Monday, July 29, 2013

Silver Lining

This skirt has been in my closet for a couple of years and I have only worn it two or three times. You know those items that are beautiful by themselves but are difficult to pair up with something? This skirt would fall under that category. Since it’s made out of this silver shiny fabric it looks a little fancier than your regular work skirt but not fancy enough to be worn out to an event. The two possible options here are dressing it down for work or accessorizing it up for an event. Today, I chose option one and paired it with a black and white top and a more conservative blazer. Happy Monday, everyone!



Skirt: Express;  Top and Blazer: via Marshall's; Bracelet and Earrings: NY & Company;  Shoes: Franco Sarto

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Déjà Vu

Walking out the door today I had an interesting moment of a typical case of deja vu. You know those moments when certain smells, sounds or sensations would remind you of a certain episode from your past? I experienced it this morning when the feel of cooler weather brought me back to the time I started writing my blog. It was in October of 2012, and the weather outside felt exactly the same. This made me think: What does writing this blog really mean to me? Well, it is my consolation, my refuge, my creative outlet. For years I have been trying to figure out what creative, artistic skills or pursuits I had, and I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that while I like to dabble into different activities here and there, I do not possess any distinct talents: I’m not a dancer, I’m not a painter, I’m not an actress, a singer, an entertainer, etc. I do, however, love writing. Writing is something that makes me happy, something that helps me express who I am, something that helps me find the answers to my own issues, as every time I put my thoughts in writing I come to some sort of conclusion at the end.

I don’t remember what exactly pushed me to start a blog, but I do remember that it was a mix of distress, confusion, despair and a spark of excitement that I finally found a way out. How do I know that writing is right for me? It’s simple – because after a year and a half of blogging I still have not lost that spark.
In support of my déjà vu, here’s my very first post, where it all began:


Monday, July 22, 2013

Special Day - Special Thank You!

Today is a special day for me, as exactly seven years ago, on this same day, my mom and I took up a life-changing journey and moved to the United States. To this day, I remember the emotions I was filled with when I stepped my right foot on the foreign, at that time, ground. “When you go to another country, it is important to step off the airplane with your right foot forward. That way, the new country will greet you well and bring you good luck,” a friend told us. Why right foot? The explanation never followed; however, I remember getting more and more anxious trying not to forget to follow the instructions as I stood in line before exiting the airplane.

I don’t know whether it’s the fact that I remembered to set my right foot forward getting off the plane, but I do believe this country has greeted us well and truly accepted us. Looking back at the somewhat risky decision we made seven years ago, I cannot complain about the way things turned out.

Today marks the sevens years of learning, struggling, advancing, achieving, appreciating, obtaining, realizing and overall living. Today marks the seven years of acquiring knowledge, becoming a better person, and realizing what’s truly important.  Today marks the seven years of failures and successes, ups and downs, rises and falls – each leading me to a certain goal, a certain realization, a certain learned lesson. I’d like to thank each and every single person who has fallen into my life since July 22, 2006! You are my best teachers and my biggest roles models!


Celebrating the seven-year anniversary in style:







Dress, Earrings: Express;  Bag: Valentina;  Belt: NY & Company

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Right Choice

How many times have you been told that you’re doing something wrong, or that you’re not doing what you are supposed to? The answer will vary for each and every one of us. Some of us feel like we are constantly criticized, some of us feel incredibly confident. The differentiator here, however, is not how many times throughout the day we are criticized, but our reaction to it. I think it’s fair to say that we all get similar amount of criticism in various aspects of our lives; however, some of us can easily shrug it off, knowing that they’ve dove their best, others will think and re-think their actions, stressing themselves out about the minor things. It’s a slippery slope when it comes to this kind of behavior as it discourages you from moving on and concentrating on what makes you truly happy. The key here is to be able to accept the criticism, extract things that will help you grow and ignore all the other negative, destructive parts. I was once told a truly great advice: “You should listen to what other people say but you can always choose whether to actually react to it.” Reacting to criticism (meaning reacting to it emotionally, or accepting it) is what usually causes us to get discouraged or even give up. We are (or we should be) in control of our own emotions, and it is up to us whether we take on that criticism and feel guilty, even though we know we’ve done everything we could at that point, or whether we dismiss it and move forward.  “Focus on the positive,” “look on the bright side,” “every cloud has a silver lining” – are all the things we keep hearing mentioned but do not give them any good thought. Well, we should!
I just read this book where the author makes a point of how all of the problems and illnesses we deal with are created by our own thoughts. There is no situation in our lives that cannot be changed by merely changing our behavior and attitude towards certain aspects of our lives. We basically create our own problems, and all we need to do to resolve them is take responsibility for our lives, for our actions, for ourselves. It also talks about the fact that there are no wrong decisions, there are no mistakes, there are no incorrect actions. Every choice we make is the right one is any given situation. Just think about, there is something – some sort of force, some sort of thinking – that pushed you to make a certain decision in a given situation, be it conscious thinking or unconscious action. At the time you made that decision it seemed like the most appropriate one, for one reason or another. Regardless of the outcome, it was the right thing to do at the time. In case the outcome was successful – good, you’ve just experienced something positive; if the outcome was not successful – even better, you’ve just learned your lesson, maybe the hard way, but you will take something away from it, something that will help you build on your personal growth. I think if you go through life with this thinking (and I know – easier said than done!) you will realize that there isn’t good or bad, wrong or right, there is a given situation and its outcome, which at the end of the day benefits you in either case.







Dress: Diane von Furstenberg (best flee-market buy!); Top: NY & Company 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Enemy

I feel like most of the time I am my worst enemy… Instead of breaking out of my bad habits and focusing on my own health and well-being, I keep making bad, unhealthy choices. Knowing in advance that the decision I make is wrong and will do me no good, I still do not hesitate before going straight for it. What is the brain chemistry behinds this? What are the triggers that push me to the edge on such occasions, which happen to occur a little too often lately… Every morning I wake with the same goal – to start fresh, to break out of the vicious cycle, to get back on track. Every morning I feel inspired. Every morning begins full of hopes and a commitment to get better. However, as the day progresses, as the light of the day changes to dullness of the evening, and as emotions of that day build up, all determination and inspiration from the morning dissipates into the twilight, and all that’s left is the bad judgment and careless decisions. “Where does it come from?” I ask myself. “From within,” I hear myself saying. How can I change this? How can I make healthy decision-making become a lifestyle, not sporadic episodes of my life? Something’s gotta give, something’s gotta change, and change drastically. The change has to come from within, from the same place all this self-diminishing behavior comes from. I need to change the focus and fill the emptiness with love – love for what I do, love for who I am, love for something and someone out there…