November 2013: What I bought, watched and read
MY FAVOURITE BLOG OF THE MONTH
I can’t believe I didn’t stumble across this PF gem before.
I immediately added them to my blogroll (see right sidebar on every post).
Not only is this Torontonian (woo hoo!) family super, freakin’ adorable, I love their writing, their layout, images, and entire style.
I’m really looking forward to devouring their archives.
(I even love their blog name! Can this get any gushier?)
WHAT I WATCHED
Hilarious. Seriously funny stuff. Jerks are everywhere, even in the Animal Kingdom.
Here are my three favourites:
Loved the books.
The movie didn’t quite capture everything I had read in the book (obviously, it would turn into something ridiculously long, maybe Lord of the Rings long), but I still enjoyed it, although the actor who played Peeta did not fit who I was expecting in my mind from the book.
Not an awesome movie, not a bad one. It was okay. I’m not gushing over it, but I found the acting fine, and the movie enjoyably good.
Being pregnant, I thought it was rather appropriate to watch the movie, even though I am not a high school student who got knocked up.
My favourite line ?
“I’d totally give you the baby right now if I could… but it [the baby] probably looks like a Sea Monkey right now, so maybe we should wait until it gets a bit cuter.”
It was a great movie and I like that not everything turned out hunky-dory in the end because I find a lot of movies tend to sugarcoat too much.
Typical chick flick. I watched it, enjoyed it, but wouldn’t want to re-watch it again. It’s enough soppy sappiness for one go-round.
Amanda Seyfried is one of my favourite actresses, which is why I watched it to begin with, but her male counterpart was a bit stiff.
The entire plot was predictable. At the very start, I knew what was going to happen, and just waited for it to unfold.
WHAT I READ
As a reader pointed out, I seem to read a lot.. and I do. I have a lot of free time and I have been getting more and more into my Kobo Glo, reading like a maniac.
Kind of a maniac.
12 TESS GERRITSEN BOOKS AND COUNTING [CRIME / MYSTERY / THRILLER]
As many books as I can find, I am reading everything by Tess.
So far, it’s been the following this month because they are basically the only ones free from the Toronto Library as an e-book format.
I have been devouring them and I can’t even put them down at night. Here’s what I have read so far in this month alone:
- Keeper of the Bride (Her Protector)
- Last to Die
- The Apprentice
- The Bone Garden
- Presumed Guilty
- The Silent Girl
- Never Say Die
- The Mephisto Club
- Ice Cold
- The Surgeon
[ GLOBAL EDUCATION & HISTORY / PARENTING ]
Frankly, I picked this book up on a whim and didn’t expect much out of it.
I was blown away.
I couldn’t put it down, and finished it in about 2 days, while excitedly parroting facts and interesting bits of the book to BF, sparking great discussions about education in general, from his perspective and mine.
It is the perfect book to underscore my recent rant against parents who think their job is just to ship their kid off to school and yell at the teacher.
EVERY. SINGLE. NORTH. AMERICAN. PARENT should read this!!!!
[ PARENTING ]
One of the best parenting / baby books I’ve read. Sane. Rational. Normal.
I don’t agree with everything 100% (I plan on breastfeeding a lot longer than 3 months, and avoiding formula as much as possible), but I do consider what she’s saying to be very rational and practical.
I didn’t even think you could be any other way, to be honest, until I read her examples of American parents contrasted against French ones.
[ PARENTING ]
A good companion book to the one above. No pun intended, but without reading the original “Bringing up Bebe”, it lacks a certain.. je ne sais quoi.
It gives you the 100 keys to “French Parenting”, otherwise known as “Common Sense”, and is a good quick book to read if you don’t have time to read her journey to discovering how to handle her kids in what I always considered to be a normal way.
[ BIOGRAPHY MAKEUP COMPANIES AND FOUNDER ]
An excellent book going over the (rather dubious and shady) history of how Helena Rubenstein and L’Oreal became such power players in the makeup industry.
Helena certainly sold a lot of snake oil, but it seemed to have worked because she became filthy rich many times over. A great biography and even a history lesson of the makeup industry.
Prisoner of Tehran: One Woman’s Story of Survival Inside an Iranian Prison [ BIOGRAPHY – IRAN WOMEN ]
I wouldn’t say the book was gripping the way Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil was, but it was a good book to read to understand the mindset of what women in Iran have to go through if they aren’t Muslim or don’t conform.
I read it pretty quickly, and there were parts where you just felt your heart break.
Conning Harvard: Adam Wheeler, the Con Artist Who Faked His Way into the Ivy League [ EXPOSE OF A CON MAN ]
Not very well written in my opinion, but a good book nonetheless.
It’s amazing what Adam Wheeler did to con Harvard to get in, and his compulsive nature to want to con more and more people just did him in, in the end. All the things they have as checks, and the way he skirted past them… this is an interesting insight and look into how he did it.
Definitely a good, interesting read, but the author is a bit bland in my opinion.
Memoir of the Sunday Brunch [ LIFE – BIOGRAPHY OF SORTS ]
She tried to make the book interesting, but unfortunately I found it disjointed and hard to finish. I mean, I read it all, and some parts were funny and interesting, but she is not an interesting writer and the thoughts were all disjointed for me.
I particularly disliked near the end when she repeats sentences over and over again in block paragraphs to drive home a point. VERY Annoying. I get the literary point of doing it, but I hated it.
Do They Wear High Heels In Heaven? [ FICTION ]
I thought this would be a different book for some reason but it ended up being a good work of fiction. I was a bit teary-eyed in some parts, and it is something worth reading if you like heartwarming tales that make you cry in a good (and in a bad) way.
[ FICTION – SCI-FI ENDER’S GAME STYLE KIND OF SCI-FI ]
I loved Ender’s Game, so don’t think I hate all sci-fi stuff or learning new vocabulary for a sci-fi world.. but this book was just weird and confusing for about 1/3 of the book.
There were too many things to learn in terms of vocabulary just to understand what the book was about. Frankly, I didn’t even get half of the vocabulary down, I just skimmed through those technical sections about mental gifts with a general understanding.
It was too complex of a world to dive into without having been given an introductory lesson in the first chapter. Instead, the writer jumped right into this world of sci-fi weirdness.
That said, I finished the book and was weirdly engaged. I couldn’t put it down until I KNEW WHAT HAPPENED.
That’s a sign of a good writer. I just wish she would write and lay off the complex world-creation with new names and concepts.
What a friggin’ awful book. I couldn’t even get through 2 chapters, and I normally NEVER give up.
She advocates using psychology and mind games on your kids to get them to do what you want. Why don’t you just cut to the chase and tell them what you want them to do and explain why?
I hated this book so much I didn’t finish it (a rarity). I also hate her writing style.
[FICTION – ASIAN SETTING]
Couldn’t finish this one either. I tried to power through and got about 1/3 of the way, but then gave up because I just couldn’t get into the groove of the book.
It’s about a Chinese headmaster who works in Vietnam and has some gold-digging ex-wife who plays a typical Chinese Madame Butterfly stereotype of sorts…. gah. I can’t even describe it, it was that awful.
The writing itself wasn’t bad at all (very engaging), I just hated the context, the story and the characters.
WHAT I BOUGHT
DYSON HOT + COOL FAN – $400 (Originally $450, but cheaper at the Future Shop Black Friday Sale)
We caved and bought a space heater. It is far too cold in the winter without one, and without being wrapped in a goose down duvet all the time.
Luckily, it also cools down a room as well.
Plus it isn’t made in China, it’s made in Malaysia, is not heated up with oil (it causes a weird stink, that stuff) and the heat distribution is pretty good. You can also set a temperature which is not available on other space heaters.
CORDITO WRAP CORD CASE IN GOLD – $50
Gold because I’m a girl and it was the girliest yet most neutral colour there (plus you can’t miss it in your bag when it’s GOLD!)
I mentioned coats right?
CANADA GOOSE TRILLIUM – $675
I bought another Canada Goose as a gift for my mom.
Same coat. Now she won’t be cold.
I couldn’t resist bagging yet another Smythe coat. I already bought their amazing Camel-coloured Reefer coat, but this one spoke to me as well.
I love this Toronto designer!
The blue isn’t a dark, dull, boring navy blue, it’s quite nice actually and has a nice colour/shade to it.
It isn’t as bright as the above picture it is more blue like the second one below.
I also really like the cobalt blue sleeves, and I figured that when I get older and it looks dated or too trendy, I can just have the cuffs tailored by removing them and flipping them over to be that dark navy blue side rather than it staying that cobalt blue.
I saw another woman who bought the exact same peacoat and before I could register it was just like my own, my instinct was:
Wow, what a gorgeous coat..
I really love the colour and the …
OMG THAT IS MY SMYTHE CLASSIC PEACOAT!
I bought that exact same coat!!!!
Huh. Guess it confirms how good it looks and it isn’t just in my head.
Got it in a Size 4, it’s been selling like hotcakes, I had to special order it into the Bay/Bloor location at Holt Renfrew.
Lastly, I love the peplum-ish bottom and that it has no buttons at the back (looks simple).
It balances out my inverted triangle shape because my shoulders are normally larger than the rest of my body like my hips, and every. single. peacoat. I have tried on, accentuates that. 😐
All normal peacoats tend to be a straight line down to your hips which gives a boxier look, rather than flaring out from the waist over your hips…
This would be fine if I had proportionate shoulders… but I really like that this jacket flares out a little instead.
It even looks good over a dress and I never think these things look nice over a dress.
[RETURNED ONE] 3 ARITZIA DRESSES (WILFRED FREE) LISIERE AND UPTON DRESSES –
I bought 3 more of these amazing dresses, because they’re long-sleeved (unlike the other two), and v-necked or crew necked.
They are perfect maternity dresses that double wonderfully post-maternity as bodycon, super stretchy, super comfortable dresses. Lots of ways to dress them up.
It was 20% off with a MasterCard, and it’s super thick and warm. Perfect for my perpetually cold head and ears.
I tried to buy one for my mother too and she told me I was crazy for spending that kind of money on a hat. I told her we lose 80% of our heat from our heads but she refuses to budge and let me buy her a hat.
ARITZIA DRAPED SILK MAGENTA TOP – $125
I bought this on a whim. A whim that made me look at the colour and go: OMG.
(Sorry for the crappy picture..!)
The perfect, magenta pink. It’s draped in the front which looks odd right now because of the bump, but when I tried it on in the store and belted it, it changed completely.
The magenta pink also goes really well with navy blue (which I have a lot of in my closet), or even black.
DANIER DARIA LEATHER-SLEEVED JACKET – $179
Okay so this is not maternity wear at all, but ever since I saw the trend years ago of leather sleeves mixed with fabric, I’ve been hooked.
I just couldn’t find something that looked nice and timeless, you know, with a BIT of leather but nothing too trendy or cheap-looking that I couldn’t wear until I was 50 or older.
Enter: This luscious sweater in a jersey knit (Lycra) with soft leather sleeves. HEAVENLY.
(Did I also mention it’s made in Canada? YAY!)
It fits like a dream and looks great on. The only thing I’d consider is getting rid of those front tails, because I’m not really a fan of hanging strips of cloth, but I could wear this over any outfit and have it look like I’m wearing a HINT of a leather jacket but not too much of it where it becomes awkward.
I’ve pictured wearing this mostly with a uniform of skinny jeans, simple tank tops, and wild jewellery.
It also isn’t cheap looking which makes it timeless for me (trendy or not, I’ll always like the look of leather sleeves mixed with fabric), and it’s SUPER COMFORTABLE.
Comme Ca Porte-Monnaie (Wallet) – $88
The one on the far left, very bottom in a light grey felt with a dark brown leather strap is the one I bought.
Made in Montreal Quebec Canada of German felt with recycled leather, this is a simple, elegant purse that I haven’t seen before. I was immediately drawn to it because of the felt but also because I could stuff it full and it would still stay closed.
It looks like this inside with 3 credit card slots (too few for me), and 3 more in front (still too few), and ample space (perfect for receipts, a passport, bulky foreign ID, with a zippered compartment in front.
I liked the simplicity of it, and I have been searching for a wallet to hold my foreign money, ID and all that stuff that I want to keep in case I decide to go back to Europe or Asia.
I love supporting local designers!