The Best Bags & Purses

So, as I announced a few months back, I’m not spending any money on non-essentials for the foreseeable future. I’ve certainly broadened the meaning of “essential”—for me, a meal out with friends every few weeks to catch up is really life-giving, so it’s essential to my mental health. In the past months, I’ve (somehow) managed to knock out over $2,000 of debt! This process has had highs and lows—anyone ever sent all of their money to pay off credit cards and forgotten about a scheduled charge that sent your bank account into the negative? Uh…me either. Overall, though, it’s been a lovely experiment and has really helped me build a healthy relationship with money.

So, back to the bags and purses. Part of the saving money journey has been selling things through Poshmark, so it’s forced me to take a good, hard look at my possessions and figure out which ones I’m keeping for function and which ones I’m keeping for status. My biggest area of weakness is handbags—they are my moon and stars. I have an enormous collection that I’ve had to pare down and sell. So, in essence, this list is what I decided to keep, what I decided to sell, and why.

I hope this helps your shopping journey! Please check out my shop, a lot of this stuff and way more is up for sale! I always take reasonable offers—I’m not afraid to haggle!

Love ‘Em

The Medium Transport Tote, Madewell

This bag is the GOAT. I would literally never dream of getting rid of it. I have it in a beautiful wine-colored leather. It doesn’t zip, so you have to be comfortable with an open-topped bag, but if you can deal with that, this is a fantastic bag. It’s nice and deep, perfect for a laptop, books, really anything you need. It has shoulder straps and a crossbody strap, so it’s versatile AF.

The Zip-Top Transport Carryall, Madewell

Madewell bags are just excellent quality. That’s how it goes. This one is a great travel bag—you can get a decent-sized laptop in there with little effort. You can cram all of your belongings into this thing and still zip it. It just has the standard compartments, but they’re big enough to actually accommodate your sunglasses case, pens, and other stuff you reach for all the time.

Le Pliage Nylon Tote Bag (Large), Longchamp

The #1 travel bag in all the land. This thing has gone to Mexico, Florida, England—it is the only bag I’ll bring on a plane now. It really stretches the limit of how much can possibly fit into one bag, while not seeming massive or suitcase-like.

Like ‘Em

The Transport Tote, Madewell

This bag definitely doesn’t work as an everyday purse but it works for everything else. The one I bought is nubuck leather, so it’s super soft while still strong and durable. It fits a ton without getting unmanageable or misshapen.

Kanken Mini Backpack, Fjällräven

What could be cuter? I still haven’t exactly figured out how to incorporate this into frequent use, but I imagine that it will come in very handy next time I travel.

Riverdale Small Crossbody, Kelly Moore Bag

This is actually up for sale on my Poshmark just because I don’t have a need for it, but it’s such a cute little bag. It’s shockingly roomy, and the inside is padded to protect your devices (it’s designed as a camera bag.

Jet Set Large Crossbody, Michael Kors

I actually ended up selling this bag, which I have mixed feelings about. It was truly so, so cute. My only complaint was that the leather was very rigid, so it was tough fitting things into the bag while retaining it’s sleek rectangular shape. When I carried this, I got endless compliments. If you can find one on sale, snag it!

Leo Clutch, Rebecca Minkoff

This seems like one I wouldn’t like, since it’s super thing without a lot of stretch, but I’ve actually used this clutch a ton of time with great results. I bought it for a wedding years ago, and I still pull it out for special occasions or evenings out. Mine’s in a black floral pattern so it straddles the line between pretty and edgy. The winning feature of this bag is that it has card slots, so no need to carry a wallet.

Leave ‘Em

Simple Half-Moon Crossbody, Madewell

This bag is so cute and I’m keeping it, but it’s very thin, meaning you can barely fit your keys in it.

Le Pliage Nylon Tote Bag (Small), Longchamp

I bought this bag to carry on my trip to England and I honestly didn’t love it! The no-compartments thing, for whatever reasons, works better on a large travel bag, where constantly grabbing necessities (like your money, which you then have to rustle through because you’re not familiar with the currency), isn’t as important moment-to-moment. Because the Longchamp bags are so roomy, I ended up carrying everything all of the time because I had the space. Ultimately, I switched this bag out for a £30 backpack from TopShop (in Windsor where the queen lives, no big deal), because it was just way too heavy on my shoulder.

Ella Tote, Tory Burch

I wanted to love this bag so much. Every few months, I take it out for a couple of days, hoping I will change my mind. But alas, it’s just not a practical bag. It’s enormous, which I actually like, but it has no compartments and an almost accordion-like structure that just gets bigger and bigger the more stuff you, well, stuff in it. It doesn’t really stay closed (nor do the side snaps) and the straps are really rigid, making it really uncomfortable to carry. If you need a really disorganized suitcase, this is the bag for you. I bought it at a discount when I worked retail and I truly did love the status symbol, but ultimately it wasn’t right for me. I sold it within an hour of putting it up on Poshmark, and I made back a good percentage of what I spent.

Wishlist

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You didn’t think I was going to end a handbag post without a little window shopping, did you?

The Abroad Shoulder Bag, Madewell

The perfect size for a crossbody.

Harper Crossbody Bag, J. Crew

I know for a fact that this would be so impractical, but it’s soooo cute.

Darren Shoulder Bag, Rebecca Minkoff

This looks like such a great size! I love things that are divided by compartment!

Full STEM Ahead Bag, Modcloth

I’ve been lusting over this bag for months. It’s not as high-quality as I usually aim for, but it’s so freaking cute. I have a weakness for yellow.

Advertisements

Sunday Kind of Love

It’s finally February. Praise Be / Under His Eye. January suuuuucked, so I’m glad to have a fresh start. I did accomplish a few things in January, but overall it was a wash. Daylight Savings starts (ends?) in a month and I’m counting the days.

  1. The other day, I had a personal training session and my lovely trainer didn’t pull any punches! It was a full body workout like I’ve never experienced. Of course, because I’m an idiot, I went back to the gym that night to take a Vinyasa Flow class. I clearly can’t be trusted to take care of my own body. Friday night (the day after) I was hurting. Luckily, my brother had a foam roller, and I inexpertly worked out some of the knots in my back. Needless to say, I’m a convert! I’m snagging one of these ASAP!
  2. I was reading some tips on zero-waste living, and while I’ll never get 100% there (hell, I’m like 40% there), I was intrigued at the concept of reusable organic cotton pads. As you all know, I’m here for period gear, but I’ve been a little gunshy about the cost of converting. Well, enter the Hesta Menstrual Cup which is AFFORDABLE and comes with an organic cotton reusable liner! According to Clue, it should arrive via Prime before I’m stricken with the (lovely, natural) plague, so I’ll report back soon!
  3. One of my all-time Twitter/internet faves, Nicole Cliffe, was tweeting about vintage-looking Converse yesterday and, lo and behold, they are available for purchase! I’m currently on a non-athletic sneaker-purchasing hiatus, so I’ll just fantasize about owning these lil’ cuties for the next month, until I inevitably cave and get them. P.S. Apparently Miley Cyrus has a line? How dare shoes do this to me?
  4. I cannot stop listening to this Marvelous Mrs. Maisel playlist I made on Spotify. This series has the best music curation I’ve ever heard, and they’ve got that Amazon money so there are TWO Barbra Streisand songs! My playlist isn’t 100% accurate—it’s missing at least one song that wasn’t available on Spotify and the version of “I Enjoy Being A Girl” is different, but I did my due diligence and it’s pretty thorough. Check out this playlist, which is one of the sources I used for mine, and make sure to listen to the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Goys podcast!
  5. I assume you’re all watching This Is Us, correct? I am SO EXCITED for tonight’s episode, I could scream! We’re finally going to find out how Jack died…I think. Even though I’m a baby and will inevitably be asleep early tonight (even though “my team” is in the Super Bowl or whatever), I’ll be rushing home from work to watch it tomorrow.
  6. This series about Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker by the incomparable Dana Schwartz has me cackling! I actually read Fifty Shades a few years back, while I was “babysitting” my mother-in-law post-surgery, and I have so many thoughts and feelings (about the movie too).I think it’s a gorgeous tribute to the inspiration for Fifty ShadesTwilight, that the two lead actors have zero chemistry. If there weren’t so many takes available online, I’d definitely write a post about it. P.S. I actually wrote a similar post about Dana Schwartz’s own book a few months back!
  7.  A Design Kit  is finally out! The ladies of ABM put out a companion app to their amazing A Color Story and it’s the best! I made the above graphic with ADK in about 5 seconds flat. There’s a great selection of brushes, fonts, and stickers to jazz up all of your photos!
  8. This is super random closer, but I just found these bookends on Modcloth (but cheaper on Amazon), and I must have them for when our renovation is complete…whenever that will be. It’s very apropos in a musician’s household.

Signing off until next week! Everyone enjoy the football sports stuff!

xoxo,

c

Linkies: Injury Duty

I hurt myself at work today. Of course, I wasn’t doing anything strenuous. I felt in perfect health. But all of a sudden, as I was reaching up, it felt like my back snapped in half. A doctor’s visit and muscle relaxers later, I’m still down for the count.

I feel betrayed by my body.

Luckily, there are other things going on to distract me from my misery.

Orange is the New Black just came back for its fourth season and gosh, did it deliver. I was skeptical at first with the direction of the narrative, but they came out strong for trans/black/prisoner rights, and I appreciated that s**t. Apart from John Oliver and the occasional Bernie Sanders speech, prison is out of the sight & mind of most Americans, but so many people are unjustly locked up. Prison is not a catch-all solution, and imprisoning someone for a b.s. offense (possession of small quantities of drugs, et al.) effectively ruins his or her life, perpetuating economic inequality and racism.

Will Butler and The Avett Brothers just put out new albums! Will Butler’s Friday Night and the Avett’s True Sadness both dropped in the past two weeks, and as we may or may not know from my incessant opinion-sharing, white men are good for one thing and one thing only: dropping bomb-ass records (hyperbole, but, you get it).

IMG_9304

This. Darn. Avocado. Bag. Betsey Johnson is killing it! I usually find her bags a bit too literal, but avocados are my forever love, and I don’t care how basic that is. It’s available on Modcloth too. I managed to score it for way cheaper before Amazon wised up to the hype.

Tomorrow, I’m going to my fave professor’s house to help her move. Yes, I’m in blinding pain, but I can always cart things back and forth. Going to people’s houses always inspires me to bring my A-game. Homemade chocolate chip donuts? Obviously. Plus, I get to meet her new baby!

July 4th is upon us! Nothing’s set in stone, but fiancé and I might be headed down to the beach to celebrate. I get the dang day off! I have a hella cute Kate Spade bathing suit on hold at work for the occasion. One-pieces forever.

And last but absolutely most, is Hamilton. As in Alexander. Yes, it’s a Broadway smash. Yes, I’m late to the party. But I never could have anticipated how amazing it is. I wept openly during multiple songs. It is my life’s blood. I haven’t listened to non-Hamilton music in five+ days. Why would I? Hamilton is a perfect musical. I lust for the day it will be broadcast on PBS, and I will never, EVER delete it from my DVR.

What inspires you lately?

—DellaBites

Going Green

So, as I may have mentioned here before, my fiancé and I try to be as environmentally conscious as possible. That means conscious choices such as recycling ALL the things, trying not to buy packaging that isn’t recyclable (or reducing the amount of packaging we buy in general), composting, making ample use of our garbage disposal, and using a water filter instead of buying bottled water.

However—that’s not what this post is about.

In addition to being “green” I happen to also love the color green. It’s my spirit color. My eyes are green. My birthstone is peridot. My teen bedroom was painted sage and my furniture was lime. I still default to green when purchasing everything from notebooks to throw pillows. I’m trying to be a little bit more neutral and mature in my decorating palette…but who said anything about my accessories?

My tuition refund from school has been processed (speaking of green!), so I decided to treat myself to a few presents before I have to do boring stuff with the money, like pay off my credit cards and save for my wedding.

Pack on Track Backpack in Kelly Green

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.12.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.12.45 PM

I’m not a huge Modcloth shopper since my store buys from a lot of the same vendors that Modcloth does. However, we don’t carry Herschel Supply Co. goods. I think their minimalist style is so fantastic—it’s no wonder hipsters everywhere have glommed onto the trend.

I previously blogged about my Rebecca Minkoff dream backpack, the MAB. It is wonderful and will probably be buried with me, but I live in New England, so in the winter leather + outdoors = devastation. I knew I was going to have to get a second backpack that could stand up to a little snow. Finding this bag for 30% off on Modcloth, PLUS my Ebates cash back was a sign from the retail gods.

A word about Ebates: I had seen the commercials and was as skeptical as anyone. I blew it off for a loooong time. But my former boss who, like me, was addicted to shopping, told me that it has been an amazing resource to her, and to check it out. It’s literally free money, you guys. Just set up a (free) account, shop your favorite sites through Ebates, and then they send you a check (or a direct deposit) of a percentage of whatever you spend online shopping. That’s….it. Even 1% back on a small purchase is pennies that you wouldn’t have otherwise had. I highly recommend the service!

Solange x Puma Word to the Woman

image via Puma
image via Puma

Praise this. I slept on the last Solange x Puma collection, so when she released “Word to the Woman” I had to snag a pair. It was SO hard to choose a color/style, but in the end, I had to follow my heart and go with the green. It was just my luck that Nordstrom, which carries the shoes, offers free shipping, AND has 6% cash back on Ebates right now!

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.14.03 PM

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 9.13.39 PM
images via Saint Heron (click through for link)

Now if we could get Solange to release more music…that would be a real treat.

Thanks for letting me share my current obsessions! I will be checking the mail obsessively for the next week!

—DellaBites