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May 06, 2007

About Us - Contributors of Chicago Moms Blog

The Chicago Moms blog is a collaborative group of moms writing about their lives in Chicago, Ill., where moms endure “El” construction on the way to work, navigate their way into tight parking spots, push strollers through slushy sidewalks, and occasionally indulge in a shopping spree on Michigan Avenue, if, that, is, they can get sitters.

Chicago Moms Blog is a member of the Silicon Valley Moms Group. Other blogs in the group include Silicon Valley Moms Blog,  DC Metro Moms Blog , New York City Moms Blog, Chicago Moms Blog, Los Angeles Moms Blog, 50-Something Moms BlogOhio Moms BlogNew Jersey Moms Blog, Deep South Moms Blog, Canada Moms Blog, Philadelphia Moms Blog and Rocky Mountain Moms Blog.

Come and meet the Chicago Moms Bloggers:

Mary oneAlly is a mother of two, wife of one, daughter of many, who writes from her home on the north side of Chicago. She endures winter, aches for summer and optimistically believes in the Cubs. Not so many years ago she was a banker who spent her days managing charitable funds, a career she loved and agreed to give up for two years when her twin daughters were born. Two years quickly became five; time flies when you are overwhelmed, exhausted, overjoyed and madly in love.

Committed to enjoying this fleeting time with her girls, Ally spends her days volunteering in their school library, a rare opportunity to help create something important while keeping tabs on the two wild ones. She also writes a personal blog at  NorthSideFour and contributes to  Chicago Now. She is hard at work on a memoir, forever grateful to those who showed her what it takes to love a child, or two.When not writing she spends her spare time looking for her keys.

Sillypic Alma started her personal blog, Marketing Mommy, in 2006--right around the time her firstborn began speaking in sentences, and she was one of the original members of the Chicago Moms Blog.

She now has two girls, 5 and 2 1/2, and lives in a 100 year old house in Oak Park. Husband Josh works from home part-time, which makes the juggle of working full time as a creative at a large downtown ad shop that much easier.

The daughter of a Foreign Service officer, Alma spent her childhood moving from place to place. She moved to Chicago for college at age 18 and never left. If it wasn't for the winters, she'd never dream of leaving.


Angela Angela Allyn is an artist and administrator who lives in Mildred the Magic House.  She is married to photographer Matt Dinerstein and is attempting to raise three artist children and has decided it was easier to roll around art galleries dressed as primordial slime as she did in her youth. She blogs at Domestic Blitz and at Mama Media.

Mayer_0410-35_cropped If you're looking for Anna Grace you might have to run to catch her! She's one crazy-busy mom to four children from preschool to high school, wife to a delightful, and usually pretty helpful husband, Brian, and the proud, if tired, owner of two photography studios: one in Milwaukee, WI, which also serves Chicago and one in Los Gatos, CA. You may find her throwing rocks in to Lake Michigan with her brood of children or on the green of Crissy Field shooting photos of jumping monkeys, er, kids, in the shadow of Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. If she's not there, you might find her up in her nest, er, loft, surrounded by any number of her children and trying to get her work done or perhaps you'll find her handing a tissue to a mama who just watched a slideshow of images, capturing the life of her children at her studio in Los Gatos, California, or maybe you'll find her out on the road, training for her first half-marathon. Of course, over the years you might have found her dreaming of one day becoming an artist or a writer, or both, playing hockey for her high school boys team, delivering her first child at seventeen, teaching special education to young children or painting houses to pay for daycare and rent as a single mother in college.

A native of Minnesota, Anna Grace and her young family moved to California in 2001. Anna's husband, Brian, a musician, took his first position as a worship pastor there. While their family grew, Anna opened a childcare to help support the family (have you ever heard what pastors make?). Over the years, as Anna filled the baby books of all her young charges with her eye for capturing life, one of her clients pulled her aside to say, "Young lady, I think you missed your calling." Another few years and an unbelievable number of hours reading, studying and learning the craft of photography,Images by Anna was born. Fast forward 5 more years and Brian found himself laid off and employed in the family business. With no more ties to California and a strong pull toward the more meat-and-potatoes life of the Midwest, Anna and Brian found themselves opening a map, finding the fantastic and truly under-appreciated city of Milwaukee, and moving the much larger, and more cumbersome, Mayer family half-way across the country.

Everyone is at home, here in the Midwest. The kids are doing great in their fantastic public schools, meeting new people, playing in the snow. Life is good. Anna and Brian continue to work together in the family business, now running two studios. Anna must peel herself away from her beloved off-spring once a month to capture her awesome clients in California (this is painful and has been the hardest adjustment). But she can't wait to really establish herself and her new company (same great talent) here in Milwaukee, Chicago and Madison and perhaps, then, cutting back a bit on the travel.


Barbara Rozgonyi is living life in 3D as a mom, entrepreneur and a woman who’s constantly searching for something online and in real life. Read more about what Barbara's up to at her blog Wired PR Works, on twitter @wireprworks on check out the Wired PR Works iPhone app.  

A pioneering mompreneur, Barbara founded CoryWest Media, LLC, named after her mother and grandmother in 1990. CoryWest Media mixes marketing, PR and social media to build brands, grow business, raise visibility, and connect communities. Barbara is the founder of Social Media Club Chicago, the publisher of wiredprworks.com [listed on Alltop PR and AdAge Power 150], the mother of three, a LinkedIn expert in a 2010 book, a top 30 PR expert on twitter [source: ereleases.com],  an emerging digital PR agency advisor, a professional photographer, a community actionist and a motivated speaker who’s out to inspire everyone to tell their story in a way that’s worth retelling, both online and in real life. Follow Barbara @wiredprworks on twitter or check out what’s new right now with the Wired PR Works iPhone app


has a great gig . . . and she knows it.  Formerly well-tailored, manicured, and regularly shampooed, she traded Cook County courtrooms for the Chicago park scene with her three constant companions: Eleanor, Brendan and Colin. Their collective interests include riding the carousel at the Lincoln Park Zoo, hanging out in Wicker Park, and pretending the bathtub is a giant spaceship. She also has a handsome husband who makes an amazing halibut with buerre blanc. Lucky girl. 

When her kids are at school and/or napping, Caitlin works as a freelance writer. Her work appears regularly in Chicago Parent and Mindful Metropolis magazines. She also writes about the family-friendly side of Chicago on Wee Windy City, part of the ChicagoNow site. Check in on her happy adventures with the little people in her life at her personal blog A Hen and Two Three Chicks. 

Chicagomomsblog Carrie is a word-nerd mommy, a former full-time newspaper reporter, a lapsed world traveler and a recent returnee to the Midwest. She grew up in a dead Wisconsin auto town, came of age in Madison, Wisconsin, and Paris, began her career in Beijing, and started her family in San Francisco. These days you'll find her in Oak Park, just outside Chicago, toting around baby Pebbles, trying to reason with preschooler Nutmeg, helping husband Epu fix up their recently purchased Oak Park home, and trying to get her bearings as a semi-suburban stay-at-home mother.

Carrie may forget the kids' doctor appointments but always finds time to marvel at their latest linguistic developments. She's shoehorning in a little freelance writing and blogging, and longs for the day when she can get back to writing that future Oprah Book Club novel and maybe even a few poems, which her husband says are her forte. Perhaps this day will come when Carrie's blog, My Funny, Funny Family, becomes lucrative enough to pay for a cleaning lady who comes every ding-dang day. Dare to dream, that's what Carrie says. Carrie also writes about personal finance for Wise Bread.


Picture Cheryl O'Donovan met her husband at a tire shop, had her kids in her late 30's and wonders if the chiropractor will accept beads and trinkets as payment.  Cheryl forged a 22-year career in corporate communications and advertising before being offered a lucrative contract making paper airplanes.  Her exuberant boys steal brooms to make light sabers.  (They're Dooku, Mom's koo-koo).  Her IT consulting husband graduated summa cum laude from Grouch Tech.  And the dog flunked obedience school three times.  Find her humor column, "Van Mom Strikes Again," every Thursday in Pioneer Press papers in Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates and Elk Grove Village, and occasionally in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, and Palatine.


Cindy Fey lives in Wilmette with her TV ad-cutting husband and her two curly-haired pre-school age daughters.  She has degrees from universities in three states starting in "I" which helps tremendously when the kids are hungry and the pasta water won't boil any damn faster.  Cindy taught speech, TV, film and English for eight years at a Chicago all-boys high school, but nowadays her daughters are her teachers and she's the student.  (B average with a few A+ days here and there.)  You can read her tales of mothering and movies, grief and grace, books and blunders at her blog, We All Fall Down.

Logo badge cms8741 spent her whole life thinking that if she worked really hard and were a good person, things would go her way. Then she became a mother.

Between caring for her six-year old adopted son who has severe mental health issues and chasing around the four-year old boy she birthed from her loins, she uses the arts -- writing, singing, playing the piano -- as an outlet. She's also sure that if she ate right and exercised, she'd have a more pleasant disposition.

Right now, cms8741's working on getting a smoking-hot, bikini-ready body for summer. You can check out her progress at her blog, Ends With 8741. And if you are interested in connecting with other parents of children with special needs, she (along with 30 others) also blogs at Hopeful Parents.

Mail.google.com Cynthia spent her single girl life trading stocks. Who would have thought that going toe to toe with traders was the easy part? Those days are soooo over. These days, when she is not chasing after her two toddlers, she does blog design and illustration through her design site (NW Designs). You can also find her writing at The Chronicles of a SAHM.

Dawn Dawn grew up in Chicagoland where she began her writing career at the age of five with her widely praised, The Lucky Leprechaun, an epic tale of a leprechaun who was yes, you guessed it, lucky.  Dawn has six children, basically because she didn't want seven.  A recently divorced mom with three girls and three boys, ranging in age from four to fifteen, Dawn is on a never-ending quest for more than two hours of sleep a night.

She is the author of the books Because I Said So and the soon-to-released, You'll Lose the Baby Weight (and Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth).  She's also a contributing author to the books Pearl Girls (Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace), and See Mom Run.  Dawn spends her days blogging at BecauseISaidSo.com, checking homework, cleaning pudding off her ceiling, driving her kids to all their 80,000 activities, tackling insurmountable mountains of laundry, and explaining to her kids why they can't have a pet squirrel or an indoor slip-n-slide.


Duongcropx Duong Sheahan is a mother to three children, living in the Chicago area. Duong is passionate about helping people to live healthier and happier and has tapped into Social Media and the Digital Revolution as channels to fuel her passion.

Duong is the author of her own blog at Live Healthier and Happier which is focused on lifestyle choices from the inside-out sharing practical solutions to everyday life, ranging from health and fitness, recipes, inspiration, to emotional and spiritual empowerment.

As a mother to three children ages 16, 13, and 12, Duong is dedicated to ensuring that her family receives the best care that will ultimately help them to live healthier and happier from the inside-out.

Duong Sheahan recently founded Digital Girlfriends, a Social Network for women in Social Media in the Chicago area. She also co-hosts Chicagonista Live (an online talk show focused on Chicago centric topics, social media, fashion, lifestyle, and more) with Founder MJ Tam, Nancy Loo & Beth Rosen.

Duong's message of health & inspiration can be found on other sites such Shine’s Healthy Living Channel and Empowered Woman on Take Root and Write.

026 Dwana is a 20 year local government employee who has facilitated hundreds of thousands throughout her criminal justice career into choosing “healthier, happier” lives. 

She has nurtured her love of people, writing and community advocacy and has become an avid social media networker. You can find Dwana authoring at her sites "Healthier, Happier, You!  &  Welcome To Wellness, or contributing at Chicagonista.com.

 A life-long Chicagoan, who is incessantly on Twitter, she happily mothers her teen son and the dog.

On any given day you can find them somewhere along Lake Michigan.

2003.EDB.marathonsportsnightout Eileen is an East Coast baby but feels more at home in Chicago every day. She and her handsomely hard-working, often-running husband enjoy the pleasures and challenges of raising their family in the western suburbs. Mom to two young kids, she finds herself singing silly songs while alone in the car, which is her current outlet for an out-of-shape vocal talent. Eileen uses her expensive Master's degree to write part-time, mostly for educational developers.  In her past life she taught high school kids the value of history and good writing, and she really misses the structure of a school day.

When she's not listening to her son pronounce the Latin names of various prehistoric animals or giggling with her infant daughter, she likes to blog about their capers at her personal blog, The Breezeway. In an attempt to stay sane, she trains for triathlons and is planning to run her second marathon in October 2010.  Her idea of bliss is two knitting needles and a new ball of pretty yarn.


Profilepic Emily is a Washington DC native now living in the near west suburbs of Chicago.  She has one of the fanciest educations money can buy, including a law degree, and spent years putting together a resume designed to lead to a big career… and then she had a family.  Now she works (very) part-time teaching at a local law school and spends most of her time taking care of her family and volunteering in her community.   Emily’s husband works long hours and travels frequently for a job that he finds fulfilling and one that helps make the world a better place.  They have a daughter who is in first grade and a three-year-old son.  Emily’s daughter has many food allergies, which can make birthday parties, school lunches and dining out a challenge, but she strives to keep her daughter’s life pretty normal and even fun.  Emily’s son does not appear to have any allergies, just a profound aversion to the word "no."  

Emily’s tastes range from the serious to the frivolous.  She subscribes to US Weekly and The New Yorker.  Emily loves cooking more than almost anything else and she recently became an avid canner; but she doesn't garden and she barely decorates.  You can read Emily’s thoughts on all these topics and whatever else comes to mind at her personal blog, West of the Loop .



Farrah Brown is a military kid that actually considers Florida to be home.  She came to Chicago to attend Wheaton College in 1995 and, as fate would have it, met and married a Chicago guy.  Besides a brief stint on the east coast (Baltimore) for nursing school at Johns Hopkins University, she has been here ever since.  And although she misses the beach and sweet tea, Chicago is starting to grow on her too.

Farrah works part time as a cardiac interventional nurse at a local hospital in the western suburbs to keep her nursing skills current and give her at least one day a week with adult conversation.  She also runs her own small work-at-home business, BabyLove Slings, making and selling beautiful handmade ring-sling baby carriers.  But the job she truly cherishes is the one of mommy to her two boys (born in 2006 and 2008) and beagle pup.  Life certainly keeps her on her toes!  

Besides her husband and sons and puppy, her other passions include babywearing, attachment parenting, the beach, and most recently Bravo TV!  When not sewing, chasing boys or catching up on Project Runway, Farrah spends her "spare time" writing about the joys and pains of motherhood and babywearing at BabyLove Slings. Farrah also writes for her newest project, Dupage Mamas, a voice and resource for mamas in the western suburbs. 

Garima Garima loves being herself, which  is now a concoction of being a wife to a wonderful and supporting husband, a thorough professional, a little girl of her loving parents, one who is confused most of the times and oh yes above all, a mother to an adorable daughter! Having left her home country almost a decade ago, she tries to ensure a multi-cultural upbringing of her daughter. Though, she considers herself to be perfectionist, with a toddler in tow, she is learning to let go a bit! It’s not like she has a choice anyways!

Garima has a MS in Engineering and has years of experience in Project, Product Management and Quality Management. In addition to managing work, life and fun, she writes about her Life's Adventures at It's a Start and she blogs about her learning’s to be a mother at Mommy In Making.

Hyacinth On assignment from the Great Editor-in-Chief, Hyacynth is an under-cover journalist playing the role of a full-time mother of two ages 2.5 and under, wife and small business owner; some days she really fits the bill, and other days she's utterly overwhelmed by the shear madness of the assignment. Being a mama is the toughest and most rewarding job she's ever had, and it's the only job she would not promptly quit after being informed that there are no paid vacations or holidays.

Because Hyacynth was surrounded by boys (one husband, two sons and even a male dog), she and her husband decided to pump some estrogen back into the mix by buying their local Curves, a women's only health and nutrition hub, last summer. Though, she spends the majority of her days at home with her three young boys (hey, the dog is only 2!), Hyacynth sneaks off to work at Curves a few days a week where she drinks in big gulps of sanity and conversation before returning home to the testosterone-induced madness. When she's not working at the club, working with her boys or working on running the household, you can find her stealing moments of sanctuary at Mothers of Preschoolers meetings and Wednesday morning Bible study or blogging at Undercover Mother while sipping chai tea -- hot or cold depending on whatever weather Mother Nature deals the windy city on any given day.

Jamie-avatarJamie is a recent transplant to the South Shore from the deep, deep South.  She spent most of her first Midwestern winter indoors hiding from the snow, ice and wind with her two darling daughters and husband. 

You can usually find her crouched behind a book, a camera or a computer.  In addition to finding her on Chicago Moms Blog, you can find her at her personal blog, Follow The Lines Going South, on Birminghammommy.com, and at NWI Parent Magazine Online's Oh, The Places We Will Go.  You can also follow her on twitter - where she spends way too much of her time @followthelines

Janelle_2Janelle Marshall is a native Californian, but has been in Chicago for seven years. It's all due to the fact that she met her husband at Borders Book Store and fell in love with the man and the city. She's also mom to 2-year-old, Jada. Like every other mother, she's always trying to master the balancing act while also managing her occasional emotional roller coaster rides. She's got a master's degree in journalism and currently teaches undergraduate communication classes online. Her hubby is considered a branding guru and they are always building the next big idea to get them closer to a life of freedom.

When she's not blogging she's climbing three flights of stairs to her condo in Hyde Park with groceries in hand, reading and singing with Jada, cuddling with her hubby or feeding her need for constant organization. You can find her blogging on her personal site Mama Daisy.

Jen Jennifer (aka EcoChic) is a former material girl turned conservationist. She's earned media attention for her activism and has been recognized by the Mayor for her work with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Chicago Conservation Corps. In her free time she is a freelance writer living in downtown Chicago that focuses on green living, parenting and health.

JenmJen Matuska is wife to Todd, who is a lover of all things Ohio State University; mother to Jonah (3.22.2007) and Lily (3.2.2009), writer, reviewer, music lover, researcher, activist, supporter, and so much more. Her day to day consists of wrangling two little kiddo's while attempting to keep up with housework, writing, and managing the family, all without losing her sanity.

If you would have asked Jen in 2005 if she wanted kids, she most certainly would have told you "No.". Amazing what a loving husband and 2 years of married life can do, because 3 years post-marriage, Jonah was born. He is now a rambunctious, back-talking toddler who keeps Jen on her toes. Before Jonah turned 1 1/2, Jen was pregnant again; to later find out it was a little girl who was to be named Lily. She is a 1 year old drama queen who adores her brother like he is the only person worth looking at on this entire planet.

Jen's passions include her friends (both online and off), her kids, her husband, her cats, blogging (mommyinstincts.com), writing, Twitter (twitter.com/mommyinstincts), cloth diapers, taking pictures (Sony a300), editing pictures (picnik.com), a clean house, all natural health remedies (hylands.com), handmade products, Starbucks Peppermint Mocha's, crafts with her kids, hanging out with her mom, White Sox baseball, toys NOT made in China, organic clothing for her kids, a phenomenal Genius playlist on iTunes that makes her think, and 2 kids napping simultaneously. Her areas of expertise include vaccine research, homeopathic remedies, pregnancy related depression/anxiety, cloth diapers, and babywearing.

Jen blogs all about it; openly and honestly at Mommy Instincts.


Karen_new_haircut Karen Putz is a deaf mom to three deaf and hard of hearing kids.  She's married to her college sweetheart who is also deaf.   Karen grew up hard of hearing and became profoundly deaf after a fall while waterskiing on her bare feet. She has learned to turn her hearing aids off when the hubby grumbles about her housecleaning skills and close her eyes when the kids ask for money to go to the mall.

Karen bounces back and forth from the western suburbs to Christie Lake in Michigan, where her parents reside.  She drives a 20-year old boat and takes great delight in whipping the kids around the lake on inflated tubes.

Karen works in early intervention as a Deaf Mentor, providing support and information to families with deaf and hard of hearing children.  She is a board member of Hands & Voices and runs the Illinois chapter.  Karen tossed away her B.S. and M.A. counseling degrees in favor of her first love: writing.  She can be found blogging away at Disaboom, Parenting Squad and her own two blogs: A Deaf Mom Shares Her World and Jobs, Careers and Callings.

Kim_moldofsky_with_kids Kim Moldofsky was born and bred in the Chicago area. She has been a factory worker and a social worker; a dolphin trainer and a corporate trainer. Then she took the plunge and became a potty trainer and stay-at-home mom to her two little boys. Now that those boys are 9 and 11, her career is finally out of the toilet.

Kim now works as a social media strategist helping companies understand and connect with online mom influencers. She is a managing editor of the soon to launch the Chicago Moms Site. In addition to serving as a social media mom to companies like LeapFrog and ConAgra, she blogs about parenting, raising gifted children, and marketing to moms, along with fun stuff and occasional product reviews at Hormone-colored Days. Kim spent more than a year problogging at the BabyCenter’s top-ranked MOMformation blog and her wit and wisdom are sprinkled throughout the blogosphere. She can be reached at mom(at)moldofsky(dot)com.

Kris Cain Photo Kris Cain is mom to 2 sets of twins 6 who keeps busy working a full-time job, running a photography business, and fueling her gadget addiction. She learned at an early age that she loved computers and has been in front of one ever since. She dabbles in web design, graphic design, and over the past couple of years has learned that she loves blogging! On her blog, LittleTechGirl.com she writes about her love of gadgets, technology, her children, and anything else that crosses her mind. You can find her from day to day on Twitter and Facebook. She is editor of the Family Technology section on Type-A Mom, and National Apple Gear and Chicago Tech Gear writer on Examiner.com. She also writes for Moms of Hue. She has been involved in Social Media for about 10 years and has created lasting friendships from the connections she has made.

Kris was a featured speaker at the Type-A Mom Conference 2009. She has been quoted or featured in articles both online and in print, been interviewed for a book, and has even been on the cover of a local newspaper for Mother’s Day. She is an eBay Classifieds Ambassador and has connected with several other great companies such as HP, Little Debbie, Google, Dyson, Sonos, CNN, and NBC to name a few. She figured out a while ago that she was destined to be really busy (hence the 2 sets of twins), and she has found peace with that.

Mail.google.com A blogger newbie, Lisa regularly marvels at parents who can wipe the baby's bum, cook an edible meal, and type witty, insightful observations about parenting all at the same time. Still, she's ready to give blogging a try. She believes she is a much better mother, wife, and overall human when allowed to type a few paragraphs in peace. 

In her past life, Lisa worked as a newspaper reporter for a dozen years. She focused on child and family issues long before she had one of her own, and the irony does not escape her. Sensing the steady death of printed text, she fled to South Africa with her husband and worked for non-profits that served kids. Three years ago, the birth of her son brought her back to the states, and to writing.  Lisa currently freelances for Chicago Parent magazine and pitches to every other publication that hasn't gone bankrupt yet.  Having grown up in Virginia, Lisa embraces all that the big city of Chicago has to offer, even if that includes wearing nine layers of clothing just to get the mail.

Lisa H Photo Lisa H. is a new mom who has no problem admitting what she doesn’t know and sharing everything she figures out. She appreciates humor and honesty, and luckily finds it every day as the lone female in the house she shares with her talented husband, adorable son, and attention-craving rescue dog. Recent transplants to Wilmette, they’re missing the city life a little less each day.

When not learning about life as a mom, Lisa works full time in fundraising, enjoys reading and cooking, loves a good time, appreciates great food and inexpensive wine, plans to start exercising again soon, and tries to maintain a social life. Check in on her life as Lady Hannemaniac and her writings about her often nutty, always overbooked life at Hannemaniacs.

Blog Pictures 20090002 Michelle is a mom to two children, her six (and a HALF, lest we forget) year old Mister Man and four (and a half) year old Little Miss.  They are slowly accomplishing their goal of driving her utterly insane via goji berries being stuck up noses, repeatedly naming and renaming stuffed animals that Michelle is expected to remember, singing the same two songs over and over again, and finding new and unique uses for collected pinecones each day.  Nonetheless, Michelle would happily trade her sanity for a hug from either of her wee ones any day of the week.

She can't decide if she's a working mom or a stay at home mom, although she's currently - and happily - testing out the waters of the SAHM world while on leave until late May.  Her biggest goal while on leave is to get caught up on life, but barring that, she's going to learn how to say no.  Her two year term as PTO president is near over, and she is proud to announce that she has already said no to chairing the gala at her children's new school next year.  When not finding ways to overschedule herself or wrangling children, Michelle can be found over at Honest & Truly! where she writes about her life, her story, her version.

MLTV tiny Miss Lori is a Wisconsin native with a passion for children and performance. She captured everyone’s attention at the age of 4 strapping on a superhero cape and belting out Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman Hear Me Roar”. By the age of nine she had taken flight and was performing throughout Wisconsin, and eventually the country.

All grown up Miss Lori wear numerous capes in her life. She has a focus as an entertainer, teacher, and writer to unite families together through her artistic contributions. Miss Lori has activated her mission through her work as host of The PBS Kids Preschool Block from 2006-2009 and as an Ambassador for The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Campaign.

Miss Lori also wears an Entrepreneur cape as the founder of her company Miss Lori’s CAMPUS. She guides MLC with her innovative ideas creating programming, entertainment, merchandise and media that ignite the imaginations of curiously motivated children and their families.

As part of Miss Lori's CAMPUS, Miss Lori's Producer cape helped her launch a CD titled "Music n' Movement TOGETHER!" which is a winner of the 2008 iParenting Greatest Products Media Award.

To build on the momentum of her CD and live tours, Miss Lori’s CAMPUS produced an interactive musical adventure DVD called, “Activate & Be Great!” , and an original mixed media theatrical production entitled “GROWING!”. In addition to her television work Miss Lori still performs live, regularly teaming up with WTTW-PBS Chicago and other organizations, creating informative and inspiring live events.

In 2009 Miss Lori took on a new cape, one that says Blogger. Her insightful thoughts about life and parenting are as real as her music. You can find her “Musing from her Minivan” on her own website, MissLori.TV, as well as SVMoms blog offshoot ChicagoMomsBlog. She is thrilled to now also be contributing her multicultural perspective to WeAreTheRealDeal.com as well! You can stay current with all of Miss Lori’s goings on by following her on Twitter and Facebook.

With all of the different capes that Miss Lori wears in her life her favorite is her Mommy cape, which she proudly straps on to care for her three beautiful children from whom she draws inspiration everyday. Miss Lori's mission and her focus are both about them and for them.

Children and families across the country have fallen in love with Miss Lori's superhero like energy, passion and commitment to the development of young minds and bodies. Her ability to foster creativity and imagination is a gift to treasure for many years to come. As Miss Lori always says “Let Your SMILE Shine On!”TM

Marie Marie lives on Chicago's North Shore with her husband, two sons, one lizard, and 22 (and counting) guppies.  She was born in New York but grew up in sunny, scorching Arizona.  She has lived in Florence, Italy; Geneva, Switzerland; and Manhattan, New York.  She has a completely useless BA in Psychology from the University of Arizona and a well-intended but misguided Master of International Business from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. She worked in Corporate Marketing and Communications for several years, but now stays home raising her kids and neglecting her house.  In her free time she likes to read fiction, work on her photography, eat anything chocolate, and find ways to get her husband to take her to nice restaurants.  She takes sick pleasure from feeding crickets to the lizard, hates unloading the dishwasher, and fully expects to live her next life as a sun-basking, ever-napping cat.  Not a cricket.  You can read more of her work at Three Chairs.

P6250015 Melanie is adjusting to life in Chicago after moving here not so long ago.  The excitement of life in Chicago makes up for the tedium of keeping her three kids healthy, fed and dressed each day.  Her student husband has promised that life will get easier when he is done with school, but she isn't holding her breath.

Even though she's never had a real job, she dreams of the day when she can be . . . something.  For now, she spends her days reading, folding laundry, cooking, eating, cleaning up, wiping noses, changing diapers, and blogging at tales from the crib.  You can also read her online journal at blissfully domestic.




Melissa is a city mama at heart who is navigating the culture shock of moving to suburbia so her husband could spend more time with their kids and less time with the Edens. Melissa left a career in healthcare to tend to scraped knees and snotty noses and finds it just as gross but more rewarding. She has two children at home, one in heaven, and is married to her super hero of a husband (supportive through PPD, miscarriage and blogging about it all!).

When not writing on her blog (Peanut Butter in My Hair)or wasting time on Twitter (PBinmyHair) Melissa does anything to avoid housework, unless it's polishing her crown (shes the reinging Queen of Undomestic Bliss). She enjoys crafting, sewing, yoga and running (with dreams of one day running in the Chicago Marathon). She believes super mom is a fictional charcater and she tries hard to be the best Mom/Wife/Person she can be everyday, even if that's more Roseanne Barr than June Cleaver. Life is crazy and sticky but oh so amazing! 

Melisa by Mishi Melisa Wells was born in the great city of Chicago, and though she refers to it as "her city", she's willing to share it with others. She lived in the south suburbs for the first ten years of her life, and during that decade made some great memories downtown, thanks to her Michigan Avenue-hotel-managing father and city-enthusiast mother. After living in Ft. Worth, Texas and then Knoxville, Tennessee--where she stalked and dated her future husband, her high school sweetheart--Melisa spent a few years as a newlywed in Norfolk, Virginia before moving to Kenosha, Wisconsin and finally back home to Chicago. She has been happily ensconced in the Western 'burbs for the last fifteen years along with her husband Jim, their two well behaved teenaged boys, and their poorly behaved beagle. Melisa still gets chills every time she sees the Chicago skyline.

Melisa is a freelance magazine writer, contributing feature articles most often for salon industry magazines Nailpro and DAYSPA. She is the author of the children's book Remembering Ruby: For Families Living Beyond the Loss of a Pet and is currently working on her second book. She has written at Suburban Scrawl, her personal blog, since late 2007, and also contributes to Dad Blogs (yes, you read that correctly). She co-hosts a livestream chat show called "Suburban WoW" every other Friday, and you can find her on Twitter @melisalw.

MJ Tam Profile  MJ Tam started blogging in 1999 and has since been very active in the Social Media world. She is the Editor of Chicagonista and the Creator of City Connect Media, Inc. that owns and operates Chicagonista and NYMetropolista and hoping to launch more city sites on her list: SanFranista, SoCalista, and Miaminista. MJ also expanded Chicagonista by making room for the successful-minded 20 something NextGen Chicagonista and recently partnered with Nancy Loo and created Young Chicagonista to give voice to young girls from 11-17 years old. MJ also created Chicagonista LIVE!, an online talk show on Chicago-centric issues and she is also co-hosting the show with Nancy Loo, Duong Sheahan, and Beth Rosen.

You can find her blogging at SugarMyBowl.com and tweets as @mjtam

Nancy loo Nancy Loo is an Emmy-Award winning Anchor/Reporter with Fox Chicago News.  She currently anchors the weekday newscast at noon.  Prior to joining the station in 2001, Nancy was an Anchor/Reporter at WABC-TV in New York City.  She has also lived and worked in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Nancy has a journalism degree from the University of Oregon.  She lives with her husband and two children in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.  She blogs regularly about life in television news and parenting at www.nancyloo.net.


Rita was born and raised in Logan Square.  The survivor of Catholic school, this mom and step mom to four adult children, now resides in Joliet with her husband, Tony.

Currently, Rita finds herself rediscovering all things infant and preschooler as she provides daycare for two of her grandsons, ages 4 and 5 months.  During naptime, Rita can be found clamoring for adult interaction at her personal blog Look It's Megryansmom.

Selena Selena married her high school crush right out of college and was catapulted into mommyhood shortly after by means of a honeymoon baby. Five years and "hey, why not another kid" later, she is now a working mom of two young boys. You can find her juggling spreadsheets, cookie sheets, pencil skirts and magic markers on a daily basis. She looks forward to the weekends when she can spend lazy hours in pjs and take her time giving hugs.

A Chicago native, Selena loves the pulse of the city and can be heard spouting passionately about the state of Chicago Public Schools, gentrification, race relations, and jibarito joints.  She has a love for the written word, loose leaf green tea, midcentury-modern design, more reality TV shows than she'd like to admit, craft and design blogs, and lists (surprise, surprise).

You can find her writing on her personal blog, How About Cookie.



Biophoto_2 Serena Beltz is a native San Franciscan who moved to Chicago in 1996 en route to New York. Little did she know she'd still be in the Windy City twelve years later with a native East Coaster for a husband, a house in a suburban-esque subdivision on the North Side of Chicago and two little boys.  She attended the University of California at Berkeley (Go Bears!) and has a background in financial services, IT and Early Childhood Education.

She now spends her days as a she is a WAHM/SAHM who works in retail part-time and runs her own online business, Petit Tableau, which ties into her foodie blog at Petit Tableau--Making Healthy Food Fun. In her "free time" she also blogs at Multicultural Mama, enjoys entertaining, reading, sewing and "hanging out" on Facebook.



Shannon Capanna grew up in Southern California and moved to Chicago in 2004.  She has worked as an elementary school teacher and as an editor for math textbooks.  She is now a stay-at-home mom to her toddler son, born in 2007.  In her spare time, Shannon enjoys swimming, flower arranging, baking, and cat appreciation.  She drags her son all over Chicagoland to find fun new activities, some of which she writes about on Chicagonista.  She also writes on her personal blog, Same Old Shannon

Shari & Giraffe Shari is Momma to 6-year-old twin daughters and wife to a patient, wonderful husband. Since she was forty when the girls were born, she often wonders why people still ask "Do twins run in your family?" When they are not on the road, the family lives in the SW suburbs near the forest preserves. This leads to some pretty interesting wildlife in the backyard. Shari works from home for a large consulting firm, which means most people don't think she really has a job. In the words of her Mother, "You work in your t-shirt and shorts? What kind of a professional job is that?" Shari blogs about life with twins and other random thoughts at Two Times the Fun.

P1020773 Stacey is a busy working mommy living in Evanston. She has two young boys, is a change management consultant by day, and a life coach and social media strategist by night. Her husband, who was born on the same day, same year, and same hospital as her, is a scientist at the Field Museum.

When she became a working mom back in 2003, she knew she had to balance the needs of her child and her authentic self with the needs of all the other things that demanded her time, attention, and energy. Stacey's is now committed to helping moms move from mommy survival to mommy revival. She believes in the power of listening to one's natural inner wisdom and creates opportunities for moms to reclaim, rejuvenate, and re-balance their lives. Stacey's life balance journey can be found on CreateaBalance.com and on Twitter. Her other blogs are InspiringSocialMedia.com and StillLookPregnant.com.


SusanSusan is a writer with curly hair who usually wishes she had straight hair. Clearly a word person, not a number person, she would appreciate any help she could get adding up the following word problem: 6 children, 2 step children, 1 set of premie twins, 4 boys, 2 girls, 1 special needs child, 3 schools, 115-year-old house, 1 husband, 1 dog, 0 nannies, 0 housekeepers, 0 personal chefs, 24 measly hours in the day and not nearly enough cash.

Susan believes there are Two Kinds of People in the world and proves it on her personal blog. She has written practically everything, from white papers on neurosurgery to picture book manuscripts, and longs for the day when you can find one of her books in the library with her name on the spine. She firmly believes that day is coming. In the meantime, she and her family live in Evanston and own a pet store in Lincolnwood. They are deeply grateful for crazy pet people who help pay their mortgage.


S7300852 Tracey is mother of 3(9 yr, 5 yr and 2 yr), living in the suburbs of Chicago. Having lived here her entire life, one would think that the cities of Oaks, Parks, Forests, and Groves would make sense to her.... One would be mistaken. Thank God for Mapquest!!

Knowing that family would be her first "career" the jobs before children were just that: jobs. The ability to quit working when her eldest son was 15 months old was the beginning of a crazy career as a SAHM. 2 kids, 8 years and 2 houses later, she is still in love with her job and family.

Her time is spent carting the kids to and from school, helping with homework, and getting ready for soccer seasons. (though it never seems to truly end...) Cooking and cleaning are not top priority, but hanging out with the family definitely is. She spends the majority of her personal "free" time blogging at JustAnotherMommyBlog.
The management team:

Jill_asher018_2 PARTNER - SILICON VALLEY MOMS GROUP & CO-FOUNDER: Jill Asher is the co-founder of Silicon Valley Moms Group.  The idea came to Jill over two years ago (March 2006) to start Silicon Valley Moms Blog, after she finished her one year "Presidency" of PAMP. After inviting friend after friend to join this "crazy idea" that moms would want to write about parenting experiences in their regional area, Jill has watched Silicon Valley Moms Group blossom into over nine collaborative blogging communities.

By far, her biggest challenge and greatest joy is motherhood. Jill and her husband are the proud parents of two elementary school aged daughters.  Jill admits that she is NOT A PERFECT PARENT and fears her daughter's teenage years. Her girls can be heard running around the house screaming, "Mommy is blogging again!" and she needs to bribe from time to time them with treats.  Is she allowed to admit that? On the bright side, Jill really digs living in Silicon Valley and tries her best to blend in, praying that no one will hear her "New Jersey accent". Unless, of course, she is royally upset. 

Jill handles PR, Marketing, Business Development and outreach for this collaborative community.  


Bethblecherman1718depolophotograp_3 PARTNER (Co-Founder) - SILICON VALLEY MOMS GROUP & CHIEF TECHNOLOGY MOM: Beth Blecherman (Beth B at svmoms.) Beth Blecherman is a techie turned blogger mom who is in charge of blogging technology and development for the Silicon Valley Moms Group network. She also works on the outreach/development to obtain new bloggers and organizing events for the network.  Beth started her career in application development, then system auditing and her last role was Senior Manager, Computer Process Integrity, for Deloitte.  Beth's personal blog is on tips, tricks, and discussions about parents use of technology for their families (Techmamas).  When not blogging, she can be found on Twitter, Facebook and tooling around other new online social networking sites... 

Tekla_n_017crop_2MANAGING MEMBER, SILICON VALLEY MOMS GROUP: Tekla S. Nee, a cofounder of the Silicon Valley Moms Group, serves as editor-in-chief and CFO for the network of blogs. She has been writing about parenting for more than 25 years for magazines like Parenting, BabyTalk, Working Woman, Special Reports: Family, and Better Health and Living. She blogged for five years before there was such a word, writing a weekly column about about her life with three kids for the Palo Alto Daily News. She's published three books, The Mommy Rescue Guide First Year; The Mommy Zone: Tales from the Trenches of Parenthood; and The Everything Baby's First Year Book (also published in Russian and Chinese). And that's just in her spare time, during the day, she masquerades as a mild-mannered technology journalist working for a major metropolitan magazine.

Linsey Krolik profile-1 PARTNER - SILICON VALLEY MOMS GROUP: Linsey Krolik joined the management team of Silicon Valley Moms Group as a Partner in October 2009, after serving as the company's lawyer, book club editor, and a contributing writer for Silicon Valley Moms Blog since July 2007. Linsey has been a technology, media, and business lawyer and entrepreneur in Silicon Valley for the past ten years.  Before operating her solo law practice, which she started shortly after the birth of her twins in 2004, Linsey was Corporate Counsel for ARM, Inc., a United Kingdom-based intellectual property company and worked for a variety of tech companies in the Silicon Valley, including Palm, Inc, OmniSky Corporation, and 3Com Corporation. Linsey holds a combination JD/MBA degree from Santa Clara University School of Law with a concentration in High Technology Law and in Marketing and has been a member of the California State Bar Association since 2002. She is the co-author of the book "Virtual Incorporation: A Lawyer's Guide to Forming Virtual Corporations," which was published by the American Bar Association in 2009. She is a speaker and teacher, having spoken at BlogHer'08 and taught at Solo Practice University and Outside the Cube. Linsey is very active in her community, sitting on the board of several local organizations as President and in other Board of Director roles. She is a twin mom (plus one more makes three kids aged 6 and under), a twin herself, and a cancer survivor. In addition to writing at Silicon Valley Moms Blog, she writes at her personal blog, Me Too You, and at her twins club's blog Mad About Multiples. Linsey handles business development, advertising and legal issues for SV Moms Group.


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