June 2013: What I bought, watched, read and listened to
WHAT I LISTENED TO
An old favourite of mine: Drain S.T.H..
A group of 4, smoking hot Swedish women back in 1998 and 1999 released incredible rock / metal albums. Then they disbanded and I was distraught, because they were amazing.
They remain and will always remain, my favourite band of all time, all-female or not.
Here are 3 of my favourite songs:
ENTER MY MIND
ACE OF SPADES
WHAT I WATCHED
I did not have high expectations for a film directed by Madonna, but this was surprisingly enjoyable. I learned a lot more about that scandalous relationship between Wallis and Edward, and liked the whole movie on the whole.
The styling was fantastic, the atmosphere perfect, and the only gripe I had was the disjointed flow of the movie which perhaps was the point, chronicling the life of modern-day Wally with Wallis Simpson.
What a GREAT movie.
This guy gets a pill that makes him hyper-aware like Sherlock Holmes, and just going through a movie with lots of action but none of that typical American gun-slinging, huge bomb explosions and Rambo-style cinema, makes it an excellent film for me.
I find that a lot of American action films are too predictable for me (guy gets a gun, guy meets girl, guy and girl get into some sort of gun and bomb action with some car chases, everything ends well), and this film was not predictable in that kind of way.
I don’t know what’s up with these movies in 2008 that just have one-word names, but I heard good things about them, so I watched them.
Wanted was an okay movie. I think it was trying to be a bit Matrix meets Fight Club, and it didn’t succeed for me.
It’s about this rather sweaty, nervous guy that finds out he’s a natural assassin that’s part of an age-old group of assassins called the Weavers, which you would think is cool but… I found it rather bland.
I guess most people watched it because of Angelina Jolie, because I didn’t find it very good as a plot, or exciting.
I found it… typically American. You’re going to hear this a lot, but for me, it was mostly action without substance.
AGAIN, a one-word name movie!
This one was also a “meh” movie for me. I found it to definitely be typically American, with a lot of car scenes, fights with guns, action and of course, a very happy ending because no American movie can end with anyone not getting what they want.
Basically, Liam Neeson has his daughter kidnapped, which only goes to prove that young, hot virgins by the age of 16 (yeah like they really exist any more these days), that go on European trips alone with slutty best friends, are sure to be kidnapped by the evil foreigners to be sold as prostitutes to other disgusting, foreign countries full of perverts who would buy drugged girls.
I have observed that these “evil foreigners” are typically made up of the evil French (Americans have a thing with using French guys as bad guys, see Oceans 12 as a reference), black guys, Arabs, and other Eastern Europeans like Albanians in this case.
Sometimes they’re Russian because of that whole Cold War thing.
Oh and the guy that is the mastermind behind all of this, is obviously… American.
He just has foreign henchmen.
All you hot 16-year old virgin girls out there, be careful going to Paris to follow a U2 tour with a slutty best friend.
I found it again, to be as I said, typically American and not interesting at all. I guess the movies I like have a bit more of a wit and mental twist to them like Ocean’s 11. (I have a penchant for masterminded robberies).
WHAT I READ
(HAHA. IRONY. This was my best (worst?) shopping month this 2013 😛 )
This book got a really low score on Amazon, but it was actually an amazing read.
For me, anyway. I consider myself a bit of a shopaholic. At least, I have Splurging tendencies (hence the blog name), and when I read this book, I could relate to some of what this fictional character was feeling.
What makes this work of fiction so different from chicklit like the Shopaholic series is that it isn’t funny as it is raw, bracing, and FULL OF STATISTICS.
Great stats peppered the book, as well as names of books on shopping and shopaholics, about how much credit card debt people carry and so on.
I really liked that insertion of factual information in between what I considered to be excellent writing. I also really liked the mention of the actual pieces in there by name (I knew a lot of them, unsurprisingly).
It’s also kind of ironic I read this book in the month I did the most shopping in, so far. 😛
I LOVED this book. I know some people might find his personality (Schultz’s) a bit smug but I did not get that feeling at all because I LOVED IT.
I think he is humble (it is hard to write to portray how you really are in real life, being a blogger, I know how that feels), and he gives a LOT of credit to people around him for having believed in him, made him grow, challenged him, etc.
Loved. LOVED. LOVED this book. I like Starbucks even more after reading this, and learning about all the business hurdles, anxieties, and troubles they went through.
I also really like him as a person after reading this.
The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafes, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour
The Essence of Style: How the French Invented High Fashion, Fine Food, Chic Cafes, Style, Sophistication, and Glamour is not only a really long title, but it was a VERY interesting book.
I learned so much about all the things that are typically attributed to French people, and was amused by anecdotes about the original Bling King – the Sun King. (Former President Sarkozy had NOTHING on this guy!!)
I learned how all these industries were invented, and was particularly impressed by that genius Jean-Baptiste Colbert behind the scenes as the Controller of General Finance. The guy in my mind, basically invented enterprises (companies)! The company he created is basically still in business today as well (Saint-Gobain), originally making mirrors.
Full of great history, intrigue, interesting anecdotal stories. I’ll never look at a mirror the same way again, nor a cafe. 🙂
How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Discoveries and Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat and Drink
If you are a bit of a foodie AND a history buff like I am, this is a great book to read.
I like reading about how companies started, happy accidents that became success stories, and this book fulfills that.
It’s just neat to see how things like ice cream cones came about, popsicles, twinkies, etc. This is a very easy read and it’s interesting to boot.
It was also a bit disgusting to read at times because how pink lemonade supposedly came about, was when a guy selling lemonade ran out of water, found a bathtub full of PINK water from the dye that came out of some performer’s red tights, and used THAT water to make “strawberry / pink” lemonade.
The truth is stranger than fiction and I am betting this is exactly how pink lemonade came about — from dirty, dyed, red tights-water.
A truly excellent book if you are interested in history, and food. It’s like the two things came together and had a lovely baby.
It goes into the history of each utensil, how pots and pans changed our lives, how kitchens evolved.. all fascinating stuff. It also gives some good scientific background to things that happen in the kitchen I was not aware of, and some fun history about how the microwave was invented for instance.
Great book. A good companion to read after the book I read above — How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun.
Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream
This is a fantastic book by Ariana Huffington of HuffPo.
I found the book chock full of statistics, grave predictions and many things that I myself observed while living in the U.S.. Let me be clear that I don’t wholly approve of the American consensus, system and attitude, but I very much like American people. I think on the whole, they work hard, are innovative and generally awesome people. It’s just a shame they’re ruining their own country (the ones at the top).
So it’s a children’s book, who is to say I can’t enjoy it!? Clearly a super fast read (maybe about 15 minutes), and very enjoyable. I had never read this particular book by my favourite children’s author Roald Dahl before.
WHAT I BOUGHT
SAVERS, AVERT YOUR EYES!… AGAIN!
IN FACT, JUST SKIP THIS PART.
For the rest of you voyeurs….
Let’s face it, you only come here to see what I spent my money on.
You don’t care about money or saving, because EVERYONE (mostly women except hardcore PF bloggers) tells me that THEY LOVE the posts detailing what I bought each month.
Vicarious living perhaps…?
Or schadenfreude as their net worth grows and mine decreases? 😛
Anyway I don’t care. This is anonymous and very reflective of reality for me.. right? RIGHT?!?!
So you will remember that about 3 years back, I spent about $2000 on a Burberry black Regimental cashmere and wool trench coat which looks like this (although the bottom half is a bit more flared out than pictured on the model. On the model, it looks more slim and fitted):
I have since worn it every single time I can, and I’d say I’ve worn it about 9 months so far.
$2000 / 9 months = $222.22 a month = $7.47 a day so far.
Cost-per-use keeps dropping.
I’m planning on wearing this thing to death, and repairing it as it needs to be repaired.
I’ve also been getting rid of stuff Made in China (even though some people have made very good points about myself already absorbing all the chemicals of new stuff anyway…), but I recently got rid of my Mackage dark green zippered trench rain coat because it was Made in China and it looked like this:
I also budgeted about $10,000 in total towards getting rid of stuff made in China to replace things in my wardrobe….
I hope you see where this is going now………and this should give you a hint. *guilty look*
BURBERRY BRIDLE GATE TRENCH COAT (SLIM FIT LONG TRENCH) IN HONEY – $1916
I bought a Burberry cotton trench coat ON SALE in the colour Honey.
(Focus on the words: ON SALE, please!)
ISN’T IT PRETTY!?
Cost me a pretty penny (actually more than a few pretty pennies), but it is made in England, and it can be worn 4 different ways because it came with 2 belts and 2 different types of cuff belts.
Here’s the second look with just the normal cotton cuffs and belt:
So I tried to tell myself (who am I kidding?) that it’s 4 coats for the price of one, or $479 a coat!
(Welcome to Justification Of Expensive Purchases Land! Everyone welcome. Namaste.)
Did I mention it was also on sale at $400 off?
(Now entering The Justification Theme Park in Justification Land)
And I can’t really find ANY classic Burberry trenches ever in consignment shops or thrift stores, so I WILL NEVER find this any cheaper?
(Getting on the Justification Twirl-a-Whirl Ride right now)
Okay, so it’s really the true retail price on “sale” at $400 off or at a 19% discount, but as I can attest to from going into the store over 2 years, their trenches never really go on sale unless they’re hideous (leather trim, weird colours, etc).
Their classic cuts that don’t look strange, don’t go on sale, and NOT IN MY SIZE!
I really lucked out on this one because it is more of a classic style, and it was the last size 2 in all of North America (they aren’t making any more of this style, it isn’t a “classic” piece, but a collection piece that riffs on a classic).
I put it on and it just.. clicked.
You know how they say “love at first sight?”, I felt it with this jacket.
(Screw it. No justification needed. I just wanted it.)
Here are the 4 ways you can wear it (I personally like #2 the best because the belt is easy to tie and untie, and the cuffs give something different.)
The cuff hook at the neck is nice.
I really like these double leather straps on the cuffs.
This is what the similar Burberry trench coat looks like in other photos on a person standing straight:
MADE IN ENGLAND!
OUT OF JAPANESE COTTON!
I AM TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU (AND MYSELF) HOW WORTHY THIS PURCHASE WAS!!
If you want a similar style, I hear that Banana Republic trench coats, and J. Crew ones are similar, but for me (a genuine snob), they’re made in China and they just won’t feel like a real Burberry for me.
The cut is just perfect in Burberry, whereas the other coats will need alterations, and don’t quite hang right…
(How can they for 1/5th of the price, keeping in mind they’re made in China?)
Yeah. I’m a snob. I’ll admit to that.
SOME GREAT REASONS WHY COATS SHOULD LOOK AS LUXE AS POSSIBLE
I am not on board with spending $2000 on a t-shirt or a dress, but for a coat? Yeah. I am.
Obviously I’m biased because I JUST bought a coat from Burberry but…
- In Spring/Autumn, the coat is the only piece of clothing everyone will see you wear. What you have on underneath could be sweatpants and a t-shirt, but the coat over top, will be the finishing topper the world actually sees.
- It just makes you feel so good to throw one on over your slightly ragged clothes and still feel polished.
- It gives you a shiver of happiness each time you wear it (true story, I still feel great wearing my winter Burberry trench cashmere & wool coat)
- You won’t believe the compliments (unsolicited and not me going: HEY! Look at my super cuuute coat!) from people who don’t even know who or what Burberry is, but can see that the trench coat falls perfectly, fits like a dream, and looks impeccable.
Oh, and because the shopping didn’t stop there (how could it? I was already $1916 in the hole (taxes included)), I also picked up the Rag & Bone for Aritizia Legging in an Olive green.
RAG & BONE FOR ARITZIA OLIVE GREEN LEGGING – $210
I love my Gunmetal leggings SO MUCH that olive green is the other colour I’d go for other than indigo blue (not available in Canada).
I don’t like the Rag & Bone colours — they’re so stupidly pastel or an odd shade of green that makes me think of an elf.
Apparently Aritzia thought the same thing and asked them to make their exact leggings but in a colour of their choice:
I bought them in the same size 26 and will get the waist taken in 3 inches because I really don’t like pants that are skintight but at the same time, I don’t want them falling down.
The fabric is a modal cotton from Japan, and it’s sewn in the U.S.
I also got them tailored.
IT WAS A $2200 DAY JUST ON 2 PIECES OF CLOTHING.
Then the following week, I also bought a Tilley hat (for my trip to Europe), because wearing a nylon Tilley hat is like wearing a plastic bag on your head.
TILLEY HEMP HAT REVIEW – $84
That one was a measly $84.
See how cheap it was in comparison to my other purchases?
I was positively frugal buying this hemp hat.
(Enter Mochimac starring as a Becky Bloomwood double from The Shopaholic Series.)
And this was all done before the 15th of June, or mid-June.
(*fans anyone who fainted of a heart attack while reading through this*)
Anyway, this is THE BEST hat ever. It’s so good, I told my mother (practically forced her) into agreeing to buy one as well because she burns a lot more easily than I do.
MAJESTIC FILATURES LINEN WRAP – $130
Purchased this for my trip to Europe as a wrap to cover my arms with. It’ll get hot there and I don’t want to get burned. Linen is also perfect for the summer!
Made in Portugal! 🙂
PRELOVED TRAVEL WALLET – $35
I LOVE Preloved (they recycle old fabrics and clothing to make cool new things) but I can never find any pattern I like in my size (hard, as it’s all recycled fabric, repurposed, and there’s only one of its kind in any kind of size made).
So I picked up this travel wallet instead to hold my folded papers, passport and the like.
It is meant to be a clutch but I’ll never use it like that.
ERIN TEMPLETON ELK TOTE BAG – $296 – with a 25% discount just for being nice!
Speaking of bags, I saw this bag in the store and had to have it.
In fact, I walked FAR… FAR AWAY from the bag down the street, and walked back to the store half an hour later because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
The lady gave me a discount of 25% too, just for asking 😛
This particular bag is made in Canada by Erin Templeton of Vancouver, and this one is made out of elk leather which is sustainable leather of the area (or so I am led to believe), and she dyes and tans the leathers herself.
That’s why it’s so expensive…
She has other bags too, and they’re just as nice, made out of recycled leather, some of it obviously imported from other countries (China?)
But this one is 100% Canadian, both made, dyed, tanned, and with elk leather from Canada.
What attracted me to it was how simple it was.
No frills, SUPER SUPER SOFT LEATHER, a pocket in front with no clasp, clasps inside that can fully close into a bucket bag (2 sets of clasps on all 4 corners).
A simple zippered pocket.. then SPACE.
I. LOVE. IT.
REEF CHAMPAGNE LEATHER FLIP FLOPS – $55
I balked at paying $55 for flip flops. Trust me, I was gagging when I saw the price.
….but they are in leather, and they put a footbed in them, so they are FREAKING comfortable.
They’re made in Brazil (handmade), of the leather from there in a sustainable community, so I feel a tiny bit better about the price.
They feel SO good. Once you put these on, you will never go back to cheap plastic flip flops.
DEEP STEEP BODY BUTTER IN BERGAMOT AND GRAPEFRUIT – $10
It smells great from essential oils, and I am hoping this will be the trick for when I travel.
I can’t bring coconut oil because it will melt into a nasty liquid and seep all over my things in my bag (yes it happened once), so this body lotion will be just for traveling / the interim.
SILK JAPANESE KIMONO JACKET (SHORT) – $135
Wearable artwork but this time I’ll actually wear it!
I have a thing for collecting these beautiful kimonos, and I plan on displaying them one day.
ELITE YOGA PAWS – $40
I really like doing yoga, even when I am traveling but I NEVER pack my mat because it’s so heavy and annoying to do so.
Therefore, enter YOGA PAWS!
These are also supposed to be good on a mat as well to really provide an extra grip (I keep sliding..)
Update: I tried them out and they WORK LIKE A DREAM! The foot paw is a bit strange, but it works perfectly fine and now my Down Dog poses are effing epic.
They only work best TOTALLY ALONE on hardwood floors or tiles, I tried them out on my mat and they aren’t as great as I thought they would be. They don’t really velcro down, and I slipped about 50% less, but I still slipped on my mat which is not what I was expecting.
I will be even more awesome when I travel now.
If you want to buy a pair, use the coupon code: YP10 for 10% off.
I don’t get a referral or any money from it.
Just passing on the coupon love.
RETURNED: LULULEMON YOGA BAG REVIEW – $148
I am already not sure I am going to keep it (2 weeks to return it), but I was getting sick of my yoga mat sliding out of the spiral, wrapped in the previously super minimalist yoga straps (Loop it Up) I had purchased to hold it.
It also just annoys me that it swings and isn’t secure in a bag.
So I bit the bullet, went to Lululemon and bought this yoga bag. I am not keen on it because it’s Made in China, but I kind of have no other alternative store at the moment that doesn’t make their goods in China and has practical yoga stuff.
I also don’t like the price.
Here are the other things I don’t like about this (silly) Sand to Savasana bag so far:
- The straps/handles suck. I HATE their stupid insistence on using seatbelts as shoulder straps. THEY DON’T BLOODY STAY ON YOUR GODDAMN SHOULDER. They slide like crazy and it’s effing annoying.
- The mat is not really stuck in there. No loop, no grip, nothing. You don’t even have the option of another zipper (like a 2-way one) to zip DOWN and hold the bag in place. It kind of just slides around in there.
- It’s too big. Massive actually.
- The colour is awful as are most of their ugly colours. It’s a silvery white and I am sure will look gross in no time. It was this, or black (I HATE) or this awful neon pink.
You know what?
I’ll probably end up returning it. I’m really not pleased at paying $148 for something I kind of hate, just because I have to “make do” with this stupid store.
UPDATE: Going to return it. I spent about 15 minutes writing out how much I hated this bag, and I’ll just stick to using my other option.
Lululemon’s quality and design touches in the bag have REALLY dropped in the past 3 years. They pretty much suck now.
2 X TRAVEL ADAPTERS – $20
I find that when I travel, I need about 3 adapters. One for my electric toothbrush, the second for my laptop, and the third to charge camera batteries.
It’s frustrating to just have ONE adapter you have to rotate and wait for, so I decided to splurge and buy 2 more so that I’d have 3 on me, this go around.
LEWIS AND CLARK RFID CREDIT CARD SLEEVES REVIEW – $7
$7 for a pack of 3. It looks JUST like paper but if you look closely you can see that they put a thin sheet of aluminium within the paper sleeve to prevent it from being scanned automatically.
There really is something there, it’s not crazy talk. I’ll be testing this theory out to confirm.
I am slightly paranoid, so this will be great for my credit cards that I can tap and pay with. I don’t want my information to be stolen by some mugger with a bag on the subway who “accidentally” bumps into me and taps my wallet to grab the info.
You can do a cheap man’s version of this by using some tinfoil wrapped around your credit cards as well.
I opted for the $7, classier version of a sleeve.
Update: I just tested it out at the store today and IT WORKS! I tried tapping it in the sleeve and it wouldn’t beep. I removed it, and it beeped. *paranoid alleviated*
SENNHEISER MX 470 EARBUD HEADPHONES REVIEW – $9 — Originally $40
No the price is not a typo!
My old headphones were dying (read: the foam replacement pads were wearing out and it sucks without any foam padding).
They were originally $39.99, marked down to $33.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart, and I used my $30 rewards certificate towards it, which after taxes, came out to about $9.
So far, I REALLY like them. They give you 3 different sizes of earbud covers, and the biggest one seems to fit my ear well, but scratches it slightly, so I also covered them in the foam covers (double padding).
Now they REALLY fit in my ear and grip well. The bass also sounds great on this, much better than my crappy old headphones.
OPTEX SD CARD READER REVIEW – $3 — Originally $15
Again, NOT a typo!
I went back to Shoppers and picked up the Optex SD Card reader in a separate transaction so I could use $10 or my 8000 points towards it.
Ended up scoring it for $3, which is exactly what I needed for my trip so that I save the camera battery…
I’ve used it, and it does what it’s supposed to.
FOOT PETALS ( FOUND IN CANADA AT NINE WEST LOCATIONS)
I love Foot Petals. They work very well for almost any shoe, except the heel liners (I prefer the grey foam ones of Dr. Scholls)
Okay, That’s it. I’m done.
Er.. did anyone pass out??? *worried look*