We’re TWENTY-ONE New Orleans Moms Stronger :: Meet Our New Contributors

We are pleased to introduce our community to newest members of the New Orleans Moms Blog team. Each one is a powerful, energetic and inspiring New Orleans mom, and we can’t wait for you all to get to know them both online and in person at any of our upcoming events. We are honored to have these women join our growing team.


Jennifer Gonzales

Originally from :: Kenner, LA

Her Krewe :: Trip (6), Conner (4), McKenzie (2), Piper (7 months)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Ralph’s on the Park’s classic bread pudding, with their Bananas Foster martini and truffle fries on the side – dessert is a meal, right?

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Nectar cream stuff with vanilla ice cream

She believes the best king cakes are found :: at Haydel’s

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: on top of a ladder, dancing to the beat of all the high school bands whether it’s Uptown, Downtown, Metairie, or Mid-city

During the Saints games, you’ll find her :: grocery shopping  – stores are EMPTY! But, I still sport my best black and gold!

Kids at Jazz Fest? Nah, let the adults play!

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: SWEATY! I can’t believe I haven’t burned more calories just from loading and unloading all of the kids in and out of the car.


Valentina Lostalo’ 

Originally from :: Cordoba-Argentina

Her Krewe :: Lucas (7), Penelope (5)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: charbroiled oysters

Her favorite snowball flavor :: watermelon or pineapple

She believes the best king cakes are found :: O’Delice

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: On Valmont and Magazine for Muses (pretty much the only parade we do), friends live a block away so bathrooms and food are close by.

During Saints games, you’ll find her :: Taking a nap or hating on the mess traffic becomes during the week. I do watch semifinals and finals 5 minutes at the time. Maybe catching up with my girlfriends while the boys watch the game is my favorite way.

Kids at Jazz Fest? Nope. Too loud and too crowded for our kids. Maybe when they get older.

Raising Kids in New Orleans is :: interesting, to say the least. It is fun and it offers a great array of opportunities to have fun and learn and also can be a tad chaotic. The public school system is a roller coaster.


Vanessa Batiste-Leal

Originally from :: Kenner, LA

Her Krewe :: Breigha (9), Britain (6) and Blaze (2)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Her Granny’s stuffed crawfish heads with smothered greens and then; her gumbo with scrambled eggs n’ rice with a piece of hot sausage, and then finish it off with bread pudding from Commander’s Palace, and then finally her Granny’s pecan candy

Her favorite snowball flavor :: raspberry and pina coloda

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Dong Phong (strawberry filled) and McKenzie’s (plain)

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: Having breakfast with her husband and kids early on Mardi Gras morning in the French Quarter while watching and enjoying the revelers with costumes

During Saints games, you’ll find her :: At the game with her husband and a whole section of friends who are also season ticket holders…WHO DAT!

Kids at Jazz Fest? I’m impressed by the parents who are raising festers at a young age…but not me. My kids can go when they are old enough to be designated drives and drive us home.

Raising Kids in New Orleans is :: like seasoning your iron skillet that was handed down to you from your Granny – there is a long history full of flavor that you now have the responsibility of, by contributing your knowledge and talents to make what is coming in the future bigger and better.


Emma Pegues

Originally from :: New Orleans

Her Krewe :: Reed (20 months), and Number Two due in October

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Dinner at Clancy’s – one of everything please

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Secret off-menu flavor from Hansen’s called The Thai Trifecta. You’ll have to try it to find out what’s in it!

She believes the best king cakes are found ::  I ride or die for Haydel’s Traditional.

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: with a Popeye’s biscuit in each hand

During Saints games, you’ll find her ::  trolling the referees with a Superdome Bloody Mary and loaded nachos

Kids at Jazz Fest? Absolutely! Start ’em young!

Raising Kids in New Orleans is :: a blast!


Ja’Nae Lewis

Originally from :: The Westbank (Terrytown)

Her Krewe :: A’Nylah (9 months)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Some good ole crawfish with shrimp and potatoes! Don’t forget the turkey necks!

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Polar punch and coconut

She believes the best king cakes are found ::  Antoine’s

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: Depends on the parade, usually by Orleans or St Charles

During Saints games, you’ll find her :: At home with my dad, watching him almost have a heart attack, because of the crazy calls!

Kids at Jazz Fest? Let’s see, first time mom. Going to experiment with that one!

Raising Kids in New Orleans is :: a blast!


Janice Rae

Originally from :: Covington, GA

Her krewe :: Miles (6), Max (3), Camden (3), and Jordan (18 months)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Seafood Gumbo and an Abita Amber of course!

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Blue Raspberry

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Randazzos BUT genuinely loves a good Rouses King Cake

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: Everywhere! St.Charles, on Vets in Metry, and on Ponchartrain in Slidell. Her krewe tries to make every parade possible. Mardi Gras is their favorite.

During Saints games you’ll find her :: Cheering on Kamara unless the Saints are playing the Miami Dolphins then you’ll see her in blue and orange.

Kids at Jazz Fest? Not yet, maybe when they can walk without needing to be held.

Raising kids in New Orleans is: the best! The culture of New Orleans is unlike any other city. We love the traditions and the strong Catholic community that is provided for our children.


Shannon Mangerchine

Originally from :: Arlington, Virginia

Her krewe :: Noah (8), Eli (6) and Zeke (3)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Frose from Willa Jean, Lamb Hummus from Shaya, Luscious Lemonfish from Tsunami, Korean Steak and Eggs from Paladar 511 and Coconut Basil Gelato from Sucre

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Vietnamese Iced Coffee

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Sucre

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her: Neutral ground side of St. Charles

During Saints games you’ll find her :: Enjoying the entire gym to myself because everyone else is watching the game.

Kids at Jazz Fest? Not yet, but one day.

Raising kids in New Orleans is FUN!!! In a city with so much passion, culture and history there is always something to do!


Kathryn Seibert

Originally from :: River Ridge

Her Krewe :: Roni (6) and Remy (2)

Her Last NOLA meal would be :: Drago’s Chargrilled oysters, Meunière
Amandine from Irene’s, topped off with cannolis and eclairs from Brocato’s!

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Chocolate with condensed milk

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Haydel’s and Dong Phuong

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: We tend to “float” around… just follow the glitter!

During Saints games, you’ll find her :: Cheering from home with cold Abita

Kids at Jazz Fest? Hats off to the hardcore fest mamas, but I’d rather pay a sitter!

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: such a privilege. It’s one of the most unique cities in the world and I hope they never take it for granted!


Liz Hernandez

Originally from :: New Orleans

Her Krewe :: Husband Jose, Luciana (11), Miles (9), Sophia (7)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Gumbo (made by her Husband) followed by beignets

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Strawberry, always and forever

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Caludas -NO ICING- the old fashioned way

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: Our favorite parade to attend as a family is Endymion. My brother rides and the kids love seeing him every year. Mardi Gras day we go for the more laid back Metairie Parades. This year we traveled to Universal for Mardi Gras week, it was out first time traveling for Mardi Gras and I have to say, we enjoyed it. We will probably do it again, although we did still stay in town for Endymion.

During Saints games you’ll find her :: Folding laundry or going to the grocery since its quiet at that time -sad but true, not a huge football fan.

Kids at Jazz Fest? My daughter went with her school on a field trip. My husband and I used to go before kids, we have not taken our kids with us to Jazz fest-yet.

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: Fun, I love the diversity and culture they are naturally exposed to, plus all the good food. They have no idea how special a NOLA childhood really is.


Alyson Haggerty

Originally from :: I am originally from Metairie, which is also where I currently live.

Her Krewe :: Tripp (6) and Thomas (4)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Crabmeat Remick from Delmonico with bananas foster from Brennan’s for dessert!

Her favorite snowball flavor :: just plain, old strawberry with not-too-much juice. but I usually just get soft-serve vanilla ice cream. From Sal’s because I like the tree stump seating.

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Manny Randazzo’s if I’m going for traditional cinnamon. However, I actually buy Haydel’s because I collect the porcelain figurines. Apart from the traditional style, I just discovered Wishing Town. I like their custard king cake straight from the fridge.

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: On Napoleon sipping a frozen pomegranate mojito from Superior. ANNNDD this year I’m riding for the first time ever! Hail Nyx!

During Saints games you’ll find her :: hyperventilating and cursing on my sofa with my family, probably with some burgers on the grill or some pastalaya.

Kids at Jazz Fest? I think it varies depending on the children and the family, but overall, definitely! I personally would wait until kids are out of diapers and don’t need bags and strollers. I definitely believe in exposing them to all the art and music NOLA has to offer, so my kids fest with the best!

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: like watching a Saints game: loud, wild, joyful, and you never quite know what is going to happen next. I like to do it with a drink in my hand, which is also how I prefer to watch the Saints play. It can be an emotional rollercoaster, and sometimes I want to put a bag over my head. But, like rooting for the boys in black and gold, it’s an experience like no other.


Emmily Patella

Originally from :: I was born in Wilmington, NC, but was raised here from the age of 2. My family moved back when I was in college, so now it’s a second home.

Her Krewe :: Elijah (13), Dominic (12), Joel(10), Abram (8), and Levi(5)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: My last NOLA meal would be a fried shrimp poboy, Debra French fries, and a diet coke…because, balance.

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Clear strawberry

She believes the best king cakes are found :: While I had to swear off gluten a few years ago, and have yet to find a GF one worth the calories. I used to love Randazzos.

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: Hanging with my boys, or taking advantage of the week off of school and traveling.

During Saints games you’ll find her :: In the living room of one of our awesome group of neighbors.

Kids at Jazz Fest? While I hate to admit this, I’ve never been to Jazz Fest. My husband and I talk of going one year, and we will definitely use it as a date day and leave the kids at home.

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: full of opportunities for food, music, and culture. Nowhere like it!


Kelley Delaune

Originally from :: Metairie

Her Krewe :: Roman (5), Remy (3)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Sushi.  It’s not a NOLA thing but it’s my favorite ! I could also go for some boiled crabs

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Strawberry from Sal’s Snowballs

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Antiones Bakery

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: either on her sofa or at a couple of Metairie parades with herkids.  The bands and the music are their favorite part!

During Saints games you’ll find her :: at home or at my moms watching the game and eating with her family

Kids at Jazz Fest?  Maybe one day

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: most certainly home for us.  My husband and I were both born and raised in Metairie.  The city is a beautiful place with lots of culture and diversity.


Nikki Rockwood

Originally from :: Portland, Oregon

Her Krewe :: Amaya (14), Tyson (11)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Mac and cheese and greens from Cochon, chargrilled oysters from Chimes, and the souffle bread pudding from Commanders

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Nectar cream with condensed milk from Hansens

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Dong Phoung

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: Riding in Nyx and on St. Charles in front of The Columns neutral ground side

During Saints games you’ll find her :: Yelling WHO DAT with the family

Kids at Jazz Fest? Of course!

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: an adventure I am so glad we decided to take!


Janique Bardell

Originally from :: Algiers

Her Krewe :: Blake (2), Sean Jr. (1)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: My Mother’s seafood gumbo (it’s LITERALLY the best in the entire universe!)

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Banana with cotton candy

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Randazzo’s (without filling); Hands DOWN!

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: On a cruise ship or resort in a different city..haha!

During Saints games you’ll find her :: I’m not a football fan like my hubby is, but if it’s a “big” game, I’d definitely volunteer to host a watch party.

Kids at Jazz Fest? Of course, but when they’re much older (maybe 6 or 7).

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: amazing! There’s no better place to have exposure to such rich culture, delicious food and great music. I also believe that they can experience the best of both worlds of living in a major city, with a small town feel.


Maria Bruce

Originally from :: New Orleans

Her Krewe :: Chiara (2)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: My Mother’s Gumbo

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Groom’s cake (half wedding cake, half chocolate)

She believes the best king cakes are found :: at Dorignac’s or Tastee Donuts (the old McKenzie’s recipe)

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: on St. Charles Ave. near my Aunt and Uncle’s condo

During Saints games you’ll find her :: watching from home with the family wearing black & gold, having an Abita, and eating poboys or red beans

Kids at Jazz Fest? Sure!

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: a blast. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve experiences that are specifically part of New Orleans, like enjoying snowballs or catching beads at a parade. I adore being able to pass on these experiences to my daughter.


 Jeanne Rougelot

Originally from :: Westbanker and proud!

Her Krewe :: Aline (11) and Louisa (2)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: My Dad’s gumbo, my Uncle Darryl’s boiled crawfish, and my husband’s beignets.

Her favorite snowball flavor :: I mean, Rainbow.

She believes the best king cakes are found :: The BEST original king cakes are found at Antoine’s in Gretna. Duong Phong’s king cakes are honestly in a different delicious category.

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: sitting on a folding chair, sipping a beverage, FAR from the front of the crowd.

During Saints games you’ll find her :: …Why? You got an extra ticket?

Kids at Jazz Fest? Yes. We took my daughter to see Alan Toussaint, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. An opportunity of a lifetime, and she was only 8.

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: as difficult as I imagine it must be everywhere, but mine is in Catholic School, which is very rewarding but financially challenging.


Monique Navarre

Originally from :: Slidell

Her krewe :: Elie (4) and Eden (16 months)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: This is hard because I like to eat and I have a lot of favorite foods but I would have to say either crawfish or my Mom’s gumbo!

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Tigers blood with extra condensed milk, so good!

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Randazzo’s

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: Other than marching in Endymion my senior year of high school all of my Mardi Gras seasons were spent at work or at home with a newborn baby, both my girls were born during Mardi Gras season. I’ve been minutes away from Mardi Gras my whole life and my first Mardi Gras was actually last year. It was so much fun and the energy was amazing! We usually attend the Slidell parades, but will most definitely
be making a tradition out of celebrating Mardi Gras day in NOLA.

During Saints games you’ll find her :: Supporting the home team from home!

Kids at Jazz Fest? Sure, why not!

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: fun and exciting! New Orleans is full of so much culture and history; every corner is history lesson. There’s so much to do and there’s nowhere else like the city.


Katie Morton

Originally from :: Birmingham, Alabama, but claims New Orleans as her heart’s true home

Her krewe :: Olie (3.5)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: turtle soup from Commander’s Palace

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Cherry

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Cake Cafe and Bakery– the goat cheese and apple version, yum!

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: with the most fun group of parading Nyx ladies you’ll see (shout out to Jody’s Float!) or near the start of the route away from the crush of ladders

During Saints games you’ll find her :: in section 610– dancing and yelling and high-fivin’!

Kids at Jazz Fest? We haven’t gone as a family yet, but I’m up for giving it a try.

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: one heck of a pothole-filled but exciting drive!


Gabriella Konechene

Originally from :: Slidell

Her krewe :: Giuseppe (3) and Chip (1)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: roast beef poboy from MOTHERS! (Dressed of course)

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Nectar Cream

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Randazzos

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: at Gallier Hall

During Saints games you’ll find her :: home with the kids or under the over past tailgating without kids

Kids at Jazz Fest? Heck yes!

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: important to us because of the culture, family and friends there really isn’t no place on earth like it


Pia Chowdry

Originally from :: Baltimore

Her krewe :: Maya (4) and Leena (1)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: Charbroiled oysters

Her favorite snowball flavor :: Cheesecake, stuffed!

She believes the best king cakes are found :: Dong Phoung

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: usually at work

During Saints games you’ll find her :: watching intently

Kids at Jazz Fest? No!

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: a great city for teaching them about culture and diversity!


Angel Murchison

Originally from :: Phoenix, AZ

Her krewe :: Layah (9) and Derrick III (7)

Her last NOLA meal would be :: New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood on Decatur. I had boudin balls and a burger of course!

Her favorite snowball flavor :: 1/2 piña colada and 1/2 lemon-lime

She believes the best king cakes are found :: from a baker by the name of Heavenly Sweets Bakery, LLC. Follow them on IG!

During Mardi Gras, you’ll find her :: Esplanade and Claiborne under the bridge with all the good food, family, and fun.

During Saints games you’ll find her :: at home making a complete tailgate dinner getting ready to watch the game with my family.

Kids at Jazz Fest? ADULT ONLY! I bring the kids to everything else!

Raising kids in New Orleans is :: Exciting and worthwhile!

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Mary is a caffeine addicted boy mom to Noah, Liam and Luke. This “stay at home” mom can typically been found cruising in her minivan, jamming to Beyonce with a Starbucks in hand on her way to carpool or after school activities. Mary has been married to her high school sweetheart since 2007. She is a founder of Delivering Hope NOLA and the Vanessa Wolff Scholarship Fund at her Alma Mater. Mary is passionate in the local preemie community and has been heavily involved with the March of Dimes since her sons Liam and Luke were born premature.

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