The Edition: No. 278

Aug 17, 2021

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run; There’s still time to change the road you’re on. // Led Zeppelin

+ How to use LinkedIn to make ‘cold contacts’ and network.

+ This chunky ivory cardigan (also in plus) is my new favorite and it’s <$50.

+ The Great Midtown Spanx Shortage of 2021.

+ Big sale at Gap. This mulberry ruched dress is drop dead gorgeous (tall/petite).

+ Women going through menopause are being forced out of work.

+ Dermstore has 25% off, code CELEBRATE. I snagged a NuFace toning device.

+ How long should you wait between applying skincare products?

+ This plus-size Mango top is incredible, a must-buy.

+ Practicing the art of leadership at work.

+ Bloomie’s ‘Work Shop‘ is more relaxed, but awesome. Love this shirt.

+ Real Simple’s Best Financial Apps and Services of 2021.

+ Kitchen Game Changer: Over-the-sink drying rack.

+ BBQ Beef Ramen Noodle Bowls.

+ Fun Outfit: Striped top + Sailor-inspired pants + Crossbody bag

+ Your guide to the ‘Bama Rush TikTok takeover.

+ These driving moccasins are like sleek slippers, for out of the house.

Long Read. This very emotional feature covers how their son’s death on 9/11 impacted one family.  What does one person leave behind?

I usually share something in this space.  Maybe it’s a recipe.  Maybe it’s a sale.  Maybe it’s thoughts on life.  But this week, I just don’t feel like I have anything to share.

So I thought I would open up the comments to anyone who has something they want to share.  It can be a space for frivolity — a meme you like, a song you’re listening to, etc..  You can share something more serious — a joy, a concern, a question.  Or you can just drop in to tell your fellow readers about a product you recently bought and liked.

Whatever you want to share, this is a safe space to just pop in and drop a thought, a recommendation, or a little something that brightened your day or made you think.  Let’s see where this goes.  Knowing you ladies, I bet it goes to a good place.

I’ll be monitoring the comments in case you want to use a moniker or an account different from your usual one.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

Workday Reading

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  1. Sarah says:

    I’m feeling stuck in life, which I think is mostly a result of the pandemic lifestyle where I keep doing the same things every day and every week without change because we are not traveling and, with rising Delta numbers, aren’t seeing friends at least until the weather improves and we can do it outside. So I decided to start using my PTO to do local things I’ve never done. This morning I tried a new coffee shop and then went to an outdoor sculpture garden. Was it a vacation? No. Did it feel good to do something different during the week? Absolutely! For next week, I’m planning a day trip to a nearby town to see a bridge I’ve wanted to see.

    • Belle says:

      This is a good idea. The other day, I started thinking about all of the things that exist within a couple of hours of my childhood home that we never did. I bet that’s true for where I live now also.

  2. Katel says:

    Follow good news movement on Instagram. It gives me faith in humanity.

  3. Courtney says:

    I would love to see a review of the NuFace toner. Have been thinking of getting one for a while but would like to know if it’s worth the splurge.

  4. Em says:

    Today we had our 20 week anatomy scan and found out that we’re expecting a girl! After going through fertility treatments (three failed IUIs before we switched to IVF) I’ve been so scared to talk about my pregnancy – but after seeing her today and hearing that she passed her scan, I’m finally feeling more comfortable sharing the news with folks. I’m even warming up to the idea of baby shower, which I had adamantly opposed until now. I’m not saying that I’ve totally released all the anxiety and paranoia but today feels like the first day of the rest of pregnancy.

    • TheLOOP says:

      Congratulations! So so happy for you.

    • Taryn says:

      I’m in the same boat! Pregnant with twin girls after doing IVF to avoid passing down a genetic condition and today we are 13 weeks so we’ve cleared the first trimester 🙂 it’s been a long journey and I think I just realized today that I’ve been holding my breath for a long time. Now I can finally start to get excited and plan a little. Congrats to you XO

    • Kat says:

      Huge congrats to you all for healthy babies, surviving the emotional roller coaster that is IVF and being brave enough to share your good news! Both of my kids were conceived via IVF. It was the hardest journey of my life for sure but the bond I have with other IVF “survivors” is amazing. And I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world because I have my 2 precious girls. Totally just teared up (happy tears) writing this. So happy for you all and your motherhood journeys! And Abra, I’m thinking of you often in your IVF journey.

    • Belle says:


  5. Cate says:

    Something I read lately that I cannot stop thinking about. And something I need to unlearn, as well:

    Whenever we experience something racist, my mother says “It’s because we’re Asian.”
    And every time I have to help her unlearn this by responding to her with, “No, it’s because they’re racist.”
    The fault lies in their racism, not our Asianness.

  6. Natalie says:

    I’ve been loving Morgan Harper Nichols podcast and Instagram. She gives a nice perspective on life, in 5-8 minute bite-sized pieces, and her voice is very soothing. A calm start to my day.

  7. Susan says:

    While this is far from a novel concept, I have really been working on my “boundaries” as of late. Between Afghanistan, Covid, family pressures, work pressures, politics, health stressors, I feel like I cannot escape my worries. One thing that helps is to hit mute, screen those calls, turn off the notifications and news,, avoid things that worsen my mental health. I’ve been rather fragile lately, and protecting myself from toxic individuals and situations is helping me immensely. should I talk to my angry mom more? Yeah, probably, but it puts a dark cloud over my day and my feelings and needs matter too. It’s really worrisome when you are so stressed out you don’t enjoy the things you used to.

    Also, I spent $1200 on Botox, fillers and new skincare. My face looks SO MUCH BETTER. Best money I’ve ever spent. (Now I just have to pay off the credit card, ha)

    • e says:

      I really connect with this. Best thing I have learned from therapy is to be really honest with myself about my anxiety and what I feel like I can handle / what brings me joy / what makes me feel bad. And from there, create (and hold) boundaries. Not easy work, but empowering and so worthwhile.

  8. E says:

    Lately I have been unmotivated at work. I’ve never been this way before – before I was a go-getter, always a yes person. I’m only 3 years into working as a lawyer, but before law school I worked as an assistant, then paralegal – so I’ve been in this field for 10 years. Recently switched from big law to a mid-size firm. This change has made me start to think it wasn’t the people, it was the work I did not/ do not like.

    How long would you all suggest weighing your options, analyzing a career change? Anyone faced this kind of change?

    • Elz says:

      20+ year attorney here. First, give yourself some grace; it’s been a hard couple of years on everybody in a multitude of ways and it could be stress, anxiety, or just the “blahs.” For me, I find that my happiness and fulfillment are connected to the type of work I do. Have your assignments changed, type of clients changed? Is it the type of work you’re doing or not doing that’s giving you the blahs? Does your firm allow/promote pro Bono work? It might be good to switch to something that excites you that way, just to see.

      If nothing changes, I would suggest talking to a career coach. There may be other ways to use your degree and background that would make you feel more fulfilled and happy. Great luck!

    • Anon says:

      I completely understand where you are coming from. I was in your shoes out of law school. Went big law and hated it. But thought it was the doc review etc part of it so I tried a different firm and different type of law (from litigation to a type of administrative law). It was a field I liked better objectively but I still was very unhappy. Ended up starting over as an assistant district attorney and have loved every minute of it. It had to do with me not wanting to have clients or to have to network and shill for business. Where I ended up isn’t for everyone but it may be helpful to not just look at the type of work but the environment. How do you feel about the clients? Do you want to have clients? Would you prefer a different structure for where you a practicing – firm v in house v public v non profit etc. the great thing about a law degree is there is so much we can do with it. Don’t be afraid to start over. 🙂

  9. Jen says:

    I wanted to share that I had a colonoscopy yesterday. I’m 45, and it was a preventative screening, My colon turned out to be good and healthy but I just wanted to remind women my age that preventative colonoscopies are covered now for women 45 and up. Don’t put it off…do it once you turn 45!

    Also, I wanted to share these bootleg yoga pants I ordered recently. I haven’t washed them yet, but they are a nice, comfy ponte pant with pockets. They are very similar to Athleta’s Bettona jeans…if anyone remembers that style that Athleta used to carry.

    • Belle says:

      I’ll have to check out the pants. Glad the screening went well!

    • C says:

      I know the feeling and it’s painful! For me, I needed to shake up my career every 5-10 years because a feeling of mastery zaps my motivation. I couldn’t name this though until a colleague shared with me a professional values tool, if you haven’t tried one of those. I thought something was wrong with me but in fact I was not fulfilling one of my core values. .

      If you value challenge like I do, then law is a versatile profession. Since you just moved firms, perhaps there’s an opportunity to pivot just a bit? I’d ask the person who brought you in if there’s something new you can try. If the new doesn’t spark a bit of joy, then you’ll probably find it easier to look outside of legal practice if that’s what you think is right for you.

      Most of all, know you are not alone and while people want their colleagues to contribute to the team, they also want them to be happy. If that’s doing something else, anyone worth your respect will respect that too.

      Although you mentioned that you think it’s the work, you might also consider if your life has changed a lot since March 2020. I know my work fits my values, but I still haven’t been as zestful since the pandemic hit. I don’t think I’m meant to spend so much time in the same small apartment, so I’m going to try some of Sarah’s tips to get out a bit more.

    • Cait says:

      I have some CRZ pants in a different cut and I love them so much that I now own 3 different colors! The ones I have are drawstring, but if I tuck the strings into the waistband you can’t tell and most of my tops cover the waistband anyway. I wear them to work regularly (business casual office) and have had my first pair for over a year and they’ve held up great. I used to line-dry them like leggings, but after a while I started throwing them in the dryer on delicate and they’ve still shown zero wear. You can’t tell the difference between the first pair I bought last year and the new pair I bought 2 weeks ago.
      This is the style I have. They look pretty athletic in the images, but are much more office appropriate in person.

      • Jen says:

        Glad to know you liked those CRZ pants! I’ve also looked at buying those. I was wondering if the ones you bought have the zippered pockets…it looks like some are mentioned with zippers and others are not.

  10. M says:

    I wanted to use this platform both for therapy and a PSA. My husband and I are fully vaxxed; we have two young kids who aren’t due to age. My husband was notified of a close contact (unvaccinated!) and decided to get tested just in case. To our complete surprise, he was positive.

    Breakthrough cases are real and we’re thankful he’s basically still asymptomatic save for a loss of taste. But the absolutely ridiculous thing is WE HAVE A VACCINE. We are in the situation because of some bizarre reluctance to distrust science while trusting Dr. Google.

    My kids and I are all negative, so I am bearing the brunt of all parenting during a critical week of work. My daughter is missing her very first week of kindergarten. My husband has been training for a race for months – the race is Saturday and he can’t go. It feels painfully unfair, especially when we’ve done everything right.

    I’ve always appreciated AB’s honesty. Here’s my honest thought: if you aren’t vaccinated, this is because of you. You can make your choice, but my choice can be to tell you how your selfish decision impacts others.

    Thanks for coming to by TEDTalk.

  11. CitrineDC says:

    Our family of 3 got back from Spain last week. Besides how nice a mental break this was, it was fun to see the overseas fashions: orange was quite popular, but also lots of neutrals, LOTS of bra tops paired with long pleated skirts or baggier pants (my daughter kept asking why everyone was wearing their bra outside), midi skirts, nap dresses, sundresses. Almost everyone is wearing sneakers, and lots of white ones so that trend is still kicking. All the French kids wearing their Vejas. Also lots of walking sandals, including birkenstocks. I discovered how much I missed people watching.

  12. Liz says:

    As everything feels awful, my own life is actually going great and it’s head spinning. I’m in a new job I love, my boyfriend and I have decided we want to move in together and start a family, and I got out of a terrible real estate purchase a few months ago. I feel guilty for being so happy.

    • e says:

      If you’re going to accept the bad (which always feels easy!), it makes sense to also allow yourself to accept the good. Neither end lasts forever. Enjoy it! And congrats. 🙂

    • Belle says:

      Frankly, I’m just glad life is going well for anyone.

  13. Anne Freeland says:

    I highly recommend the long read article Belle included. What a beautiful piece that really sticks with you.

  14. Niki says:

    I’ll share . . .

    I am in a new relationship, which is the first one I have felt has the potential to be legit and real. It’s challenging me to be vulnerable and I am TERRIFIED. I have a lot of past trauma that I have ignored and the deep and meaningful conversations I am having with my new boyfriend are bringing up EMOTIONS. He is supportive and embraces these conversations, but as Brene Brown would say, I am in a shame spiral. What if he judges me for XYZ, or PDQ, what if I am not enough, what if, what if. . . I have a Reiki appointment coming up, have scheduled a session with my therapist, am journaling the heck out of things, but still am all EMOTIONS. This is hard. Good, but HARD y’all.

  15. Christina says:

    I just wrote a long comment about things I am struggling with. Then I deleated it. I feel better for writing it all out, even if I didn’t post it. That’s all. Thanks for listening. Oh and pumpkin season is almost here and this year that is making me happier than any fruit should and I don’t really care.

  16. Naomi says:

    Wanted to share this find; I just bought this sweatshirt and I can’t wait to see it in person. Looks so cozy, but elevated a bit. And it’s on sale!

  17. mallory says:

    I can completely identify with the menopause story. I had to quit at 50 because if it. I couldn’t concentrate anymore and the brain fog was terrible. It’s a taboo subject here in the US too. I hope that once the millennials start hitting menopause they will speak out about this and things will change.

  18. Samantha says:

    I turned 34 yesterday and it was the first birthday that I can remember that I decided to take charge in celebrating myself. I spent the day focused self-care and if friends decided to celebrate with me, then it would be icing on the (birthday) cake. I’m so thankful for those in my tribe that did join in the celebration in their own way. I have spent too many years disappointed on my birthday because I projected high expectations on others to celebrate me. Ultimate recipe for disaster, FYI.

    While I had a great day and I’m so glad I conquered it with the right focus, it still felt like an emotional birthday. We are trying to expand our family and it’s been hard. Really hard. We’ve been trying san-BC for the last year and I have PCOS, so not exactly a recipe for fertile success. As much as I loved celebrating another trip around the sun, it seemed like 34 had a lingering scent of bittersweetness. Abra/Belle summed up my feelings so accurately on her Instagram post – “But sometimes, I see a younger woman with a baby and feel a twinge of “what if.” I don’t regret all the choices and adventures I had in my 20s and early 30s, but it does feel like I’m paying a price for them now. Here’s to being honest, trying to find comfort/peace, and giving myself some grace on this crazy mid-30s season of life. I’m so grateful for this site and CHS ladies.

  19. Jenn S. says:

    Thanks for the invitation to share.

    I’m at a strange point in my career. I’ve been passed over for a title bump that is in line with my org’s career progression plan two years in a row in spite of exceeding expectations not only of my role but also of the role I’d be promoted to. The only reasoning was gendered in nature. I will finally achieve that in a couple months when reviews happen. “Yay.”

    But the subdued yay is because it is too little, too late; a year ago this week, my company re-org’d. As a result, they got rid of members of my team ad members of management, and I got a new boss. He’s a nice guy, but he’s struggled with the expansion of his responsibilities (larger team AND more business units to support), and it shows and impacts us. I am performing my duties and those of (previously) two on my team as well as some of my boss’. What I deliver reflects far more than the bump I’ll receive in Oct/Nov.

    I raised this. They’re committed to doing that in Oct/Nov, but next year advancing me again. I want to be grateful for that, but after 11 years of this place its honestly more of the same carrot on a stick BS.

    The culture is a mess. There’s no discipline. It’s exhausting, and I’m burnt out. There are benefits to me staying to get bump #2, but god am I just tired. Idk if I can do it.

    • Belle says:

      Sometimes when recognition comes late, it’s as unsatisfying as if it doesn’t come at all. Give it a little time. If it doesn’t feel better in a few months, start looking.

      • Jenn S. says:

        I appreciate the advice. It’s helpful to hear from ladies further into their careers.

        The thing I wrestle with about looking – and this is probably partially imposter situation, I *definitely* have a resume to support it – is, “Am I shooting myself in the foot for not hanging on for just a while longer to get the formalities?”

        • Belle says:

          Okay, let’s game this out. You hang on, assume the feelings of resentment and disappointment pass. You get the promotion next year (which is an if, not a when given their track record, but we’ll give them a benefit of the doubt).

          Option 1: Feelings pass, you have the job, you like it fine. You stay awhile re-evaluate in a few years.

          Option 2: Feelings don’t pass, now you have to stay in the job for a year to get the benefit of adding the promotion to your resume and the experience to make it valuable. And now you’re looking again, while doing a job you don’t feel good about.

          I’m not saying actively look everyday like it’s a must happen this minute thing. But I would keep an eye out and apply for things I thought were better.

  20. Sarah Bruns says:

    Two related things happened to me recently – one serious and one frivolous. I came down with shingles! I’m only 40. But I had NO idea what it was and waited a bit too long to treat it so the affects have been with me a whole month at this point. If you have pain on one side that is weird, doesn’t feel like muscle pain, and numbness or tingling and a rash comes up – go to the dr right away! I thought it was 100 other things. And I’m learning tons of people have had it young or know someone who has. I’m not sure why the younger population (but still too old to have gotten the chicken pox vaccine) isn’t being educated about it. It SUCKED!! The fun part was I used my convalescence to watch Never Have I Ever on Netflix and it was so adorable and funny. The perfect escape. Great soundtrack too.

  21. SC says:

    I’m bored with my life and everything about it. I’ve been living in a small midwestern town for 6 years now and while it’s…fine, I really want to move back to a big city someday. My SO and I are very introverted and the pandemic has basically turned us into shut-ins. We see nobody and go nowhere and I don’t have any friends here…but I don’t want to make any either. I just want to stay at home and read books and make quilts, and not work. I’m 41 so I’ve got more than a few years to go until retirement. Is this a mid-life crisis, 9 years ahead of schedule?

    Thanks for the space to write this down.

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