• Hoboken Girl of the Week: Lara Dominianni of Little Miss Foodie {+ Hoboken Teacher}

    Our Hoboken Girl of the Week inspires her Instagram followers to live their healthiest life by making simple, fun, + cost-friendly foods and sharing the recipes she creates. Lara {known as Little Miss Foodie in the social media world} is a full-time teacher by day and Instagram influencer in her spare time — although she does a pretty darn good job at keeping up with it {her 34,000+ followers are proof}. While she’s pretty much an open book with her followers, we wanted to get to know her even more. Here’s all about our latest Hoboken Girl of the Week:

    lara little miss foodie

    A Little About Lara, from her POV:

    I always like to say that I’m not a typical 27-year-old. I’m partied out and I’m focused on what I genuinely enjoy and what I want to do next with my life. I enjoy happy hour or a celebration here and there, but don’t need to go out every weekend. I would rather do productive things, with friends (or not), than sit in a dark bar.

    Little Miss Foodie started off post-graduation when I wanted to feel GOOD. I never felt good in college and finally got tested for allergies during my junior year. I did a smaller food allergy test and it came up as gluten. Mind you, this was when a gluten allergy was VERY new. There were no products on the market, no one really had it and I had to cut it all out. Well, I never felt better and still always had a lot of discomforts. Speed up to 4 years later, I got another test done and it came up as GARLIC. At first, I was confused – how can someone be allergic to this? But I am.. and it is difficult. but I manage. I do what I do to bring light to the world of healthy – how easy, fun, and inexpensive it can be. I want to also bring awareness to nontoxic products – whether it’s food or skincare. There is so much out there and it can be so overwhelming but it’s actually really simple if you can just find that ONE person who can show you the ropes.

    My goal through this is to help people feel better – to notice what may bother them, to find out what that is, and to modify their diet to just feel GOOD. I am always open to helping people create healthier versions of their favorite classics, or even modify recipes to omit certain ingredients.

    What Inspires Her/What Keeps Her Up at Night

    I would be remiss if I did not say my biggest inspiration is my mother. She is the most beautiful, caring, selfless, strong and independent person I know. We lost my dad in December 2000, so she raised my 2 brothers and I alone (at ages 9 and 11) while managing our family pharmacy. Whenever I go through something, I think of her and I always say to myself “it could be worse.” If she can do it, I can do whatever curveball my day sent me.

    What keeps me up at night is always, “what’s next?” For teaching and for Little Miss Foodie…what’s next? What can I do to help someone? What can I do to help people feel better? What can I do to help the people around me grow to be more positive? I notice that it’s a lot easier to spread negative energy than positive so that’s my focus.

    Goals + Passions

    My biggest goal for the year is to put out some more e-books. I launched my first e-book on August 12th. It contains 20 recipes, using minimal ingredients and minimal steps that anyone could do! It was a huge success and I think it gives people a really good idea of some of the healthy meals that I create. I’m passionate about creating recipes that taste indulgent but remain healthy. My favorite is to put a healthy spin on classics that you may not want to indulge in every day. For example, this summer I created a Turkey Bolognese (in my ebook) that is a much lighter version of what you might find in your favorite Italian restaurant.

    A Typical Day in the Life

    So…it depends. My full-time job is being a teacher. I just started my 6th year teaching, but this will be my first year teaching kindergarten and working in Hoboken! A typical day looks like fresh celery juice (GREAT for you), hot cup of coffee on my way to work, then eating my overnight oats while I get my classroom ready for the day. I get to work pretty early and teach for the day.

    Once work is over and I am done with my own work, I truly love getting a workout in. Although it keeps me in shape, working out for me is definitely a form of self-care. It’s something I do for me to let out endorphins, frustration, sweat and have time to myself. We don’t get much of that as teachers. I don’t work out every day so on other days I like to see friends, attend events or just relax (we don’t do enough of that either). The highs of teaching are getting to work with little people all day…they are so resilient and it’s rewarding to see how much they can grow over 10 months. The downside…it’s tiring and sometimes I feel like we don’t get enough credit for what we do. After all, NOBODY can be successful without a teacher.

    On the other hand, my Instagram account is my baby. I work on this all year round but I take it full time during the summer. It can be very demanding but I’m the happiest when I am able to go full time with it. A typical day here looks like waking up, having my usual celery juice, followed my coffee on my way to a morning workout. When I get home I have breakfast, shower and then tackle emails and recipe testing. About 2-4 days a week I have events so I am so lucky to have the chance to go into the city and work with brands and people that I have grown to know and love. I truly enjoy this.

    lara little miss foodie hoboken girl week

    READ: 16 Local Millennial Entrepreneurs Kicking A$$ in Hoboken + Jersey City

    The Highs + Lows

    The highs…working with amazing brands, companies, and people (and getting free stuff)! The lows…I never have enough time to do everything I want to when growing this business.

    Highlight of Career {So Far}

    The highlight of my career so far, in teaching, has been to watch my first graders learn to read, write, and tell time. Teaching is not a rewarding career – you don’t look back on a big project or meeting or Excel spreadsheet at the end of the day and notice what a great job you did. It’s slow and it’s frustrating and you get down on yourself very easily. Somedays it seems like all I do is tie shoes, open snacks, remediate arguments, and try to keep the room calm. In teaching, you take it all home with you. But reaching the end of the year and looking back to see where your students started and where they ended is like a miracle! You never forget your first few teachers.
    The highlight of my career, being a health and wellness influencer, has been my ebook. This can be easily purchased by contacting me through my Instagram.

    What a Day Off is Like

    On my days off I like to slowly and quietly start my day with a cup of coffee in my apartment. I like to hit a midmorning workout class and then either hang with friends, spend the day with my boyfriend, bounce around the city, try new restaurants or go to the beach. But then of course…there are some days I like to just hang out, bake, cook and chill. I am LittleMissFoodie after all 😉

    lara little miss foodie hoboken girl week

    Advice to Someone Trying to Pursue the Same Career Path

    Hmm…being completely honest here – just KNOW that you are meant for teaching! Sure – the best part of the day is being with the students and engaging with them. But really see what your niche is in teaching. Do you prefer the little ones or older kids? Do you want your own classroom or do you want to be a support teacher? I feel like I never really knew if I loved teaching until I found my niche – and now I think it’s in kindergarten!

    For someone trying to pursue their “dream” (as I would call Little Miss Foodie) – just do it. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise and don’t let your mind tell you otherwise. You will figure it out and if it is your passion, then the money and everything else will come. And if it doesn’t then you can’t say you didn’t try. Although it’s an unconventional path, it is so fulfilling to do what you love. I hope someday to take LMF full time.

    Hoboken + Jersey City Favorites

    What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken? JC?

    Hoboken – Grand Vin
    JC – Mathews for brunch, Porta for pizza.

    What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken? JC?

    In Hoboken – The Margo Market.

    What do you love most about Hoboken?

    I like the fast-paced lifestyle (I grew up in the suburbs of NJ). I love being able to walk everywhere and always being surrounded by people.

    What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?

    Walk or run along the water!

    How long have you lived and/or worked in Hoboken or Jersey City?

    I have only lived in Hoboken for 4 months, and I just started working in Hoboken on September 1st.

    What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken/JC?

    Hoboken – I love the piers along the water or just sitting and eating/having a drink at Union Hall.
    JC – The Grove Street area.

    See More: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Liz of Pino Hospitality 

    What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?

    I have not been to many studios but I really like CKO Hoboken – boxing is my jam right now. I plan to try SLT this fall.

    Where do you go out with friends in the area?

    My girls and I are true fans of Grand Vin but we also love sitting outside of Union Hall or House of Que during the summer. During cooler months, we always wind up at Pilsner. We go into the city, as well.

    What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken or Jersey City? 

    I feel like a karaoke bar would be fun, as would a lounge for cocktails (NOT a club). And a restaurant with more organic options never hurt! I’m all about a vibe – I love seeing more cocktail and chill establishments rather than a dark bar BUT that’s just me!

    Is there anything else you’d like to share with HG readers?

    I am planning to dabble with meal plans and meal prepping in the future. I realize there is a large population of working adults and parents in Hoboken who would love the idea of someone prepping their meals for the week so all they would need to worry about is feeding their children. Let me know if you’re interested 😉

    lara little miss foodie hoboken girl week

    Thanks for chatting with us, Lara! Stay tuned to see who we feature next week <3

    Want to be featured or nominate someone as an upcoming Hoboken Girl of the Week?

    Email hello@hobokengirl.com about your/her story.

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    Written by:

    Briana, a born and raised Hoboken girl, has a strong passion for the town she knows and loves so much. She’s seen many changes and embraces both the old and new aspects of Hoboken. When she’s not working at Hoboken Girl as an Editorial/Marketing Assistant, she’s most likely in her pjs shopping online, eating her way through the Mile Square with her fellow foodie fiancé, or planning her next cruise or Disney vacation — but even more important is her love for cats (she has 3).


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