1. Any delicious, low calorie dinners you have been loving lately?
Brooke: I cooked my first real meal in over two months last night LOL! Our kitchen is still a couple weeks away from being done, but it was so good to be able to eat something other than takeout. I made these greek pitas, but added cucumber and red pepper (and used Trader Joe’s tzatziki), and made my chicken in the crock pot so it was extra tender – one of my favorite easy + healthy meals!
Meggan: A few of my recent favorites are this grilled romaine salad (seriously so good!), blackened fish tacos, and balsamic chicken with roasted veggies. Most nights I make a protein (grilled or baked chicken) and roast veggies – my favorites are sweet potato fries and cauliflower. For sweet potatoes fries I toss with a little EVOO, fresh rosemary, paprika, garlic salt, and pepper. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes. So yummy and easy! We put a lot of our recipes on snapchat so make sure to follow (@somewherelately) along.

2. I would love to know what you learned about how to use retinol. What brand? How to ease into it? How often to use it? I know it can have great benefits but I am unsure of the “right” way to use it without making it hurt more than help my sensitive skin.
Brooke: I made the mistake of using it three days in a row (oops – definitely don’t do that!), and my skin was not happy about it. I broke out, and it started peeling and became really dry! Definitely should have done my research lol. Dermatologists recommend starting with 1-3 applications per week, and “building up” from there. I found this article which is very helpful if you’re new to retinol like me, learn from my mistakes ;).
Meggan: Start with a small amount and mix it with your moisturizer at night. I would start with doing it once a week to see how your skin reacts. If it feels okay you can bump it to two nights a week. It’s definitely something you need to ease into! I use this one by SkinCeuticals which is a 1.0 – I would suggest starting with a 0.5. And yes don’t do what Brooke did, lol!

3. Any suggestions for cute (affordable) gym bags?
Brooke: I have this one and loooooove it (great replacement for a purse at the gym), and also love this one that just went on sale for $35 (down from $100)!
Meggan: This backpack is super cute (I have some workout gear from here, it’s great!), and this camo backpack would definitely work as a gym bag.

4. I’m in a family members wedding at the end of July and we are asked to wear black dresses. What are some of your favorite elegant and fun black dresses?

We love this maxi (super flattering & elegant), this drop waist dress is amaze, and this one is elegant and fun with a tiny bit of sexy.

5. Any ideas for a thank-you gift for my mom? She’s coming to help take care of our 2 year-old and help with the new baby.
We think a gift certificate for a mani/pedi or a massage would be perfect. That way she can pamper herself a little after she is done helping take care of the babes!

6. Meggan, with your upcoming wedding, how did you decide who got the invite? Since you are the bride are you inviting more people? I’m not sure what to do since my fiancé wants to invite almost double the amount of my family members I do since he has a large immediate family. I want to keep it intimate and my parents are hosting (it’s a destination too). Brooke what did you do?
Brooke: I had a very small (somewhat) destination wedding as well. We were just moving to CA at the time we would be getting married, so we decided to have the wedding in California. Neither of us had family or friends there, so we knew it would be smaller. We each invited as many people as we wanted, and it turned out to be perfect! Most likely, not everyone you invite (even extended family) won’t be able to make a destination wedding – cost, travel time, and schedules all have to be accounted for, so I’d try not to worry about it too much!
Meggan: Our wedding is going to be a lot bigger then I originally thought because we both have too many friends and family that we want there. Kyle’s family is bigger then mine and he will most likely have more from his side there but I don’t mind one bit! I agree with Brooke and not worry about it too much. My wedding planner said about 70% of the guest list comes so keep that in mind.

7. Any advice on having a toddler and a new baby? I am getting a little worried on not being able to spend time with my toddler, sleeping, eating…you name it. 
It can be challenging, especially when the toddler is looking for attention from you (it’s hard for them to adjust to having a new littler person in the house as well), but it just takes time! Having a newborn is difficult as it is, and having a toddler on top of it is honestly difficult in the beginning, but it gets better! You learn to run on little to no sleep – I remember thinking “At least when I only had a newborn, I could nap when she napped…now that I have a newborn and a toddler, I’m up all night and still have to wake up at 7 for the day…WTH!” My advice is take all the help you can get – family, friends, a nanny or part-time sitter…whoever is willing to help, take it! I think it’s important to set aside time just for your toddler so they don’t feel like they’ve been completely pushed aside – a park date, ice cream, or even just reading a book, playing, or watching a movie together without the baby. It seems impossible at first, but it gets better and eventually you will find your rhythm and once the baby is a little older & the friendship starts to form, it’s the best thing ever! You can do it! The days are long but the years are short…so cheesy, but so seriously accurate.

8. Any new lip colors for summer you’re loving?
Cruising is a favorite nude, Lady Danger is a perfect summer red, we really want to try this one in the color Rush, and these matte tints all look so good!

9. I’m heading to Napa for my birthday in a few weeks – I know it’s going to be hot! Any suggestions for outfits to wear during the day for wine tastings and for dinner? Not sure what the vibe is since I’ve never been.
So fun! Since it’s going to be super hot, we suggest sticking to clothes that are light and airy during the day. This shirt dress is super cute, love this halter maxi, and this embroidered dress. Hats are a must – we both have this oversized brim and love it. This one and this one are cute and under $40! Some options for dinner are this off-the-shoulder dress, this romper, and this top with high rise jeans.

10. I’m almost at the end of my first trimester of (first pregnancy!) and wondering if either of you used any products to prevent stretch marks? 
Meggan: I used this belly butter my entire pregnancy and ended up with no stretch marks (could also be genetics). I put it everywhere – my butt, boobs, hips, thighs!
Brooke: They say stretch marks are genetic – if your mom had them, you’re more likely to get them and vise versa. However, I used Bio Oil and I’m obsessed with it (just read the reviews), and didn’t get stretch marks with either of my pregnancies. There were times when I felt like my skin was stretching so much it was almost painful, and I was sure I was going to get stretch marks. But, once I put on the oil, it felt like my skin had so much more elasticity and wasn’t stretching at all. I’ll always use it!

11. I love/live in baseball caps and I love the blue NY one I’ve seen Meggan wear. Could you share where you got that one along with some other cute hats for moms who live in workout gear!
I’ve had that hat for years and don’t remember exactly where it’s from but this one looks just like it and this one in white! Here are some other caps we’re obsessing over: this mesh one, this black suede one, this camo, and this washed canvas one (comes in so many colors!). Want them all!!

12. I know that you (Brooke) have the white CalPak luggage. It looks perfect for me, and I’m ready to buy, but wondering if it’s held up well? I love the white, but I’m worried that it might scuff and scratch easier than another color. What’s been your experience? What’s the name of the luggage set that you purchased?
Yes! Meggan and I both have the Winton set and love it – I have white, she has black. I was nervous about the white getting scuffed up, but I’ve had mine for almost a year and haven’t had any major issues. Of course, white will get dirtier than a darker color, but it has stayed looking really good! Also, it’s super easy to clean because of the material.

13. Brooke you mentioned in your last post that you’re doing barre classes now. Any other workouts you’re doing/following? Also, any advice on meal prepping lunches and dinners?
Yes, I’m also starting to mix in yoga and pilates (I’m seriously terrible at yoga, but I want to get better), and continuing with BBG. I was on week 11 when I got shingles (so frustrating!), so I’m not sure where I’m going to start – I think I will start over on week 11 and go from there. I plan to purchase the next eBook as well (weeks 13-24) because I love the workouts so much – they are hard, but quick! For meal prepping, I think the easiest way is to plan your lunches/dinners out for 3-4 days (I usually do 3 days b/c I like the food to be fresh), make a list, go to the store, and set aside time to prep the meals – cut veggies & fruit for snacks, and cook lunches or dinners that can easily be reheated later. I can’t wait to get back to consistently eating healthy – I’ve been eating out 90% of my meals since the beginning of May and homemade food has never sounded better! The secret to healthy eating really is prepping – if it’s ready to go, you won’t be tempted to reach for unhealthy options!

14. We are about to embark on a huge home renovation and addition!  In addition we have a 16 month old and I’m 30 weeks pregnant! I have been following along with your home reno, Brooke and wanted to get some details on how you chose your appliances for your kitchen and what you decided to include and where. So many tough decisions. In addition was wondering what are your inspirations or plans for your master bath, and are you doing a master bedroom, closet and such?  In addition to my kitchen we are doing a master bedroom upgrade with closet and big master bath so was trying to sort through ideas for that!
You’ve got a lot going on girl, go big or go home right?! 😉 Renovating your home is fun, stressful, exciting, terrifying, frustrating, and rewarding all at the same time – especially if you’re planning to live there! If you have another place to go/stay I would highly recommend it…but if not (like me), it’s definitely do-able. When it came to choosing appliances we looked at everything from super affordable (my favorite was the Kenmore pro line at Sears) to more expensive and finally decided on Viking appliances after talking to our real estate agent who recommended spending a little more for resale value. I haven’t really used them yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know what I think after we’ve had them for a while. I’ll be sharing the design board for our master bath next week, so stay tuned for that! We ripped up the carpet in our master bedroom/den and added wood, and had the whole space wallpapered (with this paper), and it really made the room look so different! We have a den within our master space (but it’s a separate room) and I’m going to be making it my closet/office. My hubby says he needs more space in our closet, so that’s how that came about lol! I’m still looking for ideas for this, but I’ll be sure to share once I have an idea of what I’ll be doing!

Please leave your questions for next week below OR email us at brookeandmeggan@somewherelately.com with the subject #coffeetalk! (we search emails with that title so they don’t get lost!) xx