Meet Your Westchester County Mom Team
Michelle :: Owner & Editor
Michelle is the Owner and Editor of Fairfield County Mom and Westchester County Mom. She has spent her entire life in Fairfield County, growing up in Norwalk and now residing in Fairfield, CT. Michelle married her husband, Chris, in October 2008. Before motherhood, she thought she was busy, but now life with her son Shane (March 2011), twins, Blake and Brynn (June 2013), and Hank the Lab; the meaning of hectic has been redefined! Michelle is also a working mom, teaching third grade at a local public school. When she’s not doing laundry, creating lesson plans, and picking up toys, Michelle enjoys standing along the sidelines cheering on her kids, lounging with a good book, eating dark chocolate, and sipping on some tequila.
Melissa :: Sponsorship Coordinator & Senior Contributor
Melissa is a Bronx native who moved to Westchester County after she and her high school sweetheart got hitched in 1997. She and her husband live in Mount Kisco with their son Corey (2004) and daughter Mia (2007). Melissa spent many years working in Human Resources and currently works in enrollment and marketing for a childcare organization. Melissa is a two-time survivor of Postpartum OCD. She initially became interested in writing to raise awareness for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders but has discovered that writing is a newfound aspect of her life that she thoroughly enjoys. Melissa is excited to write with the Westchester County Mom team and hopes you’ll enjoy her stories of the trials and tribulations of a born-n-raised city girl raising teenagers growing up here in Westchester.
Lelia :: Contributor
Fran :: Contributor
Fran was born, raised, married, and still lives in Mount Kisco, NY. She has four kids, including a teenage daughter, two precious grandsons, and the cutest granddaughter, whom she babysits a few days a week. She also works part-time as an accounting clerk helping to run her husband’s excavation business. She aspires to finish writing her memoir one day. Despite her crazy, busy schedule, she cooks almost every night for her big family and tries her best to keep up with the dishes! She truly believes spontaneity is the spice of life, and sometimes the very unexpected happens, but it’s usually all for the best. Enjoy her many tales of raising kids over 20 years; what an amazing journey!
Lauren :: Contributor
Lauren Schwarzfeld was born and raised in Yorktown, and aside from college in Boston, and a few months living in New York City, she has spent her entire life in Westchester. She has lived in Mt Kisco with her husband Karl since 2006, where they have three kids, Mia (2008), Jacob (2009), Abigail (2012), and two dogs, Edna (a four-year-old beagle) and Felix (a pitbull-lab mix). Lauren is a writer, coach, and leader in community engagement. She helps women rediscover their strengths, passion, and confidence to reclaim their spot in life and step outside the box of perceived expectations. Her goal is for women to create a future that is authentically and unapologetically their own. As the Executive Vice President of Operations at (914) Cares, a local non-profit, she combines her business background with a passion for volunteer work and a desire to care for the community around her. Connect with Lauren on Facebook or through her website!
Bena :: Contributor
Bena is a wife and mom to two little girls (born in 2021 and 2017). She and her husband first moved to Westchester in 2014 when they fell in love with the New Rochelle downtown area, which had the best of two worlds, walking distance to parks, coffee shops, great restaurants, and a short drive away from great hikes and nature. Since then, they have moved next door to Pelham, which has an adorable small-town feel yet close to the city. Bena is trying to figure out how to do this mom thing while also working a full-time job. After a few years of the juggling act, she feels a little more confident, but there are new challenges every day, particularly when juggling more than one child. When she is not momming, she is usually lawyering, working out, cooking, trying new restaurants, or out somewhere exploring.
Juliana :: Contributor
Juliana is an English teacher, aspiring novelist, and mother to redheaded sons. (No, her husband doesn’t have red hair. Yes, it was a surprise!). She grew up in Scarsdale and now teaches at her rival high school – Mamaroneck – where she also lives with her (brown-haired) husband, Mike, and their two (orange-haired, according to Noah) sons, Noah (2016) and Simon (2019). When she has a free moment (haha), she reads something: YA Romance, humorous essays, poetry, thrillers, student work, and, sometimes, her own works-in-progress.
Nidhi :: Contributor
Nidhi lives in Mamaroneck with her husband Chandan and their baby Ishaan. She is a Women’s Health Physical Therapist specializing in working with women during pregnancy, after childbirth, and the years beyond. She understands (through clinical and personal experience) how hard pregnancy and motherhood can be on a woman’s body. Her passion is to empower women to prevent problems before they happen, know when (and how) to get the care, and always feel at home in their bodies. Nidhi practices locally in Mamaroneck, NY and Midtown Manhattan. Along with helping women in her clinic, she also speaks at local libraries, childbirth education classes, and hospitals to debunk common myths and spread awareness about pelvic health. In her free time (which there isn’t a lot of), she loves exercising, hiking, learning ballet, and planning vacations. Connect with Nidhi through her Instagram page @pelvis.andbeyond (and learn everything about pelvic floor and pregnancy), or visit her clinic website to work with her at www.nidhisharmapt.com.
Christine :: Contributor
Christine was born and raised on Long Island and now calls Westchester home. She and her husband Marc have lived in Hawthorne since 2014. With a background in PR and Marketing, she’s now a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom of two. Christine loves to travel, read (when she has the time!), practice yoga, and try out new recipes (that she hopes her kids will actually eat).
Donia :: Contributor
Donia is a stay-at-home Egyptian archaeologist who majored in Egyptology. Egyptology had always been her passion since childhood. But family is her biggest passion. She lives in Mount Kisco with her husband Ayman, their daughters Dania (2005) and Mirette (2012), their cats Tiger and Drogo, and their German Shepherd Max. She is also a stepmom to two girls Nada (1991) and Malak (1995). When she is not busy taking care of her big family, she enjoys anything Sci-Fi and fantasy, watching cooking and baking competition shows, playing the drums, playing tennis with her husband, video games, and DIY projects. According to her girls, she particularly enjoys event and travel planning for her family and always goes all-out and prepares too much for an event. She is excited to join Westchester County Mom to share her experience as an expat and mom.
Ali :: Contributor
Ali lives in Goldens Bridge, NY with her four teenage daughters and her husband, Brian. After moving around a bit as a child, she spent her teen years in Westchester County, moved to NYC for college, and returned to Westchester fifteen years ago. Prior to having the girls, she was an English teacher, and on the side, she always enjoyed writing with the hope of publishing a poetry book one day. In her free time, Ali enjoys going on long runs, browsing independent bookstores, catching up with friends while drinking a Chai latte or cocktail, and can often be found making Tik-Toks with the girls! She also has to be a responsible adult, so she is in a constant state of doing laundry, cooking, policing arguments, driving to and from activities, and trying her best to be the kind of mom her girls will admire, even on her worst days. Ali is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart.
Erin :: Contributor
Erin is the mother of one sweet, rambunctious toddler and wife to a talented chef. Professionally, she is a former special educator and preschool teacher and is currently a cognitive neuroscience researcher and Ph.D. candidate in Cognitive Science in Education with specializations in neuroscience, cognitive development, and neurodiversity/autism. She holds master’s degrees in cognitive science and neuroscience in education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and undergraduate degrees in special education (with an additional concentration in elementary education and a minor in English) and early childhood education. As a chef’s wife, food is a huge part of her family culture, and she enjoys both cooking and baking. Some of her other hobbies include hiking, traveling, jogging, meditation, animal rescue, playing piano and guitar, crafting, reading, and of course, writing. You can follow her parenting journey and pick up tips on great kids activities on her website www.themindfullyscientificmama.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts.
Jen :: Contributor
Jen holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and is a full-time writer. She is currently working with a publisher on her first book, which is a personal project she holds very close to her heart. She is also an active member of the International Association of Professional Writers and Editors (IAPWE). Jen resides in Westchester, NY with her three young children.
Mandy :: Contributor
Mandy is a proud mom to three daughters, Hayden (2012), Ayla (2016), and Harper (2019), as well as a Bernedoodle puppy named Brodie. Mandy and her husband, Ben, grew up in Mamaroneck, where they currently reside. They met in high school, reconnected, and have been married since 2009. Mandy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and works part-time at a school in Westchester County, and sees clients privately. Mandy works with children, adolescents, and adults but particularly enjoys supporting moms on their motherhood journey. When Mandy is not shuttling her children to activities and attempting to train their puppy, she enjoys relaxing on the beach, yoga, evening bike rides with her ten-year-old, a good book, a Netflix series with her husband, and an extra dirty martini.
Becky :: Contributor
Laura :: Community Engagement Facilitator
Laura was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in the Bronx. She is a single mama to Julian, who is five years old. She studied Social Work at Siena College in Loudonville, NY, and then pursued a Master’s in Special Education at CUNY Hunter. Laura was a Special Education Teacher for eight years, teaching high school, middle school, and elementary school. She recently transitioned to Human Resources and is kick-starting a new career! Although Laura is a Bronx native, she spent five years living in San Antonio, TX, and has finally returned! Laura is bilingual and super passionate about bilingual education. She also loves to craft, she might not be great at it, but after a stressful week, she enjoys busting out her Circuit, attending a paint and sip, or scrolling TikTok for a new recipe to try!
Monique :: Contributor
Monique, a licensed clinical social worker, certified school social worker, and certified health and wellness coach, specializes in evidence-based counseling practices. In addition to owning her own private clinical practice, Monique has been employed as a high school social worker for over 20 years. Born and raised in Westchester County, she continues to reside with her two children and two dogs (one of which is a certified therapy dog who occasionally attends school with her). A cancer survivor, Monique was diagnosed at age 34 with breast cancer after giving birth to her second child. She understands the need for a strong network and community to help during times of crisis. Monique is joining Westchester County Mom because she is passionate about raising awareness and advocating for mental health, especially for mothers and their children. She is committed to reducing the stigma attached to seeking help when needed and accessing resources to improve overall well-being. You can learn more about Monique on her website, www.westchestertherapyservices.com, or follow her on Instagram and Facebook @gowestchestertherapyservices.
Shannon :: Contributor
Shannon is a mother, wife, and STEM Educator. Originally from the UK, she has lived in the US for four years with her husband and son. Shannon creates STEM programs and events for local families and is interested in how we can apply science to our parenting. When she’s not balancing life, work, and family, she enjoys baking, reading, and attempting DIY in the house she bought in Fairfield, CT.
Nicole is a proud mother to her three children, Reagan, Johnny, and Tristan. She and her husband, John, keep busy with their two fur babies, Henry and Teddy. Nicole lives in Somers with her crazy crew, and when she’s not wiping noses, serving snacks, and reading “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” she’s writing for her blog, Mama Explains, which offers relatable parenting tips and stories. You can find her on Instagram @mamaexplains or visit her blog at www.mamaexplains.com. She’s also a huge lover of Nutella, nineties music, and her Peloton bike, which she rides mainly for the ’90s-themed classes.
Katie :: Contributor
After spending over ten years living in NYC, Katie moved to Westchester County with her husband in 2016 to start their family. They have been blessed with two beautiful girls, Eva (2018) and Carolina (2020). Katie began her career working at some of NYC’s top advertising agencies leading strategic media efforts for Fortune 500 clients in the fashion/beauty space. After a series of events, Katie decided to pursue her lifelong passion and work more deeply in the style realm. She honed her chops, training to become a certified personal stylist under two industry vets. Soon after, she founded her personal styling company, Style Outside the City (@styleoutsidethecity). Her business focuses on helping moms who have lost a bit of their creativity and confidence in dressing with all of the changes motherhood (and suburbia) brings. Katie loves to help women truly understand the mental side of style as a way to express themselves and hone their visual identity. She also brings a technical eye to personal style by educating on body shapes, fabrics, closet organization techniques, and shopping skills. She works with clients one-on-one to help them build style and a wardrobe that makes them shine.
Danielle :: Contributor
Danielle is a wife and mom of three boys living in Yorktown Heights in Westchester County, along with her rambunctious Boston Terrier Marty and hairless cat Gilbert. Danielle is a former special education teacher turned local real estate agent who works part-time coaching others in nutrition and wellness. Danielle enjoys spending her free time reading, cooking healthy meals, working out, volunteering, and spending time with her family. There’s never a dull moment juggling a career and living in a house full of boys, so if you see her running around, know she’s fueled by her favorite cup of organic coffee!
Professional photos courtesy of Jessie M. Photography. Jessie Mignone is a professional photographer and local influencer, but don’t call her an influencer! “Explorer is a better description. I’m not trying to convince anyone to do anything. I enjoy sharing my finds and using my professional cameras in the process because I know what it’s like to move to this area and not know where anything is. Westchester has so much to offer. I love getting the word, and picture, out.” To view Jessie’s work, please visit jessiemphotography.zenfolio.com.