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Meet Our Contributors

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LenayaAAuthor of, The Pathways Home: A Memoir of Sisters on Both Sides of Addiction, Lenaya Andersen is a Northern Nevada Native who cherishes swimming out to the buoys at Sand Harbor with her children. She and her husband have a “yours, mine and ours” family including three daughters and one son. When she isn’t chasing her children around or driving carpool, she is likely grading papers for her dream-job as an English professor at TMCC. Lenaya lives a life full of adventure in ways she once thought impossible. Married to an outdoorsman, her children benefit from the combination of a roller-coaster-junkie-mom and a dare-devil-dad. Passionate, enthusiastic, and short fused, she has learned that motherhood is her greatest privilege and most grueling trial. The relentless demands of her four kids are always accompanied by love and lessons only children can offer. Regardless of the curve balls, she has a “pinch me” life exceeding her wildest imagination. View all posts by Lenaya.


TracieBA Midwestern girl who has laid roots in Reno, Tracie Barnthouse is the mother of two {A (4) and E (9 months)}, and wife of one (Token). Publicist by day, her job keeps her busy, and she’s still learning that tightrope walk of work/life balance. Barnthouse moved to Reno in 2012 from Sicily, Italy, where she lived for four years. Prior to that, four years were spent on the island of Guam, but she’s come to realize that home isn’t defined by a speck on a map. From overseas travel tips with infants and toddlers to glimpses of everyday life, she hopes to share stories that help us realize we’re all on this crazy ride called Motherhood together. View all posts by Tracie.


TheresaBTheresa Birchfield is a native Nevadan learning to navigate the big world of elementary school and youth sports. She has a husband, son, daughter, job, and dog that complicate her life in wonderful ways and an insatiable appetite for school and coffee. In her free time, also known as the middle of the night, she reads any book that sounds interesting. She likes to think of herself as engaged and funny, but is usually just tired and sarcastic. View all posts by Theresa.


lauren bradfieldLauren Bradfield is a Nevada transplant from the Great California Migration of the 1990’s, where her family moved to Incline Village. She attended UNR and graduated with a BA in English Writing. Shortly after, she and her now husband moved across the world to begin an adventure with the US Government where they lived in multiple countries and did cool things that she can’t openly discuss. All that came to a head during the Arab Spring Uprising in 2011 when they were evacuated out of Tripoli, Libya under gunfire. Realizing this probably wasn’t an ideal environment to raise a family, they left the government and moved back to Reno in 2012 to work in the family business and hopefully rule the world (she kids, but seriously…). Apparently, leaving Reno and moving back once you have kids is a common trend since a majority of their college friends have done so, proving that Reno truly is the best place to raise a family. Now Lauren is mom to two crazy boys and a labrador retriever who has decided that he will remain a puppy indefinitely. Lauren loves to travel, write, read, pretend she’s amazing at pilates, eat high-gluten foods, and basically anything that gets her more involved in Northern Nevada. View all posts by Lauren.


shontell brewerShontell Brewer is a wife to a handsome fireman, a mother to five pretty rad kids, a writer, and a teacher. Her mission is to work beside parents raising the kids who will one day soon rule our world. She writes about all the parenting nonsense on her blog, Nonsense at its Finest. Follow her on Instagram @ParentingNonsense and on Facebook to keep up to date on her soon coming book publications.

 


Mikalee ByermanWhen Mikalee Byerman’s decade-long first marriage ended with a message inscribed on a brick — a literal brick — the writer knew she had crazy fodder for a story about the symbolism of bricks, blindsides and a universe that likes to fuck with her. But then, the universe had yet another surprise lined up: After gaining back just enough trust to cautiously agree to marry her long-time boyfriend years after the brick (with whom, it should be noted, she also had a surprise baby), her second marriage ended with a posse of police officers showing up at her door without warning to arrest husband #2. Yup. The Universe clearly hates her. Taking cues from her “you-can’t-make-this-shit-up” misfortune, the potty-mouthed freelance writer/editor is documenting her post-divorce(s) reinvention on her highly controversial blog, Me 2.0, which has been featured on the Huffington Post and TIME Magazine’s websites. Her writing also has appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal, Southwest Spirit Magazine, Alaska Airlines Magazine and numerous other publications. During the day, she is a social media and communication strategist for the Reno-based Estipona Group, a communications/advertising agency. Though just a teensy-weensy bit jaded by her blindsiding circumstances, she optimistically makes her home in northern Nevada with two crazy-cool teens and one plain-crazy toddler.  View all posts by Mikalee.


katie coombsKatie Coombs is a native Nevadan that calls Reno home with her husband Chris and their blended family of four boys, three girls. By day, she’s a small business owner and financial advisor, but has recently added radio show host, RGJ columnist, blogger and newborn mom (again) to her résumé. Her radio show, “Uncommon Sense,” column and blog focus on family values and parental leadership through the simple use of common sense. When she is not working on her radio show, fulfilling her duties as a business owner, or raising the small country that is her family, she enjoys camping, cheering for her kids at their sporting events and watching the Giants and the 49ers. View all posts by Katie.


Christy Cooper is a stay at home new/first time mommy to her one year old daughter, Lacey. She has lived in Reno for two years now, and is the ambassador for Hike it Baby Reno-Tahoe. Christy’s got the brains, the beauty, and the booty. She really wants a Bissel Crosswave for Christmas. View all posts by Christy


After five years of living it up in downtown Chicago, Stephanie Cox and her husband, Danny, migrated to the Biggest Little City in June, 2014 with their rescued fur babies, Illy and Sirf. They are expecting their first little one any day now. It’s a BOY!

An adept health care and business professional, Stephanie keeps the lights on at Blue Truck Studios, a full-service marketing and advertising agency she and her husband started together in late 2015. Stephanie is passionate about creating the best life for her and her growing family. A native Wisconsite, she loves living among the mountains and the lake.

Stephanie is thrilled to embrace all that motherhood has to offer and invites you to join along as she shares her thoughts, reflections and experiences. She prides herself on her openness and willingness to share vulnerabilities and insecurities, preferring to connect with others through real, candid, open conversation instead of the sugar-coated version so many of us fall into today. View all posts by Stephanie


kelly deenKelly Deen was a stay at home mom for 11 years, during which, she worked as a freelance makeup artist. After realizing the last of three children would be entering school soon, she began a new adventure and is now the kitchen manager at a local elementary school. When not at work, she enjoys frantically rushing her children to practices and games, and trying to stay awake long enough to spend some time with her husband. She is excited to finally have an outlet for her self recognized hilarity, sarcasm and wit! View all posts by Kelly.


bethany-drysdale-thumb Bethany Drysdale is mom to two little princesses, and is on a mission to stock her wine rack with great-tasting wines that won’t break the bank. Swim lessons and new sneakers trump the wine budget in her house, but she won’t sacrifice great taste and neither should you! Bethany is a former journalist and current public relations professional who decided in 2010 to pair her love for writing with her love for wine, and Mama’s Wine Rack was born. She lives in Dayton, Nev., with her daughters Emma and Abbi, husband Sean, and dog Rusty. There is a cat or two calling her doorstep home, and possibly a goldfish in her future. Follow Bethany’s quest to fill her wine rack at http://MamasWineRack.comView all posts by Bethany.


april garciaAngela Francis’ original life plan was to have five cats and no kids. After catching the baby fever, she now has one cat and one kid – a compromise her and her husband are quite happy with. Some of her favorite things are: coffee, cats, conversations, cookies, and cardio boot camps. She is also a big fan of alliterations. View all posts by Angela.


Megan FikesMegan Fikes’ is a Native Northern Nevadan, married to Jon and mother of 2 amazing little boys, Kaleb and Jameson. She is a work at home mom, running a successful Arbonne business when she is not chasing after the energetic love bugs she has created. She enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on, cooking for her family and friends, and dancing to the beat of her own drum! She loves living in Reno with all it has to offer and couldn’t imagine not living so close to Lake Tahoe, which is her favorite place on earth! Embracing the journey of motherhood and realizing her own dreams for herself and her family in the Biggest Little City! View all posts by Megan.


april garciaApril Garcia was born in Reno but as a rebellious teen couldn’t wait to hit the road. 40+ countries and some years later her and her Spanish husband made their home in Reno. Having two daughters (1 & 3) has turned their usual wanderlust life into a whirlwind of change. She has enjoyed a successful career as an Account Exec. but is changing up just about everything in her life. When she is not trying to save the world through humanitarian trips or toiling over her travel memoir trying to be hysterical, she is in Tahoe Meadows with her two shorties teaching them the difference between Indian Paintbrush and Snow Flowers. April is excited for this next chapter of life with her crazy beautiful girls. She can’t wait to show them the charm of nature, the delight of good friendship, and watch as they become their own beautiful souls. View all posts by April.


nicole howesNicole Howes is passionate about marriage and family. She desires to see every home thrive right where they are. It’s because of her own experiences as a child growing up in an unstable and often tumultuous home that gives her hope for every family. Two days after high school graduation, Nicole and her husband Tim, both eighteen at the time said, “I do.” Twenty years later, Nicole firmly believes in the gift of marriage and desires to see every relationship come alive in-the-midst of everyday ‘stuff’. Together, Nicole and her husband are raising their seven kiddos and for fourteen years they’ve had the privilege of co-parenting Nicole’s youngest brother. With eight kids, four boys and four girls, life is seldom boring or quiet. Being a wife and mom is both rewarding and difficult but Nicole is so thankful for the opportunity to be both. She speaks candidly about marriage and openly about her experinces as a mother. View all posts by Nicole.


Brandi LimogesBrandi Limoges is a single mom, working a full time job and raising a very spirited little boy who is now 4 years old. She is a transplant from the East Coast and after 12 years in Reno has come to love the area and all it has to offer. She loves to spend time with her son, twin sister and mother camping, fishing, hiking, and exploring great little towns and vineyards. After four years of hunkering down and trying to survive as a new mom she is ready to branch out and explore the area of writing. As an avid reader since childhood and the author of her own short stories and poetry she hopes to incorporate her adventures, life experiences, quirky humor, and interest in the community in her writing. View all posts by Brandi.


april gJessica Locke is a wife and homeschooling mom to four kiddos, three pups, and six chickens. She enjoys chocolate, chai tea, mixed martial arts, teaching, and writing about her crazy life. She believes that if you know something, you should share it, and so she blogs about her homeschooling journey and other parenting related topics on her blog at View all posts by Jessica.


Magrini, AmandaAmanda Magrini, MD, is a board certified family medicine physician at Northern Nevada Medical Group’s Los Altos location in Sparks. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Nevada, Reno

and her medical training at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Dr. Magrini has practiced family medicine for five years, including residency, and enjoys her specialty, because she likes taking care of the whole family, from newborns to grandparents. She likes preventative medicine, helping people take care of themselves and the relationships she is able to form with her patients. Dr. Magrini grew up in Sparks, NV and likes that it is a safe place to live with great educational opportunities and beautiful scenery. She thinks Northern Nevada is a great place to raise a family and looks forward to raising her own children here. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, boating, running and traveling the world. Dr. Magrini is also very close with her family; she is married to her high school sweetheart and values spending time with him and the rest of her family. View all posts by Amanda.


Melanie Menon Reno Moms Blog ContributorMelanie Menon formerly worked in the mental health field & is now a stay at home mom to her two boys. She enjoys quality time with her husband and kids, coffee, and genuine conversation with others. She is looking forward to getting more connected in the Reno community! View all posts by Melanie.


Shelle Murach Reno Moms Blog ContributorShelle Murach has been an Aunt since 1985. She specializes in saying things like, “Should that child be doing that to her brother?” “Where did that juice box go?” “Can Aunt Shelle have some of your Cheez-its?” She is an expert at attending dance recitals, soccer games and ice skating competitions all while clapping or cheering at the appropriate moments.While she is very good at passing out cake at birthday parties, due to an unfortunate incident with a stick, her husband has made her promise to never again help with piñatas. Something about lawsuits and personal injury nonsense. She precariously balances being a full-time Aunt with a career in PR and has found that many of her client management skills can also be used on her various nieces and nephews. She is very excited to be part of Reno Mom’s Blog where she will focus on the Reno food and events scene, booster seats and face paint are optional. You can check out her blog “Care and Feeding in Reno,”  where she desperately needs to post some new stories and recipes. Trust me, she knows, it’s on the list. View all posts by Shelle.


meagan sabichMeagan Sabich grew up in Las Vegas, NV and moved to Reno in 2004 to attend the University of Nevada, Reno. Since then, she has called Reno her home. She’s a former corporate girl who worked for Microsoft and Facebook, before turning in her work badge to be a stay at home mom and wife for her two girls, Sophie and Sadie, and husband Mike. Meagan is an avid cook and very passionate about food. When she gets free time she likes to blog about her cooking adventures on her blog at Waist Not, Want Not, or share recipes for Reno Moms Blog Feed the Fam Series. Meagan is very passionate about fitness and enjoys yoga, zumba and weight training. View all posts by Meagan.


meagan sabichDanielle Sanford moved to Reno when she was three, just about when she started remembering things, so essentially, she is from Reno. She earned her graduate degree in civil engineering from UNR by putting trucks up on bridges and shaking them a lot (there’s internet video of this somewhere). Currently, Dani’s at home raising her two kids and finding that to be just as challenging as being an engineer. In her free time, she’s found out what it means to be in a ranching family since she married into one and is now balancing her serious love of make-up and being clean against the fun her family gets to have when out on the ranch (a couple extra loads of laundry is worth the experience, right?). She loves to ski, firmly believes you are never too old to read young adult books, and knows way too much about pop culture if you ever need someone to round out your trivia team. View all posts by Danielle.


Jessica Santina Reno Moms Blog Contributor


Jessica Santina’s love for writing started the summer when she was 11. She and her father created their own hand-bound book of poetry that they’d written together, which they called “Pop & Kid: Collected Writings.” It’s this love of the written word that fuels Jessica’s business today as a freelance writer, editor and university instructor—that and spending countless hours sharing beloved books with daughter. When she has a few minutes to herself—a rare gem—Jessica loves to cook, read chick-lit novels, watch cooking shows, and take long, leisurely walks that allow her to come up with blog ideas. Check out her blog for words of wisdom on writing and more.
View all posts by Jessica


Reno-Moms-Blog-contributor-Jamie-SchnellJamie Schnell is a part-time RN and full-time mommy to Isaac, 3, and his little brother, due April 27. Her husband, Adam, keeps track of all the stuff  that she can never remember where she had it last, and she loves his geeky-wonderfulness. He is definitely the best daddy. Jamie has a BA in English to accompany her BS in Nursing, and is applying to start her Master’s in Nursing Fall 2014. Jamie loves reading, writing, crafting anything and everything, green beans, having little parties to celebrate life, coffee, camping, cooking, spa days, Cheetoes, naps, and just being outside.  View all posts by Jamie.


crystal stineCrystal Stine is a mother of 2 living children ages 3 and 7. She is also a Loss Mother of 5 babies who are never forgotten. She married her college love 11 years ago and moved from Alaska to California and then to Reno. She has worked with kids for most of her life. She is a former Early Head Start teacher and former owner of a small home-based preschool. For the past few years she has had the opportunity to take on the challenge of a full time Mommy. As her children are getting older and beginning school, she is left wondering what she wants to be when she grows up. She loves sharing her life experiences with others and is excited about the chance to write for this well know blog! View all posts by Crystal.


katania taylorKatania Taylor is a local, Reno, Nevada Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Functional Medicine with emphasis on Functional and Traditional Nutrition. She treats patients in her acupunture clinic as well as consults with people online and through programs to change the trajectory of our children’s health. Dr. Taylor believes strongly that we need to change our way of eating and treating, restore better movement and sleep habits and greatly restrict “screen time” in order to improve the odds that the next generation of kids live longer, healthier lives than the current trend. Her passion comes from being a mom to 2 children and her experience in a clinical setting for over 15 years. You can learn more about Dr. Taylor over at kataniataylor.com and Katania Taylor on Facebook. You can check out herprograms here. Dr. Taylor sees patients at Path to Wellness Acupuncture in Reno. View all posts by Dr. Taylor.


Anna ThornleyAnna Thornley is a Jersey Girl living in the Wild West with her husband, their three children (with another one on the way) and two dogs. She desperately misses the beach and humidity but tries to remember to appreciate the beauty of the mountains. She works full-time outside of the home and is generally frantic in her attempts to keep everyone (and everything) moving in the right direction. Her house is a mess, but everyone in it is happy and loved—so she considers it a success. Anna spends almost all of her free time doing laundry. Her family loves to spend time together watching football and playing outside. Anna is still trying to come to terms with the fact that her family expects to eat dinner every single night. Follow Anna on Twitter to keep up with all her family’s antics: @rudeytudeymama.  View all posts by Anna.


Jannine WellsJannine Wells is a Navy brat traveling the world and moving every 4 years until finally settling in Nevada. She was raised in Fernley Nevada and moved to Reno in 2010 to finish her degree at TMCC. She has a background in childhood education and is an advocate for children’s education and development. Jannine is married to her high school sweetheart and is raising a beautiful one year old daughter, Haidyn, and kitty daughter, Sassafras. She is a paper pusher by day, blogger and amateur chef by night passionate about learning how to become a better mother. Jannine started her blog Sunny In Reno to write about her pregnancy and journey through motherhood.   View all posts by Jannine.

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