Workday Reading

Belle’s Weekly Reading: September 27, 2013


The last few weeks have been a bit of a mess.  At least, it feels that way at that moment.  I’m feeling off-kilter right now, so I have no quips, observations or words of wisdom to share.  But I do have pictures of puppies to dull the sharp edges of a bad week.  Meet Cash, Dancer and Penny.  They’re usually not this well-behaved; they were begging for a treat.  But Charles Schulz was right, happiness is a warm puppy.

1) I was looking for an inexpensive way to spruce up my coffee table when I spotted these marble-print trays from Nate Berkus.  I love the simple white and black color palette and the subtle pattern.  I also picked up this carved wood peacock from Pottery Barn.

2) Speaking of decor, Corporette shares her thoughts on how to personalize your workspace.

3) I’m always searching for stylish shoes that make a statement.  It’s especially helpful if they cost under-$150. These grey ankle-strap pumps from Sole Society and these gorgeous tortoise-shell flats from Isola are both on my wish list.

4) Our clothes are a reflection of our personality.  So if they’re stained, they reflect poorly.  The University of Illinois Extension put together a comprehensive guide to removing stains that will blow your mind.

5) My skin isn’t perfect, but now that an antibiotic-laced cream has kept my acne at bay for a few months, I’m ready to start healing the existing damage.  I want to see how much difference products can make before I invest time and pain in Fraxel treatments.

To this end, I purchased Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum and Tammy Fender Intensive Repair Balm.  Maybe it will help a lot, maybe it will help a little.  But I’d like to see what the beauty counter has before I go under the laser.

6) California passed a law that creates a “digital eraser” for teenagers looking to scrub their online footprint of red Solo cups, duck-faced selfies and any scandalous material that they may have posted without thinking.  I wonder if they’ll eventually wind up giving everyone access to this magical mistake mitigator?

7) Sweater-dresses are the workhorses of my autumn/winter wardrobe.  I wear them on casual Friday, when I travel and on the weekends.  They’re the easiest thing to wear when you feel like you have a closet full of nothing-to-wear.

I don’t shop at Old Navy very often, but they have a great selection of inexpensive sweater dresses.  This cable-knit sweater is a great choice.  I also like this longsleeve v-neck and this basic black-and-white stripe dress.  Old Navy sells some lovely plus-size options as well.  I wish this dolman sweater dress came in misses’ sizes, I like it that much.

8) Finding a bra that fits properly can be a real chore.  This week, Jezebel featured an inforgraphic from HerRoom that teaches you how to measure yourself properly and what “sister” bra sizes can help you adjust when your regular size is feeling to big or too small.  Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Calvin Klein ‘Perfectly Fit’ Racerback bra.

9) I’ve been walking the gravel path along the Mall for exercise, and while it may be warm during the day, the mornings are quite chilly.  To keep warm, I searched the Nordstrom sale section for an activewear jacket.  I’m really happy with the Zella jacket I picked up.  It’s warm, comfortable and stretches to accommodate extra layers.  I also bought the Heavenly Hail Hoodie from Athleta.  After all, a girl needs choices.

10) The new television shows are out, and my DVR is working over time to record them all.  It’s too soon to tell what my “new favorite” shoes will be, but I was impressed with The Blacklist and Sleepy Hollow shows some promise.  If you’re a television-fanatic, I’d love to know what new and returning shows your excited about.

Frankly, I (like many people) am just waiting for the next season of Downton Abbey.  I also don’t know how Mad Men fans do it, these long hiatuses have kept me from picking up the series, I don’t want to be emotionally invested in a storyline that requires two years of waiting before I get a resolution.  I’m just not that patient.



  1. Samantha says:

    I recently started using a serum from Bobbi Brown (I will put the link at the bottom), not believing that it would work or really do anything. I WAS WRONG! I have only been using it for about three weeks, at night after I wash my face, and my skin is much softer, and any old acne scars have faded so much! Another big change is that my skin color has evened out dramatically. This product is amazing!

    September 27, 2013/Reply
  2. Addison says:

    What’s the name of the antibiotic cream you use? I assume its by prescription only.

    I’m a total TV addict, but the premieres I was most looking forward to were Law & Order SVU, Nashvillle, Scandal and the Good Wife due to their cliffhanger endings last season. And yes, I’m also dying for Downton Abbey to come back. The seasons are far too short!

    September 27, 2013/Reply
  3. Reed says:

    There are… other ways… to watch Downton–not that I am condoning anything, of course!

    September 27, 2013/Reply
    • Kels says:

      I don’t feel bad about streaming shows that don’t air in the US at the same time( like Doctor Who). I don’t want to be spoiled and there are gifs on tumblr before I can even find a link to watch. I rewatch when they air here and sometimes buy the DVDs. It evens out.

      September 27, 2013/Reply
  4. MDZags says:

    Wondering if you own a pair of Sole Society shoes. I have only tried on the heels, but it was a horrible process. Very painful, strange arches and wonky construction. Are the flats any better?

    September 27, 2013/Reply
    • Mary says:

      For what it’s worth, I have a pair of Sole Society flat sandals and while they are really cute, they are incredibly uncomfortable and pinch my heels.

      September 28, 2013/Reply
      • MDZags says:

        Thanks, Mary! I really tried to get on board with SS, especially since Nordstrom carries them, but they hurt so much. Did you buy your normal size or go up?

        October 1, 2013/Reply
  5. joanna says:

    I would highly recommend using the Obagi Nu-Derm system ( before resorting to laser treatments. The system I use fights acne, scarring, and dark spots. It is truly amazing.

    September 27, 2013/Reply
    • Anonymous says:

      I highly second Obagi Nu Derm. The initial investment is expensive bot totally worth every penny. I’ve used Obagi for years and often get compliments on my skin. And I am 57 years young!

      September 28, 2013/Reply
  6. KB says:

    Its only one episode in, but I was impressed with the Blacklist. Hostages held my attention but I’m afraid it’ll be short lived like Last Resort. And although I feel like I’m one of the few people still watching, I love Grey’s Anatomy!

    September 27, 2013/Reply
    • Sarah says:

      I would love to know the name of the cream as well!

      September 27, 2013/Reply
  7. GingerR says:

    Old Navy is worth checking out. I think it’s safer to go into the store and try things on. The quality of their clothing varies considerably. The cable sweater dress looks like a winner.

    September 27, 2013/Reply
  8. ~M says:

    I found the murad didn’t anything, Clinique’s was much better (though not a miracle either). Maybe I’ll try bobbi brown recommended above…

    September 27, 2013/Reply
  9. KRF says:

    In addition to being a big Downtown and Mad Men fan, I started watching The Mindy Project because I liked Mindy Kaling’s book so much. There are definitely some great laughs in both!

    September 28, 2013/Reply
  10. Mary says:

    I was just looking at the Old Navy sweater dress online! Would you wear it with a belt? If so, what kind?


    September 28, 2013/Reply
  11. Rachelle says:

    I’m really excited to watch “Masters of Sex” on Showtime when it premiers tonight, mainly because I adore Lizzy Caplan. I’m also looking forward to season five of “The Good Wife”. The Blacklist pilot is sitting in my hulu queue, but I think that one will have to wait until I’m on vacation in two weeks.

    September 29, 2013/Reply
  12. Alaina says:

    That bra infographic is absolutely wrong about band size. You do not add anything to your band size when you measure. Because of the invention of spandex, lycra, etc. there is no need to add inches as the fabric is already quite stretchy.

    September 29, 2013/Reply
  13. Charleigh says:

    Ooo so my CURRENT shows throughout the year are: from HBO – Newsroom, Veep, Game of Thrones, Trueblood, Girls. From Showtime I watch Homeland and House of Lies (not House of Cards, haven’t tried that yet), and then I also watch Daily Show, Colbert, Mindy, New Girl, Walking Dead, Revolution and Grimm.

    Shows that are new that are coming out I’m going to try: The Tomorrow People (kids with super powers), Reign (period drama), Almost Human (futuristic robots and I love the main actor), Dracula (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Hello Ladies(HBO, might be funny), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.(Joss Wedon), Super Fun Night(Rebel Wilson), We Are Men (might be funny).

    I’ve watched the first two episodes of Sleepy Hollow, and although the guy is realllly hot, I don’t think this is one I’ll get into. It’s basically a lot like Grimm — cops solving mysteries when a bunch of supernatural stuff starts happening. I can only watch one with this premise, and I’m already invested in Grimm.

    September 30, 2013/Reply
  14. Krysta says:

    SO ready for Downton Abbey to return! I think it’s already airing in the UK (jealous!). I recently fell in love with New Girl, which just recently started its third season. It’s only about 20 minutes per episode, and after that is The Mindy Project, which seems like it could be funny. Of course, we’re also waiting for Game of Thrones to come back. I don’t like all of this waiting!

    October 1, 2013/Reply