Commute: No. 15

“Now I know the things I know, and I do the things I do; and if you do not like me so, to hell, my love, with you!” ― Dorothy Parker

Just one post today, Kyle and I are half-dead with whatever virus six-year olds carry that barely sickens them, but brings grown ups to their knees. 

Say What. Meet the Anti-Natalists, a vegan splinter faction who believes that truly caring for the earth means letting humanity die off.

Ahhhh. I made fun of these self-heating eye masks, until I tried one.  So good.  Also, if you had a long week (hand shoots into the air), these Wander eye patches are pretty great.

Community Chest. If you have any interest in technology, taxes, or the economy, you need to read about how Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple are growing virtually unchecked.  It’s enlightening, and a bit terrifying.  Are “The Big 4” the new Standard Oil?

Shoe Fetish. These Talbot’s suede flats are perfect with jeans on casual Friday.  Also, these $39 burnout-dot heels keep drawing me back.

Final Question. Should you ask about salary before the interview? One woman did, and HR’s response has people talking.

Highly Caffeinated. Save $175 on the espresso maker that makes Kyle bearable in the mornings.  Or spend $40 on the pour-over coffee pot he uses every afternoon.  What can I say?  The man is better caffeinated.

On the Dotted Line. Why you should have a pre-nup or cohabitation agreement, even if you don’t think you need one.

Staples and Basics. J.Crew Factory has some great foundation pieces.  This scallop tank is a blogger favorite.  Their Caryn cardigan and Perfect Work pant are also worth a look.

Naptime. Still sleepy?  Nine reasons why you wake up and still feel tired.  And how the bedtime habits of six highly productive people might help you get more shuteye.

A New Standard. Plus-size ladies, have you tried Universal Standard?  They make a 13 piece capsule collection that’s getting a lot of attention.  Their Geneva Dress is a popular style.

Enghelab Street. In Iran, a silent protest for women’s rights, defined by one simple act: letting their hair flow freely.

Roar. I am seriously considering buying this textured animal print coat.  The shades of gray and black are daring, yet sophisticated.

A Few Short Weeks. Why paid maternity leave matters, and why American women, and the American workforce, need it.

Bop It. Shopbop is my favorite place to window shop.  I just bought this $95 BB Dakota vegan leather jacket, and it’s pretty great.  I also picked up this strawberry-print tumbler because it was just too cute.

Out of the Ordinary.  The CEO of Deciem, parent company of The Ordinary skincare brand, did an Instagram takeover where he behaved so erratically that women are stocking up on serums out of fear the company may not be long for the world.  Four bottles of Buffet serum, coming right up.

What I’m Reading. The Last Mrs. Parrish. 

Where I’m Going. Sarah and I leave for Montreal next week.  I’m excited, and only mildly afraid I might freeze my ass off, which is one way to lose weight.

What I’m Saving Up For. Every year, I save up for and then buy one nice piece of jewelry.  This year, I think it might be this Suzanne Kalan ring.

What I’m Cooking. Pinch of Yum’s Coconut Curry Noodle Bowls, sans asparagus.

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  1. Laura says:

    Hilariously, the anti-natalist link goes to the Talbot’s dot heel!

    February 9, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Dammit, that was the one I really wanted to talk about! Fixed

      February 9, 2018/Reply
  2. anaonforthis says:

    Re the sleep article… if you find yourself suddenly having lots of really bad dreams (as in multiple a night for more than a day or two) something is wrong and you need to see a Dr. In my case, it was the onset of bipolar disorder.

    February 9, 2018/Reply
  3. Allison says:

    Ha, your comment about freezing your ass off was the laugh I needed on this cold Friday morning. Have a great trip!

    February 9, 2018/Reply
  4. KVB says:


    Are you exclusively using the Buffet serum, both AM and PM? I know you have used the Truth Serum, Drunk Elephant, etc.

    February 9, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I use buffet serum in the morning.

      February 9, 2018/Reply
  5. Kara says:

    I am so happy the Jcrew Factory scalloped cami is back. I bought the black on a whim last year and I never would have thought I would love it or wear it as much as I did. I occasionally searched on eBay and other sites looking for my size in the other colors without any luck. Buying all the other colors asap.

    February 9, 2018/Reply
  6. Pompom says:

    Hadn’t heard of Universal Standard before this link. I’m a cusp sized person, always on the lookout for interesting new brands. I think there are some gem pieces there. Most of it is not my style/wouldn’t be my favorite shape on my body, but they were cool. I *did* however think “Man, Dorothy Zbornak would have loved some of this…”

    February 9, 2018/Reply
    • heatherskib says:

      That’s basically my thoughts on it too. I was excited when I first saw that they were out… and then I looked at their clothes and realized not for me. I tried again with this new business line and had the same response. Why is it so hard to get fitted classic clothes?

      February 9, 2018/Reply
  7. Crystal says:

    I’m in love with that Suzanne Kalan ring. I wish I could easily see it in person/try it on before purchasing, though. (No returns.)

    February 9, 2018/Reply
  8. Jill says:

    The logical conclusion of the anti-natalist argument is for anti-natalists to kill themselves, isn’t it? Failing that, wouldn’t the less drastic harm-reduction strategy be for anti-natalists to adopt as many children as possible so that they could raise the children in a way that minimizes environmental impact, rather than allowing the children to be raised by less conscientious parents?

    I’m honestly not trying to bait or troll anyone. I fully support whatever decisions people make about having or not having biological children. I happen to have kids, though fully recognize how annoying and resource-intensive they can be. The anti-natalist argument seems to be based on a utilitarian logic, and I’m trying to let that logic unspool completely. Can someone help me understand this in a different way?

    February 9, 2018/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I think it’s important to separate people who just don’t want children, from people who think that because the fetus can’t choose whether to be born, you shouldn’t conceive it. Other than that, I have nothing to offer, because I can’t comprehend a group of people who says, “Instead of trying to achieve a conscientious balance and recalibrate our impact on the planet, we should just voluntarily exterminate our own race.”

      February 9, 2018/Reply
      • e says:

        Yea this group seems particularly extreme and hard to identify with. But I think our generation is grappling with the concept of if / when / how to have kids given the climate we know they would be born into. The Times did a less evocative piece on that recently, if you’re interested –

        February 9, 2018/Reply
        • Kate says:

          I’m not able to shed much light on the logic behind the anti-natalist piece, but I can say the link between climate change/environment and population is not a new one. You’ll find a fair amount of reproductive rights/health organizations that originated from a population control perspective. Population control was seen as a way to help preserve the environment and enhance international security. You will also find a more extreme anti-immigration lens. Many approached that from a rights-based perspective all along, but they weren’t born out of the idea of empowering women or women’s rights.

          If you look at the philanthropic donor base for international family planning groups and environmental preservation groups you’ll find a good amount of overlap.

          This is a good piece on the overlap –

          February 9, 2018/Reply
  9. sarah says:

    I went to McGill in Montreal and am well versed in their winters. My friend Todd actually wrote that article for Vogue, he’s living the dream as a travel writer right now.

    Must dos:
    – montreal bagels! Fairmont is superior to St Viateur
    – go up to Mount Royal and check out the skating rink there
    – walk the city. St Catherines, Crescent St, St Laurent, the plateau
    – You NEED a trip to Holt Renfrew and to Aritzia, my favorite Canadian shopping staples.

    All of Todds suggestions are good!

    It’s going to be cold but so good, my favorite city in the world.

    February 9, 2018/Reply
  10. Ral says:

    For the coffee ladies, I just tried this new portable coffee maker called the Oomph. The coffee is close to Expresso strength, only takes a few minutes and is easy to make. Downside is that the unit itself is a bit big to hold for smaller hands if you want to take it on the go.

    February 11, 2018/Reply
  11. Elizabeth says:

    For your jewelry saving and your Fit Friday journey – I “paid myself” $1 for every mile I ran training for a marathon and bought myself a nice Lagos ring. You could pay yourself for every 10 minutes at gym or in workout class.

    February 13, 2018/Reply
  12. geecee says:

    The Universal Standard Seine jeans are my absolute favorites. The only complaint I have is that there is a lot of stretch and so I probably should’ve gone down two sizes rather than the recommended one.

    I tried the Geneva dress in the crepe material from Gwynnie Bee. There’s no stretch in that one and I am pretty short, so climbing stairs and getting in and out of the car required me to hike the hem way up. I loved it otherwise and am planning on getting the cotton version.

    February 13, 2018/Reply