FRIDAY Q&A: NAP DRESSES, EXTERIOR HOUSE PROJECTS, WHEN I KNEW I WAS READY FOR A BABY, AND MORE

Happy Friday! We’ve had a few days of sunshine in CT and it’s made the biggest difference in my outlook this week. Technically we have 22 days until the start of spring but I’ll happily celebrate 35 degrees and sunny over 20 degrees and snowy right now. Maybe it’s time for me to try some kind of sun lamp? Does anyone have one and love it? Do share! Without further ado, ten of your questions from this past week!

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1. Is the Hillhouse nap dress worth it? What size do you wear? How would you style it for Easter when it’s still a little chilly here in the Northeast?

I ordered two after the most recent drop (this one and this one) and I love both! There’s not much I find both comfortable and flattering at 31 weeks pregnant but these check both boxes for me. The white is sheer so better to wear around the house but the blue can definitely be worn out and about. I ordered size XS and the smocking makes it super stretchy so I think my regular size will work through my third trimester and postpartum. I would wear it with a cashmere sweater (this, this, and this are my go-tos) over my shoulders and ballet flats or Stubbs & Wootton slippers. 

2. I wanted to ask about your ordering tile/hardware/finishes for your interior projects. Do you tend to order the materials yourself or does your contractor do it? I know you often share links to thinks on Wayfair, so wasn’t sure if that was actually where you were purchasing a lot of it. I know contractors often add a markup when they order on your behalf and I’d love to avoid that, but I’m also scared of ordering the wrong thing in the wrong quantity or something and derailing the progress! Any insight on your process would be great.

Great question! It’s been my experience that our contractor actually gets lower trade pricing with local vendors and extends that discount to us, so I’ve ordered our countertops and tile locally through his account at Ideal Tile in Stamford. I do my best to track down the same brands on Wayfair, Home Depot, etc. if possible for readers who aren’t local or are DIY-ing! And then there are super specific items that I feel much better about ordering from a showroom vs. online (for instance, I would feel confident ordering a faucet online, but I don’t trust myself to figure out which shower valve we need behind the wall), but I’ve gotten measurements from our contractor and ordered things like the vanity in my parents’ loft, cabinet hardware, and all our lighting fixtures on my own online. I guess I’d say it’s important to find a contractor you communicate well with and ask whether he or she can be flexible about where different items come from! If you’re willing to do some of the legwork on your own (either ordering online or picking things up locally), your contractor might be perfectly happy to let you manage those aspects of the project.

3. How did you find your architect and builder? I’m also in CT!

We found our architect through our realtor and our builder through our architect. I’m happy to share their information if you send me an email!

4. Can you share some of your yard plans?

Yes, I definitely will! We’re waiting on permits to be approved so I don’t want to share too much before we have a concrete game plan, but the general idea is to renovate the existing enormous and outdated pool (which takes up the vast majority of our backyard!) into a smaller rectangular pool that can accommodate an automatic pool cover (my #1 priority with little ones!) and let us reclaim some of the surrounding area to use as a stone patio and grassy area for the boys (and Rory!) to play in. Excited to start documenting once there’s more to share!

5. What does the outside of your house look like? Any renovation plans there too?

You can see glimpses of our front door here and here, but I won’t be sharing a full photo of the front exterior of our house for privacy reasons. We have a couple windows we’d like to add and part of the roofline we’d like to alter before painting the whole thing from yellow to white, but those are definitely not on our project list for 2021!

6. Ideas for a November navy bridesmaid gown that I can rewear and not break the bank?

I think this, this, this, and this are all beautiful and all under $250!

7. How did you know you were ready for a baby?

I always knew I wanted to have kids at some point, so for me it was seeing friends of ours start their families and noticing a change in myself from thinking “omg way too soon for me, I want to travel, etc.!” to thinking “aww, I can’t wait for that chapter, I’m so excited to see Will as a dad, wait I think I’m starting to feel ready.” I don’t think there’s really ever a convenient time to do something as life-altering as embarking on becoming parents but for me personally it went from something I knew I wanted sometime in the future to something I was longing for in the present.

8. Did you do anything to prepare to get pregnant? Extra vitamins, etc.?

The only thing I did both times was start taking prenatal vitamins a few months before we started trying. These are the ones I’m currently taking and they’ve been way easier to get and keep down than the ones I took during my first pregnancy (I have a code MACKENZIE for 10% off your first three months if you’re interested). I feel deep gratitude that getting pregnant isn’t something I’ve struggled with thus far and never want to come across as insensitive to anyone whose journey is taking longer than they’d like. 

9. How would you describe your parenting style?

Ever evolving! I think Will and I both absorb a lot from having my parents live with us and seeing how they interact with Teddy, but we also do a lot of reading and consulting our pediatrician on various questions that we feel like we don’t know the answers to. I think I’ll learn to trust my own intuition more with each new little one, but for right now I have no problem asking for help from people who know more than I do! I did just read this book and thought it was a great introduction to the toddler phase Teddy’s just entered into.

10. What is your most random pregnancy symptom this time around?

The one that’s killing me right now is restless leg syndrome. It sounds like one of those ailments you hear about only in TV commercials but I swear it makes it 100x harder to fall asleep at night! If anyone has any tips, I’m all ears. 🙂

15 thoughts on “FRIDAY Q&A: NAP DRESSES, EXTERIOR HOUSE PROJECTS, WHEN I KNEW I WAS READY FOR A BABY, AND MORE

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  1. Regarding restless legs:
    I found a homeopathic pill at CVS called Restful Legs made by a company called Hyland’s.
    Two pills under your tongue (dissolve quickly) when it starts and in a short time, 15-30 minutes, your legs will have calmed down.
    The spoonful of mustard works too, just tastes terrible.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Regarding restless legs….
    I found a homeopathic pill at CVS that really helps calm my legs called:
    Restful Legs from a company called Hyland’s.
    Just place one or two under your tongue when you first feel it starting . They dissolve in seconds and in less than a half hour, your legs will have calmed down. Hope this helps.

  3. I also had the restless legs. Definitely sleeping with compression socks helps (I like the set from Hatch) – there’s also a Magnesium cream specially for pregnancy called 8 Sheep Organics. The most helpful though was nightly baths with Epsom salts before bed, especially using the eucalyptus ones from Whole Foods.

  4. Loving all the restless legs tips!! I had this with baby #2 last year and find that it still happens from time to time. Will try some magnesium spray…the magnesium pills did not make a difference for me.

  5. For the restless leg thing, I have read several times that eating a spoon full of mustard will stop the movement! I have not tried it, but friends have and say it works.

  6. I appreciate you sharing your home renovations, especially since I’m undergoing renovations myself. Love being inspired by your posts! Our home is older and has the original putty windows and some of the original interior doors. What is your approach for integrating the old with the new? We’re building a large addition so will need new windows and new interior doors for that part of the house. I’m concerned it will look disjointed if everything doesn’t match. We’re definitely keeping the windows but I’m wondering if I should just replace all the interior doors. Especially since the original knobs are brass and now aged. And the knob back plates would be impossible to find. Also how do you decide scale with mirror and light fixture sizes versus vanity size?

    Btw Janet Lansbury is such a great resource! I often read her blog for tips. She has podcasts too.

  7. The restless legs are the worst! I found stretching and wearing compression socks before bed or while sleeping a portion of the night helped me! I also used the compression socks for long car rides because sitting for extended periods of time would bring the pain on as well!

  8. (raises hand) fellow restless leg person here. I find using magnesium spray (MAGNESIUM OIL 100% PURE NATURAL Dead Sea Minerals – Exceptional #1 Source – Made in the USA (2 oz)
    Visit the Magnum Solace Store) I use this one from Amazon.

    Another option (my sister swears by this) is a bar of soap under your fitted sheet down by your legs. It’s weird, but apparently soap contains Magnesium and helps to relax your muscles.

    I’ve not read anything that using the spray could be dangerous to pregnant women however I would double check with your doctor.

  9. Hi! To your last Q&A on restless leg syndrome: the only thing that helped me when I was dealing with this in my first pregnancy was to just get up and do a quick yoga flow. I’m talking one minute, right beside the bed, some quick stretches and breathing exercises to kind of “reset” the body and mind. Sometimes I had to do this several times a night but I was usually able to fall back asleep right after! Hope this helps, or that you find something that does!