Thursday, January 31, 2008

Culture, Choices, and Beauty

I love culture. I am also a person of habit: for the last 4 years, Wednesdays were my Zanzibar nights, when I would go salsa dancing at Zanzibar. Then in the last few months I exchanged salsa dancing on Wednesdays for rueda practice.

Last night rueda practice was canceled and I decided to go back to Zanzibar. But then (dramatic music!!!) I received an email from Kennedy Center about a special offer for Sleeping Beauty ballet. I needed to make a choice. I am so bad at making up my mind, and sometimes it can take hours, days or even months to make a decision on something. Well, yesterday I decided to go with the ballet because the likelihood of me enjoying it was much higher than the likelihood of having a fantastic time at Zanzibar.

I was happy that Wendy agreed to go with me, although I would have gone on my own.

Here are just a few words that came to mind when I was watching Sleeping Beauty:
magical

enchanting beautiful

peaceful graceful joyous



I think I made an absolutely right decision. If you have a chance to see this performance, I would highly recommend it! And if you know someone with young children, they would love it!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dinner: Asian inspired salad

I had just under an hour tonight after I got home from work to make dinner, change, put on make up and go to Sleeping Beauty Ballet in Kennedy Center (more on that tomorrow). Dinner had to be quick!

*Peel a cucumber, cut in half lenghwise and slice into moon shapes.

*Add a few splashes of mirin, sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sweet/hot pepper sauce, some sliced white onion and a bunch of cilantro.

*Slice a pork tenderloin (already cooked) and saute with some garlic and ginger. Add to the rest of the ingredients.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eggs and Ginger

Edward, who is in charge of the culinary program at Sur La Table, has studied Indian cuisine for years and is quite passionate about it. A while ago he gave me an idea for an Indian omelet: garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and eggs. It was delicious!

Last night, I was going to make a quick omelet with the leftover pork loin I cooked a few weeks ago, froze, and then defrosted over the weekend. I cut the pork into cubes, sauteed it in some olive oil (I was afraid I did not cook it well enough the first time around) , and then decided to add a few teaspoons of minced ginger. I would not do this normally, but I had a chunk of ginger leftover from the two Indian dishes I made over the weekend.

After sauteing the ginger with the pork for a bit, I added the mixture of eggs/milk/salt/pepper. It was such a lovely combination. And I actually liked biting into little bits of ginger (so don't use your microplane for this particular task).

To Quit or Not To Quit

video

Just as I was about to quit rueda practice, I saw this video and it reminded me how much fun we have.

If only I wasn't as frustrated as I am. And I'm sorry for talking so much about it!

P.S. Thank you Jenny for identifying which pants I was wearing since I could not figure that out from the original video :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Dinner: another Indian delight

I love Indian food. Tonight I decided to make another dish and looked for recipes on line. I did not find a single one that looked good, so combined a few to make this cauliflower/peas/potatoes concoction.

--> Cook peas, cauliflower and potatoes (I used sweet potato and a yellow potato) separately and set aside.

--> In a bit of canola oil toast cumin seeds. Add minced ginger, sliced garlic and sliced onion. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add ground coriander, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and ground cumin. Cook the mixture for a few minutes.

--> Add in the vegetables, stir, season with salt and cook until everything is heated through.

--> Serve with rice and cilantro. The flavors should be even better tomorrow!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Crafts: Snowflake Obsession

A few months ago I wrote about my snowflake obsession. Then on Friday, I was reading Stacey's mom's blog, where she posted a link to 3D snowflakes!!! I knew then and there I had to make them. And I did! I hung them over the my dining room table. They even rotate a bit on their own :)


Notes: it's much easier to make a big snowflake than a small one. I made mine from notebook paper. I reinforced the points to which I tied a thread to "unite" one snowflake with another with tape. Being a little anal about cutting and folding and taping carefully pays off!


P.S. Someone actually made a video on how to make these snowflakes!

Dinner: Indian Eggplant Bhurtha

Last week I bought an eggplant, a can of coconut milk and Silken tofu. I was planning on making curry, but Aafreen told me that in Indian cuisine you don't mix eggplant with coconut milk, so I had to come up with another idea.

This time, instead of making up my own recipe, I found Indian Eggplant Bhurtha on All Recipes website. This was a super easy recipe and came out unbelievably good! It was hard not to go for seconds. The only change I made to the recipe was the addition of cubed tofu. I would absolutely do it again.

Just some of the spices! Look at the colors: the flavors were just as vibrant. An awesome way to cook an eggplant: you rub it with oil and then broil it for about 30 min turning it so often. The skin came off so easily!
Inside of the cooked eggplant.
Deliciousness!
Next on the menu: I am going to make another Indian dish: cauliflower with peas! Look for recipes and pictures soon :)

A New Life for Old Things

I really don't like throwing things away. I always think I'll have some use for them later on. Case in point: I've had my red teapot for a few years now. I love the way it looks, but it has developed some rust on the inside and I suppose is no longer safe to use for its original purpose.

I finally ordered a new multi purpose pot from QVC and decided to use my old teapot as a holder for a plant instead!

P.S. This is part of my mom's plant I took from Seattle at least 3 years ago...for some reason it hasn't grown much.

Thank god Anna is not always right

A few days ago Anna wrote about mangoes; specifically, how winter mangoes are like relationships: everything might be pretty on the outside, but what's on the inside is another matter.

I love mangoes. In fact, they are my favorite fruit. When I was in Israel for a month seven years ago teaching English, my host family grew mangoes in their backyard! The host father was also a professional tomato farmer, so I was in heaven!

Okay, back to mangoes. I bought one last night because they were on sale, looked pretty and I was hopeful. And it turned out that when it comes to picking mangoes I know what I am doing. Relationships, well, they are another matter.

P.S. I used the skin of the mango to flavor my tea.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where?

A few days ago I read a collection of poems written by a guy who used to be my friend. Last night I saw yet another couple holding hands on the Metro. The combination of both inspired me to write this poem (work in progress) last night after coming home from my dancing practice.

Where?

Where is the hand that will hold my hand?

Where are the lips that will kiss my lips?

Where are the eyes that will find mine in the crowded room?

Where is the smile that will light up my world?

Where is the voice I would never tire of?

Where is the man I would not want to be without?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Moon

Last night was a full moon. Today I took this picture from my apartment.

And this one I took outside.

Dinner: One Pot, 2 Bowls of Soup

Do you want a quick, versatile and comforting dinner? Then you want soup.

Here is the "recipe" I made tonight:

1) Saute in a bit of olive oil a chopped onion, a few sliced carrots, a few sliced stalks of celery, 1/2 of a chili pepper finely chopped and a few cloves of garlic thinly sliced
2) Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme (Note: after the soup is done, remember to remove them; some of the leaves may fall off on their own)
3) Add one can of chicken stock, the same amount of water, a can of tomatoes, and a rinsed & drained can of garbanzo beans
4) Peel, cube and microwave 1/2 of a sweet potato and add to the rest of the ingredients
5) Season with salt and pepper and a bit of cumin

And you are done!

One of the ways to serve the soup is directly from the pot garnished with some finely chopped parsley.Another way, and this is what I prefer, is to puree the soup and then serve it garnished with parsley and a bit of olive oil on top. (Note: make sure to be careful when pureeing the soup in the food processor: don't fill it too much and to be extra careful, put the towel over the processor to prevent splatter)

The possibilities are endless!

P.S. Did you notice my new soup bowl? :)

The Rules

A few months ago I wasn't feeling well and went to see a nurse at my work. The office happened to have a scale and I decided to see how much I weighed. I had a number in mind, but what I saw shocked me (and not in a good way).

Since then, I have been following a few "rules" to keep my eating in check. Some days are better than others, but I found a few things helpful:

** writing down my food intake in an Excel spreadsheet really helps me not to overeat (it's almost like I'd be embarrassed to eat another cookie if I had to write it down)

** cutting off food intake (other than fruit) after 8 pm is very important for me (the days when I for some reason have a late night dinner don't count)

** no second helpings!!! (okay, this one is really easy to cheat on by simply making the portion sizes bigger, but I'm trying to work on it)

** chewing in between bites (this seems really easy, but you'd be surprised how quickly food can disappear if you don't pay attention to chewing it)

** 4 physical activities per week (luckily for me I decided that dancing and dancing practice counts. Most week that's 3 out of 4. Last week I went ice-skating instead of going to the gym)

** 1 dessert/day (again, this seems ridiculously easy, but here's an example of how sometimes I break this rule: just yesterday Stacey brought to work some sugar cookies and I had one. Then I went out for sushi with Jenn and had tempura ice cream. And I finished the whole thing....maybe today I'll skip dessert all together...)

New rules:
From now on I will only buy complex carbohydrates: this means sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes (good thing I like them!), wholewheat bread instead of white bread, wholewheat pasta, etc. [Exception: I'm still allowed to finish the pasta and rice I have in my cupboards: no need to waste food. And of course when going out to eat I can splurge a bit.]

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I could not resist anymore

A few weeks ago, or was it before New Year (???), I went to see Juno with Kamal and James. I liked the movie, but I loved the soundtrack.

You must keep in mind that I never buy books, DVDs or CDs. Instead, I go to the library. This is an exception. I've been mildly obsessed with getting Juno soundtrack, and finally, today just went ahead and bought it!

I could have ordered it for less through Amazon, or received a discount from Larry, Paige's boyfriend, but no, I just went and bought one at Union Station. What's a few $$$s, right?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Shopping Time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 new purchases from Ann Taylor Loft. Love! 40% off!

Lunch: red cabbage slaw and salmon

A few weeks ago Stacey recommended a recipe from Cooking Light for Red Cabbage, Cranberry and Apple slaw.

I finally made it today for lunch (but made only 1/2 quantity and substituted Splenda for sugar because I was out of sugar). It's a really simple and refreshing salad. Definitely worth a try in your own kitchen.


To go with the slaw I had roasted herb salmon (the recipe I was testing for Robyn Webb).

Mission Organization

I have a day off today. It's a day to sleep in, catch up on morning TV shows and to lounge in my pajamas.

But I also need to organize my place a bit. I've had jewelry sitting on my night stand all tangled up for weeks, and it is finally time to de-tangle it! Here is what I did with my necklaces (I realize some will tarnish because of the exposure to the air, but a bit of toothpaste will fix that problem in a minute!): this way they are always on display and I'll remember to wear them!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Dinner courtesy of Robyn

I was testing two recipes for Robyn Webb and invited Paige and Radha for dinner. We had wholewheat pasta with a fresh tomato sauce (onions, leeks, carrots, celery, and tomatoes finished with fresh herbs and olives) topped with Parmesan cheese and chicken rubbed with a spicy BBQ shake mix and cooked under the broiler. I think we were all pleased with the results.

Afterwards Radha and I went to the ice-skating ring to burn off some calories and I did not fall once! That was the true accomplishment.

Reflections

A few days ago I had a conversation with one of my friends about the importance of being able to imagine what it is you want to accomplish or where it is you want to be. It made me think: is that ability really important? Does the fact that I often say I can't imagine being married or finding another job or ever having children really hinder my ability to do these things? Am I psyching myself out?

Perhaps not.

I remember laying in my bed in Moscow the night before my family left everything behind and flew to New York and then to Seattle. I was 13. I had never been on a plane before. And there I was trying to fall asleep while imagining what it would be like to wake up the next morning, get into a car, drive to the airport, board a plane and then land on a different continent, where people speak a foreign language, where we would know no one other than my grandfather's sister's family. Of course I could not imagine it. I was scared. I was unhappy to leave my friends, my school, the city where I was born and raised and go towards the unknown. And yet it happened.

The summer before my senior year in college I decided to go to Israel for a month to teach English to children in a summer camp. I did not know anyone I would work with, where I would live, and whether or not I would be able to bond with the children. My main goal was to do something in my life for the first time that was completely my own. This was the biggest experience I was going to have without Anna by my side. And even though I could not see it in my mind, it turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences I've had so far. I lived with an amazingly welcoming and warm host family, traveled to several cities in Israel and spent a few weeks with my relatives who left Russia in the 70ies.

After finishing college and getting a job offer to work in DC I had a hard time imagining leaving my home in Seattle and flying across the country and for the first time living by myself, in an apartment I had only seen in pictures, going to the job I hardly knew anything about, and being absolutely independent. And yet it happened.

I could not imagine going salsa dancing on my own, and 5 years later I can't imagine my life without dancing. I could not imagine joining a dancing group, and yet I've been practicing rueda for a few months now and it is something I look forward to doing weekly.

So perhaps being able to imagine your next step is not absolutely necessary. Maybe some things in life happen regardless of our ability to see them in our minds first. But maybe, just in case, I should create a collage reflecting what I want my life to be, and have it inspire me to get it. That is once I decide what it is I want.

My new kitchen toy

Yesterday I was flipping through the channels and landed (as I often do) on QVC. They had one of my favorite shows: In the kitchen with Bob. The item they were selling seemed brilliant and I bought it right away. I cannot wait to get it!

8-Cup Stainless Steel Vented Multi-Pot with Straining Lid
Save steps in the kitchen! Measure and cook in the same pan. This eight-cup stainless steel multi-pot has standard and metric measurements on the inside so you can add ingredients without using a separate measuring cup. Carefully crafted of 18/10 stainless steel with a tri-ply encapsulated base. A pouring spout and straining lid easily dispenses sauces, soups, and more. Dishwasher safe.Pot with lid measures approximately 7-1/2"H x 6"Diam.

Kiss the Chef

Last week I went to All Fired Up and painted a container for kitchen utensils. Here's the final project (wooden spoons were included!).

Friday, January 18, 2008

Restaurant Week: Charlie Palmer

Today Stacey and I had lunch at Charlie Palmer for Restaurant Week. Let me tell you, we are not cheap dates! Below are a few pictures courtesy of Stacey's phone and some of my impressions on the experience.

The restaurant is beautiful. Elaborate flower arrangements surround you and yet don't overwhelm the space. Even the bathrooms are pretty in their minimalistic design and Asian influence. Most of the clientele was slightly older and male, but we received superb service. I think at least 7 men took care of us...one can get used to it.

Cocktail
Aurora (Stoli vanill, fresh raspberry puree, dash of framboise, fresh lime juice). The picture is courtesy of Charlie Palmer's website. This was a lovely cocktail! It warmed me up after the first sip and tasted great till the last drop. And it was super pretty.1st Course
As soon as we saw the menu, Stacey and I chose Butter Poached Prawns (with chive risotto, kaffir lime, black sesame puree, spiced shellfish oil). You know how I mentioned we are not cheap dates? Of course there was a $9 supplemental fee for this appetizer, but we decided to splurge. It was well worth it, even though we had to remove the head and the tail from the prawns ourselves. The risotto was perfectly cooked, the prawns almost sweet, and I've never before tasted black sesame puree: very pleasant!
2nd Course

Both Stacey and I chose Charcoal Grilled Strip Loin (with olive oil crushed purple potatoes, honshemeji mushrooms, snow peas, soy balsamic glaze) cooked medium rare. The plate was really pretty. I loved the mushrooms and snow peas. This was my first time trying purple potatoes, and I could not really tell the difference from the normal ones, but they were tasty. The strip loin was just fine. Nothing extraordinary, a bit disappointing for a steakhouse.

3rd Course

For dessert, Stacey and I finally made different choices. Stacey opted for Chocolate and Hazelnut Pave (chocolate caramel, frozen praline custard, candied hazelnuts), and I chose New York Style Cheesecake (blackberry compote, citrus lace tuille). The desserts were absolutely fabulous! Nothing else needs to be said. We also had coffee, which was lovely.

This was a lovely girls' lunch out. Would I come back? Not necessarily. Am I glad I went? Absolutely.

Advice to the Universe

Please do not call anyone ma'am unless they look at least 60 years old.

Thank you.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Testing 1, 2, 3

Remember I've mentioned testing recipes for Robyn Webb, which she then publishes?

Here is a link to some of the recipes. The pictures are taken by a professional, of course.

I'll be testing 4 more recipes over the weekend and will post my own amateur pictures :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Dinner: NOT Restaurant Week

I have been eating out for the last two nights and am looking forward to Restaurant Week lunch with Stacey on Friday. However tonight I just wanted some home cooking :)

This recipe is inspired by one I tested earlier for Robyn Webb.

Ingredients: Italian turkey sausages, a large can of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of white beans drained and rinsed and drained again, one onion sliced, 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced, a bit of oil, a few teaspoons of dried oregano, salt & pepper.
Directions:
Brown the sausages, add a bit of oil, onions and garlic. Cook until the onions have picked up a bit of color. I had a little bit of white wine left and added it to the pan.
When the wine bubbles up, add cubed tomatoes and their juices, 2 cans of beans, oregano, salt and pepper. I had some salsa and added it to the pan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover partially and cook for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel sweet potatoes, cut in half lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil, add a few dashes of oregano, salt & pepper. Form aluminum into an envelop and bake for about 30 minutes at 425.
Finished potatoes: look at the steam! (open aluminum carefully)
The final dish!

A necklace a day

Did you read my obsessions post? If you did, you know that jewelry is one of them. I don't even know how many pairs of earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces I have. My redeeming quality? I wear my jewelry! It doesn't matter if it is silver or pearls or gold...I don't save it for a "special" occasion.

I decided that from today forward I will wear a different necklace each day and keep track of them until I've worn every single one at least once!

Pearls are from my parents; my mom said every girl needs a real strand of pearls. Stacey helped find the black beaded necklace. The turquoise necklace I bought in Dallas. The red coral strand necklace is my latest purchase.

I designed the 1st & 3rd necklaces while visiting Anna in IA. The 2nd one is my daintiest. The 4th & 5th are gifts from Jenny for '07 & '08. The 2nd from the right is an intricate gold necklace from my grandparents. The last one is Elena's.

These two necklaces I bought on my Paris trip in a tobacco store! I saw them in the store's window and had to have them! The black one reverses to brushed silver tone and the red one reverses to brushed gold tone.

The two "outside" necklaces are from one of my favorite places: Ann Taylor Loft. The one in the middle is a gift from Jenn. Over the last few weeks, I have worn it at least 10 times! LOVE it!


So you see, every necklace carries a special meaning. But of course this is not a complete list! :)

Darker IS Better...but not always.

Of course I am talking about chocolate!

One of my favorite chocolate treats are Ferrero Rocher: a creamy, crunchy milk chocolate with hazelnut delight in the middle. The same company makes Nutella!


Imagine, if you will, how thrilled I was when last week I saw a new version of the candy: Ferrero Rondnoir: a unique combination of a dark chocolate cream surrounding a "black pearl" of fine dark chocolate, within a delicate, crisp wafer topped with crunchy dark chocolate morsels.

I love dark chocolate. For me, it absolutely beats any other type of chocolate, so I had to try out the new Ferrero Roundnoir. As my dinner is bubbling happily on the stove, I decided to have a treat. And you know what? I prefer the original version! The new one is definitely uniquely dark, but the hazelnut is missing from the equation, and for some reason, the "crunchy dark chocolate morsels" enveloping the candy reminded me of Oreo (and not in a good way).

Of course I will finish the other 11 candies in the pack, but from now on I'll stick to the original, at least when it comes to Ferrero.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Restaurant Week: Zengo

I've been wanting to try Zengo for more than a year. Last year, right before New Year's Eve, I went there for drinks with a cute doctor-to-be I met (where else?) at Zanzibar. The drinks were good, the restaurant was gorgeous (even the bathroom was pretty!), but things with the doctor-to-be did not work out.


Finally, this year, I decided to go there for dinner with Jenn, Paige and Paige's friend Arlene.

Unlike Spezie, Zengo offered quite a limited number of options to choose from, and pretty much all four of us ordered the same thing. But I'll write about my choices :)

I started with a Caprhinia and it went to my head pretty quickly!


Appetizer
shrimp empanada
shiitake / oaxaca cheese / green curry
pineapple~bell pepper salsa

Main course
miso braised kobe beef brisket
crema fresca mashed potato / sweet chile sauce

Dessert
mexican chocolate flan
piloncillo caramel / sake macerated fruit / lace crisp

After waiting for such a long time to try out the food at Zengo, I was slightly disappointed. However, the brisket was the most tender and flavorful meat I've eaten in a long time. It was perfect! I just wish they put a side of vegetables to accompany the dish.

The flan was interesting, but had a slight burned after-taste...was it on purpose?

The service was attentive, but it felt like we had no time to just sit in between the courses and chat. The next course was served almost as soon as the plates from the previous one were cleared.

The company, of course was great! And overall I'm glad I finally went back to Zengo. Maybe I should return for lunch one day and try the dishes from the Asian side of the menu?

Next? Charlie Palmer with Stacey for lunch on Friday.

Book Quotes/Food for thought

From The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn

"I got lucky. While I was on vacation, I was laid off, fired, or whatever they want to call it. Thank God. I don't know if I had it in me to quit. A gilded cage is still a cage, just the same, but I might still be there, putting up with it."

Restaurant Week: Spezie

It is now Restaurant Week and many restaurants are offering special 3 course menus for lunch ($20.08) and dinner ($30.08).

It was my new friend's Anna's birthday last night and she invited me to celebrate it with her friends at Spezie.

Appetizer
Baccala matecato all'olio e prezzemolo con purea de patate e pomodori
Olive oil poached salted cod with tomato and roasted garlic matshed potato, parsley sauce

Main Course
Costolette di agnello con carciofi alla romana e salsa alle olive
Herb crusted lamb chops with white wine braised artichokes and black olive sauce with roasted potatoes

Dessert
I wasn't able to get the formal description of the dessert, but it was a chocolate mousse with candied kumquats

My thoughts:
*The bread basket was great! It was served with finely chopped olives, but I was surprised we did not receive olive oil for dipping.

*My appetizer was divine! The portion was generous enough to serve as an entree, but I managed to finish the entire thing :) The fish was tender and flavorful and formed into a patty. The mashed potatoes were perfectly cooked and were complimented well with the parsley sauce.

*The lamb chops were just right and medium rare. The accompanied sauce was velvety but not overwhelming. The roasted potatoes were a bit overdone, but that was not the main component of the dish.

*Dessert: I think this was the best part of the meal! The citrus flavor always goes perfectly with chocolate. The dish did not feel heavy at all and the presentation was very pretty with scattered berries and candied kumquats (oh if only I had a camera).

Great company, great food, fun times!

Tonight I'm going to Zengo for dinner with Paige and Jenn.

Say What???

Here's a little background story: This summer I saw a really cool dancer at Zanzibar, but he danced completely differently from anyone else and I thought I wasn't cool enough to dance with him. Well, he asked, I said yes, but after he attempted to "drop" me on the floor, I was so scared of a) falling and breaking my neck b) breaking his back that I said "okay, this is enough."

Fast forward a few weeks...Anna came to visit me and danced with this guy a few times in Lucky Bar and then I also started dancing with him. It was still slightly scary, but my comfort level improved, and I began to look forward to dancing with him again.

Fast forward a few months: I think I have a crush on him.

Last night: I was at Lucky Bar and the guy was there and we danced and it was fun and then he said that he wanted to tell me something before I left for the night. Thoughts raced through my head. Was he going to ask me out? Ask for my number? What else could it be?

I danced my last dance for the night with the guy and told him I was leaving. He walked with me towards the door and said: "I have to tell you something." "Okay," I said. "I really, really like you, but there is one problem," he said. My mind began racing again...is he illegal? does he have children? What could it be??? "I'm married," he said.

WTF??? Why do I have crushes on unavailable men!? I could not really come up with anything to say, so I suggested he start wearing a wedding band.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Obsessions

Things I'm obsessed about (in no particular order):

salsa dancing
Q tips
eye pencil
blogging
Latin radio station
jewelry
shoes
boys
being on time
TV

but it could be so much worse!

Note: if you can think of other things, please add them in the comments!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

An eye for jewelry

Last time when I was in Seattle, my parents took Anna and me on a mini trip to Leavenworth. It was there in a small jewelry store I saw a beautiful silver ring and bought it on a whim without even consulting with Anna! (I know!!!!) The ring was about $30 and I absolutely love it.

Ever since I bought the ring, I have been trying to figure out where I've seen its design before. It looked familiar: a work of a well-known designer. Today I saw a woman with earrings very similar to my ring and asked her where she bought them and if she knew who the designer was: John Hardy.

This is a genuine example of John Hardy's work sold in Neiman Marcus...anyone wants to give them to me so that I can have a matching piece for my ring? It's only $325 :)

His other collections include combination of silver and gold, beautiful gemstones, and pure gold. I'm in love!