Budgeting app

What I’ve been using religiously this month (and even purchased a yearly subscription) is an app called CoinKeeper. It’s a lifesaver when it comes to managing money and savings if you’re a digital and visual person, like myself. CoinKeeper has lots of cool features, including budget overview, transaction import, and savings goals. But the way I’ve been doing it is: I manually enter my incomes and expenses into the app using a tagging system (in my case: different income sources, categories + “needs”/”wants”). This way, I not only can track my expenses and set budgets for each category – but also feel more conscious of how much I earn and spend. Apps like that are especially of help if you have cards from different banks, so using built-in analytics doesn’t really work for you. 


Meditations and Billie Eilish

This month, I have a discovery and a rediscovery. Starting with the latter, after fruitlessly searching for another meditation app I’d love just as much, I finally paid for my subscription to Waking Up again (there are more subscription options than listed on the main page and you can even apply for a scholarship to get it for free or with a discount). On the app, there are all kinds of meditations, including longer, 20-30 minute sessions, and talks on some key concepts. One of the most rewarding practices, in my experience, is giving room to your emotions and observing them without trying to hold back or change anything – it’s very liberating. 

And, of course, I can’t avoid mentioning HIT ME HARD AND SOFT, the new album by Billie Eilish. I love the lyrics and the musical finds, as well as how the album is simultaneously so recognizable and yet so different from her previous work. If you haven’t heard it, I can’t recommend it enough. 


Summer wardrobe update

During my pre-summer shopping, I made a couple of small discoveries that made my life in this heat easier. First of all, Russian mass market stores have finally started to make cute inexpensive clothes made with natural fabrics. I feel like before it was all about polyester, but now I got a pair of cool linen blended pants from O’STIN. I don’t remember the price, but it felt like a bargain. Secondly, even though black clothes are still my favorite, I caved in and, again, finally, started to avoid them on sunny days, and it does make a difference. I used to be pretty stubborn about colors before. Thirdly, cotton, even though it’s natural, can be quite thick, so linen works way better when it’s almost 30 degrees outside.



Yes, it’s true: as an avid amateur cook, this month I’ve discovered… celery. Wait, don't laugh. It’s not that I wasn’t familiar with this humble veg before, of course, but our relationship always consisted of me buying a bundle, putting it into the fridge, and then throwing it out a month later once it got all gunky. Well, I must admit that I’ve vastly underappreciated this seemingly boring ingredient.

I realize now: the issue was that I (and perhaps you, reader) only knew it as that weird stringy thing healthy people dip into hummus or blend into smoothies and pretend that it tastes nice. Well, I was wrong. Its true magic shines in using it as almost a spice: there’s a reason why the French put it in the same category as those kitchen workhorses, carrot and onion. And, I guess, it’s even the reason why 19th century elites treated it as a delicacy on par with oysters and caviar. So, the next time you’re struggling to comprehend why you even bought that weird green bunch, try throwing it into your pasta sauce, soup pot, or even casserole – you won’t regret it. Oh, and remember to wrap it in foil for storage – the trick really does work!