The Weekly Edit: Hey, Hey, Monterey

Apr 12, 2018

In Montana, all out-of-staters are referred to as Californians.  Actual state of origin does not matter.  Everywhere that is not Montana is “California.”  So I am afflicted with a deep, perpetual dislike for The Golden State that was issued to me with my birth certificate.

It wasn’t until I started reading Joan Didion and John Steinbeck that I realized that maybe California had some charm to it.  After all, there must be a reason why millions of people want to live there, right?  And standing on Lover’s Point, listening to the waves crash on the rocks, staring out at the endless horizon, even I have to admit that there is a magic to California.  A magic so strong that even under layers of bad traffic, air pollution, unrepentant capitalism, and glacial bureaucracy, this place still shines.

But, of course, it’s no Montana.

I have a love-hate relationship with podcasts.  Several times, I’ve downloaded a new, hot podcast only to be subjected to 38-minutes of rambling, unedited chit-chat about airplane bathroom trips and relationship pet peeves sponsored by Hello, Fresh.  But one podcast that never makes me want to throw my AirPods across the room is How I Built This.

NPR’s Guy Raz has interviewed the founders of dozens of companies from Sara Blakely at Spanx to Nolan Bushnell at Atari to ask how they built their businesses.  The podcast should be the audio equivalent of a business school case study, dry and self-aggrandizing, but it’s not.  Even the episodes I think will be totally boring have moments of revelation.  It’s my favorite thing to listen to while I walk the dogs.

When I’m lounging at home, all I want to wear is leggings and a soft tunic-tee.  But when the weather turns warm that just feels like the wrong outfit.  This summer, I’m switching it up and going with maxi dresses.  They’re comfortable, relaxed, but still stylish enough for a spontaneous outing.

I already bought this Vero Moda star-print maxi ($65).  I’ve owned it for a week and worn in twice (in different states).  This Splendid floral dress and this yellow M&S also caught my eye.  An easy sandal, a big ring, and your outfit is ready made.

For jersey dresses, this side-slit Velvet dress caught my eye.  The side slits keep it from getting too hot when the temperature rises.  Even a midi dress like this Emory Park dress will work.

These easy cocktails from Anne Sage have only four ingredients — bourbon, champagne, grapefruit, and rhubarb spirits.  I make them when we have company and no time to prep.  They’re a great way to use up the cheap champagne left over from New Year’s Eve.

To make these casual libations extra festive, I serve them in my favorite glasses from Anthropologie.

I’m always in search of face wash.  I buy one, and I either hate it right away or I love it for two weeks and then decide it’s not the one.  Recently, I purchased French Girl Organics Neroli wash, and I’m enjoying it.  I’m shocked that I bought it because I fail to understand the beauty/fashion world’s current obsession with doing everything from your hair to your diet like French girls do, but I digress.

What I like about this face wash is the mix of activated charcoal and tea tree oil.  It really balances my combination skin without stressing it.  And it smells pretty dreamy too.  But only time will tell if I still love it in 8 days, or whether I’m on to the next.

Recently, I started an Article Club (as opposed to a book club) on The Work Edit Facebook page.  A lot of readers brought up how difficult it is to comment freely in a public forum, so we decided to create a closed group attached to the main page.  I posted this week’s Article Club pick — a two-parter on the lengths some brides go to with their pre-wedding beauty routine — so check it out.

In the future, I hope readers will post their own questions about style, career, family, etc. and use the community to get recommendations and answers.  I look forward to watching the group grow and thrive.

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  1. CeeCee says:

    I just requested to join you group because I’m very curious about that article. I made a TON of lifestyle/beauty changes in the months leading up to my wedding- some of them I’ve kept up with, some I dropped- after loosing so much weight my wedding dress wouldn’t stay up (my mother had to sew on straps the morning of my wedding) and my hair started falling out (thankfully I have thick hair, so it wasn’t a huge deal…just…gross). If you’re a type A person to start with, weddings can really fuck with your head. I am so glad mine is over. But I did look freaking awesome in my photos.

    • Cait says:

      The tone of my comment may come across as snarky but I don’t mean it to.

      CeeCee – you’re saying you essentially became unhealthy but looked great doing it. Is that really something to celebrate?

      There’s this crazy pressure to achieve perfection for a one day event (and trust me, I get it. I dieted for my wedding too, I know how much those photos cost!) but it seems like one of the societal pressures we should be working to remove. Maybe I’m off base thinking that.

      • CeeCee says:

        Cait- I wouldn’t say I am celebrating it- I openly admit I really lost my damn mind around my wedding, and as I said, I’m glad it is over. But was all the work and effort somewhat validated by my photos? Yes. I’m just being honest; I don’t think there’s any point in sugar coating or altering the reality of the situation.

  2. Jill says:

    I’m glad you’re enjoying Monterey! Am trying not to be shocked and offended by your disdain for California. There’s a reason we like to say West Coast Best Coast.

    • Michelle says:

      Same here. As a born and raised Californian, my initial reaction was that if one can complain about the state while hanging out on the central coast, their soul must be dead… but admittedly that may be an overreaction on my part.

    • Monica T says:

      As a SoCal raised girl, I have this same visceral reaction to the general disdain many people have about California. But this Montanan strain of California-hating seems to lump all non-natives together with generalized xenophobia. I don’t understand it, but I guess it’s the same frustration as someone from the South has when people’s stereotypical preconceived notions about what the South is taints their view of all of it’s residents.

    • Anna says:

      After meeting and befriending way more Californians than I can count and even working for a Cali MoC, I will say that at least part of the disdain for Californians comes from their unrepentant love for/borderline obsession with their home state. You’re almost as bad as Texans 😉

      • Monica T says: But I’ve also found the California hating sometimes comes from us being perceived as the Queen of the Blue States, and some notion that all things liberal or progressive come from us. If it was just jealousy about how awesome our state was I wouldn’t mind at all!

        • Ali says:

          Adding to the chorus here as a native Californian. I’ve lived all over the west and I have never understood the xenophobia and anti-“outsider” attitudes you talk about here. California is a beautiful, complex, and diverse state (geographically, politically, and demographically) that isn’t easily summed up by progressivism, smog, traffic, or capitalism (seriously?). I am from a very rural place that doesn’t reflect any of these aspects, and yet–yet!–I am still a Californian. FWIW, I also love Montana, although I definitely have preferences around where I feel comfortable (no to Billings, yes to western MT).

    • Mpls says:

      As someone born in MT, but moved to elsewhere in the Midwest, at least a portion of the disdain comes from the rich Californians who come in from the outside and try to change things without being part of the community. MT can be a wild and beautiful place where community really matters and to have an outsider come in to try and dictate how things should go (building huge houses, fencing off ranch land) or trying to go against local norms it’s going to really throw up some hackles for the people who actually live in that community every day, all year long.

    • Belle says:

      Oh I know it’s irrational. I’m under no illusions that it’s justifiable. But it has more to do with the type of Californians who move to Montana and start putting up fences across public roads because they don’t want you driving on the PUBLIC road to the PUBLIC forest through the property with the 100+ year easement. It’s not everyone, it’s just the entitled monied ones who show up in Montana.

  3. Hasters says:

    Would love to participate in the article club, but I don’t have Facebook. Not asking you to change where it’s hosted, just something maybe to keep in the back of your mind!

    • Susan says:

      Ditto on the not on facebook but wanna be a part of the article club! Gaaah!

    • Niki says:

      Same here.

    • L says:

      Same here as well

    • Erin says:

      I’m not on facebook either, but would at least like to read the article. Can you share the link here?

    • Lacy says:

      I have a Facebook account but use the site as minimally as possible, due to privacy concerns. Even with private groups, I worry about how facebook uses my data. I wish the discussion was taking place elsewhere but I understand it may not be logistically feasible. But I would love to read the article if possible. Could they be posted on this site?

    • C.ann says:

      Add me to the non-FB peanut gallery who’d appreciate having the article posted here too. Thx!

  4. SMith says:

    LOL, because Montana isn’t a capitalist’s deregulation wet dream with an insufficient bureaucracy and catastrophic levels of pollution and environmental damage from extraction industries?

  5. montanan says:

    As a Montanan (though currently living exile), I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about Californians (which also cracked me up in their accuracy). Californians, relax! (and stop buying up all the good parts of Montana with your out of state $).

  6. Colleen says:

    I just got back from a two-week trip to California and am dying to go back! We drove from San Diego to San Francisco and the central coast was my favorite. There’s no place like it!

  7. Kate says:

    I always wanted to live in California. I went to college there for a while and loved everything about it. As luck would have it I’ve ended up being a Montanan. I humorously agree with your observations.

  8. Seventh sister says:

    I’ve lived in LA since I got out of college 20 years ago and am originally from a red spot in a blue state on the East Coast.

    It used to bug me that people disliked California and/or Californians, but I’m totally at peace with it now. I like it here but I get why people don’t like it. I’m a city mouse, though I wouldn’t want to live in NYC if I could live just about anywhere else.

    Also, the thing l like least about California – Prop 13 – is a big part of the reason people have all that money to move to other states. As a more recent Californian, I don’t benefit quite as much from our distorted real estate market.

  9. Joanna says:

    Check out the podcast: No Limits with Rebecca Jarvais. She interviews female entrepreneurs byt also female business leaders that I often have not yet read about but re highly successful and always inspiring.

  10. JP says:

    I love California passionately. Other places are nice sometimes.

  11. Alison says:

    I think this is why travel is so important, and particularly travel at a young age. It really changes you when you see how big the world is, and how many wonderful places there are. Everyone thinks their home state (region, country, etc) is the best, that’s normal. But if you end up holding onto major misconceptions about other areas (or make generalizations about a huge state based on interactions with a tiny percentage of the population), you end up missing so much good stuff.

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