Masala Mama May: Melanie, Lauren, Carmen, and Mindy!

#MasalaMamaMay is coming to a close with these amazing mamas. Meet Melanie, Lauren, Carmen, and Mindy!


Meet Melanie, mama to adorable little Arya.
Did you know that Melanie is a 2nd degree black belt in Shotokan Karate and a two-time bronze medalist in the Pan American games, where she represented the United States?

After graduating from Stanford university and landing a high profile corporate job, she quit to pursue her childhood dream of acting and quickly landed a series of television roles, including guest appearances on Rules of Engagement, Parenthood, and Nashville and large recurring roles on Netflix’s Brown Nation and HBO’s The Brink. In 2015-2017 she played the series regular role of Dr. Malaya Pineda on the CBS medical drama Code Black.

Melanie is also a co-founder of the not-for-profit Hospital for Hope India, which provides health care services to under-served villagers in rural India. Melanie is an avid storyteller and a woman to keep your eye on as she continues to pursue her passion in the arts and social entrepreneurship.

One word to describe your kids: Tenacious! 

One word your kids would use to describe you:  She’s still developing her vocabulary, but in the interim she points to me and says “MUM” or giggles with a mischievous grin. I’d like to think she is describing me as MAGNIFICENT.

How would you define your strength, your power?
My strength comes from my stillness. My power comes from my empathy.

Best parenting lesson you’ve learned from your mom?
Lead with love.

What do you like to do when you need some “ME” time?
Write, tidy up, or binge a TV show

What is your passion? Storytelling. 

A little fun fact about yourself: I practiced martial arts for a good 15 years. I have a 2nd degree black belt in karate!

Your Spirit Animal: Arya Stark from Game of Thrones 🙂

3 emojis to describe life after kids:  🤯🤫😂


Can you believe May is coming to an end? But it’s not over yet!  Who better to end #MasalaMamaMay with on this gorgeous, sunny day than Vandifair‘s Lauren Vandiver?

We’re excited to introduce you to Lauren and her little one, Everly. We don’t want to say too much, but you’ll be seeing a lot more of these two coming soon! You’re in for a treat, so stay tuned!

Lauren is a Dallas-based blogger with a passion for fashion and color addict – and you know how we feel about color!

 We were instantly captivated by her outlook, and we love following her journey as a new mom and avid traveller. Her positive messaging and vivid captures inspire us to be bold, travel colorfully, and have fun- every day! On that note, happy Friday, ya’ll!

One word to describe Everly: Effervescent

One word you think Everyly would use to describe you: If Everly could describe me in one word I think it would be “ma!” “Mama” was actually her first word, but now she just yells “ma” when she needs my attention.

How would you define your strength, your power?
I think my strength is my imagination. Since I was a little girl, I’ve always been a dreamer and a creative, and there’s a part of that childhood imagination that I’ve always stayed connected with.

Best parenting lesson you’ve learned from your mom?
To go with your gut and lean into your instincts as a mama. When I was pregnant, I sort of rejected her advice and read SO many of the baby books that advocated for very strict schedules and rules with promises of getting baby to sleep through the night and into the crib as early as possible. I fully intended to use those regimens I’d read about, but once Everly was born, my mentality totally changed. Instead, I’ve let Everly teach me what works best for her and, like my mama told me, relied on my instincts. Just proof that mama always knows best!

What do you like to do when you need some “ME” time?

Haha, right now I’m attempting to balance being a mostly stay-at-home mama with running a business, so any time Everly is with one of her grand parents or her aunt, I use that time to work! Ask me in another year or so, maybe I’ll find time for “me” time again then! I did allow myself to watch the final season of Game of Thrones though. I’m obsessed!!

What is your passion?
I feel so very lucky to have turned my passions for writing and style into my career, thanks to my blog. Although sometimes the lines between my blog being a job and my passion become a bit blurred, I am still doing what I absolutely love, every day, and I am so very grateful for that.

You’re currently inspired by: Everly.
She inspires everything I do. She’s this sweet, vivacious, joyful little personality, full of wonder and spunk, and I am constantly surprised and inspired by her.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to? What about it did you love?
Although I have done a ton of travel in the US and Central America, I haven’t been many other places (although there are several on my list!) If I had to choose my favorite place I’ve traveled to, I’d probably have to say Alaska (which totally surprised me!) We got to take an Alaskan cruise a couple of years ago and we were both completely blown away by the incredible beauty of it all. From getting to see (and walk on!) glaciers that truly take your breath away to getting to see majestic animals like humpback whales and bald eagles up, Alaska is nature at it’s finest (and that’s coming from someone who’d never describe herself as outdoor-sy).

A little fun fact about yourself:
I’m absolutely obsessed with all things Disney.

Your Spirit Animal:
Labrador Retriever. They’re playful, loyal, kind and curious. Also, we have two fur babies in our family who are labra-loves.

What’s your secret mom talent?
Making Evie laugh. I’m definitely no comedian, but I’ve always been a goofball and I know how to get a really good belly laugh out of Everly (it’s my favorite sound in the world!!)

3 emojis to describe life after kids:
🤪 💤🌈


Meet Carmen, mama to Braedy, Kaede, Kingsley, and the adorable girl seen here, Apple! Passionate about her children, this hardworking mama’s on a mission to make sure that she not only provides the best life for her kids, but also gives them the tools to make their own way, too.
Following her story on instagram, as she posts her experiences as a mama of four, it’s easy to see the love that her family has for each other, and it’s certainly a bright spot on our feed! Plus we love her sense of humor!

We admire her adventurous spirit (moving from Canada to California is a big change!), and we can’t wait to continue following her journey and watch little Apple grow up!

One word to describe your kids: Loving

One word your kids would use to describe you: Passionate

How would you define your strength, your power?
My strength is not to get frazzled or upset when things go wrong. 

What do you like to do when you need some “ME” time?
Crawl into bed at night alone and watch Housewives

What is your passion?
To provide a wonderful life for my kids while teaching them to be able to build it on their own too.

You’re currently inspired by: Any parent with a sick child that keeps positive.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to?  What about it did you love?
Hawaii. The one particular trip with my husband we didn’t worry about doing everything. We laid on the beach, woke up late and went to bed early. Best recharge I ever had.

A little fun fact about yourself:
I was a construction worker at age 17

Your Spirit Animal: Brandi Redmond off Real Housewives Dallas 

What’s your secret mom talent?
Pretending something is too heavy or difficult to do so my older boys do it for me.

3 emojis to describe life after kids: 😢😭👎🏼


Meet Mindy, mother to 4 gorgeous gals: Vivi, Lulu, Edie, and Dottie, and avid coffee drinker (some things unite all of us all the way from Minnesota to New York!)

We were first drawn to Mindy’s enchanting photos of her gorgeous family – some of you may recognize her photos from her blog and titled hopefeathers photography. Her joyful photos are full of warmth and bathed in color, we can’t help but “aww” as we scroll through her albums! In addition to her eye for color and framing, she possesses the magical power to capture not one but four little girls at just the right moment!

Through our Masala Mama features, we’ve gotten to know a little more about women from all over the world with all kinds of experiences in motherhood. Mindy’s no exception, teaching her girls that they’re not only beautiful, but also strong and embrace their creativity. Her girls are growing up immersed in language, culture, arts, and science – you can spot them with instruments outdoors, learning to code on snow days, or cozying up with a good book in their garden.

One word to describe your daughters.
Vivi, thinker; Lulu, empathetic; Edie, feisty; Dottie, sweet.

One word your daughter would use to describe you (or what you /think/ she might use!)
The best (I asked Edith haha) 

Best parenting lesson you’ve learned from your mom?
Pick your battles. 

What do you like to do when you need some “ME” time?
Coffee and stroll around Target. 

What is your passion?
Finding beauty in everything God has created. 

Favorite place you’ve traveled to?  What about it did you love?
Italy. So many awesome places to visit, art to see, food to eat, and wine to drink! 

A little fun fact about yourself.
As a kid my family did clowning. My clown name was peppermint. 

What’s your secret mom talent?
Snuggling 😉 

Your Spirit Animal: Deer

3 emojis to describe life after kids 😍🥰🤪

One thought on “Masala Mama May: Melanie, Lauren, Carmen, and Mindy!

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