2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 160,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas Tag!

I was tagged to do this Christmas tag by Luchessa! Thank you, dear, for tagging me! Here we go:

1. Which  Holiday do you celebrate? Christmas, and then Russian Christmas (January 7th!), just because one Christmas is never enough! There was also a time in my life when I celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas!

2. What are you doing for the holidays this year? Going to Wisconsin! Enough said!

3. What’s your favorite holiday drink? Anything caffeinated with peppermint in it, preferably from Starbucks 😉


4. Candy Cane or Gingerbread men? I was going to say neither, but definitely Gingerbread men as I think more about the question. They are easier to chew 🙂

5. What’s your favorite Holiday/Christmas song? At work – All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth!

But the one that really get’s me in the spirit of Christmas is – Oh Come all Ye Faithful

6. What’s the weirdest gift you’ve ever received? Someone once gave Sam and me a Christmas ornament that said “Our First Christmas 2010”, we got married in 2011, and the people who gave it to us came to our wedding! So I think it was a re-gift.



7. Have you ever made a snowman? Yes, many times! I think growing up in Russia it’s a winter MUST! I also made a miniature one last year for a girl I used to babysit!

8. What is your favorite winter fragrance? Definitely Miss Dior


9. What is at the top of your list this Christmas? Sewing books I posted about a couple days ago!

10. What is most important to you about holidays? Spending DRAMA-FREE time with my family!

I am going to tag all of you my lovely readers to answer all of the questions, and I’d really like to tag the following bloggers:








And once again, please feel free to do the tag and link your post in the comments below!

Happy “End of the World” Friday!








Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup: Color Stories

My post “Coat Obsessed” was featured on IFB (Independent Fashion Bloggers) Links a la Mode roundup, below are the links to everyone else’s blog who got featured this week! Don’t be a stranger, say hi 🙂

Color Stories

Edited By: Taylor Davies

Aubergine. Oceanic blue. Wedding White. For this week’s Links a la Mode round up, I focused on posts that drew inspiration or centered around color. Whether it was styling up a range of colorful pants or looking at the rise of black and white dressing, there were so many creative and cool blog posts centering on color. Take a look, get inspired and taste the rainbow!



Have a great day!


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!



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 🙂

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 🙂


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? 🙂

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 🙂 How exciting!


As one of my girlfriends referred to it – it’s a lipstick color car 🙂



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 🙂

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,



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?

What’s going on?

I quit my Beauty Advisor job at Macy’s to go be a toddler teacher. I couldn’t be more excited! Imagine working Monday through Friday, having weekends and holidays off. Oh, wait that’s how you all live and function out there. Anyways, I am one of you now! My husband couldn’t be more excited too!

We are also trying to decide whether to stay in our current apartment or move. After we saw the other available apartments in our building, my hopes went kind of down. We currently live in an apartment facing the highway, and I can’t sleep on top of the highway anymore, but we have a lot of sunlight throughout the day, the ceilings are high, and I have a ton of storage space. One of the apartments we saw yesterday was all carpeted, that immediately made me feel claustrophobic. The other one was nice, but the bedroom was facing the dumpster, there was no ceiling light in the living room, and no storage space. And they want $800 a month for those? UGH I am frustrated at the moment. So if you live in downtown Minneapolis and know of a great 1 Bedroom, let me know! Thanks!

I also decided to splurge and take advantage of my Macy’s discount for one last time, and get some stuff for myself (and tomorrow we are shopping for Sam). So I got some Origins!


I got Modern Friction and Clear Improvements, have already tried the first one, love it! The samples are of  VitaZing, which I own the full size of and LOVE! and Plantscription Anti-Aging serum! I also got this awesome Origins Mug, and you can decorate it the way you want to! That inside piece comes out and you can stick whatever you like in there 🙂 I tried Modern Friction last night and it’s amazing! The idea is kind of similar to Clinique’s 7 day scrub, but the ingredients are completely different, and so is the effect! Skin is more radiant and soft. Plus it’s not as harsh as Clinique’s scrub, and has a nice scent (as you know all Clinique products are unscented). Okay, you probably all think that I hate Clinique now, I don’t, it’s just there are things that work for some and don’t for others!

I think I will write more about why I decided to quit retail later this weekend, there are some things that I just want to share and get off my chest! One thing for sure – I’ll miss my awesome co-workers!

Have a fabulous day everyone and an awesome Labor Day Weekend!




Two Awards One Post

The Friday post is going to be all about giving back, or as we call it in the Blogger world – featuring. And I am going to do this through an amazing tool, called blog awards. I have received two over the past 3 weeks, and since I never found time to blog about the first award, by the time I got the second one, it was so overdue, well you get it…

Anyways the two awards that my blog got were the:

1. Sunshine Award

2. One Lovely Blog

How exciting is that? I really appreciate all of my blogger friends, and would love for you to go check out their blogs as well.

I was nominated for the first award by Konstantina, and this award comes with this super cute picture of a flower –

And the rules are the following:

° Include the Award’s logo in a post on your blog

° Answer 10 questions about yourself

° Nominate 10 other bloggers

° Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs letting them know they have been nominated

° Share the love and link the person who nominated you

1. My favorite color: Black

2. My favorite animal : Bunnies and Dogs

3. My favorite number : 8

4. My favorite drink : Wine, Frozen Margaritas, or tea

5. Facebook or twitter : both

6. My passion: DIY, thrifting, especially when it involves going to the Goodwill outlet!

7. Prefer giving or getting presents: Giving!

8. My favorite pattern: Houndstooth! Yes, I am obsessed!

9. My favorite day of the week: Saturday

10. My favorite flower : tulips, lavender, roses

And now on to the nominees, aka the blogs I love to read:

1. http://joliluja.wordpress.com

2. http://findingyourblessings.wordpress.com

3. http://frenchtippedwanderlust.wordpress.com

4. http://katespadegirl.wordpress.com

5. http://niftynotcool.com

6. http://denimeveryday.wordpress.com

7. http://acertainshadeofblack.wordpress.com

8. http://aprettypennyblog.com

9. http://charitychic.wordpress.com

10. http://beautyandthebestoftherest.com

And now on to the One Lovely blog award, which was passed on to me by Kristin from

http://bliss-athome.com/ Thank you so much Kristin, I really appreciate it!

The rules are as follows:

-Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.

-Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.

-Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.

-Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know and link back to them.

So the seven things about me that you probably don’t know (yeah that’s a hard one)

1. My Russian accent kicks in on certain words, like vodka, cookies, and some others, we constantly make fun of the way I say those words at work!

2. I love free stuff, and sometimes hoard fabrics, cosmetics, make up, etc. I’ll let you know if and when it’s going to get dangerous.

3. I think one of the best gifts you can give another person is a book, or gold!

4. I still have nightmares about Russia, going back, someone taking away my passport, and me not being able to come back to the States.

5. I secretly think Target is evil, but I shop there anyways.

6. I really don’t care that much for AC.

7. I love to watch my husband play video games!

I honestly hope these facts were good enough 🙂 Now on to the nominees in this category:

1. http://effortlesscool.wordpress.com/

2. Bargain Beauty http://estefanixo.wordpress.com

3. http://into-mind.com

4. http://householdartsandscience.wordpress.com

5. The Whimsy Papers http://kassiastclair.com

6. http://knittingisawesome.wordpress.com

7. http://anjouclothing.com

8. http://thewindowshopper.org

9. Cardis Parties and Bacardis http://cpandb.wordpress.com

10. http://sleepeatgymrepeat.com

11. http://kittenhood.wordpress.com

12. M&J Blog http://blog.mjtrim.com

13. http://threadtheneedlethrough.wordpress.com

14. http://buttonsandyarnohmy.wordpress.com

15. http://catchofmyday.com


Whew, now I can check this post off my list! To give you an idea of what’s coming up on my blog next week, here is an approximate list of posts, which are of course subject to change 😉

– outfit that i wore to my friends wedding and recap of the wedding itself,

– outfit with the cardigan I upcycled with lace applique last week

– DIY color block bag – part 2 – yes, I am planning on finishing that!

– a vintage skirt refashion

These are just a few, I can’t wait for next week, have a fabulous weekend everyone!



That’s Minneapolis for ya!

Apparently if you want to have a good time in Minneapolis, you call a travel agent:

Milk starts at 9 gallons at CVS!

And Calhoun Bike Rental knows just what to put between your legs!

 With all my love from Minneapolis,


Updates on Being Zhenya

I haven’t been a very good blogger this week, I know. It’s just I’ve been too busy, ended up working throughout the entire Memorial Day weekend, though Sam and I managed to make it to his parents’ for the most amazing grilled burgers I’ve ever had! Then today was my last day with Peanut (the little girl I babysat for the past 5 months). It always amazed me how fast kids grow, and I know that now that I won’t be seeing her every week, she’s going to be practically unrecognizable next time I see her (I am planning on seeing her sometime in the future, it’s not like I am moving out of state). So it’s been pretty busy/emotional/exhausting over the past few days. I came home today drained, maybe that’s why Sam and I ended up having pancakes for dinner.

Starting Monday I’ll be full-time in Clinique, that should be fun, I am excited for that. Plus I’ll have more time to do my crafts, and go back to sewing, crocheting and all the other fun stuff I used to do. So stay tuned for those posts.

Another important thing – if you are in the Twin Cities area you have to go to ALDI and get strawberries for $0.99! I am not kidding! I’ll never pay $2.50 at Target again! I got a whole bunch of blueberries for $1.49, some blackberries and mangos for $0.39 each! Talk about eating healthy and saving money!

I also have more product reviews coming up, like the one on my new favorite hairspray, and a shampoo/conditioner combo that was a pleasant surprise.

I hope you all had a good day,

I’m going to finish my peppermint tea and do some chores around here!



На этой неделе я реально была плохим блоггером, и я прекрасно это понимаю! Я была очень сильно занята, работала все праздники, но мы с мужем все-таки смогли вырваться в гости к родителям и я попробовала самый вкусный бургер, приготовленный на гриле, который я когда-либо ела! Сегодня был последний день у моей малявки (маленькой девочки, за которой я смотрела последние 5 месяцев). Меня всегда поражало как быстро растут дети, а теперь когда я не буду больше видеть ее каждую неделю, она вырастет до неузнаваемости (я планирую изредка ее навещать, не в другой же штат переезжаем) Поэтому последние несколько дней были сумасшедшие/выматывающие/чересчур эмоциональные. Я пришла домой настолько опустошенная, что на ужин приготовить смогла только блины!

Начиная с понедельника я перехожу на полную ставку в Клиник, чему очень рада. Плюс у меня появится намного больше времени на шитье, вязание крючком, и прочее рукоделие, которым я раньше занималась. Поэтому ждите, скоро будут посты из раздела – Своими Руками.
Теперь о важном! Если вы живете в районе Миннеаполиса/Сейнт Пола, то немедленно должны отправиться в магазин ALDI за клубникой, которая там стоит всего 99 центов! Это не шутки, и я больше никогда не буду платить за такое же количество ягод $2.50 в Таргете. Я также купила черники и еживики за $1.49 и манго по 39 центов каждое! В общем здоровое питание и экономия денег – два в одном!
Также в ближайшем будущем вас ожидают обзоры на продукты, например мой любимый лак для волос, и шампунь/кондиционер, которые меня приятно удивили.
Я надеюсь у всех был отличный день, а я пойду допью мятный чай и сделаю домашние дела.