Monday, November 29, 2010

The Christmas Spirit?

Christmas 2009 : Lauralee's baby boy, Carter at the Arkhipov house.
It's bothering me that I don't have the Christmas spirit. This year, there's no motivation to put the tree up or to decorate the house with Christmas warmth. It got annoying last year when our cat constantly knocked the tree and, knocked the ornaments down and then brought it to us in the middle of the night. I really hope that the motivation comes to me soon because I feel heartless.

On a side note, Susan Boyle's Christmas Album, The Gift, is rather good in a sophisticated, serene way. The album can be purchased for $1.35 at Sample songs can be viewed in the provided website.

Nonetheless, the pictures below are from Christmas 2008 - our first Christmas as a married couple at our first apartment. I miss that apartment. But, we choose a small tree because we're low maintenance.

Our flat, Christmas 2008. Our first Christmas as a married couple.

And we still have the same television set. Haven't updated to a flat screen. We don't watch much TV at all.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

#39 - Visit the Millennium Park in Chicago

Challenge 39 - Visit the Millennium Park in Chicago
Date Met: 11.27.2010

The Chicago Bean at Millennium Park

My whole family did the unconventional Thanksgiving Holiday this year by skipping town to explore Chicago and its suburbs. We had a small Thanksgiving dinner at our hotel suite, then roamed around town (some opted to sleep in, watch movies, and relax). But on Saturday afternoon, Dre, Izzy, and I hit Millennium Park, thus fulfilling number 39 on my 101 Things to do list. I expected the bean to be twice as big but it was still beautiful though. An exciting experience nonetheless. We would have stayed longer but it was uber cold and crowded. I'd love to go back when during the summer so that I can take decent pictures without my fingers getting numb. But for now, enjoy the pictures below.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

#12 - Banana, Raspberry, and White Chocolate Chip Bread

Challenge 12: Cook 100 New Recipe Dishes
Recipe: Banana, Raspberry, and White Chocolate Chip Bread
(Recipe: 8/100)

Banana, Raspberry, and White Chocolate Chip Bread
From: For the Love of Cooking Blog
{ Click Here for Recipe }
What an awesome unusual baking project from For the Love of Cooking Blog. It's pretty simple, but the only thing I would change from the recipe is to decrease the white chocolate chips from 3/4 cup to 1/4 cup. I like my desserts light, just a little under the normal sweetness that people desire. Quite delicious nonetheless.

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Wine & Cheese 2.0

Welcome to my new blog layout! This blog is cleaner and more simple. The pictures are displayed properly, which means bigger and better! I'm pretty excited.

Good bye, version 2.0 - you were wonderful to me!

Wine & Cheese Blog : Version 2.0
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Monday, November 22, 2010

#5 - Code to a Happy Life

Challenge 5: Complete a 365 day photo challenge
Picture 48 - Code to a Happy Life
(Pic 48/365)

I am slowly getting back to the swing of my personal life. Work still consumes the majority of my time, but it's likewise crucial to meditate, exercise, cook, and be mentally stable by setting aside "me time" and "blog time". The picture above is our front door. It's convenient to press keys to get in, however we have two locks for added security. 

The temperature reached 60 degrees this afternoon and it was a realization that today probably marked the end of Indian Summer in November. With this in mind, my husband and I decided to walk around the neighborhood with the pets. It was so invigorating that it was like a charge that made me feel like I can do anything. It was divine.

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

#12 - Multiple Recipes

Challenge 12: Cook 100 New Recipe Dishes
Recipe: Multiple Recipes
(Recipe: 7/100)

Chicken Breast with Apricot Sauce

Garlic Tilapia with Rice, Tomatoes, and Edamames

Spinach Rolled Chicken

Spinach Rolled Chicken with Rice and Mixed Vegetables

Mixed Mushroom Stroganoff

Just showcasing some of the yummy food that I've cooked of recent. Let me know if you want the recipe in the comments section. I'm a little pressed for time, but will always find time to blog, even if it's just pictures.

Elle A.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010


Challenge 101: Confess to my parents that I am no longer a vegetarian
Date Met: 11.18.2010

Not only do my feet feel great from the space heater under my desk, but my overall being feels AH-MAY-ZING!!! It feels so good to finally confess to my parents that we're no longer vegetarians. It went better than I thought. I called up mom and straight up told her. She was calm,  "Eleanor, I'm a little disappointed because I'm the only vegetarian left in the family, but it's your life and you make your own decisions."

The motivation came from the realization that Thanksgiving is next week. And once again, IT FEELS AH-MAY-ZING to be set free!!!!!
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Practicality is a Flaw

Tonight's frustration almost led me to make an impulsive purchase at Ever since my sophomore year in college, the company's site had been an inspiration to the layout of my personal websites. The sophisticated glitter also made me wish that one day I could wear its striking beauty. Up until now, I haven't mustered up the courage to purchase anything Tiffany & Co. because even through frustration, my mind is clear. Sometimes I hate how practical I am. I cant wait till the day when a moment of impracticality hits me.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#5 - A Glimpse of Winter

Challenge 5: Complete a 365 day photo challenge
Picture 47 - A Glimpse of Winter
(Pic 47/365)
We went to Red Lobster a few days ago to celebrate actual "Free Time." I decided to bring my Nikon to capture something... anything. It had been too long since I visited this challenge and I duly miss it. Nonetheless, outside the restaurant was this lonely cherry tree. It was a glimpse of winter that symbolizes something beautiful and stunning through the dull darkness. It was just a simple, beautiful, sight - more so when it is frozen over by ice. I cant wait to take that picture.

The picture above is of an unusual corner and unusual street name. It was something I couldn't miss taking a picture of. Just for the record, I am in no way against homosexuals, in fact I love diversity. But the picture is powerful and I absolutely love it.

Anyway, below are pictures of the dishes that Dre and I ordered at Red Lobster:

Wood Fire Salmon with Cream Sauce
Wood Fire Chicken Breasts with Plum Sauce
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Did the Time Go?

I completely missed out on taking gorgeous autumn photos of nature. It has been such a struggle for the past month just to keep my head over the water. Till now, I feel inundated with all the work and all the events that almost clog up my schedule. What sent it over the top was my mother vacationing in the orient (and extending her stay), leaving her two dogs with me. This gave me four dogs to take care of until she returns tomorrow. I can hardly wait.

Besides photography, I miss blogging, my husband, and having "ME" time.

Till next time,
Ella xoxo
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