Country Financial Contest

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Having just recently graduated from college, I know all about the cost of education and how expensive it can get! Two years ago when I went back to school, I had a goal in mind – a goal to get a new degree, get a job, and go on adventures all over the world. I am excited to report that I’ve successfully accomplished the first two, and the next one is in the works, because I am about to get my passport next week!

Setting personal goals is important, but so is education. The two go hand in hand, and if it wasn’t for my degree, I wouldn’t be where I am now. A lot of my friends have young kids and I want those kids to someday be able to look back and say they feel accomplished.

That’s why today I partnered up with Country Financial to spread the word about “Own Your Future” Challenge, a challenge where you can win $10k ($5K for you and another $5K for your school).

Not every parent can grant their child’s every wish, but they can provide the right opportunities at school and in life! I want to encourage you to participate in the “Own Your Future” video challenge. All you need to do is visit Country Financial’s Future Booth 7/11-7/24 and enter the Own Your Future Challenge! Record a quick video inside the Future Booth aAnswering two questions:

  1. If you won $5,000, how would you use it to own your family’s future?
  2. If you won $5,000 for a local school, how would you want them to spend it?

Then you’re entered to win $10,000. Can’t attend an event? Get out your phone and record your own video. You can still enter the contest here. Submit a video by 7/24 to start owning you future!

The contest is open for parents with school-aged children residing in the Minneapolis region.

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Country Financial. All opinions are my own. #FutureFocused #OwnYourFuture 

Post Commencement

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I don’t know where to begin. Commencement was incredible, the parties before and after commencement were amazing, and now I have a month off before I have to take my last class at the University of Minnesota. Yes, I am one of those people who walked before actually being done 😉 So before ACCT 2050 kicks my butt this summer I wanted to share a couple thoughts and reflections on the time I spent in college, as an almost 30 year old!

  1. You can do it! You can take 23 credits a semester and survive if you want to. You can go back to school after having another degree. You can fit in, make friends, have fun. It’s just all up to you. Don’t give in to the outside noise, stick to your path, your plan, and your goal. There will be a lot of bullshit on the way, but you just need to make it through that!
  2. Be assertive when it comes to everything!
  3. Stand up for yourself. And if an angry email doesn’t work, that’s what student conflict resolution center is for.
  4. Graduation day is like a wedding day, you spend all this time preparing for it, living it, and when it’s over, you realize it’s just the beginning. And just like anything in this world, life after graduation takes a lot of work, determination and a little help from your friends!

College was everything I ever hoped for it to be and more. I am glad I have one more class to take this summer, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to be honest.

Photography: Chan Shin Photography 

Just Another Tuesday

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So I’ve ditched this blog for over 2 weeks, checking it today was as hard as checking a grade for a class I know I am not doing well in.

The semester is almost over and my summer internship starts May, 18.

Mason is doing really well, he is my absolute favorite. A lot of my friends say that he is their favorite Hutson now. He is seriously so stinking cute, I can’t stop instagramming him. I am one of those crazy fur moms now.

Last week I stopped by Goodwill outlet in St Paul, and guess what, I can get a whole wardrobe there for under $10! You don’t need the expensive stuff this world tells you to buy. I am perfectly fine in my thrifted shirt and jeans. And Mason still likes me, so that’s all that matters.

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TC Style Magazine Cover + Christmas Colors

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This winter I get to be on the cover of TC Style Magazine. TC stands for Twin Cities. My friend Jasmine is the Editor-in-chief, and we’ve been planning this since summer! But she surprised me by putting me on the cover! Jasmine is a sweetheart, she loves and looks like Taylor Swift, and told me yesterday that she is going to New York City over New Years, flying in New Years Eve and leaving New Years Day, they are not staying anywhere, no hotel reservations. How awesome is that? Here is me keeping my fingers crossed for spring break! A lot will depend on the next few weeks. Plus I am waiting to get my grades back, so the browser refreshing game is on and it’s strong!

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The magazine is free and local and you can find it in the boutiques around the area.

I also have several festive nail polish options for you this holiday season. They are all SinfulColors which is a chic and affordable brand made in the US. The nail polish is very long lasting and  this season – pretty glittery! The colors I have here are Twilight Twinkles, Galax-Sea, Hottie, and Ice Dream.

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Check out my

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin’

And SinfulColors

Twin Cities Travlin’: MIA and Lyndale Rose Gardens

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Welcome to Twin Cities Travels. Brought to you by Jameson of Lessons with Coffee and yours truly. Today’s post will be a two in one! Our first Twin Cities Tuesday was spent at MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Art – 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404), and last week we went to Lyndale Rose Gardens. 

Originally, Jameson and I were going to simply hang out, but then thought, why not blog about it? So here we go!

Minneapolis Institute of Art has been one of those places I’ve never been to. Can you believe it? I still can’t to be completely honest. And since it’s a donation based admission (FREE!) I didn’t have to think about it twice.

We grabbed some coffee at Spyhouse on Nicolette Ave (Spy Girl is my current favorite) and walked over to MIA. The neighborhood it’s located in is a sight in itself, from the brownstones, to the carousel horse fence, to the zebra hiding in the bushes. I felt like a tourist in my own city.

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I discovered Lyndale Rose Gardens last year right on my Birthday, when Sam and I were walking around Lake Harriet. And I knew I wanted to go back there. I was also extremely interested in seeing Peace (Rock) Garden. And since I almost always have to stand out, I had to wear a “new” dress I got from Minneapolis Blogger Sale, which I thought was perfect, and if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I make hiking in a dress look as easy as 1-2-3!

We also made origami paper cranes, also known as peace cranes. I carry mine in my wallet now, I am not sure about peace, but it definitely makes me happy.

And we now have our very own #tct water bottles, that Jameson made. This week I am working on a little DIY as well.

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I hope you had a great 4th of July. I was lighting fireworks all night!

 

Savers Thrift Superstore Grand Opening in Coon Rapids, MN

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Tonight Sam and I went on a little adventure to Coon Rapids. We rarely go up there, but this time we had a perfect reason – the opening of the new Savers! I received a special invitation and a gift certificate to jump start my spring shopping!

The store was packed! Everyone who is a Savers Club Card holder got an email to attend this event! The parking lot was filled (good thing it was a big one!)

My number one goal was to find the store manager and get my hands on the rewards certificate! I also ran into another Minnesota blogger – Jackie of Teal and Lime!

We got a quick tour of the store, (THANK YOU, HEIDI! You were amazing!) and went on to shop!

As some of you may know I have an exciting event coming up, which is 100% blog related (I had someone ask me if I was getting married the other day 🙂 ) Anyways, there were a few things that I pulled off the racks, which included a size M Sisley blazer, a French Connection dress, a few vintage pieces, but I ended up not buying anything, because the line was ridiculously long! I think Sam and I are going to hit another Savers this weekend, and hopefully it’ll be a more calming experience! Plus I had to go pick something up from FedEx (again for my upcoming mystery trip! – are you intrigued yet?)

As usual there were rows and rows of clothing, shoes, books, household goods, anything that you can imagine! And there were people everywhere!

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As it also turns out one of their first sales that night was Leaves of Grass signed by Walt Whitman himself! I was just thinking about him and that book a few days ago, his poem “I hear America Singing…” was going through my head…

It is a great store, reminded me a lot of the one in Oakdale (size wise especially)! There is so much to look for, that I know I wouldn’t have possibly had time to look through everything in the few hours that it was open! And even though this store is out of the way, I will definitely considering coming back here in the future!

I hope you all had a great day, keep on spreading thrift love and joy!

Z

Saturday “Shadowing”/Субботние похождения стилиста

Last Saturday I had an awesome opportunity to see what a personal shopper does, but not just any personal shopper, the one at a thrift store! Yes, those exist, and Michelle from Arc’s Value Village, was kind enough to let me shadow her for 3 whole hours.

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Michelle and I connected over Twitter several months ago, neither of us could remember who tweeted who first! But I knew I wanted to meet her, and was extremely interested in what she does.

About a year and a half ago Michelle had the idea of adding a Personal Shopper service to Arc’s Value Village thrift store. And what originated as an idea in the middle of the night, has now turned into her full time job!  And just to let you know how popular the service is, Michelle is booked through May! And don’t forget that it’s 100% FREE service, you only pay for what you purchase! I think it’s a wonderful option for those, who want to thrift shop, but don’t know where to begin, or for those who are too busy to spend hours at a store.

I came in at about 11 am to the Richfield location, so I caught Michelle during her prep time, and then stayed for an entire appointment.

And this is how it works: the client books an appointment through a schedule system on Arc’s website, fills out a form, telling the stylist a few things about themselves, their style, what they are looking for, favorite colors, sizes, preferences, etc. And the stylist puts together 5-10 outfits, as well as offers some single pieces, accessories and shoes. Then, during the 75 minute appointment, the client gets to try everything on, the stylist gives advice, makes sure everything fits, pulls out extra items off the racks if some sizes are off. It’s also time to get to know the customer, take additional notes, and of course, give compliments!

It was everything I expected it to be and more. A creative positive environment, where you meet new people and help them look their best.

I also got to help Michelle dress some mannequins and fix a couple broken items 🙂

Make sure to like Arc’s Personal Shopper Facebook Page and follow Michelle on Twitter, and hopefully soon you’ll be able to book your appointment with me!

Have a wonderful week,

Zhenya

В прошлую субботу мне удалось понаблюдать за работой стилиста. Но не простого стилиста, а такого, который работает в магазине типа секонд хенд. Да и такие бывают! Стилист Мишель разрешила мне провести с ней 3 часа и полностью окунуться в ее работу!

С Мишель я познакомилась в Твиттере, честно скажу, я уже не помню кто кому первый написал, но меня сразу заинтересовала ее работа.

Идея личного стилиста зародилась у Мишель около полутора лет назад, и то, что началось с простой идеи в 12 часов ночи, теперь стало ее работой. И, чтобы дать вам понять как популярны ее услуги, я просто скажу что у нее нет “окон” до Июня! Также скажу, что услуга эта бесплатная.

В магазин в Ричфилде я приехала к 11 утра, попав на примерно полтора часа подготовки, и саму 75 минутную встречу с клиентом.

Все происходит очень просто: клиент записывается на консультацию на сайте магазина, заполняет анкету, в которой отвечает на вопросы о себе, рассказывает о своем стиле, какие предпочитает цвета, какие размеры носит. Стилист подбирает 5-10 аутфитов, несколько отдельных вещей, плюс аксессуары, обувь. Затем в течение всей встречи клиент примеряет подобранные вещи, стилист дает советы, а если что-то не подошло, ищет другие размеры. Она также задает вопросы клиенту, узнает его получше, добавляет неуказанную информацию в анкету и конечно говорит комплименты!

Все оказалось так, как я ожидала, и намного лучше. Креативное, позитивное общение с новыми людьми, которым вы помогаете выглядеть лучше.

Я также помогла Мишель нарядить пару манекенов и починить несколько вещей!

Обязательно зайдите на страницу Мишель на Фэйсбуке и последуйте за ней в Твиттере. И возможно совсем скоро вы сможете записаться на прием ко мне!

Всем отличной недели,

Женя!

Haircut dilemma

It’s not a bad thing, it’s just something that every girl has to go through, especially when her hair is long enough for her to be able to pull off basically anything. I am no Rapunzel, but my hair is longer than it’s been for a while. Plus it’s going to be the first time for me getting my hair cut in Minneapolis. I am yet to find a good hair stylist, so if you know anyone in the Twin Cities, leave me a comment!

Now on to the hair cuts. Of course I could’ve tried some personal styler, but I am too lazy, so we are basically going to overload this post with pictures of Blake Lively! Because she is gorgeous, and I love her hair! There, I said it 🙂

  So there you have it, this is how I am getting my hair cut (read: trimmed) next week. I am also expecting to magically turn into Blake Lively after the hair cut!

Happy weekend everyone!

xoxo,

Z

My Cake Tasting Experience

I think I was excited about the cake tasting as much as my dress. As silly as it may sound, that’s what mattered to me the most. I really want the guests to remember our wedding cake.

When the question of the wedding cake rose, there was only one option – Buttercream – a famous bakery in the Twin Cities, that also has a branch in Stillwater. But we decided not to go with them, because another name came up – Fresh Fields, located in Stillwater. Yesterday I went to a cake tasting there, and let me tell you – I was full until this morning! What they did is baked 4 little cakes for us to try and choose from (and when Rachel brought them out on a silver tray, I knew that I was definitely going to order with Fresh Fields). Call me a sucker, but those little cakes were so good, we still have some in the fridge that we are saving for dessert.

I also learned a lot from Rachel, the chef and the cake artist, about the place. They have 2 cake artists at Fresh Fields – her and a French guy. Rachel herself moved up from Denver, CO. So we both found something to talk about, being “Not from Minnesota”. All the fillings/mousses are home made, they don’t use mixes or anything – which is definitely a plus.

Now about the flavors. I was sent a list of flavors, fillings and icings, which I mixed and matched and ended up with these 4:

White/Strawberry mousse/Vanilla Buttercream
Chocolate/Vanilla Buttercream/Chocolate Ganache
Marble/White Chocolate mousse/rolled fondant
Red Velvet/Chocolate Ganache/Vanilla Buttercream

Now I am not going to tell you which one or ones (!) we got. You can vote on the choices here http://poll.pollcode.com/1K8 

 

Hope you are having a great day! Sending all my love to you 🙂

 

PS. Cake pictures are also to come, but after the wedding! 🙂