I complicate EVERYTHING. Including my wedding. I like a good etiquette post (usually found on Pinterest) that breaks down the proper gifts to give on special occasions, fun crafting ideas for holidays, creative ways to set the table, etc., but when it came to finding a timeline to follow for my wedding, well, it was tough. Not only am I doing a destination wedding, I’m doing a destination wedding across the globe! And to make matters even trickier, the language barrier while planning your wedding in Greece is just peachy. Not that I’m complaining…please don’t think that. It’s just that I’ve really struggled on the timing of everything.
Having known I was going to have a long engagement (2 years) I really thought long and hard about all the logistics of my wedding. I have had ample time to plan, research, reserve, etc., and it has really eliminated that stressful rush everyone always talks about. I, like the silly, excited bride that I am, reached out to vendors waaaaaay too early and often got the same “we cannot give you a rate for 2015 until 2015…” answer. It kind of bummed me out since I felt like I was at a stand still when all I really wanted was to pace the process to AVOID that stressful rush. However, knowing exactly who to contact in advance did save me a lot of time and headache. I also think I got extremely lucky with every vendor working out perfectly (so far. knock on wood now!).
I’m now technically 8 months out from the wedding, but actually like at 2 months out on the planning schedule I made above. For anyone doing things a little more on the conventional side, the above should work like a charm for you. For anyone like me (complicated, twisted, obnoxious for the most part), contact me if you want the crazy person’s guide to planning a wedding across the world. I’d be happy to share
This past weekend I was lucky to score some tickets to the Hollywood Forever cemetery to see the queen of everything–aka Lana Del Rey–perform. It was one of the most magical nights e v e r. I absolutely die over her, and throw in a mellow picnic complete with wine, pasta, dessert, a fab Mexican blanket and I’m pretty much in heaven. Since my birthday is coming up I viewed this as my early celebration, which definitely ranks top 5 in all my celebrations to date. Then again, after an entire bottle of wine (to myself) just about any celebration is pretty effing great.
On an entirely different note, LA is seemingly stuck in summer, which typically I wouldn’t mind, but when I have a fall wardrobe compiled and ready to go it’s getting a little annoying. For my special night out I opted for my latest outwear piece from BLANK NYC that I had to have the instant my finger scrolled over it online. And, of course, in typical BLANK NYC fashion, the garment does not disappoint. I love being able to shop for the season without breaking the bank, and BLANK really does have the best jeans and jackets for what can only be described as extremely affordable. And in case you were wondering, I’ve got my eye on a few more of their fall collection pieces that hopefully will make their way into my closet really soon! Scroll through my selections below to see more yumminess.
It’s [my outfit] not the true denim on denim look that counts as the Texas Tuxedo, but anytime I bust out the chambray button-down I’m feeling a little country. While I’ve fully embraced plaid, which in my opinion has a much more country feel to it than chambray, I always do a double take before leaving the house. It almost has the equivalent effect as when I’m driving with my windows down, listening to Blake Shelton, and when I approach a red light have to instantly turn down the music. That may sounds super weird, but I’m just not there yet.
In order to 1) get into the fall mood and 2) start feeling less self-conscious about a denim top, I threw together some of my favorites from my closet to see how it would make me feel. I was happily trotting along in my ensemble, when Saturday’s weather took a turn for the worse (meaning: extra hot) and I was suddenly overcome with anxiety about my now sticky leather pants that would not stop sucking on my legs. I entered somewhat of a panic and had to immediately remove all my clothing. Luckily the chambray top has snap buttons that had quite a dramatic effect when I was ripping it off my body.
After a cold glass of water, and a few minutes in the AC, I calmly re-assembled the look and put it away for a chillier day. I fully intend to rock the chambray with leather, black, suede, and do I dare say, denim? (on a cooler day, of course). On a higher note, Shopbop is having its Friends + Family sale starting today! Take 25% off your order using promocode FAMILY25.
After months of yoga classes I still, to this day, find my biggest challenge to be anything that requires open hips. In yoga A LOT of poses require a substantial amount of hip open-ness and it is pretty depressing when the “older” people in class are cruising right along in Malasana as I flop around trying to stay up. It became such an issue that one day my instructor approached me after class and opened up the hip conversation (no pun intended). She went on to tell me how most people feel that “crunchiness” in their hips when they hold a lot of emotion inside. Being a scorpio, I tend to internalize a lot of my feelings, but apparently it is realllllly screwing up my yoga practice.
I have since been advised to take 20 minutes a day for the simple things that make me happy. She even said coming to yoga is great, but not to let that be the only thing I do for myself each day. This may sound totally silly, but I find mixing up fresh “spa” water each day really makes me happy. Since staying hydrated is not only necessary for your health & beauty–inside and out–why not stay hydrated in a way that pleases your taste buds as well? After discovering the Trimr bottle, I have full-fledged become a water infuser. It’s more than just slicing up some lemons; this bottle has special springs that magically (seriously) mixes just the right amount of natural flavors from your additive. My favorite is currently strawberry water–so refreshing without being too sweet.
Lastly, this bottle isn’t just for those about to go work out. The duel top allows for easy sipping that won’t ruin your lipstick at the office, or a larger opening for mass gulping. Whatever your style of sipping is, this bottle has you covered. And for all my OCD people out there, the rubber bottom prevents any water rings from ruining your tabletops or desks (!!!). Because I am so obsessed with this sweet new addition to my daily routine, I have teamed up with Trimr to offer free shipping on any orders using the promocode SIVAN.
Does turning 27 signify anything special (aside from almost being 30)? For me, it is the age I will be getting married. The age I am officially “late 20′s.” It’s sort of scary for me to think that my glorious 20′s are almost finished. However, I have secretly always been excited to turn “30, flirty, & thriving!” If you can name what that reference is from you’re my soul mate. Since I’m not particularly excited about my birthday this year I have resorted to compiling things that DO excite me, starting with my split personality about shoes. Yes, you are seeing correctly. I’m a girly girl who neeeeds the Stuart Weitzman Nudist sandals; the sometimes grunge who needs the Anine Bing flat booties (have actually wanted these for quite a while…ahem, Paul!); and the girl who can’t decide her gender and wants Vans (???) in snakeskin. Hey, I saw some cute girl on Pinterest wearing them with her vegan leather pants and they looked pretty chic, actually. Stop judging me.
Since the last facelift on the blog I have updated how you can shop alllll of these items. Simply roll your mouse over the little plus (+) signs next to each item and click away. Simple + easy.
It seems like since I first discovered I could cook (3-4 years ago) I have been on a mad hunt to find a tablecloth I like. I’m a serious Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Ross kind of girl when it comes to home decor, and even with my usual rotation of the 3, I have never been happy with their selection of table coverings. I’ve hosted countless dinners and brunches and would always resort to disposable table coverings–which, don’t get me wrong, are beyond cute but just not as classy. When my mother informed me that I would be hosting 10 people in my apartment for Rosh Hashana I kind of entered a panicked frenzy thinking about all the additional cutlery, plates, cups, and dun dun dunnnnnn, a tablecloth I liked!
I spent an hour one morning skipping my usual stores and favorite online stores and did something I would never usually do. I GOOGLED ‘chic tablecloth,’ ‘contemporary tablecloth,’ ‘printed tablecloth,’ among a few other variations that were simply vague as f***. Well, guess it wasn’t too vague for trusty ole Google, because before I knew it I was purchasing 2 printed tablecloths from H&M! The only time I actually knew H&M sold home goods was in London, and clearly forgot all about it. Long story short (I guess it’s too late for that), H&M has a seriously cute selection of home decor at those Home Goods-Ross-prices. Take a look at how the table turned out.
So I kinda have a confession to make about chia. About one year ago Paul and I were road-tripping to San Diego for a football game (that was surprisingly fun) when we were stuck in a horrendous traffic jam directly next to an AM/PM store. With little else to do, we decided to stop and stock up on some candy and drinks. Since I’m a HUGE sour candy fanatic, I figured I would balance my poor choice of “snack” with something a littler healthier to drink. I’d heard all about the chia craze but never really gave it a try. I picked the prettiest, pinkest bottle I could find and was going to be temporarily preoccupied with my candy and chia.
Upon my first sip, I was unpleasantly greeted with a mouthful of gooey, seedy, gelatin-y grossness that I immediately stuck my head out the window and spit it all over the car’s exterior. I would n e v e r spit anything out (unless it’s undercooked meat or a bone is floating in my mouth), but there was no choice here. I was so nervous to turn my head to the left and see Paul’s reaction. I was envisioning anger, as I just spewed chia all over his car, but was happy to see he was nearly in tears laughing. Let’s just say I didn’t give chia a second chance for a veeeeeeeery long time.
Something else you should know about me is my memory is awful. So, on a pretty recent trip to the store I saw a cute lavender bag with little dry seeds in it and instantly had to have it. Didn’t know what it was for, or how I would use it, but figured for $1.99 I can afford a useless cute bag of seeds in my pantry. When I began making smoothies at the start of summer I would sprinkle the little seeds as garnish for my drinks, learning later that you should actually blend the drink WITH the seed. Chia seeds. To my horror, I was drinking (and not gaging) over chia seeds in my delicious smoothies. I can’t be the type of girl who later learns what’s in something and chooses to suddenly not to like it, so I have fully embraced chia into my life (smoothies) and can say they are a lot better in a thick liquid that hides most of the gooey-ness. Below is one of my favorite skinny snacks that is both healthy and easy.
I became infatuated with the arugula/fresh parmesan/lemon combo after eating at Bottega Louie’s restaurant last year. Typically when I fall in love with a dish, I immediately try to replicate it at home to spare me the obligatory trip to the same restaurant for the same dish. However, instead of doing that with the above combo, I simply dreamed about it and pinned about it until one day I accidentally made it. I was attempting to make a crispy balsamic baked chicken when I realized I was out of 2 major ingredients (ridiculous, right?). Forced to improvise, I busted out the lemon, honey, fresh parmesan, wine vinegar and got to work. The outcome: light, tasteful, delicious chicken with that same appeal as my beloved salad at Bottega Louie.
A handful of arugula for each plate
Chicken breast cutlets
2-3 lemons, juiced
1 tblspn dijon mustard
2-3 cups of panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
A tiny scoop of crushed garlic (jar from TJ’s)
2 tblspns White wine vinegar
1 tspn honey
Preheat oven to 400º
Coat chicken in dijon mustard, then roll in panko until full covered.
Place coated chicken onto a baking trey that has been drizzled with olive oil.
Bake for 12-14 minutes.
In a small pan roast pine nuts on low with a drop of olive oil, careful that they do not burn. Once they begin to golden remove from heat.
In a small bowl mix up the crushed garlic and a pinch of sea salt until it becomes paste-like.
Add the vinegar, honey, lemon and stir.
Add black pepper for taste.
Once the chicken is done, place 2-3 pieces on each person’s plate and top with a small handful of arugula.
Drizzle the lemon sauce over everything and sprinkle toasted nuts on top.
In some ways I’m your typical Jewish wife (in the making). I guess it was inevitable since I was raised partially in Israel, living off green olives, pita, hummus, falafel, tomato/cucumber salads, etc. I must say, Israelis and Mediterranean countries have such an array of delicious ingredients used in their foods that I will forever be partial to those flavors. Cumin, tumerick, paprika, zartar to list a few. Pretty much the more difficult to pronounce the better! This green olive chicken (recipe adapted from my mother) has quickly become a favorite in our household, as we are serious olive enthusiasts and I use A LOT of olives in my version. I’ve got quite a few Mediterranean recipes and Skinny Snacks coming your way!
1 Onion, chopped
1 tblspn minced garlic
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn tumerick
1 tspn cumin
2 cups chicken broth
2 tblspns olive juice
1 can green olives
Pat your chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a pan and cook your chicken until lightly browned. Remove from heat on a plate and set aside (I leave mine in my turned OFF over so retain heat).
Reduce heat to medium and add olive oil (2 tblspns), onions, garlic, black pepper (3/4 tspn), salt (1/4 tspn), cumin, paprika, and tumeric.
Cook for 5 minutes, then add the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Add your olives to the mixture and let sit for another 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low/medium and add the chicken for the final 5 minutes.
MUSE, my creative consulting firm, is coming up on it’s first birthday next month and Kelly (my business partner) and I have put together a list of business practices we believe are simple yet give the right impression to your current and prospective clients. In one short year we have learned so much about servicing our accounts and communication, we felt we would be doing a disservice to all the business ladies out there who might be wondering how to improve their practices. Do note that we are 2 girls who strive to foster a friendly relationship with our clients while maintaing a level of professionalism that is imperative to our productivity. Read on to see if you agree (or disagree) with us:
Manage client expectations. This little bit of advice was shared with us as we signed our very first client, and essentially what it means is be upfront and realistic with your client about what you can provide. Don’t over-promise and under-deliver.
Reply All. It takes no additional energy or thought–and typically right next to regular ‘ole Reply–and ensures that if someone was added to the email for a reason everyone will be in the loop. Since we work on all account together we both must be on the same page at all times.
Be decisive. When you work in a creative field it is crucial to know what you like and dislike. People are working with you for your expertise, and showing uncertainty is unnerving. You wouldn’t work with a lawyer who is unsure of the laws, would you?
Show gratitude. How nice is it when there is mutual appreciation between 2 people? Using the basic manners your mom taught you apply in business as well! Thank you, please, you’re welcome, hello!
Communication. Communication. Communication. In a world of emailing (and not so much phoning), it is so easy to misconstrue tones in an email. Be clear and concise, not ambiguous and overly-wordy. Although, we will take overly wordy over a one-worded email any day!
Trust is key. It can be the hardest part of enlisting someone else to handle a part of your business, but you have to trust the process. The “grace period,” or transition, will take a minute, but success isn’t achieved overnight.