Besides being a healthy food and lifestyle writer at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet and a Social Media Consultant for the past 14 years, I’m mom to two teenagers, Nathan and Lucie, and wife to Paul, a scientist, avid outdoorsman, and motorcycle enthusiast. We live in West Lafayette, Indiana with our beagle mix, Nellie.
So why a health food and lifestyle blog?
In 2004, I started This Mama Cooks! to document and share my Thanksgiving plans since it’s my favorite cooking and eating holiday of the year. Soon I was posting about the cakes and recipes I made for my family.
Along the way, I got rather busy starting a charter school and writing at other blogs and by 2007, This Mama Cooks! was rather neglected. So much so that Alanna Kellogg of Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture called me to task about being a lazy food blogger. (My words, not hers.) I reasoned that I didn’t have time to keep up my blog since I was focused on losing weight and eating more healthfully. After all, who wanted to read about diet recipes and my weight loss plans?
Um, hello? The light bulb finally went off and This Mama Cooks! On a Diet was born.
My mission is help people – especially busy moms and their families - get on the road to living a more healthy lifestyle by sharing good-for-you recipes and lifestyle tips. Maybe that means following a certain weight loss plan or eliminating gluten and milk products from your diet. Or, if you’re a busy parent, finding easy and delicious ways to get your kids to eat more vegetables or even fish!
Beside healthy recipes, I also cover health topics like dental health and braces, vitamins and nutrition, skin products, exercise, and weight loss here at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet. I hope it all inspires you and your family - parents, kids and even the family dog - to live in a more healthy way with a minimum of fuss.
Social media consulting and professional food blogging
Starting in 2006, I have been working full time as a freelance social media consultant and professional food blogger. Some highlights:
- I was one of the original mom bloggers at Club Mom (now CafeMom).
- I was a community moderator at CafeMom.
- I gave two blogging workshops at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference and spoke on panels at BlogHer, SXSW, BlogWorld Expo (NMX), and TECHmunch. I gave the breakfast keynote talk and conducted a social media workshop at the United States Personal Chef Conference.
- Via workshops or one-on-one consulting, I've taught aspiring and professional writers and business people how to start their own blogs and use social media to promote themselves and their business.
- In 2010, I was named one of Babble.com's Top 50 Mommy Food Bloggers and #8 in the Top 10 Healthiest Eating Mom Blogs.
- This Mama Cooks! On a Diet was named one of the Top 10 Diet and Nutrition Blogs by Cision Navigator.
- In 2011, I was named one of Babble.com's Top 100 Mommy Food Bloggers and #7 in the Top 10 Healthiest Eating Mom Blogs.
- My frugal living tips were featured at All You Magazine in their Money-savings Tips Overheard on the Blogs both online and in their print magazine along with my frugal recipe for Greek yogurt.
- I was featured at Fitness Magazine's Fit Stop as a Fit Blogger We Love: This Mama Cooks.
- My post, Julia's Mousse Makes Life Better, was featured in PBS.org's Tributes to Julia Child.
- I was featured in a Blogger Spotlight at Food Network's Healthy Eats blog.
- I was interviewed at Gourmandize and at Diets in Review.
- I've had my Simple & Healthy Split Pea Soup recipe featured at Country Living Magazine.
- Here's a list of my writing clips for other blogs and websites such as BlogHer, Rocky Mountain Moms Blog, DotMoms, Mom Central, and CafeMom.
I also do travel writing with a focus on food, health and family:
- I traveled to Hawaii on behalf of the Sea Cuisine company to report on seafood and local cuisine. (Website no longer live.)
- I wrote about barbecue restaurants on a trip from Colorado to Georgia for Drive The Nation at Midwest BBQTour.
- I wrote about the Dining at the El Tovar at the Grand Canyon, Planning your Grand Canyon Railways trip, All aboard the Grand Canyon Railway, and How to make your Grand Canyon motorcoach reservation at the Mom Central website.
- I wrote about my Brandcation bloggers trip Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and my visits to Dollywood and the Titanic Museum Attraction.
- You can find my travel posts here.
Brands I’ve worked with
- on the expert panel of the Global Stevia Institute
- a Sam’s Club Food Ambassador
- a Panera Bread blogger
- a Frigidaire Test Drive Mom
- a Foodily Ambassador
- an Attune Foods Ambassador
- a Yahoo! Shine Get It Guru
- a Ziploc Fresh Over Insider
- a Lipton Tastemaker
- an Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop Ambassador
- a Mountain High Yoghurt Ambassador
- a Children’s Claritin Mom Crew member
- a member of the Coppertone Water MOMS group
- a U by Kotex Tween Kotex Mom
- a VIP member of the Dreamfields Pasta "Dream Team 2012"
- a California Wine Club Blogger
- a LiveWell Colorado Twitter Chat Host
- a Hunt's Signature Recipes Blogger
- a YumSugar Select Food Blogger
- a member of The Republic of Tea Enlightenment TEAm
- a Microsoft Windows Champion
- a Diet Coke Ambassador
- a Benefiber Blogger
- a Nature's Sleep Blogger
- a Pfister Faucets Blogger
- a member of the Invisalign Teen Mom Advisory Board
- a Cans Get You Cooking Ambassador
- a part of the ARM & HAMMER Influencer Network
- a Mizkan Blogger Advocate working with their NAKANO and Holland House brands
- a Bundoo Ambassador
- a Massel Gluten Free Blogger
- an Applegate Farms Blogger
- a Cascadian Farm Blogger
- a LivingNowFoods Ambassador
- a Food for Sleep Blogger
- a Wayfair Homemaker Featured Blogger
- an Avocados from Mexico Blogger
- an eBay Buying Guide Author
- a Poise Ambassador
- an Udi's Gluten Free Living Ambassador
- a CafeMom Blogger
- a Chex Blogger
- a General Mills Blogger
- a Georgia Watermelon Drinks Blogger
- a Kroger Blogger
- a Unilever at Sam's Club Blogger
- a Dannon Products Blogger
and many more!
I've hosted live events for:
- Feld Entertainment
- Ziploc VersaGlass Containers
- Hunt's Dinner Sauces
I’ve represented food companies like SOYJOY, Attune Foods, Log Cabin Syrup, and Nasoya at blogging conferences, too.
Currently, I'm partnering with your favorite food, healthy lifestyle, pet, and travel brands!
Updated April 2018