modular sofa

sofa | ottoman pouf (sold out), similar style here and here | throw pillow | blanket | rug

How to become financially stable while living in an expensive city?

LOVE this question.  Such a great question and so hard to do when you’re starting out!

I have always saved a percentage of my income since my first job out of college.  I still do.  No matter how much you make, you can start by saving 10%.  Once you earn more, try to save more.

From there, try to limit those small expenses that are unnecessary.  For example:  I don’t want to give up my manicures.  Ever.  I typically get one a month, and that $40 (including tip) each month brings me joy all month long.  So that’s an expense that is worth it.  BUT, I don’t go to the coffee shop.  I make my own lattes at home (y’all know I love my Nespresso!).  So that is money I save every month.

Be intentional with your routine expenses.  Make sure you are purchasing versatile clothing and accessories rather than tons of trendy items.  If you want something beautiful for your home?  Save 15% rather than 10% until you can purchase it.  It will mean so much more when you see it knowing that you saved for months to splurge.  It will also confirm you really love it if 6-8 months later, you’re still saving for it.

For the Nespresso machines I use, simply search “Nespresso” and this post comes up with them linked.  There’s also tips for saving money in this same post!

Will you get a new cat any time soon?

I got this question quite a bit.  I am still pretty tender about losing Lula.  To be honest, I’ve never been a big cat person and she just came into my life by happenstance.

If I were to have another cat, it would be the same scenario – I would find a stray, start feeding one that showed up at my house or take in an elderly person’s cat after they passed.  I welcome any that come into my life on their own!

How’s Intermittent Fasting going?

I think it’s going pretty well!  My window of eating is 12:30PM – 8:30PM and I will often take off on Saturday or Sunday so Christian and I can make breakfast together.

I lost a few pounds initially, but haven’t weighed myself in a week or so.  If anything, it keeps me from mindless snacking.  I try to eat with intention.

It does take a week or two for your body to adjust to the eating window.  Then it gets much easier!

If you were getting married this year, what would you register for?

If you search “registry” or “register” on this blog you’ll find this post which addresses exactly that.

Would you choose the name “Carrie Bradshaw Lied” again today?

Great question.  I’ve thought about this before and while I might choose something a little more professional and polished if I were to start my blog today, I still love the name.  It’s fun, lighthearted and sassy… and I think that remains on brand for the tone of this blog.

What did you do before being an influencer/blogger?

I worked in PR/marketing for Southern Living magazine.  Then I started my blog on the side.  I had a short five month stint at a marketing firm that was the only job I’ve ever disliked, so I left it to work in PR/marketing for a bank’s corporate headquarters.  Everyone assumes this job wasn’t fun because it was at a bank, but I actually loved it!  The team was wonderful and the bank raised millions for the local children’s hospital through galas and events.  I was honored to be a part of that and had my first mentor there.

Then I was in event planning and social media for Urban Decay Cosmetics corporate headquarters, which was as awesome as it sounds.  I left this job to run CBL full-time but it was such a hard decision because that company is epic.

Don’t settle for mediocre day jobs – there are AWESOME workplaces out there, you just have to focus on finding them!

Do you have a team and how many people?

Yes and no.  I have a management team so that entails a business manager and her assistant.  I take both photos myself and hire a photographer on an as-need basis.  I have a virtual assistant who helps me with a few digital tasks each month.  And I have a video editor who edits all video content for me.

Other than those wonderful gals, it’s just me.  I’ve considered hiring an assistant and/or publicist, but considering my business in still myself and my personal life, I’m not sure that hiring someone else helps me that much.  I kind of take this month by month!

Does the rampant consumerism of your job ever stress you out (asking genuinely)?

This is a great question, and no – because that’s not how I run my business.  I am always preaching to you guys about versatility and making multiple outfits out of the same piece.  I wear vintage and have pieces that are 10+ years old.  I frequently say no to companies offering to send me things.  If I don’t need it or it’s not my style, I don’t want to waste their inventory when they could gift it to someone else who might love it.

There are bloggers who buy the same shirt in 10 colors and do try-on sessions every week… but you know that’s not me.  And that’s ok!  There’s space for everyone to do their thing.

Best concealer for under eyes?

I LOVE this one.  I first tried it about two years ago and haven’t looked back.  I wear both medium-light (winter) and medium (summer).

Longest you’ve ever been without Instagram?

Probably a few days other than my honeymoon when I locked my phone and computer in the safe for the entire week!  I’m still so happy I did that and would recommend it to any brides out there.  I still used my camera to take photos, but everything can wait a week, you know?

Do you have hair styling tips?

Yes!  Just search “hair” on this blog or check out this post for styling short hair.

How do you schedule your time to get everything done and on schedule?

This is a great question!  I wake up and spend about an hour and a half with Hudson.  Feeding him, getting him ready for the day, engaging with him.  Around 8:30AM right before his first nap, he is in the loving hands of someone else so I can get to my office.

I used to play the TV and/or music while I worked.  Not anymore.  I try to completely focus on my job and completing any necessarily house errands/chores before 4-5PM when it’s back to Hudson time.  We play, bathe, eat, do some tummy time and he’s in the bed by 7:30PM.

Then it’s dinner with Christian, time together before being in bed by 11PM.  I’d love to be in bed by 10PM but I often get sucked back into email or answering direct messages and it keeps me up later.  I’m trying to get better about this by limiting my screen time, but screen time is also my job so it’s complicated!

I will ask this of you – before you send an influencer or blogger a direct message or email, try finding the answer to your question yourself.  Either google your question if it doesn’t pertain to their content or use the search bar on their blog.  If you cannot find it, of course feel free to send them a message!  You’re already reading this blog, so thank you, truly I spend many hours a week putting information here so that it’s accessible to you guys, so take advantage of that!

We live in a world where we tend to ask others before even trying to find the answer on our own.  I speak on behalf of every influencer/blogger that it means the world to us when you first try to find the answer on your own before asking.  I don’t answer all of the questions in my Instagram Direct Messages simply because I can’t.  That would legitimately be a part-time job, and the majority of the questions have already been answered on this blog.  I do however answer every email I receive from you guys, even if it takes me a week!  Even if you can’t find it, knowing that you at least tried is meaningful.

When did you know you were ready for a baby?

When I turned 30 I felt way more interested in babies than I was in my 20’s.  I loved my family and friends kids but never saw them and thought, “I want one.”

Once I entered my 30’s I felt much more eager to get started on our family.  We did genetic testing to make sure things looked good and waited to be in a more stable home setting.  I didn’t want to have a baby until Christian was done with his training.  I was hoping to leave that last fellowship year pregnant and was lucky enough to move to Georgia around 18 weeks pregnant with Hudson.

Now that we are in our own home, I know I would have really struggled if I’d had a baby in San Francisco.  It wasn’t the time for us.  We have so much more space now for all of his swings, bottles, toys, clothes and strollers.  More privacy when he’s having meltdowns and we need to tap out for 15 minutes.  It could have been done, but I’m really, really thankful we waited.

Everyone says you’ll know when you are ready.  And I think this is true.  You’ll know, don’t stress about it.  You have your whole life to be a parent but you’re only in your twenties once!  Enjoy it.

How do you get ready every day with a newborn?  New mama over here.

I put him in this Baby Bjorn bouncer and either let him watch Baby Einstein or Sesame Street in the bedroom while I get ready and make the bed.  Even if he’s fussy, he can wait 15 minutes.

So many people talk about not finding the time to shower with a newborn… I don’t get that.  I never went a day without a shower.  My pediatrician says, “if he’s crying, he’s not dying.”  A baby can cry for 10-15 minutes while you get dressed.  They will survive and it’s important that you do that for yourself!

Now I’m not saying I’m putting on makeup or doing my hair everyday, but I’m getting dressed and making the bed.  And look!!  Hudson is almost 13 weeks old and alive and well!

How has your relationship changed since having the baby?

Love this question!  There is definitely less time with your partner when you have children, that’s simply a fact.

We aim to put Hudson down at 7:30PM every night, whether he likes it or not.  It’s good for him to have consistency and it’s good for us.  We both try to implement cell phone-free dinners and while we often eat in front of the TV, I’m trying to reduce this to weekends only.  It’s important to connect every day, even if it’s just over a meal.

Lately I’ve noticed all of our dinner conversations are about Hudson.  I think that’s natural, but I want to be better at this.  On occasion, I’m trying to say “no chat about the baby.”  We can talk about our careers, our home, plans, news, life, etc.  I’m not perfect at this, but it’s a goal!

How is Hudson’s sleep going?  Where does he sleep – the crib or bassinet?

Please don’t hate me… but he’s always slept so well at night.  Don’t get me wrong, we have other struggles but sleep isn’t one.  He sleeps at least 9 hours at night and sometimes up to 11-12.  But I’m aware the next child could be totally opposite.  Babies are wild cards!

We had Hudson in our bedroom for 2-3 weeks before we moved him to his room.  It seemed SO early, but our night nurse (more on that here) thought he was ready and he was already napping so well in his nursery crib.  It was the best move for him.  He sleeps so well in his crib and we sleep better not waking up at his every little squeak.  Babies can legitimately cry, moan and grunt while they’re sleeping… and they never even wake up!

He does occasionally nap in the bassinet in our room.  Once he’s rolling, we’ll move it to the attic until the next baby.

Do you have any plans to fly with the baby?

Not currently.  I’d love for him to be a little older before flying just so we can all have more understanding of each other.  Honestly if I were to fly somewhere I would prefer to have either set of grandparents keep Hudson… is that bad?

I don’t know that vacationing with him would be the best investment, and I think he would be a happier baby following his usual schedule/routine rather than it being out of whack while traveling.

Thank you so much for submitting your wonderful questions!!  You can catch this Q&A series every month and simply search “Q&A” to see at least eight other posts dedicated to reader questions.  Appreciate you guys and thank you for reading – XO –

23 Comments|See Comments

23 thoughts on “February Q&A

  1. Just wanted to say I enjoyed this Q&A. I know you have to talk about other things than baby, maternity and post-partum, but for now it’s my favorite topic of yours. I dream of the day we get a good sleeper, but as you said, there are other things he does great that someone else’s child may not, and I am thankful for all of it. Wouldn’t trade him for the best sleeper in the world. I love how real you are with your answers and how you refuse to give any advice that should be left to a doctor, as well. Kudos to you for that!

    1. Also, your financial advice is great and I hope people read it and take it in. Saving 10% is a great start for someone who doesn’t have savings and is usually achievable. Being intentional with purchases and looking for ways to either cut or make things cheaper helps too- people don’t realize how much repeated smaller purchases add up. That’s where a lot of people mess up IMO. By saving more, you can start to enjoy the occasional splurge item or investment in quality pieces and it makes it so much more meaningful.

      (Sorry for the double post- I’m all in my feels today on my last day of maternity leave and cannot sleep.)

  2. I always love your Q&As! Really appreciate your comment regarding trying to look for the answer before asking. I follow so many great accounts, instagrams, blogs, etc and the amount of people asking for every link to a piece of clothing or question that has been addressed a million times bugs me and I’m not the person being asked! I also think that this sentiment goes well beyond this online/instagram world. The amount of time in my profession that I get questions that could easily be answered if the person were to critically think for a moment or even try to look it up before asking drives me insane. I saw a great post on Instagram from an account that also has a podcast. She loves reading and often will post a great book she just finished or is enjoying. One of the people asked her to start creating a list of these books so the person following could keep track.. And her response was great! Why are we constantly asking others to create more work for others when the people asking are capable of it themselves? Again- love your account, CBL, your sweet family and you! Thank you for sharing with all your “friends” as much as you do!

    1. WOW ELIZABETH, MIC DROP! Can we please give you a podium so you can tell this to the world? I couldn’t have said it better if I tried! Appreciate you!

    1. I thought the same! We have a 12 week at home — and getting ready every day just felt like the right thing to do! Love your content, but your honesty even more. Loved the Q&A this month. With a new baby, I’m drawn to your baby content as of late, but I love it all!!

  3. LOOOOVE and living for your answer about consumerism and your business. It stresses ME out when I see bloggers advocate for buying a lot of useless/low quality items. You’re the best.

  4. I loved this post, Kathleen. I appreciate these glimpses into your life and while my babies are now 10 and 9 I really enjoy hearing about Hudson and all that he is doing. My babies both slept through the night after a few weeks and I was always SO grateful for that. Neither liked to nap but hey, I can handle that when I’m getting a solid 7-8 hours at night.

    1. Honestly Hudson is the EXACT SAME. Not a great napper but sleeps hard at night. No baby is “easy,” but you just gotta count your wins!

  5. I LOVE that you keep Hudson on a routine and think about his consistency when planning trips, dinner, etc. I have 3 kids, 4 and under, and have gotten SO.MUCH.GRIEF from friends and family about us not taking them on weekend get-aways, or putting them down early so that we can eat and watch our shows in peace. I always get horrifying looks when I’m asked if I miss my kids on a date night and my answer is no. It’s essential to re-connect with your spouse whether you have 1 child or a million (what it feels like). And it’s also OK to want to shower and feel like a human everyday. While being a mama might be your most important job, there is so much more to you than just that, and that should be nurtured and respected at the same level.

    Side note – love your everything. You are refreshing and so raw with your content; I can’t get enough! Wish I knew you in real life! 🙂

    1. It’s crazy because it’s almost like I posted this! I have 3 under 4 (had 3 under 3 when my youngest was born ) and we keep them on a strict nighttime routine. If they stay up late they don’t sleep in so they’re all out of whack the next day. So much better for everyone to keep consistent!

  6. We moved our son into his room around 6 weeks old kind of by plan and by accident. I would put him to sleep in his crib so my husband and I could spend some quality time together. Then when he woke up for his next feeding I would move him into the bassinet in our room. Well, he just kept sleeping longer and longer stretches in his room so he stayed there. It was nice not having to worry about the transition from bassinet to crib. Thank you for being so open and honest about motherhood and the wild cards that are babies!

  7. I’ve followed you on IG for some time but honestly just started reading your blog a couple months ago and felt led to say thank you! I find you refreshing as you stay true to yourself and don’t let others influence you to move in a way that isn’t for you. We are all different and I’ve never understood the criticism from people of things that don’t even pertain to their life. I love following and reading and I appreciate your honesty – it’s delightful! xoxo

  8. I really appreciate your candor about motherhood. I’m due in April and I’m very much looking forward to our little guy being here but I’ve been a little nervous life will be all about baby, no time for showers, the works. Seeing your posts has helped me see motherhood in a way that I haven’t seen a ton and I appreciate it so much. You’re honest about it all and honest about making time for yourself and seeing someone do it makes me think I can do it, too. Loved your other content before and still do now, but the addition of your life as a mom is very inspiring so thank you!

  9. As the last of my friends to have a baby I really try to pick up good advice. Might as well learn from friends along the way right! 🙂 One piece that has stuck with me for years is from Dr. Phil (yes he’s gone a little cray but still) “a baby comes into your life, you don’t come into his” ( he was saying don’t stop living your life or tiptoe through the house). I’m definitely adding “if he’s crying he’s not dying”. Everyone, especially new moms need 10 minutes! Love this and your real perspective!

  10. Not even done reading the post, but I just had to thank you for saying what you did about waiting to have a baby. Because “waiting for when you’re ready” can also be applied to marriage, moving in with a partner, etc. It sometimes feels like there’s a race to the finish with others, or that it seems like all your friends are moving in, getting engaged, and having children, and it can be hard be okay with not being ready for that next step, whatever it might be. But it does really happen in it’s own time for everyone. It was a nice reminder to not rush life, it’ll all happen eventually!

  11. Any feedback on breastfeeding?? It is a constant struggle and was wondering how you were doing with this!

  12. This was a really fun read, thanks for answering all the questions. I wanted to reiterate your point about looking for info yourself before asking someone else. Before I left my previous job I had two people who reported to me that asked me EVERY DAMN THING that came into their heads. It was so annoying! 95% of those questions could be answered with a quick google search or a cursory review of the client’s file! Also scrolling through IG I see people asking questions that have literally been answered in the caption. What is with people today?!? Ok, sorry… rant over. I didn’t know I was going to get so worked up about that – LOL!

  13. Love what you said about travel! I think it’s most important to keep the baby on a schedule and honestly, a vacation with a baby is NOT the same as the vacation you had before. My son is 2.5 and we still haven’t taken him on a plane and people think we are crazy. We have family close by so there is really no need. I agree about making sure the investment of the travel is worth it. We also took him to the beach last year and I totally regretted that (though some littles like the beach). I think there is zero rush to take them on adventures. There is plenty of time.

  14. Love your answer about traveling with a baby. These are my sentiments 100% but I feel like so many people (maybe just influencers??) make it seems like its so easy/ideal to travel with a baby. Like what!? lol That seems insane to me. I am sure this works for some people and think maybe its just my personality that makes me think this would be a nightmare? I don’t think I would enjoy my trip due to the amount of stress/logistics that go into traveling with an infant. And like you, this seems like a terrible investment lol. You are the first person I feel like has given an honest answer (or at least one I identify with ) on this topic!

  15. Thank you for answering the questions! I asked about your CBL and I truly appreciate you taking the time to put it in here. Love to you and the fam!

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