Visiting Portland was on my list for a while.  It has always been “would-be-cool-to-do” thing though and not really a goal. I have a friend there who’s been inviting me to visit for the last 3 years and after one of our chats I was like what the heck, the time has come.  Not the best season (November) but the best moment because it’s now! We booked our tickets from LA to Portland, and because it was a random weekend the prices were great! One of those things when you finally do it and then wonder why did you wait so long?!

Read More New State Unlocked: Visiting Portland, Oregon


My baby boy has just turned two! To say that time flies is to say nothing. This year was so much fun! Him a year ago and now are almost two different kids, he made so much progress, it’s mind-blowing! First of all, a year ago he was not even walking, we did not sleep through the night and he would only say mama occasionally. Right now he is running around, sleeps all night and says “I luh u, mama”, “no do that, mama” and probably a 100 different words and sentences in 3 languages!

Read More Alaric Turns Two + Mom’s One Line a Day Outtakes


The other day we went on a walk around the neighborhood like we always do. This time it was special because for the first time in weeks it wasn’t raining. We’ve always liked walking, we just grab a camera and get outside to explore. When I look at these pictures later, they make me smile.  I love capturing candid daily moments that become the sweetest memories in the future. Children do grow up too fast and it’s important to cherish those moments. Duh.

Read More Children See. Children Do. A Day in Life of a Toddler.



I was hesitant to write this post because in my head 2016 was kind of a tough year.  Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try and look back at moments month by month. I discovered that 2016 was actually full of great things! It once again proves that your experience depends on your attitude, and while I did have some really emotionally difficult times this past year, I can honestly say that I made them seem worse than they should have been. Too much anxiety, too much self-doubt and negativity. It is painful to admit and it’s not all black and white but it is up to us how to live our lives and what to choose to focus on. For this post I chose to review the best memories and meaningful moments from 2016. It’s going to be a very long post.

Read More 2016 Year in Review



This Mother’s Day I would like to share my thoughts, memories and stories about my first year of motherhood. Of course, it wouldn’t be possible to fit it all into one post but I thought it would be fun to do it in the format of the alphabet, so here we go.

A – Alaric Alexander. The process of picking the name for our son was challenging. We had so many conditions: it had to be international, sound good in both English and Russian, ideally with some cultural heritage, either Scandinavian or Russian; unique, have a good meaning, yada yada yada, you can pretty much tell it was not an easy task. I heard the name Alaric (pronounced as “ah-LAR-ik”) on the TV show and thought it sounded interesting. The more I researched and played with the idea, the more I liked the name, I think it’s beautiful and unique just like our boy. Since the name Alaric is not a very common, a lot of people seem to get puzzled by it but it’s actually really easy to pronounce once you’ve said it couple of times. At home we call Alaric Rishka.

B – Breastfeeding. I knew from the beginning that this is something I really wanted to commit to. Difficult and painful at first, it was totally worth the trouble, luckily these days there are many helpful tools to aid in breastfeeding, I shared my favorite ones in this post. I really started to enjoy it over time, it was so special, sweet and cozy. I successfully nursed Alaric for a year and we finished shortly after his first birthday, weaning off was totally smooth and stressless for both of us.


C – Cuteness. There is just an impossible cuteness overload that comes with the new baby. Everything from smiles and giggles to messy cheeks covered in some type of food is just so unbearably cute.

Read More ABC’s of the First Year of Motherhood



We had so much fun celebrating Alaric’s first birthday! I wasn’t planning to do anything big since he is too little to care so I decided to organize everything myself.


The original plan was to have the birthday party at the park. I wanted an outdoorsy environment, daylight for the photos and an opportunity to throw the blankie on the grass and let him move around. Well, guess what? Few days before the event I saw the weather forecast and it said it was supposed to rain the day of the party! That’s something you never have to worry about in LA, what are the odds… We had to urgently move the party somewhere else and I had a brief moment of panic but then I found the cafe that could accomodate and everything worked out in the end.


Read More Alaric’s First Birthday



My sweet boy just turned one!  Looking back at this year there have definitely been many awesome moments but it is still hard to believe the whole year has passed by.

It is usually not that easy to notice the time but in case with an infant you can practically watch the clock tick.  From a tiny fragile creature it timelapses into an active little person that can move around, smile, talk, express emotions and  show their personality. It is so fascinating! Not to mention that this creature tripled in weight and grew by 8 inches:)


Read More Alaric Turns One


Winter ocean has a special place in my heart (as long as it’s not bringing freezing cold air haha). It is so beautiful, powerful, even more so in gloomy weather. I loved being there and watching grey waves crash, it was so soothing and calming, moments like this are everything especially if they are shared with great people. We had friends visiting from Vegas and it was really fun to meet up and show them around the day LA is so different from its usual self.






Read More Winter Ocean

All Things LA Mine