We had the good fortune of connecting with Ani Priego and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ani, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I’ve learned that I need to set my priorities straight to achieve balance in my life. Of course, certain priorities have changed over time. Before I had kids, I always put work before myself, and sometimes my family and friends. I have always been passionate about my job, and it hasn’t been easy to set boundaries and prioritize recreation or sleep as essential to my wellbeing. Even so, over time I developed habits that help me balance work-life. I think balance is personal. For example, I’ve been married for eleven years and been a mother for nine, my family life changed things, I want to be there for them, but I also want to pursue a life where I can feed my creativity and be an entrepreneur. I learned there is no such thing as a perfect balance, but there is balance that works individually. Also, when a ball has to drop, I try to make sure it’s the right one and ask for help, that’s what friends are for, to help out when we need them to.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a curious person; I’m intrigued by different ways of thinking, creativity in all its forms, and how people transcend. I worked as an editor and journalist and did some PR and advertising work for 15 years, mainly in Mexico and for some time in DC.
I launched my personal blog anabeat.com in 2017, shortly after I moved from Mexico to live in The Woodlands, TX with my husband and two sons. I began blogging and sharing my experiences as an ex-pat, a new mom, my experience with grief and loss, etc. It was a very challenging year for me. But I loved being able to connect with other women and parents in similar situations through my posts.
I genuinely believe that making constant pauses is vital to create a space where we reassess our actions and beliefs and shift out those that no longer occupy a place in our lives today.
Later on, I launched Infusion. In this Spanish-speaking podcast, I have conversations with entrepreneurs, creatives, wellbeing, and social impact pioneers where we discuss everything from their experiences, emotional wellbeing, sustainability, conscious parenting, and more. These interviews aim to focus on the essence of dialogue as a tool for personal growth.
During quarantine in 2020, I also started a Spanish-speaking podcast that is focused on Houston. Being part of this community for six years, I wanted to share all the self-discovery and experiences that the unique places in H-town offers. Ciudad H is co-hosted by me and Mariana Cano from Yo Mariana Blog, it’s a podcast where two lifestyle bloggers chat about the best of Houston’s art, gastronomy, culture, and happenings. Along with episodes filled with recommendations, we also invite personalities and experts from Houston to share their experiences in different exciting topics with our audience. Meeting these people who have transformed our city in so many positive ways has been awesome.
I am passionate about writing, in addition to my blog, I’ve also been working as a freelance writer for printed and digital magazines in The Woodlands and Mexico. I have learned a lot in all of these ventures, and I hope to keep reaching more people interested in the same topics, keep creating and being vulnerable for many more years to come.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The city has so many excellent restaurants and places to visit that, these are some of my favorites: Start in the Museum District. Park in The Menil Collection, take a tour of the museum’s fabulous art, have a coffee at their bistro, and then visit their bookstore, which I find fascinating. Then walk around the neighborhood and visit the other installations (I love the Cy Twombly Gallery too) and then visit my favorite spot in the city: The Rothko Chapel. Definitely lunch at the Vibrant aftwerwards(cafe with fabulous food for vegetarians or vegans) and sit outside in this lovely fall weather.
After lunch, we continue with Herman Park for the afternoon, take a walk, and finish in the McGovern Centennial Gardens. For dinner, definitely go to River Oaks District and choose between eating amazing Spanish food or classic Vietnamese. MAD and Le Colonial are both fantastic restaurants.
The next day I would suggest having breakfast in the State of Grace and head to the MFA Kinder Building, enjoy the art in the walls, the building’s architecture, and the sculpture garden. Lunch would be at Cafe Leonelli (inside the Kinder Building), with delicious salads and a bakery. For the afternoon, I would take my friend to the Galleria for shopping (my friends always want to do a little shopping) and later walk around Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park. Dinner would be at Hugo’s or Xochi for some cutting edge Mexican cuisine.
Day three would feature the James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace at sunrise. Walking around the Moody Center for the Arts is a must; later, a walk around Rice Village is warranted (that neighborhood is a dream to me with those giant trees) and visit the fabulous stores in that area. Brunch in Sweet Paris creperie. That evening would be a night in at my home, going to Wholefoods to buy wine and beer and a bite of food to keep the conversation going.
The following day we would go kayaking or paddleboarding in Lake Woodlands and spend the rest of the day in Market Street and Hughes Landing. Definitely Truluck’s or Tris for a night cap.
If it were a summer visit, I would love to take my friend to Lake Conroe and spend a day at the lake in a pontoon boat. That is always a fun relaxing experience.
I love mixing indoor with outdoor activities and for that, visiting The Heights is a perfect option. Common Bond Bakery is one of my favs too and walking around the beautiful stores in that neighborhood would make a great morning. If there is a concert or a sports game during that week, I would include that in our itinerary, the Karbach brewery is always a good time.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, so many people, mentors, and authors have inspired me. First and foremost, I would have to mention my mother for letting me explore and understand the world on my terms but always guiding and encouraging me to be kind and respectful to everyone and everything around me.
My basketball coaches and teammates deserve credit for my story too. I played basketball for 14 years and was challenged by them every day to do my very best. Being part of a team-taught me about collaboration, sportsmanship, having a positive attitude through rough times, and realizing that failure is a great lesson.
My husband and close friends have been crucial supporters for my projects; they read whatever I send them before publishing, give me honest feedback, cheer me up when I am down, and I am eternally grateful for that.