Workday Reading

The Edition: No. 87

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. — Norman Cousins

Shaped. Mom asks college women to stop wearing leggings for the sake of the men.  Vox asks: Will we ever stop debating leggings?

Summered. These French Sole sandals are on my summer wish list.

Twisted. Is your boss using these tactics to manipulate you?

Cleared. Deep discounts at The Rack right now. It’s an Easter Egg hunt, for sure. I grabbed this $19 black-and-white dotted blouses.

Ranked. Teen boys rated their female classmates looks; then, the girls fought back.

Bagged. This $45 duffel is a great, simple gym or travel bag.

Started. The five essential truths of starting your own business.

Whitened. This Mango shirt dress and embroidered white dress are also on my list for summer.

Solo’ed. The perils of being a woman traveling alone.

Hooped. Absolutely loving these $25 oblong hoop earrings.

Acknowledged. How to take back credit when someone steals your idea/success.

If you follow me on Instagram or read the comments, you probably already know, but Kyle and I are engaged.  Being in our mid-to-late 30s, there was no big proposal.  We’ve been discussing when the right time to get married would be for a little over a year, and this year felt like the right time.

I hadn’t made the announcement for a couple of reasons.  First, I enjoyed telling my friends and family the big news, and wanted to make some room to let those close to me know before I wrote about it online.

Second, there’s currently no ring.  And my father is adamant, that despite having a venue and wedding date, we are not engaged until Kyle produces a ring.

I don’t know how much I will share about the engagement and wedding going forward.  But I’d like to thank everyone who sent congratulations by e-mail or on social media.  I really appreciate all of the good wishes and lovely notes.

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Leave a Reply to Jessica · cancel comment

    49 comments

  1. Jessica says:

    Congrats to you & Kyle! I’m so happy for you both! You handled the few, negative comments with so much maturity & poise. You don’t deserve those comments and I’m sorry you were exposed to that negativity. I’ve followed your blog for YEARS & its basically the sole blog I follow currently because of the standards you hold your blog to. I admire the way you handle challenges in life and how you’re vulnerable about those experiences on social media/blog. You have helped me handle challenges in my life. You deserve to be happy, so go enjoy this wonderful engagement! Also props for the forward-thinking way you & Kyle are entering this engagement. This is creating a solid foundation for your future marriage!

    March 29, 2019/Reply
    • Meghan says:

      +1000 I agree completely. You are the only blog I still read and only blogger I still follow on Instagram. Congratulations to both of you; I hope you really enjoy the engagement and wedding season! It is a lot of fun. Boo to the haters 🙂

      March 29, 2019/Reply
  2. Emily says:

    Congratulations! So happy for you! And good luck with wedding planning–I just got married last year so the whole process is still very fresh in my mind.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  3. Alisha says:

    Congratulations!

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  4. Shanghai says:

    Congratulations to you and Kyle! Totally respect your decision, whatever it is, to share (or not) plans going forward. I’m here for the work-related content. While it’s been great to hear about him occasionally, just know a lot of your readers are totally cool with your current balance of sharing, whatever that is! Cheers to the future for y’all.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  5. Meaghan says:

    Congratulations!

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  6. Priya says:

    Best wishes to you and Kyle! And thank you for sharing this with us in whatever level of detail feels right to you. Sorry to hear you have faced negativity in what should be a joyful time of your life. I hope you agree such comments reflect more on the character of people making them than they do on you.

    Be well, and enjoy this time together.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  7. Sam says:

    Congratulations! I’m sure it will be a stunning wedding, shared or not!

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  8. -Jen says:

    Congratulations to you and Kyle. I have enjoyed reading this site for years. I hope you can continue to find a balance that feels good for you. I admire your strength and drive.

    I also need to say that you for finding the perfect jean jacket, for which I had be searching for years! The Old Navy one you linked to earlier this month arrived yesterday (tall sizing!) and I will wear it constantly this spring.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  9. DC LAwyer lady says:

    Congratulations!!!

    Also engaged, without a ring. My baby brother thinks I should have held out for a blood diamond, but I have a great life partner and am more excited about that then jewelry.

    May you and Kyle continue to have a wonderful life together.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  10. J says:

    Congrats again! I’ve said this a few times over the years, but I love your blog and that you’ve been willing to be vulnerable with us, commenters be damned. Sharing or not, I’m sure whatever wedding you decide to have will be perfect. As for your dad, my dad said the same thing! My husband knew that I was too particular for him to pick it out himself, so his mom gave him a costume ring to propose with. It was way too big, so I never sized it down and wore it on a necklace. I have it for my kids to propose to their SOs with if they’re willing.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  11. Cassidy says:

    Seriously, congratulations! As one of your Instagram followers, I want to commend you for how you handled some of the negative comments. People really suck, but don’t let that affect this new and fun season of your life! Can’t wait to see how your awesome ring turns out! So happy for you and once again CONGRATS!

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  12. Megan says:

    That’s wonderful news, congratulations! I wish both you and Kyle the best:)

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  13. Monica T says:

    Congratulations to you and Kyle! You’re very brave to put so much of yourself out in to the world, and it does so much good for other women who suffer from anxiety or depression to know that they are not alone. I hate seeing someone using that to hurt you, be strong and do what you need to do to get through this, even if it means not sharing as much of yourself with us in the future.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  14. EmMm says:

    Congratulations!! Sending you wishes for a beautiful life together!!

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  15. Kate says:

    Congrats on the engagement! I am excited to see what your choice for wedding dresses. You have a classic yet sophisticated sense of fashion that your blog is my go-to source of tips and inspiration for work and formal events.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  16. ET says:

    I’m in my 30’s, and we were already living together for years before we got engaged…it felt like we had already committed to each other. I was actually pretty disinterested in a big-deal proposal. Ours was perfect because it was not about surprise, fanfare, and a ring – it was an unremarkable private conversation at home about making our everyday commitment a legal commitment. He did get me a simple moissanite ring, which I would highly recommend if you want a durable non-diamond.

    We’re having a non-traditional ceremony – no wedding party, and I have a lovely blue dress. We’re just looking forward to having a memorable day with all of our closest family and friends while we’ve still got ’em.

    Congrats to you and Kyle! Celebrate in whatever way makes you happy.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      We decided on a Montana sapphire, but there were some lovely moissanite rings on Etsy.

      March 30, 2019/Reply
      • Lauren says:

        My engagement ring is a sapphire solitaire. I could not love it more.

        March 30, 2019/Reply
      • J says:

        A Montana sapphire! That sounds perfect. I know you don’t have to share, but I’m picturing it the color of some of the gems in your post. Congrats again!

        March 31, 2019/Reply
  17. Jules says:

    Congrats you two! I got engaged with a ring pop candy 🙂 It’s still a ring, so it counts. I’ve been reading for years, and so happy for you. With your taste, I bet it will be absolutely stunning. Whatever you are willing to share, I am excited to read.

    March 29, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      That’s really fun.

      March 30, 2019/Reply
  18. Anna c says:

    I’m so thrilled for you! I’ve been following your blog for years, and like others, have stuck around because of the thoughtful, respectful, and balanced conversations, as well as the shoe recommendations. 🙂 You hold the community you’ve founded to a higher standard, and I find it unusual, incredible, and necessary. I was stunned at how negative and needlessly malicious those comments were, but was impressed by how gracefully you responded. Best wishes as you and Kyle enter a new phase of your lives together!!

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  19. Sarah says:

    I was engaged with no ring. Didn’t even want one. Who needs a bond on my virtue anyway 😉 and got married at the courthouse in a super pretty blue dress I found from Nordstrom. Then had a little garden party a month later so I got to wear the dress twice! Just as married as anyone else! No debt. Do what you want I say. Even if it it all the wedding-y things!

    March 29, 2019/Reply
  20. Nancy says:

    Great post as always. Congrats on engagement…I understand about not wanting to share, especially given some of the mean comments that get posted by horrible people on blogs. Take your time and enjoy the engagement.

    March 30, 2019/Reply
  21. Sally says:

    Abra, congratulations to you and Kyle! As an almost-60 nonworking woman, I do not fit the typical demographic of your followers, but I read your blog because the content is smart, interesting, honest, and fun. Through the years, I have come to feel as though I know you a bit and to want all good things for you. So, I am thrilled for you and Kyle and wish you a long marriage and so much happiness. I am rooting for you professionally and personally!

    March 30, 2019/Reply
  22. Annette says:

    Congrats! I know you will have no problem figuring out what to wear… on rings- why not design something that is a hybrid engagement/ wedding ring? A little funkier than a simple gold band, but a lot more pragmatic than some diamond hunker…yes I did this and was really really happy with the look and also the feel of having something to wear everyday (bonus points if you happen to reallocate the savings from the engagement ring towards a honeymoon in Bora Bora and pick up some unique black pearls while there)

    March 30, 2019/Reply
  23. Laura says:

    I’m also an out-of-your-demographic middle aged reader and am so glad to hear of your happy news! Over years of reading your blog, I’m impressed with your integrity and honesty and sincere efforts to help others. I can’t really think of another blog that is its equal. The gratuitous negativity on the web -always anonymous—can be overwhelming. Please take heart in the vast majority of readers who respect and value your work.

    March 30, 2019/Reply
  24. Vj says:

    Congrats!! I was married for 2 years with no ring! We eloped and put the money into a mortgage instead. Lots of people have told me they wish they’d done the same (or at least went with smaller more “reasonable” wedding, ring, dress etc.

    March 30, 2019/Reply
  25. Emily says:

    Congratulations!!! I got legitimately a little teary for you when I read this on insta. I know we’ve never met, but I’ve been reading your blog for almost a decade and am so thrilled for you!

    Marriage is great. Would highly recommend to a friend. Especially if you’re marrying someone who uses your recommendations as gift ideas for their wife… (yeah, my husband is awesome).

    March 30, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Thank you, that’s very nice of you. And I’m glad your husband has such good taste 😉

      March 30, 2019/Reply
  26. Kathleen says:

    Congratulations, Abra! Wishing you both every happiness in your future together.

    March 31, 2019/Reply
  27. Karen says:

    Best wishes to you both. Looking forward to hearing whatever details you’re comfortable sharing about the wedding planning process.

    Echoing another couple of commenters where I am outside your target age demographic, but have been reading since nearly the beginning and yours is the only blog I read. It’s always interesting and has helped me a lot. Thanks for your honesty and good guidance throughout the years.

    Wishing you and Kyle and Avery and Sophie every continued happiness together.

    March 31, 2019/Reply
  28. Kathleen H Lisson says:

    Congratulations!

    March 31, 2019/Reply
  29. Ally says:

    So very happy for you both! As a long time reader I have enjoyed not only your witty commentary and fashion advice, which served me well in my journey up the ranks from the intern desk, but also the personal bits you started sharing with us after your move to the west coast. Your blog has been part of my daily routine since 2008, and it’s the only one I still follow. I too look forward to whatever you are willing to share about the wedding, but I understand wanting to keep some things private. I do hope that you at least share a picture after the fact here or on Insta stories! It’s always wonderful to see people in love and happy on their big day.

    April 1, 2019/Reply
  30. Andrea says:

    Congratulations on the engagement! Regarding the leggings ‘debate’, why does everything in this country have to be a debate? It’s one woman’s opinion, albeit shared loudly, but do we all have to jump in the fray about assinine things? A bit of common sense never hurt anyone, especially with regards to those young ladies wearing leggings to a place of worship. If you went to a mosque, you’d respect the religious mores and cover-up. The same applies to going to a church. Cover your bare ass with a tunic. It’s not hard. Wear leggings anywhere else to your heart’s desire.

    April 1, 2019/Reply
    • Margaret says:

      Agreed. A Catholic church is not an appropriate place for leggings, even on a collage campus. However, I don’t think that was the woman’s point …

      April 2, 2019/Reply
  31. Laura says:

    Congrats Abra & Kyle!!! I am in the who-cares-if-there-is-a-ring camp but I’m sure whatever you decide on to visually signify your engagement (if you so choose) will be perfect and beautiful. Marriage is such a wonderful experience (for me thus far) and I’m so happy for you two.

    April 1, 2019/Reply
  32. Jenna says:

    Congratulations! As a very long time reader I am so thrilled for my cyber role model. Also as a long time reader I would of course love it if you would blog about every single detail, of course that’s entirely up to you. Wedding planning is a beast of its own and everyone will of course be quick to share their opinions. When I was planning my own wedding last year I eventually had to un-follow all the wedding people on instagram, it’s just too much and it can get away from your original plan quickly.

    April 1, 2019/Reply
  33. J says:

    Congrats and best wishes! Totally understand keeping certain things private, though I know your choices for your event, just like your blog, will be very tasteful.

    My fiancee and I are both in our late 30s and got engaged last year. After doing our taxes, we are seriously considering not getting married until the current tax law expires; our current priority is starting a family and our single status tax savings would contribute to at least 2 months of childcare each year. We are definitely approaching life together with practicality than romance!

    April 1, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Why is it so bad for marrieds? Kyle and I don’t intend to commingle money. I’m writing a pre-nup and separate property agreement, so financially, we’ll still be single. I don’t want him to have to talk on the burden of my student loans, and WA is a community property state.

      April 1, 2019/Reply
      • J says:

        For us, the issue is the itemizing vs standard deduction, since one option benefits him and the other benefits me. You can only pick one when married, even filing separately. I’d recommend playing around with your tax software if you’re curious.

        April 1, 2019/Reply
        • J says:

          I meant to say that’s the biggest issue. The cap on the itemizing is another.

          April 1, 2019/Reply
  34. Katherine says:

    Congratulations on beginning a new chapter! As a long time follower I am truly happy for you and wish you and Kyle much happiness together.

    April 1, 2019/Reply
  35. Lauren says:

    As a reader for many years now, I am so happy for you and the happiness you’ve found with Kyle. Many congratulations!

    April 1, 2019/Reply
  36. shannon says:

    All I want to know is – where are you going on your honeymoon and what will you pack?! 🙂

    April 1, 2019/Reply
  37. gigi says:

    Best wishes and congratulations! Whatever you and Kyle decide to do for your wedding, enjoy every moment! it goes by quick. I am so happy you guys found each other.

    April 2, 2019/Reply
  38. Emily says:

    I missed this last week! Congratulations to you!

    April 9, 2019/Reply
  39. Keilexandra says:

    If you don’t mind, can you share where you’ve been shopping for Montana sapphires? I’m in the market myself (skipping the engagement ring but designing my wedding ring with a feature stone, BF is from Montana and I love teal, so it all clicked). Was thinking I might have to drive up to Philipsburg the next time we’re in Montana, but if you have particular recs for any sources in western MT (within a long day trip of Missoula) I’d love to hear them!

    April 10, 2019/Reply