About Me

I think it’s about time I update the ABOUT ME page considering it will be NINE years of blogging! (Summer 2017).

My name is Jennifer and I live in Oak Park, IL – a suburb of Chicago.

I started this blog in April of 2008 to share my love of cooking. From the time I was small I loved being in the kitchen with my Dad, or helping my Mom make dinner, or coming up with recipes for the annual Pillsbury bake-off!

Fast forward to me being married with three great kids, (I have 2 sons in college and my daughter is in high school) I needed to get off my picky eater high horse and start trying some new foods. I didn’t like very many veggies, I often didn’t like my food to touch on my plate, no chunks of vegetables (especially in pasta sauce!). If I got fajitas at a Mexican restaurant I ate the chicken and tortillas only – no thank you to the peppers and onions and guacamole.

I started out small, but decided to become a little more adventurous at the grocery store. If I found a fruit and veggie I never had before, I bought it, looked it up when I got home on how to prepare it and starting tasting things. Guess what? I’m not a picky eater after all! After trying foods I hated as a kid, I now like peppers, onions, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, and the list goes on!

I think the biggest change is introducing new foods to my kids and except for one of my kids, the other two are not picky with food AT ALL! All three of them will at least try new things with me and help me figure out how to make it. And I’ve opened up my cooking world to so many more possibilities.

I am committed to trying to eat a healthy more balanced diet and focusing more on real food and not relying on processed foods. I’ve finished 2 Chicago marathons, ran dozens of half marathons and a few 20k races (DAM to DAM in Iowa) – I’ve raised thousands of dollars for Team in Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Thanks for stopping by my little space on the internet – if you have any questions for me my e-mail is slim-shoppin@comcast.net

celebrity collage

I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of celebrity chefs!! 🙂

50 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Rooney says:

    OK Jennifer,

    Now that I’ve been to your brother & sister’s sites and yours as well, I’m happy to see that each one of you have embraced a healthier lifestyle. I found that taking life not so serious is one of the best ways that I can live.

    Let me at some of those recipes now.

    Tom Rooney

    P.S. I also see that you have one of those Ads your brother mentioned today. 🙂

  2. fitforfree says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Your family is so cute 🙂 Congratulations on all your accomplishments!!

  3. Mariposa says:

    love the site!!!! its great! : )

  4. emily says:

    there is something fun about a family of bloggers! you should have your sons start one (I always think it would be pretty cool to have a little kid write a blog – imagine the perspective we could potentionally gain!)

  5. Great blog Jennifer! Doing those marathons is very impressive. Keep up the hard work (and we all know it IS hard work). Thanks for stopping in at my blog too!

  6. Meg says:

    Your recipes are fantastic and I check your blog regularly. Keep posting please! 🙂

  7. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Meg and Karen!

  8. Haleigh says:

    Keep up the hard work! ..Thanks for commenting on my blog because it led me to yours! Your recipes look fabulous!

  9. Sweetie Pie says:

    Thanks for popping by my blog, and bringing me to yours! You have some awesome accomplishments in your list, and your family is beautiful!! I also love the soup recipe in your most current post.

    I’ll be back for sure!!

  10. Joan Nova says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for visiting FOODalogue and leaving a comment. You’ve got an interesting blog too — and a new subscriber! Good luck with reaching your goals. You’ve done an awesome job so far.

  11. Hi Jennifer, thank you for visiting my blog today. By the way, up until last Monday I participated with other blogger in “weight loss weekly” posts. Nothing scientifically there, but might be a fun read.

  12. Angie says:

    Hi Jennifer! Just found your blog. Can’t wait to keep reading. Congrats on the marathons, that is awesome…also love that you’re taking a nutrition course…I’m a dieitian…Love your blog theme too : )

  13. Wow! A family that blogs together . . .! You’ve managed to accomplish some great health goals – two marathons and 15 years of cold turkey – so I don’t doubt that you will be successful in this endeavor.

  14. Lexie says:

    Congratulations! That is awesome you are taking all these steps toward living a healthier lifestyle!!! Can’t wait to start reading your blog 🙂

  15. Hi Jenn! Thanks for visiting ReTorte and leaving a comment. Nice to “meet” you! I’ll add you to my subscriptions, too.

  16. chaitra says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a wonderful comment!I love food blogs.they are of great help!I am browsing through your blog and writing down great recipes!

    ? Chaitra

  17. april says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Your family is beautiful and congrats on your accomplishments so far!

  18. lesley says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Well done you!!
    I too quit my job…after 15 yrs & now have a less stressful life. I’m also sorting out my chol. level…nothing to do with food I pleased to say.
    Love the photo, happy family! :0)

  19. Jamie says:

    Good for you and great blog! Husband is trying to diet after putting back on weight from all of my baking! And he has high cholesterol, too, so I’ll be checking in here regularly for yummy tried and true recipes!

  20. tina says:

    This is great, Jennifer! What a great example you are setting for you children!

  21. Sandra says:

    Hi Jennifer. I’m so glad to find your blog–I think it’s great & will be checking it regularly. Thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment–cheers :).

  22. Robin says:

    Aw, you have such a beautiful family! You’ve accomplished some great things.

  23. Emily says:

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog so I could find you, your brother and your sister. You have a beautiful family. Congrats on your degree! I will be back often! 🙂

  24. Hi!! I’m excited to see more. I’m always looking for recommended healthier recipes, especially ones appealing to the kids. And, yes, congratulations on achieving your degree, especially with kids.

  25. If you don’t mind me asking? What your new job now? Are you a nutritionist?

  26. Michelle says:

    Love your blog!!! Glad to see someone loving Health and Wellness as much as I do!! So nice to meet you!

  27. Michelle says:

    Love your blog!! Glad to see you love Health and Wellness as Much as I do!

    I do a Daily Health Blog at

    Please check it out and tell me what you think!

    So glad I found you!

  28. Jennifer,

    Fantastic blog. Love the personal success highlights, for sure. I someday too hope to be able to run, a 10K race first. Marathon? Maybe some year.


  29. Kevin Regan says:

    Back in Januraray 2009 I had my blood tested and found that I had high cholesterol, Trigliserades where bad and something else was bad also. The doctor wanted to put me on cholesterol medicine. I told him that I wasn’t interested in taking pills and that I would eat healthier and go to the gym. So I signed up for the Golds gym and lived on the stair master for an hour each day and lifted weights. I thought I would be in shape in just a few short weeks at this pace. Boy was I wrong. I’m now running 5 miles per day and lifting weight 3 times a week. I feel much better. I have more energy and lost 10 lbs. My abs are starting to show. Getting healthier one day at a time. I continue to push myself harder and get stronger. Doing 100 yard sprints increaces my endurance and it gets easier each time…

  30. Wow, great blog! I love to cook too – my husband and I started to eat just fruit in the morning. It’s a little hard at first but once you do it for a week you start craving fruit and not breakfast foods anymore. The diet is based on a book, Fit For Life (big in the 90’s). Since fruit doesn’t take a lot of digestion your body absorbs the nutrients much better on an empty stomach. I can go on and on about it but basically if you eat fruit on a full stomach it sits in your stomach and “rots” per the book until the other contents in your stomach has a chance to digetst, etc. Not sure if I believe this but I do feel a lot better.

    Thanks for sharing your journey and if your ever downtown please checkout http://www.freshii.com there’s a location 200 Monroe & Watertower. You can custom build your order and online you can count the calories 🙂

    Take care,

  31. Jacky says:

    Hi Jennifer! I just started back on WW a few days ago, your recipes and stories will be a perfect compliment. Thanks for sharing the blog!

  32. HI! Just found your site and I’m excited to follow! I LOVE your brother’s blog! He is hilarious!! So I can’t wait to follow yours!

  33. Hi Jenn
    Thanks again for stopping by my blog.
    I loved reading your “About Me” and kudos to you on all your achievements!
    I would like to subscribe to receive your updates but sadly I am unable to do so via your RSS feed. You have possibly have a subscription via email option?
    🙂 Mandy

  34. I’d like to know a lot more about this topic , please put up more and I’ll come back to read you ! Well writed anyway!

  35. Nice to meet you Jennifer. Keep it up, it will come off. I did weight watchers before, until I had a gluten issue. I have found once you get gluten out, that you wont gain it back. Thats the nice thing about a lifestyle change versus a diet. You can do it! I loved reading your story! Hugs.

  36. Nice to have come across your site, Jen. I’m going to add you to my blogroll today! Gary

  37. Hi there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the outstanding work!

  38. kelly says:

    Hi There, was wondering where the weight loss success story was that you did on my, I am now done 100 lbs, and i was trying to share your site with others, and i cant find it. Can you send me the link. http://www.militarymomof4@yahoo.com Thanks Kelly

    Hi Kelly! I apologize, I didn’t put you on the page of success stories!! Great job on getting to 100 pounds now – here is the link and it’s now updated! Jennifer

    Kelly’s success story!!

  39. Jennifer says:

    what a lovely site! I’m looking forward to following!

  40. source says:

    When I initially commented I clicked on the Notify me any time new comments are added checkbox and currently every time a comment is added I get 4 email messages with the identical comment.

  41. Sandra says:


    I wanted to get in contact as we are looking for places to host adverts for a number of our clients.

    Typically we would normally like to place either a text based link within your site somewhere or provide you with a new post with the link already inserted.

    If you do not wish to host a link advert then we have a number of partners who might be worth speaking to who place more traditional adverts.

    Please let me know if you have any interest in the above and thanks in advance for your consideration.

    Kind Regards,

  42. Marly says:

    Congrats on your weight loss successes! How great it is we can share encouragement…and healthy recipes too! They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe it also takes a village to lose weight! Best wishes to you!

  43. Joanne Van Etten says:

    Great site, Jennifer…..I’m heading to the grocery store tomorrow to try out some of your delicious recipes! Great seeing you the other day:)


  44. Mike C Smith says:

    Hi Jennifer
    I like your site, mind you sites with food, healthy food that is I do enjoy visiting. keep up the good work, the American need to be educated in healthy living, it’s estimated that by 2020 about 50% of the population of the US will have some form of diabetes. Awful thought.
    My site has articles on healthy living at creatinglifestyle.com

  45. Sylvia says:

    I knew the first sentence into your post about meatball sandwiches that you MUST be from my local neighborhood! I went to Leona’s all the time when I was younger. Trying the crockpot meatball recipe right now. They must be darn good considering you have the taste of a Chicagoan (whereas I am currently a Minnesotan and I swear they are missing some taste buds!)

  46. Apoorv Yadav says:

    Subject: Advertise on http://www.slim-shoppin.com/

    We’re interested in advertising on your blog. Let me know if you’re interested in discussing further about it.

    Apoorv Yadav
    Accu-Rate Media

  47. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic
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    My blog goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from
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