Have a Lovely Weekend...

I can't believe it, I just simply can't believe it, the Summer is officially over within days, mere days! Though it's been a fast paced and AWESOME, I guess I have to bite the bullet and accept the fact that it's coming to a close. I feel like the Summer just started for me partly because I just purchased two bathing suits last weekend (yeah, I know I'm soooo late but well prepared for next Summer). 

This weekend should be relatively quiet, productive and relaxing. I've been giving the furchild a little extra dollop of fur-mommy loving as he's been a little sick this past week but is 99.9% close to being his rambunctious little self. He has his doctor's appointment tomorrow for his annual check up (this is probably more than you care to know but hey, sharing is caring). Other than fur-mommy duties, I'll be working on some PTD orders (YAY), enjoying the last remaining days of Summer, perhaps a little closet purging, taking a few naps here and there, eating some good food and preparing myself for the months that lie ahead!

I hope your Summer was fantastic and that the Fall treats you well. Be sure to enjoy yourself this loooong weekend, spend time with friends and family, do a few things that you weren't able to do earlier this Summer, eat like there's no tomorrow (with no remorse), do a little dance, get down tonight (this weekend) and just soak it all in!

Here's to having a Lovely weekend!!

MAKEUP AIDE | The Winged Liner...

Eyeliner Grail
One of my beauty "challenges" has been trying to line my eyelids! I see lined eyelids everywhere, it's as if they're somehow mocking me because they recognize my bare ones! For the life of me, I've never been able to get it quite right. Whether I use a pencil, liquid liner or even Fluidline, I can never seem to NOT look like I meant to look like a raccoon. I don't know if it's my technique, pull taut and pull right?, or my curly eyelashes that contribute to my defeat or that I just simply don't know what the heck I'm doing.

If you're like me and you want to try to wear your liner with a bit of confidence and dignity, then this tutorial by the The Beauty Department should help us out immensely. All you need is tape and liner, how simplier can it be? I'm going to try it over the weekend and see if it really helps and I'll update with a photo!

What are some of your beauty "challenges"?

MOVIE/FLICK | Celeste & Jesse Forever...

While I was riding the train into the office this morning (yep, I had to come into the office but thankfully, we have early leave today to kick-off our long weekend as an ode to the end of Summer), I saw a glimpse of a movie while eyeballing another person's newspaper, that from the title, peeked my interest.

Celeste and Jesse Forever, "While navigating the turbulent changes in their lives and in their hearts, these two learn that in order to truly love someone, you may have to let them go."

The movie seems warm, funny, a heart tugger and  perhaps even eye opening when it comes to matters of the heart and relationships. I'm going to try to catch it this weekend if possible. I've been on travel for the past three weekends so staying close to home is def. one of my priorities as I say farewell to Summer.

{Video courtesy of Vimeo}

TOPSHOP | Pretty Packaging...

Topshop Lips
I'm sure I'm not alone and that most will probably, maybe, perhaps agree, that we/I purchase things mostly due to their packaging. Well, I do like to do a bit a research about a product before I purchase but mostly, I'll get something if it's pretty...

I was looking at Topshop today and I got the huge cartoon eyes when I saw the packaging for their makeup (specifically the lip treats). I LOVE stripes and I fancy polka dots as well so to see this combo, I think it was a little too much for my little system. I'm not sure how well the makeup is, but I'm def. tempted to give it a try!

Are you drawn to fabulous packaging as well? What are some of your favorites?

(photo edits by PTD)

INTERVIEW | Style w/Reuben Reuel...

SHOP De-Mes'Tiks {heart it loads}

The other day I was perusing Instagram looking for my daily fix of awesome photos and I happened upon an amazing dress! I was curious to see who the designer was and low and behold it was designed/created by a friend of mine named Reuben. I first met Reuben years ago when I was a student at Hampton University and sang with one of the community choirs. Reuben always had a wonderful sense of style as well as his sister Naomi with whom I sang with, so needless to say I shouldn't be one bit shocked that I'm seeing his work online. 

Though it's been a few years and Reuben and I had lost touch, I was beyond excited to see him on Instagram and that he was actively and successfully pursuing his dream of becoming a fashion designer for all the world to see. I've already picked out a few pieces that I literally NEED in my wardrobe!!
I decided that I would pick Reuben's brain about his current line/online Etsy shop, De-Mes'TiksNYC!

Check out our interview below:
Describe Reuben Reuel/De-Mes’Tiks: 
De-Mes'Tiks by Reuben Reuel is a label derived from my love of NYC's Garment District. All of the fabric, notions, trims, etc. are all purchased domestically in NYC and I also use manufacturers in NYC to produce the line. De-Mes'Tiks is about finding fabrics that inspire creativity.

What led to your decision or attraction to design women’s clothing? Is there a plan to expand to other fashion/beauty areas?
I have always had an attraction to fashion in general, however in womenswear I can experiment more creatively. The options women have in apparel are so vast. I do, however, have plans of designing menswear as well considering that I am a man, and I like vast options too! (haha) I feel that there is a shift in fashion now where men are becoming much more concerned with their appearance as much as women are. Kind of like a balance in some way. 

What’s your affinity towards ethnic patterns in your designs? Who is your line appealing to?
Well, I am not African if that's what you want to know (haha). To be honest, I just have a love for prints and colors. When I discovered the fabrics a light bulb came on in my head. The fabrics are so bold, daring, and in your face. I have seen it used in traditional African apparel, but I wanted to translate the fabrics in a more modern, American style. I wanted to create designs that are universal to all walks of life.  I have had people from all different ethnicites respond to the collection with such positive feedback, that's when I knew I accomplished my goal. In a way, changing people's perception of the fabric.

If you could design during any time period, what would it be/why?
That's easy...THE late 70's/ early 80's! The Disco Era! It was time when fashion was playful and sexy. Women dressed like women and men dressed like men. There was a refinement and elegance to clothing and HOW people dressed that we don't see much of today.

What/who serves as your creative muse?
What: I guess I would say fabrics and textiles. I design backwards. I find the right fabric then I create.

Who: I would have to say my one and only sister, Naomi. I always ask myself "would she wear this?" "could she wear?" "would she hate, like, or love it?" 

From a male perspective, what are three key pieces that you believe should be in every woman’s closet?
Hhhhhmmm (good question!) 
1. A transitional classic dress- the kind wear no matter how you wear it or what you wear it with, it always looks good on you and looks different every time it's worn.
2. Black Pumps- (self explanatory) 
3. A good leather bag/purse/clutch- the kind that always gets compliments

Because dreams and aspirations are limitless: what are yours that you have yet to experience?
I have not been to Europe...yet! :) Although this "Concrete Jungle" is my heart and first love, I would like to see how other cultures live. 

Fill in the Blanks:
It’s a Wednesday afternoon and: I am getting over the hump!
My Favorite Word is: GOD because it's very easy and hard to explain all at the same time
My approach to life/design/love is: The De-Mes'Tiks motto:  "Live to create, create to live" -R. Reuel 
If you could freestyle, it would go a little something like this: "My name is Reuben DOT DOT DOT, SOMETH'N SOMETH'N SOME'N that's all I got !" (hahaha!) 

Thanks so much Reuben and I wish/pray you nothing but sweet sweet success! 

Zebra Stripes...

Oh, oh Zebra
 I'm normally not a "zebra print" lover in terms of clothing, shoes, etc. but I have to admit that I wouldn't mind hanging this little print somewhere in my house. It speaks to me, although I'm not quite sure what it's saying per say except for "hey, look at me, I'm a pretty awesome looking zebra"..ha ha ha

Have a Lovely Weekend...

Surfcomber Hotel...
This morning I am heading to Miami to celebrate this weekend with one of my good friends before she heads down the aisle next month (this is friend #3 getting married this year, WHOO HOO). We're praying that a miracle occurs this weekend that will allow the sun to shine and Tropical Storm Isaac to beat it and get lost. No matter the weather, the gals are ready for a high falooting good time:) What happens in Miami stays in Miami, right?

Here's to a lovely weekend, may it be fun, memorable, hilarious & enjoyable!

SHOP PTD | Fall 2012...


I'm beyond excited and a little nervous to announce that...drumroll please... Penelope Toop Darling's online shop will be up, running and fully functional this upcoming Fall!!! WHOOOO HOOOOOO

I'm still in the process of creating items and getting the shop in order but I was bursting at the seams to say something! For some reason I thought it would be easy to make semi quick decisions, figure out what I wanted the store to house, have loads of creative ideas, have all the money I needed readily available and the list is truly endless. I quickly learned through this process that not everything will go just the way you planned it, that there will be a few bumps in the road and perhaps a wee baby breakdown or two during it all but alas I'm content with the fact that I can say I'm thankful that I can look back and appreciate the process! 

Currently PTD will offer: Handmade Jewelry (earrings, necklaces and bracelets) and Party Hats with more offerings in the future!

PTD in all aspects, from the blog to the shop, to my side projects has been a challenge and a gleaming triumph for me. I will continue to allow my creativity|business be fueled by my passion and not become crestfallen or down trodden when things don't always go according to plan. 

I'm looking forward to continuing to create products that are made with love, enthusiasm, creativity & passion and that add a little bit of fun, beauty & oomph to life!

Penelope Toop Darling, Handmade Whatnots!!

DIY | Paper & Lipstick...

Lipstick Fun...
Need to spruce up your desk area? Bring a little bit of color and get some more use out of your current lipstick stash? Here's a quick little DIY to help you out a bit and bring out your inner Picasso. Who said lipstick was just for lips!

This is a very simple and inexpensive way to bring a little color and fun into your work space (home office or if you work in a creative environment). 

1. Pick a few shades of your colorful lipstick (I chose Wet n Wild: 966, 970 & 967)
2. Place color on lips ( I know that's a no brainer)
3. Tape a piece of cardstock paper in a light shade in order to pick up the various shades (I chose Paper Source Soft White) to a flat surface
4. Pucker up and create
5. Now frame your one of a kind piece of art!

Have fun!

DIY | Taper Candles...

Oh Happy Day...
 How wonderful is this quick little DIY that takes no time at all! I’ve always been a fan of long skinny candles and this DIY offers you to ability to create some yourself and add a little spark to a cakey sweet treat. I can’t wait to try it!

INSPIRATION | Food for Thought...

The phase/motto, “You Only Live Once” seems to be so prevalent these days and as clich├ęd or trendy as it may be, it does hold truth. It makes you question whether or not the life that you’re living is a good reflection of who you are, where you want to be, and what you’re currently doing. A lot of times we may value our life by what we’ve obtained materially, how others perceive our accomplishments and even failures and what we’ve yet to achieve.  The wonderful thing about only living once is that we’re graced with the ability to start anew if need be, be it a new attitude, a new perspective, a new vision, a new challenge or even a new goal. 
How do you view your life?  

ADVENTURES | BreakDancing...

Breakdance Tutorial
"B-boying or breaking, often called "breakdancing", is a style of street dance that originated as a part of hip hop culture among African American and Latino youths in New York City during the early 1970s."

Let me preface this post by saying that I am in no way a dancer per say. I like to bounce around, river dance maybe, do the running man every now and again or even a impromptu tap dance, so when I saw a class for Breakdancing being offered, I had no other choice but to jump on it or should I say "break" on it. For some reason I've secretly wanted to learn how to pop and lock...Yep the dance secret is now out.

The class is tonight and I’ve managed to wrangle two of my other friends to join me, this should make for a very interesting evening, a story that I can share with my kiddies one day but family and friends will have to suffice at the moment. Hmmm all I need is some “breaking gear” and to practice my beatboxing skills. Let’s hope that I can beatbox and breakdance at the same time.

Since a few of my friends know that I’m going to this course and have asked for a video, I may upload one post class. We shall see. If nothing else, this is going to be an amazing, fun-filled night.

Maybe I can watch the below clip before class and at least learn how to Pop and Lock, Turbo style, ha ha

Have a Lovely Weekend...

Glasses and Curls

The weekend is almost here just a mere few hours away! Thank goodness and the heavens above. I'm looking forward to enjoying myself, be it finding or stumbling upon some fantastic thrift stores, eating at some tummy expanding/food coma inducing food festivals, enjoying warm weather with a cool breeze (something that the Mid-west is giving me unlike the hot humidity of home and just a good old fashioned good time.

This week has been filled with packing, hair maintenance, dog grooming (and pep talk about being a good doggie while Mommy is away), two PTD projects, house cleaning and just some mental preparation for my travel. 

Somehow unbeknowst to me, my Summer has practically passed by me without me taking a Summer vacation, but thank the Heavens above that I will have some semblance of a vacation towards the end of this month as I head to the beaches of Miami to help celebrate another friend's upcoming nuptials with a little girl fun Bachlorette Party style. I tell you this year has been chock full of non stop action, between work travel, Bridal Showers, Weddings, a Family Reunion and some other things peppered here and there, this year has been zooming and awesome. I'm thankful that I can say wonderful things have been taking place for myself and for others so I can't see what the rest of the year has in store.

Whatever your plans are for the weekend, be it cramming tons of things to do during your last month of Summer, trying something new, relaxing, spending time with family, friends and/or your special someone, have fun and make it memorable. 

Have a Lovely Weekend! 



So every now and again, I get the urge to spruce things up if you will. Be it in my home, my car (yep even the car gets some TLC), work space, etc. It's good to bring a little bit of change into your space whatever it may be.

For the loooooongest time, I've been wanting, longing, desiring to take a FUN Photoshop course (FUN FUN, FUN as in not boring, and not taking a course that I'd rather watch paint dry than actually take), 1. so I can learn something new, 2. try to apply what I've learned to small projects that I work on, and  3. FINALLY learn how to spiff up some of my blog posts by adding a little razzle dazzle to PTD!

So in my search I heard about a LA based PhotoShop course, BLOGSHOP taught by Bri Emery of designlovefest and Photographer Angela Kohler of Angela & Ithyle and let's just say my interest was more than peeked. What's so wonderful about the both of them and what I've seen about BLOGSHOP is that Bri and Angela make the course, fun, def. interactive and you come away with good info. Every review that I've seen about the course has been STELLAR! BLOGSHOP is billed as a "Photoshop bootcamp minus the push ups". I'm looking forward to learning how to utilize the program and bring some pizazzaz to my blog.
When I say that I am MORE THAN pleased as punch, tinkled pink, on cloud nine that BLOGSHOP is FINALLY coming to DC and that I'm sigining my little brown self right on up, I could literally shout it in the streets while tossing up party confetti and twirling around like there's no tomorrow! I've waitied for over a year and even emailed them that they needed to bring this workshop to our Nation's Capital and voila here they are (well here they come)!
I simply CANNOT WAIT! Check out the video below:
                                        What is BLOSHOP? from Bri Emery on Vimeo.


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