Decorating a Parisian apartment with color!

Coucou,

It has been awhile since I have posted an update on our Parisian apartment. I have gotten so many compliments from visitors who tell me that our place looks so LA. Yet, I didn’t plan to go for a Californian vibe intentionally but I suppose you can’t take the LA outta ya girl.

Searching for an apartment in Paris can be as competitive as getting into an Ivy League university. There is so much demand and very few places available within an affordable price range so many people have to make compromises when apartment hunting. We were in the same boat so when we saw our place, I had to look past the messy girl who was living here at the time. We needed a place fast and we were only planning to lease for one year so we weren’t too picky over minor details. For example, I really wanted our place to have ornate crown molding and a quintessentially French chandelier. Well, the light fixtures in our place are pretty much non existent and we have basic crown molding with just the tiniest amount of French charm for me to be happy. I asked our property manager if they had time to paint a fresh coat of white but they said we could paint it ourselves, at our own expense. Another reason we chose our place (besides the location and the size) was it came fully furnished.

I should say I feel very lucky to even have white-ish walls because many apartments we looked at were very orange, red and lime green. We were happy we didn’t have to spend a fortune on basic pieces of furniture and I can’t believe the Maison Chateau Rouge x Monoprix home line released the same week we moved into our place. I bought many accessories to add a much needed punch of color. I love the light we get from our gorgeous floor to ceiling windows and the layout works perfectly for our family of three. Antz and I still can’t believe we got this place in our dream location!

There are two choices when renting in Paris, furnished or unfurnished. The latter is not what you may be used to in the US. An unfurnished apartment means there is no kitchen. In most cases that means no sink, no appliances and no cabinetry. Oui, you will find an empty room with pipes coming out of the wall. However, a furnished apartment is equipped with everything you would need down to your dishes, forks, spoons and knives. Our apartment had obviously been rented by students due to the choice of furniture and the wear and tear of the inventory. We happened to end up with some Asian style pieces that I would never in a million years choose for our place but I knew I could tolerate it for a short term stay. We moved in under the impression it would only be for a year and then we would move back in our lovely, newly renovated house in LA. So we packed away a majority of their kitchen items and the linens and bought our own basics from good ole’ Ikea. If I knew we would be staying here permanently from the start, I would have invested in higher quality dishes and cookware but we shipped as much of our things from LA as we could fit in a shipping pod, what we bought is fine. Poor Antz had to account for hundreds of items from a list I sent him and sort them by what to ship to Paris, what to store at my Mom’s house in California and what to sell or donate. When it got down to the wire, not everything I wanted made it to Paris (I really wish our Christmas decorations were shipped but we really have no room to store them) and more items ended up being donated than I would have liked but he had such a huge undertaking, I can’t complain about the results. Thanks sweetheart!

So our pod shipped from LA in September and didn’t arrive here in Paris until late January. It took the longest around-the-world journey but we are grateful it arrived in relatively great shape. During the months of waiting, I would have panic attacks that our ship would be invaded by pirates (they still exist right?) or a giant rogue wave would knock our container off the ship. I know, I watch too many movies but my life’s precious treasures were packed in that box so I imagined the worst case scenario. Only two pieces were damaged during the move.

I still don’t know how Antz and I managed to unload 60 boxes into our place in less than an hour but I will admit that I could have kissed our building’s elevator that day.

So, after a year of living practically out of suitcases and decorating our apartment without spending much money, we were finally able to start making the place more like our permanent home. I relied on covering the bad furniture with as many colorful textiles and accessories as I could.

Our apartment was quite bare bones on the day we moved in. There was an inventory of all the items and furniture the apartment came with. I was so giddy about moving into our version of a Parisian pied-à-terre, I barely paid any attention to the condition of their old stuff. As soon as the rental company girls left I literally threw all the stuff into boxes and shoved it into our only tiny closet.

We went from having three closets and a two car garage to this one walk-in closet for all our storage. It’s a miracle we are able to figure out where to put everything. When we first moved in, we could tell the last tenants did not clean at all. Guys, I’m not even joking there was a cheap TV that wasn’t plugged in attached to a freaking VCR! They also had a Sony radio set up that did not work. Too bad I didn’t bring my old CD collection with me.

I can’t stand the couch that our place came with but that’s what you get with a furnished apartment. I threw some blankets and pillows over it and try to ignore it’s existence. The bare walls made me a little crazy so I put up my Rifle Paper Co banner just for something to look at. I had to use the hooks that were already in the wall so it says “jolie maison” which means pretty house.

Our hallway/breakfast bar is a convenient space for Liv to do her homework and a crafting area but there isn’t much I could do with those contemporary stools. They are not very comfortable but nothing else really fits in the awkward space and if I replace them I would have to leave the new stools in the apartment when we move.

The showerhead in the bathroom was broken. There is no hope for this tiny bathroom. We scrub it clean as best we can and I added a few bins to store my hair and beauty products. The only redeeming quality it has is the towel rack which is lovely in the winter.

It still hasn’t been properly repaired but at least Antz found a way to prop it up so we don’t have to hold the showerhead (when I see bathrooms with a handheld shower, I’m always curious to how they manage to bathe like that). I was super annoyed that whoever designed the tile in the bathroom for chosing a beige grout that appears to look dirty. I bought a cool shower curtain from Etsy but we can’t figure out how to install a curtain rod around that useless glass partition. I also couldn’t find any bleach to properly scrub and sanitize the tiny bathroom. We even had a maid come in to clean but this room needs a complete renovation.

Our living room is comfy spot (not you couch!) Lola loves to sunbathe next to the windows. I am so happy Antz brought some of his artwork because it really transforms the space. The only two pieces of furniture we shipped was our gray armchair and a bedside table. Our books are everywhere but I don’t mind books as clutter. It gives us a reason to look at them more.

The kitchen is the most eifficient room of the apartment. We are happy that we were able to fit most of my dishes and kitchen stuff in the little space. Antz brought my crockpot and waffle maker from LA but we have only used the waffle maker so far. I’m scared to plug in the crockpot with an American adaptor because… fire. I bought the cutest Smeg tea kettle for Christmas although Liv is the only regular tea drinker in the family. Our egg rug is still holding on almost fourteen years later.

I will say, the best investment we made in our place was replacing the washing machine. I can’t wrap my head around the French people who dry their clothes on racks. We had to do it for a few months and I almost went crazy with having to iron everything and our towels would never fully dry. We spent almost €40 everytime we went to the laundromat to dry our clothes. We bought a dual washer/dryer and although it takes forever (the French do not like wasting too much water so every appliance is eco-friendly) it’s a million times better than going to the laundromat.

Antz works in an office space in Liv’s room which is great because if he has a work call, he closes the French doors and shuts the curtains. We were lucky that the last tenant left an office chair so we didn’t have to buy a new one.

Here is the before and after of Liv’s room. This was my favorite room to decorate. Eventually I want to change out the mirror to a more French style.

Her room looked like this for the first year before we got our container from Los Angeles. Now her room looks like this. All the colors!!

It was easy to inject color in Liv’s room. We bought some yarn from the lovely craft supply store La Droguerie and Antz and Liv made these colorful pom poms for her Ikea lamp shade. The Thundercat figures are from Antz office, he has many more toys and collectibles but there was no space to display them here so they are in our storage shed at my Mom’s. We stacked her books in front of her fireplace because we have no bookshelf space. I bought her blanket from Anthropologie last Christmas. It was drama getting that package and the import fees were insane but I think totally worth it. I was happy to replace the broken bedside table with a white table from Ikea that just fit the tight space. Now her Miffy lamp has a home. Her grandma sent some gifts last Christmas and the whale nightlight fits right in.

I bought this gumball rack from Domino when we still lived in LA but I never had enough wall space to use it. It fit perfectly next to her armoire and she has a place for her cute bags.

There wasn’t a curtain in Liv’s room so I used my beloved Rifle Paper Co tablecloth and it has worked well for the past two years. The owl lamp is from Ikea. Olivia is going through a Japanese kawaii phase (check out her tiktok) so she has requested a makeover of her room for her birthday this year. I have started ordering new bedding/accessories and I’m excited to give her room a new, fun look. There is a shop here called Hema that has really affordable items.

Our bedroom has made a big color change too. I wasn’t able to pack to all my bedding from our house in LA so I have been taking advantage of the soldes (sales in January) from my favorite shop in Paris, Merci. I want every color of the rainbow in their linens.

I liked the minimalist design of our bedroom at first, however, not having a headboard wasn’t comfortable. We also lacked storage. I couldn’t take the empty walls and shelves much longer. I ordered a new bed frame that has storage inside to hold all my bedding and a larger mattress.

I am not an interior designer, I just like to be surrounded by pretty things. I have so many challenges like hiding Lola’s huge litterbox or finding places to store all our suitcases, so I use bins and crates for everything. I found these adorable, collapsible bins in pastels colors.

These bins now hold my clutch purses, my camera accessories and I got some bigger ones for Liv’s craft supplies and Antz felting wool. I am obsessed with them.

Well, tomorrow is my birthday which also happens to be the first day of spring. We are on day four of a fifteen day quarantine in France so we spent the entire day doing some major spring cleaning. Since we are stuck inside our apartment for another week or so, I put our new spring bedding out and it has cheered me up so much!

Thanks for checking in and I hope everyone stays safe and positive during this tough time.

a tout!

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!

LLS_Flemonadestand2

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.

mom lemonade stand

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.

girl lemonade

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!

clinnie lemonadegrandma lemonade

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!

kaia lemonade

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.

family lemonade

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!

liv lemonade

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!

Our Taco Fiesta

Our last party at home was our bebe shower four years ago!! I have been wanting to have friends over for a BBQ before our trip. The more I planned, the more I got overwhelmed with the idea of cooking and then I remembered how great the food was at our friend’s party. So I called their caterer and was surprised at how affordable hiring a taco caterer was. I made fresh lemonade and cucumber spa water, put up some decorations and voila, our party was ready.

For the last few days I’ve been searching locally for peonies but I guess they are late this season so this morning I headed to the downtown flowermart. Bad idea, the day before Mother’s day is the worst time to be shopping for flowers. The roads were closed, traffic was at a stand still and this was at 8am! I lucked upon a parking spot and stepped over the dude sleeping on the sidewalk to walk the three blocks to the flowermart. I have never seen that place so crowded before. You would think they were giving away flowers but everything seemed to be double the price. Horrible tacky roses were everywhere. The good news was I found peonies, the bad news was the same bunch I would normally pay $6 from Trader Joe’s was now $20. Oh well, I shopped around and found a pretty bunch for $15 *all the pros know how to find the flowers at a discount* I fell in love with a bunch of mini daisies and was in and out in under a half an hour. 

New bedding makes me so happy *I love my Alexandra Ferguson pillow I received as a gift from Leslie*

Thank you Fancy!
A giant balloon and a giant Ban.do pouf are a girls best friend

Thank goodness the weather cooperated. It was sunny enough without being too hot. Everyone relaxed and ate tons of tacos.

I enjoyed myself so much I hardly took any photos, I did manage this shot of the peppers cooking, which no one was able to handle their hot.

Liv was a party animal
I bought my lemonade dispenser two years ago, so happy to finally use it
I made this banner out of scraps of fabric and Liv’s old baby clothes
Tomorrow I’ll take a better shot of my Oh Joy for Target vases
Chris just cannot keep his clothes on! Nice Cthulhu dude.
Veda stole the show with her adorableness

I tried my best to catch a Veda smile

Merci to Letty for taking care of all the cooking. Contact me for her number, she’s wonderful! Big hugs and kisses to all my lovely guests, your presence was a pleasure and I am so happy to have such rad people in my life. What a perfect way to start Mother’s Day.

*Special thanks to Kim for making the tastiest sangria, everyone loved it!

Great photos Ana!!

My DIY Midi skirt

I mentioned here all about my love affair with midi length skirts/dresses. You see, they are perfection for me, I am a giant. Someone of my stature can always use more length yet a maxi dress looks like I’m swimming in fabric *ie:a tent* Midi is in between your knees and your shins. Finally I won’t feel like I’m wearing a mini skirt all the time. So, I am doing my daily online window shopping and I stumble upon a midi skirt at ASOS.

Image 4 of Love Midi Skater Skirt

Everything fell into place, right fabric, right cut, right price *ASOS is always having a sale*, I put this guy right into my shopping cart. Then I looked in my closet and saw a sea of black skirts of various lengths *pencil skirt, maxi skirt, mini skirt…* We’re right around the corner from spring and I’m gonna buy another boring black skirt? I decided I needed something bright and cheery to add to my wardrobe. Ideally I’ve been wanting this lovely skirt for years but I haven’t found one in my price range *the one pictured was $200*

Stockholm Street Style
Image from Carolines Mode

I love this yellow Gorman skirt *yeah, I love how blindingly yellow it is*

gorman yellow skirt
Guess who’s out of stock? Bleh.

So I decided to make lemonade out of lemons. Why not use my dust-collecting Hello Kitty sewing machine to make my own skirt? I could custom tailor it and save major buckaroos at the same time. I enlisted my amazing seamstress Mommy-in-law to help me out.

Plenty of yellow fabrics to choose from
Two yards for ten bucks? Yes, please!
This was my first time using a pattern
Awww yeah, POCKETS ARE MY JAM!! *but very fucking hard to sew!*
Testing out my pleats

It was tricky and took all day but I had tons of help, thanks Mommy! Also, thanks to Gorman Australia for the inspiration of the design and color we used. I am so giddy that a skirt I was going to pay $169 for, we made with our own hands for $20!! You obviously got a peek of it yesterday, but here she is again.

R A D N E S S

I know I hated on roses last week but these guys matched my skirt so well and peonies aren’t in season yet

By the way, did you notice my lavender sliver of hair?

There’s no way I was gonna bleach my chemically straightened hair, so here’s my trick.
I wanted a silvery lavender color *definitely not grape* so I used Matrix SoColor 3VR
I bought white hair extensions, sewed some hair clips on the extensions and colored it myself.

I’ll take more photos of my hair this three-day weekend!

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Want/Make/Do for our Home

Since we are almost coming up on our Eight year house anniversary and the one year anniversary of our kitchen remodel, it seems time to plan our next project.

I don’t have any major renovations happening this year. We would love to do a ton of things in the living room/dining room but we have to have our foundation repaired before we begin work in there. I am hoping to get a few cosmetic fixes done in the next few months with my piggy bank savings.

Want

New curtains in the living room. The hazards of having a cat and a toddler is having your lovely curtains ruined from their shenanigans. I loved our orange poppy curtains but they are sold out so these would make a nice replacement.

Window Treatments - Plum & Bow Sketch Floral Curtain I Urban Outfitters - gray and yellow floral curtains, gray and yellow floral drapes, gray and yellow floral draperies,
Plum & Bow Sketch Floral Curtain

Replace our old Ikea chair with this one. We bought the chair on a whim and have lived with it for the longest. It’s not particularly comfortable and the design isn’t my fave. I like the structure and color of this guy but I hope the low arms aren’t a problem. It might be too mid-century modern for our style but Antz vetoed my pink chair. We’ll see if I can squeeze this into our budget.

Madeline Chair
Madeline Chair

I think this pillow would look quite regal in our new chair. I fucking love Bill Murray!

Bill Murray - replaceface Throw Pillow
Bill Murray throw pillow

Every spring I long for new bedding. I am ready to shed our heavy winter blankets *which are very unattractive but keep us warm* I am liking this set from West Elm but the Target price looks perfect!

Threshold™ Pinched Pleat Comforter Set
Threshold Pinched Pleat Comforter Set

I think these would look great holding up Antz art books and they are on sale!

Toy Soldier bookends

Make

I am always surprised with how long we live with embarrassing things that are such easy fixes in our house. For example, *besides our terrible plumbing we lived with for seven years* our front door lace curtain. I was reluctant to get rid of it since it felt like an antique in our house. But who am I kidding, that guy was a mess! I really hoped to find lace with peacocks but that was impossible on our budget. We almost gave up since most of the lace at the fabric store looked too Grannyish for me.

The lace has seen better days
We found this lovely dot lace from the fabric store on sale for only $12
My Mom-in-law *with a broken arm* helped me hem the curtains
Voilà! I think the new curtain looks terrific



Do

Our house loves to surprise us with headache-inducing problems. For the longest our plumbing was a nightmare but now our electrical wiring is being a brat. So instead of buying a new dining table and chairs set I’ve been wanting forever, I’ll be forking over cash to have the wiring repaired. Once I get an estimate, we’ll see if I can afford my pretty new chair or not. Wheee!

I am actually glad to pay someone to glaze our bathroom tub and wall in white. It will complete the bathroom makeover and I’ll be happy to finally say “au revoir” to the dusty rose bathroom.

So Gross!

I hope to get started in March. I am so happy to say our Zillow zestimate for the value of our house has increased to $434,962! Last year it was only $350k. Only $54k more to get to what we paid in 2006. So what’s the prize for killing ourselves to pay our two mortgages, put all our pennies into improving our house and attempt to live the American dream? Our property taxes are going up!!

30 Day Photo Challenge – 10/30

I’m one third of the way finished!!

Today is a childhood memory.

Tea party

As an only child, I would spend hours playing alone in my room. I had imaginary friends and dolls that could talk. We would have tea parties and I would fake a British accent. Liv has a teapot that sings so she does the cutest dance and at the end she takes a bow. I still can’t get her out of that damn Cinderella dress and heels.

Tonight is the NELA art walk. We are so pleased that Liv is making her artist debut with her “rainbow” piece for sale at Mi Vida Boutique.

I hope you all can play along 30 Day Photo Challenge

Happy Christmas Eve!

Antz spent all day today working in Santa’s workshop building a little girl’s present. I can’t wait to see her face when she sees it tomorrow morning *it’s much to big to wrap* Since she doesn’t follow my blog yet, I think it’s safe to share a few pics here.

 

We couldn’t find a refrigerator that was under $100 with shipping so I asked Antz to use his magic and find something we could easily convert. He found the perfect cabinet the next day for $10. We bought a $7.99 set of cabinet handles from Ikea and he added some chalkboard paint and voila! A fridge for all her goodies. Tonight I’m going to add a faux window and curtain and we will let her open all the food/cooking sets tomorrow morning. I can not wait for her to see them in the morning!!

I thought it would be smart to add the tap light under the cabinets

Merry Christmas!

Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market

The Renegade Craft Fair gets better every time we go. We drove this time instead of taking the train but there was plenty of free parking. It was much more crowded than the summer one but we found everything we set out to buy. We bought Liv’s teacher’s and my Mom’s Christmas gifts. I’ll show you after I give it to her but it’s rad!

Here’s what happened. Liv wanted to wear a Dark Vader mask, so Antz and I grabbed the Batman and Transformers masks to match *not fond of that idea but wanted to keep Liv happy*
so as we waited for our turn, she begins to spazz out and when it was
our turn we finally figured out she wanted to wear the king crown
instead. The 3rd photo with our tongues out is my favorite one. We’re making angry faces in the last one but I blocked my face like a dope.

I want a DJ turntable set up in my next house

This artist does awesome hand drawing of photos
OMG Ampersand light!!!

My darling Chris, we had The Breakfast Club earlier so Story & Chris and Nic & Ale joined us at the fair

What a lovely backdrop

I love this crochet dreamcatcher
This booth is owned by one of the parents at Liv’s school. I love her diamond pillows
This is the incredible butter crunch treats booth I’ve been raving about. They are seriously delish.

Pretty scarf
It was hard to not buy all of these adorable earrings

Liv was dancing to the DJ’s jams

And this is all that’s left of the amazing butter crunch candy treats

Mmmm! Sunday was our monthly Breakfast Club. This time we went to a place called Tickle Tree Cafe in La Crescenta. It was nice, check out my orange french toast.

Aww, poor Antz face is covered by Liv’s head. Aren’t those chairs cute?

Happy Monday!

Not That Kind of Girl

https://i1.wp.com/img.gawkerassets.com/img/187mlev8fr087jpg/original.jpg?resize=400%2C225

I cannot wait to read this 66 page book by Girls neophyte Lena Dunham. She may be getting tons of haters but I get her. Have you seen Tiny Furniture? It’s on instant Netflix. Also follow her on Instagram, you’ll feel like you’ve made a new friend.

Will you believe me when I tell you how tired I am from a busy, productive and fun day I’ve had? Ikea was a success, we got Liv’s kitchen and accessories, we also met with a kitchen specialist, a lovely girl named Nicole, and created an online kitchen planner. We decided we must hire professionals to install everything except the backsplash. No matter how many HGTV shows I’ve claimed to have turned me into a professional carpenter, no one is buying it so we’ll pony up the *gulp* $800 bucks for installation. The good news is we found the perfect cabinets *perfect meaning affordable and nice to look at*. I just may get my farmhouse sink after all. We are getting our dishwasher from heaven and even some lovely open shelves for my cookbooks that have sadly been squeezed on our rolling cart, seldomly used.

We’re still on the fence about keeping the rolling cart or replacing it

It’s been years since I’ve been excited about a trip to Ikea but those Swedes have won me back. Now I need to find someone awesome to refinish our hardwood floors.

We spent our afternoon preparing for tomorrow’s Winter Solstice. Moving boxes, setting up the craft tables and listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing Christmas songs was a delight. I am feeling like a part of Liv’s school’s family. Antz is Mr. Popular showcasing his artistic talents.  As leary as I was about the Build-a-buddy craft, these samples are pretty cool.

Turtle-dog, bunny-frog, Plex with Ernie’s body and elephant-Monkey

They aren’t as creepy as I envisioned when I was decapitating Plex and Ernie. Good Night! I’ve got an early morning tomorrow, I hope my poms are a hit.

Party Planning Nightmares

Normally I’m all about parties. I love the planning process, coming up with a theme and running wild with it. I love shopping for decorations, frilly things, balloons and birthday hats yet this year’s birthday has become more of a headache than a happy happy event. Liv’s 3rd birthday *which is in June* will be the first time we are actually throwing her a party. I already miss the days where I would chose a destination and we’d book a weekend at a fun hotel, and have a small party for Liv in our hotel room *with the luxury of maid/room service* However, it’s time for Liv to have a party with all her friends and family so I began searching for an awesome venue. I kept in mind it has to be a toddler-friendly space, preferable indoors but with a lot of space for kids to run around *so parks and our backyard were out* and can accommodate about 40 guests comfortably. There are places like the dreaded Chuck E. Cheese but I wanted a place that was different and had character so I found this beauty.

Santa Monica's landmark pier, the last of the great pleasure piers is situated at the western-most end of Route 66. Games, rides, an historic carousel, shops, cafes and restaurants are plentiful in this unique setting with panoramic views of the ocean and the Santa Monica MountainsFile:Santa Monica pier edit1.jpg

The carousel was built in 1916, this space is so perfect!
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carousel-tilt-small.jpg

The Santa Monica pier carousel. I know the Santa Monica pier is a horrible tourist trap, it’s crowded and annoyingly overrated *the ferris wheel is awesome but imagine a sea of douchebags and their skanky girlfriends and their awful children*. Yet the carousel is a hidden gem that is separate from the overpriced Pacific Park amusement park. The kids get unlimited rides on the carousel and we get a spot indoors to hold the party. It’s totally within my budget and they even offer tables and chairs. It’s even in walking distance to Hot Dog on a Stick so we can have them cater the party *fancy, I know but their lemonade is the best and it’s easy to feed kids food on sticks* That’s where the rad parts ends, then come the logistics that give me a headache. The carousel space do not allow balloons *bummer, no giant balloon decor* or music, and they also have a policy that doesn’t allow anything taped to the walls but they didn’t mention ceiling so maybe we can use fishing wire to attach these pretty guys.
the pom lantern DIY kit ... large ...  fringe edition ... tissue paper lantern
So despite my decor dilemma, I always wrestle with the guest list. If I invite family, that’s 40 people right there, then our friends, not sure how much fun they would have a 3rd old’s party and Liv’s friends from preschool, but it feels wrong to only invite some kids from her class and not everyone. The carousel space only includes 30 chairs so I’d have to rent additional chairs. A big chunk of my budget has to go to pre-pay for parking which is a whopping $12 a car. I really want a photo booth backdrop but we have to make it stand alone so that’s gonna be tricky with our 30 minute setup time slot.
Photobooth backdrop
This backdrop is lovely but looks tedious to hand make, I also need to find some lighting without having to buy pro equipment.
Make and use for a DIY photo booth at the wedding??? How to Make a PVC Pipe Backdrop!
This monstrosity is huge and Antz already tried to build a stand similar to this for our pop up dinner but the sand and wind got the better of him so we scrapped it.


The one thing I am most excited about is the party theme. I won’t reveal it just now but it’s gonna be rad. The party is only 3 hours long so I’ll need to work out the logistics, games, cake and photos. I need a bunch of helpers to pull it off. Someone pass me the Excedrin! At least I have 7 months to change my mind a thousand times.