April Q&A: Fashion, Beauty, Food & Life

Happy Tuesday, friends! I’ve got my April Q&A for you today. I was planning to start doing these monthly, but I guess I missed March. Oooops!

I put out a call for questions, and I got quite a few, so I’m answering those, as well as some common ones that I tend to get asked regularly.

Fashion Questions

Q // I ordered the BlancNYC Moto Jacket and I love it. It’s a sand/taupe color. I’m wondering if it’s appropriate to wear a suede jacket in spring (if I ever go anywhere! LOL)

A // I believe you are talking about this one. I have it in pink and taupe and will definitely wear mine this spring… or I would if I had somewhere to wear it.

Q // Since my calves are heavy in comparison to the rest of my body, a lower vamp shoes generally is more slimming. However, I like a lot of the styles with a cute ankle strap. I feel like that ankle strap just draws attention to my calves. If I got a pair of ankle strap shoes in a nude color, would that be the best of both worlds? Slimming but still a cute current style??

A // I think so… of course, I’d have to see the whole outfit, but I do think that logic makes sense. If they’re your skin color, they should blend in, and vamp and straps shouldn’t matter much.

Q // Are driving mocs “out”?

A // I’d say they’re a classic, and if they work with your personal style aesthetic, go for it. My mom has worn them forever, and they work for her.

I’ve also seen other young fashion bloggers rock the Tod’s. I always think I want to get a pair when I see them wearing them.

I absolutely love this pair, but it’s spendy. UGG makes a good one for under $100, although I prefer the ones with the more traditional pebbled sole.

Q // Seeing Dr. Birx at the daily covid briefings, she wears silk scarves. Are silk scarves in or out? They seem out to me. No offense meant to her!! 🙂

A // I think Dr. Birx is a great example of a classy woman rocking her personal style and looking amazing, despite the trends. I couldn’t get away with it, but they look amazing on her.

Q // Please comment on classic handbag styles. I can’t figure out what style of bag to buy other than I recall you said cognac, grey or wine were classic colors. Cognac is my favorite. I want a medium sectioned tote or satchel, but I don’t like multiple floppy handles and straps.

A // Handbags are such a personal choice… I love a good tote, and they are always in style.

Some ladies prefer a satchel, but those are fussy for me, unless they have an optional shoulder strap. I prefer a bag I can sling over my shoulder.

Hobos are fun, but they tend to go in and out of style a bit more than totes and satchels. They lean a little more casual because of the slouchy style, although some are more structured than others… like this Tory Burch that I have in ivory. Such a good bag!

Of course, a crossbody is always useful, and great for those times when you want to be hands-free.

You mentioned liking the sectioned bags.

This one is a nice classic choice, and it comes in cognac. This one is a more versatile medium size with two sections, and I love that Devon Sand color.

Of course, there are less expensive options, those are just two that came to mind.

Nordstrom Rack is having a Dooney & Bourke event right now, and they have some nice choices. Also, this Cuyana satchel is gorgeous, and you can get it monogrammed.

Q // Shorter length sweaters…I see you are showing them in your try on hauls. I like that cut. Do you think it will continue Into fall?

A // I hope so! I definitely see why they’re making a comeback — they work so well with higher rise jeans that are also trending.

Q // My question is how to look human while wearing a face mask. (The Bay Area in California is requiring them). I’ve tried using scarves, but they move too much. I kept touching my face. I purchased some mask from Los Angeles Apparel over the internet (no affiliation – it’s just really hard to get any washable mask and need to leave real masks for professionals). Amazon hasn’t been a reliable mask source and on Etsy, it’s hard to tell the mask quality.

A // Haha! I think we are all going to be looking for stylish face masks here shortly! I had a friend make one for each of us girls, but I hate to bug her for more. I need to start looking for some other resources, if we are going to be wearing them for a few months. I’d like to have several options so I can coordinate with my outfits.

One of my friends is supporting this company, but they’re all solid black, and they make me think of a bank robber, haha!

I follow this classy German lady on Instagram, and I actually took a screenshot of her wearing a gorgeous scarf as a face mask, for future reference. Maybe this would be a better use for Dr. Birx’s gorgeous scarf collection. 😉

Q // Do you match the wallet to each purse? What’s a good basic color that’s not black? (So sick of black purses and wallets!)

A // I never used to. I always figured it’s enough trouble to swap out your purse with each outfit, but to switch out a wallet seemed really extra. That said, I have recently fallen into the “trap” of buying a few different wallets to go with different bags.

At this point, I basically have a large “winter wallet” and a mid-size “summer wallet” — they’re both Louis Vuitton, and they match my Neverfull (Damier Ebene) and my Graceful (Damier Azur). Then I recently picked up a smaller black wallet that I use with my smaller crossbody bags.

I don’t switch out my wallets nearly as often as I do my bags, but I may change it every few weeks. It depends on which bag(s) I’m gravitating to the most at a given time.

Q // Who is your favorite fashion designer and which celebrity has a personal style that you admire?

A // I can’t really say I have a favorite fashion designer. I’m pretty basic when it comes to designers — Tory Burch, Vince, Rag & Bone, AG Jeans, AllSaints… the usual suspects.

As far as celebrities go, in keeping with my basic white girl style (ha!), I identify most with Jennifer Aniston’s style, but I also have mad respect and admiration for Kate Middleton. I love how she keeps it tailored and classic, yet never the least bit frumpy.

Beauty Questions

Q // What’s a good eyeshadow crease color for mature eyes? Should lids be neutral cream/wheat/champagne? I’ve read that champagne pencil is both good on brow bone AND aging on brow bone, depending on the blogger. Give us the straight scoop!!!!

A // I’m really not an expert on makeup, so I don’t have strong opinion. I just know what I like on myself, and I stick to gray tones that aren’t too shimmery.

Q // False eyelash tutorial. I love them but haven’t tried application. Totally intimidated.

A // Again, not my wheelhouse. I’ve never applied false eyelashes.

I’m pretty much a plain Jane when it comes to makeup. I recently did a demo on IG Story, and it’s saved to my highlights under Makeup Routine, if you want to check it out.

Life/Food/Relationship Questions

Q // What types of extra-curriculars were you involved in while in high school? (Band or band front, sports, dance, girl scouts, church youth activities, etc)

A // Now, that’s one I don’t believe I was ever asked before! I was in the concert choir in middle school, high school, and college, as well as at church. And our church youth group was very active and probably my biggest social outlet aside from choir when I was in high school.

My closest friends were at church youth group, and in the high school choir. I went to church in a neighboring city, so the two social circles didn’t overlap much, although my best friend from school often joined me for youth group activities.

I also played the violin in the church orchestra, which was quite large. (We went to a big southern Baptist church.)

I never did sports of any kind until I found running in my late 30s, and I never did girl scouts or dance or anything like that. So basically, music was my life! The youth choir was even a big part of our church’s youth group — we put on a musical every year, and we went on a week-long choir tour in the summertime.

Q // Very curious about what IF looks like for you. Can you share what you eat in a typical day?

A // This could be a post in and of itself, but I’ll try to be succinct… haha. As if!

Every day is different, but I basically drink black coffee or water from the time I wake up until I break my fast, which is usually sometime between 2 and 4PM, depending on how I’m feeling and our schedule for the day.

During my eating window, I usually have a snack, then dinner, and then a cookie or a few Hershey kisses. It doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, I eat a lot during that time — probably too much. I’m still tweaking what I eat during my window as I figure out how much I need and what foods work best for me. I close my window as soon as I take that last bite of dessert — usually around 7 and 8PM.

As far as what I eat, that varies greatly, but I eat a lot of meat (probably too much) and cheese and carbs. I know I need more veggies in my life, and I’m working on that.

I’ve never bought into the low-fat fad, so real butter, whole milk, bacon, and eggs are food staples in our household. We buy mostly organic, locally raised milk, meat, and eggs. I don’t buy breakfast cereal — even the “healthy” ones are mostly just sugar and highly processed carbohydrates — worthless at best, but probably slowly killing us as a nation. I blame them for the obesity epidemic, but that’s another post for another time.

The kids don’t really eat breakfast, or they will make a smoothie or toast or yogurt or something. Paul usually makes oatmeal for breakfast, and when I used to eat breakfast, it was usually eggs — either scrambled or fried. Or if I was in a rush, a breakfast bar. (Which is crap, I know. One thing I love about intermittent fasting is I don’t end up grabbing bars and crappy snacks when I’m too busy to prepare a good breakfast or lunch.)

Lunch was usually leftover dinner (soup/chili/casserole/cold chicken or pork loin) or a salad with protein on it (tuna from a can, or leftover chicken from dinner.) I usually make my own dressing — this lemon vinaigrette is my favorite.

I miss salads, and I think my body needs them, so one of my goals this month is to start breaking my fast with a salad in the mid-afternoon, instead of a carbalicious snack.

Kale Salad with Cranberries & Almonds

For meals, I usually prepare a protein, rice or potatoes, and a green vegetable. Or I’ll make soup or stew or a casserole of some sort, with a green vegetable on the side. Tacos, chili, and shepherd’s pie are popular in the wintertime. When in doubt, I’ll usually cook one of those. In the summer, I do a lot of grilling.

We always eat dinner together as a family, unless Paul and I have somewhere to be. I would say we have a family dinner 4 or 5 nights a week, and then do takeout or go out to eat once or twice a week. (Lately, it’s just takeout.)

I usually keep popcorn and chips around for snacking, as well as Mary’s Gone Crackers and fixin’s for a cheese and charcuterie plate, and there’s always something sweet in the house. I keep a candy bowl with Hershey Kisses — they are the perfect little hit to satisfy my sugar/chocolate cravings, and I often pick up organic cookies or gluten-free Tate’s cookies at the store.

In addition to that, Caroline bakes a lot from scratch. She makes all kinds of goodies, but homemade chocolate chip cookies get baked almost every night. I usually go to bed before that, which is a good thing because they are hard to resist!

I still eat 95% gluten-free, and when I get careless, I always end up regretting it. And as I said, I’m currently working on getting a better ratio of vegetables to protein and carbs in my diet. I’m a work in progress, like everyone else!

Q // How did you meet your husband?

A // This one actually IS a post in and of itself. I will just refer you to this: How I Met My Hubby.

Q // How is it going with the new puppy?

A // I had so many questions and requests for pictures yesterday! I think some of you are as excited about our new puppy as we are. So, without further ado, meet Ozzy!

I shared quite a bit in my email newsletter this morning, and I don’t want to be too repetitive, but basically, things are going as well as can be expected. Ozzy is a sweetheart and loves to be held and cuddled. He’s also very playful and likes his toys, but he’s happiest when he’s chasing someone around the front yard.

Savannah, however, was not at all amused by this intruder. When we introduced them in the front yard yesterday, he kept rolling on his back and trying to play with her, and she just growled at him. Eventually she settled down and started sniffing at him, and they appeared to come to some sort of uneasy truce.

When we’re inside, he’s usually in his puppy pen, and she has total freedom to move about as she pleases, so she doesn’t seem to mind him as much. But this morning, they went at it again when Caroline let Savannah out of her room and Ozzy wasn’t in his pen — that was bad timing! He’s almost always in his pen but Becca had just had him outside, I guess.

For now, we’re keeping them separated most of the time, and keeping their interactions brief (and well-supervised.)

Becca took care of Ozzy last night, and he did great. So far, he’s only had one accident in the house, and fortunately that was in his pen on the puppy pads, which are there for that purpose.

So yeah, all in all, it’s going very well so far!

I’m planning to hop on a Facebook Live at 1PM EST, so if you have any more questions, you can ask me there, or in the comments below.

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