Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Thursday Moda #196: Perspective.

There has been days since I thought about writing this post and started to write this post for that matter. I thought - since the moment we started putting our Christmas decorations on and lighting up those special lights that brighten up the season, since mid November or so -  about 2019 and the year that was ending. These last few weeks, not just me, but all of us couldn't help but think about 2019 and the year that was about to end, the year that we would leave behind. Or is it just me?! Truth be told, this month of December has gotten away from me, just like the rest of 2019 it seems. Where did 2019 go?! How was it so fast and furious, so busy and time-consuming?! I have been very very absent on this blog during this year. CLEARLY! That was not my intention at all. But it happened. It happened cause life happens! And my life has been so busy this year, working hard, trying to be the best mother I can be, working hard to become a better person and a better version of me. And of course other everyday things "get in the way" like eating, sleeping, applying makeup and having some me time whenever I can, being included in Vivian's school life, making sure she does homework, reads, take baths, doesn't spend all of her free time behind a computer screen, etc, etc. Life has been busy and as much as I have wanted or tried to I could not keep up with the blog, because let's face it: it takes a lot of time. So much goes into a post and not just the writing. The photos - taking them, retaking them at times, editing, cropping, inserting them on the post, choosing the right ones; the writing - putting the post together, using the right words, facing writer's block at times, not being too wordy or too short, editing what I wrote, using proper grammar and spelling. Promoting the post, talking about it on Instagram, Insta stories, Facebook or other social media, catching up with other bloggers, promoting the link-up I run every Thursday, commenting, reading other posts, following you and other bloggers on Instagram, joining linkups, liking+commenting+following your posts on Instagram - you name it. It all takes a lot of time and effort if I am being honest.

...So, life happened. I am a human. We are all human beings and sometimes you got to let go of things that make life more hectic. For example, instead of going without sleep or not spending time with Vivian, I decided to blog less and even skip a few Thursday Moda linkups when I was not feeling good or I was sleepy and exhausted. Because it's not worth it. This blog in general brings me joy and has been my biggest hobby for the past 7 years, but this year I would be lying if I told you I had a lot of time for it, because I did not. I usually try to pour my heart into every post and every poetry I write and I publish. I put effort into these posts just like I do in my poems and poetry, in my outfits, my everyday life, my life as a mom, etc. etc. But when something doesn't bring you joy, you should stop doing it or change it! So, instead of sacrificing those super important things that make up our every day life, I started posting a lot less and making my blog a part-time little joy in my life, instead of thinking of it as a burden. I figured if I loose readers or followers no big deal. If you like me for who I am, you will continue to follow me and read my posts, or if you have stopped stopping by here, you will start again once I get back to a more normal blogging routine. I am the same way: just because it has been many many weeks and months that I rarely stop by your blogs, read your posts or comment them, does not mean that I do not love you all or appreciate you, doesn't mean that I stopped reading altogether or that I will not join your linkups in the near future. But, in 2019 I decided to live life as it came and not worry about datelines, collaborations, working with brands, other bloggers, you name it. Instead I chose to do think without a planner (and I don't mean that as a metaphor, but literally), without a journal, without scheduling ahead posts and such. So what if a lot less people join my Thursday Moda linkup?! It is not a big deal at all. I don't even care if I blogged very few outfits this year and have so many that are photographed and not blogged. I don't care if people noticed that I turned from a full-time blogger to a part-time one. After all this is not my bread and butter, my 9 to 5, what puts food on my table, I don't depend on this blog to live my life. But I cannot slack or cut corners at my real job. I decided to live life to my terms and mine only and ignored e-mails that wanted collaboration after collaboration. Really, who had time for that?!

Because life is about doing things that make you happy. And - I never shared this with you before on this blog - but my two words for 2019 were "Radiate" and "Happier". I used these words as hashtags a lot in my Instagram posts, too. I chose these words for so many reasons and I definitely see a connection between the two. You cannot radiate without being happy. But I chose "happier" instead of "happy" because I wanted 2019 to be happier than 2018 and of course we all want that for every year to come, but 2018 was a very sad, brutal and heart-breaking year for me because my husband and I decided to part ways and it was by far a very tough time in my life followed by this very tough decision. But as we all know, when a door closes - a window opens. So, with 2019 I was hoping to find that little light at the end of the tunnel and personally, in many ways I found it. However - and I have mentioned this several times on the blog and more often on my Instagram - 2019 was a sad year for me personally, filled with a lot of bad news. Albania had a deadly earthquake on November 26th where 51 innocent lives were lost  and it affected me so much, I am a human after all and it was so sad, that is my first home after all. Even sadder because the majority of the victims from this earthquake were members of the same family, in several occasions. Then in December I lost a friend, at the young age of 36 and my heart once again fell in sadness and depression. Just two weeks after that my parents lost a family friend, a great man who was a fantastic father and grandfather. As a matter of fact, we buried him today on New Year's Eve. 2019 was a tough year in some other areas too. I gained a niece and a nephew (God bless them both) but I lost contact with one very special person and my heart is saddened because of it. For these reasons and more 2019 was a tough year, a bitter pill to swallow, a year where I shed so many tears and cried from the depth of my heart. So truth be told, I was ready for 2019 to end and bring light to a new year, a brand-new decade to start and... some perspective! Which brings me to my word for 2020 and that word is "Perspective". What better way to start a new year, and a new decade than with perspective?! Perspective means so many things and I can write entire paragraphs about it. But I will write more about it as the year progresses and touch-base a little bit of it towards the end of each month of this year.

I want to have perspective when it comes to my personal life, my professional life, my life as a mom and a single woman. Perspective about this blog and where I want to take it. Perspective about my outfits. Perspective about my finances. Perspective about my health, my sleep routine, my diet and my 'me time'. Perspective about my hobbies and the things that bring me joy, like reading, writing poetry, keeping a journal where I can write inspiring things, inspiring and encouraging you along the way. Perspective about things that truly matter in life which is not the number of followers you have on your social media channels, it is not the number of likes and comments you get on your Instagram posts, it is not the number of virtual friends you have on Facebook, or it is not the number of name-brand shoes and bags you own. Perspective on spending less, shopping my closet more, trying to be more wary of the environment around me: always recycling, using less and less plastic, shopping second-hand or trying to choose and wear eco-friendly clothing and cruelty-free makeup. Perspective on the choices I make every day, from what I eat, drink, how I sleep, when I shower, how much makeup I use, the creams, lotions, soaps, makeup and shampoos I choose to use, the food I buy at the grocery store, how I spend all the money I so hardly work to make, the books I read, the movies and TV shows I watch, the time I spend or 'waste' on Instagram etc. etc. Perspective on my body, how I treat it, if I walk enough or exercise enough. Perspective and clarity on my mind, how I use my brain. Perspective on my attitude and my mind-set, on not letting the small things get to me and on seeing the bigger picture. Everything needs perspective and I will do my best in this new year to go into that direction. 

...And last but not least, perspective on my family because they are everything to me: close immediate family and my overall extended family. They are my world and I love them all so much, and speaking of family, today's photos and my outfit are taken from December 26th when we celebrated part two of Christmas, with some of my extended family: my uncle, his wife and one their daughters with her own little, beautiful family. I adore the photos of me and my 5 and a half year old niece Noela. Vivian loves her a lot too and considers Noela her favorite cousin.

Pretty Cuties. Little Beauties. Though they look the same age, Vivian is a year and 5 months older than her cousin Noela!
My cousin did a great job decorating for Christmas this year. Both of her trees were gorgeous and very feminine, too. I loved them especially the white and pink-decorated tree!
All the yummy home-made food my aunt had cooked. She made every dish herself and it was all delicious especially the lamb.
I wanted to post these photos today not just because of PERSPECTIVE - my word for 2020, but also because this was hands-down my most favorite outfit I wore this December (on the 26th). As a matter of fact it is dressy and fancy enough to be worn on New Year's Eve if I happened to go out on NY Eve, but I am staying in. Our Christmas day and the day after Christmas, we experienced a high of 60 degrees when it comes to our temperatures in Michigan. The legs were out and all I did is wear a light velvet blazer over a silky sleeveless blouse. Honestly I didn't need anymore clothing. It felt that warm! I paired this wool black mini skirt (by Loft) with a popover white blouse in a festive red leafy print (also by Loft) and layered on top with this golden-mustard collarless blazer (also by Loft). I was pretty much in Loft head to toe because even my stud earrings and my set of gold monogram bangles were by Loft. These semi-opaque tights are in a dark metallic shimmery grey color and they are by Victoria's Secret. The faux suede, block-heel, black, bow sandals and the white genuine leather bag with oversized tassels were by Nordstrom (the bag is Rebecca Minkoff). To keep the look festive and fancy I clipped a crystal hair pin by Forever 21 on my hair and let my hair down. I loved the photos my sweet Vivian took of me in front of our door, before we left. I also happen to love this outfit and my cousin and her family did as well. 

Beautiful Memories with people who mean a lot to me. That's what the holidays are for. No?!







The last post I posted here was two weeks ago, on my previous Thursday Moda where I did a very special Mommy+Me Christmas post with my sweet girl. Thank you all for the compliments you gave us. We appreciate them. From two weeks ago I am featuring my favorite outfits below. I think all of these outfits would be perfect to wear for New Year's Eve, depending on what you are doing or how are you spending it. They vary from super dressy and very sparkly, to polished, fun and cutesy, or casual but festive!


Ashley killed it in a 'Green Snakeskin Boho Dress + Michael Kors Boots'. It is definitely her style: put together, feminine and edgy. I would totally wear something like this for New Year's Eve!
'What to Wear NYE' and beyond would be a fabulous black pencil skirt. Jacqui paired hers with a fitted crystal glowing top and silver clutch.
Always with those classic Chanel vibes, Lizzie wore a LBD with an off-white bow blouse underneath it, complete with a fancy coat and purse, both adorned with pearls. While we look forward to a new year, Lizzie talked about her 'Winter 2019 Bucket List' - very nice.
Ellibelle claims hers is a 'A Fair Isle Sweater I Will Wear All Winter' which yes with cozy blue jeans and warm and comfortable suede black boots, would be perfect for a casual at-home New Year's Eve with friends.
Iris is super fancy in her sparkly silver brocade gown with a 'Classic Blue' background. It looks stunning on her! Looks like Iris will rock classic blue - the IT color of the new year 2020 all year long!
'Getting Dressed Up Is Important to Me' too Shelbee. Another perspective I have for the new year is to dress well and look put-together. Read Shelbee's post to find out why she does, and check out her funky, edgy and girly red+white+black outfit complete with lace-trimmed socks and two ponytails under a beret.


I hope you like my outfit today - the last outfit post of 2019. I wish you all a Fantastic New Year! Happy 2020 and make this decade memorable, beautiful, happy and bright! I hope you find the joy, peace and perspective you are looking for in the new year!! Thank you all for reading my blog today (especially today - this post was loooooong) and through this year. Thank you for joining my linkup and not abandoning me though I feel like I have abandoned you. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!






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