Meet Dana and Julie! - Westport Moms

tgblogo_1Meet Dana and Julie, two local moms who took a passion for food – and their experience co-founding a granola business (OatsGranola) – and opened  The Granola Bar, a coffee shop and restaurant that was an overnight hit just three years ago. If you’ve been to TGB, you likely have met this dynamic duo, but if you want to know where they go to dinner with their kids- or what their favorite app and beauty products are today, keep reading! And keep an eye out for their Stamford – and now Rye – locations opening soon!
How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport?
DANA: Ryland 11, Logan and Mack (twins) 9. I’ve lived in Westport for 8 years.
JULIE: Alexandra 9, Liv 7, and 4 Stepchildren Cameron 5, Mason 9, Zachary 11,  Kendal 14. I moved to Westport in 2006, and then to Weston in 2015.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
DANA:The pre school years were the most challenging by far! My friends, mother in law and a very supportive husband helped me through.
JULIE: 3-5 years old seemed to be the toughest age. What helped? Staying relaxed, knowing that each new “issue” would pass…nothing was permanent even if at the time it felt HORRID. Not fighting my daughter, but feeling compassion and understanding even in the ugliest tantrums (of hers lol).
What is your favorite family activity to do in Westport or the surrounding towns?
DANA:Favorite local family activity is taking our dog for a walk at Compo Beach.
JULIE: Our favorite family activity is staying home in Weston! With 6 kids at home, we like to hang out there. When we head out, we go for hikes at Devil’s Den or do the ropes course (weather permitting) in Bridgeport.
What was your most memorable family vacation and why? 
 DANA:My most memorable family vacation was our trip to Hawaii this past summer. It was super active and the kids were old enough to really enjoy the experience. We haven’t all spent 8 consecutive days together (24 meals) in I can’t remember how long.
JULIE: It would have to be Universal Studios. There was something about the age of the kids, the experience – it just all worked!!
What is the best white lie you have told your kids?
DANA: Too many white lies to mention….and I still use them
JULIE: That girls are only mean to them because they are jealous. I honestly don’t know why girls are mean to other girls – or make fun of them – but I have to hope that the little white lie my mom told me is actually not a lie at all!
What is your proudest mommy moment?
DANA: That my kids are always promoting Granola Bar and are very proud of the business.
JULIE: I keep having them!! But I think the most recent parent/teacher conference had me really glowing with pride.
What’s your favorite app right now- for you- and for your kids?
DANA:My favorite App is INSTAGRAM! My younger son is obessed with Bit moji.
JULIE: My girls and I are OBSESSED with Tasty Food. Looking at the recipes, dreaming of making everything. The thing is, my girls will eat almost NOTHING they cook so theres that…I’m into WAZE and INSTAGRAM
What’s your can’t live without beauty product?
DANA:Bottega Organika orange face oil and BOTOX 🙂
JULIE: If you know Dana and I, that’s a HILARIOUS question because we joke constantly about how difficult it is for either of us to keep a beauty routine with our lives 🙂 But right now, Dana forced me to buy this glowy skin oil from Bottega and I’m recently OBSESSED.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family dinner? A night out with friends?
DANA: Favorite restaurant out with the family is Bodega in Fairfield and for a night out with friends definitely Kawa Ni.
JULIE: Family dinner? We love Bond Hibatchi in Norwalk, Oak & Almond in Norwalk and Angelinas in Westport! Night out? Kawa-Ni in Westport, Brasitas in Norwalk
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
DANA: I don’t drink any caffeine.
JULIE: I quit caffeine 🙂
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted – what would you do?
DANA: I would spend it in NYC!
JULIE: Well, lets just say the kids are at school so I don’t feel mom-guilt answering: I’d lock myself in a room with my husband. At the 25th hour, I’d want to have happy-family-with-6-kids time and do the hang out, eat, dance party kind of day 🙂
What is your most marked characteristic?
DANA: Warmth
JULIE: My personality and sense of humor? I think? Dana???
What do you most value in your friends?
DANA: Humor & comfort
JULIE: You mean in Dana? lol – trust and honesty and willingness to learn together.
What is your greatest regret?
DANA: I wish I had taken more videos of my kids when they were younger.
JULIE: Not standing up for myself and what I wanted earlier in life. And not finding my voice until later.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
DANA: Make your kids as independent as possible. As a working mom it is so important that my kids help out around the house as well as be responsible for their own stuff. It’s one less spinning plate I am responsible for.
JULIE: That your children know how you are feeling. Truly. Deeply. So create honest and real experiences for yourself and your kids. I don’t phone-it-in or fake it with my kids…or at least I’m approaching “good enough” in that way. I try very hard to be authentic and present with my children.

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