March 13, 2017

Q&A

Hi babes! I know this post has been a long time coming…I’ve been talking about it for over a month, but ya know, life happens! Thanks so much for being patient with me in getting this up and I’m apologizing now for how long-winded this is. I get tons of questions between Snapchat and Instagram, so I’ve been screenshotting them so that I could answer them all in one place for yall. Bear with me, this is a long one! I’m going to break it down by category: Baby, Beauty, Blogging, Fashion, and Marriage.

BABY

Q: How did you come up with her name?
A: We had a boy name and girl name we liked before we found out we were having a girl! So, that made that easy. I’ve always loved the name Harper. And my Dad’s name is Ray, so we decided to make her middle name Rae, after him but spelled the girl way 🙂

Q: Is Harper sleeping through the night? What is her schedule like?
A: She is! She has been a great sleeper since about the first month, I feel like we hit the baby jackpot, haha! Luckily, she loves her sleep and sleeps from about 8 until 7:30. I will be sharing her updated schedule next week in her 5 Month Update, but you can check out her most recent schedule here in her 4 Month Update post.

Q: Do you get ready every day? How do you have time with a baby? If not, how often do you put the effort into hair, makeup, and something other than yoga pants. Where do you find the time and energy?
A: I don’t get ready every day. If its a blog shoot day or I have a meeting, I do make the time to do my hair and makeup. Harper is usually really good and I do my best to get ready in pieces, while she’s taking her little naps. And luckily, once my hair is done, my style allows it to last about 3-4 days, with the use of a bunch of dry shampoo [more on this below in the beauty section]. Even if I’m home, some days I try to at least put on foundation and bronzer and get out of my pajamas, as it makes me feel a little more productive. Don’t get me wrong, there’s days when I’m in my sweatpants and sweatshirt ALL.DAY. Philip has come home from work a few times and looked at me and joked “Did you even get out of your pajamas today?” Nope, the answer is definitely nope. So yes, having a baby is definitely time-consuming, I just try to be really intentional about the time I have when she’s relaxed in her dockatot or napping. Also, this activity center and this bouncer have been key…they’re both great pieces that she can hang out in…she can be entertained and I can still easily interact with her, but while being hands-free 🙂

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
A: Ever since I was little, my answer to what I wanted to be when I grew up, was a mom. And now that I AM a mom, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the hardest. My favorite part so far of being a mom is just how surreal it is knowing that Philip and I created a tiny human. And while of course she will grow up to be her own person and make her own decisions, it’s amazing knowing that we will play such a role in shaping her and in the woman she becomes. Of course, there are times when she’s crying and feel like a terrible mom and I have absolutely no idea what to do, but knowing that she needs me is an amazing feeling. I hope she still needs me when she’s 14, 24, 34, 44, and 54.

Q: Is it hard being home with her by yourself all day and is it hard to manage being a mom and blogging?
A: The short answer…sometimes, yes and yes. Like everyone, there are good days and bad days! Luckily the good days far, FAR outweigh the bad. In general, she’s a really happy, pretty easy-going babe. But that’s not to say that some days she gets fussy and even acting like a complete fool won’t console her. And last week, she was pretty sick, which threw off her sleeping schedule and eating schedule, which in turn made for one unhappy little miss. My husband is out of town again for work [more on this below in the marriage section] so I’ll admit I struggled a little bit and I was so tired. Luckily, my parents live about 5 minutes from us, so I get to see them so much. My mom is definitely my best friend and loves to help out all the time with Harper. You probably see on Snapchat that the three of us doing things together several times a a week, at least :). And to answer the second part of this question, yes its tricky to find a good mom/work balance! Obviously, my number one priority is being Harper’s mama. I absolutely love blogging but in the past 4 and a half months since having Harper, I’ve been teaching myself that it’s okay if I don’t get a post up, or a snapchat posted, or an Instagram photo taken. It’s okay and the world goes on. I usually try to get my blog posts done during Harper’s 2-3:30 afternoon nap [that’s her longest nap], so I try to make the most of that time. If one day I don’t have a blog post up, it’s usually a pretty safe bet that the afternoon before may not have gone so well 😉 I really hate to be working when Harper is awake, I just want to spend time with her! So the biggest thing is that I just try to manage my blog while little girl is napping.

Q: Must have baby items — stroller, car seat, high chair, etc.
A: I will touch on this briefly, but in her 5 Month Update post next week, I’ll be talking about a bunch of my favorite items! For our stroller, we have the UPPAbaby Vista which we really love. We have the UPPAbaby Mesa carseat. We really love how easy the carseat/stroller combo is. It’s really easy to get in and out of the car, which is a huge plus. We have a couple trips coming up and we are looking for a good travel stroller that will be more convenient to take with us, so I’ll keep yall posted on what we end up getting and loving. As we just started feeding Harper baby food over the last couple of weeks, still finding a chair we love…so I’ll be doing a review on what we like/didn’t like soon.

Q: How did you lose the baby weight and what is your typical workout routine with a baby?
A: I get asked this a bunch and I haven’t gotten around to doing a post-baby fitness post yet, but I’ll try to touch on it here! While I was pregnant, I was very, VERY intent on working out. I worked out all through my pregnancy, I was walking the night before I went into labor. It was just something I always told myself I would do. Many of you may know, we had a really traumatic start with Harper’s labor and birth. Luckily, after being in the NICU for just a couple of days, she was perfect. If you read my birth story, you probably remember I had to have an emergency C-section, which resulted in multiple complications after. I ended up being in the hospital for the first few weeks after Harper was born. By the time I got home, I had lost a good portion of the weight, solely from being in the hospital for so long. Once I was home and finally feeling well enough [and was cleared] to workout, I began my walks again. I loved being able to put Harper in the stroller every day and it got us out of the house! We typically do about 2-2.5 miles a day and try to do this every day. On top of that, I do try to eat fairly healthy. I used to LOVE fried food and fast food…when I got pregnant, I couldn’t stand it. And oddly enough, after giving birth, I never got a taste for it again. So, that has helped a bit with the healthy eating as well. In addition to walking, I also use weights at home and do arm weights and lunges.

BEAUTY

Q: What are your must-have beauty items?
A: I have them all linked above! The CC+ Cream is great…not too thick, but provides great coverage. On days that I want a little more color, I mix in a tiny bit of the CC+ Bronzer…a little goes a long way. This eyelash serum is AMAZE. I have used Neulash for a long time, but took a break while pregnant. After giving birth, my mom and I decided to try RevitaLash and I can’t say enough good things. I’ve seen tremendous growth, both length and thickness. I love Stila lip products, they really do stay on all day. My two favorite liner shades are Pink Moscato + Zinfandel and my two favorite lipgloss shades are Angelo + Baci.

Q: What tanner do you use?
A: I talk about this on Snapchat all the time because I’m seriously hooked. I think I’m on my 8th bottle of this. I use this tanning mouse and apply it with this mitt. It comes in two shades: medium and dark. I buy dark. I bought medium the first time and honestly don’t see much of a difference, so I stick with dark. It’s never orange AT ALL and applying it with the  mitt makes application so easy and flawless. This tanner is under $15 and probably the best and most natural I’ve ever tried.

Q: How do you style your hair to get the loose, beachy waves and what products do you use?
A: This is probably my most-asked question. I hope to eventually do a video tutorial, but yall I’m the most awkward, so that may not happen, ha! But I’ll try to give a step-by-step here. The above shows all my go-to products to achieve this style.

  • I wash and blow-dry my hair and make sure it has no tangles.
  • I know I just got it clean, but the first thing I do is make it “dirty” again. This style needs some grit and texture to hold onto. I flip my head upside down and spray this dry shampoo throughout my entire head. I rub into the roots. Then I spray a little of this texture spray, not too much. Then brush through it. Lifting sections, I spray this hairspray [smells so good and isn’t stiff] throughout my hair. Then I brush through. At this point, my hair has volume and texture to it.
  • I section it off and start using this curling iron. This is the best curling iron I’ve ever used. I really think it plays a part in making this style last 2-3 days. I take about 1-2 inch sections [always different] and begin curling. I rotate the curling iron in a circle and as I do, I release more hair making my way down the curl. I always keep about an inch out at the end, to help create the look of messy waves, as opposed to true, styled curls. I always curl away from my face.
  • I do this on my entire head and after each curl I let loose, I kind of ‘tug’ on the end, just to loosen it up a bit. Once I’m done, I lightly run my fingers through it all [I don’t use a brush!] and spray this texture spray as I’m running my fingers through. Lastly, I use this texturizing taffy on the ends, to kind of separate the waves and keep them from combining into one big curl.
  • This style lasts usually 3 days without having to touch up! It’s a huge time-saver. On days 2 and 3, I usually just wake up and spray with dry shampoo and a little texture spray, run my fingers through it, and shake it out. Super simple.

BLOGGING

Q: Does blogging bring in a livable income? How long did it take to grow your following and start working with brands?
A: I think this question is definitely specific to each individual person, but yes blogging can bring in a livable income. For me personally, I didn’t start my blog to make money. People were always interested in what I was wearing, so I actually started it as just a fun hobby on the side. I did that for about a year and then really started to put much more into it and began making a sustainable income from it. I was eventually able to quit my full-time job and focus on my blog. Within my first year, I saw a lot of growth [I’ve been doing this for 3 years now] and along with that growth, came brands and companies looking to partner with me. Because of this blog, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of my very favorite companies and share all of that with you!

Q: How did you grow your following?
A: I wish there was a cut and dry answer for this, but unfortunately there isn’t. I would say the two biggest things are consistency and staying true to yourself. With the blogging industry having grown so much, you often hear about a lot of competition and pressure to be the best, wear this and that, go here and there. But if you just stay true to yourself, you’ll get pretty far. We are all different and should be so supportive of each others and everyone’s individual successes! We are all at different places in our lives and that should be celebrated. And like I said, consistency was huge for me. I developed a posting schedule and tried to stick to it. The more I posted and more consistent I was, the more people started to look to me for inspiration and it all stemmed from that. And I wouldn’t even be doing this if it wasn’t for yall! So just know how grateful I am that you read my blog and interact with me on Instagram and Snapchat, yall are really the best 🙂

Q: What camera do you use and what settings do you use for shoots?
A: We use the Nikon D610 with the Nikkor 24-70 mm f/2.8. We use aperture priority mode with auto ISO and auto shutter speed. Shutter speed is set to minimum 1/60 and ISO is set to maximum 6400. We started with [and sometimes still use] this 50mm lens.

FASHION

Q: Where are your favorite stores to shop for clothing and accessories?
A: My favorite store is definitely Nordstrom. All different price points and every type of item for any occasion. I also love ASOS and Shopbop. For spring and summer especially, I love Revolve — perfect swimwear and vacay-ready pieces. For accessories, I like Baublebar. And for higher end items, I love Luisaviaroma and Saks.

Q: How tall are you?
A: I’m 5’11! I know thats a bit taller than average height haha so in most of my posts I always try to reference what size I’m wearing in something to help with comparison sizing.

MARRIAGE

Q: How long have you been married?
A: It will be 3 years next month, April 5th! It was only the best decision I ever made 😉

Q: How did you and Philip meet?
A: Most people never believe us when we tell them, but we met on Match.com. 🙂

Q: Do you want to have more children?
A: We do! We go back and forth on how many, but we love the idea of giving Harper a brother or sister one day.

Q: What does Philip do and why does he always travel?
A: He is an engineer at an oil & gas company here in Houston. He travels based on where and when his company has a specific project. He has done a lot of time in Norway for a project. He is currently in Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico getting the boat and procedures ready for their next project, which will be in a few months overseas. It’s definitely hard to have him gone, but it makes our time together even sweeter.

 

If you’re still with me at this point, major props because this was a long one! Thank you all so much for submitting your questions and I hope I got everything answered! Have a great week and see you back here for some fun, spring outfits this week!

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Comments

Name: Nina
Message:

Loved this post gf! I’m having fast food aversions too and I though it was weird! I used to love fries before pregnancy and now I can’t stand the smell of them! Harper is seriously the cutest little girl ever <3 I bought the baby wise book because I'm hoping we can get our little one on a good sleep schedule …praying we can, LOL!

Xo, Nina
Law of Fashion Blog

    Name: Kate Blue
    Message:

    Thanks, friend! You’re the sweetest! And I definitely miss pigging out on french fries daily haha, so strange how that little tiny human can change your eating habits!
    Good luck with Baby Wise, we seriously swear by it! It was tricky to follow at first, but we stuck with it and it’s really paid off!

Name: Sarah K
Message:

Kate, I truly loved this blog post. Just as you said before, genuine and wonderful! I am a huge fan of Kenra products myself and I also know the struggles of a traveling husband. Keep being amazing 🙂

    Name: Kate Blue
    Message:

    Aw thank you, Sarah! So sweet! Have a great week!

Name: Lo
Message:

ok I loved this! so fun to read more about you. I would have NEVER guessed you were 5’11! I am 5’7″ but my legs are super long. good to know that when jeans are long enough on you they will be plenty long for me!
one follow up question about the self tanner you use. I have a very strong sense of smell and really don’t like the typical smell of self tanners. how does this one smell in your opinion?
XO Lo
thoseprettypieces.com

    Name: Kate Blue
    Message:

    Hi lady! So glad you enjoyed it! And yes, if denim works for me, it should be great on you!! Hard to find jeans long enough for me, haha!

    As for the tanner, I know exactly what you mean. This does have a scent…it’s honestly not awful though. I’ve gotten spray tans before and I hate that smell, whereas this doesn’t both me. I usually put it on right before bed…let it dry about 5 minutes. Then I put on loose sweatpants and a loose long sleeve tee before getting in bed and that’s really the last I smell of it until I hop in the shower first thing in the morning!

Name: Jessica
Message:

Aw, KATE! <3 This was such a good post. I read it all! And I had no idea you walk most days 2-2.5 miles! Now I'm like dang, no wonder she's in such good shape! I can't wait to have a little baby in a stroller to take on walks. I feel lonely when I go by myself right now, lol. Also, I super appreciated the blogging tips. I need to be WAY more consistent. Thank you thank you!! Congratulations to you and Phil, you guys are adorable! Happy almost 3 years!

xo, jess

alljessedup.com

    Name: Kate Blue
    Message:

    Jess, thank you for such a sweet comment! Really means a lot! And yes, I love having her to keep me company on walks…I probably look like that crazy mom talking to my 4 month old in a stroller the whole time, haha!!
    Thanks again, lady! Have a great week, xo!

Message:

Love love loved this post! I think I knew *most* of t, but nonetheless it was a great read! You make the mom-work life look easy and I hope I’m half the mom you are to baby Harps (annnnd that my little babe is as cute…whenever that time comes haha!)

Now, I’m gonna need you to do my hair for the conference & engagement party because I SWEAR I can NEVER get it right! 🙈 Love you friend!

Name: Sydney
Message:

I love posts like this, always fun to learn more about bloggers!
xo, Syd
anchoredinthesouth.com

Name: Kelly
Message:

One of the best posts you have ever written, thank you! Although my wallet is going to hate me because now I really need that self tanner and the curling iron!!

xx Kelly
Sparkles and Shoes