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

Good morning! I hope you are doing well and hanging in there. I know I say it over and over, but these are some crazy times. I feel like I’m on a yo-yo and someone is pulling the string. Anyone else?

I thought I’d do my May Q&A today. This is a compilation of questions I’ve received across my various channels over the past few weeks.

Fashion & Beauty Questions

Q // I’m curious as to what, other thank ankle jeans, you would wear with the Eileen Fisher sandals.

A // These sandals are kind of a cross between a sneaker and a sandal, so I’d keep it casual.

I can see them with a t-shirt dress or casual knit skirt and t-shirt combo (add a denim jacket to either look!)

Q // Nail colors for spring?

A // CND Winterglow is a nice chalky pink that reads pretty neutral, and I like their Studio White as well.

nail color: CND Studio White

I’ve been alternating between these two colors since salons have been closed here in PA.

Q // I’m interested in more info on what looks good on a body type and why.

A // I highly recommend the Adore Your Wardrobe course for this.

I try to share helpful tips within my various posts, as I do try-ons and outfit posts, but this course goes far beyond anything I can share on the blog.

Q // What not to wear… things that are aging.

A // Nothing will age you faster than cheap clothing or ill-fitting garments. As we get older, the quality and fit of our clothing matters more and more. You may want to check out this post: What Makes a Garment Good Quality?

And I’ll add to that, wearing styles that were super trendy for a short period of time and are now passé will certainly age you. These items will change year to year, so it pays to keep an eye on the current styles.

But beyond that, if it fits well and flatters your individual body, you should feel free to wear it! I’m not one to make a list of certain styles and trends that should be off-limits based on age. It’s more important to consider your personal style, body type, lifestyle, and the culture of the area in which you live.

Q // Sports bras that come in cup sizes and aren’t hard go get on and off?

A // My all time favorite is this Chantelle high impact sport bra, but it’s getting hard to find. Saks has some as well. I always hook the straps together at the back when running or doing any high impact exercises.

I’ve also had good luck with Wacoal over the years. I have this one, and I like the fit a lot, but it’s not as supportive as the Chantelle — at least not with the normal configuration. I haven’t tried crossing it in the back because it looks like a pain to get on and off that way.

Q // I’d love some ideas for cute summer jumpsuits. 

A // Jumpsuits are really having a moment right now, and they can be a great alternative to a dress or even loungewear. I love this one from Gap for casual wear.

I’ve styled a few dressier versions in year’s past, but most are sold out or low inventory, so I rounded up a bunch more here.

Q // Fashionable masks?

A // I have this one that a friend made for me, but a lot of retailers are making them now.

I also just ordered a set from Sanctuary. They took about two weeks to arrive. Rag & Bone makes some that look really cool, but they’re pricey. Old Navy has some that are more affordable, and you can always check Etsy.

Q // White sandals? I need casual and dressy options.

A // I have this pair of Nine West slides from last summer that I love. I have searched high and low, and I can’t find them anywhere this season, although this pair looks similar. Unfortunately, it’s not available in white. I also think this pair is really cute.

There are always Tory Burch Miller sandals! They are so pretty in the white. I like these Vince Hazen sandals a lot, but the white is getting sold out. Zappo’s has some too.

These sporty Sam Edelman slides are fun for a casual look, and there are always Birks.

For a heel, I have and love this Dolce Vita espadrille from last year, and I love it. So comfortable and easy to walk in. And cute too. I rounded up some more below.

Q // I have lost 40lbs since August and am still working towards losing more weight. How do you shop for clothes online when you don’t know what size you are now and are continuing to lose weight? What clothes do you recommend buying when in weight loss transitions?

A // First of all, congrats! Shopping online requires a lot of trial and error, especially when going through a transition such as weight loss. My best advice is to order two sizes and return what doesn’t work.

As far as what to buy when in a weight loss transition, I wrote this post back in 2012… yes, I’m a dinosaur in the blogging world. (I’ve actually been blogging since 2006!) The key takeaways are to buy your current size, buy items that are easy to mix and match, and don’t spend a lot on any one piece since you may not wear it for very long.

Also, you may want to pick up a few pieces of fun jewelry and accessories to change up your looks. The good news here is, your size won’t affect how they fit, so feel free to splurge on these pieces.

Q // Casual clothes for men… What’s Paul wearing these days?

A // Even though he’s working from home, he showers and shaves and dresses for work most days, as he does a lot of teleconferencing.

He likes his dark wash jeans, and he usually wears a button down shirt or quarter zip pullover over a dark t-shirt. He loves Mizzen+Maine performance sport shirts for the warmer months.

Lifestyle Questions

Q // IF Update?

A // I’m never sure where to start when I get asked this question. Not much has changed — I’m still fasting between 18 — 21 hours a day. Usually 19 or 20.

I love the flexibility of it and how easy it is. On Mother’s Day, I wanted to have breakfast with the family, so I just moved my eating window a little earlier to accommodate that, and I guess I expanded it that day too so it was a little longer than normal. But that’s the beauty of IF. There’s no “cheating” — you just make a decision to eat earlier or to eat longer or to just not to fast that day.

My biggest struggle is learning to listen to my body and satiety signals so that I don’t overindulge during my eating window. I’m still enjoying the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast when I walk, and I almost always learn something new or get a new perspective on some aspect of IF that helps me in my journey.

Q // What recipes are you making these days?

A // I tend to get into a rut and make the same things over and over again. I make chili or tacos at least once a week

Homemade Chili Recipe: this recipe has been in our family for years. Delicious and ready in an hour!

I’ve done this marinated flank steak a few times on nicer days, and shepherd’s pie is always good on a chilly day.

Recently I’ve been using this chicken recipe quite a bit because it can all be done on the stovetop, and I keep all of these ingredients in the house. This chicken stir fry is always popular, and kebobs are sure to be a hit.

I’ve also started making this poppyseed chicken again because the kids like it so much. I found a GF organic cream of chicken soup that makes me feel a little better about it.

My family always likes this sausage scramble, and again, all the ingredients are very common.

Q // I’m getting a new puppy. What pet products do you recommend?

A // Congratulations! You’re in for a lot of fun, and some sleepless nights at the beginning.

We placed a big order from with all kinds of toys, a crate, and puppy pads for accidents in the first few days. We got his bed at our local Pet Valu.

Oh, and if you have a fence or even banisters with wide posts, these puppy bumpers are great. We use this on Savannah outside in our backyard so she doesn’t escape through the fence, and we had to order one for Ozzy because now he can escape too.

Here’s a full roundup of what we ordered.

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36 thoughts on “May Q&A: Fashion, Beauty, Food & Life

  1. Requesting ideas re wider leg crop pants and straight leg pant and the belted drape crop pants., ie Madewell.  And what tops to recommend for this updated silhouette would be great.  

  2. Great Q & A post!  I copied a few of the recipes, as it seems all I do now is cook, bake, eat, repeat!  Forget about outside activities, as we’ve had so few decent days Northeast PA the last 2 months….it’s really hard to stay motivated at times. In my season of life as a grandmother, my routine has changed totally, as no grandkids are coming early & leaving late, no errands to run for the daughters, no appointments, no kids practices/games, etc.  BUT your daily posts are a highlight for me in the morning and keep me from looking like a total frump!  I make sure I get dressed (somewhat decently), add a bit of makeup, always earrings and a swipe of lipgloss!  So thank you for  the inspiration!  

    1. That’s a lot of change for you. The one thing that has kept me sane through all this is being able to keep my typical routine. I miss all the extra outings, and it’s a lot of chaos at times with all the kids at home, but at least I have my work to keep me busy.

    1. Sorry – my sentence somehow got deleted halfway through!  It should read – Basically, if your size changes you can exchange the item in that collection for a different size free of charge.

  3. I’ve made your Chicken Stir Fry recipe many times since you featured it on your blog several years ago. It’s yummy!  And quick and easy!  🙂

    I just peeked at your chili recipe…..mine is similar except I use garlic powder and Rotel tomatoes. And I agree….nothing better than a good hot bowl of chili on a cold day! 

  4. Love, love, love today’s Q & A. Thank you!  I believe I printed every recipe you posted today. Ideally, I’ll save them to Pinterest or in a file. 

    I’ve been in a deep cleaning mode since our stay at home orders went into effect and am currently sorting through recipe books,  torn out newspaper and magazine recipes and copied on paper or printed. What an adventure, and mess!!! How do you manage your recipes? I see the ones you posted today are in a format- is this a computer program? Please share more.  Thank you!!! 

  5. You mentioned with one of the recipes that you use GF organic cream of chicken soup…..I make all my soup bases from scratch since we need GF. It really is easy and quick once you do it a few times. I use Better Than Bouillon base which is way better than granules or cubes. Start by melting 2-4 T butter in saucepan. Add chopped onion (optional). Once onions have cooked a little and salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder to taste. Add 1 T GF flour for every 1T butter you used. Mix until combined. Add 1-1.5 tsp Better than Bouillon base and stir. Add 1-1.5 cups water/milk or combination. Heat until bubbly, stirring. Once thickened you can thin it, if necessary, with milk or water. For cream of mushroom add a small can mushrooms and i usually use beef base and a little worchestershire.

    This is so much more flavorful than the stuff in a can and you know exactly what you’re eating!

  6. You received a lot of good questions on various topics.  My brain hasn’t been good with coming up with questions for you.  It seems the quarantine has made it a bit like jello.  When will your kids finish with this semester?  Tomorrow is the last day for our county, but the food distribution will continue through the summer, which is a true blessing for so many.  Have a great day!

  7. Thank you for another great post! Question: I’ve been thinking of getting the Steve Madden jaide wedge for a while now

    But then I saw the Steve Madden Chaser platform in your post. I’m getting beige/tan either way. 
    Which would you recommend? The Chaser or Jaide?
    Thank you!

    1. They’re similar, but I’d say the Jaide is a little dressier. It depends on what you’ll be wearing them with and the look you’re going for. Both are very cute!

  8. I think we all have our favorites on repeat especially these days. Lol  being able to barbecue more  is a nice break shish  kabobs are our fav!!! We’ve had some nice days and I hope it lasts into our long weekend. It felt nice to go to Costco and also get my ferns for outside urns:) a little bit of normal during our stay at home still. First time to Costco since early March… 
    Have a great day:)

  9. Hello…stick with the potty bells. My family thought I was crazy and our dog would never use them, but they were wrong.  It took a month of being very consistent, but she learned to use them. No more missed signals and messes.  When we moved she easily transitioned using  her bells at the new house.

  10. Great post today on a lot of topics. I referred back to your 2012 post about what to wear while losing weight and copied several recipes too. I always like new ideas! Love IF! It’s easy and it works. I agree with you (and Stacy and Clinton) that regardless of size, we always look better in clothes that fit. I had to laugh though at your suggestion to always have one pair of jeans or pants in your current size that you could mix and match. A few weeks ago for one day Loft had their jeans on sale for $25 so I bought 3 pair to accomodate my new smaller size. I’m still looking at all those white sandal options. You’ve posted some good ones.

  11. That Gap jumpsuit is really cute & looks comfortable as well. Would you wear it outside of your house & if so, how would you style it?  I have a dressier jumpsuit that works well for theater, church (dressier occasions),  so the more casual ones have me stumped. I work in public education so casual styles definitely work better for me, but my worry is wearing a jumpsuit out & feeling like I’m in loungewear. But it’s just so cute & I want to try it—but am trying not to overdo it on at-home-only clothes right now.

  12. The Sanctuary masks look good. The description says that they have a nose wire, but I can’t tell from the photos. Can you confirm that there is a wire and you can mold it to your nose? This is necessary to prevent glasses from fogging up. Thanks.

      1. Do you like the Sanctuary masks? I was looking at getting them too. Do they fit well, like are the ear loops long enough? Do they have a pocket for a filter?

          1. Thank you! Anthropologie is selling the Sanctuary masks in a new different patterns 🙂

  13. Great post with lots of good questions.  I have one more for you!  What would you suggest for an everyday handbag in a neutral color?  I am casual most of the time.
    Also one of my sons has been home from Dallas to quarantine with us and has a new golden retriever puppy who is precious.  So I can relate on the puppy situation!  Like having another child but so worth it!  
    Thank you!! 

  14. Thank you! 😘 I’m ordering a few sandals to try: SE bay slides, SE Andy slide (these are more casual but look so comfy and would be cute with shorts or jeans), and I’m going to try the TB Millers in white. I’ll let you know which ones I like best (I’m hoping I don’t fall in love with all! $$$)?

  15. You look great and I read your answer to the IF question. I’m curious if you’ve lost any more weight or are maintaining now with the eating window your in. 

  16. Just read some 2012 mishaps with the raw milk and just curious if you went back to it ? Just learned some interesting stuff on exosomes and how they really only give benefit in raw milk.

    Thanks, SS

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