TAG: My Weird Beauty Habits

Hey everyone, how are you? Out of all the possible posts that I can do today, I decided to do this one, and the fact that it’s 4 am and I am awake, speaks for itself! So please forgive me if this post gets a little bit weird, and my mind starts drifting away.

Alright, weird beauty habit number one: I usually wake up in the middle of the night, right around 3.30 am, like today and go get a drink of water, then of course I go check out my face in the mirror, because I want to see if the beauty sleep is working. Does it work when interrupted though? I guess not, anyways that’s when I put more moisturizer on my face, because I feel like my skin is too dry, and for good measure I put some moisturizer around my eyes too! This is what I currently use for my middle of the night beauty routine:

 

 

 

Weird beauty habit number two is more like a confession – I love samples, and small travel sizes of, well of everything! I have about 6 small containers in addition to full size products on my cabinet, some of it is Estee Lauder, some of it is Bobbi Brown, I don’t care what it is, as long as it’s coming in a cute packaging and preferably free πŸ™‚ I am also a sucker for shampoo and conditioner combos. I think I have enough to last me through the next three months without having to buy anything full size, which I am planning on doing. And just yesterday I sat down behind this exact computer, went on my favorite Sweet Free Stuff and got 3 more shampoo/conditioner combos mailed to me. I also love Aveda samples, that come in those cute little boxes – best thing ever! I think I’ll go get some of those tomorrow!

 

My weird beauty habit number three started at work one day, when I was complaining that my hair was too greasy and I needed to go get some dry shampoo. That’s when I was told that Beautiful body powder from Estee Lauder works just like that and even better. So that’s what I’ve been using ever since. Now if you ever come see me at work and notice pink powder on my clothes, know that it’s my wonderful hair emergency go to!

 

And this is what I use at home:

 

Which leads to weird beauty habit number four: I love freecycling beauty products. That’s where Wind Song Body powder in the picture above came from, it was also brand new, and if anyone wants to know it’s $25 on ebay, I just checked πŸ™‚ And yes freecycle is a hit or miss, but a lot of times it’s the latter. I got a huge box of body washes, lotions, etc. about a month ago. Love it, won’t need to buy a body wash or a body spray for the next two years now! Here is a tip though – always check for expiration date, and if there isn’t one – then smell it, if it smells funny, recycle it. I love recycling my old skin care/make up/beauty packages at the Origins counter, they have bins there, so check your local stores!

 

And my fifth and last weird beauty habit that I can think of for today is actually a weird beauty routine that I do when I work out! Here is what I do:

– Put apple cider vinegar mixed with water and lavender or rosemary essential oils on my hair roots, and scalp,

– then I put coconut oil on my ends, which of course means I am putting coconut oil all over my hair πŸ˜‰

– pull it all in a bun, go run 2 miles or so,

– all this while doing laundry!

Yup I am that good at multitasking πŸ™‚

(There is a very small workout room in our building right next to the laundry room, so I am kind of killing two birds with one stone, three depending on how you look at it πŸ™‚ )

 

Okay now that you’ve read this post, you’ve all been tagged, so write your own post like that, or simply leave me a comment, I am dying to hear what everyone’s weird beauty habits are πŸ™‚

And don’t do what I do, don’t write a blog at 4 am πŸ™‚ It’s already 4.40 now, I got side tracked looking up stuff on freecycle πŸ™‚

Lots of love,

Zhenya

How I’ve been Killed softly…

Now before you read todays post, I highly recommend that you watch the entire (40 min long) presentation/speech by Jean Kilbourne!

I have posted many times about the importance of staying fit, it’s the way I’ve been raised, and it’s the influence of oh so many episodes of The Biggest Loser that I’ve watched. I have also emphasized the importance of eating healthy, of bringing all sorts of vegetables and fruits into your diet, if you don’t believe me – ask my husband. I also have covered a subject as sensitive as violence against women, based on a story of a high school friend of mine. But after watching this I couldn’t help but wonder – Have I also been killed? And killed softly?

I am going to have to say yes to this, admit that I, too, have been influenced by the ads, commercials, the many many TV shows, movies and everything that comes in between.

Growing up in Russia you’d think I was only exposed to the images of healthy looking peasant women, popping babies left and right:

You’re so wrong, I grew up reading Cool Girl, OOOPS! and YES! (if I remember all these titles correctly), an Eastern European version of Teen Vogue and Seventeen:

When we got our first VCR all we had were work out tapes. My mother was extremely obsessed with her self-image, she worked out at the gym 3 times a week after work, I was in 8th grade then. Needless to say I got hooked onto the Cindy Crawford workout videos, as a matter of fact up to this day, her workouts remain some of my favorite ones. Thanks to those workouts I always ran track in high school and college, nothing wrong with being athletic!

I was 16 when I got my first highlights. I was never happy with my hair color, I always thought it was dull and flat. How crazy is it to realize that this was 9 years ago! I haven’t dyed my hair since 2009 and I couldn’t be happier. But yet again, I am thinking of getting high lights this spring (Blake Lively obsession, unhealthy, right?)

Now I have always been anti Botox, Implants and all the other body “alterations”. I remember watching an episode from one of the earlier seasons of Nip/Tuck where a surgeon put the implant in the wrong way, so he then had to take it out, and there is blood and silicone and mess everywhere. I am a B cup and always will be, so I am pretty happy with what I’ve got!

Moving on to the subject of violence – I think some women should stop dressing slutty. I remember the SLUT walk Sam and I came across once walking around Minneapolis. No won’t mean no when you are dressed like a hooker. Growing up at a church we were taught one golden rule that applied to clothes – Would you wear it if you were going to go hang out with Jesus? And by hanging out I don’t mean death or anything, just a usual stroll in the park with the Lord. I am pretty sure Jesus would’ve been proud of my fashion sense, I am 25 and finally know how to dress myself!

Now how did this documentary affected me personally? Well they say step 1 is acknowledgement, and then what? Am I going to stop dressing up, using make up, reading Vogue and trying to achieve the unachievable? NO! Call me stupid, call me anything you want, but when we are walking the streets of Minneapolis my husband is proud he is married to me, everyday he tells me how pretty and sexy I am, and that’s what matters the most. I am sure a lot of you are getting madder at me by the second, especially now that I brought my husband up, but you can tell this same thing to yourself! You don’t need a guy to approve of you! When I lived in Manhattan my hair was two different colors for crying out loud! Yes, I can always say I was trying to pull off the ombre look, but who will I be kidding?

Anyways, it’s everyone’s personal choice whether to be affected by it all, or not, and it all depends on the way you’ve been raised, and what values have been implanted into your brain, because trust me, I never leave the house, unless I think that Jesus would’ve been proud of my outfit πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xoxo,

Z

How to stay SKINNY in America

It’s Monday, and we all know that a lot of people do the whole: “Starting Monday, I’m going to….” (fill in the blank!) thing. And most of the time that blank is – EXERCISE. Having lived in the States for about 2y 9m (yes, I’ve added up all of my trips here), I managed to maintain and in some cases even lose my weight. And the stress factor doesn’t count. So today, I thought I’ll share some of my tips. You should try them, because they work. And I am happy as can be, being under 120 lb!

1. Walk everywhere – it’s so easy to do living in the big city. Even when I lived in suburban New Jersey, I found some destinations I could walk to – like the CVS pharmacy, the post office or Church. Sometimes I just took walks around the neighborhood. I also had a friend who would meet me at Verona Park and walk or jog with me! Then I moved to the UWS and NYC is NYC, owning a car there is a bigger hassle and expense than not owning one! Plus the location was fab – I was less than a block away from Central Park. And that was a great play to walk/jog! Plus the peer pressure of Manhattan – staying skinny, working out, because everyone else is! After moving to Minneapolis, I can gladly say that I am still able to walk everywhere, plus Minneapolis turned out to be a city full of bikes! Which makes it even more awesome! I am now looking forward to next spring, when I will be able to ride my bike everywhere I can’t walk to πŸ˜‰

Plus celebs like Kate Bosworth, Elle Macpherson and many others do it, so should you!

2. Take the stairs! That always works, whether you are at a mall or in a skyway. No stairs? Walk on the escalator! Besides if you only think that walking up is a good workout – you are wrong, because walking down is just as good of an exercise!

3. Drink water, but not just any water – drink lemon water, because it helps break down the carbs and digest food better. Sometimes Aloe Vera juice is a good source to run to, because it’s sold in the laxative aisle at your local store πŸ˜‰ Another recipe that I follow sometimes is: a full glass of water, plus a tbsp honey, plus a tbsp NATURAL apple cider vinegar, 4 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp aloe vera. Mix it and drink in the morning, before your coffee, before your breakfast, before you basically do anything! That mix helps boost your metabolism!

Important: When I say lemon water I mean real water that has a slice of lemon in it, or at least some ReaLemon juice, not the bottled flavored water!

4. “I don’t want to be like them” technique – that is going to sound harsh, but I firmly believe that this method works! Call me a skinny bitch, but I am not giving it up! I simply say to myself – that I don’t want to be like them, I don’t want to be fat, I don’t want to have health problems, I don’t want to have to see a doctor about my weight. I’d rather be skinny and a head turner! Besides, clothes do look better on skinny people. And I will not take any excuses from anyone. Because in the end, wouldn’t you rather look like this?

5. Go to the farmer’s market. I do question where our local one get’s it’s produce, but hey I am not going to argue 2 dollar tomatoes. Anyways it’s easy to eat healthy in America, in spite of all arguments from people who think that US = McDonald’s. Over the past few years the number of health food stores increased drastically – all the Trader Joe’s and Co-ops and other fancy places. Yes, it’s going to be expensive, but some things are worth buying natural!

I remember reading a Zooey Deschanel interview for Self magazine, where she also argued with people who say that it’s hard to eat healthy when on tour. She made her point by saying that Whole Foods is in every big city these days, so those people are just making excuses.

6. Stop making excuses! I know old habits die hard, but there is a place for self-control, motivation and determination in everyone’s life. Besides, if you have a person to support you, it’s that much easier!

Have a happy fun Monday, and a great week everyone!

Xo,

ZhenyAH!Β 

LIVESTRONG Zhenya – It’s over!

Well over is not exactly the right word! My daily posts are over, but I am keeping my profile on www.livestrong.com , for my own personal record, you can check it out if you want too!

Some results, some numbers…

I lost 4 pounds in a week, just by tracking my calories down, working out, eating right.

I can finally say that I’ve had 64 oz of water every day during this period of time.

I worked out for at least 10 minutes a day, plus walking – walking is a GREAT exercise!

I am now one of those people who reads all the ingredients and counts the calories when buying food at the supermarket.

I have finally gotten used to drinking a glass of water before every meal!

Thank you for checking out on my journey with me (it was short but good). I might blog about it in the future, just to keep you updated, tell you how I am doing. Don’t forget my FAV FAV FAV YouTube Channel, wonderful workouts, videos in Russian and English

http://www.youtube.com/user/glaziki

Live Strong,

Xoxo

LIVESTRONG Zhenya – Day 6

Day 6 of my LIVESTRONG Zhenya project went well, I think I got the whole healthy eating under. I did, however, have 2 chocolates, which I know wasn’t the best decision.

My bathroom floor finally got installed, and after the workers left I spent about an hour cleaning everything up, then I went grocery shopping, and also did some ABS exercises before I went to bed.

I also made a milkshake (frozen strawberries, a banana, yogurt, milk, water and sugar sub). Love it, lasts forever too:)

I also witnessed the most touching moment in several months, I witnessed my Grandpa crying over my Grandma, which made me cry as well. It was both sad and amazing at the same time, this was also the very first time I saw my Grandfather cry. (He is a former KGB agent, they don’t cry often, do they?)

I also learned about a new facial soap to try, it contains seaweed (I used to work with a girl who said SEEDweed), mud, and green tea. Supposingly, it clears up your skin better than the birch bark soap I’ve been using, but smells better! So now I am on my quest to find it! Will keep you posted!

Last night I made my first video for YouTube, it’s about my Love and Lace Flowers project, I will be adding a new video approximately once a week. And will definitely keep you posted!

Live Strong,

Xoxo

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 www.livestrong.com 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,

Zhenya

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

http://beingzhenya.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/being-an-esl-teacher-fyis-omgs-and-wtfs-of-this-job/

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!

Xoxo

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 πŸ™ 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,

Xoxo

LIVESTRONG Zhenya – Day 2

So today was day 2 of my LIVESTRONG Zhenya project, and I felt so good today, you know that light feeling that they mention? Yes, I had that. Now it could’ve been dizziness, but I am not that skilled to tell the difference.

With a shocking number of 50 calories to spare left over from Day 1, I Β decided Day 2 was going to be better! And it was! The day started off with a shocking breakfast, that consisted of 1 Pancake (I found this recipe for 100 cal pancakes), and some tea. No syrup, no honey, no jam! Yup, that’s me!

I am also getting my bathroom floor redone! So today the workers came to tear down the floor, and after they left, I put on my shoes, and off to the tile store I went. They also sell linoleum (we all know how much I love putting linoleum in different things), sinks, toilets, wooden floors, carpets and other fun stuff. And I came to realize that I love these stores more than thrift stores. Why? Because thrift stores I can afford, and construction supplies stores are something I drool at!

So I was out and about for an hour and a half, running errands, paying bills, and apparently burning a lot of calories!

I had a mushroom omelette for lunch, with some whole grain toast, and a banana for dessert! I also had some white grapes and walnuts for snack before dinner!

Now I am planning on having some of my not so infamous salad for dinner, with some whole grain toast and some fruit for dessert! I am also planning on doing another workout after two more lesson tonight before bed! This is the one I am planning on doing today:

Peace and lace flowers!

Xoxo

LIVESTRONG Zhenya – Day 1

Today was the first day of my LIVESTRONG experiment. It went by pretty well. I survived on my infamous salad, some fruit, and potatoes!

You are more than welcome to check out my livestrong.com profile here

http://www.livestrong.com/profile/zhenyademidova/

I made it open to public! And feel free to add me as a friend if you have a profile too!

I think the most difficult thing for me to do today was avoid snacking while cooking! See, my problem is I snack when I cook, and when it’s time to eat what I’ve cooked, I am not hungry anymore. Then I remembered an advice I heard from a friend in Connecticut – drink a glass of water 30 minutes before the meal. So that’s what I did tonight before dinner. And it really helped.

Workout wise, I did 2 10 minute workouts (aka 10 minute solutions) that I found on YouTube, here is the link to the channel where you can watch those videos too! They are in Russian, but you can often hear English in the background!

http://www.youtube.com/user/glaziki#g/u

I did an abs workout in the AM and a kick-boxing one in the PM.

I was also going to cook some burritos, but my tortillas were moldy πŸ™ So burritos are coming up tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Xoxo

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