Meet Our Contributing Team

Meet Our Contributing Team

Katie A.

Katie is a born and raised Midwesterner. She grew up in St Louis, MO and after high school her and her family moved to Nebraska. She graduated from college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December of 2008. After college she decided to take a leap of faith and moved to Houston in April of 2009. A month later she met her husband David at her apartment complex swimming pool, and I guess you could say the rest is history. She now resides in Katy, TX with her husband David and their two children Avery {December 2014} and Myles {April 2017}. Before kids, Katie had a career working in Commercial Real Estate, but once her daughter was born she figured out quickly that being a stay-at-home mom was something that she was destined to do. Her passions include in no particular order :: drinking coffee, collecting jewelry, fashion, fitness, cooking, politics and crime/detective related Netflix series. In her free time you can catch her spending time with family and friends, drinking a glass of red wine, watching sports with her husband, trying out the latest hot spot restaurant, traveling, laughing and not taking life too seriously. To get to know her better you can follow her on Instagram @katiealonzoblog.

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Joi B., Senior Contributor

Joi was born and raised in San Antonio. After a brief pit stop at the University of Texas in Austin, Joi moved to Houston in 1994 and began checking boxes off her never ending to do list. During this time and in no particular order, Joi taught a little bit of everything between first and eighth grades, got married and then divorced, completed grad school, birthed a few babies – Ferris {November 1997}, Warren {December 1999} and Laylah {March 2006}, moved an old lady into her home – Granny {January 1925} started working in Human Resources, served an excessive amount of time (on boards, in booster clubs, team momming) as a crazy sports momma, and learned a lot of life lessons. Joi is known for her unabashed honesty, always present sense of humor and her #TeamTooMuch style of doing everything. On most days, you can find her caught up in her love/hate relationship with politics, feeding her Facebook addiction, or counting the number of days until her last child graduates from high school.

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Ashley B.

Ashley is originally from Dallas, Texas.  She recently moved back to Texas and became a Houston resident with her husband and family after spending the last five years in New Orleans where she learned that Mardi Gras truly is the most magical time of the year. Ashley and her husband welcomed their first child in Summer 2017 and will welcome a second at the end of 2019. She first dabbled into blogging while in graduate school as she documented her experiences of exercising every day for a year – she has never met an exercise she doesn’t like but prefers training for half marathons and HIIT classes. Ashley currently works full-time as a project manager in managed care. During her free time, you can find her spending time outside with her husband, daughter, and Labrador, attempting a new fitness challenge, or finding a new dessert – it’s all about balance – which she shares about over on her blog Tennis Shoes & Tiaras.

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Mary B.

Mary B. is a lifelong creative, dreamer, and joy seeker. A midwesterner at heart, she was born and raised in northern Illinois and attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, receiving her B.F.A. in acting. Mary then worked as a sometimes actress/model, and also found a great love of hospitality and working with the public as a server in fine dining restaurants. Mary met her husband in 2007 and they wed on a beautiful September day in 2012. They welcomed a son {January 2014} and made the momentous decision to uproot their lives and move to Rosenberg, TX in 2016. Since then Mary and her fam have welcomed a daughter {June 2017} via successful VBAC, adopted the cutest, crabbiest rescue Shih Tzu, made amazing connections with other transplants and Texas natives alike, and fallen in love with Texas! Mary has also become a full time stay at home parent, and now works part time teaching ESL online {very early morning!} to students overseas. She self-publishes on her blog, Accidentally Texan, and her writing has been published on a few major media outlets. In her free time {free time–ha!} Mary loves to read, cook {and eat ;)}, work out, swim, travel, and spend time with her family. Mary believes emotional connection is the root of humanity and our collective purpose in life. Follow her on Instagram @accidentallytexan.

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Ashley KB.

Ashley KB was born in Long Beach, CA, but spent most of her childhood in Denver, CO. She was very athletic growing up, and she loved running track and playing volleyball. Ashley ventured to Oklahoma where she attended Langston University and transferred to the University of Central Oklahoma. There, she met the wild man she now calls her husband, A.J. He has made her laugh and kept her on her toes since day one! Ashley graduated with an English degree from the UCO in 2011. Soon after, Ashley and A.J. welcomed their first precious son, Oliver {October 2012}. The couple had a beautiful wedding in Las Vegas in September 2014, and they spent their first night as a married couple playing beer pong in a local bar! Ashley and A.J. have since welcomed two more adorable little boys, Maverick {August 2015} and Reeve {August 2017}. They also have two fur babies, Hendrix & Luna. In her free time, she can be found binge watching The Office {for the millionth time}, listening to inappropriate podcasts, or oversharing on Instagram @theofficialbossmama and her personal blog.

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Dani B.

Dani has spent the vast majority of her life in the greater Houston area, and there’s no place else she’d rather be! She loves all things Houston, from the culture, to the sports, to the FOOD {ohhhh, Tex-Mex}. After many years attending Texas A&M University {twice!} and the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, she found her true calling practicing family medicine as a family nurse practitioner in north Spring. She absolutely loves building rewarding relationships with her patients and helping them live healthier lives in mind, body and spirit. When not at work, Dani is wife to her best friend and a fellow practitioner of medicine, Stu, and mom to two little spitfires, Emilia {2017} and Caroline {2019}. In her free time, Dani enjoys growing and/or killing vegetables in the garden, doing Crossfit in her garage gym, and traveling whenever possible! In her free time, Dani has a large passion for all things gardening and healthy living. You can follow her on Instagram @thegrowgurltx and check out her gardening YouTube page!

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Britany B., Senior Contributor

Britany is a bit lost in Texas, but enjoying her time wandering: seeking fellow messy moms, scattered writers, and perfectly packaged craft beer. Originally from Louisiana, she received a degree in Public Relations and accepted a job in Boston, managing international group travel. After returning to the south, she married a man far prettier than herself, opened a wedding planning business in New Orleans, welcomed star-gazer Dawson to the world {2013}, moved to Europe the following year, and gave birth to Evelyn {2015} in Amsterdam, among the tulips and shallow canals. She is currently chasing her kids around The Heights and overjoyed to be back in the states surrounded by grandparents {free babysitters} and TJ Maxx {not-so-free therapy}. She’s happiest when traveling, reading, or binging Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She hopes to frighten your children one day—currently writing a Young Adult horror series. You can find her rambling on her blog The Monsters Club and oversharing on IG {@britanybrownlee}.

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Kirsten C.

Kirsten C. was born and raised in the Texas Hill Country city of Uvalde. After becoming a hopelessly devoted Bobcat and earning a degree in Mass Communications at Texas State University, she visited the overwhelming metropolis of Houston and never left. Won over by the never-ending culinary options and dynamic street art, she has embraced her transplant status and now calls Katy home. By day she is a marketing enthusiast for an engineering firm downtown, and by night an over-the-top and unashamed dog mom who is an avid fan of doggie daycare and pup wardrobe options. She and her husband William are  licensed foster care parents and hope to one day grow their family through adoption. You can follow their unruly journey on their blog, Cornell Chaos. When she’s not trying a new restaurant, playing behind the lens of a Cannon, or spoiling their furbabies, Kirsten is often found teaching student ministry through Kingsland Baptist Church or escaping in a chai latte at a local coffee spot.

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Bethany D.

Bethany, the daughter of an army chaplain, grew up on military bases all over the world, never staying anywhere longer than 2-3 years. She considers herself an introvert who had to learn how to make friends quickly! She met her Houstonian husband, Paul, in college and they married in 2004. They first settled north of Houston, where she earned her masters degree at Sam Houston State in School Psychology. After working in public education for a couple of years, she made the decision to stay home full time with their first child, Charlie {2008}. Shortly after, two more babies came along- Norah {2010} and Will {2013}. The family moved to the Katy area in 2012, where they’ve been ever since and Bethany can officially say this is longest she’s ever lived in one spot! She loves decorating and and even had her own small business for a while. You can find her on the ‘gram over @bethanydufilho. She also loves to read, binge-watch old TV shows, talk politics and enneagram, and will not turn down a cup of strong coffee or a good conversation with a friend.

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Jessica E.

Jessica has been a bit of a nomad, moving constantly growing up. It was during her time in undergrad at University of Houston {Go Coogs!} that she planted some roots and proudly has called Houston home for the past 20 years. Somewhere in these 20 years, she received her Master of Science in Counseling, became a licensed professional counselor, married her best friend, and had a very spirited, independent daughter {September 2017}. Jessica is best known for her hustle, her resourcefulness, and forever searching for this elusive thing in life we call balance. She is a bubble tea addict so you can most likely find her at various Teahouse locations working on her growing mental health private practice, Ajana Therapy & Clinical Services in Montrose. She is passionate about mental health, especially related to maternal mental health, as her own birth and postpartum were pretty traumatic. Jessica and her clinicians write about various mental health topics on their blog and on Instagram @ajanatherapy.

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Ugochi E.

Ugochi was born and raised right here in Houston, but has spent most of her adult life in the Midwest. She attended University of Michigan {Go Blue!} and Loyola University in Chicago. Her professional career has been going strong for over 13 years and consists of every educational role you can think of, from teacher to administrator. She is a mom of the youngest and cutest future scientist by the name of Arinze {May, 2014}, a lover of college football {did we say Go Blue already?}, gummy bears and exploring this great city for as cheap as possible #teacherlife. You can follow her on Instagram or on her blog, Urban Kid in the City. When she’s not teaching or momming it up in West Houston, you can find her at the nearest library, writing poetry or volunteering with her church or sorority- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

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Cindy E.

Cindy was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and raised in Sugar Land, Texas. After attending the University of Texas at Austin {Hook ‘em, Horns!} and earning a degree in elementary education, she taught kindergarten for nine years in the Houston area. In 2012, Cindy married her high school sweetheart, Stuart, after 10 years of dating. Stuart and Cindy are exceptionally blessed to be the parents of two beautiful girls and an adorable miniature schnauzer. In her spare time, Cindy loves to try new restaurants and bake for family and friends. In fact, her greatest ambition in life is to be a contestant on the American version of the Great British Baking Show one day. Cindy is also a huge Backstreet Boys fan and has seen them live in concert 9 times! Cindy decided to apply to be an HMB contributor because writing is something she has enjoyed doing her entire life and she wanted to show her kids that it’s never too late to pursue something that you love.

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Emily F., Senior Contributor

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Emily’s family traded in mountains for beaches when they moved in her pre-teen years to Sugar Land, Texas. Emily graduated from UT Austin with degrees in Journalism and Psychology. She earned a minor in Spanish, which served her well when she went on a soul-searching journey for six-months to Bilbao, Spain. Shortly after returning, Emily met her husband, Oren, by mistake on Facebook – her favorite mistake of all time! They struggled for a while with infertility and grieved a few miscarriages, but they were ultimately rewarded with their beautiful son Mayer {June 2013}. Their next baby, Juliet {April 2015}, was an unexpected, but welcome surprise. However, her traumatic arrival into the world almost took her life, along with Emily’s. Fortunately, they both made complete recoveries, and they now have a very special bond. After all her baby struggles, Emily, who has experience as a newspaper reporter and in technical writing, chose to stay at home with her little loves. She is also currently a freelance writer. In her free time, she loves to read, write, cook, work on her physical fitness, and fantasize about traveling. To read more of her work, visit her web page EmilyBFeinstein.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, and Instagram {@ebfeinstein}.

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Lindsay G., Senior Contributor

Lindsay G. was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and she and her husband headed south to Spring in June of 2016. As a clinical social worker, she works full time with families growing their families through adoption. Lindsay met her husband John when they were both camp counselors. They welcomed their future little campers G in December 2017 and R in 2020. Lindsay is constantly reading, researching at least one new thing, and attempting to organize her life through bullet journaling. In her free time, she enjoys binging Gilmore Girls on a loop, baking, and running in the Houston area’s beautiful parks.

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Christy G.

Christy is the only daughter of a military man, who somehow ended up in the thick of Cajun Country. After graduating with a journalism degree from LSU, she went on to work as an editor for a local Louisiana chef. In a very roundabout way, this led her to her husband, Ryan. After Hurricane Katrina devastated her home state, she began assisting in the recovery efforts. That job eventually brought her and Ryan to Houston. They were married in St. Lucia in 2006. Five years later, after welcoming their first child, Lilla {March 2011}, she began yet another career as a high school English and Photojournalism teacher. After Flynn {March 2013} joined their family, Christy chose to become a stay-at-home mom. One year later, opportunity knocked, and the family jumped at the chance to move “Down Under” to Perth, Western Australia. After almost four years in utopia, they were relocated to Santiago, Chile. Both places {and their wines} hold a special place in her heart, but Christy is very excited to be back in suburban Richmond to give her children a childhood surrounded by friends, family, and American sports. When she is not cheering on her beloved LSU Tigers or New Orleans Saints, Christy is busy texting her friends in complete sentences, side-eyeing poor grammar, taking way too many photos, planning her next vacation, staying up far too late, perusing the aisles of HomeGoods, or cooking something delicious while singing and dancing in her kitchen. You can follow along on her family’s adventures over on Instagram @familyonthegeaux.

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Jenny G.

Jenny G. is a proud, nearly native Houstonian mom of a rambunctious toddler, RBG, {October 2019} wife, community volunteer and business owner. She and her spouse love being outdoors {especially in other cities, states and countries} and live music and their family spends most of its weekends at farmers markets or local parks. She founded and co-owns Houston-based Like Minds Communications, a mission-driven marketing and communications that currently employs all women. Outside of the office, Gustafson proudly supports Girls Empowerment Network, serving as co-chair of its Girl Advocacy League young professional group and Anti-Defamation League Southwest Region where she is a Regional Board Member. If you’re looking for the best gluten free eats, live music venues, parks or hidden foodie finds in Houston, Gustafson will gladly share her picks! Follow her on social media at @jgustarhymes.

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Sarah H.

Sarah H. is a Texan through and through. Born in Waco and raised in Houston, she attended school at the University of Texas in Austin and now lives in Sugar Land with her husband, Jordan, and two children, Hudson {2012} and Lucy {2014}. After working in legal marketing and business development, she stayed home after the birth of her first child determined to be the perfect stay at home mom. Reality set in, expectations were lowered, and now her main goal is to get her children to school on time with clean teeth and hair. Sarah likes to work out, enjoys the arts and restaurants Houston offers, loves to read and dance, and is always on the lookout for the best patio or French 75 in town. A recovering perfectionist, she continually seeks more grace for herself and others. Follow her on Instagram at @stateofsarahtx.

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Lacy H.

Lacy H. is the mom of two teenage girls – Anna Jane {2002} and Ally {2005} – and has been married to her partner in all things, Lucas, since 1998. A 4th generation Baylor Bear, she bleeds green and gold. You’ll often catch her listening to everything from Dr. Dre to Panic! At the Disco and watching “Criminal Minds” and “30 for 30” on TV. Her mid-life “growth” has included playing a pink bass and adding to her tattoo collection. After leaving seminary to come home and marry her Aggie, she spent a decade in student ministry. In 2006, she found her home in church planting. Lacy serves as an elder, teacher and pastor that loves the messy, diverse and valuable call of the Church today. Her personal journey through brokenness and healing grounds her life. Sometimes the road has taken turns filled with rebellion and pain, other times it has been beautiful and full, but it has always been an adventure. Lacy’s interests include LUSH, the weather {she has 6 weather apps}, knitting, podcasts, college football and growing up. After years of crafting communication though the spoken word, she found a passion for writing. Sharing her story and hope are the longing of her blog, The View From The Bathroom Floor. You can follow Lacy on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.

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Vicki J.

Vicki has always had Texan blood pumping through her veins. Born in Houston but raised in Katy as the oldest of four girls {shout out, Fab 4!} and now a resident of Kingwood, she’s known for her undying and somewhat fanatical love of all things related to H-E-B, Amazon Prime, Taylor Swift, and Texas A&M, her alma mater {WHOOP!}. After obtaining her Master’s degree from Texas State University, she picked up her life and moved to London for six months on a student visa to work as a temp and travel the world as much as she could, solo. It was during those six months that her love and passion for blogging began as she chronicled her solo travels and adventures for friends and family back home on her former blog, “Vicki’s Ramblings from Abroad.” Upon returning to the States, she began her career in Corporate America and obtained her Rice MBA while continuing to work full time because she just couldn’t resist those student discounts any longer. She has a passion for supporting other working moms in the workplace, as well as military veterans. Married to Paul since 2011 {also an Aggie and a veteran}, she has two {soon to be three} children:: step-daughter Madeline {2003}, son Hamilton {2014}, and another son coming in 2019.
By day, Vicki is a full-time working mom who works in HR for a major oil & gas company in Houston and by night she’s a closet “60 Minutes”, “CBS Sunday Morning” & “Real Housewives” fan. Always first out on the dance floor following the first note of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, Vicki enjoys traveling and unwinding with her tribe whenever possible over a good glass of wine, a new local craft brew and/or a H-E-B cheese ball. Find her on Instagram and follow along on her journey through working motherhood and all of the laughter, tears and general shenanigans that come with the territory.

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Rashmi K.

Rashmi Kudesia, MD MSc is a board-certified OB/GYN and Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility specialist who is passionate about improving women’s access to evidence-based, honest reproductive health information and care. Aside from her clinical practice seeing patients in Houston and Sugar Land, Rashmi frequently speaks at conferences and community events, and advocates for women’s health via media interviews and social media. Originally a Midwesterner, she moved around the East Coast for school and training, including nearly a decade in NYC, where she met her husband, Ashish, a Houston native. After moving to Houston in 2018, she’s continued searching for that perfect work-life balance as the family grew quickly, adding their first pup, Bowser {2018}, their first home, and now their first kiddo, Amara {2019}! Right now, she’s learning the ropes of being a working mama, but still loves exploring Houston’s amazing food scene, checking out the newest museum exhibits, or planning the family’s next trip. She’s always on the hunt for the city’s best iced latte or glass of wine to be savored with a good book. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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Lauren M.

Lauren M. is a native Houstonian who now lives one street over from the house where she grew up in Sugar Land. After a brief fling with Austin where she received her Bachelors Degree in English Lit from Southwestern University, she returned home to attempt to write the great American novel {or, you know, the next Harry Potter series}. A short while later a friend recruited her for a kickball league where she met a tall, handsome engineer who quite literally swept her off her feet. After tying the knot in 2014, they soon welcomed their first son Raleigh {October 2015}, and little brother Renner {January 2018}. When not chasing around her two crazy Texas tornados and reveling in the boy mom life, Lauren has discovered a newfound passion for photography and Photoshop, creating whimsical family portraits at @andwhetherpigshavewings on Instagram. You can also find her at @totalkofmommythings and on her blog, And Whether Pigs Have Wings.

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Alissa M., Senior Contributor

Alissa is a wife to her best friend {since 2003} and a grateful mother to four boys {2009, 2009, 2010, 2012) and one girl {2015}. And if you’re going to be friends, you should know she has a deep and abiding love of chocolate. She’s survived infertility, IVF, two NICUs, cloth diapers, a food allergy, and so much more! In 2017, she officially began writing and publishing children’s books and LOVES it! When she’s not writing or picking her kids up from school, she’d like to be reading/singing/laughing/napping/traveling/crafting/learning something new. But in reality, she’s probably grocery shopping/cleaning something/telling her boys to stop fighting. She lives in Katy, blogs at AliMcJoy.com, and occasionally visits Instagram {@alimcjoy}, Pinterest {Ali McJoy}, and Facebook {@alimcjoy}. She is a big believer in living life–especially mothering–with intentionality. If she’s learned anything it’s that accidental success is a myth: decisions determine destiny. She will also be the first to tell you she is not even close to perfect, but she’s giving life her best shot one jam-packed day at a time.

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Vhairi M., Contributor

Vhairi M. relocated from Scotland to the cusp of the Woodlands in June 2019. She tends to stick to this green belt, because the prospect of unwittingly ending up on the I45 is definitely not good for her blood pressure. Those busy highway roads are kind of scary…and Texan cars are kind of big…and y’all drive kind of fast…That being said, it was only a short ten days after arriving in Houston that the expat herself fell foul to speeding laws; and discovered, that under no circumstance, should you open your door and get out of your vehicle to converse with a police officer…
The mom-of-one came to Houston with her oil-and-gas-finance-Excel-loving-husband, rambunctious son, Innes {August 2017}, and equally rambunctious, cocker spaniel, Luna, to get another taste of expat-life. Prior to this latest international adventure, the pair lived in the other-worldly desert oasis of Dubai for several years. Whilst there, Vhairi worked on travel, food, and lifestyle magazines, which saw her eating witchetty grubs in the Australian outback, cooking breakfast with Gordon Ramsay, and sipping champagne at Prince Harry and Prince William’s {circa-Meghan} annual charity polo match. Nowadays, she spends much of her time writing children’s books. In 2020, Vhairi published a chapter book {Hamish Montgomery and the Cursed Claymore}, and a picture book {Great Auntie Betty and the Serengeti}, and looks forward to releasing more kidlit in the near future. Keep up to date with her books, foodie stuff, and everyday mommying @vhairijanemoir on Instagram and via her website vhairijanemoir.com.

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Rebecca M.

Rebecca M., a mother of three successfully launched adults and recent grandmother to one adorable baby boy {Barrett, 6 months old} has enjoyed working with children her entire life. From organizing neighborhood talent shows and church Christmas pageants as a young adult, Rebecca moved on to a teaching career upon graduating from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. Over the course of her career, she taught nearly every grade level from preschool to 8th grade in private and public schools, eventually earning a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas. Rebecca’s love of children and passion for education lead her to a ministry of supporting young mothers by providing quality childcare. Several years ago, with the support of BridgePoint Bible Church, she started and now directs BELA, BridgePoint Early Learning Academy, a preschool program for infants through pre-kindergarteners. She has the incredible privilege of leading an awesome team of early childhood educators in the joy of nurturing children and in building strong relationships with the parents served. When she is not busy babysitting her grandson or managing BELA, she enjoys writing, gardening, swimming, and planning events aimed at creating community, forging friendships, and inspiring growth. Married to David, her biggest supporter, friend, and companion for 31 years, Rebecca considers the strength of her family to be her number one life accomplishment and finds her greatest joys come from pouring into the lives of those she loves and serves.

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Sara M.

Sara has lived her whole life in the Katy/Houston area. She loves all the culture, art, cuisine, endless things to do, and big city flare with pockets of peaceful parks that Houston has to offer. She is currently a student at University of Houston {Go Coogs!} due to graduate in 2020 with a BS in Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies. She has a passion for working with kids and families and currently works as a Director of Children’s Ministry in Katy. Sara has been married to her best friend, Patrick, since 2014 and together they are raising 3 super-spunky, strong-willed kids:: Camryn {2007}, Caleb {2009}, and Casey {2012}. Pray for them, please. When Sara is not working, doing schoolwork, or on mom duty, you can find her painting, catching up with friends over coffee {or drinks!}, reading a good book, getting a new tattoo, or sweating it out at the gym! Fun Fact:: Sara sings. A lot. And she finds dancing irresistible. In other words, she is the best driving buddy ever. You can follow her on Instagram at @smurphy.808 or @just.strong.sara.

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Lisa O.

Lisa is an Illinois to Texas transplant, landing in Katy in 2012. If there’s one thing she has learned in her 9
years as a Texas resident, everything really is bigger in the Lone Star State, especially the expressways. As the mom of busy teen daughters {Olivia 2006 and Audra 2008}, she spends a lot of time driving to/from track events and dance conventions…and random appointments, increasingly frequent grocery store visits, home improvement store excursions and weekly Target runs. So. Much. Driving. When she isn’t behind the wheel, she can be found pursuing one of her passions: volunteering through her local school district, cooking or baking, reading one of her favorite authors, writing about parenting, politics or social issues, or napping. Not really napping – she never sleeps. She and her husband blended their families in 2003 and in total have 5 kids and, at last count, 5 grandchildren. A long time ago, Lisa graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Journalism and has since been published on various websites, including BlogHer, as well as running her own blog for a few years. Additionally, she was a member of the 2015 cast of Listen to Your Mother, Austin. If you’re interested in following her musings, go to her Instagram @mysocalledglamorouslife.

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Whitney P.

Whitney P. was born and raised in the Houston area, the third oldest of six children. She grew up in Waller and after high school she attended and graduated from Texas A&M University earning a degree in Communications and Political Science. She met her husband Tim while at Texas A&M and after college, Whitney worked as the Marketing and Communications Director for a private school in Austin before returning to Houston in 2008 to begin working as a corporate fundraiser for non-profits for many years before feeling the call into fulltime ordained ministry. Whitney resides in Katy and is an Associate Pastor at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church overseeing their Care and Special Needs ministries. Whitney and Tim adopted their first child Jase {March 2013} in 2013, and he is living his best life committed to becoming a paleontologist when older and spreading dinosaur facts to all who will listen. Whitney and Tim are in the processing of pursuing adoption again to expand their family. Besides her work and spending time with her family, Whitney’s greatest passions are advocating for inclusion for all people, reading anything she can get her hands on, discussing and celebrating anything related to Harry Potter, traveling near and far, kickboxing and training for half-marathons. Whitney can be found on Facebook @whitneypeper, on Instagram @wpeper, and has a personal blog Our Color Filled Life.

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Andrea P.

Andrea is a true Houston native! Other than her college years at Baylor and a few summers with family in Guatemala, she has lived around the Houston area forever and cannot imagine living anywhere else. Especially because of family nearby as built in babysitters, so many friendships built throughout the years, and the great people of this city, Houston is so dear to her heart. In junior high her family moved to the Sugar Land area, but she attended a high school in town and spent as much time as possible at the Galleria in the 90s!

After graduating from Baylor University with a degree in Secondary Education, she married her high school sweetheart, Orlando, and they moved to the Richmond area where they have been ever since and where she homeschools their son and 2 daughters, ages 15, 12 & 9.

Andrea is very active in Women’s ministry at her church and in her community. She began writing for more therapeutic reasons when the kids were small and soon began writing publicly, remembering her love for writing and realizing the gift and calling that it was in her life.

She published her first book, Breathless: Prayers from a Mother Learning to Exhale in 2018, a devotional last year and is currently working on a few new projects.

In her down time, Andrea loves alone time, especially because she’s an enneagram 4! She also loves coffee, hanging out with her family and friends, traveling, New York City, musicals, especially Hamilton, fair trade jewelry, and charcuterie boards! You can find her writing at www.andreaportilla.com or follow her on Instagram @dreaportilla and on Facebook.

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Kim R.

Kim R. was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but became a Texan as soon as she could! She graduated from Texas A&M University {Whoop!} in 1999 and moved back to Houston to start her high school teaching/school counseling career. That Houston move resulted in meeting a cute next door neighbor at her apartment complex who later became her husband. Kim and that cute neighbor moved to the Cypress area in 2005 where they now raise Griffin {October 2008} and Emmy {August 2013}. She took a small work hiatus to stay at home with her kids but just recently returned to work as a middle school counselor. Life has had some hardships, and Kim is open to sharing her story of enduring grief and encouraging moms to take care of their mental health. Her other passions include reading all the books, watching reruns of Friends, sweating it all out at Orangetheory Fitness, and a good glass of red wine. Kim also believes in working hard to make each day better than the one before. You can learn more about Kim by following her on Instagram @alwaysanewday, or on her blog Always a New Day.

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Elizabeth R.

Elizabeth is an RGV girl, born and raised, who moved to Houston {January 2020} with her little family. She was a writer for the RGV Moms Blog for years and is now a part of the Houston team. She shares her heart and home with a 5 year old tiny teenager named Isabella Samantha {September 2015}, a baby girl on the way {April 2021} and her loving husband, Samuel. She majored in Public Relations at UT Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, now known as UTRGV. After a few short years working for a hospital’s marketing department after graduation, she found her calling and completed an alternative certification program to begin teaching. She loves working with children and hopes that by being in the classroom, she can make a difference. Elizabeth has been teaching little ones for 13 years now, ranging from 6 year olds to recently 6 month olds. She still finds time to write/blog in her free time as a form of stress reliever. She hopes to publish a SciFi book one day, as her dreams always tend to lean towards the supernatural. Which is why she loves to sleep so much! She enjoys online shopping, thrifting, scrapbooking and binge watching Netflix shows in her pajamas. In the short time she’s been living in Houston she’s come to realize that she HATES the traffic, LOVES the diversity and REALLY misses her momma back home.

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Anne R.

Anne has spent most of her life living in Katy, Texas or trying to find her way back to it. After several years of enjoying life in the Houston suburb of Spring Branch, Anne, her husband, two young daughters and their dog have migrated back to Katy. Anne holds a masters degree in Counseling and is a licensed professional counselor. Years spent trying to juggle full time motherhood and full time community mental health jobs led to Anne opening her own counseling practice. Anne Russey Counseling  provides online therapy for moms, anxious adults and LGBTQ+ people throughout the state of Texas. Anne is at her best as a mom when she is on the go {with or without her kids} and would take a dentist appointment over imaginary play any day. Anne has spent the past 6 years learning that there is no such thing as work life balance when it comes to working motherhood. Instead, Anne is learning to accept she will never get it all done and to embrace the joy she finds in reheated cups of coffee while her kids play independently for a few precious moments. You can find Anne’s thoughts, usually related to mental health, on her blog, Instagram and Facebook.

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Kelly S.

Kelly grew up in small town Ohio and attended Ohio State University. She holds bachelors degrees in finance and chemistry. She moved to Houston in the mid-1980’s where she started work in Oil and Gas. In 1988, she began her 30-year career with Shell Oil Company and later obtained an Exec-MBA from University of Houston, specializing in Operational Excellence and Leadership. During her career with Shell she worked in a variety of technical and senior management positions across Houston and Port Arthur. She met her husband, Bruce, at Shell in 1995 but they didn’t {finally} marry until 10-10-2010 on a private beach in Hawaii. Collectively, they worked for Shell for over sixty years! Bruce {aka Pops} has two grown sons; he and Kelly {aka Mimzy} enjoy four beautiful grandchildren. Together over the years, Kelly and Bruce opened their home to several teenage nieces and nephews who needed guidance, consistent structure and support. In 2018 they became legal guardians for their 11-year old niece, Zoe {June 2007}. Kelly officially retired from Shell in July 2018 but that hasn’t slowed her down much! Between keeping up with Zoe in middle school, Kelly teaches Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace at River Pointe Church in the Spring & Fall semesters. Kelly and Bruce also own a home-crafting business where they “up-cycle” discarded wine barrels into unique and creative household novelties. Bruce is the wood-working craftsman while Kelly manages the creativity {and the books}! You can check them out on Facebook @Showbird Handcrafted Designs. Kelly and Bruce are fitness enthusiasts, cyclists, paddle-boarders, avid hikers and annual visitors of America’s amazing National Parks; but they are also beer, wine and beach enthusiasts – quite the contrast! Kelly is an animal lover and supports many local rescue organizations. Along with their personal ‘failed-foster’ menagerie, it’s likely you’ll find a nursing mom with kittens or a senior dog anxiously awaiting a permanent home. If you’re looking for a new, furry friend, just give her a call!

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Becca S.

Rebecca S. is a born and raised Houstonian; she grew up in Katy, graduated with a BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston {go Coogs!}, and made a home in West Houston with her native Houstonian husband. She quickly realized that the chaotic lifestyle of the hospitality industry was not for her and soon found her calling in education. She taught while earning her masters in Library Science from the University of North Texas. Currently, she is staying home with her son, Thomas {2016}. In her free time, she loves to read, write, run, and roam the world. While her roots are firmly planted in H-town, she takes every available opportunity to go on an adventure and explore historic cities, hike and run new trails, and, of course, try beers from every country. Follow her on Twitter.

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Vicky Y., Senior Contributor

Vicky does not consider any one place home but she has been feeling quite content these days living inside the loop in Houston. She was born in South America, grew up in Miami, graduated from Boston University, and moved to New York City to work in advertising before embarking on The Big Move—Beijing, China. She and her husband Patrick had a marvelous adventure while abroad, which included the birth of their oldest Toby {Nov 2009}. After almost four years in Beijing, they headed to her husband’s hometown of Houston. Kelsey {Sept 2011} made her debut a few months later and Jesse {Sept 2014} joined the ranks several years afterwards. Vicky loves family life. She also loves to read, keeps a tidy house so she can host on a whim, is excessively proud of her budget fashion finds, and would like to call herself a gardener one day. Vicky has been slightly obsessed with raising monarch butterflies in recent years. She generally keeps busy doing this and that for her church, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), and the children’s schools. You can find her on Instagram @snowinabluemoon.

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