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Erin Lem, Editorial Director
After graduating from Occidental College, Erin decamped to the Big Apple where she earned her editing and writing chops working for a literary agency. She has written for NBC, Clinique, Care2 and a variety of other online media companies. While the bright lights of New York City were enchanting, Erin couldn’t resist moving back to her beloved hometown of San Francisco where she joined the Red Tricycle team in June 2011.
Favorite place to play outdoors: Fort Funston or Ocean Beach. We like to grab coffee and snacks beforehand at Devil’s Teeth Baking Company and lunch afterwards at Java Beach Cafe.
The city’s best kept secret: Tank Hill–the views of the city are amazing.
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: Around the intersection of 9th and Irving.
Favorite local food truck: It’s a tie between the Creme Brulee cart and the Chairman Truck. Both often appear at Off the Grid in the Haight on Thursday nights, one of my favorite Thursday evening traditions.
Favorite day trip: Half Moon Bay
Contact Erin: email@example.com
Gabby Cullen, National Editor
In 2013, after seven years as a Bay Area media relations executive, Northern California native Gabby Cullen found herself in her husband’s hometown of Dallas. Although she misses the ocean and redwoods of Marin County, it’s been a pleasure to discover all Big D has to offer. Her media relations experience includes working on campaigns for well-known Bay Area entertainment venues and events such as Mountain Play, Marin Theater Company, Fillmore Jazz Festival, Grand National Rodeo, Italian Street Painting Festival and The Breastfest Beer Festival. She started writing for Red Tricycle in 2012 and joined the team as National Editor in 2015.
She’s the proud mama of Mozelle, born in 2009 and Chase, born in 2013.
Favorite place to play outdoors: Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum. The six acre outdoor museum opened in 2013 and we fell madly deeply. From the the secret garden to ongoing science labs for kids and the water features perfect for the scorching summer heat, it’s a magical wonderland of nature.
Favorite place for a rainy day: The Perot Museum of Science and Nature was re-opened in 2013 and it’s five floors of WOW. The children’s museum on the bottom floor has a mini-version of the Dallas Farmer’s Market and sandpit with “fossils” for finding, while the T. Boone Pickens Hall has enough bones and fossils to keep everyone interested.
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: The Arts District in downtown Dallas. From the Dallas Museum of Art to the Crow Collection of Asian Art and Klyde Warren Park, there’s no end to the (free!) fun and adventure. DMA has an amazing space just for creative kiddos, the Crow collection offers family yoga on Saturdays and it’s hard to decide what’s better about Klyde Warren Park: the food trucks, the street musicians or the water features in the playground!
Favorite class: A hip-hop class at the local dance studio. I danced for 20 years and I still like to get down once in a while.
The most unique thing I’ve done with the kids in Dallas: Joined in on a spontaneous dance party at the Festival of the Americas. A Mariachi band was playing, families were movin’ and groovin’—how could you not get in on the fun?!
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: The LOT in East Dallas is about one mile away from the Dallas Arboretum. Besides the incredible selection of craft beer and locally sourced menu, the humongous sandpit/play area complete with chalkboard and misters for the kids is beyond amazing. There’s also a dog park, stage for live music, space for lawn games and even an arcade area.
Contact Gabby: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristina Moy, Seattle Editor
A Seattle native and UW grad, Kristina has worked in broadcast media for more than 15 years. During her career, she has developed highly successful PR and marketing campaigns for companies such as KIRO Television, The Washington Traffic Safety Commission, Feld Entertainment and Feld Motor Sports and has been nominated for two Northwest Regional EMMY Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Kristina joined the Red Tricycle team in February 2011.
Favorite place to play outdoors: Lincoln Park in West Seattle.
Favorite thing to do on a snowy day: Make hot chocolate, play board games, watch movies and wear PJs all day!
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: Alaskan Way along the Seattle waterfront for the Seattle Great Wheel, Old Curiosity Shop, Pirates Plunder, Seattle Aquarium, Olympic Sculpture Park, fish ‘n chips, ice cream, prime boat watching and fabulous sunsets.
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: Cactus.
Most unique thing done with the kids locally: For the last three years, my kids and I have made winter care packages for the homeless.
Contact Kristina: email@example.com
Meghan Rose, Los Angeles Editor
Meghan worked for more than a decade in product development and marketing for companies both hugely established (AOL, eBay) and startups (Rent.com, eToys). It wasn’t long before she found her way back to her first love — writing. Now, when not exploring every nook and cranny of Los Angeles with her little ones, she’s usually writing about it. Or playing, cooking, eating, running or reading; children’s literacy is one of her other passions.
Favorite place to play outdoors: Annenberg Beach House.
Favorite place for air-conditioned play: California Science Center.
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: The intersection of Eagle Rock and Colorado Blvd.
Favorite class: Tie. Petite Feet Dance for my daughter and Rolling Robots for my engineer-minded son.
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: Inn of the Seventh Ray.
Most unique thing done with the kids locally: Sumo wrestling! You’ll find us front-row and center after a good sushi meal whenever a tournament is in town.
Contact Meghan: firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Seguss, Bump + Baby Editor
Julie lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband, son and French bulldog. She has been writing and editing parenting content for more than 10 years. Her work has appeared in Parents, Kiwi, Baby & Toddler, New Parent and Baby Talk; and online on iVillage.com, Inhabitots.com, Parents.com and more. She loves exploring the city with her little one, from mommy and tot yoga to baby music classes.
Favorite place to play outdoors: Prospect Park.
Favorite thing to do on a rainy/snowy day: Explore Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: Bleeker Street.
Favorite store to spend an afternoon in: The Scholastic Store.
Most unique thing done with her son locally: Baby DJ School.
Contact Julie: email@example.com
Maria Chambers, Chicago Editor
Maria grew up in Kentucky surrounded by every pet you could possibly imagine – goats, rabbits, chickens, a skunk and, of course, a dog or two. So, imagine the culture shock when she found herself following love to an apartment in the city of Chicago. Fast forward to 15 years later and she now sees Chicago as home. She’s worked as a business analyst for a small startup in Cincinnati and in category management for the largest liquor company in the world, DIAGEO. Her true love has always been writing and after years of writing for her own blog, she started as a freelance writer for Red Tricycle. She’s now living her dream as the Chicago Editor.
Favorite thing to do on a rainy/snow day:
I love to make a dent in the firewood pile stacked on my front porch. A raging fire, a stack of DVDs and a blanket pulled up to my nose spooning with the kids (while probably building a massive LEGO set in between snuggles) makes for the perfect homebound day.
Favorite outdoor activity:
Our annual tradition of striking out into the woods and hunting our own Christmas tree is hands down my favorite activity. It usually involves a not-sharp-enough saw, a realization that we didn’t layer enough for the freezing temps, a smidgen of frost bite and loads of giggles. This all followed by the smell of a real tree, a night of sitting back and watching the kids work together to decorate its branches and pine needles found in strange places through to summer.
Favorite restaurant to take the kids:
Do I have to pick one? The great thing about Chicago is it’s become increasingly family friendly. I’d have to say my favorite restaurant is any during the summer where we can grab a seat on a patio and soak up the sunshine. My go-to patio right now is Don Julio’s in Naperville for their outdoor fire pit and friendly staff.
Most unique (or daring) thing you’ve done with your kids locally:
Isn’t having 4 kids enough daring activity for one person? No? Chicago has one of the most beautiful skylines of any city and we like to view it as often as possible from a birds eye view, think helicopter tours, the TILT at John Hancock and the Skydeck at Willis Tower. Despite a crushing fear of heights, we’ve done it all.
Contact Maria: Maria@redtri.com
Ayren Jackson-Cannady, D.C. Editor
Ayren is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and editor who has contributed to various publications and websites, including Real Simple, Redbook, WebMD.com, and Glamour. Her second favorite thing to do — after exploring the District with her hilarious two-year-old son — is DIY manicures (after said two-year-old is fast asleep). Learn more about Ayren on her Tumblr page.
Favorite thing to do on a rainy day: Union Market for artisan foods and foodie chatter.
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray for cute kiddie boutiques, play spaces and gluten-free cupcakes.
Favorite class: Parents and tots French classes at Language Stars in Northern Virginia, Bethesda and Gaithersburg.
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: Ted’s Bulletin for the best milkshakes.
Most unique city experience: It’s impossible to really see all of the National Zoo in a day (FYI: it’s 163 acres!) so we spent an entire week at the zoo, checking out a couple of the exhibits each day.
Contact Ayren: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Shea, San Diego Editor
A former travel and spa writer, Beth swapped airline miles and body wraps for long stroller walks and quick showers once she had children. An avid animal lover, vegan and environmentalist, Beth started her blog Petite Planet in 2007 with a mission to help save the planet for future generations, She was the Managing Editor of Inhabitots for six years before joining the Red Tricycle team. Beth considers San Diego a slice of paradise and is thrilled to live in such a beautiful city with her husband, daughter, son and dog. Follow Beth on Twitter and learn more about her at bethshea.com.
Favorite place to play outdoors: Del Mar Beach
Favorite cafe to fuel up on caffeine: Lofty Coffee
Favorite restaurants to take the kids: True Food and Flower Child
Favorite local activity for kids: Both my kids love playing soccer for San Diego Soccer Club and RB Rec.
Favorite pitstop for sweet treats: Bake Sale Patti and Creamistry
Always in my bag: Thinkbaby sunscreen, Annie’s Fruit bunnies and GoMacro bars!
Most daring thing you’ve ever done with your kids locally: For her 8th birthday, I took my daughter to see Taylor Swift’s concert at Petco Park along with a crowd of 45,000 San Diegans. That was an adventure!
Contact Beth: email@example.com
Erin Feher, Bay Area Editor
Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Erin packed up an old Isuzu truck and made the pilgrimage out West shortly after high school graduation. It was in her adopted home of San Francisco that she earned a degree in journalism, met the love of her life, and spent nearly a decade writing about design and architecture, most recently as the editor in chief of California Home+Design. Today she explores the city with a new perspective and a new professional mission: to discover all the exciting and engaging things the Bay Area has to offer her and her family, which now includes one-year-old Orion Elizabeth.
Favorite place to play outdoors: The Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park—admission is free with an SF id and the wide variety of trees, flowers and ferns is far more interesting than any cookie-cutter playground.
Favorite thing to do on a rainy day: Organize an impromptu mom and baby playdate at one of our houses. We bring plenty of finger foods (for them) and maybe a bottle of wine or two (for us) and let the little ones run wild.
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: We always end up on Valencia Street. Along our route from Duboce to 24th Street there are three great playgrounds (Mission, Dolores Park and Kid Power), two toy stores (Paxton’s Gate and Aldea Ninos) and countless places for coffee breaks. Our reward at the end of the walk is always Arizmendi Bakery for pizza and corn cherry scones.
Favorite class (art, music, etc): The SFPL’s Baby Rhyme Time at the Main Library is still our go-to. It’s right next to our house, it’s free and there are stories, dancing, lots of toys and an opportunity to stock up on new books every week.
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: We are always trying new places with her, but a current favorite is an oldie but a goody: Picaro on 16th Street has been around since tapas were hot (and before they were just an excuse to charge a lot of money for small plates). They are still doing it the old school way—there are probably 100 choices on the menu and they are all shockingly affordable, so it’s the perfect place to satisfy Orion’s adventurous palate. We can let her try marinated calamari without worrying she’s going to toss $20 on the floor.
Can’t-live-without mom product: My Becco Gemeni carrier. Since we are a public transportation family (or “Muni Moms” as I hear we are called) we decided to forgo the stroller thing for now and just haul her around strapped to our bodies. The Becco is super comfy and she can be worn almost any way (facing me, facing out, on the back). She loves it and still snoozes in there if we are out and about at naptime.
Most unique (or daring) thing you’ve ever done with your kids locally: We are planning a bike camping trip this weekend—riding with our 11-month-old out to China Camp for a weekend of sleeping on the ground. But talk to me next Monday to see if it was actually Mission Accomplished.
Contact Erin: Erin.Feher@redtri.com
Chantal Lamers, Bay Area Calendar Editor
Chantal Lamers grew up in San Jose, better known today as Silicon Valley. One of her first jobs after graduating from journalism school included writing about family events for AOL. Now as the Bay Area Calendar editor for Red Tricycle, she’s come full circle. After spending more than eight years as a news reporter for the Orange County Register, Chantal returned to the Bay Area in 2009 where she became a regular contributor to Sunset magazine and a columnist and writer for the San Francisco Chronicle Home & Garden and Destinations sections. As a mother to Archer, 4, and Darby, 2, she reports on the coolest kid and family adventures across the Bay Area.
Favorite place to play outdoors: When we lived in the Richmond District in San Francisco we loved to take a long stroll to Baker Beach. Now that we live in the East Bay we build our sand castles along the beach in Alameda.
Favorite thing to do on a rainy day: The kids love any reason to put on their rainboots (rain or shine) so we head to downtown Alameda for a bowl of ramen and a round of indoor golf at Subpar Miniature Golf. Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: We like to explore Pacific Avenue in Downtown Santa Cruz. We treat ourselves to ice cream, a slice of pizza, shop for new Vans, make tie-dye shirts and more. We try to hit up a u-pick berry spot on the way home.
Favorite class: Both of my kiddos love to play soccer with Lil Kickers at Bladium Sports Club in Alameda. We go early on Saturday mornings and on special occasions surprise them with a pitstop at In-N-Out for burgers and shakes.
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: Any place that serves waffles for breakfast or pizza for lunch and dinner. Bonus points if there are coloring crayons at the table.
Can’t-live-without mom product: I’m pretty obsessed with my Ergo Baby. We recently did a long hike in Big Sur and I carried my two-year-old all the way to the top on my back. I hardly noticed she was there.
Most unique (or daring) thing you’ve ever done with your kids locally: I’m an avid flea market shopper so like a lot of parents I take my children to the flea market. To make it a little more exciting for my four-year-old, I try to make it like a treasure hunt for the things on our shopping list. He also has a few little collections so he goes on his own hunt for Little People, plastic horses, pennants and piggy banks.
Email Chantal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Amber Guetebier, Daily Editor
Amber is a writer and editor with a thing for pirates and unusual plants. As the Daily Editor, she is always looking for oddball holidays and reasons to celebrate every day of the week. She lives outside of Minneapolis with her husband and super-cool son. You can read about her weird adventures in the plant kingdom online at Rotten Botany.
Favorite place to play outdoors: In our own garden or the Tamarac Nature Center
Favorite thing to do on a rainy/snowy day: Throw snowballs and stomp puddles. Also, the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul is amazing. The Mill Museum in Minneapolis is on our list, too!
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: Downtown Stillwater/Teddy Bear Park
Favorite class (art, music, etc): YMCA swim classes: gotta’ get prepped for summer in the Land of 10,000 Lakes!
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: Keys Cafe & Bakery in White Bear Lake
Can’t-live-without mom product: The giant purse that houses all the snacks, chapstick, extra undies (for my kid, not me—come on, people!), phone with GPS
(because I have no idea where I am half the time) and at least one mini-bulldozer or excavator. And when I’m without child, it holds my laptop!
Most unique (or daring) thing you’ve ever done with your kids locally: We just up and moved our entire family from San Francisco to a small town north of the Twin Cities, so at this point every day is a daring adventure!
Contact Amber: email@example.com
Mae Respicio, Spoke Contributor Network Editor
Mae’s a California native who is happy to call both ends of the state her home. She and her family live in the Bay Area, though she also spent well over a decade living and working in Southern California. Her musings on motherhood have appeared in publications like Pregnancy Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, and the Bigger the Better The Tighter the Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image, and Other Hazards of Being Female (Seal Press). She’s also a fiction writer whose novel, The House That Lou Built, debuts in summer 2018 with Penguin Random House Kids. Mae started writing for Red Tricycle in 2013 and is thrilled to have joined the Spoke Contributor Network as editor in 2017.
Favorite place to play outdoors: Roy’s Redwoods in Woodacre
Favorite thing to do on a rainy/snowy day: Exploratorium in San Francisco
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: the PCH!
Favorite class (art, music, etc): My boys love building and making at The Cyber Garage in San Anselmo
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: Fish in Sausalito, not far from Red Tricycle Headquarters. (Pro tip: order anything—you can’t go wrong! We’re partial to the fish & chips.)
Can’t-live-without mom product: My coffee maker.
Most unique (or daring) thing you’ve ever done with your kids locally: We once did a 2-week Bay Area staycation that involved exploring a beach a day. Our goal took us everywhere: Marin, San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz, and Monterey. By the end we were exhausted, but discovering fun beaches, cool hikes and new sights made for some awesome family road-tripping.
Contact Mae: Spoke@redtri.com
Shelley Massey, Atlanta Editor
Shelley is a writer and editor with a thing for history, road trips, Memphis barbeque, and filling Ford (6), Ella (4), and Thomas’ (1) buckets with enough daily adventures to make them sleep soundly each night. She is a University of Tennessee graduate and sharpened her writing skills at RIVR Media’s education and training division before earning her MBA, where she was an IRTS Summer Fellow. After a detour into corporate America, she now avoids spreadsheets like it’s her job, and can instead be found scouting every new park, picnic spot, exhibit, and family attraction in Atlanta with her three kids and yellow lab.
Favorite place to play outdoors:In Buckhead, we love Beaverbrook Park because of it’s playgrounds for the little and big kids, as well as Tanyard Creek because of it’s bike trails and the train bridge. We’re also raving fans of Piedmont Park.
Favorite place for a rainy day: You can’t beat The High Museum for a rainy day, especially on Toddler Thursdays or Family Sundays. Any other soggy days of the week, you can find us at Fernbank, The Cookie Studio, or the Georgia Aquarium.
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: My kids are great strollers, so we like to hit the Westside, Decatur’s town square, as well as the new development in Buckhead (Shake Shack had us at hello).
Favorite class: Miss Sally’s art class through Northside Methodist can’t be beat! She has classes for kids alone, and features holiday parent-child classes, too.
Most unique thing I’ve done with my kids in Atlanta: We created an ice cream championship bracket and literally ate our way through the different neighborhoods of Atlanta, one scoop at a time.
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: Anywhere with a patio! Six Feet Under is surprisingly awesome for kids, as well as Cafe Agora.
Contact Shelley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mimi O’Connor, New York Editor
Mimi edits, writes and sporadically parents in Brooklyn. Her “true age” alternates between seven and 13, and she would never advise you to do anything she would not do herself. Follow her adventures near and far @themimioconnor on Twitter and themimioconnor on Instagram. Learn more, more, more at mimioconnor.com.
Favorite place to play outdoors: Various parks around the ‘hood: Cobble Hill park for scooting and sandbox, Carroll Park for playground, Brooklyn Bridge Park for a full day of fun.
Favorite thing to do on a rainy/snowy day: Drop in to indoor playspace Curiosity on Court, hit the Carroll Gardens or Brooklyn Heights library, or make pizza and watch Frozen for “first” time.
Favorite class: Ballet with Miss Victoria at the Dodge Y
Can’t-live-without mom product: Netflix & “Sesame Street” (i.e. HBO) on Demand
Most unique (or daring) thing you’ve ever done with your kids locally: Duke Riley’s incredible, illuminated pigeon symphony “Fly Ny Night” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Contact Mimi: Mimi@redtri.com
Jesseca Stenson, New York Calendar Editor
Jesseca took a leap of faith 7 years ago with the support of her family and left a comfortable but unfulfilling office job to pursue her dream of writing. Fast forward to present day, where after freelancing for brands like Parenting.com and Family Fun, she’s back at Red Tri, dedicated to finding totally cool and unique events for her fellow NYC parents. When she’s not wrangling her daughter or two dogs, you’ll probably find her cooking, looking up new recipes, or researching local famers markets.
Favorite place to play outdoors: Tie. Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay, which combines hiking and history – our daughter’s two favorites, and any zoo or the NY Aquarium.
Favorite thing to do on a rainy or snowy day: Cook and/or bake! It’s the best time to test recipes when you’re stuck inside.
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: Southern Boulevard. We practically live at the Bronx Zoo. Season passes for the win!
Favorite class: Family Canvas Paint Night
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: One where our picky eater will actually eat. Usually Chili’s or Fridays or the like.
Can’t-live-without mom product: Baby wipes and Tide stick. Notice a pattern?
Most unique (or daring) thing you’ve ever done with your kids locally: A Night at the Museum – slept over at the American Museum of Natural History for her birthday.
Contact Jesseca: email@example.com
Annette Benedetti, Portland Editor
Annette’s introduction to the world of publishing came when she collaborated with a group of writers and artists to create Washington State University’s first art and literature magazine, Salmon Creek. After giving birth to her first two children, she took the position of editor and chief for a parenting magazine in Bend, Oregon and eventually went on to work as a copywriter for an in-house marketing agency in Portland.
As a freelance writer, Annette has written for Zillow, Living Social and Wildlands Inc., and is thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Red Tricycle Team as their Portland Editor. When she manages to peel herself away from her computer, she can be found at her favorite yoga studio, snapping photos of her children around Portland, or running the local streets or trails on Mt. Tabor.
Favorite place to play outdoors: My family can spend the whole day at Mt. Tabor. The trail system makes you feel like you are in the woods and there is a beautiful playground with benches to relax on. If you are lucky, you can catch local live music at the amphitheater during the summer months.
Favorite thing to do on a rainy day: Get my yoga on at Love Hive Studio. Nothing warms the body and soul like getting into a good flow, especially when my daughters join me.
Favorite street for an afternoon of fun: Hawthorne has it all. Movies at the Baghdad Theater, ice cream at Ruby Jewel Ice Cream Shop, and the best vintage stores Portland has to offer—all just a short walking distance from my front door.
Favorite restaurant to take the kids: Thai Dish. The owner is as sweet as can be, the food is the best and we always have delicious leftovers for the next day.
Most unique (or daring) thing you’ve ever done with your kids locally: The Rose Festival on an unlimited pass. I think I saw my life pass before my eyes at least 100 times—or at least once—when the ticket attendant told me that the pass was good for 100 rides each.
Contact Annette: Annette@redtri.com