3 day soup + juice jus by julie cleanse: day 2 diary

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Happy day 2 of the soup and juice cleanse to me. I am already feeling lighter and skinnier. The left over soup and juice from yesterday are safely stored in my freezer for next week just in case you were wondering.

Today was half day at work for me, so I only packed two juices and one soup. I have time to drink only one, but I go through two cups of coffee. What can I say? I love my caffeine.

I leave work around 12.30 to go home and eat before my dentist appointment at 2. You know they say a watched pot never boils? Maybe it doesn’t boil, but it surely heats up my soup. I inhale that Red Lentil (140 calories) I am in such a rush!

I walk to my appointment and it feels so good to be outside, the mid-winter meltdown is in full swing and I can’t complain.

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I get back home around 3.15 and head to out apartment gym. I usually go to the WAC Downtown, or the Kohl’s location, but today I just need a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical. I do the hill climb preset for a little over 30 minutes.

I am back home by 4, because Sarah is coming over to knit. We are working on Irish hiking scarves, as well as pussy cat hats for the Women’s March in Madison this Saturday.

irish hiking scarf

Soon Kaitlyn joins us, and as we are watching How I Met Your Mother, I decide to make some Mac and Cheese for the girls and for Sam when he comes home 🙂 As they are enjoying their food, I make myself a cup of Detox Broth (50 calories). That soup is hands down my favorite. I don’t know if it’s the mushrooms, or the spices, but I could eat it everyday. It reminds me of a mushroom and barley soup my grandma used to make when I lived in Russia.

Once again I have a soup and a juice left over. Tomorrow will be interesting, I am going to Chicago to comp shop for work. I will let you know if I come up with any good ways of being on a cleanse while on the go!

Fitbit stats – 13,331 steps

Make sure to check out 2017 Plan For a Happy & Healthy Body on JusByJulie.com. You can sign up for email updates, browse other people’s resolutions, and even get a checklist to help you stay on the healthy track!

DIY Instagram Inspirational Coasters via Shutterfly

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Since we’ve moved to our new house, I’ve been much much more furniture conscious. Meaning I am done leaving ring marks everywhere 🙂 Yes, I was one of those people, who didn’t take care of her nice (even though most of the time freecycled or gifted) furniture. And I am ashamed of it.

So when I saw that Shutterfly offered personalized coasters for only $20, I knew I was in!

I had several ideas as to what put on them, from all the places Sam and I have been to, to maps, to quotes… But I finally decided to go with my Instagram photos that I have been lately editing with a new app called Rhonna.

It was hard to pick out 4 images, but I went with these:

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And that’s how my coasters turned out:

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Don’t you just love them?

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Ironically enough this is my second coaster DIY this year, you can read about the first one here.

What have you been making lately?
Xx,
Zhenya

Henna, now that’s a first!

As some of you may know I went up north to a friend’s cabin last weekend. But before I went I tried something I’ve never tried before – henna! Yes, I am 27 and have never tried henna tattoos before! I used to put henna in my hair back when I lived in Russia though! It’s a very good strengthening treatment for your hair!

So when one of my aids offered to stay after work and do it, I gladly entrusted myself into the hands of a 17 year old!

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I got a sun inspired ornament on my left wrist and a peacock on my right calf

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I thought Andrea did an absolutely marvelous job and I am so grateful she offered to do it after work and spend time hanging out with me, my husband, and a few of our other co-workers! It was a fun night!

I also found out what was in the henna mix, and why it smelt so good! I kept smelling my wrist for the rest of the day, even when we went to Target 😉

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Plus I also learned how to take care of henna:

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It’s good to be friends with teenagers these days, isn’t it?!

Have you done/tried anything new and exciting lately?

Xx,

Z

PS. Stay tuned for my Girls’ Weekend Outfits! And don’t forget to email me at evgeniahutson@gmail.com if you want to be featured in the 27 dresses project!

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? )

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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!

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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

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 😉

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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

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

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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!

 

Cleaning up and cleaning out

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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:

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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.

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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!

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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

DIY Basil Limeade

My in-laws are wonderful people, they introduce me to amazing new stuff, a lot of times it’s something I would’ve never thought to try on my own, this time it was Basil Limeade, that came in a fancy bottle like this:

 

And apparently cost top dollar.

So I decided to make my own, plus my mother-in-law grows her own basil, so all I had to get were limes 🙂

Thanks to my fab new iPad and Epicurious app, I found a recipe for Basil Limeade in no time.

Here is how it goes:

 

But oh wait, we gotta make the syrup first 😉

 

So I got all the ingredients ready:

 

Then simply followed the steps mentioned above (the only difference though – I used zest of 2 limes, 2 cups of basil and lemon juice, instead of lime!):

 

I put the syrup into the fridge, so now I can have a glass of that basil goodness any time I want. Plus I am determined to get some seltzer tomorrow (or any type of unflavored carbonated water), I just love my lemonade bubbly! It also inspired me to make my own pesto!

I personally think this was a success, and probably a lot cheaper than buying a bottle of limeade in the first place.

Would you try something like this?

xo,

Z

Days off are for…

I was more than excited to get Wednesday off. I honestly love getting a random day off in the middle of the week from my retail job, no seriously I do. I would rather work over the weekend or something, than 5 days in a row. Call me crazy, whatever.

Plus when one of my best girlfriends is in town only during the week, a day off is a must 🙂 So today wasn’t about laundry or chores or dishes (I did do the latter and ran my usual 2.5 miles), instead it was about a trip to one of the Calhoun beaches, Jamba Juice and doing nails!

View of downtown Minneapolis from Lake Calhoun, look how tiny the buildings are!

Kara and me in front of my building, we haven’t taken a picture together in forever, so today was a day to fix that:

I am also rocking my Ralph Lauren shirt, I got it last week at Opitz, if any of you remember! It’s amazing, my new favorite piece of clothing to wear these days!

And finally we went to the Russian store in Eagan (my Birthday is coming up, so I wanted my cake to be from there and only there) and MoA. I got some Birthday gift certificates from Aveda, and was anxious to use them. Look at my two awesome presents – a massage oil and perfume. I got to pick the scents too! It was super fun!

I hope you love your days off as much as I do and spend them if not with a purpose, but with a good friend 🙂

xo,

Z

Decorating White Keds

A few weeks ago I got a pair of Mossimo (Target brand) white keds at Goodwill outlet. Surprisingly, they fit. And they are extremely comfortable too. But I want to add a little more of a personality to them. So tonight, after Sam and I took a long walk around Lake of the Isles, I came home determined to look up some ideas on the Internet and Pin them! But I also want to ask your opinion, and based on the vote (assuming there is one), I’ll transform the ordinary into extraordinary and share my experience with you!

So here are a few ideas from my Pinterest board:

You can also view them if you visit this link.

I am also kind of tempted to put lace on them, you know me, I’ll stick lace on anything 🙂

So please let me know which idea you like the best, by either commenting or voting! And I’ll post a DIY next week!

xo,

Z