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

December 2014: What I bought, watched and read



I love Brad Goreski. Ever since I saw him on The Rachel Zoe Project, I have loved his personality (and hers). He is just such a down to earth person and reading his biography actually made me a bit sad because of what he had to go through as a kid.

Without a doubt it was an easy read, great to knock out while Baby Bun is napping and a real feel-good book that actually gave helpful tips (fashion and otherwise).

The only question I had from the whole thing was: But who was paying for it all?

I suspect his boyfriend Gary whom he met in Europe was the one footing the bill for him being in NYC and so on but this was never confirmed. I wish stars would be upfront and tell us these things about who is paying for it all because it sounds like a great dream that could have never happened without $$$$.


Amy Poehler is incredibly funny but her book was.. a hit and miss for me. I wanted so desperately to love it the way I loved Tina Fey’s Bossypants but .. I’m sorry and a bit sad that Amy is not really an author.

She’s a writer, yes but maybe it was the editing of the book or the disjointed way it all didn’t fit together but I couldn’t follow the flow of her thoughts. I wish it went in a chronological order with little anecdotes and stories, instead it seemed to jump all over the place.

(I somewhat blame this on having baby brain but.. I can’t say it’s all ME.)

I’d read it anyway just because I think she’s great but she is better as anything but an author.


I loved and hated this book. I loved that it told the truth about how Frenchwomen seem to be effortlessly chic, slim and wonderful but in fact, DO A LOT OF WORK TO GET THERE.

They learn from a young age not to overindulge, how to take care of their skin, etc etc.

A lot of her tips I took to heart, like washing my face in the morning and at night, but the other ones like taking expensive vitamin pills by Cledist? Not so much.

Food is a better vitamin-producer and giver than a pill. I think taking a multi-vitamin is pretty much a wash for your body because it doesn’t really do anything for it from the inside.

You should EAT the food instead of taking a pill, like eating good eggs and fish to get selenium for instance.

Nevertheless, a great read and she’s also one of my favourite bloggers.


A must read for anyone who has skin troubles. Seriously. I went out and immediately tried to find a Vitamin C serum because if Forever Chic and Skin Rules BOTH RECOMMEND that you slap this stuff on after your late 20s, I’mma damn well do it.

I know without a doubt that I have hormonal acne and there’s not much I can do about it except go back on the pill (debating this), but she does (FINALLY) point out that good food makes a difference. It’s not just the potions, lotions and serums, or drinking 1.5 L of water a day, it is ALSO THE DAMN FOOD.



This is an EXCELLENT book if you are interested in fashion, powerful women, style and/or politics.

I highly recommend it as a good read because it doesn’t just cover Michelle Obama, it goes through all the First Ladies, their style, their scrutinized wardrobes under the spotlight, etc.


Are you clueless about fashion or just need good ideas because you’re in a style rut?


I really liked it. It gave you notes on what to wear, when, for every event, and at least 3 major outfits and how to style it.

If you have no idea what to wear, use this book to help you.

I only wish they had an index of all the outfits they listed at the end for easy reference rather than having to page through the book.


They don’t but what she’s saying is just plain effin’ common sense.

Eat well, sleep well, don’t stress about crap that doesn’t matter, feel good in your own skin and be happy.

A so-so book for me. I’d rank it up there with being: Don’t read it. You’ll want to roll your eyes at it.

I didn’t read her famous “French Women Don’t Get Fat” book, but I don’t need to because I know that French women don’t get fat BECAUSE THEY DON’T EAT.

That is to say, they don’t stuff their faces, eat junk food every day, eat like crap, eat dessert after every meal and generally avoid overindulging, even at parties.

I have seen plenty of French women basically pick at their plates and eat small portions, then declare that they had a HUGE LUNCH.

Everything in moderation.


I liked this book. I wouldn’t agree with 100% of everything she writes in there, but I say.. SOUND GENERAL ADVICE that I’d take with a grain of salt, of course.

It was definitely better than “French women don’t get facelifts” in terms of practical advice that seemed less like common sense.

It helps you figure out all the little details of life.


I didn’t like this book. I wanted to, and I didn’t. I am not THAT into vintage clothing, or thrift shopping but if you are, this is the book for you.

I am more into consignment shopping and buying designer or higher end stuff for less at secondhand prices, but I don’t want to tailor vintage pieces or search out for those “unique” items. That isn’t me.


A LOT of sweaters. I mean a lot.

Anyway, I gave myself a $1000 budget this month to spend on whatever I wanted….. and then I spent more than THAT.


Deals. What can I say? Cut off my internet connection because.. yeah. Browsing online is sheer temptation.



I bought this because I read a book called Skincare Rules that states Vitamin C actually does do something to your skin.. and the time to fix your skin is in your late 20s when your collagen production is decreasing.

This purports to do both. I’ll go through the bottle and check back with you to let you know if my skin changed at the end.

I returned this because it made me break out in tiny little red spots ALL OVER MY FACE. #FAIL.



I have cystic acne caused by hormones. That’s been confirmed. It’s not really my diet, it’s my hormones. Every time I went on the pill, my skin cleared up to perfection. I went off the pill and now I’m battling it.

Things I am doing:

  • eating broccoli
  • eating sweet potatoes
  • eating less oil/fatty foods
  • eating less processed food (actually none at all)
  • exfoliating EVERY. SINGLE. DAMN. MORNING.

Then I read about this gel that seems to really help clear up cystic acne like no one’s business. I’m hoping this is true because I want these spots (when they appear) to go down and disappear.


I have a taste for designer denim… and Lucky jeans fit the bill. They’re comfortable, soft, fitted and I no longer pay $200 for a pair of jeans.

These jeans were 40% off, and about $60 per pair. DEAL! DEAL! *squeal*

I like really high waisted jeans, so the Olivia jeans fit the bill (the black ones), and mid-rise jeans, so Sweet and Sofia styles are my favourites.

Got 3 styles in 3 different washes — boot cut, skinny, straight and in those washes below.

I really like this one I got, the Brooke boot cut jean.

Super soft and awesome.



I returned it because it was FRICKING TIGHT. I mean skin-sausage tight. I bought the same size (00) as the other two jeans, but I could barely squeeze it over my legs and thighs without jumping up and down like a bean.

Also, the fabric is not as soft as my Rag & Bone jean leggings, so I think I might have to bite the bullet and buy them in black.

I’m so willing to mail it back to get back my money even if it’ll cost me $15 to do it.


This is the Sweet straight-leg jean and I really like it. Soft, comfortable, worth it.

I think the Sweet jeans are the best out of the entire line. They have perfect fabrics.




I have heard of this brand but have never actually owned anything from them. I went to a local consignment shop and picked this exact sweater up. Isn’t it pretty?!





My first Dior!

It’s just a plain navy sweater with white rope details as the stripes. I think it looks awesome. Very light, comfortable, and wonderful.



My first Acne sweater too. I like the ribbed chunky knit of this sweater which is why I picked it up.



You know, I have heard so much about Isabel Marant that I was dying to own a piece. I saw this sweater in a consignment shop in Montreal and I immediately fell in love with it.

It’s comfortable, a boucle kind of teddy bear feel and totally awesome. I’d wear this is as a jacket.

.. but wait, there’s more!

I broke my favourite pair of heels so I naturally went nuts and decided to buy 2 pairs to replace them.

My new favourite shoe brand aside from Manolo Blahnik? L.K. Bennett. The Duchess really knows her shoe stuff.


Ogilvy had a sale so I went on by and saw these flat pointed wedge flats.. I mean.. SOLD!!!!


And the heels I actually broke, got replaced by these 4″ suede black beauties.

Again, both from Ogilvy.


This is a local Toronto label that I know very well but have not found anything interesting to buy from, until … this month!

I picked up their “Lark” skirt which is this beautiful city print. It’s cotton/silk (NO POLYESTER!) which was what really sold me, considering the price was only $130 rather than $300, which is what I’d expect to pay for something similar in that kind of fabric blend.

It’s a midi length which I hate (unless I wear heels which is rarely ever), so I got it tailored to fit my (lack of) curves, and to have it hemmed up above my knee.

YES I am going to lose some of that beautiful print, but I’d rather have a skirt I’d wear with this gorgeous print on it, than a skirt that is beautiful but sitting in my closet, collecting dust.

I’m a sucker for city / country / urban prints on things.

Throw some silkscreened buildings and skyscrapers onto an outfit and my wallet is yours for the taking.

I even have a similar kind of dress I bought a long time ago on sale at Anthropologie by Odille called Artists’ Rendering that looks like a countryside from top to bottom:



It’s so unusual, abstract and cool without being obvious or gauche. I sometimes throw a top on top of the dress just to show off the skirt of the dress.


This stunning brocade obi belt. I’m a SUCKER for obi belts and this one was calling out to me, begging me to buy it.



It has the most beautiful striped fabric for the sash, and it’s reversible — the other side is a black crepe.

There is something about wearing a belt that makes an outfit pop for me, seeing as I have a very ill-defined waist and could use a little help belt-wise.

P.S. The first TWO people who use this link to buy on Etsy, will get $5 towards their purchase.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using 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 with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. Cassie

    This was definitely a lust worthy shopping month! That skirt is gorgeous, and I could see adding any of the jeans and sweaters into my own wardrobe.

    I hope you let us know how the Vitamin C hunt and hormonal acne treatment goes. I tried the powdered Vitamin C additive from Philosophy years ago (you add it to whatever product you’re currently using to give it a Vitamin C boost), but I had severe acne issues at the time and it seemed to add to them because it was irritating the existing inflammation.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Maybe I will hold off then. I do not want to annoy my skin any more

  2. Heather H

    I had hormonal acne until my early 40’s (I am about to turn 45) and tried everything. My holy grail was starting spironolactone in my late 30’s and it totally cleared me up. The kicker though is that you cannot take it while pregnant and I think while breastfeeding a boy because of the hormones. When you are done having kids and if you are still having hormonal acne I recommend trying it.

    1. Mrs. Frugalwoods

      @Heather H: same for me! Spironolactone totally cleared me up–it was a wonder drug with no side effects! But, like Heather said, can’t be taken while pregnant and since I’m hoping to get pregnant soon, I’ve had to stop taking it and my acne is back. I’m going to check out that book you recommended!

      1. save. spend. splurge.

        Two endorsements? I am checking this out

    2. save. spend. splurge.

      Oh my god. I am going go try it. I simply cannot take this any more

      1. Heather H

        @save. spend. splurge.: It really is awesome for hormonal acne, took it right away for me. BUT you cannot be nursing or planning on getting pregnant. Here is the states I had to sign an affidavit to that effect and indicate we had some form of birth control. I took 150mg every evening for several years with no ill effects that I could tell. It stopped me from having to do accutane (which isn’t really as effective for hormonal acne and has awful side effects).

        1. save. spend. splurge.

          But can I stop taking it? Do I have to take it forever??

          1. Heather H

            @save. spend. splurge.: I would say it likely you will have to take it until you age out of the hormonal flare ups. I stopping taking it around age 42 and slowed down on taking it around age 40. It will really depend on when those hormone triggers normalize.

          2. save. spend. splurge.

            Oh my. OK. I will see after I stop having babies. Thank you.

  3. Bloom

    A few years ago I read an article about a 40 year old Japanese woman who looks half her age, and her tips for looking youthful included drinking lots of water (like you mentioned) and using vitamin E serum. I’m curious now about using either (or both) E and C.

    I found the article link:

    By the way, did you end up reading all the Shopaholic series? I decided to read it based on your recommendation from a previous post, and I am on the fourth book of the series.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I read the entire series and still love it. How do you find it?

      As for the Japanese I am sure their fish and veggie diet helps too

      1. Bloom

        @save. spend. splurge.: I love the series so far! I typically wouldn’t read “chic lit” books, but Kinsella’s writing style is entertaining. I’m borrowing from the library (eBook) am I’m waiting for Shopaholic and Sister to become available, but in the meantime I’m reading her other book, Can You Keep A Secret. I’m enjoying it too.

        1. save. spend. splurge.

          I really liked that book — Can you keep a secret. The domestic goddess one, I was not a fan of…

  4. MelD

    Food v. vitamins… I just followed a link to “make juice without a juicer” (out of curiosity) and was horrified to read how to squish the juices through a sieve and then DISCARD the pulp???!!! Surely that’s the healthiest part of the fruit/veg… Definitely rather EAT good stuff i.e. real food than pop a pill or drink some watery leftovers!!

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I am not a fan of juice to be honest. I would rather puree it and drink a thick slush

  5. Yetunde

    For vitamin C products; try the Ole Henrikson line from Sephora. I just switched to this as part of my “beauty regime in your 40s” and so 6 months in, I’ve been pleased with all the products in this line that I’ve tried

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      That is the line I tried but it has silicone in it..

  6. Taylor Lee

    Oooh I love the Dior sweater. Simple but high quality. Also the brocade obi.

    As always, great clothes picks!

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I love how oversized they are!!

  7. Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way

    Wow, giving yourself a $1000 budget is totally awesome! I love that Sweet jeans, it seems that it’s very comfortable to wear.

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I went a little nuts…


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