Meet Simone! - Columbus Moms Network

How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have one 2 year old son, Gray.

How long have you lived in Columbus and what made you decide to live here?
I moved to Columbus from Perth, Australia after meeting my now husband. We met in Australia when he was over there playing baseball, but he is Westerville born and raised, and we have called Columbus home since 2016.

What is your favorite family activity?
We love to explore all the many trails, parks and playgrounds around Columbus. There are just so many, that we never get bored and we all love to be outside as much as possible!

What do you love about living in Columbus?
I love that there is always something to do, there are always new and interesting exhibits, shows, concerts, programs. Plus the food scene isn’t bad either!

Tell us about your business and how it came about.
When I became a mom in 2020, I decided that I wanted to stay at home to raise my boy, which meant my busy life as a self employed personal trainer became a little tough with schedules (or lack there of). What started out as hourly virtual prep parties in my kitchen every Sunday, quickly needed to be scaled to provide choice, variety and customized options for a wider network, and so Meal Prep Menus was born. I wanted a platform to help make mealtimes more enjoyable and provide more time for my members by allowing them to spend less time in the kitchen and grocery store and more time pursuing the things they love. The Meal Prep Menus Membership is my way to share simple, quick, healthy & delicious family friendly recipes with the community, that will save money and time. Our recipes are easy to follow and are written specifically with make-ahead meal prep in mind! With new recipes added weekly, families don’t get bored eating the same thing on repeat- proof that meal prep doesn’t have to be boring, bland or complicated!

What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up every morning at 4.30am and head out the door to F45, Westerville.  This 45 minute fitness class is sometimes the only time I have for myself all day so I don’t miss it! After my workout I usually head into my studio or to a local cafe to work for an hour or so before I head home to step into my mama duties. Gray and I usually make the most of our mornings with fun activities like going to a playground, attending story time, going to the zoo, forest school, a trampoline park or visiting friends. After lunch, when Gray naps, I follow up on tasks I didn’t get completed in my morning work hour and set up my priorities list for the following day. Our afternoons are filled with books, cooking, indoor play activities like puzzles and his new play kitchen (he is obsessed) and we attempt to clean up & reset the house for when my husband gets home from work so we can all have dinner together before bath time and bed.

What do you love about your business?
I have always loved working with people, as a Personal Trainer, I’ve always worked closely with women and been part of their ‘journey’. Now I get to be part of their family too. Hearing how I am eliminating stress from their lives and giving them the gift of more time means so much to me.  I remember how hard it felt as a new mom to juggle motherhood, a small business, taking care of myself, keeping a clean house & preparing meals for my family. I was stressed and over it. As someone who loved to cook, I started hating it. The more I spoke to other parents and clients, the more I realized that there are A LOT of us who felt this way. I didn’t want to be “in it together” I wanted to change it.. and I truly feel like I have. It feels good to be of service to others, especially fellow mothers.

What is some advice you would give to families to make mealtimes easier?
Depending on the age of your children, invite them to be part of the process. Ask them what they feel like eating this week or better yet have them search the portal and add the meals they like best to their own collection. Plan ahead by looking at your schedule. What days/ nights are busiest? Plan a crockpot meal for that night or better yet, cook once and eat twice with some leftovers or a repurposed meal (the salsa chicken is perfect for this!).

How do you juggle work and being a mom?
Oh, this one took me some serious time to discover (and I’m probably still learning), but I know for myself- I don’t enjoy doing both simultaneously. If I try and ‘mom’ while taking calls or working on deadlines, I don’t enjoy either and I don’t do either very well. So now I plot out time in my day (like mornings before my husband starts work and during nap time) which is dedicated work time and it is ALWAYS when Gray isn’t with me. I don’t find it easy switching between roles and I always want more time because I genuinely love what I do, but I also love staying home with my boy, so I am learning to be more productive in less time, prioritize tasks and to outsource when necessary. (another huge learning curve).

What is the best piece of advice you have received from another mom?
Can I share 2? 1. No one has it all together, you are doing a good job.  2. One day your children will be big and grown. They will leave and all you’ll have left at home is you and your husband. Make sure you know who each other are. Honor your relationship and each other so that you grow in love everyday.

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