Work Style Notes: Navy Blue Pants

 Hello! I’m trying to get back to blogging after a long hiatus. In that time, I decided it would probably be helpful if I buy a camera so I can improve the quality of my pictures, obviously right now I wouldn’t say they are the highest of qualities. Work in progress!

I also did some soul searching around the concept of being a fashion blogger and what exact that entails.
When I look at most blogs, the pictures are flawless, the clothes could be off the runway in terms of high worth and while I love and highly admire the blogs, it’s not a reality for myself and it’s likely not a reality for most!

If I can get to the point in my life where everything I shop for is designer then that would be a great deal but for now it is a mixture of some designer, some vintage and some just every day shops. I hope in many ways the blog an be relatable to many.

While I should say I would never give up vintage. There is nothing more exciting to me than searching for treasures in thrift shops, it goes back to my fashion roots when I lived in New York City.
The smell of the shop, the colors popping of the rack, the textures. No better retail therapy than vintage shop therapy.

For today’s look I am showing a simple yet fun signature statement work style. I got these navy blue pants that have 6 buttons on the waist area and I absolutely love it! I’ve worn them with every color and type of top possible.

As they are high waisted pants, I try to pair them up with heels, typically just black pumps.

The top is a soft cotton maroon top and I complemented that with a maroon pashmina and my favorite necklace: pearls!

I love this outfit because it is comfortable, easy to put together and looks great at work or after hours.
I threw my hair up for this style to more intensity to the look and bring out my neck area since I have the necklace and pearls.

Till next time friends!

Pants: Kohl’s
Top: Macys
Scarf: HM

Sparkle & Blue

It is an understatement to say I’ve slacked off on actively writing on the my blog. When I wake up at night and think of my “I need to do this soon…” list, my blog is always on the top 3.

However, the last few months brought me a change in daytime jobs, a vacation and (luckily) back-back weddings for a month straight!

Sometimes I know when I have too much on my plate and something has to give. Unfortunately, it’s the blog.

As much as I absolutely love writing in it, priorities are family, career & business, being a human and then the blog.

I hope the blog moves up in importance soon enough but for the time being, I had to take a break. However, now that I’m back, I’m going to kick my post off with one of my favorite outfits of the season!

I wore this sparkly, blue number to a friend’s wedding this month and I felt amazing in it. I don’t typically don on long sleeve, super short dresses but as I went on a very last minute, desperate search for a dress all over Vermont, this dress stood out from the rest.
The color is perfect for the Fall season, the sparkles just pop out in person but they don’t make me look like I walked out of Studio 54 either.

I parked the dress with black tights and black heels to dress it up appropriately for the occasion and parted my hair to the side to add a more romantic & soft touch to the dress.

I absolutely believe every dress/ outfit can take on a theme of its own based on how you style it. If I had done my hair completely straight and didn’t wear the black tights, this dress would have screamed “femme fatale”; the details really pulls it altogether.

Dress: Macy’s
Shoes: Banana Republic
Clutch: Vintage

Scenes and Styles from Maine

Being a young parent has its pros and its cons. I would never ever trade it for anything in the world but I will say that sometimes I learn by experience. For instance it wasn’t until 2012 that I realized our family never took vacations, I just forgot that it would make sense to build a family tradition by visiting the same spot every year. So in late 2012, I turned to my husband Dave and told him we were going to Maine. I’m not sure why I chose Maine, maybe because I had a coworker from Maine that would talk it up, maybe it was the idea of the cool ocean or maybe it just sounded like a tranquil-all peaceful- scenic travel location.
I booked us a cabin that same evening and therefore our Maine annual family vacation tradition was born.
When my husband and I were married last year, we chose Portland, Maine as our destination.
This post will be picture heavy and thin on words as I’m still on vacation and want to stay off electronics as much as I can (but obviously I struggle with that, just look at my Instagram account!).
I will leave with you these pictures, non filter, au naturel to show you why I love Maine and when I am back I will write the actual reasons why Maine is one of the beautiful spots I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. 

Harlow & Dahlia Events: Engagement Shoot

In 10 days, it will be my one year anniversary. It seems incredible this much time has passed by since August 29, 2015 yet the seasons have changed and here we are.

Prepping up to celebrate my anniversary here are some inspiration shots from our engagement shoot.
Reminiscing on how much fun it was to snap these and can’t wait for our year anniversary shoot.







Style Inspiration: Pencil Skirt

If you were to ask me my favorite fashion item ever it may well be a tie between pencil skirts and liquid eyeliner.

Pencil skirt slightly outranking the eyeliner. My first recollection of my love for pencil skirts came from childhood. I was a strange child, let’s get that out in the open. Very strange in fact.

An only child, I had to rely on imagination to not be bored out of my mind. When I first moved to the United States, didn’t know the language and virtually had no friends, I found some form of comfort watching old Hollywood movies. I fell in love with Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner and of course Jean Harlow. I admire Jean’s beauty and glamour so much I named my event planning company after : Harlow & Dahlia Events. My favorite Old Hollywood era was the 1940’s and Film Noir. (On a different post, I’ll cover how my love for Film Noir led me to become a film major for a year in college)

One thing that always stood out to me about this era is the clothes, I just love the style of the 40’s. Clean lines, dark tones, wavy hair, red lipstick, big eyes, strappy (is that a word?) heels.
I feel I belong to that era, while I don’t necessarily believe in reincarnation, if ever something would make me believe is the sole fact that I am convinced I must have lived in that decade.

The pencil skirt was a trademark statement of that time. I have images of Marilyn Monroe wearing a beautiful black skirt bouncing around in espadrilles wedges.

Whenever I need an instant pick me up, I don on one of my many pencil skirts, dash the eyeliner, grab a Starbucks and I feel like a million dollars. I love the instant glamour the skirt provides me, I feel fit, elegant and ready to go.

I wear them to work, I wear them out and about, I wear them on casual days and big occasions. I wear them with heels such as below and I wear them with flip flops, sandals, wedges, just about any suitable shoe EXCEPT sneakers of course. Never sneakers + a pencil skirt shall mix.

I find them to be such a flattering piece of clothing on most women. If you don’t own one yet, I ask you to go out and buy one. You’ll see what I mean about feeling glamorous in them!

                                                                  Skirt: Express
                                                                  Top: Old Navy
                                                                  Shoes: Liz Clairborne
                                                                  Lipstick: Burt’s Bees– Scarlet Soaked
 

The Joy of Cooking & A Zest of Color

I finally bought The Joy of Cooking Cookbook. This book has been a to buy item in my planner for months but I kept putting it off. I am SO happy I finally picked it up. I can now see why this book is so legendary, it has thousands of quick, easy and delicious recipes for all types of tastes. I’ve been trying one out each evening and thus far they have all been huge hits at home!
When I came home last night and took a look at my outfit and its vibrant, zestful colors I immediately knew I wanted to cook something just as cheerful! I settled on pg 515 and tried out Keema Aloo, a well known Pakistani dish  consisting of beef, potatoes and what seemed like hundreds of spices including my favorite spice: Turmeric.
The recipe turned out delicious, I should have probably taken photos but we were too busy eating it!
I promise it is worth trying and you will not regret this delicious comfort food. More importantly I cannot recommend purchasing The Joy of Cooking if you have not done yet! I am SO happy to try out all these recipes in upcoming Fall and Winter. It is going to be an amazing cold season just imagining the delicious food and dishes we’ll make, colorful outfits and the most helpful of assistants such as my daughter Mackenzie below.
Dress: Old Navy
Sweater: H & M

Look of the day: A Navy Dress & a Couple of Philosophies on Hand

I have a few philosophies I live by that I’ve picked up through the years. Little actions and thoughts that carry me through times where I wonder how I’ll make it.

My very favorite philosophy and we’ll say :

Philosophy #1

If you don’t feel great, if someone has done you wrong, if this and that is happening then dress to impress yourself.

Dress SO amazing that you spark and fly out of your house ready to take on the world. Carry yourself so high, shoulders up, determination in sight. Everyone that sees you will gasp and just like that you silence any doubters.

It isn’t necessarily about impressing others but more about showing life who you really are. The times are tough, great, then dress like you are off to the greatest party of your life. Because life is short and you can’t sit around waiting for the party to come to you which brings me to:

Philosophy #2

Sometimes we need to make the party happen ourselves. Stop waiting for the compliment, stop waiting for the better job and the better relationship. Those things will never come just as long as we wait and abide to complete our happiness waiting for their arrival.

Here is my “stopping traffic, philosophies in my mind” outfit:

Dress: IZ Byer- Kohl’s
Shoes & Bag: Vintage (bought somewhere in NYC somewhere ago)
Red lipstick: Burt’s Bees all natural line – Scarlett Soaked




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.