Hi, Mamas! I’m Kristen, the Stepmom half of the Kandy Apple Mama duo, and I’m so glad you’re here!

Kandy Apple Mama is devoted to raising a better generation, a mission that I wholeheartedly stand behind. I want to be a better mom, wife, and contributor to society. I want to raise better, more kind, generous, and smarter children. I want to leave this world a better place than I found it.

Kandy Apple Mama also stands for eliminating the stigma of co-parenting and representing the new blended family. Be the change you want to see in the world.

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10 Things you may not know about me

  1. Michael O’Neill complimented my acting when I took a theatre arts class in college; he was a friend of the professor’s and came by to watch a few of our performances. He said I had true talent. WHAT!
  2. I interned for a Congresswoman on Capitol Hill for a semester and met several influential leaders throughout my time in DC.
  3. I might faint if I ever got to meet Oprah. Talk about a game changer!
  4. I’m a HUGE advocate for cancer research and finding the cure. I’ve been in volunteer leadership positions with the American Cancer Society ranging from event- to state-level since 2008.
  5. I’m a bargain shopper! I used to be a crazy coupon lady with the binder and 7 Sunday paper deliveries, but I’ve since toned it down just a little bit. I still look for bargains before I purchase anything though! My kiddo already has clothes for next summer because I buy things one season ahead when they’re on clearance.
  6. I refused to watch a football game growing up. I hated it, and I was probably the only kid in Texas that could say that. Nowadays, I’m probably one of the biggest Green Bay Packers female fans you’ll find! Go pack go!
  7. I’ve been to Las Vegas for my birthday weekend every year since I turned 21. One of the items on my bucket list is to stay at all of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip.
  8. My feet are incredibly ticklish. I have a love-hate relationship with pedicures.
  9. When I started Kindergarten, I was reading at a 5th grade level and doing math at a 3rd grade level, so when I was understandably bored after just two weeks, they moved me up to 1st
  10. I met Kenny Chesney in December, and he personally congratulated me on my engagement! I asked if he’d be around for my wedding to sing at our reception, but unfortunately, he has another obligation: his own tour.

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Step-parenting

My parents have been divorced since I was 2 years old and both remarried (my dad has remarried three times, my mom once).

I had an extraordinary example in my 2nd stepmom, Michelle. She loved me as one of her own, and I’ve carried that over to my relationship with my stepdaughter K. Her father is an extraordinary man who has pushed me to be better, encouraged me in all of my pursuits, and loved me, faults and all. I am so blessed that he came packaged with the sweetest girl.

Learn more about what it’s really like being a stepmom here. I consider it the most challenging role I’ve ever held, but easily the most rewarding.

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 What I Really Think about My Stepdaughter’s Mom

I’m supposed to really dislike Amanda, aren’t I? After all, she was Kevin’s first love, and she’s K’s birth mom. How can I compete with that?

Truth is, I don’t have to! I’m me. I’m Kevin’s second wife, and K’s super stepmom. It took us a little while to be comfortable with each other, but now Amanda and I are actually friends! I know it’s bizarre, but it didn’t happen overnight. It was a very natural transition from “So this is K’s mom. She seems standoffish. I guess we shouldn’t talk” to “Oh, she must really be as nervous and uncomfortable as I am” to that one night when I had to pick K up when Kevin had military training and she was so sweet. She knew that I had a fun night planned for K and told her how excited she was for her. We traded numbers and sent each other photos when she was with us, sharing all of the little moments you tend to miss when a child has to split households.

Blogging & Our Relationship

Real Talk. I was SO jealous when Amanda started Kandy Apple Mama! She was really doing it! Quitting her day job for her dream job. She gets to stay home with the girls while still making a living! Who wouldn’t be jealous? Then one day, she started sharing about some of her blogger idols and ultimately confided some of her struggles. Though I have absolutely zero experience with blogging, I do have business experience. So I gave her some advice and asked if she ever thought about bringing on a partner. I was shocked when she said yes! Lucky me! I get to join in on this incredible adventure.

I can’t even begin to tell you how these few short months blogging together have completely changed our relationship. We text each other more than I do my closest friends and family. She’s part of daily conversation between Kevin and me now – how strange, I know!

And my very favorite part of all of it? K! She’s so happy that both of her moms are best friends now. To relieve the pressure of feeling like she’s betraying one to have fun with the other or to think she has to choose sides. I’ve never seen her happier or more carefree.

What I bring to the Table: Usborne Books & More

The evidence of the importance of reading in a child’s life is undeniable. Amanda and I completely support raising a reader (find out more here). If you’re interested in some amazing books I highly recommend, check this link here (or click the button below)  to explore my Usborne Books & More page. Their books are interesting, colorful, and educational.

My Goal

At the end of the day, I’m here to empower women. I’ve seen the glass ceiling firsthand. I’ve witnessed sexism, and I’ve heard countless insensitive remarks. I hate that women have to fight men to the top and that we still fight each other (to be prettier, smarter, more successful).

You guys – I’m infuriated that it’s taboo for me to be friends with K’s biological mom! I want to be friends with Amanda; she’s awesome!

Plus, how amazing for our daughter that she doesn’t have to choose sides or feel like she’s betraying one of us by liking the other?

We, as women, must love and support each other.

I want my daughter to grow up thinking she can be anything she wants to be (President of the United States, a veterinarian, an astronaut, etc.). She will believe she can achieve any dream she sets her mind to; if I am certain of nothing else, it is that she will set her sights high and never settle for less than she deserves.

I am so excited to represent the new face of co-parenting, the new future of womanhood and sisterhood, and a new way of thinking outside the classroom.

Welcome to Kandy Land, ladies! We’re so happy to have you.

-xoxo-