Happiness Journey

I write today to share a part of my happiness journey.  Before I do, I must provide a shout out to my amazing and supportive Hubby. Without him, I wouldn’t have had the ability to leave my past job to start working at uncovering my dreams. It is with his hard work and dedication to Caleb and I that I can work to fulfill my dreams of entrepreneurship or being a mamapreneur (more about this later).

On October 24, 2016, I completed the first of many integrated communications courses that I am taking over the next year. Since I left the startup job in 2014, I knew I wanted to go back to school. It has been a long-time goal of mine to continue to enrich my mind in the world of online marketing and communications. I was lucky to discover that DePaul University offered a certificate program through their continuing education business school, the topics of which are totally in my wheelhouse of what I was looking to study.  The best part about them, aside from a night off from mama duties, is I choose the courses that interest me and there is no course work, just a final project.


My website and blog, was my final project for my first course, practical internet marketing. I presented my work to my classmates and received a certificate!  I learned so much during that course not only from my instructor but from my classmates as well.

In fact, a few classes ago, we were discussing blogs and I shared with a classmate what I wanted my blog to be about—and she gave me the idea that no matter the title—I should include happiness in it and so Life, Kids & the Pursuit of Happiness was born.

Today, I spend my days juggling motherhood, playdates and driving my son to his activities, building my personal brand and identity as well as providing marketing coordination for a couple of small business owners.  To be honest, being a stay at home budding mamapreneur parent is not easy, it has been a stressful transition for me—someone who has been working full time for so many years to suddenly not have that full time professional outlet, where I am in the throes of client meetings and endless emails.  I miss (a little bit) having people to respond to as soon as I wake up and see the red circle count of emails on my phone.  I miss (a little bit) having conference calls and proposals due.

I wouldn’t change my situation; I enjoy getting Caleb off to school and picking him up a few days a week. I am lucky Caleb has an amazing Grammie who has dedicated every Monday to caring for him and wonderful support system of friends who I can count on too for the drop off playdate!  I enjoy that Caleb is happy to have his mama at his activities and to watch him interact with his friends at playdates but I think I was a better mom, when I was working full time.  How many parents out there get to the end of the day and by end of the day I mean 4 or 5 o’clock and just want to hide from your kid(s)? By the end of the day, he is exhausted and I am exhausted from the endless nagging and reminders of being a good listener, to wash his hands and overall trying to teach him to be a good tiny human. Let’s be honest, I am only entering month four of being a stay at home budding mamapreneur and I am sure as we develop a better routine it will be easier as time goes on. I constantly think about how much more patient I was when I had almost full time help and I had my head focused on both my son and my work.  I wanted the best of both worlds and I sure got it!

To bring this post back—I am happy—90% happy, maybe 89%. But, I am working my way towards that goal of feeling settled with my SAHM status, relationship with my husband and budding marketing consulting business.  Fulfilling bucket list items of continuing my education and focusing on ME, taking one day at a time. If you could relate to one thing in my post, then I feel accomplished at my goal of providing some relief or inspiration on your personal journey.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll connect with other stay at home budding mamapreneurs in my community. It’s actually going to be an ongoing theme in my blog. Come along with us to learn about their highs and lows to their life of managing their families and their personal businesses. Above all, providing each woman with a place to have a sense of self and balance of raising their children and fulfilling personal dreams. You’ve uncovered a supportive community at Life Kids and the Pursuit of Happiness. I am happy to have you along for my journey.

Yours in Happiness,


How to Guide for a Lego Costume

Halloween: The holiday in which parents have to shuffle their children from door to door to receive candy from neighbors that are unhappy about having to constantly answer their doors. For us parents, it is the holiday in which all diets are started, stopped and restarted in January…after we have eaten all our kids candy and all the holiday food to come.

In my pre-child, adult life, I never cared for Halloween. Now, I don’t mind it. It’s the holiday that parents, like me, want to “save” money on purchasing some crazy expensive costume that will be worn once.  Let’s be honest—purchasing a costume and making a costume probably didn’t save me any money. However, it did allow me some quality time with my son. Researching and planning the costume, shopping for supplies and putting the costume together.  That in itself is worth more than money—and maybe just maybe, he will tell people that he made his own costume with his mama and/or be super excited to wear it to go trick or treating.

Caleb and I spent a lot of time speaking about what he wanted to be for Halloween this year.  After talking about some superhero options, we brainstormed some other ideas based on his major interests. Hot Wheels, Grilled Cheese, building Hot Wheels tracks, coloring, Bananas and Legos.  I’d be crazy to let my kid dress up as a sandwich (all though when I think about it now…it would be really funny) so we took to Pinterest to get some ideas.  Caleb typed L-E-G-O into my IPad. It’s his new word he can spell and probably why the memory on my phone is full because he can download free Lego games without my knowledge.  But I digress, we found a whole page of cool Lego costumes on Pinterest.  Kids in boxes from head-to-toe dressed as little Lego men other kids dressed as Legos.  He really wanted to be a Lego man.  However, I didn’t want him wearing a mask—so he settled on being a Lego.

A few weeks ago, we hit up our local craft store, to shop for supplies.  We had a big discussion on what color Lego he would be and settled on his new favorite color of the week- Orange. My girlfriend donated a diaper box to use which saved us from having to purchase a box. All we needed was spray paint, a hot glue gun and circles to make the “Lego” part of the costume.

My son is 4.5 years old. So If you are making this for an adult or an older kid you will need to change the size for some of your materials.

Materials for the Lego Costume:

  • 1 Box: We used a free diaper box. Other sizes can be picked up at your local hardware or craft store.
  • 2 Cans of Colored Spray Paint: I probably wouldn’t recommend a printed box, because we needed more Spray Paint to cover all the printed words. I was hoping I could get away with 1 can but Hubby suggested purchasing another can.
  • 6 Circles to Make the “Lego”: I purchased small storage containers. They come in a package of 8—I also was interested in the round deli containers which are free (my market has changed what they use for bulk food on the salad bar) or cardboard circles from a craft store if you wanted to spend $3.99 on each circle. I opted for the storage containers.
  • Hot Glue, Knife, Masking Tape

Step 1:  Cut circles for your child’s head and arms.  I took a bowl from my kitchen and saw if it fit over Caleb’s head. When I found one large enough, I just used that for the cut out measurements. I went larger, so it wouldn’t rub his neck or bug his arms. I also used masking tape to cover all the edges that were cut as well as to reinforce the box, interior and exterior.

Step 2:

I measured (eye-balled) out where the “Lego” part should go and marked up the box.

I used a Hot Glue Gun to add the storage containers to the box.

Step 3:

Spray Paint away! I sprayed the box outside.  Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area and cover your surface.  Spray Paint lands where you least expect it.

Lego Project: Orange Box Spray Painted

Lego Project: Orange Box Spray Painted

We completed the project over a few days: cut the box on day 1, glue on day 2, spray paint on day 3 and 4.  If you are short on time, just make sure you leave enough time for all the glue and paint to dry.

I also discovered this online site called Primary. They only sell basics at a very reasonable price.  You can find solid color clothing in every color! So I purchased the Long Sleeve PJ Top and the PJ Pant to wear under the box.  I’ve purchased a few items from here in the past. The clothing has no tags and washes and wears well. I’ve also found it doesn’t shrink in the wash, which is super key to extending the length of time he has to wear the clothing.  For a limited time, I can pick 5 friends to receive free Primary PJs a $24 value) with your first order of $50 or more.  If you are interested in shopping, comment below and I’ll add your email to their distribution.

Be sure to check back after Halloween to see the finished product!!

Happy Halloween,


Updated: 10/31/16


Thoughts on this Yom Kippur Morning

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For the past several years, I have taken on the great responsibility of the break-the-fast meal. This meal has always been my favorite.  Memories of my Bubbie’s delicious cheese soufflé and Great Aunt’s tuna fish salad. To this day are some of favorite dishes and you can’t go wrong with a bagel and cream cheese, right?? But I digress, my story. So with my great responsibility, my house has to be clean, the meal has to be delicious and the table and décor must look stellar. So yesterday, in my haste to get all the groceries purchased I headed over to the local market and started my shopping. I entered the floral department and asked the woman working for some help designing an arrangement for my mason jars.  You would have thought I was asking her for a million dollars! Instantly she was on edge of from my request—I couldn’t understand why she was coming at me with such an attitude.  I surely was not rude to my request.  As I looked around to find the best flowers-another woman who worked at the market approached me.  This woman was super sweet and ready to help me shop for my flowers.   The first woman would not let her attitude go. The flowers will make me happy, and look beautiful on my table.  It is here that I am letting go of the anger and putting good positive energy into the world.


Delicious Food Spread. Contact me for inspiration on recipes for a brunch meal.


This experience got me thinking about the message of Yom Kippur.  I was proud of myself, I didn’t rise to her angst, I could have but it wouldn’t have helped the situation. This woman clearly had something more important on her mind that was causing her this duress.  Maybe she was yelled at by her manager, maybe she had a fight with a friend or is sick.  In any event, we never know what is going on in someone else’s life.

On Yom Kippur, we enter the day of Atonement decreeing to G-d asking for his forgiveness before our sins are recorded in the Book of Life.  While I can’t physically go and ask for forgiveness on a personal level from those I have wronged over this past year, (I don’t think it was that many) I do want to ask for his forgiveness. This morning I repent.

  • Sometimes I forget that everyone has a story, everyone has something on their mind and I am Sorry G-d for not being understanding to their needs.
  • Sometimes I am too quick to judge and for that G-d I am Sorry.
  • Sometimes I am not as patient and for that G-d I am Sorry.
  • Sometimes I think more about myself and my needs and not the needs of others or my family and for that G-d I am Sorry.
  • Sometimes I am not as kind to other as I should be and for that G-d I am Sorry.
  • Sometimes I am stubborn and inflexible and for that G-d I am Sorry.
  • Sometimes G-d I eat too many sweets and drink too much vodka and for that G-d I am sorry.

Today I ask for forgiveness and send positive thoughts and vibes into the world.

I wish all who celebrate an easy fast.  I hope I am not judged to harshly for the small sip of water I drank when I woke up parched and brushing my teeth so people can come near me today. What are you asking for forgiveness for?



Life, Kids & the Pursuit of Happiness

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I’ve been working since I was 16 years old.  I’m 34 now. That is many years devoting myself to someone else’s bottom line.  My first job was a party and skate rental girl at a local ice skating rink.  It wasn’t all bad. I met my husband while working there.  Who knew the 17 year old boy who sharpened ice skates and sold hockey equipment would become my soul mate.

When I went to college, my father told me he did not want me to work. “Focus on your studies,” he said.  Little did I know that not working meant lots of time for play and not hitting the books. I needed the structure of work, class and play to manage my day. So I discovered a local teen boutique in my college’s downtown, fell in love with boutique life and spent the next few years of college and a few years post college working for this little shop, envisioning how I could own my own clothing store one day.

I am not going to recount my jobs over the years, but you needed a bit of background so I can fast-forward to my years working at a huge digital startup in Chicago.  I loved my job. I loved the company and the culture. Prospecting new businesses in my market and the hustle of closing the deal. In the early days of this job, work was awesome. I wasn’t the youngest employee; but, I was one of the older members of my team. I was newly married, with thoughts of having a baby, not going out to party.  A few years passed and I did get pregnant.  Work was still awesome, but my focus was beginning to shift.  Thoughts of pregnancy, morning sickness, food aversions, car seats and strollers plagued my mind. Caleb was born in the winter of 2011.  I was thrilled for maternity leave, it took me a good amount of time to decompress. I was content with our decision for me to return to work. It made sense. The money was awesome. I had paid off my twenty-something year old credit card debt that I incurred over the years.  Working and commuting was smart -how bad could it be?  Since my husband, Mike, owned his own mortgage company,  we need the health insurance and my companies benefits were excellent.   So out the door I went before Caleb even was awake.  Mike’s start time was flexible so he thankfully took care of mornings before my mom or nanny arrived. It would be fine,  I’d have the quality time I was longing to have with my baby all day, after work…it would be okay.

Except it wasn’t. I was miserable.  The mood overall shifted at work. Fun turned corporate and the hustle was just exhausting.  I no longer found joy in the commute. Nonetheless, I stayed on-miserable for a long time. We need the health insurance, I told myself.  Be SMART.  I was finding solace in a weekly therapy session. (Not really) Until one day in July when all my late twenty-something colleagues were making big life changes, I just lost it. I made a decision then that I needed to leave my job, to find something close to home or working from home. If my young co-workers could relocate to the coasts, uproot their lives..I could relocate my job closer to home. THIS WAS SMART!

I resigned from my job exactly four years and one day after I began.  I took a few weeks off to clear my head and regroup.  It was then that I made a vow to myself that I was NOT going to let myself be unhappy. I was not going to let insurance benefits and being SAFE rule my life.  My poor husband, family and friends were left with daily bitch sessions from me and who wants to be that person who can’t find happiness and just complains all the time? It’s exhausting.

I was lucky, even as we were exiting the recession I was able to find a new job and I was happy again.  I couldn’t believe how clear my head was.  I became an active participant in my son’s morning routine and made plans in my head for what could be–If dreams were easy to achieve. Aren’t they? If you ask my best friend about my schemes in life she will tell you that there have been quite a few; clothing boutique owner, shoe boutique owner, kids play space owner..the list goes on and the theme does too. I have ALWAYS wanted something for myself. I wanted to own my own business.

After the start up job, I wasn’t yet ready to make those dreams a reality. I needed more information, more knowledge of the digital space. My most recent position was a digital marketing consultant. I learned so much. I learned how sell digital marketing solutions to small business owners and from both the start up job and this most recent, I fell in love with small business owners. After years of selling and hustling I was done. I resigned from my position and I was ready to start achieving my own dreams and not the dreams of someone else. I wanted to affect my own bottom line, build up my own self worth -I wanted to engross myself in social media and help small business owners implement their own digital marketing plans.  I wanted to continue to pave the way for my true happiness.

So without further ado, I invite you on my journey of self discovery and reflection.  The journey of discovering a happy life, and a happy loving relationship with my spouse. All the while trying to navigate a super smart and independent little boy.  Come with me and experience the highs and lows of building an identity, making mom friends and pursing happiness.