Archives for March 2011

LIVESTRONG Zhenya – Day 5

As we are coming to an end on my LIVESTRONG Zhenya project, I wanted to reassure you, that I am going to continue eating healthy, working out, and using my homemade remedies (for skin, hair, etc.). I probably won’t be blogging about them everyday. This past week I felt like I was extremely overloading my blog with 3-4 daily posts. I will leave you a link to my profile, and you will be able to follow me there!

Today was great, I got a lot of exercise in. That’s all because I went to the mall to buy a new skin lotion. I ended up purchasing Lumene, so if anyone has any thoughts on this particular brand, let me know. In Russia Lumene is sold in Sephora-like stores, not in CVS (just an FYI). Then I went to my shoe guy to pick up a pair of shoes I recently gave him to repair, but he forgot to do one part, so my shoes are held hostage there until tomorrow. That’s okay, I have plenty of other pairs.

Food wise – salad, yogurt, beans and rice, some bananas and oranges, and my fav cream cheese dessert! Yum!

I also did a 20 minute workout for legs and butt! And here I am at 2 AM blogging!

Good news to share – my bathroom tiles are in, I gave myself a salary raise, and mom is coming tomorrow!

I have also started a new project called Love and Lace Flowers (more about the policy tomorrow!)

Live strong,


Little Black Dress

When I was growing up in Russia, we were poor, not poor-poor, but we didn’t have a lot of money either. When I was in 7th grade I wore the same outfit to school EVERY DAY, until one of my good friends (she was a year older too) called me out on that. This is when my mom became my salvation. She sewed and crocheted for me. I soon had more than one outfit to wear to school.

I learned how to knit and crochet too, but I was never confident enough to make my own clothes. Until now!

I found this dress about a month ago

And it came with a scheme, so I decided to create my own, but make it black! (I have been into black, white, and gray lately)

Here is what my “dress” looks like so far:

Will keep you updated!

Love and Lace flowers,


PS. The top of the dress is knitted, but the skirt is crocheted.


The Beauty of Spring. Happy Birthday Sandra!

It’s my future mother’s in law Birthday today, so I decided to dedicate this post to her, and to the day we got to spend together back in 2009, when we went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens!

Happy Birthday dear Sandra! Love you so much!

And I hope the rest of you enjoy the pictures of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens!

(You can also compare my hair from almost 2 years ago, and now! There are recent pictures of me in my other posts)

LIVESTRONG Zhenya – Day 4

I am extremely tired, had 6 consecutive ESL lessons. For those of you who are curious about my job – you can read my confessions here

Let me just add, that I heard enough “shoeses” and “newses” and “feets” for the day!

My day started off with some cottage cheese for breakfast and watching The September Issue – a documentary on how the sept. issue of Vogue is made. Highly recommended movie if you love fashion. I fell in love with Grace! She is my new hero, sorry Larry-Boy!

I managed to fit in this killer abs workout in the AM today:

I had a wrap and an orange for lunch (just like last night, because these shells go bad really fast!)

Then it was time to work, and I didn’t have time for a good dinner, so I had a banana, a tomato, and an open cheese sandwich! And lots and lots of coffee!

I went over my calorie limit by 11, so I am off to do a workout for arms! Wish me luck!

Love and lace flowers!



I just wanted to share my mom’s latest quilling project with you, and also tell you a little bit about this craft. I remember when I first heard about it from her, I thought she meant quilting, yeah, I have a hearing problem too 🙂 Anyways, here is a short explanation on what quilling (aka paper filigree) really is:

“Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together into coils to create decorative designs. These shaped coils are arranged to form flowers, leaves, and various ornamental patterns similar to ironwork.

During the Renaissance, French and Italian nuns and monks used quilling to decorate book covers and religious items. The paper most commonly used was strips of paper trimmed from the gilded edges of books. These gilded paper strips were then rolled to create the quilled shapes. Quilling often imitated the original ironwork of the day.

In the 18th century, quilling became popular in Europe where gentle ladies of quality (“ladies of leisure”) practiced the art. It was one of the few things ladies could do that was thought not too taxing for their minds or gentle dispositions. Quilling also spread to the Americas and there are a few examples from Colonial times.

Many quilled art works can be found on cabinets and stands, cribbage boards, ladies’ purses, a wide range of both pictures and frames, work baskets, tea caddies, coats of arms and wine coasters. Storage boxes, larger than most jewelry boxes with drawers and/or tops that opened, quilled lock boxes, and much more. Some items were specially designed for quilling with recessed surfaces. Quilling was also combined or married with other techniques such as embroidery and painting.”

And this is mom’s latest work, called Clematis (it’s a kind of flower, you know!)

For more quilling projects check

Feel free to ask any questions, since that blog is all in Russian!

Dresses from my Vintage Collection

As promised, and announced on Twitter I am continuing showing you pictures of my vintage collection, and today’s post is about dresses!

I love the colors of this dress, very warm, very fall-looking! It’s going to look great with some of my boots! It comes with a belt. And I love the little detail on the back!

See, that little triangle in the picture above? Yes, that’s the detail, it’s either they ran out of fabric, or it was the design 🙂

Up next is this very springy looking dress, again love the colors, and the ruffles on the bottom!

The red circles kind of look like poppies to me. Are they really poppies, or is it just my imagination?

Up next is a hand made/sewn dress, beautiful black lace, over pink fabric! Belted.

My next dress is a very warm, definitely winter dress, with what seems to be a leopard print on red. Buttons on the front.

This dress is also a perfect dress for fall (I wish these dresses were made out of something else, other than polyester, but that’s the only reason why they are still in a good condition!), it would be too hot in the summer. Again, this dress comes with a belt, buttons on the front.

The next dress was a fab find! I absolutely love the print, and the brooch on the front!

This dress is the only cotton dress in my collection! I love the soft pastels and beige. Unfortunately you can’t see the plaid on the front of the skirt very well, but it’s there. The front ties up. I think this is a perfect fit for early spring or fall!

The final dress deserves special attention, because it’s brand new, very summery, very Carrie Bradshaw, because it’s see-through! I am going to get a lot of attention wearing this one!

I had a wonderful time going through all these dresses, I hope you did too. While I was taking them all out of my Grandma’s closet, I found a pair of jeans, that belonged to me, I wonder how it got there!

PS. In one of my future posts I will show you how to wear and accessorize these dresses!

Being an ESL Teacher (FYIs, OMGs, and WTFs? of this job)

So last night I announced on Twitter that I was going to blog about something, I’ve never blogged about before, and that’s my job!

I’ve been an on-line ESL teacher for almost a year now. I never got a degree in Language Teaching. All I have is an online certificate that took me 1 month to get. And viola, I am a Language Instructor! How cool is that!

Then I sent my resume to two on-line schools. I guess they were becoming big in Russia at that time. A director from one got right back to me. I was hired on the spot. Over Skype! Who does that? That school also asked me to do some translation for the web-site, and they used my picture for a banner! So, yes, I am famous, in some parallel Universe, that counts, right? That school had me listed as British! Oh, I can be anything, just pay me! They also made me get a new Skype SN (screen-name), which I didn’t like, but did it anyways. So there I was using and my original Skype account, in order not to miss any messages from anyone important… As if there was anyone important out there. I honestly felt like I was Language Learning Headquarters Central! Whatever that is… That school also had a ton of on-line managers, who made it a habit of contacting me all at once. At least my typing skills improved! But honestly – a pain in the ass! I even didn’t show up for one of my classes, because I had to go to Brooklyn to get my hair done!

A couple days later I had a Skype interview with another school, that also hired me on the spot! That director didn’t even bother to turn her webcam on. God knows what she really looks like! That school was less popular, but I liked their system much better, I got my own email account that I use specifically for my students. I have an online account, where I track all my classes and students, where I create my schedule, and record my salary. Pretty nifty I should say. I also got hooked up with a gazillion useful books, resources, and links, in addition to the ones I’ve already had.

I worked at both schools for a while, and then I quit the first one! All these managers really got to me!

Among my students I had – a crazy stalker, who googled me, checked out all my social networking profiles that weren’t private, and quit after our 3rd lesson. His own method of learning the language was – ummm, Storytelling! I learned way more about him that I ever wanted to.

My other student was a translator wannabe! How cool is that! Translation is so exciting, especially when you don’t speak Russian on a daily basis, and never read the news. I absolutely loved the guy! We would spend two hours a day translating articles from Russian newspapers. This guy didn’t need an ESL teacher, he needed a shrink.

And the last one I want to tell you about is my Smoke Break guy. “Maybe a short break?” was his usual phrase. I was preparing him for TOEFL, and honestly, he started pissing me off by the end. But when Celtics were playing Lakers last summer I kept my TV on during the lesson!

Now, I don’t teach any of these students anymore, if you recognize any of them as your students, well God bless!

Don’t take this as a negative post, this is me making this world a better place to live with a bit of sarcasm!

PS. What inspired me (the correct phrasing should be – what forced me) to write this post was one of my student’s parents. I’ve been teaching their son for the past 3 months (I don’t even remember how long) and they contact me only now? To tell me what they want me to teach him? The boy had various ESL tutors over the past 2 years, what have they taught him? Nada! So now it’s my job, for 8 bucks an hour! How fantastic!


Vintage Purse DIY – Final Cut

Today is the last post about my vintage purse. Poor thing it’s been through a lot! First it was made in the USSR, and that’s enough stress for it already. Then it was worn, torn (the oval button on the front was ripped out, so I sewed it back on), stored in a dusty closet, taken out of there, hand washed, spray painted, drawn on, and finally, I decided to give it a break. These are my final touches!

So yesterday I wrote a post about drawing on my vintage purse with a Sharpie (brutal, I know) to hide a stain, and I also realized yesterday, that Symmetry wasn’t created for nothing, so here is what happened today!

And then the AMAZING thing happened, I remembered about an Elf! My Elf nail polish from a dollar store on 33rd or 32nd ST, right out of Penn Station. And this is what the final product looks like!

If you look close you will see the black dots I made with the nail polish. I know this is nothing genius, but at least the purse is wearable now!

Check out the two previous posts on the same subject!

LIVESTRONG Zhenya – Day 3

So last night, I ended up working till 11.30 pm, so there was no time for dinner or for a planned workout, all I wanted to do was finish my coffee and watch Chelsea Lately.

Today was extremely difficult, I don’t know what it was, maybe the stress, maybe the fact that I didn’t get my bathroom tiles in place 🙁 anyways I really wanted to eat, or I should say snack! I also went to the grocery store and bought a lot of milk, some kefir, and cottage cheese. So excited to be eating those tomorrow. And believe it or not, I became one of those people who now read nutrition value at the grocery store, all it took was 2.5 days.

What did I eat today? Strawberry yogurt for breakfast. Salad, toast and apple for lunch, a pomegranate and some prunes (don’t even dare to say anything!) for snack and a wrap for dinner. I created my own wrap, it consisted of a shell, beef, salad from lunch (there is salad left for tomorrow!), cheese and sour cream. That’s all I had. After I finished my wrap I drank 2 glasses of water, and then I was told that I drink like a horse.

Now about the workout. I did Callanetics today. Here is some info for you, if you don’t know what it is:

” Callan Pinckney started an exercise revolution in the 1980’s with her introduction of The Callanetics Exercise Method. This very personalized and unique form of exercise utilizes precise positioning to isolate specific muscle groups and then by using tiny yet powerful movements which cause the muscles to work even deeper requiring more muscle fibers to be recruited. More muscle fibers recruited means quicker toning and results you can feel in one hour and see in as little as two! Each muscle group is warmed, worked and then stretched to ensure total body health increasing strength, flexibility and endurance.”

I can’t say I extremely enjoyed it. Definitely not going to do it tomorrow.

Love and lace flowers,


I drew on my Vintage Purse, and I am proud of it!

This is a purse that I painted with some suede paint last week, and if you remember, there was a stain, that came out of nowhere! So while the purse was hanging on that door handle, looking lonely and stained, an idea brewed in my head, and out came a Sharpie!

I found this design on the Internet:

And this is what I ended up with:

Ruined it? Made it better? Tell me what you think!

Love and lace flowers,


PS. I am planning on drawing on the other half of the front pocket tomorrow! Yay for symmetry!