Ask me anything but please keep it clean and civil!
Yes. I would recommend buying a Macbook, but not just any Macbook, take the Macbook PRO line.
I feel qualified saying this because I own(ed):
1) Dell PC -- 15" (doesn't even stay charged and will shut off in the middle of doing something with a total power cut after 3 hours.. it's really unstable right now and unpredictable. I'm going to have to smash it, I can't even sell that piece of junk)
2) Toshiba -- 15" (Sold it)
3) Sony Vaio -- 16" (my "main" PC)
4) HP Mini 1000 -- I liked it, but it was too small to work on all the time, so I sold it
5) Macbook 13" regular (I loathe using it, so I keep it at my parents for a just in case computer)
6) Macbook 15" Pro (this is my go-to, all-time, use-it-constantly computer now, ever since I installed MS Office)
7) Macbook Air 11" -- This is my new travel laptop and I find it a tad heavy, but I am willing to trade that off for its solidly built body.
8) iPad -- yes I also own a tablet which I use as an e-reader, video whatever, and PDF thing.. I think I have a post coming up some day on this.
In addition, BF owns 2 PCs, the whole range of Macbook Pros in all the sizes (don't ask), a Macbook Air, an iPad, etc.. he too, has had plenty of experience with PCs and Macs and would recommend a Mac.
Now, onto the Macs:
I own a regular Macbook which was cheaper (I was poor and in debt without a laptop/computer!), but am thoroughly disappointed in its plastic body and its flimsy keys (I think one shifted and is kind of acting wonky).
I now own a Macbook Pro, and the aluminum body makes a huge difference, as it is sturdier and feels much better than their cheaper line.
It obviously always depends on what you do with your computer, but as an English grad student, I am assuming you would use MS Word a lot.
You can buy the suite for the Macbook Pro and you will never want to go back to a PC again except for things that you bought for the PC and don't want to re-purchase for a Mac (Adobe Photoshop is an example of a pricey bit of software).
Other pros of using a Macbook over a PC:
1) It doesn't overheat and have computer fan troubles all the damn time.
I own a Sony Vaio (top of the line), a Dell and I used to have a Toshiba.
THEY ALL turned really hot and used to run the fans constantly in a loud whooshing noise, even if I was working on a desk, in the middle of a cool season (not even summer!)
Side note: I also owned a small HP 1000 Mini which I liked, but the screen was too small for me to work on it daily (I sold it to a dear friend for cheap).
2) It is simple to figure out. Windows is way more flexible if you like to play with the background settings and coding, and do other fun geeky things, but ultimately, the Apple computer has ONE button for Settings and it is clear WTF it is used for
3) Almost all the programs I need for my life are on a Macbook platform except for Adobe Photoshop which I am about to buy, so I can just get rid of my PC altogether and give it to my dad who has been hinting for one.
4) I have never had a Macbook die on my yet, but that Dell I mentioned above? Bit the dust no less than 3 years after I bought it. That Macbook I bought at around 4 years ago? STILL GOING STRONG. It isn't sexy, kind of heavy compared to the new models and whatever, but it STILL WORKS... amazing.
5) I really loathe Windows. Did I mention that?
6) The sound clarity and the video quality is excellent on the Macbooks, especially with their anti-glare screens.
7) When the Macbook operating system does things like.. oh.. downloading a file for example, it gives you an approximate time that is quite accurate. On a PC, it might say: 30 seconds, and you're there 2 minutes later, still waiting for it to download. Basically, they just didn't code that shizz properly in the background on a PC and on a Macbook, they did a more accurate job of deciding how long it might take for something to transfer.
CONS of using a Macbook over a PC
1) Lack of a wide range of programs -- not all programs are Mac & PC friendly, usually they are just PC friendly
2) Sometimes the Macbook can bug. It doesn't happen often, but it surprises me when it does but it's nothing compared to the way a PC bugs and slows down
3) Hard drives and USB keys are tricky on a Macbook.. if you switch between a PC and Mac like I do, you might end up having to own 2 sets of keys and hard drives to back up your work, and so on. You can always format any key to be Mac-friendly but it may not have password protections that were available if it was used with a PC
4) Not everything runs and plays well with a Mac. Especially at client sites and with their systems/servers...
I hope that was detailed enough to sway you to a Macbook Pro. I honestly think it will be a good purchase and totally worth it. If you can't afford the 15" Macbook Pro, and are on a tight budget, look at the 13" Macbook Pro, but try and avoid the lower end line, you will thank me later when you realize the plastic body is not that great and makes a difference in how it holds up in the long run.
If traveling/carrying/back problems are your problem as well, I suggest looking at a Macbook Air 13". It won't be as fast or as amazing as a Macbook Pro 13" (no CD slot for instance), but it is quite portable for its quality and range of size.. plus it has backlit keyboards! (*jealous* :P)
OH MY GOODNESS! YES! :)
I am currently in this gap right now and finding designers that really speak to what I like to wear.
ShopAdam.com is one. I LOVE the clean, minimalist lines (gotta love 5th off SAKS).
Now, I am going back over my clothes and getting rid of anything that looks too faded or old to wear to work and replacing with new items.
I'm not trying to go crazy (I could spend thousands at this shop but am restraining myself to $200), and fitting in gaps to my clothing.
As a result, I am going back over my wardrobe to sell anything that is new and unworn that I have to make room. *sigh* I don't want to sell or give anything away.. but I know I have a good wardrobe, but not something I am quite happy with just yet. Missing a few key pieces.
If I perspired more than I already do now (I'm pretty sweaty. I even sweat in winter or when I eat hot soup....), I think I'd have less sweaters, not more :)
The key may be to have a good winter coat, and just wear a thin long-sleeved top underneath. That's kind of what I do, and I may feel like I am too cold in the beginning, but after 10 minutes of walking, I really warm up and feel perfectly fine.
I would have more tops however, because when you sweat through one in winter, you cannot wear it again the next day.. at least to me, I can't.
Summer is the worst for me.. although I mostly stick to dresses and skirts, and avoid pants like the plague.
Honestly, I am not happy with my wardrobe right now, because I feel like there are a lot of gaps, and a few pieces I thought were fine, are actually looking kind of ratty... Or at least, they do to my eyes, as I have to look professional at work.
Nevertheless, here's what my count is:
Work Tops = 10
Casual Tops = 11 (the ones I cannot wear to work)
T-Shirts/Tanks = 18 (EEP! :) Mostly because I do like tank tops a lot and it's my sleepwear)
Collared Shirts = 4
TOTAL TOP COUNT = 43
I am 'heavy' in the t-shirt/tank top department, so I am not buying any more of THOSE.. but I am in the middle of purging that too.
Now for the pants:
Work Pants = 6 -- 2 trouser jeans included..
Casual Pants = 3 -- I put a pair of leggings and workout pants in there too as well as my not-so-formal jeans
TOTAL PANTS COUNT = 9
Now for the skirts:
Skirts = 5 (I guess 3 could be 'formal')
TOTAL SKIRTS COUNT = 5
Now for the sweaters:
Casual Sweaters = 4 -- (Lululemon hoodies, etc)
Work Sweaters = 5 -- (Mostly cardigans in grey, black, navy..)
TOTAL SWEATER COUNT = 9
Now for the dresses:
Casual Dresses = 11 -- stuff I can't wear to work or to formal stuff
Formal Dresses = 7 -- Event-only items, due to the silk, etc
Work Dresses = 16 -- dresses I COULD wear to work but they also double as formal/casual dresses at times because I kind of blur the lines..
TOTAL DRESS COUNT = 34
Now for the coats/blazers:
2 casual coats (one is neutral in a green and the other is a bright red)
2 winter ones (one is 'formal', very lady like and THIN to wear over dresses and the other is my real winter coat)
It's all I really need and I'm thrilled in this department.
4 blazers = They go with the suits and/or are casual blazers I use like sweaters.
TOTAL COATS/BLAZERS = 8
And accessories, I counted last night and I'm at 131 pieces.. :)
Rings, necklaces, bracelets all included. I love every piece (I tried to get rid of a few, and it didn't work).
TOTAL PIECES = 108
TOTAL ACCESSORIES = 131
Hope that satisfies your curiousity! :) I may do a post on this where I show the actual pieces....
But that will come AFTER I do a little more decisive purging and re-evaluating of why I feel like my wardrobe is not cohesive (seems to be a jumble of colours).
I am only thrilled in the Coats and Dresses department...
1) Decide on the value of the brand to others. Something from Wal-mart will not be as desirable as something from J. Crew (as an example)
2) As a general rule of thumb, I take the retail price I paid for it, and discount it by at least 50%, up to 75%, sometimes more.
E.g. you bought it for $100, sell it for $50 - $25
3) Consider the condition and its desirability to others.
If you've worn it, it looks slightly faded but the brand is Gucci or Prada, then people might still want to buy it for the brand.. however, from VS or other mainstream stores, people are not going to be as keen on buying something that looks used from a store that is within their $$ reach.
Anything that looks almost like new (hardly worn, no pills), you can probably resell.
4) Consider the style. Is it stylish? Or was it stylish in 1990? No one wants to buy anything that isn't stylish, regardless of brand.
5) If you can't sell it, donate it if it is still wearable but used.
Okay without a doubt it will not go then. The red is too punchy and orange-toned to match that colour (which by the way is GORGEOUS).
The sagebrush could work, but then the purse colour looks kind of sad against the plum orchard.
I'd go with pecan. It seems to be the most neutral of all, in a nice brown and a good colour to match with any sweater, not just a plum orchard one.
Hope that helps :) Also, I love fashion Q&A! :D
Maybe I should set up a formspring specifically for that...
I am trying to picture i but it is hard without an example of this wine sweater.
That said, the bag seems really cool-toned, and the wine colour very warm, so it may clash...
A good colour with the bag would be a navy blue.
You and me both. I love my wardrobe! As for sorting through the rubble read:
How I cleaned my closet
6 things to toss immediately from your closet
Simplify your life: Wardrobe and Beauty
Lastly.. just stop shopping until you go through everything you own and you have an idea of what you need, what you're missing and only buy things from the list you make!
E.g. I felt like I needed a navy blazer to finish my looks (black on magenta looks cheap to me), and I waited until I found a cheap version of a high end one I saw in a blog 4 months ago, and paid $40 (taxes included). Now I wear that blazer over EVERYTHING I couldn't wear before.
(If you are in Canada, the navy blazer was at Dynamite -- http://www.dynamite.ca/ProductsDetail.aspx?pId=15094&pfId=157 )
You can do it in two ways.
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2) Via Email
If you go to my main page, and look down just under my avatar photo you will find a field at the bottom that says: Subscribe by Email
Enter in your email address and any new posts will go directly to that email address.
Thank you again!
He doesn't really read it, because he isn't really interested in the world of blogging. I do think he reads it on occasion but mostly, I just tell him about what I write about :)
I always feel like I'm torn between being a minimalist, being frugal and being an inherent shopaholic! :)
The best thing to do is to figure out a balance for yourself. I'd DEFINITELY keep the trash paper to write on (actually, I keep the envelopes too), because it makes no sense to buy paper for that purpose.
But when it gets to the point where you save old bottles or tubs to store things or just in case, think about whether it is useful or not to do so, and pull out your minimalist side.
To reconcile the two, think through this process:
1. Do I have the space for it, or would I be tripping over it each time?
(e.g. my parents brought home FREE exercise machines and wanted to keep these things even though they didn't use them, just because it was free)
2. Is it useful?
(e.g. your paper is very useful and practical I think)
3. Is it too much work for the end result?
(e.g. if you are digging in trash bins for old paper to use, then it is more trouble/work than it's worth to just buy paper).
Just remember that if your 'hoarding' gets out of control, you will know it, because you will feel like it's out of control and uncomfortable. You will want to clean up that space/area and that's when you need to cut back.
That's a moot question because everyone has lied and everyone has stolen, even if it was something benign like a cookie from a cookie jar as a kid.
Or you lie and say your sister did it when it was really you.
That said, I am not religious AT ALL so I don't believe in any of what you're preaching and I respectfully ask you to stop.
Oh I am not wearing it. I only want it on the wall. It feels and looks rather heavy, and I can't imagine wearing an obi WITH IT!
BIRKENSTOCKS! :) They are comfortable, look nice and I made my mom buy 2 pairs for her plantar fasciitis (sp?)
As for actual shoes, you can buy them and get the BIrkenstock insoles for them, which are saving my feet from future problems as we speak.
You're so very welcome! I wish you all the best on your journey towards saving as much as possible :)
Oh I see. In that case for steps I took in order to save every penny, it was more of a mental challenge.
I set up a goal (aggressive)
I repeated the goal in my head each time I wanted to spend money that wasn't needed
I let myself have some money per month (fun money)
Every single time I DID spend money, I thought about how I could cut back on it (grocery shopping for instance) and I started to cook my own food rather than eat out to save even more.
I ogled my budget spreadsheet and watched my debt drop and my savings grow, which is a great motivator
Good to hear! :) Here are all of my best posts from Fabulously Broke
You should be able to find something there. That said, I don't deal in extreme saving specifically (e.g. tips like reusing onion bags as a pot scrubber), so you'll have to let me know what you mean by "extreme saving" ;)
Thanks for loving the blog! :)
Hmm.. a favourite purse for everyday. This is very difficult because I like mixing them up and using different purses when I feel like it.
If I absolutely had to pick, I'd say it's my dark red crimson Samsara bag (a discontinued line by Mat & Nat), which is made out of vegan leather :)
You can see it here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fabulouslybrokecloset/5385727255/in/set-72157625774744485
it's a nice size, it's red, and I love it. I just wouldn't use it if I had to do a LOT of errands and shopping. I'd use my purple Lululemon bag instead as it has a lot more pockets/organization ;)
Really? :) I only do it in hotel rooms when I travel on vacation and bring very little, to be honest.
Or if they don't have a washing machine downstairs.
And it's usually for things like underwear, socks, my tops.. anything that has to really be washed before I re-wear it again. It's so I don't bring so much.
I don't do it in my daily life.
How I do it is I first soak what I want to wash in warm-ish water (not too cold because my fingers are in pain if I wash in freezing cold water).
Then I take some soap, rub it all over the garment, concentrating on the dirty parts, and then scrub/rub the top against itself to remove the dirt and oil.
It's either that, or use an actual brush against the top, but I'm afraid it will pill or fray my garment if I do so.
For very delicate items, I GENTLY rub the item against itself so that I don't cause so much friction that it pills.
After I have scrubbed each part against itself, I dunk it back into water, rinse, lightly squeeze out the water, rinse it again until the water runs clear, do a hard squeeze on the item (but not where you wring the piece so hard that it leaves wrinkles).
Then I hang it up in the hotel bathroom usually on the hangers they give us, or sometims there's a clothesline in the bathtub in European hotels.
In about a day, everything dries.
I'd ask you how long the business conference is. :) If it's less than a week, I suggest the following:
1-2 pairs of pants (I'd bring two, just in case you spill something on one)
2 polo shirts or something equally as casual (rotate between the days.. no one really notices if you wear light blue one day and white the next, then light blue again)
1 pair of dress shoes for work (what's best is if you can also wear them out at night, but sometimes this isn't the most comfortable option)
FOR CASUAL WHATEVERS
Frankly, I just wear the stuff I wear to work.. out at night. Just with different shoes (not heels).
So all I'd bring as a casual whatever is a regular t-shirt to sleep in and a pair of casual shoes.
However many pairs of underwear you need for the week (max of 5 because you can always do laundry in the sink of the hotel.. or actually, a lot of hotels have coin-operated washing machines in their basements)
You should also be aware of the fact that you are also wearing an outfit to this business conference. So you can wear one pair of pants, and pack the other. Wear one shirt, and pack the other shirt (or pack 2 shirts). Then wear one of the pairs of shoes you are bringing.
You should be able to pack everything into a small carry-on. If you cannot do that, then you need to cut back on something.
I also asked BF to confirm what he'd bring, and he went even more minimalist. He said just one pair of pants and be extra careful (*LAUGH*), 2 shirts (because he always spills on tops, not pants), 2 pairs of underwear (and do a rotating wash), and one pair of shoes that doubles for work and for play.
If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to ask again :) Hope that helps!
Everyday Minimalist’s Bio
I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived with no fixed address, totally dependent on a single suitcase starting in 2007.
You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist.
I also blog @ FabulouslyBroke.com where I muse about money.