pink braid heaband

headband | similar bag, also love this one | top | skirt | heels (on sale!)

photo by Christian Barnes at Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

Q: What do you do with the clothes you get as gifts or a part of a paid partnership with brands?

A:  In the best scenario, I’m allowed to select pieces from brands that I style and keep to wear long-term.  That’s why you’ll see me wearing the same pieces frequently (and then even when they’re no longer available, but I love them so I still wear them just as often!).  I usually pick one or two things and they are pieces that reflect my personal style.  Or if I don’t see anything that resonates with me I’m just as likely to say thank you but I don’t see anything that is jumping at me, etc.  Living in a small apartment I don’t have room for anything I’m not in love with!

Other times, I’m sent boxes of randomly selected pieces that may or may not even be my size, represent my style, etc.  These pieces are usually kept in a corner and offered to friends & family before being donated to local charities or donation centers to bless someone else!

Q:  All time favorite handbag?

A:  My beige Chanel Jumbo Christian gave me for my 29th birthday.

Q:  Never seen you wear Golden Gooses.  Curious your opinion?

A:  I’ve actually been asked about these sneakers quite a bit.  I personally don’t own any.  Call me old school, but I have a hard time wrapping my mind around spending that much money on sneakers that look dirty?  However I know people really love them!  I would rather save my dollars toward something that “looks” new and wear Tretorns or p448 (I have a pair and I’m newly obsessed!).

Q:  Were you saved in your life as a Christian?  What was your experience?

A:  I was baptized in the Episcopal Church as a baby in Nashville and once we moved to Mississippi we attended the Methodist Church.  I’ve always grown up learning about religion and Christianity and studied religion in college.  I have always identified as a believer but will be honest that I have been drawn nearer to God and further from God at different times in my life.  When I tend to struggle or see so much sadness around me, I pull away yet when I am happy and thriving, I feel deeply blessed and connected.  It’s something I’ve been open with in my Bible Study here in SF and I continue to work on.

Living in California, I’ve become friend with people of all different religions and spiritualities and it’s been a great experience learning and respecting everyone’s faith.  I’ve also been to temple and loved it!  I don’t know how I would live in this crazy world without believing in something larger than humanity.

Q:  What advice would you give for people considering moving to SF?

A:  Boy.  This is tough for me to answer in a non-biased way as it’s no secret our experience here has been pretty… tough.  But if you’re in tech, I get it.  There’s no more inspiring place to be in that regard.  However if you’re in literally any other industry, I would really evaluate what is drawing you to the city.

I guess it depends on what you are hoping to get out of your time here. Are you moving here to work a dream job at an exciting start up (it is a land of opportunity)?  To go to a prestigious school (there are great ones here)?  Or be closer to wine country (heaven)?  Then you’ll be able to have those things. If you are leaving somewhere you already like to support someone you love following their dream, it may be harder. It’s the most expensive housing in the U.S., even with crime, homelessness and street drugs are at an all time high.  It also has landed at #1 in property crime in the States.  Visiting is one thing… living here is another.  Looking back, I would have chosen to live outside the city in Marin.  The Bay Area is beautiful but the city of San Francisco is in a really challenging/hard place right now.

LA and NY are much less intense and safer in my experiences/opinion.  I lived in NY briefly in college and always felt super safe and didn’t see anything alarming.  I was in and out of LA for 5 years and maybe once did I feel threatened.  We had countless great experiences in Southern California and can’t recommend it enough!

And if you do decide to move here… you might want to use this map to help guide your neighborhood/street selection (at least we did).

Q:  Denim shorts recommendations for non-thigh gap girls who don’t want to show too much skin?

A:  I have 3-4 pairs of Agolde.  I love the length and they still feel “cool” without being like… 18 y/o short, you feel me?  No judgement, I’m really just jealous I’m not 18.

Love the Dee (also available here and here).

Q:  Tips on supporting my partner in his career journey after grad school?

A:  I wrote this requested post a while back that really applies to anyone in a relationship with someone who has a non-flexible, demanding job that might be helpful.  I think remembering that you’re always on each other’s team can really help.  There are going to be times in your marriage when they need your support and patience and then the tables will turn and they’re going to be there for you when you’re hitting your stride.  Relationships ebb and flow, and the most important part of all is that you’ve found the person who is the ying to your yang.  Someone you want to experience the highs and lows with.  THAT is the silver lining of every struggle!

Q:  What are some good podcasts you’ve been loving?  Ear Hustle was great!

A: If you search “podcast” on this blog you’ll see all my favorites in three different posts!

And Ear Hustle is amazing – a rec I got from my sister.

Q:  Any good weekender traveling bags?

A:  Christian and I love this one.  And of course if you want to splurge, the best.

Q:  Another hint on the move?

A:  Lots of guess for Dallas.  I love Dallas and many people I love also live there.  But… it’s not Dallas!

I have been wanting to finalize our living situation before we shared, and because we have been looking since January, the hunt has been much more difficult than I anticipated.  BUT… should things go according to plan, we will have a more solid ground to stand on in the next few weeks, praise be!

Q:  Where’s one place in the world you think everyone should visit?

A:  In the U.S.?  Hawaii (several guides if you search “Hawaii“).  In the world?  Paris (guide here).

Q:  Traveling to Napa and LA soon.  Any recommendations?

A:  If you search for these places or check the FAQ of this site, you’ll find several guides!

Q:  Have you traveled to Jamaica?

A:  Yes! Shared it here in the travel category.

Q:  Bra & undie favorites?

A:  My favorite bras are my Third Love bras and I love my On Gossamer underwear but I don’t have enough.  I don’t have a go-to underwear brand but I would love any recs if y’all have a favorite!

Q:  Do you ever get stressed/tired of traveling for work? If so, how do you combat the guilt?

A:  I love this question!  Four years ago I would have said never, but in the past two or so years I’ve really slowed down my travel.  When I travel for work, I not only have to pack and prep, but I have to work ahead for the days I’ll be gone.  I have to meet deadlines in advance, pre-schedule blog posts, etc.

Then I pack outfits for both the itinerary at hand + the weather and have to pull up all of those items and link them in advance so when I share photos on social media on the go, I can link the outfit details so CBL girls can have all the scoop in real time.  I also have to consider photography and how I will capture it, who else will be traveling that I might be able to work with.  This often includes researching photographers or contacting people ahead of time.

For my personal life, I also have to arrange pet-care for the animals, dog walkers, etc. because we no longer have access to an outdoor space and don’t have family/friends nearby that I feel comfortable asking to pitch in.  Christian works crazy hours so I’ll try to have food for him to eat when he gets home at 9:30PM… you know the drill.

Therefore preparing for travel can take days of prep work and it’s taken a little bit of the sparkle out of it over time.  Traveling is an amazing opportunity, but at the end of the day it’s absolutely still work and I’m usually working all day and not necessarily reading books by the pool like I would be if it were a vacation I was actually planning on my own for my personal life.  But, still some opportunities are too good to turn down.  Now I just make sure it’s something that when I first see the travel opportunity my first reaction is, “yes, absolutely!”  I actually picked up that tip from Oprah.  Listen to that initial reaction to something when it crosses your lap.  That’s when you know it’s the right move.

Q:  How does Karen feel about a hotel bath?

A:  Oh you know she’s not touching it.  I asked how many times she’s gotten in her own bathtub and she said “less than a dozen.”

Q:  How do you eat so many carbs and stay lean?

A:  Alarmingly… I do eat all the things but I’m usually pretty healthy.  Christian and I don’t eat out that much, we’re always cooking and therefore I know exactly what I’m eating.  I also eat about 80% vegetarian, so I eat a ton of veggies.  I’m the weirdo who genuinely loves vegetables.

Q:  Do you think I could start a blog NOW at 30 with two kids and it be successful?

A: Starting a blog, especially in the beginning, takes a ton of time.  Figuring up how to set up your site, designing it, deciding what you’re going to to talk about, setting up all your social platforms and getting those first few readers – you get what you put in.

So if you are really passionate about it and know it’s a slow build but still super fun!? I say go definitely go for it!  Success isn’t guaranteed in any new venture but if you love it and you’re passionate and consistent, it will absolutely show.

Q: How do you have the courage to share your life as your career?

A:  I’ve always been a pretty open book.  I also love fashion, home and cooking.  When I started blogging eight years ago I had no idea the criticism that would come with it.  Had I known?  I probably would have been more hesitant, but I suppose ignorance is bliss.  Now that I’m a little older, I know this platform has not only fulfilled me in ways both big and small, but it’s also given me opportunities I couldn’t have dreamt of.  Christian and I both feel immensely blessed by this blog and all of you – so it’s worth all of it, hands down!

Q:  Playlist of your favorite tunes!

A:  I love sharing playlists! If you search “playlist” or “spotify” you’ll find several posts.

Q: Go-to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime TV musts?

A:  I don’t watch as much Hulu and Amazon Prime but if you search “Netflix” you’ll find two different posts!  If you guys have Hulu or Amazon Prime favorites, I’d love to hear!

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted a question!  You can see March and April‘s post in the “personal” category of this blog.  Appreciate you guys – XO –

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10 thoughts on “May | Q&A

  1. Regarding your request for undie recommendations… Hanky Panky are the best EVER!! They are super soft have a wide lace band that stays put, and they are invisible under clothes. I prefer the low rise cut. Nordstrom often has great sales on them, and you can usually find them at Nordstrom Rack too!

  2. These monthly Q+A’s give me life I use to intern for AGOLDE and can understand your love for their shorts. Also the fact that you pointed out something you learned from Oprah is everything – – I do the same and my friends don’t get it. Thanks for always being so relatable!

  3. Seriously alarmed at the poop prob in SF! Glad my plan to move there never worked out! Can’t wait to find out where you’re moving!!