Workday Reading

The Commute: No. 5

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Self-Explanatory. How to Make the Most of Your Workday, a guide for every day life.

Be Still, My Beating Heart.  This Talbot’s Sabrina sweater (also in petite, plus) is everything I’ve ever wanted in a sweater.  It’s glamorous and understated, and perfect for any occasion.

Change is Hard. But it’s essential to personal success and growth.  Elle explores how nine women made life-changing career moves at a variety of ages.

Saks Sale Musts. This white ruffle sleeve dress, this elegant L’Agence blouse, and this pearl-embellished cardigan.  This sale is great if you want designer at reasonable prices.

Get a Hobby. To make online dating bearable, treat Tinder like a fun hobby.

Drape It. This shawl-collar black/white melange jacket from Alfani is a relaxed business option.  And, it’s just $67. Also in plus-size.

What Comes After. “We are acceptable neither to Right nor to Left. In times of extremes, extremists win. Their ideology becomes a religion, anyone who doesn’t puppet their views is seen as an apostate, a heretic or a traitor, and moderates in the middle are annihilated.”

This sentence could apply to a lot of things about 2018.  Margaret Atwood is writing about what it means to be a “bad feminist,” a woman whose equality credentials are disparaged for questioning the #metoo movement in any way.  In Atwood’s case, she’s arguing for due process for both accuser and accused.


Sarah and I are headed to Montreal for President’s Day Weekend.  I’ve never been to Canada before, so I’m excited for our trip.  She’s planning lots of fun wintery things to do, but if anyone has been and has suggestions we would love to hear them.  The whole city looks like one giant, semi-Parisian winter wonderland.

{featured image; Montreal image; this post contains affiliate links that generate commission for the author}




  1. Montreal says:

    Brush up on your French! Most if not all of the street signage, etc. is French, and in many shops and restaurants, although the staff speaks ok English, you’ll be treated better if you speak a bit (even if poorly).

    Climbing to the top of Mont Royal is tiring but fun and you’re rewarded with a stunning view of the city (and yummy beverages…). You can also try out cross country skiing, snow shoeing, or tubing (I think) in different areas.

    Be mindful of the weather forecast; I also visited in February and was expecting 20-30 degree highs when planning my packing. But it was unseasonably warm up and down the East Coast, and the snow-covered sidewalks became rivers of slush in 45-degree weather. I should have worn my Hunters rather than my snow boots and more flexible layers vs. heavy sweaters.

    January 16, 2018/Reply
  2. Nora says:

    I went to Montreal with my husband for our honeymoon a few years back! Lots of amazing meals to be had – particular favorites were Toque, Le Club Chasse et Peche, and Liverpool House. I always love to see a university, so we strolled through McGill on our way up Mount Royal. Definitely plan a day to go out to the “Space for Life” at the old Olympic stadium – it’s a full day but it’s neat. We loved the biodome so much we went back!

    January 16, 2018/Reply
  3. Lauren Lewow says:

    I love the sweater – can you style it for us? Maybe a 2 ways?

    January 16, 2018/Reply
  4. Maria says:

    Dinner and cocktails – Perles & Paddock (incredible cocktails, delicious menu)
    French brasserie fare – L’Express (a staple and a classic)
    Famous dinner sports worth a visit – Joe Beef, Le Bremner, Garde Manger
    BRUNCH – Foiegwa
    Bagels – St Viateur Bagel (a must! Wood fired, not boiled, as is the style in Quebec). Can grab coffee from Myriade two doors down – great coffee!
    Gastropub vibe – Le Majestique (delicious food in a hip casual setting)
    Matcha/coffee – Leaves Cafe
    Beautiful coffee spot – Tommy (located in old bank building)

    Speakeasy – Maison Cloakroom (hidden in a men’s haberdashery in a beautiful mansion, cocktails some of the best ever)
    Le Mal Necessaire – cocktail bar, slight hip tiki vibe, one of the best in town
    All purpose cool spot – Bar Darling (coffee shop and wine/drinks spot, very cool)
    Wine, oysters, cocktails – Bar Henrietta

    January 16, 2018/Reply
  5. Meghan says:

    Bring a warm jacket, mitts and a toque! Montreal is cold at this time of year! I spent many January weekends in my youth waiting to get into bars in tights and heels when it was -30 out… (fortunately I have better sense now but the recommendation for warm gear stands)

    January 16, 2018/Reply
  6. Nadine says:

    Any trip to Montreal should include St. Viateur bagels and smoked meat at Schwartz’s. These are cliches, but so good. If you’ve never been to Canada, you should definitely try poutine. Bundle up! We’re having a very cold winter this year.

    January 16, 2018/Reply
  7. Carly says:

    That’s actually a picture of the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, not Montreal. Are you spending any time there? It’s one of my favorite cities – beautiful galleries, wonderful food, and the most charming narrow streets in the old city. Highly recommend!

    January 16, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Of course it is. Pinterest kept showing me Quebec City and Montreal interchangeably. I just didn’t know enough about the city to know better unless it was marked.

      January 16, 2018/Reply
    • B says:

      I was about to comment the same! It’s actually a Fairmont Hotel and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at there two years ago. Old Quebec City is delightful; the most European place I’ve been in North America.

      January 16, 2018/Reply
  8. KF says:

    Random thought, I think I saw that you’ve sold on Poshmark Belle, but do you have much experience buying on it? Any thoughts?

    January 16, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I bought one thing. I had a good experience.

      January 16, 2018/Reply
    • Allison says:

      Poshmark is terrible for sellers. I sold a pair of size 8.5 shoes on there, the woman wanted to return them because they didn’t fit her, I said no, I’m not nordstrom, I said that they were 8.5 and they are 8.5, (The size is on the sole.) She claimed in her review that I sold her an item that wasn’t described accurately, which is a lie, and poshmark wouldn’t take it down! No integrity.

      January 17, 2018/Reply
  9. Kathleen H Lisson says:

    Yes! I was going to say – wow that looks like Montreal! I enjoyed snowshoeing on Mount Royal, there is a place that sells coffee and snacks in one of the historic buildings. The poutine is a greasy experience that is not to be missed.

    January 16, 2018/Reply
  10. Mtl says:

    Montreal! My hometown. <3
    You're from Montana, so you know what winter is all about. It can be desperately cold … Or not. Who knows!
    There are so many cool spots to visit and eat and drink. To tailor your experience — where are you staying?

    January 16, 2018/Reply
  11. J says:

    You MUST visit one of the two food markets – Jean Talon or Atwater.

    January 16, 2018/Reply
  12. Kathy says:

    I lived in Montreal for a few years and it is a great city with amazing food! I would suggest trying the Bota Bota spa, which is on a boat in the old City. My sister goes there all the time and she loves it! Plus, I’m sure it’s lovely this time of the year with the snow 😉

    January 17, 2018/Reply
  13. Natalie says:

    Montreal has a thriving independent clothing design culture! There are lots of small boutiques along St Denis St and in Mile End. I have found some of my favorite “funky-chic” wardrobe items there!

    January 17, 2018/Reply
  14. Jo says:

    I don’t even own anything from talbots but I need that sweater!

    January 17, 2018/Reply
  15. Kayleigh says:

    I highly suggest going to the Scandinave Spa in Mont Tremblant if you have time. These are thermal pools outdoors in the snow, absolutely relaxing and breathtaking!

    Try to stay in a boutique hotel in Old Town, you will really feel like you are right in Europe!

    January 17, 2018/Reply
  16. nICOLE says:

    Thank you for taking the time to source plus size options for your readers. It really, really does mean a lot to me that you take the time to do that. Thanks for not making us bigger women feel invisible.

    January 17, 2018/Reply