If you’ve missed previous chapters of this series, get caught up by first visiting here.

The Strange Crescendo

Something strange is happening to me at dance class. We were learning choreography, and I had a question. Oddly, the question was not: “Can you please show me that again a bajillion times slower as I am completely lost?”

The question was: “Is that rond de jambe on relevé?”

And my teacher said that yes, it was. I adjusted my dancing accordingly.

You see why this is alarming.

I’ve been going to dance class for six months now and getting used to being the crazy girl who has no idea what she’s doing. So used to it, in fact, that I didn’t stop to notice I somehow became the crazy girl who kind of, actually, might know what she’s doing. Sometimes.

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A Note From The Editor: Already fans of Meghan Markle thanks to her role on Suits, we’re even more impressed by the down-to-earth approach she brings to her beautiful website, The Tig. We’re excited to begin sharing a few snippets of how to find that joie-de-vivre so clearly evident in each Tig post here with you, as well, so be sure to stay tuned for what’s to come (later this summer!) with the Darling x The Tig!

Ah, the layered look – first it was a cascade of cropped hair à la Jen Aniston in Friends, then layering clothes à la the Olsen twins (shrouded in endless fashion staples draped one atop another) … and then, of course, there was jewelry. You remember purchasing the multitude of covetable chains last year –  trying to ensure they were all the perfect lengths/widths/moods, only to look down and find your meticulously placed baubles tangled up in knots?

Spring may have officially begun in March, but in many parts of the country, it feels as though the season is only just beginning.

The air is gradually warming up, the birds are chirping once more, and green buds are starting to emerge from the earth. It’s a season of renewal and rebirth, a time of cleansing and transformation, and one that is perfect for slowing down and celebrating life with a revived sense of awe and wonder. How to stop and enjoy each moment?

Below, we’re listing 25 of our favorite ways to savor the season.

One in four. That’s the number of women who will be victims of domestic violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. For seven years, I was that one in four. As a result, my ex-husband was sent to prison for 29 years. In the last year, the media has been flooded with domestic violence stories. From a professional athlete attacking his wife in an elevator, to the increase of sexual violence on college campuses, this problem is not one that will go away quickly.

Rather than let my abusive past dictate the rest of my life, I chose to transform a set of extremely traumatic circumstances into a triumphant story. In 2007, I founded H.E.A.L.I.N.G, the first domestic violence ministry in San Diego, which has served nearly 7,000 men, women and children.

One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How do I avoid entering another abusive relationship?”

Happy Earth Day!

Few of us are likely to describe ourselves as materialistic or consumeristic. Yet for many, myself included, it is common practice to hastily purchase items that we really don’t need or use. Shopping becomes a past-time. We want to own the latest and the greatest, we want our coffee in plastic cups on the run, and we don’t want to wear clothes that look faded – unless, of course, we bought them to look that way in the first place.

Oh, and don’t forget the lure of a big sale …

Let’s be honest here. A lot of us continue to live in a culture of wastefulness. At the very least, we can all agree that needless consumerism results in clutter. It also wastes our money; not to mention the cost of maintaining waste removal, landfills, recycling depots and other methods of managing waste disposal.

The alarm goes off from my bedside table and I blindly slap at it with my eyes still closed. My husband sleeps peacefully, blissfully. I pry my eyes open but snuggle deeper under the warm covers. I don’t see how it’s possible to get myself up and out the door to exercise before work – not when it’s so cold outside and this bed is so warm and soft. Nope. I just don’t feel like it. But tomorrow! Tomorrow I will leap gracefully out of bed, lace my running shoes up and be out the door with a flourish.

And here is where we find the problem. It’s something we all struggle to find and hold onto. It’s something that is often elusive and tricky to come by. This problem? Motivation. Do we really need it?

Full disclosure: Seeing as how there’s always something new popping up in the beauty industry, it takes a lot for us to stop and really take notice. While we’ve known for awhile now about the amazing benefits behind fermented foods and teas, (kombucha, anyone?)  we were genuinely impressed to meet Carla Oates of The Beauty Chef and to learn about her inventive line of fermented skincare products.

We know what you’re thinking. So continue reading to learn more about Carla and her inspiring twist on developing this healthy kind of beauty … the kind where you glow from the inside out!

(And by entering our giveaway, you may be able to score some product for yourself!)

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When I walked into the Sistine Chapel, I never imagined I’d walk out believing in God.

I never could have imagined it because I had never really wanted to believe in God. “Believers” had always seemed so boring to me, so vanilla, like they wore orthopedic shoes and followed all the rules. I wanted a life of kaleidoscope color and I was certain (or was until this moment) that God had nothing to offer me.

As a lover of food and flavor, I adore exploring well curated and unique restaurants all over the country. I recently had the opportunity to experience Fig & Olive of Los Angeles, a local Italian eatery flooded with artisanal olive oils and Italian-everything in abundance.

As part of each meal you’re given various olive oils and the opportunity to taste each one. Through my dining experience, I learned that tasting olive oil can truly be an art.

Fig & Olive’s founder, Laurent Halasz, has put together a guide for tasting olive oil that she shares with us, here:

Dear Socks,

Oh, that joyous moment when I slip my freezing feet into your warm comfort. Bliss. It’s springtime and my feet are already warm, hot even here in Southern California, but that doesn’t mean I have to say goodbye to you, my cozy little friends.

This spring I’ve decided to embrace my love for you year round, challenging myself to include you even when the sun is shining. Since lists of five are so common these days, and the number six often gets left out, here are my top six reasons for inviting you to stay in my spring wardrobe:

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A Note From The Editor: In Darling Issue No. 10 we announced a new partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), specifically partnering with their work to eradicate sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic. We’re excited to introduce the first in a series of update posts, taking you along and behind-the-scenes for a deeper look at how exactly that is being accomplished. 

A quick glance at today’s headlines shows a world plagued by bad news. The good stories — the tales of hope and renewal — rarely make the front page. But the front page only gives a sliver of insight into the realities of the injustice in our world today, and things aren’t always as they seem. There is beauty in broken moments, to be sure, but likewise also brokenness in the most beautiful of places.

The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The Caribbean vacation destination is dotted with pristine white beaches, lavish resorts and a vibrant culture. It is also home to a rampant sex tourism industry. A recent study by International Justice Mission (IJM) found from the total of women and girls observed in prostitution and other situations of sexual exploitation, the prevalence of girls and children being sexually exploited to be 10%.

Where there is injustice, however, there is also hope. Hope for rescue and restoration. Hope for the return of dignity. Hope for a future not plagued by fear. How is IJM bringing such a hope?

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Four weeks after my daughter was born, I had never known a love as fierce and all-consuming as the love I had for her. But I was also exhausted, and feeling unsteady. Those early days — full of the lack of sleep and the crazy hormones — had me running on empty.

Although the newborn stage is short in the grand scheme of life, it can feel unending when you’re living in it. The constant needs of a newborn, the wacky sleep schedule, the high emotions — they are intense, intense things. Thankfully, I made it through, and I would say that I was even able to thrive during those early days with Ella, although it felt different than I thought it would.

So, while I’m not a perfect parent by any stretch of the imagination, or even a long-time parent, here are my four how-tos for thriving in those first weeks and months of motherhood.

Down the street from me as a child, my neighbors had a tire swing; tied high in the tree, you had to crawl up, wiggle inside, and then let go before plummeting towards the ground with only a rope to catch you. Trust is a lot like that tire swing. As kids, we don’t think twice before jumping out of trees. Kids are unpretentious and their world is full of adventure with excitement around every corner. They haven’t yet experienced heartbreak, disappointment or developed routines. In a word, children know how to trust.

Somewhere along the way I have lost the trust that I once had as a child. Like most people, I’ve been rejected, lied to, heartbroken, and had my confidence stepped on. The world has a funny way of breaking down our confidence and that is when we begin to …

Hormones are an integral part of our health and wellness, no matter what our age or gender might be. Since so few of us really know what they do or even what some of them are called, we found this article from health-savvy The Chalkboard so important and informative. Continue reading for a biology lesson that you’ll actually enjoy … and won’t be tested on. 

From The Chalkboard:

They’re not just a system that goes crazy when you’re pregnant or that is depleted when you reach a certain age. We all have functioning hormones – a vital and complex system kept in balance by some of the most basic tenets of good health.

This list is from Dr. Sara Gottfried‘s new book The Hormone Reset Diet. Here, Dr. Sara outlines each of the twelve metabolic hormones, how they function, and which aspects of our health they affect.

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A Note From The Editor:  Aiming to be a catalyst for positive change, we want to open a safe place for answering questions and keeping you prepared as you explore and go forth in the world. April is designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so we’re lending listening ears to our friends at Her Campus. They work on college campuses across the nation to reduce stigma and increase awareness about sexual assault.


Please note: This article contains information about sexual assault and violence, which may be triggering for survivors.


In a study of undergraduate women, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 19 percent of collegiettes experienced attempted or actual sexual assault since entering college. That’s nearly one in five collegiettes.

Unfortunately, odds are that even if you never experience this kind of traumatic violence, someone you know will. With that in mind, it’s important to know how to protect yourself, report assailants, help your friends who are victims of sexual violence, and find help yourself if you do.

I got the travel bug like so many people often do. I remember it clearly. I was in Mrs. Morrison’s second grade class and she shared Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl” National Geographic issue. It was the first National Geographic magazine that I had ever seen. I instantly wanted to pick up a camera and go see the world. That same year, Mrs. Morrison also taught us the “Seven Continents” song and I made it a personal goal to see them all before I turned 30.

In college, I traveled around the world on credit cards with all the naivety one is filled with during their younger years. More passion than planning, more whims than wisdom. During this time the words “interest” and “credit limit” were just words I skimmed over before signing my name on the dotted line. (Credit card companies are like vultures, but that’s for another article.) Needless to say, it took years of hard work to get out of debt. I’m now 28, live in Los Angeles, and run my own small business. I’m so thankful that while my debt has disappeared, my travel ambitions have not. I’ve been fortunate enough to see over 40 countries, and in these past two years alone I’ve been able to explore more than 10 countries while freelancing.

So, how do I do it? And how can you, too?

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It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the news today. So much of the broadcasts we see and hear tend to focus on what’s bad  in the world, and because stations are constantly competing with fast-paced demands of social media and real-time updates, the accurate information can get lost in the shuffle. We’re left bewildered, defeated or out of touch.

So, where to find news updates that actually help us become more informed and engaged global citizens?

“So, tell me — why are you looking for a new job?”

If there’s an MVP title for interview questions, this one just might take the prize.

(“Can you share three of your greatest weaknesses?” comes in a close second.)

It’s a fair question, though. Your potential new employer wants to know why you’re leaving a (seemingly) perfectly good job. And, even more importantly, they want to know that — should they hire you — you won’t be leaving them in the lurch shortly thereafter.

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After a long winter the thought of warm nights surrounded by flowers, great food and delicious cocktails can be ever so exciting. So, to get you inspired for some outdoor entertaining this spring, we put together a beautiful farm to table dinner to reveal how to create a relaxed yet beautiful evening with friends.

When it comes to outdoor entertaining, creating a comfortable atmosphere is just as important as the food you serve. Essentially, you want to bring some of your favorite elements of your home outside like seating, table linens, rugs and blankets to keep warm. Also, much like utilizing different rooms in your house, it’s fun to set up different spaces outside for your guests to enjoy.