Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Happy Wedding Anniversary to Us & Happy Birthday to Vivian, too!!

Today marks 8 years since I walked down the aisle & married the Man of My Dreams. The 19th is double special for us, especially this June because Our Baby Girl today celebrates 5 months of Birth, as well. After 11 years of knowing each-other: 10 years of dating (2 and a half of which were in long distance -- I flew out to Albania 5 times during these years), 8 years of being married, and the last couple of years of moving from Michigan, USA to Tirana, Albania, we finally have a Beautiful Baby to Bless Our Future. I love you now more than before, My Darling Piro. You are not just My Husband, you are The Father of My Daughter. We made a perfect little Human Being together. Our Love is the reason she is here today. Happy 5-months Princess Vivian. Love us three, love Our Little Family!!

We were both very young (in our early twenties) as you will be able to tell in these photos, when we got married. But we were so In Love and READY. At the time, I was still finishing up my Bachelor(s) Degree while My Husband Piro was working full-time and prior to Our Wedding he was living in Albania and I was living in USA.  Our Wedding took place  in Tirana, Albania. Like most Albanian Weddings it was Large, Lavish & Beautiful. There was enough food to feed another Wedding Party and several different dishes, one after the other. I wanted to incorporate both Albanian & American traditions so we had both, including "Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Something Old & Something New". Albania has many Fun Wedding Traditions too. Of course we didn't include them all (since there are a ton!), but the main ones and some that were characteristic from our Home-towns. And one more thing about Our Wedding, it was a 2-day event. Most Albanian Weddings are 2-3 days long, some as long as 4 or 5 where the Bride especially has many Parties & Dress-Up Events as early as Wednesday. Saturdays but especially Sundays are usually the actual Wedding Day traditionally, in Albania.

Well, here is our Wedding broken down. First, on Friday June 17th we had a Cocktail/Appetizers/Desserts Party for all of Our Families and very Close Friends that we invited at the Wedding (Reception) & all the other not-close Friends & Acquaintances invited to this Party specifically. This Party was on a Friday and I wore the Fuchsia Tulle Gown by Jessica McClintock, sorry I don't have (here with me) any full-length photos to show you the Gown. But I paired it with Rose-topped Strappy, Silk Stilettos in the same color, long Crystal tear-drop Earrings & Necklace and a Baby Breath Headband made from fresh flowers from my Hairdresser. Then, I switched to a White Wedding Gown and I had my Hairdresser arrive to loosen up my curls, switch up the makeup a little bit, and help me change my Jewelry & Hair Piece. Of course, I wore different shoes. They were White, Ankle Lace-up, Closed-Toe Pumps where the Silk Laces had Pearls in them, too. They were Beautiful, but not the most Comfortable of shoes. Then, we took Saturday off to relax and on Sunday June 19th was our actually Wedding Day where we exchanged our Vows on the Balcony of the resort we had our Reception at, overlooking a water-fall, mountains, roses & wild flowers. The place was beautiful for sure. I started the day in my Main Event Gown. I could have taken the Halter Strap off but since all my other 3 Dresses were Strapless, I decided to have this be a Halter Style. I had seen this Gown on a Bridal Magazine in October of 2004 and as soon as it arrived at the store in November, I tried it on, loved it & purchased it. It was so easy picking this out. After countless looks at Bridal Magazines & Catalogs, this is THE ONE that stood out to me. I chose my 'Queen Tiara' for it, a Necklace/Earrings set by David's Bridal & a Swarovksi+Pearls Bracelet My Husband gifted to me on Our Wedding Day when he picked me up. (In Albania, the groom comes to pick up the Bride at her Parents' Home before the actual Wedding). And, for the after-party, I wore a Short Bridal number, my 3rd one from Jessica McClintock, paired with Lucite Heels that had splatters of Silver Crystals on the straps, and of course different Jewelry.

These couple of photos were from Friday Night June 17th, during the first half of Our Party. I am wearing the Fuchsia Ballgown that I mentioned. =)

This was the 2nd Gown I wore on the 1st day of Wedding Celebrations for us, on Friday June 17th. This Beautiful, Strapless Gown with an Asymmetric Ruched Skirt was by Jessica McClintock.

Pictures from the Vow Ceremony on Sunday June 19th 2005 & The Rings. I love the Sepia Photo where the photographer blurred the two of us & focused on My Ring.

The Bridesmaids & I. They were all wearing Flowy, Pastel Gowns, similar but not the same. 2 were purchased at David's Bridal & 2 from Jessica McClintock.

My Bouquet was Cascading Style with White, Pink + Orange Roses, Baby Breaths, Greenery, White Lilies & Flowing White Lace. The Bridesmaids' Bouquets were a mini version of this with 1 of each rose & a lily in the middle. What do you think of the Bouquet?

The Main Event Gown was from a Local Bridal Boutique. It truly was Beautiful. It was Silk Tafetta with Small Flower Embroidery & sewn-in Pearls. I wish it looked half as Pretty photographed, as it actually was.

In these photos I am with My Parents & My Loving (Younger) Brother. I only have one Sibling.

Pictures from the Wedding Reception where Yummy Food, Good Cake, Laughing, Smiling, Awesome Party, Great Dancing & a lot of Fun was enjoyed by Everyone. A lot of Guests changed to more Casual Outfits to enjoy the Party better. In the last photo you see my husband is burning something. That is actually a hand-kerchief & it is considered the Bachelor's Hand-kerchief. The guy is supposed to burn it on his Wedding Day surrounded by Ladies, while he dances. It is one of the Fun Albanian Wedding Traditions.

Our Table, same flowers like the Bouquets. And our Yummy Cake which was also the same colors as the rest of the Wedding. We didn't get to pick this Cake design, however. Since the resort we got married at collaborated with a Bakery and this was part of our Dinner package. But at least they kept our colors & used our custom-made Cake topper. The cake was Black Forest, Red Velvet & with one layer of fruit filler, topped with Vanilla Butter Frosting. And, you may notice the Short Dress - another Jessica McClintock. I switched into this Short, Girly Dress minutes before cutting our cake, past midnight. In this same Dress, I danced to a little Classical number (from "Swan Lake"), a little Wedding Gift/Surprise for my New Hubby.

I hope you enjoyed the Wedding Photos. I apologize for the poor quality but I do not have any in my lap-top here in Albania so these were all scanned. We actually had a Good Photographer and he took some Awesome Pictures but I only had a few at hand with me to scan. Still, you get the idea. It is the first time ever I am sharing My Wedding here on the blog. I Hope you enjoyed it. =)

But before I leave for today, if Piro is reading this I would love to say the following:
Today is a Special day. Memories flowing from June 19th 2005 when I walked down the aisle and married my Best Friend Piro - we were both so young but so in Love and so Blessed. Flash-forward 8 years later and our lives have changed so much. Now we are Parents to a Little Princess. The Most RIGHT thing we have done in our relationship, is Our Daughter, Vivian - She is PERFECT! And Our Beautiful Daughter turns exactly 5 months old today, so I am wishing to all 3 of Us A LIFETIME OF HAPPINESS, JOY, PEACE, HARMONY, GOOD HEALTH AND LOVE LOTS OF LOVE!! May we experience being Grandparents and Great-grandparents one day, Daddy Piro!! Happy June 19th 2013!! Feeling 1000% Blessed!! 

Now, Our Family and Our Hearts are Complete!!

P.S. Linking up with Get Your Pretty On, Rolled Up Pretty and Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins for Friday's Five.

Nice to "Meet and Greet" AGNES.

Today's "Meet and Greet" is Agnes (Agi) that blogs at Vodka Infused Lemonade - a very Creative, Fun Blog Name I must add. Agnes is a full time Mom to her little boy. She is also a full-time baker, making some Gorgeous & Delightful Cakes & Cupcakes. Last but not least, she also works part-time on the weekends, as a Nurse nevertheless. Despite being so busy, she still finds time to always look Pretty, Polished, Casual, Cool & Chic. I must say I can relate to her Style the most, because as Moms we both prefer Simple, Easy Looks like Shorts, Jeans, Crops, Maxis, Girly Tees, Cardigans & Blazers. She loves Necklaces just as much as I do - after all they can dress up & girlify an Outfit. Agnes has a Link-up on Thursdays too, titiled "Tres Chic" - exactly what she is all the time. Agnes has had many Lovely Looks in the last few months since I discovered her Blog - many of which I have featured in my Weekly Series and she always takes time to Thank me, as well. I also did a Mother's Day Special including Agi. Even-though her Blog is already real Popular and she needs little introduction on my part, I am Very Happy to have her be part of this Series. 

Vodka Infused Lemonade
Introduce yourself in 2 sentences. Introduce your blog in 2 sentences.
I'm so excited to be guest blogging today here on Elegance and Mommyhood. My name is Agi and I blog over at Vodka Infused Lemonade. My blog primarily focuses on fashion and motherhood. I am a mother to a toddler boy who keeps me extremely busy. I am a Labour & Delivery Room Nurse, make cakes and cupcakes (Agi's Creations) and blog on the side. As you can see I'm not the type who can sit still for a long time. In a nutshell, I blog about anything and everything that inspires me. I like to include recipes of my favorite dishes, pictures of cupcakes and cakes that I have made and reviews of books that I have enjoyed reading. I also love to share my favorite must-have products. My fashion focuses on outfits that are versatile and that a mom on the go can easily wear. I believe that just because you're a mom, doesn't mean you can't dress nicely.
I also have a weekly link up called Tres-Chic Fashion Thursday Link Up where I feature a few of my favorite posts from the previous week and where bloggers can post their favorite looks. I like the idea of getting to know other bloggers.
Tres Chic Fashion Thursday Link Up
1. Why did you name your blog the way you did? I named my blog Vodka Infused Lemonade after a very difficult week. I posted my status on Facebook as "when life gives you lemons, you make vodka infused lemonade." I had been searching for a blog title for a while and this seemed quite fitting.

2. Why did you start your blog & when did you start it? I started my blog as an outlet for me, a way of expressing myself. It was also a way to find myself again after having my son. I battled a bit of postpartum depression, you can read about it here, and this was a way for me to start doing things for myself. I started my blog last July 13. I can't believe I'm coming up to my one year blog anniversary. Stay tuned, I've got some great giveaways coming the week of July 8.

3. What is your Every day Work Dress Code? I stay at home with my son during the week and on the weekends I work. I am a Labour & Delivery room nurse, so I wear scrubs at work. At home, my go-to outfit comprises of jeans, flats, a simple tee, and a cardigan or blazer over it. Below is a good example of what I would normally wear every day. I like to be comfortable yet stylish. I would definitely describe my style as classic/preppy.
R W & Co. Cobalt Blazer
4. What Colors do you incorporate more in your wardrobe & which ones do you stay away from and why? Since starting to blog, I have definitely branched out more in terms of adding colour to my wardrobe. I use to be a black, navy, white kind of girl, stuck to neutral colours. I've discovered that I enjoy colour and it does a lot for my complexion. I don't stay away from any colours really but I do tend to gravitate towards red and blue.

5. What are some of your favorite accessories & how do you use/wear them? Over the years I've definitely developed quite the taste for jewelry. I feel like no matter what you're wearing, if you add a statement necklace, earrings and some bracelets you can spice up any outfit. I also enjoy wearing scarves and I love my purses. I also enjoy a nice hat. My favorites are the fedora and the cloche hat.

6. What is currently missing from your closet or what do you like to add to your closet & why? I definitely need something floral in my closet, but I don't want to end up looking like a couch. I'm on the hunt for a simple floral blouse. I also wouldn't mind adding some neon to my wardrobe. Again I'm afraid I'll end up looking like someone from the 90's. I would like something simple like neon heels.

7. Do you have a Monthly Budget, if so, how much is it? I don't have a monthly budget. I try as much as possible to buy things when they are on sale. It's not always possible, but I try my best.

8. What are some of your most favorite stores or brands, including shoes? My favorite stores are the Gap, Jacob, RW & Co., J Crew, Stella & Dot, Aldo, Coach, Sephora, Banana Republic. Would love a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, but that is not in the budget.

9. What have you yet not done in your blog but you want to? I would like to have sponsors on my blog and would like to work more with local businesses and do more collaborations with other bloggers. I love doing giveaways.

10. How has your blog grown so far? How many followers do you have? How do you work into growing your blog, Agi? My blog first started with a few followers, then grew to 100 by December and since January it has steadily grown. I have over 1000+ followers between Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin and Twitter. I basically started commenting on other blogs, in January I did a 30x30 challenge and I've done giveaways to help increase followers. I'm also advertising on other blogs to help increase readers.

11. Below include 7-8 different outfits you have worn so far that you have loved & give some quick explanations for each.
Maxi Skirt 
 Love maxi skirts. They are versatile and comfortable making it the perfect skirt for a busy mom on the go. Gap's Boyfriend Jeans 
 This is definitely one of my "momiforms"; my go-to outfit. Love my boyfriend jeans paired with anything really. What I like about this outfit is again it's not only comfortable but fashionable. I love the juxtaposition of the pearls with the boyfriend jeans. I wear these jeans a lot on my blog.
  RW & Co. Cobalt Blazer 
 This outfit is quickly becoming my favorite go-to looks for the Summer. I love the shorts with the blazer. The blazer dresses up the simple tee and pulls the outfit together. Rather than wearing my flats, I added these fabulous wedges which kick things up a notch.
. Black and White
I wore this outfit to see Oprah in January. This sequin polka dot top is one of my favorites. Loving the stripe skirt. This combination of different patterns came to by accident and loved it once I put it together. You can't go wrong with mixing patterns. Keep it simple by staying in the same colour family.
  Gap's Black & White Maxi Dress 
 I'm absolutely loving maxi dresses. I purchased my first one this Spring and I'm loving it. I totally have an affinity for stripes. Love the dress combined with the jean jacket.
  Olive Skinny Jeans 
I love everything about this outfit, the olive pants, the black vest over a simple tee. This pretty much describes my typical outfits.
 I bought this dress years ago and am so happy to have rediscovered it. Love how simple it is and easy to style it is.
I can't get enough of blazers. I wore this outfit to a blogger conference and it was perfect. Comfortable yet stylish. Love the necklace. Adds some sparkle to my outfit. 

12. What is one last thing you want to say to anyone who reads this? I want my blog to show that just because you're a mom, it doesn't mean that you can't dress stylishly. I want women to start feeling pretty about themselves when they get dressed in the morning, rather than just throwing on the first thing that is clean. I don't think enough women feel good about themselves or in the way they dress. It's about time we started feeling pretty about ourselves and felt pretty in what we are wearing.

Thank you so much Ada for allowing me to guest post on your blog.

I would love it if you followed me via: Pinterest/ Facebook/ Bloglovin/ Twitter

P.S. Let me know through the comments if you want to be part of this series where I will have you introduce yourself and your blog through a Guest Post. The questions are the same for everyone. All you got to do is 1) follow my blog and 2) your blog should be fairly new, from 2012 and forth. So if you have been blogging since January 2012 or later, this is a great opportunity for you to showcase your blog and perhaps gain some new readers & followers along the way. If you decide YES, we will talk via E-Mail. Thanks. =)