There are few things more satisfying than a good belly laugh. I’m talking about the deep sort of laugh that takes over your entire body. The type that forces your head to fall back, tears to stream from your eyes, while stealing your breath and rendering you incoherent; the type of laugh that physically hurts, and leaves you aching afterward. As painful as it sounds, there are few things more satisfying.

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Toronto is a multi-cultural city that has become a hub for Canadian artists and creators to live and develop their craft. No matter whether they call the hip Queen West district home, or if they are living in one of the other dynamic neighborhoods within Toronto, this city has helped their creativity flourish to create a professional career within the arts. Here is a selection of my top eight creative ladies that you should know from Toronto.

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Whether we wish we could serve the poor and alleviate suffering like Mother Teresa or pioneer critical scientific research like Marie Curie, we all dream of doing beautiful, world-changing things with our lives. Yet, no matter how much we might long to follow in the footsteps of such women, who in fact believes themselves capable of that kind of greatness?

Perhaps we can imagine ourselves doing so in the future — when we are “older and wiser” — but in our present, imperfect condition? Hardly.

At Darling we love when celebrities use their influence for good, saying things that resonate with who we are but that also challenge us to pursue the bigger and better, both in ourselves and in the world around us. Emma Watson is one such woman who we think totally nails the #DarlingMovement in how she carries herself and also in the way she speaks of women and of men.

So, in honor of her birthday tomorrow, here are ten of our favorite quotes that prove she has an open invite to the Darling office any time. HBD, Hermione.

With technology dominating our ever-evolving world, society is becoming dependant on constant interaction. Checking Instagram while we wait for our coffee, scrolling Facebook when out to lunch with friends, constantly Snapchatting our every waking move. While technology has allowed us to overcome communication gaps and connected us in many ways, it has seemingly allowed us to abandon any comfort in silence.

Remember driving around with parents and friends and getting lost in your thoughts or in the cars passing by? Or sitting down at the dinner table and having moments where everyone was silent, not because they were typing away at their emails and texts, but just because they were eating? We used to greet these moments of comfortable silence daily; should they be encountered now, they simply leave us fidgeting.

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?

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?

Highly qualified, irresistible, whip smart, and a force of nature on screen and on paper. James Bond, you ask? Hardly. We think it’s high time to give the women of the Bond films the long overdue credit that they deserve.

One year prior to Betty Friedan publishing The Feminine Mystique and Congress passing the Equal Pay Act, Ursula Andress slunk out of the Caribbean like Botticelli’s Birth Of Venus and into the public consciousness as the archetypal “Bond Girl” Honey Ryder in the inaugural film Dr. No (1962). In the 50 years of movie franchise and women’s rights history that followed, the Bond Girl remained unrivaled in beauty, confidence and charisma, and in later iterations grew increasingly credentialed.

She is a mystery. Her only companion a cup of coffee and a copy of her favorite book. Though she sits alone at this sidewalk café, she savors the moment. She quietly delights in the sights and sounds of the scene unfolding before her. She has nowhere to be. No one is waiting for her elsewhere. She will stay as long as she likes. And only leave when she is ready. Who is this woman?

She leaves us wanting to know more.

In an age of social media, over-sharing has become an unfortunate by-product. But maintaining a mysterious element about oneself can leave people wanting more. Not to be mistaken with being stand-offish or aloof, cultivating one’s allure – when done with kindness, grace and authenticity – is an empowering way to keep the people you meet fascinated by the person you are inside.

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?

In recent years, our society and culture has been embracing a more natural, more realistic form of beauty. This concept is novel in that it is based on a female’s inherent beauty versus overly polished, photo-shopped models. The media is beginning to show real, regular women with all of their wonderful imperfections.

While the idea of beautiful imperfection is new in the western world of advertising, this philosophy is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. So much so, that the Japanese have a name for it. It’s called wabi-sabi.

There is no doubt that social media has made our lives better in a myriad of ways. Thanks to FaceTime, we feel like we’re spending time in person with loved ones who live across the country. We share fun updates on Facebook and Instagram, allowing those in our networks to feel connected to what’s going on in our lives. Social media has advanced the missions of humanitarian causes and small businesses alike, and it has been revolutionary in bringing about change in the United States as well as in countries throughout the world.

Though on the contrary, social media has also become a source of stress, anxiety, and frustration. Increasingly, we’re witnessing society’s social commentary on the subject, watching as TV shows, authors, reality stars, and magazines alike share their irritation with social media and the manner in which it inflames tensions amongst loved ones, creates distractions from work, and generally encourages an environment of disconnectedness (or, at best, of forced connectedness).

Since society itself recognizes that we have a problem with using social media in an entirely positive way, what are we to do? Should we continue our fascination with social media as a form of entertainment, or should we take note of the warning signs and try to root out the potentially harmful implications of our online usage?

Here are some questions to consider as we ponder this issue.

I recently returned home to the U.S. after spending two weeks in Ghana, West Africa. As the Director of Project Development for the Touch A Life Foundation, I have traveled to Ghana a dozen times, but each time I’m there, I’m captivated by the innate beauty of Ghanaian women.

They are gorgeous on the inside and out, to be sure, but what I observe and relish in each time is a different kind of a beauty, one that results from a culture that is less influenced by the media than my own.

Let me explain.

At just 31 miles long and 16 miles wide, it’s hard to believe such a small island can contain such a vast array of smells, colors, sights, and sounds.

Singapore is home to such a variety of cultures and people groups that it’s created a culture of it’s own, making it one of the most unique and fascinating stops in Asia. From the rainbow painted colonial buildings of Little India to the high-rise glass sky scrapers in the Financial district, Singapore is a history of old and yet-to-be-written, an identity unto itself and still being defined, and a land of beauty and intrigue that is a joy to explore but impossible to completely experience as it continues to grow and create.

We’re only scratching the surface, but hope today’s city guide leads you to amazing places on your next visit to Singapore.

I moved to Barcelona, by myself, in January 2012 and lived there for seven months. It was the first time I had lived outside of the UK – my home – and deeply experienced a new culture. Despite having visited the country a few times before, living in Spain was an entirely different scenario. I was faced with the challenge of adopting a new way of thinking, and it was simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking.

At the time, I had no idea how much Spain would change the course of my life; I’ve traveled the world and lived nomadically ever since. Barcelona paved the way for that. Locals are masters of the slow life, and living there taught me a lot about the importance of balance, self-care, and simplicity – essential items for life on the road.

I’m sharing the five biggest lessons the country taught me, below.

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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?