Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy, Sad, Embarrassed

Happy: with the new donations from Stacey, Radha, my parents, Wendy's dad, Era, Lydia, Melissa and CC, I have reached my fundraising goal!!! However, if you still want to donate, feel free: all the money will go toward the research to stop cancer!

Sad: yesterday I went shopping during lunch. When I was trying on a dress, my glasses fell and broke in 2 pieces! I loved those glasses and always got compliments on them, and my eye doctor no longer has the same frames. Good thing I have an extra pair to take with me to Vegas. This means a trip to choose new frames when I get back.

Embarrassing: the last time I walked was on Saturday! I did a 13 mile training walk with other Avon Breast Cancer Walk participants. And that's all. So my 30 before 30 is not going stellar (although I can definitely count the 13 mile walk for like at least 8 days since it lasted 4 hours!)

March 21: 13 mile walk
March 22: nothing
March 23: dancing!
March 24: short walk to the library
March 25: 2 miles (to and from lunch with Ashley)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things I saw on a 13 mile walk

On Saturday I had a 13 mile training for the Avon walk. Good thing I decided to bring my camera along because I saw so many pretty things during those 4 hours! :)

Click on the collage to see more detailed images. The last 2 photos are specifically for my dad.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Earrings for a 12 year old

Cindy's oldest daughter is turning 12 years old this week. Oh my god! I've known her since she was 4 years old: this makes me feel so old.

Anyways, with Cindy's suggestion I decided to make A. earrings to match a bracelet I re-knotted for Cindy and her two daughters.

I hope A. likes it!

An Update on Things

So instead of updating my previously written 30 minutes of exercise for 30 days before turning 30, I decided to start a new post :)

Things are going well. With my training for Avon Breast Cancer Walk I'm definitely getting 30 minutes of exercise a day (and if not, then the "surrounding" days totally cover for the empty ones).

I'm also doing well on my fundraising: with the latest donation from Anna (yeai for twins), Heather (a fellow blogger), Laura, Wendy, Cindy (and the girls), Emily S, Emily R and Paige I'm now 81% closer to my goal! (and I have checks from Wendy's grandma and Nicole that will be processed!)

Now for the exercise update:

Day 23: March 20: 4 mile walk during lunch: it was a gorgeous day!!!
Day 22: March 19: nothing. Does washing dishes at Sur La Table count? Seriously, the walk from yesterday covered the 30 min requirement
Day 21: March 18: 5.5 mile walk (attempted to walk home from work, but ran into issues when it came to Arlington Cemetery, so just walked to Rosslyn and then took the Metro home). Special thank you to Jenny for her help :)
Day 20: March 17: 5 mile walk!
Day 19: March 16: dancing
Day 18: March 15: nothing. Unless kneading dough by hand counts
Day 17: March 14: 8 mile walk!!! I'm so impressed I did not pass out (although I really had to go to the bathroom a lot!). Plus dancing. So this covers day 16 and 18
Day 16: March 13: nada! nothing! zero

Monday, March 16, 2009

Flowers & Childhood Memories

Yesterday I had 3 of my friends come over for dinner. I thought it'd be nice to buy some flowers because it was otherwise a gray and rainy day outside.

I could not believe what I saw when I went to my grocery store: asters! I've never seen them in all my years in the US (they are the pink flowers in the collage: click to see more details!).

Why was I so excited? Because it brought back a bunch of memories from my childhood. In Russia, school always started on September 1st, and the students always brought bouquets of flowers for their teachers. My grandma would always buy asters for Anna and me to take to school on the first day. They came in a beautiful variety of white, pink and purple.

This time I decided to pair the brightly pink asters with yellow daisies. What a cheerful result!

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day

Remember I wrote a few weeks ago about a "commission" I received from my friend Cindy to redo a few of her old necklaces?

Well, here is a collage of my first finished project (click on the image to see it in better detail). I re-knotted Cindy's old green jade and gold bead necklace into 3 bracelets: one for her and one for each of her daughters! And I got it done just in time for St. Patrick's day! My client is very pleased ;)

Cindy's oldest daughter's bday is coming up, so I'll make matching earrings for her as well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happiness for under $1

A few days ago I was talking to either Jenny or Jenn about how often times I'm capable of being happy because of little things. Be it (now that I know Anna doesn't like that expression, be it, I can't help but use it!) a bouquet of flowers, new buds on my orchid, dark chocolate, etc, I don't really need something huge and expensive to make me happy (not that I would be foolish enough to turn that away).

Last night I stopped by at World Market to see if I could find some cookie cutters for my hamentashen (I could not) and noticed a mini whisk key chain! And it was only 68 cents! What can you buy for 68 cents? Right: almost nothing.

Actually, a few years ago I used to have a similar key chain that Shoshana gave me when I began working at Sur La Table, but I either broke it or lost it a while ago. And now I have a new one! Happiness!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Today's Flowers

This is my entry for the Today's Flowers. How pretty is my Christmas cactus? Love the orange-peach color.

Today I went for an 80 minute walk (training for Avon Walk) and took my camera along. Here is a collage of some gorgeous flowers I found: Spring is definitely in the air! (Click on the photo below to see more details).

Happy International Women's Day!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I'll work for Friendship and Jewelry

Despite what some people believe, I really do enjoy helping out my friends. I especially like helping them with something I enjoy doing: like jewelry!

After I took a knotting jewelry class, my friend Cindy asked if I would re-work a few of her necklaces for her and make new necklaces and bracelets. Of course! I am making 3 bracelets out of the green jade necklace for Cindy and her two daughters. The red/black/gold necklace and the pink quartz necklace will be re-knotted to make a shorter necklace and a bracelet for Cindy. [Click on the collage to see the jewelry up close and personal.]

And what you might ask are those pearls? Cindy is giving them to me as a "payment" for my work! I'm flabbergasted, but super happy! Look at the gorgeous clasp on those pearls!!! Because I already have a strand of pearls (a gift from my parents), I'm planning on re-knotting these to make a 3 strand bracelet.

Cannot wait! I'll be posting my progress once I get going :)

P.S. I am now playing around with Picasa: love making collages!

New Stuff: Wallet and Necklace

Here is finally a picture of my new red wallet: LOVE the color :)

And this is a new necklace I made with pink quartz (took idea from Etsy) to match my pink quartz bracelet. What I did is put the 3 quartz beads on a thin wire, added a silver bead on each side and attached the entire "thing" to a silver chain: voila!

Shadow Sundays

I took this photograph weeks ago when I was walking to mentor with Ashley. My setting was on sepia, and I actually really liked it! It's good to finally post something for Shadow Sundays.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Say What???

Things sometimes start off well, and then unexpectedly take a turn for the worse. Yesterday was one of those days.

And then on top of it all, the little girl I mentor, N, was a pill! She came up with every single excuse not to read (I have to go to the bathroom/I dropped my orange and need to go get another one/I can't sit on this chair, etc). I was getting rather aggravated and told her I come in order to help her and the least she can do is try to pay attention.

That's when she told me that she would rather have a black tutor! For those of you who might not have realized, I'm as white as they come. The statement really took me by surprise and honestly hurt my feelings. I don't think I should be putting up with something like this.

I told the program coordinator about N's statement, and she had a chat with her and made her apologize to me. Not that the things improved in the reading department. I think we read 4 pages of a children's book during the entire 45 minute session.

Thank god for Ashley who took me out for ice cream afterwards and for Jenn who came over after work to cheer me up. I'm so lucky to have my friends!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

30 Minutes for 30 Days before turning 30

***from time to time, I will post this at the top of my other entries, as a reminder of what I'm doing. This will also serve as an update to my training for Avon Breast Cancer Walk in May. Maybe once it gets too long, I'll start a new post***

OMG, time is flying fast. Seriously, how does this happen?
In a bit more than a month, I (and Anna!) will be turning 30! That's a huge number!!! Good thing people still think we look like we are 22 ;)

For our birthday this year, Anna and I will be flying to Las Vegas, and our good friend Lera will be joining us: fun times!

I decided to do a little "tune-up"/experiment and exercise for 30 minutes for the next 30 days before I turn 30. I know this might not seem like a big deal for those of you who are gym fanatics, but for me, it's quite a commitment.

What will count as exercise: dancing, prancing around my apartment, going for a walk, doing weights, doing one of the yoga tapes Anna gave me, etc.

I will updated this post and document my progress and hope you will keep me accountable (I decided to post the most recent date first)!!!

Day 15: March 12: 2 mile walk from work to Dupont (volunteering)

Day 14: March 11: 4 mile walk around the neighborhood (awesome route making skills, Jenny!)

Day 13:
March 10: 1 mile walk to lunch, 3 miles on treadmill

Day 12: March 9: dancing

Day 11: March 8: 80 minute walk: about 4.6 miles according to Google walking mile counter. Will try to do some weights for my arms later today.

Day 10: March 7: nada

Day 9: March 6: 1 mile walk to lunch and 1 mile walk back to work

Day 8: March 5: 4 mile walk after work: boy, does walking clear up your mind: or at least lets you not think about certain things

Day 7: March 4: Today I started to train for Avon Breast Cancer Walk. I walked 2 miles during lunch, which took about 30-35 minutes. I guess going at a comfortable speed I can do a mile in 15-17 minutes! So this counts for yesterday. I'll try to make it to the gym after work tonight. Top Chef reunion is at 9 pm :)......................So I did not make it to the gym for the Top Chef show, but I did get there around 10 pm and did 30 minute on the elliptical machine! So proud of myself, b/c it was very very tempting to stay in my apartment ;)

Day 6: March 3: the only exercise I did was taking stairs at work and that so does not count! I was thinking about going to the gym at night, but the Jenn came over for dinner instead (I am going to spare you with the list of things we've consumed)

Day 5: March 2: 30 min eliptical in the gym, 15 min weights/stretching/sit ups at home; dancing at Lucky Bar--> and now I'm caught up!!!!!!

Day 4: March 1: I can only account for 15 minutes of dancing. I can't believe it's only 4 days into my plan and I'm already slacking!

Day 3: Feb 28: uhm, technically I did not do any exercising on Saturday, unless walking around an Outlet Mall counts (I doesn't)...I'm going to have to up the amounts of exercising this coming week

Day 2: Feb 27: 30 minute walk at lunch at work. I could have walked longer, but it started sprinkling; stairs at work x 2

Day 1: Feb 26: lifting weights, running around my apartment, leg lifts, stepping on and off my chair (I was amazed at how this really increased my heart rate!), sit ups, wall push ups; stairs at work

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Red Shoes

Do you remember my red shoes? Over the last year and a half I've had two pairs of the same shoes, and am now on the 3rd (Stacey gave them to me as a present for New Year 2008). I love them. They make me feel cute and girly, and they are shiny! Alas, they are from Payless, so sooner or later (more sooner), they are going to fall apart.

This weekend I went to Aldo: just to browse: I really wasn't looking for anything specific. And then I saw them!!!!!!

I already have 2 pairs of Aldo shoes and really like them, so decided to order these! They did not have the size I needed in red, so I had them ship the shoes to me. And I got them in the mail today!!!

Aldo shoes #1
Aldo shoes #2

What do you all think?
Stay tuned for photos of my new red wallet: I love the color red!

I Need Your Help

In the last few years I have volunteered for various breast cancer walks and have finally decided to actually walk in one!

What finally made me sign up was reading a story about a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32 and is now a 22 year breast cancer survivor. The story almost made me cry.

Hopefully with your help I can raise $1,800 that will go to research to prevent any more such stories!

I have two months to raise the money and to train for the two day Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in DC (May 2-3). If you would like to donate, you can do so directly on my Avon page.

Big THANK YOU to those who have already donated:

Lina (Era's sister), Nathan, Jenny, Sydney, Leslie, Pam (Stacey's mom), Susan, Annie, Amber, Alyssa, Chris, Fiona, Aaron, Wendy St., Paz

Monday, March 2, 2009


My winter cactus has been blooming for about a week now. Today I finally decided to take a few photographs.

Isn't it super cool how this plant has double blooms?!

The color is so pretty; I'm just sad the plant doesn't have any fragrance.

I have another one of these plants that has several buds: can't wait to find out what color it is!

Stay tuned.

P.S. the place mat you see in the photos is part of the new dishes I purchased over the weekend.