Hinsdale resident Anne Kennedy Otzen originally moved to the Chicago area to attend Loyola University Chicago School of Law, meeting her husband, Jesse, through a mutual friend at a fundraiser for the Auxiliary Board of Northwestern Hospital at The Museum of Contemporary Art. Now the mother of 5-year-old Parker and 3-year-old Caroline, she enjoys raising her children surrounded by a large extended family residing in and nearby Hinsdale.
In addition to being an involved parent, Otzen devotes much of her time and energy to philanthropic pursuits. She served as co-chair of the Hinsdale Junior Women’s Club Social Committee during the most recent 2017-2018 club year and will be co-chairing the group’s annual charity gala in March 2019. She and her family also support such local causes as Wellness House, Lurie Children’s Hospital, Catholic Charities, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, The Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Camp Out For Kids.
Here are some of this busy mother’s favorites around country and town.
Mantra? Start each day with a grateful heart.
Best grooming tip? I love a good blowout. Great hair is the best accessory.
Guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate, a nice glass of wine, and watching reality television shows on Bravo
Favorite foods? 80 percent of the time I choose clean, organic, healthy options. I love seafood, fruits, and veggies. The other 20 percent of the time, I indulge in my favorites—Italian food and sweets!
Music you love? I mostly listen to whatever is topping the pop charts and occasionally chill out to Enya or Sade to unwind from the chaos of raising two preschoolers.
Best advice ever given to you? Count your blessings. Having an attitude of gratitude really can change your life.
Best advice you’ve given? Laugh every day. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and lift you higher.
Earliest memory? My grandparents were snowbirds and we spent many holidays visiting their home in Florida. Our vacations were always filled with lots of joy, laughter, and fun in the sun.
When you wake up, you? Snuggle for a few minutes with my human alarm clock (my 5-year-old son) and talk about our plans for the day. He wakes up so full of energy and excitement! I cherish those few minutes of one-on-one cuddles together before he is off and running for the day.
Before bed, you? Respond to texts and emails, scroll through Instagram, make my to-do list for the next day
What’s on your bookshelf? Mainly nonfiction books and magazines about health and wellness, fitness, fashion, and interior design
You can’t live without? Girls nights out! I love to go to concerts or try out the new city hot spots with friends. Our nights always include lots of laughter, music, and dancing. I have met so many incredible, talented women in this community. I am truly thankful for the friendships that I have formed and I feel blessed to be surrounded by a support system of amazing mothers.
Love to escape to? The beach is my happy place. There is something about the water and sand that soothes my soul. I am fortunate that my family is able to escape to the sunshine for a few weeks each winter.
Advice you would give to your younger self? Travel more, worry less. Everything will work out as it should. Be confident in your own skin. Don’t be afraid to shine.
WHEN IN HINSDALE/COUNTRY
Your style is? Workout and loungewear during the day; I love getting all dressed up on the weekends.
Can’t leave the house without? My running shoes and cell phone. Exercising gives me the energy to keep up with two active little ones. I love running and will be completing my fourth half marathon this summer.
Transportation? Pushing my double stroller with my son, daughter, and two Yorkshire Terriers in tow
Driving music? My 2-year-old daughter loves to belt out her favorite Frozen and Moana songs from the back seat.
Place to eat? Nabuki, Gibson’s in Oak Brook, my mom’s kitchen for authentic homemade Italian cooking
Shop? Lepa Boutique in Burr Ridge for fabulous contemporary fashions; Shop 10 and My Sister Kate in Hinsdale; Revolve and Shopbop online, because shopping with young children is sometimes impossible
Best thing about country? Definitely the people … my children are so lucky to grow up close to their cousins and my large extended family residing in and around Hinsdale.
Worst thing about country? The lack of healthy restaurant options
The perfect day is? Meeting friends at Shred415 for a morning workout class, walking to town or the park with my children in the afternoon, and spending the evening outdoors at an impromptu cookout with our friends and neighbors while all the kids have a dance party in the back yard.
WHEN IN THE CITY/TOWN
Your style is? Modern and feminine with a touch of glam. I love a great dress paired with a pop of color and heels.
Can’t leave the house without? Lip gloss and a trendy handbag
Transportation? Uber or a party bus. We have a blast all riding downtown together when we are going out with a group of friends.
Driving music? Upbeat, fun dance music
Place to eat? Rooftop al fresco dining is the best in the summertime. NOMI garden terrace for date nights, Cindy’s for beautiful views, and IO at the Godfrey Hotel for cocktails
Shop? Intermix, Neiman Marcus, Jayson Home & Garden
Best thing about town? So many things! The constant energy and buzz of the city, the beauty of the skyline and lake, the fantastic shopping and dining
Worst thing about town? Traffic and crime
The perfect day is? A long run on the lake, shopping on Michigan Avenue and Oak Street, a massage at The Peninsula spa, and meeting friends for dinner at a fun new restaurant