It’s been a long year for me. 2015 had it’s highs and lows but when I look back at all the photos I took this year, I must say it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. I wish we travelled outside the country more but I can’t complain since I was able to visit my bestie in Paris for my thirty-eighth birthday. I am also happy we drove up to visit our friends Story, Chris and their bebe in Portland. Liv was so excited to take a road trip.
Back in January, my sweet filmmaker friend Paul asked me to play a small role in his movie, Black Eyed Angels. I was nervous but I loved acting with the awesome and talented crew!
It feels like ages ago when Liv booked her first paid acting job. You can watch her five seconds of fame in a vaccination skit on the Jimmel Kimmel Show.
I chaperoned Liv’s class on a field trip to the Los Angeles Zoo.
We took a family trip with my Mom to the Museum of Natural History.
To celebrate big Liv’s television job, we took her to California Adventure.
We absolutely LOVED Radiator Springs Racers, hands down the best ride in the park.
We celebrated Valentine’s day at LA Cake Club.
Giovanni Ribisi happened to be at the event and he sweetly obliged a selfie with me!
After nearly two years of waiting, Highland Park turned a deserted gas station into awesome York Park. We attended the opening event.
March was MAJOR. My best friend Aimee fulfilled a lifelong dream of going to makeup school in Paris. She begged me to come visit her but Antz and I both knew we couldn’t afford it. Then Antz did a quick freelance job and told me to go ahead and buy my plane ticket for my birthday present. I was so excited but I decided to surprise Aimee and just show up. We Face-timed each other almost everyday and she would tell me how much she wished I was there with her. It was the hardest secret I ever kept.
Merci beaucoup sweet hubby, best birthday present ever!
It was my first time flying alone and I drank more wine than I should have so I ended up fainting on the flight! The crew was so kind but I was embarrassed.
Aimee’s apartment was so tiny but Parisian pretty in the coolest part of town!
While Aimee was walking home from school, I hid out in this patisserie with these lovely ladies. They didn’t speak any English but I explained in my broken French my big surprise.
We ate at Café Charlot almost every night. I played tourist during the day while Aimee was in class.
I am always the brightest (and tallest) person in Paris!
This was one of the most fun nights during our week together! Salut Fred.
Antz made these rad masks for me. We are self-professed dorks!
We loved shopping at Le BHV, they even have Anthropologie!
We had the world’s best crepes made by our friend Monsieur Alain at my favorite farmers market! You must visit him for lunch if you are in the 3rd.
Aimee’s crepe was as big as her head!
I spent hours walking around the city alone. I felt so independent and comfortable. Paris was beginning to feel like home to me. Je voulais y vivre!
It was sobering to visit la Republique after the Charlie Hedbo tragedy.
We had a bestie lunch together just like we do in LA.
I fucking love this girl!
I faced a huge fear of heights by walking on the glass floor of the Eiffel Tower. Despite peeing my pants, I was in sheer heaven.
I woke up to find this waiting for me on my anniversaire. Aimee ordered my favorite ice cream cake for me before she left for her trip. Antz kept it in the freezer for me.
The week in Paris with Aimee was magnificent. I was able to spend time in Paris alone and I fell in love with the city all over again. I am counting the hours until I return. As much fun as we had, I missed Liv and Antz terribly!
When I returned, we attended our 4th Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards show.
I pranked Liv good for April Fool’s day!
We spent our Easter at Liv’s Godparents house for their annual Easter family brunch. Confetti eggs will never get old for me!
Liv started swimming lessons. I love that tummy!
On weekends we like to drive in random directions until we figure out what we want to do. Balboa Island is always a fun day trip.We took a boat cruise along Newport Beach harbor and of course ate corn dogs and cotton candy.
Liv’s class took a field trip to the local Fire station. The firemen were so sweet and funny!
I was feeling down in the dumps about missing Paris so Antz had a fun idea to make a scavenger hunt for us to complete in one day. We started the hunt in Chinatown.
Finding a meter with three hours still on it counts as finding free money!
We zigzagged all over the city for our hunt, searching for a fountain we ended up in north Glendale.
This Japanese tea house and koi pond is beautiful. This park is a treasure!
The fifth item on our list was actually the last thing we ending up finishing and the hardest to figure out. I started the day welcoming the challenge of trying a new food. However when we looked at Russian, Ethiopian, and Moroccan I lost my nerve. Then I realized Wurstküche had food we have never tired and I wasn’t so afraid of rattlesnake in sausage form. Washing it down with Belgian fries and beer helped!
I actually felt guilty for popping this mattress store’s balloon! What a jerk.
My friend Christina always posts the coolest photos on her Instagram. When I saw her photos from a velvet art gallery, I had to check it out. Lucky for us, it was located in Chinatown and helped us check off #9.
This was an easy one thanks to Antz quick thinking of stopping by an optometry mall!Finding a live chicken in Los Angeles was a little more tricky. We called a friend of ours who used to have chickens at their house. She told us to try the college near our house. Lucky for us they had a chicken coup on campus!
Bets were against us we would find a live chicken by the end of the day. I can’t wait for our next Scavenger Adventure.
Liv’s last Pre K field trip was a two day camping trip in the woods.
Before the end of school Grandma Bobbye was invited to Liv’s school for a music performance for her class. Everyone loved seeing Liv and her Grammy play together, they were a hit!
May was a busy month, Liv performed in her first ballet recital.
Just as Pre-K was wrapping up, Liv’s fifth birthday was approaching. She spent all her previous birthdays traveling, so this year she wanted a party with all her friends. I had to negotiate with her to allow us to choose the party theme (so I wouldn’t lose my sanity with another Frozen party!) I found Alice’s Traveling Tea Party, Antz and I created some party favors and hired my talented friend Jennifer to work her magic behind the camera and a very merry unbirthday it was!
I picked up a cake from Porto’s bakery and added an Alice in Wonderland Pop vinyl toy.
On Tuesday, she turned FIVE! I smuggled a sparkler candle home from Paris just for her birthday.
We took weekly photos of Liv and Totoro for her first year, then we took monthly photos. Now we take them yearly.
We bought her a Linus bike for her birthday present. Since she’s such a giant for her age, we had to test out the height just to be sure she fit.
We were so lucky to bond with everyone in our rad Pre-K class this year. Liv had amazing teachers which I know will have a lasting impact on her life. I asked them to sign her Oh! The Places You’ll Go book.
The whole class got together for a last Pre-K class wine tasting picnic at Barnsdall Park. At Liv’s school the students are switched around every year so we didn’t know who would be in her Kindergarten class in the fall.
The school year ended with the Lilapalooza celebration. It’s already been two years since we attended our first Lilapalooza as prospective parents.
Summer began with an exciting visit by President Barack Obama! He visited Highland Park to be interviewed by local resident, Marc Maron for his WTF?! Podcast. Liv was interviewed on the news about the historic event.
Liv got a sneak peek of the summer hit movie Inside Out.
Liv had her annual pediatrician and dentist visits. She loves seeing Dr. Wang and Dr. Chess but fortunately they don’t see her often as she would like.
I helped my friend, Jihan, run the pom pom booth at her stellar DIY Camp.
Of course I had my adorable mini-helper. I bumped into Liv’s nursery school teacher and my beautiful friend Maricris!
My Antzy turned FORTY!!! I love you old man.
I discovered my new favorite brunch spot, Dinette in Echo Park. Their avocado toast is superb! This is now my go-to Sunday morning routine.
To celebrate the 4th of July, we made red, white and blue shortcakes.
Aimee and I celebrated Bastille day with our French club and I finally tried delicious beef bourguignon. Vive la France!!
Olivia is now a ComicCon veteran. This year we booked a hotel so we didn’t have to drive back in the same day and we could space out the convention over two days. It was so much easier being able to walk from the hotel and take turns hanging out in the room.
Antz was on a mission to collect all the Adventure Time minis. However, they are sold in blind boxes (which is a concept made by Satan!) so it was hard to find Finn, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline. Aren’t they cute?
Liv loved swimming at the hotel while Dad geeked out at the convention center. We were so happy to drive back after brunch on Sunday with hardly any traffic.
Liv went on a ton of auditions this year and since she turned five, it was time to update her headshots. I was so excited to have her photographed by Olesja Mueller. She captured Liv’s spirit brilliantly.
Our favorite niece and nephew visited from New York. We laugh so hard we cry when they are around!
We took our annual trip to the beach. Liv made some new friends, Antz built the entire city of King’s Landing in the sand and I ended up getting the worst sunburn of my life! **I tried Honest sunscreen instead of my usual Neutragena 🙁
Antz entered a few pieces in a charity art show to raise money for North Central animal shelter. So many of our friends were a part of the show and his adorable lions sold right away.
We checked out the new Churro place in Los Feliz. They make churro ice cream sandwiches!
My lovely bestie turned forty (like pratically everyone I know did this year!) so we stuffed her with oysters. I discovered the most incredible clam chowder in LA!
My nickname for Antz is Macgyver because he can take common items and create magic. When I told Liv it was Harry Potter’s birthday, of course she wanted to dress up as a Hogwarts student. Antz safety pinned a patch to her blazer, I loaned her my faux spectacles and we gave her a chopstick for a wand. Now that she’s started reading on her own, I bought her this updated version of the novel.
I bought this adorable Hugo Loves Tiki romper for Liv so I had to buy some balloons and have an impromptu photo shoot at the dots mural in the arts district.
I was fortunate enough to take Olivia to a Bernie Sanders rally with a friend of mine and her daughter. An extra special treat was Sarah Silverman opened for him. Crazy, old Bernie is my favorite! I agree with a majority of his stances. With so many ridiculous candidates, I sure do hope he wins.
So the summer that never seemed to end was coming to a close. I was so bummed about not taking a trip to Europe that I decided we have to get out of town. I have been wanting to visit our friends who moved to Portland last year so we planned a week long road trip during our anniversary. Since we were driving, I thought Liv would love to spend a day in Santa Cruz. I haven’t been to the boardwalk since I was a kid. It was amazing that much little has changed. We felt like extras in the movie The Lost Boys (which I watched thousands of times when I was 11!).
I heard about the Roaring Camp railroad that has an old steam engine train ride through the redwood forest. I knew Liv would love it so we booked it for our first stop in Santa Cruz.
It was a long but beautiful eight hour drive to Oregon and we arrived around 3 pm.
On our second day, we had the raddest breakfast at Slappy Cakes, a cook your own pancakes restaurant. After we fueled up, we drove to Multnomah Falls. I wish we could have stayed there all day but I wanted to head downtown to check out VooDoo Doughnuts.
As big fans of the movie The Goonies we had to take a trip to Astoria, a charming, small town where most of the movie was filmed. With my rotten luck the owners of the Goondocks house decided they had enough of the rude tourists so they blocked off the house. Again we had bad timing, the beautiful Astoria column was also closed for repairs. At least the view was lovely.
Portland definitely won us over with it’s friendly folks, no-sales tax and lush greenery. Bye guys,!
We said our goodbyes and drove the endless fifteen hour trek back to LA and dove headfirst into the busiest week of our year. Liv began Kindergarten.
Hooray! She’s still the tallest kid in her class and homegirl is speaking fluent French now.
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.
The very next day Olivia had a modeling job for our friends at Quinn & Fox.
Liv took these amazing photos back in March for their AW15 Colorless Campaign.
My Bff wanted to recreate an iconic photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. She’s weird but I love her!
Liv added Taekwondo lessons to her repertoire. She earned a gold star on her third day of class!
Kindergarten is such a different experience than Pre-K. We no longer have our priority parking at drop off in the mornings. The bright side is we don’t have to sign her in so we can just drop her off curbside. Since we drop her off at the playground now we haven’t been in the classroom much this year. I usually stay in the morning and watch her play. She shares a playground with the 1st graders so she has made friends with some of the older kids.
Antzy’s Mommy turned seventy so his sister threw a big, wonderful party.
Liv had a playdate with her bestie, Stella. She is the sweetest girl!
The Broad museum opened this fall and I made reservations right away. It is now Olivia’s favorite museum, we’ve been twice already!
A friend of ours generously gave us passes to Universal Studios. Even though the weather was scorching, we had the best time!
Once a year, the Jet Propulsion Lab in La Cañada hosts an open house for the public to see demos of what they have been working on all year. I thought it would be fascinating for us to experience. However, so did 20,000 other folks so we sat in an hour of traffic just to get to the freeway exit. Luckily, we found parking but we still had to walk a mile! It didn’t help that it was over 100 degrees and because of the crowds everything was a long, miserable wait. We only stayed for two hours but we learned a lot and hope to return again (with less people!).
Olivia was a flowergirl in Antz nephew’s wedding. It was so lovely, Liv danced all night.
I went PINK!
It was impossible to narrow down Olivia’s requests for Halloween this year. She was adamant about being Alice because she loves wearing her birthday costume. Antz was all for it because there was no messy makeup and we already had everything we needed. I, on the other hand, felt like she wore it for her birthday and to ComicCon so I wanted her to be something else. After going back and forth for weeks we finally decided why not go as our favorite character of all time? Pippi Longstocking, the strongest girl in the world!
We used orange spray paint and a dry cleaner hanger to hold up her braids. Our friend Aura gave Liv the Pippi costume (she bought in Sweden!) three years ago. My friend Terry gave us a book of photos from the original Pippi on the Run film. Antz and I grew up as huge Pippi Longstocking fans and we have all the movies on DVD so this costume is so meaningful to me. My friends are rad!
I made it a goal to have Liv represented by Zuri Model and Talent and we finally did it! I gave Liv a blowout (which we both cried) and took some photos in our backyard to add to her portfolio.
We had our annual Crabsgiving with my Mom at The Boiling Crab. Liv was excited to try oysters but decided crawfish and shrimp were more her taste.
Liv had a French Thanksgiving at school. After school we took a trip to the mall to listen to carolers. Then we went to see the soap “snow” at the Americana.
One of the most memorable events of the year was our trip to LACMA’s Rain Room. I bought tickets two months in advance and was lucky to grab a spot just after school.
Liv spent a weekend with Backpack Bear from her school and she went on many adventures with him. They visited her Grammy in Apple Valley. They got dressed up for the symphony at a field trip with her class at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. She also took him on a tour of Highland Park, they played at York Park and of course had donuts at Donut Friend. Backpack Bear even pitched in to help Liv paint her new big girl’s room!
Once Liv’s new room was complete, she hosted her first sleepover with her cousin. We made gingerbread houses and drove to Candy Cane Lane to see the Christmas Lights (Hasting Ranch had an amazing display!) I took the girls to see The Nutcracker, performed by Liv’s ballet school. It was a magnificent performance and I hope Liv gets a part in next year’s production.
This was a fun and exhausting night for Antz and I. We had our first taste of life with more than one kid and I know I am not cut out for it!
My pink mermaid hair was becoming too high maintenance so I went gray!
Our friend and neighbor Rene (you may remember him from our kitchen remodel!) invited us over to meet his turkey, Mork. Yes, you heard me right, he has three pet turkeys! Along with several chickens and three dogs. Mork was so rad.