Anne Frances MacDonaldContributor
Anne Frances MacDonald is a Special Education Teacher for the Escambia County School District. Prior to becoming a teacher ten years ago, she worked in the mental health field and foster care system. Working with kids is her passion that has allowed her to support the community through education, social work, and coaching her son’s soccer team. She has been married for twelve years and has two boys, ages seven and six, both who keep her busy. As a working mother, she has many roles. In the last year, she has added writer to her list, completing her first novel, A Lost Woman. Throughout her career, she has always been dedicated to supporting others and her community.
Bianca Bain VillegasContributor
Bianca Bain Villegas arrived to Pensacola in 2015 and readily embraced the local culture and history. She and her husband feel genuinely grateful for the opportunity to raise their two young daughters here. Originally from Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia, her Caribbean heritage and worldly ideology imparted to her by her parents and extended family, largely influence the outlook she has on parenting, life and the experiences that they afford. Having family and friends that live around the world and having completed her education in London and Madrid, only furthers her love of travel, different cultures and the need to have a deeper understanding of it all. Locally, you can find Bianca actively participating in historic preservation, neighborhood action, or service in the community through civic engagement. Her belief is that nurturing a community is as important as the families we choose to raise in our homes - we get back what we put out.
Casey was born and raised in Peru, Illinois, and moved to Pace in the summer of 2020. She is a Navy pilot wife, mama to three little boys, and a speech language pathologist. Her personal experience with the field of speech pathology led her on her journey to pursue a Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology. She graduated from Florida State University’s distance learning program in 2018, all the while juggling deployments, a toddler climbing on her, and a newborn baby. She is currently putting work outside of the home on hold and blessed to stay at home with their 3 young boys, Callan (3), Benjamin (2), Kolbe (2 months). Her passion to educate and empower parents about all things speech, language, and literacy development inspired her to start a Facebook group called Building Bridges. When she’s not making snacks, you can find her hiking a trail with her boys and husband, Brandon, watching YouTube videos to learn how to grow herbs and vegetables, or drinking copious amounts of coffee. She is excited to combine her love for family and motherhood with her love for writing.
Dana is a mother to Rowan (high school), Arden (middle school), and Pierson (preschool). Although she is an Arkansas native, she has been a seasonal resident of the Gulf Coast, since age nine, when her mother moved to Destin; she’s been a Pensacola resident for the last 11 years. Dana attributes her Mayberry-esque childhood in Warren, Arkansas, as enormously influential in honing her definitely Southern style of storytelling. A degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas (Woo Pig Sooie!) developed it further. In addition to writing, she loves photography, doodling, and painting. She is always up for a new adventure, especially in the great outdoors. She can’t live without Jesus, Diet Coke, funny memes, flair pens, or mascara, and loves personality tests (she’s a 1w9 and an I/ENFJ, ambivert). Her life is dictated by what she whispers to herself every morning, “You’ve only got this one precious life.”
Originally from Maryland, Danielle and her family moved to Pensacola in 2017. She is married to Pel and has two children, Kayla (15) and Elan (11), as well as a bonus son, Paxton, and crazy fur babies. Having moved six times in 15 years for her husband’s medical training, she is happy to call Pensacola “home.” Danielle was an elementary/special education teacher for 10 years prior to moving Pensacola and is now the “Chaos Coordinator” for the Balfour family. She loves being a sports mom, and when she’s not cheering her kids on from the sidelines or driving them to their various sporting events, she is volunteering in their schools because she still needs her school fix.
Eleanor was born and raised in Pensacola, and is a 2010 graduate of Florida State University. After college, she spent 2 years in Atlanta, where she met her husband Matthew, followed by seven years in the nation’s capital. It was there that Eleanor found her stride in the advertising and media industry. In 2018, after receiving the okay to work remotely for her company of seven years, Eleanor and Matthew said goodbye to frigid winters and relocated to the warmth of Pensacola. In 2020 they welcomed their daughter, Grace (10 months) and in August they’ll welcome a son. When she’s not hustling between her full-time job and keeping up with baby Grace and fur baby, yellow lab Goose, she can be found enjoying the water, taking family strolls, gardening, exploring new recipes, and daydreaming about home improvement projects to ultimately create a dream home for her growing family. Eleanor is passionate about the health and wellness of her family and friends and is dedicated to being a positive influence on those around her. She believes wholeheartedly that community is key to a fulfilled life and feels blessed to be apart of this wonderful place we have the privilege of calling home.
Emily is an import to Pensacola, hailing originally from the Mitten State. She is a lawyer, Army wife, and mom to two wild boys. Her favorite things include good coffee, children’s books, photography, rainy days, and playing in her kitchen. She reads cookbooks for fun and loves a good podcast. Her happy places are the library and the woods. Emily has lived in five countries, five states, and the District of Columbia. She has traveled around the world (literally), has crossed the U.S. while living out of an RV (twice!), and believes strongly in educating children through travel.
Born in Alabama (Roll Tide!), Heather moved to the Pensacola area at the young age of 7 and has called this area home ever since. After narrowly surviving distance learning while telecommuting, she is now concentrating fully on her career as a community coordinator for a local court-based program. Heather received a degree in Criminal Justice from the University of West Florida and has over 15 years’ experience working in child welfare, the school system, and as a crime victim advocate. Married for 14 years, she and her husband are the proud and busy parents of two beautiful girls, whose interests in volleyball and sailing keep the family calendar packed. Heather fancies herself to be an organizer of chaos, leader of household misfits, and below-average gardener. When she isn’t avoiding the elliptical, cheering on a tournament or regatta, or searching for a new recipe, she enjoys traveling, sailing, camping, and finding new ways to make a positive impact on her community. Recognizing she is a constant work in progress, Heather loves connecting with others, self-reflection, and strengthening her village, all while trying to breathe in the simple pleasures of life.
Born and raised in Pensacola, Honey lived away for 19 years before moving back in 2018. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, she moved to DC where she spent over a decade working on campaigns and consulting for Members of Congress. She and her husband, Chuck, made the decision to come back to Pensacola with their son, Charlie, in 2018. Since then, she has opened her own political and nonprofit consulting firm, welcomed their baby girl Godwin, and is loving every second of being back home with her family.
Jenny moved to the Pensacola area from Arkansas in 1994 and currently resides in Gulf Breeze. She is wife to a busy entrepreneur, and mom to three boys: Hogan, 22, Tyne, 11, and Evan, 9. Some of her favorite things, in no particular order, are Disney, dogs, music, fried okra, golf, and poker. She has recently taken up cooking and raising houseplants, and she readily admits to lacking a refined palette or a green thumb. Her children give her cooking a one Michelin star rating, which is really all she cares about. Jenny believes in giving back to the community that has given her family so much. Volunteering is an example that she sets every day. Donating her time, talents, and resources has become a part of who she is. Jenny now calls Pensacola home and works to make it a better community for anyone lucky enough to live here.
Kairym was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has spent her entire life immersed in different cultures. She is multilingual (Spanish, English, German, basic French) and has lived in 10 different states and countries. After her husband's active duty service, in the Air Force, was completed (2015) they decided to set roots in Pensacola with their two children Juliana (9) and Marco (7). Kairym loves to travel abroad, go to the beach, dance, paddleboard, brunch, cook, and entertain. But, what she loves most is dedicating her time and energy to her husband and kids. She is the CEO of her family and no matter how crazy mom life gets, she always finds time to whip up nice dinners from scratch. Since the pandemic began in March 2020, she has cooked more than 500 decadent meals. You can follow her culinary adventures @frommykitchentotheworld on Facebook or on Instagram at Chateaucruzlischpensacola.
Kara James moved to the Pensacola area when she was ten years old. She considers herself from here. She married her high school sweetheart in 2008, and they have four wonderful children together (all boys!): Kohlton (10), Kason (9), Korbin (2), and Kallen (1). She works one day a week as a hairstylist. She loves her job and believes its more fun than work. In her free time, she enjoys river days with her family, movie nights, and of course, jamming out to New Kids on the Block. She tries to make the best of everything and enjoys being around friends and family.
Originally from the New Orleans area, Kate moved to Pensacola via Los Angeles in 2007 with her husband, Nick, after they fell in love with downtown & the beautiful beaches. They currently reside in Gulf Breeze with their two sons, Walker & Blaine, and their Maltese, Jojo. Professionally, Kate works in healthcare consulting specializing as an advisor for software clients. Personally, she stays busy with the school PTO, supporting her oldest son at his golf tournaments, and chasing after her adventurous toddler. Kate’s love for New Orleans is celebrated as a member of two Pensacola Mardi Gras Krewes. On the weekends you will find her cooking out with friends, trying new wines, and enjoying pool time with her boys.
Kathleen is a Florida State University graduate with a degree in elementary education. Once she realized her “calling” was the medical field, she returned to school for her RN. Currently on an extended hiatus from her dream job as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse, Kathleen is a stay-at-home-mom, her REAL dream job. She and husband, Mark, are parents to three beautiful girls, twins, Evelyn and Sloane, 2, and Blaire, 1, all born within 12 months. Kathleen enjoys being with her family and friends, her “tribe.” Without them, she could not have survived the last four years of ups and downs. She loves beach days, pool days, mango White Claws, rap music, dancing, and laughing. There’s no sugarcoating with this mama; she tells it like it is, honestly, and with her whole heart.
Katie was born in Pensacola and lived there for 36 years with a brief pause in England for two. She now calls Milton home. After earning her degree in English at the University of West Florida, she spent countless sleepless nights deciding between law school or education, but followed her heart and pursued a career teaching high school English and has not looked back since. She and Dan married in 2014, where she was fortunate also to gain a son through marriage. She is now a mom to two big-hearted boys. They spend their free-time enjoying life on the water. Additionally, Katie enjoys trying new recipes and reading all genres-especially cheesy thrillers. She is a wannabe DIYer, who much to her husband’s chagrin houses a sewing machine and Cricut that collect dust while her Pinterest inspiration boards collect numerous amounts of pins for “one day.”
Kaycee is practically a Pensacola native and is also a proud first-born generation Filipino American. In 2012, Kaycee married her college sweetheart, Daniel. They now have two girls, ages 3 and (almost) 5, and an 8-year-old boxer named Carl. As a family, they enjoy trips to the beach, Christmas lights drive-thrus, Chick-fil-A, and finding new places to explore. In her spare time, Kaycee enjoys watching Hallmark movies, HGTV, or Friends. You can also find her nerding about the enneagram, podcasting about "When Calls the Heart" or "Signed Sealed Delivered," and writing for her blog: www.kayceesimpson.com.
Kelly was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida, and is proud to call Pensacola home. After graduating from FSU in 2006 and spending some time in New York City, she moved back to her beloved hometown, where she met her husband, Harry. They were married in 2008 and welcomed their son Harry (IV) later that year. Shortly after, they moved to Gulf Breeze, where they welcomed their first daughter Claire in 2010 and, after a few years of recuperation, had daughter Celia in 2015. Throughout the years, Kelly has juggled many roles while also being a mom; freelance writer, florist and event designer, restaurant owner, business coach, and philanthropist, but the role that has always been held front and center is being a stay-at-home mom. She is passionate about supporting fellow mothers and creating a safe and welcoming space for women to share, grow, and connect.
Kirsten was born and raised in Florida. She lives in Milton with her husband of 19 years, Mike, and their four children Dani (12), Declan (11), Duke (5), and Dilly Jo (2). She earned a Bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of West Florida and a Master’s in Taxation from the Florida State University. She is a CPA who started her own practice in 2005. When she isn’t running two businesses and being a mother to four, she is working on her blog and her first novel. You can follow Kirsten at www.tribeofburton.com and on Facebook and Instagram for family, lifestyle, and DIY content.
Laura Soule Boyles spent an idyllic childhood around the brackish, grass-lined shores of Bayou Davenport in West Pensacola, surrounded by siblings, cousins, and neighborhood friends. Laura has lived abroad and loves to travel, but now resides spittin’ distance from her childhood home with her husband, three children (ages 8,11, and 13), chocolate labrador, daughter’s bunny, four hens, and someone else’s cat. The family enjoys home projects, boating, and time with the next generation of cousins. An educator for nearly twenty years, she is currently Lay Chaplain at Episcopal Day School in Downtown Pensacola. She loves sunrises, coffee, Alabama football, books, babies, and Jesus.
Mallory can come across a tad soft-spoken, but she quickly warms up, and you’ll learn she’s an open book. She grew up in Pensacola and finally returned four years ago with her husband, Jake (many thanks to the Navy.) They now have two kids ages 3 and 1 (plus an 8-year-old cockapoo pup!) Mallory values connection, deep conversations, and the right to change her mind. She owns her own design business, MALWEST design, where she does visual branding for small businesses as well as designs + illustrates invitations, stationery, home decor, gifts, and more. When she’s not chasing babies, painting, or designing, she can be found boating on the bayou, strolling through East Hill, or dreaming up home improvement projects for the family (mainly for Jake!).
Melissa Benator is a basketball wife, English teacher, and freelance writer, who spends most of her time getting her cardio in by chasing around her energetic two-year-old son and seventy-five-pound rescue lapdog. She is a Virginia girl who gradually kept migrating further south after graduating from The University of Georgia, where she met her husband. They moved to Pensacola as newlyweds five years ago and fell in love with the turquoise water and white sand. When not at the beach or eating her way down Palafox Street, Melissa can be found improvising in the kitchen, pretending to be Joana Gaines, or splashing in the baby pool with her son. She believes that life is a perpetual learning curve, and motherhood is no exception. Melissa looks forward to connecting with our readers and sharing her joys and challenges as a new(ish) mother.
Michele and her family moved to the Pensacola area in 2014. Being from the Big Bend area of Florida, she and her husband felt right at home right away and decided to settle here as they prepared for him to retire from the Navy in 2017. She received her bachelor's degree from Florida State University steering her to a career in health care and program analytics. Michele has three children, two daughters and a son. Her family loves to spend time outdoors, playing sports, and spending time with extended family. Life has encouraged her to embrace every moment and strive to make the most of every situation.
A Pensacola native, Miranda enjoys raising her two young sons in her hometown with her husband, Paul. She graduated with a degree in Exercise Science from the University of West Florida, which ignited a passion for adopting a lifestyle around health and wellness. With a large extended family stretching from New England, Colorado, and California, Miranda has loved to travel and crisscross the country visiting and exploring new cities with her family. When Miranda is not playing with her sons- Cohen (4.5) and Miller (2), she is finding a new home project to start, researching a new recipe, enjoying quality time with friends and family, or finally sitting down watching The Office with her husband and a nice glass of Pinot. She is excited to combine her love of all things Pensacola, the adventures of motherhood/sisterhood of mothers, and writing with Pensacola Mom Collective!
Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana, Monique and her family moved to Pace from Nacogdoches, Texas in 2018. She is wife to Marc, forever mom to Laine (9) and Wyatt (5) and foster mom to a sweet little girl (3). Her mom, Rosie, moved in with the Cossich Krewe in June 2020. Monique is passionate about learning and is currently on the Admissions team at the University of West Florida. When her journey to “mommy-hood” became difficult, she and Marc pursued adoption through foster care. Since 2011 the Cossich Krewe has been blessed with 18 foster children. Her pom-poms shake for the New Orleans Saints and the New York Yankees. You will probably find Monique at the ballpark or the football field depending on the time of year handing out her special PBJs and snacks. She loves being a sports mom and every exhausting thing that comes with that title! Monique is a “what you see is what you get” girl - she is all about being raw and honest!
Robin Zimmern is originally from Boston, MA arriving in Pensacola in 2008 via Nashville and Birmingham. Since moving to the south, Robin has embraced her inner "y’all," learned to wear pearls, eat grits, and knows the words to every Garth Brooks’ song. Robin is a proud girl mom to two precocious, creative and sassy girls: Emma (9) and Charlotte (6). They keep her on her toes in their never-ending desire to become YouTube stars, survive on a diet of pizza and chicken nuggets, and always trying to have the last word. Robin received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Vanderbilt University, her specialist degree from the University of West Florida, and is currently finishing her doctorate degree from the University of West Florida. Robin currently serves as the director of development at the University of West Florida. In Robin’s spare time (is that a thing?), she is a passionate community volunteer. Robin currently serves on several local boards, including the Pensacola Little Theatre, Manna, Junior League of Pensacola, Fiesta Pensacola, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Wife to Brett, mom to BethAnne, Peyton, Walker and Matthew, retired CPA, career volunteer, avid sports fan, and adorer of old Catholic Churches. Rocky passionately advocates for her son, Matthew, and autism acceptance. In 2015, she began writing about her family’s experience with autism on Facebook. In 2020, she published her first book, "Embracing Mrs. Mommy – Learning from, Living with and Loving Someone with Autism." Always in the back of my mind is Luke 12:48, “to whom much is given, much is expected… ” You can find her on Instagram as @mrs__mommy.