Thursday, January 24, 2013

When Creativity Strikes

Creativity can be defined in a myriad of different ways: some of us are great painters, some are great writers, some are great dancers, singers, speakers, great innovators, etc. It’s an amazing thing to truly know and understand what your abilities are, to believe in them and to be able to express them.
For me, I don’t think I have ever been exceptionally good at anything in particular; however, I’ve always liked to dabble into various things, just to try them out. Some things stuck (writing, styling, dancing), others were just one/two-time projects. However, no matter what the outcome, it’s the process and all positive energy that goes into it that really count.
A few years back, I found these pictures in Glamour magazine that I thought looked really chic. I wanted to have them as a part of my room décor, but they were too small to be showcased on the walls. My solution was to draw the pictures myself copying them from the magazine originals. As the end result, the pictures turned out pretty amazing and are now proudly hung on the walls in my room at my parents’ house. I think it is very much worth it to put in some effort into a random project to get a great one-of-a-kind piece. 
Do you have any interesting projects you would like to share?

{The pictures on the left are the originals; the pictures on the right are my reproductions}

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Golden Globes '13

Amongst all the serenity and bleakness of the winter season, there is a great silver lining – an über exciting series of awards shows. This alone makes winter a very exciting time of the year.
I wanted to make this a quick post to highlight my three favorite looks and dresses of today’s Golden Globes show, but as I flipped through a photo gallery on yahoo, I could not stop at three… So here are the many beautiful Golden Globes looks:

{Hayden Panettiere is so pretty in pink}

{Julianne Hough was definitely having her princess moment}

{Nicole Richi looked so sleek and chic}

{Magen Fox went for a sort of understated but absolutely gorgeous look}

{Emily Blunt - beautiful, and that says it all}

{Salma Hayek was absolutely stunning}

{I loved Jessica Alba's red lip and accent on accessories}

{Zooey Deschanel always stays true to her quirky style and makes it so beautiful. Her makeup was so beautiful today, too}

{Stacy Keibler looked so elegant}

{Jennifer Garner - great choice of color, fabric and style}

{Julie Bowen is one of the most exciting attendees to see at any awards shows - she always wears something unique and looks amazing}

{I don't know what it is but I really liked this dress. It's definitely different from a typical red carpet gown, but in my opinion Lucy Liu totally made it work}

{Kate Hudson - gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, from head to toe!}

{Morena Baccarin - my personal favorite!A dress that definitely stood out for me}

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Place

One of the [many!] things I love about New York is its overabundance of great, unique, and truly diverse cafes and restaurants. There is a place for any style, any taste, any mood. While I love trying new places, there has always been ‘the place’ whenever I moved to a different area. ‘The place’ is that special spot you like to go back to with your friends, family and by yourself to enjoy comfortable atmosphere, share a good conversation, talk about exciting or upsetting news. Usually a nice, cozy coffee shop does it for me, as I am a big coffee addict (gasp! I did not just admit that!); however, here in NYC I found this little family owned Italian restaurant in midtown called Mercato, which quickly became one of my favorite spots in the city. The first time I visited Mercato was in the summer of 2011, during my New York City internship. My managers took me and another intern there at the end of the program to reflect on our progress and newly gained experience. It was such great time (I accepted their job offer afterwards and I now work at the same company J), so every time I go back, I am reminded of how it all started. As an extra bonus, their interior is beautiful and homey and their food is exceptional. Talk about a win-win!

Sweater, Scarf, Bracelet: NY & Company

Friday, January 11, 2013

Winter Blues

Hi guys! I don’t know about you, but I have been feeling quite lousy for these past few days. I’m not sure what exactly it is – gray, dreary weather outside, fairly uneventful winter season, the fact that the holidays are over,  or the fact that I have still not been able to commit to my New Year’s resolutions (and it’s January 11th already!). No matter what it is, there is pretty much one solution to the issue – find inspiration, focus on something that makes me happy, and accept the fact that things can’t always be arranged. I keep building these plans and strategies of how to live, how to act, how to have fun, etc., and then when I cannot commit to my own “rules,” it makes me upset. What I don’t realize, though (or actually I do realize it, but I just cannot fully take it on) is that all those “rules” are foolish and useless. Things will always happen the way they do regardless of what the “plan” is; and the only things we can do to become more content with a given situation is to simply start appreciating and building on what we’ve got and start bringing inspiration and motivation into our own lives. This might sound like the most obvious and simple thing, but in reality this probably is one of the most complex and complicated tasks. Well, baby steps, is all I have to say.

While I really truly should try to stay away from commitments to myself, I will commit to this: step by step I will achieve my biggest goal – the goal of accepting myself and not being afraid to make a statement and show my presence. This post is my first step, the step of opening up to whoever comes across this post and admitting all these things out loud (well, writing them out, in my case). So here we go…

Since my blog is about fashion and lifestyle, here’s something to “snack on.” This picture was taken a little after I moved into my first (and so far only) NYC apartment. Probably the most exciting thing about having my own place was that I could start everything from scratch, from arranging the furniture to picking the colors and styles of my rooms and various interior items. For my kitchen set, I chose a red/orange palette. I like a splash of bright color in the place where people usually gather for share a meal, a drink, a conversation. I think it suits the overall atmosphere very well and bring in some happy notes to any event.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Simple Things

It's so great how sometimes the simplest things can make me so happy. Like taking a day off in the middle of the week. Always having been the one to plan ahead and postpone my vacation days till the very last moment "just in case," this time I decided to take a different approach. Last week I found out that I have three vacation days rolled over from last year and instead of storing them for later as usually, I decided to go for them and scheduled them all in January, one of them happens to be tomorrow! So exciting! I know, weird - a day off in the middle of the week, but honestly, that's just the way I like it. What's the point of taking a day off on Friday? Fridays are great as they are even if you have to work, because everyone is already in anticipation of the weekend and seems happy and excited. Mid-week days off are a completely different story. You break your work week and get to pretty much enjoy two weekends. Trust me, it's great, just try it!
As for this outfit, I think this is a great way to wear something simple but cute on a day when you want to feel comfy but still trendy.

Sweater: Gap;  Pants: via Bedazzled Boutique;  Boots: FALCHI by Falchi;  Loop Scarf and Bracelet: NY & Company

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back in the Game

It is hard to believe that all the holidays are now over and we are back to our usual routines with a few exceptions of whatever changes need to be made in order to accommodate our New Year's resolutions. While preparations and anticipation of the holidays rank high on my list of favorite things, it actually feels nice to realize that all of that is now behind and it is time to make up for everything we missed in the holiday rush and to focus on planning new random outings, celebrations, and other events.
For my outfit today I chose to wear a blue pinstriped button-down shirt and a tangerine jacket. I figured it would be exciting and somewhat meaningful to start a new year at work in bright, optimistic colors.

Jacket: Bebe;  Shirt and Jewelry: NY & Company;  Pants: via Bedazzled Boutique; Boots: Nine West

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

They say in Russia that “New Year’s is a family holiday.” Despite always having celebrated the holiday by in the circle of family and best family friends, this year I decided to try a different approach – to spend a New Year’s with my friends at a huge party in Brooklyn. The ticket was bought, [faux] leather leggings and a sequined top were prepared and the whole night of fun was planned out in my head. One day before New Year’s, the plan changed in a way that I was now going to a party at our family friends’ house before meeting up with my friends at the place in Brooklyn for the actual New Year’s celebration. Somehow as the night progressed, the whole celebration turned out to be a complete opposite of what I had planned – I never made it to the party and I spent an amazing and beautiful holiday with my family and our family friends. The night was absolutely fabulous – full of beautifully dressed people, superb food, and the fun of dancing, singing and drinking lots and lots of champagne.
This whole experience helped me realize two things: first, planning is useless. It is a worthless waste of our energy. We spend days and sleepless hours at night to create some sort of vision, to lay out some kind of actions for a certain event, and then at the end, things just happen they way they happen, and typically this way is the best one. Everything happens for a reason. Second, sometimes it is important to give something up in favor of traditions and family values, as those values and traditions are ones of the most significant things we own.
Another great lesson I started my New Year with was how important it is to stay true to yourself. Do not spread yourself thin over the first opportunity or just because you think something will make better sense to someone. In the end, you and the way you feel is what matters most. There is a quote from an amazing movie The Women that perfectly summarizes this fact: “Don’t give a sh*t about anybody. Be selfish. Because once you ask yourself the question, ‘What about ME?’ everything changes for the better. I mean, after all, who are you? What do YOU WANT..?” As one of my New Year’s resolution, I decided to make this New Year about ME. I decided to dedicate it to the things I have wanted to try but have not gotten a chance to for one reason or another, as well as to let myself be myself and accept myself the way I am. It won’t be easy but it is a start for something new, for something different, for something big!
Happy New Year, Everyone! May this New Year help you find what truly makes you happy, may it help you find love, peace and balance within yourself, and then everything else will fall into place! 

{My Mamochka and I}

Dress: Vivian Tam; Shoes: Steve Madden