August 2017: What I bought watched and read
WHAT I READ
MY ROOM: PHOTOS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
I actually bought this book from the author / photographer himself online.
I love books like this, where it shows (nosily) what people eat, wear, etc. I just had to have this one, it was too good.
Other books that are similarly nosy:
- Material World: A Global Portrait (what everyone owns around the world)
- Women in the Material World
- What I eat around the world: 80 diets
- Hungry Planet: What the world eats
THE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA
Love me a good food book. This is a biography from a rather objective view of Julia Child and her career in the U.S. as “The French Chef”, and all the problems and issues she deal with, having been the first celebrity chef and the first to bring French cuisine to America in an attempt to save it from pre-packaged, bland efficiency foods.
A good read. I love that she was such a huge fan of butter, and I am currently hunting down Julia & Jacques Cooking shoes to watch (love me a good Jacques Pépin episode, he is good on camera). I also like that it was quite honest in some parts, talking about how hard it was for her, her flaws, etc. It isn’t a rosy feel-good-all-the-time book but a real, honest tribute to a real, honest chef.
Love Loss and what we ate
[Padma Lakshmi Biography]
I have to admit I didn’t love Padma Lakshmi when I first saw her on Top Chef but she eventually grew on me. I will say that I was DEFINITELY someone who thought: What does a model know about cooking & eating?!? (Yes, shameful, I know.)
After reading her book which is part biography and part cookbook I am really a fan of hers now. She has a real quality in describing things (to her ghost writer I presume) and I love how raw and honest she got in these pages.
She writes about her childhood, how she started modelling, her struggles (starving models starve because they’re too poor to buy food!!!), and how she became a mistress then eventually wife and divorcée.
Other similarly engrossing foodie-related memoirs:
She’s from the Brahmin caste (the highest), and I feel like I have learned so much about the caste system from watching and now wanting to support the Daughters of Destiny Netflix series where all these sweet wonderfully smart children are from the Dalit caste but treated lower than dirt in society.
This is probably one of my favourite books of all time. Not only is it hilarious (hello! Aziz rocks!) but it is also interesting and factual, giving me a real overview of what Modern Dating is like (I have not dated in over 10 years, to give you an idea). I knew things like Tinder existed but I had no idea Dating was so casual and has been so fraught with things like rules around texting and instantly seeing if your message was read (but not replied to!!) or not.
MY MOTHER’S KITCHEN
Quite possibly one of the best memoirs on food I’ve read to date. It also has recipes in it (with hilarious side notes). Funnier than any that Ruth Reichl (my benchmark) has written but equally as memorable and touching, talking about Judy Gethers, an icon in the food world. I’ll be honest — I had no idea who she is until I read the book but apparently great chefs who are actually in the business do, and she is a longtime friend of Wolfgang Puck whom I HAVE heard of, and sounds like she was an all around formidable, amazing, wonderful person. Her son did her justice.
THE CAPSULE WARDROBE
I’ll be honest, I didn’t have high hopes because I’m not into limiting my wardrobe or capsule-zing anything, so I skimmed this at best. It is all solid with great info on how to get your capsule wardrobe started (all the rage but not my thang), and gives visual help as well (very helpful!).
SEVEN DAYS IN THE ART WORLD
So-so. I read it because I was interested in the aspects of the High Fine Arts World but it was not exactly an engaging book. Maybe I’m just too jaded these days but this book needed far more humour and a more interesting voice or angle. Still, it was an interesting look into all the aspects of dealing in fine art from the Dealers to the Buyers, to the Artists (each group got a day).
BEATEN SEARED AND SAUCED
A dry, not super funny yet still somewhat engaging look into entering the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). I didn’t hate it but I wouldn’t want to read it again or rave about it to the point where I want to jump up and make you read it. NOW. It was a good look into the life but not a “must-read” unless you plan on going to the CIA, in which case I suggest you read it!
I did not like the book when I first started reading it but then, like any new food, it started to grow on me. I couldn’t put it down. It was so well written! The characters are deep, complex, and they draw you in to root for them no matter what you initially thought in the first few pages. It is sweet, heartwarming and also heartbreaking in some areas. All the things good fiction needs. It covers the vacation of a family which seems harmless enough but once you dig into the dynamics you realize something BIG happened to each of them and you’re curious to find out what. Oh, and it gives a nice shout out to gay couples in there which I love.
THE WET AND THE DRY
It is a book that goes deep into the mind of an alcoholic. It is as interesting as you might imagine but not exactly action packed — think more slow going but in-depth. I found the thoughts interesting and complex. Not sure I’d recommend it though ..
THE UNFORTUNATE IMPORTANCE OF BEAUTY
What a terrible goddamn book. I hated the plot the whole idea and the fact that it is unrealistic that a woman (beautiful or not) would do that to herself is just … ridiculous. ALSO the idea that a “beautiful woman” has to be tall, slim, blonde and blue eyed is ridiculously narrow as a view to take on beauty. No wonder so many girls feel ugly and marginalized if this kind of tripe is being written AND READ. Hate.
BOOKS I COULDN’T OR DIDN’T WANT TO READ
Why? Various reasons, they didn’t grab me, or the writing was too bland/technical after 3 chapters (I cut my losses early if I see that it is going to suck), and/or they are actual cooking books (Elements of cooking).
- Today will be Different – Maria Semple
- The Elements of Cooking – Michael Rulhman
- Tasty- John McQuaid
- Start the Fire – Jeremiah Towers
- The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman
- The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
WHAT I BOUGHT
PHYLLIS & ROSIE SUNNY RING – $50
I have no idea why it is $138 USD online but I got it for $50 CAD. I suspect they did not know how to price it. It is gold-filled, not gold plated but hey.. 🙂
I like the minimalist aspect of this particular ring and it goes to show how popular it was, as it is pretty much sold out. I saw this one too, for $50.
(Bought a long time ago)
REVIEW: PURE ANADA SOY POLISH NAIL COLOUR REMOVER – $10
Long story short, avoid this stupid nail polish remover. I use “natural” (or should I say), less harmful nailpolishes and this stuff does NOTHING FOR THEM. I bought this remover a LONG time ago and gave it half its bottle before giving my verdict.
It is quicker to chip off the polish than it is to use this stuff. Horrible. I hate to say it but the chemical removers are the best, and melt polish right off your nails.. for better or for worse.
It stinks, it’s oily, it squirts everywhere when you use the pad to push down on the top to get the remover out, and it DOESN’T WORK.
I will note that I think the bottle I bought no longer exists and a new formulation (seen above) may be out and has good reviews but who knows. Are the reviewers paid or liars? NO CLUE but I am not willing to try it again unless I have a sample in-store and it PROVES to work properly.
The old formulation in the pump dispenser was horrid and looks like this:
HEI ANTHROPOLOGIE CARGO KHAKI PANTS – $90 (were on sale)
3 years later, I found them.
High-rise. They’re “mid” but in a larger size they became high rise on me.
I was afraid of sausage-encased legs (you know what I mean) and was jumping into the pants a lot, so I took a size 29 (I normally wear a 26).
Now I regret it and should have taken only 2 sizes up to a 28 to avoid sausage legs, and then take in the waist, as they DID stretch out and bag out around the legs as I wore them even just for an hour or two. Shoot.
[HOLY GRAIL RESTOCK]
On my third bottle and counting. Love it. SPF 30. WILL NEVER STOP USING IT. It gives me such a glow.
I was sorta pressured into buying a toner, but in the end, I can’t see the point of some glycerin water & fragrance (rose), on my face.
I almost feel like it’s causing bumps on my skin as it is too moisturizing.
[DO NOT RECOMMEND, RETURNED]
This is just to remove my makeup and then I do an actual cleanser afterwards.
I wear contacts, so this has a bit of a film on my eyes where I rub off the mascara and eyeliner, but it disappears after a bit.
I prefer it over the BioTherm BioSource Total Renew Oil I got as a sample that did not give me this issue of film in my contacts, but had a strange chemical-y soapy smell and felt a bit squeaky on my skin after I used it.
I also tried the Cleansing Balms by BioTherm and Clinique but I don’t like balms as much as I like oils for some reason. No idea why. Felt a bit thick on the skin, but I will say they turned to milk and removed my makeup nicely.
Update: It feels too thick and oily while I am spreading it on, I have a feeling of dread that I am causing acne (even though I am probably not). Also, it’s a waste — I feel like I need 8 pumps to get all of my mineral makeup off and I am not sure I know how to use it properly, frankly. What is nice is that it doesn’t burn my skin the way chemical wipes do…
JAMES PERSE CASHMERE CARDIGAN IN ANTHRACITE – $250
C’mon now. A perfect blazer meets sweater combination in CASHMERE? SIGN ME UP, kthxbye.
SEAFOLLY INDIGO BOYLEG RUCHED SWIMSUIT – $78
Since the striped one didn’t work out, I found a New With Tags On swimsuit online and paid $78 total including shipping for this indigo version of what I already own. This will be the second swimsuit I own, I really like the style. Obviously.
I just received it, and it is exactly as pictured.
OLIVIA BURTON DOT DETAIL CHRONOGRAPH WATCH – $78
Just racking up the insane deals online! I’ve been eying this watch for a while, having bought it at $345 then returned it, and I finally found it on sale for $78. Sweet. Can’t say no to that. I just like the look of it. Very clean and rather steampunk-ish.
Also, it is PERFECTLY new, someone just tried it on. No scratches, nothing. No box either but who cares.. wow, what a deal.