08.04.2017

Monthly Q+A Series || July

(Shorts | Pullover)

Happy Friday friends! Sharing the answers to questions asked over the previous month…. I consider it a happy hour conversation with you!! Cheers to the weekend, hope you have something fun planned!! I’ll be sharing a fun post on Sunday as well, so I’ll see you then!
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1. Would love to get a pair of everyday sneakers from the Nordstrom sale. What would your top picks be??

The sale is such a great time to snag a great pair of sneakers for fall. A few favorites include this platform dusty rose pair, white perforated pair (such a great option!), velvet platform slip-on, and these Adidas Stan Smith kicks.

2. What do you wear when you run?

When I run I like to wear items  that I know I will be comfortable in (i.e. they don’t ride up). That being said, I opt for cropped pants, a good sports bra, loose shorts (biker shorts tend to ride up on me….), and a tank. Some of my favorite running bottoms include these high waisted crops (currently on sale), these mesh capris, racerback tank (currently on sale), lightweight tank (obsessed with how soft it is), sports bra, shorts, and most recently these running shoes (on sale and run small).

3. How many days a week do you run and how did you work up to 4.5 miles? 

I run about 5 days a week, and cross train on the others (spin or stairs). I’ve found that this is the most effective workout for me, personally. My body responds well to it, and it’s mentally refreshing for me. I get a lot of thinking done when I run. I’ve been running for several years, and when I started, I gradually worked my way up each week. I would start by running/walking, then I would increase the time and distance each week. For example, I would set a goal of running 1 mile for each run during the week. Then, the following week, I would increase the mileage by 2. This worked really well for me when I was training for my first half marathon (my training schedule here). My girlfriend also created a guide, which is very comprehensive.

4. What are your favorite rosés? I really want to try some. 

Rosé, and champagne, are my two favorites. I love Whispering Angel, Miraval, Cotés des Roses, Zinké, Brander, and Tolossa. They range in price points, and you can’t go wrong with any of them.

5. What is your stroller preference? I’m looking for something that is in between a jogger and umbrella stroller. 

My favorite stroller is hands down the UPPAbaby Vista. I have two other strollers and whenever I return to this one, it just makes life easier. It’s not cheap, but worth the investment. It has amazing storage capabilities (that’s what I miss the most when I use the other ones), excellent handling capabilities (I can easily navigate it), and Harper really likes sitting in it as well. I also own the BOB jogging stroller and it’s fantastic for running. Storage is minimal, which I don’t need when we’re running. We also have this Nuna PEPP stroller (read about it here). It’s much smaller than the UPPABaby, which we like for traveling and quick outings. It collapses easily, and is much easier to travel with than the other two.

6. What are some comfortable, yet stylish shoe choices for the fall? I love sneakers, flats, booties/boots? Heels are a thing of the past for me! 

So many great options for fall! One of my favorite fall bootie options is this low heeled grommet detailed bootie, which is currently part of the anniversary sale (super comfortable too). These booties are also a great option, as the brand is typically very comfortable. I always love a good pair of cross trainers to wear on a walk (or indoor HIIT workout) and to run errands (multi-purpose items give you a great bang for your buck). For that I love the Adidas Tubular kicks… they aren’t comfortable for running, but excellent for cross training, errand running, and chasing after a toddler. I wear mine all the time for those purposes. I also think a good over the knee boot is a great option…. you can wear it with dresses, with jeans, and when the heel is flat they can work for daytime or evening. I own and love this pair. A great pair of flats are these espadrilles (I own them in two colors) and I think this pinot color is gorgeous. I am also a huge fan of mules and these scalloped flats (they look like the chloé version).

7. I had my son last week and I am exclusively breastfeeding, but I’m interested in starting to pump to build up a supply and allow for dad to feed. I remember you saying you also did that early- any tips or tricks to help build a back-up stash successfully? 

First of all, congrats on the arrival of your little man! Breastfeeding, for me, was one of my biggest challenges as a mom, since Harper wouldn’t take a bottle for the first 9-10 months. That being said, in the beginning, to build a supply when she was taking a bottle, I pumped while I was nursing. So, while she was nursing on one side, I pumped on the other, and when she switched, I pumped on the other side. It worked well for me, and it didn’t impact my supply for her. I ended up with a huge stash using this method. Hope that helps!

8. I am about to apply to graduate schools for Psychology. I would love to know what drew you to the field and what you liked/disliked about graduate school and your career. 

I have always been drawn to the reasons people do what they do, as well as how relationships impact individuals. I also grew up in a family that emphasized helping others. So, the field of psychology seemed to fit when I was choosing a major/career. I loved graduate school and don’t really have anything bad to say about it. I loved learning, and gained so much knowledge about human nature and relationships. I also grew a lot, personally, during that period of my life and met a few of my best friends through the process.

When I graduated, I started working for a county funded agency that provided in home therapy services to children, adolescents, and their families who were at risk for losing placement (i.e foster system, juvenile hall, or psychiatric hospitalization). In all honesty, it was such intense work, that I began feeling burned out after about 5 years. I eventually moved into a more case management role, which was something I really enjoyed. In that role I did less direct care and more management of individual cases. I think it’s very important, when you choose the population you want to work with, that you put a lot of thought into it. There are so many different areas of psychology (i.e. substance abuse, family therapy, couples therapy, depression + anxiety, intense psychiatric care, eating disorders, dual diagnosis, etc) to choose from, so I would recommend working in a few different areas for your practicum and internship, if possible. That way you will be able to see which areas work best with your interests.

One thing that challenged me most about the career was that not everyone seeking help was willing to do the work themselves. There was a misconception that the therapist had the magic to fix all problems, or tell them how to fix the problem. It was often a difficult to help people understand that only they could create the change they wanted to see, and that the therapist was a helping agent along the way, providing a mirror and reflection, as well as some tools to use. Yet, when clients worked really hard, and changes occurred, it was incredibly rewarding to see that process!

9. How do you store your jeans and sweaters in your closet? Do you hang or fold them? 

I store my jeans by folding them in this tiered storage container. I’ve done it for years and it works pretty well. I do the same with my sweaters. Most of them stretch out when I hang them, so I’ve found that folding them works best to maintain their shape.

10. I have a question that night be sort of strange. So I LOVE the way you dress. I want nothing more than to own your whole closet! My only problem is I’ve always had a pretty large chest but small everywhere else. For example, I am a DDD but I wear a size 2. I’ve found that when I wear the oversized look it just doesn’t look the same on me and makes me feel like I am wearing a tent. Do you have any tips or ideas for incorporating your gorgeous style with a strange body type like mine?

Thank you! While I know it’s not exactly the same, I do remember that when I was nursing (I grew 2 cup sizes), a lot of the pieces I wore before just didn’t look the same… That being said, I acquired a few tips over that period of time that I hope will help! I think wearing a v-neck always elongates the neckline and makes pieces look less tent-like. I also found that I needed to wear longer items if I wanted to do oversized… or else it just looked too boxy. Front tucking a longer, v-neck top (like this one) looked better than an oversized crewneck option. I could also do an oversized, longer, off the shoulder sweater or top… showing the shoulder seemed to break up a “boxy” or “tent” like fit. So, I guess that my top two tips would be a v-neck option and to make sure that the items are a longer fit. I hope that helps a little bit!

11. I am looking to buy a new tote, that will transition from the gym, carrying baby things, and stylish enough to run errands and travel with. Any suggestions?? 

I love this leather tote bag, which I own in the blush color. I have also been considering this black quilted bag as well. I’ve used this bag for several years and it’s great too!

12. I would love to know what foods you give to Harper?!

I try to give Harper lots of different foods (see post here, here). For breakfast she eats scrambled eggs, fruit, yogurt, homemade waffles (without the protein) + pancakes, and oatmeal. For lunch she loves veggie burgers, chicken nuggets, almond butter sandwich, grilled cheese (she loves this), avocado, fruit (watermelon, plum, cantaloupe, berries….), veggies (carrots, broccoli, peas, green beans), yogurt, string cheese, turkey slices, and chicken. For dinner, she typically eats what we have…. shrimp, salmon, cauliflower rice, brown rice, lentils, quinoa, lentil pasta, and veggies. Oh, and she LOVES this mac n cheese. Of course, sometimes she eats more than others, and sometimes she doesn’t want what I make her. Yet, I don’t fix her anything else… which was recommended by the pediatrician and it seems to have cut down on pickiness.

13. Did you use a walker, exersaucer, jumper, or none for Harper? I can’t decide which one is best.

We used this jumper for Harper and she loved it! We didn’t end up using a walker just because my pediatrician recommended against it, saying that it can actually hinder a child from learning to walk on their own.

14. I’m looking for a super cute, everyday romper that I can wear. Nothing too short, any ideas welcome!

My favorite everyday romper for summer is this black one. It’s such an easy throw on and go option and will easily transition into fall with a suede jacket and booties (or kicks). I also just added this long sleeve jersey romper to my cart… so perfect for fall too. I also love jumpsuits as we move into the fall, and even for the end of summer. My favorite is this grey option and love it paired with a denim jacket and kicks.

15. What do you use to store your jewelry? I’m looking for a smaller jewelry box, but not having any luck! 

I am horrible at this! My jewelry collection is probably the least organized section for me! All that to say, I have small trinket dishes for rings, a Waterford ring holder my Nana and Papa brought back for me from Ireland years ago, and I use this glass jewelry case for some of my pieces. I also have a box very similar to this one (not cheap) and it holds a lot of my “investment” pieces.

16. I saw on your insta-stories that your refrigerator was stocked with Kombucha. How much do you drink a day and what are the benefits? I really want to get my family on a clean eating routine and would like to include it. 

We love kombucha. I had a lot of gut problems for a little while and decided to do an experiment of drinking one a day for a month. After a month, I noticed a significant difference, for the better, in my digestion and gut health. My favorite flavor is HealthAde (which you can find at Trader Joe’s). This is a great article on it’s benefits.

17. What kind of sweet wine would you recommend? I like sweeter wines. 

If you prefer your vino on the sweeter side I recommend the Riesling, White Zin, or Muscat varietals.

18. Did you experience an 18 month sleep regression with Harper? Do you ever lose your temper with her? We’re struggling over here! 

I don’t know if we went through a full blown 18 month sleep regression, but for about 1.5 weeks, we had some major problems with little miss going down at night. Like, she wouldn’t let me put her in the crib. She wanted to stay up and play, despite the fact that she was very tired (rubbing her eyes and yawning). We handled this by sticking with the routine (bath, book, songs, bed) but spent a little longer rubbing her back at night. Over that time period, it became progressively better, until she just started going down like she did before.

Do I lose my temper with Harper? Ha! What mother doesn’t feel like pulling her hair out from time to time (and if you don’t, please let me know your secrets). I do find that there are time I speak much more firmly with her, but I try my hardest not to yell and to walk away from the situation (assuming she is safe). Sometimes I close the door, if TJ is home, and ask him to take over. I think it’s just so important to know that you aren’t going to be patient 100% of the time (although, that does make me feel guilty… hate #MomGuilt)… that helps me to become more self aware that there are going to be times that I become frustrated, and that I need to be able to walk away and compose myself. There was a situation a couple of weeks ago where Harper looked at both TJ and me and threw a glass bottle on the floor. It shattered everywhere. We were both caught off guard and spoke much firmer and louder than we typically do. It happens. It’s not the norm. 10 minutes later she was running around and laughing with our dog.

19. What kind of workouts did you do while pregnant and did you stick to your clean eating? Any tips on how to keep up with working out and clean eating while pregnant?

Congrats!! So exciting! When I was pregnant, my doctor told me that as long as I could carry on a conversation, I could continue all of my cardio workouts (except road biking). So I continued to jog, spin, and swim which helped me a lot. I also continued to strength train, and used Tracey Anderson’s Pregnancy Project, which is a great fitness program for pregnant women.  As far as eating went, I made sure to listen to my body, but was also aware that I wasn’t technically “eating for two.” I followed the recommended caloric increase, and accounted for that increase with healthy foods…. peanut butter on my banana, extra avocado, extra piece of fruit, etc…. I made sure to have healthy food readily available at all times. If I found myself craving something salty or sweet, I’d have a small serving of it, just as I would pre-pregnancy, to satisfy that craving. I hope that helps! Have a great pregnancy, and congrats again!
20. Not sure if you have already covered this before, but was interested to know how you fit in workouts, self-care, and just daily responsibilities with a toddler. The struggle is real over here!
I feel you on this one! Adjusting to life from a baby to a toddler wasn’t easy over here, and took some time. To squeeze in my workouts I have always woken up at 5:30am, every morning M-F, in order to get them in, along with breakfast, before Harper wakes up. It’s worked well for me over the past year and a half. For self-care, I wrote an article here on the topic. I also try to have some help once a week…. whether that’s my sister, mom, or a babysitter, having some time to myself is very helpful…. but something I have to make time for or I am a hot mess! Daily responsibilities aren’t easy, but I try to get those done in the morning, when her mood and attention span are at their best (evenings are no bueno for this). Life as a mom is about balance and shifting…. I’ve come to understand.

Comments

  1. Stevie says:

    Thank you for your insight and tips! It’s so refreshing to hear other mom’s perspectives and get ideas to try something a different way! My neighbor and I woke up early to get our run in before work- I think the “5:30 Method” is going to work well for me! 😁

    • Shannon Pulsifer says:

      Hi Stevie! I am SO happy to hear that suggestion was helpful! Let me know how the 5:30am method goes!!