Spring: The Season of Renewal

Despite the frigid temperatures and having left over snow on the ground, Spring if officially here! Yesterday as I was having my afternoon tea, I noticed my tea bag had one of those little quotes attached to the tag. By the way, I’ve noticed I actually look forward to those little messages. I enjoy them more than fortune cookies these days. Do you? Now back to my herbal tea message. It said “Earth Laughs in Flowers” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I thought how perfect with Spring just a day away. It’s such a fine reminder that yes, our earth provides us with so many beautiful gifts regardless of the seasons. Spring comes with a such a strong sense of excitement. Warmer weather, sunny days, long walks and why not.. fun styles to try as well. Putting seasonal allergies aside, you can’t help but appreciate the early signs of flowers, plants and leaves budding on the trees. The colors get brighter, the daylight stays with us just a bit longer. Spring is a wonderful reminder of new beginnings. This is the time to shed our old skin, past habits and thought patterns and just embrace renewed energies that this season brings with it. If you had some new years resolutions and perhaps it has fallen off your radar, that’s okay. Let that go and start over! That’s the best part of a new season, it gives you the motivation to refresh your goals, see things in a different way or maybe just try a new approach. Take some time to reconnect with yourself and see what parts of your life could use a boost or recharge. Is it career goals, new activities you would like to try like a new hobby or perhaps just visiting new places you’ve never been to before. Start somewhere, anywhere. So treat yourself to to the magic of the outdoors, leave those winter blues behind and start planting new seeds that start from within you. So readers, what is your favorite part of this new season? Leave your comments below and share what are you looking forward to?

Happy Spring Equinox.

XO

Maria


The Power of Color for Home and Business

What is the power of COLOR? It’s pretty safe to say that colors have one of the highest frequencies which we interact with on a daily basis. If we think about it, from the moment we get up in the morning one of our first decisions we make is what are we going to wear and that usually includes a choice of color(s). Have you ever decorated a room, home or office space? If so, then you know that the right choice of colors can make or break the vibe of your space. At some point you may have shopped around for new paint for a home improvement project. Then you know there are so many options and it’s a little more involved than just saying, “I’m going to paint a wall green”. The choice you make will have a lasting effect on your space regardless of its size. Colors can symbolize or represent a variety of things in western or eastern cultures. Have you heard the term ‘Feng Shui'(pronounced fung shway)? In English it means “wind-water” and it’s the Chinese system of placing and arranging items at home to increase the flow of ‘Chi’ or energy. Color plays a predominant role in the proper execution in Feng Shui. (See below for some of the meanings behind the colors in this system) It is believed that many of these principles can aid in increasing good luck, money, harmony, health and all areas of your life. Seriously, who doesn’t want any and all of these things! So why not give it a try. Here are 9 simple tips to Feng Shui your home.

On the side of business, perhaps you are looking to launch a new website or are looking to purchase business cards for that business. Once again, the importance of your color selection will distinguish and represent your brand so you want to make sure that you put some thought behind this. Color can be persuasive and influential from a marketing perspective and according to an article in Small Business Trends, “Color can often be the sole reason someone purchases a product, where 93% of buyers focus on visual appearance and almost 85% claim color to be their primary reason for purchase!”

The color choices we make can make a difference in how we feel. If we believe that colors carry a certain sense of energy, then how does this translate into our mood? I believe we all bring our own source of energy to this world. When we combine this with certain colors that we gravitate to, then we can make beautiful music together. Learning about the meaning behind certain hues is important, but remember to go with what resonates best with you. Whatever you feel is best aligned with you and lifts your spirits is exactly the color you may want to bring into your space. So, how do you find the use of certain colors have impacted life at home, business etc? Have you tried using Feng Shui in any way? Would love to hear your thoughts!

XO

Maria

Photo:Louisem.com

New Direction: Beyond the Fashion

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”― Author Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Today’s post is a little different than most. I know you stopped in (thank you for doing so) very likely expecting to see an update on the latest fashion, trends or style. Well, the truth of the matter is that today I am going in a bit of a different direction. If you have been following One Style at a Time you know that this is the home base of all things fun and fabulous fashion. Today, I want to take off the fashion blogger hat and just have an honest and transparent conversation. You see, for quite some time I have been on quite a personal journey that includes a bit of self-discovery and includes change. I’m sure if you are reading this you can relate on some level because aren’t we all on a path of improvement or transformation. Sometimes you can’t move forward unless you take a step back and take a deeper look at the things that really matter. Now for everyone this introspective peek inward may be different. For me it meant remembering what are some of the things that I enjoy from life. As a blog writer and active social media participant, I’m surrounded by so much information and fast-paced news so the art of research comes in handy. In my search for finding more information I discovered that bloggers are put in a box with tons of labels. From day one, I have been asked, “how do you monetize your blog? how many followers do you have? what is your niche?” I have even been dismissed by people close to me and total strangers because they don’t think ‘blogging’ is a serious venture or because I’m not following the ‘popular formula’. For one, I made a conscious decision years ago that I wasn’t going to be a street style blogger and it’s great that it works for many but fashion blogging is not a one size fits all. I have had endless propositions to promote brands and products that just did not fit my with my style, audience or message. I stand behind projects and partnerships that make sense and that I sincerely believe in. I don’t believe that you can put a price on ingenuity.

Last year I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Big Magic’. You may know her from her best seller book and movie, ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. Interesting enough, this book suggestion came to me from a complete stranger on YouTube who recommended I read this book. I took the suggestion and never looked back. What a great book for anyone on a creative path. Although Liz talks from the writers point of view, this book is a great and inspiring read for anyone who is afraid to own their creative gifts and follow their path. This book brought some great insights and made me think back to a time when I was a child. As children at some point we are asked, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer was to be a writer, painter, fashion designer and an architect. Most kids say, fireman, doctor, teacher or nurse. Not me, I guess early on I sensed I had multiple creative passions. For so long anyone who had multiple passions was considered by society to be confused or simply a flake. I doubt you can say that about many famous names throughout history and even today. Case in point, Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, geologist, mathematician among many other things. Harrison Ford is an actor with a love for flying helicopters, Jane Seymour is a well-known actress and painter, Stan Lee is an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics. Do you see where we are going here?

If you navigate around One Style at a Time, you will find that although the main topic has always been fashion, it is not a one dimensional blog and I am proud of that. I’ve learned that it is important to stay true to yourself no matter what the analytics show. Nothing against the stats, but without inspiration the content will not feel right with your audience or with yourself. So in the spirit of staying truthful, I am taking a new approach. As of now, this blog will begin touching on additional subjects that are NOT strictly related to the fashion world. My personal life in the last couple of years has taken on different layers that I feel are meaningful and worth sharing. This is not to say that I won’t continue sharing all the fun fashion content with you all (I’m a fashion girl at heart), but there are more topics that I feel guided to include here. It’s all part of the evolution and growth of this blog and I do hope that you stay with me on this ride that includes a bit of change. I appreciate the longtime support and hope that I can bring some additional value to each of you. I will continue to share any shifts in direction as they happen. Thank you for your readership and if you are someone who has many passions like cooking, dancing, photography, designing or writing, my advice is don’t stop working on it! If you haven’t started or are afraid to take the next step, work through that fear and go for it anyway. Never let your gifts go to waste and never allow anyone to talk you out of going for your dreams. Never stop exploring and continue to keep the curiosity alive one step at a time.

“I want to be a Renaissance woman. I want to paint, and I want to write, and I want to act, and I want to just do everything.” Emma Watson

I welcome your thoughts in your comments below.

xo

Maria

 

Celebrating Women’s Day

It’s always inspiring to see women all over the world be recognized in so many ways. Today we celebrate International Women’s Day and will likely see trending hashtags such as #WomensDay and #adaywithoutwomen. The ‘Day Without Women’ is a movement where according to the Women’s March website, ” is to recognize the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socioeconomic system, while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment and job insecurity.” YouTube has also created the #HerVoiceIsMyVoice channel to also celebrate and honor international women around the world. 

In my book, women’s day is every single day of the calendar year. I come from a family lineage of strong, nurturing, caring and tenacious women. I learned so much from listening and watching these women speak their mind and make a difference in the lives of those around them. My mother Sabina was one of the biggest influences in my life and in the lives of all her children. She had a keen intuition and sense of wisdom, but most of all she had heart and strength like no one I knew. The young little country girl who lost her parents at a very young age had to grow up quickly and find her way in life. She later became the loving family matriarch in the big city of New York. She was a devoted mother and a wife who never allowed anyone to shut down her opinion (and boy did she have one). She showed me to always stand my ground and never allow anyone to take my power away. She had integrity, grace and much pride. This didn’t mean she didn’t have her softer moments. As much as she was a stern disciplinarian, she also had an enormous heart and in turn, that is the measure of being a great women. You can have high standards, be assertive and vocal about your point of view. But in the end, you can be compassionate and kind hearted towards others. I am proud to be in solidarity with all women today and so enormously proud to have come from an immigrant family. I dedicate this post to my incredible Mother who is no longer with us and to all the women who came before us and helped shape the world. To those women who broke down barriers, broke glass ceilings, put fear to the side and carved out a piece of history to ensure we could have a better tomorrow. We not only wear red in celebration of this honorable day, but we say ‘Thank You’ to all these women that have made a difference in our lives. Just remember that a women’s armor and strength comes directly from her heart.

 

2017 Oscars BEST of the Red Carpet

The grand finale to the 2017 award season has come to a close. The Oscars celebrated another year of big hitters in the film industry. From the very popular and highly nominated ‘La La Land’ to impactful stories like ‘Lion’, ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Hidden Figures’, there were several stories that captivated and inspired us. It was quite an award show with upsets like Best Actor win by Casey Affleck and an emotional win by Mahershala Ali who won for best actor in a supporting role in the movie, ‘Moonlight’. The end of the award show and final nomination for Best Picture came with the biggest confusing moment. First, the announcement came that ‘La La Land’ had won and just minutes later the win went to ‘Moonlight’. Quite a confusing and shocking end to over four hours of the show. Moving on to some favorite moments on the red carpet. The ladies went with gold tones, whites and flowing, elegant gowns. There wasn’t too much color, so we have to thank Oscar nominee and Best Supporting Actress winner, Viola Davis for leading the way with her incredible red Armani dress. She’s been wearing so many stunning strapless dresses but this time it was the shoulders that were exposed and what a great fit! Emma stone’s flapper fringed, flapperesque golden dress was perfection. Here are the rest of our choices for BEST DRESSED as we wrap yet another year of award season.

Jessica Biel in Kaufman Franco, Emma Stone in Givenchy Haute Couture, Charlize Theron in Dior Couture

Viola Davis in Armani, Ruth Negga in Valentino

Felicity Jones in Christian Dior Couture, Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo, Olivia Culpo in Marchesa

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen, Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti, Brie Larson in Oscar de la Renta

Viola Davis in Armani, Ruth Negga in Valentino

Priyanka Chopra in Ralph & Russo, Auli’i Cravalho in Rubin Singer