Fun fact, we have lived in 6 homes in the last 8 years and bought and sold 3 in that time (yes, that IS crazy). I’m obsessed with living spaces and on a constant search for the perfect fit, so I follow a lot of real estate feeds on Instagram. That’s how I stumbled upon Lauren Schaff. Lauren is a Lakeview mom of “E”, Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway and a marketing genius! She posts real estate updates, home decor ideas, local events/favorites, along with a glimpse of her own family life- and somehow she pulls it together in a beautiful, organic way! Get to know Lauren a little better below, and if you don’t follow her already, you’ll want to!
What brought you to real estate & what’s the best part of your job?
The cornerstone of what I do is community and customer service – which is both the best part of my job AND what brought me to this career. I won’t bore you with the details of my past life but I was working in marketing with Fortune 500 companies and the part I loved most was the interactions with my clients, but that wasn’t the main part of my job. As a real estate agent, I get to work with people every day all while creating connections and bettering my community. I truly care about my clients and they often become dear friends. That’s the best part of my job!
I love that your social media isn’t just photos of listings, but a blend of real estate + home decor/design, and you mix it all in with family & neighborhood fun- it really connects the person to the business and feels organic. What inspires your ideas?
Thank you! Life is much more than what we do for a living! I want to give Chicago moms ideas on how they can fully enjoy this amazing city we live in while supporting local businesses that help make where we live so great. Also, I love sharing what I do and try to give a “behind the scenes” on social media.
I honestly just want people to love where they live, whether it’s their current home or something that better meets their needs.
Chicago is getting more and more family friendly every year with families choosing to stay in the city. Fill us in on a few of your favorite spots in Chicago that all parents should know about.
YES, I’m so glad you said this!
I live in Lakeview and joke that it sorta feels like the suburbs. But really, there are so many wonderful activities to do as a family in this city. There are tons of great parks with green space to play and climb trees – for kids to just be kids.
Businesses are catering to families more & more and new family-focused businesses are popping up. We love Mothership Launchpad for bringing more classes, art and a space for kids to Southport Corridor. We also enjoy Present Playspace’s indoor playground. One of the best things about living in Chicago is being able to just walk out of the house and get somewhere fun quickly with my family without having to get in a car.
Those are just a few of my favorites – follow me on Instagram for more info on some great places to check out with your family!
Favorite restaurants with kids- and without!
Crosby’s and Tuco & Blonde are super family-friendly and they just *get* parents, plus they have great food & drinks! Elli Ella or Gather are clutch for date night.
What are you reading and listening to this summer?
My all-time favorite podcast is Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger – I highly recommend it to all female entrepreneurs. And I listen to about 100 other podcasts so if you need any recommendations reach out!
I love my Kindle. I just finished a book about negotiation called “Never Split the Difference”. This gave me some great tactics to use in both my work and in tough situations with my toddler. It’s always a negotiation with kids – am I right? And a good summer read is “Big Little Lies”, which was a page-turner.
Pro tip: there’s an app called “Libby” that you can connect with your library card and check out books on your Kindle for free!
When you find a way to sneak in some “me time”, what’s the number one thing you like to do?
Give me Bravo, Scooters Custard, and red wine and voilà!
(We only have one TV so I’m extra happy when I get some time to watch whatever I want!)
Parents have had to get creative with how we’re spending time as a family through the pandemic. What are a few favorite activities or outings you’ve experienced together?
Life has not been easy for any parent during this pandemic – that’s for sure. Creativity is NOT my middle name but we are still trying to explore our neighborhood and surrounding areas as much as we can.
A part of our routine is to go for a long walk in the morning and have a picnic lunch once a week with food from a new local restaurant. Recently, we walked to Lincoln Square and got food at Cafe Selmarie then sat in the square. There were even a few streets along the way that are made for people to walk or ride bikes in the street!
If you’re looking for nature, check out LaBaugh Woods – it’s just a 15-minute drive from Lakeview. There’s a path for strollers or if you want to hike you can do that as well – something for everyone!
The pandemic has changed life as we knew it & child care options are possibly the biggest challenge working moms are faced with. We’ve all had to get very creative- how are you working through this?
We are truly all in this together! My husband and I traded off half days with our son. It gave us each focused and dedicated time for our work.
My son also did Bubbles Academy virtual camp, which I would highly recommend. He was so engaged and was singing & dancing along!
And now I’m trying to find ways to connect more moms during this time because it can feel so isolating – stay tuned for that.
What’s the best advice you’ve received with parenting? What is the best advice you can give?
Being a parent is a crazy ride but it really gives life a greater purpose. One of my favorite things about it is that seeing things from a child’s perspective. It’s truly magical and can make the most mundane thing exciting!