Why Every Little Girl Needs a Twirly Dress

Some dresses have the power to do this—to transform the mindset and elevate feelings of joy from within. A twirly dress can make any little girl smile, dance like a ballerina and even ease tantrums—nothing distracts unhappy thoughts more than the idea of twirling around in a dress!
TWIRL ALL THE WAY TO NEVERLAND, LITTLE ONE!  This adorable  Twirly dress by Dotdotsmile Lori Weitzel VIP  in splashes of fun watercolors makes for the perfect summer dress.

TWIRL ALL THE WAY TO NEVERLAND, LITTLE ONE! This adorable Twirly dress by Dotdotsmile Lori Weitzel VIP in splashes of fun watercolors makes for the perfect summer dress.

If you happen to be a mama to a spunky six-year-old girl, you know you have your hands full when it comes to dressing her up. The little one has always been independent from the moment she discovered she was capable to doing things on her own. From the time she could pick out her own clothes, she had always tried to put her own spin to her adorable little style.

Some days it works (adding pink bracelets add a girly touch), on other days it doesn't (wearing a dozen necklace is a little overtop). While I encourage her to dress based on what makes her feel comfortable and confident, I also have to steer her gently from looking like Bozo the clown. And really, on days when tantrums are flying everywhere because she simply needs to assert her independence on mixing and matching clothes, I've learned to pick my battles wisely.   

Unless it's not season-appropriate ("No, you can't wear open-toe sandals on a rainy day!"), I let her experiment and play with the clothes she wants to wear, even when I sometimes desperately want to hold a sign in public that says: "Don't judge me. She dressed herself up." 


Thankfully, most of the time, she dresses herself well. I do find it interesting that she is quick to pick up style cues just by observing how I put together her outfits, preferring to match her colors well and favoring dresses, more often than not. 

So when we received our first DotDotSmile Lori Weitzel VIP in the mail, the little one was beyond thrilled. From her reaction, you would think Christmas came early and that she just opened a present from Santa! After seeing the pure joy on her face, I've come to a conclusion: Every little girl should own at least one twirly dress!

"Mommy, I feel like a princess!" she exclaimed as she twirled around. To a mom, that was the perfect compliment. It is like me trying on a little black dress and telling everyone I feel like Audrey Hepburn! Some dresses have the power to do this—to transform the mindset and elevate feelings of joy from within. A twirly dress can make any little girl smile, dance like a ballerina and even ease tantrums—nothing distracts unhappy thoughts more than the idea of twirling around in a dress!

A SPLASH OF COLORS.  Nothings says happiness than a splash of fun colors.

A SPLASH OF COLORS. Nothings says happiness than a splash of fun colors.

I often prefer subtle prints when shopping for the little one's apparel, but the explosion of hues on this dress reminds me of a watercolor canvas—so fun, playful and creative. The little one loves the splash of colors too, but more importantly, she loves how the ultra-soft fabric feels. The stretchy yet soft fabric is luxurious to the touch  which makes it the perfect material for an airy, summer dress. 

Of course, because we live in the Sunshine State where summer is year-round, this twirly dress is, technically, a year-round dress. And from the way things are now in which she resists the idea of taking the dress off, I am more than certain this dress will be on her weekly style rotation.

Does your little one own a twirly dress? How do you help your little fashionista build confidence in dressing herself up? Let's chat, style mamas?

Disclosure: Although this post is sponsored by DotDotSmile Lori Weitzel VIP, we always provide our honest opinion as we only work with brands we love.

To explore all the delightful twirly dresses, join DotDotSmile Lori Weitzel VIP. Plus, hurry and avail of the 10% discount this Thursday (July 18). DotDotSmile Lori Weitzel VIP offers weekly discounts so be sure to join the VIP group on Facebook or follow the group on Instagram. But just in case you need to shop more, use the code "gospelofbeauty" for a discount on your first purchase! Happy shopping, mamas!

Old World Charm: 5 Ways to Wear a Bohemian Chic White Dress

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Realtor Brian Johnson | LOCATION: Ybor City | KID's OUTFIT and HAIR ACCESSORY: The Hair Bow Company


Think of your little white dress as LBD's free-spirited little sister: less formal, casually easy like Sunday morning, hopelessly romantic like a hippie wild child yet equally classic at the same time.


With the change in season and warmer weather creeping in, the little white dress is the perfect wardrobe essential for a lovely spring and summer affair. Oh, did we mention it's also versatile to wear? There are a million ways to style your little white dress, but this mommy-and-daughter duo's favorite is wearing it with a touch of vintage bohemian.


To channel our inner boho spirit, we stepped into Ybor City, Tampa's historic district, which once thrived as a cigar industry town prior to the Great Depression. The place was named after Vicente Martinez Ybor, a prominent Spanish cigar entrepreneur who relocated his cigar-making business from Cuba and Key West to Tampa in the late 1880s.


Today, Ybor City is named National Historical Landmark District and recognized as one of the "10 Great Streets in America." It continues to have a diverse blend of cultures, thanks to its first immigrant settlers primarily of Cuban, Spanish and Italian descents who brought with them their own unique food and traditions. 


Ybor City has since been transformed as a favorite local spot among foodies, party night owls and art lovers, as evident by its unique fusion of international-themed restaurants, cafes, bars, theaters and street art.


That being said, it served as the perfect backdrop for a vintage-bohemian fashion shoot. It's easy to be adventurous when wearing a little white dress, so let your inner child run wild and play with a few fun details. Here are five ways to rock the bohemian rhapsody style:


1. When it comes to frills, poufs and laces, go big or go home.  

When shopping for your little girl's white dress, choose a baby doll silhouette like this flouncy dress by The Hair Bow Company. The pouf at the bottom makes twirling hard to resist and the silhouette gives the dress an ultra-fun and girly vibe. A touch of lace around the neckline is always a good idea as it makes the overall look romantic but mostly, whimsical.


2. Wear white with gold.

Add an interesting element to take away the "blah" in basic white. For instance, gold adds a touch of elegance to white. A word of caution: Keep the gold element subtle, you don't want to look like you've just been cursed by Midas' touch. A gold belt or hair accessory should do the trick.

For this photo shoot, I opted to give my overall look with a metallic touch by wearing The Hair Bow Company's gold leaf headband.


3. Pair it with a romantic head dress.

When it comes to a white dress in satin and lace, a little accessory goes a long way. Jazz up your little one's look with some floral and lace head dress, like the one shown on top and sold at The Hair Bow Company. It's not only a great way to pull the hair away from your little one's face and keep her day look neat, but it's a style piece that could effortlessly tie in the overall old-world, bohemian look.


4. Have fun with a pair of gladiator sandals.

As far as vintage style goes, wearing the right pair of footwear matters. It's really amazing how shoes can single-handedly take an overall look from day to night. For instance, a gold pair of stilettos could make this white dress by Forever 21 "happy hour ready," while a classic pair of nude pumps could make it work-appropriate. For this style shoot, I slipped on a pair of gladiator sandals to complete the boho chic look. Hello, is that you, ancient Rome, calling?


5. Keep the look organic by sticking to neutral colors.

Think of woodsy colors like forest green or caramel brown. These colors go well with a simple white dress in creating a very "chill" and Woodstock-inspired style. Let your individuality shine with your style choices, whether that means adding a mocha fringe messenger bag, a pair of feather earrings or some oversized bows. Ultimately, it's about embracing your free-spirited inner child!


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Hair Bow Company. All opinions are my own. Follow them on Facebook or sign up to their newsletter to enjoy a five percent discount on your order.

Style Trend Alert: Pink Will Reign Supreme

Spring may be months away, but the style trend is evident: Pink will reign supreme. In fact, at the Paris Fashion Week which previewed spring 2017, collections on the runway were apparently heavy with femininity and shades of sweetness. PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN JOHNSON | LOCATION: HYDE PARK, TAMPA

Ariana's style:  Ballerina pink and gold dress by  Jenna & Jessie  and pink  Hello Kitty  ballet flats by  H&M .

Ariana's style: Ballerina pink and gold dress by Jenna & Jessie and pink Hello Kitty ballet flats by H&M.

Fashion powerhouse Balenciaga, for instance, featured a watermelon-pink turtleneck dress while the style house of Valentino showcased a knee-length cape hybrid dress in stunning Schiaparelli pink. Givenchy, on the one hand, featured a long-sleeved dress with coordinating fringes in muted blush. 

Mommy's Style:  White heart-shaped top with pleat sleeves and fringe skirt in blushing pink by  Express . Nude pumps by  Nine West .

Mommy's Style: White heart-shaped top with pleat sleeves and fringe skirt in blushing pink by Express. Nude pumps by Nine West.

So what's all this fascination with pink? Haven't critics of the bubblegum color said enough about its "too saccharine" quality? The recent obsession with pink, it appears, can be partly blamed by the fact that one of Pantone's colors of the year is Rose Quartz. Ah, that explains it. Move aside vegan Greenery.


The other part of it may simply be that the fashion gods want to rethink pink to slightly strip it of its "Barbie color" reputation. Thus, the runway was painted with shades that were deemed less sweet to the fashion taste. For a modern take, stylists have paired pink with edgier colors like sulphuric yellow and minty lime to slightly tone down its feminine appeal. 


It appears the love of pink has spilled beyond the runway and into the red carpet as celebrities were spotted wearing various shades of pink in recent award shows. At the 2017 Golden Globes Award, Carrie Underwood wore a pink and ruffled Iris Serban gown, so did Felicity Jones and Zoe Saldana who both wore the feminine color to the award show.


But what if pink is not in your list of favorite colors? Can you still look stylishly on-trend with spring's shade of choice? Our advice: Do it in small doses. Add a pink scarf, a fashionable criss-cross bag or a pair of pink pumps.


If baby pink is too girly for you, consider a different shade of pink. A good rule of thumb is to find a shade that fits your hair color and skin tone. A blushing pink may wash you out if you have a fair complexion. Instead, opt for a hot pink dress to amp up your overall look. 


Wear pink in combo. To give pink an edgier appeal, don't be afraid to shake it up. Limes and bright yellows have a jarring but pleasant appeal to pink. 


Ultimately, whatever shade of pink speaks to you, remember the number one fashion tip: Keep it fun! For Ariana and I, when it comes to being playful with color choices, we say: "Yes, pretty, pretty pink please!"


The Chill Effect: Dressing Up for Winter

A few weeks back, temperatures in the Sunshine State dipped and forced us to take out a few winter fashion essentials which, since we've moved here from the Bluegrass State, had been safely stowed away in a tote box in our closets. Don't get me wrong, we are not complaining. In fact, Ariana and I rather welcomed the brief change of temperature as we finally had our excuse to wear knits, vests and adorable leggingsminus the dreaded prospect of a two-foot snow.

How did we survive Florida's winter? Fashionably, of course. Here are a few fun tips to help you shop and level up your kid's winter style.


1. Invest in a good knit dress that you can easily pair with a nice legging and a pair of adorable boots. I tend to keep my choices neutral as far as color and prints are concerned so I may have the option to jazz up Ariana's look with adorable leggings, many of which come in bright colors and prints.


2. Shop wisely. Buy your kid's winter essentials close to the end of the winter season. This often means shops are getting ready for spring and are eager to get rid of their old inventory by offering deep discounts. Shop one age size in advance, I can't tell you how much savings I've had by simply shopping in advance in anticipation of the next season.


3. Accessorize with stylish vests. This is the season to layer, so next time your are in the kid's section of your favorite children's boutique, don't ignore the vests. It's a great way to stylishly layer without wearing bulky winter jackets and pea coats all the time.


4. Play around with leggings. In fact, mix it up with bright pinks, limes and purples. Don't shy away from prints which are adorable on your little ones but also invest in basic colors. They make the perfect pair with winter dresses that may be too glittery, adorned with too much sequins or simply too busy with holiday-themed prints. What has been your favorite winter look for your little one? Let's chat, share your comments below.


Cheers and Sparkles: Shopping for the Perfect Little Holiday Dress


Oh, there's nothing more adorable than to dress up your little one for the holidays! I absolutely love the sparkly, sequined and velvety little dresses that adorn most of the shopping racks around this time of the year. I must admit, I get a little guilty spending a whole lot on children's apparel, but a lovely holiday dress is a once-a-year splurge so it can be justified even for a bargain-hunter mommy like me.  


In shopping for Ariana's dresses, I tend to keep returning back to proven-and-tested shops I know I can rely on for adorable dresses. Two of my favorite mall destinations are H&M and Gap Kids. They can be on the pricey side, but if you know when to shop, you can get really cute but deeply discounted dresses. I suggest getting on the mailing list of your favorite children's shops so you'll be the first to get seasonal sale alerts.


For this photo shoot, Ariana is wearing a sparkly Gap Kids dress in lime color. Although it's common to see holiday dresses with full skirts (Ariana adores them as they are perfect for a princess twirl), I love the minimalist look and structured silhouette of this dress. It's simple enough for weekend dressing, but elegant enough for a holiday party.


Do not rule out online shopping. Many online stores carry a varied line of kids clothing. Even if I don't often shop online, I like to browse what's out there, so I sometimes stalk online shops like Thumbeline, Fawnshoppe, Sweet William and Shan and Toad


Finally, to complete your little one's holiday look, make sure to add a few lovely accessories. Because we opted for a minimalist holiday dress, it was easy to add bead bracelets in holiday colors and a metallic multi-band headpiece to finish off Ariana's holiday look. The best accessory of all? A joyful face. Spread the holiday cheer by always leaving a trail of sparkle. From our family to yours, happy shopping and Merry Christmas to all!


Black and White: In Perfect Harmony

There's power in black and whitethe contrast of dark and light, the energy force of yin and yang and the minimalist appeal that speaks of unmistakable chic. Like moth to fire, I often find myself drawn to black and white separates when shopping, simply because I treat them like an artist's blank canvas, you can be as creative as you want when pairing them with the right pieces.


While I can't resist the adorable prints and colors when shopping for Ariana's clothes, I try to also invest in neutral-colored items like clean white shirts or basic black leggings because they are easier to pair with everything else adorable in her closet. A good style tip, however, is to resist the urge to keep it too basic. For instance, for this photo shoot, Ariana is wearing a white Gap Kids top designed with an adorable Peter Pan collar, giving it just the right amount of fun.


I keep the same style rule when shopping for my own clothes. I like white tops that generally have a little fun surprise, like a tiny accent ribbon or an asymmetrical collar. Or, instead of a solid black skirt, I'd choose a lace skirt so it creates a polished yet slightly girly look.


Because a black-and-white combo often says "safe," wear it with something edgy to take the "blah" off "basic." In other words: Don't be afraid to pull out those pair of high boots to add a punch to your overall look. 


How about you? Do you adore black and white clothes as well? Or are you "allergic" to anything basic? If you love the minimalist look, how do you keep black and white chic?


Mommy's Style: Kenar Long-Sleeved Zip-Up Shirt | The Limited Lace Pencil Skirt | Nine West High Boots

Ariana's Style: Gap Kids White Shirt with Peter Pan Collar | H&M Black Leggings | Cynthia Rowley Mary Janes

Location: Hyde Park and Downtown Tampa | Photography: Brian Johnson


Hello Kitty Love!

Oh, Hello Kitty, why are you too adorable to resist? It's safe to say the Hello Kitty obsession in our house is one that has been a generational hand-me-down. I have always adored Hello Kitty even when I was Ariana's age, and now that she is old enough to explore her expanding circle of imaginary friends, she has discovered my ageless feline friend after stumbling onto an old Hello Kitty TV series on Netflix. 


So when Ariana wanted to know more about Hello Kitty, it was mommy's cue to do some spy digging. Do you know that Hello Kitty's real name is Kitty White? Meow, isn't that adorable? Although Hello Kitty was created by Sanrio, a Japanese company, our kitty friend is actually British as she was born in the suburbs of London. No wonder she is such a fine and proper lady. 


Hello Kitty has not aged one bit. Who would have guessed she's now 42 years old? That's right, she was born on November 1, 1974 and lives with her parents and twin sister, Mimmy. The fact that she's petite as can be (five apples tall), she could forever pass as anyone's favorite third grader.


In the Sanrio world, Hello Kitty is surrounded by her critter friends, including a squirrel named Rory, and a close childhood friend named Dear Daniel. In Ariana's world, Sparklya doggy purseoften tags along with her when shopping, like when we shopped for her adorable Hello Kitty peplum dress and ballet flats at H&M.

Watch Ariana's Hello Kitty Snapchat VIDEO at  The Gospel of Beauty's Instagram  PAGE.

Watch Ariana's Hello Kitty Snapchat VIDEO at The Gospel of Beauty's Instagram PAGE.

If you want the treasure trove of Hello Kitty finds, your next shopping stop should be at sanrio.com. This online store offers every Hello Kitty collectible you can imagine, such as the Hello Kitty cushion and Iolani x Hello Kitty Mini Tote: Gold Pineapple collection (shown above). Apart from toys and apparel, Kohl's is another place where you may find a few Hello Kitty surprises, including the Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker featured here. Should you be near Orlando, stop by the adorable Hello Kitty Shop at Universal Orlando Resort, which opened just early this year. But if you happen to be the real-deal collector, take a peek at that precious Hello Kitty with heart Swarovski crystal. Purrr, we want one!


Finally, don't just shop, but experience Hello Kitty. For one, we made it a tradition to stop by the Hello Kitty Cafe inside Incheon's International Airport in Seoul, Korea each time we head back home to the Philippines. Ariana's first stopover was when she was barely two years old. If you don't have any international trips planned anytime soon, catch the roving Hello Kitty Cafe when it happens to pop up in your city.

Winter Wonderland: Adorable Coats to Get Your Little One Ready for Snow

Ariana, nearly two years of age, was all bundled up while enjoying her first snow.

Ariana, nearly two years of age, was all bundled up while enjoying her first snow.

Now that we've relocated to a city with warmer climate, we no longer have to deal with snow and frigid temperatures. Expectedly, Mommy, who's built for sunshine, is happy. Daddy, whose idea of a happy place involves sunsets and tiki bars on the beach, is living his slice of paradise. But the little one, who once had a taste of the joys of playing in the snow, has forever protested at the idea of moving to a place without snowflakes or Frosty the snowman.

While I recalled how glorious it was to first experience snow and marvel at its beauty when branches were covered with fluffy flakes, I personally do not miss the shivering cold and the morning routine of defrosting the car windows before heading out to work. But if there's one thing I miss, it's the chance to wear the always-luxurious winter fashion. I miss the lovely winter coats, adorable scarves and pretty pair of boots, most especially on Ariana whose lambie winter hat and furry coat way back when were too adorable for words. 

So even when it's no longer required, I still browse through the winter essentials for kids to remind us of what we're missing and that winter, if only for its fashion, is not that bad after all.


Clockwise: Gray Hooded Cape | Pink Knit Coat | Long fleecy bomber jacket | photos and jackets by  Zara

Clockwise: Gray Hooded Cape | Pink Knit Coat | Long fleecy bomber jacket | photos and jackets by Zara

clockwise: Nautical button 3/4 length coat | furry hooded coat | colorful faux fur jacket |  photos and jackets by  Zara

clockwise: Nautical button 3/4 length coat | furry hooded coat | colorful faux fur jacket |  photos and jackets by Zara

Pretty in Prints

Prints are easy like Sunday morning. The right prints can add a pop of color to your work style and make it playful enough for weekend dressing. Although my aesthetics tend to be more clean and minimalist (I love to horde white shirts as well as pairs of nude cropped pants and black slacks), I also enjoy the occasional surprise of a lovely printed pencil skirt or a floral A-line dress. 

When shopping for Ariana's clothes, I tend to do the samefavoring neutrals for the most part, but snatching adorable finds with prints on several occasions. What's the best way to wear prints? Let me count the ways:


Fashion Choice #1: If you tend to be a little apprehensive about committing a style misstep when it comes to prints, stay on the safe side: Wear a patterned skirt, for instance, with something plain or neutral. I kept this weekend look easy by pairing my printed Anthropologie skirt with a plain tee but in a bright lime color to add just the right amount of pop.



Fashion Choice #2: With the right kind of shape and design, stripes may go very well with prints. For her weekend look, Ariana kept it playful and casual by matching a pair of floral jeans with a stripe shirt. To create a cohesive look despite the mismatched prints, we picked a shirt with the same color as the floral design on her pants.


Fashion Choice #3: Pair prints with patterns. There, I said it. Don't be scared to wear patterns with prints. It's bold, unexpected and refreshing. If you're worried that you may end up looking like a walking shower curtain, choose a sophisticated silhouette to create a more polished look.

Have you seen some lust-worthy prints in one of your shopping trips lately? Here are a few of our favorites: 

Clockwise:  Berlin Midi Skirt | Garden Party Skirt | Harvest Bloom Skirt | Pilato Maxi Skirt | PHOTOS BY  ANTHROPOLOGIE

Clockwise: Berlin Midi Skirt | Garden Party Skirt | Harvest Bloom Skirt | Pilato Maxi Skirt | PHOTOS BY ANTHROPOLOGIE