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

 

DARE TO DREAM - Brunch Series

Arisbet Cantu

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I thought the other day, "What would the world look like if we as women decided to purposely cheer each other on?"

We cannot escape comparison. We are in a constant comparison and competitive culture. Women are pressured more than ever to compare themselves to others’ lives, by the image portrayed on social media. We want to be with the most beautiful, talented, etc. Just imagine if we had a society of women who cheered each other on? Women who make space in our lives for God and develop inner beauty with greater detail and attention than our exterior beauty?

1. This is Not a Competition

Please know this: you are gorgeously unique and irreplaceable without having to lift a finger. The fact is none of us are exactly alike – not just in appearance but in thought, personality and talent. A blogger asked me the other day, “Oh you’re ok with allowing another boutique to join your event?” and I said, “ABSOLUTELY. Why would I be threatened? They are not me, and I am not them. They could never be me and I would never want to be them.” When competition is nurtured, our confidence is challenged and we as a community of women become weaker. Set aside the competitive nature and think of how to nurture a collaboration with the women who are part of your work and personal life. There is more than enough space in any marketplace, neighborhood, organization or networking circle for each one to shine.

2. Keep Substantial Relationships

Yea, so go ahead and break up with that bad relationship. Break up with the “bestie” you’ve had for years that does nothing to help you grow. It’s definitely harder than breaking up with a guy, but SO WORTH IT! Seriously. Your relationships should reflect who you strive to become. I tweeted a link to an article I read from Khloe Kardash where she explained this importance. In her experience with an ex chic friend, she explained “I ultimately decided to end our friendship because I only believe in mutual friendships and this one was far from that. The main issue was that she was someone that could never be alone and yet wouldn’t be there for me when I needed her,” she says. (Follow the boutique Twitter for more).

3. Love and Pursue Humility

The most confident women I know are SO humble. Think about the areas in your life that you are TERRIBLE at, and humility comes very easily. LOL. Joking! But the thing about humility is that it allows others to share their gifting and talent with you more freely. Your touch of humility removes any pressure of false-confidence and further removes any intimidation among those in your circle. It allows others to approach you in a more authentic and sincere manner and you’ll see that people you never thought would look to you for advice will candidly share their flaws and short-comings because they know you are so comfortable with yours! Again kidding but kind of not.

4. Inspire, Compliment and Encourage

Genuinely, of course. I learned in my travels as a missionary that genuine compliments are key when wanting to connect with strangers. I was in a women’s prison at one point – with very hard hearted women who had probably been to hell and back in order to receive their sentence. I have learned that women, especially, desire words of affirmation and flattery. I don’t know that we would all admit to that but in my experience I’ve found it to be true. Words of encouragement could save your friend from giving up on her dream or help her find solutions to her problem. Many of us do not talk to each other when we are going through something very difficult. Why do we do that!? So as you read this, set a reminder to check up on those you love daily/weekly and see how they are doing. Set a lunch, coffee, dinner or break date with someone with the sole purpose of either inspiring, complimenting or encouraging them. GO.

Words of inspiration? I like to share quotes, scriptures, and advice. Yes, let’s use words to inspire (like now), but inspiration becomes contagious in the lives of others when they observe your behavior and are left in awe.

5. Make Peace

Ugh, why me right? Who likes to be the peace-maker after a disagreement – especially the times when you were not at fault. Men call us “catty” and “drama-queens” because there seems to always some type of disagreement or issue going on among women. Being a peacemaker is a beautiful quality to keep abreast of any wrong-doing among your group. We all fail at one point or another and it’s nice to have someone take that role and re-connect a divided group. Disagreements come and go. I believe most of the things we argue about are so insignificant, you need to just let it go and hit the NEXT button. Go ahead, NEXT.

Also, make peace with yourself. This is the hardest thing of all for some, if not most, of us. If there is absolutely anything that you are not at peace about with yourself, please take the time to address it and settle it. You will walk away for that settlement a better you for the world that desperately needs you at 100.

Want more? Join us at Brunch at Bishop – the annual Spring Women’s Book Club series hosted by me (Arisbet Cantu) and Monica Zepeda (Teacherpreneur and Professional Counselor).

Email aris@devilladallas.com for registration. 

And stay motivated. 

Style Sheet: Paris

Arisbet Cantu

Bonjour, Paris!

I landed in Paris, France mid-afternoon and grabbed a quick lunch at the airport cafe just outside of luggage claim. If you have never traveled to France, please prep yourself with basic French, seriously. This is one country where many of the locals do not speak English well. The cab driver was so frustrated with me when I tried to ask him questions in English. Roma is another city where I struggled to communicate except they speak Italian so if I speak Spanish, we figure it out. 

  • Hi, my name is _____....Salut je m'appelle _____.
  • I don't speak French, do you speak English?...Je ne parle pas français, parlez-vous anglais?
  • Where is the restroom? ....Où sont les toilettes?
  • Where can I find the best desserts?.....Où puis-je trouver les meilleurs desserts?
  • Where is the nearest shopping boutique? .....Où se trouve la boutique la plus proche?
  • Where can I get a taxi?...Où puis-je trouver un taxi?
  • A capuccino please...Un cappuccino s'il vous plaît.
  • Yes, I am single, and you?...Oui je suis célibataire et toi? ;)

Ok just practice. Basics. Google them.

I stayed right near the Eiffel Tower at the Hotel Pullman Paris. A dream - I recommend this hotel. The staff is young and very cool. The bartender at the hotel's restaurant made a drink and named it after me in honor of my birthday trip to Paris, the 'Aris in Paris martini'. Ingredients included crushed red jalapeno and raspberries. Ooooo-la-la!

DO FIRST

1. Send your family your travel itinerary, with hotel names, addresses and phone numbers. No matter how old you are, tell them what you plan to do each day and check in with at least one friend or family member each evening or morning. This way, if anything happens they know to look for you and know what your plans were each day.  

2. Call your cell phone company and your bank and understand any fees for using your data abroad or your bank card. I love T-Mobile, they have a great option for travel with minimal fees. You can also find out which type of banks you can go to that would keep your bank withdrawl fees at a minimum. But when in doubt, always ask for the wifi password for your cell, and use your credit card as opposed to your debit card. Because if there is fraud, it's just easier with credit cards.  

3. Get acquainted with the area near your hotel. Save your hotel's reception and concierge number on your cell. Be nice to the hotel staff and say hi to them daily! That way they remember you in case you ever need anything, they will be most willing to help. 

4. Save the local emergency number to call police - in case you ever need to. Parisien men were very flirty. Don't tell anyone where you are staying, just be safe especially if you are traveling with other chic friends or alone.

5. Ask about transportation including train and taxi. I highly recommend taking the Hop on and Off bus "L'Open Tour", you can get passes here. It's the best way to take the main highlight tour of the city. Take a cross body backpack handbag. It stays close to you and you can fill it up with a good amount of items without feeling tired at the end of the day. Wear short heel booties or comfortable tennis shoes for all the walking you may do.

6. Research local small restaurants and boutiques. Not only will you have a more true local Parisian experience (and problems understanding staff who only speak French but it's worth it), you will also save money.

7. Book your tickets to tourist places online and plan ahead. Touring the Eiffel Tour is CRAZY. Plan it a few days ahead, go super early or else you will be in line FOREVER, or the whole day which is basically forever. Book a boat tour of the Sienne river, so beautiful! Night time tour is very romantic, to see the city lights glisten on the water. Here is a link to book packages

8. Plan a day to venture off to the nearby artist and historical town of Montmarte. Montmartre is a large hill in Paris. You'll find the original Moulin Rouge there and a few spots where artists vacationed. You can see a lovely view of Paris from the hill. I took the train from the hotel to the city, then the trolley tour they offer to see it all. I stopped by a local restaurant to have lunch. Grabbed dessert. It's such a charming town! Click here for info on this town. 

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TRAVEL TIP: Taxi Driver is Your Friend

Take a taxi day 1. Talk to the Taxi driver and ask him or her a couple of personal questions - ex: "Where are you from?", "How long have you lived here?" or "What's your favorite food original to this area?", and compliment them genuinely. Then ask them for the best places in town, best shopping, best food, local destinations, tips... and where NOT to go. Trust me. I do this in every country. They know a lot. Be sure to tip well.

SHOULD I PAY IN EURO OR IN DOLLAR? 

So you're having dinner or paying for a taxi ride, when the merchant asks you, "would you like to pay in EURO or US DOLLAR? Answer EURO. This is called "dynamic currency conversion," and it is not your friend. It works this way: the merchant could keep a little extra on the fact that you may not know the exchange rate with the option to pay in USD. Read more here. 

Click on image to scroll through gallery. 

TAKE THE LIFE SOAK CHALLENGE

So here is a challenge for you. I made it up after I read a story in the Ronda Rousey book, My Fight, Your Fight.  I do this when I travel since I learned it, but try and practice it often outside of traveling. 

This short story is a good one told to Ronda by an ex-boyfriend. It’s so good, I figured it was best conveyed verbatim:

Say you’re sitting in a cubicle and you hate your job. It’s terrible. Everyone around you is an asshole. Your boss is a dick. All of your work is just mind-numbingly soul-sucking. But in five minutes you are about to leave for your first vacation you’ve had in five years. You’re going to be gone for two weeks at this beautiful Bora Bora seaside bungalow. It’s literally the most lavish thing you’ve ever done in your entire life.

How would you feel? You would feel great.

Now imagine that you are in Bora Bora. You’re on this beautiful beach with amazing people, and you’ve had so much fun. In five minutes, you’re going to have to put down the piña colada with the little umbrella in it. You have to say goodbye to these people. You will go back to your terrible job and won’t take another vacation for five years. 

How would you feel? You would feel terrible.

Now, think about it. You’re sitting in the cubicle at the job that you hate and you feel awesome. And you’re sitting on the beach with a drink in your hand and you feel terrible. How you feel is entirely in your mind. Your mind has nothing to do with your environment. It has nothing to do with anyone around you. It is entirely your decision.

Making a change in your life is as easy as making a decision and acting on it. That’s it.

This is the Life Soak Challenge:

In your travel time, do something minimal and subtle by yourself that does not involve another person or you doing something complex. For example, go to the cafe alone and have 1 drink, sit on the beach and stare at the ocean, go to the park and observe the environment. The challenge is in two parts.

Part 1: consciously just enjoy the moment. Try not to wander in thought or think about what you have to do tomorrow, etc. Don't get distracted, breathe and relax.

Part 2. Thank God for the moment. Begin to give thanks for who you are at this moment, what you have and DON'T have and anything in between. Just be thankful.

You can be happy where you are. Many of us take vacations to "get away" from the stresses of life, the grind...and doing this helps bring things into perspective. Whether you're on vacation or not - it's good to stop and take a sec to do a quick life soak. 

Happy journeys, 

XoAris

RUNWAY Fashion In the Snow

Arisbet Cantu

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February 4, 2017

Location: Fashion Industry Gallery

DeVilla joined America’s Next Top Model host Eva Marcille, FA Magazine and Video Junkies at the red carpet runway in Dallas for Fashion in the Snow. Taking over Fashion Industry Gallery (1807 Ross Ave.) with red carpet starting at 6 p.m., the runway show began at 8 p.m. featuring designers include Chelsea Degray, Devaun Robinson and Couture Mask, and more. The models? Well, there are just too many to count, reportedly over 100. 

Despite the chilly theme, a few designers featured summer collections with swimsuit and barely there fabrics. Highlights of the evening included a set of silver dresses with material that looked to be made out of diamonds (image on top left), and two snow queens in full character make up and extravagant dresses fit for the theme (one pictured in top center).

One collection that stood out was Couture Mask, by fashion designer Bradley Jordan. His designs were tailored with a focus on a unique couture mask on each model. Some a bit darker than others, but it was very interesting to see his visions come to life on the catwalk.

Source: CoutureMask.com, Bradley Jordan.

Source: CoutureMask.com, Bradley Jordan.

The finale included snow falling from the ceiling and a closing statement from the organizer, Lee Jarrett. The after party was held at the House of Blues downtown. Overall an eventful evening and a successful show!

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