Fall Fashion

At every turning of the seasons, I love seeing how runway fashion trends make their way into everyday looks. This fall is no different. Of course, it sure doesn’t feel like fall yet in Tel Aviv. It’s still sunny with cloudless skies and temperatures in the mid-80s every day – plus the trademark >50% humidity. Still, it’s cooler than it has been. At least I can put on a cardigan in the evening without turning into a puddle.

I know in a few months when I’m complaining that our apartment never gets warm this will be a distant memory, but for now I’ll keep complaining about the heat and dreaming about fall fashion 🙂 Lucky for me – I’ll actually get to try some of it out soon on our upcoming trip to Ireland. Which reminds me that I totally need to pack.

Here’s some of the runway trends I’ve seen translated into wearable pieces:

Fall Fashion
  1. The trend: Shearling
    The piece: Trina Turk oversized wool coat

    Shearling is one of the most fashionable ways to stay warm. It gives a more structured look than most fur, while still keeping the super luxe factor. I love this Trina Turk coat since it’s super versatile and could be dressed up or down.

  2. The trend: Fringe
    The piece: Steve Madden woven scarf

    Fringe was all over runways for fall, and while I personally may not be ready for an entirely fringe dress quite yet, scarves are a great way to integrate it into your wardrobe.

  3. The trend: Rich reds
    The piece: Halogen cardigan top

    Reds (nicknamed “power red”) took center stage at fashion shows, and as an Alabama alum, I’m all for it 🙂 In all honesty though, besides Alabama apparel, I don’t have a lot of red in my closet because I don’t always love how it looks on me. The rich wine color of this cardigan is perfect for any skin tone though.

  4. The trend: Stepped up sneakers
    The piece: Kate Spade tassel loafer shoes

    Thick soled sneakers with fashionable features are comfortable and stylish at the same time. I’m in love with the cute tassels on this Kate Spade pair.

  5. The trend: Cross body bags
    The piece: Rebecca Minkoff shoulder bag

    Big, bulky bags are getting replaced by their streamlined cross body counterparts this fall. I love the shape and tassel on this bag.

  6. The trend: Oversized comfy sweaters
    The piece: Chicwish military green sweater

    Who doesn’t love cozy sweaters? Now that oversized sweaters are officially in style, I have the perfect excuse to wear them everywhere.

  7. The trend: Tassels
    The piece: BaubleBar dot necklace

    Tassels made a statement all over catwalks for fall. This tassel necklace will make a statement in your wardrobe.

  8. The trend: Checked fabric
    The piece: Brown long sleeve top

    Checked fabric lends instant class to tops and dresses. This top is perfect for the office or out and about, and is versatile enough to pair perfectly with a pencil skirt or leather leggings.

  9. and 10. The trend: Mules, velvet, and leopard print
    The pieces: Madewell pointy toe mule and Cole Haan pointed toe mule

    Mules are the perfect transition shoe from summer to fall. Velvet (and power red!) is a super luxe look, and leopard print adds a pop to your outfit!

 

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Rosh Hashanah Recipe Roundup

Rosh Hashanah is finally here, which means a short work week and a festive atmosphere. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, it means a ton of cooking. Luckily for me, we don’t host dinner, so I’m only obligated to make a side or dessert.
If you’re like me, you usually leave the decision about what you’re making to the last minute, allowing you to fight it out with everyone in the supermarket the morning of. This year, I decided to compile a list of recipes to make that choice just a little bit easier. Now to pick just one…
Side Dishes
  1. Beet, Carrot, and Pomegranate Salad from FoodieCrush – This salad is absolutely beautiful and will definitely bring a splash of color to the table. The presentation is even better if you can get some unique, colorful carrot and beet varieties. I love that the pomegranate seeds add a touch of festiveness. If you’re having a dairy meal, goat cheese would be an excellent add in.Beet Carrot and Pomegranate Salad FoodieCrush.com 
  2. Apple Pomegranate Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing from The Recipe Critic – Here you have your apples and your pomegranate seeds – the Rosh Hashanah dynamic duo. This salad is easy to make, but super classy, and you could leave out the feta to make it parve.Apple Pomegranate Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing
  3. Apple + Fennel Winter Salad from Forest & Fauna – So what if it’s September and still 90 degrees out? This winter salad is perfect for your Rosh Hashanah table. This salad is another apple and pomegranate combo, fancied up with a fennel bulb.
Apple Fennel Winter Salad - http://www.forestandfauna.com/

via Forest & Fauna

Desserts 

  1. Oreo Cheesecake Apple Truffles from How Does She? – How adorable are these truffles? Ofir loves when I make regular Oreo truffles, so I know this will be his choice. These would definitely make a cute conversation starter, and they’re much easier to make than they look.Oreo Cheesecake Apple Truffles
  2. Salted Pomegranate Chocolate Fudge from Honest & Tasty – This decadent fudge is right on theme with the addition of pomegranate seeds. Sweet, tart and salty together? Sign me up. This could also be made dairy free if you used parve chocolate chips.

  3. Apple Shaped Cupcakes from Make and Takes – These cute cupcakes would be such a hit with kids. The recipe just calls for a box mix, or you could sub in your favorite cupcake recipe.Make Apple-Shaped Cupcakes
  4. Woven Dried Fruit Tart from Martha Stewart – How gorgeous is this tart, complete with Magen David crust? This beauty will definitely score you some points with the family. If you use a dairy free crust and leave out the heavy cream from the egg wash, this could be a parve dessert.

So ends my little recipe roundup. I hope everyone found something to make! Wishing everyone a Shana Tova, and may you all have delicious meals to celebrate! 🙂

 

The Year of Klaus

It’s been more than a year since I last wrote a post here. My last post was about first getting Klaus, and now, I’m sad to say, he’s already passed away.  One night in July, at home with us, he just suddenly collapsed and passed away. It happened very suddenly, according to the vet, probably from a heart attack or a problem in his brain. We were devastated, and our life still feels odd without him in our home.


That’s not to say that life with Klaus was always easy. Let’s just say in this last year, I’ve learned so much about dog training and canine behavior from working with him. I also created an Instagram account for him (@niklausthegsd if you want to see what we’ve been up to all year and his sweet face) and learned a lot about building up an Instagram following. Klaus cemented in my mind the idea that dogs are, as a rule, better than humans, and that I really enjoy having them in my life.


As for what else is new, my job for one thing – I’ve switched from the legal field back to sales and am enjoying it a lot. My Hebrew is improving (slowly slowly), and we’ve started seriously thinking about where on this globe we want to build our future life. Both of my parents have come to visit Israel since I last posted, so I should have some good Israel itinerary posts coming up. We’re also planning a trip to Ireland this month during the high holidays, so I’m very much looking forward to that and should have some fun travel posts coming.


Last, but definitely not least, you can see that I’ve switched the blog over to WordPress. It’s been a steep learning curve, but I think I’m getting the hang of it. Unfortunately, in the process, I lost all the pictures in my posts, so I’m working on going back and replacing them. Since my laptop simultaneously decided that now was the right time to breathe its last breath, it’s becoming quite the endeavor. In other words, please be patient with me.

All in all, I’m happy to have this outlet back at my disposal, and I look forward to continuing to share some of things we have going on. ❤

Meet Klaus!

A few weeks ago, we finally went through with something we’ve wanted to do for like a year and got a 9 week old German Shepherd puppy named Klaus. He’s just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, though his crazy puppy mode has earned him the nickname Hurricane Klaus.

IMG_8533I think I did about 1000 hours of research before we got him, even though we’ve both had a lot of dogs in our lives. Even now I spend time each day reading German Shepherd forums and puppy books. Sometimes I feel like a new mother with the amount of time I spend worrying about him every day (and the multiple trips outside during the night in the first few weeks).IMG_9866

We’ve been lucky because we’re both able to take him to work with us, so he never really gets left alone, and we’re able to work on training throughout the day every day. Like most German Shepherds, he has his rough, mouthy puppy moments, but we’ve been working through them pretty well. Somehow we’ve managed to make it through this far with zero home damage. My arms and ankles, on the other hand, haven’t fared as well, but he’s improving.

 Rhodes, Greece

I kind of like my posts to be in some sort of order, but I’m going to break up my posts about the wedding and our time in the States with one about our trip a couple of weekends ago to Rhodes, Greece. Greece is a popular vacation destination for people in Israel for the obvious reasons (it’s beautiful) and because of its proximity (only an hour flight). The trip was a wedding gift from Ofir’s siblings, and we’ve been looking toward to it since we left out honeymoon. 


We stayed at the Sentido Port Royal, an adults only resort in the Kolumbya area of the island. The resort was very new, and the decor, rooms, pool and restaurant were trendy and had a nice minimalistic style. We stayed for three nights on the partially all inclusive package, meaning that breakfast and dinner were included, and honestly, there was so much food at breakfast that we were full until dinner anyways.


Since the pools and beach were so nice, we didn’t venture outside of the resort area until our last day when we rented a car and drove to Lindos, the most recommended place to visit on Rhodes. The city is built on a mountain overlooking the sea, and at the top of the mountain is the ancient Lindos Acropolis. We decided to shell out the €24 to see it, but first we had to make our way up the mountain.


It was seriously sweltering that day, so I convinced Ofir to ride a donkey to the top with me. I had seen it recommended on travel sites, and I have to say that while I felt a little bad making them lug us up there, the donkeys seemed really well treated and not at all malnourished or mistreated. Once we got to the top, we walked around the ruins of the Acropolis.


The Acropolis is a natural citadel which was fortified by the various empires that controlled the area one after the other –  the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St John and the Ottomans. This makes it an interesting mixture of architecture and ruins, including the remains of a temple of Athena and a Greek Orthodox church.

After the Acropolis, we made our way down the mountain to walk around the city of Lindos, which was full of great shops and restaurants. Later, on our way back to the resort, we stopped at Epta Spiges (Seven Springs), which I wouldn’t personally recommend since it was a little anticlimactic, but I do think it would be more impressive in the winter when there’s more water. There’s also a cute restaurant there overlooking the springs if you’re looking to eat lunch in the forest.

We finished up our day with a little more pool time before our final giant buffet dinner. I was really impressed by the quality of the food, which included some unique and complex taste combinations you would expect to find at a chef restaurant rather than a resort buffet. The selection was huge, and the dessert buffet was a real problem for me, since every single thing was delicious. I fell more in love with baklava than ever, and I’ll admit that the Greeks might make it better than Israelis.


I will say that outside of the resort and Lindos, Greece was not exactly what I expected. The economic crisis was more apparent there than I expected, with a lot of abandoned buildings and construction sites and a general lack of upkeep of places indicative of a financial shortage. Regardless, it was still a beautiful place and full of history. The topography and vegetation are very similar to northern Israel in a lot of places, which makes sense considering the geographic locations are similar, and the general disregard for traffic laws is also the same 🙂

This trip gave me the chance to use my new camera after taking a couple lessons, and it was fun to try out all of the things I learned. I love having the camera to take better quality pictures and for the zoom, but I still love my iPhone camera for its small size and portability.

All in all, the trip was wonderful, and it was great to take a short break from the real world. I’m including below what I would consider to be the ideal packing list for a short trip to Greece in the summer or late spring, made up of a lot of the things I brought. The weather was definitely hot, but comfortable on the beach. Make sure to bring a hat or two for all of that sun!

We will definitely need to make some return trips to Greece – we only have 5,999 islands to go!

Girls Weekend in NYC

Over the past weeks (ok months), this blog has unfortunately been put on the back burner for me as I got into the final weeks of wedding preparation and was traveling for a full month.

Now that I’m back home in Israel and the wedding is over, I’m happy to finally get the blog going again.

For a time I felt like I just didn’t have much to talk about: every day was work, wedding planning, sleep, repeat, and I pretty much didn’t have a minute to spare. But, I’ve gotten some very sweet and encouraging emails and messages about this blog in the past weeks (which is amazing because I didn’t really think many people were reading!), and it made me really want to get back to writing it again.

Another encouragement is our awesome new camera we got as a wedding gift. I’m still learning how to use it, but even in my unexperienced hands it will be an upgrade for the blog’s future pictures.

I have a lot of things to talk about now – from planning a wedding long distance, to long distance relationships in general, to introducing families from opposite sides of the world for the first time (days before the big day in our case), to some amazing travel destinations.

Today I’ll start at the beginning of our trip to the States – my bachelorette party, which was an amazing girls weekend in NYC. My flight to Missouri from Tel Aviv always stops in NYC, so my friends and I thought it would be the perfect place for the bachelorette.

We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, which is a fun experience in and of itself. The hotel is huge and beautiful, and while it may not be the newest in Manhattan, it has its own classic charm and so much history. The hotel was originally built in the current location of the Empire State Building, but it was torn down to make room for that construction. Now it has a prime location on Park Avenue, where it has sat since 1931. Tons of celebrities and politicians have graced its halls, with VIPs like President Hoover and Frank Sinatra owning residences there. From the gorgeous clock tower in the lobby to the opulent chandeliers everywhere you look, the hotel is a real stunner.


My friends and I spent two days and nights together in New York, shopping a ton and visiting some awesome restaurants and bars, including my personal favorite – Tavern on the Green. Tavern on the Green has been a New York mainstay for almost a century, though it closed and reopened not long ago. We grabbed brunch there on our first morning, and, while it’s a little pricey, it’s totally worth it. It looks a bit different now than I remember it as a child, since the interiors were auctioned off after it closed in 2009 and it was completely redecorated, but it’s still beautiful, albeit slightly less formal.
The food was fantastic, and we had such amazing weather that it was perfect to eat outside in the garden surrounded by Central Park. They also had possibly the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had in my life, and I consider myself a Bloody Mary expert. Everyone enjoyed it, and we even got to see part of a beautiful brunch wedding reception.


Of course we had to shop on Park Ave. after breakfast (I’ve been super deprived of good shopping here in Israel). Sephora was a sight for sore eyes, and I think I spent a full hour in there trying and buying basically everything.


Later that night, we visited TAO Uptown restaurant for dinner before heading out and about in Manhattan. I’d been to TAO in Vegas, but never in New York, and it was a completely different experience. The decor and atmosphere are really cool – especially the two story Buddha statue and reflecting pools in the main dining area. The food was good, though the portions were big, so I highly recommend sharing to get a taste of everything.

The next morning we only had time for a quick breakfast before some of the girls had to head to the airport (P.S. late night Waldorf room service is amazing), but one of my friends and I had time to make a trip to Ladurée on Madison Avenue for some macarons. The bakery is gorgeous, and I seriously wanted to buy everything and have them decorate my house. Luckily I don’t live anywhere near there, because that place would drain my wallet super fast.

By that evening, our fun weekend was over and everyone was headed home (though I stayed for more New York fun when Ofir and his family arrived). I couldn’t have asked for a better bachelorette weekend or better friends to share it with. They planned everything so perfectly, and I got to live out all my SATC/Gossip Girl dreams.

The secret to great bachelorette parties, in my experience, is good planning on the front end, and then going with the flow once you get there. Even if all the girls don’t know each other, you’re all friends with the bride, so you have something in common. I was so lucky that all my friends became friends, and it’s so funny to see my friend groups intersecting on Facebook now. All in all, the weekend was a total win, and I feel so fortunate to have gotten to have the bachelorette party experience.

9 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

I know some of you in cold climates might laugh at me for complaining, but it has been seriously cold here in Israel lately. The past week it was below freezing in Jerusalem, and teetering just above it here in Tel Aviv. I personally hate cold weather, and it’s so much worse here because apartments are built out of concrete with no insulation or central heating. So while it’s pretty cold outside, it’s even colder inside.

rain2As I said, I hate the cold, but that’s not the only thing I dislike about this time of year. At some point in the winter, I always find myself stuck in the doldrums. I know it’s not just me, and really its biological (see, for example, Seasonal Affective Disorder), but that doesn’t make it any easier. With short days forcing many people to arrive to and leave work in the dark, and miserable weather keeping people cooped up indoors, sometimes winter just kind of sucks.

But don’t despair. I scoured the internet and my own personal experience to come up with a list of the very best ways to beat the winter blue…aside from hopping the first plane to the Caribbean..which, let’s face it, would be the most effective:

  1. Get some Vitamin D

Scientists believe that one of the lead causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder and non-SAD general lethargy in the winter is the lack of exposure to natural light. Being stuck in work past sunset, cloud cover, and wintry weather all prevent us from getting the light we need. You can combat this by getting outside in the sun as often as possible, or, if you’re really prohibited from venturing out by bad weather (or, in the arctic circle, by the fact that sunlight is seriously limited), talk to a doctor and see if bright light therapy might be for you.

  1. Spend some time with your furry friends

Studies show that pet owners are happier than their pet-less counterparts. In fact, they’re also healthier, less lonely, and have greater self-esteem. So cuddle up with your animal friends and banish those cold weather blues. If you find yourself without a furry friend and you’re interested in getting a pet, be sure to check out sites like Adopt A Pet and Petfinder, which can match you up with animals near you in need of a home.

  1. Plan a trip

Scientists have shown the excitement from planning a trip is actually more enjoyable than the trip itself. I can personally confirm this one is true, since my excitement for our wedding travel and honeymoon to Jamaica is through the roof right now. Check out some winter deals on trips and immerse yourself in the planning. Read books or watch films about your destination, plan your travel wardrobe, and feel the joy of trip anticipation.

  1. Shop for spring and summer

Speaking of packing for trips, start shopping for warmer weather to remind yourself that spring is on its way (slowly but surely). Check out the biggest Spring 2016 fashion trends and figure out how to incorporate them into your wardrobe.

  1. Get moving

We all know that hitting the gym is good for your health, but it turns out it’s also good for your mental health. According to this article, psychologists believe that you don’t have to get active in an actual gym for the positive effects. Cleaning your house or walking your dog can have the same benefits.

  1. Be social

It’s easy to hide out in your warm home during the winter, but don’t turn into a hermit. Make plans with friends (and keep them!) to go out and do something. Nothing can cheer you up like good friends, but just being around other likeminded individuals can help improve your mood. Try signing up for a new class or try volunteering to broaden your horizons and get yourself out of the house.

  1. Start a project

Nothing get’s me energized like starting a new project. The researching, the Pinterest-ing, buying supplies – all of it gives me purpose, and purpose makes everyone happy. Whether it’s starting a blog or DIYing furniture, choose something and get to work.

  1. Have a date night

If there’s one thing winter is good for, it’s romance. Between cozy fires, ice skating, and a bunch of great movies coming out, the date night options are endless. Whether you stay in or go out, plan something sweet with your significant other and stay warm together.

  1. Get some sleep

Good news for those who feel like they just can’t get out of bed in the winter – you’re not lazy, it’s just science. A decrease in daylight means an increase in melatonin, meaning your body can’t help but be tired. Why fight mother nature? Hit the bed early and sleep in as late as you’re allowed. Why should bears be the only ones who get to stay in bed all winter?

Hopefully some of these tips will help cheer you up in the remaining months of winter. Let me know your favorite way to beat the winter blues.