Homemade Chewy Granola Bars

I’ve been wanting to make those for a few months now, just never came around. And today I finally did! I even went to the store to buy honey especially for this recipe! The recipe itself is from here


I changed it around a bit, used less oats (4 cups, instead of 4,5 and added raisins instead of chocolate chips!). I was also going to add walnuts, but they were in the shell, and I didn’t want to waste time!

Here is my $1 honey. I am not sure how much real honey is really in there, as

long as it works!







And the greased pan






Now here are the mixed ingredients in the pan, waiting to be baked!

Don’t let the raisins fool you, they are really raisins, and not chocolate chips!




And here is the final product cooling on the window sill waiting to be cut up and eaten! Breakfasts and snacks for the next couple days – guaranteed!

Something Inspirational

I noticed a lot of bloggers were talking about Spring, and needless to say today is when “We spring forward”! My favorite place in the world to watch the coming of spring is New York City (The Reservoir, The Conservatory Gardens)

I also kind of felt like the past several posts have been pretty depressing. And not wanting to be a complete Debbie Downer, I decided to share something that is inspirational to me. And in spite of the fact that I do love spring, I love summer more. And the first thing that comes to mind when I think summer is…

Zooey Deschanel!

You can also read a great article about some fun summer activities if you follow the link below. Because summer is coming after all!


And don’t forget that it’s all about love after all! <3 <3 <3 (Took me forever to figure those out!)






I once met a woman during some afternoon wine, who looked a lot like Zooey. I didn’t hesitate to tell her that, and she considered that to be the highest compliment. Turned out Zooey is the number one “girl-crush” out there! Yes, girls have crushes too!

I’ve been to her concert at Terminal 5, and she was more than amazing! Unfortunately my camera died, so there are no videos, but here is one of my fav songs by her!

Face of Cancer Part 2

Promise, no scary photos this time. I decided to add some older pictures of my grandma, and what she looked like about a year ago.

Here she is with my grandpa:

And here she is at work, celebrating something.

And this is her with my uncle and cousin

Can you believe that this is the same person? I certainly can’t!

When in Doubt

You know, people say – When in doubt, don’t use brain. And I say:

We all have our doubts, so

When in doubt

Talk about

Don’t breakout

Or holdout

Or pout

Or blackout

Or freak out

Try to read aloud

To shout out

And stand out

Also helps:

A workout

Eat a sprout

Use white out

Arrange a cookout

Hand some invites out

Don’t burn out

But stay up till lights out

Give your hair a blow out

And knock all doubt out

Force it out

You can so do without

Try something new out

Give your children a time out

And don’t doubt!

My favorite No to doubt is No Doubt!




Face of Cancer

What would you do if you had to see this everyday?


Can’t Save on Daylight in Russia Anymore

We all know that in Spring – time springs forward, in the Fall, it falls back! Yeah, until I overslept church last fall! But not in Russia!

February 8, 2011, Russian President Medvedev decided to cancel daylight savings, starting Fall 2011. In Buryatiya, one of the regions of Russia, he cancelled the upcoming spring daylight savings, in order to reduce the number of time zones in Russia.

The President claimed that people start feeling sick and stressed because of the time change (well yeah, ever since I was little, my family was always saying – Oh you are going to lose an hour of sleep in the spring! The statement which isn’t exactly correct, but nevertheless, no one wants to lose an hour of sleep!)

This Daylight Savings Cancellation is going to help and reduce the number of time zones as well. Here is a picture for you!

Time Zones in Russia

Translation of the captions:

There are 24 time zones in the world, Russia has 11.

Moscow time is GMT +3

The area of coverage of a time zone can differ from country to country, and even from the world standard.

Time zone borders aren’t the meridians, they are the borders of states, regions or countries (they match the federal or administrative borders)

Each time zone is 15 Degrees. The time difference between contiguous time zones is 1 hour. The time is the same in all points of the particular time zone (Duh!)

GMT 0 is the meridian that goes through Greenwich, Great Britain, that’s why it’s often called the Greenwich Meridian.

2.08.1919 USSR introduces the time zone system, the country was divided into 11 time zones. But the law wasn’t passed till 7.01. 1919.

1924 International time zone system was introduced throughout USSR.

1931-1981 Introduction of Daylight time, that was 1 hour ahead of the time zone time.

1981 In addition to the Daylight time the government made everyone “spring” forward another hour for the summer time.

1991 Government of USSR cancelled Daylight Savings as advised by the Governments of Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia. Several months later everyone went back to Daylight Savings! (Weirdos!)

1992 Daylight Savings was finalized.

Are you confused yet? I certainly am. As long as Russia benefits from it!


Emergency Situations

After today’s earthquake and a series of tsunamis, I have one thing on my mind – What if I was there? Would I be able to act in this situation? Would I even know what to do?

I remember fire drills in school, which were fun, we all got to line up and exit the building. Those fire drill days were always short, needless to say we all loved the whole “pretend” fire idea!

A while ago my future mother-in-law told me that when she was in school, they had nuclear drills, or atomic bomb drills, whatever you want to call them. The purpose of those was to teach them what to do in case USSR dropped a bomb or started a nuclear war. I guess the regular “duck and cover” is applicable in many situations, but not all!

A couple weeks ago my best friend and I were discussing a show called “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” (you can read more about the show here http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/i-shouldnt-be-alive-escape-from-the-amazon.html) when Kat said, that now she is prepared and can survive in both a desert, and a snow covered mountain. But do we all know what to do when disaster hits?

There are several categories of disasters:

1. Household ones or minor ones, more often referred to as accidents  (like a fire in your home, or a car accident)

2. Natural disasters (Tornados, Floods, Earthquakes, Forest Fires, Heat, Hurricane, Landslide, Thunderstorm, Tsunami, Volcano, Winter Storm)

3. Man-created disasters (Chemical Emergencies, Dam Failure, Hazardous Material, Nuclear Power Plant Emergency, Terrorism)

You can find out what to do about the last two kinds here http://www.fema.gov/hazard/types.shtm

Now when dealing with the first one, always have a plan, be prepared.

  • If something is happening to your home, make sure you have an escape plan, and don’t forget to take all the important documents with you.
  • It’s also useful to take one or two self-defense classes, that are available through a local Martial Arts club (that’s where I took mine). There you can learn how car keys or a cell phone can become a weapon.
  • Insure your property against theft or outside damage.
  • Try to stay as calm as you can, and encourage other family members to do the same. I know this will be hard to do (my mom is a good example, she panics every time something happens), but try your best, and give them meds if needed!
  • And marry a good speller!


My Fav Workouts of ALL TIMES

I’ve been working out since 9th grade, my mom got me into it. She went to aerobics classes 3 times a week. I never went with her, but I remember buying our first VCR and getting the workout tapes! It was fun, still is. I wanted to share my favorite ones with you. I have never weighed over 120 lb, so these just help me stay toned. I also don’t diet, but I don’t pig out either.

1. Namaste Yoga by Kate Potter. This is a popular yoga workout, that you can

find on FitTV. It is usually on around noon ET. Each episode includes a warm-up, a sequence work-out, and relaxation and savasana. It’s a great muscle stretch, and gets you all toned in about a week. I’ve tried other yoga workouts, and they literally made me sick!

There are 3 Namaste Yoga DVDs out, I own two of them! Can’t wait to get my hands on the third one!

2. NTC iPhone/iPod App. First of all – it’s a FREE App. But it requires you to

have about 2 Gb of free space on your device, so I had to delete a lot of my music, mist of which I wasn’t listening to anyways. So I killed 2 birds with one stone: got a great workout app, and got rid of old music I skipped through anyways. There are 4 sections you can choose a workout from (Get Lean, Get Toned, Get Strong, Get Focused). Workouts last from 30 to 45 min, except for in the Get Focused part, where they are 15 min long. You add your own playlist, and listen to the instructions. If you don’t know how to do a certain exercise, there are useful videos, or step-by-step directions. This is an extremely motivational workout for me, because I just love the way these women look. I have tried The Biggest Loser Workout, but I already know I look better than those people, so there is no motivation there. But I am not saying TBL is a bad workout, it’s just not for me. NTC also has a system of awards, it’s a lot like a video game where one unlocks badges. I believe I am on Bench Marker now, meaning I have worked out for 360 minutes using this app!

3. Cindy Crawford’s workouts. I had them both on VHS! Can you believe it? I have them on DVD now, a sigh of relief, lol. Anyways, she is good!

The first DVD includes 3 workouts, and the second DVD is one long workout, which may seem like a drag at first, but once you get used to it, it’s fine! You will recognize a lot of moves, they are used in a lot of the modern day fitness programs.

This is what got me through High School actually, I did her workouts, and ended up looking better than most of the girls in my class!

4. Gilad bodies in motion. Yes, he is still alive! And even though he cracks me

up, he is good, and has an accent, if you dig those! You can also find him on FitTV, just like Namaste Yoga. They used to be back to back! The workouts are also about 25 minutes long (with the commercials). Unfortunately I don’t have any of his DVDs, so the only thing I recommend are the TV workouts.

5.  This last one is called 10 Minute Solutions. I do these when I am feeling

lazy, but I still want to workout!

I hope these help, I know I am no personal trainer, or health expert, but I am sharing these because they’ve helped me!

Decision Hills

I wanted to dedicate this post to a special place, that holds my heart. It’s a place most of us have been to when we were kids – a summer camp. And when some of us grow up, we decide to work there, part-time, full-time, seasonal, doesn’t matter. We just want to be a part of the experience.

When I was little I went to summer camps. I really loved the church day camps. I have a lot of great memories from there. When I was in elementary school I went to a summer camp that was run by the city administration. We now joke that it was a spy camp, I am Russian after all. In Russia we used to say it was a concentration camp. Haha, not so funny, I know!

Then my church started organizing annual summer camps, they called them Youth Bible Festivals. Those were fun, until Russians took over.

But it’s not those camps I want to talk about. I want to talk about Decision Hills. A place that I will never forget. I met my husband there after all! I worked there for 2 summers in a row, met so many amazing people, made friends for life. That place pushed me, I did things I’ve never done before, I learned new things, overcame stereotypes, had fun, made important decisions (it’s Decision Hills, after all!)

I have these two pictures on my wall, that remind me of the experience every day! I wanted to share them with you.

The camp went through a lot over the past years. The Methodist Conference was going to close it, and the summer of ’11 was going to be it’s last. But thanks to Kurt Johnson and many others, who care about the future of DHC, there is hope. Please check out the FB page for Decision Hills, and help in any way you can.


This song is something that God has put on my heart when I was at the camp on the Meditation Hill. And maybe I am not as religious as I used to be, maybe it’s the lack of faith, maybe it’s the life that’s been shoving me around, but the place is there, the memories are there, the blessings are there! Remember, God gives and takes away, whoever your God may be!


Remembering the fall of 2009! One of the concerts I went to in NYC. I have the actual video on FB, and not on my Mac. I will post that video once I get it off my other computer. Enjoy this one now! The song is called A Hundred Hearts, by Swimmers, from Philly! What more can I say, it’s is LOVE!

Remember, “You only got one heart, but a hundred people want it!” So pay attention who you give your heart to!