Happy, happy Maslenitsa celebration. Maslenitsa is a Russian mardi gras – a celebration of the end of winter with blini (paper-thin pancakes, similar to crepes). Its an old Russian holiday; the celebration lasts about a week, with a different custom each day, at the end (this sunday) is the big end, with a bonfire where people burn an effigy of winter in teh bonfire.

Here’s how it went for us this year:

Otto helping with prep work

Russian tea and coffee

The spread; unfortunately I forgot to get the picture of the actual pancakes

and of course the Maslenitsa doll, in all her glory and ready to end winter

Emily making the Maslenitsa doll:


Otto is done for the day!… Read the rest

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Mirror, mirror on the wall – who is the fairest one of all? My kitchen bench! I got an idea for an awesome, high back, leather tufted kitchen bench awhile ago, which visiting friends in New York last fall. We had stopped into Cafe Ost in Manhattan and that’s when I saw my future kitchen bench:


I couldn’t quite get the image or the idea out of my head for quite sometime, and decided to recreate in the VIB kitchen.… Read the rest

Much Ado About the Frenchies

While we keep finalizing our kitchen plans – lots of back and forth still on the details of the layout, we have started the research on french doors. the first time you hear the figure of $3,500 its certainly a shock. but as that turns out, it is actually quite a reasonable figure for an 8 foot tall door, and estimates can get much much higher.

Research was tough at first, as most show rooms carry just a few manufacturer names, and i haven’t really come across any sales people that were keen to share their knowledge on french door essentials.… Read the rest

The Real Deal

After two years of thinking and planning for the new kitchen, it finally feels for reals. you know how? well it happens when you go from this:

to this:

and many many of these:

Pretty cool eh’

We have been working with our architect friends who were kind enough to help us way back when we were just preparing to prepare (i.e. putting together our kitchen registry for the wedding).

We have spent probably a total of 40 hours in the last month just on our own (and over several sessions) with IKEA kitchen book getting the cabinet layout just right.… Read the rest