Julie joined The Local Moms Network in October and is now a curator for the East Lansing Area Moms. We thought we would share a little more since our original social media introduction. More to come!
Please introduce yourself, where are you from, where do you live now and what brought you here?
I grew up in the small town of Perry, but didn’t move too far away and now live in East Lansing. We chose this area because it is centrally located with lots of great options for families. My kids go to Haslett schools which was another factor in choosing this area. We love the small town atmosphere, but a school system large enough to offer great opportunities. Haslett definitely offers both. I also love living close to my family, we see each other often and that is really important to me!
How many kids do you have and what are their ages? What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
I have two children, my son is 12 and daughter is 10. Yes I love them, yes they drive me crazy! My favorite thing about being a mom, well three favorites, one is I love learning about all the things they become interested in. I did not know a thing about lacrosse until my daughter started playing, turns out it is such a great sport! I also love the people that I have met from my kids being in school, these are some of my best friends now. Most important, we do get along really well, they are like built in friends 🙂
What do you love about living in the East Lansing area? What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in the East Lansing area?
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a die hard Spartan fan and alumni, Go Green!, so still living near Michigan State is such a bonus. I love that we are minutes away from a college sporting event, museum, unique events; yet far enough away to not live amongst college students. There are so many great restaurants in this area but El Azteco for Topopo salad, cheese dip and a margarita is a perfect Summer night to me! A Lou and Harry’s gyro is a favorite too. Sansu and Ukai favorite for sushi night . Strange Matter for a NOLA iced coffee is a must!
What did you do prior to joining The Local Mom’s Network? Tell us what brought you to The Local Mom’s Network? I owned a medical billing business. I had four employees, turned friends. We were a great team that did medical billing and coding for a local Urgent Care. I owned this for over twelve years, but this year that all changed. I also am a Massage Therapist. I had my own office in the East Lansing area before having kids and even after. I hope to someday reopen a small massage therapy office when I have more time! My long time friend, Shawn, who is a curator over at the Chicago North Shore site suggested that the East Lansing area could use a site like this and I couldn’t agree more. I am excited for this opportunity!
What’s the best thing about East Lansing Area Moms so far?
It’s amazing how many different businesses and people I have already “met”, even if its via Zoom, email or a phone call. We are lucky to live in a town with a college campus, it brings so many unique opportunities that other cities might not have.
How did you juggle work with being a mom? How was your job changed during COVID-19? Well this is something I was NOT successful at this Spring during the quarantine and the main reason I left my medical billing business. It was simply too much & started affecting my health. After many conversations with my husband & family, we decided it was best that I move on from my work, focus on being a mom and adjust our lifestyle to accommodate the loss of income. It was the BEST decision that I could have made for myself.
What’s your advice to moms in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis to make life a little easier? Be flexible and do not beat yourself up if things are not perfect. I do try to maintain a schedule around my kids online schooling and that seems to keep things flowing a little better. Also having less judgement of others. People have so many opinions on the pandemic, I just know what works best for our family and that is most important.
Now a couple of fun ones. What is something you wish was in the East Lansing area? I LOVE live music, an outdoor music venue would be ideal. My kids also really like to ride skateboards & scooters, this area could definitely benefit from additional designated skateboarding parks.
Can’t live without skincare or makeup products? I am somewhat of a product junky! I love trying new things I see on Instagram, blogs, etc. One absolute favorite, especially this time of year is Trader Joe’s Rose Oil, it is amazing stuff and so inexpensive! Another product that I found this Summer is Thrive mascara, it makes you feel like you have eyelash extensions, stays on all day but easy to take off while washing your face.
Last book you read? Paper or Audible? Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey on Audible, this came recommended by a friend recently and I LOVED it. I did not want it to end and kept finding ways to listen, aka, “running errands” but really just wanted to listen to the book! I am now listening to Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty, love it so far!
Current binge shows? Well I am in the minority here! I really do not binge any shows, but I do love Schitt’s Creek, I am just way behind. Sports seem to be always on at this house. I do love many types of podcasts like Oprah’s Super Soul series and Cat & Nat, also listening to books on Audible when I need to escape.
Strangest thing in your purse right now? Well I have downsized to a small purse now that my kids are older, but ask me what is in my minivan and that is a whole other story!
Outings look a little different these days, what fun places did your wheels take you? We just spent a week at our family cottage in Northern Michigan. I have been going to Intermediate Lake near Bellaire since I was 13 years old and feel so lucky that my kids & husband are now able to experience this beautiful area. We love to ski, so we spent most of our days at Shanty Creek, being outside and away from Zooms was amazing!
Last question. What is something you might have liked to know but didn’t, with your first, but now is automatic being a mom? With my first, I thought everything had to be perfect. Like clothing, latest baby products and extravagant birthday parties. I have since realized that is just not realistic & just adds extra stress that I do not need. Simpler is really better with kids!