What is your favorite place on Long Island?
My favorite place on Long Island is Robert Moses Field 5. I have very special memories there from childhood. Field 5 was also my mom’s favorite place in the world. She’s been gone for six years now and so I feel especially close to her there. I love that you can see the ocean and the lighthouse but also stay on the boardwalk if you’re not in a sandy mood. Field 5 is where my husband and I held hands for the first time and so for many reasons, it holds a special place in my heart. On that same note, in the summer one of our favorite things to do is try lobster rolls in all different restaurants on the island. Every Memorial Day we make a joke that our annual “Lobster Roll Hunt” has commenced.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages/anything else you would like to share?
I am a first-time mom to Magnolia Beatrice. We call her Maggie. Well, we call her many things, but Maggie is at the top of the list. Maggie is 8 months old, and I know I am biased because she’s mine, but she is an absolute shining light. There was a moment when she was about four weeks old that I thought she may have been colicky, but it turns out she was just adjusting to being on this side of my belly. Some gas drops, extra coffee for me and a prayer got us through it! From then on out she has been the happiest baby I’ve ever known. For reference, I was a nanny for 12 years and I worked with many, many babies. Maggie lights up any room she’s in. She’s always babbling always smiling and has literally stopped people in their tracks when we’re out because she’s just gazing up at them giggling. People ask if the things I post about her on Instagram are staged or authentic…those people haven’t met her yet because that’s how she is all the time. I know how lucky we are, and I never take it for granted.
What do you want or wish most for your daughter?
I want Magnolia to always know that she is loved. No matter what decisions she makes, what she does, who she loves, how she identifies- she is loved. I want Maggie to know that her father, myself and a God of her understanding will have her back forever. I want Maggie to be a good person. I want her to value kindness and inclusivity over ego or trying to fit in. I want Maggie to understand that her experience in this world will be different from others. I want her to understand her privilege in this world and use it for good. Lastly, I want Maggie to be assertive and courageous while standing up for herself and others in their time of need.
Why did you decide to launch your business?
The long and short of it? I wanted to help people. However, by now I’m sure you can tell I’m long winded…we’ll call it thorough…and so here’s the long if it:
I’m an RN, I’m a content creator and I’m a stay-at-home mom.
I passed my nursing boards when I was 7 months pregnant and so instead of finding a position for 2 months, I dove further into content creating and nesting.
I began content creating back in 2019 when my Instagram account was dedicated to my weight loss surgery health journey. It soon became an authentic and honest look into my life as a whole. Getting into nursing school, getting engaged, starting nursing school, getting married, losing 110 pounds, losing my father, gaining 50 pounds, getting pregnant, having a baby and the very intense postpartum period.
The biggest thing I share completely openly about me is my mental illness and my journey in recovery from addiction. If there’s only one thing that I hope for people to take away from my journey, it’s that they’re not alone. My postpartum experience helped shape my current reality. It helped me see that my present calling is helping mamas connect with one another.
Tell us more about your business!
Bear with me- I, gratefully, have a lot going on! I am a content creator who focuses on sharing honestly, openly, and authentically about my mental health, my addiction recovery and life in general. More recently though, I’ve been helping Long Island moms’ network with one another. I connect mamas to their village! We’ve all heard the phrase “it takes a village”, but I had no idea what it meant until I NEEDED my village. I didn’t even know that I needed a village until I had already started building one. My drive to connect mamas to other mamas and resources they may need started when I began frequenting The Nesting Place (TNP).
In my own words- TNP is a place where moms can go and feel safe. It’s a wellness center where different classes and services help moms, and moms-to-be. There are so many places that are aimed towards our babes, but TNP really focuses on mom. I had taken a pre-natal birth education class there and I never left. Co-founder, Laura Siddons, was my birth doula…which by the way, I didn’t know what a Doula was or that I needed one in my life until I even started at TNP. From prenatal yoga to The Fourth Trimester Support Circle, to multiple free support groups weekly- I will never stop shamelessly plugging The Nesting Place. So check them out!
Ok now on to MY business. This was hard for me. I didn’t even feel worthy of this spotlight because I don’t have a specific product that I sell or have, per se. But that’s just self-doubt creeping in and so I shush it away and continue. My business- my product- is ME. My knack for welcoming people, for organizing, for spreading information and for being my most authentic self. That is what I bring to the table.
I took what I know how to do best and decided to share it with the world. I’ll be dropping my first eBook at the end of August. titled: How to Be Your Most Authentic Self. I hope to share this gift with other people who are striving to do just that.
My newest venture is “Mamas and Minis Long Island”. Back in April, my friend, Lauren Zambelli (@liveWithLala), said she was going to start walking weekly with other moms. I thought “ok awesome, this is free and healthy”. I saw that Lauren had a really wonderful idea. I asked her if I could jump onboard. She said absolutely and neither of us have looked back.
We host play dates (it originated as a walk, but we don’t actually walk ha!) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The locations always change! We have dozens of mamas at our playdates. In just four weeks our Facebook group, “Mamas and Minis Long Island” jumped to 1,000 active members. Our events, and our playdates, are open to any, and all mamas. Something I’ve said from the beginning is “Please don’t be shy. Mamas need other mamas”. I want women to know that most moms come alone to the playdates. So, if you see mamas looking friendly or chatting in the photos, please know they’ve all just met! They took a chance and came out to make friends.
When we obtained 400 mamas, we decided to throw a party! Lauren and I have been planning, day and night, for our first ever Mamas and Minis event. On July 16 we’re throwing our Cannonballs and Charcuterie pool party (again, open to everyone). On August 12 we’re hosting a “Mama Needs a Minute” Self-Care Night in collaboration with The Nesting Place, and we also have two dates set up for “Mama and Mini” mini photo sessions.
I’m a SAHM with a really full plate. On top of working full time at home (Where my SAHM’s at?!), between my eBook, the mama group, content creating and my role as mom to Maggie Moo, my heart (and schedule) is full.
What is the best mom advice you have received (or can give)?
The best advice I’ve received, that I also wish to give, is not to compare! It is so much easier said than done. I can dish that advice out a million times a day, but still find myself doing it subconsciously. In a world where we are bombarded with information and media constantly, please know that you, your life and your child are unique and perfect. Curate you friend groups and your social media feeds to fill your cup. Get rid of what drains you and find support in the way you need it.
Define Motherhood in your own words.
Can I curse here? …I have the mouth of a sailor, but I’ll try to keep it family friendly. Motherhood is beautifully rewarding, and it is also EFFED. I’m sorry. I said it. The hormones, the responsibility, the depression, the anxiety, the exhaustion. My perfect, healthy, beautiful little babe was born, and I didn’t feel the connection that some moms post about. “Welcome, my little best friend”. I didn’t feel that! It wasn’t until 6 weeks when Maggie started socially smiling that I fell head over heels in love with her. No one talks about that! Even now, Maggie and I have really hit our stride, we are living our best lives truly, but the mental load that comes with post-partum anxiety is just too much to bear sometimes. I need to take a breath, look at the facts and lean on my support system. So yes, motherhood is beautiful and rewarding and I could nibble my baby’s cheeks all day long- but it’s also effed. There I said it again- and I’m not sorry this time!