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среда, 17 апреля 2013 г.

April shopping

It's been a long time since my last post. Well, the main reason was Sasha's 5th Birthday. That took some time.

Few words about my april shopping list. I was thinking of buying a couple of blouses - one mire like a casual type and one - sort of business casual. But I ended up buying a pretty dress and a navy blue v-neck silk blouse from GAP. I couldn't find any photos of my blouse from the internet. GAP in Russia is always a season late, you know. That means when you, ladies, have a summer collection - we have a spring collection:) But here's the dress I've bought:

I didn't like it on a hanger but I was really in a mood to try something new - so I've tried this on and it was so adorable. At first, I tried S, but it was a bit larger than I've expected, so I had to try XS and it fitted perfectly! A have a really nice blue bag from ModCloth which will look great with this dress. The only thing I need - is a pair of shoes. I'm thinking of buying a pair of brown sandals for this dress.

So, my shopping list for May will be:

White pants
Blazer. Not sure what color to choose, probably navy or coral:

Brown sandals or wedges

среда, 20 марта 2013 г.

Real estate in Russia

Ok, first of all when I'm speaking about Russia - I'm referring to Moscow, because in most of our towns people live below the poverty line.

Most of us live in tiny 2 or 3 room apartments - you know, you can say a lot of bad things about Soviets but what they did great - they gave these apartments almost for free. For example, if you were a single mother with a female kid the government gave you 1 room apartment, but if you were a single mother with a male kid - they gave you a 2 room apartment. Any person could buy an apartment after 5 years working at the factory. That's it. No credits. No loans.

But in modern 'free and democratic' Russia it's almost impossible to buy an appartment. I mean, I know some people who managed to do so, but you really can't earn so much money by fair means. So, most of the youth lives with their parents or even grandparents, or if it's worst case - you can find 3 or 4 generations of Russian people living together in 2 room apartment. Believe me, it's really, I mean - REALLY common scenario.

We got lucky, we live in an apartment received by Lesha's grandmother by her factory almost 30 years ago. She got it when they've already bought their own 2 room apartment, so she gave it to the newly-weds - Lesha's parents. Then, about 7 years ago, Lesha's parents bought a new 2 room apartments and moved out from this one. So, almost 6 years ago, we moved in. Yes, there are 4 of us now and we do share ONE single room. Here's some photos of our apartment:
1. Bath
2. Kitchen
3. Living room/kids room/Bedroom from different angles

Yes, it's only one room for 4 people)

You know how much does it cost? Here a 1 room apartment from our house, same layout as ours. Don't be freaked out by the 'design' - it's common here - people are driving business class cars or even luxary cars and live in such a mess) It's 242 633 $!!! here are some fotos

Here's a 1 room apartment just for 203 590 $. Just look at that kitchen and bath and feel free to throw up

So, what do you think about it? Nice, ha?))

воскресенье, 17 марта 2013 г.

March shopping - results

Ok, it didn't turned out as I've planned. I didn't buy a stripped top - mostly because it makes me shorter and wider. I also could't find a nice lace top (I found it after I've spent my shopping budget - so, it's still on a list for April shopping). However, I did buy a pair of dark wash straight jeans from GAP. It fits perfectly!
I also bought a grey V-neck cardigan form GAP and 3 basic T-shirts 'cause they had this 3 for the price of 2 thing. I ended up with such a pick mostly because of Clinton's advice - when your on tight budget - spend 75% of it on basics and classics and only 25% on fashion stuff.

The biggest news are - after almost 4 years of growing my hair and being disapointed with the way it looks I finally got back to the hairstyle which never let me down - bob!

By the way, speaking of the hair... I bought this pink babe:

It really works! I tried it out when I had my long hair - and it was awsome. Usually I had like a huge hairball left on my comb, but with this pink lady - like 1-2 single hair. Now I can easily brush my hair when it's wet which is great for me  'cause I wash my hair just before going to bed.

Now I want this pocket one with my favorite cartoon sheep on it:

My daughter Sasha also liked it - no tears=happy Sasha

Win a pair of glasses

Hey, you can win a pair of Gucci sunglasses from by entering the contest at Audrey's blog ! Good luck!

четверг, 14 марта 2013 г.

Oh no, she didn't

Ok, I must confess - I looove Clinton and Stacy) 'What not to wear' was the main reason for me to change my wardrobe. Yes, I was the one, mom of 2 kids, wearing  clothes from junior departments, those to 'rhyme with Blabercombie &Flitch, Kollister and Shmamerican Beagle'! Yes, Clinton you're right, I've experienced my first menstruation more than 10 years ago, I can legally order a Long island Iced tea on Long Island and when I was a kid I did have to get off the couch to change the TV channels! Thank God, at least nobody calls me ma'am, I'm only 25 after all:) It's time to move on. Thank you, Clinton and Stacy.

Some of 'no-no's were a great discovery for me, like matching jewelry. I always thought your earrings and necklace should match, but according to Clinton it's a no-no. I love Clinton too much to argue with that. By the way, what's up with this bubble necklace every fashion blogger wears? I see it so often I'm already dizzy.

 It reminds me of that 'trend' we had in middle school when I was living in Marocco - every girl at school had a pendant with a dolphin on a globe shaped stone! I have nothing against this bubble necklace  but I won't buy it for sure:)

P.S. Ha! I even managed to find this creepy dolphin on Etsy!

среда, 13 марта 2013 г.

Habemus Papam!

Wow, what a night it was! We were watching the online broadcast from Vatican after we saw the white smoke and couldn't wait to see the new Pope. Then, after we've heard the big news I called my son's godmother who's from Argentina to congratulate her with such a big event for Argentina.

So, yes, big day for us.

I think it's time to tell my story - how I became Christian.

As far as I can remember I considered myself Christian. My parents are both lapsed Orthodox and the only one person in my family who believed in Christ was my grandmother Maria from Belorussia who was baptist. She read me stories from the Bible when I was a kid and thought me how to pray every day. But after I've read the Bible and did some research on early church History I realised that the notion of a pope makes perfect sense.

I observed Matthew 16 mixed with Isaiah 22 to show Peter as the rock and leader of the church. First Timothy 3:15 says that the church is the pillar of truth.

I became aware that scripture itself came from the church. The church predates scripture and without an authoritative church the very bible so many use to disprove the Catholic Church would not have existed.

Ok, let's say you want to know everything about the World War II. Who will you ask about it? The WWII veteran? His son or grandson? A history teacher? Or a man who lived thousand years after the WWII and tells you 'This veteran, his kids who have heard his war stories know nothing! I can tell you everything about WWII! I know how it was.' Obvious answer, isn't it? 

Many of the Fathers knew or were born a generation away from the apostles. I believe that those people closest to the source might know more about the Bible than someone else would. I also believed that the idea of Scripture alone as authority isn't right. Without help in interpreting scripture people can not agree on many points essential to salvation and church authority, and have split thousands of times. Without someone to guard the scriptures a lot of cults and dangerous teachings manipulate people to this day using the bible. 

I was most impressed by the fact that the church was  one for 1500 plus years.

If a fundamentalist position is correct that means that there were no correct practicing Christians all that time, and that's not true.

So how did I came to such thoughts? I was baptised as Orthodox at 21.  I never thought of being an Orthodox . I baptised beacause my mother-in-law was blackmailing me. Yes, that may sound weird. I still had one year of my Universiry degree to finish, we didn't have any money for a babysitter, my mom worked full-time and could babysit my daughter only 2 days a week while I needed to be at the Unversity for 5 days a week. So my mother-in-law suggested to babysit Sasha for  other 3 days left. I was really happy and thankfull. But after a month Sasha caught flu and has been sick for like 2 weeks. So my mother-in-law became obsessed with the idea that my daughetr is sick only because she's not baptised. And if I didn't baptise her she won't babysit her anylonger. What can I say, Russian people are superstitious:( I went to local Orthodox church and it turned out that you can't baptise a child if one of the parents or both are not baptised in Orthodox. My husband was an Orthodox too, so  I thought I had no choice. I was baptised Orthidox.

After my baptism I couldn't find peace. I felt like I've made a huge mistake, that I shouldn't be afraid of my mother-in-law and that it wasn't my choice. I felt like a slave, like everyone can take my opinion and choice and throw it into trash bag. So I started reading and studying Bible to find some answers - maybe to find out that the Orthodox church is the one Jesus was speaking about. The more research I did, the more I've become convinced that if there is a true Church - it's Catholic. It took me a year to go to my first Mass. I finally went to church and then...I cried. I cried like a baby. Because I felt home. Even when I'm writing this line my eyes are wet. I felt it. I felt the Holy Spirit, something I had a doubt  a person can feel. I couldn't wait anymore. I went to the priest and asked him how can I become Catholic. I went home and had only one wish - to tell everything to Lesha.

We were having dinner as I mustered up the nerve to tell Lesha about my decision. I prayed: 'Please God, give me the sign if this choice is right!'  As I've opened the month Lesha started to speak: 'You know, I've been to Catholic Cathedral yesterday. I know you'll be shocked and mad, but I'm converting to Catholicism.' I was speechless. If it's not a sign I've been asking for I don't know what else is. I was like: 'Oh my God! Me too'. 
We were so happy!

Being Catholic in Russia is sometimes really hard. A lot of people here hate Catholic Church. My mother-in-law haven't spoken to me since our convertion (we converted the same day). Some of my friends stopped calling me after they've heard the big news. But it's worth it. Because I'm finally in peace.