How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport? Alexa is 8 in January and Goldie will be 4. I lived in Westport from the age of 3 (my parents started with a summer rental in like 1982, then ended up building a house on Punch Bowl Drive, which we moved into from NYC shortly thereafter); after 12 post-college years in NYC, I moved back with my family in 2012.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time? Every age has its challenges. Thankfully, I live across the street from my childhood best friend, Miryha, who has known me since high school and always can talk me off the drama ledge when I need it most (even if I don’t think I do…). It is easy to let kids rile you up and make you doubt every decision you have ever made in your life to even think you could be qualified to be a mom- but when you have a person that knows you (potentially better than you know yourself) to knock sense into you when you are firing off borderline psychotic parenting texts at 10pm on a Wednedsay, it is a lifesaver.
What is your favorite family activity to do in Westport or the surrounding towns? We love spending time at the beach playground- usually when the weather is good, our weekend mornings start at Elviras for breakfast, following by walking to and playing at the beach. We also love the Corn Maize at Castle Hill Farms in Newtown- and the ice rink at Longshore is always a hit.
What was your most memorable family vacation and why? The first trip we ever did with the girls solo (no helping hands!) was to Four Seasons Anguilla a couple years ago and it was AMAZING. On the way there, at the airport, we learned that Alexa’s passport had JUST expired so that threw a wrench in our departure plans, but we pulled it together and ended up having such an awesome time just being the four of us.
What is your proudest mommy moment? Alexa just started going on sleepovers at friends houses- MAJOR! Recently, one of her friend’s moms said to me “When my daughter goes to someone else’s home, I hope she behaves just like your daughter – she was so polite, a perfect guest.” For a split second, I felt like I must have done at least SOMETHING right!
What’s your can’t live without beauty product? Hmm where do I begin??? I love Nooni Lip Oil (especially this time of year)- the one with the lip stain in it is my fave (I get it at Ulta). IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream is my every-day go-to foundation; it instantly makes skin look flawless, and it has SPF and a million other great benefits. I am also obsessed with my Nuface at-home micro-current device- I get micro-current facials from this amazing woman, Hannah Simpson, in New Canaan, and in between appointments, I maintain the lifting results with this.
What’s your favorite restaurant for a family dinner? A night out with friends? On practically any Friday night you will find our crew at Birchwood Country Club. We have been members for several years now, and my girls love it there so much; it feels like home. As an added bonus, Brian and I never have to stress out if the kids are running around being silly; everyone knows them there, and totally gets it. Plus, they never forget to bring the girls some extra olives from behind the bar upon arrival – Goldie and Lex are obsessed! With friends, we love Tarantinos- again, it has that “home away from home” vibe that we love. Of course, we are also huge Jesup Hall and Whelk fans- great ambiance for a rowdy group dinner, which tends to be how we roll!
What are you most excited about in life right now? Writing. Recently, I redesigned JennFalik.com, and it totally re-invigorated my passion for blogging (I wrote a bit about it here– because people always ask me about blogging life). Recording moments, in a candid voice, is so cathartic to me. Nothing makes me more excited than meeting someone who has read a parenting post and related to it, or bought the Madewell high-waisted jeans I wrote about 100 times and now swears by them just as I do… And the content will keep getting better- I feel myself getting more confident being vulnerable and sharing that part of my life- mom drama, work (or lack thereof) guilt, kid angst, the suburban “struggle” (insert eye roll emoji here, ha!)- so there is lots of honesty to be explored, for better or worse!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I am a major musical theater geek. I was in Staples Players back in the day- and while I never really made it beyond playing an extra in the chorus for any of the big productions, I just love love LOVE musicals. And I know every word to every song of every musical I have ever been in or seen- Chorus Line, Guys & Dolls, Anything Goes, Company, Hello Dolly, Oklahoma, Carousel, Evita, Cabaret, The Who’s Tommy, Rent, West Side Story, Cats…I could go on…
What is your most marked characteristic? My sense of humor, for sure. Not to brag (well, obviously I am bragging here- but bear with me), but I think any of my friends who really know me will agree- I am not the most athletic, the most maternal, the most successful, the most patient or the most beautiful- but I am the most funny.
What do you most value in your friends? I most value friends who are EASY. No drama, no passive aggressive expectations…We are all so busy- between work and family, school obligations, figuring out what the heck is for dinner, keeping our houses from falling apart, there is just a ton going on for everyone, all the time. I value friends who GET IT when you have to cancel a plan because you are just too wiped out from a long day with the kids, or who don’t get snappy when you forget to text them back because you were in the middle of a call when the text came in and then got side-tracked, and things like that. Adult life is complicated- adult friendships should not be!
How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? About 15 years ago I made my first appearance on the Today Show- testing deodorants out on random people in the Rockefeller Center Plaza. At the time, my day job was as a beauty publicist- but in the mornings, before I had to be at my desk, I had this whole other life as an on-air expert. As time marched on- and there was a huge need for content creation to fill all the space online – I left my PR job and went out on my own, contributing fashion and beauty trends to national TV shows like Today, The View, Rachael Ray, E! News and more. Brands would hire me to create content for them, or to serve as a spokesperson; it was such a fun journey that I totally made up as I went along (this was before YouTube and Instagram- I was flying blind!). Since I wasn’t with a magazine, I had to put up a website so there was some place for producers to check me out before booking me. That website- jennfalik.com- eventually became a place for me to write about whatever I felt like writing about on any given day- I no longer needed to pitch anyone and wait for a green light.
I guess my experience building brands as a publicist, creating content as an on-air expert, and writing as a blogger has landed me in a unique spot. I have the flexibility to take on freelance marketing projects, while still being able to write my blog and do on-air segments. It is the latter that keeps me informed to succeed in the former!