Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Birthday Tradition


I'm usually inexplicably bummed on my birthday. But today I'm in London. And before the day is over I'll be in Malmö, Sweden. Today is too special to be bummed. Sure, I wish I were better, and accomplished more by now. But I truly have a fun life, and am grateful for it.

I took a cue from the wise Mindy Kaling and donated to my two favorite charities (watsi and kitten rescue) today. New birthday tradition? I think yes.

PS. I'm 23 today. Does that mean I'm in my mid-20s? That scares me. Why don't they ever say mid-10s?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013



So, remember I promised I'd get a haircut before my birthday? I did it. And it's go big or go home, right? (Right?) Yeah, I went big.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Packing for Russia


These are the clothes that I'm taking on my 3-week Trans-Siberian trip across Russia. Since I'll be on the move most of the time, I'm only taking a carry-on suitcase. The clothes ended up taking up half of the space. The rest is for gifts I'm bringing for my family, and entertainment for the long train journey.

Although it was really difficult to edit my packing list to just these pieces, I tried to keep these packing tips in mind. (That's why you see a lot of black!) I think this is going to be more than sufficient, especially since I get to do laundry at home in Penza.

If you'd like to see, the itemized packing list is after the jump!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Things That Made My Week


I've been stressing out over my impending trip to across Russia all week. I don't know what to pack, I don't even know what to pack it in. I'm so lost.

But this week I was thankful for:
this one pair of happy socks
- amazon prime shipping
- my yoga mat
- the rush of submitting an app to the store! (and apple's dev site coming back online)
this lovely necklace
- jz and the birthday card she sent
- tig and moos

I hope you have a relaxing, cool weekend! xO

Quitting Caffeine

photo via theyardpdx 

I get caffeine headaches when I don't drink coffee/tea in the morning. I don't drink caffeinated beverages because I'm tired, or it helps me wake up (it doesn't), I just like the taste. I really, really don't like the fact that I now need that cup to not have a headache for the rest of the day, so, this Monday, I decided to stop.

The mean ache arrives promptly at 3 PM every day, and doesn't go away until I fall asleep. Considering I've been going to bed at around 2 AM, that's 11 hours of pain briefly interrupted by me trying to squeeze my own head (I must look ridiculous, but it works, I swear).


Thursday, July 25, 2013


photo of diana via vogue

Dudes, this sleeveless chambray shirt is one of the best purchases I've recently made. It's not too long and too loose like its sleeved cousin, it's not bulky under a sweater, the collar is just a tad rounded, you can throw it on over a dress. I could go on, you guys.

I think Princess Diana approves. And if I can take any style cues from Diana, I totally will.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Backpacking Trip: Sykes Springs

photo by Forrest

Remember I went on a backpacking trip to celebrate becoming an American citizen? I never posted photos from that adventure, because, well, I was kind of bummed about how it turned out.

I had the genius idea of going to one of the most popular backpacking destinations on Memorial Day weekend. Let me tell you, I wasn't the only one. Of course, the scenery was beautiful, the air was  clean, perfect weather, but so.many.people!

By the time we got to Terrace Creek camp, there was only one camp spot left. We set up there, made a fire (we made a fire! soooo cool!), had dinner, and went to sleep. When we woke up there were twice as many people around and more coming.

I didn't sleep very well that night because a) people were walking around our campsite, and shining headlamps in our faces all night; b) I needed to get up to go pee but couldn't due to a. That, combined with the fact that my brother was whining up a storm, we decided to head back having never made it to the hot springs. :(

Photos after the jump...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Cherries


I have an embarrassing confession. I own a cherry pitter. And what's worse? I love that thing.

I had grand plans of making cherry galette, marinating cherries for a rustic black forest cake, cherry pie, cherry slab pie, cherry clafoutis. You get the idea. But, it's summer, and when faced with a choice to turn on the oven or linger next to the freezer, I go for the ice cream scoop.

My new favorite dessert right now is vanilla ice cream topped with pitted cherries. A piece of flourless chocolate cake (baked the cool night air the night before) doesn't hurt either.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lost Kitten

How sleek is this dude? I'm super jealous of his fancy footwork. My default dance is more like the hippidy-hoppy thing he starts at the beginning of the second verse :) I need to practice my stay-chilly moves.

'Cause a girl has gotta be able to bust a move and not be out of breath, right?

Peaches are for Cobbler


Did you know that when you google "peach cobbler", the first page of results contains this recipe from deadspin? It's the last site I expected to have a peach cobbler recipe, really. Picking a recipe based on how many times I 'lol'ed while reading it is generally not a good strategy. But it turned out OK for me!

scoop of vanillacobbler   ice cream

Thursday, July 18, 2013

To Make Tea

photo by wildorange55

The last time I saw my grandpa, he made me tea.

I followed him to the tiny kitchen and watched him put a kettle on the stove, grab a mug, cut a piece of lemon. He poured boiling water into the mug, swirled it around, and poured it back into the kettle. "Why did you do that?", I asked. He spooned some tea leaves into the steaming mug, scratched his head with his two good fingers, turned around to look at me and said "To heat up the mug." Duh. We waited for the water to come to boil again.

The water is not nearly as hot when it comes out of the office water dispenser. But every morning I have the same mug warming, tea making ritual, and I can't help but think of him. My grandpa was not really known for being sweet. But that day, even though I offered to make tea myself, he insisted on making it for me. And it kind of breaks my heart.

I'm so glad I decided to follow him to the kitchen that day.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Things That Made My (Last 3) Week(s)

image source: vanleeuwen ice cream

Haiii. Long time no Friday post.

Here are some things that made me :) the last few weeks:
  - seeing incredible trolls do what they do best
       exhibit a: zimmerman trial
       exhibit b: asiana plane crash pilot names
       "for the last time, anything you put on that teleprompter [s]he will read!" anchorman wasn't that far off!
  - discovering the mindy kaling project (which is hilarious)
  - mint chocolate tracks ice cream
  - awesome pants
  - finding the coolest looking dopp kit
    i know dopp kits are for men, but i'm yet to find a girl toiletry bag that doesn't look like hot cheese
  - this cool cat learns to dance a year
  - a case for not buying a wedding gift. i'm sold!
  - whoa! (just a human powered helicopter)
  - oh, and making and eating these (but mostly eating)

What are you up to this weekend? I'll be catching up on sleep, making paninis and... catching up on sleep.

he played this song at the concert and it was amazing (also this one)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No Sleep

cat nap!
photo by forrest

For the past couple of weeks I've been getting an average of 5 hours of sleep (3.5 hours TR + 6 hours MWF) every day.

I know being tired is like the most cliche thing to complain about, so let it be known I am not complaining. I only have myself to blame. This lack of sleep is a result of my newfound love for yoga (at 6:15 am, no less) combined with trying to finish the alpha release for my startup.

Last weekend obviously called for lots of nap-time with Moos. :)

PS. My favorite insight on sleep.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ten Years Ago...

circa 1997

Ten years ago today, my brother and I left Russia to come to the US.

Obviously, as a twelve-year-old, I didn't really know what I was getting into. I was really excited to start living the dream in the US. So much so, that I could not stop singing that awful 80s One Way Ticket song (much to my parents' chagrin).

I remember one of our family friends that was walking us to the train station asked me something funny that day. She asked whether time passed quickly for me. I said, "No". And then she gave me the cheesiest advice ever, to cherish every second because time passes so fast when you're older.

And for some stupid reason, that cheesy advice still makes me weepy. :(

Everlane Sandals Update


Because I know y'all are on the edge of your seat regarding the status of my hunt for summer sandals, let me update you. :)

Remember when Bigfoot I tried on Everlane sandals a couple of weeks ago? Yeah, I got my regular size this time and, what do you know? They fit!

And I love them, and they're comfortable, and they're cool, and they're totally my new favorite shoe now, and I might not peel these off my feet until November.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Box Cut Tee


I feel like all I talk about is Everlane. But, honestly, I wear their stuff daily (mostly in the form of one of three box cut tees that I own, but today it's the cardigan), I think their clothes/accessories make a perfect gift for a friend, and they're just a company that kicks serious ass.

Given that there aren't a lot of photos of normal people (non-models) wearing their clothes, I thought I could contribute a little something to the internetz. Today I'm posting about my very favorite Everlane product -- the box cut tee.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Beautiful Video

How beautiful and calming is this time-lapse video of San Francisco fog? I recognize the views from some of the places he was shooting from. SF is such a cool city.

And this tweet by Karl the San Francisco fog cracked me up. :)

Alive and Well

photo by my awesome friend, JZ

Hmph, that last post was a quite a downer. But I made some goals (think: get a haircut) to accomplish before I am a year older and, suddenly, I feel better. And really, I've made a ton of progress in the last year (living by myself is fun -- wheeeee, i am part of a startup -- double wheeee, my salary increased by 40% -- half a wheeee, i went to wwdc -- triple, quadriple wheeee). There is really nothing I can do about getting older, so I might as well not have puffy eyes over it.

does anybody actually click these: youtube | spotify | itunes | rdio

PS. I really like this song and annoy people all day by humming the part that starts here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

This is July


So, it is July. Which means it is the month of my birthday. Which means I will inexplicably cry if I remember that fact and think about it a second too long. The first of these incidents happened last night when I was falling asleep and didn't stop until tears filled my ears.

What's the name of this flower?