Born, raised and raising in Milwaukee, Mandy runs on faith, Diet Coke and to-do lists. She and her Jersey boy of 13 years, Blake, are parents to the handsomest of handfuls (Cristian, 11). Armed with her Sicilian mother's sarcasm and Mexican father's temper, her Type A(-) personality is always trying to make the pieces of her puzzle fit. She is passionate about body positivity and special needs and hand-stamps jewelry to release her creativity (and aggression). Mandy could always use a margarita and a nap, and is constantly trying to figure out how to make the two happen simultaneously.

When Santa Became a Safe Space

"Santa, I would love for you to meet my son. He LOVES you, but he gets scared when other people are around," I said with the same hopeful smile that I'd smiled many times...

Eating Disorders and the Holidays :: How to Cope and How to Help

The holiday season is upon us, and that often means celebratory meals with our loved ones and plates upon plates of homemade goodies to further demonstrate those warm and fuzzy feelings. Simultaneously, it can also...

31 Candy Alternatives for Trick or Treat This Halloween

Let me be the first to say that I love candy. Kit-Kats, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Bars — chocolate fills the cracks in the soul. And let's not forget Swedish Fish, Sweet Tarts,...

Go, See, Explore: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage with Public Art in Walker’s Point

I never realized that I was different until it was pointed out to me in eighth grade. My teacher pulled me out of class during a standardized test to let me know I'd made a...

Milwaukee Summer 2020 Bucket List | Social Distancing Edition

  In a normal world, we'd have a robust post of a hundred or so things for you to get out and enjoy this summer in and around Milwaukee, but in the new environment we...

Social Distancing: This Isn’t About Us

Social Distancing is a pain, but it isn't about us.  I lost my mom in December to COPD. I know I would have lost her to COVID-19. There’s no way that she would have been...

Dying Lessons from Momma’s Bedside

  As you were dying, you told me that I was the best daughter you could have ever had. And I know you meant every word as I wiped the tears from your eyes and...

Leaving a Legacy in the Kitchen

My nana's love language was food. It was evident in the beautiful and detailed cakes that she lovingly made for her loved ones, including mine for my quinceañera. It was apparent in the many Italian...

Five Tips for A Holly Jolly Ride on the Jingle Bus

The Milwaukee Jingle Bus - a Holiday Family Tradition Why drive around winding back roads and towns in search of lights or wait in lines when you and your family can see gorgeous holiday lights...

Multi-Generational Living: Embracing the Togetherness and Chaos

Whenever I explain to someone that our family has multi-generational living situation, I always get one of two responses. "I could never do that!" or "I wish I could do that!" Multi-generational living is a polarizing...