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 Jessie McShane:

A few weeks ago my good friend Wynne, from La vie Charme Events, and I got together at a cozy pub in Minneapolis for what started as a casual happy hour to catch up. The evening was full of talk of exciting collaborations, wedding recap (Wynne had just gotten married in Canada), and business ventures. Wyn and I are both big fans of Darling Magazine so while on the topic of one of their more recent posts about Turning Your Passion into Your Profession we found ourselves talking about how we really wanted to get to know some of the local Minnesota women working towards their passions on a more personal level.

I entered college pre-med biology. Four years went by and I graduated with a bachelors degree in English writing and rhetoric.

Needless to say, the identity I had entered college with was second-guessed and shaken multiple times. For example, I had looked at my roommate’s life and wanted to implement her characteristics of tidiness, planning, and dedication to schoolwork as my own. I wanted her four-year (and then some) plan, and when I realized it wasn’t in me to create one, I felt insecure instead of realizing that not everyone takes the same road to reach a destination.

For a moment, I saw the person I should be and the person I clearly wasn’t all at once. What is it that causes us to question our entire integrity based not on our own attributes, but on the ones we lack when compared to someone else?

There are two things that are sure to inspire the happy, cozy feeling we associate with brisk autumn nights: An old-fashioned dinner party with our dearest, loveliest friends and tea. While a hot cup of tea is the perfect way to wind down after a night of revelry, we at TeBella Tea Company like to start our gatherings with a tea-infused cocktail or two.

That’s right, the hot toddy has not cornered the market on tea-inspired tipples. We love experimenting with different ways to incorporate tea into spirits, whether it be as a simple syrup, a tincture, or by infusing tea directly into our favorite liquors.

Here we’ve created three fall-inspired recipes that result in the best kind of cocktails: Easy to make, impressive to present, and deliciously seasonal. Break out the kettle and a cocktail shaker, “tea time” is about to take on an entirely different meaning.

We love this insightful interview from the beauty team over at the Glitter Guide. Aging is often given a bad rep among women, but why? Who says it’s a thing to be feared rather than embraced? Perhaps if more of us took the perspective that’s detailed below, we’ll begin to hear, see and feel such a needed change.

It’s no secret that the media’s portrayal and treatment of older women isn’t always positive. Actresses often speak out about the lack of roles made available for women over 30. Gray hairs and wrinkles are usually airbrushed out, or simply avoided at all costs.

These unfair societal standards and skewed perceptions of beauty are exactly what inspired Taylor Chang-Babaian — a celebrity makeup artist and author — to write her latest book, “Beauty Rewind.” The book is dedicated to helping older women recognize their worth and beauty despite the oft-stigmatized aging process. We sat down with the beauty buff to talk skin care, hair care and what it means to be your best self. Read all about her perspective below!

Lawyer. Scholar. Co-Founder. And licensed Q Grader. Noushin Ketabi could embody any number of our personas, but it’s because she’s harnessed all of her talents to better the lives of coffee farmers in Nicaragua that we’re highlighting her work as a true Explorer today.

As founder of Vega Coffee Noushin works with local Nicaraguan communities to help them become entrepreneurs themselves and learn the business model behind coffee production. In the process, she’s also bridging the gap between farmer and coffee connaisseur through Vega’s coffee subscription service. If you fancy a cup, or a healthy serving of inspiration, continue reading for more of Noushin’s story and to learn how you can play a role in it.

In the past few years I’ve come to understand a new set of unspoken rules around how we socially interact with each other. As we navigate communication in the digital age, there are more channels to chose from than ever before, but ironically, the less you engage with someone you’re interested in, the more power you possess.

Sending a direct Snapchat to someone raises eyebrows. Liking an Instagram someone uploaded a week previously is unheard of. And when it comes to dating, we are to act aloof. Don’t text first. Don’t put too many emojis. Definitely, definitely  don’t call. There is a strange power in silence.

It’s the game of “who cares less,” and how you win is to not engage.

As a female business owner, lately I’ve been delighted at the amount of women in business that are gathering together to assist, connect and uplift one another in their diverse ventures.

Recently, I was invited by Stilettogal (a media company targeted towards Millennial women in business) to attend the first of an event series called Digital Diva. The event brings in speakers and panelists from various industries to teach women how to build their brands online. On the invitation I noticed that Glamsquad was going to do complimentary hair and makeup touch ups before the panel started, which was just icing on the cake given that we were also privileged to hear from two very successful women: Marleine Pacilio, Director of Digital Global OPI Products and Katie Ann Rosen Kitchens, Co-founder of FabFitFun.

After grabbing a cupcake and a lovely glass of white wine, I settled in at my table with open ears to learn from this fabulous panel.

These bars are the perfect bite to bring to any Halloween gathering. Decadent layers of homemade graham cracker crust, dark chocolate, and a star anise marshmallow topping.

Below we’re detailing each step and it’s easier than you might think to make something this lovely and delicious. This year, skip the packages of the artificial who-knows-what  and get ready to hand out squares of the ultimate spooktacular treat.

Growing up, I wanted to be a professional figure skater — wait, who didn’t? I would watch the likes of Oksana Baiul, Nancy Kerrigan and Kurt Browning (whom I loved because he has my same birthday) and my heart would soar with dreams of becoming an elite athlete.

There was something about their confidence, the beauty of their talent and elegance that drew me in. In 7th grade, I decided to get serious. I told my mom I wanted to be homeschooled in order to take figure skating lessons every morning at 6am and ballet lessons in the evening so I could become a competitive skater.

Compete I did. Make it to the Olympics? Not really … but it’ still a secret skill that I can bust out around the holidays on the local skating rink [smile].

A Note From The Editor:  We’re back sharing more content from FabFitFun. Today they’re offering up some wisdom on an age-old problem: Having nothing to wear. We like how they keep it simple and stress the importance of taking care of pieces that you already own and encourage you to get a little crafty. For more fashion, health and wellness articles, be sure to pay a visit to their magazine, too! 

We all wish that we had a personal stylist helping us get dressed and shop for outfits for us. However, only the rich and famous get to have a glam squad at their beck and call. Lucky for you we’ve come up with a few ways to make it look like you’re constantly reviving your wardrobe all the time without changing a thing.

Get ready to shop from your own closet.

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


Ok, so we many not be mixing up real  potions, but fall is the time to experiment with the unexpected, out of the ordinary and slightly wacky. And rather than get crazy with chemical-laden face paint, we thought we’d get creative and treat our skin to some natural treats instead.

Since Target now carries some of our favorite carrier and essential oils — which we were pleasantly surprised to discover is not a trick! — we trolled their aisles to see what interesting ingredients we could find and what health benefits they could afford us.

Below we sharing our findings and including a few recipes for you to get brewing, too!

When you think of traveling to France, it’s no surprise that the first thing that comes to your mind is Paris. Affectionately known as the City of Lights, over thirty million tourists visit France’s capital city each year.

But next time when you’re voyaging all the way across the Atlantic, why not extend your stay and venture beyond Paris to see more of what makes this country so unique?

From standout cities to sprawling vineyards, to historic castles and more, here are some my favorite spots to explore in France that are easily accessible by train or short flight.

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If we could live inside the recipe pages of Chalkboard Mag, we would 100%. They have the most inventive, mouth-watering, and — best of all — healthiest dishes available at the click of a mouse. Today we’re sharing one of their recent fall-infused creations, because in LA in October we’ll get autumn any way we can. Enjoy!

WE LOVE OUR zucchini and spaghetti squash, but we’d be lying if we said we were anything but over-the-moon that kabocha, butternut, and other non-summer squashes are slowly coming back in season! Although called “winter squash,” seeing these babies back on farmers market stands is an unofficial signal that the hottest months are behind us and autumn is on our heels.

This recipe from green goddess Candice Kumai’s new cookbook Clean Green Eats uses roasted kabocha squash atop a bed of hearty kale leaves and quinoa – a perfectly balanced lunch or dinner, if you ask us. Get cooking on your new favorite fall recipe.

This morning I sat at my dining room table sipping my coffee, watching my seven-year-old daughter eat oatmeal. I smiled when she looked at me, almond shaped eyes behind perfectly round glasses. She smiled back and then took another giant bite, sweet drips of cinnamon and sugar milk on her chin.

She’s the eldest of three and mornings here can be crazy. Yet, I find myself day after day taking the time to sit and watch her and marvel at the simple gift of sweet cinnamon oatmeal.

She taught me how to do that. How to stop. How to slow down. How to enjoy something as simple as oatmeal for breakfast.

My daughter has Down syndrome.

I’m a dreamer. This fact was made clear to me at an early age through my tendency to obsessively set goals and see just how fast I could achieve them. I’ve lived most of my life with one foot in the future, allowing my brain space to be consumed by who I would be someday instead of who I was right then.

Though I hate to admit it, the thrill of imagining how I would feel about myself and my life if my dreams were realized was often more satisfying than living in the “not yet” of the present. As a result, it became easy for my dreams to feel more like burdens – ideas and goals that weighed on my mind and heart until they were complete. This was only made more challenging by the fact that I usually had more dreams than any one season of life could hold.

Every story has a season. A dreamy romance is perfect for the blooms of spring, but a tale of swashbuckling adventure will be most enjoyed during the summer months. An aching tragedy, on the other hand, somehow makes the melancholy of winter even more lovely.

And mysteries?  Mysteries are the kinds of stories that creep into our thoughts and dreams during the pale sunset of autumn. A mystery can only be fully appreciated when we’re tucked under a knit blanket, snug with a warm cup of tea while the frost creeps across our windows. But a mystery also brings a thrill, an eerie sensation of disarray, the unsettled notion that things aren’t quite as they should be — and it’s up to us to discover why.

Just because your favorite beanie or wide-brimmed hat might be easing into constant rotation, cooler temps don’t have to limit the creativity you employ with your hair. Below we’re sharing a simple braided bow brought to you by the same talented lady who taught you how to master this summer’s braided crown.

Read on for Cara McLeay’s easy step-by-step hair tutorial that we think would perfectly dress up anything from sweater to sweatshirt.

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In a world that’s leaving so little to remain untouched or unexploited, we’ve been so refreshed and encouraged by Tory Jones.

Not only does her company, Ixchel Triangle, make some of the most beautiful, unique bags that we’ve seen in along time, but after getting to know her story and the mission that gets her out of bed in the morning, we’re hoping hers is a business model that others can take note of.

Read on below to learn more about Tory’s bags, the stories they are woven from, and how they are helping to change lives in Guatemala.

Tiffany Kunz is an independent jewelry designer based in Los Angeles. She creates works of art with an eco-conscious approach, focusing on using reclaimed metals and hand-making her pieces in downtown Los Angeles.

In a continued effort to bring light to designers producing their pieces domestically, we reached out to Tiffany to learn more about Tiffany Kunz Jewelry and the designer behind the line.

Maybe you’ve dreamt about working from home: Flexible hours! Taking calls in pajamas! Finishing a project while dinner cooks in the oven! Then you take a job that offers more freedom, or you forge your own way with a small business. Suddenly, the easy routine of an office job vanishes as you attempt to create your own workplace.

This is uncharted territory. In 1997 only seven percent of the employed population worked from home; today that number tops twenty percent. It’s not only entrepreneurs and small business owners who make their office at home. Employees of corporations are also joining the movement, finding out that their productivity increases in tandem with flexibility. As demand for freelance contractors explodes, artists are leaving office jobs to pursue their craft full-time. And if you work in a creative industry, you likely spend at least a portion of your day working at home (or haunting local coffee shops).

Growing up on the east coast meant many things: Summer thunderstorms, fall leaves that just won’t quit, and the requisite 5th grade trip to Williamsburg, VA.

You’d clutch your brown paper lunch as you walked past wig makers and silversmiths to the town square where the tour guide in a three cornered, felted hat would stop quite suddenly. There before him were two tall wooden contraptions with holes for arms and a neck.

The stocks.

There has been quite a buzz around the music industry this past week with the release of Ryan Adams’ cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. Both rave and less than impressed reviews have been flying. On the one side, people are arguing why he shouldn’t be able to snag the spotlight for something she wrote, while others prefer his version to hers.  To each their own.

But when you get down to the brass tax of it all, the definition of a cover song is this: “In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a previously recorded, commercially released song by someone other than the original artist or composer.”

Fall is finally here, and our wardrobe choices are beginning to evolve. Long sleeves, jackets, and trousers will soon replace our tanks, tees, and dresses. With jumpsuits having made a permanent comeback, there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing overalls hit the streets this season, as well. Though birthed as work wear, they’ve made it into almost every denim collection today. Overalls are no longer just a trend, but a classic must-have for fall and winter.

Maybe you’ve never considered yourself as the type to rock this number, but with the garment’s impressive history and aggressive presence in the fashion world, it’s time to start embracing the practicality of this denim onesie. Below, we’re sharing how.

October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, it’s estimated that 234,190 new cases of breast cancer, including both males and females, will occur in the US in 2015. Breast cancer ranks second as a leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer).

While these facts may sound scary, rest assured that deaths due to breast cancer have steadily decreased since 1989 due to improvements in both early detection and treatment.

Want to help that number continuously go down? Below are some unique ways to give back and raise awareness this October.

Wanderlust is alive and well all around us. From Instagram feeds to Pinterest scrolls and any travel sites in between, the global community is more accessible than ever. When we travel boldly and encounter new cities, countries, and cultures it can be beautiful yet overwhelming. That period of adjustment back to our own world might feel welcome for some who love routine, but it may also carry with it a hint of sadness.

When we travel, we change; when we see new things, we grow. And instead of diminishing that, we should embrace it with zest.

As a fashion blogger bitten long ago by the travel bug, I’ve often wondered: When we wander the world, see new places, and meet new people, how can we translate even small parts of those experiences back into everyday life through fashion? After extensive travels abroad and significant coast-hopping, I’ve fostered three simple ways to incorporate those voyages into an evolving wardrobe.

Health care reform, abortion, immigration, US involvement in the Middle East, changes to marriage laws and religious freedoms.

These are examples of highly emotional issues that have been on the public agenda in America these past few years. It’s likely that you have an opinion on most of these topics. Some of your opinions may be stronger than others because the issue is more important to you.

Do you feel comfortable openly expressing your views on these issues? Or, do you remain silent when these topics are brought up and keep your opinions to yourself? If you fall into the second camp, are you looking for a way to find your voice when faced by opposition?

Raise your hand if you feel stressed, if you work too hard, sleep too little, and don’t take much time for yourself. It’s likely that in this virtual hand-raising situation, you are not the only one with your arm lifted high.

Thankfully, if you care for yourself and take the time and space you need to be at your best, then everything around you benefits. When you put your wellbeing first, you are more prepared to be present to those around you. We are hearing this more and more, but when will we start to really believe it?

Now is the time. The change of the seasons often inspires changes within our own lives. With fall unfolding around us, it’s time to consider the positive changes we can make as we enter this new season. One of these changes can be to practice self-care, to take intentional steps toward de-stressing. Aromatherapy can play a key role in that.