Meet Our Favorite Los Angeles Moms

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We are so excited to be heading to our 9th Gearapalooza stop in the City of Angels!  We can’t wait to be back in LA on June 12 evening!  It’s going to be so great to bring this ultimate baby gear and registry event to the city — as always, we will be featuring TheBabyGuyNYC who will have the BEST baby gear, products, services + safety information in one action-packed night!   If you’re a new or expectant parent this is a DO NOT MISS event!  The gift bags are also incredible and there are thousands of dollars in giveaways (strollers, car seats, carriers, and so much more)!

To celebrate our arrival in LA, we want to introduce you to some of our favorite LA moms, including our very special BCB LA Market Leaders, Lorin & Catherine!  We are so lucky to have these amazing women as part of our BCB community & most will be joining us at Gearapalooza so be sure to stop by and say hi!

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Lorin Sanchez

Age: 40

Kids and ages: Gia (6 on April 20) and Mila (2)

Where do you live? Los Angeles, CA

Tell us about yourself…

Tell us why you have chosen to be a BCB Market Leader? I attended Gearapalooza when I was pregnant with my 2 nd child and only wish I had known about BCB during my first pregnancy! I learned so much and was so impressed by all of the information and resources that I wanted to share it with other mamas.

What is your favorite part about Bump Club and Beyond? I love all of our events and getting to get out and meet other parents and let our kids play together. I have met some amazing people and love the community we are building in Los Angeles!

What does community mean to you? To me, community is the village of family, friends, and neighbors that are there for you through it all. To love, support and encourage you…and occasionally tell you what you might not want to hear. From helping to celebrate birthdays, determining what that strange rash could be and everything in between!

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? I would often go on playdates and take my daughter places during the first year of her life, but it wasn’t until just after her 1 st birthday that I found my tribe in a group of moms that actually lived in our apartment building. I also joined the MOMS Club and have made some great friends through that as well.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Aside from their general presence in my life, my biggest reward as a mother so far has been to watch my older daughter be a little mommy and love on my youngest as I do. The unconditional love I have for them is so real and I can see it in the love they have for me and for each other.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) I totally think I learned my ultimate mom hack from Lindsay at Gearapalooza and it is the best advice. Always layer the mattress. Mattress protector, sheet, mattress protector sheet; it is the ultimate life-saver for those middle of the night changes!

What is the best part about where you live? I love the access we have to so much in and around Los Angeles. There is so much we can expose our children to that they would normally have to travel all over for. We can even surf and ski in the same day, not that we’ve ever done it!

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown: One of our favorite things to do is to spend the day at Disneyland! Being such a short distance away really does give us the opportunity to take our time and explore all that the resort has to offer, and almost every visit is a different experience.

Favorite date night in your hometown. One of our favorite date night spots is Bottega Louie in Downtown. Wine, good food, and amazing desserts!

What are five things that you could not “mom” without? My BCB VIP membership (obvs) to save lots of money of fun things to do around town; portrait mode on my iphone to capture all of those sweet smiles; Babyganics foaming hand sanitizer and hand sanitizing wipes, I keep these everywhere and use it on everything; my crock-pot, when I meal prep and use the crock-pot the evenings seem to run much smoother in our house; and finally Amazon Prime and Amazon Prime Now, getting groceries delivered saves me so much and time and I don’t have to stress about taking the girls out to the store!

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? I’ve recently completed 2 session of the Body Back Transformation with Fit4Mom and am really enjoying the workouts in my free time. I also love a good spa treatment and a giass of wine.

Who are your “mom idols?”  My mama is my ultimate “mom idol”, I go to her for advice on just about everything and often find myself apologizing for what I put her through and thanking her for being an amazing mom to my sister and I. I also have a great friend that I always look to for everything – she is such a great mother to her 3 kids and always has such amazing advice to give.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? Everything is temporary and this too shall pass. Those sleepless nights, the messy house, the pile of laundry. It will all be okay, just try to enjoy where you are and soak up every moment because it does fly by!

How do you balance it all? I don’t, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I do the best I can and no matter what make sure my girls know they are the most important thing to me.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Pretty sure David Guetta’s “Play Hard” sums up my everyday, but Faith Hill’s “You Can’t Lose Me” holds a special place in my heart!

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Catherine Stergar

Age: 33

Kids and ages: Charlie, 5 & Stella, 2

Where do you live? Redondo Beach, CA

Tell us why you have chosen to be a BCB Market Leader? I love the flexibility that this job provides as well as the connection it allows me to have to my community. It is fun creating events for other Moms and kids in my area and trying a new business or workout. It’s awesome when I get to bring my kids along!

What is your favorite part about Bump Club and Beyond? I love the community it brings to Moms. With my first child, I was one of the first of my friends to have a baby. It was lonely and difficult at times navigating Motherhood – I’m so grateful that BCB is available for Moms where I live and across the country. I’ve learned so much from the other Moms in my life and love that BCB facilitates events where other Moms have this opportunity.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them?My strongest network of Moms are the ones in my neighborhood. Without a doubt, I can take my kids on a walk around the block and I can find a Mom to chat with and my kids have friends to play with. I love being surrounded by Moms that have become friends where I live – from driveway happy hours, play dates and Moms Night Out, we have a really special bond and I know I can count on them for spaghetti sauce when I’ve run out or a listening ear. I also feel so grateful to have made friends through Mommy & Me classes, Moms I work out with at the gym and the Moms at my son’s preschool.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? I find the biggest reward of motherhood to really be the small everyday moments – overhearing Charlie help Stella with a toy and telling her, “you’re my cutie” or the daily hugs at preschool pickup. When I step back and see my kids handling a situation with a friend well or successfully navigating their school day, it makes me feel really good that I am preparing them to be independent and rely on themselves. I am so proud of the family that my husband and I have created and watching my kids grow into little humans who are friendly, sweet and care about others makes me so happy and is one my greatest missions in life.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) I use my pizza cutter all the time – so easy to make little bites!

What is the best part about where you live? I can walk to the beach in 20 minutes!

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown: I love to load up my kids in the double Bob and head out for a few hours to grab coffee, play at the park with friends and have them help me shop in Trader Joe’s on the way home.

Favorite date night in your hometown. We love to go to happy hour on the Pier and eat at our favorite restaurant, Palmilla, for awesome Mexican food!

What are five things that you could not “mom” without?  (Products, apps, anything that helps you to be a better mom.) I LOVE my iPhone – from taking photos, keeping lists and Facetiming my family – I really don’t know where I’d be without it! I also couldn’t live without the kids club at my gym, my Double Bob, Trader Joe’s & Target!

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do. I love to watch Ellen and have dessert!

Who are your “mom idols”?  (Moms you look up to as women and parents.) Of course, I look up to my own Mom so much. Watching her embrace her role of Grandma has been one of the most beautiful things to watch. My kids absolutely adore her! I have also really looked up to the women I previously babysat for. Both before I was married in my early twenties to my newlywed years – I had a front stage pass to watch amazingly strong moms balance their work and home life. They were powerhouses in their careers and shining examples to me of what dedicated and loving Moms looked like. They helped set the bar for me on the type of Mom I dreamt and hope I have become. I still think about them all of the time and all the lessons and practices I learned from them.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood. It’s important to be familiar with how to use a breast pump even if your plan is to exclusively breastfeed. I will never forget my husband and I youtubing how to use my Medela pump and all the tears and sore boobs that came along with it. My little guy was only a few days old and it would have been helpful if I had taken the time before I was stressed and sleep deprived to educate myself on the process.

How do you balance it all? Organization is key to everything I do in my life – I’m always trying to be a few steps ahead so that if I need more time to do something I have it – from packing lunches to helping with the preschool silent auction – the more ahead of the ‘deadline’ the better for me!

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Daniela Rey

Age: 32

Kid(s) and Ages: I have a 6 year old girl and expecting another one due early August!

Where do you live? We live in Pasadena, CA

Tell us about yourself…

Work life:  I’m a family photographer! I run my small photography practice alongside motherhood and they are both very much intertwined. My business is called Mama Niela (https://mamaniela.co/) and it started 6 years ago as a creative outlet when my daughter was born. Since then it’s evolved into a way to make money that allows me the flexibility to be home and available as a mom. I photograph women and their families … sometimes it’s women entrepreneur –– we take photos so they can use on marketing and social media, and sometimes is at home with their families. Many women find me when they have a newborn at home and those are some of my favorite sessions. On a day when I’m shooting, I’ll take my kid to school, drive to my client’s home, take photos for about an hour, come back home, eat, maybe answer some emails and then it’s time to pick her up from school. I love that I get to spend so much time with women, honoring their story with photos and then I’m available to pick my kid up from school and be present with her as well. Sometimes I’m so inspired and energized by the adult time with clients that it’s hard to unwind and be available for my daughter, but I’ve learned mindfulness practices that help me with that transition. The work/life balance we all struggle with, right?

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? There are many that come to mind, but my favorite might be how I’ve created a nest at home with my favorite people in it and I get to do life with them every day. As an adult, you find that friendships are much more complicated than they were when you were little. Now you have to plan dates in advance and make efforts to leave the house and drive to see the people you care about. Unless you put in the work, the relationship weakens by the distance and you find yourself alone. A family takes a lot of work too, but my husband is my best friend and my daughter, at 6, is turning out to be so interesting and fun. I don’t have to make appointments with them, they’re here with me and every day with them is a pretty great day.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity-saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!)  I don’t know if this counts as a mom hack, but for me, the biggest sanity-saving tip has been to really look deeply at anything that is feeling frustrating or challenging and see how I can simplify it. I’ve come to understand that it is my responsibility to not let things go on for so long that I get frustrated, so I look into what needs to change and set whatever boundaries necessary. Food, for example, gets tricky sometimes, as she grows, she’s picky with what she eats in new ways, and sometimes I find myself fighting and worrying about it. I’ve learned to simplify it by setting up very basic rules. I don’t force her to eat anything, don’t bribe her, and definitely don’t spoon feed her. I limit candy and ice cream to after breakfast and before dinner and try to keep healthy options at home for her. I also keep lots of fresh fruits and vegetables at home and those are always OK, no matter what time it is. On picky days she might only eat fruit and pasta, but I know fruit is filled with lots of good nutrients so I take a few deep breaths and choose not to worry.

What is the best part about where you live? I’ve lived in Los Angeles for more than 10 years and just 2 years ago we moved to Pasadena, where I feel like I finally found my home. It’s super close to Los Angeles metro area, yet it feels different. Calmer. Safer. More family friendly. We live within walking distance to great restaurants, amazing sushi, and beautiful parks. My daughter goes to a small progressive elementary school nearby called Friends Wester School (http://www.friendswesternschool.org/) and we love the progressive education, small classrooms, and the community of parents and teachers, all so creative and happy to be where they are.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. Living in Southern California, the weather is almost always beautiful. We spend most weekends walking to a restaurant or a park or the farmers market and then back home to enjoy the pool and watch a movie. I love how safe it feels and how many options we have to eat outside.

Favorite date night in your hometown. Sugarfish (https://www.yelp.com/biz/sugarfish-by-sushi-nozawa-pasadena?osq=sugarfish) has the best sushi I’ve ever had and we’re lucky to have a location within walking distance. We try to go during weekdays because the wait can be long on weekend nights, but it’s always worth it anyway. Mercado (https://www.yelp.com/biz/mercado-pasadena-pasadena-2?osq=mercado) has amazing gourmet Mexican food, and there’s a new Chinese dumpling place called Dan Modern (https://www.yelp.com/biz/dan-modern-chinese-pasadena) that’s amazing! Funny thing I just realized is that all the spots I just mentioned are in the same city block.

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without? That’s an interesting question because lately, I’ve felt like the fewer products and apps I have, the easier it is to be and to mom. It’s hard to simplify life in this world filled with stuff and businesses and solutions. Still, as I prepare for this baby coming in August, there are things I know I’ll need in order to survive. Some of them are:

  • A stroller and car seat: I’m going with the Maxi-Cosi Zelia 5-in-1 Travel System

  • A baby wrap: I actually have two already I love. The moby for newborn and the ergo classic for later on.

  • A Boppy nursing pillow.

  • A baby swing: probably getting the Graco Simple Sway

  • A diaper bag: I’ll probably find a big purse that works as a diaper bag because I don’t like the look of actual diaper bags, but still not sure which.

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? It’s been about 4 years since I use one, but from what I remember:

  • a change of clothes or two

  • diapers and wet naps

  • a multi-use swaddle blanket for cleaning up spills, shade, coverup, etc.

  • a snack for baby and for me

  • water

  • a reusable waterproof bag with a zipper

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? I like to listen to podcasts that inspire and excite me. Things about motherhood, entrepreneurship, and mindfulness usually. I like to read my oracle cards … they’re always so helpful when I’m feeling stuck.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? When my daughter was tiny, I joined a meetup that met at a local park every Friday morning. It was free and all we did was sit on blankets under a tree and eat snacks. It was exactly what I needed at the time and I met amazing women and mothers there. I lost touch with many of them as our kids grew, but there are a couple who survive the changes and I’m so glad to have them in my tribe.

Now, as a family photographer, I’ve made connections with other women, mothers, and entrepreneurs in Los Angeles and they make most of my tribe. We collaborate together to grow our businesses, support each other, attend events together and stay connected via Instagram in the in-between.

How do you balance it all?  I don’t. Sometimes I find a balance for a few days and I feel on top of my world. But that soon changes because that’s how nature works. There’s also the challenge of being a cyclical woman in a world made by men, money, and productivity. It’s easy to feel lost and inadequate. Caregiving and caring for the house have little value, and it shouldn’t be that way. Still, I’m learning to let some things take more weight for a while and then switch as needed. So, if I’m feeling inspired in my work I might allow myself to dive deeper, stay up later at night, spend more time brainstorming ways to grow my business. If I’m feeling moodier or depleted somehow, I might work less and focus on self-care… things like reading, listening to podcasts, my oracle cards, time with women in circle, all those help me recharge. My daughter helps me find balance because she acts out if I’m absent for too long. So work has to stop, self-indulgent daydreaming has to end, and food has to be made. I suppose I’m learning to split my time. Some time for my family, some time for work, and some time for myself. And let the push and pull of life guide me … it might never feel like there’s a balance, but when you look at it in retrospect you see that time was balanced between all the things that mattered.

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:  My Instagram account is @mamanielaco (https://www.instagram.com/mamanielaco/). In it, I share my professional photography and use it to weave my motherhood story with that of the women around me. As much as I struggle with how distracting it can be, I love that I get to learn from women all over the world and how it helps me stay connected with my tribe. I love sharing my thoughts about motherhood and recently began making Chatbooks out of my posts –– so I know that if Instagram ever closes, I’ll have our story safe and tangible in the form of photo books.

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Ashlee Nino Clement & Stefanie Klausmann Vo

Age: Ashlee – 21+ Stefanie – 21+

Kid(s) and Ages: Lotte (1) Zephyr (2) Marlo (5)

Where do you live? Los Angeles, CA

Tell us about yourself…

Work life:  We are both professional dancers in the Los Angeles entertainment industry. We have toured/worked with artists such as Pharrell, Gwen Stefani, Jlo, Miley Cyrus, Sia, Kelly Clarkson, The Jonas Brothers, Christina Aguilera and more. Stefanie also owns her own entertainment company called, “Hollywood Hot Shots” and Ashlee owns a doggie hotel called “Barking Dogs Ranch.”

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Seeing them smile and knowing that not a single day has gone by that WE have not smiled.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) Ashlee – Hiding veggies in everything (even ice cream… YUP!) -> Recipe!? Greek yogurt, pureed carrots, fresh orange juice, honey, mix, freeze BAM!

Stef- Hiding my german chocolate inside a bag of frozen peas in the freezer. My kid will never touch it!

What is the best part about where you live? We love LA because this is the place that everyone comes for work or play! We just happen to live in the middle of it! We are close to the beach, hiking, surfing, skiing, the desert. Everything you would want to explore with your family is right around the corner. We are also so blessed to be in a city where some of the best entertainers are. It makes job opportunities a lot more accessible.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. Ashlee – I LOVE Underwood Farms! It isn’t too often that we go, but when do, it’s always a great time! Our faves strawberry picking in the summer, Easter and Halloween!

Stef – My favorite thing to do with my kids is to take them to the art district downtown LA or any museum. Seeing them explore art is the best!

Favorite date night in your hometown. Date Night? What’s that…?

Ashlee – Honestly, A MOVIE, in a real-life movie theatre hahaha My son is still too young to sit through an entire movie, so we never go. I would love a good dinner and movie with my husband!

Stef – I would LOVE to go out dancing to live music…. UGHHH a girl can dream!

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without?  Ashlee – Wine! My BOB jogger stroller! M&Ms for potty training! Target! and also MORE WINE

Stef – Baby wipes, The one hour drop off at Ikea! Baby finger nail clipper, My Tula baby carrier and My Stokke Trip Trap Chair!!!

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? Ashlee – WIPES, Pull Ups or change of pants/undies (potty training is sucking the life out of me!), Snacks! Sanitizer! and a water bottle.

Stef- WIPES, diapers, snacks, water bottle and my first aid bag!

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? We’re not sure we’ve heard “Time To Yourself” used in a sentence before. 😉

Ashlee – Wine and crafting

Stef- Get a massage and crafting!!!

Who are your “mom idols”?  Our own moms and each other. Neither one of us have family in LA, so we have literally built such a strong relationship with each other. We talk everyday and truly have never had a friendship like this one. Also our mom friends who successfully balance Mom Life and WORK LIFE #bossmoms

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? As we mentioned before, we do not have family in LA. Also, in the dance community, there are not a lot of working dancers who are moms. We created Mom Together as a place where moms could come together free of judgement. We have been so blessed to have met so many moms through this! We have become close with moms and not even met them until years later. The power of social media is truly amazing!

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? Ashlee – Mine is about nursing. I wish someone would have told me how hard it would be. I always heard beautiful stories about bonding with baby during nursing. For me it was utter hell. So painful and no bonding. I nearly had mastitis three times. The depression I went into, to feel like I HAD TO, “because it was best”, was very difficult. I want to tell moms, the journey to breastfeeding is different for everyone. To some it’s easy, to others it’s horrible. You DO YOU and what you feel is best for you and your baby!

Stef – During my first pregnancy, I wish someone would have told me how easy it was to tear during birth and what I could have done to prevent it. For my second child, I was much more prepared. I used a product called Epi-No Delphine Plus, a pelvic floor muscle exercise device to prepare for giving birth and to restore after-birth muscle tone.

How do you balance it all? Ashlee – Definite time for yourself without your kids and without your husband! Even if it’s just a trip to Target! And a planner (i’m old school and still have to write everything out) and also WINE!

Stef – I think self-care is a huge priority! Even though, we hardly get enough. It’s ok to ask for help. It takes a village.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?  FORMATION by Beyonce

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:  Mom Together – IG @momtogether “Life is a white piece of paper, the colors are inside you. Paint it bright and colorful!”

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Danielle Spangler

Age: 46

Kid(s) and Ages: Lilly (16), Jake (14) and Ben (10)

Where do you live? Redondo Beach, CA

Tell us about yourself…

Work life: I am a prenatal and postnatal fitness specialist, I own a fitness program called “Core Mom” which stands for Corrective Obsterical Related Exercise. I teach this program at several locations but also out of a fitness studio I own called “Beach Life fitness Boutique.”

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? It is so hard to pick one thing, but I think it’s been watching my children grow up to be happy confident, kind and compassionate people.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) I have many with three kids, I guess having school age kids I use a lot of time management apps and I really like a car pool app called Carpool-kids. I live and die with car pools and it helps having an app to organize families and kids!

What is the best part about where you live? We live in southern California where the weather is usually great year round and wonderful for enjoying all kinds of outdoor events!

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. We love going to the beach and being outside!

Favorite date night in your hometown. My husband and I love to find a romantic restaurant place near the beach, sometimes we even ride bikes and have dinner and walk on the beach afterwards.

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without? Again, I love meal planning and time management apps at this stage of my kids lives, I also enjoy apps that help with chores like Cozi. To me it helps gives everyone “jobs” to keep the family accountable for their specific duties. When my kids were little of course supplies of snacks and snack holders that did not create messes were essential. I loved my mini van with a large family and I think that was a really important thing for family of 5!

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? Extra clothes for myself and kids, essential oil spray, aquaphore, wipes, snacks for me and kids and pads of paper and crayons.

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? RELAX (spa)

Who are your “mom” idols? My mother and my mother in law were great role models on displaying unconditional love and support, I honestly have so many because there are so many women out there trying so har every day in their way to be good moms, none of us are perfect!

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? My mom tribe came from mommy and me with my first born and also from parents at my kids elementary school.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? My advice is relax, soak up every moment and do not stress about little things. And take care of YOU! Your children are priority but a healthy mom is a happy mom!!

How do you balance it all? Balance what’s that lol!!! When my kids were younger and I was not working full time, I still managed filling up my time volunteering at their schools, which was wonderful and I recommend but I rarely put my need for self care or alone time first, I felt pressure to always be involved one way or another. As I get older and also my kids do, it is easier to pull away to enjoy alone time and self care.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “ Don’t Worry Be Happy”

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:  Yay! I have two IG handles @coremomfitness and @beachlifefitnessboutique. My mission is to empower women and bring awareness to whats involved in staying strong during and after pregnancy as well as safe exercise protocols. I actually love helping all women even beyond child rearing years understand how to stay strong and take care of themselves.

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Marcy Crouch

Age: 37

Kid(s) and Ages: 2 and almost 4

Where do you live? Redondo Beach, CA

Tell us about yourself…

Work life:  I am a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, and I own a clinic in Redondo Beach, CA! I have been doing this work for the past 10 years and I opened my own practice last year. I love helping women through their pregnancies and after, and I feel much more connected with my patients now that I’m a mama. Post partum recovery is so important and often neglected for new mothers and I love being able to offer a much needed service that helps women regain strength, control, and confidence with their bodies after baby.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Seeing my boys grow into the very different people they are, and watching them find things that give them joy. They also have taught me patience, shown me more love than I thought I was capable of feeling, and brought my husband and I closer.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) You can do so many awesome core and pelvic floor exercises throughout the day with all the activities you are doing while being an awesome mama! You don’t need a fancy gym with lots of equipment. Babies and car seats are plenty heavy. Also….instead of microwaving the same cup of coffee 462947520 times, add ice to make an iced coffee!

What is the best part about where you live? Being so close to the beach, and the awesome moms that are in the South Bay Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. Scootering on the strand and getting ice cream and watching beach volleyball

Favorite date night in your hometown. My husband and I love to try new good restaurants, so we usually find a new spot to try and then try and catch a comedy show at the Comedy and Magic Club in Hermosa Beach

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without? Dry shampoo, iced coffee, leggings, mineral powder sunscreen (so much easier to apply on squirmy kiddos!) and Hello Fresh meals (easy to cook, they are tasty, and I don’t have to shop or plan meals)

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? sunscreen, hand sanitizer, wipes, my menstrual cup (ya never know), change of clothes for EVERYONE

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? sleep, read, drink hot cofee, watch the waves

Who are your “mom idols”? My mom, Jennifer Garner, Kristen Bell, Ellen Degeneres (she’s not a mom, but she’s incredible), Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mother Theresa

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? My first mom tribe is a group of 8 women from Portland, OR. We all met in a New Mom class at OHSU, and all of our babies are around the same age. We met about 4 years ago and have kept up with annual trips, wine night, book club, and hilarious text chains. They literally saved me as a new mom, and I love them so much

My second tribe here in LA started forming about a year ago when I started my business. I met some incredible local mamas who also work with women during pregnancy and after, and I have been lucky enough to continue these relationships both personally and professionally.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? Everything is a phase and temporary

How do you balance it all? Still figuring that out, but learning to ask for help and say no to things

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benetar

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it: My mission is to make pelvic floor physical therapy accessbile and standard for all people who have given birth. 1 in 3 women experience pelvic floor dysfunction after childbirth. We do a poor job of taking care of new mamas in this country, and having a pelvic floor assessment post partum is imperative for comprehensive care and optimal healing and recovery. We often leave mothers to navigate their recovering bodies alone, and dismiss concerns with ‘oh that’s normal, you just had a baby, what do you expect?’. Common does NOT mean normal. Even though it may be common to leak urine with exercise or sneezing, or have pain with sex, it is certainly not normal, and shouldn’t be dismissed so readily. Working with skilled providers and having a multidisciplinary team to meet all needs of the new mother should not be a luxury, it should be a necessary and very standard piece of comprehensive post partum care. IG: @thedowntheredoc- my social media page for my business and my trials and tribulations re motherhood, vaginas, and everything in between & www.restorativepelvicphysicaltherapy.com: includes my blog

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Natalie Berghoudian

Age: 32

Kid(s) and Ages: Isabella (19 months) and Nicholas (2 months)

Where do you live? Encino, CA

Tell us about yourself…

Work life:  I work for Los Angeles Unified School District. I taught 8 th grade for the last four years and recently moved up to administration. My current role is Magnet Coordinator for the STEAM and Leadership Magnet at Sutter Middle School. My husband and I also started a small business selling baby milestone blankets. Our business, NextGen Baby, connected us to the Gearapalooza event in Los Angeles!

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Motherhood has given my life a new sense of purpose. The things that seemed so important to me before are so trivial now. All that matters to me is seeing my children smile, laugh, and be happy!

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) White noise works wonders on my baby during the “witching hour” (which takes place every night from about 7-9pm). Here’s the link to a “white noise” video that works like magic: https://youtu.be/oewj_XEM1js

What is the best part about where you live? I live in sunny California. The weather is always beautiful and the sun is always shining. My family loves being outdoors and we are so fortunate to live in a part of the world that always has such perfect weather.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. My favorite thing to do with my kids is visit local parks. My toddler is full of energy and she loves climbing, enjoying the swings, and sliding at full speed!

Favorite date night in your hometown. Our favorite date nights include sushi for dinner and drinks at a local lounge or pub. My favorite bar is in Venice Beach at the top of Hotel Erwin. It is called “High Rooftop Lounge” and it has beautiful ocean views, delicious food and drinks, and a really fun vibe!

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without?  Products I use daily include the Haakaa Manual Breast Pump, Hatch Baby (sound machine), my breast pump (Medela), Faleemi monitor, and OXO waterproof bibs.

The Haakaa pump is amazing for collecting milk while you are breastfeeding! When I am nursing on one breast, I suction the Haakaa to my other breast, and it collects all of the milk as the let-down process occurs. I collect about two ounces without even having to manually pump! I just simply suction the pump to my breast and voila! Extra milk for a later feeding.

Hatch Baby is a night light & sound machine which connects to your smartphone (or can be turned on and off manually). I love the app because I can turn it off once I leave my baby’s bedroom and he has fallen asleep.

We initially registered for a $200+ baby monitor. In fact, I bought two sets – one for my home and one for my mom’s. We set the monitor up and tested it out for a few days and absolutely hated it! The picture was grainy and it would not connect every time. We ended up returning both sets and purchasing the Faleemi Camera for $43.99! It is fairly priced, and the picture is 1080P high-definition quality! The camera requires a wifi connection, and you use your smartphone as the monitor. The best part is whoever has the app and the password can view your baby – which means I can watch her at home, work or on the go. My mother-in-law, my mom and my hubby all have the app on their phones so we can all view her at the same time. No need for monitors. It also has amazing night vision and two way audio! I highly recommend this camera!

I love the OXO Tot Waterproof Bibs. They are so easy to clean and reuse. Great for when your baby starts solids. Or a toddler who is a messy eater.

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? Diaper changing pad, snacks, extra clothes, swaddle blankets, and burp cloths (my son spits up, A LOT!). Of course, tons of wipes and diapers!

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? I love going to the beach, laying out under the sun, and enjoying the soothing sounds of the ocean. But, which mom has time to herself?!

Who are your “mom idols?” My mom & my mother-in-law. I could not raise my kids without them. Since I had my son (and officially became a mom of two-under-two) they have both been at my home daily to help me. I could not survive without them! They took care of my daughter when I returned to work after maternity leave, and will also be watching both children when I return to work in a few weeks.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? My mom tribe includes my family members (cousins, sister-in-law) and friends who have kids. I’ve also met so many moms through social media since starting my mommy blog! It has been so wonderful to meet other moms and share our experiences.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? The transition from having one kid to two is incredibly challenging! Especially if you decide to have two kids close in age. If you are planning on having kids back-to-back, make sure you have a lot of help. My son is turning three months old in a few weeks and I still don’t know if I’m awake or asleep, what day it is, or what planet I am on. It has been such a whirlwind, but also so much fun. Sometimes.

How do you balance it all? I have an incredible support system which includes my husband, my mom and my mother-in- law. They are the only way I manage to balance it all!

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Life has thrown many challenges my way – especially when my husband and I started trying to conceive. My journey to motherhood was not what I was expecting. My husband and I tried to conceive for almost two years. When I finally got pregnant, it was such an exciting time. However, our excitement was short-lived as I experienced an early pregnancy loss. Our second pregnancy also resulted in a miscarriage, and I was starting to lose hope. I believed I would never be able to carry my own child. However, out of the darkness, I found a way to rise up, move on, and find myself again.

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:  As a parent in today’s world, I am constantly researching online when making important decisions that involve my children. Previous generations relied on their family members to provide this information, most of which was not backed by research – but rather trial and error or family beliefs/traditions. I became a blogger because I wanted to share my own experiences with other mothers (and mothers-to-be), while also providing research based information on all things  baby and toddler related! There are so many questions that come up when you are trying to conceive, during pregnancy, and when you are raising your kids. My mission is to help moms along this amazing journey!

Blog: https://missmommyla.com/ Instagram handle: @missmommyla Twitter handle: @missmommyla Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Personal-Blog/Miss-Mommy-La- 309000203078918/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsX5g6o9vxTe9MnYDnFLOQQ Email: missmommyla@gmail.com

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Kristen Buckhout Age: 29

Kid(s) and Ages: Harper Lee just turned 2 and I am 24 weeks with another baby girl on the way!

Where do you live? Thousand Oaks CA

Tell us about yourself… Work life: I am currently a WAHM. I manage 2 social media accounts as well as my own. I work with brands to create content and get paid for it! It’s truly a dream.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Having a little human love you no matter what!

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) Start your morning with an iced coffee so you never have to suffer from “cold” coffee ever again!

What is the best part about where you live? We are so close to LA but get to live in a suburb right outside of it. Great schools and a super safe community.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. We have so many local splash pads that we frequently visit when it heats up. It’s such an easy way to enjoy some free fun.

Favorite date night in your hometown. We love our local Thai restaurant called prawn and basil…WHEN we get to get out for a date night.

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without? Most people probably wouldn’t admit it but…1) my phone! It’s how I do all my work and keeps me feeling social even though I dont always get out. 2) dock a tot 3) dohm sound machine 4) lille baby carrier 5) unlimited snacks.

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? Wipes, chapstick, hand sanitizer, our portable potty (oh the joys of potty training), and a toy for on the go!

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? I wish I could say that I relax or have “me” time but I’m usually cleaning (I secretly love it) or doing laundry and binging my favorite shows.

Who are your “mom idols”? All of my close girlfriends to be honest. Most of them work, choose healthy lifestyles, are great parents and have great relationships with their significant others! That’s why I surround myself with them!

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? I have a few close mamas in my tribe which most I met through my local stroller strides work out group!

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? The Golden bedtime hour for most babies/toddlers is 7pm! We had NO idea when we brought a newborn home that our own bedtime (around 10pm-11pm) is NOT ideal for a newborn.

How do you balance it all? I don’t! Haha. But seriously, everyday is different and I’m still working on balance being a wife, mom and an WAHM.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? “Let it be” by the Beatles

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it: I started my IG, @homewithharper as a creative outlet since I loved taking photos, editing and sharing what’s on my mind. Since starting, I have refined my photography skills and have turned this into my full time gig! It’s been so fun to be able to do all of this from home, while still bringing in some income for my family. I have had the pleasure of working with some HUGE brands (big personal milestones for me) such as honest company to Dock a tot and I don’t take a single day for granted.

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Jill Simonain

Age: 40(ish)

Kid(s) and Ages: 2 girls – ages 8 and 7 (back to back, 16 months apart!)

Where do you live? Los Angeles, CA

Tell us about yourself…

Work life: I’m a television/media contributor (most recently as KCBS-2/KCAL-9 News Los Angeles’ Parenting Contributor, 2016-18), Author of The FAB Mom’s Guide: How to Get Over the Bump & Bounce Back Fast After Baby (2017) and Founder of TheFABMom.com (opinionated perspective about parenting today). I also work with brands as an ambassador/influencer. I frequently appear as a family lifestyle expert and/or commentator for KTLA-5 Los Angeles News & HLN. Past TV includes TODAY Show, Access Hollywood LIVE, The Doctors, Hallmark’s ‘Home & Family’ show. I also write a monthly parenting columns for Mom.me and The Fresno Bee (California) newspaper.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Best thing so far? Watching my daughters grow into best friends – makes me happy knowing they will always have each other, no matter what. The next best thing is catching them doing or saying “the right things” (ie: being considerate, kind, smart) when they don’t know I’m looking. I also get a big kick out of the fact that my tv/media career took a creative turn into the world of parenting after I became a mom – I once thought pregnancy would be the END of my work in media!

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) I used to find great joy in staying in my car for another 5-10 minutes, parked in my driveway, so that I could have some alone/down-time before re-entering my house after I’d been gone for work (when my daughters were toddlers). Now, my favorite hack (with daughters that are 8 and 7) is making sure we have 1 or 2 days in our afterschool schedule that are FREE – no activities, no extra classes. A lot of parents my age have their kids in back-to-back activities every day after school, but I find that 1) ages 8 and 7 still need at least 1 free day to come home and just veg out – for mental, emotional, physical heath at their age. Saves us all lots of sanity and money too!

What is the best part about where you live? I love being within an hour’s drive of the beach, I love our LA-suburb neighborhood and the small-town vibe it has (we use public schools in our small town) and I love the mild weather.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. Family dinner & movie nights out! I’m also big on taking my girls to fun lunches out, shopping days, Disneyland, the beach.

Favorite date night in your hometown. Checking out new restaurant scenes in Los Angeles is always fun… if only I could get to one more than 2 nights per year!

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without?  My iPhone (schedules/correspondence!) Dry shampoo Athleisurewear (Fabletics leggings are my favorite) Desktop baskets (for all my girls’ paperwork from school!)

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? (Ah, I remember these days!) Plastic baggies (for wet items) Snacks (I liked Kind Bars) Hairbands Water, formula & bottles Baby wipes

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? I love watching TV – I do! Lately I’ve been into Netflix drama/mystery shows – Dead to Me, What/If, etc. I also love going to the beach, laying my a pool, taking myself out to a nice solo lunch with a view… Now that the weather’s good, I’ve been into updating & refreshing my yard (yes, I get out there and plant flowers – I love watering my roses!)

Who are your “mom” idols?  My own mom (rest in peace) – hands down, nobody else like her. She taught me how to be tough+sweet, resilient+sensitive, capable+rational. I also really admire one of my former bosses – she’s a full-time TV producer but also does all the “SAHM-THINGS” with her kids… I have no idea how she does it, it’s A LOT but she’s super-close with her kids, draws hard boundaries/rules with them and personally keeps them accountable.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? This might seem strange, but I don’t feel like I have a tribe – I have a few close friends who are mothers (including my sister) who I connect with separately for very different reasons. Of course, when I have a party or something… they’re all invited.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? “Motherhood is hard, but it’s not as hard as everyone else makes it out to be… stay rational, make choices, stick to them confidently, and get away from any drama coming your way. Motherhood is only as dramatic as we [moms] allow it to be….” My own mom told me this and I’ve followed it since day 1…. Yes, it has made my parenting experience seemingly easier than a lot of what I see happening around me.

How do you balance it all? DON’T OVERCOMMIT! Each day I only pick 3 things to focus on – the most pressing things that need to be done before my kids get home from school. We can’t finish everything on our to-do lists as moms… so just lower the expectations a bit. One day I might focus on going to the gym, cleaning my house and ironing on my girls’ Girl Scout patches. Another day might be a ‘work/career’ day where I sent out a few pitches for TV, write one of my columns and then catch up on emails. I do strive to fix my bed every day though, because that sets us up for success regardless of what does or doesn’t get done on any given day.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? WHAT A FEELIN’ (FLASHDANCE)

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it. TWITTER @jillsimonian INSTA @jillsimonian Facebook.com/jillsimonian.thefabmom My blog/persona is all about staying FOCUSED AFTER BABIES (FAB) – focused on being confident with choices we make as mothers (for ourselves and our kids), focused on paying close attention to what’s happening with our kids (at school, activities, etc) and putting them first (even if it means putting some of our career goals on pause for bit), focused on not giving in to what ‘every other parent is doing’ out of laziness (ie: packing toddlers’ schedules with back-to-back classes, giving kids under the age of 12 smartphones just because, etc). TheFABMom is known for keeping parenting conversations REAL and sometimes calling out our own faults so that we can all wake up, collect our priorities and raise the best damn kids this generation has ever seen…. all while becoming better versions of ourselves as moms and women.

We Want You To Meet…

Name:  Alison Levine (Ali)

Age: 33

Kid(s) and Ages: Amelia Rei -14 months

Where do you live? Los Angeles California

Tell us about yourself…
Work life:  I’m a tv personality, influencer, celebrity stylist, podcaster, blogger, I wear many hats! – my company is
Ali Levine Design
What has been the biggest reward of motherhood?
So many rewards, the biggest are probably, seeing my magical being grow and thrive and knowing I made that and I’m part of that! Seeing life through my baby girls eyes is so magical! Learning the pause button from my Amelia Rei, babies really make you stay in the moment and get that reality check. Amelia does that for me every day and I’m thankful.
What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!)
Ooo I’ve got quite a few mom hacks,
Have a portable pump if you plan on pumping !!  You are able to move around and somewhat keep your sanity. Mine was my baby Buddha. Always have a change of clothes and diapers ready to go, you never know what mess you’re gonna find!
Eye gels and face masks for mama is life! A little pampering goes a long way and you can do it while driving!
Plastic / washable bibs! Don’t bother with the cute bibs they destroy them all, washable and easy to clean and use is where it’s at!
Baby wearing – has saved me so many times before when Amelia’s fussy, if I need to get things done in the house and she just wants me to hold her. White noise – huge fan! Helps babies sleep wherever you may be
What is the best part about where you live?
I love how clean it is where I live, the neighborhood, the feeling, the energy. Beautiful for my baby girl growing up
Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown.
I like to talk her for strolls and see the sights, Amelia loves to look at everything and people watch like her momma!
Favorite date night in your hometown.
A dine in movie and dinner! I love the theatre that has a dine in, in it we can relax, order drinks and watch a movie!
We also love sushi dates!
What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without?
Teething toys, nursing/ car seat cover, white noise, portable pump, baby wearing, swaddling / swaddles, sleep sacks
What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag?
Diapers, wipes, food, snacks, teething medicine
When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do?
Haha WHEN I have time for myself, I love to really connect with myself and self care, massage, a bath, facial, a mask, see a friend, have a glass of wine, turn on music . Go for a drive, get my nails done, get my lashes done.  Go eat a delicious meal.
Who are your “mom idols”?  
My Mom & Mother in law first and foremost they do so much and make it look so effortless even now,
Celebs and public figures:
Jessica Alba, Erin Ziering, Beverly Mitchell, Serena Williams, Kate Hudson, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Garner
There’s a lot!! Constantly inspired by so many mama’s!!
Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? 
I have many amazing mamas in my tribe and I have met most of them via mom brand hang outs or my communities, fashion mamas and hey mama.
What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood?
Everything you’re feeling is Normal!! And ok for that matter! I went through pretty bad post partum depression and I felt so guilty and ashamed. Never feel shame for what you’re feeling. You have been re born; you are a new version of you and you are navigating that. It seems impossible until it isn’t anymore and you find the light at the end of the tunnel. You don’t have to change per say, you just evolve and figure it out and sometimes it takes time and that’s ok!
You will find you and your stride! Even stronger than before!
How do you balance it all?
Honestly, I still am trying to learn balance.  As I answer this email at 2 am haha. I am learning to give myself grace when things don’t always get done. Make lists and make it feasible for myself. Check in with myself, force myself to chill when I get overwhelmed and have too much to do. Look at what’s happening in the moment and be present and figure the rest out.  I truly don’t have it figured out, but I’m navigating it more and more every day. That’s all we can do right?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
Haha this is a good question, I feel like Don’t Stop Believing – Journey, always lights me up and gets me through different periods of ups and downs in my life. Another would be  Walking on Sunshine.
Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:
@alilevinedesign is my handle for IG twitter Facebook etc
My blog is alilevine.com
My account is all about real, raw motherhood, our authentic selves. Sharing my triumphs and hardships and struggles with my community. Being real and sharing as much as I can. To help myself and to help others. I want other mommas to know they aren’t alone.
I just started my podcast Strptd Down with Ali Levine and it’s playing off of me being on the show Stripped on Bravo TV, but it’s truly about how motherhood strips you of everything and you learn to start over and fine this new real raw self. Come share your story and strengthen yourself and others in the process.
I want my IG to be somewhere other mamas relate and feel they can share or they take a tip away from me, or something inspirational. I want it to be uplifting for all.
My blog is more brands and mom hacks I’m finding and loving, trendy looks for mama and in fashion in general,
baby updates mom life etc.

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Laura Stotland

Kid(s) and Ages: 2 Kids – 1 YO & 5YO

Where do you live? South Bay of Los Angeles

Work life:  I am a Marketing, Digital and Social Media Strategist with over 20 years of experience gained by my experience working as Marketing Director at The Walt Disney Company, Clear Channel Radio (now iHeart Media) and The Alliance for Women in Media. I have worked with clients such as American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO National Headquarters), Survios: Virtual Reality Arcade, Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, LA Baby Show, MomAngeles Media, and many small businesses. I also helped to advance the public awareness for the Pancreatic Cancer Network, a national Non-Profit Organization. Aside from Media and Marketing, I am also extremely passionate about philanthropy and giving back to the community with organizations like the LA Food Bank, Operation Gratitude, Make-A- Wish Foundation, and Kaboom.  I have served as both a board member and President, (three consecutive terms), for the Alliance for Women in Media, Southern California and served on the Disney Leadership Council. Most recently, I launched a local website called South Bay Mommies and Daddies as a resource for local parents including bringing community service and projects that teach kindness to our local families.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Watching my kiddos grow into loving humans.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) Ask for help! I think we all try to be super mom and it’s hard to ask for help, but we need to. It may sound cliché, but it does take a village. Make sure you have a village that you can get help and support from. And make sure to make time for self-care, it’s so important.

What is the best part about where you live? We live in a great community, which was so important for us. Locals take pride in where we live, we know most of our neighbors, have tons of community events happening year round, and of course the weather! Although, it can tend to be colder by the beach, I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. There’s so much to do in and around the South Bay like the beach, parks, activities, restaurants, but we also adventure into LA as well. We are Disneyland Annual Pass Holders, so we frequent the parks. And also have family in San Diego, so tend to go there at least once a month.

Favorite date night in your hometown. This is a tough one because we have so many places to choose from! But my favorite is this little French Restaurant walking distance from our house. The chef is from France, so it’s very authentic and delicious!

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without? A great stroller, useful diaper bag, safe car seat, a big vehicle to get around town with kids/stuff in tow, and Google Calendars 😉

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? Diapers, wipes, change of clothes, snacks, and water

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? I like to do have friend time whether it’s going out for lunch/dinner, sitting on a couch in someone’s living room with a glass of wine, or doing a spa day. I’ve also recently gotten into audio books and podcasts.

Who are your “mom” without? This is a tough one, there are so many. I am thankful to know so many awesome moms that I look up to; I couldn’t list them all here. Being a mom is hard and comes in many different forms. Those I look up to have great patience, teach their little ones to be caring individuals, and are creative and fun.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? I’m fortunate to have several mom tribes. I have a few Facebook groups with local moms that I manage and am a part of, a mompreneur group that I meet with once a month, and mom friends that we try to get together at least once a month if not more with our little ones.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? Try to roll with the punches, this too shall pass. When your kiddo is having a meltdown or you are exhausted because you haven’t gotten a good night sleep in what seems like forever, will pass. As kids grow, some things will get easier and some will get harder, but try to enjoy the ride as it goes so fast!

How do you balance it all? I don’t think I do balance it all and unless you have a fulltime staff (maid, chef, personal assistant, chauffer, etc) I honestly don’t think you can balance it all. Something has to give and THAT IS OK! I think we can be really hard on ourselves and put extra pressure on ourselves to keep up with the Joneses. But that makes things extra hard and stressful. Set your priorities, be kind to yourself and just take things day by day.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Alicia Keys – Superwoman

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it: Laura Stotland Stotland Marketing – your marketing, digital media, influencer, & event expert South Bay Mommies & Daddies – www.southbaymommiesanddaddies.com Find me on LinkedIn Follow me on Facebook What’s Happening in the South Bay | South Bay Mommies & Daddies Follow me on Instagram @southbaymommies  @LauraStotland Follow me on Twitter @laurastotland @southbaymommies Follow me on Pinterest @SouthBayMommies

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Lisa Grossman

Age:Is this going to be published?! I am 29! I’ve turned 29 a few times now :).

Kid(s) and Ages: Kellen (4), Ryland (1.5)

Where do you live? Manhattan Beach, CA

Tell us about yourself…

Work life:  I am the owner of South Bay Baby Care. I am a Registered Nurse and I decided to start my business about a year ago! I provide private, in-home perinatal education, baby care, lactation services and CPR training.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Watching my kids grow and learn. It happens so fast! I wish I could make time slow down.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) I purchase popsicle sticks on Amazon to use when I need to apply diaper rash cream! I don’t like getting diaper rash cream on my hands and under my nails. They are easy to use and I toss them away with the diaper after.

What is the best part about where you live? We are right by the beach and the kids love going there.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. We are lucky to live where the weather is nice most of the time so we love to go outside as often as possible. The kids need to go outside, otherwise they try to climb the furniture.

Favorite date night in your hometown. After having kids we became boring! Our date nights are not very creative, we will typically go out for dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants.

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without? My mom tribe Native shoes (whoever invented those is a genius) My washer and dryer My vacuum cleaner Black out curtains (for everyone)

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? First aid kit, diapers, wipes, emergency toys (I’m on high alert for random meltdowns) & hand sanitizer!

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? Sit in silence. Just kidding! I try to workout whenever I can find the time! I try to make a point to get 30 minutes to myself to exercise daily. I do workout videos at home which makes it easy to accomplish this goal.

Who are your “mom idols?” My mommy tribe, they are all amazing women who I could not live without.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? I met my mom tribe in 2015 at South Bay Adult School Mommy & Me. I could not survive mommy hood without them. Anytime I have a question relating to parenting I can rely on them to help me find the answer. They even helped me figure out how to clean my front loader… which seemed like an impossible task!

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? You will get peed on… and probably pooped on too. Be ready for flying bodily fluids when you least expect it.

How do you balance it all? Ha, good question. Would love to hear someone else’s answer on this one because I am still trying to figure it out!

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Probably the theme song from Sesame Street… because that is the song that I hear EVERY DAY.

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:  @southbaybabycare https://www.southbaybabycare.com https://www.southbaybabycare.com/blog https://www.facebook.com/SouthBayBabyCare/

 

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Karina G. Ayala

Age: 35

Kid(s) and Ages: A three year old daughter

Where do you live? Los Angeles CA

 

Tell us about yourself…

Work life: I am a small business owner of a store called Z Bini Kidz located inside the South Bay galleria mall in Redondo Beach. Z Bini Kidz is an indoor play zone for ages 1-5 years old. We also exclusively teach Zumbini classes: A 45 min music and movement class for children ages 0-5 years old and their caregivers. Zumbini has a TV show that airs on Baby First TV three times a day.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? My biggest reward as a mother has been seeing all of my sacrifice and new lifestyle adjustments that come with being a new mother turn into seeing my little three year old daughter grow and blossom into a smart independent young lady.

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? Oh my so many! But my favorite mom-hack is purchasing a small fish tank and having my daughter feed the fish only if she finishes her own breakfast and dinner. This has been VERY helpful because she would give us a hard time during breakfast and dinner time. Now she is excited to eat her breakfast and dinner just so she can feed her fishes =)

What is the best part about where you live? Definitely our community also willing to support each other with whatever life throws at us.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. We love exploring so depending on the Cali weather we like to explore either parks or indoor play areas for children are always fun.

Favorite date night in your hometown. Definitely a nice movie and dinner at our local AMC Dine in

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without?  I love my Doterra essential oils , I have my diffusers in my car and at work. Aromatherapy helps me keep a balance between work and home.

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? Self care is extremely important yet so hard to make time for ourselves but when I manage I like to go to a quiet place and meditate.

Who are your “mom idols?” My mom idols are all the single mothers and stay at home mamas out there HOW they mange? I have no idea but I truly admire them.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? My mom tribe is my mother who has always been there to help and support me and my mama friends from childhood.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? Enjoy your sleep , showers and uninterrupted meals! lol

How do you balance it all? Having a balance life is not feeling guilty about taking care of yourself. It is easy to feel guilty when putting ourselves first but in order to balance everything and everyone we must take care of us.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? -Don’t worry be HAPPY

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:  You can learn more about my business by following or visiting: www.zbinikidz.com @zbinikidz Facebook/IG

 

We Want You To Meet…

Name: Kiki Burger

Age: 36

Kid(s) and Ages: 1 daughter, Dahl, who is 2

Where do you live? Manhattan Beach, CA

Tell us about yourself…

Work life: I am the co-founder of Mor for Moms, a self-care company that makes kits featuring eight of the medical supplies most needed by new moms to heal after giving birth. Each box contains oversized pads, nipple pads, a squirt bottle, nipple cream, mesh underwear, overnight pads, Tucks medicated pads and ice packs, all with an informational pamphlet telling you the what, when and how of each item and a drawstring bag to store it all in your bathroom. We have a lot of current moms buying them as gifts for moms-to-be saying they wish they had it when they give birth, which is exactly our goal…and how we got founded in the first place! And because not all mamas have equal access, we work with our nonprofit partner Mary’s Center in Washington, DC to provide moms in their program with Mor for Moms kits.

What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Watching her learn the things that I’ve taught her and for sure when she makes me laugh

What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) Yikes, not sure, does saying you have to go to the bathroom to look at Instagram count?

What is the best part about where you live? The proximity to the beach and the closeness to friends with other young kids. Being it LA where you can be in traffic so much, it’s so nice to live somewhere that on the weekends we don’t have to get in our car, but rather bike or walk into town, to friends’ houses or out to eat.

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. Going to the beach for sure. My husband and I take pride in our set up, one that usually revolves our must-have: table in a bag. We set that up and surround it with multiple umbrellas, chairs, blankets, towels, toys–everything we can fit in our wagon. Top that table with a nice little spread on our travel cheese plate along with some local IPAs, rose wine in a Corkcicle and play all day long.  We also LOVE Simmzy’s, a local restaurant with dozens of beers on tap and great food. We’ve been taking our daughter there since she was six days old, feels like family.

Favorite date night in your hometown. Going to the local brewery, El Segundo Brewery. It doesn’t serve food so if we want to be really bad, we’ll order fried stuffed jalapenos from the restaurant across the street and pick them up. Sounds pretty awesome right about now!

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without?  My Uppababy stroller (I panicked when she grew out of the Cruz car seat cause it was so easy to travel with and use in Ubers); The Happiest Baby on the Block book when she was a newborn..and related to that, the Baby Shusher; Lansinoh nipple cream; and at this stage, Jool Baby door knob covers.

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? It’s funny to think back on what my diaper bag looked like when she was born–fully stocked like I was going to war– to now two years later. Most of the time I run out of the house with a loose diaper, wipes and some random toys in my purse.

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? Pilates and going out to eat, especially trying new spots. I do the first so I can keep doing the second (which I do way more than the first, let’s be honest)

Who are your “mom idols”?  Literally almost every mom there is. Once you go through this, it’s like, “whoa this is really freaking hard” so I have to have love for every mom out there. We all do it differently, there’s no right or wrong way, and everyone is doing the best they can.

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? I’m so lucky, I’ve known most of them my whole life and we all now live back close to each other again. It’s also so nice meeting new moms, many just through walking around town. Shout out to Stroller Strides where I met a new mom friend who ended up connecting us with our amazing nanny.

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? To steal ALL the mesh underwear from the hospital. But seriously, I wish someone I told me more about what my recovery process would be like after having birth. It’s still just not something people talk about, but hoping to change a part of that with the work of my company, Mor for Moms.

How do you balance it all? By finally accepting there is no way to balance it all. Also, not feeling guilty by taking time to myself or hanging solo with my husband. We hang a lot, and when we can’t or don’t want to get a babysitter, our daughter comes with us. I think she’s always been pretty easy to go out with because we’ve go out with her a lot.  

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Cake by the Ocean cause that pretty much describes my perfect day

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:  Please follow @morformoms on Instagram. It’s a place where we celebrate moms and highlight some of the postpartum realities a new mom can experience. We’re definietly the most active on that social platform. On twitter you can find us @morformoms where we share our press clips and news stories that relate to postpartum care and of course, also on facebook.com/morformoms

 

We Want You To Meet…

Name:  Kathy Copcutt 

Age: 44

Kid(s) and Ages: 1 and he’s 6 

Where do you live? BelAir 

Tell us about yourself…

Work life: A little bit about myself, I’m a multicultural single mom, Lifestyle, Parenting, and Entertainment influencer based out of Bel Air, California. My personal life, I’m a current board member of our Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood City Council and on the advisory board for Single Moms Planet. You may also find me The Modern Day Living Magazine, “Kathy’s Movie Corner.”

 What has been the biggest reward of motherhood? Seeing life through my kiddos eyes, he surprises me daily.

 What’s your best “mom-hack” you think other moms could benefit from? (We all one at least one time or sanity saving tip that everyone would want to know…spill it!) hmmmm….teach them laundry at a young age! When he sees the basket getting full he’ll walk it into the laundry room and ask me to help him wash his clothes.  

What is the best part about where you live? It’s quite, we live in the hills so we see a lot of wildlife, deers, raccoons, mountain lion, coyotes, snakes, some are scary but honestly it’s beautiful, life is in all it glory and simplicity.  

Favorite thing to do with your kids in your hometown. Go to the beach!

Favorite date night in your hometown. Wow, how do I begin to choose? First off my date is my kiddo and we love experiencing new restaurants however if I have to choose, I’ll choose two. One is super fancy and one is casual. Fancy, Barton G and casual Buca Di Beppo!  

What are 5 things that you could not “mom” without?  Netflix, my diaper bag which is a snack bag now, Erin Condren calendar to keep his schedule, phone charger and Reading book, there’s always one in my purse. 

What are your 5 must-have items in your diaper bag? My bag is a snack bag now and I always have an extra set of clothes, socks and jacket in there in case of emergency. 

When you have time to yourself, what do you like to do? Read 

Who are your “mom idols”? Excluding my mom, I’m going to say none. I believe as moms we are loosing it in our own way, no one is better or worse. We are all in this together and we shouldn’t compare ourselves or look up to anyone else because you have no idea what’s happening behind closed doors. You are perfect just the way you are, you do you and what’s right for your family. I could go on but I’ll stop.  

Who is in your mom tribe and how did you meet them? I’ve known my mom tribe since I was 17. I’m blessed to know these two woman all my life.  

What is one piece of advice for new moms that you wish someone told you before motherhood? Your kid will loose there SHIT because you cut the crust wrong, or didn’t peel the banana right, or you said yes to a simple question they asked or asked them to get dressed, brush their hair, brush their teeth, you get what I’m saying. They will loose their ever loving mind over the simplest thing and remember to laugh, not out loud, internally, breath and remember don’t take it personally.  

How do you balance it all? I don’t and I know I can’t and that’s what makes it all work. It’s a beautiful chaos that I’ve learned to embrace.  

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Rachel Platten, Fight Song  

Tell us a little bit about your blog/IG account/online persona and what is your mission behind it:  All my handles Insta, FB and Twitter are @belairmommie

If you’re an expectant or new parent in the LA area, Gearapalooza is an event you do NOT want to miss!  Join these fantastic LA moms + us on Wednesday, June 12 5:30 pm – p:00 pm!  We’re bringing you the BEST baby gear, products, services + safety information in one action packed event!  For more information and registration, CLICK HERE.