Photo Credit: Jen Soares Photography

 

Interview for The Local Moms Network:

 

 

What is your background?

 

I studied Management and Marketing at Purdue University. After college I worked at JPMorgan Chase and Huron Consulting Group in Chicago. I continued in Human Resources at Abbott Laboratories when I moved to the suburbs. Once my son was born I had the great opportunity to work part-time for Healthcare Marketing Consultants. I’ve been doing that ever since.

 

Healthcare Marketing Consultants opened in 2010 and serves a wide variety of clients in the health care field.
HMC partners with individuals, physicians and practices to identify new business opportunities, implement growth initiatives and create relationships and mutually beneficial alliances. They focus on Physician to Physician marketing to increase referrals that benefits each client in building a successful business. In addition Healthcare Marketing Consultants offers business consulting services in the area of management and business development.

 

Why did you decide to bring The Local Moms Network to your town?

 

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to bring TLMN to the Libertyville Area! It is my dream job.

 

I love putting the spotlight on local businesses and moms/parents and their career, passions, charity work or love for their town. I also love doing the research as the site curator to compile all of the resources, blog posts, and calendar to help save others time. I modeled the area covered after the local chamber of commerce GLMV which encompasses Green Oaks, Libertyville, Mundelein and Vernon Hills.

 

I moved to Libertyville 24 years ago as a 14 year old on the day before freshman year of high school. I literally was walking around the lunchroom not knowing a soul looking for a place to sit. One of my close friends today is the girl who invited me to sit at her table. It may have taken awhile for me to embrace Libertyville as a teenager from southern Indiana but there is nowhere else I’d rather live and raise my kids now. After high school I went to college, lived in the city and then Gurnee. We moved back to Libertyville last year before our kids started elementary school. Libertyville is a wonderful mix of people who grew up here and moved back to raise a family and transplants who were drawn here for the schools, downtown and community. Vernon Hills and Mundelein are bordering towns with similar draws and we all visit, shop and dine among the towns.

 

 

Children (ages and gender):

 

We are so grateful to have a 6 year old boy and a 3 year old girl!

 

 

Must-try restaurant(s) (with and without kids):

 

Café Pomigliano in Libertyville serves delicious Italian classics. This is the former Trattoria Pomigliano restaurant that used to be located where the new Chrissoulas restaurant is (one I’m very excited to try!). My husband and I had our first date at Trattoria 10 years ago so it has history for us. We also celebrated our rehearsal dinner there three years later.

 

When we have the kiddos with us we love to visit Dos Amigos in Libertyville! Their Mexican cuisine is delicious and they conveniently also serve grilled cheese for those picky eaters. I’ve heard they are great at catering as well and plan to find out soon! We also love to visit Picnic Basket and grab food to go for a picnic in Cook Park. This restaurant has history for me as well since they were my first employer when I was in high school. I learned so much from this family.

 

On the weekends we go to Centre Club together as a family. The kids absolutely love going to Kidtown while my husband and I work out. Then it’s our tradition to get smoothies and snacks together in the Café afterwards. At times, it’s not the most relaxing or easy to dine with young children so we’re always on the hunt for places who make that experience easier. We’ve found that we love to go out to breakfast as a family since it can be quicker and has so many options kids love to eat. Our favorites are Townee Square Restaurant in Libertyville and Gardenberry in Vernon Hills, both of which have Mickey Mouse pancakes!

 

Hotel you recommend to friends/family:

 

If we have friends or family staying nearby we recommend the Holiday Inn in Libertyville near Independence Grove, The DoubleTree in Mundelein or Hotel Indigo in Vernon Hills. We also suggest the Hampton Inn and Marriott in Lincolnshire. The Hampton Inn is near the movie theater, Wildfire, Big Bowl and Viper Alley. The Marriott Lincolnshire also has the Marriott Theatre. If we are looking for a hotel in the city we enjoy The London House by Hilton and their amazing rooftop near the River Walk. We also love the Midtown Athletic Club Hotel near Bucktown and Lincoln Park for a unique experience of a hotel with restaurants and spa but also tennis, group exercise, swimming, tennis and golf simulator!

 

Go-to drink spot:

 

We don’t get out for drinks as much as we used to these days! But if we do there are so many great options in the area. We’ve celebrated many occasions in the old location of  Mickey Finn’s upstairs and love the new O’Toole’s as well. Plus of course the new Mickey Finn’s! Firkin has great ambiance at the bar. When out with girlfriends we like to order the Frambois. If we are in Mundelein, I love the atmosphere in Park Street Craft Kitchen and Bar. There is a nice patio as well. In Vernon Hills, we have frequented Hitz many times over the years.

 

Place you love to get coffee:

 

Our local Starbucks in Libertyville is in the heart of downtown and I usually run into a familiar face. When I’m in a hurry and don’t want to get the kiddos in and out of the car, I love that Dunkin’ Donuts near downtown has a drive thru. The one on the far north end of town does too! And I of course love the local Hansa Coffee in it’s unique space in Libertyville and new location in Barbara’s bookstore in Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills. I’ve been really wanting to try the coffee from Karina’s Bakery and  AREA General Store in Mundelein!

 

Favorite stores to shop for your kids:

 

I love the neighborhood toy store Snickelfritz in Vernon Hills with it’s unique, educational toys. It is quite fun to visit from the child’s perspective as they enter through their own separate child-sized yellow door. They also offer birthday baskets where a child can come in and pick out items they’d like and store in a basket in the back of the store. When friends and family come to shop they can choose from these pre-selected items.

 

Where to entertain the entire family indoors/outdoors:

 

We love to go bowling together as a family and have been to Brunswick in Vernon Hills and Lakeside Lanes in Mundelein. We love to visit all of the area libraries. There are some great indoor play places like Yu Kids Island (we can’t wait to see the remodeled space!), XFactor Trampoline, Blast Zone and Dave & Buster’s.

 

We love to visit the neighborhood parks like Charlie Brown & Nicholas Dowden. If we are venturing out we love Hartmann Park and Century Park in Vernon Hills. Independence Grove is always a nice option. In the summertime you’ll find us at Lake Minear Beach in the mornings and we like to have dinner there with friends in the late afternoon too. The Mundelein Spray Park is also great when there is only one parent – it’s easy to watch the little ones solo.

 

Don’t miss events for visitors (and locals!):

 

Vernon Hills Summer Celebration in July complete with children’s activities, rides, beer tent and concerts. Libertyville’s Wine About Winter event in February always sells out fast. Every year in June on Father’s Day we attend the Libertyville Days festivities. There is a parade, rides and games. David Adler Music & Arts Center Festival of the Arts in August. I’ve always wanted to try the MainSweet Dessert Walk in downtown Libertyville in August. Mundelein has summer concerts in Kracklauer Park that draw crowds.

 

Our mission is to give moms the gift of time. What are your best time-saving tips/resources as a mom?

 

Prepping in little pockets of time has helped me! Plus, being okay with just completing tiny bits at a time rather than finishing tasks all at once. If I have 15 minutes in the morning after the kids are ready for school I will chop vegetables and prep for cooking later. I also strive to wake up an hour before the kids everyday to get myself ready, do some work, laundry, vacuuming or even a cup of coffee before the chaos begins. I’ve found doing this leads to more calm mornings and I feel ahead of the game for the day.

 

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

 

At Purdue University I was elected to the Student Concert Committee and served a two-year term. We were a big part of choosing and securing the talent, advertising and promoting the event, ticket sales, and working on show day backstage with catering, dressing room set-up, fulfilling the rider, and much more. Some of my favorite shows from this time were Tim Reynolds, Umpree’s McGee, Nelly, Gwen Stefani and Bob Dylan.

 

 

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