Meggan: I don’t have a set budget (probably something I need to do), but I know I can’t go crazy every month and never spend more than I make. I put most of the money I make in savings, but keep some out for groceries, bills, and life. Whatever I have leftover I let myself spend on clothing/accessories. I try to buy things that are under $100 and are versatile, so I can mix and match with what’s in my closet. It can be hard with so many blogs and Pinterest, the temptation is real!
Brooke: Okay, my answer is going to be long, so feel free to skip question 2 if you’re not interested in budgeting lol. When we were first married, this was definitely a huuuuge learning curve for us! I was working full time, but each of us were so used to controlling our own finances, so it was a challenge getting used to sharing the same account. My husband is big on planning (and budgeting and saving – literally nothing he loves more than creating a budget spreadsheet in excel lol). I would get so annoyed with the questions about “What did you buy at Nordstrom? Target? etc” that we realized we had to figure something out so neither of us felt annoyed. We came up with an agreed upon amount for buying clothing, accessories, etc. And I can tell you it was NOT a lot lol – just about enough to get my nails done and hit up H&M once a month. We’re at a different place now, and the way I budget is very simple. I use a 50/30/20 rule – I contribute 50% of what I make to our “family account” for bills, groceries, etc, save 30%, and spending $$ comes from the last 20%, so he’s not really involved with my spending anymore. You have to just find what works best for you (especially if you’re engaged or married) because finances can be very stressful for couples. The best piece of advice I’ve received is never spend more than you make & you’ll always be in a good place! My tips as far as budgeting go – don’t open credit cards (always use a debit card or PayPal), save as much as you can reasonably, but at least 15-20% (you’ll thank yourself later), and if there’s something you want to splurge on, start setting aside money for it little by little (don’t put it on a credit card!). Also! sit down with your husband/fiance/boyfriend or anyone you share an account with to have a “budget meeting” once/week – it can feel like a drag, but it’s freeing to know where your money is, how much you have saved, and to set goals together for the following week/month/year.
2. We just did a little kitchen reno and now it’s all white errwhere! Brooke, I loved the way you used wood accessories to warm up your kitchen. Can you give me some suggestions on where to find some? Also, do you have any suggestions for a light fixture for over a round kitchen table (under $200 if possible)?
How exciting, congrats! Love this wood & marble cutting board, this one, this one is so beautiful (a little expensive, but you will have it for years and would be gorgeous on the counter!), and this one is so fun with the design on it! Light fixtures under $200 we love – here, here, and here (looks identical to like a chandelier I just saw for $5k – wow), and here (also looks designer)!
3. What tennis shoes do you guys wear for running/exercise vs. what sneakers you wear for just running around/errands/athleisure?
Meggan: I workout in the Nike Free Flyknit (see my post about them here) and the Nike Juvenate. Both are super comfy! For everyday I love my Stan Smith sneakers, Nike Theas (have a couple colors), and Golden Goose sneaks.
Meggan: It is definitely a lot of work but I enjoy cooking so I don’t really mind. If I can, I try to prep some things while Camden is napping so I don’t have as much to do at dinner time. And Kyle is always so helpful with the dishes since he knows how much work goes into cooking! A glass of wine always helps too 😉
Brooke: The struggle is real, lol! I’m not going to pretend it’s easy, because most nights I’m trying to get dinner done (or started) while the girls are going H.A.M (5-7PM is the busiest/craziest part of the day for me). But, I do make it a priority to cook at least 4 nights/week so we can all eat healthy. Most nights my hubs will help me clean up after we’re done, but some nights we’re both just too tired, so I leave the dishes until the morning. I try to do as much cleaning up as I can while I’m cooking, so there’s not as much to do after we eat.
5. What makeup bags do you both use?
Meggan: I use a Clare V. flat clutch and a camo bag that Sanctuary sent me (don’t see it online sorry!).
Both of us love that LV bag, it’s definitely a classic and so cute – even though a lot of people have it now, we still love it. We will continue to promote this bag forever b/c we love it so much (bonus, it’s super durable!). Yes, it has become popular now, but that will phase out and it will always be a classic! We also love this one, and this one!
7. What shows are you guys currently watching? I need something to binge!
Meggan: This Is Us (tear jerker), Big Little Lies, Top Chef, The Voice, and we just started The Sapranos. And of course all my reality junk – Vanderpump Rules, Real Housewives and Summer House. Wow it sounds like I watch a lot of tv lol!
Brooke: This Is Us (YES, best show ever!), Big Little Lies (I upgraded our cable to HBO just to watch this lol), Imposters (new on Bravo, SO GOOD!), Real Housewives, and The Bachelor.
8. I have been wanting Sorel boots forever and finally snagged a pair after you posted the were on sale. I want to wear them this weekend when I head up to the mountains for my birthday ski trip but need some ideas on how to style them!
Yay glad you got a pair – that was such a good deal! For a casual look you could do something like this (love the plaid button down and socks!), this, or this (can’t go wrong with all black).
9. What are your quick makeup routines when you only have 5 minutes to get ready?
Brooke: I shared my full makeup routine yesterday, but when I’m in a rush I only use the primer (always prime), foundation, concealer, setting powder, bronzer & mascara. It takes 5 minutes, and is definitely that “no makeup” makeup look.
Meggan: This is pretty much my daily routine because I don’t wear a lot of makeup during the day unless I have something going on! This Bobbi Brown concealer (bisque), Estée Lauder foundation (just got it and not sure if I love it though), blush (my favorite blush is Nars Orgasm and Lovejoy), Laura Geller setting powder, and a swipe of mascara!
10. I’ve seen you guys mention dpHUE products a handful of times and have been curious! What are your thoughts on the apple cider vinegar hair rinse? I’ve been wanting to try it but the reviews are mixed. Do you have other favorite products by them?
Meggan: I like the rinse and think it works really well! I use it once a week or when I have a ton of build up in my hair. You can feel it cleansing your scalp! I also really like their color boosting gloss. I only color my hair a couple times a year and this is great for between colorings. It brightens your hair and brings it back to life!
Brooke: I think that is my favorite product from dpHUE! I loooove it and my hair feels so fresh and clean when I use it!
11. I’m leaving at the end of March for my best friend’s bachelorette party in Charleston and struggling to find outfit ideas. We will be there for three days. Any ideas?
This dress is really cute, we love the details! This dress would be perfect for brunch, and for a night out we love this dress, or skinny jeans and a fun bodysuit like this one!
12. My husband and I are planning a trip to Chicago with our three boys (9, 6 and 2) in August. Would you please recommend some family friendly activities and restaurants? We also have one night out without the kids. Do you have any dinner recommendations?
Chicago has great museums – the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium. You could also hit up the Lincoln Park Zoo (it’s free), architecture boat tour, Millennium Park, Navy Pier (a tourist trap but fun for kids!), or one of the beaches! A couple kid friendly restaurants: Café Ba-Ba-Reeba, Little Goat, Crosby’s Kitchen, and Summer House. You can also bring them out for some Chicago deep dish – Lou Malnati’s, Roots Pizza, and Gino’s East are good! For date night I would go to GT Fish & Oyster (SO good), Momotaro, RPM Italian, Girl & the Goat, or Hub51 (they have a huge menu and the nachos are yummy!). You should grab a drink at the Signature Room, it has the best views of the city. OMG now I’m hungry and miss all my Chicago spots. 🙁
13. My sister is getting married mid-March! This is my first time in a bridal party and need some suggestions on what to wear to the rehearsal dinner. It’s pretty formal and is in Tampa so it will be warm!
This dress is pretty and would look great with nude heels/wedges, love this one in dusty rose and this ruffle one is super cute.
14. I’m going to Hawaii in May and searching for some cute maternity dresses and bathing suits. Any suggestions?
Meggan: So fun! When I was pregnant and went to Vegas (that was weird) I wore regular bikinis that tied and they worked perfect. But a couple cute maternity suits are this black one piece, this retro one, and this strappy back one. Also wear a ton of sun screen!! Your skin is extra sensitive when you are pregnant and will burn more easily. I didn’t know this and I got severely burnt and still have scars from it!
15. Meggan – I believe it was it you who got the IPL treatment on you chest. Did you get that done in Dallas? So curious as I want to start doing those sort of treatments and I’m overwhelmed by all the places to choose from.
Yes that was me! I go to Unit Skin Studio. I saw it one day when I was leaving Trader Joe’s and gave them a call to see what type of services they offer. The receptionist was so informative and the next day the owner called me to see if I had any other questions and said I could come in for a consultation which I thought was so amazing! Stacy, the laser technician is awesome and I definitely recommend seeing her. I’m going back in a couple weeks for my second chest treatment.
16. I have a wedding in Iowa at the end of March and need outfit ideas. I’m currently doing fertility treatments, which have caused some weight gain (uhg!), so I’m looking for something flattering.
This dress is so pretty and has a nice cut to hide extra weight, this one comes in navy & black and has a great wrap cut & long sleeves – both super flattering, and the print on this dress is really pretty!
17. Have either of you been to Tulum? Any recommendations for places to stay or things to see?
Neither of us have been to Tulum, so sorry! We don’t have any personal recommendations :(. BUT, this article has some great recommendations!
Please send your questions for next week to firstname.lastname@example.org with #coffeetalk in the subject or leave them below. Have a fun and safe weekend! xoxo