Wild Cozy Truth

Did I ever tell you all how much I dislike the sound of my voice when recorded? No? Well, I do. A LOT.  I remember as a child I always avoided family videos for that purpose. Now as an adult, I always cringe when I have to submit a video for an audition. I re-record 10 times at least. The reason I even mention this is because last month I was a guest on a podcast channel. It was the most exciting, and equally nerve wrecking thing I did in a while. I really have no problem expressing my emotions or sharing my story on paper, but this was different. I realized I couldn't backspace and delete my thoughts as I do when I write them. I was obsessing over what if I say a "bad word"? I mean, mildly profane words do come to me naturally, often and in large quantities by the way.  Am I going to have anything interesting to talk about? Well, I feel like my book of life is nothing but interesting, but does anyone even care to hear it really. If all else failed I was going to share a story about how I was slapped by a monkey as a child. That story always lightens the mood, instant icebreaker. Now, why was I even a guest on a podcast episode you might ask? Let's find out shall we.

First, let me introduce you to a beautiful and lovely Renee M. Powers, a feminist life coach and podcaster here in Twin Cities. She is the voice, the writer, the interviewer and the brain behind Wild Cozy Truth.  It is a podcast show, as well as collection of essays and interviews with women of all walks of life sharing some of their most vulnerable stories.  Renee's goal is for these women to have a safe and comfortable space dedicated to helping them share their life tales, and reveal their own wild cozy truths. Each powerful essay can be read on Wild Cozy Truth's website , or you can listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or your podcast app of choice.

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This is where I come in. Renee and I met couple of months ago, and thru sheer luck connected and found that we have a lot in common. She was a great listener, I was a great talker. Just kidding! (only a part about me being a great talker though) Renee is indeed a great listener, genuine and compassionate. In all seriousness, I was greatly inspired by the stories she shared and her contribution to the community, especially to community of women. She was so easy to converse with, and I felt comfortable sharing some of my most private life's moments with her. Renee, on other hand, found stories of my upbringing in war-torn Bosnia and Herzegovina, and my new found modeling passion quite interesting. So interesting that that she offered to do a podcast interview with me. Even though I was totally scared out of my mind, I accepted. 

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Below is a Youtube video of the podcast. For those of you who know me well, you might get a kick out of hearing something new about me you didn't know before. For those of you who only know me thru social media, I hope after listening you might get a better idea of who I am. I hope you enjoy my Wild Cozy Truth and if you or someone you know would like to share their own story, please do not hesitate to reach out to Renee. Thank you for stopping by and with above mentioned in mind...

"Don't be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others" -Unknown

Episode 38: From Bosnian War Refugee to Minnesotan Model with Minja Musich

"In today's interview, I sit down with local lady Minja Musich. It was the best way to spend a Sunday morning. I would happily chat with Minja for hours, but today we're discussing her experience with the war in her home country Bosnia and moving to Minnesota as a teenager. She speaks so powerfully about her experience as an immigrant and all of the obstacles she overcame to settle her into her new life. We talk about language, coexisting with others, her love of performance, and how she came to modeling after the death of her father"

My Favorite Run

Hello my dear readers and let's finally welcome the long awaited month of March. I am excited for longer and warmer days, because honestly here in Minnesota we can have it quite rough with the cold. We celebrate 50° weather and embrace it with both arms. This gives us Minnesotans a chance to feel alive after a long winter hibernation. We pack the coffee shops, parks, trails and even pull out a good ol' barbecue and invite the friends. We do love our spring, even though it's often sprinkled with snow.

Another thing about warmer weather is that you feel more mobile, your mood spikes and you feel more motivated to be active and do things outdoors, even if it's just a walk around the neighborhood. I miss my leggings and tennis shoes, I honestly do. I am so over the winter boots and long jackets. I am a mom of two little girls and we just recently adopted a puppy. His name is Ernie and he is an 11 month old Chiweenie. With three very energetic bodies under my roof, I am going to be doing a lot of outside activities. 

With the topic of being active in mind, last week I received an email from a lovely young lady who read my last blog and thought it was kind of.... fun. She reached out to me because she wanted to contribute couple of jewelry pieces from her selection to my Women's Day giveaway. I looked around her Instagram page and knew immediately that this company needed not just a mention but it's own blog highlight, and that I needed to tell my readers all about it.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you beautiful GRACE LU. She is 16 years old and a Junior at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, CA. She is involved in her high school's Cross Country and Track & Field Team and always had a strong passion for running. She says that it is this passion that inspired her to design motivational running jewelry with inspirational quotes such as 'Never never never give up', 'She believed she could so she did'. Read along to find out more about her amazing journey.

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Grace said to me "I may appear harmless but inside I am completely Badass".

We couldn't agree more with you Grace, and we applaud you for creating such an amazing and inspirational company called Favorite Run . Did I mention she is only 16? I am not a runner myself, but her motivational necklaces and bracelets make me want put on my running shoes and go. I might make it only a block, but hey... it's something. Grace you are a force and an inspiration to young people everywhere.

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If cute fitness jewelry wasn't enough, Grace also started  a non-profit called Healthy Lifestyle for Youth whose mission is to promote the active lifestyles of youth in her community, primarily through offering youth running programs and a Shoes that Inspire program. The Shoes that Inspire Program encourages elementary students to run after-school for at least 15 minutes a day under teacher supervision in addition to their P.E classes and additionally delivers brand new athletic shoes to students in need. My heart is filled with warmth just typing these words. You can also find Grace's non-profit on Instagram, and I have additionally included a short video talking about her organization. Please enjoy, and I do encourage you to get involved if you are able to.

All of her non-profit's programs are funded through donating a portion of Favorite Run's annual revenue and also selling unique Favorite Run jewelry products at local races as well as local events. Here is the link explaining ways to get involved. Sometimes the word of mouth is the best way to send a message across, so please do share with your friends as this is indeed a great cause. 

In collaboration with Grace and because we want to spread the word about her amazing company and her non-profit, I am giving away five (5) beautiful pieces of motivational jewelry to my blog readers. HOW AMAZING!!!! Please read the rules below to participate. Open to U.S. residents.

1. Follow minjamusich on Instagram

2. Like and Comment on the picture while on my Instagram page. ( Winners will be randomly chosen)

Although I cannot guarantee that each person will get exact piece they request, you are free to write in Instagram comments which one you prefer. Please see Images below of the pieces I will be giving away.

 Me sporting a giveaway bracelet

Me sporting a giveaway bracelet

I was so blessed that I could collaborate with Grace and My Favorite Run, and that I can tell you about her amazing non-profit Healthy Lifestyle for Youth. Now what can we all do to help? We can shop, help spread the word and share of course. My blog winners can snap a photo of their prize and share on their social media. This giveaway is in huge part a way to bring awareness.

In parting, here is me with my new go-to necklace. I shall wear it often, as I truly love the quote. 

"She believed she could, so she did"

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Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog. As always, feel free to comment below or send me a private message if you have any questions or wish to collaborate.

Have an amazing day all!

XX

Minja

Women's Day Giveaway

Women... a force to be reckoned with. Together we are stronger, more resilient and more successful. We have climbed mountains and sailed stormy seas to get where we are today, but the road to an even better tomorrow doesn't stop here. We have many challenges ahead of us, as this society we live in can be very unforgiving. BUT! We are up for the challenge, because together we kick butt and when we stand united we stand fierce, indivisible and indestructible. 

As March 8th approaches, and world celebrates International Women's Day, let us not forget those brave and determined women who came before us. The ones who fought for women's rights and equality. Now, more than ever, we need to continue the efforts to push forward gender parity. We need to unite as women, friends and as members of community and press forward gender inclusiveness. 

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In honor of Women's Day, and because it gives me great pleasure, I have gathered around me women of might, women of poise and women determined to prove they have what it takes. These women, each driven by their own passion, have managed to balance life, family, work and still find time to help other women push forward to success. When I asked them to step forward and do a fun women-for-women giveway, they all came forward with an absolute YES! sign me up attitude.

So here they are, in no particular order but all equally magnificent:

1. 

Meet ERICA HOESE, a mother of 3, wife and an amazing fitness coach. Her passion is teaching moms, especially moms with small children to make time for themselves and become strong inside and out. She does this by coaching them on how to eat healthy and changing how they feel about themselves. The ultimate goal is that they feel happier, healthier and in turn do better for themselves and their family. Erica is genuine, kind and an ideal person to help guide you thru your future fitness needs, even with the busiest of schedules. 

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As a part of the giveaway Erica is graciously offering a FREE 30 minute training and $50 off her coaching package.  So, if you feel that your body and mind needs some TLC, head over to Erica's Instagram page and give her a follow. Once there, don't forget to comment on the image below and tell her why you think you might need this prize. She will be happy to give your more details and offer some honest advice.

      Follow Erica Hoese on Instagram

      Comment on the picture below once on her Instagram page 

In the meantime, you can also get a FREE guide on how to create your own morning routine by clicking on the link right here.

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2.

Let's meet JELENA MODEC, mother of 2, elementary school teacher, artist, friend and a creative mind behind WIRED SOL JEWELRY . She is quite a JetSetter and is often artistically inspired by the fascinating places to which she travels. She creates beautiful pieces with earthy tones and simple lines suitable for any occasion. Each piece is unique, handmade and perfect to add to your collection. She also makes custom jewelry that can be given as bridal and shower gifts, as well as for proms and special occasions. Send her a private message for pricing and shipping costs.

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Jelena is giving away two (2) AMAZING prizes, a FREE pair of earrings and a FREE watercolor painting. So head over to her Instagram page and follow these guideline to be entered:

     FREE pair of earrings: Follow  Wired Sol Jewelry on Instagram

     Comment on the picture of the earrings while there

     FREE watercolor painting:

     Follow Wired Sol Jewelry on Instagram 

     Comment on the picture of the painting while there

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3.

Let's give a warm welcome to ANGELA MANNELLA an owner and a creative director behind dance studio Moore Than Dance. She has been teaching my older daughter Ela for almost 5 years now, and we call her studio a second home. Angela is a true sweetheart and a remarkable woman. She is an active and giving member of her community and prides herself in running a wholesome, family oriented studio.  Moore than Dance offers dance, singing and acting classes, and an amazing Special Stars program catered to children with special needs.

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Angela is giving away a FREE week of classes. Head over to her Instagram page, give her a follow and engage with a photo below. If Instagram is not your thing, that's okay. You can contact the studio directly and mention my name (Minja). Current adult classes are Tap & Jazz, Irish Dance and Kettlebell Training. If you are more interested in children's classes, that's okay as well. 

     Follow Moore than Dance on Instagram

     Engage with a picture below once there

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4.

Next, let me introduce you to JESSICA SKILAR. She is an owner, stylist and a fierce woman behind beauty salon MN NAF! This is a local Minneapolis, small business, woman owned salon that offers variety of hair services, makeup services, skin care and aromatherapy. Jessica and her team use hair healthy and body healthy products by Intelligent Nutrients. They also promote love of the environment and recycle almost everything, including the hair that they compost. Energy of the salon is great and the team of stylists is even better. I have had my hair colored, cut and styled by Jessica, and each experience exceeded my expectations.

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Jessica will be giving away $50 off any service and a FREE turquoise aromatherapy Mala bracelet and Destress Express Soap. AMAZING!!! Head over to her Instagram page and follow the guidelines below.

     $50 OFF any hair service and a FREE goodies:

     Follow MN NAF! Instagram account

     Engage with the photo below on the Instagram page

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5.

Next lovely lady is the youngest one in the group, but her age is just a number compared to her tremendous talent. Her name is CLAIRE LANCASTER, she is 17 and a creator of 212 WEST custom jewelry. She embarked on her creative journey at age 13. And THAT is just impressive. With the help of her family she has managed to launch a small business that sells interchangeable word pendants that can be customized into a bracelet or a necklace. Each piece of jewelry can be customized with words of your choice. With so many beautiful options, it's such a fun and unique way to own something special for yourself or gift it to others. I have to say I am proud owner of a bracelet myself and I get compliments on it all the time.

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Claire will be giving away one FREE one word pendant necklace to a lucky winner. So, head over to her Instagram page and engage by following the instructions below. By the way, isn't Claire just so beautiful?

      Follow 212 WEST on Instagram

      Engage with the picture below while on Instagram

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6.

Next lady in line is the one that captures the beauty around her with her camera lense. She is a talented photographer, makeup artist and an awesomely kind and beautiful JANCYN BINDMAN. She is an owner and a creative mind behind Blanc Sketch Artistry. I have had a pleasure to work with Jancyn when she took photos of me and my little ones in a mommy-daughter photo shoot. Girls had so much fun, and so did I. Jancyn was patient, soft spoken and full of creative ideas on how to make our shoot even better. Her photography talent is amazing, so is her makeup artistry. 

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Her giveaway is $120 gift voucher to spend on photographs with her. Jancyn isn't just a photographer and a makeup artist, she is there to make sure that on the day of your photo session you feel the most beautiful, inside and out. It isn't just a photoshoot , it is cherished experience, confidence boost and way to empower your beautiful self. To win her prize giveaway, please do the following:

     Follow Blanc Sketch Artistry on Instagram

     Comment on the picture below while on her Instagram account

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7.

Next one in line is lovely NINA GRANIC. She is an amazing mom, wife and a friend. She volunteers, she donates and inspires us all with her charitable work. She is amazingly creative and whether it's knitting, crafting or elaborate cake making, she seems to do it all.  Nina is also an independent consultant for Norwex. If you are not familiar with Norwex, it is a company that sells wide variety of products that help you clean and maintain your home without harmful chemicals. Norwex is faster, easier, smarter and safer way of cleaning.

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I have been using Norwex products for over 2 years now, and I couldn't be happier. Both of my daughters had skin sensitivities and I needed a healthier, safer and overall better option when it came to our hygiene and overall cleanliness of my home. You can always reach out to Nina for more information on the products, how to become a sales consultant, or if you wish to host a Norwex party yourself. Nina will be giving away one FREE makeup remover cloth  set (3 count) and one FREE optic scarf, 2 prizes in total.

     Follow Nina at My_Green_Clean on Instagram

     Engage with below pictures on her Instagram account and tell her which one of the two you would like to have. Two winners will be selected for one item each.

8.

My name is MINJA MUSIC, I am a full time mom, part time blogger, part time model, part time co-owner  of a small family business. I love my state of Minnesota, and I love all the amazing people that live here. I like to write, but I mostly like to write about my community, creative people and small businesses I support. I also love to talk about companies that do good, and I always encourage others to do better for themselves and for others. I just recently faced my fears and entered a contest to be on a cover of JETSET magazine. Super insanely awesome! If you wish to cast a vote and help me win this thing, here is the link. It's free to vote. Votes can also be bought (this is optional) and proceeds from the sale go to families dealing with childhood cancer. Great cause I might add.

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About my giveaway.... Well, I cannot give out vouchers for modeling. I don't draw, paint, knit, photograph, color hair. Okaay, I kind of don't feel so enthusiastic about my 'can't do list'. Here is what I can do. I can eat chocolate and drink coffee like nobody else. Just ask my friends if you don't believe me. So, I decided to giveaway a $10 GIFT CARD  to Glam Doll Donuts and a $10 GIFT CARD to my fave local coffee shop BRU HOUSE. YUMMO!

Bru House is located in New Brighton, it is family owned and offers the best coffee creations. In case you are hungry, you can also grab amazing breakfast and lunch. It's a great space for family and business gathering. Bright and airy space, local art displayed on the walls and free WIFI, makes Bru House a great place to enjoy a cup of delicious coffee and a place to unwind. To win, please do the following:

     Follow Minja Musich on Instagram

     Comment on a below giveaway photo once on my Instagram account and tell me if it's coffee or sweets you like. I will pick two winners, one gift card each.

Good luck to all the entrants, I hope you get selected to win great prizes. Thank you to all of my ladies participating and for their generous giveaways. Please do not hesitate to send me a private message with any questions. You can also comment right underneath.  

Until next time my friends. Be happy and smile often.

XX

Minja

 

 

Beauty By Design

Ever since I moved to Twin Cities twenty years ago I fell in love with the area right away. Well... minus the blistering cold of course. I arrived in the month of December and as the plane landed, and I exited the airport, I wondered if anyone was even alive under that much snow. I grew up in a Mediterranean climate with all fours seasons clearly defined, so this type of weather was quite a shock for me. What Minnesota lacked in seasons and warmth, it definitely made up in kindness and charm of its people. I am very proud to be a Minnesota girl and I know that this state, this home of mine, has so much to offer.  In the last 10 years Minneapolis has been ranking as one of the top cities to live in. We offer museums, sport teams and great places to work. Whether is its cleanliness, fresh air,  bike trails or a place to raise a family, we have been reaching top of the list; all while maintaining approachability and that over all Minnesota nice.

Here in Minnesota we are also blessed with an amazing and blossoming fashion industry. In the last two years I have done multiple runway shows, and had a chance to meet some extremely talented people. Designers, stylists, creatives, photographers, models and retailers alike charm Minneapolis and this state with so much beauty, making Twin Cities one of the hippest style scenes. 

I recently had a chance to meet one such person, a lovely and talented designer Deborah Block.  She is an owner, founder and a creative mind behind Beauty By Design. We had time to chat about life, goals and aspirations. She told me about her schooling in LA, and her passion for fashion ever since a young age. While chatting, she shared that she has made all her prom dresses and has always dreamed of creating stylish pieces that will hit the Red Carpet one day. I don't doubt for one second that she will indeed succeed, and I believe she is already on the road there. Since she was old enough to create with her own hands she has, and she knew right away that this is what she is meant to do in life. To make beautiful and unique clothing, ethically and responsibly , with client satisfaction in mind is her passion and goal.

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Beauty By Design showroom is located in a beautiful wearhouse in NE Minneapolis. Showroom is large, welcoming and beautifully styled. With exposed brick, natural lighting seeping in and an elegant decor, I couldn't help but feel pampered and relaxed. Deborah showed me around the space and I just thought what an amazing place to take professional and styled photos. She has informed me that she actually rents her showroom space for such situations. Whether it's a shoot, big event, hosting a shower or just need somewhere to get ready before night out on the town, her beautifly large space can accommodate all that.

Showroom currently offers Bridal and Formal wear. Beauty By Design carries dresses by CELIA GRACE, KMK DESIGNS, DEBORAH LINDQUIST, PURE MAGNOLIA and CICADA BRIDAL. Their in-house collection is extensive and always being updated with new stylish pieces.

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Along with beautiful wedding dresses, showroom offers amazing formal wear pieces all designed and made by Deborah herself. I was fortunate enough to wear and twirl in one such amazing piece. In the months to come, Deborah hopes to move more towards making custom wedding dresses and her bridal line. If you are not in need of a new dress, space for rental and such, Deborah also does alterations and customization for other clothing.

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As always, I encourage you to support your local businesses, artists and creatives. It is imperative to do so because we help build strong communities and better overall relationships. For more information on Beauty By Design, click on the links above. If you have any questions or wish to collaborate, please feel free to contact me. 

Please remember that beauty is everywhere, especially within you.

XX

Minja

RealHer

 It's 2018! New Year, new possibilities. I have set goals both personal and professional, and I intend to give it my very best-est to accomplish them. I promised myself that I will try to embrace good around me and avoid, at all costs, things and people that bring my morale down. I will write, travel, sing, draw, create, dance, taste and just do more of what feels good. I will also respect, care and love myself more too. I made a list, not a written one necessarily, more of a mental check-off list and I shall take this year slow, one day at the time. I will set my goals small, but celebrate in a BIG way once I achieve them.  

  I turned 36 on December 31st. Cheers to me! As a child I was blessed and cursed with that birthdate. I loved that the whole world celebrated my birthday on the same night as New Year's Eve (kind off). I also hated it, because I felt my birthday was second best (which it never really was). Each year I felt everyone was too busy with party preparations for New Year's festivities than actually acknowledging...well, me. Possibly I was a tad spoiled. I promised myself, as I entered adulthood that I will make my birthday 'special' regardless.  As I matured, I realised that doing simple things with close people does make it special. Not every year is a big shindig, but I try to have a fun get together with my girlfriends at least. It is however quite okay to be spoiled once in a while. We all deserve it.

   A friend of mine, a devoted supporter of my blog, gifted me some makeup that she thought I would not only find useful, but also a great subject for my next post. I loved that she took time to highlight this brand for me, and I want her to know that I couldn't wait to sit down and read more about it. Every time I write my blog, I always try to encourage myself and my readers alike to do good, to donate, and to support companies that embody these qualities. I especially love when strong women support and encourage one-another. That indeed makes us ALL that much stronger. So, this birthday gift was not just makeup. It was a gift from a friend supporting a friend, woman supporting a woman. In the end, I take pleasure in writing about it in hope to help continue this circle of support and encouragement. 

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"it's that heart of gold,

& stardust soul

that make you

beautiful".

-r.m. broderick

RealHer - makeup brand with a mission to empower and inspire. Makeup with conscience and belief that to empower one woman, is to empower them all. This is why RealHer donates 20% of all proceeds to organizations with that mission. One such place is American Association of University Women, a charity that was built to create a better future for women. 

Please enjoy this short campaign video:

  Aside from it's moral obligation, they also take animal cruelty very seriously and their products and ingredients are not tested on animals in any way, shape or form. RealHer makeup is designed and formulated in California. It is manufactured in an FDA approved, GMP certified facility. It is natural, vegan and gluten free.

  On top of that, RealHer makeup is free of harmful chemicals such as Parabens, Petrochemicals, Synthetic Fragrances, Lead, Phthalates and Talc. They use very best natural ingredients such ad Gentle, nourishing formula enriched with ingredients such as Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E.

  As an added bonus each of RealHer products are inscribed with an empowering quote as a reminder that each one of us is fearless and powerful.  Just look at the blush palette below and read for yourself.

  Bill Xiang, Founder and CEO of RealHer created his own makeup line after the birth of his daughter to help inspire and support all women. On RealHer website he wrote: “When she was born, that was the moment I realized I am a feminist, and I want to be a feminist. I want to do whatever I can to make as much difference as possible, as quickly as possible, to help more women." We can't be more proud.

  Beautiful makeup, inspiring story and a do-good company is a love-love relationship I feel with this brand. 

  Each one us has a responsibility to make a positive impact on our society as a whole. It doesn't really matter how big or small your contribution is, it does make a difference. All of the little acts of kindness add up to so much more. I also always encourage that we as women build each other up and find that when we are not competing with each other, we are gaining.

  I hope you enjoyed this post and please do feel free to comment below. If you ever have any suggestions, know of a great company or small business, or if you wish to collaborate, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

  Keep on keeping on I say and always, ALWAYS know your might.

 

XX

Minja

 

Be Bold

  What does it even mean when we say "be bold"? Reputable dictionaries define this expression as "go for it", "be courageous", "take a risk" or "be daring". But what if circumstances of life are stacked up against you, and you feel like you would rather be in a shadow, than shine through? What if the unchangeable facets of you; such as the color of your skin, sexual orientation, gender, and ethnic background are the ones that restrict you? Our society can be very unforgiving, closed minded and confining. What helps? Let's talk about it! Let's share our stories, let's share our struggles, and let's strive to bring these issues to light. Silence builds walls, and only open lines of communication can break the social barriers and allow us to have healthy discussions that bring results.

  I am a huge supporter of my local community. I always like to highlight topics dear to my heart and brands that share the same values as mine.  This week I wanted to highlight one such brand.  I am honored to introduce you to HENSA CLOTHING. Their story begins with a goal to create clothing that everyone can feel comfortable in, clothing that is gender-neutral and that makes you feel special wearing it. Their mission is people and freedom to express yourself. The kind of freedom where your clothing should make a statement and not define you, rather you define the clothing. They offer both formal and casual wear, whilst their casual line of clothing Be Bold is the one that I feel very passionate about.

  They do an amazing job in sharing and highlighting stories of those who feel compelled to tell it.  On their website you are able to read amazing personal tales of struggle and distress, but also of boldness and self-love.  They welcome you to share your story and #BEBOLD. A portion of all sales goes to human rights campaigns. 

  I wanted to learn more about this amazing business, so I asked a few questions:

What is the meaning behind the name of Hensa? 

"Hensa is a combination of a few words in different languages. The word “Hen” in Swedish is a gender-neutral pronoun that was introduced in 2010. There is also a Chinese word that means to differentiate that is pronounced as "hensa".

Why Be Bold Campaign?

"We really wanted to create a campaign for the casual line that would empower people to share their stories and to take chances in life! We also wanted to take a chance to highlight the customers that wear the shirt and tell their stories". 

 What can we do as a community to help?

"There’s always the obvious of purchasing our products! That’s definitely the biggest support. But sharing any information about us and collaborating is also super helpful! We love to meet people to share our story and learn about theirs." 

  It would only be fair that I support my peers, local creatives and such a great cause. I love my new necklace and what it stands for.

  In December Hensa clothing started 30 days of Hensa, where you can use code GIVE30 to save 30% on your purchase and in turn give forward. Thirty percent (30%) of sales will go towards charities that promote mowing LGBTQ rights forward, suicide prevention and anti-bullying. I am so very honored to wear and represent Hensa in my community. Please consider doing so yourself. 

  For more questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to message me or comment below. Thank you once more for stopping by to read my post, and I hope you will always choose to BE BOLD and help encourage others to do the same.  

XX

Minja

 

 

Chasing dreams has no age restriction

  The first time I went to a model casting call was such a nerve wrecking and emotionally exhausting experience. I was surrounded by smiling, equally stunning , full of life, much younger people and I couldn't help but think to myself; what am I doing here? All I wanted was to see someone my age in the crowd, so all of this what I was doing could make sense. What is a 30 something, mom of two trying to prove? Now when I look back to that moment, I know for a fact that there is no 'right' age to pursue your goals or dreams. Your age should not define you and restrict you. I am glad I stayed that day and faced my fears and self doubts. With no regrets in sight, it was worth giving it a go. I did not have any expectations for myself when I just started out, mostly fears of failing. Over the time, with work and dedication, there was less and less hesitation, and more steps forward. I cannot claim professional success, but I can claim a personal one. I never expected fame and glory, but this road led me to fun modeling opportunities, and to acquaintances with many inspirational individuals. My life will continue to take me where it may, I cannot escape my destiny. I can however take the rains and guide myself to self-growth and personal fulfillment as best as I can, and with all of my might. 

   This post, however, is not a story about me, but a story of why age should NEVER be a determining factor in pursuing your dreams. It is a story of following your instinct and persisting in showing the world that you have what it takes. It gives me such pleasure to introduce you to a lovely and amazing Claire, a creator and designer behind custom jewelry 212 west.  Claire, a teen maker and a beautiful young woman, has with the help of her family succeeded in making a dream to start a jewelry company into a reality. 

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What is 212 west about:

   It is basically bringing the spoken word to life in form of unique necklaces and bracelets that are customized by you to fit your lifestyle. Brand offers interchangeable word pendants that you can piece together to tell your story.  Whether it's motivational, patriotic or spiritual, there is something for everyone. Jewelry is 100% customized, meaning that you choose your pieces from start to finish in the following matter:

 For Necklaces - 1. CHOOSE A CHAIN 2. CHOOSE A STEM 3. SELECT WORDS                        

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For Bracelets - 1. SELECT A LEATHER BRACELET 2. SELECT WORDS

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I asked Claire to answer few questions to help me better understand her brand and motivation behind it. She graciously agreed. 

When did the idea originate? 

  "I've had the idea of starting business for as long as I remember. I've always loved the idea of creating something from my own mind and making it a reality to share with the world. I got serious about this, however, when I was 13. The very start of 212west began when I showed my parents a drawing of the necklace. We officially launched in 2015, many prototypes and color swatches later, when I was 15 years old"

What was your motivation behind it?

"I've always loved self expression and embracing your true self and what you're passionate about. I think that in just a few words you can show the world a bit about who you are and what you're about, and I think that's very cool. The necklaces and bracelets really promote the idea that you can and should speak for yourself and that your journey is uniquely yours"

Any advice you would give to people pursuing their creative dream?

" I would tell anyone who wanted to pursue their creative dream to never let their motivation go. The process of creating anything is long and strenuous, but it makes it all the more rewarding when success is reached. Keep finding inspiration and use it to keep creating"

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  Few days ago I was walking through Herberger's and just couldn't wait to get out of the mall and the craziness. Suddenly, at the corner of my eye I got a glimpse of Minnesota fashioned table display. There, among other local merchandise, was a section displaying 212 WEST. It made me smile and feel so happy and proud of Claire and her accomplishment. I had to stop and take a picture of course. In my writing, I often encourage my readers to support local and shop small, this is no exception. Sometimes it helps to know where merchandise you buy comes from, and who are some of the creative people behind it. It makes it that much more special to own it.

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   Recently 212 west launched one of their new heart shaped charms that can be combined with other hearts or paired with words. They are super cute and perfect for any occasion, especially now in holiday season. When I shop for presents, I try to find something that's personal and unique for the person I'm gifting. Per their website, the heart charms are in limited quantity through the month of December. Since I didn't want to miss out, I secured my own gift and now I am a proud owner of a fun word scramble that is dear to my heart. When I think of my life and my family, this is exactly how I see it. It comes in a super cute packaging perfect for gifting. To Claire and her team, thank you for the opportunity to wear such a lovely piece. 

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  I really do hope you enjoyed this week's edition. If you wish to own any of the above beautiful pieces yourself, or wish to gift them to someone instead, you can use my personal discount code (blogger15). This entitles you to a 15% off saving.  Here is a link to their page 212west.com

  For any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know. If you wish to give my blog some love as well, do feel free to comment below. In the meantime, keep reaching high and don't settle for any version of yourself but the best.

XX

Minja

Beauty in the 'spotlight'

  Supporting small businesses is a key for a healthy and prosperous community. It is important to recognize all those entrepreneurs who have vested time, money and energy into creating their unique business whether it functions online, from home, or in a physical establishment. These creative people are all around us and need to be given a shout out whenever possible. People like my husband, my daughter's dance teacher, a friend that makes jewelry and another that knits are just a few in my immediate circle. We need to come together and recognize these individuals and support them. What such small vendors and entrepreneurs do poses, compared to conglomerates, is a personal touch and a sense of belonging. These are contributing members of the community who we regularly encounter and get to know by name. Supporting your local small shops creates long lasting relationship that brings together and uplifts the whole neighborhood.  

  In honor of Small Business Saturday, I wanted to bring one particular business into spotlight. Let's give a round of applause to MN NAF! eco-boutique salon.  Behind its door is an amazing and talented JESSICA SKILAR, stylist and owner. 

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 This past Sunday, I had a pleasure of meeting this inspirational woman and a chance to talk about her work passion, the salon and all it means to her. I will elaborate on some of the fun topics we covered a little later. Jessica is such a charismatic, full of energy individual that radiates goodness. Within a few minutes of talking to her, I felt like we knew each other for years. The salon felt airy, bright and welcoming. It is filled with local art that Jessica proudly displays. She partners with local Minnesota businesses whose merchandise or services are featured and/or sold at the salon and at open house events. Small business supporting small businesses equals one fantastic collaboration, and there is a lot of beauty in that.

 The salon's specialty is hair and makeup, but they have recently started introducing aromatherapy and skin care. The one thing that sets them apart from others is that they take pride in natural products they use, where organic isn't just a fad, rather a responsibility. Salon recycles almost everything momentously showing respect for the environment. They compost the hair that has been cut, use reusable hand towels and even bamboo toilet paper.  

I asked Jessica why MN NAF? 

"It's about being a local supporter, a community supporter, a bringer together of people, and an environmental advocate."

What about the name MN NAF!?

" I tell PG folks that I mean Nice and Friendly, but it's actually Nice AF. I don't only mean that as a joke."

  We can all agree that the mission statement and the name makes this place that much intriguing and unique. Whatever your interpretation of AF! might be, you will not be disappointed with an amazing experience Jessica and hear team provide. As far as the choice of natural products they use, Jessica swears by Intelligent Nutrients. Here are few facts about this line of products:

  • 100 % Organic 
  • Local to Minnesota
  • Products packaging made of recycled materials
  • It's Food Grade, meaning you can actually eat it
  • Portion of sales is used to save and  research of bees at the U of M, pretty amazing

  Brand has been featured in multiple magazines, and have won various awards for their Eco friendly and organic products. 

  Jessica gave a me a killer hair blowout and and a ton of useful information on hair products she used, and their benefits. I must say that for a little while there I was in such a calm and relaxed mood with all of amazing scents, that I might have drifted off and not heard all of the details. Gentle head massage didn't help to keep me focused either. I am sure my lovely stylist didn't notice. 

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  One thing I vividly remember is her talking about INTELLIMUNE oil complex and its benefits for your overall health. It is a dietary supplement that can be taken with food or taken on its own. What pleasantly surprised me is the fact that these organic and beneficial ingredients are actually found in all of their Intelligent Nutrients products. Of course I had to have a taste. It is pretty amazing to know that ingredients in these hair care products are eatable. Talk about organic. 

 How about a non-aerosol hair spray that when you shake the bottle, you can actually see organic plant components floating around. Hair spray is plant-powered and designed to moisturize and add light shine while smoothing flyaways without residue, flaking, or buildup.  It is ideal for dry and/or damaged hair.

 Last but not least, I just loved Destress and Express hair and body treatment oil. With a unique combination of peppermint and vanilla scent, all I needed was a pair of pajamas for this experience to be an ultimate bliss. Getting my hair done felt like an ultimate spa experience, without the spa. This highly moisturizing treatment oil nourishes hair, scalp and body while helping relieve mental and physical stress.

See images below for reference:

  I had such an amazing time with Jessica, and I learned a ton. I am looking forward to visiting again and maybe getting a relaxing facial or a hair treatment. If you would like to have a top notch service in one of a kind salons, then this is a place for you. For those of you not currently interested in beauty services, but would like to explore more of what MN NAF! has to offer, then head to their EVENTS page and check out their upcoming workshops. Coming up in November is their Blowout Workshop where you learn how to recreate amazing after salon hair at home. In December, they have an Essential Oils workshop where you get to make and take home an aroma therapy roller. This is the one I am particularly interested in and looking forward to attending since I am an avid fan of essential oils.

 Thank you for stopping by and giving my post a read. I really hope you enjoyed it. Please do not hesitate to send me a message with any questions, or feel free to comment below. 

Cherish and embrace your natural beauty, and believe in ALL of your one-of-a-kind atributes.

XX

Minja

 

 

 

 

Take care of 'YOU'

Even the best of us lose it sometimes.

  I start with this precise statement because it’s true.  We all, at one time or another, experience self-doubt, irritability, anger and anxiousness because it's a part of human nature and this thing we call life. I used to feel so bad about it, and I used to hide my emotions because it made me feel less in control and vulnerable. After some major personal lows, I realized it’s not worth it. I was making myself sick, and I was frequently visiting doctors thinking that something was wrong with my health. I was always tired, had headaches and not much will to push forward. It was a scary period of my life. Sharing my story has led me to learn that so many of you were/are in the similar, if not same situation yourselves. Stress of life is unavoidable, but reducing stress whenever possible is a must. Whether the husband forgot to buy groceries, or laundry hasn’t been washed and your favorite shirt is in there, or dinner was not cooked on time and you have hungry mob on your case; these small daily stresses affect our wellbeing more than we can imagine.

  I am not a medical doctor, or a doctor of natural medicine to give professional advice. I am, however, a girl who had her share of ups and downs. The one who one day decided enough is enough and decided to self-help. I called it RENEWAL.  Just kidding! This renew sign hangs in my bathroom, and that's where inspiration came from. I agree that some things should be left in the toalet, but I thought it was good to start with humor. 

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  Make time for friends and family. I am not talking about that one aunt who drains every molecule of your positive energy with her glass half empty approach to life. Surround yourself with people who radiate calm and positive vibes. Coffee with a friend can mend a broken heart. Share your stories, good or bad, share your experiences. It will often surprise you how much people can relate. Responsibilities of life will be there when you come back home waiting, trust me. Two hours away from the house and your chores will not be the end of the world. Have a good laugh, have a nice dinner, have a drink for all I care. Give yourself the gift of friendship. No man or a woman is an island, so accept the offer and go hang out. It will do you good.

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  This is how I started it all.  I bought and decorated my living space with items that made me happy. I purchased  a mini figurine of Buddha for a living room, small elephant for the bedroom, and a new pair of warm slippers. For you personally, it might be a fuzzy blanket, inspirational pillow, scented candles or a new painting. You spend so much time in your living space, it needs to feel cozy, comfortable and inviting. Reduce clutter and clean out your closet. Rid yourself of things you no longer need. Shirt that has not been worn in the last 5 years, will probably continue to collect dust for another 5 years to come. Have one room in your house designated as you calm space, your escape from everyday commotion.

 I bought mine at Home Goods while back, but you can find them on  Amazon  in any size.

I bought mine at Home Goods while back, but you can find them on Amazon in any size.

  Last year, few of my close friends suggested I buy Himalayan Salt Lamp. I honestly did not know much about it, so before I went out and spent money, I did my research. Himalayan Salt Lamp is said to have many health benefits due to negative ions it emits. Here are some of the benefits that come along with owning one:

  1. It improves mood and concentration
  2. Reduces alergens 
  3. Increases relaxation and calmness, which translates to less stress
  4. Increases energy levels
  5. Improves sleep
  6. Helps with headaches and migraines

  If none of these benefit claims are true,  at least the lamp is so pretty to look at. They often come in orangish and pinkish color, that glow softly when you turn the lamp on. It has such a calming feel to it. I suppose romantic one as well if you move it to the bedroom. (wink, wink).  You can really put it in any room in your house, even your office. Pick a room where you mostly spend your time in. Lamps come in many shapes and sizes, but when doing research I found that darker the color and heavier the lamp, the better. They are inexpensive, and can be bought almost anywhere.

 I bought mine at Home Goods while back, but here is an example of one from  Amazon

I bought mine at Home Goods while back, but here is an example of one from Amazon

  Another problem I had was sleep. I never seemed to get enough of it. I went to bed very late with my mind racing in million directions. I was consumed with thoughts of things to do, places to be, assignments to accomplish, and occasional freak out from the noises coming down from the basement.  All this while my husband was sleeping soundly next to me, completely unaware of the madness that was happening around me. I used to be so jealous of him. His ability to fall asleep so quickly and then have audacity to snore ( I know, a bit dramatic with the whole audacity). Whatever, you get my drift. A lovely gentleman at a health store suggested I buy Melatonin pills. It was by far my very best decision. I tried many different brands, but have finally found the one that worked well. It worked so well that within half an hour, I would be the one drooling on the pillow. I shared my bounty with few of my friends, and after trying it, they had nothing but great things to say about it. I get my supply on Amazon, but it is sold at many health stores and last time I checked also at Whole Foods.

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  I also started doing yoga.  I really don't know what I am doing most of the time, but I stretch, get my blood flowing and feel better about my day overall. I do not go to the gym or Yoga specific places, I just unroll my inexpensive mat and follow easy videos on You Tube. If you do not have a mat, use a thin blanket. In the summer, you can go to a secluded park or nature center and have some 'me' yoga time there as well. The views and the sounds will help you relax. Just take a seat on the grass and surround yourself with nature.

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    Have a cup of tea. Don't drink coffee after 3 pm and become best friends with honey and lemon. These two foods have amazing health benefits. Among many other beneficial components,  honey is rich in antiseptic and antioxidant properties, and a good source of energy and nutrients. Lemon on the other hand is good for your hair and skin, helps with colds, indigestion and overall improves your immune system. I love to have a cup of tea before bedtime, it soothes me and relaxes me for a good night. I try to always buy organic raw tea since it's less processed, therefore better for you.

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  I also became a very big fan of essential oils. You can literally buy them anywhere. They come in plethora of varieties for almost any need. I buy myself a rollerball essential oil for relaxation. I keep one in my purse and at home. You can buy specific ones and pour them in your bath. You can even buy a diffuser and have it spray continuous mist of your choice throughout the home or office space.  During cold and flu time, I use an essential oil for congestion and sinus pressure. It can be added to Neti Pot, or you can steam over it by pouring it in hot water. Possibilities are endless. I usually get mine in a Health Store, but you can buy them at places Like Marshalls and Tj Maxx very innexpensively. 

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  Now, I do realize that it takes a lot of work, dedication and at times even professional and medical help to find balance and feel better. This post is by no means an expert advice, but a friendly suggestion. Feeling better doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, persistence and support of those around you. I still work on it one day at the time.

 I hope that my post is of some help to you. If it's not the tips I suggested,  then at least you feel better because of the common experience we share. It sometimes helps to know you are not alone.

  Be well and stay well my friends.

XX

Minja

Thrifting in Style

  All of my adult life I have been a bargain hunter. I pride myself in finding deals and getting more bang for my buck.  In all of my years however, I have never shopped at a Thrift Store. The idea of going thru all that merchandise, the notion of ‘used’ hovering over me, and my limited knowledge of second-hand shopping has led me to avoid it for a long time. Until…

  Last year I was part of a fashion show that had emphasis on eco-fashion and ethical style. I met a lot of designers, small business owners and stylists who put together pieces that were socially responsible. I learned about safe and eco-friendly practices in clothing industry and about sustainable manufacturing practices. I got introduced to responsible labor practices and of course recycling of textiles versus disposable fashion. This event led me closer to a lovely and talented stylist Sara Stamschror-Lott. She was largely involved in putting together stylish pieces from one of the fashion show contributors Arc’s Value Village thrift store. Packed with knowledge, and determined to shop responsibly, I reached out to Sara recently and asked her to introduce me to thrifting. 

Sara's amazing finds and creations from Sol Inspirations fashion show last year:

  Other than being an awesome new mom, and an amazingly beautiful person inside and out, Sara is actually a talented personal shopper at Arc’s Value Village. She kindly agreed to meet with me and show me the ropes, as well as offer me some styling tips. Now, first thing I thought of when I heard personal shopper was most definitely a fee associated with this type of service. No worries my deal seekers, I learned that this perk comes free of charge at all of Arc’s Value Village locations. One person responsible for this awesome free service is Michelle Raven who started the personal shopping feature herself. She was a pioneer behind this move and due to its popularity, Arc's Value Village now has multiple stylists available and ready to help.  There are currently 5 locations across metro; Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, New Hope, Richfield and St. Paul.

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Sara rocking vintage style pieces

  You can book your appointment by email to PersonalShopper@arcgreatertwincities.org. Before you arrive, and once you set up an appointment, you will be able to describe your personal style by using their comprehensive Style Profile. You will have a 75-minute session with your stylist, who will present you with special assortment of clothing items picked just for you. You will be able to try on the pieces, and buy only the items which you like. Unless you are like me and like all of them, then by all means shop away!

  If this is not convincing enough, let me tell you a little bit more about Arc’s Value Village. They have been around for 30 years and have the most amazing customer service. Other than having a large selection of items for sale, the stores provide funding for The Arc Greater Twin Cities’ programs that help adults and children with disabilities, as well as the community. This is shopping smarter in a nutshell.

    With a personal shopper and an open mind,  Sara found me some amazing pieces that I just absolutely adored. Pictures below:

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Glamin' it up!

We had fun with this party look. Think New Year's Eve, or just a night out with girlfriends. 

 

Assortment of necklaces $4.99

Nine West shoes $14.49

Gucci Inspired clutch $8.49

THEIA sequin dress for a STEAL of $8.99 (retail price on similar THEIA dresses elsewhere is over $300)

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Casually Fun

Wear longer sweater, pair with tights and closed toe shoes for a more appropriate work look.

Hat $10

Bag $10.49

Banana Republic blazer $12.99

Rachel Roy STEAL shorts for $39.99 ( retail price on similar Rachel Roy style shorts elsewhere is over $200)

  We had so much fun,  and I know I will be coming back to Arc's Value Village real soon again. If you would like to give it a chance, I encourage you to check it out. If you are short on time, or if you know what you like, but simply are not sure how to put outfits together, then try a personal shopper. 

If you have any question, please post a comment below or send me a private message. You can also follow both Sara and myself on Instagram.

Thank you for reading my post, and don't be discouraged to try something new. I am sure glad I did.

XX

Minja

 

 

 

Boots and coats

Style ideas for 2017/18 Fall/Winter season

  Fall is here, and in full swing. Leaves are falling, temperature is dropping and given Minnesota's weather ability to surprise us, I wouldn't be shocked if we see some snow flurries by Halloween. On Tuesday, I had a chance to appear on Twin Cities Live and model some fabulous fall and winter styles. All the Privileged models, including myself, were styled by a talented and amazing fashion consultant Sara Rogers. I met Sara last year working together on another live show and I immediately fell in love. She is a gem and a pleasure to work with.

Sara and I backstage at TCL:

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 The theme of the segment was boots and coats, and the pieces were definitely worth a mention. All the stylish pieces were provided by various retailers at the amazing Mall of America. Here is the video from Tuesday's segment for you to enjoy.

Here are few pictures of the amazing pieces I wore. Click on the item description next to an image for more information.

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Mona Williams Sweater

  Some of these pieces, even though beautiful, might have a high price ticket, but don’t be discouraged. The purpose of this post is to give you tips and advice on current trends, and to show you examples of what to wear and how, no matter what age. As you know, I blog about affordable fashion and beauty, therefore smart shopping is my motto. If you like pieces I was wearing, but are money conscious, here are few retailers that will be gentle on your wallet. Look for deals at TJMaxx , Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack. There are big box stores, such as Target that offer beautiful pieces for a fraction of the price. Below are few suggestions:

Sweater

Bag

Jeans

Boots

  If it's the name brands that you want though, here are my examples of money saving replacements. Obviously there are so many options out there, but remember 'style' doesn't have to be something that costs a lot of money, it's how creative and resourceful you get with the budget you have. See examples below:

Bag

Cropped Jeans

Camel Coat 

Leopard Booties

  If you are interested in items that other models were wearing in the video, here is the list of the stores and their prices:

Ella

Coat, Mona Williams  $995.00
Top, Macy's  $79.00
Bottom, Macy's  $178.00
Shoes, Doc Martens $159.95
Bag, Banana Republic $128.00
Earrings, Macy's  $19.50                                              

Kim

Coat, Macy's   $159.50
Top, Macy's  $54.50
Bottom, Macy's  $78.00
Shoes, LL Bean   $189.00
Bag, Macy's  $268.00
Hat, Anthropologie   $48.00                                             

Sophie

Coat, Anthropologie  $228.00
Top, Banana Republic   $148.00
Bottom, Macy's  $79.00
Shoes, Aldo  $120.00
Bag, Macy's   $178.00/$395.00
Earrings, Banana Republic  $18.00
Hat, Forever 21/Anthropologie $14.90/$58.00

  I hope you enjoyed my post. For any questions, please do not hesitate to message me or comment below. You can also find me on Instagram. Happy Shopping everyone!

XX

Minja

Let's "Brush-up" on affordable makeup brushes

If you have no time for research, limited budget, and you are not sure which way to turn when choosing makeup brushes, then this post is for you. 

  Makeup Brushes – They come in every size, shape and color. They also come with fairly different price tags. Cost can range anywhere between $5 to $500 for a set. With so many options to choose from and gaps in price, where does one begin?  This post is by no means an extensive research of all brands, types and price points, but a narrower view of two specific  brands of brushes that fit a limited budget, but don’t fail in quality.

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  For this little project of mine, I recruited my dear friend and a professional make-up artist Amela Bego at Amela Bego Makeup Artistry. She will bring to the table a different point of view since her needs and requirements for makeup brushes are not just for personal, but also a professional use. On the other hand, my input is entirely of personal nature based on tried-and-true foundation. We narrowed down our choices and selected one brand each we found would be a great fit based on availability, price, effectiveness and an overall customer satisfaction.

 Before we reveal our choices, I wanted to give you a small piece of advice.  After doing some price comparisons and considering a limited budget, we both recommend buying a brush set versus buying individual brushes one at a time. Not only will this save you time of making multiple shopping trips, it will also save you money.  In most cases, makeup brush sets are priced cheaper than if you were buying the pieces one at a time. 

 What to look for in a set? The set you purchase should have a good variety of both face and eye brushes. Here are few examples of what to look for:

·         Concealer brush

·         Foundation brush

·         Blush brush

·         Powder brush (ex: mineral foundation)

·         Eye Contouring brush (ex: blending inside the crease and corners of the eye)

·         Eye Shadow brush

·         Angled brush (ex: for creating more precise lines)

·         Possibly an eyebrow brush

My choice is EcoTools brushes and here is why:

  All the brushes I tried and used came from either a drug store or a big box store. EcoTools is not an exception. I used these brushes for over 10 years and when compared to other brushes in the same category, I just preferred them always. They are inexpensive and available at multiple retailers (items are often on sale or have coupons). Brushes have soft bristles and are made cruelty free; from recycled materials and they are also vegan. The handles on the brushes are made from renewable bamboo and the packaging itself is 100% Tree Free. They last a long time, if taken care of properly. On top of it all, user reviews alone are huge selling point for me personally. Brushes can be bought individually or in a set. They also have fun travel size sets for those of you who might be natural born jet-setters. My two starter kit suggestions are below. You can click on the images below to get more information, or stop by almost any mass merchandiser to check them out in person.

                                                         

 

Amela’s choice is Morphe brushes and here she explains why:

  "Being a makeup artist in the industry for 6 years now, I have been able to work with different types of brushes on regular basis. However, I personally feel like the Morphe brushes are incredible for the price point. They are durable, and great for diverse makeup application. They have kits that make your life so much easier. These brushes can honestly work for anybody, someone who is just starting out in makeup, or a professional. Creating art with makeup and brushes does not necessarily mean, the more expensive a brush the better. It's all about application, proper technique, and how you take care of your brushes.

 Don't get me wrong, I love my Mac brushes and the Chanel ones as well, they are absolutely incredible. But believe me, Morphe brushes are just as good, and at the price point that doesn't hurt your wallet.  I personally use drugstore makeup brushes in my kit also. They work just as well. I totally agree with Minja, I love the brushes she uses.

 When you are doing a bridal party, and you have 35 minutes to finish your first girl and then you have to move onto a next one, you want to make sure that you have extra brushes. This is why I pick Morphe, because I can afford to have the extras. I can have a bigger selection of makeup tools, and not feel overwhelmed with the price. Their website is very thorough and easy to navigate, which makes it easier to get a good starting point." 

Amela's suggestions are below, simply click one the images and the link will take you directly to Morphe website.

 

 15 Piece Deluxe Badger Set

15 Piece Deluxe Badger Set

  10 Piece Deluxe Eye and Face Set

10 Piece Deluxe Eye and Face Set

 24/7 Beauty Collection

24/7 Beauty Collection

   Now that you had a chance to look at the few options, please remember that for longevity of your makeup brushes, regular cleaning is of essence.  You can either use warm water and soap, or you can buy brush cleaner. Amela suggests Cinema Secrets, available at Sephora and other online retailers. You can either wash the entire brush with it, or if in a rush, use the solution and wipe the brushes onto a paper towel.

  If you prefer beauty blender versus foundation brush, or simply don't like uneven finish that brush can sometimes make, Amela suggests buying a real Beauty Blender. She advises you not to buy just any applicator, since the sponge like blender will pick up more of your product than you want to, and that would obviously be a waste.  Look for a non-latex foam like applicator. It will change your world, especially now with winter coming, she states.

  I hope you have enjoyed my post. Feel free to leave a message or a comment below. You can also find us both on Instagram by simply clicking on the pictures below.

Thank you for stopping by, and I look forward to bringing you more fun topics and useful advice.

XX

Minja

"Welcome" home

    This July my little family embarked on an international, one month journey overseas. With two kids, 6 suitcases, 4 passports and a full bottle of NyQuil, just in case, the journey begun. Flights were little rough, but pleasantly went way better than I anticipated. I didn't have high expectations with a mischievous 2 year old, and an easily bored 7 year old, but we all did fantastic. After almost 10 years of being married, It was time for my husband and I, both born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to travel across Atlantic and finally meet each other's extended family back home.

    We rented a car and set off to new adventures, or so we thought. If you need to know one thing about the Balkan culture, is that we as people don't take no as an answer. We went there with expectations of making acquaintances in short, but polite visits, and then to get swiftly on the way. Yeah, it didn't go that way at all. We were in a Bosnian version of "My Big Fat Bosnian Wedding" without the wedding. We ate and ate, and then when we were so full we could burst, we ate some more. May I say, it wasn't always voluntary. We lived out of our suitcases for a while, changed houses and beds quite often, survived 120 degree heat and crazy European driving. If this trip didn't make us tougher and more resilient, than I don't think anything would. No kidding!

   Even in all this of this craziness, we had so much fun. We saw so much of our beautiful homeland. What is most gratifying is that our girls lived through some moments as my husband and I did in our childhood. My heart was filled with joy. My girls were truly champs through it all, and in spite of few setbacks, we cannot wait to do it again. Our family has always loved adventure, exploring new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures. I hope that we can continue to grow, and embrace new and exciting things along the way. With that in mind, please enjoy some of our favorite photos of places we visited in this gem of a country called Bosnia.