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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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Joyeux Anniversaire Olivia!

Every year I am aghast by how fast our kid is growing up. This is her eighth year and she is lovely, polite, smart, kind, funny, clever, creative, sometimes annoying but overall rad.

I can’t believe she is so big now. Liv wears size 10/12 in clothes and size 4 in shoes. I bought her a pair of New Balance sneakers in size 3.5 when we first arrived in Paris and she already outgrew them! She definitely takes after me and is part giant. She’s the tallest kid in her class and one of three kids who speak English. She is stoked that during English class she is the teacher’s assistant and she helps her classmates with their pronunciation. Liv has made quite a few friends here in Paris so I asked her what did she want to do for her birthday. She wanted her closest friend (our former neighbor) Alix to come for a sleepover at our apartment. Antz and I secretly ordered a rad unicorn cake from our neighbor who is an amazing wedding cake artist/baker. I didn’t find out until after we demolished the cake, it was completely sugar-free!! I honestly couldn’t tell.

We also collaborated on designing a custom Merrilee Liddard doll for her birthday gift. I was super worried it wouldn’t arrive on time from Utah but luckily we were home when le Poste rang our door buzzer. We have had terrible luck with mail coming from the US through the post office. Her Godparents sent her a birthday package and we tried to hunt it down everyday for two weeks but it’s lost. We were heartbroken we couldn’t track it down.

This is Lulu (named after my Grandma Louise which is my middle name). She only speaks French and she is an avid traveler. She will join us on our travels and can be followed on Instagram using the hashtag #voyagesdepoupéeLulu

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When we left LA, I couldn’t fit Liv’s dress-up clothes in our luggage so I promised I’d find her a Marie Antoinette style dress. She asked me when I would get her a gown almost everyday since we landed. Luckily, the Versailles gift shop had the perfect one in her size.

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I invited her other good friend (she is also named Alix) from school to come over for cake and we went for tea and snacks at the Cat Cafe. We began her birthday weekend celebration by taking Friday off school since Antz is getting every other Friday off work for summer Fridays (his job is awesome beyond words!) so we spent the day at the Science Center. Liv is obsessed with VR games and back in LA she was too young to try the VR demos but here she could play them. She watched a VR film about the South Pole and space exploration and she played VR games. It was an €18 fee for about an hour of playing. She had a weekend full of awesome!

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This globe would connect to different voices around the world speaking in their native language.

How creepy/hilarious are these mirror illusions?

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The kid wants to be a scientist when she grows up…or a spy.

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Liv and the two Alixes! This kid wants to live in a cat cafe.

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Sadly, I couldn’t fit her large Totoro plush in our luggage but I did squeeze in our mini Totoro so she could take her yearly birthday photo. I’m sad because after taking her photo with Totoro in her brown chair, we decided we needed the space for a desk so I dropped off the chair to my Mom’s house. So this year she took her annual photo in her bedroom in Paris.

 

Liv Year 8

Here are her previous photos.

Joyeux Anniversaire ma fille!

La Cité des Sciences et de L’industrie
30 Avenue Corentin Cariou
75019 Paris France

Open 10:00 am – 6 pm Closed Mondays

Le Cafe des Chats
9 Rue Sedaine
75011 Paris, France

Open 12:00 pm – 10:30 pm Closed Mondays

 

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Liv’s Lemonade Stand

Hello There,

I finally have a moment to catch up after a busy last few weeks. Liv has been requesting to have a lemonade stand for months but we wanted to wait until it was closer to summer. Antz outdid himself building the stand. He used pieces of wood we had left over from Liv’s Alice in Wonderland party. Liv helped him build and paint and I sewed the banners. I love how cheery it turned out!

Due to the drought, our lemon tree wasn’t doing so well. I was worried the tiny green lemons would never grow but thanks to a few rain storms our lemons exploded! Antz and Liv picked three baskets of lemons and there are still hundreds left on the tree. We had so many left over we were giving out free lemons to folks.

A few days before, Antz made these amazing flyers that we posted in coffeeshops around the neighborhood. Everyone kept asking me if I had them professionally made. I suppose I did since hubby is a pro, I’m so lucky to benefit from his talent for free!

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The night before Liv and her Dad must have squeezed a million lemons. I was so stoked I grabbed the very last kids size Hedley & Bennett apron yellow at their studio sale a few months ago. Isn’t it the perfect shade for her big day?

The morning started out cloudy, all month has been gloomy weather but right around 11:30 the sun began to shine and we already had customers lined up as we began to set up.

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We brought one of our kitchen stools and I brought the frill from my Geronimo balloon.

My dear Bff Aimee and her husband were our first customers of the day. We couldn’t have picked a better spot, so many kids came out of York park and asked their parents for a cup. We had so many generous people donate without having any lemonade. Liv was so excited! She is a natural businesswoman. I’m positive her cute face helped with sales.

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This sweet girl only had a twenty and told Liv to keep it!!

So many of our sweet friends and family came out to support Liv. We felt like it was a party since we knew so many of our customers. Thanks guys!

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Antz sister Clinnie and his Mom came by for a visit. It was Clinnie’s birthday but she refused a complimentary cup and gave us a big donation!

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Liv’s friend Kaia came by and enjoyed being Liv’s assistant. They took their job very seriously can’t you tell? Merci Mia and Kaia.

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We stayed open for about three hours because it was getting unbearably hot. We still have a full jug of lemonade left. A coffeeshop owner friend of ours offered to buy all our lemons so that was awesome. We plan to sell more lemonade later this summer, Liv is hooked!

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I am so full of love for everyone who supported us in person and online. We are overjoyed to raise money for Olivia’s incredible school. Hooray for Liv the young, female entrepreneur!

Bon weekend!

Guns, I’m just saying.

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Liv doing her homework which is singing in French, j’adore!

Have you ever tried to hold in barf? I have, and despite me holding my lips shut and trying to run to the bathroom in time, it came up (re-routing out of my nose!) I know this is a graphic image but I watched the CNN Guns in America: Obama Town Hall tonight and the entire time I felt the urge to barf. It wasn’t vomit though, it’s outrage, sadness and frustration. I am shaking with anger and despair that today, the one year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris, our country is no safer or capable of using common sense.

Of course, I am a democrat, LA liberal so my views and politics are a contradiction to gun owners. My outrage and fist shaking is inconsequential. We live in an age of constant opinion with no listening or reason, constant information and speaking loudly in anonymity online yet living in blissful ignorance and inaction in real life. No, I’m not trying to sound deep here. I am just tired of tolerating things from online “friends and family” that I would never tolerate in real life. I am feeling like a hypocrite when I politely ignore the obnoxious drivel for the sake of not wanting to engage online. I spent most of my twenties not caring about politics or ever watching the news (pretty much my protest of the Bush administration). I can’t stand hearing all the horror on the news and shitty things going on in the world but when I became a parent, and became more involved in my community, I could no longer turn a blind eye to the shitty state of the world. I grew up and began to acknowledge awful things exist so I have be prepared and participate in the solutions. Terrorism is still new for me, I was deeply effected by 9/11 but it felt so far from sunny, safe California. I always knew the helicopter flying over my neighborhood at night was chasing a criminal but I haven’t been a victim yet so it’s been the luck of the draw. That doesn’t mean I’m going to arm myself like a militia. I don’t have a problem with gun owners. I have a problem with people who own semi-automatic weapons, anyone who owns a silencer, or hobbyist/collectors who own functioning weapons. There is absolutely no reason to go there. The only word I can think of to describe the NRA and the folks who support them is IMBECILE!

We now have a daughter. She has changed my life to an enormous degree. I am going to be honest, if my daughter was ever a victim of violence or tragedy, you wouldn’t see me on TV crying, wearing a pin to honor her memory. I would be in a jail or an insane asylum. A few weeks ago there was a threat to LAUSD which caused a mandatory closure of all public schools. Liv’s school was still open and at first I thought, she’ll be fine, her school is safe and I can’t raise her to be fearful. Then on my drive to school, I had a pit in my stomach so I just turned around and decided that nothing is worth my child’s life. I trusted my instinct and kept her home with me. The whole day I knew it would be a false alarm and I thought she could have gone to school but lately I have adapted to this  “Better safe than sorry” existence. The assholes have the upper hand.

There’s no way I could even think of something happening to her so when I read articles, tweets or see on TV anyone advocating for the NRA or making ridiculous statements about “Their rights to bear arms” or “If I had a gun, I could have prevented a crime” I get angry. I am always talking about wanting to move from this country that has more gun deaths in a day than other countries have in an entire year. However, after two attacks in Paris, nowhere is truly safe. Yet, the lack of common sense I heard during this Town Hall was infuriating. The facts are so disturbing. For most honest, law-abiding citizens who are responsible gun-owners, by making it harder for them to buy a gun will not stop shootings or deter crime. So what else can we do??!! Anything is better than nothing. I was waiting for our President to say what I’m screaming at the TV for 34 minutes. Then he finally started saying what I agree with most.

  1. No one is taking your guns or your right to bear arms away but making restrictions on gun purchases to make it harder for convicts, mentally ill or bad guys to access them. You know, I get so pissed when I hear the dumbs spouting about their constitution rights. Back when the dudes wrote it, they owned PEOPLE like property!! Women couldn’t vote!! You needed a gun to keep the British away!! It’s not the end of the world if the Constitution gets updated.
  2. If you are a law-abiding citizen, then why are you upset if there are more mandatory background checks? You still can buy guns but why shouldn’t it be harder and more training required? LIKE MAYBE IT WON’T HURT IF IT’S TO HELP PROTECT OUR KIDS!! I’m even all for smart guns. If it saves even one accidental gun death, it’s worth it.
  3. Just because you can’t stop every crime doesn’t mean you should stop trying to DO SOMETHING to stop potential crimes (or accidents or suicides!!). How can we just continue to do nothing and say a prayer for every innocent victim.
  4. We have restrictions and safety laws on a majority of our products (cars – seat belts/pills – childproof /etc.) that are in place to prevent deaths and yet guns are the only fatal item that causes resistance to making them safer!

I could go on but no matter how much I or anyone argues or try to apply common sense on this matter, there seems to be nothing stopping criminals, mentally ill people or terrorists from killing. Nor does it stop the FOX news to profit off of fear and their propaganda of having more guns make us safe. Then on top of all this we got Douchebag Trump’s smug potato face everywhere saying he’s going to be our next President. I can’t.

No matter how much I rant, get worked up and comment, I am just another jerk on the internet voicing my opinion and I’m fully aware that Nobody really gives a shit!

bingo

 

**UPDATE: I have slept on my feelings and today I feel I need a break from my computer. Particularly The Facebook. I don’t know why I feed into the negativity and stupidity willingly. I really get bothered by folks who publicly announce they are leaving social media. To me it seems like they are doing it for attention or even vaguely hoping people will beg them to return but I feel like I’m not participating in a community of inspiration or creativity. Or maybe I’m overwhelmed by the nonstop news about shootings, the injustice I feel from watching Making a Murderer and the presidential race. I have to go with my instinct on this and bury my head in the sand for the sake of my sanity. It’s the comments on articles like this that have me tearing my hair out. My reality is, I am a happy person who is grateful for the life I have so I don’t want to stifle my happiness with the world’s drama. It’s a pity I am starting off the year like this but maybe it’s for the best. So Au revoir in dramatic fashion. It’s you not me!

 

2015: Our Year in Pictures

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.

DSC_0052I 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?

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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.

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Giovanni Ribisi happened to be at the event and he sweetly obliged a selfie with me!

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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.

IMG_4399Merci beaucoup sweet hubby, best birthday present ever!

DSC_0561DSC_0559IMG_4406It 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.

DSC_0878DSC_0898DSC_0889IMG_4923DSC_0905Aimee’s apartment was so tiny but Parisian pretty in the coolest part of town!

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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.

IMG_4488IMG_4493IMG_4491We ate at Café Charlot almost every night. I played tourist during the day while Aimee was in class.

DSC_0725DSC_0724IMG_4448I am always the brightest (and tallest) person in Paris!

DSC_0675DSC_0684IMG_4455IMG_4511IMG_4523This was one of the most fun nights during our week together! Salut Fred.

DSC_0050DSC_0833DSC_0933IMG_4809Antz made these rad masks for me. We are self-professed dorks!

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We loved shopping at Le BHV, they even have Anthropologie!

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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.

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Aimee’s crepe was as big as her head!

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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!

DSC_1012IMG_4626DSC_1066DSC_1060It was sobering to visit la Republique after the Charlie Hedbo tragedy.

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We had a bestie lunch together just like we do in LA.

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IMG_4895DSC_0155DSC_0152I 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.

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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.

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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!

IMG_5047IMG_5060IMG_5075When 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!

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Liv started swimming lessons. I love that tummy!

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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.

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Liv’s class took a field trip to the local Fire station. The firemen were so sweet and funny!

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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.

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We zigzagged all over the city for our hunt, searching for a fountain we ended up in north Glendale.

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This Japanese tea house and koi pond is beautiful. This park is a treasure!

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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!

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I actually felt guilty for popping this mattress store’s balloon! What a jerk.

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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.

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This was an easy one thanks to Antz quick thinking of stopping by an optometry mall!IMG_5453Finding 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!

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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!

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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.

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On Tuesday, she turned FIVE! I smuggled a sparkler candle home from Paris just for her birthday.

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We took weekly photos of Liv and Totoro for her first year, then we took monthly photos. Now we take them yearly.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The school year ended with the Lilapalooza celebration. It’s already been two years since we attended our first Lilapalooza as prospective parents.

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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.

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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.

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Of course I had my adorable mini-helper. I bumped into Liv’s nursery school teacher and my beautiful friend Maricris!

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My Antzy turned FORTY!!! I love you old man.

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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.

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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.

DSC_1007IMG_5829Antz 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.

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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.

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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.

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swingride

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.

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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.

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Portland definitely won us over with it’s friendly folks, no-sales tax and lush greenery. Bye guys,!

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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.

IMG_7835Hooray! 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.

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Through all the chaos, my best friend got married!! Liv was an adorable ring bearer in her H & M boy’s suit and bow tie.