April 30, 2012

Live your dream: Making of a Russian ballerina. Natalia Balakhnicheva

I came across an blog article , accidentally, on where one of the contemporary American dance teachers was analyzing the "tricks" what makes the "Russians be Russians", as he put it. He went on and on, how by implementing these "tricks" American ballet will advance and be right there on the same level. It's all about "knowing how" , he said , and , according to his blogging documentary, he "figured it out" : it's tricks, it's knowing how to train teachers, and teaching methods full of "undiscovered before him" tricks. I've never seen a more convincing blog that makes you want to run, sign up for ALL his blog updated and buy ALL his materials.

Except , if you look at him closer, besides the face that shines everywhere, you see that there is no marking of a dancer in him. At all. And if he WERE in Russia  - as he claims, then he was in the audience, no more. That would be the only dance connection he could ever possibly have. But excellent entrepreneur skills. I did not want to link him here. I do not want his business to succeed.

But what shocked me more, was how many actual DANCERS - and really good dancers, but young - bought his nonsense. The discussion went on and on about how certain "tricks" that "russian pass on from generation to generation" produce amazing dancers that are wanted all over the world. It's not - according to him and them - in selection, abilities, and training.

I found this video documentary - broken in 4 parts for easier watching - about Kremlin Prima ( principle ) Ballerina , Natalia Balakhnicheva. The video is in Russian with specs of English and some subtitles here and there. But you don't need to know the language to see and understand HOW the Russian dancers are trained. To build a ballerina with her individuality, she must be completely demolished - emotionally and psychologically first - lost and submitted to the will of her teacher and Ballet itself. Whenever you see a teacher talking - with the exception of one time, but even then - nothing but " idiot, piece of wood, hate you, get out of here , idiot , idiot, idiot .... " comes out. It's stronger then English can put it. In teacher's monolog behind the movie you hear " I don't care if they are afraid of me. They are like trees - if it is not strong enough, you cut it down. There is no place for a week tree in this forest. I don't know and don't care if it hurts the tree - it's either good or cut down. I'm sure there is a need for some spare wood somewhere". And more " if they are afraid of me, then they either learn to love me, or go away. If they can't learn to get used to me, they are not needed in this world. I have no time or desire to think about what THEY think about ME". And on and on...

 Natalia - featured in this documentary - is told to be " talentless idiot", "waist of time", "crappy lazy idiot", " ignorant b(*&(*" and more. Watch to see what makes her be all that. And then - tell me: What do you think. 

I don't  believe America could EVER adopt such methods and succeed with them. Because there is no method - it's in the blood. The selection is ruthless. We "weeding" is heartless. The teaching is cruel. I will say this - that those "weeded" girls would EASILY make a principle of leading US company in a heartbeat. Those that survive are the ones that love ballet more then life without it. I've heard it put very well, and I'll quote here: 

"Ballet is like a drug: they love it so much. And hate it so much. But can't live without it."

and going on from the same quote : "They will take anything. Try to kick them out of school and they will die without it. THOSE are the dancers we are looking for".

This movie brought so many memories. I survived. And even graduated.  But , just like everyone, I too, went through the stages of loving  ballet - hating and leaving - and understanding the real love and the fact that I honestly can't live without it, and coming back - this time forever, until the end of my days. 

Yes, it was good at the end. Yes, it was worth going through everything. But it was not easy.
But I love and cannot live without it.

Do you think America could adopt THESE methods? 
What are your thoughts in general on the movie? 

April 26, 2012

Style: stripes, R13 and JCrew union

As I am running out for my very long ( and exciting!) day, a few snaps of today's style ( inspired by this one) .

Stripes, denim and a touch of mint :

jeans: r13 via gilt ( my newest favorite, come back tomorrow i'll tell you why). top: current affair drape back. jacket: jcrew ( free shipping!*), belt : jcrew ( flip to lighter side). necklace : jcrew (old) , but want this one. necklace: dogeared heart. bracelet: pandora c/o Jared. shoes: modcloth. nail polish : essie canyon coral. lips: mac shy girl



April 25, 2012

Ballerina's best friend : pointe shoes

This is a perfect and very honest video about ballerina's MOST important asset - her pointe  shoes.
 I couldn't have put it better.

Years ago I was approached too by a mature ballerina that told be that my shoes were not good enough for my feet ( though I didn't seem to notice) , and then she gave me a pair that fit better then a glove. I seriously felt like I could fly. That was beginning of my point shoes love story.

 I go through a pair of shoes a day, sometimes , a class, and , often, 2-3 per performance. And, unless, supplied by a company ( which happens in big ones, but not so much in smaller ones, and never in freelancing), usually it's a personal expense. You know the saying " don't blow it all in one place?" , we have a better version : " don't blow it all on the point shoes".

So, in the world of fashion, this is , probably, my biggest obsession yet.

 IF YOU ALREADY DO - WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE MAKER? (i'm definitely partial to Freeds)


April 24, 2012

Les Femme Moda: Spring fashion -style and blossoms.

Spring is here , and blossoms are in full bloom:

blazer: nordstrom( old) similar. jeans: R13(via gilt) similar. blouse: jcrew (old), but LOVE this one, or this, or this (great price!). denim popover: jcrew . necklace: long chain - dogeared. rosegold flower: custom made c/o Jared, similar here. bracelet : pandora, c/o Jared. shoes: NCD via gilt, similar + similar. bag: rebecca minkoff via gilt, but loving this one for spring. 

I love spring the most of all seasons - new life, fresh air, blossoms, green-ing grass and trees... It makes me happy and full of hope , life and desire for new adventures. But with spring changing weather and temperatures ( especially from morning to day ) best thing to do is LAYERS! If you saw any of the runway collections for both, spring and fall 2012, layering and pattern/texture mixing is THE thing. Try it! 


ps: i'm not a fan of a newest blogger change. anything i'm missing to make me love it?


April 23, 2012

Weekend wonders

The weekend is always too short. I think if I were a queen or a president, Mondays would always be a day off. Forever. 
Anyway. Between Nikon, Instagram and Diana , here is what we've got. 

My little fashion models. DVF would be so proud.
Deep in thought.

I want her style. That boyfriend jean...

Got my nails done in golden polkadots, only to see that we had polka dots and stripes going on that day: 

and here is what was happening while I was getting the nails done: 

the leg is making a statement everywhere. We've been seeing a lot of this too: 

and here are the eyes that go with that leg. popping from behind the lunch box she wanted all to herself: 

"mommy. i very love it" . melted my heart.

and so do these crazy blue eyes. unedited. that's how diana and 110 mm film saw it. 

our not so successful macarons adventure. sniff.

and i am already missing this toothless smile.

i also found a secret storage compartment with a whole lot of things that i thought we lost during the day:

love the blossoms time ( a sneak peak into tomorrows les femme moda!) 

we had to make the dandelion crowns ( as they call them). brought me back to childhood...

one sock-ed fashion style. i found 3 more stashed under her bum in the carseat. she's a queen of sock-taking-off.

music bug. that's all. i caught one of the kids put those valentine hearts on her while we were cleaning. and couldn't resist...


You are welcome to link your post to mine in comments for everyone to see. We love making new friends!


April 20, 2012

When it rains... we go play!

In my book rain is just as awesome as any other type of weather. And, although I do prefer a more dry then wet climate, when it rains , it's super fun to get out. 
And the rain gear as follows:

rain coat: free people(sold out) similar ( love the lace) . boots: hunter ( sale!) . jeans: rag&bone ( love, love, love!) . parka jcrew, unavailable, but love this one. nail polish: essie candy apple. lips: mac ruby woo. bag and scarf from before, can be found here

I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Don't let the rainy weather stop you! 

April 19, 2012

Health-nut. Literally.

I am a big fan of cheese. I also found that too much of a good thing can be... well - too much. Spring is approaching and there is no better time to cleanse your body, recharge and give it a boost.

Over the years, whenever I was looking for non-dairy alternatives ( especially great when I craved cheese while pregnant , but could not stomach the actual dairy) , I only came across those ridiculously rubber-tasting ones that you buy packaged at the health food stores. If you ever tried one , you know what I mean - those things make you gag.  It blows my mind - I am YET to find a healthy version of anything at the store that actually tastes good - from gluten free foods to dairy free products, they are simply disgusting. Why anyone would EVER want to buy it - I have no idea.

So, after researching and experimenting , I came up with the fabulous tasting NUT cheese version. I've taken the cheese maker approach , and done the steps of maturing the dairy cheese. Except I used non-dairy base. If you have imagination - sky is the limit, and here are the few steps of basic cheeses.


  • 2 cup nuts ($9.90)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice ($.50)
  • 1 teaspoon probiotic powder (or a few capsules, opened) ($1.50)
  • dried or fresh herbs for rolling


  • In a blender, add together all the cheese ingredients except for the probiotics and dried herbs. Add more water if necessary for blending.
  • Puree for several minutes until as smooth and creamy as possible. 
  • Stir in probiotic powder.
  • Pour into a jar or other glass container and cover with cheese cloth. 
  • Let sit for about 24 hours at room temperature to develop a cheese flavor. As it sits, the nut "cream" will also  thicken up, making it easier to handle.
  • Once the flavor has developed to your liking (taste test every so often), divide in three equal portions and form into circles. 
  • Wrap each in the cheese cloth and place them in a colander with a weight or weighted plate on top. Put the colander in a sink or over a plate or bowl to catch any drips. A lot of the liquid will be pressed out of the cheese this way.
  • Let it press for several hours.
When it has the desired consistency, remove from the cheese cloth, shape into a wheel and roll in dried or minced fresh herbs (optional).

Another one, and my absolute favorite - has a goat cheese, feta like consistency and taste. This one is from my previous blog entry here.

Absolutely fantastic! I never thought that probiotics can substitute for cheese culture so well! We did this today too ( we are having a "sunday heaven" for new recipes, and although it needs to be in the fridge for 24 hours ( and it is, but I really had to fight the kids), we tried it while making and it is fabulous! Kids are licking the bowl and forks.

Garlic & Dill Cheeze

1 cup Cashew Cheeze (See recipe below)
1 generous teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced chives
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
Finely ground almonds, dried dill and garlic powder for the crust

Combine Cashew Cheese, chives, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Stir until well mixed. Add fresh herbs and stir until well distributed. Taste and adjust salt, if desired.

Shape the Cheese mixture into a round or press firmly into a small container or bowl lined with plastic film. Sprinkle mixture of ground almonds, dried dill and garlic powder on top. Allow to chill for at least 12 hours or until it firms up.When firm, de-mold, turn over and transfer onto a plate. Sprinkle more dried herbs on top and sides. Store in fridge in airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days.

More recipes and ideas in my earlier post here.

And if you are why in the world you would want to make a nut cheese if you are not allergic to dairy, here is a great article about BENEFITS of nuts. And we ALL need to be healthier - in the current world and environment, I feel like this is the least we can do for our bodies.

Plus it tastes good.

Are you a health nut? What is your preference in food?

April 18, 2012

Shopping? Let's add color!

 1or1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6+6+6. 7. 8. 9.

It's gloomy and cloudy outside, so I say , let's bring more color into the crowds. I am absolutely loving this linen blazer with a teal trim - subtle chic. And with denim making a large come back this season, there is no better time do experiment.I am loving layers lately - try denim shirt over a tee and under a blazer! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Perfect for changing seasons and indecisive weather.  


April 17, 2012

Les Femme Moda : DVF for Gap kids

A while back we had an amazing opportunity for a "thank you" promotional photoshoot for DVF for Gap kids. If you haven't seen the collection - run! It came out a month ago, and it is absolutely gorgeous. My girls are in LOVE , they want everything. My absolute favorite pieces are the blazer , and also this one - I wish they came in adult sizes! 

Here are some "made it" frames and some outtakes. Note the ukelele. Even if you cannot see it in the picture, trust me it was there! 

i'm wearing : jeans: current/elliott or similar. tee: stylemint or similar here. jacket: topshop. jewelry: nashelle but loving this one. dogeared plus similar. nail polish: a-list essie also in target. belt: jcrew( sold out) but loving this one or this one ( amazing price!)
girls: top  DVF for Gap kids ( on sale now!).  sweater: trumpette, similar here . jeans: baby gap (sold out), but loving these. dress: baby Gap, sold out, but love DVF this one  or  this one. socks : trumpette. red jacket: baby Gap ( similar here or love this trench ( on sale!)

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