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This month I wanted to start a new monthly Q & A series! I get a lot of the same questions from you guys on social media and email, so I thought this would be a great way to answer some of the most commonly asked questions and hopefully will be a fun monthly series we can all do together. I’m excited!
So let’s get into it –
Q: Do you want to move back to the South or stay in California? Do you know where you’re moving when Christian is done with his fellowship?
A: This was by far the most asked question! I have mulled over my South vs. California feelings for literally, years. I love both regions for different reasons, and I’ve always said that if I made a pro/con list for each location, it would be split even. California offers diversity, travel, weather and professional opportunities that the South just doesn’t. Yet the South has a work/life balance, warmth, family + friends and heart that I’ve yet to really find out West. They each bring something so special to the table, so I genuinely have always thought we would be happy in either location long-term.
It’s really come down to where our day-to-day quality of life will be the smoothest, and because Christian’s career is a subspecialty-within-a-specialty, our options aren’t as vast as one might think unless he wanted to start his own solo practice (which he does not). He is in such a niche market that it’s really come down to two locations and we have 90% committed to one of them. We don’t plan on sharing details about the move until later in the spring!
Q: How much longer are you in San Francisco?
A: Four months exactly!
Q: If you could choose one place to live for the rest of your life, where would you choose?
A: If it was all about me – Santa Barbara or Laguna Beach.
Q: How tall are you?
A: Answer to that here!
Q: Do you want kids? When do you plan on having babies? Are you going to try for babies as soon as Christian is done with fellowship?
A: We do want kids. If you had asked me five years ago I would have said… maybe. We have chosen to wait longer than we originally thought to start a family for personal and professional reasons. I was never interested in having babies during Christian’s training because his hours are so demanding and with my career, it’s yet to be one of our top priorities. I’ve always had the mentality that I really wanted to enjoy our careers and adult experiences while we can because I know we won’t be able to get these years of complete freedom back once we expand our family.
But we do see some kids in our future and recognize we aren’t getting any younger (such a sad reality! #millennial). Some people get pregnant the first time they try and for others it can take quite a while so who knows what that process will be like. Until then, we have 10 nieces and nephews under 12, so there are plenty of kids to go around (and then return to their loving parents).
Q: Did you go to college? What did you study in school?
A: You can find the answer to that here.
Q: Does LashBoost really work?
A: YES. It’s the only R+F product I’ve tried but it’s my favorite lash serum I’ve ever used. I just ordered my third tube from Emily Loftiss!
Q: What is something you are currently learning (in life, business, relationships, etc.)?
A: I LOVED this question. Right now I would say I’m learning a lot about delayed gratification and how to have peace in the unknown. Christian has been in school for 10 years after college, so he knows a lot about delayed rewards. In the past few months of seeing a therapist (more on that here), I’ve realized how much I overthink the unknown.
In my life, I set goals and work hard to achieve them. I am not always successful, but at least when I’m not, I learn something that helps me continue to grow. I have much more instant gratification in my career, and therefore it can really frustrate me that Christian’s career continues to dictate our life – where we live, how long we live here vs. there, when we start a family, spending so many holidays away from our families, etc.
But nothing worth having comes easy (more on that here). And I have been trying to incorporate more yoga into my life, I work to stay consistent with my gratitude journal and trust the timing of my life to unfold as it’s supposed to. But this mindset is a daily pursuit. Daily!
Q: Do you find it hard to balance your private life and public life?
A: Definitely. I try to share as much as I’m comfortable with (and anything vulnerable, like this post, I always run by Christian as I wouldn’t want to make him uncomfortable either), but there’s so much I choose not to share.
That being said, ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll agree that I’ve always been an open book. What you see is what you get, and if you follow my Instagram stories you definitely see more of that!
Q: Was your husband always supportive of your blogging career?
A: Yes – in fact, he wanted me to leave my corporate career far earlier than I did because he saw the potential and growth much more than I did. Christian is a classic middle child – he’s super supportive, a peace maker and the best team player. He is self-taught in photography and always helps me out with photos and videos… even though he’s a trained facial plastic surgeon. He’s an all-hands-on-deck kind of guy and I would never have this business without his help!
Q: How did you and Christian meet? Why do you call him Barnez?
A: Find out here.
Q: Do you feel pressure to stay fit and look a certain way?
A: Yes and no. I’m certainly aware of my body, much more so than I would be if I had a different career. When you see photos of yourself as often as I do, you have to really see those 6 lbs you gained on vacation, etc. But at the end of the day, the reason I look to blogs is to see real women with real bodies styling things in their own way. That is what inspires me.
I think not being model-eque is refreshing for so many women who aren’t naturally a size 0! And if you are, I’m jealous. All bodies are beautiful and I think in this day and age, style comes in all shapes and sizes.
Q: Tips for saving money?
A: My brother-in-law is a college professor and has his PhD in Finance, so he’s always been my go-to for savings advice. He told me when I was fresh out of college to save 10-15% of every paycheck, so I did. Then when I got a promotion, he told me to continue living with less and save more if I could, so I did. When I married Christian, even he was shocked to find out how much I had actually saved in the five years I’d been out of college.
We both continue to save and invest as much as we can, and I always just remember that I’d rather be saving for my future home and family rather than spend it mindlessly on things I don’t need.
That being said, I DO save money in a separate account for luxury items I want to splurge on. For example, years ago when I wanted Stuart Weitzman boots, I saved $150 a month until I had enough to purchase them. The delayed gratification of snagging those boots I worked so hard to save for made them all the sweeter.
And six years later I still have and wear them. So they were worth it!
Q: As a blogger how many hours a day do you work?
A: I compare the work hours of bloggers to the work hours of someone in real estate or sales. Some days it’s 12-15 and other days it’s 6. It really depends on the projects on the table, if it’s “busy season” (aka holiday), etc. I typically work anywhere from 45-60 hours a week.
Q: Do you have any tips on blogging or for someone who wants to become an influencer?
A: Yes! Find some helpful links here.
Q: Is the Nespresso machine worth the purchase?
A: For us – definitely. Christian and I literally have a drip coffee machine, two Nespresso machines (this one and this one), a French Press and AeroPress. We are coffee-addicts, but our favorite “special” cup of coffee continues to be Nespresso. It is stronger than drip coffee and has a unique taste that we love.
If you’re on the fence, you can try a cup at any Nespresso cafe or at Bloomingdale’s where Nespresso is sold!
Q: What would you tell your 22 y/o self?
A: Take more risks. It is a lot less scary to be bold and take risks when you’re young! The older you become, you feel more responsibility for your marriage, your pets and/or children, finances, etc. Be bold when you have less responsibilities and the consequences aren’t as great!
Q: What’s your hair routine?
A: My most up-to-date hair routine is here! You can find all beauty related content in the “beauty” category.
Q: Will you ever get another dog?
A: I won’t tell Bailey this question was asked – ha! I can’t get another dog while we still have Bailey. She’s almost 12, around 90 lbs., sheds a lot, is constantly fighting me for foot space in the kitchen… I love her, but big dogs are a lot of work! I grew up with small dogs and I joke that Bailey is the equivalent of taking care of three small dogs.
Christian and I always argue about the size of our next dog… I’m demanding under 40-50 lbs, because I’m the one who’s taking care of the dog and I’d to be able to physically manage it (you should see me trying to hoist her in the car for vet appointments because she refuses to walk up a ramp).
Q: Are Agolde shorts worth it?
A: Definitely. My favorite denim shorts by a landslide – I have three pairs! I think they run TTS, I wear a 27 which is what I always wear.
Q: I’m about to move to a new city because of my boyfriend’s residency. Any tips?
A: Yes! I’ve done a blog post on my tips here and here, and you can also find all marriage/relationship content here.
Q: Best packing tips for short trips?
A: Stick to solids! When I am packing for a quick trip I stick to a few solid tops and bottoms so I can mix and match without it being obvious.
photos by Christian Barnes
Q: Skincare secrets – do you get Botox or Fillers?
A: I am very lucky to never have struggled with my complexion. Trust me, I have other issues with my body, but my complexion has always been one of my favorite features. I am very diligent with washing my face, not wearing makeup when I’m not going anywhere and letting my skin breathe, using serums, moisturizers, eye cream, etc., but I won’t lie, I have gotten Botox. I’ve never tried Fillers, but I get Botox in my forehead and between my brows around once a year for the past three years.
And that’s it for this month’s Q & A session! I will be asking for more questions in early April and we can do this again! If there are any questions you’re curious about and didn’t see here, you can check out the FAQ page of this blog where I address more frequently asked questions. I also did a little Q&A video you might be interested in here!
Thank you so much for reading and submitting these great q’s! XO –