Happy Friday! We are en route to Dallas to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday and exchange a few early Christmas presents before our actual holiday festivities with both our families in Florida! We try to make it back to Dallas three or four times a year to see Will’s parents and catch up with friends we’ve missed so much since moving back to the east coast a couple years ago. I’m so happy to be living in Connecticut and not battling homesickness anymore but I’m pretty sure friendsickness is a thing because I miss Ali and Amy like crazy and don’t get to see them nearly as much as I’d like! Anyway I hope you all have a fun-filled weekend — would love to hear your thoughts on questions #3 and #10 in the comments if you have a moment!

design darling friday q&a

1. Any recommendations on everyday watch for my 22-year-old daughter? Would love to stay under $500. I looked through the shop section on your blog and didn’t see any!

An everyday watch is such a great gift idea! I remember my dad taking me shopping for my first pair of designer sunglasses when I turned 18 — it’s nice to receive something that’s both thoughtful and practical. I love the looks of this, this, this, and this — will add them to the accessories category of the shop page now! 

2. What are some great gifts you gave Will while you were dating (before you shared a home)?

I have the worst memory so I had to ask him! He says I gave him this record player, these boots, and this art print before we were engaged but it’s hard to remember everything! I know our first Christmas together we both kind of bought lots of little things to try to figure out which ones were the biggest hit so we’d know what to give going forward!

3. How do you combat comparing yourself to others on social media?

I try to remind myself that social media is a highlight reel so the same way people say you shouldn’t compare your middle to someone else’s end, you can’t compare a bad day in real life to someone else’s picture-perfect afternoon on Instagram. If something’s really getting under my skin, I get off my phone and take Rory for a walk or go hang out with my family to remind myself how much I have to be grateful for. Of course I’d love another 100,000 followers or a bigger house or whatever, but there are people who would kill for what I have and it’s important to stay mindful of that. The comparison game is probably something I will always struggle with in some capacity so if anyone has any words of wisdom, please weigh in in the comments!

4. What is your go-to for a good bra? Both everyday and strapless?

This is hands down my favorite everyday bra — it’s just flattering and pretty and I have multiple girlfriends who swear by it. For strapless bras, this is my go-to unless I want something more bandeau-like in which case I wear this. 

5. Any advice for cleaning out your closet?

It sounds so hokey but ever since reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I find myself asking whether an item actually sparks joy or I’m just holding onto it because I have guilt about never wearing it or think I may still want to wear it “someday.” I’d love to get to the point where every single thing in my closet falls into one of these categories:

a) I wear it all the time (button-down shirts, cable-knit sweaters, navy silk blouses)

b) I wear it less often but it makes me happy every time I do get to wear it (like this bow jumpsuit or this feather camisole)

c) I don’t wear it often but it holds a special memory that I’m reminded of when I see it (my rehearsal dinner dress, my welcome party dress, my wedding shoes)

I’m definitely not there yet but I try to clean out my closet at least a couple times a year and donate the items that I haven’t worn in a while. It makes me happy to think that something I rarely reach for could go to someone who will wear it all the time! 

P.S. You can see how I organize my closet here!

6. If you could invite anyone (alive or not) to your Christmas dinner, who would it be?

J.K. Rowling! Will and I just started listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks together and even though this is my third time reading the series, I’m still blown away by J.K. Rowling’s out-of-this-world creative genius.

7. What are your thoughts on mixing black and navy when putting together an outfit?

I love navy and black together! I don’t wear a ton of black (you can read why here!) but I love an unexpectedly chic color combination and to me it’s no different from wearing a black sweater with dark blue jeans. 

8. What are your top wedding planning tips?

Find ways to make your wedding uniquely yours! My favorite parts of weddings are always the personal touches — the invitations, the fun facts on cocktail napkins, the heartfelt toasts, etc. As you’re planning, decide on the things that are most important to you (for us, getting married where my parents got married, having our dog in the ceremony, having a band) and make a list of the areas where you’re willing to cut costs (I bought my wedding veil on Etsy, had a family friend make our super simple flower arrangements, and went with a very basic wedding cake). And if you’re on the fence, hire a videographer — our two wedding videos (here and here) are my favorite souvenir and the best way to relive every moment. 

9. Have you and your mom always been close? You have such a sweet relationship!

Aww thanks for saying that! My whole family is super close and my parents are the glue that keeps everyone together. My mom and I are very similar in a lot of ways (impatient and stubborn!) so we definitely know how to push each other’s buttons, but she is my ultimate role model and there’s no one on earth I trust more for advice on relationships, friendships, fashion, decorating… truly anything and everything. I was a pretty stubborn teenager my senior year of high school (seriously I look back and cringe at what a brat I was!) so there were probably times she couldn’t stand me back then, but thankfully we can look back and laugh about it now. I totally lucked out in the mom department — if I’m half as good a role model for our future kids, I’ll consider it a job well done!

10. What’s the next place on your bucket list you want to travel to?

I basically want to go everywhere on earth (how cool would it be to set foot on all seven continents?!) but at the same time I feel like I could go back to France and/or Italy every year for the rest of my life and be totally happy with that. I still haven’t booked anything for 2019 and I’m definitely getting the itch — would love to hear what’s next on your bucket lists in the comments!


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  1. Comparisons can be toxic. It can take away your happiness. It can also kill your confidence. And yes, spending time alone, walking, exercising can really help to overcome such thing. All we need is self love. I enjoyed reading, thanks for sharing.

  2. if you have a chance, you and Will MUST go to the “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” exhibit at the New York Historical Society. I think it’s there until the end of January. as a HP fan, you would love it!!! it was so cool seeing all of her original sketches and manuscripts.

  3. I hope this comment is not too excessive, but here’s my stance on social media comparison: I think it comes down to jealousy. It helps me to label it as such. So when I feel jealous (in social media or any situation) this is what I try to remind myself: jealousy is a fear-based mindset. It is a mindset of lack. It is a mindset that says “there is not enough for me.” It is a mindset that posits: “Since she has X, that means I can’t have X.” For example, “Since she has a nice house, I can’t have one.” or “Since she has a loving family, that somehow decreases my chances of having one.” When, in reality, that isn’t true at all!

    I believe we live in an abundant universe, not a place of lack. I believe Love is abundant, not scarce. So, when I observe myself feeling jealous, I try to use that as an opportunity to be HAPPY for that very person I am originally envious of. E.g. “I am happy she has a loving relationship with her mother in law.” or “I am happy she got to go to Bali.” And on and on. This isn’t easy—it involves being able to monitor my emotions in real time rather than being taken over by them (meditation has helped immensely with this)—but it is simple.

    This is an ongoing practice for me. A practice of seeing the world through a love-based lens rather than a fear-based one. Working with Lacy Young has really helped me in the area of jealousy (and in all areas of spiritual growth!). You don’t have to play the social media comparison game forever. You can be “complete” with the experience of jealousy. The truth is, you don’t need any of those fancy things you see on social media to be happy. You already have everything you need. Namaste. 🙂

  4. For years, I struggled with jealousy and comparison. Then I began to concentrate on developing an attitude of gratitude with daily prayer. After about a year of this, I attended a large social function and realized that I honestly felt totally comfortable. I wasn’t jealous of those who were blessed in different ways and didn’t compare myself to others. I realized that they may have been given different blessings but not more than I had. To this day, I can walk into any room, any place and know that I, among all people, have been truly blessed.

  5. I really enjoy this series! The social media/comparison thing must be so tough for bloggers. I enjoy social media but I never feel too invested in it, because when I’ve had enough I just put my phone away, but when it’s your job I imagine it’s a lot harder to turn off! It’s great that you have such a good attitude about it though.

    For gifts, before my boyfriend and I moved in together some things we gave each other were the usual clothes (for him), jewelry (for me), concert tickets to see fun bands we both like, tickets to sporting events for his favorite teams, etc. There were some holidays when we both agreed we didn’t want more “stuff,” so we would make a decision together to treat ourselves to tickets to an expensive show we both wanted to see or something like that.

    His favorite gift I gave him was right before we moved in together, I got a Christmas ornament from all the places we had traveled together (not too hard to track down and order from different places online – if I had had more foresight I would have actually collected them while we were on the trips) and gave them all to him in a box. Then once we moved in together, we kept growing the collection every time we went on a trip somewhere (or even at places in the city we went together). Now every Christmas it’s so fun to decorate our tree together and look back on all the memories.

  6. I think that once you are able to pay your bills, live in a comfortable home, take a vacation once or twice a year, provide for your children’s education, etc. that comparing your life to someone else’s extravagant life is pointless and actually selfish. Sure, living in the top 1% would probably be exciting, but you reach a point where having more material stuff won’t add value to your life. Studies have shown that once you reach about $75,000 that money stops being a goal – I’ve never understood how extremely wealthy people could justify having so much when so many people have so little.