They’re now more than a year into Livingston life, and know they’ve found “home”
We’re so thankful for our Suburban Jungle families, who invite us into one of the biggest decisions of their lives. As we head into the holidays, we’re checking in with families who made the move and, now, are settled into their new suburb. In this post, we check in with Mindy and Bobby Staloff who, in summer 2019, made the move to Livingston, New Jersey.
Mindy and Bobby Staloff had a unique journey to the suburbs. Both New Jersey natives, when Bobby was offered a job in their home state, the couple jumped at the opportunity to move back — and into a brand new development in what seemed like a perfect community. Quickly, though, they realized the community didn’t sync with their personalities or lifestyle — and when they welcomed their son Cody, they felt the disconnect even more.
“We wanted something totally different. We wanted to feel like part of a community, and we just didn’t. Everything was so spread out,” Mindy explains. “That’s when we found Suburban Jungle and our Strategist Patti. We just loved how it worked—the town-first approach made so much sense to us, and that’s what we really hadn’t done the first time around.”
In late July 2019 the family moved again — this time to Livingston, New Jersey.
“Livingston is such a great fit for Mindy, Bobby and Cody,” says Patti Natiss, the Staloff’s Suburban Jungle Strategist. “There’s a real sense of community and tons of people for them to connect with—lots of young families, stay-at-home moms with young kids and plenty of activities for Cody during the day.” (Check out the Staloff’s first post, “A Suburban “Redo:” This NJ Family Landed in the Wrong Town…at First”)
Getting into the swing of Livingston life
Now, more than a year into their new lives in Livingston, Mindy and her family couldn’t be happier — or more thankful.
“We love Livingston,” Mindy says. “Before COVID-19 hit we were definitely getting out and seeing everything in and around town. This is absolutely the right town for us. We knew it when we first moved and we feel it even more having been here for over a year. It feels like home.”
They’ve also had no trouble getting into the swing of the community or making friends for themselves and their now 2 ½-year-old Cody. While playdates and get-togethers have been socially-distant for the last few months, they’ve spent plenty of time outside and easily kept busy. “That’s helped us during this crazy year,” Mindy says. “We’ve had access to lots of outdoor activities, parks and places to go — and we’re still able to connect with friends we’ve made here, which is great for all of us.”
Cody, she adds, was quick to settle into Livingston. He started preschool in January and attended for the first few months of the year.
“Cody loved school,” she said. “After that, we were in a learning pod with a few friends during the summer, which we both enjoyed — but going back to school is going to be great. We were really happy with the preschool. It was a wonderful place for him.”
Beyond preschool, Mindy adds, there are ample opportunities to connect with other young families.
“There are so many young families here — that’s a big difference from our last town. It’s easy to meet families who have kids Cody’s age. You can swing by the playground and chat with people or take mommy-and-me classes — which we did — and get to socialize. You start to see the same faces around town, and people really enjoy each other’s company. It has that community feel we wanted and weren’t getting before.”
Read more from this series:
Checking in on the Donovans: How This Now Family-of-Four is Settling into Maplewood, New Jersey
Exploring their community, and beyond
Overall, Mindy says, the family has spent the last year-plus exploring Livingston and the surrounding communities, which has not only helped them get acclimated but continues to reaffirm their decision that their new town is an ideal fit.
“We’ve been exploring Livingston, Summit, Madison, Maplewood and other towns nearby,” Mindy says. “It’s been fun to see what kinds of restaurants are around and, now, grab takeout. We’ve also explored different places like the Turtleback Zoo, which is just a few minutes away and is perfect for Cody. In the summer we’d head to South Mountain Reservation which is great and there’s so much to see and do.”
The opportunity to be out and about, she says, has been another huge perk of being in Livingston, especially this year. Whenever the weather was good, Mindy says, it was easy to hop in the car and find something new, or hit up a local playground or other favorite spot.
“When we looked at towns the second time — when we were already in New Jersey — we focused a lot more on the communities. And, of course, we utilized Suburban Jungle to help us do that, so we had a good feeling going into this move. Since the beginning that feeling has been reaffirmed over and over. We still feel that city connection — which we wanted — but now we’re in a place that fits us and our lifestyle, and has everything we need, and so many things we love to do as a family.”
That, she says, is important — and something she always shares with friends looking to make a move.
“Find the place that fits with your lifestyle,” Mindy says. “Do your research. Spend time in towns you’re considering. Make connections however you can — through social media, through friends of friends, through your Strategist or Suburban Jungle agent — and talk to people who live in those communities. Getting those first-hand insights is much, much better than making assumptions about a community based on those quick visits. We did that and we landed in Livingston — and we’re really so thankful for being here, especially now.”
Looking for the right town for your community? Let’s talk! Schedule your free Suburbs Strategy session now.