Le Dîner en Blanc Los Angeles 2013

 I woke up today thinking last night’s Le Dîner en Blanc was just a dream.
JYS-19
Photo taken by Jennifer Young

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love how rad our mustaches turned out

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

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

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

 

My photo made it in the LA Times!

 

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

LILAPALOOZA

We attended Liv’s future lycée’s annual fundraiser for their senior class prom. The students came up to us to thank us for coming and helping with their prom fund but they first asked which do we prefer, English or French? *swoon!* We got name tags that said we were future a future family so a number of people introduced themselves to us and welcomed us. Of course, the first question everyone asks is, “Do you speak French?” It pained me having to say no to all these awesome French speakers. Yet hearing the little ones speaking French as easy as English was so inspiring. We hung out with a family from her current school, who have a prospective student too. I feel so at home there, very warm and friendly people.

I am hoping she is able to attend this amazing school
Class of 2028!!
French circus in LA
All the signs were in French, so adorable!
This *unflattering* photo is the head of school, her name is Elizabeth *it’s a sign, right?* and she is the smartest woman I’ve ever met.
I LOVE this Mexican dress from Godmommy *crossing this off on my Summer Bucket List*

I was blown away by the event. There were bands performing in French, a petting zoo, food and tons of wine and the bubbles were a big hit…

Honestly, I was a bit bummed adults couldn’t do it too *although I’m not sure I would have fit inside*
Rouleaux de Spheres Humaines which Google translates to Rolls Human Spheres!
We weren’t sure she would go inside the bubble, she kept saying, “My dress will get wet.”
This little one was fascinated by the bubble
At first she was apprehensive
Liv had so much fun, it was worth the hour long wait.
mon chat mignon
This lovely lady in red is Jenny Eloise. I had to meet her when she caught me snapping a photo of her. She told me she needed to pose for a proper photo, si fabuleux! She performed before we arrived but I know I’ll see rad Jenny again one day soon.
She was grumpy since we were leaving

I’m so glad my Mom was able to check out Liv’s future school. She loves it and we can’t wait until Olivia is speaking French. I really need to step my French up, Olivia will need someone to speak to when she’s at home, oui?

Welcome 2013

I have my eye on the prize this year. No more setbacks, I’m staying focused and making my dreams turn into reality! These aren’t my resolutions, more like a go-to list of things I will accomplish over time.

Get Liv signed with a reputable talent agency

Even if I have to send her photos every month, I’m getting her an agent!

Buy this book *from reading this article*

Welcome to Your Child's Brain

Redesign my blog

Spring – Kitchen Remodel

We love the style of this kitchen and it has a similar layout to ours. I’m going to make a Roman shade like that one

Be more active

I’m pretty sure this was the last time I “worked out” in 2009!

Save money

*for my 30th birthday Antz gave me a $1000 bouquet*

Throw an amazing 3rd birthday for Liv *without blowing my budget*

Santa Monica carousel is out, too far, too expensive and too many issues. Scouting new possible venues this month.

Practice French more

I’ve surprisingly been memorizing more words using an app on my ipad

Get rid *donate, sell or trash* of 25% of my belongings

My closet is at maximum capacity. 2012 was the year of the cute bag. This year I’m going to step up my dress/skirt game.

Go to Paris in 2014

Paris great view on eifel tower

A Bientot!

Olivia’s Lycée *that’s school for you Americans*

Yesterday Antz and I went to the Head of school presentation for her French dream school. I felt like an empty glass being poured with inspiration lemonade. Wait…that was a weird analogy, well I was super inspired. The head of school, Elizabeth, is brilliant. She wasn’t selling me on the school, she sold me on Liv’s education, her development, and her future. I was ready to enroll her that day but I have to hold my horses. The school starts enrollment a year before kindergarten but I’m pretty sure we won’t enroll her there that early. I really love her current preschool so we’re applying this year for kindergarten 2015. When we were there we saw a few parents from Liv’s preschool, but their kids are 2 years older than Liv. We spoke to the admissions director and she told us the earlier we register, the greater our chances of getting accepted. One downfall is many of the parents are French, which is a huge advantage to those students however Elizabeth reassured us that it will not affect Liv’s fluency. All the students are taught at the same learning degree and it’s an immersion curriculum, so don’t think of it like your 9th grade French class. I am so excited! This school has everything I imaged for Olivia. The campus is gorgeous, it feels like a boarding school on 6 acres. All my worry about not speaking French was for nothing, the school has an online program that parents utilize along with their kids for learning French. I was concerned with the International Baccalaureate program and heavy academic curriculum,  Liv would end up with 6 hours of studying in 2nd grade. One of the parents asked if the school was fun. Elizabeth told us, the students never have more than an hour of homework starting in 6th grade because they spend so much time studying in class, they just use home for reading or research for the following day. The school has a strong philosophy of balancing school, home and extra curricular activities. This school is pretty identical to Rushmore. I can imagine Olivia wearing a beret and founding the Beekeepers society.

Later that day we went to Kaia’s Royalty 3rd Birthday Party. Liv went as a fair maid.

 

Princess Posers *Liv on her cell is hilarious!*
Princess “Di” Mia
Birthday girl and her BFF Bianca
Liv somehow mistook Princess with Warrior and went to town with this sword
Bianca was so cute, sweeping like Cinderella

Pin the heart on the Princess crown
Liv spent most of the party playing with Kaia’s vanity. She LOVES playing makeup
Antz drew caricatures of everyone.
Liv’s magnificent fro

We had a wonderful weekend. Did you catch Louis CK on SNL? Best sketch ever!!

New Year’s Resolutions 2012

Ah, it’s that time again. I feel like I just wrote my list of last year’s resolutions. Before I delve into my new list, I would like to look back on how well I did in the ’11.

NYE in Vegas 2005

Diet & Exercise *the one everyone says they’ll do yet give up by February*

I can’t say I’m where I want to be weight-wise or nutrition but I am improving. I am surprised by how many new foods I gave a chance this year. I am still a food brat but at least I’ve changed my status from food snob. Antz and I will be spending more time outdoors and eating less junk but don’t expect to see me in a gym anytime soon.

Save like my life is depending on it

This one is tricky, we are saving in a solid way…buuuut, most of it is for Liv’s pre-school tuition so it will be dwindling once we pay in March. I did manage to save by paying off some plastic *see below* but Antz car repairs took a bite out of it. Good news is, we have a whole $80 from Etsy profits in savings for our trip to Paris! Let me quote my wise Mum “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time

Get off the Plastic *Credit Card Debt*

We started off in a major way, paid off $10k in cold, hard cash from our tax refund but then we hit a bump in the late summer when we had an unexpected plumbing emergency. Then my Dell had a fatal heart attack and I had to get my Mac Air so I can’t say we have a $0 balance like I wanted *Boo* Although, I did pay off our Lowes card and closed the account. I also paid off another card but I’m keeping that guy open since it’s our oldest card and I don’t want our Fico score to drop *learned that from Suze Orman* so we’re definitely looking better than last year. I know I can do it with some discipline.



Stop Procrastinating *yeah, right*

I think this is the biggest improvement I made in the past year. I stepped up my get-shit-done-ness in a major way. I crossed off a few things on my Life List and believe it or not, on Christmas day Antz, Aimee and I were at Starbucks drive-thru and I paid for the car behind mine *YAY* I learned how to sew like a BOSS

I became a Martha Stewart protégé, craftin’ and bakin’! I wasn’t late to appointments that often and I gave thoughtful gifts from the heart with wrapping paper I could feel proud of.

Made from the lovely paper and Lucky cat stamp from the FABulous Yard Sale

Home Improvement Projects

Another gold star for Lizzie! We have done more to the house in the last 2 years than in the entire 5 years we’ve owned this place. Replaced our *100 year old* water heater, remodeled the bathroom and soon we’ll reveal our bedroom makeover. We are planning on installing a brand new Ikea kitchen in 2013 but we have to get our plumbing updated first. If we keep this up, we might actually acquire some equity in this joint.

Learn French

Merde, I cannot seem to learn this language. I took a Conversational French class with 2 of my friends over the summer and although I did enjoy learning how to say my name and which day it was but I didn’t pick up enough to carry a decent conversation. I mentioned in my previous post that I bought some new software and here is it.

It’s not the Rosetta Stone I wanted but this is an affordable version and I can use it on my ipad. I must practice more often and attempt to speak French on a daily basis. Wish me Bonne Chance!
So on to my New Year’s Resolutions 2012 *just in case the Mayans are wrong*

I’m pretty much keeping last year’s list for obvious reasons but I would like to add one important item that has been grossly overlooked for the past 9 years.
TRAVEL/Go to more Shows

I’m not talking about a road trip to San Diego or a few days in Vegas. I would LOVE to go to Hawaii for our 10 year anniversary *of course you know this cause I won’t stop talking about it* I want to use my passport and take a plane ride *our last trip on a plane was in 2008 for Antz nephew’s wedding in Sacramento* I also want to work on my list of bands I want need to see. I definitely missed out on some great shows last year *Robyn at the Hollywood Bowl, Jon Brion & Fiona Apple at the Largo* I need to step my shows game up next year. I have a strong case of Wanderlust yet I have so many other goals to achieve so it’s difficult to just book a trip willy, nilly. I am trying to find balance with paying off debt, saving, and wanting to improve this house all while wanting to travel. I suppose I can patiently wait until 2014 for Paris.

Bands to See in 2012

Björk *this is a given as soon as she announces her tour dates but I want to see her somewhere I haven’t been before*

Coachella Music Festival *this is killing 2 birds with 1 stone, so many incredible bands I would be able to see here*

Tom Waits *Oh it would be heaven to see him at Coachella!!!*

Belle & Sebastian

Blonde Redhead

Portishead

Daft Punk

April March *this is tricky, she hasn’t toured in awhile*

CSS

Brazilian Girls

Devendra Banhart

Cornelius

Beach House

Cat Power

Arcade Fire

Oh Land

Pomplamoose

Well, one more day until I share my surprise. I am so looking forward to it! Anyone else working on their resolutions?

Auld Lang Syne y’all!

Enchanted by Paris

I had a serious case of insomnia last night but I happily passed the time putting together my dream itinerary for our Paris holiday in 3 years. Wishful thinking, I know but I love having something to look forward to. As it stands, unless we win the lottery, we’ll be spending our 10 year anniversary next August right here in sunny California. Hawaii sounds wonderful but it’s expensive! I do prefer Europe to tropical locations, not that the beach isn’t amazing but Antz isn’t a strong swimmer and Liv will be too small for so many beach activities. Besides, it would ROCK if we can take Olivia to Paris before she begins her French school *wouldn’t hurt her enrollment application either*. Paris is the most beautiful, loveliest city on Earth. I am tearing my hair out  trying to condense so much in only 4 and a half days. When we went in 2003, we had crappy old cameras and didn’t hardly take any pictures. My dream is to hire this ah-mazing French photographer Paulina Darley for a photo shoot with this incredible balloon.

*Geronimo Balloon Troopers*
 

Do you understand the immense cuteness of these balloons? Want to hear something else ridiculous? They cost $95 – $125 EACH! Yeah, that part blows. I also need to come up with a strategy for how I will find a place in Paris to fill this massive balloon with helium *it’s not like they have a Party City on every block* If I can find where they sell these large latex balloons, I know we can make our own but Geronimo balloon troopers are truly amazing!

Then there’s booking Pauline, firstly I have no idea if she even speaks English. Now when I mentioned that I wanted a professional photo shoot in Paris to Antz he said with a completely straight face “So do you want to fly Sarah to Paris with us?” In my deranged mind I was like Hells Yeah! But she has 3 kiddies and a hubby so I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t happen *like I could afford to send her anyway, I can barely scrape our vacation together* I found a photographer who lives in Paris and I have been a fan of her work for a while now. You may not remember how I was fawning out how gorge this model is on my birthday.

*Pauline Darley*

I first saw her on Black Eiffel and then again she popped up on Pinterest. I had to find out more about this photographer…well I didn’t get very far. Her site is completely in French, Drats! I sent an email over to Rachel from Black Eiffel since she had a shoot with Pauline when she was in Paris

*Black Eiffel*

This is exactly what I want, more of a photojournalistic approach rather than a traditional shoot. I want her to observe us on our vacation. Paris is the ultimate backdrop, we could go anywhere and make an incredible shoot but I’m torn between 2 locations. Of course the Eiffel Tower is my top choice. Last time we were in Paris this is the only photo I have of us at the Eiffel Tower and let’s just say I am not pleased with the outcome

You would never know we were standing at the top of the tower if I didn’t tell you. I am still kicking myself for not thinking to take the iconic picture of leaning on the tower. D’oh! I also want to know how I missed the fantastic carousel?

*Oh Happy Day*
 Last night I discovered this amusement park Jardin d’acclimatation that has the old world charm only Paris has. I mean look
*Yahoo Images*
I cannot wait to take Olivia here, so dreamy. So I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to book Pauline *and afford her rates* which leads me to my next dilemma. There is a W hotel opening in Paris next year. I really, really want to stay there BUT…it’s really expensive *the Euro exchange rate isn’t helping either* and Antz logic is sinking in. Why spend a third of our vacation budget on a hotel when you can find a cheaper place and spend that money on souvenirs and having fun. It’s true the first time we took budget travel to an entirely new level. Our hotel cost use $500 for 5 days total, which we split with Aimee. Now the W Paris is $535 Euro PER NIGHT!! I was working for JetBlue so I was able to get our airline tickets for $50 each! That is what’s killing me the most, how pricey airfare has become. We are used to Antz job paying for our flight and hotel so having to shovel out almost $3500 to sit in coach stings my heart. The real burn is when we last went we were bumped up to business class on Virgin Atlantic so I swore then I would never, ever fly coach internationally again. *sadface* I just may be eating my words because last I checked Virgin’s business class flights to London Heathrow *they don’t have flights to CDG* happens to be $5,000…EACH! I don’t have a clue how these folks just one day decide to move to a foreign country. I know if the opportunity presented itself I would jump DIVE down it’s throat.
So now I need to save more aggressively, yet stay focused on saving for our Dream House…on top of saving for Olivia’s tuition. Holy Cow! I am going to lose my mind. I felt so much easier when I was in my twenties to travel on a whelm. We didn’t have a mortgage or had to pay $250 every month for plumbing *yeah the same pipe we repaired this summer broke, again*
FUCKING TERRIFIC!
Now I must be off, we sold 2 chalkboard signs last night so I need to get to the post office before it closes.
Can you believe this kid is 16 months old?? I can’t!!
Au Revoir Beau!!

Jour de Bastille heureux

Yep, it’s the long-awaited Bastille Day. Not that I know anything about it except it’s like the French’s 4th of July so Vivre le France!! My friend Mia is celebrating her birthday in Paris and I am bright green with envy.

Today Aimee is coming over and we are going to put together her birthday/housewarming party playlist. I finally figured out how to use Windows Movie maker and I put together Liv’s weeklies.

Tuesday we started World Citizen Class for the summer session. There are only a few people from her old class but they were shocked at how much Liv has grown. She was the youngest in her old class but now she’s rolling with the big kids.

I love that class!

Liv the Patriot

 

With the 4th coming up soon I came across these rad building blocks with all 44 presidents on them at Uncommon Goods. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s important to me that Liv learns about our presidents as well as geography. The almost $100 price tag is a bummer *finger crossed they’ll go on sale*. I have been playing with her interactive map of the US but the pieces are small and she is more interested in chewing them than putting them where they should go. I’m sure in another year or so she’ll grasp the puzzle concept.

Yesterday I started my French class with Leslie & Connie. It was trés magnifique!! The teacher was really nice and awesome *she speaks French so beautifully* We did some basic stuff like learning the alphabet, spelled our names and introduced ourselves in French. I am pretty sure I’ll pick up more words and get the correct pronunciation. This class is a thousand times better than the one I took at Pasadena City College. The best part is I have Connie and Leslie to practice parlez-vous’ing with.
I just bought tickets for Classical Nights at the Hollywood Bowl for July and Antz is taking Friday off so we can go to the beach. I’ll  be crossing off #1 & #2 on my Summer Fun List!

Ah Gay Puree

Ten points if you get that reference. My mind is flooded with thoughts of being in Paris. It doesn’t help that my friend Mia is spending her birthday with her family in Paris and I’m taking a French class with Leslie at the end of this month. I already planned to take Liv to Paris in 2013 but that was before I decided that I wanted to buy a new house and I calculated the tuition for Olivia’s Preschool *which I was shocked to discover they are a year round school, hence no summers off, which means 3 extra months of tuition* Long story short, my priorities have changed, so my budget too must change. We could make it happen in 2014 if I save strictly *snort, we’ll see* I got an email from Daily Candy about Paris yesterday. Daily Candy always seems to know what’s on my mind, I get emails from them precisely at the time I am thinking of it.

Anywho…here’s what they sent me…

Visit Paris

Which after some navigation, led me to this

Le Petit Paradis de Paris

Now, first I was firmly set on staying at the W Paris – Opéra *to fill my Life List quota #18* but the bad news is the W is ridiculously expensive and then you add on the Euro conversion and it’s over 2 grand! Now this Petit Paradis *The Studio Flat* is looking like a winner. What is more FABulous than staying at an authentic Parisian flat overlooking Notre Dame?

 

The pros are outweighing the cons. Perfect location, the price is half of the W, without those pesky hidden hotel fees, parking *if we rent a car* internet, tips. The flat has a mini kitchen so we could prepare Liv’s food. The only con is…it’s not the W!
Here’s some other things I’ve been daydreaming about for our Parisian holiday:
Buy macarons at Pierre Herme
Saint Ouen Flea Market *how would I bring home all my lovely stuff?*
Eat a ton of delish goodies at the Rose Bakery
Skip rocks Amelie style at the Saint Martin Canal
And drool over this amazing shop
So fucking rad!!
The only thing that sucks is there is no Anthropologie in France. There are a couple in London. Hopefully they’ll open one by 2014?
Bonne Nuit Lovelies!!

New Perspectives

I am feeling a bit down in the dumps because A. I’m disappointed we couldn’t go hiking this past Sunday and B. I weighed myself on Wii fit today *after what I thought was a kickass workout* and I’ve gained .9 lbs!! Of course January is the month of nonstop Weight Watchers and fitness center commercials and somehow my DVR is conspiring against me by mistakenly recording an episode of I Used to be Fat. Well, I still am and I must do something about it. I am usually not so wrapped up in my weight, calorie counting or exercise but I have a new perspective, Olivia. Like it or not, I am her role model. What I eat, how I behave and my image will one day become mimicked by Liv. As confident as I may feel inside *I’m fabulous and I own it*, I don’t want to continue poor nutrition and lack of fitness habits that Liv may one day pick up. I am so thrilled she is loving her veggies but now she is staring me down while I eat ice cream or chips with a look of astonishment. Can I please vote for being pregnant for 2 years?? I actually lost weight *I know, I’m a freak of nature* whilst I was preggers. You could see in my face *only 1 1/2 chins* and my back how much slimmer I was 7 months ago. I was eating whatever I wanted and noone was looking at me with disgust. People opened doors for me with a smile and the clothes….heavenly, maxi dresses, loose tunics, leggings everyday. Now when I wear a maxi dress it looks like I’m modeling a tent. I adore having Olivia here but I miss those carefree eat/nap all day preggers days. Not to miss the point, I have a new perspective, start buying food with the same care and thoughtfulness as I do our daughter. I wouldn’t give her anything non-organic or fresh, so why not us? I think juice will rot her *non existent teeth* yet I’ll consume gallons of CranGrape and lemonade *the yummiest nectar on the planet* I am no longer going to be a contradiction. I hated when my own Mother gave me the “Do as I say, not as I do” creed, so I’ll have to change my act before Liv gets any older. I want to be successful not for vanity, but I want to practice what I preach. When I bought the Beaba Babycook, everyone asked me if I would be eating the same veggies I prepare for Liv. I told them no way, GROSS. Now I get it! *Light bulb flashes over my head* I definitely want to set an example for my kid but I’m not gonna lie, I don’t want to live the rest of my life avoiding fast food or having to bring my own snacks to a party *that is mega weird* That’s why Weight Watchers and diets don’t appeal to me. I want to enjoy food not stress over it. I want to be spontaneous, not have to eat the same boring salad everyday at noon. Well, the only reasonable answer I could come up with is to try to find balance. Eat what I like but less of it. As I mentioned in my resolutions, no ordering large servings. Only drink water during the week *both has been pretty easy to abide by*, no more late night meals and snacking, and eat more veggies!! I really enjoyed working out with the Wii fit today *until I weighed myself* so to avoid discouragement, I will only weigh myself once a week. I am excited to start going to volleyball again and I know when I start seeing Gilli *when Antz Mom returns from Mexico* she’ll get my body readjusted. I am actually glad I am surrounded by all this weight loss propaganda, it’s quite the motivator! I even found my muse, this chick is fucking rad and I want to be her….

 

Good news is we may have a wedding to attend in September and it would be pretty rad to fit nicely into this little number by then, the dress happens to be on sale too.

While I’m at it, this head piece by Band.o is looking pretty sweet

 

I love a simple, chic chignon!!
I forgot to mention, I practiced French today and I actually retained a few phrases. I can say Check Please, I am allergic to and excuse me excellently. I still want to buy that Rosetta Stone from Craigslist, s’vous plait!!