T-shirt Refashion: Part 1

Here is a T-shirt, that I freecycled last week:

 

Please note that I have nothing to do with the church, I do view it as one of the main Minneapolis landmarks, and it’s definitely nice living in the neighborhood around it! I do support their ministry through Steeple People though, it is one of my favorite thrift stores in the area after all!

Now this shirt has a lot going on: stains, holes, etc. So I took my scissors and some supplies:

 

 

 

 

 

… and ended up with this :)

Now let me explain why I am making this a 2 parter, it’s already past midnight, I’ve been working on this for the past two hours, so I am kind of tired, and also missing some ingredients to finish this refashion. Please stay tuned for Part 2, it’s coming up tomorrow :)

xo,

Z

Clinique High Impact Extreme Volume Mascara

 

Clinique’s latest addition, the new High Impact Extreme Volume mascara. That tube is huge, but the brush is even bigger! When they first showed it to us in Strategy School I thought it was going to be like CoverGirl’s Lash Blast, WRONG! This thing is HUGE.

The brush takes some getting used to, I poked myself in the eye the first time I used it :) But I was also kind of disappointed, because there is no actual extreme volume, you can probably tell by the picture. Though it does wonders for one of my coworkers.

I would definitely recommend trying it on in the store first before buying it, since it’s a $19.50 mascara after all.

Another tip – the mascara comes in Extreme Black and Black and when compared the Black looks almost Brown :/

Overall I’d give this mascara a 3 out of 5, the original High Impact is better, in my opinion.

Hope your Monday is going well!

Zhenya

Sunday Post: Stories from My Closet: Bitten Coat

When I first moved to Jersey in 2008, I was obsessed with Bitten, that brand by Sarah Jessica Parker, which only existed for a couple years, and was sold at Steve and Barry’s, which went under when the crisis hit.

I have a couple of Bitten items left, but the one I love the most is this houndstooth pattern coat:

 

This was my very first piece of outerwear that I accessorized, and it also got me hooked on Art Deco, and the whole 20′s theme, here is how…

It was one of those weekends when I took the train from Jersey to Penn Station, and after meeting up with one of my Russian girlfriends and taking about 20 pictures of the Flat Iron Building, which is my favorite one of all times:

 

we decided it was too cold to hang outside, and ended up on the corner of 5th Avenue and 42nd street:

 

So after going through the metal detector and the security bag check, we ended up in library/architecture/culture heaven:

 

 

 

But the best part of the whole experience was the Art Deco Exhibition,

that talked about the rich history, legacy and influences behind that movement. As we all know, a lot of good things come from France, so did all this!

Don’t you wish you could just put that same dress on and go walk around Central Park? I certainly do! I always get complimented on that coat, even when people say I look very Mary Tyler Moore, I just hope they refer to her younger years!

To be honest I don’t remember much from that whole day, just the feeling of excitement that I could go and be inside NYPL for the very first time in my life. I would go back there several more times, to see the original Winnie-the-Pooh toys and first edition of the book, to take kids I was babysitting to story time, to simply get some books, or to just take a break from walking around Manhattan all day…

I can’t wait for fall now, so that I can wear my Bitten coat again…

Z

Dress Obsessed: Clothes Mentor Haul

I went thrifting, AGAIN. Okay not really thrifting, but consignment shopping :) Big difference, really.

Please let me know if you are getting tired of these posts, but I personally love when other people post hauls, maybe because I get a sneak peek into their closets this way.

I did spend quiet a lot of money, but I had a gift card to that particular location of my beloved Clothes Mentor. And here are some of the treasures I found this time:

1. Ralph Lauren shorts and Jones New York cardigan – so prep school - $9.60 for both of these, as they were 70% off

 

Now for the more expensive stuff (I know, I know you are probably sitting there shaking your head at me, wondering whatever happened to $3 finds at Salvation Army or Goodwill, I promise to bring you hauls from there as well)

2. $20 Anna Sui dress

This baby looks a lot better belted, I am sure she had that in mind when creating this dress, or I just like to accentuate my waist line too much :)

 

3. 100% silk dress and slip from Anthropologie, which for once is not attached to the shell! Yay! Because (guess what?) I can wear that slip separately with some other clothes! So this one cost me $24, but with some boots, OMG I can’t wait to wear it!

 

4. Another Anthropologie dress (size 0 – gasp, all the working out is paying off), this time with geometric pattern, and of course pockets (that’s one of my must-haves in a dress) – and this was also $24

 

5. And finally a $15 Anthropologie (yes, surprise surprise – but in all honesty, I think a richer version of me just consigned all those – if you are reading this post, please leave me a comment and let me know if you have any more cool Anthro stuff, I’ll buy it directly from you! I am 100% serious)  dress, which is made of a heavier thicker material, so it’ll definitely be my fall/winter dress, with exposed zipper, which unfortunately you can’t really see :) But it’s awesome nevertheless!

 

Now you gotta comment and tell me which one of these you like the best and which ones are a total fail :)

Also, if you are waiting for the “Stories From My Closet” I am going to make you wait a couple more days. I decided to add a Sunday Post to my blog, that way you have something to read with your morning coffee :)

Love you all, thanks for reading and looking and checking it all out and commenting!

xo,

Zhenya H

DIY Denim Owl Toy from Old Jeans

I’ve shared a DIYs from Old Jeans Pinterest Board with you the other day here on WordPress. And today I want to share my very first denim project with you, to show you how I am putting those old jeans to a good use!

The instructions are going to be pretty self-explanatory, and in pictures, but let me know if you have any questions by leaving me comments below this post and I will definitely get back to you!

Also I by no means am taking absolute credit for this project, there are tons of DIYs like this throughout the internet. I do request though that if you are going to be using my pictures, please link back to my blog! Thank you!

Some of you know that I used to babysit, and since I haven’t seen the girl for almost 2 months, I decided it was finally time to see little miss Ingrid, but I couldn’t go empty handed (that’s the Russian in me), so this morning I sat down and made this:

 

It only took about 2 hours, plus I was catching up on The Bachelorette on Hulu, so there :)

Alright, so for this project you are going to need

- some fabric (any fabric) – I used the old jeans, some felt that I had left over from a swap and some striped fabric that came from the same swap :) I am very savvy about where my fabric is coming from!

- magic fluff, or filling, mine came from a couch pillow that we no longer use :)

- a sewing machine

- thread, pins and a needle,

- paper for the pattern (I created my own and had to readjust it throughout the process)

- scissors

- flexibility and creativity

So here we go:

 

 

 

And we end up with this:

 

I hope you had fun looking through this, again, please let me know if you have any questions!

Hope you all had an awesome day :)

Xo,

Zhenya

DIY Basil Limeade

My in-laws are wonderful people, they introduce me to amazing new stuff, a lot of times it’s something I would’ve never thought to try on my own, this time it was Basil Limeade, that came in a fancy bottle like this:

 

And apparently cost top dollar.

So I decided to make my own, plus my mother-in-law grows her own basil, so all I had to get were limes :)

Thanks to my fab new iPad and Epicurious app, I found a recipe for Basil Limeade in no time.

Here is how it goes:

 

But oh wait, we gotta make the syrup first ;)

 

So I got all the ingredients ready:

 

Then simply followed the steps mentioned above (the only difference though – I used zest of 2 limes, 2 cups of basil and lemon juice, instead of lime!):

 

I put the syrup into the fridge, so now I can have a glass of that basil goodness any time I want. Plus I am determined to get some seltzer tomorrow (or any type of unflavored carbonated water), I just love my lemonade bubbly! It also inspired me to make my own pesto!

I personally think this was a success, and probably a lot cheaper than buying a bottle of limeade in the first place.

Would you try something like this?

xo,

Z

DIY Denim Ideas

I freecycled about 4 pairs of old jeans, all of them being too big for me, but there are so many awesome DIY projects that I am dying to try, I created a board on Pinterest just for that:

Here is my board:

Some of the projects were taken off of Russian websites, and the tutorials are in Russian as well. But I am dying to try and make that tube dress and an owl toy!

Which project would you want me to try and do first? Let me know!

xo,

Z

Last Friday Night: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Yes, I finally did it, I dragged my husband out to the Sculpture Garden, which is “ahem” a 10 minute walk from our house, and also a place where we got married almost a year ago!

I mean it never gets old, so here are a few shots:

My legs are almost see-through – I guess I’ve over worked out :) hmmm But hey I am wearing a thrifted Saks Fifth Avenue Shirt, so that’s legit!

 

Can you find the fish?

This never gets old (maybe because that’s the only thing in Minneapolis to look at?) Also, sorry random girls, you are now famous on my blog :)

 

I told you taking pictures of the skyline never gets old :)

Plants are afraid of the dark too, they need a night light!

Lights will guide you… if not home, then well somewhere :)

One more fore the cheap seats in the back!

My favorite quote of them all!

Hope you had fun bumming around The Sculpture Garden with me! How was your weekend? What did you do? Where did you go? Who did you see?

Xo,

Z

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stories from my Closet: Bris Dress

Everyone, meet

Okay, it’s a London Times size 6 dress that I got at Housing Works Thrift Store on the Upper West Side at a huge sale. I can’t even remember how much it cost. All I remember are the changing rooms at that location, that reminded me of western saloons from old movies, and the fact that there was always more furniture, books and records, than clothes. I will always have fond memories of that place. And in all honesty, I think Housing Works is one of the most legit thrift stores in NYC.

This is also a dress I wore when I first went to a synagogue. To a bris ceremony.

I remember that day well. Having lived on the UWS for almost a year at that point, there were certain routine things I had to do. For example – sit in the car. Parking your vehicle in the streets of NYC is a form of art. And kudos to everyone who’s figured it out.I swear to G-d I still remember the street cleaning schedule, and when and where you could park your car on any day of the week. I remember that hump day, holidays and weekends were free passes, those were my favorites. Also any natural cataclysm, aka snow, freed you from having to move your car.

That’s what I did that morning, I sat in the car, reading a book, to two kids, who wanted nothing more, but to get out of that car. Then we got dressed, took a cab all the way to the East Side, and went to the bris.

The synagogue was surprisingly not that different from a catholic or an episcopal church. I don’t really know what I expected to see, but stained glass windows and menorahs, along with stars of David everywhere had a calming effect on me.

Unfortunately the ceremony was mostly in Hebrew, and I don’t speak that language, with an exception of a few well-known words and a Sabbath prayer.

Now it’s a well known fact that best cheese cake and dessert in general in NYC is at the synagogue. I don’t know where they get it, whether they raid Zabar’s on Monday morning before everyone else gets to it, or order from some secret dessert take out, it’s to die for. Here is a fun fact about me, I don’t necessarily like American desserts, French – yes, but that thick creamy icing rubs me the wrong way. But I will sell my soul for Jewish pastries, including challah bread.

And then there were bagels, mountains of them, and small mountains of cream cheese. Plus pizza, kosher pizza.

And then there was I in my thrifted dress, born again Christian at a synagogue, with just a chap stick and a flip phone in my pocket, wanting nothing more, but to be a part of the mystery, the religion, the act.

And now all I can hope for is for that boy to have a good Bar Mitzvah!

Shortly after we took a cab back to the Upper West Side, and I went back to my Upper West Side routine, never going back to the synagogue again.

Xo,

Z

PS. Stories from my Closet will be coming out every Friday on BeingZhenya now.

 

 

Product Review: Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner

A couple weeks ago I got a Summer Beauty VoxBox from Influenster. You can read a detailed post on what was inside the box here.

And two of the products that I got were the Clear Scalp and Hair Therapy shampoo and conditioner:

 

They are larger than travel or most hotel sizes, but smaller than the regular size shampoo and conditioner bottles. I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but they are 3 oz each. That’s why they only lasted me 2 weeks, plus all of my intensive workouts, and washing my hair practically every day (which I hate and try not to do).

Another sad part is that I always run out of conditioner faster than shampoo, that’s why I like having masks and other 3-5 minute treatments handy, that way I can actually use them instead, and make the conditioner last longer. Interestingly enough, my husband is the exact opposite.

Now, what do these products promise us?

“Nourishment, strong beautiful hair, ten vitamins and nutrients, stronger, more beautiful hair in 7 days, less breakage when combing vs. non-conditioning shampoo.” 

Unfortunately the 10 vitamins and nutrients are nowhere to be listed, but there is a heck of a lot of acids and sulfates in the ingredients, and coconut oil somewhere at the end of the list:

1. Ingredient list for shampoo

2. Ingredient list for conditioner:

 

Almost scary looking, aren’t they now?

Since I’ve been using these products for 2 weeks now, I feel like I can share my opinion and experience. So let’s go through the basics:

Smell: Some artificial, very chemical scent, reminds of the smell of Dove, but since it’s all produced by Unilever,F that’s not very surprising. The shampoo and conditioner both smell the same. I am sure other products from this brand smell the same, kind of like Garnier’s Fructis. I am not a huge fan of the smell, it’s not as strong when you put it in your hair though.

Look: Unfortunately I am so out of these products, I couldn’t even get anything out of the bottles to show you, but shampoo and conditioner both look pretty much the same, there is obvious shimmer added to the first one, and the conditioner just has a thicker texture.

Feel: The shampoo is pretty nice, lathers up well, gets coconut oil out of my hair in one wash (I put coconut oil in my hair in the mornings when I run on the treadmill, just as a conditioner) which is definitely a plus. Conditioner doesn’t really do it for my ends, if anything, it made them even drier. So I am not overly excited about that.

Overall I wasn’t necessarily impressed with this combo, it was nice to get the smaller sample sizes of it for free, to see how I would like them, and well, the truth is – I am going to stick to my organic, SLS free products, because they don’t dry and frizz out my hair, have a proper list of ingredients, no harsh chemical scents, and are eco friendly.

Have you tried any of the Clear products? If so, please share your opinion :)

xo,

Zhenya