Hello, Gorgeous!

If you’re a new reader, “Hello, Gorgeous!” posts are a round-up of beautiful, random links that are making me smile this week. Enjoy!

Jackson Pollock, Modern Art was CIA weapon

Why did the CIA support them? Because in the
propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement
could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom,
and the cultural power of the US.

Without getting terribly political (at least for the moment), let me just say that I alway knew art could be used to change the world. The Independent ran a great article on how the CIA did just that during the Cold War.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mica Hendricks

“If she gets bored, we’ll do something else.
Yesterday, she wanted to be a superhero…”

Earlier this week, I heard an interview with artist Mica Angela Hendricks. She’s the mom who has gained some recent popularity by collaborating with her 4-year-old daughter on some really funky portraits. As it turns out, she wrote about the experience for Huffington Post that is worth a read. I especially love the lessons she shares at the end.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dr. Seuss "Nerd"

Did you know that Shakespeare invented the word “swagger?” Or that “Wendy” wasn’t really a name until J.M. Barrie? If not, you’ll love this article on HelloGiggles8 Everyday Words Invented by Famous Authors.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

If you’ve ever attended Fashion Week, you know these people. In fact, you may have been these people. After my week’s commentary on the runways, it seems only appropriate to share…




Hello, Gorgeous!

If you’re a new reader, “Hello, Gorgeous!” posts are a round-up of beautiful, random links that are making me smile this week. Enjoy!

Happy Monday! Have you missed me? I’ve missed you! For today’s Hello, Gorgeous! post, how about we play a little catch-up?

After last week’s Alton Browncast, Husband has been experimenting with cucumbers, and they may be a new favorite thing about summer. Have you ever had cucumber water? It’s delightfully refreshing! It will make you feel like you’re at the spa without ever having to leave the couch.

In other news, I’m pretty sure this girl is my spirit animal.


I’ve been reading a lot of Roald Dahl lately–especially out in the sunshine.


Confession: After never watching an episode, we’ve become completely obsessed with Parks and Rec. Over the course of a week, we’ve already binge-watched our way to season 4. I’m not even a little ashamed.

Parks and Rec's Ron Swanson paper doll

My favorite character is Ron, and the fact that Nick Offerman is a woodworker in real life completely made my weekend. You should definitely check out the goods on OffermanWoodshop.com Also, I’m completely in love with the site design but that is neither here nor there.


Other than that, this summer has been a whirlwind of new friendships, impromptu gatherings, weddings, and babies. Since Hello, Gorgeous! posts are always the most random of collections, allow me to end with a more serious link. NPR’s Scott Simon is by his mother’s side in her dying moments and, ever the journalist, is documenting the experience via Twitter. His posts are precious, and also bring back some hard memories, but what a beautiful way to honor her life…



Hello, Gorgeous!

If you’re a new reader, “Hello, Gorgeous!” posts are a round-up of beautiful, random links that are making me smile this week. Enjoy!

I have tried very hard to reign in the fact that I am a Disney fanatic for the purposes of this blog. But this little short had me at hello, and I just couldn’t resist sharing. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the modern feminist movement and the tension that still seems to exist over ‘having it all,’ the definition of beauty, etc. etc. I’ll probably write about that at some point when my thoughts are a bit more organized.

In the meantime, I *love* the message of this video. I love how Disney is redefining & evolving a franchise so near and dear to my own heart, and helping little girls put value on things that really matter: bravery, loyalty, family, kindness… Enjoy!



This week in honor of MyPlate’s 2nd anniversary, the First Lady shared some of her favorite recipes on Pinterest! I’ve printed off a few to try and you should too!

I'd love to know who did this painting I found on Pinterest. Any ideas?

I’d love to know who did this painting I found on Pinterest. Any ideas?

:// Update on the paining above: A reader with a keen eye let me know that the above painting is actually a card from Black Olive Studio’s Hothouse collection! Isn’t that lovely? //:

Scientists in Great Britain have actually proven that a bit of bubbly really can boost your brain power. (Read all about on Forbes.com) You’re welcome, America!

illustration by Golden Cosmos for the NYTimes Book Review

illustration by Golden Cosmos for the NYTimes Book Review 

Looking for some summer reading ideas? I really enjoyed reading “What I Read That Summer” in the New York Times Book Review last Sunday. It’s a collection of short essays by famous authors about literary memories, and it is really beautiful.

Finally, were you sucked into Arrested Development’s Season 4 on Netflix for the past couple of weeks? Check out these 2 clips…


*Happy Sunday!*



Hello, Gorgeous!

If you’re a new reader, “Hello, Gorgeous!” posts are a round-up of beautiful, random links that are making me smile this week. Enjoy!

Mint Juleps | Secrets of a Belle


This article made me laugh out loud. If you have experienced Brooklyn as an observer over the past year and a half, you will love reading “How I Became a Hipster” in this week’s New York Times.


The first thing I wanted to share is an episode of Fresh Air with one of my very favorite authors, David Sedaris. In it, he talks about journaling which I found particularly interesting. Also, I’m putting his new book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, on my Kindle for a little weekend reading.

Listen Part II:

Have you heard the soundtrack for Baz Luhrmann’s new Great Gatsby? It’s incredible and also makes it very apparent that this version of Fitzgerald’s classic is going to be very Baz–i.e. a super modern telling of a well-known story set to a surprising soundtrack. Want to hear it now? Click over to NPR music. 

Walt Disney Doing Funny Things


I recently came across this tumblr called: Walt Disney Doing Funny Things. Given that, in real life, I am completely obsessed with Mr. Disney, I cannot stop clicking over to this little happy spot for a laugh.


Mint Juleps, of course! I’m sure it goes without saying because, in the South, Derby Day is basically a regional holiday. We get dressed up, we gather with friends, and we make lots of cocktails. This week, over on Made + Remade my friend Deanne & I posted on the 2 Derby Day essentials: Mint Juleps & Derby hats!


Need a little inspiration for your headwear? I’ve got you covered. Here are a few of the hats I’ve pinned throughout the year in preparation for Derby Day…


What else have you seen around the interwebs this week that you’ve just *loved*? Do tell!



Hello, Gorgeous!

Just a little random link guaranteed to totally brighten your day! Enjoy!

I cannot get enough of writer-illustrator Joanna Avillez’s interpretation of one of my favorite literary stars: Eloise, for New York Magazine’s Childhood in New York series. (The series is totally worth digging into when you get a chance with stories from legends like Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers, & Barbara Walters just to name a few.)

So what would happen if Eloise was currently growing up in Brooklyn’s famed Wythe Hotel?  She’d tip with Adderall and run a killer instagram account… Naturally.

Click here to check out Joanna’s site or follow her on Twitter.

Hello, Gorgeous!

Hello and happy Monday! Today your random links are really just one link. Might I suggest you click on over to The New York Times and read The Author Himself Was a Cat in the Hat.Dr. Seuss & the Mrs. wearing one of his many hats.

This fantabulous photo is from the New York Times.

In retrospect, it is really no surprise at all that Dr. Seuss was a hat man. A hat is, after all, the most whimsical of all accessory choices. I especially loved this quote from his wife….

 “Believe me, when you get a dozen people seated at a fairly formal dinner party,” his widow, Audrey, said in an interview… “and they’ve all got on perfectly ridiculous chapeaus, the evening takes care of itself.”

Doesn’t that just make you want to change your dress code for all house guests now? Looking for a fab new hat for yourself? I found a few that I particularly love over at Anthropologie. They have just the right amount of quirky, don’t you think?

hats from Anthropologie

Looking for a little more Dr. Seuss inspiration to bright up this February Monday?

To learn more about the man: Watch this.

To find out where Seuss got his inspiration: Read this.

Want to hear a really great story? Listen to this.

Hello, Gorgeous! #inaug2013

Inauguration Day is like the Oscars for political junkies. We all sit around wondering who Michelle will wear, what Chuck will say in his toast, how the musicians will perform in the cold, and, perhaps most important, what political touch points will the president hit in his speech? Obviously this morning did not disappoint, so I thought it only appropriate to carry the inaugural theme through in today’s ‘links to start your week’ post. So here goes…


Feeling less than patriotic? Well, in the words of my mother, “If this doesn’t give you goosebumps, check your pulse.”


I thought the inaugural address was a powerful, new declaration to America’s citizens, and this was the quote that touched my heart the most.

"... for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well." -President Barack Hussein Obama II, 2013 Inaugural Address  |  Secrets of a Belle

Want to read the whole thing? There’s a transcript on several sites, including this one on The New York Times.

Read More

November’s election in particular made me think a lot about my own role. I have a tendency to over analyze and be pretty cynical, but over the last little bit, I’ve realized it does no good to complain about taxes/politics/education/agriculture when I’m doing nothing to personally make a difference. So this week I challenge you to READ MORE. Read the paper. Read a history book. (Might I suggest this one? or perhaps this one to tickle your funny bone?) Listen to NPR. Watch the news. And then find ways to have meaningful, informed discussions.

Hello, Gorgeous! Downton Style

Downton Party | Secrets of a Belle

Last night, we threw a little viewing party to celebrate the U.S. premiere of the 3rd season of PBS’s Downton Abbey. We mixed cocktails, pulled out the china, and invited some of our very dear friends over for the evening. The dress was black tie–although I went all Lady Sybil and work my blue tux because my best dress was out to the cleaners. Anyway, I was still in a Downton mood today and thought it only appropriate to make today’s links themed… Enjoy!


Michelle Dockery by artist David Downton | Vanity Fair via Secrets of a Belle

I am mesmerized by these illustrations of Michelle Dockery (the actress who plays Lady Mary) by artist David Downton. This one was my favorite, but there’s another of Dockery donning that striped Oscar de la Renta number we were all so obsessed with several months ago. You can check out all of his sketches of Dockery on Vanity Fair’s website. 


It is worth remembering that before he was the all powerful Lord Grantham, Hugh Bonneville was just a really terrible finance guy in a rugby shirt–who palled around with Hugh Grant!

Before he was Lord Grantham, he was a chap in a rugby shirt who palled around with Hugh Grant.

If you haven’t seen Notting Hill in a while but have found yourself longing to hear more British accents thanks to PBS, I’d highly suggest another viewing. It will be… “surreal, but nice.”


No one delivers a line like Maggie Smith. No one. So I was especially excited when US Magazine gathered their picks for her top ‘zingers’ from last night’s episode. My favorite? Speaking to Lord Grantham who is wearing a tuxedo instead of the usual formal dinner dress: “Oh, I’m so sorry. I thought you were a waiter.”

Hello, Gorgeous!

hello-gorgeous-RED-secretsofabelleToday’s random links are chosen in honor of one of the festive colors of the holiday season. Despite the fact that I may have said in a recent video, “Red is your grandmother’s color,” I really do love wearing red year round. However, it always feels most appropriate during Christmas, don’t you think? So today, I thought we would take a cue from ol’ Gwynnie, dab on a little red lipstick, and heat things up a bit…


White Christmas, of course! There are 2 particularly fabulous red outfits in this movie. The first being the red gloves worn by the sisters during the minstrel number & “Mandy,” and the second being the red & white Claus-esque garb the cast wears for the finale. Which is your favorite?


Diana Vreeland is known as the queen mother of the color Red. She surrounded herself by it and wore it  religiously. Thus, it is only appropriate that a retrospective of her work would have a deep red cover. I found this book years ago in an antique store and have regretted not buying it ever since. One of my favorite Vreeland quotes:

 “Red is the great clarifier – bright, cleansing, revealing.
It makes all colors beautiful.
I can’t imagine being bored with it – it would be like becoming tired
of the person you love.”


My first pick would be this red sequin body suit that I am coveting from Patricia Field. However, if that is a bit risqué for your taste, might I suggest a trusty tube of the perfect shade of red? MAC has numerous shades and all of the MAC ladies are trained to help you find the perfect shade. I’m a ‘Russian Red.’



Hello, Gorgeous!

Alright, so we are “Hello, Gorgeous”-ing a day late, but these random links are still going to put a smile on your face! Promise.


Yesterday, I shared some of my favorite holiday books over on English Muse. The one pictured (Christmas at the New Yorker) is particularly fantastic. My mother-in-law got it for me several years ago, and it’s the perfect collection of essays to read curled up on the couch.  Click here to see the full list.


I was so excited to find this recording of David Sedaris reading Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol, one of my favorite selections from his book “Holidays on Ice.”

By the way, the prologue of this episode is also really great. Host Ira Glass gives a little background on Sedaris and, as it turns out, David has some seriously fab views on gift-giving!


Last year, I ran across these photos of the Queen at Christmas, which I pinned to my “Royalty” pinboard. I thought I’d post a link to them today because I thought of them again when I happened upon this really amazing recording…


Click here to listen to Queen Elizabeth’s first Christmas Day address. She was 14 and the year was 1940. She already sounds like a young leader as she attempts to reassure the children that have been evacuated to the countryside during the war.