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

March 2016: What I bought, watched and read

I read SO MUCH this month in an attempt to stave off mental boredom. I’ve also taken to listening to podcasts on my iPod while playing with Baby Bun. I need to do it or I’ll go nuts.

This is what I read, all these Harry Bosch crime fiction novels (I was on a roll):

THE ALMOST NEARLY PERFECT PEOPLE

I confess to having known nothing at all about Scandinavian folks except that I very much enjoy their Ikea aesthetic with blonde-wood, white walls and soft blankets. Oh, and how amazing they are with progressive parental leave, daycares, education system etc.

Then I read this book. Written by a Brit ex-pat whose wife is Danish, I was not sure what to expect but couldn’t put it down.

SO GOOD.

It really teaches you all about all the different nuances between each country up there, the stereotypes given to each by each other, and how they don’t really get along and sing Kumbayah around the wood log burning fire in soft cosy cashmere wool-blended sweaters.

He also writes with a very acerbic British wit which I very much enjoy. I was giggling out loud at some parts.

VOGUE ON YVES SAINT LAURENT

Excellent as usual.


Vogue covers major designers and YSL looks so different to me now, knowing the history and how he came about his designs which were subversive at the time he started but became a little outdated by the time of his departure when Elbaz took over to breathe life back into the brand.

Vogue does all the major designers, I suggest looking at all of them! The writing is top notch.

MY PARIS DREAM

I wasn’t sure what to expect but this is part biography/memoir, and part food for the Francophile soul with a very realistic look into French people, how rude/honest (depending on how you look at it) they can be and finding yourself at the end.

Think of it like Eat, Pray, Love but with a lot more fashion thrown in.

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

A fast, fluffy read in bullet-point mode on how fashion week works.

Not amazing, wouldn’t really recommend it, but if you’re bored, flip through it. I skimmed it…

TALES FROM THE BACK ROW

Her writing is a little crude, which doesn’t surprise me because she is my age and that is sort of how most people my age speak/write.

That said, I ENJOYED HER BOOK. I liked reading it, I liked reading about her different tales from the back row and all of her little gossipy dishes about celebrities here and there.

It’s a nice, fluffy read. Style-focused but not obsessed. 😉

EAT PRAY LOVE

I finally read this book….and I really liked it. It’s a little too spiritual for me, but I like the food descriptions, her writing is excellent and connected with my soul.

She made me a little more spiritual at the end of it but I am still a confirmed atheist… who sometimes reads her zodiac. 😉

MINDLESS EATING

For anyone who wants to lose weight, eat better or like me, just know more about the psychology of food and eating, then read this book.

It is full of excellent examples, great tips and not only that, interesting experiments that were conducted.

MADEMOISELLE CHANEL

An excellent novel written as imagined from the first person’s perspective of Coco Chanel, as if you are in her brain.

SO GOOD.


Excellent biography giving another look at Coco’s life in a way I have not read before (and I have read all the Coco Chanel biographies available)…

It is really well written, very personal, emotional and a TRUE look into the mind of Chanel as an independent, fierce businesswoman.

I REALLY RECOMMEND IT.

A STUDY IN SHERLOCK

I’m obsessed with the character, so I had to read this book .. it is a bunch of short stories with Sherlock as the feature but written by various writers, from different time periods, perspectives… some of them are REALLY good and others I was not sold on.

Still, a great book to read if you love Sherlock Holmes the way I do.

GLAMOUROUS BY GEORGE

A nice everyday style book by this guy named George. I don’t know him nor have I watched his shows, but he sounds like a great guy who is practical and a great stylist. Good tips in there! I took a few notes of some stores but otherwise, I think I have this style thing down pat.

BEING AUDREY HEPBURN

This is chick-lit. To tell you just how much I would recommend it, I actually can’t even remember what the story is about or that I read it.

:\

Pass.

A MIND FOR NUMBERS

A great book to learn how to study and absorb information better. Great tips, excellent anecdotes and well worth a quick read through.

CHASING HARRY WINSTON

I liked this book a lot. It is chick-lit of course, and it is well written.. A good way to pass the time quickly.

(She was the author of The Devil Wears Prada which is still a better chick-lit book).

SHOPAHOLIC TO THE RESCUE

You know how you are so in love with something you can’t see the forest for the trees?

This book is that. I love the shopaholic series. I ADORE Sophie Kinsella when she writes the series.. but this book jumped the shark, just like the last one — Shopaholic to the Stars.

Her writing is getting worse and worse, I’m sorry to say because it is not genuine any more.

I think it is evident she is under pressure to produce MORE bestselling shopaholic books featuring Becky Bloomwood and she is just.. running out of ideas and steam. Kind of like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes, but on a fluffier scale… you know, one trimmed with fur and covered in pink glitter of course.

Take a break, please! Relax. Enjoy your money. Stop writing Becky Bloomwood stuff until you can find inspiration. 🙁

Another chick-lit writer I love is Marian Keyes.

She is fantastic and I love her writing and her spirit EVEN MORE after reading these two books.

MARIAN KEYES – UNDER THE DUVET & FURTHER UNDER THE DUVET

They’re not books as they are short anecdotes or memories for the most part. Excellent little articles that are published or unpublished, and she writes with such a genuine flow. I really connect with some of her characters or even snippets of her thoughts and I appreciate how much of a shoe-fanatic she is.

(YAY FOR STYLE!)

Fabulous writer, and an even more beautiful woman particularly with how witty she is. 🙂

RACHEL’S HOLIDAY – MARIAN KEYES

I didn’t love the book only because it dealt with a subject that I have zero experience to knowledge about — addiction.

That said, I still thoroughly enjoyed her writing and finished the book.

If you know people, or have struggled through addiction and need a light hearted read, THIS IS IT. I wholly enjoy her work.

I recommend it but not if you have a sensitivity to the above subjects.

Or maybe.. if you do?

SUSHI FOR BEGINNERS – MARIAN KEYES

A great read from Keyes again. This one is an underdog girl (my favourite kind) who rises above…. and through it all, while being thoroughly sweet and nice. She of course meets an alpha bitchy female who is actually a little sensitive and wounded (my favourite kind as well), who learns compassion and finds her true self at the end.

Loved it. Great chicklit. I highly recommend this one.

NOT MY FATHER’S SON

Alan Cumming is a fantastic actor.

He is so incredible in The Good Wife that when you read his memoir, you realize just how much he has overcome to be who he is.. and perhaps as a part of his horrific childhood, he became a better, more determined actors as a result.

WARNING: Do not read this if you aren’t OK with a horrific childhoods (are a little sensitive and will get depressed from it, I mean) then I kindly implore you to not read this book.

I do not have a sensitivity to reading about childhood horrors and trauma, but with Baby Bun on my lap, I was tearing up a few times with my heart fighting to not break into a million pieces, hearing what his father did to his family.

A great memoir however. I have even more respect for him than I did before.

WHAT I BOUGHT

I tailored a few items that went unworn in my closet.

It was asymmetrical and made me cringe each time I tried to wear it, so I never wore it even though I LOVE THE PRINT.

So chopped off the sleeve and now it looks like this:

A photo posted by Sherry @ Save. Spend. Splurge. (@saverspender) on


And then I was left with silk scraps….

So because I was Mommy-at-home-and-bored, I made two necklaces out of some Carven map print silk fabric I had leftover from tailoring a top I NEVER wore because of the stupid sleeve on one side that looked so.. OFF.

I started with this:

And it ended up as this:

I started with this:

And it ended up as this:

Also, I discovered Winners.

*sigh*

Oh.

Winners.

THE INTERNAL CONVERSATION I HAD WITH MYSELF AT WINNERS

Self: OMG these skirts and these scarves look INCREDIBLE.

Sherry: Uh huh. But aren’t you on this Luxe Minimalism ban where you only get 3 Outs for the whole year?

Self: But… BUT… Kate Spade, this skirt is from their Madison Avenue collection, and it is only $150! RETAIL PRICE IS $800!!!!!

Sherry: SO? SO? Do you need another skirt in your wardrobe? Another ABSTRACT FLORAL SKIRT?

If I see another… Ooooooo.. it has pockets.

OMG. IT HAS POCKETS.

Pleated, abstract poppy skirt with POCKETS? And it’s only $150?

Self: I tol’ ya!

Sherry: Okay fine… but this is only ONE item allowed then you’re done with all of your Outs.

Self: Look, this Luxe Minimalism thing is working really well for me but not this Restrictive 3 Out rule. You know how badly I rebel against rules and hate being told what to do.

Sherry: True. Why ARE you restricting yourself anyway?

Self: Because I feel like I should. Everyone says I should.

Sherry: You have all of this money saved, maxed out retirement accounts, make a large income when you work and have 30 years left to go.

Why… not?

I mean, just buy quality items, revel in the deal you get and stop carrying around this guilt.

Self: .. You’re right. Why am I so hard on myself and torturing myself with challenges I cannot EVER KEEP because I don’t need to or want to?

Sherry: There there… have a Kate Spade scarf or two to dry your tears…

And that my friends, is how this all happened this month at Winners:

KATE SPADE SCARF – PINK MANHATTAN VERSION – $60

kate-spade-pink-manhattan-scarf-detail

I own the yellow version but the pink one has fantastic little hand drawn pictures all over the streets in certain areas!

It is more fun and whimsical than the yellow and black version which looks like a proper road map.

KATE SPADE FLAMINGO SCARF – $60

kate-spade-take-a-walk-on-the-wild-side-flamingo-scarf

I was trying to decide between TWO flamingo scarves and in the end I should have taken both because I think they’re whimsical and fun.

The other one was covered in HUGE flamingos across the front but it had hideous black pom poms but in hindsight I could have snipped them off…

Nothing haunts you like The One(s) That Get Away, amirite?

Anyway, I love this one. Very fun.

Here are some great Kate Spade NY scarves like the above ones:

Some similar linen scarves:


WHITE EMBROIDERED FLOWER LINEN SCARF – $20

Baby Bun’s favourite scarf @liketoknow.it www.liketk.it/2fWfR #liketkit #style #fashion

A photo posted by Sherry @ Save. Spend. Splurge. (@saverspender) on

Baby Bun loved this one. He kept petting the embroidered flower and LOVES it each time I wear it.

Really, I bought it for him.

Similar scarves:

ORANGE MAP SCARF WITH TEAL FRINGE – $20

Nothing better than a #wanderlust inspired map printed scarf @liketoknow.it www.liketk.it/2fVXq #liketkit #style #fashion

A photo posted by Sherry @ Save. Spend. Splurge. (@saverspender) on

I am a sucker for travel-inspired items and map-printed things. So this had to come home with me.

Similar scarves:

KENZO MULTI-FLOWER SILK SCARF – $140

In love with this gorgeous floral scarf!! #style #shopping @liketoknow.it www.liketk.it/2fOxB #liketkit

A photo posted by Sherry @ Save. Spend. Splurge. (@saverspender) on

They originally retail for $300 – $500 and this print is gorgeous. Reminds me of the Gucci floral print actually but way more graphic and beautiful.

Look at the flowers!

Loving the print of this scarf … !! #style

A photo posted by Sherry @ Save. Spend. Splurge. (@saverspender) on

Similar scarves:

MAX MARA WEEKEND RIMA BRUSHSTROKE SKIRT – $140

max-mara-weekend-rima-skirt-4

Original retail price is around $315 USD and I got it for $140 CAD.

P.S. I am off the 3 Outs Ban, but I am still on a Luxe Minimalism lifestyle challenge where I really examine what I buy and force myself to acknowledge why.

This is from 2014, so I cannot find the exact Rima skirt, but here are some similar options:

KATE SPADE SILK AVALON SKIRT – $150

kate-spade-madison-avenue-avalon-skirt-2

This is from their Madison Avenue collection and it originally retailed for $800 but I snagged it for $150!

It’s a GORGEOUS floral a-line skirt from 2014.

Similar floral skirts are here:

ZARA TWEED JACKET – $125

I have been DYING for a tweed jacket, Chanel-inspired for such a long time that I had to buy it.

I had to take a medium for my shoulders but the Small would have fit, if not for my shoulders.

The quality is not bad but the cotton sheds all over the place without being shaken out and snipped with scissors and cleaned up.

I also got rid of the stupid black bow.

It was only on one side so when you wore it open, it hung down, dragged the whole side down and looked SO STUPID.

And… it is too twee for me.


It looks way better like this, dressed down with jeans.

Then the shoes.

OH THE SHOES…!!! I replaced 4 pairs of worn out flats I tossed in the garbage and got these instead.

MASSIMO BALDI LEATHER SANDALS WITH CHUNKY WOODEN HEEL – $77

massimo-baldi-chunky-wooden-heel-sandals

These chunky wooden heels were so not my thing.. until I tried them on and loved how sturdy they were and comfortable the leather straps were.

They would look more casual than a stiletto heel and I could wear them out with Baby Bun without feeling shaky.

LOVE!

Similar sandals:

LEVEL 99 CHLOE BOOTCUT IN LUNA WASH – $32

level99-chole-bootcut-luna-wash

$32!! It was marked down from $60.

This brand is amazing. They FEEL like AG jeans but I will note that the fabric is not 97% cotton like AG but more Tencel, etc.

Still. SO CHEAP.

Exact Level 99 Jeans:

VINCE CAMUTO FERRARIA BOW CHARM FLAT IN NUDE – $60

vince-camuto-Ria-Flat-Bow-charm-ballet-flat-oat-aspen-calf-leather

I am getting rid of that stupid charm in front with some clippers.

I also think this is a great alternative to my Banana Republic Ashley flats which they no longer make *sob*… I will replace those with these.

Similar shoes:

MARIA BROMONTS TAN SUEDE CAGE SANDALS – $60

These are for a wedding, I PROMISE.

4″ heels, stiletto, suede leather cage sandal and it will be casual, fancy and fantastic with any dress.

Similar shoes:

IVANKA TRUMP LACE-UP NUDE FLAT – $60

ivanka-trump-tropica-ghillie-nude-pointy-flat

Couldn’t resist the trend for 2016 for $60. You can buy the exact shoe here, it’s called Tropica.

They’re kind of neutral and pretty.. very ballet-style.

Surprising for a blowhard’s daughter but her name carries chic shoes. I’m really surprised.

They are also padded and VERY comfy.

Exact shoe here.

Similar laced up options below:

BLOWFISH FLAT BROWN STRAPPED SANDALS – $30

Then some casual beach sandals in leather and dark brown. Very comfy.

Here are some similar options from Blowfish, all under $50:

I guess it is fair to say I blew the whole #LuxeMinimalism challenge with my 3 outs? *sob*


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, 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 (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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March 2012: What I bought

Posted on March 26, 2012

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22 Comments

  1. Gina

    Based on your recommendation I read Tales from the Back Row on my plane flight to Rotterdam. It was really good – and helped me deal with (actually ignore) all the people in the airport and plane. I now am reading Under the Duvet and liking it a lot. I never would have picked it up if I hadn’t read your little note on it. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      You’re welcome! I will keep voraciously reading to help spread on the love.

      Reply
  2. Michelle

    Absolutely loving the books, fashion, and shoes. I am so relieved that we are moving away from the skinny fit and back to boot cut. Much more flattering. I can’t wait to work through the list of books and Marian Keyes is one of my favorite authors for light reads.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I am not a fan of bootcut I find that skinny is my wheelhouse right now or straight leg..

      Reply
  3. Tania

    TY for the book recommendations! I’m very interested in The Almost Nearly Perfect People. I know very little about my European side as I grew up with more exposure to my Asian side of the family (1/4 German, 1/4 Danish & 1/2 Okinawan). I used to be a big scarf person but find I haven’t been wearing scarves as much as I have in the past and perhaps should let go of at least a few. You found some lovely choices. In complete agreement about Kinsella. The last one I read was when Becky became a celebrity stylist in Hollywood and it was awful. It wasn’t smart or funny, the character felt ridiculous and annoying.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      It is an excellent book. Great, dry wit and a nice look into each culture.

      Reply
  4. The Asian Pear

    So many pretty prints!! I love the skirt the most though!

    Reply
  5. SarahN

    Oh you are well and truly off your ban…. Yikes.

    I did like the brushstrokes skirt the most – but wouldn’t buy it as I wouldn’t get the wear out of it. I do like the brown strappy heels, not something I own, but should try?

    You better wear those scarves A LOT 😉

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Baby Bun loves my white scarf with the dots. He keeps petting it. 🙂 It’s adorable. Then he wants to wear it so we play dress up!

      The brown heels are for me to just feel more stylish.

      Reply
  6. Jess

    You looked into what motivates you to shop in this post, so you know your triggers well and you mitigate against them when you want/choose to.
    https://www.savespendsplurge.com/luxe-minimalism-for-the-new-shopping-year/

    Then here you talked about WHY you want things, “I need to consider things more carefully before buying them and look deep into why I want them”
    https://www.savespendsplurge.com/luxe-minimalism-challenge-about-why-i-want-things/

    You’ve talked about ethical consumerism and quality over time and that your interest in fashion is evident. That’s fair enough, after all let’s say if someone has an interest in horse riding and spent lots of money on riding gear, people wouldn’t bat an eye because it’s -their- hobby, right?

    I’m curious how all this fits in together… how come you acknowledge your interests and habits, but still wanted to do challenges? Was the motivator to save more money, or to refrain from consumerism for ethical reasons, or to be more of a “true” minimalist?
    “I am still on a Luxe Minimalism lifestyle challenge where I really examine what I buy and force myself to acknowledge why.” – it kind of seems to me that the “why” could be acknowledging that it’s simply because you have an interest in fashion, and that it’s OKAY to spend money on fashion because that’s what your interest is.

    Just curious what your thoughts are now 🙂

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      I do challenges because I think I’m weak. That’s basically it. It’s a macho-feminist no buying contest with myself, berating myself for spending all this money that I could put to other much more (shall we say) VALUABLE and PRAISED funds like a home fund, and so on.

      I’m beating myself up, financially. That’s it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am being hard on myself because I feel like it is not who I was before, and what I used to do but I have come to the realization that people can change, and if I want to upgrade my clothing / fashion lifestyle because it brings actual joy to pick out outfits and have everything be different or whatever, then why am I denying myself the pleasure of wearing …. art?

      Great points, I’m still mulling over the whole bit and will probably write a post on this but that’s the core of it — I feel guilty for wanting pretty “frivolous” things because everywhere I turn, people basically shun what I love (style, fashion, dressing up), and call it vapid in contrast to all the other things that money could be used towards instead.

      Reply
      1. Jess

        Thanks for responding! I think an interest in style and fashion suffers from being attacked because it’s where most people DO spend frivolously on cheap trendy fast fashion and don’t give a second thought about consumerism. From what we see in real life and in movies, it’s easy to think fashion = airhead bimbo who goes shopping every weekend and blows their pay on clothes and has no idea about their finances. But if you were to put it into the context of any other hobby, spending money is reasonable and accepted, i.e.:
        – I go to a Dharma Centre for classes and regularly put in donations, at the moment I can only afford a small donation but if I had more means I could easily be putting in a significant amount to support the centre if I felt it was worthy. One beloved member of the centre had donated $600’000 over her lifetime.
        – My friend makes handmade soaps and beauty products and she had to spend thousands of dollars initially to get equipment and ingredients and test stuff out, even if a lot of stuff failed and feels like money was ‘wasted’
        – The Partner pays hundreds of dollars for basketball team fees, court hire, basketball clothes and shoes, and that’s just playing socially. When he was trialling to play professionally there were greater fees, costs to play away games, costs to travel to other countries for the chance to be spotted by a scouter, etc.

        I don’t think that anybody would berate the above examples and say “You shouldn’t go to class/make things/play sports and put the money away wisely instead”. No-one thinks twice about the costs because the activity is socially accepted.

        I think you really do demonstrate your values in quality and ethical consumerism and interest in fashion. You might keep trying to legitimise your hobby but maybe eventually you’ll just not care what people think if they are not interested in understanding you?

        Reply
        1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

          What a great point. I guess shopping & style is my hobby…!! I should become a stylist and call this a job.

          Reply
  7. AdinaJ

    If you’re ever thinking of clearing out some of your Anthropologie pieces … you, um, let me know ok? Happy to help with your closet clean out 😉

    Love that Kenzo scarf. And welcome to the Winners lovers club, lol.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      LOL! You are such an Anthro fiend. I will take a look through my closet.. I don’t think I have much Anthro left to be honest.

      The Winners club is the DEVIL.

      Reply
  8. Cassie

    Lol, I was wondering how long the three item restriction would last given how heavily you were shopping leading up to the new year. I was going to ask if these purchases coincided with the closet collapse, but I can see you already answered that in another comment 😉 You totally killed it in the shoe department this month! I’m drooling over both pairs of scrappy heels and the nude ballet flats you picked up.

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      *sobs* Don’t remind me of my closet …

      Actually my partner told me it was also that I overloaded the shelf with stock like contact lens solution, soap, and tons of HEAVY toiletries as storage when it is not meant for that.

      Then I stacked on all my coats, all my blazers, hung 2 HUGE shelving things that contained shoes….

      No wonder it collapsed.

      Reply
  9. Jessica

    Oh well, the best laid plans, right?! 🙂 This month’s purchases were totally worth giving the heave-ho to your plan! I’m so in love with those Kate Spade scarves.

    I’m definitely going to read The Almost Nearly Perfect People. We’re actually heading Copenhagen next week!

    http://bedknobsandbaubles.com/

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      Meh I say.

      As long as I don’t go into debt, I’m not too worried about it. I’m far from being destitute from a little shopping… what’s the point of all this money if I don’t enjoy it? And I do enjoy spending it on style so.. *shrug*

      Reply
  10. Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial

    Love the scarves and skirts! Though, didn’t you just clean out your closet because there wasn’t any more room?

    Reply
    1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

      YES! I bought all this stuff before it collapsed. Now the ban is truly, well on. I have no more space, I need to start chucking stuff.

      That said, I went through my closet and realized that half of what I wanted to clean out aren’t even fit for donations, they’re too old & ratty. Now my closet is breathing again…

      Reply

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