FRIDAY Q&A: DEALING WITH MOM GUILT, WHAT I’M EXCITED TO SHOW TEDDY ON NANTUCKET, WHAT I MISS ABOUT LIVING IN NEW YORK, AND MORE

Happy Friday! We are still in the throes of sleep training over here and it’s been a bit of a mixed bag this week. We’ve had some really successful longer stretches at night but also some super fussy nap-less days and I’m hoping we’ll be in a better all-around rhythm soon because I am tired. But we kicked off construction on the loft above our garage and the mudroom this week (more on both those projects here!) and I feel like they’re making great progress so far so that’s been a major bright spot in the week. This weekend I’m heading into the city to meet my cousin’s new baby boy and I could not be more excited to see them both! I hope you all have a great one!

1. What’s your favorite destination in New England besides Nantucket?

I’d love to spend more time in Rhode Island, Boston, and Maine! I’ve really enjoyed weekend trips to Newport, Watch Hill, and Vermont and would love to do a road trip through Maine in the fall.

2. Do you ever wonder what you’d be doing as a career if blogging didn’t work out?

I worked in PR doing social media for brands very briefly before going full-time with my blog and the e-commerce site I ran for five years so my hunch is I’d be in the same industry but on the other side of it! 

3. I’m looking to create a self-care package for a mom-to-be. What would you recommend?

Aww I love this idea! I think a favorite candle, an ice roller, a sheet mask or two, and/or a gift certificate for a quick service like a mani/pedi or a blowout would be so thoughtful! 

4. What are you most excited to show Teddy on Nantucket?

I’m probably most excited to take him to the beach! We’re planning to start swim lessons with him in a couple months and I can’t wait to get him in the ocean this summer. And I can’t wait to take him to run (probably crawl?) around at Sankaty (some of my favorite childhood memories!) and watch him experience the outdoor shower for the first time. And I’m not sure when he’ll be able to have ice cream for the first time but I’m sure he will love Juice Bar as much as I do! 

5. Is there anything you miss about living in NYC?

That was such a fun time in my life! I loved the energy, the restaurants (I feel like we would go on date nights like three times a week?!), weekend hangs in Central Park, and living so close to so many of our friends (many of whom have since moved away). I don’t have a desire to live there at this stage in our lives but it’s something I’ll always be happy I experienced! 

6. What were your must-haves in approaching your kitchen renovation? 

I talked all about our appliances, cabinetry, countertops, and more in this post earlier this week! 

7. How did you manage friends and family visiting you and Teddy in the first month?

Not well, haha. I wrote a little about this in this post about our first month with Teddy, but looking back I wish I’d been a little more selfish in carving out time for myself to start the physical healing process and wrap my head around our new reality. I should have been icing and doing sitz baths rather than trying to visit with everyone and it’s something I plan to do differently when we have a second! 

8. How do you deal with mom guilt? It’s so hard!

I feel you on this. Any waking moment that I’m not giving Teddy my full attention makes me feel horribly guilty and it’s definitely something I need to work on for my own sanity. I feel most guilty when he’s resisting a nap and I’m trying to get work done, so I try to remind myself in those moments that I’m working to provide for his future, that my mom working set a strong example for me and my siblings growing up, and that feeling guilty is consuming energy that I would otherwise be devoting to him later on. I obviously have an easier time working once he’s sleeping or when I know my husband or my parents are watching / entertaining him, but I waste a lot of time feeling guilty and it’s tough. 

9. Could you share pros and cons on Darien vs. Greenwich? Thank you!

We loved our three years in Greenwich but always had a feeling we would return to my hometown to buy a house and start a family. For us the pros of Greenwich would be the faster commute to the city for Will, amazing restaurants, a much livelier downtown area, proximity to a great hospital, and proximity to friends who live in town. Pros of Darien (again for us personally) were more affordable real estate, smaller class size in public schools, proximity to my parents, and more of a small town feel. Darien is about to embark on a major downtown revitalization effort that I’m hopeful will bring some more restaurants to town, but other than that it really is a great place to raise a family. I would spend some time in each to see how you feel as it’s really a question of personal preference (I have Greenwich friends who would never live in Darien and vice versa!).

10. What fashion purchases are you making for spring?

We don’t have a ton of travel plans this year as we embark on renovating our house and spring still feels pretty far off in Connecticut, but I rounded up 20 things I’m loving for spring in this post! I’ve only ordered this top so far but I’m planning on revamping my denim assortment as I feel like a high waist has become my best friend postpartum. I’ve been living in this pair but any other suggestions welcome! 

NEW TRAVEL PRINTS IN NANTUCKET PRINT SHOP

Will and I are planning to frame a few photos from our African honeymoon for above the desk in his office and my brother Camden and I thought it would be fun to add a few of our favorite travel photos to Nantucket Print Shop! We love adding new shots of our favorite island during the spring and summer months but we decided to dabble with a few “beyond Nantucket” photos in the off-season. We have photos from past trips to Australia, France, Kenya, South Africa, and Tanzania and I’m excited to see which ones make their way to your walls! I’d love to add more over time if it’s something you all are interested in. I’ve rounded up a few of my very favorites below but you can see all the new arrivals here!

Bondi Icebergs Club Pool

Rue Crémieux

Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc Pool

Serengeti Elephants

Boulders Beach Penguins

Parc de Bagatelle Roses

Giraffe Manor

Blue Doors in Montmartre

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Kenyan Lion

Jardin du Luxembourg Sailboats

Serengeti Giraffe

Palace of Versailles

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FRIDAY Q&A: NANTUCKET IN THE OFF-SEASON, PROS AND CONS OF LIVING IN CONNECTICUT, ENTERTAINING TEDDY WHEN HE’S AWAKE, AND MORE

Happy Friday! It was a long week over here thanks to a sore throat and a cough that wouldn’t quit. I’m hoping I start to feel better this weekend! One highlight of the week was having our new dining table delivered. It’s made of natural stone so I had a local company come out to seal it yesterday so we don’t have to panic about spills and stains. It is absolutely gorgeous in person and now I’m on the lookout for new dining chairs (as we plan to move our existing chairs into the breakfast nook we’re building as part of our upcoming kitchen renovation!). I hope you all have a great one!

1. Would you have been up for an international babymoon around week 28? I’m trying to decide!

Congratulations! I would have, but it of course depends on your pregnancy and comfort level. I was feeling pretty great at 28 weeks (though still taking Diclegis for hyperemesis). We moved into our new house at 30 weeks and spent the next six weeks painting and unpacking so the second trimester and beginning of the third trimester were kind of a sweet spot for me! We did go to Australia when I was 10 weeks pregnant and newly diagnosed with hyperemesis and while I’m so happy we took such a big trip before babies, it would have been a lot easier if we’d waited a couple months to tackle that trip when I was less tired and had the nausea/vomiting more under control. 

2. If you had morning sickness, what helped?

I was on prescription Diclegis for hyperemesis gravidarum (severe nausea and vomiting) starting at nine weeks all the way through the day I gave birth. I lost eight pounds during my first trimester so I was grateful to find something that got the vomiting under control for the most part. If you’re dealing with regular morning sickness (still no fun!), I got some relief from these raspberry hard candies and sniffing peppermint oil. 

3. Do you ever go to Nantucket in the off-season? I’d want to take advantage of that cute house!

Some years we’ll go up in November the weekend after Thanksgiving, in December for Christmas Stroll, or in April for Daffodil Weekend, but I’d love to spend more time there in the fall months when the leaves are changing! Winter there is even harsher than it is in Connecticut and it’s a pain to turn the water on, get the heat going, etc. for one weekend. We all get a ton of use out of the house from May to September! 

4. How did you drop the middle-of-the-night feeding for Teddy? I have a two-month-old and need some help!

I wish I had better advice but it just kind of happened! He slept until 7 a.m. for the first time at eleven weeks and has been sleeping until 7 or 7:30 pretty consistently since then (he’s sixteen weeks today!). So maybe it will just click into place as your little one gets closer to 3-4 months? We’re not religious about a schedule for Teddy as it’s important for Will to get to see him whenever he gets home from work, but you can see a general outline of our days in this post. 

5. How do you like living in Connecticut? Pros and cons?

I’m a little biased having grown up here but I think it’s the perfect place to raise a family! A few pros are proximity to my family, proximity to both the beach and the city, beautiful architecture, four seasons, and great schools. The only cons I can think of are cost of living and long winters!

6. Would you ever move somewhere else in CT? I’m a CT girl too!

We lived in Greenwich before moving to Darien (where I grew up) and plan to be here for the long haul. I would love to do more exploring within the state though! 

7. What are your best tips for staying productive while working from home?

I’m kind of going back to the drawing board to figure out how to be productive working from home with a baby, but in general I’m a big fan of time batching and the pomodoro technique. It’s probably time I write an updated post on working from home (maybe once I feel like I have things more under control? If I ever do?! Ha!) but you can read a few working from home tips in this post!

8. Which baby clothing brands do you like best for Teddy?

My favorite onesies are from Kissy Kissy and Ralph Lauren. I also love these monogrammed bibs I ordered on Etsy! 

9. What do you do to entertain Teddy while he’s awake? I need new ideas!

It’s hard! He used to be ready to pass out after 20 minutes of playtime and now he can easily go an hour to an hour and a half. We spend a lot of time on his playmat doing tummy time while he’s looking in the mirror and on his back batting at the jinglebell. We try to get him interested in these maracas and these rings to help him learn to grasp but some days he’s more focused than others. We received this light bar (which says animals and colors in English, French, and Spanish!) and this music box as Christmas presents and he loves both of them. If we’re not on his mat, he loves “standing” and bouncing on our laps. I can’t wait for him to be big enough to use this jumper — hopefully soon because my arms get tired being his personal trampoline! 😂 And when in doubt, we’ll read a book in his nursery or put music on my phone and do laps around the house.

10. Which stroller and car seat do you use?

We have the Uppababy Vista stroller and Uppababy Mesa carseat. I love, love, LOVE the stroller — we don’t have amazing sidewalks in our neighborhood and it’s a dream for cruising over uneven terrain. The thing is a tank! I like that it comes with a bassinet attachment, works with our car seat without adapters, and has great storage. The Mesa car seat is a little heavy to lug around on my own, but it does make me feel safe if (God forbid) we were ever to get in an accident with Teddy in the car. I need to look into a good travel stroller option as we start booking weekend trips for the year — leaning towards this one that can fit in the overhead bin on a plane but any recs welcome!

NEW ADDITIONS TO NANTUCKET PRINT SHOP

My brother Camden and I just added fifteen new prints to Nantucket Print Shop! This is our biggest round of new arrivals yet and I can’t wait to add a few of them to our new home. Camden’s aerial shots of Sankaty are some of my favorites to date! Pop over to see what’s new here and be sure to enter the giveaway we’re doing over on Instagram!

Rose Covered Cottage

Sankaty Lighthouse From The Sky

Steps Beach Walkway

Sankaty Lighthouse From Below

Madaket Harbor

Nantucket Cottages

Sankaty Lighthouse and Sconset Beach From The Sky

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FOUR RESTAURANTS WE TRIED ON NANTUCKET THIS SUMMER

I can’t believe the next time we’ll be on Nantucket we’ll be bringing our BABY! This past weekend was our final trip to the island before my due date at the end of September and while saying good-bye to Nantucket always feels like saying good-bye to another summer, I of course couldn’t be more excited about what the next few months have in store!

I keep my Nantucket guide updated with all my favorite spots on the island, but I wanted to highlight a few of the places we tried for the first time this summer. Some of these are new to the island and others just new to us — it’s hard to stray from our tried-and-true favorites when we dream about them all winter long! 

design darling wauwinet

First we tried The Green, a breakfast and lunch spot where you order at the counter and can eat on one of their benches outside. My dad has been on a major smoothie kick so he was a big fan of their juice menu, but it’s also a great spot to grab a breakfast sandwich or wrap en route to the beach. I probably still prefer Lemon Press in town, but if you find yourself near the rotary and want something healthy and convenient, I’d keep The Green in mind.

design darling the wauwinet lady boat service

Will and I grabbed a quick lunch at Pizzeria Gemelle, which I was excited to try as it’s by the same owner as Ventuno, our favorite Italian restaurant on the island. Maybe my expectations were too high or maybe they just need more time to work out some kinks, but I was pretty underwhelmed. The pizza was good but not incredible, and the kale salad we ordered seemed like it had been prepared days before. Maybe still worth a shot if you’re looking for a late night slice (they’re open until 1 a.m. on weekends) but I honestly prefer the create-your-own pizzas at Oath. 😬

design darling topper's at the wauwinet

dress  //  sweater  //  sunnies  //  sandals

I was so bummed when I read over the winter that Met on Main had closed — their biscuits had been one of my favorite foods on the island for the past several years. I’d heard mixed reviews of Or The Whale, the concept that took over the prime location on Main Street, before we gave it a shot and while it was busier than I ever remember Met on Main, we didn’t order anything that would have me racing back for seconds. Perhaps it’d be worth going back for dinner or drinks once I’m no longer pregnant, but for brunch we’ll be sticking to Black-Eyed Susan’s and Island Kitchen.

design darling topper's

To end on a more positive note, Will and I made reservations at Topper’s for my 30th birthday on Friday (when all these photos were taken) and I don’t know why it took me so long to get out there! We took the Wauwinet’s boat service from the White Elephant in town and enjoyed every second of it. Meeting the other couples on board kind of reminded me of getting to know other couples on our honeymoon — we don’t usually chat with other diners when we’re out to eat so it was fun to socialize for the 45 minutes out and again on the ride back to town. We did the prix fixe menu in the main dining room which was over-the-top delicious and perfect for a special occasion, but next time I want to come back for brunch on their outdoor patio for a more casual experience with the same killer views. If you’re looking for a dining experience worthy of a honeymoon or big anniversary, Topper’s 100% gets my vote. And be sure to book ahead so you can score seats on the boat!

design darling sunset at topper's

Be sure to check out my Nantucket guide for all my tried-and-true island favorites. And do tell if you think there’s anything I’m missing— I’ll keep a running list of places to try for next summer!

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P.S. What Nantucket means to me and our Nantucket wedding.