Meet Melissa Bernstein, the co-founder of inimitable toy brand Melissa & Doug, and now Lifelines, a collection of physical tools designed for stress relief using a revolutionary wellness technique called Sensory Immersion™: using your senses to send calming signals to your brain. In addition to becoming an incredibly successful entrepreneur, Melissa built a beautiful family; she is mom to six children ranging in ages from 30 to 15. Underneath all the success, though, was an undercurrent of depression. After facing her mental health struggles and sharing them in her memoir to help others, Lifelines was born. Already, the brand is receiving praise for being as innovative for the wellness space as Melissa & Doug was for the toy industry. Learn more about Lifelines and Melissa at the link in our bio.
Mom to a little baby boy, Amanda is the Founder and Owner of Rebel & Rose Tattoo Studio in Downtown Westport, which opened in 2022. After over a decade tattooing in Long Island, and more recently in Connecticut, Amanda found the industry to be very male dominated, and decided to create a space for herself – and other like-minded female artists. Rebel & Rose is the first female founded and operated Tattoo Studio in Fairfield County! An artist at heart, Amanda thought she would work in Art Therapy prior to finding tattooing, and resurfaced her love for painting during COVID. Amanda loves the mountains (she dreams of visiting Montana one day), swears by her Apple pencil for all of her designs, is a morning person, and she owns a 1932 Ford Coupe which her grandfather built for her and gave to her before passing away. Amanda’s love for her work is evidenced by her amazing studio and clientele, and she loves nothing more than sharing her passion with others.
Dr. Shareef Jandali is a board-certified plastic surgeon with offices in Trumbull, Connecticut and Manhattan, NY. He specializes in non-surgical ear molding for newborn ear deformities such as prominent ears, ear lidding, pointed ears, Stahl’s ear, constricted ear, and cup ear. Ear molding is a painless procedure performed in his office that gently corrects the misshapen ear cartilage. It is best to start in the first few weeks after birth for full correction, but improvements in shape can still be obtained up to 4 months of age. Ear molding does not affect hearing development, breastfeeding, or sleeping. Ear molding is usually covered by insurance. Visit www.ear-molding.com for more information.
Join us THIS Thursday for a fun Sip ‘n Shop event at Southport’s Trumpet Boutique from 6PM-9PM. There will be food, drinks and a special gift with purchase, and 20% off all night, as well as all day 11/30 and 12/1! See you there!
Finding reliable and top-notch childcare is at the top of every new mom’s list—but can often feel next to impossible, akin to finding a unicorn. Lydia Thibodeau founded Sommet Nannies, which currently has offices in Boston, Chicago, Washington, Connecticut and soon, New York City, after working as a nanny through high school and college, and has been helping families find their own childcare unicorn since 2015. Want to try SommetNannies? Mention LOCALMOMS or put it in the notes section to waive the $500 registration fee!
Holiday bonuses are common in many industries, and household employees should be included. The big question is, “What should you give for a holiday bonus?” Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny’s team of experts will share the different options you can provide your professional nanny.
Do you struggle with meal planning (and creative lunch packing!) as much as we do? Some days, figuring out WHAT to feed your child is hard enough. Figuring out HOW MUCH can seem downright impossible. The recommended portions for a child depend on their age and even gender – and unfortunately, the serving size listed on grocery store labels doesn’t have much to do with It. Connecticut Children’s is here to help. Here’s a guide to understanding healthy food portions for kids, including some time-saving tips.
If you are looking to get the Holiday Season started, check out some of these local tree farms with pre-cut and cut your own options!
No-vember: This new term is all over social media, and moms everywhere are embracing it in real life, with good reason. It describes the act of saying no to protect your physical, emotional and spiritual energy this month—a reserve all parents will need once the holidays hit. Saying no to things that don’t serve you, or your family, can be the most powerful thing in the world, because it frees you to say yes to things that do. From 7 meetings with Santa for the kids, to helming every event at school, not everything has to get the go-ahead. Here are 20 things to consider turning down—but you’ll know your own No-vember boundaries best.
Sheet pan dinners are one of the easiest ways to get dinner on the table, fast. Plus, if you line your baking pans with foil or parchment paper, there’s virtually no clean-up! We love the collection of Sheet Pan Dinners Maegan Brown of The BakerMama shard, which include recipes for pizza, shrimp pad thai and even chicken fried rice. Indeed, you might think these fuss-free meals are limited to a protein and vegetable, but you can easily incorporate carbs like pasta and rice, making sheet pan dinners as versatile as other easy cooking techniques. See some family faves!
Ailsa Emmel is a mom to 25-year-old twins who currently lives in eastern North Carolina with her husband, a U.S. Marine on active duty. Born in NYC, she moved to FL as a teenager, and she herself is also a Veteran, who served in the U.S. Navy. She has built a career as a nurse practitioner with a specialty in Midwifery, but her side gig—as a “lifestyle influencer who loves clothes”—is how she’s quickly gaining a following on social media. “I love to share what I am wearing and what I am loving. I use fashion to express and represent myself. I believe getting dressed even in a baggy pair of sweats makes the biggest difference in my overall mental state,” says Ailsa. We asked Ailsa about growing her social media presence through her Instagram handle @_happygocurly, how her military background has contributed to her career and motherhood, and more.
If you are looking for a fresh start health wise, some help recovering from childbirth or a surgery, or just looking for some lifestyle changes, Diana may be just who you are looking for! A family nurse practitioner at many leading hospitals (including NYU, Columbia and Mt. Sinai) before kids and COVID, Diana decided to enroll in a Nurse Health Coaching program, and is excited to assist clients recovering from surgery, guiding them through post-partum recovery, medication management or a broad-based program to achieve a healthier lifestyle. As a mom to a little boy, 3 dogs and 7 chickens, she is busy, but loves family time eating Mexican food, playing tennis, and swears by putting lemon on all things, including chips and popcorn! Her Columbian grandparents have always been her inspiration and she believes she was always destined to help others, and is so grateful to be in this community doing what she loves!
If you are a dog lover like many of us, Jessie Shaw is a local mom of four you will want to know! After moving to Westport just before Covid in March 2020, she got involved with Little Black Dog Rescue, which ultimately led to Jessie and three colleagues co-founding Fetch Dog Rescue, a foster-based dog rescue company, earlier this year. Fetch is dedicated to helping to save shelter and stray dogs from the southern states and finding loving forever homes for them in the CT area. Jessie has always been passionate about dogs and loves what she is doing! In her spare time, she loves watching Ted Lasso, listening to Smartless and spending time with her kids and rescue pup. Fetch is looking for Fosters, so if you are interested, don’t hesitate to reach out!
The Holiday Season is here, and with Halloween officially behind us, the urge to pull out the holiday décor is stronger than ever. If you’re thinking of decking your halls this year, check out LaurelRocks “Do’s & Don’ts” on creating a Holiday design that is aesthetically pleasing, eco-friendly and safe for the family.
Moms don’t have time for elaborate skincare routines – whether they’re mere mortals like us, or iconic model and entrepreneur Molly Sims. Recently, she shared her 5-minute skincare routine with The Local Moms Network CEO Layla Lisiewski. “We were in the sun for the last three months, so now it’s time to bring your retinols back, and incorporate brightening essentials to target any dark spots, hyperpigmentation and sun damage to the skin, while also continuing to protect your skin from the sun with SPF,” says Molly.
With the November elections just days away now, we wanted to introduce the newest candidate running for the Board of Education Jill Dillon. Mom to two teenagers, and an 11 year Westport resident, Jill decided to run as an unaffiliated, write-in candidate, somewhat recently as conversations around big Education-related decisions started hearting up, and she felt there was a voice still needing to be heard. Jill loves Westport, French Fries, and a good message as a splurge. In another life she’d be a teacher, have an amazing singing voice, and spend a lot of time near turquoise water! Jill is passionate about our town, and it’s future, and is excited to share all she thinks she can help Westport become in the years ahead.
I thought at 20 years in practice I had seen most of what there was to see when it came to anxiety. For the last two decades, I have treated adults and adolescents in private practice in Connecticut. When you work with young people, often you are also working with families to help support them and guide them in reinforcing treatment goals at home. There was a piece that I was missing, however, until I became a mom of a child with anxiety. Without sharing too many details, the past few months have been a struggle for our family. Having a child that developed a phobia that prevents them from attending school regularly impacts everyone in the family, including moms who are anxiety therapists…
In case you haven’t heard, the wait is finally over! The newest Tend studio (a full service dental office!) is now open at 1375 Post Road East in Westport (right next to Ulta and Balducci’s!) Haven’t heard about Tend? Here’s all you need to know….
If you know Allison Walmark, she has likely been making you laugh – and helping you keep perspective when the going gets tough for years! If you don’t know her, you’re welcome! Allison is a mom of two in Westport who truly is the definition of resilience and warrior. Just over 6 years ago, Allison was diagnosed with breast cancer, and given she had two kids, and was in her early 50s, she decided to do a double mastectomy without looking back (the day she refers to as “Jug Removal Day!”). Today she is sharing her story- and her journey with us – and It is unquestionably one that will make you laugh (because she’s hilarious), feel stronger, and remember that sharing with others is how we all heal, so thank you Allison!
St. Luke’s invites you to attend an upcoming admissions event to learn how its distinct approach to education prepares students to thrive. Visit campus, meet students and teachers, ask questions, and experience life on the Hilltop.