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

December 2016: What I bought, watched and read

WHAT I READ

BIG MAGIC

Transformative. Well-written. Addictive. I really recommend this book, it’s what got me back into making jewellery for fun and a way to de-stress instead of writing posts for the blog or thinking about books (my next one on investing is close to being done, aiming for end of February maximum, probably sooner).

THE MAN WHO ATE EVERYTHING

Written in the 90s and STILL RELEVANT TODAY except for that bit about francs (Paris is now overun with overpriced Euros).

I am so surprised I have not read Steingarten’s books sooner. He has been on my list for a while but now I am a fan. He is witty, funny, acerbic, and absolutely SPOT ON. His huge amount of research for all things food (and boundless curiousity) is incredible. I am excited to try a few of his recipes at the end of each chapter as well.

Very, very good book.

THE RED NOTEBOOK

A chicklit unlike any other. So poetic, smooth and so very FRENCH as if you couldn’t tell by the author’s name. I was just hooked by the first chapter (unsure at first of course), but it is like a mystery and a romance all rolled into one.

Highly recommended.

WAITER RANT


I read his blog back in the day. He is such a good writer and the stories are just so fantastic.

The book is well done, and so engrossing I have been walking around the apartment reading it all day in between wrangling my toddler.

PRACTICAL PRINCESS PERFECT WARDROBE

Hate the name. I think because I hate the name so much, I couldn’t concentrate on the book about styling and organizing your wardrobe. I am sure there were good tips in there. Maybe.

I can’t remember. I just keep getting hung up on ‘princess’. Hate the word to be used for anyone over the age of 10.

The $100 STARTUP

This is a good general book to read if you aren’t business-minded, or not entrepreneurial in nature.

It gives you a good base overview of how to start a business, market it, and do it all on the cheap, while looking for different ways to make more money.

Fast, easy read, and it even gives you some solid checklists to follow, and asks poignant questions.

THE ASSISTANTS

This is chicklit right? Why so little on the chick romance?! Okay, so sue me, I do like hearing a good story here and there. This was kind of disappointing.

I don’t want to read it again, and frankly it kind of gave me an mental ulcer throughout, as I have been a consultant and never abused the privilege.

HELPING CHILDREN SUCCEED

A condensed summary of his other book here:

…. I skimmed it. The basics are there, if you don’t want to read the full version.

SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A NUT

Read 15% of it, according to my Kobo Aura. Couldn’t continue. Life is too short to read what you aren’t interested in.

I wanted to love it. I couldn’t.

WHAT I BOUGHT

Know those ‘Love’ shoes I really wanted? I returned them.

I couldn’t justify the price, so I cancelled the order.

So.. then I went insane with spending.

INSANE I TELL YOU.

You fellow shopaholics out there are going to totally flip.

Every December, same story. I should just set aside a shedload of money for the end of the year and spend it all without guilt.

DAVID’S TEA ORDER – $200

davids-tea-ceremonial-matcha-green-tea

Ceremonial Green Tea Matcha

I stocked up on it at 25% off at David’s Tea. I am never, ever running out of this tea again like the last time.

MAPOLOGY SCARF – $70

mapology-scarf-arctic-circle-map-green-blue-yellow

Every time I do a Holiday Gift Guide, I end up buying stuff for myself while doing ‘research’ for the rest of you.

I hope you know the kind of financial sacrifice I make when I do those guides each year 😉

Anyway, I have had my eye on this scarf for a long time. Over a year and a half in fact, and I really had to have it this time, now that I am starting to wear more basic base outfits, the scarf makes it so different for me.

KMBAGGIES FELT SATCHEL – $45

kmbaggies-etsy-felt-leather-briefcase

On sale? YES PLEASE. It looks like a fun, casual take on a leather satchel, and being wool, it is water-resistant as well.

(Yes it was in my Holiday Gift Guides as well).

It will hold a 15″ laptop but it’ll just be a purse for me, really.

KATE SPADE VACHETTA METRO CHALKBOARD WATCH

kate-spade-vachetta-chalkboard-metro-watch

Do you know how long I have stalked this watch?

TWO YEARS.

I have been eying, stalking, touching, petting and ogling this watch for 2 years before I decided that this year, I would buy it.

I made an offer on eBay and here it is, in my hot, sweaty little paws at last.

SMALL WORLD DREAMS MICRO DOT BUCKET BAG

smallworlddreams-etsy-leather-bucket-boho-bag

Yeah. Another Holiday Gift Guide suggestion…. for myself, obviously.


I really love that micro dot print, it is unusual without being too avant garde.

SO pretty.

VINTAGE COPPER ENAMELLED VINTAGE BOWL

armoire-ancienne-vintage-small-blue-enamel-copper-bowl

Perfect for storing rings and things. It will go nicely in my jewellery drawer, or maybe in the front hall closet, to add a little something different. I like the speckled look of it, and it’s vintage to boot.

Want to find one of your own? Etsy ‘enamelled copper bowl‘ and a bunch will appear.

Now.. for the ultimate purchase I have been hunting for a long long time. MOTO BOOTS.

[THRIFTED] RAG AND BONE BLACK MOTO BOOTS

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=490984524&pid=uid1104-32002848-44

I bought them used, and I am in love.

I finally have the pair of moto boots I have always wanted, and for less than half of their retail price. It’s normally $600 USD. In Canadian dollars, at retail, we are talking $830 before shipping, taxes and customs & duties, so it would be almost $1000.

O_o

Self, I said… USED R&B BOOTS IT IS.

I took them in a Size 8. Let’s hope they work out. If not, I am putting in my trusty Birkenstock insoles (always takes up a size) and wearing thicker socks.

I wanted them light (the Frye Engineer boots were nice but SO HEAVY and clunky).

SARAH PACINI CRYSTAL RINGS

Totally up my alley. My kind of rings, and they feel solid, and well-made.

MASSIMO DUTTI BLAZERS IN CAMEL & GREY HEATHER WITH A TIE

Every year, I go to Massimo Dutti to see what blazers they have in stock. Their fit is perfection for my inverted triangle body, and I always take the EUR 38 or the US 6 version, yet it fits perfectly on my body without needing a tailor.

I waited for a 20% off sale before biting, and I couldn’t be happier, although in waiting, I missed out on their ivory wool version because the 40 was just way too large.

GRANA SILK AND CASHMERE CLOTHING

Grana came along and very generously asked me if I wanted a few pieces to try out and review.

If you use my referral link, you get 10% off, and I get $20. Thanks 🙂

My more detailed review of Grana is here.

I didn’t pay anything for these following items, but I am currently eying my wardrobe to see where I can inject a few more of their wardrobe staples.

Needless to say, I am PLEASED with all of my choices and am looking to add more to my wardrobe.

Here is what I got:

GRANA NAVY LONG-SLEEVED SHELL SHIRT

http://www.grana.com/r/32119

Perfect for the office. I will be wearing this over pants or tucked into pencil skirts, or under blazers.

It’s also casual enough (for me anyway) to wear alone with some jeans and go out with Baby Bun.

The silk is slightly thinner than Equipment silk, but the softness and liquid-y velvet feeling of the silk is the same. I’m looking to add a few more of these to my wardrobe in various colours.

GRANA SILK SHELL TANK TOP

http://www.grana.com/r/32119

Again, the silk is very good for its price point, and the cut is not too low (I hate lowcut tanks). It is work appropriate as a shell, and the colour is perfectly true to what I saw online. I received this exact shade of olive khaki green.

CASHMERE JOGGING PANTS

http://www.grana.com/r/32119

I have been OBSESSED WITH THESE PANTS. I want another pair or two. The cashmere is very slightly itchy on my super sensitive eczema-laden skin but not itchy enough to bother me in the slightest. Frankly, unless you plan on paying thousands for high-end cashmere (or even if you do), this is the best you’re going to get at this price point.

I find them soft, and very VERY warm. I don’t know why I held off on cashmere jogging pants for so long, but I need to fix that stat. I’ll be buying a few more pairs to wear in the wintertime (inside of course, not outside).

This version is softer and better than J. Crew cashmere, and that’s surprising considering how expensive J. Crew is these days.

GRANA V-NECK CASHMERE BOYFRIEND SWEATER

http://www.grana.com/r/32119

I am not sure if this is because the cashmere was dyed navy blue but I found it slightly stiffer and itchier than the cashmere jogging pants. I’d buy this style again for sure, a classic v-neck, but only in the greys (the heather grey is really pretty), and not in a colour that is too dark because of the difference I felt on my skin.

I still wear it, and find it comfortable, about on par with J. Crew cashmere which runs into the hundreds these days.

My more detailed review of Grana is here.

Wait until you see what I bought for January.

——-

P.S. Want to see what I bought in previous months? They’re all here by month, and I also do yearly roundups.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, 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 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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14 Comments

  1. Kandice

    Comment Part One: Books — I can always count on you for great book recommendations. I hopped over to Amazon and got sucked into The Assistants after the second page, so that’s going on my TBR list. I read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert many moons ago and loved it, so I’ll check out her new one on creativity. Several years ago I read the $100 Startup and I remember liking it. I should probably dig it out and reread it. I agree with you on your Princess comment, although I will still probably read that book. I’m not easily offended, but *** rant ahead *** I do get irritated when the PC police come out to cry in their tiny victim tea cups about micro-aggressions all while people who are legit victims of sexual assault or other crimes have their experiences minimized as a result. Anyway, moving on from that giant tangent… There was a woman on The Oprah Winfrey Show a loooooong time ago. I don’t remember her name, but she ran a bunch of magazines, maybe the Hearst empire? She wrote a book about what young professional women needed to know. I’m going to dig and see if I can find it.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I read a lot even with a toddler because it is the only way my brain gets any use haha …. If you do find that book about young professional women — not Huffington as in Ariana Huffington is it? … Let me know what the title is.

      Reply
  2. Mica

    Oh wow you got so many great things! It’s definitely easy to over spend in December with all the gift buying going on – I normally pick up a little something for myself too when shopping for others. That scarf is stunning, you did well just wanting it and not buying it for so long, what a great piece! 🙂

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and you have a happy new year 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      YAY! 🙂 Very true. Wait until you see my second roundup.

      Reply
  3. Sylvie

    Ooh, thanks for the reminder about matcha! I need to get on the email lists for these discounts.

    I thought my holiday splurge was complete with the singular purchase of a silk trench dress. However, I’m now purseless and have been seeking THE bag. Thousands of purse images later, this beauty (LV LockMe II) caught my eye. It has the logo, which is a bit irksome, but everything else fits the bill…except the price–so, so far from ideal. Maybe if I swear off handbags for the next decade–definitely possible.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      ROSE GOLD. I would definitely be all over rose gold as a leather…. I even like the studs.

      Reply
  4. Grace

    I am looking to buy David’s tea matcha as well, but it does not show that it’s 25%. How do you get it for 25%? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      That was during the Black Friday sale. Sign up for the list and wait, you’ll get to see it eventually. They do 1 tin free for 2 (33%), 20% and 25% discounts.

      Reply
  5. Cassie

    And here I was expecting more purchases 😉 Love those blazers. Actually, the accessories in general are right on the mark as well. Can’t wait to see more outfits with them!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh you haven’t seen what showed up in the mail recently, it’s in my January post……

      Reply
  6. Jess

    Those boots are gorgeous! Finding gently-used luxury items at secondhand stores is my favorite. And that Kate Spade watch is so pretty! Serious heart-eyes over here.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      RIGHT!? I stalked that watch forever….

      Reply
  7. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

    I LOVE that satchel. Looks like a great price too.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I find it nice looking but limiting. It’s really only good for papers and notebooks that fit in that width. No over stuffing!

      Reply

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