Back At It

Was I really just on vacation a few days ago? My wonderful two-week extravaganza already sadly seems to be a thing of the past as regular work life starts taking over again. I hate it, but I’m trying to hold on to those dear memories of vacation for as long as possible. It’s these memories that will get me through this tough work week. Anyway, I have to post-pone my vacation recaps until next week because the 900 photos I took don’t fit on my computer. This weekend I’ll be installing a larger hard drive that will have the capacity to easily hold these beautiful photos.

(sneak peak)

For now I’ll skip the grumbling and complaining about being back at work and hop forward to the thoughts that are getting me through each day. The main motivator? A three-day weekend thanks to Labor Day! I am ecstatic about it.

Here are some things that I plan on accomplishing this weekend:

*  Clean out my closet  this task has been on my to-do list for ages and for some reason I thought about it quite often while in Russia…it needs to be done
*  Make Trawffles  oh how I missed my lovely little chocolates with scrumptious fillings!
*  Bake  not sure what is on the menu but I suspect cookies…
*  Run run run  an 8k race is looming in the near future (September 16th) and I need to get my miles back up
*  Spend time with my sis  it was her birthday on the 25th and we weren’t able to celebrate because she was in Italy while my parents and I were flying back from Russia. A celebration/gift exchange in Evanston will be happening ASAP!
*  Get a haircut  my hair is crying from the split ends that are slowly crawling up each hair strand
*  Manicure  I spent much of my 9.5 hour flight back peeling off my no-chip mani, so it’s time for another one before my beautiful long nails get chewed off
*  Have lunch/dinner with an old friend  he’s finally back in town and I’m dying to see him…he’s an old childhood friend and we go waaaay back
*  Write vacation recap posts  these will take a while so I suspect a few dedicated hours will be needed. Installing the new hard-drive will be part of this task as well

And that’s what I have lined up for the three-day weekend. I kind of suck at accomplishing things on my to-do lists, but the promise of a third day in the weekend leaves me hopeful and determined. T-minus 32 hours until I head home!

In other news, the past two days have been uneventful as usual. Jetlag has not been too much of an issue, and for some lucky reason it’s become A LOT easier to wake up in the mornings. I just hope that lasts!

The transition back to work life has been rougher than expected. I honestly thought that the two-week break would cause me to return refreshed and in a happier mental state. But of course, a wave of sadness swept over the moment I stepped back into the building. The sadness only worsened when vacation memories floated to mind – I miss my time with the family so much! Ok enough before I start crying again.

(I brought this cute tissue pack back from Russia, how appropriate right? Just looking at it makes me want to cry but at least I have the tissues to catch my tears! What a sick cycle.)

In happier news, I brought Russian candy and a pryanik for my co-workers and they loved both!

The pryanik is only made in Tulsa, a small town 2 hours outside of Moscow and coincidentally where my aunt/uncle/cousin live.

I ate an exorbitant amount of sugar/desserts/sweets while in Russia and my body is begging for a temporary break from it. So far, the sugar addiction I thought I developed hasn’t yet prevailed. Instead, my entire body has been loving wholesome foods again!



(topped with organic raspberries and almond butter… YES)

Massive salads:

(Chickpea Veggie Sandwich from Potbelly’s)

A guilty-pleasure TV show has made the transition to the real world easier as well:

I die for this show but was secretly slightly disappointed with yesterday’s finale. Also, can I please have Spencer’s entire wardrobe?

My final dreamy thought is this: why can’t life just be one big vacation? Ok so maybe “vacation” is too extreme, but I do believe that if you do what you love, it will not feel like work.

A thought-provoking question for you: can fulfilling work actually not feel like work?

Any Pretty Little Liars fans out there? What did you think of the summer finale? Were you surprised?

♥ Irina


  1. August 29, 2012 / 7:55 am

    I love candy from other places, seriously I always make people bring me back stuff when they go.

    • August 31, 2012 / 10:41 am

      I do too! It’s so interesting to see how tastes and delicacies vary in different countries.

  2. August 29, 2012 / 11:29 am

    I love weekends that have a little productivity thrown into them (like cleaning out your closet). I’m hoping to clean up my apartment this weekend but we’ll see if it happens. I know I’ll feel better afterwards!

    • August 31, 2012 / 10:42 am

      Me too! Productivity, even if for only an hour, always balances out the lazy aspect of the weekend (which obviously dominates 🙂 )

  3. August 29, 2012 / 7:10 pm

    That is one huge cookie, haha! I hate jetlag! I always have a tough time when returning to the States 🙁

    • August 31, 2012 / 10:43 am

      It’s like a giant cookie cake with fruit filling inside…delicious! I actually didn’t have trouble with jetlag until last night when I woke up 4 times in the middle of the night! Grr…

  4. August 29, 2012 / 8:53 pm

    It sounds like you have a lot of exciting things to keep you busy (and keep you from missing Russia TOO much). I’m sure spending time with your sister will be amazing and manicures can always put me in a good mood. (:

    I was actually shocked by last night’s PLL finale! I wasn’t impressed by the episode until the last 15 minutes and then I kind of freaked out. haha. I’m so addicted to that show…it’s ridiculous. And YES- I want Spencer’s wardrobe. Or any of their wardrobes for that matter….

    • August 31, 2012 / 10:45 am

      Yes, I guess it’s better to have a busy weekend then one that’s empty and boring right? And I’m seriously counting down until October when PLL returns. I refuse to believe that you-know-who is A #2!

  5. August 29, 2012 / 11:01 pm

    Ahhh show me already! hahah. I’m still jealous you went back to Europe though, I’d love to go back to Poland for a little while. Can’t wait to see more pics you little tease haha.

    And that grape at first looked like a gooseberry and I got excited. It’s pretty yellow for a grape. I love grapes so much but they are so high in sugar, it makes me not buy them as often after I learned that fact :/ sigh

    • August 31, 2012 / 10:47 am

      You should go back! It’s so important to stay connected with your roots, and I’m sure you will love it! Speaking of gooseberries, I ate sooo many in Russia! For some reason I’ve never seen them sold here in the states but in Russia they were everywhere!

    • August 31, 2012 / 11:10 am

      P.S. the grapes are called Scuppernong and they actually taste a bit like gooseberries! I randomly bought them on sale at Whole Foods last weekend, I’m sure your local WF will have them too.

  6. August 29, 2012 / 11:37 pm

    Hi Irina! Ohhh thank you for coming to comment on my blog because it was how I was able to find yours and I can tell you that you’ve got yourself a new subscriber 😀 Love your pictures and your writing style, and love that you’re from Europe! Although I was born in Canada, my parents immigrated from Poland just a few years prior, and they raised me with all of the Polish customs and traditions, so it always feels like home. Alrighty, just wanted to say hi, and now I’m off to stalk some more of your blog >:D

    • August 31, 2012 / 10:49 am

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Amanda!! I’m so glad you stopped by because I secretly adore you and your blog and am quite happy you returned back to the blogging world 🙂 It’s so great that your parents chose to keep you connected with your Polish roots and raise you with all the customs and traditions. Now when you visit Poland one day you will fit right in!

    • August 31, 2012 / 10:50 am

      October 23rd can’t come soon enough!!

  7. August 30, 2012 / 10:45 am

    I love PLL! But I was disappointed as well. But I am with you on Spencer’s wardrobe! Also can I please have Caleb???

    • August 31, 2012 / 10:51 am

      I love Spencer’s style the most! So classy and sassy at the same time. My secret PLL man crush is Wren and his sexy accent…yum.

  8. August 30, 2012 / 12:13 pm

    It sounds like you have a busy — but fun — weekend ahead! (And man, I hear you on needing to clean out my closet….) I can’t wait to read the recaps and I’m happy you aren’t suffering from jet lag.

    • August 31, 2012 / 10:52 am

      Better busy than bored right? 🙂

  9. Sasha aka your sister
    August 31, 2012 / 4:06 pm

    Funny that I spent most of my 12 hour flight sleeping and…peeling of my no-chip manicure too. hehe. I guess we are related.

    • September 3, 2012 / 10:05 am

      Unfortunately…yes we are 😉

  10. September 8, 2012 / 5:06 pm

    Hi I just found your blog! I’m studying abroad in Russia in 2 weeks! I can’t wait! I was just wondering why you didn’t run in Russia? Did you just not have time or did you not feel comfortable running by yourself over there? I’m a runner and hope to stay in decent shape while I’m abroad. And are there really not a lot of veggies?

    • September 8, 2012 / 9:35 pm

      Hi Alexandra!!! I think it’s fantastic that you’re going to study abroad in Russia! What city? I’ll be as helpful as possible if you have any questions 🙂

      To be honest, I didn’t run because I knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable running solo. There were a few reasons for this: I was raised to be fearful and extremely cautious of Russia (russian men actually…their occasional vulgarness still scares me at times because I’m not used to it), I didn’t want to run in an unfamiliar area, I was afraid of being kidnapped (ha!). Europe in general is a lot different than the U.S, and Russia even more different than Europe. But don’t worry – there have been SO MANY improvements in the country. So don’t fret too much about going there, I saw gyms and even a few people running while in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The people there don’t have the same views on fitness but times are changing! I’m looking forward to reading more about your Russian adventures!

      Oh and don’t worry about veggies – I actually ended up coming across A LOT of supermarkets with all the fruits and veggies found here. I would recommend trying to scope out specialized stores for products such as meats, dairy, and bread though because supermarket food can’t even compare. Get excited because the food in Russia is delicious!!

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have anymore questions…I’m here for you!