Hello friendly faces! It’s that time of the week! We’re back with a new CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom spotlight brought to you in part by Mary Gifford of Gifford Law. This week Ellie from Chicago North Shore Moms is reintroducing herself to because isn’t it nice to know the face behind the brand? “When I first moved to the North Shore in 2011, I knew no one here and had to completely start over,” Ellie recalls. “And it took me quite sometime to get my bearings.” In 2018 Ellie launched Chicago North Shore Moms because she’s passionate about bringing local North Shore resources to busy mamas like herself! Get to know Ellie!
Please introduce yourself! Where are you from, how did you find yourself in Chicago’s North Shore and many kids do you have?
Hi! My name is Ellie. I live in a little town on Chicago’s North Shore with my husband and three kids ages six, 10 and 12 and a lab-boxer dog, Frankie the girl. I was born in Washington, D.C. and lived in Potomac, Maryland until the age of 10. On my 10th birthday we moved to Los Angeles, “The Valley!” I moved around a bit after graduating from high school, which included a five year stint in Lincoln Square. I’ve lived on the North Shore since 2011 – we had a 2 year old and I was pregnant with my second at the time of our move like so many of you out there!
What are your favorite local places or businesses to visit?
There is so much to do on Chicago’s North Shore! Hand down my favorites place to go alone and with my family is the Chicago Botanic Garden, Rosewood Beach in Highland Park and Ravinia Festival at least four times each season. I also love doing a bit of cross country skiing at Heller Nature Center in Highland Park (you can reserve times online and rent gear there). I also love a good staycation. For spring break we kept it mellow and spent a few nights at a hotel downtown with a pool, saw a showing of Blue Man Group, and hit up the Adler Planetarium.
3 things people would be surprised to learn about you:
1. Most of my friends don’t actually know I’m from Maryland. I usually skip that part and say I’m from LA, It’s where I call home and my parents still live in the home we moved into in 1987.
2. My dad was a professional pantomime with a traveling mime troupe. He performed at places like the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and dabbled in theatrics as the Village Idiot at Renaissance Festivals (LOL). I performed with him a few times here and there but my acting bug didn’t make it past my senior year at high school.
3. I got my first tattoo at the age of 43. I absolutely love it! No, I’m not planning my next one, nothing comes to mind.
Current binge series or obsessions?
My husband and I missed out on the last six seasons of The Big Bang Theory after “cutting the cord.” So we’re binging at night through that, all 13 seasons!
I just started watching Tom and Pammy on Hulu. It wasn’t something I was all that interested in seeing until I saw Seth Rogen on Jimmy Kimmel. It’s a truly crazy story. I grew up going to the beaches where Bay Watch was filmed I never knew the backstory behind “the story.”
And, of course, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel now that season five has been released, Bridgerton Season two, Winning Time on HBO MAX.
With the kids: Sulphur Springs and Locke & Key (not appropriate for very young) on Disney +, Young Sheldon on HBO MAX and The Goldbergs and Hardy Boys on HULU.
What are you listening to lately?
I am obsessed with my podcasts and listen constantly. I subscribe to several and here they are: Lifespan with Dr. David Sinclair for health topics on longevity; The Daily by the New York Times for current events, Sharon Says So with Sharon McMahon on all kinds of random topics from US Politics to random stories about US States – she’s a great story teller and it’s impossible to be in a bad mood when listening to her; Startalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson; and last but not least our dear friend’s wonderfully informative and business brilliant Lindsay Pinchuk’s podcast, Dear Foundher.
Reflecting on the last 2 years, what have you personally learned or taken away from living through a pandemic?
My senses are more heightened and not necessarily in a bad way. When life is going really really well, I notice it. I see it, feel it and hear it and those joys feel way stronger than ever before. I make a conscious effort not to take any small joys for granted: from something witty that one of my kids has said, to a singular moment in a family vacation where we all recognize how freakin’ awesome it is. I love bigger and feel all the feels.
What’s on the horizon that you’re excited about?
Personally: We are about to start a bathroom renovation so I’ve been “Pinning” and browsing and shopping for the last few weeks. I hope we can start before my bathroom falls through to the floor below – kidding, not kidding.
Professionally: I look forward to more growth with our network and to meeting more of our moms and businesses who have been so supportive over the last few years, perhaps at a Moms Night Out Event – who knows :). It truly takes a village, not only to raise children, but also to stay sane in an everyday changing world. I love our communities and I am very proud of what we’ve built so far. It’s only up from here.
About Our Meet a Mom Sponsor
A very heartfelt thank you to CNSMoms’ Meet a Mom sponsor, Lake Forest mom of three and owner of Gifford Law, a solo Estate Planning Firm (wills and trusts). Mary, we appreciate your support of local moms in our North Shore communities! Learn more about Mary by visiting her Meet a Mom spotlight here!