December 31, 2014

My Sheep year

Year 2014 opened up so many things for me I couldn't even dream of. I moved across the world, started a family of my own and explored my new life as a resident of another country. 2014 proved that it's not about the quantity of things that you do but the quality.

Year 2015, according the the Chinese calendar (the calendar which all the Russians deeply believe in) is the year of the Sheep, which is actually my year as I was born in 1991. The upcoming year of 2015 will be rich in positive emotions and intoxicating amorous affairs. You have the power to make 2015 the greatest year of your life so far! 

I miss my family and friends dearly who prove that despite living across the world from each other there is no greater power than this deep connection that we have. No words can describe how much I love them.

Now it's 9am here, in Oregon and 8pm in Moscow, Russia, so I know that my real New Year will start in just 4 hours. 

For next year I have amazing plans which will start happening soon and I can't help but look forward to them and hope that everything I wish for will come true. And I know it will.

Я хочу столько всего написать здесь, но просто не знаю, где начать.

2014 год. Этот год открыл для меня столько дверей, о которых я не могла и мечтать. Я переехала в США, вышла замуж и начала новую жизнь в качестве резиндета другой страны. Я люблю, любима, счастлива, успешна - это просто невероятное время.

2015 год, как все уже знают, год Овечки, который ко всему прочему мой год рождения (овца звучит слишком уж агрессивно, но мой взгляд).  По словам астрологов, он принесёт счастье абсолютно всем Знакам Зодиака. В восточной культуре существует поверье, что овца обладает способностью читать мысли людей и обязательно исполняет самые сокровенные мечты каждого человека. Как замечательно, правда ведь? :)

Я скучаю по семье и друзьям так, что невозможно описать. Они такие родные и любимые сейчас, на 12 часов раньше моего времени, чокаются бокалами, поют гимн России, кушают мое любимое мамино оливье. Есть столько моментов в жизни, которые мы не ценим, пока они есть. Знали бы вы, чтобы я отдала сейчас, чтобы оказаться в Москве в  Новогиреево на 30 минут в Новогоднюю ночь! Но у в этот раз у нас совсем другие планы.

Сегодня я и Эндрю едем на побережье Тихого океана. Я увижу, как заходит солнце за горизонт и как вместе с ним заходит такой хороший, 2014 год. Я по-настоящему счастливый человек! 

Сейчас по Московскому времени 9 часов вечера, а у меня 10 утра. Странное ощущение, ведь что мои "биологические" часы знают, что Новый Год наступит через четыре часа. 

Новый, 2015 год. Представляете? 

Я помню 2000 год как вчерашний день, один из лучших праздников в моей жизни. Тогда люди боялись коллапса компьютеров и конца света, а я ждала в подарок собачку и лыжи. За окном шел мягкий, пушистый снег, и я с папой украдкой, пока все хлопотали на кухне, пробовала оливье, которое, словно на пьедестал, ставили на стол первым. Многих людей с этой фотографии уже с нами нет: моего папы, бабушки а теперь и Леши. Но зато в нашей семье с того времени появились замечательный девочки, моя племянница Полина и двоюрдная сестренка Ася, в моей жизни появился Эндрю, а с ним и его семья. 

За 15! лет жизнь изменилась просто нереально. И я даже не буду загадывать, что будет еще через 15. Я просто знаю, что будет хорошо.

Мои мысли записаны здесь обрывками, потому что я пишу так, как действительно думаю в данный момент. Через год я перечитаю этот пост, улыбнусь и скажу "спасибо за прекрасный 2015". А пока это все в мечтах и мыслях.

С Новым Годом, друзья!

Ваша Сонечка

December 10, 2014


Keeping up my weekly journal for things I'm grateful for. Here are the five things from the last week:

1. Portland, such a beautiful town, especially during Christmas time.

2. Sneaky watching film photographers doing their thing makes me want to invest in my own 35mm camera.

3. My Holiday mood can't be complete without snow. And we found it this weekend!

4. Wool socks, wood floors, fire place - all makes this season so enjoyable!

5. This is my last week indulgence. I prefer healthy food on daily basis, but I also know that you can't spend the holiday season without a cup of hot coco.

I'd love to hear about five things YOU are grateful for. Please share in the comment section below and have a great rest of your week, friends.

December 3, 2014


It's the first week of December and here are 5 things I'm grateful for from the last week:

1. Season change is amazing - just a week it was still colorful and now there are more grey colors around. It might feel sad, but we all know that after some cold time in our life there will soon come Spring, and it's wonderful.

2. What an amazing Holiday. I wish that people around the world celebrated Giving Thanks - it's a great opportunity to remind each of us of how important it's to be grateful.

3. Since we live in the apartment we came up with a great alternative for a real christmas tree. I know, it can't replace the real one, but it sure does create the holidays spirit!

  • Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits
  • Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects
  • Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies
  • May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis
Should I add anything else? ;)

5. Soon a very special baby will be welcomed to this world and we were lucky to be a part of the celebration of this beautiful mama-to-be. 

December 2, 2014

#cards_for_penpals - Giveaway!

Today is a very exciting day as I decided to do a Giveaway of a very special gift that might help you get ready for the holiday season.

It's a tech age and mostly all of us have a "Pen Pal", a friend, who lives far away and you don't get to see each other very often, apart from on the screen of a computer. But I, myself, absolutely love getting postcards from my friends, as they feel a lot more warm and have a personal touch to them. I came up with this great gift you can send your friends, which will make your year a lot more special. You can purchase these cards here and to celebrate I decided to do a little giveaway for my Instagram followers!

Here’s how to enter: 

  • you need to follow me on instagram @sonyatrachsel in order to enter 
  • repost the photo of this giveaway, add #cards_for_penpals hashtag and tag me on the photo
  • on December 10th the winner will be picked randomly by a number generator.
  • Remember - your account should be opened and visible, so I can see your entry
That's it! Easy! :)

Thank you for being my instagram friend and good luck to you!

*All photos are taken by me. 

November 26, 2014


Things can change so rapidly, one day you feel incredibly happy and the next day you might feel completely opposite due to life current changing it's direction. Last week was not one of the happiest, but there were definitely things which I was grateful for, despite everything.
I had a few photos to post, but my Iphone photos got deleted by accident so this post will feel a little empty, but I'm going to make up to it in the next one, filled with lots of pictures which I've been working on recently.

So I'm incredibly grateful for:

1. my family, who stays strong and united even in the darkest times. I love them so much and can't even describe how much I miss them, especially knowing that the holidays are approaching. 

2. my wonderful friends, who prove to be such even when they don't have to.

3. for unbelievably incredible colors nature reveals during this season of autumn - I never thought that I'd ever like this time of the year so much, as I do now.

4. for the opportunity to go out, explore beautiful surrounding of Portland and never get bored of it.

5. it might sound cliché, but marrying your best friend is the way to go. Can't imagine being with anyone else and I'm grateful that this year we will spend our first Thanksgiving together.

November 21, 2014

if your parent passed away

So here is a very important topic I want to talk about. This week some tragic event happened in my family and I feel that it's important to talk about this openly and maybe someone who will accidentally stumble upon this post will feel support and will realize that he/she is not alone in this.

My dad passed away when I was 13 - very tragically, unexpected, at a young age. At that time it felt like my whole world collapsed and turned upside down. I realized that what happened was inevitable, but I couldn't help but wake up every morning hoping that all of that was just a dream but only to realize that it was not.

It lasted for months, years, and as I was praying that the feeling of grief would go away, yet it never did. I learnt how to live without him, and things have changed, but they are just different.

But the turning point in my life was when I realized that instead of focusing that I lost him, I should focus on the fact that I actually had an opportunity to know him. How many people are born every day, yet I was so lucky to call that incredible man - my father.

Let's just admit at this point, that there won't be anyone to replace the pain. But there will definitely be other people who will make your life incredible, in the future, who you might not even know yet. For instance, when you will have children of your own.

People are more compassionate than you think. Nothing will make this any easier, but you need to remember that it's better to talk about it, than hiding it inside. I couldn't discuss my feelings with anyone in my surrounding, as I believed that no one would understand, but now looking back I realize that I underestimated my friends. It shouldn't feel awkward or weak to talk about it - just remember, that vulnerability is vital and sharing your grief with your close friends will make you realize, that you are not alone.

Now, even after 10 years, I still see him everywhere and I can't be more grateful for him being by my side looking after me. I know, I'm getting a little spiritual here, but no matter if you are religious, or not, no one can argue the fact that love is the only thing that transcends time and space, and I still feel his love wherever I go.

photo taken in Sunriver, OR

November 18, 2014


Gratitude empowers everything - my mom kept telling me this my whole life but I only recently fully realized what it actually means. Now I'm following her example by writing down in the end of every day five things I'm grateful for that day. And now decided to do the same thing on my blog - not to overload you with things I'll be posting weekly 5 things from the last week that made me happy. Here is what I'm grateful for:

1. Capturing beautiful wedding of amazing people.

2. Attending a Kinfolk magazine K14 launch at Schoolhouse Electric & Supply co.

3. Feeling like home at someone else's home.

4. Seeing Portland all "dressed up". Holiday mood is already in the air and I can't be happier about that.

5. Best food memory from last week was when Andrew surprised me with going to a new Portland Russian restaurant, where I had some of my favorite "Herring under the coat". I decided that ice-cream photo would be a little more appealing to my readers, so here is the little snap from the "Salt and Straw", back when my mom was visiting.

What are your most memorable things from last week? I'd love to hear about what makes you happy :)

November 16, 2014

Dreams don't have an expiration date // Charlene & Jake

There is nothing like "too soon" or "too late" when it comes to important things, like following your dreams or getting married. Charlene and Jake had a beautiful ceremony at their home, where two families became one.

October, 2014

November 6, 2014

Happiness is the key to success, not otherwise // Beacon Rock, OR

Growing up people have taught me so many important things. Most of them are important life skills and values; like compassion, understanding, kindness, and desire. But there is one thing which I didn't understand until a certain point, and I wish someone would have sat down and explained it to me as a child. Now, take a pen, write it down and remind yourself every day until it's there. Also, if you read this post and can't relate than just look at these pictures of our hike last Sunday at Beacon Rock, Oregon. :)

EVERYTHING what you wish for can come true. One way or another. And you just have to realize that. 

All the limits that you put on yourself, all the things that you don't do are of your own choice. 

Everything in this world can be earned.

I'm not saying it will be easy, but the factor of how MUCH you want something will dictate whether you'll be capable to go through the difficulties to achieve your goal.

And there is one secret to it. This "something" shouldn't just be materialized, something that would make only you happy (like the desire for money). This should make you happy, because it makes other people happy. 

The key is knowing that it's loved, appreciated, desired and makes YOU happy.

Launching the product, being an artist, starting a business, whatever you do should have a greater purpose. Does it make someone else, besides you, happy?

P.S. to support this post I encourage you to Google all the successful people who inspire you and write down things from their biography that make you different and similar to them. What stops you from doing what they are doing? 

После одиннадцати лет в школе и пяти лет в университете, я узнала очень много важных вещей. В большей степени это жизненные навыки и ценности, такие как, например, сострадание, понимание, доброта, желание добиться успеха . Но есть одна вещь, которую я не понимала до определенного момента , и мне очень хотелось бы, чтобы я узнала это в детстве . Так что берите ручку в руки, записывайте этот пост и читайте каждый день , пока все не отложится и вы в это по-настоящему поверите. 

( Если вы прочитали этот пост и не можете/не хотите согласиться, то посмотрите эти фотографии о нашей прогулке на скале в прошлое воскресенье в штате Орегон или просто пройдите мимо. :))

Все, что вы хотите, сбудется . Так или иначе . Вы просто должны принять это.

Все ограничения в вашей голове и все то, что вы не сделаете по этой причине -  это только ваш, и ТОЛЬКО ваш собственный выбор.

На все, в этом мире, можно заработать. (Вещественное, разумеется)

Я не говорю, что это будет легко , но только ваше неимоверное желание будет диктовать, способны ли вы пройти эти трудности для достижения цели.

И есть один секрет.  Ваше желание не должно быть исключительно материальным, то, что бы сделало счастливым только вас ( как стремление к деньгам , например ). Ваша цель должна делать счастливым вас, потому что это делает счастливыми других людей .

Все что вы делаете, зная, что это любимо, ценимо, желанно и одновременно делает вас счастливым является Ключом к успеху.

Запустить продукт, стать художником, начать бизнес -  все, что вы делаете, должно иметь бОльшую цель . Есть ли кто-то еще , помимо вас, кого ваше дело делает счастливым?

P.S. поддержать этот пост я призываю вас "погуглить" всех успешных людей, которые вдохновляют вас. Запишите факты из их биографии , которые вас отличают, и обьединяют. Что мешает вам делать то, что делают они?