Friday, September 30, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Today I wanted to answer some frequent questions I get asked.  I get many questions via email, on instagram and my blog and I am bad sometimes about responding.  So many of the questions are the same so I thought I would answer them here.  If you guys like this kind of a post I am open to do more q&a posts in the future and y'all can email me questions!  

Has the rash on your ring finger gone away and what helped it?  
This is one of the most frequent questions I get!  It is crazy so many of y'all have this same problem too.  My rash is better but it is not gone.  I have left my rings off for almost a month now and I have been using hydrocortisone.  It is definitely better but not gone.  At first it was bright red,  the skin was peeling and it hurt so bad.  It almost felt as it was burned.  Now it is just slightly red,  but it gets re-irritated every time I put my rings on.  I tried to wear my rings last night and as soon as I put them on the skin just felt tight and hurt even though it doesn't look as bad as it previously did.  I am actually going to see my dermatologist next week to let her look at it and hopefully get a prescription cream to clear it up.  I can't believe it has lasted this long.  

Some of you wanted to know what others recommended so here are some of the tips I received
- use aloe vera
- leave rings off and use hydrocortisone 3x a day
- soak rings in a windex/hydrogen peroxide mixture and clean well with a toothbrush
- have my rings re-dipped
- Magic Egyptian cream
- do not use foam hand wash or blue dawn apparently they both irritate skin

How is my diet going?
I plan to run a full post on this soon but I am trying to take pictures so I can show you guys a 3 day diet of what I eat,  so stay tuned.  I would not call what I am doing a diet because I HATE diets.  I have a hard time sticking to anything regimented and lets be honest I love food and I also like my wine too.  What I try to do is make small changes during the week and on the weekends I honestly eat what I want.  During the week I try to avoid processed foods and carbs- this doesn't happen everyday but I just try to be mindful about it. I am trying to eat more meat and protein because that was part of my problem before.  The meat and protein help fill me up.  Before when I wasn't eating much meat I was eating lots of bread, cheese, and pasta and I was still hungry and gaining weight.    I also am really trying not to snack on the kid's dinners.  That was a big problem for me, I was eating their dinner leftovers and then my own dinner an hour or two later.  I have started trying to just go ahead and eat early with them.   I usually go to bed hungry because I eat around 6 now but it has helped me cut out that snacking.  It has been 2 months and so far I have lost 6 lbs and I have 6-8 more lbs I would ideally like to lose.   It is a slow process for sure but I am not feeling too deprived which is good.  

What types of workouts do I do?  
This Summer I was just doing barre class about 4 times a week.  The class I take is called Extreme Barre so it is harder than regular barre.  They often incorporate cardio and I leave the class exhausted and sweaty.  Now that school has started back it is harder for me to get to all the barre classes, so I try and do it twice a week then I have started a new class called Red Zone that I do once a week.  It is a cardio boot camp where the goal is to keep your heart in the red zone (similar to Orange Theory).  It burns mad calories last class we averaged burning 700 calories.  So currently I do barre twice a week and Red Zone once a week.  I want to add at least one more class to get 4 workouts in.  I am also about to start training on the side with my barre instructor to try and tone up.  Once I do I will share what we do and what works.  
Several of you asked if I am still running and I am not.  The last time I ran this Summer I really hurt my back and now I am scared to run again and mess it up.  I have really enjoyed doing more classes though.  I feel like I push myself more when I working out with others plus I have made some new gym friends too!

When I do a blog sale and clean out my closet how do I decide what items to keep or get rid of?
I try to clean out my closet quarterly that way it never really gets too out of hand.  As a blogger and someone who loves to shop I always have more clothes than I need or really wear.  Each season I try and clean out so then I can add a few new pieces for that season.   First I usually let my mom and sister look and see if they want anything.  Then I go through and if the item has not been worn in that past year it has to go.  That means I don't love it and it clearly is not something I am going to pull out to wear.  I will say most of my cheaper items from Forever 21, Loft or Banana Republic usually get cleaned out.  I like them for a season or two but they are not closet staples.   My more expensive pieces I just tend to like more and want to wear them more maybe because subconsciously I know I spent more money on them.  If there is something I really love but don't wear and it has special meaning to me I save that for Frances Moon. For example I have saved my Missoni dress I wore at our Rehearsal dinner for her and the dress I was wearing when I got engaged.   What my mom and sister don't want I usually sell on my blog.  Currently I am saving that money from my last blog sale to buy a new purse.  The off brand items and items that I don't sell I donate to Goodwill.

How do I organize my closet?  
Since we live in a smaller ranch home we have small closets.  I have taken over 3 of the closets in the house- haha.  I have a hall closet that is meant to be for coats where I store all my dresses, tall boots and clutches.  Then in our bedroom I share that closet with Matt and I keep my blouses and long maxi dresses in there.  In Frances Moon's room I share her closet and keep my jackets in there.  

I organize my blouses by sleeve type | sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve and then tees and sweaters.  Then I group all those categories by color.    I also group my dresses by style.  I group all my church dresses together, then Summer sleeveless dresses, long sleeve and formal/dressy dresses- which honestly I have no wear to wear these days.  
I recently found two large acrylic cases at TJMaxx that I store all my jewelry in.  I love being able to see it all and easily access it!

Two must haves for my closet are these velvet hangers and this steamer.  Since my clothes are packed in small closets they get wrinkled and I use this steamer almost everyday!  It is hand held, heats up fast and works so well.  I never use an iron anymore.
The steamer is currently 50% off too!
These velvet coat hangers are the best too.  I personally just like how they look and they don't take up much space.

Will I ever sell Frances Moon clothes?
The short answer is no.  My sister in law has a baby girl one year younger than Frances so I pass everything down to her.  Then when she gives it back I save the items in case my sister or other sister in law has a girl one day.

How often do I cook dinner?
I usually cook dinner 3 nights a week.  The other nights we eat leftovers and then on the weekends we usually order food or go out to dinner.

What do the kids do while I cook dinner?
I usually always start dinner while Frances naps.  I pick her up from school at 1 and immediately take her home to nap.  Sterling is still in school so while she naps I do prep work for dinner.  If it is an easy one dish meal like Tomato Pie or enchiladas I try to assemble the whole thing so all I have to do is bake it that night.  If it is something that requires more effort I finish it around 5.  I let the kids play in the den or if they have already had a bath and Sterling has finished his homework they are allowed to watch TV.  I usually do baths super early like 5 and then I can finish dinner by about 6 while the kids watch a show.  I try to save tv time for when I need to get something done.  They are not allowed to watch it during the day but at night or if I need to get ready in the morning I turn it on.  Sometimes they also like to sit at the dining room table and color while I cook.  

What are my favorite Roses? 
My five favorites are : AIX, Moulin De Gassac Guilhem, Houchart, Miraval, and Whispering Angel.
Locals I buy my rose at Bottles and the wine shop down near Ashley Marina. 

Is Frances potty trained and how is the big girl bed going? 
Frances Moon is not potty trained and shows zero interest in it.  It honestly scares me a bit because I feel like she is gonna be really difficult to potty train.  The only interest she shows is wanting to wear big girl panties over her diapers.  With Sterling I just waited until he was ready.  I saw friends try and push their kids too early and what a battle that was so I just waited.  A few weeks after he turned 3 he just did it one day and never stopped.  No joke he has never wet the bed once nor did he ever wear pull-ups,  he was just so easy.  That's why I fear Frances will be so hard.  Sterling is also like a camel and just doesn't pee often and Frances Moon pees all the time.  If you have any potty training tips send them my way! 

The big girl bed on the other hand has gone great.  She loves her bed and is so proud of her room.  Every time anyone comes over she immediately takes them to see her big girl bed.  We are finally assembling her headboard this weekend!  She never gets out of bed in the middle of the night and most mornings she calls for me to get her out.   She loves having the space.  

How do I stay organized?  
We have a set schedule most days.  I need to do another Day in Our Life Post, I will work on that and share our day to day schedule.  The main way I stay organized is with my planner.  I am old fashioned and love to write things down.  I am a huge list maker.  I write a to-do list every single day.  This year I switched to the Emily Ley Simplified Planner and I have really love it.   The 2017 one was just released and I already have mine!   I like the layout of her planner because I can write my appointments and to-do list for that day on the same page.  It also has a monthly overview that I love.  It really helps me stay organized.  I also love May Designs notebooks.  I keep a few around for grocery lists and I just got a new one I use for keeping track of expenses.

Have a great weekend!  


Lauren said...

HI Natalie-love your blog! I had the same issue with my rings. I learned from my dermatologist that they have to be re-dipped in rhodium, as it wears off if it's not platinum. Also a temporary solution would be clear nail polish until you get it re-dipped. Good luck!

Heather said...

I love it when you share these types of posts. Thank you for answering our questions! Have a great weekend.

natasha {schue love} said...

Love these Q&A's! So fun getting more insight and always love your candor! xx

Frannie said...

Just three quick things!
1- use a fungal cream on your finger- like for athlete's foot.
2- Just say no to potty training. :) I work with kids- they control what goes in and what goes out. So you have to follow their lead with potty training, or, like you said, it can backfire like crazy.
3- No Bad Kids- Discipline without Shame- Order it from amazon!

Unknown said...

Hi Natalie,

I had the exact same thing happen with my rings about five years ago and it has become a permanent sensitivity. I attribute it to introducing my daughter to solids...I was washing my hands all the time and I think there was always moisture trapped under my rings and it started to be a problem for my skin. My understanding is that it's a nickel sensitivity, although my rings are 18k gold....even the tiny bit is a problem. Anyway, I've gotten it under control by taking off my rings regularly. I used to wear them 100% of the time and now I just wear them when I'm out of the house. The rash comes back occasionally when I wear them too long...I totally know the burning feeling!

I hope you are able to find a permanent fix!

Lisa said...

You are so cute and I love reading your posts. As for potty training, I promised by daughter pink panties. Worked like a charm. We didn't buy them until she was using the potty, not over diapers. I made a big deal about going to the store to purchase them with her. Plus, an m&m or 2.

Lisa said...

You are so cute and I love reading your posts. As for potty training, I promised by daughter pink panties. Worked like a charm. We didn't buy them until she was using the potty, not over diapers. I made a big deal about going to the store to purchase them with her. Plus, an m&m or 2.

Unknown said...

I also have the same ring problem! If it gets really bad again try using Manuka Honey.

Jaime said...

I second using an Anti-fungal cream on your finger (lotrimin or something for athletes foot).

Unknown said...

My rings do the same thing to me. They are white gold so I have them redipped once a year right around when my finger starts to break out and then everything is perfect again for about a year.

Bridget said...

I put clear nail polish on the inside of my rings and it worked perfectly. I also used some aveeno cream for the rash on my skin.

Unknown said...

I agree with not pushing potty training. My oldest girl was 3 and my youngest was 2. Each one is different! Try putting the panties on before the pull ups so she can feel when she goes. Good luck!

Brooke said...

I loved this! I organize my closet the EXACT same way. Also, thank you for sharing the steamer a couple of months ago. I ordered one from Amazon and it has totally changed my blouse game! Love hearing about awesome products like that.