Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What's In My Bag: Cabo San Lucas Edition!

Well folks, it's that time of year again. Time for the Dysfunctional Family Vacation!

Yes, it's hard to believe, but a whole year has passed since the 2012 Puerto Rican shenanigans. This year, our loveable group of weirdos is off to Mexico... Cabo San Lucas, to be exact!

I'm particularly excited for this year's trip because this is the FIRST year Ram is able to come! He has had to work every other year that we have been dating but not this time. He always enjoys the family shenanigans but the DFV adds another level to the craziness... here's hoping he enjoys jetskiing wars, Cards of Humanity battles, and epic family dinners as much as we all do :)

My bags are packed and I'm ready for a week on the beach! Here's what I'm bringing along with me:

A week on the beach calls for adorable yet comfortable bathing suits. This black one-piece is my favorite - sleek and chic, and I never have to worry about accidentally flashing too much boob :) The DKNY suit is amazing, too - I'm a firm believer in everyone needing at least one piece of leopard swimwear (haha), and the strapless style will help me get an even tan!

My favorite items to get my tan on... This Hawaiian Tropics bottle is sunscreen and tanning lotion in one! I hate the feeling of tanning oil and wouldn't sit out without sunscreen anyway, so it's really the best of both worlds. And of course, my makeup bag is not complete without my Nars Laguna bronzer. The best.

I picked up this Rachel Pally maxidress at her sample sale a couple weeks ago - love the one-shouldered detail and intricate pattern. By the end of the trip I'll be sunburned and won't want anything scratchy on my skin - this is just so soft! Can't wait to wear it.

The cutest Kate Spade jelly sandals will go from hotel to pool to beach and back, looking adorable all the way!

My Theodora & Callum scarf is one of my staples in winter, but does double duty as a beach coverup when it's warm, too! I wear it as a sarong with a tank top over my bathing suit.

So, funny story about this Mara Hoffman bag... I actually own it in a different pattern (this one to be exact) and it's my FAVORITE for traveling - I take it everywhere. Guess who loves it just as much? That would be Bailey. So when I saw MH had released it in a new pattern that I thought was equally gorgeous, I struck a deal with my darling sister... she is buying my old one (for quite a good price I might add!) and I shelled out for the new one. Now we both have gorgeous beach bags! And I have a feeling down the line we'll share :) Seriously, this bag is THE BEST - lightweight yet big enough to hold anything you'd need, plus it has pockets and sturdy leather straps, not to mention the freakin' gorgeous pattern! I'm OBSESSED.

My go-to colors for beach vacations, both by Essie - Splash of Grenadine on my fingers and Turquoise & Caicos on my toes.

I picked up this pretty patterned mini dress from ASOS a couple months ago and decided to save it for the trip! I love the silhouette and gorgeous bright colors. When I'm back from vacation I think it'll look really cute with leggings, boots, and a black cardigan layered over it!

Hope you all have a wonderful week, and Merry Christmas if that's your thing! I'll try and pop in again before 2014 rolls around!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Fun Facts

It's been far too long since I did one of these... you know I can never resist little Q&A's like this so I thought I'd have at it :)

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I HATE TRAFFIC. Therefore my superpower would be to just blink and appear wherever I need to be. I would also like the ability to take whoever I want along with me whenever I blink and beam myself somewhere!

Share your guiltiest guilty pleasure – no judgement!
Drive-thru Starbucks... especially when I have to go a few miles out of my way :) Also, my idea of an ideal guilty pleasure night would be home on the couch in sweatpants eating chicken potstickers and watching Harry Potter movies. That seriously sounds like perfection to me. 

Who would play you in a movie adaptation of your life?
Even though I am not a sassy adorable Indian woman, I'm choosing Mindy Kaling. Because I love her and she is effing hilarious.

What’s the one dish/meal you could eat repeatedly without getting sick of it?
Sushi. All day every day. I probably have it four times a week minimum and I'm always down for more.

What’s your dream travel destination?
There are so many places I want to go - Greece, France, Barcelona, Australia, New Zealand - but at the top of the list is Tahiti... specifically, one of those huts on the water with the glass-bottom floors. Did someone say HONEYMOON?

You’re at da club.  What’s the one song that gets your tush to the dance floor?
Oh I'm at da club! That's fun and rather unusual :) Honestly, I LOVE to dance and shake my tush on the dance floor so it wouldn't take much... give me some Gaga, Britney, Beyonce, and I'm good to go all night!

Which celebrity or public figure can you NOT STAND?  
That would be one Mrs. Sarah Palin. And that's all I'll say on that topic :)

It’s karaoke time. What song are you wailing along to?
This is a ridiculously easy question and the answer is "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen or ACDC's "You Shook Me All Night Long."

HA. That was fun. Hope you all enjoyed. And speaking of enjoying, I hope you all enjoy the hell out of your weekend! I am seeing FOUR movies, going to an engagement party, and my grandma is coming into town. Fun!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Texas Birthday Celebration

It may already be Wednesday, but I'm still reminiscing about the weekend. I had a GREAT time in Texas... I may be an LA girl, but there's something about the south that just makes me so happy!


I landed in Dallas late Thursday night and got to reunite with my best friend... and finally show her my ENGAGEMENT RING!!! Can hardly believe that we met when we were little babies in college and now she's a married human being and I'm about to be one, too. Freaking crazy.

Friday was Gerrick's birthday!!! She was kind enough to drive my ass to Drybar (I basically refuse to take pictures without a visit there these days) and then we met our friends Lindsey and Eric for lunch. It was great seeing them and catching up over some delicious pizza... but it was even MORE delicious getting to hug and kiss their adorable baby Sydney! Her middle name is Jordan... I like to think she is my namesake :)

We spent the rest of the afternoon cooking and baking for the dessert party Gerrick and Daniel were hosting that night. She made lots of delicious treats - oreo/peanut butter brownies, bundt cake, rainbow sprinkle rice krispie treats, and I contributed my famous chocolate chip bread pudding. It was great seeing all her Dallas friends, including our friend from our sorority ABG, who I love to pieces!


The next morning, the real fun began... we packed into the car with Robley, Gerr's best friend from childhood, and the three of us headed to Austin for a little girls getaway (Robley's birthday was three days before Gerrick's, so we were celebrating 2 out of 3 birthdays)! We drove all morning and after a small unfortunate incident where Robley accidentally directed us to the wrong restaurant INSIDE OF THE AUSTIN AIRPORT, we made it to our intended lunchtime destination... The Salt Lick!

Ya'll have not lived til you've tried The Salt Lick. Real Texas barbecue - there isn't anything like it in California. If I ever move to Texas this is probably one of the main reasons why :)


After lunch, we checked into the Omni Hotel, put our bags down, and headed out to explore more. We walked on the University of Texas campus and shopped on the drag... I purchased t-shirts that I will likely only wear to bed, we laughed, we shmoozed, and then we headed back to the hotel to rest up and get changed for dinner.

Now, months and months ago, when I had first booked my ticket, Gerrick had suggested the three of us go to Austin for a birthday celebration for one particular reason - to have their birthday dinner at Uchiko! Since their former Executive Chef Paul Qui won Top Chef a few years ago, we have been wanting to try it... and this was the perfect excuse. Want to hear something even better? Gerrick was at her 10 year high school reunion a few months ago and mentioned our upcoming plans to someone... that girl reached into her wallet and pulled out an Uchiko gift card. "I don't eat fish, I'm not going to use it, you have it!" Gerrick gladly accepted, and for weeks, we had been wondering how much was on the gift card. The moment we sat down, we asked the waiter to check... thinking at most it'd have $20 or $30 bucks on it. He came back a minute later and MADE OUR NIGHTS... that gift card had $100!!!! 

And we made gooooood use of it. Friends, if you ever have the chance to go to Uchi or Uchiko, go! We loved everything - it was some of the most interesting, inventive Asian food I'd had in a long time. I couldn't help but take pictures of some of my favorites - in order, pictured below: uni sushi with basil and sea salt, raw diver scallop sushi with spicy mayo and avocado, and an amazing steamed whitefish with Thai spices, tomato, and honshemeji mushrooms. Out of this world! 




Service was fantastic all night thanks to Bobby, our waiter, who quickly became our best friend (literally - he's now my Facebook friend)! Here we are posing outside after dinner... did someone say food coma?


We had one more stop to make before we could crash for the night... and speaking of crashing, that's exactly what we did. Our dear friend Joy lives in Austin (my last trip there was for her wedding!), and her sister had gotten married a few weeks ago and was throwing a wedding reception that very same evening! She INSISTED we stop by and although I was horrified by the thought of crashing, it all worked out just fine and we got to hug Joy and her husband Justin and dance with them for a little bit. See? This is why I love Texas. I have friends all over the state! 


The next morning we refueled with breakfast tacos before hitting the road. It was a quick three-hour drive back to Dallas and then it was time for me to come back home to LA...


All in all, it was a great weekend - it went by way too quickly!!! I cannot wait to come back again and visit all my Texas faves VERY soon!

Friday, December 13, 2013

What's In My Bag: Dallas BIRTHDAY Weekend Edition!

By the time you read this, I'll be in Texas!

I flew into Dallas last night, just in time for my bestie Rebecca G. Conroy's birthday, which is today! We have lots planned, including a trip to Drybar (obviously), a few delicious meals, a dessert birthday party, and a quick trip to Austin with our pal Robley :) I'm only here through Sunday so it's a quick trip but I couldn't miss the chance to celebrate with her!

It is FREEZING in Texas so I packed many warm layers in my carry-on... here's a little sneak peek of what's in my bag:


I bought this top at the Rachel Pally sample sale last weekend - it's probably the most comfortable thing in the world. Mine is burgundy & black stripes but I love it so much I may need to go pick it up in basic black. It's seriously the perfect top - it looks great both closed with a tie belt, or open as a shawl cardigan. LOVE.

If you follow my Instagram (@queenjord), you might have seen last week that my office does Secret Santa, and my coworker Natalie got me this amazing Baublebar "Rainbow Starlite" bib necklace for my gift!!! Hands down, I got the best present out of everyone :) it could not be cuter or more sparkly!

I have this Old Navy blouse in this nude snakeskin as well as a pretty striped mint color - they are really great basics, lightweight and so comfortable. They're on sale now - go get one (or four. I won't judge)!

I packed these a couple weeks ago for my trip to NY and showed you guys - lately I haven't been going anywhere without my go-to Zara booties, which are suede with rhinestoned/studded heels! They are long gone on their website, but these cute booties are similar if you want to pick up your own pair :)

My favorite pair of earrings. Ram bought these for me for our first Hanukkah together a few years ago and I rarely go on a trip without them. The shape is so unique, they're under $100, and they come in gold, rose gold, and silver - I just love them.

This adorable J.Crew sweater was my sister's Hanukkah gift to me! I love the cozy knit and bright colors. Good one, Bay. It's sold out on jcrew.com but still available on Net-a-Porter if you're interested.

Speaking of my sister... she picked out this lipstick for both of us while we were in Chicago - I didn't even get a say, she just bought it and put it on me... and of course, I love it. It's NARS Damage and it's the perfect deep pinkish red, totally natural for day and also really nice at night.

These two little items are actually birthday presents for one Miss RGC :) as a fellow lover of glittery things and fancy nail polish, I couldn't resist getting her this adorable Deborah Lippmann set. And yes, even though we graduated college nearly SEVEN YEARS AGO (crap), we STILL love filling our houses with giraffe tchotchkes (our sorority mascot!). This little jewelry holder from Anthropologie is going to make her so happy, I just know it :)

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I'm off to celebrate my bestie! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trader Joe's: What I Like To Buy At Everybody's Favorite Place

You want to know something I really love? TRADER JOE'S. I seriously just freaking love Trader Joe's.

Let me tell you, I was real happy at our office holiday party last week when our CEO handed out a little gift to everyone - a $100 TJ's giftcard!!!

Before I started cooking, I never thought I'd be one of those people who went to more than one supermarket. I remember when I used to go WEEKS without going to a SINGLE supermarket because I cooked so infrequently - but now, I cook so often that TJs is only ONE of my regular spots to stop at each week, and by far it's my favorite!

I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite things that I like to buy at TJs - maybe you'll discover a new fave?!

One of my favorite post-dinner snacks. All you need is a small handful of these if you're feeling hungry or if your blood sugar is low - the almonds fill you up with a bit of protein and the dark chocolate is delicious... ESPECIALLY with the sea salt flakes!

My freezer is rarely without these mushroom turnovers - they are perfect to pop in the oven for when friends come over and you want to feed everyone a little snack! They have real chunks of mushrooms and onions and they are absolutely delicious. I've been known to heat some up with a salad or cup or soup as my dinner when I'm feeling lazy :)

I first tried this goat cheese at my best friend's bachelorette party and FELL IN LOVE. What could be better than fresh goat cheese... unless it's fresh goat cheese smothered in delicious blueberry compote?! If you are a cheese lover, run - don't walk - and add this to your cart. Bonus: right around now there is a seasonal version out - goat cheese with cranberry compote!!! YUM.

I like these marinated artichokes way better than the canned version - they come in a lovely light oil, seasoned perfectly with all kinds of delicious spices, and the actual artichoke chunks are just the right size. I stir them into pasta sauces and add them to salads all the time.

Like the mushroom turnovers above, these are always in my freezer to make as an impromptu appetizer for guests. I will confess that the first time I made these, I didn't read the directions through and accidentally baked them WITH their plastic coating on them and completely ruined them... but I'm happy to report since then, I've mastered putting them in the oven :) The sweet and savory aspect of these can't be beat and they are the perfect bite-sized treat!

Before I became obsessed with making my own meatballs (more on that later - I have seriously made them six times in the past few weeks from scratch) - I used to buy these puppies ALL THE TIME. I still love them and pick them up whenever I'm not in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen. My favorite is the sun-dried tomato & basil meatballs, but they also come in a buffalo sauce & blue cheese flavor. They cook fast, so they are great to serve at parties - I usually buy a couple packages and heat them up while making homemade tomato sauce and pasta. Voila, Italian night!

YOUR TURN! I would love to know... what do you like buying at Trader Joe's? I'm always looking to add new must-haves to my shopping cart! Please share!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What's In My Bag - Thanksgiving Edition!

It's almost Thanksgiving!!!! 

This evening, we are hopping on a plane to New York (what else is new?) to join the rest of my family back East in celebrating Turkey Day. Now, I just checked the weather forecast and it's supposed to SNOW on Thursday. I haven't had a white Thanksgiving in... my whole life? Ever? So I'm a little nervous and a LOT excited :) Better pack my warmest clothes!

Here's what I'll be bringing along in my bag:


A couple of years ago Bailey gave me two gorgeous Helmut Lang crocheted sweaters, one white, one black, and I love wearing them every chance I get. The high-low hem is my favorite part!

Last year I bought a pair of AMAZING black suede booties from Zara with a rhinestoned, studded heel and I literally wear them every chance I get - with tights and dresses, with skinny jeans and cardigans. They are the best - and these Jessica Simpson booties are VERY similar, and on sale to boot!

MAYYYY have been mindlessly browsing in Macy's over the weekend when I came across these polka-dot leggings on MAJOR sale. Thought they were cute and gave them a whirl - for less than $20, why not? Can't even imagine how cute they'll be with black Toms and a casual black sweater.

Okay, I confess - as soon as I spotted these amazing Alice & Olivia flats online a few days ago, I fell hard... and ordered them ON THE SPOT. The sensible loafer shape says "business" and the rainbow confetti says "PARTY!" They are so sparkly and awesome and I actually had them shipped to my aunt's house so that they will be waiting for me when I land in New York! #obsessed

My favorite clutch in my favorite pattern. Perfect for a trip because it packs flat - and let's face it, every outfit looks better with a little leopard accessory, don't you agree?

This tortoiseshell/rhinestone number from Baublebar is a great necklace to pack on most vacations - it goes with nearly everything! (I also have a feeling my grandmother, lover of everything tortoiseshell, is going to try to steal it.)

I rarely go anywhere without at least one Free People T-shirt packed in my bag. They're so comfortable and perfectly worn-in, and the colors are always spot-on. I don't own this shirt in teal YET but I'll likely be adding it to my collection - so far I have charcoal, white, black, and pink!

Considering it's been hovering in the 70s in Los Angeles, I haven't exactly felt the need to start using "autumn colors" on my nails quite yet - I've been sticking with good old hot pink. That being said, I'm using this trip to the frozen tundra as an excuse to break out one of my very favorite neutral colors - Essie's Chinchilly. The perfect grey!

After I posted this coat on my Hanukkah wish list last week, it went on crazy sale and I couldn't help myself - I bought it! It came just in time for our trip, too! Cannot wait to wear it. It is so freaking cute, I am obsessed. Bring on the snow!

The world's best liquid liner. I own it in black and brown and don't go anywhere without it. If you're scared of liquid eyeliner, this one is literally foolproof and you need it in your life right now.

Now that my bag's all packed, I'm looking forward to four days filled with family time, delicious meals, some awesome shopping, and maybe a Broadway show?! NYC is so sparkly and beautiful this time of year.... even in the snow!

Wherever you go, whatever you do on Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful holiday! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

The BEST Thanksgiving Sides

Let's face it - the best part about Thanksgiving dinner is not the turkey. The SIDES are where it's at, ya'll. I could take the bird or leave it (unless it's smoked, which is a different story #YUMZ), but I LOVE me some sides!

My aunt in New York is hosting Thanksgiving, like usual, and has already come up with a menu that sounds phenomenal. We don't get into NY until very late on Wednesday night, so most of the cooking will already be done, which means I won't be able to help cook as much as I'd like... but I thought it would be fun to do a little research ahead of time, in the name of deliciousness :) I'd love to eat ANY of these on Thanksgiving!

Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Roasted Chickpeas
A couple of years ago, my mom made Thanksgiving dinner - and kicked things off in the BEST possible way with soup. And not just ANY soup... a delicious, silky, creamy butternut squash soup. Hers actually had caramelized onions and butternut squash chunks on top, which was awesome, but I'm intrigued by this recipe - which comes with maple roasted chickpeas on top. SOLD.

I MEAN. These mashed potatoes have butter AND cream cheese, so they're basically a heart attack on a plate, but goddamn if they don't look delicious. 

I actually made stuffing for Thanksgiving using this recipe last year, so I can vouch for how delicious it was! I subbed chicken apple sausage - my family's favorite - for the spicy Italian sausage and it was awesome. 

I love cauliflower - but not more than Ram does. He LOVES it. I can picture his face now... cauliflower AND parmesan AND breadcrumbs? That boy would be in heaven.

The Shiksa's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts & Pomegranate Molasses
I love recipes that elevate a simple vegetable in a really special way. This recipe calls for roasting brussels sprouts til they are crispy and brown, then tossing them with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and a delicious vinaigrette. A platter of these on your table would look unbelievable - and taste even better!

But of course, there's one classic I will not mess with. No need for any special cranberry sauce fancied up with nuts or pecans or oranges - NOTHING beats the good old fashioned kind straight from the can! 

When Thanksgiving rolls around next year, it'll be right after our wedding - we'll be married for one month and two days, to be specific :) and I'D like to host our first married Thanksgiving!  I have a feeling some of these delicious sides will be on our menu... but you know, I have a full year to think about it :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

First Five on Friday!

It's finally Friday!!!

I read a few blogs where the bloggers post the five things that made them smile throughout the week - the Five on Friday, if you will. I love seeing the fun little things that make people happy and so I thought it was finally time I joined in on the fun! Here's my Five on Friday!

We have got a VERY fun weekend ahead of us - tonight, we're going back to see our favorite comedy show for the very first time since we got engaged on stage! I'm sure Ram is looking forward to seeing the show without having all that nervous energy inside him :) Afterwards, we are going to dinner with a bunch of friends at Pizzeria Mozza - always phenomenal. And on Saturday night, we are going to FINALLY see Catching Fire with some friends... I have been waiting for this movie since the moment I walked out of The Hunger Games in March of last year! #KATNISS4EVA

Have I mentioned that we are going away for Thanksgiving? Surprise surprise, we will be heading to New York for the holiday and I am very excited to see my family (especially my sister), maybe catch a Broadway show, potentially pick out bridesmaid dresses, and of course, eat some turkey and hit up Black Friday sales!

I randomly picked up this hair serum in CVS a few weeks ago - I don't know what came over me, I am usually very hesitant when it comes to trying new products, but I started using it immediately, and actually really like it! After I get out of the shower, I spray detangler throughout my hair and comb it through, and follow it with a little glug of the serum, which I finger-comb through my ends. I think it's made my ends stronger already!

It's actually raining in LA! I am probably one of the only ones in this city who actually likes when it's cold and drizzly out... and all the better when it rains over the weekend, and I can stay in bed or lay on the couch and be all cozy. Bring on the cute coats and warm socks and adorable umbrellas!

Our Save-The-Dates are scheduled to arrive any minute and I CANNOT WAIT to see them! We are planning on sending them out in the beginning of January, so it'll be a while until I can reveal them on the blog, but I will definitely post all about them when they've arrived in homes - no spoiling the surprise until then! I can tell you one thing that's making me happy... the envelopes are HOT PINK! :)

So that's my first Five on Friday! Pretty fun :) maybe it'll become a regular thing around here? We shall see. Hope you all enjoy your weekends! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

The 2013 JMRS Hanukkah Wish List

Hello friends! I apologize for my absence last week - I had a HUGE event at work this past Saturday night that took up a LOT of time and energy, but I am happy to say it went very well! So now we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming of talking about wedding nonsense and future purchases and recipes I have tried and enjoyed :)

You longtime readers will know that every year, right around this time I release a very important document... the Jordan Marisa Rose Hanukkah List! This year, the Festival of Lights is CRAZY EARLY - it starts on Thanksgiving which means I'm already behind :) Without it, how else will my beloved friends and family know what specific sparkly items I have been coveting?

Enough chatter. The document speaks for itself :) I give to you, the 2013 JMRS Hanukkah Wish List!


One of my favorite artists of all time is Jennifer Sanchez - I love her work. I already own two out of three of her limited-edition prints for 20x200... this last one would complete my collection!

This is the big one, folks. I've been anxiously awaiting the new iPhone 5s and I'm finally eligible for an upgrade! Fingers crossed for the gold one :) 32gb, please, so I have lots of room for my photos and videos :)

I first saw this AMAZING coat on my friend Nicolette's blog and have been stalking the website for it to come out for months. It's from TALBOT'S, of all places - can you believe it?! I am obsessed with the colorblocking. Let's ignore the fact that as I write this, it's mid-November and 80 degrees in LA...

My love of ballet flats is well-known - I have dozens and dozens of pairs in every pattern and color. These gorgeous rhinestoned shoe-clips by Lulu Frost for J.Crew would jazz any pair up! 

Something about these gorgeous brightly colored picture frames from Furbish Studio just really speaks to me. Wouldn't they look so pretty with black & white photos inside?

There's something nice about getting an experience as a gift, don't you think? Rami and I have taken two of these cooking classes before (one Asian cooking class, one Southern cuisine class) at EATZ Cooking School and I have LOVED them!

God, I love a statement necklace. This pretty Baublebar one comes in a million colors, but I think I'm partial to this pale grey - it'll go with so many different outfits!

Stripes and gold - two of my favorite things! A bag this size is perfect for so many things - as a carry-on  for the plane, for fruits and veggies at the farmers market, for magazines and sunscreen on the beach... love it. Plus, it's monogrammable (is that even a word?), although I probably shouldn't be monogramming things with my old initials anymore :)

I like to get a new pair of Ugg slippers every December - you could say it's like a little holiday tradition of mine - and I wear them all year round, no matter the weather. This year I have my eye on the ones with the leopard trim, obviously!

Eight nights of Hanukkah, nine suggestions of awesome things - it's like a birthday, one for good luck! Now that the list is out, I'm getting excited for some menorah lighting and dreidel spinning and latke eating. This type of year is so special and I can't wait to start celebrating!

Want to catch up on past lists? 200920102011, and 2012 wishlists, right this way :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Soup's On

GUYS. I made the most delicious soup the other day. On my way back from Chicago I bought the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living to read on the plane and it was one of the featured recipes. It sounded so good I ripped it out and made it the next day!

This is Martha's Chickpea Soup with Parsley and Parmesan, and it was delicious - filling, but not heavy. I'm kicking myself for not doubling the recipe - I would have happily eaten the leftovers all week! 

I posted that picture on Instagram, and got lots of requests for the recipe. So here it is below - my changes listed in pink, obviously :)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling (I didn't use any for drizzling)
5 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons)
Pinch of red-pepper flakes
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of garlic powder
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cans (about 15 ounces each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
Coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for serving (I left this out)
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving
Toasts or bread, for serving (I didn't serve it with any bread)
Juice from half of a lemon 

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Cook until oil is infused and garlic is just beginning to color (do not let brown), 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer garlic chips to a plate.

Add chickpeas to oil in pot, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until heated through and creamy, about 5 minutes. Smash some of the chickpeas with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Add broth and water and lemon juice; simmer until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Season with garlic powder and oregano. 

Divide soup among 4 bowls. Top with parsley, Parmesan, and garlic chips. Drizzle with oil and serve immediately with toasts.

Mmmmm. Seriously tasty, and it couldn't have been easier to make! If you go for it, let me know how you liked it! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

First Annual Sister-Moon!

We are back from the First Annual Sister-Moon and let me tell you friends, it was a big success! 

Bailey J and I met up in Chicago late Thursday night and had a grand ol' time just hanging out with each other all weekend. It had been so long since the two of us got to spend time with each other, one on one. This was the perfect opportunity for some quality sista sista time - both our gentlemen friends were out of time so we figured why not take advantage of a free weekend?


We picked a good weekend to go - it was perfect autumn weather - cold but not freezing, no snow, no crazy wind, and it only rained for one hour total the whole weekend.  We stayed at the Omni Hotel - it was nice, not amazing, but the location right on Michigan Avenue couldn't be beat. Plus, the view from our window was ZARA IN OUR FACE. Bailey was PSYCHED.


We spent our first day in Chicago visiting Little Goat Diner (which was awesome and I spied Chef Steph in the kitchen!), Jayson Home, and BHLDN, Anthropologie's wedding shop! Obviously we had to pose in front of the sparkly dresses.


That night we had a PHENOMENAL dinner. One of Bailey's friends is a bartender at RPM (yes, Guiliana and Bill's restaurant!) and got us a primetime same-day reservation. Yes, we owe her big time. She steered us towards some major deliciousness on the menu, too: we had grilled octopus, garlic truffle bread, meatballs, tuna/avocado bruschetta, short rib parpardelle, spicy crab linguini... it was phenomenal. Our favorite meal of the trip by far!



We finished the evening with a comedy show at the famous Second City Theater. Can you believe my sister has never seen a comedy show in her entire life?! She liked it. I liked it, but didn't love it.... made me miss my UCB stomping grounds :) (I know that sentence is going to make my fiance FREAK OUT WITH HAPPINESS.)

We spent our second day in Chicago just walking around the city - we did some shopping on Michigan Avenue and worked up an appetite in time for some Chicago deep-dish pizza!


Everyone recommended Lou Malnati's so that's where we went. To me it tasted like pizza lasagna! I couldn't eat more than one piece.


We took lots of cute pictures - I want to frame this one! Here we are at dinner Saturday night at Siena Tavern - another Top Chef restaurant! This one was owned by Fabio :) It was also yummy, but nowhere near as delicious as RPM. Seriously... just go there. #nomnomnom


On our last day, we woke up early and walked through the city to see the bean. Bailey's nickname is Bean, so she was kind of in heaven... kicking up her heels and posing.


Of course I could not resist the opportunity to do the same :)



Chicago is BEAUTIFUL. I could not get enough of the fall colors. Look at these gorgeous trees!


I'm now a big, big fan of the Windy City. I seriously kept saying over and over, "I could live here! I could live here!" There was something about the midwestern friendliness coupled with the feeling of being in a big city, but still having room to breathe/personal space, that I just LOVED. I can't wait to go back. Thanks for a fabulous trip, Chicago!

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.