MALA THAPAR originally hails from St. Louis, Missouri, although her family moved to a farm outside Champaign, Illinois as a child. And while the mother of two—Niam (4) and Raina (2)—may have grown up in the country, she made her way back to St. Louis for her undergraduate and graduate studies at Saint Louis University. She holds a Master’s in Public Health, something which eventually led her to a career with the American Academy of Pediatrics. Thapar moved to Chicago upon graduation to join her now husband and begin her career. And although city life in River North was idyllic, Thapar and her husband, Dr. Nitin, chose to move to Hinsdale when their son was born. “We immediately fell in love with Hinsdale. The tree-lined streets, rolling hills, quaint downtown, beautiful homes, and abundance of parks quickly made it to the top of our list,” says Thapar. The family lives near Robbins Park, and when she isn’t busy at work or chasing her little ones around, Thapar is an avid runner and member of Hinsdale Junior Woman’s Club. Thapar shares some of her favorites around country and in town with us this month:
Mantra? Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things. Best grooming tip? Wash your face and take off your makeup no matter how tired you are! Guilty pleasure? A full-bodied cab with a perfectly cooked steak. Late night pizza. Favorite foods? Sushi and chips and salsa or guacamole. Music you love? I like a little bit of everything— pop, rap, oldies, classic rock—but I’m a country girl at heart. Best advice ever given to you? Have an opinion and stick by it, even if it’s not the popular one. Best advice you’ve given? Don’t let the good stop you from pursuing the great. Earliest memory? Spending summers on our family farm with my cousins, bike rides down the country roads, playing hide and seek in the corn fields, bonfires, helping harvest the garden, and playing in the creek. It was as idyllic as it sounds! When you wake up, you? Quickly get ready for the day and hope I can squeeze in an hour of work before the kids wake up. Before bed, you? Catch up with my husband and unwind with a glass of wine. I also make a point to write down three things that I am thankful for from the day. What’s on your bookshelf? I have a stack of books on my nightstand that I planned to read during my maternity leave (almost two years ago). That never happened so I’m slowly making my way through them. Currently reading The Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. I love historical fiction. You can’t live without? My husband, our kids, and my girlfriends. I’m so fortunate to have lasting friendships from every chapter of life. My husband and our children are my world, but girlfriends are good for the soul. Love to escape to? Paris will always hold a special place in our hearts. Hopefully we can return one day soon. Favorite driveable locations include The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin, and Saugatuck, Michigan. Advice you would give to your younger self? Don’t be afraid of change. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better.
WHEN IN THE COUNTRY
Your style is? Weekdays (pre-COVID-19): business causal the days I’m in the office. Weekends: 100 percent athleisure—we spend our days at the park or some other kid-friendly location and I always end up dirty and sticky from the kids. Can’t leave the house without? My phone, lots of snacks for the kids, and chapstick. Transportation? Lexus RX. Driving music? Moana and Frozen soundtracks are currently on repeat. Place to eat? Nabuki, Roka Akor, True Food Kitchen. Shop? I’m mostly an online shopper these days for myself but My Sister Kate has been a lifesaver for last minute birthday presents or clothes for our kids. Best thing about country? The family-centric focus and the sense of community here in Hinsdale. I grew up in a small town, so it feels like home. Worst thing about country? The trains! Also, I really wish we had a few more brunch spots. I miss that from our city-living days. The perfect day is? With family running around town, grilling out in the backyard, and having friends over in the evening for wine by the fire table.
WHEN IN TOWN
Your style is? Classic and tailored. Can’t leave the house without? My phone and lipstick. Transportation? Uber into the city then walk as much as possible. Driving music? The Weeknd and Drake. Place to eat? Maple and Ash. We also go to Spiaggia each year to celebrate my birthday. And Sweetgreen—we lived across the street and quickly became addicted. Wish we had one in Hinsdale! Shop? Oak Street. Best thing about town? Runs along the lakeshore path. Worst thing about town? Never ending construction. The perfect day is? Brunch at The Peninsula, shopping, drinks at Pops for Champagne, and dinner at one of our favorite steakhouses.