Meet Our Contributors

Contributor Team | Rochester MN Moms Blog

 photo by Smith & Wall photography | not pictured: Amarilys

AllisonAllison

Allison Loftus is a hometown girl born and raised right here in good old Rochester MN. Her favorite meal of the day is breakfast and she finds it hard to pass up a hot cup coffee with plenty of cream and a sprinkledonut. Occasionally, you may find her daydreaming about traveling to Paris.

As well as being a great wife to DKL and mom to three awesome kids, Allison is licensed professional counselor with a heart for women.

Allison’s love of supporting moms began with her own personal story of loss. On Father’s Day 2007, she miscarried baby Loftus at 13 weeks gestation. Out of her heartbreak she co-founded HOPE ministry, Hearts Overflowing with Prayer and Encouragement. Helping families heal from the heartache of baby loss gave her the courage to go back to school and get a MA in counseling and psychology. But her willingness to open her heart to vulnerability doesn’t stop there…in 2014 she started Flourish Counseling Center, which focuses on meeting the mental health needs of women and teen girls in Rochester MN.

Her witty, genuine, and supportive personality adds a special touch to her writing as she goes about her business helping women develop lives in which they flourish.

Read all posts by Allison here.


 

AmarilysAmarilys

When Amarilys played house as a little girl, she would nominate herself as a single career woman… she’d be flying first class to big meetings, not racing home through traffic to make dinner. But her steps lead to a different path. She instead chose to marry her college sweetheart, move to the other side of the world and back, and hunker down in nippy Minnesota with her boys.

When Amarilys is not corralling her two sons, you’ll find her painting in her at-home studio. Working as a commercial illustrator has her listening to Christmas music year-round while drowning in watercolored flora and fauna. Her personal work is an outworking of her faith and life experiences.
Walking in the wisdom to know what matters most for the moment is an ever-revolving struggle–one worth painting about, blogging about, and encouraging others in. The Puerto Rican Murphy Brown -turned- sassy mommy of a trilingual home wouldn’t change a thing. Except maybe the flying first class part. See Amarilys’ Illustration Work at Watercolor Devo & Wedding Offerings at Watercolorful Weddings.

Read all posts by Amarilys here.


AmyAmy

Amy moved to Rochester from Wisconsin in 2012 with her husband of 12 years, Adam, and their two children. She has enjoyed going on new adventures and learning the ins and outs of her new city. She and her family are very happy to call Rochester home.

In 2007, Amy earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Visual Art with an emphasis in Painting. She spent the following 7 years as a Stay at Home Mom and Artist. In 2014, she put on her dancing shoes and became a licensed Zumba Instructor. Since then, she’s been immensely entertaining to her family with her impromptu dance parties in the kitchen.

When Amy isn’t busting out her mad dance skills, she’s usually chasing after her kids with camera in hand. She also enjoys being active outdoors with her family. Other hobbies include attempting to garden, running, DIY-ing, eating Korean food, making handmade jewelry, teaching painting classes, going on dinner dates with her hubby and singing in the shower. You can find Amy at her Zumba classes at the Rochester Area Family YMCA and Empowered Wellness & Fitness Studio and learn more about her art at AKrause Studio.

Read all posts by Amy here.


BrittanyBrittany

Brittany is not a Rochester native but happily lives in nearby Pine Island with her teacher-husband, Tyler and their two sons, Riley (December 2013) and Thomas (May 2016). Her husband is from Byron and she moved to the area shortly after marrying Tyler in 2012.

Brittany works full time as Postpartum Doula and Assistant to the Director for Student Reach Minnesota. She is the writer behind Blessed Momma and an avid-babywearer (founder of Rochester and SE MN Babywearers). She can likely be found doing any of the following with her tots in tote (one in front and one in back): hiking the trails at Oxbow, thrift shopping, attending art openings/musical concerts or in front of her computer playing freelance graphic designer. She loves wearing many hats and making relationships. #designedformotherhood

Read all posts by Brittany here.


ChristyChristy

Beautiful Chaos is the theme to her life. Married to a pastor and a mama to Zion and Zakiyah, Christy stays very busy running two businesses. She has a home salon called Tala Hair Studio and a watercolor shop called Christy Cass Art. Coffee, barnwood, blogging, empowering teens and women, baking pies, and decorating are her passions and loves her Rochester community (tribe). Summer is her favorite season, and loves all things yellow! Her addictions are Pinterest, Netflix and Iced Jamaicans at Moka. You can follow along with Christy at ChristyCass.com and on Instagram here,  here, and here.

Read all posts by Christy here.


HannahHannah

Hannah has a passion for adventure and is curious about the world. She developed this passion while growing up in five different states; Minnesota, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Illinois. After all that moving around, Hannah went to college in Minnesota and fell in love with the state and a wonderful guy who also loves Minnesota. After living in the Twin Cities for a few years, Hannah’s awesome teacher husband got a job in Rochester and now Hannah and her family hope to call Rochester (actually Byron) home for a long time.

After a few years working in marketing and public relations, a tiny little baby girl named Lilly (’12) entered the picture. Ten months later when her husband finished graduate school Hannah became a stay-at-home mom. Just under a year later another tiny baby girl entered the picture, Dahlia (’14), and she was a game-changer. Now, Hannah is at home with a one-year-old and a two-year-old and spends the majority of her day playing referee for the two tots.

Besides her family, Hannah is passionate about God and her church. She is a complete nerd who loves history, travel, Ecuador, coffee with friends, cooking and following current events. She also writes a food blog with her cousin called Thyme for Grace. On the weekends, you may run into Hannah and her family exploring Byron, Rochester and Southern Minnesota.

Read all posts by Hannah here.


HeatherHeather

When she was 10 years old, Heather won an award for writing a short, overly dramatic story about germaphobia.  For better or worse, Heather is still writing.  She’s a homeschooling, mom of three (with one on the way through international adoption) who likes good food, locally grown produce, holistic health, a good DIY project, and has absolutely NO dancing skills—though her kids don’t realize it yet.  She also spends a lot of time nursing her long-term relationship with coffee.  Heather and her husband Michael blog about homeschooling, living life with a hearty mix of both abandon and intentionality, urban homesteading, and other sundry topics at Those Kinds of People.

Read all posts by Heather here.


Jessicajessica

Jessica has lived in Rochester for the past 15 years with her husband, Mike, and their two children –Benjamin (10) and Lucy (5). After spending time living abroad in southern England and experiencing a truly walkable/bikeable city life, she began to become frustrated with the car-centric design of Rochester’s streets. Since then she has become very active with volunteer groups in the community and is currently Vice President of We Bike Rochester, which has been leading the effort to create a more bicycle friendly community. She can often be found commuting around town coaxing her oldest child to confidently ride on the streets of Rochester and with her youngest strapped to the front of her beloved orange commuter bicycle.

When not biking or advocating for biking, Jessica enjoys giving back to the community in many ways. She teaches a digital photography community education course called Momarazzi Photography and recently had a leadership role in a community impact project with her Leadership Greater Rochester class to install free mini libraries in the yards of 40 Rochester homes. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce and works full time at Mayo Clinic as a Program Manager in Education. You can follow her thoughts on all things #rochmn and #bikerochmn on Twitter and Instagram here and here.

Read all posts by Jessica here.


KellyKelly

Knowing she always wanted to work in a creative field, Kelly began her career designing system interfaces in the technology industry in Tucson, Arizona. To satisfy her more artistic passions, Kelly began her
design and lifestyle blog. This great little side business branding small businesses and creating pretty paper products, brought her to her current client-facing job designing websites and apps.

As timing would have it, her blog also became a nice distraction from the pregnancy challenges she and her husband unexpectedly faced. After 3 years, which included a move back to her hometown in Minnesota and infertility treatments, Kelly got pregnant for the first time with Jack, born March 2012. A brother for Jack–Liam–was born June 2014.

Coming from an all-girls house, Kelly is quickly learning everything boy. She enjoys home projects, photography, budgeting, and thrifting for hidden treasures. Extrovert to the core, she is always up for an iced coffee playdate or wine with the girls. You can read more about Kelly on her blog, Kelly Hicks Design and on Instagram.

Read all posts by Kelly here.


MamieMamie

Agriculture has been intertwined in Mamie Luhmann’s life since birth, as she was raised on a dairy farm, and was a member of both the 4-H and FFA Programs. She went to college at UWRF and earned a degree in Agricultural Education. After a semester as a high school agriculture teacher, she took a job with the UMN Extension as a 4-H Program Coordinator, and completed a Masters Degree.

She met her husband Paul at the County Fair. Together they moved on to a small farm and started raising chickens, sheep, and their 2 daughters, Clara (5) and Hazel (2). Mamie is an “agvocate” and loves to teach others about agriculture and farming. Her daily adventures include collecting dozens of eggs, cleaning straw out of her washing machine, using her hair dryer to warm baby lambs, and raising 2 little girls to love livestock and farming as much as she does. When she isn’t getting her hands dirty on the farm, she’s busy with her career as a Training and Development Liaison at the Mayo Clinic. Mamie contributes to the AgStar Women in Ag Blog and also pens her own blog at Blessings Abound.

Read all posts by Mamie here.


 NicoleNicole

Nicole jumps at the chance to travel the globe but finds comfort upon returning home to the comfort and familiarity of her native Rochester. After attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities for her undergraduate degree in architecture, she skipped her graduation ceremony to marry a guy she met at a waterski show when she was 19. Nicole returned to the “U” to pursue her master’s degree, and this time walked in the ceremony despite giving birth two weeks before graduation. Her baby girl is now 12 years old, with a 10 year old biological brother and 10 year old adopted brother recently home from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In what is clearly a trend to fully integrate all aspects of life, she and her husband involve their kiddos in everything from politics to rehabbing old buildings. She feels strongly that work and travel and family and marriage are best enjoyed simultaneously, and that life is all the richer that way.

As a working/ volunteering/ care taking mom passionate about kids, women’s health, historic preservation and the arts, Nicole sits on several committees and boards in the Rochester area and loves nothing more than providing baked goods and themed cakes for any of the aforementioned causes.

Nicole thrives on copious amounts of coffee, a love/hate relationship with running, and searching real estate listings daily. Check out Nicole on Instagram for shots of her bulldog Lucy or follow her design blog Old Spaces New Places.

Read all posts by Nicole here.


                                                                       Sarah BSarah B

Sarah is a 32-year-old Minnesota native who is married to a very kind and exceptionally patient Irishman named Barry. Sarah, Barry, and their 14-year-old rescue pooch named Lady are looking forward to welcoming baby number one (a girl!) into their little Irish-American-Rottshepanese family this coming January.

Sarah’s journalism experience includes several years as a freelance writer for a handful of regional publications, including the Rochester Post-Bulletin. Her parenting credentials include keeping a dog (the same dog) alive for the better part of two decades and creeping on BabyCenter’s “January 2016 Birth Club” message boards.

When she’s not at work or mourning the loss of happy hours and wearing pants with buttons, Sarah enjoys reading, DIY projects (especially those that involve spray paint), and watching murder shows that make her husband uncomfortable.

Read all articles by Sarah here.


Sara MSara M

Sara spends her days attempting to corral two young boys.  Growing up bossing three younger brothers, she finds the task similar to childhood – difficult but not impossible! This year brings new challenges with the introduction of homeschooling and hockey practice. She grew up in Rochester and married her high school sweetheart.  She loves living in Rochester surrounded by close family and friends. Sara chronicles the mundane and hilarious aspects of life and parenting on Instagram.

Read all articles by Sara here.

 

 


shawnaShawna

Shawna is a long-time writer, an avid reader, a wannabe photographer and a genuine Minnesotan. Most importantly, though, she’s the proud mom of two beautiful daughters – Sophia (almost 8) and Savannah (9 months). A single, working mom who built her family through adoption and biology, Shawna is also a Product Manager at Mayo Clinic, a chronic dreamer, a big idea generator, a frequent laugher and a daily coffee consumer.

The O’Reillys love game nights, living room dance parties, cooking dinner together and family story time, which sometimes includes books and sometimes centers on elaborate, spontaneously-generated tales not yet committed to paper. You can find more from Shawna on Twitter and Instagram.

Read all articles by Shawna here.


Photos by Smith & Wall Photography