2010 in Review

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Before I launch into my  New Year’s goals and wishes post, I’d like to look back onto 2010 in review and will be linking up with my own 2010 Recap Linky Party (open till January 6th, 2011). Feel free to follow suit and grab the 2010 Recap button:


 It’s a lot of fun seeing how fabulous your year REALLY was!

The year started fantastic for me and ended…well… blah. What that means for my next year, I have no idea, but here is a RECAP:

1. My first big accomplishment of 2010 was cleaning out and organizing our closets. The amount of clothes that was piled up on the floor was unimaginable-a foot or two of wrinkled,bunched up fabric ( actually here’s the picture so that you didn’t have to imagine it). It took me more than a week to get it in shape, but I can say this now: I have never kept my closet as organized as I have this year.  So here’s to organization and less messines!

2. Spanish: I finally got the determination to pick up Spanish again. I have a strong love for languages, but, like everyone, never have time to do much about it. Back in school and college, I used to love to study. So this time around, I had promised myself that I will  devote 1 hour each day to studying Spanish. It helped that we had planned a trip to Ecuador ( my 3rd trip) and I justreally wanted to communicate withthe wonderful help at the house and people out in the town. My husband isn’t really a language person. However, after about a month or two of helping him study (i can be a really good teacher) he turned into quite a student ( just shows you what determination can do even to people who claim they can’t do something). In addition to books, we would watch episodes of ” Sos Mi Vida” with Natalia   that I had ordered from some site that made pirated copies ( lol… that was the only way to get that show). We’d also speak to each other in Spanish ( DH grew up in Puerto Rico so he had a base as well).
By the end of the year we slacked off a bit, but not for the lack of desire but more for the madness that we call work during the holidays. I’m very proud of having been able to be so disciplined to study a seemingly unnecessary subject daily.

3. Collaborations. I used to love doing photo collabs ( my favorite ones being this with a girl from Connecticut and this with a  girl from Bulgaria).
So when my BFF Elena from Italy picked up photography, we just HAD to do a collaboration. Hint-hint: Anyone up for a fun collaboration and has an idea, hit me up!

4.  Ecuador. Not only February 14, 2010 was our 7th anniversary but we decided to spend it in Ecuador. It was an amazing vacation for us. I had been to Ecuador with girlfriends 2 times before but this was DH’s first time and it blew his mind. We stayed at my friend’s mansion in Guayaquil ( he has an amazing house) for the first part of the trip and then went to Salinas, a beachside village, and Montanita, the surfing mecca, for the rest of the vacation. I finally got to surf and it was sooo much fun! The only downside of the trip was that the hubby got really horrible food poisoning  at 3 am in the middle of nowhere. It was a very scary episode that I really don’t want to think about. What saved us was a little Emergency Room at the Santa Elena’s hospital ( my name is Elena..how weird is that?). He got IV and antibiotics and we rushed him back to the city first thing in the morning (2 hour drive). It was an awful experience, but we got to stay in Ecuador an extra week recovering, while my friend’s amazing cook, Rosita, would bring us chicken noodle soup in bed and take care of us 24/7. For the first time in our married life my husband said that he did not want to go home ( that NEVER happens- he’s always anxious to get back to Florida)

5. One of my BFFs, Leeka from MMWorks Photography, came to Florida for her birthdaywith her adorable daughter Gabby and friend Lana. Gabby is the cutest little girl I have EVER seen in my life. I’ve known her since she was a few months old. We had a lot of fun like we usually do, but the highlight of their trip was Magic Kingdom.


I had been to all Disney hotels and parks a million times but this was the first time with a kid, and, boy, is the experience different! There’s something about seeing all the magic through the eyes of an impressionable girl. I had a blast! Leeka was busy taking pictures, but I just soaked in the excitement and fun of a first time visit to Magic Kingdom ( Gabby had been there once before but didn’t remember it).  There was some coaxing to be done to Gabby for the “Big girl” rides, but by simply making it exciting and not scary in her mind, it went from “I’m not so sure about this” to “YAY! I’m so excited to go!”. She even rode a little Goofy roller coaster!

6. Key West
Believe it or not, but this was my first trip to Key West, which is incredible, considering I live only a 3 hour boat ride from it. DH’s cousin came to visit and, being the party animal that he is, wanted to take off to the “booze”iest island in America. I have heard a lot of negative feedback about the island from other people, so I prepared myself for the worst, but it was an absolute blast! It’s a perfect day trip, in my opinion. We hopped in and out of bars, strolled down, admittedly, dirty streets, scooted around on vespas ( that’s the best part of Key West. If you ever go, rent those darn things), hung out at the beach and drank pina coladas, visited some shops and bought my very first yellow hammock. We watched street performers, had candlelight dinner and  our cousin assaulted a few lesbians ( not really…he just went crazy when they said they’d show him their boobies. Men and boobies….. *sigh*)

7. Easter
It is difficult to celebrate family holidays when all your family and friends are spread throughout the world and you don’t have kids yet, so Easter has always been a “meh” holiday, since it doesn’t have a religious meaning for us to celebrate it for the sake of celebrating. Now, our neighbors ( who happen to be Russians who speak no word of English- talk about coincidence) happen to be orthodox Christians and in fact do celebrate religious holidays. So we teamed up to do a Russian-American Easter ( actually, Russian Easter is a week later, or earlier- can’t remember).

DH and I bought the traditional chocolate eggs and the neighbors cooked up real eggs and decorated them. We started with a chocolate egg hunt. That was a horrible idea, because in Florida heat, those puppies turn to mush before the kids even get to them ( OOPS!). But we all had a lot of fun, as you can see in this video:

8. Around April I got to meet DH’s whole family. One of his sister’s lives in Alaska and in 8 years that we’ve been married, she’s never come down to mainland. We had a blast with the whole family and the kids at Disney and will be looking forward to another Reunion.

9. I finally finished my two collections of cups and started a new one. We have a tradition that every time we go to Disney, we buy a cup or two. At this point I have about 25 Disney cups, but these two sets are my favorite.

10. In the beginning of May I got a bright idea to invite one of my high school friends, whose mom recently passed away, to Miami for a week to visit my Ecuadorian friend. She was in America at the time and I hadn’t seen her in more than 5 years. It could have easily been the FUNest time of the year. We relaxed by the pool, partied like rock stars ( it was then that I threw up in a cab while going home for the FIRST TIME in my life), and just had an absolute blast.

11. In 2010 we took up TENNIS. It’s  by far my favorite way to work out and, man, does it kick butt! If you need a sport that is fun, but gives you amazing cardio and strength work out, tennis is IT! Recently, however, DH pulled his muscle and refused to go play until it heals (boo-hoo). I miss tennis, but it’s been kind of cold, so I am not pushing him yet. Plus I realized that getting pregnant will mean no tennis for me, so I sort of let it go. But once I give birth, watch out. I’m going back and going back with a vengeance.

12. May 2010. My mom flew from Russia to visit us for a month. We always have such fun time when she is here. She’s the best person in the world, so selfless and understanding and fun. We went to Universal, because last time we missed it. My mom is a big fan of rides. I miss her so much. She visits almost every year, but it’s never enough. I cannot wait for her to come next year when I have a baby. We won’t have such a fun time, but having the support of your mom is priceless.

13. In the beginning of 2010 I took up gardening.  When I bought those hammocks I pictured a lush curtain of greenery and flowers all over the backyard. I started slow: planting some bougainvilleas and planning things out.

And by the end of the year, this is what it grew to. I’m only posting one picture as a comparison not to bore you with gardening stuff. But I had planted flowers all over our backyard and front yard and now I have to step back and not mess around with dirt, because of toxoplasmosis.

My favorite part was growing sunflowers. I don’t know if it’s just me but there’s something about their sunny faces that makes me sooo happy.

14. My first 4th of July Fireworks on the beach. That was quite fun, I have to say. Anyone who lives in warm coastal regions, if you have an opportunity to watch a fireworks display on the beach, DO IT!

15. 2010 was a year of incredibly healthy eating for me. I’ve been a conscious eater for the last 3 years ( since I started modelling), but in 2010 I really kicked it up a notch. It was also the year when my DH finally accepted the idea of eating completely junk free and healthy and is now loving it 12 months later. He went from 215 lb to 189 lb in just a matter of months. Becoming vegan is what gave him the final push to lose those stubborn last 5 pounds. I am very proud of him and myself for being so “perfect” in the healthy lifestyle department. It took many years and different life changes  to get to where we are mentally when it comes to our relationship with food and our lifestyle. That was probably our biggest achievement this year. I do not miss eating junk or refined carbs, or sugar, or coffee at all. Nothing would make me go back to how we used to eat many years ago.
Oh and this experience taught me to cook and i can make a MEAN Caesar salad ( YUM!). At this point we don’t eat out ( junk free, remember), everything we eat is cooked by us and is never pre-processed.

16. August, the month of our birthdays. We had more fun in Miami, this time with a girl that I’ve know for 8 years over the internet and had never met until that moment. Her and her boyfriend were a blast to be with and I wish we could do it again soon. We, of course, took a ton of pictures, took a boat out for a CRAZY ride ( courtesy of our captain Robert). This time we stayed at Mondrian hotel. Anyone who’s familiar with cool Miami hotels, knows how much fun they can be. Delano, The Standard and Mondrian are my favorites and it’s a nice bonus that all three give model discounts ( YAY!). So i always get to stay there for 50%-60% off their standard rate.

17. I went to my first “Rush” concert while actually liking them. My hubby used to be a huge Rush fan, so when we got married, the first thing that came out of his mouth and speakers were sounds of Rush, which being 18 and into punk rock, I absolutely hated. Getty Lee’s annoying voice and geeky mannerisms just made me vomit a little bit in my mouth every time I saw him. Fastforward 7 years later and here I am learning how to play drums and I discover that most of my “punk rock” bands really SUCK, musically speaking. But when I get to Rush songs, they’re brilliant. So that’s how I learned to ignore the annoying vocals and concentrate on the musical genius that Rush is. And this was my first time going to a Rush concert actually looking forward to seeing their performance.  Oh and check out my leather biker chick vest- my hubby made me wear it 🙂 lol

18. By the end of the year we finally go to go see the new Harry Potter land. I cannot describe how mind blowing it is. I am a huge HP fan of both books and movies and seeing this in real life and going through HP ride was something out of this world. We’re going back in January and then February, but that’ll be for my 2011 year end post 🙂

19. And probably last memorable moment of 2010 had to be our Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party at Disney. I never realized how much fun they are, even for adults. I cannot wait to take my own kids there!
Leeka again visited us for that event. All together, she came to Florida 3 times this year, which is absolutely awesome!

So now on a completely serious non-photo note… The year 2010 was  still hard despite all these delightful moments that we had. The economy is still struggling, money doesn’t come as easy as it came in years before. We have to work harder and longer than before. One thing I can’t complain about is how busy we are work-wise. But despite all the struggle, this year we made an incredibly important decision. We resolved that we cannot postpone having children any longer. Being a perfectionist that I am, I’ve always been waiting until I am done having fun ( come on , you’re NEVER done having fun), I have travelled places ( well, that I have), our businesses need minimal attention and run “themselves” ( like that’s ever going to happen), I start WANTING kids. Honestly, those things never came. You never feel like you’re done having fun and ready for the grueling work as a parent. But what came is the realization that it is now or never. So this year was very important on many levels: our health, our mindset, our decision to have a kid.

I expect the next year to be filled with even more joy: joys of being pregnant ( and puking my guts out every morning), joys of seeing our little girl for the first time ( or at least I hope it’s a girl), joys of taking care of myself and our growing baby, joys of stepping away from the stressful work, and settling into marketing and social media and such, and the joys of being a blogger. On the blogging side, I’d like to say that the streams of photos will end with the end of the year with MDR being my last long photo post. I am going to finally write about health and food and weight loss and exercise. There’s so much knowledge and experience I have to share with you and so many questions I want to ask. I’m looking forward to that very much and hope you will find something useful there.

Now link up here and show us what you’ve been up to this year!



and then, she {snapped}Smart and Trendy MomsHousehold6Diva FotoFriday

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  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 2:07 PM

    WOW~! Lots of cool photos! You’re very lovely yourself! I love the splash mountain photo and the fireworks on the beach the best!! Hope you have a Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    December 31, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    What a great year! I adore your pictures. I think my favorite might be the Easter shot. Happy New year!!

  • Reply
    Mothers' Hideaway
    December 31, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    Wonderful year!! I actually had a top like that biker chick leather top that your hubs made you wear! I actually ended up wearing it for Halloween one year Fun times!

  • Reply
    Dina @ 4 Lettre Words
    January 1, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    Wonderful captures of an amazing year! And, now I really,
    really want to drive down to Florida. 🙂 Have an amazing

  • Reply
    Kristy Life n Reflection Photography
    January 1, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Wow! Great memories photos! Happy New Year!

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