as real as it's gonna get...
*Please note: those in my blog have been contacted for approval and given a final proof copy prior to publishing live.
As I have been working on preparing my website and the vision I have for it, I worked on every single page leaving the “About Me” page blank. Every day for over three weeks, while I was editing all of the other pages and aspects of the website---I had so many ideas and things to change and write about in regards to cupcakes, makeup, the design and layout of the website, you name it….But then when I got to the About Me section, I was drawing a blank. What can I share ‘about me’ to an audience of over 2,000 and growing people? What should I share? Who knows who will read this? What if no one reads this? How do I keep my relationship, family, and experiences private but keep it honest, real, and authentic? So, while I tried my best to navigate not only this About Me page, I realized I am doing the same with life…
I am a 31-year-old wife and mom. But I’m not just a wife and mom, I am a female with wants, dreams, needs, ambitions and goals. For the longest time I have felt old. I have felt like I should have my shit completely together because I am a mom and a wife. I have felt that I am not allowed to be open on social media because those around me are not active on socials AND I would be judged and criticized, like I have been before not only by friends, but certain family members as well.
The one thing I learned about those people (not that there’s anything wrong with those people—they are completely allowed to have their own judgements and opinions of others, as we all do… but I have learned and prefer to keep my opinions to myself). I have learned that those people are just not my people, my tribe.
I read people very well, a gift that I got from my mom. I can look a person dead in the eye and let you know if their intentions are pure or if they are full of shit. I have read many people and still decided to befriend them and open up, when I knew I shouldn’t. Why? Because I’ve liked those people and wanted to befriend them and wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. But that’s what life is about…lessons learned, some friendships lost and some gained. I am 100% about giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. If I am wrong about my instincts, well then, I am wrong. However more times than not, I have been completely right about my instincts of others’.
So, then COVID happened and nothing seemed as important as my family, our health and well-being, and my realization that life is too damn short to be scared and unhappy. Whether it is in a relationship, a job, a friendship, it is just not worth it to continuously be in the same miserable position. It literally took a PANDEMIC for me to figure that out and grasp my life ahead of me.
Today I am launching my website thatrussiangirlkarina.com. Catchy name, stupid name, lame, etc… came to my mind when I thought of it, I know. But everything that I do somehow comes full circle to me and makes me realize the things I choose have a meaning, even when I don’t see that meaning right away.
One of my very best friends growing up was a Lebanese boy named Joey. Joey was the only boy allowed to my very first big birthday party in America (LOL…so sorry Joe for all the Britney sing a longs and girl gossip!) Well anyways, back to the name… his older sister Marie, was someone that I have always looked up to growing up. Their bond and comradery is something that I have always admired and secretly wished I had with a sibling. I am only child, so I got over it eventually, haha.
Well anyways, here I go off-topic again, dear LORTTT… Marie would always call me that little Russian girl Karina. As I grew up in Buffalo, more and more people started knowing me as that little Russian girl, and here we are today, thanks Marie! Side note: Marie ended up opening up an amazing photography and DJ business with her husband, and yes, she was the photographer in mine and Jake’s wedding and also calmed me down from walking off a cliff, figuratively, many times in my life. Her husband, Matt was the DJ. Their business is Soundwave DJ & Photography in East Amherst. They are the most amazing duo and I still get compliments on how great my photos turned out and how the DJ was awesome at our wedding. Another side note: they named their daughter Karina 😊
So that’s how the name started, but what about me…Well, here it goes… Are you still with me? OK, good..About me…hmmmm…
Well, when I was five years old, my grandfather took his entire family out of Ukraine for a better life in America. As I wrote this sentence, I couldn’t help but start to cry because my grandfather was an incredibly selfless man and I think I will share his story at some point in my blog. (Spoiler Alert: Get your tissues ready because his life and what he did for his family should be shared because he was an incredible man).
When my family and I moved here, I did not know any English and quickly learned in first grade. First grade was rough for me. Kids were mean, I didn’t understand them and they didn’t understand me. I didn’t understand the school, culture, and their rules. The things I remember the most from first grade was that I loved rice krispy treats LOL. I have never tasted something so delicious that I have never knew existed. So about two-three times a week during lunch, I would save 50 pennies to buy that 50 cent treat. The lunch lady was getting annoyed that I kept buying the rice krispy treats with 50 pennies because she would have to count 50 pennies, so one day she told me to stop bringing in 50 pennies and that I couldn’t keep buying the treats with all pennies.
Now mind you, we moved to America with NOTHING. I mean zero savings, nada. When I saved those 50 pennies throughout the week, I was so excited to eat that delicious treat. Until, she finally told me to stop bringing in 50 pennies and that I couldn’t do that. I didn’t understand. Money is money, right? So, whether it’s 50 pennies or two quarters, what’s the difference? It’s still 50 cents, it’s still money. Needless to say, I was obviously so sad, I stopped buying those delicious rice krispy treats, because I couldn’t find quarters on the ground outside, I only found pennies. I was also afraid of her and uncomfortable, so I stopped getting them all together. But then, during our walks (we walked around for a while until we got our first family car), I would always look down at the ground and started eventually finding dimes, quarters, and nickels.
Another thing I remember from first grade, when I didn’t understand the teacher, she told me I was inappropriate and all the kids laughed at me. One day we had to write about a grocery trip, the ending of my story was that I purchased 30 things/products. I couldn’t think of the word ‘things’ or ‘products’, so the teacher assumed I meant gained weight as in pounds. She told me that it’s not appropriate to talk or write about such things (even though I did not say the word nor write it) I was just trying to explain a quantity of 30 as in things, products, produce... You get the gist… Well anyways, she made me feel awful and I remember running into the bathroom crying and putting myself in ‘a corner’, because that’s what I did back home when I was reprimanded—put in a corner. All the kids laughed at me, and I remember it today as if it happened yesterday. I even remember that teacher’s name and what she looks like..but its neither here nor there…
After first grade, we moved AGAIN…
and I started a new school in second grade where I stayed until 8th grade. I made many memories, good and bad, and lots of friendships there (a whole other many, many blogs to write about for sure). Then we moved out to a different city my freshman year in high school. I was so angry with my parents. Like are you freaking kidding me? I just moved here and made so many friends and now when it’s time to go to high school and do the fun things that my friends and I talked about in Elementary and Middle School, we HAVE TO MOOOOOVEE…UGHHHH!!!…
Freshman year, I started high school in a different city. Most girls were mean, I knew not one person…AGAIN. Most of high school I was a loner until I joined the cheerleading team, but even then, I felt like I never belonged to your traditional high school ‘clique’…. LONNNERRRRR.
I met my husband Jake, in high school. I actually didn’t like him at first and thought he had a weird lisp LOL (he doesn’t have one now and thinking back on it, that lisp was so damn cute).
Welp, he pursued me OBVIOUSLY, and here we are! ---just kidding…..So much shit happened between then and now, you will need Xanax after reading these blogs, or a glass of wine---or FIVE. OR if you’re like me, a nice vodka drink, HA.
I found out I was pregnant at 20 years old. Jake was going to Ohio Sate University at the time. Yes, THE O-H-I-O State, to pursue his football dreams. Looking back on it, he would have 100% made it into the NFL, but GOD had a bigger picture for him and I… and it was that little baby in my belly whom happened to be born on Jake’s birthday—yes, my husband and son both share the same birthday.
I was pregnant on my 21st birthday – it sucked, not going to sugar coat it or lie about it. All of my friends were having drinks at dinner and I felt like a 21-year-old whale. I made it up on my 22nd birthday though, for sure HA.
I remember being 8 months pregnant still going to college (the best University in Buffalo) and my peers still looked at me as though I was 16 and pregnant. I didn’t have many friends in school during this time either…Again, lonnnnneeeerrr. Don't get me wrong, I had a few close friends and many acquaintances, but most of the time, I stayed quiet and kept to myself.
When my son was born, I really started diving back into school and having an interest in something which I found fascinating, Linguistics ---Go figure. During this time, I received my Bachelor’s degree, a NYS paralegal certification, a NYS Cosmetology license, and I am a NYS Notary Public.
Woahhh, what the hell am I going to do with all of this? I started my professional career, while still maintaining my passions to makeup and baking cupcakes. I am a wife who is navigating this life with her husband as best we can, while we raise our now 9 year old, run businesses, and try to do what we promised to do in our vows, always devote our time to help others..
Welp, while I am still navigating this life, I hope you all come on the journey with me. I have many more stories to share as well as personal experiences that could be helpful to anyone in any situation... a loner, someone who is being bullied (I was bullied A LOT), a young mom, a wife, a student, a daughter, someone who has a passion for both art and books (I am a huuuuuge dork), a dreamer, a go-getter, a boss-babe…
I am beyond thrilled to announce the launch of my website and my businesses (officially). I have been doing cupcakes and makeup for quite some time now, but haven’t really been active on social media showcasing my work. This is a place where I can share my stories, experiences, love for makeup, products, and of course-- cupcakes.....all on a platform that is ZERO judgement, ZERO hate.. just love for everyone, no matter your nationality, culture, religion, status, race…you get it 😊
This is my narrative, my stories, my opinions… and hey, if you read this and we have parted ways as friends, reach out to me! Let’s reunite again..
Guys, reunite with your friends and family… there is no point in holding grudges, there is no point in judging others, there is no point of being afraid. My grandfather told me this on his last couple of days on this Earth. He said “never be afraid of anything”. …and for the first time in my life, I am not afraid of judgment and taking a leap to pursue my dreams..Life is short and I plan to follow and pursue my dreams, just as you should too! I plan to dive into anti-bullying campaigns, and many other ideas I have to help others in the future when life is back to normal.
So, let me officially introduce you to That Russian Girl Karina. That Russian Girl Karina has many stories to share about her life, her experiences both good and bad.. and much, much more… This website will showcase my cupcake business, Filled with Love Cupcakes and my mobile makeup business, Rouge Beauty Buffalo. No, I will not ‘pick one’, I love both and I will attempt to own and run two businesses as any normal mother and wife ---who is already elbows deep in her husband’s business--- would do. 😊
So, Let’s all end on a positive note and remind ourselves who we are, where we came from and what we are capable of.
#motivation #inspiration #blog #blogger #lifestyle #momlife #wifelife #makeupartist #baker #cupcakes #business #buffalo #antibullying #bossbabe #businessowner #changes #chaseyourdreams #dreambig #future #adventure #honesty #diversity #culture #rougebeautybuffalo #filledwithlovecupcakesbuffalo and of course always: #gobills