Gosh - I love this time of the year when the Florida temperatures finally drop from the typical balmy 90's to a very comfortable high 60's and 70's.Read More
I think most of us have heard the saying “life works in mysterious ways”, well this saying holds so much truth to the friendship I have created with my millennial Bridging the Gap partner.
A few months ago while attending a marketing industry event, I met my millennial partner Jessica Shepard, a Social Media and Marketing entrepreneur by day and lifestyle blogger at night. We instantly connected while chatting about the delicate balancing act between motherhood and working full-time.
Although years apart, Jessica and I have more in common than not in common. A few months ago we both decided to spread our entrepreneurial wings and add new initiatives to our already full plate. Jessica, who started her blog several years ago, was in the process of launching a second business in the form of a marketing and social media strategy company. I, on the other hand, had established a marketing research firm three years ago and now I was in the process of launching a side gig in the form of a lifestyle blog.
Throughout the process of achieving our separate goals, Jessica and I, although years apart have been able to share and learn from each other's experience, wisdom, and guidance.
Several weeks ago while catching up, Jessica and I realized that in addition to our entrepreneurial spirits we both shared life-changing moments which have helped to shape us into the women, moms, wives, sisters, friends and business owners we are today.
Jessica a multicultural beauty who has inherited all of the best qualities of her Puerto Rican and Mexican roots is funny, smart, a great mommy, great sister, and MAJOR a fighter!
My millennial friend found herself in the fight of her life when at the very young age of 31 was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. At the time of the diagnose, her daughter Gianna, was only 4 years old. This is the time when most parents are basking in the beautiful sunshine motherhood brings but instead my friend, was dealing with scheduled chemotherapy and radiation sessions and the outcome of a double mastectomy. Jessica, who comes from a very close family was showered with immense support and love throughout her battle.
During my conversation with Jessica about her journey with breast cancer, I learned that she had received her treatments for her battle with cancer in the same oncology treatment center my mother had received care years before for her battle with lung cancer - in fact, we actually know some of the same oncologists!
After struggling with the idea for a few years of a second pregnancy and the risk of cancer returning this amazing fighter decided to move forward with the decision of growing her family. Her adorable baby boy, Trace, who Jessica attributes for making her a mother, was born 6 years after his sister made her appearance. At the time of her son’s birth, Jessica was a full-time marketing strategist for a national banking brand. A few years into the wild juggling ride, Jessica decided that it was time to put down her briefcase to find a better balance for everyone. She struggled with the idea of putting down the corporate pursuit and image she had worked so hard for and was afraid making this change would portray her as weak and not an independent woman.
Jessica recalls feeling completely overwhelmed with guilt and fear of what her daughter would think of mommy leaving her job, but to her surprise, the only comment Gianna made was “does this mean you can pick me up from school now?” Jessica knew in heart and soul she had made the right decision.
Although our major lifetime experiences have been very different, we have certainly both dealt with a great deal of loss and adversity in our lives. Just four short years before Jessica was fighting for her life and dealing with the physical loss of a double mastectomy my family and I were dealing with the loss of our beautiful baby girl who decided to become our guardian angel before her time - Yet another way that our lifetime experiences have helped us to create a special friendship.
Jessica is now the proud owner of a social media and marketing strategist company and is the voice behind Rebel Soul Mom, formerly known as Pink Lemons and Rainbows. The blog once started out as a place to journal her battle with breast cancer, now has grown to lifestyle and parenting blog. Taking a tour of Jessica’s blog is like having a conversation with a friend. Her tone is funny, compassionate and 100% genuine - Grab a cup of coffee, tea, wine and your favorite blanket and start reading!
Jessica’s style is a mix of comfort chic with an edgy vibe. When asked how she determines her outfit of the day - she simply says “ My outfits totally fit my mood. At the same time, it has to be functional for what I’m doing that day. Whether it’s working, spending it outside with my youngest or running a million errands, my outfit has to make me feel happy .”
I am honored to have this busy marketing strategist, lifestyle blogger, mom, wife and cancer survivor as my millennial partner. Today we are excited to be accompanied by 200 amazing Influencers as we launch the Bridging the Gap Campaign. A movement, unlike one that I have participated in before, where millennials and mid-lifers come together to break down the walls that have been created in the past due to the age difference.
The campaign which unites women and some men across our nation is helping to create friendships, share wisdom and show support of one another’s successes regardless of demographic differences. #We Are Stronger Together is not only one the hashtags supporting the campaign but a movement and energy that should be recognized and embraced.
It is truly time to embrace what makes us different and most importantly what unites us and makes us stronger.
I am reminded daily by my millennial family and friends how much we have in common and how much we can learn from one another. It takes a village to get through this thing call life and I am happy to share the journey with my beautiful millennial friends.
Click here to learn more about the campaign and the amazing 200 people that are part of it.
Not gonna lie, I am holding onto the summer vibes as long as possible. I love sweater weather but temperatures in Florida are still at an all-time high. Let's face it, the last thing I can imagine wearing at this moment is a sweater.
I have always been a fan of anything tie-dye but after celebrating a big birthday this year, I wondered if I am simply too old to wear it. I have never been one to follow the rules and tried not to pay attention to comments such as "you are too old to wear that!" My philosophy has always been if you are comfortable in what you are wearing and feel happy wearing it, then knock yourself out. Someone's age should not determine what they should or should not wear.
I love my tie-dye little number from Imagine That Boutique, but it will unfortunately have to find its way into my closet in the next few weeks In the meantime I plan to wear it at least one more time :)
Here are few things I learned about tie- dye trends from my conversation with Cheri Hudson, Owner Imagine That Boutique.
- Q & A with Cheri Hudson, owner Imagine That Boutique
- (Q) Any tie- dye trends to keep an eye one? "2018 Trends in TIEDYE not really any trends.... just always in style."
- (Q) "Should women stop wearing tie-dye at a certain age? "NO!!!! There is no age for women wearing tie-dye. What matters is what shoes, accessories and where you are wearing it to."
- Can you wear tie-dye in the Fall? "Yes, to wear tie-dye in the fall, just change your pieces to ones with fall colors."
- Personal favorite tie-dye look? "I like pants, that are easy and comfy, perfect for running errands, running around with kids and for travel."
Additional tie-dye options here
Twenty-three, ten and six, these are not my lucky numbers or a combination of the latest lottery numbers, these are the ages of my children. Yep, you read correctly, no need to go back. My oldest daughter is 23 years old, our son, the middle one, is 10 years old and our youngest daughter is 6 years old. When people learn about the range of the ages of our children, they often can’t believe we are starting all over again.
Needless to say, my husband and I are not the youngest parents in the kids' classes, especially in my youngest daughter's class. At one point, our oldest was graduating from high school, our middle one was entering pre-school and I was pregnant with our youngest. There is never a dull moment at home, and the range of issues can vary from a skinned knee, to a bad test grade or a broken heart. The insecurities and concerns I had with my oldest one seem silly to me now and I honestly chuckle at the things I use to worry about. Is she going to pass the third grade? Is she going to get in trouble because she doesn't have all of her patches on her Girl Scout vest? Will she know what do when a boy tries to kiss her? Am I a good mom? As an older parent, the insecurities and concerns are now different, I wonder if my little one is sometimes embarrassed because her mommy and daddy are the oldest parents in her class? I struggle with shifting the emotional compartment in my brain that needs to take care of a skinned knee but also needs to discuss a job promotion or life opportunity with my oldest one.
Although it can be challenging at times, I would not want it any other way. I thank the heavens above for blessing me with my youngest ones in my 40's. We will never be young empty nesters and will be attending school activities well into our 50's and as crazy as it may seem we are up for the challenge. These moments are precious to me and I know first hand how quickly the times flies by, in a blink of an eye your baby is 23-years-old!
My kiddos during a visit to Walt Disney World
Man, I have to admit, I do hear these words often and every time I hear them there is a tremendous amount of guilt and frustration that just completely overwhelms me. I heard these exact words the other night, as my sweet 6-year-old was trying to show me a picture she drew and after attempting to get my attention for several minutes, she finally raised her voice at me and said, "Mom, you are always on your phone, can you pay attention to me?" Ouch, this one really hurt!!!!
As most of us do, I juggle multiple things throughout the day, a full-time job, kids' schedule, homework, maintaining the "to do's" in our home, etc, etc, etc. I am very lucky that my husband pitches in as often as possible but there just seems to never be enough time in the day to get it all done, right? It is often very difficult for me to walk away from my laptop or to put my phone down and IF I put it down, not to check it a hundred plus time :(
As the mother of a 23-year old daughter, I am completely aware of how quickly time flies by, one day they are seeking your attention and the next day you are lucky if you can get them to acknowledge your mere existence.
We have started the "no phones" challenge from the time we wrap up dinner to the time the kids go to bed. It doesn't seem like a huge challenge, I know, but we must crawl before we run! We are now spending time playing board or card games with the kids, watching a movie or just snuggling on the couch. I have also started to get up verrry early, sometimes before 5 am (more on this later) to get through some of the "to do's" I was not able to complete on the previous day. I know, there will be times when I will need to or will want to pick up my laptop or phone to look at something but Rome wasn't built in a day.
Stayed tuned, I will be posting updates on how we are doing with the challenge - Fingers crossed!
Have you ever heard of the saying "done is better than perfect"? I silently whisper these words to myself over and over when the kids are doing their chores. I know, I know, I should be grateful that they have gotten off the couch and are helping around the house but the perfectionist or control freak in me has a hard time letting go. My immediate reaction is to jump in and to do it all myself, if I do it will get done correctly or at least it will get done my way, right?! Wrong!!!
A few months ago my husband and I decided that it was time to assign the kids a list of chores. Until now, the kids have only been responsible for making their beds daily and keeping their rooms tidy. We assigned the kids a list of various chores from setting the table to feeding the dogs and emptying the dishwasher. The chores are written on a "chore board" that is hung in our laundry room. At the end of each day, the kids are supposed to go to the board and either put a happy or frown face next to their assigned chore which indicates whether the chore was completed or not. As a reward, the kids get a small allowance at the end of the week for completing their chores. The kids are excited to get their mula but also feel a sense of accomplishment knowing they have completed a task.
I am slowly trying to let go and allow the kids to complete their task on their own, not going to lie, this has not been easy for me but I have to remember done is better than perfect for now, wish me luck :)
I grew up in a family with five other siblings, four girls and two boys. There was very little down time for my parents, trying to manage multiple schedules, kids' activities, while both working outside the home. The only time in our home where the noise level would all of a sudden come to a screeching halt (okay maybe a lower decimal) was during dinner time. My parents were big advocates of having the entire family sit down every evening for dinner. Of course, the occasional sport or school activity would at times excuse us from what I thought was a dreadful family activity. Although there were times when like most kids I could not wait for the entire ordeal to end, I am forever thankful to my parents for the memories and the crazy bond this time together created for my siblings and me.
As a mother of three kids of multiple ages, I now know first hand how important this time together is and quickly time flies by. A few years ago my husband and I started the High and Low game with the kids. The idea is to get all of us to share something good about our day and something that we struggled with during the day. Usually, the youngest one in our crew volunteers to go first and then everyone takes a turn. Even our 23-year old daughter, when at home jumps right in the game! We have heard silly playground stories, classroom gossip, stories about broken relationships, job promotions, stories which have brought us to laughter, and at times a few tears.
Not gonna lie, at times my kids just want to inhale their meal and quickly move on to the next thing, but this is when I channel my mom's spirit and remind them how important this time together is. If this doesn't work, a large scoop of Oreo or Rocky Road ice cream seems to always do the trick :)
I would love to hear some your dinner table traditions, it takes a village to raise our babies and the job never ends - please share.