Happy Friday! I’m excited to answer a bunch of your questions today after skipping last week’s Q&A because of Black Friday. (I’ve been shopping my little heart out and have a lot of gift wrapping in my future this weekend — anyone else?) I’ve featured ten questions like I do every week but this time I really need your help answering the tenth one as I feel wholly unqualified but didn’t want the question to go unanswered! If you work in an office environment and have any words of wisdom for question #10, I’m sure they would be greatly appreciated!
1. How do you split time between your family and Will’s family during the holidays?
I have friends who struggle with this dilemma and feel really fortunate that we’ve worked out a system that works well for us! For Thanksgiving, we alternate between spending one year in Dallas with Will’s parents and the next year in Rhode Island with my dad’s side of the family. For Christmas, this will be the fourth year that Will’s parents will join my mom’s side of the family. Since Will is an only child and I couldn’t bear the thought of missing my 18+ person family Christmas, his parents have been wonderfully flexible about joining our crazy crew. The more, the merrier! We’ve historically celebrated Christmas in Connecticut but since my parents moved into the ABC house, we’ve toyed with starting a new tradition of traveling for Christmas, which has brought us to Maine, Charleston, and now Naples, Florida, where Grandy lives.
2. How old were you when you met Will, when you got engaged, and when you got married?
I met Will when I was 23 but we didn’t start dating exclusively until I was 24 (you can read more on that in this post on how we met!). We got engaged when I was 26 and got married just after my 28th birthday.
3. In terms of general life purchases (not home or fashion specifically, but those included) how do you decide what to splurge on and what to save on?
As I near the end of my twenties (I’ll turn 30 next summer!) I’m trying to focus more on quality over quantity and experiences over things. Having moved five times in five years (from Connecticut to New York, once within New York, from New York to Dallas, from Dallas to Connecticut, and once within Connecticut), we’ve accumulated so much stuff and I am very much in a phase of wanting to edit down the belongings we’ve mindlessly moved from one house to the next and only buying things I know we’ll be able to enjoy for a long time. I evaluate splurge vs. save decisions on an individual basis (as opposed to universally saving in one category and splurging in another) and take at least a few weeks to decide whether I really want to splurge on something or whether I’d be equally happy with a less expensive option.
4. What’s the best thing you’ve ever splurged on?
In our house: Slim Aarons prints (Will gave me my first when we started dating and they make me happy every time I see them!), this dresser in our bedroom, reupholstering the chaise from my childhood home.
5. What color nail polish is your go-to?
I used to be more experimental with nail polish but now I almost always have a gel manicure in CND Romantique and a pedicure in a hot pink like Essie Fiesta or OPI Strawberry Margarita.
6. I love following your blog and especially love your classic style. I’m a young mom of two boys and desperately looking for a warm jacket (with a hood) for the winter. My J.Crew longer puffer jacket has seen better days. Could you do a post on warm, practical (covers your butt), affordable, and classic winter coats? We live outside of Philly and I’m afraid winter is HERE. 🙁
I hear you! A few years ago I splurged on a Moncler coat and it makes me hate winter just a little bit less. If you’re not ready to make that kind of investment, I love my J.Crew cocoon coat (though it doesn’t have a hood; wait for a sitewide promo code!) and also like the looks of this, this, and this.
7. When you were in your early 20s, deciding what or who to be, what would you tell that person now?
Everything happens for a reason. Trust the process. Just keep chipping away at it (my dad’s #1 piece of advice). You can read a letter I wrote to my 18-year-old self here!
8. Help! Any gift ideas for my mother-in-law and father-in-law? Trying to stay under $100/$150 for each.
For your mother-in-law: monogrammed travel cases, a new LL Bean tote, monogrammed Jack Rogers, or this leather tote. For your father-in-law: this custom apron, a monogrammed scarf, a state cutting board, or Ugg slippers. We’re also getting Will’s mom my beloved fabric shaver as a stocking stuffer!
9. What are the top few things on your Christmas list this year?
10. Do you have any suggestions for young professionals buying holiday gifts for bosses/ office staff?! My husband and I are both attorneys and are already fretting about which partners to buy for, etiquette about gifts to administrative staff vs. bosses, not being boring and buying everyone wine, etc. Not to mention that budgets are very much a real thing (though I wish they weren’t! Haha).
I’m so not an expert on this having worked for myself for the past seven years so I’d love for other readers with more relevant work experience to weigh in on this one!