Workday Reading

The Commute: No. 10

“Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.” — Mary D. Poole


Unfollow. A black market helps “influencers” buy followers, and it’s far more widespread than you might imagine. (I know several bloggers with 100k+ followers who paid a hefty price for them.)

Untimely. Three people have threatened to buy me this t-shirt.  Being fashionably hate is my vice.

Unplugged. Feeling empty?  How to re-energize yourself at work, the steps you can take to get back in the game.

Uncommonly Fun. I love Urban Outfitters housewares.  This bath mat, this ‘wild’ art print, and this cheeky throw bring a little whimsy to your home.

Unfriended. As we get older, it becomes more difficult to maintain friendships, especially close ones.  But there are simple steps you can take to build and burnish your relationships because loneliness is a killer.

Uncanny. This Rebecca Taylor blouse is fab, but this Ann Taylor top is just as lovely and 1/5th the price.

Unglued. Technology is an important part of our lives, but is it stealing our focus?  One writer goes off the grid to regain his attention.

Unconscious. I need some new pjs.  These Rosee tank and short set will be great for summer.  For chilly February, these Everlane Oxford pajamas and floral-embroidered Skylar pjs are better options.

Unleashed. As #metoo continues to reshape our society, how do we confront the guilty, especially if those people are ourselves or the ones we love?

Unclipped. Need a lanyard for your ID?  This silver Chico’s necklace functions as an ID chain. Or go with this $10 Charming Charlie option.

I love this simple, slightly dramatic look.  The oversized earrings and the teased ponytail give a simple turtleneck a bit of pizzazz.  To make your ponytail more interesting, try a double ponytail for length or add a little bump to it.  To tease your pony like a professional, you’ll need a teasing brush.

{image found here; this post contains affiliate links that generate commission for the author.}





  1. Elle says:

    Hi Abra,

    Is there something broken with the shopping links? I get an error message on all of them.


    January 29, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Hi, depending on where your reading, your employer may have blocked affiliate links. They all appear to be working on my end.

      January 29, 2018/Reply
  2. Jules says:

    Woah that article about fake followers is interesting. I had no idea this was so widespread. I guess it makes sense – the number of followers can directly impact someone’s livelihood, so I can see the appeal.

    I wonder….. just HOW widespread is it, for ‘smaller’ blogs/influencers? (like non-celebrities, just individuals). You say you know bloggers do this too.

    It’s fascinating to me. It’s a whole new currency!

    January 29, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I know of a DC blogger who bought 50k in followers. I know others who buy “fill” followers, where the company replaces every person who unfollows you with 2 new followers so it looks like you’re constantly growing. There’s one blogger who I’m acquainted with whose pushing almost 200k in followers and bough over half of them, but she did it before it was well known you could, so it looks organic.

      I’ll be perfectly honest, I tried it when I was trapped at 9k and all the blog consultants were like “Everyone does it.” I signed up for a company that Instagram had shut down. I paid $29 a month for two months and ended up with 700 followers. The issue for me was the company is able to use your account to like other accounts. One of my friends was like, “Why are you liking photos of a man standing in a rice paddy in Vietnam?” And I was so taken aback by the accounts my account was liking, I was like, forget it. I’m done with this. Within 30 days, all of the bought followers disappeared and I decided that I care about making my blog better, I don’t care about having a million social followers.

      January 29, 2018/Reply
      • Jules says:

        thanks for sharing your unique insight. It gives nuance on the ‘influencer’ industry. It’s really an interesting topic for me – how new forms of media are changing the way people find information/inspiration, and the ecosystem/industries that pop up to support it.

        like, I think it would make an interesting movie plot if I were creative enough 🙂

        January 29, 2018/Reply
        • Jen says:

          Have you ladies seen “Ingrid Goes West”?? Mostly funny, but creepy too: “An unhinged social media stalker moves to LA and insinuates herself into the life of an Instagram star.”

          January 29, 2018/Reply
      • Nicci says:

        After I found out that bloggers are now called “influencers” I unfollowed all of mine. I felt so manipulated and used. Now I only follow ethical bloggers, like you. I am glad you decided not to buy followers, and I love your full disclosure on your reviews. Thank you for being authentic.

        January 31, 2018/Reply
  3. Jess says:

    The charming charlie’s Link is not working.

    January 29, 2018/Reply
  4. Paige says:

    The links for Charming Charlie and the turtleneck sweater aren’t working for me either. I’m using a personal cell phone without restrictions. I thought you’d want to know. 🙂 By the way, I love, love, love your blog! I have it saved to my phone’s homepage.

    January 30, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Thanks, I’ll check all the links. I only checked the first seven.

      January 30, 2018/Reply