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Glancer Magazine

MODERN HOUSEWIVES | Naperville, October 2015

Cozy Living In Naperville Things taste better in small houses and it’s a good thibng because I have the smallest kitchen EVER. No Joke. It’s a galley kitchen in the starter house that has become, over the past 13 years, our probable forever home. The kitchen is roughly 9’ by 12’ and in it hangs a sign that reads “A messy kitchen is the sign of a happy life.”

But whether we’re entertaining two or 15 people, whether it’s 70 degrees out, or a game is on the television, that kitchen is crammed with people. It’s completely cliché, but it’s the heart and soul of our house and it is my happy place.

Stressed? Happy? Celebrating? Grieving? You’ll find me cooking or baking, for my people or whoever is in need of a little help or a celebratory baked ziti.

I’m also constantly adding to my culinary collection, and for that I often head to Sur La Table in downtown Naperville. Ahhhh, like a kid in a candy store! Oh, the kitchen I’d have if the money coffers were bottomless. I’d wander from Sur La Table to Williams-Sonoma and peruse beautiful cheese plates, European coffee presses (a different one for everyday) and a gadget for anything I’d ever need to do. For those one-of-a-kind pieces that make you ooo and ahh I’d head to the hidden gem that is Nona Jo’s on Mill Street. I could take the entire shop home with me. Then, I would glide around my culinary space like the Food Network cameras are on and I’m ready for my close-up.

But alas, the coffers are not bottomless. The starter house kitchen is now home to a family of five. And the tiny kitchen does not have room for gadgets and pretty dishes from around the world.

It does have room for a half-dozen family and friends on any given occasion. It does have room to make meals to soothe, comfort or cheer. It has room for conversation and sharing, and laughter and love.

I wouldn’t mind a few little upgrades, but my cozy kitchen does the job just fine. It may not be filled with all the latest and greatest, but it’s certainly full of the best of me.

ABOUT THE WRITER Katie Manker of Naperville is a wife, small business owner, sister, daughter and friend, but first and foremost she’s Mom to her red-headed mafia. You’ll find her driving the activities bus by day, and laughing and enjoying her family and friends by night. Katie’s chosen charity to receive complimentary promotion as part of our Modern Housewives program is Sgt. Tommys Kids. Learn more at

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