Workday Reading

The Edition: No. 222

We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us. // Virginia Satir

+ Five things you can do in the morning to be happier all day.

+ I own this <$30 faux-wrap dress, and it is one of my favorites.

+ The ‘mom boss’ culture of Instagram is hurting women.

+ Sage is the hot spring color.  Don’t miss this cardigan and these linen pants.

+ Meyer Lemon Snack Cake. Yes, please.

+ Lace for Summer: A gorgeous top and a vibrant dress are both stunning.

+ Why an increasing number of women are choosing to stay single.

+ Need workout shorts?  These ones are awesome.  These longer ones are good too.

+ Your guide to makeup expiration dates because, ew.

+ Clogged pores are no more with this volcanic clay mousse-mask.

+ How do I dress after a mastectomy?

+ This confetti-print Karl Lagerfeld dress is ready for a party.

Long Read. The pregnant woman who led a slave rebellion.  Meet Solitude, a total badass and read her very important story almost lost to history.

When we bought our home in the fall of 2018, I thought our renovation would be a made for television dream.  Three years later, we’ve made lots of progress, but we’re far from done.

What the home renovation shows and Instagram DIYs hide is how long this all takes, all the things that can go wrong, and the costs (both emotional and financial).  We’re starting the exterior this summer, and this is my preferred color palette.  It’s dark, but not too dark, and a good fit for our neighborhood.

So if you’re thinking about renovating your home or buying a fixer upper, get your wallet and your patience ready.  But if you’re ready to make the investment, it will be worth it…someday.

{I may earn a small commission if you buy something you find in this post.}

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  1. Allison says:

    Great post. Mom Boss article was interesting and accurate. As a new mom that rolled right into a pandemic, I’ve found myself following mommy influencers on social media (after I vet them) because I haven’t been able to build a parent group locally. All these little questions that you’d normally ask another parent when you’d organically interact don’t happen anymore, and I’ve felt lost. I’m seriously looking forward to just make connections with parents in my neighborhood and learning from each other. I’m wondering if that’s heightened the popularity of mom influencers right now. Separate note, you said earlier this week that you were struggling with content to post, maybe tips for renos? I know it’s been a hard process so you may not want to re-hash, but we are thinking about popping the top on our house and it would be interesting to hear what you learned. We aren’t planning to DIY much, if anything.

    April 27, 2021/Reply
    • Belle says:

      We may snap some photos later this summer and share then. We’re still very much in mid-construction land.

      April 27, 2021/Reply
    • Jenny says:

      One thing that surprised me about early parenthood was that I had several women from earlier phases of my life reach out on social media to ask questions about their babies/just talk about parenting stuff. One was a gal I had been acquainted with in college, but not close with and we hadn’t kept in touch at all. But she had seen me post a comment about acid reflux on Facebook, and we started messaging back and forth pretty regularly there for a while. After a few months, it tapered off. Not the only experience I had like that either. I think sometimes you just have to find that parenting community anywhere you can.

      April 27, 2021/Reply
  2. Crystal says:

    I recently ripped the cheap, hideous built-ins out of my entryway closet so I could rehab it into a prettier and more functional combination closet/mudroom. I already had shopping lists, measurements, mood boards, and what felt like the whole 9.

    Ripping everything out was simple, choosing a paint color and painting it was relatively quick (with a few more trips than expected), but now, the complications and DELAYS. Two trips to different stores to get the bench, legs for the bench were delayed in shipping, bench will likely have to be built inside the closet because it’s such a tight fit, hard to find the right wall hooks, closet rail bar needs cut to size and possibly painted/sealed, a friend had to bring a router so I could install the closet bar and now I need to sand and touch up the damaged wood and paint, the various shelves need to be cut and stained and installed, shelf brackets (hard to find for this depth) need to be made or purchased and then painted and installed, the bench topper needs cut and stained and nailed or glued in, the 4-screw automatic-on light installation that should have taken *minutes* is now delayed because the tiny screws won’t work with my ceiling materials so I’ll need to find tiny but longer screws or an alternate installation method — and of course, everything from that huge closet is for now strewn around my tiny condo. And this is a SMALL home project!
    Much support to you on your much, much larger one.

    April 27, 2021/Reply
  3. RosaD says:

    I amin my early 30s and pretty happily single. I would be happy if I found a partner eventually, but I’m not interested in kids and just don’t have a lot of interest in dating at the moment. the one aspect of it that I struggle with is feeling like everyones intimate relationships and communities are built around nuclear families. I make a lot of effort to foster strong friendships but it often feels like im 3rd or 4th on a lot of peoples lists, but never 1st. people seem to mostly form communities with others who have similar family structures, and are in similar life stages. I would love a community with people of all ages, life stages, and family types but its really a struggle to build one (especially this past year).

    April 28, 2021/Reply
    • E says:

      It’s hard! I am married, but childfree by choice and when those in your age bracket start having kids, those of us without kids can be inadvertently left out. I’ve noticed it’s gotten better once my friends’ kids get older, but for the first 4 or so years, you’re definitely not top of mind because other friends with kids are. I’ve noticed there are more folks childfree by choice and I’ve been lucky to meet quite a few of those. But forming connections is still hard at this stage in life–I don’t have advice, but I can offer commiseration and I hear ya! Also, the mommy blogger article made me giggle because mommy influencers sounds like my own personal level of hell…

      April 28, 2021/Reply
    • Jess says:

      I think it’s natural for people to form friendships with those similar in their lives. It’s definitely a fight to look elsewhere. For example, I will be 40 this summer and we just completed the adoption of our 16 month old foster baby who has been with us from birth. Our church is just starting a MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group. But hell will literally freeze over before I willingly go to a MOPS group because I just don’t want to be in a group of mostly mothers considerably younger than I am. I lead a very different life than they do.

      April 29, 2021/Reply
    • Roons says:

      Totally agree- married for 23 years, childfree by choice and late 40’s. The good news! As I’ve gotten older – no more questions about WHEN we’ll have kids. We have found friendships with folks that are older than us by 10-15 years. Their kids have left home, so they have the time and energy.
      We have different perspectives and so the conversations are fun and interesting.

      May 2, 2021/Reply
  4. Julie Thompson says:

    Recent repairs from Storm Uri. I totally agree with your statement “get your wallet and patience ready.” One change leads to another and then more $$$$ and time.

    May 2, 2021/Reply