This week’s Meet a Mom is one of our own—Kaitlin Strobel, the mom of two behind Sound Shore Moms! She lives in Harrison, NY (a suburb of NYC) with her husband Billy, her daughter Penelope (“Penny”) who is 3.5, her son Stan, who is 1.5, and their mini goldendoodle, Murray. “We moved to Harrison three years ago from New York City, when our daughter was a few months old. We knew we wanted to be in Westchester because both of our families are in Westchester and CT. We chose the Sound Shore because of the quick commute to the city and the close proximity to the water,” says Kaitlin. Here’s a little bit more about Kaitlin and her area—in case you’re thinking about visiting or even moving to this popular Big Apple ‘burb.
Why did you join The Local Moms Network?
I joined the Local Moms Network last January when my son was about 6 months old. I was returning to my job as a recruiter after maternity leave and I was looking for something that would allow me to have more flexibility with my family’s growing needs. I also loved the idea of connecting with my community and tapping into my creative side as well.
What is your background and how will that help you in your role with TLMN?
My professional background is in sales and recruiting which has helped me tremendously with Sound Shore Moms. I’ve always loved meeting new people and making connections. I also do freelance graphic design and web design, which has been great to have as an additional service to local businesses. I’ve also been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to do graphic design projects for The Local Moms Network and I love it!
What is your favorite part of being part of TLMN?
There are so many things I love about it; it’s hard to pick one! I’ve met so many amazing moms and business owners that I never would have connected with if it weren’t for Sound Shore Moms. I also feel incredibly fortunate to have a job that allows me a flexible work schedule. I love working for not just a woman-owned company, but also a mom-owned company.
What is your best “working mom” tip?
Get up earlier than you think you need to and time-block your calendar. I’m not naturally a morning person but after you have children you don’t really have a choice in the matter. I find that I’m most productive and happiest when I get up earlier than everyone else to make time for myself and to set my day up for success. I also time block so that I can stay on track with my workday while also maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It’s easy to get caught up in distractions and when I block my calendar I stay focused. I also stay organized by making a “must-do” list every day. I was getting overwhelmed with a daily to-do list, because let’s face it, a mom’s to-do list is never ending. Creating a “must-do” list felt more manageable and helped me prioritize. I now feel more productive and in control of my day.
What has been the hardest part of quarantine for you and how have you dealt with it?
We are very social people and we miss having a full social calendar. It’s been hard to be limited in who we can see and what we can do. I’m grateful for the small pod of families that we’ve made into our “quaranteam”. It has been instrumental in maintaining our sanity – my children included! I do my best to practice gratitude regularly to serve as a reminder for all that we still have during these challenging times. We’ve been fortunate enough to stay healthy and safe throughout the year and that’s really all that matters.
Have your kids been in school or remote?
Fortunately my children are still young so we haven’t had to deal with the challenges of hybrid or virtual learning this year. My daughter Penny is in a small preschool and fortunately they’ve been in school in-person since September. My son Stan was supposed to be in a toddler program this year but it was understandably cancelled. We’re planning for him to do an in-person two’s program next year. I’m hopeful for the upcoming school year. With the vaccinations rolling out I’m optimistic that we’re turning a corner and each day will only bring us one step closer to normalcy.
What’s one thing most people don’t realize about your area?
We have such blended communities in the Sound Shore and Westchester in general. I’m from CT where there are hard and fast town lines. In Westchester, town lines do not determine school districts so there are often several towns that feed into different school districts. I think it makes for more dynamic communities because everyone is always connected to someone you know. It’s hard to meet a true stranger.
What’s your favorite quarantine activity?
I’ve been enjoying all of our crafts and baking projects. I love to be creative so it’s been fun doing things that we normally wouldn’t make time for. I follow @busytoddler and @chasing40toes for ideas and inspiration. I also love trying all of the new recipes from The Local Moms Network. I love to cook but typically don’t bake, and I think I’ve baked more this past year than I have in my whole life. My husband and children have definitely benefited from it. My husband still talks about Joy Bauer’s Healthy Soft Pretzels!
Anything else you’d like people in your area to know about your site?
We are adding new resources every day and there are so many exciting things to come this year. We’re continuing to build out our calendar and we have some surprises that we’re rolling out in the near future. And I love to hear from you! If you have ideas for Sound Shore Moms or local information you want to share, I’d love to hear it!
We love supporting local businesses. Can you please share your fave places in your area to:
Go to dinner as a family We love Bar Taco in Port Chester and Frankie & Fanucci’s in Mamaroneck.
Have date night Lusardi’s – we’re suckers for amazing Italian.
Have fun as a family outdoors We haven’t been going to parks all that often post Covid so we’ve been enjoying lots of family walks in our neighborhood. Penny is loving her upgrade from the stroller to her bike and her scooter.
Workout (at least precovid!) Studio50 is the best! I love their megaformer and Scorch HIIT classes.
Get your hair done The Mane Haven is my go-to for cut, style and color (because I have all the greys)
Get your nails done I’ve been loving Amenity Spa because they come to you!
Go shopping (for kids, yourself and gifts) I love Palmer & Purchase for myself- the best clothes and accessories. Miller’sfor kids is the best- they have literally anything you could want: outdoor play, nostalgic toys, and even kids shoes and clothes. I also love Tig & Peach for kids’ gifts – they have such cute and unique gifts with local delivery. Village Mercantile is great for gifts for anyone.