Milana’s Bridal Shower

This past weekend I was visiting my family in New York. We were able to be a part of THREE important family events. My sister, Milana, is getting married this September and we had a bridal shower for her on Saturday.

On Sunday, we were able to celebrate with my brother, Valentin when he got baptized.

Valik with Mom and Dad

This is most of the family, minus our brother Mark, who really wanted to come but just started a new job and couldn’t take the time off. We missed you, Mark:(.

We had an incredible time! It was wonderful seeing my family again. I had been so homesick lately. New York is beautiful right now, too. I love New York landscape. The weather this time of year is excellent too. It was warm but not humid during the day and refreshingly cool at night. The fresh air sure can’t compare to the polluted city that we’re used to. I just kept filling my lungs and hoping it would “soak in”.

With my husband, Sergi

We had a lot of help getting this event going. It’s defnitely nice having sisters! Even the men did SO much to help, with the decorations and even grilling. Although they left at the beginning of the shower and went bowling:). Sergi decorated the Cannoli Cake with beautiful rosettes. Elina and Vitaliya did a superb job decorating. Everything looked so elegant. Saturday was also Dad and Mom’s 27th wedding anniversary! Congratulations to the happy couple, who really are such a great example of what it’s like to stay in love for so many years. It was sunny all day but started pouring in the afternoon, just after the guests began to arrive.

Guests starting to arrive. Sunny and bright.

The kitchen abuzz with activity. Check out the rain!

Sergi got soaked to the skin grilling the chicken kebabs. They were delicious. So moist and flavorful. My man knows his way around a grill:).

We set the food up in a convenient little area right underneath the stairs. It was out of the way and a perfect place to set up a buffet.  Isn’t it cute?

Menu: Since it was raining and the lighting wasn’t the best, we weren’t able to get a lot of pictures of the food. Besides, we were having to much fun:). But we did get some pictures.


Everyone happily digging into the food.


Milana and Mom


  • Pizzelles With Cream Cheese Filling or Trubochki, as we call them, made by Elina.

We had the candy set up for everyone to take home as favors. This was by far the most popular station with the little ones.


  • Vafli With Dulche De Leche Filling
  • Raspberry-Currant Cake Roll
  • Cheesecake With Strawberries made by one of Milana’s friends
  • Chocolate Cupcakes With Chocolate Hazelnut Frosting
  • Lemon Cupcakes With Limoncello- Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Almond Cookies, Peach Pastries and Sponge Cake (log shaped with tiny mushrooms) pastries made by one of Mom’s friends

The cupcakes were made by Elina and were my personal favorites. They were so moist and tender! I will definitely be sharing the recipes here. Elina is an outstanding baker.



We played some fun games, such as What’s In Your Purse, where everyone was awarded a certain amount of points for things that they had in their purses and the one with the most points won. Who knew that some people carry toothbrushes, sewing kits or teabags in their purse?

Milana’s bridesmaids asked Andrey, Milana’s fiance, a bunch of questions ahead of time and recorded on a phone. At the party, they asked Milana the same questions and she got almost all of them right. Wow. This game was so much fun! I guess they know each other really well:).

We all wrote down memories that we shared with Milana and she had to guess which one of us wrote it. She got to keep them all on this crafty board. It took some time to open all the presents. Milana got SO many cool presents. She has almost everything she will need to start housekeeping. It was a great evening. Thank you to everyone who came and all our wonderful helpers.

Adalia was an eager little helper

All these lovely pictures are taken by my sister, Elina, who is a very talented photographer. I’m always asking her for advice. Congratulations Dad and Mom, Valentin and Milana and Andrey!


  • Milana Goncharenko

    Olechka, Thank you for this, Andrey & I appreciate all you did for us and everyone else. We couldn’t be happier and blessed with such an amazing family! You guys are the best!!

  • Olga

    Everything looked amazing! Great job!,
    Is it possible to get the recipe for the peach pastry?

    Thank you,
    Olga Plugovoy

  • Lena

    Wow, everything looks so lovely!! Your family is beautiful… I am glad you had a nice time! Thank you for sharring.:)

  • elina

    I love this, I’ve looked at this like 100x already and just keep coming back to look at it again!!!! I love looking at the pictures and reading all you write =) You do an amazing job at everything!!!!!! We surely do miss Mark and you guys! Wish Florida was not so far away. =(

    • olgak7

      Thanks Elina!
      I really, really wish we could all live in the same area. Good thing we live in the modern days and can fly or drive to see each other, or call, text, etc. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have moved:).

  • Natasha

    All the desserts and food look so good. I hope you will post all of the recipes that are not posted yet in the future on your blog. By the way., can you post a tutorial on such beautiful cake decoration?

    Thank you so much for such great recipes.

  • Andrey

    Olga, thanks for posting this! I appreciate everything you and Serge did for us. The food was so delicious. I wish I had a chance to try all of it. You guys made so much of it that I didn’t get a chance to try it all, even though I was there for like five days. ;-D

  • Natasha

    Hi Olga,

    can you please please please post the cup cakes recipe with the chocolate-hazelnut frosting? I have tried that frosting about a year ago and absolutely loved it (well I love anything with hazelnut flavor), but the girl who made it didn’t want to share the recipe:(

    • olgak7

      Hi Natasha!
      I love the chocolate hazelnut frosting too. It is SO delicious! I’ll post the recipe this week. As a matter of fact, it’ll probably be up on Wednesday.

  • Valentin Goncharenko Jr

    It is always so hectic but oh so much fun to do these kind of events together! thank you Olga and Serge for making the bridal shower an absolute joy:))

  • Yelena M.

    Hello Olga.
    I am so happy that I have found your blog, everything looks so yummy and easy step by step directions! I was wondering if in future you could make a post on the Chicken Salad in Tart Shells, that looks like a great appetizer for parties!

    Thank You 🙂

  • Ykrainochka

    Olga i love love love the way the cannoli cake is decorated! Could you please share the technique that your husband used and also the frosting recipe? Would be greatly appreciated!!!!

  • Olga

    Olya ~ you are blessed to have such a beautiful big family! Love your site and the content! – or is it just because I feel a pull for people with the same name 🙂 perhaps both!

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