This is 34

It’s hard to believe I turned 34 today. It certainly doesn’t feel like I’ve been around for three decades and some change. My Aba is definitely right that the older you get the faster the years go by.

With a new year ahead, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the last decade and how much has changed. At 24, I had just started my PR career after deciding to leave TV reporting. I had no idea what I was getting into with public relations or how far it would take. At the time the PR folks were the nicely dressed, friendly people at news conferences who handed me press kits and business cards and weren’t carrying 50 pounds of equipment including a camera, tripod and bag with batteries, tapes and microphones and trying not to sweat, while looking “camera ready.” I remember thinking on a number of occasions, I’m not sure what else these PR people do, but I want to be one of them someday 😉

At 24, I was still looking for love, dating guys I’m glad ended up being exes and enjoying being a 20-something spending Saturdays getting dressed up, dancing way too late (or early into the next morning) and singing along to every song in the club like NO ONE was listening. I’m so grateful for the years of growth and different relationships that taught me what I wanted and did not want and what kind of partner would be a true partner when it came to “forever.” At the time I only knew Sam as a friend of a friend who came out with us sometimes, joined a birthday dinner or weekend get together ever so often. I had no idea we would be married one day and what an awesome adventure awaited. Glad I was patient.

At 24 I was probably still a little too concerned about what others thought of me. Were they judging how I looked, what I said, etc. I was still getting comfortable being an unapologetic version of me.

Ten years may seem like a long time, but for me it’s flown by. I’ve had a few different jobs (all within PR and all at agencies), but each career move has taught me an incredible amount and with each year in my industry I feel more and more confident in the professional I’ve become. I love doing what I do and I think I’m pretty damn good at it. I also enjoy the challenges, learning and growing that each year brings. I hope to never stop seeking that — no matter how old I get. I truly feel there is always room for learning and improvement.

In the last decade I’ve gotten married (to that friend of a friend) and found a life partner who truly makes me a better person. We make each other better. We challenge each other, have great conversations and cheer each other on. We’ve moved three times including a stint in South Florida, while he pursued his Radiation Therapy specialty, had a baby (read all about that in previous posts), built a house and a life.

I can honestly say that my 30s have been the best decade yet and there are still a lot of years left of it. I feel like I’ve come into my own from my personal and professional relationships to the people I choose to surround myself with to taking care of my mind and body.

Motherhood has by far taught me the most about unconditional love, patience and the incredible role we play in shaping a little person’s life. Now, I have also learned that you can only influence and teach so much. My son definitely has his own personality and it differs from mine and my husband’s.

I’m not so much worried these days about what people think. I know in my heart who I am and I live that truth everyday. It’s refreshing. I intend to live each day to the fullest, savor each moment and look forward to who I will become in the years to come. Being a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend and colleague is rewarding. They say with each passing decade you say what you want, do what you want and live how you want. Watch out world…don’t know what I’ll be saying at forty. HA.

XO,

Ivette

 

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Relationship Renewal

IMG_2395It’s incredible what a few days of undisturbed, quality time as a couple can do for your marriage. We just wrapped a fabulous weekend away filled with all the things we used to take for granted BK (before kid) including uninterrupted chats in the car, music festivals, late nights, sleep (my hubby way more than me…body clock wakes me up at 7:30a everyday) brunch and laid back fun. A few days of no responsibility feels good.

It was so refreshing to just be together, hang out and focus on us – not as a party of three, but as a couple. It felt like we were dating again…and I loved it!

Don’t get me wrong, I love our son and little family more than anything, but every once in a while, it’s nice to have solo time to enjoy and remember all the reasons you fell in love in the first place. Sam is my best friend and we have so much fun together – everything is an adventure, we laugh at the silly stuff, rock out to the music and enjoy good food with gusto.

As we head back home to pick up our son together from daycare, we’re thankful for having friends who are better than family and who open up their home and heart to Westley for a weekend, so we can re-charge as a couple without worrying one bit about how our son is doing. From pool parties and snuggles to sprinkler action and playtime, he had an absolute blast with cousin Bella, his Tia and Nino.

Feeling refreshed and beyond lucky for everything in my life. This long weekend was chicken soup for our soul and our marriage.

How do you reconnect and recharge as a couple? Would love to hear from you!

Cheers,

Ivette

Mom Hacks: Dinner Edition

I’m launching a new series for #Tip Tuesday that will be all about Mom Hacks — basically the things I’ve discovered, actively use and love to make life as a working mom easier. The inaugural edition focuses on one of my favorite things…food 🙂

Like every other “millennial mom” I love a good app…especially one that makes my life more convenient. While I am not a huge fan of feeding my son “fast food,” I consider Chick-fil-A to be in a category all its own. Sure it’s more expensive, but the service, quality of the food and healthy options for kids and adults lands CFA at the top of my drive thru choices.

Just when I thought they couldn’t get any better, Chick-fil-A launched an app that I swear was designed for working mamas like me. There are a ton of features, including freebies and treats you earn, but the piece de resistance is ordering, paying and curbside pick up all from the app. It’s such a seamless experience and you can avoid the drive thru or having to get out of your vehicle. I have my favorite orders saved on the app from Westley’s 6-piece grilled chicken nugget meal to our family go to. It’s so easy, I can order on the app as I’m leaving daycare and select “curbside” — by the time I pull up to the light near the CFA, I select “I’m here” and my order is made fresh, I park in the curbside dedicated spot and a team member walks my order out to me. No line, no taking an active tiddler out of the car seat, in and out in 5 minutes.  All delivered with a friendly smile and a “my pleasure.”

Would love to hear from you on any mom hacks you know and love or other #TipTuesday topics I can cover 🙂

Happy Hacking!

Ivette

 

 

#VelvetNoir

One of the things I love about Influenster is being able to have access and try tons of new beauty products. This allows me to check out diverse products and then know where I want to invest my money when it comes to hair, makeup and beauty products.

This month I received the Marc Jacobs Beauty Vox Box featuring the brand’s Velvet Noir Mascara. I am a mascara freak — I love my lashes and am constantly looking for mascaras that will enhance and add more DRAMA to my lashes. Must say Velvet Noir does the trick. The brush is huge with so many bristles and it leaves lashes long and thick without any clumps. That is one my major pet peeves with certain mascaras — they add length and volume, but you also then deal with clumpy lashes.

While the mascara is at a more premium price — $26, it is definitely worth a try. The packaging is gorgeous, it’s a large size and it definitely works with only one coat!

Excited to have found a new mascara to add to my beauty routine!

XoXo,

Ivette