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1. A fluffy puppy’s adorable waddle run—especially when he’s welcoming you home after a long day
2. Friends who won’t always take your side, but will always be BY your side
3. Overhearing your mom or dad telling someone how proud they are of you
4. Chancing upon the last available stock of the perfect pair of shoes in your size
5. Finding crumpled notes in the bottom of your oversized bag, or finding notes, period
6. Waking up in time for a good workout, a healthy, delicious breakfast, a cute outfit, and great hair
7. Realizing that it’s almost the end of the year, then looking back and knowing it’s shaped up to be a wonderful one so far

What’s on YOUR list of life’s sweet things? :-)

xx,
Marla

*Although we won’t say no to cupcakes, either. This one’s from Twelve Cupcakes!

3 Ways to Get Things Done (w/o Breaking Down)

by marla
Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Posted in Candy, Get Inspired |

I’m no stranger to procrastination, and I don’t always get things right 100%, but I do succeed in keeping my goals in mind AND my keeping sanity at the same time. Here are three tips I can share with you:

1. Set daily goals, but be stricter about weekly goals.
My dad used to have a poster in his study that says “You can always try again tomorrow.” Over the years I’ve learned how important it is to be kind to myself, and to not beat myself up when I don’t get to follow my schedule to the letter. Setting weekly goals allows you to accomplish all your duties without getting too stressed—and without neglecting your health, happiness, and social life.

2. Don’t waste time ranting, and don’t wear “busy” as a badge.
A lot of people either a) waste so much time ranting on social media about all the things they have to do—time that could’ve been spent actually DOING, or b) talk excessively about being busy that you almost wonder if they really are that busy. Arriane of Wanderrgirl.com is a huge advocate of “less talk, more do,” and I think we should all be, too.

3. This one is probably the easiest: surround yourself with cute things!
I recently moved into a new place, which I finally got to decorate with bright furniture, cheerful knickknacks, and stuff that instantly puts me in a good mood. I used to just spend my evenings aimlessly surfing the net or literally staring into space, but now I’ve been feeling so much more motivated to read, write, and be productive. A space you love truly makes such a huge difference, and if you can’t decorate your room or study area just yet, you can start with colorful, functional school supplies. I love FILED’s pieces because they’re both practical and pretty—perfect for stylish students like you!

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My picks: blue linknotes, pink catcher folder, and orange carrier folder, all available on their website

How do YOU stay focused, organized, productive, and happy? We’d love to know!

xx,
Marla

Today the World

by marla
Friday, August 8th, 2014
Posted in Get Inspired |

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Last Saturday, I had the privilege of speaking at Design Her Story, a wonderful conference for curious, passionate, big-hearted young women aimed to teach them how to use their creativity for a purpose, all while having fun. Arriane Serafico and her amazing team of Wanderrgirls did such a great job putting the event together—it would probably be safe to say that not a single soul left the venue feeling pessimistic, insecure, helpless, or uninspired. Joining me and Arriane on the speaker roster were Rags2Riches’ Reese Fernandez Ruiz, Stache Magazine and Young Star’s Maine Manalansan, and one of Candy‘s favorite photographers, Shaira Luna. Reese Lansangan, with her silky voice and super pretty hair, performed a lovely set for the conference participants and guests, too.

I talked (rambled?) about a lot of things—like dreams and choices and flying and how wishbones are like hearts: you have to break them to get your wish—but I closed with this poem I wrote especially for DHS, which I’m sharing with all of you now:

Today the world will tell you about the fault in your scars. It will tell you to keep
them hidden, beneath a shirtsleeve or under the covers on a Friday evening,
when everyone else is dressed to let their skin breathe, let their youth roam
free, like paper planes and fairy wings, delicate things designed to take flight.

Today the world will tell you about the fault in your scars. It will tell you to keep
them hidden, or else it will tell you to brandish them about like swords, and if
you are brave enough to ask what you are fighting for anyway, or fighting against,
the world will tell you that perhaps you are brave enough to figure that out
on your own, too.

Today the world will tell you that your scars are a part of who you are, like your
legs and fingers and nape and chest, like that mole just below your left cheekbone
or the birthmark tucked underneath your chin. Like your eyes and hair
and spine and lungs and heart.

Today the world will tell you to take a good, hard look at your scars. Count them,
it will say, the big ones and the little ones and even the ones so faint and faded
nobody else can see them but you. Count them because you need to keep track
of how many there are, and where they’ve settled on your body. Count them
because tomorrow someone might ask you for your number, and you have to
be ready to say five or twelve or twenty two. You have to know
where each one belongs.

But someday—I don’t know when, you’ll have to be patient—the world will
tell you, enough with the scars already. Enough with things that have already
healed. Enough with things that no longer bleed. Someday the world will
tell you, hey, let’s talk about music. Let’s talk about poetry. Let’s talk
about art. Let’s talk about the things pain does other than leave scars, greater
things, hopeful things. Someday the world will hand you a fresh serving of
sadness or betrayal or disappointment or hunger or grief, along with a pen
and paper, a guitar, a paintbrush, a camera, a drum set, a microphone stand,
and you’ll know these aren’t weapons; these are tools, these are companions,
these are your new friends.

And the world—this magnificent, magical,
terrifying, looming, spectacular span
of earth and water and sky—
will look you straight in the eye and say:
“This is your hurt.
Learn to use it well.”

photo
P.S. I’m so happy Dyan, Kaye, and Macy got to attend the event. Candy Girls represent!

Love,
Marla

Mid-Week Essentials

by marla
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
Posted in Candy, Pretty Girl, Spotlight |

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It’s a Wednesday that feels like a Monday, and on one hand I can think, “Yay! It’s almost the weekend!” but on the other hand it’s… well, a Wednesday that feels like a Monday. *sadface* Which doesn’t mean it can’t be brightened up with some humpday gloom repellers, right? Right?!

1. Have you gotten a copy of Kathryn: A Candy Fan Magazine yet? If you’re a fan, this is obviously a necessity, but if you’re merely curious about the teen queen, we promise this magazine will convert you into full-on fandom. It’s available in bookstores and magazine stands nationwide, and you can find more details about it here.
2. I’m a huge believer in quick beauty fixes, and Revlon’s Age Defying Targeted Dark Spot Concealer Treatment and Max Factor’s Wild Mega Volume Mascara make me look halfway human in about 50 seconds. Bonus: pretty easy to apply in a moving vehicle, or even while walking!
3. Hydration is the secret to happiness (or something like that), and Vita Coco coconut water is so refreshingly good, I wouldn’t mind guzzling it every day. Bring it to school as an after-PE pick-me-upper, or pair it with a crisp bowl of greens for a healthier take on your usual lunch.
4. Also in photo: super cute pasalubong from Dyan’s Singapore trip (where she met Hunter Hayes, NBD), and my favorite, almost worn-out pair of black flats.

What are your mid-week essentials?

Love,
Marla

10 Thoughts While Watching Revenge

by marla
Monday, June 23rd, 2014
Posted in Candy, Spotlight |

Last week, I woke up at five am to write a story for a collaborative project I’m working on with some friends. (Details soon!) Instead, I turned on the TV and caught episode seven of Revenge season three. I stopped watching this show regularly in the first season, so obviously I didn’t understand anything that was happening. Which doesn’t mean I can’t share with you exactly what I was thinking, in chronological order:

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photo: ABC

1. Nolan still wears colored pants? After all this time? Really?
2. Wait, what? Getting married?!
3. Who’s this guy in the shower again? Actually, I don’t really care, let me just look at him and… HE DOESN’T NEED A TOWEL, VICTORIA, GO AWAY! UGH WHY MUST YOU RUIN EVERYTHING.
4. I want to befriend this girl because she can bake me a cake. Although…
5. Daniel’s ex has major crazy eyes, but also a cute apron and a photoshoot ponytail. She’s cool. And I’m a terrible judge of character.
6. “This itinerary is too aggressive.” #sh!tvictoriasays #push
7. Pshaw. Publicists don’t wear prints that big and colors that bright. Everyone knows that.
8. Come on, Jack, give us one tear. For dead Amanda’s sake. Half a tear? No?
9. Of course the fireworks make everyone suddenly feel like making out. How novel.
10. Is everyone a cheater on this show? Everyone’s a cheater on this show! I don’t trust you people.

I wish I can tell you that after the closing credits I finally got some writing done—but no. I had a chocolate truffle for breakfast and read Gillian Flynn. I need your focus, Emily. Help?

xx,
Marla

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CANDY BLOG

7 Unedible Things in Life that are Almost as Sweet as Cupcakes*

by: marla, 2014-10-01

1. A fluffy puppy's adorable waddle run—especially when he's welcoming you home after a long day 2. Friends who won't always take your side, but will always be BY your side 3....

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