Hey guys… happy Hump Day! I hope you’re having a great week. The highlight of ours so far is getting a new fridge! #adulting Ours has been dying a slow death for over a year, so we bit the bullet and grabbed a new one. It’s sad how excited I am about crushed ice and new fruit drawers. If you need me, I’ll be over here arranging and re-arranging condiments.
Do you follow me on Instagram or Facebook? I love the conversations and back-and-forth engagement we have over there. I often post question boxes to my Instagram Story, inviting readers to ask me anything… and you never hold back! I figured many of you might have the same questions, or be interested in them, so I started a You Ask, I Answer series! And in fact, next to my Amazon Fashion Finds, it’s your favorite series on Hi Sugarplum!
So don’t ask me why it’s been a year since posting one to the blog!? #badblogger But it’s obvious you like them, and I’m nothing if not a people-pleaser, so let’s bring it back!! Plus, I love getting to share more with y’all, and can’t think of a better way than answering your specific questions and requests.
Let’s dive right in to the most popular questions recently!
Q. What does Mr. SP do for a living? He’s so talented on the piano!
Mr. SP’s piano segments are always favorites on Instagram Stories, I get this question more than any other! He was a professional musician for the first 10 years of our relationship, touring the country for big-name country artists (we lived in Nashville at the time) playing in everything from tiny clubs to sold-out arenas. It was a fun, and sometimes lonely season, in our relationship.
Then for a short time, he had a solo music career, but the record label folded a month before his album was to be released, and right after we moved to Texas. After processing that heartache for awhile, he realized connecting with and encouraging people was the biggest thing he loved about music. So he got his master’s degree and is now a therapist, specializing in chemical dependancy.
He was the clinical director of a group practice, but has since transitioned to a private practice set-up so he has more flexibility to help me! He handles much of the business side of HSP, like the financials, taxes, etc. He’s also hugely helpful in much of the day-to-day, and rarely grumbles about snapping pics for me. As long as I can do it in under a minute, ha! Life is never dull with Mr. SP, that’s for sure!
Q. What is the paint color of your living room bookcases/family room/kitchen cabinets/bedroom?
It never fails, anytime I post an Instagram Story from my house, y’all want to know the color of the room around me! I get it, I notice everything in posts, too! I should probably do a full blog post outlining the paint colors for every room in our house, but for now, here are the most commonly asked areas.
But don’t forget, paint colors look different in every house, so always test large samples before deciding on a color!
Bookcases & Trim / Farrow & Ball ‘Hague Blue‘ in Super High Gloss || Walls / Sherwin Williams ‘Alabaster White‘ | Living Room sources HERE
Walls / Sherwin Williams ‘Repose Gray‘ | Room Reveal coming soon!
Cabinets & Trim / Sherwin Williams ‘Mindful Gray’ | Kitchen sources HERE
Walls / Sherwin Williams ‘Iron Ore‘ cut to 50% | Master Bedroom sources HERE
Q. Does the lash serum really work?
Absolutely yes!! But you do have to be patient! It takes 3-4 weeks of nightly application along the lash line, but then suddenly one day you’ll be putting on mascara and BAM… you’ll notice super long lashes! I’ve been using NeuLash Growth Serum for a couple of years, and have never had any problems or issues, and it works like magic.
Once my lashes get noticeably longer, I scale back to using the serum a few times a week. A single tube lasts me well over six months, so significantly less than lash extensions… plus you aren’t damaging your own lashes in the process.
Q. We just booked our family summer vacation and I’m already thinking about packing! Can you share your travel necessities?
So fun! Where are you going and can I come, too? I’m working on our summer plans right now, and I’m so excited I can hardly stand it! And yes, after the years of traveling, I have a pretty defined list of essentials I can’t leave home without. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it HERE. The only thing that’s changed is that I’ve now added this genius little carry-on bag.
It attaches to my suitcase and holds a TON, making the carry-on life so much more attainable (it’s considered your personal item and fits under most seats). You can also find lots of my packing tips HERE, and see them in action in this video HERE.
Sugarplum Travel Essentials HERE
Q. How is your son doing? Did his teeth heal? When will you see him next?
Y’all are so sweet to check in on this!! Honestly, I don’t know how I would have gotten through the transition of this season without your encouragement and support. (I wrote about saying goodbye HERE.) He had a great first semester, but was so incredibly busy adjusting to new life on his own, keeping up with a larger school responsibilities, and pledging a fraternity, that he didn’t have a chance to dwell on much. Or call home much.
And fall semester is football season, which meant lots of weekend visits for us (even though we saw very little of him those weekends)! So this semester has been a little different, and as things slow down and settle in, I think the newness and excitement is wearing off for him. We’re getting a lot more phone calls, and doing a lot more listening and encouraging. This is also the longest stretch we’ve gone without seeing him, so I’m extremely grateful for FaceTime. Just being able to see his face, and read his expression while he’s talking, helps me a lot.
I’m not sure when we’ll see him next, and while that concept is getting a little easier on my heart, I’m getting twitchy to hug him! And smell him, too… so weird, I know, but I always smell my kids when I hug them! They always pull back and go, ‘Did you just smell me?!?’ Please tell me I’m not the only mom who does that?
Oh, and yes he’s healed!! He got a dreaded dry socket after having his wisdom teeth removed over Winter Break, but he’s back to blowing through his meal plan again!
Q. I love the outfits you post on social media, but how do I find the links?
If you follow me on Facebook, then the outfit will be live-linked in the caption. Just click it and all the items will pop up as thumbnail images, and each pic will take you directly to the site with the item.
Instagram is a little different because they don’t allow for live links in captions. Simply head to my profile by clicking my name in the post, then click that ‘shop my instagram’ link in my profile bio. That will open to this page on my blog, which has all my outfits posted in one spot. Click any image for details, and the thumbnails will pop up!
You can also access that page directly on my blog from the Shop My Insta graphic at the top!
Q. What’s the product you use to whiten your sneakers, and can you explain how to use it again?
Yes ma’am! My darling friend Mary shared this tip with me, and it completely transforms grungy canvas sneakers!
- Soak your white sneakers in a diluted mixture of Mrs. Stewart’s Blueing Liquid overnight.
- Scrub your shoes (canvas and soles) with a stiff brush.
- Toss in the washing machine with a load of whites and detergent.
- Dry in the sun!
- Grab your sunglasses because those babies are going to be bright!
Q. I’m ready for spring dresses… what have you found?
I’m ready for spring styles, too!! I’ve got a fun new Dressing Room Diaries coming up later this week, and it includes quite a few spring dresses! I posted a sneak of this dress to my Instagram Story last week, and y’all went crazy for it. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks! And click here for all of my DRD posts!
Fit Tip: I’m wearing a 2, and it’s stretchy.
Q. What deodorant do you use?
I’ve actually been trying out quite a few lately! I switched to using all-natural formulas last year, but have yet to find one I really like. I’d love your suggestions!
Q. What do you do with makeup/skincare you try, but don’t like?
Some things I know after just one use it’s not a good fit for me. Maybe the color is wrong, I don’t like the smell or texture, or my skin has a reaction. If the product is faulty in some way, I’ll return it. If the product is good, but just not right for me, then I add it to the donation box that goes to my mom, sisters, and local women’s shelter. (No one comes by my house without me giving them a bag of something!)
If I do like it, I’ll use for several more weeks before actually sharing with you. I am very particular with what I recommend to y’all! So you can always rest assured my Sephora Hauls are my honest and true reviews! (See those HERE.)
Q. What would you think if your kids wanted to be an influencer? Do they or their friends follow you?
I want my kids to pursue whatever path makes them happy (post education!)! As long as they’re staying true to themselves and their core values, I’m here to support it all! And yes, many of their friends, and friends’ moms, follow me! I think my kids were mildly horrified at first, but now think it’s fairly cool. For a mom anyway.
One of my favorite stories though… our son was out one Friday night last semester, and a cute girl approached him to talk. Turns out, she was with her mom who recognized him from my blog! And the mom wanted to say Hi! Ha! I told him he’d better behave, because y’all are everywhere and always have my back!
Q. How do you decide how much of your personal life to share? Does your family ever ask you to not share details?
I go through phases where I’m an open book, and others when it feels too raw or vulnerable to open up. If it has to do with just me, then I make the choice for myself whether I want to share or not.
But if it involves someone in my family or inner circle, I always ask first and respect their wishes accordingly. Often times my kids will be doing something sweet or funny that I want to record, but I always get their approval before sharing or posting.
As for the day-to-day personal life stuff… usually I just forget to pull out my phone to share it!
Q. Do you have a go-to outfit you wear when you’re running late or just not feeling inspired?
Absolutely! My best tip for days when your closet stumps you… black and white with a pop of animal print! All-black is easy and chic, and works for most occasions, but adding white and leopard keeps it from being too dark or serious. And I always top it with my favorite knit blazer! (It’s an absolute closet essential!) I have it in black and white, and wear them non-stop and year-round.
A good earring can improve any outfit, too… these hoops are my go-to lately.
Fit Tip: I size down for a shrunken fit in the blazer, wearing an XSP.
Q. What about your life would surprise your readers most?
I would imagine many people assume I spend my days having lady-lunches in cute outfits, followed by opening countless packages of free clothes, and taking free trips. But it’s actually the complete opposite!
Most days I sit alone at a computer, with dirty hair and last night’s pajamas! I talk to Sheaffer 10 times a day (she’s my work-wife!) and work 60-70 hours a week. And as for the free stuff, less than 10% of what I share is gifted (but still selected by me!). Not because I don’t like free stuff, but because I prefer to do things on my own terms and in my own time, including travel. So if I share it with you, rest assured I picked it out and bought it on my own!
For the same reason, I’m also on very few press lists, but also to limit the abundance of wasted stuff!
Q. Best product to lighten age spots on the face?
Interesting you should ask because that’s something I’ve been working on lately, too! Right now I’m using the Colleen Rothschild Glycolic Acid Peel Pads nightly, and her Vitamin C Treatment every morning.
Both have ingredients to correct hyperpigmentation (among a ton of other things!), and the spots on my cheeks are definitely less noticeable. I’ll be sure to report back after longer usage! (Code SUGARPLUM20 saves you 20% off her site!)
Q. Best advice for a young mom? I have a 2-year-old and love bits of wisdom.
Bless your new-mama heart!! I call those early year ‘the trenches,’ because wowza you’re in it! Kids are physically exhausting when they’re young, then emotionally exhausting once they get more independence. Parenting really isn’t for sissies! But the best advice I ever received and it got me through a ton of tough early-parenting times:
‘No child goes to college still sucking their thumb/wearing diapers/still taking a bottle, etc.‘
Whatever it is that feels so big and overwhelming right now, they’ll eventually work through it. It might be their timing and not yours, but I promise they’re likely to outgrow it. Where we really come in to play as parents is encouraging and loving them through it, and guiding them on the really important stuff like character, manners, and respect. For others and themselves. The rest of it comes with age and maturity.
Q. Do you have a trip report for Hawaii/Greece? Where’d you stay, what’d you do, etc?!
Oh my gosh… I really dropped the ball on these!! I shared Snapshots from our trip to Kauai HERE and HERE, which talks about a lot of the things we did each day, but never a complete and comprehensive Trip Report.
Same goes for Greece… I shared all the scoop on Santorini HERE, but stalled out with the other islands. Would you like full Trip Reports for both trips… where we stayed and ate, things we did, tips for traveling, etc? Goodness knows I have a ton of photos and notes, so I’m happy to pull it all together to help you plan your own trips if it’s helpful. Let me know!
Q. Have you had any plastic surgery to your body?
I’ve had a little Botox here and there, but that’s the extent of it! (That’s not to say I won’t try something else someday!) I definitely have the battle scars of two large pregnancies, along with the effects of aging, but I’m doing my best to stay healthy and fit, and try not to focus on the stuff I can’t control.
Losing my dad taught me a lot about savoring life and respecting my body, and I’m grateful for each new day I have!
Q. You mentioned readers sent you tons of tips for keeping a fiddle leaf fig alive… can you share those? I’m desperate not to kill mine!
I recently added this incredible faux tree to our family room (y’all… it looks better than any real one!) because I gave up trying to make mine
flourish live. You guys came through with the fiddle leaf fig tips though, so I’m going to see if I can nurse my real one back to good health! These are the most common tips y’all sent in:
- Keep the leaves dusted, because apparently dust is the number one killer of house plants (#themoreyouknow).
- Don’t over-water… just every 7-10 days.
- Take the plant out of its planter and let it soak from the bottom up in a full bathtub/sink.
- Several of you also said that my plant wasn’t getting enough sunlight and that I need to find a north-facing window or even try it outside on the covered patio.
- They also don’t like drafty spaces and to try to keep it out of the way of the vents in your house.
- Lastly, one of you mentioned that your mom puts coffee grounds in her plant!
But, if you don’t want to mess with a real one, HERE is the link to the best faux fig I’ve ever seen!
Aside from these popular questions, we also get daily requests for links. These are the most popular link requests lately!
My monogrammed cell phone case: HERE
That super-padded mattress topper: HERE
Your everyday, no wedgie undies: HERE
The Amazon bath towels: HERE
The link to my Amazon Store: HERE
The best bed sheets: HERE
The tassel on my beach bag: HERE
My new favorite mascara: HERE
The Amazon leggings: HERE
The makeup brush I use to put on my favorite CC Cream: HERE
Okay, I think that’s enough of me for today!! I hope I answered your question, but feel free to leave any more in the comments and I’ll try to include some in the next round. Some questions actually need an entire blog post to answer, so I’m adding those to my calendar to address more in-depth! #inquiringminds Find more You Ask, I Answer posts HERE.
See you back here on Friday for a huge new Dressing Room Diaries post! It’s chock-full of Spring (and Mama Sugarplum), so you don’t want to miss it!