Where are you from and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to the area?
I was born in the Philippines, moved to Chicago’s Northside when I was a baby, and my parents finally settled in Hanover Park when I was 7-years-old. With my previous career as a broadcast journalist, I lived in Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin. I knew I wanted to raise my kids close to my family, so my husband and I moved back to Illinois and we picked Mundelein because it was close to my job and also a great family-oriented community.
Do you have child(ren)? Age(s)
I have two girls. One is 4 and the other just turned 1.
What are your favorite things to do in the area with and without your kids? Family friendly restaurant? Date night?
I love to do lunch with friends, but like to eat what I can’t make at home. So sushi! Blu Fish in Vernon Hills, Star Fish in Lincolnshire and Sushi Thai in Libertyville. I also love Park Street Restaurant in Mundelein. With the kids, we’re always visiting the different playgrounds in the area. In the summer, the Mundelein Spray Park is great for toddlers and babies. Year round, you can also find us at Goldfish Mundelein preparing for the summer.
What are your TOP 5 favorite local businesses? We love supporting local.
I love Glamtique in Mundelein. It’s a salon and a store! Snickelfritz Toys. Holcomb Hollow for desserts. And if you break your iPhone as much as I do, I totally recommend Mundelein Computer Guys. Finally, my husband’s home remodeling and renovation company – Reserve Remodel. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I share some of our home renovation projects that I think up and he executes. He’s got a great eye for design even without my input.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor or in the corporate world?
I work at AbbVie in communications and public affairs. I love working alongside scientists and at a company so focused on helping patients.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I definitely am not a parent who has all the answers, but I’ve met so many amazing moms and dads in our community who share their experiences and knowledge. My neighborhood, in particular, is one where the parents step up to help one another. That’s priceless.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Until last year, I taught spin classes, but the biggest surprise is usually when people learn I was in TV news for more than a decade.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another Mom?
Trust your instinct because it’s usually right.
Are you involved in any volunteering or philanthropy? Do you have a favorite local non-profit or charity?
Right now I volunteer my time with the Fremont PTO. Before kids, I was a Big Sister and I always recommend that young adults volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I think mentoring is so important.
What are your favorite places to travel near and far and why?
I don’t like to travel too far. My husband and I love the Cancun-area of Mexico. We got engaged and married there. For close trips, I like to visit old friends in Wisconsin.
Which podcasts and/or TED Talks inspire you the most?
The TED Talks from Anne-Marie Slaughter on “Can We Have It All?” helps confirm my belief to put family first and that we should find employers that believe it too. She says “real equality means valuing family just as much as work,” and that “if family comes first, work does not come second. Life comes together.”
Tell me about your favorite books. I love receiving fiction and non-fiction recommendations!
I recently read White Ivy by Susie Yang. It’s a dark thriller-type novel, but also has an Asian American anti-hero who also immigrated. I don’t think we see many of those stories told in the mainstream. I love a good psychological thriller or mystery with a strong female lead. The Last Mrs. Parrish and Where the Crawdads Sing are also two recent faves.
What is your favorite thing about the Libertyville Area Moms Network?
I love seeing all the great work local moms are doing and how they’re “doing it all.”
What is next for you?
As the girls get older, I want to get back into volunteering in the community and even bring them along. I want them to be appreciative of the life they live, and that we should always try to help others.