Ask Mara


questions, thoughts, suggestions?
Do the roman shades you featured in your bedroom decor reveal post block out light? Do you find that a lot of light comes through the shades? I am trying to make the decision between blinds or shades and need some help! What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Hi! The roman shades have a privacy backing but not a blackout option. The blackout was a possibility but because we have a fan-shaped window above, without any window covering, we felt like it would probably be pointless. I think it does block a good amount of light though and I love to see the light through the linen. I think it’s really pretty. Depending on what type of material you’d like though, a blackout backing might be a great option!! Here are some advantages and disadvantages of both though:

ROMAN SHADES in my option are prettier and they go with our design style a little better. They are more work to put up and down, unless you get an automatic controller, though, which might be a disadvantage. We got an automatic controller for the Bay Windows because there were three of them, but we have a small window to the side of the bed that’s manual and it’s not a problem at all!

BLINDS are easier to clean and you can tilt them down/up and have a window open at nighttime {can’t do that with the roman shade without raising it}. The downside is that they’re not as pretty, in my opinion. At least not the ones we had! We have blinds all over our house though so I feel like we have too many haha! I hope that helps!!

What is the best way to budget to be able to afford to try so many things? I couldn’t remember if I’ve already submitted this question. I always want to try so many things that you talk about here on your blog but I live on a very limited budget. How do you find the balance between saving and splurging?

Hi!! That’s a great question. Maybe I should do a post about it? We also live on a budget and take into consideration all of our expenses and necessities before spending. Some months I have a little more to spend on the “want” items, like beauty prodcuts and clothes. But because of my blog I do get some beauty items sent to me from PR companies for consideration. Usually these are items I don’t even know about beforehand, they just arrive. It’s so nice and generous of the companies and I try to test out what I can {and share the good and the bad} in the hopes of helping some of you find the right product. for you. I know beauty products can get expensive and I wouldn’t want you wasting money on something that doesn’t work.

I think the best tip for budget is to be realistic and separate needs from wants. Also, if you have a goal {like saving for a vacation/house/purse} that helps a lot to keep you focused. When I was younger I spent too much money on things that weren’t necessities. Now I try to curb that, like cooking meals at home for example, and that has helped a lot. It’s also crazy how fast those $5 lattes add up! I hope this was helpful but if you have any other questions please let me know. I could probably go more in depth in a blog post too!

Do you plan to do a video/post about how to style bangs if you end up hating them? I want to try bangs so bad but I’m afraid of how they will look once they are cut.

Oh I love this idea! Yes I will definitely do a post like that! I think that’s what I love about bangs is that there are a lot of ways you can style them and personally the growing out process was never an issue for me. Here’s a post I did a few years ago about tricks for styling bangs! I’ll definitely work on another more updated post though. Thanks for the idea!

Hey Mara, I love reading your blog every week. You have great style ideas and its great to see that you always add affordable pieces for the viewer to consider. Now that wedding season is in full swing I was wondering if you have opinions on wedding dresses that are not white. I love color but I am also traditional what would be some suggestions to add color to that special day without going overboard? Thank you Mo

Hi Mo! Thank you so much for reading and for submitting your question! I actually think that colored wedding dresses are gorgeous, especially if you’re not feeling the white. I think white is definitely the most classic but you have to do what speaks to you. For colored dresses, I think a pale yellow, if it works for your skin tone, would be gorgeous! I also think a light pink would be beautiful. But if you want a colored wedding dress that’s a little more dramatic I actually think black would be gorgeous, and you could make it super classy and stylish. Maybe other guests would wear white? I think that could be kind of fun! I would definitely encourage you to do what makes you happy because it’s your special day. Please keep me posted with what you end up doing!!

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