Category Archives: Philosophy

JENNIFER BUFFETT: Super Woman Philanthropist

Recently, we got a Marie Claire magazine in the mail. It must have been a Holiday gift from Santa Clause, because we have no subscription to Marie Claire, haha! Yet, it was a nicce surprise and we were enlightened with a great article!

As we flipped through the pages, we came across a full-page photograph of a beautiful woman that caught our attention; Jennifer Buffett. She is married to Peter Buffett, who is the son of one of the wealthiest men in the world; Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett gave Peter and Jennifer Buffett a gift of $1 billion dollars  and his only request was that they do something meaningful with the money and to give it away.

Jennifer and her husband made a decision to travel the world and figure out what exactly they’d do with with the money. They saw one issue that they were very moved by and they came upon the decision to focus on helping girls and women around the world. They created the NoVo Foundation.

What an inspiring woman! I absolutely love something that she says in her interview with Marie Claire:

“I feel more alive than I ever have in my whole life,” she says. “We have the ability to do so much. I can’t wait to get out of bed and support that.”

To read the interview, click here.

It’s amazing that there are wealthy people in this world who truly put their love and passion into making this a better world for everyone!

Here’s a photo of Jennifer Buffet with girls in Liberia!

Peace & Love,

Molly and Natalia

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Prospero Año Nuevo! Happy New Years! Счастливые Новые годы!

We’re a day away from welcoming 2012! What a year, 2011 was! We’re saying goodbye to it in style this year and we’re welcoming 2012 with wide open arms!!! We don’t know whether 2012 will be the apocalypse or whether the Mayans will be correct about an enormous change, but what we do know is that for us, we’re beginning a new journey in 2012!

Since our backgrounds are Russian, we like to put up a New Years tree. This is in true-soviet style! Since Russia used to be the Soviet Union and under Communism there is no religion, people would put up a “Christmas tree” on New Years. We’ve kept this tradition, because we aren’t religious and putting up a tree with presents is always fun! This year we agreed that we put up the best tree we’ve ever had!

We made handmade pom-pom ornaments with yarn and we put up our desires on little sale tags all over the tree! It came out beautiful and this is how we’re greeting the New Year! Twelve desires for twelve months of the year! Check out the photos:

What are some of the things we want for 2012:

– Ron Paul to become President!

– For Nicholas to be healthy, FOREVER!

– To eat the best, healthiest fruits & vegetables in the world!

– To have a new beautiful home with plenty of space to design clothes and make art!

– To make a successful collection of corsets and dresses for Athena’s Gown!

– Travel!

– More global consciousness and awareness between humans worldwide!

– NO MORE WAR!

– To volunteer on a regular basis and spread love!

– More solutions and funding for global warming!!! Let’s save the world!

– Constant moments of joy and happiness!!!

WE WISH YOU A HAPPY NEW YEARS WITH LOTS OF LOVE AND WARMTH & FOR YOU DESIRES TO COME TRUE IN THE NEW YEAR!

LOVE,

MOLLY, NATALIA, AND NICHOLAS

Happy Holidays to everybody!

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa, we’re wishing you a Happy Holiday and New Years!

As a note, we hope that you’ll take the time to listen to this beautiful performance and song, as a hopeful message for the future of our world and our kids! Let’s remember what’s really important this Holiday season!!!

PEACE & LOVE,

MOLLY, NATALIA, AND NICHOLAS

NICHOLAS: 7 year old, future astronaut and doctor!

Nicholas is Natalia’s son and Molly’s brother and he’s the third musketeer of our family! Here’s an interview about Nicholas. Molly is interviewing Nicholas in the recording below! Listen to learn more about this imaginative and intelligent, 7 year old!

Hope you all enjoy!!!

And here are some of Nicholas’s favorite drawings that he’s made:

Molly & Nicholas with the Ipad

Soon Nicholas will be finishing his treatment for Leukemia! He was diagnosed way back in November 2008 and we’re excited to say that he’s an amazing and vibrant, 7 year old boy! We’re so proud of him. We chose to homeschool him last year, because he would get sick in school, but also because the public school education in America is diminishing. We found that Nicholas would become very stressed and less creative. Now we do a variety of things to educate Nicholas. The biggest way that we teach Nicholas is that he’s involved with us through everything. As you heard in the interview, Nicholas even goes with us to our colonic sessions and while my mom and I are busy doing colonics, Nicholas became a very good friend with the doctor and helps her out! Don’t worry, it’s nothing weird, but he likes to greet the other patients and help out in the office.

Homeschooling or Unschooling?

This is a question for many parents and we’ve done our fair share of research. We  tend to just go with the flow. We do have a schedule and we do have one specific book that we use. It’s called the BrainQuest book, which makes learning a lot of fun. Nicholas also does have a teacher who comes in for one hour, but the teacher is provided from the New York City Board of Education. This is something that the Board of Ed provides for ill kids. Other than that, we find that experience is the BEST teacher. For example, whether it’s taking Nicholas to a farm or whether it’s taking him to a museum. Nicholas is always super curious and it’s a lot of fun! We don’t pressure him and Nicholas asks a lot of questions all the time and he does educate himself in that sort of way. I guess, you could say that we do a combination of homeschooling and unschooling.

Reading

The one thing we find to be the most important and that we might disagree with from other unschoolers is the outlook on reading. Typically, the unschooler philosophy believes that when a child feels that they want to read, they will read. Their curiosity will grow and they will ask to be taught how to read. Although, we completely understand this concept and could see how it might work with some children, we are strong believers of reading. We believe that it’s one of the most important aspects of Education and that it is actually being drained out of the American school system. More and more children in public schools are illiterate. Kids aren’t being taught phonics anymore. We find this to be a crime against children. Reading is knowledge and therefore it is power for a person to make some of the most important decisions in life. We do make Nicholas read everyday and we want him to become and avid reader, just as we are.

Anyways, here are some more photos of our excellent, young chap, Nicholas!

Nicholas & Molly at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

 

Nicholas being dug in the sand!

Nicholas on an old 1950's train.

 

Peace & Love,

Molly, Natalia, & Nicholas!

SOCRATES: A rebel-bearded-hippie-man of Athens.

“As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.”

-Socrates

Socrates was a philosopher living in Ancient Greece, Athens. The painting above, probably the most famous, is by Jacques-Louis David, painted in 1787. The painting shows the most notable fact known of Socrates and that is the time of his death. Socrates was a professor of Philosophy in Athens and he was condemned to death for “corrupting” the minds of the youth and for showing a lack of respect towards Greek Gods and Goddesses.

He had a choice though – either to be executed or to renounce himself as a teacher. So in this painting, Socrates is holding a cup of poison, having chosen to kill himself. He believed in what he stood for and therefore wouldn’t renounce his profession.

Unfortunately, we have very little information on Socrates because he never wrote anything he taught. The only source of information that we’ve received on Socrates are through his notable students, such as, Plato, but this is all second hand.

I find Socrates so fascinating though! He was sort of like a hippie-rebel-character in Athens. He walked around with a long Spartan-style haircut (even though Athens was at war with Sparta), he walked barefoot, and you could find him at the marketplace talking to everyone, including women, slaves, kids, rich, poor – didn’t matter! I think it should also be made clear that Socrates was irreverent to Greek Gods and Goddesses, because he wanted people to think on their own. There have been many misconceptions in the past about Socrates relationship with the Gods, which have somehow been related to Jesus or Buddha. Socrates was neither Jesus nor Buddha. Instead, Socrates taught people to think for themselves. Here it is, in his own words:

“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”

This is why Socrates would be in the marketplace talking, asking, and listening to people’s ideas on courage, love, reverence, moderation, and the state of their souls.

And so in Socrates-style let’s ask these questions and it would be wonderful to hear your thoughts!

What is love?

What is a soul?

What is fear?

What is happiness?

Peace & Love

Molly and Natalia

A look into our daily lives!

A look into our daily lives…

A typical day in our home looks like this…

We eat, my brother’s home school teacher comes in for an hour, we take a nice long walk on the beach, we design, make art, study, read, and we try to get out and show interesting places to my brother as often as possible. Enjoy the photos!

 

Here’s my my brother and I, and his friend, Koala. Just, Koala, that is his name and Koala came from Australia. My Australian aunt brought this lovely immigrant over for my brother!

Here my brother and I again, except this time, there’s me in my papier mache mask, which was part of a performance piece. This was taken when the mask finally dried! I actually performed at Occupy Wall st, so you can check that out here.

This is Nicholas at the clinic, which we still have to go to once in a while for his treatments, but very, very soon, Nicholas won’t have to go to the clinic anymore!!! He’s posing like a model in this photo 😉

This is Nicholas in Central Park, next to one of the best statues in NYC (I personally think!). In fact, I recently met up with a couch-surfer and showed her this statue!

Here we are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in front of an Egyptian temple. This is one of my favorite parts of the museum. I think Nicholas got distracted in this photo. Perhaps he saw a cute girl!

Anyone visiting New York City, must stop at the Metropolitan Museum. It is not to miss. I can never get enough of it and no matter how many times I’ve gone to the MET, I still feel that I haven’t seen it all.

Nicholas blowing out the candles on his Birthday with our grandparents, though in Russian, they are Babushka and Dedushka for us! This was after we saw Priscilla and we also took our grandparents. For them it was their first broadway show, which just happened to be a showing with men wearing dresses. My grandparents are from Ukraine and they didn’t realize that they were watching men!

Haha – Captain Underpants? I guess he is real…

This year Nicholas dressed up as a pirate! We made the costume ourselves. Coolest costume ever! With some tattoos as well!

Don’t be disheartened by all the meat! And sorry to any vegetarians. Since living in America has its’ ups, but also many downs when it comes to food and health, my family drives to a farm 2 hours away once in a while to stock up on grass-fed beef, humanely treated animals, raw honey, and all those other wonderful things!

And so..yesss, here’s me with a lamb leg!

The AMAZING turkey we made on Thanksgiving!!!

_______________________________________________________

Aside from the above photos, something else that’s extremely important to our daily lives is reading. And so what is on our reading lists? Here it is:

Natalia’s current book:

“Ask and it is Given”, by Esther and Jerry Hicks. My mom is almost finished with this book and basically this books teaches you the principles of the Law of Attraction. Just like there is a Law of Gravity, there is a Law of Attraction, which many people do not acknowledge. Through a clear explanation and then to more detailed techniques you can use this book extremely helps in making your dreams come true.

Molly’s current book:

Although I just began reading this book, it is quite excellent. I’ve only read the first few pages so far, so I will have to share more about it as I go along. Something I found interesting though is the second chapter about “Excusitis.” This is something we all have! I like how the author brings up examples like Roosevelt with paralyzed legs and Truman with no college education, and how strong, successful figures such as these, made no excuse as to what their personal challenges in life are.

Nicholas’ current book:

Since Nicholas is home-schooled, my mom and I study a lot with him! Although this isn’t a reading book, it is an amazing workbook with a Science section along with Social Studies, Math, Reading, etc. The first story he read in this book was a fable about the Sun and the Wind having a competition!

 

Have a lovely Monday everyone!

 

Peace & Love,

Molly and Natalia

Etsy Featured Seller on Athena’s Gown Blog: From the Heart by Eva

Hi everybody! Today we have a special surprise for our blog followers! We’ve gotten the chance to interview a very talented Etsy seller and feature her work on our blog. Her name is Eva and you can visit her etsy shop here. Eva is originally from Latvia and currently resides in London. She’s a very talented jewelry maker and as her etsy store claims, she makes, “free spirit hand stamped jewelry for the world travelers!” There is truly a very unique look and meaning to all of Eva’s jewelry and wearing her jewelry would serve as a constant reminder of happiness in our life in a very special way.

Enjoy the Interview and Eva’s  beautiful jewelry and art! 🙂  

(By the way, if you click the images you will be lead to the item’s listing!)

Athena’s Gown: Hi Eva! I looked through almost all of your jewelry on Etsy and it was a real pleasure!  I love the little phrases you use, such as, “I am a yes person.” Can you tell us more about your idea of using inspirational phrases on jewelry and how you came up with this idea?

Eva: Since I was a young teenager, my older sisters always carried utterly smart life quotes with them wherever they went, whatever they did. I rarely understood them (at age 12!) but they inspired me. And so since then I’ve been addicted to positive inspirational phrases, quotes and sayings. It really can move a person if you allow it to. I mostly use positive quotes, but at times there are some random sassy attitude sayings such as “I’m a Free Bitch, Baby”, “You Smell”, “A dirty mind is better than no mind at all” etc. Laughter is all that I’m looing for when someone wears this. 

AG: What is the biggest inspiration for the work you do?

E: My biggest inspiration for all that I do is my late grandmother. And so, she still, even though not with us anymore, inspires me every day. Someone like her will never be forgotten. When I create my jewellery, I thank her for the wisdom she gave me, for I know without her I would never be the person I am now. Ever in 100 years.  

AG: What are your favorite materials to work with?

E: I love to work with clay and paints. Clay is so versatile and also earth-friendly. I feel like a kid again whenever I work with it. And it absorbs paint so well. It’s a challenge every time I work paint into the clay – lets see what’s going to come out of this… Oooh! nice one!

AG: Any favorite books, writers, or artists that really move you?

E: Right now I’m into “Jane Eyre” – written by Charlotte Bronte, an English writer. I’ve seen the latest film, and I’ve read the book once, and yet I cannot let go of it. Jane’s spirit inspires me big times. Someone who’s so dedicated to her own self, having that strong self-discipline many of us lack today. I guess I want to be more like her. My first 2 books that inspired me in my teens were “Notre Dame de Paris” by Victor Hugo and “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden. They still move me.

AG: I read on your Etsy profile that you do other things, beside jewelry making, like painting. Can you tell us more about that?

E: Yes, I do paint and I draw (mostly weird stuff). Although now I’ve taken a break from painting, I want to get back to it at one point in near future. Now I’d like to concentrate on two things – my jewellery line and my studies. It’s rather difficult to juggle all 3 with equal dedication. I’ve been painting since my teens, but never explored it deeper. For me, painting is playing and discovering. It’s a form of expression, just like Acting. In Acting you see characters thoughts on their faces, in painting you see artists inner dialogues on the piece of canvas. I recommend painting for building patience!  

AG: Do you have any end goals with where you’d like to go with your creations, whether it be jewelry or painting?

E: I’m aiming for brand and product recognition internationally. I’d like to expand it to bigger volume orders and more international shipping. Bigger demand, more creative designs and better management. I’d also really like to devote some quality time in near future for painting only. I really want to explore it more and see where it can take me (tell me a thing I DON’T want to explore! Haha!) . 

AG: And last of all, any advice for the newbies on Etsy?

E: Yes! Dear newbie, please don’t quit when you feel nothing moves. At all times motivate and encourage yourself that you WILL succeed if you work on it. Let any judgement/negative comments roll of your shoulders and replace them with positive, success-driven motivation. Create, improve, socialise, co-operate with other artists. It is not easy if you’re alone, but we can all do this. If I did it, YOU can do it too. I’m no better than you. So good luck! And – do NOT give up!

Thanks for the interview, Eva and we wish you lots of luck! 🙂

 

Peace & Love,

Molly and Natalia