Tag Archives: spendthrift

Weeks 47-48 Challenge

11 Mar

Alright, after a long pause it’s about time that I give myself a new challenge!

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer (it was 15 C and beautiful today in Toronto!) so it’s time to start thinking about switching from my Winter jacket to a Spring jacket. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve had the same beige trench for years:



And even though I bought a black trench for the Weeks 25-26 Challenge I want something that’s more Spring-esque:

What can I say, I have a thing for jackets…

I’m in the mood for either something in red or a bright colour:

Burberry Prorsum Scuba Trench Coat

Moncler, $1120

Or something with a funky pattern:

Burberry Striped Jacquard Slim Trench, $2695


Etro Paisley-Print Degradé Taffeta Trench, $1480


Pucci Cotton Print, $1350


In particular I’m loving the Pucci one but the odds of finding something similar to that for $40 or under is pretty slim!

Nevertheless I’m going to try something fun! I’m hoping that being in Toronto for the next week will give me many more shopping options and that I can find something before I go back home next weekend.

We’ll see what I find. Wish me luck!

Weeks 43-44 Challenge

15 Jan

I have always had sensitive eyes. They’re sensitive to bright light, strong scents, the wind etc. and although it’s annoying I’ve never had to go to extreme measures to cope with the irritation. And then I started working…

I swear that there is something environmental at work that is wrecking my eyes! Even though I was a bit of a squinty person before (outside when it’s bright at least) I am now a squinty-Visine-toting-tissue-carrying-read-eyed monster during the work week and it sucks! It also makes driving very difficult because my eyes seem to now recoil from daylight, sigh.

So now that the back story is in place this week’s challenge is going to be to find a new pair of (affordable) sunglasses. I currently own a great pair of brown Ray-Bans:

My current sunglasses


But I would like a black pair that are a little less sporty and little more fashion-y. And who has chicer glasses than Chanel!

Chanel 5171

Now I’m not looking for knock-offs here, just something inspired by these glasses and a pair that look nicer than the ones you find at the 2 for $15 kiosks at the mall!

Just as a little note: this challenge will be shorter since I’m going away at the end of the month so the results post will be on the second Thursday of the challenge cycle. After that this blog will be quiet for about a week but I’ll make the next challenge start on Feb 5th.

Weeks 41-42 Results

14 Jan

Alright so you’re either going to think that I’m crazy or brilliant on this one!

If you recall, this challenge was a biggie! It was to find a dress similar to this wrap dress from the Rachel Zoe pre-Fall collection:

Rachel Zoe pre-fall on INSTYLE.COM

I had huge doubts in my ability to find something but I think that I may have actually been successful on this one (but then again that’s up to you to decide).

So what did I find? Okay bear with me here…

I know that the pattern is kind of crazy, and nothing like the giraffe pattern of the Rachel Zoe dress, and nothing like any of the patterns that I normally wear, but what I ended up buying was this bathing suit cover up/dress/shirt (honestly I have no idea exactly what it qualifies as, the receipt says “junior trend”) from Winners:

Winners $9.99, front


Insane? Perhaps. But it did come in at a bargain basement price of $9.99!

Since it is very billowy and I had a lot of room left in my budget I also purchased this (reversible) belt for $16.99:

So all together my entire purchase came to $30.49 taxes in!


Now here’s the true test, this is how it looks on me:

"Dress" and belt Winners, shoes Steve Madden

So what do you think? Did I have a temporary bout of insanity on this challenge?

Weeks 41-42 Challenge

2 Jan

My first challenge of the new year is going to be a doozy and is probably overly ambitious but I’m going to give it a try!

While surfing the net on my bus ride home one day I came across Rachel Zoe’s pre-Fall collection on In Style’s website (you can check it out here or by clicking on the pictures below) and I fell in love!

INSTYLE.COM photo. Click on the picture to take you to their blog and the slideshow of Rachel Zoe's pre-Fall collectiion


Now Rachel Zoe seems to be one of those people who is either loved or hated by the masses. Personally I love her and I think that she has killer style and this style is showcased in this pretty spectacular new collection.

In particular I am completely smitten with this ah-may-zing dress:

Rachel Zoe pre-Fall collection on INSTYLE.COM


Now I have no idea how much it costs or how the heck I’m going to be able to find something at all similar, especially for $40 or less, but I am in love with it! I think that it is so versatile: pair it with tights in the Winter and/or high boots, with bare legs in Spring/Summer or even wear it over a bathing suit. This dress could do it all!

So we’ll see what happens with this one. I’m probably slightly delusional if I think that I’m going to find anything for this challenge but please send me some good vibes!

A Little Orange Box

6 Nov

This post is going to tread into actual spendthrift territory because of something that has just found its way into my possession. I feel a little guilty writing about something so luxe on the SpendThrift Experiment (especially after my last slightly disastrous challenge, stay tuned for the Triumph or Tacky? post this week because I have a feeling that purchase is being returned) but it was a gift and an AMAZING gift at that!

I’ve made it no secret that my 30th birthday is fast approaching (yay?) and even though I thought that my trip to Paris was my birthday gift (if you recall I had a conference in France that fell through but we decided to go anyway) my husband decided to surprise me with another early birthday gift that is also an early Christmas gift (best husband ever!).

He was in Vienna on business last week and when I picked him up at the airport he presented me with this:

Which of course contained a beautiful little orange box:


Which contained a ridiculously gorgeous bracelet:

Hermes Clic Clac H

Anyone who knows me knows that red is one of my absolute favourite colours and to receive a simple, beautiful, classic piece like this sent me over the moon! I was actually jumping up and down at the airport! Needless to say it went straight on my wrist and will have a home there uhmm, probably forever! The box has already taken up residence as a display piece on my dresser! I adore this bracelet, so much so that I haven’t even taken the protective plastic cover off of the silver yet for fear of hurting it, lol.

Did I mention best husband ever? He has earned himself some serious brownie points! This definitely makes up for my lack of shopping in Paris!

So here it is on me:

Don’t worry though, I am not suddenly abandoning the SpendThrift Experiment to take up a life of luxury! I’m pretty sure that the early 90’s blinds in my living room in the photo above that are in desperate need of replacing (once we have the money saved up for new windows) show that I still have a long way to go!

Up next tomorrow the Weeks 33-34 Challenge.

Paris – Part 1

20 Oct

I’m back from Paris and finally ready to post about my trip! Just a warning, this is the first of two parts and it will be long!

I have to admit that I’ve been feeling very guilty for not having already posted anything since I’ve been back for a little while. We came home Thanksgiving weekend (Canadian) and had a bunch of family commitments and then had to play catch up on a bunch of other things so it’s been a busy few weeks! Oh yeah, and we also took about 1200 pictures on our trip so it has taken me forever to go through them all! Don’t worry though, I’ll only subject you to a few of them and I’ve decided to pepper them throughout the post just to break things up a little.

Sacré Cœur off in the distance

So back to the trip itself! In short it was absolutely amazing! There are so many things to do and see and the French were really great (too great in some instances, we ended up staying out half the night one night drinking with some guys from Bordeaux and consequently had to postpone our trip to Versailles by one day…oops!). We really enjoyed ourselves however, our trip was BUSY since we wanted to see as many sights as possible. We were only there for one week and trust me when I say that you need much more than a week to truly experience all that this amazing city has to offer!

The gardens at Versailles

Now in relation to my usual topics of discussion on this blog I have some good news for you, and some bad news.

First let’s get part one of the bad news out of the way: I’m ashamed to say this but when I was in Paris I barely shopped at all! Seriously, next to no shopping! I know, it’s shocking and at first I thought that I may have let anyone who reads my blog down, but in my defense I had some good reasons for my lack of fashion follies.

Requisite cheesy Eiffel Tour shot!

First, it is impossible to see all of the major sights and fit some major shopping into one week. It just can’t be done. Everything, both the sights and stores, is open from around 9 am to 5 or 6 pm so you either have to pick and choose a few choice sights that you want to see or you have to forgo the shopping altogether (or only have time for short shopping interludes). I did manage to make my way into a few stores like Diane von Furstenberg, Chloé and Chanel on Avenue Montaigne about 20 minutes before closing on the Thursday but it really wasn’t enough time to truly explore them.

It was probably for the best anyway, the one Chanel purse I picked up had a price tag of 2450 euros which is definitely too rich for my blood! Obviously not too rich for other people though since there was a tour bus’ worth of Asian tourists in the store double-fisting merchandise up to the cash! One girl had to be buying at least 30,000 euros worth of Chanel!

Sitting in les jardins du Luxembourg

Second, and in relation to my first point, stores are not open on Sundays! For a type A North American girl who is used to at least some stores being constantly open or at the very least open on weekends (or later than 6 on weekdays) I totally wasn’t expecting this. I know that I should have since Europeans have a much more relaxed way of life but for some reason the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind!

I wish I could remember the name of this store!

So of course, the one day that we were more leisurely about things was on the Sunday, sigh. At least I saw the outsides of stores like Hermès and some really cool displays in shop windows like beautiful ballerina tutus at a shoe store (can’t remember the name) and shoes with funky faces in the display window of Rodolphe Menudier.

Rodolphe Menudier

Third, you can’t just assume that there is shopping everywhere in Paris. Trust me on this one, when you want to find something you will be in the completely wrong district! One day I needed a new pair of shoes desperately (I’ll elaborate more on this in my next post, there is some “Quelle horreur” involved though) and the area where we were next to the Louvre had no shoe/clothing stores! We spent forever trying to find something but I think that we just ended up walking circles in the same district.

Outside the Louvre

Fourth, plan out what stores you want to see. I had just assumed that I would stumble upon Christian Louboutin, the original Chanel store on Rue Cambon, or another Hermès after our Sunday stroll, sadly I this did not happen. We did manage to spend a little time in les Galeries Lafayette but never did come across Printemps (even though it’s close by) so again, if it’s important to you to go then actually look for it, lol.

The view from the top of les Galeries Lafayette. Hmm, slightly crazy hair from the wind and hot weather...

Also, I had planned to do a little shopping on the Champs d’Elysées and allowed some time for it but when we got there I found that the street was actually really junky! I had an image in my mind of it being a beautiful classy street (probably planted in my head from watching movies) but it was just packed with people and dirty!

Maybe we were at the wrong end of it? We were at the end by the Arc de Triomphe and we did come across Cartier (but didn’t go in) and saw the Louis Vuitton flagship store but LV had a lineup that stretched around the corner and the stores were closing in an hour so we weren’t willing to wait.

Arc de Triomphe

Cute Lacoste concept car at Citroën

Now for my second piece of bad news: it was fashion week and we saw nothing going on related to it! Ok, not nothing, there was an accessories trade show going on in a park but you had to be registered to get in.

Random accessories trade show we came across

We also saw many girls who were most likely models, always buying bottles of carbonated water in Monoprix stores for some reason (my husband kept asking me if I thought they actually got paid because they obviously couldn’t afford to eat, lol), but besides that most of the fashion week related events must have been going on in specific areas that we weren’t near or privileged enough to be let near, lol.

Les Catacombes de Paris

One cool fashion-related thing that we did see though was an exhibit at Le Grand Trianon at Versailles that compared clothing from the 18th century to Haute Couture pieces by designers/fashion houses like Christian Lacroix, Christian Dior, Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and Yamamoto. The pieces were amazing! Unfortunately you couldn’t take any pictures though so I’m disappointed that I can’t share anything that I took with you but here’s a picture that links to a review The Guardian did of the exhibit:

The Guardian

Alright, so after all of that “bad news” you may be thinking that I didn’t actually enjoy my trip, well, you would be completely wrong! Here’s the good news: I loved every second of it!

The Seine

I bought no high-end goods, we didn’t go out for any fancy dinners and I didn’t even wear a dressy skirt or dress once (even though I packed them) but we had so many great experiences and saw so many sights!

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

We visited (in no particular order): the Eiffel Tour, the Arc de Triomphe, Versailles, the Catacombes, Sacré Cœur, Montmartre (our hotel was actually in the Pigalle district, lol), Notre Dame, the Louvre, les Invalides, the Musée d’Orsay, the Luxembourg Gardens, Centre Pompidou and we took a river cruise on the Seine. It was totally worth it to see so many places!

Staying classy at Centre Pompidou. This also a hint as to what will be included in my next post...

Outside the Opera

In front of the Musée d'Orsay

We spent all of our breaks sipping wine or beer in cafes, just relaxing and soaking up the sights around us, it was so nice to sit back and just spend some quality time together. We also had a bunch of little picnics where we picked up our bread, meat, cheese and a bottle of wine and again, just sat down by a fountain or beautiful old building taking in all that Paris had to offer. It was divine and I think that I enjoyed it more than any expensive dinner at a fancy restaurant! As it turned out, this didn’t end up being a “fancy” trip and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Our one "fancy" dinner in Paris. We once again stayed classy by eating fondue and drinking wine out of baby bottles. If you like fondue you must go to Le Refuge des Fondus it is AMAZING!!! If you don't like fondue then WTH is wrong with you?!

In terms of what I bought I got a great scarf for 15 euros in Versailles, a bottle of perfume at Guerlain and a “Chat Noir” poster (the hotel we stayed at was called Le Chat Noir so it was fitting). So really, not much at all!

The scarf I bought in Versailles

Thinking more about what little I bought I’m actually not disappointed. I think that if I went out and blew a bunch of money on some expensive designer goods I would have been very disappointed in myself because that would have gone contrary to the whole essence of the SpendThrift Experiment. The trip to Paris was frivolous enough in expense and I wouldn’t have done myself any favours by spending even more money when we have other things that we should be putting it towards (like the new furnace we just bought, yay?).

Looking out a window at Marie Antoinette's cottage

So in the end we deemed this trip to Paris the “crazy-busy-let’s-see-as-many-sights-as-can-be-possibly-crammed-into-one-week” trip. Now that we’ve gotten the sights out of the way our next trip to Paris (most likely when we’re more financially comfortable) will be the “designer-clothing-fancy-dinner-relax-and-explore-everything-else” trip 😮

If you’ve made it through this novel to this point stay tuned, my second Paris post will be “Things I learned about packing for Paris/My Paris fashion disasters” so stay tuned!

Weeks 21-22 Results

23 Jul

It’s once again results post time and I am very excited to share my find with you! This time my challenge was to find a pair of black work appropriate sandals. I wasn’t sure of exactly what style I wanted so I left the choice up to you. The options were: kitten heels, leather flats, or wedges.

After a vote from a very devoted reader 😮 I was out to search for a pair of kitten heels and boy am I ever glad that this was the style that was chosen! Thanks to my lovely reader I found these:

Greenwich Village $44.99, The Shoe Company


I was smitten from the first moment that I saw these babies at the Shoe Company! I was there with my husband and pretty much told him that I was in love and didn’t care how much they cost. When he gave me the whole “don’t you have a $40 budget to stick to?” line I pretty much told him that I would empty the Spendthrift Savings Bank if I had to, lol.

Thankfully the Shoe Company was having a sale (I know, not a mind blowing observation when shopping at a discount shoe store…). Although the sandals were $44.99, if you bought one pair of shoes you got 25% off of the second pair. Lucky for me my husband needed a new pair of shoes and passed the savings on to me! So after subtracting $11.25 and adding the taxes the total came to $38.13, just $1.87 short of my $40 budget! Score!

They’re black patent and are more of a stacked kitten heel but they’re really comfortable and I completely heart the design.

I tried to get a picture of them on me but I was taking the picture myself so it came out really awkward (plus I’m in desperate need of a pedicure, it’s pretty embarrassing actually…). I’ll try to post something better when I write the Triumph or Tacky? post (yes, those do still exist and are coming soon I swear!).

So what do you think? Do you love these as much as I do?

Week 16 Results

11 Jun

After searching high and low for an athletic tank top, and after an unsuccessful first attempt in my Week 15 challenge, I am happy to say that I was finally successful! Fortuitous may be the better word though since my search was not without difficulty.

I though that after failing last week and increasing my budget from $20 to $40 that I would have a much easier time finding a tank top. Well, I was WRONG! Even with $40 everything that I came across was still too expensive! The big chain sporting good stores like SportChek and Sports Experts had tons of great tank tops with built-in bras by companies like Adidas, Nike, Puma, Roxy, and Under Armour, but they were all over $50! I have to say, my shopping was getting a little frustrating.

It wasn’t until my husband and I were randomly at the mall one night that I had some success. We just happened to notice a Foot Locker (I didn’t even know that Foot Locker still existed!) and on a rack at the front of the store was a really cute blue tank top:

Foot Locker, front

Foot Locker, back

I figured that it would be way over budget but amazingly when I looked at the tag it was only $19.99! We sort of did a double-take at first not quite believing the price. We then couldn’t help but laugh when the sales associate told us that the store didn’t have a change room so I couldn’t even try it on (the sales associate rolled his eyes and completely agreed with us when we mentioned what’s the point of selling clothing if customers can’t try anything on?). Thankfully they had a full money back guarantee (I’ve learned after the Sirens incident).

After taxes my purchase came to a total of $22.59 leaving me with a whopping $17.41 for the SpendThrift Savings Bank! Woo hoo!

I was even happier when I got home and tried it on and it fit very comfortably! So here it is on me at Dragonboat practice today…yes, I have added yet another activity into my schedule BUT the Dragonboat festival is next weekend so then it will be done, AND Dragonboating is absolutely without a doubt the best sport that I have ever tried 🙂 Pardon the big wet spot in the picture, we end up a little soggy by the time practice is over:

Please pardon the wet spot, crazy hair, and pants that look too short, lol! Tank top Foot Locker, pants Costco, sunglasses Fauxkleys from a kiosk at the mall

And here’s the back showing the crisscross detail:

I’m really happy with my purchase, time to hear what you think!

Triumph or Tacky?

25 May

Alright, so I’m going to try to get back on a schedule with my Triumph or Tacky? posts again! Today I’m going to write about last week’s challenge skirt and then later this week I’ll continue playing catch up with my other challenge outfits.

So I am happy to report that last week’s running skirt challenge was a resounding success! Everyone who voted thought that I did great and the family and friends that I showed the skirt to also really liked it!


I wore it out on a 5K run on Monday and I have to say that even though the run itself was a bit uncomfortable (it’s been awhile) the running skirt was extremely comfortable! I was very surprised!

I have found in the past that a lot of Old Navy clothing is cheaply made so I didn’t have high hopes for their athletic wear. I was also a little worried about the size of the skirt since their clothing runs quite large (again, back to my vanity sizing rant). I had nothing to worry about though, it fits perfectly!

The shorts under the skirt barely rode up during my run (much less than my more expensive Adidas running skirt), the skirt itself didn’t ride up at all, and even with some strong winds the skirt didn’t flip-up. On top of that, the fact that it has a drawstring waist meant that I could tighten it as much as I needed. I have to say, I am actually very impressed and it makes me want to check out their other athletic wear.

All in all I consider this challenge to be triumph! Thumbs up for Old Navy running skirts!

Week 10 Challenge

17 Apr

This week I have decided to revisit my failed pursuit of a piece resembling  the Proenza Schouler PS1 extra-large leather travel bag (in Saddle) from week 4’s  challenge:

PS 1 Extra Large leather travel bag

I am still disappointed that I wasn’t able to find anything inspired by this beautiful bag within my $20 budget but I will leave all of that in the past and face this challenge again with renewed vigour! I have a slightly healthier budget of $40 to work with this time and I also have a little something up my sleeve 🙂 Nothing as completely shocking or utterly fabulous as Proenza Schouler actually sending me one of their bags (I’m still holding out hope, lol) but it will be an interesting twist on this challenge.

Stay tuned this week!