It’s been a long year for me. 2015 had it’s highs and lows but when I look back at all the photos I took this year, I must say it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I wish we travelled outside the country more but I can’t complain since I was able to visit my bestie in Paris for my thirty-eighth birthday. I am also happy we drove up to visit our friends Story, Chris and their bebe in Portland. Liv was so excited to take a road trip.
Back in January, my sweet filmmaker friend Paul asked me to play a small role in his movie, Black Eyed Angels. I was nervous but I loved acting with the awesome and talented crew!
It feels like ages ago when Liv booked her first paid acting job. You can watch her five seconds of fame in a vaccination skit on the Jimmel Kimmel Show.
I chaperoned Liv’s class on a field trip to the Los Angeles Zoo.
We took a family trip with my Mom to the Museum of Natural History.
We also stopped at the new Commissary for a drink at the rad Line hotel in Koreatown. Maybe we’ll book a room for a weekend staycation next year?
To celebrate big Liv’s television job, we took her to California Adventure.
We absolutely LOVED Radiator Springs Racers, hands down the best ride in the park.
We celebrated Valentine’s day at LA Cake Club.
Giovanni Ribisi happened to be at the event and he sweetly obliged a selfie with me!
After nearly two years of waiting, Highland Park turned a deserted gas station into awesome York Park. We attended the opening event.
March was MAJOR. My best friend Aimee fulfilled a lifelong dream of going to makeup school in Paris. She begged me to come visit her but Antz and I both knew we couldn’t afford it. Then Antz did a quick freelance job and told me to go ahead and buy my plane ticket for my birthday present. I was so excited but I decided to surprise Aimee and just show up. We Face-timed each other almost everyday and she would tell me how much she wished I was there with her. It was the hardest secret I ever kept.
Merci beaucoup sweet hubby, best birthday present ever!
It was my first time flying alone and I drank more wine than I should have so I ended up fainting on the flight! The crew was so kind but I was embarrassed.
Aimee’s apartment was so tiny but Parisian pretty in the coolest part of town!
While Aimee was walking home from school, I hid out in this patisserie with these lovely ladies. They didn’t speak any English but I explained in my broken French my big surprise.
We ate at Café Charlot almost every night. I played tourist during the day while Aimee was in class.
I am always the brightest (and tallest) person in Paris!
This was one of the most fun nights during our week together! Salut Fred.
Antz made these rad masks for me. We are self-professed dorks!
We loved shopping at Le BHV, they even have Anthropologie!
We had the world’s best crepes made by our friend Monsieur Alain at my favorite farmers market! You must visit him for lunch if you are in the 3rd.
Aimee’s crepe was as big as her head!
I spent hours walking around the city alone. I felt so independent and comfortable. Paris was beginning to feel like home to me. Je voulais y vivre!
It was sobering to visit la Republique after the Charlie Hedbo tragedy.
We had a bestie lunch together just like we do in LA.
I fucking love this girl!
I faced a huge fear of heights by walking on the glass floor of the Eiffel Tower. Despite peeing my pants, I was in sheer heaven.
I woke up to find this waiting for me on my anniversaire. Aimee ordered my favorite ice cream cake for me before she left for her trip. Antz kept it in the freezer for me.
The week in Paris with Aimee was magnificent. I was able to spend time in Paris alone and I fell in love with the city all over again. I am counting the hours until I return. As much fun as we had, I missed Liv and Antz terribly!
When I returned, we attended our 4th Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards show.
I pranked Liv good for April Fool’s day!
We spent our Easter at Liv’s Godparents house for their annual Easter family brunch. Confetti eggs will never get old for me!
Liv started swimming lessons. I love that tummy!
On weekends we like to drive in random directions until we figure out what we want to do. Balboa Island is always a fun day trip.We took a boat cruise along Newport Beach harbor and of course ate corn dogs and cotton candy.
Liv’s class took a field trip to the local Fire station. The firemen were so sweet and funny!
I was feeling down in the dumps about missing Paris so Antz had a fun idea to make a scavenger hunt for us to complete in one day. We started the hunt in Chinatown.
Finding a meter with three hours still on it counts as finding free money!
We zigzagged all over the city for our hunt, searching for a fountain we ended up in north Glendale.
This Japanese tea house and koi pond is beautiful. This park is a treasure!
The fifth item on our list was actually the last thing we ending up finishing and the hardest to figure out. I started the day welcoming the challenge of trying a new food. However when we looked at Russian, Ethiopian, and Moroccan I lost my nerve. Then I realized Wurstküche had food we have never tired and I wasn’t so afraid of rattlesnake in sausage form. Washing it down with Belgian fries and beer helped!
I actually felt guilty for popping this mattress store’s balloon! What a jerk.
My friend Christina always posts the coolest photos on her Instagram. When I saw her photos from a velvet art gallery, I had to check it out. Lucky for us, it was located in Chinatown and helped us check off #9.
This was an easy one thanks to Antz quick thinking of stopping by an optometry mall!Finding a live chicken in Los Angeles was a little more tricky. We called a friend of ours who used to have chickens at their house. She told us to try the college near our house. Lucky for us they had a chicken coup on campus!
Bets were against us we would find a live chicken by the end of the day. I can’t wait for our next Scavenger Adventure.
In May, Liv got her first pair of roller-skates so of course we had to teach her how to roller boogie for a family fun Friday at Moonlight Rollerway in 80’s fashion!
Liv’s last Pre K field trip was a two day camping trip in the woods.
Before the end of school Grandma Bobbye was invited to Liv’s school for a music performance for her class. Everyone loved seeing Liv and her Grammy play together, they were a hit!
May was a busy month, Liv performed in her first ballet recital.
Just as Pre-K was wrapping up, Liv’s fifth birthday was approaching. She spent all her previous birthdays traveling, so this year she wanted a party with all her friends. I had to negotiate with her to allow us to choose the party theme (so I wouldn’t lose my sanity with another Frozen party!) I found Alice’s Traveling Tea Party, Antz and I created some party favors and hired my talented friend Jennifer to work her magic behind the camera and a very merry unbirthday it was!
I picked up a cake from Porto’s bakery and added an Alice in Wonderland Pop vinyl toy.
On Tuesday, she turned FIVE! I smuggled a sparkler candle home from Paris just for her birthday.
We took weekly photos of Liv and Totoro for her first year, then we took monthly photos. Now we take them yearly.
We bought her a Linus bike for her birthday present. Since she’s such a giant for her age, we had to test out the height just to be sure she fit.
We were so lucky to bond with everyone in our rad Pre-K class this year. Liv had amazing teachers which I know will have a lasting impact on her life. I asked them to sign her Oh! The Places You’ll Go book.
The whole class got together for a last Pre-K class wine tasting picnic at Barnsdall Park. At Liv’s school the students are switched around every year so we didn’t know who would be in her Kindergarten class in the fall.
The school year ended with the Lilapalooza celebration. It’s already been two years since we attended our first Lilapalooza as prospective parents.
Summer began with an exciting visit by President Barack Obama! He visited Highland Park to be interviewed by local resident, Marc Maron for his WTF?! Podcast. Liv was interviewed on the news about the historic event.
Liv got a sneak peek of the summer hit movie Inside Out.
Liv had her annual pediatrician and dentist visits. She loves seeing Dr. Wang and Dr. Chess but fortunately they don’t see her often as she would like.
I helped my friend, Jihan, run the pom pom booth at her stellar DIY Camp.
Of course I had my adorable mini-helper. I bumped into Liv’s nursery school teacher and my beautiful friend Maricris!
My Antzy turned FORTY!!! I love you old man.
I discovered my new favorite brunch spot, Dinette in Echo Park. Their avocado toast is superb! This is now my go-to Sunday morning routine.
To celebrate the 4th of July, we made red, white and blue shortcakes.
Aimee and I celebrated Bastille day with our French club and I finally tried delicious beef bourguignon. Vive la France!!
Olivia is now a ComicCon veteran. This year we booked a hotel so we didn’t have to drive back in the same day and we could space out the convention over two days. It was so much easier being able to walk from the hotel and take turns hanging out in the room.
Antz was on a mission to collect all the Adventure Time minis. However, they are sold in blind boxes (which is a concept made by Satan!) so it was hard to find Finn, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline. Aren’t they cute?
Liv loved swimming at the hotel while Dad geeked out at the convention center. We were so happy to drive back after brunch on Sunday with hardly any traffic.
Liv went on a ton of auditions this year and since she turned five, it was time to update her headshots. I was so excited to have her photographed by Olesja Mueller. She captured Liv’s spirit brilliantly.
Our favorite niece and nephew visited from New York. We laugh so hard we cry when they are around!
We took our annual trip to the beach. Liv made some new friends, Antz built the entire city of King’s Landing in the sand and I ended up getting the worst sunburn of my life! **I tried Honest sunscreen instead of my usual Neutragena 🙁
Antz entered a few pieces in a charity art show to raise money for North Central animal shelter. So many of our friends were a part of the show and his adorable lions sold right away.
We checked out the new Churro place in Los Feliz. They make churro ice cream sandwiches!
My lovely bestie turned forty (like pratically everyone I know did this year!) so we stuffed her with oysters. I discovered the most incredible clam chowder in LA!
My nickname for Antz is Macgyver because he can take common items and create magic. When I told Liv it was Harry Potter’s birthday, of course she wanted to dress up as a Hogwarts student. Antz safety pinned a patch to her blazer, I loaned her my faux spectacles and we gave her a chopstick for a wand. Now that she’s started reading on her own, I bought her this updated version of the novel.
I bought this adorable Hugo Loves Tiki romper for Liv so I had to buy some balloons and have an impromptu photo shoot at the dots mural in the arts district.
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I was fortunate enough to take Olivia to a Bernie Sanders rally with a friend of mine and her daughter. An extra special treat was Sarah Silverman opened for him. Crazy, old Bernie is my favorite! I agree with a majority of his stances. With so many ridiculous candidates, I sure do hope he wins.
So the summer that never seemed to end was coming to a close. I was so bummed about not taking a trip to Europe that I decided we have to get out of town. I have been wanting to visit our friends who moved to Portland last year so we planned a week long road trip during our anniversary. Since we were driving, I thought Liv would love to spend a day in Santa Cruz. I haven’t been to the boardwalk since I was a kid. It was amazing that much little has changed. We felt like extras in the movie The Lost Boys (which I watched thousands of times when I was 11!).
I heard about the Roaring Camp railroad that has an old steam engine train ride through the redwood forest. I knew Liv would love it so we booked it for our first stop in Santa Cruz.
It was a long but beautiful eight hour drive to Oregon and we arrived around 3 pm.
On our second day, we had the raddest breakfast at Slappy Cakes, a cook your own pancakes restaurant. After we fueled up, we drove to Multnomah Falls. I wish we could have stayed there all day but I wanted to head downtown to check out VooDoo Doughnuts.
As big fans of the movie The Goonies we had to take a trip to Astoria, a charming, small town where most of the movie was filmed. With my rotten luck the owners of the Goondocks house decided they had enough of the rude tourists so they blocked off the house. Again we had bad timing, the beautiful Astoria column was also closed for repairs. At least the view was lovely.
Portland definitely won us over with it’s friendly folks, no-sales tax and lush greenery. Bye guys,!
We said our goodbyes and drove the endless fifteen hour trek back to LA and dove headfirst into the busiest week of our year. Liv began Kindergarten.
Hooray! She’s still the tallest kid in her class and homegirl is speaking fluent French now.
After finding out at the last minute, we attended the second Le Dîner en Blanc! My Mother in law helped me sew my tulle skirt. This year was held in Pershing Square in Downtown LA.