Inspiration

Happy birthday in lavender and pink

If you are a parent you will understand that I like my kids birthdays more than my own!  Isn’t it fun to have an all pink and purple celebration with not just one but two different cakes?  One must be a Barbie cake (my mom had a brilliant idea of making a “skirt” cake and we just added Barbie doll inside). Another cake is My Little Pony world made as a tier of two round Cold Stone lavender colored ice-cream cakes. Dressing up as ballerina and wearing a crown.. smashing a piñata and opening gifts with laughter and giggles, taking a photo with each friend. I love these happy little birthdays.  I enjoy packing little goodie bags together and writing had written notes on them, order balloons and decorate the party room. So much fun planning and anticipation! This day brings many smiles and so much joy to my little ones  –  it is my happiest!

image

image
image
image

image

image

imageimage imageIMG_9037

image

image

image

IMG_0404

image

image

Happiness Project

Is there a definition of happiness? I am noticing many articles lately about happiness, there are life coaches giving road maps to happiness or minimalists saying what not to buy or where not to escape in search of happiness. And I can agree with all of them yet what defines happiness?
Is it a quiet morning walk with your dog, reading favorite book or a yoga moment, is it your newborn baby’s soft skin and children’s laughter, is it vacation on a sunny island, romantic walk in Paris or redecorating a home. Is it a great career achievement, volunteer work at inspiring event or family gathering.  Tickets to an amazing show or new little black dress?  Is it in great fitness workout edorphins or in a glass of wine with your best friend?
Or are these just joyful moments and happiness is something bigger? Being healthy and well? Is it a certain content state of mind?
My favorite definition comes from the “Happiness project” book by Gretchen Rubin: “To be happy, I need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.” Except, I would add LOVE to that atmosphere she is describing.
One certain thing that happiness is about being present in a moment and appreciating it, things that surround you – big or small: life is beautiful. Happiness is free (even though money spent wisely can buy some too) and it is a personal choice.
We are humans and we are not programmed against bad moods or mistakes. Being positive sometimes looks easier than it is, but life is too short to be obsessed about things that won’t even matter in a week or a year.
Negativity could be a daily struggle, but attitude is our own – it is up to us how to be happy and every day gives as a clean new slate to try and start over.
And some of my happy moments are the ones where I find beauty, where I create and share.
Gretchen RubinIMG_0305IMG_0303interior_marble2
provence_kolot-14 IMG_0304
IMG_0300
IMG_03021229591864-mIMG_0301
IMG_0308
Mad-Men-Blog-Image
singing-in-the-shower
IMG_0299
IMG_0313
IMG_3179
happiness project
IMG_9958-kopiya
audrey1
IMG_7241
finding happiness quotes
images from Pinterest, www.theyallhateus.com, www.simplebeyond.com

Stay young – embrace your age

I saw this wonderful article in Experience Life magazine, it made me think of how true the saying is “that age is just a number”.

“Think beauty fades after 40? These honest, beautiful portraits will make you think again”, article starts. “As these women tell it, aging is not a subtraction, but an accumulation of experiences that make life richer. If that kind of experience shows on our faces, then so much the better”. First image of devoted yogi, model, humanitarian, marathon runner, inspiring woman and mom, Christy Turlington, caught my attention, then reading more about beautifully aging women confirmed my thoughts and beliefs that staying young is not about fighting wrinkles but about staying young at heart, being healthy and strong. It is about discovering new ways to grow and be a better person, better self. Life is beautiful – embrace your age! Don’t you feel most beautiful when you are strong and happy? I always find that open smile and confidence is beautiful regardless of age. Lets look forward to more years of great challenges, fitness and travel inspirations. We age but our years of experience bring us confidence. Read more about In Their Prime, celebrity photographer Peter Freed’s new book on embracing beauty after 35.  And here are some of my favorite images of women over 35, their quotes and beauty secrets.

Christy-Turlington

Christy Turlington, Model and Humanitarian, 46:

“Exercise is the key to holding back the years and maintaining a slim figure – I can’t imagine my life without yoga. It’s more than just a physical practice — it’s about being in the present and learning to accept what you have to reach your full potential”. She believes in using organic skincare ranges, such as Juicy Beauty, Sundari Nourishing Nighttime Oil, Rodin body oil and Rahua Shampoo and Finishing Treatment, and instead of wearing chemical perfumes prefers dabbing essential lavender and rose oils on her pulse points.  

IMG_0289

Dara Torress, Olympic swimmer, 47

“When I work out, I feel most like myself and most comfortable in my body and mind,” she says. “I feel motivated to continue to set new goals for myself and go after them and give them my all … Working out and staying in shape is simply how I take care of myself, and when I do this, everything else in my life falls into place. I do watch my diet in the sense that, you know, everything’s in moderation,” she says. “But I don’t like to really to use the word diet, I just really try to eat well and satisfy cravings here and there.”  More...

Scientific research shows that any excersize helps you stay younger, giving your skin elasticity and healthy glow, helping you sleep better and soundly, improves your posture and flexibility. Telomeres that are tops of our chromosomes are shortened with age, which is most attributing factor in aging, but studies found that excersize and especially cardio activity helps lenghten them. Determining how exercise can make your DNA younger and healthier represents a huge new step in understanding how lifestyle play a role in aging -read more at  www.Livestrong.com

IMG_0291

Sophie Marceau, actress, 47

Perfect skin Sophie Marceau owes much olive oil. Every evening, the actress washing his face with plain soap, and then massaged onto the skin causing the olive oil, leave it to soak into the skin, after removing the excess with a paper towel. Oil nourishes the skin with vitamins and makes it more supple, helps to maintain youthfulness. 

When asked about the main actress secret of its appeal, it is not thinking always says: “Smile.” 

read  “Why are French Women allowed to age and still be sexy” article for more…

 

Reasons to love fall in Twin Cities

This fall is spoiling us with warm and sunny days here in Twin Cities. It would be nice to stay in this golden and sunny season for longer, but why is that best days never last long?  “Save the best for the last”  – these colorful October days are short but bright, mornings are dark, but evenings are longer, so there is more time to read a great book or watch a movie or just spend time with friends and family.  Life seems to slow down – even if just a bit.  And after many glasses of refreshing summer white wines, time for deep comforting reds.
More on my many reasons to love fall in Twin Cities :
Local Farmers Markets
IMG_8819

IMG_8820IMG_8818

IMG_8823 IMG_8833IMG_5876 IMG_5881

Untied Farmers Market in Wayzata – small, very friendly, fun, with colorful rows of mums and variety of squashes for roasted vegetable dinner : combine 1 butternut squash, 1 delicate squash, 1 pumpkin, 1 red onion, 5 red skin potatoes, 2 sprigs of rosemary – wash, clean seeds, cut, season with salt and pepper, toss in some olive oil and roast for an hour – hour and a half at 350F.

Marshall’s farmers market. It is a gem in Eden Prairie neighborhood – every season it is artfully decorated, with wide selection of berries, vegetables, jam and frozen meats. It is one of the best Halloween spots to visit.

Running with Twin Cities
From now on – my new fall favorite, Twin Cities Marathon week end. Perhaps one day I will get ready for 26 miles, for now 10 amazing miles got me hooked. Medtronic Twin Cities marathon is considered  one of most beautiful urban marathons in America, going through best Minneapolis views, Lake of the Isles, finishing by Saint Paul Cathedral. Our shorter course passed Guthrie Theater and University of Minnesota grounds onto breathtaking river views from Minnehaha Parkway and then to historic Saint Paul Summit Avenue where every house or mansion is uniquely amazing.
IMG_3683IMG_5890 IMG_5889 IMG_5942

Leather weather
My favorite dress code is t-shirt, jeans and leather jacket. I switch between black and white all the time. It works with everything, it is a wind breaker, it is soft and light, yet warm enough, it saves me.
reasons to love fallfamily pics (132)

More cozy time
Tea, blanket and great book or a movie. Time to burn some romantic candles and maybe even have a pajama day with favorite shows reruns or feel good movies like “Forrest Gump” ,”Good Year” , “Somethings gotta give”, “Holiday”  or “Matilda” or “Ghostbusters” 🙂 – guaranteed to lift mood on coming colder days.
IMG_8812 cozysocks

(Photos by me, cozy socks are from Pinterest.com, and one my favorite family pictures is by Natalia Klimova)

Hello, autumn

And here is the end of September. Minnesota is at it’s best right now with beautiful fields of green and gold, wineries and apple orchards, sleepy lakes, trees adding more and more autumn colors every day. Crips mornings and evenings are cozy, wrapped up in a blanket or soft sweater, and days are sunny and still feel a bit like summer.  We took a short trip to Saint Croix valley the other week end spent a night and a lazy morning watching the river go by carrying away hustle and bustle of first busy school weeks. St.Croix river inn sets romantic mood for the week end in a beautiful nature setting, kayaking and hiking, several apple orchards and wineries nearby, like Chateau Saint Croix or Dancing Dragonfly.

Perfect days to savor colors, light, sun and warmth, making warm apple cider and scones. I am looking forward to more changing colors, new long books, colder days and autumn spices in my coffee.

“Open your eyes…and see what you can with them before they close forever.”
― Anthony DoerrAll the Light We Cannot See

IMG_8693

IMG_5661

IMG_8681

IMG_8680

IMG_8677

IMG_8679

Check into St.Croix River Inn

IMG_5618

IMG_5621

at the apple orchard – find a needle in a haystack

IMG_8707

IMG_5612

visit Chateau St.Croix

Apple_biscuits_3

Making these scones from apples picked at the orchard

Mulled-Cider-Main

drink apple sider – this is a swoony recipe

IMG_5822

IMG_5849

add cinnamon and nutmeg to my coffee

IMG_8778

Denim jacket

I love reading latest fashion blog posts about anything denim. Boyfriend baggy jeans or jeans perfectly torn on the knees. There are high wasted denim skirts or flared jeans in 70s style that are very feminine and cool. I am in total agreement – denim items are very versatile and stylish pieces of wardrobe. Ever had a moment in your closet thinking “I have nothing to wear”? My answer is usually jeans and a t-shirt. Or a white shirt for classic and more dressed up look.

And my all times favorite denim item is a denim jacket. Blue or black. Timeless, because the more you wear it the better it looks. I take it on my travels, it became my “lucky charm” and brings back great memories. With colder fall days coming up, I am reaching out for denim jacket mostly every day and love how edgy it looks with anything – dresses, jeans any color, pants or skirts. Ways to wear denim jacket are endless, it is perfect piece for a capsule wardrobe – inspiring images prove it.

IMG_0258

Attention to blue worn out denim, add a pair of moccasins or loafers and white tank for relaxed simplicity

IMG_0262

From Amsterdam based Denham Jean maker, throw a breton stripe t-shirt under and furry vest over denim jacket!

denim

Layers of cozy wool with faded blue denim is making upcoming cold days feel warmer

StyleAndMinimalis

Preppy isn’t boring with great shade of blue denim and buttoned up collared white shirt.

denimjakTear off some fabric for unexpected look, make a statement with grunge detailsIMG_0259

Sleeves come off – denim vest adds a sporty detail to an outfit. Great look with white sneakers and ripped jeans.

denim jacket

My favorite jacket – dressed up with leather sleeves and silk blouse for a trip to Spain. Or dressed down with favorite Nikes to meet friendly roos in Australia.

IMG_6175
StyleMinimalism

Edgy and provocative, denim jacket can be it all.

Denimimages from pinterest.com, styleandminimalism.com, theyallhateus.com and my own

 

Travel inspired wish list – Lakeside Living

When I see these photos, I can only dream of living on a lake. Waking up to the sound of the waves, walking to the boat dock with a cup of coffee in my hand, seeing sunrise and watching yachts spreading their sails in blue sky, gliding on glistening lake water. Spending long summer days with children on a beach where all we’d need is great beach bag and towels, cool t-shirts and breezy summer dresses to grab a glass of wine with friends in the evening watching sunset.

As I spent many days and evenings on our wonderful lake Minnetonka, I put this “lakeside living” post inspired by amazing Swedish design magazine “Skona Hem” and also our trip to Stockholm and Archipelago. I couldn’t get enough of simplicity and comfort, clean lines, easy color pallette, perfect quality and cool modern design.  Blue, white, linen and grey are beautiful and so easy on the eyes and mix in perfectly with wonderful views around.

IMG_5054

lake_view

 

Contemporary-Lakeside-Villa

 

June_2015

Ocean House (oceanhouse.se) – East USA meets West Sweden in easy to love styles.

Svenskt_Tennas_Porch

Visit Svenskt Tenn for wonderful design ideas, inspiration and beautiful items

image

rostrand2

Beautiful , simple and stylish forget-me-not (Rostrand mon-amie) swedish design from Rostrand
bildspel_2015_03

Light the night with these candles (also free of harmful chemicals) I love their simple attractive design.

bberries
c54bfe7e15d830d4e5037267ed0daba9

 

 

Simple white shirt and thoughts about capsule wardrobe

I like reading fashion blogs. Some of them definitely inspired me to share my point of view. The trend I am always following and watching is minimalism and simplicity.  I love seeing capsule wardrobes that designers and bloggers are putting together, easy choices and simple classic pieces. I do like beautiful things and glamour that fashion world represents, I enjoy and admire seeing cool ladies wearing carefully thought through outfits and I can spend hours reading fashion magazines or start my day with cool australian blog www.theyallhateus.com. But I look into my closet …and yes maybe I need couple new things. Yet I keep wearing same staple pieces and I keep going back to what I feel my best in. Great fitting jeans and t-shirts, moto boots, simple black pump, leather jacket, black formal jacket and little black dress and white shirt. Combinations of these items are endless. Adding statement jewelry or red lipstick to feel more glamourous. Several years ago I found inspiring ideas at www.into-mind.com. I spent time rearranging and cleaning my closet and result felt so good – it doesn’t take much time every morning now to choose what to wear. Simplicity makes my packing for travel painless and I only bring a carry-on anywhere I go regardless of duration of the trip. When I think of new outfit I can invest into something brilliant that goes well with existing things instead of buying several pieces. There was an article last week in Haarper’s Baazar by art director of leading creative advertising agency in NYC,  Matilda Kahl – she told her story of wearing exact same outfit everyday and it reassured me in greatness of wardrobe simplicity.  Looking at classic, timeless simple white shirt at blog photos, I just can’t help but pull one out of my closet again and again. What is your favorite item you can’t live without and should fashion be simple?

whiteshirt6

Audrey Hepburn looks glamorous in oversized boyfriend shirt

Capsule Wardrobe
French Vogue Editor, Emmanuelle Alt in simple white shirt, black pumps and blue jeans
whiteshirt2

Note to self – try this brilliant wrap using my husband’s old shirt

whiteshirt4whiteshirt3IMG_8058
pictures from Pinterest

 

Home, sweet home

Happy Week-end…Going through “Weekend retreats” book made me think of cozy week-end at home, burning fireplaces, soft sheepskin rugs and fluffy pillows. Nooks or chairs (how about this amazing one suspending from the ceiling?), snowy window views, inviting sofas …Home to decompress, destress, daydream. These pictures inspired me for our living room decoration.
I love spending time by our fireplace that I painted white to blend with Scandinavian color palette. Moments with my coffee or reading, working, chatting with family are relaxing and warm.

Pictures from www.myscandinavianhome.com, copper hill hotel hotel and my living room

weekend Luxury-Hotel-Sweden-01 4 downloadImage.aspx
IMG_7854IMG_7837IMG_7849
IMG_7845

Chandelier

Inspired by travel to magnificent french chateaus but also chic simplicity of modern french homes. It is all in details. No wallpaper or pictures on the walls and monochrome colors allow highlighting elegant baroque details. Clean lines of furniture is a perfect setting for Louis XV chair or a crystal chandelier.  Using elegant subtle shade natural materials like embroiled linen or crisp white cotton. Uncomplicated curtains. Fresh flowers. Sparkling crystal chandelier. When looking for decorating ideas, check this amazing french magazine www.campagnedecoration.com (Elle Mason) and this cool blog www.dreamhomedecorating.com.

07185370-photo-deco-feminine-rose-et-grise  InspirationShabby_8634

tumblr_mk38bxLWpY1s5xo8vo1_500

room2 chairCampagne-decoration-couv83 peonies9a7bf533d4d7870626ad519b330d16a1 room4