Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Splurge

A helped me find the wool coat I'd been needing for three years.  I love it and I'm excited to wear it come November/December.
Burberry Brit Daylesmoore coat in camel
The only other item I've added to my wardrobe this summer is a pair of white shorts from J Crew.  I've decided I have too many patterned shorts (truly it's just four pair) and that from now on I will only buy white shorts since all my tops match them.  It just make dressing in the summer much simpler.  Ever since I started to take retirement and family planning more seriously I haven't felt I had the discretionary income necessary to splurge.  In fact, I only got this coat because I desperately needed a wool coat and I had a ton of gift cards.  I even had Saks ship it to my friend S in Jersey City to avoid tax.  Instead of rewarding myself for having a birthday as I have in the past, I've decided to incentivize myself to be responsible by allowing for one of these purchases each time I reach a significant financial goal. That way, I will be even more motivated to pay off a student loan, increase my retirement contribution, or save more.  We'll see how well this works.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Reviews Galore

My life goal of laughing at least once each day is aided by reading the tomes of self-deprecating comedians like Tina Fey.  Has anyone notice that female comediennes tend to be so much more self aware than are say lawyers, teachers, dentists, singers etc.  This book was hilarious and I really enjoyed all the insider info on 30 Rock, which I didn't even watch, and SNL where she was fantastic.  There were plenty of laugh out loud moments.  Does anyone else see a huge scar on her face because I do not and before I read this book I never knew she had one?  I absolutely love how she talks smack about the people who ask about her scar in the first week of meeting her.  What kind of person draws attention to the physical imperfection of another?  I will tell you who: a very bad bad person.  I cannot count the number of times that someone has pointed out mine and I have been very tempted to then point out all of theirs.  It goes so far beyond insensitivity.  If you dwell on people's scars, blisters, stretch marks, or misshapen toes for long enough to be asking questions about it than you better be a perfect freaking ten or it just draws attention to all of your imperfections which are likely more numerous.  I just see those things and more right along. 

In a previous post I mentioned a couple Lorena McCourtney books I enjoyed.  Whirlpool and Undertow were so much better than those.  I highly recommend these suspenseful Christian mysteries.  There is a lot of depth and I cannot wait to get my hands on Riptide, the third installation in the series.  I can't figure out the New York Public Library's system for acquiring books.  It seems that many series are incomplete for some inexplicable reason.  Why only get the first two in a series of three?

I also finished the second in Melody Carlson's "Dear Daphne" series.  This Christian chick lit series is so unique in it's plot and the protagonist is really endearing.  It was difficult to put this down most of the time and I don't know how I'm going to wait another 6 months to a year for the next one.  If I didn't explain about the first in the series. Daphne inherits her Aunt's house and car with the stipulation that she must return both in a year if she has not married.  Unfortunately that is huge pressure, but fortunately there are plenty of men around.

I also started a new series, the Cupcake Bakery mysteries.  She is the author of the Library Lovers series I adore so I figured it would be a safe bet.  It was.

The consignment shop mysteries take place in Savannah. I enjoy myself reading them, but I would only recommend them if you are seriously bored. There are a lot of spelling errors throughout the books and they start off pretty slow. The heroine can be more frustrating than likable. In all my time being born and growing up in the south I have never heard a single person say "that there . . ." and unless it's particular to Savannah, I just don't understand how the protagonist, the daughter of a judge, can run across so many people who use this phrase.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Brunch Dates

A and I have indulged in a couple nice brunch dates in the past few weeks.  Having weekends off is fabulous.  A couples weeks back we went to Minetta Tavern.  I can't believe I had never been there after partying on Macdougal street for so many years.  I would give the food a 3.5 out of 5.

brioche french toast
A's black label burger
pots de creme in vanilla and chocolate
A's chocolate cake

This past Sunday we met at BG, also a new one for me. Situated at the top of Bergdorf Goodman, BG offered the most delightful brunch experience I've had in a while. I had a hot chocolate which was absolutely divine. We both got the french toast and it came with eggs which was really nice for a change.  I always want both, but never want to actually order two meals.    The french toast would definitely make my top 5 list.  The wait staff was also attentive and warm.  
french toast at BG

After brunch we went shopping and I got something on my fashion bucket list. A found it, but that is a post for another day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I don't drink caffeine outside of chocolate so there aren't loads of options for me at Starbucks.  This has been a work in progress.  Nevertheless, yesterday I perfected my favorite drink and it's a mouthful.  "Tall soy vanilla bean frappuccino with one peppermint pump, java chips, whipped cream with light ice."  If I miss even one of these elements I will know the difference and be sorely disappointed.  Lucky for me, the baristas are superb at following directions in a manner that others in food service could stand to emulate.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Fighting Chance

Talk about inspiring. It only took me three days to get through what I would describe as an autobiography. This woman really is truly passionate about the middle class and now I am too. Typically democrats talk about the poor. Warren spent all of three paragraphs devoted to saying poor people have it even harder than the middle class and then moved back to her main focus: hard working people who just want a fair shot.  I've come to grips with the fact that I will likely always be middle class given the changes in my profession over the last several years.  I am eager to read Warren's book of financial advice.  Supposedly it provides tactics to survive and prepare for retirement in an American financial environment that no longer supports a strong middle class.  I highly highly highly recommend this book to anyone who likes autobiographies and politics even a little bit.  I find the most admirable part of Warren's writing style to be her incredible ability to tell a story in a clear and succinct manner.  She is a total master of what they teach you 1L year in legal writing.