2019 Goals

Every year I resolve to be a better person – a better mom, a better wife, a better friend – but by the time Fall comes around I already feel like I’ve failed.  It is so hard to do all the things while maintaining a sense of balance (and sanity) when my life is already filled with so much of the mundane, everyday tasks.  It is difficult to make time for what really matters when time slips away each day all too easily.r

In 2018, I did so much to get back to my true purpose and peel back the layers to my core – to redefine what really matters and put everything back into perspective.  I cried a lot, I doubted myself too often, I suffered from panic attacks, anxiety attacks and countless sleepless nights.  I felt overstretched and overwhelmed all the time and tried to ignore the signs that told me to slow down, do less, and listen to my heart.  I read to feed my soul and also to quiet my mind.

I did not spend as much time as I would have liked with the people I love and want to support.  I did not spend as much time in quiet spaces or with my own thoughts, to soak in my blessings or express my gratitude as often as I liked.  As the year drew to a close, I felt a gap in my heart grow as I felt I was tumbling into an abyss I feared I would not be able to escape, unless I changed my life significantly – little by little, and with lots of intention.

I worked with a coach who made me realize I cannot control everything that happens to me, and that losing sight of my family would only mean I could lose everything PERIOD.  I pulled back from my business for a while, and truly enjoyed a summer free from commitments, and staycations to celebrate time with my sweet family GUILT FREE and JOY FILLED.  I enjoyed more unplanned, simple moments at HOME – baking with my sweet children, moving our furniture around until I felt content, repainting our kitchen a soothing shade of taupe, clearing my closet out to celebrate the 20 pounds I lost this year, attending school events and birthday parties with my children and winding down at night enjoying guilty pleasure TV shows with my husband instead of staying up late at night to work work work without fulfillment.

2019 vision board

2019 Vision Board

This year, I vow to lean into more of what makes my heart feel full and take my time to grow my business without sacrificing what matters.  My goals are simple and an extension of relying on habits and routines I’ve formed over time.  I’m hoping that sharing them here will inspire YOU to take stock of what matters and work on your BIG PICTURE GOALS little by little, with a lot of patience and GRACE to live a life you truly enjoy and is filled with JOY.

My 2019 Goals

  • Self Care – Take time for me, especially when I start to lose sight of my health.  Monthly massages, biweekly nail appointments, back to yoga and pure barre.  Enjoy activities I love – calligraphy, florals, decorating – guilt-free and without comparison.
  • Calm – Feel calm and cozy at home.  Create a joyful, happy, clutter-free space.  Meditate and read regularly to maintain a sense of calmness amidst the chaos.
  • Relationships – Nurture time with my husband, children, and my closest friends.  Monthly date nights, family outings and brunch dates to deepen these connections and make new memories.
  • Community – Meet new friends in the industry, host quarterly events to bring people together.  Join community groups to meet new friends.
  • Boss Babe – Create high-quality content for my brand, through collaborations and featured publications for my ideal client.  Streamline my process to automate recurring tasks and onboard new members to my team.
  • Debt Free – Create a realistic plan to pay off our debt by 2020. Focus on minimizing credit card debt and managing our monthly to redirect funds to savings. Enjoy one or two staycations during the year, and a family trip to Europe in the Fall!

Would love to hear about your goals, and cheer you on in 2019.  Come back to see how things are going for me in 2019, and stay in touch!

xo

Haydee

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My Favorite Books of 2018

I love to read. I just don’t get enough time to read as much as I’d like.  My goal in 2018 was to read one book a month.  I think I did ok.  Here’s the list of my favorite reads of the year, by category.  I use Goodreads to track my reading and yes, I leave reviews from time to time to remind myself of why I loved a book and share my thoughts with others.

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These are the books I read and loved this year.  Oh, and if I am not loving a book by the second or third chapter, I simply set it aside and move on to a new one.  No need to keep reading if I’ve lost interest early on or don’t feel connected to any of the characters.

Fave Thrillers and Suspense

  • Sometimes I Lie
  • Gone Girl
  • Something in the Water
  • The Luckiest Girl Alive
  • Sharp Objects

Drama and Novels

  • We Could be Beautiful
  • The Rules of Magic
  • What Alice Forgot
  • The Last Mrs Parrish
  • In Another Life

Motivation and Self-Love

  • Present not Perfect
  • Grace not Perfection
  • A Simplified Life
  • Girl, Wash Your Face
  • Rising Strong

Light-Hearted and Fun

  • Opening Belle
  • I’ll See you in Paris
  • When Life Gives You Lululemons

If you want to see my full list, or read reviews and find similar books, follow me on Goodreads.  I hope to find you there.

xo

Haydee

The Best is Yet to Come

Everyone (including myself) has been posting their Best Nine on Instagram these days, and I find myself seeking inspiration from my favorite images as I look for fresh content for our vision boards this year. Is it just me, or is it increasingly harder to stay inspired in a world filled with so much noise and distractions?

howsweetlifeis best nine 2018

 

I have refreshed my goals for this year and am so looking forward to serving YOU in ways that inspire you and feed your soul. Through a year of much reflection, I have discovered my purpose is so much greater than just creating pretty content for weddings and my potential goes beyond so much more than designing and coordinating flawless events.

There is so much I yearn to share with YOU and I welcome you to join me along on this journey. I know I have been holding back on so many of my dreams and passions, for the simple FEAR of failing and not living up to others’ version of success.

2018 was a tough year, as I refined our mission and peeled back the layers of our business plan to get closer to our true purpose. It was a year of experimenting and learning through new experiences. I met some great new friends along the way and I learned so much about myself. I read some books I felt were written just for me and walked a path that was mine alone.

At times, all I wanted to do was give up. I felt my business is not growing fast enough, I don’t have enough followers on social media, and have doubted myself for making such a bold change to my brand over the past two years. It has been difficult creating a brand that is like no other, and that is not built to serve the masses. It has been humbling to turn couples away because their values don’t align with our own, or because taking work on just for the sake of it would only drain my soul when what I need most is to stay true to my heart.

I am starting this year with a newfound appreciation for the work I do and a fresh perspective for the year ahead. I closed myself off to some opportunities in the past and have been too cautious with some of my dearest dreams, only to see them wash away and resurface when I least expected them. I have held on to an idea of what this sweet business of mine ‘should be’ rather than lean into all it ‘can be’ at the risk of losing myself in a sea of uncertainty when my heart has always known why I ever took the risk and started at all.

My family is my greatest treasure and my forever WHY. Beauty drives me to do what I do. Love inspires me to keep going even when the going gets rough. I am so often reminded that my purpose goes beyond making things pretty. I will continue doing what I love and feeling blessed for the opportunities I have to create beauty and joy for others when they need it the most. I will find ways to give back to my community and inspire others to BE THE LIGHT.

I hope you will join me on this journey as I venture off into unknown territory and lean into my greater purpose while growing a brand that was created to serve YOU.

Thank YOU for believing in me, following me, reading my story.

The Best is Yet to Come.

xo

Haydee

Follow me on instagram to stay in touch!

@howsweetlifeis Personal Account

@blushandwhite Blush & White Event and Design House

Hit the Reset Button | Life Goals

2018 Personal Vision Board MY LIFE

Today is February 25th, 2018 and the first day of the rest of my life and a date that carries so much significance for me.  I am still settling into my goals for 2018, as I take a moment to reflect on all I’m grateful for, big and small.

This vision board hangs in my office as a reminder to live a life full of joy and never lose sight of what matters most.  My word of the year is HOME and my overall goal this year is to create an environment at home that is filled with beauty that serves my family and strengthen the relationships with those I love most while growing a business that celebrates love and intimate gatherings.

My mission is, quite simply, is to create beauty while loving myself and those who matter most to me.  This means making time for me so that I can be the best I can be for others.  This means clearing the clutter – physical and mental – so that I can focus on what matters.  This means making plans to improve my life, and following through to make it happen. This means supporting and inspiring others, and asking for support and motivation when I need it most.

 

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MY WHY (photo by Michelle March)

 

I don’t know how to do anything ‘half-way’ or partially.  With me, it’s all or nothing.

I have been struggling with losing weight for some time, as I have given into stress eating and skipping meals for too long.  I have tried diets and counting calories, only to lose the weight temporarily and bounce back once it’s over.

I have gone through rounds of organizing and reshuffling things only to have them resurface in my home, even though they no longer serve me or bring me joy.  I have lost my temper with my sweet family over an item that’s in the wrong place or items that are taking over our space at home.

I have made plans for dream vacations that I’ve been unable to honor because, too often, a quick stop at Target turns into a shopping spree for all the things I love but don’t actually need, and I am an expert at justifying that I do need it and have to have it.

I have planned to do a fun date night with my husband every month, only to fail continuously because we can’t find a babysitter or can’t figure out something fun or different worth getting out for.

I have missed birthdays and anniversaries because I’m ‘too busy’ when in busier times in my life I pre-purchased birthday cards and sent them to my friends and family to brighten their day and let them know they’re not forgotten.

I am my worst critic and my biggest cheerleader at the same time.  I tell myself ‘You got this’ while my inner voice is saying ‘You are not enough’.  I am not skinny enough, strong enough, organized enough, fun enough, patient enough.  I am too busy, too much of a perfectionist, want too much.  My vision is unrealistic, not achievable, just a dream.

Well, I’ve had enough.  Today is the day.  Today marks 8 years since we brought our micro-preemie twin girls home after spending their first two months of their lives in the NICU after I spent three weeks on bed rest during my favorite holiday season of the year – Christmas.  Today marks 14 years since I bought my first home on my own, in Phoenix Arizona, after moving on a whim for a better quality of life and work life balance – where I met the man who became my husband and whom I love with all my heart.

Today marks one year from the date I ran the 10K Disney Princess Run with no history of ever even running a 5K, and while I fought bronchitis.  I ran reluctantly that day, but in the end, I ran for my family that day.  I visualized crossing the finish line with my sweet family at the finish line cheering me on, even though in reality they were home tracking my progress online.  Visualization is a powerful tool.

I visualized my ideal home layout when shopping for my first home and the home I purchased was laid out exactly the way I envisioned it.  I visualized bringing home two healthy babies, when I was in the hospital for three weeks, even though my first night there they almost rushed me into a C-section when my tiniest baby was at risk for not making it.

Today, I visualize a life filled with more joy and laughter than I’ve had in the past five years, as I’ve focused on doing so much while starting to lose sight of what I already have and have achieved.

Today, I start a fresh new program to kickstart my health and reset my eating habits.  I start the Whole 30 program with my #1 cheerleader, my sweet husband. Yes, it will be hard.  Yes, I will want to give up.  Yes, I will want to end my nights with my usual glass of wine.  Yes, I will miss the generous dose of milk and sugar in my morning coffee. But I refuse to give up. This will be hard. But I have done hard before.  Parenting is hard. Marriage is hard. Owning a business is hard. Life and anything worth having is hard.  If things were easy, the reward wouldn’t be as fulfilling.

I may even bring this blog back to life very soon, but for now, I hope you don’t mind this unstructured approach.  I simply want to capture my thoughts and set them out in the universe so they can come back to me as wishes and dreams that come true.

Until then, enjoy the sweet life and all that’s good in your life today.

xo

Haydee

Summer Bucket List

Excited for Summer?  You’re not alone!  Here’s a little inspiration for your Summer fun.  What do you have planned this summer?  Any vacations, or adventures?

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Summer Bucket List @howsweetlifeis

I have really missed keeping up with my personal blog and am hoping to revive it this Summer.  Lately, I’ve been caught up in the hustle and bustle of trying to ‘do it all’ and ‘have it all’ and it hasn’t been effective, to be honest with you.  I often find myself juggling too many things at the same time and so much multi-tasking has taken a toll on me.  It’s so hard sometimes to find time to squeeze everything in.  Being an awesome mommy, loving wife, and ultimate boss lady while also finding time to take care of myself has been near impossible, most days.

If you know me, you already know I’m your classic Type A personality.  I like order, planning, and being in control.  I’m rarely spontaneous and don’t like to make decisions ‘on the fly’.  This usually results in days that are fully planned with little (or no) downtime, and I’m left feeling stretched thin and also not productive.

I’ve forgotten how to relax and enjoy the art of ‘doing nothing’.  I’ve been too busy doing things to truly enjoy living life, and I really want to commit to changing this.  I need to stop and smell the roses along the way, instead of simply grabbing them and placing them in a vase because they ‘look pretty’, and not take the time to enjoy the moment.

This Summer, I want to slow down and purposefully make time for what matters in my life – friends, family, and renewing my body and soul.  We only live this life once, and if we don’t slow down to enjoy it, what good is it all?

Join me this Summer as I cross things off my Summer Bucket List and slowly make the move to being less busy and enjoying life more.  No, I will not give up my to-do lists or stop planning my days, but I will intentionally leave more blank space in my planner to sit back and enjoy all the good Summer has to offer.

Hoping you stick around for more updates, and invite you to follow my sweet blog and share your comments.

xo

 

 

Keeping it simple: What’s for dinner? Spicy mussels and chorizo!

One of my favorite summer dishes is mussels in white wine and garlic sauce.  A highlight of my travels is having the classic Belgian meal of ‘moules et frites’ (mussels and fries) in a classic Belgian beer garden restaurant, which opened in London in the mid to late 90’s – Belgo Centraal – and it is still there, in Covent Garden, if you ever visit!  I was lucky enough to frequent this restaurant when it first opened, and was seen as a cutting-edge modern and industrial space, and blessed to return with my husband just a few years ago when we visited London together.

If you love mussels, then there is no better pairing than crispy french fries and a cold (preferably Belgian!) beer.  Well, years later I was brave enough to attempt to recreate this at home, thanks to a very simple recipe I got from a dear foodie friend.  The result was delicious, and I was surprised at how easy it was to make.

The only thing is that it was too ‘plain’ for my Mexican husband — he is a man who eats a jalapeno with every meal and even wants to add hot sauce to Dominican food!  So, imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon this fabulous recipe, that includes spicy Mexican chorizo as well as red pepper flakes to bring a little more heat in.  Needless to say, it was a huge hit!

Spicy Mussels and Chorizo, Recipe and Image via Martha Stewart

Spicy Mussels and Chorizo, Recipe and Image via Martha Stewart

For this recipe, and lots more one-pot dinners and simple dinner recipes, visit my ‘easy dinner ideas’ pinterest board and follow me on pinterest!  You will be inspired for sure, but also will probably leave very hungry and ready to try a new recipe!

xoxo

sweetest mami

ps If you make this, do come back and let me know what you think of the recipe!

Free Printable – Motivational Quote!

Hustle Until You No Longer Have to Introduce Yourself

Hustle Until You No Longer Have to Introduce Yourself (c) Art Print by Sweetest Celebrations

There are times when you have to give it your all to make your dreams come true.  These times are tough, but the reward is worth it.  I’ve been working on my business for a few years now, and it’s finally starting to shape into what I always dreamt of.  This hasn’t been easy, though, and I keep many motivational quotes at hand to keep me going.  When I found this one, it was perfect, since in my industry, I go to many events and work with many talented people I admire greatly, and in the beginning it was really hard being the ‘newbie’.  I’m glad I stayed true to my vision though and took the time to connect with others on a one to one basis, in person and virtually.  This was hard, but so worth it.  Now when I am at an event, it’s so nice to be welcome by people who have actually become good friends of mine, and people I don’t know actually approach me knowing who I am before I introduce myself.

Whatever you do, do it with purpose, and even though it may take time to reach your goals, stay focused and the reward will be great.  I hope this quote motivates you too, and that you find a home for it so you can see it often and stay on track.

xoxo