Thursday, December 5, 2019

Thursday Moda #193: Mini Try-On Session at Gap.

For the first time ever I am sharing a try-on session both here on my blog as well as on my Instagram where I collaborated with another chic Instagram mom - Karen. We both decided to show/browse/shop at a store you don't see a lot on stories and that is Gap. Though I had shopped for Vivian at Gap in the last couple of years, for myself it has been at least 2 years or more since I haven't bought anything from there. But yesterday Karen and I decided to go to Gap and to both of our surprise they were continuing their Cyber Monday Sales where everything was 50% OFF plus there were a lot of Doorbuster Prices such as Beautiful Cozy Oversized Scarves for 15 bucks and Warm Colorful Beanies for 10 bucks. If you shopped there, yesterday was also the last day for this sale and the last day they were handing out Gap cash. Lucky for me, I also had a gift card and I ended up getting 2 things for me and 2 for Vivian. In this post I am sharing my 3 favorite items I tried on at Gap, stay tuned to my stories on my Insta today to see everything I tried on.

You can totally tell I am a newbie at these try-ons because my videos could have been focused much better and my photos are a little grainy. Also, I must say though I chose the largest fitting room, there was not a lot of light there. Anyhow, I want to share what I am wearing above by starting with the best leggings I have ever tried on and worn and they are the Gap Fit Sculpt Revolution Leggings in black but I would describe the color more like charcoal. Regularly-priced these cost around 80 bucks but half off is a great deal for a great pair of leggings which fit me to perfection and they do exactly what they are supposed to do - sculpt your body. I always size up in leggings, especially workout leggings and got these in a 7/8. I ended up purchasing them. Gap had a lot of cute flannel and plaid shirts out and I loved this one because it had so many colors: purple, red, blue, fuchsia, green, which means it will go with a lot. The material is light but not too light and it was a true flannel. Looks so cute with leggings too. Loved this shirt but I own a ton of plaid tops already.

My third favorite item was this cozy Turtleneck Colorblocked Pastel Sweater. Gap has a lot of pretty Winter Pastels right now and this sweater and another one caught my eye. The turtleneck on this is oversized, almost like a cowl-neck. The pastel colors are gray, lilac, peach, mellow yellow and aqua. It only had 3% wool, not itchy at all, super warm and super soft. I also loved the hi-lo hem which as you can see by trying it on with leggings, looks great with anything skinny on the bottom. I ended up trying 3 sweaters and this was by far my favorite, but I did not purchase it. I must say though Gap has a lot of great sweaters out now. I hope you enjoyed my little try-on session at Gap today, this was the mini version, stay tuned for all of it via my instagram stories today. Have a great weekend everyone and thank you for joining my linkup below.

Due to Thanksgiving and most importantly because of the horrific and very tragic earthquake that happened in Albania last week, there was no Thursday Moda. But two weeks ago there was indeed a Thursday Moda and I want to thank all 70 of you who linked up and all the chicness you brought. I noticed beautiful outerwear and cozy textured sweaters, mostly and as much as we love dark denim, light-colored jeans look very stylish for busy moms. Let's take a peak, below.

How cute is Rachael in her blush pink teddy coat and matching pom beanie! In this style post, the warm+put together stay-at-home mom Rachel also shared 'Cozy Gifts for Her' like the pretty outerwear she indeed wore.
Nancy is 'Wearing Monochrome Blue and Feeling a Bit Blue', but you know what -- I think any shade of blue is a happy color, just like her cobalt pleated skirt and that pretty periwinkle cable-knit sweater.
Another chic mama who stays home, another chic everyday look in denim. Ruth is in an 'Oversized Space Dyed Cardi' styled in a cool way with her distressed denim and dotted socks peaking from the open-toed booties.
I am a huge fan of black and camel together and Nora is too. In this post she remixed two outfits by wearing 'Animal Print and Faux Fur' from her own designed collection. Love that topper, it would make any outfit instantly elegant!
Then we have Di looking Di-namite in cream, red and cheetah with a dose of black. Her 'Autumn Outerwear' is vibrant and elegant on its own but gets even more so by pairing it with super classy black+nude pumps.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Currently, December 2019. Plus Linkup.

We have reached the end of the rope for 2019 and are just a few weeks away from a new year, a new decade actually and just 21 days away from Christmas. Where did another year go?! I have majorly slacked on the blog this year. My life has been so busy. It sucks a little because I have worn many cute clothes, but oh well. November that we left behind was such a sad month for so many people and definitely a black month for Albania. I hope and pray that December which is the month of the holidays, which brings the light of Christmas trees, wishes coming true for kids and presents from Santa, as well as the Grace and Love of Jesus Christ, ALSO brings a lot of joy, smiles, good health and prosperity for many people and I hope it dries a lot of tears! Once again linking up with ANNE for her monthly Currently post.

wrapping: I have not started wrapping anything yet, heck I have not even purchased any presents but I hope to start doing both, next week. There are very few days left before Christmas and not enough time. Even if the days had 30 hours I would be able to fill them all, up.

baking: Hmm, I don't bake, never had, wish I knew how. Though I would like to make Christmas cookies with Vivian this year. Anyone knows any cookie recipes that don't require any baking?! If so, please send them my way and I appreciate them. You can comment me with any recipes.

lightening: The main Christmas tree next to our fireplace, the little snow-white house lanterns and some candles. I light everything in the morning and keep them all on when we are home. It puts me in a good mood and definitely in the Christmas spirit. Plus so many great-smelling candles. Hmmmm.

sending: Lots of Love, well wishes, virtual love and prayers to everyone, especially to my people in Albania. I sent lots of clothes, toys and blankets to Albania last week, speaking of sending. And I packed up 40 boxes of various sizes to send/give away to Purple Heart. They made a pickup a few weeks ago and another pick-up tomorrow. As far as Christmas cards, last year I did not send any Christmas cards but I want to send some this year. Just a few cards to the closest people, nothing crazy. I will probably personalize 20-25 cards. 

enjoying: The Christmas decorations I am seeing everywhere. I appreciate it that even a drive-thru or a fast food got a little bit of holiday spirit in it. Hopefully, during her Christmas break I will get to enjoy spending some quality time and having some Mother-Daughter dates with my daughter Vivian. Honestly there is a lot to enjoy in every season, even in the cold, short and gray days of Winter. But we are all so very busy with our jobs and school too and the daylight is cut so short that each week starts and ends in a heartbeat!

As always, one of my favorite parts of these "Currently" posts, is reminiscing about outfits from the past. This time I chose December 2018. Below are 3 Festive and Bright Holiday Outfits I wore this time, last year.


This was from My Holiday Series I did last year  in collaboration with some of my blogger friends (which I clearly skipped this year because I barely have time to pee lol), and in this particular post we shared outfits to wear on New Year's Eve and I thought lots of texture and shine, yet kept this outfit classic and monochromatic. I paired my Silver Rose Brocade Sheath by Who What Wear with Blush Pink Velvet Strappy Pumps with block heels and added sparkle via my tiny Gold Sequined Clutch and Champagne+Silver Crystal Statement Necklace, while I added a pop of color via my Bright Red Lipstick. Loved this look, what about you?!

This monochromatic green look features the Ponte Pant-Legging with the Most Fun Plaid Popover with the cute ruffle on the collar. These Loft pieces looked perfect together, especially with the addition of the Fun Gold Penny Loafers which definitely polished up this work look. You can see all the details on this post. Gap has currently a very similar plaid popover shirt, I was at their store today and tried a few pieces on, including the plaid popover, I shared some on my Instagram Stories and will be sharing the rest, tomorrow, both on my Instagram stories and on my Thursday Moda post, so stay tuned.

The last look from last year that I wanted to share, belongs to this post from another collaboration I did with my blogging mamma friend Laura and her two sweet daughters. This time we cozied up to pajamas and showed you what us mamas would wear for Christmas as the kids would open presents and we would all sip hot chocolate as a family. I mixed a pair of Velvet Santa Klaus Red Pajamas with a Festive Red+Green+Blue Plaid Flannel by Old Navy. Sweet Vivian has on Red Pajamas with White Snowflakes by Old Navy. We both wore our PJs with Crazy Holiday Socks and Cute Festive Headbands. My headband is a red velvet one with poinsettias while Vivian's features an oversized green ribbon bow that has blush pink polka dots. Loved our matching red lipstick and the fun tin Winter mugs complete with a peppermint-decorated hot cocoa.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019


I thought about writing this post last Wednesday, then again on Thursday on THANKSGIVING connecting it to Thanksgiving and the blessings of everyday life. But despite all my (failed) attempts, I never wrote that post. I have been silent on this blog, I haven't blogged at all and some of you may know why. If you follow the news at all, if you follow me on Instagram for that matter, than you know that my home country of Albania was hit by a very devastating, very big, earth-shattering earthquake a week ago from today, last Tuesday, an earthquake that left so many casualties, caused 51 deaths, and caused a lot of panic, brought so many tears, pain, sadness and hopelessness. And, like every Albanian in the world I have been saddened, crying, heartbroken and devastated over the heartbreaking deadly earthquake that hit Albania, exactly a week ago, on Tuesday November 26th, at 3.54 AM local time. The aftermath of this earthquake was felt so much and not just in the Albanian land and Albanian regions but in the neighbor countries too. This 6.4 magnitude earthquake that completely left for dead entire families (almost every family had several members lost in this tragedy) affected every Albanian in every corner of the world - and trust me, we are everywhere - as well as all the other European countries and the rest of the world. 

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Below I am quoting WIKIPEDIA so you can get the facts on this earthquake. "Northwestern Albania was struck by a strong 6.4-magnitude earthquake with an epicentre 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) west-southwest of Mamurras, at 03:54 CET (UTC+1) on 26 November 2019.[4][5] The tremor lasted 30 seconds and was felt in Albania's capital Tirana, and in places as far away as Taranto and Belgrade,[6] some 370 kilometres (230 mi) northeast of the epicentre. A total of 51 people were killed in the earthquake, with around 2,000 injured.[7][8][9] It was the second earthquake to strike the region in the space of three months.[10][11] It was the strongest earthquake to hit Albania in more than 40 years, its deadliest earthquake in 99 years[12][5][13] and ​is currently the world's deadliest earthquake in 2019." As you can see for yourself, this earthquake shattered my home country and the people of Albania. Besides entire family members that were killed when they were sleeping, as the homes and buildings they lived at collapsed, other hundreds were injured or hurt, some are still in hospitals fighting for their lives. To make matters worse, thousands of people are left homeless, the majority of which are currently living in tents and some have been accommodated in shelters or hotels. The consequences of this earthquake are so harsh and devastating that all of our eyes are on the Albanian news and media. Our eyes and our hopes are on the government and on all those other kind people and countries who have turned their attention and their hearts to Albania and have helped and continue to help. 

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Help has come from everywhere, from our Albanian brothers+sisters in Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, from our neighbors Italy, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, from other countries too like Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, USA, Canada and of course from all the Albanians who live in Albania and from those who have migrated or live all over the world. This horrific tragedy has united the people in the world and in many ways despite the terrible consequences and the very fresh wounds, it has made our country a lot stronger and very united. All of our police forces, the army, firefighters, doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, public figures, politicians, governors, journalists, search+rescue teams, experts and more have been there on the affected sights working 24/7 over the past 24 hours. Not being biased at all, but Albanian people are some of the kindest, most hospitable people in the world. They go above and behind for their family first and foremost, as well as their guests, their neighbors, co-workers and anyone who as much as visits their house. Albanian parents do so much for their children, all I have to look at here is my own parents who sacrificed so much, from bringing us here to the States, to continue helping me now as an adult by opening their home to me and Vivian after my divorce, they continue helping me everyday and they continue help raising Vivian and educating her to be a beautiful, kind, selfless, good and responsible individual, just like they are.

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Just like my parents, so many families from Kosovo and Albania have opened their homes and their hearts to help so many of the victims from this earthquake. It has brought so much solidarity, bravery and unity. Our own country and other countries have helped with troops, rescue teams, food, tents, clothing, toys and stuffed animals for the kids, beds, blankets+pillows, and in some cases, homes. Several homes have already started to be building. Entire accounts have been opened and raised so much money, because we need all the funds possible to re-build our country, to create safe and strong homes for the families who are left homeless. So many celebrities have helped too, especially Albanian celebrities like famous singers Rita Ora, Dua Lipa and Bebe Rexha. Bebe even traveled to Albania yesterday to see the situation for herself. She has been raising funds to build two homes and a school in Albania and that is just the beginning. This earthquake not only killed, 2, 3, 4 and in one case 8 members from the same family, but it left behind besides the rubble and destruction, thousands of people without homes, hundreds of families spending these cold nights sleeping in tents or even worse, outside. Since this earthquake of a high magnitude, there have been over 300 smaller earthquakes that have hit Albania and our neighboring countries. There is literally a small quake every few minutes. It has caused so much panic and terror. It has caused schools, businesses, etc. to be closed and as far as I know they are still closed and won't be open until next Monday. So, we should continue to help. And you can do the same too. There are many ways and GoFundMe Accounts where you can help, all you have to do is google them. Every dollar counts. 

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This horrific, heartbreaking, deadly tragedy more than ever before has shook me to the ground. This tragedy more than ever before made me count my blessings. At the end of the day, the most important thing of all is LIFE, our life, our lives matter. This tragedy made me hug and kiss Vivian tightly every chance I get, especially after having to explain to her about what happened and why it happened. Vivian was affected too because her dad and his side of the family all live in Albania, just 25-30 miles away from the epicenter of this earthquake. There are actually many destroyed apartments and homes in their home-town of Tirana too, but fortunately the building where they live is strong and safe. At the end of the day, all we can do is help as much as we can and pray. We are all so powerless and weak compared to Mother Nature. I hope this post raises awareness and brings the kindness of your hearts out, because you too can help! Clearly my country needs it. The pictures speak for themselves. Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart. And Thank You for Reading! GOD BLESS ALBANIA! GOD BLESS USA! GOD BLESS THE WORLD!

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Spreading the Kindness - LOVE!

Happy Thanksgiving Week - the last week of November and crunch time for the holidays. I have decorated both of Vivian's tree for a few days now, but finally decorated the main tree today. Though I was off for a couple of days I did a lot of cleaning and decorating and honestly time went by super fast. It always does. Originally I had in mind a cute outfit for today's post but couldn't get the photos edited on time. Once again I am joining Shelbee's Linkup. She is once again SPREADING THE KINDNESS with her linkup, showing her adorable and stylish son Ralphie (look at the picture on the bottom of this post, isn't he so cool and trendy)?! 

Shelbee who is an excellent writer, just like me has been writing poems for years and unfortunately just like me, has lost a lot of her poetry journals and notebooks. Imentioned the other day that from a major basement cleanout I found a few of my old poems and today, in honor of Shelbee too I am sharing one of my earliest poems I ever wrote in English, less than a year after I came in US where I made several grammatical mistakes too. I wrote this one on my senior year of high school, for extra credit in my Creative Writing class. My teacher made 5 small corrections (they are revised here, on this draft) and gave me a B for it with this note and I quote: "Nice Effort! Look to use more visual imagery in future efforts, perhaps." Here it goes.

[Feburary 2nd 1998].

Love is like a sun, so warm and bright,
it makes your heart beat strongly,
it can drive you crazy but it's still lovely
because usually its happiness fills your heart!

Love is like a moon, the queen of the night
who in the middle of the darkness shines lonely,
you and I are the strength of love only,
for we feel each other and we don't know fright!

Love is difficult for everyone still it's beautiful,
it's so big like the sky, it's great like you and me!
...Even if it may cause you tears, it is wonderful!

True love never dies for its emotion is powerful!
We are together part of this evergreen tree,
for the beauty of love makes everyone merciful!

boy fashion blogger, bomber jacket, gingham
Here's Shelbee's adorable son. Go show them some love, today!!
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Friday, November 22, 2019

5 on a Friday: 5 Things to Wear During the Holiday Season.


Good Morning you all and Happy Friday. Today I am joining my dear friend SHELBEE of Shelbee on the Edge and joining her weekly Friday linkup. Stop by her blog to read her latest. =) For the first time today, I am doing a "5 on a FRIDAY" post and since the holidays are literally next week and forward, today's 5 on a Friday is all about "5 Things to Wear During the Holiday Season" and here they are below, in no particular order.


1. SOMETHING LEOPARD. Leopard is timeless, classic, classy, seasonless, modern, trendy and always, always in style. Leopard is a neutral, super easy to wear and pair with other things. Leopard is wild and sexy yet anyone and everyone can wear it, any hair color, body type, age, gender, you name it. Leopard is particularly perfect to wear during Fall and Winter, even more so during the holiday season because it makes a statement, it is festive, cheery and a lot of fun. 

2. SOMETHING PLAID. Like leopard, plaid is also a very classic and timeless print. But it is more associated with Fall and Winter. Red checks or red and green checks are perfect for Christmas. Think red buffalo check, tartan, black-watch, scottish plaids. Anything plaid in red, white and green is perfect to wear during this time of the year.

3. SOMETHING BLINGY. Bling, bling, bling. Think embelllished sweaters, boots, dresses, skirts, beanies and more. Embellishments in crystals, pearls, rocks, sequins, metallic thread and much more. Think textured materials like velvet, ultra-suede, crushed velvet, lace over silk and of course lots of metallics and metallic leather. Think bling when it comes to jewelry too. Time to wear those bold crystal studs, not just neutral ones. I am talking about big studs be it crystal or even studs shaped like rose bulbs, pyramids, cubes, asymmetric stones, unicorns, butterflies, you name it! Time to get out your statement necklaces: big baubles, layered pearls, crystal necklaces, bold big chains, fun spiky necklaces and more. When it comes to bling, think of statement earrings and cocktail rings too, especially ones in fun jewel tones like reds, burgundies, blues, purples and greens. Last add some sparkle to your makeup too. You can do so by incorporating glittery makeup and metallic eye shadows and especially I suggest a fun metallic eye pencil as an eyeliner.

4. SOMETHING RED. You can never ever go wrong with red anytime of the year but especially during November and December. It is the color of Santa's coat after all and it is definitely the ultimate color of Christmas, the most classic Holiday color. It is time to wear lots of red lipstick and red glosses too. If you are 'afraid' of red since it is such a bold color, opt for a pop of it. You can do a bold red lip, red boots/shoes/pump, a red purse, red scarf or red beanie. Or you could wear a red coat over your black outfit for example. I think every woman needs a red coat.

5. SOMETHING GREEN. Aside from red, green is also the second best Christmas color. You can do any and all greens but the ones I suggest the most are shades of emerald or hunter green. Over the past weeks I have been wearing my bold emerald green statement earrings a lot (last seen here). A lot of times I match them to my emerald green bow on my hair and my emerald green beanie. I think you can add some green in other fun ways too, think a sweater, a purse or a scarf. Jewel tones of green are all over the stores these days because of the holidays - wear them and be happy doing so! You will be so festive and on trend!


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