Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

Meet Our Contributors

Ginger Baca

Ginger Baca

Growing up in central Florida, Ginger took annual vacations to St. Augustine throughout her childhood. She quickly learned to love the combination of historic charm and the beach, as well as a deep love for all things Florida—hot and humid summer days, thunderstorms, and the smell of orange blossoms. After meeting her husband in Gainesville, they relocated to St. Augustine where they have been living for the past twelve years. In 2013 she became a mother for the first time, as well as a stay-at-home mom. Her family has grown since then, which now consists of her shy kindergarten-aged son, feisty toddler daughter, two rambunctious dogs, and ten curious chickens. They are a homeschooling family who enjoy supplementing education with as many outdoor activities as possible. When she is not reading children’s books, playing board games, and teaching her son at the kitchen table, she is busy gardening, painting, and letting the waves crash against her at the beach. You can read more about her homeschooling journey at journalofahomeschooler.com, and about life in general at steemit.com/@ginnyannette

Kristi Bricker

Kristi Bricker

A State College, PA native you will find Kristi rooting for the Penn State Nittany Lions during football season. Kristi is a Penn State Graduate with a bachelors degree in Human Development and family studies and is currently continuing on for her Masters degree. New to the stay at home mom gig, Kristi and her family recently relocated to Florida for her husband’s job and has enjoyed everything that St. Augustine has to offer. She spends half of the year fundraising with her team, the Fighting Flockers for Relay for Life and advocating for cancer research. Kristi sees each day as a blessing through all the negativity and chaos in the world. When she’s not stopping a war in her home between her 3 children, she enjoys spending time exploring new restaurants and places. She is an avid coffee drinker, wine lover and likes to try her hand at gardening. Kristi spends lots of days just surviving the pre-teen stage with her almost teenager, the soon to be kindergarten stage and infant stage she enjoys reading a good book. You can catch Kristi at a good coffee or donut shop. She is a firm believer that your birthday should be celebrated all month long, and that cake should be eaten for breakfast. 

Eve Cody

Eve Cody

Eve was born and raised in Lancashire, England. She fell in love with Florida during her first Disney vacation at 8 years old and finally made the move across the pond to beautiful St. Augustine at age 16. She spent 4 years away from the Sunshine State, to attend college at Lynchburg College in Virginia, where she graduated with a degree in psychology, before moving back to Florida for law school. She and her husband were married in a fairytale castle in Las Vegas in 2012 and they now have a sweet and sassy 2-year-old girl, Eden, and a fluffy little pup named Angie. Eve is a full-time attorney practicing in estate planning, probate administration, trust administration and probate and trust litigation. She also has a serious addiction to Pinterest and loves a good DIY or home décor project. Eve is a self-proclaimed mer-mom and can usually be found spending time with her daughter at the beach, pool, splash pad and on many play dates.

LaKay Cornell

LaKay cornell
I am a goddess, a #spiritjunkie, a single mom, a serial entrepreneur, and a full-on mistake-making human. As a true wanderlust and modern boho, I have a hard time staying in one place for long and spend my days blending the search for roots to keep me grounded and wings to help me soar. I recently launched Champagne Hippies, a brand focused on increasing awareness of and participation in values-based businesses. I’ve been creating and participating in networking groups for over ten years. Currently, I run a local personal development group, The Collective St. Augustine and a book club focused on personal and spiritual development. My passion is local economy, and I truly believe the world will be changed by socially good business and conscious consumerism. In fact, my life goal is to make people’s dreams come true – including those of myself and my 16-year-old superhero of a daughter. I’m currently fundraising to create a multi-use coworking and community space in the West King district of St. Augustine.

Jamie Cyr

Jamie Cyr

Jamie was born in South Florida and moved to St. Augustine when she was 6 years old. She met her amazing husband David when she was 17 while working at an ice cream shop and they have been together ever since. They now have 2 wonderful little boys Paul (7) and Noah (3). When she’s not cleaning up toys, helping with homework or volunteering at her sons’ school she loves to immerse herself in a good book. She loves to take her 2 favorite fellas to the fort for a nice picnic and some ice cream. Or visit the Splash Park in the summer since they love it. Her goal is to one day go to cosmetology school to become a makeup artist.

Hannah Evans

Hannah

Determined never to grow up and stop pretending, Hannah lives with her husband and two children make-believing in forts and going on adventures in the old enchanted city of St. Augustine. Having been born in Key West and raised in the country outside of Gainesville, she is a true Florida native with saltwater in her blood and a heart for the community. Hannah manages a busy calendar filled with family gatherings, volunteering at her church, and activities with her kids on top of working a full-time job at Flagler College. She is also the author of the children’s book, UnBEARably Bored, which her two little ones inspired. Hannah is truly happy when she is party planning for one of her children’s birthdays, cruising on the boat with her husband, or nerding out over books.

Alyssa Gates

Alyssa Gates

Alyssa was raised in the cornfields of Iowa, and spent her days teaching special education, hanging out with family, and working in the kitchen. After 16 inches of snowfall this winter, Alyssa, her husband Josiah, and their baby Liam, decided to relocate to sunny St. Augustine! When Alyssa isn’t endlessly trying to make Josiah and Liam laugh, she can be found playing board games, singing, or quoting Saturday Night Live skits. Alyssa has a heart for Jesus and working with children with special needs. As a new mama, Alyssa is figuring out the balance of work, family, and fun.

Leah Noel

Leah

Leah was born in the Wild West of California and raised in the beautiful bluegrass of Kentucky. Leah fell in love with the magic of St Augustine and moved here as a newlywed. She lives with four untamable children, a menagerie of animals and a loving husband. Leah spends most of her time trying to wrangle small beasts as they explore the world, tell her they don’t want what’s for dinner and complain about wearing shoes. Her favorite things are seeing the spark of discovery in little eyes and being creative. Leah isn’t afraid to use coupons and fights against being a perfectionist. She is only funny when she’s not trying to be and never has a comeback. She is the person who laughs at every joke and will ramble on for hours about religion and philosophy. Leah loves to help and has a tender heart. She rarely meets someone she doesn’t like. Don’t be afraid to say hello if you see her out and about.

Meagan Nordmann Fowler

Meagan Nordmann Fowler

Meagan Nordmann Fowler is a freelance digital marketer, social media ninja, and writer for startup companies. A Vanderbilt University graduate, she was a writer and editor for Nashville Arts Magazine, The Tennessean, and 12th & Broad Magazine in Nashville before discovering her passion for all things social media. She longed for a baby for many, many years and after moving to St. Augustine, she was finally promoted to mother-status in October 2016 with the arrival of her baby girl, Etta Rose. A visual artist, model and oboist, she celebrates the feminine and tries to find the humor and beauty in all things messy and chaotic. You can find more on her Chapter IV travel blog or on her personally-branded social media accounts with over 25K Followers on Twitter and Instagram (@megnordmann). 

Jessica Fusch

Jessica Fusch

Dr. Jessica Fusch and her husband Brian moved to Saint Augustine after graduating from UF in 2011. They have three sons, Alec (9yo), Action (3yo), and Zeke (2yo). They also have two dogs and two cats. Jessica and Brian are both small business owners. Jessica founded Key Veterinary Care, a full-service house call veterinary practice just this last year after working at many practices around town as a relief vet. Brian founded Need A Truck in college and brought it with him to St. Augustine six years ago. More recently he has begun a non-profit portion of the company to provide moving services to battered women and wounded warriors in our area. When they are not working or wrangling three boys (not often) they enjoy Gator football, exploring all the amazing local eats, working out, and travel. They love St. Augustine and consider this their forever hometown!

Lauren Giles

Lauren Giles
A St. Augustine native, Lauren graduated from Stetson University in 2005, where she met her husband. After living in Orlando for 7 years, they relocated back to St. Augustine to start a family and be part of the laid-back vibe that St. Augustine lures people in with – St. Augustine has a way of doing that. She now has two little ones at home and balances a busy schedule of mommy-hood, personal training, and a work at home career in health and wellness. Although Lauren works with women of all ages, her niche is working with expecting and postpartum women, providing the knowledge and exercises to support a healthy pregnancy and help common pregnancy-related issues such as Diastasis Recti and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. This growing group of women has become a support not only for one another but for Lauren as well. They keep it real in the Fit Mamas Tribe, supporting one another through all of the ups and downs of “momming” and cheering each other on at the gym. When she’s not answering 482 questions a day from her 5-year-old or cleaning up the messes her 2-year-old creates (ha!), she loves spending her free time doing yoga, going on the boat or hanging at the beach. She looks forward to connecting with the readers of SAMB!

Kerri Halawa

Kerri Halawa
I’m a Chicago native that recently relocated to Jacksonville. Before moving to Florida, I was a compliance analyst for a large industrial distributor and freelance technical writer. I’m currently a SAHM to a four year old boy and expecting a little girl to join us this October. We also have two older rescue dogs that add a lot of love (and fur!) to our lives. As new Floridians, you’ll find us exploring all of the surrounding shops, neighborhoods, and outdoor fun that we can fit into our day. 

Emily Harrison

Emily Harrison

Emily was born and raised in Houston, TX but her story really started when she met her husband, Jon, at Texas A&M. They married in the small town of Wimberly and shortly after moved to sunny Florida. They have two children, Sophie (6) and Graham (18 mo.), who keep them active and ready for anything. As a new mom in a new city, Emily recognized her need to find a sense of community and found her village within the stroller fitness community. She has fallen in love with the city of St. Augustine and loves spontaneous trips to the beach before dinner with the kids. Emily is a self-proclaimed positive polly with just enough wit to make light of any situation. She believes life is too short to be negative but will get serious if she needs to “lay down the law.” (See: every night around dinner.) She enjoys a glass of wine in a quiet house but also loves the daily chaos that is her two little ones. Emily is a former preschool teacher with a knack for three-year-olds. She was a stay at home mom for her oldest and went back to work but is now tackling the stay at home gig again. While embracing the almost 5-year gap her children have she is learning and loving every minute of this new transition that feels so familiar.

Helen Hensell

Helen H

Helen spent the first five years of her life as a military brat moving from Texas to South Korea. She and her family finally settled down in South Carolina where she spent the next thirteen years of her life. She went off to college at Furman University where she studied German Studies and ended up studying abroad in Berlin for a semester, which she loved. After her study abroad experience, she relocated to St. Augustine, Florida where she embraced the beach life. Since moving down to St. Augustine, she went back to school to get her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). After graduating from SNHU, she had her daughter on February 27, 2016. Since having her daughter Willow, she has embraced the stay-at-home lifestyle, wanting to be there for all of Willow’s firsts, while working as an ESL teacher, teaching Chinese kids remotely. In her spare time, she enjoys going out to eat with the family, taking her daughter to the beach and the local parks, curling in bed with a good book, and browsing social media.

Jennifer Hewett

Jennifer Hewett

Jennifer was born in Deland, Florida and raised in Flagler Beach. She moved to Jacksonville to attend University of North Florida where she earned her M.A. in English. It goes without saying that she loves to read. She is a former high school English teacher and is now a part-time adjunct professor at a local college.  When she’s not teaching, she stays at home with her son (4), daughter (1), and two rescue dogs. She enjoys working out, and going to the beach with her family. Football is a big deal in the Hewett house!  She loves cheering on the Jaguars, and rooting for her husband Chris’s alma mater, the Georgia Bulldogs.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson

Sarah was raised in the heart of Daytona Beach, but her love for Old Town living brought her to St. Augustine nearly six years ago. She has been married to her childhood sweetheart for nine years and together they have two children, Norah Belle (5) and Micah James (3). Sarah has always had a heart for helping others, and eventually achieved an Associates of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 2011. She worked in a nursing facility for close to two years, focusing on short-term rehab and rehab with long-term residents. After having her first child in July of 2013, Sarah transitioned from the corporate world to full-time homemaking and the wonderful journey of motherhood. While being at home and eventually raising two children, Sarah dealt with postpartum depression and anxiety. She ultimately knew her life needed to change, and decided to focus on her self-care and health. Eventually, Sarah had taken all of her passions for serving others, health, and fitness and opened her own business. Sarah currently owns FIT4MOM St. Augustine Beach and is certified in pre and post-natal fitness as well as a certified Spin Instructor. Sarah is a part-time blogger as well and enjoys all things fashion. Sarah is a self-proclaimed #momboss who does her best to live a balanced lifestyle while also raising her rambunctious kiddos. She adores spending time in coffee shops, learning about all the wine, putting together recipes, and exploring local restaurants.

Jennifer Leonard

Jennifer

Jennifer was born and raised in New Jersey, moving to the Sunshine State to attend the University of Miami (Go Canes!). After graduation, she began a decade-long career in Sports & Event Management in South Florida but decided to move north to St. Augustine and become a SAHM when she and her husband, Keith, were expecting their son. An avid reader and hobby photographer, Jennifer discovered the local running and racing community and hasn’t looked back. She and Keith are enjoying the crazy and rewarding adventure of parenthood with their almost-ten-year-old son and a grumble of pugs. The family can be found exploring local sights and attractions, trying new restaurants and toeing the start line of local races. Jennifer owns the blog Runs With Pugs and works part-time in the run specialty field.

Teresa Merritt

Teresa Merritt SAMB

Teresa is a fifth generation Floridian who grew up in North Palm Beach.  Her family purchased a historic Victorian “fixer-upper” house here in St. Augustine while she continued attending high school in South Florida. She has lived in Atlanta and Manhattan at various times, but kept returning to the sunny coastal family home, and decided to set roots even further by establishing a restaurant known as Jasmine’s Coffeehouse, loved by locals and tourists alike in St. Augustine from 2004-2008. Teresa has also worked locally as a wine consultant for several years and enjoys doing just about anything “foodie” related. After the birth of her son in 2015, Teresa decided to follow in her family’s 40+ years of real estate experience and join the trade. She currently works at the Coldwell Banker Premier Properties downtown office, where her office window overlooks the mission grounds. When she’s not working with wine or real estate, Teresa is often seen gallivanting around the town with her 2 and a half year old son, who often persuades her to roll down the hills at the fort, which she happily complies – regardless of dress or weather.

Cathlene Miner

Cathlene Miner

Cathlene is a married (to Brendan) 46 year old mother of four amazing children and two beautiful grandchildren.  Her oldest son is 26 (Tiler) and is getting married in October 2018 (to Margie). Her daughter, 23 (Tayler) is married (to Brett) with two beautiful little girls (Sawyere and Suttyn).  She also has a 14 year old son (Emmett, bagger at Publix) and 12 year old daughter (Carolyne, babysitter) that she has the pleasure of homeschooling. She can be found out and about in St Augustine and online helping women through the charity work she heads up, Helping Handbags, and helping women through her online business, cathleneminer.com, instagram or homeschooling her two youngest children.  She was born and raised in the Sunshine State of Florida and moved to NC for 14 years for her husbands job.  3 years ago they moved back home and live at the beach in St. Augustine. She loves to spend her time with her family in the outdoors at the water or just visiting. Cathlene is a glass half full type of girl and feels that we get better with age.  She has a passion for helping other women through her charity, online businesses and friendships. Her entire family with the exception of her oldest son (who is in Memphis for his job) all live in St. Augustine and love this quaint historical town.

Lucy Nelson

Lucy Nelson

Lucy was born and raised in Charleston, WV and moved to St. Augustine almost 3 years ago to make a big life change and to trade the mountains for the ocean! She is married to Gus and is the mom of Keenan a teen, and Ezra a toddler— she has an 11 year age gap between her two boys! While balancing motherhood, she has a successful work at home business with Young Living Essential Oils, works as a childbirth doula, a yoga instructor, and a holistic health coach. Her passion is to live a healthy, happy, non-toxic life and she loves to share the knowledge she has gathered so that she can help others improve their overall sense of wellness with her personal blog, IntegratedMama.

Courtney Pecora

Courtney

Courtney is a self-proclaimed “August-in-Ian” whose born and raised right here in Saint Augustine Florida. She met her husband, Vince in 9th-grade gym class and the two have been inseparable ever since. Courtney is a former hairstylist of 10 years and in 2013 was voted “best of Saint Augustine.” She recently left her job behind the chair for a new position as full-time wife and mommy to Ella 1 and her newborn Emilia. When she’s not knee deep in diapers and snack time she enjoys interior design projects, date nights with her husband and hunting down the perfect margarita. Courtney is also heavily involved in the Down syndrome community. She recently was a key speaker at the March for Life event promoting acceptance and inclusion on behalf of her daughter Ella. To follow along with Courtney’s personal journey with Down Syndrome and her life as a mother juggling two under two you can check out her blog, Bottles & Whine.

Alexandra Phillips

Alexandra

Alexandra is a native Floridian, born & raised by the ocean in Daytona Beach. She graduated from Florida State University (go Noles!) in 2011 with a B.A. in English Literature, and in 2013 with an M.S. in Library Science. You can find her at the local public library where she is working her dream job as a Youth Services Librarian. When she’s not teaching classes, leading storytimes, and looking through the latest books, you can find her spending time with her family. She has two adventurous little boys that keep her and her stay-at-home-dad husband on their toes! They love to spend their weekends eating delicious food and exploring Florida through the eyes of their children. Be sure to say hi to her when you visit the library!

Kristy Riley

Kristy Riley

Kristy was born in Key West and shortly thereafter moved to Neptune Beach. She spent her childhood moving all over the east coast courtesy of her naval officer Mom, Maggi. Kristy lived in Jacksonville from high school until summer 2018 when she relocated to St. Augustine. A few years after graduating from college she met her husband Craig, affectionately known as many variations of Crugger. They married in 2005 and had daughter Madeline in 2006, son Baylor in 2009 and son Connor in 2012. A non dog-lover, she is OBSESSED with the family Goldendoodle, Motley. She thinks glitter is the devil but is crafty as all get out. A lover of all things DIY, she has paint under her fingernails more often than not. The prices she expects to pay for items and services got stuck somewhere around 1997 so she is horrified on a regular basis to discover the prices of things. She thinks oil changes are still $19.99 and a decent car is attainable for under $10K. As you can imagine, this causes a great deal of wasted time comparison shopping. A Target clearance product hoarder, every birthday gift your kid receives from one of hers has several layers of stickers that must be removed prior to wrapping. Kristy and Craig both enjoy an entrepreneurial spirit and run several home based businesses. A short stint flipping campers somehow turned into a camper rental business, @Sassy Campers which keeps them super busy. If she’s not working or at her kids’ school, you are sure to find her at a baseball/football/soccer field. She is excited to explore her new city and meet new friends!

Laura Sieckmann

Laura S

Laura was born and raised in Southern California and prides herself on being the perfect mixture of laid back and driven. After getting married in Burbank, California in 2009, Laura and her husband sold all of their possessions and traveled around the world for 4 months, basically having the time of their lives and soaking up the culture in 23 countries. They plan someday to recreate their amazing honeymoon, but until then they take trips to whatever exotic local there is a flight deal for, bringing their kids along for the ride.

Karen Smith

headshot

Karen was born in Ohio but spent the majority of her childhood in Florida. She met her husband at the University of Florida and they were married after she got her Master’s in Elementary Education at the University of South Florida. She taught first grade in Tampa until her oldest son was born. Her plans to return to the classroom changed when her husband’s job brought them to Pennsylvania where they welcomed another baby boy. The next few years of job changes brought them to North Carolina and then St. Augustine. She has recently returned to her love of education by substitute teaching in St. Johns County, part-time. Karen enjoys days on the water with her family, reading “chick lit” with a glass of wine, pretending to be Ina Garten in the kitchen, and cheering on her beloved Gators. She embraces all things #boymom, loves a home renovation project and has never met a doughnut/taco/pasta that she didn’t like.

Megan Soto

Megan S

Megan Soto moved to St. Augustine in 2007 to attend Flagler College. She is currently a work at home mom to three rambunctious kiddos. Megan launched Megan Soto Photography in 2014 with a focus on family and birth photography. She is passionate about all things creative. Megan is a homeschool mom who relies heavily on spell check. She recently became a birth assistant for a midwife in Jacksonville and is excited to support moms as they enter motherhood. A sister of two siblings on the autism spectrum, Megan is passionate about the rights of the special needs community.

Lisa Venancio

Lisa

Lisa was born on the gulf coast of Florida and grew up in the suburbs of NYC. She found her way back to the sunshine state as a student at Flagler College, where she studied elementary education and youth ministry. She fell in love with this quaint little gem of a city and decided to stick around when she graduated in 2008. Lisa was an elementary school teacher in the St. Johns County School District for seven years, and she currently teaches yoga part-time (including Baby + Me Yoga) while staying home with her littles most days. She also volunteers as a children’s church teacher at her home church and helps with a local homeschooling community. Lisa is Mommy to her five-year-old, Jolie, and her two-year-old, Nora. You can always find these spunky Venancio girls having fun together, whether it be strolling the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings in search of honey sticks, splashing at the beach, carousel-ing, biking downtown, picnic-ing at the fort, or bonding over popsicles and coffee. Lisa’s favorite hobbies are yoga and surfing/paddle boarding. She is really excited about supporting local farming, clean eating/cooking, and raising her children to value cultural experiences and a healthy lifestyle. Lisa enjoys nature and being outdoors, and she has a love for adventure and traveling. She adores the oldest city and soaking up the Florida sunshine with her little co-adventurers.