Meet The Columbus Moms Blog Team
Emily Bice grew up in a small, Ohio farming community west of Columbus. It wasn’t until she met her college sweetheart and future husband that her mind was opened to living elsewhere. They say love makes you do crazy things which lead Emily and her Texan husband to living in Central America for two years. After much adventure and traveling, she ended up back in Columbus where the real adventure began: motherhood. As the mom of two young boys and wife to the ultimate man’s man, Emily does her best to maintain some level of femininity in her life. She’s living her dream as a stay at home mom but will be the first to admit that she is far from having it all figured out. Her hardest parenting moments are typically around nap time and bedtime and after particularly rough episodes she can be found online shopping. In a former chapter of life, Emily worked in non-profit raising funds and awareness for important causes. Today, she spends her time playing and snuggling with her boys, traveling to and from her husband’s lacrosse company’s events and socializing with friends and family. When she has any free time, she usually wastes it trying to figure out what to do.
Mindy is a Columbus native and stay-at-home-mama to a “spirited” 2.5-year-old boy, Asher, and a “sassy” 1-year-old girl, Penelope. A self-described fitness junkie, she loves being outside and active with her babies in Stroller Strides classes as both a participant and an instructor, as well as training for her next 5K, 10K or half-marathon. Mindy loves sharing fitness tips and mommy-hood “life hacks” on her blog fitmom365.
When she’s not working on her fitness, Mindy can be found working on her artistic endeavors. She’s the director of a contemporary worship praise band in Grandview, and has also been known to grace various theatrical stages throughout the Columbus area as an actor/singer/dancer.
Lea has been a wife for nearly ten years and a mom for six and pretty much has neither quite figured out. She enjoys both, though, as well as life in general in Columbus. After moving from West Virginia (which she’ll always call home) for a job at The Columbus Dispatch in 2004, Lea can’t imagine trying to figure out life anywhere else. She left the full-time gig when her oldest was born and now runs her stationery design company, Lea Delaveris Design, while staying home with her two boys. Her hobbies include breaking into song and reluctantly working out. Other interests include the indoors, dessert and John Stamos.
Emma is an Athens, Ohio native, who moved to Westerville seven years ago after a two year stint in Chicago. She lives with her husband, Matt, and their two boys, Lincoln (3) and Silas (1). Emma is a journalist turned marketing assistant turned teacher turned stay at home mom. So far she loves her newest gig, though she’s probably just okay at it. Keeping two young boys occupied means lots of exploring Columbus to find all that is not only kid friendly, but also adult friendly. Emma enjoys writing things in her head that she never actually gets down on paper, getting lost in the rabbit hole that is YouTube with her kids, and playing a game with her rambunctious boys that her oldest likes to call “attacking boys” (you can pretty much guess how that goes for her). Emma has a B.A. in journalism and political science from Miami University and completed further study at Ashland University to obtain her teaching certification in secondary English Language Arts. You can contact her at [email protected]
Leslie came to Columbus 2 yrs ago via San Antonio, TX. A Kentucky native that bleeds neither red (Louisville Cardinals) nor blue (Kentucky Wildcats). She is a SAHM, homeschooler and Occupational Therapist (OTR/L) by weekend. Leslie and her husband have two boys, ages 6 and 2, and they love discovering new Columbus parks and restaurants! She proudly embraces the title of “boy mom”, even when that means knowing more than she would care to know about dinosaurs. Her everyday wardrobe consists of mainly Nike Dri-Fit and sneakers. Leslie lives for her Burt’s Bees lip balm and a good ole top knot bun. You can always find pull-ups, wipes, hand sanitizer, and Welch’s fruit snacks in her designer handbag. She loves her family, fashion, interior design, working out, being a soccer mom, renovating the families 1962 ranch with her husband, and making a difference in her patients’ lives. She recently became an advocate and volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. It is her hope to bring awareness and help raise funds, for a cause that is near and dear to her heart. She is the owner/founder of The Penmanship Lab.
Julie is a Wooster, Ohio native whose past jobs include GED teacher, mosaic artist, ACT tutor, group facilitator for homeless children, and picture framer, to name a few! After getting married and moving to Columbus with her husband Eric in 2008, they helped start Capital City Grace Church. Julie got her Masters of Social Work at OSU and worked for a homelessness prevention program for 5 years before the opportunity presented itself to stay at home with her then 2 year old. Currently, Julie is the Children’s Ministry Director at her church and blogs about her experiences exploring the city she loves to call home with her sons, who are now 4 and 20 months. Julie loves trying new recipes and doing creative projects but her most common achievements these days are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and building Lego police stations. Her favorite things include big cities, coffee (and lots of it!), spending time with friends, traveling and ice cream (lots and lots of it!). You can follow her family’s adventures around Columbus on her blog, What Should We Do Today?
Victoria is a Venezuelan-born American entrepreneur, blogger and author. She is also a daughter, sister, wife and mom to an energetic and adorable toddler. Her personal mission is to empower women and girls while raising awareness about infant mortality. She wrote a bilingual safe sleep baby book, “Welcome Home My Little One” and co-owns Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Opwith her sister, an independent coffee shop and co-working space with a social mission in Franklinton, Ohio. Victoria’s educational background is in marketing and she also co-owns a niche marketing/consulting agency called AVANZA Business Solutions. Victoria’s family has been living in Columbus, Ohio for the past 20 years and owns the local Arepazo Restaurants chain. Aside from being an entrepreneur, one of Victoria’s favorite roles is being a new mom. She also thrives from being able to advocate for women, children and small businesses. By channeling her passion for family, diversity, social justice and helping small businesses, she’s been able to grow deep roots in Central Ohio and nationwide to add value to all of the individuals and organizations she interacts with. She splits her time between St. Louis, Missouri and Columbus, Ohio while her husband finishes his medical training. She has won numerous awards for community development and has received national recognition for her work reducing infant mortality and creating social change via social enterprise.
Amy Rogers has been a resident of the Buckeye State her entire life, so not too long because she is young and wrinkle-free. She is a mother of two and an elementary teacher on hiatus. Amy works part time as an educational consultant writing forensic science curriculum for the Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and full time as a mother and domestic engineer. She considers herself a hybrid parent. Not completely helicopter, but not fully free-range. Somewhere nicely in the middle. When Amy isn’t busy enjoying family stuff or working outside the home, you can find her reading, writing, being in nature, playing volleyball, eating her daily fix of chocolate, or trying to sleep. You can also find her on her blog: Life Unfiltered.
Erin grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and prior to her arrival in Columbus ten years ago, had seen snow only once in her life (when she was five years old). Due to this early lack-of-snow trauma, she has become a compulsive coat and jacket hoarder. Or maybe she’s just a real Midwesterner now. Erin has a career past in PR, Marketing and Communications and is currently a stay-at-home mom to a Kindergartner girl and preschooler boy. She has dreams of freelancing now that both kids are out of diapers. She also has dreams of buying a sheep farm in Nova Scotia, but the former is much more likely. Erin’s husband is from Derbyshire in England. He has never read Pride and Prejudice, but possibly saw one of the movie versions in school. Erin and her family enjoy not taking long road trips (Driving to Florida? Really?!), entertaining friends at home, and ordering everything through Amazon Prime. As an individual, Erin enjoys walking, listening to WCBE but never pledging (actually she did pledge once and knows she should do it again and promises she will next year), and spending too much time on Facebook. She and her family live in Westerville. You can contact her [email protected]
When Jen is not trading sarcastic jabs with her husband or hanging out with her kids, she can be found bargain shopping, digital scrapbooking, or *gasp* sleeping. She lives by the Golden Rule and tries to teach her kids to do the same.
Jen is a school counselor and loves being an advocate for kids. She is mom to two awesome girls: a rule following, empathetic-beyond-her-years 5 year old and a spunky and sweet 1 year old. She has been married for ten years and has lived in Ohio forever. She was born and raised in the Cleveland area and established roots in Columbus 15 years ago.
Her basement is full of “stuff” Including deals too good to leave at the store and childhood memories. She is a recovering people pleaser and a current Pepsi addict. She loves people watching but hates cleaning the bathroom. Jen is hopeful that Columbus Mom’s Blog can help families in central Ohio connect while also creating that lost feeling of community that she craves.
Helen is a mother of three under three! From Chicago, to Milwaukee, and now Columbus, she is super excited to share the madness and excitement of cavorting around this new city with her tots. As a laboratory scientist during the week, this mom lives for the weekend so she can explore this wonderful city with her littles. When she finds a few moments of peace post bedtime she enjoys Netflix series binging (mainly horror movies), curbing Etsy shopping urges, and posting on her personal blog Diaper Bag Diaries. Peek into our Columbus adventures by following along on Instagram @thediaperbagdiaries.
Elisabeth, a native of southwest Ohio, has recently moved back to her home state after 3.5 years in Dallas, TX, y’all. After having their son in early 2015, Elisabeth and her husband knew it was time to make the bittersweet decision to leave Dallas and head back home. Although neither Elisabeth nor her husband are originally from Columbus, it immediately felt comfortable and welcoming, home at last.
Elisabeth is mama to a darling, wacky, and scrumptious one-year-old boy, Baby Bean, and married for over four years to the man who stole her heart with a smile junior year in college.
Before embarking on her life-long dream of being a stay at home mom, Elisabeth attended law school in Cleveland and then promptly decided to become a real estate agent in Dallas. Elisabeth loves making lists of all kinds, squeezing into skinny jeans whenever possible, and truly believes nothing tastes better than that first cup of morning coffee (with lots of cream). Her favorite things include Cadbury Eggs, Christmas decorations, hotel room service, and watching Baby Bean grow and change each and every day, even if that means toddlerdom is upon her!
Elisabeth is passionate about parenting, and loves to learn about the many different types of parents, child-rearing, and how individual families approach various, every day challenges. She hopes her stories can help others see a new perspective, understand that no matter what, they aren’t alone, bring forth a little bit of inspiration, and ultimately help other parents through this nutty job we’ve bestowed upon ourselves.
Nadia Kotsonis was born and raised in Greece and lived there until she was 25 years old. She moved to the United States when she met her husband Nick, a Greek-American while on vacation in the Greek isles. 11 years since then have passed and they have two beautiful boys that keep them busy and melt their hearts: Dimitri (age 7) and Constantine (age 3).
Nadia has a college degree from the University of Athens where she majored in Theology, Philosophy and Psychology. She also holds a Master Instructor Certificate from Microsoft. In her early childhood what started out as a hobby and later turned into a big passion was her love of ballet. At the age of 4 she began dancing and eventually made it into a Professional Dance School where she studied ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz, character, history of dance, anatomy and music.
When Nadia first came to the U.S. she lived with her husband in Cincinnati where she worked as an IT administrator for a non-profit HR company. After a few years when their first child was born they moved to Columbus and couldn’t have been happier with the change. Nadia now works as a Greek School Teacher at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral on High St and is a member of the Greek School Board there as well. She also teaches Barre at Physique Fitness Studio in Grove City where she is a manager and a master Barre trainer.
Nadia loves teaching and seeing everyone smile. When not working she enjoys reading, cooking and traveling with the family. They travel every year to Greece to see Nadia’s family and spend some time enjoying the ocean and the tasty food. One of her favorite sayings comes from Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle”.
Andrea Connell is social worker, wife, and mom to a smart, active, and sweet toddler, Brady. Originally from Lexington, OH (not Kentucky as commonly thought!), she moved to Columbus in 2001 to attend college at The Ohio State University, and it has been home ever since. She earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in social work, and has worked with children in some capacity for over ten years, including as a therapist, case manager, and early intervention service coordinator. She now works full-time for a large social service agency, but a flexible schedule allows her to manage work, motherhood, and domestic duties and keep (somewhat) sane. She met her husband, Brian, through mutual friends about six years ago and they have been married since 2013.
Andrea loves living in Columbus and enjoys exploring all the fun places, events, and festivals that the city offers. Most weekends, you can find her and her family at the Columbus Zoo or any park that is conducive to expending toddler energy. She loves spending time with her friends and extended family, which includes ten nieces and nephews! Other interests include reading (when she can stay awake long enough to do so), occasional date nights with her husband, texting instead of talking on the phone, local coffee shops, live music, and attempting crafty projects that may or may not get finished.
Cat I is a recent transplant to the Columbus area. She is originally from Colorado but was living in Washington DC when she found out she was pregnant with twin girls. She moved to Columbus in 2013 and has made the Hilliard area her home with her husband and now 2.5-year-old girls. Cat has a love for all things “baby.” She has been a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse for eight years. She is a stay-at-home mom by week, and a NICU nurse by weekend. Cat has been blogging for several years. She enjoys sharing witty insight to all things parenting. Cat enjoys minivans, hot coffee (that wasn’t rewarmed 3 times) skinny jeans, spicy food, all things gingham pattern, pretty décor, her crockpot, and skiing. She looks forward to sharing her simple pearls of wisdom.
Liz Renneker is an active mom to three and wife to one. After hiking, camping, skiing, and growing a family in Colorado for the past ten years her family has relocated back to their roots in the Buckeye State. A nurse by trade and with over 11 years of pediatric oncology experience she has found a second passion in helping other busy moms get fit. As a virtual healthy lifestyle coach- www.lizrenneker.com and www.facebook.com/busymomsgetfit– she specializes in creating positivity, self-love, health and balance in the busy mom life. The right fitness program, nutrition plan, and support go a long way to obtain that balance and achievement. During the school year you can find Liz volunteering at the elementary school, exploring museums and parks with her youngest, transporting and cheering for the three at swim meets, soccer and basketball games, rock climbing lessons, piano and theatrical performances. She has been known to sneak in a triathlon here and there in addition to her early morning workout sessions. School breaks and summer are her favorite times of the year when she can explore and adventure with all three children and her hubby!
Maureen Ingham has enjoyed living in the great city of Columbus for nearly 10 years! Originally from Canton, Ohio, Maureen attended Ohio University and will always be a bobcat at heart! After completing her education degree in Athens, she made her way to The Ohio State University to obtain a Masters degree in Special Education. She fell in love with Columbus then and convinced her now husband to join her in this awesome city! She taught 5th grade for 6 years, before deciding to stay home to raise two beautiful girls. Their family has recently moved to Worthington with their two girls and are excited to plant their roots here! Their first daughter, Maeve is 2 1/2 and her sister, Reese is 10 months old. Maureen loves staying home and finding fun things for the girls to do to occupy their days! Between remodeling their house and keeping two active girls busy, the days fly by!
Maureen also makes headbands for baby girls and has an etsy shop called Sunshine Head to Toe. In between potty training, sweeping up crumbs, exploring Columbus, and getting kids down for naps, Maureen enjoys working out, trying new recipes and restaurants, traveling, spending time with family, being crafty and trying to help others whenever she can!
Maureen has many Columbus favorites. Her go to restaurant is Third and Hollywood, she enjoys a sweet treat at Sassafrass Bakery, a slice of pizza at harvest pizza and a warm cup of joe at Stauffs. A perfect Saturday involves an outdoor activity with her family and trying a new restaurant when they can! She is excited to be a part of an excellent team here at Columbus Moms blog and hopes to be able to inspire mothers that small acts of kindness go a long way in raising their kids and the city they live in!
Andrea is a recent transplant to the Columbus area, having now lived in almost all of the Midwestern states. After graduating from Michigan Law School, Andrea enjoyed a challenging nine year stint as a commercial litigator in Chicago and Minneapolis. Andrea and her husband relocated to New Albany last June. She is currently retired from Big Law and is constantly surrounded by her insanely busy 2.5 year old boy/girl twins and her uncannily unflappable 3 month old son.
Andrea strives to be a SAHM that rarely stays at home and enjoys finding new spaces to take her three children. She is committed to supporting women who are battling infertility and a passionate advocate for breastfeeding and VBAC. She is a voracious consumer of literature, wine and reality television. Andrea is active in the fitness community and enjoys CrossFit, running and yoga. Andrea dislikes housework, spicy foods, slow drivers, and the beach. During nap time, Andrea blogs at www.thebestkindofcrazy.com You can find her on Instagram at @andy71781
Certified Tourism Ambassador of Columbus, Mom, Christian, Legal Office Administrator, Wife, Daughter, Columbus Metropolitan Club Board Trustee, Stepmom, Home Group Leader, Sister, Friend, and now Blogger. Just a few of the many titles Kelly proudly holds that show her passion for connecting people and creating community.
Kelly met the man of her dreams on match.com in 2014, and they made their own mini Brady Bunch official exactly one year after the day they met with Lilly (2009), Maddie (2010), Declan (2011), and Baze (2012). The two sets of “twins” now spend half their time together, leaving Kelly and her stay-at-home husband plenty of treasured couple time on kid-free days.
Beyond being crazy in love with her family, Kelly is obsessively organized and infatuated with personal finance. Spreadsheets, 4 AM workouts, and color-coded calendars are some of the main methods she claims help her maintain sanity with four busy kids at three different schools in soccer, flag football, and girl scouts; a full-time downtown management role; and multiple community service positions.
Aaron Taylor is a stay-at-home-dad by day and photographer by evening and weekend. Aaron is forever blessed to be in love and married to Megan, his best friend and partner in parenting. At home, Aaron cares for Xavier, his three-year-old son, and Violet, his one-year-old daughter, who both seem to always be at least one step ahead. As a photographer (www.aarontaylorphoto.com), Aaron focuses on families and events, though he’ll pretty much try his hand at anything. He has been writing for the website Improve Photography since April, too. Before moving to Columbus in the summer of 2016, Aaron was a high school English and Drama teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland. He spent ten years in the classroom and earned National Board Certification in English Language Arts. While Aaron misses the classroom and the students this year, he doesn’t yet miss the ever-increasing mountain of stuff to grade. The English teacher in him is ever-present: there are always at least three or four books stacked on Aaron’s nightstand, maybe a fifth or sixth on the floor, too. When he has time, Aaron also enjoys playing guitar, rock climbing (in a gym–no time these days to go outside!), and exploring his new hometown with his family. Without coffee and cookies, Aaron isn’t sure where he’d be in this world.
Melissa is a Central Ohio native who’s been living in Columbus for the last seven years. After graduating from Miami University and living in Boston for a few years, she’s happy to call the capital city of Columbus her home.
Melissa’s a stay at home mom to Emily, who was born in March 2015. Emily’s a bundle of energy, who loves running around the house, playing peek-aboo and feeding the family dog, Lucy, Cheerios! When Melissa’s not chasing Emily around, she documents her kitchen adventures at the food blog Made by Melissa Lee. Following the 80:20 rule, most of her recipes are on the healthier side, with a cookie or two thrown in for good measure. Besides cooking and baking, she enjoys decorating her home, trying out local restaurants, reading a good book and those first sips of her morning coffee. She’s very excited to bring quick, easy and fun recipes to hungry Columbus parents!
Micah Cook is an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified Group Fitness Instructor and the founder of The Sweat Suite, LLC – a fitness lifestyle brand. When she’s not helping her classes shred body fat while gaining muscle she is creating meal plans and sampling healthy recipes. Fitness has always been important to Micah but it was not until October 2015 when she left her 11 year career as a Medicaid Health Systems Administrator for the Ohio Department of Medicaid that she decided to pursue it full time. Micah has a B.A. in Political Science from The Ohio State University and a M.A. in Political Science and Survey Research Methodology from the University of Cincinnati. When she is not working out she enjoys napping, wine, pizza and online shopping. Family is everything to Micah. She is married and has a stepson in college as well as six years old and three years old sons. Her fitness motto is “strength, stamina and sculpted supersedes skinny”. www.thesweatsuite.com www.facebook.com/thesweatsuite #thesweatsuite
Malini was born and raised in Worthington, OH. While it’s true that she has a raging case of wanderlust and takes every opportunity to travel far and wide, she and her husband can’t think of a better place to raise their 4 year old daughter and 10 year old Basenji dog, Sparky (aka, Sparks, Sparkles, Spark-a-licious, Sparkle-Pants).
She works full time and spends her weekends tinkering around on a passion project that she and her husband have turned into a business.
Malini’s favorite thing about Columbus is the amazing food scene – from food trucks to fine dining, Columbus has it all. Basically, she is obsessed with all things food + travel, and you can follow along with her family adventures on her blog www.lakesandlattes.com
She fell in love with her husband on a dance floor, and their daughter has certainly inherited daddy’s dancing genes! You can find them dancing around the kitchen, the living room, and the lawn. While it’s painfully true that she has zero fashion sense, she can usually find her way around a kitchen. Her life goals include connecting with others and inspiring them to travel and eat good food!
Photo Credit: Many of these photographs were captured by April Powell Photography and taken at The Ivory Room. The group photo and some of the individual photographs were taken by Aaron Taylor Photography. Thanks to Cameron Mitchell Premier Events for allowing our team to use The Ivory Room for our photo shoot.