Our House Tour on Apartment Therapy

Hi There,

During the last few years we have done quite a lot of work to our house. I tried to photograph how beautiful everything turned out but I couldn’t capture it the way a professional could. I visited my friend Samantha’s lovely house and she told me her friend Marisa Vitale was a photographer and I should reach out to her. I was hoping to hire Marisa to photograph our house (since we are leaving it for a year) when she said she wanted to shoot it for Apartment Therapy!! I have been a fan of AT for years but I never thought our house was sophisticated enough to be featured. We had to fill out a questionnaire and one of the questions was “How do you describe your design style?” This was the hardest for me to answer because all that came to mind is “This is the home of a thirteen year old girl after she saw Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette!” I somehow managed to come up with a more adult answer but I cannot grasp how far we have come with this little house of ours. I went through phases of loving our house, completely hating it (mostly due to horrible neighbors across the street and bad water pressure) and then falling head over heels in love again. The bright and colorful way Marisa captured our home makes me so happy. I wish I could share all 206 photos with you because they are all my favorites but I will narrow them down best I can. Thank you Sam for connecting me with Marisa! Thank you Marisa for being so kind, talented and fun to hang with. Thank you Apartment Therapy for showcasing all our hard work and sacrifice to the world. I am honored to have our home among many other interiors I admire. Yay, here is our 1923 California bungalow home…

These are some of the outtakes of our family photos. How am I wearing heels and Antz is still taller than me? This one is my fave of the bunch.


Apartment Therapy used this one, which has my signature look at the sky weird thing I do and Liv almost has her eyes closed. It definitely represents us best.


In the living room there was much debate over which slipcover to put on the couch. We both agreed the blue slipcover was too much color and the white would make the pillows and our throw pop.



Our lovely Rifle & Paper Co Marie Antoinette portrait never gets shown because I rarely photograph that part of the room.

Physiognomy by Mark Seliger was one of the first “grown up” books I ever purchased about 12 years ago. I finally have cool coffee table books displayed on my coffee table!

I’m super stoked about our new lady llama! Antz first saw her at Dotter on York Ave and I knew she would be perfect for an empty space on our wall. Everything came together perfectly.


We had the prints made from Artifact Uprising.


Don’t you think llamas are the new elephants?

It’s hard to show a good shelfie because the couch is in the way but at least you can see our new plant from Folia Collective. We were in Pasadena one night getting ice cream when we found this cute, tiny plant shop. I almost didn’t go in because it look terribly expensive but I was surprised. The most expensive plant in the store was $38! We got called out in the comments of our house tour for the sad looking fiddle fig on our porch but little do they know how long we lived with zero plants in our house.

I wish I took photos inside but the shop is super tiny and there were so many customers.


We bought seven new plants for the house and guess what guys? They are still green and alive months later!!

Now let’s talk about that gorgeous bouquet! I knew I wanted something extra special for that vase. It’s very wide so I knew it had to be substantial. I have always admired IrisBarryBlooms on Instagram so this was the perfect occasion to have something customized for our home. My only request was very colorful and fun, and Michelle is the sweetest. She exceeded my expectations and really nailed our color palette. Thank you so much for creating this showstopper! Check out her website here.


That’s right, we have a dining room, library, music room and office all in this one space! #smallhousesolutions Olivia’s piano teacher (our awesome next door neighbor Lisa) uses cute stickers to help Liv remember her finger placement.

And just to the right, we have our bar. Our old bar was a clunky DIY. I’m telling you, house design is mostly trial and error. We lived with the same furniture for so long, we had no idea we could find something functional, affordable and pretty.

c. our living room

This is the same space full of Earthy tones back in 2009! Why were sticks in a vase a trend?


Now into the kitchen. I love that after five years it still looks modern and fresh. We haven’t changed much in there except a new set of pots and pans I got on sale for Christmas. In the future, I may change out the white subway tile backsplash into something more colorful.


If I could have one dream item, I would love a La Chanche range in Rose Quartz. They are French and so fancy I would be embarrassed to cook my Top Ramen noodles on it. Sadly, they cost as much as a small car.


New plant and macramé holder alert!


I don’t think I have shown our hallway/art gallery on my blog before. I have no idea how to photograph such a narrow and dark space but Marisa used her tripod and got it all.


I am super sad we aren’t taking any of his artwork to Paris with us. However, they are too big to pack and I wouldn’t want to risk them getting damaged in our luggage. I already loaned the giant portrait of Olivia to my Mom to keep at her house (I hope I get it back!)


Did I mention we had our bedroom painted during the October break? Antz and I were going to paint it ourselves but laziness and procrastination set in so we hired FIVE dudes to paint this little room! Really, we hired one handyman but he showed up with all these guys. Oh! Next time a dude at the paint store tries to sell you the fancy “one coat” premium paint, don’t fall for it. We were told one gallon would cover the green and the trim in this room but ended having to buy 4 gallons (which meant 3 more trips to the hardware store and $200 more dollars). As fun and colorful as the old bedroom looked, I think it made the space feel cluttered and I wanted to create a more streamlined look for the small space.

It took me awhile to adjust to the all-white room. I love white, it’s my favorite color to wear but it felt so cold and sterile before we added the artwork and accessories. I wish we had the budget for a new ceiling fan but we couldn’t find anything we liked and we didn’t want to pay an electrician.




I have never connected with an artist (other than Antz) that gets me like Carissa Potter Carlson. I have been super stressed about our move to Paris that this Things Will Work Out print has been my daily mantra.

Those striped brogues have been in my closet for months because they are so pretty I don’t dare wear them outside. Well, last week I finally gave in and wore them to our visa appointment for good luck. I’ll let you know how it went in my next post!


Liv’s room was the only room we only needed to straightening up. Once a month I attempt to get rid of stuff she has outgrown or no longer plays with (she’s currently in a Nintendo Switch and iPad phase) however, she swears she still plays with everything so I haven’t made much progress. Next week she is going to a sleepover and most of her toys are going into storage to make room for whoever ends up in our house.


I don’t think I’ll ever take down her baby mobile her Dad made before she was born.


I am grateful that I have these photos to remember her little girl room before her next tween remodel. I’m curious to what color she’ll choose next. I’m kinda over the pink.

Lastly our newly renovated bathroom. The least loved room in the house is now the most loved. I can’t stop staring at this stunning artwork Antz painted for me while we were visiting my Mom. I am the luckiest girl in the world to be married to this talented guy!


I bought that basket from Anthropologie to use as a hamper for our wet towels but Antz said it would make a nice planter for our new guy. He fit in perfectly.



I love her so much!!

So that’s our house tour. I am kicking myself because we spent all day with lovely Marisa and the only photo I took of her was while she was working. Marisa, thank you so much! I owe you a big hug and all our gratitude.





Au revoir!

Trejo’s Tacos

A new taco spot opened a few blocks from Olivia’s ballet class called Trejo’s Tacos. You may know Señor Danny Trejo as Machete or From Dusk Till Dawn but have you seen him as a chef? Me neither!

Danny Trejos tacos

Antz and I had lunch there this Sunday while Liv was at her ballet class. It was crowded but  I’m sure it wasn’t as busy as it usually is. They have valet parking available but we found street parking. Danny’s sweet face was everywhere.


I love the outdoor open seating but don’t worry if it’s chilly, there are built-in heat lamps in the umbrellas.

Since the restaurant just opened that week, they were offering a limited menu and that meant no custom orders, so I had to deal with onions in my food (bleh, I am not a fan of raw onions!) However, I loved the fresh made guacamole with crushed pistachios as our appetizer. I also enjoyed the refreshing watermelon fresca.



The line was long but moved quickly. You pay for your order and then find a seat. I have gotten used to family-style seating but picnic benches drive me nuts because I always hit my knees sitting down. (Oh how the tall suffer)


We each had the fried jidori chicken lettuce wraps with chipotle cream and the beef brisket tacos. Both were excellent, full of flavor although I liked the fried jidori chicken best. We had to rush our meal since we only had an hour but we will definitely return for a longer visit and try new dishes. My biggest disappointment was I didn’t get to meet the man, Danny, himself. Proximo dia!


Trejo’s Tacos
Mon thru Sun 11 am – 4 pm
1048 S La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90019


Before I go, I must profess my love for my new, rad skirt! I bought it from an African boutique and I adore it. I have wanted an African print outfit for years but I never found the right pattern. What drew me to it was the vibrant yellow and I was stoked to find it had pockets!! You know pockets are my fave. The best part is the length. I have yet to find a maxi skirt that was long enough and this guy practically drags on the ground. I love that I can dress it down with a simple top and sneakers. I hopped out of the car for this pic on the drive home because I was feeling SUPER that day.

A bientôt!

Cirque du Soleil Kurios

Last April I bought tickets for the Christmas Eve performance of Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios. Antz and I have been to three Cirque du Soleil shows (we saw O during our honeymoon in 2002,  with our friends in 2005 and our first show back in 1997, Quidam) So we are huge fans of the productions. I was so excited that the theme was steampunk. I love all things turn of the Century; the fancy attire, creepy freak shows and Victorian gadgets. I managed to get pretty awesome seats four rows back on the left side of the stage. However, I made the biggest goof ever and for some dumb reason I set the time of the show in my iPhone for 1:30 pm.

We left the house around 12:45 since it was at Dodger Stadium which is about 15 minutes from our house, plus I know a shortcut so we got to the gate in 10 minutes. The gate we arrived at was closed so we had to drive all the way to Echo Park for the Sunset entrance, I was a little concerned since it was only 1pm and hardly anyone was at the gate. I kept telling Antz, we are so early we beat the crowds. Then we got to the show and it was completely empty, ok, weird but we strolled around taking our time. All the people working at the doors were commenting on how cute Liv was dressed. Then we showed our tickets to the security guard and he told us the doors were locked, the show started at 1:00pm.

My heart dropped! I have never been late to a show before and I had tears in my eyes. I had been anticipating the show since April and it was already 1:09! The guard tried to reassure us all we missed were the characters walking down the aisles to the stage but they couldn’t allow us in until they got to the stage for safety reasons. LAME! I couldn’t even make eye contact with Antz. The 10 minutes we missed are a mystery but the ladies sitting behind us told me we only missed them walking in.

I learned a huge lesson (from now on I’m always giving myself an extra half an hour for arrival!) However, the show was, I can’t seem to think of the right word to describe it…mesmerizing? Magical? Breath-taking! The entire time I had knots in my stomach from them the death-defying stunts. I was like, these fools are going to fall and die and I will see it and be traumatized for life. Kurios was incredible and insane. Of all the Cirque du Soleil performances we’ve seen, this one was by far the best! The band was my favorite. They reminded me of a mix of Pink Martini and Squirrel Nut Zippers. The costumes! Brilliant doesn’t describe them enough. The show felt like I walked into Terry Gilliam and Guillermo del Toro‘s dreams. I apologize for the quality of these photos. Although I’m sure I missed the announcements about no photography during the show, I couldn’t resist taking some. I didn’t want to disturb anyone so I set my phone to the lowest brightness and discretely snapped photos without looking at the screen. I’m kind of an expert of getting shots while covering my screen.


This lovely little lady, Mini Lili stole my heart. I am obsessed with her! Here is ten fascinating facts about the show.


This guy was like, oh I’m going to balance on top of a round cylinder and plastic buckets but wait…next I’ll stack it taller than I am and swing twenty feet in the air!


These fish guys were ridiculous. This is why I was sick during the show, the trampoline was right in front of us so when they jumped it looked like they were going to land on top of us. Just looking at the performer landing in the trampoline just inches from the floor stressed me out (but in a good way). Our hands were sore from clapping. Bravo you magnificent nuts!


During the intermission I bought this beautiful hardcover Kurios souvenir book. Aside from the stunning photography, it’s both in English and French! I would pay extra if they allowed me to photograph the show with my Nikon but I understand it’s too disruptive also it’s better to just enjoy the show.


This is one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve received and is a great start to our year without plastic. I hope to take Liv to see the Cirque du Soleil Michael Jackson tribute One next year.

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?


To celebrate big Liv’s television job, we took her to California Adventure.

We absolutely LOVED Radiator Springs Racers, hands down the best ride in the park.

We celebrated Valentine’s day at LA Cake Club.


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


After nearly two years of waiting, Highland Park turned a deserted gas station into awesome York Park. We attended the opening event.

March was MAJOR. My best friend Aimee fulfilled a lifelong dream of going to makeup school in Paris. She begged me to come visit her but Antz and I both knew we couldn’t afford it. Then Antz did a quick freelance job and told me to go ahead and buy my plane ticket for my birthday present. I was so excited but I decided to surprise Aimee and just show up. We Face-timed each other almost everyday and she would tell me how much she wished I was there with her. It was the hardest secret I ever kept.

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!


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!


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


We had the world’s best crepes made by our friend Monsieur Alain at my favorite farmers market! You must visit him for lunch if you are in the 3rd.

Aimee crepe
Aimee’s crepe was as big as her head!


I spent hours walking around the city alone. I felt so independent and comfortable. Paris was beginning to feel like home to me. Je voulais y vivre!

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


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

IMG_4793IMG_4872I fucking love this girl!


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.


I woke up to find this waiting for me on my anniversaire. Aimee ordered my favorite ice cream cake for me before she left for her trip. Antz kept it in the freezer for me.



The week in Paris with Aimee was magnificent. I was able to spend time in Paris alone and I fell in love with the city all over again. I am counting the hours until I return. As much fun as we had, I missed Liv and Antz terribly!

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!


Liv started swimming lessons. I love that tummy!


On weekends we like to drive in random directions until we figure out what we want to do. Balboa Island is always a fun day trip.We took a boat cruise along Newport Beach harbor and of course ate corn dogs and cotton candy.


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


I was feeling down in the dumps about missing Paris so Antz had a fun idea to make a scavenger hunt for us to complete in one day. We started the hunt in Chinatown.

DSC_0021IMG_5478IMG_5477DSC_0019.jpgIMG_5533Finding a meter with three hours still on it counts as finding free money!

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


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


The fifth item on our list was actually the last thing we ending up finishing and the hardest to figure out. I started the day welcoming the challenge of trying a new food. However when we looked at Russian, Ethiopian, and Moroccan I lost my nerve. Then I realized Wurstküche had food we have never tired and I wasn’t so afraid of rattlesnake in sausage form. Washing it down with Belgian fries and beer helped!


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


My friend Christina always posts the coolest photos on her Instagram. When I saw her photos from a velvet art gallery, I had to check it out. Lucky for us, it was located in Chinatown and helped us check off #9.


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


Bets were against us we would find a live chicken by the end of the day. I can’t wait for our next Scavenger Adventure.

In May, Liv got her first pair of roller-skates so of course we had to teach her how to roller boogie for a family fun Friday at Moonlight Rollerway in 80’s fashion!

Liv’s last Pre K field trip was a two day camping trip in the woods.

Before the end of school Grandma Bobbye was invited to Liv’s school for a music performance for her class. Everyone loved seeing Liv and her Grammy play together, they were a hit!


May was a busy month, Liv performed in her first ballet recital.

Just as Pre-K was wrapping up, Liv’s fifth birthday was approaching. She spent all her previous birthdays traveling, so this year she wanted a party with all her friends. I had to negotiate with her to allow us to choose the party theme (so I wouldn’t lose my sanity with another Frozen party!) I found Alice’s Traveling Tea Party, Antz and I created some party favors and hired my talented friend Jennifer to work her magic behind the camera and a very merry unbirthday it was!

I picked up a cake from Porto’s bakery and added an Alice in Wonderland Pop vinyl toy.

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


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


We bought her a Linus bike for her birthday present. Since she’s such a giant for her age, we had to test out the height just to be sure she fit.


We were so lucky to bond with everyone in our rad Pre-K class this year. Liv had amazing teachers which I know will have a lasting impact on her life. I asked them to sign her Oh! The Places You’ll Go book.


The whole class got together for a last Pre-K class wine tasting picnic at Barnsdall Park. At Liv’s school the students are switched around every year so we didn’t know who would be in her Kindergarten class in the fall.


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


Summer began with an exciting visit by President Barack Obama! He visited Highland Park to be interviewed by local resident, Marc Maron for his WTF?! Podcast. Liv was interviewed on the news about the historic event.


Liv got a sneak peek of the summer hit movie Inside Out.

Liv had her annual pediatrician and dentist visits. She loves seeing Dr. Wang and Dr. Chess but fortunately they don’t see her often as she would like.


I helped my friend, Jihan, run the pom pom booth at her stellar DIY Camp.


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


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


I discovered my new favorite brunch spot, Dinette in Echo Park. Their avocado toast is superb! This is now my go-to Sunday morning routine.

To celebrate the 4th of July, we made red, white and blue shortcakes.


Aimee and I celebrated Bastille day with our French club and I finally tried delicious beef bourguignon. Vive la France!!

Olivia is now a ComicCon veteran. This year we booked a hotel so we didn’t have to drive back in the same day and we could space out the convention over two days. It was so much easier being able to walk from the hotel and take turns hanging out in the room.

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.


Our favorite niece and nephew visited from New York. We laugh so hard we cry when they are around!

We took our annual trip to the beach. Liv made some new friends, Antz built the entire city of King’s Landing in the sand and I ended up getting the worst sunburn of my life! **I tried Honest sunscreen instead of my usual Neutragena 🙁

Antz entered a few pieces in a charity art show to raise money for North Central animal shelter. So many of our friends were a part of the show and his adorable lions sold right away.


We checked out the new Churro place in Los Feliz. They make churro ice cream sandwiches!

My lovely bestie turned forty (like pratically everyone I know did this year!) so we stuffed her with oysters. I discovered the most incredible clam chowder in LA!

My nickname for Antz is Macgyver because he can take common items and create magic. When I told Liv it was Harry Potter’s birthday, of course she wanted to dress up as a Hogwarts student. Antz safety pinned a patch to her blazer, I loaned her my faux spectacles and we gave her a chopstick for a wand. Now that she’s started reading on her own, I bought her this updated version of the novel.

I bought this adorable Hugo Loves Tiki romper for Liv so I had to buy some balloons and have an impromptu photo shoot at the dots mural in the arts district.

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I was fortunate enough to take Olivia to a Bernie Sanders rally with a friend of mine and her daughter. An extra special treat was Sarah Silverman opened for him. Crazy, old Bernie is my favorite! I agree with a majority of his stances. With so many ridiculous candidates, I sure do hope he wins.

So the summer that never seemed to end was coming to a close. I was so bummed about not taking a trip to Europe that I decided we have to get out of town. I have been wanting to visit our friends who moved to Portland last year so we planned a week long road trip during our anniversary. Since we were driving, I thought Liv would love to spend a day in Santa Cruz. I haven’t been to the boardwalk since I was a kid. It was amazing that much little has changed. We felt like extras in the movie The Lost Boys (which I watched thousands of times when I was 11!).

I heard about the Roaring Camp railroad that has an old steam engine train ride through the redwood forest. I knew Liv would love it so we booked it for our first stop in Santa Cruz.



It was a long but beautiful eight hour drive to Oregon and we arrived around 3 pm.

On our second day, we had the raddest breakfast at Slappy Cakes, a cook your own pancakes restaurant. After we fueled up, we drove to Multnomah Falls. I wish we could have stayed there all day but I wanted to head downtown to check out VooDoo Doughnuts.


As big fans of the movie The Goonies we had to take a trip to Astoria, a charming, small town where most of the movie was filmed. With my rotten luck the owners of the Goondocks house decided they had enough of the rude tourists so they blocked off the house. Again we had bad timing, the beautiful Astoria column was also closed for repairs. At least the view was lovely.



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


We said our goodbyes and drove the endless fifteen hour trek back to LA and dove headfirst into the busiest week of our year. Liv began Kindergarten.

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.