Join Us Saturday May 7th at St. Luke’s Institute for Health Education at 11AM & 3PM!

Tickets on sale now! 

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Naomi Francis – has been planning parties and events for more than 20 years, specializing in sponsored events and fundraisers. She started in this field as a server and sous chef in Hollywood working at several award shows such as the Academy Awards, Comedy Awards and at various VIP homes. After arriving in St. Louis, Naomi branched out on her own as a caterer and then evolved into an event planner. After four years as a Co-Producer/Director for Listen to Your Mother – St. Louis, and loving every minute of it, she is trying her hand at writing a memoir focused on her own mother. Naomi is married to Ron, who is serving our country as active duty military, and they have twin 7-year old boys, Jake and Luke. So her household is always one big party that she’s forever trying to clean up!

What inspired you to co-produce/co-direct LTYM?
(This is Laura again…) Naomi couldn’t remember the answer to this one…so, I’m going to tell her!
Ellie Grossman-Cohen met Naomi at Kaldi’s and asked her to be a part of the group of this new, fabulous movement.
I think it’s hard for Naomi to say, “NO”, and even though she had twin toddler boys, she didn’t hesitate and said, “OK, I’ll start working on everything this afternoon!”
She’s a nut, but WE LOVE HER!!! Naomi is the easiest, hardest working co-producer/director EVER!

What’s the craziest piece of advice your mother or a mother gave you?
When I was in elementary school, I had a habit of wiggling my nose back and forth with the back of my index finger. My mom said if I kept doing that then my nose was going to get really big when I grew up.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve said to your kids?
Well, this is definitely pretty embarrassing for me, but when the boys were 6 I was in a hurry getting their backpacks ready for school. I was still unpacking from our move and couldn’t find the water purifier jug so I told Luke, “Sorry you can’t take your Star Wars sports cup to school since I can’t find our water purifier but I’ll give you a water bottle to take.” Then Luke smartly pointed out to me and said, “You can pour the bottle water into my sports cup.” Uh-duh!

Quick…ask the child closest (in proximity, of course) to you to describe you in 10 words or less. What did they say?

Luke (7 years) says that I’m a good mommy, I care about him, I’m happy, I have shiny teeth and nice black hair.

How would you describe yourself as a writer?
In my college days, I had an internship in the Alumni Office where I helped write their newsletter. My degree was in Public Relations and I had other positions as a PR person, so I think I tend to put a positive spin on my writing.

Salty or sweet? What’s your favorite snack to splurge on?
I do like combining them like Kettle Popcorn, Chocolate caramels with sea salt, and at Auntie Annie’s I actually get their cinnamon-sugar pretzel but I have them start it with a salted pretzel.

What was your first album?
My first album given to me was the Mary Poppins soundtrack. I loved that movie and even had a lunchbox with the characters on it. The first album I remember getting was Steely Dan’s Aja album. Loved Steely Dan!

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Laura Roodman-Edwards Roodman-Edwards-Ray (she married and divorced the same man with the same problems twice until she married the love of her life, hence the very long name) lives in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri with her two daughters, one stepson close by, and her loving husband. She is a full time mom, law firm representative for Thomson Reuters, author of Brain Dead in the Burbs and Cooking Your Way Back to Sanity- a memoir, Still Brain Dead & Cooking, and later this year, her third, ‘Forever Brain Dead’.
For the fourth year in a row, she is very proud to be a Co-Producer/Director for Listen to Your Mother – St. Louis, the fabulous show that continues to ‘Give Motherhood a Microphone’ and is currently in 41 cities, including one in Canada! She also has starred in a two woman comedy show, called “Funny Girls, The Experiment” and every Wednesday, co-stars in a YouTube cooking show with two of her best friends, Regi Drake and Fritzie Reeves, called ‘Brain Dead & Cooking with Friends”. In her free time, (she knows that’s a joke), she does everything she can to help her husband out at her husband’s record store of 36 years, Vintage Vinyl.

What inspired you to Co-Produce/Co-Direct LTYM?
Four years ago, Ellie Grossman-Cohen called to ask me, “How would you like to take on more than you can chew?!?” The second I heard the premise, I said,
“Sure, let’s go for it!” I’ve never regretted my decision and am so damn proud of this show and our city! It’s such a powerful experience each year, and it’s amazing to me that each year, my ‘family’ grows exponentially! I LOVE everyone I’ve met through this entire process. The cast, the sponsors, and the audience…Every single person involved in this show ‘Gets it’ and totally understands what we’re trying to do. This year’s cast members have gotten so close, so quickly, it just warms my heart! Ann Imig really created something so special and I’m so glad that I didn’t use any common sense when Ellie first called!

What’s the craziest piece of advice your mother or a mother gave you?
Way too many to even count…so let’s just talk about the craziest thing she said to me in the last few weeks? “Lou, you and I are going to Hollywood to be on Judge Judy!…pack your bags, because we only live once!”

What’s the craziest thing you’ve said to your kids?
Way too many to count, too! (I think it may be hereditary….Right, Colleen?!) I always say, “Just tell me where to go and how much I owe” and now I hear them say the same thing all of the time.

Quick…ask the child closest (in proximity, of course) to you to describe you in 10 words or less. What did they say?

Funny, caring, goofy, sweet, neurotic, spazzy, beautiful (awww),and wonderful (another awwww)

How would you describe yourself as a writer?
I write exactly like I talk…I ramble on and on, AND I just crack myself up (no one else thinks I’m funny, but I find myself laughing so hard that I have tears streaming down my face…you should see people at St. Louis Bread Company watching me write…they all think I’ve lost my mind…which is of course, debatable. Thankfully, I have a wonderful editor, Fran Levy, who ‘gets me’ and doesn’t want me to try to edit myself. It’s great because I don’t have to think about anything except the story!

Salty or sweet? What’s your favorite snack to splurge on?
Both. Right now I’m into Sugar Babies and White Cheddar Popcorn…and to think, I can’t blame it on PMS anymore!

What was your first album?
Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’

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The mission of Girls in the Know is to educate and empower mothers and their pre-teen daughters while encouraging positive decisions and healthy behaviors as girls mature into adulthood. We know growing up in today’s culture is tough…
GITKEvery 7 seconds a girl is bullied
GITK3 out of 4 girls will consume alcohol in High School
GITK1 or 2 out of every 100 students will struggle with an eating disorder
GITK1 in 4 teen girls has an STI
GITK7 out of 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way

How do I prepare and support my daughter to make healthy choices in today’s culture?
Providing a strong foundation for communication is the key to raising strong authentic women of tomorrow. When girls have positive communication at home they report it helps them establish their individual values, make healthier decisions, develop a stronger sense of self while experiencing less depression and anxiety

HOW DOES GIRLS IN THE KNOW HELP?
GITK is a 501c3 non profit organization who’s mission is to inspire & empower girls to make healthy confident decisions. We do this UNLIKE any other organization by delivering a 4 week speaker series led by female professionals in their field to mothers & their pre-teen daughters side by side. Topics include: Puberty, Safety, Bullying, Nutrition, Exercise, Friendships and much more! Delivering the program to preteen girls is critical, at a point where their hearts are open to creating stronger bonds and moms influence is still powerful. GITK provides the first step in the mother daughter journey through adolescence.
www.girlsintheknow.org

The Cup Logo
The Cup is not just the fulfillment of a dream, it is the culmination of a life’s work. Co-owner Ericka Frank’s love for baking started at the age of 12, when she baked and decorated a birthday cake for her “momma.” Ericka has been delighting friends and family with her creations ever since. Her passion for all things culinary led her to a master’s degree in dietetics and, while the transition from nutrition to buttercream may seem like quite a stretch, cupcake fans everywhere are glad she took the leap. Ericka opened her first bakery, The Cakery, in St. Louis’ Dogtown area in March of 2005. The Cakery specializes in custom designed cakes, cupcakes, and cookies and is recognized as one of the premier bakeries in St. Louis.

When Ericka opened The Cup in July of 2007, she brought on Nicole Puyear as her new partner. Nicole brings corporate experience and a creative background that she draws on to promote and expand their business. While historical accounts suggest that Nicole baked her one and only cake at age 5 (after eating half the batter), what she lacks in culinary skills she makes up for with a unique design vision for The Cup’s future.

Today, they have the same simple goal that they started with: serving delicious cupcakes. They are immensely proud of the teams at each location of The Cup and are
honored to lead them.

CENTRAL WEST END – STL | CHESTERFIELD | EDWARDSVILLE

https://www.cravethecup.com

I'll Drink To That Logo

Unique, embellished glassware hand-crafted by Dee Dee Cooke and Kim Plant
Items come beautifully packaged in kraft boxes with fill and ribbon, ready to gift! All items are one-of-a-kind!

Wine glasses – Champagne Glasses – Coffee Mugs – Tall Glasses – Rocks Glasses & So Much More!
@illdrinktothattoo

The Elegant Child Logo

The Elegant Child Campus is a state of the art child care, preschool, and Kindergarten that provides a warm, comfortable and nurturing “home away from home” environment for its families.

Started back in 1992 as the ideal model for their own children, Chip and Debbie Rowland created an atmosphere of learning that is second to none. The Elegant Child is an accredited facility that boasts unheard of student/teacher ratios, contracted and enthusiastic teachers along with academic excellence.

At the Elegant Child, curriculum begins at infancy including both baby music and baby gym.

A strong theme based curriculum is carried forth by degreed and experienced teachers who have been a part of the Elegant Child family for many years. Specialized instruction also takes place in Spanish, computers, cooking, physical education, health, dance, gymnastics, Soccer Shots and Martial Arts.
www.elegantchildcampus.com

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A killer record store that’s existed in some form in St. Louis for over 36 years. The St. Louis Post Dispatch calls it a ‘St. Louis Institution’ owned by Tom ‘Papa’ Ray and consists of a staff of the most loyal, talented, and musical historians in the country. The store is located at 6610 Delmar Blvd. in the University City Loop, St. Louis, MO
314-721-4096. Come visit…You’ll have a blast! By the way, “What was your very first album?”
www.vintagevinyl.com

Trickle Down Happiness Logo

Work/Life balance and “having it all” have become the impossible standard many of us have chased our entire adult life. But are we going about this the wrong way??
Download Paul Gilbride’s E-book to tap into where our true balance lies…..within the power of “being”.

You Think You Can’t Change The World? – This is All it Takes:

I smile, I laugh, I cry, I swear, I get angry, I have empathy, I’m jealous, I’m inspiring, I’m funny, I’m weak, I’m strong, I believe in myself, I doubt myself, I judge others, I’m grateful for all I am and all I have, sometimes I’m one with the world, sometimes I am alone.

I am all this, all the time, no matter who is there, no matter what the stakes. I make a difference in the world because I have the courage to be who I am….and in so doing…..I give others the courage to do the same.” – Paul Gilbride

Change the world…..be your best!

http://www.trickledownhappiness.com/can-working-parents-ha…/

Little Fishes Swim School Logo

Give Your Child a Skill for Life – Your child will thrive in our indoor, 93 degree pool. Small classes are available year-round in our facility which is designed specifically for swimming and will delight kids of all ages.

Also: In 2015, Little Fishes started a scholarship fund with a grant from USA Swimming. Additional funds were donated by our swimmers’ families and those who made a donation for their coffee at each location!!!

As of December 2015 we were able to make a difference to 375 children in our area…
17 swimmers were given swim lessons at Little Fishes for no cost
332 students participated in our land-based water safety program, “Safer When Wet” at area preschools and the Whole Foods Kids Club
29 students from De La Salle Middle School, located in North St. Louis, after school program participated in lessons led by Little Fishes’ staff.
Donations can be made at Little Fishes’ front desk or call Coach Mollie at (314) 647-7946

Apply for a scholarship by emailing: coachmollie@littlefishesswimschool.com

Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
Sat-Sun: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

www.LittleFishesSwimSchool.com

Kranzberg Logo 1

The Kranzberg Arts center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization nestled in the heart of the Grand Center Arts & Entertainment District. The KAC supports and fosters the creative community by hosting cutting edge exhibits, innovative theater productions and a plethora of cross-genre musical & non-musical performances. With 100 percent of profits going back to the arts, it also welcomes special events including fundraisers, intimate dinners, and lavish receptions for clients who know how to party with a purpose.

Rise Collaborative Workspace Logo

Stacy Taubman, Founder/CEO, a seasoned coach, speaker, and educator, is a thought leader in women and girl empowerment. She brings over 12 years of experience in the academic world as a high school math teacher and has earned Masters in both Administration and Counseling. Not only does she volunteer for the Youth and Collegiate Subcommittee of Prosper Women Entrepreneurs, she has spoken locally and nationally, including being the Keynote Speaker for the Rockwood School District’s Presidents’ Forum Leadership Conference.

Stacy founded her first company, Girls Dreaming Big (GDB), in 2013 and a year later won a $25,000 grant from the Social Enterprise and Innovation Competition (SEIC) sponsored by YouthBridge and Washington University’s Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies in St. Louis.

Since the competition, Stacy has not only grown the company, but also interviewed hundreds of smart, strong, successful women who are looking to make an impact on teenage girls lives. Additionally, these women have expressed their desire for a place to build community, connections, and confidence. From these experiences, Stacy founded her second company, RISE Collaborative Workspace.

They provide a professional office space and services specifically designed for women while offering mentorship, training, and coaching to teenage girls. RISE Collaborative Workspace brings women together who are focused on personal and professional success. These women value collaboration over competition and are committed to passing on what they are learning to the future female leaders coming up behind them.

http://www.riseworkspace.com

Brain Dead and Cooking Art

ARE YOU A ‘PARTY GIRL/GUY’ OR A ‘DINNER PARTY GIRL/GUY????
Either way, BRAIN DEAD & COOKING WITH FRIENDS is a new YouTube Cooking Channel that will make you laugh, cry (not really) and COOK, so that friends leave your home
in a FOOD COMA!
The show stars best friends, Laura Ray, Regi Drake, and Fritzie Reeves and every Wednesday, they will show you how to make brand new killer recipes.
Check out Lou’s Three Cheese Crabby Mac & Cheese, Fritzie’s Cornish Game Hens, Regi’s Caprese Salad, Baked Alaska, Crawfish & Shrimp Étoufée, Louie’s Smokin’ Brisket, Regi’s Beef & Bleu Crostinis, Orgasmic Bourbon Slushies and so many more.

Go to Facebook to Brain Dead and Cooking or www.braindeadandcooking.com

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St. Louis Cast Spotlight: And if you ever question if miracles exist… Ladies & Gentlemen, Jennifer Freeman Talley

May 3, 2016

Jennifer Freeman Talley is an educator, musician, wife and mother. She has taught pre-school, kindergarten, and college level classes in Missouri and in Illinois. She was a curriculum specialist with McGraw-Hill and traveled the country training educators and supporting schools until the birth of her daughter. Now she works as a per diem consultant and literacy specialist for McGraw-Hill. “Student Made Thematic Mini Books,” published by Incentive Publications, is a book she wrote for early childhood educators and parents of young learners. Although she has enjoyed an extensive career in education, her dream job is being the mother to the miracle baby, 18 month old Lillian Clare. When Jennifer isn’t busy being a stay at home mommy, attending mommy and me classes or arranging playdates, you will find her playing the clarinet with the Saint Louis Wind Symphony, the Northwinds Concert Band and the Gateway Wind Quintet. She has a passion for Broadway […]

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St. Louis Cast Spotlight: Murphy’s Friend No More, The Very Talented Hannah Shanks

May 2, 2016

Hannah Shanks is an accidental clergy spouse, mother to one son and human to one dog. She works as an adjunct professor of social work at MacMurray College, part time grant writer, and non-profit professional specializing in volunteerism and poverty competency. Hannah enjoys reading, writing, running, and playing board games with noisy people. She is currently storying up quarters in her car, eagerly awaiting the appearance of neighborhood lemonade stands. Hannah firmly believes the sum life’s wisdom can be found in episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. She writes because other writers have given her amazing gifts she can never repay, but only pay forward. You can find some of her work at www.hannahtries.wordpress.com. What inspired you to audition for LTYM? I know the powerful experience that comes from being freed from hearing someone else’s story. I know how healing and hopeful it can be to identify with someone unexpected and say, “Me too. […]

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St. Louis Cast Spotlight: Extraordinary Mom, Wife, Teacher and Runner…SADIE SMITH

May 1, 2016

Sadie is a middle school English teacher who is currently on sabbatical to enjoy the wild and wonderful adventure of raising her four and six-year-old boys. She’s been married to one of the coolest guys on the planet for the past thirteen years and is also the proud mama of the fattest cat in all of Kirkwood. When she is not cleaning Legos out of her vacuum, Sadie enjoys baking, decorating, and eating any and all kind of cake. She loves paper books, David Bowie, excessively organizing her house, and travel. Whether whitewater rafting down the Nile or exploring our wonderful city, she hopes to see more of the world one little piece at a time. She currently logs many of these miles on foot while attempting to run a sub- 4:00 marathon in each of the fifty states. She writes about her experiences at sadiesfifty.wordpress.com and is very excited to be sharing […]

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