Meet the Cool Mom Picks Team




Kristen Chase, Publisher, Editor & CEO, is currently residing in Philly. By way of Atlanta. By way of Philly. By way of Mississippi. In her former life she was a published textbook author, musician, college professor and designer shoe glutton, all of which she’s traded for a satisfying new position as a work-at-home-parent of four. What she has not given up, however, is great taste, a wicked sense of humor, and her avid support of mom-run businesses and the online community of parents.

Kristen has been seen on The Today Show, CNN, CBS Atlanta and in myriad publications talking about shopping and parenting culture. She published columns on sites including BabyCenter, Mom.Me, and Lifetime Moms, and has starred in a popular web series on Cafe Mom. She’s also known for the hilarious and helpful book, The Mominatrix Guide to Sex based on her popular column of the same name.

Kristen tries to stay as cool as possible (in all senses of the word) while parenting her daughters Quinlan, Margot and Bridget, and her son, Drew.

Follow her on twitter at @CoolMomPicks, @CoolMomTech@CoolMomEats@ThatKristen



Liz Gumbinner, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, is a born and bred New Yorker but without the accent. She has a background as a creative director in the Prada-mandatory world of advertising, writes some parenting columns here and there, has contributed to a number of non-fiction anthologies, and is frequently seen on programs like NBC’s TODAY Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Meredith Vieira, and local New York media discussing parenting trends, gear, technology and culture. Once she talked about her underwear.

Liz was recently included in Forbes’ list of 25 working moms to follow on Twitter along with idols of hers like Katie Couric and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; and named to lists of top online influencers by The Daily Beast, Nielsen, The New York Post, and Parents Magazine. In 2011 she was awarded the prestigious AWNY Game-Changers Award from Advertising Women of New York.

Liz is an avid supporter of global maternal health efforts through relationships with organizations like The UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, Friends of Baby Buggy, The White Ribbon Alliance for Safer Motherhood, and is a proud ONE moms ambassador for

She is equally at home in the boutiques of Fifth Avenue and the aisles of Target, but Liz can most often be spotted around her Brooklyn neighborhood grabbing a grilled cheese with her daughters, Thalia and Sage.

Follow her on twitter at @CoolMomPicks, @CoolMomTech, @CoolMomEats@Mom101



Cool Mom Eats Managing Editor Stacie Billis is one of our longtime favorite food bloggers–she’s the author of One Hungry Mama, the popular blog focusing on whole foods, nutrition, and lots (and lots) of family-friendly recipes. Now, she’s our very own. Stacie’s common sense approach stems from her Masters in child development, as well as her experience developing organic family food brand, ChowBaby Foods. But we like her just as much for her sense of humor, her amazing energy, and her non-judgy approach which does not preclude the occasional dip into the Nutella jar. Her Greek parents are mystified at the way she’s applying her advanced degree but since she’s provided them with two grandchildren they leave her alone. Check out her fantastically helpful food videos on her One Hungry Mama YouTube Channel, and follow her on Twitter at @CoolMomEats.




Senior Associate Editor Christina Refford spent more than a dozen years in marketing before leaving it behind to see if homeschooling three kids would be a fun way to spend her time. (Answer: Yes. Mostly. Sort of.) Residing south of Boston, she especially loves to run outdoors in the winter which balances out all the time spent sitting in the car driving kids to theater, ballet, and fencing practices. Christina loves finding great vegan handbags, last-minute dinners her son will actually eat, and the best indie bands with lyrics that she can play in the car, which is why she reviews most of our kids’ music submissions. She also longs for a hair style she can stick with for more than 6 months.



Senior Associate Tech Editor Nicole Blades is a prolific writer, journalist, and author of Ms. Mary Mack, a blog that brings a whole lot of compassion and common sense to discussions about parenthood. She’s also a gadget junkie, with a collection of iDevices, and a serious dSLR with serious lenses that get a serious workout photographing her ridiculously cute five-year-old son, which is why she’s a Senior Associate Editor at Cool Mom Tech. She’s currently working on her second book, called Nope! Not the Nanny: Stories of Race and Motherhood based on a spectacular column she published for xojane. Nicole lives in Connecticut by way of Brooklyn by way of Canada which means she’s not only cool, she’s very polite. And she’s funny. Read her posts, you’ll see.



Associate Editor Kate Etue hails from Franklin TN, a hip little craft food and indie-music-loving suburb of Nashville. Prepare for more cool southern picks, readers. She’s worked in the book industry for more than a decade, and she is the author of over a dozen books herself. (Not too shabby!) When Kate doesn’t have her nose buried in a hardcover, she’s checking out the newest tech trends for kids, crusading for moms in Africa, sitting on the sidelines at soccer or ballet, and hitting the trails with her husband and gorgeous brood of red-headed children.




We think Associate Editor Delilah S. Dawson is the reason geek rhymes with chic. An Atlanta native, she loves adventure and is equally happy on horseback in skinny jeans and boots or exploring a new city in red heels. Once upon a time, she ran galleries, taught art, and painted murals. Now she writes paranormal romance and young adult fiction for Simon & Schuster and dabbles in comics. Her kids want to grow up to be a vampire and the Hulk, respectively. She couldn’t be prouder.




Stephanie S.

Stephanie Slate is Canadian, but never says “eh.” Before kids she was the book buyer for a national toy retailer. Now she spends her days as the book reader for her three bibliophile children, and as a contributor to’s Moms & Babies. Which means she knows more than you’d ever want to about strollers of the rich and famous. Don’t let the chic exterior fool you though–she’s the kind of crunchy that gives the thumbs up to home-birthing, co-sleeping, and breastfeeding until children are 47. And, yes, she makes her own granola.



Stephanie M.

Stephanie Mayers is a Philly native now living in North Jersey and commuting daily to Brooklyn to help save the world through music–Stephanie has a sweet gig as Dan Zanes‘ manager, and was an executive producer of the Kindiefest family music conference. She is a self proclaimed foodie who doesn’t get out to eat much but watches a lot of Top Chef and believes strongly in coffee, red wine and anything parmigiana. Before her music industry career she managed a gallery of artisan crafts that cemented her lust for handmade jewelry. When she’s not working, she is at home with her cranky dog, hippie husband, and scrappy 4 year-old daughter.



Esther Chen is a native Texan who just left the NYC area to settle in the LA area with her son, brand new baby girl, husband and two loveable mutts. New-ish to the mom scene, she authors the personal blog Tot By the City and is always on the hunt for great fashion, gadgets, stationery, gear and basically anything she and her baby can’t live without. Having worked in PR for more than a decade, she considers herself incredibly fortunate to have worked with brands like Martha Stewart, Harry Potter and PEOPLE magazine. So yeah, she knows her stuff. Including food, which is why she spends way too much time pinning a million recipes on Pinterest even if she admits she will never have time to make any of them.



PJ Feinstein speaks fluent pop culture, prefers to buy instead of DIY, and once had a style question printed in Lucky Magazine. Now, she answers them for us. She started blogging in 2007 after moving from NYC to Nebraska and has been writing for websites like The Neighborhood, Lifetime Moms, and Better Homes & Gardens ever since. Her personal blog, A Girl Named PJ, explores what it means to live an authentic, fulfilling life—with two young boys in tow. She recently moved back to the East Coast (and into her childhood home!) with her former military-officer husband, their kids and a dog named after a Law & Order character.



Director of Ad Sales and Brand Partnerships Lisa Barnes is the first to admit she loves her job more than any person should. She’s seen advertising come a long way since her first job in radio pre-motherhood, and all things being equal, digital is more fun. Lisa lives north of San Francisco with her husband and three children–all of whom are nearly taller than she is. Aside from working with our fabulous sponsors (and they are!), Lisa stays in shape so she can keep up with her kids, never says no to a volunteer request, and loves cooking and entertaining, especially when someone else cleans up.





Kari Dahlen saves our lives on a regular basis with all sorts of magical HTML coding know-how. She’s a dancer turned neuroscientist turned Northern California mother of two boys. She’s also a shoe-in for a role if Dance Moms decides to create a spin-off for competitive gymnastics, since she essentially lives at her son’s gym. Kari has no Scottish in her blood, but lives for everything tartan.





Jon Armstrong is our digital strategist/developer and he is an honorary cool mom in every way. Even if he’s actually a cool dad. He doesn’t get frustrated when he has to explain things like server load state or php function call to us six times. We love him.





Laurie Smithwick of Leap Design made our pretty logo. We love her.