Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Karen B.

Our family friend, Karen died of brain cancer this past Tuesday. She went unconscious towards Christmas and slowly lived until the last breath escaped her. It was devastating and I hate it.

Typically, I inch away from people who are dying - it's something I just can't take so distance becomes the answer. Perhaps, it's my way of coping so that there will be no sad memories to remember, just happy ones. Perhaps skipping their funeral fools me into believing that they never died, that they just moved far away. But I couldn't get away from this situation. One of Karen's last request was to hear me sing her favorite songs. I almost said no because I couldn't take it, but how can I deny such a wish? So my family spent time with her to fellowship and to sing songs... and now she's gone and I am asked to sing a song for her funeral and I just know that I will not be able to sing it properly. It's going to be a complete emotional waterworks mess.

I just want to run away and forget that she's gone. I just want to remember her smiling face, her outlook in life, her healthy recipes, and the cheer she brought people... I don't want to see sadness, crying faces, and her open casket. It would just make it all true, that she's really gone.

It's pretty hard to concentrate. It seems so surreal that life goes on beyond death... the feeling is unexplainable. I also don't believe people go to heaven when they die. It seems so foolish.

Her funeral is already set and instead of flowers, the family asked for fruit baskets because Karen kept saying, "Lord make me a fruit, not a vegetable." And excess fruits will be donated to charity. It's beautiful.

So here's Wednesday's List:

Make Life Worthwhile

Say, "I Love You" more often.
Be positive and be optimistic.
Smile often.
Don't be afraid to fail.
Reach for the sky.
Achieve your dreams.
Make a difference.

And finally a beautiful poem:
Salutation To The Dawn

Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of beauty
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow only a vision
But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore to this day!
Such is the salutation to the dawn.

- Kalidasa, Indian Poet 
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010 In Pictures

I can't believe Christmas is over. It was only yesterday the decorations were set in place. Anyway, we had a family Christmas dinner at our house and then headed over to my parent's house to open presents in the evening. It was fun. The pets even enjoyed it but poor Jean-the-Cat had to stay home because he doesn't like car rides. He was fine alone with his cat nip though. He got a lot of presents from my parents and from Grandma Jody.

Dre and I with Colette and Pretzel

Dad & Mom with Bianca & Maya.

Our family photo. This was the one that I look best in... so I'm going to be be biased and post it up. Ha ha. The Christmas card had a different picture.

Sparkling Bubbly... and the good stuff...

Food Food Food Food Food!! YUMO!!!

Random stacked presents.

My brilliant brother's wrapping. It was so awesome I didn't want to open it.

Another super intelligent and creative wrapping by Izzy.

This is one of the gifts we gave Izzy. It came all the way from India. It's an eyeglass holder. Unfortunately the eyeglass was not set on properly - but a fun and unique gift nonetheless. He loved it.



Binky Lou & Izzy


Maya, Pretzel, and Bianca (in the background)
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Style-for-Style Saturday - Hilary Duff

If I could raid a celebrity's closet, it would be Hilary Duff's. She has great taste, usually of simple clean lines and solid colors. She makes it look so easy all the time. As far as her shoes, I could not, for the life of me, find it anywhere. I'm sure it's over $500+ as unique and as gorgeous as it is. *Swoon* But her outfit is easy to find anywhere for cheap! Loving this!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Mama!!!

Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law
Mama Arkhipova!! 

We LOVE you!!

As a young girl with her parents: Ukraine.
Wedding Day, Mama & Papa: Ukraine.
Mama & Andrey: Ukraine.
Marina & Andrey: Ukraine/Turkmenistan
September 2010, sailing: Ukraine.
Our visit to Ukraine with Alex & Marina, September 2010: Ukraine.
Mama & Andrey: Ukraine
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Wednesday's Lists: Fads I Wish Would Last Forever

Visit my Lists at:

I just finished watching the first four seasons of Mad Men, and I'm completely obsessed. The 1960's history that accompanies the show amazes me: the corporate life, the advertising, the references to businesses (Lucky Strike, American Airlines, Pepsi, Tampax, Hilton Hotels, Ponds Cream), the fashion, Politics: Nixon vs. Kennedy, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Civil Rights Act, Feminist Movements, Sexual Revolution, Vietnam War, and of course, the drama and intrigue of finding fulfillment in an affluent America. A fascinating show filmed to represent a fascinating decade in American History. I just can't get enough. Season 5 debuts the Fall of 2011. It's too far ahead and I'm already going crazy.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

#5 - Hello Winter

Challenge 5: Complete a 365 day photo challenge
Picture 49 - Hello Winter
(Pic 49/365)

Start of Winter: December 21, 2010

It's officially winter. So far we've received four major snow fall since December 3... and definitely more in the upcoming months. Sometime this past summer, my Aunt mentioned a superstition that we will have a bad winter because the pets' furs got really thick. As much as I don't believe in superstitions, it's coming true though, isn't it?

Dare I go out there wearing 3 inch boots? That's asking for a night at the hospital. As much as I never considered myself as the UGG wearing boots type of person, the temptation of purchasing one is almost to the point of necessity. Perhaps I'm going to opt for a cheaper brand. Anyway, the "darkness" of winter is depressing, but I  have to deal with it and be optimistic because it gives great opportunities for awesome pictures.

On a awesome note, Grandma Jody is visiting us from Florida in January. She was the one who gave us Colettiletti, our sweet, darling, dog. I can't wait for Jody's arrival. I already made plans. :-)

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Style-for-Style Saturday - Camilla Belle

My philosophy is that you don't have to go broke to look as good as the stars. It is possible to look stunning at even less than a quarter of the cost, you just need to browse the sales racks, and if you're buying online, hit up those promotional codes and coupons.

Above is one of the classiest actresses that I admire, Camilla Belle. She has elegance and a timeless beauty. I am loving her outfit, the only thing I would change is the BIG HOBO bag. I'm just not into digging into a big bag frantic to find needed things that got buried at the very bottom.

On a side note, I went to my salon yesterday to inquired about a perm. I was set on getting one then completely chickened out when penciling in my appointment. Basically, a perm would make life easier by just slapping on some mousse, blow dry and done!! It usually takes me 30 minutes to do my hair with a curling iron, flat iron, or hot rollers. It gets quite old. I just need to get over it and brave it out. I'm just scared of a hair disaster.

The links are provided below:

Garden of Sweden Dress: $44.99 click here

Sidewalk Stroll Jacket: $74.99 click here

DEUX LUX: King Hobo Pyramid Handbag $89.00 $34.98 (sale) click here

NINE WEST: ALUMUND $89.00 $49.99 (sale) click here

FLAP HOOP EARRINGS: $10.00 click here

FREDFLARE RING $10.00 click here
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Oh Friday...

Winter usually gets me down but there is a combination that lifts up my spirit.

Family + Pets + Friday Evening + Laptop/Book + Fireplace + Christmas Tree + Christmas Music + Warmth = Happiness

It's just a wonderful, relaxing Friday night in front of the fireplace after a pretty stressful week.

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

#68 - Netherlands, Germany, Russia, Finland, China

Challenge 68: Send/Receive 101 postcards via
Received: 18/101
Sent: 17/101

From Mariska, from the Netherlands. Gorgeous photo to emulate.

From Franzi, from Germany. I actually had to look up where Deutschland was. I thought it was from Denmark, but it's in Germany.

From Captain_Brandy, from Russia. Love, Love, Love this post card. I wish to visit this location someday. Gorgeous!

From Anne, from Finland

From Zuki, from China.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday's List: Impossible Realities

I often find myself daydreaming of uncontrollable things impossible in reality simply because the thoughts and wishes are way out of context of what this world can offer. But only through movies, imaginations, and dreams can we be transported to such realities, such environments, and such lovely things so far fetched.

{ Wednesday's List }
Impossible Realities
  • A life undo button, ctrl+z
  • Have the ability to see spectrum beyond what the human eye can see (naked eyes) without damage
  • Life search feature. Type in missing item in the computer (remote control), and the computer will locate and highlight the missing item in a mapped image of your house
  • Wireless everything. No more messy cables and cords!
  • The ability to change an item's color instead of buying a color in each item. (ie. shirt, handbags, cars, jacket, hair color)
  • To be able to walk in a digitally made universe and explore (ie. Avatar, Pandora)
  • To go back in time interactively, to watch, observe, touch, and see everything live with the naked eye
  • To go back to my high school years with the knowledge I know right now and do everything differently
  • Walk on water and breathe underwater.
  • To live forever for the sake of learning,experiencing, and observing the world's history 

Visit my Listography page here.
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    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Christmas Spirit

    It snowed on Friday and I finally got the Christmas Spirit to decorate the house with the help of my whole family. That was the missing ingredient to my motivation. It felt great to spend time with my dad, mom, brother, and husband - decorating while laughing, joking, eating, being sarcastic, singing and listening to music. It felt good to be merry. It brought me back to the simple time when we spent a lot of family time together. It felt so cozy, it felt like home.

    Below are pictures of our decorated house. I think it's pretty cute. I'm so proud of it.

    Candles on top of the Mantle.

    Our cute house all decorated for Christmas.
    Pretzel in his elf outfit in front of the tree. He's easy to take pictures of. I wish I could say the same about Colette.

    I won this snowman decor at a work Christmas party in 2004. It's only now I appreciate him. :-)

    1st Snow Fall December 3, 2010: What usually takes us 15 minutes to drive took a little over an hour.
    This photo was taken in front of someone's house (Clark's obviously) showing the snow fall in the state of Iowa.

    1st Snow Fall December 3, 2010: Our car covered in snow. This was a sign to clear out the garage!

    1st Snow Fall December 3, 2010: This was taken inside our car over our heads (sun roof). It was very pretty.
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    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    December 2010 Wish List

    Here's my December 2010 Wish List. Even though I'm an advocate for simplicity and zen habits, sometimes a girl can dream by making a wish list.

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    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Wednesday's List: Things I Love About America
    INTRODUCTION: I went to Barnes & Noble today and came across a Listography book/journal. I've given these books to friends for birthdays, holidays, and etc. but never got one for myself since I'm cheap. Instead I came across the Listography website and made my own account. This website inspired me to make my own list that will be posted every Wednesday. Visit my listography profile here.

    { Wednesday's List }
    Things I Love About America

    1. Its crazy, interesting, thought provoking history
    2. Capitalism & Consumerism, the inside story
    3. So called "freedom" and "equality" while we "still" have it
    4. Multiculturalism
    5. Technology & Convenience
    6. Literature
    7. Dumb television shows that succeed
    8. Economic opportunity
    9. Stability of law enforcement, less "corruption"
    10. Political freedom of speech
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