In Style, What I bought

November 2012: What I Bought

I call this the month of Winterizing. I bought stuff for the long, cold Canadian winters ahead, which kind of look like this….

CANADIAN POLICE CAR CHASE

Also, has everyone met my new pet baby seal, Fluffypants??

cute-seal-white-snow-baby-arctic

She only knows one trick right now, but I’m working on teaching her more.

But isn’t she just ADORBS!? SOOOOO fluffy!!!

On to what I bought.

!!! FREE !!! E-BOOKS FROM AMAZON VIA SWAGBUCKS

I forgot to mention this in my previous roundups, but I’ve been buying e-books on Amazon with giftcards I’ve been earning via Swagbucks so far:

Also, I ran the numbers, and getting $5 Amazon gift cards works out to be a better deal than spending all my points and getting $50, so that’s what I’ve been slowly doing.

If you want to earn Swagbucks and get stuff for free, you can use my Swagbucks referral code here.


swagbucks-earn-free-things-referral-id-is-fabulouslybroke

I highly recommend it especially if you live in the U.S., and can buy STUFF online too.

MINI TOOTH BRUSHES

There’s a little secret that I’m actually quite obsessed with dental health.

Not with the whole getting your teeth as white as a porcelain toilet bowl, but more with actual dental HEALTH.

I brush, I floss, I try things to try and keep my teeth and gums healthy, because I read somewhere that it all starts in the mouth.

You can prevent a lot of diseases and problems, if you just take care of your teeth.

So I was super pleased when BF found these mini tooth brushes (literally), and you can use to clean in between you teeth in addition to flossing.

You’d be surprised what floss CAN’T bring out of your teeth sometimes, and these little brush things are incredible, or maybe you can use them in place of flossing (although it won’t fit into some super tight spaces).

I really like them. I just wish they weren’t plastic.

The white things are the caps…

THRIFTED ANTHROPOLOGIE EVA FRANCO ORAYA DRESS — $65

It looks brighter in person, less dark and drab.

More like this!

I had no clue this was an Anthropologie dress. It originally retailed for $188 USD, which means in Canada it would have been $228 CAD or more.

I got it for $65! The print looks like this up close in some areas: It didn’t fit perfectly in the back, but that lovely proprietress of Kensington Market’s Kali Maa SEWED IT FOR ME.

She seriously did the tailoring for me in half an hour, FOR FREE so that I would consider buying the dress for $65.

Otherwise I would have left it, because tailoring would have cost $65 in and of itself.

All I knew was I liked the print on it (someone described it as fabric on acid), which turned out to be some trippy desert cacti print with an overlay of cartoon-y dots.

I am not entirely in love with the bright orange sash (the colour jars me a little), but I figure if it really bothers me, I’ll just wrap it around myself, and put another belt over it.

Maybe a dark red, or a leather obi belt, which I incidentally did NOT have in my belt wardrobe, and ended up purchasing!

THRIFTED CASHMERE SWEATERS — $30-$40 each — $100 total

Some of you are very grossed out by wearing secondhand items, but I’m not. I wash everything before I wear it, and I even throw a little tea tree oil in there for a bit of disinfectant.

IVORY SUTTON STUDIO SHAWL CASHMERE SWEATER — $30

It’s from Bloomingdale’s (it’s one of their brands), but it is so soft and cuddly… fabulous. It looks like this:

Cashmere-Shawl-Collar-Sweater-Ivory

RALPH LAUREN CASHMERE T-SHIRT SWEATER — $30

It’s a t-shirt rather than a long-sleeve sweater.

Feels great!

It looks kind of like this:

jcrew-cashmere-t-shirt

NEIMAN MARCUS CASHMERE SWEATER (GREY) — $40

It was a larger-sized men’s sweater that I think was accidentally shrunk in the wash which is why the tag said 2X (as in XL times 2), but the cuffs were tighter so it fit better and doesn’t feel too loose and floppy like it’s too big for me (as it did with the other men’s sweaters).

Looks sort of like this but in a darker heather grey..

grey-sweater-cashmere

MINI POST: WHY I BUY CASHMERE SECONDHAND @ COURAGE MY LOVE

What I can see, is that if I were to buy that cashmere sweater (a nice one), at retail in a store, it would cost me about $300 – $800.

$300, is if you buy it from J. Crew, where the cashmere is just a teeny bit itchy because it isn’t the super best quality of cashmere no matter what they say, and $500 – $800 is if you buy it from The Cashmere Shop in Yorkville, where they make all the goods by hand with the finest cashmere from Mongolia (no goats are harmed, just their nice soft, warm coat is taken each summer). ….but I am NOT willing to pay those prices quite yet.

I can pay $200 MAX at retail it for a cashmere shawl or $150 retail for a scarf from White + Warren who makes incredible cashmere pieces, but that’s my limit.

(Even White & Warren sweaters are a teeny bit itchy because they don’t seem to use the same cashmere in their sweaters as they do in their shawls and scarves, or they don’t do them as nicely. I don’t know what it is.)

So I buy cashmere secondhand for $30 – $40 per sweater from Kensington Market at Courage My Love, I wash it once before I wear it, and check it before I wash it again to get that slight incense/sandalwood smell out of the clothes.

Labels don’t matter much to me.

What I care about is thickness (ply), softness and how NOT itchy it is. It should never feel coarse (sometimes manufacturers mix camel hair in there), and the hair should not come off in your hand like crazy.

It should always feel like I’m cuddling with 48 puppies minus the allergies when I put on a cashmere sweater on bare skin.

I go through each sweater with a fine tooth comb to check for stains, flaws, pilling and other things I don’t want to even waste $30 on (there’s always another cashmere sweater around the corner).

Sometimes I find a great cashmere sweater, and sometimes I don’t.


I just keep checking back regularly. So far I like Lord & Taylor, Ralph Lauren and Sutton Studio as cashmere brands.

UGG TALL ADIRONDACK OTTER BOOTS — $361 — RETURNED

It ended up being $361 taxes included, after a 30% Friends & Family discount from SoftMoc.

UGG-Adirondack-Tall-Boot-Front-Otter-Winter-Boots

I figure I have 75 days to think about them without wearing them, so I went to Montreal to see what other boots they have available to BE SURE they’re what I want.

I went all around Montreal, looking at boots, touching everything, but nothing came close to the soft, furry, loveliness that is an UGG specialty.

Sold.

I also really like the Vibram sole, it’s super durable and tough, which is great!

UPDATE: I basically returned them, and I am now $361+ into the black.

Why?

  • They were really comfortable and I liked how sturdy and light they felt
  • They’re nice and high, with a great sole
….. But then:
  • It looks like another warm winter this year, I can get by without warm boots I think
  • It took me 5-10 minutes to get in and out of the boots, and I AM NOT a patient person
  • I was thoroughly, 100% ANNOYED with SoftMoc Canada’s customer service on all fronts
  • So annoyed, I didn’t want to keep them 25% because of my experience with them
CHA-CHING! $361 back in my pocket.

RUDSAK RED LEATHER OBI BELT — $50

I need a red leather belt.

I don’t have one in the perfect deep red (not too dark, not too orange), and when I saw this, it reminded me of the perfect red of my Samsara vegan leather bag. It looks like this.. sorta.

They don’t have any pictures online (WTF), but here’s a similar one by a seller on Etsy by larimeloom, which is not made of leather.

red-leather-obi-belt

TRIED A FEW NEW DAVID TEA’S TEAS — $6

I’m glad I didn’t buy any more than some samples. I tried these three new teas:

  • Vanilla Orchid Oolong — It was nice, and the best of all the three teas, but too subtle for me
  • Organic Banana Dream Pie — Their Banana Nut Bread is far better than this tea
  • Cookie Dough — This one was the worst and tasted nothing like cookie dough for me

MACARONS

Lastly, some macarons.

La-Maison-du-Macaron-Macarons-Box
Okay, A LOT OF macarons at La Maison du Macaron.

About 48. I ate them all and they were yummers.

Each is about half price (around $1.33 each) versus Laduree ($2.65 each), and tastes decent enough. Here’s where you can find the best macarons.

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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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16 Comments

  1. jeweliette23

    Whoa, 48 macarons! I have to say that I like La Maison du Chocolat’s chocolate macarons the best. La Duree for other flavors.

    FYI another reason to buy cashmere secondhand is that the quality of cashmere has declined. I forget why but there are some articles if you Google. So you’re getting nicer cashmere for a lower price! I love going to thrift shops and I don’t feel iffy about buying secondhand at all! Especially the nicer designer stuff has been well cared for, ya know? I’ve gotten a GAP skirt new with tags, a Theory silk shirt, Chloe dress, and some vintage leather bags that I’ve paid to get re-done, for example.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      I’m a freak for them. Pierre Herme in Paris is THE BEST in the world however. Better than Laduree.
      Oh!! I didn’t know that. Makes me happier to know this, seeing as it cannot be possible to sell cashmere well made for under $40 like at Uniqlo.
      Will be thrifting more!!

      Reply
  2. PK

    Oh Canada… even your police chases look like curling to me.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Hahah! I used to curl, too 🙂 briefly in high school.

      Reply
  3. Anne @ Unique Gifter

    Hahaha, that’s some great dental health you must have. I should take note, heh.
    Those are some smoking deals on cashmere that you scored. I am toying with the idea of buying the MIL a cashmere sweater for Christmas, wish I could pick one up like you did! (She wouldn’t mind if it was second hand). Maybe the next time I’m in TO I’ll venture to that store.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      My dentist told me I have virgin teeth. He was so excited the first time I came in and he saw nary a cavity or problems aside from the usual.
      I try not to use commercial rinses or toothpaste because it dries out my mouth and makes me feel weird.
      I brush with baking soda, a bit of oil of oregano (kills bacteria) and rinse with water. So far so good. Now I am trying oil pulling to help my gums become healthier.
      You have to!! I go in once every season or so, and I scour the racks for my size and the brands I like. I stay away from Kirland, Ann Taylor or retail cashmere because I find it is a hit and miss.
      If something feels soft and might fit, I try it on.

      Reply
  4. Sense

    I love everything! It looks so great, I want some cashmere now!!

    But how in the world do you brush with those tiny toothbrushes?! I bought the smallest ones I could find, as I am ALSO super keen on dental hygiene, and they were still too big to fit between my teeth. Does everyone have tunnels between their teeth compared to me or what? p.s. I did have braces so maybe all my teeth are arranged tightly together?

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      They’re not brushes per se, they’re little brushes that go in between your teeth in the gaps. I have little tunnels between my teeth near the gums, and these massage/brush in between the teeth in those gaps.

      I also had a lot of dental surgery when I was young (braces, actual surgery, etc), and one particular area is a bit of a gap, which is where the bigger brush helps comes in, because the other green one is too small.
      It depends on your teeth. Some spaces between my teeth are too tight for anything but floss…

      Reply
  5. Cassie

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG, I love Fluffypants…

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      She’d be so pleased to hear that!!!

      Reply
  6. Brittany

    I swear we lead parallel lives sometimes. I also just got some of those teensy little toothbrushes to clean my teeth because I had oral surgery a couple weeks ago and have sore gums in one place in my mouth, so I can’t really brush yet, but I can do it with the baby brushies. They’re so teensy and cute!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      They work really well. I got some stuff out I didn’t even know was hiding there (disgusting, yes..)

      Reply
  7. Bridget

    These are my favorite posts.

    I need to check out some of those books!

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Yeah I know you are all about the voyeuristic spending. I am too. I LOVE spending posts….. in a reasonable, PF manner.

      Reply
  8. Elle

    Public library here I come. I always enjoy the books you mention.

    Reply
    1. Mochi & Macarons

      Thank you! 🙂 I hope you like them.

      I’ve also just redeemed gift cards from Swagbucks for “Sway” and “Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value”.

      Reply

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