Monday, August 20, 2012

The Venue of My Dreams

So, now that you’ve gotten some insight into Oren and I as a couple, let’s talk wedding! I want to tell you all about our amazing venue. When we first set out on the venue hunt, we knew we wanted something different and special. Not your typical ballroom - that wasn’t for us! We were hoping to find a place that was naturally beautiful, had ambiance and we wouldn’t have to do much to make it pretty.

I thought this might be difficult, since much of South Florida is newly developed and barefoot-on-the-beach-style. The vibe we were looking for was decidedly old-world-flair (I’m not sure this is a real thing, but it is now!).

I enlisted the help of The Knot Florida editor Amy to help me narrow down the overwhelming number of venues on my list. Even with her help, we still visited more than 10 venues. It was definitely a lot to see, but since we were only in town for a short number of days, we had to pack in and see as much as possible (this is now a recurring theme on our planning trips). You can ask my parents and sister, I’ve now learned to remember to schedule in eating breaks and feed my family!

When we saw The Cocoplum, we knew we had found exactly what we were looking for. In fact, we cancelled a few of the remaining appointments that we had, it was just that perfect. Coral Gables, a gem, has some beautiful old-world Spanish spots and The Cocoplum is definitely one of them. Many people gravitate toward the popular (and gorgeous) The Biltmore, but for us, the charisma, ambiance and history of The Cocoplum sold us.

The fabulous courtyard where the ceremony and cocktail hour will take place.
I love the story of the space too. It was originally The Cocoplum Women’s Club and this year it celebrated its centennial. Built in 1912, it speaks to the history of Miami...the reception location is was once a schoolhouse! My wedding-snob self was overjoyed at this historic and beautiful find!

The beyond gorgeous reception ballroom where young children once attended school and our family and friends will party the night away!
Oren and I cannot wait to get married here (and I can’t wait to share the photos!)

Until next time!

Here’s to love...and latkes,

Friday, July 13, 2012

What to Wear on Dates

I love going to dinner with my girlfriends. Especially when we inadvertently end up getting buzzed on happy hour wine. The conversation doesn’t stop and is a goldmine for blog-writing topics. Last night, the topic du jour was dating, specifically what to wear to each of the first three dates and how boys are sometimes dumb when it comes to dating (shocking).

I’m going to focus on the the what to wear category, since Oren is not dumb when it comes to dating or he just has an uncanny ability to read my mind, either way I love him for that.

So, onto my friend Rita’s excellent theory and breakdown of what you should wear on the first three dates. It’s an interesting psychological evaluation of how men might interpret clothing.
  • Date #1: Wear something reserved but sexy. This is so he knows you’re fun but also not to be messed with.
  • Date #2: Wear something conservative. This is to make him aware that you’re a nice girl he can bring home to his mom.
  • Date #3: Wear something that makes you feel beautiful. This is to remind him that you’re someone he can be romantically attracted to, not just a friend.

This got me thinking of what I wore on my first three dates with Oren and interestingly enough, without even knowing about Rita’s theory, I followed it!
  • On our first date, I wore a simple blue tank top, not low cut and billowy. The kicker? It was backless!
  • On our second date, we met after work, so while I don’t specifically remember what dress I was wearing, I’m sure it was work-friendly and no doubt, conservative. (Hi, Shirley!)**
  • On our third date, I wore a short-ish blue dress that Oren still remembers fondly and he even recently told me that I never wear it anymore - so I wore it to dinner for our third anniversary!
Survey says? Rita’s theory works, apparently. So figured I’d share with the masses (or the 7 people that read this).

Until next time!

Here’s to love...and latkes,

**Shirley is Oren’s mom. My work dress clearly made it obvious to him I was fit to meet her.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Prettiest Thing In My Office

I know, I know, I’m hanging my head in shame. It’s been too long to even make something up and insult your intelligence - I know you’ve all read The New York Times The Busy Trap so you know I’d be making up whatever fake excuse I may give, so let’s just leave it at...I suck, I’m sorry, you forgive me and now I’m back?  

Smiles nervously... 

Good! Now that you’ve forgiven me, I’m coming back strong by telling you about something I’m sure you’ve been wondering about (other than where I’ve been) - my job!  

Let me just tell you that it is absolutely, 100%, my dream job. I come to work each day excited about what I’m working on and I realize that this is so rare that I must treasure it, like a diamond (engagement ring) or my future husband. Note: I treasure both, the latter more than the former.  

In a nutshell, I do public relations for The Knot, the number one wedding destination, and The Nest, a must-visit lifestyle website for newlyweds and nearlyweds. Essentially I work with major TV shows (like Today and Live! With Kelly) to get our editors and brands out there. site director Anja Winikka in a Today segment with Hoda and guest co-host country singer Josh Turner talking wedding dress trends. Wedding dress segments are very fun because I get to call in quite a few beautiful gown options - its like a playground for a bride in the midst of dress shopping, which I was when I was planning this segment (no, none of these are my dress, as if!).
So with thinking about weddings and couple-hood all day and night, I’m all weddings, all the time. It’s a fun and exciting time and I’m thriving on it. I love coming to work and thinking about segment ideas with the work side of my brain while chatting up our editors’ for fabulous ideas with the personal side of my brain. 

More to come on my work adventures, but until then, I’ll leave you with this. The Knot Blog has a weekly feature on the Prettiest Thing in Our Office This Week. It gives an inside look into all the beautiful and gorgeous wedding paraphernalia around our desks. This week - pretty cookies! Read the archives for amazing cakes, jewels galore and more unique items you’d only see on the desks of the editors at The Knot.
Yes, these are cookies!
Until next time!

Here’s to love...and latkes,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My "How I Met Your Father" Story

Happy New Year!! Sorry for the delay in posts, it’s been a busy holiday season and new year, but I’m fully committed to regular posting from here on out. Exciting news, we’re under 11 months until the big day. Lots has been happening and I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but first, as promised, Oren’s future “How I Met Your Mother” story.

Actually, it’s more like my “How I Met Your Father” story, because I can only tell it from my perspective, not his.

Anywho...Kids, on May 15, 2009, my life changed forever when I met your father.* I started the evening hanging with my friend Kaitlyn. We waited for her new mattress delivery and split some vino. After some dinner, I was planning on heading home to prepare for my sister’s arrival for her summer internship.

I also didn’t want to go out because I had a few bags with me, including rain boots from earlier in the day. Plans changed, though, that Kaitlyn can be quite convincing, and she finagled one drink out of me. We trekked up a few blocks to Mad River Grille on NYC’s Upper East Side. While waiting for some drinks, some guy made a comment about my rain boots, so Kait and I started talking with their group (thanks Goody!). I naturally gravitated to the tallest one (check!) and when he told me his name was Oren, I was all set.

We had an instant connection and talked through the whole night. My “only one drink” turned into a few, moving from bar to bar and spending the night getting to know one another. So, turns out, you can meet the love of your life at a bar.

The rest, as they say, is history...and the future.

Until next time (Venue)!

Here’s to love...and latkes,

*I’m borrowing concept for one of our favorite shows “How I Met Your Mother.” If you haven’t seen it, start watching immediately.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why Love & Latkes?

So, why Love & Latkes?

A few different reasons and I (sadly) can’t take credit for the brilliance of the name - my friend Emilie thought of it. When she suggested it though, she had no idea just how brilliant it actually was for our purposes. I think she suggested it because we’re both Jewish (Em - feel free to correct me in the comments), but it goes way beyond that.

For starters and the main reason I loved the name instantly is because we’re actually getting married on the last night of Hanukkah next year - December 15, 2012. To celebrate this, we’re hoping to have all sorts of fun goodies, including menorah lighting, latkes and sufganiyot. Stay tuned down the road for how these ideas take form. The love part’s obvious and the other (less important) reason is that if I had to choose, I’d say latkes are one of my favorite Jewish foods. For the record, the others are bagels and lox and matzah ball soup (this is Oren’s number one, in case you were wondering).

Speaking of Hanukkah, today is the first day of Hanukkah 2011! In honor of that, below please find a great recipe for latkes.

Latkes (courtesy of The New York Times)
2 large eggs
3 cups grated drained all-purpose potatoes
¼ cup grated onion
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons matzo meal, or as needed
Canola oil, for frying
Applesauce and sour cream for serving
*I like to add carrots to mine too

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs lightly. Add potatoes, onion, salt and pepper, and mix well. Stir in 2 tablespoons matzo meal, and let it sit about 30 seconds to absorb moisture in batter. If necessary add more to make a thick, wet batter that is neither watery nor dry.

2. Place a large skillet over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons oil. When oil is hot drop in heaping 1/8 cups (about 2 tablespoons) of batter, flattening them gently to make thick pancakes. When bottoms have browned, after 2 to 3 minutes, flip and brown on other side. Add oil as needed. Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with additional salt to taste. If necessary, work in batches, keeping cooked pancakes warm. Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream, if desired.
For the New Yorkers out there reading this, this Grubstreet article lists the 9 best NYC latkes - I think my new goal is going to try all 9 before the end of the year (I don’t think I’ll make it, but it’ll be a delicious attempt).

Also, shout out to the best mom in the world - Happy Birthday Mommy, I love you!

Until next time (I’ll tell the not-to-miss How We Met story)!

Here’s to love...and latkes,

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Introduction and a Little Story

Today is a momentous day - not only is it exactly one year until the day we get married, I’m also celebrating that by posting my first blog entry! On this blog, I’ll talk about everything wedding planning – from honoring tradition in a Jewish ceremony to putting together the perfect and uniquely “us” reception to navigating the world of wedding planning from behind my desk at

Yes that’s right; I work at on our public relations team. It’s truly a dream job and I love every second of it. But how will it affect my planning? Will my insider information be a lifesaver or a burden? I’m guessing it’ll be a little of both, but only time will tell and you’re coming with me on the journey!

So to begin, I’ll start at the beginning. If you’re a friend, bear with me, you may have already heard this story, but it’s one worth repeating (I think, at least). This is the story of the night we got engaged…

I’ll start by telling you that my fiancĂ© Oren is just perfect. He’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a man and so so so much more. I know every girl in love and about to get married probably says stuff like this and its clichĂ©, but that doesn’t make it any less true. What makes Oren so perfect in this instance is just how much he considered what would make me happy when he proposed (other than that he was proposing, of course).

The date: September 24, 2011. The place: Oren’s house.

My parents and sister were in town visiting and we were going to Oren’s house so our families could meet each other for the first time. Serious business. After arriving and getting settled, Oren was helping his mom bring the food to the table. As we all sat, she realized she forgot something and asked Oren to go grab it. He handed me a serving spoon, put on oven mitts and brought a casserole dish to the trivet next to me on the table.

After that, he just kind of looked at me and I thought that he couldn’t grip the knob with the oven mitts. After quickly touching the top, I realized the pot wasn’t even hot. At this point, Oren just decided to lift the lid himself (I found out later, I was supposed to have lifted it).

Inside was a ring box! It took me quite a while to process exactly what was going on. But my mom says once I realized I turned bright red like a tomato (I do that often), and all I could say was “Seriously?” until finally Oren’s mom said “Yes, seriously!”

Back to my original thought about how perfect Oren is. He really considered that I would want to celebrate with my parents and sister immediately too, so he chose a night that would be special for both of our families. To top it off, the casserole dish has a special meaning too – it belonged to his grandmother. Aww! So yea, he’s a keeper.

Now that you know how it all started, I can’t wait to have you join me as we go through the planning process.

Until next time (when I explain the meaning behind Love & Latkes)!

Here’s to love...and latkes,