Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Shop the Pink Collection for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we want to support our sisters who are struggling with the difficulties that come with having breast cancer. This month, when you buy from our Pink Collection, we will donate a portion of the proceeds to help women who are facing breast cancer. With a cute pair of earrings or sweet bracelet, you can help brighten the day of a special woman in your life who is working tirelessly to kick breast cancer's butt

Thursday, October 5, 2017

#DarlyFacesFears, and Facing Failure

by cleowade

I have failed.

I envisioned excited (and anxious) women mindfully choosing a fear, making and sharing plans, and overcoming these fears-- rejoicing together, encouraging one another, and growing together. I envisioned empowerment. I envisioned this bringing a depth to the Darlybird community. I was proud of how this challenge shared the values of growth, strength, and the beauty that I believe Darlybird embodies.

Only four women entered the contest.

I failed in my expectations. I failed to generate community within the Darlybird community. And I used company time/money with seemingly little to show for it.

The Good Things:

  1. These four women shared their fears, and their excitement in overcoming them was AWESOME.
  2. Each woman’s post received so many likes and comments, full of encouragement and love. I LOVED reading these.
  3. I overcame some of my own fears, namely rafting on open water, and donating blood (needles!). I had intended to do another one as well, but life got in the way, and truth be told, I’m STILL riding the high from donating blood. That fear had been weighing on me for years, especially since I felt like I was not serving others as well as I could have by holding onto that fear.
  4. I can live and learn…

Live and Learn: This contest didn’t go as I had intended it to. But often, life doesn’t go as we intend it to.

We have failed expectations, changes in plans, changes in interests and hopes and dreams. We have failed relationships, failed financial endeavors, or our great ideas are met with little enthusiasm by others (and maybe eventually ourselves as well). I feel like I have experienced SO many of these in my life-- perhaps even more the older I get, and the more ambitious I become.

But the thing is, the failures not only hurt less, but I can use them to learn and to grow, to refine myself and my ideas, and shape the next project in a better, hopefully more successful way. (I think this response, though, doesn’t always come naturally. We sometimes become accustomed to struggle and rejection. How do you view your failures? Try switching your response to “What can I learn from this?”). I’ve learned a lot from this particular failure, and I’m continuing to process it.

For example, this particular failure can help me understand the Darlybird audience better, offers great insight into the focus that the Darlyblog should take (we’ve had a lot of company conversations about this over the past few months since we relaunched Darlybird), and likely more things that I’ll realize with time.

Have you ladies read You are a Badass by Jen Sincero? I highly recommend it. At one point Jen lists off a bunch of successful people we’ve heard of-- car makers, scientists, athletes, etc.-- and their failures before the success finally hit. Like, HUGE failings. Like, Steven Spielberg dropped out of high school and was rejected from film school three times, or Soichiro Honda who was turned down for an engineering position at Toyota so he started his own company (...Honda). Jen says, “The only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information” (If you have this book in front of you, you can find this awesome section in part 5, chapter 23).

The “Grand Prize”: I had initially planned a very decent sized grand prize gift certificate to Darlybird for the winner. This is another point where this failure is a bummer. It wasn’t only my own intention that didn’t pan out- it also involved company money.

I’ve decided to split up that grand prize so each of the four women who entered will get a smaller (but still decent) gift certificate to Darlybird. They all deserve a prize, and knowing some of the woman as I do, I think/hope that they will be okay with this change. I really am so proud of and grateful for each of them for contributing to this project.

And so, if you’re still reading: I still extend the challenge to you: find a fear and work through it. Big or small. I am almost positive that you will find greater self-confidence through the process, and eliminating a fear will likely create more space for beauty in your life. At least that’s what I’ve found.

Love, Allie

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

#DarlyFacesFears: Some of your entries!

Thank you so much to those who have entered so far! We'd LOVE for you to join in! Simply face a fear, post about it on your Instagram, and tag us with @darlybird and #darlyfacesfears. You'll not only have the personal satisfaction of overcoming a fear, but you'll also be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to Darlybird!

Here at Darlybird, we believe in creating a beautiful, colorful, lively life, and sometimes that means overcoming the scary things to make room for the beautiful. I can't wait to see more of your posts!


"Guys I survived! I flew alone with a teething infant. As a person who enjoys traveling this is a big accomplishment to me and a huge fear I overcame. #darlyfacesfears. Also, if you have the right size stroller you CAN take it on the plane with you." - @melissajack_


"Let's talk about fears for a second... I've been trying to face some fears, namely the fear of rejection. It prevents me from making friends and including others in activities I enjoy. So this week, I braved up and invited a new friend of mine to an activity tonight, and guess what!? She said "no!" Am I a little embarrassed? Yeah. But it wasn't as deathly terrifying as I made it out to be in my mind! Anyway, point being: Don't let the fear of rejection keep you from wonderful experiences!" -@_kathrynkelly_


"Red.white.and blue. Making allie great again 😂. Jk. But seriously. This is for #darlyfacesfears/:/its stupid. But I've always loved bangs. Ironically they scare me for many reasons. But It spices things up and they are fun. I've been teased from time to time in my life having bangs. I finally decided to not care anymore and get my bangs again. Because they are fun and something new ❤️ and who doesn't love new??" -@alliebubbles121


"Facing a sewing fear today. I have always been really hesitant about sewing into lace it scares me and there so many beautiful fabrics I could potentially be making awesome stuff with. Today I cut into some awesome lace I found in downtown Los Angeles and making a dress for an upcoming wedding. Hopefully my fears of working with lace don't come true #darlyfacesfears . Now to face my fear of clowns... Anybody know a clown I could hug and quickly run away from?" - @carol_mgp


Thank you so much for those who have entered so far! Be sure to enter ASAP! Contest ends at the end of September. So proud of these ladies and the things they're accomplishing this month! 

What fear do you plan on overcoming? 
Tell us in the comments!

Then go out and do it!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

#DarlyFacesFears: Allie Donates Blood!

feeling pretty tough in my car after donating blood for the first time :P

I used to be afraid of needles, and truth is, they’re still not my favorite. SO far from it. But I’ve had to deal with needles a few times because #adulthood. One of my first big needle experiences though, when I was still very scared of needles, was having to get my blood drawn for some tests when I was probably 19 or 20. Afterward the doctor emailed me to inform me that my blood type was O negative, and how great this was because I was the universal donor and could help so many people. Then I panicked and ignored that fact for several years.

I’ve always felt a tinge of guilt when an opportunity to donate blood would come along and I’d pass. But even as my fear of needles lessened over the years, I’d then have the “horror stories” I’d heard from friends who had donated blood: getting light headed, passing out, and in one extreme case, having nerve issues in her arm??! And if nothing else, the needle is big, I’d been told.

I knew this would be one of the fears I’d overcome this month, but when all the hurricanes, floods and other disasters began one after the other around the United States, I knew I didn’t want to wait to do this any longer.

I registered to donate blood with the Red Cross online one evening, mentioned it briefly to my roommate the next morning, and that night on my way to the appointment I texted another friend asking him to remind me that “DONATING BLOOD IS NO BIG DEAL, RIGHT? TOTALLY CHILL? EVERYTHING’S FINE?”

And he confirmed that yes, donating blood is totally chill, then kept texting me jokes and kind words to distract me.

If you have not donated blood, here is the process: Sign a thing, read some things, be invited back into a private little space where a nice nurse will check my blood pressure, prick my finger to test the blood (checking the iron levels and such), then they left me with a laptop to answer a series of personal questions to make sure that my blood is clean and able to be donated.

When I was done, they took me back to a nice lounge chair. The same nurse who had checked me in took my blood. I informed her from the get-go that this was my first time donating blood and I was nervous. I recommend doing this because she knew exactly how to make me feel safe: she answered all of my questions, told me exactly what she was doing, then had me inhale deeply and exhale as she inserted the needle. I didn’t look, and she covered the needle itself so I couldn’t see it, which I’m grateful for. I held one of those stress ball things that she had me squeeze every 3-5 seconds to keep the blood flowing well. The nurse made sure I was comfortable and we just chatted the whole time. (Such a great woman!).

When she bent down to check the progress, I did glance over once. Not a lot to see, but still interesting. I don’t recommend doing this if you are particularly squeamish with blood ;)

When the bag was filled (the website says it takes about 8-10 minutes, but I didn’t keep track when I was donating), she again had me inhale, then exhale as she removed the needle. She had me hold the gauze and apply some pressure, and lift up my arm for a moment to help ease the bleeding. She put a bandaid over the folded up gauze, then put that stretchy tape stuff around my elbow to hold pressure there. I was told to remove the tape after an hour, and keep the band-aid on for the next few hours (I took it off at bedtime but replaced the band-aid just so it wouldn’t accidentally start bleeding at night while I slept.

They offered me some cookies and juice as I sat there afterward to make sure my blood sugar levels were good (I think?). I felt just fine, though. I don’t think I needed cookies or juice, but why would I ever decline such an offer? Hah!

Verdict: I’m SO glad I donated blood, and I intend to do so again. It really wasn’t a big deal. Yes, a pinch when the needle went in, but I felt that for a split second, then was totally fine. I will say, my iron levels were great, and I was sure to hydrate throughout the day before coming in. I felt no lightheadedness, and truly felt great afterward.

And as cheesy as it sounds, I felt especially great knowing I had not only overcome a long-held fear, but I enjoyed the process, AND was able to help others. I’m just so glad I did this. I STILL feel good about it!

*This month, face a fear and share your experience on Instagram, with hashtag #darlyfacesfears, and you will be entered to win a $100 gift card to Darlybird!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

#DarlyFacesFears: The Deeper Courage

photo by the dearest Alicia Fish (@darlingduckie)

When he told me that I was a coward for being scared to go rafting (see a couple posts ago, yikes), it shook me. I never thought it was a big deal to pass on experiences that scare me (and there are many). Confused, I confided in a friend who then responded, "Does he not know what you've done? Does he not know what you've overcome?"

The most courageous women I know aren't jumping out of planes, rafting down rapids, fighting bad guys, etc. They're the ones who face their pain head on, and keep going. They're the ones that keep showing up, even when they can’t see an inch ahead of them. They're the ones who know that pain is a tunnel and not a cave (thank you Natalie Norton for that insight!). They keep on going, having hope for the end of that tunnel, knowing it will come.

A dear friend of mine, at the beginning of working through her own deep trauma years ago, decided to do something that scared her every day. Sometimes it was reaching out to a person she admired, running a distance further than she’d ever run before, or doing humanitarian work in a foreign country. Big or small, she did it. As she did those acts of courage, she gained back the confidence that had been shaken, and probably more! Those daily acts of courage were part of her emotional recovery. They were part of her discovering within herself that she could get to the end of that tunnel.

Yes, I rafted. Yes, I’m doing things that scare me, but when I look back at this past year, the bravest thing I’ve done is to say no—to finally close a door, and to keep it closed despite painful and manipulative backlash. I cried for days. I had to seek validation from every gal pal to remind me that I was doing the right thing. And then, finally, the chaos that I had let invade my life for years finally calmed. I let go.


This month, face your fears. Get out of your comfort zone. Internally or externally, whatever it may be for you, I encourage you to do it. Because when we let go of our fears, we create more space for beauty and light in our lives. So let’s do this.

Love, Allie

*This month, face a fear and share your experience on Instagram, with hashtag #darlyfacesfears, and you will be entered to win a $100 gift card to Darlybird!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

NEW: Urban Collection 😍

Inspired by the drama, geometry, shine, grit, beauty, and grace of NYC, 
it encapsulates the things we love best about the city we love most.

Shop the Urban Collection at Darlybird.com

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

#DarlyFacesFears Part 1: Allie Faces Water!

The event that prompted this overcoming of fears is still painful to think about. It involved an intense conversation with a friend that ended in tears (me) and anger (him). And on the surface at least, it all revolved around one thing: rafting.

He didn’t want excuses, but let me tell you, when water has betrayed me multiple times (Motion sickness! Puking! Misery! And panic attacks about open water!) the idea of getting on a raft and floating down a swaying river for three hours sounds like my own personal hell. I think excuses are okay, especially when they are rooted in real experience. But like any excuse, they are there to acknowledge, validate, and move through. Sometimes I forget that and get comfortable in those excuses.

I went on the trip to Moab but still would not fully commit to rafting. Morning of, I woke up at 4:30am to get a long run in with a friend (thanks Mikala!). I ate breakfast, and I pulled aside one of the coordinators of the trip. I asked him if there was still an extra spot for the rafting trip, and how long did I have to decide. He said yes, and I have until the cars were leaving to decide, but no big deal either way. He then kindly answered my last couple of questions and calmed some lingering fears about rapids (thanks, Brad!).

And somehow, between the pain from the fight, the acknowledgement of and exhaustion from merely being afraid of things in my life (fear is tiring), and gentle reassurance from a couple friends, it clicked. I was going to do this. I was going to raft this river, and I was going to (most likely) have a really fun time doing it.

I changed into my swimsuit and jumped in my friends car. We got to Moab Adventure Center, were fitted for life vests, and got in busses to go to the starting point. The bus ride was about 40+ minutes long. I did have some nervous laughs in the car, and at one point turned to another friend, told him I was a little nervous looking at the river below from this vantage point, and he looked me in the eye and told me, sincerely, exactly what I needed to hear (thanks, Jason!). (I will say, I told him beforehand exactly what to tell me if I started getting anxious. It worked!).

And then we were on the rafts and you guys… I had SO much fun. There were only a few rapids, which the guides informed us about both before we got on the rafts, and before we hit each one. They told us techniques for the river itself and the rapids when we got there. And the rapids? No. Big. Deal. (Okay, one made both me and my friend Haley a little bit nervous, as shown by her screaming and me frantically saying “HALEY HALEY HALEY,” but again, brief! And as I recall, we were laughing at the same time.)

At points (when the guides indicated that the water was deep enough and safe) I jumped out of the raft and swam. I played with friends. We just had a really great time.

And as soon as we got out, we went straight for hamburgers down the street. So, I’m pretty content with the whole day ;)

How I Prepared: The week before, during that really crummy friend fight, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it in the moment and not have to wait a week to go to Moab to go rafting. A gal pal and I went kayaking down a local, pretty calm river that evening and had a lot of fun. I hadn’t been on the water much at all this summer, so it was nice to remind myself that I can be okay. That helped ease some of the anxiety.

Additionally, Dramamine. Enough said.

And as you can tell, good friends who love me and support me, and have my back. Aside from the friends I mentioned specifically up there, I also had encouragement from Deon, Kristina and her husband, the Groesbecks, and many more friends who came on the trip. I’m sure grateful! I needed to feel safe, and they helped a lot with that.

Fear #1— CHECK!

What fears are you going to conquer? Big or small. One or two or more! Do them, then show us on Instagram by tagging #DarlyFacesFears! Post must be from August-September 2017. We’ll feature posts on the Darlyblog, and one lucky winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Darlybird!

BONUS: Want to conquer your fear of water, or just get out on the water before it freezes over? Local Utah folks, get 10% off at Green Adventure Sports from now through Labor Day Weekend (Monday, September 4) by mentioning Darlybird when you make your reservation! Reservations can be made over phone or text. Visit their website and plan your next adventure now!

Love, Allie