Who Are You And Where Did You Come From?

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How much do you know about who you are and where you come from? And when I say that, I don’t mean the usual things we think of, like the city we were born and the home we lived in. I mean your genealogy, your history. Where did your family come from? What’s your ancestry? Who are you descended from?

I’ve always been curious about this, since I have absolutely no idea where my family came from. When I talked to my boyfriend about it, he was on the same page. As an African-American whose lineage was completely wiped out by slavery, he has absolutely no clue about his own genetic makeup or background.

So last week, we spat into one 23andMe Kit each, and FedEx’d them off, before sitting down to discuss what we know about our family history, and how it affects us personally.

 

As you can tell, we’re both really excited to get our results back! When they arrive in the mail, I’m going to set up my camera again and we’ll reveal the results to you. Will my boyfriend turn out to be 70% Caucasian?! Will I be revealed to be the descendent of some strange and distant culture? WHO KNOWS! It’s a beautiful mystery and it will all be uncovered soon!

Love and baited breath,

This sponsored post was created in partnership with the History Channel. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of History.

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Radical Self Love Letters

Strawberry Milkshakes And Adventures In New York City

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Desert goth adventures in Nevada.

H

ello from an overcast New York City. After teasing us with soaring temperatures, the city has cooled back down and it’s back to leather jackets for this girl. Le sigh! I’m so ready for it to be summer! Bring on the heat!

I just came back from Las Vegas, where I spent 5 days with Kat and Shauna, otherwise known as my original partners in crime. We had an incredible trip, but that’s a story for another time. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately…

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We currently have five planets in retrograde and Mercury is just one of them. Oh my. Thankfully, I was invited to a Mercury recovery lounge at The Alchemist’s Kitchen, where they had teas, tinctures, herbal lollipops, and an incredible tarot card reader who gave me one of the most illuminating readings I’ve had in ages. It was awesome! The event is on every day until Mercury goes direct, so you should definitely check it out!

This has really been such an intense month. As a Sagittarius Moon and Rising, Saturn has been all over my chart… And Saturn is known as the hard task-master. Disciplinarian Daddy energy. It’s good for you but it feels rough. I have been really putting myself through so much emotional torment, but I think it’s all building towards something good. At least, I hope it is! If you’re a subscriber to Mystic Medusa’s site — and you’re a Sagittarius Sun, Moon or Rising, comme moi — you should definitely read this. For example: “Resist grinching yourself over the past. This is a rather grotty side-effect of Saturn in your sign. Like a non-stop forensic audit. But pull yourself up with a swift, sharp “is this productive?”” I love that. IS THIS PRODUCTIVE? Good question to pull yourself out of an emotional quagmire!

Five things I love so much right now:
Views From The Six, Drake’s new album. It has been on repeat for weeks.
 Doing something for my mind and body every morning, namely meditating and doing a miniature workout. Try these: Tess Whitehurst’s Aura Cleansing Meditation and Patricia Moreno’s 5 minute Intensati workout!
Having the same dream as my friend Colin! Psychic twinsies!
Buying tickets to see Louis CK at Madison Square Garden! AHHHHH! He’s my favourite comedian ever and I could just cry with excitement. Even better? We’re going the day before my birthday! Happy early birthday to me. So so happy.
Seeing my book for sale at Enchantments, my favourite witch store in the city! It was seriously one of the highlights of my day. The owner told me she bought all of the remaining stock from the distributor and they had already sold half of them in a couple of days. So exciting!

So it has been a tricky month on the emotional side, but it’s not all bad. I’ve been having plenty of fun, too! I’ve been taking outfit photos in my living room mirror lately. It reminds me of those old outfit posts I used to do (way, way, way back in the day), except it’s less time-consuming! Hahah. I may not be fashion blogging anymore, but DAMN do I love to dress up! Plus, having these photos is so helpful for those days when I just don’t know what to wear, and need a little inspiration!

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T-shirt from Forever 21 (hahah I mean “Forever 32″), Femme Fatale Pencil Skirt by Black Milk Clothing, and my trusty Schott Perfecto. I love grey with baby pink. What a luscious combo.

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I wore this on a visit to Hay House (my publisher): dress by Jonathan Saunders, purple turban (bought it on Amazon!) and ye olde leather jacket.

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I’m obsessed with this Aaliyah/Anthrax shirt by Sex & Death (it was a gift, thanks Garnett!). I’ve had this purple/pink wrap skirt for a year or two now and it never gets any less delightful to wear. And I paired it with Uniqlo Heattech (because it is still BRRRRR here) and my leather jacket, plus tights and new suede ankle boots by Joie. (They’re cute and comfortable. Bonus!)

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The hat is from Forever 21 and the dress is by Killstar. I had been meaning to buy it for ages but was on the fence. I’m so glad I did — it’s really fun to wear and I swear, I have never had more compliments on an outfit in my entire life! The only problem is that it’s a maxi-dress with no split in the back or up the side. This is pure craziness since it means you have to literally hobble your way down the street! (I made a video of me doing exactly that on Snapchat, hahah.) I’m going to have to get it altered, but that’s okay. A small price to pay for an epic dress!

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I’ve been getting some crazy cool mail recently. This is a package from Tiffany Pratt, who helped me decorate Darling HQ and is one of the most inspiring, colourful and fabulous women I’ve ever met. She hand-painted the parcel she sent me — no one has that much attention to detail! Her book, This Can Be Beautiful, comes out soon, and you should pre-order it if you know what’s good for you! (I got a sneak peek. It is SO GOOD.)

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A card I pulled at the start of the weekend. Very appropriate. It was totally a few days of grabbing an opportunity and running with it, and using the spark to create more.

My friend Chloe — who now lives in Florida and works for Disney as a photographer! — came to town, and we went on an adventure. Most of our silliness was captured on Snapchat (my username is gala-darling)!  It was such a good day: we took an Uber to the Bronx for the Jonathan Adler warehouse sale, where we rubbed ourselves on candy-coloured couches and loaded up on awesome things. I bought new bedding (Malachite), a huge Eyelashes canister, and a little Dolls canister, and my total was $95! SCORE. Chloe bought two sconces which we promptly shipped back to Florida. His sale happens once a year, and you should definitely go to the next one if you’re in town!

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This purple velvet chair was really calling my name. I felt like I was sitting in a box of chocolates. All our houses should feel like that! I was wearing a Missoni turban (I went a bit nuts last year in Florence), a grey t-shirt, a black maxi-skirt by Alice & Olivia, and my Schott Perfecto leather jacket.

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This velvet couch was a real temptress, too. My pink bucket bag is by Kate Spade… And I love it.

After the Bronx, we came back to the East Village for frozen Nutella Fitzgeralds at The Bean, and a browse around Flower Power…IMG_4597

Flower Power is legitimately like the witch’s kitchen of your wildest childhood dreams: packed to the gills with herbs and flowers, lotions and potions, and staffed by kind and helpful people. It’s tiny but it packs a punch — visit and you’ll see what I mean!

Next stop? Juicy Lucy, where Chloe got juice and we both bought hot pink fake moustaches, then wore them downtown. We wandered all over the Lower East Side, discovering parks, meeting dogs, and stopping in little plant shops…

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Before we reached our final destination, Magic Jewelry in Chinatown, where we got (almost identical) aura photos.

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And then that night I went out to karaoke with some friends and saw Alber Elbaz walking down Second Avenue, but that is a story for another time!

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In other news, Kat and Shauna and I booked ourselves a trip to the Amalfi Coast! We’re staying in an old convent built into the cliffside — Grand Hotel Convento di Amalfi — and I can’t wait to wear big hats every day and get a tan. Meow!

Radical Self Love Coven has been going so well. There are 300 witch babies in the program, which blows my stripey socks off, and everyone has been doing spells, reporting back on their progress, meeting up in cities across the world, and making SO MUCH MAGIC! I’m so excited about our community and the massively positively environment we’ve created together. It warms my sparkly heart!

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Okay. We NEED to talk about this dress. It’s the Downtown Dame dress by Pinup Girl Clothing in faux pink leather (aka vinyl). I saw it on a very sassy girl on Instagram and then obsessively stalked the site until the dress came back in stock.

I had no idea about sizing but took a gamble and went for Small, which turned out to be perfect. (You need to size up a little bit because it has veeeeery little give.) I also thought it might be hell to wear because it’s plastic, but thankfully, it is beautifully made and fully lined, so hopefully I won’t be a sticky mess come summertime. Anyway. I am obsessed!

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That belt! Lord above.

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I’m so happy with my new wrist tattoo! I got it as a matching tattoo with Kat in London, and it was done by Keely Rutherford at Jolie Rouge. She’s ace!

I really feel like a strawberry milkshake in this dress. Shimmy shimmy ya, shimmy ya, shimmy yay. I took it to Las Vegas for a photoshoot in the desert and it felt like all was right in the world… You know?

Love always,

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Carousel: Chakra Healing For Your Home, Daria Cosplay, And Female Pharaohs!

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Happy Friday! I don’t know how the hell it came to be May already, but here it is, in all its glory… Phew! I’m en route to Las Vegas as we speak, and I’m so excited for a few days of fun. Be sure to follow me on Snapchat (gala-darling) to get a taste of the ridiculousness that occurs…

Walking away, music history, and not trying to heal other people. 9 of the Best Things I Ever Did (Volume 2) from Danielle LaPorte.

Sweet Photo Series Reveals What’s In A Preschooler’s Pockets. Awesome.

James Altucher on how minimalism brought him freedom and joy. I particularly like this line: “Emails are a suggestion but not an obligation.” And this…

I never read random articles on the Internet unless they are by people I know. Mostly I read books I love. A friend asked me, when he heard all of this, “But aren’t you afraid you’re going to miss some information?” I asked him, “What information?” 99% of information we read, we forget anyway. The best way to remember is to “DO”. Otherwise, I look at nothing online. Experiences happen when you disconnect. And I choose experiences over goods or information.

20 Years As an Editor-in-Chief Didn’t Prepare Me for One Day of Working at Sephora. There’s a lot that goes into it.

Aw! Memories. Shauna wrote My New York City Cheat Sheet: 20 Things To Do In The City That Never Sleeps.

This Daria cosplay is so awesome.

Have you ever thought about chakra healing for your home?

Amelia Quint interviewed me and then broke down radical self love by astrological sign! So cool!

Unbelievably cute: Artist Transforms Vintage Vehicle into an Adorable Pop-Up Flower Shop.

Is Staying In the New Going Out? (Yeah, kinda.)

This is a great piece: Why Doreen Valiente is the Mother of Modern Witchcraft.

Rainbow grilled cheese is a real thing! I don’t know if I’d actually want to eat it, but it sure is pretty.

There are no more tv sets in dorm rooms because that is simply not part of the millennial lifestyle.

What the Scorpio full moon teaches us about love.

Some people literally cannot visualise things. Whoooooah.

Let’s talk about LEMONADE. Beyoncé’s LEMONADE is Sweet Tea = best review I’ve read. And this is hilarious. Lemonade and Vulnerability contains gems like this:

When you’ve loved so fully for so long, how disorienting it must feel to have to question all of it, including your own worth, that thing we tether so tightly to men. That she’s looking inward now — and calling upon the introspective musings of the great Warsan Shire, a natural progression from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — tells me she’s preparing to have to love herself. It’s a lesson all women need to learn, and who better to hear it from than Beyoncé.

A new discovery sheds light on ancient Egypt’s most successful female pharaoh!

New Orleans threw a parade for Prince and it was incredible

The gifts of Mercury in retrograde in Taurus.

This man was taking upskirt photos in China, when a woman confronted him and forced him to eat his memory card!

All women can orgasm.

Arianna Huffington takes sleep really seriously. I love that she packs masking tape when she travels to cover up blinking lights in hotel rooms. Blinking lights and streetlights coming through the window etc. are the bane of my existence. I need total darkness, like a vampire!

Wow, fascinating. After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight. Contestants lost hundreds of pounds during Season 8, but gained them back. A study of their struggles helps explain why so many people fail to keep off the weight they lose.

It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are. WHOAH.

I’m a bit obsessed with the way Gordon Ramsay makes scrambled eggs.

Heather’s love story is the cutest thing ever.

Love and stars,

Photo by Adam Custins.

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Music To Take Your Clothes Off To

Gala + Garnett // Hotel Room Shoot

Ever since my debut onstage at The Slipper Room last month, I’ve been tortured with thoughts of burlesque. Well, perhaps torture is the wrong word! It’s not so terrible to be thinking about fishnet stockings and spotlights and fetish Mary Janes — as they say in The Sound Of Music, “These are a few of my favourite things” — but the urge to do it again has been strong and intense!

I took my first act development class with The New York School of Burlesque a couple of Sundays ago, and I’ve been devouring The Burlesque Handbook, which was written by my friend — and now my teacher! — Jo Weldon.

The goal? To develop a solo number and perform it onstage. Yessssss!

I’m dying to dive into putting together an act but I’m stuck on the trickiest part: picking a song! I’m such a music obsessive that I need it to be the perfect track. And of course, the song I choose will dictate the direction of the act!

Originally I wanted to use Marilyn Manson’s cover of I Put A Spell On You, but now I’m on the fence. So here are a few songs I’m considering. If you want to resuscitate your inner stripper, I recommend hitting PLAY and dancing around in front of the mirror!

 

 

 

 

 

I think Puscifer is winning so far, but it made me think: if you were going to take your clothes off in front of an audience, what song would you want playing? Tell me over on Facebook!

Love and pasties,

Photo by Devlin Photos.

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Live Without Fear And Fall In Radical Self-Love… My Interview In The Hay House World Summit!

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how we learn. Some people take the slow and steady (and prideful) approach, determined to discover everything on their own. Others seek out the very best teachers and make massive strides — and huge improvements — in a short amount of time.

This was reinforced by a post I read about Tony Hawk a couple of days ago:

“When he started there was an entire generation of teachers who came before him who were able to teach him his first tricks. There’s an important reason that the world champion marathon runner in the 1890s would barely make the time to qualify for the Boston Marathon now. Because training technique gets better. So you can either spend years figuring out the better training techniques on your own. Or you can find the teachers who can show you in a few hours.” — James Altucher

We all have areas in our lives that we struggle with: physical fitness, emotional intelligence, relationships, connection, managing our money, loving ourselves… The list goes on and on. I am a huge believer in upgrading my skills by learning from experts. I am not interested in making incremental improvements. I want to soak it all up like a sponge and become exponentially better. That’s why I work with a personal trainer, it’s why I take classes and see coaches. I don’t want to muddle through things slowly. Life is short — why not get the most bang for your buck?

That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about The Hay House World Summit. It’s just about to get started, and I know you’re going to love it.

Now, let’s be real: the internet is full of summits, and I get asked to participate in a new one every single day. I always say no! This is the one exception. When it comes to creating a magical life, living in authenticity, and being joyful, Hay House authors have it locked down. There are a lot of so-called “experts” out there, but these people are the real deal and they know what they’re talking about. If you’re going to learn from someone, why not the best?

Hay House World Summit has 100 experts talking about all the good stuff: physical, mental and emotional health, spirituality, prosperity, relationships and self-empowerment. I’m absolutely delighted to be featured alongside Deepak Chopra, Julia Cameron, Louise Hay, Doreen Virtue, Dr Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle and Iyanla Vanzant — I mean, WOW! — and to be with my friends Gabby Bernstein, Kris Carr, Gail Larsen, Mike Dooley, and Lodro Rinzler. And that isn’t even a fraction of the awesome line-up.

My interview — Live Without Fear and Fall in Radical Self-Love — was conducted by the fabulous Jessica Ortner, and it goes live in the first week of the summit. We went really deep in talking about radical self love, tapping, giving advice to our younger selves, and creating magic every single day. It was such a fun interview, and I know you’ll get a lot out of it.

If you’re keen, the Hay House World Summit starts on May 7th. If you register before then, you’ll get four audio lessons to get you started, including a kickass talk by Marianne Williamson (who I saw speak live for the first time last week and she blew my mind). These first four lessons disappear on May 7th, and you won’t get them unless you register now, so just do it, won’t you?!

Oh, and did I mention the whole thing is FREE?! Hell to the yes!

Kisses,

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