Sunday, September 28, 2014


You probably know that English is considered to have the most words of all comparable languages. Depending how you count the English vocabulary, there are 250 000 to 750 000 words (short explanations HERE and HERE). I learned English and became a bilingual person as an adult. “Bilinguals are those who use two or more languages (or dialects) in their everyday lives”. This is my favorite definition of bilingualism by Professor Fransois Grosjean. What I love about this definition - it is inclusive, not exclusive. It does not matter as much how well you know another language (or dialect). It does not matter if you use it conversationally or you only write or read in it. What matters is that you use it in your everyday life. More than half the people in the world are bilingual, by this definition. And to me as a linguist, bilingual person who is raising a bilingual child, and someone who worked with dozens and dozens of bilingual children and families for a few years, this really makes sense on a deep level. My bilingual brain works in somewhat whimsical ways, and I don't always know when I think in Russian and when in English. Very often its almost like being in two languages at the same time, or somewhere in between two languages, when they intertwine, whether I think, write or speak. The concepts which I either learn or simply use more often in English will creep in the form of English or Russianized English words when I think/speak/write in Russian. And vice versa - for some concepts I learned in Russian it is not easy for me to find English equivalent words. English has so many words that it probably does not really need other new ones - yet the new words keep getting created all the time, English is a quite "open-minded" language that way (which one can't say about English writing, "we write Manchester, but read Liverpool"). There are so many synonyms in English, so many ways to express just one meaning, and at the same time many words that can express a very precise nuance which, being translated into other languages, sometimes require a whole phrase. Yet at times, there are certain pretty significant concepts which have their own words in my native language, and seem to be overlooked in English. One of them is a classic linguistic textbook example - are you ready? There is no special word in English which means "a 24 hour period." How is it even possible in the language with at least a quarter of million words? :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

When Your Friend Is the Director of Awesome

Mr, Postman brought me a parcel from Canada this week! It came from the beautiful Vancouver Island where Shawna lives - painter, writer, author of a warm, thoughtful, genuine blog The Director of Awesome, and a dear friend, even though we have not met yet. But I know that some day we will! We are only about 300 miles apart - 7 hours by car, including a couple hour trip by ferry.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Everyday Wonder

It looks like we opened our rainy season this Monday. With some variations, our weather will be like this for the next few months. It'll get cooler, but not dramatically so. We can pretty much wear the same jackets and light coats (again, with some variations) till Spring. I know I will miss sunny days, but at the same time, this mild climate really resonates with me - I find the cooler temperature, clouds and even rain comforting and sort of... "normal" :). Last weekend was warm and sunny though, but not as hot as they predicted - in mid to high 70s a few miles south of Tacoma where we spend last Sunday. I wrote about Grandview Trail which is a part of Pierce County trail system before - HERE, HERE and HERE. It is by far one of our most favorite places to go for a walk and to enjoy the surroundings - the beautiful Puget Sound and intricate shoreline with little islands. It is always a great photo opportunity and one of many magnificent places around the Sound for watching a sunset, the only show on the planet which is guaranteed every day in every country, for everyone. Sometimes it comes in spectacular colors and shapes, other times more modestly, almost like it wants to be unnoticed - it's always different, and always free, no exceptions.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


I found myself in an organizing mood lately. 
I reorganized the labels in my blog - deleted a few which stopped being relevant and added a few which I thought would help. For instance, now I can search all my outfits by color, type of pattern (polka dot, stripes, tribal/geo) or by different feel (folk/ethnic, retro/vintage). I really like it because now I can do a quick search and see what green or gold/yellow items I have and how I styled them previously. It gives me new ideas and helps to remember.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Olive Overalls

Keeping it short and sweet this time!
These are my first ever overalls. 
Love them!
They are soft, comfy, go with many different tops - I loved to dress them up a bit with my dark floral silk blouse which I found at a consignment shop last Spring (apparently, it's this Autunm/Winter trend - great tips on thrifting for trends in Sally's post HERE).

I had doubts about overalls. I thought I might feel self-conscious wearing them... nope, not even close - I feel sexy, energetic and all over tip top! :) 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sequins and Art of Staying Home. In Two Parts

So what do you guys do when you stay at home with the  flu? 
I think I've watched all the shows, read all the blogs, and cooked all the dishes I could think of. That's pretty much all I can manage now. We are not feverish any more and getting better, but I think Anna will stay at home one more day tomorrow, and I will go completely crackers from cabin fever and exercising Mother Theresa's talent (I have only a veeeery tiny bit of that one!). So I decided to play dress up and blog about it. Anna was my photographer. (She later also played dress-up, but - for the record - refused to be photographed.)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Moments of Summer 2014: Details Matter



I realized that I haven't done my usual recaps for the whole three months of Summer (the last one was in June, and you can find all of them by clicking on the tag monthly moments). As both my daughter and I got a bit sicky, hence no new outfit photos or any planned outings this weekend, I though I'd reflect on details and accessories a little and make them the focus of my summer outfits recap. So, in no particular order, my outfits shown in the blog from July through mid-September (which is considered Autumn in Russia where I am from, but is still officially Summer here in the US). And let us talk about details this time. I'm very interested in what you think!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

One Year

In The Writer's Closet, apparently, shares a birthday with Leo Tolstoy - how encouraging. :) 
Yep, I posted a couple of my very first posts exactly one year ago (you can say hello HERE and HERE). Time flies! I'd like to celebrate my little blogoversary with probably the last summer dress of this year.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Foot Ferry Romance

Thank goodness it's still nice and sunny here in Seattle, and I haven't packed my summer clothes up for winter storage just yet. On the contrary, I suddenly wanted to wear something I haven't worn all summer like this little linen jacket and crinkle top (both are thrifted) with my last summer purchase - cotton pants (one of my very first outfits shown in this blog here). By the way, I realized that I only wore these pants a couple of times before, I wonder why that is. Fun print, comfy fit and cute look, what else do you need in your trousers? Go figure.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Jacket Friendly

One perk of cooler weather is that you can wear favorite jackets - old or new, or as in the case of this particular "old new" denim number, the one you bought in a thrift shop in the summer and couldn't wait for jacket friendly weather to come. I fell for the embroidery and the length of this jacket (or light coat if you will) - brand new condition with tags still attached for only $10 at Goodwill. Sooooo glad that I found it!