Katie Gandy has lived in our community for most of her life. A graduate of Hinsdale Central High School, she attended college at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville where she met her husband Ryan. The couple got engaged at age 24 and she convinced him to move back “home” so she could be closer to her four sisters. They bought a house in Clarendon Hills and had three children—Isabella, 5; Oliver, 3; and baby Mason, who is 4 months old. Nine years later, they are building a new home in downtown Hinsdale and looking forward to starting a new chapter. A member of the Palumbo construction family, she and her husband also own a road construction company called Builders Asphalt LLC and Builders Paving LLC. She enjoys giving back to the community she loves though the Palumbo Family Foundation, a nonprofit that awards educational scholarships to deserving boys and girls and medical grants to organizations that serve the needs of local medically challenged children. Here are a few of this busy mom’s favorites around country and town.
Mantra? “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
Best grooming tip? I love a good blow dry, almost weekly. With three little kids, it is now impossible to find alone time to do my hair and if my hair is done then I feel like my whole attitude and day is better.
Guilty pleasure? Getting babysitters and going out for date nights with my husband or best girlfriends. And working out … I am obsessed with hot yoga and Shred 415 in Hinsdale.
Favorite foods? Anything peanut butte–and sushi.
Music you love? Country music.
Best advice ever given to you? My dad always quoted Jimmy Valvano and told us to laugh, think, and cry every day. He also told us to have a dream or goal and be willing to work hard for it.
Best advice you’ve given? I tell my kids almost every day to always stay humble and kind. I think kindness is one of the simplest things you can do and it makes such a big difference.
Earliest memory? Playing dolls for hours in the basement with my sisters, riding around our backyard on four wheelers, decorating Christmas cookies with my grandma, vacations in Acapulco, Mexico every Christmas with my Palumbo cousins, going to the office and the grocery store on the weekends with my dad and sisters.
When you wake up, you? Snuggle with my husband and laugh about which one of our kids was up in the middle of the night. I love snuggling my babies in the morning, too.
Before bed, you? I drink a cup of hot tea with Ryan, empty the dishwasher, and then I go check on each of my kids in their beds. There is nothing sweeter than seeing your sleeping baby.
What’s on your bookshelf? Baby sleep training books and toddler behavior books.
You can’t live without? The obvious are my three beautiful babies and husband but other than that, my four amazing sisters, my mom and dad, and my mom besties here in town.
Love to escape to? Naples. My family has been escaping here for as long as I can remember and it is our second home.
Advice you would give to your younger self? I wish I could tell my younger self not to worry so much. Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.
WHEN IN THE COUNTRY
Your style is? Yoga pants, hoodies, workout gear. At the office, I wear jeans and flats with a cute top. At night when we go out, my black leather leggings and leather jacket or my fur vest … anything leopard is my favorite.
Can’t leave the house without? My kids, phone, sunglasses, diaper bag, and stroller.
Transportation? Currently driving and practically living in my big white SUV with lots of car seats and crumbs.
Driving music? I’m a mom; I don’t get to listen to music. I listen to Frozen or Toy Story on repeat.
Place to eat? Our favorite date night place is Nabuki. When we eat out with our kids, we love eating at il poggiolo.
Shop? I pretty much do all online shopping. Nordstrom, Shopbop, and revolve are my favorites.
Best thing about country? Feeling safe with my kids, sidewalks, friendly neighbors, and parks to play at. Love the amazing events like the Fourth of July parade, Christmas walk, and Daisy Days in Clarendon Hills. It is the perfect little place to raise a family.
Worst thing about country? The parking in Hinsdale is always a nightmare, if I get one more little orange envelope, I might need a street named after me.
The perfect day is? No school or work or agenda; just quality time with my babies and husband. And then maybe a babysitter for dinner so we can go have a nice date night.
WHEN IN TOWN
Your style is? Dress with booties and leather jacket; leather leggings and heels with a fur jacket, and my favorite fancy purse.
Can’t leave the house without? My phone and husband.
Transportation? Limos or Uber.
Driving music? Today’s hits/pop music. Place to eat? Steak 48, RPM, Momotoro, Chicago Cut Steakhouse (where we had our rehearsal dinner), cocktails on the terrace at the Trump Hotel. We love taking our kids to Quartinos.
Shop? Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Mugsy Jeans in Fulton Market.
Best thing about town? Amazing restaurants, the lake, and meeting up with my little sisters who are so cool and live downtown.
Worst thing about town? The traffic.
The perfect day is? Waking up to room service, packing the kids up in the double stroller, walking around and having brunch at Chicago Cut or Carmines, and then getting robes on and going swimming in the indoor pool at the hotel.