Confetti Cannons And Gold Pineapples In London!

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The Blogcademy has been an incredible ride. When we kicked off in 2012, we had no idea whether we could even fill a room. What started in New York City has since expanded to an alumni of well over 1000 women, taught across three continents. We couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve created, or of our students, who have gone on to do incredible things.

Our most recent class in London was one for the record books. Held at our favourite venue, Curtain Road Studios, we hosted 30 bodacious babes for an extremely fun weekend.

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Class always starts off the same way: a big, clean, white room, with some 90s tunes. But soon, the room is full of babes in colourful clothes, excess glitter, and — in this case — golden pineapples and confetti. (Also known as my idea of paradise.)

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Meow. Michael Jackson, are those your loafers?!

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We had the geniuses from Bespoke Bride help us out with decor and we were so delighted with what they brought to the table! I love this combination of blue, pink, gold, black and yellow. Perfect.

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The London goodie bag was jam-packed with awesomeness, like this planner from Veronica Dearly and rad pencils by Oh Squirrel! (My favourite one said Don’t be a dick. Good advice!)

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I’m obsessed with this Finders Keepers skirt. Best colour, and it’s comfortable, casual and dressy all at the same time. (It runs a little small, so keep that in mind when ordering!)

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Stop, selfie time!

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So much cuteness. I get little crushes on every single class. How could I not?! (Especially in those Crown & Glory ears!)

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So normal.

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Jessica from Bespoke Bride getting down and dirty with her decor. What a cutie.

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A couple of confetti cannons are essential good-time artillery!

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Bisoux to our babe Jessica for helping us out… And being so tropical!

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Our still life activity break is one of the most fun parts of the weekend. Yes, you will learn how to take sick Instagram photos! Yes, you will kneel on the floor with a bunch of your belongings! Yes, it is really, really enjoyable!

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I love Steph. She’s awesomeness incarnate.

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Oh, these nuts. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

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Good news, everyone! We’re holding two more Blogcademy classes in the USA this year — and with the exception of a London class in 2016, we’re done! This is it, y’all. If you want to join us to learn how to make your blog better, come one, come all.

We’re in San Francisco on September 12-13, and in New York City on September 19-20. Click here for all the details!

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We’d love to see you in the good old U.S.A. in September! We’ll bring the confetti… You bring the smiles!

Kisses and confetti,

Photos by Sarah Kuszelewicz/Chellise Michael Photography. Video by Long Haul Films

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Radical Self Love Letters

Carousel: RuPaul’s Brand Loyalty, Accidental Magic Mushroom Trips, And A Summer Solstice Tarot Spread!

Carousel in Florence

Oh my goodness: it’s July! I must admit, this is not my longest Carousel, but that’s okay. Read a few things that tickle your fancy, then get outside and enjoy the summer! Life is for living, after all! (Don’t worry: if you’re Down Under, you have permission to read every single link while you snuggle up under the covers!)

22 things Lisa Boswell learned from tarot. Very cool.

Here are Sarah Wilson’s favourite ways to have people leave her alone via email.

The power of “I am.” PREACH!

Tinder in Japan… Oh my goodness. There are no words.

RuPaul is a mistress of building fan loyalty. Here’s what you can learn from the Drag Race empire.

I did a great interview with Christian Salafia of Transform Radio about my book, weird boyfriends, body image, and getting naked in front of strangers!

Jayne had an accidental magic mushroom trip and here’s her experience…

I loved this article about how a woman took up surfing in New York and her life completely changed.

Nicki Minaj on how to close the orgasm gap. Uh-huh honey!

Anais Nin took acid and wrote a beautiful diary entry about it.

The problem with email. This was a bit of a theme this month!

Why is America obsessed with perfect teeth?

Proper condom etiquette is sexy.

Trying to do everything before a vacation is actually not the best idea.

Roman philosopher Seneca stated: “Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure, to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.” Invest wisely in your time off, through preparation, shifting your mind-set, and limiting your engagement with what’s going on back at the office, and you can expect to accomplish great things when you return from vacation, truly rejuvenated.

Ariana Grande reminds us that she is not a possession, and neither are you.

Getting your period in prison is not a walk in the park. Speaking of which, I just read Orange Is The New Black — so good. I’m excited to watch Season 3, too.

When you die, you won’t care about emails. (See? Told you it was a theme!)

Learn how to do a Summer Solstice star tarot spread! Beautiful. I did this in Florence with the Jodorowsky Marseille deck.

What if your oldest friend hasn’t evolved much? Is it time to trim the fat? Maybe not. I love this answer.

How can you start charging for something you’ve always done for free? Alex breaks it down for you.

Taylor Swift takes passive aggression to a whole new level.

Could this be the sparkliest loft in L.A.?!

This teacher started teaching Kendrick Lamar in school, and then Kendrick surprised the school with a visit! So awesome!

Call your power back to you with this simple but powerful ritual.

Creative people say no (or, as Austin Kleon says, “Creative people say yes until they have enough work that they can say no.” Here are some of the awesome historical ways they have done so. I’m a big fan of “I must decline, for secret reasons.” HAHA!

L-O-V-I-N-G this idea: the High Vibe Guide from The Cosmic Collective. It’s a seasonal guidebook to empowered, high-vibrational living, and it’s only $11 for 100 pages. Awesome!

Nicole Kidman gave a badass speech.

Women are too susceptible to the voice that tells us we need to be accepted … Men say, “I want this.” And then they set out to do it. Women say: “Do I want this? Don’t I want this? Do I deserve this? Can I get this? Hmm, what do you think?” And framing things this way leads women to second-guess our decisions, to ignore our own confidence, to revert to a place that we think is safe, acceptable … I don’t regret much. I try not to live that way, but the regrets that I do have, all go back to the decisions that I’ve made out of fear. Not a fear of my own weakness, but of my own power.

Kanye loves to prove his haters wrong and I have massive respect for that.

If you want to learn tarot but have no idea where to begin, my babe Veronica Varlow is holding a 6 week online intensive to get you up to speed and give you a personal connection with the cards. Love it! Do it!

Candace Bushnell wrote a crazy new book and she doesn’t date. (Pretty amazing to hear from the proto-Carrie, no?)

Here’s how to waste time productively and actually become more creative.

Living in L.A. made Julieanne get over her body issues.

You should have a personal team of directors.

Go Arnie! The Terminator had a perfect response to an anti-gay post on his Facebook page.

Would you ever reimagine your Instagram profile by picking a theme and sticking to it? My take: it’s visually pleasing, but I like it when people keep it real and are more spontaneous.

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) caused Lauren Wasser to lose her leg. Ugh, this is heartbreaking. Avoid tampons whenever you can!

How can you do the most good? A look at effective altruism.

Here’s a handy (and illustrated!) guide to gentrification.

Want to be an artist? Watch Groundhog Day.

Building a body of work (or a life) is all about the slow accumulation of a day after day’s worth of effort over time. Writing a page each day doesn’t seem like much, but do it for 365 days and you have enough to fill a novel. You do it your whole life, and you have a career.

5 Witchy Ways To Take Care Of Yourself, and we could all use more of this kind of thing!

Here’s a woman’s guide to learning to love masturbation. Yay! (See also: Finishing School. Great name!)

20 highlights from New York magazine’s summer sex diaries.

Marriage equality in the USA is such a beautiful thing. Here are 30 things that will make you tear up. The image below is too amazing not to share.

Obama!

The big business of selling your old clothes at Buffalo Exchange, Beacon’s Closet, et al.

Here’s why doing awesome work means making yourself vulnerable.

Whoah, Nelly! 200 essential resources for entrepreneurs building a business.

Marc Maron interviewed President Barack Obama on his podcast and it has been listened to over a million times… As it should!

Do I Sound Gay? This documentary looks so interesting!

There’s a 1930’s ice cream parlour hidden inside a Cincinnati train station! (Please go and take photos if you live nearby!)

I had no idea this even existed: Aurora Australis (the Southern Hemisphere version of Aurora Borealis!) in New Zealand! GORGEOUS!

Harnaam Kaur has PCOS, which means she has been growing a beard since she was 11 years old. Here’s how she reclaimed it. YES!

If you want to do something, do it. Give yourself permission.

What can you do if a friend is grieving? Here’s how to help.

Check out The Modern Mystic Podcast, by Paige Zaferiou and Amelia Quint! It’s NEW and it’s delightful.

Here are 5 essential Photoshop tools to edit your blog photos — and how to use them!

Girl Scouts turned down money so they could stand with trans girls. My heart!

My friend Blueprint has an awesome new podcast called Super Duty Tough Work. This episode is all about hip-hop, mentoring, entrepreneurship, and race relations. It’s SO interesting. Listen!

Here’s how to decode the minor arcana in tarot. Easy breezy beautiful!

 

 

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

Love always,

Photograph by Lisa Jane Photography.

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Morocco, Crêpes, And Mini-Gratitude: An Obsessive Mish-Mash

Gala Darling in Marrakech by David McNeil

This post is very miscellaneous, because let’s be real, getting back into the swing of things after an incredible whirlwind trip can be tricky (to say the least). Thankfully, I seem to have my jet-lag licked, but when you’re used to writing every day — and you take a couple of weeks off — your brain feels thoroughly unprepared when it’s time to get back into it!

Here are five things that are occupying my mind right now…

MOROCCO
You may have already gotten this impression from my Instagram, but I fell 100% head over heels slippers in love with Marrakech! It is so sublimely beautiful, so alive, so colourful! We only had two days there which was like torture — there are endless things to do and see there — and I am already plotting my return. (First rule of travelling to Marrakech: take a second suitcase!)

I kept a pretty extensive travel diary, and we also filmed tons of footage which I am now in the process of assembling together, so stay tuned for that!

RADICAL SELF LOVE
I don’t think I can ever come close to expressing the infinite joy and overwhelming happiness I feel when I see you beautiful kids Instagramming photos of the book as it arrives, sharing photos of your #radicalselflovedates, and sending me adorable tweets. I love you guys! SO MUCH! Thank you for making this whole project a delight. It is way more amazing than I could have ever imagined.

By the way, if you’re in New York, I’m doing a free book reading and event at Word in Brooklyn on Thursday night! I’m going to wear a really crazy dress. It’ll be awesome. Come out, okay? It would be a pleasure to give you a hug and say thank you!

LE DISTRICT
A couple of days after I got back to New York, Shauna and I were introduced to Le District by our friend Bianca, and it’s my new favourite place. Le District is a French version of Eataly, situated in Tribeca. As well as being adorable, the food is next level. I devoured a mini sandwich with comté and fig jam (YUM) as well as a crêpe filled with honey, butter, and whipped cream. The crêpe essentially exploded and I got whipped cream everywhere — thankfully I was wearing a metallic blue leather skirt so it wiped off easily (thanks, Shauna!) — and had to crouch over a trashcan to finish it off. As we were leaving, a security guard looked at me and said, “Wow, you really made a mess there! Go and wash your hands!” Blush. I did as he said, and when we walked out, I said, “Thanks, dad!”

Long story short: if you’re in NYC, you need to go to Le District. It is awesome.

NEBRASKA, I’M ON MY WAY!
Don’t forget, I’m coming to Lincoln, Nebraska next week! Woohoo! It’ll be my first time in Nebraska and I’m excited to see what it has in store. I’m speaking at Rise Lincoln on July 9th, and holding a Radical Self Love Salon on the evening of July 11th. (I only have a few tickets left for that one!) All the details are here. I’m packing my travel cauldron: let’s do this!

MINI-GRATITUDE
There is always, always, always something to be grateful for, and gratitude works for everyone, no matter what is going on in your life. It makes everyone’s life better. You could be happy or nervous, relaxed or dealing with anxiety on a daily basis. It doesn’t really matter, because I promise you, beauty is everywhere. It surrounds you absolutely. Next time you feel uneasy and uncomfortable, take a breath and choose to focus on the good things in your life.

Here’s my little list for the day. I hope it inspires you to write your own!

Rainbow planner pages and a box of my favourite black ink pens  This coconut spray which smells wonderful and gives my hair lots of body!  Making birthday plans (DisneyWorld, anyone?)  Jonathan Adler bedding  Fake tan and hot pink nails (best combination)  Having conversations in coffee-shops  Fantastic lingerie on sale (L’Agent’s sale is no joke, check it out!)  Orange Is The New Black  Marriage equality for everyone! HELL to the yes!  Finding rogue sequins everywhere (a hazard of being me, I suppose)  Richard Brautigan’s poetry  Elderflower anything  Walking tremendous distances in beautiful weather  Sunday Riley skincare (it’s amazing)  Black pepper popcorn  This playlist  Watching 50 Shades Of Grey on the plane with Shauna and rolling our eyes for two hours straight, hahaha! 

Okay, that’s all from me — I’m about to have a work date with the one and only Veronica Varlow! (We’ll see how much actual work we manage to accomplish…)

I love you,

Photo by David McNeil.

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It’s Instagram Challenge Time! Get Ready For #radicalselflovejuly!

#radicalselflovejuly Instagram Challenge!

July is one of my favourite months of the year. It’s hot and wonderful in New York City, and the city pulsates with people and potential. Last year, we celebrated with #radicalselflovejuly, an Instagram challenge… And it’s time to do it all over again.

Never participated in an Instagram challenge? No sweat! All you need to do is save this image to your phone (for reference), and — optionally — upload it to your Instagram account with the hashtag #radicalselflovejuly. Then, on the corresponding days, upload images that tie in with the prompts.

You can be really literal with your interpretation, or you can play it fast and loose: it’s totally up to you. The only real criteria is that you enjoy yourself and have fun with it! The #radicalselflovejuly Instagram challenge is an awesome way to meet likeminded radical self love warriors, and also dare yourself to be creative on a consistent schedule!

Here are the prompts for #radicalselflovejuly…

Radical Self Love July Instagram Challenge

July 1: Draw a self-portrait
Get out the marker pens, watercolours, or even Post-It Notes: we want to see your vision of yourself!

July 2: Favourite colour
What colour makes your heart palpitate whenever you see it? Share a photo that illustrates your passion for your most-loved hue.

July 3: Laughter
Nothing is as wonderful as a big, loud, authentic laugh. Show us what you look like when you’re cackling up a storm, or offer up a photo of something that makes you laugh.

July 4: I believe
What do you know to be true? Let us know something that you believe.

July 5: Your babes
Who are your best friends and what does it look like when you get together? We want to see!

July 6: Rainbow
Find a rainbow! It could be in the sky, in a reflection, or even a line-up of lipsticks…

July 7: Makes me happy
What’s making you happy today? Share something that’s lifting your spirits and making you smile.

July 8: Nail art
Bust out the teeny-tiny brushes and paint a masterpiece on your nails (or go to a nail salon for a lovely treat). Need ideas? Check out Pinterest!

July 9: #TBT style evolution
We’ve all had stylish ups and downs. Show us an old photo of how you used to dress, and then tell us how you got from there to here!

July 10: Tarot card
Pull a tarot card or oracle card and share what you got. (Try Facade for a free online reading if you don’t own a deck.) How do you think this card is relevant to your life right now?

July 11: Lip sync video!
Turn up your favourite song and lip sync along to it! YES! Need inspiration? See Jimmy Kimmel’s lip sync battles for awesome ideas.

July 12: Celebrate yourself
How can you celebrate yourself today? It could be big — like throwing yourself an unbirthday party — or small — like buying yourself a bunch of flowers. Show us what you get up to.

July 13: Silly selfie
Take a silly selfie. Don’t be shy: it’s time to embrace #radicalselfielove!

July 14: Favourite beauty product
What beauty product can you not be without? A kick-ass cleanser, your favourite mascara, a killer 99c lipstick? Share your secrets!

July 15: My power word
What word do you hope to embody in your everyday life? What does it mean to you? How do you embody it on a daily basis?

July 16: New Moon ritual
It’s the New Moon, so let’s honour it! (I’ll have suggestions on my blog the week beforehand.) Show us how you get down with La Luna!

July 17: Favourite book
Tell us about a book that changed your life. What was it, when did you read it, and how did it challenge your perceptions?

July 18: Flower power
Flowers make the world so much more beautiful. Snap a photo of some of your favourites and show us!

July 19: Street art
Take a shot of something awesome painted on the street, on a wall, or somewhere it’s not supposed to be…

July 20: My hero
Who do you admire? Why do they inspire you and how do you emulate them in your life?

July 21: Make-up free selfie
Yes! Show us your gloriousness! Today’s a big one for many of us — take a risk and post a make-up free selfie!

July 22: Vision board
What does your vision board look like? What do you dream about? Show us a snippet!

July 23: Things I Thursday
Share a list of things you’re grateful for. I like to break mine up with emojis, like this!

July 24: My wish
What do you wish for more than anything else? (When you tell people what you dream about, they can help you…)

July 25: Write a love letter
Get romantic and write a love letter to yourself, to a friend, to a crush, to your long-time lover… Ooh la la!

July 26: My altar
Do you have a special space within your home full of treasures and crystals? Show us where you light candles and do magic.

July 27: Dream vacation
If I gave you a plane ticket tomorrow, where would you go? What would you do? Indulge your imagination and take us on a virtual trip!

July 28: Dance moves
You’ve got sweet dance moves, I know it! Show us some… And make it a video if you can!

July 29: Favourite artist
Who creates art that makes your heart sing? Share a piece and be sure to tag them or let us know their name in the caption.

July 30: #TBT best day ever
Share a photo from one of the best days of your life and tell us what made it so special.

July 31: I’m rad because…
Let us know your favourite characteristics. What is the best thing about you? Don’t be shy!

I’m so excited for #radicalselflovejuly! Can’t wait for it to start. Let’s do this!

Kisses and Instagram filters,

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Questions, Answers, And A Book Reading In New York! Meow!

Radical Self Love

You guys! Radical Self Love has been going crazy! You made the book a #1 New Release on Amazon! Aaaahhh! Insert confetti, a twelve-tiered cake, and a bucket of champagne here! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

There have been so many questions about the book on Instagram and Facebook that I can’t keep up, so I’ve answered a few of them below in one place.

FAQ ABOUT RADICAL SELF LOVE

Q. Why is the book only available for a month?
A. I can’t tell you that yet… But trust me when I say that the reason is a good one! Stay tuned. I’ll be spilling the beans in the next couple of weeks!

Q. Is Radical Self Love only available on Amazon?
A. Yes. You can buy it on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and they’ll ship anywhere! I’ve had people mentioning that it’s listed as sold out on Amazon.ca — I don’t know that it will necessarily get stocked, so if you’re nervous about it, buy it on Amazon.com instead.

Q. I pre-ordered your book — can I still get the audiobook?
A. Yes, of course! Email your receipt and information to love@galadarling.com and my right hand babe Audrey will take care of you!

Q. Can I just buy the audiobook on its own? How long will it be available?
A. Yes! The audiobook is for sale here. It will also only be available for a month… So hop to it!

Q. Will there ever be Kindle/e-reader/e-book versions of Radical Self Love?
A. Yes, but not for a while (read: over 6 months away). I’d recommend going for the physical copy if you can, but if not, sit tight!

Q. Will Radical Self Love be available in German, Spanish, etc.?
A. I hope so! Watch this space!


BOOK PARTY AT WORD

I’m so excited to be doing a book party at WORD in Brooklyn! Come out and join me on Thursday July 2nd at 7pm for an interview hosted by Veronica Varlow, a book reading and signing, and Q&A. It’s going to be cute as hell! RSVP here and bring your best friend! I can’t wait to hug you!

Sending extra love,

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