72 Hours at Home

I wrote this as I sat at Midway Airport on Monday, waiting to board my flight to New York after a quick holiday getaway to visit my family. What really took this trip to a new and exciting level is the fact that my sister had no idea that I was coming! It was so fun just popping out of the corner and completely surprising her. My sister and her fiancé are moving to Denver later this month, so they’re currently living at home with my parents between leases. Having the entire family under one roof was wild but we all handled it well (give or take a few occasional arguments.

Plus, spending the 4th of July in my old stomping grounds was pretty awesome. I only had three short days at home, but I’ll take three days over zero any day.


I arrived around noon and spent the day just hanging out at home, even sneaking in a short nap, while my mom and sister prepped dinner for the evening. I know…I completely failed at contributing and totally got scolded for it. My sister’s future in-laws came over in the evening and we had a fabulous dinner together. I was the only one left in the family who hadn’t met them, so it was a great surprise to everyone (no one knew I was there until they saw me…surprise)!

sis & I

Our dinner menu: plenty of appetizers (smoked salmon, prosciutto + cantaloupe), meatloaf, baked salmon, mashed potatoes with homemade gravy, and salad


Oh and Russian cake…dessert is always a must!

Russian cake

Another tasty post-dinner treat:

Johnnie Walker Blue Label

I absolutely adore whisky and got the pleasure of trying what can only be described as phenomenal whisky – Johnnie Walker Blue Label.


Happy Fourth of July! The sis + her fiancé promised to spend the day with his family downtown, so my parents and I were left to our own device for the holiday. After a scrumptious breakfast all together…


…my sister left and the parentals and I decided to go see Jurassic World. LOVED this movie, loved. I mean, the original Jurassic Park will always be #1 in my heart, but damn, the effects and everything about this movie were badass (especially in 3D).


(obligatory photo with my Minions…can’t wait to see this movie)

Jurassic World

The rest of the afternoon was spent at home, until about 7PM when we finally pulled ourselves into the car and drove over to our town’s firework display. 

4th of July

We waited for sooooo long for the show to begin, and I must admit, it was not worth the wait. The show was super short and just a complete letdown in general.


Oh well…at least I got to see some fireworks…


My last day at home…booooo! I had grand plans to wake up early and run 6 miles before breakfast, but opted to sleep in instead. It ended up being a perfectly lazy day that started with an awesome breakfast prepared by my sister.


I had a mini photoshoot with Dasha while I waited for the food to be prepped.


I should totally be a pro photographer, admit it.


Look at these photos! All on the iPhone too.

A few hours later, my mom & sister & I decided to treat ourselves to some ice cream. Ice cream is always a good idea, although this soft serve was way too sweet for our taste.

ice cream

Up next on the agenda: the Russian grocery store!

Russian grocery store

(more dessert of course)

My sister then came up with the idea to head over to Ravinia for dinner…


…so we packed up a small picnic and spent a good hour or so just hanging out on the lawn eating chicken, fruit, and (eventually) cake while enjoying the live classical music concert.


Secret: I adore classical music, love love love it

IMG_9565 Ravinia

I was pretty wired after the entire classical music ordeal and decided that I was in fact going to fit in my 6 mile run…at 9PM. I’m a big fan of running at night but no one wanted to let me go solo, so my sister and her fiancé decided to head out with me. I underestimated just how dark it was and ended up having to run with my phone’s flashlight, but it was easily one of the best runs I’ve had since starting running again last month.

running at night

It was so so so invigorating and I didn’t want to stop running, but it was 10PM and I had no choice. So that was a fun experience! I don’t think I’ve ever gone running that late, but I definitely want to do it again.

And that’s all folks! I woke up bright and early on Monday and headed to the airport where I wrote up this entire post while waiting to board. My new MacBook doesn’t allow for direct drag-and-drop of photos into WordPress (wtf Apple?!?) so instead of figuring out how to circumvent the issue, I simply avoided publishing this post. Needless to say, I finally figured it out today!


In other news, I kind of broke my promise to you all about posting more. June slipped through my fingers and I gave all my attention to school. But one of my summer classes (Psychology) just ended last week, leaving me with significantly more time to actually live life and enjoy summer before the fall semester from hell begins. Plus, I really need all the extra time I can take to dedicate it to Chemistry. You guys…I’ve always been stellar at Chem but damn…I don’t know if it’s because it’s an “Ivy League” school but this Chem class feels so much more challenging than any other I have ever taken (and I’ve taken a few). I’m secretly loving the challenge but ugh, I love summer and socializing too you know?

I know I still owe you a post on my postbacc and career-changing decision…soon friends, soon. And with that, I’m out. Happy Friday!

♥ Irina


  1. July 13, 2015 / 12:06 pm

    So, tell me more about this new MacBook of yours. My MacBook is officially seven years old, and since seven years old in laptop years is basically 150 years old in human years, I am INCREDIBLY in the market for a new Mac, but everyone keeps giving me different opinions and it’s stressing me out. So naturally I’m soliciting one more opinion to make things even more complicated. Haha. I just don’t know what to do! There are so many choices and I don’t want to spend a gazillion dollars, but Apple makes me feel like I need to. Gah!

    • July 14, 2015 / 10:01 am

      Oh my gosh I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. My old MacBook Pro was 6 years old and desperately needed to be upgraded, especially before starting school again. The new MacBooks are basically god – long battery life (I spend all day on campus and only use half of the battery at most), super light, ultra fast, and oh-so sleek and sexy. Completely worth it in my mind, completely. It’s crazy because everyone here on campus in Columbia has a MacBook…I’ve never seen anything like it haha. But really, Apple gets so much smack but their computers are gorgeous in ways that go beyond just appearance.

      This might not matter to you at all, but the only downside is that you can no longer increase the memory/storage yourself in case you wanted to allow your computer to store more (which I did with my last one – I installed a new 850GB drive). So the storage you buy the computer with is the storage you keep, unless I guess you buy an external drive perhaps?

      I got the 13″ MacBook Pro with 256GB storage (which still sadly isn’t enough for me):