1.5 oz of Hydroxatone Anti-Aging BB Cream

2013-08-18 12.20.43

Hello and welcome to the Beauty Week on Being Zhenya! Today I am going review a BB cream by Hydroxatone (#BetterBB), which arrived in my mail box a couple of weeks ago! See, I’ve recently joined iFabbo and this was one of the first products I “bought”!

2013-08-18 12.04.54

I don’t think you know, but I’m the biggest BB Cream fanatic out there! I don’t use foundations anymore. There is no point, especially during the summer when it’s so hot and I’m outside a lot whether for work, gardening or sailing!

So let’s talk this BB!

The manufacturer claims that it:

– Shields the skin with powerful broad spectrum SPF 40,

– Protects from the elements and oxidative stress with potent antioxidants,

– Soothes and nourishes with natural anti-irritants and vitamins,

– Evens out skin tone and brightens dullness and discoloration with active Vitamin C and advanced encapsulated peptide,

– Reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and overall skin aging, as it firms and lifts, making skin instantly look flawless and more youthful!

And here is what I have to say: 

First of all it came in a bigger size than what the website said! More product for me said I and put it right on my dresser!
Second, the SPF factor in this BB is 40! How awesome is that? We need all the sun protection we can get these days, especially me, since I am in my late 20’s.
Third, the tone matched my skin perfectly (I got Medium shade), but it did go on quiet thick and the color was lighter than after I blended it in!

2013-08-18 12.05.10

2013-08-18 12.05.32

2013-08-18 12.06.39
Fourth, the retail value of this was almost $50, and I got it free, nothing beats that, does it?
Fifth, it is lightly scented, and I know to some of you that may be a downside, but I actually like it!
Now let’s talk application:
In spite of the fact that it’s a cream, I always wear a moisturizer underneath. I spread my BB with fingertips and use a powder finish on top. Plus add blush. I haven’t been using bronzer as much this summer, because I’ve been getting so tan.

Stay tuned for my Go-to Summer (hot weather) Make-up Tutorial later this week!

Have a great Sunday!

Xx,

Z

Where God Guides…

Here is someone I want you to meet. And no it’s not another Etsy maven, or a fashionista from down the street, they are my friends Christiana and Phil Brande, and their Baby B (who is yet to B born 🙂 get it? )

935795_10151516772052893_1080586323_n

They are 9 short days away from departing the US and heading over to Prague, to teach at the Christian School there. See, they are raising money for their trip, and believe that God will provide, because they are following his calling!

994533_10151468615766916_1143401223_n

They are beautiful people who spent over 10 years living and spreading God’s word and love in Russia (my home country), that’s where Christiana and I met, when I was 14 or 15. I was a part of the group from the Wesleyan church that went to a camp for orphans organized by a team from the States. And she has an absolutely calming peaceful presence, but radiates happiness at the same time! And after talking to them today, I felt so inspired and encouraged, and once again amazed by how Great our God is! And how big our small world is!

I don’t know when I am going to see them again, but I will definitely be following their blog and you should to! And if God puts it on your heart to donate to their ministry then bless your heart!

Xx,

Z

Samsung Galaxy Camera Review through the Eyes of a Fashion Blogger

Walker 2

Disclaimer: I am participating in a Verizon Wireless blogger program, and received the device and 6 months of service for free, in exchange for my honest opinion. For more information, please click on the Verizon Voices Icon!

4a623-verizonstylevoices

 

After having this camera for 3 months, I am finally ready to do a review! Let me just get one thing off my chest! I am more than grateful to Verizon for providing me with a camera! When the campaign started all we knew was that we were getting devices, but what kind? It was a mystery! Haven’t had a camera in my arsenal for over 3 years now, I kept bugging my husband to get me one. And his answer always was – use your iPhone, your iPhone has a camera, etc. But it’s so so important to a blogger to have a camera, that is just a camera, or so I thought!

When I got the hands on the Galaxy, I really didn’t expect it to do everything that it does! Yes, they make cameras these days that can do way way more than take pictures. This camera does everything but make phone calls! All thanks to the Android operating system, and the Verizon 4G LTE sim card that is included!

The android operating system and the number of apps to choose from are a definite plus. The camera is a touch screen and is very easy to operate, even for me, a devout Apple user!

A pleasant surprise was when I connected my camera to Dropbox and received another 50 GB of upload space! Dropbox is the number one method of how I upload the pictures onto my Mac. I hate the whole cord tangling/untangling, finding the cord, putting it back into the designated place, etc. So this camera makes it that much easier!

Of course I immediately wanted to purchase a tripod, fortunately my in-laws had a travel version that works really well and helps me take photos and videos when my husband is not around!

I have been carrying this camera everywhere with me: work, out on the town, even on the boat while sailing! It’s very compact and fits not only in my purses and bags, but also into my jean jacket pocket! And that’s a plus!

The battery life is definitely worth it, and the camera goes into energy saving mode when not in use, and automatically shuts off after a while!

It also talks to you! And let me tell you, there is nothing creepier than “ONE NEW EMAIL” said in a shrill female voice! It did take me a while to get used to, and I don’t think I still am 😉

There is also quiet a number of smart settings, that allow you to take different pictures in different settings. One of my ultimate favorites is the action shot! It is that great!

2013-06-09 18.07.36-1

 

I know that at the end of the day this camera won’t be the same as DSLR, but it’s better than nothing, and if you are a social media junkie like me, you will love the instant ability to upload to any site, as long as there is an app for that! Right, Nokia Lumia?

Xx,

Zhenya

 

One Lovely SPAM Award ;)

I am really not big into giving blog awards, it reminds me of the whole chain letter system, back when we were little, we used to do it all the time. I guess nowadays we can simply call it SPAM 😉

one-love-blog-award

But when Thirteenth and Hudson nominated me (thank you ladies!), I thought – why not? It’s a great opportunity to share more facts about me, so you can learn more about me, the person behind this blog!

So, the rules for the award are as follows…

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Add the “One Lovely Blog” image to your post
  • Share 7 things about you
  • Pass the award to 7 nominees
  • Inform the nominees chosen by posting on their blog

So here are a few things about me…

One – I love thrifting and freecycling for clothes! I will go to weird places to find clothes, but always end up with amazing finds!

Two – Even though I lived in Russia for a long long time, I feel really distant from the Russian community in the US, and I feel like my mentality is more American than Russian.

Three – I have pooped my pants once! The day before my Appendix surgery! That’s a legit reason, right?

Four – Sam and I met at church camp in 2006, I was his counselor! The no purpling rule didn’t apply to us! Needless to say I almost got fired from the same camp in 2007 because of him!

Five – I love my job at daycare, but I would love to work in Social Media or be a full time blogger one day, or…. as you can see I haven’t decided yet!

Six – I really want to be on TV! Hopefully soon 🙂 I was on TV in Russia with my mom when she got a makeover on the What Not To Wear show back in 2006

Seven – I never thought I’ll be in my 20’s and own a house, and be married, and have this amazing life in the US! I am a very happy person, I love waking up in the morning, I love going to work, I love life and I am very very grateful for it! And even though I have been staying away from all shapes and forms of organized religion, I am thankful to God for every second of my life!

Now I would like to nominate these lovelies:

Kate from Clear the Way – she is quirky and fun, and I think her and I would be friends in real life!

Nensi and Natasha from FreeUrCloset – they do a lot of personal style, DIY and plenty of lifestyle posts!

Naturally Stellar – she is a beauty/fashion/style guru! You ask her she’ll probably give you the answer off the top of her head!

Jennifer from Just one Chick

Loren from Lo’s Stylebook 

Nadine from Sage Atelier 

Roselinde of Roselinde

Alright, and here you have it!

Love you all ladies, keep spamming, I mean spreading blog love!

Xo,

Z

Art, Fashion and What in the World did I go to Chicago for?

2013-05-05 15.37.58

As you know I just got back from Chicago, but not all of you know what I was doing there!

You might have also noticed this badge on my sidebar:

So here goes:

I was contacted by Verizon Wireless to participate in their Fashion and Style Blogger program a couple weeks ago, and at first it seemed too good to be true! They offered to fly me to Chicago, pay for my hotel, take me out to SAIC Fashion show and a dinner at a hip restaurant, get a chance to meet other bloggers, and have fun!

And to top it all off I was also given a new device to play with.

Needless to say I agreed to come even before I asked for that day off at work 😉

The device turned out to be a Samsung Galaxy Camera that comes with 4G LTE, a touch screen, a 21x optical zoom and a whole bunch of other perks (which I am going to talk about in one of my later posts), plus you can upload photos and videos directly to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube), it’s packed with editing apps, which definitely saves a lot of time! The only thing that it can’t do is make calls. And the funny thing is, Sam and I were at Best Buy the weekend before looking at that exact camera! So now my camera dilemma is solved and my husband won’t have to listen to me whining. Though he will be definitely taking more pictures for sure!

But I think I am going to stop talking now, and show you what the camera can do!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Style Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

At Marla Mullaney Art Studio

2013-05-05 15.07.01 (1)

 

2013-05-05 15.04.01

2013-05-05 15.01.46

On Lake Minnetonka

2013-05-05 15.12.41

2013-05-05 15.16.15

2013-05-05 15.19.11-2

2013-05-05 15.34.17

2013-05-05 15.38.35

We also got some ice cream at licks unlimited…

2013-05-05 15.41.31

And I spotted this ceramic sewing machine figurine at one of the other artists’ studios! Isn’t it the cutest?

2013-05-05 16.14.39

I am WEARING:

//White Denim Jacket – GAP//Boots – Steve Madden//Purse – COACH//

//Dress – The Webster Miami at Target//Sunnies – Lucky Weekender//

Hope you all had an amazing weekend,

Xo,

Z

$$$ It’s all about the money, or is it? $$$

money-saving-idea1-600x300

Today’s post is probably not going to be something you usually see on my blog! I am sure by now some of you have the impression that I am a girl who spends all of her paychecks thrifting! And I can see where this can come from! I’ve been posting a lot of hauls and outfits lately! Let’s be honest, I do sometimes get carried away at a thrift store, and I need to watch my budget, but most of the time it really is not that much compared to a grand scheme of things, or let’s say a recent study by InStyle magazine that says – An average woman spends about $15,000 on makeup during her lifetime, and that’s not including skincare!

Before Sam and I got married, I lived on the East Coast nannying for some families. I wasn’t making a lot of money, in fact I was barely making anything (I never thought of myself or my family as rich or poor, I knew I had enough, and I think that attitude helped me a lot in life) through the Cultural Care Au Pair program, but I had my ways! When I moved to New York, I learned about Freecycle.org, and almost all of my clothes, books and health care products came from there! I also went to monthly swap meet ups organized by GrowNYC, where I would bring all the stuff I didn’t want, and go home with something I liked. Sam had a hard time believing I had all that clothes, without spending as much as a couple bucks on the subway ride, but I had my savings account to speak for me!

I was an Au Pair for 2 years, making under $200 a week, this is the time when Sam and I were in a long distant relationship. So even though I didn’t get to see him that often, I spent a lot of money flying to Minnesota almost every other month! But by the time we got engaged I had saved up over $12,000. Then I went to Russia for 10 months, where I was able to work from home and add on to the savings.

Now that we are looking into buying our first house, having saved enough for a downpayment, I reflect on where I came from and can’t express how thankful I am for everything I’ve been given!

I was born in a small town 3 hours east of Moscow. My mother was a civil engineer, my dad was a college drop out. My grandfather was a retired military man, a former KGB agent as I discovered later in life, my grandmother was a pediatrician, and if you ask me, the biggest workaholic I’ve ever known! We never had much! When I was in 6th or 7th grade I wore the same pair of jeans, the same turtleneck and the same sweater my mother knitted for me to school every day! And I couldn’t care less, until one of my friends, who was a year older than me came up and asked why I was wearing the same clothes everyday. To this point I am still grateful for that comment! This is when thrifting and hand-made clothing came into my life! My mom went above and beyond herself knitting and sewing outfits for me! Going to fabric stores was exciting! Going to thrift stores was an adventure!

By the time I was in 9th grade I was getting constant compliments on my outfits from peers and even teachers, even though I had the same pair of jeans as one of the guys in class! But that’s when unisex was in, so I didn’t care! I also never said no to hand-me-downs, and even though I didn’t have older siblings, I had plenty of friends and knew enough Missionaries who always left clothes behind!

College came around, and I made sure I got good grades to get a monthly stipend through the University. Yes, I got paid to go to school! This is probably going to fall into the “Only in Russia…” category. This was also the time when more and more thrift stores popped up all over our town, and they often had great sales, that I couldn’t resist!

Thrifting is what helped me continually save up money for my trips to Europe and the States, and now that I live here, it’s becoming my meal ticket! Finding a great thrift store takes time, so today I am going to share some of my favorite locations here in the Twin Cities, and the best times to shop there!

Salvation Army in the Warehouse district900 N 4th St, Minneapolis, MN  – every day is a 50% off a certain color, so stop by often! Plus they offer 50% off clothing during most major holidays! I am not even going to mention the Target overstock located in the basement – you have to see it for yourselves!

Steeple People on Lyndale and Franklin – 2004 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN – I blogged about it before, and I will do it again – they have great vintage selection, beautiful artwork and prints, great household section, etc., etc. The only downside is – they only take cash or check!

Goodwill in Hopkins1025 Hill St, Hopkins, MN – This was my go-to Goodwill when I used to babysit for a family in St.Louis Park! And I always referred to it as the Hopkins Goodwill, or Goodwill on Excelsior Blvd. Now why this particular Goodwill? – It’s cheaper, it has more vintage and authentic items, it’s been good to me! Generous if you want to put it this way! I can always find something that I like there! Now why am I not mentioning the Goodwill in Minnetonka, or Goodwill in Roseville, you may ask? The Minnetonka Goodwill will always be famous in my book for the Xanax pills I found in a pocket of one of the sweaters bought there! And Goodwill in Roseville is too good for me to be sharing it with you, but now I did, and now you know!

Savers – I am yet to find a Savers that I don’t like! Seriously, they need a Savers in every state and county! They never overprice vintage items, and the only pieces of clothing that can be pricey are the brand new ones, with original tags still attached. And don’t forget to sign up for a Super Savers Club Card, they will send you emails with special promotions and coupons!

So here you have it, the story of my life that revolves around thrifting! And I couldn’t be happier! After all, it’s not all about the money!

Happy Thursday everyone! And don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for a DIY friday fashion and style project and an important BeingZhenya announcement!

XO,

Z

PS. Please keep in mind that my husband and I don’t have any student loans to pay off, our monthly expenses are limited down to rent, groceries, gas and car payments, plus the occasional going out and thrifting shopping sprees!

In the next post on money related subject, we’ll talk about freebies and the best websites where you can get them!

 

OOTD and Savers VIP event

72170_10152803104310604_1674894003_n

Suede A.N.A. boots – $10 – Goodwill

x2 Denim Jeans – $8 – Savers

Chico’s top – $4 – Savers

Cardigan – $3 – Savers

Happy Earth Day everyone! What better way to take care of our planet than reuse?! And today I will be sharing one of my 100% thrifted outfits!

I hope you all had a great weekend wherever you are! I shared with my Facebook followers that I have some very exciting news for you! And I will share the first one today! I was invited to the Opening of the new Savers here in the Twin Cities, and I couldn’t be more excited! I get to go in the store 2 days before it actually opens to the public, snap some pictures for you and of course thrift shop! Now I will be shopping for another special even, that I am going to keep SECRET for just a few more days, but it’s even more exciting and I can barely hold it 🙂

I hope you enjoyed the outfit, and happy Monday!

Take it easy,

Z

PS. The new Savers is located at 50 Coon Rapids Blvd NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
 and will be opened to the public this coming Thursday, April 25

Cleaning up and cleaning out

2013-03-13 21.19.32

After venting out yesterday and receiving a TON of feedback, all of which I truly appreciate, I came up with this note, that I posted by the door:

letter to self

 

I wanted to make it simple, easy and short. I didn’t simply write – get off of your lazy butt and do something, I went deeper into the issue, and ended up with this! I also cleaned! And here are the shots:

2013-03-13 21.10.53

 

The dining table, where you can actually eat now, and that’s what Sam and I did tonight! Plus all the chairs are clutter free and you can sit down! How awesome is that? I have also decided to keep my sewing machine on the floor. I don’t have a good spot for it just yet.

2013-03-13 21.11.06

 

Wow, look at this nice carpet! I also vacuumed! And here is something that’s been working for me, when in doubt – vacuum! Seriously, it works!

2013-03-13 21.17.04

 

And here are the two bags going to donations! I actually did it, I got rid of two giant bags of stuff!

And here you have it, all in a nutshell! After all, this is a 600 sq ft apartment! How difficult is it to keep it clean?

Take it easy and take charge!

Z

HELP! Early stages of hoarding?

I think I have a problem!

Seriously! Look at these pictures:

2013-03-12 15.54.38

 

– Earth to dining room table…

2013-03-12 15.54.44

– Husband’s desk

2013-03-12 15.54.51

– Our living room carpet looks like this 6 days out of the week…

2013-03-12 15.54.57

– Console table…

2013-03-12 15.55.09

– Crafts central

2013-03-12 15.55.18

– Random piles of stuff all over the bedroom floor

2013-03-12 15.55.21

– Closet space

And I know exactly what it is – I am lazy, I don’t like to clean, I don’t like to pick up, for some reason I want to save every scrap of paper, every ribbon, every magazine.

I keep telling myself that once we move into a house, it’ll get better, but who am I kidding – it won’t.

But nothing motivates me, I guess I am just a slob. And it’s the availability and accessibility of products here. I can go to a store, spend some money, get more stuff, but it won’t solve the clutter solution!

I have recently started an Etsy store, and one of the main reasons was to downsize my vintage collection. And yes, I have made some sales, but what’s 1-2 purses compared to a walk-in closet full of supplies, patterns, coats?

Yes, let’s talk about coats. I have an obsession with coats, I think I have about 10 of them! That’s the problem thrifters have – you walk into Savers or Goodwill and see an awesome coat say for $30, and of course you want to pick it up, because in your head you are already putting together outfits, and creating InstaCollages! And at this point you don’t realize that you have another dozen coats waiting to be worn, photographed, pinned, instagrammed, facebooked, etc.

Maybe I just need to vent, but I also function better, when more people know about my issue. I don’t need anyone to hold me accountable, I need to publicly tell everyone that modern day social networks are giving me an ADD, and that my real life is starting to go god knows where!

It’s a 1 bedroom apartment for crying out loud, how difficult could it be to clean?

So here you have it, I fessed up, and am now going to go and vigorously clean the apartment, making several trips to the dumpster!

Have a great day everyone,

Z

2013 Resolutions / Новогодние Решения

Happy New Year!

Vintage-New-Years-Postcards
We survived 2012! Can you believe it? With all the crazy Mayan predictions, elections, wars, floods, The New iPad, iPad Mini…

Back when I was in 10th grade I made a list of resolutions that included something like “Getting no C’s on my report card”, “Reading more books”, “Going to the US”… I clearly new what I wanted even in my teens, and I was so compelled by the whole “Resolutions” concept, that I decided to sign it with blood! Thank God I didn’t get an infection, but I am sure the list itself is buried somewhere in the depths of my closet in Russia! And that small blood stain is probably still on it! Gross, I know!

Now with mushroom soup cooking on the stove, I thought it would be appropriate to share my resolutions with you! And even though those are blog related, they can always be translated into everyday life.

1. Stay Focused: It’s so easy to get distracted nowadays, and the biggest distractions on my list are my phone and social media. I am going to try and limit myself from using those. I even get distracted when I blog. I can be half-way through a post, then get side tracked by Twitter, then check my stats on my Facebook page, and well what do you know, it’s been an hour, and the original post isn’t finished yet!

2. Quality over quantity: Over the past couple of years that I’ve been blogging, I’ve been trying to be a part of “Post a Day” that WordPress challenges it’s writers to do. Well, I think I am done with that now! I’d rather give you one or two great posts a week, with good quality pictures and descriptions, than post 7 times a week about some nonsense that no one is interested in, including myself!

3. Give more: This year I want to share and give. Giving chances, giving gifts, giving a hand… I have been thinking about how blessed I am a lot lately. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it, and I, by no means, want to jinx it, but I have a lot, and the more I have, the more I want to give. That will include more giveaways for you, more opportunities for you, just more for everyone else, who is not me!

4. Be Bilingual: I really want to work on making this blog a place where you can come and learn something new in Russian, or in English, or something new in general. I got to put all that Russian I know to good use! And maybe it won’t be a word for word translation, it will be something! Something bigger and better for the blog I hope!

And there you have it! Happy New Year! What resolutions are you making this year?

Cheers!

Z

RussianPostcard

С Новым Годом! 

Мы выжили 2012 год! Даже не верится! Со всеми этими предсказаниями Майя, выборами, войнами, потопами, Новым iPad, iPad Mini…

Когда я училась в 10 классе, я составила список “Резолюций” в который входило следующее: Закончит 10 класс без Троек, Читать больше книг, Поехать в США… В общем даже в свои 15 лет я знала, чего хочу! И из-за такого большого ажиатажа и торжественности всех этих обещаний я решила, что подписать этот список нужно именно кровью! Слава Богу я не заработала себе никакого заражения! Ну и я уверенна, что этот список до сих пор валяется в глубинах моего шкафа, где-то в России! Ну и кровавое пятно скорее всего еще на нем! Фу! Гадость!

Ну а теперь, пока готовится на плите грибной суп, я подумала, почему бы не поделиться с вами моими резолюциями на этот год! И не смотря на то, что большинство из них касаются этого блога, мы всегда сможем перенести некотрые из них на нашу личную жизнь.

  1. Не отвлекайся: В сегодняшнем мире очень легко сбиться с курса, и больше всего меня сбивают мой телефон и социальные сети. Я постараюсь ограничить их использование. Я отвлекаюсь даже когда пишу в этот блог. Могу написать половину поста, вдруг отвлечься на Твиттер, потом решу проверить статус своей страницы на Фэйсбуке, и О,нет! прошел уже час, а пост так и не дописан!
  2. Качество, а  не количество: За последние пару лет, что я пишу блог на этой платформе, я старалась писать 1 пост в день! У WordPress есть такое понятие как “Один пост в день”, это что-то типа тэга и многие этим увлекаются. Я поняла, что пора с этим завязывать! Лучше я напишу 1-2 хороших поста в неделю, с отличными фотографиями и описанием, чем буду писать о всякой ерунде, о которой никто не захочет читать!
  3. Отдавать: В этом году я хочу делиться и отдавать. Давать шансы, дарить подарки, помогать. В последнее время я все чаще думаю о том, какая чудесная у меня жизнь. Не знаю чем я это заслужила, и не хочу ничего сглазить, но у меня есть очень многое, и чем больше я получаю, тем больше хочу отдавать! Это подразумевает больше конкурсов для вас, больше возможностей, просто больше для других, а не для себя!
  4. На двух языках: Я хочу, чтобы этот блог стал маленьким кусочком Интернета, куда вы можете обратиться, чтобы узнать/выучить что-то новое по-русски или по-английски.Не зря же я знаю русский язык! И скорее всего посты не будут слово в слово одинаковыми на двух языках, лучше так, чем никак вообще! Это будет что-то большее и лучшее для моего блога!

 

Ну вот и все! Поздравляю всех еще раз с 2013 годом! Какие резолюции сделали вы?

 

Ж