you’ve gotta live! I try to watch my portions if I have a cheat meal I make sure my next meal is lighter to balance things out. I also eat chocolate or ice cream every single day.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
Probably a million different things! A doctor, a lawer, a vet, a dollhouse maker…the list goes on and on 🙂
Are you still using your Clarisonic?
Nope! You can read about my skincare routine, here.
What is your best tip for work style – how can I be trendy and professional?
I think it’s important to first make sure you have all the basics – a good pair of skinny dress pants, a few pencil skirts, button up shirts and shells. A blazer or two. From there, you can add things like tops in bright colors or patterns, or wear a ruffle/bell sleeve top with your dress pants or tucked into a pencil skirt. Use Pinterest as a resource and save looks you love and try to find similar items in your closet.
How do you plan your blog content? Do you keep a calendar and plan weeks or months ahead?
I wish! I do keep a calendar of collaborations, but I don’t have the time to keep a strict and robust editorial calendar (like full time bloggers usually do). I typically have things in mind that I want to blog about, but generally I just go with the flow and share things I love in real time. Sometimes I have an idea for a post and write a draft but it doesn’t get published for weeks or months. I sometimes wish I had a little help to be more strategic, but I also don’t have time to train and/or oversee someone, so I do what I can in the time that I have.
Why is being a working mom important to you? Did you always knew you wanted to be a working mom?
I always imagined myself as a working mom. It’s important to me to work because it’s fulfilling, it helps support our family, it allows me to be financially independent in the case of a tragedy (hard to think about, but anything can happen) and I’m modeling for my children that they can do anything they want – that they can work and have a family. I also feel like because Kevin and I have a very equal partnership, we are modeling for our kids how life at home should be – so that my daughter finds a partner one day who pulls his weight (whether she decides to work or not when she has children) and so that my son knows that dads prepare meals, change diapers, rock babies to sleep and take them to the doctor, etc, on a regular basis. I’m lucky to have a job I love, which makes being a working mom easier. Of course working full time has its challenges, but I can’t imagine not working.
How can you be part of LIKETOKNOW.IT/rewardStyle? Do you have to be a blogger?
Influencers interested in applying for the RS network can apply here. I’m not sure what the criteria is to be accepted, but my assumption is that you have a large enough following and influence to generate sales.
If Lincoln had been a girl, what name did you have picked?
We would have used the name Isla and possibly Kate as a middle name. I also really loved the name Holland for awhile.
Did you get a push present for either kiddo?
Kevin got me a Tiffany necklace with an “H” on it for my birthday, which was a few days after Harper was born. I didn’t consider it a push present or anything, but the timing just happened to coincide with my birthday.
What are the top 3-4 stores you shop at for Harper? What about her bows?
My favorite places for clothes are Gap. Old Navy, Zara Kids and Nordstrom. My favorite bow shops are The Splendid Bow Shop, Amazon (I order these), The Little Lottie Shop, Modern Piggy andWillowCrowns.
How is your neck feeling? Hope you’re feeling better!
Aww thank you! I’ve been going to physical therapy 3 days a week but I’ve missed some days over the last couple of weeks due to my schedule. It has been OK. I definitely have a lot of work to do. I still have the burning and tingling pain in my arm from my neck on and off. I’ve made some changes at work like putting my computer screen way higher that have helped.
Did you buy or rent your pressure washer?
We bought it! Last year we paid someone to pressure wash our home and we realized it was less expensive to just buy one and do it ourselves. I actually really loved doing it – Kevin and I took turns and it was fun! This is the one we have.