Workday Reading

Belle’s Weekly Reading: July 18, 2014



1) This Hairpin article, “What happened when we gave our daughter my last name” is fascinating.  Some of my friends decided to give their daughter her last name and their son his last name.  They didn’t get the kind of pushback the article describes, but they do have to explain why their children have different last names sometimes.

2) If you need something beautiful to look at, this silvery J.Mendel gown yielded an audible gasp.

3) Esquire has a thought-provoking article on pit bulls and the culture of fear that surrounds them.  If you love dogs, this is a must read.

4) I’m also done decorating my apartment. I recently purchased this bone-inlay tray from One Kings Lane.  I also love this chunky, cable-knit throw.  Now, if I could just figure out how to hang these wine glass shelves, the bar would be finished.

5) A Virginia man has claimed a section of land in Africa in order to create a kingdom, so that his daughter can be a real princess.  Wonder what he’ll do for her Sweet Sixteen?  Or her wedding?

6) Banana Republic has some amazing shoes right now.  These simple sandals should be on every late summer wish list.  If you want leopard, this is the best under-$125 pump for sale right now.  But my favorite shoe is this navy heel with an exaggerated vamp–so sexy.

7) I have love/hate relationship with the blog Cupcakes & Cashmere.  But I really loved her recent post on using flea market finds, esp. the idea of using salt cellars to hold rings and earrings.

8) A $21 marble butter keeper, the thing you never knew you always needed. (I also found a $9 ceramic option.)

9) The NYT says scrunchies are making a comeback. It’s okay. I let out a blood-curdling scream too.

10) I’ve developed a sudden need for a flirty, printed summer dress.  This French Connection dress is wonderful.  Land’s End has an incredible navy dress with a small pink, geometric print.  This soft grey and white Tahari Tyra dress is one of the best things I’ve seen all summer.

11) In this week’s episode of Things That Will Make You Laugh at Humanity: People saw a photo of Steven Spielberg on the set of the 1993 hit Jurassic Park and thought he hunted and killed a dinosaur.  No, really.

12) A friend of mine wore a short dress to her wedding in May and raved (and I mean, raved) about Michael Kors Leg Shine.  She said, “I wanted a lightly bronzed glow.  I did not want to look too tan or wear body glitter.  The leg shine gave me a fresh-from-Cancun glow.  I’ve worn it every day since.”

13) Lastly, The Washington Post has a piece titled, “Our unrealistic views of death, through a doctor’s eyes.”  I found the piece to be filled with hard truths, but maybe honest thoughts we need to hear.



  1. Anna says:

    Lucky Magazine also had a piece on scrunchies making a comeback. Ugh.

    July 18, 2014/Reply
  2. Hannah says:

    My brother and I both have our mother’s last name. My feelings on the subject have always been complicated and have changed throughout the years. I am not close to my father’s (large) family, and have always felt more of a connection to my mother’s side and so in that sense appreciate having her name. It can be hard to explain, however.

    When my brother was little, he had a friend who also had his mother’s last name (coincidentally the same last name as we have)and his mother and mine worked in the same field. Another friend of theirs once asked “If you work for X, do you HAVE to have your mom’s last name?” He genuinely believed that.

    I do not have children yet, but would definitely like my whole family to have the name last name.

    July 18, 2014/Reply
  3. Sam says:

    I have a crystal salt cellar that I received for my wedding on top of my jewelry box for my most-worn stud earrings. It’s a very pretty way to store jewelry.

    July 18, 2014/Reply
    • Lizzie says:

      My Aunt recently divided up antique salt cellars that she and my grandmother found over the years. I have two for studs, and use another for safety pins & straight pins. I also use antique cut glass pickle dishes for necklaces and bangles. It is a great way to store pieces in the open. You can always find them at antique stores for a steal! I love looking for ones that are pink or green glass. I use another dish for all the buttons that come with clothing in case someday I may need it.

      July 18, 2014/Reply
  4. Lily says:

    I have my mom’s last name. I’ve never questioned it or been challenged on it. While I haven’t had the conversation one-on-one with my bf, I’ve mentioned in conversation (not directed at him, but in front of him) that I do not intend on changing my name unless my husband changes his, and that my children must have my name in some form or another. So he’s on notice! Hah.

    July 18, 2014/Reply
  5. Candace says:

    Pit bull article is amazing. Cried the whole way through it thinking of our rescue pit bull and all we have encountered since adopting him. Thanks for sharing!

    July 18, 2014/Reply
  6. Kat says:

    Ugh I SO agree with you on the Cupcakes and Cashmrere blog. Some of her stuff is cool but mostly it makes me want to vomit. “here is my perfect life” with NO reality mixed in. whatsoever. gross.

    July 18, 2014/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Along the same line, major props for not having your face plastered all over your blog, Belle. One of my pet peeves of fashion blogs is how it really just seems like bloggers fulfilling their modeling fantasies. It’s nice to see the clothes on a human and how pieces work together, but I can only stomach so many forlorn looks into the distance.

      July 18, 2014/Reply
      • scmd2 says:

        +1. I also get annoyed how they all seem to live in LA, where they never have to deal with humidity, rain, or snow. Heavens forbid they ever encounter *real* weather!

        July 19, 2014/Reply
  7. Sam says:

    Thank you for giving pit bull piece a shoutout!

    July 18, 2014/Reply
  8. Anonymouse says:

    Since you opened the door, what do you have against Cupcakes and Cashmere?

    July 18, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’m very impressed by what she’s built from her blog, and sometimes, I really enjoy her posts. But like a lot of lifestyle blogs, I get a little annoyed when you see so many posts that make doing a regular, every day thing seem extraordinarily beautiful and luxurious.

      Most women aren’t making pancakes in their kitchen in full makeup, with perfect hair, wearing the “must have” pajama set and acting like this is every day life. It just seems very unrealistic. I make breakfast burritos in leggings and a t-shirt with last night’s hair in a ponytail and no makeup, who are these women who spend two hours cooking breakfast on Saturday morning looking perfect?

      July 19, 2014/Reply
  9. JenniferD says:

    Greetings Belle – As always, thank you for the Friday reading list. A great mix of fun and serious. I appreciate the last article. I recently watched Showtime’s “Time of Death” a 6-part reality series chronicling the lives of 8 people and their families as they prepared for the eventual death (via long-term illness) of their loved one. It’s not for everyone, and it wasn’t always easy to watch. But when I wonder about the future of humanity, I think about the many touching and poignant moments among family members as they accepted, and eventually let go. Jennifer

    July 18, 2014/Reply
  10. Ashley says:

    I think it’s great you posted the pit bull article (always enjoy the variety in your reading lists!), but I can’t read beyond the first couple paragraphs out of fear of balling…so i just want to say, if it helps anyone else and other bullies out there…people, teach your dogs, any dogs, bite inhibition before you put them in potentially threatening situations, like interactions with rude dogs. And buy a break-stick for your bullies with their strong jaws and terriers with their tenacious need to never let go…and especially for your pitties that have both these traits (and for the love of god, you won’t need to reach into their mouths!). It’s only fair to them. I would never trust my 60-lb. pit outside my house without these two things, I’d be afraid for HIS life. The bad rap is unfair, but the reality is a really strong head!

    July 18, 2014/Reply
  11. save. spend. splurge. says:


    This ranks right up there with tights as pants, Crocs and other fashion abominations parading as being stylish.

    July 22, 2014/Reply