Around the time that we moved into our new (but very old) house, I asked my readers and followers to comment on my Instagram with any questions they had for me. Things were extremely chaotic with the move and then I started experiencing some technical difficulties that culminated in my taking a few months away from blogging while my new site was designed. However, I didn’t forget about all of your questions and here I am to answer them…
Where do you start when decorating your home?
I actually love this question. I studied Interior Design and it still is a HUGE passion of mine. There is so much information that I could answer this question with. I will give a quick, condensed answer here but it has inspired me to do an entire post on the topic so stay tuned for that!
To answer the question, my home decorating process is (usually) as follows:
I start with an overall “look” or “feel” that I want to create throughout the house. For example, am I going with a French Farmhouse feel, English Cottage, Sleek and Modern, Chic and Feminine, etc. Once I have settled on the overall “feel” I want in the house, I can start to develop some color palettes. I also love creating a “mood board” to get a good feel for what I like.
Once the “feel” is established, I start to think about paint palette throughout the house. I don’t always nail down paint colors for each room right off the bat but I do pick a palette. For instance, do I want warm or cool colors on the walls? Light and bright throughout or dark and moody? This really helps the design process and gives me a great canvas to build on for the whole house.
Next, I choose the room I am feeling most inspired by at the moment. I typically like to have the spaces I entertain in done first but every space really is important (especially my workspace!) so I choose the one that I have the most vision with and go from there.
Once I have decided on the room to work on I paint first, then start constructing the “skyline” of the room. I use the term “skyline” to describe the various heights I will create in the room with furniture, drapes, and artwork. A well-balanced room will have varying heights and widths in it, just like a city’s skyline. Decide what is going to give the room height and what is going to give width and place furniture and artwork accordingly to create visual balance. Don’t forget to choose what the focal point of the room will be! In my parlor/sitting room there is a beautiful fireplace with an antique victorian mantle. I chose that as my focal point and leave that as the hero of the room. Everything else still needs to look great but needs to be “less eye-catching” than the focal point. It needs to complement the focal point, not draw away from it. For a bedroom, the focal point is usually the bed and for an office, the desk.
While decorating and choosing textiles, work in the rule of 3’s. Stick to 3 primary colors. Use no more than 3 patterns. Build vignettes and decorate shelves with 3 different books or knick knacks in 3 different heights. This isn’t a hard, fast rule (no “rule” in fashion or design really is) but it is a great guideline and reference point.
Choose what speaks to you and inspires you and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things with your space!
Again, there is so much more I could share on this topic so I will absolutely be doing on entire post on it soon!
Where do you get your hair done?
I always keep this information on my Frequently Asked Questions page because it is a common question (and a good one!) Finding someone trustworthy to cut, color, and style your hair is invaluable. There are three people I highly recommend:
When I lived further south of the city I saw Sarah for my color and Mandy for my cut at Antoine Du Chez in Park Meadows. There are both AMAZING and I can’t recommend them enough!
Since moving to the city I see Riley at Matthew Morris Salon off of S. Broadway. He does both my cut and color and I adore him!
You can’t go wrong at either with any of these people!
What camera do you use and what are some photography tips?
I also keep my camera info in my Frequently Asked Questions section so if you ever forget and need to find it quickly, look there.
I use the Canon Mark III 5D and I absolutely love it. It is an intense camera and I feel like there is so much Sam and I still need to learn about it to get the most out of it, but it is easy to use and pretty easy to figure out. The images it produces are amazing, even with our limited knowledge.
As far as photography tips, there are a few that immediately come to mind…
When shooting full-body, standing pictures, angle your camera slightly “up”…don’t take your picture from an above angle for a standing, “outfit shot” (unless you’re looking for a really creative, artsy shot). The reason for this is that it can throw off your proportions, especially concerning your legs, and make them appear much shorter than they are.
In contrast, when taking pictures of someone sitting, take them from slightly above to keep proportions looking appealing.
Natural light is the best light there is. For bright, clear images, look to shoot between 8am-10am. For warmer, moodier images try to shoot just after sunrise or just before sunset.
As with interior decor, operating in “the rule of 3” can be valuable with photography, especially while photographing stills. When arranging things to shoot, balance it out with varying heights, textures and colors.
When photographing a person, keep in mind the 3 quadrants of the photo. In your mind, draw two lines vertically in the photo separating the picture into equal thirds. Then, make sure your focal point falls into one of the thirds. Again, it isn’t a hard fast rule but it is a great guideline.
For editing, my preferences are definitely Photoshop and Lightroom. I am still learning a lot about how to use both of them but I do think they are the best option by far.
How to accomplish things with having the kids around and how to find balance?
This is a great question as well and one that I should probably devote an entire post to. I have an answer to this in some aspect in my Frequently Asked Questions section but there is a lot to this as well that I can share.
To give a quick answer, I HAVE to schedule things out and hold myself accountable to the schedule while also remaining fluid and rolling with the curve-balls life and parenthood send. For example, I can have everything planned out and what would be a productive day can turn into something else entirely if one of the kids wake up sick. On days like that, if I hold too tightly to how I “wanted” the day to go, I can get down and frustrated. Instead, I am intentional about scrapping “the plan”, being there to care for my sick one and draw new, very realistic, expectations for what I can actually accomplish with a sick kid.
I do have help while I work (usually). I have a nanny who helps watch the kids a few days a week while a work and go to meetings and appointments. It would be extremely difficult for me to get as much done as I do if I didn’t have that help. I am very serious about scheduling “work-time” and “mom-time” so that the two don’t overlap too much. I like really focusing on my kids and family when I am with them. It is the best for me and the kids.
These types of things are so specific and different for each person and family and I think it is such an important topic. I will definitely come back to this in another post and answer this question and express my feelings in more depth.
What are your fashion tips for nursing moms?
I so enjoyed nursing both of my little ones but the fashion aspect was challenging at times.
To be completely honest, I got tired of always worrying about “covering up”, especially in hot weather and usually went “sans-nursing cover” in the summertime. I also didn’t hesitate to just pull down a loose-neck top and pull the boob out the top of my shirt to nurse (I am a very honest person, haha). I TOTALLY understand that not everyone is comfortable with that and I do have some tips for great ways to nurse in fashionable clothing.
I HATED the style of most nursing tops so, for the most part, quit buying and wearing them pretty early on. Button-ups were my friend with both babes. Both button-up tops and dresses are awesome! I also discovered that I could find basic nursing tanks and camis and wear a cute jacket or lightweight scarf over them and then pull down or snap down to nurse using the light-weight scarf or jacket as a cover of sorts. If you feel comfortable wearing and nursing in just the tank then that is truly the best for hot weather.
Another thing I loved nursing in during warm weather was strapless dresses. So easy to pull down and cool to wear even with a nursing cover or scarf.
Another trick that I used is wearing a light-weght undershirt that provided easy boob access under a loose-fitting, light weight top. I would pull up the top and use it like a cover and then access “the goods” under the shirt through the cami. This method was great for me because the undershirt kept my tummy covered and the over-shirt kept the girls covered (this was especially great for church as not everyone would have been cool with me whipping it out, haha).
A couple of my favorite places to find affordable clothing to nurse in (especially for the summer) were Old Navy and Asos (online). I also loved buying “regular” clothes versus “nursing” clothes because I am still able to wear them, even though I haven’t nursed in a year.
My fashion tips for a full-size figure
First and foremost, for ANY shape and size, I always encourage you to wear what you love. “Rules” and guidelines are great but what fashion and style come down to is what YOU feel great in.
Having said that, I do have some recommendations for a “fuller” size.
The two stores I like the best for “plus size” (I hate that term) shopping affordably are Forever 21 and Asos. Both offer stylish pieces in a variety of sizes.
I think the single most important piece of advice for this question is wear the proper size…don’t buy to big and “hide” in your clothes or you’ll look like you’re drowning (this is true for everyone of every size really) and don’t buy clothing that is too small or you will look like you squeezed into it, because you did (also good advice for anyone). Spend some time trying things on and find things that truly fit you well.
Dark colors are more slimming and light and bright colors can make things appear larger but again, wear whatever the heck color you like! (black does work miracles though, so its there if you need it!).
Small and micro patterns instead large patterns are always a great choice. It is just more elegant and draws the eye “in” to what you’re wearing.
For full-size women, I really love a great pair of fitted jeans and a waist-accentuating top. There are a ton of variations of this, obviously, but it is a great go-to look. Definitely try different shapes of jeans, don’t feel like you only can wear “flares” or something. I think straight and tapered cuts look phenomenal on full-size figures…be proud of the shape you have and don’t be afraid to show it off!
Take time to find your personal style and then don’t hesitate to try trends! Experimenting can be intimidating but it does pay off if you’re willing to try new things. Wear a great fitting pair of jeans with a classic white tee or button up and a blazer with a killer pair of wedges or flats to work and then swap out the blazer for a faux fur vest and the wedges for sexy boots for a night out.
Dresses are great too! I would recommend tailored dresses with a nipped waist and a-line skirt or some variation of this. It’s classic, flattering, and stylish.
What are good places to find great, classic sweaters?
Sweaters are a category that I don’t mind spending a little extra $$ on. This is because when I find a classic sweater, I want it to last me. Sweaters are absolutely investment pieces for me.
My favorite places to buy quality, classic sweaters at are as follows:
Equipment (carried at Anthropologie)
All of these places usually have great, stylish sweaters in a variety of prices. Depending on where you live, you will probably have to order them online but thankfully, in my experience, sweaters are pretty easy to order online. Read the reviews on each piece and compare your measurements with each stores size chart and that will give you a really great idea on how they will fit!
Thank you all for asking questions!
Always feel free to send me questions you may have and I will try to answer them in the future.
A great way that I would like to start doing Q & A’s is on the Periscope app. Download the app (if you don’t already have it) and find me; my handle is @talshooster
I will do videos LIVE and you can “type” your questions in real-time during the video so I can answer them live! It’s kind of awesome.
I can also do Q & A’s through Snapchat. Download the app, follow me (again, its @talshooster) and “snap” me your questions.
You can of course always send me questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, through Instagram, or through my Facebook page Talyah Eden
Hope the answers are helpful. I will be working on a couple of new blog posts soon to answer a couple of questions in more detail and depth so keep an eye out for those!
The black romper I am wearing is from Target but is no longer available so here are a few black rompers I love 1, 2, 3 | Hat is from Urban Outfitters and no longer available but here is one that is a similar color that you could put a black ribbon on and here is a gray one in the same style | Sandals are also gone for good but here are a couple of pairs I like 1, 2 | Fuzzy Wrap | Sunglasses (favorites of mine! and at a great price)