Darling has been busy planning events all over California this winter season and we cannot wait to share them with you! It all began with an al-fresco Thanksgiving family style meal at our editor-in-chief’s home, continued with a holiday party in San Francisco with the lovely ladies of Women & Whiskies and culminated with our Winter Issue No.14 launch and holiday party in Culver City.

Let’s start off with a recap of the Darling Thanksgiving Dinner. (We know we’re a bit behind here, but we’re so thankful for this event and still want to share it!)

Long under scrutiny for her unrealistic body proportions, Mattel recently announced that Barbie will now be available in three new body sizes: petite, curvy and tall. As a “…nod to growing up girl in our culture right now,” many are wondering why it took Mattel so long to finally address concerns that mothers (and women) have had for decades.

But is this change enough? Watch the below clip and let us know your thoughts in the comments. Are we still making too big of a deal over a woman’s — even a doll’s — body? Or is this finally a step in the right direction of breaking down impossible beauty ideals?

We didn’t go in for the first doctor’s visit and sonogram until I was 8 weeks along. We were excited and anxious to get a glimpse of our baby and hear its rapidly beating heart. The tech was silent as she performed the sonogram. We watched the image of the baby on the screen, waiting for her to speak. I finally asked “Is anything wrong?” She said the baby’s heart wasn’t beating and it looked like it had stopped growing a few days before our appointment.

I was blindsided. It was all so surreal. We just went through the motions at that appointment, shocked that the baby that had been making me so sick, that had been pulsing in my tummy, was no longer alive.

Like many of you, I have an Amazon Prime account. My heart seems to skip a beat when my doorbell rings, dropping off another brown box. I find satisfaction in my constant consumerism and perhaps you do, too, but I also experience frustration. As my condo and especially my closet get more cluttered, the more frustrated and anxious I become. I’ve discovered the satisfaction I get from buying shiny, new things is fleeting and oftentimes, disappointing.

So, this year, my new motto is consume less and create more. I’ve set a stricter budget, am writing a book, taking a painting class and yes, even bought a grown-up coloring book.

Aren’t we all looking for ways to save money, save time, and eat healthier? That’s why we’re amped on this latest post from the Glitter Guide, walking you through what it looks like to (actually) meal plan and pack your week full of purposeful meals. Below Almila Kakinc shares her tips for batch cooking!

Coming home from work after a long day, many hear the calling of their bed more than the growling of their stomach. Often, it can seem too grueling of a task to cook a meal. I work until 7:00 p.m. and my commute back home takes an hour. Once I’m home, I want to be able to unwind at the dinner table and not think about what meal to make. So, I have become a whiz at structuring my time and grocery shopping routine to allow for making efficient meals that are readily available for me during work days.

Mingalarbar (pronounced in a sing song-y way “Ming-ga-la-ba) is the cheerful greeting you hear at every turn in Bagan, but this time it was a warning. “Miss. There is a cobra in there. In the back. He lives in the brick wall right there!” A young, maybe 10-year-old kid with his colorful school bag strapped to him had just warned me as he followed me on his old gas-fuming motorbike. “Really? A snake? Cobra?” Hoping my one word questions would prove he said the wrong thing.

“Yes, do you want to see?”

Soy. There has never been a food item with such debate as there is with soy. Soy has been toted to be incredibly beneficial for heart health, hot flashes, preventing breast and prostate cancer, helping with weight loss and preventing osteoporosis. While at the same time, there have also been claims of increased risk of breast cancer and minimal help in heart health.

So, where does the truth lie?

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When was the last time you felt sexy?

Think back to that day, that interaction, that moment. Close your eyes and let your thoughts linger there. Was it something you wore? Maybe someone noticed something about you and affirmed it. Maybe you were doing something you love and it filled you with purpose, passion, conviction.

Perhaps you can’t think of the last time you felt sexy.

Modern Wool is a family-owned company based in southern California. The love and care evident in their products trickles all the way down to the source. Obtaining their gorgeous merino wool from ranches in both Colorado and Wyoming, they create hand-knitted throws, scarves, blankets, and pillow cases, just to name a few.

They also sell their cozy, handmade merino wool yarn, catering to knitting enthusiasts with a taste for the finest materials. So grab a blanket and cozy up as we find out a little bit more about this sheep-friendly enterprise by chatting with Modern Wool’s founder, Zoe Renteria.

It’s a question that most of us bump up against for decades, no matter what it is we are in the middle of doing: Is this what I’m called to do?  We wonder, in the middle of our working and coaching and mothering and writing and dancing and dating and marrying and studying:

Should I be doing something else? Why am I still not sure what I’m made for?

A simple gift to help new homeowners (or renters), break in a new home, housewarming gifts can range from something as simple as a candle, or as elaborate as an appliance.

More than likely, if you’re preparing a housewarming gift, you’re hoping to put a smile on your friends’ or new neighbors’ faces — and make a meaningful impression as they embark on a new chapter of their life together!

Integrity is the map to achieving our maximum potential; it is the wholeness of our self. As we pursue integrity, we obtain virtues that better us. We all desire to capture the best possible future that exists and make it our present reality; setting standards accomplishes this. Standards are the footprints on the path we hope we’re brave enough to take. They define our personhood and determine our character as we discern the character of others. How we believe we should be treated is directly related to the standards we create.

I’ve always known I wanted children. When I was a little girl, I used to fantasize that someone would abandon an orphan on our doorstep. In my imagination, my mother would be too busy with work to care for the child, so he or she would become “mine.” This impulse never left me, and in my early twenties I’d often boast of my intention to have five children (likely to the dismay of my boyfriend at the time). Back then, of course, thirty still seemed old, and like most of my friends, I assumed I’d be married well before then.

It didn’t turn out that way, though. Now I, along with many others I know, have found myself in a difficult modern predicament. Do we keep waiting for love, hoping it’ll come into our lives before our biological clocks run out, or do we take matters into our own hands, prioritizing the baby before the man, whatever that may look like for us?

Every new year my resolution is to travel more, explore more and learn more. What I love the most about traveling is the escape it provides to see a new corner of the world and gain a new perspective on life. As the weather gets colder, there is no better time to book your next trip somewhere warm for a little escape and a whole lot of sun.

This year, why not skip the all-inclusive vacation and explore one of these other warm weather destinations instead?

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If you’ve ever wondered what it was like here at the Darling Magazine headquarters, we’re giving you a sneak peek into our world! But first, we have to admit, it wasn’t always as beautiful and striking as it is now.

Being a start-up company, we have slowly been trying to transform this place over the years into a more appealing work environment, but it inevitably kept falling off of our list of priorities. Fortunately, with the help of interior designer Aubree Holmes and our friends over at Cisco Brothers Furniture – we finally got to give our offices a little bit of a face lift!  And boy, did we need it.

Check out the before and after pictures of our exclusive Darling Magazine office makeover, below!

It’s 2 p.m. You were supposed to eat lunch an hour ago, and now you want to eat anything in sight and potentially harm anyone who stands in your way.

This picture is unfortunately all too familiar for most of us. The end is usually not pretty in the sense that we’ll end up with poor nutrition choices and eat to the point of feeling sick. We all tend to assume this is just how life goes, rather than acknowledging this is actually a lack of understanding our own hunger and satiety cues.

If you haven’t heard of those terms before, don’t worry — you aren’t alone. Hunger  is defined as the uncomfortable feeling in your stomach that is caused by the need for food. This is not to be confused with appetite, a desire for food. Your appetite often is not an indicator of what your body actually needs, but what your eyes are saying you need. Super frustrating.

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If you’re like us, any new year goals may have centered on not skimping. Not taking the easy route in life, love, or … the kitchen. That’s why we’re loving this simple recipe from Chalkboard Mag. They give you the confidence (and provide the steps) to making even snacking healthier. Read more, below!

WE’VE FALLEN HARD FOR just about everything (including the gorgeous photos) in Food 52’s cookbook, Food52 Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap. From classics to new favorites, these easy to execute recipes are perfect crowd pleasers for the holidays or any time of year. Ever made crackers like these at home? They’re surprisingly easy and super chic paired with our recent cheese board DIY from HeirloomLA or our walnut hummus from the Superfood Kitchen class!

New Year, new you. Sound familiar? We’ve all heard it. Many of us have said it; even fewer of us feel any assurance in our ability to make it come true. Resolutions fly about as wayward as falling snow. We make promises for health, fitness, family, or friends. But so often there’s this semi-joking expectation of failure. And that preemptive guilt, that fear of disappointing before you’ve even begun, can paralyze our potential for progress.

Happy, happy New Year! We love everything about the start of a fresh new year (minus the fact that the holidays are over, of course), and we are definitely fans of crafting a set of resolutions that will inspire us as we head into 2016.

Instead of settling for the same old resolutions that we hear year after year (live a more healthy lifestyle, save money, pursue happiness), we challenge you to come up with innovative resolutions that are specific and creative, allowing you to continually find inspiration long after January is over. Here are some ideas we came up with, so let us know what you think of them. And share your ideas in the comments section, too. We’d love to be inspired by your resolutions!

Perhaps you took a trip to the Gulf Coast when you were little. You ran along the white-sand beaches, turned rosy in the sun, scooped sand into buckets and peeled your first shrimp. As a Pensacola, Florida, native, these are the scenes that illustrated my childhood. Now, as someone who no longer lives on the Panhandle, I’m happy to report that when I return back home, the setting looks largely the same (if not slightly improved).

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To say the fashion industry is trend-based is an understatement. Trends come and go – whether clothing styles or “it” girls or even business models – so quickly that it is hard even for people who work in fashion to keep up. The newest trend in the industry, however, may catch some by surprise.

A bit unexpected: The concept of closing the clothing loop through recycling, donation and various other models is now the trend du jour for brands. From bigger retailers such as H&M, Madewell, and Patagonia to newer direct-to-consumer brands such as Reformation, M. Gemi, and yours truly – Cuyana — companies are driving increasing awareness of programs that leverage used clothing  as a source of regeneration and offering rewards to do so.

On average an adult, full-time professional spends 2,000 hours each year working*. That’s roughly eight hours a day, 40 hours a week and 166 hours per month. During the in and out of office (whatever the “office” may be) time spent sending emails, answering calls and meeting pressing deadlines, every employee gives a piece of themselves to their job.

In the many hours, days, weeks and months dedicated to seeing a project come to fruition, assuming a title or career as one’s identity can become second nature. Whether or not one has pride in their LinkedIn headline, company or career trajectory, the more time spent (or not spent) in a position, the easier it becomes to allow it to define them.

Let’s take a look back. Not too far back, but to our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. There’s no doubt that life was different for them. We often say it was harder or more difficult. She was often a version of a woman similar to Mad Men‘s Betty Draper: A baby bouncing on her hip as she eagerly puts a roast in the oven before her husband, the bread winner, comes home from work. She couldn’t just order in a pizza or pick something up on her way home from her own office. Her role was to nurture and care for her family, while her man went out and earned the money.

For whatever reason, and we’ve heard many of them, women may have been told rather that than being a homemaker, a housewife, a stay-at-home mom and cook, or a strong, independent working woman, we should be flexible and proficient enough to be both. Despite new critiques that may suggest some form of weakness in a home-maker role, being strong and in control in the kitchen can make us feel like modern, empowered women.

Last year I had my first experience with Airbnb, an online community marketplace that lets you rent accommodations from local hosts in 190 different countries.

While studying abroad, I did some independent traveling and needed an inexpensive place to stay in Barcelona. I met Victoria through her listing on Airbnb, and two weeks later found myself sitting with her in her living room, sipping coffee, and speaking in broken Spanglish. Victoria taught me how to use her espresso machine, welcomed me to use her various bathroom products, and placed clean towels on top of my freshly made bed. I came and went as I pleased, sometimes inviting her along and sometimes just taking her spare key with me.

Here I was, a guest in a complete stranger’s home, with the key to every possession she owned in the pocket of my purse. This was a business transaction rooted in mutual respect, trust, and kindness. More than that, it was a business model that reflected the traditional characteristics of friendship, made possible by the amazing capabilities of the Internet.

In spite of what the cozy sweaters, knit beanies, and insulating footwear do for the rest of our bodies, no matter what winter always seems to leave our hands pretty worse for wear.

Maybe it’s because we’re glued to our phones instead of our mittens, or with all the baking (or germs!) going around we’re more apt to wash our hands and rub them dry. Whatever the case, we thought it’d be helpful to run to the drugstore and hit a few online retailers for you testing out which hand creams truly salve  the day. Curious? Keep reading!