Workday Reading

The Edition: No. 146

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Elliot

Moving On. 7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Quitting Your Job.

Buttoned Up. This H&M jacket with black trim is Chanel-inspired without the price.

Rise Above. Four HIIT workouts for beginners that are body positive.

Picked Out. Scroll to the middle of the main blog page to see my ‘fresh picks’ for this week, three stylish rings.  This Halogen Pearl Ring and this silver-tone signet ring also caught my eye.

Letter Graded. Meet the CEO/Mom who wrote that letter looking for a household manager.

Look Out. This Intentional Calendar could keep you on track in 2020. And I love this weekly planner desk pad that floats under your keyboard to keep tasks top of mind.

Washed Up. A woman claims to wash her face with $4 shampoo, and the Internet goes wild.

Cooled Off. This well-designed wine chiller is perfect for summer rose.

Punch Down. How to disagree with someone more powerful than you.

Lift Off. People are raving about Wander’s Mile High Mascara and Precise Brow Gel.

Encircled. Tips for dealing with a loved one in crisis (because it’s not about you).

Squared Off. This pretty square-neck dress is lovely for work (and just over $100).

Order Up. ‘I have a Starbucks Name. Do you?’ (I’m Kyle. Wouldn’t take his last name. But use his first name to save myself from epic mispronunciations in the coffee line…it was in the vows.)

Twist Off. Loving this plus-size VC Dolman sleeve top and its straight size equivalent.

I love macarons.  They’re the perfect light treat when you want something sweet, but don’t feel like a heavy dessert.  And I’ve always wanted to try making them myself, but every online recipe seemed so intimidating.  Until I spotted this step-by-step guide from Buzzfeed for making Tasty’s Ultimate Macarons.

The recipe and the guide make the whole process seem much more doable.  Though I will probably pick up these macaron baking mats so that everything ends up a uniform size and the recommended gel food coloring before giving this baked good a try.

Baking macarons could be a fun date (if your partner likes sweets), a great way to spend a Friday night with friends (put on a movie, pour some wine and box them up to take home), or a fun activity to do with kids.

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  1. MM says:

    Ha! What funny timing. After constantly seeing contestants on baking competition shows make macarons, I finally tried one for the first time this week and OMG. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on these for so long! I’ve started collecting recipes for fun flavors but it absolutely seems intimidating. I will check out that guide for sure – thank you!

    January 28, 2020/Reply
  2. J says:

    Macaron baker here too:

    I also like BraveTart’s (aka Stella Park) recipe for macarons, which isn’t on her site anymore. I’ve used this one which is based on hers: I ended up making lots of curd and swiss buttercreams with all the egg yolks.

    I would also get an oven thermometer. Most of my issues were from my oven not actually being the temperature it said it was. Once the temp was fixed, it went a lot smoother!

    January 28, 2020/Reply
  3. Anon says:

    The original posting for that CEO mother showed up on my Nextdoor feed and I’m not surprised it made the headlines. I’m glad she had a chance to explain herself and I’m all about outsourcing and knowing what you want. That said, despite the collateral benefits, someone with the skills required to run that household could probably do better than $35-40 and hour in the Bay Area without being bound to someone else’s family.

    January 28, 2020/Reply
  4. TheLOOP says:

    I hadn’t seen that viral ad but the mom’s response struck a chord with me. I started reading it preparing to roll my eyes but then I paused. Before I became a parent, I underestimated the sheet emotional, mental, invisible workload of raising kids, especially when balancing it with your career. Both raising kids and advancing in your career require continuous time, attention and nurturing. I am fortunate to have a spouse to share the workload but neither of us have any family here so we rely heavily on nannies and sitters. I do outsource a lot of research and home management to our nanny and I still struggle to keep up with it all… I can’t imagine how much more stressful it would be as a single parent when you have to make all the decisions solo. Do other parent(s) with less means face bigger hurdles? Of course. But while that might make one feel more grateful for their privilege, it doesn’t lessen the workload. And finding people that you can trust your kids with is not easy – it is as much of a personality and chemistry thing as it is about skills and experience. It’s more than a standard employee relationship and the consequences for getting it wrong can be hard on your kids, so why not put the effort into finding the right person? We laud companies who come up with creative and “authentic” job descriptions but we shame a single parent who was just trying to be honest about where she needs help? Not cool.

    January 28, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      The one all of my Mom friends talk about is the mental load. The extras. The raising of the kids seems difficult, but the constant need to be researching and planning and organizing seems like the tougher part.

      January 28, 2020/Reply
    • Jill says:

      Great points. The love from the nanny expectation was a bit over the top for me, though of course the parent has every right to try for that.

      January 28, 2020/Reply
      • Belle says:

        I think given her situation, it makes sense that is her ideal, and she seemed realistic about how hard that would be to find. For me, I just always want a competent employee that I can get along with, but if we were together that much, I might feel differently.

        January 28, 2020/Reply
  5. H. says:

    It can be helpful to watch videos of what the consistency should be for properly mixed macarons, but the most helpful description I ever read (which stuck with me, years later) was that the result should flow like lava.

    If you don’t want to invest in a macaron-specific baking mat, google “printable macaron template” or similar; you’ll find lots of options. (Personally, I prefer baking macarons on parchment paper; less sticking.)
    Print two (assuming standard letter-sized paper) and stick them under your parchment paper or silicone mat before piping. You’ll be able to see the circles through the paper/mat (especially if you find one with filled-in circles rather than just outlines).

    Feel free to whack the trays more than five times; the point is to knock out bubbles and flatten the tops uniformly.

    Don’t be alarmed if the cookies are quite crisp when they come out; they’ll moisten to a lovely chewy texture as the fillings sit in them overnight. (I’m always impressed by the perfect-looking macarons that the bakers on the Great British Bake-Off manage to produce in a few short hours; the bake must be difficult to calibrate.)

    January 28, 2020/Reply
  6. Allison says:

    My 13yo daughter makes divine macarons. I haven’t tried it myself, but it can’t be too hard.

    January 28, 2020/Reply
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