Le Dîner en Blanc Paris 2018

Our fifth Dîner en Blanc was extra special because it was the 30th anniversary and Olivia joined us this year!

I was fortunate to have Antz craft these gorgeous crepe paper peonies for my headpiece. We found his Venetian mask for less than €7 at an art supply store near our apartment. I bought a huge, beautiful bouquet of white peonies for our table the day before but sadly they opened too soon so the day of the event, they were starting to whilt. I bought a bunch of babies breath (Les gypsophiles) and stuck them in Liv’s hair. We took an Uber to the Air France Museum. We arrived almost an hour early but I didn’t want to risk being late.


After checking in my group and waiting forever for the departure time, we walked a few blocks to Esplanade des Invalides. I was certain it would be further at the Jardin de Tuileries but this location was large enough to accommodate 13,000+ guests from all over the world!

We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. This year was the 30th anniversary of the DEB and as fickle as French weather can be, not once has it been canceled due to rain. We didn’t bring our roll-up table this year but we bought a patio table from Monoprix and borrowed two chairs from our friends in Nation. We used a grocery cart to wheel them around and put the tableware and food in my wicker cart. I bought our white plates, a white serving tray and our gold flatware from Ikea. You may remember from our last Dîner en Blanc Paris, our lovely desserts were smashed in my bag during the transport, so I made extra special care to have them wrapped and put in a smash-proof box. Wouldn’t you know it, the warm weather melted the white meringue! I am cursed when it comes to our desserts, only one barely survived.

I love how Liv is eyeing the only dessert that survived.

After I passed out sparklers to my table of guests and the official napkin twirl, Antz popped our champagne and we took a few sips before heading off to find our friends.










The coolest thing happened when we were wandering around admiring all the creative outfits and table settings. A woman ran up to me and excitedly told me she follows my blog! I was stunned by her kindness and enthusiasm. I totally love meeting new people at this event and finding out that someone is genuinely entertained by my blog made my night. Enchanté LaToya, you were a delight to meet!



We had to say Bonsoir to the founder of Dîner en Blanc, François Pasquier and his lovely wife. The genie guy was a bonus I suppose, I was sad that I forgot to take a photo with Antz in the picture, LAME! I did have a moment to exclaim my love for the dinner and babble about our move to Paris to his wife as I was a bit tipsy from the champagne.

Technically, the event is for ages 18 and over but everyone welcomed Liv with hugs and were impressed by her level of French fluency. Everyone wanted to take a photo with her and were blown away by her maturity. I had to convince them that she just turned eight!


We finally found my friend Aymeric and he introduced us to his stunning girlfriend!

The Eiffel Tower was sparkling in the background.

We were exhausted and Liv had school the next day so around midnight, we packed up and called an Uber.


I am so happy we brought Olivia to experience her first Dîner en Blanc. Paris is always a magical place but this dinner has an extra special place in my heart for the past five years. This photo was taken by the press and it shows the 13,000 attendees.


If you may be interested in attending, you must be invited through a member. Let me know, I get a few invites per year around April/May. I just may be retiring from the event with exception to attending the DEB in Iceland!

Here’s previous Dîner en Blanc  2013, 2014, 2015




Less Plastic, more experiences!

This post is a good follow up to Liv’s bedroom makeover since that was a result of my new mind-set after having an epiphany from reading the (seriously) Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I love to shop; from finding the perfect item, to getting best online bargain and that high from discovering packages on my porch. Olivia definitely has gotten the shopaholic bug from me now. She asks me, “Is that a package for me?” almost daily. However when I hear her asking for toys she sees on commercials or from youtube videos, I feel gross. Half the things are pure junk or she doesn’t even know what it is, she just knows she has to have it. Last summer I was feeling overwhelmed during our house tidying weekend, I was forced to think about what was really important to me. I was finding things I never even used once or I bought on an impulse. I was angry at myself for allowing so much clutter to accumulate in our house but my reasoning was always, we really need this stuff, our house is just too small.

My closet is all the evidence I needed that I’ve been overdoing it. I could hardly close the door and I never wore half the stuff crammed in the back. The Before & After shot.

Then I realized, our house is actually fine. When I think of what matters most to me it’s our memories from the fun times we’ve had. If my house was on fire and I could save only a few things, I would grab our photo books. Those books contain the priceless experiences we have shared as a family. Everything else are just replaceable things. So in that moment I decided to let go of the things. We totally have enough things.

Our precious “things” headed off to be donated or trashed!

I have proposed 2016 will be spent doing more and shopping less. I would much rather save our money for a lovely vacation than buy more Barbies or cute kick-knacks for the house. Now that Liv’s room is finished, I am all set to stop acquiring more stuff. I am making an exception for clothes, books and a few Christmas (not going overboard like last year) and birthday gifts but I’m ready to crack down. I can’t remember one trip to Target that we haven’t come home with things we don’t really need (I’m raising my hand here. Totally my lack of cuteness willpower!). Who isn’t guilty of shopping just because something was on sale but then later realized did I really need that? I did buy a few Christmas gifts on Black Friday (eye rolling at myself here but I couldn’t resist, they were on sale!) that I’ve been wanting all year, but I honestly purchased them out of necessity for next year’s travel plans.

Last weekend we took a field trip with her class to see the symphony at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It was such an inspiring performance that I would love to subscribe for next year’s season.


She brought Backpack Bear from school as her date. I love this photo of her sweet BFF I snapped after the show.


I am also joining her school’s book club so every month she will get new books in French! Instead of writing her usual list of toys for Santa, I’ve asked Liv what things would she like to accomplish next year. We are joining LACMA and the Broad for sure. More concerts are on our to-do list. I would like her to take a skateboarding lesson with a friend of ours. I think a trip to Glaze Fire would be fun. My Mom mentioned a family camping trip would be fun. We definitely have to make to trip to the Safari Park in San Diego.

During the summer we finally made a trip to the LA Public Library in downtown. However, we didn’t plan for the parking to be cash only so we ended up parking at a meter for only 20 minutes. It was the fastest visit you could ever imagine.



The interior was magnificent!



The murals and painted wood ceilings are so dreamy!

IMG_7184IMG_7187It was very reminiscent of a Wes Anderson movie set. I forget we are so lucky to have fun things to do all the time. Next time we’ll be sure to have parking cash handy.

Liv has made her travel wishlist

blue lagoon

Iceland – sleep in an igloo to see the Northern Lights, swim in the Blue Lagoon and see puffins!

China  – she wants to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and buy a dragon kite.

Japan – to see the Mizayaki museum, sing karaoke and take the Hello Kitty airplane.

Sweden – visit the Pippi Longstocking museum/Junibacken park, go on a Viking ship and see Vasamuseum

Belgium – to eat chocolate and waffles and see Mannekin Pis

Mom’s travel wishlist (the short version)

copenhagen door

Copenhagen, Denmark – Tivoli Gardens (one of the oldest theme parks in the world), Louisana Museum and canal boat tour to photograph Nyhavn.
(since I’m already in Scandinavia, I have to visit my friends in…)

Helsinki, Finland – see the textiles at the Marimekko store, visit the Design museum and take a sauna in the country.

Amalfi Coast, Italy – soak up the sun and lounge on the beaches of Naples, Capri, Positano, Sorrento, I’m dying to see the Azure Window in Malta!

Strasbourg, France – an adorable city that looks like the village from Beauty & the Beast.

Vienna/Salzburg, Austria – my dream Christmas vacation. I need to go on the Sound of Music tour, see the Halstatt Salt Mines and eat apple strudel.

Sydney/Melbourne, Australia – it seems that all my favorite Instagram feeds are from down under. The beaches look awesome and the fun things to do there blows my mind (would I dare to try this?!)

I’m with Liv, we must go to Iceland for obvious reasons!!

Antz travel wishlist


Anywhere I don’t have to carry tons of luggage, with good food and has air conditioning!

Best husband response ever.

So as this year comes to an end, we are excited with the unlimited possibilities for 2016. We have been studying our Maps book together as a family to research future travel ideas.

The Grand Opening of Glendale Bloomingdales/VH1 Save the Music Foundation

As you may already know *from my Instagram* Antz pulled a “Hey, wanna go to an event 5 minutes before it starts? on me today. Well, of course I’m game! He got an invite for a black and white themed party at the new Bloomies in Glendale. Any party that hands out masks at the door is my kind of affair. It’s funny how much black and white attire we’ve acquired in the last year, so we were prepared on short notice. I had many wardrobe choices for Liv but we decided to give her Misha Lulu striped dress it’s last soiree before it’s retired to her clothes-I’m-hoarding-that-don’t-fit-anymore drawer. You would think the party was in Olivia’s honor the way she schmoozed the crowd and posed for photos.

The Bloomingdale’s director was captivated by Olivia. They had a nice chat about her Ban.do accessories.


 Happy Hanukkah to me??!!
 So I met this pretty rad chick, her name is Samantha fucking Ronson!! We are totally buddies now, she’s gonna DJ Liv’s birthday party. She told me to use hashtag #wutangisforthechildren
 The store was lovely

Every single person told us she was adorable and she should be a
model…yeah, I feel the same way too folks. There were lot’s of
Bloomingdales executives and very wealthy peeps who were there to donate
to the VH1 Save the Music foundation

 Checking out the Ralph Lauren dresses in the kid’s department.

Hello Christian Dior metallic pink pumps! I would never wear them, just frame them and look at them
 All boots need confetti in the heel!
 Hello handsome!


Our lovely three year old, looking like a pro on the black carpet. One of the paparazzi dudes snapped her photo so look out for her in People magazine!
 Gift bags
So what was in that swag bag you say? A tote bag that I can have monogrammed on the 8th, $25 gift card, some gross colored nail polished appropriately named “load” and some old lady smelling eau de parfum. Thanks Bloomies!


Thanks for the fun evening my love!!

Dia de los Muertes 2013

We held our seventh year tradition of going to the Day of the Dead festival at Self Help Graphics in East LA last night. Since we were pretty tired after ballet class, we took a family nap but ended up over sleeping *which was lovely*  We missed our window to take the train to the festival so instead we picked up my Mom and drove over.

Our sugar skull faces

I’m happy she could join us since November 2nd was my Grandmother Louise’s birthday. She passed away in 1987 so we were able to say a prayer for her.

Me, my Mommy & Grandma Louise in 1986

When we got there the event was in full swing. Antz, Liv and my Mom went straight for the tamales while I got a burger and fries *I know, I’m lame cause I’m not an authentic Mexican food fan* Call me loco!

Showing generosity
These guys scarfed down tamales
Liv’s Padrinos!! Too bad I didn’t get a shot of Leslie’s adorable lotteria skirt
This lucha was made out of cardboard
Way to photobomb us random lady!
We had no idea what this guy was talking about but he was sweet
el diablo
Finally knocked out!

Another incredible Day of the Dead. Can’t believe this year is almost over. Next weekend we are going to Liv’s future school for an open house. I have the worst butterflies about getting into this school!!

Go see Sample This the Movie

My Mommy is a fucking rockstar!! If you love music, go see her in the documentary Sample This. It’s playing at the Lammele Noho until Friday Sept. 19th. Antz and I went to the screening of this film last year. I was crying like an idiot full of pride hearing my Mommy speak about her extensive career. She is an amazing woman and there’s no one like her. I hope Olivia has inherited her ambition, her passion and her talent.

Here’s a few reviews of the documentary. It’s really a fascinating story.

Film Review: Sample This

We’ve all danced at some time another to the
rhythmic “Apache,” even if we didn’t know it, and this highly enjoyable
doc reveals the incredibly colorful and variegated tale behind it.

Sept 12, 2013
-By David Noh

For movie details, please click here.

Nothing less than a loose but pretty exhaustive history of pop
music in the last 50 years or so, Dan Forrer’s Sample This
focuses on the great drummers who’ve kept the beat going from Bing
Crosby to today’s hip hop. He frames his film around the story of
producer Michael Viner (1944-2009), whose Incredible Bongo Band,
comprised of the best percussionists of the day, created the
seminal instrumental “Apache,” probably the most ubiquitously
sampled record in music history.

Viner had a colorful, huckster-ish life, starting with his first
novelty hit, “The Best of Marcel Marceao” (with that curious
spelling) consisting of total mime-silence followed by applause. He
was one of those fluke geniuses who managed to corral big talent
with, in the case of “Apache,” fabulously enduring, unexpected
results. Forrer’s doc is densely populated by interviews with those
unsung heroes of an age: the bewilderingly virtuosic studio
musicians who’ve hung in there long after the stars they’ve worked
with, from Sinatra to Presley to Amy Winehouse, crashed and burned.
Legendary names like Michael Melvoin, Perry Botkin, Jerry Scheff,
Jerry Butler, Robbie King, Mike Deasy and the great bongo-banging
Bobbye Hall are interviewed or, if deceased, gloriously evoked.

These music guys also had serious interactions with history, like
Viner, whose pal Roosevelt Grier was right there when Bobby Kennedy
was assassinated (and who appeared in the outlandish Viner-produced
The Thing with Two Heads, his skull grafted onto the body of
Ray MiIlland—or was it vice versa?). Mike Deasy, now a born-again
preacher after serious drug years, had a connection to Charles
Manson and was a friend of producer Terry Melcher, who owned the
house were Sharon Tate and friends were murdered.
Although many of these musicians are miraculously hale and
hearty—and prove thus in a recent Incredible Bongo Band reunion
session, jamming away on the “Hawaii FIve-0” theme—the tale of one
of their number, charismatic drummer Jim Gordon, is not only
cautionary but horrific. After a blazingly bright career, he
bottomed out on drugs and alcohol, became “possessed” by demons and
gruesomely murdered his mother, for which he is still serving

Through so many of these events, however, the irresistibly funky
“Apache” lived on and was rediscovered by DJ Kool Herc in the
1970s, who sampled its drum breaks while spinning music for
ecstatically enthusiastic New York dance crowds. As rap and hip hop
music rose to the predominance it now enjoys, countless other
artists also employed it to juice up their own tracks, and continue
to do so. As one pundit puts it here, “There is nothing more hip or
hop than ‘Apache.’” Forrer charts the rise of hip hop culture, with
its attendant, still extant highlights of “scratching” and
break-dancing, with affectionate incisiveness through interviews
with Herc, Afrika Bambaata, Melle Mel and Grandmaster Caz, giving
his film a really universal appeal to music lovers, whether they’re
into rock or rap, and showing how true talent can truly encompass
all genres.


Sample This: Film Review

Sample This - H 2013

The Bottom Line

This improbably fascinating documentary will be manna from heaven to pop culture devotees.


Dan Forrer


Gene Simmons

Dan Forrer’s documentary delves into the history of the
little-known instrumental song that became one of the most sampled
tracks in pop music history.

For a film about a little-known song by a now forgotten band, Sample This
manages to weave in a wealth of pop culture wanderings into its
tapestry. The song, “Apache,” originally appeared on a 1973 album by Michael Viner’s
Incredible Bongo Band, a group of studio musicians assembled by Viner, a
producer whose previous credits included the hit novelty album The Best of Marcel Marceau,
which consisted of silence followed by the sound of audience clapping.
While the song made little impact initially, it was later discovered by
DJs and hip-hop artists and improbably went on to become one of the most
sampled tracks in pop music history.
But that’s not even the most compelling element of Dan Forrer’s
entertaining if disjointed documentary, which delves into the history
of the track and its creators with a near obsessive attention to detail.
Among the colorful elements featured in the film are the assassination
of Robert Kennedy (a young Viner was one of his aides); the campy horror film The Thing With Two Heads; the Charles Manson murders; the possible participation of Ringo Starr on the album; and the notorious gangster Johnny Roselli and his possible role in the CIA’s plot to kill Fidel Castro and the subsequent JFK assassination.
“Apache,” which one onscreen commentator describes as “the national
anthem of hip-hop,” was originally written by a British songwriter
inspired by American westerns and recorded by the band The Shadows. The
obscure instrumental was later covered by the Incredible Bongo Band,
which had been created by Viner to contribute a couple of songs to the
soundtrack of The Thing With Two Heads, which starred the improbable onscreen duo of Rosey Grier and Ray Milland.
The song languished in obscurity until it was rediscovered a few years later by DJ Kook Herk,
who made it a staple of his Bronx dance parties. It was later covered
by The Sugarhill Gang and eventually became a hip-hop staple, used by
artists including Missy Elliot, Amy Winehouse, Nas, LL Cool J, The Roots and countless others.
While the film narrated by Gene Simmons largely
eschews delving into exploring the cultural impact of sampling on pop
music, it endlessly explores the fascinating characters involved in the
song’s creation and evolution. Among the members of the Incredible Bongo
Band were such musicians as guitarist Mike Deasey, who was once briefly had a connection with Manson; drummer Jim Gordon, who later suffered from severe emotional illness and went to prison for killing his mother; and bongo player King Errisson, who was befriended in Jamaica by Sean Connery during the filming of Thunderball.
It’s a fascinatingly eccentric, if digressive, tale, recounted
through a combination of archival footage and interviews with such
figures as Afrika Bambaataa, Questlove, Freda Payne, Melle Mel and Jerry Butler, among many others. A joyous coda features the band’s surviving members reuniting to jam on the Hawaii Five-0 theme song.

Opens: Friday, Sept. 13 (GoDigital, Inc.)
Director/screenwriter: Dan Forrer
Producer: Bob Burris
Director of photography: Philip Hurn
Editor: Michael Levine
Composer: Perry Botkin Jr.
Not rated, 85 minutes

Le Dîner en Blanc Los Angeles 2013

 I woke up today thinking last night’s Le Dîner en Blanc was just a dream.
Photo taken by Jennifer Young

I found out about Le Dîner en Blanc while browsing Pinterest about 2 years ago. Then I read this post by Jordan at Oh Happy Day. I made it one of my Life List goals to attend le Dîner en Blanc in Paris. Well, since I’m not going to Paris this year, I was excited to discover Los Angeles would be having their first annual diner so I registered on their site. I ended up not getting an invitation but I was able to sign up as a volunteer. This gave me membership *for free* and the opportunity to invite a few friends. It was difficult to set everything up but everything fell into place *despite shoegate*

Antz and I worked hard getting all the dinner items we would need and making my amazing headpiece and cute birdie boutonniere.

This headpiece was huge and HEAVY. I had a battery pack on there for the lights. We had to secure it with hundreds of bobby pins
Look how adorable Antz birdie boutonniere turned out. He made that top hat!

Since I was a leader, I was privy to find out the city the venue would be located but not the address. Anthony told me his guess was Rodeo Drive since it’s so iconic. I thought it would be at a park to accommodate such a large crowd, so I guessed either Greystone Mansion or Beverly Hills park. As always, Antz was right, we arrived right on time at Rodeo Drive which was blocked off to cars for the event. We had one of the best spots for the dinner right near the DJ booth and close to the center of everything. The moment we got off the bus, I met the founder of the event François Pasquier, his wife and his son Aymeric who came in from Paris and Montreal. They were so gracious and kind. François attempted to talk to me in broken English and I made a terrible attempt at French but we communicated best in Spanish. This again confirms how much I suck at French and that I must learn the language I want our child to become fluent in.

I love them, they were so sweet!
Aymeric is a sweetheart, he’s so cute!

We set up quickly and the dinner began. Our table was amazing, everyone looked great and the table settings were lovely. I was so happy my friends Warren & Kim and Jihan & Jennifer were able to be there with me. The band performing during dinner was rad! The singer had a beautiful voice and she covered Amy Winehouse and Portishead. We had a delightful meal, I drank too much wine and we all danced. The white mustaches turned out perfect for photos and we took tons of pictures, posed for tourists, guests and the media. I posed for so many cameras my neck was hurting. You can even catch a second of us on the ABC and CBS news. I had the time of my life. I met such wonderful people and we rocked out to a guy playing electric saxophone! I can’t wait to go next year and hopefully attend Le Dîner en Blanc in Paris soon. My incredibly talented friend Jennifer took these lovely photos.

I love how rad our mustaches turned out

Jihan, Jennifer, Me, Antz, Kim & Warren
Me & my hot date!
Our table

Since there were so many great pictures, I put together this slideshow that covers the evening. Enjoy!

The first annual Diner en Blanc Los Angeles
August 21, 2013
Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills


My photo made it in the LA Times!


Diner en Blanc LA
The evening was magical! Merci Le Dîner en Blanc.

Björk at the Hollywood Bowl

Let me repeat that…

Björk Gudmundsdóttir AT THE HOLLYWOOD  BOWL!!!

I actually toned it down with my conservative look for Antz sake
I have no idea who the opening band was…wasn’t really into them, sorry!
Her voice was like heaven at this venue, our seats were great and despite the drunk gay guy next to me groping and slurring in my ear most of the time, I was in enthralled.
Yeah, Björk is so fucking amazing, she produces electricity with her voice

 Here’s the videos I took *they are uploading so it will be awhile before I can add them*

Here’s the setlist, the encore was RIDICULOUS!! I was jumping through the whole thing *which sucks for the video I took*
The show was STELLAR!! I screamed, cried, danced…so much fun!!
Me and Mr. Sleepyface
I always meet new friends at björk shows
Word of caution, never give your camera to a drunk bitch who says she will take a photo of you and your husband.
We hung out as long as we could to get a setlist *or maybe sneak into the after party again* then Antz reminded me we will miss our bus back to the Zoo, where we parked
We made it just in time.
Thanks so much Story & Chris for bebesitting Liv for us!! Super hugs and thanks to Erin for helping me sell my extra tickets. Thanks to Brian for sharing his cider beer and allowing me to scream in his ears during the entire show.

Here’s some *much better* photos from Björk’s facebook page. THANK YOU for an phenomenal show. I’ll never forget seeing Björk at the Bowl!!

photo credit: Debi Del Grande
Her incredible headpiece is by maiko takeda *and I totally want one!*

Shreds so good!!!

These shreds are killing me! They are so good. I took all these bands way too seriously during my high school years, well I can’t say that honestly about The Beach Boys. Too bad I couldn’t find a Björk shreds video, but she’s obviously way too freaking awesome to ever suck!!


The Cure

Radiohead *for Antz, this shred is embarrassingly similar to the original*

The Beach Boys

Snoopy & Dr. Dre


Guns & Roses


The Who

Def Leppard

The Mars Volta *but you wouldn’t know the difference*

My fucking man, John Williams

Skrillex *the nerdy Marilyn Manson dupstep king*

Kings of Leon


The Killers

MM *My favorite one, I loved this dude like 14 years ago!!*

This is my autobiography of Marilyn Manson signed by Brian Warner himself at The Viper Room on Halloween. Yeah, I was sooo goth, doesn’t everyone go through a goth phase?!

Bet you would have never guessed I was a hesher in junior high school on the down low!!

the Cream at Vibiana

I’m over-stimulated and overwhelmed by the epic radness of the Cream. I was definitely in wedding/blogger heaven. My friend Jess and I were wide eyed and in shock of all the savory food, decadent desserts, incredible floral bouquets, lovely calligraphers, talented musicians….I could go on and on but here’s the photos. I had the time of my life! Thanks Jess for being my hot date. Your wedding is going to be FAB! *Note to self: I need more mint and navy in my wardrobe.

Gorgeous venue Vibiana
Checking in, it was wise to be a half an hour early
Representing Kelly Green!!

Sweet Lucies organic ice cream *I really would love to hire them for Liv’s birthday party*
Swag bags!!
This lady was an amazing calligrapher, she wrote Liv and my name on a gold button
This bartender was adorable…AIMEE!!
This delicious concoction was Vodka with a cucumber infused cream
Spinning the prize wheel at Kindred
I really wanted one of their awesome crowns but I got a glitter gumball
Yeah! Rentals were killing it
Pink Marais chairs!!! I need these for our dining table
This band sounded like Pink Martini and Paris Combo had a baby. Most importantly, she’s playing an accordion!!!
Me & the lovely bride-to-be
This guy was a jedi at serving cheese. He made us something that starts with a T with fresh honey, from a live beehive, grapes and flowers…so yummy!!
Really inspired to have a wine and cheese party when our kitchen is finished
I met the other half of Ban.do, the lovely Kelly
The talented Son of Sharkpig & Portablesera
Scott Coopersmith Designs
This tablescape….Mint & Gold!!!
I can’t believe I ate a dandelion salad and loved it! Urban Palate was fantastic!
Minted and Vintage is a clever cake stand rental
This dining table…swoon!
I met Audrey who is super sweet and nice, from Urbanic
I have to visit her shop on Abbot Kinney
The Flashdance we meet again!
Salty caramel donuts
Instant printed Instagram photos. Genius!!
Smilebooth I am a total hot mess!
I totally made out with Ryan Gosling

 I replaced my lost silver Ban.do heart and added the minty ostrich pouf to my collection, YAY!!

I’m definitely returning next year