Hi everyone! We’ve been talking SO much about the fact that summer has been ending lately.. and because I basically took off the entire summer from blogging (yay) I decided to give you a little update on everything I’ve been up to.
Originally I hadn’t planned on taking the full month of July off from the blog… We even had our content calendar scheduled with lots of fun ideas we planned to post (don’t worry, I’ll still get to these soon!) but after thinking about it.. I realized that I had not taken any significant time off this last year. Summer of 2017 through June of 2018 I was consistently blogging for the first time in four years. While it’s been incredible and we’ve shared so many fun posts, etc. I realized I needed a break to re-energize. The fall + winter seasons are historically the busiest time of year for bloggers and I knew that I really needed to enter this phase full of excitement and fresh ideas. I’m so happy that I listened to myself. I am now ready to hit Fall full steam ahead. ;)
First things first – Emma and I recently celebrated our 1 year anniversary of working together. It’s been incredible having her input on both the creativity side and the back-end on the computer. I don’t think I realized how much I tried to do by myself, until she came onboard. Not only have I become way more organized (Content calendar… hellooo) but we’ve grown so much more in different skills: Emma is such a great photographer now and I have never become so business-minded in my life. I feel like a new person with her help.
My sister & I biking in Sacramento.
So – what did I do during my month long hiatus from blogging? I wish I could say that I took a complete one-month vacation however I still worked the full month on Instagram and sponsored posts. It was actually one of the busiest times for me sponsorship-wise but we made it fun. Emma is always so positive and full of ideas.. I love it!
Most of the time I was with family which always makes me happy. Jeff, Emma and her boyfriend, Zach and I went to Sacramento to visit my sister and brother-in-law for the fourth of July weekend. We had a wonderful few days celebrating our nephew who is leaving for his first year of college soon.
Ritz in Maui
After that my sister, Betsy and I took off to Hawaii without the husbands! We stayed on my favorite island, Maui, at both the Ritz and the Westin hotels. I love both hotels, but for different reasons. The Ritz is tranquil and relaxing without the hoards of kids and the Westin is fun for the whole family! We ate SO much food and did a lot of laying around. My kind of break. ;)
July was everything I wanted. Low-key, time soent with family, and a whole lot of sleeping in.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Q&A sesh – so yesterday I asked everyone to send in their burning questions so that I could answer them here on the blog. :) Let’s get started!
“How’s Emma doing?”
(Emma’s answering this one) I really appreciate everyone asking about me.. I know it’s like I have jumped off the face of the earth but I’m doing well and have been busy working with my mom all summer long. Summer school has been overwhelming for me which didn’t allow me much time for Instagram. AS a result I felt like I wasn’t making the perfect progress with my weight-journey, etc. and had fallen off a bit. I wanted to get back on track before I shared again. It was actually way harder than I thought sharing every detail with 10,000 – 295,000 strangers on both my Instagram and my Mom’s. All of you have been SO supportive and sweet. I didn’t even realize that it’s been so long since I originally shared my struggles until we received so many questions about how I am doing. I promise I’ll be back soon – sharing my progress and what I’m eating & doing, etc.. But starting this whole health journey publicly during summer school was not my best plan!! ;)
“Are you and Jillian Harris ever going to meet? I love when you give each other shout outs!”
Hopefully one of these days! I follow both she and Justin, and love how open they are in their stories and on IG. You really do feel as if you get to know people by watching them every day, and I would like to think that she is someone who I could call a friend. On a different note, I admire Jillian’s efforts to eating plant-based foods as much as possible, and her openness through all her different journeys. It doesn’t hurt that she has Leo and Nacho too! ;) So cute!
“Are you currently saving for any big home purchases?”
Yes actually! We’ve been saving for a big garage project. At the beginning of October, we will be getting the garage floor painted professionally and having commercial-sized cabinets installed like we had in our last house. I will show the before & after when it’s ready. We are so excited.
“Where did you and Jeff each grow up?”
Jeff grew up in Bakersfield, CA and I grew up just outside of Washington D.C. I moved around a lot growing up because my dad was in the military – I lived the nomadic life. ;)
“Where do you shop for your dresses?”
Honestly.. everywhere. But I have a few go-to places that I always find something. A few stores include: LOFT, Nordstrom, White House Black Market, Shopbop, T.J. Maxx, and others.
“Love your neutral palette, do you ever get an urge to do something different? #MyStruggle”
After years of decorating with bold colors. Some of you may remember my blue phase, and before Instagram I had a red & green house, a yellow house, and a peach and green theme back in the early nineties. Especially because now I’m working from home… I really love that I have a space that relaxes me, comforts me, and fits my mood. White, light grey, and blush have been my favorite colors this last year, and I’m loving them.
“How long have you been married? What’s your best advice for a happy marriage?”
If you haven’t read the story on how I met Jeff.. you may want to read it. Click here to read. It’s hard to believe, but we have been married for 30 years this December. We both scratch our heads everyday because how can it be possible that a 23 year old and a 26 year old have been married for this long! ;) Pieces of advice I have: Marry someone who is sweet, loving, and supportive. Treat each other with kindness and respect all the time, even when you feel it’s not in you. Never speak badly about your partner to others and be their biggest cheerleader. At the end of the day, this is the person who will be there for you through the happiest and hardest times in your life. Love big and make sure to tell your partner in crime that you love them everyday. Never go to bed angry. Always point out something that you appreciate about them and tell them. I could go on and on, but that’s what I’m feeling right now.
“Do you have a housekeeper?”
Yes.. me! I grew up with a housekeeper, but I’ve never hired a housekeeper myself because I like to clean and I find it’s therapeutic for me. But I also only had 1 child which didn’t make it too difficult and my previous job (Flight Attendant) allowed me a lot of time off at home to clean when she was young. I wouldn’t mind having someone come in occasionally to do my floors. That’s the one thing I hate doing for some reason. ;)
“Do bloggers get free products from the companies they review?”
Sometimes I get sent items in PR packages without any expectations from brands. I don’t share everything I’m sent, only items I really love. Other times, brands will ask me to review a product and share on my social channels and that’s when we work out a budget, and they pay me. Once again, every opinion is my own and I’m always up-front with whether something is an ad, collaboration, or if the item was gifted. A lot of times I just share things that I happen to like, and purchase myself.
“What sunscreen do you use?”
I use so many different brands. Anything with a number over 50 works for me. Neutrogena is always a go-to at the drugstore and easy to find.
“Can you clone Jeff? Lol! Y’all are the sweetest couple.”
This made me laugh. He really is the best.. He does have 4 brothers. :)
“Are you loving your eyebrows?”
For those of you who don’t know – I accidentally shaved off half of my eyebrow. Long story and no wine was involved… I had microblading done and now love my new thicker brows. I’m going to actually write a whole blog post about this experience soon. I went to Lux Brow Studio in Livermore, CA and Ashton is fantastic. If anyone is in the Bay Area and is interested in microblading you can check her out here!
“Do you have a hamper?”
Yes and it’s in my closet! Nothing fancy – just one of those pop up types that sits in the corner from Bed Bath & Beyond.
“How do you deal with followers who say unkind things?”
Honestly? If someone is really mean and goes out of their way to be spiteful and hurtful.. then I block them. Life is too short for that. Otherwise, some comments that aren’t meant to be hurtful..are and I’ve built up a thicker skin over the years as a result.
“What’s the best way to store pillows and throws when changing out seasons?”
To save space I throw out all of the inserts except for the few that I need in certain spots. I fold and color-code my pillow covers in my linen closet. Click here to read more. In terms of throws.. I try to keep them neutral so I don’t have to switch those out too often. I store those underneath my T.V. in a built-in cabinet.. rolled tight.
“Does working together ever negatively affect yours and Emma’s relationship?”
Actually.. it’s done the exact opposite. We are closer than ever and have a bond that most mother-daughter relationships don’t have. We are business-partners and spend so much time together. We have fun!
“When and why did you stop working as a flight attendant?”
I stopped flying in 2013 when I began my social media journey. I had flown for a long period of time and was ready for a change. I’m so happy that I have had the opportunity to change careers in my 50s and I have loved both experiences.
“Have you received the fountain for your patio?”
I was just notified yesterday that both fountains should be arriving in the next 2-3 weeks. I am SO excited. It normally takes a month but because I changed the fountain choices it took an extra couple of months. Can’t wait to update all of you soon!
“For how many more years do you see yourself sharing your life everyday and teaching us so much?”
Wow thanks… is 30-40 enough? I can be 90 sharing Instagram posts with all my friends coming over to watch the bachelor/bachelorette. Maybe Emma will take us in ;) Lol. But honestly Emma and I had this conversation recently and we both want to continue doing this for as long as we can!
“Wailea or Kaanapali?”
Both!! I can’t pick between the two. Laughing at this question because someone obviously knows how much I love Maui. I’m heading back in October, courtesy of the Four Seasons Maui. More on that to come. :) We also have family who live on Oahu and Kona so that’s always nice. Hawaii is beautiful.
“Top 3 favorite movies?”
Sleepless in Seattle, It’s Complicated, and Bridges of Madison County. I’m a sucker for the romantic comedy classics. And yes – Sleepless in Seattle is a classic. I don’t care what Rotten Tomatoes says!
“Do you buy all organic produce?”
Yes! We have made the switch completely in the last couple of years. It’s a little more expensive, but if you shop at farmer’s markets or Trader Joe’s it won’t break the bank! We are trying to be more green in all aspects of our life.
“When your daughter was young, what was your life like?”
It was wonderful. We still lived in Pleasanton but in a different home. My life consisted of being a room-mom, driving Emma to soccer/lacrosse practices, Girl Scout meetings, and every sleepover you can imagine. Jeff and I met so many wonderful friends through Emma and we are forever thankful. Our life was full then and it’s full now.
Okay – I think that’s enough questions for now. I’ll make sure to include more of these in the future! Keep the questions coming.. :)
For those of you who have been wondering about the Book Club, or Monday Night Giveaways.. Fear not! Those are coming back in full-force this September. Excited to share more details soon. :)