A monthly round up of things paid, purchased, read, digested and devoured
Consumed themed posts seem to be a popular thing popular folks here on Substack like to offer. I kind of love it. Considerate consumption recs. The idea of sharing collected links & references for all the good stuff we’ve been buying and devouring told through varying tastes. In this case, three different women will be contributing here, so if you are receiving this email — and are not a paid subscriber — consider this a teaser. From here on out, on the last Friday of everything month, a new perk of a paid subscription will be this curated roundup of consumed goods in your inbox brought to you by myself, Jess (you know and love her as my best friend) and Luana, a writer, friend, and most trusted literature reviewer.
sign me up for the perks of paid!
I hope that it becomes a fun end-of-month feature you all look forward to, in addition to the regular roll out of storied scandals.
And, please feel free to leave your own suggested consumer suggestions in comments below. Let’s be fearless and fun like 90’s catalog ladies with liberal circle-inked mentality bookmarking everything we need, love, and want out of life, ok?
I’ll go first.
MoMa Blue Vase — The MoMa gift shop online is my favorite sites to find gifts for myself. My most recent splurge is this blue Raawii Strøm Vase. I don’t do a lot of color in home, so it feels like an edgy addition to my new office … still coming together. I can’t wait to show you see my mini library plans!
L.L. Bean Canvas Tote — Handsome, classic and practical. This tote has become a favorite go-to-gift option because it’s handy, decently priced, and made especially sweet if you include the option for personalized initials. My boys all have a version of this for travel, but colored, because bone white with boys never makes sense.
Travel Sized Perfume — I am obsessed with Michelle Pfeiffer’s clean and cruelty-free perfume line, Henry Rose and have been since I stole a tube from Jess during a NY visit last year. More specifically the travel sized collection because it gives you 11 samples for 45$ (a great deal considering how long they last) to “experience a scent for every mood, moment or occasion.” I get many compliments on it and love that the samples are tiny and easy to travel with. They fit in a small hand clutch, after all. Always ideal for me.
Lasso Blue Jean Obsession — I don’t know if the barrel legged Levi trend is new, or old, or last season, or what. But I don’t care. I just bought my third pair. The aged version of the lasso jeans from B Sides and am only growing more and more committed to a wide legged existence in my daily denim.
Paris Rags — The house we’re staying at in Hawaii is stocked with all of these beautiful gingham linens and dishtowels, so I tracked down the brand (French of course) and found them sold here at Pottery Barn and purchased two sets.
Isaac Mizrahi Autobiography — I needed a book disconnected from anything related to Jeffery Epstein or Ghislaine Maxwell, so this was my pick. If you love Isaac, you’ll love his life story and humor. I’m half-way through the book and bought a ticket to his cabaret show in March. I couldn’t think of anyone I know who would appreciate it the same way, however, so I’ll be taking myself on a solo date (with a front row seat) next month.
Secrets of Playboy — I may be a whole year behind on this but still engrossed. It was either this or the Murdough documentary while on vacation, so I flipped a coin and Heff & his bunnies with hindsight won.
Living in New York City, art, culture, food and literally everything you want is at your fingertips. Here are a few things I consumed in February.
ART — I saw so much art in February! Like so much.
I saw the David LaChapelle show at Fotografiska. His work is incredible, many we’ve seen before, but a few of his large scale flowers were part of the show. They were stunning and minimal compared to his work we’re familiar with.
Don’t miss this museum if you visit NYC.
Diptyque — I love Diptyque as much as the next person, it feels like a tiny bit of France in my (classically small) NYC apartment, the scents truly go a long way.
I usually buy the Feu de Bois (190g) Described as: Wintertime… In the hearth, a fire roars, throwing out its light and casting shadows. The wood crackles as flames slowly consume the logs, releasing their dense, smoky scent. But for my birthday this year I wanted something a bit more special so I got the limited edition taper with the brass candle holder. Feu de Bois is my favorite, although I love so many of them. Baies is a fan fav, but I think they have so many other scents that are more interesting, even though I like Baies, it’s the last on my list
DIY Fits — I love a good deal, thrifting and Old Navy often come through when I want to take risks making edits to what I find. I bought these pants at Old Navy (in green) for $3 on clearance. Two sizes too big because I wanted them to be a bit more baggy (loving baggy at the moment). And bought these fabric paints on Amazon to try with. I love them, but I’m not fully convinced they’re done, so a WIP for now.
Coffee Breaks — I love taking myself on dates. Usually popping into a cute bar for a martini (gin obvi!) or a glass of wine. But I don’t often take myself for coffee in the morning before work and I definitely want to start doing that more. Doesn’t that sound so nice!? I love Daily Provisions, a cappuccino and their blueberry muffin. The city is so alive in the morning and it’s nice to sit and watch everyone doing their thing.
Sushi Dates — Sugarfish really is that good. I order the same thing everytime! The Nozawa Trust Me + Dry Sake and two pieces of Unagi for dessert! It's consistent, it’s always good and the rice is just warm enough to be literally perfect imho. Because you’re eating so many different pieces, ginger in between bites is essential!
Noble Blood — One of my favorite podcasts, sometimes I’ll let the episodes build up so I can binge. I highly suggest you listen if you’re into history.
Noble Blood explores the stories of some of history’s most fascinating royals: the tyrants and the tragic, the murderers and the murdered, and everyone in between. The world is full of ill-fated love affairs, bad decisions, and family drama, but for a monarch, the personal will determine the fate of nations. And when you’re wearing a crown, mistakes tend to mean blood.
Host and Author, Dana Schwartz
Smoothies! — I love this combo in the morning! I like mine green so definitely adjust the banana if you like it more sweet! I use nutribullet and approx:
⅓ of a banana
4 pieces of mango
2 celery sticks
Weekly Flowers — I can’t remember the name of these flowers but they’re $5 at Trader Joe’s and last the longest!
I found the Muurla vase at a thrift store and the Pilgrim (I have a pair) I bought on ebay a few years ago! Check ebay and etsy for both.
Luana’s Book Review
My name is Luana - I live on the beach in Australia, I just turned 40, I write about Motherhood a little and I read a lot.
I am going to share some of the great writing I find with Jessica’s substack community monthly. There will be books of course, but also essays, articles, critiques and audiobooks that excite me.
For drama’s sake, I’ll start somewhere dark and familiar….
The Shards by Bret Easton Ellis
When I was 25 I flew home from San Francisco via an extended layover in Tokyo. After an unforgettable few weeks with family in the Bay Area & a week on the beach in Costa Rica, my boyfriend traded me at the airport for a month of surf in Mexico. I was overjoyed.
Me in Japan? Alone? How chic.
Knowing that I would need something to keep me company there, I picked up a book at the airport that had alluded me for years. Folks I walked right up to the counter, handed over my debit card and willingly agreed to spend 3 days alone with Patrick Bateman.
American Psycho is more than a book, more than a movie. It is an icon, a zeitgeist, a litmus test. Bret Easton Ellis cemented his place in popular culture with this book about a man that embodies the American dream by day and the American nightmare by night. It is a work of twisted satirical genius and I loved every horrific minute spent with it, despite the fact that fear kept me awake for my whole time in Tokyo.
This month saw the release Ellis’ first new novel in 13 years and the premise hinted toward a similar genre. In an ingenious use of autofiction, The Shards parallels the authors coming of age in Los Angeles with the looming dread of a serial killer striking across the city. The result is sleek, inventive, and refreshingly earnest - at times, vulnerable even. Bret is discovering his identity and sexuality in his final year at Buckley, a prestigious Prep school. His friends are gorgeous and audacious and irresponsible. They are on the blurry cusp before adulthood and within this hormonal haze Bret finds himself beguiled by a new classmate named Robert Mallory. A seductive kid that clearly doesn’t quite fit in, who appears from nowhere right as the community is anxiously looking over it’s shoulder.
The Shards is unoppologetically 1980’s Americana. It’s a Ralph Lauren drenched meander down Mulholland drive, Wayfarers in the rearvirw mirror, sex in the pool house, sun, skin and Quaaludes. The author doesn’t shy away from these details and what they represent, the way they conjure a time and a type. Despite his place firmly within it, Ellis doesn’t look away from privilege. In the same way that he used Bateman as the New York investment banking cliche, he uses himself as the California teen dream. This tactic works, these familiar stereotypes make us feel safe. He holds our hands and walks us right into the dark.
I won’t delve too far into the storyline lest I spoil an incredible twist but I will tell you that I loved it and that the friend I read it with had a completely different theory on the ending than mine. A reader is lucky to be in the hands of such a master.
I personally love this. Friends sharing their most favorite things evokes a sense of community that I’m grateful to be a part of. Thank you ❤️
I'm voting for a home tour of Jess's NY apartment. She has such interesting taste and I love all the peeps of her finds we get to see!