Our Corner

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Hometown: Good Old Thousand Oaks

Tell us about your family: My husband Stephen and I have been married 5 years and have two amazing children with a third on the way. Rosie is 4, Declan is 2 and our third is due in August.

Previous Career: I was a preschool teacher.

What was your childhood ambition?: I was fascinated with the show the x-files and really wanted to be an FBI agent. Mostly I wanted to be a Mom and have a family of my own. I feel so lucky to get to experience motherhood!

Which pregnancy was the hardest? Why?: This current one. The first trimester with each of my pregnancies knocked me off my feet but I was dealing with more back/hip pain this pregnancy. Feeling good currently so just trying to enjoy this part of pregnancy.

Favorite thing about being pregnant?: The kicks! Feeling baby move around is magical.

Weirdest Pregnancy Craving?: The only strange craving I have is for cold foods. Like frozen fruits, frozen yogurt, cold drinks or smoothies.

What’s your favorite exercise?: I love squats!

What's your proudest moment?: The moment I held my babies for the first time.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.......

I have a junior black belt in Taekwondo and I love to box.

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The most used words in 2020 are “UNPRECEDENTED” and “PIVOT”. Holidays are no exception. We have all had to make hard decisions about whether to cancel holiday dinners, quarantine prior to an event, alter gift giving habits from years past. Some of us have had to make the harder decision of gifts or house payment. 2020 has given us many, many challenges. It has also let us find an inner strength and power within us. The strength to persevere, the ability to apply a smile when inside things feel dark, the recognition that we do need our village of women we have created to help process what we are experiencing and the knowledge that we CAN deal with anything thrown at us.

In our house, we took this as an opportunity to look outside of our home to find people we can assist. Since our small businesses are being forced to close, food banks are overwhelmed. More than ever, people are in need of help. We found a local church that was collecting bagged meals for those in need. My kids (8 & 6 year old) and I made sandwiches, added juice boxes, snacks and foods from the earth (fun way to say fruits and veggies). My kids enjoyed packing lunch bags for others. When we went to deliver them, the kids and I stayed and watched people pickup their meals. It was an eye opener for my children to see people coming out of newer cars who needed assistance. Next year I look forward to a new adventure to teach my kids the value of helping others during the holidays and year round.

Photo credit Dakota Corbin via unsplash

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Carrot Breakfast Cookies from Fall Body Well Recipe Guide

Breakfast | Vegetarian Options

Makes 12 cookies

Serving Size: 2 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cups carrots, grated
  • 1 cup raw pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup oil of your choice

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a blender or food processor, blend the oats until they are a flour-like substance.
  2. Add baking powder, & spices to blend.
  3. Add the syrup, oil, carrots, pecans, and raisins to the bowl & blend. The dough should appear wet.
  4. Drop 1/4 cup dough onto your prepared baking sheet & gently flatten each cookie to about 3/4-inch thick.
  5. Bake until the cookies at 375 degrees until they are golden and firm around the edges, so about 15 minutes.
  6. Cool the cookies 10 minutes.

This photo was taken by Sarah Holder, a FIT4MOM instructor from SE Fairfield County, CT

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Have ya met Sarah? You can find her at almost any of our In-Person classes. This MAMA does not miss a workout! Her smile and laugh are contagious and make any class with her an absolute blast! Most recently Sarah offered her amazing skills to Fit4MOM Thousand Oaks as our Village Coordinator (she plans all our fun events) Sarah is MAMA to Sammy and Jonjon and married to Garrett- a Lieutenant Colonel in the Military. This month Garrett will be leading us through a Military style bootcamp workout at our Saturday Family class! Grab your partner and lets sweat together Military style 💪🏼

Hometown: Barrington, IL.

Tell us about your family:

Husband Garrett, Sammy 4 and Jonjon 1.5 and Lulu the chunky corgi

Current/Previous Career:

Special Education Teacher and currently a private reading tutor for students with dyslexia and reading issues

What was your childhood ambition?

To marry Fabio and to go to University of Wisconsin-Madison. One out of two isn’t bad!!

What is the furthest you have been away from home?

I’ve lived in 7 states since leaving home. In chronological order they are Wisconsin, Hawaii, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Washington and California. For vacation the farthest is Thailand and New Zealand.

How did you find Fit4Mom?

I lived across from the park where one just opened. I joined when I was 7 months pregnant with Sammy (who just turned 4) and it was the BEST decision I every made!

How has Fit4Mom impacted your life?

We have moved 5 times with the Army in the last 7 years. It is hard constantly moving (we will be in LA for only 2 years total) but I know the next move will always been fine because of Fit4Mom. Every time we get to a new place, I find the closest FIt4Mom and go the first day we are settled. There is no more welcoming of a group than one filled with moms who have kids especially young kids. I’ve made instant genuine friends everywhere I have gone and it’s been my saving grace living this chaotic mom life!

What’s your favorite exercise?

Plank and Downward dog pushups

What's your proudest moment?

Moving to Hawaii on my own when I was 22 not knowing a single soul. It shaped me to become a strong independent woman who can take care of herself. Also, I met my husband and got married out there.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

I was heavier my senior year of high school than I was when I was 9 months pregnant with both boys.

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Have ya met Cheyenne? This amazing Mama joined our Village at the beginning of 2020 and has stuck with us during this crazy pandemic. As soon as we were able to resume in-person classes, Cheyenne was ready to go! I don't think she has missed a single class. You can find Cheyenne at Stroller Strides with her beautiful baby girl Sky. Cheyenne's energy is contagious and we are so lucky to have her in our Village of Strong Mamas! Check out below to learn more about Cheyenne :)

Hometown: Simi Valley , Ca

Tell us about your family: My husband, Mike, and I have been together 6.5 years and married for 2! We have 1 beautiful baby girl, Skyler James, and she is 9 months old! We joke and call our family the “LeBard Zoo” because we have a horse, a giant golden retriever, and 2 cats who run the house and Skyler is obsessed with her fur siblings!

Current/ previous career: I am a hairstylist and full time mama! I’m really fortunate that I am able to make my own schedule and have the flexibility to be home with Skyler and also continue doing hair!

Childhood Ambition: To be a hairstylist! When I was a kid, I would play with my moms hair at night while she watched Lifetime Movies so I could stay up past my bedtime and I taught myself how to braid on my horses mane and tail!

Furthest you’ve been away from home: Ireland , Denmark, Costa Rica & Cabo!

How did you find Fit4Mom: my friend Jamie Siskin sent me the Instagram page and asked if I’d want to take a class once we were cleared to workout after having our babies and I’m not gonna lie, I was so intimidated and nervous to take a class but I’m forever thankful we did! (Thank you Jamie!!!!!)

How has fit4mom impacted your life:

Fit4Mom has impacted my life in such a deeper way than just getting fit. After having Skyler, I got post partum depression and I was so scared and embarrassed to admit what I was feeling . I’ve always wanted to be a mom, this is a dream come true... I was so confused how this could happen to me? I felt so alone until my first Fit4Mom class... I cried happy tears after the class because I was SO relieved. I found exactly what I needed .... A village of women who are strong, supportive, non judgemental and SO understanding! I joined when Skyler was 7 weeks old (now 9 months) and I am forever thankful I joined Stroller Strides so early in my post partum journey because these workouts and the fit4mom mamas have truly helped me through the hardest day !

Favorite exercise: SQUATS!

Proudest moment:My proudest moment was the moment my daughter took her first breath as she came into the world and I knew I did it! When I was 35 weeks pregnant I told my OB that I could NOT push a baby out of me. LOL. I was so terrified of the unknown... but I did it and I am so proud ! Women are so strong!

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us: I’m a crazy garden lady . I started my first quarantine veggie garden and I actually surprised myself because my garden is thriving and normally I can’t keep any plants alive.

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Danielle has been with Fit4Mom Thousand Oaks since 2015. She started as a client in Stroller Strides with her daughter Devon and then gave Body Back a try after her son Dillion was born. Soon after she became a Body Back instructor. Danielle's passion for health and fitness radiates in her classes and she is a true inspiration to all of her clients. Her classes are challenging and she knows how to push her clients out of their comfort zones (I know they thank her after) She puts so much thought and love into each of her classes. We are so lucky to have Danielle on Team Fit4Mom! You can find Danielle teaching Body Back at 9:30 am and 5:30 am. This Spring she will be teaching our 8 week session starting 4/20 at 9:30 am Mon/Wed at Birch inside The Oaks Mall. Let Danielle push you to be the best version of yourself!

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Rachael and I wanted to take this opportunity to share a little about ourselves and what Fit4Mom means to us. We have know some of you for years and others we have just met and look forward to getting to know you better! Both Rachael and I have been involved with Fit4Mom for many years. I joined when my 7 year old was just 8 weeks old and Rachael has been with this community since 2013...yes, we are old! Shortly after joining this Franchise both Rachael and I became instructors; Rachael in Body Back and myself in Stroller Strides. In 2018, we had the opportunity to purchase the franchise and it has been full steam ahead ever since. We are so grateful for the opportunity to bring Mamas together and sweat. Let's be real...Motherhood is HARD and we need one another! Both Rachael and I have always been passionate about fitness and it was something we were not willing to sacrifice just because we were taking care of our babies. Stroller Strides gave us what we needed physically and emotionally. Through Fit4Mom we have found some of our best friends, our childrens best friends and a place to feel welcomed, safe and supported. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing the love that is Fit4Mom Thousand Oaks!

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Meet Maddie Mays!

Maddie is super Mama to Thea (2.5) and Nolan (7 months). You can catch her at Stroller Strides most days of the week. She joined Fit4Mom almost a year ago and we can't imagine our Village without her. Maddie is usually the first one to arrive to class and always welcomes each Mama with a welcoming smile. Her energy during class is contagious! She is one of the most flexible Mamas we know and not in the "bendy" sorta way; most classes Maddie is wearing baby Nolan and she does not let it stop her from getting in a great workout. She is an inspiration (and visual demonstrator) to all the Mamas that think wearing a baby means the workout has to stop!

Hometown:

Santa Barbara

Tell us about your family:

The Mays family includes me, my husband Zack, daughter Thea (2 years, 7 months), son Nolan (7 months), and Jax the cat. My husband and I met at O'Malley's Bar in Santa Barbara when I was 21 and we've been together ever since. We got married in 2015 and we've lived in 6 different houses in 4 cities in 2 countries. Jax has been with us since the beginning in Santa Barbara, and we added Thea in Toronto and Nolan in Thousand Oaks. Thea and Nolan have the same birthday (the odds of that happening are 1/365)!

Current/Previous Career:

I currently work (very part time, from home) for a company of public adjusters called The Greenspan Co. My husband and I have moved a lot so I've never established a "real" career, but I've been a visual merchandiser for a high end clothing boutique in Santa Barbara, worked in HR and Marketing for a company in LA, and as an Admin for Nordstrom Canada.

What was your childhood ambition?

To be a mom!

What is the furthest you have been away from home?

Normandy, France and Galway, Ireland

How did you find Fit4Mom?

After we moved to TO, I saw everyone working out at Janss and looked it up online! Then found out a friend from Horizon Hills (shout out to Jessica Hull) was a member.

How has Fit4Mom impacted your life?

I can finally work out! With my husband's schedule and my *clingy* children, I could never make it to the gym and had a hard time motivating myself to workout at home. Thanks to Fit4Mom, I can get in a great workout and also talk with other moms while the kids play. I love that it's a program that benefits me AND the kids and gets us out of the house in the morning. Thea asks to go to "mommy's workout class" every day!

What's your favorite exercise?

Any compound exercises with the bands that I can do with a baby strapped to my chest!

What's your proudest moment?

The birth of both my kids - no drugs, no doulas, and no doctor the second time! Made me feel so strong.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

I love baking and have a major sweet tooth, but I hate chocolate chips!

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Meet Rachel Shimanovsky!

Rachel is Mama to 2 year old Shiloh and wife to Jessi, She joined Fit4Mom a little over one year ago. You can catch her at Stroller Strides most weeks. She is the one with the BIG smile on her face even when she is pushed out of her comfort zone! We love having Rachel in our Village, she is such a bright light and it is contagious!

Hometown: I was born in Los Angeles, but moved around a lot growing up. The longest I've lived somewhere was in Valencia when I was a teenager.

Tell us about your family: I am married to my wife Jessi and we have a beautiful 2 year old daughter named Shiloh. Jessi and I have been together since 2011, and I am constantly reminded how grateful I am to not only be married to her, but parent with her as well. She's my best friend in life and we have the best time!

I have two parents, Sam and Rose, and a younger brother named Josh. Our family owns an essential oil business, so that has been awesome to be able to work for my family all of these years. My dad is from Russia, and came here when he was 13 with just 1 suitcase. His stories always remind me how grateful I need to be for everything I have in my life. He is also a twin! My mom is the youngest of 4 children, and is my best friend. My brother is super goofy, which is great because so am I. Basically, our family hang outs are just one big laughing session. If you need to find us, just follow the sound of laughter and Star Trek / Stargate / Seinfeld references.

Current/Previous Career: I just started my own photography business (yay!) called Proud Owl Photography. I also do Marketing for our family company called Organic Infusions (selling essential oils, diffusers, etc.)

What was your childhood ambition? My childhood ambition was to be the best female basketball player! I started playing when I was 7 and never looked back!

What is the furthest you have been away from home? I went to Scotland about 6 years ago, so that counts right?!

How did you find Fit4Mom? So random, but about 10 years ago I started nannying for a Fit4Mom (used to just be Stroller Strides) coach in Simi Valley. I would even accompany her to classes and do them for free while she coached. I knew right away when I got pregnant that I would join Fit4mom because I saw how much fun the moms were having, how the kids developed these amazing friendships, and I wanted that for me and my daughter :)

How has Fit4Mom impacted your life? OMG so many ways!! 1) Definitely got me back into shape after having my daughter 2) The coaches are A M A Z I N G, I have honestly never met more genuine, kind people in my life. They truly want you to succeed, while having a good time. Couldn't ask for anything more! 3) A network of moms who support me no matter what, and I know these connections will last forever. 4) The friendships my daughter has made in these classes, have grown to outside these classes as well with play dates. Also, she is a huge fan of these park workouts because she knows we get to play afterwards and hang out with our friends :)

Basically, Fit4Mom was perfect for me as a 1st time new mom because it got me out of the house, kicked my butt into gear, gave me this amazing friendships, and reminded me that I'm not alone in this journey called motherhood.

What's your favorite exercise? I loved when we played duck duck goose when Annie was coaching, and we all had to do planks balancing cups of cold water on our backs. The person who was picked had to chase the other person and had cold water poured on their back. That was definitely the hardest I've laughed during a workout. Who says you can't have fun while working out?!

What's your proudest moment? My proudest moment is by far seeing my daughter grow and discover the world. Every new milestone that she hits I'm more proud than the last one. Most recently, she has really become really into imaginative play, and I could literally sit there and watch her for hours. She's my joy in this world and I couldn't be more proud of her.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us. Our wedding was Star Trek theme, and we actually entered our reception with the theme song from Star Trek The Next Generation. We actually got featured on the Star Trek official website! #Engage

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Meet Carrie Dockery!

Carrie is Mama to sweet baby girl Finley and wifey to Chad. She joined F4M in March of 2019. Carrie started with Stroller Strides and recently leveled up with our 4 week Body Back session. Carrie always has a smile on her face and is so fun to have in class! She brings a positive energy to every class she takes and it's contagious! We are so grateful to have Carrie in our Village.

Hometown: born in Nashville, raised in Cincinnati, now living here in SoCal.

Tell us about your family: married to my amazing husband Chad and we have one daughter, Finley, who’s 21 months old.

Current/Previous Career: I was a trend forecaster for Guess prior to being a mom. Now I work from home part time to be with our daughter and I’m the social media manager for a friends law firm.

What was your childhood ambition? : I’ve always wanted to be a mom! I love playing with my baby dolls, American girl dolls, and babies.

What is the furthest you have been away from home? : Mexico is the farthest I’ve been. I’m terrified of flying but hope to make it to Greece one day!

How did you find Fit4Mom? : my sister-in-law originally told me about it and then my friend wanted me to join with her.

How has Fit4Mom impacted your life? : I’ve made so many amazing friends through it + I’m working out more than I ever have in my life and am having fun while doing it.

What's your favorite exercise? : squats!

What's your proudest moment? : definitely giving birth to my daughter, #1 moment of my life.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us. : I’m an IVF baby + was the first IVF baby born at my hospital in Nashville.

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Meet Crystal Mendoza!

Crystal is one of our Founding Mamas in Moorpark. She is Mama to Isaiah (3) Tiana (18months) and Nevaeh (12). You can find Crystal at Stroller Strides most days of the week! Crystal is one of the hardest working Mamas we know; her Mom game is strong. Crystal recently finished 4 weeks of Body Back and absolutely knocked it out of the park. When she commits to something she gets it done. We are so grateful to have you in our Village, keep pushing Mama!

Hometown: Canoga Park, CA Valley girl

Tell us about your family: My partner name is Evan. I have 3 beautiful amazing strong willed children Isaiah (3)Tiana (18months) and Nevaeh (12).

Current/Previous Career: Still working on my career to become a nurse.... at this time I am a medication technician for an assisted living nursing home.

What was your childhood ambition? To always work or be part of a community that can help anyone in anyway.

What is the furthest you have been away from home? Phoenix, AZ and of course Las Vegas.

How did you find Fit4Mom? On a rainy day we were not having such a good morning so I packed up the kiddos and headed to the TO mall and as I entered through the door to the left of me I saw a bunch of mamas with their children working out. Right there in my head I was signed up. Lol

How has Fit4Mom impacted your life? Fit4Mom has impacted my life in so many ways. Fit4mom has helped me find self love and self care again. Fit4Mom has been the greatest support system for me without any judgement. It has also impacted my kids life, it’s become our everyday routine.

What's your favorite exercise? I have a few believe it or not lol box jumps, walking lunges, and of course the SQUATS

What's your proudest moment? My proudest moment besides giving birth to my amazing children. I would have to say was losing 37 lbs in 5 months after having 2 kids year after year. It wasn’t easy it was very challenging but I pushed through worked out everyday no matter how I was feeling and helped changed my eating lifestyle and physical lifestyle.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us. I committed to the 4 week Body Back program while continuing my Strides classes and I lost 7 lbs in those 4 weeks!

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Meet Jennie Huber!

Jennie has been apart of our Village since 2015! That's some OG status. She is Mama to 3 beautiful babies Jordyn, Jake & Jessi (twins)! You can find her at Stroller Strides and Body Back. Jennie is the one with the huge smile and the first one to say hi to that new Mama. You can always count on Jennie to make her way to Mom's Night Out;we love a Mama that knows how to take time for herself. Thank you Jennie for doing Motherhood with us!

Hometown: West Hills, CA

Tell us about your family: I am married to Jeff, whom I met in nursing school and we have three beautiful children, Jordyn(4), and our twins, Jessi(2) and Jake(2).

Current/Previous Career: I am a Nurse, but I have not worked for about 5 years now. I last worked in a Telemetry unit so I took care of cardiac patients and really sick patients that needed to be on a heartmonitor.

What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to be a doctor, but I had way too much fun in my early college years to do that. I went back to school in my early 30s to become a nurse.

What is the furthest you have been away from home? I have been to Africa and Japan.

How did you find Fit4Mom? I have a friend that lives on the Westside who did stroller strides when her kids were younger so after I had my first I found the one closest to me.

How has Fit4Mom impacted your life? I love stroller strides for the sense of community, the exercise, and my kids love their stroller stride friends too! Doing Stroller Strides and Body Back has gotten me in the best shape of my life.

What's your favorite exercise? I would say my favorite is the plank. I am going to shoot for 4 minutes in this session of Body Back.

What's your proudest moment? I would say that delivering my three kiddos are my proudest moments. I pushed for about 5 hours with Jordyn and they were threatening me with a C-section. Somehow I found the strength and managed to push her out her. With the twins it was a breeze in comparison, I had them both out in about a half hour!

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us. One of my first jobs out of college was working for the real life "Jerry Maguire". A job that many avid sports fans would have loved to have and I couldn't care less about sports.

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Meet Hilary Wolcott!

Hilary is super Mom to 4 adorable little girl (she has twins!). She joined Fit4Mom in 2017 and has been apart of Stroller Strides and Body Back. Hilary is an ALL IN kinda gal; works hard, moms hard and makes everyone feel welcomed. We are so grateful to have Hilary as a constant in our Village! Hilary's commitment to self-care is truly motivating.

Hometown: Westlake Village, CA

Tell us about your family: Ryan and I met in college and got married after several years of dating. We've now been married 9 years and have four adorable and rambunctious little girls. Cassidy is 6, Aubrey is 4.5 and twins Laurel and Brynn are almost 2. We also have an 8 year old chocolate lab named Cooper.

Current/Previous Career: I was an elementary school teacher for 10 years in LAUSD then taught middle school for 4 years in LVUSD. I'm currently a stay at home but in the process of applying for out of classroom positions.

What was your childhood ambition? I wanted to be a teacher. I loved playing school and liked to be in charge.

What is the furthest you have been away from home? I traveled a lot before kids. I think the furthest was a trip to Japan with my dad when I was in high school.

How did you find Fit4Mom? My sister-in-law was a member and raved about the workouts and sense of family. I knew I needed to try it out! I finally came to a class when I was on maternity leave with the twins and was instantly hooked.

How has Fit4Mom impacted your life? Besides the obvious health benefits, the focus on the overall well being of mama has had the greatest impact on me. I never considered myself one to meditate, but the meditation at the end of a Body Back workout really helped me refocus and get rid of some of the mom guilt.

What's your favorite exercise? Squats and planks

What's your proudest moment? I'm proud of my girls anytime they are kind to each other or show compassion and empathy for someone without prompting.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us. Anytime I swim in deep ocean water the theme song to Jaws instantly starts playing in my mind. Every. Single. Time.

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Meet Jessica Alberti!

Hometown: Florence, Alabama

Tell us about your family: My husband and I started dating in 2002 & were married in 2011 in the Florida Keys, during a small hurricane. Our son, Archie is 5 & our daughter, Ruby is 3. We moved to Thousand Oaks from Marina del Rey 4 years ago.

Current/Previous Career: I previously worked at the Huntley Hotel in Santa Monica, and the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables Florida.

What was your childhood ambition? Elevator Operator. We moved to New York when I was young and I was thrilled to learn that could be a position.

What is the furthest you have been away from home? The Seychelles. It took almost 2 days to get there but was well worth it.

How did you find Fit4Mom? I did Stroller Strides Westside LA with my oldest when he was a baby. When we moved here I was so excited I could continue & meet new mamas!

How has Fit4Mom impacted your life? An instructor once told me “Your children are your #1 priority 23 hours a day. Allow yourself this 1 hour”. While I’m still juggling snacks, this rings very true for me. I find the workout recharges me and helps bring focus on the rest of my day. I also love the community of moms & little ones playing together.

What's your favorite exercise? Monkeys- I always feel it the next day in my sides. And the song cracks up my daughter!

What's your proudest moment? Anytime my kids are thoughtful or display kindness to others (or each other). It makes my heart soar!

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us. I started modeling & acting at age 6 and retired at 22!