Thursday, December 29, 2016

In the Groove

I ordered this dress from the Chico's website, along with a couple of other things during their big sale, and let Justin wrap the box and put it under our Christmas tree with all the other gifts. So on Christmas Eve, I had a little fashion show. While "other things" did not fit me right (and were returned to the store), this dress got very enthusiastic feedback from my family the minute I showed up in it. At first I had doubts (don't ask), but now when I look at these photos, I just know it's a keeper.

Monday, December 26, 2016


Time flies in the vortex of festivities - I haven't even noticed how the whole week went by since my last post! Both Anna and Justin are on a holiday break, so we spend lots of time together. We listened to a traditional winter concert at Anya's school, went to one of the most beautifully decorated malls around Seattle, watched a street show with guaranteed "snowfall" as a climax, did some shopping, had a nice Christmas Eve dinner at home, exchanged gifts and went for a long walk on a beautiful trail along Puget Sound on Christmas Day. I like quiet family holidays, it is just my speed. And thanks to the Internet, I can always stay connected with beloved ones who live far away. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Last Midlife Fun: Celebration!

Dear friends and readers, 
Welcome to the LAST edition of Midlife Fun! It is indeed the very last link-up of this year, but no worries - our awesome team (Tina, Beate and I) came up with a new link-up for the upcoming year ... MODISH MATRONS! We will start on the 1st of each month and stay open for the whole month, with a new theme each time, picked by one of us. So it is very much like Midlife Fun, only newer, better and funner (yes, it's the word)! 

Friday, December 9, 2016


Never give up; and never, under any circumstances, no matter what - never face the facts.
Ruth Gordon, American actress (1896-1985)

Little snow that we got last night, melted quickly by early afternoon under the typical Northwest rain. With objectively cold and wet weather and objectively short days, it is more and more challenging to find time for outdoor photo shoots. And our facing north cottage is objectively dark and quite objectively cramped for glamorous photos. Those are just plain facts, right? Right. They are discouraging, but objective, right? Right. I must face them, right? Wrong. I'm definitely not the one who stares in the face of reality. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tulled and Bundled Up

The temperature dropped significantly within the last few days, and even though I lived in one of the coldest parts of the world for 29 years, I tend to forget how it feels when it is close to freezing. In Siberia, we start wearing hats in early Fall - from thin knitted hats to thicker woolen hats, and finally to fur hats in the Winter, which begins at the end of October where I grew up. Those fur hats, we don't give up practically till April. You might have heard the word shapka as referred to Russian style fur hats with "ears", but in Russia we call them ushanka (or formally shapka-ushanka) which has that "with ears" definition, while shaphka is just a generic word for any kind of hat. When the average temperature ranges from -25 to -30 C pretty much from late November through February, you can see how a hat is not only a style statement. I've written about it before - I got so sick of having to wear a hat for so long, that after I moved to a warmer climate, I started resenting wearing any sorts of hats for a few years. But a true Siberian girl, never leaves home without a shapka in winter time. And I forget about it every single Winter since I moved to the Pacific Northwest. These mild 50 to 60 F days for the bigger part of a year spoiled me, and now I forget that a shapka is not only a style statement!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Dear December

Hello December, 

You greet me with raindrops falling from your heavy gray sky. With cold outbursts of wind that feel prickly against my cheeks and mess up my hair. With your short, barely noticeable by a night owl light spans. With long dark evenings that remind me why since the beginning of time, people celebrate light in this darkest of all months.