Thursday, September 10, 2020

September 2020 Q&A

 Even though it has been a short week, I am ready to fast-forward to the weekend. There’s been a lot going on, and I am excited for my first weekend (mostly) in Birmingham in far too long. Between now and Friday at noon, though, there’s still a lot to accomplish, so hopefully, staying busy will make time go a little bit quicker. As for now, I am excited to share my answers to some of the questions asked for today’s monthly question and answer post. It’ always so interesting to read what y’all are curious about since it spans a broad spectrum. If you weren’t able to ask your question this month, then stay tuned to my Instagram Stories (which I am trying to upload to more consistently) where I usually request your input. 

shirt (Tuckernuck last year) // jeans // earrings // ring // phone case

What are your go-to flowers at Trader Joe’s?

If I am getting flowers for an arrangement at work, then my go-to could be just about anything, but I tend to always make sure to grab white roses due to their versatility and season-less appearance. If I am shopping for flowers for my house, however, I tend to gravitate toward white hydrangeas and, when in season, peonies. Regardless of if I’m looking for work or home, I have grown to love the Blue Thistle I’ve been seeing at Trader Joe’s since it adds a nice texture and my favorite color to an arrangement! 

What are your favorite small things to do when you need a pick me up? 

I think everyone has needed more pick me ups this year, so I really like this question. It depends on the situation, but going on a long walk with friends usually feels like it can solve a lot of things. Aside from that, lighting a favorite candle, changing my sheets (weird, I know, but it’s hard not to feel a little better about yourself when there are fresh sheets on your bed), and/or indulging in a favorite treat or drink are some of my favorite quick pick me ups! 

Phone photography tips/styling for Instagram and blogs? 

I wish that I had taken some more practical photography classes growing up (not to discount how cool it was to take classes where we developed our own photos), but most of what I know about photography I’ve either had to teach myself or learned by asking and observing the photographers I work with for my job. Composition is a significant component of photography, and I try my best not to leave too much negative space but also give the eyes a place to rest in the photos I take. Aside from that, I know the rule of thirds is big for photographers. I feel like I can do a better job of speaking to the styling aspect of this question since that’s where my familiarity lies. When styling a photo, I like to start with the main item I want to be seen and add things from there. When accessorizing with props, it’s nice to use different textures and shapes. For example, many times with food styling, you end up with a round glass, round plate, and round bowl, which doesn’t feel interesting. To add interest, a unique fork and textured linen break up the line of circles, creating something much more appealing to the eye. Also, when adding props, it tends to look best when there is an odd number, so whether that be three cookies instead of two or a stack of five books instead of six, odds usually look better! 

How to balance dating with friends and alone time?

Wow, great question, and very applicable (if you’re confused, head to this post). I am definitely an introvert in that I get my energy from being alone, meaning that as much as I love to hang out with friends and my boyfriend, I need time independently to recharge. Having started to date someone during quarantine when most of my friends were in their hometowns with their families, it took until this summer for me to have to start better balancing various relationships. Getting an idea of other people’s schedules and having days set aside for those different relationships has been pretty helpful as I feel like I can balance seeing everyone I want to see in a week. For example, my boyfriend and I usually hang out on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the week, which leaves me time to see a lot of my friends at bible study on Wednesdays and go on walks or hang out with them on the other days during the week. I am pretty good about taking some time on Monday to do my own thing and usually get in bad about an hour before actually going to sleep, which helps with the alone time aspect (as does waking up pretty early). Planning in advance seems to be the key to it all currently. If I already have plans with someone and another friend asks to do something at an overlapping time, I honor whichever plan was made first while then trying to intentionally come up with another time to hang out with whoever’s plans I’m unable to make it to. I know right now, my schedule with work is more flexible than it will likely be in the future, so I think I’ll have to reevaluate all of this again come time to be back in the office full time. 

What are your go-to stores for preppy clothes?

I find clothes I love at various places, but the ones that come to mind as best to shop at for preppy pieces would be Tuckernuck and J.Crew

Best fall cocktail dresses?

I haven’t seen a ton of fall cocktail dresses I’ve been loving just yet, but I added this idea to my post list for the month and can’t wait to hunt down some cute ones for you! 

What do you do when you feel burnt out?

The best thing I can do when I feel burnt out is take a step back. For instance, if I am feeling burnt out from blogging, I know I need to take a little bit of time off to recharge. During this time, I try not to stress about not having posts up etc. but instead go back to where I feel most inspired. For me, that’s scrolling through my saved folder on Instagram or scrolling through Pinterest. In both of these activities, I find myself coming up with post ideas and writing them down. Usually, when I am doing this, I start to feel motivated to jump back into it. This applies to other things as well, and no matter what that might be, I think there is a lot of beauty in taking a break. 

What is something you wished you would have done differently during college?

Majored in something aside from education. 

Do you miss teaching and have any advice for first-year teachers? 

I don’t miss teaching, especially right now. I still have a lot of friends that are teaching and have felt for them as they’ve been expected to jump back and forth between virtual and in-person and are navigating uncharted territory. The only part of teaching that I would say I miss would be the relationships you can build with your fellow teachers and the students, but I feel much happier and better suited for the job I am doing currently than I ever did teaching. As for advice for first-year teachers, take a break on the weekends. Being a first-year teacher and getting my master’s at the same time made me feel like any time I had needed to be spent focused on one or the other, and that led to exhaustion and frustration with what I was doing. Don’t check your email from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning and try to mentally remove yourself from the job during that time so that hopefully, you can go into the next week feeling recharged yourself.

Favorite fall transition pieces for warm weather states? 

I think booties are the best way to dress for fall while still navigating the uncertainty of Southern state’s “fall” temperature since they pair nicely with blouses and button-downs as well as sweaters when the colder weather does come. I have a post coming soon with a ton of fall wardrobe essentials that I think you will love! 

What beach/pool bag do you use?

I use a bag from the brand Scout that I am pretty sure was a high school graduation gift. It is giant, so I’m able to throw multiple towels in it as well as pouches for sunscreen and sunglasses, a book, water bottles, and whatever else I may need.

Where is your phone case from

My phone case is by the brand The Daily Edited, and I love it. It’s so durable, and the fact that it is completely customizable meant that I could make sure it looked exactly like I wanted it to!

I hope that y’all enjoyed reading through my answers to these questions, and I look forward to doing this again next month! 

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