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

July 2016: What I bought, watched and read

WHAT I READ

THE YEAR OF YES

AMAZING BOOK. Read it! It is very funny but it is written in the same lingo as her shows (Grey’s Anatomy for instance), so if you don’t like a lot of emphatic punctuation, this is not the book for you.

She is inspiring, wonderful, funny and absolutely spot on in saying “yes” to more things in life so that you can learn what to say “no” to and enjoy it more.

Easy, funny read and she is amazing. I’d love to have her as a dinner guest in my imaginary future.

MEN ARE FROM MARS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS

I completely get the hype now why this book is so popular and so recommended by many.

I RECOMMEND IT. HIGHLY. Everyone should read this.

What he describes in there is not 100% my partner nor 100% myself, but it is pretty accurate in some respects.

I have definitely a lot of Venusian tendencies (talking, wanting to resolve things RIGHT NOW, asking for support and sympathy as love).. and he has a lot of Martian tendencies (hiding in his cave, going cold, being distant, not realizing the little things count)

Update: I have started using some of the suggestions in there, letting him be in his ‘cave’, and to understand he needs admiration and to feel competent (something women don’t need validation of, as we want other things), and our relationship has improved immensely.


I wish he would read the book but even if he doesn’t, I’m working on my end and seeing results.

It also helps me understand my son more, even though he’s only a toddler, I’m learning how men think. He is very much a little male because he keeps putting his hand over my mouth to tell me: MOMMY, STOP TALKING.

(Very common sentiment of men, who are normally not natural communicators.)

OMG. πŸ˜›

RAISING BOYS

I have a son, and I don’t want to eff him up.

I REALLY recommend this book for all parents who have sons.

I found this book, and it has confirmed what I have noticed amongst boys my age growing up, and behaviours showing up in my son and his playmates.

There is a marked difference between boys and girls. They’re on different developmental timelines and I cannot say that Baby Bun is the perfect stereotypical boy, but he does enjoy running around and being very active.

He is however, less active and more quiet / serious / focused than other little boys his age. He seems very much like me or my partner when we were younger. Introverted, slow to warm up to people, active but not obsessed with constantly moving and jumping on things.

He is the son I have always dreamed of, and I am sure every mother & father says that about their child.

Anyway, this book talks about how to ‘reach’ boys differently by talking, letting them move and fidget, appealing to their curious minds instead of beating them down with obedience sticks.

An excellent book.

STRONG MOTHERS, STRONG SONS

Another excellent book on raising a son as a mother. It is not the same as a daughter and I am sure he will have a different relationship with me than with my partner.

I mean, just reading: “Men are from Mars..” was enough for me to be convinced that men are all innately very much alike just as women are.

I am actually crying every other page, some of the examples are so heart wrenching.. and touching. It really matters how we handle our relationships with them as mothers.

There’s a father / daughter version too.

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE

I had such low expectations of this as a chick-lit book but it delivered and actually made me consider my own life choices to lead me to where and who I am today. If I had done this, or done that, or if this had not happened would I be living where I am right now with my partner & my little toddler?

I actually wandered around the whole day in a half speculative mood, reviewing all the choices I have made in life and work.

It is such an interesting twist and take on a chick-lit book, that I would definitely recommend it.

IN THE NAME OF GUCCI

The whole book was so terribly sad. I felt so much empathy for this family, the squabbling over money and all the backstabbing.

It is what it is, and I am happy I have learned more about this ubiquitous fashion brand (which I pretty much ignore 99.99% of the time except for their vintage pieces that don’t have logos smeared into every crevice).

It just reinforces to me that money isn’t everything. Doesn’t buy true love, loyalty, or respect… sure, you can pay people to pretend, but it is not the same. Also, if not carefully managed and properly run, it ruins families just as I have suspected.

MADE IN AMERICA

What an excellent book on the origins of the English language, particularly American English. Great history book on how words, phrases and things we have taken for granted, have come about.

It can get a little dense and boring when all the words are listed out one after another, but wow is it ever condense.

I also really enjoyed the little anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book about the history of fast food (which I already knew a bit of to begin with), aviation and so on. It’s an interesting history / language book.

THE LOST CONTINENT

Bryson is pretty funny.

This was veering on the side of boring for me because it was chronicling his American road trip to small cities across various states. Some of what he said was interesting and/or funny but otherwise, I’d give this a pass unless you’re a diehard Bryson fan.

WHAT I BOUGHT

OK so I went a little crazy this month because of sales and some of the most exquisite quality pieces that I know will get a lot of use in my wardrobe.

It is one thing to try and find them thrifted in a store, it is another to wait for years before you do.

I will mention that I have not really found high quality items in thrift stores, only in consignment shops, and consignment shops with designer brands tend to sell for muuuuch higher $100+ prices rather than for dollars.

Sometimes, you have to buy what you really want and be done with it.

I’d rather have a few really great luxury pieces than 7 wardrobes full of sad substitutes.

TILLEY RAFFIA HAT – $125

I bought this and I have kept the tags on. I feel like I may want to return it and wait for a sale or a better deal.


IT IS SO NICE though, it looks very cool, summery, it is in a nice tea stained colour from natural white raffia and it has a very pretty brown leather band.

I am going to keep it a week and go downtown to another hat shop to see if I can find something cheaper & handmade in Montreal by an artisan before I take the tags off & keep it.

This is the perfect hat for summer. Medium brim, light, and very stylish. I like this, along with my larger hemp hat which I wear to death and looks like this:

MEL EN STEL KATE CASHMERE & SILK JACKET – $300

mel-en-stel-kate-jacket-cashmere-olive-green

I took advantage of their sale and snagged this gorgeous cashmere jacket.

I have been eying it for a while, and when they offered it at 50% off I SNAGGED IT.

Love. LOVE.

Love the collar, the side single button (very simple), the fact that it is CASHMERE LINED IN SILK and by one of my most favouritest (is that even a word) independent designer in NYC.

You just can’t find quality like this today. It would be in the thousands of dollars in higher end labels.

But I prefer supporting local, independent designers.

DAVID’S TEA – CEREMONIAL MATCHA = $50

david's-tea-ceremonial-matcha

I ran out of matcha.

O_o

I can’t believe I didn’t check my stock and buy it 25% off during their Canada Day sale.

I AM SO STUPID.

The matcha I like is very expensive at 200 grams for around $50 and I sucked it up and bought it to see me through the next 3 months.

*sob*

At any rate, if a sale of 20% doesn’t pop up soon, I’m downgrading to the Vanilla Matcha until I can buy the better grade stuff.

PLAN TOYS MINI KITCHEN & BREAKFAST SET – $80

plan-toy-smini-kitchen-set-with-breakfast

I couldn’t resist this cute little wooden toy kitchen & breakfast set.

They’re wooden toys made of the highest quality in Thailand (they are based there and also manufacture there as well), and they are ADORABLE.

Plus I am told they last very long and children love to play with this stuff well into the age 4 or 5.

πŸ˜€

LOOK AT HOW CUTE IT IS.

Baby Bun gets to pretend he cooks just like Mommy and Daddy (more Daddy than Mommy), and he can “make breakfast” for us.

PLAN TOYS SLICEABLE VEGETABLES & FRUIT – $40

plan-toys-sliceable-vegetable-and-fruit

I also picked up some “sliceable” vegetables & fruit.

You can pretend to cut them and then they fit together with velcro. It looks ADORABLE. He could spend a lot of time pretending to prepare food, then cook it on his kitchen above.

YAY!

There are more fruits & vegetables hereΒ too.

Here are more vegetablesΒ and these ones are yet another set of different fruits.

Frankly I wanted them all, but that would be insane right. πŸ˜›

PLAN TOYS TABLEWARE – $30

https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=484469518&pid=uid1104-32002848-44

And of course we need some plates & cutlery. I considered just buying some cheap plastic things, but I didn’t want Baby Bun to hurt himself and I am against plastic.

I want sustainable recycled wood instead from rubber trees that can no longer produce rubber. Put my money where my mouth is and all that.

SQUEE!!!

SCHLORI SWIM CUSHIONS – $30

I went all over looking for some swim floats to help babies learn.. I saw lots of stuff made in China, and stuff that looked very uncomfortable for children.

These are Schlori Swim Cushions made in Germany and are very portable.

The only thing I liked was this little yellow raft where I could just plop him in and let him float on his own, but I know after a few years he will stop using it.

I wanted to buy something more useful for learning how to swim but not impeding them from feeling like they’re swimming.

Enter: Schlori Swim Cushions

They look comfortable, they look like kids can swim or learn how to swim properly without a float or something blocking their chest, and it keeps them afloat while they kick and learn.

WIN WIN!

I hope they work out. I read they’re a pain in the butt to blow up but with some practice, I’m sure it’ll be fine. I mean, cloth diapers weren’t easy at first but now I’m a pro.

 

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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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12 Comments

  1. anna

    I remembered loving these monthly posts, and delighted to see you still post them. Thanks for the tips on the books about raising sons – I’ll have to look into them. Hope you’ve been doing well. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Yes thank you! How is your little one?

      Reply
  2. Linda

    Oh goodness: you are buying some of the very things I bought for my children’s play kitchen. I had a set of the “sliceable” wooden fruits and vegetables. They were forever getting misplaced. They probably played with them properly once: the first time I showed them how to “cut” them in half.

    It wasn’t until later when I enrolled them in Montessori school when my oldest was 5 that I realized I shouldn’t have bothered with the play kitchen, but bought them actual child-safe knives and other kitchen tools to do some real food prep. At the time, I knew it would slow me down in the kitchen, and I didn’t want that. But, I was wrong! They would have benefited in so many ways.

    All’s well that ends well: They are young adults who can cook from scratch, enjoy all sorts of fruits and vegetables, and understand ingredients. But, I think if I had started them doing real cooking earlier (not just helping stir the cookie dough), this would have kicked in a lot earlier

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Oh dear!!! OK. I will have to also look into actual child-safe knives so he can help me.

      At what age did they start helping? 5 years?

      Reply
  3. Sarah Li Cain

    Yeah, my son HATED those raft things, and I ended up having to weigh down the back part of it because he’d lean forwards and try to kick his legs. If the swim vest I bought doesn’t work out I’d love to see if your son likes the swim cushion.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      The swim cushions by Schlori seem to be really good.. They leave their chest free, they keep them afloat and they can kick and actually swim. I think they’ll work out fine. I have yet to convince him to go to the pool again because he hates to shower and you need to do it before you get in and after you get out πŸ™

      Reply
  4. raluca

    Is 33 too old to play with a mini kitchen set? Could I still get one even if I have a “maxi” kitchen? No? Fine then! Why do kids get all the cool stuff?

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      LOL!!! Why do you think I bought it? It was for ME not for him.

      Just kidding. Really though, I remember mixing beads and pretending to make meals out of them, so this will be a lot of fun for Baby Bun.

      Reply
  5. Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial

    That jacket is divine.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I can tell you it feels like it too.

      Reply
  6. Life We Learn

    I love your monthly book reviews, there are some really interesting ones this month which I will be adding to my “to-read” list. That mini kitchen set is so adorable, love it!

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Oh good! I’m glad to hear they’re useful to someone else. Some books I start reading, I simply can’t finish or continue past chapter one. I try not to say I finish EVERY book I start because life is too short but I do try.

      Reply

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