Hi friends, happy Friday! Hope you’ll join me for a cup of coffee this morning. My week was a little crazy so I didn’t get to everyone’s question. I’ll be pushing the ones I missed to next week! Also, the state of the world is scary. I immediately thought of this post because of the sign “together anything is possible.” It’s easy to sit in my little bubble and go on with my life like it’s all sunny. The truth is, we are stronger together rather than sitting on the side lines. Whether that is a helping hand to a neighbor, saying hello to someone, buying someone’s coffee, picking up trash, etc. It’s nothing in the grand scheme of things (and I realize it has nothing to do with the terror we are seeing in the world) but it is something.
How do you maintain your female friendships as time passes and everyone gets busy/consumed with other things going on in their lives? Especially since you moved recently, what are some ways you’re building new relationships with other women?
I loved this question because it is kind of a touchy subject. Let me start by saying I feel very blessed that I have a lot of friends in Chicago. Specifically, my five best friends from high school and Dave’s friends’ wives who I’ve grown just as close to.
I think it is hard to pretend that things don’t change once your lives begin to head in different directions. I remember before I had Charlie, I always said being a mom wouldn’t change me but the truth is it probably did. Not necessarily my personality but my priorities, my motivation to be social and my mindset on life in general. If I’m being honest, my time is so much more precious now that I’m a mom. Dedicating time to my husband let alone myself feels impossible most days and sadly that means time with my girlfriends is sacrificed. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in my friendships is being unable to relate to each other’s lives as much as we once did. When I was first adjusting to motherhood, there were friends who were there and friends who weren’t. I can’t blame the friends who weren’t because I wasn’t vocal about my struggles but it just sort of opened my eyes to the definition of friendship. Girls that I probably wouldn’t have called my best friend’s before were constantly checking in, bringing over dinner and genuinely wanted to be a part of our new lives with Charlie. On the same level, I struggle to connect and reach out to my friend’s who maybe don’t have kids or are still enjoying a life that feels so distant to me! If I’m being honest, I’m fine with it. My happiness and my family’s happiness comes first these days. As I get older, I realize that this is most important to me.
In regards to meeting new friends in the suburbs…I am very fortunate that I already have a few friends living near by! My best friend since third grade lives in the next town (they have a son who is 8 weeks older than Charlie), my best friend from middle school lives a few blocks away with two boys, we live on a block with amazing neighbors, girlfriends from grade school and high school are in surrounding towns with their kiddos and there are so many other young mom’s who I know in the area but have yet to see. Summer has been so crazy that I’ve kind of enjoyed being anti-social. Once I am no longer pregnant and can crawl out of the newborn hole I’m sure it will be another story!
Do you predominantly shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes? Approximately what is your weekly food budget when Dave is home? How many days/nights a week do you eat out?
So I only shop at Whole Foods on the days that I am buying meat/fish! I’m really picky about meat and always want to make sure it is coming from a reputable, natural, grass-fed (no antibiotics) source. When I’m there I’ll also grab miscellaneous produce, dried mango in the bulk foods, eggs, tuna salad (they have the best!) and some frozen items that Charlie likes for dinner. Most of the time I actually shop at Mariano’s for the essentials – organic milk for Charlie, Dave’s loves their orange juice, yogurt, granola, almond butter, fruits and veggies, string cheese, etc. Trader Joe’s used to be down the block from us when we lived downtown but now it is a bit farther. When I’m there I like to grab their coffee, turkey sausage, veggies, mixed nuts, ice cream, frozen fruit for smoothies, etc.
My weekly food budget is probably around $250. That is what I try to spend, max. Sometimes I get carried away with new recipes and accidentally spend more than that. We always try to cook at home at least 4 nights!
Now that you’ve experienced raising a baby, what books do you think were most helpful when you were pregnant/right after you had Charlie? Are there any books you’re using for your second pregnancy?
When I was pregnant I read two books: Bringing up Bebe and Happiest Baby on the Block. However, everything I learned was completely forgotten when I had Charlie. You have no idea what you’re doing until you’re in the moment and remember that every baby is different! I actually relied more on my phone apps (I liked The Bump and What to Expect When You’re Expecting) for random questions and updates.
When Charlie was born I read this book religiously the first year of his life and was always so excited to move onto a new month. It was comforting and real. I’m not reading anything for baby #2. I am much more relaxed this pregnancy and I think I have more faith in my abilities this time around.
Do you have any tips for how to keep your closet organized? Do you do a yearly clean out of clothes? What does that process look like?
I think this process is different for everyone depending on your space! Sadly I do not have a beautiful room dedicated to a closet and I share a hanging rack with Dave. Because of this I would say I do a quarterly clean out of clothes, ha! I’m actually in the process of really trying to streamline my wardrobe to get back to the basics. I typically organize my clothes by style and then by color. When I’m cleaning out my closet I ask three questions: Did I wear this in the last year? Does it reflect my style now and moving forward? Do I feel happy/confident when I wear it?
How do you deal with babysitters and leaving Charlie or bringing him with for weddings that you need to travel for? I thought I noticed you bring him to some weddings. Do you get a sitter at the wedding venue? We have a destination wedding coming up.
How did you learn how to pose in photos and make it look so natural? Do you have any tips?
I know you’ve purchased some Kylie cosmetics and I’d love to know which products and colors you like!
What tips/tricks do you recommend for working from home while also watching your baby?
What suburbs of Chicago do you recommend that still have some of the city perks but give more space to have a family?
I am not very knowledgeable of this because I grew up in the west suburbs and moved to the west suburbs. I have a ton of friends who grew up on the North Shore or have moved there and are just as happy – I’m just personally not as familiar. We knew we wanted to move West and we were looking anywhere between LaGrange to Clarendon Hills. I always tell my friends who are transplants to Chicago to take the train and explore! See what you like! Every suburb is different, school systems are different, etc. The perk of Chicago suburbs is the public transportation. Dave and I can hop on the train (which is a 0.5 mile walk from our house) and be at Union Station within 20 minutes. Best of both worlds! Plus, a bunch of restaurants are moving this way too – Stan’s Donuts (yesss), Hampton Social, DMK and more.
I feel like I have recently become quite overwhelmed with trying to do everything well- eat well, exercise regularly, sleep well, read more, drink more water, walk more, stay present, enjoy the summer weather, have a beauty routine, blah blah blah. Its kind of exhausting and then I am let down when one area slips- or they all slip is more like it haha. Do you experience this? How do you handle all of the pressures and advice out there to do all of these things and do them well?
Yes! Of course. All the time actually. I really struggled with this when Charlie was about 6 months old and I was trying to crawl out of my first time mom hole. I realized the source of this for me was social media. Why does everyone always look so perfect? That’s why I always try to keep it real (more so on my insta stories). What works for me is prioritizing what really makes me happy and leads me to feel the most confident in myself. Usually this means drinking water, working out when I can (but don’t base my entire day around it), using moisturizer, getting outside and eating salads – haha. Think about what truly makes you happy. For me this is taking Charlie and Webster on walks, going out to dinner with my family, getting my nails done, going to bed early, essential oils, a goooood cup of coffee, going out of my way to get a smoothie, cooking my family dinner (usually finding a new recipe that I’m excited about) and actually finding time to read a book. Advice is advice – it doesn’t really mean anything. Do what makes you happy. That’s all that really matters 🙂
Be sure to submit your questions for next week! Email me at [email protected] with “coffee with Liz” in the subject.
Also, we have a fun weekend coming up (it’s my birthday) and will be spending the majority of it downtown! Be sure to follow along on instagram!! Thanks for stopping by, as always. xoxo