Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
I was born in New York City, and raised in New Jersey. We officially moved to Houston in February 2017. So I consider us still fairly new to the area and to the state.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
My husband and I have 3 children – Carolina Elise (7.5 years old), Chloe Mackenzie (6 years old) and Chase Kingston (4.5 years old).
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
If you know me well enough, it’s a known fact. But if you don’t know me at all, then it’s something you’d be surprised to know. I’ve been to 5 New Kids on the Block concerts (3 in New Jersey, 1 in New York City, and 1 in Connecticut) and I’ve met them twice.
Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
Since I feel like we’re still in the discovery stage, we like going out to eat, hanging out at parks, and going to museums. The kids love the Children’s Museum, and we also like going to any place that has a “green” such as the plaza at CITYCENTRE, Central Green in La Centerra in Cinco Ranch, and the green at Sugar Land Town Square. We love being outside, and taking advantage of the nice weather for the most part all year round.
Do you have a favorite family-friendly restaurant in the area?
Luckily for our family, our kids aren’t tremendously picky with where they eat. We love Barnaby’s and Fadi’s Eatery in the Museum District, First Watch, Sushi 9, and Hoodadak in Katy, Banana Leaf and Jin BBQ in Chinatown. You can ourselves, foodies.
What local places do you go to for pampering and/or mom’s night out?
I just discovered Cru Day Spa in Sugar Land. A friend recommended it, and I took a chance and went. It was the most relaxing experience that I’ve had in a long time. So relaxing, that I nearly fell asleep.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I am a full time associate in the corporate world, and I work in Human Resources. Previously, I have worked as an employment law and litigation paralegal. But more exciting is the fact that I used to work in fashion too. I worked as a freestyle fashion stylist for a department store in New York City called Century 21. I was both an on model stylist as well as flat lay, but I spent most of my time doing flat lay work. I do dabble in that a little here and there, but now I’m a part time content creator of my own little space on Instagram called Texas Charmed Life – a lifestyle instagram focusing on all things Texas that my family and I are discovering and experiencing. Feel free to check my instagram and message me! I love to network and meet new people.
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Having now been here for just over 2 years, Houston has taught me to slow down, appreciate things more, and learn to live in the now and be present. During our first months, everyone that we encountered was very hospitable and friendly. Not that I’m stereotyping, but us Northerners tend to have our guard up so we initially questioned people being so nice. It’s like “What do
they want from us? Why are they being so nice?” I learned to never question a happy person with a smile on their face. That is their nature – being so friendly. We are also used to the hustle and bustle of East Coast life, that now that we’re down South, I’ve learned to slow down just a little bit so we can learn to live in the moment and appreciate all things that we were blessed to have since we’ve moved down here. Last, 6 months after we moved, Harvey came into town. I never saw a city come together like Houston did, and rise above, become resilient, and overcome any and all obstacles endured. I was amazed, and it made my heart full knowing that we chose the right city to move to.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
The true key to juggling mommyhood and work is to know when to cut things off. My light switch (aka brain) turns on when I arrive to work at 7am, and it shuts down when I step outside of the office at 4:30pm. Riding in a vanpool with my colleagues, forces me to be better with my time management (although I still have difficulty from time to time) and learn to have more work life balance. While I know a job pays the bills, but it’s just a job. When balancing any kind of work – whether it is being an entrepreneur or working in the corporate world, there must be work life balance. Those that matter the most are the people you wake up next to, and the ones you fall asleep with. Learn to shut down all work and unplug your work emotions, and focus on your family after hours.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Get ready for the roller coaster ride aka being a parent. I knew that being a parent is a tough job, but it is the most rewarding experience anyone could have. Learn to enjoy every minute because time flies. Life happens right before you without even noticing. Pay attention to every detail because each one matters.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
Although I feel that having a schedule is best (and totally works for our family), being flexible is just as important. With our first, we were very by the book and did what we were told and what we read was best. With our second, we weren’t as rigid as we were with our first. With our third, all rules almost went out the window. When I was about to return to work after my third, I was telling nursing my son (at 5 months). My babysitter kept texting me telling me that Chase would not take the bottle. I was down to my last and most creative option. I told our babysitter to take an iPad and pull up a picture of me & zoom in my face. Put the iPad in front of her own face, and show it to Chase. Literally right then and there, he took his first bottle. She learned to ween him off using an iPad to take the bottle, but we were in tears that we were able to fool my poor baby so he could take the bottle. Be flexible, by all means.