{27 Dresses} Dress 11: Going to a chapel…

 

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Sam’s cousin got married last Saturday! Congrats Danny and Amanda! We are absolutely excited for you!

And even though I won’t be sharing any of your wedding pictures (that’s 100% your prerogative), I will share some of mine 😉

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The inside of beautiful Pilgrim Evangelical Lutheran Church

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I am wearing:

Dress – Ann Taylor, NecklaceAnna Tail Designs, Shoes – Mossimo, Watch – Marc by Marc Jacobs

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The reception was at a St. Paul College club. I don’t know St. Paul really well, but the trip out there made me want to explore that city! So maybe one of those weekends 😉

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Of course I had to take the picture of the cupcakes! They were delicious – the best icing I’ve had in a long time!

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I was absolutely in love with this light fixture! Now if only I had where to put a similar one!

Once again, congrats Dan & Amanda!

Lot’s of love,

Zhenya (and Sam)

I wouldn’t have been able to take any of these amazing photos without my Samsung Galaxy!

Disclosure: 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!

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{27 Dresses} Dress 8: Summer Blues (One dress Two ways)

Sometimes I wonder what I’m a gonna do

But there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues

Disclousure: 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!

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And the Minnesota weather is what’s causing my summer blues! But it’s a good reason to start getting ready for fall, layering pieces, pulling out all of my scarves and jackets!

I love fall!

But summer is still here…

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And I love this Urban Outfitters dress especially for its’ back…

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And it’s so easy to strike a pose in this dress, and have fun! That’s what it is! It’s my fun dress…

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… which can be easily transformed into a fall outfit with the help of a scarf, a denim jacket and a pair of leggings:

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Are you getting ready for fall? If so, how? Do tell!

Xx,

Z

PS. All of the above pictures were taken by me using my Samsung Galaxy camera. Sam couldn’t take them for me, because he was asleep! Thank God I have a tripod 😛

 

Samsung Galaxy Camera Review through the Eyes of a Fashion Blogger

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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!

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After having this camera for 3 months, I am finally ready to do a review! Let me just get one thing off my chest! I am more than grateful to Verizon for providing me with a camera! When the campaign started all we knew was that we were getting devices, but what kind? It was a mystery! Haven’t had a camera in my arsenal for over 3 years now, I kept bugging my husband to get me one. And his answer always was – use your iPhone, your iPhone has a camera, etc. But it’s so so important to a blogger to have a camera, that is just a camera, or so I thought!

When I got the hands on the Galaxy, I really didn’t expect it to do everything that it does! Yes, they make cameras these days that can do way way more than take pictures. This camera does everything but make phone calls! All thanks to the Android operating system, and the Verizon 4G LTE sim card that is included!

The android operating system and the number of apps to choose from are a definite plus. The camera is a touch screen and is very easy to operate, even for me, a devout Apple user!

A pleasant surprise was when I connected my camera to Dropbox and received another 50 GB of upload space! Dropbox is the number one method of how I upload the pictures onto my Mac. I hate the whole cord tangling/untangling, finding the cord, putting it back into the designated place, etc. So this camera makes it that much easier!

Of course I immediately wanted to purchase a tripod, fortunately my in-laws had a travel version that works really well and helps me take photos and videos when my husband is not around!

I have been carrying this camera everywhere with me: work, out on the town, even on the boat while sailing! It’s very compact and fits not only in my purses and bags, but also into my jean jacket pocket! And that’s a plus!

The battery life is definitely worth it, and the camera goes into energy saving mode when not in use, and automatically shuts off after a while!

It also talks to you! And let me tell you, there is nothing creepier than “ONE NEW EMAIL” said in a shrill female voice! It did take me a while to get used to, and I don’t think I still am 😉

There is also quiet a number of smart settings, that allow you to take different pictures in different settings. One of my ultimate favorites is the action shot! It is that great!

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I know that at the end of the day this camera won’t be the same as DSLR, but it’s better than nothing, and if you are a social media junkie like me, you will love the instant ability to upload to any site, as long as there is an app for that! Right, Nokia Lumia?

Xx,

Zhenya

 

{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!

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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!

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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!

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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*)

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

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

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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

Sewing Goodies

Disclaimer: I am participating in a Verizon Wireless blogger program, and received the device for free, in exchange for my honest opinion. For more information, please click on the Verizon Voices Icon above!

I just have to share these with you! As some of you may recall I was on Refashion Runway, and today I wanted to share what was in my awesome prize that I got from Katherine of Pillows A-La Mode! And to make it easier for everyone, I took a video with my new Nokia Lumia phone! Check it out here:

Hope you had a great weekend! Check back often for outfit, beauty, fashion, style and sewing posts!

Xo,

Z

 

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Nokia Lumia 928

Today’s post is a review on Nokia Lumia 928, a complimentary phone and service

I received from Verizon Wireless, in exchange for my honest opinion. For more information, please click on the Verizon Voices Icon below!

As some of you may recall I travelled to Chicago back in May to meet the other Midwest Fashion and Style bloggers, and to get my first device – Samsung Galaxy camera. And maybe some of you think it’s strange to be posting about the second device before the first, but I feel like the phone is a much more essential part of our daily lives than a camera, even if it’s smart! So here it goes:

The Verizon Blogger program was originally set up like so: you get the first device in Chicago, the second devices comes in the mail 3 months later! But then they decided to send us the phone 2 months early! That was absolutely fine by me 🙂

So I knew I was getting the phone from the start, you see we were receiving hints through Twitter – it was almost like a scavenger hunt. And Sam was actually the one, who thought that the device might be Nokia Lumia! And it was, the new 928 model!

After reading the ArsTechnica review I was pretty excited for the Lumia! And then it came…

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As you can see, it came with this awesome wireless charger, which I absolutely love, and which came extremely handy during our move! (I will explain later!)

The phone came with an Illinois number, which was convenient, and I didn’t have to switch from my iPhone 4S. That was my biggest concern to begin with! But then I quickly became one of those people who have 2 phones! On the other hand it gave me an opportunity to talk more about my blog and the Verizon Blogger Program I am a part of!

My first impression of the phone was – OMGILOVEIT!!! Said probably a hundred times on that first night! I loved the size of the screen, the quality of the glass (gorilla glass, as I learned later during a very useful webinar!), the quality of the picture, the video quality, everything about this phone was AMAZING, or so I thought!

Then I wanted to upload my first VLOG video to YouTube, and that’s where my frustrations began – I couldn’t get the files off the Windows phone, and it refused to upload directly to YouTube. I know to some of you this is not a major concern, but I am a blogger, so let me rant 😉

Having been an Apple user since 2010, the last time I used Windows was to install a pattern making program on my husband’s PC, that died a few months ago! And the app didn’t work on my laptop. So Sam ended up updating my OS (operating system) to the latest software, which solved the problem, but cost $20!

The video quality is great though, see for yourselves:

Definitely better than the iPhone!

Here are some examples of the picture quality! I am not going to compare it to the iPhone that I currently have, or the 5, that Sam has, I am not that kind of blogger 🙂 but I am sure there are plenty of comparisons out there!

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App wise the phone isn’t great. From what I understood, Google has some sort of an agreement with Apple, and they don’t want to let the Nokia in on the deal. Sounds like a typical problem in my classroom, only I work with 2-3 y.o., and these are big guys we are talking about here!

One of the first comments that my fellow bloggers made, as well as one of my coworkers who has Lumia 920, was – THERE IS NO INSTAGRAM! And I said it too, because that’s one of the most popular social networks for us nowadays. Facebook went all commercialized, Twitter is too fast and hard to catch up with, so Instagram is something that has a little personality left.

There is an Instagram substitute, a Nokia app called Instance, which has different filters, and is full of ads, but connects to your original Instagram account.

As you will see with this phone, there are a lot of third party apps, which seem questionable and untrustworthy. But are not as bad if you spend the time reading the reviews.

Moving on! I really want to talk about the speaker on that phone! It is truly amazing! I am a huge Pandora fan, I have my stations all picked out, I know when to hit shuffle, it all matches my moods, or helps improve productivity (I have been listening to a lot of The Avett Brothers and the like recently, maybe that’s why I’ve been kind of lazy and laid back 😉 ) I also get Ads-FREE Pandora through the end of the year through this phone! Which is great, because according to my account I still live in NYC, so I get a lot of Metro PCS commercials, which are often in Spanish, go figure!

Anyways where was I? Radio! Nokia Lumia comes with Nokia Radio (I guess that’s a good name for it!) But a lot of the music is very European! I didn’t like any of the work out stations, I told you I am not very European, even though I was born and lived there for the most part of my life!

I think another feature worth mentioning is Sky Drive! I specifically asked during the webinar if it was like iCloud or DropBox, and the answer was Dropbox, and it is. But since I am already using DropBox the question is – what do I need the second one for? Well, it’s easier to get the files off the phone! That’s all!

Any other perks? I do think the Pinterest type home screen is a cute idea, plus you can customize is! So mine went from “Verizon” red to teal! That’s pretty neat!

Oh and Internet sharing! As most of you know, Sam and I bought a house! Which also lead to me starting a new blog, dedicated entirely to the house called Story and a Half of Our Life (go check it out and give it some love please! ), and since the process of moving took us a week (Sam had an alarming pain in his right side, and we spent a few VERY long hours in the ER, but he is okay now, and it was most likely a pulled muscle of some sort) we couldn’t have our Comcast Internet at the apartment and the house at the same time, so I used my Nokia to create a hot spot, and turned the Internet Sharing on! Thank you, Verizon, for providing me with the unlimited data plan! I really appreciate it!

So to sum it all up:

THE GOOD: Great design, sound, picture and video quality (for the Phone!), interesting interface, user friendly, most apps are there,

THE BAD: The software for MAC was hard to figure out, Internet Explorer search engine only, the battery doesn’t last that long if you are on it all the time.

THE UGLY: A lot of apps are not there, and you don’t know when they are coming, if at all and having to go around them sucks! Plus the constant ads in a lot of apps do get to you very quickly!  And it’s a Verizon exclusive!

THE VERDICT: Am I going to switch to Nokia after my contract is up in October? I don’t know! Probably not. It’s a hard phone to get used to, especially when you are still on your iPhone. I still reach for the old one over the new, maybe out of habit, but probably more out of familiarity and simplicity of it all!

I hope this was somewhat helpful, and I know that some of you have already told me that once your contract is up, you will be switching to this phone. But please think before you act. I know I am not really praising it, but I don’t want to bring it down either! The choice is always yours.

Xo,

Z

Summer Life & Style Bucket List

Summer is here, which means it’s the perfect time for a summer list! Here are a few things I  am putting on mine:

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– Post more summer style outfits and photos, thanks to my Samsung Galaxy camera and my new Nokia Lumia 928 it’s going to be a breeze! Thank you Verizon!

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– Create a summer 2013 playlist!

– Work out at least 3 times a week, be it yoga, a Jillian Michaels DVD, or simply jogging in the park, I am going to do it!

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– Introduce you to “Story and a half of our Life”!

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– Post more refashions and DIY projects – It feels really good to inspire my readers, so I want to keep that going! It also feels really good to be featured on Craft Gossip 🙂

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– Yard Sale (I have come to realize how much clothes I have. And maybe being a fashion blogger, somehow justifies me, but I don’t think the closet space or the lack of the latter does 🙂 )

– Do a Giveaway on my blog, it was a while ago that I hit 1000 unique WordPress subscribers! Thank you and keep an eye on my blog, because there will be something special coming up for you all very very soon!

I hope you all have an amazing summer! I know I will 🙂

Xo,

Z

Guess what? ROMWE is having another great sale – $19.99 Flash Sale on 200 Crazy Leggings 6/18 – 6/20 So Hurry! http://www.romwe.com/manage_activity/200+_leggings_flash_sale/

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Outfit: Sculpture garden at dusk

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Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Style Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

There are oh so many things you can do with denim, so I finally decided to make a top from all the leftovers I had!

My goal was to make something reversible, something that you could wear both ways, something without back, or front… I also knew that I definitely wanted to incorporate crochet into this refashion.

I used two different pairs of jeans, cut off the pant legs, traced one of the tops that I had to get the size right, and added the embellishments:

Before

The crochet piece is made of a really thick cotton hemp like yarn. I followed a simple pattern, used a 3.5 mm hook, and after a couple hours and a couple blisters, I think it adds to the piece and makes it very unique!

I sewed the two sides together, finished the edges off with some vintage bias tape (thank you freecycle) and was ready to go! You can notice that in the picture above the zipper is positioned differently that in the pictures below! That’s because I decided to flip it upside down for a better fit and a vest-like effect that can be achieved with this top!

After I finished the top, I went to the Sculpture Garden, one of my favorite spots in the whole world! Hence, perfect for this photo shoot! So with my Samsung Galaxy in hand, I mean in Sam’s hand – that’s what it looks like …

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I am wearing:

Skirt – Refashioned Vintage // Boots – Steve Madden // Sunnies – Lucky the Weekender // Bangles – H&M // Bag – Vintage Coach // Watch – Marc by Marc Jacobs

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Have a great weekend!

Xo,

Z

PS. I honestly think the photos turned out great, even though it was dusk – one of the hardest times of the day to photograph in my opinion!

We are also moving next week! Wish me luck!

Linking up wit Ruby Girl – Fashion and Faith

Dandelion Queen

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Saturday after all the rain has passed, Sam and I went to one of our favorite places in the Twin Cities – Lake of the Isles. If you’ve never been to the Twin Cities, that  is probably the number one place I would recommend you go to! We don’t have Central Park, like some of you, lucky New Yorkers, but we love what we’ve got!

And of course I had to take advantage of my new Samsung Galaxy camera*, and get some shots!

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I AM WEARING: Dress (which is actually a skirt 😉 ) – Orsay (Bought in Russia) //

Vest – Ralph Lauren (thrifted) // Bag – vintage Via Piaggi // Watch – Marc by Marc Jacobs //

Sandals – Target

How was your weekend? Did you go to your favorite place? If so, tell me about it!

Xo,

Z

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Style Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Rock Your Denim Vest!!!

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I’ve recently heard that if you want to see all of the latest fashion trends – go to Forever 21 – that’s where you’ll find them! And that’s true – everywhere you look in that store – you see something different and stylish, plus they have some classy pieces as well! I don’t really shop there that often, so those of you who thought I was now promoting for F21, think again! I did go in there during my trip to Chicago, simply because it was a free standing store! If some of you don’t know, I hate malls, just hate going inside, shopping there is too much for me (I wonder if you fellow thrifters have the same problem?), anyways, the one thing that I saw and liked was the denim vest, and besides if Jessica Alba can rock hers, why can’t I rock mine? Besides I saw this trend later featured on Chic Trends and I personally think it’s awesome!

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Photo from InStyle.com

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The only problem was – I didn’t have one! So I went off to Salvation Army in the Warehouse district and found a Ralph Lauren one for $6! Just to compare, Forever 21 vests retail for at least $20! My original plan was (if I didn’t find the vest) to get a jacket and chop the sleeves off!

But here it is, my denim vest and the outfit I put together! We also went to Walker where my mother in law is a tour guide, so I got my very own personal tour of the two newest exhibits! Thank you, Sandra!

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Shoes and Tights – Target // Shorts – New Yorker// Sweater – AX (thrifted)//

Denim Vest – Ralph Lauren (thrifted) // BagVintage Kenneth Cole 

Sunnies – Lucky The Weekender//Necklaces – H&M, Express//

Bracelets – SJP’s Bitten, H&M, VIntage //Earrings – Vintage

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Walker // Exhibit Painter Painter

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Walker // Exhibit Autoconstruccion

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Happy Monday everyone!

Xo,

Z

PS. I can’t get over the pictures my new Samsung Galaxy camera takes! What do you think?

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Style Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

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