Crystal’s Smitten List: Belle, Treat Yo’Self, Sheet Cakes

This week, I’m positively smitten with…

1. Belle: Director Amma Asante is behind the film “Belle,” which tells the story of a young mixed woman named Dido Elizabeth Belle who was raised in a royal family as if she were one of their own. Belle, who is half white and half black, is stuck in a world where the privilege she lives among is just out of her grasp — she’s good enough to be part of the family, but not good enough to eat with them when company’s over. “Belle” is based on a true story, which Asante stumbled upon through Belle’s depiction in an 18th century painting. NPR did an excellent interview with the director Asante, who said: “Little girls of color will grow up and know that, at least in this film, there showed a possibility that we were more than slaves, that we could live an aristocratic life. We could be treated with value. We could be loved.” Currently, the film is only showing in New York and L.A., but I can’t wait to see it.

2. Treat Yo’Self: Lately I’ve been feeling like it’s time to treat myself. And not just with purchases, but with relaxation and self-care. I tend to be really hard on myself, so I always feel guilty when I indulge with a purchase, or when I take some time to relax. Instead, I’m trying to lessen my stress by giving myself a little leniency and actively doing nice things for myself. New nail polish? Yep! Singing in the car at the top of my lungs? Sure! It’s great to do nice things for yourself every once in a while, so be sure to treat yourself! (Or, if you’re a huge “Parks and Rec” fan like me, treat yo’self.)

3. Sheet cakes: Huffington Post declared 2014 the year of the sheet cake — and I’m totally on board. My baked goods are not pretty baked goods, but they usually taste delicious. Sheet cakes, though? Those I can do! Their recent article has a whole smattering of recipes, including:

I probably need to try them all.

Coconut Sheet Cake


What are you positively smitten with this week? 

Photo credit for “Belle” to Fox Searchlight Pictures“Coconut Sheet Cake” to Baked Bree



4 responses to “Crystal’s Smitten List: Belle, Treat Yo’Self, Sheet Cakes

  1. Crystal, I just printed out the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Sheet Cake recipe. It sounds awesome!!! I’m not sure when I’m going to make it, but I’ll definitely let you know how it turns out.


  2. Pingback: Simple Ways to Feel More Sophisticated in the Work Place | Positively Smitten Magazine·

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