I Am A Bag Lady

Right out of college, I nannied for a fabulous little boy who had an equally fabulous mama.  She was, and still is, who I think of when I think of stylish women.  One day she told me about a Fendi sample/end of season sale and told me I needed to go.  This is the type of employer I enjoy having.  Priorities are priorities.  Walking into the sale for me was the grown up version of being invited to the North Pole.  I didn’t know where to look or walk to first.  There was an entire room full of Fendis that I could afford.  I have had few dreams that rivaled the excitement of that day.  I bought a $1000 bag for $150.  I0 years later, it is still my go to bag for every formal occasion.  It is the best deal I have ever found.


I am a bag girl.  I like bags for all occasions and purposes.  I like having a pile of things that I need for the day and thinking about how to best contain them.  Buying a diaper bag took months as I mentally played different scenarios in my mind.  Pockets, zippers, pouches….it is so exciting to mentally fill these.  Having a baby now, I carry big bags, but one of my most favorite bags I own is a tiny bag that holds my necessities, but keeps my arms and hands free to tell stories as I am incapable of talking without my hands.

purple bag

My Marc by Marc Jacobs cross body bag is perfect for carrying just the necessities, but it still has the bells and whistles that make it interesting to me.  It has 2 outer pockets with brass hardware, and an inner slip pocket for a little extra safe keeping.  It comfortably holds a small wallet, cell phone, pen, gum, and lip gloss.  I can wear it cross body or cinch it up to make it more of a clutch for the evening.  I adore it.  Sadly, they have discontinued it, but while the purple color and hardware drew me to it, the size of it was what made it so wonderful.  The tiny cross body bag is a staple bag to have in your bag arsenal.  I consider it a piece of jewelry that completes your outfit.  Basic black is obviously the safe choice, but since they are so little, a pop of color is much more interesting.  Here are current favorites.  All can be found at Bloomingdales.  Enjoy.

yellow marcMarc by Marc Jacobs




Tory Burch


Vince Camuto

minkoff blue

Rebecca Minkoff


Rebecca Minkoff

Man luxuries

It all started out with an innocent debate as to whether Wes was on the Real World Austin or Sydney.  Pat and I both felt strongly and decided to put a wager on our answer.  The loser had to sprint to the trash cans nude.  This isn’t as outrageous as it sounds seeing that it was 10:00 at night, our trash is 5 feet from the back door, and isn’t easily viewed from the street.  Still, the excitement was there.  I won.  Pat dragged his feet, but like any good man, owned up to being wrong and sprinted out the door.  I immediately slammed and locked it.  I then started yelling, “Who’s out there?” and our dogs went nuts.  Our neighbor’s lights came on and Pat used words that were 100% appropriate for the situation.  I let him back in and he said that just like game night, I had ruined any future betting opportunities.  (I might or might not have thrown a Scrabble board after losing.)

Today’s post is dedicated to little luxuries for your man.  I had some making up to do.  It was totally worth it, by the way.  The items below are tested tried and true by some of the most important men in my life.

Lululemon game on boxer briefs, $24.  The men said they were too expensive to buy themselves, which makes them perfect for gift giving.  The fit is great and the colors are vibrant.  The packaging is nice as well, no pun intended.

lulu boxer

Kikkerland pens, $6 for 5.  These were inspired by Mad Men and brought my brother back to his days of sitting at my dad’s desk.  The fit is comfortable and has a clean print.  I have never understood a preferred pen, but both my brother and my husband have preferences for their work.  It is a man thing.  http://www.kikkerland.com/products/retro-pens-set-of-5/


American Apparel V-neck tees, $21-28 for short sleeve.  “You know how new sweatshirts are really soft until you wash them?  I like these tees because they stay soft, like a brand new sweatshirt.”  When men comment on a fabrication, you know it’s good.  This fit model looks like a jailed junkie.  They look better on real men.


Bugatchi socks, $19.75.  When we were in France, the only thing my husband bought for himself were French socks.  Printed socks are popular with men and give you a glimpse into their personality.  I love finding an unexpected print peeking out of a serious suit.  Bugatchi has fantastic prints and they last a very long time.  Where to buy them?  Of course….Nordstrom.  Zappos also carries them.


Dunkin Donuts coffee, roughly $10 for 12 oz.  I had no idea there was a cult following to this coffee.  A good friend of ours was harassed in the store for refusing to say ‘dunkaccino’, but still goes back for the coffee.  I have heard from several men that this is the BEST coffee.  Apparently a Southern California store arrival is causing serious excitement.  While you are at it, pick up the disposable coffee cups from the grocery store too.  Their convenience is appreciated by your man.

Kiehl’s Products.  Kiehl’s has clean, neutral packaging, appealing to men.  They are no-nonsense and straight forward in their promises and goals.  From their men’s line, my husband likes their facial fuel.  They also have the best non-scented lip balm.  Bloomingdale’s has a good in-store shop.  I find that their associates are honest about the products too.


Pearls of Wisdom, Sort of?

I like to think that I carry myself well, but at times it is a fail.  I have left many an evening where Patrick informed me that my stories were highly inappropriate.  In those moments, I like to think that I have the panache to pull them off, but I usually cringe, pray, and send a vague text the next day to feel out the situation.  Over the years I have observed many women, usually Southern, who remain aloofly cool and wish that I was that way.  I just am not.  Before I attend a ladylike event, I give myself mental pointers.  Some of them include:

  • Remember that being a listener is as important as being a talker.  Everyone gets a turn.
  • Do not tell a story that would embarrass your husband.
  • Stand up straight.
  • Do not drop an F bomb.

I generally at least achieve the not dropping the F bomb point.  Yay!  I bring this up because some of my favorite ladylike accessories are pearls.   I do not endorse them at all with a cardigan twin set, but worn extra casually, they can be fun.  Opposites in dressing are so interesting.  If worn with a twin set, they are expected, but if you wear them with distressed boyfriend jeans, they are absolutely fascinating to me.  I might wonder, “What was she doing to pair these with this outfit?  Was she at the opera and couldn’t be bothered to remove them?”  or “I want to be friends with her.”  Opposites that are so blaringly obvious are fresh.  Why not wear a strand of pearls to run errands?  Things of beauty should not be used only for special occasions.  Pearls are a gemstone that have a very wide price range and timeless.  They are a wonderful gift for a new love or for a relative.  My favorite necklace is made of fresh water, pale pink pearls.   They are not perfectly round, which of course is more interesting to me.  I braid it with another strand of perfect pearls that were my great aunt’s, and gold, raisin-like freshwater pearls, and it keeps me entertained for hours.  The imperfections are the best part.