Meet Our Contributors

Meet the amazing women who share their stories, wisdom, inspirations and mommy mishaps with you.

Ana Laura Ruiz

Ana Laura

{Sponsorship Coordinator}

AnaLaura, born in Mexico City and raised in the RGV,is married and in love with husband Martin Ruiz. Together they have been blessed with three quesadilla eating girls Camila (4), Anabelen (2) and Gemma (3m). When she’s not pinning,she’s salsa dancing. When she’s not dancing, she’s facebooking,cooking,cleaning, volunteering or all at once and in between a “mami”. As a former elementary teacher, this housewife and full time mummy’s daily lesson plan changes by the minute! Somedays are hectic, some are adventurous but with endless hugs, kisses and diapers!!

Posts by Ana Laura

Anastasia Perez - Rio Grande Valley RGV Moms Blog

Anastasia

{Operations, Co-Owner}

Raised in Rio Grande City, Anastasia is now a McAllen local, mother to three boys Lorenzo (5), Benicio (3), and Phoenix (2), and wife to OJ. She has returned to the RGV after studying architecture design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT ’04), and then moving from McAllen to Austin to Laredo and now back!  Anastasia works from home as a freelance graphic designer (anastasiaperez.com & Pink Texas on Etsy) and she is the Tech Support Coordinator for the national team (City Moms Blog Network). When she’s not busy picking up toys, keeping her boys from climbing over the couches or running in all directions, she can often be found designing invitations, editing photos, creating and managing websites, baking goodies (and eating them, too), or Netflixing with her hubby. Her experience ranges from public information for non-profits (multimedia, video, web, print) to mathematics teacher (6th grade through AP Calculus) and now mom, designer, and blogger.

Instagram | Twitter | Posts by Anastasia

Cari Lambrecht

Cari

Cari is a blondey Rio Grande Valleyite whose least favorite question is “Are you from here?” Sure, her parents may have hailed from Iowa, but she was born and raised in Deep South Texas, y’all. Cari is the mother of two sweet, dangerously smart girls, Lorelei, 4, and Adeline, 4 months, and of husband, Nathan. Yes, you read that right (just kidding, babe). Cari, a former journalist, works full-time as the public relations coordinator for South Texas Health System and is currently pursuing her Masters of Business Administration. For a time, she owned her own cloth diaper business, Green Cheeks. This perfectionist is a chronic overachiever and over committer, taking pride in projects she takes on. When she’s not mommy-ing, working or studying, Cari enjoys running on 2nd Street, whipping up the occasional fancy meal, watching comedy shows and binging on Breaking Bad/OITNB Netflix episodes, and taking all kinds of trips, especially to national parks and other areas of natural beauty.

Posts by Cari

Celeste Barnard

Celeste

Celeste is a mom to 3 teens: Hope, Noah, and Joel. She’s been married for 18 years. She is by birth a California girl, but by heart a Texan. Her husband is from the valley and they moved here together 6 years ago. She’s loved being a stay-at-home mom while being able to pursue her passions— writing and speaking. She enjoys reading, coffee, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her husband recently stepped out into a new adventure, doing camps and events for kids and families (BigRedsRanch.com). You can learn more about her at celestebarnard.com.

Posts by Celeste

Christy S

Christy

Raised in North Carolina, Christy loves sweet tea (think watery syrup), lightning bugs and fall leaves. After seven years in South Texas, she now considers herself “from the Valley,” and can’t seem to get enough of mango raspas, afternoons by the pool and, of course, botanas. Her family has ridden the roller coaster that is foster and adoptive parenting for the last three years and they are much the better for it. Christy loves doing life with her husband, Caleb, and their three kids. Nate (6) is a master storyteller, Kamila (3) is a curious fireball and Eli (born January 2016) is a serious chunky monkey.

Posts by Christy

Cinella Reyes

Cinella

Cinella is a mom of 3 girls; Yvette (11), Eliada (6) and Annaleah (3) and has been married for 10 years. Born and raised in Donna she is living her dream of being a stay-at-home mother. After going through some rough spots her moto is now “Don’t Say Hurry.” In her free time she loves to vlog, give back to the community and spend time with her girls. Published many times in books and local publications she can’t wait to publish her own book one day. You can visit her blog at Don’t Say Hurry.

Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Posts by Cinella

Claudia

Claudia

Claudia is a wife, mother, sister, and daughter. She loves tacos, margaritas, and red velvet cupcakes (in that order). She has a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma and proudly supports her Sooners all the way from deep South Texas.

Posts by Cinella

About Felicia

Felicia

Never is there a dull moment in her life, either working as the Business Development Officer for Texas Regional Bank or volunteering for several community organizations within Edinburg and McAllen, all while mommying. Known as momma to son Felex (14 months) and mommy to step-daughter Erin (6 and “a half” years old) and best friend to husband, Alexis for the past 4 years, married 2. Between toddler trials & triumphs, soccer games & kinder graduation, Alexis and Felicia are learning to find some time to start their traveling adventures a little at a time by finally taking their honeymoon this summer. Felicia loves dancing to decade music, a good salmon and a good red wine; thank God Alexis is good at two, out of the three!

Posts by Felicia

Gloria Wyant RGV Moms Blog Contributor

Gloria

Gloria Wyant, a native RGV mom of two boys, often sips chai tea or coffee in the afternoons while reading, knitting, or delving into a myriad of DIY projects and crafts. She enjoys Zumba, organizes fundraisers, and does party-planning for friends. Her whole family loves spending time helping in the community and in their church. Gloria adores her husband who is a career firefighter and the way he gives 110 percent in all he does. Their two middle-school boys are creative, inquisitive, and fun to talk to. Currently, Gloria works part-time and volunteers at Mission Historical Museum.

Posts by Gloria

RGVMB Contributors Spring 2014 Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer

Jennifer, better known as Mama and Jen is a born and raised RGV girl.  She has been married to her better half Robert for 6 years and is mama to Ryan (2), Chase (7 mo.), and a 12 year old opinionated Cocker Spaniel named Charlie. To say life is crazy at times—every second, is an understatement but they wouldn’t have it any other way! She works as an elementary assistant principal and is still learning to balance the duties of being a full time working mom, wife, and a mama to two little ones. In her spare time you can find her wandering the aisles of Target, in the Starbucks drive thru waiting for her favorite, overpriced mocha, or perusing Pinterest for her next DIY project.

Instagram | Posts by Jennifer

Katie Wollenberg Profile

Katie

Katie is a Mid-Western girl at heart, having lived in Missouri, Wisconsin, Ohio, and now in the RGV. This makes for some very interesting adventures. She has been on this adventure with her husband Nate for 5 years of marriage and sweetest girl, Zoe since March 2014. Most of the time she can be found running around McAllen looking for deals and sales with little ZoZo. Katie is also the part-time librarian at St. Paul Lutheran School. She also loves to cook, listen to soft hits of the 70s, and get in a good Netflix binge.

Blog | Instagram | TwitterPosts by Katie

Transitioning from SAHM to Working Mom

Lisa

Lisa is mom to one high-energy 3-year-old, Jacob and wife to her moderate-energy hubby, Tony. Lisa was born and raised in San Antonio. She is a former Rio Grande Valley news anchor and reporter. Lisa started her broadcast news career in Laredo, TX and landed her second news job in the Rio Grande Valley in 2002. After 12 years of reporting, anchoring, and chasing breaking news, she left the news biz to be a stay-at-home mommy. She recently returned to work full-time as a communications writer. Lisa is a proud Longhorn and she enjoys writing, reading, and traveling to San Antonio and Austin to visit her friends and family. She loves a good karaoke session, chocolate, and an early bedtime. She and her husband have decided they are beach people and they plan to spend their retirement beach hopping.

Posts by Lisa

Marisol R

Marisol

While not born in South Texas, Marisol has called the Rio Grande Valley home for the past 25 years. She is currently a Mcallen resident where she plays house with her very own prince charming. Together, Marisol and her husband have created a family where they have welcomed three children in the past four years! She graduated from the University of Texas-Pan American in 2008 with a Bachelors in Political Science and Philosophy. Originally planning to attend law school, Marisol decided to take a leap of faith and embark on being an entrepreneur. She enjoys being the boss and sole employee of Marisol Izaguirre LLC where she works professionally as a photographer. When not traveling the country for weddings or for fun, Marisol can be found at home where she divides her time between her children, working, and obsessively cleaning her home – all usually at the exact same time.

Posts by Marisol

Melissa G RGV Moms Blog Contributor

Melissa

Melissa has been in the RGV for almost a year now, having moved from the metro Atlanta area with her husband, Jaime and two sweet boys, Jaime Jr. and Isaac. Melissa is a Nutritional Therapist who focuses on helping people with food sensitivities and autoimmune disorders. When she’s not busy seeing clients, Melissa enjoys pilates, reading the latest on health and nutrition, whipping up healthy meals, and drinking wine with friends when she’s not bonding with her boys over loud music and dancing. Likewise, she enjoys discovering new places to eat around town and supporting local farm-to-table restaurants as well as shopping at local businesses.

Website | Instagram | FacebookPosts by Melissa

Melissa Gama Bean

Melissa

Reflecting on the many blessings I have I can say that I’m fortunate to be in God’s favor. I have two beautiful daughters that have brought a change of life to our home. My husband and I have known each other since we met in the fifth grade. We call ourselves elementary sweet hearts. Our lives have brought us together in ways we never imagined. Living life together has made the journey easier and well worth the memories we share. Currently, I am a second grade teacher and I hold a bachelors in sociology and a masters in education administration. As an educator, I have become an advocate for children and teachers. Believing in others that they can achieve anything they set their minds on helps them succeed. People today need to be compassionate about what they do for a living and that’s me-I am a compassionate, strong willed woman who will aim high in achieving success and helping others achieve their own goals.

Posts by Melissa

Miriam

Miriam

Miriam Contreras lives in McAllen, Texas. She is married to her husband, Mike. Together they have two beautiful children, Nathan (7) and Ella (2). She is an Image, Modeling & Etiquette consultant. Since she was little she has always enjoyed helping others. With the love and support of her family she has realized her dream in making a positive impact in the community. Consulting has allowed her to help many girls and women realize their unique God-given strengths. She enjoys helping people fulfill their potential as confident and proud individuals.

Posts by Miriam

Rachel

Rachel

Rachel Carreon grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago and has since lived in Portland, Oregon, Strasbourg, France, and Phoenix, Arizona, and is most proud to call the Rio Grande Valley her home. She works full-time for a national education non-profit focusing on leadership development programming, and was formerly a teacher in a k-3 self-contained special education setting. She lives with her husband Robert and their almost 14 month old son Jacob. They also have a blue heeler mix named Huck. Rachel loves to cook and you can find her reading cookbooks and cooking magazines for fun, as if they were great works of literature. She also loves to be outdoors and in her non-work time (because who has free time?) you can often find her on walks, at the park, or relaxing in the back yard with her family. Rachel loves to enjoy good food (and wine) with family and friends and enjoys trying out new cooking projects at home and new and old favorite restaurants when she has the chance to get out and about. She is a novice mother, but an eager learner and is excited to build community with her readers, to share a bit of herself, and to learn from others and their experiences.

Posts by Rachel

Regina and Xavier Hernandez

Regina

Born and raised in Arkansas, Regina moved to San Antonio seven years ago, and last year moved to the RGV. She’s married to her best friend, Raul, to whom she’s been married 6 years this coming September. She is mommy to a rambunctious soon-to-be 5 year old, Xavier. She am a stay at home mommy who is currently finding her passion for cooking, which is a long time coming for her husband. She love all things sparkly, reading in her spare time, spending time with her family, and blogging. You can also read her blogs at simplyuniquetalk.com

Posts by Regina

renee bk

Renee

{Managing Editor}

Hi. I’m Renee. Last year, I left my full-time job in New York, moved back home to Texas, bought a house, and popped out my first baby. Luckily, I did this all with my awesome husband and our totally bewildered cat. Now that we’re living in the RGV, I’m getting to know a whole new side of Texas— which I love. I also love my little girl, public libraries, fresh margaritas, adult conversation, and anything funny or satirical. (I used to love sleeping, but I think we all know that’s a lost cause.) When I’m not adjusting to life with a toddler, I’m working from home as a freelance copywriter. Oh, and downing copious amounts of iced coffee.

Posts by Renee

RoxAnne Cantu :: RGVMB Contributer

Roxanne

RoxAnne lives in Rio Grande City, Texas. She is married to her husband, Bobby. They have four children: Laurel, Arora, Matthew, and Catherine. She is a Speech Language Pathologist. She enjoys planning family meals, family trips, and reading.

Posts by Roxanne

Spring 2014 Vannessa Eggleston 6

Vannessa

{Founder, Co-Owner}

Vannessa Eggleston is the founder of Rio Grande Valley Moms Blog and owner of the online boutique stationery store, Then Comes Paper.  She’s born and raised in the RGV, where she met and married her high school sweetheart, Will.  She’s mom to 3 rambunctious little critters :: Cole , Ellie and Taite.  She has a quirky personality and an unhealthy obsession with all things Egg-related (she married for love and the last name happened to be one of the perks ;).  She enjoys sweet tea, a good pun, designing, and quiet time. If she’s not blogging, designing or loving on those three Littles and that one Big of hers, you can probably find her at any given Chick Fil A. You can keep up with her on her personal blog The Eggspress News or on her professional blog over at Then Comes Paper.

Instagram | Twitter | Posts by Vannessa

Meet Vannie

Vannie

{Events Coordinator}

Vannie is the proud momma to a beautiful one year old daughter, Ellie.  She was born in Houston but raised in McAllen.  She loves gardenias, reading, traveling, beaches and attempting to craft.  She is constantly working on personal development.  She is currently an officer of the Metro Toastmasters Club in McAllen and taking a sewing class.  She works for an independent pharmacy in Edinburg but dreams of one day owning her own business.

Posts by Vannie

Veronica Mares

Veronica

Veronica is a momma to a nearly 2 year old boy, wife to a middle school teacher and is a speech language pathologist employed at a local hospital. A Rio Grande Valley native, Veronica studied at the University of Texas at Austin and later lived in San Antonio for 3 years before returning to the McAllen area to raise her son and plant roots in the only place she considers home. She loves to eat (not to be confused with cooking), dance Latin music and monkey around with her rough and tumble son.

Posts by Veronica