Friday, March 30, 2012

Easy & Delicious EATZ

Yesterday I promised I'd share the recipe from my favorite dish we made at EATZ, and here I am to deliver! Did any of you guess what it was?

To know me is to know that I am a hardcore meat-eating, beef-loving carnivore. So does it come as any surprise to know that my favorite thing we made was the Korean BBQ Ribs?!

I mean how happy do I look?!

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Actually, let me rephrase that - my favorite thing was the MARINADE for the ribs. So easy, so delicious, so full of flavor - I can already guarantee this is going to be one of my weeknight go-to meals. And you don't need a special kind of meat to make it - this marinade would go perfectly with chicken, shrimp, or even tofu. I can't wait to make it at home!

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EATZ Korean BBQ Rib Recipe
(makes 2 servings)

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 onion, minced
1 pound Korean-style short ribs (beef chuck flanken, cut 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick across bones)

Pour soy sauce, water, and vinegar into a bowl. Whisk in brown sugar, sugar, pepper, sesame oil, garlic, and onion until the sugar has dissolved. Submerge the ribs in this marinade, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a couple of hours - the longer, the better.

Remove the ribs from the marinade, shake off excess, and discard the marinade. Place on a grill pan or outdoor grill until the meat is no longer pink, about 3-5 minutes per side.

Sounds easy AND delicious, right? I hope you make it, but more than that, I hope you go see for yourself what the fuss is all about and go take a cooking class! (And then invite me. I WILL come.)

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And before you go - please enjoy more (slightly blurry) picture of us being chefs :) Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Night of Good EATZ!

As I mentioned a few days ago, this past weekend Rami and I took a cooking class! I had been wanting to take one for months now, and we decided that our anniversary was the perfect opportunity. So instead of gifts, we bought each other a ticket to the EATZ Tour of Asia class!

Yall? We. Loved. It. Not gonna lie, Ram was pretty anxious beforehand - he does not cook at all, so he was worried he wasn't going to be able to keep up. Having never taken an EATZ class before, I couldn't reassure him 100% because I didn't know what to expect, but there was no need to worry - the class was fine for beginners, the instructor was hands-on the entire time, and she gave perfect instructions and directions throughout the entire three-hour class. He ended up loving it and is already talking about going back!

Here's our menu from the evening:

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In case you can't read the handwriting, here's what we made:
Vietnamese Spring Rolls & Peanut Sauce
Vegetable Tempura & Tentsuyu
Korean BBQ Ribs
Kung Pao Shrimp & Jasmine Rice
Chicken Yakitori & Plum Sauce

Before we got started, we put on our matching aprons! Love it.

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We mixed veggies and noodles (no cilantro for me, extra jalapeno for R)...

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And rolled them into spring rolls!

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We cut vegetables and fried them for tempura...

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Which was delicious and pretty easy! I can't believe I was scared to make tempura before... I'm not anymore!

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We made a quick and easy marinade for beef ribs and grilled them on a grill pan...

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Moments before scarfing them up! YUM!

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We sauteed peppers and garlic and onion and shrimp...

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Super spicy, but so good!

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And finally, we threaded boneless chicken on a skewer, grilled it, and poured plum sauce over it - so good we fought over the last piece! :)

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EATZ was fantastic and I'm not exaggerating - I've already been checking their website for an upcoming class to take! We had so much fun. If you live in LA, I urge you to check them out - it's not just for couples at all! This would be such a good Mother's Day present or birthday gift for your best friend (ahemmmm mother and best friends of mine!)

Tomorrow I'll be posting the recipe from my favorite dish that we made! Can you guess what it was? Make sure you check back to find out!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cool Colorblocked

Those of you who follow me on Instagram might have seen me post this picture on Friday afternoon...

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I was perusing the Bloomingdales racks when I came across that gorgeous DKNY sweater - I knew I had to have it! I put it on pre-sale (Friends & Family is this weekend!) immediately. After finishing my errands at the mall, I came back home - where I was greeted with a package at the door. Inside was a dress I ordered from Nordstrom's for a friend's wedding - this gorgeous one, to be exact:

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Sense a trend? I do. Colorblocking has been making its way onto the fashion scene for a while now, and I'm LOVING it. These wide stripes of color are so perfect for spring and summer! I picked out a few more pieces that I think are just beautiful. What do you think?

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I'm partial to the pieces that are allllllll brightly colored (that C&C maxidress is to die for) but I definitely see that colorblocked pieces with neutrals thrown in are easier to wear, especially for work (ie, the Madewell dress or the ballet flats). What do you think? Is colorblocking a trend you're into? Do you think I'm crazy for only jumping on the trend NOW instead of months ago? :)

Anyway... I'm loving my new dress and can't wait to pick up my new sweater - I'll make sure to post pictures when I do! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rainy Day Creativity

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! Mine was GREAT - Ram and I took an Asian cooking class for our anniversary (more on that later this week), I had brunch with a fabulous new friend, I went to a 1st birthday party and got to hold a cute baby with cake in her hair, and of course, saw The Hunger Games!

Yesterday was rainy in LA, which didn't dampen my spirits - I love rain! However, the storm caused a power outage at the movie theater I was planning on going to, leaving me without plans for the afternoon :( I watched TV for a little while, but how many episodes of Say Yes To The Dress can one watch before going insane? (Don't answer that Gerrick.) I wanted to DO something!

Of course my mother saved the day. That crafty lady suggested I do something creative and even produced a set of paints. The only question was, what to paint? I rustled around in the closets and drawers looking for something to catch my eye, and found it in the butler's pantry - a drab, beige picture frame that Martha Jewart had picked up for the bargain price of $2. Ding ding ding! We had a winner.

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I pulled out my paints and got to work... and here's what I came up with after an hour:

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Not too shabby if I do say so myself! It was the easiest thing ever and I love the result. I literally took a small paintbrush and traced over the leaves and flowers already etched into the frame, and added some polka dots to the inner rim using the bottom of my paintbrush to create perfectly even spots. Here's a detail shot. I love the colors!

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Of course I popped a photo of myself as a tiny baby into the frame the moment it was dry :) (Don't know what my parents were thinking putting me in that yellow/blue ensemble. LITTLE GIRLS WEAR PINK!)

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I'm not even going to call this a DIY because it was so freaking simple. I just wanted to show yall and remind you that it is totally possible to create something pretty for super cheap! I take after my mom - we're always on the lookout for deals like this frame at Marshall's or TJ Maxx for this exact reason - you never know what you can make out of it!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jazzing Up My New BFF

I’ve owned my new best friend for less than 48 hours but I’ve already redecorated her at least four times. Did you expect anything less? :)


As I mentioned before - my excitement over the bar cart purchase is highly ironic considering I don’t drink! (Last year I found out I was allergic to alcohol and since then, I’ve barely touched any booze.) I guess in my mind, a bar cart is just another SURFACE to put tchotchkes, but if I do want to actually use mine for the purpose it was intended for, it will certainly come in handy for all the parties and dinners I throw in the future!


You know me... anything I bring into my house has got to be sassy and it’s got to have color! So here’s what I’m thinking....


barcartaccessories


My three essential beverages - Pellegrino, Marinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider, & Grey Goose

The MOST amazing decanter ever - isn't it a work of art?

A shiny laquer tray for holding all my odds & ends in the sunniest color ever

Precious Kate Spade polka-dot highball glasses

Hammered silver goblets and glasses from Z.Gallerie

An array of bottles in rainbow-colored glass

A pretty patterned ice bucket - complete with a monogram!


What do you think? Useful AND stylish? Let me know if I’m missing anything fabulous :)


Have a great weekend! Do something fun and unusual. Go thrifting! (Maybe you’ll find your OWN new best friend!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meet My New Best Friend!

Are you on the edge of your seat after I left you hanging yesterday? :)

Many of you have already seen my excited postings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - I couldn't keep my excitement to myself! So without further ado - meet my new purchase, my new best friend, my new... BAR CART!

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Isn't she beautiful? I have been wanting a bar cart for AGES!!! (This is ironic because I don't drink. However, I DO own a ton of GORGEOUS barware, decanters, vases and serving pieces that will look JUST GORGEOUS on display!) I feel like I see pictures of gorgeous vintage carts everywhere I look, and my constant visits to Society Social's website to admire their carts don't help my craving. But now I've got my own - and she's shiny gold and in great condition!

Here's how it went down - after I SCREECHED to a halt outside the store once I spied the cart out of the corner of my eye, my friends and colleagues Remy and Rebecca kindly agreed to accompany me into the store. We parked and headed in.

I don't often shop at thrift stores but I know enough to know that it's always important to act UNINTERESTED! So I poked around in the store for a little bit and asked the man behind the corner the prices of a few objects before pointing to the cart outside. "$45," he said. "I have $35," I told him (TRUE!) He thought about it - "How about $38?"

"DEAL!" I said. On the inside I was literally screaming. I borrowed money from Rebecca and bought it on the spot! He offered to help me carry it to my car but I thanked him and said no - after all, it has wheels! What a sweetheart, though. I introduced myself to him and he agreed to pose for a photo. Here's me and my new best friend Ramon!

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Remy helped me wheel it back to the car while Rebecca took photos. Obviously we had to stop to pose on the streets of Koreatown. I'm nothing but a classy lady.

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The fun part started when we got to the car. It was easy wheeling it, but NOT easy fitting it in the back of my trunk...

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Look, I did it! I'm so pleased with myself... except one second after smiling for this photo, I tried to close the trunk and it didn't close. OOPS.

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In the end, after a lot of tugging, pulling, and maneuvering, I managed to wedge it into my backseat. A tight fit but I did it! (PS. If it hadn't fit I would have tied the thing to my roof. I was NOT leaving without it.)

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I shoved poor Rebecca in the backseat next to it and we all headed back to work. BIG THUMBS UP! Thank you R & R for your assistance with this project :)

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As soon as I got back to the office I googled "vintage gold bar cart" to see what I could find - and came across this ebay listing. Mine is the EXACT same - they are literally identical. I feel pleased that Google validated what I already knew - I got it for a steal!

Can't wait to get it all cleaned up and decorated. I promise I'll post pictures! And in the meantime... I plan on making LOTS of trips to this little furniture store. Who knows what treasures I'll find!?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Koreatown's Silver Lining

I like mostly everything about my job. With one exception.

I work in Koreatown. Many of you who are familiar with this area of Los Angeles are surprised to hear I don't like it - it's known for having a great bar scene, yummy Korean BBQ, and awesome late-night karaoke. But none of those things apply to where my office is located. The area is dirty. It's not safe - everytime I leave my office for lunch, I get approached by a creepy drug addict or random who tries to sell me stolen jewelry (wish I was kidding.) I'm just not a fan of K-Town.

But every cloud has a silver lining. And recently, I came across Koreatown's silver lining...

Whenever I need to drive to the valley straight from work, I take the 101 freeway. In order to bypass a bunch of traffic, I take sidestreets to the entrance ramp. Most of the streets are lined with bodegas, 7-11's, gas stations - nothing I've ever stopped for. But at one intersection, there is a tiny store with a sign outside reading "FURNITURE THRIFT STORE." As a lover of decorating, I always look at the store when I drive by it, but nothing good is ever outside.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my mom on the phone while stopped at this very intersection. I mindlessly looked out the window to see what was outside the furniture store, and next to the usual ugly dressers and cabinets, I saw these beauties:

green midcentury chairs

I inched up closer to get a better look. And I liked them. A lot. A LOT. I love kelly green and I could totally see them going great with my brown velvet couch! I told my mom what I was looking at and she urged me to park and go look. But I was in a hurry, I was lazy, and so I didn't bother...

Two days later I was going through my Google Reader checking my favorite blogs, when I clicked on Emily Henderson's blog. Emily won HGTV's Design Star last season and I love her decorating style, so she's a regular read for me. I'm sure you can imagine what happened when I clicked this post and read about her recent thrift store score....

YUP!!!!! Emily drove by my little nothing furniture store and saw the exact same chairs that I loved... but SHE stopped, and SHE got them - for $120 for the set! Un-freaking-heard of. I wish I was kidding when I say that I almost started crying out of frustration. My friend took a look at me and said "WHOA... you need to calm down. Your face is bright red!"

It's been like three weeks and I haven't gotten over the chairs. But I learned a valuable lesson - ALWAYS stop when you see something you love outside a thrift store, no matter what!!!

Which is why today on my lunch break, I was on my way back to the office when I spied something outside the very same store that made me slam on my brakes and practically LEAP out of my vehicle.

Come back tomorrow to see what it was! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wanty McWanterson

It's that time of year again. The time when retailers and stores release all their cute new spring accessories and clothing as the weather starts to warm up. Also warming up? My desire to SHOP!

I am a Wanty McWanterson these days. I want to buy everything I see! I'm particularly ready to say goodbye to leggings and jeans and get myself into some dresses (as soon as my legs are tan, that is).

summerdresses

How cute are these? All perfect for different upcoming occasions in my life, too. I could wear that INSANE Mara Hoffman leopard coverup by the pool in Las Vegas over Memorial Day weekend. That black dress with sexy shoulder cut-outs would look amazing when R and I are in Manhattan in a few weeks. I have FOUR weddings this summer - that BCBG pleated number would be perfect for at least one of them! And a simple cobalt shirtdress - I could wear that to work and feel super sassy all day long.

Of course, new dresses and warm weather clothing call for fabulous accessories, and I've got my eye on some of those too, obviously!

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I love all things pink, neon, tasseled, and anything DVF, so this bag is a no-brainer! I have recently become obsessed with anything and everything Dannijo - that curvy necklace is a must-buy. Any spring ensemble looks better with a cool necklace - whether it be a colorful beaded version by Kenneth Jay Lane, an insane dalmation-esque Loren Hope bib necklace, or a chunky stone pendant from Leif. As for shoes? INC colorblock wedges or Stuart Weitzman suede flat sandals make any summer ensemble look chic-er. Pack it all up in a Deux Lux striped & sequin duffel bag and you're good to go!

I was hoping that posting all these gorgeous things would cure the Wanty McWantersons, but no such luck. I want everything more than I did before!

My poor credit card bill...

Friday, March 16, 2012

More Memes

My friend MRM did this fun meme on her blog a couple days ago. You know I love myself a meme (the opportunity to talk about myself is just irresistible!) so I thought it'd be fun to do too!

1) If you had been born a boy, do you know what your parents planned on naming you?
Had I been born a boy, I'd still be introducing myself the same way. My parents always loved the name Jordan, so I'd just be a Mr. instead of a Miss! (Although my mail seems to think I am a Mr... grrr.)

2) What is your favorite book of all time?
I've loved reading since I was two years old. I love, love, LOVE books - I read all the time and so it's very hard for me to choose just ONE book to declare my favorite. Therefore I have to cheat a little and say that the entire Harry Potter series will always have a special place in my heart. I've never felt so connected, so invested, and so interested in the lives of imaginary characters before, and though I've read each book at least four times already, I know I'll re-read the series many more times throughout my life.

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3) If you could have lunch with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
Although I am tempted to say Britney Spears, Julia Roberts, Oprah, or my imaginary boyfriend Jonah Hill, I think I'd love to sit down with President Obama, one on one. I hear he likes burgers :) maybe we could share fries!

4) Did you go Greek in college? If so, which house?
I'll be an AEPhi til the day I die. I miss my sorority sisters every single day!

5) Sweet or salty?
If I had to choose I'd probably say salty. I crave salt - I put soy sauce on everything! When I get to combine sweet and salty, that's the best. I LOVE anything salted caramel-flavored - especially the salted caramel ice cream from Sweet Rose Creamery or the butterscotch budino from Pizzeria Mozza. YUM!

budino
photo via grubstreet

6) Do you prefer to make a phone call or send a text?
Call me old fashioned but I love talking on the phone. My friends live spread out across the entire country... we text frequently but I always like hearing their voices!

7) What is your favorite flower?
Same as my mama's - Gerber daisies. Any color!

8) Did you have an American Girl Doll as a child?
I had the Samantha doll, and I loved her. I had lots of her little clothes and shoes and accessories and she was always dressed perfectly and her hair was always combed. This was in direct contrast to my sister, who owned a Felicity doll who unfortunately seemed to always be missing her HEAD due to neglect.


9) What is your favorite white wine and favorite red wine varietal?
I recently found out that I am, as I long suspected, allergic to alcohol, so I no longer drink. (The deliciousness of a mojito is sadly not worth the pain of a bright red, sweaty face and hives!) I never liked red wine anyway, but I do miss drinking Prosecco and Reisling on occasion.

10) What is your favorite quote?

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Have a great weekend! XOXO

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Easiest Thing You Will Ever Cook (And Maybe The Most Delicious?)

Friends, I've been cooking again. And I have another recipe to share with you!

As I mentioned, Sunday was our one-year anniversary. We had a lovely time recreating our first date (dinner at the Hummus bar and an independent film), and the day started off great, too - R took me to the Brentwood Farmer's Market and let me pick anything I wanted! I came home with Asian pears, carrots, fresh pita, and not one, not two, but THREE bouquets of flowers! :)

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I also came home with a tub of homemade pesto. I'm not the hugest pesto fan in the world (that honor goes to Greene Bean) but I tasted a sample at the market and loved it. I always try and cook for us on Monday nights, so all day Monday I tried to come up with an idea of what I could make for dinner using my new pesto.

After suggestions from pals and work colleagues, I turned to the internet, where I came across this recipe. It sounded easy and didn't require a ton of prep - a winner in my book! So I made it, using a few alterations of my own. To be honest, I didn't expect anything special. After all, the ingredient list is... two ingredients. Pesto and chicken. That's it. How good could it be?

Well, Rami took one bite, groaned, and turned to Twitter where he wrote "Maybe @queenjord's best dinner ever? Yep" followed by "Had more of the pesto chicken. Please hook it to my veins." I would blush, but I happen to agree - the chicken was freaking delicious!

Yall. Make it. MAKE IT. Based on my recommendation alone my friend Remy is making it for Passover dinner! It couldn't be easier and it was so juicy and full of flavor. I already can't wait to eat it again!

Ingredients:
olive oil spray
one tub/jar supermarket pesto
1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders
salt and pepper
parmesan to taste (optional!)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray the bottom of a large glass baking dish with olive oil spray, then cover bottom of tray with a light layer of pesto (about a cup).

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Layer the chicken evenly in the dish - they should touch but not overlap. Season generously with salt and pepper, then cover the chicken with the remaining pesto - it should coat every piece.

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Cover with a piece of foil and bake for about 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, cut into a piece to make sure it's cooked all the way through. If chicken is still pink, leave in for an additional 5 minutes.

Once chicken has been removed from the oven, feel free to sprinkle some parmesan cheese over it to add some extra flavor... although it's so delicious, it definitely doesn't NEED it!

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Note: as the pesto heats in the oven, it will release a lot of oil, which is normal. I served it with sauteed mushrooms and roasted vegetables because we're trying to be healthier, but the sauce left in the dish after you cook it would be fantastic with some rice or pasta alongside the chicken!

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Greene Bean liked dinner so much she agreed to pose for a pic :) Between the two of us and Ram, we ate the whole pan. I was kinda bummed, too - I was hoping for leftovers!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Urban Steps It Up

In college, there was no place I loved more than Urban Outfitters. There was one located a block away from my dorm room – I literally had to walk 300 feet and I was there. Whenever I was homesick – which was probably every other day my freshman year – too often I’d take a walk to clear my mind, and end up in front of their big brass doors.

OH did I spend my (parents’) money there. I bought frilly little miniskirts and lace tops and neon headbands and “vintage” sweatshirts and jelly sandals that I wore twice before getting sick of them. When I moved out of the dorm, I probably gave away or donated six trash bags full of Urban goods – disposable clothing, if you will. And so in recent years, UO has not really been on my radar that much. If a friend needs to go, occasionally I’ll tag along, but I haven’t bought anything from them in years – it’s just not my favorite shopping destination anymore.

HOWEVER. In recent months I have become aware that Urban has seriously stepped up their game in the home d├ęcor category. As someone who literally mentally redecorates her apartment every single day and is ALSO on a budget, their low prices really appeal to me – and their stuff lately has been SO CUTE!

Case in point: their rugs. Whoever is in charge of rug design at Urban Outfitters headquarters is KILLING IT. I want every single one. I think these would look fantastic in an entryway or in a basic kitchen to completely transform and brighten up the space!

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I am also not hating their bedding. I have a very intense and dramatic relationship with duvets and quilts (read: I fall in love with a new one approximately every other month, buy it, open it, hate it, and never return it. My mother could kill me right now.) but I am really feeling these colorful options:

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Truth be told, as I get older, it’s tempting to buy every single piece of furniture I like, especially ones with a low price tag, but in my attempt to slowly build up a collection of pieces that I’ll be able to hang onto and use in my future homes forever, I have been really making an effort to cut back. I do, however, really like a lot of the furniture Urban has been putting out – if I had been decorating my house as a senior NOW, you better believe I’d be snapping these pieces up!

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Thoughts on these pieces? Did you OD on Urban as a teenager or college student? What do you think of their stuff now?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

One Year

To the man who taught me everything a girl could ever want to know about podcasts, Paul F. Tompkins, Comic Con, the safety of the NYC subway, alternative comedy, tacos, patience, and so much more...

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You've also taught me so much about love.

Happy first anniversary, Ram. I love you!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Almost Schmidt Myself

A couple days ago, I got to experience one of the coolest things LA has to offer - Paley Fest!

The concept of Paley Fest is so fun. Every year, The Paley Center for Media hosts a series where the public can buy tickets to different panel discussions with the stars and creative teams of popular and critically acclaimed TV shows. Being a huge fan of television, Greene Bean was all over it. The day before tickets went on sale, she had it all planned out, and snapped up primo tickets for me, her, and Rami to go see THE NEW GIRL!

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The New Girl is probably my favorite new show. I love Zooey Deschanel and her kooky, zany adorableness. But by far the breakout star of the show is Max Greenfield, who plays her douchebaggy yet adorable roommate Schmidt.

I LOVE SCHMIDT. I die laughing over every single thing that comes out of his mouth. It was a no brainer to go to this Paley Fest! And so on Monday night the three of us enjoyed nearly two hours of hilarity at the show. We got to see the brand-new episode before it came out and watch the cast banter, joke, and tease each other. It was fantastic!

Before the cast came out on stage, the show's creator came out to introduce herself. Liz Meriwether is, in a word, Jess - meaning the character that Zooey plays on The New Girl. She's quirky and funny and sarcastic and smart - I loved hearing her speak.

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And then the whole cast came out! Their comfort with each other is so apparent. It really seemed like they enjoyed each other's company and liked coming to work. I was so happy.

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And how precious is Zooey? I want to be her friend!

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But by far the highlight of the entire evening was anytime Max Greenfield opened his mouth. He is just as funny and adorable as he is on the show. Being from LA, I pride myself in staying cool over celebrities, especially when I see them in real life. But I couldn't help myself - I was shrieking and wiggling in my seat like a middle school girl. Rami kept shushing me and telling me I needed to behave - the people behind me were giving me dirty looks as I shouted "Schmidt, Schmidt, I love you!" over and over again.

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Look at that face! LOOK AT HIM!

After the panel discussion, they opened it up for an audience Q&A. Yall, for once in my life, my big mouth failed me. For the life of me I could not raise my hand to ask a question - and of course, I had SUCH a good one! (For those of you familiar with the show - I wanted to ask Max if HE came up with the idea to call chutney "chut-eh-ney" or if the word was written that way.) I don't know what happened to me but I was too shy :( I'm already mad at myself!

Here we are outside the theater after the show:

outside paley fest

Do I look happy? Because I was. I was Schmidting myself!