Intention is key with everything, right? Which is why we’re loving this Glitter Guide article about curating a home that best welcomes others and also reflects your own unique style. They had blogger and designer Amanda Risius share her process for creating a space, and we’re pumped to share her advice (and handy workbook) with you, too. Below!

Do you struggle with the process of picking out furniture or art because you aren’t sure what your style is or if it will match your current décor? Do you wish you could decorate your home beautifully with ease like the pros? The key to confidently creating a home you love is knowing your decorating style. Knowing your style will give you a plan to follow and make decisions much easier. I’m going to show you exactly how to determine your decorating style with five simple exercises.

With three degrees under her belt from Pomona College, Harvard and Stanford, calling Jane Chen an achiever is an understatement. Her incredible drive and work ethic, combined with her heart for social change and innovation resulted in her creation of the Embrace Infant Warmer.

After seeing a need for a more affordable and accessible way to save the lives of millions of premature babies without the use of an incubator, Jane sprung into action with her team of classmates from Stanford. Together under Jane’s leadership, they’ve built Embrace Innovations and Little Lotus to continue their mission to save these babies and families.

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.

We recently hosted our first creative retreat in the quaint and beautiful town of Carmel by the Sea, California. The weekend was absolutely incredible and filled with life-changing moments, authentic conversation and delicious food and wine. A picturesque stone house nestled in the cliffs overlooking the ocean was where twelve vulnerable yet fearless ladies called home for four rejuvenating days.

It’s safe to say that the weekend will not soon be forgotten.

In our day and age of cell phones, email, and social media, it’s easy to overlook the art of writing handwritten notes to communicate with the people we love. We’ve expounded upon the value of continuing to put pen to paper as we send correspondence to family and friends several times, so instead of harping on the topic once again, we thought we’d share some specific instances in which it is easier to send a handwritten note than you think.

Check out our ideas below and let us know if you have any tips to share!

While we wish it were otherwise, most of us don’t have the luxury of pursuing our creative passions as a full-time job. Whether we love painting or pouring candles, writing or dancing, event planning or photography, the truth is that we don’t often make a living from those passions. Instead, we find pockets of time to shadow those desires on the weekends, the evenings, and often, when we could be sleeping. We read articles and books about our hobbies, and spend our money on the passion we love so dearly. But we aren’t waking up every morning to head to a studio or the craft room or the keyboard. Instead, we get up and work at jobs that don’t set our hearts aflame.

There were a lot of years where I bemoaned my lack of time to pursue my passion. I’m a writer at heart, a woman who comes alive with the tap of keys on the keyboard, a woman who could spend hours each day whittling down a paragraph until it sings with the vibrancy of power and precision. But for most of my adult life, I’ve been a writer in the margins, pulling out my laptop in the evenings or on the weekends, taking twenty minutes over lunch or an hour after work to finish an article or pen a chapter.

There are so many ways we can spend our time waiting these days – we can catch up on emails on the bus heading to work, we can browse through our Instagram feed while waiting for our turn at the hairdresser or we can check our calendars and set more plans while waiting for a friend to join us for lunch.

These are all instant distractions that help make time pass, but rather than using our phone in this way, why are we not using these pauses to give ourselves a dose of inspiration?

A glassware company that produces striking hand blown carafes and glasses, Bib & Sola offers a stylish and conscious alternative to plastic bottles. The brand’s founder, Kira Heuer, is adamant about reducing plastic waste and providing clean water solutions. Through Bib & Sola’s colorful pieces, she aims to do both, believing that their beauty has more power to inspire education and change than anything else — a concept she calls, “Aesthetic Activism.”

We recently had the chance to connect with Kira and learn more about Bib & Sola’s story, its Aesthetic Activism campaign, and the difference that using glass instead of plastic can make.

I was struck by this quote by my friend and Darling contributor Katherine Wolf from her newly released book Hope Heals:

I imagine most of us have fairly straightforward pictures in our heads about what our lives will look like and who we’ll become. When something happens that is not inside the four corners of that picture we view it as a detour and hope to get back on track as quickly as possible. So what happens when you take a detour and can’t ever get back to the original picture?

We’re all artists in our own way. Sometimes, we just need some help getting in the zone, especially living amidst so much distraction, noise, and technology. We’ve recently discovered Sonia Mandeville, of So Sonia on YouTube, and are smitten. She’s not your average vlogger. She’s a 17-year-old creative filmmaker, writer, and visual artist from Jakarta, Indonesia who travels the world to gain inspiration for her art.

In fact, this is what Rainn Wilson, beloved actor and founder of SoulPancake, had to say about her when we asked …

We find so much inspiration through learning about women who are leaving their mark on the world in a profoundly impactful way. From entrepreneurs and non-profit founders to artists and writers and musicians, women are paving the way in so many different fields as they pursue their passions and develop creative ways to make the world a better place.

Read on to learn about some of the women who are inspiring us lately, and leave us a note in the comments section to let us know whose life path has encouraged you.

The late Robin Williams could incite many a thrilling wonder to life. Perhaps one of his most cherished roles we remember was that of English teacher John Keating in “Dead Poets Society.”

Speaking of those that paved the way before them, Keating aimed to summon the muse for his students. He posed: “They’re not that different from you, are they? … Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see, [they] are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? Carpe — Hear it? Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day…make your lives extraordinary.”

International Women’s Day is meant to celebrate and encourage women to achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, to value differences, and to develop more inclusion and flexibility across the globe. In short, it’s meant to create room for more women to create their own kind of beauty in the world. That’s why we thought it would be inspiring to have Chelsea Neman, of LA’s Tappan Collective (which recently opened in Platform in Culver City), share her thoughts on a few women who are doing just that.

Aiming to change the way emerging artists connect with their collectors, Chelsea co-founded Tappan to support emerging artists by sharing their work through e-commerce, crafting digital contexts, and a recently-opened physical space in Los Angeles. Chelsea believes that, “artists can show people something they otherwise may never see. They have the ability to change the way we think about our lives and the world we live in. Being an artist is a brave venture, and it gives me great joy to be able to support their careers.”

Who are a few of these female artists you should know? Read on to find out. 

Erin Boyle is the author of the newly released book, “Simple Matters,” and writes about living minimally yet purposefully over on her blog, “Reading My Tea Leaves.” If you’re in LA, meet her today March 5th at The Springs for an afternoon of kombucha, self-care and book signing from 3-5pm! 

If you’re feeling like you want in on a life that feels a little less cluttered, a little less chaotic, and a little more peaceful, here are three ways to kickstart a simpler way of doing things:

With spring break or summer vacation still weeks — maybe even months — away, chances are high that winter’s rain cloud could be casting just a little too much shade for your liking. How to bring back the sun? While we may not be able to control the weather or the hands of time, we can  control our attitude. And our immediate living and working environments play a major role in determining that.

Right now is the perfect time to add a little spring  to your stuff, and you don’t need to redecorate your entire home to do so. You actually only need four products, and we’re demonstrating which kinds of products below with help of Fab, our newly-discovered go-to for all things inspired, vibrant, and capturing that joie de vivre  we could all use a little more of.

For those of us who feel the tug toward words and books, toward verse and ink on the page, writing may feel like second nature, like a gift. For many of us, it even feels like a lifeline—a way to uncoil our thoughts, understand our existence and connect to our truest selves.

But after our years of school end, how do we continue to grow as writers? How do we invest in this passion? Is it even worth it? If we aren’t going to write a best-seller or even make money writing, can we justify giving the craft more time and expense?

“I’m not smart,” she said, her eyes wide with pain.

I never get used to the heartbreaking words I often hear from the little brown couch in my counseling office. Labels can be difficult to peel off once they stick. We wear beliefs about ourselves like tattoos – messages about who we are that have become a part of our identity.

Intelligence is no exception. Somehow “smart” has become something that we either are or are not. It’s easy to understand how our perspective has been shaped the way it has. After all, most schools and many workplaces tend to measure and celebrate a very specific kind of intelligence. Not all of us have been given a safe place to display our particular brand of “smart.”

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.

As someone who grew up in Minnesota and now lives in southern California, I’ve experienced winter in all of its forms — from harsh blizzards to mild rains to full-on heat waves. Yet, there are some aspects of this season that remain consistent no matter what part of the nation we reside in. Whether we live on snow-capped mountains or along sandy beaches, we all experience shorter evenings, lower average temperatures, and a subtle sense of pause around us.

Animals rest in hibernation, nature’s colors fade, and we, too, are invited to take on a slower, more peaceful pace. There is no better time for quiet reflection, for hopeful dreaming, and for all the best comforts of home. Whether we prefer to remain indoors and keep cozy or get outside and explore, there are countless opportunities to savor this season.

For a few ideas on how to get started, below is our winter bucket list. See how many you can check off!

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!

Autumn brings a focus that breathes new life into even the most simple of tasks. As we put away our summer clothes and reach for layers and scarves, we may also prepare for the beginning of the school year, a new job, or a renewed creative vision.

It’s in these moments that we begin to push past fear and embrace the work and creativity our day may bring.

It can be frightening to express ourselves, particularly when we attempt to generate income in the process. In step with the fresh feelings of autumn, maybe refreshing our minds with beautiful words will inspire a clear focus as we go into fall.

If you’ve ever been frustrated by the negativity of traditional news media, you’re not alone. Yet now, more than ever before, we have the freedom to choose the media we most want to consume. Podcasts are a great choice; they make informative, positive, and interesting content readily accessible. If you haven’t indulged in this popular practice, log onto iTunes and find a wide array of Podcasts you can personally subscribe to, creating your own collection of hand picked media.

You can listen whenever you want and even listen to something again if you didn’t hear it the first time. Even better than the radio, you won’t miss a podcast’s content if you aren’t tuning in.

Here are a few worthy of your subscription. They’re sure to create great conversation amongst your family and friends the next time you jump in the car and take a summer road trip.