Meet Andrea, mom of Gracelyn (5) and Brody (3), and a local family photographer!
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in a teeny tiny little town called Moorpark, California (Ventura County area) just about an hour and a half north of Orange County.
How long have you lived in Newport Beach?
I first moved to Newport Beach in 2009 for a job opportunity, and have lived here ever since.
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
I love the beach no matter what time of year! I can’t keep my kiddos out of the water and they are true So Cal natives. One of our favorite spots is Marina Park. We can let the kiddos run wild at the park, and brunch at Lighthouse Cafe is fabulous! We also love biking around Back Bay. Fall is one of our favorite seasons! Every year we make a trip to Tanaka Farms for some hay rides and pumpkin picking.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? A night out with friends? Why?
One of my favorite places for a family date is the Lighthouse Cafe down at Marina Park! We always sit outside on the patio and the kiddos love to run and play in the sand area by the tables while we wait for our food. It’s a win-win.
One of my favorite local spots for a night out with friends is Lido Bottleworks. It is the cutest little place right along the water over in Lido Marina Village. The menu has some unique items that are amazing, and yummy cocktails. It’s a fun little spot and has a cool vibe.
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?
Good Old Sloppy Joes made with grass-fed beef served on mini slider buns. The kiddos love it, and it takes 15 minutes to make.
What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Yourself? Furniture?
For children’s clothes I love Baby Gap at South Coast Plaza. They just seem to have everything when I need it, not to mention it’s super cute. I’m a huge fan of No Rest for Bridget for myself. I find everything from dresses, to shoes, to jeans, and it is also a great place to find cute gifts for friends and family.
For furniture I love Urbanism! They always have a great selection, quality unique pieces, and they also offer quite a few custom options. They have wonderful customer service and I love the pieces we have ordered from there!
What are your favorite events in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach?
I love the OC Fair and all the events they hold at the Fairgrounds. I have seen some really great concerts, Cirque de Soleil, and gone to the Food Truck Friday’s in the summer.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
Hands down, the Threes! I don’t know what it is about this age that seems to throw me for a loop. Both my kiddos when they hit age three really found their voice in pushing boundaries; they were still learning how to communicate their wants and needs and would get frustrated or melt down when they weren’t being understood or heard. But I also truly love the three’s because of all the learning, growing, and development they have at that stage. The things they say are so darn funny and how they make sense of their world… it is challenging but definitely such an adorable age at the same time, so I find myself laughing constantly at what my son says.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
My one piece of advice is to go with your gut when it comes to your little ones! Nobody knows them like you do… us mom’s have a special sense and are in tune to our little one’s needs, when something is wrong, when they aren’t feeling well… Always go with what you feel is right for them and their individual needs.
What do you most value in your friends?
I recently saw a Meme that said “Adult friendship is saying…..’let me call you back,’ hanging up and calling back 3-4 days later, and no one takes it personally.”
I loved this and it made me laugh so hard! At this stage of life and motherhood, I truly value understanding, honesty, and a good laugh when it comes to my friends. I have learned that true friendships are built on understanding one another, and not taking situations (or each other) too seriously. Have fun, and laugh!
What was your career before having children? If it’s the same, how do you balance career & motherhood?
Before fully pursuing my dream as a newborn/family photographer and starting my business three years ago, I had a career working in law as a litigation paralegal. No matter what industry we are in, I feel that balancing career and motherhood will always be a challenge. One of the ways I strive to have a better balance of my career and motherhood is to make the most out of the quality time I have with my two kiddos and not stress so much about the quantity of time if we are not with them as much as we ideally can be. As a working mom, there will always be things that take away from our time at home, with our kiddos, and our family time. I have always been a huge advocate of prioritizing all the “extras” that need to be done on a weekly basis (laundry, dishes, groceries, cleaning) and either outsource or bring in a little extra help in those areas so that you can make the most of your quality family time.
Three years ago Andrea left law to put her passion into practice. She started her business Andi B Photography and feels incredibly blessed to spend her days working with week-old itty bitty humans, littles of all ages, and meeting local moms and families. Need a photographer? You can connect with her here.
**Andi B is also offering Newport Mesa Moms $25 off your first session if you mention Newport Mesa Moms at booking (excluding mini sessions and discounted promotional sessions)**
Andi B Photography