Posted on

Holiday Gift Guide – Holiday 2011 – Find a the Perfect Gift

Holiday Gift Guide 2011

The Holiday are here! I love the holiday season because it gives us an opportunity to appreciate the people in our lives and tell them how much we love them. I enjoy getting gifts for people that are special to me and I am excited to give you guys some ideas of awesome holiday gifts.


Holiday Gift Guide - Find a Gift - Gift Guide 2011

I am obsessed with perfume. I love the way it makes me feel and it also makes the people around me happy. 🙂 These are some of my favorite brands. I love sweet and light smells, that are really young.


Holiday Gift Guide - Holidays 2011 - Find Gift

The gold boyfriend watch has a been a big trend this year. The Michael Kors Watch is my favorite, but these looks for less are an awesome alternative and still super stylish.

Scarf Style

Holiday Gift Guide - Gift Guide - Holidays 2011

We all know about the Missoni Target Craze this year and I could see why. There is something we all love about the Missoni print. These scarves are a great way to join in the fun without the expense.

Smart Phone Case

Holiday Gift Guide - Gift Guide - Holidays 2011

This would be a perfect gift for the smart phone obsessed fashionista. These cases are so cute and useful at the same time.

Posted on

DIY – Your Own Sparkly Boots


DIY - Weekend DIY Project

If you’ve been sniffing the glitter glue like I have, by now, you’re probably head-over-heels obsessed with sparkly shoewear. Miu Miu’s version might be a little (okay, a lot) out of your price range, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get twinkly-toed, stat. Check out this easy DIY that’ll glitter-ify the back of an old pair of boots. Just be ready to leave a trail of sparkle wherever you go! (Le Fanciulle via This Is Glamorous)


How to make your own sparkly boots

Step 1:
Find a pair of ankle boots which are ready to be glittered.  Mine cost me a grand total of $10 thanks to Rubi shoes and a convenient voucher from my birthday – score!  (they are much higher than I wanted, but that’s alright, they can just be another addition to my burgeoning heel collection.)
DIY - Weekend DIY Project
Step 2:
Get yourself some glitter and some craft glue.
I chose two glitter sizes (which I mixed together) – one larger to emulate the big sparkling look of the original photo, and one smaller to fill in the gaps.  The glue that I used is permanent fabric glue, but I reckon you could probably get away with normal craft glue and spray on some more adhesive after the glitter has dried.
DIY - Free DIY Project
Step 3:
Glue and glitter your boot!
(maybe should have mixed the glitter into the glue?  I have no idea.  At least mine is holding for now…)
DIY - Free DIY Projects - Sparkly Boots
Step 4:
Wait for the glue to dry. Then, neaten up the edges by scratching off dried glitter and glue that’s in the wrong place.
(This took me longer than actually gluing and glittering, as I am a bit anal about neat lines etc.  S can testify to this.)
Free DIY Projects
Step 5:
Marvel at your creation!  But try not to click your heels together or you’ll lose precious glitter.
DIY - Sparkly Boots

Style them with jeans or coloured trousers rolled up at the hem, or some black leggings and a jumper-dress for a bit of casual glam.

Posted on

Favorite Things – How to tell your parents you are pregnant!

How to tell your parents you are pregnant

One of the first fun things you get to do when you find out you are pregnant is you get to tell people! The best people to tell in my life were my parents and my in-laws. David and I came up with the idea of making t-shirts that say, “Favorite Grandma” & “Favorite Grandpa”. We did one for my parents in Russian and one of Davids parents in Spanish. Then we put a bunch of diapers on top of the t-shirts and wrapped them.

We reveled the pregnancy to both sets of parents at different times but in basically the same way. We told them that we got them a gift on our Europe Trip and we wanted them to open in together.

The moment before they opened the box, my heart was pounding so hard. I love the different reactions of excitement. You can see Davids parents reactions from the pictures below. My mom started crying right away and my dad said (in a thick Russian accent) “Good job David!”

How to reveal your pregnancy
Ideas to reveal your pregnancy

We reveal the news to Davids Parents

Suegra Favorita realizing she will be a grandma
Father in Law in Shock
Prima (Cousin )Raquelita hugging David
🙂 love this picture
Some of us got emotional 🙂

We reveal the news to my family

How to reveal your pregnant

You can't see my mom's face because she started crying right away!

My Babyshka finding out I am prego!

Posted on

Sewing Circle Project – Missoni Patterned Pillow – Free Modern Sewing Pattern

Missoni Patterned Pillow - DYI - Free Sewing Tutorial

Did you get the Missoni for Target fever and then find yourself at the store with empty shelves?  Well have no fear, today you will find out how you can make your own Missoni Patterned Pillow. This pattern came from the web-site

 What you need:
* appx 3/4 yard of STRIPED fabric – cotton works best (the amount of fabric needed will vary with the size of pillow your making)
* pillow insert (or stuffing)
* rotary cutter, mat, and ruler

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Pattern Tutorial

We’ll make a simple pillow cover, fill it with a pillow insert, and sew it closed. You can buy these at most fabric shops (or at IKEA for $2). This one is about 13×13 inches.

Okay….let’s get started.

The hardest part about this pillow is simply cutting the strips. It’s not that it’s hard, you just need to be exact.

First, you need to cut a 45 degree, bias line into your fabric.

So, take your fabric (I’m using orange stripes here because I forgot to take this photo with my yellow fabric)

Missoni Patterner Pillow Tutorial - Free Sewing Project Tutorial

Fold one side down onto the other side, creating a right-angle. This gives you the 45 degree angles needed to cut on the bias. This method is used for making bias tape as well.

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

Use scissors or your rotary cutter and cut all the way down the diagonal side of your triangle, so your fabric has a diagonal bias edge.

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

If you have fabric that’s already cut (making it hard to do a right triangle), you can always cut a 45 degree line by using the markings on your mat.
Lay your fabric down, line up the horizontal stripes of the fabric with the horizontal lines on the mat

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

and place your ruler so that both ends are on the 45 degree line:

Easy Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

And Cut:

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

Okay, now that you’ve got a clean 45 degree angle turn the fabric vertical and start cutting strips. Make them as wide or as narrow as you like. I cut my strips 1 1/2-inch wide (though 2 inches would have been better) and made them a few inches longer than my pillow, so about 1 1/2 x 15 inches. 2 or 3 inches wide works too, it really just depends on how wide your stripe pattern is and what look you want. If your stripes are very wide, you’ll want wider strips or the chevrons “V”s will be narrow.

You’ll be cutting 2 different versions of these strips (with the stripes angling in two directions). I know what you’re thinking, “why doesn’t she just cut them all the same direction and then flip half of the strips around vertically?” I thought the same thing too! But it doesn’t work. The stripes will still be facing the same direction. Now if you have double-faced, or reversible fabric, you can cut them all the same direction and then flip half of them over onto the “back” side. That will work.

Okay, back to cutting strips. Do some quick math, accounting for seam allowances, and figure out how many strips you need. For my 13×13 pillow, I used about 12 strips on each side of the pillow. So, 24 strips total (12 of each angle direction). I recommend cutting more strips than you think you need because some of them may end up shorter than you thought or might have a mess-up and it’s a total pain to come back and cut more later.

So cut about 15 vertical strips:

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

Okay, now that you have enough strips for one angle of the chevron, let’s cut strips for the other angle. Turn the fabric so that the stripes are now lined up vertically (before they were lined up horizontally), and cut another 45 degree angle. If you’re into math….you’ll notice that this makes a right angle with the other bias side you were cutting from. Okay, so line it up:

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

And cut. Just like that:

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

Then turn your fabric vertically and cut 15 strips:

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

Before cutting too many, lay the new strip next to the previous strips you cut and make sure they’re going in opposite directions. It would be a real pain to cut everything out and realize they’re going in the same direction. You need them to be opposites!
Verdict, correct!

Missoni Pattern Pillow Tutorial - Free Modern Sewing Project Tutorial

Keep the strips in separate piles so they’re easier to grab when you sew:

Free Sewing Patterns and Projects

And pat yourself on the back. The hardest part is behind you! Let’s start sewing.
Grab two strips, with stripes going in opposite directions.

Modern Free Sewing Patters

You’ll know that they’re opposites because the stripes actually match up together when the right sides are placed together. So, line the colored stripes up as precisely as you can. This will make your chevrons look exact.

Modern Free Sewing Patterns and Projects

Choose your seam allowance. I recommend 1/4 inch (however, I cut my strips thinner than I’d hoped so I ended up using a 1/8 inch allowance):

Missoni Pattern Pillow Sewing Pattern

Sew all the way down. And when you open it up, look! You have a Missoni Look a Like!

Free sewing patterns

Now, keep doing this over and over, alternating the angles of the stripes until you have a square large enough to cover your pillow.

Free Sewing Patterns

Free Modern Sewing Patterns

When you’re done, iron out the seams so that everything lays flat. You can iron your seams to the side, or opened, whichever you prefer. I found that ironing to the side (since my seams were so small) helped the quilted fabric lay nicer.


and….ta-da! It worked!


Your squares will be a little jagged since the stripes are not exact. So let’s clean it up. Lay your pillow over the fabric, center it for measuring , and cut your pillow front and back


Your rotary cutter and mat work best.


Two pillow squares, ready to sew:


Before sewing the pillow together, however, do a baste stitch down the bottom sides of the pillow. Do this for the front and back of the pillow. This is the side that will be left open; where the pillow will be inserted. And since you’ve trimmed the edges down with your rotary cutter, this side has a tendency to come apart at the end seams when you stuff the pillow in. The baste stitch (a simple stitch on the top of the fabric, about 1/4 inch in from the edge) will help keep the quilted seams in place.


It looks like this:


Then with right-sides together, pin the front and back of the pillow together. Make sure the basted sides are together and leave an opening so you can insert the pillow.


Then sew around the pinned areas:


When you’re done, turn the pillow right side out, pushing the corners out and iron down the seams.


When you get to the opening, fold the edges in and iron those down too.



Then, stuff your pillow inside!



Pin the opening closed:


And sew it shut, very close to the edge. The seam will be visible but you can place that side of the pillow down when using it.


and there you go!

Free Modern Sewing Pattern - Missoni Style Pattered Pillow

Posted on

Favorite Things – Weekend Activities

The weekend is here and I am so excited!

We have some fun activities planned for the weekend. The top picture is the walk that we do to our local bar, Craft&Commerce. They have the best drinks & a cool ambiance. Tonight I am going to the Launch Party of one of my favorite blogs, HostesswiththeMostess, in celebration of their brand new website. I am excited to wear my new dress & check out the beautiful, open-air Rooftop Deck of Hotel Solamar where the party will be hosted.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

New Dress I am wearing the the HWTM Launch Party 🙂 Yay
Posted on

Favorite Things – San Diego Summer 2011 – Weekend Activity Idea

Masha Tal Summer 2011

I love it when guests come into town because it forces you to come up with fun things to do that you would normally put off for a more practical activity… like laundry. Last weekend we got creative & decided to check out the Little Italy Farmers Market & then take the ferry to Coronado to rent some bikes. It ended up being such a fun & relaxing day.

San Diego Summer - Weekend Activity Idea - Coronado Multi Person Bike Rental

Milos Little Biker Friend
Lexi Meyerowitz - Yoga
All Smiles
Posted on

Favorite Things – Easy 4th of July Party Decorations

4thof July Party Decoration Ideas – image provided by


Chocolate-dipped pretzels with Red, White & Blue Sprinkles are very tasty & they make a pretty centerpience. Simply melt chocolate (white and milk), dip in some pretzel rods and decorated them with some 4th of July -inspired sprinkles.

4th of July Decorations - image provided by


Your 4th of July party needs is a few simple & elegant decorations. Adorn your table with some 4th of July Patriotic Fans. Arrange a cluster of them in a cup for a festive centerpiece, or turn them into place cards by affixing printed name labels to the sticks. See template here

4th of July drinks


Ready to say “Cheers!” to the Red, White and Blue this weekend? Me too! If you’re on the lookout for some festive signature drink ideas for your 4th of July party, check out these fun, patriotic cocktail recipes blogged over at Real Simple.

(Tip: to give all-red drinks a more patriotic look, simply garnish with blueberries or blackberries, or serve with a blue straw!)

4th of July Dessert - Red, White, and Blue Parfaits


For a sweet treat that doesn’t pack on the calories and fat, try this pretty Red White & Blue Parfait. Layer blueberries, low-fat vanilla yogurt, and strawberries in a tall glass and serve cold. For an alternative to vanilla yogurt, try strawberry or raspberry.

Get Recipe here

4th of July Easy Decorations

These starry fruit pops make a cool treat for your Fourth of July celebration. Get the simple recipe here.

Posted on

Provence, France – Europe Trip – South of France

Masha Tal - Provence, France 2011

This year our friends decided to move from a Downtown, San Diego penthouse condo to a 700 year old Chateau Vineyard in the South of France. Today we visited them at the Chateau and they treated us to some delicious French cheese, wine & quiche at their home in the French Countryside. It was the most beautiful & peaceful place. I can see why they gave up the luxury of a garbage disposal for the beauty of this place.

Chateau de Lee, Provence France - Europe 2011
We would like to say "Merci!" to our Host & TourGuide - Provence, France 2011
David Tal - Provence, France - Europe Trip 2011
Masha Tal - Provence, France - Europe Trip 2011
Avi Tal - Provence, France - Europe Trip 2011
Chateau de Lee - French Countryside - Europe Trip 2011
Avi Tal & Eitan Tal - Provence, France - Europe Trip 2011
Out little South of France Princess - Resident of Chateau de Lee - Europe Trip 2011
Mama & Princess of Chateau de Lee - Provence, France 2011
Posted on

RUSSIA – St. Petersburg!!!!

Masha Tal - St. Petersburg Russia 2011

Wow ….wow…!

What can I say…I feel at home ☺ and I am saying this with a Russian accent.

Our tour guide was Tatiana or Tanya as we called her, and one day she talked for 12 hours straight. She knew everything about everything and if you ever go to St. Petersburg Russia, I really recommend this tour. She was so knowledgeable & she took us to the best places for matryoshka doll souvenirs, borsh & perogis.

I knew that Russians liked to show off but I never really understood to what extent. We visited the Kzars Palaces, the famous Dome Cathedrals & beautiful royal gardens and they were magnificent. I am glad I am doing a photo diary because words really can’t describe the experience.
Check out the picture below.

Hemitage Museum – St. Petersburg Russia

Hermitage Museum - St. Petersburg Russia 2011
Hermitage Museum - Kzar Palace - St. Petersburg Russia 2011
Kzar Summer Palace - Peterhuf St. Petersburg Russia - Summer 2011
Tal Family Summer 2011 - Kzar Summer Palace - St.Petersburg Russia
Tal Brothers - St.Petersburg on the boat - Russia Summer 2011
Church of Spilt Blood - St. Petersburg Russia 2011
Masha's Matryoshkas 🙂 - St. Petersburg Russia
Posted on

Helsinki Finland – Day 6 – Churches, Lilacks & Farmers Markets

Masha Tal - Finland Lilacs

Helsinki Finland in June is filled with Lilacs. The city is hot so being on top of the “Hop On Hop Off” tour bus was the perfect way to experience all the sites. We saw a few beautiful churches and my favorite was the one made out of stone. At the open air farmers market we managed to eat some food without being attached by the lurking birds and enjoyed some much needed shade time near some lilac trees.

Finland - Summer 2011
Church made of Stone - Finland 2011