Where are you originally from?
I grew up in Lancaster, PA. I moved to Boston to attend The Boston Conservatory of Music (now at Berklee) to study Vocal Performance. After graduation I moved to NYC to perform. I met my husband, Pete, and we lived in Lancaster for a few years together before moving to Cleveland for a new job for him. We bought a house in the Heights and we’ve lived here for almost 7 years!
What’s your current profession?
Mom and wife, I have a few jobs, but I’m mostly at home and manage the chaos and crazies! After my family, this blog and business is my job and I’m so thankful everyday that I get to do it!
Why did you want to run a blog for Mom’s?
Well, being a Mom and new to a city, I know how difficult it is to find the best schools for your kids, where to take them to the doctors, where to shop and everything in between. Having not known anyone when we moved it, it was really difficult to find all of what you need at the ready. I always told my husband “I wish there was a resource for new families”, so I’m trying to create it.
What’s 1 thing you want your readers to know?
I hear and see you. You are not alone on this journey!! I think the most requested or heard topic that people email me or talk to me about at events is the need for Mom friends! Mom friends are essential and I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s our digital age or the fact that people don’t want to take the time to start a new friendship, but it’s the #1 thing I hear and struggle with as well. I have never met anyone in my life that couldn’t use another person in their corner. And yet, we’re all asking for more.
Hopefully, 2020 will be the year for all of us!! I’m planning some Mom Night Outs that I think will be fun and hopefully create some much needed friendships! So, be on the look out for them and come to them, even if you don’t want to leave the house!
Favorite Place in Cleveland?
Anywhere there is a stage. I love Severance Hall. It’s gorgeous and calm. The orchestra is phenomenal! Playhouse Square as well. Dobama Theatre is also a fav! I love small theatres! There is just something so organic about it. As an audience member, you can really become part of the show and as a cast member, you really get a sense of the energy in the space that isn’t your own.
What was your biggest regret or failure?
When I left NYC, I stopped performing and I should have continued to perform even if it was on a smaller scale! I was in a terrible car accident and was hit by a tractor trailer. I suffered from sever back damage and am in pain most days, so I thought performing at the level I would be proud of was not something I could continue doing. But looking back, I would have been proud to perform..period.
Can you give us one pearl of wisdom, the one thing you wish more people knew?
Accept people where they are. Life is too short to try and make them something they are not.
If you could encourage more people to take action in some way, what would it be?
Slow down and be kind. Our children learn from us, so we if are unkind or say mean things about others, they will too.
Is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My sister. She would be a millionaire if she charged me for all the advice she’s given me!
And of course, my husband Pete. He steps in and does anything that needs done and doesn’t complain about ANYTHING! Since we are native Clevelanders, we do not have family around to watch the kids or help out, so it’s just him and I and we are great picking up where the other left off!!
Yes. When you come to read or visit my social media pages, you won’t find perfection. I’m a real person with 2 kids. I rarely wear makeup and some days I’m just surviving. I know that social media is mostly made of up of the perfect shot, but that’s not me. I try to be as real as real can be. I’m not going to sugar coat things or slap on some lipstick so I look good for a picture.
I hope you can embrace the ugly, the crazy, the blurry and funny with me. I hope you not only get to know me, but I get to know you too! And most importantly, thanks for reading and visiting with me each day!! I know there are a lot of you out there, that I look forward to seeing on Insta or FB everyday and I hope you feel the same 🙂
How many children do you have & what are their ages?
I have 2 children and 1 furbaby. #pickykideatscleveland is 11 years old (going on 25) and kid2 is 5 years old (going on 35). Our dog, Chloe, is 6, but she still acts and looks like a puppy!
What’s your favorite things about NE Ohio?
I love having a city at my finger tips but also being able to drive for a half an hour and see farmland. And I love all that cities have to offer in terms of culture, food and diversity!
I also love the people. I can honestly say, I’ve never seen a community come to rally someone on the way Cleveland does. I’ve felt it with this little business. Everyone wants you to succeed and is willing to help or guide you to make sure you are successful. That’s so rare to find!! Cleveland really does ROCK!
What’s your favorite place for date night?
Well, sadly, date night around our house usually is my husband and I getting take out on a Saturday night and watching Netflix, but on a very rare occassion, we go out. We really love sushi and our kids don’t, so we tend to go to Pacific East at Eton. We have a little list right now of places we want to go to, so the next time our budget allows a babysitter, we will put the places in a hat and choose one!!
What do you like to do for “me” time?
I workout at Burn Boot Camp. I’ve been trying to put myself first because I’ve really neglected me for the past 11 years, so I’m trying to uncover the girl who is under the baby weight (yes, I still have all of it), the mom and wife life. I’m slowly coming back and merging who I was with who I am now. It’s a process 🙂
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
That I can sing.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
My kids! I love them more than they will ever know!
Want to hear more? Shoot Karen and email and let her know what you would like to see this year from Cleveland East Side Moms…[email protected]
other meet-a-mom features
This week’s Meet a Mom is Mona Shah, owner of Color Me Mine at Pinecrest!! Find out all about this amazing pottery painting studio that’s a hit with everyone!!
Father’s Day is this weekend and we wanted to introduce to you Andrew from Class 101! Hear what he has to say about being prepared for College Admissions!
Meet Jennifer Woda from Sing & Swing, music classes for infants and children all over Cleveland’s East Side!