Winter Reading

Among countless fashion magazines and style blogs that I read on a daily basis, there is always room for books.

2014-02-04 09.34.21

I am guilty of reading more than one book at a time though, and yes, it’s a bad habit and maybe a sign of ADD, it’s similar to watching several different shows, and every new chapter, is like, well, a new episode!

The two books I am currently working my way through are:

– Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

– Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

The books that are on my to-read list are:

– Bridget Jones Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

– Likeable Social Media

I prefer not to make long lists, and set attainable goals 😉 I also love reading books on my Nook, but of course nothing beats checking them out of the library. Call me old fashioned, but …

Happy Tuesday!

Zhenya

AnotherGirlyBlg
 
 
I have also been recently nominated for a Liebster Award by Kimi of Twenty Something Simple,
 
and even though most of you know how I feel about blogger awards (Painful and Unncessary –
 
in words of Samantha Jones of SATC), I loved her questions, so here are my answers:
 
What is your favorite part about blogging?
 
I love being able to share my style and life with everyone, it’s a way of expressing myself. I
 
absolutely love the idea of meeting new people and building relationships and connections with
 
my readers!
 
How do you keep your blog thoughts organized?
 
I do several weekly/monthly posts that are regular (i.e Thrift Style Thursday or 2014
 
Blogger Challenge), everything else, like my outfit posts, are done over the weekend, or during
 
my days off, and then are scheduled throughout the week. I also keep an editorial calendar.
 
What is one word that describes your style?
 
Independent
 
What is your favorite animal?
 
Bunnies, squirrels, hamsters, you get the idea 😉
 
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
 
An ESL teacher
 
If you could only visit one country outside of your own, which one would you choose?
 
UK
 
What’s your favorite month of the year?
 
May
 
What’s your favorite way to eat potatoes?
 
French Fries
 
What’s your favorite TV show?
 
The one quoted in this post already – SATC
 
Do you have any siblings?
 
Two half-brothers, they are fraternal twins and are currently in second grade! Talk about
 
age difference!
 
What is your favorite pattern to wear?
 
Floral, and bold prints!
 
 

Weigh-In {Ozeri Scale Review}

Stock-photo

Sam and I got a scale. It’s an Ozeri brand, lights up, nice dial, both kilograms and pounds, and of course it made it’s way into our bedroom! Sam steps on it twice a day every day. Me? I am not as keen on the idea. I have even threatened him to throw it away if he doesn’t stop. All those weigh ins make it seem like we are on the Biggest Loser, when in reality it just tells us our healthy weight!

Do you have a scale? If so, are you obsessed with it?

1451435_10153561718255604_1352556305_n

Happy Tuesday!

Zhenya

Disclosure: the scale was provided by the brand for review, in exchange for my honest opinion.

A little more about the scale (as seen on Amazon.com)

  • Synchronized electro-mechanical Dial and LCD automatically illuminate and instantly point to your weight in lbs and kg, for easy-to read results in all light conditions and from any angle.
  • Visually stunning design incorporates a huge 5.5 inch dial and integrated digital display with stylish chrome accents to create a distinctive retro look with the accuracy of modern technology.
  • Uses 4 high precision GX sensors that weigh up to 400 lbs (180 kg) in 0.2 lbs or 0.1 kg increments, with StepOn technology that captures precise weight measurements upon contact.
  • Professional quality scale features and an oversized platform made of impact-resistant tempered glass for ideal stability, and a new built-in alarm that reminds you to measure your weight at the same time each day.
  • Auto-calibrated and automatically turns off to conserve battery life. Runs on 3 AAA batteries with a Low Battery Indicator (batteries included). Satisfaction guaranteed.

Leopard & Military

1488045_10153613818745604_110916615_n

When the weather gets gloomy, so do my outfits. Even though I try my hardest not to be affected by pre-winter Minnesota, it’s hard not to! All I want to do these days, is curl up into bed with a good book (I finished two over the last weekend!) and drink unlimited amounts of tea and my favorite Chai flavored hot chocolate. But the errands, unfortunately, don’t run themselves and the blog must go on. At least this time around I had fun new accessories from Fossil to play with 🙂

2013-12-01 14.11.40

Fossil purse and watch were provided through my Klout membership

2013-12-01 14.11.45 2013-12-01 14.12.00 2013-12-01 14.12.48 2013-12-01 14.12.56

Does the weather affect in your style? If so, how?

Zhenya

PS. Don’t forget about my holiday giveaway!!!

Click here —> Blue Nile giveaway

Or simply go to my Facebook page for an easier way to enter!

Follow on Bloglovin

I got the Power! Brain Power!

Original image by  hawkexpress on flickr

                                                                     Original image by hawkexpress on flickr

Every time I had to take an important test at school, my grandma always gave me chocolate. And not just a piece, a full size candy bar! Chocolate makes us happy, helps our brain function better, but it has CALORIES (the scary word for women over 25! and a reminder that we need to work out!) So what about other  products out there? 

2013-11-01 21.17.44

I have recently been offered to try Excelerol a supplement, that supports memory, concentration and alertness. I am not going to go on and on about the ingredients, and maintaining a healthy diet, working out regularly, basically the same information you can find on a “Magic Diet Pill” box.

But let’s say you have a test or an important meeting in the morning, pop one of those about 30 minutes before, and you are golden. Heck, this thing help me wake up in the morning! Pssssst, it does contain caffeine! 

I do notice that it increases my productivity and I do like the taste, it’s almost like gum – has a refreshing effect! And it did bring back some odd memories of my high school years i Russia. I am not sure if I want to remember that day when our physics classroom was too cold, so we had a class in the hallway and our teacher used the door for a board! But woe to you if you didn’t pay attention or was caught talking during the hallway physics circle time – she sent you in the freezer aka the classroom! 

2013-11-01 21.18.15

Do you take memory/concentration supplements? What’s your opinion on it?

Zhenya

Disclosure: This product was sent to me free of charge, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

 

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

{27 Dresses} Dress 7: Checking Out Some Books

2013-07-28 15.53.02 (1)

I will be honest with you, library is one of my favorite places to go to! It’s relaxing and inspiring for me at the same time! So I don’t think I am going to surprise you if I tell you that I dress up to go to the library! Well I dress up to go almost anywhere, even work 😉 and that’s how this project started!

2013-07-28 15.52.20 (1text)

 

All the books are safely tucked into the Zabar’s bag that I’ve had since my New York days. And if you are interested in what I am reading now, here is my list:

Paulo Coelho – Manuscript Found in Accra

Paulo Coelho – The Winner Stands Alone

Gary Shteyngart – Super Sad True Love Story

Victor Pelevin – T

I am also reading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

2013-07-28 15.53.08 (1)

 

2013-07-28 15.53.29 (1)

 

2013-07-28 15.52.56 (1)

 

Have a great day everyone!

Xo,

Z

По-русски: Все уже, наверное, знают, что я обожаю библиотеку и хожу туда как на праздник! Ну и не удивительно, что я специально нарядилась для подобного случая. Я могу провести в библиотеке весь день, я так релаксирую и расслабляюсь, ну и нахожу своеобразный источник вдохновения. Если вам интересно, что я читаю, то вот список:

Пауло Коэльо – Манускрипт, найденный в Акко

Пауло Коэльо – Победитель остается один

Виктор Пелевин – Т

Гари Штейнгарт – Super Sad True Love Story

И на моем Nook я читаю “Игра Эндера”

Читали ли вы что-то из вышеперечисленного? Мне будет очень интересно ваше мнение!

Женя

 

{27 Dresses} Dress 6: On the Boat Again

 

 

 

 

 

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!

1069841_10153100675820604_1587814130_n

 

Some of you were wondering whether I received a boat for my birthday last week, well not really 😉 The boat actually belongs to my father-in-law, and back in the day Sam and he spent a lot of time building it! And now sailing has become one of my favorite summer pass-times! And this time I made sure I packed my new Samsung Galaxy Camera I received from Verizon Wireless back in May!

When it came to picking out my sailing outfit, I went for one of my favorite DKNY dresses from Macy’s (yay for fitting into juniors size!), and my thrifted (Goodwill) white rim sunnies! I also braided my hair, because once you get out on St.Croix it gets really windy and the hair blows all over the place, in your face included!

2013-07-21 17.40.59

 

2013-07-21 17.40.51

I also wanted to share some scenic photos, enjoy and let me know what you think about sailing and any other kinds of on the water activities!

2013-07-21 19.01.12

 

2013-07-21 19.01.02

 

Another cool thing I was going to talk to you about is this new app I’ve been using called Mavatar. It’s an iPad app that let’s you shop and create wish boards, but at the same time applies coupons and any promotions going on in the store at the time! The creators of this app focus on higher end stores and brands (Nieman Marcus, Bloomington’s, Nordstrom) with a good mix of Macy’s, Gap, and Banana Republic in between! It’s especially nice to see Bloomingdales and Nieman’s featured on here, because they closed both of these stores in Minneapolis! (*SIGH*)

2013-07-23 20.15.03

 

The “main” page of the app (every category breaks down into more when you tap it)

2013-07-23 20.15.14

 

And this is where you can see how many coupons/discounts/promotions are available

2013-07-23 20.15.25

 

And an example of a “Wishlist”!

So here you have it online shoppers – a great way to shop and save at the same time! Now that’s what I call smartshopping!

Let inspiration guide you today~

Xo,

Z

{27 Dresses} Dress 2: It’s Still My Birthday

20130716-133411.jpg

I know, I know, but let me tell you about this amazing place called Burger Jones! Oh wait, you already knew?!? I sure hope so!
Well let me start by showing off my new living room furniture! It took Sam and I a pretty long time to find the pieces we knew we absolutely loved. And we looked almost everywhere there was to look in the Twin Cities. But you know what it all came down to? Macy’s furniture store in Edina!

20130716-132640.jpg

My mother-in-law came over and we went to Sur la Table at 50th and France, and got the rest of the beautiful silverware set that my in-laws have me for my Birthday!

20130716-133021.jpg

We also got some frozen yogurts at the Yogurt Lab, and the Chili Chocolate is to die for! So is salted carmel 🙂 YUM

Now we are getting to Burger Jones 😉 After one “Big Sloppy Kiss”

20130716-134151.jpg

And this specialty pesto burger

20130716-134347.jpg

Surprisingly enough I had room for dessert! Which was on the house!

20130716-134441.jpg

If you are wondering about the dress 😉 I like it, but it has this really awkward length, and the pleats don’t go all the way down, so it looks a bit off if you take a closer look!

20130716-135131.jpg

And here you have it! A second day of my 27 dress project! Don’t forget to enter my Shabby Apple giveaway!
Happy Tuesday,
Xo,
Z

Make Tonight a Game Night

When it’s too hot or too cold to go outside (those seem to be the two most common temperatures in Minnesota) – make tonight a Game Night!

Growing up I was obsessed with card games, Uno, Phase Ten, Draw 2, Wild card, I was hooked! I even learned how to do the bridge shuffle – I called it the fancy way!

article-new_ehow_images_a00_04_81_shuffle-cardsshuffle-cards-800x800

There are also some Russian games, like the never-ending game of the Drunk (pyanitsya) or Fool (doorak), I had a lot of fun teaching my husband how to play those, and beating him in those was definitely a boost to my ego 🙂

When I was a teenager I got my first gaming console and even though I enjoyed a game of Sonic here and there, after I beat the games, I quickly lost interest and moved on to something else. Now, after having been married to a gamer for almost 2 years, I can definitely say one thing – I enjoy watching someone else play a video game more, than playing it myself. I am willing to participate in an occasional race or two though!

During my au pair years I got into Monopoly. Have you seen all the available versions of this game nowadays? There is one with fake credit cards! Not to mention the one with Disney or Star Wars characters. We actually own the latter, it was my gift to Sam for Valentines day last year. I am a nerd like that!

11219148Check out this Nightmare Before Christmas edition for the Tim Burton Fan in all of us!

So why not make tonight a game night? Turn away from that TV you’ve been probably watching for the past few hours, and spend some time playing with your loved ones. And if you’ve got kids – you are in luck, because there is always that good old chutes and ladders laying at the bottom of the stack!

And finally don’t forget to check out some on-line gaming opportunities, especially if it’s a single kind of night. There are quite a few websites out there, i.e castlejackpot.com, where you don’t only play the game, but can also place bets and win some $$$. It’s a virtual casino with slot machines, roulette, black jack and so much more! Besides you can also play Monopoly online, Star Trek (for the geek in all of us!), treasure quests, and so much more! Please remember to play responsibly!

So go have fun, enjoy the night, and remember, it’s only a game!

Cheers,

Z

My Kombucha is Square

5833_10152956861110604_1599349252_n

As some of you, Instagrammers, have noticed, I started brewing my own kombucha! Wait what? We all thought I hated that stuff!

Back in the day, when I still lived in Russia, I had some American friends over, who had never seen kombucha before! So when they saw it their eyes grew bigger, and bigger, and I think it’s worth mentioning that I didn’t know the English for Kombucha (it was over 10 years ago! give me a break 😉 ) and in Russia we call it Tea Mushroom (чайный гриб). I also have memories of it being nick named the Happiness Mushroom! I guess it’s supposed to bring happiness and good luck to your household! Hey, okay with me 😉

A few years ago when I still nannied for a family in New York City, we were doing kombucha as well, but I hated it. I guess the childhood memories made a deep deep impact! I do remember killing one scoby, but the second one lived 🙂 And I even remember sharing it with someone on freecycle!

What is scoby? SCOBY is an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Other good examples are Ginger beer plant, kefir, mother of vinegar, sourdough – you can read more about it on Wikipedia!

I don’t know what made me try Kombucha a few weeks ago when I was out and about with a friend, I don’t know what made me like it, what made me ask for it on freecycle, what made me drive to Apple Valley after work to get a scoby, but I did all that, and now I have a square kombucha living in my kitchen, if you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that it’s something that should be in a science classroom!

Now everyone brews their kombucha differently, but here is what I do, and I learned that from Jade – the person who shared her scoby with me:

Bring three quarts of filtered water to a boil, and then add a cup of organic sugar and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Then take the pot off the burner and steep four bags of organic tea (2 black & 2 green) for 10 minutes. Then pour the mixture into a gallon size jar and let it cool to 98 degrees (body temp).  Once it reaches that temp add the starter (the liquid that the scoby is in), give a little stir, then add the scoby. Cover it with a white flour sacking cloth, and let it sit for 7-14 days. Metal should never touch the kombucha, so no metal utensils or anything!

I mix green and black tea when I brew my kombucha, it’s no specific brand, just something I pick up at the grocery store, or Marshall’s/TJMaxx – they have great tea variety (sometimes!), I also use regular white sugar, and then it all lives in a square glass jar I bought at Target for $5.99, that’s why it’s actually square! 

Of course we’ve all heard stories about some woman in Iowa, who supposingly died from it, but yet again some people say it helps cure cancer. I know one thing – everyone’s result is going to be different, so give it a shot, and see for yourselves!

Now let’s talk about what I like to put in my kombucha! Let me make it clear though, all the additives go in the glass, not the scoby jar!

Lemon juice has so far been my top choice!

I did try adding spinach/cucumber juice to it, and it tasted okay, but I wasn’t a fan! 

I do like to add cranberry to it though! That is super yummy!

Let me know if you like kombucha, tried it, hate it, whatever your opinion is – please DO tell! 

Happy Monday everyone! 

Xo,

Z

PS. If you are in the Twin Cities area and would like a scoby, let me know!