Julie is a longtime Costa Mesa and Newport Beach resident who is raising two girls, running Big Hype Marketing & PR, and enjoying the friends she has made along the way!
Where are you from originally? How long have you lived in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach?
I’m originally from New York but moved to Costa Mesa when I was 5, in the early 80’s. I went to California Elementary, Tewinkle Junior High, and Estancia High School. I have lived in Newport Beach for the last 16 years.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two daughters, Lily is 11 and starting 6th grade. Everly is 7 and starting 2nd grade.
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
We like to take our dog to the river jetties and let him run around. We also like to check out stores and restaurants on 17th street. We have a pool so we spend a lot of our free time swimming too.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? A night out with friends? Why?
For a family date, The Counter, Pitfire or my kids LOVE Tabu Shabu because they can cook their own food. For a night out with friends, I love Social and the new Lido House Bar.
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?
We make a lot of pasta with ground turkey meat. It’s a great meal because it has carbs and proteins and I can put red sauce on it or just cheese and butter for my little one who is more picky. We also love Trader Joe’s for quick-made meals. I buy their frozen fried rice and quickly cook up some shrimp or chicken and toss it in and we have dinner!
What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Furniture? Yourself?
Currently my girls love Athleta because their styles are now “sporty.” For myself, I love Common Thread on 17th street, Red Balloon or Nordstrom. For Furniture, I recently got some great stuff at Urbanism on 17th Street and at FH Home in Westcliff Plaza.
What are your favorite events in Newport Beach?
We love community events around the holidays, like the boat parade and menorah lighting at Fashion Island.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
I would say the most challenging time was not about their stages but more about mine…when I went back to work, that was really challenging for me. Being away from my kids, not being able to volunteer in class, and not being able to pick them up every day has been really tough for me. I also struggle with figuring out when and how to get our home care taken care of, like getting groceries, doing laundry, making dinner etc., and when to find time for myself. I’m getting better at getting it all done but it’s still hard.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
My best advice to new moms is to go out and join a bunch of mommy and me groups and when you get there, be assertive and make friends and schedule meet-ups. The best thing that happened to me when I was pregnant with my first daughter was that I met another mom-to-be who was six weeks behind me in pregnancy, and she had made some friends that had recently had babies. There were about six of us, and every week we would meet up at one of our houses and just sit and talk while the babies laid on blankets on the ground together. Having that group and a set schedule kept me sane and gave me a place to go, and a support group. We kept the group going for years while we each added new babies to the group. Three of the six moms in that group have since moved away but I am still friends with all of them, and my oldest daughter is still friends with the girls that have remained local.
What do you most value in your friends?
I have made fantastic friends since becoming a mom and have maintained a lot of those relationships since the birth of my older daughter. The most valuable thing I have found in my girlfriends has been the ability to be honest and loyal to one another through whatever comes up or challenges our relationship. To me a good friend is someone who you can tell them something that bothered you, and that honesty strengthens that relationship instead of ends it. My friends know that I am honest when it matters. Years ago, one of my girlfriends who will remain nameless, got Botox. I ran into her shortly after it “took”and one of her eyebrows looked surprised while the other one was at a resting state. I said to her, “You have got to go back to the doctor! Your eyebrows are messed up!” She said, “Thanks a lot!!!”and I said, “Well I wouldn’t be a good friend if I let you walk around like that and didn’t say anything.” She still to this day teases me saying, “If you want to know the truth, ask Julie!!!” But I stand strong with that one…I don’t let my friends walk around looking weird when I know they are beautiful.
I also believe that a true friend is there through the ups and downs. We all have challenges throughout our lives and our friends should be there when you are struggling, and be there for you when things are great. That’s what friendship is for. I feel very fortunate to have supportive, long-term friendships.
What was your career before having children? If it’s the same, how do you balance career & motherhood?
My career before motherhood was similar to what I do now. I worked in public relations in Hollywood for films, film related products, and celebrities. I later moved into PR and marketing for Hurley and then had my own PR agency representing fashion brands. When I had my first daughter, I had six clients, but eventually, I phased them all out so I could hang out with my baby.
When I went back to work and launched Big Hype Marketing & PR, I wanted to focus on both marketing and PR.
Balancing work and motherhood is super hard. In fact, going back to work was probably the hardest stage in my motherhood. I have very little time to myself and am still not good at having much of a plan for dinner…see recipe above.
I just took my two daughters to Hawaii for a week so that we could have some bonding and relaxing time together. We had a great time and created lasting memories.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you.
One thing people would be surprised to know about me is that I am a world traveler and adventurer. I love a good Louboutin heel or Saint Laurent handbag, but I can also get down and dirty traveling in 3rd world countries. When I was 19 years old, I shocked my parents by telling them I wanted to leave for 4 months and travel the world. (Now that I’m a parent I feel so bad for doing this to them but it was one of the best things I’ve ever done.) I went on Semester at Sea, and lived on a ship where I attended school and traveled completely around the world starting in Vancouver and stopping in Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Israel, Turkey, Italy and Morocco. Later, I backpacked through Europe and Scandinavia, and as an adult have continued to travel and take my kids when I can.
Thank you Julie!