Monday, April 30, 2012

Little Navy Dress Worn to Work for the First Time.

This Little Navy Dress... that looks like something any of the Kardashian Sisters would wear, was a (early January) 2012 purchase. I gifted myself 4 new dresses and some accessories from T Box when I got my job (here in Albania). This dress was part of that purchase. It is very structured, modern and classic at the same time. Sexy and simple. I love the sleeves and the exposed zipper on the back. I also love the ponte material which washes easily and doesn't wrinkle much. As a matter of fact, I got one in a dark red too. However the red one I had to get a bigger size because sizes S were sold out. So that one still has the tags and hangs in my closet. It needs to make a trip to the seamstress. I might add pockets to that one and maybe alter the syle a tiny bit. Though I love multiples and if there is something I like and must have, I might own it in 2, 3, 4 or even 5 different colors or patterns. As you can tell I had fun the day I wore this dress cause I sure as heck took a lot of photos. =D

But anyway I have always wanted a dress like this. Bebe has come up with several similar ones designed by Kim Kardashian. BCBG had some similar ones as well. As did Armani Exchange. I actually own a similar structured dress (like this) from Armani X. I needed a little Navy number in my closet however and this was perfect. Plus I went nuts at the store that day because they had a buy one get one free sale so I got four dresses for the price of 2. =) Speaking of T Box: it is an European company which originates from Turkey and they have branched it out all over Europe. So far, I like what they have there. The prices are not too high, I would say they are medium-priced for the quality and for the styles they sell. But I am not one to ever pay full price on clothing anyway. This dress has become a favorite I have added to my closet and to my own dress collection. I plan on wearing it completely differently next time it makes an appearance at my blog.

And speaking of dresses: I am challenging myself to wear A DRESS, EVERY DAY THIS WEEK! I am doing this to 1) celebrate Spring because it is finally here (and I think it's here to stay this time); 2) I have a ton of dresses and need to wear them more often; & 3) because this is quite a special week as I celebrate the day and date I was born. So I am treating myself to dresses for this week. I am wearing a pretty floral dress by Roberto Cavalli today so I think I am starting off in a good way. ;-)

Little Navy Ponte "Sheath" Dress: T Box.
Cognac, Cloth, Woven Belt w/ Patent Leather Bow (Off the Side): T Box.
Mini Sea Pearl, Stud Earrings: Fred's Jewelry.
Silver Chain Necklace Featuring a "Grape Pendant"  w/ Fake White Pearls & Silver Rhinestones: Fred's Jewelry.
Gold Pearl, Stretchy Bracelet (on my Left Hand): Express.
Black Tights w/ a Large Diamond-Shape Silver Design (Threaded): Pompea.
Black Suede Booties: Worthington (JC Penneys.)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Black Popped with some Orange...

Hi Girlies. It is Sunday Evening, almost 9.00 PM and I thought I'd share another "cold weather, warm layers" outfit for you this Sunday. Once again this was not worn to work but rather on my days outside of work, to run errands and to have a drink or cup of coffee with a girlfriend. I just want you guys to notice that the orange in my sweater does match the blanket over our bed, doesn't it? LOL One more thing I wanted to say is that this Little Black Blazer is my favorite Black Blazer (I think =P). It is cute, feminine, versatile, light-weight yet thick enough to carry on for all 4 different seasons. =) And with that said, I am keeping this short and sweet as I am about to make a quick little dinner for hubby and I and then I will curl up to my bed since it has been an exchausting week. Hopefully next week will be better and sweeter. It is My Birthday Week after all!!
Black Blazer w/ Belt: White House Black Market.
Scoop-Neck, Light, Orange Sweater: The Limited.
Black Stretchy Nylon Camisole w/ Lace Trim (Peeking from Under the Sweeater): White House Black Market.
Thick, Black Leggings: White House Black Market.
Circle, Black, Jet Crystal Necklace: White House Black Market.
Black, Circle, Glass Jet Crystal Earrings: White House Black Market.
Black Headband with Tulle Rosette: The Limited.
Over-the-Knee, Tall, Foldover, Taupe Boots: Simple Shoes.

Black and Gray, On a Rainy...

Well Hello there: Good Morning, how are you? I am happy to report that I woke up in our new home, in our new bed, this morning. Yes, we bought a new bed. We needed too. Ours was on its last lifeline =P. It was just a matter of time. And speaking of things we need for our new place - there are a ton: lighting fixtures, a dinning room table set, a coffee table, some pictures, art and frames, etc. etc. We really want to be able to call this place A HOME. It will slowly but surely get there. I really need to cut my personal shopping and purchase home goods instead. I love shopping for home stuff after all. But I still think I like shopping for personal clothes, a tad more.

So my first night of sleep in the new house, was not that good. But this had nothing to do with the fact that we changed places or that we have a new bed. Our new bed is quite comfy actually. It has to do with my headaches. I suffer from migraines and last night after we got together for some drinks to celebrate our new place, with another couple (friends of ours), a slight headache started bothering me. Usually after I eat something, it gets better, it may even go away. I was starving so on our way home we stopped to a local family restaurant where they cook fast and good for a couple of things I was craving. After I had their rice pilaf and some gyro meatballs (it's their specialty) and their greek salad, I thought my headache would wear off. However I woke up around 4.00 AM with a much bigger headache. The bad thing is that we only just moved our things yesterday so I have no idea where all our medicine and a lot of other things are yet. They are still in bags and boxes - but don't know which bags per say. So I couldn't take an Excedrin or something. I Facebook-ed for a little and went back to bed. I had to wake up at 6.30 AM to get ready for work. It sucks that I start work early and now I am even further from the bus station than with the old house. =( But the good thing is, after taking something I had in my purse in the morning and eating a Briosh for Breakfast (it was yummy, made this morning from a local bakery, filled with some smooth chocolate inside), I am now headache-free and at work, blogging away. LOL

But yeah yesterday we accomplished a lot. We moved all of our furniture and belongings and I was even able to put a bunch of them in their places, yesterday. We still have the keys to the old apartment where there are still some dishes and kitchen-ware we need to bring home. Unfortunately I will be at work all day today but I have my Mother-in-Law to thank since she will help out a lot today. I can't blame my head for getting a headache yesterday since it was an exhausting day and it felt even more so because it was hot. After having a super rainy, chilly, dreary April, since Friday (two days ago) the weather turned from 8 to 28 degrees Celsius and I can happily report that Spring is here. Anyway, I feel so accomplished this week. Yes, I am tired, beat, restless and on very little sleep, but I worked my butt off to make this move smooth and pain-free and it pretty much was. =)

Below I present you an outfit I have worn during a weekend off from work, on a day we went out for drinks with another couple (friends of ours). Yep it was raining and cold as these photos attest. After some hot chocolate and coffee (we had with our friends) my husband and I stopped by my favorite French Cafe where we had some desserts as a nightcap. =) I love the first two photos (below).
Here is an up-close photo of the two of us (before I cut off 3 inches of hair). My husband looks so cute here. Loving his smile. =)
Merino-Wool, Long Cardigan w/ Front Pockets on Each Side: White House Black Market.
Black, Nylon Stretch, Scoopneck T-Shirt: White House Black Market.
Stretchy Silver, Oval-Linked Bracelet (Right Hand): The Limited.
Soft & Cozy, Knitted Acrylic/Wool Cap + Matching Scarf': Boutique "Limoni" (in Tirana).
Ponte, Thick, Black Leggings: White House Black Market.
Black, Leather Boots: Impo.
Black Leather Handbag: H&M.
Black Umbrella: My Husband's.
Black Puffy Coat w/ Hood: T Box.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Same Brown Pants with Pretty Tops & Cardigans.

Hi Girlies. I just finished posting a questionnaire type of post for FRIEND FRIDAY. I have found these Blog Questions online, so I have decided to answer some of them weekly, on Fridays. Every week there is a new topic that is always somehow connected to a Blog, styles of writing a blog, outfits, fashion, style, etc. I feel so accomplished today as I had my regular work day, came home, made myself something to eat, did a ton of packing so we can be ready tomorrow for our movers. They will be by my door at 9.00 AM sharp. I plan on being up by 7.00 AM since I still have to empty away some cupboards and drawers in my kitchen as well as unpack my bathroom. But rather than that, everything is put away in boxes, bags and luggage. And I will be honest about it you guys: it didn't take me long at all. I guess packing and unpacking a gazillion times, before I made my move from US has its advantages. I wasn't so OCD about packing this time as everything will get unpacked within the next two weeks so no big deal. As long as we don't forget anything and we don't pack any unnecessary junk. So all this packing business was a piece of cake. However I am sure it will take much longer, much more detailing and analyzing everything as I unpack them and put everything where it belongs, once we are at our new home.

So that's new on my front and in my life. But anyway, this is an outfit post and I present you not one but two outfits, that I have worn to work sometime this Winter. These brown pants from The Limited are my most favorite and most-worn dressy pants (for work) from this past Winter. The material is some type of blended cotton, a little textured, thick enough but not too thick, not itchy, in a flare style towards the bottom. Actually they are not that plain either since they feature pinstripes (brown on brown) so that gives these pants some texture and pattern. I actually love pants from The Limited. They have been known for their pants for at least a decade and a half or so. So if you have never shopped for their pants, I suggest you try them out. "Drew" (like this pair) is their most popular style and the one that flatters most bodies. But I also own some "Cassidy" and some "Lexie" ones. Just give them a try! =)

 OUTFIT NUMERO UNO (Worn to Work).
Brown, Wide-Legged, "Drew" Style Pants: The Limited. 
Lace, See-Through, Floral, Taupe Tee: The Limited.
Taupe Cardigan: Piazza Italia.
Basic Black Camisole (Under the Lace Top): White House Black Market.
Black Patent Leather Skinny Headband Featuring an Ivory Bow: The Limited.

Brown, Patent Leather & Faux Suede, Oxford Shoes: Simple Shoes.

 OUTFIT NUMERO DUO (Worn to Work).
Brown, Wide-Legged, "Drew" Style Pants: The Limited.
 Tomato-Red, Soft Cotton Tee: The Limited.
Leopard-Print, 3/4 Sleeve Cardigan: White House Black Market.
Silver Chain Necklace w/ Circle Black Stone: Fred's Jewelry.
Silver, Sparkly, Globe Drop Earrings: Fred's Jewelry.
Gold Pearl, Stretchy Bracelet: Express.
Brown, Patent Leather & Faux Suede, Oxford Shoes: Simple Shoes.

Friend Friday: Body Image.

Friend Friday: Body Image.

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?
Not really. My body is what it is. My face is what it is. Sometimes, like most girls I don't like myself in the morning when I wake up or after a super long and tiresome day. However in general, I have always had and kept a positive body image about myself. And I don't mean just physically. I think I am quite stylish, plus it helps that people in my life and even outsiders think so. =) I have been nick-named FASHION PLATE since over a decade ago when I finished high school and started college. I think that's when my sense of self and sense of style truly started developing and emerging, as well. So yes overall I feel positive about myself, physically and about the way I dress myself and how I present myself to the world!! =)

2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?
At times I am self-conscious about days when I feel bloated or fat, or when I am extremely tired or stressed and it shows physically. We all have our "I feel and look Gorgeous Days" as well as those "I feel and look like Crap days". I usually wear a size small, sometimes a size XS and other times a Medium. I am at a healthy weight as far as my age and height are concerned. I am not underweight and I am not overweight. My body has a little fat on it (perhaps in some parts I would like for it to be slimmer). My stomach could be a little flatter and my body overall could be more toned. However, the way my body and my metabolism is, I haven't built a lot of muscle and I can't build muscle even if I tried or went to the gym for several hours daily. One thing I am a little self-conscious about is my nose. I don't like it. It is big, though in the right shape. I was also born with a birthmark on the right side of my nose and sometimes I feel like my nose looks bigger because of it. I don't like most of my up-close photos from a profile side view. But I have grown to accept that it is a part of me and I have grown to like it - meaning, it is what it is, I wouldn't change it. Also, I have had a life-long bad habit of biting my nails. I love beautiful, strong, healthy, long nails. My solution would be to start wearing fake nails till my own start growing and getting stronger. I am probably going to start wearing fake nails, after I am done with doing most of the work that needs to get done at our new home, so probably towards the end of May I will start wearing fake nails and see the difference. They will make me feel more confident for sure. =) 

3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?
Overall I feel great. I work a ton. I put in 50+ hours at work and have to walk and take the bus for close to an hour each way, every day. I think all this walking business in Europe has helped me feel better, healthier and stronger, plus I am outside. Usually I feel like being outdoors is better for one's body in general. After all we all need Mother Nature. We have plans to start a family this year and we will try this summer. I would like nothing more than to be pregnant before Autumn starts and hopefully this will happen. I am 1000% my body and my body image will change 180 degrees once that will happen. But I welcome it and I am sure I would enjoy the pregnancy (despite its challenges) and having a round, growing belly for many months in a row. Wish Us LUCK in this area because we are working on it. We are both super excited to start this journey of our lives, together. =) So hopefully this (a healthy pregnancy) is going to happen sometime between June and September 2012. We hope to get pregnant between these months. Also, I plan on starting to take a daily multi-vitamin or prenatal vitamins as early as May. I am sure these multi-vitamins will be more vital to my overall health and therefore to my body image. 

4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you're having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?
Yes I photograph myself for the blog. I take several photos almost daily. I enjoy the experience while I do so. I am usually quick when I take my photos, since it is usually a 5-minute session at work (in my office) but I manage to take between 5-15 photos and at least 5 of them capture my outfit the way it is, as well as details such as jewelry, makeup or the way my tights are (plain, patterned, dark, brightly-colored, etc). I usually enjoy those 5 minutes of ME TIME and Fashion Time. Sometime I feel silly posing, smiling, staring on a particular angle or looking a certain way but I have never "been caught" at work so far, while doing my shots. Sometimes my husband takes my photos before we go out somewhere. These sessions are usually shorter than 5 minutes as he hates pics like most guys, so his patience wears off after 8 photos max. LOL 

5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to take to heart?
I want them to know that no one is perfect. Even movie stars, supermodels, Hollywood stars or Rock stars ARE NOT Perfect. Even those VIPs and Magazine Cover Stars feel at their lowest sometimes. Even they have Body Image problems. No one is perfect including you or I. Be as real as you are. Dress for yourself. Follow a certain diet or exercise regime because it makes you feel good. Don't let anyone else advise you to do so or push you towards something you don't really feel like doing, anyways. The more yourself you are, the more you will shine in your blog photos or any photos for that matter. The more confident and brave you will look and feel. No Photoshop program in the world can or should hide the real, true you. So Shine!! We are all beautiful and imperfect in our own ways, therefore we should embrace ourselves with all our physical flaws and physical traits. =)


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wool and Pastels.

Hi Girls, did you miss me? I don't even know where to start?! I plan on doing a big Brain Dump today.

Yesterday I didn't post "Wonderful Wednesday". First off my wednesday wasn't wonderful and secondly even-though I wanted to post an OOTD anyway, I was going to accompany it with this brain dump I am doing today. By the time my day ended (what a long and emotional day I had too), I was poopped and didn't feel like blogging or writing at all. I caught up on a little "Gossip Girl" and to bed I went.

So as I may have mentioned in an earlier blog, we are moving this week. Let me explain. =) You girls know that in November of last year I made the huge move and took a risky leap of faith to leave United States for Albania. At the time we rented a tiny, old, fixer-upper type of apartment. We knew once spring or summer would kick in we would start looking at a nicer, better, newer or new apartment. See, I live in Tirana, which is the most populated city of Albania. There aren't many houses, at least not in the city, lots in the suburbs yeah but due to life here and my husband's family close to us, we need to stay in the city, quite close to the down-town area (which is also very expensive). So, just two short weeks ago we started talking again about needing a new place to move to and a new place to call our home, that we would furnish and decorate to our liking (one month at a time because money doesn't grow on trees, plus we both work a ton). My mother-in-law had just heard about a nice, spacious loft apartment at the same exact building where they live. Yes this apartment was now vacant and ready to be lived in. It just needed a young couple to come see it and fall in love with it. (Enter my husband and I). Long story short - we got the apartment. It was very quick, very soon, very fast and we were NOT prepared at all to move. We are moving a few things here and there yesterday, today & tomorrow and will move all of our furniture in, on Saturday. Today, after work I plan on wiping and washing the floors and swiping off the dust before we move everything in by Saturday. So as you can tell I got my hands full with A TON of house-work, moving stuff, packing away, cleaning not one but two places (cause we've got to leave our old place nice and clean for our landlord), while still working a full 60-hours-a-week schedule.

As you can imagine my stress level has gone to the max. I go to bed kind of late and have to wake up super early to get ready for work and go to work by 8.00 AM. I didn't take my photos Tuesday or yesterday - Wednesday. Tuesday's outfit was something thrown super quickly, since I doozed off after my alarm clock and made it to work in the nick of time. I still looked office-appropriate and presentable but my outfit was kind of plain and boring. Yesterday I had on a cute outfit actually and for the first time this year I wore a vest (I have several vests but don't wear them often at all for some reason - I guess it's because I forget they are in my closet). The outfit was sassy and a little masculine, but my wavy long hair, very little makeup and cute crystal earrings definitely made it a lot more feminine. However at my job (where I usually take my OOTD Photos) it was neither time nor place for pictures yesterday. I will wear that outfit again so you will see it, once for your liking. =) Then on my way home, to cheer myself up, I managed to 'conviniently' enter into one of my favorite custom jewelry boutiques in Albania and wanted to buy myself a new necklace or two. But I couldn't stop at two, I actually got 4 necklaces and 2 bracelets with me, however I didn't feel so bad because they were a total of $30. The owner of the boutique usually gives me 20-30% OFF since I am a regular customer. =) Which this also means I broke my shopping ban for this month. However, truth be told - I broke that ban almost two weeks ago. But I haven't spent a ton, since I have only bought a few new things this month and they were all accessories and some shoes (no clothes) if that counts. LOL

After this little jewelry shopping adventure, I went home, had a cup coffee with my man at our local Cafe, went inside our place for an early dinner, washed the dishes, did some packing and afterwards we went to take some of our stuff at our new place. On our way back home, as tired as I was, my husband managed to make me mad over something small and stupid. My bad mood combined with my stress (particularly about this move), the rush of things and piled on top of my feelings about how much I miss my parents and my brother who live in USA (esp. my mom) made for a Cranky Ada. So I ended my Wednesday with 2 thumbs down, unfortunately. =(

However today is A NEW DAY and probably the prettiest, warmest day we have had all April. The sun is out, it is pretty warm, I am wearing bright colors and a pretty outfit. Below, I present you an outfit I have worn last month to work. You guys know I didn't have a working laptop for close to two months. I took my photos daily over those two months and so many OOTDs have piled up. I will try to post all of them time after time, or at least the ones blog-worthy. For now I leave you with this cute wool dress which I couldn't resist purchasing. It is a wool-blended material featuring beautiful pastel-colored tulle flowers, that look very architectural and 3D. Truth be told this dress is a size Medium and a little big and baggy on me. I might have to take it to the seamstress. The loophole around my arms is huge, but I think worn with a tee or turtleneck underneath it doesn't look as big. I still had to have the dress because I think it is truly beautiful and unique (plus marked for 70% OFF), the photos don't do it justice. =) This was my first time wearing it and I have worn it twice thus far. Hope you like it.

You All Enjoy this Thursday!!

Off-White, Wool Dress w/ Pastel Tulle Roses & Embroided Green Leaves: Madison Avenue.
Lemony-Lime, Light, Stretchy Cotton Turtleneck: T Box.
Multi-Colored, Beaded, Crystal Necklace: Fred's Jewelry.
Charcoal Gray, Zig-Zag Herringbone Tights: Lauma.
Dark Purple, Faux Suede, Silver-T-Strap Mary Jane Wedges: Old Navy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sassy Royal Blue + Purple.

It is 11.00 o'clock PM, I am extremely tired, I am hungry, it has been a looooongggg day and I have an outfit to post so this will be super-quick. There will be a lengthy blog, tomorrow. =) So here is one of my favorite sweater dresses (a new purchase of late) featuring cool, wide stripes that look like a lace inprint. I mixed a little here by doing two jewel colors (royal blue & purple) and two different prints (stripes & floral). I love the results. I must say this is quite a sassy look.

Royal Blue Sweater Dress w/ Lace-Printed Black Stripes: London Girl Boutique.
Lavender, Taupe, Brown & Beige, Printed Triangle Pom-Pom Scarf w/ Small Flowers: Purchased in Greece.
Purple Tights: The Limited.
Black Suede Booties: Worthington (JC Penney).