Thursday, March 27, 2014

A Delicious Spring Salad

GUYS. I am so sorry for disappearing. Are spring colds a thing? Cuz I have had the worst one for the past week - so has Ram - we have been coughing like it's going out of style. I'm talking go-to-CVS-for-a-second-bottle-of-Robitussin bad. I'm coughing up a lung as I type this. Not fun.

Anyway - I wanted to share a recipe for this delicious salad I whipped up the other day. I posted a picture of it on Instagram when I made it and promised I'd blog about it ASAP... and then the coughs took over and I forgot. Oops. You all know I am SOOO not a salad lover but this was amazing and the vinaigrette was SO FREAKING GOOD.

I came across this recipe when I was googling around for something to pair with a bag of shaved brussels sprouts that I had picked up on a whim at Trader Joe's. I wanted something citrusy and fresh and tangy and as soon as I read the ingredients for this, I knew I had found just the thing! I did end up tweaking the recipe - among other changes, I also added in some delicious spring peas.

Here's my version!


1 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups shaved brussels sprouts leaves
2 cups fresh peas, washed

In a small bowl, lightly whisk together lemon juice, honey, one tablespoon of olive oil, dijon, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, sauce the diced onion and minced garlic with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the peas and brussels sprouts leaves to the pan and stir to mix all ingredients together.

After two minutes, remove pan from heat and pour dressing over the vegetables. Stir to coat the entire pan and pour into a serving bowl to serve immediately. Enjoy while it's warm!

I served it with grilled chicken apple sausage and sauteed onions and it was phenom... I may have already made it several more times. I highly recommend and hope you try it soon! Let me know how you like it!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Espadrille, Baby, Drill

It all started with a shoe. 

This one, to be exact. 

I saw it online and fell in love. I had to make it mine. Luckily this was right after I returned home from the Britney-in-Vegas extravaganza where I spent the few precious minutes I was NOT singing "Hit Me Baby One More Time" sitting at a slot machine. It paid off. The shoes are now coming to live with me.

And now I'm kinda obsessed with espadrilles. They're the new thing, apparently - cuz they're everywhere, in every store, in all colors and patterns and materials. And I want every single one of them. As a lifelong lover of ballet flats, this new trend is right up my alley and I can't wait to add some more pairs to my closet - they're the perfect shoe to wear with some skinny jeans or black pants and a silk blouse, or even a pretty sundress. 

While making this snazzy little collage I swear I looked at a billion pairs and loved them all. Gonna get shopping ASAP!

ONE: Two-toned pink. INTO IT.
TWO: Wait. I freaking love these. Basic black leather... I would LIVE in these.  
THREE: How do I not own these? Black and white animal print goes with everything!
FOUR: So weird they're cool. I seriously might buy these. I love stripes and polka dots so freakin much.
FIVE: An adorable - and more affordable! - version of the ones I bought.
SIX: Hot. Pink. Calf hair. Enough said.
SEVEN: Mullet espadrilles! Business AND party shoes at the same time. 
EIGHT: I am fully obsessed with the neon yellow lace. Could also see myself buying these for real.
NINE: You cannot go wrong with black and white stripes. 


So to recap... I am seriously considering purchasing five of the nine above pairs. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Our Engagement Picture Photo Shoot

Yesterday I showed you some of our engagement pictures. To say I am obsessed is an understatement - we had so much fun taking those pictures and now we get to remember what an amazing day it was every time we look at those beautiful images!

I always love looking at my friends' engagement pictures. I feel like engagement pictures offer a real glimpse into who the engaged couple really is - you can tell their style, they usually get to do an outfit change, they're more relaxed since it's not their actual wedding day... and when it came time for us to do ours, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

On any given night, Rami and I are at the movies. We go during the week, we go to early afternoon matinees, we go for date nights on weekends, we do double headers... we love the movies. So it was a total no-brainer to see if we could try and take some of our engagement photos in an actual movie theater. I wasn't 100% confident it was going to happen... but then I called The Landmark Theater, which is our favorite theater, and after some explaining and mentioning that one of our first dates was at their theater and how we are probably solely responsible for half of their salaries due to spending all of our money on movie tickets, they so very kindly granted us access one early Monday morning before the theater officially opened and VOILA! We were in.

We had a whole theater to ourselves for nearly two hours and we made the most of it. The theater manager turned on a roll of previews and we watched those and posed and smiled and kissed and ate some popcorn (until I dropped the whole bag... oops) and it was just freaking awesome. On our way out, we even stopped by the concession stand and took a couple pictures there! It was everything I had imagined it - it felt unique and so very "us" and just a really cool thing I'll always, always remember.

Next we headed to Temescal Gateway Park in the Palisades! You all know R and I are not exactly outdoorsy so we left this location up to Amy and Stuart :) they shoot there often and recommended it to us and boy were they on the money! It was gorgeous and breezy and not crowded and a little girl stopped to compliment me on my sparkly dress :)

Speaking of dresses, I thought long and hard about these ensemble choices! I wanted our outfits to look like a real reflection of us and I wanted them to compliment each other. For the movie theater pictures, I wore my favorite jeans, a long silk black tunic, black suede Pour La Victoire wedges, and a fun H&M polka dot cardigan (similar here). Rami wore his favorite Seven jeans (and by that I mean MY favorite), an adorable grey tweed blazer with elbow patches, Converse sneakers, and the pink shirt he wore when he proposed :)

 I HAD to get our Anthro mugs in there. I love using them!

Our next outfit change was what I like to call our "patriotic" look :) - I found this gorgeous red lace dress (similar one here) at Nordstrom and paired it with my favorite gold Moroccan earrings and the same PLV wedges in nude. I bought Rami a new navy J.Crew gingham shirt to go with his new navy suede lace-ups... so coordinated! And finally, I knew I had to get some glitter in there somewhere.... the navy ASOS sequined dress was perfect. I wore a new J.Crew rhinestoned necklace and sparkly high heels (similar here), and R wore a crisp white shirt and a navy blazer. I loved all three outfit choices!

We are so grateful to our wedding photographers, Amy and Stuart, for taking these pictures. Unlike most wedding photographers, an engagement portrait session isn't included in their package... but since everyone says that you spend the entire day of your wedding with your photographers, Rami and I thought it was important that we do this little photo-shoot before the actual wedding so we could get to know them better and get a better sense of their shooting style. We didn't expect that we would spend the entire day laughing and joking around with them, and leave after four hours feeling like they were our new best friends! Our wedding has not even happened yet and we already feel so confident and comfortable with them... they are true artists and couldn't be kinder. LA residents... call them!

Haven't had enough yet? :) There's more where that came from... Click here for the full album! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Three Years...

Three years ago tonight, I fixed my hair, put on some lipgloss, slipped into my favorite pair of leopard shoes, and headed out to my last first date... ever. 

You all know how that turned out :) Today R and I are celebrating our three year anniversary - our first and only anniversary as fiances! And what perfect timing... yesterday, our wedding photographer sent us the pictures from our engagement photo-shoot. I am OBSESSED with these pictures and had to post about them immediately!

All images by the amazing, extraordinarily talented Amy & Stuart Photography

Tomorrow I will be back to tell you all the details behind the photo-shoot... I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures as much as we did taking them! But most importantly... 

Happy anniversary to my goose. I love you more than anything and I cannot WAIT to be your wife!!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

THIS IS MY SUPERBOWL (The 2014 Oscar Red Carpet!)

Did you guys like the Oscars? I did. I thought Ellen did a good job! She's no Tina & Amy, but the pizza part made me laugh hysterically and of course, the selfie. 

I was pretty pleased with the winners, too... "12 Years A Slave" was my favorite movie of 2013 so I was very happy they won for Best Picture, and I was rooting for Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey to win in their categories from the moment I walked out of "Dallas Buyers Club" - two phenomenal performances in a phenomenal movie.

But let's face it... the red carpet had most of my attention. I was plonked on my sofa, tweeting and shouting at the TV, for hours before the show even started... 

Here are my best dressed of the night!

I always find it fitting when the winner of the Best Actress award wears something magnificent - it's her night and she deserves to look amazing! I just want to touch Cate Blanchett's Armani gown... I can't imagine the hundreds of hours that must have gone into creating something this intricate and beautiful. My favorite part of this dress is actually the bottom - the wide tulle pleats make the bottom of the gown flare out so beautifully. She looks incredible. 

I actually didn't see Penelope Cruz walk the red carpet... not sure why I wasn't paying attention, but when she walked out onstage to present, I was floored. I love this Giambattista Valli gown - the draping is absolutely magnificent and I love the contrast of the pale pink fabric with the little black velvet bow. I also love the jewelry she paired with it - the diamonds really add to the elegant look. Stunning!

Longtime Queen of LA readers will remember that last year, I chose Charlize as one of my best dressed. She's on this year's last as well, for her stunning Dior gown - I love the interesting shapes at the top and the peekaboo mesh (?) towards the bottom. This woman is just one of the most beautiful people on earth - I look forward to watching her on the red carpet at every single event! 

Okay, don't laugh - Guiliana Rancic KILLED IT last night. She was the first person I saw when I turned on the television and I couldn't get her Paolo Sebastian dress out of my head! I love the juxtaposition of the sparkly, glittery, beaded top and the gunmetal-greyish tulle skirt. If I hadn't already bought my wedding gown, you better believe I'd be showing this to a dressmaker STAT! 

True story: in my childhood bedroom, I have a legit six-foot collage of magazine photos of Julia Roberts taped to the walls. My mom likes to say if she is god forbid ever found dead, I will be one of the first suspects #stalkerstatus. I LOVE Julia Roberts - she is a genuine old-fashioned movie star and I think she radiates elegance and class. Her black Givenchy was absolutely striking - I loved the peekaboo lace neckline and the lace peplum. A gorgeous, gorgeous dress.

I saved the best for last :) I won't forget Lupita Nyong'o's outfit for a very long time. Her custom Prada dress was FLAWLESS - gorgeous color, perfectly fitted, a hit of sparkle... it was a 10 across the board. I will admit to LIKING, but not LOVING that headband, but I appreciated the quirky aesthetic it added to her look. She was by far the best dressed on the red carpet and I cannot wait to keep watching her style evolve for years to come because that girl is a STAR and she is going to be around for a LONG TIME!

Honorable mentions also go to Jennifer Garner in Oscar de la Renta (amazing fringe), Jennifer Lawrence in Dior (still loving the peplum), Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein, and that gorgeous red sequined number Pink wore to sing during the show... 

On the other side of the fence, shockingly, there weren't THAT many misses for me this year, which I guess is a good thing, but I will say that every single man on that red carpet needs to go easier on the spray tan next time, Margot Robbie has NO BUSINESS being a brunette, and overall I am just really bored with this beige/nude/cream sparkly column dresses. I know, me bored of sparkle?! But for the love of god, give me some jewel-toned fluffy ballgowns already. You're all movie stars! 

I leave you with this photo of our snack table... I kinda outdid myself on the cheese platter, if I do say so myself :) So sad award season is over... now I have to wait a full year for the next show!