Motivation MOMday

We all know #MotivationMonday and #MCM (Man Crush Monday) are a thing, but I’m launching a new Monday series all about mamas – Motivation MOMday. And I hope it takes off ๐Ÿ™‚

This series is all about sharing stories, advice and insights from moms I know and love with the goal of creating a digital network of amazing and supportive moms! Each week, I will feature a different mom who will share with us her take on 10 items. To kick things off, I’ve completed my MOMday profile below.

  1. Mom 411 โ€“ (Tell us a little about you and your family)ย I have a sweet, fun, funny, energetic goofball of a 2-year old named Westley. He absolutely turned our life upside down in the best of ways. My husband, Sam, and I have been married for 5 1/2 years and we also have a fur baby, Lucille Ball, a Boston Terrier who will be seven this year. Family is my top priority and my favorite way to spend time.
  2. Mommy Mantra โ€“ (Words you live by)ย Parenting is an art, not a science. Do what works for your family and don’t worry about what others think. Only you know what is best for your family and your child.
  3. Me Time โ€“ (Favorite escape, activity)ย Now that I’m in my 30s, taking care of my skin has become a top priority. Topping my list of favorite escapes is a spa day including a relaxing massage and a face altering facial ๐Ÿ™‚ While a spa day isn’t in the works every month, I do indulge and have budgeted for manicures every two weeks. Something about having my nails done makes me feel like I can conquer the world ๐Ÿ˜‰
  4. Mom Peeve โ€“ (Biggest pet peeve as a mom)ย Moms who judge other moms or make you feel guilty for your choices. We’re all doing our best, so let’s support each other, not put each other down. Rant over.
  5. Mom Hack โ€“ (Necessity is the mother of invention)ย Y’all don’t judge…but when I need to get things done around the house, my ultimate hack is courtesy of a little red monster named Elmo and a fabulous show called Sesame Street. Westley loves to watch and he also learns a ton (all the parts of his face for starters), while I can get laundry and chores done around the house. Their message about kindness makes me feel better about this choice.
  6. Mom-preneur โ€“ (Work, work from home, work it out, advice on work life balance)ย As much as I love being a mom, I equally love my career. I firmly believe working makes me a better mom and allows me to use my talents outside of raising our little guy. I work in public relations and absolutely love being creative everyday and working with clients from pens, tires and gyms to hotels, websites and restaurants. While balancing work and life isn’t always perfect, I try my best to give 110% at work and not think about home and then put work away at home and give 110% to my family. Being present is something I strive for every day. It’s a work in progress.
  7. Mom Squad โ€“ (Who do you look up to, whoโ€™s in your tribe, thoughts on mommy hood and friendships)ย I’m beyond lucky because I have such an amazing squad of moms! From my work moms who know the struggle of our industry to my daycare mom squad and our sweet kiddos who have been together since they were 3 months old to my “friends who are family” mom squad of Tias, Tatas and Ninas (my kid has a lot of aunts – not by blood, but by choice), there is no shortage of moms, advice and “mom juice” aka wine in my life. I adore each of my mom squad members and am always looking to grow the squad with new moms ๐Ÿ™‚
  8. Mom Goals โ€“ (Aspirational, inspirational)ย With the Oscars last night, I’m reminded of Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech in 2014. He talks about wanting something to chase and that chase being his hero. He chases himself and looks forward to the man he will become with each decade that passes. This struck a chord with me because I love the idea of chasing yourself, a better self and growing and being your own biggest competition and aspiration. When I think of a mom goal, I want it to be about me chasing myself and hopefully becoming a better mom every day, every week, every year and eventually being around to see, love and spoil my grandchildren.
  9. Mom-cation โ€“ (Dream vacation)ย For me, a fabulous family vacation is what I love. I’m a total Type A maniac, so I LOVE planning trips way in advance and savoring the wait. Case in point, our summer family vacation in July to Maine has been planned since November. I can’t wait to take Westley on his first flight (Delta woot!) and spend a week on the beach in Maine eating way too much lobster and wearing way too many nautical stripes ๐Ÿ™‚ Other dream vacations include a Disney Cruise (in 2018) and going on a South African safari once W is old enough to appreciate it.
  10. My Childrenโ€™s Take โ€“ (Ask your child or children how they would describe you, their favorite thing about you)ย Like any proper 2-year old, when I asked W how he would describe me, he didn’t quite give me three words…instead he looked at me and grabbed my face and said “mama” with a big ole smile. I’ll take it!

If you’re interested in being a part of this series, please email me at ivette.faulkner@gmail.com.

XO,

Ivette

 

 

 

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Hacking!

Ivette

 

 

#YouReady Working on my Fitness

So my fitness journey since becoming a new mama (2 years ago) has been touch and go. Balancing my full time job and work travel along withย  being a mom and spending time with my hubby and little one sometimes puts fitness on the back burner. While I’ve consistently worked out in some form or fashion, I could certainly up my game.

Enter Youfit Health Clubs. They became a client of our agency late last year and while I usually dive right in and support all my clients as a brand ambassador, this specific client truly resonates with me. Not only was I former member, but now doing “work research” includes getting to work out during lunch, after work, on weekends, etc. I really have zero excuse now to not get in the best shape of my life.

Outside of the ridiculously close proximity to my home and office and the awesome hours and class schedule, Youfit is also super welcoming. While I can navigate my way through a gym, work out, take a class, etc. I don’t consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination. So for me, I want a place where I can feel comfortable and not intimidated. Youfit fits the bill. I’ve had issues in past work out lives with feeling like I joined some sort of cult — where if you’re not working out 24/7, eating a certain way and planning to compete professionally, you’re less than. As a working mom, I don’t have time to feel like the gym is an extra to do. I really want my time working out to be positive, fun and produce results, but on my own terms.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been consistently working out at Youfit with a combination of group exercise classes including Zumba and YouGX body sculpt and going in for cardio and my favorite workout, the Express Circuit — a 30-minute full body workout with 10 machines and 10 sets of cardio. I love this because I can go during lunch, get a great sweat session in and mix it up with the cardio portion. I’ll do kettle bell swings, planks, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, etc. Each time, I can customize it for me and how I’m feeling that day. They also have two weekly Express Circuit classes with a YouCoach where you complete the circuit with other members. That’s always fun since you have a certified personal trainer running the class and inspiration/competition with the group aspect.

Now I have decided to take my fitness game to the next level and have signed up for a Fitness Assessment (free at Youfit with your membership) and to start working with a YouCoach Personal Trainer. I’m super excited, but also scared to see what my assessment reveals. I know I could be in better shape and definitely could eat healthier (I’m Cuban and I can’t resist certain yummy, but bad for you food) — so I’m equally excited and terrified for the results.

This will be the first time ever working with a Certified Personal Trainer and I’m excited to go on this journey and hopefully look and feel better.Probably my favorite part of the PT program is having one-on-one attention with a customized program that works for me and my schedule and where I’ll be held accountable. I’ll be able to work with my designated YouCoach during days/time that are convenient and to meet my specific fitness goals.

I don’t really have a specific goal in mind outside of toning and tightening my current body. To be perfectly honest and vain, I’d love to be able to wear a bikini and feel confident in it again. Since having Westley, I’ve enjoyed and rocked one pieces during the summer. While I don’t think they’re going anywhere (because I LOVE them and they’re sexy and comfy), I’d like to have the option of rocking a two piece and feeling confident as in 20-something, pre-baby confident!

I’ll be posting and sharing photos along the way in hopes to inspire other moms to make health and fitness a priority. Trust me, I know how hard it is to carve out time for yourself, but being a more active, healthy and present mom will benefit not only me, but also my family.

Cheers to the journey. Wish me luck!

Ivette