All Contributor Photos Courtesy of Zen Photography by Deborah
OwnerJessica is an Iowa native turned Minnesota girl. She relocated to Mankato for a job 10 years ago and has never turned back. Together, Jessica and her husband George host a morning radio show. They have a wonderful blended family that consists of a very talkative 5 year old boy and a sweet 6 month old girl. On weekends you can find Jessica in the kitchen trying new recipes (with the help of her husband, who is normally the chef of the family). She also loves doing Barre, reading, live music, and running. She is currently training for her 6th Half Marathon coming up this fall.Angela Pick is a single mom to three teen boys. A native of Iowa, she has lived in Mankato for 20 years. She supports her family with a day job as Sales Manager for a local educational publisher. Her real job is CEO of a rowdy household that includes her three boys, a dog (Max) and a cat (Piddles). As the only female in the house, she fights a losing battle to have things that are pretty and that smell nice. Angela enjoys taking advantage of the rare moments when her boys want to spend time with her. She is most at peace when cooking, reading, folding laundry or swimming. She dreams of living near water someday and is currently working to become the best possible version of herself.Bri Miller has southern Minnesota roots. For over 10 years, she has enjoyed teaching and advocating for kids in elementary schools. Bri and her husband, Josh, have three children. Their oldest is in 1st grade, and they have preschool boy/girl twins. They keep their 9 years of marriage strong with humor, chocolate, and dates nights. When not building legos, dressing dollies, or running out of storage space on her iPhone, Bri enjoys reading and researching the newest “thing” for families and kids, writing for her website at www.3withBri.com, photography and catching a coffee with friends.Stephanie is a fitness professional on a mission to undo the damage done by much of her industry when it comes to body image, confidence, and self-worth. She enjoys blogging (www.stephfischer.com) about her journey as she sheds the “fit chick” label and embraces authentic living from the inside out! A Mankato native, Stephanie was most recently the owner/operator of Howe-to Fitness in Mankato, MN and is currently the Director of Healthy Living at the Mankato Family YMCA. She lives with her shiny, new husband, Nick, and their two spoiled dogs. Stephanie is expecting their first child, a boy, in early August. This will be her first child and she is excited to share about her experiences, both high and low, as a new mother!Celeste Voss grew up in the Mankato area and although she went to college in the Twin Cities (Go Gophers!) she is glad to be back in the area to raise her family. She is the mother of two awesome little boys (almost 5 and 3 years), wife to her amazing husband of six years, Brent and fur-mommy to Andre. She is the corporate recruiter for a medium-sized consulting engineering firm which keeps her busy traveling across the Midwest. She recently obtained her HR certification this year and as much as she loves her job, she loves her family the most! She loves to spend time making lasting memories with her boys, iced Americanos, going up north to the cabin, indulges in rap music & 70’s soft rock and last but not least, always looks forward to her “almost” annual tropical getaway with her husband.Camille Kurtenbach is a Minnesota Native who became a mom and wife all at once! She fell in love with daddy and the cutest five year old around. But beyond the family life Camille is also a business owner. Blogging fell into Camille's lap when she decided to focus on her health and wellness and it has been in her blood every since. Besides helping people live a healthy positive life Camille also enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time at the lake!Making light of turning 30 and living that Midwest Life, she is a Mama to the sweetest blonde babe, Josephina (2). As a 7 year West Mankato resident, this lady enjoys weekly dates to Menards with her dexterous hubby, Aaron, as they rejuvenate their 1950's home. She is a coffee and craft beer enthusiast & finds satisfaction in planners and list making. Molly is currently finding balance in motherhood, work, health, & life. She believes in love.A true southern Minnesota girl, Shannon grew up in St. James, attended college at Winona State, and met the love of her life, John, at her hometown’s Railroad Days celebration. They have been married since 2009 and live in Mankato with their daughter Alaina (born August 2012) and son Kieran (November 2016). Shannon is a litigation paralegal at Maschka, Riedy & Ries Law Firm. She is learning how to balance life as a working mom, which isn’t easy for someone who willingly describes herself as “Type A.” Shannon enjoys running (even with a jogging stroller!), hiking along the North Shore of Lake Superior, reading a good memoir, going out on the boat with the family, and traveling. She is excited to use her love of writing to reflect on her motherhood journey and at the same time encourage other moms.Tawnda Andrews met and married the love of her life, Shawn, in chiropractic college. Growing up in the Iron Range, she never thought she’d be this far south but the Mankato area was the perfect fit for a northern girl and an Iowa boy. Leaving their Mankato chiropractic practice in the skilled hands of her husband, Tawnda stays home and manages the home as well as the education of her five energetic kids (10 years, triplet 7 year olds and a 2 year old). She loves books (lots of them), movie nights with the family, making goals, homeschooling, and memory keeping. She blogs about #momlife, multiples, homeschooling, her weight loss journey, mom struggles, and the hot mess mom life at www.tawndaandrews.com. Her greatest desire is to encourage moms and remind them that they are part of an amazing community of women and that our collective goals are the same: to be good moms to our kids.Carla Mills has lived in Mankato since she was a little girl and lives in the neighborhood she grew up in. She has three boys with her husband, Steve. She runs a photography business at www.carla-mills.com and is a busy homeschooler. When not driving to gymnastics classes and violin lessons, she enjoys learning new things, like how to badly play the ukulele. Carla likes to eat all the gluten-free foods at Friesens and knows that Star Trek is better than Star Wars. She would also rather be camping.Jennifer Rath grew up in a tower with long, magical hair and a pet chameleon. Scratch that. Jennifer traded her mermaid tail for legs in exchange for her voice. Sorry about that, one too many movies lately. Jennifer Rath is a stay at home mom of two little crazies; boy 7.5, girl 4 (going on 14.) Her husband is full time with the Minnesota National Guard (Go Red Bulls!) Jennifer worked for a large travel marketing firm in Minneapolis for 15 years before moving to Mankato 8 years ago. She prided herself on being able to pack for a 3 week work trip to Kenya or Peru or China in one small suitcase, but now fills the car to the roof for an overnight in Park Rapids. But she wouldn’t change a thing. Even if you offered her magical hair or a mermaid tail.Sara came to Mankato for college, and never really left the area. She works as a special events coordinator in the agriculture sector and continues her love for all things farming, making her homestead with her husband, Mark and daughter, Harper. From finding frugal deals, running her family’s businesses, chasing after a tenacious toddler, fixing up her family’s farmhouse, and navigating her wanderlust for all things travel in Minnesota, she keeps her sanity with a color coded planner, Caribou coffee, good books, and morning snuggles with her kiddo. You can follow Sara as she blogs about life on the farm, her favorite things, and finding faith during the difficult times at faithfarmingandcowboyboots.wordpress.comRachel is a southern MN native growing up about 30 minutes away from Mankato. She lived in Mankato while going to school for Accounting and Business Management. After living in her home town for a few years, she has since moved back to Mankato with her handsome hubby, James. Rachel and James bought an older home in downtown Mankato where they live with their 18-month-old son, Jameson, and their 3 cats, Nala, Biscuits & Gravy. Rachel works for Ridley Inc., an agricultural feed company also in downtown Mankato as an Accounting Assistant. In her spare time, you can find her drinking wine, taking walks, or dancing the evening away at a pole fitness class. She is new to blogging and has no idea what she's doing but is very excited for this awesome opportunity to speak her mind and connect with other moms in the area!Jen’s a southern Minnesota-native who met her husband, Jeremy, while attending Bethany Lutheran College here in Mankato. They fell in love with each other, and the feeling of home this city provides. Together, Jen and Jeremy have five children—ages 1 to 10. They work together to balance faith, family, and career (Jen’s also a full-time nurse). When she’s not child wrangling or caring for patients, Jen enjoys the many family-friendly community events Mankato and the surrounding areas have to offer. She’s excited to share her take on the daily joys and challenges of bringing up a large family.Amy Luethmers is Minnesota native, yet can't seem to get on board with the cold winters! Amy and her husband, Steve, have been married for 12 years, and love calling Mankato home. She and Steve have two children that couldn't be more different. Isaac, 11, is their rule-following, kind- hearted son who enjoys swimming and reading. Amelia, 4, who challenges every rule, can be found singing and dancing just about any time of the day. Amy is a paraprofessional with the Mankato school district, and believes that every child deserves the chance to be successful. She is committed to being active daily, and early morning runs with girlfriends is her favorite way to stay fit!Mandy Hunecke is an Iowa farm girl who headed north to continue her work in the non-profit sector and to see what the Land of 10,000 Lakes had in store. She’s been married to her high school sweetheart, Justin, for 12 years and is a proud mom to 3 little dudes: Maddox (7), McCoy (4) and baby Malone. Embracing the noise, dirt and killer hugs, Mandy maneuvers through the daily chaos with humor, sarcasm and a little bit of stubbornness. When not chasing her boys around, you’ll catch Mandy snapping photos of things she loves, checking the scores to an Iowa or Green Bay game, traveling or spending time with friends and family.Melissa has lived in Minnesota her entire life, and in the Mankato area for 17 years. She enjoys spending time with her amazing husband of 6 years, her energetic 4 year old daughter, and their fun-loving labs. On weekends, Melissa and her family can be found exploring area parks and pools. She also enjoys gardening, DIY projects, cooking, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Melissa has worked in the mental health field for nearly 13 years. She only began exploring writing as a means to help others in the last year. Nesting is a permanent state and a passion for Melissa. She has turned this into a blog at www.nest-ology.com, where she helps busy families get mealtime under control and make their house a home, both on a budget. You can follow her for free recipes and DIY ideas on Facebook and on Pinterest.