Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

JennFalikHyattPlace

60% of adults have “secret travel quirks” that come to life whenever they check into a hotel. I am most definitely one of them.

Take last Monday as an example. I ventured to the Hyatt Place near the US Capitol in Washington, DC for a day of media interviews on behalf of their new “There’s A Place For You” campaign. Hyatt Place conducted a survey that revealed, amongst many other things, the aforementioned statistic to encourage travelers to embrace their unique hotel habits and make the most of time away from home. Which of course prompted me to take notice of my own.

My three travel quirks to make a busy work trip feel like a vacation? 

1- Next Level Unpacking: Within minutes of walking through the door, every single item is taken out of my suitcase and placed in the closet, drawers and vanity in such a way that rivals the most meticulously appointed boutique.

 2- Sheet Mask Pampering: The peace and quiet of a hotel room is the ideal place to indulge in a little DIY spa time- which for me, means a minimum mess, maximum benefit paper sheet mask. Tucked inside single-serving packettes, there really could not be a more convenient way to unwind and beautify after a long day of traveling. If you haven’t tried one yet, you need to get involved with this Korean beauty trend stat. This is a great option for moisture, love this for brightening and to look instantly more youthful, this is a must.

 3- Serious Sweating: Traveling used to be my excuse to skip the gym- but now, it is quite the opposite. Sure, some of this has to do with the advent of Keratin treatments (which make it easy for me to blow dry my own hair so I don’t need to worry about sweat sabotaging my ‘do) but also, with 2 kids at home, the opportunity to exercise often gets trumped by an impromptu game of Candyland or a fussy baby in need of a diaper change. On the road, the only barrier to my “100 Burpees a Day” routine is my own laziness. I keep a bunch of no-equipment-needed workout routines on my phone, and even if can only spare 15 minutes, I figure it is better than nothing! My roomy room at Hyatt Place left me plenty of space to throw down a mat and get an amazing workout, always majorly appreciated when I am traveling for work.

Oh- and while on the road, I typically eat my dinner in bed- something I could NEVER get away with at home. Sleeping alongside a crumb or two really doesn’t bother me- a small price to pay for the luxury of chicken fingers and fries enjoyed while snuggled up against fluffy pillows, agreed?

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Hyatt Place. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Hyatt Place.

 

 

GoldieFalikCustomizedArt

We never shared the names of our daughters before they were born. For me, it was partly about not wanting to hear everyone’s two cents- being openly unenthused by a chosen moniker is easier for family and friends to do when it isn’t technically attached to a newborn baby. The other reason was tradition- I don’t know where the tradition came from, but it has always been engrained in my head that revealing the name before birth was taboo. And the only thing more taboo than revealing the name was buying items personalized with the name…

But, sometimes a girl just can’t help herself.

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 Eight weeks before Goldie was born, I discovered Little Woolf personalized sheets on Etsy and had to order one- I mean, how could I not, right?! To this day, it is the most often inquired about item in my home- everyone who sees it has to have it.

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 Then, I came across monogrammed pillows, and, well, with a name like Goldie, these clearly had to be ready and waiting in her nursery upon her homecoming.

And finally, I had a vision of covering one wall in graffiti with her name on it- and it wasn’t like I could have someone spraying aerosol cans in the nursery while a newborn slept. That would surely be a #MOMFAIL more severe than sidestepping a little superstition, so, a month before my due date, I commissioned the piece pictured at the top of this post from a very talented local artist, Jermaine West.(This was also selfishly motivated- my husband wasn’t sure if he was 100% sold on the name Goldie, but, once this happened, he didn’t have much choice.)

Note: All photos in this post were taken by Ana Schechter- check out her work here.

 

 

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 (Well, actually, this photo was taken by Ana Schechter when Goldie was one month but it was so damn cute and perfect for the post title, I couldn’t resist using it. Doesn’t she look like she is talking to us, saying something along the lines of- in the voice Fred Armisen used as Joy Behar on SNL- “I’m a baby. So what, who cares?”)

Two months down, a lifetime to go. While yes, I am still holding on to our amazing baby nurse (although I did actually enjoy- and feel quite accomplished after- the week I took care of all things Goldie myself and look forward to doing it again next week), the more this little lady opens her eyes wide and smiles, the more I am craving her company. I am not a baby person- and I know people always say “When it’s your baby it will be different” but, it isn’t that different. I am still not a baby person. I love her, but I am not that person that gets a warm feeling inside holding a baby all day long. I have many friends that do though, which is great for me and I plan on fully taking advantage of that starting next week when the weather is warmer and she has all her shots and we can take her out and about with us to observe our crazy suburban shenanigans…

The difference between baby 1 and baby 2 is astronomical. I mean, the babies themselves aren’t that different, but our family certainly is. When Alexa arrived into this world, we were so freaked out and every second of every day revolved around her- was she entertained, was she learning something new, was she eating enough, was she getting outside enough, was she going to cry if we took her to a restaurant and if there was even a 1% chance she was, then no point in leaving the house anyway, etc. With Goldie, I am significantly more laid back- which I figure is pretty normal in the second child situation, right? I don’t have the time or the energy to obsess over things- and while much of me feels guilty that we have only a handful of photos and I had to make up some of the answers on the pediatrician’s questionnaire because I didn’t know for sure if she makes cooing noises “sometimes” or “often” and couldn’t remember exactly when she stopped clenching her hands into fists, part of me feels fairly confident that this lack of helicoptering (I think that is the “parenting” term”) will result in a more relaxed, easy going little girl. 

If we can have at least one chill person under our roof, it will be a vast improvement over our current state of 4 hyperactive control freaks (I include our dog Norman in this- sure he walks on four legs and is adopted but his personality, errr, pupsonality, is clearly shaped by Brian and me) in the house. 

Goldie girl- you are our great chill hope. No pressure, but…we’re counting on you. 

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GoldieNoraTwoMonths

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{A friend of mine posted an amazing stream-of-consciousness recap of her year on Facebook this morning, and it inspired me to look back at my year in much the same way- small soundbites capturing moments and experiences that most certainly impacted the person I am now versus the person I was a year ago.}

I started the year focused very much on the professional…launched a web series…learned the art of Photoshop…explored new ways to express myself on my blog and along the way potentially figure out what I wanted it to “be”…put myself out there in a new way as a partner able to produce branded content for clients as opposed to simply hosting it…spent hours upon hours upon hours learning video editing lingo and the ins and outs of graphics…booked and executed numerous segments in addition to it all…hustled like I was 25 again…so much so that I didn’t write my yearly “letter to Alexa” update before her 3rd birthday…

Threw perhaps the most epic party I have ever thrown for my 35th and loved every debaucherous second of it…had more amazing times with friends that are fast becoming our family than I can remember/count…drank too much, probably didn’t eat enough at times, worked out like a madwoman and became proud of the strong, fit body that I had created…focused on eating cleaner, cooking more frequently, and becoming more adept at the art of entertaining just to be kind of a bit more of a grown up…

Took Alexa to Disney World with my mom and learned so many things about my little girl that I realized I had not noticed before…found out that these little people can be scared, fragile, nervous and not always the mini-warriors that, in our heads, we think we gave birth to…noted to self to be more on top of this whole motherhood thing…back home in time for a fun Cinco de Mayo fiesta with friends where I marveled at Alexa’s free-spirited dance moves and the incredible people we had become lucky enough to surround ourselves with in suburbia…

Then, in a matter of minutes, the entire year got turned on it’s head…

May 19th…went to a new doctor in hopes of finding out why my voice had been hoarse for a month and counting, figured it was laryngitis…May 20th….at Today Show doing a segment on the Cosmetic Executive Women Beauty Award winners and get a voicemail from an Unknown number…”Hey Jenn, it’s Dr. Karol. Just wanted to let you know, um, your pregnant.”…WHAT?!

Unplanned, unexpected…I don’t know many 35 year olds who just “get pregnant” anymore…Worked to wrap our heads around it…Two weeks later, first ultrasound, we were told that there actually wasn’t a baby…Went to Kiawah for my father-in-law’s birthday, then to Miami for a wedding…drank a lot, stayed out too late, readjusted my  view of the future back to what it was prior to May 20th- Lex, Brian and Me…Back to the doctor on June 9th for a check-in…Was told to wait another few days for the pregnancy to “take care of itself”…Led to an unexpected emotional roller coaster where I questioned everything I thought I wanted versus what I may have actually wanted if I took the laser-focus career vision in my head down a notch…Was asked to come in for an ultrasound on Friday June 13th at which point we were told “Congrats, the baby looks healthy, nice heart-beat, you are probably 7 1/2 weeks along…” WHAT?!

Goodbye Titos…goodbye boozy weeknights with the girls at Compo Beach…goodbye body…goodbye family of three…hello new reality. We told Alexa, she said “wow”…my thoughts exactly…

Decided the “false” false alarm was a sign, a wakeup call to make me appreciate the gift that my family had been given…Especially when I found the baby was a GIRL and cheered like a European in the stands at the World Cup…made a conscious effort to be present in life beyond the hustle…not measure my worth in segments booked or clicks on links and instead in time spent with my family…worked on the projects that I WANTED to work on alongside clients and producers and brands that I WANTED to work with…put things in writing on my blog that I never thought I would type with my own two hands…created (sometimes) a calm atmosphere in our house at night complete with- gasp!- a healthy home-cooked meal every now and then…planted a garden twice as big as the one last year…tried to enjoy quieter days with hours to spare if I wanted to binge watch Sons of Anarchy in the middle of the day…joined the Board of Directors at Alexa’s preschool which sort of feels like the most adult thing I have ever done…embraced elastic waists and 9pm bedtimes…became the designated driver (albeit a bitter, agitated one)…learned what it feels like to go to Saturday morning birthday parties at Tumble Jungle and NOT be hungover (quite nice, I must say)…designed a nursery…decided on a baby name…reminded myself every single day about that aforementioned commitment I made in June about how I was gonna measure my worth…screen shot lots of inspirational quotes off Instagram to support my efforts, including one that has stuck with me the most “Let me remind you: Wherever your focus is directed that’s where your energy goes. Whatever you allow in your space, you eventually become.”

2014 taught me that you really never do know where a year can take you…and it is possible to shift your personal paradigm of what is the most important thing…it isn’t easy, and I am still working on it every single day, but I know it can be done…you can have a career without putting so much pressure on said career to define who you are in every aspect of your existence…you can be a mom and go on playdates and create Pinterest boards about crafts to do with toddlers without driving a minivan littered with Goldfish crumbs and soccer balls…WHAT?!

There may in fact be a happy space that exists between the laser-focused competitive career woman watching out for her bottom line and the calm and capable den mother watching out for her family… and hey, if you want to hang out in that space for a bit and figure out your footing, pull up a chair…let’s do this. (But give me a few minutes, I have to go get started on my yearly letter in honor of Alexa’s 4th birthday that is fast approaching- I owe her an extra good one this time around…)

All the best for 2015, everyone!

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