Post that might change my life

If you’re a regular reader of much time at all, you know I have a bag problem.  I love handbags, but have serious trouble finding one that I love (read: will use more than a few days). 

Straw Studios - eBags

Enter Sal.  She’s written a post on how to shop for a handbag.  It seems self-evident when she says it, but…  Hem.  Sometimes, one can’t see the forest for the trees.

Here’s a breakdown of what I need in a bag:

Use patterns: 

  • Simply put, it must have a magnetic closure.  Otherwise, it won’t get closed unless I’m in an airport, and by Sissy or by chance, it will topple over and contents will go everywhere and then bad words happen.
  • While I like a single, main compartment, I do want to be able to put my hands on whatever I’m reaching for without doing that “drop my hand to the bottom and shake” routine we’ve all done before.
  • I don’t like to set my bag down on counters while shopping.  I want it to hang comfortably from my forearm while I snatch out my wallet, phone, etc.

Bring your stuff:

Kate Spade from eBags

  • I admire minimalists, but I’m not one.  I mean, I can be, for a lone, dress-up night, or when the Knight is driving and I know I don’t need more than my ID and tinted lip balm…
  • This is also why I don’t change bags once I find one I like.  I do need a really secure interior side-zip pocket for the checkbook and its friends, and I need an interior drop-in pocket for the smart phone.  I also need a pocket – inside or out – for my ring full of those annoying but essential shopper discount key fob thingees.
  • I do not like a bag that won’t hold its shape “loaded”.  This is where Vera often fails me.

Wear a coat:

  • Pfst.  It’s supposed to be 95 degrees or some such today, Sal.  Ain’t happenin’.  But I get your point; I like a close-fitting shoulder bag, and I know it needs to go over, around and stay with a coat on too.
  • This time of year, think slicker-style raincoats too.  Because nothing’s more annoying that straps that slide, especially when a big ol’ loaded bag is attached.

Check the finish:

Fossil bag in coated canvas - eBags

  • This is where my heart and hands part ways with my head.  I love buttery, soft leather and fabric bags, but I know they don’t hold up to my life.  Sissy and I need pleather, coated fabric and/or all-weather leather.
  • I do pout and sulk when the bag gets its first blemish, or the fabric loses its crispness.  Note to self:  QUIT BUYING “like buttah” leather and uncoated fabric bags!!  They can be your evening wristlets or even wallets, but not THE BAG.
  • This is also where I’m going to point out that all that metal that’s so trendy right now adds bulk, and since I insist on carrying a larger bag, I need to reduce weight where I can.

Consider color:

Tignanello Safari Tote @ eBags

  • I have a tealish blue problem.  My favorite two bags are very similar in hue, and I’ve nearly bought several more in the same family.  I’m trying hard to broaden my color horizons, since only one of those bags has been retired due to being worn out.
  • I have the standard black and brown handbags.  They aren’t sexy, they aren’t big enough for daily use, but they’re classic and practical. 
  • I’m liking green right now.  I ordered one green bag that just wasn’t functional, and have another on order.
  • I’m drawn to RED bags, but haven’t found the right one for me yet.

I know most of you already know what you like and can shop for it without incident, and I’m jealous.  Maybe though, this little exercise will lead me to a happy place, where I have my big tote-style bag and something small – a wristlet or a small crossbody? – I can just grab and go when I don’t need the kitchen sink.

How was your long weekend – if you  had one?  I did some knitting and should have snapped a photo for you, but maybe tomorrow…

aka: Decoration Day

Memorial Day started out as Decoration Day, and while I’m blessed to say none of the military folks I hold dear have died while in service, it’s still a great time to give pause and thank those who do serve and have served. 

Arlington National Cemetery, courtesy of Wikipedia

Oh – and a little bit of a history lesson here…  Y’all do know that Arlington was the family homeplace of Mary Anna Randolph Custis and SHE inherited it from her father just a few years before the Civil War began?  It was seized during the war, and the General and his wife never challenged for the return of their home, as the General believed it would be too devisive.  However, upon RE Lee’s death, their eldest son did, and the short version is he won, and then sold it to the US Government, and… that’s the rest of the story.

Old Rules

September 2010 004

9-11-10 Ceremony

Monday – Memorial Day here in the US – marks the unofficial start of summer.   However, for me it also means I can wear white shoes, carry a white bag, wear patent leather, etc., from now until Labor Day

I know, I know… those are old rules – see the post title?!  Problem is, I’m a well-programmed little Southern belle, and I feel generations of well-heeled women glaring down at me when I test those limits.  I have worn white capris and a white dress already and didn’t feel guilty, but I’m still that 13 yr. old who met ancestral guilt in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s House of the Seven Gables.  

(Hmmm… suddenly have a hankering to read that.  Anyone know if it’s free for Nook or Kindle?)

As it so happens, I only own one pair of white sandals and haven’t worn them in … at least two years.  I did lovingly dust them off and consider them last week with the white dress, but given my nearly neon white legs… hem. 

Lilly P too heavy wicker bag...

I am thinking I’d love a white – or bisque? – bag for summer, but then there’s straw/wicker…  Have you seen any great white bags or a straw bag with some structure that doesn’t weigh more than Gretchen?

Do you have any season-specific fashion rules? 

Any big plans for the weekend?

Yellow Suede Shoes

Why yes, this IS a dogs on thursday post, so just hold on!!  If you want true dog content, visit the girls’ blog, where we have a little public service announcement up. 

It’s a very happy little friday here.  I have on my new Hush Puppies Rockabilly wedges in an obnoxious yellow suede that annoys the Knight.  Heh… yes I do consider that a bonus! 

Mine are actually more… golden than that photo.  I like the softer yellow better, but I’m (obviously) keeping these anyway.  They’re comfortable, and given the platform across the toe section, they don’t feel like high heels at all.  They are noisy to walk in though, so I wouldn’t wear them if you work in a library.  Still, they’re comfy, happy shoes that will add some suede sunshine to lots of my outfits!



Isn’t that the cutest tissue paper EVER?!  Seriously.  The shoes were wrapped in that, inside the box.  Melt.  Have I mentioned that our Fred’s (see the girls’ post) uncle was the Hush Puppies model when Freddy was born?

Anyhoo…  Thankful Thursday.   I’m really thankful for our descent weather this week.  Those good ol’ Blue Ridge Mountains have been breaking the storms up for us, but my thoughts and prayers go out to all who have not been so fortunate.  My former stepfather’s hometown was hit hard yesterday…   I’m thankful Sissy’s doing well, and I’m thankful for each of you too!

What are you thankful for today?

Summer Love Abounds

This is one of those quirky posts that probably gives you more insight into the real me than you might want.  See, I was so entertained by the overlapping marketing campaigns that graced my very rural route mailbox yesterday that YOU have to hear about them.

First, there was a large postcard from Talbot’s, inviting me to come visit.  (At least, that’s what I told the Knight when he asked if there was any mail…)   They’re calling their sale Summer Love.   (Doesn’t that banner make you want to go get a big ol’ bowl of raspberry sorbet?!)  Too bad there’s nothing on sale I actually want.

Then, Dress Barn sent a thin catalog promoting their upcoming Summer Lovin’ sale…  and I did see a maxi dress I like, but there are a trio of problems.

1.  It’s a LONG dress.  It doesn’t appear to come in a petite length, and I am petite, albeit just barely.  I don’t know that it’s worth even trying to have it altered.

2.  I don’t know that I’d actually wear it more than a couple of times.  I am wearing skorts and knee-length skirts a lot as it warms up, but that’s different than something near floor-length.

3.  Overshare warning!!  It doesn’t meet my “I can wear a regular bra” requirement, which would most likely render it not-wearable, even if I did overcome obstacle #1, and which almost guarantees #2 would be a very true prophecy.

So instead of clothes shopping – which I still don’t love, by the way, unlike shoe and bag shopping – I’ll share all the summer songs bebopping through my head.

What are your favorite summer songs?  I know I’m going to kick myself later when I realize some of MY favorites that I failed to mention…

Walkin’ after midnight

January 2011 007No, not really, but it was dusk when the fur-girls and I set out last night.  See, Sissy has become a BEAST about walks.  Gretchen gets excited when a walk seems evident and zooms around the house as only wee doggies seem to do, literally bouncing off furniture and walls, but Sissy will throw a fit and DEMAND a walk if one isn’t forthcoming.

So, I quickly slipped into my walking shoes and socks and slapped on their harnesses, and away we went, even though it was getting darker by the second.  We managed, in part because one end of our road is more populated and has a few streetlights, but I’m hoping some of you who walk and/or run regularly can share your secrets with me.

Sissy isn’t going to give up walks because it’s too hot, and walking in the morning before work isn’t safe at all with everyone on our road heading to work or school, so we’ll just adjust the length and intensity of our walks to her constitution.  I have a doggy water attachment I can put on a water bottle and take water with us.  What else?

January 2011 006For future late walks, I do have day-glo neckerchiefs for each dog (thanks to my sister), and I have a head lamp thingee from LL Bean I can dig out from wherever I put it.   Any other hands-free to hold on tight to two retractable leashes tips for walking in the dark?

Oh – and I happened to have on my New Balance Rock & Tone shoes last night.  I like them, but since I rotate between three pairs of shoes for walking, I don’t know that they’ve made a huge difference in my tone or shape. 

What are your favorite walking/running tips, accessories or what have you?


Hark!  Chanknits has knitting content!

Photo borrowed from Knitting Daily

I think today’s Knitting Daily helped me see the light… you know, the light that shines down deep into my knitting bag, letting me see my missing mojo for the first time in months.

See Barbie’s dresses?  THAT is why I can’t knit, can’t finish what I do have on the needles.  I’ve been knitting with larger-gauge yarns/needles, when I know I enjoy finer/thinner yarns better. 

I started putting this together over the weekend.  ALL of the cardigans I’ve purchased this spring have been very fine-gauged, certainly no more than DK weight, and than one has a rather open weave.  Most are lace to fingering, to put it in knitter’s terms. 

photoEverything I have on the needles is worsted, save one laceweight project, which is the one I’ve at least been talking about finishing.  No wonder I can’t make my hue-appealing, worsted cotton pick a pattern it wants to become!  At least right now, I don’t want to wear anything that bulky, so…

Hrmph.  Pack up that pretty cotton and find me some Tofutsies or something…   I’m thinking a longer, thinner, crescent-shaped shawlette-scarf?  No need to scare my tender mojo away right off the bat…

Any suggestions?

Report on 31

I went to that 31 party yesterday.  I liked several of their items… if only they had more adult,  masculine fabrics, the Knight might have gotten a Large Utility Tote.  The man packs for the beach in a laundry basket.  Hem.  However, black is not friendly in a house with two dogs with white hair, and those other fabrics are too… not masculine for him.  (The black and white stripe had lime handles recently… THAT would have worked.  Hrmph.)

Instead, I bought two different wristlet style wallets, hoping that one of them will work for me.  The consultant is also an iPhone user, so she was able to assure me that both styles work with my phone.   I also really liked the Retro Metro bag in Navy, but I don’t need another bag… unless I want something casual for summer?  Wouldn’t it be cute monogrammed in a bright green or red?

Yes, you can find similar products at craft stores and big box stores, but I looked at a very similar to the mini organizer totes at a big box store last night, and it wasn’t as cute, couldn’t be personalized, and cost almost $2 more.  Now, that doesn’t include the with shipping price from 31, but still… 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not a crossbody girl.  I’m not built for them, and they just don’t appeal to me.  I like a true HAND bag, with straps that fit closely over my shoulder when I do need to toss a bag up there.   Here’s hoping I can bond with one of the wristlets, allowing me to stick with my big bags when I’m not running errands!

How was your weekend?

Just Cause

Oh look!  A rare, Saturday post.  It’s for a good cause though.  See, I added My edit to my Reader a few weeks ago.  How could I NOT keep up with a blogger whose tag line is “life between peep toes and steel toes”?!   After all, I’m the former firefighter, now president-elect of my local Junior League, so my closet floor has steel toed boots and bejewelled mules, and everything in between.

Anyway, if you click on that link, you’ll see that she’s promoting a friend’s campaign.  Friend’s uncle died of cancer, and friend is selling a sweet little necklace to raise funds for charity bike ride.  

I’m not a bicycle enthusist, but anything that supports cancer research tugs at my heart.  I’m feeling especially called to share this with some of you who might ride or have rider friends who would like a special necklace, because this week, we learned another friend has a family member just diagnosed with cancer and another relative – on the Knight’s side, by marriage this time – has colon cancer. 

I’m also going to shamelessly mention that May isn’t over and Pampered Chef’s Help Whip Cancer campaign is still underway.  Every little bit helps, right?


Okay, it feels like maybe mid-April and summer isn’t on the calendar for a few more weeks, but I always feel like a kid let out of school for the summer after our League annual meeting… which was last night.


You know you're welcome when... the elevator at Brown's

I need to pause for a moment and thank the Meetings & Events committee for a fab evening, with a special thanks to Brown Automotive for hosting us.  I’ll admit; I was more than skeptical about holding our year-end dinner and meeting in an auto sales showroom, but it was lovely.  (Too bad I didn’t take more pictures.  Bad, bad blogger!)  Harvest Moon always does a fab job, but last night’s presentation really worked for me. 

Anyway, since I’m feeling summery, I was really drawn to Lilly’s post on the Battenburg lace dresses.  Hem.  No photos, but I wore a white eyelet-ish dress last night.  I repeat…  I do not need a second white lace dress.  Really.  I don’t.  You should have heard me instructing Sissy not to touch me because my dress would tear…

However, I do need non-tee tops, and isn’t this cheerful?  I can see it with my white capris or a denim skirt, or maybe my blue capris… but they’re a bit darker than the shorts she has on…

Do you wear shorts?  I don’t.  I work out in capris, and I do wear longer skorts a lot, but since I have rather muscular thighs, shorts just never seem to look cute and/or polished on me, no matter what.

I’m also still looking for a smaller bag.  Anyone doing crossbodies?  I’m wondering if I could find one that isn’t tiny, that would be happy to live in my big tote-style “handbag” when I’m not running errands.  Last night is the perfect example of yet another reason why I shouldn’t be a big bag lady…

Yeah, I know.  My back doesn’t like big bags, but my sense of style does.  But back aside, I’m carrying my JLC Vineyard Vines bag more, and it’s ridiculous to have a canvas tote with all of my notebooks, cocktail napkins (don’t judge; I was a Girl Scout, and I suppose we have our own notions of what being prepared means), etc., along with the rather heavy, large tote-style bag.

What’s on your weekend agenda?  I’m going to my first 31 party…  anyone out there already a 31 fan?