Friday, February 28, 2014

Links to bring Spring faster

I had planned to post a picture of the first almond trees in bloom, as I saw them since last week and couldn't believe my eyes. But the sunny days of February brought some rainy friends along, so let's wish for clear skies and warm rays to come visit again.

Meanwhile, here are some interesting things to help rush the coming of the new season:

Are you doing anything fun to feel the Spring come faster? Please do share in the comments!
Have a great weekend!

| Love, Lisa |

Monday, February 24, 2014

The small things we overlook

What we overlook, does not come to light easily, not even when we see others emphasize preference towards them. I think we understand what great things we were not paying attention to when we take the time to know our self more, when we pay attention to what makes us really content. And the truest joy often comes from surprising sources, small things or little acts. There are so many, but our attention sometimes misses them or/and they might even change with time (true for me).

Here are 6 random things that make me happy lately:
  • Changing my computer's desktop background often (because apparently I get bored pretty fast)
  • Cute utility items around me (supplies, furniture, tools, everything matters) 
  • Having a personal photography or art framed (or 10 of them)
  • Fresh flowers at home (from the balcony/garden/neighbor/street sellers or flower shop)
  • Opening my closet and finding things I know I will feel good and comfortable wearing (this means wearing the same pieces more often - not necessarily bad)
  • Finishing reading a book and looking forward to buying the next one (signing them with my name too)

Now its your turn. What are the random things that make you happy? Were you always aware of them or did it take you some time? Do you find they change with time?

| Love, Lisa |

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Easy tips to make choices faster

I'm terrible at choosing only one thing between many and I feel like chocking in the depth and width of possibilities and the results of picking or not picking every single item. I read this article today who made me feel a little bit better knowing other people fight with this issue too.

Beside the funny notes and great advices you can find in the article, there is a little trick I mastered all by myself while pinning hundreds of engagement rings in a Pinterest board that was supposed to be an inspirational board for my fiance to look at. He is the guy who needs an A and a B to choose from, put a C there and he looses track. Not only I was choosing different types of rings (from baroque to modern), but I was pinning similar cuts and many colors of the same style over and over. After noticing my craziness, I stopped. Here is what I did before pinning every single image, although I felt like I loved them all at first sight.

1. Asking myself "Would I be happy if he got me this particular one?" If the answer was yes, in the board it goes. If the answer was dunno or maybe, it gets out. So, I only had to be honest with myself and taking the choices one by one, treating them as the final one, which felt less overwhelming. This can apply in many cases, like when pinning for a project inspiration, shopping, choosing details for an event, choosing furniture, decorating etc. Sometimes I only like a detail or two in an image and I make sure I emphasize that (in the description if it is a pin or by circling the detail with a pen on paper or by cropping out the rest).

2. Also, going back to your choices after a couple of days or even months, will decrease their number for sure, because there will be items you don't feel still positive about. I do this when I come up with ten versions for a design project, interior choices or items on the online shopping basket.

I repeat, I'm still struggling to be a fast decision maker, so any tried tips from you experts out there that can choose your future house in 5 minutes are more than welcomed :)

On another note, if you are in the looking, here is a guide I put together for choosing the perfect ring for you...

| Love, Lisa |

Sunday, February 16, 2014

What will get you through Monday (or any day actually)

I don't have a big issue with Mondays and actually I like them more then Sundays (reason why). If it wasn't for everyone out there calling Monday names and making me feel like I need to be a superhuman to go through that day, I could even call it my favorite day, who knows.

The deal is, most of us like the idea of new starts, fresh opportunities and possibilities, but we never relate Monday with this bright side. New Year and Spring and Fall are for the above, but Mondays are for the difficulties, the "getting back to reality", the "I hate everyone today", the "give me another late morning", the "I have nothing to wear" and "I don't feel like washing my hair today". Truth is Mondays could be all these and maybe much worse in cases. Many of you out there only have a day or two at most to pause from the monotony and daily schedules, to fit in all the rest and fun and to do list accomplishments you can. And maybe because I spend most of time part time working, collaborating and working for myself, I don't go perceive the shocking transition too badly.  Any day can be hard, sometimes an hour can be hard, so hard you cannot wait for it to be gone. And whatever "5 things to do on Sunday evening to feel great on Monday" advices you follow and no matter how much outfit and meal planning you do for the entire week, tough times feel bad psychologically more than they actually are on the practical aspect.

It seems to me that I have been doing this unintentional thing a few times, but not especially in difficult moments or harsh days. As I have been driving by the river that runs in the middle of our city, I have been dreaming of passing by Seine and its romantic lights. While having a coffe at a random bar I have imagined myself being in a cute little cafe somewhere in the alleys of Portugal or Greece. At times I am working in my messy room at night, I pretend I'm in the middle of a beautiful tidy space. See where I am going with this?

Own your senses and direct them. Don't let them perceive the bad and ugly stuff and transmit it to you. Instead feed them with beauty, travel, dreams, plans, cakes, whatever makes you escape the reality and make your heart quietly happy. I have a vivid imagination and I can easily travel wherever I want, but if you need a little help, go with visual stimulation like looking at pictures or reading.

Here is an essay that feels like a page from a classic novel and the way the writer describes their morning ritual might make you appreciate yours too. This is an instagram feed that you can check when you need to leave reality right away, because roséline is very consistent in her dreamy style in every picture (at the blog too). These are some tips I put together to find inspiration and happiness. And finally this tumblr will make you laugh, if all else fails to occupy your senses.

In the end, do all you know best and what works for you, but having an extra tool feels powerful enough to rock any hard time, even if you don't actually use it.

Have a great Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday my friends!  
(See what I did there? I occupied your eyes to read all the days' names and forget about your unwashed hair for Monday)

| Love, Lisa |

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My favorite Albanian blogs | Part 1

I couldn't decide between blogs and bloggers for this tittle, but since sometimes there is more than one person behind the final work published, I went for blogs.

There is actually little history of blogging in our country. This tool has been mainly used for personal purposes or simply for publishing articles of different niches.

Only the past few years blogging has evolved into an alternative and broad way of expressing talents, creating stories, sharing original content and connecting with people worldwide. There are many talented folks running blogs in my country, some living abroad and some in the capital city, Tirana.

I would like to present a few of my favorites from time to time, hoping their number rises and the content gets more curated and original each day.

Stella lives in Italy and creates beautiful visual stories, based on alternative concepts or dreamy moods. You should definitely check her impeccable photography.

Iva is a journalist that writes a weekly column in a magazine and then in her personal blog. Such a pity that what her fine humor and realistic approach for female issues only make sense in Albanian.

The girl behind this funny tumblr is genius. She picks up common truths about living in Tirana and transforms them into funny little stories with pics. They are translated in good English as well.

Aulona is a media expert and her writing style doesn't go unnoticed. Even if you don't get the words, you can have a look at her outfit posts, that get so many attention and controversial comments.

Kristi experiments with photography as a way to share her travel diaries. Her posts are curated, alternative and always beautiful.

Eranda, one of the first Albanian bloggers, has a great eye for everything beautiful and you can get your daily dose of inspiration on her gently curated tumblr page.

Kiki has a sweet tooth and shares it with everyone through her delicious recipes. She makes sure everything is easy and mouthwatering.

The young couple behind "The Rom Rom" loves to travel and they share valuable reviews and advices based on the experiences during their trips. I love how they capture the spirit of the places and never overlook the details and the ordinary things.

I really hope you check these guys out and enjoy their blogs as much as I do.
Part 2 is soon to come with more fierce Albanian bloggers :)

| Love, Lisa |

Monday, January 27, 2014

What to do tonight

Despite the real winter weather tonight (almost 0 degrees Celcius) and fact that everyone might already have a gazillion things to do, like chores, duties, homework and demands, I am assuming there must be someone out there looking for an interesting idea tonight. Here I am to help you, suggesting you watch this movie

picture via Katherine Long

"A GOOD YEAR" is a 2006 British romantic comedy directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, the lovely Marion Cotillard and many other great ones. 
I guarantee it will take you from a common stressful reality to a far away place full of magic. The movie is about discovering your roots, reconnecting to yourself and evaluating your priorities in life. It is also about family, love, earth, nature, culture differences between the UK and France and funny approaches. Does it hurt that most scenes are set in Provence? I thought so!

picture via Rooms Bloom

More than the plot and the beautiful house, what captured me most was the "something in the air" feeling, the sunlight diffusing amongst the trees, the magic you can almost feel going on the air and the scents coming from the earth you can almost smell. The breathtaking views and the overall enchanting feeling that captivates your mind and heart is inevitable. 

The movie is best enjoyed with a glass of wine and some cheese and this is mandatory because you will see much of it on screen and get jealous for sure.

I hope you watch it, get your hearts warmed and your minds flown away!!
And for those of you that have already watched this movie, a second time doesn't make it any less perfect. Let me know if you liked it as much as I did :)

Have a great week friends!
| Love, Lisa |

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What I'd like to buy right now // River Island

It's the time of the year when every shop launches their spring/summer collections amongst the winter items they still sell. One of them is River Island (actually they start incorporating them since December) where I online shop from time to time (it's one of the few that offer affordable worldwide shipping). Considering it is also that time of the year when your shopping budget is pretty limited or absolutely zero after the holiday spending, let's pretend we are shopping together for a few minutes, giving you good reasons why I would buy these items right now. And if you are not convinced, that would be a good reason to save your pennies and not hate me for pushing you to sin. Whatever your verdict, I'm just pretending shopping :)

1  //  2  //  3  //  4  //  5

1 - The stripes aren't going away soon, so a striped tee with a cute type would be perfect from now until next Fall. I also like the red color, which brings a fresh note on marine style and all the blue and black stripes I already own.

2 - I can imagine myself in this dress with a cream long chunky cardigan and tan boot, with a polished blazer and pumps, with a black moto jacket and black booties, on its own with gold jewelry and with a big sun hat and sandals. Now dare you give me a reason to win over my five points here!

3 - This simple pendant wins over what I already have because of the big black stone. It would go pretty much with everything I own, from winter dresses to lacy ones in summer, so why not?

4 - I love kaftans and I take them very seriously. If money were not an issue, I'd spend ridiculously much on them. Since that is not an option, I'm always on the hunt for inexpensive-out of the season-colorful-not too sheer-not too short-not too skin flashing ones and since you can rarely find something that demanding, I've got my eyes on this cutie.

5 - Since I don't own a decent leather skirt yet, this one seems to be a possible winner. It's high wasted, which flatters more and although it says miniskirt in the description, it doesn't seem to hit that high above the knee (much needed as leather skirts get sooooo short and uncomfortable when you are sit). Above all, it's real leather, something I wish to invest in, after the decision to consider myself an adult this year and the pledge to only buy adult items.

I'm still holding myself from real shopping, but nevertheless, let me know if you'd buy any of these for real ;) And if you decide to hit the bank here are some helpful tips on how to shop at Asos.

Have a great weekend friends !!

| Love, Lisa |
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