Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I enter contests and raffles and prize drawings all the time, crossing my fingers that maybe this time will be the time that I get chosen. But it never happens. I never win.
Until I woke up on Monday morning to an email from The Love List blogger Jessica telling me I had won her blog giveaway, and I was now the proud owner of a STUNNING python/leather monogrammed crossbody bag in the color of my choice!
A new bag?! MONOGRAMMED?! Can you even imagine my excitement? I jumped around happily for like a whole hour before calming down and going about my day. Cut to two hours later when I was scrolling through my iPhone...
...Only to find out from my sweet Twitter friend that I had won a SECOND BLOG GIVEAWAY!!! This one, hosted by Hopsy of Monograms & Manicures, was for a lucite Lilly Pulitzer tray. I LOVE TRAYS!!!
I won TWO giveaways! In ONE day! I feel like I should go buy a lottery ticket or something! Thank you to my giveaway hostesses and please pardon all my exclamation points... I am so excited!!
Friday, February 24, 2012
Rami has never been to Texas! I found that shocking, until I remembered that just a few short years ago, I hadn't either. It wasn't until college, when I made friends with the most wonderful people in the world, that I finally got to experience the wonder that IS the Lone Star State. Some of my favorite people on earth are from or live in Texas, and over the past few years we've made some of the most amazing memories during my visits there. In honor of our upcoming visit, let's take a trip down memory lane...
Houston, Spring 2008
No trip to Texas is complete without some delicious BBQ! MMM, Salt Lick!
Austin, April 2011 (Our second stop on FART!)
How gorgeous is the River Walk? I remember that day being sweltering... Texas is HOT!
San Antonio, June 2006
Leaving Billy Bob's after my first Pat Green concert in Texas!
Fort Worth, December 2009
My first Houston Rodeo! I am literally in shock over the "mutton bustin."
Houston, March 2011
After years of visits I finally got to experience my first Texas State Fair! Big Tex scares me, though.
Dallas, September 2010
Remember the Alamo.
San Antonio, June 2007
Such a fun memory - the annual Gaylord Ice Show! It was like 30 degrees in there!
Dallas, December 2010
Hook em! Tailgating at a UT game all decked in burnt orange :)
Austin, September 2010
Fried WHAT?! (Obv I went for the Snickers.)
Houston, March 2011
It had been a while since something Texas-related made me speechless. The world's biggest hog did the trick.
Dallas, September 2010
In just a few hours, we'll be in Dallas. I'm so excited to see my friends, celebrate my besties, eat some delicious food, and make some new memories, all with someone new by my side :) Texas here we come!
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
After we finished exchanging gifts and "I love you"'s, we got in the car to head to dinner - I had made reservations weeks in advance for our favorite restaurant, Animal. But Los Angeles traffic had different plans for us - we sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic on my street in the same spot for more than a half hour before finally acknowledging to each other that we weren't going to make it :( We called and canceled our reservation, went home and re-parked the car, and walked to a little Italian place down the street. It was delicious, but not quite the special dinner we had hoped for.
Sitting in traffic staring at the clock, I MAY have had a tiny tantrum. R calmed me down by promising me we could go to Animal and have a "V-Day re-do" the following week. So last night, we finally got to have our Valentine's Day meal at Animal!
From time to time people ask me what my favorite place to eat in LA is, and I always tell them to go here. I figured I'd share some pictures from last night so you all can feel like you were right at the table with us! The food is so inventive, so interesting, so full of flavor and interesting combinations - but vegetarians be warned... this is NOT the place for you. Animal's chefs are famous for their love of any and every kind of meat!
shrimp & rabbit spring roll, eggplant, sprouts, green curry
sweetbreads with creamed spinach, lemon, capers, and hedgehog mushrooms
(our favorite dish of the night - we ordered a second plate!)
polenta, six-hour bolognese, parmesan (apologies for the dark photo)
ram's favorite! barbeque pork belly sandwiches with coleslaw
pink earrings, leopard print blouse, baby pork belly slider. how happy am i?!
the grand finale - poutine with oxtail gravy and cheddar.
like the best chili cheese fries you've ever put in your mouth!
It was a delicious meal and a fantastic night with my Valentine, even if it came a little late :) If you live in LA or are thinking of planning a trip here - I can't recommend it enough!
Monday, February 20, 2012
Let’s face it. No matter how hard I wish and pray every night that I’ll magically win the lottery, it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t have an endless supply of money to keep me in an endless supply of Chanel bags and Tory Burch shoes and the latest J.Crew collection.
That’s why it’s important to COMPARISON SHOP. I am the child of Ellen Silverman... bargain hunting is in my blood! Why spend full price when you could get it on sale + an additional 40% off before you even whip out your gift card? And, barring that option, why not search a little and find a knockoff that looks JUST LIKE IT - but for half the price?
My love for rainbows and stripes knows no bounds. I have no idea where I got this sick love for bright colors and insane patterns, but since it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon, I’ve learned to embrace it! When I saw these Jimmy Choo espadrilles at Nordstrom’s I literally screamed in the middle of the store... but for more than $1,000, the store is where they’re staying.
Could I satisfy my need for a rainbow striped wedge with this Kate Spade option? If it means saving myself $800, I think I could. Bonus: the Kate Spade one looks sturdier, too! I’d hate to drop a grand on a pair of shoes that land me in the emergency room :)
Here are some things I like: The color pink. The color red. Maxi dresses. Obviously something that combines all three is tops in my book. However, here is a thing I do NOT like: Spending almost $400 on a sundress.
Lucky for me the folks at Old Navy are geniuses and came up with this little number on the left so that I don’t have to shell out the big bucks for the Alice & Olivia hotness that I was lusting over. Less than $40? For that price I’ll buy it in both colors!
I can be very easily persuaded into thinking I need things when in reality, I absolutely do not. My sister calls to brag about her new Forever 21 finds? I’m at the store the next day. My friends tell me about a sale at Bloomies? I’m on the website before they even finish the sentence.
Emily from Cupcakes & Cashmere blogged about her new partnership with Estee Lauder and showed a picture of herself wearing this insane turquoise nail polish. You better believe I was about to click “BUY” on that page before something stopped me. $19 for a bottle of nail polish? There had to be something better out there. Lo and behold, a quick Google search revealed this pretty color by Pop Beauty - only $10, and the colors are literally identical!
I think we’ve learned some very important lessons here today. Yes, designer items are expensive. However, if you are very sneaky and know how to work the good old internet, you too can find some fabulous deals online. It’s better than digging through the bins at Loehmann’s, right? (PS: I do that shit too and I will teach you my tricks if you want them!!!)
And if not, no worries! I am here to guide you :)
For a writer, there is no worse feeling than sitting down to an empty page and having nothing come out.
I have just felt so uninspired lately. Things in my life have been crazy and I’ve had a lot going on. But in the past, even when things have been crazy and I’ve had a lot going on, I’ve still been able to sit down and focus and get all my ideas and emotions out. For some reason, this time I feel different.
Whenever I DON’T post, I feel like I am letting everyone down. Do any of you ever feel that way? Especially you, my fellow bloggers. I read your words every day and am constantly awed and amazed by your creativity - your stylish outfits, your insane DIY projects, your ability to spot trends and share ideas and come up with exciting projects. I look at my own blog and feel like my creativity and good, interesting ideas have been few and far between lately. Does that ever happen to you?
You know, I’ve been resisting Pinterest. I have an account, but I don’t use it. I’ve been making excuses and jokes - “I’m too busy with all my OTHER social media accounts!” “I am scared I’ll become addicted to it and have to quit my job because I’ll want to spend all my time on it!” - but maybe seeing all the creative ideas and projects out there might inspire me to come up with some of my own?
I love blogging. I love having a space that’s all mine, a space where I’ll be able to look back in ten years and laugh at the things I was doing or saying or wearing. I’ve met wonderful people and learned interesting things and been super inspired by so many other blogs out there. But right now, none of that matters. It’s like I’m stuck.
Yall. I’d sincerely love your advice. What do you do when you feel like this? How can I get my blog-groove back?
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Alabama Arkansas I do love my Ma and Pa
Not the way that I do love you
Holy Moly me oh my you're the apple of my eye
Girl I've never loved one like you
Man oh man you're my best friend, I scream it to the nothingness
There ain't nothing that I need
Hot and heavy pumpkin pie
Chocolate candy Jesus Christ
Ain't nothing please me more than you
Home, Let me come home
Home is whenever I'm with you
Home, yes I am home
Home is wherever I'm with you
Take me home
Mama I'm coming home
I follow you into the park, through the jungle through the dark
Girl I've never loved one like you
Moats and boats and waterfalls, alleyways and payphone calls
I been everywhere with you (that's true)
Laugh until we think we'll die, barefoot on a summer night
never could be sweeter than with you
And in the streets you run afree,
Like it's only you and me,
Geeze, you're something to see
Lalalala take me home
Mama I'm coming home
Home, let me come home, home is wherever I'm with you
Home, yes I am home, home is whenever I'm with you
Happy Valentine's Day! It's always nice to celebrate love.
(Oh, and Happy Birthday JULIE! I love you!)
Monday, February 13, 2012
Friends, I missed you. Did you miss me?
I apologize for my absence the past few days. Last week was a hell of a week. But I’m here now and to make up for it, I have something delicious to share with you!
Last night I decided to invite some pals over to watch the Grammys. I’m not a huge fan of the Grammys - not like the OSCARS - but I’m always down to entertain and I had an idea... instead of ordering in Chinese or pizza like we usually do for a group, I wanted to try making something special!
Enter my mom’s famous Stuffed Shells. I probably haven’t had them in 10 years, but for some reason they had been on my mind - so I figured why not?! I picked up all the ingredients and R helped me put them all together...
...and it was delicious! Our guests loved it and it was shockingly easy to make - I assembled it a few hours before the awards started and popped it in about 45 minutes before so it was bubbling hot just in time for the show. My friends loved it - there was barely any left in the pan! I served it with garlic bread and a roasted beet salad that B brought over.
Delicious - if you like cheesy, tomato-ey comfort food, I hope y’all make it!
1 box jumbo pasta shells
1 15-ounce container of low-fat ricotta cheese
1 bag part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar tomato sauce (I used Prego Crushed Garlic & Herbs)
Salt & pepper
1. Boil the shells about eight minutes/til al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In a bowl, combine the ricotta and 3/4 of the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Pour a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a large glass baking dish.
4. Fill each individual shell with a spoonful of the cheese mixture and place open side up in a single layer, in glass dish.
5. When all shells are filled, pour remainder of tomato sauce and any remaining cheese mixture over the pasta. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 mozzarella.
6. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees, uncovered.
Isn't your mouth watering?!
(I also served carrots & hummus and mini phyllo cups filled with brie and fig jam for some snacks. Yum!)
PS. The winner of the Poppin giveaway is... drumroll please... #7!
ELIANNA! I’m emailing you now. Congratulations, your desk is about to get reallllll pretty (just in time for you to NOT NEED IT, as you are eight months pregnant with twins. Amazing!)
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012
Here are some things I like: Friends. Bright colors. Office supplies. Any company that incorporates all three of those things is DEFINITELY going to be high on my list.
So imagine my utter delight when a pal from the past contacted me to tell me about her new job at a place she thought I’d like. Introducing Poppin!
Poppin’s tagline is “Unique Office Supplies That Make Work Fun,” and if you spend even a minute on your website I think you’ll see that statement rings true! All of their office supplies look fresh and modern, and the best part is they come in almost every gorgeous, glossy color in the rainbow!
My friend Jackie sent me over a package full of Poppin treats so I could see for myself how cool and useful their products are. She totally spoiled me – I had to fight off my coworkers, who all crowded around my desk to try and steal my new gear!
Unpacking my new office supplies!
My desk is now adorned with Poppin – I’ve got the tape dispenser close at hand, I’ve been hard at work editing with the help of my new pens, and all my notes are now going in that adorable little Moleskin-eque notebook. I’m getting my stuff done in the MOST stylish way possible…
Fabulous pink pens displayed on my desk at work
And I want you to be able to do the same! Thanks to the wonderful people at Poppin, I’m hosting a giveaway – one of you lucky ducks is going to win the following Poppin goodies!
Jumbo highlighter set/Signature ballpoint pens/Gel ink pens/Tape dispenser/Small notebook
Here’s how to enter:
1. Visit the Poppin website and take a look around!
2. Leave me a comment with your favorite item from the website, your name, and your email where I can reach you if you win!
Please note: You MUST be an official follower of this blog with Google Friend Connect (over there on the right) and on the Queen of LA Facebook page to be eligible to win!
Special thanks to the lovely Poppin folks who are sponsoring this giveaway. Now what are you waiting for? Go on and enter!
Disclaimer: Though this is not a compensated post, I was provided with products to keep as well as products to give away by the company. All opinions are my own… and I think they are pretty great!
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Uh, how it is possible it's already February? 2012 is flying!
Valentine’s Day is in less than two weeks. Have you bought your gifts yet? (This is me talking to the four straight guys who read this blog. Including my boyfriend.)
When I think Valentine’s Day, I automatically think HEARTS. What can I say? I’m a very literal person. If you mention Christmas to me I automatically start singing Jingle Bells and I’m Jewish!
Anywho. I rounded up some things that I personally would love to unwrap on V-Day… HINT HINT ANYONE:
Catbird open heart ring - $150
Good Charma bracelets - $387.50
Moschino Cheap & Chic pumps - $495
And here are some bargain hearts… yup, everything here is under $40!
West Elm valentine bowls - $8 each
Heart apron - $39.95
Shop Furbish heart tray - $25
Ban.do heart shoe clips - $25
And let’s not forget – this holiday can be celebrated by everyone, not just couples… Your necklace-loving mom would love that heart charm! Your learning-how-to-cook sister could definitely use those heart-shaped measuring cups! Surprise your best friend with a set of those adorable bowls! Or splurge on YOURSELF… wouldn’t you look fabulous with those charm bracelets on your wrist?
Hearts for everyone!