Belle Needs Your Best Travel Advice

In less than two weeks, I will be leaving on my first overseas trip.  My friend Sarah and I will be heading to Cuba.  And while I am tremendously excited, I am also a bit nervous.

Having never traveled out of the country before, and as this is only my second trip to a real beach, I have no idea what to pack.  I know some of you are seasoned travelers, so I’m hoping you can help me out.

I’m already aware that taking my beloved hot rollers will be out of the question.  (I guess it will just be the trip of the updo.)  A regular suitcase is probably a bad idea.  Basically, let’s just assume I’m clueless as to what to pack.

Any help would be appreciated regarding best travel tips–esp. Caribbean travel tip–as well as what to bring and what to avoid.  And if any of you have been to Cuba, I would be deeply grateful for your advice.

xoxo, Belle

The Daily Eight: September 29, 2016

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1) Millenial women face familiar obstacles at work. (WSJ)

2) This $29 H&M ivory sweater dress looks unbelievably cozy.

3) Providing bad service, and upselling a better experience, is the new business model. (Fortune)

4) Need a new LBD? This Halston banded dress is phenomenal.  This semi-sheer Aqua dress is the best under $100.

5) Keep your dried cranberries and blue cheese: Why salad makes you fat and broke. (NYPost)

6) Mary shows you how to wear this off-the-shoulder dress for day and night. (Memorandum)

7) Taking the fear and desperation out of online dating. (The Atlantic)

8) This Rebecca Minkoff Monroe bag is deeply discounted in both black and green.  I also love her Avery crossbody.

*image found here.

State of the Blog: Boyfriend Problems, Sort Of

Boyfriend goes out of town.  Boyfriend comes home with a severe case of seasonal allergies.  12-hours later girlfriend gets a fever, sore throat, runny nose, and cough.  Girlfriend realizes that boyfriend’s “allergies” are the flu.

Boyfriend, of course, is mostly better 24-hours later.  Girlfriend is mainlining Theraflu from her sick bed.  Girlfriend considers taking out a hit on boyfriend if he ever utters the phrase “I never get sick” again.

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There may be posts today.  We’ll see how I feel when I wake up.  If I wake up.  I took a lot of NyQuil.

Support National Voter Registration Day

218,959,000 — The number of Americans who are eligible to vote.

146,311,000 — The number of Americans who are registered to vote.

126,144,000 –The number of Americans who voted in 2012.

92,815,000 — The number of Americans who are willing to let other people make decisions for them.

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Today is National Voter Registration Day.  If you aren’t registered, or you’re not registered at your current address (common problem), visit this website to exercise your right to vote.  People have fought and died for your suffrage, the least you can do is take five minutes to make sure that you’re registered.

For those of you thinking, “But all the candidates are terrible, and I don’t think I’ll vote,” let’s talk for a minute.

We end up with terrible candidates because not everyone votes.  If you sat at home during the primaries, you conceded the high ground to reliable voting blocs made up of the most extreme elements of your party and one issue voters who’d cast a ballot for a ham sandwich if it shared their views on abortion/guns/taxes.  Those who skipped out on the primary elections are just as responsible for the candidates we ended up with, if not more so, than those who turned out to vote.  Do not compound this problem by letting voters who don’t share your values and beliefs pick your president, senator, representative, or governor for you.  Even if you just turn out to vote against the greater of two evils, let that be enough.

For those of you thinking, “But I’m not very educated on the issues, so I probably shouldn’t vote,” that’s hogwash.

Do you live in America?  Do you pay taxes?  Do you care about the environment, the schools, government accountability, or the military?  Do you buy health insurance, gasoline, and groceries?  Then, you have opinions about how you the government should be managed.  And given the wealth of voter information on the Internet, it might take you 10-minutes to learn enough about a candidate’s positions to make an informed decision.

Don’t have ten minutes?  Follow the candidates on Facebook.  Whoever you unfollow first is the loser.

For those of you thinking, “I won’t be able to get time off to vote,” I empathize.  But most states offer early voting or absentee ballots.  So if you don’t think you’ll have time to stand in line at the polls, there is probably a work around.

And lastly, don’t neglect local, county, and state races.  With all the bluster of the presidential and the pressure on the Senate races, it’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees.  Believe it or not, most of the governing in this country is done at the local and state level.  The federal government may write the checks, but leaders in your community decide how to spend that money.

If you care about education, the school board election matters more than the presidency.  If you’re concerned about incarceration rates and criminal justice, most states elect local and state judges.  And the list could go on and on.  So if you’re turned off by the presidential election (and really, who isn’t?), turn your eyes to the down ballot.  Because in 20 years, the guy running for city council could be running for the White House.

Now, stop what you’re doing, and go register.  And if you’re already registered, get your friends and family on board.

The Daily Eight: September 27, 2016

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1) How to tell your boss that you’re not her personal assistant. (Corporette)

2) Can’t get enough of these simple Louise et Cie heels with a chic velvet knot on the front.  Perfect for fall.

3) Vogue picked a fight with fashion bloggers. It’s so 2009. (The Cut)

4) I hope these Vixen ballet flats from Dr. Scholl’s are comfortable.  I also like the look of their Lydia OTK boots.

5) If Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s resume can fit on one page, so can yours. (LinkedIn)

6) This ASOS off the shoulder sweater is relaxed and on trend (also in petite).  This embellished sweatshirt is also cool.

7) Prime Minister Theresa May wants more fathers to talk to their daughters about politics to encourage more women to run for office. (Telegraph)

8) This harvest olive wreath is definitely going on my front door.  I currently use this boxwood wreath from Etsy.