Features + The Weekly Edit

The Weekly Edit: Not-So-Wild Ride

When you start a new job, there’s always an adjustment period.  You’re learning new responsibilities, figuring out how to succeed.  But when your job last for only 90 days, by the time you adjust, the work is over.  It’s a bit of a roller coaster.

But enough about work, let’s talk about something more fun.

My nerves are a bit overloaded when I get home at the end of the day.  I need comfort.  I need easy.  I need to just relax and do something I enjoy.  Something that doesn’t require a lot of extra mental effort, but

I have eliminated nearly all of my magazine subscriptions, but I just can’t give up on Real Simple.  And when a one-year subscription costs $5 on Amazon, why should I?

This is one of the few magazines that isn’t pushing an unattainable life.  The recipes, features, fashion tips, etc. are useful with a little something extra.  I look forward to it every month.

When I was visiting my friend in California, her Mom had recently sent her a care package from Taiwan.  They contained these delightful pineapple pastries.  They were like a tastier version of a pineapple Newton.  Not too sweet, but perfectly capable of satisfying your 3:00PM sugar craving.

Last weekend, I did an “Ask Me Anything” on Instagram Stories, and it was a lot of fun.  Someone asked what my dream job would be if I didn’t work in government, and my answer was Television Writer.

Several people suggested that I listen to a podcast called, “Happier in Hollywood.”  It’s hosted by the female writing team, Sarah Fain and Liz Craft (Women’s Murder Club, The Shield).  And it discusses the ins and outs of the television business, and occasionally covers career and life advice.  It’s a lot of fun.

Can we talk about suiting and blazers?  Primarily how masculine they can be.  Everyone needs a good basic, but once you have that suit (or suits), branching out can be tough.  So I went hunting for a few work-appropriate blazers with feminine details?

This Rachel Roy belted jacket has a pleated, slightly puffed sleeve.  It would look great with the coordinating pants or with black separates.  For plus-size option, check out this Eloquii blazer with a pearl detail and pleat sleeve.

As for other options, this ruffle front Tahari ASL blazer is worth a look.  It also comes in a gorgeous medium-hue navy pantsuit.  Finally, this $40 Topshop Chuck On blazer in a silky fabric is a colorful, modern option over simple sheath dresses.

Montana is famous for its micro-climates.  Helena seems to be afflicted with light humidity that, when mixed with the frequent cloudy skies, holds pollution down at ground level.  It’s wreaking havoc on my skin, and even Kyle is breaking out.

So I reached for the only “toner” that I trust to remove dirt, oil, and residue without drying out my skin: Clinique Clarifying Lotion.  One swipe, and my skin feels completely refreshed.

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  1. Kate says:

    Totally agree about Real Simple Magazine. Gonna give “Happier in Hollywood” a listen. Thanks for the recommendation

    January 22, 2019/Reply
  2. LO says:

    I had the SAME thought about Real Simple when I got my newest copy. It’s the only magazine I still subscribe to and I love it (though the most recent copy came with an offer to join AARP, so I do wonder if I am a bit out of their target demo). And I love Happier in Hollywood, particularly how short the episodes are. (Basically, I feel like this post stole my life, haha)

    January 22, 2019/Reply
    • Maggie says:

      Mine did too and I am not ready to get an AARP card anytime soon! I also just started receiving Family Circle, which I DID NOT ORDER! 🙂

      January 22, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      There’s just not much for women in the 30+ range. I never read Cosmo, I feel too old for Elle. Martha is just a bit too polished and aspirational. Real Simple is my happy place. If it is also the happy place of 60 year old women, so be it.

      January 22, 2019/Reply
    • Hh says:

      I’m so happy to hear that the AARP offer went to all Real Simple subscribers. I keep getting random come ons for retirement age things, and have been wondering how I’ve been lumped in that demographic. I’m in my mid 30s, BTW.

      January 22, 2019/Reply
  3. Jenette says:

    I would have never thought to subscribe to Real Simple! What makes you love it?

    January 22, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I just like that it’s not unrealistic. The recipes are also good.

      January 22, 2019/Reply
      • jill gerber says:

        Wow, just subscribed for $5, thank you. I always like the organizational tips, even if I don’t get around to trying them. 🙂

        January 22, 2019/Reply
  4. Sharon says:

    Yes forever to pineapple cakes. You can buy them at most Asian groceries in the US these days (you can also get different fillings, not just pineapple), but you’re ever on that side of the world, you should definitely stop in at actual bakeries to get them. Most bakeries have their own version and they all taste just a little different.

    January 22, 2019/Reply
    • Anna says:

      I’ve never seen the kind in that box, just the ones with the sort of crackly yellow top. Are they really different? I know I saw them at an 85C bakery in Seattle this weekend, and those are all over the west coast these days.

      January 23, 2019/Reply
      • T says:

        That’s pineapple bread! No actual pineapple in it.

        Taiwan is known for pineapple cakes though. I’m glad to see that they’ve finally started getting big outside! The one Abra linked is one of the most famous/well known brands but there are new boutique bakeries popping up all the time putting their own spin on them.

        January 23, 2019/Reply
  5. Emiy says:

    Quietly raising my hand in the back – also in a new job in a state with a 90 day legislature. Thank you for continuing to post. I know its EXTREMELY difficult in these fast paced, stressful, time sucking days. Your posts serve as wonderful breaks in my day. Thinking positive thoughts for your legislative session. 🙂

    January 22, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Thanks. Just 78 days to go.

      January 22, 2019/Reply
  6. BN says:

    100% agree re: Clinque Clarifying Lotion! I’ve been using it for years. Even when I’ve changed serums, eye creams, etc., this is one thing I’ve been consistently happy with. Although I did switch from a level 3 to a 2 once moving away from DC (bye bye humidity!).

    January 22, 2019/Reply
    • Jill says:

      I’ve used it forever, too. I try to stock up when there’s a free gift. Lipstick colors to give away to friends. 😉

      January 22, 2019/Reply
  7. Melissa says:

    Real Simple is the magazine equivalent of a chunky knit blanket. Warm, comforting, and beautifully unfussy.

    January 23, 2019/Reply
  8. B says:

    Wow! How did I miss the $5 subscriptions? I would love to go crazy, but I’m terrible about not reading magazines in a timely manner when I get them at home.

    January 23, 2019/Reply