FRIDAY Q&A: MY FAVORITE FAMILY TRADITIONS, THE PIECES I WEAR MOST IN QUARANTINE, THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING WELL-KNOWN, AND MORE

Happy Friday, friends! It was quite a snowy one in Connecticut and it looks like there’s even more in the forecast for early next week. I used to use these Friday Q&A posts to share our plans for the weekend but let’s be honest, who really has weekend plans anymore?! In any event, I’m wishing you all another cozy and restful weekend at home!

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1. What’s your favorite tradition as a couple/family?

A lot of our family traditions revolve around Christmas — eating lobster, smoked salmon, and my grandfather’s asparagus Hollandaise on Christmas Eve, each family member reading a page of ’Twas The Night Before Christmas (specifically this version!) before we go to sleep, and opening gifts on Christmas morning one at a time from youngest family member to oldest. I’d love to come up with more weekly or seasonal traditions as Teddy gets older — would love to hear some of your family traditions in the comments!

2. How much furniture has followed you from your original NYC studio?

Maybe around half? I lived in New York from 2013-2015 and I wasn’t investing a ton in furniture at that time in my life (lots of IKEA and Joss & Main finds!) but I still have the quatrefoil mirror (currently in our living room), the acrylic console (my mom is currently using it as a desk in my parents’ loft space but you can see it in the foyer of our previous rental here), the navy scalloped headboard (currently in our guest bedroom), the birdcage chair (reupholstered and currently in our playroom), and the round IKEA dining table (currently in our basement as I’m hoping to give to one of my brothers when they move into new apartments in the city). 

3. What clothing and accessories do you constantly wear during quarantine?

Old Bucknell and Nantucket sweatshirts, this Amazon fleece jacket, this Summersalt sweatshirt, Dudley Stephens pullovers, Lululemon tops, Align leggings (all day, every day), and these J.Crew slippers. I can’t wait to have a reason to get dressed up again!

4. What’s the hardest thing about being well-known?

People sending messages to express thoughts they would never say in person. It’s anxiety-inducing to check blog comments and Instagram DMs not knowing what might pop into my inbox on any given day! I’ve gotten less sensitive over time (I started my blog in 2009!) and I’m trying to work on remembering that people’s comments are more often a projection of how they’re feeling about themselves, but I’d be lying if I said I’ve never let a hurtful comment derail my mood for the better part of a day.

5. Are you not into gold hardware in general?

I’m assuming this is in response to the polished nickel hardware I’ve used in our kitchen and our hall bathroom so yes, polished nickel is definitely my preference! I do think unlacquered brass is beautiful too and equally classic for an older home (maybe I’ll do that in one of our future bathroom remodels? truly endless projects in this house!) but anything brushed nickel or shiny gold is not my personal preference.

6. Will you get a nanny when baby #2 arrives?

We hired a part-time nanny just before Teddy’s first birthday and we hope she will be with us for many years to come! We’re not sure yet how her current hours will shift once baby #2 arrives but that’s definitely on the list of future questions I can’t control right now. 🙂

7. Will your husband be going back to the office?

At some point, yes, I imagine he will go back to commuting into the city most weekdays, but his office has no set date for when that might be at this point. I feel like most of my friends who work in the city have a target date sometime between July and September but again, it’s hard to predict what the world will look like then and I’m really trying to focus only on things I can control!

8. I’m looking for a new living room area rug in either gray or blue. Any suggestions?

I’m truthfully not a huge fan of gray decor in general — I much prefer a sisal rug in the beige/tan family to add a little warmth! But if you want something with blue in it, I love the look of this, this, and this. And there are lots of gorgeous designs on this new-to-me site!

9. How is your Grandy doing?

So sweet of you to ask. She’s hanging in there! I can’t wait until we’re all vaccinated so we can safely plan a visit, especially so we can introduce her to baby #2!

10. You have one day on Nantucket. Where are you going?

Getting iced coffee and blueberry muffins from ‘Sconset Market and doing the Bluff Walk to enjoy all the rose-covered cottages and homes overlooking the Atlantic. Heading to Madaket for some time at the beach and tacos and margaritas at Millie’s (clearly I’d plan my day around all my favorite foods? haha). Then head to town, poke into some favorite shops, and have a lobster roll and glass of rosé at Cru for dinner. And I guess if I only have one day and I’m really packing in all my most indulgent favorites, I’m definitely waiting in line for a waffle cone at Juice Bar for good measure. 🙂 The bottom of my Nantucket guide has suggested itineraries for weekend trips, family-friendly vacations, bachelorette parties, mini-moons, and more so definitely check that out if you’re planning a trip!

18 thoughts on “FRIDAY Q&A: MY FAVORITE FAMILY TRADITIONS, THE PIECES I WEAR MOST IN QUARANTINE, THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING WELL-KNOWN, AND MORE

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  1. just want to add that i have sent you constructive criticism before (via email) and i can see you thoughtfully responding to it – not just in your email response you sent back quickly, but in how you craft your posts. it drives me nuts to see people say we love “this xyz” and i have to click on the link to see what exactly the item is. you have more recently started mentioning brands up front and i appreciate that so much.

  2. Love this wonderful blog! Another favorite is The Enchanted Home………..Tina lives in two exquisite homes in New York and Palmetto Bluff. She is so creative and sells the most beautiful decor items, many she has designed herself……….Carolyne Roehm is a father! Her Seven On Sunday newsletter is so special………enJOY!
    Betsy Dunlap

  3. My daughter’s favorite Christmas tradition is their pillow present. I put a gift on their pillow which they find when they go to bed on Christmas Eve. As they got older one daughter would go upstairs several times throughout the night to see if it is there yet. When they were young I tried to make it a magical gift. Sometimes it was a Muffy Bear or accessories. I think the favorite gift was tickets to see Rent. I heard the screams of joy when it was found. As they get older magical gifts seem to get a little expensive.

  4. How do you differentiate between a hurtful comment and a fair, constructively critical one from a consumer of your content? If I say, for instance, that you should dial back all the Nantucket labeled clothes on your whole family, near constant references, and knick knacks, would that be hurtful?

    I find that bloggers tend to prefer the echo chamber of empty positivity as opposed to responding and adapting to criticism. In the real work world, we all have to absorb and adapt to criticism of all kinds. If I was always saying tone deaf things in meetings with my work colleagues, my boss would definitely raise it. If I claimed the feedback was hurtful and refused to change, I’d likely be fired. Maybe all those people do get fired and then start blogs?

    1. To answer your original question, I differentiate between hurtful comments and constructive ones by what I discern to be the author’s intent. I don’t find your comment hurtful because the content of it isn’t something I take personally (and is a subjective opinion vs. an objective metric for improvement that I “refuse to change”), but I do question how constructively you intended that criticism when you go on to suggest that blogging isn’t part of the real work world and that bloggers are just people who have been fired from “real” jobs. There’s an edge to your words that I highly doubt would be tolerated by your boss or your colleagues, which is why I hesitate to indulge it here.

    2. I’d describe this as exactly the type of comment Mackenzie mentions as a projection of how commenters are feeling about themselves. You don’t employ the influencers you follow and if their content irritates you, simply unfollow instead of suggesting they change their personal style.

      1. Ok – so the threshold for offering non-positive feedback is being the employer of the person? So what about uber drivers? Wait staff? I mean – c’mon. Should we outlaw trip advisor and yelp – just tell people to stop going to places they have sub par experiences with because the owner/operators are hurt by negative feedback? What, exactly, is my projection in this instance? My feedback isn’t ever going to be purely objective – it’s my personal reaction to elements of your content. Objectivity – like being the ‘employer’ – is a ridiculous standard that gives you an excuse to discount or ignore the feedback.

        1. She’s responding to the employer/employee example that you initially outlined. I’m sorry to hear my references to Nantucket have contributed to you having a subpar experience on my website, but unlike Tripadvisor or Yelp, there’s no exchange of goods where you’re paying me for a service or stay with expectation of a certain experience on a website that bears my name. The feedback you’ve expressed isn’t something I feel a need to change about myself or my wardrobe, home, etc. and I will not be approving your “I agree!” messages under fake emails/names from the same IP address. It’s clear you’re unhappy visiting here and I sincerely wish you the best elsewhere.

          1. What a polite and diplomatic comment! I wish I could be as polite and forceful instead of blowing up! For what it is worth, I am your Mom’s age, and enjoy your blog. Although I have no use now for the “wedding, baby and pregnancy” posts, I just skip those days after looking at the photos. I enjoy your blog immensely and wish you all the best, and hopefully Bethany finds a blog she enjoys. God knows there are plenty of them!

          2. Mike drop! Kudos to you for handling these comments with poise and grace. I’m pregnant with #2 (my first is a month older than Teddy!) and love following along your journey (motherhood, home reno projects etc).

          3. Yep, you’re a rock star. My favorite blog for sure. I always knew you had great taste but your responses to that initial rude comment show you have the brains and savvy to match. 👏

          4. I am so impressed with how well you handled this comment! It is beyond me why women like Bethany feel the need to tear apart someone they have never met and think that it is somehow okay to comment on how someone dresses their family. Absurd! It is clearly projecting her own insecurities. For what it’s worth – I adore your style. My son is a couple weeks younger than Teddy and I enjoy all the wonderful outfit combos you come up with. Much love from here in Philadelphia!