Monday, December 29, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

I decided to take this week's Ruby Tuesday literally by taking a few photographs of Ruby Tuesday (as in the restaurant) :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shadow Sundays

A few weeks ago Anna and I went over to my friend Radha's apartment for an awesome Indian feast. That's where I took a photograph below for Shadow Sundays.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Today's Flowers

Below are two photographs of my plants that are on their way to blooming! The first one is the "Laura orchid," and it's going to be at least a week or two before the flowers will appear. The second photograph is the only bloom I have on my December cactus. Cannot wait till it will start flowering! Check out other beautiful photos on Today's Flowers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Here are a few photographs I took on my way to work Dec 23, 2008 for Sky Watch Friday.

Hand-Made Holiday Cards

This year I'm not really exchanging any gifts with anyone...maybe I'm a Scrooge, but I just find the whole process rather stressful and more of a money exchange than gift-giving. I still wanted to give people I care about cards though.

I love making cards, and this year made Menorah cards for Hanukkah and Snowflake cards for Christmas/New year. The idea for the cards came from a bib project I did more than a year ago. I still had the 3-D puffy paints leftover, and decided to see if they'd work on paper: they did!

I had a ton of fun making the cards, and hope the recipients will like them just as much.

Happy Holidays, y'all!

Ruby Tuesday

This past Saturday, Anna, Radha and I went to a noodle hole-in-the-wall restaurant in China Town in DC. On the way there I noticed these red gates and knew they'd be perfect for Ruby Tuesday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shadow Sundays

After brunch at Alero on the 20th, Jason, Theresa and I decided to check out a gallery around Logan Circle in DC. We went to the G Fine Art gallery, where there was a really interesting exhibit by Maggie Michael, All at Once. I thought the shadows cast by these records were really interesting and a perfect fit for Shadow Sundays.

If you are in the neighborhood, definitely check out this exhibit, which runs through January 3, 2009. Also, the same building houses Hemphill gallery and Adamson Gallery, which is where I saw my favorite exhibit that day: Photography by Lawrence Schiller (unfortunately, the exhibit is over on December 20th, but you can see some of his work here.) Below is my favorite photo from the Lawrence exhibit. It's a photo of Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, taken in LA in 1967. Why do I like it? Because you don't really know the story behind the photograph...all you have (or I have) are questions: why is she sitting on a table? why is he leaning against the table? why are they back to back? did they have a fight? did something horrible happen? I wish I knew the answers!

source of the photo

More shopping, more shoes

As if buying a red vest and a red bag wasn't enough, last Sunday Anna, Jenn and I met up for more shopping. (I just noticed that both Anna and Jenn have 2 'n's in their names! I feel slightly left out!). For the longest time I have been looking for a pair of black flat shoes: you'd be surprised how hard it is to find them!

When we were in TJMaxx, Anna found a pair of Me Too shoes, that are completely adorable. Sadly, I could not find a picture of them on line, but these ones on the left come pretty close. Mine are a bit shinier though.

And as if buying one pair of shoes wasn't enough, I bought another one! Mine, however, are in blue! They will go perfectly with jeans or white capri pants in the summer :) What can I say? I love shoes!

And then it was time to leave the shopping behind and go out for Peruvian dinner.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Good thing there is no concept of hell in Judaism

Good thing there is no concept of hell in Judaism.

Why? Because if there was, I would be going there.
This past Saturday I committed three sins:

1) I bought a Christmas tree! However, this has nothing to do with Christmas. Growing up in Russia, we always had an evergreen tree (yolka), which we decorated for New Years. I still remember some of our beautiful ornaments, which alas we had to leave behind. This is a much smaller version of the tree we used to have because I live in a tiny apartment. But I still enjoy coming home and plugging in the lights.

2) I went to a Christmas concert. That's probably not really a sin though, right? I was hoping to hear Silent Night, one of my favorite Christmas songs, but no such luck. Instead, the choir sang 75% Latin (not as in Spanish, but as in Latin language) songs. The other 25% to my big surprise and delight were Israeli songs (in Hebrew!). I absolutely loved those songs: they reminded me of when Anna and I went to Israel with some other students from our University during Christmas break: great people, amazing food, and wonderful culture.

3) I ate shrimp! Shrimp is not kosher...but then I never keep kosher. After the Christmas concert, Jenn, Mas (who was in the choir) and I went out for Chinese. That's when Mas ordered a dish I've never heard of before: shrimp with walnuts in a white sauce. I actually really liked it! Surprise, surprise, it had mayonnaise in it (one of my staple ingredients). Here is a recipe that sounds about right.

So you see, I haven't been a super Jewish girl. I also hope you've realized this whole post is not very serious :)

Happy whatever it is you celebrate this season!

P.S. Notice the menorah (Cindy's gift to me) next to my "Christmas" tree :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shopping: I see red!!!

After lunch at Alero on Saturday, I decided to make a quick stop at one of my favorite stores around Dupont Circle: Secondi! It's a consignment store specializing in fashion merchandise, and the best thing: it doesn't smell like many of the second-hand stores do. I pretty much find at least one thing at Secondi whenever I visit it, and always receive compliments on my purchases. This time was no different!

The first find was the Red Kenneth Cole Reaction Vest. I absolutely love anything by Kenneth Cole, especially his Reaction line. Unfortunately, I could not find a picture of the red vest, but use your imagination :)

The vest is pretty much brand new, so I saved quite a bit! And it's red: what's not to like?

The second find, and completely unexpected, was the Red seatbelt bag! I did not really even need one, but again, it's red, it had a great price, and I've always liked these bags. One of my friends used to always carry one (she probably still does) and I've always admired it, but wasn't going to spend a lot of money on a bag...this was just a lucky find!

Unfortunately the bag did not match my outfit on Saturday, so I had to wait till later that day and then on Sunday to carry it :)


In sad news, I still haven't found a winter coat...and the search continues!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

Here are a few photos I took this past weekend for Ruby Tuesday. I have never seen such a garbage shoot before!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shadow Sundays

Here are a few shots I took for Shadow Sundays last week. The shadow is of Laura, my friend from work.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Orchids

I think I now know how working mothers feel...ok, maybe not exactly, but stay with me for a second...

My orchids have been blooming for about two weeks now, but I only get to see them at night when I get home, while Anna gets to enjoy them during the day (in this scenario, I'm the working mother, the orchids are the kids, and Anna is the stay-at-home dad, who gets to experience every waking moment of the kids'/orchids' lives). I do realize children are more fascinating than flowers.

I patiently waited till the weekend so that I could take a few photos to show you the progress in my two blooming plants. They are stunning! And what makes me even happier is the fact that this is not the first time each of the plants has bloomed: The white orchid, I think I bought it with Jenny more than 4 years ago, has bloomed a minimum of 4 times. The bright pink orchid has bloomed at least twice. Then I have a "Laura" orchid (an orchid that I bought while visiting Laura in FL with Jenny) that might grow a new stem, which will eventually have blooms! Cannot wait. And now to the subject at hand:
(P.S. This is also my Today's Flowers Submission)

At least I'm done

Yesterday I took my GRE test. The good news is that I'm done! No more studying, no more flashcards, no more feeling guilty for doing something fun at night instead of spending the time in the library practicing math problems or analogies or reading comprehension.

Another good news is that I did really well on the math component. Oh, and I finally can get back to reading normal books: my current choice is Valley of the Dolls (Thank you, Radha!).

The not so good news is that I completely bombed on the verbal session. Yes, I know I'm not a native English speaker, but still. Perhaps I should have spent more time memorizing vocabulary words and practicing reading comprehension (you think!?)...but, it doesn't matter now: because I'm done!!!

Since I still have no clue as to what I should/want to study further, I think I'll just keep in mind that I can use the test for 5 years.

Does anyone want to buy a brand new GRE book with flashcards and a pocket guide?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sky Watch Friday

Below are 2 photos I took today at 8 am and 2 photos I took today at 11:30 am. How much can change in just a few hours! Check out the other photos posted for Sky Watch Friday.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So very proud!!

I think today was my best mentoring session with N ever! Not only did we finish reading an entire book, but N paid attention, was well behaved (for most of the hour) and was able to correctly pronounce most of the words.

I feel like a proud mom :)

Every time I go to N's elementary school for Power Lunch I appreciate that I'm capable of reading and writing. I seriously cannot imagine what it's like not to be able to read the street signs, or the names of the stores, or a simple article in a newspaper. I really hope that I am helping her!

I really want to encourage everyone to find a local program where you can help someone with reading: I think it will change both of your lives for the better!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

This is a bit of a cheating manoeuvre because I submitted this post last week for Ruby Tuesday a day late, so I'm resubmitting it again :)

Below are 2 pictures from my travels (San Francisco Japanese Garden and Random Red Doors in Philadelphia) and a picture my friend Stacey took of me in front of some of my favorite doors in DC (it's a church in Gallery Place/China Town).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today's Flowers

My orchid bloomed for the second time a few days ago, and I just had to take a few photos of it for Today's Flowers. There are several more blooms that will open later this week, and I have another orchid that is ready to blossom: I'm very excited. Yes, orchids are my favorites (it's even part of my email.)