Thursday, September 25, 2008

Our Little Romantic Getaway

Yesterday was my first day off since the honeymoon and I've been really stressed. My sweet husband gave me $50 to spend any way I want, he said I deserved it. He suggested that I go and get a massage but I chose not to. I went to the mall and bought two pairs of shoes (75% on sale), and a cardigan instead.

Nonetheless we have been mentally stressed out and looked considerably to get away to some day spa. But since we've been trying to save money, tonight I made him his own relaxing environment - which I too will reap later this week - and then gave him his, "alone time" to relax and unwind. He loved it - it's priceless. After the spa thing, he went straight to bed. Poor thing haven't had any quality sleep this week. But I love doing things for him... willingly. :-)

Day Spa = $90 to $200

Our Own Aromatherapy Spa:
$5.00 - Tea Light Candles (pack of 100)
$1.25 - Bath Salts (1 small pack of bath salts)
$4.99 - Strawberries
$2.49 - Whipped Cream:
$13.73 - Total (Cant beat that)

Pictures of our home spa below

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

My First Famous Person

Last night Andrey, Izzy, and I went to Palmer College of Chiropractic to attend a Health Convention. The guest speaker was none other than Morgan Spurlock, the famous director and the main character of the movie / documentary, SuperSize Me.

The convention started out with the film at 4 PM, followed by a health expo at 4:30 PM. At 6:30 PM people congregated at Lyceum Hall on 7th Street.

It was pretty packed, but what else would people do on a Friday night when there's a free event to hear a famous person speak? So yes, Morgan Spurlock was my first LIVE famous person I've seen. Dre has met a few but didn't think it was a big deal.

^ Our Tickets. There were 20 door prizes but as usual, none of us won anything.

^ Here is an unsightly picture of me, Dre, and a random student in the background. I'm not familiar with mom's camera - there was a lag and we didn't think it took this picture, but i guess the camera did. ha ha! Unfortunately the other shots of us turned out blurred. Grrr.

^ Here's the main setup above. See the chef at the bottom right corner. He cooked while the first lecturer was speaking. The whole room smelled delicious.

^ The ceremony began with Palmer students marching up the isle in costume. Yes, the spinal column - very appropriate.

^ Then the president spoke and introduced the speakers.

^ Here is the first speaker who is a biochemistry teacher at Palmer. She spoke about whole foods vs. processed foods. Not too shabby. I was mainly distracted by the chef creating his magic to the side there. The aroma was impressive.

^ Here's the chef projected on the wall cooking 4 dishes in 30 minutes.

^ The above view of the chef.

^ Then came Morgan Spurlock. He gave away the four cooked dishes to four lucky audience members. The crowed cheered of course.

^ He is definitely an entertainer. He spoke about the reason he chose McDonalds vs. other fast food restaurants. Basically, McDonalds is the biggest chain thus the reasoning. He also spoke about the criticism he received while making his film.

^ Here he is during Q&A. I wish he spoke more about the obesity epidemic and the lifestyle of Americans as a whole - then the food choices, but I guess there was not enough time.

So that was that. All in all it wasn't too shabby. I was entertained more than anything. I love going to events such as this one. Hopefully there will be a financial convention somewhere nearby soon. I'll be there!
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fall Season

I love the fall season (coming up soon but it feels like fall to me right now). For me it serves as new beginnings. It has a lot to do with looking back to a new semester during the college days, old/new friends, new classes, and also strutting.

I dearly miss fashion. Its obvious that I let it all go a year after Dre and I started dating - Y2K5. But I miss my fashion sense... where did it go?

This morning I laid in bed awake. Dre was sound asleep beside me but I still asked him a question, "Dre, I miss my fashion sense. What should I do to get it back?" He tossed, turned, covered himself with a blanket, and then yawned as he managed to muttur, "Just don't spend and save money." Then he went back to sleep. Hhhmmm... men! Typical answer.

Not that I blame Dre, but I blame myself for allowing myself to stand still. See I secretly wish I never wear those scrubs to work ever again. They're loose and have plenty of wiggle room. They make me feel like I'm wearing sweats all day. Comfortable they may be, I feel lousy wearing them. At the end of the day after dealing with all the jazz and the craziness of working in a medical environment, I run my errands wearing scrubs around town - and it makes me ill.

Yesterday Dre took me out on a date at the new Japanese restaurant at Utica, Osaka. I decided to glam up and dress up when... omg... what the? What?!?!?!?! My favorite dress got tight?!?!?! WHAT!!?!?!?! So I got out my dress pants... hmmm... tight too. Resort to scrubs?? I didn't but I decided to wear my buffet jeans and a loose blouse. I wasn't happy.

Seriously... enough is enough. This is the time when a budget for weight loss and a new wardrobe is crucial and mandatory! I will not let myself go any more than I already have.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eleanor & Traffic

A few weeks before our wedding an officer issued me a traffic violation for driving in between the construction barricades. Chris, Gina's Husband, was leading the way. Apparently we got in the wrong turning lane because the road supposedly merged into one - closing off the turning lane.

Picture above: there were no cones blocking the way
towards the turning lane. (Corner of Division and Locust)
Clearly other cars maneuvered to that "closed" lane
and didn't get caught. We went back to the traffic scene
and took pictures of other cars using the "closed lane."

As soon as we turned left in the corner of Division and Locust, the officer turned on his siren, cut me off in traffic, and chased after Chris. Chris turned into a street near Auto Zone. Gina and I decided check out the situation so we parked a few feet away from the incident - the Auto Zone parking lot. As soon as Gina and I were about to get out of my car, the cop approached my window.

Cop: "License and Registration please? I'm giving you a ticket."
Elle: " What did I do?"
Cop: "You were driving in between construction barricades and could have cost an accident."
Elle: "What?"
Cop: "Did you know it was illegal to drive in construction zones?"
Elle: "Yes, but the cones are not in place. There were no signs that the road is blocked. The cones are far apart and arranged vaguely."
Cop: "You would have gotten away but I would have called another cop to chase after you."
Elle: "You've got to be kidding me."
Cop: "If you have any questions, call that number above. Otherwise you need to show up at the court date."
Elle: "Well I'm going to ask for you because I do not understand this."
Cop: "I'm not going to be here. I'm going on vacation so don't ask for me."

So that was the end of that. Went to court the Monday we got back from our Honeymoon and appealed my ticket - which the judge rescheduled for another day.

Fast forward to last week... went to court, waited for an hour and a half then a prosecutor asked me what was up.

Elle: "Officer Miller gave me a ticket for driving within barricaded zones and I have pictures to prove that..."
Prosecutor: "Oh this is the one in Locust and Division, right?"
Elle: "Yes, I was with my friend who also got a ticket that same day."
Prosecutor: "I'll make a deal with you. If you pay the $50 court fee, I'll wipe everything out so you wont have anything in your record."
Elle: "Really? Just like that? You don't even want to see the pictures?"
Prosecutor: "Nah."
Elle: "Well, thank you. Where do I pay for the court fee?"
Prosecutor: "I'll grab the ticket and I'll walk you over to the clerk."
Elle: "Okay. Thanks again."

That's exactly what happened? I had to pay a $50 court fee but there's nothing in my record. Good for me and my insurance!
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Where Did the Time Go?

Where did the time go? Suddenly every morning I travel to work in the dark, and oddly enough I pull in the driveway in the evening and it's still dark!

It's like work sucks out all the energy in me. But enough about work and more about the married life.

It seems like everyone is having a baby. From Hollywood A-Lists to the D-Lists... and then us, the common people. My mother has been begging for a grandchild and practically everyone else wants to know what our children will look like. Sometimes I wonder if people ask us about children because it's the next step after marriage, or perhaps there's nothing much to talk about. How exactly does one start a conversation with a newly married couple?

The top three questions we get are:
  1. How is married life?
  2. How are the newlyweds?
  3. When are the kids coming?
So I'm going to answer them:

1. How is married life?
It's swell. Fairly easy. No deal breakers yet. Dre is very patient and Eleanor is very tolerant. The his and hers bathrooms are brilliant!!!

2. How are the newlyweds?
We're tired. Wanna do our laundry?

3. When are the kids coming?
A year or two from now. Not ready for kids yet. We're tired all the time and the financials must be congruent to the best possible timing. Just got married a little over two months ago - we need to settle down first before embarking on to parenthood.

But seriously, time is going by pretty fast. It's fall (my favorite season) and it makes me want to organize because students go back to school. Maybe I miss it... but I know that I feel old when I see a herd of college students shopping at Target or studying at coffee houses. That same scenario used to include me.
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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Jean - the - Cat

Here he is... the sweet, cuddly, cat that jumps on our bed at night then finds solace on our chest demanding lots and lots of TLC.

I gave Dre a cat for his birthday earlier this year. Instead of getting a kitty, we decided to save a life and adopted Jean-the-Cat (pronounced Zhan-the-cat) at PetSmart. He's a pretty HUGE and LONG cat. He weighs about 15.9 lbs of cuddly love. He LOVES to eat. He meows constantly to be fed.

Every morning his toys are lined up by the foot of our bed on the floor. After bringing us each toy (during the night) he meows until one of us gets up to give him credit for his little presents. As much of an attention seeker as he is, we adore him. His previous owner said that they didn't have time for him - thus bringing him to the adoption center. Dre and I hope to give him the love he deserves. I'm sure he absolutely loves us in return.

Last night I fed him a serving of turkey dinner, a can of meat and gravy, and dried cat food. I stepped on his tail and was feeling a bit guilty (tse tse tse). This morning I walked over his feeding area and he cleaned two plates of his wet food and ate half of his dried food. lol. Cat eats a lot but he and I will work out a lot tonight.

More blogs about our cat to come - and pictures to come as soon as I purchase a digital camera.
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Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day

Branson, Missouri

Andrey, Izzy and I planned a trip to Branson, Missouri for the Labor Day weekend. We looked forward for this mini-vacation until I started reading Dave Ramsey's book, The Total Money Makeover. Dave lingered in my mind to save money instead of taking a vacation that will inevitably get us into debt. So we canceled our hotel accommodations in Branson and canceled the trip altogether.

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Then we all decided to go a cheaper route and spend Labor Day somewhere close by - Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. It looked fun with the water parks and amusement entertainment; also cheaper. As I got on to reserve a hotel there was another guilty feeling of, "Why should we go on vacation when we can save money now, invest, and then enjoy life later paying cash without debt? Plus there's that Europe trip next year for Marina's wedding." So we all decided to play it cheap this year. We canceled our Wisconsin fun to spend the Labor Day holiday in good old QC.

Saturday night we had a feast in our apartment. Dad came over but mom stayed home. We watched movies, ate, and whatever whatever. It was fun.

Yesterday Izzy, Dre and I went to the Locust Street park. There's a nice view in that park (near the driving range) overlooking Kimberly Road. It was a nice sight. From the top we saw the Lodge Hotel, Panera Bread, and that entire area. (Wish I had a digital Camera, but I'm saving up for one)

The three of us just had a picnic at the park and then relaxed with books. Ahhh the simple pleasures in life! It felt great actually... not to spend. Definitely a lifestyle change. We tried to invite mom and dad but they were content to stay home. Blah.

The rest of today is dedicated to cleaning and getting caught up with everyday life - then relaxing! It's a great weekend altogether. Very peaceful.
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