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Spring Essentials

April 9, 2017

Featured Image by Jones Design Company
By Angelina Rozhko

I love Spring! Everything is budding, blooming, or in full bloom, letting out a fragrant aroma of the earth coming to life after a cold Winter. With the wintery frost melting away, the sun shining a little brighter and the temperatures rising, Spring is the perfect time to get out and make new memories! Here are six of my current Spring essentials which help me enjoy the seasonal change. 

  1. CAPTURE THE MOMENT.
    In a world, full of high tech cameras, iPhone, tripods, all those gadgets and gizmos a plenty, I still believe in the old fashioned instant polaroid camera. Polaroids a great way to capture a moment instantly! The fun sized pictures also make for great keep sakes!
  2. PEN TO PAPER.
    Call me old fashioned but I still love to write the old-fashioned way! Cute journals motivate me to write about anything and everything I want to write about. Whether it be a prayer journal, brainstorming journal, a list making journal, a dreams and goals to achieve type of journal… Journals make excellent visuals of what you write, what you remember, and are a way to go back into time and see when God answers a prays, fills a need, provides a blessing, etc. I cannot stress it enough, write, write, and write some more. You will thank yourself when you are older and want to see how far you’ve come! Also write about this current Spring season and what you experience.
  3. FLORALS.
    I leave you with this quote, “I must have flowers, always and always.” by Claude Monet. In all honesty, I cannot have enough flowers! The buds of color always had a touch of spring time and a smile to my face. So, buying a bouquet or two is a must!
  4. FASHION.
    Okay, so by fashion I mean tutus! I had been a ballerina since the age of three, now I’m dancing for the last 2 decades and I absolutely love the fact that I can wear a delightful little frock and feel ever so elegant outside of the ballet studio! Not only do I feel elegant, I love to saunter and twirl around in my pastel colored twirl worthy numbers as often as I can!
  5. ROAD TRIPS.
    Long drives. Short drives. I love ‘em all! Mix in a variety of music, and you’re good to go! What’s fun about road trips is that they can be completely spontaneous and you don’t even need to have a destination in mind right away! Keep driving, keep singing, follow the road and see where you end up!
  6. FLOPPY HATS.
    With the sun out, its the perfect time to pull out a sun hat! I always loved the classic look of a derby hat paired beautifully with classic Ray Bans and a string of pearls. It exudes all the feels of being ultra feminine and simple at the same time. So ladies, grab your hat, fix up your dress and enjoy a beautiful Spring day in the midst of this divine season!

    Angie is a Southern California native who is a Jesus loving, brunch fanatic, coffee addict, and a tutu-wearing kind of gal. She tries to leave this generation and the world, more in awe of God than she found it by, encouraging young women through her role of the Social Media Manager for the Wonderfully Made non-profit by edifying young women through the WM social media platforms. Check out Angie and what she likes to do in her spare time on her instagram! https://www.instagram.com/angierozhko/?hl=en Give her a follow!

The Link Between Self Worth and Sweatshops

February 15, 2016

By: Abigail Driscoll

In 2006, people were buying a third more clothes than they were in 2002, according to a Cambridge University study. That same study discovered that four times as much clothing fill women’s closets now than in 1980. Where there used to be just four main collections of clothing released by brands each year, one for each season, labels now average about 18 collections a year. They are producing more clothing, at lower prices, with fashion trends changing rapidly. This is what we call fast fashion, and it’s how almost all of our favorite retailers operate.

The fast fashion cycle is the reason we have most of our sweatshops around the world. There is an immense amount of pressure on the supply chain to produce quickly, and factory workers are the easiest way to cut corners and reduce margins. So we have men, women, and children all over the world who are working under dangerous conditions, for twelve or more hours a day, earning pennies so that the latest line of faux leather pants can be put on shelves as fast as possible.

At some point, we have to ask ourselves: why? Why do we need to be constantly changing our wardrobes, keeping up with the latest trends? Why is shopping such an effective antidote for a bad day? Why is it so embarrassing to be seen in the same outfit twice? As I’ve started to do more in-depth research on the topic of fast fashion, sweatshops, and modern day slavery, I have found myself curious about how our culture has come to this point. What exactly is it that fuels fast fashion? What is my individual role in shaping this consumerist culture, and how am I continuing to sustain it?

I have to confess that a lot of times, it comes from deeper inside myself than I’d like to admit. It’s easy to brush it off as “fashion is fun!” or “I don’t know, I just like clothes!” But the truth is, most of the time I feel the need to keep up in order to impress others. I want to look good so that I can feel better about myself. I try to derive my confidence from my outward appearance, rather than from within myself and my inherent worth as a human being, made in the image of God.

The clothes we choose to wear should be an expression of who we already believe we are, not an attempt to fill a void or elicit personal value. Fashion can totally be fun, it can be a creative outlet for us, and it can absolutely be something that aids our confidence. However, we have to ask ourselves whether we need that confidence so badly that it’s worth expending the health and livelihood of another human being. Will we believe the lie of culture that we are less worthy if we don’t have that outfit or pair of shoes? Are we secure enough in who we are that we’d be willing to spend more money on less things if it meant those things are made by people working under fair and safe conditions?

I believe one of the most emboldening verses in the Bible is Zephaniah 3:17: “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you with his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (ESV, emphasis mine).

That’s crazy to me. Though this verse was written for a specific group of people in a distinct circumstance, I believe the essence rings true for us today. These words have the power to shape the way we view ourselves, and consequently the way the way we get dressed in the morning, the way we shop, and the way we shape our culture.

Ladies, we were made by the One who formed the galaxies. We are godly beings, imperfect and yet worthy of being rejoiced over. Flawed, yet worthy of praise and loud singing. Is it possible that as we let this sink in, it might permeate our shopping habits!? Might we realize that we don’t NEED a new outfit, accessory, or pair of shoes for every occasion? Might we believe that the sacrifice is worth it, and that by choosing to stand against fast fashion and sweatshops, we are not only standing up for our own worth, but also for the worth of women all the way across the world?

Nowadays, when I’m at the mall and I see a really cute top or bag that would seriously make me feel better about my day, I stop and make myself remember where my worth comes from. It doesn’t come from a new outfit or a really (really) cute pair of boots. It never has and it never will. I also think of the woman who made that pair of boots and about her worth. I remind myself that our needs, our freedom, and our worth are linked together.

______

PS – for a related (and really awesome) article, read the Wonderfully Made founder’s recently published article on the Darling Magazine blog about how to go about consuming less and creating more.

 

Photo Cred: Hannah Morgan

about the authorAbigail is a writer based in Cincinnati, OH with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and experience in mental health and sales. She is the founder of Freestate (www.shopfreestate.com), a resource that makes it easier for consumers to shop ethically. You can say hi on her blog, www.ritesofasylum.com, or on social media at @abigaildriscoll.

Gift Guide for Girlfriends

December 3, 2015

By: Rachel Brown

We’ve survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but we still have a lot of gift items to check off of our Christmas shopping lists! Friends are so fun to shop for but sometimes there are so many good gift options that it’s hard to choose just a few. We’ve narrowed down some of our favorite gift items for friends and shared them below. Take a peek and let us know if you have any clever ideas to add to the list.

 

Artifact Uprising Photo Gifts

We’ve taken so many photos with our friends, but most of them live on the pages of our social media accounts and in the albums on our phones, so let’s get these images off of our devices and into the hands of our pals. Artifact Uprising, a company that is “inspired by the disappearing beauty of the tangible,” has so many creative gift options. Their softcover books are super affordable, and the Instagram-friendly books allow you to upload your photos right from the app. The wood block + prints set makes a classy gift that is so neutral that it fits in with anyone’s aesthetic or taste. It would be fun to receive a customized postcard pack, too!

 

Gift Certificate for a Class

Treat your friend to an experience of some kind, allowing her to savor the memory of the adventure long after the outing is over. Cooking classes are so much fun, and they’re offered at many local grocery stores, markets, or specialty food shops. Wine-tasting + painting classes are always a hit, and workshops are all the rage these days, popping up all over the country, allowing you and your friend to try calligraphy or jewelry-making or pottery.

 

Upcycled Wrap Bracelet

Looking for a gift that gives back? We partnered up with Parker Clay to create this premium leather wrap bracelet. Parker Clay creates economic and social empowerment through the sales of their products, all of which are made from genuine Ethiopian leather, hand woven scarves, and other interesting materials. Like it says on their website, each of these bracelets, designed from Ethiopian leather and upcycled artillery, sends one Ethiopian woman through a prostitution prevention training program. Amazing, right?

 

Valleybrink Road Gift Box

These gift boxes are definitely a splurge but they’re so special and beautifully curated that we think they’re worth the price! Each box is customized with the consumer in mind, and items are sourced locally, ensuring that each product supports the small business that makes it. We like the Mini Sweet Box – add on fresh flowers if you’re in the Los Angeles area to make the gift even sweeter.

 

Oh My Deer Prints

We love these fun prints by Oh My Deer, and you can’t beat the prices, which range from just $10 – $12 – how great is that? We love the neutral palettes of white, black, and gold (with a pinch of pink on a select few of the prints for good measure), and we’d be stoked to see this Hey Babe piece or the Be A Good Friend print on our walls.

 

P.F. Candle Co. Candles

These are our favorite candles! Produced by a couple based in Los Angeles, all of the candles are made using domestically grown soy wax and delicious-smelling fragrance oils. We love Teakwood & Tobacco, Golden Coast, and Spiced Pumpkin. We think the packaging is great, too. If you don’t want to order directly from the company, P.F. sells some of their scents through big-name stores like Madewell and Urban Outfitters. Your friend will think of you every time she lights her beautiful candle.

 

Do you have any great gift items to add to our list?

Photo Cred: Chelsea Stellar

about-the-authorRachel  is the Director of Project Development for Touch A Life, an organization committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of children who have been exploited and trafficked in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Though she loves working in the non-profit world, Rachel has always been passionate about writing, pursuing opportunities to put pen to paper outside of her day job. Aside from writing for Darling Magazine, she maintains a personal blog, Coffee & Tacos, where she connects with others through food, travel, faith & community. Rachel lives in Dallas, TX, with her husband and their adorably large English mastiffs.

Embracing Your Personal Style

September 12, 2012
by Anne Taylor

With New York Fashion Week winding down, my Instagram and blog reader have been filled to the brim with pictures from designer shows and fabulous parties. Though I am a big fan of fashion, and appreciate all the artistry that goes into it, it is hard not to be jealous. Jealous of the women who can afford all those beautiful clothes, jealous of those who can fit into sample sizes, and jealous of all the fabulous parties they get to attend. It makes it hard, when I’m that jealous, to really appreciate fashion in my own daily life.

So how do you embrace your personal sense of fashion in the adventure that is your everyday life? Here’s a few tips I’ve learned over the years:

Pick pieces that reflect your personality instead of following some social sense of what’s ‘right’.” 
-Frida Giannini of Gucci

1. Tell your own story: Did you grow up on a farm, and find yourself drawn to naturalistic, light colors and fabrics? Or maybe you grew up in the country, but you are all about the bold geometrics and city life now? Fashion and style is all about expression, and it’s a chance for you to share a bit about yourself and your own story. If you’re a nature lover but don’t like wearing hiking boots all the time, why not express your passion for the environment with floral fabrics and colors that you can find in the natural world? It’s time to get creative!

2. Own it: One of my favorite colors is orange. I used to deny this to nearly everyone, but one day I was color coding my closet (I love organizing), and there wasn’t any use hiding it anymore. Half of my tops and sweaters were orange or some off-shoot of orange. The thing about personal style is – you have to own it. You have to rock your style, and then don’t apologize. 

3. Embrace your shape: I don’t know about you, but this is probably the hardest one for me. I have a hard time finding popular trends and styles that I like that are suited for my curvy shape, but it’s become a lot easier in the last year or so, with popular shows like Mad Men that feature curvaceous women like Christina Hendricks. Embracing yourself for how you were made can be a difficult journey, but it brings so much happiness. 

4. Try Something New: Last year, I realized that I was in a big fashion rut. I was always adding the same types of pieces to my closet, like neutral colors and tunics with skinny jeans. I decided to try something new to spice up my wardrobe, and so I went out and bought a bright coral lipstick. It made my neutral style pop with a wild flare, and it wasn’t as expensive as going on a full out shopping spree. What is a new fashion trend you can try?

Do you have tips on embracing your personal style? We’d love to hear your stories!

Fashion with Compassion: Raven + Lily Zia Earrings

July 2, 2012

by Allie Marie Smith

Happy Monday Girls!

I’m so excited to introduce to you a new series I’ll be doing called Fashion with Compassion, where I’ll feature some of my favorite fashion items that support a good cause! While I have to be honest and say that I think one of the last things I think girls and women need is a another fashion blog, I hope this fun new series will inspire us to think differently about the clothes, jewelry and accessories we buy. My hope is to introduce you to some lust-worthy pieces that not only look great on, but more importantly change lives, communities and the world.

Today, I am wearing my Zia: Gold Leather Leaf Earrings by Raven + Lily. I feel like a modern day Cleopatra! They are definitely statement earrings, which I adore, and what what I love more is that they are handcrafted by marginalized Muslim women in Northern India using locally sourced leather (meet the inspiring designers here).

The profits they bring in fund literacy programs for the women artisans and their children in the community! Get your very own pair right here, or click on the image below to be taken to their home on the Raven + Lily site.

What do you think of the new series? Any suggestions for future fashion items to cover?

How Does God Influence You in Fashion?

June 14, 2012

by Alexandra Evjen

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Below is a spotlight interview Angelic Magazine—a faith-centered online fashion magazine—did on our beloved style contributor Alexandra Evjen. Enjoy!

Dance, music and fashion are areas of art that have been a part of my life, and I am confident will continue to be. When I think about those things not existing my heart races. I would be like a statue and just stand still. For some reason God has created me with a desire to be a part of these beautiful things, and I’m so thankful for that.

I’ve wanted to be in fashion since I was 12 years old. I would sit on the floor of my room and sketch different outfits that I thought were pretty or I would want to buy. This passion remained through high school and into college. I got a foundational business degree first, which was recommended by my parents, but along the way I got a bit turned around. Fear of failure and people pleasing kept me from really taking the leap into the fashion world. Soon enough, I ended up sitting at a desk working in public relations telling people about other people’s art. After four years of this, I found myself depressed and angry with God – asking Him why He would give me these desires and passions if I couldn’t do anything with them. I soon realized it wasn’t God that was holding me back, but myself.

When I finally got up the nerve to take a leap of faith, I experienced a moment of doubt once again when a handful of people told me that I couldn’t be in the fashion industry and be a Christian. They told me that by merely being a part of the industry I would automatically promote the lie that women need X,Y and X to be beautiful. Of course, I didn’t want to be a walking contradiction, but I knew that fashion was more than a terrible lie. It was a form of self-expression just like any other art. Clothing doesn’t just serve the purpose of covering our bodies. It is a nonverbal form of communication. Fashion doesn’t have to be about consumption. People can actually save money using stylists to help them create outfits with things they already own and re-purpose clothing.

So, with the support of my husband, family and friends I decided to start my own styling business to help men and women feel confident in their clothes, and to fight the thought that the fashion industry is only destructive. I started creating photo shoots with the clothes in my closet, my friends’ clothes and/or clothes from resale shops to build a portfolio. I took many unpaid jobs and backstage dressing jobs to learn as much as I could from seasoned professionals all while working my PR job. I even picked up a third job helping a graphic designer with administrative tasks.

I’ve been in the industry for three years now, and have had the privilege of creating beautiful photographs with wonderful, creative people. I’ve had many opportunities to share my story with professionals of all different backgrounds, which has to be my favorite part of my job. Almost every week I get the chance to encourage someone that is feeling down about themselves or their appearance. A good portion of personal styling is just listening and encouraging people, and I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.

God is completely immersed in everything I do because I wouldn’t be doing it without Him. He continually provides for my business, inspires my creativity and brings wonderful people into my life. Being a fashion stylist is one of the many ways I worship God.

How does Alexandra’s story inspire you to pursue your own career dream, be it in fashion or otherwise?

Shopping Small

May 2, 2012

by Alexandra Evjen

Whether it’s a birthday, Mother’s Day, an anniversary or a graduation gift, we are often looking for small, special things to give friends and loved ones. Many times we end up resorting to gift cards because we are unsure of what they want and we don’t want to disappoint them. But when I think back to the gifts that I have received and loved the most, none of them are plastic cards with a magnetic strips on the back. They are ones that are handmade, sentimental or unique. And let’s face it, stores like Target, J.Crew or Nordstrom rarely offer things that fit into those categories.

So where do you shop? Small businesses, of course! There’s a place for big business and small, and when it comes to unique, special gifts the small businesses dominate, in my opinion. I LOVE to shop Etsy because I can always find exactly what I’m looking for, and I know that I am helping some guy or gal pay their bills all while getting to do what they love.

Wallets, tote bags and small purses are gifts that all women can use. I love the canvas tote above because you can take it to the beach, to class or grocery shopping. Also this fold-over clutch is a new trendy style that any fashion lover would enjoy.

Jewelry is never unwanted. So, it’s a safe bet that you can buy a great bracelet or ring for someone and see a happy face. In the past year, gold has taken the place of silver, so these hand-made bangles would be a timeless and stylish gift.

If you want something a bit more unique, agate and other interesting rocks are all different and make a great statement.

Sometimes you can find things on Etsy that are not only very fashionable, but are one-of-a-kind pieces of art like a hand-painted scarf. Scarves can even be wall art with a simple frame.

Just remember the little guys when you’re looking for something unique. You’re supporting someone’s passion all while finding something special.

Do you shop on Etsy? Which are your favorite shops?

Quality vs. Quantity: How to Approach Shopping for Clothes

March 26, 2012

by Alex Evjen


[photo credit]

We have all heard the phrase “quality versus quantity,” and quality is what the emphasis is usually on, right? Well when it comes to style, we don’t necessarily need to have a battle over the two. We can have a full closet of quality pieces if we wish—it just depends on how we spend our money and where we shop.

I personally have fallen into the trap of impulse buying just as much as the next person, and to make it even worse the clothes are never quality. It’s HARD not to buy too much when stores like Target, Walmart, Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, and Old Navy make the prices so low and appealing.

Did you know that Europeans shop for each season, but tend to rotate only 9-12 pieces in their wardrobe for half of the year because their closets aren’t very big? They have their basics like jeans and tanks, and everything is well-made, and high quality because it has to hold up over time and last through many washes. This is not the case for us in the US. We usually have pretty big closets AND dressers to stash our clothes, so we buy more than we need.

What I want to say is this: just because we shop at Target and Old Navy doesn’t necessarily mean we have to sacrifice quality. Quality pieces can be found anywhere! To help you navigate your way in the store, below is a checklist to help you figure out whether something is quality when you shop:

  • Are the buttons sewn on strongly?
  • Are the seams even?
  • Are the seams loose?
  • Are the edges jagged?
  • How does the fabric feel? Rough? Itchy? Plastic?
  • Does the fabric drape well on your body?
  • When trying it on, does it pull or is it too loose?

Make sure the garment holds up to the tests above, and you’ve got yourself a quality piece clothing. Just be mindful of what you can afford and what you really need. God asks us to be responsible with what He as given us, and that includes the money we spend on clothing.

What inexpensive but quality piece of clothing has stood the test of time in your closet? Where did you find it and how did you know it would last?

Spring Cleaning

February 23, 2012

by Alex Evjen

Spring is almost upon us. Can you believe it?! Soon, we’ll be putting away our sweaters and coats, and pulling out our favorite sun dresses and tanks. Not to mention, we’ll be adding some of the season’s hottest trends into our existing wardrobe. I can’t wait!

But before you buy anything or put away your fleece, you should go through your closet piece by piece and ask yourself three questions…

  1. Does this still fit?
  2. Is this flattering on me?
  3. Is everything on this garment intact?

If you answer yes to all of the questions, then fold up the item and keep it. If you answer no, to any of the questions then you need to ask yourself the next set of questions…

  1. Is this worth bringing into the tailor and having it altered, repaired or redyed?
  2. Do I want to wait to see if my body changes in a year?
  3. Do I want to try and sell this at a consignment store and make some money back?
  4. Do I want to donate this?

If you bring something to the tailor be sure to ask the cost of the alteration ahead of time. This will help you budget better and get the best deal for the job.

Donating clothing is a fantastic way to help those in need. There are many organizations out there that accept clothing donations with Goodwill being the most common. Goodwill is a wonderful choice, but also be on the look out for local opportunities or even needs within your neighborhood or church community.

Selling your clothes on ebay.com or in consignment shops are great ways to make easy money. Just make sure you ask about the consignment store’s policy, what percentage they take from the sale, what happens to the clothes if they don’t sell, etc. Ebay.com is the perfect place if you want full control and profit from your sale; however, if you’re a person on the go and you get bogged down by small errands like packaging and running to the post office, this isn’t your cup of tea.

Lastly, if the clothes aren’t fitting your body at this time that’s OKAY. Our bodies go through so much change with seasonal transition, stress and sickness. Don’t be hard on yourself! If you really enjoy that skirt, put it away for next year.

Will you do “spring cleaning” with your wardrobe this year? Why or why not?

Polka Dots, Brights & Some Advice

January 23, 2012

by Alexandra Evjen

It’s the beginning of the year, and the time when women look ahead to spring and summer wanting to know the latest trends in fashion. While I’m definitely going to share those with you, I first want you to know that you can love fashion, have style and follow God all at the same time.

There was definitely a time in my own life that I felt guilty for wanting to be a part of the fashion industry because it is often associated with consumerism and vanity. I thought, “If I work in this industry I’m going to indirectly support the idea that buying and wearing X,Y and Z is going to make you popular, more beautiful and more significant.” It’s true that women and men to fall into these traps and purchase clothing, as well as other things, as a result of these lies. However, looking stylish doesn’t mean you’re self absorbed.

Style is an outward artistic expression of our personality. It’s why you love the color teal and I love the color coral. It’s why you like velvet and I can’t stand it. It’s why some people wear black every day and others don’t. We are called to be responsible with our money, to dress modestly and to enjoy being creative, unique individuals. Just make sure to ask yourself, “Why am I buying this?” before your next purchase so you don’t fall into traps of impulse buying and finding your value in things other than God.

Now for the spring and summer the trends!!!…

POLKA DOTS. Polka dot is a print that comes in and out of style almost every other year. It’s cute, simple and happy. I always think of the print as childlike. Sometimes that can be a bad thing, but a little polka hear and there can give your outfit a bit of life.

BRIGHTS. Eye-popping citrus colors and highlighter colors are going to be springing up all over the place. These cheery colors can scare those that prefer natural and winter tones. Have no fear! You can incorporate bits of this trend into small things like your accessories and still feel like you!

STRIPES. They were a hit last year, and they are continuing to dominate this year. Stripes are still in fashion, and you’ll find them in all colors and sizes. If you’re worried about the sometimes unpleasant optical illusion of stripes, try larger, bold stripes like the dress below. It’s flattering and styling all in one.

**All images courtesy of Kate Spade.

Which trend is your favorite and why?