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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Sound off: Your Opinion!



Old Towne Charm: we raided the closet of

Pasadena Rosebowl Princess Michelle K. Washington! See what she’s wearing!


THE DAPPER MAN Our list of Dashing Men to get to know. With talent, compassion, and looks like these... perhaps chivalry’s not dead after all!


SHIMMER & SHINE! What’s haute for Winter? Our favorite

Frugalista shares the latest trends for the holiday ball! By Nicole Dorsett


Actress Edwina Findley wearing the Structured Modern dress by Randa Salamoun. Rings, Escape from Paris and Model’s own. Photography by Monique Hadley




This woman is on fire! The actress from

two popular HBO series reveals her softer side.



Making Her Own Rules: See why people are talking about this L.A based Jazz artist! By Shawna Yetka



Baz Luhrman’s latest adaptation of the novel, “The Great Gatsby,” inspired us to glam up our New Year’s style!



Check out these talented musicians, whom we’ve termed “diamonds in the rough!” Editor: Jackie Grace



Instead of buying gifts, why not restore them? This writer put herself to the test with a $50 dollar budget. See her crafty creations! By Skye Weinberg

IN THIS ISSUE —Beauty is more than skin deep!

It is the desire of this

publication to inspire people in style, eloquence, and elegance. We endeavor to bring to the forefront positive female role models who are doing extraordinary things to impact our world.



Sandy Ballesteros | Makeup Artist Sandy Ballesteros has been a professional in the beauty industry for over 3 years and received her training at the globally recognized Toni & Guy Academy. She is versatile in the art of hair design as well as in the art of makeup. Sandy’s creativity stems from her background in fine art, enjoying painting portraitures of organic and inorganic subjects in her studio. Sandy utilizes the same art principles of balance, shape and design in creating art on the faces of every model she works with.

Amber Aaron | Key Stylist Amber Aaron is an Oakland, CA native who wears a few hats as style consultant, stylist, and personal shopper. Aaron primarily works with everyday women and men, nationally and internationally, to help cultivate their personal style for their daily lives—whether for business, vacation or everyday. Her mission is to help build the confidence of those seeking to re-vamp their style, shop for those who do not have the time, and style clients for life’s important events. Monique Hadley | Featured Photographer The idea of creating art through an image has been her passion since she snapped her first picture in high school. The process of framing the shot, developing the negative, and the use of photographic paper in the darkroom is her favorite place to be. After having her son, she realized that this was her purpose, to capture people and show them how beautiful they really are. She now photographs real brides and whatever inspires her.

Jason Lee, Professional Hairstylist Jason Lee has a long history in the hair industry as a former Sebastian, Paul Mitchell, and Colure Educator. He has also served as Director of Eduction for Oneal Carson Salon and Creative Director for Lunaray. His inspiration comes from his 17 years of training at Sassoon, Wella, Bumble, and Toni & Guy. Lee is well known for providing incredibly dynamic hands on training for the next generation of iconic hair designers and seasoned professionals.



love to take words and make them our own at ELOQUENT WOMAN Magazine. Using the word “eloquent” to imply the beauty, elegance, and intelligence of the modern woman has had an impact on our readers, such as Rachael Hollums from Texas who recently wrote to us about her frustration over the disempowering messages the media is sending women today in her “Letter to the Editor.” We applaud her honesty and it got us thinking. How many other women feel like just like her? Let us know your thoughts about pop culture and the media’s portrayal of the modern women. Send your emails to or mail us a letter to P.O. Box 2436, Pasadena, CA 91102. We love to hear from our male fans as well. Check out our “Most Dapper Man of 2013” editorial. Just for fun, we made a list of top men who embody the dashing combination of style, compassion, and artistry.

Shannon Loweta Lee Editor-In-Chief


Sound Off! Opinion As a teen, I fell victim to a number of empty women’s magazines promising relationship, sex and fashion advice for the independent, modern young women of the world - the kind of woman I wanted to be. Having gained some real life experience, and the ability to view things in the right perspective, I am, quite frankly, frustrated by the relationship advice I’m starting to see circulate in these publications. Instead of empowering young women to be confident in themselves, and to search for an individual that appreciates who they are, I see columnists informing women exactly what they need to change in order to make men like them. Headlines like “How to Make Him Like You,” “What Hair Color do Men Prefer,” “What Clothes Should You Wear for Him”- and the list goes on and on - are plastered all over magazine covers and online there are entire pages devoted to how to transform yourself into the woman he wants you to be. I might be mistaken, but I’ve always believed that I should be looking for someone that likes me the way I am, just like I should like them for who they are without expecting them to change everything about themselves in order to please me. Eloquent Woman is such a refreshing change from other magazines directed at women. Thank y’all for the wonderful work you do. -- Rachael Hollums, 22, Springtown, TX ELOQUENT WOMAN MAGAZINE 7


In Her Closet:


—Old Towne Charm: Pasadena’s Tournament of Roses Princess. Michelle K. Washington

Washington is a modern girl with Old Towne charm. Born and raised in Pasadena, CA, she “reigned “ as Princess for the Tournament of Roses from October 2010 to 2011, riding the New Year’s float and attending 160 events that year. Her favorite moment was meeting Nancy Reagan at the Ronald Reagan Library, where they celebrated the induction of Ronald Reagan’s centennial forever stamp. Not just recognized as a pretty face, Washington is also a talented artist. [on right]. —Our favorite quote from Michelle:

“It would be cool to be President [of the United States].”


—Where do you like to shop for your items? “Sometimes I find them at thrift stores, also H&M is my go to place for standard clothes. I always go when they have a

—How do you describe your personal style?


“I would have to say a mix of contemporary elements with a little bit of vintage, bringing the past to the present. I like to find items that transcend time.”

—Favorite Vintage Shop The Salvation Army.

—What was your favorite part about being a Rosebowl Princess? “Working with different [charitable] organizations and being able to visit children’s hospitals, interacting with patients to brighten up their day, and being a role model for girls around the world.”

THE DAPPER MAN ELOQUENT WOMAN’S “Most Dapper Men” of 2013, our list of men with great style, compassion and artistry. This year includes an author and social activist, an internationally renowned florist, a musician, and philanthropist. Who makes your list? Write to us at

Robbie Honey Age: 38 Born: Harare, Zimbabwe Hails from: London, Beijing and New York Relationship status: Single

His work with fashion designers including Vivienne Westwood, Dior, and Valentino established his reputation as “the man” for premier floral arrangements. He founded his own florist business in 2001 with a highly-skilled team. He’s said to be “very hands on”, personally designing and producing memorable pieces such as the Floral Chandelier at Battersea Power Station. When Honey’s not creating horticultural works of art, you’ll most likely find him instructing others in design. He’s currently teaching in Bejing, China and spending time in the 798 Art District.


Robbie Honey photography by Johanna Lees

Robbie Honey is an internationally renown florist, creating stunning designs for fashion, weddings, galas, and other prestigious events. His extraordinary piece of water lilies, called Nymphéas, was suspended in Lanvin’s store of London.

His desire:

“I want to create design that brings life to an environment and inspire creativity.” Floral Chandelier, Battersea Power Station

—Personal style: Thoughtful, clean design with a relaxed edge. It’s fair to say I have

“It’s important for me to continue to push boundaries and explore...”

an eclectic mix as far as my tastes in art, fashion and design go chic, simple and beautifully inconsistent. —What does he love most about a woman? “I think seeing the beauty that effortlessly comes from a woman when she is content within herself, unafraid to express her unique personality and style...  that’s love in a woman and that’s timelessly attractive.” “It’s important for me to continue to push boundaries and explore, whether it be in art, fashion or interiors, [which is] something I believe I’ve done in the floral realm in various ways. Through teaching I have also discovered a love of facilitating others to follow their passions and encourage great floral design. I see that as an accomplishment and massively rewarding.”


Nymphéas, Lanvin’s store in London

—Honey is embarking on some new projects to go “beyond the world of flowers.” Expect to see more from Robbie Honey very soon. Follow him at


Emmett Spooner Photography by Warren Conerly

Emmett Spooner Age: 36 Born & Raised : Baton Rouge, Louisiana Hails from: Hollywood, California

Life motto:

“When you are not dreaming you are not living.”


—Relationship status: He’s Single!

—Personal style: Eclectic chic, Spooner became a personal stylist for many of his artist friends, bringing out their signature style through one-of-a-kind pieces.

—What does he love most about a woman? “[I love] the way a woman carries herself. How she takes pride in her appearance. Her style reminds me of art…the different colors, the different shapes, the different senses.”

“The one thing I wished someone would have told me when I first started is that there will be very lonely roads pursuing your passion in music...

I ultimately want to teach and guide people to love themselves and know their identity.” Emmett “Skyy” Spooner was born and raised in Baton Rouge and his sound has been compared to Marvin Gaye and Lenny Kravitz. He began singing at the age of 3 and got his love for music from his mother and grandfather, who were both gifted singer-songwriters. He describes his style as a little rock and a little soul, infused with gospel and folk. “Growing up in the south was awesome because, I had the opportunity to hear all kinds of music. Folk, soul, rock, and gospel all in one [place].” His career actually began by developing other artists as a road manager and personal stylist. Spooner studied the music business along with fashion and marketing, while developing himself as an artist. “One of my first passions was fashion and still is!” He’s packed out audiences at the Grammy Recording Academy and worked with some of the industry’s most talented producers including Grammy-nominated Producer and Songwriter Derek “DOA” Allen (Tyrese, TLC, Michael Jackson, and Janet Jackson); Antonio Neal (The Katinas, Tyler Perry’s Diary Of A Mad Black Woman); and Producer Dave Murrant (Sony Computer Entertainment America). Spooner knows the entertainment industry, yet his foremost goal is to inspire people to find their purpose in life. His outreach program called “Dream Ambassador,” is designed to help people “see beyond their potential and dream big.” That’s why Spooner is our favorite go-to guy for inspiration and fashion advice!


Photo of Zach Hunter by Alexandra Parva

Zach Hunter Age: 22 Born: Washington State, USA Hails from: Denver, CO Relationship status: “I’m married to the love of my life, Emily...She has the biggest heart ever, brimming with kindness and creative energy.”

Zach Hunter is an author and modern day abolitionist who started an anti-slavery campaign when he was 12 years old called Loose Change to Loosen Chains (LC2LC). It was a student-led effort to raise awareness and funds to end human trafficking and the sex trade industry. Since it’s creation, it’s been estimated that his campaign has raised millions of dollars toward the rescue and aftercare of victims of slavery and the prevention of the slave trade. At 22 years old, Hunter has already written 4 books. His latest, “Chivalry,” leads readers on a quest for personal character; to develop a “code” of honor that will enable people to defend others and become agents for social justice. Hunter was inspired by the example of Dr. Martin Luther King and William Wilberforce. He was credited by filmmakers of the movie “Amazing Grace” as a contributor in 2007—the same year he presented a petition to the White House with 190,000 signatures calling for an end to global modern day slavery.

“In Chivalry, I attempt to turn traditional notions of chivalry upside down. I draw from ten principles of the ancient knights and unite them with the teachings of Jesus, resulting in a code of personal justice that, if we live it out today, will transform us.” - Zach Hunter

On Chivalry:

“[Chivalry] is not a list of rules teaching guys how to treat girls. It’s a way for young men and women—all of us—to live justly in an unjust world. As a generation rising up to care for the hurting and oppressed, we are passionate about justice and willing to fight for it. But as we reach out to help those who are hungry, sick, or poor . . . we’re also seeing less civil and kind behavior in our daily lives. Less honor, mercy, selflessness, and love.”

What do you hope your book, Chivalry, will accomplish?

“I think it can help people, regardless of gender, develop a personal code that can affect how we treat people.”

—If you have a daughter: “I would want her to know, first and foremost, that she is worthy of love and respect from others, and that she should love and respect herself. She should have high expectations.” —Follow Zach Hunter at or on facebook at


Photo of Abraham Cruz by Noel Daganta

Abraham Cruz Age: 32 Born: Los Angeles, CA Hails from: Pasadena Relationship status: Sorry ladies, he’s taken.

Life motto:

“You gotta have the Mindset of a Champion!”


—Personal style: “I work out 5-6 days a week, so I’m tired & beat up. I like to lounge around in my track suits and hoodies, but I always keep it fly.”

—What does he love most about a woman?

“I love a woman who is kindhearted and nurturing, but still has her independence. [She’s] spiritual and a woman who takes care of herself because before you can start loving everyone else you must be secure and confident in yourself. So a Confident woman is a must!” Abraham Cruz was featured in Bravo’s Reality TV show “Millionaire Matchmaker” with his brother David. He’s in great shape and was on the cover of the fitness magazines such as “Ironman” and “Physique.” As an adolescent, Cruz was a champion basketball and football player, ranking #3 Point Guard in California by Slam Magazine as an 11 year old. Later, he was named “All-League,” “All-Area”, and “Most Valuable Player” as a senior in high school. Yet, Cruz wasn’t always flying high. In 2007, a “bad decision” led to a 3 1/2 year sentence in an Oklahoma state prison.

“I was at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. All by my choice, but what I learned from that experience is you have to really be careful…who you surround yourself with.” Cruz admitted to his mistake, served his time and was determined to turn it around. He began drawing up his “business plan” for an inspirational clothing line while in prison and started living out his life motto. He became a motivational speaker and a leader among his inmates. Cruz now shares his story with young people to “encourage them to get an education and stick to their goals as athletes.” He was recently featured in a documentary film called “Fashion and Culture in Los Angeles.” Cruz has also partnered with KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) School in Tulsa Oklahoma to supply school uniforms and athletic gear with his business logo, Forever Faith.

“In order to have any real success we need to believe that were capable of it. There’s so much negative in this world breaking us down. Forever Faith is simply a motivational tool inspiring people through clothing.” —Follow Abraham Cruz at or


Monique Hadley Photography, Hairstyling by Jason Lee, Makeup by Sandy Ballesteros Structured Modern dress; Randa Salamoun Available at: Bracelets & Earrings; Stella & Dot, Escape from Paris. Diamond ring, model’s own


EDWINA The Strong Woman FINDLEY With a Soft Heart


er demeanor is sweet, even nurturing, a far cry from the gun-toting, hard-line sidekick she played as Tosha Mitchell in HBO’s The Wire; A gritty, American crime drama created by David Simon. Actress Edwina Findley is no stranger to complex characters, playing a drug addict, a detective, an exotic dancer, and who can forget the aforementioned Tosha in the popular series. Yet, she’s also played the pleasant social worker in her recurring role as Jill in ABC’s Brothers and Sisters, the sister and single mom in the 2012 Sundance winner Middle of Nowhere, and most recently, the dutiful daughter in yet another HBO series called Treme. In Treme, Findley reveals yet again her ability to carry strong characters with her own finesse. “As an actress, listening to and researching real people’s lives and experiences is a major commodity for me. There are some characters that I’ve played that I may feel very different from in the beginning. I may wonder ‘How did this woman end up here?’ or ‘What brought her to make this choice?’ But as I delve deeper, I’m able to connect the dots. To tap into an understanding or way of life that [Edwina] may have never known, but is at the core of the person whose life I’m carrying.” Treme, pronounced [treh-MAY)], takes place in one of New Orlean’s oldest neighborhoods. The show centers around the interconnected personal stories of characters trying to rebuild their lives three months following Hurricane Katrina. Findley’s character, Davina Lambreaux, is embittered by the devastating conditions she discovers with her father in the aftermath. Her character receives equally tragic news when her father is diagnosed with cancer. Findley, whose real mother is recovering from cancer, also experienced Hurricane Sandy when it slammed into New York City and New Jersey last year, killing more than 100 people and destroying some coastal communities.

Photography by Monique Hadley Styled by Amber Aaron Written by Shannon Lee

“Many of the life events my character in Treme has experienced, relocating to a completely new state, emergency evacuation, a hurricane, a parent with cancer, are all things that I ended up experiencing in my own life. It has definitely opened me up as an actress, and has given me a greater level of compassion for the characters I play. You truly don’t know what a person has been through until you spend a little time in their shoes.” In real life, the neighborhood of Treme is a place of historical significance to African American culture and music in Louisiana. It’s no surprise then, that music is a key element in every episode, bringing together national and locally recognized Lousiana artists such as Dr. John, Juvenile, Steve Earle, Shawn Colvin, the Subdudes, the Radiators, Henry Butler, Leroy Jones, and many others. In working on Treme, Findley says, “I love the culture, music, and people of New Orleans. It’s been wonderful to work with such an amazing creative team, cast, and crew to bring the real essence of what people experienced in New Orleans post-Katrina to life.” Her soft side is most evident when she talks about the organization she co-founded called Abundant Life University. It’s an organization which trains youth and young adults to live out their dreams in the arts and entertainment industry. Findley and her team of artists and industry professionals travel all over the country conducting workshops to help individuals hone their talent and find their potential. “We’re really excited about continuing to connect with more and more artists around the country and to help them in that dream and in that aspiration.” Findley says she plans to expand their reach to Los Angeles’ artist community in the near future. With several accolades already under her belt, including nominations for the NAACP Theater Award and the Barrymore Award, Findley is poised for long-term success. Of course, having Academy Award nominated actress Viola Davis as a mentor and close confidant couldn’t hurt. Findley actually ELOQUENT WOMAN MAGAZINE 19

“While this industry is often known for “smoke and mirrors,” [Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon] represent what is honest and real, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes…they are beautiful angels in my life.”

lived with Ms. Davis when she first moved to Hollywood four years ago. After literally and figuratively weathering the storms of her life, Findley is excited about her new chapter. Recently married to “a strong man,” Advertising Executive Kelvin Dickerson, Findley says, “I think that marriage helps to put life in perspective…Other women like myself, felt a lot of their identity in being independent. I used to always say ‘I’m an independent woman, I do it on my own,’ but now, being married, there’s something really beautiful in not having to do everything myself.” It’s no doubt that Findley is a woman of faith, as evidenced by the Gospel playlist in her iPod, she’s listening to Same God by Tye Tribbett and I’ve Seen Him Do It by Kurt Carr, and by her own admission, “Faith plays a big part of my life...when the storms come, and they do come, what keeps me joy-filled and at peace is the deep assurance that God loves me, and my life and destiny are safe in His hands.” With a new role on the way with Julia Louis Dreyfus in the HBO comedy series VEEP, Findley seems to be seeing the light and keeps us wondering, who is she going to play next?

Designer: Randa Salamoun Available at:


Follow Edwina Findley at!

Designer: Val Stefani Available at:

MAKING HER OWN Aubrey Logan RULES Singer, songwriter and musician Aubrey Logan mixes her own style in music and fashion. —Written by Shawna Yetka Photography by Noah Jashinski for PoseyMFG Make-up by Tony Tulve for PoseyMFG Creative Director: Kevin Posey

You can have an influence from a certain city or people group. You can be simple or complicated…I love the endless possibilities of Jazz.


ubrey’s approach to fashion is much like her music. She loves combining eras like 1920’s Art Deco with 1960’s Mod. “I like pretty, sassy, spunky things… and drawing from others ideas…” Mixing styles is Aubrey’s specialty, “Even my wedding ring is art deco. I also love the sheik elements of the 90’s, a bold eye and bold lip that is still minimal. When it comes to clothes, I like to wear things that fit my body and flatter my shape. I’ll choose the right cut and length for me rather than trying to be on trend.”

Burke and Grammy nominee, Patrice Rushen (“Send Me Forget Me Not’s”).

Now in Los Angeles, it’s no surprise that Aubrey, now 25, is headlining her own shows locally, in Seattle, Boston and more. As a musician and entertainer, her talent shines. From bold buttery belting to a super-sensitive swoon, Aubrey’s spot on vocals will leave you open-mouthed, speechless and covered in goose bumps from head to toe. Aubrey’s latest music video features her brilliant Jazzy mash up of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Can’t Hold Us and Originally from Snohomish, Washington, a small town out- Thriftshop. side Seattle, Aubrey clarifies, “I didn’t grow up in small town America. I grew up in the ‘Internet America’; therefore, I was Aubrey makes her own trends and sings her own kind of exposed to almost every kind of music from history and I songs. Her original songs are far from typical. Her lyrical immersed myself in almost all of it.” Born from music educa- phrases like ‘Be patient in your hurry’, ‘Where’s my hope at?’ tors, she had a natural affinity for music and singing and and ‘No I don’t need to compare,’ dig deeper than your avertook to the stage at age six, performing community musical age pop song. theater roles. Her introduction to the trombone started early in middle school jazz band, and thus began her journey into Jazz. “Eloquence has to do with speech. What “I’m a Jazz artist that brings contemporary music into my genre because I am so influenced by pop music from every decade.” When Aubrey thinks about Jazz, she imagines “a span of almost 200 years of music. “ “You can have an influence from a certain city or people group. You can be simple or complicated…I love the endless possibilities of Jazz.”

comes out of the mouth is powerful…has the power to encourage or harm, to sting or to inspire.”

According to Aubrey, Eloquent Women “are confident in who they are regardless of their talents, looks, or personality.” Helping others is important to Aubrey. She is a partner On a full ride scholarship, Aubrey graduated from Boston’s with Feed the Children. At every performance, she takes Berkelee School of Music, home to artists like John Mayer time to inspire others to make a positive impact. and Joey Kramer, drummer for Aerosmith. In 2009, she was awarded both Audience’s Choice and Jury’s First Place at For Aubrey, “Music is a way to express what is in my heart the Shure-Montreux Jazz Voice Competition in Switzerland. that I can’t translate any other way.” Through her music and In Los Angeles, Aubrey worked with the late Solomon fashion, Aubrey creates a unique expression all her own.




BRINGING THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE 1135D dress; Mac Duggal Available at: Necklace & bracelets; Escape from Paris Bracelet: J. Crew. Sensual Mermaid dress; Randa Salamoun Available at:

1920’S INTO TODAY...

Photography by Monique Hadley Wardrobe styling by Amber Aaron — Hairstyling by Jason Lee

Makeup by Sandy Ballesteros ELOQUENT WOMAN MAGAZINE 25

Isabella jumpsuit, Pia Gladys Perey Available at:

GATSBY INSPIRED Baz Luhrman’s vision of the beloved novel,“The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald has inspired a new generation toward the polished styles of Di Caprio as the dapper Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as the lovelyDaisy Buchanan. See our favorite designs to bring a The Cate dress; Pia Gladys Perey Available at: Shoes by Luichiny Available at:

little shimmer, glamour, and bow ties from the Jazz age!

“I knew it was a great mistake for a man like me to fall in love. I’m only 32, I might still be a great man if I can forget that I once lost Daisy.”

On him: Bowtie; The Art of EMJ. On her: Bracelets, Escape from Paris, J. Crew; Turban, L. Erickson USA. Ring, Escape from Paris.

“He threw all those parties hoping she’d wander in one night.”

On her: Necklace; Stella & Dot. Ring & Bracelet, NANIS Italian Jewels Available at:


Diamonds in the Rough

A Music Playlist

Alexa James After moving to Los Angeles from Nashville, Alexa James quickly became the next artist to watch in 2010 when she won the Los Angeles Music Awards “Hot Adult Contemporary Artist of the Year.” Her music was best described by Billboard Magazine as ‘an intriguing mixture of edgy, acoustic rock tunes painted by her songwriting talents and evocative vocals.’ Since 2010, she has recorded six professional studio albums as a solo artist, and scored a feature film, which led to another win for “Best Theme Song in a Comedy Series” at the LA WEBFEST AWARDS this year.  

She describes her most recent album “You Are That to Me”, as a great source of encouragement, hope, and fun. “I love writing songs about the struggles and frustrations that I face, as well as the celebra-


tions in my life…My hope is that people will connect with something I share, and be able to

—Find info about upcoming tours, music, and release dates at, or!

feel that they are not alone in their lives and experiences. I feel my music gives me the outlet to do that. Check out more of Alexa James in “The ROAMies,” a duo she developed with her husband Rory Partin. It’s a beautiful mix of Alexa’s bubbly, quirky style and Rory’s smooth vocals. The couple are currently in the studio working on their first album together.


Brady Toops Album cover and photo by David Molnar

—Listen to songs from his latest album and purchase his full-length album on iTunes!

Brady Toops —Brady Toops grew up in the stained glass windows and traditional pews of his church in Minnesota where his love for the traditional hymns was instilled at a young age. Still he says he also couldn’t shake his attraction to soul music from artists such as Boyz II Men, “I’d go home, walk into my room, close the door and blast the latest Boyz II Men CD while singing at the top of my lungs.”

Chyla Anderson

Toops’ self-titled album is a unique blend of modern melodies with traditional hymns and a bari-

Chyla Anderson is a hidden gem in the music world. She’s a great songwriter with a lilting voice and a charm that can be compared to Corrine Bailey Rae.

tone voice. Starting out in minor league baseball, he left the athletic world to pursue his love and passion for music. Now based in Nashville, Toops collaborated with producer David Leonard (“All Sons

Born in Los Angeles, Anderson is no stranger to performance. Early on in her career, Anderson was fortunate to sing in session with some of the industry’s hottest artists such as Muse, Daft Punk, P!nk, and Alicia Keys.

& Daughters”), Anthony Skinner, and Mia Fieldes (“Hillsong”) to create a Gospel sound all his own.

Catholic church to collaborate with a gospel choir behind them, and then Chris Martin (“Coldplay”) showed up..moved the show to an old country porch, while sipping on some sweet tea and passing around a vintage acoustic from the 50’s, you might start to get a feel for my sound.”  Toops is playing shows throughout Nashville and Chicago this year. Check out more of Brady Toops at or


“If Jon Foreman and Johnny Cash walked into a old

—Check out more of Chyla Anderson at, where you can listen to her latest album ‘Manifesto’ and find upcoming tour dates!

Her new debut album ‘Manifesto’ is a collection of catchy melodies such as “Love Forgotten,’ which received an honorable mention from the 2012 Nashville Songwriters Association International-Song Contest, presented by CMT. Chyla considers herself a “free bird” when it comes to music, pulling from an eclectic mix of styles, including country music. She aspires to create songs that people from all walks of life can connect to.

“Music is simple soul medicine to help you appreciate the beauty of life or guide you through the ugly of it.” ELOQUENT WOMAN MAGAZINE 31


gifts —Written and photographed by Skye Weinberg

Buying gifts can be a challenge during the Holidays. Styles and tastes change in the bat of an eye, trends are out faster than you can purchase them. This is why gift cards have become so popular. Yet, even though they may take the stress out of the equation, receiving a gift card on Christmas doesn’t exactly scream personal. So if you’re like me, creating and restoring gifts can become a personal “forever trend.”

And, to put this new trend to the test, I placed myself on a $50 dollar budget to create and/or restore 3 gifts: 1. An old crystal saucer made into a cute candle 2. A decorative centerpiece made from paint, wire, and vintage brass. 3. A home-sewn, turban headband out of two vintage scarves With a little hot glue and imagination anything can happen. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but it can be filled with love.


TIS THE SEASON TO SHIMMER & SHINE! Written by Nicole Dorsett We are in for a haute winter, as evening and formal wear trends boldly plunge into the deep end of vintage Hollywood glamour, vibrant jewel tones, and accessories that are bound to make a splash. Everything that glitters isn’t gold, but it still trumps all in the jewelry department, and it’s no surprise that gold tones are still being paired with black, white, nudes, ruby reds and emerald greens. Paying homage to all that is regal, timeless and feminine, evening gowns are modeling plunging necklines, high-low hems and ethereal radiance. For the ladies who love to exude style and grace, it’s time to play in this winter’s wonderland of choices. Dive into the Petit Pois couture, special occasion lookbook and you’ll find Designer Viviana G has orchestrated a line of evening wear that features the very best of the season’s highlights. Those office holiday parties, winter weddings and New Year’s Eve parties aren’t ready for this year’s fashionista. Their floor length tank dresses in black or blazing red are instant perfection, and can be paired with a rich, velvet pump and gold accessories. Their long sleeve, nude panel dress featuring a high-low hem is guaranteed to stop the show and marries old school charm with a modern edge that is effortlessly stunning yet sweet. Each look leaves ample room to be dressed up, or to be worn as-is, with more than enough class and appeal.

Hollywood’s leading ladies, January Jones and Kerry Washington follow suit in ensembles that model lace and gold accents, creating vibes that make lasting first impressions. Kerry Washington is simple and chic at Variety’s 5th Annual Power Of Women Event.Actress JanuaryJones is pretty in pink at the 65th Emmy Awards.

A native of Los Angeles, Nicole Dorsett has a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies from Boston University. Her distinct passion for California culture, healthy lifestyles, and the continuity of uplifting images in the media inspires her personal blog and freelance writing, Follow her blog at


Kerry Washington & Jennifer Jones courtesy of Corbis Images

Leading Ladies: January Jones and Kerry Washington

Nov/Dec Vol. 5