11 October 2013, 10:05
In two weeks, I’ll be hopping a jetplane and heading down under to Australia and New Zealand, where their summer is just starting to pick up its head and make itself known.
I’m in a state of turmoil: on the one hand, I’m obsessed with my new oversized mohair cardigan and am kind of loving wearing it every day. But on the other: SUMMER, glorious summer!
It has my brain in a bit of a scramble, so I’ve been using Luvocracy to get myself into the right mindset!
Luvocracy is like a shoppable Pinterest: you get to explore someone else’s tastes and favourite products, plus read about how they use a certain thing. And unlike Pinterest, where you often end up with a dead link, on Luvocracy you’re directed straight to a shopping page, with the best prices and from reputable sellers.
It sounds more complicated than it is. For example, below is my ‘Down Under’ collection, where I’m sourcing essentials for a trip to the Antipodes.
As you can see, it’s a mix of things I already own (and recommend), as well as things I’m lusting over. (That Camilla and Marc swimsuit! HELLO! Plus, you gotta represent when you’re in Australia!)
The same kind of principle goes for my ‘Style Essentials’ collection. It’s loaded with things I cannot live without, like Mario Badescu skincare, enormous hats, leather pants and the best eyeliner on the planet…
Admittedly, I went a little crazy, making collections of magic must-haves, home decor that makes me swoon, healthy products I always have on hand, and some of my favourite gym gear… What can I say, it’s fun (and addictive)!
This post was made in partnership with Style Coalition.
9 October 2013, 12:11
The phone’s ringing… and this one’s for you.
You heard right. This one’s for you if you’re nervously eyeing the collection of bills on your desk. This one’s for you if you love your business with all your heart, but don’t know where your customers are. This one’s for you if, no matter what happens, you just cannot seem to move enough product, get enough bookings, or gain enough traction.
This is your opportunity… Your opportunity to find the kind of kickass customers you’ve always dreamed about.
Christmas is coming, and my readers are searching for unique, interesting, and beautiful presents. They want to gift their BFF with a tarot card reading, or a beautiful blue velvet vintage dress. They’re looking for sassy art and handmade zines, illustrated greeting cards and statement accessories.
Yes, exactly. They’re looking for the stuff you sell!
This is no time to be shy!
So here’s the deal.
I have small business advertising spaces available in my sidebar, and they are designed exactly for people like you.
They cost $3 a day (yep, less than a soy latte), and you can advertise for as long (or as short) as you want. Longer is better, though. People will need to see your ad a few times before taking action.
The ads are served by Blogads, who are great: they have a fantastic system so you can easily track the efficacy of your campaign!
The spaces are a 125 pixel square. Like this:
Your ad will be in the right sidebar of the front page, and on individual article pages.
“Advertising on GalaDarling.com showed an immediate boost in site traffic, exposing my design consultancy and journal to new readers everyday…” (Steve G., RDQLUS Creative)
How to get the best results:
Make your ad as engaging, dynamic and eye-catching as possible! This means USE your space as best you can! Fill the space, use a bright colour and bold imagery.
Give people a reason to click! Officially, this is known as a “call to action”. Why should someone click on your ad? Offer them something, whether it’s a discount code, free shipping, a gift with purchase, or something even better!
If you’re not a designer, have someone else make it. This isn’t an option for everyone, but if you have a friend with a great eye, beg, plead and make cookies in exchange for a nicely-designed 125×125 ad. You will always get a better response from a graphic designed by someone who has an eye for it.
Be smart about it! Use fonts that are easy to read, and colours that don’t assault the eyeballs. Check your ad for spelling or grammatical mistakes. If all the other ads on my site are, say, pink, use a colour that stands out! Remember that advertising is a representation of your business, so make it as wonderful as you can!
“I’ve done several promotions on Gala Darling’s site, and the results have always blown me away. First off- there’s the sheer volume of hits she sends me- thousands and thousands of uniques a day. But, more than quantity, there’s quality. Gala’s fans are a sparkly, tight-knit community that love and believe in her. If you’re lucky enough to do a promotion on galadarling.com, you tap into that good will. Promotions on galadarling.com have netted me passionate fan letters, wildly creative responses, and new fans from all over the world…” (Molly Crabapple)
All you need to do is choose how many days you’d like your ad to run, upload your image, and submit your link. Then click Preview or Buy! It’s THAT simple!
Mega-lovin’, all day, every day!
Photo by Chellise Michael.
14 August 2013, 12:33
You probably know by now that I’m a little bit obsessed with Kate Spade. From their handbags to their t-shirts to their two-piece suits, I can’t get enough of their quirky — but grown-up — style.
So I almost did a back-handspring of delight in February, when I saw their collaboration with Darcel. I made a Vine (geez, remember Vine?!) of the presentation and tried not to swoon onto a total stranger.
Now the collection is dribbling into stores and it’s even cuter than I remembered. Best of all, it has a major NYC theme. Talk about knowing the way to my heart!
After much deliberation and back-and-forth, I have decided that these are the 10 pieces I absolutely must have or I will die a grisly death. They are definitely easing my angst re: the briskly-approaching fall.
Without further ado…
KSNY x Darcel Pretzel Belt. Let’s begin here, because I never knew I needed (needed) a belt with a pretzel on it until I saw this glorious cincher. You know, I don’t even eat pretzels, and I find the whole thing bizarre and unappealing. But for some curious reason, a pretzel belt is just… perfect. Sublime in its silliness. If you want to buy me something for my birthday, this would be top of my list. (Just saying.)
KSNY x Darcel Donut Bangle. Other things I don’t eat? Donuts. But a donut bangle?! It’s so wrong it’s right. It makes me think of The Simpsons, which I was obsessed with as a child, and we already know that I can’t resist anything pink or covered in sprinkles. Conclusion? I just gotta have this swinging from my wrist.
KSNY x Darcel Hot Dog Coin Purse. Pretzels, hot dogs, the Empire State Building, yellow cabs and Notorious B.I.G… These are true New York icons. Pretzels and hot dogs are mostly sold via little carts on street corners, offering a quick and inexpensive snack for the famished femme. Dodgy? Yes. Delicious? Also, yes. Switch out the real thing for this coin purse and you probably won’t get food poisoning. Bonus!
Go Taxi Flats. Did someone say “yellow cab”?! I am practically allergic to flats, but I would make an exception for these. They are hilarious and adorable!
Bow Terrace Small Fulton. I don’t know about you, but I can never really have too many pink bags. They go with everything in my wardrobe, and of course you need a pink bag for every occasion: a quick dash across town, an oversized version which holds a camera, an overnight bag, a suitcase… You know, the list just goes on and on. I fancy the hell out of the Bow Terrace Small Fulton: it’s simple and chic but sassy and fun. It doesn’t get better than that.
Far From The Tree Resin Apple Bag. No New York-themed collection would be complete without something apple-shaped, and so, this glorious, PINK apple bag fills the gap nicely. Shockingly small? Why, yes. I don’t even know if it would hold your phone. But it’s a fantastic novelty clutch for spontaneous nights out… And quite kawaii meets Gossip Girl, n’est-ce pas?
Twist And Shout Hinge Bangle. Why is this so alluring?! I have no idea. This pretzel bangle inspires me to mix metals in a major way, and add some food-themed pieces to my collection of arm candy.
KSNY x Darcel Donut Coin Purse. If you can’t quite get enough of donut-mania, and a bangle doesn’t really fit your aesthetic, it’s okay. Kate has you covered with this donut-shaped coin purse. If loving this is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
KSNY x Darcel Hot Dog Earrings. Want to prove your devotion to junk food but not totally shove it in peoples’ faces? Then these hot dog earrings are perfect. They’re subtle but still surreal. I mean, you could have little snacks dangling from your earlobes! These might be the weirdest things Kate Spade have ever produced… And I back it.
Gooey Flats. OKAY. These are unabashedly fantastic. Channel your inner Homer and get up close and personal with these babies. As the great man himself says, “Life is like a box of donuts… Mmm, donuts…”
Wait… I’m already at ten?! Okay, well, you can’t stop me… I have to shout about the fact that I’m also quite in love with the Shelley top (a shirt covered in NY icons? Who could say no?!), and the Coreen skirt. (It was my favourite thing at the presentation, and the thrill has certainly not worn off!)
Sigh. There’s so much to love!
Dreaming of gooey accessories,
11 March 2013, 13:19
Just shopping at Bergdorfs… !
Witches are having a pop culture moment. From dark clothes on the runway to mysterious editorials and a slew of new fairytale films, the witch has replaced the vampire as the new icon of power and fantasy. (Hey, if the New York Times says it, it must be true!)
We’re being encouraged to embrace a spookier side of life, and even though there are fresh green shoots emerging from the dirt, I still want to spend my time anointing candles, pulling cards and lighting incense.
Witches get a bad rap. Far from devouring children (à la Hansel and Gretel), modern witches celebrate the divine in their own way. For more information, check out my interview with two wonderful women: I’m A Witch!
Either way, here’s my very stylised take on the whole phenomenon…
“The witch is the ultimate bad girl. You want to be her.”
A modern witch would wear a white lace dress with supersonic leggings, white moto boots and a wired crystal pendant around her neck. She would enchant in a harness-back maxi dress and t-strap wedge sandals. She wouldn’t go out in public without a pair of oversized cat eye sunglasses and a skeleton hand collar. She would stash her treasures in a studded tote bag, and at night she’d go dancing in a pair of striped platform sneakers.
A modern witch always has her divination tools within arms reach. My new favourite set of cards is The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck, a gorgeous illustrated deck which has a guidebook that I’d highly recommend if you’re new to reading the cards. In an ideal world, you wrap your cards in silk and put them in a little bag, but this leather tarot card pouch is fantastic!
A modern witch is always thinking about the stories we tell with our hands. Fingernail rings, knuckle rings, chunky cocktail rings and engagement rings all have their own narrative. They are part of our make-up, an essential piece of costume. A modern witch selects her rings with care every morning, and slides them onto her fingers: elvish twig rings which stack magnificently, rune rings and a Lily Dale spiritualist ring all take pride of place on her hands.
Her jewellery box is full of sparkly gems and unusual finds. A cobra ring in diamond, ruby, black rhodium and 18k gold sits alongside an amazonite pendulum and a crystal point necklace. She scours flea markets and antique shops for anything that catches her eye.
A modern witch embraces symbols and talismans. She adorns herself with charms and amulets to protect her from the evil eye: a little diamond ring, or a necklace from Max and Chloe. Her martlet and heart necklace guarantees good news. She wears a bracelet showing the phases of the moon...
A modern witch has a well-stocked library. All of these books are excellent, and give a friendly introduction to what modern witchcraft is all about: Confessions of a Teenage Witch: Celebrating the Wiccan Life / A Witch Alone: The Essential Guide for the Solo Practitioner of the Magical Arts / Llewellyn’s 2013 Witches’ Datebook / Llewellyn’s 2013 Magical Almanac: Practical Magic for Everyday Living / Grimoire for the Green Witch: A Complete Book of Shadows / Practical Protection Magick: Guarding & Reclaiming Your Power / Llewellyn’s Complete Formulary of Magical Oils / Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes / Magical Housekeeping: Simple Charms and Practical Tips for Creating a Harmonious Home / Llewellyn’s 2013 Witches’ Companion: An Almanac for Contemporary Living
...But most of all, a modern witch knows that the magic comes from within. She knows that she contains all the power, guidance and courage she’ll ever need. She loves boldly and she is never ashamed of who she is.
27 February 2013, 13:16
So much happens in a month, and it’s exactly this premise that helped to shape and inspire this new column!
I use and experiment with so many things in a 30 day period, but those things don’t always make it to the blog. This is a fun way for me to clue you in on my new favourite products, obsessions and ideas, and I’m really excited about it!
These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things is pretty self-explanatory: in a variety of categories, I’ll give you a rundown of what I consider to be the best of the month. Oh, and do let me know if there’s any category that I have clearly forgotten to mention!
Now this is a handbag.
I am absolutely in love with my bob, and can’t help thinking that this could be my signature haircut. It really is perfect.
I’ve been experimenting with lip colour a lot this month. It’s ideal in these frozen temperatures; nothing cheers you up like a bright lip! My current favourite lipstick is Illamasqua in Corrupt. It’s so damn bright and it makes me so damn happy! The woman who checked out my purchase at Sephora was wearing Atomic and it looked gorgeous. I’ll be trying that next!
Well, I haven’t bought anything this month except these Dolce & Gabbana glasses, which I kinda love and which my trainer said make me look like the original Catwoman. (Compliment!) You can find them on Amazon or at Lenscrafters.
I tend to do what I call a buying cleanse once a year. I still allow myself to buy essentials, like food, face wipes, and lipstick (oops), but no clothing is allowed. It really helps me get back to a balance-point, to realise that I have more than enough, and to stop obsessing. It also helps me think strategically about where to go next, stylistically. The end result is that I’m feeling a little more sane about heading into spring!
This month, I’ve been doing the Clean Program, so my eating has been limited to Clean-approved foods. Basically this means lots of organic chicken, salmon and vegetables, and cutting out sugar, dairy and wheat. My skin looks so great right now, which I know is not a coincidence! Very glowy, clear and fabulous.
It’s exciting to have given up sugar, and last night when I was looking at Pinterest, the sight of cakes, macarons and pastries filled with sugar, food colouring and cream made me feel slightly ill! I would love to stay away from sugar once my cleanse is over. I have about a week and a half left.
I’ve been doing quite intense work-outs, so I’ve started making myself a pre-workout shake. Monday’s shake consisted of hemp protein powder, coconut butter, almond milk, mixed berries and some raw cacao. I mixed it all up in a few seconds in this single-serve blender. It was delicious and really helped me power through!
My favourite Clean-approved snack is green apple slices with almond butter. Oh my goodness. You don’t even KNOW.
I recently discovered Starbucks’ Evolution Fresh green juice, which tastes excellent for a green juice, and — since it’s sold in Starbucks everywhere — is an awesome way to get healthy nutrients on-the-go. No excuses now!
A photo of a photo…
There was plenty of fun this month, despite the cold. The Kate Spade presentation was absolutely glorious, and even better, I got to see my favourite mama, Naomi! I also spoke at Social Media Week, went on a girl date with the Juicy Couture babes to get eyelash extensions, and enjoyed myself almost too much with Alexandra at City Bakery.
...But getting my goth on for Eternal Night, a vampire ball, was definitely one of the highlights of February for me. It excited my inner sixteen year old so much that I haven’t been able to stop teasing my hair since! (I’m going to do a full write-up on my experience soon.) Having said that, I’m going roller-skating tomorrow night, so we can’t write the month off quite yet!
I’m all about 8tracks at the moment. As well as creating my own mixes, I’ve been listening to other people’s, too. Some of my favourites include No Diggity No Doubt, French Femme Fatale, Brain Feeder, On A Trip, Karma Coma, goombay smash beetches (?!), The Pinnacle Of Badassery Part II, Funky Hip and Dirty-Funky-Soul-Jazz Vol. 19. They should keep you busy!
There’s that Victoria’s Secret cardigan again!
Lilac glitter with a sequin ring finger! This is what I like to think of as “casual sparkle”.
This is a gel manicure, which isn’t cheap, but it does last. I’m two weeks into this one and it still looks superb. Gel manicures are the best ever — since I discovered them, I haven’t bothered with nail-polish. I can’t see the point!
A slice of my desk, right now.
There are tulips and potted daffodils being sold in every bodega flower stand right now, so of course, I couldn’t resist. As a result, my house is full of fresh tulips and vanilla candles.
I have a copy of Kate Spade’s Things We Love on the desk beside me, which I keep thumbing through for inspiration. It’s full of bold type, eye-catching photographs and sweet sentiments, so clearly, it’s perfect!
It’s funny, I was sent a copy of their mini-book (also called Things We Love) a few years ago, and it contains some of the same content. It’s fascinating to see them make the jump from a skinny chapbook to a thick hardcover! Either way: j’adore Kate Spade, and how could you not when they sell clutches that look like antique radios?!
Favourite fragrance, bar none.
Ever since I discovered La Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain, I haven’t been able to wear anything else. It’s the perfect scent for winter: complex and sexy with a lingering scent of black cherries. I don’t know how appropriate it’ll be in summer, though, so we’ll see! (Another bonus: you get to practice your French whenever people ask what you’re wearing! It’s quite a mouthful, I assure you!)
I’d been idly thinking about Entourage — otherwise known as Sex & The City for men — for a while. So this month, I worked my way through the entire thing. I’d forgotten how enjoyable it really is!
I also loved Beyonce’s documentary, Life Is But A Dream. Did you see it? So cool.
This is what happens 99% of the time I open an envelope!
I’ve worn my leopard faux fur coat so much this winter that the lining is shredded and falling apart. Quel désastre! I have also been wearing — shock, horror — JEANS, mostly my J.Crew toothpicks in black, but also some stretchy blue ones which are obscenely comfortable. Which brings me to my next question: what brand does jeans that will make my booty look spectacular? I need to know! (Tell me on Facebook!)
I’ve been basically living in my Frye Heath Harness boots (above). When I first got them, they rubbed the back of my ankle and I thought I had made a terrible mistake! (said in booming, foreboding voice), but they have softened with wear and now they are my favourite.
But really, I am ready for it to get warm. And soon!
Pretty much everything from Kate Spade’s fall preview… !
I also recently discovered Outdoor Technology’s Turtle Shell Wireless Boom Box which truly looks like the perfect thing to mount to my bicycle this summer. Music on the go = yes! Plus, it’s PINK! I see a lot more picnics in my future… (The video is so great and funny, too.)
My spending ban ends really soon and I’m excited about it. Ha!
Here are some of my favourite pieces from this month, just in case you missed ‘em!
Our amazing video from The Blogcademy: London warms my heart! Despite the snow…
Here’s a write-up of my sublime (and sweet) experiences at City Bakery’s hot chocolate month
I wanted to serve up a little antidote to the Hallmarkification of Valentine’s Day, which is how I thought up 50 Ways To Have A Very Un-Valentine’s Day. Truthfully though, every single one of these activities could be considered a radical self love exercise!
It’s probable that I was ruined forever when I flew Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to and from London.
I posted about Paris twice: dancing under the Eiffel Tower and our exquisite apartment.
For all you gym bunnies, I made a workout mixtape that I’ve been blasting at David Barton!
Sadly, I had to remind everyone that Mercury retrograde is here…
My excitement over being back in NYC was too much, so I decided to write a love letter to my favourite city.
...And I considered how I’d do things differently if I did my prom all over again.
Plus, I continued adding to my ongoing blogging series! Phew!
What a month, eh?! Soon, it will be spring, and the world will feel completely different… I can’t wait!
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