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March 18, 2008

About New Jersey Moms Blog & Our Contributors

The New Jersey Moms Blog

New Jersey Moms Blog is a collaborative group of mothers living or working in New Jersey.  Salty on the outside, but soft in the center, these East Coast moms are not only hip, they say what they mean and mean what they say as they write about their lives in The Garden State, where they spend way too much time driving in traffic, being stuck in carpool lines, and dodging tourists on the Parkway or Turnpike. But they know that nothing beats strolling the boardwalks on the Jersey shore, hiking along the Delaware River, or rooting for the New Jersey Devils. These quintessential Jersey Girls will show you far more than the concrete, iron and rubber that you'll see in the opening credits of Sopranos. 

New Jersey 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 Blog, Deep South Moms Blog, Canada Moms Blog, Philadelphia Moms Blog and Rocky Mountain Moms Blog.

Our New Jersey Moms Blog Contributors:

Mug_shot_2 Alicia is new to Southern Jersey, where she resides with her husband and 4 children. After a three year stint in North Jersey, their relocation felt much like moving to a different state instead of 8 exits down the Turnpike.  She is a transplant from the 'burbs of Philly and also did time for a decade and a half in Maryland as part of her former life. 

Alicia obtained a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology after four years of course work, one year of internship, and another four years to finish her dissertation.  She began the program with one child and ended with four.  Higher education must do something to her fertility. Her degree sits unframed, collecting dust, atop a shelf, underneath a pile of her daughter's art work.  She traded in the high glamor of the psychology field for the even higher glamor of being a stay at home Mom. 

Though she spends her days covered in poop, spit up, and baby food, she wouldn't trade it for the world and secretly prays to never again have a job that requires her to wear pantyhose, shower daily, and stress about child care.  Though she's co-authored several research articles appearing in journals and books, she has far more enjoyment writing about the psychological dramas in her own life at Welcome To My Planet.

  • Beth

Beth is still not sure how she came to be a resident of the Garden State. She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and though she has now lived outside of the South for longer than she lived in it, she spends a great deal of her time teaching her children to say “y’all” and eat pimiento cheese sandwiches. She thinks the water at the Jersey Shore is too cold. On the plus side, she is a fan of Bon Jovi and Jersey corn and has given birth to two bona fide Jersey girls (and their brother). So she’s thinking this Northeastern thing might work out for her.

A former newspaper ad rep-turned-advertising executive, Beth spent her career working around writers but never writing herself. Now that she has three kids and no free time, she has decided to give the writing thing a shot.

Beth is a den mother, a troop leader, a catechist, a board member, a library helper and an art docent. She writes about her adventures in motherhood, her chronic volunteering, and her annoyance at most public officials at The Luddite Blogger. She is also a contributing blogger and Skirt! Setter on skirt.com.

IMG_0473 Brenda is a full-time mom, a dual PhD Psych and Religion drop-out and a born and raised Jersey girl. She grew up in Seaside Park and was dangerous on the dance floor when Snookie was in pigtails and The Situation as not a noun, but a tween riding his bike to the corner store. That aside, for the past 5 and 1/2 years mothering has been more challenging than any thirty-page paper she ever composed or mis-functioning family she ever case managed.

Momming a 5 year old who is the mayor and Casanova of his school, a 2 year old rapscallion born with one kidney and a propensity to be a Major League pitcher, and a colicky 4 month old daughter whose eyes can read the depths of her soul, stirs difficult questions. "What's it all about?" "Is the Greater-Aha hiding somewhere amongst the cases of wet wipes?" "Is this what she signed up for?" And true to her Jersey roots, "What the f***?" But Brenda loves being a mom. And she loves living back in NJ after 10 years away, although, unlike her girlfriends, she has yet to see Bon Jovi drive his red Lamborghini (or was it a Ferrari?) through the streets of town. (Did you hear, John Stewart just moved in five blocks away?And Brenda loves trying to find the humor, hope and irony in the chaos, uncertainty and irony of motherhood.

Brenda holds a BA in Psychology from Boston College, an MDiv from Bangor Theological Seminary and started a PhD in Psychology and Religion at Boston University. Currently, she holds a changing bag, a carseat with baby and a sippy cup. ….Where are those keys?


CorineingrassiaBetter known in the blogosphere as Complicated Mama, This Former PR Professional and now mother of two (4 year old boy & 1 yr baby old girl), has been a member of the blogging community since 2003, when she believed she was the Carrie Bradshaw of Staten Island and was convinced the early 20’s was as complicated as life could get.

 After moving to Middlesex New Jersey in 2005 with her husband, and their baby boy- she learned realized how clueless she had been in her Carrie Bradshaw days and kicked her blogging into high gear in 2008 when Baby #2 arrived– colic.

From Working Mom to Stay-at-home-Mom to Work-at-home Mom- Corine now whimsically blogs on her personal site, to an audience of other “Complicated Mama’s” who are seeking balance in their full time position in motherhood.

When Corine is not tweeting or blogging about her journey to finding perfection and balance (or at least a glance of her former self)... she can be found tweeting and blogging for The Big Toy Book where she has joined their team to give her honest Mom perspective on Toys and the Toy buying experience.

So when life is feeling a little complicated- feel free to stop by her site, tweet, say hi & dish with her on your most complicated Mommy moments.

Crisavatar When Cristie was relocating to New Jersey from the suburbs of Washington, DC she wondered why all her neighbors who were native New Jersians were so vocal about their envy of her move. She has only been in the Garden State for a short time, but she gets it already. I mean who doesn't love a place where you never have to pump gas in the winter?

Relocating her three kids, while filming a reality television show is what inspired Cristie to start blogging at The Traveling Circus - there were just too many crazy stories to share. Now, Cristie shuttles her kids to and fro in Monmouth County and attempts to maintain her sanity while also running a business. She now blogs about all things working mother (including crap television she watches to unwind) at Working Chick. Needless to say, consulting women on style after sitting in a juice box spill is quite challenging, but it makes for great blog fodder.

Cristie is thrilled to be a member of the fabulous community that is New Jersey Moms Blog and proud to call New Jersey home.

Momma Q Deanna Q was raised in Jersey (exit 151) but has never, believe it or not, owned a Bon Jovi album. (Springsteen is the only true Jersey rock god, in her humble opinion.) After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, she spent 20 years in the San Francisco Bay Area where life was good and the burritos even better. She has recently returned to the Garden State and now resides in Morris County where she and her Texas-born/Jersey-raised/California-found husband are raising two wild and wonderful kids and trying not implode from the ongoing culture shock.

A freelance writer with a background in the social expression industry (i.e., greeting cards) and book publishing, Deanna Q has a passion for international children’s film, chocolate, reading great fiction (and the occasional bit of fun trash), and 46-year-old movie stars named Johnny. She was utterly thrilled to have been chosen for the Star-Ledger’s Munchmobile on her first try and hopes that writing about life in NJ will help ease the transition back from life on the left coast.

Desiree_mar09Desiree is a thirty-something single mother with two children in grade school.  She is Colorado-born and -bred, but moved to New Jersey in October 2009.  When she left Denver, Desiree was working as an Accounts Receivable Specialist in the healthcare industry.  She also promoted literacy across the metro area by providing access to free books to families, schools, and libraries as an Independent Educational Consultant for Usborne Books and More.

Desiree is a sassy, opinionated redhead who talks incessantly and loves to sing whenever she’s not chattering.  Along with writing for New Jersey Moms Blog, Desiree blogs for Working Mother magazine's MomBlog. She is the oldest of six children and currently resides in Morris County.

Even at the age of 28, 10969_202559312202_589962202_3627625_1809847_nElizabeth Norton has had many opportunities to play her share of different roles.  While her journeys have taken her to stage, children's party entertainer, website publisher, and writer, her finest casting role is one of being a mother. Elizabeth Norton is never at a loss for words.  What is more important is she is a wife to one and mother to over 25 children.  While 23 of those children have come and gone through Elizabeth's house through the foster system of New Jersey, 2 birth children remain who are delightful (most times) boys.  Elizabeth pokes fun at her own perfections as she writes about birthday party ideas at the Party Planning Professor, writes about being a local cape may county mom at CapeMayMoms.com and writes about Play, Fun and Being a Mom at Professor of Play.  She occasionally writes for Avalon, NJ Vacation tips site sponsored by the Golden Inn.

Elizabeth reigns from the "true" south jersey.  If you traveled any further south you would be standing with the sand beneath your toes and the wind against your neck with the most beautiful view to feast upon.  Elizabeth claims there are no other beaches like those of Cape May County.  She feels blessed to be raised where she now is raising her kids and loves that this is "our" home even though sand gets in her sports car and traffic lines outside her driveway on the weekend.  Being a mom, and wife here in Cape May County is one of the best wins she has ever experienced.

Ellen From To The Max Ellen (@LoveThatMax) has been living in NJ for twenty years, first in Hoboken, now in a picturesque city in suburban Northern NJ filled with old homes, minivans and charmingly nosy neighbors. She lives in a 1908 colonial with her husband, Dave; two kids Max, 7, and Sabrina, 5; and lots of dustballs. 

Ellen is a longtime magazine editor; she's been at Good Housekeeping, Redbook, SELF, and YM (remember that?!). She recently left Glamour after eight years as deputy editor. Since then, she's been doing editing gigs at Martha Stewart Living, In Style and American Baby; writing for magazines; and editing and consulting for websites including Nickelodeon Parents Connect, iVillage, MomLogic and Babble. She's also contributed to the essay anthology The Elephant in The Playroom.

In October of 2008, Ellen started a blog for parents of kids with special needs, Love That Max. Her son, Max, had a stroke at birth that resulted in cerebral palsy, and Ellen wanted to reach out to other parents of kids with disabilities to inspire them, trade information, and laugh about the insanity of it all. It recently won the Best Special Needs Blog award from TheBump.com. When she's not editing, writing, blogging or dreaming about a vacation in Italy, she can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

-19 Emily Cullen is a pen-name. Having moved from Queens at age seven, and losing her New York accent quickly, Emily pretty much considers herself a native New Jerseyan. She has lived in the Central New Jersey area since then and is a graduate of Seton Hall University. Emily spent seven years as a professional New Jersey on-air personality before beginning her eight-year career as a Recruiter/Headhunter. She remains somewhat active in the "entertainment biz," doing voice-over work. She and her husband, "Grant," have been married since 2002 and have already experienced the "worse", "poorer", and "sickness " of marriage. They both suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which have progressed.  Emily's diseases include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and, most recently and seriously, Lupus.

Despite all of the challenges faced, they were able to have a little boy, "Tyler," born in September of 2006, which is the best thing to ever happen to them. They also share their home with four cats.  No longer able to work, Emily is wondering, "What will I do with the rest of my (somewhat) young life?" Emily is an active member and contributor of the website and message boards of But You Don't Look Sick, and is one of the healthiest looking people in New Jersey to own a handicapped parking sticker! Hey, if you've got to be sick, you deserve a good parking space at the mall, right?

Mail-12 Heidi (@c2cmom) has mothered her four-year-old son literally from coast to coast: gave birth and raised her baby in Silicon Valley, raised a toddler in the Chicago suburbs and is transitioning him through preschool in North New Jersey. She is fascinated by the similarities and differences in raising children regionally and is still discovering just how to raise a quintessential Jersey boy. 

Heidi has transitioned from a Silicon Valley public relations executive to a work-from-home freelance writer and blogger. She loves exploring the greater NYC area and can often be found at local charitable 5ks - that is, if you don't run into her on a train, bus or plane around New Jersey. Heidi's an avid TV watcher, knitter, shopper and sports fan. She also contributes to NYmetropolista, Techlicious and writes the "Techno Tools for Writers" column for Write On! Online. You can follow her adventures and musings at Coast to Coast Mom.

Jennifer_2 Jennifer Kamienski, Morristown resident, is often asked where she is from and when the reply is New Jersey most people don't believe her, but it's true.  In fact, Jennifer has never lived anywhere else (albeit a brief stint in Florida when she was a baby) but in her favorite state, New Jersey.  Like New Jersey, there is more to Jennifer than meets the eye.  Most people wouldn't know by looking at her now but she once rocked the big hair and acrylic nails like no other.  While she loves a good chili dog at Hot Grill in Clifton, she also loves an elegant evening at Chatham's Restaurant Serenade.  Back in the day, she was known to cruise the Lodi Burger King (if you lived in Bergen County in the 80s you will get the reference) but now cruises the Mall at Short Hills with her son, Benjamin, in tow.

Jennifer had never really thought of herself as the "motherly type" but the desire to be a Mom struck her five years into her marriage to her husband Wally.  After almost four years of trying to conceive a child, the birth of her son Ben has given her the most challenging and rewarding role of this PR professional's life --being a Mom.  While Jenn will admit she isn't winning any "Mother of the Year" awards, she loves her son fiercely and enjoys the family adventures (both the good and the not so good) which can be found rehashed on The Kamienski Chronicles.

Dec09 014 Jennifer thought it was cute to call herself "Jerseygirl89" online when she lived in Kansas City, but after moving back to her home state she's not so sure. She left the Garden State with an 18 year old body, blonde hair and a bad attitude. She returned with a body that birthed 3 rambunctious children, a husband and the same attitude. In between Jennifer lived in Boston, Portland, Seattle and Kansas City, taught elementary school in the inner city and learned that pizza in every other part of the country stinks. 

Jennifer began blogging shortly after becoming a stay-at-home mom because her poor housekeeping skills and even poorer cooking skills left her with little to do during nap time. She admits to these shortcomings, parenting failures and a shameful addiction to "Rock of Love" on her blog, Dirty Little Secret.


A true native New Jerseyan single mom with the biggest heart and the kindest soul you'll ever see. Born and raised in the Garden State by parents of Puerto Rican descent, Jessica grew up with big goals and dreams of one day being powerful like Oprah and doing something big to change the world and make a difference. 

Her "hopefully soon to be published" novel currently titled, "Three Angels Lost" is a story inspired by the close bond and friendship she shared with her best friend who passed away three yeas ago. Jessica is actively working towards her entrepreneurship goals which include the launch of a girls clothing line and a non-profit organization that will provide temporary assistance & support to struggling working single parents in need. Jessica is also a budding reality star and is currently developing a reality based television show that will document her life along with four others as she works towards establishing herself as a published author, producer and actress while dealing with the struggles and challenges of being a single parent. To learn more about her project visit:  www.worldofsingleparenthood.com.

Although this single mom is actively working really hard towards her goals and dreams, nothing brings her greater pride and joy then just being a mom to her now almost 7 year old daughter. Jessica hopes that she can become living proof and inspiration that dreams can come true and that anything is possible even for a single mom from New Jersey.

Jillcaren Jill is a true Jersey Girl born and raised in the Central, NJ area. Growing up in Woodbridge and spending many a summer at the "Jersey Shore" which happens to be nothing like the show, Jill now calls Marlboro, NJ home.

Growing up, Jill worked at Burger King in the mall of course - which also allowed her to work at their sister store at the shore during the summers. Nothing like standing over a hot grill at the Jersey Shore! She spent many days taking the train to the beach - before the days kids were handed cars when they were 17, and hung with her friends Woodbridge Center Mall on the weekends. Yep, a normal NJ kid.

Jill spent many years as a WaWa Store Manager, then went into Corporate Event planning and now works as an internet entrepreneur and web designer. Residing with her husband, one awesome daughter, 2 dogs, 2 bunnies and lots of fish - Jill is loving Jersey life and although sometimes complains about it, wouldn't trade it for the world!

If you love pictures you check out Jill's blog Cool Photo Ideas where she spends way too much time finding cool ways to share, display and have fun with photos! She is also the owner of 2 Dogs Design, a specialty ecommerce web design studio and Outdoor Cooking Depot, her newest baby!

Headshot Julie Bouf (@JulieBouf) is proud to call South Jersey home. She lives in Gloucester County, where she was born and raised, with her husband, 2 kids, 2 dogs, and 2 cats .

Julie earned her BS and MS in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ and is a CPA in NJ and PA. She worked as an auditor at a Big 4 accounting firm for 8 years before trading in her briefcase for her second-born's diaper bag .

In August 2008, at 6 months pregnant with baby #2, she was suddenly and unexpectedly laid off. For 1 1/2 years she got to live out her fantasy of being a SAHM. Sadly, that fantasy did not include cleaning the house. And even more sadly, for her family and her house, neither did her reality. Because she began to blog. In February 2010, she was fired from homemaking and rejoined corporate America. She couldn't be happier.

Julie hates to write, but has a lot to say. Her children and pets are adorable and perfect, but she has a tendency towards sarcasm. She takes too many pictures, watches too much tv, spends too much money on her kids, and complains way too much. She loves musical theater, traveling, and sordid romance novels. She is slightly obsessed with planning vacations to Disney World and the perfect birthday party. She writes about juggling her ark of a family and her full-time career at The Other Boufs.

Jnemitz Julie Nemitz brings her passion for entertainment and pop culture, a unique perspective on parenting and humorous voice to her writing.  Her writing career officially began at the age of 17 with the publication of her highly dramatic poem “Cancer of the Friendship” which captured the torture of teenage relationship angst in flowing, iambic pentameter. 

She made her performing debut at the age of five as a little boy orphan in a local high school production of “Oliver.” Gender confusion averted by gifted therapist.  Her performing career has taken her from Coast to Coast, to regional theatres, work for Disney, studio and session work on television jingles, a chanteuse in Chicago and New York City nightclubs as well as a few frightening bus and truck musical tours through Canada. Again, mental crisis averted by a gifted therapist.  A graduate of Western Michigan University’s School of Music, she is particularly proud of her work in one of the top vocal jazz ensembles in the world, Gold Company, where she won four Downbeat Magazine "DeeBee Awards" for Outstanding Vocalist.  There, she was afforded the opportunity to work with such legendary performers as Andy Williams, Bobby McFerrin, The Manhattan Transfer and Rosemary Clooney among others.

Julie joined the greatest show on earth, motherhood, in 2004 and then the second greatest show on earth, the blogosphere, in 2009 with the launch of her blog StageMama.com. There you'll find content dedicated to bringing readers the scoop on what's new and exciting in theatre, music, television and film.  Julie also blogs merrily along about parenting in the age of "American Idol", "So You Think You Can Dance", "America's Got Talent" and the like.  Readers find support and guidance on what to do with that kid who won't stop singing songs from "Glee" as he runs down the aisles of Whole Foods.

Her DVR is usually at 98% capacity, I-Tunes constantly crashes her computer and though she can't get to the theatre as much as she could pre-kids, she has opinions of cinematic proportions that are featured regularly on Facebook and Twitter.  Julie and her family -- daughters Lucy (yes, as in Ball), Eliza (yes, as in Dolittle) and husband Rich (a hunk of a guy who is not afraid to admit he knows all the lyrics in "A Chorus Line" yet boldly refuses let his wife hang a giant, framed picture of Judy Garland in the family room) -- reside, harried but happy, in Maplewood, New Jersey.  

Momscrayon L. Klonsky is a native of New Jersey from Bergen County.  She is of an age where she vividly remembers when the Bergen Mall had a small child’s amusement park on the roof and the Garden State  Plaza was merely a pack of outdoor strip malls.  L. also remembers when blue jeans were not considered acceptable attire in public schools (“too casual”), a web was something spiders wove, and having a mouse in the house necessitated an urgent call to the exterminator.

L. paid her own way through night college by working as a marketing assistant for a local foam manufacturer (ask her anything you ever wanted to know about carpet underlay!).  Eventually she earned her degree in Psychology from Montclair State University.  Had she known she was going to have children, she might have paid more attention in her Child Psychology class.  Eventually she met and married a wonderful man who was also from Bergen County and moved to Essex County which her provincial family thought consisted of pure farmland.

After nine years of marriage (muttering, “I don’t want kids!  I don’t want kids!”)  and a stint as a Marketing Manager for a software company, she discovered she was pregnant.  Since L. was a 40 year old mom carrying a child plus a 15-pound uterine fibroid which made the pregnancy high-risk, she bagged the office job and embraced her new calling as a Mom.  The fibroid grew so large that the obstetrician suggested she put a basketball in her baby’s crib so the child would feel right at home.  She knew so little about babies that her first reaction to her newborn son was “My God!  It’s a human!”

L. now has two wonderful children, one biological and one adopted from China. Motherhood is something she’d never seen herself doing, so everything is a surprise.  Every time she thinks she’s getting good at the job, the kids change and she’s back in the Pit of Maternal Ignorance.  L. scribbles her blog, usually using crayon and colored paper, when she’s not volunteering at school or church and between cups of strong coffee.  Her goal is to minimize the amount of therapy her children will inevitably need. 

Lori Lori Landau's world is infused with creative energy.  And her three children are her greatest (collaborative) creations. 

Landau can often be found somewhere between the West Side Highway and Rt. 17. Though not exactly a soccer mom, she does her share of suburban schlepping. However, the New York native is also an artist who gets inspiration from her keen observations of what others may see as ordinary, so she's always armed with a journal, pen and camera to capture those moments.  Once back home in the cocoon of her studio, often with one or more of her children nearby, she turns those observations into poetry, mobiles, beaded jewelry, paintings, photographs and other mixed media work.

Landau has been writing and creating art since she was a teen. One of her first poems was published by SEVENTEEN magazine, several later poems appeared in literary journals. She was a recent participant in a poetry reading celebrating the publication of Lisa Garrigues' paperback version of Writing Motherhood. The poem she read will be part of an upcoming book about loss. Landau also wrote professionally for a diverse and extensive range of special-interest periodicals, including AdWeek, Ad Age, Elegant Bride, Sportswear International and others.

By her third pregnancy, having traded her typewriter for crayons, Landau rekindled an old love for meditation and yoga. A rigorous course of study to gain teaching certification sometimes made her feel certifiable - with the three kids, a husband, the house and several hours of homework each night. Ever mindful of helping others develop their own expressive voice, Landau eventually developed "conscious" creative writing workshops for both adults and children that harness the power of meditation, Eastern Philosophies, and visual and language expression.

Currently, Landau has several works in progress: a novel, a collection of photographic landscapes, a portrait series consisting of photographs and sketches, and a collaborative “mini-journal” project; an ongoing, intimate and creative conversation between two artist/writers. She also does freelance photography and writing for a wide range of clients.

A self-proclaimed "overthinker," Landau expends a lot of energy trying to follow her own advice and remain fully present in each moment.



Mary Kate Kirkpatrick moved to the Suburbs of New Jersey in 2004 with her husband and two cats because their postage-stamp apartment was overflowing with people and possessions (there are only so many things you can hang on the wall or slide under the couch).  When they first landed in the 'burbs and found a place for all their meager possessions, Omar and Mary discovered that they still had a few rooms left to fill.  So with the help of modern medicine and a lot of prayers, Becca joined their family in 8/06.  Somewhere along the way, Omar's mom, Martha, joined the clan and now lends a helping hand with cooking, cleaning and taking care of Becca.

Mary Kate is currently a full-time mom as well as a 5th grade teacher.  Thanks to her Teacher Certification and Masters in Social Work, Mary Kate has also had the opportunity to work as a consultant on various projects including writing lesson plans, units or workshops, researching violence prevention and character education and presenting professional development workshops on standards, assessment and differentiated instruction. When Mary Kate isn't conducting a marathon of teacher conferences, she can be found at one of the local parks pushing Becca on the swings or blogging about her life at the New Jersey Moms Blog or Fanning the Ember of an Idea.

Mary_taraMaryTara aka MT is a "Jersey Transplant". She moved to New Jersey (kicking and screaming) in 2004 with her husband (a Jersey native), autistic son, and a baby on the way. MaryTara and her husband met at Kenyon College and since graduation had been living in Rochester, NY near her family. Before kids, MaryTara worked as a marketing analyst for Xerox corporation and as a Database & Direct Marketing specialist at an advertising agency. In 2004, her family settled in Brick NJ, so they could be somewhat in between her husband's employer and his family (close enough for babysitting!).

Though she left her family behind in deep snow of upstate NY, MaryTara enjoys living just miles away from the beach and never having to pump her own gas. This is a good thing, because she is constantly shuttling her children between school, preschool and extra-curricular events like Dance class and Brick Challenger league athletics.  MaryTara is a busy stay-at-home mama  (who is never at home) of two fun kids, one being on the Autism spectrum. MaryTara takes the role of being her son's biggest advocate seriously and is an active member of POAC (Parents of Autistic Children) and the founder of a Special Needs & Siblings Moms Group. She is on the executive board of directors for the Brick Special Ed PTA and makes the time to volunteer with the Primary Learning Center's Home and School Council.  MaryTara is the Kids & Family Category Lead at the consumer review site Epinions.com since 2001. She shares her parenting adventures at her blog The Bon Bon Gazette where she writes about the delicate balance of parenting a child with Autism, his neurotypical diva sister, the gluten & casein free diet, and life at the Jersey shore.

Meghan_2Meghan is a born and bred New Jersey girl, make that South Jersey girl, who currently resides in a nice suburban town about 15 minutes from Philadelphia.  Atlhough growing up, Meghan, lived in a nice, peaceful house, that all changed when she met her husband, Bobster.  He brought an instant family in the form of two boys, Tim, 14 and Chris, 9.  Then they added to those boys by having Cheeks who was born in August 2006.

During the day Meghan works for a wire and cable company.  By night Meghan is mommy on the go.  Some nights it's running this one there, that one here or running after the little one.  She loves to scrapbook but is usually too exhausted to even think, let alone have scrap.  The boys keep her busy but she wouldn't have it any other way.  See Meghan's personal sites, Meghan's Mindless Muttering and Eventful Moms Of Life.

Sophie and Me

Melissa B. has tried to resist the magnetic pull of NJ, having done stints in New York, Asheville, NC, and Philadelphia, but she finds herself back for a third time, now firmly rooted in the suburbs of Philly.  Though she fancies herself a metropolitan woman, she has come to accept the fact that she is not immune to the 1950’s allure of tree-lined streets, kids playing with their neighbors, and good schools.  

A life-long lover of learning, Melissa got her start at her mom’s nursery school, The Children’s Workshop Preschool, and collected a degree in literature and writing from Bard College, certification in elementary and special education, and a doctorate in psychology from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University.

Melissa began her career in writing with the third-grade self-publication of Catastrophe! Plutonians Invade Catland! graduated to the sixth grade co-authorship of Underneath Your Clothes, a self-described “tushie book,” continued with a middle school mythology built around the concept that a superior race of penguins controlled the universe from the Bermuda Triangle, and was granted a senior independent project in high school to write a collection of “philosophical musings about life,” that was never completed.  After 30 years of secretly scribbling in her journal, she realized this, her best writing, would never make the light of day.  And so, she took a leap in the naked, raw field of memoir with a detailed account of her multiple miscarriages.  Soon after, blogging became the perfect outlet for laying bare her thoughts, feelings and concerns about being a mother. 

Melissa’s blogging style, which she would refer to as “reflective parenting,” is informed by her background in teaching, psychology and social-emotional program development and inspired by life with her joyful, precocious, strong-willed two-year-old muse Sophia (Life with Sophia). She is thrilled to be a part of NJ Moms Blogs and looks forward to sharing her sometimes opinionated, sometimes humble musings about parenting in the great garden state. 


Melissa S. (aka @fitsngiggles on Twitter) is a full time working mom with three sons.  A lifelong Garden State resident, Melissa will challenge anyone who asks (and many who don't) to a Jersey-off.  Born in Hoboken?  Check.  Grew up in Jersey City?  Yep.  Spent majority of formative teen years at the mall?  Sure did.  Met husband at the Cadillac Bar?  Righto (but they're telling the kids they met at church).  First dance at wedding a Springsteen ballad?  You betcha! 

Melissa's day job as a public relations executive at a top New Jersey agency affords her the opportunity to actually get paid to do what she loves and also fulfills her need for grown up conversation.

In her spare time, or more realistically, when she's avoiding the pile of laundry that needs to be folded, Melissa posts her musings on parenting on her blog, Fits "N" Giggles.

Momsblog2 Michelle was born and raised in South Jersey.  With the exception of a two year stint in the Southwest, she has lived here her entire life. Michelle was attending nursing school at the University of Pennsylvania when she met her husband at a church in South Philadelphia.  They were married and relocated to Henderson, NV shortly thereafter.  It was in Nevada that Michelle's passion for people and exercise collided.  She became a certified Spinning Instructor and Personal Trainer.  Upon returning to New Jersey, Michelle completed her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts and started her own personal training business.

Michelle and her husband enjoyed eleven years of marital bliss before having children. Michelle has taken on many odd jobs over the years and says that all have proven helpful in preparing her for her current role as full-time, stay-at-home mom.  She says motherhood is mostly a game of outwitting and outrunning children while juggling a husband and household chores.  She believes that being a personal trainer, waitress, bank teller, debt collector, and realtor have taught her valuable lessons in winning that game.  Although her life is often hectic, she finds great strength in her relationship with God.  She teaches a bible study and attends church regularly.  Michelle says that having two children in seventeen months has changed her world completely, but the only thing she truly misses about her former life is her abs!   

IMG_1069_2 Mira Park, a true Jersey girl, can practically trace her lifeline on the Garden State Parkway. Born in Long Branch, raised in Howell, she was weaned on pizza, bagels, and salt water taffy. She swore Springsteen (from neighboring Freehold) was singing to her in his song "Jersey Girl." Then, she spent 4 yrs at Rutgers (the best time ever!), 10 yrs working as a book editor in NY, and finally, became a mom of two crazy kids in North Jersey. 

A year ago she decided to share all the obsessive research she does anyway with other moms...a few Dummies books later and she launched her hyperlocal blog, MiraBest. Her blog provides useful tips, local insights, reviews, and ways to save moms time and money. The topics are her passions...food, travel, education, party planning, budget living. 

Since blogging doesn't quite pay the bills yet, she also does part-time sales to businesses/web sites that want to start advertising on Google and Yahoo. She recently started writing weekend events and features for Mommy Poppins. She is thrilled to join the team at NJ moms blog--to do more creative writing and meet all the great writers here. 

She also dabbles in social media, and can be caught most nights on >Twitter, Linked In, and/or Facebook.


Pat. is the mother of four children and grandmother of five. She has an M. A. +30. She is involved in her church, works as a child advocate with a local PTA, and volunteers “For God and Country” as a member of the Legion Family. Her interests in traveling, photography, camping, reading, writing, and doing volunteer work keep her on the go.

Pat. has a RV and a timeshare so her spare time is usually travel time.  Alaska and Oregon are the only two destinations statewide left.  She enjoys the empty nest until one or another of the children calls. Then she comes back home running.  

Pat. can be found blogging about family, health, photography, shopping, travel and product reviews at her blog Here And There.

Sandra A lifelong New Jerseyan, Sandra grew up in Somerset County with a variety of different pets - from snakes to goats. BC (before child), she was a reporter for a local newspaper and then a volunteer coordinator at an animal shelter. She still freelances for newspapers, magazines and public relations firms.

In addition to running after her daughter, Sandra tries to find time to volunteer, read, write and travel. She volunteers for St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center and Tails of the Tundra Siberian Husky Rescue among other charities. She is an avid mountain and road cyclist and hiker, although she hasn't had as much time as she'd like for them lately. Other interests include wine, photography and genealogy.

Sandra regularly writes for the parental guidance section at NJ.com. Most recently, Sandra launched ParenthoodNJ.com, a new site with articles tips & links for Garden State parents. The site includes her blogs, Momoirs (the quirky anecdotes of motherhood) & Crafty Corner (it's no Martha Stewart column but fun craft ideas & projects for your kids). You also can follow her on Twitter.

She lives in Middlesex County with her husband, her daughter and two adopted cats.

Theta Theta Pavis graduated from UCLA (where she edited the campus feminist news magazine, Together) and later attended Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She’s worked as a daily newspaper reporter in Pennsylvania and New York, and taught journalism at three different universities—including UCLA and Kean University in New Jersey. While living in Philadelphia, she launched an online magazine called Technophilly.com and spent several years freelancing as an editor, writer and radio producer. Her work has appeared in Wired News online, Discover magazine,and The Bergen Record, among others. Most recently she helped found Palisade magazine, a glossy North Jersey lifestyle magazine, where she served as Editor in Chief for two years and won an award for her feature writing. Besides technology, she has a specialization in women’s issues and is the editor of a magazine published by an international women’s peace group. She recently created a local network for other freelance/mom/writers called Ink-Stained Mothers.Theta is also a creative writer whose poems have been published in several journals. An avid traveler, she’s driven across the U.S. four times, traveled alone in Russia and backpacked overseas for a year with her husband Patrick before returning to New Jersey, where she had daughter. (She’s still pissed off about her C-section.) Today she lives in Jersey City and can see the Empire State Building from her dining room windows.


FOUNDING TEAM for New Jersey Moms Blog:

Jillpic2_4PARTNER - SILICON VALLEY MOMS GROUP & CO-FOUNDER: Jill Asher is a former Jersey Gal.  She grew up in Montclair, spent her summers in LBI (if your not from NJ, you probably have no idea where LBI is located) and graduated from Rutgers University (Douglas College) in ummm... 1992.  So yes, that makes her not so young.....  She is also the Co-Founder of Silicon Valley Moms Blog, Chicago Moms Blog, DC Metro Moms Blog, NYC Moms Blog, New Jersey Moms Blog... and more sites to come! (Her friends claim that she is building an empire of Mommy Bloggers.  She just calls herself crazy!)

After a really bad breakup in 1993, Jill left the east coast and moved out to Silicon Valley, where she still resides. Jill is now the mother of two daughters, ages 8 and 5.  Jill was the Vice President of Human Resources for software companies during the dotcom boom, and 'basked' in the success of two high profile acquisitions. Following these acquisitions, Jill worked with a venture capital firm to support the human resource needs of their early stage investments. Jill was also the former President (2004), Community Outreach Coordinator (2005) and Board of Director (2004-2006) of the Palo Alto Menlo Park Parent's Club, aka PAMP. Today, Jill enjoys consulting as a Human Resource Generalist for early stage, high-tech and  biotech firms.  In all her spare time, she can be found chauffeuring her daughters to various after school classes and activities.  On the weekends, she collapses!

Tekla_n_017crop_2 MANAGING 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. Tekla grew up a Jersey Girl, and still hasn't gotten the sand out from between her toes. Her first full-time job was as a Kohr's girl on the Seaside Park boardwalk, where she lived above a merry-go-round. She still rarely misses August at the shore, getting her kids addicted to real pizza and cheesesteak and sausage sandwiches.

Bethblecherman1718depolophotograp_2 PARTNER - SILICON VALLEY MOMS GROUP & CHIEF TECHNOLOGY MOM: 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...

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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