Champagne Chatting || Monthly Q&A June

(Sweatshirt (three color options))

Happy Friday friends!! Answering questions from the past month in today’s post… lots of fitness related questions as well as ways to travel with a little tike! I’m currently sipping a glass of bubbly and getting ready to head out for the night with TJ, so I’ll make this intro short and sweet! Have a great, long, weekend!!

  1. I have a rehearsal dinner for my cousin’s wedding coming up at the end of July. I’d love some dress suggestions. Preferably under $150. Thanks! 

I was just chatting about this with mom yesterday… we both are looking for dresses for my sister’s rehearsal dinner. A few dresses that I am considering are this floral maxi wrap dress (with these block heel lace ups), gorgeous off the shoulder maxi dress,  yellow ruffle maxi dress, and this adorable tie front midi dress. I also love the alternative of a cute romper… like this lace overlay option (in mustard or black) or this ruffle stripe romper.

2. Specifically for Santa Barbara.  My boyfriend and I have 3 full days and want to incorporate wineries (for sure!) as well as a hike, and open to anything else! The biggest struggle we are having is how to get to the wineries… we’ll have a car so we are debating on driving and making it a day trip but not too much fun to have a designated driver haha.

You’re going to have SO much fun! For a list of my favorite Santa Barbara restaurants, check out this postthis post, and this post (for the hike recommendation) . With three full days, I recommend going on a hike the first day, grabbing a delicious brunch, and then relaxing on the beach…. or even riding bikes down the boardwalk (there are a lot of places you can rent them from…. your hotel might even have them). The second day would be a great time to head to the wineries. If you drive up there, I’d go early in the morning (9ish… it takes about 45 minutes to get up there) and space out your tastings (first taste at 10, second at 11:30…..). Maybe visit a winery or two before lunch, eat a hearty lunch (around 12:30/1), and then visit one more before heading home (1-2:30). Some of my favorite wineries up there are Brander (we are members) and they have a great outdoor area if you want to have a picnic (which we’ve done before), Saarloos (s super hip spot), Zinque (members here too and they have bocce ball courts and a cute outdoor area), Fess Parker (gorgeous winery) and Firestone (another beautiful spot). Start by visiting the wineries (i.e. Brander, Fess, or Firestone) and then end your day in the small town of Los Olivos at one of the adorable tasting rooms (Saarloos or Zinque). On your last day there, Santa Barbara has the Funk Zone… an adorable area with cute restaurants and more wine/beer tasting options. You could do that for part of the day and then relax at the beach or pool for the rest. Make sure you head to Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach for a sunset cocktail one evening! 

3. Where do you put Harper to sleep when you travel in a hotel? In the bathroom or does she do ok falling asleep while you guys are still in the room? We are leaving in July for a two week vacation and I am nervous. Do you have a favorite travel crib too? 

When we know we will be traveling with Harper, we do a lot of research on the hotel room size, and layout of the hotel, first. We always look at the room layout and square footage to assure we aren’t surprised when we get there and have no place to put her! That being said, if a suit is too expensive, we opt for the biggest room we can get…. and then put her in the bathroom when she initially goes down, and then move her out into the hallway when we go to bed. It has worked pretty seamlessly for us over the past year and a half. We travel with this pack n’ play all the time and love it…. I highly recommend bringing your own, since you never know what you’re going to get at a hotel (we learned the hard way…. it was one sleepless night for us!). 

4. How do you keep yourself motivated to workout? I feel like I’m in a workout rut and unmotivated. 

It can be so hard to stay motivated all the time. I remember going through a huge rut right around the holidays. I think the key for me is a trifecta…. switching up my routine, having new and delicious clean eats to nourish my body with, and cute workout clothes to keep me feeling good! Historically, I’ve found that when I’m eating really clean and healthy, the results from my workouts show better, and in turn, this motivates me more! 

5. What were those layered necklaces you wore on your more recent trip to Palm Springs? 

They are some of my favorite Gorjana pieces and my Maya Brenner initial necklace. I wore this lariat in rose gold with this horn necklace and my initial necklace. 

6. I don’t really want to spend the money on a Vitamix Blender…. can you suggest one that is just as good, maybe a little cheaper though? 

Yes! Before I started using the Vitamix I blended everything with my Nutri-Ninja Blender. It’s an excellent option as well, and about a third of the cost. 

7. Any recommendations for a basic white tank? I love Nordstrom’s Lush brand, but they aren’t carrying it in the white anymore. 

Basic white tanks are my favorite! The two white ones that I live in during the summer months include this one and this one. Both are great for layering, wearing on their own, front knotting, or front tucking. I also love this white camisole, asymmetrical tank, and this henley button up tank (I wear a lace bralette underneath).

8. When you do the stairs at the gym is that all you do, or do you combine it with any strength training?

I love the stairs for my leg and booty day. After the stairs, I typically incorporate some strength training moves…. and I’ve been loving the tone it up booty and leg series. It’s such a great workout combination and I’ve been noticing some good results.

9. What are some of your favorite pieces to workout in during the summer months?? 

Lightweight pieces are a must. My favorite tanks are this mesh open side tank (wore it running the other day and it breaths great!), front knotted tank (another breathable piece), graphic print boyfriend tank, and this double layered crop tank. I also like shorts that aren’t too short (I hate having to pull things down). These are an old favorite, and I’ve always been a fan of these (ran a half marathon in them). I have these sitting in my cart too. My favorite sports bra is from Outdoor Voices, and I also love this crop. Both are super comfortable and very well made. A hat is a must too…. this one is a great option.

10. You seem to take your little to happy hour and restaurants often. What do you bring to keep her busy and sitting in her chair for the whole meal? Or what tips/tricks can you recommend to make this doable for the parents? Our almost 16 month old will NOT stay seated longer than 10 minutes. We haven’t taken her to a restaurant since she was 1. Would love to get out and enjoy a glass of wine!

First of all, it’s not easy… or relaxing. So, we know that when we take her and don’t expect much from it! That being said, we make sure to have a set group of toys that we only  take to restaurants…. that way, it’s as if she is getting new toys to play with when we go. We also hold out on giving those to her until our drinks have arrived. While we are waiting for our drinks, we try to engage her by reading her a book or coloring with her (which she is interested in for about 2 minutes…. I think TJ likes the coloring more….). Once our drinks arrive, we bust out the toys. If we’re heading out to eat, we make sure that we get there well before it is time for her to eat (or she’ll be super hungry and it will be a disaster…. we learned the hard way), which means we’re often at a restaurant by 5:30pm. We never have them bring her food first either. We discovered that when this would happen, she would be done when our food was arriving…. and she’d be ready to leave. As a last resort, we have her favorite songs/show (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”) and will let her watch/play with it if everything else has failed.

I’ve also had to alter my expectations. We have a fiesty, curious, and on-the-go little lady, so a long and leisurely dinner/happy hour isn’t going to happen…. and we expect that. Our dinners out are an hour, tops. Having that mindset helps me to set realistic expectations. Oh, and we also try to get a booth whenever possible! That way, she can stand up instead of us insisting that she sits down. That always helps!

11. What do you do with your little when she naps in the afternoon? We have a trip coming up and I don’t want to have to sit in the room for the afternoon. 

When Harper goes down for her afternoon nap, we head out to the pool if our room is close enough. We have this wifi monitor, so we can see her, as well as hear if anything is wrong. Again, this only happens if our room is close enough to the pool. If it’s clear across the resort, we hang out on our balcony and enjoy the peace and quite!! 

12. Where are your favorite places to buy clothing for Harper?

My favorite places to buy clothes for Harper are Old Navy + Gap (they are always having a sale!), Nordstrom (excellent quality pieces), H&M (excellent prices), and as of recently Zara. Target’s Cat + Jack line has some super adorable pieces as well. 

13. Any favorite workouts for “thigh gap” and the dreaded under arm jiggle?

Ah, the illustrious thigh gap and under arm jiggle. For the thigh gap there are a few favorite exercises I’ve been doing lately. I love the sideway scissors (I put weights around my ankle for some added resistance), clamshell, hip raises (with a weight on my hips), and side lunges. For the under arm jiggle, I’ve been working my triceps. My favorites are tricep extensions, tricep dips, tricep kickbacks, and a row. 

14. Any tips on getting a toddler to eat? I have a 13 month old who has always been an amazing eater. From breast feeding through the transition to formula and bottles and then starting solids he has been amazing. Within he last few weeks I can’t get him to eat anything he won’t even taste it and just has a total meltdown. I’m at a loss. I know your little one is a great eater and just didn’t know if you had any tips or tricks?

Oh man! Toddler eating is such an adventure. We’re actually going through some of that right now. So, I don’t know if what I have to offer will solve anything, but a few things have worked. I try to give her something different everyday. I was finding that when I gave her the same breakfast, she would start to get tired of it (I mean, she’s human too) and that’s when she wouldn’t eat. So I try to go between three options throughout the week (homemade waffle, scrambled egg, and smoothie for breakfast…..). I also don’t give her any “treat” food just to get her to eat something. That way she won’t assume that just because she doesn’t eat she can have those peanut butter crackers. I also try again later. So, if she doesn’t want to eat at noon, then I try again 45 minutes later. That sometimes helps too. Oh, and sometimes I try the food right in front of her and act like it’s the best thing I have every tasted. Since she loves doing everything TJ and I do, that sometimes works too.

15. I’m in my first trimester and have major bloat! Any suggestions on casual/work attire to hide the bloat since our news isn’t public yet?

First of all, congratulations! Such an exciting time. I remember the first trimester bloat…. and the fatigue! During that time, I wore a lot of flowy tops, and ones I knew would take me throughout my pregnancy. If buttoning your pants is problematic at this point, I recommend a belly band. You can wear your regular jeans, unbuttoned, with this godsend. A few flowy tops that I am currently loving include this v-neck tunic, floral tunic (which I own and love) and this swing tunic (I wore it all through my pregnancy). As far as dresses go, while you’re hiding the bump go with a t-shirt dress (but once you’re out, go with something form fitting and show it off!!). My favorite t-shirt dresses include this ruffle sleeve option, cold shoulder dress (top it with a denim jacket, blazer, or cardi for work if you can’t do cold shoulder at your office), and this mauve option (one of my absolute favorites). I hope that helps, and that you have a great pregnancy! 

16. You posted a photo of Harper drinking out of a thermos. What brand was it? I need to find one for my 14 month old. 

It’s a Zoli, and she loves it! 

17. Any suggestions for a summer work wardrobe?? I work in a casual office, where jeans are allowed, so looking for pieces that  I can wear to work and outside of the office. 

When I worked a traditional 9-5 office job, our work attire was relatively casual (I could wear jeans) and I loved it because so many pieces I wore to work I could also wear outside of the office. My go-to pieces for summer included cute skirts (check out yesterday’s blog post for some good work options…) but this is one of my favorites, as well as this one. If you have to be a little more traditional, this white lace pencil skirt is super cute. I also relied heavily on camisoles, this one being such an excellent affordable choice, perfect for layering under a blazer. These capris are a cute option too, if jeans are not possible. A lightweight button up is a summer must, as is a stripe button up (long sleeve) and a short sleeve stipe button up.

18. I have a few questions about traveling to Honolulu with a baby! I know you have been a few times and was curious if there is any hotel in particular you would recommend with a 4 month old? Also, do you have a particular baby bed you traveled with when she was around this age? 

You’re going to have so much fun! The first time we took Harper to Hawaii she was 4 months old…. it’s a great age… they’re not mobile yet, so they are perfectly content just hanging…. which optimizes relaxation for you! That being said, You’re good with most of the hotels in the area. We stayed at The Moana (you can see our stay here), but the Sheraton is also a very family friendly option. We’ve also stayed out at the Marriott Ocean Club, but that’s out in Ko Olina. When she was four months old we brought this rock and play with us, and it worked wonderfully. We even brought it down to the pool since it’s so small!


  1. Melissa Bader says:

    OMG! These are such good ideas! Thank you!