Monday, January 30, 2017

14 LOVE-ly Acts of Kindness in Honor of Valentine's Day.

Just like that January is pretty much gone and it was a memorable one, everyone! Vivian turned 4 and we had a small birthday party dinner for her. She was so excited and so good at the same time waiting at the right moment to blow her birthday candle. Hopefully within the next week I will have a little recap of her birthday. 

Valentine's day is a week away and with that in mind, I figured to compile a list of 14 LOVE-ly, kind things to do for Valentine's day. Some of these are for you, some for your significant other, some for your kids and some for others. It is important that you always do acts of kindness, even more so in February which is considered the month of love. Plus there has been so much scrutiny, negativity, hate and disagreements lately if you hear the news and the media, since the inauguration of a new president, this post couldn't have been more timely!

14 LOVE-ly Acts of Kindness in Honor of Valentine's Day (in no particular order):

For yourself:

1] Give yourself a manicure, a pedicure or a facial. You can do it yourself or go to a spa and have it done. Or you can choose a body massage instead. Treat yourself. You deserve it! I am sure you work hard. Trust me I could use a body massage myself.

2] Eat out by yourself. Indulge yourself with a 4-course meal at one of your favorite restaurants, including a glass of wine and dessert, under the company of your book or your cell-phone if you prefer. Eat slowly and don't let anyone rush you and at the end of your meal, make your server's day by leaving him or her a fat tip.

3] Buy yourself flowers. Beautiful flowers don't have to come from others only. You don't have to expect them from your partner or spouse. Buy some for yourself, this way you choose your own blooms too and make a bouquet however you like.

For your partner/husband/significant other:

4] Take a night off and away from home and spend it at a nice nearby hotel, have some champagne and dessert in bed and indulge yourself in a Jacuzzi.

5] Get a short-term gym membership or take a physical activity class (like kickboxing, yoga, aerobics or swimming) together. This will make it easier for you to go to the gym and you will have someone to go and exercise with, when you go.

6] Buy your husband some flowers. Men are usually the ones that buy flowers for women, turn that around, don't be the stereotype. Better yet buy him an elegant new tie too and wrap it as a bow on his bouquet.

7] Cook him a special dinner at home and make it a romantic dinner night in. You don't always have to go to a restaurant to have a nice dinner. Cook him what he loves, set up the table nicely, light some candles around, put some good music on the background and wear a nice dress and put makeup on. I guarantee you, it will end up being a wonderful evening for both.

For your child/ren:

8] Go on a movie date with them. There are several nice children movies out now. Make it a night to remember for them and let them choose the treats and drinks.

9] If you have a girl or girls, have a dance party at home with your daughter/s, in the comfort of your pajamas. After, surprise her with a little makeover, let her do your makeup and vice versa. You can even let her wear your shoes and jewelry. Little girls always love their mom's heels.

10] Go on a lunch or dinner date with your child. Be the good mom and let them have dessert even if they didn't finish their meal. It is OK every now and then to do so. It is not the end of the world.

For your co-workers:

11] Start off their morning right by bringing them coffee, donuts or bagels. If you don't want to spend as much, bring in a box of chocolate truffles, like Lindor's. Everyone loves chocolate.

12] Help them with a work task without letting them know first. For example finish that excel spreadsheet for them; come in to work early and organize their office; or buy some new office supplies (pens, pencils, binders, erasers, etc). and put them in their offices before they come in the morning.

For strangers:

13] Next time you are at Starbucks or your local cafe, buy the coffee for the person who is in front of you, in line. It is only a few bucks but it makes you feel good. They will appreciate it and it is a great way to start off the day.

14] Take one morning and write a few simple notes and put them on the windshields of strangers' cars. Some of the messages you could write are (examples): "Have a nice day!", "You are doing great!", "God bless you!" "You are doing good work!", "Let sunshine brighten your day!" etc, etc. I don't know about you but if I saw a message like this sitting on the windshield of my car, it would put a smile on my face.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

SheIn Peplum Sweater with lots of Layers.

I have received this 2-in-1 Peplum Sweater from SheIn with the built-in White Peplum Ruffle about a month ago and have worn it three times so far. One of the outfits is similar to this one with dark blue skinny jeans instead and a long pink tassel necklace but instead of white sneakers I wore black booties. Another outfit was with a black pencil skirt and black opaque tights (plus purple suede pumps) to work. I haven't had a chance to photograph any of those two other outfits, but I did manage to shoot this one, worn on a Friday off from work spending breakfast and early afternoon with my daughter, running some errands, going to Starbucks, etc. I must say I love this SheIn Sweater. For your information, I am wearing a Medium size since everything I have gotten from SheIn so far is a Medium (true size would be a Small because their clothes run small). However, this Sweater is very loose and flowy and I could have used the small.

As you can see from the photos (check the collage above of the three photos side by side), I styled my sweater with lots of layers. Don't let the sun fool you here, it was still only in the low 30s. I realized I am wearing all the B's: Black, Burgundy, Brown and Beige. But I did add a pop of White (sneakers - which matched the white peplum ruffles of the sweater) for good measure. I love how all these 5 colors worked together, most of them are neutrals that's why. After looking at these photos, I realized this is a nice Casual Outfit perfect for upcoming Valentine's Day. I am wearing two of Valentine's Colors: White and Deep Red, plus the Oversized Peplum Ruffle is girly and romantic as is that feminine, Classic Faux Fur Cloche Hat which is vintage now, it has been in my closet for over a decade. So how do you think I styled my SheIn Sweater for a Casual Errand Mom Day? Yay or Nay?!

I am very very minimal when it comes to makeup, almost always. As long as I have some lipstick on, I am good to go. Case in point, all I am wearing here is nude lipstick and my bare face. In Italy they call this "Aqua and Sapone", which means my face is simply water and soap. My lipstick is the Fairest Nude by L'Oreal. It is my favorite nude lipstick which I replenish every time I need to. It is a steal of a price, usually just under 5 bucks and it smells so good, too!

Brown Wrap/Blanket Scarf w/ Earth-Colored Stripes: Who What Wear via Target (New) (similar, Huge Steal), (similar, Great Deal, my Favorite), (similar in orange, cream+brown, Splurge, love this).
Black Faux Fur Cloceh Hat: Mervyn's California (Old) (similar, Steal, love this), (similar w/ shearling, Small Splurge, my Favorite), (similar, Splurge
Dainty Gold-Tone Interchangeable "Debra" Choker w/ Glass Beads: Kendra Scott via Rocksbox (New) (identical), (similar, Huge Steal, love this), (similar, Great Deal, my Favorite).
Sunburst Silver "Aster" Crystal Statement Studs: Perry Street via Rocksbox (New) (similar, Huge Steal, love these), (similar, Steal), (similar, love these), (similar, Splurge, my Favorite).
Deep Merlot Crossbody+Handle, Elegant, Faux Leather Bag: Who What Wear via Target (New) (similar, Steal), (similar colorblocked option, on Sale, love this), (similar, Splurge).
Nude Soft Lipstick: "Fairest Nude" by L'Oreal (New) (identical for a Steal! my Favorite Nude Lipstick!!), 
(topped with) Coral Pink Lipgloss Stain: "Princess" by Ulta (New) (similar, Steal), (similar, Great Deal, my Favorite), (similar, Small Splurge, love this).

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Flashback Friday: 15 Valentine-Inspired Outfits from the Past.

When I think of Valentine's Day, the three main colors that come to mind (to wear) are Red, Pink and White. But I think Purple, Blush or Rose Quartz, Ivory, Lavender and of course Black which is always sexy especially in the form of a LBD, make for some great colors to wear for the Day of Love or around it. As far as patterns, I think the main two to wear for Valentine's would be Flirty Florals or Sexy Leopard. A third great pattern choice would be Polka Dots since they are girly, romantic and whimsical. What do you think?! Today I am looking back at some Valentine-inspired Looks I have previously worn and shared on the blog, as well. Enjoy them!

I have previously worn this outfit in May. I still own this dress. It is White with Purple+Lavender Flowers. It is a great dress to wear for Valentine's. I think for V Day I would add a Long Hot Pink Cardigan over it , Nude Tights and either Burgundy Suede Booties, Black Suede Booties or Black Pumps.

Ahhh living in such a small apartment in a large European city back then, I cringe now at all the clutter in these photos, but no one is perfect! Moving on to the outfit, I did wear this to a pre-Valentine Day dinner date I had with my husband where I am styling one of his Plaid Shirts. I did add some more red by carrying a Satin Little Red Clutch and I pattern-mixed with Leopard Pumps. I would 100% take off and never wear again that large Turquoise Lucite Flower Necklace. I thought at the time looked cute, but I totally disagree now. Having had a blog for about 5 years now, makes me look back at it with very critical expert eyes and learning from past mistakes. I will re-wear a version of this outfit soon, minus any gaudy necklace lol.

Here I am wearing a Wine, Off-Shoulder Sweater Dress with my Faux Shearling Nude Vest, Patterned Black Tights and some Nude Ghilly Ballet Flats. This was worn to work. I want to re-wear this Sweater Dress again this February.

You will see a 'theme' emerging with some of these outfits today: Hot Pink Tights. While I do love this Animal-Print, Bell-Sleeve Pink+Cream Wrap Dress, if I wear to re-wear it again this season, I wouldn't choose tights in the same color for it. I would opt for gray, navy, black or nude tights - so the main neutrals. I must say though the Cream Clutch was the right one to carry here. Creams and Pinks are two of the main colors to wear for Valentine's Day.

Here I mixed a Deep Red Corduroy Blazer with Skinny Olive Pants, a Turquoise Blouse and Nude Cork Pumps. The Statement Necklace has several beautiful jewel tones in it and picks up all the other colors of this outfit. I also added some Lavender Square Studs. This kind of outfit would be perfect for a date night, even on Valentine's night. It is not typical for Valentine's but it is also still perfect for the occasion. 

I wore this outfit exactly two days before Vivian was born. I had Valentine's Day in mind. A mostly Black+Cream Outfit got a little romantic by adding a Coral Flower Pin to the belt I put over my tunic. Looking at this outfit, I am reminded to wear Knee-Socks with my Knee-High Boots again. I liked how this turned out, it is a casual outfit yet still dressy enough.

Again, not a typical outfit for a Valentine's evening, but with the white, red and pink in this outfit, I am covering/wearing the three main colors of Valentine's. I love how this looks frothy, bright and crisp with all the white monochrome that it has going on. That Statement Necklace too is the same jewel-toned one from two photos above this one. This would be good for a dinner with girlfriends or your significant other.

The original post here featured two Valentine's Day Weekend Casual Outfits. I think this is my favorite of the two. I wish these Bad-ass Brown Booties were not packed away in Albania. Here I mixed them with Black Velvet Leggings and layered my "Heart 4 Ever" Sweatshirt over a Perfectly-Red Button-Down Shirt. I added a little glam with some Metallic Gray Pearls. And that flower bouquet was one of the two my husband gave me for Valentine's, two years ago.

I have worn this outfit to a club with friends but it is also one you can wear to work because I am wearing Wide Dressy Pants in a Blush Color with a White Polka Dot, Bow-Tie Blouse and I do think Bow-Tie Tops and Bow-Tie Dresses are quite romantic, girly and feminine and would be perfect to wear for early to mid February.

This was an actual Valentine's Day Outfit for half a decade ago, exactly (pre Vivian). I wore this for a dinner with my husband and a couple of married friends of ours at a Fancy Steakhouse Restaurant. The Baby Pink Mini Dress is a Silk Satin Dress with layers of Lace strips. I paired it with Purple Mary Jane Shoes, a Gray Coat with a warm Wool-Knitted Pink Scarf and a Pink+Orange Python Clutch. I curled my long hair and pinned a Pink Flower to it. Also, my key to keeping warm for Winter with short dresses/skirts when it looks like I am not wearing any tights, in order to keep my legs warm, is thin Nude Tights, which I am wearing in the above look, too.

A Casual Movie Night Outfit, which with all the touches of Hot Pink (and some white) would still today be nice to put together for a casual movie night + dinner with friends. I wish I had these Pink Patent Leather Booties still. The Long Cardigan worked well over Black Leggings and I added a Pink Pashmina Scarf to my neck because as you know movie theaters can be quite cold.

Plaids, Camel, Navy, Coats, Layers and Felt Hats say cold Winter more than they say Valentine's Day, but with the different shades of red and burgundy in this outfit, it is nice to wear on a day off, running errands and dragging a little toddler with you too, which is exactly what I did. My Red Plaid Chiffon Blouse would look nice with a Pink or Red Cardigan over it, either with Dark Skinny Jeans, Dressy Slacks or Black Pants to style for Valentine's.

Now this is one Bold Look (from last year). My Navy+Gray Striped Knit Dress got punched with a lot of Hot Pink, Purple and Orange in this outfit. In the original post I showed you two options of purses for this look, the Purple Quilted one from the photo and another Orange Bag. I actually like either with the outfit because the blanket scarf/wrap has both purple and orange in it. I just recently styled these bright pink tights with a dress, for another Valentine-inspired outfit.

I wore this for a Girls' Night Out to a live music restaurant, to celebrate one of my friend's birthdays and the Flower Arrangement I am carrying is what I brought her. This is quite the Bold Outfit mixing Patterns, Textures and a Bright Neon Pink with some Cranberry Red Booties (wish these weren't packed away in Albania, either - I love them). I have had this Houndstooth Ponte Sheath in my closet for a few years and it is one of those pieces that will always be timeless. A Velvet Jacket brings elements of the season which is still Winter but the Bright Pink especially matched by the tights, make it right for Valentine's Day and it is an outfit that would be perfect for the office, that day.

You can never go wrong with a Little Black Sheath Dress paired with some Leopard Accessories. Same thing for Valentine's Dress. This Sheath is Chic, Classic and Timeless. The Leopard Cardigan is classy, yet a little trendy too. I paired them both with my Retro-Looking Round-Toe Leopard Pumps which feature a Big Bow off the sides and wore this to work. I would wear and re-wear a version of this outfit time and again. It will never go out of style.

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane, today. You will see several Valentine-inspired Outfits here in the next 2 to 3 weeks. Most of the ones I have shot so far look quite different than what you see today. Hope you will like them. =)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thursday Moda #48: Layering Plaid for Winter.

Happy Thursday Moda, the last Thursday of January, to. What?! I had originally planned to post my New Year's Eve Outfit today and then I thought about posting another outfit. But none of those photos were edited. So today you get the third option. Third time is the charm.

Today you get to see my Navy/Cream/Burgundy Plaid Flannel Shirtdress from Target again, albeit worn a lot more casually than the last time I wore it - and looking at those photos my hair has grown at least an inch longer. I wore this last Friday, the day after Vivian's birthday on a little Mommy+Daughter date we had, first to McDonald's for a happy meal for her and later to Starbucks for me. Do you guys follow me on Insta Stories?! I post some of our daily adventures in there. =) I layered the dress with Black Leggings, Red Patterned Socks that peek thru from the open sides of my Olive Booties, my New Light Down, Black Coat on top and jazzed it up with some Sparkly Jewelry. I love how it came out and the addition of the socks looked cute! What do you think?!

Gold Sparkly Hair Barrette w/ 3 Colorful Geometric Stones: Target (New) (gorgeous option w/ blue stones, Great Deal, love this), (beautiful deep purple Swarovski option, Splurge, my Favorite).
Silver + Baby Blue "Camellia" Crystal Statement Necklace: Perry Street via Rocksbox (New) (similar, on Sale, love this), (bold chandelier style, on Sale, my Favorite), (similar, Great Deal).
Sunburst Silver "Aster" Crystal Statement Studs: Perry Street via Rocksbox (New) (similar, Huge Steal, love these), (similar, Steal), (similar, love these), (similar, Splurge, my Favorite).
Thin Black Leggings w/ wide Lace Trim: White House Black Market (similar, Steal), (similar, Splurge).

There were over 80 of you that linked up last week. I saw many scarves, coats, boots, moto jackets and comfortable but chic outfits that are perfect for January. As usual narrowing it down to a few favorites was hard. And it looks like "Greenery" is a popular color for bloggers this year, though everyone still loves Cobalt Blue, too.
This week's Featured Blogger is ADRIELE from Style Assisted, an elegant mom blogger who recently chopped her raven hair into a gorgeous long bob. I loved her green coat ensemble so much and it is a coat I would buy and wear in a heartbeat. Ditto for the sweater, OTK boots, tote and necklace. This is the perfect polished outfit for a mom on the go, especially a busy toddler mom like Adriele. She has a little boy - Alexander. I love that on her blog, beautiful Adriele - whose name I love and it is a version of my own full name, Adriana - not only shares the most polished, elegant looks whether dressy, fancy, casual or in between, but also has tips, recipes, beauty and organizing posts, as well as lots of Mommy+Me posts with her son. There is something in her blog for everyone and I love mom blogs like hers. If you haven't already stop by and follow her.

Megan shared an uniquely-striped 'Printed Dress' in her Weekly Style Edit post. While the dress is fun, I am dying over the black pieces she paired it with: the moto jacket and those fun multi-strap pumps.
Chichi makes 'A Chic Style Statement' with her gorgeous buffalo plaid navy+red coat, those cropped fringe jeans which I love and some stunning mid-calf nude boots.
Kristina in her 'Little Pink Skirt' shows us that you can wear a tiny mini for Winter if you have the right coat and tights with it. I am always a fan of gray with blush pink.
Katie's silver loafers, large dotted skirt, pink clutch, embellished shirt and especially her 'Zebra Parade' green sweater which I am dying to own myself, are all very pretty. It all looks so vibrant and fun together.

Now join the linkup and make some new friends!

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