Wednesday 30 December 2020

NYE 2020: Casual Looks with Ada & Link-Up

Moving into 2021 is exciting.  Although I know we are clearly not finished with this way of life, I am excited by the prospect that at some point in 2021 we will be vaccinated (thank you scientists and medical specialists for working around the clock on this for the almost a year), and hopefully get to see family that don't live nearby.  Also, I want real hugs from friends and family.  Hahaha.   I want to visit my grandmothers without a mask and I want to smile at strangers at a grocery store.  Its the small things I've learned to appreciate to be honest.  BLOGGER friends the other thing I would like to do is collaborate and connect with you more with other in 2021, so if you are interested in a coloration  or have a fun idea shoot me a message here or through IG.  

Speaking of collaborations todays post is brought to you by Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood, make sure to check out her bio and outfit  link below.  We decided to feature a fairly casual NYE look because likely most of us are staying at home, it's still fun to make it a special evening.  In Bosnia, where I grew up until I was 10, NY is a big celebration and actually when we received our gifts as children.  For me it represents a fresh start and also a time to reflect on the previous year.  I love both of these things so I love celebrating on New Years Eve is important to me.  It will be just our little family and our plan is to make appetizers, play games as a family, maybe have a dance party, take out special treats and enjoy some specialty drinks for adults and children alike.  I have been saving this bottle from a trip Mr. and I took a couple of years ago, and we plan on cracking it open this year.  It seems like the perfect time to reflect and acknowledge that we live a really good life, as well as how excited we are at the prospect of 2021.  I also, always keep my tree up until after the New Year as I find it more festive and I equally love Christmas and NY for  their own perspective reasons.  

What about you, tree up or cleaned up before New Years?

My outfit today is a cozy sweater dress from my closet, you can see it styled here with some OTKB and a faux fur coat.  You can never go wrong with a sweater dress in winter and I'll be featuring another one in an upcoming post.  I love this one because in it's threads it has sparkle woven  into it somehow.  It's casual but also put together and most importantly its cozy.  I added a simple initial rose gold necklace and a pair of matching sparkle balls that I received from Santa this year, and it wouldn't be NYE without tacky dollar store party hats.  

Whatever you are doing, or not, I am wishing you a healthy, prosperous and joyful 2021. 

        Now make sure you check out my friend Ada's look  here  and join our link-up below!

Hi, I am Ada - a Midwest blogger from the Metropolitan Detroit area - and I have been blogging at Elegance and Mommyhood for 8 and a half years since I was pregnant with my beautiful daughter Vivian. She has grown with this blog and through all the changes I have had between different jobs, living in two continents (first in Europe and now back in USA), marriage, divorce and with my evolving and sometimes-changing style, too. That's why I named my blog "Elegance and Mommyhood because it's about good style that is affordable and looking put-together on a budget, as I raise a strong daughter as a single mother and dabble with everything that is involved with being a mom. In the last couple of years I started posting poetry on the blog too - since I have been writing poems from my tween years - and it is something I love and enjoy. So you will find some of my poetry and a dose of prose in the blog, as well. You can also follow me on Instagram and you can find me on Facebok. I would love for you to follow me and to connect together.  Thank you Bojana and Bojana's readers for having me today. Wishing you all a beautiful, blessed, healthy and happy New Year 2021! Let's leave behind a year that was tough and sad on so many levels, as we cheer and pray with hope for a new year of new beginnings and lots of joy! Welcome by. 

Shop This Post:
Sweater Dress old:  Old Navy  or R. W. & Co (only $20 right now!!!)
H & B Rose Gold Sparkle Ball Earnings 
H & B Rose Gold Initial Necklace & Charms

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Tuesday 22 December 2020

Christmas Dinner: Why We are Dressing Up

It's been a hot minute since I've been here.  I know, I know, I let it slip again but I am okay with that.  The holiday season is super busy both professionally and personally, add my daughters birthday into the mix, a running challenge, doing winter photo shoots on the weekends,  and I just can't do it all.  As I've gotten older, not sure if I am wiser, but the truth is I know and can deal with NOT DOING IT ALL.  I feel significantly less  pressure to do it all, mostly because I am working so hard to remove the pressure I put on myself.  So here we are, two weeks without a post and I am here happy and with a full heart.  

The holiday season is upon us and I've been thinking a lot about being casual and embarrassing slowing down, but also having a need to feel dressed up and festive even though there is nowhere to go.  I think it's going to be a balance of those things but I've decided that for Christmas dinner, regardless that it's so small this, we are gong to dress up.  Here is the thing, Mr. and I went on a date at the beginning of December.  We hadn't gone out since August and although we are happy and content our routine was becoming this, get up, run for me, go to work, come home, change into sweat pants and a hoodie, do supper, run kids to activities/go for a walk, tidy up and get everyone ready for the next day, lay down and watch a Modern Family, sleep, REPEAT.  On weekends I just through on the sweat pants and hoodie right from the start.  You get into the rhythm and it seems fine.  BUT a rhythm and rut are so closely connected.  I finally had enough.  With no events, celebrations, gatherings, I looked down at my unshaven legs and was just OVER IT!  We decided we were going for a date night.  We got dressed up.  I shaved my legs too... and we had SO MUCH FUN!  We enjoyed a lovely meal. Great conversation.  We broke out of our daily routine and reminded ourselves of a different time, a different routine, a different version of ourselves.  It was exactly what we needed.  So, I've decided that I am going to still make a meal, I am going to take out the "fancy" dishes, and we are all still going to get dressed up for Christmas dinner.  The rest of the time we can be low key and continue to enjoy our lounge wear but for one evening we are going to do what we always do at the holiday season.  

As for the outfit, EVERYTHING is from my closet.  I am really not shopping a lot these days and my bank account is thanking me for it.  Although I have something special coming in the mail for me that I really hope is as wonderful and flattering as I've built it up in my head.  Hahaha.  I really love having some good quality pieces that I splurged on such as my H & B jewelry and this long cardigan that shimmers and glistens in the light (purchased a few years ago at Nordstrom, sorry).

What are your thoughts?  Remember there is no right way to do anything, just the right way for you and your family.  

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a beautiful and restful holiday season!

Thursday 3 December 2020

Christmas Shopping in an Oversized Blazer


This past weekend I ventured out with the family to the mall for the first time in a LONG time.  It was surprisingly not busy and as I chatted with the lady at the MAC store, she said that it was the slowest Black Friday she has ever worked.  I guess people in our little province are truly trying to stay at home and do their part as we battle the increase in COVID cases.  All that being said sometimes you have to go into a store to find what you need and that's just what we did.  The whole family came, and Mr. and I divided up to tackle a few odds and ends and also take our youngest from store to store so she could finish off her little shopping list.  The teenager is all done her Christmas shopping but she did join me in a couple of stores to help me out.  I think I am approximately 95% done Christmas shopping!!!!  There are now a few odds and ends such as going to a few local food stores to buy a few treats as gifts and the secret Santa at work,  but other than that I feel ready.  

Now the outfit I choose to wore was simple and casual, which is 100% why I love it.  This oversized blazer was a thrift find and I am so glad I bought it.  I am not used to wearing oversized clothing so it took a bit to get used to the look on me, but I like the change.  I've paired it up with jeans, such as these, black pants for work and heels, and next I'd like to pair it up with a simple dress or maybe a pencil skirt.  I kept the whole look simple, tucked in black top, simple silver jewelry, flat booties so I could tackle the mall, and a pop of RED lipstick because I was taking pictures without a mask and lets face it these days I rarely wear lipstick anymore because I am masked most of the day.  LOL!  Who else misses wearing lipstick?  Hahaha.

What's the next combination I should try with the oversized blazer?

Thanks for coming by to read and have a great weekend ahead!

Shop This Post:
Zara Blazer (thrifted): Old Navy (similar) 
Silver Necklace:  Etzy
Madden Girl Black Booties 

Friday 27 November 2020

Every Fall Need a Wool Coat

Ahh, winter is fully here but if you are just entering winter season, then you might be thinking about upgrading to a warmer coat.  Outer wear is important around these parts as temperatures dip blow 0C, it's what people see  on you for the most part.  You can't leave the house without a coat!  Over the years I've invested in a few favorite coats that are good quality and most importantly keep me warm.  I scored a steal of a deal with this transitional coat through Thread Up.  It's an online consignment store and although I don't shop there often, this fall/early winter coat was the perfect purchase. Whenever I am buying a winter coat my biggest focus is  wool blend.  If you live in warmer climates going with 20 or 30% is probably okay, but here if you want to wear it through fall and then into winter you need to have at least 60% or more.  This coat gets me comfortably to just below 0C and then when it gets colder, I have another wool coat from Aritzia that I wear regularly, linked below.  I've featured it on the blog before, here and here,  because all the rich colors just work well with so many color combinations for the fall and I obsessed with the pattern.  

Speaking of color, I absolutely adore the rust color.  These coulletes have been a favorite of mine for many years and have appeared on the blog several times.  This time I paired them up with this polka dot, pre-plum, cropped top.  Usually I wouldn't wear a shorter top like this to work, but because the pants are high-waisted the outfit came together perfectly.  The top was a gift for my birthday in July and I had been waiting to style it.  It's a very different cut for me, but I absolutely love it.  There is so many simple details in this outfit from the pattern, to the pre-plum and then also the pinned seams in the middle, giving the waist even more definition.  

I added my new croc-print sling backs and the outfit was complete for a stroll downtown, work or dinner with friends (which we don't do but can't wait to do again once more).  I love the croc print so much that I'd like to add some booties for the winter season in the pattern too!

To my US friends, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving in whatever capacity you could do it this year.  Have a lovely weekend and thank you for stopping by.

Shop This Post:
Coulletes (old):  R W & Co (similar; on sale $11!!!)
Polka Dot Pre-Plum Top:  Amazon (similar)
Naturalizer Croc Shoes 
Wool Coat (ThreadUp old):  Aritzia Option 1 & Option 2

Saturday 21 November 2020

Teen Gift Giving Guide: From Stocking Stuffers to Bigger Ticket Items

Tween and teens can be tricky to buy for especially if you are not looking to spend a million dollars on the newest technology trends out there.  Each year my girls, currently almost 11 and almost 14, compile a list of items that are reasonably priced to give ideas to grandparents and aunts and uncles.  We don't like getting a bunch of stuff that will either be returned or donated.  This year it's especially important to give loved ones links to the products so that they don't have to leave the comfort of their home if they are uncomfortable or if their state/province is advising people to stay home.  I do also really like to support local as a mom but for the purpose of the blog, I am giving you easily accessible links and stores.  I do encourage you all to try your best to support local, especially if they are offering online orders, curbside pick-up or free shipping.  

I am also hoping to work with the girls to compile a list of books and games that tweens and teen girls would enjoy.  Stay tuned.

1.  Bluetooth Color Changing Lamp (Amazon)
Listen to music, charge your phone and enjoy a multi color lamp in your room that adds some great ambiance to your teens room.

2.  Tie Dye Set  (Shein)
A new twist to the traditional PJ set.  Teens are loving cropped tops and launge wear, and tie dye is still going to strong!  We purchased ours locally but they are all sold out.  These range in price, from $30 to $80/set, so shop around to see what you want to spend on it.

3.  Little Backpack  (Aldo)
You can spend as little as $15 or as much as you want for a cute little backpack.  Honestly, for tweens and teens I wouldn't drop a lot of $$$ on a leather backpack because they just like the momentarily trend and they care more about the look of it and less the quality.  But that's just me.

4.  Name Necklace (Etsy)
This is where I like to hit up Etsy to find a small business that can create your childs name.  I think this is such a simple, daily wear piece, that's still very much on trend across age groups.  Heck, I'd like one too. 

5.  Makeup Eraser  (Chatters)
If you have a child that wears make-up they need one of these or several in their life!!!!!  Seriously the best for getting the face clean and ready to be washed and help avoid some of the natural teen acne.  The perfect stocking stuffer.

6.  Gel Polish Nail Kit (London Drugs)
My girls love doing their nails but regular nail polish just isn't' that great.  This gel polish kit lasts a good week and it's a great investment if you don't want to go all out with professional stuff.  At $79 you get the lamp, dehydrator (which people don't often know is very important), base/top coats, and nail polish remover.  The polishes are reasonably priced at $11 and have endless color options.  Also, taking the polish off is much easier than the salon gel polish.

7.  Faux Fur Throw Blanket (Amazon, multiple colors)
Who doesn't love their own cozy blanket in the winter months.  I don't know about you, but I kind of hate when my kids steal my favorite blanket and I am left with nothing.  

8.  LED Strip Lights  (Amazon)
My girls LOVE these and they have become a favorite birthday gift to give to friends.  They come with a remote and can change colors!  So much fun for $25!

9.  Hair Band (Simons) & Hair Clips (Simons)
Stocking Stuffer alert.  Channel your inner Gossip Girl, our favorite Queen B.  Quarantine made all of our favorite shows come back to life for the tweens and teens in our lives.  Headbands, hair clips, scrunchies are still fun additions to any girls accessory collection.

10.  Body Shop Winter Jasmine Gift Box (vegan)
My teen is all about vegan products these days.  From shampoo to make-up to body wash.  Bye, bye Lush and Bath and Body Works, and hello Body Shop.  They have several pre-package vegan options that run from $25 and up, or you can buy individual products. 

I hope you enjoyed this and if you have a tween/teen in your life, I hope you found this post helpful.  Tell me what else you'd like to see!

Thursday 12 November 2020

My Home Gym Reno

If you have been here for a while now, you know that I am dedicated to working out and running.  So it's surprising that it took us so long to create a warm and functional workout space right in our home.  When COVID-19 hit and we went into lockdown, we finally had the time, and frankly the cash to re-do our 70's vibe basement, including the space where I kept my workout equipment.  Picture,  yellow-ish walls,  shaggy brown carpet, brown closet doors and just an overall low-light space.  Although it wasn't beautiful, it did do the trick for the past 12 years that we have called this house our home and sometimes it just takes time to get to all the places that need to be tackled.  So in March, I finally got a beautiful space that I now love walking into. 

Since my main form of exercise is still outdoor running, all year long, see my post here about winter running gear, I do liek to do some workouts at home as well.  I also don't run outdoors in the wee hours of the morning by myself, so if my buddy can't go, I get on the treadmill.  In my gym the equipment is very basic.  Treadmill (my favorite), an eliptical, weights, jump rope, yoga mats and bands.  That's its!  Recently, I signed up to have access to the BeachBody on demand workouts and love have tthat option at my fingertips.  I like to do a couple of runs during the week, a total body workout (cardio and weights), an upper body workout, and a yoga.  Other days I get outdoors for our regular walks with the pups.  I keep it simple and managable to be honest.  Most things are around the 30 minutes and one longer run during the week.  That's what I can handle and what makes sense for me.  

Now let's take a look at the bright, motivational and getting it done space we created.  The first and biggest two transformations were putting in new flooring a fresh coat of white paint on the walls and on the closet doors!  Siriously those two things opened up this tiny bedroom and made air circulate through it!!!  All of a sudden even though it's in the basement, it felt much larger and more inviting.  My favortie part of the room is that I found a space to utilize an old pin board, by printing off all the picture from the various 10 km and half- marathons that I have done over the years.  Seeing my friends and family with me, cheering me on, reminds me to keep going and how much I love running.  It's great to look at on days that I just don't feel like woring out.  LOL.  Some simple Dollarama frames, with motivational qoutes also hang on the one wall, while I've utilized baskets of various sizes to keep my mats, weights and bands in order.  Overall I am happy with the how it turned out.

Do you have a gym space or a designated workout space in your home?     

Glad to be back here again after a week and a few days off!  Thanks for the kind and supportive words as I took a little detox break.  XOXO.  - Bo