Monday, October 31, 2011

A Sunny Home

Yellow is such a pretty, happy color. I’ve blogged about yellow before – this post also includes a weird story about how I was almost named Raya Sunshine Silverman – but lately I’ve really been drawn to yellow things for the home, too. It’s the perfect color to brighten up the room or to provide a punch of color with one standout piece.

Here are some pretty sunshine-y favorites I’ve been liking lately!

I’ve always loved this West Elm rug. I am a big fan of blocked patterns, and these little lotuses are so pretty, I would hate to even step on them! This would look great with a brown or grey couch.

Speaking of yellow and grey, look at these great pillows! They are Dwell Studio for Target and I pick one up every time I go into Target just to hold and squeeze because they are so soft. And guess what – they’re on sale right now!

We all know of my deep and intense love for chevron. But YELLOW chevron takes it to a whole other level! This Urban Outfitters chair is quite a find – how cute would it look tucked in a corner in a home office or kids room? I love it!

I am in the middle of updating my room – more on that later – and I needed new pillowcases for my euro shams. I bought these last week online from the Crate & Barrel outlet – still waiting for them to arrive, but I love the texture. Will show you a pic if I end up keeping them!

When my sister moved into her new apartment with her boyfriend, she needed to “butch up” all her girly things, so she bought these Anthropologie towels in the navy/grey combo. I had no idea they came in other colors, so imagine my surprise when I saw them on the website in this golden shade! They are beautiful, great quality, and I think quite reasonably priced for what they are.

Some other fun treats – remember how I said above that yellow is the perfect pop of color? Put a flowery vase, a tiny yellow bowl, or a cool lantern on a shelf and I guarantee your eye will go directly to it every time you walk by. I’m partial to these!

What do you think? Do you like yellow for your home? I am on a mission to incorporate some more into my apartment. Can’t wait to show you!

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Tried and True

I was getting dressed the other day when I realized that so many of my outfits start with the same things – my “outfit foundation,” if you will. As a LIFELONG shopper, it has taken me years and years and tons of products to find the ones that work best for me.

These are the things I always reach for first in my closet, time and time again. My “tried and true” pieces. I figured I would share some of them with you!

I am not a fancy lady. I do not wear high heels every day – in fact, I can barely manage to wear them out to the bar. (And sometimes when I DO manage to wear them out to the bar, within the hour they are off my feet and I am barefoot. Disgusting.) I am a ballet flat girl through and through. And the Tory Burch Eddies are my favorite. Trust me, if you ever tried the Tory’s that have the big logo on the toe and found them uncomfortable, give the Eddies a try! They are a completely different shoe – padded throughout without a hard scrunchy back. I own them in pink, brown, black glitter, and my new favorite – leopard!

Speaking of being a fancy lady – if you are one of those fancy ladies who buys your basic tank tops from a fancy place like J.Crew, you need to stop that nonsense right now. My absolute favorite tanks cost $9 at Target and no one on earth can tell the difference. They come in one jillion colors, are insanely soft, are also available ribbed and non-ribbed, are super long to go over your butt, and OH AND DID I MENTION $9?!?!?

Speaking of Target and not being a fancy lady, many of my hair and makeup essentials are drugstore items that are totally affordable. I would not be a happy girl without these three products - Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Scrub, CoverGirl Lashblast Mascara, and the little baby hairclips they sell in packs of 9. I use those three items every day, no matter what - they are definitely my tried and true!

So I’ve been talking about how I am not a fancy lady but I kind of am, sometimes. Basically every store on earth sells leggings now. You can literally buy a pair for $3.80 at Forever 21. HOWEVER. That cheapy pair of leggings is probably see-through, thin as hell, and will rip the second you are late for work and jam your leggings through them. Don’t waste your $3.80. Spend the extra cash and buy Three Dots leggings. I own NINE PAIRS (holy shit I am a hoarder) – they come in a bunch of different colors and lengths and are totally worth the money. I bought my first three pairs in 2006 before my senior year of college and I STILL wear those all the time!

Okay and now I need to know what your “tried and true” are. What am I missing, people!? Leave it in the comments and I will buy the shit out of it.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

iPhone iLove

Friends, I finally did it. I ordered an iPhone!

I have had a Blackberry since the week I graduated college in 2007. I basically do not know how to exist without it! Odds are, if I am not blogging or eating or sleeping or shopping, I am talking or playing with my phone.

That’s why it’s such a big deal that I finally made the switch! And in a couple days, the white 4S will be in my hands and let’s face it, it needs to be wearing a protective - yet ADORABLE - little cover :) plus my friend Cara tweeted me and asked me for some cute recommendations.

It’s time for a roundup! Let’s go over some of our choices...

As a born and bred LA girl, I have definitely considered one of my favorite brands, Free City, for my first iPhone case. There’s nothing cooler than Free City. Period end of story. So how cool would my phone look with this bad boy slapped on it? ($35)

I love every single one of Kate Spade’s bright and colorful iPhone cases. All reasonably priced between $35 and $40, I truly can’t pick my favorite. Stripes, polka dots, rainbow prints... I love them all!

Wanna hear how weird I am? Months ago, when J.Crew first came out with this leopard cover, I bought it - way before I had even decided to order the iPhone! I just fell in love with the classy leopard print and had to have it. This is a strong contender, yall. What’s more Queen of LA than J.Crew leopard!? ($25)

God knows I love chevron print. And that coupled with a monogram? HELL YES. This fun Etsy retailer Dani Notes is famous in blog-world for her adorable, customizable cases (she’s also got stripes, polka dots, and other geometric patterns) - all totally reasonable at $55!

How cool is this? These brightly colored croc-printed leather cases come with a built-in pocket, so you can slip your cash and credit cards right on top of your phone while stuffing it in a tiny purse or clutch. So convenient! They’re $48 each, and they come in turquoise, pale blue, and a pretty fuchsia.

While I wait for my phone to finally arrive, I need yall’s help! What are your favorite apps? I have a few already downloaded on my iPad, but there’s always room for more... Tell me which ones are the best, which will make my life easier, and which are the ones I have to get!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Interior Decorating with the Boyfriend

Here’s how many of my nights go:

I come home from work. Rami comes over. I cook dinner. Rami cleans up dinner. Then we retire to the couch for the rest of the evening. Rami puts on the TV and we lay on the sofa, he with the iPad on his lap, reading Twitter and Tumblr, and me with my laptop, reading interior design blogs. I LOVE interior design blogs.

I obsessively save stuff I like in a little folder on my computer (I KNOW, I need to get on Pinterest STAT) and as I ooh and ahhh over it, occasionally R will look over and say helpful things like “That chair is very orange” or “I like tables.”

A couple nights ago we were doing this very thing and I decided it might be funny if I showed him some of my favorite images from my “Future Dream Apartment” folder and got his thoughts on some of this stuff.

So, without further ado... my boyfriend, the interior decorator, and his many opinions!

"That mirror looks like something that Ariel put in the cave in Little Mermaid."

"Oh, that is very green! And the tassels at the ends make me feel like I am at a strip club."

“Apparently disco did not die. It turned into stairs.”

“Love it, love everything about it. I love shelves. You can put a lot of stuff on them.”

“GAY BARBIE DREAM HOUSE! Actually, not Barbie. Ken. That is a LOT of different colors competing for my attention. And I do not like those flowers.”

“Another room in the same Dream House. I would not be worried about spilling anything on that carpet. I do like the background. (Me: “What background?”) (R: “The OUTSIDE of the house. It’s a nice outside.”)”

“YES! See, I really do like shelves. My only beef is with the seat. No Muppet should die to make my furniture.”

“Is it a dress? Does the table get a dress?”

I personally find him and his opinions adorable, but maybe instead of being an interior designer, he should just stick to being a teacher :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Color Me Mine, Color Me Fabulous 

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! My four-day weekend flew by and I already miss it. (Shouldn’t EVERY weekend be a four-day weekend? Who will sign that petition with me?)

After filling Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with lots of plans and errands, I ended up having a whole free day yesterday. I woke up and went to the Farmer’s Market with some friends, as I usually do on Sunday mornings, but wanted to do something fun yet low-key during the afternoon. I was feeling creative, which sparked an idea for a fun plan - I called my friend Amanda to see if she was down for an adventure. And she was!

We went to Color Me Mine! I hadn’t been in YEARS. When I was a kid those were my favorite birthday parties to attend - the ones at the paint-your-own art piece places. Here’s Amanda in front of the paint selection. She’s so cute.

Spurred by an image I saw on a design blog of a gorgeous chevron-printed urn, I went with the intention of creating something similar. They didn’t have an urn that I liked, but I saw a pretty pitcher and chose that instead. I’ve been wanting a nice pitcher to use when I have company over, so this will be perfect!

Here it is before I got to work:

And here it is after. Please excuse the pencil marks: I painstakingly traced a chevron pattern with tape before deciding to just go for it freehand. Cross your fingers it works out!

Some finishing touches - after I finished with the chevrons, I decided to add a little heart right at the “mouth” of the pitcher. And of course, polka dots make everything a little cuter!

The piece will take about a week to fire, so I don’t have the REAL after shot yet. But when I do, I’ll post a picture so you all can see!

(Oh, and the best part about the WHOLE afternoon? A couple of minutes after we sat down and started painting, the door opened, and jENNIFER GARNER and her two daughters walked in! Living in LA, I am lucky enough to see a lot of celebrities while out and about, but this one was a real win in my book - I LOVE Jennifer Garner, and her kids were ADORABLE! After they had finished painting (and Jen was still sitting working on her piece!), they came over to our table and asked if they could "entertain us" and danced and twirled around for us, told us what they were going to be for Halloween, and complimented my nail polish color :) literally, they were gorgeous and SO polite. Kudos to Jen (and BEN!!!!) for raising such adorable, well-behaved children.)

Such a fun afternoon!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Two Years of Blogging: Happy Anniversary to Me!

So I think I got a little ahead of myself when I started talking about my blogging anniversary a couple days ago. Thanks to all of you who congratulated me last week, but the big day is actually today!

I can’t believe it’s been two whole years since I started Queen of LA. This blog is truly one of my favorite things to work on, and it has connected me with so many interesting and wonderful people. Every day, I am so inspired by the interesting stories and little glimpses into the lives of other people, and I can only hope that some of you feel a little bit of that when you come here, too.

I recently went back and read what I wrote last year on this day. I still stand by it!

"I find it incredibly flattering and truly touching that so many people from all areas of my life are able to find humor and entertainment in my daily posts. So, to whoever is reading this, thank you! Thank you for clicking, for reading, for laughing, for commenting, for complimenting, for following, and for always wanting more. Thank you for your words of encouragement and praise, and thank you for coming back, day after day, to read all about me and my misadventures."

"By making me a part of your day, you have become one of the best parts of mine."

Happy two year anniversary to my little blog! Here’s to many more years of adventures for the Queen of LA :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

TEXAS: The Land of the Free and The Home of The Deep Fried Everything

Visiting my pals in Dallas was super fun, just as I knew it would be. Usually when I go to Texas, it’s for something special like a birthday celebration, so it was nice to just have a weekend where we could do anything – or absolutely nothing!

I stayed with Gerrick and Daniel in their new house, which was fabulous! Equally fabulous: their new puppy, Ranger, who has more energy than ten toddlers combined and enjoys things like ripping apart stuffed animals and licking my face.

Mere moments after my plane arrived, Gerrick picked me up at the airport with a sweet tea in tow. I thought she was just being sweet until she announced “We’re going to get you fitted for your bridesmaid dress!” Um. That sweet tea was a BRIBE. And bridesmaid dress fittings aren’t all fun and games and elegance and fanciness - an old lady who smelled of cheese took me into the dressing room and basically felt me up in full view of everyone else in the room. UGH.

We spent my first full day in Dallas at the Texas State Fair and basically killed it on the food. Yall, I could never live in Texas. I cannot keep up with them. You can read last year’s post about the fair for an intro/primer if you need it, otherwise let’s just say I enjoyed myself a corndog, a sausage, and several other goodies before I called it quits.

We are five years old. You should feel sorry for poor Daniel, being forced to document our every move.

I promised you the world’s fattest pig and here it is! 1196 pounds. I was equal parts fascinated and horrified.

That night we met up with our pals Lindsey and Eric for dinner at a fabulous pizza place! I was still sort of in a food coma from the fair but managed to rally in time for burrata. No the boys did not plan their matching ensembles!

Last week was Sukkot, and Gerrick’s family is Modern Orthodox, so naturally we had to have Shabbat lunch in the sukkah. It was a breezy 105 degrees outside and Bubbe made us a 15-course heavy Jewish meal, which took us OUT for the rest of the afternoon. I snuck a pic of the sukkah when Bub wasn’t looking!

That night we had a FABULOUS late night meal at a tapas place called Victor Tango’s, which I absolutely loved. Here is our ménage a troi waiting for our table (at the bar, naturally):

We KILLED IT on the tapas. Ahi tuna nachos, truffled mushroom flatbread, lamb lollipops, grilled octopus, mussels, crab mac and cheese… it was phenomenal. I HIGHLY recommend.

After that we went to a bar in the area where I got to see Joy and Justin, who were visiting from Austin! I love my friends.

After all that eating out in restaurants, we decided to take it easy on Sunday morning. YEAH RIGHT. We wanted to make brunch ourselves, so everyone took an item – Gerrick made a frittata, I made my famous chocolate chip bread pudding, and Daniel made HOMEMADE FUCKING CHEDDAR JALAPENO BISCUITS. Oh hell no. I guess it pays to marry a chef.

Here we are with special brunch guest Robley, Gerrick’s best friend from childhood! (And pardon my HUGE boobs. Don’t know what’s going on in this picture but maybe everything IS bigger in Texas?) :)

A great weekend with my bests! God bless Texas, yall!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Summing Up My Sister

I feel SO guilty about my blogging hiatus/lack of frequent posts, but to add to my already busy life, my sister is in town!

Bailey got in over the weekend and I've been s
pending all my free time after work hanging with her. Any time I get to spend extended periods of time with my sister is interesting - I forget what a strange and truly odd little human being she is. On Monday night we went to dinner at Fig & Olive, where she ordered a hot tea, an ice water, a club soda, and a sangria and declared it "time for a drink buffet."

And last night we met my mom for sushi - yum! While at dinner, I needed to check something on her phone (her iphone has MUCH better internet than I do on my Blackberry) so I borrowed hers and went to Google. As I started typing in what I wanted, the list of things Bailey had recently Googled popped up. Naturally, I couldn't help but look.

Cue the laughter...

guiliana rancic cancer
body fat measure
American Apparel black swan costume
spider bite symptoms
911 call Russell Armstrong
nicki minaj lyrics
lisa vanderpump age?
weight watchers points
target harlem nyc
jake vienna interview
black and white rug

If you happen to know my sister, you are UNDOUBTEDLY nodding your head at the computer right this very instant. And if you do not know her, rest assured, now that you have read that list, you certainly know her now :)

Clearly, she was VERY concerned about the wellbeing of several E! and Bravo stars. I must be honest - I corrected the spelling of "Weight Watchers", but she must have been in such a rush to download the app that we'll have to forgive her spelling errors. Halloween is coming up and she plans on being Black Swan, and apparently after laying outside for a few hours on Saturday she was mysteriously covered in little red spots, hence the Googling of "spider bites." As for grundle... you'll have to look it up yourself. She DID call me over the weekend - on speakerphone! - to ask if I knew what one was. (I did.)

A big post with all my Texas pictures is coming, I swear. To reward you for your patience I promise to post a picture of the biggest pig in the world. 1196 pounds!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Get Your Freak On

I think from now on I am going to stop apologizing for taking every single opportunity to post a meme when I find one I like :)

PIPM posted this one (along with a video, but that technology is far too complicated for me!) that’s currently circling the internet, so obviously I had to jump on in too. Apparently, this meme is called “Get Your Freak On” – so here I go getting my freak on for all of you!

What's a nickname only your family calls you??

My darling sister has been known to call me Jar Jar Binks, and weirdly enough, my mother calls me Felicity Jane Pittman. I have NO idea why.

What's a weird habit of yours??

If someone I don’t know walks really close to me, I hold my breath so I don’t have to smell them!

Do you have any weird phobias?

I am absolutely terrified of PUPPETS. I am shivering just thinking about them.

What's a song you secretly LOVE to blast & belt out when you're alone?

“Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

What's one of your biggest pet peeves?

I can’t stand when I’m sitting down and someone starts to talk to me while they’re standing and looking over me. Also, I hate all stupid people.

What's one of your nervous habits?

I am a chronic nail-biter. The only reason I have attractive nails is because they are FAKE!

What side of the bed do you sleep on?

I sleep on the right side of the bed and I sleep on my right side facing the door.

What was your first stuffed animal & its name?

My grandfather was a furrier – don’t judge – and when I was a baby he MADE me a little stuffed teddy bear made entirely out of rabbit fur. I named it Suave and (this is SO WEIRD) I used to sleep with it stuffed inside my pajama top so I could feel the fur against my skin. I loved that fucking bear… until Bailey threw it into the toilet and ruined its fur. YEP.

What's the drink you ALWAYS order at Starbucks?

Iced venti nonfat chai tea, light ice. Proud to announce that my boyfriend has it down pat and often hops out of bed in the morning to go get me one. How lucky am I?

What's the beauty rule you preach, but never ACTUALLY practice?

I tell everyone not to pick their face. Unfortunately, I do not follow my own advice.

Which way do you face in the shower?

Away from the showerhead and the water, facing the wall.

Do you have any 'weird' body 'skills'?

I can wiggle my ears AND I can roll ONE eye!

What's your favorite 'comfort food'/food that’s 'bad' but you love to eat it anyways?

Uh… any carb under the sun?

What's a phrase or exclamation you always say?


Time to sleep- what are you ACTUALLY wearing?

A grey American Apparel v-neck or a super soft shirt from Tyler’s in Texas.

Fun fun fun! I’m making this one into a challenge – someone else do it now! If you do, post it in the comments so I can read!

This week has been crazy but I promise I'll give you a full recap of my adventures in Texas as soon as I can :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Fun Change!

Notice anything different around here? :)

My TWO year blogging anniversary is rapidly approaching (a week from today! Can you believe it?!) and in honor of the big anniversary, I decided to spruce things up for all yall - give you something extra pretty to look at!

I LOVE IT. I love it! Isn't it so me? Pink and leopard, but a more grownup version (if that's even a thing)! Danielle Moss worked with me to design the whole thing and I am so happy. I can't stop looking at it!

With this gorgeous new site, I'm feeling so inspired - I think it's time to introduce some cool new features and collaborations... time to give all of you who come back to Queen of LA some fun new stuff to check out!

Let me know what you think of the redesign! Can't wait to hear what you think :)