Meet the Newest Members of the Tampa Bay Moms Blog

We are very excited to introduce you to the newest members of the Tampa Bay Moms Blog! We will be sharing their first posts with you over the next few weeks, so stay tuned! Until then, here’s a little about each of the local moms who are new to our blogging team…

 

Beth LatshawFotiprofile (1)

Beth is a work-from-home, homeschooling mom. With the exception of a five-year sojourn to be on the faculty at Auburn University, Beth has been a Tampa resident since 1984. She graduated from Gaither High School and earned three degrees from the University of South Florida. She has been married to the love of her life for almost 23 years and has two children who are at least sometimes adorable and an always adorable Labrador retriever. Ben (11) is a sixth grade Boy Scout and competition dancer. Katie (7) is third grade American Heritage Girl who sings in the church children’s choir and dances for fun. Peyton (10 ½) is a serious couch potato who has her own chair and enjoys short walks and chasing tennis balls. Beth’s days are busy moving from academics for her children to her students to scout meetings to church and to the dance studio. She is an active member of her church and volunteers in several ministries. She is rarely seen without a camera. She is active on Pinterest (@adjunctmom) and Instagram (@bethandpeyt).

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? Beat the heat by pools, at beaches, etc.

What are your guilty pleasures? Netflix. Books (lots of books). Pens. Board games.

List a few things you can’t live without. My camera (a Sony alpha300). My pens (Sharpie fine points and Micron 005s). My Midori Travel Notebook.

What would your perfect day entail? Sleeping in. Coffee. Reading. Playing my favorite board games.

What’s the best thing about being a mom? Getting to watch my kids take on new challenges and learn ways to accomplish their goals.

At stairsElizabeth

The only daughter of a West Point graduate, Elizabeth grew up moving up and down the east coast with her parents and two younger brothers. A Tampa resident for over a decade, she is a busy mom of four amazing kids: Harmony (15), Ashley (14), Lizzy (11) and Ronan (18 months). Elizabeth owns a business with her husband, Simon, and has a full-time career in the financial industry. She loves the Florida lifestyle and is active in the community through church, her daughters’ school activities, the local Dragon Boating community and the Junior League. Watch Elizabeth navigate life with large doses of love, humor and skepticism on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? Visit the beach on a winter afternoon; the colors are so different from the summer and spring, and the temps aren’t quite as high.

What are you guilty pleasures? Sweet tea and dark chocolate. I spent so much time in the South as a child that I can’t live without sweet tea and I have never enjoyed milk chocolate.

List a few things you can’t live without. My journal, comfy socks and a fantastic moisturizer. My favorite is Arbonne’s RE9 Night Crème!

What would your perfect day entail? The perfect day starts with a morning paddle on the river. There’s something meditative about the stillness of the water that early in the day. I’d spend the rest of the morning running errands, alone so that I can get everything done without negotiating for an extra purchase or dealing with some type of meltdown. The afternoon would be spent with family and friends at our house for games and dinner. If the kids manage to go to bed without throwing a tantrum, my husband and I share some wine and get ready for the next day.

What’s the best thing about being a mom? The absolute best thing about being a mom is seeing how much the kids love each other. It makes me feel like we are doing something right. It is also a wonderful blessing to watch my husband with our children. I am extremely lucky as a mom to have a partner as dedicated as Simon. Overall, I think being a mom is a curious combination of the most difficult and most fun thing I have ever done.

IMG_1070Evelyn

Evelyn  is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Tampa, Florida, raising her special needs son. Her son was born with a rare form of dwarfism called Thanatophoric Dwarfism and is only one of a handful of survivors. He is eleven years old and has many fans on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amiraclemann. She is currently writing a memoir called A Miracle In My Living Room: Overcoming A Not Compatible With Life Diagnosis. Her blog is found at www.miraclemann.com/blog. She receives inquiries from around the world asking about her son’s miraculous survival.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay?  My favorite thing to do is enjoy an afternoon at Barnes & Noble. I browse the aisles and then enjoy a hot chai to consider which books I’d like to purchase. While relishing my chai, I tinker with my latest blog post.

What are your guilty pleasures? Dark chocolate, Theo brand to be exact. One little square of chocolate saves me countless calories because I am able to turn down restaurant desserts for my little treasure.

List a few things you can’t live without. Family & Friends, books, chocolate (though I could live without it, but it would be hard), iPhone & Computer, Facebook

What would your perfect day entail? A morning waking up to the sound of my son’s laughter. And then tickling him, so the laughter doesn’t end.  A tea party lunch with girlfriends gabbing away until all talk is exhausted. (Is that possible?) Then relishing a few hours at the book store. Sushi dinner with my dear husband sharing my day’s adventures. And finally, tucking my beautiful blonde haired eleven-year-old in bed as I tickle him for one last smile of the day.

What’s the best thing about being a mom? My experience as a mom is a unique one. I am the mom of a miracle. My son was born with a rare form of dwarfism called Thanatophoric Dysplasia Dwarfism. (TD) He’s a full of love, happy little guy who fills my days with joy and laughter. Being a stay at home mom gives me a front row seat to capture the precious moments of my miracle’s life. The best thing is seeing him reach milestones and bring joy to all who know and love him.

IMG_1632Haley

Haley is a born and bred Tampa girl currently residing in Riverview with her husband and two energetic children.  After nearly fifteen years working in the hospitality industry, Haley happily settled down into her role as full-time stay-at-home mommy, a job that she feels blessed to hold.  Passionate about all things fitness, she’s a three-time marathoner, fitness instructor and chapter leader for the Riverview chapter of Moms Run This Town.  When she isn’t out “running the town” with her run group, you can probably find her cooking, blogging, spending time with her family on Anna Maria Island, or riding thrill rides at Busch Gardens with her kids.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? My favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay is take in a Rays’ baseball game. My hubby and I grew up playing ball and we just love everything about the game.   Not much can beat sharing nine innings with your sole mate over a couple beers and hot dogs.

What are your guilty pleasures? Online shopping and Netflix, occasionally done with a bottle of wine.

List a few things you can’t live without. Coffee and hot showers.

What would your perfect day entail? An early morning run, followed by breakfast at First Watch, and a day at the pool or theme park with the family.  Once the kiddos are asleep, I’d slip into my pajamas and plop on the couch next to my hubby for a couple hours of mindless television or a movie.

What’s the best thing about being a mom? Experiencing those special little moments through the eyes and minds of my children.  Seeing a skyscraper, watching a flower grow, crafting a project, baking a cake – my children notice and get excited about the little things in life that I often take for granted.  Living life through them, in those little moments, is one of the best things about being a mom.

Ivythumb_IMG_5985_1024

Ivy…aka Red Team Leader…is mom to Max (8) and Maggie (6).  And you guessed it, they are all redheads with the classic temperaments you would expect.  She was born and raised in Tampa, and her family has been here since the 1920s.  That’s about as native as you can get.  She’s technically a single mom to M&M, but with her global village available 24/7 to help her keep the wheels on the bus, she’s hardly alone.  Ivy is also a VP of Sales (teleworker!) at the Washington Speaker Bureau, where she matches leaders with clients for speaking engagements the world over.  When she’s not carpooling to tae kwon do and ballet or herding speakers from Chicago to New York in the middle of a blizzard, you can find Ivy running on Bayshore, zumba-ing with her girls, or reading on the beach while M&M compete for the World’s Biggest Sand Castle award…hint…this is how you get 30 minutes to read a book that’s not about parenting!  All in all, she’s a happy Florida mom excited to share and learn with all of you!

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? One of my favorite things to do with my kiddos is to spend the morning wandering around the Florida Aquarium followed by a trolley ride into Ybor City to catch a movie.  Our aquarium is an absolute gem!  For one, it’s AIR CONDITIONED!!!  There are tons of opportunities for the kids to interact with the marine life, and in case the goliath grouper isn’t enough, they have lemurs!  The newly renovated slash pad is the perfect size so I can sit quietly (with or without a cocktail!) and see my kids run and play.  And just when the wheels are about to come off, we dry off, catch the trolley, and head to Ybor City for a movie (again – AIR CONDITIONED!).  Music Ybor is a beautiful theater and there are restaurants everywhere so we can grab a bite on the way back to the parking lot.

What is your guilty pleasure? Simple.  Annie’s Deluxe Shells with Real Aged Cheddar Sauce.  Not the powdered stuff, ladies.  I’m talking about the gooey, squeezy cheese.  I am allowed one box a month.  Period.  And I savor every bit of the cheesy goodness!

List a few things you can’t live without. I cannot imagine how I could possibly live my life without my village.  As a newly single mom, I first thought that if I didn’t manage every last detail of my life – my kids, my job, my house, the dog, you name it – all by myself, I was failing as woman and a mother.  And then I learned (and quickly, mind you) that absolutely none of us can do this on our own.  And we don’t have to.  So hang up your cape, ladies, and welcome the joy and advice and love and support that your network of family and friends the world over are so happy to give you and your kiddos.

What would your perfect day entail? Cafe con leche and buttered Cuban bread toast for breakfast (who cares about carbs!) followed by a morning paddle at Indian Rocks Beach while the kids build me a sand castle.  When we are just about as hot as we can stand, we head home for an afternoon nap.  And then the sitter arrives followed by the trusty Uber driver ready to take me and my girls out for a night of margaritas and dancing!  Life is good!

What’s the best thing about being a mom? We all know that being a mom is one of the greatest roller coasters that has ever been invented!  Most of the time, you just have to remember to throw your hands up and giggle and squeal as you are flipped every which way!  But honestly, what I love best about being a mom is all the learning that happens while you are upside down on that roller coaster.  Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something about my kids, about myself, about the world around me.  There is no greater gift than that!

FullSizeRender (3)Jessica

Originally from California, Jessica has spent most of her life living in Tampa Bay. She met her husband when they were only 15 and developed a friendship that eventually would lead them to get married at 24. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a B.A. in Mass Communications and works as a Marketing Director at a local financial institution. Although she enjoys the creative nature of her career, her favorite job is being a mama to her daughter, Gianna (7) and son, Trace (1).

Her other loves include running, Starbucks, sunshine and painting whenever inspiration hits! She became a breast cancer survivor at 31, when her daughter was only 4. Realizing first hand that tomorrow is never promised, her perspective as a mother changed. No matter how hectic the days become she always sayyes to play”. She wrote about her cancer journey on her blog pinklemonsandrainbows.com and is currently re-focusing on writing about her other life experiences, and of course, many mommy moments.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? At the top of my list is the beach and watching the sunset. I love going to fresh markets, arts and craft shows, and anything else on or near the water.

What are your guilty pleasures? That’s easy – Pinot Noir and reality shows!

List a few things you can’t live without. My faith, family, friends and mascara.

What would your perfect day entail? Wow, so many different scenarios here! At this point in my life, I would say simple and unplanned is perfect. However, it must start with coffee and end on the beach watching the sunset.

What’s the best thing about being a mom? I enjoy seeing the world through the lens of my children. There is so much that they teach me. The kisses and hugs are just icing on the cake. Let’s be real – motherhood is messy, but man is there a lot of love!

KristinaIMG_5394

Kristina is a born and raised Tampanian who is currently living in Town-N-Country. She received both her BA in Psychology and MA in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida and is a proud Bull. She works full-time as a therapist in child welfare, which leads to unpredictable hours and amazing interactions. The rest of her time is spent being a wife and together with her husband raising their son, Ezra, who will be two in November and is full of energy. When there is extra time in the day, she enjoys watching sports, swooning over fashion, and learning about good food, good travel and good cocktails. She doesn’t quite seem to fit into any parenting box but is just trying to figure it out as she goes along.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay?  Finding local restaurants, shops and bars. Also, walking through the Riverwalk or Downtown St. Pete.

What are your guilty pleasures?  Binge watching food shows (along with other shows), fantasy football, chocolate with sea salt, bourbon.

List a few things you can’t live without. Caffeine keeps me going through the day. Cheese (all of them), since it’s my favorite food. My family and friends and our two dogs, Max and Milo.

What would your perfect day entail? Getting coffee at a local coffee shop and walking the neighborhood. Taking my son to the zoo or spending time in the water with him. In the afternoon, a deep tissue massage. In the evening, my husband and I getting together with some friends for dinner and finishing the night watching live music.

What’s the best thing about being a mom? Finding joy in being a kid all over again. The simple experiences and joys that a child gets out of life that you get out of it, as well. Things you thought you were too old for at one point end up becoming magical again. Also, putting your kids to bed one day and the next day they have literally woken up doing something or saying something completely new.

FullSizeRender (2)Lindsay

Lindsay is a mother to a 9-year-old son, 6-year-old daughter, and 9-month-old baby girl. She now calls Tampa home after moving here 11 years ago from Santa Barbara, Ca. Prior to living in Santa Barbara, Lindsay grew up in Arizona and New Jersey, attended college at UMASS Amherst for two years, and met her husband while on a boat cruising the Pacific Ocean her junior year in college. Lindsay enjoys reading, writing, singing, dancing, meditating, being outside, and making her friends and family laugh. After obtaining a Masters of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology, the study of psychology and spirituality, Lindsay started working with others as a life coach. She inspires her clients to live more mindful, creative, and joyful lives. She also facilitates women’s circles where she encourages women to open up and be vulnerable and brave by writing, telling their stories, and trying new things like meditation or engaging in new, creative pursuits.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? Walking on Bayshore Blvd. during sunrise and seeing dolphins or walking on the beach at sunset.

What are your guilty pleasures? Oh brother. Watching Desperate Housewives, I’m afraid. And eating whatever sweets I can get my hands on. I will never turn down a mini doughnut from the Mini Doughnut Factory or a double espresso cookie from Pane Rustica.

List a few things you can’t live without. My husband and children. Nature. My spiritual beliefs and meditation which calm and center me. And a good therapist!

What would your perfect day entail? Waking up and taking a walk or going to a yoga class. Then going to Buddy Brew for avocado toast and a latte with my journal while good music plays in the background. Then ending the day with dinner out with my husband and children. At dinner, everyone behaves beautifully and eats vegetables. Then home for a lavender infused bath and a blissful, uninterrupted night of sleep.

What’s the best thing about being a mom? I love when my children laugh. I love watching their little souls grow and seeing them be kind and compassionate to others. I love when they are happy while playing sports or dancing and painting. The best thing about being a mom to me is just being with my kids.

ME TBMBMarcie

Marcie is a personal stylist with a mobile in-home boutique for the LA designer fashion house, cabi, which allows her to follow her passion of working with women of all shapes and sizes, helping them feel elegantly different. She spends time taking #ootd selfies @ebfashionista while on the run out the door with her busy 7- and 5-year-old kiddos, who love to beach, pool and repeat. She just moved to the Tampa Bay area by way of Indianapolis because she could not take one more cold winter, and she indulges in weekly date nights with her hubby of nearly 10 years, exploring different hot spots, sporting events and concerts. She is an active, adventurous mama running from place to place who fails miserably at domestic housework but still has time to organize social outings like book club and wine nights. She is also building a local networking group for women encouraging one another to build businesses while managing a family lifestyle, and she volunteers as an Event Coordinator for The One Roof Initiative.

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? I love to go to the beach with my best girlfriends, ladies only, from sun up to sundown.  I’m a lover of Pass-A-Grille, exploring beachside shops and chilling in the sand with my best gal pals.

What are your guilty pleasures? Dark chocolate, the Bachelor/Bachelorette, massages and Ladygang podcast

List a few things you can’t live without. Starbucks mochas, red wine, Truth & Justice podcast, my kindle, and my family

What would your perfect day entail? NOT being woken up by my barking dogs….a slow easy morning, brunch of shrimp & grits, hand-holding with the hubs shopping for consignment furniture and special gifts. Add in beers on the beach, an afternoon massage and then a fantastic dinner with a sunset sinking in the background.  I hate to leave out my kids, but my needs rarely trump theirs, so really, just being with my hubby having uninterrupted chats makes for a perfect day.

What’s the best thing about being a mom?  The hilarious conversation, the SUPER sweet snuggles, the squeeeeeeeeezes, the sweet face kisses and the genuine, no holds barred love that they exude. The constant forgiveness and the teaching moments are my favorite. I called it “the in between moments”.  Everything {even the bad stuff} is the best because we are learning how to LOVE each other every day.  

IMG_2247Nicole

Nicole is a business owner and work-at-home mom who juggles marketing and personal assisting for her clients while daydreaming about her next vacation. She has been with her husband for 15 years and literally gave birth two his two mini-mes (they look JUST like him!). She recently lost 70 pounds but still has 70 more to lose, so she is on a health and fitness journey to achieve her goal and make lasting healthy habits for her family. Massages, lazy days by the pool, and playing loud music in the car all make her happy! Follow her blog, itsfromnicole.com, to learn the tips and tricks for spending less on travel and in your daily life! You can also connect on Facebook Twitter Pinterest or Instagram!

What is your favorite thing to do in Tampa Bay? I always joke and say my favorite place in Tampa is the airport, but honestly, it’s anywhere in In-Town Tampa. In-Town Tampa includes Downtown (Riverwalk, Curtis Hixon Park, Glazer Children’s Museum), Channel District (Amalie Arena, Harbour Island, Florida Aquarium), Ybor City (so much history, Improv Theatre, The Columbia Restaurant), and South Howard (a walkable neighborhood with classic and new restaurants).

What are your guilty pleasures? Cupcakes and watching Bravo.

List a few things you can’t live without. My family, of course. Also, big group gatherings like parties, book clubs, networking events, and girls’ nights out. I am a total extrovert. I feed off energy from others!

What would your perfect day entail? I would wake up in a nice hotel (like the Ritz Carlton) and room service would deliver pancakes and bacon! I would lay in bed reading or watching TV but would not feel like I should be doing something “more important”. Then, I would have an in-room massage and later meet up with my family and friends at the pool, followed by a steak dinner alone with my husband!
What’s the best thing about being a mom? Getting to continue to be a kid myself. I love Disney World and having fun! With kids, I can indulge in those things that I enjoy and it’s even more fun when they are having fun!

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