June 27, 2023

62. Advice Column: Date Nights, Friendships + Raising Babies

62. Advice Column: Date Nights, Friendships + Raising Babies

Alright friends, Nichelle and I are back on set this week!

Remember when we asked you guys to give us your pressing questions on Instagram? Well, you showed up and delivered. 

Nichelle and I are on the mic dishing to you our BEST advice on topics spanning from “how to invest in your marriage and relationships” to “where to place your tattoos.”

Think… Carrie Bradshaw vibes, but with a Life with Loverly twist.

One of my favorite parts of the episode?! I LOVED chatting about how my mom kept ‘serious chats’ with my dad behind closed doors. Tune in to hear how she pivoted a public conversation and saved everyone an uncomfortable moment!

And I really loved how Nichelle chimed in on her biggest learning lesson during the newborn phase. Those self-sufficient girlies out there? You CAN receive support and still be self-sufficient.

Here are some more of the Q+As:
  • How do you maintain a healthy marriage + recommendations for date night with your S/O?
  • How to maintain friendships + create new ones in your thirties / in a new city.
  • Have a family member that likes to stir the pot? How do you handle a relationship with them?
  • Girls can be catty. How do you rise above mean girls?
  • What to do if you’re feeling stuck at a job / not sure where to go next in your career.
  • New mom? How to learn how to ask for help when you like to be self-sufficient.
  • What needs to be in a guest bedroom to make you feel at home.
  • Our pets are a part of our family. How do you process losing a pet?
  • Navigating differing perspectives on raising kids.

Well gals, we’re thinking we might have to do a part two… stay tuned!

Make sure you follow along on insta for when we ask for our NEXT batch of Q’s.

Follow the LWL Podcast here.

Follow Brittany here.

Blogs Brittany Mentioned:

Kathleen Barnes:  7 Tips For Making Friends In A New City 

Estella Hannah Pet Portraits:  Etsy Shop

What we’re wearing in this episode (can you tell we love pink?):


You can watch the full episode BELOW

Brittany: Hi friends. Welcome to the Life with Loverly podcast. I'm Brittany, a wife, mom, and lifestyle entrepreneur here to help you discover your best daily style and encourage you to try new things When getting dressed each day, I took a tiny following on social media and turned it into a community of over 1 million amazing women and I am so glad you're here. I'll be sharing my heart with you beyond the 15 seconds on Instagram. So we'll be diving into things like personal growth, friendships, motherhood, marriage, and of course the business of blogging. Really, this space is here to serve as your go-to resource to building a life you adore while sprinkling some kindness to others along the way. Grab a nice coffee and let's do life together. I'm Brittany and this is The Life with Loverly podcast.


Brittany: Hi friends! Welcome back to today's episode of the Life of Loverly podcast. Hi. What's up?


Nichelle: Nothing much man. I am looking at the clock going okay, I've got seven hours.


Brittany: So you're going to be real productive today is what I'm hearing?


Nichelle: I woke up this morning and I was like... it's always the day before vacation and you're like, how am I going to get through today? We're going to bust some stuff out, man.


Brittany: Yeah, well thankfully we have a lot to do so we do.


Nichelle: We have a packed schedule.


Brittany: Mind occupied. I feel like there was something I was going to tell text you about last night and then I was like, no, she's preparing for vacation. This is not important. I was just trying to be like, I know she's cleaning and packing and getting their house ready.


Nichelle: Yeah. When I texted about the blog post, I was like, that was the first time I looked at my phone since I had gotten home. So yeah, I was a little busy.

You have a little celebration going on this weekend!


Brittany: I do. You guys, Hazel is turning three. This is insane.


Nichelle: I know, I'm like, it felt like yesterday she was crawling when I met her.


Brittany: I know. She wasn't even crawling yet when you met her.


Nichelle: Actually, no she wasn't.


Brittany: She was only eight or nine months old or something like that. She was like, that's true. Yeah. I took her into school this morning and they had this big sign on the door that said her name and that her birthday was this weekend and so I opened up the door and all of her little friends were like "happy birthday Hazel!"


Nichelle: That's so sweet.


Brittany: On the other hand, Collins was crying this morning because she didn't want Hazel to have her birthday and I was like, is this out of, because you're being sweet and you don't want Hazel to get older or you just don't want her to have a party and you want to have a party? So we're going to work through that today.


Nichelle: Right, right. That's so cute. I'm so excited for today's episode.


Brittany: I know we are going to do a little advice column.


Nichelle: This is going to be fun. I was very excited to see some of the questions come through. I think at first people were like, oh, well I need advice on this. And it was like, okay. It's hard to talk through it because it's a very Instagram question, but there were some really good ones that came through because we were thinking Carrie Bradshaw vibes, the advice column


Brittany: A little bit more in depth and some of these questions I feel like are, we can get deep in them. There's a few that are really deep and I feel like we need to put a disclaimer that this is just our opinions.


Nichelle: You don't have to take this advice. We're not professionals, guys.


Brittany: We're just going to discuss through what we would do. We want to make this, I feel like you're talking to your best friend, just, Hey, here's an issue. What should I do? We're going to talk through it like that. Absolutely. So take it with a grain of salt and for sure, but I think it's going to be fun. Let's get into it.


Nichelle: Awesome. So these first two questions kind of go hand in hand and I thought that they were kind of relevant to back each other up. The first one was on marriage, what do you do to help maintain a healthy marriage? And then the next one was recommendations for date night or quality time together.


Brittany: Well, I feel like the first thing is communication for sure. Open communication. If something is bothering you, have a discussion. I remember when I was growing up, I felt like my parents had such a great relationship and I feel like I never saw them have an argument, which I feel like had its pros and cons because I put them on such a high pedestal thinking their life was perfect. And then once I got older and could have some of these conversations with my mom, she was like, no, we just always chose to have our arguments behind closed doors. Oh, that's great. So that we could figure it out without it being in front of other people or in front of you guys. And she was like, it wasn't always pretty. We definitely had times where it wasn't great, but having the conversation even when you don't want to, that was always something that really stuck with me. So that's always kind of my main thing I think is communication.


Nichelle: And I think with your parents, them waiting till they were behind closed doors probably was so helpful too to help process it before they actually had the conversation. That's one thing I've learned about myself just in the relationship. Okay. I've been married 19 years, but I've also been with Robert since I was 17, so I've gone through many stages of life along side him that my communication, I guess style has changed over the years and so has and having that time to really process before you have an argument or a disagreement, okay, let's process how we're going to approach this from a better perspective, maybe even more of a calm perspective. I think that's a really great thing to keep in mind. Yeah.


Brittany: I'll never forget, we were in a group with my parents and some of their friends and I was probably in between 12 or 14 and there were something that was said that my mom didn't agree with and my dad was kind of wanting to start having a discussion and we are in front of a lot of other people and my mom just looked at him and was like, I want to continue this conversation, but now's not the place we can talk about this later. And that just silenced my dad, but the other adults were just like, whoa. That just saved everybody from watching a fight breakout. Another thing I would say too is some type of counseling. We haven't done counseling since we've been married, but I, there's been times within the last year that I've been, I really feel like there's so many benefits to it.


Nichelle: We did because we are doing it individually and we're like, we should just being in a room and have that person that could be the outside just ear or advice just taking it in. That's unbiased.


Brittany: Absolutely. Yeah. We did premarital counseling and I feel like I loved that setup of just having these discussions, but somebody else was able to moderate and facilitate. Well, how does that make you feel? Yeah. Sometimes if you're in the middle of a hard conversation with your spouse, you're not going to stop and be like, how does this make you feel? Let me remove myself from the situation and


Nichelle: Looks flip the fire even more.


Brittany: Right. It's like, ugh. Yeah. So I feel like for some reason it kind of feels like if you go to counseling it's like, oh no, things are not good.


Nichelle: Right. And I know that's how that was looked at whenever we were bringing it up. It was like, well, we're not in that kind of place. No. But also this person can help us work through some of these disagreements that we have on a consistent basis


Brittany: Or figure out how to not have those


Nichelle: Exactly.


Brittany: Because if we're both treating each other and doing things that are skills that they will teach us. Yeah. I'm just, this feels really beneficial.


Nichelle: I know. I think my biggest piece of advice is because I was so young in the beginning of our relationship, we just didn't fight. There was no disagreements. No, it was very happy for four or five, possibly even six years. And so when the first disagreement broke out, it was like, are we okay? Why is this happening

That that's normal to disagree with each other? It's going to not think the same. You're not going to have the same thoughts or beliefs about every single thing in life. There were things that came up about politics, there were things that came up about just how to raise kids. So many things came up that it was like, okay, we have to navigate through that and figure out how we're going to meet in the middle.


Brittany: Right. Yeah. It's tough, but it's something I feel like you really have to work at. I don't know, to me I'm just like, there's not an option for failure here. No.


Nichelle: You have to choose to want to work for it.


Brittany: Right. And if you show up like that every day, like I feel like that's going to send you in the good right direction.


Nichelle: Exactly. Exactly.


Brittany: A follow up question was recommendations for date night and quality time, which I think that really helps keep your marriage alive.


Nichelle: We just recently got back to that in the last year, year and a half. And it was like no exceptions, we have date night. Every week. And it didn't mean we had to leave the house, but the girls would go upstairs and do their own thing and we would watch movie together and sit on the sofa together and have popcorn and be intentional about having conversation or it was going out and having a date night because we didn't do that for many years because I was a very young mom.


Brittany: I feel like y'all's work schedules were all over the place.


Nichelle: Very. Yeah. We were like ship sailing in the night. He was working the opposite of what I was working. So when life got to a point where we were like, we got to make time for us again, it's not all only about the kids anymore, it's about us too. So it was fun to be able to go out and just have a conversation across the table and enjoy having just a drink and we didn't have to worry about getting out of the restaurant at a certain time. Right.


Brittany: Yeah. No crazy meltdowns. I know. It's funny because we try to do the same go on weekly date nights or just whatever, but it feels like if it's been two weeks in a row that maybe we haven't, I feel like at some point in the week I'm just like, gosh, we haven't even had a real conversation. You feel it. We need to get out and have a discussion and just get back on the same page. I love a good date night. We've been playing a lot of, not a lot, but we've been playing golf together and then doing dinner after. That's been really fun. And it's been cool to see. Chris is actually really good at golf. I didn't realize he was actually very good. And so he's teaching me, but he's such a great teacher.


Nichelle: Oh, that's great.


Brittany: He loves to be like, okay, here, let me show you how to do this or no, move your foot back.

But he talks you through it really well. He was a lacrosse coach for high school when we first started dating and were married and I'm like, you really need to go back into coaching because he just explains things really well. He wants you to try it, but he's not going to let you fail without, I don't know. So that's been kind of fun, which is interesting. And sometimes I'm like, I got this, I don't need your help. And so for him to just be like, okay, but if you want my help, this is the right way to do that. But that's been a fun thing we've been doing this summer and I'm like, maybe I'll just become a golfer.


Nichelle: Love that.


Brittany: I love it. Add to my list of crazy responsibilities through the day!

Okay, so next question. How to maintain / make friends in your thirties? I feel like this is a tough one.


Nichelle: It Is. I don't know that I have a great answer for that. I know what I've learned over the years. I personally have always put work first and that really dwindled down on a lot of the friendships that I had over the years. But making sure my friend and I make sure that we schedule it again. We schedule a date, we are busy people and it feels like at first I was like this's so sad. We have to schedule it, but it makes it work. Instead of like, oh, well this weekend's not going to work, let's just do next weekend and then keep pushing it off. It's like it's going in the calendar and if it's on my calendar at this time, this is what we're going to do and we find something new to do every time. And it is, it's fun. So I think that if you are struggling to maintain friendships, make it happen, make time for it if it's important to you.


Brittany: Yeah, I agree. And I feel like having friendships right now, it's like you want the friendships that are life giving. That you feel like there's a value added. I went to lunch with a friend the other day and she text me after. Cause we'd kind of been like, we really want to get together. And then I finally was like, listen, let's just go to lunch. And she was like, thank you so much for pursuing the friendship by asking me to go to lunch. That really means a lot that you, because we text all the time or we talk or our kids are playing, but there's something about adult one-on-one time. Yeah. I also think FaceTiming or if you think about your friend, send a text message and that can kind of keep you guys going. Cause there's so many times I think about my best friend Molly, who lives in Atlanta, I don't see very often and I'm just like, gosh, wonder what she's doing? Hope she's having a good day. And then I start doing something else. I'm like, that would've been a great time to just be like, "Hey, thinking about you. Love you. What's going on? How's the pup?" And even if she sends one text back, but then we'll go weeks without talking. But I've thought about her so many times I could have just said, "Hey, how are you?"


Nichelle: Exactly. Letting each other know that you're thinking about them. I love the FaceTime one because my friend Hannah and I will do that every now and then. I'll be in the car and I'm wonder what she's doing and just call her. And it's so nice to be able to just see her face. It's very different than just a text message or voice memo or whatever.


Brittany: I know I'm very excited to soon be living next to my best friend.


Nichelle: Yes.


Brittany: I know. We always talk about how I'm like, we're just going to be in this little bubble. But thankfully she's super outgoing and is always, she always has people coming over and stuff like that. So I think also there was another question that was sort of similar about connecting with friends or if you moved to a new city. So we moved back to Athens three years ago and I feel like I had one or two good friends from just growing up. And I was sort of like, how am I going to meet new people? I have young kids, I have a demanding career. I just don't really want to put myself out there to strangers to go meet up and have a play date. But sometimes you have to put yourself out there. Especially in a new city. I need to find this blog post and maybe we can include it in the show notes, but my friend Kathleen Barnes, she's also an influencer and she lives here in Athens now, but previously she lived in California and moved around in California for her husband's was doing medical school and residency and all the things.

And she wrote this awesome blog post about how to find friends when you move to a new city. And it was just a few bullet points. And I remember reading it being like, oh my gosh, I'm the problem. I'm not putting myself out there. I'm not attempting. I'm just sitting here being like, I want a new friend. How come nobody wants to hang out with me? And it's like, does anybody even know that I'm here? So there were so many great tips in it. So we'll find that and put it in the show notes for you guys. If you're maybe moving, this would be a great resource. And Kathleen's a great follow too on Instagram. I think her Instagram is just Kathleen Barnes, but she's a great friend and person to follow and she's moved a lot. And so I'm like, okay, yeah, this is advice coming from somebody who's been in this situation.


Nichelle: Force yourself to sign up for something that you're going to enjoy. So people are going to be there with that same passion. So I don't know, a yoga class, I don't know an art class, just something that you can get yourself out there, and making sure that you're in a class when you go I'm sure that there are certain activities that churches will hold and make sure you go to those if that's something that you're passionate about and you're going to find like-minded people who you're probably going to have something in common with.


Brittany: Totally. I mean I think about even people who say they've met some of their friends and close friends on the playground, their kids are playing. I mean your kid are just buddies with whoever's willing to play with them. And so I think it's just kind of being open but also protecting yourself. At the end of the day. I feel like you do have to protect who you are as a person and what you're really needing. You don't want to become friends with somebody who's going to suck the life out of you.


Nichelle: No, I think for me personally, that's why I have my little baby circle because that's what works for me. I don't know that I could manage 15 friends at all time because that's not the lifestyle that I lead. And I'm okay with that. Some people may, that's how, that may be how they thrive. But I am a very specific person and I need friends who are going to meet those specific needs. And I think that's why friendships have dwindled over the years because they don't bring me joy.


Brittany: Totally.


Nichelle: So A follower has a hard relationship with their sister-in-law and she feels like this person likes to stir the pot a little bit. She's wanting to know if they need to be friends.


Brittany: I mean that's kind of tough because I guess I feel like I have some follow up questions. Do you live in the same town? How close are your families?


Nichelle: I feel I remember this question too and the sister-in-law was like the husband's brother's wife.


Brittany: Okay.


Nichelle: But I don't remember anything else that was really said that was specific. I think that one thing that I have learned through therapy is boundaries. And you're allowed to have them. So if it's something that, again, if it's not a relationship that necessarily brings you joy, I don't feel like if you don't want to be friends with this person, you don't have to be friends. But you are family at the end of the day. So that's where, I mean you'd be there for each other for their events. Events and special occasions and things like that. But I mean nobody's forcing you to hang out with this person.


Brittany: I think it's like if you are at the end of the day still being kind and nice, and even if she's not being that way to you, but you have these boundaries and you've kind of been like, this is just not something I need to thrive. I mean you don't have to call and text them all day every day.


Nichelle: No, but I think as long as when you're in person with them, as long as you're being who you are.


Brittany: That's probably the route I would go to if I was in this situation


Nichelle: With anybody who stirs the pot, you don't have to feed into it. That's where you get to step back and be like, I'm not really interested in having that conversation.


Brittany: And I feel like that can definitely be hard. And especially if the person is really wanting to pull stuff out.


Nichelle: People who are good at it will do it.


Brittany: You kind of have to be strong, but you have to be okay with that. And once you get to that point where you're like, this isn't my responsibility to worry about them, I feel like that will help you feel better about the situation.


Nichelle: Agree.


Brittany: Okay. How do we rise above mean girls?


Nichelle: I think it's kind of goes along that same advice. You do not have to feed into that. No, I, I'm just going to be very honest, I have a group of women in my neighborhood that take up the pool every year and they're known as the mean girls of the neighborhood. And it makes me so sad. It makes me so sad because that's a community place where you could go in and meet new friends, but I don't have to feed into that. So I will sit and I will have fun and I will enjoy my time. What they think doesn't matter.


Brittany: I just, it's so tough with mean girls, especially mean moms. And sometimes we see it on people who send messages or dms and stuff that are just so off.


Nichelle: That's the majority of where we see it for sure.


Brittany: And I'm like, you look at their Instagram bio and it's "raising three girls" and I'm like, And this is, if this is what you're doing behind closed doors, how are you raising? I know your kids it. I don't know.


Nichelle: Yeah. I think It puts a fire in me to not be that person. For sure. I'm like, I see how I feel on the other end. That is something I'm going to work very hard not to be and raise my children not to be.


Brittany: Right.


Nichelle: Makes you feel gross on the other. There's no need for that. So clearly they're working through something. And that's what you have to remember. People who are out there being mean, and especially behind a keyboard, they're working through something personally. And it's not necessarily, you aren't the problem. It's working through their own problems. And if you can separate yourself from that, that is huge. It's hard. But it is huge.


Brittany: I think just being very secure in who you are as a person and what your standards are. And if somebody around you or in your friend group is just not where you're wanting to be then and they're being mean. I mean, I just feel like I don't have a tolerance. If you're going to be mean, then that's like, I don't want to be around you.


Nichelle: Yeah, I agree.


Brittany: But I know that it's, there's a lot of probably layers behind some of these questions.


Nichelle: There are a lot of layers I'm sure. Yes. So hopefully this is helping a little bit. Just from an outside perspective.

So this person wanted advice at, on feeling stuck at a job or just unsure of the future when it comes to their career? I feel like I've been there. Yeah, I know. I've been there a lot.


Brittany: Yeah. I mean I guess it's depending on, are you wanting to move up and you feel like you can't, are you wanting to leave your job and you feel like it's just not the right time? I think I would just really almost make a pros and cons list. And kind of be like, what's the pro of staying here? What's the pro of moving to a different career? And then really go through and see what makes the most sense for you. And I mean, I would even write, journal out some feelings that you're having and maybe circle back to those to see are you just mad at a situation that happened or do you think it's time to go?


Nichelle: Yeah. I know I had a job that I absolutely was. I was so passionate about it for so many years and I was on a really great growth path, which was what was important to me was growth. And when you start to feel stagnant in a job, there's no growth opportunities. I mean, you do get to this point where you're like, I do, I feel stuck. You're not feeling fulfilled. And at the end of the day, I ended up leaving that job because of some situations that happened. But then I had resentment towards it, towards the whole thing. And when I was able to kind of break it down, that was the first time in my career where I was like, it wasn't the job. It was the situations that surrounded that last year of me being there. But at the end of the day I was like, I wasn't really passionate about it.

I was passionate about the growth, but I wasn't passionate about the whole situation. So knowing that and really picking through this is something I told you, I wanted a chance to be more creative and I didn't have a creative outlet where I was. And that's what was holding me back. So I hit a point where, I mean literally I started therapy to try to break down those feeling those emotions and those feelings and everything. And I literally got to a point where things didn't feel like they were going my way. And I just started praying. I literally just started praying. Because I was like, I need to change because I ended back in a situation where I was in retail again, where I was like, I'm just not happy. I'm not where it's supposed to be. And I know that about me now. And literally that's why we always say it was a God thing that we met each other. Because I'm like, it had to be because there was nothing put into action at that point other than I was just literally praying for change.


Brittany: And I think that's another thing that is really cool about prayer is if you feel stuck, start praying. Have that conversation. Just ask for clarity for direction. Where do You want me, what do You see for me next? Can you show me what you see for me next?


Nichelle: Give me some sign of kind of sign to let me know what the next.


Brittany: Can I get a sign?


Nichelle: Literally show me what is next, what is the next step that I'm needing to take in order to get to where I want to be. And yeah,


Brittany: I feel like a combination of all of that stuff can maybe just help you feel, understand maybe why you're feeling stuck or why you're feeling unsure or other doors could open. I don't know. But that writing it out, I feel like is a great place to start too.

For sure. Okay. Our next question is how to learn to ask for help because you like to be self-sufficient.


Nichelle: We know nothing about that


Brittany: Especially after having a baby. So,


Nichelle: So I learned from my first child that I did need to ask for help. I almost didn't want help because it was my first child and I was like, I got this, don't touch it. You was like, I have her, it's fine. And man, I needed help. I needed family and I wanted friends because I feel like there are those months afterwards where you feel so lonely.


Brittany: Even before, in between the time of you had the baby, everybody wants to see the newborn baby. 

Everybody's like there helping you out. And then there's like this lull and then it's


Nichelle: Everybody goes home...


Brittany: And then you still have time maybe on maternity leave or something. You're still just trying to figure out your groove of how to have a baby.


Nichelle: And in that moment it's not about you. It's like baby, baby, baby. And then you start to feel, I know I started to feel like I've just lost myself. I was like, because I have a boob or I have a baby attached to my boob at all times. And then I'm not even sleeping because I'm like, okay, the baby is asleep and she okay, are they breathing? Are they breathing? Is everything okay? It just literally, you get so wrapped up in that. So I pushed everyone away. I was like, that's fine, I'm fine. I don't need help. And second go round, I'm like, you want to come stay for a month?


Brittany: You want to come? Who wants to help?


Nichelle: Can I go take a bath? Can I go take a shower? Can I wash my hair please? Can I eat a meal?


Brittany: Yeah. I think it's also important in this specific situation with having a baby is talking to your partner before you have the baby and letting them know, "Hey, this is really where I'm going to need you to step up. I'm going to need you to remind me to eat or just actually bring me a sandwich."


Nichelle: Exactly.


Brittany: And remind, help me through. There was like, we didn't do that really. I mean, I didn't know what I was getting into. No. When I was pregnant with my first, and then all these things started happening after. And I'm like, Chris just gets to leave and go to work. And exactly, this is, I still need help. What exactly what is happening. So with our second beforehand, I was like, Hey, I really need, there's times where I might just be nursing. If you're making yourself lunch, go ahead and just make me a sandwich too. Or if you're getting a snack for the kids, can you just bring me a snack over here too?


Nichelle: When you're breastfeeding, it's almost like, I don't know about you, but I didn't have an appetite and so I'd forget to eat and then I'd feel miserable and it was like, oh my gosh, I didn't eat anything all day today.


Brittany: And your body needs double the nutrients.


Nichelle: Exactly. So it's like you just help remember, can you take care of me as you're taking care of yourself? Help me.


Brittany: Yeah. And I think, we've had a few friends who've recently had babies and other friends have set up meal trains and even for three months. So maybe they're not getting it every night. They have set it for two nights a week, but it's for over the course of three months. So there's just constantly nights where food is getting delivered. That's an awesome thing. I mean, I think even setting up a grocery delivery for friends, I remember when one of my friends had a baby, they were in the hospital for a little while, got home, I came over to visit and I just brought, stocked their fridge with groceries. Cause I was like, you guys are not in the mindset of we need to go to the store.


Nichelle: You're in reaction mode at that point, right?


Brittany: Yeah. I think coming over being a friend that just offers to come over and Hey, let me do your dishes. Can I throw a load of laundry for you here, I'll take the baby. You go take a shower. You know what I mean? And then everybody knows their friends a certain way, but just at least offering for sure. And then to this person that's like, I don't need the help. Accept the help. You will be better for that fresh shower, for that little nap, for that load of laundry you didn't have to do. It's going to calm you. Yes. You're going to be a better mom spouse if you accept the help. It's hard to do. And I feel like once I learned in my life to accept help and that it was okay, you don't have to do it all. You know what I mean? I feel like we're so wired, especially in this day and age of I will be the best mom. I will have the best career. I'll be the best wife. I'll do all the things.


Nichelle: And the thought about you think people can do it all, how do you do it all? Yeah. Not by myself.


Brittany: Right? Absolutely. No, I So I think it's just you kind of getting over that mindset that it's like you're not a weak person because you're accepting help. It's actually going to make you a better person because you be like, your cup will be filled.


Nichelle: Right. Exactly. Exactly. I loved this question. This was fun for me.

What needs to be in a guest bedroom to make the guest fill at home?


Brittany: Okay, this is a great question because I actually literally just had this thought. I walked into our guest bedroom yesterday and we've got some friends coming next weekend to stay with us. And I was kind of looking around and I was like, there's a few things I need to do to get this in shape for guests to come. But I, I feel like it's missing something, a personal touch. I know some people have little gifts or something. I mean, you tell us. I feel like you've got some ideas.


Nichelle: Well, I think this is just honestly not even from having the passion of doing home decor. It's from just being a guest. If there a bathroom, making sure that there's things that are accessible. I'm actually setting up for somebody to house sit for us next week and I'm enough clean towels so they don't have to wash anything. All of the body products, even if it's just travel size that you have in the shower for them, making sure that they're, I mean, sufficient bedding, so not everybody sleeps the same. So making sure that there is something that keeps somebody warm and there's also something that keeps them people cool. You have sheets, you have a flat sheet, you have a cover, a duvet, and then you have a blanket at the end of your bed. I think those items are perfect. Having several pillows to choose from, because again, not everybody sleeps the same. Is there a fan option in there? Is there an option for curtains to close in there to be darkness or or light, things like that?


Brittany: Yeah, I know. I remember going to a friend's and not just going over to her house and we were moving some stuff in her guest bedroom. And so I was like, oh, your guest room is so cute. And she had a little photo frame that had the wifi password on it. And it was just sitting on the nightside table and I was like,


Nichelle: Can't think of that for vacation. But I didn't even think about that.


Brittany: I know that would've probably helped Maddie.


Nichelle: That's going to help me night when I get everything ready for Danny.


Brittany: I think having towels set out, and it's funny because I feel like we have towels in our guest bathroom underneath the cabinet. And then right outside of our guest bedroom, we have another linen closet. And obviously I know there's more towels in there, but I'm like, no one else would know that. So it's making sure the underneath towels are all stocked. Yes. Before, even though I'm like, oh, they're just right there if somebody needs more. But how would anybody know? Yeah. I mean aren't your guests aren't going to be hopefully snooping around your closets?


Nichelle: I think also maybe people do normally bring their cell phone or their laptop, so you'll have the wifi, but maybe even at possibly a TV for some sort of entertainment. If they don't feel like they could go into the common space at a certain time. They have something that can keep them busy. But just making it comfortable, what would you need? What do you need in your room to keep you comfortable at night? And just remembering that whenever you set up the guest space.


Brittany: Totally. When we went to Austin a few weeks ago to visit some friends, they had these cute little bags for the girls and then it was kind of a thank you note. Just a note that was, we're so excited to show you around Austin, thanks for coming. Here's a few of our favorite things. And it was a little t-shirt that said Austin for the girls and then a hat for me. And I think a t-shirt for Chris. And obviously you don't have to get a gift for your guests, but I thought that was a really cute touch coming an out of town guest, giving them something to remind them of the place that we just visited. And then I think on the flip side, as a guest coming into somebody's house for that trip, I brought them a gift as well just to say thank you for having us and hosting us. And we are here for four nights or three nights or whatever. So I think it's always nice to bring something if you are staying with somebody as a guest.


Nichelle: You made a good point. Even if somebody is coming in from out of town, maybe even writing down a list of things that you could do together. Here's some of the great things that we suggest around here. If there's something that you want to do, this is the list that


Brittany: Yeah


Nichelle: We suggest. But yeah, no, I think just thinking of that's their, that's going to be their home for however long and making sure that they are comfortable along their stay.


Brittany: Another thing I think mean, obviously some of this is should be, you would think just duh, but making sure all the toilet paper is stocked. Yes. And that there's even more stocked or that there's tons of washcloths or just almost over prepare Exactly. A bathroom. Just because you just never know. I always feel like that's super helpful.


Nichelle: Agree.


Brittany: I feel like this is a sad kind of a one, but I feel like you've got some good advice on this one.


Nichelle: I've got some of this under my belt already. Yes.


Brittany: Okay. This question was how to process losing a pet.


Nichelle: Yeah. It's tough. And this is coming from a huge animal lover, especially my dogs. I've had a lot of animals in my lifetime and it's never easy. And especially if you are in the thought process of they're my family. So I think that I honestly have learned to grieve because I've done it so much and it never gets easier. But I think just honestly having that memory of you've got to spend that time with them. It just with a person, think of the good times and how are you going to remember them. I love talking about it now. I used to not talk about it and keeping it trapped in was just so tough. So I actually met somebody at Kristen's shower and she was like, I lost literally the love of my life and I just wasn't ready for an animal and I had to give myself a year.

And then it finally was in my heart. I am ready to move on. And I think that's the thing for me, it was not to replace the animal, but having something else to focus on and give my love to was I want to get, want to get another puppy and show or dog and show them the love that I'm missing out on. Giving to this last pet was so, and of course I take it to the extreme, which is so funny cause I think it is actually the next question, but I memorialized some of my dogs with tattoos. That's just how part of the healing process for myself. But it's like to remember them, the dachshund on my foot is for Roscoe, he was literally always under my feet. That was what we always said. Oh, your little foot dog. He's like trailing you around right under your feet. Everybody used to say that. And so I'm like, that's where I put it so I can remember him.

Brittany: This is very applicable.


Nichelle: Yeah, exactly.


Brittany: I know. I feel like there's no easy way and everybody obviously grieves differently.


Nichelle: 1000%.


Brittany: There is somebody that I follow on Instagram and her name is Hannah Estelle or Estelle Hannah, is her Instagram. And she is an artist and she does pet portraits. And so I think it's for one of my friends, her dogs passed away and I found an old picture of her dog and had Hannah draw a picture of it and then gave that to her. And it's like, okay, that's a way to remember. And it's like they're always going to be with you in your heart. Yeah. I mean it's It's not easy for sure.

Sure. I feel like I dread the day that Birdie is no longer with us. I feel like I'm going to be hard because she literally sleeps on top of me every night. My 80 pound bed buddy is when she's not with me, I'm like, oh, something is missing. My back support is gone. So I can't imagine what that's going to be someday. But I'm like, I'm just not going to think about it until the time comes.


Nichelle: Yeah, don't worry about it till it gets here. Yeah. Yeah. Indy one of my gold, she was actually my first golden retriever. She's the one that made me love, love the breed. She was three when she passed away, so it was very, very hard for me. But I think just she was like my soulmate. I literally, I know that sounds so crazy, probably to a lot of people, but I'm going to own it. She was literally my soulmate. And so that was the hardest one for me. So sweet. But I think just again, I got another golden, not shortly thereafter, but I did get another golden because I was like, that's literally the only thing I can think to do to just put that love towards another animal. And yeah, it's still hard, but I felt like the healing process was a lot easier.


Brittany: Yeah, totally. So tough.


Nichelle: So this person wanted to know, how did you decide where to put your tattoos? Because they were saying they're tasteful.


Brittany: Well thank you. I feel like for me, I have 11 tattoos for those of you that don't know that and not all of them are visible. And that was kind of the thing that I wanted to do. I wanted them to all be in places. If they needed to be hidden, I could hide it. And they are all for me. Each of them has a special meaning for me. So I put them where I would remember what it is. I feel like a lot of them are on my arms and on the inside of my arms or on the back of my elbows. And that's just places I feel like if I'm writing or looking down or that I just remember them or think about them. I think tattoos, in my opinion, they're such personal things. So somebody might be like, oh, my calf is where I need this to go because for whatever reason, this is super personal for me. And that's why you might see somebody with a calf tattoo and be like, that would never do that. Whereas I feel like all of mine are very dainty and very specific. But I think it just is kind of very personal. And for me, I wanted to be able to hide it if I needed to. But then I also wanted them to just be small reminders throughout the day when I noticed them, it was like, yes, it's the reminder is what I wanted always.


Nichelle: Exactly, exactly. I started mine out with not thinking about that. My very first one was like, I want to hide it where nobody can see it except me because it has so much meaning. And it was when Chinese symbols were in guys.


Brittany: Good times


Nichelle: Shows my age, but I had it on my lower hip and I was like, even if I wore a bikini, it would be covered. My appearance won't see. And then it was just kind of free for all. I had one put on my back, which was, it's fine. That could be covered if I wanted it to. And then I was like, let's get some stars for me, Robert Maddy. And that's really not even what it was for. So I'm like, I have these stars that I regret now on my feet. There's a couple of them. I've had two, three tattoo, three gr, three coverups, three coverups. And because I'm like, huh, regretted that Yolo moment.


Brittany: You're like, huh. So I will say, so the best advice I got about getting tattoos was from my dad because he was like, I told him, I was like, "oh, when I turn 18 I want to get a tattoo." And he was like, I don't know, I why? You know what I mean? I don't think anybody in my family really had tattoos before. And he was like, well how about this? Once you turn 18, if there's something that you want, think about it for a year. And if you still want the tattoo in a year, get it. Yeah. You've thought about it. Something that means something to you, then you can say, this is genuinely something you really want. So I was like, okay, that's fair. And I've just really respected my dad. So I was like, you know what I mean? I feel like some people would be great. Well I'm 18 so I'm going to the tattoo parlor right now. But for whatever reason, I took that advice and then I kind of applied that to a lot of my other tattoos. Maybe not giving it a year's worth of thought, but giving it a lot of thought and putting a timeframe on it and then going to get it. So then, I mean, I feel like there's still a few that I'm looking back years later, I'm like, does that still mean what it meant when I thought about it for a year?


Nichelle: Exactly.


Brittany: But I mean that's just kind of part of getting a tattoo.


Nichelle: I'm like, it's just my story guys. This just part of the story. I do feel like I have gotten a lot more intentional about when I get and what I get tattoos of. But I was given that advice too. And I waited till I was 19 and a half I think, before I got my first one. And I was still so scared because my parents were like, "NO". And here they are, they have tattoos now. But that was something I wanted a ferry. I wanted a ferry for years. And I was so glad I waited that year. Cause I was like, why would I put a fairy on my body


Brittany: Instead, you went


Nichelle: Chinese. It was something my mom drew, there was a reason for it. She actually had a mural on my wall of a ferry from, and I literally kept it for a decade and I was like, I want that. Yeah. I'm so glad. Stars are great compared to that, so we'll take that. But yeah, just being very intentional because I mean, it is forever and a lot of things can't be covered or removed. And what I've told the girls too, and I actually was shocked. Madison wanted a tattoo for her birthday and she's been very patient because I told her, I was like, you're going to have to wait till after vacation, the sun, all of that. You're going to have, you need to protect it, so you're going to do it. And I was like, what do you want? Because I'm like, she's going to go do it if she wants. You know what I mean? I'm like, what do you want? I would rather go with you to somebody I trust. And she's like, I want a heart just so I can remember to be kind and be a good person. And then she was like, I want my last name. I was like, okay. I mean those are good.


Brittany: Right. Okay.


Nichelle: I can get behind that. So I'm hopefully they've learned from me


Brittany: That is every parent's hope. It's like,


Nichelle: Ugh. Exactly.


Brittany: Okay, we've got one more question. We saved the deep question till the end and we actually have a few more that we're going to cover in a future advice column podcast episode. So I hope you guys have really enjoyed this. Cause I feel like this has been some kind of fun conversation back and forth for us.

So the last question is, in their thirties, talked briefly about their viewpoints on having children before they get married, before they got married. Now the wife questions and when they should have children based on the husband's beliefs on raising children and that he believes it should be just them for a while without children. He has an older mindset on children, for example, not going out to eat a lot, not doing fun things, not vacationing with children based on how he was raised. Any advice on if they should have children or what to start with. It's I feel like a lot.


Nichelle: There is. I think that for other people to think about before they get married, yes, I want to start there.


Brittany: Agree


Nichelle: That conversation should be had.


Brittany: Yes.


Nichelle: And not just touched on,


Brittany: I have a friend who they have since been divorced when they got married, she kind of always said, I don't want kids. I don't want kids. And he kind of was like, okay, I do, but maybe she'll change her mind once we actually get married and all of her friends are having kids. She did not change her mind. And he was like, I really want to have a family. I thought this was, I mean, that is what ended up causing their divorce. And so I think being very clear when you are dating somebody and there, it's leading to these future conversations on marriage and what that looks like and how you want to raise family. I think another important thing we discussed in our premarital counseling was how we want to raise kids and how we want to have a family. We both came from different religious backgrounds and so in my mind I was like, well, we're going to raise 'em the way I was raised. And he's like, we're going to raise 'em the way I was raised. And I'm like, no, we're not. I mean it was, there had to be some give and some tough conversations that was like, is this going to be the right thing for me in the long run?


Nichelle: And not expecting, don't expect that you're going to be able to change somebody. I mean, maybe things will transpire in the future, but do not expect that to be the situation, especially in your friend's case. How many times have we heard of that happening? Oh, well, I just thought they would change their mind later into the relationship. And it's like, so people are being very honest whenever they say stuff like that.


Brittany: Totally. And on the other hand, I have another friend who they were both okay with not having kids. They were, I just don't know if that's going to be for us. And he sort of maybe wanted kids, but they really were very clear on the same page. We don't really want kids. And then they have changed their mind and actually have a son now. But it was like they were not going into it trying to change the other person. It was like, we are a team and very clear on this. And if that changes


Nichelle: They grew into that decision later.


Brittany: So I think the first point would mean when I first read this question, I was, I feel like they to bring in a counselor


Nichelle: Exactly.


Brittany: Or have some open conversations with some people they really trust just to get them thinking. I think maybe talking to him a little bit more on how he was raised because it sounds like maybe he saw his family not doing all these things and their excuse was because they had kids when that doesn't necessarily have to be how he can break the mold, but there's probably a lot more underneath that needs to be discovered.


Nichelle: Yeah. Because I think there are two different type of people. I'm going to raise my kids the way that I was raised because I feel like I know how that worked, right. And this is what the outcome was. And then there are other people that are like, I know how I was raised and it doesn't necessarily mean that it was wrong, but I want to do something different and this is how I'm going to parent. So maybe even asking him, was your childhood happy?


Brittany: Do you want to redo that? Or are you not wanting to have kids because you don't like that? So even maybe taking it back a step further beyond bringing in a counselor in maybe just her going to him and with a list of questions and just being like, Hey, I want to have, this might get uncomfortable. This might be a hard conversation to have, but can you please give me an hour that we can just discuss some of this just so I can be hyper aware of what your feelings are and then we can figure out where we're going to go from here. I guess the question on any advice, if they should have children, that's going to be something that you guys decide. Yeah. You know what I mean? We're both moms and love being so I feel like we're like, yes, have children. They're amazing, but that's ultimately going to have to be the one to make that decision. I think starting with having those very intentional conversations and then bringing somebody in to really facilitate them and try to get to the root of the problem as to maybe why he's not interested in it. And then to those of you who are maybe not married yet who are starting to think about this type of thing, really having those conversations beforehand to make sure that your values and future viewpoints are going to line up.


Nichelle: Yeah, it goes back to the very first question that we had. Communication. You've got to have that before you go into a marriage. It needs to start off with very strong communication.


Brittany: Well, this has been a fun episode.


Nichelle: It has been. We have so many more that are sitting here, so we're like, we have enough for episode two. I know.


Brittany: I know


Nichelle: It's, we're going to do it here into the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for that.


Brittany: Yeah. Well, we appreciate you guys being here. And as always, thank you so much for choosing to download and listen to Life with Loverly. I know there's so many podcasts out there, so we really appreciate you guys pressing play on ours and we will talk to you soon!


Brittany: Hi friend. If you're loving the show, will you go find that follow button on your podcast app? This will ensure that you won't miss a single episode. I love having you in this community. Until next time, this season of Life with Loverly is produced by Elizabeth Evans Media Productions.


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