Coffee with Liz

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week. We had a busy one around here, checking things off the to-do list before baby arrives. It was a blur but also felt extremely long. I’m ready for the weekend.

There is no shame in my excitement for Starbucks’ Christmas cups. I mean how can these not make you happy?! Especially when it has been raining and freezing cold the past few days. It’s the little things that make the days a little easier at 9 months pregnant. Especially when my cup is filled with a chai tea latte with almond milk. On to this week’s questions…

How long did you date Dave before you were married? I have been in a relationship for a few years and I am not in a big rush to get married, but I get nervous about having children and I try to start mapping out the next few years and timelines, which I know does not work when trying to have children, because somethings are just completely out of your own control. Did you ever experience this or have advice on how to handle this? 

Dave and I got engaged just a few days before our 4 year anniversary and married just after we had been together for 5 years. We met so young that it never really worried me and as the relationship progressed and we made decisions like living together before we were engaged, I had a sense that our future was moving in the right direction. I will say that because we were together for awhile before getting married (and traveled together, lived together, etc.), we knew that we wanted children right away. Charlie was born just 8 days after our one year wedding anniversary so we clearly wasted no time. I personally think it is normal for a woman to have their own internal body clock. I always knew I wanted to have a child by the time I was 30 and it worked out (but my doctor always told me his average pregnant patient was 35! so I was on the early end). 

I think time passes and life happens and thats ok. I don’t think there is a time limit for when you should get married or when you should have kids. I personally felt so comfortable in my relationship with Dave that I didn’t think about it too much, it just worked out the way it did. Do I wish we had more time as two newly married people without responsibility? Sometimes for sure! I think if you’re happy, you just have to let things fall into place and don’t stress about it too much. 

I know you’re having a boy, but I have a 4 month old daughter and have a hard time finding/putting together cute outfits for her. Would love to know what you’d pick out for a little girl.

Let me start this by saying that Charlie basically lived in onesies until he was 6 months old, so don’t worry. He was such a little blob that I always felt like clothes looked uncomfortable on him until he was able to sit up on his own. That being said, I live for baby girl’s clothing. It is honestly a blessing in disguise that I am not having a daughter (otherwise, bye money). A few of my favorites include Monica + Andy’s little dresses and how cute are their new velour sweatshirts? I want one for myself. I love this ruffle one piece, and this ice skater dress, how cute are these little cat tights paired with this little dress, these little bodysuits paired with leggings and a little sweater, or this stripe cardigan or this ruffle stripe one piece (!!!!!) – oh my gosh how do you choose?! Also I want to wear everything Zara makes for baby girls

I was wondering what essential oils you use during pregnancy and more specifically what roller oils you use?  I’m pregnant with my second and have used essential oils for years and am looking to order some new ones.

So my main use for essential oils is either for stress relief, sleep assistance, to soothe achey muscles or to help me breathe a little better (especially now that the air is so dry!). For stress relief I like to use the DoTerra Peace roller or I’ll diffuse a combo of stress away, citrus fresh and eucalyptus from Young Living. For sleep assistance I will also use the DoTerra Peace roller and we usually diffuse DoTerra serenity oil or a combo of lavender and chamomile from Young Living. For achey muscles I love mixing Young Living’s panaway oil with my almond oil that I put on my body at night. I’ll usually have Dave rub this on my back and I’ll put it on my neck and hips before I go to bed. For easier breathing (and also, just a pick me up throughout the day) I’ll use Young Living’s breathe again roller. This is great for when you’re pregnant and you can’t take a decongestant or anything if you’re getting sick. It sort of soothe’s your system!

I was curious if you had any good ideas for postpartum styles? Things that are comfortable but can still look somewhat pulled together? Especially with the holidays around the corner. Also, any recommendations for a good faux fur vest that won’t break the bank? Are they even still cool?

Haha! I plan on living in sweater dresses this holiday season. Especially because they are forgiving but also easy to accessorize (with a cute scarf or statement earrings). You can see a few of my favorites here, here, here and here. I love that they look cute with ballet flats, over the knee boots and booties. You also can’t go wrong with a patterned shift dress paired with a sparkly necklace. A few faux fur vests that I’m loving here, here and here

Do you have any holiday traditions leading up to Christmas or on Christmas day that you love, or even traditions for Thanksgiving?

We will be sharing some of our traditions on the blog! Thanksgiving is always a little up in the air for us but I love having coffee and watching the Thanksgiving parade. My favorite dish is green bean casserole and my MIL’s carrot soufflé! Christmas is the one holiday that has remained pretty consistent year after year. We usually spend Christmas with my family and on Christmas Eve we always watch It’s a Wonderful Life. When we wake up, no one is allowed to see the tree until everyone is awake. Everyone stays in their Christmas pajamas and we open presents, make a big breakfast and enjoy mimosas. I’m excited to create new traditions with my little family in the years to come. 

What are your tips for styling a cute pair of high-wasited jeans?

A cropped sweater, tuck in a cute flannel shirt, tuck in a silk tank and layer with a long cardigan, a cropped velvet tank paired with a leather jacket – anything!

Since you have known for awhile baby #2 was a boy, have you ever dealt with any of these mixed emotions of being thrilled for a boy but secretly wondering what it would be like to have a girl?

My initial instinct with this baby was that it was a girl so when we found out it was a boy I was actually surprised! After an initial feeling of disappointment I actually felt a sense of relief that it was another boy. In all honesty, I don’t know what I would do with a girl! I know boys, I’m good with boys and I can’t wait to give Charlie his best buddy for life.

Can you please recommend office appropriate/clever ugly Christmas sweaters for men and women?

ASOS always has the cutest holiday sweaters! For girls I love this, this and this. For guys I love this and this.

I have a 3.5 month old and pretty soon, we will be introducing solids. Could you provide some suggestions on what we should buy (i.e. what are the best spoons, sippy cups, plates, etc…)?

I will say from our experience it is kind of trial and error! Charlie liked some things and hated others. In the beginning, a lot of what they eat is being fed directly by spoon and then once you introduce more solid foods, we used a baby led technique so he basically just used his hands and high chair tray (it’s a mess but it works). We have used and loved these Munchkin safety spoons – they are the perfect shape for their little mouths. We also loved these suction bowls once Charlie started to play with using a spoon himself (but this wasn’t until closer to 9-12 months). We love these no-spills sippy cups and now use all of their products religiously. We also use and love the OXO TOT high chair

I work in a very conservative environment where business casual/professional is the norm. My wardrobe consists of lots of black pants, pencil skirts, etc. Can you recommend some places to shop for maternity clothes that won’t break the bank, but still look professional for work.

ASOS has a great maternity section with pieces that are on the conservative side – like this sweater, these trousers, this blouse and this dress. I also think this is a great blouse, this is a cute wrap dress and these are great pants, too. 

My fiance and I are taking engagement photos in the next month. We’re fairly casual, so the fancy dress/suit isn’t really our style. What are your suggestions on the most flattering and timeless outfit/colors to wear for this kind of photo op? 

First of all, I would recommend browsing Pinterest for some inspiration! Here is a quick search I pulled up. I think you can never go wrong with neutrals. Depending on the location, I would probably opt for skinny jeans, a cozy sweater and boots. Maybe a flannel shirt? You could also go with a sweater dress if you want something a little dressier? Paired with a cute plaid scarf. See some inspo here!

Do you have some must-haves for a beautiful Thanksgiving tablescape?

I love using lots of natural elements and keeping it simple! Think lots of candlelight using hurricanes and mini votives, some simple place settings (we have and love these and these), a little fancier wine glasses, neutral linens and a little place card  (how cute are these?!) for everyone! West Elm is currently offering 20% off all tabletop!

What are some things you appreciated getting as a new mom that you think would help another mom?

My friend Alex gave me a few things when I had Charlie that were her newborn favorites and they continue to be some of the gifts that I give to other new moms! These include: Kickee Pants pajamas (the best!!), this Silly Tails book, Mustela cleansing wipes (I also love their cleansing water for newborns!), the baby shusher (white noise for stroller and car seat), a Monica + Andy Always blanket and a mani/pedi gift certificate for mama 🙂

I’ve lived in the city for for 5 years but still struggle with what to do with visitors in the winter. I feel like we end up eating and drinking our way through the city (not a bad thing but it is nice to have alternatives!). Do you have any suggestions of places to go/things to do in the cold months with guests from your city days?

I remember feeling the same way! The museums are surprisingly so much fun to visit. We would take friends to brunch and then walk around the Shedd Aquarium or the Field Museum and always left feeling like it was such a productive and interesting afternoon! We also loved seeing what concerts were playing around town and if nothing sounded appealing we would almost always end up at Kingston Mines or Blue Frog/Louie’s for karaoke. Hopefully this gives you some new ideas!

I am 22 and just started my first job this past June. I’m struggling to keep myself inspired and passionate because let’s face it — first jobs aren’t all that! I find myself thinking all of the time about what I could be doing instead or what my purpose really is. I was wondering how you started out creating Sequins and Stripes — what gave you the courage to follow your dream and what first steps did you take to get there?

I would say be patient! You’re so young and experiences are so important right now. A lot of figuring out your “purpose” is trail and error. Test the waters, voice your opinion and make yourself noticed. You’re at such a fun stage in life!

I studied textiles in college, worked as a clothing buyer for a few years, transitioned into a more corporate position in the city and then started my blog (almost 5 years after graduating from college in 2011). I started my blog while I was still working full time and started to see some traction. I asked my dad what he thought about me working on the blog full time (I think his response was, what is a blog?). I had enough money in savings to pay for my rent/life for 3 months and he agreed to help me if I needed some extra pennies for the business. I had to draw up a business plan, create a legitimate business (an LLC for tax purposes) and really take it seriously. After 6 months, I was making enough money to survive (barely) but I kept at that pace for 3 years until I started actually making a profit! It is still surreal and my dad emails me my first business plan once a year as a reminder of where it all began.

Don’t forget to submit your questions for next week via email using the subject “Coffee with Liz.”

XOXO

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