Workday Reading + Ask The Edit

Belle’s Workday Reading: December 10, 2014


At the end of every year, I write down five nouns that describe me and see how they change from year-to-year.  I got the idea from the late, great Nora Ephron.  I don’t use family titles like daughter, sister, etc. because those things don’t change.

Last year, the list was Christian, Montanan, Politico, Writer, Washingtonian.  It’s amazing what changes in a year both personally and professionally.  This year’s list is Christian, Montanan, Law Student, Writer, Volunteer.  I wonder what it will be next year?


1) Mashable has a list of 35 career goals to perfect before your 35.  These are achievable, but essential items like building a network, knowing your weaknesses, and refining your “elevator pitch”  No matter where you are in your career, pick one or two you haven’t perfected and get started.

2) This gorgeous deep burgundy bag from Target looks much more expensive than its $40 price.  That’s probably why it’s been on my mind since I saw it in August.  So gorgeous.

3) Do you need to be outgoing to be an effective manager?  Lifehacker has tips on how to be a good manager if you’re shy.

4) This Tory Burch tweed jacket is perfect for any season.  It’s also 50%-off.  I plan to wear it with a navy skirt in the fall and white trousers in the summer.  TB also offers a similar jacket in black that is also spectacular.

5) LinkedIn has the 40 commonly misused words and how to use them correctly.  Always good for review.

6) Need a holiday gift for the technophile in your life?  This Power Cord Ultra-Thin Battery is on my wish list.  It’s so sleek and functional; it’s perfect.  This wireless speaker from is whimsical, under-$50, and great for use in small spaces.

7) Once you settle into a new job , you may experience a sense of boredom and require more challenging work.  This is the time to start asking for more work.  The Seattle Times has some good tips on how to ask your boss for more responsibility.

8) H&M has some great blouses right now.  This ivory blouse with a black bib is incredibly chic and versatile.  I love the geometric lace details on this short-sleeve blouse.  And if you’re looking for a chic, festive top to wear to your office holiday party, this red lace blouse is a must (also in ivory).

9) Do you spend your lunch break at your desk working?  Being a productive employee may necessitate taking a moment for yourself every day.  Here are some tips on making the most of your lunch break.

10) We had an under-$50 bag above, so what about an inexpensive shoe?  These super-chic $35 Liz Claiborne heels come in wine, navy, grey, or black suede.  I loved them so much, I bought two pair (wine and grey).

11) It’s finals time again.  I am exhausted.  To keep from looking like death warmed over, I use Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Ethereal Light.  It just smooths out all of the dullness, sallowness, and imperfections.  My Mom and I call it “Miracle Blurring Powder.”  Need a cheaper dupe?  The Interwebs say Wet n’ Wild Reserve Your Cabana is a good substitute.

image found here.



  1. AMB says:

    How do you use the ambient lighting powder? Like a highlighter? I just remembered I have $15 off from Sephora so may finally pull the plug and get it!

    December 10, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I use it like a highlighter, and to blend the lines of my blush, if that makes sense. As to color, I use the pinky color. Different colors address different concerns, so if you have a Sephora (Ulta?) nearby, try them out.

      December 10, 2014/Reply
  2. Claudia says:

    Thank you for posting the link to the shoes at JCP. If you use code AFFSHOP1 you can save an additional 15 percent.

    December 10, 2014/Reply
  3. kgh5 says:

    Also regarding the lighting powder, are the colors listed a shade to be matched to your skin tone or an effect to be matched to your mood?

    December 10, 2014/Reply
    • Katie says:

      It’s not a match to your skin tone or to your mood. They come in different colors to address different concernts (redness, shine, dullness, etc).

      Here are the descriptions (according to Hourglass)

      Ethereal Light: A sheer, cool tone that eliminates shine and mimics a moonlit glow—even in broad daylight.
      Diffused Light: A soft, warm, pale yellow that reduces redness, eliminates shine, and gives skin clarity.
      Dim Light: A neutral soft beige that provides a perfect balance of warm and cool tones to blur imperfections.
      Mood Light: A soft, sheer lavender pink that mimics the softest, most forgiving light and brightens the complexion.
      Luminous Light: A champagne pearl that creates a soft, incandescent candlelit glow—day or night.
      Radiant Light: A sun-kissed golden beige that enhances the overall complexion with believable, subtle warmth.

      December 10, 2014/Reply
  4. Jenn S. says:

    Nora’s idea is great; thanks for sharing. I think that is a year-end, “project,” to incorporate into my own list of traditions, starting this year.

    December 10, 2014/Reply
    • Jenn S. says:

      Follow up:

      Out of curiosity, how many years have you been doing this?

      December 10, 2014/Reply
  5. SN says:

    Re “Irregardless”, my theory is that it arose as an inadvertent conjugation of “regardless” and “irrespective”.

    December 10, 2014/Reply
  6. B says:

    Writing down five words and seeing how they change each year is a great idea! (Not to be nit-picky, but since we’re on the subject of misused words, what you write down are nouns, not adjectives 😉 – though I can imagine that would also be a really interesting exercise because they describe not what you are, but how you perceive yourself!)

    December 10, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      If I remembered how to diagram a sentence, I would be able to prove you right.

      December 10, 2014/Reply
  7. Maria says:

    I am in complete agreement with the article about lunch. I never had this issue working in NYC, but while interning in DC at a think tank, the culture was so weird that even though I was allowed an hour for lunch, it was frowned upon to leave. I got dirty looks and questions like “REALLY? You go OUT for lunch?” It made me really uncomfortable. The idea was that lunch time was just a regular work hour but you eat food during. I was the only one that ever left. Do you have any advice for addressing this sort of a situation?

    December 11, 2014/Reply
    • Emily says:

      I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one too!

      December 11, 2014/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I would say don’t be gone the whole hour, but go. There is a lunch hour in the day, and as long as you’re putting in the hours, screw em. This, however, does not apply if your boss specifically says don’t leave. In that case, you’re probably stuck.

      I left for lunch most days. I’d run an errand, see a friend, be back in 45 minutes. If my peers wanted to give me the side eye, that was their business. They had the freedom to leave too. They were choosing not to.

      December 11, 2014/Reply
  8. YouSaucyMinx says:

    OBSESSED with the ehtereal light powder. I am very pale, so in the dead of the winter when my skin is also very dry, I closely resemble a zombie. The powder makes me look vibrant and fresh instead of dead.

    December 11, 2014/Reply
    • LS says:

      LOL you should do ads for Hourglass. Just curious – how do you use it? Similar to Belle above? I’m makeup challenging so I’ve hesitated buying.

      December 11, 2014/Reply
      • YouSaucyMinx says:

        I use it on top of my blush, a little on my forehead, and a touch on the cupid’s bow of my lips–it makes my lipstick pop.

        December 11, 2014/Reply
  9. Andrea says:

    Question about the Hourglass powder: do you wear it all over, or do you just use it as a highlighter on your cheekbones, temples, etc.? I have the Wet N Wild powder tucked away in my makeup drawer somewhere and want to revisit it!

    December 11, 2014/Reply
    • Andrea says:

      Disregard this comment. I see now that someone already asked and you already answered. 🙂

      December 11, 2014/Reply
  10. jssatx says:

    I’m a little late to this blog party, but I still had to comment. Belle, I cannot thank you enough for what you provide in your blog. My work style has finally “graduated” since I have been following, but the articles, like the Mashable’s article, and career guidance you share remind me that style is only one piece of the career puzzle- and a small (albeit important) one at that. Lots of good reading links in the one article to come back to over the holidays.

    On a different thread, I have a misused phrase that cracks me up: “earliest convenience.” I can’t tell you how many voice messages I hear when I am returning calls, etc. that say “Please leave a message and I will call you back at my earliest convenience.” Um, you just told me that you would call me back, if and when it is convenient for you. While that is likely the case, it’s not something that we should advertise. That phrase should be used when we are politely asking for a return call, as soon as possible but as it is convenient for the person from whom we are making the request. “Please call xxx-xxxx at your earliest convenience.”

    December 12, 2014/Reply
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