Music When I Was Growing Up

The daily prompt I’ve stumbled upon was:
What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

Music is and always was a huge part of my life. I love to sing and dance and when I hear a rhythmic song, ‘my hips don’t lie’.

I grew up in an interesting combination of classic music coming from my grandma, pop music coming from my cousins and friends and rock music coming from my brother and, most importantly, my dad. His tastes in music affected me the most.

My dad was one of the first ones blasting Pink Floyd and Queen in our neighborhood in the south of Ukraine, freaking our neighbors out with a psychedelic music and strange sound effects. I loved it. I wanted to be different. And I was.

I was a straight A student who wore black leather jacket with spikes and who’s notebooks and erasers were covered with Dio, Manovar, AC/DC and Rainbow. I walked to school humming songs of Queen, singing in half-broken English and getting stares from passerby’s. I hated Russian pop and loved British rock.

Every important event in my life, every date and break-up in my mind have a tune that goes along with them. I can recognize a song from a few notes.

Don’t let me into a karaoke bar, I might stay there for 4-5 hours, until my voice is shut. (Don’t worry, I can carry a tune.)

Since I grew up in a family with mixed music tastes, my music collection is diverse and when I put my iPod on random, heavy metal is followed by opera then switching to movie scores followed by some Russian underground rock.

Still, if you ask me what 3 albums I would take on an island with me, they would be:

Pink Floyd: The Wall

Queen: A night at the opera

Kino: zvezda po imeni solntse (Star Named Sun)

Rock on!


Being A Tourist In My Own Town

On the Day 14 of 15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge, Natalie Sisson called for us to explore the places where we leave and discover wonderful things they have to offer.

This past weekend, I decided to visit Hello Kitty exhibit in Little Tokyo area of Los Angeles. The exhibit is displayed at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) until April 25, 2015. This trip was a triple whammy for me: I have never been to Little Tokyo, I have never visited JANM and I wanted to see something as fun as Hello Kitty throughout the years.

Since the pictures worth a thousand words, below are some of the photos I took. Enjoy!







Day 15: Daily Challenge I Liked The Most (15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge)

Today is Day 15 of the 15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge called out by Natalie Sisson!

The challenge for today is to choose ONE daily challenge from the past 14 days that I liked the most and why.

First of all, WHOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! That’s me crying and being sad that the challenge is over. It’s been a lot of fun and learning. And inspiration. And new ideas. And meeting other awesome bloggers.

Before I choose my favorite challenge, I want to talk about what I loved the most about the 15 Day To Freedom Blog Challenge overall, my lesson learned if you will. I had a couple of blogs for a couple of years and I’ve always felt intimidated by the idea of producing content because I felt that every post had to be epic, all-encircling, a full-on coverage of a topic and all that is related to it.

Throughout this 15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge we were asked to pick and talk about just ONE thing at a time, every time. This made the task that much less intimidating and much more manageable. Thoughts, one bite size at a time. So simple, yet so powerful.

Thinking of the posts in this manner gave me a ton of ideas and got me excited about the future posts on my blogs. I have filled out an editorial calendar for one for the next 3 months and for another one for the whole year.

THANK YOU, Natalie!

Now, onto the subject of my favorite challenge.

My favorite challenge was Day 1: Daily Success Plan. I loved imagining what my perfect successful day is going to be and knowing, that if I work at it, it will become a reality. Speaking of it in a present tense, made it that much more real and attainable. Seeing what I want so clearly made me focused and committed to the future I want.

I intend to continue to post on this blog (and later, its permanent home at and help people to simplify their lives.

Day 14: Be A Tourist In Your Own Town (15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge)

Today is Day 14 of the 15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge called out by Natalie Sisson!

The challenge for today is to choose ONE thing that I will do in the place I’m currently in to feel like a tourist.

Oooooh, I really like this one! Funny that Natalie asked… I live in a city that is referred to as a Media Capital Of the World and all the major motion film studios like Warner Bros, Disney, NBC, ABC, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, etc. are located here. People travel from around the world to come here and take studio tours and I’ve never had. Many popular shows, like Ellen, are filmed here, and you can be part of the live audience, and I’ve never taken time to go to one.

So, for today’s challenge, I decided that I will go onto the studio tour of Warner Bros studios, where “knowledgeable tour guide will show you where and how we create some of the most memorable moments in film and television history on a 2 hour and 15 minute tour”. Sounds like fun!

Day 13: ONE Thing To Help Mind, Body or Soul (15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge)

Today is Day 13 of the 15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge called out by Natalie Sisson!

The challenge for today is to choose ONE thing that I will do that will help my mind, body or soul. It could take a form of exercise, changing eating habits for the better, learning new things, etc.

I have been working on these aspects of my life for the past year as I decided that from now on my life is going to be different, more meaningful, with a purpose and focus. In April of 2014 I became a vegan, in May I began to practice yoga, in September I finished my first novel and in December I published it.

During that time I have also took numerous courses, online and off, read books, listened to podcasts and webinars on writing, editing, blogging, website design, social media, marketing, taxes and other aspects of business. I love learning new things so I have enjoyed soaking up all that knowledge.

But, because it’s just one of me, the end of the year ended up being very busy and stressful and I stopped doing yoga since I was dedicating every minute to my writing and the business side of it.

Now, that the craziness of the book release is over with (almost), I can tell that my body and mind are begging for yoga and meditation. Ever since I started this 15 day blogging challenge, I have also felt a new surge of determination to begin taking care of myself and bring the yoga and meditation back. I renewed my practice yesterday and am determined to stick to it as I enjoy it and can feel the benefits of it almost immediately.


Day 12: Unclutter Your Business And Your Life (15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge)

Today is Day 12 of the 15 Days To Freedom Blogging Challenge called out by Natalie Sisson!

The challenge for today is to decide how I would unclutter my life and business, get rid of things that fill up my spaces, weigh me down, and take those things/stuff and give them away to people that need them, sell them, etc.

This topic is near and dear to me as I’ve been decluttering my life for a while now, but boy, I still have a long way to go. Before I fell in love with simplicity, I used to collect whatever I was into at that point in time and I amassed quite a few collections. I have a collection of antique dolls (investment, really), a collection of shot glasses and other travel trinkets, I have a large number of books on a subject of doll collecting, dressing and repair, books on crocheting and jewelry making, real estate, and I have a large collection of CDs.

These are the things I can think of that can go immediately. I haven’t enjoyed or used them in a longest time and kept them really because of sentimental value (shot glasses collected with my husband) or a perceived monetary value (everything else).

As far as my business is concerned, clearing out my writing desk would be something I can and will tackle first. It has become a communal property of sorts and everyone is dumping their papers on it. I will be clearing it out and claiming my territory. Next would be paring down the old paperwork and organizing the new one.