11 Questions for Liz Gumbinner of Cool Mom Picks

Liz Gumbinner

Liz Gumbinner of Cool Mom Picks

Liz Gumbinner, one of the two brains behind the essential mom product review site Cool Mom Picks, is one of my top picks for Toddler Mom blogger extraordinaire. I won't hide the fact that CafeMom bloggers are at her site all the time scouting for cool stuff to steal link to here.

I could go on about Liz's saavy coolness, but everything you need to know about her is in the interview below and on her other personal, funny, horror-story sharing, venting, crying and everything in-between blog, Mom-101. Read and meet!

Welcome, Liz! Tell us about your family.

Thalia is nearly four, Sage just turned two, and Nate is a comedy writer turned stay-at-home dad turned culinary school student. I'm a freelancer with an erratic schedule, which means we pretty much wing it day to day. Also, we've got a dog and two cats which, all in all, is far too many creatures in one smallish Brooklyn apartment who can't wipe their own butts.


What toddler (mis)behavior is ruling your world right now?

Toddler behavior? Why, I have no idea at all of which you speak. My 2 year-old never once throws tantrums or demands waffles for dinner or shrieks for mooooore binkiiiiiiiies at 3 a.m. And me, I never once give in because it's just easier. Really, I can't even imagine why you ask.

Describe your personal parenting style.

Type A person, type B mom.

What is in your fridge at this very moment?

 We have a shameful number of condiments -- four kinds of mustard, several salsas, three different tomato sauces, at least a dozen jams and jellies, three kinds of butter. It's the curse of the New York foodie to have a totally full refrigerator and nothing to eat. We also tend to have some of Better Bakes organic cookie dough from the Immaculate Baking Co, which is a Cool Mom Picks worth bookmarking.

If your kids demanded a meal this very second, what would you make?

Ingredients: Skippy peanut butter, Arnold's bread.

1. Spread peanut butter on a single piece of bread.

2. Fold in half.

3. Cut that in half.

4. Distribute between two kids.

5. Expect leftovers.

You must get so many products .... do you take them all home?

My business partner Kristen Chase and I decided right off the bat to give the vast majority of our samples to readers in daily contests. As for the other 3 percent, occasionally one of our kids licks it or my dog sleeps on it and it just wouldn't be fair to give it away after that.

We do get a lot of products for review at Cool Mom Picks because we have an obligation to try things out and make genuine recommendations our readers can trust. Particularly with handmade items, it's important to see things in person; we've learned that photos can be deceiving.

But we also attend a lot of trade shows and press events so we can stay on top of what's cool and up and coming without having to fill our homes and diaper bags (as appealing as that may sound).

What state of organization is your house in right now? How do you keep it clean, or do you just give up?

Our apartment meets the bare minimum of standards for cleanliness. That's all I'll say about that.

Tell us your top 3 favorite Cool Mom Picks of all time -- things that you may actually have and use at home.

Of all time? Oh, my goodness, that's a tall order. Obviously there's essential gear like the Bugaboo (love!) and the Medela breast pump, but as far as picks you might not see everywhere ...

--The Kaboost chair booster came out just as Thalia was turning two and it's a godsend. When they've outgrown highchairs, it lifts your regular chairs to the table so you don't have to deal with booster seats.

--Ida Pearle's cut paper name prints make absolutely the best baby gift for a good friend. In fact I had one customized for Kristen's son when he was born.

--We've featured a lot of incredible jewelry, but I love my Jacqueline Sanchez etched silver cuff that Kristen got me for my birthday last year. I find I'm wearing it all the time.

We're big on Mom Confessions here at CafeMom. Tell us one of yours ...

In the book True Mom Confessions that just came out, I contributed an essay about letting Thalia think I was giving her medicine in her milk at bedtime to help her sleep. I would tell her to lie down and close her eyes because it was going to work really fast ...

What grosses you out more: poop, vomit, or boogers?

Definitely vomit. I still shudder recalling that Parmesan-like smell of regurgitated milk that lingered on the car seat during Thalia's car sickness years. (Sorry, TMI, I know.)

No one's perfect ... even our kids. If you could change one thing about one or any of your children, what would it be?

 My kids are of course delightful and unusually perfect in every way, but if you twist my arm, I might trade them in for two who are better sleepers. Thalia turned us into reluctant co-sleepers for ages, and Sage is now going through some kind of crazy wake up at 3 a.m. screaming phase that will kill me any day now. The moment I can get one entire uninterrupted week of sleep I will buy them each a pony. Although by then, they'll probably be ready for cars.

Thanks, Liz, can't wait to see what you "pick" tomorrow!

What are your 3 top mom picks of all time -- the three baby or toddler items you could not live without?

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