Where are you from and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to the area?
I grew up in Libertyville but moved back about 5 years ago. It was a lucky (and random) choice because I found a fixer upper that I loved.
Do you have child(ren)? Age(s)
I consider all my staff + clients my children, I like being the mother hen. Or I guess cat-mom in this case, but don’t have any of my own yet. I do have a cat who is our mascot. Her name is Cupcake + she’s been the original yoga inspiration for the last 14 years. When she was a kitten, she’d cling to my back as I practiced yoga.. so she simply had to be my mascot.
What are your favorite things to do in the area with and without your kids? Family friendly restaurant? Date night?
There is so much to take advantage of! I love our natural resources – the preserves, paths + parks. I also love supporting my neighbors so I eat out regularly. Pizzeria Deville, Milwalky Trace + Lolos Bowls are my usual haunts. I also love just walking the neighborhoods. It’s something I never did before COVID and it was a great way to see the town, meet different people + pets, and get out of my head a bit.
In addition to the restaurants you mentioned, can you share your TOP 5 favorite local businesses? It could be stores that you frequent for clothes, kids, home decor, healthcare, fitness, wellness, beauty salons or spas, or family resources (photographer, financial advisor, lawyer)… We love supporting local.
I might be biased but Black Cat Yoga for fitness.
847Running Co. for shoes, support + laughs.
Bentleys for the best cat food + treats.
The Strand to manage my unruly hair.
I really try to make it a point to support everyone in town because we’re all in this together!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor or in the corporate world?
I own Black Cat Yoga – an intimate haven for wellness, yoga + meditation. It’s been a labor of love + we’re celebrating our 5th anniversary this month! Personally, I also run programs on the side focusing on mindset and mental/emotional wellbeing for educators, athletes + anyone needing some support to find balance.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I’ve met a tightly knit group of women who I look at as my faux board of directors. We can talk about family, life stress AND bounce crazy ideas off each other. They help me keep pushing the needle even when I find myself falling into doubt. At the studio, the vibe of our clients really sets us apart. We’ve found the most kind, loyal and excited group of people that keep us growing forward. It’s really a one of a kind community.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m also a private wealth banker at Wintrust. I like to think my two jobs feed and support each other. I can use my yoga + mindfulness practices to show up better at work, and work helps me be really mindful of how to best use my time. I like working, so if left to my own devices I’d be “busy” all the time. This forces a little more balance… and let’s be honest, regularly makes me wear something besides yoga pants.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another Mom?
You can always find ways to be “busy,” but how are you prioritizing time for your own care?
It’s become a mantra for me and something I remind our clients… It can be 5 minutes a day or a full hour workout, but you can’t really fully show up for others if you’re not also showing up for yourself.
Are you involved in any volunteering or philanthropy? Do you have a favorite local non-profit or charity?
I love supporting local charities, especially for women/children + animals. We try to do one annual campaign to support the Haven or a local food bank. After the craziness of COVID, I set a personal challenge for myself to donate to one organization a month for the whole year.. even if I repeat regularly. I have plenty and it’s been good to really look at how I can help those who don’t. Small gestures can lead to big results.
What are your favorite places to travel near and far and why?
I love exploring, but you’ll most often find me in the mountains or by a body of water. I love Idaho and Colorado, any destination in Europe and of course, sandy beaches. If I had to pick where I’d go next it would be Canada… B.C and the natural wonders of mountains AND lakes in the same place has been on my bucket list for a long time.
Which podcasts and/or TED Talks inspire you the most?
I am always on the hunt for new ones:
Trained by Nike is so good, even if you have zero interest in sports or athletics. Unlocking Us with Brene Brown.
Babysitters Club Club – a group of guys get together to read the classic books, and silliness ensues. Good for the beach.
Any Ted talk on mindfulness, mental wellness, grit, shame, etc. that helps us really look at how we show up for our families and in our lives is something I am totally interested in absorbing. I get a lot of inspiration for my meditation programs in unusual places, so I love to learn.
Tell me about your favorite books. I love receiving fiction and non-fiction recommendations!
Essentialism: the Disciplined Pursuit of Less (Greg McKeown) and Atomic Habits (James Clear). They touch on two things I’m realling focusing on – doing the important stuff rather than just trying to do it ALL, and creating tiny measurable habits that build to big changes over time. There is something for everyone in these 2 books!
What is your favorite thing about the Libertyville Area Moms Network?
Hearing the stories of other women + families in our community. I don’t always have opportunities to meet people outside of my bubble, so I love this forum for us to learn about each other + be a network of information and support.
What is next for you?
We’re opening our upstairs wellness space in August. It’s the perfect place to decompress, recover + take some time for yourself.. or even make a little date night experience. From physical wellness services (infared sauna, compression boots + more) to meditation, stress resilience + emotional wellness practices, it’s going to be such a useful space for our community. I love holistic wellness and am excited to share this with others.
I’m also really excited about the Instagram video conversations I’m having over the next few months. Quick but intimate chats with other friends, business owners + people who inspire me around town. Hope everyone can tune in!
*This post was sponsored by Black Cat Yoga