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The Weekly Edit: Shooting for the Stars

I moved to D.C. in December 2004.  It was almost a year before I went home to Montana again.  I vividly remember getting out of the car and seeing all the stars above me.  When you’re used to living under the Big Sky, you take them for granted.  But when you haven’t seen them in months, thanks to city light pollution, they suddenly look spectacular.

Standing in that driveway, breathing the crispy winter air, looking up at the stars is probably the most peaceful moment of my life.  It was also the first time I really appreciated Montana.

In 1961, 13 women trained to enter the space program.  They were called the Mercury 13.  And like so many women who were pioneers and trailblazers, there names almost ended up lost to history.

This Netflix documentary covers the journeys of these women — all accomplished pilots — who went through the early testing phases of the astronaut training program.  Eventually, the government cancelled the program, and it was another two decades until Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.  But hearing their stories was a delightful, interesting, and empowering way to spend an hour.

My favorite moment was when someone asked Janey Hart why she wanted to go to the moon: “Well, if you had eight children, you’d want to go to the moon, too.”  The best.

I never considered myself a choker person.  Perhaps, living through the tattoo chokers of the 90s ruined them for me.  But last week, I was at Nordstrom and spotted the cutest Star Choker Necklace on the sales clerk.  To my surprise, it looked incredibly chic, with a dainty minimalism that felt very current.

I also love this simple layered chain from Jules Smith and this $18 rose gold option from Francesca’s.

I was a luxury fashion reporter, $100,000 in debt.

Tell me that’s not the most attention-grabbing headline you’ve seen in a while.  Bethany Biron talks about the strange world of high-fashion journalism where women with $50 in their bank account write about fashions for the 1%.  And sometimes, get caught up in the catwalk melee.

The fall is the time to start wearing dark nail polish.  But while I love my eggplant and navy tips, this season, I’m feeling warm, cozy neutrals.  Here are three of my favorites.

OPI Set in Stone ($12)

OPI Tickle My France-y ($12)

Essie Merino Cool ($9)

 

A few months ago, I discovered that I love, love, to bake bread.  Like many bakers, I was doing cookies and cakes and muffins, and thinking that bread wasn’t as fun or as much of a treat.  But I was wrong.

The best thing about homemade bread is how fresh it tastes. The second best thing is that, unlike dessert bakes, you don’t feel like you’re doing something totally unhealthy by making your own loaves.  If you’re eating bread anyway, why not?  And the third best thing is how cheap it is.  I can make a standard wheat bread for less than $1 a loaf.

My new love of bread baking can now extend to my Instant Pot.  I think I’ll make this raisin bread from Kara Lydon’s recipe for Sunday brunch.  I also found this simple Artisan Bread and this interesting alternative to sourdough, a yogurt whey bread.

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    24 comments

  1. Lindsey says:

    You are crushing it on the content this week!

    If you are getting really into bread, check out Tartine’s bread book and how to make your own natural yeast starter. It’s a fun way to eat local.

    -Bread-aholic

    September 19, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I’m going to buy an antique crock and make a starter when we move. No point right now.

      September 19, 2018/Reply
  2. Jess says:

    Yes to the bread in the instant pot! And yes to mommas wanting to go to the moon for an answer! (says the mom of 5) I can totally relate. And while I love my kids, sometimes you just need.to.get.away.

    September 19, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I always wanted to have a BUNCH of kids. Now, at 36, I look at Moms of 4 or 5 and think: Wow, I’m too tired for that. God bless you.

      September 19, 2018/Reply
  3. sbe says:

    *love* all of this!

    September 19, 2018/Reply
  4. Hillary says:

    YAASSS to the freshly baked bread! I used to bake bread all the time and then left it for a year or two and now I’m back. I made fresh whole wheat pita last week and it was divine. It’s great for a kebab dinner or during the week as a snack with veggies and hummus.

    September 19, 2018/Reply
  5. Heatherskib says:

    We did the yogurt whey bread. Be prepared to add more flour. It was tasty though

    September 19, 2018/Reply
  6. Jules says:

    I was kind of thinking that the $100,000 in debt article was going to talk about the author’s desire to wear fancy clothes which ended up in debt. The $100K was student loans, and it seemed like she stuck to her mostly modest wardrobe. I don’t know why…. but I kind of wanted to read about all the fancy clothes she shouldn’t have bought.

    September 19, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      LOL.

      September 19, 2018/Reply
    • Kelly says:

      I also thought this! So the resolution (which is more of a lack of a resolution) was WAY different than I expected.

      September 20, 2018/Reply
    • Sally says:

      There was another article recently about someone in fashion who did spend unwisely on fashiony things, to the point where she didn’t have enough cash in the bank to pay the nanny, so she reformed her spending habits. I can’t remember where it was though.

      September 26, 2018/Reply
  7. LS says:

    Did the documentary talk about how these women handled the early astronaut tests better than the men? That has always stuck with me. I think John Glenn only made it a few hours in the dark isolation room (and apparently he found some paper and pen that was left in the supposed-to-be-empty room). In contrast, the women were submerged in water tanks and one of them lasted 13 hours and they only pulled her out because the test facilitators wanted to go home, haha.

    September 19, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      They did talk about how women did VASTLY better in the isolation tank. It also talked about how their responses to stimuli were better. And how their psych scores were better. It seemed that it all areas, the women were outscoring the men.

      September 19, 2018/Reply
      • Emily says:

        This knowledge simultaneously fills me with anger and pride.

        September 20, 2018/Reply
        • Belle says:

          They were so funny when they talked about it. They kept talking about how the men couldn’t live without stimuli because they were used to being needed/useful and the center of attention, where the women are always doing too much work and getting ignored so the break was nice.

          September 20, 2018/Reply
  8. Kris says:

    GREAT content post! I have an Insta Pot and am excited to try the raisin bread. But, I don’t have a dutch oven. Am I out or is there another option? Thanks so much!

    September 20, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Somewhere on Pinterest, there is a guide to converting recipes to instapot from dutch oven and stove top. I’ll see if I can find it.

      September 20, 2018/Reply
  9. Kate says:

    I am forever grateful for my upbringing which taught me a lot about being frugal. It is extremely hard to tell a 20 something year-old person who get their first job for not to “treat” themselves. I have my good share of buying expensive cloths in the first two years of my real job and realize I looked and felt just as good as in Ann Taylor/Loft items lol.

    September 20, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      It is. My parents had a conversation about this a few years ago. My dad was a public defender for a good part of my childhood and money was tight, but my parents kind of hid it from us. They said it’s one of their biggest regrets because it would have been more honest and more helpful to us if we had learned the value of economizing in youth. Teaching myself that in my thirties has had only limited success, but I’m improving. Kyle’s great at it. I’m hoping I’ll have it sorted before we have kids.

      September 20, 2018/Reply
  10. Monica T says:

    Long time baker here, and I too have answered the siren song of yeast bread in the last 5 years. There are only so many cakes and cookies you can eat, but there is a reason ‘give us this day our daily bread’ resonates with people! And you can make sandwich bread, brioche, fancy braids, boules, baguettes all with the same techniques and tools. Baking therapy for sure. I use King Arthur Flour and they have a lot of great recipes and blog posts, I have rarely had a failed recipe. I also got my fresh sourdough starter there and use it for all kinds of stuff: pizza crust, pretzels, and my Granddad’s sourdough hotcake and waffle recipes. He kept a starter going for 30 years!!

    September 20, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I know this sounds weird, but King Arthur is my favorite flour. Their molasses cookies are the best.

      September 20, 2018/Reply
      • Monica T says:

        Oh it doesn’t sound weird to me at all. All their ingredients are great, they source tons of other amazing products for bakers and are an employee-owned company to boot! I don’t know how much you’re baking but I finally signed up for their Baker’s Rewards+ program this year so that I can order my ingredients when I need them and not worry about shipping, totally worth it! And one of my favorite recipes of theirs is their braided lemon bread, check it out!

        September 20, 2018/Reply
  11. Drago Cucina says:

    I love baking bread. I use a bread machine to mix and first rise the dough. Then I shape it and use a baking stone for the second rise and baking. We love it. Several years ago I was between jobs and my youngest was 17. His friends had never had anything but sliced, white bread. I was baking 3-4 loaves a day for them. It was great. The cost was minimal, I enjoyed the baking, and had the adoration of a group of teens.

    My favorite bread book is “The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking” by Br. Rick Curry.

    September 20, 2018/Reply
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