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Ask Jess–On killing house plants, Friendsgiving decor tips, and more!

Ask Jess

Hi guys!

Apologies for the less frequent posts over the past couple of weeks–I’ve been working on a lot behind the scenes which I’ll share as soon as I possibly can–but, it’s taking a lot more of my time than usual, haha! It will be worth it though, I promise. Thanks for your patience in the meantime!

In other news, how was your weekend? Mine was busy! We dressed up as our favorite Queer Eye idols for Halloween ?We got to meet our friends sweet new baby, we cleaned the house and I worked pretty much all of Sunday, but that’s okay–its all exciting stuff! ?? I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well.

ANYWAY–we’re back with another Ask Jess post in my Q & A series, and I’m answering five more reader questions today. Let’s jump in!

Have you found any good ways to not kill your house plants? 

HAHA. Ummm…yes and no. I kill my plants often because I simply just forget to water them (?) but these things called “plant nannies” are the best–they’re teracotta plant spikes that you put upside down wine bottles filled with water in and it keeps your plants going to where you don’t have to water them as often! (I.E. reduces risk of plant death, but does not completely prevent if you have mushy spazz brain, like me ?) You can read my whole post on them here!

I’m hosting Friendsgiving this year but I am so not a Martha Stewart. Do you have any easy tips for creating a pretty tablescape for someone who is terrible at this stuff? 

AH I feel you. Same here. I just have no time nor do I really care that much about dedicating time to things like “tablescapes”–here’s what I did for my last dinner party: I got three mini pumpkins at and put them on the table alternating with some bunches of fall flowers (I bought three mini fall bouquets at Whole Foods!) and brass candlestick holders (mine are vintage and you can find lots on eBay and Etsy!) with white taper candles–dark grey would also look really pretty! (I’d also highly recommend this sticky tack to keep your candles from wobbling and falling!) It’s really simple but makes an elegant statement!

What kind of camera and lens do you use? Who takes your photos? 

I use a Canon 6D with a 35mm 1.4 lens. It’s the main lens that I shoot with as well as all my blogger friends–I recommend it over the 50mm which is the most commonly recommended lens for two reasons–1. You can get a LOT more in the shot (a 50mm is virtually impossible to photograph a group with indoors) and 2. It’s much more flattering when you’re taking full body photos (so if you’re a blogger who posts outfits, it’s definitely a game-changer!)

In terms of who takes my photos, it depends! I have a couple different photographers I shoot with–Cassandra, Hannah and Julie are three I always recommend to everyone! I also often shoot with my blogger friends if we’re together and it’s convenient–or in a pinch, Neal will shoot me (especially when we’re on vacation!)

I’m trying to transition all my products to safer, non-toxic options but it’s kind of intense and overwhelming. This is so random, but what kind of laundry detergent, household cleaner, etc brands do you use? 

Agreed! It’s really overwhelming haha! So my favorite brand is Mrs. Meyers because it does a really good job and honestly smells SO. FREAKING. GOOD. Like, I look forward to cleaning–that’s how good they smell. They have everything from household cleaners to detergent. My second favorite is Method! Their products don’t smell AS good but they have a much larger variety (i.e. you can get floor cleaner, glass cleaner, etc as well) You can order pretty much all these products from Amazon!

Can you share details about your closet reorganization? Saw on Instagram stories but haven’t seen a blog post yet. I want to re-organize my closet and was curious as to which products you found most helpful! 

I can’t share the big reveal YET ?but I can tell you that we used Elfa products from The Container store! I can’t tell you what a game-changer it was to go in and meet with a designer who can actually re-work your existing space better than you ever thought possible!

Also, I would very much recommend hiring Contained Home Specialists (these are basically third party organizers that have relationships with The Container Store!) to come over after installation to re-organize your closet. It was life-changing. I worked with Shellie and Hannah from Chicago Organized Home–I can’t recommend them enough–if you live in Chicago, you must reach out to them! Tell them I sent you 🙂 Stay tuned for the big reveal (it’s coming in January, I know, a long time to wait–I’m sorry!)


Want more Ask Jess? See ALL my Ask Jess posts right here