Monday, March 31, 2014

Huge News!

I am so happy to say Olivia will be attending preschool at the French school this fall.

Liv standing in front of her lycee
We are so proud of Liv and elated that she will be not only learning French but at an international school which promotes global awareness. Olivia will meet kids from all over the world. In all honesty, living in LA can feel insular. I wouldn't know anything going on in the world if it weren't for Jon Stewart.

Jon Stewart

Most of the people I know are from the same economic status and we are not a culturally diverse group. I am looking forward to meeting new people and expanding our horizons. Another benefit is the curriculum is taught at the individual child's strengths, so kids who already speak French don't have to wait for the kids who don't to catch up. The kids who are learning French, don't feel pressure to speak right away, it happens naturally. I am so excited to learn along with Liv. We will be a French speaking family in no time!

I am sad to be leaving her current school. The teachers are remarkable and the last two years have been wonderful. We have met so many wonderful people and Liv has friends we hope to stay in touch with. Antz and I want to thank everyone for the encouragement and support. My Mom and Aimee have been saints allowing me to be a basketcase and patiently listened to me go on endlessly about the new school. I couldn't have kept my sanity without your love.

I was so proud of Olivia for achieving such a huge accomplishment, I went against my better judgement and did something not so bright. I downloaded Disney's Frozen for Liv. If this isn't proof that I love my daughter nothing is. I am not a fan of Princess films. I have endured Cinderella, Snow White, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid only by the skin of my teeth. I was so happy when she fell for Wreck-it-Ralph and Hayao Miyazaki films. I prefer my heroine to be smart, clever, funny, ambitious and sensible. I can't say the same for Disney characters whose main quality is having luscious hair, biting their lips, being clumsy and falling instantly in love with a dude they just met. Don't even get me started with the corny songs. I adore musicals. I think Adele Dazeem was incredible in Wicked, yet I'm not so convinced in this film. The plot *which makes zero sense* is too absurd for words and the songs are just lazy narration and loudly obnoxious to me. I don't hear a loveable character I am rooting for singing, I hear the desperation of an actress wanting to win an Oscar being screeched at me. I never made it to the end but I heard most of the songs from another room and it sounded too church choir for my taste. Sorry, I am not feeling the Frozen hullabaloo. Regardless of my own opinion, the film makes my kid happy and she has earned this special treat. So I'm choosing to "Let it Go!"

Frozen splash

Good thing I downloaded it from iTunes, now she can watch it on my iPad using her HEADPHONES!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Change it Up!

My goodness, what a difference furniture placement can make in a room. For the past eight years we have kept the "dining room" side of our living room in a state of boring. We used the corners to stash things behind furniture we aren't using everyday like bags of fabric, our broken Bose speakers *I don't know whether to have them repaired or just buy new ones* and miscellaneous junk *Nintendo Wii accessories/bags of stuff we can't decide to keep or donate and our vote for Obama 2008 sign too* We've had the same modular bookcase from Target sitting in the corner somewhat collecting dust. Our bar hasn't really been used since our Halloween party ages ago. Well, this Saturday Liv and I went to dance class solo....pause for obligatory photos

Liv has two dance personas
So we could allow Antz to sleep in *he deserves it* When we came home I was so surprised!

My new fiddle fig leaf plant looks so awesome on the bookshelf
The room looked like this before

I'm so happy to have a new home for my beautiful record player. I am super stoked about my new craft space.

Being able to stare at my world map makes me so happy
Antz is so sweet, he put my clock on Paris time because he knows that's where my heart is.
As for all the junk that was buried in the corners, it all got pushed into another corner!

Dirty little secret stash
We are pretty stumped for where to store this necessary junk. I would love to condense our filing cabinet into this pretty one.

TPS Pink file cabinet

Problem is, this guy is 27" tall with caster wheels and it wouldn't fit under any of our desks. If I took off the casters, it still would be such a tight squeeze that I wouldn't be able to open the top drawer and I doubt all of our paperwork would fit in just one drawer. I'm still searching for the right solution. I am ready to get rid of that old, bulky printer for this slim version but Antz is feeling like, the one we have works and we still need to find a dedicated space for it. Where do most folks keep things like this? Don't say under the bed or in a closet because our closets are ridiculously stuffed and our bed has storage drawers crammed with bedding and computer supplies.

Oh, I do love the room! I am feeling inspired to paint the walls white, bring in new curtains and finally get a dining table and chairs. We shall see...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Lizzie!

My birthday is always a whirlwind of radness, drinks and fun. My birthday also coincides with the first day of Spring and International day of Happiness. We took a pre-birthday trip to the beach on Wednesday. The weather was nice but the water was ice cold. Of course that didn't stop our beach babe from running in.

Showing off her new boogie board

Antz took the day off on Thursday and took me to see Grand Budapest Hotel.

Wes Anderson is my favorite modern day director. His distinct style is visually beautiful. I'm so happy Grand Budapest Hotel came out the week of my birthday because it was such a treat to see. I highly recommend seeing it at Hollywood Arclight so you can check out the incredible model of the hotel in the lobby. Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola and P.T. Anderson are so talented and amazing. I know they are pretty formulaic in their films and he often uses the same cast but it never bores me. I fell in love with Grand Budapest, bravo!

So, we picked up the kid from school and stopped by the W hotel in Hollywood.

We had a pose off
It was too early for drinks but we will return
W Hollywood rooftop pool
The friggen queen of Sheba
Thanks Liv & Antz for making my birthday so rad!
Wait, lemme check out this fabulous face first! #supermodel
So after that we went for a yummy lunch and headed home for a nap. That evening Aimee came over with birthday cake, a lovely gift and champagne.

My favorite ice cream cake!!
My BFF is rad!! I love you Aimee
My pretty Crosley record player
I've been wanting this beauty for months! Antz wasn't so thrilled about me putting it on this tiny table as it teetered over the side so he surprised me today with a proper place to keep it. My next project is collecting my favorite artists on vinyl. So far I have;

Björk - Biophilia
Lana del Rey - Born to Die
Radiohead - In Rainbows

I am hoping to add;

Björk - Greatest Hits
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Michael Jackson - Thriller *for Liv*
Joanna Newsom - Milk Eyed Mender

I'll show you the rest of the room once we finished putting everything away. Needless to say, I'm a one happy happy thirty-something!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Let's get down to essentials

I'm talking wardrobe. I saw this post on Say Yes and it got me thinking about how to edit my own wardrobe.

12 wardrobe essentials for every budget
12 Wardrobe Essentials for Every Budget

When I look in my closet, I always feel like I have nothing to wear. I also have been feeling like I wear the exact same thing everyday. I definitely have a favorite outfit!

I have worn my DIY skirt to death!
I don't think there's anything wrong with having a go-to uniform or in my case "a signature look" *striped shirt/skirt/statement piece and flats or sneakers* I don't follow many fashion rules but I don't wear dark colors often and I always stay away from purple *I don't want to be mistaken for a certain dinosaur* However, when it comes to clothing basics, I could use some updating. There are some key pieces I am missing in my wardrobe.

In January, I cleaned everything out of my closet and took an inventory of my wardrobe.

Before I cleaned my closet
Believe it or not, this is after I cleaned my closet
I definitely suffer from clothes hoarding.

That sweater on top belonged to my Mom. She has patches from all the places she's traveled. I love it but I don't wear it anymore because I'm afraid I might ruin it.
What you are looking at:
10 pairs of pants in every color of the rainbow *except gray, denim or black!*
10 shirts *I really want a light chambray shirt, an embroidered tunic and a swiss dot shirt*
10 tops/tees *Nothing special here, I could use some new boatneck tops and I want this shirt really bad!*
15 Sweaters *I'm good here yet my white cardigan has a hole in it and needs replacing*
14 dresses *I could use a shirtdress and a navy jumper*
3 shorts *I am considering cutting my old jeans into shorts, well see how they turn out*

I made the most progress getting rid of tons of shirts. They were old and I never wore them. It was hard but I used the 12 month rule, if you haven't worn it in 12 months, it goes in the donate box. I got rid of anything that didn't fit well and I sent some things to the cleaners for repairs. I should invest in a good garment bag for my fancy stuff.

I also went through my shoes and accessories. I must admit, I have too many shoes. I promised myself I wouldn't buy any new shoes unless I got rid of a pair.

I sacrificed my old Green New Balances *they started hurting my feet* for my lovely floral Golas. I got them for next to nothing with my birthday discount at Anthropologie.
Unfortunately, as much trouble as I went through to get them, I am getting rid of my white oxfords I wore to Le Dîner en Blanc. They are super cute but I came home with the worst blisters on my heels from all that dancing. Funny thing is, they didn't bother me at all during the night but when I took them off, I wanted to cut my feet off they hurt so bad. Lesson learned, always put band-aids on your heels when wearing a new pair of shoes. I am considering new white shoes for this year's dinner.

So here's my 12 Wardrobe Essentials

Trench coat, Saltwater sandals, dot chambray shirt, creme pullover sweater, mint jeans, polka dot oxfords, denim shorts, striped shirt, black t-shirt, statement necklace, green cardigan and gingham shirt
I have similar pieces to Liz Stanley but I don't have a cable knit sweater, black ballet flats, I've yet to find a pair of booties that look good on my giant cankles and I am on the hunt for a pretty embroidered tunic. I would add a denim jacket, a pencil skirt, a shirt dress and my signature piece for my basics.

I am starting to tone down my bright color choices and I'm leaning towards a more mature/classic style. I can always go nuts in accessories and jewelry. What's going on in your closet? Have you mastered the essentials?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Los Angeles Zoo

Last weekend we went to the LA Zoo with Antz Mom. Normally, I'm not a huge fan of the zoo here in LA. We've already been a bunch of times and to be honest the animals there look depressed. Our visit on Saturday, which was free since Nickelodeon was having a Meet & Greet with the Ninja Turtles, solidified my displeasure with this zoo. Most of the exhibits were closed or being remodeled. The animals that were around, spend most of their time hiding in the corners ignoring the folks gawking at them. We passed by the new, enormous elephant habitat which is pretty impressive but for all that space there only seems to be one lonely elephant living there and we wasn't around when we were there. Luckily we rode the tram most of the time because it was ridiculously hot, crowded and it was the best way to view the animals. The line to see the Ninja turtles was hours wait, so we skipped it. We saw the giraffes, couldn't find the zebras and watched the koalas sleep, wheee! Liv and I shared a Hawaiian shaved ice to keep ourselves cool. I wish I could find a shaved ice place that is open year round, it's one of my favorite treats.

Here's the deal, I adore going to the zoo. My favorites are the San Francisco zoo and the mother of all zoos, the San Diego zoo. Those enclosures feel more spacious and modern and the animals definitely seem happier. When I go to the LA Zoo, I just wanna free those poor creatures. All I'm saying is, there's a reason there has been so many escape attempts. Olivia and her Grandma had a fantastic time so that's all that really matters. I am glad Antz was able to get us in for free since we were able to bypass the lines to buy tickets. I am pretty sure all of Los Angeles was at the zoo that day. We saw tons of folks in Ninja Turtle shirts.

This bear was the most energetic guy at the entire zoo!

These François Langur monkeys were being quite inappropriate
They are so cute!
I'm pretty sure this tortoise has been there since the zoo opened forty years ago
I am making my "these animals are boring" face and being brilliantly photobombed by my Mom
Liv doing her best sad animal impression
Okay, this orangutan lady was rad. Last time we went to the zoo she was breastfeeding her baby.
Now her baby is much bigger and she was playing with a bucket, it was seriously adorable
The Mom kept grabbing sticks to try to get orange rinds someone threw next to the fence for her baby
The baby was doing flips into the bucket, we could have watched her all day.
Finally, before we left we saw the lone elephant.
I'm not saying I won't go back, but I've had my fill of the LA zoo for a long time. I am hoping to check out the Santa Barbara zoo next.