Wednesday, December 14, 2022

I've Come Out of the Closet!

Hello friends, 

Long time no see! I've just realized that I haven't posted in this blog since May. I missed sharing my outfits! So please feel free to praise or critique me - from you, my loves, I accept it all. I missed you and this form of creativity and connection with like-minded people a lot! I can only hope that some of you have missed me too. :)

It's not possible to tell you about all of my adventures in these seven months in one post, so I will focus on what happened last couple of months. And yes, I have come out of the closet! But you'll have to be patient and wait to hear my story. These pictures are taken at the Washington History Museum. We spent lots of time with Anya lately (her college classes are all online, and she lives at home). One of these days, she wanted to visit a museum and chose this one. Amongst the usual history related exhibitions, there was one dedicated to cartoons, which provided with plenty photo opportunities, hence the first photo in my post. It's a perfect image of my life, couldn't be any better really. 

On a more serious note, we were reminded once more that there were many terrible mistakes in the history. It's hard to forget it when the country where you grew up goes with war on its neighbor and creates such a cruel mess, as Russian government made in Ukraine. Because it all comes to focus and you as a Russian person, who is peaceful and a pacifist, struggle to accept that this could even happen. Justin and I still send our support to the people of Ukraine, and I love wearing this blue and yellow ribbon, a gift from my Ukrainian American friends, in support of their beautiful country and against the war. Evidently, it's not the only tragedy in the history of humankind, and in the US alone there were cruel events towards Native Americans, African Americans, Japanese, Chinese residents, war in Vietnam, bombing of Yugoslavia and more. Some of the permanent exhibits of the museum include the history of injustice towards Native Americans and Japanese. Learn more HERE.

Another cultural event I've  attended with my daughter, was a beautiful concert featuring a beloved Russian actress and philanthropist Chulpan Khamatova. (I wrote about her and her foundation helping children with cancer Podari Life in THIS POST a few years back.) Chulpan is one of those who escaped the cruel Putin's regime and left Russia after February 24 when his army attacked Ukraine. She is based in Riga, Latvia now. Many Russian artists, writers, musicians and people of other occupations were forced to emigrate because they couldn't express their protest without risking their lives and their families' safety. The opposition is severely repressed in Russia, and those few who have iron 'bills' (you get my meaning) to protest got several years prison sentence, such as famous politicians Alexei Navalny and Ilya Yashin.  

Anya loved the concert and found it almost avant-garde. For 90 minutes straight, the beautiful woman was reading Russian poetry non-stop. She was doing it to heal herself, as she put it in her speech before the show started. But, of course, the whole audience was healing too - in total silence, only with tender, magical sounds of a harp to intertwine with the poetry. 

We also had a chance to take some pics of the holiday decorations
Edmonds, WA

The war in Ukraine has changed the world and so many of us forever... Here I will only mention one way that it changed me. I cannot eat meat ever since the war started. Not after what I've seen, read and was forced to learn about the cruelty of fellow humans. I do love cooking, as you know, so I had to tweak my approach quite a bit to include protein in our mostly vegetarian diet. We still eat fish and seafood, but avoid dairy due to allergies in the family, so really it's quite a challenge since our diet is mostly vegan now (well, technically pescatarian, but no dairy products whatsoever).

Vinegret is a traditional Russian salad, made with root vegetables, 
such as potato, carrot, beet. Here I added cauliflower, 
but usually it's sauerkraut, sometimes salty herring

My shepherd's pie is now made with vegan meat (pea protein), 
we love the brand called Impossible. 
We don't even miss meat, it's so delicious.
Sometimes, I add sweet potato to regular potato puree, 
or cauliflower for variety

I love lentil soup and often make Turkish recipe, 
but this one is Italian for a change. Yummy!

One of many variation of Mannik I made recently.
My recipe is HERE

Have you tried buckwheat as a side dish? 
If not, I encourage you to try it - 
it's a healthy and tasty alternative 
to rice, noodles and potatoes, 
VERY popular in both Russia and Ukraine

If you have any questions about the recipes, leave me a comment, I'd be happy to provide with more information. But for now, on to the the huge CONFESSION! 


A few of my stories were published in the magazine! It's November/December issue. It is so absolutely thrilling to hold the magazine in my hands. I had my articles published in newspapers multiple times, both here in the US and Russia, but my creative writing is published for the first time ever! Wahoo!!! It's just beautiful, on glassy pages, and look - my name is on the cover too, next to fabulous Barbra Streisand! So, I was approached by Ellen, a very lovely lady who read my stories in a writer's group on FB and kindly offered to publish a few. Being a head of a creative writing group, she also manages a literature segment of a Russian language magazine SOVA (Atlanta, Georgia). So, if you're in that area, I suppose you can get it (for free) in places like Eurodeli, Russian markets etc. I know most of my blog readers don't speak/read Russian, but if you're interested, feel free to grab a copy! I would be happy to sign it for you if we meet. The stories are about my childhood growing up with my brother in a small town in Siberia, written with warmth, humor, and lots of love. I named this collection of short stories The Little Lialins, and wrote about ten so far, and am continuing working on others. 

You might remember that it all started with this blog! In its title back in 2013, I've announced myself a writer and have been entertaining you with my writing ever since. I posted not only outfit posts, but essays on travel, culture, some short stories and even poems here. And thanks to you, my readers, I now write both in Russian and English, my second language (sorry for the mistakes!). At the time, I was overcoming a soul trauma, and you made me believe in myself. I am sincerely grateful for your friendship and support for so many years! Some of you even purchased my bilingual children's books, for which I send you my special thanks! If you don't know yet, here are the links to my bilingual books for children, which we cocreated with my brother Andrei 'not-so-little-anymore' Lialin. They are beautifully illustrated, heartwarming, whimsical and witty stories, a perfect and not trivial gift to your little ones. Let me just mention that we are The Wishing Shelf Book Awards finalists, highly praised by London UK school students and teachers, and I will leave you with some photos and links. 
HERE is the link to all of our books.

Anya and Her wings is available in TWO editions, Russian and English
HERE. For ages 5 y.o. and up!

Superseal is a BILINGUAL BOOK 
(both Russian and English parallel texts on every page)
HERE. For ages 3 y.o. and up!

Anya and Her wings is available in TWO editions, Russian and English
HERE, for ages 5 y.o. and up!

Superseal is a BILINGUAL BOOK 
(both Russian and English parallel texts on every page)
HERE. For ages 3 y.o. and up!

So, this is my story of the recent adventures of this out-of-the-closet writer. All of them I continue making with my one true love and soulmate JUSTIN! Sorry for the teasing, guys, have you had any doubt in me!? It feels amazing to live life freely, do what I love doing and be appreciated for who I am! I would say that I would be a 100% happy person, if only there was no war in the world... no war at all, let alone the war started by the government of my country. My heart goes to the Ukrainians who lost their lives, homes, family and friends, and fight for their freedom every day since the bleakest day in history - February 24, 2022. My heart goes to all the Russians who had to escape the injustice of the Russian government or who are trapped in their country with very little hope for a change. It hurts every single day. And yet I am fully aware that none of us can put our own lives on hold. We have to make our life meaningful every single day. Life is beautiful. Life is fragile. Life is precious. Just like these flowers which suddenly started blooming during the commonly coldest and darkest time, at the end of November. I can't help but believe in light at the end of the tunnel.


If you'd like to join the ongoing conversation with me, 
I am easily found at Facebook and Instagram

My books HERE

If you're looking for a trusted non-profit that helps Ukraine, 
here is the one I recommend:


  1. It's so nice to read your catch-up. You look fashionably stunning as ever. Anna is so grown up now. Congratulations on the books and accolades. They are deserved.

  2. Although I've been following you both on Facebook and Instagram, it's wonderful to see you blogging again, and I hope you'll continue to do so, once in a while :-)
    Congratulations on being published, which of course I never ever doubted you would.
    You're looking gorgeous in both of your outfits, and I'm particularly swooning over the first one.
    I couldn't believe how grown up Anya is, and she's absolutely gorgeous too! Also loving that photo of you and Justin, you are looking so happy! xxx

    1. I hope so too, dear Ann! It's fun to follow you on the other media :)

  3. Congratulations on your well-deserved success and recognition, Natalia! It's lovely to see you pop up in Blogland and tgo catch up with your news and stylish outfits. Like Ann, I can't believe how grown-up Anya is! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix! It's good to be back with such fun, kind and stylish people like yourself! Lots of love!

  4. welcome back!!
    totally love the first photo :-D
    and i would steal that gorgeous dress and GREEN coat off from you...... you look fabulous in all pics.
    congratulations to the publishing in that glam mag!!
    anya looks so very grown up! it seems yesterday that she was a little girl..... and justin is dapper as ever.
    your new "diet" sounds a lot like the one we practise since years - although we do eat cheese and yogurt - so big thanx for the recipes. we love buckweat - unfortunately it disappeared from the shops here when the war started - it seem ours was directly imported from russia or the ukraine...... plini with buckweat flour ar delicious!
    with that war on our doorstep its sometimes hard to stay positive - but as you say: live must go on. our tiny town has welcomed ukrainien families, not only providing housing and food - but practical help with burocracy and homey events like readings/cooking/childrens days in a little private culture center....
    big hugses!!! xxxxx

    1. Thank you, my dear, for your lovely comment! I can totally see you in this outfit - fun pattern and your favorite green color would look amazing on you! It's so wonderful that people and countries get together in these dark days and help one another. I feel grateful just knowing that. Lots of love!

  5. Welcome back. I have just come back to blogging after almost 2 years! I'll be happy to see your fashion again. And Happy New Year!

  6. Congrats on your success dear friend! You are a wonderful writer and story teller.
    So lovely to see photos of your family!
    Your cooking looks delicious.
    I miss cooking! I don't get to cook much these days because I work very long hours.