20 Questions: Answered

I’ve had some of you email lately and ask me questions on all sorts of things, from exercise to family, so I thought I’d use today’s post to answer many of them.

How far do you typically run?

First off, I am definitely not a runner, I’d say I’m more of a jogger than a runner.  Like 10-minute miles are my kind of pace.  I just love to listen to good music and enjoy an easy run.  My max run is usually 3 miles.  If I run the entire bridge and come back it’s 6 miles, but I don’t do it that often, and I also don’t run all of that.  I like running intervals too.

How are your legs already so tan?  Do you use a self-tanner or is it a filter?

One of my grandmothers always had an olive complexion, even mid-winter.  I guess I must get her genes, but I do spend a lot of time outside too.  As far as a self-tanner or spray tanner, I’ve never used either.  I’ve always been afraid of streaking and have never wanted it to transfer onto my clothes.  But I remember being so tempted one year when all of my sisters did it right before one of my sister’s weddings.  A lot of my friends swear by St. Tropez.

Why did you stop your Fitbit the first time?

So my very first Fitbit tracker was the Fitbit Charge HR.  I started using it two years ago.  I used it for a good eight months and loved it.  That’s until I started running with the Double BOB Stroller with the boys, when the girls headed back to school.  I got frustrated that I could run forever and my Fitbit wouldn’t track my steps because I wasn’t pumping my arms when I was running.  Basically, when I was holding onto the handle of my stroller, it wasn’t counting my steps.  So I guess that’s when I stopped using it the first time.  But I’ve loved using it again these past few months!  I chose the Fitbit Alta over the Charge HR this time because it’s smaller.

You’ve done your make-up routine and your skincare routine.  Could you share your haircare routine?  What products do you use?  How often do you wash your hair?  What appliances do you use?

I’ll save my haircare routine for an entire post.  Thanks for the suggestion!

How do you salvage your hair when you’re on the boat as often as you are?

Before I head out, I rinse my hair in the shower (I don’t wash it first) then comb through Olaplex.  I usually french braid it, braid it or put it in a bun.  I basically do whatever I can to keep it pulled back.  Olaplex goes on kind of oily/sticky but once it’s in and fixed, you’re good to go.  You can also use it as a conditioning treatment at home too.  You technically only have to leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash it out, but clearly I leave mine on longer when I’m on the boat.  But it is amazing!  My hair is significantly softer after I use it, and it saves my hair from breaking off with the salty air and water.

I plan on visiting Charleston for the first time in April with my sister.  Would you suggest a 2 or 3-night stay?  What hotel would you recommend?

However many nights is totally up to you!  If you could swing three nights, one of the days you could just hang out for a relaxing full day at the beach, then use another full day to shop and enjoy downtown Charleston.  My favorite hotels downtown are Zero George, The Spectator and The Dewberry.

Thanks so much for sharing your skincare routine yesterday!  Do you still use your Clarisonic?

I do still love my using my brush, but don’t use it nearly as often as I used to.  I probably use it maybe once a week, but still think it makes a world of difference when I want to get my face super squeaky clean.

What happened to your Thirsty Thursday posts?  I always love your cocktail recommendations for me and my girlfriends!

I’ll start them back soon!  Promise!

On blogging, how and why did you get started?

I started my blog as a way to reach out to other mothers, since many of my friends didn’t have children yet.  But that still goes back to how blogging was more like Instagram back then.  In the beginning, I also used it as a timeline for myself.  I was taking so many pictures of the girls and our lives (I clearly still do to this day), and wanted a place to have them all in one place.  I still love the fact that I can search for one of my children’s birthdays or a grandparents’ visit in my sidebar and a post about it comes up.  Back then I had no idea what SSP would ever become.  It was when my friends started asking me what I was wearing in pictures and wanted to know what site to order it from that I started incorporating the shopping part into my posts.  They also loved my sales posts and when I’d share my favorites from latest collections, so I posted more of those too.  I mean I clearly love to shop so it was fun sharing it with them too.  Other friends loved it because many of them always said they didn’t have time to go to a store and shop or even have time to shop around online, so I made it easier for them to have it on my site, all in one place.

My twin sister and I are currently preparing to get our blog launched.  What advice can you give aspiring bloggers?  What helped you develop your voice and grow your readership?

First and foremost, consistency and creativity is key.  In the beginning, it was tricky trying to think of content to use every single day.  Even if it was a small bit, I posted it.  But when I started six years ago, Instagram wasn’t even around yet I don’t think.  Many of us bloggers back then would post a few pics with a small caption, like Instagram is today, and use that for a blog post.  And all of us would comment on each other’s blog posts, just like Instagram today too.  Obviously, the blog world has clearly changed since then.  But I do still remember reading an article back in 2010 when I was getting started that 20,000 blog are started each day.  While I would say the number has probably increased since then, I feel like more people are starting Instagram accounts rather than starting blogs.  So I feel like if you wanted to start a blog, I’d say go for it!  Second, be creative!  Think of what you want your platform to be and engage your readers.  The biggest challenge is thinking of new, original content everyday.

The longer you continue to blog, no matter what your main focus is, you’ll have bullies and critics.  Trust me on this one.  Don’t let them bother you.  Even if they consider it “constructive criticism,” they honestly just can’t help themselves and sadly, people believe gossip and judge you.  Like everyone who enjoys a blog, they’re not forced to read it.  So if you’re loving what you’re doing, keep at it, even when others don’t want you to, and will say anything to try and get to you.  It’s your creative space and the ones that love it will continue to read and support you.  I guess I’ve just never been a very negative person, and I can understand why it gets on pessimist’s nerves at times, but I can’t help it.  Smiling and looking at the positive things in life is just a better way to live life.  Plus, being happy and grateful in the life we live is so much easier and relieves so much unneeded stress than the other way around.  I strive to instill this love and happiness in my children too.  “Love one another.” – John 13:34.  Simple and powerful as that.

Hi there!  Just got my first Essie top and noticed it says hand wash and line dry.  I have two of the Essie dresses that both say they’re okay to machine wash (which I have and they turned out fine).  Would love some feedback about how you launder your Essie tops.

That’s so interesting.  I’ve always washed my Essie tops in the washing machine and hung them to dry.  I’m thinking that maybe customers have had issues with their tops twisting in the wash, where the seams on the sides of the top don’t match up, so maybe they’ve updated their instructions to prevent that from happening?  I’d say go ahead and toss them in the wash, just don’t dry them.  The newest Essie tops say you can wash them, just use the delicate cycle.

How do you get wrinkles out of all of your silk pieces, particularly your Elsa tops?

My mom gave me this steamer a few years ago for Christmas and I’ve never looked back.  I use it to steam out wrinkles in Lanier’s shirts too.  Takes two seconds.  You’ll love it!

What were your go-to shopping places when your boys were infants?

In Charlotte, I loved shopping at Target, Shower Me With Love and Fancy Pants (both local boutiques), Belk and Nordstrom.  When they were out of the infant stage, they opened up a Carter’s store in town.  That would’ve been wonderful to have for infant boys!  In Charleston, I love shopping at Ragamuffin, Kids on King, Southern Belles and Angels & Rascals (a children’s consignment store).

I love all of your Lululemon picks!  I’m a Lulu addict too!  Do you have any favorite pants lately that are black or navy?

I absolutely LOVE these new leggings!  Have had them on my wish list, but can’t decide which ones I like more.  The navy or the black?  The little scallops on the bottom are so cute.  They’re made for running and the dots at the bottom are reflective.

How do you get your children to still nap at the same time, even your 8-year old?

I’m not sure if I have an answer for this one.  I guess I’ve always just put them to bed at the same time, and they just know it’s time to sleep.  Trust me, if Wheeler didn’t look like she needed to nap I wouldn’t make her.  But she can seriously still sleep for over two hours on the weekends!  If we have plans like a birthday party or we’re out on the boat in the afternoon, I don’t make them nap.  It’s not mandatory anymore.  I also don’t have a certain time I put them all down for naps.  Some days it’s as early as 12:30, but if it’s after 2, I won’t make them nap.  Some weekdays the boys nap, and some days they don’t.  The funny thing is, my kids won’t nap anywhere else.  They’ve never slept in the car.

Do you still paint your own nails?

I do.  I’ve probably gone to a professional three times in the past two years.  But I honestly haven’t painted my nails in over two months.  After getting gel nails the last time, they dried out my nails so much.  They did exactly what they promised, they stayed on for over two weeks without any chipping.  But it wasn’t worth the price it did to my nails afterward.  I’ve been letting them breathe for a little while.  I’ll probably paint them again soon, now that they’re back to normal.

Do you clean your own house?  Do you have a day-time sitter?  How do you have time to do it all?

I have two ladies that come every other week and stay for two hours.  I’m usually there at the same time.  I’m putting everything away on one floor while they’re cleaning the other.  The only time we have a sitter is when Lanier and I go out.  Ha.  I wish I could do it all.  One day I swear my house will be clutter-free, but there are still baskets and drawers full of papers I need to organize, and I still need to purge some of the children’s toys and clean out some of their clothes that are too small.  But when I have the choice to rock out to whatever song they want me to dance to or play a game or read them a book, I usually choose that.  Sometimes I can’t, but I try.  The other stuff can wait.

I’ve heard rave reviews of the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray.  Have you tried it?

I’m kind of afraid of anything that dries out your hair, just because I don’t want my hair to get too brittle and break.  My favorite Oribe products are this shampoo and conditioner (great for blondes), Gold Lust Oil and the Volumista Spray I spray on the crown of my head before I dry it.

What shows are you currently watching?

Lanier and I watch Jeopardy every night.  Haha.  We only have one tv in our house, so whatever we’re watching, we’re usually watching it together.  Thankfully, I love sports just as much as he does, so we watch a lot of sports.  He’s started traveling more, so on nights when he’s not home, I catch up on everything from The Bachelorette to Project Runway.  We just finished the first season of West World.  I was so reluctant at first.  I’m not big on robots or futuristic shows, unless it’s Hunger Games or the Divergent series, but this one is so good!  Give it a few episodes and you’ll be hooked.  Can’t wait to watch next season!  We’re also big Survivor fans and I still love Grey’s Anatomy.

How do you find time to read?

That was tough for me to do for awhile.  I honestly just didn’t have the time, but I LOVE to read!  And I’m not one to read in bed.  I’d rather go to sleep earlier than stay up and read.  Plus, that’s one of my resolutions this year is to go to bed earlier.  I’ve definitely noticed a difference already.  I have so much more energy when I go to bed at 10 than at midnight.  So when do I find time to read?  I actually have recently been enjoying audio books.  I’ll listen to them when I’m folding laundry or in the car.  I think I may start taking walks and listening to them too.  I recently finished The Light Between Oceans and can’t wait to see the movie.  Next on my list, Big Little Lies.

Alright y’all, thanks so much for all of your questions and positive feedback!  Love hearing from my readers!  Y’all are the best!

Happy Tuesday!

13 thoughts on “20 Questions: Answered

  1. I never noticed that the Essie tops are handwash! I have one that’s two years old and one I got two sales ago, and both are washed and dried. No problems!
    You will love Big Little Lies. And if you don’t have HBO, sign up for February and then cancel it because there’s a min-series coming up and it looks so good!

  2. Thanks for answering such fun questions! Would you be willing to share a bit more about your new house at some point? I know you still have the girls sharing rooms but am curious how you’re enjoying the differences between this one and yours in CLT!

  3. Love those navy workout pants and I couldn’t live without my steamer either! You do it all and make it look so easy Mama!

  4. I loved this post. I went to Charlotte this past weekend. I loved Boem. Chopt is amazing. I loved the soba noodle bowl. I love Charleston. I love Taco Boy. I just started my blog. I love your tips.

    1. My friend Meghan owns Boem. I love it there too! I’m so glad you enjoyed my tips. Thanks for reading and good luck on your blog!

  5. Great post! Be sure to see Light Between Oceans! It’s one of a very, very few movies that I can say was at good as the book…be sure to bring tissues!

  6. Thanks for all the scoop! I’m planning on vacationing in Charleston for Spring Break and appreciated the hotel recommendations. Think you could do a future post about restaurants and things to do with kiddos? Thanks!

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