Gina Lawrence

Contributor

Gina Lawrence is the mother of three boys (ages nine and under) and lives in Tequesta. Originally from New York, she attended middle and high school in Jupiter, Florida, graduated with her Bachelor's from Florida Atlantic University and moved to places such as Colorado and Hawaii for years after. Reuniting with family and friends in 2012 in South Florida, she's called Jupiter/Tequesta home ever since. After working her way up the corporate ladder, Gina realized that she’d rather be cleaning up spilled sippy cups while covered in finger paint than working on spreadsheets. Being a stay at home mom was full of adventures and giggles, but she desired to return to the workforce to improve our communities. She currently works as an Urban Planner for a consulting firm beautifying our cities and parks while taking weekly adventures with her boys. A beach lover, thrill seeker and always on the go, she has the insight of the most unique places for parents and kids to visit. Gina also loves adding educational components to their crafting sessions and encourages her children to use their imaginations every day. The messier the craft or experiment, the better...especially with three boys!

Nichelle Tran

Contributor

Nichelle grew up in Michigan, Connecticut, and Hawaii, but has called Florida her home since 1993. She met her husband, Minh, while graduating from Lynn University in Boca Raton, where he owns his own Marble & Tile installation company. They have two daughters that are the light of their lives and also keep them on their toes, Tristynn (age 10), and Harleigh (age 7). Nichelle teaches 5th grade Language Arts, which goes right along with her passion for Reading. When she’s not caught up in a great book, she enjoys going out on her boat with family and friends, taking self-defense classes, doing arts & crafts (Yay, Pinterest!), and taking naps. Nichelle has written 4 fictional books for (and about) her daughters, through a program for her elementary students, and is very excited to be writing for Palm Beach Mom Collective. She works hard to find the balance between work and home life and wants other moms to know that they aren’t alone in trying to create that sense of balance in their lives.

Michele Barone

Contributor

As a lifelong resident of Wellington, FL, Michele is proud to call herself a native of South Florida! Growing up, Michele was exposed to the family real estate business which she attributes to her passion for everything ‘home’ related. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in English studies and Business Management, Michele spent several years abroad as an ESL teacher and later private language school owner where she was able to incorporate both her love for the English language as well as entrepreneurial skills. Upon returning to the states, Michele made the decision to pursue her passion for real estate and has not looked back ever since. Fluent in both Spanish and Italian, Michele loves having the opportunity to communicate and connect with people from different parts of the world and with various cultural backgrounds. She is honored to participate as a contributor for Palm Beach Mom’s Collective, an organization that seeks to educate, support and unite mothers throughout the community, something she strongly believes in. When she isn’t helping clients prepare to sell or find their dream home, you can find Michele spending time with her husband and three children at the beach, traveling or cooking.

Aimee Romano

Contributor

Aimee Romano is currently a stay at home mommy in beautiful west Boynton Beach, FL where she and her loving husband Jake are busy raising their adorable son, Aiden Penn. She is a proud native of NJ, visiting every so often to spend time with her family and friends. Aimee was a teacher in Palm Beach County, but is currently on a hiatus while being lucky enough to stay at home and raise Aiden. As much as she loved teaching, after Aiden was born she gave up 150 “kids”, for 1. He is worth the trade! Aimee also works on call/freelance as a set tutor/studio teacher for countless talented children in commercials, movies, television shows, and more. She is also very passionate about helping others and giving back to her community. When she has some free time, Aimee enjoys traveling, spa days, exercising, bike rides, and shopping! She is thrilled to be a contributor for Palm Beach Mom Collective and she is hoping to be the voice for the older moms of toddlers out there.

Melanie Hooks

Contributor

Melanie was born in North Carolina but spent most of her life in Georgia before moving to Palm Beach County in 2015. Before moving to Florida, Melanie was a librarian, and now she is a stay-at-home mom. She and her husband, Mark, have a blended family with five (yes, five!) children: Elizabeth, Grace, Calvin, Maggie, and Lily Mae. The five kids keep her pretty busy, but when she has time for herself Melanie enjoys reading, eating the chocolate she hides from her family, and she recently began competing in triathlons. Like a true Southern girl, she bakes a mean batch of biscuits and loves anything with a monogram.

Renata Santos

Contributor

Brazilian-born and South Florida raised, the beach is where Renata spent most of her days. See what I did there? Now on to our introduction. Renata and her family reside in West Boynton Beach. She met her husband of eight years at Quiet Waters Park when they were nine-years-old (Yes, you read that right!). You could say that every now and again fairy tales do happen. On the weekdays you can find her working as a Prospect Researcher for an international relief organization in Coconut Creek; she likes to think this is setting her up for good karma. She only came to know true exhaustion in July of 2014 when she began her journey into motherhood. Speaking of motherhood, Renata is known as mommy to her spit-fire, sassy daughter who is three and her rambunctious, but oh-so-sweet momma’s boy who is one. Her favorite things include: copious amounts of coffee, books & planners, good food, clean sheets, and gangster rap, not necessarily in that order. Even though she may seem to have it somewhat together, do not be fooled. Renata is still trying to figure out the perfect life balance and she would love for you to take this ride with her. If you are looking for zero judgements and endless laughter, Renata is the gal for you.

Jessica Rifenberg

Contributor

Jessica Milton Rifenberg is a working mother with two active boys – Ryan, age 5, and Andy, age 2. A Miami native, Jessica and her husband, Chris, moved to Wellington in 2015 to find a quieter place to raise their family. She is a communications professional in the hospitality industry and is privileged to work from home – helping make the life balance just a little bit easier. Jessica has lived in New York and Los Angeles but always managed to find her way back to the Sunshine State. She and her family do best when they are on the move; they are always looking for another adventure around town or on the road. Jessica is a graduate of the University of Miami and earned a professional certificate in journalism from New York University.

Annie Burrell

Contributor

Annie is a South Florida native who resides in Palm Beach Gardens. She is married to the hot guy she intentionally sat next to every week in class while pursuing her teaching certificate. After 10 years as a teacher in Palm Beach County she is now a SAHM to their two young boys. If you see her in the wild without kids in tow you will likely find her at the beach or a coffee shop curled up with a book or frantically creating a new to-do list. She loves raising her boys and works to find balance in her life by scheduling time with her girlfriends, leading small groups, and planning time alone with her husband. She always dreamed of being the perfect Pinterest mom, but has found that she is a little bit more of the A for effort type these days. Annie is passionate about women finding their people, gathering with purpose, and diving deeper in their relationships with each other. She is also committed to raising antiracist children and recently started to blog about her antiracism journey.

Maggie Dohler

Contributor

Magdalena (Maggie) may be a native New Yorker but she feels like she was meant for the Florida life! She was born in Brooklyn, grew up in the suburbs, obtained a Bachelor's Degree from Binghamton University and a Master's Degree from Brooklyn College both in Political Science. She worked for Senator Schumer of New York and later for the legal team of a private equity real estate firm. She met her husband while living and working in Manhattan but he is a native Floridian who convinced her to move down here and they have been married for (almost) six years. She is a stay at home mom of three little ones ages 5, 3, and 2 and although she isn't ready to go back to work yet she is excited to start contributing to the Palm Beach Moms Blog and starting other volunteer endeavors that help strengthen her roots in her community of Boca Raton.

Kelly Hutcheson

Contributor

Kelly Stout-Hutcheson, a child counselor with a Masters in Child Counseling, a Certified Life Coach from The Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo, a behavior specialist, a teacher and a parent of two, is addicted to positivity and living her best life each and everyday without coasting! She has overcome people pleasing, perfectionism, and caring what others think to live her most authentic life and she loves teaching others how to do the same. Her passion has always been for kids and her emphasis in life is in helping parents connect more with their children, getting them to listen without yelling and restoring the harmony in your home forever. Kelly is a bundle of positive energy who radiates this through her message of having fun again with your children, enjoying them on a whole new level. Kelly loves teaching and will help you see your children in their miraculous light, as they were hand chosen for you to raise!

Mary Carhart

Contributor

Essentially a native of SoFla, Mary grew up the fourth of five children in Delray Beach. The tallest of the girls (hello six feet!), she was an overachiever in every way. A graduate of the University of Florida, where she met her handsome husband – Mary realized the power of people, relationships, and volunteering at a young age. Mary and her husband have very full hearts raising one beautiful daughter and celebrating the awesome lives of their huge Italian family with 17 nieces and nephews. Professionally, Mary spent 14 years at a luxury resort on Palm Beach, working in events, recruiting, and ultimately community outreach. In 2016, she left the corporate world to devote her career to nonprofit work as the Director of Advancement at Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County. She remains very active in the community, juggling work/momming/and life - as room mother in her daughter’s class, through committee work with United Way of Palm Beach County’s Women United steering committee and Leadership Palm Beach County (GOAT Class of 2019), and as an annual volunteer Guardian for Southeast Florida Honor Flight. Having lost her mom at a very young age, Mary‘s goal is connecting with women who occupy that same space – and bringing laughter to every day. She resides in Jupiter and adores musicals, tacos, concerts, and baking.

Melyssa Edmunds

Contributor

Melyssa Edmunds is an LDS wife blessed with the stewardship of raising three Christian, rowdy little boys. Melyssa is a couples therapist and has a passion for helping others. Melyssa enjoys blogging about couples research, daily tasks, and family life.

Nikki McDermott

Contributor

Nikki is a true Floridian. She was born in Miami but moved to West Boca when she was just 7 years old and now resides in West Lake Worth with her family. She is a proud stay at home mom of two kids. Mikey is a funny, sweet, and kind 4 year old; Ryleigh is a super sassy, determined, sometimes diabolical 2.5 year old. Never thinking she would have children just 15 months apart, she has navigated this chaos and is excited to share some lessons she learned along the way. An FAU graduate with a degree in Elementary Education, she spent most of her career teaching 5th Grade Reading. She loved diving into good books with her students, and is now trying to instill that same love of reading in her kids. Her favorite author is Jodi Piccoult and tries to find time to read her novels in between Dr. Seuss. A huge fan of the show Friends, she can quote every episode and is a self-proclaimed Monica. A lover of organizing and planning, she relies on her calendars to keep the family on track. Her husband, a CPA, is the Chandler of the house and is always making the family laugh with jokes, silly voices, and impersonations. She is really excited to embark on this blogging journey and share her stories in “The One Where She Is Trying to Figure It All Out.”

Kim McGarry

Contributor

Kim is a mom of two boys, Matthew(12) and Dominick(10).  She resides in Lake Worth with her husband, Matt, and their 2 kids.  They moved to South Florida in 2002 from Long Island, NY.  Kim was a teacher for a couple of years until she had her first son.  For the last 12 years she was running a home based business.  When they decided to close the business, Kim decided she should do something she is more interested in and started blogging.  She has a personal blog, feedingthefam.blog that focuses on food, fashion, beauty and more.  She is a home body that loves writing, cooking and spending time with her family. You can keep up with her on her facebook page, Feeding the Fam.

Jennifer Donaldson

Contributor

Jennifer Donaldson, a Palm Beach County native, was born and raised in West Palm Beach and attended UCF in Orlando, studying biomedical science with a minor in science education. While at UCF, Jennifer met my husband, Bruce, when he applied to be my roommate through a roommate pairing website. They dated, got married, and for the last 14 years they've been "more than roommates" making their permanent home in Wellington. She is mom to two of the most inquisitive, talkative, and spectacular kids ever- a son Karl, 9, and a daughter Hanalei, 7. She also considers her two rescue dogs, Vladimir and Minerva, to be her "fur babies,” and she's a huge advocate for animal rescues, with a soft spot in her heart for pit-bulls who get a bad rap but who have the biggest hearts (and heads) of any dog breed! She has been a public school teacher with Palm Beach county for 12 years, teaching all grades from third through eighth, and all subjects, though she has spent the most time teaching math and science. She loves teaching because it gives her the unique opportunity to truly make a difference in kids' lives. As a teacher, she' been awarded "teacher of the year" at her school on four separate occasions, as well as having been nominated for the Dwyer Teacher of the Year Award twice.

Joey Pedone

Contributor

Joey was born and raised in New York where she met her husband after college he is her soul mate. They have a wonderful life together in south Florida. They moved down here in 2010 for a promotion Joey received. She works in the liqueur industry as a national sales and marketing manager for a family owned company. They have a portfolio of Italian cordials and a whiskey sold through the distributor Southern Wine & Spirits. Joey's hobbies are photography, cooking, yoga, pilates & blogging.

Kendra Leisher

Contributor

Brand new to Palm Beach County, Kendra and her family relocated to the area in November 2018 from Scottsdale, AZ. After graduating from Bucknell University in PA, she spent several years in the Washington, DC, area where she met her husband Greg, whose career took them across the country westward and now to South Florida – this time with two kids in tow. Mom of an almost-5-year-old girly girl and energetic 2.5-year-old boy, Kendra is excited to experience beach life and explore all this area has to offer. Kendra has worked in Human Resources for 15 years and is also passionate about sharing the mission of safer beauty and personal care products as a Beautycounter consultant. Their family enjoys travel, sports, getting outdoors, and spending time with friends. When the kids are asleep, Kendra loves to plan the next trip or holiday, check her Fantasy Football stats, and is an unapologetic junkie of The Bachelor and Real Housewives franchises (all of which go best with wine).

Jazly Pizzuit

Contributor

Jazly was born in Colombia and raised in Texas. Jazly moved to Florida drawn to its amazing weather and to attend Florida Atlantic University’s Honors College in Jupiter. Having majored in Women Studies with a double minor in English and Spanish Literature, she is very passionate about the female experience and writing about it, whether creatively or academically. It is one of her favorite ways to empower other moms and to share the different experiences women go through while balancing their lives as mothers, wives, working moms/stay-at-home moms and individual women on a daily basis. As women, we wear many hats! Because she and her husband struggled for several years to get pregnant and then went through an extremely high risk pregnancy (double diagnosis), motherhood and pregnancy have become a focal point in her writing. Besides writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading, photography, and cosmetics! In her spare time she enjoys cooking, snorkeling, traveling and exploring Florida’s natural beauty with her soulmate and husband Dale and daughter Mila Rose.

Christina Penney

Contributor

Christina spent her childhood growing up here in Wellington Florida on the back of her ponies and with her love of the equestrian sport and the small town feeling of Wellington she has made it her now home for her family. Christina has a beautiful blended family with her husband Justin Penney and their four children .Christina was a Montessori teacher and riding instructor and now took on the role of a stay at home mom. Her passions include children’s development and education, traveling made easy with children, events and experiences and photography.

Melissa Emmons

Contributor

Melissa is a native Florida girl, originally from Boca Raton. She is the proud wife of a firefighter and mother to Jackson and Juliet. She admits there are challenges, but enjoys balancing the busy yet exciting life of a firefighter wife, part-time teacher, and full-time mama of two. She loves writing, discount shopping (maxxinista mama!), trying new fitness classes, COFFEE, reality TV, going on adventures with her family, exploring new places in PBC, AND all things beauty (can you ever have enough lipstick?). Melissa is passionate about supporting fellow mamas and showing them how to “map out their month” to make the most of their precious family time, which combines her two favorite things – planners and family! Melissa’s ultimate dream is to be a published author. Keep up with Melissa on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and read her favorite articles about motherhood, affordable style, party planning, and organizing, plus her latest discount finds!

Kari Lambrou

Event Coordinator

Kari is originally from Oxford, Ohio. After graduating from Denison University in 2005 with a degree in Psychology, she moved to Palm Beach County on a whim, with a friend. A few bartending jobs later, she met her husband Derek and married in 2012. Derek is a real estate broker, owner of Village Realty Group. In 2014, their daughter Livia was born and Kari has been loving the stay-at-home-mom life ever since. Her hobbies include road trips with Liv (Disney, Smokey Mountains, Ohio), crafting, running, and shuttling Liv around to her various activities and social engagements (super extravert). Kari and Derek are hoping to grow their family more in the future, but in the meantime they are also spoiling their pets Tully Turtle (yellow bellied slider) and CleoCatra (Bengal kitten).