Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I found these cute Christmas stockings on etsy. Not sure which one I like the most

Men vs Women

Парадокс: Мужчины умнее женщин. Но у мужчин обычно хуже образование, по крайней мере отличниц больше чем отличников. Мужчины более порядочны чем женщины. Но менее хитры, поэтому выглядят менее порядочными в глазах общества. Достойных мужчин очень мало. Но все же их больше, чем достойных женщин.(c)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

where to stay when you travel

Right before we planned our trip to NY, I read a "Guide to New York City" from A Cup Of Joy.  So, when we started planning our trip I went back to her site. All  the hotels she recommended were either booked or way over our budget. She also recommended website, and I went ahead and registered there. Basically, it is a website where you can rent an apartment or a house or a bedroom or even a futon. We were looking for apartments in Manhattan, hoping we could get the "whole/entire apartment" deal. I wrote several people and said a few things about me and my hubby. I waited for responses and got several rejections, and lost a couple thousands of nerve cells before we finally found a great room in Lower East Side. The pictures looked great and the host (a Japanese girl) responded  right away. We wrote back and forth with her and got to know each other before our arrival. She turned out to be great. We had a separate bedroom (clean, airy, cozy) and shared her bathroom (which was better than I expected). We were out all day and came home pretty late. So, it just worked out great. We lived 10-15 min from the subway and a walking distance from East and West Villages.

Now, we had a really bad time finding a place to stay in Boston. Nobody from had answered and all hotels were booked or way too expensive. I started looking for B&B and even tried calling one in Cambridge (the lady said she was all booked). Finally, hubby found and booked a good hotel in Back Bay area. And that night, right before our trip, we had a good sleep, satisfied that we had everything arranged.
When we arrived in NY and were on our way to our airbnb apartment, a lady from that Cambridge B&B called me back to ask if I was still looking for a room. I didn't want to waste my precious phone minutes, so I briefly said that we got a room, thank you, good bye. While I was hanging up my call, hubby was starting to curse. Apparently, our hotel room was cancelled! I dial back that B&B lady and asked her for room :)
She gave me the phone of her neighbor who was renting a bedroom. I immediately called that lady. We  talked about the details and the room was ours! I couldn't believe that it was that easy. A day before our trip to Boston, I called her again and made sure she was holding our bedroom for us :)
It turned out great too! Her house was 10 min away from Central Square Train, 5 min away from Whole Foods! We had a comfy bedroom and shared her bathroom. She even had light breakfast for us in the mornings.

Both of our hosts were incredible. Youko,  our NY host, was a fashion designer. I loved her apartment and decor. It was an inspiration for us to have a simple, elegant, clean and minimalistic place in the future.
Our Boston host, Francis, was a inspiration of a different kind! She is a professional Chinese chef (if I understood it correctly). She is very well traveled, she is sooooo interesting to talk to. She just had both of her hips replaced a few weeks before- but she looked great. She has art in her home from all over the place- it was great discovering some unique pieces on the walls from different countries.

I think we got very lucky!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fasten your seat belts..

When were living apart, thousands miles away from each other, we dreamt that once, when we get back together in the States, we will travel together and explore new things/places together.
Our first trip was to see Our city: city where we met and fell in love and drove across to spend the weekends together before we moved in, the city where we got married and lived happily together. It was wonderful to see it again. It was somewhat sad to see our old house. It was great to spend time with our friends and keep talking for ever.

The next trip was to see New York and Boston. The planning was hectic (as usual) but we were lucky and pulled everything together at the very last minute.
We landed in NY and spent 4 days in it, mainly walking... a lot. We did see the Statue of Liberty ad Empire State Building. We did most of the touristy things and just enjoyed the views, walking around.  Few exciting things we got to do in NY were - Fuerza Bruta show, where I stood right next to Zoe Soldana! And dinner at a nice "All you can east shush" place - we got really full that night.
Then, we took a bus to Boston. In Boston we relaxed. We met interesting new people and fell in love with the city. We drove to New England and saw Walden Lake. We ate hot apple cider donuts and dumplings, we got full and sick of eating different varieties of apples at the apple-picking farm. We went wine tasting and cooked our delicious dinner together with friends, sipping on some good wine we picked up at the winery. We played games and got "funny".
This trip was great as we met with old friends and made a few new ones. We had involving and stimulating conversations and remembered our manners (as before, we were pretty secluded in terms of socializing)

Apparently, we got lucky and enjoyed the cities and Fall foliage during the last warm days. We left right before it got cold there.

New York

Museum of Modern Art

Walden Lake

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2ND Home

It has been 2.5 weeks since I came here. It feels homey, close and strange at the same time. Some parts strike me as very repulsive, while others are very encouraging and inviting.
This country definitely has many aspects -good and bad.
At first, it is very overwhelming: with the wide variety of possibilities in everything. But I think I am finally getting excited about future plans.
Like everywhere else, I realize that I am the one who makes my life interesting or dull. If I make the right decisions, if I am brave enough to get out of the house and go explore things- then life can be very interesting.
This is how my life feels like: (very colorful and smelly :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 Days

I have only 5....well 4 days left here. My suitcase is almost packed and I am more than ready to go. I am happy and sad at the same time. Happy that this part of my life will be behind me; sad because I will miss a certain man. Just a thought about missing him makes my eyes wet.
I have hope, deep down, that one day he will live close by and I will see him more often. For now, he stays behind and I know it's his life and his choice, but I will keep worrying about him nevertheless.

This trip has been so painful and meaningful for me and 2 other women. It helped to make a very difficult decision and I hope I will remember these days in the future.

But now, I need to make a few small choices about which clothes to pack and which to throw away :)
And eat more pastries :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011


С каким бы человеком ты ни расстался, всегда будут наступать моменты, когда тебе будет не хватать именно его. Именно его фирменного словечка, именно его улыбки, именно его тембра голоса, манеры курить, фигуры, образа жизни или его мыслей. Того, как он подносил зажигалку к сигарете или как произносил твое имя, какой пил кофе, как и чем угощал тебя и что произносил при этом, его глаз. Неважно, любил ты его или виделся с ним один раз в жизни. Когда-нибудь твое подсознание вспомнит , что в твоей жизни было именно это, и это было связано с каким-то определенным человеком, и ты вспомнишь, что был когда-то с ним связан чем-то, и поймешь, что неплохо было бы, если бы прямо сейчас повторилось бы то же самое, что и тогда. Ни один человек не проходит через твою жизнь, не оставив ни следа. (c)


Monday, August 8, 2011

"Шоколад на крутом кипятке" Лаура Эскивель

"...У моей бабушки была весьма  любопытная  теория:  она считала,  что  все  мы рождаемся с коробком спичек внутри, а так как мы не можем их зажигать сами, то нуждаемся, как это происходит во время эксперимента, в  кислороде и  в пламени свечи. Правда, в этом случае кислородом,  например, может  быть дыхание любимого  существа, а свечой  -- любой вид пищи, ласка или голос,  взрывающие детонатор, вот так и воспламеняется  одна  из  наших  спичек.  На  мгновение  мы  чувствуем,  что ослеплены горячим  чувством. Внутри нас возникает приятный пыл,  мало-помалу исчезающий, покамест новый  взрыв не вернет его сызнова нашему  телу. Каждый должен уяснить, какие у  него запалы, детонаторы, только так он сможет жить, ведь жар, который возникает от возгорания одного из  них, это то, что питает энергией душу.  Иными словами, эта  горючая смесь -- то, чем  вы  питаетесь.
Если кто-то вовремя не узнает, какие у него запалы, коробок спичек отсыреет, и уже никогда мы не  сможем зажечь ни  одной спички...."

via nika

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Found these pictures on Flikr -samebody. I am in absolute awe about this lady (Natalia Avseenko) and the photographer (Viktor Lyagushkin)

White whale_3
White whale_17

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Things I like about Middle East:

Bidets in every toilet
Good quality shishah
Mango/Agave/Strawberry juices with pulp
Fresh Mangosteens (I first tried them in Abu Dhabi)
Delicious pastry (mango mousse, chocolate cake with real Belgian chocolate frosting)
Authentic Arabic and Indian cuisines
Excellent service
Can order any food online/phone and it will be delivered to your house
Premium delicious dates
All kinds of beauty services for reasonable prices (waxing/threading and keratin treatments. moroccan baths are all nice and cheap)
Aromatizers with a very pleasant exotic/arabic smell (can be used for rooms/houses, clothes, even hair)

I will add up anything I forgot to mention

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I keep noticing more and more that while browsing great decoration/design/beauty/etsy blogs-  I like the photograph of some item more than the item itself. There are amazing pictures of beads, fabrics and cakes. To me, the picture itself is an art. I fall in love with it and I want that item. But do I really? Is it an item I want or a professional photograph  of it?

 from here

Saturday, July 9, 2011


It's nice to have some free time and browse internet for decorating ideas. I think below image from lonnymag via a cup of Jo is a neat inspiration to make a bar cart at home. Having No alcohol here, in ME, I'm looking forward to have some spirits on display and making holiday theme cocktails.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I put a goal to get a flat belly. I don't think I will ever have a six pack, but a flat, tout skin belly is good enough. And working out is not enough- I must change my diet and stay away from sweets.
So..I've been craving lots of cakes and cupcakes and ice-creams and donuts lately. I might order us a mango/strawberry mousse cake for July 4th as a gift to myself ;-)
This photo comes from ComeIndone on flikr- it's a mango mousse cake - exactly what I want!

Mango Mousse Cake

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Friends are not always those who support you, or share your interests. But those with whom you are somehow connected despite everything. I have different kind of friends - someone tells me something, encourages me, some - don't. But I know that they love me in their own way. That's enough for me. We are all connected, and we are small parts of the one. Even if we don't want to admit that (c)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


We wake up late - it is weekend for him. Lazily, we each go brush teeth and come back to bed to cuddle. We have breakfast and cuddle some more. Today's plan is shopping for the dress in the mall with 2 phases (whatever that means).
We dress up and head out. It's hot. We walk around the mall, finding new, unvisited and very expensive stores. We finally find ZARA and I dive in it's feminine dresses, skirts and blouses. I see that some women who shop there, already wear some items from Spring/Summer collection. I make notes of how they wear this skirt and that blouse. It's interesting to see the clothes on the racks and then on live ordinary models.
I grab several dresses and go try them on. I put the first one on- it's tight, with no zippers or buttons. 3 minutes later I am freaking out because I cannot take that dress off. Im thinking to call someone to help me pull that thing off of me. I take a break, calm down and get out of that dress. I realize all the items I took, are in size Small, and I am probably Medium. Whatever. I risk trying them all. And then go out and get Medium sizes. After many hesitations, and sms to my mom, I finally choose and buy my dress.

We check out some more stores and I buy some more stuff. Stuff, that will turn into a heavy burden for my check in luggage in 2 months. 

We have lunch at a Japanese restaurant and head back home. 
We watch our favorite TV show, relaxing at home. We go down to our small gym and jog/run for 30 min. Come back home and make a fresh fruit smoothie. 
We take showers and put on lotions. We cuddle some more and watch some more of our fav TV shows.

Life is getting back to normal- our usual routine of doing everything together. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


My brother is getting married this September. I want to get this dress for his wedding. It's from ZARA


Thursday, June 2, 2011

How it started (part III)

Read about Part II here
Read about Part I here

We live in the house he built in the North East Huntsville- nice neighborhood. I work as a student assistant at the Office of International Programs and Services- the same people who hosted me when I was there on a sponsored program- people who became my American family.  I change my major from Sociology to Finance and do better at school. I find a paid internship at Scottsboro and since I have a car now, I work there every other semester.  I can finally pay myself for my education and give my mom a financial break.

In 2007, I get in a car accident- my car is totaled and the guy who hit me doesn’t even have his driving license.  My boyfriend starts teaching me how to drive  his stick shift truck.  After a couple of nervous and teary months, I feel somewhat confident driving on my own.

I graduate in May 2008, Magna Cum Laude (hell yeah all this work!), and my mom gets to come to my commencement ceremony. We travel to Mobile, AL and Chicago, IL to show my mom some of America.

We decide, that since she is here, we can go ahead and get married and have a wedding. And so we do it on August 29th, 2008.  My best friend from back home who now lives in NY flies in to attend my wedding.

In September, we go to NY to see my mom off. We come back and I start my new job- Teller at Wachovia bank.  According to F-1 visa rules, I get to work for a year (as optional practical training) after my graduation.

Life is getting better, but I am still an "alien" and I cannot change my status until I fulfill my 2YHRR. We make a decision that its better for me to go home than stay in the States illegally. My husband starts looking for a job overseas or in DC to be closer to embassies and make international travel easier.  He finds a job in Kuwait and we start planning our unknown future. We sell our house, quit our jobs, pack our belongings and go to his parent’s town.  From there, he goes to his pre-departure orientation in Fort Benning and I go to Atlanta airport to fly back home. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Girls only

After browsing the website in my previous post, I've found wonderful things like this
I am in a bad need of a new bag. I've been carrying around my old Nine West purse that is 5 years old and is falling apart. That would be great to have a new cute purse and these beautiful cases to put in it
These cases can be used to hold pills, credit cards or even tampons - a great idea to hide personal items

Monday, May 30, 2011


I used to wear my watch all the time until I got my own cell phone and started working as a barrister (getting my hands wet several times a day)
My cell phone never "stops" and shows the correct time- perfect.
But, I love watch. And I am very picky when it comes to choosing which one to buy. I get confused in what exactly I want: do I want a  classy and expensive one (say, some famous brand) or do I want colorful, cheap but cool one, or do I want some geeky watch or girly and jewelry-like - it drives me crazy and that's why I haven't owned one since 2004.
However, I like to browse internet and choose something that I might like. Like this and this - simple, modern, will go with everything plus have a "zest" about them

Sunday, May 29, 2011


When living in the States, I met a girl who was making jewelry. She is a very talented and creative person and she inspired me to try jewelry making myself.
I am just a novice at it and I feel like I don't have enough imagination or expertise to make something I will instantly love- I always have doubts about my pieces.
I find these earrings to be very inspiring in color and design. They are so modern, young, stylish - these should be the guidelines in making my pieces

Circular Feather Earrings in Brown and Lime Green with Red Accents

Striking Bright Red and Black Spiky Feather Earrings

Small Interchangeable Feather Earrings in Brown, Blue and Beige

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New nest

I've been browsing etsy for cute ideas and found this place and this book that seems to have many ideas

And then, on Amazon, I found that Lotta Jansdotter has another cool book "Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style". I need to go to Barnes&Noble to see these books in person NOW! 

Lotta Prints Project Book - Lotta Jansdotter

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sexy legs

Just watched Russian program where they conducted experiment and found that guys pay more attention to long nice legs than breasts or pretty face.
While living here- I got used to wearing more skirts than jeans/pants and with skirts come thigh-highs or panty hose. Fortunately, our office is next to the biggest  market in the region with a big assortment of hosiery. I bought some bright blue panty hose there, and wore them with a black mini dress to work once.....good times
Before I left my job I went to the market to stock up, but they were out of cool design hosiery because the season was over, sad face.
So, I put these in my wishlist. I also read somewhere, that you can make this effect if you draw something on your leg with a sharpie before putting on nude panty hose.

sexy BUTTERFLY TATTOO thigh-high socks DEEP MOCHA

Monday, May 23, 2011

How it started (part II)

Read about part I here

There are about 500 of us from all of the countries of former Soviet Union. We have introduction seminars in DC. We live in dorms, have cultural programs, have fun and try to stay awake during the seminars after yet another sleepless night. We are divided into teams and I make friends with Russian, Ukrainian, Kazakh and many other students.- we are Purple. After a week or so we all fly out to our Universities.

I find out that together with me there will be two guys who will study at UAH- Kirill (from Kirgyzstan) and Yura (from Ukrain). We become really good friends and help each other as much as we can.  We stay in touch to this day. I flew to India in 2010, to attend Kirill’s wedding, and I hope I can visit Ukrain and meet Yura’s wife and kid one day.

The USA is not what we imagined- it is so much more. Everything is so different- the weather, trees, people, air, roads, classes, teacher-student relationships.  Plus, there is this American English that is very hard to understand - I don’t know the colloquial speech because we learnt “proper  (book) English”. In 3-4 months I will know what “cool, awesome, what are you up to?” mean, but at first it was really difficult to communicate with fellow American students. I am having a cultural shock during the first 2 months.

There are many cultural events for freshmen at the University and I sign up to read Russian poetry at one of them.  About an hour before the event I change my mind and go to the organizers to tell them I will not participate in the program. That is when I meet Him. He asks me about my smoothies and guesses right about the flavor (raspberry), he looks at my book and asks some  random questions.  I end up reading a little bit of Pushkin’s “Ruslan and Lyudmila” and managing to give Him my phone number in the end of the event.

I really want to be with this guy. This is the first time I have these warm fuzzy feelings towards anyone. In about a month we start dating.

In the back of my mind I know that in May, after my finals, I will go home and probably will never see this guy again. But right now I am here, in the States and I am enjoying my time.

The year flies buy. Although my school is so-so, I get to see New York, Virginia, Florida, California and Tennessee. I meet lots of great people and make good friends.

Our program coordinators tell us that we can stay another fortnight in the States if we find a place to live because the dorms will be closed.  He proposes to stay at his apartment- I agree.  Since he is working in Birmingham, I spend most of the evenings with his roommate, who is a pretty cool guy. My boyfriend tries to come home every evening, which means he has to wake up super early and drive back to Birmingham.    

Our last night together is very sad. We sleep in each other’s arms. The moment I step into the corridor to the plane, I start crying. In Frankfurt airport- our transit stop- I see Him in every guy. I have a naïve hope that may be he flew after me and we will meet for the last time here, in Frankfurt.  I cry the whole flight back home – I can’t believe I will not see him again.

Back home everything has changed.  My house, trees, smells, roads – are not how I remember them to be. I have a common re-entry culture shock.  I rarely go out and only with people who have been to the States like me.

My relatives come to my house to visit me and I get a call from Him. I come out with red eyes and go straight into the kitchen to help dad. My dad understands me, he says I will always remember my first love.

 I get a job at the local tour-operating firm as a marketing assistant.

We keep in touch, He calls me, and we email each other.  One day he asks me if I want to come back to finish school there.  After the bureaucratic paperwork, He mails me the necessary documents and I go to the U.S. Embassy and get my visa. My 2YHRR (Two year home residence requirement) allows me to apply for a non-immigrant visa, like F-1 student visa.  I buy the ticket the same day, and within two days I am boarding my plane back to the States. 

He meets me in Nashville and helps out at the beginning; He’s still working in Birmingham.

I move in with a friend of mine- our apartment is close to UAH; I see Him only on weekends. In a year, I learn to drive and buy my first car and move in with Him.


Having long black hair is such a luxury :)
I love these ideas of hair accessories - simple, romantic and giiiiirrrrrrrrrrrly
from dreamsbythesea

15% OFF Sale - Natural Sugar Starfish Barrette Clip - Small - Romantic Whimsical Dreamy Sea Star for Your Hair - Mermaid Collection

15% OFF Sale - Double Natural Sugar Starfish Barrette Clip - Romantic Whimsical Dreamy Sea Stars for Your Hair - Mermaid Collection

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How it started (part I)

Fall 2002. I am a sophomore at the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages, majoring in English Linguistics with French minor- I have a full state scholarship and my education is not only free- I get monthly stipend depending on the quality of my grades (GPA: 3.89).  In addition to 6-8 classes per semester, I take extra English and French classes four times a week. I live with my dad and brother and life is very busy but sweet.
I am applying for this exchange program for the third time.  I write 3 essays, attach 2 recommendations in closed envelopes and submit my grades; I pray, as this is the last time I can apply for this.
In about 2 months I get a reply that I passed this “1st round” and I am invited for an interview and a preliminary TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
In another month, they call me to invite me to the real TOEFL test – I have passed “2nd round”
Around late spring, I know that my TOEFL results were good – I passed the “3rd round” and I am going to Huntsville, AL. For the whole academic year I will study in the University of Alabama in Huntsville. I will receive money for books and monthly stipend. My dorm, food and classes are paid by the US State Department.
I am one of the 3 girls from my city, and one of the 13 students from Uzbekistan who will participate in this program in 2003-2004. It’s mind blowing for a geeky girl like me who never lived away from her parents.

Right before we say good-bye to our parents who come to see us off  – we are asked to sign this paper- just a formality. It has 2pages- and it has our name and how much money will be spent on each of us. In also has a box ‘subject to two-year residence requirement based on – Government funding’
 We are asked to read it thru and everyone notices this passage on the back about our physical presence in our country of origin after the program completion. We cannot apply for an immigrant visa until we spend 2 years in our home country, even if we get married to a US citizen or give birth to a US citizen.
I easily sign this form- I am not planning on staying in the USA – it’s just a year full of fun, where everything (or mostly everything) is paid for. After the completion of the program I plan to come back to my home University and get my B.S. degree in English Philology 

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I don't remember where I got this poem. I just copied and saved it on my desktop. Upon google search, I found the original poem, written by Mary Elizabeth Frye in 1932. 
 I like this version more

 Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn's rain.

When you awake in the morning bush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there; I did not die.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

May 14

It's Saturday evening and my men went to a party. I made myself zucchini salad and  sat down watching a stupid movie on TV. In about 3 weeks, on a Saturday evening, I will be with my Man (hopefully eating sushi).
I will miss being around my dad and brother, watching them come home from work, take shower and ask me to iron their fancy shirts; spray good smelling stuff and tell me they will not be long.
To cheer myself up, I am browsing cute websites and dream about decorating our future new home.
 I hope we can have something cute like this (from ShaNickers on etsy)

ShaNickers Wall Decal, DAISIES, Free Shipping

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Curtains may be?

I just found this beautiful fabric and immediately thought about cute curtains or crafty squares on the walls
I love, love, love the design. Wish I could sew

Jessica Jones FABRIC - Home Decor - Outside Oslo - Frond - Dawn