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

    Top 10 Perks of Disney Concierge

    I recently shared our Disney Dream Cruise experience and promised a dedicated post about Concierge level. This was definitely a vacation splurge and something we debated doing for our first Disney Cruise — partly because the price is much steeper and also because I feared I would never want to do another regular cruise again. Well, the latter is true. After Concierge, I think it will be nearly impossible to go back to normal.

    Choosing a Concierge level vacation made sense for our family, but it may not be for everyone. So I decided to put together my Top 10 Reasons/Perks that I found with Concierge to help make your decision easier. I read a lot of blogs prior to going Concierge, and I hope this post is helpful to someone out there!

    1. On-Shore Planning Support – The Concierge team is available to you via a dedicated phone line and email to answer any and all questions and help make your on board experience even better. We fully took advantage of this perk and had the Concierge book all of our excursions, along with securing a coveted booth at the beautiful Enchanted Garden restaurant (only 10 available) and even submitted our preferred mini fridge options (which is included). We even got to select our dining schedule, so I was able to ensure our family was at Enchanted Garden on formal night and dined there twice!

    When I had a question or needed more details, the on shore Concierge team was always there to help! I felt more knowledgeable and better prepared for our cruise vacation.

    2. Boarding & De-Boarding Simplified – This is HUGE! Boarding the ship usually takes a long time in a series of long lines. With Concierge we were able to board early and went straight to the dedicated check-in area where we were photographed, given the “Keys to the World” and escorted onto the ship. We got to go straight to the front of the “Welcome Aboard” photo and then walked onto the ship. It took less than 30 minutes. By Noon we were in the Concierge Lounge, sipping on champagne and in our room by 12:30pm. Luggage was delivered soon after. The de-board was just as simple. We were escorted off the ship and onto baggage claim in under 10 minutes. Now that’s Magic!

    3. In Suite Amenities – There are a lot of perks within your suite including a Mini Fridge stocked to your liking, breakfast the morning of departure and room service upgrades like being able to order from the full service restaurant menus for any meal. On one rainy morning, we ordered a delicious breakfast spread and ate in our cabin, while watching movies. Another night, we ordered the incredibly delicious Mickey Mouse ice cream bars. It was so much fun!

    4. All the Space – I love cruising, but they’re not usually known for having super spacious cabins. Disney cruises, in general, have larger cabins than other cruise lines, but the Concierge suite takes it to a new level. We had so much storage including a walk-in closet (I unpack and hang all clothing on every trip/vacation…I’m a weirdo…I know) and a hall closet. We also had a separate bedroom with en suite including shower and jacuzzi tub AND a second full bathroom. There’s also a desk area, living room and a dining room with an extra long and large balcony with floor to ceiling windows. Definitely did NOT feel cramped or claustrophobic in this space.

    5. Dining Perks – On the first day of the cruise there was a special sit down lunch for Concierge guests at The Royal Court restaurant. This is awesome because restaurants are closed for other guests, so your only lunch option is a buffet. It was much more fun and delicious to kick off our vacation with an amazing sit down lunch paired with bubbles (free and straight from the Lounge)!

    6. Cabana Time – Castaway Cay is an incredible island with white sandy beaches and turquoise water. On the island there are 26 cabanas available for rent, which provide a more exclusive experience with a private beach, sunscreen, snacks, bicycles, snorkel gear, etc. Because there are so few cabanas, they sell out fast and it’s nearly impossible to snag one unless you’re a Platinum Castaway Club member (lots of cruising to gain this status) OR you’re Concierge. We wanted a cabana BAD and Concierge made it happen! We were able to submit the cabana request via email on Midnight 120 days prior to setting sail and we landed the cabana. There is an extra fee for renting a cabana. And it was beyond worth it. The day on Castaway Cay was phenomenal. We were able to lounge, relax on a hammock, swim and explore — uninterrupted. For that alone, I would recommend Concierge!

    7. VIP Meet n Greet – The dedicated Concierge Lounge also included a private veranda area and one of the evenings there was a reception with a VIP meet n greet. It was wonderful because Stitch came in and spent quality time with each family in an intimate space. Westley high-fived and hugged Stitch, we took photos and had a fabulous experience in the comfort of an outdoor space along with great apps and specialty drinks.

    8. All the Drinks – Drinks are expensive on a cruise, so the free open bar at the Concierge Lounge was a huge perk. It’s open from 5-10pm nightly and it features premium liquors, wine and beer. We would grab drinks on the way to dinner, then re-fill before the show and then grabbed a night cap to enjoy on the balcony. We spent zero dollars on drinks, which is a first for us.

    9. In Room Dining – One of my favorite Concierge perks is the ability to order dinner from your restaurant of choice delivered to your suite. This really came in handy when we wanted to attend the early showing of Beauty & the Beast, but did not want to miss out on a delicious dinner. We didn’t have to compromise a sit down dinner for the show. The Concierge took our order and a multiple course meal awaited us in our cabin once the show concluded. They set the dining room table, the server brought us wine from the Lounge and we opened the balcony doors and enjoyed fine dining al fresco. It was absolutely perfect!

    10. Superior Service – The Concierge team is so hospitable and helpful throughout the cruise. The team goes above and beyond from going over your printed agenda and handling any special requests to closing out your final on-board bill and delivering the photo USB. It was such a pleasure working with them. They also left us a special, limited edition lithograph as a keepsake from our magical vacation.

    While this may not be for everyone’s taste or budget, Concierge was a decision I’m glad we made as a family. It certainly elevated our Disney Cruise experience and I hope to do it again on another vacation!

    Happy Travels,

    Ivette