Skip to main content

Got a package...

Note: I'm not advertising anything here, just sharing a glimpse into our life...

When you live abroad with a different grocery situation, there are times when you live without certain things and just improvise...and times when you go to great lengths to obtain them!

Ordered myself a care package: iHerb haul!

For example, around this time of year there is usually a big discussion about sourcing pumpkin puree and turkeys. Hypothetically, I usually go for homemade pumpkin puree and whatever cut of chicken or turkey is on hand at the store. But, we're not actually celebrating Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is a long workday and we're out of groceries, so I might ask Andrei to pick up some pelmeni on the way home!

Meanwhile, certain baking supplies are hard to find, too. For example, our store doesn't always have baking powder. It took me a long time to figure out that Russians often just add some vinegar to baking soda to make their pancakes rise.

Chocolate chips are another item in short supply. For many years I simply cut up chocolate bars. Then one day I somehow got a few bags of chocolate chips, and realized how much I had been missing the convenience! Of course you don't have to measure chocolate chips precisely, but certain American recipes are just easier when you are using the actual ingredients recommended. They behave a certain way that you might not get if you substitute.

To make a long story short, you can get a lot of specialty items in Russia now, and even order online from local shops, but right now I can order from the U.S. via iHerb and pick up down the street at a delivery point, in about a week! Life-changer!

So for the past few years I've been doing periodic iHerb orders and treating myself to some things that I don't usually buy when we're not in the U.S.

What I Got This Time

From left to right: Chocolate chips, apple pie spice, pizza herb mix, ground cloves, ground cumin, Zint collagen, Nutrasea kids omega-3 supplement, and rosewater w/ glycerin spray. Kind of a funny combination, right? I usually keep a little wishlist going until we get free shipping, then add a few extras until it get to the maximum weight (11 pounds).

-some of the spices you can get at the outdoor market here, but's faster for me to walk down the street and pick up my package than to go across town to the market. Pretty much like Amazon!

-Collagen is a popular supplement nowadays that I'm giving a try.

-David's PT recommended a specific blend of fish oil and evening primrose oil, and I wanted one he would definitely take without making a fuss.

-Rosewater is one of my favorite scents!

I already have another list going again! I get all my vitamins in the mail too and I noticed recently they have a brand of shampoo that I like, hmmm. Definitely easy to overindulge!

I don't know if they will crack down on customs in the future or add a shipping fee, but life is so much easier when I can get a few things from the U.S.

What are the things you would miss if you lived in another country?

P.S. Let me know if you can't see the image on my post. Images aren't showing up in my browser for some reason.


  1. Yes; the photo is there! Well, lately, due to instruction from the Irish lady on "Bigger Bolder Baking" I have started getting quality chocolate bars and cutting them up for cookies - so each to his own I guess. (Chips are certainly easier, that's true.) What we miss from Russia is "Zeliony" (Green antiseptic") as a couple of the kids still swear by that. They also miss Russian chocolate. so your post got me wondering how Russian chocolate would taste in cookies. Suhariki - the croutons. They will eat regular croutons, but oddly American ones do not come in crab, smoked fish and mushroom flavors. One of my boys always wants me to get smoked fish at the Russian store. And Tula cakes. GOOD BREAD is what I personally dream about.

    1. Truth be told, I've been thinking about sourcing ethically-produced chocolate. I'm not a fan of Russian chocolate-I think it must be a nostalgic thing the way I might miss American junkfood. At least when I look at the ingredients, nothing here is high quality at the moment. Suhariki are great and definitely cool flavors in Russia. My husband misses bread when we're traveling.

    2. Not really a fan of Russian chocolate, but certainly learned to keep THAT to myself!


Post a Comment

Just added word verification to reduce spam. Nothing personal!

You’re welcome to leave a link to your own blog here if it's relevant to this blog.

Please make sure that your comments are 1) relevant and 2) respectful (i.e. no cuss words, attacks on individuals).

Popular posts from this blog

Movie theater triggers

Summer always has a special feeling in the air. In St. Petersburg, of course, it stays light until close to midnight nowadays.

David's workshops are over, so he is on "vacation," resting from all his hard work. ;)

Andrei's workload fluctuates. Lately we've been having guests several times a week, so it feels busy even though Andrei is working fewer days. And the summer will probably fly by!

Since Saturdays are free now, Andrei and David (almost 6) went to the movies this weekend. And they let ME come, too! My in-laws stayed home with Sophia (almost 2). We don't often do this type of configuration because David is so attached to his grandparents. But he was okay with leaving with us as long as he knew he could play with them afterwards.

It was my first time in a movie theater since The Fire at Kemerovo a few months ago. I wouldn't really say I was nervous, just more aware. Probably the way Americans might have felt after the Aurora shooting. I looked arou…


Have you ever just assumed you weren't eligible for something, crossed it off your list? I know that I do it. I'm too young, weak, busy, clumsy, single, etc...

I was helping with a program to aid local Christian families in becoming foster parents. I didn't have professional training and my Russian wasn't great for dealing with bureaucrats, but I could offer some encouragement and help with spreading the word.

A single woman at a local church was interested in finding out more and going through our training program. I took a packet of information, and prepared to meet with her.

When we met up at her workplace, I was surprised to see that she was about my age...just a working single girl, trying to make ends meet like everybody else.
read more/-

I had met so many people who "wanted" to help but were struggling financially; living in cramped quarters; unsure of themselves...or, who simply weren't winning favor with officials, for whatever reason.

At the sam…

Bureaucracy Update: Roadblocks

My children are 7 1/2 and 3 1/2 and have lived in Russia all their lives on guest visas! They were born in the U.S. and only have U.S. citizenship.

Last fall, the government passed some new laws allowing foreign minors to apply directly for permanent residency on the basis of one parent already having permanent residency. That's us!

As soon as the law came into effect, we began to make preparations to start the application process. From my last few posts about this, you can see how the individual documents can be difficult to get.

One of the things we were advised to do was to switch the kids' registration to our flat instead of Andrei's parents.' Everyone living in the Russian Federation has to have an official address where they're registered, which might not be the place where they actually's confusing. Currently I'm the only one registered in our flat.

We were going to switch the registration to my name, but that was going to be a complicated…