In In my closet, Life, Style, What I bought, What I read

August 2015: What I bought, watched and read

WHAT I READ

PRIMATES OF PARK AVENUE

[MANHATTAN / NYC /ANTHROPOLOGY / STYLE / MOMMY WARS / PARENTING / FUNNY ]

I really loved this book. It straddles the fine line between being too kitschy and yet still holds a lot of meaty, interesting pieces to chew on long after you’ve read its pages.

A glimpse into the life of a perfectly poised, coiffed, Manhattan Mommy is .. both scary and enviable. It made me glad I had my life, let’s put it that way. I don’t like pressure, fighting and competition amongst other women (what’s the point)? I’m more one of those happy-go-lucky, smiley, yet cynical and realist Mommies everyone secretly hates, I’m sure.

I’m also very interested in the points that she made about how those women fight so hard to prove how good they are as mothers, wives and women, and perhaps it all stems from an insecurity of not making their own money and therefore unable to keep up that lifestyle if they divorced their hedge fund / uber rich husbands (some philanderers, some not.)

It was not holier-than-thou in its tone, nor was it too self-effacing. Hard to describe, just read it. Highly recommended.

Also, she names a lot of brands and things that I (for better or worse), instantly recognized.

Celine Trapeze bag, Chanel Boy Bag, Birkin .. and others, I had to Google like “WTF are Pomellato stacking rings?”

Great read, full of interesting points that I plan on discussing on this blog in the near future when I can wrap my brain around it.

I KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT

[ TIME MANAGEMENT / WOMEN / CAREER ]

It’s all about working mothers, having it all — the family, AND the career.


To be honest, I didn’t really like the book. First of all, it puts the onus on the mother to “manage her time” because she has to balance her work and family life, but men, get off the hook scot-free.

What kind of hogwash is that?!?

So fathers have no responsibility except to their careers? Why are we not also saying: Hey, you should be talking to the partner in your life to see if he can take on half of the work load?

It’s another story if you’re a single mother (kudos to you!) but if you are in a partnership, that means they take half of the workload.

Anyway, I don’t like how the focus is on women managing their lives so that they are able to “have it all”.

That said, there was a glimmer of interesting hope in this book, and it was to track your time for one week (168 hours) to see where your time went — home, family, career, traveling, etc.. and you can see where you spend your time the most, is where you prioritize your time the most.

This is the same philosophy I have with where you spend most of your money, is where you have put the biggest priority on in your life. I do this in every single one of my budget roundups.

I prefer the tone of a book like Getting to 50/50, where it puts EQUAL responsibility on EACH parent to handle the family chores, household tasks and career trajectories.

I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT [CHICKLIT / CAREER / WOMEN]

This is a GREAT book. I don’t know if I can really classify it only as chicklit, because it is so much more than that. It’s real.

It’s all painfully true that fathers are seen as being heroic & wonderful when they take care of their children but mothers are seen as liabilities who are bringing their companies down when they try to parent and juggle a career.

I have so many thoughts going through my head about this book, it has brought up a ton of discussion points for me and was very enjoyable to read, to boot.

It lacked a little in the general feel-good nature of chicklit that Sophie Kinsella does much better, but it was a great read that was hard to put down.

All working mothers would greatly appreciate reading this book particularly with its highlighted moments of charm of wit and humour.

(It’s VERY British.)

WHAT I BOUGHT

I gave myself a free spending budget of $1000 to do with what I wished this month for shopping.

…and I really made the most of it. I mean, REALLY.

I bought a lot. I mean, A LOT.

We’re talking thousands of dollars. $_$ so be prepared to .. keel over with shopping shock.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Let’s start with all the clothing and accessories…

ABC NECKLACE – $60

Love this necklace. I’m into typography this month and the letters in a necklace are just SO PRETTY.

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/BonnyRabbitBoutique?ref=l2-shopheader-name

GRAMMAR POLICE T-SHIRT – $34

Couldn’t resist. This is FINALLY a t-shirt I can wear that is graphic and so very.. ME.

alphonnsine-grammar-shirt-police-etsy

CITY SKYLINE NECKLACES – $200

I love city skylines. Love them. Love necklaces in them too, and rings and jewellery.

This one is Manhattan.

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/240211057/new-york-city-skyline-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_2

 

And this one is London, one of my favourite cities in the world.

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/157913067/gold-london-necklace-london-jewelry-city

 

SILVER FAN NECKLACE – $90

I love Sheena’s work, and I bought this silver fan necklace. It’s gorgeous, delicate and so perfect!

A NEW DIAPER BAG (LOL) – $200

OK so I’m being facetious. I call this a diaper bag, but really, I just wanted a waxed canvas cotton tote to use. I love all the pockets (one in front, two in the back), and the ZIPPERED compartment with inner compartments. Oh, and did I mention that my original diaper bag (the Longchamp Pliage) is starting to get holes on the bottom because I am using it so much? Yes. Maybe this will be sturdier. Nevertheless, my partner took back HIS Longchamp Pliage for himself and I need a new diaper bag, so this is it. etsy-treesizeverse-tote-bag-waxed-canvas  

AG STILT JEANS IN BROOKS – $230

Belle from CapHill Style said that her favourite jeans were AG jeans, the Farrah fit, to be more precise… and I really wanted a pair of dark rinse skinny jeans so I thought I’d give these a shot. O.M.G. They are SO comfortable, soft and wonderful.

ag-jeans-stilt-brooks  

I tried on the much darker rinse wash but it was really stiff and… frankly, uncomfortable. I wasn’t going to shell out $200-ish dollars for stiff jeans no matter how cute they are. So I went with a lighter wash so that it would be super soft and comfortable, and I couldn’t be happier. Also, small relief but I also got $10 off.

TOP SHOP BLUE COLLARED SHIRT – $55

This is a very comfortable, soft, 100% cotton light blue shirt. It’s a very light herringbone as well and it feels GREAT on, and would look good tucked into anything or worn over jeans. topshop=light-blue-shirt

TAMAMIKO SILK BAGS – $100

More obi bags to hold my jewellery. I’m starting to run out of space in the current ones I have and .. obviously, I needed more. Also, these two were on sale too. etsy-tamamiko-bag-calendar-floral  

TED & MAG SILVER LACE RINGS – $150

Aren’t they pretty? They’re soft, lacy, pretty and great stacking rings that I think would pair well with my existing collection of items. etsy-ted-and-mag-lace-ring-01 etsy-ted-and-mag-lace-ring-coral-4 etsy-ted-and-mag-lace-ring-crown

NICE THINGS BY PALOMA S – WIDE LEG COMFORTABLE TENCEL PANTS – $100

paloma-s-tencel-wide-leg-pants These are comfortable, loose, and very .. NOT ME actually. I don’t own a single wide-legged pant and this is a real departure for me. This looks very pajam-y, and I hate the way they’ve styled it, so we’ll see how I work this into my wardrobe. Anyway, POCKETS! COMFORTABLE! Loose! ON SALE! Win win win win.

EBERJEY ANIKA RETRO BRALETTE SET – $135

 

My newest addition to my lingerie cabinet. I never buy anything pretty, seriously. This is one area where I think: meh. I am not interested in updating anything. It’s just underwear, it isn’t as appealing to me.

But this Anika set was SO PRETTY, I saw it in a store and thought it was too beautiful to pass up, so I bought the set.

And now for the big kahuna…

JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS FRAGRANCE FREE SHAMPOO

Just trying this one out. I love the zinc and vanilla version but this is all they had on Well.ca for now.

A MACBOOK PRO 15″ RETINA LAPTOP & ACCESSORIES – $5500

This is the laptop, the case, the thunderbolt ethernet adapter, the keyboard cover and the screen protector (it’s a little too shiny).

Whew.

$5500!?!?

But my Macbook 17″ died and I got scared that I would have absolutely NO BACKUP whatsoever to work on, so I thought I’d buy a lighter, smaller laptop as a backup of sorts.

apple-macbook-retina-15-laptop

 

Long story short, I love Macs. They last a long time, and aside from my scare with the screen on my 17″ which they fixed FOR FREE, these things last a very, VERY long time.

I also installed VM Fusionware on this laptop so I have the Microsoft operating system as well and will never, EVER buy another PC again.

And that’s it. For this month.

*gulp*


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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15 Comments

  1. Xin

    I’ve been very intrigued by that Park Avenue Primates book. (It’s a social world that I cannot even imagine, though I have a few colleagues who were either born to it and some of the higher-ranking people at my company probably also live in it.) I generally find that sort of thing fascinating to read about and would be particularly curious about discussions of the hoops that people jump through to get their kids into the right schools.

    I’m also a loyal Mac user. I have the most basic 13” Retina Macbookpro model from when I purchased my current one last spring, and even then, the price was quite high given that I was a student who was largely living on student loans… Still, so many PC laptops died on me in my college years that the ease and reliability of using Applecare for repairs alone is what keeps me loyal to the Mac brand. (My previous MBP was a bit of a lemon – I had to get the motherboard replaced five times in the three years that I had Applecare, and the thing eventually died about two months after my Applecare ran out.)

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      The book was just such a good read. I went into it thinking: MEh another fluff book… but I came out learning and being fascinated by a lot more than I expected.

      I am a 100% Mac user now. My MBP 17″ is a bit of a lemon right now but that’s because it’s quite old. I use it to do large-screen things like photos or to update my Kobo Glo, iTunes etc but not much else.

      Reply
  2. Minh Thuy

    I’m curious but do you have physical copies of the books your read or use a kindle?

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I use a Kobo Glo 🙂 I don’t have physical books any more except for the ones with photographs (stored at my parents for now until we buy our home and I can go and pick up everything).

      If I had all my physical books, I’d have a huge library.

      Reply
  3. suzi

    You buy the coolest totes! I loved the other one you posted not too long ago – also canvas from Etsy. I remember it was made in France, and it was also blue, but the design was sort of a hand painted look, with fades and “drips” on the fabric. How do I rationalize spending $200 on a weekend tote I wonder? (Don’t have that kind of job, nor a baby bun) I sure love the one pictured though. Maybe if I took more weekend trips? Ha ha… I’d have to rationalize that too in my budget.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Squeak Tote! From Australia. Not made in France 🙂 They do the nicest totes. I really like their designs…

      You could just save up for it.. and when you have a big pot of money to spend on “whatever” you can buy the tote or buy something else that matters. Set aside a small amount towards a “bag fund”

      Reply
  4. Cassie

    Holy crow! I had no idea a Mac could cost that much. Makes me think I need to do a little more research before replacing mine, lol.

    How are you finding the shampoo so far? I haven’t had any luck with the ones I’ve tried so far, and that unscented one has me intrigued.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Well I took the highest end one possible. $5000 is the maximum you can spend.

      The shampoo is good.. but I don’t like that there’s not scent (no aromatherapy) and it is a little drying. I mixed it with my John Masters Organics Zinc & Sage shampoo and it’s much better.

      Reply
  5. SarahN

    I love city skylines too – I bought a lovely cut out on white paper from MOMA years ago, and I still love it. I’ve not thought of moving it into jewelery, though I was gifted a ring with a skyline of a city I spent that Christmas in… I should wear it today!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Skylines are my weakness. Anything to do with cities, skylines, maps.. I don’t know why. I have a thing for those types of designs.

      Reply
  6. Ying

    How did you go about installing VM Fusionware? Was it part of the Yosemite OS?

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      No it was not part of the Yosemite OS. I bought VM Fusionware online, I think it was the latest one Version 7?

      It was SO easy to install. I just downloaded the .dmg, installed it on my Mac OSX, took out my old Windows 7 CDs, ran the virtual machine to run the Microsoft OS and started the set up as if it was a real Windows machine.

      Reply
  7. Rachel

    I love how you share everything you bought – I really need to be more conscious of the other random things I purchase throughout the month. But I am so happy to see your Mac purchase – I am buying my FIRST mac this weekend and couldn’t be more excited!!!!!!!! What accessories did you get?

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I buy random stuff too. Mostly jewellery when I am stressed.

      What Mac are you getting?

      I bought:
      – A thunderbolt internet adapter
      – InCase Case
      – No glare screen protector from Moshi (it’s REALLY shiny compared to my old Macbook Pro)
      – Keyboard cover

      That’s it. 🙂

      Reply
    2. save. spend. splurge.

      I also bought VM Fusionware! To run Windows.

      Reply

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