Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Scoop // 2

TOP:: Ulla Johnson (old) similar here and here // OVERALLS:: Paige (sold out) similar here

Hi everyone! Still here with this migraine although it is much better than yesterday. First and foremost, I want to give a big THANK YOU to those of you who filled out the Follower Testimonial for me. I can't tell you how much it means to me and I was blown away by the amount of you who took the time to fill it out (so many were so incredibly thoughtful and made me feel like a million bucks!). For those of you who didn't see it or missed it, the Testimonial is meant to help show brands the value I bring to my followers and will hopefully help in landing campaigns with brands. If you haven't filled one out and want to (it's a quick survey and takes a minute), I would be so appreciative! You guys are truly the best and are the sole reason I keep up with this blog!

And finally, thank you for submitting questions last week! I got so many questions this time and will try to answer as many as possible. I combined some that were sort of similar. 

Q: Any tips for dressing a large bump/ Recs for one pieces and brands that are bump friendly?

A: If you are dressing a large bump during the summer time then the easiest and best thing would be flowy, billowy dresses. I just ordered this one (sans bump!) and it would have been perfect last summer when I was pregnant with Ellie. It's also great without a bump! Xirena makes roomy pieces as well as Tiare Hawaii. I also just ordered this cheap Amazon dress just for the heck of it and I was pleasantly surprised.  It would be perfect for a bump. Reviews say it's a little snug in the chest but for me it was fine (but I'm not working with much up top, hah!) Maybe order a size up. For fall/winter: I honestly lived in leggings and big sweaters. Or I would always wear skinny maternity jeans (loved citizens and ag maternity) with a fitted Gap maternity tank and a long chunky cardigan. I found it SO hard to find decent maternity swimwear last summer. I had to resort to whatever was available from A Pea in the Pod. This one looks pretty cute and this is actually the exact style I was looking for last year!

Q: What was the biggest difference/hardest part going from 3 to 4 kids?

A: It's funny because my husband and I thought going from 3 to 4 would be a piece of cake (HAH!) because going from 2 to 3 didn't feel too crazy for us. We were so wrong. I think the biggest difference is that there is never any down time. My older three don't nap anymore. When we had our third, all three were still taking naps and it was a nice chance just to breathe and recalibrate. I think the hardest part, honestly, is that I often feel like there isn't enough of me to go around. I try to do it all. I want to be the one driving them to and from school, taking them to the park, volunteering in their classrooms, taking them to gym and music get the picture. Ellie is usually the one who gets the short end of the stick- I have a longtime sitter who will help and watch her at home while I'm out running around with my older three. As much as I'll be sad to see summer come to an end, I'm kind of looking forward to having my older three back in school for a bit so I can have some one on one time with Ellie. My sister got me to sign up for music class with her and my niece this fall and I'm really looking forward to it!

Q: Any suggestions for a good fall bag?

A: My splurge bag would be the Celine Nano Belt Bag- it's the bag I pretty much wear every day and it is so easy with the kids and has held up so well. For a more affordable bag without compromising quality, I love all Cuyana. This half-moon shoulder bag in stone is beautiful. I was also introduced to Welden Bags earlier this summer and fell in LOVE. Their styles are gorgeous and everything is made by hand. I just got to see their fall line and the bags and colors are beautiful. Stay tuned!

Q: New but older blogger here. Thoughts on bloggers asking for likes and Instagram hiding likes? 

A: I honestly have zero thoughts on Instagram hiding likes. I've heard views on both sides and don't feel strongly either way. Actually, the first time I heard about it, I didn't think about it from a blogger's perspective but my initial thought was that of a parent. This whole world of social media and kids scares me. Anything that won't promote feelings of inadequacy in kids, I'm fully supportive of. In terms of people asking for likes...Do you mean when influencers ask readers to engage and like their posts? It doesn't bother me. I haven't personally done that yet but a lot of time and effort goes into running a blog and when you feel like your content isn't being seen by people who might want to see it, it's frustrating. Having people "like" your photos or commenting on them ensures that your content will pop up in their feeds. As a blogger, whenever I see a fellow blogger share their newest Instagram post on their stories, I always make a point to go over to their page and like it. I think it's important for bloggers to support one another and quite frankly, it bothers me when that doesn't happen. It's just like a virtual "I see you, I know so much goes into this little picture, and here's a little high five." So simple. 

Q: Tabletop Styling? I have to pick up wedding china after 5 years of sitting on credit!

A: My wedding china is still sitting pretty and all wrapped up-I haven't used it once! I will say, I ended up buying completely different china then what I had originally registered for and I'm so happy I did. I bought pale aqua chargers (my fave color) and white dishes with gold trim. I can't remember the make at all.  But now that we have moved and have some more space to entertain, I do plan on using it soon. My all time favorite account for entertaining and tablescape inspo is Host to Perfection.  And in terms of styling a table, the more flowers the better! 

Q: Best weight loss tips post baby?

A: Give yourself grace and time. Unfortunately, I don't have any tips. While my weight might be around where it was pre babies, my body is most definitely not. I feel very little pressure to look like I did before I had babies but would love just to feel stronger and healthier. I've mentioned it before but I truly despise working out and I'm trying to change that. Finding the time is half the battle and motivating myself to move is the other half. My plan going forward is to designate two mornings a week to exercise. Once I get into a little groove, I hope to up it a bit!

Q: What do you do for me time?

A: I think I touched a bit on this last time- I'm still trying to find a way to carve out me time during the week. It's a bit easier when the kids are in school. But when I do have time, I love walking around town, grabbing coffee with friends, and hanging with my sisters and my brother and of course my Mom (and you, too, Dad!) I also just got back into reading for fun (after a lengthy hiatus) and it has made me so happy. I'm so sick of my phone and screens!

Q: Eating schedules: do you and your husband eat with kids or after bed? Evening is tricky!

A: We are EARLY eaters. I usually feed my kids dinner around 4:30/5. If I'm not starving, I'll try and wait for Chris to get home so we can attempt to eat together but honestly it pretty much goes like this: One of us takes a bite of dinner while the other wipes a butt, breaks up a fight, wipes away tears, kisses a boo-boo and so on. And we just switch back and forth until we're done! On Sunday though, we always sit down as a family and eat together It's become a nice little tradition and the kids look forward to it.

Q: Comfy postpartum clothes for a winter baby?

A: I'm not exaggerating when I say I lived in leggings and sweatpants for the first few months. I also had four c sections and with Ellie my incision didn't close for quite some time (ouch) so I pretty much could only wear leggings. My maternity jeans didn't work and regular jeans didn't work either. I didn't worry about looking put together one bit and no new mother should. Dress comfortably because you will be exhausted and won't want to put any thought into your clothes. Leggings, loose and longer sweaters and sweatshirts and you are good to go.

Q: Aw I love your kids. Why don't you feature them more?

A: I think this is the most asked question. I love my kids, too! I started this blog way before I had children and I never intended to share them on social media. I've pretty much always kept their faces off my blog and my Instagram account but last year felt the pressure to share more. I posted a family picture a month after Ellie was born and immediately felt this rush of regret and guilt. The picture ended up getting the most likes I've ever gotten on Instagram but the feeling I had (like a constant pit in my stomach) proved to me I had to stick to my guns and keep them private. Every parent and every family is different and like I've said before, I have many blogger friends who do share their lives with their readers and make amazing connections with their followers and I love them for it. And I think they do an amazing job. But it's just not for me and my family. I love sharing bits about my life as a mom and that's why I love these Q&A posts because it allows me to do that. I just feel more comfortable keeping their faces off the internet.

Q: Mom of 4 tips please! Expecting my fourth and feel so overwhelmed with 3!

A: Go with the flow and don't sweat the small stuff. Having four has definitely forced me to be more flexible and worry less about the little things. With my older two, I was constantly worried about every thing. Were they napping long enough? Why weren't they napping as long as *Karen's baby? Karen's baby is signed up for gym class, music class, art class, playgroup, library time and so on and so on,  I guess we probably should too. With Charlie, it's like a switch went off and I stopped worrying and did our own thing. I don't like to be out of the house all the time and I find it easier to be home with my crew. For some other people, being out is the only way to survive and make it until bedtime! You have to find what works for you and go off that. Don't be persuaded by what works for others.

Q: Did you sleep train all of your kids? If so, what is your secret?

A: The answer is pretty much, no and why I could never be a mom blogger! I never really followed a book or a specific sleep specialist and we just did our own thing which was a combo of letting them cry (for short amounts of time) and going in and giving them their paci. The paci route is the way we went with L, C and E (H was never into them) and while it is a pain in the butt, it's what I felt most comfortable doing. I would let them cry/stir for a little and half the time they would just go back to sleep and the other half I would end up going in and giving them their paci and leaving. Eventually, they figure out how to put their pacis in their mouths and fall back to sleep on their own. **If you enjoy sleeping and not waking up multiple times a night for 7 months then I would NOT go in this direction! I actually let mom bloggers get the best of me right after I had E and called a sleep specialist and they basically told me it was fine during naps to go in and give them their pacis but at night I should not go into their room at all. I took all of these notes during a phone consult and paid a pretty penny and ended up doing exactly what she said not to do! And guess what, E is a great sleeper.  It might have taken us a bit longer to get there but we got there. Also- every baby is different and babies who end up sleeping really well as infants turn into toddlers who have nightmares, or have trouble staying in their beds at night, etc etc.

Q: What are some organizers you use for jewelry, scarves, toys etc?

A: I'll be dedicating some future blog posts to this but I have pretty much loved these things from the Container Store:

1. Stackers Jewelry organizers and these Stackers organizers (scroll down and you can see the options. I don't buy the one with the lid and just buy the inserts that I keep in my drawers)
2. Clear Bins for Toys
3. Acrylic Handbag organizer  (for smaller purses and clutches)

Q: Do you work better at home or in a coffee shop?

A: I would say home but only when my kids are at school! It has taken me four mornings to complete this Q&A post because my kids have been on top of me the entire time. But when they are out of the house, definitely home. Coffee shops I find too distracting and I always end up people watching and daydreaming (!)

Q: How is Kaitlin? Will she ever do a guest blog?

A: For those of you who are new here, Kaitlin is one of my oldest friends who I started this blog with SO many years ago. It was originally called Roses and Rags (yes, really) and we changed the name to In My Closet because that was our most popular blog post series at the time. She had her first baby, Carter, last September and decided to step away and focus on him, her family and her full time job. She is doing really well! I'm working on getting her to do a guest post. Her nursery is beyond and I think you would all really love to see it!

And that's a wrap! Thank you again for the questions and look out for another Q&A for September!

xo Chrissy

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