HAPPY NEW YEAR! Lessons Taught in the Blogosphere: Year Two

Happy New Year, Lovelies!  It’s not only a happy new year, but it’s my 2nd year in business as Stylish Paradox! Stylist. Content Creator. Speaker. And what a ride it has been!  So many lessons have been taught to me.

Last year brought many new adventures and situations that helped me grow professionally and step out of my comfort zone.  Personally, style is a breeze, but being a small business owner is another type of stepping out!  Trust me.

God blessed me in 2017 with interviews, awards, numerous brand collaborations, new clientele, speaking engagements and the launch of a community collective of bloggers.  Virtual friends became real life friends and relationships with some of my closest allies went sideways.  The struggle to successfully balance my home life, friends, my 8 to 5 and my passion continue.

In year two, I still ask myself the question, “Should I continue?”  And as the thought lingers in my mind, a picture,  quote or scripture reading, will bring alive the passion like a fire that doesn’t seem to dim.

My goals will continue into this year and grow as the years pass: to put God and family first, be better everyday, inspire others, be consistent (all of which I work on, put haven’t perfected).

What lessons have I learned in year two?

TOP SEVEN LESSONS LEARNED

  1. What God has for you, is yours ONLY
  2. You must network with others
  3. Collaborate, share and partner with others in your field
  4. Be consistent, be consistent, be consistent
  5. Be your authentic self
  6. Don’t look at anybody else’s journey, focus on your own (stay in your lane)
  7. Keep learning and expanding your mindset to grow

I am excited about new opportunities in the coming year, both personally and professionally!

Please know that I am so thankful for your support and taking the time to ride with me on this journey! I am humbled.  Wishing you great health, prosperity, peace and blessings in 2018!

I love you all!

Julie

SHOP MY STYLE

Glow Short Sleeve Reversible Sequin Dress – Tracee Ellis Ross for JCP // Red Sandals – Aldo Shoes // Sequin Purse – Tracee Ellis Ross for JCP // Red Tassel Earrings (similar) – Forever 21 // Images by Nichole Alex Photography

Stylish Paradox: 2017’s Best

This wasn’t the best year for the United States or the world, as I’m sure most of you would agree.  But, there were amazing garments!  This post shares with you in my opinion, 2017’s best for Stylish Paradox.  Not to be trivial, but I’d just like to focus on something a little lighter because I know we’ve all been a little stressed out with the news and such.  Let’s pray for peace in 2018.  For real, y’all.  NO lol.

Here goes:

JANUARY

Who What Wear Collecton

 

 

FEBRUARY

Fit for my Valentine’s date

MARCH

Don’t sleep on Kohl’s – I love this jumpsuit

APRIL

Plaid Jumpsuit from New York and Company

MAY

Mixing it up from H&M

JUNE

Dramatic LBD from New York and Company

JULY

Feminine and Edgy – Photo taken by my baby girl, Ashleigh.

AUGUST

This outfit says FUN!

SEPTEMBER

 

Loved this dress from Who What Wear. But I loved the shoes from Shoeland and the purse from Melboteri.

OCTOBER

Loved collaborating with Misook for this look. Classy with edge.

NOVEMBER

Ankara Skirt Love. Bought this beauty from a local boutique.

DECEMBER

Loved everything about this look; from the colors, the bag (Italisan) and shoes (Aldo). And yes, the suit is from Who What Wear. They win the award for most worn designer in 2017, lol!

What were your favorite outfits on the blog in 2017?  Please drop a note in the comments below!

I appreciate each and everyone of you!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

Soft Surroundings: Stylish Paradox Gift Picks for 2017

*sponsored*

I know everyone had a great Thanksgiving, right?  My goal is to treat everyday like it is Thanksgiving; with gratitude for God’s blessings.

We’ve got another holiday around the corner, so you know what that means…gift giving!!! And I believe accessories are an outfits best friend!

I’ve joined forces with Soft Surroundings to share two beautiful gift items that you could give your Mom, BFF, sister, colleague, or even your client!

The Fresca Necklace Multi-textured, whimsical, fresh and fun.  This piece is made of glass, beads and silky bows.  So unique!

The Centenario CuffShiny, gold.  This piece is handmade by artisans with hammered metal.

Soft Surroundings is currently offering a $25 gift card with a $150 purchase.  Check out the website, it has soooo many great things!

You’ll be hearing from me soon, lovelies…and more consistently!

Love y’all!

Julie

 

 

 

 

My Fluttering Heart and Shoulders! Who What Wear Does It Again

I guess you could say, I pretty much adore everything from the Who What Wear Collection.  My heart (and shoulders) are fluttering!

Seriously, this collection is one of the reasons I try to stay out of Target because it’s pretty much a wrap if I walk through their doors!  And I should let you know, the prices are affordable.

This Flutter Shoulder Dress that’s getting a lot of wear from me right now, is everything! So feminine, floral and perfect for the Cali fall weather.

So, you’ve been warned.  Once you start with this line, you’ll be hooked!  Believe me.

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

SHOP MY LOOK

Flutter Shoulder Dress – Who What Wear Collection // Hardy Hand Waxed Boots – Leon Max Official // Similar Tote Bag – BCBG // Similar Earrings – J. Crew // Zebrawood & Maple Watch – JORD //Photography by Nichole Alex

Italy + Artisan = THE “ITALISAN” HANDBAG

*sponsored post*

Mama’s got a brand new bag, and it is absolutely stunning!

I just had to use a few words from rhythm and blues singer, James Brown to describe my fabulous new handbag from Italisan!  There are no embellishments or exaggeration here, when I say this bag takes my breath away.

Made in Italy for the refined American woman, The Lucia Clutch comes in three colors: Satin Black, Pearl White and my color of choice, Sunset Coral.

Beautifully crafted, flowers adorn the bag in 3D fashion.  She is even more lovely in person.

Lucia was a my favorite outfit accessory during my annual birthday dinner with the Hubbs!

Stylish Paradox readers get free shipping by using “julie10” at checkout.

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

 

 

 

Misook Looks: Business Wear with Flair

*Sponsored post*

Business attire doesn’t have to be boring.  And here’s a style tip, remember to wear it with flair!

I recently partnered with Misook, a retailer that offers timeless and elegant high quality garments to women.  Known around the world for their “silky knit”, the retailer keeps it sophisticated with great details.

When I spotted their boot skirt with studs and high neck blouse, I couldn’t resist as the combination offered an edgy and conservative look in one.  So, you might ask, how do the two styles co-exist?

Here are just 5 very easy ways:

  1. Always wear a statement item (fun shoe, scarf, necklace, handbag).
  2. Get glammed out with bold red lips, funky oxfords or high heels.
  3. Pair your conservative pieces with a leather jacket.
  4. Play with textures and mix patterns, i.e., houndstooth patterned item with ribbed item.
  5. Throw on an animal print scarf or shoe with your basic business suit.

Don’t be afraid to spice up your office attire!  I hope you like the way I styled the Misook looks.

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

Use code MSK4091 at checkout to purchase Misook garments.

 

 

 

ANOTHER TRIP AROUND THE SUN: Advice to My Younger Self

 

Today marks my 53rd trip around the sun, and for that, I am grateful! I take the gift and celebration of life to heart because so many individual have lives that are cut short. I don’t think I took the celebration of life seriously until my sister passed away at the age of 37.

We often live life with regrets, and my goal is to make sure I don’t have any at the end of this journey.

So, if you had the opportunity to give advice to your younger self, what would you, tell you?

Here’s what I would tell myself:

  1. Trust God. He always comes through. He is sooooo CLUTCH.
  2. Ask for what you want in life. All they can do is tell you no. And if no is the answer, NEXT!
  3. Trust your instincts, they’re usually right.
  4. When someone shows you who they are, believe it.
  5. Be patient. Choose wisely.
  6. Don’t allow anyone or anything to control your life.
  7. Commit random acts of kindness daily.
  8. Forgive those who have hurt you. It’s good for your soul.
  9. Don’t try to change who you are to make someone else feel comfortable. The real you is going to surface sooner or later. Trust.
  10. Love harder, laugh harder, dance harder!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Now I’m off to continue my birthday celebration with the Hubbs!

Love and light, y’all! Be blessed!

Julie

TOAST OF LIFE: The Adult Sleepover

Every year, for the past 6 years I’ve hosted a birthday luncheon with my favorite girls. They are my day ones, ride or dies, road dawgs, bffs, sisters; you know – friends I can count on! This year I did something a little different and hosted an adult sleepover!

The gathering consisted of 8 of my favorite girlfriends, each of whom I’ve known ranging from 43 to 3 years. I’ve connected with each of them on a spiritual level and feel so blessed to have them in my life.

Planning began with being lucky enough to secure the presidential suite at a local hotel. This night would be epic and fitting for royalty. I was so ready for pre-birthday festivities with my girls, who are all Queens!

As the day approached there were a few glitches that tried to derail the fun. On the day of, the bakery and eatery I hired 2 weeks previously, forgot I placed orders! They were prepaid, and still didn’t have my name in their databases. I ended up having to pick up my cake later than anticipated and the food arrived 1-1/2 hour late; after guests had begun to arrive. Negativity could not and would not prevail.

In the end, we feasted on a great tasting Red Velvet cake (my fave!) and I received over $75 in vouchers from a great restaurant!

The signature drink for the evening was appropriately named, “Toast of Life: The Punch”.  We wore pink and black pajamas, “yassss queen” socks and blinged out tiaras.

The night was slated to be filled with various activities like movies, Twister, karaoke, Girls Night Out Table Topics and possibly a dance contest. But by the middle of the evening, it was clear that time spent with special people doesn’t need an agenda.

We spent the evening laughing, eating, dancing, drinking and crying with laughter even more! Most of the time we played “catch up”.

After this celebration, I feel pressured to make next year’s Toast to Life even better, lol!

I am filled with gratitude and am so thankful to have each of these women in my life.

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

The Komen Foundation and Citadel Outlet Partners in PINK SAVES: A Fashion Show for Breast Cancer Survivors and Their Angels


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and holds so much significance for me. Not only did I work for a non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against cancer for over 24 years, but my dearest friend and sister Donna, succumbed to the disease at age 37.  Although her diagnosis was over 19 years ago, I clearly remember getting that call from her after she discovered a large, hard lump in her breast.  I told her, “you’re too young, it couldn’t be breast cancer.”   I’ll never recover from the loss.  But, I can honor her memory by getting the word out to others about the importance of taking care of your “girls”.

Since that time, so much has changed in the fight against breast cancer. Women are now surviving the disease at a higher rate and being more proactive about their breast self examinations, and annual mammograms.

So when I was invited to attend the Pink Saves Fashion show being hosted by the Citadel Outlets and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, I couldn’t say no!

What really made this show special was that instead of using regular models, breast cancer survivors and the angels who supported them during their fight, ripped the runway together.

The mistress of ceremonies for the evening was actress, Garcelle Beauvais.  Guests were also serenaded during the finale by singer, Melissa Manchester. Each survivor was briefly interviewed by the show’s host, and each shared their years of survivorship, ranging from 1 to 17 years.

Ladies, don’t forget your monthly self-examinations and annual mammograms!  It could mean your life.  Thank you to the Citadel Outlets and the Susan G. Komen Foundation for inviting me to this inaugural event.

To find out about other Pink Saves activities during the month of October, click here.

Until next time, love and light!

 

This post honors the memory of my late sister, Donna Yvette Brewster

1961-1999

And my eldest sister, who beat cancer’s tush, Beverly Shea Brewster

YOU ARE MY SHEROS!

The Girlie Girl Takes on Menswear Style.

How we present ourselves to the world is everything, lovelies. That’s why it’s important to put your best face, and style forward!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a girlie, girl!

Wikipedia describes a girlie girl as, “a woman who chooses to dress and behave in an especially feminine style, such as wearing pink (I like red), using make-up, perfume, dressing in skirts, dresses and blouses.”

Well, I may be all woman, but on occasion, I add a little menswear to my outfit!

I’m wearing this gorgeous Casati Fein Necktie from Dwimmer; made especially for women. It’s a breeze to put on and it’s handmade! Just this little addition to my black shirtdress, turned my outfit from drab to fab!

Wishing everyone a fabulous week and until next time, love and light!

Julie

SHOP MY STYLE
Dress (similar) – Who What Wear Collection by Target // Casati Fein Necktie – Dwimmer // Cobalt Blue Open Toed Stiletto – Shoeland // Clutchbag – Vintage // Sunnies – Old