Meet a Mom: Meet Dana Ivy! | Chicago North Shore Moms


We are so excited to feature a fabulous #mompreneur, local North Shore mama of two lovely boys, beloved blogger of I Adore What I Love (established in 2012!!!), Dana Ivy! Dana shares with us great household mom hacks, a bit of mompreneur business advice and most importantly, her passion.

Dana Ivy, We adore you, too!



Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?

I was born and raised in the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, specifically Buffalo Grove. Now my husband and I reside in Highland Park with our family of four and are absolutely obsessed with everything about it! I will always feel a strong connection to the North Shore as it has and will be my home forever 🙂



Child(ren) and Age(s)?

I am a #boymom and I feel honored to have that title! I have two little monsters ages four {#MrBrodyMax} and two {#MrLeviTanner}. They are 26 months apart and are absolutely obsessed with each other.



One thing people would be surprised to know about you  …

Hmmm. Tough question!! I think a lot of people know that in my former working life I was a teacher in Lincolnwood. I taught ELL (English Language Learners) to 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders for 5 years and then I taught First Grade for 3 years! I loved both but those little first grade kiddos will always have my heart. Still trying to think about the answer to one thing people would be SURPRISED to know…


Oh! I got it → my husband and I were best friends for 4 years before we started dating. Once we became an official boyfriend/girlfriend couple, we got engaged quickly and married 9 months later since we already had that amazing friendship foundation.



Favorite mom hack?

Omg there are SO many!!!!! Sharing mom hacks via my blog, Instagram, and insta stories is my specialty and something I do on a daily basis – so basically, I love this question. With that, I actually have TWO favorite mom hacks for ya {Of course I’ve written a whole blog post about my fave mom hacks and need to write another one because I have so many more to share now!!} but here are my two faves:


  1. The first is more of a household hack: Before I had kids, I took out the garbage once a day, maybe once every other day. Then, when I had my first, Brody, I would take out the garbage at least once a day, if not more. 2 years later when Levi entered the world I legit started taking out the garbage 4-5 times a day. I wish I was joking. What I started doing, however, is life changing: I put about 10 bags on top of each other in the kitchen garbage bin. The kids help me count the bags as I put them in! Then, when I take one out I don’t have to get a new bag to refill the pail because it’s already in there. Genius, right?! This tip seriously never gets old!!!
  2. The second also has to do with the garbage but more specifically, the diaper pail in your child’s room. Pour ground coffee beans on the bottom of it to eliminate the horrid dirty diaper odors. IT WORKS.



Favorite place to take the kids?

Oh but there are so many, how do I choose just one?! I mean, my husband and I love taking the kids to ABT on the weekends because it’s like an indoor playground for them – there’s the huge fish tank, giant SUVs that they can go in {and of course they always have to honk the horn even though we tell them not to!!}, massage chairs to relax on, a water globe to look at, Dylan’s Candy Bar which is self explanatory, and best of all – FREE COOKIES!! Hahah it really is the most amazing place for kids and adults alike!


For a list of our favorite indoor play spaces on the North Shore, I shared that on my instagram HERE.


And in the summer, we love all the local parks!!!! We are so lucky to have them!!



Guilty pleasure (ie. Food, desert, snack, hobby)?

Mindless TV on Bravo – I watch and LOVE the Real Housewives series: Bev Hills, OC, New Jersey and Dallas and am obsessed with Vanderpump Rules. Are you judging??



Go-to cosmetic “tired eraser”?

The first thing I use on my face every morning {and it also happens to be the last thing I put on my face before bed} has literally changed my skin over the past year that I’ve been using it… It’s called Firmarine Life Essence Lotion by Erno Lazlo and IT SERIOUSLY WORKS. All the claims of it toning, hydrating, revitalizing skin + firming, energizing and lifting it are true. I will probably use it everyday for the rest of my life.



Favorite family movie?

We need to watch more movies as a family! I personally love Home Alone and Sound of Music and Brody was obsessed with Toy Story for a long time and would watch it over and over and over!!



Favorite book for you?

Currently reading Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and IT IS EVERYTHING!



Favorite Children’s book?

“Today I Feel Silly” by Jamie Lee Curtis. As a first grade teacher, this was one of my absolute favorites to read to my class. It’s a book about feelings and it’s also interactive, funny, and relatable. I now read it to my own kids and it’s truly one of those books that never gets old and is great for ANY age!



A perfect day with the family is….

One where there’s a mix of having an agenda and being busy as well as taking good naps and allowing ourselves some downtime. For the past two years, we’ve gone to Florida over winter break and our time there together is heavenly. Pretty much everyday is just how I described a perfect day with my family to be!



Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?

My mom friends!!!! Without them, I wouldn’t be half the mom that I am!!!! But also my mom and dad who live close and come over at the drop of a dime to help out when need be, and my in-laws who allow my husband and I to travel solo while they come in and watch the kids. It truly takes a village.



We love your blog I Adore What I Love and your Insta feed is refreshingly positive, cheerful, engaging and entertaining! Are you a part of other ventures or creative endeavors (with your ‘spare’ time, of course)? Please share!

Over the past few years I have shifted my job title from teacher to blogger and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Teaching was always my dream but at this point in my life, my passion is focused on my blog, I Adore What I Love, along with my social channels – namely my instagram page {you can find me @danaivy {!!!}, which are both my primary interests right now business wise.


I love creating new content that resonates with my followers, many of which are North Shore moms!!! Sharing recipes, style ideas, product reviews, life hacks & mom tips is what I do best!


In addition to managing my blog, I also manage the social media networks for a local restaurant in town which pushes me to be creative on a different level. And every other Sunday, you can find me teaching Jewish Sunday School at a local North Shore temple! I feel fortunate to be where I am in life and I still get to take care of my kids 24/7 too!!



Wow, you are a busy mama! We’d LOVE to know…. What year did you create your blog I Adore What I Love and how did it come to be?

Growing up, I was obsessed with reading magazines and blogs! Immersing myself in both of them took me to my happy place. Later in life, all of my friends would come to me and ask me questions about the latest hair accessories, my favorite make-up products, the top Chicago restaurants, etc. I was constantly answering these types of questions and responding to phone calls and text messages with my thoughts, feelings, and opinions. One day, a light bulb went off that since I was sharing so much of what I love with my friends, I should start sharing it on the internet because others might be interested too! And that’s exactly what I did! My blog was born on December 4, 2012 and I am so thankful for what’s it’s brought to my life and for my amazing readers who appreciate the creative content that I put out there!!


Back in the day, I Adore What I Love was simply a passion project that I wrote in my free time. Never in a million years did I envision it would come to much of anything, but am super grateful that I’ve been able to turn it into the business and brand that I’m proud of. Looking back at my old posts are pretty hilarious; I call them “vintage” as I’ve come a long way in design, format, and even in my writing style. But I keep these posts live because there is still some pretty great content there that’s still relevant to my readership.


And that, my friends, is how and why I started I Adore What I Love! There’s actually a whole lot of work that goes into it but I love it and more importantly, have fun doing it! Plus, the amount of people that I’ve been able to connect with because of it is my favorite part of the whole business!!!! I will never stop sharing about all the fun things going on in my life and my blog and Instagram have been the perfect platforms for me to do so!


We love your passion! What advice can you offer our readers with respect to your creative outlets? 

Oooo my advice to everyone in this world is to take business classes!!!! I changed my path completely and previously had zero business background. In blogging, you need that so it’s been quite the learning curve. I wish I had been required to take business classes even going into the field of education. Since deciding that I was going to take blogging seriously and attempt to actually make money from it, I’ve made it a point to take time out of my weekly routine to study the world of business and specifically the one that relates to blogging and influence. It’s becoming less and less foreign to me and has really helped my brand!



Super advice, Dana! Thank you! What’s on the horizon?

I hope to do bigger and better things with my blog in the near future. I’m thinking about updating my website and might even rebrand to truly cater to my niche of young moms! A huge goal of mine is blog more consistently and to grow my instagram platform in hopes of connecting with more moms like me! Subscribe to get every new post from my blog straight to your email inbox HERE and follow me on Instagram HERE. Yaya!

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