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Stacey is a Newport Beach business woman and mom of two. She owns and operates Orangetheory Fitness in Orange County with her husband Marc, and still finds time to run fundraisers for the local schools.
Where are you from originally?
Both my husband and I grew up in Redlands, although both of our families had access to a beach house in Orange County where we spent many summers. Therefore we feel so blessed to have had the best of both worlds. Summers were spent in Newport Beach, and during the winter we were just a quick 40 minute drive up the mountain for some snow.
How long have you lived in Newport Beach?
We have lived in Newport Beach for about 7 years now. I have lived in Orange County off and on since I was young as mentioned above. I also went to school at University of California Irvine and lived here for several years after graduating before taking to the wind and getting a taste of other parts of the world.
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in general or in town?
We love being outdoors with the kids. We bike near the Back Bay, or ride over to the Newport Beach Tennis Club for lunch and pool time. My 10-year-old daughter is really into surfing right now, so many mornings are spent at Blackies watching her paddle out and catch waves. We hit Dory Deli for a breakfast burrito following an early morning session. My 4-year-old son loves to hit Lido Marina Village to get a boat from the kiosk and float it in the water, play pirate by Jenni Kayne, or head over to Lido Village Books for a quick look. And we always stop at Marina Park for some fun on our way to my in-law’s house.
What’s your favorite restaurant in town for a family date? A night out with friends? Why?
We don’t have a favorite restaurant for the kids but when we do go out, we like to make it fun and interactive with such places as Blue C Sushi in Fashion Island where the food comes on a conveyor belt. They also love Lemonade or CUCINA enoteca where they can make their own pizza. Of course Haagen-Dazs is always a request afterwards for dessert. With friends, we always try to keep it fresh by hitting new places for dinner. Some of our favorites include: The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Farmhouse, Gulfstream, and Pirozzi. As a couple, we are all about ‘movie night’ and a low key dinner. The Port Theater is always a fun date night.
What is your favorite kid-friendly recipe?
I love making healthy treats for my kiddos, and they love zucchini brownies.
- 2 cups finely grated zucchini (I firmly pack it in)
- 1 cup brown sugar (What? They’re still brownies after all.)
- 1 1/3 cup applesauce (I use unsweetened)
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2/3 cup flour (I use Oat Flour but all-purpose flour would be fine)
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Optional add-ins: About a cup of chocolate chips and/or nuts
- Frosting: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup butterscotch chips, and 1/2 cup peanut butter melted together, or just a few pounds of Nutella (in case you feel weird about eating brownies that are too healthy).
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
- Mix together the zucchini, sugar, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla.
- Stir together the remaining ingredients and add to the wet ingredients, stirring until combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and/or nuts if using.
- Bake for about 55 minutes.
- Frost with the frosting if desired.
What is your local go-to store for children’s clothes? Furniture?
For my kiddos it’s got to be a mix of Red Balloon in Newport Beach, Crew Cuts (online), and some fun Zara pieces. Now that my son is getting older, he does like to mix things up with RVCA and Volcom from Jack’s in the Avocado Center. For furniture, hands down it is Juxtaposition in the Newport Coast Shopping Center or House of Morrison on 17th Street across from our Newport Beach studio. Our home is a mini replica of both locations. One of my new favorite finds is also Isle Interiors that recently opened on Old Newport Road.
What are your favorite events in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach?
Some of our favorite events in the area include Segerstrom movie nights in the summer, OC Fair, fun nights at Laguna Beach Ranch Hotel (movie on the grass, star gazing, etc.), and book readings and events at Lido Marina Village.
What has been the most difficult age with your children to date? What helped you overcome the challenges at that time?
Oh goodness! My ‘sweet’ daughter was not so sweet at the ripe ol’ age of 3. Everything literally changed overnight. One day she was this pleasant, soft-spoken, and compliant little toddler, and the next day everything had completely changed. I thought it was just tiredness or a phase, but it wasn’t. Both my husband and I were beside ourselves. She pushed the envelope in every way possible. Some days/nights we truly were on the verge of seeking professional help with the phone in our hands, but we stayed the course and slowly worked through the tantrums, defiance, and orneriness. I can honestly say that I had shed many tears of frustration and disbelief all-the-while saying that’s “not MY child,” but it was…and I had to face the Nasty 3’s head on. Getting through it was really about consistency and repetition to get the message across that we were in control. WOW, that was really difficult.
My son on the other has never really had a difficult age…yet (knock on wood). Keep in mind he is only 4, so I keep praying to the gods above that things stay the way they are. He is a pretty even-keeled child, but who knows what the future holds.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you.
I was once a nationally ranked swimmer and went to Olympic Trials.
How do you relax and unwind?
Pool time with my kiddos and friends (with a cocktail of course).
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to other moms?
Try to find the positive side of every situation, no matter how unpleasant.
What do you most value in your friends?
I mostly value honestly and casualness in my friends. My bestie lives in Santa Monica so I don’t get to see her that much, but she is always a phone call or text message away. We are very open and honest with each other. If I want REAL advice, I will get it from her. There is no sugar coating anything. It’s so important in the long run.
I am a pretty casual person so the (trying to impress) is really not my thing. I try to stay grounded by focusing on the important things in life, and I am attracted to people who do the same.
What was your career before having children? If it’s the same, how do you balance career & motherhood?
Since college, I have had a diverse career working in management roles in international finance, apparel, retail, leadership development…and now fitness. Currently, my husband and I are the Area Developers for Orangtheory Fitness in Orange County, Long Beach and San Francisco. I have had to work hard to balance the demands of both career and family, but I love that I am able to volunteer to lead fundraising efforts for my kids’ schools, and help cultivate passion in our community around leading a healthy and fulfilled life.
Do you have any favorite organizations you like to work with?
Susan G Komen, John Wayne Cancer Foundation, and Augie’s Quest.
Thank you Stacey!
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