House Projects, Easter Celebration and Spring Happenings

March 2016-1-6 copyI haven’t written a post with a personal life update in a while, so I thought I would take this chance to chat. I do share little tidbits of family life on my weekly newsletter, but let’s sit down, have a cup of tea and catch up right here.

There’s nothing like the coming of spring that gives me a kick in the booty to do some major spring cleaning and tackle all those house projects that I’ve been putting off for months. Is anybody else like that?

One of the recent house projects that we tackled (I say “we”, but it was my husband), was repainting our china cabinet. We bought a great china cabinet more than a year ago on Craigslist for a great price with the intention of repainting it and it’s finally finished. We love how it turned out. (I will share a more detailed post with everything that Sergi did to give this beauty a makeover tomorrow, with all the products he used and many pictures.)


Painted China Cabinet-5I have also been on a cleaning and organizing streak. We are even having a garage sale this weekend. It’s the first one we’ve ever done, so I’m excited and a bit apprehensive. Any tips that you can share?  I’m going through all of our rooms, closets, boxes and making piles and lots of decisions.

I’m one of those people that gets a thrill out if decluttering, cleaning and minimizing. My emotional well being is so much more peaceful and calm when my surroundings aren’t cluttered and disorganized. When my house is messy, I tend to be more crabby. Ugh. I’m loving the transformation and can now breathe easier and open my closets more often just so I can see how neat everything looks:).

March 2016-4This past Sunday, we celebrated Easter in our home with my sister, Milana, and her husband, Andrey. Besides going to church in the morning and participating in a lovely service which was meaningful and special, we spent the rest of the day with family. The meal was very untraditional but since it was only the 5 of us, we gave ourselves permission to eat whatever felt like.

Our Menu:

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon – the salmon was the star of the show and was a huge hit with all of us. The smoky, cedar wood permeated the fish and blended so well with the fresh flavors of the herbs, lemon juice and garlic. It was vey juicy and tender too.

March 2016-5Rice Pilaf With Garlic and Parsley – the perfect side dish to fish and so simple to prepare too.

March 2016-6Mimoza Salad – I was really craving this salad. It’s amazing that it’s very hearty but tastes light and not too heavy. That makes no sense, but trust me, if you make it, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

March 2016-7Grilled Veggies (Zucchini, Bell Pepper, Eggplant) – We’re always grilling veggies of all sorts, and this was a combination of what I had in my refrigerator. We love grilled vegetables. They are tender, but still a bit crisp so they don’t become mushy and soggy.

March 2016-9Cauliflower Tomato Salad – another favorite salad that we make all the time. It’s crunchy, tasty and fresh.

March 2016-8Easter Bread (Paskha) – I’ve been trying recipes and it’s still in the testing phase, but we liked this one a lot. I have a few changes in mind that I would like to make, but I’ll keep trying.

March 2016-10Roulette With Cream Cheese and Strawberry Jam (using this recipe for the dough) – Yeast breads are my favorite and Easter is the perfect excuse to make a few. I especially like any kind of cheese filling, so I paired cream cheese with my homemade strawberry jam.

March 2016

picture taken a few months ago, but it’s the same roulette (I forgot to take a picture of it this time.)

I haven’t been cooking or posting as much on the blog as I was during the first 3 years of blogging, which is very disappointing to me. I definitely miss writing and sharing recipes. The unfortunate reason is my general lack of health. I don’t talk about it much, because nobody likes hearing someone whine too much, but it’s been a very rough year and a half. Ever since my second trimester of pregnancy and to this day, I am struggling with my health and it’s taking a toll on what I am able to accomplish on the blog and in many other areas of life too. It took me an entire year to gain back the weight I lost while pregnant, but I’ve since lost some of the weight again and am still trying to get those few pounds back.

However, I am so much better than I was a few months ago, for which I am eternally grateful. My precious son is completely worth it all and I would do it all over again because he is such a blessing.

That being said, the past few weeks have been so much better  and that’s why I’ve finally been able to catch up on housework that has been put off for too long and get out to enjoy life once in a while.

We were headed off to spend time with friends and I was bringing these cupcakes along. Nathaniel was fascinated with my necklace.

We were headed off to spend time with friends and I was bringing these cupcakes along. Nathaniel was fascinated with my necklace.

This was such a fun evening downtown with my husband and son. It's so dark because this was the first week of March before the time change and it was already so dark at 7pm.

This was such a fun evening downtown with my husband and son. It’s so dark because this was the first week of March before the time change and it was already so dark at 7 pm.

Even doing laundry is enjoyable because Nathaniel loves to “help”. He gets so excited and thrilled about throwing clean laundry (and his teddy bear) into the drier and loves diving up all the laundry into piles of different colors. Of course, it turns out to be him mostly scrambling all of my piles and then jumbling up all the fresh, clean and folded up laundry, but just watching his huge grins and hearing his loud squeals makes me smile every time. Seriously, babies are such a delight and extremely entertaining.

March 2016-1-4 copy

Spending time with family

Besides housework, we love to go on outings and enjoy our beautiful Florida weather.

March 2016-1-5 copy

Cousins are so much fun

Nathaniel is still very much in love with his tricycle and loves to be outside, enjoy the swings and play in the grass. Wakling usually makes me feel better too, so it’s a win-win situation.

March 2016-3I will keep posting new recipes, other blog posts and videos as much as I am able. If you don’t see as many posts as usual, I would appreciate your prayers, since that usually means I’m not feeling too great behind the scenes.

Overall, we are so happy. So many times Sergi and I look at each other and marvel how blessed we are. We have so many things to be thankful for and we don’t take anything for granted.

His smile melts my heart

His smile melts my heart

How is the beginning of your spring? Any fun projects, new happenings or exciting news? I’d love to hear from you.

Morning bed hair. Every morning, I look forward to spending time with my buddy. He is my sunshine.

Morning bed hair. This little guy is the biggest reason why I happily climb out of bed every morning, because I look forward to spending the day with my buddy.  He is my sunshine.


  • Tanya

    Olga this is my first comment to you. I find your blog throu natashaskitchen about two years ago. You are absolutely my number one blogger. I love your food and I love your writing. Many of your recipe became our family favorite. I remember when I made your plov recipe for the first time and my son was in this stage of childhood of not eating ENITHING ( 5years old) He just smell that plov, grab his chair closer to the table and said “know this is what I call food” when he finish he said mom can you make this for breakfast tomorrow… and lunch… and dinner 🙂 I was pregnant with my 5th child when I discovered your blog and every picture was temptation I try everything I crave. My husband said “I Love how you cook when you are pregnant 🙂 And I also enjoy your writing You encourage me all the time. I was beyond happy for you when you got pregnant with Nathaniel I pray for you. May God give you strength and health

    • olgak7

      Thank you so much for such an encouraging and inspiring comment, Tanya. You really made my day.
      Thank you for visiting my online kitchen and for taking the time to write. I am so thrilled to hear about how your son enjoyed the Plov. That is so cool. I also loved how your husband enjoyed your cooking while pregnant. I remember that especially during the first few weeks of my pregnancy I was absolutely ravished and wanted to eat all the time.
      Thank you for your prayers.

  • Diana

    Hi Olga, I am So happy to hear that YOU feel better, so important when you have a Baby. And I can relate to your situation, I have a 14 months boy too, and I saw so sick before I got pregnant, I feel much better now, Thanks God for that. I wish you get better and better every day, and enjoy everyday life. God bless you and your family.

  • Tzivia

    Awwwww wow love the newest latest post olga beautiful family and I must say omg your son is got so big and looks like he is walking and very adventurous I also have to do spring cleaning for Passover once a year we turn our house over and have separate dishes and cooking utensils so as not to mix them up with the regular year items I hope and pray that your health gets better sweetheart feel good and take it easy cheers

    • olgak7

      Thank you, Tzivia. I love having an organized kitchen (and the rest of the house too).
      P.S. Yes, I agree, my son is such a joy and is an adventurer for sure:).

      • Tzivia

        Yup ot does make all the difference and I am so not a fan of cleaning much less spring cleaning lmao but seeing something really cool of your recent updated blog really inspires me to clean and of course my other favorites cook and bake glad ur lil man is active and healthy thank g anyhoo sweetheart be well take it easy and have a really gr8 awesome weekend ttyl cheers

  • Lina

    I enjoyed reading this post, thank you! The china cabinet looks great! I’ll be waiting for the post with details. I have an idea to do some repainting myself 🙂 Are you always this positive? Kept it up! I will definitely keep you and your family in my prayers!

    • olgak7

      Thank you, Lina. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post.
      On a side note, No, I am not always positive – it’s takes conscious effort, but I do have a lot to be thankful for, so that helps. However, sometimes I can be really crabby and whiny too.

  • yelena

    Glad you have been feeling a little for yard sale tips…..big bright simple large yard sale signs with arrows pointing to the location (I flattened old box’s and painted signs with left over old house paint ) put the signs everywhere. …also an add in the garage sale section of Craigslist with a basic list of what you are selling. Be prepared to haggle! Good luck

  • Barbara

    Dear Olga, What a lovely post – a little sad too with regards to your health which I am sorry to read.
    I believe that you will become healthy again and I will send you good wishes and vibrations.

    • olgak7

      Hi Barbara,
      I have been feeling much better for the past week and a half, so I am really taking advantage of it and loving every minute of it:). Thank you for your kind words.

  • Kel

    Olga- thank you for sharing. I am so sorry that your health issues continue. Hopefully the will gradually get better and better. You are an inspiration to us all!

    • olgak7

      Thanks so much for your encouragements, Kel.
      I am really thankful to be alive and dealing with a few issues now and again is ok with me:). The pregnancy and birth took a real toll on me, but it was completely worth it. I’m sure with time I’ll get back to my “normal”.

  • Luba

    Awww!! This was so fun to read, thank you for sharing!!! I started tearing up at the end, just because it touched my heart how you are going through your health struggles. I am so sorry to hear that, and will try to remember you in my prayers! Nathaniel is such a sweetheart and he sure is blessed with such caring parents! God bless you and I hope you feel better soon!

  • Lena

    Dear Olga – it’s my first time commenting, but I have been reading your blog for a few years now. I came across it googling for recipes and really liked what I found in yours so added it to my regular feed 🙂 my son, Kai, just turned 6, and honestly every time I make something from your recipes he gobbles it up! I held my breath all through your pregnancy, and could not be happier for someone I never met when your little miracle was born. I seriously cried :). I just wanted to reply to this post, in some way to let you know that here is this stranger in California that is really rooting for you. You are amazing, and an inspiration. Not to mention that all your recipes are completely perfect! This ridiculously busy working mama never once had poor results!!! I’ve not had it easy in the last few years, and reading your updates just really lifts my spirits. I don’t pray, but I hope something in this world can turn positive thoughts that I have into something good for you. Thank you for your blog. Oh, and as a fellow mama to a little boy ….get ready for chaos, distraction and complete awesomeness 🙂 everyday now he will be able to cover more and more distance in less and less time… Good luck and enjoy 🙂 I do.

    • olgak7

      Hello Lena. Wow, your comment really touched my heart. I feel so grateful to have such loving and kind readers like you. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to reach out and encourage me.
      I am thrilled that you are enjoying the blog. It means a lot to me.
      Little boys are so much fun and Nathaniel is already creating huge messes and is a busy little boy who loves adventure. It’s so much fun, and can be exhausting cleaning up after him all the time:). He is so quick and gets into everything, it seems:).

  • Francesca P.

    Hi Olga, love seeing bits of your life and the dishes you made on Easter. I wanted to tell you about oil pulling. If you’ve never tried it, please do so for a couple of weeks and see if it makes a difference in your energy levels. I have been a low energy person my whole life and when I started oil pulling twice a day (morning and night) I felt like a got a new life. I have much more energy now as well as other health benefits. There’s lots of info online about it, but I have found that sesame oil works the best (organic, unrefined). God bless!

    • olgak7

      Hello Francesca.
      Thank you for taking the time to write such a caring comment. I appreciate your concern. My health issues do not have anything to do with low energy, but thank you for your suggestion.

  • Dina

    Hi Olga, just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog so much. I feel like you and I have the same taste buds 🙂
    I am just like you if my house is unorganized I am very crabby, I like things very organized and minimal.
    I hope you feel better soon, God’s blessings to your family.

    • olgak7

      It’s good to meet a “kindred spirit”, Dina:). Thank you so much for the kind words. I’ve been feeling great for the past few weeks and I’m really thankful for it.

  • Olena@iFOODreal

    I wish I had your sisters and my kids had cousins! You are so lucky! You guys look like a happy bunch. I miss having women I can trust and rely on in my life. Oh well, can’t have it all, right?!
    Feel better! Your house is clean and beautiful. Take rest and blogging won’t run away anywhere.:) Kids do change your lifestyle for sure. I am thinking what have I been doing with my free time before I had kids?! Nothing. Silly me. If I only knew haha.

    • olgak7

      Thank you so much for the encouraging words, Olena. I do feel very blessed with my family and I don’t take them for granted.
      I’ve been feeling a lot better the past few weeks and it’s great to get a little spunk back into my body:).
      You’re right about the lack of free time with kids – my husband and I were just talking about it the other day. We used to just pick up and go anytime we wanted to go out, watch a movie, go for dinner or other spontaneous things. Now, we have to make a ton of arrangements first, but of course, we wouldn’t change it for anything!

  • Christine

    Dear Olga, I was saddened to hear you haven’t been well, but pleased that your health has been picking up recently. I will continue to pray for you and your precious family. May God give you strength sufficient for each day and bless you richly for the blessing you are to myself and so many. The housework can wait, the blog can wait. Even if all you are able to do is look after Nathaniel and provide a meal for your family you have done a lot. Your recipes are an inspiration and so is your faith. Please keep us updated with how you are. I do not see it as whining and those who truly care about you won’t either. God Bless.
    1 Peter 5:7

  • Inga

    Oh my goodness your sister is Milana. Ha! I watched a few of her videos and there was a niggle in the back of my head that she looks so much like someone I “know.” Then saw this post over a year later and it clicked! Small world. I like her hair tips and love your food tips. Thank you!

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