Monday, October 28, 2013

What To Do In Chicago?

In a shocking burst of productivity and teamwork, my sister and I managed to book a weekend getaway   for just the two of us!  Nothing like booking a trip at the last minute/a week before you leave to make you feel NOT AT ALL like a functioning adult. 

Anyway - we're very excited that we are going to CHICAGO this weekend!!! Bailey keeps calling it a "sister-moon" and threatening to cuddle me all night.

 I have only been to Chicago once and it was for Gerr's bachelorette party weekend. I loved the city and vowed to go back when I was not busy writhing around the floor from a strip-dancing class :) Bailey has been several times before but has stayed in the suburbs, so we are basically brand-new tourists to the city.

So. Friends. I need your recommendations! Restaurants, fabulous shopping areas, must-see anything... The only thing we have planned right now is a comedy show at Second City Theater on Friday night. Please leave a comment and let me know what else we should do! I welcome and appreciate your suggestions but know that no matter what you suggest, there is a 45% chance that we'll end up laying in our hotel beds eating room-service french fries. That's just how we roll. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

I Said Yes To The Dress!!!

WHOOPS... I promised to share the story about finding my dress on Tuesday but the week got away from me. No worries, I'm here today with the story and STILL just as obsessed with it!!!

After visiting Kleinfelds and Gabriella Bridal Salon in New York, I came home and started visiting places here in LA. I went to Saks Bridal Salon and a famous boutique in the valley - and at each place, I found beautiful dresses that looked really, really nice on me. I loved a Reem Acra strapless ballgown from Gabriella, a beautiful embroidered Kenneth Pool at Saks, and a lace trumpet gown at Lili's... but they weren't the one, and deep down I knew it. So I kept looking!

Literally the day after we got engaged, my sister was so overwhelmed with excitement she started sending me a million different links to a million different websites. I clicked one of them, which was an article about wedding cakes, and after reading it through, I randomly clicked on the tab marked "Wedding Gowns" and there in front of me was a gorgeous dress. It was seriously stunning. I pinned it to my secret "I DO!" Pinterest board and went about my day.

From then on, every time I went to a bridal salon, I'd show them the picture of this dress and try on similar ones... but none of them were it. Finally, I realized I was being an idiot - why hadn't I tried on that exact dress yet? I started calling around and by some miracle, the designer was having a trunk show at Panache Bridal two weeks from my phone call. I made an appointment for this past weekend and enlisted Greene Bean and my mother to come with me.

The moment I walked into the store I saw the dress hanging on the rack in front of me and I gasped. It was even more beautiful in person. I asked to have it added to my dressing room, and spent a couple more minutes looking around the store and adding other dresses to try on, but I kept thinking about that first dress! Then I went into the dressing room with the consultant - I had planned on trying on some others and was going to lead up to it, but she said "This one is the prettiest. Try this on first!"

She put it on over my head and as soon as I saw it on me in the mirror, I gasped and turned bright red. It was STUNNING. I wiggled around impatiently while she zipped and buttoned me up and then after a billion minutes, she opened the door so I could go out and show my mom. I took two steps out of the dressing room and my mom started CRYING!!!!! She knew it just like I knew it. It was the one!!!!!

But I couldn't say yes without showing my sister, so I posed for a billion photos from all angles and my mom texted them to Bailey, off in NYC. A few minutes passed - with me prancing around staring at myself in the mirror - and then Bailey called back. "It's amazing and you look beautiful," she said. "Are you saying yes?" asked the consultant. "YES!!!!" I said. DONE AND DONE. They brought out a bottle of champagne and everyone clapped and toasted. It was seriously like out of a movie!

If I could have imagined my dream dress, it would have included an illusion neckline, some lace, an unusual shape, a sparkly belt, and a LOT of shimmer and sparkle... and by some miracle of God my dress has ALL OF IT.  And the best part is... since it was at a trunk show, we got it for 10% off PLUS you know the consultant was a sassy gay who fell in love with me, so he GAVE me the matching VEIL as a gift!!! Every time I think about it I start smiling.

I wish I had some fun pictures to put in this post but you know I can't ruin the surprise. Suffice it to say, ONE YEAR FROM TODAY I'll be wearing the most beautiful dress in the world and marrying the cutest guy I know. I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy weekend, friends!!!! XOXOXO

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wedding World Updates!

I think it's HIGH TIME I gave you all some wedding updates, wouldn't you agree?!

I am so excited about everything we've planned so far and I want to scream every single detail from the rooftops... BUT! At the same time, I know a lot of my friends who will actually be at our wedding read my blog and I want it to be full of surprises :) so a happy medium will have to do. I'll share some details  but won't give away all the fabulous details. So let's get to it!

This week marks two months since we have been engaged... and it also happens to be ONE YEAR til our wedding! Yes, we picked a date and we will be getting married next October at a BEAUTIFUL hotel here in Los Angeles! I had been there many times, but Ram had not, and when we walked in to see it his exact words were, "I feel like this is where a king and queen would get married." #doneanddone I should also probably mention that we will probably be having about 300 people and we've also decided it will be black-tie. Oh yes :) The countdown officially begins this weekend!

We also hired a wedding planner! Even though I love reading blogs, I was never the girl who followed wedding blogs... up until recently. When Ram and I got serious I would occasionally pop into Green Wedding Shoes or Grey Loves Weddings or my favorite, Style Me Pretty and ooh and ahhh over the things that stuck out to me. After a while, I noticed that the things I loved the most had a common thread - many of those beautiful weddings were planned by the talented ladies of Bash Please. It was kinda a no-brainer for me that as soon as we got engaged, I called them up and made an appointment to chat with them immediately... and we ended up hiring Melissa of Bash Please to be our wedding planner. She is so sweet and they are all so creative and I can't wait for them to make our wedding so extra fabulous!

Another thing we checked off was our band! This was actually the easiest decision to make - earlier this year we went to one of R's best friend's weddings and their band was so amazing we literally DANCED ALL NIGHT. The ring had not been on my finger for more than a couple days before Ram was asking me to call the company and book them. So we did. Done!

We've also accomplished some smaller things - I posted about how I asked my bridesmaids, and Ram called up all his best pals and formally asked them to be groomsmen. We also asked our friends who are signing our ketubah to do so - very excited about that! In addition to registering at Crate & Barrel, we also brought our moms with us to Bloomingdales over the weekend so they could help us set up our registry there... things are moving right along!

But the news I am MOST excited about? 

Yesterday I said yes to the dress!!!!

Tomorrow I will share the full story since this post is already super long and wordy as is :) but suffice to say, it is literally the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my entire life and I finally understand what girls mean when they talk about finding "THE ONE." More on that tomorrow!

Lots of people have congratulated us on accomplishing a lot in a short amount of time, but so much more is left! I'm working on some other things that are still in progress - we've been meeting with several photographers, I've gotten in touch with the designer who's creating our custom save-the-dates, and we've booked a date and a place for an engagement party - more on all that to come. It's kind of exhausting, but the best kind of exhausting :)  Thank you for letting me share and thank you for letting me use an inordinate amount of exclamation marks in this post. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!

(And this marks the perfect time to remind you that you can still help us win a free honeymoon, which would be totally awesome. You can vote every day by clicking here. Please and thank you times a million!)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

JDate: A Love Story. (Also, Vote For Us!)

Some of you may not know this, but Ramz and I actually went to high school together. Did you all know that? He was two years older, the lead in the school play every year and a total goody two shoes, whereas I spent my days torturing my math teachers and bribing the security guards with Starbucks in order to leave school during my free periods. Needless to say, our paths did not cross much. 

Two years after college I ended things with my on-again, off-again boyfriend whatever you wanna call it, and one night, after a bottle of wine and an awesome episode of Gossip Girl, my friend Brynn convinced me to join JDate. She filled out my profile and picked out my pictures. I was NOT into it. Definitely was more into the wine. 

Two weeks after I joined, I got a message from a boy who opened the conversation with "I know who you are, Jordan." 

Shockingly, I did not run screaming from the computer and immediately shut down my account, but rather, engaged in a conversation with this wackjob #sorrymom. And yet, after two initial dates in 2009, an entire year of no contact followed by an accidental-on-purpose "oops I meant to Gchat someone else and got you but hey how are you doing?" (on my part, I confess), and a few months of online flirting, two and a half years of dating have passed and now I am engaged to that wackjob.

Why are you getting all this backstory? WELL, it's basically to explain to you that JDate played a major role in getting me and Ram together. Sure, our paths might have crossed again in a bar or through a friend of a friend of a friend. But JDate made it happen for us, and for that, I am THE MOST thankful.

Which is why I am only SLIGHTLY embarrassed to tell you that we have entered ourselves in a contest to win a FREE HONEYMOON through JDate! If we win, we get a seven night stay in the Bahamas. I DONT HATE IT, YA'LL. 

So today, friends, I am asking you for a favor. PLEASE! Vote for us so we can win this thing! All you have to do is like the page and then click our video. You can vote ONCE PER DAY and I would be ETERNALLY grateful if you helped spread the word to your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, randoms on the street... you name it.

Thanks so much for letting us be cheeseballs :)We are so excited to be engaged and are already counting down the days til we are MARRIED!!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Had To Have It: Cashmere Cardigans

Just as I suspected, it's back to a billion degrees in LA. But last week while it was still cool and windy outside, I headed to the mall. The reason? A CASHMERE CARDIGAN. I was a woman on a mission. 

I had seriously woken up that morning thinking about how my closet was lacking in a cashmere cardigan. So of course, I figured that there was no way I'd leave the mall with it if I actually went looking for one. Does that ever happen to you - you go shopping looking for something, and can't find it anywhere? Ugh, it always happens to me. So imagine my surprise when I walked into Macy's and this puppy was staring me right in the face!

It was 20% off, with another 20% off if I used my Macy's card. The price was so good... I bought another! Any guesses what kind?

Yeah... obviously leopard. I'm a creature of habit. #nobrainer. I love it so much it makes me want to put on red lipstick and awkwardly touch my face while staring into the distance.

Ya'll, these sweaters are SO SOFT, I had to have them. I am crossing my fingers and my toes that the weather cools down again so I can wear these pretties out! And you should go get yourself one while they're still on sale! 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Winter Wear

I always like to say that autumn and winter are my favorite seasons because I love cold weather... though in LA, "cold weather season" hovers around an average of 60 degrees while still being sunny. 60 degrees is just fine with me - as long as I still get to wear my leggings with boots instead of flats and swap out my tank tops for cozy sweaters and scarves!

Yesterday it was rainy and cold in LA and I, for one, was delighted. I got to pull out my boots and one of my favorite old Gap sweaters and eat soup for lunch. Delightful.

Of course, the change in temperature caused me to think about all the fun little things I'd like to be adding to my closet in preparation for those long, hard, bitterly cold Hollywood nights...


ONE: I love the color turquoise, things that are soft, and tassels, so I am basically freaking out over these ridiculously amazing loafers. They would look amazing with a basic white blouse, leather jacket, and skinny jeans. Love them!

TWO: This Anthropologie dress is RIGHT up my alley - I basically wear dresses all summer, layering them with cardigans, tights, and flat boots. This one looks so comfortable and the neckline would be perfect with a huge sparkly statement necklace!

THREE: Gap makes a version of this drapey cardigan/sweater every single year and every single year, I buy it! It's always in a cute pattern or print and it's always ridiculously soft and comfortable. The heather grey striped version is calling my name...

FOUR: I really have no need for a heavy duty coat lined with extra thick layers, so this Zara one seems perfect. I love the big lapels and wrap-around style that funks up a basic black coat.

FIVE: BE CUTER, little bow gloves! In addition to being ridiculous adorable and the perfect pop of red to brighten up a cold day, these are tech gloves - meaning you don't have to take them off to work your iPhone. Brilliant.

SIX: Speaking of drapey cardigans - when we were in Vegas last week, my mom and I both spotted this Trouve one on a mannequin in Nordstrom and ran over to it at the exact same time. We ended up both getting it! It's a real statement piece, with the fuzzy white fabric and the faux leather lapels. Can't wait to wear it.

SEVEN: Last year, I fell in love with a pair of J.Crew leopard wedge booties and couldn't wait til they arrived... but alas, when they did, they just didn't work. At all. I was heartbroken. These Marais USA boots could be the thing that heals my poor heart, no? There's nothing I don't like about them.

EIGHT: Seems like I'm really into booties, huh? They're just so comfortable and effortless. I LOVE the subtle quilting on these Dolce Vita wedges and the tie-up front.... I think I'm partial to the olive color so you can see all the fun details!

NINE: One of my favorite cold-weather ensembles is basic black - leggings, boots, sweater, coat - with a major pop of color from an awesome scarf. This one is gorgeous, isn't it!?

Here's to hoping colder weather is here to stay in LA! Although this is the temperature forecast for the next few days in the valley. BOO.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?!

As of this weekend, I have officially said those magic words to eight of my best friends...
"Will you be my bridesmaid?"

Now that all eight have received their packages, opened their mail, and ACCEPTED, I thought I'd share some pictures with all of you... Get ready for the cutest thing EVER, if I do say so myself :) Pardon my brag - but seriously, I could not be happier with the way these little gifts turned out. I've known for a long time that I wanted to "kick off" my wedding preparations with something special for my bridesmaids, and this is exactly what I had in mind!

Each bridesmaid got a little package with three custom sugar cookies tied up with ribbon - a diamond ring, a bridesmaid dress, and a question mark - with a personalized card to go along with it!



So now the question is - where did I get these cuties? 

Well, the cards came from The Card Store. After our photoshoot (actually taken on Yom Kippur, had to seize on the opportunity to snap R's pic while he was wearing his nice suit), I chose the photo I liked best and simply uploaded it to their website. After that, I could choose whether or not I wanted to personalize the inside with a note - I didn't, because I wanted to handwrite each bridesmaid a personal note. Safe to say my hand was majorly cramped after writing all of them! This is the inside of the cards... I spent hours writing personal notes to my friends telling them how much they mean to me.


Even the back was customize-able. Look at the little "Made by..." inscription!


The cards came immediately - within three or four days - and were extremely reasonably priced. For 8 of them, I paid $24 dollars, including tax and shipping - less than a greeting card would be at a drugstore! Another thing I really liked about the website is their Deals & Offers page. No need to Google for a coupon code - if they're offering one, they'll put it right on the site for you to use. I love when websites do that! The day I ordered them, there was a 30% off code!

Now, the cookies were a different story. After several false starts and one attempt to do them at home - I ended up ordering them from a lady named Laura in Los Angeles who makes custom sugar cookies. Her company is called Sunflower Baking - check her out! She was very easy to work with and the cookies are just beautiful - they even have sparkles on them!!! If you don't live in LA, no worries, she ships nationally... I highly recommend her.

My friends who live near me got their packages in person, but my friends who live across the country all got packages over the weekend... one by one, I started getting phone calls and photos once they had opened their packages. I literally had the biggest smile on my face all day!


So now the bridesmaids have their gifts and I am a happy camper and one lucky bride indeed to have such beautiful friends by my side:

Bailey, Gerrick, Greene, Julie, Floff, Blair, Alexandra, and Allison - I love you all so much!