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DeVilla style blog is a place to find original posts featuring wearable style, travel, beauty, fitness and occasionally entertaining tips.

 

INTERVIEW: Valarie Goff on Food, Dating, Style and Human Trafficking.

Arisbet Cantu

"Hi, my name is Valarie. Help! I'm a missionary. Kidding. Kinda. I’m the Women’s outreach specialist. I work with women who are employed in the commercial sex industry."

Home Town: Big Spring, Texas (West Texas)

College Town: Waxahachie, Texas (SAGU)

Describe yourself in 3 words: Sweet, Compassionate, Present.

Describe a typical day on the job: I wake up at 7 a.m., but I really start my day at 9 a.m. My work includes calling churches to get services booked so I can raise support. That in itself is a job. I do not get paid by FREE International, our work is based on donations. (Psst click here to support me and my work.) With the brothel ministry, I connected churches to help donate gifts for the women. I do administrative work to make the ministry happen, including coordinating mission groups that travel to Vegas from all over the nation to learn more about human trafficking. I do a lot of educating groups and individuals to increase awareness. Preventative work I do includes volunteering with organizations like the Boys and Girls club and functioning as a mentor to a select few teenage girls. Every year I coordinate the outreach for the Super Bowl, this year I functioned as the Director leading the group assigned to work the outreach effort at the Super Bowl in Houston.

What is the top misconception people have about sex trafficking: People choose that life. It's simply not true for most. 

How would you describe the average victim: Statistically, average age a girl enters into prostitution is 12 - 14 years old. But I work with older women over the age of 18. A common trend is they have a very poor, damaged perception of men.

If you could convince the working girls of one thing, what would it be? Convince them that there is hope. Because I think they don’t see that. There is hope in Jesus.

What is the toughest part of your job? Sometimes I feel the pressure of supporters and churches to see numbers of girls who have come out of the life, and it does not work that way. It takes time and dedication to each woman and each one has her own unique experience. It takes a lot of patience and not giving up when you don’t see immediate results.

Can you share an experience while at the brothel ministry that really impacted you? There was one girl who I met twice and I really gravitated towards her. She had just started in the brothel but had previous industry experience. I felt ‘oh my God, the longer you stay here you are going to change so much’ I felt I saw her heart, she was a sweet kind hearted young woman. And after that I didn’t see her again, I don’t know what happened to her. I was sad because I hoped to reach her.

What is a personal lesson you took away from doing brothel ministry? Not to make the women feel low or judged. We had an experience where we had volunteers put together gifts for the workers in the brothel. They were gifts given to the group from a donor. We did not look through them and the girls saw these cards in the bags that had prayer notes about praying for the women in the brothel. They were not supposed to go in donations for the girls, we don't know who put them in the bags. It was communicated back to us that the girls in the back read these cards and got offended. So I know on my end, in the future when I’m the one in charge to go through everything and make sure they never feel less than.

Talking Style...

How would you describe your style? I don’t know, what you saw yesterday was not me, usually I don’t go out of the house like that.

Arisbet: Guys, she drove up to Dallas, was wearing like…’I’m about to clean a very dirty house’ outfit.

Valarie: I love wedges. People know me for always being dressed up. I typically wear navy, blue, black, neutral colors. Love Shoes. A lot of times you can find me in make up, earrings, watch, blouse, jeans and wedges. That’s my go to. It looks like I put effort into it and people say OMG you look so cute, seriously throw jeans on, your shoes and a nice blouse. You can also wear a dress. In winter time, add boots with tights and a dress.

What is something you would never wear? A fanny pack.

What is an essential item in your wardrobe that you take with you when you travel? My skinny jeans and my wedges.

Who is the celebrity you admire most for style? Ooooo, the Kardashians. 

Let's Talk About MEN.

What is the first thing you notice in a man? His muscles.

What was your worst date ever? Before I was a missionary, I met a guy at my previous job who took me out on a date. We went bowling and he was very touchy, smothering me. I don’t like that, I don’t know you and like you don’t have the freedom to just do that. I was like I just want to go home to my family.

What is most challenging about dating now a days? It’s hard to find somebody on my level who is following his calling.

What have you learned so far from poor dating experiences? I learned that I cannot change a man.

What do you look for in the ideal future husband? I like men in their 30s. Someone who loves Jesus, has a sense of humor, and is supportive in what God has called me to do. Tall dark and handsome, I like Hispanic men with a full sleeve! I love tattoos on a man.

What advice would you give a fellow single woman who wants to get married? Don’t lower your standards.


What’s your favorite food? Mexican. I love, love, love chips and salsa. I love spicy food too.

What is your definition of success? It’s not living the “American Dream”, it’s fulfilling what God has called you to do.

What’s your favorite quote? “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” By anonymous.

Who do you admire the most and why? My aunt, she pushed me to pursue more in life.

What’s your greatest strength? Listening.

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be? My hair. It’s curly, I don’t like it.

What is the best food in Vegas? There are no good Mexican restaurants in Vegas, let me tell you. There is this Vietnamese restaurant Viet Noodle Bar, and they have great pho.

What did you miss the most about living in Texas? Eating at Whataburger, my friends and family.

What is the last book you read? Unreasonable Hope: Finding Faith in the God Who Brings Purpose to Your Pain by Chad Veach

What is the best advice you took from your mom? Close your legs.

What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve done recently? Go to Idaho. And let me tell you, they have beautiful men there.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years? I hope to be married but that’s a hard question for me. I just live in the moment, I’m open to whatever God has in store.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Style Sheet: Roma

Arisbet Cantu

Fontana di Trevi in the Piazza di Trevi - Roma, Italy

Fontana di Trevi in the Piazza di Trevi - Roma, Italy

Remember the movie, 'When In Rome', about a young career woman named Beth who made a wish at the Trevi fountain when she was conflicted about meeting the right man. Having walked away from my own tragic romance, Rome was the place to go. I'll have to tell you that story later. But also, who 'walks away' from a tragic romance by flying to 3 countries? This girl.

Rome is incredible.

Get ready for an amazing time. First let me start off by saying that at luggage claim, I witnessed an Italian girl who thought she lost her luggage, and suddenly ran to my section of the luggage claim, found it and cried out with laughter, "Mama mia!!!". Yes, that happened. I thought, 'Nooooooo....she didn't.' And one experience after the other, quickly fell in love with the people. 

I've been to Sicily before, but like any other country, each area is different in Italy. I also learned that culturally, there are divisions among people depending on the area. Those from Milan, I heard, are more aristocratic than those from Rome.  The similarity is how stylish everyone is. Some of these chics walk around on cobblestone in heels! I'm not that talented. I recommend you take comfortable flats or walking shoes. It can get chilly in the evening so bring a scarf or shawl / light sweater. The Renaissance-era center of the city has beautiful structures including the Pantheon, with plenty of laid-back dining. This is where I spent my time introspecting and getting my thoughts together before heading home so of course I brought my journal. 

Hit the Streets

Walking around in Rome can be hectic but I highly recommend you just stride and stop by to grab small bites here and there to taste different things. You'll see little shops that you can just walk into and pick up food.  Definitely have some gelato and street pizza! 

Of course, be mindful of your things, especially when walking around at night. I stick with a cross body handbag that I can hold in front of me. I'm not typically paranoid so I don't hide my money in my bra or anything like that, LOL. Especially here, I didn't see the need. Men will hang around and stare if you're alone, obviously. I made it a point to just be friendly and say hi to people I encountered. Clearly, I am one in the sea of tourists with a camera. 

Shopping

2nd to soccer, shopping is the sport of the Italians. I really only bought jewelry, souvenirs for friends and family and this iconic Italia sweater below. Check out the shops inside Galleria Alberto Sordi. There are also little small shops around. Seriously this Italia sweater is so comfy and keeps you so warm, I love it. The first time I bought one was in Sicily when I didn't go prepared with a jacket. As freezing as it was in that hill top the jacket kept me super warm as though I was wearing a heavy coat! I picked up two in Rome and gifted one to my little sis. This is what it looks like, and they have different options for colors: 

If you buy it from a small business shop, which is where most of these are, you can haggle to discounted prices on almost everything from this jacket to souvenirs. I spoke Spanish, hoping they think I'm from Spain. When I speak English in certain countries/areas, they really over-price everything. 

If you buy it from a small business shop, which is where most of these are, you can haggle to discounted prices on almost everything from this jacket to souvenirs. I spoke Spanish, hoping they think I'm from Spain. When I speak English in certain countries/areas, they really over-price everything. 

DINNER ALONE & MY RELATIONSHIP TIP: "THE RATE OF EXCHANGE"

I booked to have a nice dinner out. I went to Baccano Ristorante, it was very delicious. I did not sit at the bar though, which is easier to do when you're alone because you get to meet people. I didn't really want to talk to anyone and just enjoy the moment and have conversations with God. So I faced an empty chair. Break ups are hard, especially when you feel you invested so much and were left with nothing. I spoke to a good guy friend prior to this trip, and here is something he shared with me which I have applied and shared with other women. I've termed it 'THE RATE OF EXCHANGE'.

He said, "If I gave you $5 and you turned around and gave me $10, I would never leave. I'd stay - or leave, then come back and know that I'll always get more than I give."

THE RATE OF EXCHANGE

This is how I expanded on it: If you give the guy $10 (100% commitment, time, energy, etc) every time he gives you $5 (50%), he's going to keep coming back. True. The guy would realize you may even end up paying him double, $20, when he gives you the same $5 - with time. And that is what you're doing when you give more in a relationship than you get. And often, women stay stuck there for a long time, without any real commitment from him over years time. You would never engage in that type of exchange when it comes to money - it's illogical and unreasonable. So don't do it with the more valuable things in life, your heart, your love, your mind, your time, your energy - your soul. That's why many women are left feeling like they've lost themselves after a damaging relationship.

  1. Step back, write down the facts.

  2. Consider 'The Rate of Exchange'. 

  3. Make a good decision your future self will thank you for. 

I had the lasagna and some wine, as I had been eating out earlier grabbing bites here and there. The wait staff were incredibly nice, of course, great service. Stop by and check it out!

I had the lasagna and some wine, as I had been eating out earlier grabbing bites here and there. The wait staff were incredibly nice, of course, great service. Stop by and check it out!

"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." Proverbs 4:23

During my dinner with God, I had a solid time of prayer too. And when I was done, I walked away and left those private concerns in the streets of Rome. 

Safe journeys.

XO, 


Aris

Style Session: Date Night After Work

Arisbet Cantu

Dress as you would dress if you were going on a date with a guy you LIKE. Keywords: you like this guy.

Meet Van, she's single, under 30 and she's from Dallas. She mainly wears traditional and sporty clothes but would like to wear creative, artistic, romantic and feminine styles that better express who she is. 

BEFORE

BEFORE

"IF I HAD TO GO ON A DATE RIGHT AFTER WORK I'D LOOK LIKE THIS AND SAY, 'I'M SORRY I JUST GOT OFF WORK AND DIDN'T HAVE TIME...'." Van G. - Dallas, TX

Tips prior to styling:

First - never apologize to anyone for the way you look. You are still you, just own it and smile. If you’re planning on going on a date right after work, pack a changing bag the night before. You can wear dark denim jeans because if you must wear jeans dark denim look dressy. Then pack a wrinkle free top and dressy shoes of your choice. If you want nicer accessories for the date, pack those too. The solid black top is fine, you can tuck it into your jeans, add a belt, throw on a dressy blazer and accessorize.

TIP: Getting ready for date night can be hard but it doesn't have to be. Whether you recently met the guy or have known him for some time, just be comfortable with what you wear. There's no rule that says you have to dress up or pack on the make-up. If you're not comfortable in heels, find dressy flats or dressy sneakers. If you feel awkward in tight fitted dresses, wear a loose fit romper or flowy casual dress. Because if you wear things you are not naturally comfortable in, you won't have the best time and you may come across as not confident, awkward, or nervous. 


1. CLASSIC GLAM DATE NIGHT

She mentioned she liked a glamorous look. Our sequin vest paired with a solid bodycon dress is the easiest thing to make you look amazing with no time! This is a good outfit if the date is to a casual concert at the Door or an evening out at a patio.

ACCESSORIES:  Rose Gold watch and Rose Gold Bangles with Gold Glass Earring Studs. 

MAKE UP: Wear a bright red lip and shimmery bronze / browns, medium blush and gold eye shadow colors with eyeliner and mascara.


DV: You seem to wear a lot of natural tones. Would you ever wear bold colors? Like neon green, you know just brighter bold colors?
Van: No! I would to the gym maybe but not outside of the gym. 

2. MODERN LUXE ON THE PATIO DATE NIGHT (our nature...and yes it's a winner.)

DV: OMG you look so happy in this one!!!
Van: I KNOW! I don't know why! ( LOL)
DV: Because this is you

She mentioned she liked comfortable loose fitting clothing and materials that are flowy and soft. This gorgeous shawl is all of the above (available for purchase in store) and has bold colors that pop on her skin tone, and bring a modern edgy design to her style. She doesn't wear hats, but clearly she should. This white summer hat is perfect for a summer patio dinner date in Dallas. Her goals were to deliver the message that she is fun, fashionable and friendly (approachable). This outfit accomplishes all of these goals for her. 

ACCESSORIES: White Summer Hat, Rose Gold watch and Rose Gold Bangles

MAKE UP: If we were to say wear fuchsia lip gloss she would say NO. But in the summer, and paired with these colors, it's perfect. She can wear it as heavy or as light as she'd like. It really compliments her skin tone. Pair it with ivory, nude and neutral color eye shadows, a thick liner and mascara. In this picture she has a basic thick eyeliner on her upper eyelid - but if she really wanted to step it up a bit, she could do a thick winged eyeliner.  

3. SALSA DANCING DATE NIGHT

Van mentioned a style she would like to wear but does not wear at the present time is romantic. A great way to do romantic is red lace! This snug red lace dress is the right dress to wear salsa dancing with a guy you like. It flatters her figure in a nice way and she looks incredibly gorgeous. We had to curl her hair for this one. Side note: don't wear clunky heels, or high heels to salsa night. Find cute shorter heels with ankle straps, your feet will thank you the next day. 

ACCESSORIES: Our Gold Bracelet with Ruby Red Gem, Gold Druzy stone ring, our black lace choker and The Jackie (gold) evening bag

MAKE UP: Wear a smokey eye, with eyeliner, mascara, light facial contour and a bold red lip color. 

AND Just for fun, a Saturday brunch date...

If It's Saturday, brunch is the best time to get to know a guy in Dallas. It's casual, you can feel most comfortable, and if the date doesn't go well, you can still make plans for a fun time with friends Saturday night. LOL! Kinda kidding...But also, brunch demands you talk and get to know each other over every-day food. I'd hit the next button if he doesn't like tacos, wouldn't you?

Van's wearing our DV Paisley pant (dressy sweatpants are the best), off the shoulder denim top, white summer fedora and one of our over-sized handbags to help with the day's shopping or errands. A nice touch is the neck tie scarf. It's light and ties the whole outfit together well. We also did a loose braid to the side. *Optional, she can also tie it on the handbag. 

MAKE UP: A natural nude colored matte lip, minimal natural make up tones. 

All items can be purchased in store and most items can be purchased online. Stop by the boutique, shop these items and hang out!

Address: 2039 Farrington St., Dallas TX 75207

Hours: Tuesdays through Fridays from 11am -7pm and Saturdays from 10am - 5pm. 

Also, book your complimentary style session today! 

XO