Thursday, July 31, 2008

I am to sleep with a GUARD

Unfortunately this is so not what you think. But it is a nice riddle, no?

Okay, I promise to write something more substantial and entertaining later.

Tomorrow I'm heading to the beach with Jenn...look for updates on Sunday.


What does 2K buy you?

In my case almost 2 root canals. Why 2? Because it turns out one of them is not quite complete. My root canal dentist is very thorough and thinks there are a few more roots in my upper tooth: how special am I?

So I have to come back again. He joked how he thought he was getting rid off me. I said I thought the same about him. Alas.

Oh well, at least the office is very professional, doesn't make me wait, and the dentist speaks Spanish! He's from Venezuela and has a very nice Spanish accent. Don't get too excited: he could be my grandfather.

Oh, and he keeps on reminding me to open my mouth if. But I am getting better at having x-rays done: they used to completely gag me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

OMG I'm 40 years old!!!

Yesterday Anna and I went over to Cindy's to help her and the girls with their dollhouse, to have tea and cookies, and to hang out.

After cookies, scones, tarts, and a lot of hard work, Cindy asked if I wanted to try out her Wii. I've heard a lot about it, but have never played it. Cindy created a mini Olga and I took the fitness test:

+ I'm pretty good at yoga
+ I can hoolahoop
- I'm about 5 pounds above my normal weight (according to BMI ration)
- my physical age (based on my balance) is 40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG! Seriously!?
- in the soccer game I had a hard time avoiding the shoes thrown at me
+ but it was still super fun!

A little bit of shopping

This past Friday Stacey and I went shopping during lunch. This was the first time in ages both of us actually bought something! Stacey bought a pretty blue/brown necklace.

I bought these Nina shoes: quite a splurge, but they were on sale and have cushioning: I think these will be my new dancing shoes.

I also bought a pair of silver hoop earrings to replace my ghetto hoops :) (you can see the old ones in the picture below). The new hoops are real silver, smaller in diameter and are actually made from square tubing instead of round. Alas, Macy's' doesn't have a picture of them on their site.

Then today, Anna and I were at Tabletop and I bought perfume! I have been looking for new perfume for a while but not finding anything I like. That's when I found Soular Therapy System Heavenly Body eau de toilette. You are supposed to choose a fragrance that matches your sign (mine is Aries), but I liked the one for Leo (orange lemon)...and it was on sale! LOVE.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beauty for $1.50

Yesterday was "meet my sister" day as Anna and I met up with my friends (in order of arrival) Ashley, Wendy, and Radha at the Dupont Farmers' market and then some jewelry making.

Once again, I wasn't super motivated to buy any produce (we haven't finished the prodcuce from the grocery store yet), but then I saw buckets of pretty zinnias for only $0.50/each. I could not resist...and why? For only $1.50 I got so much beauty.

This is one of the bottles I bought while on vacation with my parents: Twin Brook makes the most amazing chocolate milk!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Testing 1, 2, 3

Below are the professional pictures of the 3 recipes I've tested a while ago for Robyn Webb (in Diabetes Forecast):

Oven-roasted Salmon with Latin Spices and Salsa
Tilapia Tacos
Fish Creole

Vacation Pictures

Not much new to write about, so I thought I'd post a few more pictures from vacation.

pebbles on the beach
a tree hugger
pond in Vancouver in the park
in Blaine
maybe Anna and I should buy this boat!?
from the inside of our little boat
reminded me of Paige
lunch in Blaine
This is a door Anna pointed out to me in Bellingham: I was so tired I did not even notice it (have a slight obsession with doors)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

4Bs of vacation

aThis July was the first time in more than a year that the entire family was together in the same place. Luckily, our parents decided to take us on a mini vacation, so that we weren't cooped up in the house forever.

B #1: Birch Bay

Wednesday morning after Anna and I visited Lydia and Jane (we used to work with them years ago, but still visit them and Jeanie and Holly whenever we are in Seattle), we loaded up the car and started a 2-3 hour drive to Birch Bay. 5 people in the car. Anna, Misha, and I in the back seat. Listening to our dad's choice of music. LOVELY!

But then we got a bit of excitement: one of the tires blew up! On the highway! After changing the tire, we made it to a nearby tire store and were told all 4 tires had to be replaced. While our parents dealt with that, Anna and I got haircuts.

The rest of the drive was uneventful. The vacation spot was right on the water: very peaceful and pretty, but really not much to do around. We toasted the beginning of our vacation with margaritas at a nearby Mexican place. Anna and I then continued to annoy our dad by watching Food TV, Bravo, TLC, and HGTV :)

We sort of split into 3 "groups": our parents went to the pool, out on walks, etc; Anna and I went to a little knitting store, walked by the water, watched Cable; Misha did stuff on his computer.

There was a super cute Farmers' market nearby that sold the best chocolate milk in the cutest glass bottles. It was made by Twin something (I don't remember the exact name), so I bought two bottles: will use them as vases.

these are super pretty flowers at a nearby candy store
B #2: British Columbia

On Thursday we drove to Vancouver. Yay Canada! Slightly stressful: Anna and I wanted to go shopping, while our parents wanted to go to a park, and Misha wanted to see a suspension bridge. And my teeth hurt. (seriously, we did have a good time!)

Again, we split into twins and not-twins, and after some shopping (I bought a pair of shoes and a t-shirt) and food (falafel), we reunited, and started to drive to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. After we got there, turns out it costs $30 to get in! For each person! Outrageous! Our parents were kind enough to pay for all 3 of their children: in return we took a zillion pictures to share the experience with them :) and did our darnest not to push each other off the bridge. It was fun!

B #3: Bellingham

Misha's college roommate is from Bellingham, and his family invited Misha and our parents to dinner. Anna and I were dropped off in town and let to our own devices. It was a cute town with fun boutiques, old buildings, and some really weird people (must be because it's a college town?). I bought a pair of silver earrings and a cool wood bracelet (I already have wood earrings and ring). Then we had dinner: I had Teriaky and Anna had Mexican: happiness all around! We found a very neighborhood-y ice-cream store and played a few games of Dominoes.

It was getting darker and cold, so our parents came and picked us up. Misha stayed over at his roommate's parents' house.

B #4: Blaine

There were two things that I really wanted to do during this vacation: go to a Crafts/Arts market and take a mini boat in Blaine. The first one did not happen, the second one did. Anna and I took an hour long ride (30 minutes each way) on a little boat: it was very pretty and fun, and chill, and only $2 donation!

We then had lunch in town and found a little antique store where I bought 5 old coins (25 cents each!) and the store owner was nice enough to punch holes in the coins so that I can make jewelry from it! (will post pictures later)

And then it was time to pick up Misha and head back to Seattle.

My mom's flowers

Below are a few pictures of my mom's flowers in her garden. Sadly by the time I flew to Seattle all of her peonies were dead.

Chop't with Ashley

I've been eating out way too much lately, and the trend will continue while Anna is in DC for the next two weeks.

Since I came back from Seattle Sunday night, I had no time (okay, no desire) to go grocery shopping: thus, nothing to bring to work for lunch. Luckily, I had a date with Ashley for lunch. Decided to give Chop't a second try. I've been there once before with Kamal, Jenn, etc, but had soup. This time I was ready for the salad.

The place was super hectic: line outside of the door, at least 10 "salad dudes" making various salads and so many choices!!!! I ended up getting an "ivy league" sandwich (smaller amount than a salad rolled into a tortilla): romaine lettuce, grilled asparagus, avocado, tomato, cucumber & corn with ranch dressing.

Thoughts: not bad for the price. I think next time I'll go for salad instead of a wrap. And maybe add some protein. But overall not a bad choice for lunch. I can't imagine working there: too claustrophobic, fast paced, and hectic (I think I mentioned hectic already).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wine & Food with Lera in Seattle (Cont...)

After 3 wineries and plenty of sunshine, Lera, Anna and I were ready for lunch, and Lera had the perfect place in mind: Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. We sat outside on the porch, enjoyed good food, good wine, good dessert, and the best company.

halibut and prawn ceviche: roasted corn-tomatillo salsa, guacamole and sour cream,
served with corn tortilla chips
crab cakes: dungeness crab, red pepper coulis, curry oil and fennel slaw Vinho Verde
bucheron: goat cheese warmed and topped with fireweed honey and dried cherries
mushroom pizza:
braised mushrooms, arugula, goat cheese and garlic olive oil
crème brulee trio:
vanilla, lavender and mango
all gone :(

Wine & Food with Lera in Seattle

Today was such a lovely day: the weather was sunny and warm, and Anna and I got to hang out with our good friend Lera, who we haven't seen in a year.

Lera planned a fun packed day of wine tasting and good food: no way to go wrong with that.

We started at the Chateau Ste Michelle with free wine tour and free wine tasting: my favorite was Muscat Canelli: sweet and smooth.

We then headed to the Novelty Hill Januik winery. The building where the wine tasting took place was stunning: modern design, light wood, glass, cement walls, exposed ceilings: something reminiscent of a New York City loft. They had four wine tastings for the price of $5. Unfortunately, only two were whites: what I was interested in. The lady working at the winery was super nice and let me have them for free (score!).

This was the first time I've heard and tasted the late harvest wine (thank you, Lera!!!): it was fantastic: cold, sweet, and syrupy!

The wine started to go to my head, but we had one more stop: Silver Lake Winery. The man working at the winery recommended I have 6 tastings for the price of $5 because two were whites, one was rose, and the other 3 were relatively mild. My favorite one was Chenin Blanc. Perhaps if we have time this weekend, we can go to their free sangria tasting!

And then it was time for food. I'll update you on that after a nap :)

The Best Present Ever

Yesterday Anna and I visited Era and her family. We've been friends with Era since High School (a loooooooooooooooong time) and have seen her go from a single girl, to a married girl, and now a mother of two. We are sort of two adopted aunts, living far away and seeing our "niece" and "nephew" twice a year when we are in Seattle to visit our family.

Back to the present: a few years ago, when Era only had a little girl, we came over and brought a stuffed snowman from Hallmark. Turns out L, Era's and Art's daughter, really loved the little toy. In fact, she loves it so much, Era had to buy 4 extra ones, just so that L is never without one. I can't recall ever giving a present someone liked more. Not sure if I'll ever be able to top it.

I just spent about 20 minutes trying to find the snowman on Google, but no such luck.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jewelry making in Seattle

Last weekend in New York City, I bought a green necklace for $10 at a "garage sale." I should have taken a picture of the original, but I'll describe it instead: just green graduated stones with golden beads in between. There was no way I was going to wear it as is.

Instead, yesterday Anna and I went to a beading store in Seattle and bought supplies to make several projects. Below is the double-strand bracelet I made from the necklace (will most likely make matching earrings later):

The second project was using the blue glass beads Paige sent me from Atlanta. I was inspired by an example of earrings at the beading store and made little dangling blue earrings with faux pearls. Thanks, Paige!!!

P.S. Anna was instrumental in helping me find little purple glass beads for the double-strand bracelet.

Friday, July 4, 2008

In Seattle: daddy's borsht

First thing in Seattle: dad's borsht for lunch. Awesome as always.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Little Muted

Remember my bright pink phone cover? If you've ever seen me talking on the phone, I'm sure you do: it sort of begs for attention. The old cover (on the left) was no longer staying on the phone (even after my dad superglued it a year ago), so I bought a new cover today (on the right): a bit more muted and sophisticated? :)

Thank you

Someone will be getting this very soon in the mail :)

(sorry for the poor quality of the picture: I took it at night, so there are many shadows)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sushi Lunch with Ashley

I haven't seen Ashley since our last mentoring session weeks ago. Finally, today we were free at the same time and met at the Sushi Go Round & Tapas in Gallery Place for lunch. This is my 3rd time to this restaurant and it was as enjoyable as always.

I knew I wanted sushi, and chose a wasabi tuna with avocado roll right away, but had a hard time choosing the second roll (one is just not enough!). Ashley then pointed out that there was a wide selection of tempura on the other side of the menu: I was in trouble! Who doesn't like fried things? I chose a sweet potato tempura and an eggplant tempura.

Did I mention they also have free unlimited refills of soda and iced tea? (I had 4 Diet Cokes!)

The sushi was fresh, spicy and creamy (avocado); the tempura was crispy on the outside and cooked to perfection on the inside (uncooked potatoes and eggplant are just very unpleasant).

Next time, I think I might try a roll, one tempura and soup.

Good times!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I just came back from an appointment with a root canal specialist. Let's see:

1) my mouth is so small (no jokes, please) that it hurts to take x-rays...can they not invent a device that doesn't have to be stuck inside your mouth?
2) I now will be a lucky recipient of two root canals, each taking approximately two appointments
3) one of the root canals has three roots, instead of the typical two: lucky me
4) after the root canals are finished, I'm going to have two crowns: again, at least two appointments per crown
5) I cried like a child and am now sitting in my cubicle with my sunglasses on because my eyes are red shot (is that the expression?)

I've already paid $188 x 2, plus $65 consultation fee, not to mention time off work, pain, Metro fees, frustration, tears (LOTS of tears: I cry like a baby). Looking forward to paying at least $980/root canal and an additional $600/crown.

Yes, I realize there are wars going on and people are dying from cancer and AIDS, and are left homeless from the natural disasters. Yes, I realize that at least I have a job and insurance, but this is not the way I want to spend my savings, not to mention pain, tears, and constant waiting at the dentists' offices (...why? why can't they actually start your appointment at the time they schedule it?).

I really wish I could blame someone or break something or pay for this whole thing to magically disappear.

As if.

Misha in DC, last Day

Yesterday was Misha's last day in DC and I agreed to take a day off work, which was a great decision because their Internet was down the entire day!
After breakfast of Mark Bittman's chocolate chip pancakes, we went to the National Air & Space museum. This is my second time in the museum: the first time I went there on a date with a guy who was in the Airforce and referred to himself by his first name...weird!
I love this display: obviously I would not be a stewardess because it requires smiling :)
This was my favorite little plane: and it's made in Wisconsin!
This was my favorite artifact by far! How pretty!?
After the museum we headed to Smithsonian Castle and its little garden: pretty flowers!
And then it was time for lunch! I decided to take Misha to Ben's Chili Bowl: a DC institution in U Street District. I've only been there once about 4 years ago, and was looking forward to half-smokes!

Deliciousness! I also had potato salad.

On the way back to the Metro I saw a sign for this upcoming business (near Lucky Bar) totally cute?

At night I forced Misha to help me cook dinner, I ain't no one's slave :)
We made spaghetti with meatballs and cucumber/tomato/red onion/feta salad. He even had seconds!!!

Then I went dancing: really needed some time to myself and DeM was going to be there ;) a winning combination.

Misha left today at 6:30 am, and I have my place all to myself. And then Anna is "moving in" on Thursday until the end of July (minus the trip to Seattle).