Lauren Brynjelsen and her husband, Sean, along with their children, split their time between living in the heart of the village in Barrington and downtown Chicago. As owner of One Life Kitchen in Barrington, she provides locals with the opportunity to gather with friends and family in a beautiful kitchen setting while creating a delicious meal together. Brynjelsen also enjoys spending time with the community through philanthropic causes. She is a member of both the development council and the gala committee at Good Shepherd Hospital. She is also on the planning committee for Hero’s Salute Lake County, an organization that helps serve the needs of our military. As an entrepreneur, Brynjelsen recently founded Barrington Women in Business, a group designed to help support local women business owners. Besides cooking, Lauren’s interests include playing the piano, working out, reading, and writing for her blog—The Love of a Kitchen.
Mantra? I can fly! I use to have a massive fear of flying and I overcame that in my late 20s and eventually, I even skydived.
Best grooming tip? Wash and moisturize your face before going to bed.
Guilty pleasure? Chocolate Chip Cookies with a glass of Pinot Noir.
Favorite foods? Avocado, mango, steak, and crab.
Music you love? All kinds, from upbeat dance/workout music to classics like Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera.
Best advice ever given to you? Don’t let fear stop you from trying something new.
Best advice you’ve given? God has a great plan for your one life so seek him first because he already has your answer.
Earliest memory? Crying hysterically as my mom dropped me off in 3’s preschool.
When you wake up, you? Immediately thank God for another day and then I immediately make my bed and drink 8 ounces of water.
Before bed, you? Watch some HGTV while scrolling through Instagram.
What’s on your bookshelf? At One Life Kitchen, it’s all cookbooks and business works; at my home, it has to be a very meaningful book to be allowed on my bookshelf so I have classics like Unbroken, Les Miserables, and To Kill a Mockingbird.
You can’t live without? Music.
Love to escape to? The gym.
Advice you would give to your younger self? The best investment you will ever make is in yourself. Know thyself, love thyself, physically take care of thyself, be good, kind, and gracious to thyself. For its when you know your own worth that you will have the desired response to live your best life.
WHEN IN THE COUNTRY
Your style is? Lululemon.
Can’t leave the house without? My phone.
Transportation? Mercedes white SUV.
Driving music? I like making car playlists that I tend to then overplay. My current playlist is lots of Thomas Rhett and Kane Brown.
Place to eat? Toss-up between Shakou and Francesca’s; I love that I can walk to both of them from my home.
Shop? Deer Park Town Center.
Best thing about country? Friends, family, and my front porch.
Worst thing about country? The Canadian freight train that I seem to catch every day.
The perfect day is? A morning workout to Imagine Dragon music followed by time with the family and then a dinner party at One Life Kitchen.
WHEN IN TOWN
Your style is? More hip and elegant—dress jeans or a nice classic dress with heels.
Can’t leave the house without? Wristlet.
Transportation? If I’m going down for the weekend or longer, I’ll drive but if it is a quick in-out day in the city I hop the train as its walking distance to both our homes.
Driving music? Actually, it tends to be more a podcast or an audible book. Just finished The Lemon Tree.
Place to eat? Oh so many. For appetizers, The Purple Pig; for brunch, The Kitchen; for dinner and drinks, The Chicago Club.
Shop? Michigan Avenue.
Best thing about town? Energy and rooftop restaurants.
Worst thing about town? Highway traffic.
The perfect day is? Brunch, walking the lakefront, pool time with the kids on our rooftop, RPM steak for dinner, and then wrapping up the day watching the fireworks with family and friends on our balcony—of course, with a glass of wine in hand.