The Stylish Empty Nester. Unplugged.

Happy Monday, folks!

Today marks my first day back in the office after a few days away.  I used my time enjoying my adult children visiting and reluctantly, nursing a lingering case of bronchitis.

This time last year I was beaming because of my youngest child’s graduation from college, yet I was a little ambivalent about her decision to remain in New Orleans.  But as parents, we raise our children to explore the world and be great, right?!  But I couldn’t deny the large lump in my throat and racing heartbeat when she revealed her plans in the Spring of 2016.  I fought back sounding emotional over the phone, and proclaimed, “I understand”.

When my children and I get together it is always an amazing time, but I just can’t get over the emotions I feel each time we part ways. It’s like I’m dropping them off at college all over again, but there won’t be anymore summer breaks spent at home.  They reside out of state and are living their lives as responsible adults.  Sometimes I wonder how my mother did it.  Clearly, I’m just having a moment and I am sure that it’ll take some time for me to adjust.  I will adjust, but my love for them will never.  They are my children, forever.

Me and my kiddos! Brad and Ashleigh.
Brad and his Muvaa.

See brief video of  my son’s photoshoot.  My daughter is behind the camera and my nephew is the model.  IMG_0989

MY STYLE

This floral dress is very pretty, with it’s cold shoulder design.  Perfect for a sunny day, it is light and airy and falls nicely on my form.  I love the cold shoulder designs that are very popular these days.  They are perfect for ladies like me who don’t have the most toned arms, but want to show a little! Ha!

I paired my dress with pink caged stilettos for that splash of color.

Until next time, peace and blessings!

I love y’all!

Julie

SHOP MY STYLE

DressNew York and Company // Shoes – New York and Company (sold out) similar here // Hoop Earrings – Old // Bracelet – Old // SunniesForever 21 // Images –  Photography by Nichole Alex

 

The Spruced up LBD (Little Black Dress)

Happy Friday, Lovelies!

It’s been quite an interesting couple of weeks.  I celebrated Mother’s Day with my children, who visited from Texas and Louisiana. Prior to their arrival, I came down with a horrible cold that turned into bronchitis.  Between work, trying to get better and spending quality time with my children, I’ve been somewhat MIA.  I had to remind myself that it is okay, because life is not predictable.  Sometimes you must take a break, regroup and start anew.

So, regarding the LBD…  Did you know that in the 1920’s Coco Chanel came up with the term ‘little black dress’? Ms. Coco became famous by introducing loose fitted dresses and shapes which ultimately freed women from the restrictive corsets worn previously.  And to think, the dress was supposed to be loose fitting! 

I’m sure many of us own, or have owned a number of little black dresses.  The simplicity of the dress is its color, which makes it uber easy to spruce up!

Try adding these to your dress:

  • “Standout” shoe or purse (could be in color or style)
  • Statement jewelry
  • Colorful scarf
  • Sassy attitude

Remember that balance is key.  For instance, the LBD I am wearing in this post has very dramatic bell sleeves.  There wasn’t alot that needed to be done to this dress, because the sleeves were just so amazing!  I just added a large hoop and a standout shoe.  Voila!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

LBD – New York and Company // Red PumpsBaldi of New York // Images by Nichole Alex Photography

 

 

 

If You Can’t Smell the Flowers, You Might as Well Wear Them!

Hey there, Stylistas!

Thank God for another week and opportunity to make things happen!  I’m very excited that my children, Bradley and Ashleigh will be visiting me from Texas and Louisiana for Mother’s Day.  I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since my son has been home!

Now for this look.  It’s easy to see that floral patterned clothing is everywhere you look.  This is also trending, but is not trendy. I for one, have always been partial to florals because they are:

  1. Pretty
  2. Colorful
  3. Wearable.  If I can’t smell the flowers, I might as well wear them!
  4. A mood lifter.  They make me happy.

This lightweight, pseudo wrap dress can be worn belted or unbelted for a great look. It also has a built in slip and front slit.

Happy Monday.

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

THIS STYLE FOR YOU:  Dress – New York and Company // Booties similiar – Jessica Simpson // Images by  Photography by Nichole Alex

 

The Style Collective: When a Community Says, “You’re Welcome Here.”

Happy Saturday, lovelies!

Almost two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending my very first meet-up as a new member of the Style Collective,  a community of female bloggers, and content creators. This event included Orange County and Los Angeles area members.

Held at Mesa in Orange County, the venue was fabulous! Irene Virbila of the LA Times, has said about Mesa, “I can’t think of another place in Orange County that has such an edgy look, eclectic crowd, and lusty food. Everybody loves a secret, and Mesa is a good one. Close your eyes and point at the one-page menu of small plates and you almost can’t go wrong.” 

You could feel the love as each sister was greeted with warm welcomes and hugs from the Style Collective community.

Style Collective Sister & Host, Debbie Savage

The host for the evening was Debbie Savage of To Thine Own Style Be True, who took the time to speak with each one individually.  What a wonderful spirit!  Kudos to her for putting together such a great event!  SC sister, Maria Guerrero of This Is How We Wear It, also flew in from San Jose, California with her hubby to help out.

All the ladies were given an amazing swag bag loaded with assorted goodies!  Beautiful centerpieces by Shawna Henrie of Bleudog Floral adorned the tables and in addition she served as the photographer Bleudog Fotography , providing headshots for all the ladies! She truly captured the essence of the evening!

The spectacular sponsors for the evening included:

Mesa

Bleudog Fotography

Bleudog Floral

Song Bird Collection

Middle Sister Wines

Guilty Soles

Spa Gregories

S.S. Chokers

Rodan + Fields

Alaska Bear

Arlina Jo

Jade J

Benev

Oh So Cali Clothing

Shea Moisture

Nubian Heritage

Borika

Leven Rose

LavHa

Travertine

Pure

Bella Sol Med Spa

Fresh Brothers

Amazing Lash

Halo Top

All in all, it was a great experience and I’m so glad I attended.  It’s wonderful to be a part of such a supportive group of women!

Please take some time to check out the blogs of my SC Sisters:

Debbie Savage of To Thine Own Style Be True

Mindy Nguyen of Threads N Breads & The Song Bird Collection

Caitlin of Boy Cherie

Amber Henahan of Amber Nicole Fashion

Marshel Ng of Between YouNMe

Alina Orozco of Besos Alina

Claudia Materdomini of I Like to Talk A Lot

Adrina Rose of Adrina Rose

Caitlin Rabyniuk of Beauty and Colour

Amira of Fall Over Fashion

Armita Tabassi of Simple Chic

Abby Chhabra of Marblelously Petite

Nora Mansour & Ani Esmailian of Moda Mob

Kathleen Anderson of Kathleen Anderson

Melissa of Brocade Closet

Amaya Williams of Aroma of Felicity

Karissa Allen of This is Kris Joy

Lauren Mesquit of Lauren Yes Lauren

Kristina Coelho of Laugh Love & Hippie

Diana Menghini of Bo.Do.Ke

Jessica Forest & Nancy Lin DeGregori of LavHa

Nancy Lin DeGregori of Truth N Health

And I must also share the blog of Pentene Milner (also a SC sister) of Style Me Fancy, who has been so amazing in sharing resources and told me about this event.

If you are interested in joining this amazing community of support and resources, please send me a note and I’ll give you all the details!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pleated Skirt. A Classic, not a Trend.

Hey there, beautiful folks!

It’s Monday afternoon and I haven’t had my caffeine!  This is what happens when you try to go cold turkey!

If you’ve been watching me, you’ll notice that my flair can’t really be pegged; or can it?  Okay, I need my caffeine.  So to get back on subject, some style experts are saying that this is the year for pleated skirts and yes they are trending.  But trust, the pleated skirt is a classic from way back.

For the curvy girl, know that this is one of the most flattering pieces for your body!  Generally A-line in form, they cinch in the waist and fall ever so nicely on the stomach and hips.  I can remember having the prettiest red and black pleated skirt that my mother purchased for me many years ago when I was in high school.  Also, early on when my husband and I were dating, he gifted me with a classic flannel grey one.  It’s still in my closet and in the regular rotation. So, know that when I saw a lovely blush pink pleated skirt in H&M, I had to have it!  And then I peeped a black one?  SOLD!

When I speak as a stylist about having timeless pieces in your closet and mixing them with a trendy piece, the outfit in this post is spot on.  It spotlights last season’s off the shoulder blouse (this is actually a tunic) with a classic.  It’s sassy, ageless and sophisticated.

Again, have fun with style, because it’s totally yours!

 

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

Tunic Dress – H&M (old) // Pleated Skirt – H&M // Obi Belt – New York and Company // Shoes – Ross Dress for Less (old) // Images by – Gervel Sampson Photography

With Style, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Happy Thursday, Stylistas!

Do you ever find yourself apprehensive about making a change in your work life, family life, love life or style life?  As creatures of habit, we tend to be slow to make changes if it makes us even a little uneasy.  And as we age, it seems like it is even harder!

At 52 years old, I still shop at Forever 21. Don’t judge me. #teamyouthfulspiritforever

Some of us are stuck on the name “Forever 21”, but trust, there are a lot of hidden gems in that store.

Stylistas, here are a few tips to help you step out of your style comfort zone:

  • Purchase clothes from a new retailer.
  • Consider another point of view (i.e., hire a stylist).
  • Purchase a colorful article of clothing, that you never would have worn in the past.
  • Don’t let your age limit you.  Just keep in mind that your goal is not to look like a teenager.

I hope you take these tips and apply them to your style life, if needed!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

Rust Duster similar here – Forever 21 // Brown Tee similar here – Targetstyle // Graphic Print Bell Bottoms similar here Forever 21 // Fringly Sandals – Steve Madden // Medallion Necklace similar here – NY and Company // Sunnies similar here – Old // Images byGervel Sampson Photography

Dressing up Your Denim

Blouse – New York and Company // Boyfriend Jeans – Forever 21 // Ombre Pumps – Baldi of London // Necklace – Old // Watch – Jord Watches

Hey there!  I’m glad we are mid-week and I am looking forward to spending my weekend celebrating the birthday of another dear friend and working on my passion!  I had the pleasure of collaborating a few weeks ago with a beautiful soul, Mrs. Gervel Sampson of Gervel Sampson Photography. The story of our meeting was truly a show of God’s intervention.  I’ll tell you about it later! Now, let me tell you about dressing up your denim!

Everybody needs a white shirt in their closet.  But, how about a white shirt that strays away from the boring and is so beautiful it takes your breath away. Plus, it masks some inches around your waist in the process!

The beautiful blouse in this post is really breathtaking and I’ve come to the conclusion, I may need another color.  It’s a bit tricky to get on, but it amazingly compliments the figure with it’s wrap style.  I paired this beauty with distressed boyfriend jeans from Forever 21.  Keep in mind that because the blouse is so “fancy” for lack of a better term, it’s not a bad item to balance the look for perhaps a date night, or for what people on the west coast call, “California Casual”.  I’ve dubbed the ombre pumps, my Wizard of Oz shoes!

Enjoy the rest of your week!  And until next time,

Love and light!

Julie

 

Covered Perfectly’s Peekaboo Blouse

 

Hello beautiful people!

I’m excited to bring a product review on one of Covered Perfectly’s pieces from their most recent collection!  Can we begin by calling 2017 the year of the sleeve; bell sleeves, butterfly sleeves and now the peekaboo sleeve?!


As I have mentioned during previous reviews of Covered Perfectly products, the fabric of the blouse is 95% micro-modal and feels amazing next to my skin. It is also asymmetrically draped, which works for those days you want to just throw on some leggings or a form fitting jean, pant or skirt and not stress about signs of a tummy bulge. I paired my blouse with a pencil skirt.  And let’s talk about these sleeves!  They are beautifully constructed.

Stylish Paradox readers are entitled to a 20% discount on up to two items.  Just use the discount code SP20 when checking out at Covered Perfectly. The discount will apply on up to two items or take advantage of the buy 2 get the 3rd FREE deal.  Only only one of the discounts will work.

Until next  time,

Love and light!

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chambray Jumpsuit+ Gold Rose + Fringe

Denim Jumpsuit k/lab by Kohl’s // Fringe Sandals – Steven Madden // Gold Choker – Chidoki’s World // Gold Rose Clutch – Old // Other Jewelry – Gifted

Happy Tuesday,  beautiful people!

Did you know that “jumpsuit” was the original term for one piece garments that skydivers and parachute jumpers used in their professions?  The garment is often worn by laborers, pilots, drivers and sportspersons.  And what about babies?  You know, the onesie?  And the infamous orange garment worn by prisoners?

I can appreciate a great romper. What about you?

This chambray, off the shoulder romper is comfortable and can be dressed up with a sandal or dressed down with your favorite oxford or sneaker.

People, don’t sleep on Kohl’s Department store!  I bought this on a whim, trolling through the junior’s department.  Yes, that’s what I said, juniors!  It’s from the k/lab Collection.  Take a chance on style folks, take a chance.

Until next time, love and light.

Julie

 

 

Come Through, Plaid Suit!

Suit – New York and Company // Shoes – New York and Company // Handbag – Estee Lauder // Sunnies – Old // Images – Nichole Alex Photography

Hey there!  More rain in the Los Angeles forecast, but it won’t stop my grind.  The weekend awaits another fabulous collaboration!  And speaking of collaboration, the images are again by the talented photographer, Nichole Alex.  She surely helped me come through on camera in this stunning plaid suit!

 

I’m sure we all have certain things that we shy away from wearing; like the skirt that is a tad too short, or an outfit that is a little too flashy for our conservative nature.  Well, if you take notice on most of my posts I don’t wear pants.  And if the clothing I wear is in the pants family, it’ll more than likely be a pair of jeans.  This is mainly because I’ve always been self-conscious of my thighs, hips and stomach. Even when I was 30 pounds lighter.  I’ve always felt that dresses were more complimentary to my body type and I still do.  But, there is always that game changer, and this plaid suit is just that for me.

I was wooed by New York and Company again,  when I saw an online exclusive for this beautiful two piece suit.  I love everything about it.  And everything in it!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

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