Coffee with Liz • May 11, 2018

My daughter’s baptism is coming up in June and I have no idea what to wear. I’d like something summery and pretty, but preferably under or right around $100. Any thoughts?

I love this little red bow dress, this navy wrap dress would be so cute with bright heels, this floral dress is a little over $100 but has the pretties shape/shoulder details (it also comes in this yellow!!! I looove the yellow and the light blue) and I love the color of this dress paired with some pretty earrings

I am going to Tuscany this summer, and I’m wondering if you have recommendations for cute items that you can wear more than once, that are wrinkle free, AND breathable. I love how detailed Athleta gets with their descriptions, so I know they’re a good choice. But I am looking to diversify. I know it will be quite warm and decently humid, so I am just looking for great breathable, packable clothes. 

Hm, thats a lot of requirements! I am not that knowledgeable on brands that offer all of those things. I would say stick to cotton? Also some good dresses? I love Old Navy’s classic styles like this and this. I’d also say pack some comfortable shorts to pair with easy button downs. My tip is to choose a color palette so it is easy to mix and match items (I usually stick to neutrals with a pop of color here and there). If you’re worried about wrinkles I highly recommend bringing a travel steamer. We LOVE ours!!

I am attending a wedding the first weekend in June in the south of Spain (fingers crossed it’s great weather). It won’t be a super fancy wedding and I am struggling to find a dress to wear that isn’t too casual but also not too formal. Any ideas? 

Oh Spain!! So fun. This Yumi Kim dress is pretty and festive. I love the color of this one shoulder dress (would look great with a tan!). You can’t go wrong with this simple silhouette (another option here). The simplicity of this gorgeous red dress screams Spain and would be so pretty with gold hoops

My boyfriend and I am moving in together and would like to buy some new furniture (dresser, nightstands, lamps, etc.) How do you and Dave manage to agree on the same things for your home (assuming you have different tastes)? 

We don’t very often! I totally thought Dave would be cool with anything I liked when we started talking about decor and it is the opposite. He has such an opinion! Honestly since having kids I’ve realized that the things I want to spend money on aren’t as realistic anymore. I try to be more practical which tends to be Dave’s motto too. We also have a chocolate lab who sheds everywhere. I guess my best advice is to find a few different options for each item and try to be conscious of more masculine choices. I told Dave that I want two rooms (the living room and the bedroom) to make more feminine/clean and the rest I’ve let him have more of an opinion. It’s all about balance!

I carry my weight in the same areas you do (lower waist/hips/thighs – according to your Instastories) and I want a pair of light wash denim for summer. All of the jeans I try on feel like it emphasizes that area. Do you have a pair you love? 

Honestly, no. I don’t think light wash denim is as flattering when I carry my weight on the bottom half of my body. I think my lightest denim is this pair of jeans from Madewell. I usually opt for a darker wash. 

We are taking our first trip to warmer weather with our soon to be four month old! Curious what we should do about getting her in the pool. Do you have a favorite swim diaper? Do they fit underneath a bathing suit (since I already bought her some cute 1 pieces) do you have a favorite swim float that is packable? Favorite sunscreen? 

We didn’t take Jack swimming much while we were in Turks & Caicos! They say that under 6 months old, infants shouldn’t wear sunscreen so we opted to keep him out of the sun (there may be some brands that work but I’m just not as aware!). Because of this, we didn’t have anything for him! We did have a little swim suit and we would dip his legs in here and there but he never hung out in the pool. If he did he was under an umbrella in a lawn chair. We did use this little pool tent when Charlie was younger! We also used a Charlie Banana swim diaper (because Jack was never actually in the pool for an extended period of time, he just wore a regular diaper) for Charlie. Our favorite sunscreen for kids is Baby Bum.

I am moving to Chicago next month after graduating from the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing (woohoo!) and I hopefully will be engaged soon after dating my middle school sweetheart for 9 years this Wednesday! Do you know of any Chicago wedding reception venues that are whimsical or exposed brick warehouse vibes?

You should look at our venue! You can see photos of our wedding here and here. We got married at Chicago Illuminating Company which is now divided into two separate buildings, CIC and 19 East. We also loved the Modern Wing at the Art Institute, Bridgeport Art Center and the Ivy Room.

My boyfriend is turning 25 in September and even though he doesn’t really care about his birthday, I want to do something special! He moved here in July 2017 from Scotland so we wouldn’t have to be long distance, and considering that’s pretty tough to “beat”, I sometimes get overwhelmed and blank on great gift ideas! My original idea was to surprise him with a trip back to Scotland, but he doesn’t get many days off. He values experiences over items, but I think would appreciate either. Any ideas??

What about a fun weekend away? I love the American Club at Kohler in Wisconsin. Or what about a passport cover and a voucher for a plane ticket for a future trip? Both would be fun experiences!

Any summer dress suggestions that are cute but casual enough for running errands?

I love this cute stripe t-shirt dress, this breezy printed midi dress, this tiered maxi dress, this swing shirt dress and this embroidered mini dress

My son is turning 1 in June and we are doing some family photos in addition to cake smash pics. I also have a four-year-old daughter. What is the best way to outfit plan for these pictures?

I say stick to a color palette and I usually opt for white and blue. I would say you and your daughter where white dresses and your husband and son where matching navy gingham shirts with jeans or khakis. But that’s just me! We had Charlie wear this t-shirt for his first birthday/smash cake 🙂

My husband is graduating from a master’s degree program in June and I don’t know what to wear! I’m not super preppy, so I definitely don’t want a Lilly Pulitzer type dress. Everything I find is either too formal or too sweet-looking! Any ideas? (ideally $150ish or less)

I love this polka dot midi dress, this pretty yellow off the shoulder dress, this gorgeous blue off the shoulder midi dress and I love this floral dress!

Is there a specific running/workout underwear or thong you recommend, as well as sports bra? Love your workout fashion style!

I usually just wear a Hanky Panky thong! It seems to be the one style that stays in place underneath my leggings. My favorite sports bra is this style from Lululemon! It is so comfortable!

I have an engagement party coming up at the beginning of June and I’m having the hardest time finding something to wear that’s white. The attire is “Cocktail” and I’m looking for a dress that is special and stands out, but still acceptable for an indoor/outdoor party in the south (i.e. could be hot!). My price cap is $500, but obviously something around the $200 – $300 range would be ideal. Do you have any ideas?!

This white lace dress is beautiful, this white sequin dress is amazingggg, I would totally wear this cute dress, this lace midi dress is stunning and the details on this Ted Baker fit and flare dress are so feminine.

I have a very similar body type to you and I have such a hard time finding jeans that fit my shortie, athletic legs, and I find it can be difficult to try out new trends because cropped flare jeans are never really cropped on me. Have you tried cropped flares? Can you link to some Mother jeans you like?

I wore a pair of cropped flare jeans last year (see the post here) that I still love! This style appears to be a newer version. My biggest recommendation for trying denim trends is to find a pair that is budget friendly so you don’t feel guilty if you decide they aren’t for you after a few years. I love this style (I’m wearing here) and this style. I own one pair of Mother denim: The Looker which is a great, casual skinny jean!

I’d love to know your method for storing sunglasses. Like you, I have a large and growing collection, but I mostly keep them in their cases and they’re all kind of jumbled in a drawer at the moment. Is there a better way to store them so I can quickly grab the right pair when I’m heading out the door in the morning?

I have a acrylic tray on my dresser and they are lined up there! Nothing too creative but it is pretty and gets the job done!

My godson is turning one soon. Do you have any ideas for a thoughtful birthday gift?

Thoughtful for a one year old…thoughtful for the child or for the parents? In my opinion this was the best gift we gave to Charlie when he turned one but a more thoughtful option would maybe be a custom silhouette portrait!

I’m interning this summer and I need to add new pieces to my wardrobe that are business casual. Can you recommend your go-to closet staples and also stores to check out that have business casual options? Looking for timeless pieces as well!

In terms of stores I would recommend J.Crew, Loft and Banana Republic. I would recommend purchasing a classic pair of pants, a white blouse and something printed, a cute blazer and some ballet flats

My fiance and I are dying to get a dog, but live in a tiny NYC apartment that unfortunately does not allow them.  We’ll be moving (likely to an equally small but pet-friendly space) when our lease is up next year and a dog is top on my list. I grew up (in the suburbs / fenced in backyard) with black labs so that’s the breed I’d like to get.  Can you give some insight as to raising a puppy in a city apartment?  How’d it progress over the years?  How’d you keep your place nice with such a large dog?

Raising a puppy in the city isn’t always easy but your dog will adjust to whatever lifestyle you give him! Webster was such a city dog! He would go to the bathroom immediately, wasn’t afraid of anything (bikers, cars, other dogs) and was so good on a leash. He would always go up 2-3 flights of stairs to go outside when we lived in the city and was used to this! We always lived near parks which made it easy to give him exercise. It’s also amazing how many businesses there are for dog walking, doggy day care, etc. I think having Webster has taught me that a mess is temporary and having him is way more important. He sheds everywhere and I vacuum at least every other day but it is just routine at this point. I would much rather have him snuggle up on the couch or sleep in bed with us that care too much about him making a mess. It is 110% worth it!!

Did you had a videographer for your wedding, and why or why not? I’m trying to decide if it is worth the investment!

Yes we did and it was actually a last minute add on! You can see a little preview of it here. We watch the full version every anniversary and cry every time. It is also Charlie’s favorite movie – haha. I am so so glad we decided to do a video. 

What does Dave do for a living?

Dave is also an entrepreneur! He and his best friend started a company called Safe Charge 4 years ago. It is a secure cell phone charging station for restaurants and bars. If you live in Chicago you’ve probably seen then all over the place (Wrigley Field, Guaranteed Rate Field, Benchmark, Public House, Sienna Tavern, Bub City – honestly they are everywhere) but they are also all over the country in Florida, Vegas, California, Colorado, Detroit. I know I’m missing a lot of spots but we are just two entrepreneurs trying to support our family! It’s tough but it feels very very rewarding. 

How do you survive raising a 2 year old? 

Haha. I have no idea! Yesterday I was running to get some donuts for Charlie’s teachers with Jack in the car seat in one arm and Charlie (who insisted on being carried) in my other arm and a woman said to me “you have your hands full!” And I laughed and said Yep! But it made me realize that this kind of thing is like second nature to me at this point. You just kind of go through the motions when it comes to motherhood and do what you have to do. It didn’t even phase me that I was probably holding a combined weight of 40 lbs in my arms (let alone how the heck was I going to carry a box of donuts back to the car while carrying Jack and also hoping that Charlie doesn’t run into traffic). My friends who don’t have kids always ask me what it’s like to give up your freedom, deal with the exhaustion, feel like you never have any time to yourself (mom lifeeee) and that those are the reasons they don’t feel ready to have kids! My answer is always that you just love them so much that nothing ever feels like a thing. It is a new way of life but one that I can’t imagine ever changing. I don’t want it to ever change! I never want to go back to what it was, I am so happy and content with the constant chaos.  

Charlie is definitely a challenge as a toddler but he is also SO much fun. The conversations, the discovery, the excitement. I always try to remind myself that everything is a phase and the tantrums will pass (eventually). 

Don’t forget to submit your questions for next week by emailing [email protected] with the subject “Coffee with Liz.”

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