Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?

I am a North Shore Native. I was born and raised in Deerfield and now live in Northbrook.

 

Child(ren) and Age(s)?

I have three girls ages 12, 9 and 5.

 

One thing people would be surprised to know about you…

One thing people might not know is that my husband and I were in the 2004 Southeast Asia Tsunami. We got married at the end of July but decided to wait until the holidays to go on our honeymoon so we could have more time to explore Southeast Asia. We arrived in Phuket,Thailand on December 25. We were less than one day into our honeymoon when the tsunami hit. It was one of the worst days of our lives but we know how fortunate we are to have survived. There were many points during that day that I feared for my life but we were lucky for so many reasons. Fate played a big role in that day. When we checked in, our room wasn’t ready, and knowing it was our honeymoon upgraded us to a higher floor. If we were on the first floor the water would have rushed right in. We typically like to take advantage of every minute we have on a trip, so we should have been at the beach. We were fortunate that we were in our hotel room when the first wave hit because my husband decided he needed to shave that morning. The day still haunts me but my husband and I both count our blessings, and try to understand that good comes from bad. The Thai people were beyond amazing. We were running for our lives at one point and they stopped to help. Also along our journey we met amazing people. We met two Australians with whom we became instant friends. Two and a half years later we celebrated their wedding with them in Australia. They’ve come to visit us in Chicago and most recently our families met in San Diego and the kids are all now friends. Our friendship will last a lifetime. My oldest daughter recently learned about tsunamis in her science class. I showed her all of the pictures from that day and the articles we kept. I would recommend anyone to travel to Thailand, we hope one day to bring our family back there. After going through this life alternating experience my husband and I have a different perspective on life; enjoy life because in a blink of an eye it can change. Also, help people; without the help of everyone during this journey and even after we might not have been here to tell our story!

 

Amazing story and so true that life can change in the blink of an eye! I’m sure that you take advantage of those special moments with your family! So, what is your favorite place to take the kids?

I love taking my kids to volunteer, my husband and I find it very important to give back to others. This past year we have done several different volunteer opportunities. For my daughter’s 9th Birthday we hosted her birthday party at Feed my Starving Children. It was wonderful to see all of the kids especially my kids hand pack meals for children in the neediest places around the world. The kids realized what an impact they made in just two hours of their time. We have been back several times since. There are so many other amazing opportunities for kids to give back.

 

Guilty pleasure (ie. Food, desert, snack, hobby)?

I am not going to lie, I love my diet coke. I love a good cold diet coke after I run. I have trained and completed the Chicago Marathon four times and Diet Coke is the one treat I love after a long run!!

 

Go-to costmetic “tired eraser”?

I wish I had one!!!! I could use some!!!

 

Favorite Children’s book?

My favorite children’s book is “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day”. I remember reading it as a child and then when I had kids I bought it. I love how it was turned into a movie. My family enjoying watching the movie but also reading the book! I love how you can think it is the worst day you can possibly have but I always try to think that tomorrow is a new day with new beginnings!

 

Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?

Honestly the list is endless, I have been so fortunate to be surrounded by so many wonderful family and friends to help navigate parenthood! There are so many people I would love to thank for helping me through parenthood. First, my parents live 5 minutes from and have helped with everything from Childcare to an ear to listen, guidance or just a home cooked meal. I have been blessed with an amazing across the street neighbor. She has become a sister to me, a second mom to my kids and just a great friend . I have a village of friends to whom I am forever grateful. I have met most of these women through my kids and without these women my kids might not be at their activities or have built in playdates or just someone to talk to. I love my village and thankful for it and all of these amazing people!

 

Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!

I have been the Brand Ambassador for almost 7 years with GoGo squeeZ, the 100 % natural, gluten free, nut & allergen free, kosher certified, resealable applesauce. The product has been a staple in my life since my middle daughter was a year old. It is the perfect healthy on the go snack. The applesauce comes in 14 different flavors. I always feel great about giving GoGo squeeZ to my kids. The product is ¾ of a serving of fruit which is great. We also have three other products, we have our YogurtZ which is our pantry friendly yogurt, perfect yogurt for on the go, 4 grams of protein, comes in four delicious flavors, we also have our Fruit & VeggieZ line with nine different flavors. Lastly we have our new product which recently launched called BlastZ, it is bigger and bolder flavors then our applesauce, it is slightly larger at 3.9 oz. I love that my kids and their friends call me the GoGo lady!!!

 

We always ask our interview moms if they have any advice they can pass forward to you, the reader. Here is what Jorie had to add and it’s really good!

I love that GoGo squeeZ is focused on family first! This past year GoGo squeeZ is focused on “Be Time” and to take the pledge of “Be Time.” What is “Be Time?” GoGo squeeZ believes that kids today need more opportunities to be kids. They need more unstructured time to play and explore their imaginations. This time is the quality time for kids to nourish their imagination, creativity, bodies and relationships. When you let kids just Be, they can be anything they want to be. Some ideas on the BE List are:

  1. BE Present in body and mind
  2. BE outside get kids in the outdoors whenever and wherever
  3. BE in control of technology, not the reverse
  4. BE spontaneous, give kids permission to explore
  5. BE Curious, encourage kids to discover the world around them
  6. BE Balanced, fuel kids with foods they love & need
  7. BE Encouraging, encourage “BE students” kids who can self-direct healthy activities
  8. BE an Example, show kids how it’s done
  9. BE Generous with the time kids get to be kids
  10. BE Committed to your values: GoGo squeeZ are be Healthy, BE Yourself and BE in the moment

 

 

Keep up with GoGo SqueeZ! Follow on Instagram & Facebook for easy and delicious recipe ideas, giveaways and awesome at-home crafts!

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