Thursday, September 29, 2016

Matryoshka Haul

I'm always trying to get closer and closer to minimalism. In our eleven years together, the question I ask my husband the most is probably, Do you think we have more stuff or less stuff than we used to have? But there are two "weaknesses" that often accompany an interest in the Russian language- a love of teas and matryoshka dolls- that make me forget all about minimalism. And so...

Welcome to this summer's matryoshka haul :)

These little (or not so little) dolls were everywhere in Russia!

The bill was tucked away inside this doll.

Despite seeing them everywhere, people were quick to say that only tourists would buy the souvenir dolls. The university gave us basic matryoshkas on the first day of classes and then had us paint our own dolls on the last day. Those are the only traditional matryoshkas I brought back. The souvenir I gave to my uncle, the handpainted mess I hid on D's desk. As much as I love matryoshkas, they don't... do anything. The minimalist in me thinks they're dust collectors. But if it's a "useful" object with a matryoshka on it- in that case, all bets are off. Let's shop!

#1. Matryoshka apron. I love this thing. It came from a gift shop in Kazan and it fits cafeteria-style, so I can pretend to be slaving away in a stolovaya when cooking in my own kitchen. 

#2. Last-minute purchase at the Moscow airport. It was an excuse to use up leftover rubles... but honestly, I would have bought it no matter what.

#3. One of the most useful things- a handpainted glasses case from a big souvenir emporium in Nizhny Novgorod.

#4. Keychain with a different matryoshka on each side. Found her in the Kazan gift shop.

#5. Cute set of magnets also from the Kazan gift shop.

There were a few other things that don't have matryoshkas but also made it in the suitcase.

Souvenir postcards from the bookstore-

A card for D, and some plov that I never had time to make-

The most adorable folder set ever-

This amazing day planner for next year-

What's your shopping weakness?
Does it have anything to do with another culture?
Maybe you have a matryoshka stockpile too? :)


  1. I have 7 matryoshkas in my room at this moment. One is mine and the other six are souvenirs. I love the color of that green matryoshka in the second picture!

    1. Ah, you should do a matryoshka post too, Jasilyn!! :D

      PS: When you and Anton go to Nizhny Novgorod, try Berezka Bar on Bolshaya Pokrovskaya St. They have a lot of matroyshka-themed stuff there (including that green one).

    2. Oh cool! I'll keep that in mind!

  2. Love all the matryoshkas! I'm a sucker for them as well, although I haven't actually bought one for myself in several years. One of my favorite matryoshka items is the set of matryoshka measuring cups that I was gifted. They're called ''M-Cups: Matryoshkas Made to Measure''. This week in my Russian class the kids learned numbers 1-10 and I had them make their own set of matryoshka dolls using a really nice paper template I found. The dolls even nested inside each other at the end. I'm planning to get some pictures up on the blog soon - I've really been slacking in that area lately :/

    1. Nice! Can't wait to see that, Chelsea :)

      You had some wonderful posts about your recent travels. Tajikistan was my fave. (But your "guide" in Uzbekistan totally rocked too!)

  3. Hmmm, Katya, nothing changed actually. You told much about your love for Ukraine and now you admire Matryoshkas... Strange hobby by all means. Regards.