FRIDAY Q&A: A HOUSE HUNT UPDATE, PLANS FOR MATERNITY LEAVE, THOUGHTS ON CHILDCARE, AND MORE

Happy happy Friday! We’re headed to Dallas as Will’s mom’s best friend is generously throwing us our first baby shower! We are so excited to see our friends and celebrate our little one. I can’t believe I will be twenty-four weeks along as of this weekend! We’ve received a few gifts off of our baby registry already and it’s very surreal to walk past the stroller and carseat boxes on my way upstairs. Maybe I’ll share what’s on our registry in a post next week? I got so many helpful tips from your comments on this post so I’d love to share our picks (and then of course I’ll have to update in the fall once we know what we actually use and love!). I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

design darling friday q&a

1. Any updates on your house hunt? I’ve been thinking of you guys!

Thank you! We just signed a contract on a house in Darien yesterday. If everything goes according to plan, our hope is to close and move at the end of July! I don’t want to share too much before it’s 100% official but it’s an old, old house and we’re super excited about all the projects it has in store for us. P.S. If anyone happens to be looking for a great house to rent in Greenwich starting in August, please shoot me an email! 🙂

2. How did you hide the fact that you weren’t drinking in social situations before you announced you were pregnant?

Not well! 😂 I had a girls’ trip to Charleston the week after I found out and confided in my best friend Ali who co-conspired to have me order a gin and tonic from the waiter and then get up to let him or her know I actually wanted soda water with lime. Other times I said I had a headache but I’m sure some people guessed earlier than I’d intended. Thankfully the months we had to keep it under wraps were January through March which isn’t exactly the most social time of year in Connecticut, but it definitely reminded me never to bug someone else about not drinking going forward!

3. Have you had any pregnancy cravings?
S-u-g-a-r. I have a sweet tooth as it is but I think I’ve had more ice cream in the past five months than I have in the past five years! Specifically coffee ice cream with chocolate chips — maybe because I haven’t been drinking my usual iced coffee in the mornings?

4. What are your plans for childcare? I’m pregnant, living in the same area as you, and torn between a nanny and daycare.

We’re going to wait and make this decision once the baby is here and I’ve had a couple months to recover and soak up the newborn phase. My three siblings and I were raised with a live-in nanny and while we won’t have anyone living with us, I imagine a part-time nanny (maybe a couple days a week?) will be the solution we’re most comfortable with. No judgment to anyone who decides differently!

5. Are you planning to take a maternity leave? If so, do you know how that will work with your blog?

While I’ve been extremely thankful to be self-employed during my pregnancy (particularly during the first trimester before I got on medication for hyperemesis and was often working from bed), the idea of not having a proper maternity is definitely a downfall of being my own boss. We can’t afford to lose my income for a few months or even weeks (especially once we buy a house!), so my goal is to queue up a few weeks’ worth of blog posts in the weeks before my due date and then do my best to get back into regular writing as soon as possible. I’m sure there will be several days where I won’t have a post ready to go and I’m more than okay with that, but I definitely won’t be going radio silent after the baby gets here! 

6. Are you doing a certain theme or color combination for the nursery?

Are we shocked it will be blue and white? To be honest we would have stuck with that palette whether we were having a boy or a girl. I almost always regret deviating from my favorite colors in decorating (a piece of furniture is so much harder to replace than a pair of earrings or a dress) and I’d hate to spend money on pieces I’ll tire of before we try for a second baby. The only piece we’ve ordered is this crib, but my current vision is to install beadboard on the lower part of the wall and hang this wallpaper above it. Then it will be a question of ordering a dresser, glider, and rug that work with that wallpaper!

7. I noticed you and Will often buy each other art or prints as gifts. How did that come about? 

Totally by accident! Will gave me this Slim Aarons print early on in our relationship and we’ve definitely gone that route for several special occasions since. It’s nice to fill the walls of our home with pieces that remind of certain times in our lives and art is something we rarely think to buy ourselves! 

8. I wanted to reach out to ask you about getting some recommendations for San Francisco. I remember from one of your posts that you lived out in SF after you graduated from Bucknell. I’m going to be living out there this summer and wanted to know if you had any suggestions for clothes to pack, restaurants, or fun “must do” things. I’m also from the east coast with many of the same interests and style as you — if you have any recommendations at all, I’d greatly appreciate it! 

Oh man, I lived there the summer of 2011 so I’m sure just about everything has changed since then! My only advice is to pack for much cooler weather than you’d expect — June gloom is a real thing in SF and you’ll be happy to have a number of sweaters and sweatshirts on hand for chilly nights. In terms of restaurants and activities, I’d look up Brunch on Chestnut! Ashley is always popping up in cute restaurants and wine bars on her Instagram and I know she has a bunch of recs for wine country as well. Have a great time! 

9. I have been following you for years from Antwerp, Belgium, where I live. I am your age and getting married on August 10th this year! I loved loved loved your veil in your wedding pictures and was wondering if you could help me out with the length of your veil and size of the rim? Can you tell me who you ordered it from on Etsy?

Congratulations! I ordered from this Etsy shop and got the horsehair trim veil in the 40″ length and ivory color. The quality was great and the price was right for something you’ll wear only once!

10. I have been enjoying all the inspiration you have been sharing for your (hopefully) soon to be new home! A new home owner myself, I have finally settled in enough where I would like to start decorating and making our mark. Our styles are very similar — any suggestions on bedroom window treatments? 

Window treatments can be so tough! I’ve gone the totally custom route (you can see the lucite rods and custom curtains I had made for our Dallas guest bedroom here) and felt like I ultimately spent way too much for a house we lived in for two years since we couldn’t take them with us when we left. In our rental house now, I ordered these less expensive lucite rods and these semi-sheer curtains for both our living room and dining room, but I imagine you’ll want something more opaque for your bedroom. I’m not entirely sure what we’ll do in our next home but I would definitely order these lucite rods again as they’re a great look for the price. If you want to do something relatively affordable, I’d get plain white curtains from Pottery Barn and sew on a grosgrain ribbon trim (similar to this look). And if it’s a house you’ll be in for a while, I’d pick a fabric that coordinates with your headboard, bedding, rug, etc. and have a local seamstress whip up something just for you. 

5 thoughts on “FRIDAY Q&A: A HOUSE HUNT UPDATE, PLANS FOR MATERNITY LEAVE, THOUGHTS ON CHILDCARE, AND MORE

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  1. There’s a photo of me working on my laptop while my 3 day old sleeps next to me. As a self-employed new mom, you just kind of figure it out. For me, there was something totally empowering about providing for my family even in those early days. There were other times when my husband took on some of my work. You’ll find the right balance and make it work!

  2. On the last question, I would highly recommend Loft Curtains. I just ordered some custom curtains from them, and they look AMAZING. As an added bonus, they cost like 1/4 of the price quoted to me by The Shade Store and Renovation Hardware.

    https://www.loftcurtains.com/

  3. A lot of bloggers I follow have asked friends to share guest posts during their maternity leave. It might help ease the burden for you and I’m sure you have so many interesting blogger friends that would love to help!

  4. Congratulations on the house!!! Hopefully everything goes smoothly with the closing! I know the feeling of waiting on pins and needles until everything is 100% final. Can’t wait to hear more soon!

    I also have another wedding question for a future post! I’m also having a semi-destination wedding (not Nantucket but another beach town) and our venue is a yacht club so we are going for a classic/slightly nautical/fun and laid back while still being formal type of vibe…hopefully that makes sense!! Anyway, I’m starting to look at bridesmaids dresses and really not feeling the typical chiffon. At first I thought I wanted something in navy but our wedding is in July so that might be too hot. I loved your seersucker bridesmaids dresses and was wondering if you any suggestions along those lines? I was thinking since I’m going slightly non-traditional, maybe I could even save some money by doing maxi dresses in seersucker or another material? Maybe even something like this: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/j-crew-shirting-stripe-tiered-maxi-dress/5244231?country=US&currency=USD&mrkgcl=760&mrkgadid=3313964969&utm_content=9382602593&utm_term=pla-489690539020&utm_channel=shopping_ret_p&sp_source=google&sp_campaign=645528200&rkg_id=0&adpos=1o1&creative=57181589273&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CJDjwbXB1-ICFQm0swodQ3oIJA dressed up with heeled sandals…or is that way too casual? Thank you for any input!!