Where are you from and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to the area?
I was born in Chicago and lived there for 6 years. In 1976 my parents decided it was time to move out of the city and we ended up in Libertyville. My first impression was I cannot believe my parents moved us to a farm lol. As a 7 year old I was less than thrilled. It took a couple of years but I did fall in love with Libertyville and have been here ever since. I graduated from Libertyville High School in 1987 and then attended Eastern Illinois University where I received my Bachelors in Speech Communication with double minors in Public Relations and Business Administration.
Do you have child(ren)?
Age(s) I have 3 AMAZING boys/men who I could not be more proud of. Tyler is 26, he graduated from DePaul University and currently works at AMITA Health Saint Joseph Hospital Chicago, Jax is 18 and attends a private day school for Autism in Palos Heights and Camden is 17 and a Junior at Libertyville High School. I also have 3 incredible bonus kids, Morgan, Maddie and Marc.
We met over your new and beloved Facebook Group! I’d love to know your favorite restaurants!
As most people would probably guess by my Libertyville Recipe Swap Facebook Page, I am a major foodie. When I do have the opportunity to go out with my wonderful husband Scott, who is also a Libertyville native. We love Chrissoulas, Shakou, Milwalky Trace and every other restaurant in Libertyville. Our go to pizza place as a family is Lou Malnati’s or Bill’s Pub. Our favorite restaurant downtown Chicago is Maple & Ash.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I found my love of cooking through my mom. Growing up she was always experimenting with recipes from different cultures. Spending time with her in the kitchen was always something I loved. My most cherished memories are of my mom, dad (who passed away in 1993), brother and I sitting around the dinner table laughing and sharing the stories of our day. When Covid and the stay at home order first started I found myself cooking nonstop. I kept seeing Facebook posts on the Libertyville Moms Group where people were asking what they should make for dinner. After a couple of months, I decided it would be great to have a page where we could all share our favorite recipes and ask for recipes that other people tried and loved. That is how the Libertyville Recipe Swap started. So many members have thanked me for starting the page and honestly I am the one who is thanking everyone who has graciously participated. Covid has been hard on all of us and it has been especially hard on my 18 year old non-verbal son Jax. School is Jax’s happy place and he is not capable of understanding why he is no longer going. That can make for some very long days and nights at home for us. I needed something just for me and Libertyville Recipe Swap has been a wonderful distraction from all of the craziness going on in our world. Added bonus is that my family is thrilled with all of the new recipes I am trying, especially Jax!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
My husband would say the 2 most surprising things about me is that I can catch and throw a baseball like a man. Secondly, he once thought he could hold his breath underwater longer than me but little did he know I am part mermaid and he didn’t stand a chance.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another Mom?
The greatest piece of advice I have gotten was from another Autism mom. She told me to celebrate every tiny achievement. And to remember during the storms of life there will eventually be sun. I carry those words with me every single day.
What are your favorite places to travel near and far and why?
My husband and I love to travel. Last year we were married in Maui, Hawaii in an intimate beach ceremony. Our favorite yearly destination is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Our kids absolutely love it there too. We enjoy waking up to the sounds of the ocean, the culture, people and fantastic restaurants. There is something about Mexico that makes me feel most like myself. The most beautiful place I have ever been is Prague, Czechia with Santorini, Greece being a close second.
Tell me about your favorite book/s. I love receiving fiction and non-fiction recommendations!
My all time favorite book is “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom. It is an easy short read delivering a powerful message. It is a lesson on how to live and love. I read it many years ago and it has always stuck with me.
What is next for you?
I am never quite sure about what tomorrow will bring but I look forward to finding out. I have been thinking about writing a cookbook. I would love to be able to accomplish that within the next couple of years.