Coffee with Liz • June 29, 2018

We are planning a move to Chicago and our son (also named Jack!) will be about 8 months old at the time.  I know Charlie was a little older when you moved but do you have any suggestions or anything you learned from moving with a baby?

I would just try to make it as seamless as possible for them! The first thing I did when we got to our new house was set up his room so it was as if nothing happened. He napped in a pack n’ play in a separate room with his sound machine, blanket and stuffed animals and then for bedtime he was ready to go in his own room. My parents live near by which gave us some help (they were able to take him to play at their house) but otherwise it was a smooth transition.

I am getting married this summer and am in desperate need of gift ideas for the two most important men – my groom and my dad! Both already have great watches and cufflinks. Neither are into monogramming (so personalized handkerchief, tie insert, etc. are out). They don’t golf. Men are always difficult to buy for, but these two are TRULY impossible! Help!

We bought my dad an Hermes tie clip which he wore on our wedding day. I did get Dave a watch. What about a nice weekender bag (doesn’t necessarily need to have the monogram)? Dave and I thought about getting my parents vouchers for flight tickets to send them somewhere for the weekend. I would think about what they love and go from there? I know Dave would have appreciated a really nice pair of shoes

Hi there, I’m looking for a nice jewelry stand! Would love for it to have room for necklaces, bracelets, and rings – but could settle for necklaces/bracelets only. Modern, simple, and pretty. $100 max if possible!

I have been eyeing this jewelry stand! This one is perfect for necklaces/bracelets. My mom has this one and it is beautiful (over $100). 

For my wedding, I have always planned to splurge on a pair of shoes. I want to get a pair that I will use for more than just fancy occasions which is why I am leaning toward flats. I think you have the Valentino rockstud flats, would you consider these flats a classic pair that you will have forever? 

I still love mine so much! I also love the Manolo Blahnik Hangisi flats

Do you use a planner? If so, are there any brands you recommend?

I have about 5 planners in hopes of being a more organized human and I always fail. Either way, I love the Simplified Planners by Emily Ley – every page is clean and fresh and I love that you can organize by day and month.

I️ am moving in with my boyfriend in July and was wondering how you and Dave first split the grocery bill/how you went about cooking dinners.

When Dave and I moved in together we opened a joint checking account right away. A roommate account 🙂 It helped hold us both accountable for any joint expenses (rent, utilities, grocery shopping). I think I usually cooked dinners/planned meals because I enjoyed cooking so much. Or we would make a plan of “do you want X for dinner tonight? Great, let’s grill out or cook or whatever.” 

Can you recommend a cute straw purse that does not look like a picnic basket? I LOVE the Frances Valentine honey pot wicker bag but sadly everything on the Frances Valentine website is sold out.  I don’t want to spend more than $200 since it’s a straw bag and I’ll only use for a couple of months. 

Poppy + Sage has some really cute bags! This cute little Clare V Pot de Miel bag is close to the France Valentine style you love. I have been eyeing this cute basket bag – such a good price tag!

I’m getting ready for potty training my first and it looks like our kiddos are close in age! Are you gathering any info on it right now as well? If so, is there a blogger with a helpful post out there or a book a friend has recommended to you? Thanks and Midwest love! 

So I haven’t read a specific blog post about potty training but I have heard about a few different experiences with my friend’s kids and it has helped us figure out a plan of attack. Before I had Jack I went through this panic that Charlie needed to be potty trained so I started  asking around and came to the conclusion that it was best not to rush the process. I have friends who started too early, before their child was genuinely interested, and failed/it took months to get them potty trained. I also have friends who waited until their child made a serious effort and it took 3 days. I’ve realized that this age seems to be closer to 3 years old so we plan on waiting until Charlie tells us he is ready. Then I’ve heard you have to read this book and you don’t leave your house for 3 days and you child is naked for those 3 days but then you have a potty trained kiddo and all is good! Haha. We will see how it goes!

Hi Liz – my fiancé and I are buying his childhood home from his parents in New Jersey next summer. They live on 5 acres, which is part of the draw for us, but their house looks like it did when they bought in 1992. We are going to renovate the entire home. We currently live in an apartment in DC and have no renovation experience. I noticed on Instagram stories that you have been doing some remodeling to the home you and Dave purchased. I was curious how you prioritized the order of projects you wanted to go in for your remodel, planned for the remodel, and how you set your budget? 

I think that this is probably different for everyone but we decided to start small and go from there. We don’t know if we are in our forever home yet so we started with some cosmetic updates to the kitchen and adding a bathroom to the first floor (necessary). If we decide that this is our forever home, we will most likely expand the house out and up and reconfigure the lay out. I think my best advice is to live in the house for a few months, see what you love and what drives you nuts (it will help you to realize what flow works best!). Then gets lot of quotes. We had quotes alllll over the board so just see what you can justify within your budget and go from there. You don’t have to do everything all at once!

I will be having Fresh 48 photos taken in the hospital after the birth of my son in September. Do you have any advice on what to wear!? My thought was a nightgown and robe. I love neutral and simple, and currently, I have my eye on the Ugg Aldridge robe in white.

I wore and love these pajamas! They are so classic and aren’t super bulky which I appreciated after giving birth. The colors are classic and I honestly am so glad I have them on in our photos from the hospital. 

I am planning my outfits for an engagement photo session in July — it will be hot! I would like to shoot two looks, a dress, and jeans and top combo. What would you recommend? I’m thinking whites and blues and reasonably priced. Thank you!

I would do a pretty white dress because you’re a bride! A few favorites here, here and here. For tops I love this gingham ruffle cami, this knotted blouse and or this off the shoulder top

I have read your baby registry posts but was wondering what are your top 5 most used items/best purchases you have made for your boys?  I am having a boy in September and am trying to navigate through all the things out there. Thanks!

Dohm Sound Machine, BabyBjorn Bouncer Chair, Fisher Price Rock N’ Play, Ubbi Diaper Pale and our OXO Sprout High Chair are probably our most used!

Love S&S and have been a reader for years — keep up the good work!! I recently moved to another city leaving my pregnant bestie behind 🙁 She’s ~5 months pregnant and I wanted to send her a small care package or gift to let her know I’m thinking of her; do you have any recommendations on what to send? 

So sweet, thank you!! What about a To and From gift box? I love these so much! I think a mom-to-be would especially love the Serene box or even a Baby Deluxe box!

I have a wedding coming up Saturday, July 7th for one of my high school girlfriends! It is in Seattle – the ceremony is indoors and reception following is outdoors. I am almost 28, but somehow this is only my second wedding EVER, so I need a little help!! The dress code is Summer Formal (Black Tie Optional). Assuming that means pretty dressy / cocktail attire? I would love to wear something understatedly sexy or something that makes a statement. Nothing too scandalous (no mini dresses or too much cleavage) though! Would love to keep the price point around or below $100. We have a similar style so I thought you would make some great suggestions!!

I love the colors and silhouette in this dress! This dress is sweet but sexy. I feel like this dress looks super expensive and is bright and fun for summer!

I have a just-turned 2 year old who is as obsessed with my phone and Youtube Kids as Charlie.  I’m on the fence about buying her the Amazon Kindle Fire for Kids (comes with the super secure case and the extended warranty).  What do you do with Charlie to control screen time?  Does he always want to take over your phone?  Do you recommend/have you used a tablet for kids?  What works for you?

Yes alwayssss. It is a constant battle but sadly I give into it to have a few minutes to myself (like a shower!). I have discussed this topic with so many people and I think it is part control and part understanding that this is the progression of our culture. They see us on our phones and in turn want to enjoy the phone themselves. We have the Amazon Fire but we rarely use it – usually only when we travel. Otherwise we give him our phone here and there, usually when we go out to eat or if I am putting Jack to bed and want to make sure he stays in one place. We control it as much as we can!

Thanks for all of the great questions this week, friends! Don’t forget to email your questions for next week to [email protected] with the subject “Coffee with Liz.” xoxo

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