Hospital Outfit of the Day

Yes everyone, I’ve been to a hospital. Saturday I wasn’t feeling well, so around 5 pm I was dropped off at the Hennepin County Medical Centre ER. Turned out I had to have my appendix removed! Well I was a brave little camper, no not really, it was my first surgery ever and I was hysterical. But I survived, have been home since yesterday, went on a couple walks, and get to keep my husband at home with me today! But for those of you who are wondering, here is what I look like in a hospital gown!

Stay healthy everyone,




Vitamins – is it all what it takes?

My dear blogger friends, I know I have abandoned you, and I feel so so sad about it! Yesterday I was trying to upload a post through my phone, but it wouldn’t add the pictures right, so I gave up and decided to wait till this AM!

I finally have a morning off to sit down (well actually sit up in bed) prop myself with a pillow and start writing.

I am going to talk to you about vitamins today, and why I take them. If you are my friend on Facebook, you’ve probably seen this:

I am sure some of you have been wondering about this picture, and yes, I know the printer in the background is very attractive, we are going to leave my old HP alone today.

Now I am going to say it upfront  – this post is my opinion and my alone, I won’t be convincing you to do anything, buy anything, take anything – I am just sharing my experience, that’s all.

I’ve been taking vitamins for as long as I can remember! My grandma was a doctor, so she would always give me vitamin C – in Russia it came in a little yellow ball – I think it still does – well, those vitamins were like a treat to me, almost some sort of candy. No wonder that I later snuck into the cabinet and ate the whole jar, which of course caused a rash and a lesson learned for life 😉

I later found out from a friend, whose parents were also doctors, that it takes like 20 of those to fulfill the daily dosage of Vitamin C in your body, go figure!

When I started coming to the States, all these One a Day’s were becoming more and more popular. Almost like the Gummies for adults are popular now. So I’ve taken those as well.

Basically you name it – I’ve tried it – Calciums of all sorts, Multi’s, liquids, soft gels, chewable (I went through a fiber stage, I admit), extracts…

I did take a brake for a while, I haven’t taken anything since last December I think. So what happened? Why now?

You guys it all goes back to my skin – I am not happy with the way it looks, and drinking a lot a lot of water wasn’t cutting it for me, neither were all the products I’ve been using!

So I turned to Gillian McKeeth for advice –

 Yes, her, she knows what she is talking about, right?

Anyways, she connects breakouts on your face to your intestines or liver, or other internal organs, and I am sure she wasn’t the one who came up with that, so I boldly followed her advice, spent $40 bucks on all of this (Thank you CVS for BOGO!)

Now what the heck is all this again for? Oh that’s right – to get better looking skin and get rid of blemishes!

So we’ll start with the teas first – Mullein Leaf (God knows what it’s called in Russian – never saw it there, probably never will) and Dandelion tea – now the one I have here is the Detox one and it contains the same organic dandelion root as the other one, but tastes so much better! The regular dandelion is just – UGH! Even with honey and sugar and lemon, it’s still UGH! Mullein is better, a ton a ton of better – and there is more tea bags in there too – 24 vs. 16! Good thing I have coupons!

Now the vitamins – all are supposed to help get rid of blemishes and make your skin perfect. Today is Friday, I’ve started taking all of these guys on Tuesday, my skin is still not perfect :/ I guess I’m just going to keep on taking them!



PS. A certain portion of sarcasm has been used in this post, please beware!


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 😉











Becoming more Feminine

I know I am already feminine, I wear dresses and heels, and put on make-up every day, but today while I was at SPSS on South Lyndale Ave, I decided that I need more girlyness in my life.

So how do I do that?

1. First of all – I am not going to wear T-shirts anymore, the kind that looks like this:

I actually wore the exact same shirt today, lol! These shirts are only going to be left in my closet for one reason – to work out! Even when you go to sleep – wear some sexy pajamas.

2. No baggy, loose pants or boyfriend jeans.

I have a pair of loose Ralf Lauren shorts size 4 which I freecycled back in NYC, and my husband hates them. Today he told me that my butt looks big in them 🙂 That’s his way of telling me to get rid of those shorts.

Mine are the same style, but navy blue. My advice is to simply wear pants that fit! Also a tip – Boyfriend jeans look good on girls with flat butts (seriously) – if you have curves – don’t be afraid to show them!

3. Accessorize!

Scarves, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are going to be your best friend. And remember Coco Chanel’s famous quote – “take one thing off before leaving the house”!

4. Say good bye to ugly shoes (flip-flops from Old Navy or other cheap stores – leave those for the beach). FYI – UGGS are ugly too, in fact I think UGG is a derivative from UGLY. Besides they don’t support the arch of your foot, and that’s not good!

5. Make-up is your best friend, and the older you get, the more helpful it becomes:)

Also check out these YouTube gurus, especially their make-up tutorials, pay attention to the before and then after 🙂 

6. Make sure you take time to groom yourself – hair, skin and body need to be in top shape! I do know some girly girls who let themselves go, and then they become fat and ugly, and all the cuteness is gone. I am sorry, but it’s true. So invest some money into regular hair cuts, skin care products and good tennis shoes.

And remember – investing money into beauty procedures isn’t just the celebrities’ prerogative – you can do it too, and you can do it on a budget! There are plenty of beauty recipes on a budget!

I hope you all have a fabulous night, tomorrow I am going to blog about staying fit without going to the gym – and some foods that keep me skinny!

Nivea vs Camay

Deodorants are important, we all know that. I hope you know that! Well, if you didn’t, there, I told you!

Monday I realized I ran out of my Rexona, and needed to buy a new deodorant before I left for the States. I do have a deodorant dilemma though. It’s really hard for me to find the one that works well. While living in NYC I have even tried some natural/herbal brands, like Tom’s, some other kind that smelled like baby powder, and another one that had aloe extract. Needless to say the last one was pretty useless, but at least the money went to breast cancer research, so I can feel good about donating.

A few days ago I saw an ad about Nivea’s new deodorant Invisible for black and white. It says that it doesn’t leave white marks on black clothes and prevent yellow stains on white. It’s also alcohol free and is supposed to last for 48 hours.

The other deodorant that I’ve been dying to use is Camay. Now that one has more scent to it. I chose the Pink grapefruit. This one promises to stay for 24 hours, and well that’s the only promise it makes. I do like the design, all the twirls and bubbles.

Size wise Camay has a little more to offer, 5 grams more, to be exact. So that doesn’t really make a difference. Price wise, they are about the same, Nivea is a little more expensive, I also had a discount at the store, so that evened the price out. Scent wise Camay kicks Nivea’s ass big time. I guess when it comes to deodorants I prefer scented ones. But if you like neutral scents or prefer non-scented deodorants over everything else, then Nivea is for you.

So what I did, was wear both deodorants at the same time. You know how in the commercials they use one under one armpit, and the other under a different one? Yes, that’s exactly what I did. I also wore them through a workout. And I could definitely smell Camay, which I liked. Again, this is my personal opinion.

The verdict: Camay definitely won me over, but because of Nivea’s no marks on black and white, I will continue to use it as well. Both deodorants have their advantages and drawbacks, I hope you pick the one that’s right for you!

Allergies and Water

It’s been tough for me, ever since I started going to the States, I started getting allergies. I don’t know what the reason is, I guess there are more trees in my beloved MN that my poor nose is not used to than in Central Russia. And city living (NYC that is) didn’t help this situation either. Now I get about 3 allergies a year: one in spring, and 2 in the summer (in the beginning and in the end). Today my allergies got so bad, I had to cancel two ESL classes. What am I allergic to? Russia? Lol

My mother reminded me today that when I was little I always asked her, why I didn’t have any allergies, or get colds often, well, Zhenya, be careful what you wish for!

I always remember the importance of drinking water when I start feeling sick or get allergies. I guess this was carved into my brain by a nurse that I was friends with. Needless to say the nurse was American. And every time I felt sick, her first question was – Have you been drinking water?

I think dehydration is one of the scariest words in the English language. So I am on my 10th glass of water, and on my way to feeling like this

I also take meds, so don’t think that I am going all H2O on you here. But some other fun ways to deal with allergies include:

1. Hypnosis

2. Rinses (Where is Erin with her Neti Pot when I need her? lol)

3. Showering several times a day

4. Stay indoors as much as possible

5. And finally, my fav – Hire someone to do the work that exposes you to allergy causing particles.

I am all for that last one, let me figure out what I am allergic to first 😉



Remember when my Grandma had cancer? And I blogged about it? Recently I was browsing the Internet and came across this poster:

I wish I found this sooner, like February sooner! Oh well, but this is one of my wishes now! For all of you out there who have relatives struggling with cancer, I hear you, I feel you! I know what it’s like!

Today I wish Parkinson’s got Parkinson’s and died! Is there a poster for that? Will I be the first one to create it? Probably not! But there is the Parkinson’s awareness month, and week, and I guess the week is within the month. And that is the month of April! I know it’s a little too late for this awareness thing, but it’s never too late to raise awareness.

Why Parkinson’s? My Grandpa has it! And it’s vascular, which is even worse. Well I guess I should stop calling it Parkinson’s, because it is actually called Parkinsonism. Well here in Zhenya’s world it’s called – my daily frustration, my daily irritation and something that causes anger, and then pity, pity in all it’s forms and variations, pity towards my Grandpa, my mom and self-pity.

Some of you, who are my friends on FB, know that Tuesday my Grandpa was missing for 10 hours. Mom went and filed a missing person report. I went to talk to some neighbors. He was finally brought home by two huge guys, who had to walk him all the way up the stairs. He couldn’t walk by himself, his coordination was seriously off, and his tongue faltered.

That was on Tuesday. He tried leaving again today, but I wouldn’t let him. He spent a total of about 2 hours yelling at me today, plus the two hours from Wednesday.

And this is hard, because I really want to talk back, and it’s so hard to hold it all in! I am sitting here second guessing why this had to happen to me, and all in one year, and one of the most difficult years of my life? Why? And well, God comes to mind. And I just can’t find an answer. And I know you all religious ones out there will start quoting scripture, but when one wants answers, it’s better to avoid bringing up the verses. It’s not something a person wants to see. I am not anti-Christians now, I am just anti this wisdom, and this idea of being helpful, when you are really not. Maybe I am a bitter mean person, but I am going through this, not you. I had people who laughed at everything my Grandpa does. Well if you find it funny, good for you!

Are you there vodka? It’s me Zhenya

The great Weather, the Headache, and the Crab

Having been steaming my face for the past two nights, I have accidentally ended up with a severe back pain, that went up my neck, and to my head. I even ended up canceling one of my ESL classes yesterday, because of that. I am still struggling with a headache today, and not even Bayer is helping, so much for the wonder drug!

The weather today has been amazing, inspired by it, I even cleaned out a closet, and prepared several piles of books to take to the thrift store!

When I was in middle school, our literature teacher taught us how to get rid of a headache. All you need to do – is CRAB! Like that!

I think you are supposed to hold your hand in place like this for at least 5 minutes. Well, you can tell how I feel about this method by the look on my face. But I wanted to share some tricks that really help you get rid of headaches (no prescription required!)

1. Sleep! Make some time during the day for a little snooze, or simply go to bed earlier! Trust me, 30 minutes do make a difference!

2. Massage! From ear lobes, to neck, to shoulders! That is something I am in desperate need of right now!

3. Water. Try drinking it! Or you may want to make a compress. Anyways, stay hydrated!

4. Peppermint tea. You know I love herbs, and herbal tea is one of my fav drinks! Sipping peppermint tea could help your headache, that’s if you like peppermint of course!

5. Pretend you are not there. It’s easy, just close your eyes, and well, here comes your boss, and he is gonna think you are sleeping. Convincing him that you simply blink for so long probably won’t work here! But that usually helps with stress related headaches.

Some other alternative methods include:

– punch a wall

– close the computer

– drink Coke or Gatorade

– avoid chocolate

– complaining

– calling in sick

– going for a walk

– taking breaths of fresh air (try not to over doze!)

Hope you had fun, I sure did, but the headache is still there. Ooops, I am complaining now 😉

Too much Happiness?

Happiness is a mental state of well-being characterized by positive emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. (Wikipedia)

The antonym – Misery (

The well-know symbol for happiness is a smiley face.

A while back I stayed with a good friend of mine, who lives on the UWS, and while walking around, I kept finding smiley faces randomly drawn on post-it notes all over the apartment. They even had one on their front door. Assuming it was AM doing it, I told her that I couldn’t help, but notice all these images of positivity and laughter. Turns out, it was her husband posting them! How interesting, I thought.

For the past two days I have been happy, and it’s been killing me! I am not worried about anything. I am really into my job. I made amends and started talking to people I’ve been ignoring for too long. I’ve been radiating with happiness. Yesterday I woke up happy! For the first time in months! Yes, I was shocked too!

I used to be one of those blue faces, now I turned into a yellow one! What happened? Happiness happened, contentment happened, love of life happened. It all happened in one day, in a matter of a couple hours. Can it go away? You bet! Will I let it? Hopefully not. What do I need to do that? Help and support from my loved ones. Why? Because I want you to be happy too! It’s not easy, and some things won’t work. For the longest time ever I tried reading The Daily Love and doing their affirmations, but it all gave me one big headache. Sorry, Mastin. I tried aromatherapy – it worked well for productivity! And then I stopped trying, and it came. Just like this quote says:

And I know that for some, happiness is all about this:

or this:

For some of you out there happiness is this:

For me, today, happiness means:


PS. I’m not a psychologist, and by no means do I want to be one.

Some Skin Care tricks I learned in Russia!

We all want our skin to look amazing! Especially on our face, because today’s world is all about looks! You don’t get no good job if you are ugly! I know how cruel it sounds, but it’s true.

I have recently subscribed to a YouTube channel, well several channels to be exact and they all belong to so-called beauty gurus! BS? Maybe, but it’s fun to watch. My fav ones are Azeri sisters from Toronto! I have mentioned them in one of my previous posts, so please check it out & send the girls some love!

Anyways, here are some products and some tricks that I learned while living in Russia!

1. Birch (or any Tar) Soap.

Costs less than a dollar, perfect for your skin, but the smell – well, you can get used to it! This is an American equivalent (though it’s pine tar, not birch)

2. Clay.

This is an amazing treatment for problem skin, you can use it on the entire face or on different parts of your face, or directly on the blemishes. Clay enriches your skin with minerals and other vitamins. My advise is – keep that clay moist, because when it dries, it really pulls on your skin! There are different kinds of clay that serve different purposes. For example:

White clay is perfect for oily skin, it helps fight the oil build-up. Don’t use it if you have dry skin, because white clay will over dry it.

Gray clay moisturizes and serves as a toner, it is also a great detox for the face and for the entire body!

Blue clay cleanses, whitens, helps fight acne, disinfects skin, removes dead skin cells. It also stimulates hair growth!

Yellow clay is great for aging skin. But it’s also great for cellulite treatment, and acne treatment.

Green clay is used to fight oily skin, greasy hair and dandruff.

Red clay enriches your body with iron.

Pink clay is a mix of white and red, is used for a delicate skin care routine, as well as in some shampoos for normal hair.

Black clay helps fight cellulite, and also promotes weight loss!

This is what it looks like:

And here is an American equivalent:

They sell it at Vitamin Shoppe I believe.

3. Herbs.

If you are following my blog, you know that I gave up coffee and tea for a week, instead I am mixing my own herbal teas. I buy them at a drug store, super cheap, that’s what they look like:


Now I don’t really know where to buy those in the States, so feel free to leave comments and tell me : )))))

Those herbs are also great to make hair rinses. The one I use is made from burdock root!

I hope you enjoyed my little post about Russian remedies, treatments and such! Try them out, tell me how they worked for you! I do those almost every day!