Coffee Chat—November 27

Last week already feels so far away! I love this time of year so much, I’m just in a good mood when the holidays are in full swing! Now that Cyber Week is over, I feel like I can breathe again!

Here’s this week’s coffee chats! And, if you have any other questions you want to ask, send them in here!

Coffee Chats—November 27

What are you top 3 healthy living tips (food, supplement, etc.)

One—move every day! Even if that just means a quick walk, a brief workout in your living room or an exercise class. Two—start my day with a healthy breakfast always sets me up to eat healthier throughout the day. I always try to get in veggies or greens with every meal and limit my animal protein. Three—stay hydrated! I aim to drink 96oz. of water a day (12 8oz. glasses). It doesn’t always happen, but I usually get pretty close. When I’m drinking plenty of water, my skin looks better, I have more energy and I sleep better.

And, four (even though you asked for three)—get plenty of sleep. This one is a constant struggle, but I’m getting better and better about it thanks to my FitBit. I love that it tracks sleep and it motivates me to get in bed earlier so I can get more sleep.

Whats your go-to dish or meal when entertaining friends for dinner?

Well, it’s been a while since we’ve entertained people, ha! We have a really small kitchen table. But, one of my go-to’s is chicken enchiladas (I use this shredded chicken for the filling) because I can make it ahead and just pop it in the oven. I also love doing Italian because I can make a big pot of bolognese and quickly cook pasta and serve. Lately I’ve been loving Jovial’s gluten free brown rice pasta—it’s SO much better than any other brown rice pasta I’ve tried. It doesn’t get sticky or mushy!

How are you maintaining adrenals these days?

I still try to eat at regular intervals, but admittedly haven’t been great about eating snacks in the morning. I almost always have a honeycrisp apple around 4—I’m obsessed with these apples, haha! Other than that, I’ve been much better about managing my stress. I haven’t been taking on as many projects which does affect my bottom line, but feeling less stressed makes it worth it to me.

Babysitter etiquette? Have you used one? What are the ins and outs?

We use babysitters on the regular! We’ve been lucky that our nannies (just got a new one because our old one had a schedule change that didn’t work for us) are usually available to babysit. When they’re not, I have a few girls who I call and know from friends or family so I feel comfortable with them.

I’m pretty laid back, so I usually (quickly) walk them through our night and where to find stuff. If you’re not sure on pricing, ask them how much they charge per hour before you officially book them so you know what you’re getting into. I’ve found that $15 an hour is standard in Chicago and I typically pay them through QuickPay or Venmo.

Finding a nanny is a totally different bag of worms and I’m actually working on a full blog post on that topic as it’s much harder to navigate than just a one-night babysitter!

Do you ever get homesick for Dallas? If so, how do you best cope with the feeling?

I don’t really get homesick for Dallas per say, but I do get majorly homesick for my people, aka my immediate family. My parents still live in Dallas, but my two sisters live in Atlanta, GA and Knoxville, TN so we’re all over the place. When I get really homesick, I usually call them a lot. There will be weeks where I talk to my sisters and parents every single day, and weeks where I feel like I haven’t talked to them at all.

When I’m really missing them, I’ll plan a trip! Thankfully, we see each other over one of the holidays and make an effort to visit each other. My parents said their goal is to see us at least once a quarter because Owen is growing and changing so much.

I would love it if we all lived in the same place one day, but I’m not counting on it, haha!

Are you religious?

I grew up going to church and youth group and I pray. I consider myself a Christian, but we don’t actively go to church or belong to a church here in Chicago. Really, I’m more of spiritual than a religious person.

Through traveling, we’ve seen a lot of other cultures and religions and it’s really hard for me to sit here and say that one is right, but the others are wrong. We’ve met some of the most kind, devout and generous people in countries where Christianity is not the primary religion. So, I’m very open-minded and believe that your actions speak louder than words. Being a good person and treating others the way you’d like to be treated says more about you than just the label of being a Christian.

That being said, I would like Owen to grow up with some belief system, so I do think we’ll start going to church as he gets a bit older. I think it’s a great way to instill some great values in kids at a young age and will teach him to be generous and kind to everyone. At home, we’ll reinforce that no matter what religion, color, sexual orientation, etc. a person is, they deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.

Would you consider shopping and featuring more local boutiques?

If I’m being honest, the reason I don’t share many local boutiques is because I rarely go shopping in person. I almost exclusively shop online because I hate going into stores and realizing they don’t have my size, which happens a lot! I’d rather try things on in the comfort of my own home and return what doesn’t work. I know that’s not the case for everyone, but that’s how I like to shop!

From a business standpoint, it’s more beneficial for me to feature larger brands that I can link to and make commission from. That’s not why I buy certain things, but it does play a part in how I shop considering that I make a good chunk of my income from affiliate sales.

The most “boutique” place I shop online is Etsy! I love them for pillows, decor, vintage pieces and random things I didn’t know I needed (and probably don’t!), haha!

How did you reestablish a workout routine once you were cleared at 6 weeks postpartum?

I started slow! I was pretty anxious to get moving again, but didn’t push myself too hard. I started with hot yoga because it was both a good workout and relaxing and then a few months later I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer. It’s an investment, but I know myself and I’m just not someone who can easily motivate myself to go to the gym when I have work, laundry and other things to get done. Having a trainer holds me accountable and has also been key to me getting back in shape. I actually think my body looks better now than it did before I was pregnant! I’m working on a post that goes in depth on this next week!

What do you miss about life pre-baby

Life is so much fun now, but so different and I’d be lying if I said there was nothing I missed. I definitely miss the freedom to travel more to international destinations with Rob. We’re finally planning our first big trip at the end of January and we are so excited! Though, I know I’ll miss Owen so much, ha! I also really miss sleeping in late. I don’t mind that we don’t go out as much, but I do miss my lazy Saturday and Sunday mornings where we could both sleep in til 10am.

Why aren’t you painting anymore? Will you pick it back up?

For any of you who are new around here, I used to paint big abstract canvases and I really loved it. But, it got to the point where it really felt like work and I didn’t like how they looked when I tried to paint because I felt like I had to. My brush strokes got short and choppy and I just hated the final product, so I put my stuff away and figured I’d pick it up again when I wanted to. That hasn’t happened yet. Maybe when Owen goes to school and we have more space I’ll do it again, but right now it’s not something I’m prioritizing.

Have you changed your diet after reading Liver Rescue?

I’ve been loving this book, but I haven’t finished it yet. I’m just now starting the part that’s the actual protocol. But, he’s mentioned tips throughout the book and one thing I’ve adopted is to not eat fats before lunch (which doesn’t happen every day). The theory behind it is that as soon as we consume fats, our liver goes from detoxification mode to fat-processing mode, which can slow it down because processing fats is hard on our liver. Even healthy fats! Avoiding fats until lunch gives your liver more time detox each day.

So, I’ve been starting my morning with 32oz. of lemon water, 8-16oz. celery juice and a bowl of chopped fruit. If I’m still hungry or have time, I’ll make half a sweet potato and sautéed spinach too—super filling, lots of fiber and no fat. It’s not the sexiest breakfast, but I do feel better and have noticed way less bloating throughout the day. I’ll do an update once I’ve finished the book!

What do you eat throughout the holidays to stay fit?

I try my best to keep my diet as normal as possible. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies! We make lots of soup which is an easy way to get in more veggies and I love roasting veggies this time of year too. I’ve cut back on the amount of animal protein I eat each day, which I enjoy—it just makes me feel lighter (not actually losing weight, but I just feel better throughout the day). I still eat grains like brown rice, quinoa, soba noodles and gluten-free pasta and have been eating more sweet potatoes and regular potatoes lately. They’re hearty, keep me full and have lots of fiber and other good nutrients.

My goal at every meal is to get in veggies! Sometimes we’ll throw in a handful of spinach or chard into our soups or just make some for a side. It’s easy and dark leafy greens are so good for you!

What is Owen’s schedule now? Can you share how you weaned, what he he eats and what brand milk you give him?

Yes, but this answer is going to be long so it will go live in a separate post tomorrow!


If you have a question you want me to answer, submit it here! I’m thinking of making this a weekly series, so send in your questions on style, life, motherhood, wellness—anything! I love answering your questions!

Thanksgiving in Texas
Owen's Schedule at 12 Months