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

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

Fall Ready in Soft Surroundings

*sponsored*

Hey there beauties!

Everybody is talking about being Fall ready!  How about you? Are you ready to change your wardrobe color schemes for the season; switch up to sweaters and moto jackets, or will you break the so-called fashion rules?  Well, I’ve finally accepted that Autumn is right around the corner and whether I like it or not, it’s coming!

My most recent collaboration is with Soft Surroundings, a St. Louis, Missouri based brand, dedicated to making their customers look and feel their best. They abide by the philosophy “that by putting yourself first, you can take better care of friends and family and hopefully live a happier, more fulfilling life.”  Hear, hear.  I can totally get with that.

In this post, I’m wearing some items from their Fall Collection: Timeless and Transitional.  Each item, from the jewelry, shoes, blouse and jeans are amazing!  And the colors, sublime!

Stay tuned for my seasonal newsletter coming your way this Fall!

And until next time, love and light.

Julie

SHOP MY STYLE

All clothing and jewelry by Soft Surroundings: Berkeley Top / / 5 Pocket Pull On Leggings // Romy Sandals // Terre Necklace

Photography by: Nichole Alex

 

Dresses: The Best Staple for the Woman on the Go

Dresses are really the best clothing staple for hot weather. Heck, they are the best staple all year round!

Have you ever heard the saying, “I wear dresses because I’m too lazy to put on pants!” Easy, breezy and me, in a nutshell! Who else has this issue?

But seriously, as woman on the go, I need to dress quickly and look put together at the same time.

This summer, I was excited to partner up with @shopmaxwell and find this adorable dress that speaks volumes with its colors and floral patterns. Not only can this dress transition into the fall because of her solid cotton fabric, but can be worn over and over.

Dress it up with conservative or chunky accessories, boots or sandals, dressed up or down. The pale green background and floral goodness that surrounds the forefront, are pleasing to the eye.

Just know that I’ve been working really hard on a variety of projects, including my day job. I’ve kinda slacked off posting here, but my goal is to be more consistent. Beginning now.

Love you guys!

Until next time,

Julie

SHOPMYSTYLE 

DRESS // c/o Shop Maxwell SHOES // Steve Madden c/o Macy’sSUNNIES // c/o NYS Collection — EARRINGS // J. Crew – BAG // Gifted c/o Gucci

PHOTOGRAPHY // Julie D. Harbour for Stylish Paradox

                                           

 

Confidence of Style for the Woman over 40

Hey there, lovelies!

In more recent years and from those closest to me, I’ve been told that I need to grow up, not because I am immature or irresponsible, but because of my wardrobe choices. For the most part, I’ve just shrugged their comments off as disapproval or discomfort with my youthful spirit and confidence of style.

“Should we care what others think at this stage of our lives? Often times, the woman who is confident in her personal style abides by the notion that age-appropriate dressing means nothing for them; it’s all about dressing for your body type.  Our generation is redefining the concept of aging, just as we’ve redefined so many other things. Style after 40 is not about being in competition with your daughter or looking like the girl you were 20 years ago; it’s about dressing like the woman you are now. What matters most is that you feel as comfortable in your clothes as you do in your skin.

I own a number of pencil skirts that are form fitting. The difference now compared to 20 years ago is that today I will pair my form fitting skirt with a tunic instead of that crop top I wore in 1997.  I dress in 2017 to flatter my body now. Once you’ve looked at your body honestly and figured out what works best now and what no longer is flattering, you’ll feel more confident in what you choose to wear.  Hey, you might still be able to rock that crop!

Know that the foundation of style is an understanding of not only who you are but also the kind of woman you want to project.

As a stylist, my objective is to revitalize wardrobes and to move a client’s style out of the past and into the present, without trying to make them look younger.

With garments that fit appropriately and styles that exude your personality, you will have a youthful aura and confidence about you. You will project an image of being capable to be compete with the younger, and in so many words, less experienced woman.

Stay empowered, inspired and remember, age ain’t nothin’ but a number!

Click on the “Styling Services” tab to find out how I can be of service to you. I want to help you project the best version of yourself to the world.

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

SHOPMYSTYLE 

MESH DRESS // c/o Zara SHOES // Shoeland — JEANS // Forever 21 Plus —  SUNNIES // c/o NYS Collection — BAG // Gifted c/o The Philipines

PHOTOGRAPHY // Julie D. Harbour for Stylish Paradox

 

ELLA. The Maximum Maxi.

Hey there beautiful people!

I’m happy to share a review of a beautiful maxi dress I received from GCGme.com, a portal for the modern diva with style. GCGme specializes in maxi dresses and gowns for special occasions.

My dress is named Ella!  She is a vibrant block graphic printed number with one shoulder.  The beautiful red and white hues of the garment could easily stop traffic!  Easily dressed up or down, she has 3/4 sleeves and a tie belt for the waistline.  For this post, I paired her with strappy black sandals and a cute red handbag.  Another great feature Ella and all the dresses from GCGME, is that they are very well constructed.  Made with a spandex and polyester blend, she fell nicely on my frame.  Very nicely!

Would you like to buy a dress like Ella?  GCGme.com is offering a special 20% off for all Stylish Paradox readers.  Use the coupon code JULIE20 at checkout!  Happy shopping, lovelies!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

*Sponsored*

Nudu Natural Beauty: It Will Leave You Dreamy!

Hello, lovelies!

The sun has shown it’s face in what was a gloomy beginning of June.  But more sunshine arrived at my doorstep, when I received a package from Nudu Natural Beauty.

Nudu Natural Beauty is a company that offers skincare products that are free of toxic chemicals and irritants.  So when I was asked to provide a product review on their skincare line, I said let’s do it!

I received the Nudu Natural Beauty System for Oily & Oily Combination Skin:

  1. Exfoliating Sponge: Worked great while it lifted dead skin and dirt from my skin after a day’s work and exposure to the elements.  (see photo above)
  2. Gel Cleanser: The gel cleanser is light in texture and wasn’t harsh to my face and neck.  The aroma of  coconut and lemon was an extra and felt refreshing.  I suffer from eczema, so many times, products leave a bad effect on my complexion, causing immediate breakouts. Nudu did not.
  3. Reviving TonerThe toner is comprised of 3 different types of honey, aloe vera and glycerine for moisturizing the skin.  This product took my facial cleansing to the next level, removing any remaining oil or dirt from my complexion.
  4. Softening Moisturizer: Great moisturizer! The ingredients include camellia, jojoba, evening primrose and echium oils.  After application, my face and neck felt hydrated, soft and supple. The moisturizer also has anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties. 
  5. Eye Cream: Made for all skin types, Nudu’s eye cream nourishes the most delicate part of your skin! Again, made with natural and anti-aging properties, I’ll have to give you an update on this product after using a few weeks.  I will say that the area under my eyes felt smooth and hydrated, initially.
  6. Silk Eye Mask “Dreaming Beauty“: Omgosh!  This extra is wonderful touch to the beauty system.  After treating my skin to evening of pampering, this silk eye mask helped me sleep more sound.  And coming from an insomniac, that’s a big deal! Positioned correctly on your face, it totally blocks out all light for a better night’s rest.

As a woman of ageless style, it is important that I give my complexion the attention it needs. I am blessed to have good (skin) genetics, but an amazing beauty system will help me maintain what my Momma gave me!

Click on the links above to give Nudu a try!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

 

Styling THOSE Track Pants…You Know The Ones!

Hey there lovely people!

It’s a beautiful day, and I’m here to speak on styling your track pants!

A couple of years ago, a number of folks starting wearing their Adidas track pants with heels.  Remember that?  Well this year the trend has taken off and if you are anywhere on social media, you’re very likely to run across this one particular pair of track pants by the WhoWhatWear Collection.

When I first saw them at Target they caught my eye, but I didn’t purchase.  Needless to say, my non-purchase haunted me in my sleep.  So, the very next opportunity I got to buy them, I did.  Great price, by the way!

I absolutely love them!  They are definitely an item you can dress up or down and here are a number of ways to do so:

  • Athleisure/Typical:  How folks would expect you to wear these babies.  With sneaks; my favorite being Converse.  A plain or cute statement tee and a jacket.  Your jacket could be a bomber or moto jacket.  I’ve done both.
  • Dressy:  I paired mine with a stark white cape blazer, which totally set off the white stripe piping.  I wore a statement tee with one of my favorite tag lines for the stylish, “Slay All Day”.  My shoes were a little edgy; white/black snakeskin stilettos.  And it worked!  It really werked, lol!
  • Bohoish:  I know, it’s not a word.  I’ve also thrown on my pants with OTS blouses on occasion, when running my weekend errands.  Yellow, black or white blouses or even something patterned if you dare.  Sandals, were my shoe of choice.
  • Date Night/Girl’s Night Out: Pair with a bodyshirt, statement necklace and strappy high heeled sandals. #boom

Again, I always talk about owning your style, but it’s totally true.  Even when a piece is trending, wear it in such a way that it becomes your classic!

These particular pants are sold out online, but there are so many beautiful ones to choose from, here, here and here.

If you need help revitalizing your wardrobe or closet, give your girl a jingle.  Just click on “Styling Services” for all the details.

Until next time beauties!

Love y’all!

Julie

 

STYLE MY WAY

Cape Blazer – New York and Company (sold out) // Bomber Jacket – Mossimo (Targetstyle) (sold out) // Statement Tee – Forever 21 (sold out) // Those Track Pants – WhoWhatWear (similar here) // Pumps – Sam Edelman (sold out)  // Sneakers – Converse // Sunnies – NYS Collection (similar here) // Images by @makinlemonade

Socks with Stilettos. Just do it!

Hey there, Stylistas!

The practice of wearing socks with any type of high heel was once considered a fashion faux pas, a mistake that only the stylishly challenged made.  But today, socks and heels or sandals worn together is, a street style that designers and those in the public eye are embracing with abandon.

This is a bold choice for anyone, let alone a woman of a certain age. The key is keeping the rest of your outfit simple, and playing with the texture and length of the socks so they remain the focal point. This combination can be styled in many different ways and even by those who might be afraid to stand out.

After the initial shock, I even admit, this daring combination holds a certain offhand attraction. But not any old sock or sandal will work. Pair pretty pastels with metallic sandals, or get playful with polka dots (a personal favorite).

If you want to wear a thicker sock with shoes for work, then make sure the color of the socks match the color of the high heels, they should be close hues. 

Try them on at home and see what works best with you and your own personal tastes and style. The best looks are always the ones that can mix and incorporate trends with a personal touch.

So the question is should you wear socks with stilettos? The answer is a resounding “yes”.  As long as you know how to pair them appropriately.  Let’s be clear, this is not for the shuffling old woman!  Be creative, daring and most of all remember, that you CAN pull it off. Because YOU are totally fabulous!!

Until next time, love and light!

Julie

SHOP MY STYLE

OTS Gingham Blouse – New York and Company // Blush Pleated Skirt – H&M // – Taupe Pumps – Steven Madden // Clutch (old) & Fishnet Socks – Forever 21 // Sunnies (similar) – NYS Collection

Merona Socks – Target //  Pewter T-Strap Pumps – Sam and Libby for Target // Black Patent Leather Pumps – Jessica Simpson

Images by @makinlemonade (based in New Orleans)

 

Look for the Good. She’s Right There, Waiting for You.

Hey Lovelies!

I hope you all are having an amazing weekend.  Let’s appreciate that it will be a good, long Memorial Day weekend.

As a blogger, I want to be transparent about who I am, so it doesn’t appear that my life is just about smiling and pretty clothes.  I must admit, life could be a whole lot harder. Yes, I am blessed.  But know that since I’ve begun this business and blogging journey, I have been plagued with things that would bog down most.  I’m not here to complain or brag, but to witness and encourage someone who is on the edge and ready to throw in the towel.

I am a witness that when things get the toughest, God ALWAYS shows up for my good.  Just. Like. Clockwork.  BOOM!

I absolutely love quotes and I use them as inspiration and motivation.  Here is my favorite quote for this week and  recent experiences:

“Don’t get mad.  Don’t get even.  Do better, much better.  Rise above.  Become so engulfed in your own success, that you forget it ever happened.” – Author Unknown

That is all.

OUTFIT/LOOK

How can you go wrong with vibrant color and ruffles!?  Love this blouse from the #whowhatwearcollection.  I paired my lovely top with bell bottom jeans from the Forever 21 plus line and accessorized with a beautiful large tote with gold details from Target, large hoop earrings and wedge heels.  Y’all know I love some color!  It makes me happy!

Until next time! Love and light!

Julie

SHOP MY STYLE

Ruffle Blouse – WhoWhatWearCollection // Bell Bottom Frayed Jeans (sold out) – Forever 21 Plus // Tote Bag – Targetstyle // Wedge Heels – BCBG  (similar)// Sunnies – NYS Collection (similar) // Photography – @makinlemonade (New Orleans based)