Workday Reading + Ask The Edit

Belle’s Weekly Reading: January 10, 2014


This week, I was reminded on several occasions that life is short.  Sometimes tragically short.  Don’t save that bottle of champagne, those fabulous shoes or that new lipstick for a special occasion.  If there is breath in your body, you should celebrate being alive in whatever way you can.


1) J.Crew is apparently designing bridal attire exclusively for the five women on Earth who can pull off this look without looking like they belong on AbFab.

2) Last year, facial oils were all the rage.  In 2014, I predict that it will be facial mists getting all the attention.  But don’t run out and spend your hard-earned just yet.  Geri Hirsh from the blog Because I’m Addicted shows you how to make a vitamin-E infused, citrus face mist with things you buy at the grocery store.

3) Every few weeks, I like to cruise Nordstrom’s sale handbags just to see what steals and deals they have.  This week, I found a Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote for 50%-off, this charming Kate Spade book clutch, and this cool wooden clutch.  But my favorite is this bold, red Minkoff MAC chain purse for 33%-off.

4) Much has been made about fashion editor using Photoshop to make the women who fill their glossy pages look thinner.  But what if I told you some editors were digitally adding pounds to their models?  HuffPost has the story.

5) Some of my professional staples are in need of an upgrade, so I’ve been searching for a few things.  This J Brand Hale Blazer is a showstopper that I think I may need to have when pay-day arrives. (I can’t stop looking at it.)

6) A photo of a father holding his baby daughter, while styling his two-year-old daughter’s hair is making the rounds on the Internet.  Commentary about the photo ranges from the racist, to the sexist, to the inspiring, but I thought the father in the photo had an interesting take on the image and the backlash.

7) A friend gave me The New York Times guide to weekend getaways in the U.S. and Canada.  If you love short trips, this is a must have.

8) Sometimes I listen to the radio program This American Life while I’m cooking or cleaning.  My favorite piece in recent weeks is about astonishing coincidences. If you can’t listen to the program, check out these examples from the story.  Some of them will blow your mind.

9) I did some real damage at Sephora last week.  In addition to the things I went in for, I also came out with this Peter Thomas Roth Brightening Sleeping Mask (review forthcoming) and this Koh Gen Do cleansing spa water (just because the beauty editor at Lucky won’t stop talking about it).

10) Corporette asks, “Must a blazer button in order to fit?”  (I believe the answer is a resounding yes.  Size up and tailor down to get a jacket that fits and can button.)

11) I don’t usually go for cut-outs, but this Torn by Ronny Kobo dress with short sleeves and an open back is incredible.  I also love this shapely long-sleeve mini-dress.

12) I am an unabashed fan of Joan Didion, so I was thrilled with The New Yorker featured some commentary on one of her old pieces.  In it, Didion discusses Martha Stewart and the conflict that arises when ambition and domesticity mix to create a mogul.  I mean, how dare a woman rise to wealth and power by showing other women how to bake pies and clean cutlery.

And if I could climb onto my soap box for a moment: If you are a woman who has a job, works hard and aspires to a better job, then you are ambitious.  Don’t hide from the term just because some insecure men and women aren’t comfortable with it.  It’s not a dirty word.

Having ambition means having the strength and work ethic to turn your professional dreams into reality.



  1. s says:

    I struggle with defining myself as “ambitious.” I am so grateful you got on your soapbox this post. 🙂 happy friday!!

    January 10, 2014/Reply
  2. Erin says:

    The J Crew jumpsuit reminds me of those Laura Ashely jumpsuits from the 1990s.

    January 10, 2014/Reply
  3. Lynn says:

    Holy hell, the comments that dad got! I saw it, and thought, cute. Who knew people would go that crazy?
    And on another note, I am proud to be ambitious, but then, I am also a feminist and don’t get why that is a dirty word, either. Who doesn’t like equality and choice?

    January 10, 2014/Reply
    • AG says:

      I agree, my reaction “aww, how cute!” and more that it was a dad doing hair, than because of his race. It reminds of the Cheerios commercial with the biracial couple. I saw it a dozen times and didn’t think twice about it before I heard about all the hoopla.

      January 10, 2014/Reply
  4. Jenn says:

    “Having ambition means having the strength and work ethic to turn your professional dreams into reality.” – Drops Mic

    LOVE this. Slow claps for you from my desk. 🙂

    January 10, 2014/Reply
  5. Amy W. says:

    I have the Kate Spade book clutch, though it’s The Great Gatsby instead of The Age of Innocence. It sadly doesn’t hold much, but I get compliments on it every time I use it. It’s so cute!

    January 10, 2014/Reply
  6. Geri says:

    Thanks for the link love! xx

    January 10, 2014/Reply
  7. Meaghan says:

    I love when you post these links- I always read a bunch of them. I think dads who can do their daughters’ hair are adorable, and that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the picture- it’s really sad there was such a backlash.

    January 10, 2014/Reply
  8. Addison says:

    I liked the dad in the picture’s take as well. This shouldn’t be so unusual. My dad never quite got the hang of doing my hair, but he wasn’t afraid to try!

    January 10, 2014/Reply
  9. Megan Brewster says:

    Thanks for sharing! This is always one of my favorite posts.

    Love the quote at the top- so true that we need to celebrate every day! If you didn’t know, Thomas S. Monson is actually the prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons. One of many wise quotes from him.

    I was really interested in that article about digitally thickening models from HuffPost. Unfortunately, I think it stems from the same problem as digitally slimming models–harmful beauty ideals imposed on women by others and themselves. The nonprofit Beauty Redefined is my favorite place to look for info on these topics.

    Love your style, as always. This blog is such a resource to a young professional woman starting out like myself. Enjoy your weekend!

    January 10, 2014/Reply