Ask Liz about 1 year ago by Liz Adams

Coffee with Liz

Weekly blogger Q&A series with Liz Adams of Sequins & Stripes.

Ok, can we talk about this little GIF that my assistant Carolyn made for this series? I love it! I’m so excited to introduce you to Carolyn soon, she is the best. I hope you guys had a great week! xoxo

My husband and I are going to Charleston next month so I loved all your recommendations in your City Guide. We’re taking our (very active!) 13 month old with us. So I was wondering if you have any specific recommendations for things to do or places to eat that would be fun with a toddler in tow?

I always get questions about this! So when we visit Charleston, we actually stay out on Seabrook Island at my mom’s family’s beach house. That being said, when we go into Charleston it is usually for lunch/dinner/shopping/exploring. We don’t dedicate a ton of time to the kiddos! I would recommend visiting my friend Chassity’s blog – Look Linger Love – because she lives in Charleston and has two adorable kiddos. 

I just hit 30 a few months ago and my husband and I started trying for a baby right after that. At this point, we haven’t had any luck 🙁 and I was wondering what your fertility journey looked like and how you stayed positive and de-stressed during that time. As a natural anxious, controlling person, I’m finding it hard to just “let go” and let it happen.

In general, Dave and I didn’t struggle with fertility. We did have a miscarriage before we had Charlie which was really hard. We actually got pregnant on our honeymoon (whoops), had a miscarriage at 6 weeks and then got pregnant again 3 months later. If it helps, my doctor told me that it is completely normal for it to take 6 months to get pregnant. I would say just give it time. Also, switch it up! I learned that women can ovulate at any time during the month. I think stress can have a big influence on your body so I would say just try to put the focus on yourself. Maybe that is exercise, booking a massage, diffusing essential oils and reading a book – whatever it may be that helps you feel calm. Good luck!

I’m weighing benefits of buying a new Apple Watch to help keep me on track with daily steps/active minutes. How do you use your Apple Watch to stay healthy and meet fitness goals? My husband has a 2 series. Does Dave have an Apple Watch? Are there ways you challenge and keep each other accountable through the apps available? We both loved this challenge aspect when we had Fitbits and miss it now. 

Sadly Dave does not have an Apple Watch but I loooove mine. Honestly, the watch itself makes me feel competitive! It reminds you throughout the day of your steps/activity (or lack there of) and it honestly makes me want to beat the watch (if that makes sense?). You can set exactly what you want your daily goal to be and make it a point to reach it. You can also share your daily activity with friends which I actually haven’t done yet but that would definitely provide some extra motivation. I love that you can track exact workouts and everything works together to track your activity. I’m not as familiar with the FitBit but I love it!

I’m going to Vegas with co-workers in March. I have an awesome job and this isn’t a business trip, but a fun rewards trip. What suggestions do you have on attire that is fun, conservative since I’m with coworkers, but still Vegas?! We’re doing everything from a show, dinner, zip lining and a club night.

So fun! I love this dress that I posted about yesterday. A pretty off the shoulder top with distressed jeans and heels for a night out. I have never been to Vegas but this dress looks perfect for a club night. You probably need a good faux leather jacket too!

My question is for dressing post partum. I’m used to being a size small and basically liking all clothes and now I can’t figure out how to dress to not look pregnant or just big.  I have my sons baptism coming up and have no idea what to wear. Beyond that specific need I never like how I look in anything besides leggings and big sweaters. Any advice for dresses and cute tops would be appreciated!!

Honestly, I think fitted is better. I struggle with the same thing and I actually had a conversation with Dave about it. He made me realize that the baggier clothes actually made me look worse. So I sucked it up and bought a few pairs of jeans a size larger than my typical size (to avoid my love handles overflowing from my jeans) and I try to keep it basic for now. In terms of a dress, I would try to accentuate the slimmest part of your torso. For me this would be just below my rib cage, so my natural waist. This dress and this dress are gorgeous options!

Looking for new cosmetic/ makeup bags— something cute, $100 or under, but also functional and can be wiped out if something spills.

I love this one from Rebecca Minkoff! I’ve also heard amazing things about this Tumi cosmetic case. I got this cute travel case for Christmas and love it (here in a larger version)!

I am wondering if you have ever tried super simple skincare products that have been around for a long time. Like Purpose by Neutrogena or Cetaphil lotion or cleansing wash (CeraVe is similar). These products are recommended highly by dermatologists (including mine), so I am just curious if you have tired them before? If you have tried them…pros/cons as to why you switched to other products? 

I used Cetaphil cleanser growing up and I love Ponds cold cleanser! To be honest, before I found skincare products I loved I would only wash my face with a bar of soap in the shower followed by an Olay moisturizer. I never struggled with acne and my skin has always been pretty good for me so I never felt like I needed a skin regiment. It wasn’t until I started to see signs of aging that I got into skincare. I’m sure all of these products are amazing (and do a lot of the same things that my more expensive brands do) but I just personally haven’t tried them!

This question is technically for Dave, but what products does he use for his skin care routine? My boyfriend uses products on and off but he’s trying to establish using easy products more regularly.

Dave uses and loves products from Dermalogica and Jack Black. Dave uses this hair/body wash in the shower as well as this UltraCalming cleanser. In the winter when his skin is really dry he uses this Phyto Replenish Oil which I use too because it smells like a spa and is super moisturizing! On a daily basis he uses this face moisturizer

What was the first designer bag you ever bought yourself? I am looking to make an investment purchase in 2018 and I really would like to buy a timeless/classic bag that I can wear for years. 

The first designer bag I ever bought myself was the Saint Laurent Small Sac de Jour Tote (seen here). At the time I was still working in the corporate world and it was perfect. I loved it so much! Sadly I’ve since sold it because the shape just isn’t necessary for my lifestyle anymore but it is so classic. I also love the Fendi 2Jours petite leather bag (I have it in the prettiest blue, seen here) and the Prada Saffiano bag

My question for you is that my husband and I are first time parents and have a 2 month old at home. We finally are getting a hold of parenting but how do you suggest getting back to pre-baby romance? My parents live in oakbrook so any western suburb date recommendations? Or ideas for things to do at home or places to go with the baby? I’m breastfeeding too so obviously not feeling the most sexy right now haha!

Haha this is hard! I wouldn’t want to see Dave’s response to this question because he would probably say “what is romance?” I feel like we are currently in that same haze but my biggest suggestion is to schedule date nights. Just do it! Your baby will be totally fine. Find a babysitter you love and get out of the house (the best reason to get dressed up!). If you want to stay home I would recommend putting your baby to bed and having a wine and cheese night – we love doing this! It feels fancy but you’re still at home. I think the biggest hurdle is just pushing yourselves to get out. Also, book a trip! Just the two of you. When Charlie was born in September we scheduled a trip for February and it was so much fun. We try to take one trip solo a year and I think that is really important. 

I know you’re breastfeeding too but I always see you posting wine and beer on your insta. Do you pump and dump or is that not a thing anymore? I have been avoiding alcohol but sometimes I just need that glass of wine! Haven’t really gotten good advice on breastfeeding and alcohol so would appreciate your feedback.

I’m scared of what people are going to say in response to my comment, haha. So I usually pump after Jack’s first feeding of the day because my boobs are pretty full and I know they aren’t emptied. If I have to give him a bottle at any point, this is usually where it comes from. That being said, Jack feeds every 3 hours. If we are going to have a drink, I’ll make sure it is just one or two and right after I nurse. If I am going to have more than 1 or 2 then Jack will get a bottle at his next feeding and I’ll pump and dump the milk. I try to drink a gallon of water a day which I like to tell myself dilutes anything I consume. So that being said, I always try to time it. If I have one drink after a feeding, I’ll still nurse him the next time around. 

I’m expecting my second baby at the end of the summer.  I had a ton of breastfeeding issues with my first and would like your advice.  Was breastfeeding easier with Jack?  What advice would you give on breastfeeding?  

I did too! Charlie had acid reflux and our nursing experience was all over the place (some days it was great, some days it was awful). Charlie was a week early and Jack was almost a week late and I don’t know if this has anything to do with our success the second time around but Jack is amazing at feeding. He latched within two minutes of birth and has been efficient ever since. I don’t think I can give advice aside from just stick with it. I think a huge part of our success was a new confidence in myself. The first time around you’re so stressed out and flustered and the baby is screaming and it’s hard. The second time around you know what you’re doing. 

Where do you get decor inspiration from?  Do you try and tackle one room first and then move on to the next or do every room little by little?  Any recommendations on where to get some cool art/photography for the walls?  I know your Mom is an interior designer and would love to hear any tips you have.

After filling apartments with stuff for 10 years, we are really taking our time with our first home. I’m trying not to be too influenced by other people’s style and focus on what I personally love. Rather than designing an entire room a certain way, we are investing in pieces that we actually love. Also, we have to take into account that our furniture is pretty beat up thanks to Charlie and Webster. Our pieces need to be durable and practical. Personally, our style isn’t very formal so I think trying to meet in the middle and invest in pieces that we know can be used down the road, too. I love browsing Minted for art/photography for walls. I’m going to be doing a Q+A with my mom about decorating your home so feel free to leave a comment with any specific questions!

Which barrel of the T3 do you use? Or do you use all three of the ones in the set? I’d really like to get one to style my hair like yours but would prefer to just get one for simplicity! Also, would you do another hair tutorial with your T3 curling iron?

Yes! Maybe I’ll film this weekend! So I have the T3 Whirl Trio and I almost exclusively use the 1inch straight barrel. I have really thick hair so I like to curl my hair tight and then brush them out. This gives me soft waves that will last. I use the larger barrel when my hair is a little longer and I want subtle waves and I’ll use the tapered wand if I have a special occasion and want a more styled curl. 

Any ideas on a more professional looking bag but more outside the box than a Tory Burch or Kate Spade structured tote?

I LOVE Annabel Ingall’s totes. The leather is gorgeous and I love the softer shape. I’ve also been obsessed with the Elisabetta Handbag tote from Mark & Graham for YEARS. It is such a beauty. 

My husband and I are talking about starting a family soon and moving to the suburbs. Although I am excited for the suburbs, it is such a huge change from our city lifestyle!  Any tips or recommendations about the big change?  

It definitely is a big change! But if you’re ready for it then I think you’ll be surprised how much you love it. I was so sad to leave the city. I literally cried the whole drive to our new home but honestly, I don’t miss the city at all. I LOVE Chicago and I love that we are so close to the city when we want to be. But pace of life, ease of living, accessibility and just everything is so so nice. I am calmer, less stressed and overall just happier. Maybe it’s because my last taste of the city was raising a child? It’s amazing (and honestly something I highly recommend doing!) but having a yard and a DRIVEWAY (oh my gosh a driveway is the biggest luxury!) when you have a kid is the best. I guess you’re ready when you’re ready and although I do miss the food and the restaurant scene, life is good. 

My husband and I have been married a while. Trying to decide what to do for Valentine’s Day that hasn’t been done before (dinner, card etc). Do you and Dave celebrate Valentine’s Day by buying gifts or do you try and do something personal/sentimental? Any tips?

We don’t usually do anything beyond cards and dinner! Last year I wasn’t up for going to a fancy dinner (honestly, pajamas on the couch is ideal for me) so Dave put together this elaborate cheese tray, poured me a glass of wine and then told me that he has booked at home massages and that they would be arriving in 30 minutes. He used Soothe app? It was amazing!

For years I have wanted to learn how to use an actual camera instead of my iPhone, but I don’t know where to start. What camera would you suggest for someone who wants to take great photos of things like family and vacation? Any special lenses (what are those even for!)? And any online tutorials you would suggest?

I shoot with Canon and a Canon Rebel has always been highly recommended for those looking to get into DSLR! Lenses are a huge part of what makes photos great – I shoot with a 50mm or a 35mm. Both are great for portraits – a 35mm is a little wider angle (more blown out, more environment) and a 50mm being a better reflection of a true portrait. If you’re looking to invest in a lens then I recommend this (it was what we use) but if you’re just looking for something beginner then I think this is a great option (it’s a zoom so you can play around with different widths)! When I was first learning I would just watch YouTube videos or read blogs. You could also research photography classes in your area?

I would love to know what your typical morning looks like as a working from home mom of two!

It varies! If I am super motivated I’ll get out of bed around 6am to have a cup of coffee and catch up on work before the boys wake up. Otherwise I’ll sleep until 7 when Charlie wakes up and Jack wakes up to feed. Dave usually makes Charlie breakfast while I nurse Jack (while usually responding to emails) and then we all hang and have some coffee. If I have to finish up a post I’ll try to do it before Dave leaves for work between 8:30 and 9am. If Charlie has daycare, Dave will drop him off around 8:30 before work and if not then we start our day! I am usually either in mom mode or work mode – they usually don’t overlap unless the kids are sleeping or Charlie is at daycare. I try to keep them separate unless I am browsing social media. On the days when Charlie is home with me we will go to the library and grab lunch before nap time or run errands. I always try to have our mornings be activity filled. Would you guys be interested in a day in the life post??

What are a few of your favorite sneakers for just daily life? Not exercise, but walking around a lot, standing, etc.

You’ll usually find me in my Golden Goose sneakers (a serious splurge, I know) or my Adidas Flashback sneakers!

Whoa! Thanks for all of the great questions this week. Don’t forget to submit your questions for next week using “Coffee with Liz” in the email subject. 

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  1. Love your honest answer on the wine/breastfeeding approach! I had the same approach for 2 rounds of breastfeeding my babies – it’s all about moderation and frankly, I feel like Moms of newborns are the people most in need of a relaxing with a glass of wine at the end if a long day! 😂 Cheers!

  2. Liz, I’d love a day in the life post! My son is two and our second is due in March. I’d love to chat with the gal who asked about breastfeeding I am oh so passionate about breastfeeding and love helping other women. If she sees this I do have some videos regarding breastfeeding on my Darlynebeauty Beauty YouTube channel and my advice (even though I know she asked for yours, Liz) is to join a support group and get educated from people who actually breastfeed! Do not be scared or discouraged in talking to people who were not successful at it. You can do it! Get a lactation consultant if you need. It is worth it to try to identify and correct a problem rather than to just give up because of one person’s opinion. And some of the WORST breastfeeding advice I received was from doctors and nurses. The milk Meg, a lactation consultant with a very active Facebook page is a FANTASTIC resource. Good luck to you you can do it!

  3. Love reading these posts and I’m super interested in a day in the life Post. Also, I spoke with a lactation consultant about drinking and nursing and was told if you’re too drunk to drive, don’t nurse. Pretty easy guideline and doesn’t spoil that second glass!

    1. Yes to this! That’s what the LC that I saw after I had my baby said too! It’s a pretty easy guidline to remember! I also heard the tip that you can mix “sober” milk with milk that’s from when you had a drink or two to dilute it if that makes you feel better! So basically don’t dump the milk! You work hard for it!

  4. I would love a day-in-the-life post! I have a son who will be 3 in March, and I am pregnant with a baby girl who is due mid-February. I am an only child so I really have no idea how parents manage more than one kid! Haha. Hearing how you do it would be super helpful!

  5. The aquarium and children’s museum in Charleston are great if y’all haven’t talent Charlie! There are also a lot of really good playgrounds, one near the aquarium. Also girl don’t pump and dump! Just wait longer before you pump if you’ve had a couple of drinks.. my LC told me it will go through your milk just like it does your blood so just wait a little longer. 🙂

  6. I would absolutely love a day in the life post! I’m impressed that you take the extra time to thoroughly answer all of these questions.

  7. Would love a day in the life post! My daughter is the same age as Charlie and we’re expecting in April! So hearing about managing life with 2 littles would be so helpful!!

  8. If it makes you feel better, my lactation consultant was totally on board with drinking in moderation while nursing. She said that making it all or nothing was a huge disservice to moms struggling with breastfeeding and the huge commitment it is. She even said it was fine having a drink WHILE nursing since it will be even longer until the next feed. And that if you feel tipsy it is best to pump and dump (or save and freeze to use in bathtub if baby has rash or eczema!)

  9. Agree that pumping and dumping is outdated. Save that liquid gold!!

    I provide anesthesia for a living and even after going unde

  10. Some mom’s have already commented but I would definitely have/need a beverage while breast feeding and time it like you are saying. It wasn’t an everyday thing but it helped me to feel a bit more social again when we would see friends. There are several sites and rules of thumb out there that will give you the dilution rate but in the end it’s whatever the individual is comfortable with – same with coffee/caffeine. Lots of talk on that subject when I was a new mom!! 🙂 Great “coffee” post!!

  11. Hi Liz,

    Love all your posts! I’m considering the Golden Goose for my go to summer sneaker. I’m pregnant with #2 & currently have a 16month old. Do you find them to be comfortable for all day wear & running errands?

    Olivia