... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

ready, for once

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Being a Type A person, my most secret desires and daydreams usually revolve around complete organization.  I know that sounds lame and it's something Type B's can't comprehend that at all; but I've always wondered what complete 'order' would feel like...  A day in which the bed is flawlessly made, the kitchen immaculate after cooking breakfast, all the winter attire required for taking the pups outside hanging neatly in the coat closet, and the living room perfectly resembling a page from a home decor magazine.  Is that what rest feels like?

Something else Type B's don't understand about us Type A's is that our brains usually go a hundred miles per minute, so even when we've ticked off our entire to-to list, we still find more things to do! This Type A nut lives in a home consisting of two enthusiastic dogs, a husband that travels allllll the time (and is Type B to the bone) and one home office that is shared whenever Will is home. In a word, chaos. My self-inflicted to-do list is never ever done: Will's suitcases (still packed from a previous trip) can be found in any room on any given day // the bed is rarely made, because Baxter loves to snooze during the day, and this involves plenty of nesting about // the kitchen stays a mess all day long due to coffee mugs and constant snacking // the dining table is littered with scarves, beanies and coats from frequent trips outside to let the pups potty // and the living room - with documents from both our jobs, dog toys and a random daily accumulation of objects, can only ever hope to make it into What Not To Do magazine.  

One twisted fantasy I've always felt sure would be utter bliss, is greeting a new year in complete organization!!  What a feeling to start a new year with tidy house and mind! What peace.  In previous years I've tried and failed at this - December is a mad month for us: with birthdays, Christmas, our anniversary... forget about it! Then, this year... a miraculous set of events aligned the stars just right and I was able to achieve this dreamiest of all daydreams!

This year, there was no mad rush.  No last minute outfit malfunctions, no sick puppy, no family crisis!  Instead, I sat down with my morning coffee today and realized: my dress is bought and dry cleaned, hanging ready on the bedroom door; the dogs are still exhausted and recovering from Atlanta's Christmas trip; annnnnnnd my brand-spanking new vacuumn cleaner/ Christmas present stands beckoning in the hallway!  Before I knew it, the apartment was cleaned, the bed sheets were changed, the laundry was up-to-date and the place looked utterly amazing!  I am oh-so-happy to report, I will be greeting the New Year with tidy house and mind!  And in case you're wondering if it's overrated?  Nope.  It's every bit as euphoric as I thought it would be!

All that remains of 2014 are the sporadic Christmas decorations which I always take down after Russian Christmas, later in January, anyway.  Yep!  I'm ready for 2015! Bring it on.

NYE | time to sparkle & shine!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The most festive of evenings is almost upon us once more!  An evening to farewell the past and turn to the future.  An evening of wonder, possibility, excitement and magic!  I'm talking about New Year's Eve of course - absolutely the best time to add sparkle and shine to every outfit!  Ladies, that means sequined dresses, glitter nails and shoes, shimmer eye shadow, fascinators and lots of bling!  It just would't be a celebration without them! 

In my New Year's Eve post last year, I wrote about why I love to sparkle but also talked of tradition and what New Year's Eve means to me from a Russian perspective.  This year, somewhat ironically, Will and I are going to be reigning in 2015 with a bash at Austin's Russian House Restaurant!  I hope it won't all be in Russian - since that would be uber-awkward for Will - but we decided to go because we both love the food, the atmosphere and have heard that their parties are quite notorious.  All this promises a good time...  

The evening also includes a masquerade theme, so no jewelled fascinator for yours truly this year, but I have found a mask every bit as glam to take its place AND compliment my dress!  I'll share photos of everything afterwards // right now, here are some sparkly, shiny, incredible items I'm coveting for this New Year's Eve:

O.b.s.e.s.s.e.d. with these earrings from
Anthropologie $248

Yes please! to this beanie (on sale!) from
Tilly's.com $12.99

Glitter heels are a MUST!  Like these, from
Steve Madden  $99.95

Some arm candy (on sale!!) from
Anthropologie $29.95

This year I'm crazy about sequins in straight-lines
or geometric patterns! SOOO pretty, like this stunner from
La Maison $374

Or this jaw dropping number from
Parker Hayden $396

Or this to-die-for skirt, a steal from
Express $98 

What are you coveting for your New Year's Eve celebration?  What are your plans?  Hope you have a fantastic one, no matter what // and hope to be hearing from you soon!


decorating withdrawal

Monday, December 22, 2014



Since we're not at our place this Christmas, I haven't been able to get carried away with decorating and creative projects like I usually do.  During those 10 blissful, relaxing days I spent back at home in between trips, I seriously had to sit on my hands to stop myself cutting out snowflakes, baking cookies or stringing paper garlands... and honestly, I'm having decorating withdrawal.

Not having a Christmas tree is another major bummer, since - as I mentioned in last year's Christmas tree post - Will and I collect ornaments from places we visit throughout the year and then relive those trips and favourite memories as we hang those ornaments upon our tree.  This year we didn't get a chance to enjoy the new additions or relive old memories so I've decided to absolutely insist on a tree next year, for this is one tradition I don't want to die.

Wrapping presents and admiring their splendor beneath our (very basically decorated) mantle is all the decorating cheer I've had to contend myself with the Christmas.















birchbox brag!

Friday, December 19, 2014


I've written about my obsession with #birchbox before, but I have to tell you guys about the latest box I received: December's!! It's so well thought out and jammed full of useful goodies for the holidays! 

Like this awesome Lord & Berry sparkle eyeliner,
perfect for a little extra glitz at holiday parties:


A velvet finish, crimson red, matte lip rouge from mirenesse, 
that'll certainly help you remain effortlessly chic: 


An amika hair mask to relive and recondition stressed hair, because
let's be honest, you'll be curling your hair every day: 


Texturing hairspray to complete your look and 
make you smell like you're wearing perfume, from Rusk:


Annnnd, my all-time favourite: this divine Tocca hand cream,
That smells amazeballs/ has no parabens annnnnnd leaves dry, winter hands feeling silky smooth!



Seriously ladies, if you haven't subscribed to 'the box' yet- you need to!! I strongly recommend making birchbox your Christmas present // for the gift that keeps giving all year long! 

my live, DIY rustic wreath

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


One thing I've enjoyed with my leisure time this past week is Christmas crafting!  After talking it over, Will and I decided not to get a tree since we won't actually be around for Christmas, but that didn't stop me going to Lowes to fish the tree trimmings out of their boxes like I did last year, to make the (now traditional) live garland (link) and several other little things for the house:

a fragrant live pine/ silk poinsettia
table bouquet
a live pine/ cone display in each bathroom

My most favourite project was the live, rustic wreath that I made for Will's aunty, whom we are staying with over Christmas:



Nothing beats the smell of live pine or a gift crafted with love!  I drew inspiration from Pottery Barn, where the live wreaths cost upwards of $100 and I want to tell you that making your own wreath is super fun, easy and cheap to make! So if you're strapped for ideas this Christmas - or buying for someone who has everything - this might be the perfect solution for you. Here's what you'll need:


live pine trimmings (free from Lowes!)
a wire wreath ($5.99 from Micheal's)
a bag of pine cones ($3 from Target)
twine
shears
scissors
small green wires 
(I already had some but you can buy these from Micheal's for about $3 if you don't have any)

I also tried to be ceative with some 'juniper' looking berries
and pine from our garden/ but the berries all fell off as I was
attaching them to the wreath :( Major bummer - but the
varying foliage looks great on the wreath!
I strongly recommend a wire wreath like this one from
Michael's - it's super easy to attach the pine and hold it firmly
in place - others I've tried are too time consuming and finicky! 
To start, just lay the pine needles in places
without securing them, to see how they will look
When you're happy, wrap the wires around
the bundle
They're so hard to see! The perfect secret :)
Roughly finished
Hang it up to see how it looks
Then secure any pieces that have gone haywire with the
small green wires
You can make it as tight/ neat/ round as you like -
I wanted mine to look rustic so didn't tighten it too much
Now it's looking neater :)
If you want to decorate with pinecones, place the wreath back
on the floor and roughly lay the pinecones in place
To secure them onto your wreath, tie twine tightly around
the bottom layers... 
Thread the twine inconspicuously through the foliage... 
Making sure it's completely hidden from the front...

And tie in place around the back
Voila! Your rustic wreath is all done! 
Well almost...
I personally LOVED it like this, but when I showed it to
Will - he said it needed colour to make it more festive...
Luckily I had these berry wires  ($1.99 from Michael's)
left over from Xmas present wrapping
So I pulled them apart...
And wrapped them randomly around pine needles on my
wreath 
Certainly more festive! 

Total time spent: 1 hour


Total cash spent: $9

HAVE FUN!!!
 

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About unwavering me

Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.

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spring in Austin TX

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