Archives for September 2012

This week, that week, what week?

I have been taking my lunch breaks in Mill Ruins Park:


Looking at the world from a different perspective:


Sharing my orange with a bee:


Met up with my friend Amy, I haven’t seen her since 2007!


Finally finishing my 3 week long lipstick testing for L’Oreal, and getting my reimbursement! YAY!


I’ve also been working on a lot of DIY’s here, so be patient with me! Also, some exciting news and announcements coming to my blog, hopefully on Monday!

Have a fab weekend!



Thrifting for Treasure: Suburban Edition

Dear everyone,
I think I’d better start writing all of my posts over the weekend and scheduling them to be published during the week, because it was so hard to put down my October issue of Vogue, but my passion for thrifting took over and today I’m sharing yet some more of my awesome finds!
Last Thursday I had an awesome opportunity to go thrifting after corporate orientation for my new job. So I hit up the Minnetonka Goodwill on Wayzata Boulevard and Clothes Mentor, located less than half a mile from the first location!
And here is what I found:
A pair of Cabin Creek shoes for $4.99, leather upper too πŸ™‚ I love the basket style weaving, and the sole looks barely worn! These shoes were made in Brazil, I remember finding a pair of vintage shoes last year that were made in the same country, so I am starting to wonder about Brazil here πŸ™‚

Next I found this cardigan type of sweater ( I gotta find out what exactly those are called, since this doesn’t have buttons or pockets πŸ™‚ )

And this was $5.99!
I also scored this amazing velvet blazer from The Limited for $6.99. I’m not exactly sure whether I want to keep the tassels on the front, so far they aren’t bothering me, so I’ll let them live! The necklace came from Clothes Mentor, and cost me only $10, keep in mind that this is 4 strands of pink quartz with a Ralph Lauren tag on it πŸ™‚

My most expensive purchase of the day was this Levi’s leather jacket, I got it at Clothes Mentor for $32, it was originally $40, but I had a 20% off coupon! I was specifically looking for a leather jacket, and I knew that I was probably gonna have to splurge. Do you think that’s too much for such a purchase or not enough πŸ™‚ ?

Now I have a funny story about this next piece, and you’ve already heard it if you are my Facebook friend. This is a $6.99 Pure hand knit sweater. So I wore it to work on Friday, and during my lunch break, while walking to see my former coworkers at Macy’s I found 2 Xanax pills in the right pocket πŸ™‚

And last, but not least is this vintage Monsoon sweater! That was $5.99 too, I believe πŸ™‚

So now here is the big question: what were your most and least favorite pieces? I’m so looking forward to your comments!

Being Zhenya Updates. AGAIN

I know, you are all probably tired of my updates, but so many things have been going on in my life, that I can’t help, but share πŸ™‚

After my very unfortunate incident with a manager from Sanctuary Salon Spa in Minneapolis, I was thrown into the pool of “I have to find a new hairstylist” people. See, I am not really a person who jumps from chair to chair. I like to find a good stylist and stick to them. Fortunately for me one of my friends recommended Ray, and needless to say – he was amazing! He works at Studio 54 which is right on Nicolette and 54th street! So if you are looking for a good stylist – definitely check him out!

Here is what my hair looks like now:

About a week and a half ago we went to Kielbasa Festival at Kramarczuk’s in North East Minneapolis. It’s right across the river next to St. Anthony Main.


I really wanted to see Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapels. We did get to see the show, but unfortunately they ran out of the signature beer mugs. Hopefully I’ll be able to score one in a local thrift store or something πŸ™‚


And an awesome picture of us with a Matryoshka doll:





As some of you already know, I quit my Macy’s job, I don’t work at Clinique anymore. I am now a toddler teacher at the New Horizon Academy. I survived my first week at my new job, and to be honest this week is kind of easier, at least Monday went pretty well, and that’s like 50% of the week, right? πŸ™‚

We also said good-bye to our MINI, a car that was in Sam’s family for the past 10 years. We traded it in for a Toyota Yaris, which is an automatic, while the MINI was a manual, and I can actually drive the new car! In fact, I am now the main driver in the family πŸ™‚ How exciting!


As one of my girlfriends referred to it – it’s a lipstick color car πŸ™‚



I have also discovered a new hang out spot for my lunch breaks – DUNN Brother’s on the corner of 2nd and 3rd, near the Stone Arch Bridge. So if you want to stop by and say hi – I am usually there around 1.30 pm, reading my book πŸ™‚

The sunsets have been gorgeous lately, I wish I could post a hundred pictures of each one, but we’ll keep it simple:


I know I haven’t blogged a whole lot lately, new job, transitioning from retail back to childcare and all that, but I am hoping to jump back on the regular blogging train, so that I can entertain you with more and more exciting stories and DIYs from Minneapolis.

Lots of love,



Tuna Soup

I am going through my soup stage. Plus it’s one of those dishes, that will last a while. I never freeze my soups though, I know some people do, but I prefer to just finish it during the week.

Today I was super excited to try making Tuna Soup, like my grandma used to, when I was little.

Here is the recipe:

1 Onion

3 carrots

4 potatoes

2 cans of tuna (I used one in water, I believe you can also get one in oil, but I would recommend tuna in water for this recipe)

salt, pepper, dill or parsley (if you are into that stuff πŸ˜‰ )

You are going to start up by dicing the potatoes and boiling them in about 2 liters of water. Please don’t hate me for going all metric on you. If you are like me, you’ll wing it πŸ™‚


Now you want to fully cook the potatoes, so give them about 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, prepare the carrots and the onions:


I used butter to sautΓ© the vegetables, but if you want to, you can use oil πŸ™‚


You are going to add the veggies and the tuna to the potatoes, once those are thoroughly cooked,

then let it cook for 10 more minutes or so, add salt, pepper, some dill, parsley if you want to, and you are done!



Enjoy the yumminess! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!




Sorrel Soup

The what? The who? And where did I get it? First of all, here is what sorrel looks like:


It’s nice and sour, I remember eating it as a child, it’s amazing with sugar! Stumbling across sorrel while walking in the forest was considered the best of luck, but that was back when I was 7, of course. I don’t know if it grows in the wild here, but in Russia it did πŸ™‚

Fortunately for me, my mother-in-law is growing some sorrel in her garden. And fortunately for you, I am going to share one of the best recipes of my childhood with you today!

1. You are going to start by making a broth (unless you are using a pre-made broth), I always make chicken broth, because I always seem to have chicken in my freezer. I really hope you know how to make chicken broth, but just in case you don’t, here is how:

– bring 1.5 lb of chicken in 64 oz of water to a boil, removing the foam from the surface;

– add 1 diced onion, and 1 graded carrot, boil for 45 minutes;

– add salt, pepper and bay leaf, boil for another 15 minutes;

– take out the chicken, cut it into small pieces, get rid of the bone (if you were using chicken on the bone), rid of the onion and carrot, toss those,

And your broth is done!

2. Wash and cut sorrel, make sure to get rid of the stems, unless you really want those in your soup ;).

3. Peel and slice 5 potatoes, dice another onion and grade one more carrot.

4. Sautee the onion and the carrot.

5. Bring broth to a boil, add the potatoes, and cook for 15-20 minutes.

6. Add onions and carrots, cook for 5 more minutes.

7. Add sorrel and cook for 2 more minutes.

8. Finally add the chicken, salt and pepper.

This soup is meant to be served with sour cream and half a boiled egg πŸ™‚



I hope you try this recipe, fall is here, and hot soup is one of my favorite foods of the season πŸ™‚



PS. I’ll have an update post tomorrow, just to share what’s been going on in my life πŸ™‚


Thrifting for Jewelry – Once in a Blue Moon

I have this amazing friend (I am not going to mention any names today), who loves thrifting and consignment shopping as much as I do! Another thing great about her is that she is extremely good when it comes to finding gems in the dirt, literally. A lot of times we don’t see anything special at the jewelry stand when we go thrifting, but she is extremely thorough and always finds something special. But once in a blue moon (well, actually more often than that) she scores! And scores big! Today when she came over, she had an awesome story to tell!

Last week as she was driving home, she got an urge to stop by one of her favorite consignment store locations (sorry, but I am not going to mention any stores either). And here is what she’s got:


Now all three of those necklaces came to $21. And I guess excitement and pure joy were written all over my friend’s face. When the cashier noticed that, she obviously asked – Find anything good today? – to which my friend said – Oh, definitely. Now that caught the cashier’s attention and she then asked my friend how much it was all worth. To which my friend replied – Ring me up first, please! Then I’ll tell you! The cashier thought it was all a joke, so when after everything was paid for my friend said that it would’ve cost around $500 on eBay, the face of the cashier definitely dropped!

So let’s break it down, compare and talk semi-precious stones:

1. The first necklace from the left – a sterling silver tube that is magnetically attached to the pendant. You can actually remove the pendant and just wear the necklace. My friend paid $7 for it, it costs $89.95 on eBay:


It’s a Joseph Esposito necklace, you can now find some of his jewelry on QVC.

2. The blue necklace is sterling silver and sodalite. Again, it was only $7, and here we have two off of eBay, one for $44.50 and one for $259


3. And finally prehnite and sterling silver necklace, which again was $7, can be also found on eBay for $220 and $309.99


I had to share this with you today, not because I want to brag about my friend’s finds, but because I want to help you all out there find something special and unique at a thrift store, and be proud of it! I also have nothing to do with the eBay sellers mentioned above, those links are just examples of prices available on the Internet.

Now the most important part – how do you know it’s a stone, and more over, how do you know it’s a semi-precious one?

1. Well, first of all a stone is always going to be heavier than plastic, it’s a given.

2. Second, if you put it against your skin (cheek or temple, ideally) you’ll feel the cold. Plastic warms up against your skin.

How do you tell what kind of stone it is? Here is when you are going to have to learn, there are tons of books on gemology, a lot of times they are bright and colorful and will make a great addition to your coffee table!

I hope this was an inspiring and useful post for you all, and remember thrifting is always a treasure hunt!



Small things in life

Hubs and I still don’t know if we are going to move to a new apartment. To be 100% honest, I am too lazy to move, pack, unpack, etc. I will go look at other apartments though…

I still haven’t planted the basil my manager brought me like a month ago! It’s been doing well though. Sometimes I want to find a tin, go get some dirt from the outside and just stick it in there. But then it’s not going to look pretty. So I am going to wait, get a nice plant pot for it, then go get some dirt from the outside, stick the basil in there and hope to make some pesto in the next month or so!


Another thing that I need to figure out is a new hairstylist. I’m sure you remember how excited I was to find Brooke, who did my hair at Sanctuary Salon Spa here in downtown – it was cheap and close to both work and home. Well, unfortunately I had to end this relationship, because the manager was extremely rude to me, accused me of not leaving a tip (which I did), and yes, that’s the end of story… So if you know a good hairstylist in Minneapolis, I am looking for one to do this to my hair:


I will admit, I’ve been kind of burnt out lately, finding excuses not to do my DIY projects, like sleep. I haven’t been working out either, though it is getting a lot nicer and cooler outside, so maybe I’ll start doing that. I know we all go through stages when we are too lazy to do anything. I honestly just want to sit on my couch, and watch hubs play video games :/ I always get more motivated though if I admit something publicly, or through social networks. So hopefully tomorrow I’ll be on that carpet doing sit ups and leg lifts! And working on a fun DIY later on! I even made Sam take me to Michael’s on Sunday just for that!

I hope you are all doing better than me, because being Zhenya isn’t that fun today!



PS. Have you self-actualized yet?

Zhenya’s News and Random Observations

Last week I saw Wayne WildersonΒ at Macy’s, and even though no one believed me, I tweeted him and what do you know? That was him πŸ™‚ Made my Saturday!


Fall crept up on me, like something that creeps up on you, anyways, when did it become fall? I seriously thought I had till September 20…


But the sunsets are becoming a pretty pink and purple:


I also scored some shoes at Marshall’s yesterday, both pairs only cost me $12.50 πŸ™‚ That’s what I call a “better than a thrift store deal”


I am going to be one tall Russian in these πŸ™‚

Also, here is what I have been obsessively listening to these past few days:

I am having a frustrating day today, and it’s not even 8.30 am. Please send me some positive energy everyone, sorry I am being such a sucker, but families are hard :/