1. How do you keep your houses so clean and no clutter? Do you have a cleaning lady or do it all yourself? I have a 3 year old and 1 year old and I’m just having a hard time finding time to do the deep cleaning.
Okay so I’m a little OCD when it comes to tidying up/clutter. I think it’s just programmed in my brain to clean up constantly (can be a blessing and a curse!). I try to pick up and do light cleaning while Cam is napping and we always pick up at night after we put him to bed. I cannot go to bed or start the day with a messy house! I try to keep the toys in one area (I organize with baskets and this toy bin) so it doesn’t look like a bomb went off everywhere. Also, having a puppy helps because we can’t leave anything laying around or Warren will chew it up lol. I get behind on deep cleaning too because honestly, who wants to spend their time scrubbing toilets lol. I’m planning on getting a cleaning lady when we move to the new house (probably just once a month). Everyone who has one says it’s the best money spent.
Brooke: OMG no, my house has so much clutter! If you’ve ever seen me do the “instagram vs. reality” on insta stories then you know ;). That is another goal I have for this year – less clutter/stuff! I do try to keep my house looking as clean as possible, though (aka shove the clutter in drawers) – I wrote a blog post with all of my cleaning tips/tricks here. Those are my tips to keeping it together as much as possible without a cleaning lady. I get way behind on deep cleaning like Meggan said, so I do feel like I need to start looking for someone to help with that. It’s so hard with kids – I feel like I clean up, turn around, and they’ve made another huge mess, so I feel you!

2. What face primers do you use?
Brooke: I use this one from Hourglass (best for dry skin, use this one if you have combo/oily) for nights out/full makeup, and I use this skin perfector as a primer for day-to-day (love the instant glow it gives!).
Meggan: I use this Charlotte Tilbury one and really like it! You can wear it alone for a light dewy glow!

3. I LOVE getting mail so my goal is to start sending more cards, small thank you’s, for birthdays, etc but I’m more of the last minute person and forget to send those small cards then it’s too late. How do you guys show gratitude? I always think when sending a thank you gift it has to be this extravagant thing, so I stop in my tracks because I’m not made of money then I just don’t do anything and feel real shitty after. Any suggestions for alternative routes of how to show gratitude?
That was one of my new year resolution goal last year! One thing that has really helped me with this goal is always having cards, thank you’s and stamps on hand! I went to Target on stocked up on a bunch of cute cards and keep them in my office. I also have everyones birthdays, anniversaries, life events, etc. on our calendar so I don’t have an excuse of forgetting! And a thank you definitely does not have to be extravagant. I think sending a hand written note is the best way to show your appreciation – especially since everyone texts and emails these days! You could include a small gift card to somewhere they love too.
Brooke: That is such a great thing to do, and I’ll admit – I’m SO bad at sending actual mail. Definitely something I need to work on, because I love getting cards in the mail as well. If I forget to send a thank you and feel like it’s too late like you said, I will call the person and tell them how much I appreciated whatever it was (a gift, a card, etc). It feels like all anyone does is text anymore, so I love having a real phone conversation with someone, it seems more genuine/thoughtful than a text. Another thing you could do if it’s “too late” to send a thank you card is send someone a small giftcard – like for Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts along with a note like “Sorry this took me so long, but THANK YOU! Your next cappuccino is on me!” – even if it’s just $5, who wouldn’t love a surprise/free coffee?!

4. I’m looking for a faux cowhide rug for the fireplace/sitting area of my bedroom. Any suggestions for a cute one that’s not too “dead animal” looking?!
Love this one from World Market, this one from Wayfair, and this one from Overstock – love the gold!

5. Favorite cross training sneaker right now? Something you’d wear for a workout such as Orange Theory where you’re going to be running, lifting, etc.?
Brooke: My favorites for workouts like that are these Nikes and these Adidas Ultra Boosts. The Ultra Boosts are probably my favorite – but be sure to go down a full size if you order! I’m usually an 8, and I wear a 7 in these.
Meggan: I’ve worn the Nike Flyknit sneakers for working out for a few years now and love them! They are really lightweight, comfortable and hold up really well.

6. How do you ladies keep up with all your DM’s? You guys are always so nice to respond/send pics/details whenever I ask (so I assume you do that for everyone), and just wondering how you manage that?
It’s actually starting to be a lot – we could really spend all day responding to DMs on instagram – we get so many questions, and sometimes a lot of the same question, so we’ve started posting the answer if we get a lot of the same which helps!

7. I’m looking for some cool graphic tees like the Gucci ones but not the same price tag 🙂
Lol us too! A few graphic tees we’re loving are here, here, here, and here!

8. Meggan – what do you plan on doing for Kyle’s 30th? My guy turns 30 in April and I wanna make it special, but have no ideas!
We aren’t sure yet! We want to do a trip but have a few dilemmas – saving money for the new house, spring is busy for Kyle, and we might start trying for baby #2 soon (Zika). We might end up visiting our friends in AZ or doing a staycation in Dallas at our favorite hotel and have a special night out!

9. I’m planning my friends bachelorette party in Scottsdale this April. Since you went there for your bachelorette party, I am wondering if you have any recommendations? Looking for things to do, places to eat, where to go out, etc.
See #14 on this post! xx

10. Brooke – can you give some details on the sleep app you’re using? That’s one of my resolutions and I’d love to know how to track my quality of sleep!
It’s just the FitBit app from the app store! It pairs with my FitBit Alta, and tracks my steps (obviously), workouts, and sleep. I love it! One of my new year’s resolutions was to get more sleep, and I love seeing how much I’m actually getting with the app. I would say it’s very accurate – the times it says I’m “awake” are spot on.

11. My 25th birthday is coming up in early March and I am going to be spending the weekend in NYC with my girlfriends. Looking for outfit ideas if you have seen anything cute lately for dinner/drinks. It will probably still be cold so I want to keep that in mind, and it doesn’t need to be over the top but I am looking to stand out in a subtle way if that makes sense. Would love any suggestions from both of you!
I went for my birthday last March and I remember it was sooo abnormally freezing lol. That didn’t stop us from having fun though. 😉 Some cold but cute cold weather favorites are this faux fur jacket, this bodysuit, this jumpsuit, these booties, this coated denim, and this blouse. Have fun!

12. I have (and love) the Spanx faux leather leggings in black and typically wear them with oversized sweaters but I want to dress them up for a nice dinner date with my husband and need suggestions for a top to pair with them. I’m 8 weeks post partum so nothing too tight through the middle please!
Love this one (in black), this off-the-shoulder sweater (so many color options!), and this tank (throw a duster cardigan over it in the winter).

13. Meggan – you said you prefer Dysport over Botox, did you have troubles with Botox? I’m having issues with it and they told me to try Dysport!
Yes! I’ve tried Botox twice and it just didn’t work that great compared to Dysport. It took longer to kick in and didn’t last long at all. I would definitely try the Dysport if your esthetician recommends it! It’s a little cheaper too 🙂

14. I’m getting married next year and am already shopping around for dresses/shoes. I’m thinking about splurging on a really nice pair of Loubotins, but I’m not sure if it’s really worth it. What shoes did you guys wear? Do you have any less expensive alternatives? I definitely want something similar to a Pigalle, or an open toed sandal.
I bought a pair of Jimmy Choos, but decided last minute to change my shoes to a cheaper pair and I’m so glad I did. I think everyone’s opinion on this is different, and some girls love to have a special wedding shoe, but at that time, I felt like it would be a waste to buy expensive shoes to wear one time. The pair I decided on were super comfortable and that was the best part! If you want to splurge on the Louboutins, I would say be sure you can wear them again! I love this pair as an alternative. They are the same silhouette as the Loubs and on sale!
Meggan: To me, an expensive pair of shoes was not worth it. They would barley be seen with my dress and I was scared of trashing them (which I did!). I got a pair from Nordstrom Rack for like $30 and was happy with them! I agree with Brooke – if you get Louboutins make sure you can wear them again! Some pretty pairs I found under $200 – here, here, and here!

15. I’m looking for work appropriate leggings. I need them to be stretchy and comfy yet look polished for work. Any ideas?!
You can’t go wrong with Spanx leggings! We both have the faux leather pair and are obsessed so we can only imagine that the plain black pair is amazing too. Read the reviews – so good!

16. Any tips for being present in the sense of family and friends? I know you both live far from your families (maybe not Kyle’s) so I’m curious how you make it all work. Some background, I am not married but have a boyfriend of two years, I live at most an hour away from family (I’m in downtown Chicago they are all in burbs) and I of course have  a very weird family dynamic to add to the mix (think 3 families and a boyfriends family to visit all during the holiday’s) I also have a full time job, serve on an auxiliary board and volunteer a few times a month. How do you make everyone happy? Just coming off the holidays, I’ll be honest, they aren’t fun because of having to make sure everyone is happy and I’m seeing everyone. So stressful!
That sounds like a lot! I wouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself, it’s hard to see every single person you feel obligated to during a set period of time (like the holidays). We usually do one holiday with Chad’s family and the next with mine, and visit each of them throughout the year. It’s maybe different because yours live a little closer – you could set “dates” with the important people you want to see. Like just put it on the calendar…a lunch or a coffee date, that way you can both look forward to it, and you can try to make time for everyone you want to see but don’t have a ton of time to catch up with regularly. I’m sure your family and friends would be understanding with how busy you are, but if you feel like they aren’t, maybe you could just talk to them about it. They might not realize how much stuff you’re actually involved with on a day-to-day basis.
Meggan: Retweet everything Brooke said! The holidays should be enjoyable for you and it is literally impossible to please everyone and make it to every single event. Until a few years ago I was in the same situation – I had three families to visit while I was home and felt like I was just constantly in the car going from event to event. If they were on the same night I would spend a couple hours with each side which was fine but not as enjoyable as staying in one place. Now, if something is on the same night I’ll pick one and ask the other side of family if we can do a small celebrate a different time. You just have to do what feels right to you!

17. Brooke – what are your thoughts on the instant pot? I got one for Christmas, but I’m scared to use it too! I love my trusty crockpot!
I think it’s great if you’re short on time (shredded chicken in 20 min!), but I still prefer chicken in the crockpot (it gets more tender). I’ve only used it twice though, so I can’t say for sure my true feelings on it yet ;). A lot of people said it makes the best hard-boiled eggs so I need to try that! Any other instant pot recipes I should be trying? I need help, clearly! lol

18. Favorite flat black ankle booties?
I have this pair and really love them!
Brooke: I actually have 0 black flat ankle booties – only OTK!

19. I have super thick “horse hair” (as I’ve named it). I wear it straight and my goal is not to have to wash it daily. Problem is, all the dry shampoos I buy give me volume and texture which I desperately don’t need. By the second day I can’t even put my hand in my hair. Any recommendations for a dry shampoo that does nothing more than absorbs the grease but doesn’t increase volume, etc?
Hmm it sounds like I have the same texture hair as you! Have you tried the Aveda one? It’s pretty light and really absorbs oil.
Brooke: I was going to suggest the Aveda one as well – it’s a powder, not a spray, so I think that would probably be better for your hair in terms of not adding any volume!

20. I’m looking for the perfect white blouse for my closet. I’m having a hard time finding something that I can wear to work without being too sheer.
Here is a classic cut
with great views (doesn’t look too sheer), if you’re looking for a button down we love the sleeves on this one – so fun but not too crazy, loooove the black bow tie detail on this one (on sale!), and this one is so pretty!

21. Meggan – how do you like your nano Céline luggage tote? I absolutely LOVE the look and really want one but have been afraid to pull the trigger. I was concerned it’s too small considering as a mom my bag is always so stuffed!!
I’m obsessed with it! It’s surprisingly roomy and holds a decent amount (a lot more items than my other smaller bags). I wouldn’t use it as an everyday mom bag but I can fit my wallet, keys, phone, lipstick, sunglasses, and a few of Cam’s things!

22. Any brand recommendations for newborn clothes for boys? I’ve looked on so many websites and can’t find anything I love. I feel like there are so many options for girls, but not for boys!
Ugh get used to it! The boy selection in every store is minuscule compared to the girls lol. For Cam I usually shop at Zara, Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, Gap, Target, and Nordstrom. When he was a newborn I feel like he lived in Burts Bees onsies and jammies – they have really cute basics!

23. Have either of you used Rodan + Fields face products?
I’ve only tried the lash boost and had an allergic reaction to it!
Brooke: I have not tried anything from R+F.

24. Meggan – I also try to be very environmentally conscious. Unfortunately my wardrobe and fashion are the hardest for me to change. Have you done any research or thought more about sustainable fashion? I could use any helpful advice or tips!
That’s definitely an area I need to work on too. Fast fashion (Zara, Topshop, Asos, Forever21, H&M) is one of the most harmful industries on the environment (this is a good article and so is this). Two things to work on are: purchasing from ethical and sustainable brands & stop buying trendy/cheap pieces that will be tossed. Obviously these are not easy changes because sometimes it’s hard resisting that cute Forever21 top. I would love to hear changes other people have made when it comes to this topic!

25. I’m looking for simple, chic gold hoop earrings that aren’t super big, and under $75. Any ideas?!
The only pair I have are these – they’re oversized but definitely don’t feel too big. A few other pretty pairs are here and here!

26. This is a kind of a boring question, but I need new camisoles for everyday – to wear under sweaters, work blouses, etc. Basic colors (i.e., black, white, gray) and would prefer longer lengths.
This one
sounds exactly like what you’re looking for, it’s the perfect layering cami! Get the regular length – it’s a little bit longer!

27. I live and work in Philadelphia. My morning commute consists of a train and a 1 mile walk. I am looking for a good commuter shoe/boot for the current cold months. I have Sorel snow boots, and Hunter rain boots, but need something less bulky, and still practical and cute for my everyday 18-35 degree weather commute.
These boots
are so cute OMG (and look a lot easier to walk in than Sorels), these Uggs have great reviews, and these boots look less like snow boots, but are still waterproof and have great reviews!

28. What are you favorite places to get brunch in Dallas and Chicago?
My favorite Dallas spots are Mudhen, Toulouse, True Food Kitchen (we’re pretty much regulars there b/c it’s right by our house ha), and Mercat Bistro. And for Chicago I love Beatrix and Three Arts Club Cafe! I’m sure there a ton more cool places that have opened since I moved – this seems like a good list.

29. Do you have any good gift ideas for girlfriends? My best friends birthday is coming up and she always gets me the most thoughtful/sentimental gifts and I’m the absolute worst at gift giving. I usually opt for a bottle of wine and gift card but I’m trying to step up my game.
If you want something sentimental, we love a pretty picture frame with a photo of the two of you and maybe a candle or her favorite lipstick to go along with it! And a gift certificate to the spa is something we both like to get as a gift 🙂
30. I have a wedding coming up in Florida in February and in need of a dress to wear! It is a beach wedding and I will be 6 months pregnant. Do you have any sites you recommend for maternity dresses or ideas on dresses that would be good for a Florida beach wedding?
Loove this one – so fun! This one is gorgeous, but a little pricey, and this one is cute too! ASOS has a lot of options that are budget friendly!
Please leave your questions for next week below or email us at brookeandmeggan@somwherelately.com with #coffeetalk in the subject!