How old are your kids and how long have you lived in Westport? Our family moved to Westport in May of 2017 (although it feels like we’ve been here longer!). Justin and I have three girls – Mila (6), Nicolette “Nicki” (5) and Jolie “JoJo” (1). We also recently rescued a Black Lab mix puppy (although his DNA testing came back ZERO part Lab) named Jaxon who is 7 months old. Jaxon was always our go to boy name so I guess my husband finally got his son!
How did you end up where you are now in terms of your job, or whatever passion project it is you might be doing? After leaving my job at Maxim Group in 2013 where I was the Compliance Director and AML Specialist I knew I wanted to do something that would help others and that I could ultimately share with my daughter(s).
Through our family foundation I have been able to get more involved with charitable causes and one in particular that has become very near and dear to my heart is the Sunrise Association. Sunrise Day Camps are the world’s only dedicated full summer day camps for children with cancer and their siblings all provided completely free of charge! In 2015 I became a Sunrise on Wheels volunteer or as we like to call it a “Sunrise Wheelie.” We bring hours of Sunrise fun and excitement directly to children undergoing treatment in the Hematology/Oncology unit within The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, NY (as well as 41 other participating hospitals). Our main goal is to provide a playful, child-friendly program, which transforms their day from tears and sadness to smiles and laughter. Through my volunteer work I have met some exceptionally brave children and their families and wanted to be able to help them more. My family and I began decorating Bone Marrow Transplant “BMT” patients rooms in order to make them feel comfortable and more at home while going through treatment. I was truly touched by our own community’s generosity when just this fall a young BMT patient, his mother and brother found out they would be staying in the US through the winter and none of them had ANY winter clothes. A simple call to action post on the Westport/Fairfield Facebook Community led to 9 bags of clothing for all three family members! Because of the overwhelming response and generosity in our community I have currently been able to fill over 100 of my 200 stockings goal for Montefiore this holiday season!
What is your favorite family activity to do in Westport or the surrounding towns? We love having family movie night and ordering way too many pies from Colony Grill. A family trip to Home Goods (my husband’s favorite store) followed by lunch at Panera is a close second.
What’s your favorite app right now- for you- and for your kids? The Santa Scanner! I probably scan my children at least once a day to see if they are on the “Naughty” or “Nice” list! Trust me this one works wonders!
What’s your can’t live without beauty product? LASHBOOST, thank you Amy Falkenstein my Rodan +Field rep for my luscious long lashes!!!!
If you could pick one restaurant or store to come to Westport that isn’t here now, what would it be, and why? Sweetgreen! Trust me I’m not the only one yearning for a good chopped salad bar…just saying!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? Every summer my family, along with some close friends and neighbors, can tomatoes. This year we canned almost 800 lbs of tomatoes! It’s quite a process but everyone loves it and even the kids get involved. We all celebrate with a homemade Italian sauce and meatball dinner at the end of the day. I wind up using my tomato sauce for so many recipes throughout the year and nothing tastes better than the fresh tomatoes at the peak of summer.
If you weren’t doing what you are today, what do you think your career path might have been? I honestly have no idea! I’ve been working since I was 13 years old when my father told me to go get my working papers and find a job! I feel like I’ve always been working in some capacity. Even though the work I am currently doing doesn’t pay well – if at all – I honestly feel very fulfilled giving back to others, helping my community and setting hopefully a good example for my girls.
If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted – what would you do? SLEEP – again I have 3 kids and a puppy lol!
What is your most marked characteristic? My Brooklyn Accent
What is the best white lie you have told your kids? See answer above regarding my favorite app right now!=)
What is your proudest mommy moment? On Mila’s 5th birthday we decided that in lieu of presents she would ask for donations to a charity of her choosing. Mila picked Sunrise. This year Nicki picked PAWS in Norwalk for her 5th birthday and although JoJo can’t talk yet I’m sure she would be proud to know that her 1st Birthday donations went to benefit Malta House also in Norwalk. Not one time did they ask or complain about the presents, but don’t worry we got them something=)
What do you most value in your friends? Realness! I think I’m a fairly good judge of character and my closest friends are the ones who are down to earth and real and accept me for who I am.