Hi ya’ll! I grew up in the cornfields of Illinois in a very small one-stoplight town. Ok, it’s just a blinking red light at the four-way stop, but you get the idea. It was an everyone-knows-everyone kind of town which meant I couldn’t get away with anything. I played sports, did well in school and counted the days until I could break out of my little town. I studied marketing at Purdue and this is where I fell in love with College Football. It was my dream to work in sports broadcasting so I moved to California with my best friend from college. We literally flipped a coin in a bar one night and said heads New York, Tails California. Tails won, so we loaded up a U-Haul truck and drove across the country. Los Angeles nearly chewed us up and spit us out a few times, but we made it with lots of great memories of Hollywood nights, soap opera star stalkers and the night someone couldn’t believe that we didn’t have cell phones, because even homeless people have cell phones. Ugh. I worked for CBS, ABC and Fox Sports trying to claw my way to even the bottom. Some of my best California memories were sitting in the broadcasting booth of the Coliseum or Qualcomm Stadium, but eventually I realized that Sports was just going to be a hobby and I had to make a living, so back to my roots I went. I have worked in Technology marketing now for almost 15 years. I’m a Tech nerd who always has to have the latest gadgets. I met my future husband in California. He was the nice guy, the loyal guy and the guy who had goals and ambition. We were best friends and things just seemed to make sense. His job moved us to Arizona a few years later right before we were married. I hated Arizona. It was hot, dirty and I missed my friends. Less than a year after we married I was pregnant with my daughter. She is the blessing from our failed marriage, but more to come on that later. Now I have been in Arizona for almost 10 years and have learned to not only like it here, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. My friends here are like family. I am blessed with a beautiful, smart and sassy daughter who is my every reason for everything. I have a job I love and I work from home. And now I have this little project. I didn’t go into much detail into my last few years because I have so much to say about it. This blog/FB page/whatever you want to call it is my way of saying that my girlfriends saved my life more times than they know. So stick around, join the conversation and know this is a safe, judgement-free, low-expectation place. Xoxo- Leslie
Occupation: Account Executive
Dream job: Sideline Reporter for the Big10 Network
Hometown: Hoopeston, IL which is 2 hours straight south of Chicago on the IL/IN border smack dab in the middle of the cornfields. My High School mascot was a Cornjerker, and no I’m not kidding. Google it. You’re Welcome.
Family: I was lucky. I had a great childhood with two hard-working, loving parents. My Mom was a baker/cake decorator/neighborhood Mom. There was always an extra kid or two at our table for nightly family dinners. I lost her almost two years ago to a combo of Breast Cancer and Diabetes. My Dad is probably the hardest working Man I’ve ever met and the biggest baseball fan you will ever know. I credit him for my well-rounded intelligence on all things sports. I have two brothers with beautiful families including 2 nieces and 4 nephews I adore.
Relationship status: Divorced for two years after a 7 year marriage to a great person and the father of my daughter. Currently single after a few Post-divorce dating disasters. (More on that to come) I could write a book on the comedy that is Online Dating.
Kids: One amazing 7-year-old daughter named Hannah. She loves everything pink, dance, gymnastics and playing dress up.
Astrological sign: Scorpio
Turn-ons: Intelligence and good teeth
Favorite cocktail: I’m a Beer girl. (Remember the cornfield thing) But as I have matured and realized my metabolism isn’t what it used to be, I love a vodka/soda with extra, extra lime.
Favorite food: Sushi. I could eat it every single day
Favorite sports teams: Purdue/Chicago Cubs/Chicago Bears/Chicago Blackhawks – Stanley Cup, baby!
Best vacation: The first one that comes to mind is a trip I took to Cabo San Lucas with my girlfriends last year.
Dream vacation destination: Europe. Currently planning trip for the Fall of 2016 with a few of The Girlfriend Blueprint girls for my 40th birthday.
Best advice ever given to you, and by whom?: Respect the game, hustle off the field, tuck in your shirt. ~My Dad talking about Softball
To me this has so much meaning. You have to respect your life. Hustle for what you want. Show up. Do your best and know at the end of the day you gave everything you possible could.
Guilty pleasure: Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream (runs a close second to my girlfriends and how I deal with shit) Did I mention I’m an emotional eater?
Beach or mountains?: This is so hard. I grew up in the cornfields of Illinois and only saw the ocean one time before I was 21 years old. Also, I never saw real mountains until I was 22 when I made a trip to the Grand Teton Mountains in Wyoming. (Most beautiful place in the continental US) The ocean/beach gives me solace, strength and an inner peace that I can’t describe, but an escape to the mountains can be almost magical. Let’s just say I’m an outdoorsy kind of girl.
Morning or night person?: Definitely a Night person. Ask anyone who has ever had to wake me up in the morning.
3 Things even my friends don’t know about me: 1. 95% of the time I listen to talk radio in my car 2. I would rather read non-fiction history books than 50 Shades of Grey 3. I came up with this question and have realized I am that friend that shares everything. Apparently my friends know everything about me.
Three people you’d like to have a drink with: 1. Tina Fey – I admire strong, funny women who do not apologize for their success. 2. John F. Kennedy – One of my strongest interests is politics and history. He saw so much in his short presidency. I would love to hear what his biggest accomplishments and regrets were and what else he would have done if he wasn’t assassinated. 3. My Grandpa. He passed a few years ago and left a hole in my heart. He was a kind and gentle soul who always gave me a sense of comfort and always had a Bud Light nearby.
Do you believe in ghosts?: Yes, and I believe my Mom comes to me in my dreams when I need her most.