Albanian Hearts


Archive for September, 2007

Best Albanian Songs

Which are the best Albanian songs? I’m interested in finding the best songs from Albania, both traditional songs and recent songs from new Albanian artists.

Best Albanian Songs

If you know which are the most popular Albanian songs of all time or if you have an opinion on what is the best then please leave the name of the song in the comments. I’d love to hear everyone’s opinion on what is the best Albanian song.

My husband is often playing traditional Albanian songs. These songs often sound the same to me! I don’t know if it’s the music or the lyrics but either way, I can’t differentiate one song from the next. It’s embarrassing, I know…

At least with contemporary Albanian music I have a better idea of what is going on. There are a few songs I’ve heard on YouTube which I’ve liked but I’d love to hear more. I don’t really know where to find Albanian music though. I haven’t seen any Albanian cd’s in my local music store so I’m only left with looking for music online.

So please help me out with info on what you think are the best Albanian songs. Thanks!

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Albanian Trips

Thinking of taking an Albanian trip? Me too! I know it’s best to take a trip to Albania during the summer months but I’m not sure I can wait until then. I’ve taken trips to Albania before but there are still so many places I’d like to visit.

Albanian Trips

So far I’ve been to Tirana, Durres, Vlora, Fier, Berat, and a few smaller towns. There are so many places I’d like to visit though. I’d especially love to go to Saranda, Butrint, Girokastra, and a few places in the north. I love the ruggedness of the north so visiting that region is a high priority for my next trip.

I’m not sure I could see all these things in the one visit so I might have to make multiple Albanian trips. That’s fine by me as I love visiting this fascinating country with its welcoming, generous people.

Where would you like to go on your Albanian trip? Share your ideas in the comments such as where you want to go or what you’ve seen which might be of interest to others. Also mention what wasn’t worth seeing. For example, I always wanted to go to Saranda because I’d heard that is was a beautiful beach resort but after seeing some recent photos I’m not sure it’s the place for me. There are lots of apartment buildings by the sea which have possibly spoilt the area a little bit. What do you think? Is it still worth visiting?

I’m sure I’ll visit all these places anyway, just so I can say I’ve seen them and so I can form my own opinion on what they are like. I can’t wait to get back to Albania, I’ve been away for too many years.

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Albanian Love Poems

It’s surprising, well for me anyway, that there are so many well known Albanian love poems. I never knew Albanians were such great poets and great romantics too!

Albanian Love Poems

Not only can you find love poems written by Albanians but most well known poems have been translated into Albanian. This means there are thousands of poems available for Albanians to read and enjoy.

What is your favourite Albanian love poem? Leave the name of your favourite poem in the comments or better yet, why not leave a comment with the poem itself for everyone to enjoy.

Personally I don’t have a favourite Albanian poem. My husband has translated some for me but I suspect it’s not the same as reading them in Albanian. I really should learn a bit more Albanian so I can appreciate the many Albanian love poems out there.

So leave details of your favourite poems in the comments, I would love to read them.

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New Albanian Music

Many Albanians love to listen to traditional Albanian music but new Albanian music is becoming more and more people. New artists are releasing new music on a regular basis. This music is not only released in Albanian but also in countries with large Albanian communities such as the US, Germany, and Switzerland.

New Albanian Music

You can find new Albanian music on sites such as MySpace and YouTube. YouTube is great for watching music video clips of Albanian music. There are many other sites where you can download music for your mp3 player. Where do you get your Albanian music from?

There are a few sites dedicated to new Albanian music but really you have to search quite a bit before you find something you like. I guess this is why most people get their music from friends who have similar tastes. The latest songs get passed around for everyone to listen to.

Albanian music which is being created now is influenced by many music genres. There are Albanian rap artists, hip hop, house, country, and even classical musicians. Finding the music you like is really about searching for specifically what you are looking for.

It’s great to see that new Albanian music is moving away from the traditional as musicians are exploring the world of music which is out there.

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Albanian Tattoos

There are many Albanian tattoo designs available to suit all tastes. Popular Albanian tattoos include tattoos of:

  • Albanian eagle
  • Albanian flag
  • Map of Albania
  • Well known Albanians
  • Albanian monuments

Albanian Tattoos

What is your favourite Albanian tattoo? Personally I like tattoos of the Albanian eagle or small black and red tattoos of the Albanian flag.

Where can you find Albanian tattoos? You can get images off the net which you can then use as a basis for your tattoos. Tattoo parlous in areas with an Albanian community also often have tattoos relevant to Albanians ready to use.

So if you want to show how much you love Albania then why not get a tattoo of Albania for everyone to see?

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Planning a Wedding on a Budget

Cheap weddings: It sounds like an oxy-moron in so many ways doesn’t it? Well, get over it because that is the future of wedding planning. Spending your life savings on your big day is not just crazy it is insanely idiotic. You can have elegant, beautiful weddings and receptions without having to go broke in the process. Today’s couple knows that weddings on a budget just make more sense than spending like crazy. That and the days when the bride’s parents pay for everything is just about over. Nowadays couples are often spending their own money on the wedding as many of them live together long before the wedding day.

Cheap weddings don’t have to mean that you have to give up on style or sentimentality. It means using your imagination, and using your own hands or the help of friends and family rather than paying through the roof for professionals. You can save some money without skimping on any of the good stuff. Planning a cheap wedding is planning dream weddings but with much more cash left over. Wouldn’t you rather have money to put down on a house or to pay for your honeymoon?

You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing to make your special. There are so many ideas that can make your wedding a great deal cheaper in the long run. Some of these ideas include:

Buying your dress secondhand
Having friends and family make your food and cake for you in lieu of a wedding gift
Using an MP3 player instead of hiring a DJ
Having your reception at home with only close friends and family
Not inviting the entire universe to your wedding

There are just so many things that you can do to make your wedding days a bit cheaper that this article alone cannot cover them all. Brainstorm and use your imagination to find more ways to stay within your budget. When you need to throw a wedding on a budget, you can always make sure that you and your fiancé opt for a wedding that does not cost as much as the average wedding. You can have your wedding outdoors, in your yard or that of a family member, have theme based wedding that can be easy to create etc. Theme weddings always take a lot of the cost out of throwing a big and expensive wedding and they are always a lot of fun for everyone that is involved.

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Using Themes to Reduce Wedding Costs

There’s nothing like a well thought out theme to make your wedding celebration unique and memorable for a fraction of the cost. A wedding theme should tell your guests something about the two of you as a couple and as individuals because that’s what makes it unique. If you share a love for sports, maybe a sports themed wedding would be right for you. Or maybe you met on the beach, where you would likely want to choose a beach themed wedding. Once you’ve decided on your wedding theme, you are going to want to make sure all elements of your wedding celebration reflect that singular theme, and that is including the wedding favors and gifts.

If you can’t think of a theme wedding favor idea, one good way for you to start is to think about things that are included in or that reflect the theme. For instance, if you are having an Asian theme wedding, there are great Asian wedding favors available all over the place including the internet that all have Asian designs. Some of these samples include fortune cookies, chopsticks and take-out boxes and there are a lot of beautifully designed favors with these designs at even dollar stores these days. Some of my favorites are a fortune cookie place-card holder, a silver take-out box that has the names of the couple engraved on it.

The good news is that no matter what your theme is, you can find wedding favors to match it as long as you think of things that make you think of that theme. If you are having a beach theme wedding, you may want to consider favors with items like shells, fish, sand, and water. Look out for designs with motifs like beach umbrellas, flip-flops etc. For a really elegant and yet useful beach theme favor, nothing really beats a beautiful silver dolphin-shaped bottle-opener or a shell shaped candle accent. But if that’s beyond your budget, there are some cool and cheap wedding favors like a shell card holder, a mini beach pail filled with candies etc.

Here are some more great theme wedding favor ideas: if you’re having a particular flower as your wedding theme, be on the watch for candy-holders, place-card holders, candles, tea-lights and candy that is shaped in that particular flower. If you’re having a wedding during the winter holidays, you may want to check out favors that have bells and holly wreaths or maybe even some birds.

When it comes to themed wedding party favors, the trick to making sure that your guests love their favors is to pick ones that are elegant and in keeping with your overall theme and yet useful. Themed weddings can always be bought without spending an arm and a leg. All you really need is a big imagination and a few good ideas and you are off and running. Just have a brainstorming session and see what pops out.

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Cheap Wedding and Reception Tips

If you are getitng married and need to do so on a tight budget, there are many tips that you can follow to make sure that you r wedding and reception doesn’t break the banks. Here are some tips that will save you money when you are planning your wedding ceremony and reception.

Trim the guest list to include only friends and family that are close to you. This is difficult to do but sometimes it is necessary if the cost per guest is going to break your budget. Think about it like this; you can simply cross off the names on the list of guests who might feel obligated to come to the wedding if they are invited, but would not be upset in the least if they are not asked to attend. Invite only the people who are important to you and your parents, rather than everyone you know.

Have your wedding ceremony and/or reception held at a hotel area, and ask for discounts when your family and friends are staying at same hotel which they will likely give. Reserve a block of rooms for your guests several months beforehand just to be sure that all goes smoothly on the day. Speak with the appropriate manager when asking for discounts and reserving rooms.

Stick to the schedule that you set beforehand for your ceremony and reception. Musicians will charge you a lot more if they are asked asked to perform beyond the time stated in their contract.

Have your ceremony and reception in the same location which will make things a great deal simpler.

Ask friends to lend their talents instead of buying a gift such as DJ’s, flowers, centerpieces etc.

Have your wedding on a non-weekend day. Choose a weekday evening for your wedding. Schedule the wedding to allow guests time to arrive at the ceremony after the work day has ended. Many guests enjoy weekday weddings more because this frees up their weekends other things. Choose a date between November and April to avoid higher seasonal rates.

Supply disposable cameras all over the place for people to take pictures at your wedding. It will save a lot on fancy photographers. You can also ask a friend who you know is good at taking pictures to help. You can also get your friends with digital cameras to email you all the photos they take.

Get someone from college to help out with making a video of the ceremony. It will save you piles of money and still giving you the professional look that you may be hoping for.

Offer a buffet instead of fancy dinners. Get your family members to each cook and bring something to add to the festivities.

Serve beer and wine instead of expensive champagnes. Let people know that they can bring their own liquor if they prefer something else.

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How to Save Money on Your Wedding Video

You definitely don’t want to skimp on something as important as the photos and music that you have at your wedding; however, you also don’t to break the bank on it either. This article is meant to show you how you can save money on your audio and video etc. for your wedding. Not everyone can afford a professional to take pictures and play music for their wedding. Many would rather get married in city hall rather than pay all of that extra money. Here are some great tips to saving money on your audio/video at your wedding:

Place an ad in a college for students who are majoring in audio/video to come and do your wedding. When you do this, you can find people who have professional equipment and training at bargain basement prices. Let them know that you are hosting bidding for the project and watch them fight for the honor.
Get student photographers and amateurs to take some pictures for you by using the same means as above

Hand out disposable cameras at your reception so that your guests can share their experience at your wedding for you.

Get a friend or family member to videotape the ceremony for you as well in lieu of a wedding gift

Hire students and hobbyists to play the music at your reception

Use an MP3 player to play the music so that you don’t have to hire anyone at all. Just place CDs into it that automatically plays the songs that you want in the order that you want. Use burned CDs rather than buying a bunch of them

You do not have to hire a professional but if you want to, here are some tips for getting a good deal: Choose a photography package instead of purchasing all of the services separately. If there is something you want that isn’t included, ask the photographer if you can make an exchange that won’t make the price higher.

careful about choosing the smallest or cheapest package. You may end up spending a lot more money after the wedding for all the extra prints alter. Check out any extras you are offered. Do not be fooled by the words “deluxe, premium or Ultimate”.

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How to Save Money on Food For Your Wedding

When it comes to a wedding one of the most expensive parts of it is the food. This is particularly true if you are hiring a caterer. When you sit down to create a wedding budget, you will be spending most of it on the food per person. This money can quickly add up beyond your wildest dreams. Of course, it doesn’t have to. It seems as if weddings are just a cause for much feasting and merriment, and that requires a great deal of food.

One of the most expensive parts of a wedding is the food served at the reception. This is particularly true if the bride and groom want to serve their guests food that is theme based or that is on the more extravagant side. This can include foods such as fancy appetizers, sushi, tapas, or gourmet meals. The bride and groom that are on a tight budget will want to avoid fancy foods and stick with a menu that is more within their means.

There are many things that you can do to help cut the cost of your wedding food. Let’s look at some of them:

Be careful on how many hors d’oeuvres you order if ordering from a caterer. You don’t need eight different types. If you must serve appetizers offer cheese and crackers or mini items. When you are choosing your menu, be careful to only get what is really needed. Do not binge on a five course meal if you can’t afford it. Know what your per person budget is and stick to it no matter what.Have your friends and family prepare appetizers, side dishes, bread, and meals and salad.

If you’re trying to keep costs low, stay away from certain foods that are very expensive such as shrimp, salmon, lobster and beef tenderloin. If you have your heart set on one of these dishes only serve them as appetizers and not the main course.

Instead of a full meal, serve only hors d’oeuvres. It is easier to dish out and cheaper to provide.Food stations can offer your guests variety and save you money. These can include stations from around the world like pastas (Italy), Mexican foods, etc.

Offer a buffet style meal rather than a sit down dinner.

Offer lunch instead of dinner because it is much cheaper.

You can have barbecue if you are throwing an outside wedding ceremony and reception.

Choose a specific theme for your food, because this will make it easier to select your food items.

Most caterers will charge by the plate, such as $20 per plate. This means that if you have 100 guests at your reception that you will be paying about $2000 in catering costs. This can be too much for many couples to afford. Get estimates from a few caterers and determine which one best fits your budget and the style that you’re looking for.

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