Chocolate

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES

Not just chocolate but chocolate mailed straight from Switzerland.

We have the best clients ever, that often turn into friends.

A Hungarian couple that lives in Switzerland who we helped buy a house not too far from our street ( Yay to fun foreign neighbors) sent us a little yellow package for Christmas: some of the finest Swiss chocolate.
And oh was it fine! All kinds of flavors and nuts and even alcohol, and my favorite was a simple 99c bar.
I spent months savoring it, eating it only with tea after dinner.
Now it’s gone.

But what I have left is a couple of clients turned friends who will soon be living across the golf course from me. Isn’t it fun!?

Oh and the girl is pregnant, so we’ll be having babies around the same age ( sort of).

Photography love...

To my dear husband…

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, PHOTO

It is our 8th year together. Our 8th Valentine’s Day together and our 8th year of marriage.
Eight years seem like a lifetime and a blink of an eye. I know you so well, sometimes it seems we are one person.

You have grown so much in these 8 years, as a man, a husband and a friend.
We complete each other, and each other’s sentences.
We’re always on the same page.
We think the same thoughts, we fear the same things, we love the same stuff.

I absolutely love it when you come to me each morning and give me “morning kisses”, and then rush down to cut my “morning fruit”. It has become our routine, however it is never going to get boring.

I love how we have special names for each other, which evolved into more complicated and more adorable names over the years, and transformed into unpronounceable words that only you and I can undertstand and say.

I love how we know each other strengths and weaknesses and help each other do things we don’t like. I am good at research and marketing, you are great at sales. I’m a planner, you’re a procrastinator. I hate doing dishes, you don’t mind taking it over for me.

I love how we have the exact same parenting styles, even though we don’t have kids yet.

I love how you put up with my picture taking and actually get into it once in a while.

You are my best and my only one.
From the day we spoke on the phone for the first time at 3 am my time for 3 hours to this moment on.

I can’t imagine a more perfect man for me.

I LOVE YOU!


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Linking up with Say Hi Sunday and Sunday Snapshot

“I Fought the Mountain and The Mountain Won!”

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Adventures, FUN TIMES, TRAVEL

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Have you guys noticed how vacations and little trips disrupt normal day-to day activities? It’s like we go away for a few days and when we come back, our “used to be clean’ house is a mess of suitcases, dirty laundry mixed with clean stuff, our phone is ringing off the hook, no work is done, blog is abandoned. And you spend a week or two just catching up. In those moments you wonder why on earth you ever leave the house.  But then you settle back in, clean the house, give some loving to the cats (kids), catch up on work, edit all the photos from the trip and sit down to write about it. And that’s when you sigh and think “Aaaaaaahhh!!! The trip was really nice!”
Do you have that? Do you?

So I am finally back in the groove ( ignoring all the work, I might say). I have been working hard on a blog post I am very excited about where I talk about MEAT and being vegan and vegetarian and healthy and all that good stuff. I am virtually done with it, just need to proofread it and add pictures. So in the meantime I am happy to share some photos from our Colorado trip.
Just a little background on it:  I have this weird luck with meeting people on the Internet. My husband and I fell in love over the web, I met some of my best and most cherished friends on the Internet, so needless to say, I spend hours online ( the first 8 hours of the day working, the rest “playing”). What does it have to do with my Colorado trip? Here’s what: we went there to visit one of my Internet girlfriends…for the first time! Yay! those are always fun! Never awkward- always super duper exciting. She’d just gotten married and moved to Denver to her hubby and we were trying to plan how to meet before i get knocked up and can’t travel and such. We happened to have free airline tickets, they happened to have a house in Vail available to them for a week. I say SCORE!
So we planned it out and with my “complaining scared of snow and cold and skiing” husband took off  to Colorado.  Now, we have lived in Florida for 6 years now and the prospect of going ANYWHERE where the word snow exists in local vocabulary has been out of question until 2 years ago when I spent a week in the French Alps skiing for the first time in my life. Hubby wasn’t present since this was a modelling job i was hired for, that took 1 day to shoot and 5 days to have fun: 3 or 4 out of which I spent skiing my butt off. I fell in love with skiing. It was so much fun! I had this cute pink ski outfit they bought all of the girls and i was NOT afraid to use it again. So for the past 2 years I have been nagging my hubby to go skiing. I wanted to share the awesomeness of going 30 miles an hour downhill and actually being in control. Such a rush! He kept making excuses, such as we don’t have money, it’d be an expensive trip, we can’t leave work, why can’t we just go on a cruise instead? I realized later he just really really really hates cold that much! And so do I! But skiing makes it up for me. I know, strange for a boy from Cleveland, Ohio and a girl from Russia.

So we put on a brave face and took our flight up to Denver with a connection in Minnesota. I was actually really excited to see my friend and her new hubby. In Minnesota, we were honestly shocked- ALL THAT SNOW! It looked MISERABLE! When we landed in Denver, it was a completely different scenery: blue skies, blinding sun and relatively warm. Not too bad.

We found each other at the airport and like always, it was completely normal and comfortable, like we’ve known each other forever. The second we opened our mouths, we started laughing and joking and just had an amazing time hanging out and cracking each other up the first day.

The city of Denver really reminded me of Cleveland: lots of concrete and bricks and bare trees. To those who say they’d miss seasons in Florida, I say “I’d miss not having seasons!“. Of course, as soon as I could get my hand on that awesome sticky snow, my hubby got a snowball in his chest!

Later that day, Chris and Anastasia took us to  Boulder for dinner. I have to say, Boulder is freaking beautiful! I’d totally live there…or go to school there when I was younger. What an awesome place for young single people!

 It was starting to get really cold as the evening approached, so while we were walking back to the car, I spotted a SKATING RINK! Ohhhh, I had to try skating! It was so cool and romantic looking.


Anastasia was apprehensive at first, citing not wanting to break a leg before she actually goes skiing for the first time, and it took 3 of us to convince her to try it out. We rented skates and went to town.

You should have seen this little girl. The one, who didn’t think she could skate, was doing pirouettes in the first 10 minutes of skating. She kept trying to skate backwards, in circles, with one leg up, as if normal skating wasn’t enough. We had a blast!


The next few days we spent up in Vail. A few other couples friends of Chris and Anastasia made their way to the cabin, and were all a great company. Of course everyone gave us crap about being vegetarian haha! But we’re used to it, honestly, and don’t really care :) I did sneak in a salami piece under pressure, which i feel really bad about, especially while writing the post about meat. But otherwise, we cooked healthy and ate healthy.

A special word about the cabin: it was absolutely the best cabin i could imagine staying in. I mean I had stayed in a big chalet in the French Alps, but it has been more like a rented hotel with a chef and maids. Here it felt like home, a very comfortable cosy home with many bedrooms, and walls thin enough to hear other couple having morning sex…(twice :), a hottub and a beautiful dining room table… oh and don’t forget the mandatory dead animals on the walls that kept freaking me out, especially a skunk on our bed. I have nothing against hunting, but anything dead creeps me out and makes me sad.

Now, the skiing turned out to be a bit more… hhmmm… unexpected.  I pictured taking about an hour to teach Andrew how to ski and then skiing with him down the green slopes. In reality it was more like this: him getting pissed at me cuz he wasn’t getting it and  wasn’t able to do it. Once he’d “get it”, and we’d start moving down the slopes, he’d “forget” the technique again and I’d get  more bitching and complaining about how this is no fun and it’s hard and why did i even drag him onto the mountain. By the end of the first run, he seemed to have gotten a hang of going down steeper hills, so I suggested we do another run. He agreed, though i will never know whether that was to not look like a wuss or because he truly felt more comfortable skiing. The second run down was no better. In the end, I spent the whole day going down the mountain at half speed to make sure i don’t lose him, which KILLED my knees. I got an earful of complaints and swearing, lots of pouting and resolving to never ever ski again. He HATED it! I was honestly shocked. I thought he’d pick it up faster and enjoy it just like I did the first time.
At the end of the trip, his hatred towards the mountain faded and he seemed to consider going again when we have kids and just spending the whole day at the kiddie slope to really “get a hang of  it”. I wonder if it’s like pregnancy amnesia. It took just a day for him to forget how miserable he was and consider doing it again. But honestly, I have NEVER seen my husband so defeated, frustrated and bitter. Good to finally know that side of him. Or more like “NOW I KNOOOOW and can hold it against you!!!” Just kidding of course!

We finished up the trip with an awesome group-cooked dinner and a super heavy but tasty breakfast.

I have to say it was a lot of fun and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I do want to have a ski re-do, because I didn’t really get to enjoy myself while skiing. But I guess, what won’t we do for our loved ones, right, girls?

Linking up with
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New Year’s Eve and My plans for year 2011

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, PHOTO


I realize this is about a month too late, however time doesn’t really mean much to me when it comes to things I want to do or write about.

New Year celebrations have a very special place in my heart. In Russia , Christmas is a true religious holiday, not commercialized by the people, and it takes place mid January. New Year’s, however, is the time when we see Santa, decorate a tree, gather the whole family around a table that is barely standing under the weight of all that fattening delicious food. It’s the time of gifts under the tree, and kids having to read a poem or dance or sing for Santa in order to get their presents. And while after 8 years of living in America I have completely “switched over” to this all happening on Christmas, New Year’s Eve is still pretty special for me, and not just an excuse to go out and get drunk.

And when I actually think about it, Russian way is a much better way of doing it. What does Santa and free presents have to do with the actual birth of Christ? How about the fact that Christ wasn’t born on December 25th but it was a pagan holiday celebrating the God of Sun? Seems really hypocritical, doesn’t it? It’s a holy holiday but we’re going to celebrate it on a pagan holiday rather than on a real birthday of Christ and we’re going to inundate it with free gifts and a fat bearded man who falls through the chimney to deliver them. Haha! 

So honestly, I much rather have my children celebrate true Christmas, if they choose to be religious and then receive gifts and the whole Santa experience on NYE. However I am a strong believer in not making our kids’ social life more difficult than it has to be, so I reckon we will do it exactly like the rest of America does ( no reason to have them be “that weird kid whose family has Santa come on New Years Eve), however I do like the idea of  adopting the whole sing/dance thing for the presents. So rather than them getting presents just because, they’d have to  do something creative in order to get them: make something for Santa ( even if it’s baking cookies for cookies and milk for Santa) and leave it under the tree, come up with a song or dance that we’d record and leave under the tree, learn a poem, etc

All that being said, we have been celebrating New Year’s the typical American way which is go out, party, get drunk, throw up all over the cab. Except for we don’t drink. So for us New Year’s has been a lot of water drunk from champagne glasses. This year we have been invited to attend a yearly Casa Tua All White party by a good friend of mine and his father. Casa Tua is this uber-cool restaurant/lounge/private house in South Beach and this year the theme was Brazilian ( while still being all white).

We all gathered at Robert’s house to get ready. One bathroom and  4 girls was brutal but we survived to tell the story.

On our way to Casa Tua in 5 inch heels on uneven dirty streets of South Beach

I absolutely loved the decor of the outside area where our table was: candles, crystal, flowers, palm trees.

All four of us sort of believed in horoscopes. Not the daily or yearly bullshit but the description of every sign ( for example, I am a textbook Leo), so in the midst of a horoscope discussion this photo was born!

Every menu on the table had a little band that by Brazilian tradition we were supposed to put on our wrists and tie three knots on it while making three wishes. My husband’s and mine were the same three wishes. It’s nice to be on the same page.

This is a great example of what my husband cares about when it comes to me. Boobs and ass :)

 

Check out the bright purple bougainvilleas in the back. It totally spiced up the white theme!

My two favorite men: hubby and Robert


That’s typical me.


Look at who’s kissing in the back. Haha! Caught in the act!


And finally, tired and winding down.


So  see? No drunken throw ups in the car.

This New Year’s Eve party turned out as good as my all time best in 2008 ( below). I hope that is a sign of things to come ( but of course i realize it has nothing to do with my 2011 year. I’m not superstitious in the least)

To finish up this post I’d like to list a few things I want to accomplish in 2011:

1.Our most important goal is a 2011 Pregnancy. We will starting in March ( or so) and we’ll see how long it takes us. I’ll be chronicling everything here, of course.

2. Get our taxes straightened out. When you own two or three corporations, taxes aren’t an easy matter. I want to work out a system that will keep it more streamlined during the year, so that it wasn’t such a horrible ordeal come tax season.

3.  Finish 2 websites I am working on for our businesses and move onto the other 5 ( Yikes!)

4.Exercise EVERY DAY ( i pretty much do that now)

5. Finish my Minerals table ( i have a Vitamins table that I spent 2 days working on, where it lists every food i tend to eat and the amount of each vitamin in it).

6. Take my last trip to Ecuador before I get pregnant

7. Organize my work desktop better

8. Go through all the old files and organize, organize, organize

9. Finally clean out the office closet and bathroom

10. Prepare the nursery room

Not too glamorous, I know, but very productive and I LOVE organizing! :)

What did you guys do for New Year’s?

Stylish Blogger Award

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, FUN TIMES

Also today I got my first Blog Award. Yay for it! I received it from the beautiful Ambrosia Clark . Thank you, darling!

So here is how this works:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

7 Things about me ( I almost  feel like it’s a Miley song)

1. I play drums and I’m kind of good at it  ( ha! That’s a recent discovery and I am still not very good from the skills standpoint, a beginner, but I am working on it)

2. I don’t eat meat. At all. Evah!

3.  I hate doing dishes and scrubing bathrooms. I’d rather fold and iron clothes for hours than do the “dirty work”

4.I’m super good with computer and any kind of technology. I can figure out anything electronic

5. I have a nude and topless shots ( modelling shots,  NOT like the trashy glamour stuff that some people shoot. YUCK!)

 6. I have about 50 bikinis.

7. I am a huge overachiever and perfectionist, but not OCD or anything like that. Things just come easy for me.

I am passing this award to:
(see, this is tough, because most people I read have already gotten the award)

1. 7x7xMommy
2. Angel Perry
3. The Bobby Pin
4. Miss Ashley in Mississippi
5. Love (cubed)
6. The Tales of Two Taylors
7. {Shutter} Mama

I am going to stop  at 7 awards for three reasons: 1. I really don’t read THAT many blogs, 2. Half the blogs I read got the award this week and the other half a while ago, 3. And I mean 15???? Really? Is it a bit crazy and makes it less special?

So here we go! 7 beautiful, fun-to-read ladies!

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Funny Pics of 2010

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, PHOTO

PhotobucketI have been waiting for this particular challenge from Crosbie Crew, because there’s nothing I love more than goofy funny pictures. I’m usually the one staring in them. If i had a movie the gag reel would be full of me making silly faces and acting like an idiot :)
 This year has been pretty short on pictures. After all the rejects were removed from Lightroom, I had about 7400 pictures. Picking out funny ones wasn’t that difficult. What was difficult is choosing which funny ones to share with you. I had 146 funny shots. Getting them down to reasonable amount was awful! I still think that I posted too many but if you have a second, it’ll be worth it, I promise! In additon, I am playing Simplicity and Sweet Shot Tuesday
  Can’t wait to read your comments! But here are the winners in no particular order: 

  

  

On the way to Universal with friends and Hubby having too much fun withLeeka’s  fish eye lens. 

 

 

This was done for a Flickr project in the beginning of the year. Don’t remember the theme but it took 5 jugs of water and a ton of towels to mop up the mess :) 

 

Those who read my blog might have seen this photo. It was taken after finding out the news about a particular test   that was done on DH 

 

Just being goofy with Leeka. Fish eye is just too much fun! 


Taken late late night on my cell phone camera. My yawning babies :) 

Things you should know about me if we’re gonna be BFFs

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, EVERYTHING ELSE, FUN TIMES

Linking up with WORDLESS WEDNESDAY with a lot of words and Little Miss Mama.

 
* I was born and raised in Russia, but my heart has always been here.
 

 

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* I HATE doing dishes. I mean, to the point where i will let the dirty dishes sit in the sink for weeks before i ever touch them. I don’t mind dishwashers and relatively clean dishes, but dirty pot and pans…yuck!

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* I am extremely open and comfortable with nudity and my body ( years of modeling helped)

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* I have about 45000 pictures from the last 5 years

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* All my friends and family are spread throughout the world

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* When i was four, i was dropped off at my kindergarten by my sister who told me that she’d come and get me much earlier that day than normal. After she left I had waited for her in the wardrobe room for about 15 minutes and then decided that the time for her to come and get me had come and since she was still not here i was going to grab my favorite little blue and white sweater and walk my 4 year old ass ALL THE WAY to her high school. I walked out without my teacher knowing, finally reached her school, i was too small to open this HUGE wooden door, so i just stood there until a random teacher came out:”What are you doing here sweetie?”-“I’m here to get my sister, Natasha”. Well, she happened to be my sister’s home room teacher (what luck!), so I was taken straight to my sister where i spent the rest of the day sitting in her classrooms wondering why everyone was making a big deal out of me skipping out on my kindergarten and coming to get my sis’. This is an example of how determined I am when it’s something i want, even at 4 years old.

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ShutterLoveTuesdays

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* I am the definition of an overachiever

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* I’m obsessed with healthy eating

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* I’m extremely demanding of myself and people I love

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* In high school I was on a volleyball team, a soccer team, track team, math club, intellectual club, language club, a school band, won a few competitions for my compositions, wrote shorts stories and poetry, was a straight A student and dated a butt load of boys most of which were at least 5 years older than me .

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* I do not like people who don’t like me. Which made it very easy to get over break ups

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES, PHOTO

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Yes, it’s Sunday again and I cannot believe it! Seriously weeks fly and I seem to get nothing done.
As usual, I promise myself to be more productive and not waste time this week. I’ve been feeling like crap honestly. Not sure why- probably the cold- but I’ve been slacking on my pilates, or cleaning or even working half-heartedly.

So here’s my Scavenger Hunt items for today and let’s hope for a better week ahead.

1. WINTER

It’s sort of hard to portray winter when you live in South Florida. Here are a few pointers to distinguish Florida’s winter from Florida’s summer.
Summer: always clouds in the sky, afternoon thunderstorms, green lush grass, temperatures in the high 80s
Winter: cloudless sky ALL THE TIME, No rain WHATSOEVER, grass has this greenish-yellowish tint and grows really slow, temperatures in high 70s ( except for the last two stinking cold years)

2. SELECTIVE COLORING

I’m not a fan of selective coloring. To me it speaks of amateur photographer ( no offense to anyone), but sometimes selective coloring can be done tastefully. As long as it doesn’t stand out, and feels like it’s natural (-ish) coloring, I’m fine with it ( like Ashley’s shot here). This shot is of the flag on the golf course that we live on: Valencia.

3. FRAMED

One of my favorite things about photography ( besides DOF) is framing. I love finding cool ways to photograph things. Sometimes it takes thinking out of the box which doesn’t always happen especially if you’re shooting on the go.
SOOC.

4. WIND

That was easy. The day the scavenger hunt was announced, it was super windy. I mean like, hammocks flying everywhere, tree branches falling. Score!


And finally

5. REMEMBER WHEN…

This was my favorite theme this week. I love flashbacks. I have over 45000 photographs from the last 8-10 years ( literally) and I love sharing.
This was taken in the summer of 2002 when I first met my future husband. Look how young and cute we both are. We were so happy and in love ( and we still are, but a different kind of love, the kind that lasts). My best friend Elena (on the right) is now in Italy, happily married to a great Italian guy Max and we are here in US, ready to have our first baby :) It’s funny how life moves and changes.

GRAB OUR BUTTON:




 

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Ni Hao Y'all

Impromptu Shoot at the House

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Daily, FUN TIMES, PHOTO

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 I used to be a crazy photographer. I have 45,000 pictures from the last 2-3 years and don’t even have a baby to photograph. This year I’ve slowed down with my picture-taking, so when I woke up after Thanksgiving ready to shoot something, it was an urge I could resist, to my husband’s chagrin.

We got ready to go get some Black Friday shopping done, happened to put on matching outfits, and after a quick look in the mirror , I knew who my next photography victim was going to be. Since i stopped maniacally taking pictures, we haven’t taken any fun/good family photos in the past year. So I dragged A. around the house  like a mad woman armed with a tripod, a nifty-fifty and a Mark II. The result was a bit better than expected.

Here are some of them:

 

Having a daughter

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in FUN TIMES

I really do hope we end up having a daughter. There are so many fun things I can think of that we can do together. I adore little girls, precocious Tweens, unruly almost sexy teenage girls. There’s something about girlhood that just can’t be compared to anything else.
I wish to have a girl and to one day whip my hair with her like I did here with Gabby (my friend Leeka’s girl)

We whip our hair back and forth