Thursday, June 27, 2013

July 4th Treats

A week from today is July 4th! Where is the summer going?!

In honor of the holiday, I'm throwing a little BBQ & pool party in my mom's backyard. A lot of our friends are attending a wedding out of town, so the crowd won't be too big, but you know I'm already getting excited about the cute and tasty snacks and treats I can whip up!

I judge most parties based on the quality of the appetizers - just keepin' it real :) there will definitely be chips and guacamole, but what about some other fun dips? I think my friends will LOVE this grilled Mexican street corn dip. Perfect to scoop up with tortilla chips or fresh veggies.

If we were being fancy folks, I might whip up this LOBSTER POTATO SALAD. All caps was necessary there because you know, LOBSTER and POTATOES are delicious. I'm not sure if the crowd would be able to handle it. I'm also not sure I would be willing to share :) But how ridiculous does this recipe sound?!

Now for the grilling. A barbecue master I am not, but I think the gentlemen will be able to handle the grill - I'm thinking chicken apple sausages and big juicy hamburgers with all the toppings... delicious cheddar, thick tomato slices, crisp lettuce, onions, relish, mustard, ketchup, the works. My stomach is growling just thinking about it! 

The party's in the valley so you know it's gonna be HOT. Perhaps guests will want to cool off with some homemade berry yogurt popsicles? Sidenote: when I was little my mom used to make us iced tea popsicles and they were my FAVORITE summer treat. I have been wanting to make homemade pops for a long time and this is a perfect excuse :)

But of course that can't be the only sweet treat we serve... what about a cake decorated with berries in the shape of the American flag?! My favorite kind of cake is yellow cake from a boxed mix with chocolate frosting from a can (#imsoclassy) so maybe I'll whip that up and decorate it all Americana style!

Swimming, sunshine, good friends and good food... what could be better?

Monday, June 24, 2013

What A Whirlwind Weekend!

Hi friends. How was your weekend? Relaxing? Calm? Did you get to sleep in? Laze about? Lounge on your couch in your pjs? Lucky you! While you were doing that, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off on what might have been the busiest weekend of my life - a rehearsal dinner, two weddings, a bridal shower, and a birthday party. WHEW!

Don't get me wrong - I am not complaining one bit. I had the best time all weekend celebrating with the people I love. But now, on Monday? I am paying for it... I am WIPED OUT!

Let's do a little photo recap, shall we?

First up were the festivities for my cousin Robin, who married her boyfriend of EIGHT YEARS, Jason, this weekend - #finally! Here's a Silverwoman selfie before the rehearsal shindig:


And me and Beans with the beautiful bride-to-be... I am wearing a gorgeous LOFT dress I got on crazy sale while I was in Houston. Go get yourself one! 


The party continued Saturday night in Marina Del Rey for the wedding itself! Here are my aunt and uncle walking her down the aisle... spoiler alert: I cried. (Also, how gorgeous is my aunt's MOB dress?! WANT.


The Three Musketeers enjoying cocktail hour :) 


(Thanks to those of you who asked where my dress is from - I actually got it last year from Forever 21 of all places! But the good news is, Victoria's Secret is currently carrying something very similar and Bailey happens to be wearing it in black (yes we both wore pleated maxi dresses. Not cool) and it's adorable!)

With our best family friends - Nina, where are your sunglasses?!


Inside the party - a University of Miami-themed tequila ice luge. Didn't hate it. 


And on the way out... there was a hot dog vendor. Rami partook of hot dog deliciousness, I sadly did not. 


The next morning, I was up bright and early to put the heels back on, this time for my dear friend Ashley's bridal shower! (Remember her from the San Francisco bachelorette a few weeks ago?) It was a lovely brunch and I am seriously counting down the days to her wedding... it's gonna be epic. I wore this awesome ASOS polka dotted peplum top and got a lot of compliments - the little dots are raised velvet so it's nice and fancy :) My new favorite top! 


Shortly thereafter, Rami picked me up early from the party so we could make an appearance at a very special birthday party... Baby Ari turned 1 and his parents threw him a party to celebrate!!


He went for that cake with gusto. Want to know what else he went for? MY ARMS, without me begging or pleading, and my ovaries proceeded to explore. I adore him. Could he BE any cuter?!

Oh don't worry - weekend's not over yet. After the birthday party we ran home to get all dolled up for wedding #2! This celebration was in honor of my dear family friend Molly, who married her beloved Ilan in a seriously beautiful and touching Orthodox ceremony. 


Are these two not the CUTEST little marrieds you ever did see?!


Me and my boo. Blurry but cute!


Towards the end of the night... getting crazy. There was Israeli dancing going on, y'all! How could I not!?


And that was our weekend. WHEW. I'm exhausted just reading it :) I made Ram promise to make me put my computer away and go to bed at 10:30 tonight so I can get some sleep. We shall see if that happens!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Whenever I think about the fact that just a few years ago, I couldn’t cook to save my life, it makes me laugh. Literally, I had issues boiling water. I once tried to make pasta in a teakettle. I wish I was kidding.

I’m not quite sure what changed, to be honest, but now I love nothing more than spending time in the kitchen whipping up something delicious for the people I love. And here’s something funny – while I could spend hours reading food blogs or finding recipes on Pinterest, I rarely actually use them, preferring instead to gain inspiration from a recipe but then go off and do my own thing.

Last night I hosted a bunch of girlfriends over for dinner – we decided to do it potluck-style, and I was in charge of the main course. Originally I was thinking of making Martha Stewart’s Chicken With Artichokes, but of course, couldn’t stick to the recipe and went off in a slightly different direction… adding tasty things like cherry tomatoes and diced onions and fresh lemon juice. Mmmm.

If I do say so myself, it was DELICIOUS. My friends raved about it and I felt so proud! And then they asked for the recipe. Uh oh. I told them I’d try my best to detail how I made it so I figured I’d share it here too!


For lack of a better name, I'm calling it Chicken-Ala-Jord :)

Coarse salt, ground pepper, and Italian seasoning
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 packages thin chicken cutlets
1 white onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 carton cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup white wine
2 cans (14 ounces) artichoke hearts (I had one can of artichoke hearts in oil and one can of artichokes in water so I used both) rinsed, drained, and quartered
Capers (I happen to adore capers so I used a ton of them but use however many you want)
1 large lemon, halved
3 tablespoons butter

Fill shallow dish with flour and season it with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Dredge chicken in flour mixture.

In a large skillet, heat butter til lightly foaming and add diced garlic and onions. When garlic and onions begin to sweat, add chicken cutlets and arrange so none are touching.

Scatter sliced tomatoes and artichokes over chicken and pour in wine. Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the chicken and pour in capers to your preference. Cover the pan with the lid and let sauté for 2 minutes.

Turn cutlets over and continue sautéing. Taste sauce and adjust for seasonings – salt, pepper, lemon juice, and capers. Continue sautéing until chicken is done cooking – to check, slice into the thickest part of the cutlet and make sure it is cooked all the way through without any pink remaining.

Using tongs, remove cutlets from the pan and place on a large serving platter. Top with the pan sauce and get ready to dig in!


I served this alongside a big bowl of fusilli pasta (my favorite!) that I lightly tossed with some olive oil and parmesan cheese. I was so happy when all my friends went back for seconds!

If you make it, let me know! Hope you enjoy as much as we did :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Had To Have It: Beauty Edition

It's been a while since I've done a "Had To Have It", hasn't it? Probably because of that whole NO SHOPPING MAY nonsense. Glad that's in the past :)

To make up for it, today's Had To Have It features TWO items! I can hear you cheering from here.

See that pretty pink polish above? It's from Essie's latest line and I'm OBSESSED with it. It's called - get this - Boom Boom Room. That means that 237 times a week, I have to say the words "Boom Boom Room" to every single person who comes up to me to ask what color I'm wearing. SO EMBARRASSING.

The polish is the perfect light yet bright pink. I always prefer Essie polish over any other brand, because I love the smooth finish and how I never need to use more than two coats for full coverage, and this color is the color I've been wanting for ages. Three out of the last four times I went in for a manicure, this is the color I've chosen. That NEVER happens.... but it's just right. Perfect for summer. The color makes my hands look so tan!

One caveat - I wouldn't swear to it, but I think after laying out in the sun while wearing Boom Boom Room on my fingernails, the shade actually lightened a bit. I personally don't mind - the color looks equally pretty a tiny bit lighter than it originally goes on - but I just thought I'd share! :)

The next item I Had To Have? Moroccan Oil Curl Defining Cream.

I can honestly say I have NEVER smelled anything as delicious as Moroccan Oil products. I am obsessed with the smell - I would wear it as perfume if I could. I own the shampoo and conditioner (I only use it on fancy occasions cuz it's expensive) and the hairspray, which I use a few times a week on my flyaways - I spray it on my fingers and

Anyway - the other day I had dinner with my friend Rachel and could not get over how good she smelled. I was sniffing her like a creeper for half the meal before she finally told me to cut it out and told me the source of her delicious-smelling curls: this cream! I went home and bought it off Amazon immediately.

I use it the same way I use my other styling cream when I want to wear my hair curly - after shampooing and conditioning in the shower and combing my hair out while soaking wet, I towel dry it, spray some detangling spray in, and finally flip my head over and scrunch it in sections with about a quarter-sized dollop of the Moroccan Oil cream on my palms. The rest of the day is spent with me sniffing my own head like a weirdo - at least I'm a happy weirdo :)

So that's what I've Had To Have recently! What about you? 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A San Fran Bachelorette

Hey friends! I am ridiculously excited because tomorrow morning, I am heading south to Houston for the weekend for a little reunion with my best pals. Cannot wait!

However, before I go on the NEXT trip, I realized I never blogged about the LAST trip. Oops. I spent last weekend in San Francisco celebrating my dear friend Ashley’s impending nuptials at her bachelorette extravaganza!


With the beautiful bride-to-be! I am obsessed with this picture!

Ashley’s maid-of-honor planned an awesome weekend – no detail was left undone. I arrived early early early Saturday morning to join the group (most people had arrived the night before) and immediately hopped on the party bus we had rented to take us wine tasting. Awesome.

We visited three wineries throughout the day and they were freaking adorable. I realized I have never actually gone wine tasting properly, like at an actual vineyard! And yes, I still technically haven’t, because I don’t drink… but it was still super fun. How gorgeous is this first one we visited – Paradise Winery? I am obsessed with the huge LOVE sculpture on their property.


And a cute little group shot outside the first one:


Between the first and the second wineries, we traveled through the FREAKING ADORABLE town of Sonoma and I fell in love. Ashley’s MOH had arranged for us all to have little picnic boxes ready from a bakery, and we took them to a little park and ate on the floor, sitting crosslegged, summer camp style. Loved it.

Here’s our table from the second winery, Gloria Ferrer Winery:


Our last winery also offered olive oil tastings! Don’t worry, I was able to partake in that :)


After returning from our day of wine tasting and resting for a bit, we headed out for dinner at Out The Doors in the city. It was INSANE. Delicious, modern, upscale Vietnamese food… what could be better? We sat at a long table and shared everything. Here’s our side of the table – so fun!


The rest of the evening was spent inside the hotel, where we all packed into the suite in our pajamas to play bridal games and surprise Ashley with some fun honeymoon-related gifts! I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard. We also may have enjoyed some of these delicious mini cupcakes…. #yum


Before I left on Sunday afternoon, I did have time to squeeze in one meal with my beloved Floff! She and her boyfriend Scotty took me to a delicious brunch and a spin around a little Farmer’s Market before taking me to the airport. I couldn’t help but drool over the tomatoes – I do love me a farmer’s market…


And I do love me some Floff :)


It was a whirlwind trip – I was barely there for 36 hours – but we packed a ton of fun into the weekend. I was so happy to be able to celebrate Ashley – fun fact: she and I met on our 2010 Birthright trip…. Which is ALSO where she met her fiancée Stevie! Thank god we all got selected for the same trip together… otherwise she would never have met her fiancée, and I never would have made a new friend for life :)

The wedding is Labor Day weekend… I cannot wait!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

The New NEW Job

So once again I find myself apologizing for the radio silence last week – but this time I have a really good excuse!

Most of you will remember when just a couple months ago, I got laid off and lost my job. And if you do, chances are good you’ll also remember when I posted about the new job and how excited I was. I believe my exact words were that I have “a special feeling this is the right place for me” and that “the job itself sounds pretty cool.”

Well… what the hell do I know? Spoiler alert: nothing.

That job, I’m sad to say, turned out to be a bust. I wish them well, but that was definitely NOT the right place for me. Within a few weeks I knew I needed to find something else and had already started searching for something new… and lo and behold, something found me.

I say something found me because it really did – this new job came to me! A friend of mine who I have known for years was leaving her marketing job at a well-known Jewish nonprofit after more than a decade, and was searching for just the right person to fill her spot. She said she wanted someone “smart and tough” and after hearing that, how could I possibly have turned her down?!

So…I have now been at my new NEW job for over a month, and I’m happy to say it’s going very well so far! I have a beautiful office, new friendly colleagues, great schedule (seriously… you don’t want to know how good my new schedule is #you’llbejealous), and lots of friends in the building who I can see for lunch. Fingers crossed it continues to be this good and I can have a long and happy career here :)

And finally, the reason I was so MIA last week… every year this organization holds a big fancy gala dinner at a hotel in Beverly Hills, and now one of my responsibilities is planning it! Yup, I hit the ground running, as my new CEO would say, and took over handling all the details for this big gala, which was held exactly one month and four days after I started. To say that I didn’t sleep for the last month would not be an understatement. I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when it was over and went well. Haha!

So that’s your latest update into my employment saga. It took a while to get here, but that’s part of growing up, isn’t it? I felt bad about not updating everyone on what was happening especially after I started the new job but after what happened last time, I wasn't in a rush to announce something publicly and then have it change so suddenly. So I waited... and I feel a lot better about it. I’m a lot happier now so maybe this is where I was supposed to be all along. Isn’t it funny how things happen?

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Wedding Registry Question

I have a question for all of you and I would honestly love your opinions. I posted this on Facebook yesterday and within 20 minutes I had a spirited debate raging on my wall. 

Is it a bad idea to give a bride & groom a gift for their wedding or shower that they did NOT register for?

The reason I ask is because I've come across something that I think would make a really lovely and unique gift, but it's not the type of thing you can register for. It's personal, personalized (meaning monogrammed!), and different - I don't know of many people who own one but it's the type of thing I personally would love to receive as a gift, even if I didn't know I even wanted one!

I don't want to say what the item in question is, because I know for a fact a lot of my friends whose upcoming weddings and showers I'm attending read this blog, and I don't want to ruin the surprise... 

When I first posed the question on Facebook, the general consensus was that it's okay to buy something not on a registry, as long as there is a gift receipt included so the couple can return it, or to just stick to the registry. But once I explained that the item in question was monogrammed, the tides seemed to turn, and many friends wrote in favor of surprising the couple with something personal and personalized, which is kind of what I thought all along, so I think I'm going to go with my gut and do it!

Many of you who read this blog are either engaged or married so I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject! Thanks in advance!