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Tag Archives: Shopping
When I mention that I tend to buy organic ($$$) and/or more natural and unprocessed foods, I get one of two reactions:
- Wow that is EXPENSIVE!!!!!! – You’re telling me!? My purse cries
penniesnickels every time.*
- Oh. You’re one of THOSE people. — Hipster, Hippie, Militant Foodie, whatever you want to call it. I’ll take it, because I am a snob when it comes to eating well.
*Canada no longer has the penny. They came to their senses and decided that spending more than a penny to make a damn penny was just foolishness. This has resulted in folks hoping that their shopping totals round down rather than up, to the the nickel ($0.05 piece).
I eat well and buy expensive groceries for 3 main reasons:
- It tastes better than the cheap stuff — Yes, I CAN taste the difference
- I don’t eat packaged, processed or otherwise mysterious products like Spam
- I have the money to be able to do so, and I choose to spend it on FOOD
Which is why I was just thrilled to read Simple Living in Suffolk’s post on the whole “scandal” in Europe where they’ve been selling minced horse meat in place of minced beef, and in some cases, the “beef” lasagna was 100% horse meat.
(Above image via Ermine’s post — HAH!)
I highly suggest you go and read his post right after you read mine!
Ermine basically lays it out that … no one could even tell or taste the difference!
Someone in the comment was more miffed that he/she was paying the price of minced beef for what was the cheaper substitute of minced horse, rather than the fact that it was horse meat mixed into beef.
Photograph I took of a hardworking horse NOT destined to be eaten in New York City.
I am not going to repeat what he said word for word, but I am going to supplement with my own post ranting about food in general.
(I do bring this up as a topic from time to time when I go to work, and you’d be surprised just how heated this discussion gets!)
LET’S JUST GET IT OUT OF THE WAY THAT REAL FOOD COSTS MONEY
Before I go into my rant of all the things I see wrong with our food today (abroad as well!), I will put it out there that buying real food is expensive.
I get it. I know that real, unprocessed food costs money (sometimes more than the packaged stuff for obvious reasons), and not everyone has the cash to buy it.
However, there are a few things I’d like to point out:
Minced beef? Cheaper than a hunk of beef.
(That is, if you are certain you’re getting beef and not horse meat to begin with.)
Organic _______? More expensive than real _______.
The only things not really worth buying organic are things with thick peels on them like bananas or avocados, where the pesticides don’t really have a chance to get in.
Another “organic” food product I laugh at is honey.
HONEY IS ALREADY ORGANIC.
We humans don’t MAKE honey.
(Eww. I do not want to think about ‘human honey’.)
We force poor honeybees to produce honey in their cute little houses, and then we swoop in like huge aliens in white suits, smoke them out to make them drowsy and sleepy, and steal their stash of sweet, syrupy goodness.
Sometimes, we even take the delicious food that they make for their queen, and eat it.
If I were them, I’d sting me too.
I don’t always buy organic and start parading myself around like some exemplary human being, I buy it when it makes sense for my tastebuds and my wallet.
Otherwise, I don’t always buy organic.
Not an actual honeybee pictured in that flower, but it’s the best photograph I have personally taken that is bee-like.
AS A SIDE TOPIC, PLEASE DON’T KILL ANY BEES!
On top of that, because of our pesticides and I read somewhere our cellphones as well, and we basically cause honeybees to self-destruct due to the toxic chemicals, and also confusion signals (buzzing noises) coming from our cellphone towers.
They noticed that honeybees died in more urban areas where there were more cellphone towers located, than in others.
One out of every 3 bites of our food, comes from honeybee-pollinated fruits and vegetables.
We will NOT survive long if we are unable to eat fruits and vegetables any longer because there won’t be any bees left to help transform that food for us.
CONSUMERS WANT CHEAP FOOD THESE DAYS
With “real” food costing more money, cheap food is something people go for.
The other day I went to go buy a Honeycrisp apple and those damn things cost $3.99 a pound, or $2.11 for ONE. APPLE.
I put it back, and went to go buy a Gala apple instead, coming out at $0.70 for 2 equivalent smaller-sized apples at $1.49 a pound.
I probably won’t enjoy it as much as a Honeycrisp apple, but I am not willing to pay $2 for an apple quite yet.
So is it any wonder that they put horse meat in the ground beef in Europe?
I mean, those grocery stores like ALDI (German, super low-cost No Frills kind of deal), deal in boxed foods for super cheap, which is how they took the market so easily.
We consumers don’t want to spend more money on food if they don’t have to, myself included, but it’s kind of sick to think that our choices may end up being either to eat food we don’t want to eat (modified or otherwise) or pay a lot more money than we want to, to get the real stuff.
(Still thinking about that $2 apple.)
Not all modified food is bad, as it helps ward off disease and more food can be produced, that’s true, but there is a limit to how far we can go before it becomes just the form and flavourless hint of what the former fruit or vegetable used taste like.
EVERYTHING HAS ADDITIVES IN IT THESE DAYS
Ermine gave an example of meat being washed with ammonia because animals are butchered improperly by machines or by humans, and their feces get mixed into the meat and could make people sick.
Here are a few more that you may not have been aware of:
ALL EGGS ARE DOSED WITH ANTIBIOTICS
I was talking to a fellow Foodie Friend the other day, and I learned that eggs are all pumped full with antibiotics.
All eggs. Even organic ones.
The only way you will be able to get an egg without having any antibiotics or hormones injected into it, would be to grow your own chickens, as some farmers we saw in Portugal do.
Photograph I took in Portugal in the countryside. They have lovely fields of pesticide-free food that they share very willingly!
BABY CARROTS ARE JUST BIG CARROTS SHAVED DOWN, OR SO THEY SAY
Ermine mentioned this already, and I’ve said it every time someone asks about baby carrots and how they got so “cute”.
They say it’s just a large carrot shaved down to look like a cute baby one, but I’m not buying it.
How can it tastes so flavourless and watery, in that case?
It tastes faintly like carrot (I’m inclined to believe they spread a little carrot extract on them to give it that flavour, but don’t quote me on that), and is crunchy, but essentially flavourless.
If you’ve ever eaten a real carrot chopped up, and then have a baby carrot right after, you’d notice the difference, as I have.
No sweet flavour, no taste, and I would NOT guess it to be a carrot if I were being forced to eat it blindfolded.
EVER READ THE LABEL ON YOUR YOGHURT OR PUDDING CUPS?
If you have, you will notice that in Canada, Liberté is the only brand that doesn’t use modified corn starch.
WTF is modified corn starch anyway?
(Don’t tell me, I can just Google it. I’m being facetious.)
Of course they use corn starch in some of their products like Frouto (I bought the pear ones to try today), but it is REAL corn starch as a thickener.
In addition to modified corn starch, you may read things like: “flavouring” or “aroma”, which basically means: “not the real stuff”.
If you ever see a yoghurt or pudding cup’s list of ingredients, you may see “vanilla flavouring”.
It doesn’t mean that they added vanilla, as in vanilla beans or you know, anything related to vanilla itself. It means they added something that tastes like vanilla.
Key words to remember: tastes like.
(I used to love those pudding cups in France from Danone, which are now crap because they’re vanilla flavoured, not vanilla.)
Also, yoghurt only tastes good if real milk is used.
That goes for all dairy products, cheese included.
We don’t have decent milk here in Canada, so the yoghurt is “okay”, Liberte being the best of the bunch because they’re more natural than the rest and less of a scam with additives.
However, the best yoghurt is found in Europe where they have AMAZING milk to create dairy products with, and very happy, pasture-fed cows.
ORANGE JUICE HAS CHEMICALS IN IT
100% oranges? What a load of crap.
By the time you get those “freshly squeezed oranges”, that are “not from concentrate”, they have been languishing in a big metal tank, and is a practically flavourless liquid, that we know of as “orange juice”.
They’ve removed all the oxygen from that juice so it can keep for up to a year and when it’s time to sell it, they add aroma, flavouring and colour to orange juice from flavour packs to “re-oxygenate” orange juice and to make it taste like you’re biting into a juicy fresh orange.
Yuck. Chemicals added to orange water. That’s our idea of “freshly squeezed orange juice” these days.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR SALT? DID YOU KNOW THEY ADD STUFF IN THERE?
This shocked me when I started looking at ingredient labels. They add silica and other additives in your salt to stop it from caking.
As a result, you are ingesting what you think is salt… but isn’t.
Once you start reading ingredient labels, it’s hard to go back. It isn’t 100% salt.
LIKE ALMOND MILK? WAIT UNTIL YOU READ THE INGREDIENTS
Almond milk was something I was interested in a while back as something to add to my teas instead of regular milk, until I read the packages. They added OIL TO THE “milk”.
That grossed me out enough to just consider making my own almond milk.
They also add salt so that it enhances the taste, and a whole host of other crap.
BUTTER CAN’T BE SUBSTITUTED
Margarine, soy butter, “I can’t believe it’s not butter”… and all of that stuff is NOT butter.
All this crap that is ‘low-fat’, and presumably out to make you lose weight because it’s better for your heart is all hogwash to me.
Why don’t we just buy the real butter and eat it in moderation?
It’s better than eating a tub of fake butter.
I saw on TV5 (a French channel) of a dairy farmer who said:
Shoot we’re out of butter! Let’s go get some.
The woman (Maeve from Australia’s Food Safari I think), thought they meant going to the store, but the guy laughs and says they’ll do it here on the farm.
A guy goes out, nabs a clear glass bottle, heads over to a cow, milks it, closes the bottle and starts shaking the bottle really, really, really hard.
For 15 minutes or so.
The milk eventually turned into butter. I was drooling watching them eat that freshly made butter slathered on freshly made baguettes.
That’s how they always make butter. They don’t buy it.
OUR FOOD MARKETING NOW REVOLVES AROUND “REAL FOOD” CLAIMS
This annoys me the most.
“Made with REAL strawberries!”
WTF did you put in there before? Fake ones?
Photograph of amazing produce in Paris. 10 EUR for each box of strawberries!
Hershey in Canada is running an ad on commercial I can’t help but watch (it’s on the Food Network), that talks about “real” ingredients going into their milk chocolate bar.
“Real milk”, for instance.
What were you using before?
Oh wait, don’t tell me.
Modified, dried, milk ingredients. I could liken that to ‘chalk’ I think.
It looks like powdered milk to me. Good enough.
Throw that chalk essence into the pot!
Then in soups, talking about “real pieces of chicken”, or “real vegetables”. It kind of makes you do a double take when you hear this kind of marketing happening.
WE AREN’T EATING “REAL” FOOD THESE DAYS
Even if you have the resources and are WILLING to spend your money on real food these days, you can’t bloody find it.
And maybe if you can find it, you may not even taste the difference… or prefer the lower-quality food, because you’re just so used to it.
BLACKBERRIES & BERRIES IN GENERAL
I ate real blackberries in Portugal and was amazed at the flavour, the natural sweetness and the overall: OMG-ness of them.
I was so enamoured, I took many a photo of these wonderful berries:
Photograph I took of the very wild blackberries I stuffed my face with, growing wild, and unchecked in the fields of Portugal. I ate them all for FREE with a big glass of REAL milk (Mimosa brand).
I came back to Canada, bought a pack of blackberries out of nostalgia, and ended up hating every bite I paid $3 for.
They were disgusting.
I have the same sentiment about cherries here — they don’t taste as sweet and don’t get me started on strawberries — I have never tasted a strawberry as good as the ones that I ate from the fields.
I only buy the little Campari tomatoes now, at $6.99 a box because they’re the ONLY ones that taste like real tomatoes to me.
Photograph I took in Paris inside a grocery store of gorgeous vegetables where you are strictly instructed by a stern little sign that you are NOT allowed to touch them — Ne Pas Toucher S.V.P.!!
Potatoes, are a disappointment here.
The potatoes I ate in Portugal, were creamy, yellow, and they were good enough just boiled as is.
Coming back to Canada, I am lucky if I find good potatoes. They taste bland, kind of dry and starchy, no potato flavour, and are frankly borderline edible.
I eat them because I love potatoes and I can’t give them up, but if I could pay double the price for real ones, I would.
CHICKEN AND BEEF
Even meat doesn’t taste like meat here. I’d need to grocery shop in different cities around North America just to find decent food.
In Miami, I had amazing chicken. Their chicken, TASTED LIKE CHICKEN.
In Texas, they had the best beef (at Wal-Mart no less!) I had ever eaten. It was so flavourful, well raised, and it tasted like BEEF.
I have to buy organic chicken from a local farm just to get the real taste of chicken.
That “chicken” you can buy from Costco or Wal-Mart, is not what I call chicken. It shouldn’t taste rubbery, dry, or “fall off the bone” easily. It’s obvious those chickens didn’t run around or grow actual muscles to be able to build actual flavour and texture into their meat.
They’re basically skeletons with meat, growing in a cage.
Real meat, stays on the bone, so whenever I hear people say:
Wow this meat is SO GOOD it falls off the bone!...
I wonder if they’ve had meat that doesn’t fall off the bone, because the flavour is so much better and when it sticks to the bone and you have to gnaw it off like a beaver.
Fast forward to fast food hamburgers (even ones I see on TV), or pizzas.
I am totally, 100% grossed out by these commercials.
It doesn’t look good to me, but then again, I haven’t had a burger since I was a teenager, which is over 10 years ago.
And my pizza looks like this:
(All made from scratch, including the dough. We just didn’t grow the vegetables or the pig to give us the bacon, but we used the best of what we could find.)
MILK IS THE WORST OF ALL
Perhaps the worst of all is milk for me.
I haven’t had real milk since I left Europe (I’ve tried every brand I could find here.)
Portugal (Mimosa) and Le Président (when they made milk as a product) from France, were my staples when I was in Europe.
I would literally buy 1L of milk in a carton, and drink almost the entire liter in a day.
Here? It tastes like water.
The only milk in Canada close to tasting like real milk, is Lactantia, Trutaste, but it’s a pale, faint comparison to what real milk tastes like to me.
I should really be able to taste the cow in the milk, and here, it’s so bland, it’s sad.
OUR FOOD IS NOT WHAT WE USED TO THINK OF IT
Ermine pointed out that we’re to blame for wanting lower and lower prices on food, and perhaps we’re all cheap SOBs who just want price over quality.
In the end, sometimes going to poorer countries that don’t have money for pesticides or crap (like China, some farmers are too poor to buy such chemical pesticides), is a better way to get your paws on some real food (assuming you don’t think too hard about all the environmental toxins that leech into the soil and into the air to contaminate the food being grown).
I read somewhere that a tomato farmer said:
I’d love to grow and have my tomatoes be known for flavour, but the sad truth of the matter is that I get paid for tomatoes that are the SAME size, and red.
Round and perfect. Image matters more than taste, and that’s my bottom line talking.
Can you believe it? Farmers who would like to grow real food, can’t, because we idiotic consumers don’t want ugly looking tomatoes that taste like real tomatoes.
We want perfect, tasteless, bland, red spheres instead because it’s cuter.
Photograph I took of some real heirloom tomatoes in Paris that are the best of the bunch (real tomatoes are sometimes really ugly).
I have so much more to say in regards to food, which is also the reason why I get really frustrated to see that people cut in their Grocery spending because it’s the easiest, most convenient budget for them to slash over Vacation funds or other (in my eyes) less-important funds.
I also understand that money is a problem in buying nicer food, and I wholeheartedly agree with TRYING to buy less processed foods, and making food from scratch instead of buying it in a box.
Anyway, my non-PF related food rant is done.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!
For more real food notes, head over to Simple Living in Suffolk’s post on the whole horsemeat scandal in Europe, plus other great points on food. He has a stronger PF-money view on the whole deal.
Less ranting, and he writes more eloquently than I do.
When I look back at the start of my college years and into the early years of my career, I really wish I hadn’t been so laissez-faire.
I know that what I’ve accomplished so far is far beyond what I could have imagined when I was 18 and on my own, but it still makes me think: Damn. I could have done better, if only…..
If I was smarter, I’d be $60,000 ahead in my net worth.
$60K! That is not a small amount of money by any means.
I look at my friends who had very frugal, financially-savvy parents, and I see all the GREAT choices they made with their life.
They stayed out of debt, they were frugal and very careful with their money, they didn’t shop like crazy without thinking about what they were sacrificing by doing so.
Some even had up to 8 roommates in college living in a house, and even though they wanted to kill them at times, they stuck with it because it was saving them a lot of money.
I went shopping with Fabulously Fru-Girl before I left, and she had waited something like 2 years before finally buying a pair of jeans she had been eying. I wouldn’t have lasted 2 minutes….!
I also have about 4 real-life friends who have their lives together and are extremely financially stable, some having started at buying their first starter home at 19 while earning minimum wage so they could start building equity, and others, about to pay off their $500,000 home before they even hit 30.
These people are true financial role models for me because they think before they spend (especially on clothes), and I am the total opposite (see picture above !!)
Compared to these people, I am a hot financial mess if you think about how conscientious they are.
For me, I have to FORCE myself to think about my money and coax my brain into not spending, because it is not my nature to save.
When I see a bag at $100 I think — “Oh yeah $100. That’s the price of a nice bag, at a minimum.”
They think: “$100? ARE THEY CRAZY? What is that? Like $5 in materials? I need a deal. Where are my coupons?”
They worry about spending and probably had budgets nailed down long before I knew what the word even meant. They’re even taking care of other people in their budgets by giving their parent(s) money every month, or otherwise, being awesome children.
Now, I feel like I’m on the same page as they are – budgeting is (now) therapeutic for me too, and I am being more generous with my parents, although I am careful not to spoil them with unnecessary purchases because they are like children sometimes (they want everything fun and don’t want to eat their financial veggies).
I’ve also started getting better by finding ways to stop myself from shopping, with space being a problem, but also that I want to buy quality over quantity now, as well as choosing consignment shopping (secondhand doesn’t scare me for clothes or jewellery).
This post had no real point, except to say that I am happy to have financial heroines in my life to look up to, and I hope everyone has the same kinds of people in their life to guide them — they’re more valuable than gold.
So.. thank you!
Aside from my chopsticks purchase, I really thought I haven’t been spending much… but then I went through my budget and realized I bought more toiletries than I remembered!
Still, not a big, spendy month unless you count that I also bought some luggage to replace my beaten up, RIPPED bags… (arg!)
I have been looking for another moisturizer than my argan oil (I suddenly developed a reaction to it that has caused my skin to break out in little raised bumps), and I didn’t want to go back to the Skye moisturizing cream that worked so well for me, because the perfumes were REALLY strong in it.
This stuff is seriously pricey.
I was taking samples like crazy from Sephora to keep trying it out (I was scared of another argan oil repeat), until I realized that my skin loved it, and I should just buy the damn bottle.
I should mention that it is NOT as moisturizing because my skin does feel a tad tight/dry after applying it, but it absorbs well and doesn’t feel heavy or sticky.
I use this at night, underneath my newest purchase:
I know what you’re thinking:
- This is crude oil from dead dinosaurs (refined of course) you’re putting on your FACE!!!
- I can’t believe this wouldn’t clog and break out your skin like crazy
- Isn’t it sticky and gross?
- It works. I feel guilty, but IT WORKS and it is CHEAP.
- It doesn’t break me out, surprisingly!! It has really kept the moisture in!
- Yes it is. I won’t lie about that.
- Yes, why the hell aren’t you using it too!?
And let me tell you that not only does Ms. Tyra Banks and her momma endorse it, my momma does too.
My mother has the most beautiful skin of someone her age, and her secret is petroleum jelly.
I apply the DDF cream at night, then I seal it in with a $3 tub of petroleum jelly. Voila.
I wake up in the morning, do the Clarisonic Mia brush thing, and my skin has never felt healthier, softer or more amazing.
It also cured my eczema, to boot! I’ve been slathering it on my stubborn spots of eczema and my skin has finally healed after months of applying steroids and trying not to scratch it.
(I also take an anti-histamine at night to calm down the crazy itching).
Get the plain ol’ petroleum jelly that is a bit soft and easy to spread, or else you’ll be tugging unnecessarily at the skin.
I also picked up this product for the daytime because wearing sunscreen is SO important I can’t even begin to tell you.
I originally wore the Pure and Simple All Natural SPF 30 cream underneath my makeup but it made everything really slick, shiny and oily-looking, and my makeup felt like it was sliding off.
I still love it, but I’ve stepped it down to only the days when I am not wearing makeup (e.g. weekends), and I will be running errands outside (any day of the year).
So I bought this SPF 15 lotion on the recommendation of a Sephora salesperson, and it absorbs into my skin BEAUTIFULLY.
Yes, it looks a bit oily, but at least I don’t have a white mask on my face (natural sunscreens do that), and I can wear it under my makeup.
I love it. And I really spread it on, knowing that putting a little on, may not do the trick.
Why you should wear sunscreen:
- Prevents wrinkles
- Prevents age spots
- Stops your skin from looking brown and leathery (have you seen those tanned girls!?)
- Helps keep your skin protected and young
That’s about it for this month!
Ever feel like you get into this trap?
You go out with a friend, read an enabling blog you shouldn’t (*cough*), see something on TV or in a magazine and suddenly feel the need to buy it?
I’ve been sort of feeling like that, working in NYC.
There are some CUTE outfits out there, and I keep walking by these awesome-looking, independent clothing shops that look like they have the nicest things.
Then I read blogs while waiting for the plane, or .. well, I just browse online.
The only thing that saves me is I’ve felt too busy and fatigued to even think about shopping (even in NYC), which had done wonders for me seeing as I only bought a uber expensive leather jacket I’ve been eying for years (on sale no less!!) last month and NOTHING ELSE!!
I still get the ME TOO itch when I read beauty or fashion blogs, but this is what helps right now:
- Being tired from 11+ hour days (damn project)
- Traveling a lot between 3 cities
- Thinking about whether I really need it
- Asking if I actually want it
- Thinking about my money goals ($250k!!)
- Looking at what I’ve spent this month
- Looking at my upcoming expenses
After I go through that thought process, I flop on the bed and pass out into a deep, relaxing 3-hour nap which eliminates any chance of my spending money, unless it’s online.
(Umm.. did I mention that I am only considering venturing into a store just because I have a J. Crew gift card I have to use up?
It has $9 on it and I am trying to figure out what I can buy for $9 at J. Crew.
Maybe a broken headband or something. Or a piece of a belt. On sale.)
After the last two months of spending sprees, this one has been mostly about replacing items that have been on my list for a long time or other practical pieces.
2 pairs of Carson Frye ballet flats = $300
Wait. I know what you’re thinking — If this girl wanted to replace her ONE pair of Rudsak leather flats she wore to death, why in the hell is she buying TWO pairs!?
I want two pairs so I can alternate.
It’s not good to wear the same pair of shoes day in and day out, they will start to grow bacteria and smell so awful from the walking and sweat that you can’t do anything but toss them in the garbage.
(Yes, this is exactly what I had to do with my Rudsak flats)
Sure, I wash my feet every day after wearing them, but letting the shoes have a day of rest in between is what I really need to do.
SKAGEN 858XLSLD Steel Super Slim Brown Watch = $60
Finally found a men’s watch that is simple, minimalist, VERY light.
I am going to get rid of my Fossil watches — the bands have broken on both (the clasp keeps snapping off), and it’s about time I got something less heavy and more minimalist.
I couldn’t believe how slim the face is (it’s like the thickness of a QUARTER!), and although the face itself is a tad large for my wrist, it’s exactly the men’s watch I wanted.
*checks it off her list*
….and for only $60 on Amazon, versus the $110+ that Bloomingdales wanted to charge me.
It also comes in a black crocodile strap but I preferred something plain and simple, and I am not really a huge fan of black.
POLARIZED RAY BAN SUNGLASSES = $129
I also read Boba for Money’s post on “Things that are worth the money“:
I work in the health care industry, and I’ve seen firsthand what the difference polarized sunglasses (vs. regular uva/b protecting sunglasses) can do in the longterm.
…and immediately went out to hunt down a pair of polarized sunglasses.
The only pair that looked similar to the ones I have (non-polarized), and fit well on my face with my lack of a nose bridge, were these RayBans.
Saks wanted to charge me $178 before tax, so I found them on Amazon for $129. I can’t seem to find the exact link and seller, but the items shipped from a third-party seller, but via Amazon’s Fulfillment Warehouse, not directly from the sellers themselves.
3M GOLD PRIVACY FILTER = $42
I HATE IT when people walk by and stare/can see my screen.
I’m not doing anything illegal, but sometimes things are private, like emails you write (even if it isn’t info-sensitive), or maybe I’m booking flights or a hotel and I feel weird if they are reading where I plan on staying the next week.
Whatever the case is, being in an open office plan with my fellow colleagues, makes me want to hide my screen from curious eyes.
It’s like a blackout screen for your computer, so only you can see what you’re reading, or anyone else directly behind you.
Anyone passing by on the side, won’t see a thing. It’s also very handy to use in cafes like Starbucks or in college
I am not going to apologize for this month because I bought some pretty amazing, one-of-a-kind, independent and/or vintage pieces.
I guess I could pretend to vow to eat beans and oatmeal for the rest of the month… but we all know that’s a baldfaced lie, so why bother?
iPhone 4 NOT the 4S!! — $100 for the phone + $30 case
…on a 2-year plan.
Cost $99 to buy, and my monthly plan is about $70 a month (ick). However, this phone has come in pretty handy (it let me book car rentals on the fly for cheap), and I can check all my email accounts at once rather than signing in and out of each account each time.
Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 — $140
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100 Mobile Scanner was originally $190, I had a $50 gift card, so I got it for $140.
It’s a DREAM. I need a scanner far more badly than I need a printer, and I needed a mobile option to scan my receipts, expense reports and documents. A life saver, I tell you.
Marcelle BB Cream – $24 each ($48 total)
From Marcelle BB Cream, it is my new makeup love.
I forgot to mention that I did purchase the Marcelle BB cream last month, and I absolutely love it. I had to buy both bottles, Light to Medium and Medium to Dark.
It turns out, since wearing sunscreen, my skin has faded from Medium to Dark, to Light to Medium, so now I’m just using the lightest shade exclusively.
Now my concealers and foundations are ALL THE WRONG SHADE. Grr.
It’s a wonderful product, and it looks like I am not wearing ANY foundation, unlike Bare Escentuals (skin looks slightly sparkly/shiny, which is better for night), or any powder compact (Stila).
Black Socks — $2
..to cut up and wear in my hair.
This tutorial for a ‘sock bun’ is awesome. I’m rockin’ the sock bun as we speak and it looks like I have four times the amount of hair I should.
It also makes all of my hair buns look so much better. I normally hate wearing my hair in a bun because it’s SO TINY and it looks so strange, but this is a hot look.
Comrags Brady French Stripe Linen and Cotton Dress – $300
This is an item on my Wardrobe Wants list, called: Striped Dress (French/Nautical Style). Now I can cross it off the list because I own one!
Purchased at Comrags @654 Queen Street West, an independent Toronto store (Yelp review of Comrags), the dress is pricey, (my limit is about $100 – $150), however this dress is just so simple, rumpled but elegant at the same time.
Absolutely washable (no dry cleaning!) and did you notice the POCKETS, and the stripes going different directions, looking absolutely fab? It also gives me the illusion of hips, being it’s a tulip-style skirt. YESS!!
Diane von Furstenberg Red Wool Utility Wrap Dress – $136
This is actually an item already on my Wardrobe Wants list called: Red Dress that can now be crossed off
My first ever DvF dress, and I bought it for only $136 at a secondhand consignment store called Haute Classics @ 946 Yonge Street in Toronto (Yelp review of Haute Classics Consignment).
It’s a wool, and although it is a tiny, eensy, weensy bit small, it still fits beautifully because it’s a wrap dress with a stretch in it. Did you notice the POCKETS?
Odille Striped Pursuit Silk Top – $50
Bought this also at Haute Classics @ 946 Yonge Street in Toronto (Yelp review of Haute Classics Consignment), and it was $50 CAD, originally retailing for $98 USD.
Not on my Wardrobe Wants list.. but it was too cute to ignore.
I normally hesitate at tops that go in at the waist because it waist is always at an awkward spot on my body, and then it looks like I’m sporting a baby bump, when I’m not.
This one, is more at my natural waist, it has a section in front to cover any indecency, and the sleeves and overall drape of the stripes, soften my larger, inverted-triangle-body-shaped shoulders.
J. Crew Blouson Dress — $143
J. Crew Blouson Stripe Dress was originally $148, I got 10% off, and after taxes it’s about $143.
In Canada, it’s $172!! So I’m very happy to be here in the U.S. when I’m buying it
I LOVE this dress. I know I said I already bought a nautical French-stripe sort of dress that was on my list (oh and my new top looks nautical too), but this silk dress is a dream. It fits so well, looks fantastic, is going to be belted, and makes me feel so easy and chic.
It is also navy blue, not black like in the photo. It’s incredible.
White House, Black Market Neutral Tweed Flare Pants — $88
White House Black Market Neutral Flare Tweed Pants were originally $98, I got 10% off by being a new WHBM subscriber.
(FYI — If I had no idea about the WHBM brand, I would not have walked in to shop. The store in-person, looks kind of cheap, which is surprising.)
I know you’re going to scoff at this, but I really needed new pants.
These ones are a neutral tweed, but it has faint hints of gold running through the threads which are just gorgeous. I also didn’t want grey, black or navy blue (too many dark pants!), so this neutral colour is perfect.
They fit beautifully, feel like pajama pants to me, and are not too low-cut, as they sit just below the waist.
And it only took me 10 stores, and 3 days to find this ONE pair of pants worthy enough to buy.
Note: This was not a planned purchase, but a required one.
Frankly, I don’t know WTF is going on, but I am losing weight like crazy and I am down to a size 4, but apparently a 2 or a 0 in J. Crew sizing.
At any rate, I can feel that my old pants are far too loose now by about 2 sizes, and I would need to basically pin them closed at the waist to make them fit.
Don’t be worried though. I am not stressed, I am not anxious, under-eating, dieting, and I don’t have an eating disorder. I am still eating a lot, but ever since I stopped eating junk and processed foods, my body has gone back to my high school size, which was about this weight and size.
Elie Tahari Silk Top — $133
Bought at Saks Fifth Avenue on the sale rack for 30% off. It was originally $178 or something.
Keeping in mind my new size, a few of my original work tops are too big.
This checks off the box on my list of wanting a deep, red top to wear. I LOVE wearing red, it’s my favourite colour, and to find this shade, in silk, in such a perfect top, is a dream. AND ON SALE.
Ann Taylor Rayon Top — $78
Fits wonderfully, will be great for hot and humid weather, and isn’t sheer at all (it is lined).
Wearable Art — Vintage Parisian Monet Silk Dress – $295
Purchased at The Cat’s Meow Consignment, an ultra-high end, spendy, vintage consignment store (Yelp review of The Cat’s Meow), this was something that I had to hem and haw over because it needed some tailoring (about $100 worth).
Definitely NOT on my Wardrobe Wants list, but … I couldn’t say no (well, I COULD have said no, if the price tag was at its original $500 mark and that it would still require $100 in tailoring).
It was obviously custom-designed and tailored in Paris (you can tell by the sewing), and the silk is what caught my eye. I am a huge fan of Monet’s Waterlilies (cliche, yes), and this dress made me think of it.
Lest it be a dress that I can only wear to events, I am already planning on remixing it by throwing a sweater over top, some boots, casual belt, and making this silk masterpiece work in everyday life, even if I’m just buying groceries
Oh budgets. You’re so meant to be broken for pretty things.
Yes. All true. It brings me to my following lust:
I can’t justify (yet) buying this amazing leather jacket I fell in love with. It’s this aptly named Perfecto leather jacket in Ink. Super light, a leather shell and it will get soft and oh-so-buttery in a heartbeat.
It’s super light, very minimal, not fussy AT ALL and in a neutral shade that is not brown or black (although I kind of want the brown one too, but am definitely NOT going to buy two).
(Which obviously means that it is all I’m going to be able to think about: having two leather jackets, one in brown, and one in inky blue. ARGGGHHH!!!)