Look Inspiration: Live for Today, not for Yesterday

This Monday, I woke up and had things in perfect order, I ate a healthy breakfast, laundry was done, house was clean, the girls were woken up early.

Yesterday, I was a wreck. The week slowly descended into “what is going on?!” and yesterday was a very tough day, an unexpectedly difficult day with surprising challenges.
The day ended with a friend posting this picture of me on Facebook and my husband showing a side of him that I had seen before but I never really, really, really appreciated as much as yesterday evening. As he was speaking, all I could think about is how emotional, encouraging and beautiful his words were to me were.
Somehow everything else seemed like an inconvenience in the way.
Today, I look at this picture of me and remember my husband’s words and I feel so incredibly happy, grateful and blessed. The future has never looked brighter.
I look SO happy in this picture and this is the future. Do you have any photos of you that remind you what your true purpose in life is? Remind you who the best version of yourself is? The version you want to grow and keep developing?
My favorite quote from my husband’s reassuring talk: “You have to live for today, what happens today, it’s already behind, leave yesterday behind. You’re not changing, you can’t”

The fashion statement in this photo isn’t the dress, hair or flowers, it’s my smile. Cheesy as it sounds, it’s my favorite thing to wear!

Outfit Inspiration: Black & White + A Color Pop

I can’t believe it is Wednesday. I also can’t believe how busy I’ve been and as much as I try to post each day of the week sometimes it isn’t possible! My rules for blogging are:
1- Family first
2- Work and Harlow Dahlia Events second
then…and only then I allow myself to post!
Well obviously this week #1 and #2 kept me very busy but I am back.
I am preparing for my business’ first bridal show this week and I just CANNOT wait. Stay tuned for a post about the bridal show and my set up design.
For today I want to share a look I had a few weeks ago now, a simple black on white business day take with a very colorful pop of color in my shoes! I LOVE these shoes. They are Liz Clairborne and they are the most fun shoes I’ve ever owned. I get so many compliments on them! They are classic enough to wear to work and yet fun enough to wear with any outfit.
I love this look for workday attire because it is understated and  it is practicable enough to wear to a very conservative work environment or a work environment with a less rigid code. Once out of work,  you can go out on a date or out on the town with it!
I love adding a fun pop of color such as these shoes as the outfit is simple enough to take on the colorful, flower pattern shoes. If I were wearing much brighter colors, that could be a questionable mix of patterns and colors. So remember, simple + pop of color = aesthetically gorgeous outfit
Skirt: Express
Till next time!
Claudia

Outfit Inspiration: Sunday Easy Look

 This summer has probably been my favorite summer ever (well last year is my favorite since that was the summer of I got married). I’ve been busy, lots of traveling and adventures. Well this weekend we got finally got to wind down and have an easy, breezy weekend. The girls and I did some shopping to catch up on some essentials they needed, managed to plan recipes and dinner for the rest of the week, work out and even explore some of our beautiful Vermont. Nothing gets me ready for a Monday as a peaceful Sunday.

I haven’t talked much about my career in the blog but in addition to running my own wedding planning business I am also a full time Marketing Manager. Yes, that’s 40 hours a week.

I fact I started this blog with the intention to carve out some time for myself where I discuss some of my favorite things so I can balance out family/work/business/social life. This is my “zen”. I love to share a piece of my life, it allows me to step away from the every day routine and I can focus on my love for weddings and fashion!

For Sunday, I came up with this easy to put together outfit that is still very comfortable and fashionable and in all honesty all under $25. It is possible to do! I LOVE this dress from Old Navy. I noticed I haven’t shopped there as much lately as I used to now that I’m evolving into new looks but I still have so many good finds from there! I love this dress because although simple, it is flattering and I can easily dress it down for the beach with flip flops and tossing my hair up or I can dress it up as shown below. A blank canvas dress is the best time because it is as if you own several dresses in one.
You can reorganize your look very easily when the canvas is so easy to play with.

To top it all off talk about having a fabulous hair day! I woke up and my hair curled down on its own as show in the pictures. No hairspray or retouching it. Let’s just say I ran with it.

Dress: Old Navy
Shoes: H &M
Necklace: Banana Republic
Bag: Vintage (I bought it at a store in Boston, many years ago)

Photo cred: My wonderful husband who loves to include some very strong solar flare in my pictures!

Here’s to all of us having a wonderful beginning of the week. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s outfit inspiration for very cute work style outfits that will make your work week just that much more exciting.

Navy Color Dreams

One of my favorite colors in clothes is dark navy. It is a royal color that endures new trends and changes in fashion. I like to think it is a flattering color on most and it is an elegant signature color.
I love to pair my favorite navy dress with a pair of aviators for an even more classic look. If ever in a hurry, remember navy color + aviators = great outfit.
Another tip: if you are anything like and tend to lose or break your glasses at the drop of a hat, then buy inexpensive glasses that will not be a terrible financial loss when they meet their dismiss.
I have a pair of very nice aviators that I only wear to very special events. The rest of the time I do well with $12.99 pairs. My favorite place to buy them is H & M. They are inexpensive, durable, high quality and stylish!

Glasses: H & M

Look of the day: New York Style

 This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to New York City. I lived there from ages 10 through 18 and to me NYC will always be home.
While I love Vermont, I miss the energy the city has, there’s always something to do, somewhere to be. Everyone is open to embrace fashion statements, and from all the cities I’ve been to (not too too many at this point), no place is like this beautiful city.
While I’m a child of Brooklyn, I have fallen in love with beautiful Manhattan. If I ever move back, it will be to Manhattan more than likely.

A few snaps from my “around the city” outfit on Saturday.

Dress: Banana Republic
Shoes: H & M
Bag: Vintage from local shop in Brooklyn
Earrings: Top Shop

                                Posing alongside one of my many styles muses: Marilyn

Look of the day: My Favorite Red Dress

I am not a huge fan of red. It’s never been one of my favorite colors but I know it looks good on my particular complexion and yet this is one of my new favorite dresses. I bought it at TJ Maxx in a rush for a work event for maybe $12 and it’s become the biggest hit. Every time I wear it, I get a healthy amount of compliments.
Its a simple and classic dress. The combination of gold and red are one of my favorite colors in fashion. The way the zipper runs across the dress is a beautiful design that really highlights what otherwise would be a plain red dress. The best part is that I can wear it with heels, flats, sandals and it works well with any pairing. I can also add some gold earrings and a bracelet or go with more natural Earth tones for jewelry. I try to wear either brown leather bags or a white bag to undermine the stronger red dress.
What do you think? Feeling like going out and buying a statement red dress?





2008, Glitter and a Confidant

I went  back and forth, back and forth in my head about posting this or not posting at all.

Do you know how sometimes you meet people for short spurts of time in your life but those few months/years have a deep impact for the rest of your life? I feel that happens frequently to me.

2008 was a year I’ll always remember. I had just graduated college and was very confused as to what came next. I didn’t have a dream job or company in mind, no idea what I wanted to be or do or live or anything. I knew I probably wanted to move out of Vermont and then I met my now husband Dave.

And we lived happily ever after! Except not at all. The six months after we met were filled with anxiety, frustration, misunderstandings and many, many tears. “If he likes me then why so and so and this and that”? Why won’t he commit? etc, etc.

Around this time I landed a second job besides my office job to help make ends meet. The job was at a retail store and I got it through an acquaintance  I frequently saw and spoke to at a local coffee shop I used to frequent as a college student. I still remember sitting outside sipping a beer when she stopped by and asked “Were you still looking for a job”? I may have one for you at Store X where I work.
I enthusiastically accepted her offer, interviewed and was hired part-time in late Summer ’08.

I wish I could describe her but words don’t make her justice. A radiant woman, a lovely smile, soft spoken and always, always, always sporting incredible amounts of glitter on her,beautiful, bright skirts and tops, beautiful hats. I LOVE glitter and as such I thought she was the most beautiful person I’ve seen. A human who embraced glitter just as much as I wish I could.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d put my glitter on for shows, festivals or a fun night out and I used to way overused it as a teenager on my hair and skin, but for her it was a daily ritual. It was the norm.

It turns out she also had her bad boyfriend story going on at the same time as mine. Except Dave wasn’t my boyfriend, and hers was and they lived together, except it wasn’t peachy. So a pattern quickly developed. Anguish over the boy, run late for work in the morning, manage to sneak a coffee and breakfast sandwich and meet said woman at work. Once there, we had a daily exchange of the latest and greatest disappointments in our “relationships”. I was so grateful to have her to speak to because she got it. Our men had somewhat similar problems, they were very different people but at the most basic of levels we were two lovesick women. As I repeated every scenario that happened with my guy in my head, she advised me-typically positive words about him. I was upset at myself, she told me not be so hard on myself. It reinforced some faith in me, I too could have a happy ending to my story.

We chatted music, we both loved Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald. We both love sparkly things.
When Fall arrived and she bought a white glittery knit hat from a vendor on Church St, I got the same one in black.

Those Fall months in 2008 were life changing for me. They were the beginning of a true relationship with my now husband but they were also life forming months for me as a person. So much happened, so much changed me.

Eventually she decided the 9-5 life was too overbearing, she was an artist, she had to find her creativity and freedom outside the walls of a retail store. When she gave her notice, she offered me her position which I gladly accepted as my student loans came knocking at the door. Her role paid more, demanded more. It was almost like we swapped points in our lives. She was stepping down from responsibility, I was taking on more of it which I was not keen about only a few months before.

She broke up with her boyfriend, Dave and I became official. There were no more confiding conversations to be had. The life changing months were now over. More would come but that particular point in time was now over for good.

She invited me to a couple of parties which I attended but I stopped visiting our local coffee shop and we lost touch. On occasion a few years after, we may have seen each other and simply smirked and nodded at the other’s presence. Each time reminding me I should dig up that glitter and wear it more frequently.

Last week I found out this beautiful woman had passed on. It left me speechless. While it had been years since our last conversation, I still remember our 2008 conversations vividly, I remember every detail of those months.

I don’t have any lessons out of this post, I mean I do sure but the most sincere thing I can say is that it absolutely saddened me to hear the news, it seems unreal people as divine as her can leave this world. It just doesn’t seem real.  I’ll always remember 2008 and my conversations with her and overbearing amounts of one of the best fashion statements: glitter.



Look of the day: Slip on dress

I’m a big fan of fashion on the go, meaning being busy all the time and a mom I need to figure out creative ways to be fashionable while being fast. Keyword: FAST. That is why I love easy, quick one layer outfits I can easily thrown on and go! That doesn’t mean these outfits have to be frumpy, you can pick beautiful one layer pieces that are modern and stylish. Perfect example, the slip-on-dress. 
A simple, cotton, no pattern dress you can throw and GO. Pull your hair up, add cute shoes, a dab of make up, earrings and a bracelet and you are ready for the town in less than 5 minutes! 
My favorite slip-on-dress is this black number from Wet Seal. It is well fitted, I get tons of compliments on it and can wear it to just about anything. Casual functions, day in the park, evening out, I dress it up and dress down.
Want to make a good clothing investment? Find a slip-on-dress and you’ll love what a difference it will make to feel great and be ready quick!

Look of the day: Keeping it Casual

There are days where nothing seems to work. You wake up and you’re off, the coffee tastes awful, you’re exhausted, just not feeling it. When it comes time to get dress, everything looks terrible, etc. etc. If you are a mother then your getting ready time in the mornings is cut by about 75%. I have around 20 minutes which is luxurious and that’s only because I wake up early.
On days I feel like this, I just keep it casual. I have a rule that jeans, a black top and cute shoe swill always look good on anyone in any occasion at all times. You can’t fail with this combination. It’s classic, sexy and to the point. Want to make it even easier? Put your hair up, grab some colorful earrings and you are golden! Easy, 5 minute dress up trick and now you feel and look great for the entire day.
Sometimes you have to shortcut your way to life and (clothes). 
Jeans: Gap
Top: H & M
Sandals: Old Navy
Bag: Vintage

Look of the day: Blue on Blue

I love dates. It’s one of my favorite things to do with my husband in the world, however, we don’t go on them enough, in fact we barely do. The are many factors that affect our ability to enjoy dates such as time, being tired, budgets. Has it been a busy week? Then I don’t want to spend too much time away from our girls, there’s always a reason. So when all these factors fall into place and we can go on a date, I love to dress up. I don’t do it for him, I don’t do it for others, I do it because I love to feel stunning. I love to be dolled up head to toe. My husband will be quick to say : “Well, you are looking for attention” which I think it’s an assumption and label women get frequently thrown on them if they choose to wear anything that may be outside the “norm”, too tight, too dressy, too out there.
 I dress up because I want to feel glamorous out and about, not for attention, not for the photos, all for me. When has it become socially acceptable that a sweatshirt and pants is okay but a nicely fit dress isn’t? I will be fighting that for a while.
Case and point this beautiful blue dress that I love to wear for our dates out. It’s skin pressed and has a beautiful deep tone that really brings out my hair and skin color. I love it as a statement dress, I love pairing up with high heels, as it really brings the whole picture together. I bought the dress years ago somewhere on a trip to Texas and it has been one of my favorite to go to staples. I love matching blues with lighter shades of blues such as my bracelet. An aquamarine tone with a deeper blue makes for a beautiful color combo!