Meet Melissa! - New Canaan & Darien Moms

Where are you from originally?
Carlisle, PA
What made you choose New Canaan over other towns in the area? How long have you lived in New Canaan?
We had several close friends living in New Canaan, and we loved it from the moment we visited. It’s beautiful and charming, with great schools and a family-focused, close-knit community.
How many kids do you have and what are their age(s)?
3 children—Bryson (9), Luke (8), and Anna (5)
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
Waveny Park is the center of the community, and in the winter it boasts the best sledding hill in the area. We also love jogging and riding bikes together down Brookside Road to play tennis at Cherry Lawn Park, rainy days at Bowlmor, and hiking trips to “Ward Pound Ridge Reservation” and “Zofnass Family Preserve” (both in Pound Ridge.)
What are your favorite events or favorite season in New Canaan and why?
Honestly, it’s hard to choose a favorite season! Christmas time is so magical (God’s Acre, Holiday Stroll down Elm Street) and fall football is serious business in these towns! But summer is probably my favorite season… amazing weather, Darien beaches, and after-dinner desert outside at Gelatissimo.
Three things in New Canaan or Darien that you can’t live without:
I can’t live without the sushi bar at “Fjord”, the “Fall-dorf” salad at “Pine Street Concessions” and the classes at Oxygen Gym!
What’s the best way to relax and unwind in New Canaan?
For me, the best way to relax is to get a massage or facial at “Noelle” Spa in Stamford
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? Night out with friends? Romantic evening? Why?
For “Friday family-night”, our kids love Tequila Mockingbird quesadillas, and we love the margaritas! A night out with friends would have to be “Uncorked” (“Lobster-pops”, brussel sprouts salad, and cocktails). And for a romantic evening, “Sole” for their wine and halibut.
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?
My favorite kid-friendly recipe is Turkey Bolognese. I throw in frozen or riced cauliflower, garlic, finely chopped zucchini in my Vitamix, and Rao’s marinara sauce with the scrambled dark turkey. So easy and the kids have NO idea that they’re eating veggies. I serve it over brown rice spaghetti with parmesan cheese on top. They love it!
What are a few of the most recent things you’ve pinned on Pinterest or who do like to follow on Instagram?
I don’t do Pinterest but follow my family/friends on Instagram. I also love reading the “Food” section of the NY Times to get new recipes.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
The most challenging time was when my children were 1.5 years and juggling their naps while trying to get the older kids to their activities and school. That was very tough. I relied on coffee and good friends to help me with driving!
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
My best piece of advice is that it is really hard when the kids are young but as soon as our youngest child turned 3 years, I found it to be much more manageable. Now, we love to travel overseas with the kids and I couldn’t have imagined doing that even a few years ago.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I volunteer regularly at South Elementary School and have helped with their strings program. My husband is also a member of YPO (Young Presidents Organization) and we are active in the local chapter, which has a number of New Canaan and Darien members.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Meeting other moms at my children’s preschools and through the Newcomers Club introduced us to most of our best friends. That immediate support group in town really helped me get through the early years. I now love how small our town is and how I constantly see familiar faces.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I think some people may not know that I play the cello and have my Masters in Cello Performance. Someday, I plan to return to my career in music!

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