July 28, 2011

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July 26, 2011

Casual To Sexy Makeup In 3-Steps

July 22, 2011

Exploring Nature's Treasures In Puerto Rico

I have had one of the most exciting two weeks of my life!! In two weeks, I went to Israel, swam in the Mediterranean Sea, walked around Jerusalem, debuted my new company (Strolling-Tables.com) at Philadelphia's most exclusive event, got my first job booking from said event, flew to Puerto Rico, rappelled down a 50ft waterfall, hiked up a mountain in a rainforest, zip-lined down a mountain, performed my aerial show in a competition and won 1st place!

Whew...I think that's more than some people do in their lifetime lol.

Doing so many amazing things is great and all but the inevitable depression always follows after. The depressed feeling you get when you are forced to sit at home when you know about all of the amazing places you could be at instead. BLAH. Atleast I have my wonderful mom, and baby furballs to look forward to seeing.

Here are some pics I took in Puerto Rico this week. Enjoy!

On our first morning in San Juan, we went to our favorite breakfast place, the world famous La Bombonera. They squeeze 6 oranges to make one glass of orange juice!

Afterwards, we wandered around the streets of Old San Juan and stumbled into a pigeon haven where hundreds of pigeons crowded the street, feeding on food thrown by tourists.

The pigeons used the old fort walls as their own private condos LOL. The holes at the top of the wall were much bigger so I'm guessing the rich pigeons lived up there.

"Bitch, why you standing on my front porch?"

One pigeon even managed to grow a tree on top of his condo :) It looks like this is the mayor's house.

E.W. giving me kisses in front of the pigeon condominium.

I want to give kisses too!!

The following day is when our adventure really began. We went on the Rocaliza Adventure Tour which ended up being one of the coolest things I've ever done. And I've done many things!!

A shuttle picked us up from our hotel and took us to Cagua, about 45 minutes outside of San Juan. Eight other people joined our group including 2 tour guides.

The tour guides geared us all up and I was happy to notice that my hat matched my shirt. The hard hat came in handy!! I hit my head really hard against a rock during the tour and didn't feel a thing.

Once in the Caqua rainforest, we took a short hike to reach the waterfall where we began our unforgettable journey.

Silly me thought I was going to stay dry the whole time. Boy... was I wrong! Here I am, still dry and hopeful.

This species of Fern Tree has been around since the Jurassic Period! Can you imagine, dinosaurs once ate that tree and here it is, still alive.

Our tour guides had the funniest looking shoes. Apparently they are professional, water climber shoes that are slip resistant. They look like toe mittens :)

Hiking up a waterfall is no easy task. The rocks are deathly slippery and the water pounding you in the face doesn't make it any easier..... E.W and I stayed ahead of the group for the most part. Yay for being physically fit!

Random ballet photo. The first time I tried it I almost slipped and killed myself. I had to painfully jam my toes into the crevice of two rocks to keep from slipping. The photo was worth it.

Cmon Babykins! Stop playing in the waterfall and take a cheesy love photo with me!


Mid way through the hike, we all stopped at a cliff. I thought we were going to zip-line off the cliff so I happily offered to go first. I come to find out that I will be climbing down a 50ft waterfall instead....FIRST *throw up* *faint*

The first few steps down were terrifying. I couldn't get a good grip with my feet and kept swinging around like a drunk Tarzan. But a few seconds later, I was rappelling down like a pro. The experience cannot be explained in words but I will try my best.

Imagine a beautiful, sunny day. As you are climbing down you feel weightless and the cool water hitting you in the face feels amazing in the hot sun. There is a dark cave to your right and a beautiful rainforest to your left. Magical....more magical than Disney World :)

I conquered you!!

And because I was the first one to reach the bottom, I was the first to dig into the tropical fruit at the bottom of the waterfall. Yummy guava, bananas and some fruit I forget the name of but is un-frickin-believably good.

You pop open the top of the skin with your teeth and inside is a sweet and sour gelatinous, pulp that you have to suck off of the seed. I had these when I was 9 years old in Barbados and was great to try them again. Does anyone know what they are called?? I've never seen them sold in the states.

We zip-lined 3 times down the mountain and got back just in time for a home cooked Puerto Rican lunch made by one of the families living in the mountains.

It was so so good! We had rice, beans and roasted chicken. There were chickens running around us while we ate and I was very suspicious that the chicken we were eating was on of their brothers :(

For dessert we were served flan which is a creamy, caramel custard and is a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine. It tasted better than any creme brulee I've ever had.

E.W. looking satisfied after inhaling his meal. We were all so hungry after 7 hours of hiking we looked like wild animals eating our lunch.

Another great trip to Puerto Rico and I can't wait to go back again soon!

July 12, 2011

Keep Your Memories Alive - Mixbook Review

My recent obsession has been creating photobooks of all of the trips I have been on recently. It's so much better than creating photo album because the photos won't get ruined, they can't fall out of the book and you can even customize backgrounds and edit photos. It's kind of like a virtual scrapbook.

I used Mixbook for my most recent photobook and I used the photos from all of my Puerto Rico trips.

Mixbook, unlike other companies, has 100% customizable photobooks allowing users to begin with either a blank book or using an exiting template that can be edited to their liking.

Check out the Mixbook fan page here.

So like I said, I made a Mixbook of my Puerto Rico trip to surprise my fiance. All of the backgrounds, photos and graphics were chosen by me.

Here it is!!

This photobook means a lot to me. Puerto Rico is where EW and I first fell in love and where we got engaged.

You can have a few large photos on the pages.... or if you prefer.....

You can also have lots of little ones. There are many templates to choose from. You can have a different template on every page or you can make the book more uniform.

I personally like organizing my photos by color. It looks a touch more professional to me.

And my favorite page of course is of the first morning I wore my engagement ring. That morning was like sitting on a fluffy cloud eating chocolate fudge... but better. And the photos on the right are of where EW proposed to me.

"Julie, will you spend the rest of your life with me?"

"What do you mean?"

*Pulls out ring*


*10 minutes later*


I'm now currently working on making my grandparents a Mixbook of all of their black & white photos from Russia. It hope it will be an awesome little surprise for them!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com created by WebBizIdeas.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

July 06, 2011

My Second Trip To Israel

Once again EW was summoned to be on the advisory board for HP and I joined him on his trip. HP has an awesome spouse program that lets the wives enjoy Israel while the men slave away at work :)

I went last year so I'm not going to post pics of the same trips I took back then cuz I don't want any repeats. I'm going to post mostly random pics this time around so if you want to see all the cool historic trips I took but won't post on this blog, click here.

Undeniably, the best part about this trip was the weather. It was 85 degrees and sunny every single day. Perfect perfect perfect. I remember melting in the 100 degree heat last year.

View from the Sheraton Tel Aviv where we stayed for 7 days. I prefer the Hilton by far but sadly it was all booked up. At least we got a room upgrade with our Starwood points!

I forget if this was the sunset or sunrise but it was magical either way. That little tiny boat in the far distance looks so peaceful and serene. In reality, there were probably a bunch of sweaty, Jewish men trying to fish on it.

My favorite shot of the whole trip! Such a handsome man I ended up with :) Why did I have to date so many uglies to get to him?

One of the days EW had to work, the HP spouse program took us to a Druze community in the mountains who invited us into their home and served us lunch Middle Eastern style.

I find it interesting that you cannot convert to their religion. You have to have a Druze mom and dad to be a Druze. The religion was open to converting for only 200 year than *bam* they closed the door shut.

Damn, I guess I missed the window.

Anyway, they were extremely hospitable and taught us all about their people in perfect English. We all gathered in their living room which had no TV or DVD player or any of America's evil. The room was barren except for a ring of seats against the walls.

And the food...Oh, the food. It was so so good. It reminded me of Russian food and made me slightly home sick. Every five people got their own tray and we ate with our hands!! EW constantly tells me to stop using my fingers to push food onto my fork so here was my chance to feel liberated!

We also revisited Jerusalem and Jesus's tomb. The doorway on the left is the entrance from the courtyard. As you can see, everyone is dressed modestly despite the heat.

Old doors to the entrance....

This shrine stands over the stone Jesus Christ's crucifix stood on. You can see the white stone on each side through the glass.

This is probably the most coveted spot to pray in the world. I bent down, put my hand in the hole to touch the stone where the crucifix stood, and said a prayer for my family and friends.

Across the main hall stands Jesus Christ's tomb. It's a very solemn and quiet room where everyone is thinking about the same thing.....his sacrifice.

Prayer candles...

Beautiful wooden doors that lead to who knows where. The atmosphere and decor reminded me so much of Harry Potter. I'm not trying to be disrespectful, I just don't know what else I can compare it to.

Back in the old city of Jerusalem. I have no clue why they had a Roman man standing and holding a sign. Or is he not Roman? Forgive me if I sound stupid. I never did well in history.

Super Jew!!!! That shirt is priceless. Hanging in the holiest city in the world and not afraid to be humorous. I also love "Don't worry be Jewish". :D

After touring Jersulem, everyone gathered together for a big dinner in some courtyard. We sat next to the guys that run ShutterFly, a company worth $500 million. They were awesome and invited EW and I out to their offices for a tour. I took some funny pics of them and assured them they will be up on ShutterFly the next morning :)

The tables were nicely decorated...

But the belly dancers that danced on the tables were even nicer!!

I kind of look sleepy in this pic but it's really just the champagne. Alcohol makes me go all squinty eyed for some reason.

The minute EW had a free day, we went to the Carmel Market. Open air markets are one of my favorite places in the world. When I lived in Ukraine, I would wander through the outdoor markets for hours and hours smelling all of the different fragrances permeating the air.

Just look at all of those fresh veggies!! Farmer's markets are like a luxury in America. That's so wrong. Also, can anyone tell me what those brown cherry tomatoes are? They aren't spoiled because the photos of them were also brown. They kind of look like they would taste chocolaty.

Candyyyy.....not in jars! God bless less strict health laws.

Yummy fish..a Russian favorite. It smelled fantastic believe it or not.

And olives galore!! Every type of olive you can imagine and olive oil to match.

This is a random pic but if I was ever forced to drive a moped, mine would totally look like this. Maybe less green and a little more pink.

I was upset that EW messed up our tickets back home and we had to go back a day late and miss the John Legend party at Mixx but out mistake turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to us!!

We ended up being in Israel on Tel Aviv's biggest night...White Night! The whole city comes alive on their annual White Night with hundreds of free, outdoor concerts and performances until 4am in the morning. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets to celebrate, drink and have fun.

Who cares about John Legend when you have White Night in one of my favorite places in the world???

The streets were filled with party goers, DJs played on rooftops of buildings and dancers danced in the windows. Madness.

Did anyone know there was a Max Brenner in Israel?? Apparently it's a huge brand?? Silly me thought that Max Brenner only had a local chocolate shop in Philly. Never knew he was originally from Israel.

I could've sworn this was a real man. I came up to him intending to ask for a picture but then realized he was made of stone. He looked real in the dark!

We ended up goin to three different bars/clubs on the busy Allenby Street. They were all like walking into a chimney. I almost suffocated twice but it was fun nonetheless.

The next day we had to kill time until our airport bus picked us up at 9pm so we headed over to Jaffa. It was Friday Sabbath so most of the shops were closed so we went into the first open restaurant we saw for lunch.

This place was un-frickin-believable!! Every item you order came with hummus, bread and 15 salads. Yes 15!!! Here are the 15 salads that came with my falafel balls.

After gorging on delicious food, we walked through the winding, stone streets of Jaffa.

EW told me not to take a picture with this dead tree cuz he said people in America already think Israel is one big dessert and I'm going to make that misconception worse. I took the pic anyway because I can find beauty in anything. Oh and PS...Tel Aviv is like Miami times ten. It's definitely no dessert! It's full of beaches, beautiful people, amazing nightclubs and luxury condos.

I swear to god this is the tree from Lion King!! When you picture Lion King...don't you picture trees like this!!!! I'm not crazy, go google Lion King trees and see for yourself. It looks like a cartoon tree.

Great view of Tel Aviv beaches from Jaffa.

Kittys are all over Jaffa! And they aren't scared of people so I got some great close up shots.

No, that's not an army of trees trying to eat me, that's actually one big tree that grew up all funny looking.

Well Ladies and Gentleman, that concludes my trip to Israel. Once again, click here if you want to see all the cool things I did but didn't post up because I don't want to repeat blogs.