Photo courtesy of the talented Lauren Allen Photography
Meet Our Team of Portland Writers
Amanda is a 31-year-old wife and mom, occasional secretary, on-pause knitter, sparse writer, and postpartum doula. Amanda neglects her dishes and laundry to play with her kids. She stays up too late and wakes too early. She loves volunteering at her sons’ school. One of her goals is to get a macaroni and cheese tattoo because she loves pasta that much. She enjoys learning about nature and early childhood education psychology. She’s a strong enneagram 4 which brings all the feelings. She hopes to grow into the hardcore, cool boy mom of her dreams. She mostly grew up in the Portland metro area but has also lived in AZ, VA, ND, and CA. She has been married to her sorta high-school sweetheart for almost 9 years. She and her husband have two sons - Oliver(4) and Osten(1). She currently lives in Unincorporated Hillsboro renting an old farmhouse there.Amber is wife to her elementary school crush and mother to three kiddos, ages 7, 5, and 2. Having recently moved to Portland from California, Amber is embracing her “new normal” as she navigates parks in the rain (bring a towel), the line outside Pip’s Donuts (it’s worth it), and where to find good Mexican food (still searching). As bio mom to her two oldest and adoptive mom to her youngest, special needs child, Amber understands and appreciates the importance of “me-time.” When she’s not wearing her “mom” hat and can get away for a couple of hours, Amber loves sipping on Chai while hunting mid-century treasures at local thrift and vintage shops. Though she enjoys planning family adventures exploring the PNW, Amber is just as happy on the couch, with her man and glass of wine, watching Parks and Rec re-runs. Keep up with Amber on Instagram and her personal blog: HerYesLegacy.com.Anna De Salvo is a mom, wife, speaker, and course creator for working moms. She helps working moms reclaim the hours so they have the energy to juggle it all. Her passion is helping other moms find the time to do the one thing that would make them feel amazing. As a working mom, she consistently is looking for ways to improve her time freedom, and happiness so she can show up for her family. You can find her at www.annadesalvo.com for tips, strategies, and recipes that are timesaving and family-friendly. If you are looking for the hours in the day to juggle it all, grab her time-saving system to stop feeling pulled in a million directions: bit.ly/timebacknowBrandee “The Bee” Sheldrake is a wife, mom to a preschooler and a kindergartener, rheumatoid arthritis warrior, and full-time commercial interior designer living in Camas, Washington. Meal planning and meal prep were the game changers which led to her 100-pound weight loss and freed up time so she could do more of what she wanted; enjoying the outdoors and playing with her kids. Follow her meal planning, meal prep, and weight loss journey at BusyAsTheBee.com.Clarissa Sidhom’s passion is helping mamas find style, sanity, and sisterhood during the early years of parenting! As a mom to two young boys living across the country from family, she knows how hard it can be to keep your head above water. But more than surviving, she wants to thrive in parenting and help other mamas do the same.
A former wedding photographer, Clarissa lives in Vancouver, WA, where she spends her days vacuuming Cheerios out of floor vents, reminding people to keep their clothes on, and advocating for her son with developmental delays. Her parenting and lifestyle blog, www.ModernHipsterMama.com, is filled with fashion, home, and kids ideas to make life easier and more beautiful. You can also find her on Instagram and Pinterest!Emily Corak has spent the last three decades in the Pacific Northwest and prefers to live in Vancouver because parking in Portland terrifies her. A mom to two kids, ages 3 and 7, Emily has been an educator for the past decade and she currently works with middle school English language learners. She wasn't planning on becoming a mother, but she's glad she was so careless because it turns out she really likes being a mom. Most days. Emily is now going back to school for her MFA in creative writing after deciding she had more to offer the world than breast milk and unsolicited grammar advice. When the world allows, she spends any spare cash on plane tickets, and she lives for books, tea, and all things Top Chef. She occasionally writes about anything and everything that comes to mind, and you can find her work here: https://offbrandmusings.blogspot.com/Originally from Ohio, Jen Jackson moved to Portland with her college roommates to attend Portland’s Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in 2003. While there, Jen met her husband Alex, and the couple spent several years cooking at notable Portland restaurants before moving to San Francisco. Both Jen and Alex worked in and ran Michelin-starred restaurants before returning to Portland to be near friends and family. Though still a professional chef, Jen currently stays at home with their preschooler and 9-month old who may be her toughest food critics, yet. She looks forward to writing again, her first love before cooking, as well as reacquainting her family to Portland and the Pacific Northwest.Jenelle is a single mama to two boys, ages 6 and 2.5, who owns her own business and does all the things, for everyone, all the time, just like you. Through her divorce, she embraced radical self-care and gratitude habits, which paved the way for a business supporting all the moms who put everyone else first. Empowered Massage Technique is an innovative bodywork modality that empowers moms to be strong and balanced in their bodies. As a licensed massage therapist (OR license #19101), Jenelle offers a unique experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated, energized, relaxed, and in less pain and discomfort. Plus, she will leave you with tools for caring for your body at home. Find her at www.jenellewoodlief.com, on IG at @jenelle.woodlief, or on Facebook for more information.
She’s a toddler mom, PNW transplant, author, and major foodie… Jenna Passaro loves to help people cook their “best meals ever”. She runs the popular food blog Sip Bite Go and stars in a cooking channel show on YouTube. Want to make something your family will rave about? Check out her latest cookbook for inspiration: The Home Chef’s Sous Vide Cookbook. Catch up with Jenna’s latest cooking, travel, and Portland restaurant recommendations on Instagram @sipbitego.Textbook extrovert. If there’s a stage, Jenny wants to be on it; whether it’s singing in church, doing stand-up comedy or acting. She has recently joined a cult called LuLaRoe. Her husband, David, is deeply concerned. Jenny and David, a pastor, are recently celebrating eighteen years of marriage. After years of infertility, they became adoptive parents of two year old twin boys in 2014. They’ve never been happier or more exhausted. Every day is an adventure. Jenny blogs at thefivestages.wordpress.com and has a regular feature in Tualatin Life newspaper called Everyday Heroes to celebrate those serving our community. She and her husband started a clothing line based on their story and you can check it out at bottlecapbadge.com. There’s nothing we can’t do with a little bit of love and a whole lot of caffeine.Jessica is a pediatric occupational therapist and owner of The Wiggle Room, an indoor play space for all abilities in the Hollywood neighborhood. Jessica’s greatest passion is helping children and their families live a great life no matter what their abilities. She loves spending time with her husband and two boys walking in their NE Portland neighborhood, at the beach, or on their sailboat. Day dates, DIY projects that actually get completed, naps, and consignment shops also make her smile.Karen Liu is a Portland artist, statistician, and mom of two. She spent her youth in China. Since then she has lived in BC, Seattle, and eventually settled in Portland. She spends her days juggling between her two opinionated young girls and her job. Karen started selling her drawings when she was 7 for the cost of half a popsicle, but her teacher called her parents and put an end to that venture. These days, she works on portrait commissions for more art supplies. Aside from doodling, Karen, like many others, likes to talk about herself, which mostly means that she can’t help but getting into arguments on the topics of the immigration experience, science, and childrearing. Even though her parents and aunties have always told her to be less contrarian, at this point, she is only hoping she will learn it by the time her kids get into their teen years.Katie is an East Coast transplant, now fully embracing the Pacific Northwest lifestyle. She grew up and attended university in North Carolina, where she met her future husband while pursuing her Biology degree. Her husband was attempting to finish a PhDin Materials Science, truly a Romeo and Juliet story if there ever was one. She spent her pre-children years working in a variety of genetics laboratories (her favorite subject) and is a self-proclaimed biology nerd. Seeing as she didn’t already have enough bodily fluid in her life, Katie is now a stay-at-home(ish) mom to a strong-willed toddler, a velcro baby, and a little dog named Mendel. Katie started writing after she sustained a rather traumatic injury before the birth of her second child. She now enjoys using her scientific background, experience with parenting, and stellar sense of humor to write pieces that inform, relate and entertain others. Her writing style is remarkably similar to her parenting style: If you take yourself too seriously, you’re going to have a bad time. Her personal blog is Raised on Love and Science. Come for the articles, but stay for the silly parenting memes. Katie also writes content for a variety of websites and businesses.Katie & her husband Brad moved to Portland from Chicago four years ago. After nights dreaming about how they would simplify their lives juggling jobs, commutes, and nannies, Brad got a call about an opportunity in Portland. Neither had ever been to the PNW, but one visit and they were sold. Now they spend their nights scheming how to get their family and friends to come west. Katie has a 10-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son as well as a 20-year-old stepdaughter who has celebrity status with the other two when she is home from college. She is a freelance advertising producer, blogger, and avid school volunteer constantly adjusting to find balance. When she isn’t shuttling kids to sports or navigating the college system, she can be found at one of Portland’s amazing coffee shops working, reading some YA fiction or out for a run up Mt. Tabor. You can follow Katie on Twitter and Instagram @iportlanded and read her occasional musings on her personal blog at Portlanded.net.Katie is a recent East Coast transplant from Maine, where she was born and raised. While trying to figure out how to create the life they wanted to live, Katie’s husband, David, was presented with a job opportunity in Portland. They decided to go for it and moved across the country with their two young children. Katie has previously worked as an occupational therapist in an early childhood setting, but with the move was presented with the opportunity to stay home with her kids and she took it! It has been an adventure switching to life as a full time stay-at-home mom to her five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son. She spends her days exploring Portland’s playgrounds and coffee shops, looking for new vegetarian restaurants to check out, and trying to remember that slowing down is a good thing. Since arriving in Portland, she has begun making time for all of the things that have caught her interest over the years: yoga, cooking with local foods, experimenting with sustainable lifestyle choices, writing and getting outside in the always beautiful PNW.Kendra moved to Portland from the East Coast with her husband, Steve, and five-year-old daughter Karys in the summer of 2014. A middle school teacher for the last decade, Kendra now spends her days writing, training as a doula, making jewelry, and exploring Portland with Karys. You can find her blog at kendrakarysma.wordpress.com and her Etsy store at etsy.com/shop/kendrakarysma.Lauren is a "higher end of" 30s year-old mother, wife, daughter, sister, granddaughter, outdoor-enthused, coffee-infused, crunchy, Pinterest -unkie, online-shopping-aholic -- the most appropriate title depends on the time of day! She and her husband Neil have three daughters, Savannah (8), Harper (7) and Paisley (3.5), eight chickens, two guinea pig, and a very old cat. They enjoy suburban living with big city entertainment by living on the outskirts of Portland in Milwaukie, Oregon. She works as a full-time mommy and daycare provider by day and a soon-to-be education student by night. Neil is in the real estate business, and it seems that the girls are preparing for careers in persuasive negotiating! Growing up she never thought much about having kids other than "someday" wanting to dabble. Now that "someday" is here, being a parent is her number one passion. However, it can be a lonely and overwhelming place at times, so she enjoys being able to share the trials, tribulations and joys of mommy hood as a PMC contributor!Nadia loves people. Like most moms, Nadia has worn many hats personally and professionally: mom, recruiter, teacher, sales professional, daughter, sister and maid to name a fewHer true passion involves helping people by developing their personal and professional skills (or brand) so they can be successful in their career. To do this, she works as a full-time high school teacher striving to educate productive citizens in society while working summers supporting people of all ages with career development. She started writing to deal with the insecurities she felt as a mom navigating colicky diapers, poopy babies, constipated kids, messy houses and kids who won’t eat their vegetables. Now, she realizes everyone is figuring it out and it’s not so bad. She is most thankful for her parents who live five minutes away as free on-call babysitters (which comes with tons of unsolicited advice from grandma). In her free time (which barely exists), she loves to go to the park with her kids and loves Zumba.Nancy Casey is a family nurse practitioner and owner of Teen Health PDX in NE Portland. She specializes in the health of tweens, teens and young adults. She is passionate about talking to teens and their parents about the stuff no one feels comfortable talking about. She has three tweens and teens of her own that keep her on her toes and make her practice what she preaches every day. Because of this she eats more ice cream than she probably should and snuggles her dog more than he would probably like. She moved to Portland from Chicago 7 years ago and is still amazed at how many hills and mountains there are.Samuel Broaden has been working in the Early Childhood Education field for over 15 years. In this time, he has worked in center-based child care as a teacher and a Center Director. He most recently was working for the Resource and Referral agency in Sacramento County supporting providers in both center-based and family child care homes in enhancing the quality of their programs. Samuel is very passionate about working with and supporting young children and their families. He believes in the importance of nature, play and child-directed learning to the development of each child. He works hard to help support everyone who works with young children to help create more supportive and trusting early learning environments. His work is centered around the idea that we should be the person we needed when we were younger for the children that we work with and that children deserve to be heard and trusted and given the space to discover who they truly are in relation to themselves and the world around them-without judgement.Selena Maestas is healing hearts worldwide as the founder of the Love YOU More Project. An insightful life coach, she has helped hundreds of people over the last 12 years to heal the most important relationship: the one with themselves. Selena has a strong background in psychology which gives her an inquisitive lens and a library of experience towards effectively guiding people to make change in all areas of life. She has focused her work to help working women strengthen their confidence and proudly claim their space in the world. How? By teaching them how to get out of their own way!