Coffee with Liz

What kind of camera do you use for your shoots? What camera would you recommend as a starter? Did you take a photography class?

For blog photos we use our Canon 5D Mark III with a 50mm F/1.2 L series lens. When we started shooting we worked with a Nikon and then a Canon 60D. The biggest difference I have seen in our shooting is the lens (after splurging on an L series). We have never taken a photography class (Dave shoots my photos!) but we do watch a lot of YouTube videos, read articles on photography and practice! We also share a Pinterest board on shooting styles.

Do you have a standard “go to” wedding gift or a site you often visit first to look?

After having a wedding myself, I generally stick to the registry or write a check for a wedding gift (lame I know). If it is a close friend, I love to browse Mark & Graham’s site! So many pretty, customizable items. I also love to gift Williams Sonoma’s cashmere throw or one of my favorite cookbooks.

Can you talk about all your rings? Especially the one with “C” on it?

My ‘C’ Ring and diamond/rose gold band that I wear on the ring finger of my right hand are by Dana Rebecca Designs. I talked about my wedding bands here!

What are your favorite blogs to follow?

A few favorites that I check regularly: Look Linger Love, The College Prepster, Gal Meets Glam, The Stripe, Cella Jane, Somewhere Lately, The Chriselle Factor and Damsel in Dior.

What do you use for a diaper bag for Charlie/you?

We use and love our Fawn Diaper bag! Seen here and here. It’s the perfect size, stays organized and can be worn as a crossbody or a backpack. 

Do you any have recommendations/suggestions on things to do with a baby. My little boy is currently two months old and I’ve decided to stay at home with him (difficult decision) – what types of activities did you do with Charlie at this age?

That was still a little young for us so our outings consisted of walks around the neighborhood! I would maybe recommend looking into a mommy group? I know there are some stroller fitness classes that a few of my friends have done when their babies were new. We started taking Charlie to music classes when he was 4 months old but up until then most of our “activities” involved play time at home, walks to the dog park or coffee dates (for me!).

I am a married 28 year old living in DC and thinking about starting a family soon. The average age of first time moms in DC (and a lot of big cities) is mid to late 30’s.  Knowing you had Charlie when you were in your late 20’s, what is it like being a younger mom in a big city?

I loved being a younger mom! Especially because I think mothers are so welcoming in Chicago. I’m sorry to hear you plan to have a hard time in DC. Either way, I say ignore them. It’s all about your own path and what you and your significant other think is best. In my eyes, age isn’t a thing when you become a mom. All moms relate to the same issues regarding motherhood. I would say embrace it 🙂

When did you start telling family members (more extended– uncles, aunts, cousins) that you were pregnant (with Charlie or baby #2!) ?  Also, how many weeks along were you when you announced it on your blog?

I think I was about 10-12 weeks along when we told family outside of our parents/siblings/grandparents that I was pregnant with Charlie. I was about 16 weeks when I announced it on my blog!

I’m 23 and my boyfriend recently took a job in Boston (I’m in Connecticut) and it has always been a dream of mine to move to New York City. Of course a move to NYC would mean either doing long distance or the end of a really good relationship. I struggle with deciding between either going to New York and living on my own because it would be an amazing experience, or moving to Boston to be with my boyfriend for the sake of love and what could be a really good future with him. Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated!! 

It sounds like you should follow your own dream! You’re still young and Boston and NYC are so close! I personally think you’ll end up regretting not doing what you wanted to do when you had the opportunity. Nothing is permanent and I don’t think moving to NYC means letting go of your future with him. I think it will definitely test your relationship but what is meant to be will be. You don’t want to look back and resent someone for keeping you from chasing your dreams. Take advantage of this time in your life. I wish I had done that better!

I’ve been hesitant to spend money on some solid pairs of maternity jeans (I’ve always been picky about my denim as it’s hard for me to find a good fit!) and I wondered – do you have any suggestions for good maternity jeans, or is there some trick you use to make your normal jeans work?

Invest in a good pair of maternity jeans! I promise it is 100% worth it. Not only are they comfortable but it makes you feel so much more stylish while preggo. My suggestion would be to go to an actual maternity store. I went to A Pea in the Pod and tried on a bunch of different styles to see what I like. My favorites ended up being DL1961 and Citizens of Humanity. I also have a pair from J Brand that I love! I personally prefer the waistband panel to the full panel (seen here) because I think they stay on the body better. The full panel tends to get stretched out and I feel like I’m constantly pulling them up over my butt! Go into the store and try a few pairs on for yourself! That’s my biggest piece of advice. With normal jeans, I’ll leave them unbuttoned and loop a hairband through the button hole and around the button (only if I’m wearing a longer top). This option is a lost cause now that I’m getting so big!

What made you want to start your blog? Was it difficult getting started? How did you know this was what you wanted to do?

I started Sequins & Stripes after working in the fashion industry out of college (I was a clothing buyer) and switching careers. My blog was my outlet after long days in the corporate world and sort of just grew with time. I had no idea it would become my full time job. I had no intentions of leaving my job in the corporate world but I saw an opportunity that if I dedicated more time to my blog there was room for potential growth. They say timing is everything and I truly believe this to be true.

Getting started wasn’t difficult but nothing happens overnight! It’s a long haul and I’m still working to figure out what works best for this site. When I started the only social media platforms were twitter and Facebook. Now that Instagram is such a huge platform for content sharing it sometimes feels like double the work. This world constantly keeps you on your toes so I just try to do what feels right. After years are trying to keep up with everyone else (sadly), I feel like I’m doing what makes me happy (in regards to content). 

Becoming a new mothering can be both overwhelming and at times lonely.  How did you overcome these feelings and did you connect with other moms via ‘new moms groups’?

I definitely had these feelings when I first had Charlie. Probably the first 2 months of his life. Not because I was actually alone but becoming a first time mom is a total upheaval of your routine, your freedom, your sleep. You are no longer able to make decisions based on what you want to do. Thankfully I had an amazing support system of friends who had also recently had kiddos and I live close to my family. This was my saving grace. My biggest suggestion is to get out of the house. Your baby will be fine. Start to do the things that make you happy and just incorporate your babe. Walk to your favorite coffee shop in the morning, go get your nails done, walk aimlessly around town. Anything to give you a little bit of sanity! I started going to mom groups when Charlie was about 3 months old and that was a huge help, too. It’s tough! Try to by patient and let yourself relax into your new roll. 

How do you track all of your online purchases? Sometimes I feel like I need a spreadsheet for everything I buy because I can never remember what I order, return, am waiting for a refund on, never received, etc.

This is a great idea! But sadly I don’t track anything. I am kind of obsessive when it comes to checking my credit card activity and if I don’t like something it is returned immediately but aside from that I don’t really track (eek). I do a lot of online shopping and everything receipt/refund goes into a specific folder. That helps too! Honestly, I don’t shop all that often so when I do I feel like it is easily trackable because I’m only waiting on a few things. 

How do you keep a toddler entertained when it’s too cold or rainy to go out outside?

We do lots of coloring, dance parties, puzzles, train sets, we read books, we go to the library, our gym has an indoor pool so that’s an option, we go out to lunch. Whatever you can do to make it to nap time – haha.

Your skin is amazing and you have no dark circles, do you take any vitamins?

I take prenatal vitamins and that’s it! I also have been taking a magnesium supplement at night. Otherwise, lots of water, moisturizer and sleep. Sleep is really important to me. I make sure my high priority items get done during the day so at night I can go to bed at a reasonable time and get at least 8 hours of sleep. You can see my skincare favorites here

Don’t forget to submit your questions for next week via email to [email protected] with ‘Coffee with Liz” in the subject! Have a wonderful weekend, friends! xoxo

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