Ask Liz over 5 years ago by Liz Adams

Coffee with Liz • September 21, 2018

Coffee with Liz Q&A series

It has been a HOT MINUTE since I posted a Coffee with Liz post! I’m so sorry about that. I dedicate so much time to answering your questions and sometimes these posts have to take a back seat to life. This weeks questions are good ones! I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I’m going to be snuggling my babies all weekend long. xoxo

I know it’s a ways away, but I’m a planner and have already started thinking about it! I have two boys, one 4 and one who will be 6 months at Christmas, and I’m thinking about how to dress them for their Christmas picture with Santa. Should I do matching outfits, Christmas outfits, just something nice? Any ideas you can provide would be so appreciated!

I personally feel like matching outfits can sometimes feel forced and not as natural. For the boys I would say matching to some extent, but different. Maybe two different Christmas sweaters or shirts in similar colors or prints. A few of our favorite stores for dressier kids clothes include: Gymboree, Nordstrom, The Tot, Mini Boden, Hanna Anderson and Old Navy

I’m looking for a gift for my boyfriend…I have a limited budget, so the present should not cost more than 100$, preferably around 50-70$, what makes it quite hard! It should be something special, but also something he can use! He loves old movies but also fashion, music and a lot more! Do you have any ideas? What would you give Dave if you had a limited budget?

What about a cool record player? Looks like a million bucks and only $70! I love the blue color. Dave also loves these Everlane hoodies (only $55!) and his slip on Vans sneakers

I am starting to research convertible car seats for my babe and am overwhelmed! We have the Nuna Pipa so the Rava is on our radar, but I’m wondering if it’s worth the $$$. I’d love to know what car seats you considered for Charlie and which one you chose/ use now? Will you get the same one for Jack? 

We have and love the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio. It is a great size, easy to install, has a high safety rating and comfortable. We initially bought the Maxi Cosi car seat and I personally didn’t like it. It was HUGE and way too cushioned to the point where Charlie felt like his head was stuck between the cushions. We ended up returning it I definitely think it is trial and error and reading reviews but different things work for different people (some people rave about the Maxi Cosi!). I think we will probably get the same seat for Jack, too. 

I am so horrible at blow-drying my hair and it always gets so tangled when I do it… do you have any tips on how to blow-dry well?

Ugh unfortunately no! I always tell my hairstylist that my hands don’t work together. I’ve never been able to hold the blowdryer with one hand and a round brush in the other. I usually blow dry my roots/the front of my hair with a flat brush and then I flip my head over and continue to brush with a flat brush until dry. I find that this gives it extra volume! Sorry I couldn’t be of more help 🙂

My boyfriend is in need of some new work shoes. His work wardrobe is “smart casual”, and he always goes the cheaper route and they get worn out really quickly. Any recommendations from you (or Dave!) on great work shoes I could gift him?

Dave has and loves these wingtip shoes – probably his favorite stylish shoe to wear with denim, chinos, blazers, etc. He also has these driving shoes and these Chukkas for fall/winter (great for winter weather!). All look great in an office setting for guys!

I’m in my early thirties and looking to phase out brands like Loft and generally elevate my wardrobe (less fast fashion, and fewer/higher quality pieces). I tend to gravitate toward classic pieces with a bit of trendy and/or preppy flair and prefer simple designs with minimal patterns. I do love J.Crew and find that much of my wardrobe these days is from there. Can you recommend a few brands that are higher quality for casual work-wear? I work in a creative field and have a lot of freedom with what I wear.

I love Everlane. Probably my favorite place to get sweaters, silk blouses and elevated basics. I also love Cuyana – super feminine and beautiful. Those are two brands that I would highly recommend for investing (although both are a great price) in your wardrobe. I also love Club Monaco for gorgeous pieces with a little flare like blouses (I love this top!), detailed sweaters, coats and dresses.

I love wearing a shorter cropped jacket with dresses and skirts with higher waists. I usually wear my jean jacket – but would love any recommendations on cropped styles you love!

I have and love this leather jacket (it is 40% off!) – such a pretty color! I’m also a fan of a classic tweed jacket because they are cute with dresses/skirts and even a basic white tee and jeans. 

My son (9 months old!) is getting baptized in mid-September. Any suggestions for outfits for him and me? Thanks!

I love Florence Eiseman for little boys! Charlie wore this outfit. I would say go with a classic dress that you’ll look back on and won’t regret wearing. I love this and this!

Natural Calm—I’ve seen you mention it in your instastories. My mom has been pushing it on me for years…does it work? Do you give it to the boys? Do you use it to chill or sleep? How much do you drink?

It is the best! It has lots of purposes but I like to use it before bed to just kind of calm my nervous system. I find that it definitely makes me sink into a deeper sleep. The nights I take it I notice I wake up saying “I slept so hard.” It also regulates your digestive system – literally calming your organs so be cautious that it can make your tummy a little upset 😉 I have never taken it to chill – just for sleep purposes/before bed. I know that they sell a children’s version at Whole Foods but I’ve never given it to the boys. I drink the suggested serving which is 2 tsp mixed with water. I was introduced to it while pregnant because I had some insomnia and restless leg issues – it was a HUGE help. 

What was your skincare routine while pregnant? Did you change anything? I’m newly pregnant with my second and I don’t remember what I did last time but had to stop using my body wash. 

I think a general rule of thumb is to avoid retinol, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and paragons in your skincare. My thought is during pregnancy, don’t focus on any preventative measures in your skincare. Keep it simple. A cleanser, a Vitamin C serum, a moisturizer. A lot of the chemicals in beauty products can cause issues with your hormones and since our bodies are already a hormonal mess while pregnant, it is best to avoid. I would just stick to the basics. I used generally clean products (from places like Glossier, Beautycounter, Origins, Elemis) and I switched to a natural deodorant – this one being my favorite. Your skin may suck for a few months but just remember it will pass! The best you can do is keep it calm and happy with simple products. 

I’m due with baby #2 in October! Can you recommend a cozy/functional, looks good in pictures robe to wear in the hospital after baby is born?

Ok I wore and loved this robe in the hospital with Charlie but I wore these pajamas in the hospital with Jack and it was wayyyy better. Something about soft pants rather than your legs rubbing together after giving birth and you’re wearing the huge underwear – haha. Trust me on the pajamas and super cute for photos!

I am a mother of two in her late thirties going to Disney for the first time with our kids in November.  I was wondering if you could share what you might pack as a “mom’s capsule wardrobe” for a Disney family vacation. I’d like to be comfortable and practical without sacrificing my normal go-to JCrew/Anthro style. Thanks in advance!!

I’ve actually never been to Disney so I am not sure what your days look like! I would probably opt for jeans and a good stripe tee and comfy sneakers for daytime. 

My brother is getting married in October in wine country in New York. I have been having a hard time finding a dress to wear to the wedding. I am looking for a midi or long dress. Any dresses you would recommend? 

I actually wore the prettiest and most comfortable dress to a winery in upstate NY this week and it is so flattering (seen here)! Great price point too. I also love this, this and this. 

I’m going to splurge on some designer flats this fall. What do you wear more, Gucci Princetown loafers mule or Chanel ballet flats? Also what color combo in the Chanel flats? I love the classic beige & black but I love the gold ones Eva Chen always wears. 

I would prefer the ballet flat over a mule for comfort reasons. Both are SUPER comfortable but I can stand all day in my Chanel flats and mules are just harder to walk in. More often than not, I prefer a more feminine shoe over a masculine style. I have the black and beige which go with EVERYTHING. I also have a metallic champagne color (found at Niemans on Michigan Ave) that I love. Probably my favorite flat I’ve ever owned. There are so many options! But I would definitely gravitate towards a neutral because they are an investment. 

My best friend got engaged this past weekend – YAY! I’d love to get them a little gift but want something different than just a bottle of champagne/something expected. Any ideas? Nothing too extravagant but want them to know just how excited I am for the two of them! 

So exciting! I love Mark & Graham for all things engagement. I think their gifts are so perfect for monograms and just general excitement. I love these custom champagne flutes or a cheeseboard with their new monogram! It’s always exciting to see your future name after getting engaged 🙂

I want to incorporate serums into my skin care routine. I’m interested in serums you’d recommend, especially vitamin C face serums. Thanks!

I talk a lot about serums in my beauty category which you can browse here! There are so many posts about the ones I use and love the most. My favorite serums are M61 Vitablast (one of THE BEST vitamin C serums for the price) and Jetglow. If you need some extra moisture then Hydraboost is great, too. The entire M61 brand has amazing skincare products. 

I am due with my first baby in 2 weeks and was wondering how you handled visitors when you came home from the hospital? My family is in town but my husband’s are out of state.  Did Dave’s family come visit right away and if so, did they stay with you at your house or get a hotel?  I know his family wants to come right away but I can’t help feeling like I will still be playing “host’ while getting adjusted to life as a family of 3 and learning to breastfeed and maybe won’t want company that is in town for several days.  Would love any advice you have regarding this! 

Oh my gosh I love this question. I think this is a really important topic to address. I dealt with some similar issues and before Charlie was born I asked that Dave’s mom and step dad stay at a hotel so we could have our space to get organized. They were totally understanding! Two days after we came home Dave’s dad came to visit and stay with us and I had a mental breakdown. Mostly because I was pretty much naked at all times, trying to figure out how to breastfeed, super emotional from delivery/hormones, sleep deprived and Dave hasn’t informed me of any plans. I remember taking Charlie into his room and just crying and Dave came to find me and I said please get your dad a hotel room and he was like Ok! I think it is really important to speak up. You can’t cater to everyone and as much as you want family to visit, you’ll also need your own space. I would sit down and talk to your husband and just tell him where you think the boundaries need to be. Also remember that you are recovering too! It is really important that you come home to a calm environment. Don’t ever feel guilty about that and I promise your family and friends will be more than understanding to accommodate you!

Make sure to submit your questions for next week by emailing with the subject Coffee with Liz!