Fit 4 Mom- Los Angeles

Helping moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life

Meet Jessica

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Jessica Shepard (aka Hana’s mommy) is one of our new LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make FIT4MOM-Los Angeles Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  We loveworking out with you & Hana.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?

In my family there is my husband Jeff, my baby girl Hana, our dog Lucy and me (Jessica)

2. What is or was your career?

I worked in marketing at a wholesale produce company before I had Hana. As of now… I am not sure if/when I will be returning to work.

3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?

I started stroller stride a few weeks ago. Hana and I love to stroller stride! The other mothers and the instructors have been a world of resources for us! We learned about MOM’s club international and Lenny K’s swing classes from the other mothers.

While it has only been a few weeks, exercising and having an excuse to get out of the house early in the morning has been a huge help for my mental health (and hopefully soon

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my physical weight!)

4. What’s your fitness background & your current fitness goals?

I don’t’ have a fitness background. Before I had Hana I didn’t exercise at all. A few yoga classes here and there… but nothing routine or permanent. My fitness goal is to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and body!

5. Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?

I love Lenny K swim class and we are really enjoying mall walking! Now that Hana has more of a daily routine I have been able to sneak in some leisure reading on the side.

6.What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?

Everyone warned me of this, but still… the lack of sleep was a huge surprise for me!  Her simple milestones have been a surprise and a joy to watch and celebrate (lifting her head, smiling, rolling over).

7. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.

Delivery food! I think my husband might assume I forgot how to cook when I delivered Hana!

There is one dish I have made over and over again (when I do try and cook)… teriyaki sauce hot dog weenies over rice. I know it sounds gross, but its not so bad and when you are hungry it tastes pretty good!

8.Favorite website(s)?

I don’t have time to really do much so my favorite sites are anything I can do absentmindedly… facebook.com,tmz.comdiaperso.com and amazon.com

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9. List three current obsessions

Napping (when I can get a little), Hana’s first Halloween costume, and chocolate!ons.

10.What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?

Hana likes to laugh together. If I start to laugh she will start to laugh too. Its both of our favorite activity!

11. Finish this sentence…. Before I was a mother I swore I would never…

Walk outside in public with spit up on my shirt…. and not care!!!

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Meet Roxy!

The new Fit 4 Mom Los Angeles Franchise owner!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?
My family consist of my husband Luis Angel Jimenez and our 9 month old daughter Adela Evalyn Jimenez. I was born and raised in IMG_0921  Los Angeles, but parents are from Mexico. Our culture and family is very important to us.

2. What is or was your career?

I have my Bachelors degree in Business Administration and a minor in Accounting. I enjoy working with numbers 🙂 I worked at a bank as bank supervisor for 6years. I also worked as a seasonal tax consultant at HR Block for 4 years. Once Luis and I decided to start a family, I knew i wanted to spend as much time as possible with our newborn, so decided to look for a job that would allow me to do that. I work as a part-time nanny. I have been this family for 3 years now and the boys have grown up. They are an age when they no longer need a nanny any more. Buying Stroller Strides franchise came at a great time. I have the time to really dedicate myself to it while in the company of Adela.

3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?

I had never heard of Stroller Strides before I came across it going through Living Social Deal.  I read into it and purchase the deal through them when I was 6 month pregnant.  I said I would try it out when Adela was born. Well when Adela was born, I didn’t want to go outside with her.  First I was scared being a new mom and second, I didn’t know if it was the right thing for me.  I was definitely scared of the unknown. Three days before that deal expired, I decided to try out a class at the Marina del Rey location. I got to the parking lot and didn’t know if I should get out the car or not with my 10 week baby!    I went for it and I LOVED it.  Everyone was so welcoming.  Hearing all the moms talk about their experiences with their babies and with Stroller Strides made me feel so comforting plus the bonus of working out was GREAT!!  Since then I have fallen in love with Stroller Strides.  I enjoy that I can workout with Adela.  Not only has Stroller Strides gotten me back to my pre-baby weight, but I IMG_2983have meet amazing women that I can truly call friends.

4. What’s fitness background & your current fitness goals?

I enjoy working out, mostly I loved running. When I tried out Stroller Strides and saw they use resistant band, I was amazed at how out of shape I really was. My goal is to be healthier. I’m not looking to lose weight or anything. My goal is to be able to challenge myself each and every workout, so that I can live a healthy lifestyle. I want to be an example for my daughter. To know that she looks up to me is all the motivation I need to be healthy.

5. Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?

We enjoy going for walks. She has enjoyed walks at the park, museums, the pier and the mall.

6.What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?

Its changed me. I am no longer just looking out for myself but my daughter as well.  I’m surprise it was innate for me, like a light switch. My mothering instincts kicked in as soon as she was born.  I am surprise how I learned how to tell the difference between each of her cries. One is just to get my attention, while others are for when she’s hungry or sleepy.

7. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.

Since my husband is vegetarian, the one thing he enjoys the most is my vegetarian chili with quinoa.IMG_0774

8.Favorite website(s)?

Living social and ebay.

9. List three current obsessions.
  1. clothes for my daughter
  2. looking up things for wedding, I’m getting married in August
  3. learning new recipes
10.What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?

I enjoy( and think she does too) that i nurse her. I feel such a beautiful connection with Adela because of that.

11. Before I was a mother I swore I would never…Be the mom to take pictures of every single thing kids would do.
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Meet Our Moms

Kara (aka Hattie’s mom) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?  My family consists of myself, my husband Christopher, and our daughter Hattie.  We are originally from Dallas, Texas.  We moved to the Los Angeles area around seven months ago.
2. What is or was your career?  I am a teacher.  I taught fourth and fifth grades for ten years before Hattie was born.  I am taking a little time off to spend with my girl, and I plan to return to teaching at some point.
3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you? I have been a Stroller Strides member for three or four months.  Stroller Strides has introduced me to so many wonderful moms!  Moving to a new state two weeks before Hattie was born was very isolating for me.  Stroller Strides helped me meet people and work out at the same time.
4. Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?  Hattie and I enjoy swim class and going to visit Daddy at his office.  We love playing in the yard and enjoy the California weather. 
5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?  I always knew I would love my child with my entire heart.  I never knew I would love her laughter so much.  I will do anything to make her giggle.
6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating. My husband loves the pork chops I make.  Basically the pork chops are covered in french fried onions and baked for twenty minutes.  It’s super quick and yummy.
7. Favorite website(s)? The baby center website is always helpful.  I even got the app for my phone.  I also get good recipes from thechew.com
8. List three current obsessions.
I love to read after Hattie goes to bed.  I am currently reading a biography about the Duchess of Devonshire.  I am also crosstiching a Christmas stocking for Hattie.  I hope to have it done in time, but in reality she may use it for her second Christmas!  Finally, I am always on the lookout for good recipes for our food swap group.
9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?
I hope that Hattie’s favorite thing about me is that she knows I will always love her and do what is best for her.  On a more practical note, Hattie loves to be bounced up and down.  She gets a kick out of it.  She also loves to be tickled.
10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never… let Hattie sleep in our bed.  Well, that lasted about two weeks.  I had been up so many times one night, I didn’t have the energy to put her back in her own crib.  Then it was all over!
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Meet Our Moms

Terese Davis (aka Djimon & Artemis’ mommy) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?  My husband is Keith and our children are Djimon and Artemis. Keith is from Brooklyn and I’ve moved all over the place…I was born on Guam and my family is in Oregon and Hawaii now.

2. What is or was your career?  I’m a massage therapist.

3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?   I’ve only been a member of Stroller Strides for two months, but it’s been a lifesaver! I have a wonderful community of moms that have been such a great support system. I’m feeling stronger and healthier than I was after my first baby and have so much more energy now that Artemis is three months old than I did when Djimon was the same age. I’ve lost 8 pounds, can fit into my jeans without a muffin top and am getting ready to run a 5k next month!

4.  Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?  I love taking Djimon to the Venice Farmer’s Market to ride the ponies. He loves it so much that he wakes up the next morning neighing.

5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?  I’m surprised by the wide range of skills that are necessary to do this job well. I had no idea how much organization, time management, planning and PR skills I would need on a daily basis. I am more and more impressed by my own mother!

6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.  Anything my husband makes. Thank heaven for a man who likes to cook!

7. Favorite website?   Amazon

8. List three current obsessions.

  • Red wine
  • salted caramel mochas
  • watching Parenthood with my husband once the kids are finally asleep

9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do? Djimon’s favorite thing is being read to. Artemis’ favorite thing is eating.

10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never… use one of those leashes. Now I won’t travel without one.

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Meet Our Moms

Christin Wilson (aka Ryder & Parker’s mommy) is one of our instructors!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!
1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from? 
My husband Tyler, my son Ryder (2.5) and daughter Parker (8 months) My husband and I both grew up in beautiful Santa Barbara.
2. What is or was your career?  Before becoming a stay at home mommy I was a personal trainer and worked a lot with pre- and postnatal clients.  My husband and I are owners of Wurstkuche….a restaurant specializing in gourmet and exotic sausages as well as German and Belgian beer (located in Downtown and Venice)
3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you? I started coming to Stroller Strides in February of 2010 when Ryder was just 7 weeks old.  As a new mom it was so amazing to have a new group of mommy friends to workout with, hang out with, vent to and learn from!  I started teaching Stroller Strides in the summer of 2010…and have loved helping mamas get back in shape!
4.  Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?
We love going to Fit for Kids, The Zimmer Museum, Annenberg Beach Club and hang out at Trails Cafe in Griffith Park.
5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?  How challenging yet rewarding it is. I truly believe it is the hardest job in the world, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!  I also never knew I could love as much as I love my kids…motherhood is such a blessing!

6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.  Turkey Pesto Meatballs from Weelicious are a quick and easy favorite for us….we throw them over pasta or spahgetti squash, make meatball subs or just have them on their own. My son loves them too.
7. Favorite website(s)?
Facebook, Pinterest, Diapers.com, Amazon, Weelicious, and Hostess with the Mostess.
8. List three current obsessions. 
planning my kids’ birthday parties
cooking paleo recipes
getting gel manicures

9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do? Ryder and Parker both love when I dance around the house and show them my old ballet skills!
10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never …Let my kids eat food off the ground. We all know that they do, and hey my son even likes to lick the ground!
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Meet Our Moms

Liz Williams (aka Jacob’s mommy) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  We love working out with you & Jacob.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?  My husband Justin, our little man Jacob and our dog L.B. Justin and I are both from Michigan, but met in Windsor, Canada.

2. What is or was your career?  I worked as a Marketing Specialist for an architecture firm.  Now, I’m a stay at home mom.

3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?  We joined Stroller Strides in May 2012.  I wanted to get out and meet other moms and I needed more of a workout than walking (besides you can only walk around the neighborhood so many times without getting bored).  Stroller Strides has been a good workout and it’s been nice to meet all the other moms in our group.  Plus, all the other outings each month is great.  I’m looking forward to finally being able to attend one of the MNO’s at the end of this month.

4.  Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?  Jacob loves going on the swings at Pan Pacific Park.

5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?  How what I think to naturally do with Jacob ends up being the right thing.  It’s a lot of work, but so worth it, and I laugh so much more and appreciate the little things.

6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.  I’m not much of a cook but when I do cook I like to make turkey burgers.  I mix in salsa, chopped red onions and some red chili pepper flakes for flavor.

7. Favorite website?   Amazon.com.  It has everything on one site and free shipping (bummed we have to pay tax now).

8. List three current obsessions.

9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do? Jacob’s favorite thing I do with him is peek-a-boo.  He can be mid-cry and a few peek-a-boo’s and he’s all better.

10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never Give my baby formula.  But no matter how much I pumped extra, and drank teas my supply dwindled and I ended up formula feeding.

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Meet Our Moms

Beth (aka Charlotte’s mommy) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  We love working out with you & Charlotte.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!
1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?  Me (Beth), my husband, David, Charlotte our 16 month old and Lucy our adorable mutt.  David and I met when we were both living in Chicago.  I’m originally from Northern Minnesota and he’s lived in 14 states, growing up as an Airforce Brat.  I didn’t realize how Midwestern we were, until we moved out here 🙂
2. What is or was your career?  I originally went to school for Elementary, Special and Deaf Education and transferred half way through to a Theatre Conservatory in Chicago.  I loved acting in Chicago, but had a hard time balancing family and theatre (and David used to tour in a rock a capella group – which was extra hard), so I turned back to my original love – kids.  I’ve been a nanny for more than a dozen years.  I currently work with a family with school aged kids in the afternoons and evenings.  Charlotte comes with me and the kids all adore one another.
3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?   I’ve been attending for a few months.  It’s inspired me to set health and weight goals – as a reward for meeting those goals, I get to go clothes shopping after Christmas!  I’ve loved the supportive atmosphere and the ability to actually push myself physically because of all of the other strong mamas around me!  I’m also loving meeting new mamas, and expanding my community.  It’s been wonderful!
 4.  Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?  Gosh, it’s a toss-up between swimming – anywhere really, Charlotte loves to play in water, and Aiden’s Place.  Aiden’s Place was the best park when Charlotte was just a crawler and we’ve continued to love it as she grows.  We love that Lucy can run around there, as well.
5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?  Probably how unrelenting it is… I should have known better :).   But, also how much joy those snuggles, giggles and middle of the night peeks in on our Charlie-pants would bring.  It’s been especially wonderful watching my husband grow into such a loving and dedicated father.
6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.  Anything on the grill!  We like to buy organic meat in bulk when we can find good prices, and keep it in the freezer for a quick and delicious dinner anytime.
7. Favorite website(s)?   Nothing too terribly exciting, I’m sorry to say.  I don’t get a lot of  “screen time” between Charlotte and the big kids that I nanny for.  I love Facebook for keeping up with friends and family – I recently joined Westside Swap on there, which has been great for finding and selling baby and kid stuff.  I love You Tube for finding American Sign Language videos for Charlotte to watch while I “just finish that one last line” of an email :).  I especially love the Baby Bundles videos – they have kids doing the signs, an adult teaching the sign, cartoons of the word they’re signing, real life images – Charlotte LOVES it and signs along with the videos – too cute!  I loved using You Tube when I was shopping for bigger ticket items like strollers, too.  There were some great product reviews by people who actually use the stroller day in and day out that were immensely helpful!
8. What’s your current obsession?   I was trying to think of what my obsessions are – and I realized that what I’ve been putting most of my free time and effort into (other than keeping the darn house some modicum of clean!) is this and a homeless shelter for women and children.  We’re participating in a 5K run/walk this weekend to support CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates – for Foster Children).    My friend has been active in this organization for years and recently alerted me to it.  I feel strongly led to do whatever I can to encourage action on behalf of foster kids, and nowhere is such action needed more than here in Los Angeles.  L.A. County is home to more foster children than any other county in the country (more than 20,000 at last count) and their outcomes are heartbreaking.  Rates of everything from teen pregnancy, to high school graduation, to unemployment, to imprisonment are all horrific.  Currently, an astonishing 70% of California prison inmates come out of our foster care system.  In Los Angeles, nearly half of the foster kids who “age out” of the system are homeless within 6 months.
I believe this is a true justice issue.  We are taking children out of their homes based on a judgment that we — as a community — can provide a better, safer childhood, and we are routinely failing these children terribly.  For some, the need for removal is heartbreakingly clear, but this is not always the case: 80% of children in California are removed for neglect, not abuse.  Neglect can be extraordinarily serious, of course, but there are also huge overlaps between neglect and poverty.  And it’s not just the neglectful parent/s from whom the child is removed, but often their siblings, their friends, their neighborhood, their school, their pets, sometimes their cultural and religious practices, etc.  In other words, their whole world.  There is *so much more* we could be doing to support families and children in the first instance, thereby reducing the number of children in foster care, and better serving the ones who unquestionably and unfortunately must be there.  As of now, 74% of children in long-term foster care in Los Angeles have been moved through 4 or more placements, and 21% have been placed in 11 or more different homes/facilities.  Eleven or more homes!  How can a child possibly put together a life for themselves under these circumstances?  How can they ever learn to forge connections — much less trust — amidst such instability?  I *know* we can do better for these children.  (But please know that this is not a critique of the many incredible social workers, etc., who do their very best day in and day out for foster children — there are a host of systematic issues beyond their control and beyond the scope of this posting!).
So how does CASA help?  CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates.   Anyone in the community can become a CASA; no particular background is required.   After receiving special training (and ongoing support) from CASA of Los Angeles, CASA volunteers are paired with a foster child and tasked with learning everything they can about that child’s life: Might the family be safely reunited with the help of supportive services?  Are there relatives who can help?  Is the child failing at school?  Are medical issues being attended to?  Armed with such knowledge, CASAs are authorized to advocate for the best possible course of action for that child  in court, in school, etc.  wherever a strong, vested, and stable voice is needed. They’re like mentors on steroids; they can truly make incredible, meaningful change happen in the life of a child, because they have the support and authority to do so.
Independent research demonstrates that children with a CASA volunteer are substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care, are more likely to receive needed services, and are less likely to re-enter foster care once given a permanent placement or safely reunified with family.  In 2009, the California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care urged that “state funding for CASA programs be expanded to allow for appointments in all cases.” Unfortunately, California’s budget crisis has led to the opposite result: CASA of Los Angeles recently lost its state funding, and it must reach out to the greater Los Angeles community to continue its critical advocacy work.
Here’s a link to our fundraising page for the walk this weekend!  http://www.active.com/donate/justicejog2012/santamonicaquakers

9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?

Charlotte loves to just BE with me.  She’ll sit on the floor and smile up at me and tap the floor repeatedly with her index finger inviting me to just sit with her and enjoy.  It’s irresistible 🙂
10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never… Buy this many toys!  I swear I have a harder time resisting adding to our collection than she does! 🙂
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Meet Our Moms

Jennie Kemmerer (aka Rowan’s mommy) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  We love working out with you & Rowan.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?  My immediate family consists of my husband John—who is from Pennsylvania originally, but lived in the San Francisco-Bay Area for over 20 years, Rowan, our pug dog Stella, and me (a native Los Angelean). My parents, Nonna (Nettie) and Pop Pop (John), live near LAX in the house we moved into when I was 6 months old. My brother John and his wife Meg and their two kids, Jay and Hazel, live in Charlottesville, VA.

And yes, ALL the adult males in my family are named JOHN—father, brother, and husband and for about 3 hazy, post-partum days, my sister-in-law named my nephew John but then, thankfully, came to her senses. As you can imagine, it can be very confusing to tell stories about my family…

2. What is or was your career?  I have been teaching high school and college English for nearly 20 years. I have worked as an English Teacher and Department Chair at Immaculate Heart High School in Hollywood since 1994. I hope to go back to teaching in 2013 (or not!).
3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?  I have been taking Stroller Strides classes since last fall. Rowan was one of the little ones back then and all the other kids seemed so big. Now she seems to have caught up! Stroller Strides makes it easy to be accountable for getting some exercise. I am really enjoying the Tar Pits location because it is so close to home for me and so lovely with all the trees.

4.Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?  We live near the Tar Pits so we’re always up at the park or walking through LACMA. We enjoy going to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and to the Zimmer Museum and when we’re really brave, the beach.

5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood? I am a big worry wort and I worried all through my pregnancy and even though I do still worry some, I am pleasantly surprised at what a relaxed mother I am. I would have thought I would be really uptight but am pleased to find that I am not. As long as she doesn’t put poison or dog poop in her mouth, I am good. 🙂

6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.  My husband does all the cooking (lucky me!). When I have to cook, I like making Cook’s Illustrated’s No Cream Cream Soups. This one uses carrots but you can do it with butternut squash, cauliflower, broccoli, or potatoes.

SERVES 4 TO 6

Either chicken or vegetable broth can be used in this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter, or the same amount of vegetable or olive oil
  • 1medium onion, 3 medium shallots, or 1 medium leek (white and light green parts only), chopped
  • 2tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
  • 1 1/2pounds carrots (about 8 medium), peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin (about 4 cups)
  • 2cups low-sodium chicken broth or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1teaspoon table salt
  • Ground white pepper
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 – 1 1/4cups whole milk
  • 2teaspoons minced fresh tarragon, mint, chives, or parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  Heat butter or oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute until golden, about 5 minutes. Add sherry and carrots; stir constantly and cook until sherry evaporates, about 30 seconds.
  2.  Add broth, salt, pepper to taste, and nutmeg to saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3.  Ladle carrot mixture into blender. Add 1 cup milk; blend until very smooth. Return soup to saucepan; cook over low heat until warmed through. If soup is too thick, stir in additional milk to thin consistency. Adjust seasonings. (Soup can be refrigerated for 3 days and reheated just before serving.)
  4. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Garnish with minced herb and serve immediately.

7. Favorite website(s)?  New York Times, Pinterest, Zulily, Amazon, Plum District  Blogs: A Chow Life, Cooking with my Kid, MattBites, Best of LA  and Taster Tots LA
8. List three current obsessions.

  • Photography:  I am taking an online photography class designed for parents called Photosanity with Nesting NYC—to help me get better shots of Rowan and to organize the ones I do have.
  • Baking:  I am always looking for an excuse to try a new recipe.
  • Reading: I am an English teacher, what can I say?

9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?  Rowan loves when I chase her crawling and pretend to be unable to catch her. She also loves when I sing to her; even though I have a terrible voice, she loves it!

10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never…  Be a helicopter parent. I haven’t become one yet and aspire to never do so! 

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Meet Our Moms

Suzanne Kirkland (aka Thomas’ mommy) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  We love working out with you & Thomas.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family?  Where are you from? I’m from Bozeman, Montana.  Dylan is from New Orleans, Chicago and Orange County.  Thomas is -The LA baby!
2. What is or was your career? Currently I’m the full time mom / house organizer… but I’ve had a happy career in Los Angeles as a Production and Travel Coordinator for the film industry.

3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you?  I’ve been coming to Stroller Strides for almost a year now.  Aside from being the only exercise program that I have stuck with for more than a month (I’m not kidding.  really), Stroller Strides has been a phenomenal support group for me as a first time mom.  It has been a place for me to talk about my concerns and get really practical, non-judgemental advice.

4.  Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?  We live close to LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits.  It’s a fun place to go for the great exhibits and also the beautiful outdoor space.
5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood? Its sounds SO naive, but I really thought I was going to be able to check things on my personal “I’ve always wanted to have time to…” list.  I’ve only recently (after 14 months!) accepted the fact that raising a child is truly a 24 hour job… I have less time for writing or working on projects than I did when I was working full time.

6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.  When I really need something quick its usually spaghetti with turkey meatballs and salad.  Not super exciting – but always gets eaten by everyone.

7. Favorite website(s)?

8. List three current obsessions.   I bought this cheap cordless vacuum on Amazon and I LOVE IT.  With a baby, dog, cat and husband… I can’t vacuum enough.

9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do? Probably that we have dance parties daily (“moo-sic?”)  and occasionally let him eat as many blueberries as he wants.

10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never use food to entertain my child… but I do it all the time. 

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Meet Our Moms

Robyn Taylor (aka Lola & Sammy’s mommy) is one of our LA Striders!   It’s women like you who make Stroller Strides one of the best mommy & me activities in Los Angeles.  We love working out with you and your girls.  Thank you for letting us get to know you!

1.Who are the members of your family? Where are you from?  My husband Shane and I are from Louisville, Kentucky, though we met after we both already lived in LA. Our daughter Lola just turned 2 and little Samantha is 3.5 months.

2. What is or was your career? I worked in advertising at Clear Channel out of college and then later in the film business with my husband. Everything from on-set accountant to lowly production assistant!  I’m now a stay at home mama.

3. How long have you been a member of Stroller Strides and what has it done for you? I joined Stroller Strides in October of 2010 when Lola was just 6 weeks old.  It immediately gave me an amazing sense of community unlike any other I was able to establish before becoming a mom.  We have such an awesome network of moms and just getting up & starting the day with other women, venting to each other about the craziness of being a mom & wife & having some sense of my old “self” is invaluable!  And obviously the workout is great too!

4. Other than Stroller Strides, what is your favorite thing to do with your child in L.A.?  We love the LA Zoo and all the great parks in the area.  Sometimes its easy to forget that nature exists in the middle of this giant city!  Both my girls love being outside.

5. What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?  The unbelievable joy that my children bring me.  Their beautiful smiling faces make life worth while.  Though it is exhausting and I wouldn’t survive without my wine!

6. Favorite quick & easy dinner that your family enjoys eating.  I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s “Just Chicken.”  I keep it in the fridge all the time and often throw it in with pasta and add frozen veggies, olive oil and seasoning.  Instant dinner!

7. Favorite website(s)? Amazon.com, target.com, and I’m a dork but I love Facebook!

8. List three current obsessions.  I can’t stop shopping for my girls!  There are such adorable baby girl clothes!  I’m also on a total purging kick–out with the old and in with the new!  I want everything organized and in its place.  And I’m totally obsessed and excited for fall TV to start again.  Revenge, Smash and Grey’s Anatomy are a few of my favs.

9. What is your child’s favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do? Lola loves when I turn on music and we have a dance party.  She already knows how to work the iPod!  Sammy likes to get in on the fun too, kicking in her swing and watching her big sis.  I’ve got 2 party girls!

10. Before I was a mother I swore I would never...leave the house so often sans make-up and style!  Apparently my vanity was stolen in pregnancy–hopefully one day soon I’ll find it again!

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