How to find the almost-perfect Paris Airbnb rental

Bonjour,

Finding a perfectly charming Parisian rental can be headache-inducing but I’m here to give you tips and what to keep in mind when choosing an Airbnb rental in Paris.

Firstly, you need to think about the city of Paris like a snail’s shell. Each neighborhood is divided into 20 arrondissements in a clockwise spiral starting at the Louvre. Most of the major tourist attractions are located near the Seine river which splits the city in half. The southern side is known as
la rive gauche/the left bank which is home to intellectuals, jazz clubs and writers sipping espresso in cafes (Hemingway is a noteworthy resident). My side of the city, la rive droite/the right bank is considered the chic, party side. You will find the Moulin Rouge, high fashion boutiques on Champs-Élysées Boulevard and the bohemians of Montmartre. The further from the center you go, the less tourists (more quiet) and more working-class Parisians there are. This adorable map is helpful when deciding what area you want to stay in.

My first experience renting an Airbnb was our summer vacation in 2014. After giving up on finding a hotel that ticks all my boxes within our budget, I decided to look at rentals online. I liked how easy their website was to navigate and there is a wide selection of rentals. They have accurate photographs and honest reviews. I was able to save my favorite apartments to a wishlist and contact the owner to ask questions. I was a bit disappointed that the first three apartments I wanted weren’t available with kids but I was very happy with the one we ended up renting. Half of the time, it’s sheer luck that you find a nice place that has everything you want.

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On the Airbnb website you can search by location, price and availability. Let me tell you that most apartments in Paris will often come with some kind of trade-off. You will have to put up with something lame in order to get most of your wishlist. Usually a place with a nice view will mean a strenuous flights of stairs. Larger apartments are often found in a part of town that you may not feel comfortable out late at night. I’ve even had to turn down a beautiful two bedroom apartment simply because it was across the street from a sex club. It’s good to check the address or neighborhood on Google maps before you book. You may score a place close to popular landmarks which will certainly mean noisy, obnoxious tourists, possibly a higher crime area (terrorist threats and pickpockets) and lower quality of restaurants. Don’t be too discouraged, Paris has amazing security and a police and military presence is reassuring.

In our case, we didn’t find anything available for two weeks in our ideal location le Marais, (the 3rd/4th arrondissements) but our rental was in walking distance from the the upper 10th arrondissement which was super convenient to the Metro station and we had a lovely, quiet courtyard so we didn’t hear all the street noise.

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The courtyard was quiet and lovely

Here are my recommendations to keep in mind for your search for the almost-perfect Parisian rental:

Stick to your budget.

It’s easy to fall in love with an elaborate pied-à-terre with a sparkly chandelier, and there are plenty of luxury apartments listed on Airbnb but the reality is, besides sleeping, bathing and occasionally eating, you really won’t spend much time in the rental during your vacation. Unless you are staying long-term, I suggest you keep the cost of the rental lower than what it would cost for a hotel per night. In my case I would have paid $299 per night for a hotel and our rental was approx. $150 per night for two weeks. Plus, we saved money cooking our own delicious meals and not having to tip hotel staff. Take note, Airbnb may charge a cleaning fee and a fee for additional guests. I like to introduce myself via message to the host before booking so I can get a feel for how they manage the property.

Who could say no to these happy faces!

Keep in mind during your search to look for a place that is bright, has lots of windows, and preferably not on a ground floor. Most of the apartments are tiny in comparison to American homes, so white paint gives an illusion of a larger space with a sun-filled apartment. High ceiling also help you not feel too claustrophobic.

Renting in Paris, it’s all about trade-offs.

I really wanted classic apartment with herringbone hardwood floors, an elevator in a Haussmann style building but the apartment we chose didn’t have any of those things. However it did have an awesome swing for Olivia, had a modern design, I loved the high ceilings and charming skylights in the loft. Although our place was small, the layout felt spacious and everything was efficiently designed. We wanted a place with a modern kitchen but we didn’t have air conditioning (A/C is rare in Europe) and it was brutally hot during the summer. We ended up leaving our windows open at night for a breeze but Liv and I were bitten by mosquitos everyday. We were pleasantly surprised how much we liked the area we stayed in. Normally, I would have chosen a place near the center of Paris but staying further out allowed us to shop and dine where locals go and that is how we found the absolute best rotisserie chicken in Paris. Find a place that has something you love but be prepared to give up something else in exchange for it.

Beware of dated apartments.

I know it’s hard to resist the 19th century rustic charm of Parisian apartments but the older the rental, the less amenities you will have. Things we take for granted such as a microwave, a dryer (French people love to use hangers to dry clothes), decent water pressure in the shower, WC (water closets) which are tiny closets with a toilet inside. Those gorgeous herringbone wood floors you may covet may be creaky and noisy and may be annoying hearing your neighbors. I fell in love with a few chic, traditionally rustic Parisian apartments during my search but I had to face the reality that staying in a period apartment with a three year old would have been a headache when she couldn’t resist touching the fragile antiques. We knew we wouldn’t be comfortable lounging around on older furniture. Plus laundromats are expensive and a bummer.

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I almost rented this rustic apartment with the tiniest kitchen ever and five flights of stairs!

Renting a place with small children can be tricky. Some rentals have a strict no children under 12 policy while others may charge more for kids. Since Liv was three years old when were Airbnb hunting, we made a list of kid-friendly must-haves and list of would be lovely. I wouldn’t consider any places that didn’t have white painted walls, I also ruled out any rental with longer than a five minute walk to the Metro. I didn’t want too many stairs because we had so much luggage and I worried about our kid falling on the stairs. It turned out not to be a deal-breaker because Olivia loved the bath.

We showed Liv how to scoot down the steep loft stairs.

Be flexible about the location.

My favorite neighborhoods in Paris are le Marais 3rd and 4th arrondissement, and more recently, the 10th arrondissement near the beautiful Canal Saint Martin. It feels like a more authentic Paris with lots of cool boutiques, trendy restaurants and art galleries without the annoying tourists traps. Although just like LA, the cooler the location, the smaller and more expensive the rentals are (equivalent to Venice beach). There is also a pickpocketing issue throughout the city so always be aware of your bags. There really is no bad part of Paris, the further you are from the Seine the longer the walk, but you can always take the Metro or bus. Like any major city there is crime but it’s not as bad as big cities in the US, and I am a firm believer in not going out with my passport (unless I need it) or large amounts of cash. It’s also a good travel hack to keep a copy of your passport, drivers license on your cell phone and an emergency credit card hidden in your luggage (in your shoe) or somewhere safe.

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We loved buying fresh croissants every morning from the Patisserie on the corner.

If you don’t mind a smaller place, always choose the better location. Become friendly with your local baker, butcher, florist and fruit stand vendors. After a few days, we felt right at home in our Airbnb and even knew some people in our neighborhood by name. Liv made friend’s with our neighbor’s French bulldog.

Happy Airbnb hunting! I’m happy to answer any questions about the places we have rented. Do you have any Airbnb tips or hacks? Please share in the comments below!

Lizzie

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Life in Paris: Month Deux

Bonjour mes amis,

It has already been two months since our arrival in Paris! I cannot tell you how fast this time has flown by. We exchanged our house in LA with a sweet French couple in Nation (12th arrondissement) for the first two months so we could have time to apartment hunt. I am so happy we were able to live in Nation mostly because we were able to experience a new part of the city we have never seen before.

I feel like I have finally mastered taking Liv to school on the Metro. I used to be confused about which direction the train would go and call myself out as an obvious tourist during the ride by watching for every stop. Now, we know all the train lines and have the cool, I can’t be bothered look while on the train. I do still get secretly excited when an accordion player is on the train. Although once on a crowded train I got my skirt caught in the door.

Side Note: My hair is huge here. I spend hours flat ironing it and yet the second I go outside it turns into an instant pouf. Must be the humidity, there is so much moisture in the air.

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Liv and I usually discuss our plans for the week and how we are adjusting to life in France during the ride. I ask her about the differences between LA and Paris. She makes statements like France is so much more cultural and historic than California. She told me, “In Paris everyone takes public transportation but hardly anyone in LA does. Most people at the grocery store are grumpy but here they care about helping you.” She also said the food here is much better than LA. She’s doing well in school. I have met some of the parents of her classmates (although very few speak English). Her curriculum is very similar to her French school in LA but they go off the campus for PE (which is called sports) and I feel terrible because I can’t help her with most of her homework (only math and English).

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After I drop her off, I usually take the bus home because the Metro is very crowded and grab my luggy to pick up the day’s groceries. I still can’t get over how frequently I have to shop here. We go through groceries like crazy!

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So far we absolutely love living in Paris. I still cannot believe we are here after dreaming of this for so many years. However, there are some downsides to life in France. Please don’t think I’m some entitled brat complaining about my great life, I just want to keep it real and show both sides of our life.

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It is very expensive! So far we have plunked down quite a bit of euros for household items (new towels, shopping at Ikea for our new apartment, basic toiletries). It’s harder to stick to a budget because we had to stock up on basic items. Our first week here I bought Liv a scooter, new clothes and had to replace a pair of shoes she outgrew. This month Antz and I needed some new clothes because we (happily) lost weight! I spend €225 every month on our Metro/bus passes but sometimes in a pinch, we need to use Uber and depending on how far we are from home, it can be expensive. We needed to rush home from Versailles to make it to a birthday party on time and it ended up costing €65 for a 30 minute ride.

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Liv really enjoyed her €9 smoothie.

Then Monoprix had to come out with this rad limited-time collab with Maison Chateau Rouge. Just take all my money!

The romper was for Liv but if they had my size I would totally rock it. I pretty much cleared out their home decor display.

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However, groceries seem less expensive here than in LA. Like cheese, meat and beverages are super cheap. But let me tell you about the most magical, delicious item in all of France… la beurre!

Back home I buy insignificant salted butter for like $3.99 on sale. Here, I only buy Sel de Mer de Noirmoutier and it is so delicious. I use it on everything, you could tell me it has crystal meth in it and I would still be like “Pass the butter.” I must say, America is missing out on this fucking amazing butter. It costs €2.35!

However dining out is still costing a fortune. We stopped ordering cocktails and are sticking to drinking water but we can’t seem to keep our bill under €75. Recently, while out on a stroll around the neighborhood we found the famous rue Montorgueil. The heavens parted and angels sang as we discovered the most intoxicating smells of baked bread, meats and fresh fruit. The oldest bakery in Paris is located here. It’s now my favorite place to buy fruit and we fell in love with all the restaurants.

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We brought home the best BBQ ribs and a half a kilo of cherries for lunch. Liv gobbled the whole tray in five minutes! Oh, and I am now a basket lady. I have bought three baskets since I got here. This is who I am now. Note: The fluffy hair.

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We found this incredible living wall called L’oasis d’Aboukir. It rains almost once a week so I guess that is why this garden is so insanely green.DSC_0158

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There are a few other annoyances here that I can’t seem to figure out. Like getting mail delivered. It seemed to be easier to get our mail when we were staying in Nation but that could be due to our sweet neighbors helping us out by accepting our packages. In our new apartment, we have a mailbox that we put our names on but nothing has been delivered so far. It took many attempts to find which of the local post offices our address belonged to. My French is not as great as I thought it was. I was able to pick up one package (I ordered five weeks ago!) yet three more are in mail limbo because we were told if our building has a locked gate, they can’t deliver packages. Uh, like every single building in Paris has a passcode door so why wouldn’t they at least email me or leave a note so I know where to pick up my stuff? Today I am going to Fed Ex for the third time to pick up a package that was delivered nine days ago! My Mom sent me a huge care package and it took me two weeks to figure out how to track it down.

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Another thing I will never get used to is the military presence here. I mean, they all seem like nice soldiers but it’s jarring to walk down the street and then boom, there’s five or six fully uniformed army folks casually carrying guns that look like they belong in a video game. I don’t dare take photos of them but they do say bonjour without a smile as I walk by. Oh, and they wear berets. I suppose I am lucky to live in a relatively safe neighborhood because there have been random knife attacks since we have arrived and sadly, I am always cautious when we are in large crowds.

I also seemed to have a hyper-sensitive aversion to noise. I was equally annoyed by the nonsense noise caused by our hillbilly neighbors (they had the world’s lamest garage band) in LA. Here, the sounds are subtle but torturous. For example, we noticed the first night while in bed, the upstairs neighbor’s toilet must be directly above our heads. Imagine the sounds we heard. They also had some type of saloon door that swings shut. This door produced a boom, bump, bump, bump sound all day long, just about every 30 seconds. I was very close to paying them a friendly visit to offer some felt pads but we moved into a new apartment. Just as we arrived at our new home we were welcomed by the constant cooing of les pigeons. They nest outside of our kitchen window and their incessant cooing sounds make me want to murder. Liv and Antz swear they can’t hear them so I’m the only one going crazy over the sound.

My final (first-World) problem is our new apartment doesn’t have a separate dryer. They consider this country sophisticated? I was warned about the hard, scratchy towels of Paris so I’ve always traveled with my own towel. The night before we left LA, I took a shower and used my soft, brand new bath towel that I packed in my carry-on. Then as we were re-packing our stuff I realized I only had enough room for either my winter coat or my towel. I was already wearing my camel year-round coat on the plane so I had to make a Sophie’s Choice. I decided it won’t be so terrible to buy new towels in Paris once we arrived. Guess what? Soft, plush towels do not exist here! I was stuck using my face towel for the first week. Monoprix does sell towels but they have a scratchy texture and cost $32.99 each. So, lesson learned, travel with your own pillowcases and towels. I did bring my allergy-free pillowcase covers with me. So, I’m living in 1925 y’all!

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I adore freshly dried linen sheets or hand-washed pajamas but putting on stiff as cardboard undies sucks! Now I understand why everyone has to iron clothes here.

In other fun news, it’s peony season! My favorite flower is in bloom and you can buy four stems for 20 euros. Well, that’s how much they were at the marche however Antz found a sweet bouquet for me for Mother’s day for just ten euros.

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This is how they look three days later, swoon.

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May 1st is May Day. According to Wikipedia, on 1 May 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, on 1 May. Nowadays, people may present loved ones either with bunches of lily of the valley.

Liv has been a crafting machine since most of her toys couldn’t fit in her suitcase. I took her to La Droguerie to buy a pom pom making kit. This colorful place is located on

9-11 Rue du Jour, 75001 Paris, France

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She was able to customize her own glitter! This kid and I were in rainbow craft supplies heaven.

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We try to go to visit a new arrondissement every weekend. The parks here are absolutely gorgeous. Just don’t ever step on the grass. When the sky turns blue here, you grab a picnic basket and run outside!

Jardin de Luxembourg
Rue de Vaugirard, Boulevard St. Michel, Rue Auguste-Comte and Rue Guynemer 75006 Paris, France

The boat rentals are €4 for 30 minutes. Liv chose Mexico to rep her Grandma Maria.

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I think the pony ride was €8. Sweetest pony but our seven year old child is a giant.

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Parc Floral
4 route de la Pyramide | Bois de Vincennes, 12th, 75012 Paris, France

We also love strolling our new neighborhood to hunt for Invaders.

Liv pointed out the heart shapes in the window panes of that heart.

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One evening we took a stroll and ended up on Île de la Cité just at sunset. I swear I am never going back to the US!! Life here is tres beau.

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Ask me anything about living in Paris.

30 Day Photo Challenge – 29/30

Today is black and white.

my two loves

Tonight we went to one of our favorite farmers markets in South Pasadena. We shared a rainbow snowie which was heaven!! Perfect place to say goodbye to summer *even though it was 94° at 7pm*

South Pas is the last Mayberry, it’s such a charming town with lovely buildings and Craftsman homes.
I really want a clock in our new park in Highland Park
Worth the 20 minute wait!

Tomorrow is the last day of my challenge! I’m excited to show you a
recap of my 30 days. It really was a challenge to commit to doing it
everyday *which is harder than you think* and coming up with creative photos. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and I hope the quality of my photos continue to improve.

I hope you all can play along 30 Day Photo Challenge

30 Day Photo Challenge – 7/30

Today is a fun one, Fruit!

pluots *plum and apricots*

Liv and I went to the Barnsdall farmers market this afternoon.

I love Liv’s French sheath dress, my kid is mad chic!

She’s been eating white peaches like crazy but I wanted to try something new. One of the vendors gave us Dino-egg pluots.

Okay, I was apprehensive at first not being the biggest plum fan but pluots are the best thing ever! I bought one dino-egg and a pound of the cotton candy variety of pluots.

I fell for these lovely hand woven baskets from Ghana. They were a steal at $32, but I didn’t have enough cash on me.

 I just may return to pick up this guy.

So everyone has heard of the famous lock bridge in Paris but little know of the Los Angeles *pitiful* version on Hollywood Blvd. Located on a former subway fence, the locks aren’t as fancy as the French original.

I hope you all can play along 30 Day Photo Challenge

Yamashiro Farmers Market

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know how much I enjoy farmers markets. Well now I can add number 28/52 to my List. I have been wanting to try the Heirloom LA food truck ever since I tasted them at West Elm, so I was happy to hear they would be at the Yamashiro farmers market starting Thursdays until the fall. I finally had a chance to see the iconic Japanese restaurant *a bunch of movies have been filmed there* that is located in the Hollywood hills which offers an amazing view of the city.

Squinty eyes
Crab & Lobster ravioli and my mushroom lasagna cupcake
This was as good as it looks
Antz had a polish kiebasa
Liv got this rad Nemo balloon
I had just enough room for a mini chocolate bourbon pecan pie
Fantastic!

The food was fab, the views were lovely. We are going again soon to try the filet mignon skewers. For all the gourmet fare, the prices were quite reasonable. Happy Friday!

This is Halloween

We enjoyed a weekend of doing nothing. No plans, we just stayed home and hung out in our dead backyard. It’s a weird feeling not driving my car for a whole 24 hours. Actually, we did go out for a minute to pick up a pizza. Sunday, Antz put up our Halloween decorations.

 

checking the twinkle lights

 

Last weekend we were busy hosting our houseguests. Evelyn & Dion spent the weekend with us while they are in town on vacation from the Peace Corps from Paraguay. It was so fun to see them. We went to the Beverly Hills farmers market. Ev & D are like celebrities with the vendors there. They all were so surprised to see them after 18 months.

Liv photo bombed them

 

It’s always rad times with these two! Friday night we stayed up late playing Wii Fit. I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. We used my Living Social deal for the Wildlife Learning Center on Saturday. It was way in Simi Valley and super hot but luckily the place had tons of shade and we were only there for an hour.

That’s right folks, turtle porn right in front of your eyes!
Liv was positive that fake alligator was real
This was the cutest guy ever. He was a year old and by the time he turns 3, he’ll be 5 feet long and weigh like 200 lbs!
Liv wasn’t likin’ it

Out of all the awesome wildlife and everything we learning about animals, Liv was most impressed by seeing a tortoise poop. She stood there for like 20 minutes saying “Turtle poo poo!” Super fun Living Social deal for $13!!

Open Hizzy

Ugh, do kids still tizz-alk like thi-zzis anymore? Today was a lovely Sunday, we did some house cleaning, organizing and getting rid of shit. I’ve been babbling about crepes from the Beverly Hills farmers market all week so we headed over there for one. Sadly, it wasn’t as yummy as the one I got last time but that could be because I didn’t order Nutella.

Always order Nutella, Dork!

Liv was looking fresh to death in her new summer outfit her Dad bought her last week.

How are you liking her ponytails?

Liv ate almost all the blackberries we bought

My popcorn!

After a trek across town for delish Tandoori chicken for lunch, we stopped by at a pretty rad open house in Atwater Village. I thought it was nice, has a lot of charm and almost everything on my wishlist *it’s lacking a fireplace* but the interior was pretty small. There was one jack-and-jill bathroom *it was in between the master and the second bedroom*  but the bathroom in the guest house was awesome. That was our favorite part of the house. It’s located on a nice, quiet street but not my ideal location. It was adorable, my photos turned out horrible so here’s the listing photos

Love this arch!

The master closet…uhhhh?
Doubt a king would fit in here
The master bedroom was about the same size as our current one
The vanity seems unbalanced, there’s wasted space under the window

Nice, private backyard
It was really hard to not jump in that salt water pool with my clothes on

Outdoor shower is a nice feature

I love the hydrangeas but I’d add some peonies
The yard is much smaller than ours but easier to maintain and large enough for Liv to play in

Converted garage guest house

That huge shower looks like heaven! There were so many people checking it out, the price is so reasonable, I’m sure it will have multiple offers and sell well over the $599,000 they are asking. Everything in the house was brand new and renovated. I wasn’t a big fan of the kitchen cabinets and countertops but Antz liked the overall spaciousness.

Liv was all about the pool

I would love to get our house looking that sweet. We need to put about $60k into our crib to completely update it.

-New bathtub/shower (still waiting for a quote from our plumber)
-fix the foundation
-new chimney/fireplace mantle
-fix the shitty plumbing (definitely doing that next year)
-new kitchen cabinets (least paint em and give them new knobs)
-get rid of the popcorn ceiling in the hallway and living room (hopefully next Spring)
-get rid of half our junk/de-clutter (tackling this everyday)
-grow our grass back in the backyard (Antz has this on his to-do list)
-paint (every room could use a fresh coat)

We plan to do the work on more than half of this list. There’s no way I’m spending $40k on our foundation. Our house is already crooked and I’d rather spend that money towards a down payment on our new house. I am so happy we have a garage that gives us a place to store all our crap and pretty stellar curb appeal.

I would really love for our agent to come by and give us her professional advice on what we need to do to sell this joint. The agent who sold the house next door said it wouldn’t go for more than $350 so we should stay put for another 5 years. Not uh, I’ve got 4 years max to stay in this house. Every year Liv I goes without a pool makes me crazy. Seeing houses always gives me the itch to move. If someone offered us what we paid in 2006, I’d take it in a heartbeat.

Farmer’s Market 90210

This Sunday we kidnapped Antz Mom and went to the Beverly Hills farmers market. We’ve been to this one before but this time they had a new feature…

Petting Zoo!!

Aww man, this pony looks like he’s thinking FML!!
Liv was rocking out hard to this sitar player

I tried to catch her dancing but she moves too fast

This is my Hurry up with my crepe pose.

What’s that over there?
The magic that is crepes. I had a strawberry, banana & Nutella crepe.
CREPEtastic!!
Fresh Apple Pomegranate juice is my new fave
Antz had a carne/sausage sandwich. He reassured me it was tasty. The man loves his meat!

We should sell our persimmons

How about some kettle corn?
Wanna know what’s NOT awesome? Nutella boob stain! She did it.
Got my loot, bye!

Next we stopped by my favoritest place in the world. I had a gift card from the BFF so I finally bought my Orimono Pillow!!

Anthro Beverly Hills is FUCKING STELLAR!!
Hi, I live here now.

I need to own this top. Looking out for it to go on sale

You look FABulous, darling!
This chair…needs to live in my living room!

Yeah, He’s the BOSS in this chair
Another B for our collection
Total Lizzie dress
My Mom will die when she sees this teepee
Paltry sale section
So this is my inspiration for my desk in the bedroom.
CU-RAZY lady!
Antz is under the impression I can sew a blanket like this…we shall see
Memorized by this book
Believe it or not, Antz got this jump on the first try. He’s either getting better or my hang time has improved.

Just a bit of a frolic
This place is so much fun

WOWEE!!! Mind Blown
I almost died when I saw this piece by Yoshitomo Nara. I wannit SUPER BAD!!
J’adore Pantone

Me and this guy are pals

How adorable are the waitresses?
World’s largest ottoman
Would it be that weird if I had this in my house?
Nothing weird going on here
I love my Mommy-in-law!

Okay, I’ve been uploading photos all day and I’ve got to get up early to take Antz to the airport. Nighty Night.

What we’ve been up to

You are dying to know, right? Well a lot of our time has been consumed with our new obsession….

We’ve been watching it on Netflix and I now understand what all the fuss is about. It’s pretty awesome. We still have about 18 episodes to go. My Mommy came to town and we’ve been hanging out, shopping and eating. Exhibit A:

Antz awesome chicken and my candied yams. We caught the last hour of family night at the Kidspace Museum.

Last Saturday we went to the Malibu farmers market and even though it’s tiny, the location is lovely.

We went to a fabric store to get supplies for Liv’s Halloween costume *Top Secret* and I couldn’t resist these sewing books.
I am dying of cuteness ideas and inspiration

We’ve got loads of work to do Mum!

Summer Rules

I think I’m the minority that finds summer to be their fave season. Everyone complains about the heat, but I’d take hot over cold anyday. That’s why we live in the desert, right? I love the sun, I love getting tan and going to the beach and I super love the reduced traffic because 40% of the children of this overpopulated metropolis are sitting at home bored for the summer. Speaking of school…I’m parly-vousing my ass off in the French class with my friends Connie & Leslie. So far I can spell my name, introduce someone and tell people I do NOT speak French. Ahhh, I cannot wait to take Olivia to Paris. I swear I will not speak a word of English once I step off the plane.

Today I met Aimee at a tattoo parlor for our date. She is gifting herself a half-sleeve tattoo for her birthday. I have been working hard on a top secret birthday project for her but I know she reads this so nah, nah, nosey!! The girl doing her tattoo is amazing *and has awesome taste in music*. She finished about a third of it today. It’s gonna be wicked rad when it’s done.

This was her painful face. She is fearless, bad-ass and so lovely for adding a French dedication to her Goddaughter….”Mon joli petit bijoux, Olivia Lily” *makes me want a tat but Antz is not having it*
When I got home, Antz and me went to the South Pasadena farmers market. It’s been about 4 months since we’ve been there and I suppose it’s the late sunny days or me being in a super happy mood but it felt like everyone we encountered was mega nice. We seriously got like stopped by strangers to say how adorable Olivia is. Now why can’t these silly talent agencies see what the rest of the world sees in her?? *still no word from any of the ones I submitted last month, FML*

Run Liv Run!!

Chicks with accordians are pretty rad!!

Anyway, we really enjoyed walking around, noshing, bought some fruits and veggies and I somehow resisted kettle korn for the first time ever.
We stopped by this incredible shop and inturrupted a sewing class taking place. Everyone was really nice and the owner was adorable. I fell in love with the fabric in her shop *I was too chicken to take pics cause the class was watching me* but I promise to get some next time I go back.
Common Thread is my new fave shop, check out the lovely fabric I bought for Liv’s pillowcase dress.

The lighter print sooo reminds me of my Mommy’s bedding in the early 80s. It has a vintage feel to it and it’s lightweight like a pillowcase. The second print is bright and fun and looks like a mod little girl’s jumper *which I hope to make with my Mommy-in-law’s help* I asked the owner how I should venture into making her pillowcase dress as a novice and she gave me great advice, use the pillowcase dress I already own as my template…duh!
Aimee bought this guy for Liv’s birthday and it has the identical style that the pillowcase dress has. I am hoping to work on it this weekend. Oh, before I forget, whilst leaving the farmers market we saw the coolest car ever *and it’s a VW!!* I was pretty much drooling over the car but not for me…for Liv. I wanted to wait for the owners so I could make them an offer *in 15 years* for Liv’s first car.

So freaking cute!! I imagine curtains in the back and her surfboard on top. Sooo much cooler than my first car!