Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Fun Q&A

Two bloggers who I’ve been reading forever have started a Q&A Monday linkup!

Shasta and Megan answered these questions via vlogs, but in the interest of sparing you the sight of me on the couch in my pajamas after a loooong day, I figured I’d skip that part and do it the old fashioned way :) here goes!

Favorite beauty product of all time?

I am a HUGE fan of Covergirl Lashblast Mascara - the one in the fat orange tube - it makes my eyelashes look SO long. My other must-have is my perfume - Acca Kappa White Moss. Everywhere I go people stop me and tell me how good I smell!

acca kappa

What do you use on your hair?

I alternate between a few different shampoo/conditioner combinations to keep my hair from getting too used to one product. I rotate between Dove for damaged hair, Garnier for colored hair, and on special occasions, Moroccan Oil shampoo and conditioner - it smells AMAZING!

When I get out of the shower I detangle my hair with child’s detangler - Suave Double Dutch Apple to be exact! If I am wearing my hair curly, I flip my head over and scrunch it with a little bit of TIGI Catwalk Curls Leave-In Moisturizer. If I’m wearing it straight I spray a little Moroccan Oil hairspray in after I straighten it.

Complete skin care routine?

My skin care routine is pretty basic. I wash my face morning and night with Chanel Foaming Cleanser - it’s expensive but it’s not harsh at all and smells really fresh. If my skin feels dry I use a little Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. I take my makeup off with Makeup Forever Sens’Eyes remover.

Favorite handbag?

Hands down, my beautiful black patent leather Chanel bag. My grandparents bought it for me for my college graduation and it is one of my most prized possessions.


One thing you would change about yourself?

I really, REALLY, don’t like change - big or small. Yesterday the IT guy at work pointed it out to me when I completely balked and started freaking out when he tried to give me a new COMPUTER MOUSE - “You don’t do well with anything new, don’t you?” he said. I really don’t - I am someone who finds an inordinate amount of comfort in familiar things and traditions and it takes me a long, loooong time to feel comfortable again once things have been changed.

One thing you like about yourself?

I like my outgoing, warm personality - it helps me meet new people! It is so fun for me to get to know someone new, put them at ease, learn more about them, and hopefully start a new friendship!

Most memorable outfit of all time?

Hmmm... the summer before my senior year of college I bought an insanely gorgeous, floor-length Nicole Miller silk gown. I wore it to my cousin’s bar mitzvah, my huge 21st birthday bash, and the Tony Awards! I will never get rid of that dress - I still think it is the most gorgeous thing and it always brings a smile to my face when I see it hanging in my closet!


Me and Mama before the 2006 Tony awards!

Which celeb closet would you like to raid?

Oooooh! I always think Rachel Bilson has fabulous style. She always looks adorable, chic, and funky, and her shoes and accessories ALWAYS make her outfit.


Describe your style in one word?

Colorful! Everyone who looks in my closet laughs because the ENTIRE thing is filled with bright, colorful, patterned clothing. My mother, who can be found in jeans and a black top 99% of the time, can’t believe we are related!

How and why did you start blogging?

I started Queen of LA at the end of 2009 - I had just decided to quit my job in nonprofit fundraising. I had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew that whatever I did, I wanted to be writing!

My blog is not as famous or popular as many others, and it’s not always as famous or popular as I’d like it to be, but at the end of the day, I love having a place where I can share my thoughts and feelings, funny stories and pictures, and inspiring images with all of you.

There is seriously no better feeling than hearing from someone how much they enjoy reading my blog and learning more about me. It seriously makes my entire day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Ridiculously Easy DIY

Hi friends! Hope you had a lovely weekend. Those of you who follow me on Instagram (I’m @queenjord) may have seen this little project that I whipped up, but I wanted to show more pictures on the blog!

On Friday when I came home from work I found myself in a crafty mood. Inspired by all of the beautiful and creative painted necklace I’ve been seeing and drooling over online, I decided to make my own! I am by no means an expert on DIY-ing, so you KNOW this was a super easy project :)

I had a gorgeous rhinestone necklace laying around that I rarely wore - perfect for zhushing up!


I pulled a few of my favorite bright pink nail polishes out of my medicine cabinet and made sure they went together nicely. From left to right: OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender, Essie Movers and Shakers, Essie Splash of Grenadine, OPI La Paz-itively Hot, and Essie Big Spender.


From there on it, it couldn’t have been an easier project. I decided I wanted to transform my necklace using an ombre pattern, so I arranged the nail polish colors going dark to light, and went to town painting. I made sure to dab each rhinestone carefully with the nail polish.


It only took me about 45 minutes to do the entire necklace, and that included time chatting with my roommate and watching Will & Grace on DVR :) I let it dry while I went out for Fancy Date Night with my boyfriend, and later that night, we came home to this beauty...


I love this shot - you can see all the pretty colors!


I texted a picture to my mom and my sister, both of whom immediately wrote back demanding their own. Looks like I have a new hobby! Obviously I am a cheeseball and had to model it for you. (BTW, do you like my new hair? I dyed it redder!)


If you decide to make your own, send me a picture. I’d love to see! It was super easy and I can’t wait to wear my new necklace!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dress Up

A week from today I am flying to New York for my cousin’s bat mitzvah. I can’t wait to see my family on the East Coast (especially my sister!) but the dilemma of what to wear is giving me quite a headache.

For those of you who might not know, it’s customary to have your shoulders covered when you attend a Jewish prayer service at a synagogue as a sign of respect. This works out well in this case – I wouldn’t want to wear anything sleeveless or strapless in New York in February anyway – it snowed last week! (Before you even ask, yes, I am already flipping out over the coat and boot situation.)

Additionally, my cousin’s party is right after the morning prayer service – it’s a luncheon. My usual go-to party dresses with their heavy sequins and sparkles won’t work – even I draw the line at a cocktail dress at noon on a Saturday! However – this is the Queen of LA we’re talking about. I don’t want to wear something black and boring!

So for the past month or so I’ve been on the lookout for a classy yet fabulous dress – something that covers my shoulders (or goes well with a snazzy blazer or sweater) and is appropriate for both praying and partying. Here are some options I’ve been liking…

Should I go for something patterned?


Left to right:

Kate Spade/Diane von Furstenberg/Tucker/J.Crew/Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique

Or something super bright and colorful? Could look fabulous paired with black opaque tights and super high heels or boots…


Left to right:

Topshop/See By Chloe/Elizabeth & James/Anthropologie/Calvin Klein

A basic black or grey dress would allow me to zhush it up with insane accessories and jewels:


Left to right:

DKNY/Michael Stars/Kate Spade/Free People/Juicy Couture

What do you think? What’s your favorite? Got a dress you could recommend? I need to know!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Interior Decorating With The Boyfriend, Round Two

Who remembers this post? The one where my boyfriend helpfully gave me his opinion on the rooms, furniture, and decor that I truly admire and love?

Many of you told me how hard you laughed and how much you enjoyed that post - happy to bring a smile to your face! Last week Ram and I were enjoying a relaxing night in on the couch and I decided it was time to show him some more images I’ve saved to get his opinions.

Without further ado... the Ramster, Interior Decorating Newbie :)


(Big sigh) “The wallpaper is like really heavily decorated, like on Pushing Daisies. I like the symmetry. There’s hearts on the pillows, but they are not “heart pillows.”


“What’s with all the keys? And LINCOLN? President Lincoln? How do you get any work done on that desk, by the way?”

Me: “It’s not necessarily a desk.”

“Then what the hell is it?”

frank stella painting

“Wasn’t there an episode of Doug where the sister changed all the furniture in the house and no one could sit on the chairs? That’s what those chairs are.”


“There are a lot of things going on here. The fuzzy thing on the end of the bed makes me feel itchy.”


“I like this! (Singing) A place for everything and everything in its place.”


“I like this too. It doesn’t sacrifice storage at the expense of comfort. Also, the sofa is like a candy bar! No, it’s like a bon bon with the vanilla icing on the chocolate.”

Me: “I have no idea what you are talking about.”


“Wood table with wood floor? Is that allowed?”

Me: “That’s ALL you have to say about this? Nothing about the rug that’s the most beautiful rug I’ve ever seen?”


I want to point out that every single photo here is one that I have saved in my inspiration folder and drool over regularly, so no harm meant at all! It’s not my fault my darling boyfriend doesn’t recognize quality, gorgeous interior design when he sees it :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Meal Fit For A Queen

There are few things I love more than a trip to Las Vegas with my mom. Everyone is always so surprised when they hear about how often we go together, but it’s not like we’re out clubbing or anything! Since we live so close (only an hour flight away), it’s the perfect place for a girl’s getaway. We were there this past weekend and, as usual, we had a great time together doing our favorite things - gambling (and losing), shopping at Fashion Show Mall, and of course, eating at some of our favorite places!


Knowing that I go as often as I do, lots of people often ask me for my Vegas recommendations (I usually direct them to this post), but I make sure to encourage anyone planning a trip to make time for dinner at Craftsteak - my very favorite restaurant.

I came prepared to dinner this time... now rather than just TELLING you all about it, I can SHOW you!

I’m one of those people who can easily fill up on bread before the meal if it’s good enough. Warning: the bread at Craftsteak IS good enough! They serve little Hawaiian rolls sprinkled with fleur de sel - sweet and delicious.


During the summer, the appetizer to get at Craftsteak is their heirloom tomato salad or anything with corn in it. However, since we were there in January, we went for some meat! I ordered a Wagyu steak tartare, which came with crostini and a tiny quail egg, and my mom got the charcuterie platter, which arrived with a mustard sampler tray - such gorgeous plating! Both were delicious.


I couldn’t resist ordering a Fanny Bay oyster when I saw it on the menu - yes, just one! It came with horseradish, lemon, cocktail sauce, and mignonette - I’m a lemon/horseradish girl myself.


Those of you who know me will not be surprised by this - I am not a fan of sharing a meal :) However, the steaks at Craftsteak are HUGE - I could never finish one by myself. My mom and I always share the hanger steak, cooked medium rare (more on the rare side) and it’s perfect - melt-in-your-mouth good.


But BETTER than the steak, if possible? Their side dishes. They offer basically anything you could want - risottos, grilled and roasted vegetables, potatoes any way, you name it. We shared a Yukon Gold potato puree with chives and roasted butternut squash with fried sage leaves...


... and my FAVORITE - roasted mushrooms. HEAVEN IN A LITTLE GOLD PAN. I sure hope my sister is not reading this post, because as a lifelong mushroom hater, there is no way she could appreciate the photo of those tiny ‘shrooms. One of my all-time favorite dishes on earth.


Everytime we go, I cross my fingers that Tom Colicchio will be there - I am obviously a HUGE Top Chef fan and I think I’d faint on the floor to see his cute bald head in front of me. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there... but the mini cookie sandwiches they brought out gratis at the end of the meal helped cheer me up just a tad :)


They’re the perfect size - barely bigger than my thumbnail! We never order dessert, because we’re always so full from dinner :)

Bottom line: if you’re planning a trip to Vegas, make sure Craftsteak makes it onto your itinerary. I’ve suggested it to dozens of people and they’ve all been blown away - it’s a splurge, but well worth it. I go to hundreds of restaurants a year but there are very few that I love as much as I love Craftsteak!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Kitchen Improvisation!

As someone who still feels relatively new to cooking and baking, whenever I’m making something new, I follow the recipe exactly. I’ve been waiting and waiting until the day I felt comfortable enough to start improvising on my own... and that day has come!

Last Saturday night, Rami and I got invited last minute to our friend’s house for a game night! I never like to go anywhere empty handed, but I had already gone to the market that morning and was too lazy to go again... so I figured I’d see if I had anything already in the pantry that I could whip up before we went.


What did I find? A can of crescent rolls, a jar of chunky peanut butter, and a half-empty bag of chocolate chips... I could work with that!

These little peanut butter/chocolate rolls were the easiest things I’ve ever made. I literally rolled out each triangle of dough, spread some peanut butter all over it, sprinkled some chocolate chips over them, and rolled em up! I baked them for 12 minutes at 350 degrees on an ungreased cookie sheet - they came out piping hot, golden brown, and smelled DELICIOUS!


I was feeling EXTREMELY proud of myself for both coming up with this recipe and actually executing it without a recipe or causing any fires... until Gerrick burst my bubble by informing me that it is a well-known and popular recipe on Pinterest! Oh well. I had no idea, so I guess it still counts :)


Three ingredients. Less than 20 minutes. And our friends loved them! Couldn’t be easier or yummier. I highly recommend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Neons

R and I were outside a restaurant the other day, waiting for our name to be called to get seated, when I decided to pop into Gap to kill some time and look around. I was only in the store for a few minutes, but that was long enough for me to fall in love with their latest offerings - shirts, flats, belts, and sweaters, all in glorious shades of NEON!

After lunch, we ran a couple errands, finishing the afternoon at Target. Lo and behold, electric shades were everywhere on their racks too! I held up a hot pink sports bra and told Rami, "Neon is going to be MAJOR for spring." "That's nice," he said, and wandered off to look at DVDs.

Boyfriends and their lack of fashion knowledge aside, I was right - neon IS everywhere, and it is totally major for spring! It's not even that cold in Los Angeles (I feel for you all on the East Coast, really I do), but already I'm itching to brighten up my wardrobe with hot pink, lime green, bright yellow, and hot orange shoes, bags, accessories, and more!

It's only January and I can't believe how much neon I'm seeing in stores and online. I want it all! What about you - see anything you like or have to have? Which bright is your favorite - pink, orange, yellow, or green? You know I'm partial to pink, but those other neons are calling my name!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pizza Please!

Oh sweet deliciousness! LA friends, you are in for a real treat!

Last night, I had dinner at the new Westwood restaurant that everyone is talking about - 800 Degrees. For weeks now, I've heard the hype about how delicious this new place is, so Greene Bean and I had to check it out. And it lived up to every expectation - it was seriously delicious!

800 Degrees is the new pizza concept restaurant from the man who invented Umami Burger, so it's already got a pretty good pedigree. Basically, 800 Degrees is the Subway of pizza restaurants - you get to pick what you want and make your own pie - but the thing is, every single ingredient in the restaurant is gourmet and of the highest quality, and the pizza itself only takes one minute to cook! So brilliant.


First you order one of three basic pies - Margarita, Bianca (a white pie), or Marinara (no cheese), and then you tell the guy behind you what ingredients you want. They have almost anything you could think of - pepperoni, salami, proscuitto, mushrooms, tomatoes, roasted garlic, olives, arugula, onions, capers, shrimp, pine nuts, a million different cheeses, you name it.


The guys behind the counter - photo courtesy of GB!

I went with the Margarita with shrimp, roasted garlic, and mushrooms, and a side salad of burrata with pesto, cherry tomatoes, and arugula - absolutely phenomenal. I love the fact that I got to pick exactly what came on it - it was delicious! The only qualm I had about my pizza is it was a little soggy - but a sign near the counter says you're welcome to ask for your pizza "extra crispy" - I may do that next time and see if the sogginess goes away.


(Originally posted on Instagram - are we friends yet? @queenjord)

The best part? The price - two pizzas and two salads with the freshest, tastiest ingredients was less than $35! In Los Angeles, that's a hell of a deal. My pizza was literally cheaper than a CPK pizza - and ready in less than 60 seconds!

GB and I had barely finished our first bites before we were already talking about how we couldn't wait to come back. Halfway through, I texted my mom to tell her she had missed out on not joining us.

800 Degrees, you've got a big fan in me!

Please note: this was not a compensated post. It was just delicious and I wanted to share it with all of you, especially those of you who live in LA!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Crate & Barrel Lust

I have a hole burnt in my pocket. A gift card to Crate & Barrel is the culprit.

Get it?! I really make myself laugh sometimes.

No but seriously, I've had this gift card to old C&B for months now, and haven't spent any of it. And every month I get their newest catalogue in the mail, and ooh and ahh over so many things in it! I know I should be saving it for a future big furniture purchase or something (a bed! a couch! a coffee table!), but part of me wants to say "Screw it!" and go buy some pretty little things.

Like these napkins, for instance. I'm swooning! Rainbow colors AND stripes? These are so up my alley it hurts. These are already in my cart... I can't promise I won't buy them! ($34.95 for a set of six)


Wouldn't these candlestick holders look great on a table set for a picnic in spring? I love their curvy shape. You can buy them separately or in a set! ($44.95 for three)


These placemats are seriously gorgeous. Each one is in the shape of a flower - look how delicate the little petals are! I have seriously contemplated buying these many a time in the store... the only question is, metallic silver or metallic gold? ($7.95 each)


I KNOW right now my mother is reading this and rolling her eyes - "I love neutrals. How is it possible this color-loving child is mine?!" But I can't help it - I think this rug is great! True, it'd be a little overwhelming in a large size, but I think it'd look great in a kitchen or as a runner in an entryway.


I don't know if there's an official name for them, but I actually collect vases that look like this - ones with bright colors swirling around. I like the compact shape - and the low price - of this one! ($14.95)


What do you think? See anything you fancy? Do you think I should save my giftcard for something big and reasonable... or continue to let it set my pockets on fire? :)

Maybe I'll take a trip over there in person this weekend. Speaking of weekends, I've got a three day one ahead of me. See you next week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Obsession: Rose Gold!

If I could make a list of things I recently discovered that I absolutely love, it would go something like this:

1. Alternative comedy
2. Kalamata olives
3. Eggnog
4. Rose gold jewelry

YALL! I have an obsession with rose gold ANYTHING. I’ve always been the type who likes to mix and match jewelry – for years, both of my wrists have been adorned with both gold and silver bracelets – but recently, I’ve been adding some rose gold into the mix as well. Remember my beautiful Stella & Dot bracelet?

I guess I have been talking about rose gold a lot lately, especially near my boyfriend – for the last two “gift-giving opportunities”, as I like to refer to them, he has bought me some gorgeous pieces of rose gold jewels!

For my birthday, I opened up a box containing this slim little rose gold cuff. I put it on and haven’t taken it off since:


And last month for Hanukkah, Rami gave me these absolutely beautiful earrings, by Dogeared! I wore them on vacation, out for a girl’s dinner, and on New Years Eve, and got a million compliments:


Speaking of “gift-giving opportunities”, Valentine’s Day and our one year anniversary are BOTH coming up, and what a coincidence – Bauble Bar just came out with their beautiful monogrammed necklaces in…you guessed it…rose gold!


I have been admiring these necklaces for months, and the new color option just tipped me over the edge. I’m in love! And they’re so reasonably priced!

The only thing better than gold jewelry… is gold jewelry tinged with a little hint of PINK! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Wallet Is In Trouble

OH YALL. I am having one of those moments where I want to buy EVERYTHING I SEE.

I open a catalogue and I’m barely on the fourth page before I am obsessed with an item. I read a blog featuring a new product and I’m feverishly clicking through before I even know what I’m doing. I follow someone’s link on Twitter and I catch myself adding stuff to my cart online.

I love everything! I feel like all the stores and retailers were waiting until the new year to unveil all their gorgeous things. The problem is, they all did it at the exact same time… and if I get everything I want, my bank account is going to have a serious problem.

Maybe if I write a post about it, I’ll fight the urge to actually own it all? Sort of like a blogger retail therapy? Highly doubtful, but worth a shot. Without further ado, everything I’m currently loving/needing/obsessing over!


Cashmere. Hot pink. Stripes. There was no way I wasn’t going to love this sweater. In fact, part of me thinks J.Crew made it just for me! The aqua/emerald combo is nice, but I looooove this pink one! ($198)


All I can say about these shoes? Holy shit. I’m sure some of you are wincing right about now – too bright, too many stripes, not your style, too expensive – but I think these Jimmy Choos are fantastic. I love how they showed the model wearing them with a super simple outfit – I’d do the same! I think they’d look great with some skinny jeans and a plain tank. I’ll own these in my dreams! ($1095… YIKES.)


I cannot tell a lie – this sweater intrigued me so much I went to Old Navy at lunch last week and bought it! I wore it out for fancy date night this weekend and I’m officially obsessed. It’s the perfect piece to dress down with leggings and a tank or dress up with black pants and heels. Thanks to MMC for first blogging about it! (On sale - just $40!)


In between shrieking when I first laid eyes on this Tolani scarf and blogging about it, I think it sold out – which is a good thing, because I probably would have eventually bought it. My wallet is breathing a sigh of relief. As a lifelong lover of color, I think it is just the most beautiful thing!


Rachel Zoe featured this bag yesterday in The Zoe Report and you better believe I went scrambling over the internet to find it! (See, I TOLD you I was vulnerable to the power of suggestion!) It’s available at Anthropologie, which makes it a possible real-life purchase – I have a massive gift card there and this Mara Hoffman beauty is screaming my name! ($238)


Never mind the fact that I haven’t worn a headband (other than to hold back my hair while I wash my face at night) since the seventh grade. How cool is this Eugenia Kim headband? I couldn’t pull it off, but I think my sister could :) ($99)


I just bought this dress the other day for an upcoming event, and I loved it so much I went online to look at other dresses by Suzi Chin. That’s where I found this one – isn’t it so pretty and summery? I love the shape and the stripes! ($158)


Speaking of stripes, look at this sassy little number. It’s from Banana Republic, of all places! It’s so classic – I would wear it with a great pair of red heels or a statement necklace to zhush it up! ($98)

See! What did I tell you? I have a bad case of the WANTS. The last time this happened I had to institute a ban on all purchases – who remembers NO SHOPPING MAY? No one, least of all me, wants that again – so here’s hoping I continue to resist!