Saturday, January 9, 2016

Currently: January 2016.

It is a new year, almost a new week and believe it or not as of tomorrow we are entering double digits in January. In the past year I kept up with the Currently Link-up with Anne and Jenna at least for half of the year. I love writing these posts because they are genuine and give all my readers real-life updates and snippets (besides what I wear) of my life. The following are the 5 prompts for January 2016. 

resolving: I can count in one hand the years I have made New Year's resolutions. The reason why that is because I don't quite believe in them. Of course like most of us I can afford to lose some weight. I can definitely save up a lot more money. I can get rid of a lot of clothes and other excess one has at home accumulated for years. I can improve my finances and I can improve my career too (meaning, I could find a better job). As a blogger I could and I should improve the blog in so many ways: content, outfits, pictures, social media, interaction, open up an Instagram, gain sponsors, gain readers, etc, etc. Of course I will try to improve all of these areas in my life and my blog as well. But in 2016 (more so than the years before) I want to make time. It feels like I never have time lately. I need to make more time for me, more time to do fun and meaningful things with my daughter (like play with her more, read to her more, teach her more, take her out more, etc. etc.) and I also would love/need to make time for all my loved ones. Time for my husband, for dinner dates and fun at-home dates; time to dress up and have a girls' night out every night and then; time to learn how to do my makeup better; time to take as long as I need to put makeup on and do my hair (every now and then); time to dress better; time to wear more dresses and be girly; time to learn to cook better; time to learn new food and drink recipes; time to learn how to bake (finally); time to write poetry again (since it has been many years since I haven't). So, in general I want to resolve my life and find time to do things I love, appreciate, and find meaningful and valuable to me. I want to have time to do meaningful things that will enrich my life and in some ways less time to blog. I also want to make time to do things I have put in the back of my mind in the recent years, especially since being a mom. Things like traveling. I would love to visit Chicago, Toronto and New York sometime this year, starting in the Spring. And yes, I do plan on meeting up a couple of my favorite bloggers from those areas. Chicago, Toronto and New York are three of my most favorite cities in America (as in the continent of America). I have great memories from all three, especially Chicago which I have probably visited about 9-10 times already. I also want to make more time for my family members and all my friends: call them more often, visit them more, go out with them more, think of them more often, etc. So I guess my word for 2016 is Time - such a broad subject and in many ways such a cliche one but in my life that is what I need the most and I am making 2016 be that year!

reading: After resolving, time perfectly brings me to number two. I have always, always loved to read. As a matter of fact one of my recent jobs (the one I held right before having Vivian) was as a marketing director for the largest bookstore in Albania. I was surrounded by books and I read a lot of them. My own personal library in Albania was pretty big, considering that we lived in a 750 square feet apartment (that is capital city living for you). But unfortunately I haven't read much since being a mom, especially since I have stayed home with my daughter for the most time. Lately, it seems I only have time (make time I should say) to read blogs and read books to Vivian. Well, in 2016 I plan on reading 10-12 books. That is not much an accomplishment for avid readers but I will count it as a big accomplishment for me since I am very busy and there are also a few TV shows I watch which I love, so I am trying to read one book a month. I actually just bought 4 used books at my local library and I started reading the first one already which is a start. I really do believe reading makes us all smarter and better people. 

organizing: In general I want to be more organized in 2016 in every area of my life and this first week and a half of January I have already been in a cleaning, purging and organizing mood. First, I have been organizing/cleaning my Christmas decorations and even-though not all of them are down just yet, it is taking me longer because I am putting them away by type and color too, for example all red ornaments in one box, and so on. I am organizing and chronicling my day-to-day life better and for that I did buy myself a cute planner (pictured above) too. It was such a great deal too: Target for 3 bucks (in their $1-$3 dollar bins). Originally I did plan on splurging more on a planner but this one just stuck out to me while I was shopping the dollar bins at Target and not only was a cute gold+pink colorblocked one but it was big enough for what I needed it. As you can see I have already filled out the first few days and  I have accomplished about 80% of those things I wrote too (like I said I have been super busy this year already and I need more time for things). To stay more organized with my planner and my schedule, I wanted to use some different colored pens too so I went to Wal Mart and got a 10 pack of colorful ink pens (which come in 4 different colors) for 99 cents (best deal ever!) and they are Paper Mate which is a great and very economic brand. With a new planner and also a small calendar I carry with me each day, I already feel like my brain is more organized and I have less room for forgetting things or making any mistakes. I have also organized my Winter Accessories. All the beanies together (pictured below), all the ponchos together, all the gloves together, all the light scarves together, all the blanket scarves together, etc.

I am also organizing my daughter's birthday which is coming in ten days. Her cakes are already ordered and so are her birthday presents. I am currently deciding decoration ideas and finalizing the final count of all the guests/family we are inviting. Hard to believe this tiny peanut will be three already. She is part of my loving list too: actually she is the person and the thing I love the most now and forever. And yes Vivian loved seeing snow for her first time ever (first collage of photos above) but she didn't love sitting on Santa's lap and totally cried for her picture with Santa this year. The second collage of photos above was taken in early December when I took her to the mall to see Santa (for which I wrote a little bit here also). Vivian loves to color and paint with Crayons though so she calmed down right away after getting her coloring book and Crayola colors from Santa as a gift (second collage of pictures above).

loving: I know I mentioned beanies earlier. They are by far my most favorite Winter accessory this year and I wore quite a few beanies last year too, but I left all mine behind in Albania. Well, I just got myself a nice collection going currently (as pictured above). Not pictured there, are the Gray Beanie (from this post) and also a new Hot Pink Pom-Pom Beanie I purchased at Gap, today. The best part is that I have gotten every single one on sale or for under ten bucks. So, yes, I am loving beanies lately and you will see some outfits with my beanies in the forth-coming weeks. 
I am also loving Target and Meijer lately and Wal Mart too. I love that I can go to a super market and find great things besides groceries. I mentioned the Target dollar bins earlier. They get me all the time. In the pink-ish collage above are some of the Valentine goodies I bought at Target. I love my new water bottle with the hot pink shimmer jelly cover on the outside. Besides my new planner, I also got a new mini calendar and a little everyday mini note-book from there. And of course some new socks with pink hearts, some phonic cards for Vivian to learn letters and words, a pink polka dotted tape, a cute little gift bow and that large felt envelope I could use to store receipts in. But besides Target, I also enjoyed some after Christmas sales on Holiday items at Meijer's. Isn't that Snowman cookie jar gorgeous? It is filled with Swiss Mocha inside too. I also got my husband a set of body sprays, a couple of new Christmas-colored bath scrub scrunchies and that little jar has spearmint sticks so that your home smells lovely. And I needed a new measurement cup. I also had to get a small pack of Excedrin Migraine (unfortunately) for all my nasty headaches lately. I bought the smallest bottle so I could carry it in my purse, daily. I also purchased several Christmas decorations from both Meijer and Target which I will use next year.

Last but not least I am loving that Valentine's day is around the corner. I am doing some minimal decorating here and there as shown on the first collage (I love that small lavender heart wreath), and I cannot wait to wear more red - my most  favorite color. All those gorgeous red accessories you see on the second photo (above) are from a recent outfit I wore to work, which I will blog sometime this month.

craving: I am in the seafood mood lately. It has been a long time I haven't had salmon and/or sushi so those are the things I am craving the most. Don't they both look so yummy and delish? Beautiful Biana mentioned a delicious and healthy salmon recipe lately too which made me crave salmon even more. I love lemon, I love asparagus - sounds perfect to me. Speaking of Biana, she loves sushi too and eats it often. Speaking of sushi, I am reminding myself to make a trip to my local Meijer's this Wednesday since they have half-off sushi. Drinks? I am craving a margarita and/or a mojito lately. I haven't had either in a long while. Clearly I love citrusy drinks and I love lemon and lime. But I must say the margarita and mojito have to be made right. Not all cocktails taste the same, right? Writing this 'craving' portion of this post makes me crave all of these yummy foods and drinks even more. Sigh.

And here is a bonus one. In the photo above is what I am currently wearing. I wore this for a day of lunch out and mall shopping with Vivian and briefly took these photos with my iPhone, but I did so after taking my boots off so slippers it is lol. These Detroit Tigers slippers were a Christmas present from my mom (she got them at Meijer's). So for shopping I wore my Denizen Blue Skinny Jeans from Target with a Long-Sleeve Simple Black Sweater by White House Black Market and new accessories from Wal Mart. My Bright Pink Studs and Faux Fur Snood are by Wal Mart. I have loved shopping for jewelry and accessories at Wal Mart lately and finding everything for ten bucks or less. If I posted pictures of everything I have purchased from Wal Mart in the last few months, we would be here all day lol. But I love these studs and this warm fur snood. Oh and when I was out I wore New Leather Black OTK Riding Boots (similar to this gorgeous pair by Frye) mine were also purchased at Meijer's.

And this ends up this Currently edition - the first one of the year. This is the longest "currently" post I ever wrote. If you read this far, thank you. I would love to hear your thoughts on what I wrote. Did you make a New Year resolution this year? What are you currently loving, wearing, eating, drinking, craving, etc? To read previous currently post look under the currently tab. Also, if you missed them here is my first recap post of 2015 and here is my second one (so far). There will be a third one after this post and more to come through January. I have a great week of posts prepared this week too so stay tuned. As always thank you for reading. 

Enjoy your Sunday! It will be a snow day for us, and a cold one too so pajamas and a fleece light jacket is what I will be styling at home. I plan on taking off more Christmas decorations, too. And I cannot wait to see the Golden Globes, especially the red carpet part.

P.S. Also linking up with Ann, Biana, Carly, Carylee, Casey + co, Cherie, Confident Twosday, Debonita, Doranda, Good Random Fun, Grace, Laura, Lauren, Leelo, Mahogany Closet, Megan, Molly, Patti, Rachel, Rachelle, Weekend Snapshots, Whitney and Zaz.