A Note From the Editor: As we’re inundated with news headlines with every passing day, hour and tweet it seems, we thought it would be helpful to begin curating select news stories here for you that bear particular importance about the world we live in and the people who shape it. It’s easy to consume; it’s a lot harder to stop, process, and think critically about what’s going on around us. 

We hope this series opens the door for conversations to develop and for voices to be heard. We encourage you to share your own thoughts on the stories shared and suggest new ones for us to feature in the comment section below.

OMG, you look so skinny! What have you been doing? You look amazing!”

We all hear it. Whether at work, out to lunch with girlfriends, or walking around the city. “Skinny” has inundated our society and somehow we’ve completely normalized the word and its power. Upon looking in the mirror each morning — if we’re completely honest — there’s some sort of “flaw” we find within ourselves. Most the time, rather than embracing these perceived flaws we compare ourselves to those around us.

How did we get here and why do we care so much about being “skinny”?

Dear 12 Year-Old Me,

I‘m not sure you’ll be able to enjoy any of this letter until I first let you know that, yes, those Mickey Mouse underwire bras at JC Penny’s that you’ve had your eye on will one day be yours. You’ll have to wait a while, though, because you won’t fit into a cup size until 11th grade. I promise it’s going to happen, you just have to give it time.

**
On any given Thursday social media is filled with the hashtag #tbt. Pictures of a smocked dress, braces, and so many mall bangs stare back at us through our phones. Some are downright cute and others are, well, downright perfect.

I give you exhibit A:

You know we’ve long been fans of The Chalkboard, but recently we took our love to the next level and discovered their Pressed Juicery Freeze.

The freeze is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from their cold-pressed juice line — nutrient-dense, small batch, vegan — only blended to a fro-yo like consistency, creating the perfect summer treat. Made only from roots, fruits and vegetables, everyone on the team was immediately hooked, seriously doubting how something this good for you could taste, well, good.

We visited their newest location just up the road from the Darling office (convenient and dangerous, if you ask us) and are sharing our team’s thoughts below:

Recently, I’ve wondered: Is it socially acceptable to admit to having a bad day?

Saying that I am, in fact, having one has always felt like an admittance of fault – a depiction of the ways I am not measuring up to the seemingly societal norm of perfectionism. Not only that, but I’ve generally found that most are drawn to happy, smiling people. We tend to avoid those readily armed with complaints or sullen looks.

POST TAGS:

Nashville is an amazing city full of music history and vibrancy. However, when it comes to shopping, this fine city can be a little bit daunting.

Never fear. Though I live in NYC now, I lived in Nashville for four years and in that time I found some amazing shops where you can find everything from vintage hats to that perfect pair of overalls. So, let’s get started!

Below I am going to share my secret, top three stylish and affordable Nashville shopping destinations.

“The fact is, we cherish our disasters… that’s what we like. They can hardly wait for us to finish before they launch into stories of their own suffering in foreign lands.” Martha Gellhorn, the great adventurer, war correspondent, and third wife to Ernest Hemmingway, met quite a few disasters in her 50-year career.

What delicious stories these make for an audience! But, for a main actor in real life, a crisis can be absolutely frightening. What are we to do when a mishap is more than a bump in the road and becomes a real threat to our safety?

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell

As a child I realized that I was not able to learn to read like other kids. This realization came with instant shame and was magnified by public humiliation of trying to spell a word on the blackboard in front of the class and well-meaning adults who would over-focus on trying to “fix” my problem. The natural progression of shame is a need to hide.

If you, too, have dealt with a learning disability, how do you not carry this childhood sense of inadequacy to an interview with a prospective employer or, later on, actually into the work force?

He stood 6′ 3″ with thick, salt and pepper hair. His face was rugged from years of sun despite the shade his cowboy hat offered.

He was a cattle rancher, well respected, well liked and hard working. He came from humble means, but believed education provided opportunities, so he became a scholar and worked his way up to a PhD. Over the years he was on bank boards, school boards, and even the former regent of a state college. Twice a year he’d lobby in Washington D.C. for the future of agriculture.

He carried himself with a quiet confidence, never seeking out praise. Long winded stories were never his style. He spoke with purpose and intention. He loved his wife and daughters, the Texas Rangers, War World II books and old movies. He preferred the countryside to the city life, five dollar Walmart shirts to Ralph Lauren, and Ford pickups over Chevrolet. He made others laugh with his light hearted nature and dry sense of humor. He looked for the good in others and always fought for the underdog.

His name was John, and he was my father.

You don’t need to be a food or wine expert to love champagne. It’s a drink that, once you know a bit about it, easily integrates into your hosting routine and can make any occasion feel extra special.

Don’t be intimidated by the sometimes crazy price points, confusing labels or high-end facade. Champagne doesn’t have to be an inaccessible, mysterious luxury.

Let’s break it down:

Ice cream is a staple of summer. It can also teach you about a city, if you get a scoop from the right place.

We learned this truth upon meeting Salt & Straw co-founder Kim Malek and visiting the inventive company’s first Los Angeles location that opened late last year. In between bites of street-food inspired flavors like Korean Fluffernutter and Green Corn Tamales, Kim shared with us how she got her start, where she finds inspiration for flavors, and, most importantly, why she’s serving up so much more than ice cream.

We’re sharing our full interview with Kim and how you, too, can get a taste of a city with a scoop, below.

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 second in a series of update posts, taking you along and behind-the-scenes for a deeper look at how exactly that is being accomplished. 

From IJM: Clarisa* was rescued from sexual exploitation in one of our first-ever cases in the Dominican Republic. We first met her in October 2014, and she shared with our team how she had been assaulted by a man who then trafficked her to another man. Both suspects threatened to hurt her if she ever dared to tell anyone.

Like many of the girls we’ve seen here, Clarisa is sweet and friendly, with big dreams but few opportunities to follow them. One of nine siblings raised in a poor and very dangerous neighborhood in Santo Domingo, the capital city, Clarisa is even more vulnerable to abuse than most. Though she is 14, she experiences the world much like a 6-year-old due to a developmental disability.

POST TAGS:

 This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Beauty collection in stores and online.


BB cream. CC cream. Facial mist. Snail serum. 

Chances are that if you’ve been wandering the beauty aisles lately, one or two of these have probably caught your eye. Korean beauty products aren’t something new; women everywhere, regardless of country, will often prioritize healthy, clear, luminous skin.

However, the particular routine and arsenal of products that characterizes Korean skincare can be new for most of us. With up to 24 different steps in washing, prepping and treating the face — dare we say — it might even seem slightly, intimidating?

That’s why we jumped at the chance to try beginner-friendly Laneige.

There’s a growing shift in the priorities of American fashion. Unique, handmade items are beginning to take precedence over following the fast-fashion trends, and many are developing a more minimalistic approach to how they fill their wardrobes.

For that reason, Darling had fashion blogger and long-time contributor Cassie Winslow reach out to Hackwith Design House for both inspiration and guidance on how one can incorporate this concept into their own personal style. Based in Minneapolis, Hackwith designs for the individual, favoring small quantities of high quality over items for mass production.

Read on below for our exclusive interview with founder Lisa Hackwith.

A Note From The Editor: We are very aware that the words we publish in this space and in our print issues have power. Even more so, we’re in awe of how your words, our dear Darling readers, keep us encouraged and motivated in the mission to redefine what true beauty looks like — in the media and in culture — so that all women everywhere can feel known, loved, whole and worthy. We want to start sharing these words with you as well, because YOU are the real voice and agent of change.

From Darling reader Naomi:

A Note From the Editor: As we’re inundated with news headlines with every passing day, hour and tweet it seems, we thought it would be helpful to begin curating select news stories here for you that bear particular importance about the world we live in and the people who shape it. It’s easy to consume; it’s a lot harder to stop, process, and think critically about what’s going on around us. 

We hope this series opens the door for conversations to develop and for voices to be heard. We encourage you to share your own thoughts on the stories shared and suggest new ones for us to feature in the comment section below.

Do you wish you could have been at our shoot with the striking and ever-so-cool players of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team? In case you feel like you missed out – you’re in luck! We’ve got an exclusive sneak-peek behind the scenes of our incredibly fun shoot with them that appears in our current summer issue.

Behold: we are standing at the gates of summertime! Sun melting upon your face, seeping feel-good vibes into your veins, deadening the harsh winter to mere memories. With such vitality upon us, one must come prepared with the proper tuneage in the event you end up kicking it poolside, fireside, by the seaside, all things outside or any side really, because … summer that’s why!

Fear not, though, for we’ve got you covered like SPF. Here’s a sweet little playlist of crisp newbies to kick off your sandals and sink your toes in the sand to. Ready, steady, go:

POST TAGS:

T his summer, why not use the grill for more than just chicken and steak? We asked Erin Eastland, executive chef at Santa Monica’s Milo & Olive, for her take on how to bring everyone’s favorite — pizza — to the backyard. Below she’s sharing how to make the perfect pizza crust, as well as how to get creative with this summer’s finest produce.

Why I love grilling …
Recently we repainted our patio and as a result we had moved our grill temporarily out onto our front stoop. We live in a small condo complex, so it was a little strange having it there, but our neighbors are cool and it was only for a day or two. It also happened to be the same day that I was grilling the pizzas for this article, and what started as a little bit of an awkward grilling situation turned quickly into a really fun gathering of our neighbors with food for all.

Grilling is just one of those things that brings people together and creates a sense of community. Who doesn’t love a BBQ?

In less than a month, our little family will leave the town where we have built our lives for over a decade. We are moving to a new state, following new opportunities — and we are excited. But there is also sorrow as we leave the community, town, and jobs that we have had for so long.

The world we live in is increasingly mobile, and in this season of life, many of us may find ourselves moving for school, a job, a relationship, or even for an adventure.

Or, we may find ourselves waving goodbye to our dearest friends as they drive away to a new place while we stay put. Compared to a hundred years ago, it is remarkably simple to transport our possessions across the country. What is less simple is navigating the change in friendships when we — or they — move away.

  This post is sponsored by State Farm. Meet assisting’s new starting five: the National Bureau of Assists.


For those who didn’t play sports in high school or who aren’t into sports now, don’t tune out, because what we’re sharing today isn’t just a sports story, but a look into how a generation is being formed and communities are being built — all without the Internet or a digital device in sight. Instead, we’re centered around a soccer ball and the Los Angeles Futbol Club Youth Leadership Academy (LAFC), which works to mentor youth in a part of Los Angeles known previously only by its crime rate (it’s 60% higher than the city’s average). Through partnerships with the LAPD, universities including UCLA and USC, and even the LA Galaxy professional soccer team, the LAFC is helping kids develop a skill set that wins long after a goal is scored. That’s something that everyone can get behind, regardless of whether you know the difference between football and futbol. Darling had the opportunity to ask LAFC co-founder Rich Orosco why soccer and why these kids? How does such an organization come together, and why is it important to maintain? Below he’s sharing how one game is changing the game, so keep reading and get inspired!

It might seem like a trap, thinking that happiness can be found only if picturesque ideals on a board come true. Reality can sometimes disappoint, so it’s possible that those ideas may never come to fruition.

Disappointment is scary, isn’t it? It settles in like a cat, heavy on your chest, and suddenly you forget what it feels like to hope and to dream because you’re just trying to breathe through unmet expectations.

It’s this fear of disappointment that had me rolling my eyes when others would decide to make vision boards. Unlike them, I was afraid of casting vision for my future because I was afraid that the things I longed for might never happen.

It’s June and despite the lazy summer sun beginning to filter through the air, it seems like our schedules are only picking up speed. As we race through ribbons of concrete, feet pressing the pedal forward, the very idea of looking for something new to wear often sounds more exhaustive than exhilarating.

With our hectic pace of life, it can be easy to wish for an escape; our fashion choices can give us that. We dream of scattered skylines around the world, and search for ways to incorporate a far-off touch into our wardrobe.

Yet, in glancing away from the cities we dream about to look at what surrounds us, I’ve found that we’re often greeted with nothing but collaged chaos. A bit ironically, here in the States, our “convenient” sea of fast fashion retailers and skyscraper department stores can feel overwhelming at times, doing little to spark creativity or mindful (over mindless) purchases.

For those of us who love food, learning what goes into a chef’s vision and menu is incredibly inspiring. When I was invited to meet Akasha Richmond, who’s self-named restaurant lies in the heart of Culver City, I was ecstatic to pick her brain about the colorful and vibrant menu she’s created.

The first time I dined at (and with) Akasha, it was a sensory experience. The color, the flavor, and the intention with her dishes amazed me. I walked out satisfactorily full, and very curious about her Indian-inspired roots of cooking. Guests at Akasha know her personally, and that creates an incredibly communal dining experience.

So, when we arrived one Thursday morning to hang out with her, it did not surprise me in the slightest that Akasha welcomed us into her restaurant warmly, as though she were inviting us into her home. Meeting with her feels just like that. She’s open about her style in the kitchen and loves bringing people into her story. I had to hear more.

The breeze blossoms with the scent of fresh flowers, and the season beckons just one thing: A garden tea party.

Darling recently had the opportunity to take part in a true “High Tea” experience, which is held three times a day in The Living Room at The Peninsula in Beverly Hills. Since this time of year can bloom (pun intended) with special occasions — birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, you name it — we also chatted with Peninsula’s pastry chef, Stephanie Boswell, to get the behind-the-scenes details on how you can recreate your own  High Tea for whatever you’re celebrating next.

Below Stephanie’s sharing everything from how she began baking to what is proper tea brewing etiquette, so pull up a chair and get ready to put the kettle on.

Your computer and your car have a lot in common. Whether large or small, used for long periods of time or not, both can enhance your life and both should continue to serve you season after season. The key to making this happen, however, is proper care and maintenance.

The number of miles you drive triggers car maintenance activities such as tire rotations and oil and filter changes. Scheduled maintenance ensures a well-functioning engine, a smooth and safe ride, and a longer life for your tires.

Likewise, your computer requires regular maintenance. You don’t accrue mileage on your computer, but there is a way to schedule computer maintenance. Simply look at what you should do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Following such a calendar both keeps your files safe and your computer secure, as well as operating at its optimum speed.

POST TAGS:

This year at Darling we’ve had the opportunity to take our events on the road and visit readers in some of our favorite places. Its been such a unique experience to bring together Darling readers from their local cities, and to create an environment for women meet one another and dive into one another’s lives.

Though its just around the corner from LA, Darling made its first event appearance in San Diego in mid April. We gathered together some of the most talented local vendors to create a cocktail party at Pow Wow Design Studio.

Instead of using makeup to turn us into someone we’re not, we’re always looking for new ways to amp up our natural features. That’s why we’re sharing this article today from the girls at the Glitter Guide. Sometimes, it’s simply mastering one little thing that completely changes our morning routine.

When it comes to amping up your look, don’t underestimate the power of the brow! Filling in your brows enhances the way that they frame your face and makes your eyes pop. Plus, it’s easier to accomplish than you may think! A few pro tips from makeup guru Suzanna Chun are below.

They’re all you need to step up your brow game, once and for all.