The Best Things I’ve Spent Money on This Year

Okay, so by this year, I mean 1/1/19 to present. As I may have previously mentioned, I took a really prolonged break from spending money so that I could (successfully!) pay off ALL of my credit card debt. I also refinanced my student loans and got a lower interest rate on my car loan, so despite the fact that I absolutely was not making a living wage, I managed to kick some serious financial ass. I would not have been able to do any of this without my amazing husband and my in-laws—they’re so supportive and generous.

The crazy thing is, I went through and tallied up what I spent on everything on this list, and it’s roughly equivalent to what I spent on copays and medication for the year. Not trying to be controversh, but I shouldn’t be able to get an enormous tattoo, furniture, and an iPhone for less money than basic healthcare. In the spirit of that sentiment, please join DSA and consider volunteering for the Bernie Sanders campaign /end rant.

It’s also worth mentioning that a couple of the things mentioned below are from truly evil corporations that I, as a feminist socialist, do not want to continue supporting. Disengaging with major retailers is hard work, and participating in capitalism at all means that we all have the “damn’d spot*” on our hands. Next year, I hope this list is all small businesses and sustainable retailers, but all I can do is try my best. So without further ado, here are the purchases I made last year that were absolutely worth every penny:

iPhone 11

Owning this device has kind of ruined my life, to be honest. I was already pretty addicted to my phone, but the size of this screen and sleekness of the device have me hooked. The best feature, by far, is the fact that I can more easily do the New York Times crossword on this screen, which is truly the only thing I care about in this life. And I have to admit, I love the facial recognition. I know Apple is probably conspiring with the government and stealing my identity or whatever, but the level of convenience of opening things with Face ID is…almost worth it? Saying this really feels like the Chrissy Teigen tweet about Airpods, don’t cancel me.

Casetify Phone Case

This thing is indestructible, and comes in about a billion designs. I, of course, went with the sunflower pattern. I got a discount code from a podcast for 20% off, but I’d absolutely pay full price for another one.

AirPods

I finally did it. I caved and bought AirPods. I was going to buy them through Apple, but I found the same ones on Amazon for considerably cheaper (I bought this silicone protective case too). I…love them. I can’t believe I didn’t buy them sooner.

Magnetic Car Mount

A lot of phone shit, I know. but I’ve tried every type of car mount on the market, and this is by a mile the best. The magnet is super strong, and you can just stick it inside your case so you don’t have a big ugly sticker on the back. The best part is, for only $6, it’s a 2-pack, so you can give one to your significant other. My husband is still rocking an iPhone 6+, but the gear’s ready for him whenever he decides to upgrade.

The Comfiest Cardigan

Target has really been coming thruuuu with cute clothes and décor lately. This cardigan, from their A New Day line, is legitimately the coziest garment I own. I love it so much, I went back for another one.

The Best Earrings in the Game

Okay, so I’m wildly biased, because creator and entrepreneur Shelly Harper is my cousin, but damned if I don’t love her work. She is a fucking artist. Harp Designs is a woman-owned, woman-made brand out of Oakland, CA, and it makes the jewelry at retailers like Madewell look like an absolute lil’ bitch. Everything she makes is outstanding, but these earrings are so fun that I had to have them in gold and silver.

A Kitchen Table

The pub table in my kitchen had been rickety for a while, but for the ~$100 I paid for it, it certainly served its purpose. Helping my mother shop for her new home, I stumbled across this beauty, basically a dupe of my old table, except cuter, and I simply had to have it. It could be a little sturdier, but to its credit, I built it, so…

Savage Lovecast Magnum Edition

IT’S VERY IMPORTANT TO ME, OKAY! I’m done with podcast ads, they’ve been my undoing! This podcast is my must-listen of my week, and I respect Dan so much for evolving and growing and doing everything in his power to get progressive ideas into the mainstream dialogue. Nobody’s perfect, but I’ve never not enjoyed an episode of this show. I also subscribed to Slate Plus for Dear Prudence and Stitcher Premium for Groceries, and I have zero regrets (except for the fact that Stitcher is quite possibly the ugliest, least user-friendly app on the planet). The Stitcher subscription won’t last, but ad-free podcasts were absolutely the highlight of 2019 for me.

Netflix & Hulu (no commercials!) Subscriptions

To be fair, I’ve had these for a lot longer than a year, but when you’re trying to live that homebody life and save money, these services are indispensable! We got rid of cable about a year ago, so this is the only way I can keep up with my programmes. For the combined total of $20.98/month, I get more TV than I could ever find the time to consume. Beautiful.

Monthly Charitable Donations

I’ve been donating $5/month to the ACLU & Planned Parenthood since the day after the 2016 election. It’s not much, but the number of donors to these organizations is often as important a metric as the amount donated. Planned Parenthood is an organization which is particularly near and dear to my heart, and from whose services I have personally benefitted. I also give to WERS, which is the local radio station out of Emerson College, because independent radio is important, and for my money, it’s the only radio station in the Greater Boston Area that plays anything I’d ever want to listen to.

A Tattoo

Hell yeah. So, here’s the story from A to Z—when I was 21, and towards the end of my last pre-husband relationship, I impulsively got a matching tattoo of (gag) Minnie Mouse on my ribs with my ex-boyfriend. That was in July…we broke up in November. So, for nearly 7 years, I’ve been living with this incredibly stupid-looking reminder of the guy I started dating when I was 18. No shade to him—I truly hope he’s living his best life, he’s a great guy—but it also seems psycho to have this permanently etched on my body. So, I put out some feelers on Facebook (I know…) and my friend Lauren hipped me to her shop. After perusing the various portfolios of the recommended shops, Famous Tattoos in Dartmouth won out. It’s clean, not too far away, and the work speaks for itself. Cut to a few months later—it was the best body art experience of my life. Ryan Vidinha is incredibly talented and so skillful with the tattoo needles. I sat for a cumulative 6 hours between two sessions, and he made it an absolute pleasure. And SO REASONABLY PRICED for what he was able to accomplish. My shop 4 life. Having a beautiful piece of art in place of what used to be an embarrassing blemish is so freeing. Best money I’ve ever spent.

Oh, and I got another tattoo, whilst I was on vacation in Florida. Gaze upon it. Apparently I wore the exact same outfit to both.

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Laser Tattoo Removal

I know, I just got an enormous cover-up tattoo. Why wouldn’t I just do the same in this case? Look, I tried. Because of the placement of my wrist tattoo, and how heavily the line-work was done, it’d be nearly impossible to do a cover-up that wasn’t giant and blobby to cover the black. Luckily, I discovered Disappearing Inc. Utter pros. Tattoo removal is a long, expensive process, and I’m so lucky to have Jenna as my technician. The tattoo is 3 stars (from the corner of the pages of Harry Potter, I truly was an absolute dumb bitch as a youth) and they’re so poorly done. They never healed correctly. I’ve cringed looking at them for years, and I’m so excited to see them slowly fade away. Read up on how tattoo removal works—it’s nuts and fascinating!

So it’s been a wrap-wrap-wrap up, a 12-month wrap-up. Thanks for tuning in!

*You know a bitch got out her 1973 edition of the Riverside Shakespeare to make sure she typed that correctly. Act V, scene i of MacBeth, my fave play 4 life.

Shout Out Sunday 1.19.20

Guess who’s back? *very Barenaked Ladies voice* It’s been…several months since I actually posted one of these? Well, let’s get on with it, shall we?

  1. I started watching You on Netflix and it has consumed my life. I guess I like watching attractive men be spooky and do murders. This might necessitate its own post.
  2. Speaking of Netflix, Sex Education is back for a second season! It’s such a great show—I devoured the first season.
  3. I broke one of my French presses yesterday whilst hand-washing it and now I’m wondering if I should get a sexy one like this, or this, or this, or THIS. I really wish there was one in the Chrissy Teigen Cravings collection.
  4. I bought this table to replace my rickety kitchen table and, well, just look at it! It’s beautiful. I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to support Wayfair but I don’t remember why…I wish someone would do the Bad Men in Hollywood GoogleDoc but for companies I’m supposed to hate.
  5. Speaking of companies I’m supposed to hate, I just bought this book on Amazon (I knoooowww) because Jessica Lanyadoo was on Throwing Shade this week! If you know anything about me, it’s that I love astrology and honestly, 2020 is the year I’m embracing this: I unironically and truly believe in it. No one gives people guff about believing in God, and that’s way more far fetched.
  6. There are a lot of mitigating factors to this, but I haven’t been reading at all yet this year. BUT my library loan of Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory just came in, so hopefully that’ll kickstart me!
  7. Michael just discovered Josephine and holy shit I love them? Watch the video for “He Still Calls Me Baby.”
  8. Michael and I finished watching Cheers last week (hugely emotional), so it should come as no surprise that I own this and want to get the whole cast.
  9. I saw Rise of Skywalker twice in theaters and I have zero regrets! It’s the most fun I’ve had watching a Star Wars film since watching the original trilogy as a kid.
  10. I. AM. SCREAMING. Can’t wait to read this book based on the title alone, much less how hard I stan Ijeoma.
  11. The other night I had a couple of drinks (sry Dry January) and got bold and posted a 20-page academic paper on here. I’m honestly thinking of revising it and submitting it for publication, since Difficult People never got its due and it is far past time to honor it.
  12. Dying to try Imperfect Foods but they don’t deliver to my town yet! Genuinely contemplating having them delivered to my mother’s house.
  13. This is *very* local to the Northeast, but if you have any embarrassing tattoos you’d like to have removed, look no further than Disappearing Inc! The staff is insanely knowledgeable (did you know how laser tattoo removal works? It’s…wild), the facilities are both clean and adorably decorated, and best part—it doesn’t really hurt that much! I mean, it’s uncomfortable, it is lasers shooting into your skin, but they make the whole process super smooth and worry-free.
  14. Oh, and…I got a tattoo. Ryan Vee at Famous Tattoos is the GOAT.

Byeeeee!

Shout Out Sunday 9.1.19

I’ve been the worst at putting these up lately, so this week’s is going to be AWESOME. JAM-PACKED with goodies. Without further ado, let’s get into it!

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cue mitski’s “me and my husband”
  1. Lana Del Rey’s new album is out and it’s called Norman Fucking Rockwell!!! I can’t even handle that. I’ve been on the Lana Del Train since the very beginning so I’m sure this will be on repeat aaaallll week. P.S. She covered Sublime’s “Doin’ Time.”
  2. Sucré put out a new video for “Truth or Dare” !!!!!
  3. Have you ever heard of Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria? My therapist told me about it earlier this week, and it was like a punch in the gut how much it spoke to me and what I’ve been going through these godforsaken 28 years.
  4. I have these in gold and I just ordered them in silver because they are the greatest earrings ever made. Try the code SUMMERBLUES for 20% off (not sure how long it’s good for so go go go!)
  5. I’m reading Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion (on my Kindle via Libby, obvi) and really enjoying it thus far! Don’t trust anyone who says you can’t judge a book by its super-cool looking cover.
  6. Have you been listening to Throwing Shade Presents: GROCERIES?! That’s right! A podcast about grocery stores! It’s on Stitcher Premium and they’re having a subscription sale with the code LABORDAY right now, so you know what to do.
  7. I read Little Fires Everywhere and loved it, so as the Celeste Ng completist I am, I’m reading Everything I Never Told You next.
  8. Justin Baldoni did a TED talk about redefining masculinity and it’s incredible.
  9. Did I mention that I’m trying out these reusable makeup-remover pads? The ones I got are sold out but the adorable grapefruit ones are still available. My goal is to use these for makeup removal only, and to snag some reusable rounds for toner/micellar water.
  10. I’m trying to be a little bit better about doing laundry…it’s my least favorite chore. But especially as I’m transitioning towards more sustainable clothing purchases (hello, Everlane!), I want my things to last me years. Jolie Kerr, of Ask A Clean Person fame, recommends mesh laundry bags—who am I to question an expert?
  11. Also, I bought these. Please don’t judge me.

 

Shout Out Sunday 6.16.19

Good morning! I’m actually putting this out on time this week, considering last week’s came out on Wednesday. It’s Father’s Day, and I know that can be really rough for some people. My dad and I are pretty close, but my heart goes out to all the people who might be struggling today. In honor of this holiday, may I wish a happy Father’s Day to Jeff Goldblum only:

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just a little jeff to bless your timeline (image source)

Well, let’s get right to it, shall we?

  1. Lyz Lenz’s piece on “Sex After Jesus” is so moving.
  2. I am obsessed with the Public Goods aesthetic! How is it possible that I only heard of this brand this week? It’s a lot like Brandless, which I’ve talked about on here before, but it seems to be specifically membership-based, like Grove. The older I get, the more I love minimalism.
  3. I’m so into this new trend of alcohol-free bars! I would totally buy an artisinal mocktail. The fun of drinking is just being out with your friends, isn’t it?
  4. I really want to watch the Black Mirror episode with Miley Cyrus, but the mere CONCEPT of Black Mirror scares the shit out of me. I don’t need that “what if cellphones but too much” energy in my life.
  5. How are these baskets only $6? Please give me all of them.
  6. I…can’t stop watching Laura Prepon’s Instagram videos. She has a YouTube channel too, if that’s more your speed.
  7. I caved and signed up for another year of Amazon Prime for the cheap Kindle books and to watch Fleabag. I’m a monster. And I’m aware that I will inevitably buy the jumpsuit.
  8. A meme was going around Twitter last week to share a photo of yourself as a child that has the same energy of you as an adult. My post is…on brand.
  9. Modcloth’s dresses are on sale but you’ve gotta act fast since sizes are going!
  10. I started a “Words Wednesday” series where I’m going to post a piece of creative writing weekly. Check out last week’s post!

Songs of the Week:

Lazy Line Painter Jane” by Belle & Sebastian. This has been one of my favorite songs for years and years, but I saw it on someone else’s Spotify playlist today and all of the feelings came rushing right back to me. A perfect jam.

Does He Love You?” by Rilo Kiley. This week’s creative writing piece will be a short story based on this song (if I can finish it on time!) I’ve been planning to get a tattoo that says “I am flawed if I’m not free” for ten+ years…should I finally just do it?

Back next week with more! TTFN!