Meet the Newest Members of Tampa Bay Moms Blog {Part 1}

We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest Tampa Bay Moms Blog team members! You’ll get to know them more over the next week as they share their first posts with you. Here’s a little insight into the newest Tampa Bay moms who are joining our team!

Alisha

Version 2Alisha is a work-from-home mom who juggles real estate and marketing communications consulting businesses while trying to be an involved parent to her little wild man, Leo. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., she has been a Tampa-area resident for 10 years and has no plans to ever leave the sunshine. She loves vintage home decor and old-house character, dreams about DIY projects and enjoys good food, wine and social dining experiences. A Pasco County family, Alisha and her husband Diego love living the Florida lake life on their own little piece of paradise in Lutz. Follow her #LutzLakeLife and moments in motherhood on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay?  Sit among the cypress trees at sunset and relax by the lake with a glass of wine and my handsome husband by my side.

What are your guilty pleasures?  Guava and cheese pastries. Pretty Little Liars. Taylor Swift’s music.

List a few things you can’t live without.  God and my family, of course. Also, ice cream and country music.

What would your perfect day entail?  Wake up slowly to the smell of café con leche and a fresh-baked guava and cheese pastry, preferably from Moreno Bakery in Brandon. Spend the morning searching for treasure at a vintage store or salvage shop. Follow that with a good lunch and an afternoon on the lake or at the beach with my family. To cool off, I’d share some ice cream with my son – lots of sprinkles for him! And I’d top the perfect day off with a bonfire and glass of wine by the lake.

What’s the best thing about being a mom?  Being a mom motivates me to be a better person, a better version of myself. Being Leo’s mom is an amazing gift and it’s a privilege to get to guide a beautiful, innocent child through life. That inspires me to set a good example for him.


Amanda

Amanda L. is a creative spirit and busy soul. She loves writing, being outdoors, and surfing social media. She has been TBMB (1)married to her teammate for life for 6 years, Johnathan, who works in commercial maintenance. She is the mom of the 3 coolest boys in Tampa Bay, Mason (5), Lucas (3), and Jackson (1). She’s a 9th grade English and writing teacher in Hillsborough County and holds a degree in Creative Writing from the University of Memphis. She is originally from Mississippi but she and her family have called Tampa home for nearly 3 years. Her duties as “Mama” and her full-time teaching gig keep her pretty busy! As if that weren’t enough, she and her husband practice an untraditional form of homeschooling called Unschooling with their kids. People often ask her “how do you do it?!” but she simply dons her SuperWoman cape and gets the job done. Keep up with Amanda on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to learn more about parenting, unschooling, and the occasional recipe!

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay?  ANYTHING outdoors with my kids! I love going to the beach, hiking, checking out museums, going to festivals, and exploring new areas.

What are your guilty pleasures?  Tequila and exercising. I know those two things don’t sound like they go together, but a run in the afternoon makes me a better mom and a margarita at night allows me to relax after another long, draining day!

List a few things you can’t live without. I can’t live without my phone (seriously – my life is on that bad boy!).
I couldn’t live without my husband – he is my champion, my “strong” when I am weak.
I can’t live without budgeting and planning – the thought of  week without a budget meeting and willy-nilly shopping makes me FREAK out!
I can’t live without salsa from Chili’s. It’s the best salsa!

What would your perfect day entail?  My perfect day would start with being able to sleep in without bargaining with my husband. Being gently awoken later by breakfast in bed (protein-rich, not sweet!) would be phenomenal. Then, my family and I would spend the beautiful day near the water, without any injuries or any of my kids losing their minds. We’d have good music playing and great friends to hang out with, both for the adults and the kids! We’d top the day off by grilling out dinner (preferably steak) before heading home.

What’s the best thing about being a mom?  The love. I feel adored by my children. They respect me and appreciate me (they tell me often, which I am thankful for). When I come home from work, they scream and run to the door to knock me over with love. They hug me and kiss me and sit on top of me… sometimes, it can be TOO much, but I’d never do life without them. The relationships we share are my favorite in the world.


Araceli

IMG_2070Araceli is originally a transplant from Brooklyn, NY.  While the city will always have a piece of her heart, she can’t imagine a better place than Tampa Bay to raise a family.  She is mom to four amazing, rambunctious – and oftentimes amazingly rambunctious – children ranging in age from six through 12, and wife to an awesome hubby who treats her like a princess. When she isn’t teaching a classroom of first graders, you can find Araceli taking on a DIY project, practicing her ukulele skills, or exploring – and eating her way through – the Tampa Bay area with her family.
What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay?  Anything having to do with learning about the history of Tampa Bay, such as visiting Heritage Village or exploring Egmont Key.
What are your guilty pleasures?   Scouring Amazon for free historical and time travel romance Kindle books. Don’t judge, I’ve discovered some real gems out there! I also love cheesy Hallmark movies. When Calls the Heart?…I am SO there!
List a few things you can’t live without.  My faith, my family, my ukulele, my iPad, and any kind of seafood. They are all I need to survive if I were ever stranded on an island!
What would your perfect day entail?  My perfect day would start off with hazelnut coffee and hubby’s egg, cheese, and sausage quiche. The rest of the day would include Mommy time to do whatever I please (craft, write, visit antique shops in downtown St. Pete), dinner with the family at a beach-side restaurant, and taking a walk along the beach with the family as the sun sets.
What’s the best thing about being a mom?  Those humbling moments when I realize I’ve been given the privilege of raising these amazing children. Those moments never cease to take my breath away!

Nina

20151116_161501Nina enjoys spending time with her husband of 3 years and 4 beautiful children. Together, Nina and Alvin  have a blended family; Arre an 11 year-old soccer player, AJ an 8 year-old talented baseball player, Chloe the spunky “girly tomboy” is 2 years-old  and they recently welcomed their 4 month old son, Jaxon in August 2015. She is a full time stay-at-home mother who is also a freelance editor. Nina enjoys the outdoors, working out, is an avid reader and loves to meditate. She attended the University of South Florida receiving her bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences concentrating in Communication and Sociology. Follow her on instagram.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay?  My favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay is spending the day at the beach!
What are your guilty pleasures?  My guilty pleasure would have to be binge watching Heroes on Netflix
List a few things you can’t live without.  I could not live without my lipgloss, and diaper bag!
What would your perfect day entail?  My perfect day has a tasty cup of coffee and a good book
What’s the best thing about being a mom?  The best thing about being a mom is watching my children grow and experience new things everyday.

Dianelly

DianellyDianelly is a full time baby’s cord blood stem cell educator with an entrepreneur spirit. She is originally from Medellin, Colombia, but has lived in Tampa Bay for the majority of her life. She married her high school sweet heart, Hector, who fully supports her in all of her crazy business ideas and have owned 3 businesses together. They were blessed with two beautiful and highly energetic boys; Gabby (5) and Miggy (2), who take up all of her free time and wake her up early on the weekends. Dianelly has a degree in Business and has put off owning her own business to completing her MBA and enjoying her family. When she makes it past the time all of her men are sleeping, you can find her researching holistic practices, natural remedies and healthy recipes.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay?  Enjoying the beautiful Florida weather at a family park/event and having a good healthy meal at a local restaurant.

What are your guilty pleasures?  Starbucks, I can’t get enough chai lattes and sweet crepes from La Creperia Café, they don’t have gluten-free ones.

List a few things you can’t live without.  My family, a comfy bed and pillow “I love sleeping…”

What would your perfect day entail?  My perfect day would start off sleeping in with my boys (all 3 of them), where I am the first to wake up to take a shower and get ready at my own pace/leisure. When I come out ready, hubby would have they boys at the table and breakfast would be getting served. Then, hubby would volunteer to get the boys ready while I clean up the morning mess. After we’re all ready, we would get in our car and head to Orlando for a fun day at Disney. After leaving the park at night, the boys would fall asleep in the car and hubby and I will magically have energy to have a nice romantic dinner at a local Spanish restaurant.

What’s the best thing about being a mom?  Witnessing how your little creations grow up every day and how much they love you. The laughs, the aggravations, the tears, the hugs, the kisses, the overloaded bed….


Jazmine

Jazmine is a single mother of 3 beautiful girls. While she works to maintain the home, she continues to pursuit her educational goals at Hodges JazmineUniversity as a full time student. She enjoys reading, art, a meal on the beach, and has rediscovered her passion for running. She continues to learn and understand the importance of loving herself unapologetically. For her, this key is critical as it strengthens her relationship not only with her daughters but with others as well. You can catch her randomly dancing or singing horribly, in a public place just to bring some laughter to the world that surrounds her.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? I truly appreciate the number of activities and groups formed to serve families.

What are your guilty pleasures? Getting lost inside of a book, with no interruptions.

List a few things you can’t live without. God, my daughters, people, and coffee.

What would your perfect day entail? The perfect day for me is simple, a day where there is nothing on the schedule. We move at our own pace and we’re able to enjoy each other’s company, without crowds, with restriction, without noise, and maybe if I’m lucky a day where there is no need for conversations. Simple enjoy the presence of those I love, their company, and comfort, observing, and serving with sincerity. Sigh-My mind almost escaped me.

What’s the best thing about being a mom? I absolutely LOVE being a kid again! I enjoy being reminded, continuously that life is simple and full of love, forgiveness, and effort. My daughters do an excellent job at reminding me that it’s ok to live and not just be a machine that produces work and results.


Kathy

image1 (1)Kathy’s family moved to Tampa when she was 5, and aside from a few years at the University of Florida (Go Gators!), she’s never lived anywhere else. From Gasparillas and Super Bowls, to hurricanes and the “snowstorm” of ’77, Kathy has seen it all. She’s Irish by heritage, Greek by marriage, and mom to one brilliant little boy. She’s an avid sports fan and recently lived her Disney-geek dream as a member of the 2015 Disney Parks Moms Panel. A former TV producer and PR pro, Kathy now proudly sports the title of stay-at-home mom. Follow her sports-loving, Disneyfied, Tampa-centric antics on Twitter.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay?  Anything on or near the water. The waterfront spaces in Downtown Tampa, like the Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Park and Channelside are among my favorites.

What are your guilty pleasures?  Cheesecake, college football Saturdays, all things Disney
List a few things you can’t live without.  My faith, “the guys” (my husband and son), a great story, Diet Coke
What would your perfect day entail?  Waking up to Mickey waffles at a Deluxe Walt Disney World Resort hotel, riding all the rides over and over again with no lines, then seeing the fireworks from my own private balcony.
What’s the best thing about being a mom? Watching my son grow and learn and discover his world amazes me. My heart truly belongs to my sweet little boy.

 Leslie

LeslieLeslie has lived in Seminole for a little over a year, following recent moves from South Florida and Philadelphia due to her clergy husband’s career. An  attorney in a former life, she is now a stay-at-home mom to an energetic two year old, with another on the way. Leslie loves to travel, work on her fitness at the local YMCA, and catch up on movies and books whenever possible. When she finds a free moment, she enjoys writing for her blog at www.growingakid.com, which follows the ups and downs of her life.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? I love the beach. Growing up on the east coast of Florida, the beaches are full of shells and wet sand, which has its own charm (it’s still the beach), but isn’t fun to play on. Here, the beaches are simply beautiful with their white, powdery sand and calm waters. I usually go to Redington Shores since it is closest, not crowded, and still perfect like all the beaches on our Gulf Coast.
What are your guilty pleasures? I love dessert with most meals, particularly cookies. If I could eat several cookies every day of my life, that would be amazing. I also love being alone, something that doesn’t happen much these days with a toddler who loves to be as close to me as humanly possible.
List a few things you can’t live without.  My husband and son. My iPad. Books I love to re-read many times over. Hot showers.
What would your perfect day entail?  It depends on my mood, but definitely starts with sleeping in past 8am and leisurely beginning my day while my husband helps watch our toddler. We have plans to go an adventure – either outdoors to a state park to go bike riding or hiking, or to a cool art exhibit where our son will magically pay attention and let us enjoy the art. We all take naps afterwards, and then the grandparents come over later to babysit while my husband and I see a Broadway show.
What’s the best thing about being a mom?  The quiet moments when my son randomly comes over to me and gives me epic hugs or sits in my lap while I read to him. He doesn’t say I love you so much as demonstrate his love, usually through tackle hugs so the gentle, quiet times are my favorite.

Marjorie

tbmbpictureOriginally a Michigander, Marjorie believes she should have been born in the Sunshine State and loves everything Tampa Bay has to offer. She is still just as fascinated by the palm trees, beaches, and endless sunshine as the day she first called Florida home four years ago. Marjorie has a wonderful husband – a tall, redhead named Kyle (you can’t miss him!) – and a super sweet 11-month-old boy named Connor. They live in Hillsborough County but enjoy exploring all parts of Tampa Bay. Marjorie has a passion for fitness and healthy living and incorporates physical activity into her daily life – whether she’s taking classes at the gym or going for walks at the park with her son. She also enjoys testing out local restaurants with her family and is always up for a good cup of coffee!
What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? Walking around Ybor City with my family and grabbing lunch
What are your guilty pleasures? Good coffee, anything with a dark chocolate/coconut combo, hot baths, and reality shows about romance (The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Married At First Sight, etc. – embarrassing to admit!)
List a few things you can’t live without. My family, of course, the gym, flip-flops, & sunshine!
What would your perfect day entail? Waking up to a delicious breakfast and hot coffee, followed by a workout and plenty of time to get ready (we know that doesn’t always happen as a mom!). After that, I’d spend the day with my family at the Florida Aquarium or another local attraction. I’d end the day by seeing a sunset at Little Harbor in Ruskin, grilling out at home, and hopefully enjoying a glass of wine with my husband after our son falls asleep.
What’s the best thing about being a mom? Watching my baby boy (11 months) become more and more “grown up” every day! He is really developing and showing his personality lately, and it’s awesome. The changes that happen each month astound me! Also, just feeling such an overwhelming joy and love each day. Being Connor’s mom is the best gift I’ve ever been given.

Tricia

Tricia Sportsman_headshot

Tricia is a full-time working mama of 2 energetic children (Luca 4 and Gia 1 ½). Weekends are spent at kid’s activities/sports, exploring new restaurants or at the pool/beach. But nothing is possible without her wonderful husband, Brent, who is a stay-at-home “Super-Dad”. Tricia earned her M.A. in Communication from Western Illinois University. She’s originally from Chicago and has a 12-year career in Human Resources. She’s lived across the US, most recently Raleigh, NC and now the Tampa Bay area with her family. In her spare time, Tricia loves crafting, baking, and aspires to be a published author. 

What is your favorite things to do in Tampa Bay?  I love going out to great restaurants! For a date night or with kids, Bartaco in Hyde Park is perfect! If we have a sitter, definitely Boca or for an extra special occasion – Ciro’s Speakeasy.  

What are your guilty pleasures?  A celeb magazine and Toblerone chocolate.   

List a few things you can’t live without.  My phone, a black sharpie pen and my camera (along with hard drive – because my camera and memory card are always full).

What would your perfect day entail?  Brunch with my family (with HOT coffee, unlike my usual weekday mornings), then a relaxing facial & pedi. Once I’ve had a few hours of “me time”, I’m re-charged and ready to enjoy the rest of the day with my husband & kids. Later that evening, put on comfy clothes – pick out a movie – and call it a night!

What’s the best thing about being a mom?  When I walk in the door after a long day at work and hear 2 happy kids running to the door yelling “mommy, mommy”.

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