AJ is a local real estate agent who was born and raised in Newport Beach. She now lives in Eastside Costa Mesa with her husband and two daughters. I think it’s safe to say she knows this town!
How old are your girls?
Almost 4 and 2.
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
This winter has felt more like summer so walking around Balboa Island, which inevitably turns into playing in the sand/water, is still our favorite. We always bring an extra set of clothes because no matter how many times we say “Don’t go in the water”… they go in the water.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? A night out with friends? Why?
Family date night is definitely Wahoo’s at Fashion Island. We have a whole routine. First dinner (Wahoo’s has a full bar by the way), then gelato, then a trip to the Koi pond, finished off with a fountain run where we burn off their sugar highs.
Night out with friends?…what’s that? 🙂 If we are so lucky to have an adult night, our favorite two restaurants are R&D (best burger ever) and Din Thai Fung (there is always a line but it is worth it!).
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?
Baked chicken thighs and rice. Bone-in, skin on, garlic salt – bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 375. I foil the pan, so there is no cleanup. It is so easy and they always eat it.
What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Furniture? Yourself?
Gap and Old Navy, but if I am being honest, their Omi (my mom) is their personal shopper. Furniture shopping is my favorite. The RH Outlet in Long Beach is incredible, plus if you call they will stock check for you. TJ Maxx Home Goods is another favorite for decor items. Lastly, Joss and Main is a great resource for home goods. Obviously, I like to find a deal.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
While I loved the cuddling of the newborn stage, the lack of sleep was a real killer. Every Saturday night my husband would take over, and I would sleep in a different room from 8:00pm to 8:00am. It was my time; even if he had to stay up all night, he wouldn’t come get me. Knowing that I had that “me-time” each week helped me get through it … and lots of coffee.
How do you relax and unwind?
I love to read. My perfect morning would involve coffee, a good book, and a bath robe.
I love to cook. My sister-in-law once told me that food was my love language and she is right. If someone is sad, I cook for them. Happy, I cook for them… there really isn’t any occasion that doesn’t call for good food… and cookies.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Don’t be so hard on yourself! (This is a ‘pot calling the kettle black’ moment.) But honestly, this isn’t easy. Being a mom is the most wonderful, exhausting, brilliant, messy, rewarding and stressful thing ever. We need to give ourselves a break… maybe even a pedicure every once in a while.
What was your career before having children? If it’s the same, how do you balance career & motherhood?
I am currently a real estate agent at Villa Real Estate and was a realtor prior to having my girls. How do I balance my career and motherhood? The truth? I don’t. Some days, I am a rockstar; other days #momfail doesn’t begin to cover it. But I love my crazy life, so with my morning coffee, my trusty notebook (yes, I write everything down) and the google family calendar app, I’m ready to get to it.
Beyond my real estate career, in the last 4 years, my husband and I have built 2 homes, had 2 children, and moved across the street. It has been quite a journey, but I love that these last few years have given me an opportunity to truly empathize with my clients. Real estate isn’t just a job for me; it is what I do, and I love that because of my experiences, I am able to help my clients in ways that go above and beyond the actual purchase.
Thank you AJ!
Are you in the market for a new home? You can connect with AJ HERE.