What you see here is not reality. It's a moment in time captured by a very talented photographer. But that's what family pictures are, right?
I've been getting the same question pretty frequently lately. I must be giving off this vibe like I've got it all handled..and I don't. So when people comment:
"I don't know how you do it all."
My response is simple. I'm not doing it all! Not even close. The thing is, social media only shows you the pretty, styled side of life. What you don't see is an un-showered mom in her pajamas feverishly trying to push something out for work while one child is screaming for potty assistance and the other child is having a meltdown that I peeled her banana for her. That, my friends, is reality. If you want to get real down and dirty, after I/we put the kids down for bed, I typically work late five nights a week just to catch up and finish everything I need to with Oak St. Social or any blog obligations I've committed to. Save for Friday nights, it's pretty rare that I sit and watch a television show with my full attention. Most of our clients' social media posting work is done in the evenings so there's never really a day off so to speak. It's just what we've signed up to do!
For the existing and the new moms out there: don't be so hard on yourself! Ask for help. We all have help and we still look ragged. Some days are fabulous and some days are wretched. Some days you are connected to your partner and other days you want to put them in a choke hold. And anyone who says this is untrue is flat out lying!
Frankly, I don't do anything perfect. There are days where I feel like a rockstar at work but those are also the days where I'm not the best parent and vice versa. It upsets me and I think about it daily but the truth is, you just can't be everywhere at once and give 100% all the time. It's impossible and if you are...take caution because burn out is around the corner.
Currently, I am not managing my stress very well at all so this post is forcing me to think about the things that keep my sane. It's good to revisit those things which is why I am sharing them with you. And for those who ask that magical question...here is how I get by:
- "Me Time" - it's hard to come by but sometimes 30 minutes of scrolling through Instagram and staring at pretty pictures helps me re-center myself. (those damn phones)
- Text or call a girlfriend for a good laugh. They can always relate.
- On the same note and even better...meet them for a meal or a drink. Time outside of those four walls works wonders.
- OR...plan a date night with your spouse. Maybe it's time to reconnect.
- Work out. If I don't work out I am a Crabby Patty.
- Walk away from the computer!
- Indulge - chocolate, wine...whatever it is...allow yourself to have it.
- Go to sleep early. Sleep is everything.
- Treat yo self - buy that pair of shoes, that Starbucks Venti or that manicure. You've earned it.
- Walk outside and just sit. No electronics. Just a zap of fresh air while you get your bearings will prevent you from screaming at the top of your lungs.
Did it work? It's a start right? Happy Friday! Share what you do to relieve stress...we all need assistance in this arena! xo
Photography by Hallie Duesenberg
Everyday was a surprise in Guadalajara. And I mean that in every sense of the word. We'd wake up to beautiful breakfasts and come home to thoughtful gifts. It was unreal. Day 2 was just what the doctor ordered. Our itinerary included breakfast at Café Barra Café followed by a short trek to the landmark spa and boutique hotel, Hacienda El Carmen.
Bit my bit, and surely through my social media, I'm sure you are aware of the amazing trip I just returned from. A select few Chicago influencers were invited to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico to experience the vibrant culture, art, music, cuisine and so much more that this magical city has to offer. And it was magic!
If you're just starting to think about your bikini bod for summer...it's time to get a move on! Girl - it's June! While achieving optimum health isn't an overnight sensation, my friend Michelle Amore is THE rockstar of the Chicago fitness landscape. Rock hard abs backed by science...yes, she has them but she can help you achieve them, too!
You know those days when you can't find a thing to wear in your closet. *raises hand...today!* Well, there isn't an app for that (or is there?) but there is a magical, unicorn of a human being who can certainly help and her name is Katie Schuppler! With over seven years in the business, she is the human version of a fashion app. She can pull accessories at the drop of a hat and purge your closet even faster. She's your go-to fashionista in a pinch and she's been werkin' the scene since inception.
Familiar with BaubleBar? Who isn't right? Ever wonder what it was like to launch and how it all began? *raises hand* I always find these stories fascinating and today my friend Nina - the VP of Brand Marketing and also one of the original crew, is here to share the scoop on a day in the life of this accessory giant and what lies ahead. Take a seat...you're in for a sparkly treat!
The best things in life are free. Laughter being one of them - most underrated gift anyone could give you. And, it just so happens that today's Fearless Friday feature, Janet, makes me laugh constantly. I've traveled with her, soon again, I've cocktailed with her, I've had long talks with her...shoot, the only thing we haven't done is work out but we've even talked about that, too! I will tell you, Janet cares and she is very much supportive of her girls. I've observed over the years. Even with everything she is balancing...motherhood, marriage, career, blogging, philanthropy ...she always makes time for her friends. And, she will always make you laugh. That is the best trait in a friend - better than 100 lattes or 1M pairs of Gucci heels. And well heeled, she is!
Meeting Kelly for the first time (probably about five years ago) was like inhaling a giant ray of sunlight. Immediately warm and welcoming. Those two words describe her perfectly and righteously so given that she heads public relations for the uber, luxe Langham Hotel right here in Chicago. She's cool as a cucumber. You will never see this girl sweat which is amazing as I am literally sweating all over the city with an average late time ranging anywhere from 15-20 minutes. Some girls just have it!
“That's the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
― Charles Bukowski,
The emergence of brown liquor has taught me many things in the last two years.
Outside of my husband and my Oak Street Social partner, Hallie was the first person to believe in our cause and support our tiny start up business that has now become what it is today. I remember the phone call as I sat in my partner's house working on big picture stuff. We didn't know each other but I admired her work. On a whim, I emailed her asking for a call. I needed raw and real talent to help us create a vision and the actual product for our social media strategy. Photography is such a GIANT and important piece of our deliverable.
The hardest part of being a mom is leaving your kids. Of course, it makes the return that much sweeter. The other hardest part is when you've got 'em...what do you do with them? Yes, we are now at that age in which I often hear, "Mom, I'm bored." or "What are we gonna do today that's fun?"