Allison Murray was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she and her brothers spent summers with their salt of the earth, God-fearing grandparents; wiling away the days helping tend their huge vegetable garden, picking and canning the fruit from the trees, bushes, and vines in their yard, gathering eggs, and camping in the Smokies.
It’s no surprise then, that when in 2011 her family relocated to Illinois for a work opportunity for her husband, Jeff (an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at Core Orthopedics), the family chose the farm they live still on. They filled the chicken coop and barn over the years with chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, goats, an orange barn cat, and beehives for the back paddock.
Murray, a physician assistant, has chosen to stay home with their children. Their two girls Charlie, 16, and Tessa, 15, attend St. Viator High School, and their son, Sam, 18, just began his first year at DePaul University. Murray serves on the auxiliary board for Samaritan Counseling Center and Second City Canine Rescue and is the Nature Lady Coordinator for Barrington public schools for the Nature Lady Program.
Mantra? I can make that myself Best grooming tip? Always go for the drama somewhere Guilty pleasure? I can’t say no to a sticky, fog-machined dance floor with friends. Or Disney World Favorite foods? Comfort foods from my Tennessee roots like chicken and dumplings Music you love? ‘70s rock is the best workout music; Green Day, Motley Crew, The Clash are great running music. Cooking and canning is really fun clad in vintage aprons with my daughters listening to 1940’s jazz and bluegrass Best advice ever given to you? Be grateful for your health, loved ones, and possessions, and never forget that possessions are the only one of these that can be replaced Best advice you’ve given? If everyone waited for someone else to take the first step no one would ever move Earliest memory? My dad’s giant hand plunging into the water above my head and pulling me up to safety by my arm after I’d fallen in the motel pool. (My mother warned me to stop running.) (Twice!) When you wake up, you? Pull on my workout clothes so there’s no turning back, make everyone’s breakfast and lunch, knock back an entire pot of coffee Before bed, you? Tell myself at least three times I should really be in bed by now What’s on your bookshelf? Cookbooks and reference books ranging from beekeeping to how to win the tables in Vegas You can’t live without? Socks Love to escape to? With the family: the Smoky Mountains for camping, hiking, picnicking, and the rangers’ talks. Cozumel for scuba diving. With the gal pals: Vegas and Nashville. With the hubs: romantic trips to Paris and Sorento Advice you would give to your younger self? The days you are living now are the days you’ll look back on fondly later in life, appreciate them while you’re in the moment
WHEN IN THE COUNTRY
Your style is? Leggings with a cropped sweatshirt or tee, low boots or sneakers Can’t leave the house without? Cup of coffee, bottle of water, lipstick Transportation? My husband surprised me with a 2-seater convertible identical to the one I had when we met Driving music? Stand-up comedy Place to eat? Ambrosia’s pastries and coffee, Shakou’s seven spicy Ahi on black rice, Region’s bang bang cauliflower with the hot rock steak Shop? The Sweet Spot Best thing about the country? It has such a lovely hometown feel; you can’t run an errand in Barrington without bumping into someone you know Worst thing about the country? Wash your face, comb your hair; you can’t run an errand in Barrington without bumping into someone you know The perfect day is? Cooking a giant southern breakfast on a lazy morning for the family, playing (an abysmal) nine holes of golf with my husband, kayaking with the kids on the back pond, grilling for dinner on the deck, and sitting around the campfire
WHEN IN TOWN
Your style is? Platform heels, pencil skirt, puffed sleeve blouse, and edgy jewelry at night; leggings with over the knee wedge boots, a crisp button down, big frame sunglasses, and a black blazer in the day Can’t leave the house without? My mobile charger, the crossbody strap for my handbag, small bills Transportation? Metra, walking, cab, L, or water taxi Driving music? Well, whatever it is, I’ll be turning it down to focus and white knuckle if I suddenly end up near Water Tower Place! Place to eat? Triple Crown in Chinatown, Miller’s Pub, Twin Anchors, Kuma’s Corner Shop? The Spice Shop and The Fudge Pot in Old Town, Eataly, all the knickknack shops in Chinatown Best thing about town? It’s energizing Worst thing about town? Having to be on guard The perfect day is? Waking up in a boutique hotel, breakfast at Little Goat Diner, strolling The Art Institute, tea at the Langham, opera at the Lyric Opera, late bite at Taco Burrito King