Kristin Cavallari Is 'the Happiest She's Ever Been': Inside Her Life with Her Kids and Boyfriend Mark Estes (Exclusive)

The pair went public with their relationship in February, and Cavallari said on her podcast in April that it's "become pretty serious"

<p>Mark Estes/Instagram</p> Mark Estes and Kristin Cavallari at Stagecoach

Mark Estes/Instagram

Mark Estes and Kristin Cavallari at Stagecoach

Kristin Cavallari is having a great time.

The Laguna Beach alum, 37, has a new boyfriend, her three kids are doing well and she’s “the happiest she’s ever been,” a source close to her tells PEOPLE.

“Everything is so good with Mark and he’s great with her kids. They have a lot of fun together. It’s honestly the happiest her friends have seen her in the past 10 years,” the source says of her relationship with 24-year-old Mark Estes, which she hard-launched on Instagram in February.

Cavallari is “enjoying life” right now and “not putting any pressure” on things with Estes, though she’s having fun with the “young energy back in her life.”

Related: Kristin Cavallari Recalls Thinking She’d Make Mark Estes Her 'F--- Buddy' Before Dating: 'Lack of Sex in My Life Was Real'

Her kids — Camden, 11, Jaxon, 9, and Saylor, 8, who she shares with her ex-husband Jay Cutler — remain her “priority.”

“They are no. 1 no matter what. She will pass on projects because she wants to be with them and she doesn’t have nannies 24/7,” the source says, noting that Cavallari is “mostly in Nashville” these days.

“She has a very tight group of girlfriends and they have mom time. She purposefully keeps her circle very small now."

Dating Estes — which has come with some pushback online, which she’s repeatedly laughed off — is allowing Cavallari to have a “‘fun’ phase,” after she “got married so young and had kids so young,” the source adds. "She's learning to enjoy the moment."

<p>Kristin Cavallari/Instagram</p> Kristin Cavallari and Mark Estes share their Stagecoach outfits

Kristin Cavallari/Instagram

Kristin Cavallari and Mark Estes share their Stagecoach outfits

Related: Kristin Cavallari Was Not 'Searching Out' Romance with a Man 13 Years Younger and Admits It Was a 'Hangup'

Since news of their relationship went public, Cavallari and Estes have not been shy about talking about each other, whether it be on her podcast or in interviews.

Estes told PEOPLE in April that Cavallari's kids "are great," while keeping the details of his growing relationship with them largely to himself. "I'm not going to dive too deep into that, but they're great kids," he said.

Cavallari had previously revealed that her kids met the former college football player on the night of their first date, as Estes picked her up from her house. "This is the first real guy they've met. When Montana came to pick me up, the boys were like, 'Can I show you my room?' Like Montana's upstairs with my kids, seeing their rooms. My boys were so excited about it," she said on a March episode of her podcast, Let's Be Honest with Kristin Cavallari.

<p>Kristin Cavallari/Instagram</p> Kristin Cavallari and Mark Estes

Kristin Cavallari/Instagram

Kristin Cavallari and Mark Estes

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"I think more than anything, my kids were really excited for me. My kids really wanna see me happy. And I've been really good about separating my dating life from their life," she said of how she's navigated relationships since her separation from Cutler, 41, in 2020.

Estes has been bonding with her kids — her sons, in particular — Cavallari shared, which "actually kind of kill me because that's all I've been wanting is a guy to play with my boys. That's it. It's really simple."

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