20 January 2014, 10:11
I know the secret to great skin, and it’s not your beauty regimen, your Botox injections, or your age. The grisly truth is that it all comes down to what you eat.
In some ways, this is kind of a bummer. (“What do you mean, no Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?!”) But in other ways, it is immensely empowering… And that’s not a word I toss around lightly.
It’s simple cause and effect. You are what you eat. To put it bluntly, if you eat shit, you’ll look like shit. And lately, I’ve been fulfilling both sides of the equation.
I can make all the excuses I like, but the truth is that despite eating well over the holidays, I totally lost it at the start of January. My sweet tooth got the better of me in a big bad way. Chocolate peanut butter gelato? YES! Blocks of toffee chocolate? MMMHMM! Endless chocolate chai lattes? UH HUH HONEY!
And predictably, I looked awful, and felt even worse.
I noticed a while ago that I would find myself searching out a sugary treat whenever I was feeling a little down. It was a quick, easy and inexpensive way to perk me up. But like many things that become a habit, the pay-off — that sugary high feeling — kind of stopped working, and yet I continued to do it anyway.
Those kinds of cycles can be hard to break.
So when my old friend Sarah Wilson emailed to tell me her I Quit Sugar course was open for enrollment, and that it all kicked off on the 30th of January, it took me about 3 seconds to tell her I was in.
I’m actually really excited to have a concrete reason not to eat the things I know I shouldn’t be eating anyway. Sure, it’s really tempting to buy a tub of chocolate peanut butter gelato, and there’s no denying it tastes good, but the way I feel afterwards is horrible. It’s just not worth it.
From doing similar programs in the past (namely the Clean Program), I know that I thrive when I have rules and regulations around what I eat. Some people are abstainers (“I never eat meat”), and some people are moderators (“I only eat meat on a Sunday”). I’ve learned, through experience, that I am an abstainer. I cannot moderate. If I have a “cheat day”, every day somehow becomes a cheat day.
I’m definitely not saying this is going to be easy. I just ate a bag of dark chocolate peppermint-covered pretzels, for crying out loud. But I think it’s worth making some (delicious) (peppermint-flavoured) sacrifices to look and feel great.
So, what do you think? Would you like to join me in kicking the sugar habit? Following a program like this is so much easier if you have someone to do it with, so do you want to be my buddy?!
By the way, no sugar doesn’t mean “no chocolate”. To prove it, the I Quit Sugar team put together this amazing I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook!
Even better than that, I have five copies of it to give away!
Terms and conditions: Contest is open to everyone over the age of 18, regardless of where you live on the planet. You have until 11.59pm EST on Monday the 27th of January to enter. Winners will be notified on Tuesday 28th January via Facebook and will have one week to email to claim their prize. The prize may not be exchanged or transferred and no cash alternative will be offered. Liability cannot be accepted for entries which are lost in transit or not received due to technical difficulties. Gala Darling’s decision and any decision taken by the promoter is final and no correspondence will be entered into. No purchase necessary.
Photos from ‘Moon Dust Is Icing Sugar’, POP S/S 2012. Frida Gustavsson shot by Daniel Sannwald.
18 January 2014, 10:11
Calling all party people! Got an eye for detail? A flair for the dramatic? A yearning to put the “arty” in party? The Blogcademy needs you!
The Blogcademy is growing, and we’re looking for someone to help ensure our events are fun, beautiful, and run seamlessly. We’re on the search for an Events Coordinator!
(This is a virtual position, but if you’re based in the USA, we’d love to work with you in person.)
You will be responsible for…
+ Researching and securing a great venue
+ Managing and liaising with sponsors and vendors
+ Coming up with a vision for how the event should look and feel
+ Sourcing any decor items
+ Coordinating with florists, caterers, etc.
In a perfect world, you…
+ Are familiar with The Blogcademy and what we do
+ Have drop-dead style
+ Hold yourself to exceptionally high standards
+ Are a quick and efficient communicator
+ Have events experience (not essential, but preferred)
Right now, we’re looking for someone to help us plan one event. Let’s see how it pans out from there! Pay is commensurate with experience.
To apply, email email@example.com with an introduction and your résumé. What do you think you can bring to our team? We are less interested in what you have done than what you envision doing for us. Dazzle us with your creative vision!
The deadline for applications is 1st February 2014, and you can click here to download a PDF about the role.
17 January 2014, 10:11
Whenever I go to another city, hitting up the best vintage stores is always at the very top of my list, and the internet is, of course, the best place to get your sleuth on. My online investigations had revealed to me that My Delirium, situated in Fitzroy in Melbourne, had all the makings of a vintage goldmine. So, of course, on our first free day in Melbourne, we made our way out there.
There was just one problem: the door was locked, the lights were off, and there was no one inside. It felt like an epic tragedy. I wanted to fall to my knees, sob uncontrollably, yell “WHY?!” at the heavens, and maybe get struck by lightning, but I somehow managed to restrain myself.
It was like torture! From outside, we could see right inside this colourful, kaleidoscopic galaxy… And yet we couldn’t get inside. I stared through the windows, willing the handle to turn and open.
But there’s a happy twist to this story. Within half an hour, one of our Melbourne blogcadettes, the ever-stylish and eternally badass Kat, had showed up… With a set of spare keys!
Now that’s pure magic.
This is my happy place.
As soon as we squirreled our way inside, we got right down to business, flicking through the racks, caressing sequins, and stroking furry jackets. And luckily, well, for us at least, our long-suffering friend Corey was there to document all the madness!
Sequins and chiffon and wild prints beckoned us…
I wish I had this print in my home… And that mind-bending wallpaper!
The store was full of cute, weird tchotchkes.
I love this cuckoo clock.
Faux flowers were everywhere...
We headed upstairs for more delights… I also want this poster in my house.
Kat, flicking through colour-coded racks…
While the girls were trying things on, I snuck downstairs and stole this insane coat off a mannequin. There are not enough exclamation marks in the WORLD to do this coat justice!
“Hey Shauna, look at this crazy coat I stole from the mannequin in the window!” “Ooooooh my god.”
Then I let her have a go in it, while I snuggled up in a pink wool coat. Shauna looks damn good in a yellow fur… Right at home!
If we ever did Blogcademy on the Las Vegas Strip, this is what we’d all have to wear, I think.
My Delirium is absolutely full of eye-popping prints. I loved this pattern on a mannequin.
Crazy sequinned coats from the 1970s are my specialty.
I need to buy a huge cane chair and paint it lavender. It is my life’s work.
Best rug on the planet. My flower crown is from My Delirium and necklace is by Vivienne Westwood. The striped crop top is by Motel (such a good purchase), and this circle skirt is perfect and was a total bargain from ModCloth. My boots are Dr Marten Darcies, which sadly are no longer in production.
Aw, thanks Corey!
Needless to say, if you’re ever in Melbourne, make My Delirium an essential part of your trip. We walked out of there with shopping bags bulging, feeling like our eyeballs had been on a psychedelic holiday… And what more could you possibly ask for?!
Photos by Corey Sleap.
15 January 2014, 10:11
Do you believe in the existence of a girl code — a basic system of ethics and morals that guide us as women?
When columnist E. Jean was asked (in a recent issue of Elle), she offered up these suggestions.
“Here’s the BLC — Basic Lady Code: Never hate a woman you’ve never met, never date a friend’s ex, never reveal another female’s secret, never leave an inebriated friend alone at a bar, never invite a friend’s enemy to a party, never dine alone with a friend’s boyfriend.
Here’s the AWC — Advanced Woman Code.
+ Never stay silent when a friend is falling for an asshole.
+ Never favorite a best friend’s bon mot. Always retweet it.
+ Never trust a girlfriend who dates a married man.
+ Never refuse to write a recommendation for the offspring of a friend (no matter how big an idiot the kid is).
+ Never steal your friend’s thunder at a dinner party — when she’s on, give her room! Pound the table! Bang your glass with a spoon! Laugh the loudest at her story!
+ Never give your friend’s business four stars on Yelp. Always give five.
+ Never agree when a friend says she’s flabby, baggy, saggy, lumpy, floppy, veiny, squishy, scrawny, etc., etc. Tell her to shut up. Tell her life is too short. Tell her to eat, drink, and be merry.
+ Never treat other women disrespectfully: It gives men ideas.”
I loved all these codes, and it made me think about what I’d add to the list. These apply to everyone — all people are important! — but I think it’s super-crucial that we treat our fellow babes with the utmost love and respect!
Always give honest — but loving — feedback when your friend is trying on clothes. I will never say, “Oh, that looks great!” if it isn’t. You should want your friends to look and feel their best!
We have a responsibility to help one another out. Share what you’ve learned, and never hoard resources.
Be sincere. A phony laugh and a fake smile never fool anyone. (But never use this as an excuse to be rude.)
Don’t take things personally. I feel like almost every woman I know suffers from a case of “Are you mad at me?” Remember that people have their own lives, and someone else’s bad mood is not a reflection on you.
Encourage and push one another to try new things and quash fears.
We all have to take responsibility for surrounding ourselves with people who lift you up. Think about it: who do you want on your team? Negative Nancy or Badass Betty?
Respect other people’s relationships, as well as your own. If a friendship feels like it’s going too far — and you know that either your or their partner would be upset about it — be proactive and shut it down. Don’t make a huge mistake just because you love the attention.
Be your friends’ biggest cheerleader. Celebrate their successes with gusto and enthusiasm! (And if you can’t make yourself “mean it”, find new friends.)
I also took it to Facebook. It’s the easiest and best way to get a dialogue goin’! I asked everyone, what was in their personal girl code?
Here are some of my favourite responses.
Genna Petrolla I have a few: 1) Build your girlfriends up- don’t compete with them. 2) Respect another woman’s relationship- don’t sneak around with her live in boyfriend or husband (that one is dedicated to someone in particular) 3) Be genuine, honest, kind, supportive and helpful, especially to your sisters who need it most! 4) Don’t ever purposefully try to look better than your gal pal in the same outfit. 5) Share, don’t hide, style and shopping tips 6) Remind your girlfriends and yourself that intelligence is important- girls don’t let girls play dumb ESPECIALLY around boys.
Sabina Trojanova I think we should all just follow the negative golden rule – don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you. I don’t think we have a special obligation toward women, as women, just by virtue of our shared gender. In my opinion, saying we do would further perpetuate the sexism we are constantly confronted with. In other words, just don’t be an asshole to anyone, regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation or any other inherent characteristics – as long as we stick to that, we should be fine.
Falon Kerby When I met my now husband I told him he shared my heart with my girlfriends. We are soulmates. I’m so sick of girl on girl hate and it saddens me to see women acting like enemies. Respect and embrace your girlfriends. Above all EMPOWER them. You may be the only person they hear it from.
Elizabeth McFaul Rescue a girl who is being picked up by someone, and clearly isn’t interested.
Sarah Grace Slater Support women’s creations in every form…“The most notable fact our culture imprints on women is the sense of our limits. The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate and expand her sense of actual possibilities.” – Adrienne Rich
Chrystal Bubb Girls pull each other down, women help each other up.
Tee Cee Kop I value my friendships with the women in my life which sometimes means creating conflict in order to move forward in our relationship. As women we’re trained to always be smiling and never be angry or upset with anything. But sometimes this means women let go of their precious friendships with other women in order to avoid conflict. Whereas in our romantic relationships with people, we can be a lot more willing to create conflict in order to move forward. So I think another rule I have with my relationships with women is that I stab my friends in the front instead of the back. Aka if I have a problem I bring it up in the hopes that my girlfriend and I can move forward as friends.
Amy Jayne Chessman My major girl rule is never to get close to married men. In the past I have had to end 3 friendships with married male friends due to them wanting to start a sexual relationship. Some guys mistake friendship for a sexual opportunity. They are deluded by their penis’. Not only does this make me feel degraded it also frustrates me that they don’t give a shit about their commitment to their partner & children. It’s not on!
Ida Rima 1) No slut shaming
2) Never leave a drunk, crying or scared girl alone unless she’s safe at home
3) Don’t take deliberately unflattering pics and put them online
4) When you’re told a secret, keep it
5) Don’t steal another girls partner
Amz Ravlich Everything Ida just said, plus: celebrate each others successes, and something Gala in particular is a guru in- spread the love and knowledge, without fear that another woman may ‘overtake’ you, be it in a professional or personal capacity.
I always think it’s worthwhile to examine our own personal “rules” and see whether they still feel relevant. Often we blindly follow other people’s ideals, and end up living a life that feels inauthentic.
So, do you have a personal girl code? I’d love to hear what you think!
Photo by Saga Sig.
13 January 2014, 09:11
I was recently quoted on Refinery29 for a piece about the death of fashion blogging.
It was a great article, and I really enjoyed sharing my thoughts with the interviewer. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that I wanted to post the entire interview below.
I hope you find it illuminating!
What are your thoughts on insiders claiming that the fashion blogging bubble has ‘burst’? What does that mean to you?
I don’t think it has burst, but I do think it is changing. A few years ago, brands had no idea what kind of results they would get from a campaign with a blogger; these days, they’re more explicit about their expectations and they’re learning to communicate them more effectively. The specs I get these days are much more detailed, e.g. “Two blog posts, two tweets, one Facebook post, one pin”.
Additionally, bloggers are now expecting to get paid, not just given a dress, and that changes things, too. We can’t blame bloggers for wanting to be paid for their work; after all, you can’t pay your rent with a handbag. But I do miss the good old days, when blogs felt like blogs, not billboards.
I’ve been moving away from the fashion blogging space over the past few years, I simply don’t find it terribly interesting anymore. The fashion bloggers I admire are Kelly Framel and Nicolette Mason, both of whom I think are talented, business-savvy women, not just attractive clothes-hangers.
You’ve been blogging since 2006. Do you see any changes in the community and industry since then?
Yes, of course! I think that’s one of the most exciting things about blogging, that it is always evolving and changing. I mean, we used to think we’d make a million bucks on banner advertising!
There’s a flip-side to everything, though. When I see blogs with a large amount of sponsored content, I find it really off-putting. Like Mr. Garfield said recently, “With every transaction, publishers are mining and exporting a rare resource: trust.” That’s why it’s absolutely essential to ensure the advertorial is totally in line with your beliefs and your audience. Even when it is, I think it’s so important to create valuable, helpful, non-sponsored content. Few people read Vogue for the ads alone. And we have all taken on jobs that weren’t right for us.
To me, the most important question to answer when it comes to sponsored content, is, “Will my audience enjoy this?”
Realistically though, the dream of waiting for an advertiser to pay you several thousand dollars for a campaign feels as outmoded as waiting for Prince Charming. A blog is not a business plan, and you have to be a true, dyed-in-the-wool entrepreneur to really make it work. I think any blogger who doesn’t have a digital product or some kind of offering beyond advertorial or banner space is insane!
The response for The Blogcademy have been stellar – why do you think so many people want to make a living off their blogs? Is it possible for everyone to?
Some people are deluded about it, of course: they think blogging is “easy”, that it’s a get-rich-quick scheme, or that it’s the fastest route to fame and free handbags. None of these things are true. It’s just like any other career — not everyone who gets into real estate is going to be Donald Trump. But blogging, or more specifically, learning to effectively communicate online, is a real, tangible skill with real, tangible outcomes.
We taught over 300 women in our first year alone, and the majority of them are small business owners, who are interested in learning how to harness the internet to help get their message out there. One of our first students, Veronica Varlow, used her blog to help her raise over $100k to make a movie. Our student body is full of stories like this, and the best thing is that we all support one another.
IMG just released a statement about making Fashion Week more exclusive; subtly saying they no longer want fashion bloggers there. Do you think brands and blogger engagement will die down, eventually?
Brands are looking for bloggers who transcend “blog fame” and cross over to the real world, because what brands want is to sell product. If someone is seen as a legitimate trendsetter or tastemaker, they can shift product.
I don’t think brands and blogger engagement will die down, I just think the standards and expectations will become higher. It will cut a lot of people out of the picture. Yet another reason not to put all your eggs in one basket!
Lastly, what do you think is needed for the blogging industry and community? How can the community remain strong; and bloggers still be seen as valuable parts of online media?
It’s not just about brands wanting more ROI, it’s about blogging becoming more boring in general. I see so many bloggers who never share anything real or vulnerable, simply because they think it will hurt their chances of becoming a “brand ambassador”. If you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one.
I was talking to a photographer friend of mine lately, and she was lamenting the fact that she ends up shooting the same clothes all the time, because PR companies are sending everyone the same pieces! I think that not only damages the industry, it also puts off your readers. No one wants to see the same dress on every blog. There’s no authenticity in everyone wearing the same stuff, and that’s why your readers come to you in the first place: they want to see your style and hear about your individual experiences!
Blogging used to be about being honest, sharing what was on your mind, and offering something different than the magazines. When we conceal our opinions to be more attractive to a mainstream audience, we’re losing the very essence of what makes blogging interesting and special.
Sure, it’s tempting to say yes to everything you get offered, but the people who excel and succeed are the people who say no more often than they say yes. It may be more difficult, but it’s also more rewarding.
P.S. I loved this article on Business Of Fashion, Don’t Write Off Fashion Bloggers Just Yet.
Photo is Valeria Efanova by Leda & St. Jacques for Elle Canada January 2014.