Belle’s Weekly Roundup: May 2, 2013

May 2, 2013

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Sometimes, a woman will buy a dress or a piece of jewelry or nice lingerie and then, she’ll sock it away for “a special occasion.”  However, I like to think that clothing has a transformative effect on the every day.  If you buy something special, find somewhere to wear it or just wear it to inject something beautiful into an otherwise mediocre day.

Speaking of something beautiful, you must see these gorgeous photos of where the Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean.  

Gold Cup is this weekend, and while I did not find time for my usual “what to wear to Gold Cup” post, you can check out  last year’s post, here, and see the outfit from last year, here.  You can also find the recipe for the vodka and water spray, which will help keep you body-odor free while you pop bottles on the lawn in the hot afternoon sun.

I fell into the chasm that is Net-a-Porter and I can’t get out.  I adore this Roland Mouret blouse (Just look at that drama in the back!),  and these Calvin Klein PJs look unfathomably comfortable.   Perhaps, chic pajamas are a must have?  Hmmm.

The hair tutorials on The Small Things Blog are the best.  So I was really excited to see her thoughts on Wen hair care products.  Like every woman with cable, I’ve seen the infomercial a dozen or more times, and always wondered if the no shampoo styling system really works.  You can read Kate’s review, here.

I hope to be this fierce and fabulous when I’m 63-years-old.

BB Creams were originally developed, in part, so that Asian women could lighten their skin.  Even now, most companies only sell creams in a handful of fair-skin shades.  In this Jezebel post, we get a black woman’s perspective on how infuriating it is when the entire beauty industry is raving about a product and you’re left out because no one has gotten around to making your shade.  It is pretty sad when my Caucasian, olive-y skin is the darkest one on a product’s shade chart.

Miss M and I do not have the same taste in clothes, but we are both obsessed with this season’s bags from Rachel Zoe.  This beige satchel is anything but boring, and the signature tote is also fabulous.

I’ve been spent the first part of 2013 getting my financial house in order.  One question that has always perplexed me is how much money I should be putting away each month for my retirement?  I contribute the maximum employer-match, but is it enough?  So I used this calculator to figure out how much I need to retire, and then used this handy Excel calculation (yes, that Excel) to figure how much to put away.

Years ago, a friend introduced to me to the glories of chilaquiles.  Now, Pinterest has brought me chilaquiles with a fried egg on top.  Genius.

When I was young, we spent a lot of time in Seattle. I was convinced it was the coolest place on Earth, and I was going to move there when I grew up.  Then, I figured out that a woman who needs good hair days like others need oxygen cannot live in a place where it rains 200 days per year.  But it doesn’t keep me from loving the city, so this Space Needle coffee mug and this Space Needle tote, both from Nordstrom, really caught my eye.

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  1. Crystal says:

    This year’s Rachel Zoe bags *are* amazing, and they’re drastically reduced at Neiman Marcus Last Call. If you’re looking for black bags, the “Small Tote” that you pictured is $259, the “Deux Tote”(which I have and love–it even fits my professional zipped portfolio) is $249.50, and the “Eve Day Tote Bag” is $189. There are a few great non-black options, too!

  2. Jackie says:

    Belle, today I decided to wear an outfit that I had “saved” for a special day. But, because I’m going through that “I don’t have anything to wear phase” I decided to just wear it to work. I feel so good today! Not only do I feel more polished, I also feel more professional. It’s definitely true- put on those things you “save” and wear them! You hit the nail on the head.

  3. ash says:

    Belle – last year you mentioned that you had been working with a learnvest advisor. Looking back on it would you recommend a consultation with them or was it not as helpful in the long run? Any other financial planning advice to offer?

    • Belle says:

      Learnvest’s dashboard is great at holding you accountable for your spending and giving you and idea of how you’re doing paying off debt. when you set a goal for yourself, it’s great to be able to see the progress. And access to that service is free. As for the advisor, I just didn’t utilize the service much, but that may change as I switch from paying off debt to engaging in a more serious discussion about funding retirement.

  4. In re BB creams: It’s frustrating on both ends. The light/medium shades looks like clown makeup on me. It’s amazing that with the emphasis we put on the daily wear of sunscreen there don’t seem to be shades of make up (and BB cream in this instance) to accommodate the pale skin that comes along with it.

  5. Rachel says:

    Thanks for the link to the Rachel Zoe bags. I had been looking for a great spring/summer bag, and fell in love with that Zoe Tote Deux.

    FYI–the photos you link to on ShopBop are way nicer and do a better job of selling the bag, but it’s on sale for $270 at NM Last Call: https://www.lastcall.com/p/Rachel-Zoe-Zoe-Tote-Deux-Bag-Light-Beige-zoe-tote-deux/prod15810015___/?icid=&searchType=SEARCH&rte=%252Fsearch.jsp%253FN%253D0%2526Ntt%253Dzoe%252Btote%252Bdeux%2526_requestid%253D22641&eItemId=prod15810015&cmCat=search

  6. Charlotte says:

    The BB cream article kind of irks me. BB creams were formulated based on Asian products formulated where fair skin is the beauty ideal. The American BB creams are mimicked from those. That’s the reason that there are fewer shades- the technology is just kind of behind for the US market. It doesn’t appear to be out of insensitivity to a segment of the market.

    Ironically, I myself am part Asian (but the dark kind) and I’m too dark for the majority of BB creams. Go figure.

  7. Melanie says:

    It may rain 200 days a year in Seattle, but it’s beautiful 365 days of the year! Also, I’m pretty sure people in Seattle have a much easier time bringing about ‘good hair days’ because we don’t deal with sticky humidity like in D.C. Umbrellas were invented for a reason.

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