Ellen

I've neglected my blog for months! I apologize for disappearing without notice. ^.^ I've been busy doing stuff here and there. Where was I? I was in culinary school! Yes, and I am back! I will be posting photos of different dishes we've created in class as well as excellent recipes of food you can make at home! Be back soon!
Ellen
“I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.”
--Anon.

Hello everyone! I apologize for disappearing for awhile. I had some research to do and lots of projects to finish for work so I couldn't go online. But I managed to get some of it done and I am continuing with my 14 DAYS OF LOVE series. Since I was unable to post for 4 days, today's entry will be packed with good stuff just like a rocky road ice cream--a bit messy and heavy but full of goodness!

This series is all that winged fellow that has become--aside from hearts--a symbol of Valentine's day! He is known by many names--Cupid, Amor, Eros etc. I will not be writing about the cute little cherub with pink cheeks and a sly smile but the grown up Cupid. We all know that once his "poisonous" arrow hits you you are caught. You fall in the hole and try to get out but you just dug yourself even deeper. But what happens when he gets a taste of his own medicine and falls madly in love with a maiden that his mother abhors? Things get a little crazy of course!

I am a big fan of Greek/Roman mythology and this is one of my most beloved stories. I hope many of you are familiar with his love story--Cupid and Psyche (also known as The tale of Eros and Psyche/The tale of Amor and Psyche). Their story can be found in the novel The Golden Ass by the 2nd century novelist, Apuleius. It is also included in the Metamorphoses by Ovid. If you just want to read Cupid and Psyche get this one. It was printed by Penguin Classics. and very easy to follow. And for those who don't want to spend their money at all, you can go to the library and borrow it. ^_^ For those who are cheap (ok, frugal...hehe), there are tons of stuff online about them but I highly recommended the book because it's just a great book to have as part of your collection. Their story has been interpreted by artists and poets throughout time. Reading and seeing different interpretations of the story will satisfy any hopeless romantics out there and will surely capture everyone's heart. And best of all, it's nice to know that even Cupid falls victim to love.

Before I start, I will tell you a little about their story. There was a princess named Psyche (meaning soul in Greek), who was very beautiful--far more beautiful than the goddess Venus. Her beauty was so great that even people from neighboring countries came to see her. Venus found altars empty of worshippers! Jealous of this mortal's beauty, Venus sent her mischievous young son Cupid to use his arrows to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest creature on earth. He obeys her and visits Psyche, with him are two amber vases filled with sweet and bitter water from Venus' garden. He found a sleeping Psyche. On her lips he shed a few drops of bitter water while the tip of his arrow points to her side but she awakens and startles Cupid. He accidentally wounds himself with his arrow! Heedless of his own wound, he pours the sweet water on Psyche. Although, her beauty exceeds that of Venus, nobody asked for her hand in marriage. Her parents consults the oracle of Apollo and tells them, "The virgin is destined for the bride of no mortal lover. Her future husband awaits her on the top of the mountain. He is a monster whom neither gods nor men can resist." . Everyone's dismayed but feared that they have angered the gods so they leave Psyche on top of the mountain for the monster to take her as his bride. Psyche's adventure begins and their love story unfolds....

FEATURED SHOP: southerngirlflorals

These beautifully arranged flower wreaths remind of love, springtime and romance. The color and flower combination are very pleasing to the eyes. I think these are perfect gifts for hopeless romantics.













ART


Mythology has been a big part of Art and many artists have painted their own versions of Cupid and Psyche. Here are a smorgasbord of paintings and sculptures from several artists whom I admire.

Cupid's arrows, Leon Jean Basile Perrault (1st painting above)
Venus and Cupid, Guillaume Seignac (2nd painting above)
Cupid and Psyche, Antonio Canova (Plaster copy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC)














Cupid Finding Psyche
, Edward Burne-Jones
Cupid and Psyche, Paul Jacques Baudry




















Cupid and Psyche, Henri Godet (left) *This link leads to his other sculpture, The abduction of Psyche
Carried away by love, Alfred Plauzeau
















Awakening of Psyche, Guillaume Seignac
Psyche entering cupid's garden, J.W. Waterhouse (right)




















Illustrations by Edmund Dulac for the illustrated version of Apoleius' The Golden Ass as retold by Walter Pater.
Psyche looking at Cupid Cupid waking Psyche with a kiss




















And three paintings by William Bouguereau
L'amour et Psyche, enfants
(Cupid and Psyche as children)
Le Ravissement de Psyche (The abduction of Psyche)
Cupid and Psyche





















POETRY

Today's poetry are by Anacreon, a Greek lyric poet and Zenodotos, a Greek literary critic and the first librarian of Alexandria.

THE WOUNDED CUPID
-Anacreon

Cupid, as he lay among
Roses, by a Bee was stung.
Whereupon, in anger flying
To his Mother, said thus crying;
Help! O help! your Boy's a dying.
And why, my pretty Lad, said she?
Then blubbering, replied he,

A winged Snake has bitten me,
Which Country people call a Bee.
At which she smil'd; then with her hairs
And kisses drying up his tears
Alas! said she, my Wag! if this
Such a pernicious torment is:

Come, tell me then, how great's the smart
Of those, thou woundest with thy Dart!


A STATUE OF EROS
-Zenodotos

Who carved Love
and placed him by
this fountain,
thinking
he could control
such fire
with water?


VIDEO

Can this be love
-Sarah Geronimo.




Ellen
Good evening everyone (or good morning)! It's time for the 3rd part of 14 DAYS OF LOOoOooVe! Tonight's topic is.....Not wanting to fall in love. So, how many of you have tried to run away from love? There are plenty of people who fear it yet they want to experience it. Romantic love brings out so many feelings that it can be so overwhelming for both newbies and pros. It makes you realize that you are alive. Sure, you can stop it but it'll still come! Cupid's little arrow will get you and destroy your little heart muahaha (joking)! Like the saying goes, where there is love there is pain. But experiencing love is the best feeling ever! Now, sit back, relax and enjoy these goodies that I have compiled for you.


Tonight's painting is called Monsiegneur Love by Thomas Cooper Gotch, a Pre-Raphaelite painter (I'm a big fan of the Pre-Raphaelites). This painting is interesting because eventhough the title is about the male figure, the focus of the painting is the female figure. Gotch described this painting as his first picture during the time when the main focus of his friends was romance. To me, this is about a young woman who was struck by Cupid's arrow but seemed to have plucked out his arrow. A woman guarding herself against love, perhaps?? But her longing eyes speak otherwise. Afraid of love yet she wants to experience love.


William Bouguereau's Jeune Fille se Defendant Contre L'amour (Young girl defending herself against cupid, 1880) is the exact opposite. The girl is clearly pushing love away from her, not wanting it, but cupid is determined. Look at that sharp arrow pointed right her! It might seem strange to have a naked girl in front of a child but I think the artist did this to show one's vulnerability.

LOVE QUOTES

Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.
-William Arthur Ward

To fear love is to fear life and those who fear life are already 3 parts dead.
-Berthrand Russel

LOVE POEM

Tonight's poem is by Emily Dickinson.

LOVE THOU ART HIGH

Love-thou art high-
I cannot climb thee-
But, were it Two-
Who knows but we-
Taking turns-at the Chimborazo-
Ducal-at last-stand up by thee-

Love-thou art high-
I cannot cross thee-
But, were there two
Instead of One-
Rower, and Yacht-some sovereign Summer-
Who knows-but we'd reach the sun?

Love-thou art Veiled-
A few-behold thee-
Smile-and alter-and prattle-and die-
Bliss-were an Oddity-without thee-
Nicknamed by God-
Eternity-


ROMANTIC IDEA

Buy his favorite chocolates or candies then hide it in places (bag, medicine cabinet, pocket etc) where you know (s) he'll find them. Also, attach a sweet note on each. Why not tape a chocolate bar on the fridge with something naughty (or nice) written on it? ^_^

FEATURED ETSY SHOP: 2gorditas

Why not try her luscious Amor Por Siempre and Corazon dulces? Ah, even the names sound romantic!









VIDEO

"I don't want to fall in love" by Julia Haltigan and the Hooligans


Ellen
Do you remember the first time you had a crush on someone? Remember the craziness during the moment of this-is-so-exciting-oh-my-gosh-does-he-see-me feeling when he's (or shes) around? Well, tonight is all about young love. I'm sure everyone will agree that the very first time you feel love was the most exhilarating of all especially when it is returned! And it only gets better as time goes by. I hope reading this post will bring some good memories of those times.

This is for those who are just experiencing the wonderful joys of love for the first time and for those who have been there and back....these are for you!





Springtime, Pierre-Auguste Cot, 1873


Red head loves Hatty Perkins,

Norman Rockwell, Saturday Evening Post



LOVE POEM
Our poet for this evening is Christina Rossetti (1830-1894). She was an English poet and the sister of a well known Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. She is best known for her poem Goblin Market--about two sisters, Laura and Lizzie, who were tempted by goblin men to buy some strange fruit. Although it is a "children's poem", you will definitely notice some sexual connotations! Ok, I digress but back to tonight's love poem...here it is!




THE FIRST DAY
--Christina Rossetti

I wish I could remember the first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me;
If bright or dim the season it might be;
Summer or winter for aught I can say.
So, unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was i to see and to forsee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom, yet, for many a May.

If only I could recollect it! Such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow.
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much!
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand! - Did one but know!

LOVE QUOTES

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.
-Amy Bloom

Love is the strange bewilderment which overtakes one person on account of another person.
-James Thurber and E.B. White


And as an added bonus, a music video! The song's title is "Maybe it's you" by Jolina Magdangal--a Filipino singer. The original music video is really cheesy so I just picked this one. This video shows some snippets from a Korean drama called, "My lovely, Sam-Soon". You can click the name if you'd like to know more about the show. It's a really funny and romantic show but unfortunately not all the episodes were translated in English.


FEATURED ETSY SHOPS : Lunatiger and thehangingflower


Lunatiger has some really great stuff for Valentine's Day. I especially love her folded satin roses! They are just gorgeous! And will last forever folks! These flowers are also perfect to give to mom and grandma this Mother's day!


















Tired of sending those mundane and boring greeting cards that you know everyone will also send to their loved ones? Well, good news! Visit thehangingflower's shop and you will find many wonderful greeting cards that "show beauty in the ordinary".





So, did you enjoy these goodies?? I sure did! There are more to come! Let me know what you think and suggestions of your favorite poems, quotes, art etc. are always welcome!
Ellen
I'm very excited that many Etsy sellers responded to my post in the Forum! I would like to give everyone the opportunity to be featured and help them get some exposure. As I have posted before, I will be featuring 2 to 3 sellers a day until February 14. Although, I am doing a Valentine special, items that are not Valentine related will still be highlighted--of course!--under the Etsyland posts. Valentine related items will be posted in 14 days of Love. Valentine related or not, it is still nice to see some really cool items from very talented sellers.

Since I live near high schools and colleges, I will be printing flyers with everyone's shop name and a photo of their item. I will post these around my neighborhood and hopefully you guys will get some sale (crossing fingers!).

This morning's featured shops are barretzz, potatopatch and imnotspoileddesigns. You will find some excellent apparel for your youngsters in their shops.

These are a snippet of goodies from imnotspoileddesigns' shop.



Adorable little shoes for your teeny tiny toes from barretzz's shop! Wish my feet were small enough to fit in these!


And last but not least, potatopatch. Can you believe that these shirts were stamped using potatoes?!

Ellen
Last month, I posted about my oh-so-delicious-spicy-peanutty Thai curry noodle soup. I've been asked before about the recipe so here it is my fellow noodle slurpers (hehe).

You can use any noodles that you want. Peter experimented with different types of noodles before finding the perfect one. I prefer the South Korean wheat noodles (not dry noodles). It's not your typical whimpy thin noodles. They hold their shape well and absorbs a lot of liquid and flavor. Japanese Udon noodles are pretty good too. Experiment and you'll find the perfect one for you! If you don't want noodles, you can serve it with Coconut rice with a tall glass to Thai iced tea!


Ingredients:

A package of noodles
1 tbsp oil
1 cup diced chicken breast (you can use thighs or wings)
1 bunch scallions, diced
1 small red pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 inch piece ginger root, chopped
3 3/4 C Chicken stock
1 C Coconut milk
3 tsp Red Thai curry paste (Yellow curry is pretty good too)
3 tbsp Peanut butter
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 C frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste


Fry chicken for 5 minutes until brown. Add the white part of the scallion, garlic and ginger. Fry for 2 minutes. Add stock, coconut milk, curry paste, soy sauce and peanut butter. Bring to boil, stir occasionally and simmer for 8 minutes. Add bell peppers, peas and scallion top for 2 minutes.

Cook noodles separately and follow the package's cooking instruction. Place noodles in a bowl and top with soup. Serve by itself or a cup of Coconut rice. Enjoy!
Ellen
Oh, my! It seemed like it was only yesterday when you hear Christmas songs being played on the radio and the card section were overflowing with, what else, but Christmas cards. Now those cards have been replaced by hearts and cutesy little cupids, reminding you that another holiday is coming around. To celebrate the month of lovers, I will be posting some of my favorite love poems, love quotes , Valentine ideas for your loved ones etc.

Also, along with such goodies that I mentioned above. I'll be promoting some of my fellow Etsians. Check them out and I'm sure you will find many wonderful things from their shops that you can give to your love ones or for yourself to keep.

J.C. Leyendecker, The Saturday Evening post, Easter 1923

Tonight's Love poems are all about DEFINITIONS AND PERSUASIONS.

SYMPTOMS OF LOVE--Robert Graves

Love is a universal migraine
A bright stain on the vision
Blotting out reason.

Symptoms of true love
Are leanness, jealousy,
Laggard dawns.

Are omens and nightmares-
Listening for a knock,
Waiting for a sign:

For a touch of her fingers
In a darkened room,
For a searching look.

Take courage, lover!
Could you endure such grief
At any hand but hers?


THE REVELATIONS--Coventry Patmore

An idle poet, here and there,
Looks round him: but, for all the rest,
The world, unfathomably fair,
Is duller than a witling's jest.
Love wakes men, once a lifetime each;
They lift their heavy lids, and look;
And, lo, what one sweet page can teach,
They read with joy, then shut the book.
And some give thanks, and some blaspheme
And most forget; but, either way,
That and the Child's unheeded dream
Is all the light of all their day.



Tonight's LOVE QUOTES are:

The affections are like lightning: you cannot tell where they will strike till they have fallen
.
-Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

I have found men who didn't know how to kiss. I've always found time to teach them.
-Mae West


Good night for now. And don't forget to say "I love you" to your loved ones!
Ellen
That is the question!

Last night when I was crossing the street on my way home I saw something on the ground. Several cars passed by and ran over it. So, I waited till the coast was clear before checking it out. I don't usually pick up things but I wanted to see what it was. I looked down and it was someone's wallet! I kicked it to the side before picking it up acting nonchalant as to not attract any attention even though there was practically nobody around and it was dark. But living in NYC makes one kinda wary of their surroundings (especially with someone else's wallet on my hands!).

I opened the wallet to find the person's ID and boy did I find more than I should know! I'm not going into too much details but I now know her blood type. ^_^ I also found lots of moolah. I found money on the ground before but not in wallet. So, I just kept them. But this one had an owner. Part of me said, "Yay!Keep the money and just leave the wallet here. Free money! I can buy tons of stuff with this!" but of course the goody-two-shoes in me won. I just placed myself in her shoes and I know I would go crazy if I lost my wallet with lots of money and very important information in it. Besides, do a good deed and it'll return to you tenfold. Anyway, even if I kept the money to buy, say, lots of chocolates....I'd be eating that box of chocolate knowing I bought it with someone else's money.

Since I couldn't find her telephone number in the directory, I decided to just go to her apartment after work since it's just a few blocks from my house. But alas, nobody was home. So, I just left my info with the doorman.

INTERMISSION: While typing this post my phone rang and guess who it was? The owner of the wallet! Be back in a few minutes!

Ok, it 7:39 and I just came back from meeting the owner. Just as I thought she was going crazy looking for it! She was so relieved that I found her wallet because she withdrew a lot of $! She told me that she was in a rush to meet friends to watch the Superbowl and she didn't even know that it fell out of her bag 'till this morning! She was very thankful that I found her wallet AND that all her money were still in there. She offered to give me a reward but I didn't take anything. That would be kinda greedy, no? Anyway, I told her I don't ask for anything in return except for her to return the same kindness next time she finds someone who needs help. And she promised to do it.

In conclusion, I'm very happy that I did the right thing. So, to keep or not to keep?---when finding someone else's wallet there shouldn't even be a question--just return it. (I guess if there was no name or anything you can keep it ^_^). But will she keep her promise? I hope so.
Ellen

Last Sunday was another cold day. It was one of those days when you just want to stay home, read a book and drink a nice cup of hot chocolate (like Jacques Torres' hot chocolate but that's another post ^_^). Peter dragged me outside to go to the NY Reptile Expo in Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY. It was a 30 minute train ride from Grand Central Terminal.






After missing the express train, we just looked around to kill some time. Most shops were either just opening or preparing foods for the lunch crowd. Since it was Sunday, Grand Central wasn't packed with NYorkers who live outside the city but work there. And of course, there are always camera flashes from tourists.







There is a shop on the ground floor called Pylones that sell the funkiest looking things for your kitchen or room. There were so many cute things! I specially love wind up salt and pepper shakers and the veggie peelers!











By the time we arrived, it was nearly 1 pm. It was crowded, so taking pictures was almost impossible without someone's body parts end up in the photo. But I managed to sneak in there and click away. Although we don't buy anything, Peter (he's an animal lover) and I go to the show every year to see what they have. Peter loves snakes and enjoys seeing the different types they have at the show. I don't particularly like snakes and I'm afraid of touching them! Eck! I'm a turtle person so I just love seeing the tortoises there. I also really love the Poison dart frogs and would definitely love to own some someday but I don't know if you can legally own them here in the city. In the wild, these frogs are highly toxic but the ones at the show are captive bred and have lost their toxicity. They are unusually tiny--about 1 inch in size--with bold colors! Unfortunately, my pictures of them didn't come out well. But here's a sapphire-blue dart frog from National Geographic's website.

There were plenty of vendors selling different types of snakes, tortoises, Dart frogs etc. Every year there are more parents with their children--and buys them a pet. There was a couple with a son who bought him a turtle and the parents were buying equipments for the turtles housing. While the vendor explained the type of bulbs they should have, I saw that they weren't so happy and probably regretted buying the turtle. They needed more than one bulb! They obviously know nothing about taking care of turtles. The mother got pissed off for some reason and husband said, "You bought it now you take care of it!". They walk away and argue some more while the son just follows and the turtle was in a container. Poor unfortunate turtle!!

I've no problem with parents buying their kids pets but having a pet is like having another child. One must be committed and ready for the responsibility of owning one. You must take care of it! Get the facts first before buying one specially for children! But unfortunately not many people do that and their poor pets just get dump somewhere. Anyway, enough of my whining. These are just some photos that I have taken from the show. You can find more pics in my Flickr Album.