Hiya! Ashley Bond, here, founder of nolaParent. Along with my husband, a Black Belt wearing PR czar and my three equally dangerous little girls, I live in the never-a-dull-moment, nurture-nature enclave of New Orleans, having grown up in Texas as what some indignantly call an “Air Force brat.” My kids, however, are anything but (determined and rascally, for certain).

New Orleans is, now and forever, my beloved home, the most magical, lesson-learning place to bring up children. After all, we’re all grown-up kids here, dancing, feasting, and parading around, often with our darned-lucky kids. It’s in the city’s tradition and inherent nature to have fun, even while working our little butts off.

our mardi gras stomping grounds, lafayette cemetery @ prytania

Which leads us to nolaParent, my on-line lifestyle journal and forum on raising children in the Big Easy (which can, like all cities, be not so easy, but worth it). And oh, the things they will see, learn, and become!

nolaParent is a practical, hands-on, anecdotal, and oft-first-person guide to bringing up babies, toddlers, and ‘tweens, relevant to not just parents in the Crescent City but to couples and single parents everywhere. Here you’ll read about trends, inventions, innovations, inspirations and absurdities as they relate to parenting.

Humorous too (kids do in fact do the craziest things), it includes telling incidents that have transpired within my family tribe along the way, and lessons I’ve learned that have helped shape who I am, and of course my family: some confuse me, some amuse me, others initially infuriate, even confound me. Pretty much anything I’d share with a gal-pal over a cup of coffee at PJ’s (uptown) or Café du Monde (downtown)…or later in the day, a few glasses of Pinot Grigio. (We like white wine, Sancerres and rose’s too, we really do.)

nolaParent, though, isn’t just about my singular navel-gazing. Quite nearly everything I’ve learned about parenting has been limned from other parents who were (and are) willing to share their perspectives, experiences, and canny wisdom. Like a pride of lionesses—or Killer Whales for that matter—there is power and security in numbers. Child-rearing isn’t, and never was, meant to be conducted alone—though sometimes in these social-networking, Attention Deficit Disorder times, being a mother can feel like the loneliest place on earth, disconnected from what’s going on “out there” in the world.

You are not alone. As a quilting-bee of a forum for sharing parenting insights, at nolaParent, we’d love to hear what you, dear reader, has to say and teach all of us about your takes on raising those little ones with the big brains. So go ahead, and submit us your stories (brevity isn’t a bad thing; keep them to under 600 words if possible; even one-liner ‘isms and refrigerator-magnet adages are welcome, and we’ll post them).

To kick things in, we’ve culled a formidable parent-teacher group, so to speak, of contributing editors—trust-worthy confidantes of all vocations and walks who I admire for their ability to juggle work, play, and home-life with near-eerie finesse.

A breakdown of our “hot buttons” of interest:

SHOP: Products, fashion, gear, toys and gifts we love and think you should, too.

PLAY: Ideas, people, places and things that inspire you or your family to play.

LIVE: Things that make life a little easier, prettier, healthier or safer.

LEARN: (Not-so) cerebral stuff like education, learning, parenting techniques, innovative programming, research, and trends.

SHARE: Your stories, your ideas, your perspectives, your discoveries, your experiences.

CONNECT: How to align with nolaParent…and to each other. Here, we’ll direct you as much as possible to local resources.

New Orleans is rich, playful, (yes) decadent, beautiful and curious, and it deserves to be celebrated. If you’d like to say hi, my email is ashley[at]nolaparent.com. I read everything that comes my way…between nap times, diaper changes, carpool lines, dinner, baths, books and kissing foreheads. Ah, gotta’ go!

Wait. What’s that you say? Did I leave you wanting more? I know the feeling. Be sure to subscribe to nolaParent email updates for news and special announcements that I promise will be totally relevant.

Warm Regards,

Ashley Bond

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