Fave 5: Little Black Dresses

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5}
The classic little black dress is always in style.  There are options to be found for every occasion and in every price range.  My first two favorites are office appropriate, but can be accessorized for evening.  The third dress can be dressed up or down with shoes and accessories for your weekend escapades.  The fourth option is unapologetically sexy for a date night with your sweetie or exploring the nightlife with your girls.  The last dress is beautiful for a black tie event, I love it because it has a neckline that begs for a stunning statement necklace, and a back that displays an unexpected, yet tasteful show of skin.


Soul Inspired: Real Love, Part Two

"I love you" is one of the most longed-for and cherished phrases of all times. Those three little words are profoundly powerful; life changing in magnitude. However, real love is extended and experienced through action; not by the mere expression, "I love you." Of utmost importance is the fact that all believers have a mandate to love. Real love begins with an act of will; we are to choose to love.
Real love is the essence of the great commandment that Jesus taught of in Matthew 22:37-39. When questioned as to which is the great commandment, Jesus answered, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Real love can be witnessed. It can be seen; it is love in action. Long ago, in Old Testament times, the LORD said, "I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself." (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT) And, in the New Testament, in Romans 5:8, Paul, an apostle of Jesus, stated, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Chapters 14 and 15 of the Book of John are replete with examples of love in action.
  • If you love Me obey my commandments. (14:15)
  • All who love Me will do what I say. (14:23)
  • Remain in My love. (15:9)
  • When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love just as I obey My Father's commandments and remain in His love. (15:10)
Jesus' mandate, "This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you." We can know real love, and what it looks like, acts like, because Christ died for us. To esteem others above yourself, to put them first, is the exemplification of real love.
And to God be the glory!


Etsy-static: Shopkai


Etsy seller shopkai's jewelry, designed by Keyla Torres, is some of the most beautiful and wearable pieces I've seen.  The use of gold with natural stones and organic shapes gives the collection a feeling of casual elegance.  My favorite pieces are the necklaces which can be layered to create your own unique look.


DIY-ing It: Flax Seed Gel

Flax seed gel is an affordable, non-drying, all natural option, that's easy to make yourself.  The gel has great hold, and I find, it makes my hair less prone to shrinkage than any store-bought gel I've tried.  The recipe above is the base product which is great all by itself (finished gel will have the consistency of egg whites).  There are many versions which add other ingredients, such as aloe vera gel, magnesium, and carrier or essential oils to the mix. Once you've mastered the basic recipe, experiment with the gel to see what ingredients work best for your hair. Other widely reported benefits include:

Contains Omega 3 fatty acids which are great for hair health
Strengthens hair
Great for scalp health
Less hair shedding
Contributes to healthy hair growth
Recipe from Naptural85 


Soul Inspired: Real Love

A few days ago we observed the holiday of love; Valentine's Day. On that one day, tremendous significance is placed on the romance of love. It is a day dedicated to celebratory displays of one's feelings for another. The truth of the matter is, love, in its most pure expression is not based on romance or feelings.

Real love is so much more than romance and feelings. The Bible is replete with declarations of God's love for us. 1 John 4:9&10 speaks of God's love for us being so great that He sent His one and only Son into the world to die on the cross for our sins. That is the exemplification of real love; by this we can know (receive) real love.

Real love is unconditional in its nature. It is not self-seeking, but giving. It is more than just words; it is our actions. Real love can be seen.

And to God be the glory!


Gym-ology: Fun Fitness Gear

If your workout wardrobe is basic black, you're missing an opportunity to have fun with your fitness gear.  Putting on fashionable and colorful tops, pants and sneakers really does change your mood, make you feel more confident, and motivate you to work out...even if it's just so you can wear your cute outfits more often!

[1, 23, 4, 5, 6, 7]


Playlist: Love, Peace, & Soul

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same" -Emily Bronte
Ah, Valentine's Day is upon us! Even if you aren't spending today with your soulmate, we can all appreciate good soul music.  I've compiled some of my favorite love songs in honor of today; some old, some new.  I hope that it helps fill your day with love, peace, and soul.  Listen to the playlist here.


Hot Shots: Shoe Fantasy

Every female shoe lover's dream!  Oh how I wish this were real.  


Soul Inspired: The Good Life in the New Year, Part Five

During His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:33, Jesus instructed the multitude to seek first the kingdom of God. The previous four segments of The Good Life in the New Year culminated with the road to 'the good life' being paved by putting God first. In this fifth and final segment, the focus will be on the 'how to' and practicality of putting God first day to day.
You might still be struggling with what it means to put God first in your everyday living. Simply stated, you put God first by:
  • making the things of God a priority over your activities, ambitions and desires, and
  • adopting His will as the motivation behind all you do.
No doubt, putting God first will require you to choose what is of God over what is of this world. Questions can be useful and enlightening in demonstrating whether the choices you make put God first. Ask questions that test the choices you make; with the objective of determining their worthiness; whether they are of temporary or eternal value. For example, some questions I've asked myself are:
  • Am I spending more time - watching television or engaged in activities centered around God? Read Psalm 119:37
  • Do I spend more of my discretionary income - on worldly pleasures and goods or in ways that support God's priorities? Read Luke 9:25
  • Do I place more importance on taking care of - my physical body or my spirit? Read 1 Timothy 4:8
The road to 'the good life' is paved in relationship with God and His priorities; His salvation for you and others and your obedience to Him. Travelling along the road to 'the good life' will require you to focus (and re-focus) your efforts and entanglements away from the things of this world and place them on the things of importance to God. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and He will bless you with 'the good life'.
And to God be the glory!
Copyright 2013 Destination Sonshine


Style Inspiration: Alice Smith

Alice Smith infuses rock, jazz, blues, and soul into her music. Her style vibe is an eclectic mix of retro and modern pieces, and simple, body conscious silhouettes. Check out this talented, stylish, and underrated artist's album, For Lovers, Dreamers, & Me, you won't be disappointed. Learn more about Alice’s music here.

1. bodycon knit dress 2. multicolor animal print scarf  3. nars lipstick in manhunt 4. dreams do come true tee 
5. j crew number 2 pencil skirt 6. warby parker "nedwin" eyeglasses 7. filagree hoop earrings  8. rosine printed silk shrug  9. leopard lace bra & boyshort set  10. stuart weitzman viceroy pump


Shopping Bags: Accessory Trends at Target

While shopping at my local Target I found of slew of accessories that were right on trend.
If you want to update your look and feel that you're clueless about what's in style, you can always step into your local Target and find plenty of trends cues.  I believe accessories are the best "cheap chic" way to jazz up your wardrobe.  My favorite trend is the envelope clutch which can protect your smart pad during the day, and your lipstick and ID at night.  From the looks of things, black and white is going to be big for Spring 2013.  I saw lots of colorful cross-body bags and clutches, much smaller than the statement bags that reigned for so many years.  I also noticed an ethnic feel in some of the bags and shoes. It also looks like the reflective metallic shoe is still hot!


Decorate or Dress: Midnight Floral

While flipping through the latest West Elm catalog, I came across this room that completely inspired me!  The room has all the elements I love to decorate and dress with.  It's feminine, but not too girly, lots of natural wood, yet modern and sexy.  If this room was an outfit, I believe it would look similar to what I created.  What do you think?  Have you ever loved a room so much you wanted to wear it?


Clothes Call: Work Wow

All items available in store at H&M.  Prices available at  http://www.hm.com/us/ 


Soul Inspired: The Good Life in the New Year, Part Four

Achieving the 'good life' has been the theme of the last three segments of Soul Inspired. Mention was made of the influence the dawning of a new year has on us to set goals, to do better, to achieve more. Such aspirations were earnestly given attention from two vitally important angles:

the need to identify the motivating force driving you, and
impartation of the pivotal action relative to attainment.
Precisely reiterated, seek God first in all you do; adopt His purposes as your motivation. Then will you be positioned to garner the benefits found in God's Word.; some of which being:

You will grow in understanding. (Proverbs 15:32)
You will have direction. (Proverbs 3:5&6)
Your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)
You will prosper in all you do. (Psalm 1:1-3)
You will have everything you need. (Matthew 6:33)
You will have the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
You will be happy. (Proverbs 16:20)
And to God be the glory!


THE GOOD NEWS: The immeasurably significant promises and benefits in God's Word are available to you once you become His child. If earthly parents pour out their all to their children, how much more will God, the heavenly Father, bestow upon His children? NEED TO BE SURE YOU ARE HIS CHILD? Free information is available via email request to: DestinationSonshine@yahoo.com

Copyright 2013 Destination Sonshine


Ageless Style: The Elements of Chic

Some women just have a great sense of style. They know how to pull an outfit together effortlessly, while managing to look both appropriate and fabulous. If you've ever wondered what their secret is, look no further! These five elements of style are the building blocks to help you get your chic on, at any age.

Know your Body
This seems simple enough; you see your body every day, and if asked, can rattle off a list of all your trouble spots in 5 seconds flat. However, have you thought about what clothing shapes best disguise the stuff you want to hide? What silhouettes accentuate your best features? This is the foundation of style. As a teenager, I fell in love with Audrey Hepburn's simple and elegant flair when I first saw the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. After many failed attempts to wear similar styles, I had to face the heartbreaking fact that Audrey looked amazing in column gowns, skinny ankle pants and leggings with cropped tops because she was rail thin, with no hips or thighs to speak of.   I also had to accept that streamlined silhouettes just didn't look as good on my shapelier figure. It may be difficult to come to terms with your body's shape, but in order to look your best, you must first acknowledge what does, and does not, flatter your figure, and then lock in like a laser beam on the items that make your shape sing.

Find a Good Tailor
Once you've collected the clothing that is right for your shape, making the effort to alter what doesn't fit quite right, will take your look to the next level. Fit is such an important part of style because when your clothing fits well, you aren't focused on adjusting and pulling all day long, and can instead concentrate on being your charming, comfortable, confident self. By eliminating the bags and sags, tailoring also helps give you a neat and polished appearance.
Now that you have flattering clothing, you want to think about the embellishments. Accessorizing is very near and dear to my heart; I owned an online accessories boutique for many years, and through that experience, I realized that the right necklace, scarf, earrings, belt, or bracelet can detract from your flaws, accentuate your best features, and tell the world a little about you before you say a word. Imagine a simple black dress; by adding a belt, a woman with an hourglass shape can define a small waist, or instead, by adding an artfully draped scarf, she can detract the focus from an ample bosom; the possibilities are as endless as the selection!  If you fear accessories because you think you'll "do it wrong" start by choosing special pieces that you absolutely love. From there, you'll be making an effort to wear those pieces as much as possible. Soon, by belting that cardigan or wearing your signature pendant every day, you'll realize that there is really no way to do it wrong, because it's just a fun, yet functional, form of self-expression.

Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin
This one is a bit more challenging because its about being self-assured in your clothing choices and at ease with your body.  Confidence gives you an undefinable air (also known as swag) which sends the message that you are in control; it makes you more attractive in whatever you choose to wear.   Although the previous tips will go a long way in helping you feel more confident, another highly effective way to boost your self esteem is by improving your level of fitness.  Physical activities like yoga, dance, or weightlifting, promote a body/mind connection, enhance your posture, improves your quality of movement, and increases muscle tone. If you still find being comfortable in your own skin difficult, check out Tiffany's other blog where she focuses on issues that affect self-confidence.

Stay Current
It is necessary to reevaluate and update your look so you don’t make the mistake of wearing something that is inappropriate for your age or appearing stuck in a past decade. You should revisit what works for you and your body as life changes occur; such as, weight gain or loss, career advancement, or a move to a city with a different climate. Even in the absence of these events, there are shifts in fashion that occur over time, which will require updating or editing your style, including makeup and hair. The focus on appearing current is not about following trends blindly, but rather gradually modernizing or reassessing what works for you in the moment. As writer Annette Tapert, author of The Power of Style says, "You don't invent yourself once and for all. Style is an ongoing creative process."