Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

Meet Your East Valley Moms Blog Team

Like what one of contributors wrote about?  Have any comments or questions for them?  Please email editor (at) eastvalleymomsblog (dot) com to connect with them.  Simply put the name of the contributor you’d like to reach in the subject line!

Abby Gibson

Abby

 Abby is a native of Arizona and grew up in Gilbert. She is an Arizona through and through and can’t imagine living anywhere there isn’t saguaro cacti! She and her husband recently bought a house in central Chandler and raise their three children Asher, Jace, and Maggie who are all under the age of 4 .

 As a mom of three littles her heart is drawn to connecting and encouraging other moms of littles at a local Chandler church where she is a childcare and early childhood volunteer coordinator. When she isn’t cleaning up a spill, playing peek a boo or being a taxi for her little ones, she spends her time outdoors hiking, going to the park and exploring. She also is a self-proclaimed foodie and loves the wonderful local joints Chandler and Gilbert offer. Abby is extremely excited to write for East Valley Mom’s Blog and share her experience and semi-expertise as a mom of three ages 3 and under.

Recently, her oldest son Asher, was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and her journey in finding the best for him will be highlighted as well and she strives to encourage all moms and especially those of special kids! 

Ashton Kelly

Ashton

Ashton Kelly is a small town girl from Illinois who always dreamed of traveling the world. She met her husband in college while he was playing baseball and she was running the sorority. Life brought them to the East Valley where they never have to shovel snow.

Ashton is a mom of two beautiful babies: one furry and one human. Like many mommas, she’s an avid fan of coffee and wine. A lover of Chicago sports, you can often find her at a sporting event when her teams come to town. Most days she prefers leggings to real pants and a ponytail to curls. Ashton loves traveling, photography, her family and pretty much every dog in existence. She’s passionate about helping others and is always finding a way to give back to her community. When she isn’t volunteering, you can find her roaming the aisles of Target or pretending to grocery shop by hanging out at the wine and beer bar in Fry’s.

 

Brittany Papke

Brittany

Brittany is an Arizona transplant from Maui, Hawaii. Yes yes why would anyone leave Hawaii! She met her Arizona native husband, a man in uniform (wink wink), and the rest is history. She and her husband are now raising their two precious babes in Queen Creek, AZ. Aside from her full time job of “mommy”, she also works full time as a Registered Dental Hygienist at a pediatric dental office in the East Valley. After 13 yrs of marriage she’s still learning something new about the military wife life everyday, its a love/hate relationship.

Her love and appreciation for the desert beauty grows each year and her love for all things cactus runs deep. Along with learning and seeing new sites with her family, she enjoys a daily cold brew coffee, at home workouts, and long walks up and down Target isles.

Follow her on Instagram @brittpapke

Heather Kucenski

Heather Kucenski
Heather is an Arizona native and Chandler resident for the last almost twenty five years. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have three boys : Nathan, Aaron and Preston. Heather is also a columnist with a few other local publications. 
 
When Heather isn’t writing and chasing her boys around, she loves to travel, see movies, read and spend time with friends and family.  She enjoys getting to know, explore and support local businesses. She’s also into healthy living unless there’s a Snickers bar put out. 
 

Jen Bosen

Jen
Jen is a barefoot teacher at heart (she has a Master’s in education) and a barefoot stay-at-home-mom in real life. For the last decade she’s lived in the East Valley, first in Tempe and now in Chandler. She and her engineer husband are always in the middle of one project or another at their “work in progress” home, and have made it their mission to eat at as many different restaurants in the Valley as possible. Their three children (ages 5, 3, and 1) are the most brilliant humans ever to walk the face of the earth, and no, she is not biased at all. Jen’s goal in life is to balance imperfection & improvement, contentment & growth, while creating joy & beauty right now.
 
She’s an extroverted introvert, an optimistic realist, and a career dabbler. Food is her love language. When she’s not dealing with mountains of laundry, reading the same story for the hundredth time, supervising sand castle construction in the back yard, or stuffing her face with cookie dough before the kids see and ask for a bite, she’s probably working on something for her personal blog, Real Life, On Purpose.
 
Find Jen on her Blog
 

Jody Drange

Jody

Jody is originally from Minnesota, but left the tundra-like weather for the bright Arizona sunshine 15 years ago. She now lives in Chandler with her wonderful husband, Kyle, and her amazing little son, Nolan. As a Registered Dietitian and Exercise Specialist, living a healthy lifestyle is her full-time job. Jody’s mission is to teach people to make healthy decisions and to inspire those around her to improve their quality of life through nutrition and exercise.

Outside of her daily work, Jody is also very active within her church, Cornerstone Chandler. She takes on several leadership roles there and is currently helping to build a new community for moms. Other hobbies that Jody enjoys are reading, watching Netflix documentaries, playing board games, and spending time with her family and friends.

Katy Krupnik

Katy
Katy is an Arizona native who married her high school sweetheart and is a mom to three kids Riley (princess), Lucy (supergirl) and Benjamin (Star Wars obsessed). After her techie husband took a new job where he was able to work from home she decided to start her own professional organizing business called The Tidy Cottage. Katy loves to work with clients, volunteer at the kids school and explore new places around the East Valley. When she isn’t organizing or wrangling the kids she enjoys traveling, coffee, a good book, and watching the Bachelor with friends (and wine of course).
 

Kira Henning

Kira

Kira is the busy, proud mama of three chicks and wife to her high school sweetheart. Having moved from Chicago just two years ago, she is still very much in the “honeymoon phase” of living in the East Valley and her family enjoys exploring all that this community has to offer. As a full-time, traveling/working mom (project manager by day and yoga instructor by night), Kira is always seeking balance (sometimes in the form of wine). When she isn’t working you can probably find her at CrossFit, Target, or in the kitchen. Loves include Starbucks, cooking (almost as much as eating), and dance parties with her girls.

 

Kristen Carter

Kristen

Kristen Carter is a professional family & event photographer who lives in Gilbert with her high-school sweetheart, their 3 kids (two tween girls and a fun little boy), and 2 German Shepherds. Almost a decade ago, she and her husband stuck a finger on a map, and uprooted their family from Central California to Arizona and it’s been an amazing adventure ever since! They left behind an entire network of family & friends, but have built a new community and are loving every minute of desert living. She fully embraces the chaos of life, trying to find balance as a work from home mom.

When the family isn’t traipsing off to yet another school performance (both girls are music/theatre nerds like their parents), or keeping a ninja boy entertained, they are traveling around the state, finding new walking/hiking trails & fun stuff in the East Valley, or enjoying their little village of Power Ranch in Gilbert. Her personal hobbies include photography, consuming caffeine, cooking for her crazy crew, enjoying craft beer & food festivals and being artsy fartsy.

Find Kristen on professional portfolio & blog

Lauren Snow

IMG_6557

Lauren Snow is a proud momma of two adorable little boys, happy wifey, one of fours sisters, a graduate of Arizona State University, mini dachshund owner, licensed aesthetician, makeup artist, beauty expert, and small business owner of Lauren Snow Beauty located in Downtown Chandler. Of all the roles she is proud to have, she is most rewarded and blessed to be the mom of Dean and Dylan. She’s fully embraced her life as a “boys’ mom” and loves learning about all sports and bugs. Going from glam to dugouts is all in a day’s work for this momma! As a small business owner, Lauren makes it a priority to shop and eat local. And stop by her studio in Downtown Chandler to say hi and support local.

Find Lauren on her:

Blog //  Instagram

 

Lexi Peterson

Lexi

Lexi is a home-grown Arizonan. She is a stay-at-home mama to two wild boys. She loves writing about her experiences as a full-time mom and how it’s been a bit of a learning curve. Lexi graduated from ASU with a degree in English and loves all things literacy-related. Currently, she runs an in-home preschool and has so much fun with her students. Her favorite things to do are pinning DIYs, Netflixing with her husband, and reading with her kids. The way to her heart is with a cup of coffee, chocolate chip cookie, or a well-deserved glass of wine. Cheers!

Mindy Jaffar

Mindy
Mindy was born in Anchorage, Alaska November 25, 1975 where she lived until freshman year of high school in which, she moved to Seattle to live with her single mother. A year after graduating she enlisted into the United States Navy. Thinking she would only complete one tour she grew to love being in the Navy and began growing a military family and pursuing professional success. She stayed for 20 years and retired with honorable service in September 2014. During that time Mindy received numerous awards and recognition’s, attained her bachelors in Health Care Management and her masters in Human Resource Development.
 
After being divorced for 10 years, she married her soul mate and has two daughters 17 and 3, as well as, two stepdaughters ages 13 and 7. Her family recently relocated back to Arizona after living in Michigan for a year and a half. Unfortunately, her husband Jay will have to complete his tour in Michigan so their love will be a commute for a while. She loves exercise and food the same (gulp) and is consistently working to balance the two. Her interests include yoga, hiking, writing, and watching mysteries, especially Murder She Wrote. Upon retiring she decided to take time off work and stay home with their newest baby girl. Realizing her love for writing and sharing her testimony, Mindy launched a blog that shares her past and her life hoping to inspire others like her.

Nicole White

Nicole
Nicole is a born-and-raised Arizonan living in Chandler with her husband, their 2 year old boy, and a baby on the way! Nicole loves to read (especially YA!), Broadway musicals, and taking pictures of food. When she’s not cooking (or daydreaming about food) you will find her spending time outdoors – running, wakeboarding, hiking, skiing, and cycling. Nicole has done dozens of races from 5ks and marathons to triathlons. She also loves to travel and explore new places, and is always planning where in the world their next trip will be.
 
Nicole is the girl behind The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie, a blog that combines her passion for food, travel, photography, and fitness. Nicole has always loved being in the kitchen and everything about food – so she began writing the blog as way to share her original recipes, photographs and a little bit of her life’s musings and happenings. She wants to get people excited about making from scratch homemade foods that they didn’t know they could make at home and through her blog she hopes to inspire others to get in the kitchen – try new things, make a little mess and eat something delicious!
 
Find Nicole at: Blog, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter

Renee Fuentes

Renee
Renee is a born and raised Texan who moved to Arizona in 2010 to be with her husband. They currently live in East Mesa, and love the emerging local food scene in the phoenix area. Renee is a stay at home mom to her 4 year old son, Austin and 18 month old daughter, Eva. Her passion is cooking and posts family recipes on her food blog, Thai Caliente. The dishes include Thai recipes from her Mom, Mexican recipes from her Mother in law, and family favorites. On the weekends you’ll find her and her family exploring new restaurants, farmer’s markets, food trucks, and enjoying a good cup of coffee.

Tabitha Dumas

Tabitha
Tabitha is a “Southern belle turned cactus hugger,” child of God, wife and mother of two sons with a baby due in September. She calls herself an imperfectionist, a recovering people pleaser, a grace collector and a “get ‘er done” type and she blogs about her journey on tabithadumas.com. When she’s not holding Style Strategy appointments in her Chandler home studio, you’ll find her speaking, teaching, tending her roses, shopping or volunteering at Central Christian Church and the Gilbert Historical Society. She’s also the creator of Discover Your Signature Color and the founder of God Knits Ministries.

Tammy Gabel

Tammy

Tammy works in public relations and live in Mesa with her husband, two daughters and two dogs.  She grew up in Quincy, Calif., and has lived in Monterey, San Jose, Yuma and Reno.  She loves baseball and it’s no coincidence she moved back to the Valley after the Dodgers moved their spring training camp to Arizona.  Tammy also loves to craft and bake and is an amateur gardener.

Find Tammy at:

Blog // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook