Sarah Dubbeldam’s passion project, Darling Magazine, has swiftly become a bedside and coffee table staple of empowered women everywhere.

The magazine, with it’s thoughtful essays and adorable layouts, adds a welcome female voice to the newsstand, affirming throughout it’s heavy paper pages that femininity and strength are not mutually exclusive.

This former model, entrepreneur, dreamer, and doer has us all kinds of inspired as we flip through the latest Spring issue. Darling encourages us to be more of the fully-expressed woman we want to be: strong, sweet, stylish, grounded, wistful and wise. Take a peek into how Sarah starts her mornings. Find out what keeps her inspired and how she keeps the magic in all things that make her truly darling.

My alarm is set for…

7 a.m.

First thing I do when I wake up is…

Pet my cat, Chip, who is always on the exact same spot of our bed. He also loves to lick my face like a dog, which is awkward but funny because he’s still a kitten.

I can’t start my morning without…

Tea or coffee and a 30-minute reading/journaling session in my yard under the avocado tree.

Breakfast is normally…

Eggs and bacon or avocado on toast. I believe eating a small amount of carbs and some (healthy) fats in the morning jumpstarts my brain and helps me be creative, especially on early morning photo shoots! My favorite thing though, is when my husband and I go to this secret old-fashioned diner on the grounds of the Police Academy by our house.

My morning is filled with…

Talking with my husband, Steve, about what the day holds and what our plans are for that evening.

Daily uniform…

Black skinny J Brand jeans, black Converse high tops, a simple tee and cardigan. I feel it’s really important to wear outfits that are completely “you” at work; to feel confident and put together. I try and match my mood to my outfit or what I will be doing that day, which helps me feel more comfortable in my skin.

Favorite morning beverage is…

Hot chai tea latte.

My favorite moment in the morning is…

Heating up water for my tea and listening to the birds outside.

I’m usually listening to…

Pandora or whatever our managing editor, Tracy Le, puts on in the office, because she has great taste in music. My favorites right now are Lorde, St. Lucia and Beyonce.

When I can, I sneak this into my morning…

A hike in Griffith Park with my friends! We like to go around 7 a.m. when there is still fog over the city. When you get to the top, by the Griffith Observatory, you feel on top of the world. It’s a really great escape into nature, which always inspires my creativity.

I start working by…

Looking at my day planner and working through each task in order, as well as checking emails and flagging them by priority. I also like to go on Pinterest in the morning, or look at the mood boards I’ve made, to help me get in the mental space of the current issue we are working on.

I’m usually juggling…

Working on the visual and editorial content of the magazine at the same time. I split my day in half – the first involving making visual mood boards or being on set for shoots, the latter is spent reading drafts and editing content.

I get my creative juices flowing by…

Camping is one of my favorite things to do when I need inspiration. There is something about the stillness, the stars and the smell of campfire…it clears my head and reminds me of the simplicity of beauty. I also love looking at beautiful photography blogs. One of my favorite sites is A Well Traveled Woman; her photos are so dreamy and other-worldly, they inspire me to pursue visual originality with the magazine. Last, but not least, talking with my friends about content for Darling is where I get most of my vision for the editorial stories.

My favorite morning distraction is…

Having the time to watch an episode of one of my favorite TV shows. Currently: Downton Abbey, Sherlock and The Story of US.

My current mantra:

Embrace joy. Work can be very stressful, stealing our joy and the ability to be present right where we are. I try to stop and look around me, practicing thankfulness for the privilege to work on what I love and the wonderful people doing it with me. When I’m grateful, I feel time slow down.

From our friends


  1. Sounds like a relaxing, peaceful start to the day. I love the two photos, especial the second–it’s a beautiful glimpse into her home.

    Karen | Char Co. | 03.17.2014 | Reply
  2. I absolutely adore Darling Magazine and I am a subscriber. We need more of these amazing people in our lives. Great article!

    Joanne Angelina | 03.18.2014 | Reply

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