You know that feeling when your favorite song plays on the radio? The "That's my soooooonggg!!!" feeling. That feeling never lasts. Once the song plays two, three, fifty five thousand times, you realize that the radio has killed it for you and it's no longer your favorite song. It's that annoying music they can't stop playing on the radio. So what do you do? You switch the station.
In the world with so many opportunities and options, we often get so lost that we form patterns and habits to make our lives easier rather than going for a new thing every time. We look for a niche. We look for stability. A place to fit. Yet, once we find it, once we break it in and mold into it, we begin to look for ways to escape it. Once we get comfortable, we get restless. Too much of a good thing becomes bad. The same song keeps playing and we just want to switch the station...
Lately, I kept asking myself, is there no place called happiness? Can you arrive at a comfort spot and finally say "Aaaahhh... I'm finally there!" And my answers seems to be "No, there isn't a place like that." Happiness isn't a place. It's a process.
As usual, the weather keeps playing tricks on us. All the flowers started blooming. The trees grew leaves and the grass is green everywhere. And than the cold came back. So I brought out my winter gear again, hopefully for the last time this season. I'm wearing some of my birthday gifts here - a scarf from Ukraine which was my present last year, and a brooch from Kazakhstan which was sent me this year by my awesome and gifted friend Marina.
Check out her other pins and accessories here: http://vk.com/handmadeinkz
: J BrandBoots
: From Ukraine, with LoveBrooch
: Rebecca MinkoffSunglasses
: Dolce & Gabbana
Last week we celebrated my 25th birthday. It's quite a milestone - fist quarter of a century for me. At this point of my life, it feels like that moment when you begin to give into growing up. Parts of me still resist and want to go out partying til 4 am. But other parts have had it, and while, five years ago, acting drunk and stupid was cute and funny, now it seems just drunk and stupid.
My whole life, I try to enjoy things to the fullest. When I was younger I partied every weekend, and looking back at that time, I'm happy I did, because it's out of my system now. I don't feel like I missed out on anything. I feel like I am done with that part of my life and ready for something else now. It's truly a satisfying feeling!
To celebrate, we went to Atlantic City, a hotel and casino filled strip in the Southern part of New Jersey. Two years ago we drove here with my maid of honor for her bachlorette party and had an awesome, crazy night. This year, I learned there's so much more you can do in AC than just gamble, drink and party - you can relax.
We stayed in Harrah's Resort which is notorious for its pool parties. They have a gorgeous cabana-style indoor pool which turns to a nightclub after dark. While we had a great time in the nightclub, the pool was just as lovely during the day. It was magical - at night we sat in a cabana sipping champagne enjoying some music and during the day we relaxed in a jacuzzi with palm trees over our heads listening to the sounds of nature.
My birthday morning started with a breathtaking sunrise right outside of our window. Than we got some breakfast in bed and did absolutely nothing. Which is just fine, because sometimes that's all you need :)
Later, I went to the Red Door Spa for more relaxation and a manicure. I am now a fan of this spa because it was one of the best manicures I ever received. There is no price you can put on a manicurist who doesn't even ask to cut your cuticles, she knows NOT to do that!!! :)
I picked up a little souvenier from the spa called CNDC Solar Speed Spray, which dries your nails without drying out your hands. I wrote a few months back, that I just can't sit still to dry my nails. This is now my new must have!
For dinner, we were so hungry we decided to go to a buffet so we don't have to wait for our food. After dinner, my husband disappeared and came back with a birthday plate! He went around the buffet collecting cupcakes, pastries and cakes for me and even found a candle somewhere! It was the sweetest, most adorable surprise!! :)
When we came back to New York, I had two more surprises waiting for me. First was a trip to a French restaurant with my family. And second, my mom making me the world's most amazing cake. It's a Russian recipe which involves making 14 tubes filled with cherries, making a pyramid out of the tubes and adding cream between them to make them stay. Than you pour hot chocolate over the whole thing and chill it.
The result is so overwhelmingly delicious, words cannot describe. I didn't have the patience to take any pictures of the cake so I had to borrow the one below from google :) I was only able to stop and take a picture on my slice number three :)) The best part about the cake - it's huge!!! Thank you mommy, you are the best!
When I returned to work, I was overwhelmed with how many messages I received with birthday wishes from my friends, customers and followers. It kept me smiling all day!! Thank you everyone who helped make this birthday week so awesome!
I'm going to tell you a secret. I wore this outfit before! If you go back in the blog to about a year ago you will find the same lace skirt and the same shoes, but with a different shirt. Yet a few days ago I came across this fresh, springy, printed shirt from Forever21 and I knew I had to do this again. Because the shirt I wore a year ago didn't really work. This would work so much better. And I just need to do it right.
I hate leaving loose ends behind. It bugs me. It nags at me. That outfit from a year ago was incomplete. And now I feel like there's one less imperfection on my plate. So please excuse me for repeating myself. I just had to do it. If you had a lace skirt, green shoes and saw a shirt like that, wouldn't you?)
The location for this photo shoot was magical. Not only because it's fantastically beautiful, but because it managed to be hiding just around the corner from my office. I work there for two years and never saw it. It only turned up when my husband was looking for parking, in the end of a dead end street.
That's just how life is - sometimes things are right in front of you but you don't see them right away. Sometimes you need someone to show you. Sometimes you need to wait for the right time to see. Thank God for second chances. We are all human, sometimes we are blind, and we don't always get things right the first time.
Shirt: Forever 21
Skirt: BrandNamesUS Shop
Shoes: Brian Atwood
Glasses: Dolce & Gabbana
Necklace & Ring: Forever21
Watch: ESQ by Movado
You know one of those "I gotta gotta have it"
feelings? Well, I had one a few days ago when I spotted this jacket. I came across a new website called Shoptiques.com
, which is an online aggregator of small boutiques not only in the U.S. but around the world.
It is not every day that I come across a new website that's worthy of my browsing time. Over the years I have accumulated quite a list of online stores. But when Shoptiques came under my radar I knew this is going to be another habit-forming relationship.
So during one of my diligent scans of new arrivals I came across this awesome cotton jacket. Instant Love! Gotta Have It! Now I own it. Simple things, but when in burnt orange - they really do make you happy :)
from Bella A Boutique
Shirt: BB Dakota
Jeans: Rich & Skinny
Scarf: By Malene Birger
Sunglasses: Dolce Gabbana
Bracelets: Michael Kors, BCBGMAXAZRIARing: Michael Kors
No matter where we come from, we all heard of Cinderella, the quintessential girl dream come true. When I heard that it is now on Broadway I thought it would be a perfect play to take my mom to see for her birthday. Although the play was lovely and Cinderella did in fact turn into a princess right in front of our eyes (twice, and I still couldn't figure out how!), the story line here was updated to reflect our days. The lessons in this play seemed to be written by modern, politically charged feminists.
Неважно откуда мы, мы все знаем Золушку - интернациональное воплощение все-женской мечты o прекрасном принце. И когда я узнала что на Бродвее открылся одноименный мюзикл я решила сводить туда свою маму. Мы с ней часто шутим по-поводу женского счастья и я решила показать ей его на ее день рождения во всей красе. Но такой "Золушки" мы не ожидали. Такое ощущение что эту историю переписали современные феминистки с некоторыми политическими склонностями.
Firstly, Cinderella didn't loose a shoe! She ran down the stairs, stopped, thought about it, took a shoe off and put it on the stairs! Lesson number one for a modern Cinderella: if faith doesn't do its job, give it a little nudge and do it yourself.
Во-первых Золушка забыла потерять туфельку. Она, убегая, спустилась по лестнице, вспомнила про туфельку, вернулась, сняла ее, поставила на ступеньку, посмотрела на принца, и побежала дальше! Урок номер один для современной Золушки: если судьба не хочет творить чудеса - твори их сама.
Then, upon meeting the prince, instead of dazzling him with her beauty and charm, instead of being shy and coy, she opens her mouth and starts singing about the lands far, far away and about how they are ruled. She proceeds to tell him what changes he should make in his kingdom and throws in a few governing advice! This shocked my mom and I completely. On what planet does Cinderella get involved in politics??? Lesson number two: girls today rule! They have to be diverse and aware of everything around them. Politics is no longer just for princes.
Дальше, познакомившись с принцем, Золушка не стала очаровывать его своим кротким нравом, не покраснела, невинно и смущено хлопая ресницами, нет! Она стала рассказывать ему о дальних странах, о там как правят другие короли, о том как ему стоит распоряжаться своим королевством и т.д. и т.п.!! Глаза у нас с мамой округлились от удивления - с какой планеты эта Золушка?? Где это видано чтобы в сказке принцесса указывала принцу как ему править в его королевстве??!! Урок номер два - современные Золушки разбираются в политике. Интересы государства - дело не только для принцев.
The entire play the prince seemed clueless about his kingdom or anything that goes on around him. Bluntly, he's portraited to be an idiot, a quality so often assigned to the masculine characters in American shows. (Think Homer Simpson) Lesson number three: princes aren't what they used to be. You might find a prince but you will have to be a queen for him to be successful. More than ever, it seems, men need our guidance.
На протяжении всего спектакля принц казался, мягко говоря, идиотом, что часто случается в Американских постановках. То он не понимал какие приказы подписываются его именем, то не знал как обратится к своему народу, но по крайней мере проявил упорство чтобы заполучить Золушку, что уже радует. Урок номер три: принцы нынче не те. Охомутать его может и удастся, но это только начало. Чтобы быть принцессой нужно принца на верный путь все время направлять.
Bewildered, we came out of the theater. What the hell has happened to Cinderella, a meek shy little girl who fell in love so hard that love made her dreams come true?? Cinderella, frail and thin, couldn't fool anyone in this play - she is going to be the one wearing the pants in this relationship.
I was completely shocked. Women, we won the battle but lost the war. By putting on the pants we lost our femininity. That little coquetry that makes us attractive to men, that makes us different from men, it seems to be disappearing. And how can their be any fairy tails without it? No matter what life throws at you, remember that you are a princess!
В шоке, мы с мамой вышли из театра. Что случилось с тихой, застенчивой Золушкой?? Даже сравнить ее было не возможно с той принцессой которую я представляла в детстве. Это была не принцесса, какое бы красивое платье на ней не было. Это был революционер в штанах!!!
Женщины так долго добивались равенства, и вот результат. Убив это наше кокетство, эти женские штучки, мы потеряли отличие от мужчин, мы стали на их место. При таком раскладе никаких сказок быть не может. Женщины, пожалуйта, не забывайте оставаться принцессами!
For anyone wondering (I certainly was, for the length of the entire play actually :) the role of Glass Slipper was played by these stunning Stuart Weitzman pumps. There might not be enough princes for everyone, but there's certainly plenty of shoes!
Все представление мне было интересно что же у нее за туфельки :) Оказалось что на Золушке были шикарные лодочки от Stuart Weitzman. Принцев может на всех и не хватит, но туфельки не кончатся никогда! Хотите стать Золушкой?
I am not a big fan of movies. I rarely have the patience to sit still for 2+ hours and the most I can do is an hour of "Suits" or "White Collar," which are not coming back til summer anyway. Yet, a few days ago I watched a movie that simply blew me away - "Les Miserables."
I can only compare it to my favorite "Gone with the wind" or watching a truly spectacular Broadway show (more on that in the next post) because it has the power to take you away, transform the world around you. A musical is probably the best comparison, since most of the movie is performed in a song. Not my kind of thing normally, but the singing in this movie is breathtaking. Not only the cast is superb and the story line - a classic, but there is so much feeling in that film, I just couldn't get enough of it. So I watched the movie three times, hanging on to every word.
Now the opening song, which also comes up through the whole movie is stuck in my head. It starts with the words "Look down" and the entire movie can be summarized as a struggle by those weaker who do nothing but look down on the ground beneath them and those with power who do nothing but look away and stick their noses high up.
Today most of us have no reason to look down. With freedom and equality flying all around the globe there should be no reason to do so. And no want either - if you had a choice between looking down or looking up, you would probably look up. Yet, there should be a need for it. Because sometimes you look down, and there's something spectacular there. Take a moment, look down.
Trench: Ted Baker
Boots & Blue Ring: Elizabeth & James
Headband: Salvatore Ferragamo
I hate New York weather
. We had one day of spring sunshine wonderfulness last week. It felt like winter was finally over. Then I get home and find out we have a snow storm coming. Does this storm know its March already??
After hurricane Sandy
I take bad weather seriously. Call me paranoid, but after loosing power during that storm and worrying about rain before our wedding
I got into the habit of checking the weather forecast, a bit obsessively. It's like a Facebook feed, but doesn't update as often ;) Anyway, since sunny Tuesday last week I was watching out for this snow storm.
By Friday, my husband was making fun of me because there still was no snow. And then, right after his phone call the flurries started coming. In a few hours, everything turned white and we were back in winter wonderland. Somehow over the weekend it all melted away and now it's just gray, like the weather hasn't made up its mind. I wish it could be just a little bit warmer so we can finally shed our heavy jackets and put on some sandals!
Did spring come to your city yet?
JacketMarc by Marc Jacobs
T-ShirtFactory by Erik Hart
BagDolce & Gabbana
"Faith" BraceletBeaded bracelets from BrandNamesUS Shop
I usually buy a bag around this time. But this year it has proven more difficult than before. Being a personal shopper, I come across a lot of bags and the question is, how do you pick the right one??
Bags aren't like shoes to me. Shoes I will buy because they are pretty, and for no other practical reason at all. Bags on the other hand must meet all my needs, they are purely utilitarian items to me. And so far, I haven't been able to find one that makes me happy.
Perhaps you can help me out and tell me which ones you like best?
(First picture, above & below)
(Two photos above, one below)
Marc by Marc Jacobs
(above picture and five below)
Finally, in the end of my search I came across a Rebecca Minkoff that was just the right size and the right shape. I was so excited when I ordered it but very disappointed once I got it. It's a gorgeous bag but I expected to get a nude color and the one I got is more coral (figures since the color is called Coral.. but it looked Nude in the picture online :( ). Now I am pissed at myself for being so picky and for having to pay a return fee. And the search continues...
This weekend I had to do a few errands in the City so I headed there on Sunday since it's the only day you can find any parking. I stopped at Lord & Taylor to get a gift for a friend and than went to the Flatiron district to return some stuff. Here's a couple things spotted on my way:
Sunny day, awesome view
French manicure with Deborah Lippmann nail polish
CC Skye "Love" Ring
Colorful sandals at Cole Haan
Pretty racks at Intermix
(above & below)
New arrivals at BCBGMAXAZRIA
J Crew V-Neck Sweater in Citrus Lime
BB Dakota Shirt
Michael Michael Kors Seamed Pants
Cole Haan Coat
Elizabeth and James Boots
Louis Vuitton Speedy 35 Bag in Azur
CC Skye Ring
Some days I think "Maybe I've been doing this for too long. What's the next step? Maybe I should quit while I'm ahead." In the end of last month we celebrated BrandNamesUS's 3rd Birthday, and while everyone else looked happy and party-ready I was pretty bummed out. The reason for that was the company didn't meet its revenue or order number goal. We didn't meet our profit goal either. Although everyone tells me its because the economy is rough right now, it's just not what I want to hear.. It's upsetting to fail, I hate the feeling.
However, we did meet one goal, and that was a growing number of new customers.
This weekend I was stuck in my office while it was raining outside and I decided to update our map (above). It's a map of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, our prime market. What I do is pin every city where there is one or more BrandNamesUS customers. I started this in the end of 2011 when one of our long term shoppers was visiting New York and brought the map for me from Russia. I always meant to updated it but somehow didn't find the time in 2012. But I did in 2013. And you know what, after I was done I was pretty impressed! With one order shipped to London (can't see it here as the map doesn't go that far) and one shipped to Kamchatka, and many more in between, we now stretch out through the whole of Eurasia! That's pretty cool :)
When I finally got home , all soaked (the rain never stopped), hungry and pretty pissed (I forgot my umbrella that day), I made some ravioli and started going through the photos from that day. I came across the map. Then I found a picture of it from a few years ago. I put the two together and took a good look at them. Sometimes if you can't see your success, you need a demonstration. I see it now thanks to every dot on that map :)
Do you see your city? Leave us a comment :)
Иногда мне кажется что я слишком долго занимаюсь этой работой. В конце прошлого месяца мы отмечали третий день рождения BrandNamesUS. У всех было хорошее настроение, а я сидела кисла. Что я должна праздновать, если мы провалили все поставленные цели по доходам, кол-ву заказов и обороту? И не надо мне рассказывать ничего про экономику, бизнес должен развиваться при любых условиях! Не люблю я поражения, что уж с этим поделать..
Тем не менее, одну цель мы выполнили, и немаловажную. Это кол-во новых покупателей.
В субботу я застряла в офисе. На улице был дождь, муж тоже был на работе, зонтик я забыла, и решила понаводить порядок, переждать. И посмотрела на свою карту. Ее привезла мне девушка из Питера которая уже не первый год делает шопинг с нами. Это карта Восточной Европы и Северной Азии, наш основной рынок. В конце 2011 года я начала отмечать на ней города в которые были отправлены посылки. В 2012 году я все никак не могла найти время чтобы обновить ее. А в 2013 решила все таки это сделать и вот что у меня получилось! Один из заказов был отправлен в Лондон (на карте Лондон не поместился), несколько - на Камчатку, и много-много - посредине :) Так что можно считать что мы покорили Евразию :)
Дождь так и не прекратился, я поехала домой, вымокла, голодная и не очень радостная. Сварила себе пельмени и села обрабатывать фото за день. Наткнулась не фото карты. Нашла ее фото за 2011 год. Сравнила. Мне не всегда заметны результаты моей работы. Они случаются очень далеко от меня. Но теперь я хорошо вижу :) Спасибо каждой точечке на карте! Eсли Вы видите себя - оставьте комментарий :)