The Commute: No. 13

Feb 5, 2018

“There’s still a glass ceiling. Don’t let the number of women in the workforce trick you—there are still lots of magazines devoted almost exclusively to making perfect casseroles and turning various things into tents. Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back.” — Nora Ephron

The Busy Trap.  Why being busy is not as glorious as it sounds.  Well, duh.

Two-Toned. This Ralph Lauren dress has a dramatic two-tone style, it’s a gorgeous option for the office.  This floral print dress is a nice option for winter/spring transition.

Equality. As a Republican and a Feminist, I sometimes feel like an ambassador in hostile territory.  This Politico article covers how feminists became Democrats.

Liquidity Issues. Readers convinced me to buy a Zojirushi mug that keeps beverages hot or cold for hours.  Now I just have to decide, rose or steel blue.

Man of the Wood-Scented Air Freshener. Why is it that Justin Timberlake and John Mayer both moved to multi-million-dollar homes in Montana and then decided to write lackluster albums about connecting with their wild roots?  Because a Yellowstone Club mega-mansion and a shearling jacket made JT think he was a mountain man, but maybe this quest for the “West” runs deeper than that.

Thirsty. If your hair is in need of moisture, Sephora is now carrying my favorite pre-wash, conditioning treatment from Olaplex.  It’ll revive your tired locks.

Quick Time. If I had perfect skin, I could also do my makeup in 60-seconds.  Regardless, there are some useful basic makeup tips in this YouTube video.

Easy, Breezy. This Anthro v-neck pullover is easy and chic.  This dandelion print JOA top is also a simple, sophisticated piece.

Acting Emotional. Uma Thurman is angry, and she’s talking about Harvey Weinstein and how he helped kill her career.

Serve It Up. CB2 has several modern, minimalist pieces in their dishware collection.  I love this etched serving tray as a housewarming gift.  This roundabout decanter would look lovely on your bar cart.

A Bit of Bubbly. Do you love champagne?  Here are the five things you need to know before buying a bottle.

What I’m Baking. Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies.

What I’m Watching. Counterpart. It’s kind of a mind bend, but it’s worth it.

What I’m Lusting After. Ulla Johnson never ceases to amaze me with her dresses.

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Workday Reading

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  1. jen says:

    Ugh, I hate that I’m being an apologist for JT, because he can be problematic but here goes. He did come out and say the title of the album wasn’t self referential. The name of his kid is Silas. Silas means Man of the Woods in Latin.

    But really, the issue that galls me is this: why hate on someone who loves your state? I find it odd that people would reject such positive attention to their home. I would LOVE it if any popular musician moved to my hometown/homestate (wealthy neighborhood or not) and wrote an album inspired by it.

    All that being said, perhaps some self reflection is needed here as you have done exactly what he did by naming your brand after a city that is not your home, and claim to represent this new adopted city’s style in your writing.

    • Abbie says:

      I understand this comment, particularly because I am not a Colorado native living in Colorado, and I so appreciate what this state has to offer even though there are a number of negative comments about all the new people moving in.

      That being said, I am originally from Montana and I get this sentiment. Montana is a state that, because of a variety of factor,s is very economically depressed. This, as well as a small population (recently hit a million people in a state with the land size of Texas) produces a unique culture of reliance on each other, tight-knit communities, and values that are fairly unique. So there is a tough dichotomy that is really apparent in Montana that, because of its beauty, wealthy people move in to areas where a native could never possibly live because of the wealth divide, and try to claim it as their own, without fully understanding or trying to understand the people, their hardships, or their joys. That’s why I, for example, have no complaints about David Letterman who has deep care and respect for the community in Montana he moved in to. JT, on the other hand, seems to put on the culture for show without the understanding.

    • Belle says:

      Yellowstone Club isn’t a wealthy neighborhood, it’s an uber-exclusive ski resort where Bill Gates and billionaires live. It nearly bankrupted the county it was in after it was revealed the original developer was basically running a Ponzi scheme.

      The difference between me moving to DC for ten years and JT living in Montana on his breaks is vast. Just like when regular people move to Montana vs. when celebrities “move” to Montana. Residents pay taxes, shop at our stores, send their kids to our schools, and participate in our communities. The moneyed-class comes in, builds a mega mansion on what used to be a working ranch, visits 60 days a year tops, demand airport improvements for their private jets, close off access to public lands because they don’t want regular folks near their land, and a whole host of other issues.

      If you want to move to Montana to live their, instead of just vacation there, Welcome! But when a millionaire moves to your state, buys a pair of Carhartts and then appropriates the culture of the very industries and way of life that they are helping to kill, it’s maddening.

      And to your final point, D.C. was my home for the ten years I lived there. It is a place I plan to return to. I paid taxes there, worked there, patronized its businesses, volunteered there, went to church there, etc. I called my blog Capitol Hill Style, because as a Capitol Hill employee, it was the life I was living everyday. Justin Timberlake deplanes his private jet, takes his private car to the locked up gate of his uber-private community, and claims that because he spends a few weeks a year there snowboarding and hiking, he’s part of the community. Big difference.

      And if the album is named after his son, he should have just said that.

        • Belle says:

          A month after saying the album was about where he’s from. “This album is really inspired by my family, but more so than any other album I’ve written, where I’m from.” If he’d just said that it’s what his sons name means from the beginning you wouldn’t have the LA Times, Rolling Stone, USA Today, Buzzfeed and a ton of other outlets saying it’s a game of Western pretend.

      • S says:

        Ha! Wouldn’t have pegged you for an anti-capitalist socialist who hates the moneyed class and the free markets Belle. Free markets Belle, free markets. They have made JT rich and he can pay more than the local yokels and farmers. Thus he wins. This he creates value. He is rewarded and his story wins. I think a Republican and well educated lawyer ranting about how that’s SO wrong and tasteless is WAY more hypocritical than JT making up a story about where he’s from to sell albums.. Plus he’s g*# da*# talented at what he does, which is more than a lot of us can say.

        • Belle says:

          A letter after my name doesn’t define my political beliefs. D or R, most of us diverge from our party on certain issues. And last time I checked, both parties were really good at paying lip service to the middle and working classes, and absolutely awful at putting them ahead of the wealthy.

          And considering that every comment you’ve left on this blog either belittles me or mocks me, you might be happier spending your time reading elsewhere. Why torture yourself on a site you clearly don’t like?

      • Jen says:

        I think in your vitriol for the Yellow Stone Club, you missed my point. Unless you moved to DC when you were 17, you didn’t live here for 10 years when you started a blog named after your newly adopted home. AND YET, you were WELCOMED. The city was happy to see bloggers like you and J. Cox representing the style of this city. Frankly, most hill staffers regardless of their terms here never fully become residents because they prefer to still vote in their home districts. But I’m not going to reject one of those staffers’ defense of DC not being a swamp because they don’t fit a prescribed measure of being “DC Enough” to talk about this city. Love for a place is love for a place.

        In a year when Montana was clamoring for people to take notice and help with the horrendous fires, why are people dismissing free praise that reaches a world-wide audience because it’s voice is not “Montana Enough”.

        FWIW: After a quick google, you can find that the collective payroll to local staff at the Yellowstone club in 2017 was: $40mil. The current contracting projects on site there have budgets of $300mil. There are upwards of 300 jobs supported by the local airport catering to these wealthy clients. Arguing that people don’t support the local economy is a reductive fallacy. Are enclaves like these awful? In, my opinion yes, but saying they do nothing for your town is a quick way to lose an argument.

        • Belle says:

          There’s a huge difference between a person who lives in a “new” place as their primary residence, and someone who vacations there in a home they own. Are their YC homeowners are more like residents, of course. Does the club employ people, of course. But JT isn’t a resident, he’s a visitor who owns a home. It’s a different argument with someone who just moved there from out of state, famous or not, there are plenty of rich and famous people in the state who live there in the same way I lived in DC or who are full-time residents.

          While we’ll probably never agree on this, I think you’ve made some very good points. From the perspective of someone who is from there, we know tourism is important. We know bringing new people to the state is important. But recently, it’s begun to feel like the state is too focused on tourism and not enough on building other industries, which is leading to a situation where our best and brightest leave and those who make an effort to stay, often end up working in service jobs to cater to the wealthy visitors and seasonal residents. That’s not what I want for my state, and maybe my frustration is bleeding into some animosity towards people who co-opt the lifestyle with little thought about the place itself beyond the movie-set aspect of it.

  2. anna says:

    Homegirl, I saw your makeup tutorial on insta stories and I def do not envy what your skin puts you through. I’m 32 and my skin is starting to show it, but I am sooooo grateful I’ve never had really major skin issues. It’s probably close to that YouTuber plus occasional splotchiness and undereye circles. A little BB cream, concealer under my eyes, and a swipe of blush, and I look put together enough for work. I feel like I need to give you major lady props.

    • HH says:

      A bit more on bubbly: Crémants can be a good deal. They are French sparkling wines made via the methode champenoise/traditional method, ie, they go through the same secondary fermentation process as Champagne does, but are produced in other regions in France.

  3. Copy Editor says:

    Did you actually read the Uma Thurman piece? Her career isn’t dead (in fact the piece discusses her discomfort with continuing to work successfully with Weinstein after being attacked), and the damage that was done to her body that potentially had career repercussions was from an incident with Tarantino.

  4. Jessica says:

    I watch Allana’s youtube channel and she has actually had skin problems in the past. Some of her older videos might be helpful to those that have skin issues as well. She’s actually one of my favorites on youtube – very entertaining/funny and I tend to believe her reviews more than a lot of other popular beauty youtubers.

  5. Jamie says:

    What’s wrong with making the perfect casserole?

    • Belle says:

      Nothing, I think she’s just pointing out that there are still people who believe that that is the whole of what women should aspire to. The quote is a little old, but the themes are still real.

    • Sharon says:

      Oh the irony of calling out Better Homes and Gardens from the pages of a fashion blog.

      • Belle says:

        I won’t apologize for the fact you find that Nora Ephron quote (and apparently the existence of this blog) offensive.

        There are plenty of readers who share alternate viewpoints, contrary opinions, and passionate arguments without diverging into troll territory. But three petty comments by one reader, in one day is a complete anomaly here, since there seems to be nothing on this blog you don’t find upsetting, you might want to try reading another one you’ll like better.

  6. Courtney says:

    While I get it’s a play on words, the title “Acting Emotional” linking to the Uma piece is rubbing me the wrong way.

  7. Keilexandra says:

    I’m a (non-progressive) liberal and a feminist, and these days I feel like a hostile ambassador too.

    Maybe I should say, non-Progressive. Because I think I’m plenty progressive, politically, just not on board with the trendy, activist direction of the Democratic party.

    • Anna says:

      I liked your clarification at the end. My first reaction was “wait! Shouldn’t we all be progressive?!?!” before I read your second sentence. I’m a moderate Democrat, and Trump generally makes my blood boil, but I can definitely relate at being an ambassador. I work with Republicans and feel like I constantly have to tell them that we don’t all think like the loudest voices in our party. In my view, a lot of the #resist #notmypresident stuff has done nothing for the country and nothing to actually advance our party’s priorities.

    • Mel says:

      OMG! I thought I was the only one! I felt lonely when I look at the progressive wing of the Dems because I feel like that isn’t me at all.

      I also think that wing is super willing to take women’s issues off the table to reach a compromise on economic issues, which is incredibly short sighted.

  8. S says:

    Is it a real thing to think the Republican Party won’t always be a 99% white mans club with token representation of minorities/women? I mean how many decades of it actively, sometimes violently, being the opposite will it take for white women to conclude maybe the Republican Party isn’t worth their allegiance? Let alone that women should be standing up for minorities. Depressing.

    • Belle says:

      It is possible to support the advancement of women/minorities/the LGBTQ community and be a Republican. Just like it was possible to be a Democrat in the first half of the 20th Century and not support segregation. There are only two parties, so it’s likely that people’s beliefs won’t line up entirely with the party doctrine.

      • J says:

        This. When will we get on board with the idea that one of the most important markers of empowerment is the ability to think for oneself and maturely disagree with others, rather than going hog-wild on the trend (or counter-trend) of the moment? I understand that political parties exist for a reason, and that each party has some underlying themes that run throughout their platforms, but what are the chances that a single set of opinions on tax policy, military intervention, marijuana legalization, speed limits, Medicare, infrastructure investment, abortion, Syria, net neutrality, health care, guns, mandatory minimums, proliferation, H1B visas (et. al.), align with mine precisely? Seems reductionistic and insulting; I refuse to accept that there are only two all-or-nothing packages of perspectives, one of which I have to be 100% committed to in order to matter. The confidence to diverge from “your people” on some points is a sign of intellectual seriousness and true independence. Solidarity can be a dangerous gloss on emotional conformity.

        • Jess says:

          Yes! I am a Republican like Belle, and I know every time I see her talk about it she’ll get blasted for it, and I am proud that she does it anyway. Your comment is spot on, especially when you see all the different issues listed out the way you did it. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

        • Mary says:

          “The confidence to diverge from “your people” on some points is a sign of intellectual seriousness and true independence. Solidarity can be a dangerous gloss on emotional conformity.” Yes, 1000x.

          It takes a lot more courage to be “in the middle” of an issue than to be on either extreme. We have developed a dangerous cultural mindset that “in the middle” is a bad place. For a lot of us, it means one side on one issue, the other side on another issue. I agree with the Republican “platform” on some issues, Democrats on others, and Libertarian on others. I consider myself to be one of those because that is where I have the most in common. I refuse to believe that I have to pick one all the way. Life is not so neatly black and white, and it’s sad that we think it has to be.

  9. Gigi says:

    I’m with you on the Justin Timberlake thing. The same thing happened in my hometown, so I know exactly what you’re talking about. A few years ago Taylor Swift bought a multi million dollar mansion in the wealthiest part of my hometown. Since buying this home, she has done nothing for the town. Access to the beach near her house is now restricted, and tourists gather there hoping to catch a glimpse of her (which they won’t since she’s never there). She hosts an annual Fourth of July bash for all of her celebrity friends, but other than that she’s never there. You would think she’d use her celebrity and her influence to do some good in our small state, but she has not.

  10. Jessica says:

    Abra – Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your opinion and taking the time to eloquently reply to differing opinions. I’m sure a lot of bloggers would never post their opinion on some topics and I appreciate that this is something you do not shy away from.

    p.s. Sorry you have to deal with, seemingly, internet trolls.

    • Belle says:

      I appreciate that. I want to be myself on the blog, and my politics are important to me. I don’t fit neatly into either party, but when I was coming up in politics, I found that (at that time) the Republicans I interviewed with were more willing to let you disagree on some issues. So I ended up a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, populist Republican, which in Montana, isn’t weird at all. I know there are so many more of us out there, I just wish we were louder.

      • RT says:

        Totally agree with Jessica’s sentiments here, especially after reading through the previous comments.

        Since the last election I’ve been reassessing where I fit on the political spectrum. Like you, I’m pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. I’m genuinely curious about the issues/values that cause you to identify with the Republican party. Would you mind sharing? Feel free to point me in the direction of a previous blog post I might have missed.

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