Geometric Navy

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    This is probably one of my favorite summer outfits so far. Not only is it super cute, it is comfy, and the shoes and top are less than $40! I am absolutely in love with these shoes! They feel amazing and go with everything! For a summer wedge, they are definitely a must have! I love how effortless this outfit was to put together and how all the little details really popped. Maybe I’m having a good hair day lol, but this outfit takes the cake so far. Can you tell how much I love the white jeans? They are currently sold out in the style but I posted similar style below. I’ve worn them in several post with different looks and they work so well with everything. I highly recommend them to anyone! White denim is a must for any summer wardrobe. Check out the rest of the details of my outfit below!

    Alex and Ani Birthstone Expandable Wire Bangle
    Kendra Scott ‘Ripley’ Triangle Stone Bracelet/ Clutch (Similar style)
    Bar III Gold-Tone Lace Bib Necklace/ Mark & Maddux Caged Wedge
    white Kancan Jeans (similar style)/ Daytrip top/ BKE watch
    Kendra Scott ‘Sky Spear’ Small Statement Earrings

    <3 Dawn


    Statement Beads

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    This past week I attended a graduation party for my dear friend Joanne, who I recently did  graduation pictures for her. (check out the post here.) I wanted to dress up yet still be comfy because it was a BBQ party. I opted for these destructed black jeans from my favorite denim brand Kancan. They are so comfy and easy to dress up or dress down. My top and necklaces were birthday presents from Nordstrom. The top is on sale for $15.90 and the beaded statement necklace is less than $30. I absolutely love my necklace. It really makes such a basic outfit pop! My shoes are from Justfab, an online personal shopping site where you can find great deals on shoes, clothing and accessories. They currently have a huge sale for Memorial Weekend. Everything is 50% off! For the rest of the outfit detail click on the link below.

    Amrita Singh Two-Tone Marquis Cluster Earrings
    Nicole By Nicole Miller Natalie Reversible Clutch Crossbody Bag (similar style)
    Alex and Ani Birthstone Expandable Wire Bangle
    Kendra Scott ‘Ripley’ Triangle Stone Bracelet
    BP. Beaded Statement Necklace (Online Only)
    BP. Stone Open Cuff/ Kancan Black Jeans
    Frenchi® Woven Swing Tank/JustFab Heels (similar style)

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. Follow my instagram @dawnpdarnell for more fashion and style post!


    Non fat cheesy chicken and broccoli casserole





    So this week as a part of my May Resolution I challenged myself to cook something a little more difficult than my last post. I was craving a casserole so I found this healthy recipe on Yummly.  Yummly is an app you can download, and I highly recommend it to anyone. It is easy to use and has a large database of recipes. Below are the ingredients from the recipe I found. However instead of reduced fat cheese I used non fat cheese as an alternative.


    • 13/4 cups low sodium chicken broth ? Tasty tip
    • 2 cups quick cooking brown rice 
    • 1 lb broccoli florets (chopped into bite-sized pieces
    • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 
    • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (chopped into bite-sized pieces
    • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (divided
    • 3/4 tsp garlic powder (divided
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper (divided
    • 2 tbsps flour 
    • 2 cups milk (divided, I used skim
    • 3 tbsps dijon mustard 
    • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt 
    • 11/2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese (divided, about 6 ounces)




    For the directions, it was a little more complicated that I expected it to be. I never juggled having 3 different things going on when it comes to cooking. I had the chicken cooking, the rice boiling, and stirring the cheese sauce all at once while trying to entertain a 4 month old. If I were to try something out like this again I will look for less complicated directions. I know for other moms out there, or anyone like me who doesn’t have the best attention span when it comes to cooking, how difficult it can be to do all these at once. One thing I would change is to avoid sprinkling the cheese on top until its fully cooked, that way it doesn’t harden too much into a crusty like top layer like mine did.

    Directions (Well Plated): 

    1. Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9-inch square, deep baking dish or a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
    2. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot, then add rice. Return to boil, add broccoli to the top of the pot, then cover, reduce heat to low, and let cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat extra virgin olive oil in Dutch oven or large deep pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, about 4 to 6 minutes, then remove to a plate and set aside. Being careful not to burn yourself, wipe the pot clean with a paper towel.
    4. Reduce heat to medium. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the flour and 1/2 cup milk. Pour the mixture into the pot, then add remaining 11/2 cups milk. Cook mixture, stirring constantly until thickened, 7-10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in Dijon, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Once combined, stir in the Greek yogurt and 1 cup of the shredded cheese until smooth.
    5. Add the rice and broccoli mixture and the reserved chicken to with cheese sauce, stirring gently to coat. Spoon the mixture the prepared dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 25 minutes until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes, then serve.


    This dish is easily customizable to your tastes and the season. Feel free to swap the rice for prepared farro, quinoa, or another whole grain (adjust the quantity and cooking time accordingly), the chicken for white beans, or the broccoli for any sautéed vegetable of your choice.

    Let me know how yours turns out!

    <3 Dawn



    Camo and Black

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    On Monday’s I wear black and camo, my uniform to show this week I’m going to kick ass and take names later. 😉 What outfits do you wear that motivate you? I don’t wear a ton of black because I think it darkens my personality. I’m definitely more on the colorful end of the spectrum, but when I do wear black I mean business. As a mom, running errands, working, and juggling a baby, sometimes the color black can be your best friend. It conceals stains better, makes you look slimmer, and is a basic color that goes with almost anything including distressed camo jeans. This v-neck tee I got from Old Navy is a must have for any wardrobe. It flatters any body type and is less than $10!

    I couldn’t find my jeans online but I linked similar styles below. Can you tell I love destruction. I’m pretty sure every pair of jeans I own have intentional holes in them. I don’t alter my jeans either. I keep them long because I love the option of being able to roll them up like a capri or cuff them at the ankle.

    I recently bought these jeweled sandals from the Buckle, and guess what, they are on sale! I love how fashionably comfy they are, especially since I’m on my feet most of the day. Just got my toes done, so I had to do a close up hehe. Love my layered pendant necklace, its a great accessory that is unique yet doesn’t distract from the overall look. Most of my accessories are from Buckle and can be found in the links below. I hope everyone has a kick butt week!

    <3 Dawn

    Women’s Perfect V-Neck Tees • Old Navy
    BaubleBar ‘Polly’ Layered Pendant Necklace • BaubleBar
    Not Rated Women’s Radiant Gladiator Sandal • Not Rated
    True Religion Halle Distressed Skinny Jeans, Destroyed Camo • True Religion
    Urban Expressions clutch (similar style)/ Daytrip watch/ BKE Wrap Bracelet


    Stylevise Photo styling – Joanne’s Graduation


    Hey guys I’m super excited to share with you one of my first projects with Stylevise. For those who were wondering how it works here is a step by step over view of my first Stylevise session with my wonderful friend and sorority sister Joanne for her graduation pictures. I created her interactive style guides based on a series of questions she answered when first submitting her style dilemma, (click here for sample questions), her personality, and her personal wants and needs. The interactive style guide below was broken down into three different looks, with interactive pictures where you could click on direct links to find to purchase the product, an interactive tutorial on how to create the makeup and hair inspiration, ideas for props to suit her photo shoot theme, and sample poses to showcase her personality. I even added photo shoot location ideas to make it even easier for her to make her vision into reality.

    Below is the first look of the interactive slide. This is a screenshot of it so the links to the pictures are not added. Her first look I wanted to cater to her profession as a teacher. I love the classic 50’s style because it suits her classy personality. Joanne was able to find similar styles she already owned in her closet to recreate the looks below.

    1st look


    For the second look we wanted it to be more semi formal to wear under her cap and gown. We continued with he 50’s style inspiration and catered to looks that accentuated her figure but also had a touch of sass to highlight a different aspect of her personality, yet still keeping it classy.

    2nd look


    The last look we wanted to go for the casual Friday look, a more everyday look to showcase more of her genuine personality. I loved the pop of color with the cardigan, and the cuffed jeans to show off her adorable shoes. Love the 50’s inspiration in this look as well.

    third look - semi casual



    For makeup, hair, and accessories, we continued with the overall 50’s theme. We had to make sure we completed the look and didn’t skip out on important details such as these.

    makeup inspiration 2015-05-15 01.09.23

    IMG_0017Screenshot 2015-05-15 01.09.39


    For the props, we chose things that really meant a lot to her and yet also played to the overall look and theme to the photos. These were all things she already had with her so it was no extra cost to add these in.

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    When it comes to photo shoots I think its always a great time saving technique to have certain poses in mind, and it also helps in showing you in your best angles. Below I broke it down into three sections though I am only showing the first part of the slide.

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    Location, location, location! One of the biggest thing about photography is having a great background and having the right background to compliment you and your overall theme. Because it was her graduation pictures we made sure to make the University part of her pictures. The campus was absolutely beautiful so it really worked well with her photo shoot.

    Screenshot 2015-05-15 01.10.14


    I hope you enjoyed my presentation, and if you have any questions or would love to work with me don’t hesitate to contact me. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

    <3 Dawn

    P.S Below is a comprehensive video of the complete photoshoot. Enjoy!

    Screenshot 2015-05-15 01.10.23


    [wpvideo EcknmGEP]


    Easy 15 Minute Veggie chicken wrap



    One of my resolutions this month is to cook something new every week. Cooking is something I can improve on. I don’t have the patience for it, and as a busy mom it’s one of the last things on my to do list. I decided to make this a priority in my life so I can experiment and find recipes that are healthy, tasty, and not time consuming. Below I put a fun creative spin on eating veggies and chicken, two things you can get very tired of eating when you are eating healthy. Check out this easy 5 STEP recipe.

    Veggie Chicken Wrap


    thin sliced chicken breast/ bell peppers/ salt and pepper/ asparagus


    1. Slice chicken breast in thin long strips, and slice bell peppers in thin strips and cut bottoms of asparagus

    2. Season chicken and veggies with salt and pepper

    3. Cover pan with aluminum foil and spray cooking oil

    4. Wrap veggies with one strip of chicken and secure with tooth pick. Arrange in Pan like picture below.

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    5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

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    Try it out and let me know what you think!

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    <3 Dawn

    Family, Fashion, Food



    This weekend for my first Mother’s Day my husband took us out to the city for the day. We went to this cozy hole in the wall restaurant called Roost in Montrose to try their famous fried cauliflower and donut holes. It was amazing and I highly recommend anyone who wants to try something new. I loved their unpretentious feel and diverse menu inspired by local availability of farm fresh ingredients. After dinner my husband and I went to a local park downtown to take family pictures. I can’t believe my little man is trying to walk already. Love some of the candid pictures my hubby took of us. I know I will cherish these memories forever.

    Below is a more detailed look of my outfit. Can you believe my dress and heels are less than $15! It’s a steal for a momma on a budget. I posted links below where you can purchase the items. IMG_0324 IMG_0326IMG_0327  IMG_0328 IMG_0329 IMG_0332

    dress: sheinside/shoes: cicihot/ purse: guess/ belt: BCBG/ earring: Kendra Scott/ bracelet: Alex and Ani/ hat:(similar style)

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. Don’t forget to follow my instagram located below  @dawnpdarnell for more fashion and style post. Thanks and have a great day!



    30 Day Challenge – May Resolutions


    Hey guys, so my first 30 days are done! Goodbye April, hello May! So how did I do? Well I didn’t get to accomplish all my resolutions but I was still very please with how much I did get done.

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    My Diet

    I was very good about not eating out unless it was to celebrate an occasion, but I did on occasion, when I was at work, eat at Chic Filay more than once in a week; however, I always had the healthy grill chicken pieces and fruit option so that was a plus. I will continue to get better at my April resolutions in addition to my new resolutions for this month. Here are this month’s diet resolutions.

    1. Before I start breaking down my macros and creating a meal plan, I will be tracking my calories  on My Fitness Pal. This will allow me to see what is working and not working for me when I start making adjustments to my diet next month.

    2. I will cook something new once a week. I will be honest with you, I am spoiled by my family and husband. But I know I need to improve my cooking skills and plus soon my son will be old enough to start eating solid food. I can’t shy from my responsibilities any longer so be on the look out for future food posts!

    My workout

    I was very pleased with my results, even though I only strength trained once a week,  the other times I did cardio or plyometric workouts with my son at home or at the park. I still noticed such a big difference in my strength. I was noticeably stronger by the end of the month. I only took one group class this month, and my goal was two. I will continue to try to make it to two group classes a month. For my gym routine I will continue following Jamie Eason’s 30 Day Total Body workout plan from my previous post. Here are my May workout resolutions:

    1. Increase my strength – Increase my squats by adding 20 lbs

    2. Increase my endurance – run 5 miles

    3. Take 2 group classes

    My spirit resolutions

      I was able to go to church once and have date night with my husband. It felt really great to have a personal life balance and to make time for what matters to me most. I’m definitely a happier mother, wife, friend, business entrepreneur, and overall just a happier person when I get to spend the time I have doing what I love with the people I love. I know I don’t get to go out as often as I did before, but when I do go I make most of the time I have. Plus it’s the quality of how you spend your time not the quantity of time you have. We all have twenty four hours in a day, and that will never change. It’s what we decide to do in those twenty four hours that we can change.

    My results

     I lost 3 lbs from 121 to 118. I’m 3 lbs from my pre pregnancy weight. You can see my mid section tighten up. My hormone line down my belly is still visible but slowly fading away. I still have work to do, but I am very proud of my results and all the hard work put into it. Progression not perfection.


    Thanks for following me on my journey!

    <3 Dawn

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    Cornflower Blue

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    This past week was my birthday and I had an amazing day celebrating it with my family. My husband and I both had to work, but not before taking a quick snap shot of my birthday outfit. I’m obsessed with blues this month! I can’t get enough of it! That and animal print accessories. I wore this ruffle top at the Rangers Opening Game with shorts, but it looks even better with my favorite white destructed jeans. My sister bought me my new BKE watch for my birthday, and I love the gold and silver accents because it goes with everything. I recently bought these sandals and they are one of my favorite for fashion and comfort. I can last in these all day! They go great with everything!

    I had such an a great birthday and had so much fun taking these photos with my new lens. These are unedited photos, and they are ten times better than my previous pictures. Can’t wait to see how much my photography progresses. Thanks again for the birthday wishes!

    top: Double Zero/ shoes: Not Rated/ Denim: Kancan/ watch: BKE/ sunglasses: BKE/ bangles: Funky monkey Boutique

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. Don’t forget to follow my instagram located below  @dawnpdarnell for more fashion and style post. Thanks and have a great day!

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