A Not-so-Lazy Sunday

Hi pretties.

I’m afraid I don’t have any links for you this lazy Sunday, because I’ve been anything but lazy all day!  When I got over the daylight savings time blues this morning at 9:30, I dragged myself out of bed and committed to my second day of running.

For some reason, on Friday morning, I woke and decided to go for a run.  Because I’ve literally never in my life gone for a run, this was actually more like going for a run, jog, walk, pant.  But I sweated through two miles out on the road!  Per my lifelong friend Megan’s (you saw her yesterday!) advice, I took yesterday off, and got back on the road today for a shorter distance, about 1.3 miles.  I feel fantastic.

If you’ve been curious about trying something new, I think you should.  You can.

Safe & sexy,


Instagrams of My Daily Life

Hi pretties.

It’s time for more Instagrams!  I really can’t get enough of this app, as you’ve probably noticed.  I keep forgetting to include this, but if you want to follow me, you can find me at “nicetobelieve”.  I would be thrilled!

This is my friend Alicia’s guinea pig, Barney.  We became bffls last night, and he cuddled with me for about forty minutes.  I got lots of guinea pig kisses, and now I’m kind of addicted to these little dudes!

Dice nails!  I just felt like doing something kind of silly on my nails instead of my standard sparkles.

This was my view on Tuesday afternoon from behind the counter.  Don’t we have an adorable sign??

Of course, I had to get a picture of some of the best prints on our vintage kitchen table.  It’s an unwritten rule.

I think this face was the product of the only night I stayed up past 12:30 over spring break. This is actually me trying to duckface and failing.  Little known fact: I am physically incapable of duck facing.

We make the best chai at the cafe.  It’s actually made totally from scratch and I’m kind of obsessed with it, but I’m unorthodox because I think it’s better with vanilla than it is with honey.  Watch out, we got a badass on our hands.

This is my beautiful friend Megan painting pottery at Color Me Mine last weekend.  Don’t you love her glasses?

Beautiful Megan’s equally beautiful twin sister Nicole, who was making the most unique dish I’ve seen!

Alicia, of guinea pig ownership and mojito drinking fame, painted a chevron mug that matches her office.  Girl got it together.

And this was my floral mug!  I can’t wait to pick up our pieces today!  I might even get to use mine at work to make some delicious chai.

Safe & sexy,



11 Things


1. Post these rules.

2. Post a photo of yourself and 11 random things.

3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post.

4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.

5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them that you’ve tagged them.



1. I thought my favorite color was green until I realized a few days ago that everything I buy anymore is purple.  Apparently, my favorite color is purple.

2. I want a cat more than anything else in the world.  My parents are allergic and I’ll be moving back home after college for just a little while until I get on my feet, so I definitely won’t be able to afford a cat for a bit, but when I can get one, I want to name it either Alot (see: Hyperbole and a Half) or Hayek (an Austrian economist).  Big, lazy, cuddly cats are my favorites.

3. Recently, I discovered that I prefer shooting with my film SLR (which is from the 1970s) to shooting with my DSLR (which is from 2010).  I feel like a total hipster jackass saying this, but it’s just so different.  If you’ve never tried film photography, I recommend picking up an older SLR (a Canon, Nikon, or Minolta) and giving it a go.  It’s so exciting when you get to pick up your rolls.

4. I love beer.  My favorite beers include Mad Elf, Dogfish Head 90 Minute, Victory Golden Monkey, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, and lately, I’ve been really like Belgians, especially ones with fruity notes.  I love stouts, too.  And when it comes to ubercheap beer, I don’t think you can beat a PBR or a Duquesne Pilsner.  

5. I have/had really bad generalized anxiety.  My arousal level was pretty much constantly at a 6/10, so little things would take me way up to an 8 or 9.  I’ve had a couple of panic attacks, but anxiety attacks for me were really harsh and could last for hours.  I finally told my counselor I’d been seeing for it that I was having problems concentrating and thought I might need more than talk therapy, so I’ve been taking medication for it (daily antidepressants, not anti-anxiety drugs) and I feel infinitely better.  It really bothers me that there’s such a stigma against taking these medications.  I just know that I feel a million times better than I have in the last several years.

6. The college I go to was originally my last choice school.  Ha.  By the time I actually visited, though, I absolutely fell in love.  I visited after I got accepted, and I had applied purely on a whim and to have an extra safety.  It was the only school I really felt at home at, and people were so, so welcoming.  I applied to 4 schools: Tulane, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Melon University, and Notre Dame.  I got into the first two, and was rejected by the second two.  I wish I had applied to more schools, but I’ve been so happy at Pitt, and I wouldn’t change that.

7. I’m very close to my parents.  I’m an only child and both of my parents have always been a really big part of my life, always very involved.  I love and respect my parents more than anyone.

8. I have really bizarre luck.  My friend Rob says that I lead a charmed life.  That may or may not be so haha.  When I quit my high paying retail job in October of 2010, I didn’t have another job lined up, but I did need one.  Three weeks later, I got a text from my friend Jess asking if I wanted to come work with her.  I’ve been working at that cafe for a 15 months now, and I’ve never had a job I’ve loved more.

9. You probably won’t see many outfit posts on Marvelous Darling, because I’m very self conscious about my feet and the fact that I can rarely find cute shoes.  I have two completely different sized feet: my left is a kids’ 11 and my right is a womens 6.  I can walk and run just fine, and I have special orthotics to keep my bone structure from screwing up my knees and back, but as you can imagine, it’s hell trying to be stylish.  I’m very blessed to live in the means that I do, where I can afford medical care, but as selfish and first world as this sounds, sometimes a girl just wants a pair of heels, y’know?

10. I turn into a puddle of goo over dogs, especially pit bulls.  I love pit bulls.  But I love them so much that I usually can’t get the full two words to come out of my mouth and I end up saying “pibbles.”  They’re such good dogs.

11. I have two middle names, legally.  I think one is supposed to be a confirmation name, but they’re both on my birth certificate and my social security card, and I use them both.  This is why I can’t have anything monogrammed.

11 Questions from Dorian & Maine

1. What is your least favourite thing in the world? (I know, we’re starting off happy, aren’t we?)
My least favorite thing in the world is definitely a combination of sounds and textures.  Squeaking chalk or when you rub a textured paper napkin against itself.  That drives me up a wall.
2. Do you sleep with lots of covers or not very many?
I sleep with a sheet, a comforter, and a blanket.  I like to keep my room cool and my bed roasty-toasty.
3. You’re having one of those ‘I need a paper bag over my head NOW’ days. What do you do to make yourself feel better?
I put on comfy clothes and retreat with something to take my mind off of it.  My go-tos are yoga pants, a tee, and a good book.  Cooking something delicious and healthy helps me, too!
4. If you had a can of peaches and I wanted some, would you give them to me?
Absolutely!  I don’t want you to get scurvy.
5. What is your favourite design trend?
I’m happy that it’s completely acceptable to use Instagrams all over the place because it’s so much easier to inconspicuously Instagram in public than to whip out a DSLR.
6. Humans tend to like keepsakes. Are there any that you like to keep with you whenever possible?
I don’t really have anything that I carry around, no.  I get very attached to my purses, though.  I usually only have one and use it for years.
7. What is your favourite era in history?
This is soooo counterintuitive for an econ major, but I love the 20s and 30s.  Yeah, it was a trainwreck, but it was such a beautiful trainwreck.
8. Is there a food that you associate with a certain time in your life?
Shrimp fried rice = early high school.
9. What blog do you find yourself going to the most these days?
So hard to choose one!  See my links page or my Lazy Sunday posts if you’re curious.  I hate to pick one because then I’m like, BUT THERE ARE SO MANY AND I LOVE YOU ALL.
10. How do you feel about where you are in your blog’s journey?
Oh, definitely just starting out!  I feel like the kid who runs away from home to the woods at the age of 8 with like, a peanut butter sandwich and a bandana tied on a stick.  I’m approximately that prepared.  But I’m excited to gain experience and hopefully get to the point where I’m more legit, more like Hatchet than “Hansel and Gretel”.  You know, if we’re sticking with the kids in the woods theme.
11. Are there any Do’s or Don’ts you’ve learned while blogging that you would like to suggest to your readers?
Don’t expect overnight success.  I still look at my traffic several times a day, and I did set a goal for myself for exposure, but now that I see that I have actual returning vistors, I feel so much more gratified. And that took several months.  Be patient.  Write for yourself.  If you’re genuine about your content, people will like you more.
My own 11 Questions
1. Leather or lace?
2. If you could bring only one thing to entertain you on a 22 hour train ride, what would it be?
3. What’s your favorite number, and why?
4. Do you believe in or draw significance from your zodiac sign?
5. How do you feel about strawberry jam versus grape jelly, particularly on PB&J?
6. What’s your favorite meal?  Give me specifics.  No “dinner” bullcrap.
7. If you plan on having children, do you want to know their sex before they’re born, or keep it a surprise?
8. Who’s your least favorite celebrity?
9. What’s your favorite album?
10. If you could only drink one specific thing for the rest of your life – but not worry about dehydration – what would you drink?
11. Does he love me?  I wanna know.  How can I tell if he loves me so?
Everyone whose blog I follow has already done this, so I’m taking it to Twitter and Tumblr.  If you’re reading this, I would love for you to complete it and send me a link or comment with where you posted it!
Safe & sexy,

Why I’m Sex-Positive

Hi pretties.

I thought it might be time that I addressed why I started this blog, and why I’ve chosen to take it in this direction.  I’ve seen some more readers around recently (welcome! thank you all!), and I want to start the dialogue.  This certainly won’t be the last time I post on this topic!

Recently, a friend and former colleague of mine, a gentleman probably slightly older than my father, asked me what I wanted to do after college.  I told him that I planned on opening a female-friendly sex toy boutique here in Pittsburgh, and I really didn’t anticipate his reaction: he told me he thought we needed that, and that I could do some serious good in people’s lives.  I was extremely touched.  He told me that he felt we sometimes (or often) mishandled sex in the way that we talk to younger people.  I don’t want to give too many details on our conversation, because he has a right to privacy and a right for our former employers not to know his thoughts on the subject, but he really got me thinking.

I’ve been very blessed to grow up in both a tolerantly religious household, and a sex-positive one.  When my parents gave me “the talk”, they stressed that they hoped I would choose to have sex first with someone I cared about, and someone who cared about me.  They were very level-headed, and answered all of my questions.  Still today, I know that I can be open with them.  Not everyone grows up in an environment like this.  I have a lot of friends who never had “the talk,” whose parents shut those lines of communication, and who had to rely on friends, who were sometimes misinformed.  Sex ed where I went to school was a joke.  Because so many schools practice abstinence-only education, we leave sex education in the hands of parents, many of whom also drop the ball.  What are we teaching them?  That sex isn’t to be talked about.

Then comes the real kicker: you can view sex, but you can’t talk about it.  Pornography is so popular and so easily accessible.  Even more easily accessible, I would say, than a solid sex education.  There’s a lot wrong with that.  It is a sad state of affairs.  I’m personally someone who doesn’t see anything wrong with pornography as a general concept (yes, it is sad that it can become an addiction, and yes, there are varieties of porn that ought not exist), but I do see something wrong with it being easier to find than correct information about sex.  This is why, a few posts ago, I posted a link to Scarleteen.  I trust their information, and I think everyone, especially those 18 and under, should have ready access to information like this.  

So why me?  I’m the girl in my group of friends, at my place of work, who can talk about anything with anyone.  I am so hard to make uncomfortable.  I talk frankly with my friends about birth control, sex positions, sex acts, toys… you name it, I’ve probably discussed it.  I just don’t feel that there’s anything wrong with two people discussing sex.  It’s not dirty, it’s not shameful.  It’s something you do, and the less you talk about it, the more you turn it into this taboo.  The less you talk about it, the less information gets out.  Kids who don’t talk about sex aren’t going to not have sex – they’re not going to have safe sex!

So, I’m here to talk to you, because you’re all my friends, about sex.  Because there’s nothing wrong with being a girl who likes sex.  If you’re a sexual being, you should like sex!  It doesn’t matter how many people you choose to have sex with, when you choose to have sex, or with whom you choose to have sex.  As long as it’s consensual and safe, I think you should rock on.  I don’t believe in slut shaming, and I don’t believe in making up rules about what’s right for other people.  I only hope, for you, that your sex life is as fulfilling as can be, whatever that means to you.

If you want to discuss sex-positivity in my comments, I’d love that.  

Safe & sexy,


Wardrobe Revamp and Remix, Anyone?

Hi pretties,

Today, I was inspired by The Tiny Twig to revamp and restyle and remix and re-everything-else my wardrobe.  Spring break is doing wonders for my relaxation, but I needed to finally do something at least mildly productive.  So, after some major room spring cleaning, I headed to my wardrobe…

First, I gathered all of the clothes I haven’t worn in the past 6 months, or the clothes that I put on and then immediately take off because they never fit quite right or look quite nice enough.  You know, the shirts that are too tight in the wrong spots and the dress that’s awkwardly short or long?  You probably have no need for it!

Then, I looked at what remained.  What I saw were a lot of stripesloose v-neck teescardigans, and skinny jeans.  After thinking about it, those are really what I feel most comfortable in, with some v-neck sweaters in neutral colors thrown in for good measure.  I also discovered that as much as I love H&M in the store and on the racks, their clothes just do not have staying power in my closet, with the exception of one cardigan and one sweater.  Their clothes simply don’t fit me.  Another surprise?  A lot of the basics in my wardrobe (jeans, long sleeve v-necks, lacy tank tops) were from Abercrombie.  Their clothes fit me well and I end up keeping them for years.  But that’s just me!  

So, I made myself a newly revamped and recharged style Pinboard on Pinterest.  I would absolutely love it if you would check it out!  I would also love to see my readers’ styles, so follow me on Pinterest and I’d love to follow you in return, or post here with a link so I can see what you’re up to!

PS: If you haven’t clicked above, you should definitely check out The Tiny Twig, especially her 31 Days to a No-Brainer Wardrobe posts!  They’re incredible, and Hayley makes sure to not cater to only one body type or budget.  She’s brilliant!

Safe & sexy,


A Tiny but Important Note

Hi pretties,

I feel like now would be a good time to make a small but important note.  I don’t really know yet what my actual demographic is, though I had aimed to make it 18-30.  I write mostly for college girls, but some of my readers may be older or younger.  Because I love all of my readers, I have to make a couple of announcements to avoid any potential trouble with the fact that I do post some mature content, including sex toy reviews.  

If you’re under 18, I ask that you check out Scarleteen for awesome sex education info.  I promise, their information is trustworthy, and they aren’t one of those “just don’t do it at all” resources.  You also legally should not purchase toys from the links I provide, but it is up to those retailers to stop you.  I have very little control over that.  People under 18 do have sex, but they should always be informed, educated, and responsible – as should we all.

I’m aiming to keep my blog as free from profanity as possible, because I do want to appeal to a wide audience and I do want to prove that you can be a smart, sweet, feminine woman and still enjoy sex and toys.  After all, “sweet and smart” should mean that I’m capable of utilizing more eloquent words than “fuck”, right?  

At some point, I do plan to write a longer post about why I am doing this and what about sex education appeals to me, but right now, I just wanted to get this information out on my blog.

Safe & sexy,


Lazy Sunny Sunday

Hi pretties,

This lazy Sunday post is being brought to you from the only sunny spot in my basement apartment – the living room.  But the sun is doing its best to stream through our meager windows and I feel kind of like a cat, trying to find a spot of sunlight to curl up in.  *purr*

How was your week?  Anyone have exciting news?

It’s been a fantastic week for valuable content, over here!  I have so much to share with you today, I hope you don’t mind an extra long Lazy Sunday post!

I invested in Kaelah’s PR + Marketing eBook just two days ago, on Friday night, and I had finished it by Saturday at 11am.  I couldn’t put it down.  It’s seriously a wealth of valuable information, and I’m so happy I picked it up in the early stages of my blog because I can’t wait to put it to good use!  If you’ve been thinking about blogging, or if you want to give your blog a PR/Marketing facelift, this is definitely a book I would recommend!  On top of what you get out of it, you’re supporting a lovely lady’s indie business.  Win/win!

& It seems like every single day, I find at least 3 new blogs to follow, and I’m so happy I found Bobbi’s this weekend!  Today, I’m Bobbi has some truly gorgeous photos, unique how-tos, and her design is unique but clean.  I’m hooked!  I always have the utmost respect for bloggers who take the time to respond to comments or tweets, and Bobbi is one of those ladies.  Plus, she’s spent 2 years living in Australia and New Zealand – how cool is that?

& Do you have big dreams but feel trapped, not knowing how to get them off the ground?  I’m loving this post on Nubby Twiglet right now on just that topic!  Nubby’s blog is full of great content and awesome resources, on everything from design to blogging to fashion.

About six months ago, I found The Emma Edition by way of Refinery 29’s article on teen bloggers.  I love Emma’s blogging voice!  She’s such an impressively creative and unique young woman (is that a weird phrase coming from a 21 year old?), and she actually writes for Refinery 29.  Basically, I hope to be as cool as Emma when I grow up.

Cute girls with rats!  There’s a whole Tumblr full of ’em!  I knew there were more like me in the world!  If you’ve seen my posts with Ewan in them, you know I’m a rat momma.  If you didn’t know before, you know now!  Rats have such a bad rap, but really, they’re sweet and very loving pets.  They tend to be smart, clean, and incredibly tame.  If you’re curious about rats as pets in general, you should check out RatsRule.com!

This week coming up, I’m on spring break!  What does this mean for Marvelous Darling?  Even more content!  I’m planning on showing you all how I took an ordinary Moleskine-like notebook (honestly, you can use a Moleskine or a generic equivalent from your local art supply store – I’m not a notebook elitist) and turned it into a functional blog planner.  I’ll also be doing a full review of the Je Joue Mimi, which by the way, is getting excellent marks in every category thus far.  And last, but not least, I’d like to do a short piece on my favorite Twitter personalities that you may not have heard of.  Of course, expect an Instagram post or two thrown in for good measure.  So stay tuned!  

Safe & sexy,