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.

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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.

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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)

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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!

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

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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!

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Photos of Paris

I was going through my photos yesterday and realized there are so many photos I took during my trip to visit Aimee last March that I never uploaded. For example, Aimee and I spent an afternoon in the Latin Quarter and Ile de la cité which is the island that houses Notre-Dame Cathedral. Back on our first trip to Paris, we climbed over 250 steps in a narrow spiral to the top so we could see the bell tower. We aren’t as limber as we were in our 20s so I took photos of the exterior of the cathedral to see it from a different angle.

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I can’t believe I never blogged about our favorite place to eat! Aimee’s apartment was right around the corner from the best restaurant in le Marais, Cafe Charlot.

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We ate there so often we became regulars and I am kicking myself for forgetting our sweet waiter’s name.

I felt contractually obligated to take my Bestie on a tour of Pere Lachaise cemetery. It was still crowded even though the weather was much colder than our visit in June.

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I plan to be cremated when I go but if I could, I would love to be buried here in such a magical place.

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I was able to get a better shot of Jim Morrison’s grave.

I took this gorgeous shot at sunrise on my last day in Paris. It was so bittersweet. I was so sad to be leaving my absolute favorite place on Earth but I missed my Antz and Liv terribly. They really were the only reason I came back to LA!

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On my way back home, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of Charles de Gaulle airport. This trip really allowed me the freedom to open my eyes and take in every little detail without having to tend to a five year old or a grumpy, luggage toting hubby. I first traveled to Charles de Gaulle airport back in 1997 when Antz and I took our first trip together to Venice, Italy, that I won on the Price is Right. I remember not being too impressed back then but we were only there for a layover. I had just enough time to buy some postcards but I did get a killer view of the Eiffel Tower from our plane. I’ll never forget during our flight from Paris to Italy we had a delay due to wild rabbits on the runway!

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I love how many European airports are old in age, yet have been modernized in a beautiful way. Hint, hurry up with that upgrade LAX!

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I spent two hours in the airport wandering around before my flight and was excited to see Ladurée! Every time I have visited Paris I have wanted to go to the shop on Champs Elysées. I’m not a huge macaron fan but they are so pretty and it’s such a Parisian delicacy that I want to buy some just for the pretty package. I didn’t have any Euros on me so I just window shopped this time but the store reminds of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.

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I can’t put into words how eager I am to take our next trip. This slide at a park in Gothenburg, Sweden has our names written all over it!

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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.

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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?

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

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

We celebrated Valentine’s day at LA Cake Club.

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

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

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

IMG_4399Merci beaucoup sweet hubby, best birthday present ever!

DSC_0561DSC_0559IMG_4406It was my first time flying alone and I drank more wine than I should have so I ended up fainting on the flight! The crew was so kind but I was embarrassed.

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

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While Aimee was walking home from school, I hid out in this patisserie with these lovely ladies. They didn’t speak any English but I explained in my broken French my big surprise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Aimee’s crepe was as big as her head!

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

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

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

IMG_4793IMG_4872I fucking love this girl!

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IMG_4895DSC_0155DSC_0152I faced a huge fear of heights by walking on the glass floor of the Eiffel Tower. Despite peeing my pants, I was in sheer heaven.

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

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

IMG_5047IMG_5060IMG_5075When I returned, we attended our 4th Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards show.

I pranked Liv good for April Fool’s day!

We spent our Easter at Liv’s Godparents house for their annual Easter family brunch. Confetti eggs will never get old for me!

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Liv started swimming lessons. I love that tummy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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This was an easy one thanks to Antz quick thinking of stopping by an optometry mall!IMG_5453Finding a live chicken in Los Angeles was a little more tricky. We called a friend of ours who used to have chickens at their house. She told us to try the college near our house. Lucky for us they had a chicken coup on campus!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DSC_1007IMG_5829Antz was on a mission to collect all the Adventure Time minis. However, they are sold in blind boxes (which is a concept made by Satan!) so it was hard to find Finn, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline. Aren’t they cute?

Liv loved swimming at the hotel while Dad geeked out at the convention center. We were so happy to drive back after brunch on Sunday with hardly any traffic.

Liv went on a ton of auditions this year and since she turned five, it was time to update her headshots. I was so excited to have her photographed by Olesja Mueller. She captured Liv’s spirit brilliantly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_7835Hooray! She’s still the tallest kid in her class and homegirl is speaking fluent French now.

After finding out at the last minute, we attended the second Le Dîner en Blanc! My Mother in law helped me sew my tulle skirt. This year was held in Pershing Square in Downtown LA.

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

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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!

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Liv added Taekwondo lessons to her repertoire. She earned a gold star on her third day of class!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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I went PINK!

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Liv is a fan of special effects makeup, so I found a Zombie makeup class in Highland Park for her and her Dad to take. She loves watching Face Off (she’s seen every season!)

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!

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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!