Kaleena has lived in the Newport-Mesa area for the past 17 years. And as mom of both a young boy and girl, she definitely knows where in town to take the family!
Where are you from originally?
Rancho Bernardo (a suburb in San Diego).
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
We have 2 kids, Brody (6), and Kaley (4).
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
After a busy week, we love enjoying our morning weekend walks with our kids to get breakfast. A favorite spot of ours is breakfast at A Market, followed by a walk along the Newport Beach Boardwalk. As for fun Fall traditions, we love going to the ENC Fall Faire & Pumpkin Patch!
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? A night out with friends? Why?
As a family or a date night we LOVE Tabu Shabu! Now that our kids are older, they enjoy being able to make their own food. A night out with friends at Playa Mesa or Balboa Bay Club’s A&O Kitchen & Restaurant is always a good time, and both have yummy cocktails!
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?
My go-to is marinated chicken thighs in teriyaki (Soy-Yaki from Trader Joe’s), steamed white rice, and oven roasted broccoli (toss cut up broccoli in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Lay flat on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes). It’s always a winner for our family!
What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Yourself?
My son loves getting his clothes from Surfside Sports, Vans, and Target. My daughter loves expressing herself through her outfits. I always say she is 4 going on 14. We go shopping together and find cute clothes (or anything with the glitter flippy) at Forever 21, Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack, and Target. Thankfully I like shopping at those places too so it’s a double win for a mommy-daughter date! Don’t forget your Newport Harbor Tar Card to save 15% at Surfside.
What are your favorite events in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach?
We love the 4th of July Parade and celebration at Mariners Park in the summer. In the winter, the Boat Parade is a family tradition.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
Every age has new challenges. We’ve learned in situations when one of our kids is having a meltdown that they are usually Hangry (aka Hungry & Angry), OR Tangry (Tired & Angry). Overcoming these hurdles with a bar for a snack or a good afternoon nap has everyone smiling at the end of the day.
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Have a great babysitter or two, and take the time to go on date nights with your husband! The weeks can be crazy with work, school, and sports, so when we can get away to recharge and have some adult time it is always a treat!
What do you most value in your friends?
What I love most about my friendships is how I have so many amazing friendships in my life; I’ve got my group of mom friends (who are helping me survive motherhood), my work friends (who help get me though the long days), and my single friends (who always keep me entertained with their dating lives), and of course my family, who are always there for me no matter what!
What was your career before having children? If it’s the same, how do you balance career & motherhood?
I had a career in the Action Sports Industry for 9 years and stopped working after we had our second child. I had an amazing 3-year break as a stay-at-home mom. Recently, I went back to work part-time, and the balance is REAL! Having the help from family and friends has been a huge help. Also, I’m a big time meal prep person to help save time during the week. Every Sunday our family makes the weekly menu, which is fun cause the kids get to be a part of what they will be eating. And when in doubt, always have a rotisserie chicken in your fridge! It’s my saving grace, ha!
Any guilty pleasures?
My guilty pleasures would be all things Bravo TV and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc! Even better is when my friends and I get together to watch a show from Bachelor Nation, or a new kickoff season of one of the Bravo shows. It’s the best way to unwind after a long day of work, or an even longer day when you’ve had the kids!
Thank you Kaleena!