After5

Archive for January 2009

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Right after New Year’s Eve I wrote about starting to exercise using Yoga Pilates DVD. HAHAHA! HEHEHE! HOHOHO! I didn’t even manage to put the DVD into the DVD player, not to mention actually exercise. So my husband put his foot down, because he hears me complain all the time about not fitting into my clothes and about not being able to go to ballet class every day. I don’t even go twice a week, which my schedule would actually allow, because I believe in all or nothing. Today, he built me a ballet barre. My dear husband has built me my own, personal, custom made ballet barre. How cool is that? And we have wood floors in our apartment so there is really nothing preventing me from giving myself a ballet barre every day. I even have room to do simple combinations in the “center”, perhaps with a pirouette or two, no jumps because the floor is not sprung (but we are on the ground level). I’ve finally ran out of excuses to avoid exercise, which is actually great. On the other hand I could say that I am missing a mirror, or that the floor is slippery, and that I am really used to marley. Hmm…

Here is the awesome barre and me holding on for dear life while my toes are getting crushed in my old pointe shoes.

barre1

If anyone is curious, the pointe shoes are an old pair of Sonata by Bloch, my favorites. After wearing Freeds for a few years, putting on a pair of Sonata’s was like wearing the softest and most comfortable sneakers. I know I just uttered a blasphemy, it should work the other way around with Freeds being the great shoes, but my feet chose otherwise.

barre2

Our First Lady, Michelle Obama, has been a style icon in making for a while. However, today she truly became one. Her outfit for the inauguration ceremony was so elegant and beautifully made. I loved the green gloves and shoes; they worked really well with the outfit. Then, Mrs. Obama kicked it up a few notches, and chose a beautiful white gown for the inaugural balls. She looked stunning in it. Below are pictures of both outfits so you can see for yourself. Could it be that style has finally arrived to Washington, DC?

Today the darkness of the past eight years will be gone officially. The remnants of it will still haunt us for a while, but we, as the people of United States, have chosen to look into the future and to recognize that our diversity only makes us stronger. And so it starts… Barack Obama will be sworn in as the new President of the United States, and his taking of the office has a meaning for each of us individually. It inspires me that my fellow citizens have risen above hatred and negativity, and have chosen a new beginning. It inspires me that we have all been asked to at last take responsibility for our actions,  to better our communities, and to take care of our less fortunate neighbors. I applaud such a message because it is so common sense, yet it is so rare. It will take all of us, united, to right the wrongs that have been done. I hope the good will and positive energy spread across the borders so that we can redefine globalization as something which brings prosperity to all people and to our beautiful planet.

So, Mr. Obama, here is to you, and here is to light. Here is to our future!

thesilverspoonIt has been a while since I’ve provided an update to my adventures in kitchen. Last week I sampled recipes from The Sliver Spoon, and I must say the results were somewhat less than spectacular. Most recipes turned out pretty good, but some I had to eat by myself for lunch two days in a row because my family refused to dig in. Oh well, at least they tried it.

What worked:

Pork chops in Gorgonzola, pg. 766 – superb, especially if you like Gorgonzola cheese
Chicken with cream, pg. 924 –  my husband hated it because he is particular about chicken, and my daughter saw him grimace when he tasted so that was the end of that meal for them. I, on the other hand, loved it.
Cream of spinach soup, pg. 221 – this was a really nice and healthy soup. The toddler liked it in spite of the green color, so ’nuff said.
Tortiglioni with mushroom and eggplant, pg. 304 – a very nice dish, I could not find tortiglioni so I used rombi and we loved it. Even the little one ate a few pieces of mushroom and eggplant.

What didn’t work (for me):

Broiled eggplant, pg. 512 –  I don’t know why this recipe didn’t succeed, but I am suspecting it had to with the broiler in my oven. The eggplant tasted like a boiled shoe. Surprisingly, it tasted pretty good the next day. I think perhaps all the flavors (basil, garlic, eggplant and olive oil) had a chance to mix. Of course I smothered it with some cream sauce from the Chicken with cream dish (see above).

Overall, I think my experiment has not made me a bigger fan of the cookbook. In all fairness, I have not tried too many recipes, but what I tried was certainly all right, and I think it will do for once in a while. The section that I still have to tap into is the Desserts. I suspect that I after sample a few of the recipes from that section, I will be ready to lay my life on the line defending the cookbook.  I’ll let you know.

Last night I settled myself comfortably on my couch to enjoy a historical movie called The Duchess. The movie is based on a biography of Georgiana Spencer, the Duchess of Devonshire. It is a beautiful movie, and Kierra Knightely is truly lovely in it. The costumes were dreamy, opulent, a perfection, although I can’t imagine how long it would take a woman of Duchess’ stature to get dressed in the morning. What surprised me the most was the mood of the movie. I expected something between Les Liaisons Dangereuses and  Le Ridicule, but it was not anything like that at all. Without giving anything away, I will just say that it made me very sad for her and the life she lived. Even though I am sure the movie makers have taken certain liberties while making the movie, they seem to have stuck to the essence of Georgiana’s story. All I can say is that I am very happy that women before me have fought for our rights, so at least in some parts of the world women are free and mostly equal to men. Unfortunately, that is not the case in many other parts of the world. but maybe the 21st Century will change that. 

Photo curtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Amanda Foreman  wrote the book on which the movie is based and from the reviews it received from the readers on Amazon it is quite good. I am going to add it to my reading list.

Today my super cool hairstylist gave me a super cool haircut. It is edgy and short, and I really like it. While chatting with him about fashion, I mention The Sartorialist, a really cool blog that I love and visit frequently. I also realized at that moment that I have not added The Sartorialist to my blog and so tonight I am correcting that wrong. Anyway, my hairstylist was noticed by the man behind the blog while he was in New York City walking down the street. And when the guy asked him if he could take a picture, he agreed without realizing who was photographing him. So here he is, my super cool hairstylist. If you live in DC area and want a super cool haircut, email me and I will gladly pass you the number of his salon.

Photo curtesy of The Sartorialist

Photo courtesy of The Sartorialist


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The Idiot by Dostoyevksy

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Pride & Prejudice Soundtrack
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