JENNIFER WEIL spent the early years of her life in Rockford, MI, a small town outside of Grand Rapids, where she could walk to school, ride a bike to friends’ houses, and visit her grandparents anytime she wanted. She credits this with shaping her desire for her kids to have a similar experience, which makes Hinsdale the perfect spot for raising her own family. Jen earned a Business degree from the University of Michigan and moved to Chicago after graduation, where she worked in advertising and media sales for 13 years on both the agency side and for Real Simple magazine.
She and her husband Chris live in Hinsdale with their three children, ages 13, 9, and 7, and a Covid-puppy named Frankie. The family has lived in the same house since moving to town in 2011 but are in the process of building a new home a few blocks away. Jen puts the multi-tasking skills from her corporate life into play keeping everything running smoothly. Her day might find her putting on any or all these hats; carpool driver, chef, laundry master, new house project manager, organization guru, dog walker. She is a devoted soccer mom who loves watching her kids perform in musical theater and never misses a sporting or arts event. She has served on the Madison PTO Executive Board and chairs the Education ministry at Union Church of Hinsdale. Jen was involved with HJWC for several years and is on the board of the Mend a Heart Foundation, which raises money to support research and enrichment programs for children with congenital heart disease. It’s a busy, beautiful life made better by Jennifer’s ever-present smile and willingness to jump in and help anyone. She is a ray of sunshine. Here are her words of wisdom and a few favorites.
Mantra: “Just Be Kind”. And also, “Love Wins”. On your reading stack: I’m desperately trying to keep up with my book club but haven’t been very successful lately. I read a lot with my kids and have loved re-reading some of my childhood favorites: Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, E.B. White, and a lot of Harry Potter. Podcast: You’re Wrong About. Favorite workout: I like to do lots of different things, but Club Pilates is the only thing that gets me out of bed at 5:30am! It’s amazing. Best grooming tip: Mascara, lip gloss, and a smile can make a big difference on those days when you are rushing out of the house. Guilty pleasure: Dark Chocolate covered caramels with sea salt and anything covered in buttercream frosting. Early memory: The day my sister was born, I had just turned four and my grandmother took me to buy new shoes to wear to the hospital. I insisted on black patent leather Mary Janes, with a matching purse, even though it was July. Music you love: When I’m the DJ, I love nostalgic 80s and 90s, but my husband and kids love Country, and I’ve surprised myself with how much I like it too. We usually have The Highway on Sirius XM on in the car. Advice you would give to your younger self: Stay true to yourself and don’t worry so much about what other people think.
WHEN IN THE COUNTRY
Your style is? If I’m in anything other than workout clothes or jeans & a t-shirt, my kids ask why I’m “so dressed up?” I rely on Vintage Charm and Meredith Jaye for great everyday pieces. Favorite walk? Dropping the kids at school and then walking the dog to Café La Fortuna. Favorite sounds or soundtrack? The Sirius XM app for music or news, depending on the day. Can’t leave the house without? Phone, sunglasses, lip gloss, water bottle, and my “to do” list of errands Place to celebrate? The Kohler Water Spa in Burr Ridge Best quick bite or hidden gem? Standard Market and Kirschbaum’s Bakery, brunch at Yia-Yia’s. Favorite festival or special event? Seeing Santa, decorating cookies, and riding in the horse-drawn wagon at Christmas is one of our family’s favorite Hinsdale traditions. Best thing about the country? Friends and neighbors who have become family and supported us during some hard times Worst thing about the country? Getting back into the city has been harder than I imagined when we moved to the ‘burbs. The perfect day is? A Pilates class, cup of coffee, time with my kids, and dinner, wine, and dessert with my husband and friends on our patio.
WHEN IN TOWN
Your style is? During the day my style is the same as in Hinsdale, but I like a cute dress and heels for an evening out. Favorite walk? Visiting our old neighborhoods to show our kids where we used to live and our favorite restaurants and shops. I also love walking along the lake and seeing the skyline. Favorite sounds or soundtrack? I love the sounds of the city: the honking, the talking, hearing people eating outside, the El and busses, etc. It still feels like home even after being a suburban resident for over 10 years. Can’t leave the house without? My phone for the Uber app, lip gloss, and a great cross-body bag that can go from day to night. Place to celebrate? Sai Café, where my husband took me on one of our first dates, or RPM Seafood, where we celebrated our birthdays with our first post-Covid lockdown restaurant meal. Best quick bite or hidden gem? La Pasadita for street tacos, Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder, or Dee’s Mandarin & Sushi, all old neighborhood favorites before we had kids! Favorite festival or special event? Broadway musicals with my daughters, Old Town Art Fair, and Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo. Shop? The boutiques on Armitage and Sheffield for unique pieces, and Nordstrom for everything else! Best thing about town? The food! And the excitement from being around so many different people, in a less-familiar environment than home. Worst thing about town? Traffic and parking. The perfect day is? Shopping, spa, and brunch with girlfriends, then dinner and a play or concert with my husband. And if I’m really lucky, a great night of uninterrupted sleep at The Peninsula.