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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Radical Self Love Letters

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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Three Question Thursday: Self-Promotion, How To Be A Better Writer, And Toxic Friends

A while back, I asked you all on Facebook and Instagram whether you had any questions for me to answer in a Q&A. Nothing was off limits: was there anything you wanted to know? Well, of course you did! Scores of questions came through!

In the video below, I tackle three of ‘em. Firstly, how can you promote your tarot card business — or any small business — without feeling sleazy? Secondly, what can you do to become a better writer? Thirdly, what can you do about toxic friends — especially once you’ve cut them out of your life?

 

(If you’re viewing this in your email, click here for the video.)

I’ll be answering more of your questions soon!

Love always,

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My First Book Is Out TODAY… And It’s Only Available For A Month!

Radical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dream

T

oday is one of the most exciting days of my life! Radical Self Love: A Guide To Loving Yourself and Living Your Dream is officially launched and available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Photos of the book have been flooding in from all over the world. It is truly amazing to me.

This book has been a long time coming: the original manuscript was written in 2009! Shauna recently asked me how I was able to keep going with my dream, even when it seemed like an insurmountable task.

My answer is that I knew why I wanted to publish the book. The thing that kept me going was knowing that Radical Self Love has the ability to completely change women’s lives. This book lays the groundwork to show you what it means to love yourself, and gives you a step-by-step breakdown of how to get there. I knew that if this book got into the hands of a woman who really needed it, it could encourage her to get help with her eating disorder, it might inspire her to leave a bad relationship, it would remind her how beautiful she is and how much we need her.

This book is my love letter to you, written with a glowing neon heart.

Radical Self Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dream

Writing this book and releasing it has been such a massive project, and the thing I am most proud of is that I did it all myself. I didn’t sit around waiting to be “picked”: I wrote it, found an editor, hired a designer, and handled the entire project myself. That is one of the most compelling lessons I’ve learned over the last 8 years of being in business for myself: that true happiness comes from doing it yourself, and not waiting for anyone else to ride on in and save you.

You have to be willing to back yourself, and when you do, incredible things happen. My book hit #1 on Amazon Movers and Shakers. Copies of it just keep selling. And that’s not all! Some extremely exciting things have happened around this book, and that’s why it is only available for a month!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaasssssss babe. If you want it, snap it up because it won’t be around forever!

I have so much more to tell you… But for now, just know that I love you. I can’t wait for you to have this book in your hot little hands, for you to complete the homework assignments, and share your discoveries with me on the #rslbook hashtag!

You’re my favourite,

Photos by Made U Look Photography and Emily Faulstich.

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