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Thinking Out Loud (#3)

Linking up with Amanda again for Thinking Out Loud on this wonderful Thursday!

Thinking Out Loud

1.) One word: volunteering. Actually two more words: immune system. I really love volunteering every week (x2) but I swear I catch something at least once a month! I truly believe that the Great Stomach Flu of January 2015 was the doing of some sneaky germs I caught during my shift at the Emergency Department. I’ve been feeling sick again since Monday evening – mild nausea, weird (sore?) throat, headaches (which I never get), extreme fatigue – and I’m certain it’s because I chatted with some super sick girl who looked like she was running a high fever. Ugh! Why do bad things happen to good people?!?

2.) February Funk → Moody March. There’s no denying that I feel much better than I did back in February, especially with the longer days, but March hasn’t exactly been awesome either. I’ve been extra moody and sensitive these past few weeks. It probably has something everything to do with the endlessly cold weather and random spring snowstorms we’ve been having. Winter needs to go.away.immediately. And now I realize that this, combined with #1 above, makes me sound pregnant. Haha! Keep dreaming people…I’m so damn single.


3.) It’s basically April. Meaning it’s basically summer (doesn’t feel like it though, huh?), which basically means that 2015 is over. How?!? But really, I don’t understand this whole “time flies by quicker with age” argument, but it couldn’t be more accurate. I’m turning 27 like…tomorrow. Which is basically 30. So basically, I’m near death. Morbid right? I promise that is the last time I’ll use #basically

4.) On the bright side, my sister is coming to visit next weekend!!! I’m super excited to spend some quality time with the sis, even if it’s just for three days. Big things are happening in both our lives this year, so we’ll appropriately enjoy the calm before the storm. The weather better shape up, because we have grand plans to hang out at Coney Island and visit Brighton Beach for authentic Russian food. And I want to wear all my cute spring jackets again. With sunglasses. And shorts. Or skirts. Dresses too.


5.) After much deliberation and a long Facebook thread with the besties, I (we) decided to skip out on Lollapalooza this year. The lineup is killer and already gives me a serious case of FOMO, but I know I made the right decision. Between school, volunteering, and travel expenses, I chose wisely. Adulthood, I curse thee!

6.) Last one – I’m heading home in mid-April for a week! So pumped about this, I miss my cat and want to see her right meow. And my family of course, but I haven’t seen precious Dasha the longest of them all. In all seriousness though, I cannot wait to see my family and friends!

And with that final random thought, I’m out! Happy Thursday everyone, Friday is near.

♥ Irina

Superseed Shaker (recipe)

I’m hesitant to call this a recipe because all you’re really doing is mixing a bunch of powerful tiny seeds together to create a potent versatile topping. This recipe was born last weekend when I accidentally misread “teaspoons” as “tablespoons” while baking bread, and wound up with a ton of leftover seeds.

Superseed Shaker

It’s ingenious though, and super easy, so I must share it with you all! I can’t believe it took me this long to simplify my life like this. I always waste precious minutes taking all the different containers of seeds out of my refrigerator and cabinets, combining them, putting everything away, etc. This is a time saver, even if it conserves only five minutes a day.

Superseed Shaker

Superseed Shaker
a powerful combo of superseeds, all in one quick and easy-to-grab location

– 2 Tbs. each of seeds: sunflower, sesame (black or white), hemp, chia, flax *

* I suggest using raw & organic seeds to maintain maximum health benefits!

1.) Combine all seeds in a small container (such as an old spice shaker), store in refrigerator, done!

Superseed Shaker2

That’s it! I told you…it’s hardly a recipe but more of a life hack that will encourage you to add some nutritional seeds into your daily eats. If you’re anything like me (i.e. lazy), the minimal effort required to grab & sprinkle is reason enough to whip up this “recipe.” Maybe convenience is the key to healthy eating?

Each sprinkle contains a powerhouse of nutrients and health benefits including:
* omega 3’s for optimal heart health
* vitamin E for beautiful skin, hair, and nails
* fiber and magnesium for great digestion
plenty of protein
* antioxidants galore!

Superseed Shaker

I sprinkle this shizz on everything! Salads, yogurt, nut butter + jam sandwiches, smoothies. Get creative, go wild! You can even toast the seeds for 1-2 minutes in a skillet if you’re seeking a bolder taste.


♥ Irina

Frames From The Weekend 3/20/2015 – 3/22/2015

Hello and happy spring! Can you believe that we had a mini snowstorm here on the first day of spring?! Not ideal, not ideal at all. I’m gonna remain optimistic and declare this to be a good sign – winter just wanted one final farewell before a gorgeous spring and a luxurious summer.

FFTW Spring2

 (Link up to ‘Frames From The Weekend’! Read the official “rules” here.)

I took it oh so easy this weekend, mainly because of my lingering knee pain and partially because I just felt like it. It ended up being a super productive solo weekend though.


{I celebrated spring appropriately on Friday with two huge cookies (double chocolate and chocolate + ginger) from where else…Maison Kayser of course! Both tasted absolutely divine, especially with a bold freshly brewed cup of coffee. And now it’s time to detox from the mass quantity of sugar I’ve been consuming. Guys, I need help. I’m seriously addicted to sugar! And then it snowed. A lot. I trudged through the snow in the afternoon for an apartment viewing and then stayed in the rest of the evening. Bed + snacks (currently obsessed with pistachios and dark chocolate + cranberries) + random TV + early bedtime = perfect Friday evening.}


{I woke up before the sunrise on Saturday, had a quick breakfast of avocado toast, and hopped on the train to the Bronx for weekly volunteering. I really need to write a post about my volunteering experiences, especially this one at the free clinic. It’s incredibly educational, extremely hands-on, and so fulfilling. Despite the super early weekend wakeup call, I look forward to those unique four hours every Saturday. Upon arriving back to the UES, I “accidentally” stepped into Banana Republic for a few minutes and walked out with three new shirts – a soft-wash chambray button-down, a stunning printed silk top, and a basic black & white tee. I also bought this sassy little dress two weeks ago too, oops. Don’t worry, there was a 40% off sale. Coffee #2 and a short walk home later, I crashed on my couch after lunch (chicken over avocado toast. Food rut? What food rut!) and napped. Clearly, coffee doesn’t have much of an effect on me!}


{I actually managed to sleep in on Sunday at long last! Even during my extended weekend with mom, the mornings were so busy that I never managed to catch up on sleep. I spent a few hours in the kitchen making this bread. You see that mess in the photo above? My Magic Bullet overheated, started smoking, and exploded all over my kitchen as soon as I opened it. Insane! I’ve never experienced such a kitchen nightmare, it was as if a bomb went off! The mixture went everywhere – floor, ceilings, walls, cabinets, into my eyes and hair – and took almost an hour to clean up. On the bright side, the bread turned out so damn delicious. You must make it! Afterwards, I hopped on a bus to view some apartments in the Upper West Side and eventually walked all the way back to the Upper East Side with a coffee in hand while chatting with an old friend on the phone. I ended the evening watching The Kardashians (#noshame) and even made myself a green smoothie for the first time in over a year…seriously!}

I don’t have very much planned for this week apart from a long-overdue friend date. I’m going on week two of no running, and this perfect weather is really making me miss early morning runs through the park. My MRI came back indicating ITBS and nothing more serious, but the occasional subtle pain is still popping up in my knee. I started physical therapy last week and hope to try out a short 1-2 miles this upcoming weekend.

How did you spend the first day of spring?

What was your biggest kitchen nightmare experience or messiest mess?

♥ Irina

Frames From The Weekend 3/13/2015 – 3/17/2015

Hello hello hello! My apologies for the disappearing act – my mom and I took an extended weekend together here in NYC and it’s been a busy (yet oh so lazy) four days. I let blogging fall wayside this week and am only now posting this past weekend’s adventures, as we’re on the brink of a new weekend!

FFTW Winter2

(Link up to ‘Frames From The Weekend’! Read the official “rules” here.)

We didn’t have much on our agenda though – half marathon and apartment hunting were the two main tasks, everything else wasn’t critical. My mom and I are basically the same person. We’re both homebodies who love lounging around at home with tea, dessert (Lent failed #sorrynotsorry), and T.V.


{Friday and Saturday weren’t the best of days. I was happily looking forward to my mom’s arrival on Saturday but the lingering pain in my knee kept pulling me into a mentally sad and dark place. I attempted a short 2 mile run on Friday morning but my knee only allowed 1 mile before demanding rest. Reality set in and I knew that running the NYC Half wasn’t an option. I drowned my sorrows with plenty of chocolate and delicious foods – sunny side up eggs (with a double yolk surprise!), scallops over brown rice, and fresh mango (hellloooo mango season!). I also went to get a deep tissue massage, and the masseuse declared the issue to be related to my IT Band. Saturday morning started bright and early at 6:30AM for my weekly volunteering at a Bronx free clinic. The dreary, rainy day totally matched my sad mood. I headed to the NYC Half expo immediately after, which only exacerbated my sadness. The thought of not participating in the half marathon didn’t really set in until I walked hobbled around the expo among the happily excited faces of runners. In a last-minute decision, I decided to get my knee taped up with KT Tape. The “experienced” physical therapist (?) listened to my complaints and insisted my IT Band was to blame, backing what the masseuse stated the day prior.}


{My mom flew in on Saturday evening and together we discussed my options for the half marathon. Running was completely out of the question but walking didn’t really bother my knee after almost two days of rest. After much deliberation, we decided that I should attempt to do the best I can and walk the race. In many ways, this terrified me more than actually running but I decided it was worth a shot. I would simply step off the course if the pain returned, but at least I tried. I’ll write a full recap of the NYC Half, but it was an extraordinary and humbling experience overall. I did in fact walk 99% of the race, with some short jogging attempts at the beginning for 10-15 seconds at a time. I’m so proud to say that I crossed over that finish line with a smile on my face and a sense of accomplishment that I’ve never felt before. It was the first time I’ve ever cried after a race…so many emotions (and some knee pain too that snuck up on me during the last 5K).}


{My mom went to an apartment viewing on Sunday afternoon after the race, leaving me to immobilize my knee at home. I refueled, rested for a few hours, and left the evening open for a celebratory dinner. My mom and I settled on sushi at a fabulous restaurant called Haru that serves some of the freshest fish I’ve had in the city. We shared tuna ceviche, a salmon + spicy tuna + avocado roll, and an eel roll. Delicious! Monday morning started off with a scrumptious breakfast at Sarabeth’s, where I gobbled up smoked salmon eggs benedict on homemade english muffins and washed it all down with multiple cups of coffee. My mom went with a spicy omelette and I snagged a few pieces from her as well.}


{Both of us took Monday and Tuesday off from work, so we continued our adventure around the UES. We strolled (I hobbled) around Carnegie Hill, hopped into a thrift store, stopped into the new Whole Foods (hallelujah!), and returned home to rest. Notice a trend? Mom and I are twinsies…we do not like crazy adventures and prefer mellow relaxing days! I rested my knee while my mom prepped a huge batch of homemade Russian borscht per my request. Aren’t moms the best?!? I managed to snag an appointment with a great Orthopedic doctor in the afternoon, which is absolutely unheard of in New York City where it sometimes takes weeks to get an appointment! The doc waltzed in, took a 5 second look at my knee and the X-ray taken earlier, declared I have ITBS, scheduled an MRI, prescribed physical therapy, and waltzed off, all in the span of five minutes…seriously. It was kind of ridiculous and slightly annoying but I got my #1 goal – an MRI appointment.}


{Food oh glorious food! I am officially declaring my apartment a dessert-free zone. It’s clear from the photos above that I broke Lent and indulged in the most incredible desserts from Maison Kayser. I always knew it was dangerous having that bakery so close to my apartment, and this weekend validated my fears. And don’t even get me started on their freshly baked bread. It’s safe to say my mom and I would eat an entire loaf daily between the two of us. Spring “diet” starts today! And speaking of spring, happy first day!!! It’s about time. Anyway, Tuesday was fairly uneventful in general, but that’s exactly what we preferred. We went to dinner at Haru Sushi again, saw an apartment listing, but generally avoided walking too much. I did get an MRI done on my right knee in the morning and anxiously spent much of the remaining day wondering about every single little horrible thing it might show.}

My mom’s flight was on Wednesday afternoon but randomly got cancelled for absolutely no good reason. This ended up working to her benefit though because she managed to catch an earlier flight that didn’t arrive to Chicago late in the evening. I miss her already!

I’m all sorts of confused with the fact that 1.) it’s already Friday and my mind is still in Monday mode thanks to Monday – Tuesday PTO, 2.) April is basically starting like…tomorrow, and 3.) spring actually starts today! Does anyone else feel completely pressed for time in general? Quite frankly, I’m really stressed about the year being a quarter over already. I have SO MUCH to do this year (#vagueblogging I know….I’ll share soon I swear) and I feel like I’m completely behind on life. Sh*t

Who else ran the NYC Half or another race this past weekend? It seemed to be a popular race weekend!

Have you ever had an MRI done?

♥ Irina