Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thursday Moda #5 and Colorful Striped Dresses.

Happy Thursday everyone and welcome to the 5th "Thursday Moda" linkup. It has been a month since I started my own linkup and each week there have been over 70 entries so I call that pretty good. I hope the linkup continues to grow and bring in new readers. My goal is that in two weeks from now we reach at least 100 linked posts so please spread the word out there. Also, today I have a fellow mommy blogger guest hosting with me. It is my pleasure to welcome RACHEL from Garay Treasures as my second co-host for this linkup. 

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When Rachel emailed me a photo of her outfit from today's blog post, I was so happy to see her in such a bright stripey dress. I thought how fun it would be for me to style my own bright stripey dress. As a matter of fact, I have thought about wearing this bold colorblocked stripey dress of mine, for at least a couple of weeks now. It is actually one of the very few dresses I packed with me when I came from Albania to Michigan, back in August. So, I wore it on Tuesday to work actually and snapped these photos right before work and even e-mailed Rachel one of my outfit pictures during my lunch break. Thank you Rachel for reminding me to wear my pretty Midi-Style Striped Sweater Dress. You can see Rachel's outfit post in detail here.

What I love about this striped dress is the midi length and the bold wide stripes in a few different colors. You can choose any color from the stripes and highlight it through the rest of your outfit like I did here with the fuchsia by wearing my bold opaque fuchsia tights. But then again there is some blue (the clutch) and some black (the booties) highlighted here as well. I paired my dress with some new accessories I just got from Target less than a week ago. All their bags, shoes and jewelry were BOGO 50% off last week so this girl did a little bit of shopping. I wanted some black open-toe slingback booties for a while. Last year I had admired some Black, Open-Toe, Perforated Booties on SHELLIE from Queen in Between. My pair from Target is almost identical to hers and I love them. Oh and the Faux Fur Jacket is also from Target, got it a month ago for 75% off - I am finally getting around to showing it. Last but not least, I wore the latest jewels from Rocksbox. So this outfit is made up of pieces from Target, Old Navy and Rocksbox - three brands/places I cannot stop buying or renting from, in the last few months. I want to know, do you own a colorful striped dress? How do you wear it for Early Spring?

The Accessories:
Gold+Silver Tone Long Chain Necklace w/ Large Chevron Pendant: Target (New) (identical), (dainty option, Splurge, love this), (similar in gold-tone, Great Deal).
Fuchsia Opaque Tights: Old Navy (New) (very similar, Steal), (patterned option, Great Deal, love these).
Black, Open-Toe, Perforated, Sling-Back Booties w/ Block Heels: Merona via Target (New) (very similar, Splurge), (fun sexy option, Great Deal), (similar lace-up style, Steal, love these).
Cobalt Blue Woven-Patterned Clutch w/ Large Faux Lather Yellow Tassel: Target (New) (similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal, love this), (similar, Steal).
Multi-Colored, Striped, Long, Sweater Dress: Old Navy (similar, Splurge, love this), (similar, on Sale), (similar sleeveless, Steal).
Champagne/Nude Faux Fur Cropped Coat: Xhilaration via Target (New) (similar, Great Deal), (similar, Steal, love this).
Silver Pave Ball Studs: Sophie Harper, borrowed via Rocksbox (New) (similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal), (similar, Steal).
Gold+Silver Tone Long Chain Necklace w/ Large Chevron Pendant: Target (New) (identical), (dainty option, Splurge, love this), (similar in gold-tone, Great Deal).
Light Blue + Turquoise Tiny Crystal Multi-Strand Beaded Necklace (worn as a Bracelet): Express.
Silver Ring w/ Square Black Onyx Stone: Zales (similar, Splurge), (similar, love this), (similar, Steal).
Floral Pave "Rosalie" Crystal Ring: Perry Street, borrowed via Rocksbox (New) (similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal, love this), (similar, Steal).
Cobalt Blue Woven-Patterned Clutch w/ Large Faux Lather Yellow Tassel: Target (New) (similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal, love this), (similar, Steal).
Fuchsia Opaque Tights: Old Navy (New) (very similar, Steal), (patterned option, Great Deal, love these).
Black, Open-Toe, Perforated, Sling-Back Booties w/ Block Heels: Merona via Target (New) (very similar, Splurge), (fun sexy option, Great Deal), (similar lace-up style, Steal, love these).

 Use my special code to get a free month of Rocksbox jewelry delivered to your home: ADABFF39.



Last week, there were over 80 beautiful ladies who linked up. And once again many of you looked so pretty and several of you had on gorgeous Easter Outfits. Choosing these top 4 looks was difficult. Ultimately (as you will see) I was loving all the Americana looks: red, white, blue, denim, blonde hair, crossbody bags - all of these things say Easy American Style to me and these ladies below all looked superb. Thank you for linking up in the past few weeks and please spread the word about the linkup.

This week's featured blogger is Amy from Amy's Creative Pursuits. She linked up this gorgeous Easter Outfit featuring a new Serenity (pale blue) midi skirt by Francesca and a beautiful eyelet shell by Liz Claiborne. She added yet another pretty pastel color with her very on trend Rose Quartz (blush) clutch. I am dying over this girly and sophisticated pastel look. Amy is a bargain shopper fashionista whose blog is filled with great everyday fashions and her traveling in style. She always finds the cutest thing for the best deals at JC Penney. Amy is also very crafty and DIY's such pretty cards for different special occasions.

Alecz loves her feminine 'Bows' and I am in love with her classic red sheath.
Ana Luiza's Nautical Look is part of her 'Spring Capsule Wardrobe'. She is both Americana and Parisian-chic.
Rebecca's maxi is indeed 'Something Special' - I just love the subdued black+white palm print.

Before joining the linkup...

A little bit about today's co-host: Rachel has become a great blogging friend, since a couple of years ago when we discovered each-other's blogs. Rachel runs her own linkup on Tuesdays called "Bloggers who have inspired me". You can see the latest one here. Rachel's bog has something for everyone: personal style, his+hers style, adorable kids, family updates, motherhood, faith, budget posts and even some special $10.00 Target posts. I have co-hosted her linkup with her several times before and I will do so again next Tuesday on April 5th so stay tuned. Below is a collage of some of my favorite outfits of Rachel's from this year (2016). As you can see though still quite casual, Rachel always looks very put together wearing skinnies or leggings. Please check out her blog and make sure you follow her.
From Rachel's Mouth...
"Rachel is a former full time preschool special education teacher turned full time stay-at- home mom of four children with a passion for substitute teaching and blogging at Garay Treasures on the side. Garay Treasures is a fashion and lifestyle blog with some added posts on faith and everyday treasures. Rachel loves drinking several cups of coffee a day (hot or iced), blogging, and reading and playing with her children. Her Social Media links are: Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/garay-treasures-13927063 and Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rachelgaray/ "

P.S. Linking up with Adri + Jessica, Alice, Ana Luiza with Michelle, Brooke with Erica, Carrie with Jill, Christie, Claire, Dawn, Grace, Elle with Jacqueline, Jalynn,
Also linking up with the ladies of The Blended Blog.

And now join the linkup!
Thursday Moda with Elegance and Mommyhood









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WENTWORTH - the Best TV Show you are Not watching.

Back in the beginning of November, I mentioned a little TV Show that I was mesmerized with. That show is called "Wentworth". If you have never heard of it, I can't blame you since it is an Australian TV Show. Even though there have only been three seasons of this show with the fourth one coming in May, this is so far the longest-running TV Show in Australia (any Aussie readers here can relate?!) and also the most successful. I never have done a TV Show review before. This is my first but won't be my last. Hope you enjoy it. =) Or you can skip this post if you are not interested.

Well, I feel like at times I am a TV Junkie though there are years where I almost watched no TV. To tell you the truth I have barely watched any TV in 2016 but in 2015 I caught a lot of shows and in my opinion "Wentworth" was the best and I will tell you why. First, let me tell you a little bit about what "Wentworth" is about. As I was catching up on the latest season of "Orange is the New Black" that very popular Netflix series that became a national hit in US, after I was done watching season 3 which in my opinion was lackluster and some parts I had to fast-forward, Netflix recommended "Wentworth" for me, another drama set in a women's prison. Since I have loved both "Prison Break" and "Orange is the New Black" (but especially "Prison Break") I thought I would give it a try, I had nothing to lose, so I did. I am soooo glad I did. Because this show is THAT good.

Wentworth is a women's prison or like they call it Correctional Centre in Australia and from the very first few seconds of the very first episode we are introduced to the main character, our heroine Bea played by the amazing Danielle Cormack. Bea is a woman who has never been in trouble before, yet here she is in the back of a prison van hand-cuffed and all about to go to prison for attempted murder for her husband. However, as we learn later into the first season, her relationship with her husband is far more complicated than one thinks and I wouldn't say that they are complete enemies. Just seconds later after arriving in prison and being strip-searched she gets shocked as she watches some hot lesbian action in her pod. The first episode kicks off from there and introduces us to many other important main characters like Frankie Doyle - Bea's frenemey, played with so much charm by the beautiful Nicole da Silva and several other inmates who become both Bea's allies and enemies. But, unlike "Orange is the New Black" the correctional officers and staff of the prison are just as important as the prisoners. We are introduced to Will Jackson, a sweet and sexy CO married to another important character on the show. He is played by hottie Robbie Magasiva. We are also introduced to sweet, supportive and attentive Vera Bennet, played flawlessly by Kate Atkinson. Something big happens on the very first episode that will turn the lives of several of the main characters upside down and this event will have so many repercussions for the following second and third season as well. Season one also introduces us to the character of Jacs who is so good at playing such a bad person. It is the amazing Kris McQuade who plays this role. Throughout the first season we see a power play game between Bea, Frankie and Jacs - three of the main inmate characters. But if you think their problems end on the inside, you are mistaken. The story created by Wentworth is such an umbrella story that connects these inmates to their circle of family and friends outside and they are interwoven with the prison staff in many storylines that make sense and sound so human, raw and real. This is a high-security prison for women after all. And unlike "Orange is the New Black" which is pretty funny and sounds very un-realistic and many people who themselves have been to prison have said that too, "Wentworth" deals with all the trials, tribulations, challenges, a few ups and many downs of these inmates, in ways that are logical, realistic and make sense. It is a very dark show and it is supposed to be that way. But through every tear, punching, burning, torturing and fight you may find a smile or a moment of happiness and joy every now and then. Through all the moments of darkness, there is also a lot of humanity and empathy that comes from both the prisoners and the staff.

Photos of the "Wentworth" cast promoting the series (first photo below) and showing off their awards (second photo below).

While the first season ends with a bang, you haven't seen anything yet. Season two starts with a narrator's voice. We later learn that the narrator's voice is none other than the voice of a brand-new character that gets introduced on the first episode of season two. This character is none other than the new governor (Australian's governors are equivalent to a warden for US prisons). We learn that she is tall, broad-shouldered, manly-looking, almost never cracks a smile, well-kept, extremely organized and OCD. But there are so many layers to this governor, her personality and her craziness that we discover with each episode during the second and third season. They couldn't have found a better actress for this job than Pamela Rabe. Pamela Rabe is Joan Ferguson. She portrays this character so good, you would think she has been a prison governor her entire life. While "Wentworth" has received many awards, accolades and critical acclaim in Australia especially but also world-wide, Pamela Rabe is the actress that has received the most awards and very well deserved I must say. I have watched many TV shows and seen my share of baddies on TV. Heck on "Prison Break" alone we had at least 2 or 3 characters who were pure evil like T-Bag. But in my opinion, no one compares to Joan Ferguson. Joan Ferguson is evil personified and no one comes close to her wrong-doing, her evil ways and her demeanor. This role has also changed Pamela Rabe's career because it is the role she is most well-known for despite her being on many movies and TV shows. Anyhow, Joan Ferguson is the prison's new governor and God help all of those prisoners and the staff too. Despite her being the definition of mean and evil, we do see a little bit of sweetness and humanity from her every now and then, usually something done to her benefit but still. Like when she takes Vera - her main C.O. - under her wing, or when she gets close to a pregnant inmate. However, usually she has ulterior motives.

Season two ended with so many questions and so many details you want answers to and at the time season three wasn't available on Netflix yet. Thankfully I was able to find it on Daily Motion because I COULD NOT STOP WATCHING THIS SHOW. Every episode is packed with so much and there are a few different storylines going on at the same time, each of them keeping you hooked and each of them making you root for one character or another. However, despite how good season one and two were, thought I had seen it all (meaning I couldn't imagine what else they could come up with lol), that all changed with season three. This season was superb, fantastic, edge-of-your-seat moving, mesmerizing and so well-acted. So many storylines and smaller stories that had started since the beginning of season one were wrapped on season three, a couple of new characters were introduced but mostly all the characters from season two were the main characters. All the new characters introduced, though each had a small role, their roles had a big impact and an umbrella effect on at least one or two other major characters on the show. By the end of season three, we have a major fire that turns the prison upside down, a prisoner who leaves "Wentworth" on parole and something even more major happens but I won't share that for you - you have to watch for yourself. Needless, to say, waiting a couple of months till season four starts (it is supposed to start sometime in mid May in Foxtel - an Australian channel)  is making me so impatient. I know the season will be great especially knowing where they ended season three. Plus, from the last few minutes of season three, we know there are a couple of new characters and a mean inmate joining "Wentworth" so it promises to be a great and fun watch which makes for another fantastic season.

I love this show so much, I binge-watched all 34 episodes within a week. It is a good thing I wasn't working at the time. I was falling asleep every night to this show because let me tell you, it is spectacular. "Orange is the New Black" looks like a camping day compared to the drama and raw emotions, challenges and problems the characters of "Wentworth" face every single day. As a matter of fact, because every episode is so jam-packed, I think to better be ready for season 4, I need to watch every episode again, all three seasons (something I did with "Prison Break" too since I loved that show - another excellent TV show I suggest you watch, though very different than "Wentworth" storyline-wise). So TV fans, OITNB fans, Drama TV Show Fans, and any of you who love your drama shows and crime shows, please do yourself a favor and watch "Wentworth". All three seasons are currently streaming on Netflix, but I think you can find almost every episode on Daily Motion, too. If you don't have Netflix, I suggest you get it because for about 10 bucks a month you can watch many TV shows, current ones and ones that have ended. Heck, I think just to watch "Wentworth" alone, Netflix is worth subscribing to. If you start watching it, unless you are not into dark TV dramas, you will love it. Don't get me wrong, though this is a dark TV show, it is also a show interwoven with a lot of people who are flawed yes but also very humane and deep down have good hearts. You want to root for most of these characters; you want to help them; you want to fight their battles; you want to tell them it is going to be OK; you want to hug them; you want to pray for them and with them. And for a few of them - you want to choke them; you want to pull their hair; you want to stab them with a knife both in the front and in the back; you want to kill them many times and do it over and over again. The show was created by Lara Radulovich, David Hannam and Reg Watson which tells me that these people and their writing staff are very talented. They have scripted one of the best TV shows of the millennium. Please watch this show, you will thank me later!

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Now, back to fashion "Thursday Moda" #5 will be open late tonight, around 10.30 PM Eastern time so be there and join other fashionistas linking their latest beautiful outfits. Thank you to all of you who have joined in the past weeks and have made the linkup pretty successful, so far. This time I have a co-host. I am co-hosting with lovely Rachel. If you are interested to co-hosting with me in the future, shoot me an e-mail or let me know via commenting. Thank you.





Monday, March 28, 2016

This Floral Wrap Dress.

Have you ever seen an item of clothing on a blog or a blogger you follow or admire and told yourself: "I must buy that ASAP"? I mean with shoes and bags it happens to me all the time - something I love and lust after and wish I could own - especially if they are designer bags and/or shoes most of which I cannot afford. With clothes it happens less often since I own a ton of clothes, already. But this dress was love at first sight as soon as I saw it on Alice from Happiness at Mid Life who wore it about 3 weeks ago. I told myself I needed this dress in my closet. The vivid big floral print in blue, white and black, the wrap style of the dress, the sleeves, the just-above-the-knee dress, the pattern mixing with the stripes on the sleeve cuffs and the jersey material made it pretty much perfect. Plus The Limited is a brand I know too well and love. After not shopping there for a while, I finally went in, literally just a couple of days later to buy this dress. It was my lucky day because the dress was 60% off and also available in my size. I love the pattern so much, I want to own the blouse version. I didn't stop there though. I ended up purchasing a couple of blouses, some bracelets, two belts and the prettiest Spring sweater.
Literally two days later I wore this dress to work. My job did a fundraiser to support Down Syndrome since March 21st was Down syndrome day. A few local business were involved. The event took place at a fancy hotel where several Down syndrome children were invited and we gave them toys and Easter baskets for Easter. Since we all had Easter in mind, I thought this was the perfect dress to wear for that and to work (a few days prior). But it was cold so I had to wear pretty thick tights. As a matter of fact, it was raining so hard, I had to take almost all pictures inside, that afternoon. I loved how these diamond-patterned black tights and block heel black sandals paired together with my teal graphic midi skirt and they looked flawless here with this dress, especially since the dress has some black in the pattern. I wore the chunky cluster crystal necklace with it and my blush cluster statement earrings from Loft paired so well with the necklace. I also wore the pave triangle cuff sent in the third Rockbox package and layered it with a few dainty beaded turquoise bracelets. My teal/dark blue ruched patent leather clutch worked well with the dress for the evening look at the fundraiser. At work, a few days earlier I wore a dainty silver pendant necklace and some classic pearl studs with the outfit, no bracelets, just a man-ly looking watch. This dress got a lot of compliments from several co-workers and a lot of the kids (they were between the ages of 2 and 15). I love this dress so much and I cannot wait to style it several other ways this Spring and Summer. Do you own a pretty floral wrap dress?


The Jewelry:
Bold Selina Crystal Necklace: Perry Street, borrowed via Rocksbox (New) (similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal), (similar, Steal).
Soft Blush Cluster Crystal, Statement Earrings: Loft (very similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal), (similar, Steal, love these).
"Follow Your Arrow" Cuff Bracelet in Silver: Slate, borrowed via Rocksbox (New) (similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal, love this), (similar, Steal).
 Use my special code to get a free month of Rocksbox jewelry delivered to your home: ADABFF39.
Blue/White/Black Floral, 3/4-Sleeve, Wrap Jersey Dress: The Limited (identical), (very similar by The Limited), (similar, Great Deal, love this), (similar, Steal).
Dark Teal/Navy Ruched Faux Patent Leather, Fold-over Clutch: Old Navy (similar, Splurge, love this), (similar, Steal).
Bold Selina Crystal Necklace: Perry Street, borrowed via Rocksbox (New) (similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal), (similar, Steal).
Soft Blush Cluster Crystal, Statement Earrings: Loft (very similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal), (similar, Steal, love these).
"Follow Your Arrow" Cuff Bracelet in Silver: Slate, borrowed via Rocksbox (New) (similar, Splurge), (similar, Great Deal, love this), (similar, Steal).
Light Blue + Turquoise Tiny Crystal Multi-Strand Beaded Necklace (worn as a Bracelet): Express.
Silver Ring w/ Square Black Onyx Stone: Zales (similar, Splurge), (similar, love this), (similar, Steal).
Back Diamond Patterned Opaque Tights: Old Navy (similar, Splurge, love these), (similar, Great Deal), (similar, Steal).
Black Faux Leather, Ankle Strap Sandals w/ Chunky Heels: Merona via Target (New) (identical), (similar, Splurge, love these), (similar, Steal).


P.S. Linking up with Allison, Angie, Brooke with EricaErin with Laura, Grace, Kileen with Sandy, Jess, Kristen, Laura,