ONE-WORD RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017

Happy 2017, Dear Readers! Anybody else thrilled to say goodbye to the wretched year that was 2016?! Many bloggers have written posts that reflect on their favorite moments from last year, but I simply don’t have that in me. It was one of the hardest years – both professionally and personally – of my life, and I don’t want to rehash it for anyone. What I want to do is look forward. Look forward with simplicity and positivity.

TO HELL WITH HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDES

It’s that time of year that every blogger writes and publishes a beautiful holiday gift guide, but I simply can’t bring myself to do it. In theory I want to. In practice, I won’t make the time. But more importantly, it’s because the best Christmas I’ve ever had was the year I gave my family donations to different charities instead of material gifts. For a while when I had very little money, we’d stick to a $25 gift limit which helped my wallet. But the year we extended the rules to be a charitable donation of $25, plus a small little something for your stocking (like a great-smelling soap – everyone uses soap, I hope), was the most thoughtful giving year we’ve had. Nothing has topped it before or since.

WEAR A SAFETY PIN: BE AN ALLY, …

Something that has really struck me over the past few weeks is how wearing something small or seemingly subtle can signify a tremendous message to those around you. Prior to the election, many of us wore pantsuits to demonstrate support for our preferred female candidate. In her concession speech, Hillary Clinton wore purple to demonstrate the blend of blue and red and the need for the two parties to unite going forward. And today, we wear safety pins to signify to people that we are safety allies, that we are people who will walk with you and stand by you and stay close to you if you are in danger of being persecuted and subject to hate. 

IDEAS FOR BEATING THE POST-ELECTION BLUES

Yesterday I wrote a “How to Rock a Pantsuit” post as a way to playfully and stylishly celebrate what I believed to be the certain and inevitable election of our first female president. It was my way of being sheepishly political while staying ‘on brand’ as we bloggers must do. I didn’t get the pleasure of clicking ‘Publish,’ and for that I am devastated. Today I woke up to the shock and anger plastered all over my Facebook feed. The negativity sent me further into a black-hole-shame-spiral of despair. What could I possibly write about, and what could I possibly do to remain strong and engaged and positive? First I turned off FB and Twitter. And then I drafted a list of ideas for beating the post-election blues. ‘Blues’ is clearly a euphemism for my current state, but I have a feeling my current shock will dissipate into a blurred haze of well, blues. No one gives a crap about outfits or makeup or skincare today, so let’s go off-brand and think about ways we could each be more productive by taking some individual actions of positivity. 

BELLE MEETS WORLD ON CBS ATLANTA

Last week I had the opportunity to be on TV as a lifestyle expert for the first time, and it was a blast!! I was invited by CBS Atlanta to put together a segment on throwing an “Adult Halloween Party” and to join Kimberley Kennedy on her daily Atlanta Plugged In segment to share my ideas with her and her audience. Halloween is my absolute favorite so I jumped at the chance! Read on for more on the segment and click through this link or the image above to watch my TV debut!

LIFE LATELY – OCTOBER

Here we are! Month three of my monthly Life Lately series, sharing all the latest and greatest I’m exploring behind the scenes in Atlanta, at Home, with Beauty & Style, Blogging, Books, Music and…Life! Read on for October’s adventures!