Just Say Ommm, Be Happy and Go Shopping






A couple weeks ago I attended one of the Minnesota bloggers meet-up events, which was a yoga class lead by Katie of  Strawberry Halls Forever. It was an amazing experience, not only because I got to meet other bloggers in the area, but also because it was my very first yoga class!


I have been doing yoga for over 4 years now, but never in a group! I am a loner (read cheapskate 😉 ) when it comes to working out. I love my work out DVDs and videos I find on YouTube (check out Fitness Blender – it’s one of the best resources out there!)

Now I got into yoga by accident, and let me explain how it happened! Back in my good old nannying days when I lived on the Upper West Side everyone and everything breathed and talked yoga! You see I was always more of a runner, and I loved my strength training as well! Remember Cindy Crawford’s videos from the 1990’s? Those were my go-to workouts for many years! My mom got me into them back when I was in 8th grade! And I still do them 2-3 times a week, though I’ve switched over to Jillian Michaels since then! But let’s return to the UWS though… I was really into FIT.TV and since the family I worked for had Warner Cable, I took advantage of it every day! I got into Gilad’s workouts, and Namaste Yoga by Kate Potter was on right after! So I gave it a shot and FELL IN LOVE! And have been doing it ever since! I tried other workouts by other instructors, but Kate Potter won me over!

And even though I’ve been doing yoga all by myself for a long time, I feel like it’s one of those experiences you need to live through as a group, so one of my goals this summer is to find a yoga class to join, so if you know of a good one in Minneapolis and western suburbs area, please let me know!


Another thing that I’ve come to realize is that I don’t really have any good yoga clothes, and to me being fashionable at yoga is much more important than when I go for a run. So as I was looking for cute yoga clothes, I came across C9 brand at Target!


They have very affordable and stylish work out clothes, designed specifically for yogis 🙂 And if you watch their website close enough, you can get coupons and discounts on C9 brand pretty often!


Show style and strength in this yoga top by C9 by Champion, exclusive to Target!

3312Bust a (yoga) move in these stylish, snazzy pants from C9 by Champion, a Target-exclusive line of fitness.


Love yoga? Or just love comfy, stylish yoga pants that keep you covered no matter what? Whatever your yoga pants-wearing style, C9 by Champion at Target has you covered!


What gives you peace and strength? Whatever motivates you, C9 by Champion apparel has you covered!
I am definitely going to Target to get myself some cute and colorful yoga tops and comfy stretchy pants (don’t worry, those will be worn to yoga classes alone 😉 ) Where do you shop for yoga clothes and what type/style of yoga would you recommend?
At Target Influencer Network, we support ethical blogging and strict adherence to the FTC guidelines pertaining to free samples and gifts. Participants in our programs are expected to do the same. For more information, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/os/2013/03/130312dotcomdisclosures.pdf

Thanksgiving Outfitters: A Thrifter’s Tale

I tried my best to combine something thrifted, something vintage, something blue (oh wait, that’s a totally different story 🙂 ), and something modern in my Thanksgiving outfit. But a lot of it ended being something borrowed as well! So taking all of the above factors into consideration, it was almost like a wedding! Or was it? So without further adieu, I would like to present my Thanksgiving Outfit tale!

Once upon a time there lived a girl, who was absolutely fascinated by anything thrifted, vintage, or, even better, the combination of thrifted and vintage. And every time she put together an outfit, it was a special day, a celebration of sorts.

The morning of Thanksgiving our thrifter had a task, which appeared to be more challenging than it really is. How many of you have ever adjusted skirt waistband? How many of you have ever adjusted an elastic in the skirt’s waistband? Maybe due to the lack of sleep, or to the overwhelming memories of living on the Upper West side after watching Macy’s Day Parade, or to simple lack of attention (that, let’s be honest a lot of us suffer from) she had to redo the waist elastic 3 whole times! But it was totally worth it, because the skirt was $1.50 Goodwill find. Important lesson learned: When working with a wide elastic make sure it’s aligned properly before sewing it together!


The skirt was quite see-through, but a thrifted $2 vintage slip came to the rescue! The picture of which will not be included, because this is an appropriate, PG fairy tale !

The top that she wore that day came from far far away, all the way from overseas, from a country called Russia, because that’s where our thrifter was from. And it used to belong to her Grandmother. Unfortunately Grandma was now gone, but the memory of her lived forever in that vintage a little bit altered top! Lesson learned: Spend time with your loved ones and carry on memories of them not in your clothes, but in your heart!


Completed by a Mossimo top from a clarance rack at Target, $1 necklace from Steeple People, and the latest refashioned tote our thrifter threw on her modest black heels and walked to the car carriage, cherry pie in hand! Good thing it was 50F that day, or was it?

After a couple glasses of champagne, and traditional Thanksgiving lunch/dinner with a twist of cayenne pepper, the family decided to step outside for a nice walk, to let the food settle and make room for dessert, only to find out that the wind has picked up and the temperature dropped to 30F!

The weather’s cruel prank didn’t stop the family from their intended promenade. All it took was some extra clothes from parent’s closet.


The thrifter’s  fairy god mother mother in law spared the warmest angora coat and a beautiful beret, as well as a pair of stockings to keep the thrifter’s legs from freezing off.

And out they went into the cold! To take pictures and have lots of fun:


… for about 20 minutes or so, because it was indeed intolerable!

Lesson learned: No matter how cold it is, family time is important!

I hope you enjoyed my silly thrifter’s tale. Thrifting isn’t really that hard, but creativity is a must, especially when it comes to putting outfits together. And the final important lesson of the post is – Don’t overdo vintage/thrifted outfit. Take it slow and build up your confidence as you go along!

Have a great Wednesday everyone, we all need a little fairy tale in our lives every once in a while! I hope something magical happens to you today!

The Thrifter

Stories from my Closet: Bris Dress

Everyone, meet

Okay, it’s a London Times size 6 dress that I got at Housing Works Thrift Store on the Upper West Side at a huge sale. I can’t even remember how much it cost. All I remember are the changing rooms at that location, that reminded me of western saloons from old movies, and the fact that there was always more furniture, books and records, than clothes. I will always have fond memories of that place. And in all honesty, I think Housing Works is one of the most legit thrift stores in NYC.

This is also a dress I wore when I first went to a synagogue. To a bris ceremony.

I remember that day well. Having lived on the UWS for almost a year at that point, there were certain routine things I had to do. For example – sit in the car. Parking your vehicle in the streets of NYC is a form of art. And kudos to everyone who’s figured it out.I swear to G-d I still remember the street cleaning schedule, and when and where you could park your car on any day of the week. I remember that hump day, holidays and weekends were free passes, those were my favorites. Also any natural cataclysm, aka snow, freed you from having to move your car.

That’s what I did that morning, I sat in the car, reading a book, to two kids, who wanted nothing more, but to get out of that car. Then we got dressed, took a cab all the way to the East Side, and went to the bris.

The synagogue was surprisingly not that different from a catholic or an episcopal church. I don’t really know what I expected to see, but stained glass windows and menorahs, along with stars of David everywhere had a calming effect on me.

Unfortunately the ceremony was mostly in Hebrew, and I don’t speak that language, with an exception of a few well-known words and a Sabbath prayer.

Now it’s a well known fact that best cheese cake and dessert in general in NYC is at the synagogue. I don’t know where they get it, whether they raid Zabar’s on Monday morning before everyone else gets to it, or order from some secret dessert take out, it’s to die for. Here is a fun fact about me, I don’t necessarily like American desserts, French – yes, but that thick creamy icing rubs me the wrong way. But I will sell my soul for Jewish pastries, including challah bread.

And then there were bagels, mountains of them, and small mountains of cream cheese. Plus pizza, kosher pizza.

And then there was I in my thrifted dress, born again Christian at a synagogue, with just a chap stick and a flip phone in my pocket, wanting nothing more, but to be a part of the mystery, the religion, the act.

And now all I can hope for is for that boy to have a good Bar Mitzvah!

Shortly after we took a cab back to the Upper West Side, and I went back to my Upper West Side routine, never going back to the synagogue again.



PS. Stories from my Closet will be coming out every Friday on BeingZhenya now.



Carrie Bradshaw Habits Die Hard

Having lived in NYC I often find myself contemplating over what it’s like to be Carrie Bradshaw. Before I moved to the Upper West Side she seemed to be quiet a realistic character, after having lived there, she became the complete opposite. Why? Well maybe in the end of the 90’s you could make a living writing a weekly column for a local newspaper, but definitely not nowadays. The writers definitely fix this dilemma and take care of my confusion as the show moves from season to season, and she starts getting more jobs, like writing for Vogue, and turning her columns into a book, which is pretty neat, and I wish Candace Bushnell would write a book like that! I think it would be fab. Anyways back in Season 2 episode 14 Carrie talks about her pattern. I know that not because I am a freak and have memorized all scripts from all episodes, but because there is such an amazing thing as Google.com, where by simply typing in – sleeping till noon – Sex and the City, I found what I was looking for. So here is what she says: “I was thrown right back into my old pattern: Greasy Chinese, sleeping till noon…and feeling restless”.

Somehow I can really relate to this, this past week has been really strange, I have been sleeping till noon continuously, eating some crap food, and the restless feeling often came in the middle of the night preventing me from going to sleep. The only other time I remember myself sleeping till noon was the year I met my best friend Kat, 2000. She would call me on the phone, waking me up, and we would talk for hours. Well what else was there to do? We were teenagers. I honestly think my body is getting ready, it’s preparation time. What am I preparing for? The wedding! Marriage! Married life. Waking up early to make breakfast, pack lunch and see my husband off to work. Over the past few days I started cooking again. I am still amazed at how easy it comes to me. Surprisingly easy. So I am trying to plan ahead of time, and try to predict my future pattern.

I think it’s going to look something like this

But in all seriousness, I think I am going to become an early riser and a napper. The opposite of me being a late riser and a napper right now. I will also be a lot more selfless, since I will have another person to care for (my husband). I will definitely need one of those thingys

Or a cheaper printable version that you can get on a variety of different websites. I will definitely show you what I am going to go with when I actually come around to it.

And of course I will go back to my pattern of making comfort food, and that means BAKING. So dear future neighbors in Downtown Minneapolis, you are in luck! Just don’t piss me off, or I will put laxatives in your zucchini bread!

Have a happy 4th of July weekend!

Twilight: Team Zhenya!

Team Edward, team Jacob, ah, screw this! Flannel should also be worn by lumberjacks, and lumberjacks alone. Or normal people, at a lumberjack party! The engagement ring was more of a fashion statement, and I am glad mine isn’t like this!

Now after having drunk a few glasses of sparkling wine, and watching Twilight I found myself in the streets of a small Russian town, walking home from a REAL girls night! I have walked home late at night before, living in NYC, I could walk all the way from subway on 79th and Broadway to 82nd and Central Park West! Hell I walked all the way to the subway from meat packing district, where girls get raped, killed or sold into slavery! No wonder they have their night clubs there. What was that one called? Amnesia? They still send me email updates 🙂 Anyways, I came up with a perfect idea (note: all my ideas are perfect after having some you know what!) – if anyone is harassing you in the street, put on your Edward face, don’t blink, and tell the person who is after you that you want his blood. Man, I really wanted to try this gig out on someone tonight, but everyone seemed to be going their own way, and nobody was out there to get me! But if I learned anything after watching Twilight, this was it!

Happy weekend everyone!

PS. This weekend’s coming up posts: A church wedding and DIY Vera Bradley like tote bag! Stay tuned!

Blogs I Read…

Some of you out there probably think that all I do is write my blog, well I do that, but not just that! I also read other people’s blogs! And today I wanted to share the ones I read the most. How and where do I find them? Honestly, all over the place, sometimes on WordPress, sometimes through Twitter, or Facebook. So here is a list of some of my favorite blogs, that I think you would enjoy reading too!

1. http://spencerandjana.com

This is a blog written by an engaged couple, and their names, as you may have already guessed, are Spencer and Jana. For those of you lovers of romantic stories out there I highly recommend reading their engagement story! I really like the He says/She says idea, you can easily distinguish who the posts are written by!

2. http://nattynook.net

A blog written by 3 (correct me if I am wrong) wonderful girls, one of which I have the privilege to know in person! I love the design ideas published there!

3. http://upperweststyle.wordpress.com/

A blog about UWS (where I used to live, but which I love, sigh) written by Cheryl. I have more of a personal connection with this blog, nostalgic, if you want to put it this way! Very often images of streets stand in front of my eyes, I start remembering my time there, and miss it even more.

4. http://www.sammydvintage.com

Also a NewYorker, just like the previous author, Sammy blogs about vintage fashion, but not vintage fashion alone. She has great inspirational, motivational, and other types of -ational posts, which I love. Also check out her YouTube channel! The Thrift Wars are a BLAST!

5. http://blog.urbanoutfitters.com/

I just had to throw this one in here. Not because I love UO, but also because they have some great posts, really worth reading! I loved the one about Annie Novak, and her roof top organic farm in Brooklyn! Intrigued? Check that blog out!

I will be updating this list, and will definitely create a blogroll, so that you can access these awesome sites directly from my home page!