Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Thursday Moda #198: Outerwear - Paying Attention to the Details.

Good Morning you all. I have been MIA and have been so busy. Story of my life lol! But how is it half-way through January yet?! We will blink and soon say "How is it half-way through 2020, already?" Our weather has been all over the place: snowy, ice, hale, sun, rain, terrible winds, frozen rain, clear skies. You name it, we have experienced it weather-wise this month. Honestly the day I wore this which was last Sunday, I am shocked my hat was staying put because it was so darn windy. Today, this Wednesday Jan 15th is National Hat Day and this post I planned to write is perfect for it, because I am a hat lady and I like a good floppy hat or felt hat for Winter and a good fedora or big summery floppy hat for the warm hazy days of Summer. This post is all about being warm+cozy yet staying warm and stylish in your outerwear and Winter accessories while paying attention to the details like: adding a pop of color, matching with your little one, putting on cute shoes or other accessories like hats and scarves as you brave the cold.

Sharing some outerwear and two of our coats Vivian and I have been wearing this Winter. Mine is the Black+White+Gray Plaid Wrap Coat from Target that I purchased last year and have already worn over a dozen of times between last year and this year. I usually size up in coats but wish I would have kept my regular size Small in this. My light brown hat is also Target, wish you could see the floral embroidery on the floppy part. Sweet Vivian is wearing what I call her "Starry Night Galaxy" Puffer Coat by Gap Kids. It is the lightest, most comfortable coat, yet so warm and cozy, this is the second year she has been wearing it. I love Gap for baby, toddler and kids clothes. The quality is awesome! She is wearing leopard leggings by Wal-Mart (I own identical ones) perfectly matched with her golden/tan faux suede boots by Target. The velvet burgundy headband with the sparkly crystals is new by Francesca's. I love that we get to share together a lot of our headbands and hair accessories. I snapped some photos in full of sweet Vivian and should have had her take a couple of me, but it's OK, you can still see my outfit. I am wearing my dark indigo wash jeans by LOFT which have a tuxedo strip down the side which is in a burgundy velvet material and they look so cute with my black+tan booties (they are from the kid's line Cat+Jack by Target) that have black+red laces and are colorblocked with some red+black buffalo checkered material on the top part. We wore these outfits last Sunday, when we delivered our last Christmas present for this season (and visited my cousin). As someone who is horrible at wrapping presents, I did a great job wrapping this one, using tulle and ribbon. What do you think? 

Like I mentioned, when wearing outerwear, it is important to pay attention to the details and don't forego the makeup or a pretty lipstick if you can. I love how my dark blue jeans matches Vivian's coat and all the pops of red/burgundy, too. I mean Vivian's headband matches the tuxedo strips of my jeans perfectly. They are both in a burgundy velvet material! What do you think?! I am linking up my identical jeans from Loft. They have several jeans right now with a side tuxedo strip which I love. I linked several other similar jeans, coats, earrings, hats and boots. Ditto for Vivian's pieces. Loving all the beautiful tuxedo-style jeans I found and linked for you, on the widget below. I am particularly adoring all the coats I found that are similar to ours. Target has a similar, dressier black+white coat right now and I love the Calvin Klein one and the red buffalo print one. The red buffalo print boots are gorgeous too and would match those red buffalo print booties, perfectly!

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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Thursday Moda #197: Holiday Vibes in Red, Burgundy and White.

Good Morning to you all?! Can you believe we are already one week through January (I typed December at first lol). I for one cannot believe that. I need to start using/writing in my new awesome planner/pretty journal. I don't know if you knew, but you are supposed to keep up your Christmas tree and decorations until January 6th and take it off on the 6th or after. As I am typing this, all of my decorated trees (all 4 of them) are still up and so are the wreaths and stockings, but all the other decorations are down thank God and that alone took a while even though it was easy to take those off, wrap them and box them up. Anyway we are still on the holiday mood here so I bring you some holiday vibes via both of our outfits in red and white, and some chic Parisian whites via my pretty, classic, white blouse with that oh-so-elegant and totally-chic little skinny black bow.

When one thinks of the December Holidays, the first two colors they think of are red and green. Of course silver and gold too since these metallics are always festive and they sparkle! Another color to think of for the holidays is white and Winter White which I think my blouse is both. It is in a very well-made light chiffon material and slightly see-through. I happened to wear this outfit to church so I put a camisole underneath but you can totally just do a bra. For a fun date night I would wear it with a black bra underneath and black faux leather pants or black coated jeans and some fun high heels. This classic+classy white blouse (with a touch of black) is a blank canvas though so you could pair it with anything and everything both on the bottom and on top by layering. I wrote and posted more about it on my latest Istagram post also. This sophisticated, chic, classy white blouse with the skinny black bow has French vibes for sure, especially the way I paired it with this burgundy/maroon tweed mini skirt, the grey semi-opaque tights with black polka dots and black faux suede oxford wedge booties (by Target). I went bold with the jewelry a little and wore some fun circle statement earrings that have crystals in the middle and are frayed on the outside, they are in a bright magenta/fuchsia color and the earrings as well as the blouse, skirt and tights are all by Loft (no shocker there since it is one of my top 3 favorite stores where I shop)! Sweet Vivian wore a burgundy floral print dress, I love that the flowers look between snowflakes and poinsettias. I tied a beautiful silky red ribbon into a bow-tie in the front of her dress to make it even prettier and more festive and I pinned two little festive brooches to her white turtleneck - however the red poinsettia is not even a brooch but one of my earrings (from Loft). Kept it fun, sporty, cool and sparkly for Vivian with her footwear - she wore her rose gold big bow sneakers! I think these two outfits, were two of my favorite holiday outfits Vivian and I wore this past December. What do you think?!

The linkup was very light last week due to it being New Year's but I still want to thank ALL of you from the bottom of my heart for joining my linkup, though I have not been the best blogger. You liked my first outfit I blogged for 2020 very much with my black mini skirt, the sleeveless white printed blouse and the gold/mustard velvet blazer. You loved reading my post (and it was long) and all I had to say about life, this new year, and my PERSPECTIVE for 2020. I noticed with my 6 favorite looks that I am featuring this week, 3 ladies' names start with "L", 2 names start with "C", 5 of the ladies have the "L" letter on their names and ALL of them are blondes. Most looks are dressy and New Year's Eve festive but two of them are casual yet still very fun and modern. Loving all these monochromatic looks the ladies shared.

Had to start off with Linda, my lovely Canadian friend who asked 'Dressing Up for New Year's?' She showed one of her dressiest looks in a champagne-golden maxi complete with bold black jewelry+accessories and a fun side braid. Read her post to read about her plans for 2020 and join her linkup today also, and every Thursday!
No one wears dressy trousers like Laurie does. 'For New Year's Eve' she dressed up black wide-leg pants with a fitted brocade black+white jacket, a classic white turtleneck and a fabulous black clutch.
In distressed denim, a simple white sweatshirt, an awesome black puffer coat and her 'Favorite Winter Boots' ,Elyse wished us  well for the new year looking like the cool, trendy, modern and casual yet put-together mom that she is.
My fabulously-dressed Californian girl Cheryl killed it fashion-wise, last year. In the post she linked, Cheryl shares 'The Best of 2019' and I died over her red leopard midi dress which looks lovely with a little black leather moto jacket. Also, those bow pumps are modern and oh-so-chic!
Laura is a girl after my own heart cause I love white, ivory, cream and Winter White sweaters for Winter. Hers is a 'Winter Outfit Inspiration from Just Fashion Now' complete with one of those very on-trend and cute headbands.
My friend Carrie who co-hosts a great linkup every Thursday, wore a 'Sparkly and Shimmery Top for NYE' looking elegant and classy in all black with her liquid leggings and classic black pumps. Love it head to toe - need to recreate!


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Saturday, January 4, 2020

Currently, January 2020.

We are reaching the end of the first week of January, yep just as fast as that. Let's do a currently post, shall we?!

resolving: To be more Positive. In my nature I am very much a realist and sometimes that tends to make me negative, even-though I am light-spirited and laugh about most things afterwards, even the bad ones. I get caught up in the small every day things that can piss me off for a moment or for a little bit and sometimes I don't see the whole picture or I don't take the time to appreciate the whole picture. Life is too short to be negative. And honestly, despite everything my life is pretty damn good even-though it is not all roses, candles and peonies - so to speak. lol.

reading: That is my goal this year, to read as many books as possible. Honestly, it is easier said than done because I feel like I don't have a lot of time. However I can dedicate myself to reading more books as opposed to seeing or doing lots of Insta stories. I want to take more "me time" and read a book while I drink some coffee or tea. I want do to that more now during Winter, while the days are still short and the nights are long. Plus it is cold so we don't spend as much time out - the perfect time to read a book or a few! As a matter of fact I am also doing a book challenge this year. Every month there is a 'theme' for a book to read and January's theme is to read a book with a color as one of words in the title. Doing some GOOGLE search on that, but I think the book I will most likely choose is "White Gardenia". Now this is a challenge on its own because it's around 500 pages which is a lot and January is quite a busy month for me, with Vivian's birthday next weekend, also. Read below about the challenge. 

cleaning: Everywhere and everything, really. There is so much I want to clean and de-clutter. I want to start with putting away all the Christmas ornaments and decorations in the right place, put them all into plastic boxes by color, label each box and put them neatly and all in one area, in the basement. Then I want to clean, organize, reduce, purge and de-clutter all of the rooms upstairs and all of the closets. It will all start this January. My goal is to do some by some each week, a little at a time and utilize any free evenings or days I might have.

creating: and planning: lists, ideas, and utilizing boxes of my journals in order to be more mindful of my goals and do well with my goals, ideas and plans for the new year. In other terms of creating: I want to create more poems and poetry, more blog posts, more fun artsy and creative things, when it comes to time spent with Vivian, time spent with friends and family, time spent alone, vacations and such. I want to write down ideas, plans, dates, events, ideas for my blog posts and Instagram content and all that. I think all of this will keep me more organized and more responsible. Creating in addition to cleaning and planning will make this year a little less disorganized and more clutter-free. I want to plan ahead more - this will definitely make for a better, less stressful 2020. At least I hope so.

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Thursday Moda #196: Perspective.

There has been days since I thought about writing this post and started to write this post for that matter. I thought - since the moment we started putting our Christmas decorations on and lighting up those special lights that brighten up the season, since mid November or so -  about 2019 and the year that was ending. These last few weeks, not just me, but all of us couldn't help but think about 2019 and the year that was about to end, the year that we would leave behind. Or is it just me?! Truth be told, this month of December has gotten away from me, just like the rest of 2019 it seems. Where did 2019 go?! How was it so fast and furious, so busy and time-consuming?! I have been very very absent on this blog during this year. CLEARLY! That was not my intention at all. But it happened. It happened cause life happens! And my life has been so busy this year, working hard, trying to be the best mother I can be, working hard to become a better person and a better version of me. And of course other everyday things "get in the way" like eating, sleeping, applying makeup and having some me time whenever I can, being included in Vivian's school life, making sure she does homework, reads, take baths, doesn't spend all of her free time behind a computer screen, etc, etc. Life has been busy and as much as I have wanted or tried to I could not keep up with the blog, because let's face it: it takes a lot of time. So much goes into a post and not just the writing. The photos - taking them, retaking them at times, editing, cropping, inserting them on the post, choosing the right ones; the writing - putting the post together, using the right words, facing writer's block at times, not being too wordy or too short, editing what I wrote, using proper grammar and spelling. Promoting the post, talking about it on Instagram, Insta stories, Facebook or other social media, catching up with other bloggers, promoting the link-up I run every Thursday, commenting, reading other posts, following you and other bloggers on Instagram, joining linkups, liking+commenting+following your posts on Instagram - you name it. It all takes a lot of time and effort if I am being honest.

...So, life happened. I am a human. We are all human beings and sometimes you got to let go of things that make life more hectic. For example, instead of going without sleep or not spending time with Vivian, I decided to blog less and even skip a few Thursday Moda linkups when I was not feeling good or I was sleepy and exhausted. Because it's not worth it. This blog in general brings me joy and has been my biggest hobby for the past 7 years, but this year I would be lying if I told you I had a lot of time for it, because I did not. I usually try to pour my heart into every post and every poetry I write and I publish. I put effort into these posts just like I do in my poems and poetry, in my outfits, my everyday life, my life as a mom, etc. etc. But when something doesn't bring you joy, you should stop doing it or change it! So, instead of sacrificing those super important things that make up our every day life, I started posting a lot less and making my blog a part-time little joy in my life, instead of thinking of it as a burden. I figured if I loose readers or followers no big deal. If you like me for who I am, you will continue to follow me and read my posts, or if you have stopped stopping by here, you will start again once I get back to a more normal blogging routine. I am the same way: just because it has been many many weeks and months that I rarely stop by your blogs, read your posts or comment them, does not mean that I do not love you all or appreciate you, doesn't mean that I stopped reading altogether or that I will not join your linkups in the near future. But, in 2019 I decided to live life as it came and not worry about datelines, collaborations, working with brands, other bloggers, you name it. Instead I chose to do think without a planner (and I don't mean that as a metaphor, but literally), without a journal, without scheduling ahead posts and such. So what if a lot less people join my Thursday Moda linkup?! It is not a big deal at all. I don't even care if I blogged very few outfits this year and have so many that are photographed and not blogged. I don't care if people noticed that I turned from a full-time blogger to a part-time one. After all this is not my bread and butter, my 9 to 5, what puts food on my table, I don't depend on this blog to live my life. But I cannot slack or cut corners at my real job. I decided to live life to my terms and mine only and ignored e-mails that wanted collaboration after collaboration. Really, who had time for that?!

Because life is about doing things that make you happy. And - I never shared this with you before on this blog - but my two words for 2019 were "Radiate" and "Happier". I used these words as hashtags a lot in my Instagram posts, too. I chose these words for so many reasons and I definitely see a connection between the two. You cannot radiate without being happy. But I chose "happier" instead of "happy" because I wanted 2019 to be happier than 2018 and of course we all want that for every year to come, but 2018 was a very sad, brutal and heart-breaking year for me because my husband and I decided to part ways and it was by far a very tough time in my life followed by this very tough decision. But as we all know, when a door closes - a window opens. So, with 2019 I was hoping to find that little light at the end of the tunnel and personally, in many ways I found it. However - and I have mentioned this several times on the blog and more often on my Instagram - 2019 was a sad year for me personally, filled with a lot of bad news. Albania had a deadly earthquake on November 26th where 51 innocent lives were lost  and it affected me so much, I am a human after all and it was so sad, that is my first home after all. Even sadder because the majority of the victims from this earthquake were members of the same family, in several occasions. Then in December I lost a friend, at the young age of 36 and my heart once again fell in sadness and depression. Just two weeks after that my parents lost a family friend, a great man who was a fantastic father and grandfather. As a matter of fact, we buried him today on New Year's Eve. 2019 was a tough year in some other areas too. I gained a niece and a nephew (God bless them both) but I lost contact with one very special person and my heart is saddened because of it. For these reasons and more 2019 was a tough year, a bitter pill to swallow, a year where I shed so many tears and cried from the depth of my heart. So truth be told, I was ready for 2019 to end and bring light to a new year, a brand-new decade to start and... some perspective! Which brings me to my word for 2020 and that word is "Perspective". What better way to start a new year, and a new decade than with perspective?! Perspective means so many things and I can write entire paragraphs about it. But I will write more about it as the year progresses and touch-base a little bit of it towards the end of each month of this year.

I want to have perspective when it comes to my personal life, my professional life, my life as a mom and a single woman. Perspective about this blog and where I want to take it. Perspective about my outfits. Perspective about my finances. Perspective about my health, my sleep routine, my diet and my 'me time'. Perspective about my hobbies and the things that bring me joy, like reading, writing poetry, keeping a journal where I can write inspiring things, inspiring and encouraging you along the way. Perspective about things that truly matter in life which is not the number of followers you have on your social media channels, it is not the number of likes and comments you get on your Instagram posts, it is not the number of virtual friends you have on Facebook, or it is not the number of name-brand shoes and bags you own. Perspective on spending less, shopping my closet more, trying to be more wary of the environment around me: always recycling, using less and less plastic, shopping second-hand or trying to choose and wear eco-friendly clothing and cruelty-free makeup. Perspective on the choices I make every day, from what I eat, drink, how I sleep, when I shower, how much makeup I use, the creams, lotions, soaps, makeup and shampoos I choose to use, the food I buy at the grocery store, how I spend all the money I so hardly work to make, the books I read, the movies and TV shows I watch, the time I spend or 'waste' on Instagram etc. etc. Perspective on my body, how I treat it, if I walk enough or exercise enough. Perspective and clarity on my mind, how I use my brain. Perspective on my attitude and my mind-set, on not letting the small things get to me and on seeing the bigger picture. Everything needs perspective and I will do my best in this new year to go into that direction. 

...And last but not least, perspective on my family because they are everything to me: close immediate family and my overall extended family. They are my world and I love them all so much, and speaking of family, today's photos and my outfit are taken from December 26th when we celebrated part two of Christmas, with some of my extended family: my uncle, his wife and one their daughters with her own little, beautiful family. I adore the photos of me and my 5 and a half year old niece Noela. Vivian loves her a lot too and considers Noela her favorite cousin.

Pretty Cuties. Little Beauties. Though they look the same age, Vivian is a year and 5 months older than her cousin Noela!
My cousin did a great job decorating for Christmas this year. Both of her trees were gorgeous and very feminine, too. I loved them especially the white and pink-decorated tree!
All the yummy home-made food my aunt had cooked. She made every dish herself and it was all delicious especially the lamb.
I wanted to post these photos today not just because of PERSPECTIVE - my word for 2020, but also because this was hands-down my most favorite outfit I wore this December (on the 26th). As a matter of fact it is dressy and fancy enough to be worn on New Year's Eve if I happened to go out on NY Eve, but I am staying in. Our Christmas day and the day after Christmas, we experienced a high of 60 degrees when it comes to our temperatures in Michigan. The legs were out and all I did is wear a light velvet blazer over a silky sleeveless blouse. Honestly I didn't need anymore clothing. It felt that warm! I paired this wool black mini skirt (by Loft) with a popover white blouse in a festive red leafy print (also by Loft) and layered on top with this golden-mustard collarless blazer (also by Loft). I was pretty much in Loft head to toe because even my stud earrings and my set of gold monogram bangles were by Loft. These semi-opaque tights are in a dark metallic shimmery grey color and they are by Victoria's Secret. The faux suede, block-heel, black, bow sandals and the white genuine leather bag with oversized tassels were by Nordstrom (the bag is Rebecca Minkoff). To keep the look festive and fancy I clipped a crystal hair pin by Forever 21 on my hair and let my hair down. I loved the photos my sweet Vivian took of me in front of our door, before we left. I also happen to love this outfit and my cousin and her family did as well. 

Beautiful Memories with people who mean a lot to me. That's what the holidays are for. No?!

The last post I posted here was two weeks ago, on my previous Thursday Moda where I did a very special Mommy+Me Christmas post with my sweet girl. Thank you all for the compliments you gave us. We appreciate them. From two weeks ago I am featuring my favorite outfits below. I think all of these outfits would be perfect to wear for New Year's Eve, depending on what you are doing or how are you spending it. They vary from super dressy and very sparkly, to polished, fun and cutesy, or casual but festive!

Ashley killed it in a 'Green Snakeskin Boho Dress + Michael Kors Boots'. It is definitely her style: put together, feminine and edgy. I would totally wear something like this for New Year's Eve!
'What to Wear NYE' and beyond would be a fabulous black pencil skirt. Jacqui paired hers with a fitted crystal glowing top and silver clutch.
Always with those classic Chanel vibes, Lizzie wore a LBD with an off-white bow blouse underneath it, complete with a fancy coat and purse, both adorned with pearls. While we look forward to a new year, Lizzie talked about her 'Winter 2019 Bucket List' - very nice.
Ellibelle claims hers is a 'A Fair Isle Sweater I Will Wear All Winter' which yes with cozy blue jeans and warm and comfortable suede black boots, would be perfect for a casual at-home New Year's Eve with friends.
Iris is super fancy in her sparkly silver brocade gown with a 'Classic Blue' background. It looks stunning on her! Looks like Iris will rock classic blue - the IT color of the new year 2020 all year long!
'Getting Dressed Up Is Important to Me' too Shelbee. Another perspective I have for the new year is to dress well and look put-together. Read Shelbee's post to find out why she does, and check out her funky, edgy and girly red+white+black outfit complete with lace-trimmed socks and two ponytails under a beret.

I hope you like my outfit today - the last outfit post of 2019. I wish you all a Fantastic New Year! Happy 2020 and make this decade memorable, beautiful, happy and bright! I hope you find the joy, peace and perspective you are looking for in the new year!! Thank you all for reading my blog today (especially today - this post was loooooong) and through this year. Thank you for joining my linkup and not abandoning me though I feel like I have abandoned you. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!

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