My Q1 Challenge: Shop My Closet

I’m a shopaholic! It’s always been one of my favorite hobbies and I get such a thrill from buying clothes.

These days with online shopping, it’s triple the excitement: perusing the sites and filling your cart, ordering and getting the shipping notification and then finally when the package arrives at your house!

However, this year one of our family goals was to aggressively save and finish paying off outstanding debt including our cars, student loans, W’s college fund, etc. Part of setting ourselves up for success included doing a financial audit. This was eye opening as I truly saw how much I was spending on clothing.

While I still LOVE shopping and will continue to add to my wardrobe, I wanted to set some boundaries and issue a personal challenge to myself.

Part one: I have set a monthly shopping budget. That way, I have funds to spend if I so desire, but there is a limit. I think this will make me more accountable for my purchases and will make me think twice about whether or not I need the item versus it being a must/lust purchase.

Part two: I challenged myself to “shop my closet” for the entire first quarter of 2019. That means between January 1st and the end of March NO PURCHASES. Rather than buying new clothes, I’m looking through the pretty extensive fashion collection I already own and putting together outfits.

The result? Well I’m almost one month into the challenge and like any addiction, it gets easier every day. I must say, “shopping my closet” has revealed some great pieces I had totally forgotten about and even crazier some pieces with tags I’ve never even worn.

Writing about and sharing my challenge with you is also an important step as it will keep me in line. Excited to share more once the end of March comes around.

Have you ever “shopped your closet?”

PS – all the photos included in this post featured outfits I already owned!

Happy Closet Shopping,

Ivette

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Westley is FOUR

It’s hard to believe that today my sweet little guy turns FOUR! I feel like it was just yesterday that we were on our way to what would be a super fast labor and delivery and a whopping one hour and thirty-seven minutes. And the four weeks of delirium that follows during those long nights where you’re not sure what day or time it is.

Then it’s onto the fun times of seemingly every day your little one teaching a milestone. Tummy time, rolling, crawling, out everything in his mouth, waddling, walking, talking, running and climbing.

I’ve truly cherished every moment we’ve had with Westley. In the last four years he has grown and experienced so much with us! I absolutely love living through his eyes. From our travels to his love of museums and food to his fascination with Santa and Christmas. Everything is so much more magical with him!

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I’m excited to see what this next year holds. He’s growing up and expanding his horizons. Soon he will be in Pre-K and continuing to learn more and more.

This is an exciting time because he’s really developing into his own person with unique views and personality, but he is still my sweet little baby who loves to snuggle with his mama.

I will cherish every hug, kiss and snuggle because I know one day he will not be as lovey dovey as he is right now.

I’m so proud of this little boy. He is kind and loving, curious and energetic and really funny! Happy fourth birthday, Westley!! May all your dreams come true. We love you so much.

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Be A Goal Getter in 2019

I’ve never been a fan of resolutions. For the most part, people make them and then fall off the proverbial wagon shortly thereafter. I read somewhere once that most people give up on resolutions by early February. So the odds are not ever in your favor.

Instead, I’m a fan of goal setting. Goals can be short term or long term and the word just inspires better results than a resolution ever would.

This year, we have set family goals for the first time, which is very exciting. We discussed what we want to accomplish together this year and beyond. I think it’s important to set short-term, attainable goals that then trickle up to longer-term goals. This way you have some wins along the way. Most of our goals will likely take longer than a year, but that’s okay. We have a starting point and a roadmap to get there. Now we work toward the finish line.

Additionally, I have set personal goals for the year to ensure that I’m growing and inspired in the months ahead. As a wife and mom, I find it critical to also have my own goals, so I’m nurturing my mind and body along with working toward collective goals.

Here’s a taste of our goals for 2019.

Family Goals

  • Pursue Financial Freedom – in a time when the “American Dream” equals endless debt and student loans, make a conscious effort to be frugal, save and seek financial freedom!
  • Make Memories – continue eating every night at our dinner table, be present and enjoy each other’s company, while making memories for our family.
  • Get Pregnant – grow our little family and complete it with the addition of a new baby!

Personal Goals

  • Be Present and Intentional – focus on living in the moment and enjoying today without worrying about the past or future.
  • Digital Detox – choose specific times to disconnect completely from social media, while spending time with my family.
  • Be Fit – continue my journey to health and wellness working out at least three times a week and making healthy food choices (while still indulging here and there).
  • Self-Care – take time to take care of me. This is everything from a quiet morning to read and reflect to my Sunday mask ritual to treating myself to manis and more.
  • Choose Kindness – life can get stressful and it’s easy to sometimes be in a bad mood or overwhelmed. In these times, we may not be our best selves. I’m making a choice to always be kind to myself and others. Especially in bad times, I will choose to kill them with kindness and always take the high road.
  • Laugh More, Worry Less – laughter is truly the best medicine. This year, I want to choose laughter in good times and bad, trusting there is a plan and things always happen for a reason.
  • Continuing Sharing & Connecting – blog more, continue growing my Instagram account and reach the 10k, swipe up goal!

Are you a fan of goal setting? Do you set family goals, individual goals or take a different route? Would love to hear your goals and aspirations!

Keep Climbing,

Ivette

Give Me All The Lace

I love lace for every season…especially during the winter! There’s something so classic and feminine about it.

I’ve always been partial to dresses because it’s one piece that makes you look immediately put together.

This white lace dress with black underlay and collar detail, definitely delivers!

What fabrics are you drawn to? Is it season specific?

XO,

Ivette

Holiday Style

Christmas is just a few days away! The weather has been cool and I’m feeling festive with all the decor, lights, treats and Christmas movies galore.

When I saw this dress on Red Dress Boutique I had to have it. The preppy, British vibes paired with tweed, pearls and a brooch encapsulated the holiday spirit in one look!

Have you ever been dream to particular piece of clothing?

Hope you have a very Merry & Fashionable Christmas!!

More fun looks and inspiration coming to the blog for date night and NYE.

XO,

Ivette

At Home Teeth Whitening: Does It Work?

I was excited when Smile Brilliant reached out for a partnership. I’ve always been a fan of teeth whitening, but have never gone a professional route. In the past, I’ve tried whitening strips, which make a small difference, but are not as impactful a customized system.

For this trial, Sam volunteered to be the whitening guinea pig since he is a HUGE fan of teeth whitening.

The Process

Once you sign-up for Smile Brilliant, you receive a kit via mail that includes everything you need for your custom, at-home whitening experience.

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The most important part of this first step is getting your teeth impressions (both top and bottom) done correctly, so when they make the custom trays, they fit like gloves!  Smile Brilliant provides the paste and plaster, which you mix together to create the impressions. While the instructions are very visual and show you a good and bad impression example, you can always double confirm via email before mailing them in. It’s also important to mail in a consent card with the impressions!

A couple of weeks later, the teeth trays came in and Sam noted how impressed he was with the fit. This was one of the biggest pluses to doing this type of teeth whitening versus strips. The trays are flush with your teeth and allow you to whiten for a lot longer without drooling and mouth dryness.

Whitening

The kit we received came with enough gel for 12 whitening treatments. You can leave the treatment on for up to three hours, but you have to work up to that. The kit also includes a desensitizing gel that you do after the whitening for 15-20 minutes.

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Sam started by doing the treatment for 45 minutes and eventually worked his way up to three hours. He did experience some sensitivity and his jaw bothered him at first, but he got used to both after doing the treatments a few times. The sensitivity issue was resolved as soon as he began using the exact recommended amount. So we would recommend to follow instructions to a tee to ensure the best experience.

This treatment soaks into your teeth, so it works really well. One of the things we learned was that anything under 20 minutes isn’t really doing anything.

Also, if you have gum sensitivity, one of the tricks to protect gums from irritation or sensitivity is to use Vaseline or coconut oil on the gums during whitening. Just a thin layer will do the trick.

Overall Recommendation

This at-home customized treatment is definitely worth the investment because you get to keep the custom trays and can always order extra whitening gel, which will only cost a fraction of the original investment.

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I’m excited to be giving away one kit to a lucky reader.

COUPON & GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

15% off coupon code: 30somethingandthriving15

Giveaway link: www.smilebrilliant.com/g/30somethingandthriving

  • The giveaway is for a $149 Smile Brilliant credit. Open for at least 1-2 weeks (after blog post date) and open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents.

Happy Whitening!

Ivette

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Kohl’s x PopSugar – Perfect Fall Style

Fall is one of my favorite seasons…largely because layering always makes everyone look fancier and more put together.

So I was thrilled when Influenster reached out with a partnership opportunity to style the new Kohl’s PopSugar collection. I received a $200 gift card to pick out and style my favorite pieces in exchange for an Instagram post.

The collection is awesome with a very collegiate prep vibe. I had a great time pulling together three different looks that are fun and affordable. I used my Influenster gift card plus Kohl’s coupons and bought seven pieces, which I transformed into three looks.

  • These included:
    • Floral long-sleeve dress
      Black and white bomber jacket
      Black wide leg tie-front pants
      Cherry top
      Cardigan
      Green side-striped pants
      Striped sweater

    Look 1

    This is a fun look that is super simple to pull off. I love dresses because in one piece you have a finished look. Paired with tall boots and the bomber jacket, you have a complete fall look!

    Look 2

    I love a great pair of pants that can take you from the office to happy hour and beyond. I’m also a huge fan of pattern mixing, so when I saw this cherry top, I immediately knew I would also rock my leopard heels to add a little fun and edge to this look. I finished it off with a preppy cardigan for an added layer of interest!

    Look 3

    This is all the about the stripes!! I absolutely loved the military/cruise director inspired pants, but wanted to make it more whimsical and fun by adding a colorful sweater for a stripes on stripe combo.

    If you’re looking to infuse some collegiate chic pieces into your fall wardrobe, definitely check out the Kohl’s x PopSugar collection! It’s in stores now.

    Happy Shopping,

    Ivette