Friday, August 30, 2013

Surprise! My Birthday BBQ Was Actually An Engagement Party!

Oh hey, just your friendly neighborhood FIANCEE over here :) I continue to be blown away by the NICEST emails and phone calls that keep coming our way. It's good to be engaged - I don't think I've ever felt so popular in my life! :)

We had a whole weekend of celebrations after the big proposal. Weeks ago, Rami's bestie's wife Jackie offered to throw me a Saturday afternoon backyard BBQ birthday - I thought it was so sweet of her to offer and gladly took her up on it. Little did I know, Jackie was in on the proposal and what I thought was my birthday party was actually our engagement party! It was so awesome that she thought to do it like that - it ensured all our friends were available on Saturday and ready to party!

As soon as we arrived, Ram whipped out his laptop and showed everyone the professional video (which I still need to post as soon as we figure out how to edit it down). Everyone was a good sport and watched it!


Of course, he held a second showing an hour later for the stragglers/guests who arrived late:


My mom, R's parents, and his brother stopped by the party for a bit. Our new joined family :)


I have a new BROTHER!!! Never had one of those before!


Shockingly, I don't have any food pictures, but rest assured, it was a shmorgasbord... hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken apple sausage, salads, guacamole, chips, fruit, you name it. And for dessert, Cary made strawberry cupcakes! I like to think they were pink in honor of me. (Good thing R likes pink, BTW!)

GB representin our school pals... Also, amazing photobomb by Jackie:


How fun is this? The "activity" on the tables before we all ate was a "decorate your own ring" art project - so cute!!!


This is what happens when you yell "show us your ring!" while I am about to take a picture #awkward:


Someone handed me bridal Minnie Mouse ears. I kinda loved them:


We love our pals!


Post-swim shots... adorable baby included:


The last picture is of our lovely party hosts, Jackie and Offer, and their gorgeous girls. Offer and Rami have been best friends since first grade and from the moment I met him and J, I fell heads over heels in love with them. Ram's friends are one of my favorite things about him - I could not ask for a greater group of new best friends!!!


So engagement party #1...BIG SUCCESS! Now I've got to get started on planning #2!

Monday, August 26, 2013


I don't even know how to begin this blog post so I'll just say it! :)

RAMI AND I ARE ENGAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Even as I type this I am smiling so big and keep getting distracted by the ridiculously gorgeous diamond ring on my left hand. It is the most beautiful, sparkly thing I have ever seen. HE DID REAL GOOD YALL!!!!!

But better than the diamond ring - and, ya know, the fact that I get to MARRY the love of my life - is the WAY Ram proposed. It was so awesome, so clever, so creative and hilarious and perfectly US, and I have no idea how he managed to keep it a secret from me for two months!!!

For those of you who might not know this about us - one of our favorite things to do is go to comedy shows. R is a huge alternative comedy fan and over the past two and a half years, he has introduced me to the wonderful world of alt comedy - I now love it just as much as he does. We have a few regular shows in LA we go to every month; one in particular is my favorite. It's called "Ronna & Beverly" and it starts two young talented comedians who play middle aged Jewish yentas/mothers - obviously I find them hilarious cuz it's basically like watching my mom and her friends chatter to each other about silly nonsense :) We go almost every month and I look forward to each and every show. They are absolutely hilarious!!!

Apparently more than two months ago Ram emailed Jessica and Jamie, the two comedians who play Ronna and Beverly. He told them we were huge fans who follow them and love them and asked them if they would be interested in helping him propose DURING their August show... and they immediately emailed him back and said they loved the idea and they would be happy to help do it!!! They worked out a brief skit (where they would falsely accuse Rami as being the guy who broke Beverly's daughter's heart in order to weave him into the story and get him on stage) and found out what we were going to be wearing and where we would be sitting and everything - so much detail went into this, I am FLOORED!

So, on Friday night, August 23rd at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Hollywood at around 9:00pm, Rami got onstage (booting Henry Winkler - THE FONZ HIMSELF - off into a corner), played his part perfectly, and as I looked on from the second row, laughing in disbelief, my adorable boyfriend got down on one knee in front of a sold out crowd of about 150 people and asked me to marry him!!!!!

And now he is my FIANCE!!!!!!! We are ENGAGED. I can't BELIEVE IT!!!!! 








And here is another awesome thing - the entire thing was videotaped!!! We had a bunch of friends with us who are also regulars at R&B, plus some random people took pictures and videos and the theater sent us an amazing HD version of the entire show... including our bit at the end :) you can enjoy this side-view version for now and as soon as we edit the clip from UCB I'll post the professional version as well!!!!!

To say I am OVERWHELMED by the outpouring of love that has come our way in the past few days is probably the understatement of the century. We have gotten more emails, phone calls, text messages, Facebook posts (seriously - the picture I posted when it first happened now has more than FIVE HUNDRED likes... #INSANITY), hugs, kisses, and love than we know what to do with! I am so grateful to everyone who is so excited - your happiness means so much to us and I love you all so much for it.


Now after a weekend of celebrating (posts coming soon about a surprise engagement pool party/BBQ and my birthday brunch that coincidentally happened two days after the engagement!), I cannot wait for what comes next... WEDDING PLANNING!!!! This blog is about to get REAL good, ya'll!!!!!

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts!
The Queen - and future KING! - of LA :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Neutrals for Fall

So I've been doing some shopping lately. And by "some" I mean "a lot!" 

I love everything I've bought, but want to hear the weirdest thing? Nearly everything is neutral - black, white, cream, etc. Maybe it's because summer's ending soon and fall is right around the corner? For a self proclaimed lover of hot pink, neons, and sparkles, I must admit I'm a little perplexed by what I've been drawn to lately, but I think these new neutral additions will fit in nicely with what's already in my closet!

Here's what's made its way home with me over the past few weeks:


I saw this ikat tunic in the window of Anthropologie and couldn't run in fast enough to try it on! This style dress - empire, with a poofyish skirt - is very flattering on me. I'll wear it as a dress now with flats and over leggings with boots when it gets colder.

I don't know why I don't shop in Topshop more often - especially when they've got pretty dresses like this one on their racks! This waterfall trapeze dress is so fluttery and feminine, and the shade of cream is perfect.

I've been searching for a leopard boot or bootie for ages. Maybe this Dolce Vita flat boot is the one? I ordered it online and it hasn't arrived yet - I'll keep you posted if it's a keeper.

LOFT is another store I don't often hit up, but their stuff is so cute! Believe me when I say that this scribble-patterned dress is INSANELY comfortable... plus it has pockets! Right now it's 40% off - go get one for yourself!

Three Dot leggings are my favorite - they're comfortable and soft and they last forever. When I say forever, I mean it - I bought my first pair the summer before my senior year of college (2006!) and I literally JUST replaced them because they finally got holes in them. Yay for a new pair!

Last year, J.Crew released this shoe in bright pink suede - I bought them and have worn them nonstop since. Now they've come out with it in basic black suede - AKA my wardrobe's new go-to shoe!

I first spied this Free People peplum blouse on the rack in white and fell in love, but ultimately went for it in black. Rest assured I'll be wearing mine with a tank, not a sports bra :) I think it'll look equally nice with a pencil skirt and a pair of skinny jeans!

Don't worry - even though I'm considering these to be purchases for fall, I'm gonna start getting my money's worth out of them ASAP. They're too cute to leave in the closet for two more months!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Baking Up Some Banana Bread

I go to the Farmer's Market nearly every weekend and the produce in California has just been unbelievable - so I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately! 

Last Saturday night we hosted Game Night for our friends - I made a ridiculous lasagna using this recipe (wish I had a pic - maybe I'll remake it so I can blog it!) and a light tasty lemon cake (with rainbow sprinkles, of course)...

When Gerrick was in town, we cooked a big dinner and I crafted this appetizer - crostini with proscuitto, fresh burrata, and the most delicious white peaches, topped with a thick balsamic syrup, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Words cannot even express the deliciousness.

R and I love tomatoes - in summer, I like buying heirlooms in every color, slicing them up, and roasting them in the oven with olive oil and some fresh herbs. Basically the prettiest dish ever.

This past weekend, I had some bananas slightly past their prime. My co-worker had brought in banana bread a few weeks ago and gave me her favorite recipe - it's Rachael Ray's - so I ran to the market for ingredients and whipped some up. It was awesome - so moist with chocolate chips in every bite!

Here's the recipe, with my tweaks in bold!

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 bananas, mashed (I just broke up whole bananas with my hands right into the bowl)
1 cup chocolate chips (you could probably get away with 3/4 cup and be fine)
*I also added one large spoonful of nonfat greek yogurt and a teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F . Grease and flour a 8 1/2-inch x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan (or use baking spray - that's what I did.)

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix in the oil, bananas and eggs (this is also where I added the greek yogurt and the vanilla extract). Stir in the chocolate chips (do not overmix!) and pour into the prepared pan. 

3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60-80 minutes. 

4. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely, right side up.

If you have some bananas laying around, you should make some! I hope you like it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TV Bingeing

You know those people who can sit for hours upon hours in front of their TV? Those people who, when they come across a new show that they like, have no problem starting from the very first episode of the very first season and whipping through every single episode until they're all caught up to present time, or even til they finish the entire show's run? The people who get up after finishing nine hours of TV to find a permanent dent in their couch cushions?

I am not one of those people. (Ram is - his idea of the best day ever surely involves watching a TV series from start to finish in a single afternoon.) It took me a FULL YEAR to watch seasons 1-3 of Arrested Development, and every time I sat down to watch one, it was because Ram had cajoled me into it. It wasn't because I didn't think the show was funny - it was hilarious - it was because the thought of making my way through episode upon episode and season upon season was completely overwhelming and daunting. So binge watching TV was not for me. 

Until Orange is The New Black.

Ya'll, have you seen it yet? I am obsessed. I don't want to go too far into detail if you haven't seen any episodes yet, but here's a little rundown with no spoilers: OITNB is a Netflix original series, which means that when it was released in July, the entire first season (13 episodes total) was available at once - meaning once you were hooked, it was super easy to binge watch! It's based on a true story about an upper middle class white woman named Piper who gets sent to prison a decade after committing a crime (carrying a suitcase full of drug money into another country as a favor to her girlfriend), and how she struggles to adjust to a completely new set of rules behind bars, surrounding by a truly insane cast of characters. 

In my opinion, the unique premise is really what ultimately hooks you, but the supporting cast members - prison guards and other prisoners included - are just phenomenal in both their acting and their portrayals. My favorite characters are Crazy Eyes, Nicki, or my personal hero, Taystee - I laugh so hard when they are on screen. This is a clip from my absolute FAVORITE scene in the entire season:

I cannot get enough of Taystee. She is basically the reason why I started re-watching the season - AGAIN!

Now the question remains... have I been converted into a TV binge-watcher? Or was my obsession limited only to OITNB? I think I need to find a new series and test out this theory. Ram has suggested Scandal, but after last weekend reading everyone's insane excitement over Breaking Bad, I kind of want to see what the fuss is all about. In the meantime, I will slowly but surely make my way through the eleven episodes of last season's Grey's Anatomy that are still sitting on my DVR leftover from May. I AM THE WORST.

If you have a suggestion of a fabulous show I should sit down and commit to, I am all ears!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Summer Visitor

The weekend is just a few hours away but I haven't even written about all the fun I had LAST weekend! #badblogger

Last weekend Gerrick came into town from Dallas to spend a few days in LA! Ordinarily when I have a friend coming to visit, I get really excited and kinda go overboard planning a crazy fun jam-packed itinerary, but this time, aside from some general ideas of things she had never done in LA before, we decided to just take each day as it came, depending on what we were in the mood to do. 

She landed Friday morning and first thing we did after she unpacked and relaxed a bit at my apartment was OBVIOUSLY go for some sushi. Here we are at Izakaya, my favorite place - it's easy to smile this big when you've just had some delicious spicy tuna on crispy rice!


Afterwards, we did a very "LA Thing", according to Gerrick, and went to go watch a taping of E! News! It was hot and I was cranky so I sat in the shade with Serena while Gerrick and Greene enjoyed the show, but their patience was rewarded - they got to take pics with Guiliana Rancic and we didn't. Gerrick is now referring to her as "her new best friend." Don't worry, I'm not that jealous.

It was a fabulous coincidence that the weekend Gerrick decided to visit was the first weekend of the month, so we got to show her First Friday on Abbot Kinney! On the first Friday night of every month, Abbot Kinney - this awesome street in Venice - becomes a mile long block party, lined with food trucks and bars and boutiques that keep their doors open late. It was insanely crowded but we still managed to have fun. One food truck was offering the craziest looking potato spirals on a stick. Gerr could not resist.


Saturday was just as fun as Friday - we woke up super early and drove out to Arcadia to Din Tai Fung for some authentic soup dumplings and Chinese food. RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME AND WORTH THE SHLEP. Look at those delicious babies.


Then we decided to lay out and swim at my moms... Completely forgot to take a pic, but as soon as we put our bathing suits on and walked out to the pool we started cracking up - we were wearing the exact same bathing suit! Great minds think alike :)


Because I am lucky enough to live in a city with a lot of my friends and sorority sisters from college, we planned a big fun night out on Saturday night, so Gerrick could get a chance to catch up with everyone and finally meet some significant others and boyfriends she had only seen on Facebook so far :) so we hit up Benihana! MANY MANY SAKI BOMBS LATER (yes, I even did a few, and certainly paid the price for it...), our boyfriends kind of hated us by the end of the night.



Probably my favorite thing we did all weekend? On Sunday morning we took a little trek east to the famous Hollywood Farmer's Market. I love farmer's markets and walk to the tiny one in Brentwood almost every weekend, but for some reason had never been to the one in Hollywood before. 



Well... I never want to miss it again. It was amazing! At least four times the size of the one I normally go to, and jam-packed with deliciousness - gorgeous fruits and vegetables, milk and cheese, freshly baked pies and pastries and breads, all kinds of spices, beautiful flowers... I was in heaven. We even found a seafood stand where they were shucking fresh oysters! We gulped them down... at 10am :)


And then, later that afternoon, we cooked a nice big dinner with all of our fresh produce and dairy! On the menu: fresh peach, burrata, and proscuitto crostini, chickpea salad with homemade honey balsamic vinaigrette, roasted heirloom tomato compote, and Gerrick's unbelievable garlic spiced chicken with onions. Does that not look amazing or what?! 



The weekend went by way too fast :( it's one of the saddest things in the world, living across the country from your best friends. I miss her already! Come back soon!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Monday, August 5, 2013

One Year with The Roomie :)

Wanna hear something crazy? As of this week, R and I have officially been living together for an entire year!

Who remembers when we first signed our lease? And then I went crazy with the decorating? It seems like just yesterday, doesn't it? I can't believe how fast 365 days have flown.

I feel lucky that it wasn't a very hard transition to living together - I was nervous in the beginning, but we actually are quite compatible as roommates :) R had to get used to my constant singing while he was trying to watch something on TV and the steady stream of packages from my online shopping bouts, and I had to come to terms with the fact that on occasion, his closet was going to be slightly messy and there was not a damn thing I was going to be able to do about it, but you know what? It's all worth it.

It's worth it because I love coming home every day and having him greet me at the door as soon as he hears my key in the lock. It's worth it because I like having him stand next to me in the kitchen and assist me with chopping vegetables or opening stuck jars or stirring pasta sauce while we team up to get dinner ready. It's worth it to get to snuggle up on the couch and binge watch Orange Is The New Black (sidebar: we are OBSESSED). It's worth it to have someone who wakes me up with my favorite Starbucks drink sometimes and folds my laundry if I'm not home and vacuums the crumbs because he knows I hate doing it.

It's worth it because I get to live with my best friend :)

Sorry for my mushiness... I had to shout it from the rooftops. I love living with my man!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Means One Thing... My Birthday Month!

Happy August friends! It's the most magical month of all... my birthday month!

Oh yes, my family, friends, and loved ones are well aware that August brings incessant chattering about my birthday and the excitement that consumes me throughout the whole month. I've already begun planning my own birthday party - more on that soon! - and of course... a little birthday "wishlist," if you will :)

Here are some things I have had my eye on lately... hint, hint, Mama: 


I love artist Lulie Wallace's beautiful flower prints - I own one and it's just beautiful. I would love to keep this calendar in my office throughout 2014 and then frame the pages when the year is over!

Tortoiseshell AND colored jewels... could I love this Baublebar necklace more? So interesting and perfect for fall!

To know me is to know of my one true love - getting my hair blown out :) A Drybar gift certificate would put a smile on my face like nothing else!

As a lifelong lover of ballet flats AND polka dots, I can't think of any good reason why this shoe should not join me and live in happiness in my closet. I'm a size 9 if anyone is wondering! :)

I already own a Joie tote bag - this one to be exact - and I LOVE it - it's lightweight, well-made, and I get tons of compliments on it. I would definitely be happy with getting a different style to add to my collection, and I have my eye on this chic black/white number!

Leopard Lanvin ballet flats. A girl can dream. 

Such a unique and delicate little pendant! It comes in gold as well but I'm partial to silver. 

I love the idea of buying a special piece of art on a special occasion - every time you look at it, you are reminded of a happy memory! My mom has given me Jennifer Sanchez art prints for past birthdays and this year, I have my eye on this little painting by Misha Blaise - so beautiful. 

I can tell ya'll one thing - I will be one happy 28 year old if I get to open any of these on my birthday :) Let the countdown begin!!!