Tag Archives: Purses

Mama’s Got A Brand New Bag…..


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more handbags! There’s nothing like the inspirational change in season to brighten a girl’s spirits. While the weather certainly won’t allow for a complete about face where our wardrobes are concerned, we can infuse a little bit of spring into our accessorizing.

I’m a bag lady from way back. When I was a kid, I would take the 22 Clark Street bus downtown and head to Water Tower with all of the money I earned babysitting. And I babysat a lot. There was never a shortage of parents looking to make a mad dash for the door in the hopes of finding a little peace and quiet (Now that I’m a parent, I totally get it. When Mary Poppins would babysit for Nick and Amanda, I always booked her for the next weekend as she was walking out the door.).  If I wasn’t scoping out all of the fabulous fashions at The Limited, I was heading upstairs to my favorite store; Le Sportsac. The bags came in all sorts of wonderful colors, shapes and sizes. One Christmas, I was so excited to buy a little Le Sportsac bag for my cousin Terri. She was a super fun teenager and I thought it would be smashing if she took it dancing. I still love Le Sportsac. One of my all time favorite tote bags (because I am a total schlep-rock) is a zebra print Le Sportsac with hot pink trim. Who’s the rock star now?   

Many ladies tend to settle for using one bag per season; your basic black or brown for fall and winter, and something a little less dreary for spring and summer.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with an awesome black and brown handbag, in fact, they’re a staple that every woman should have in her wardrobe of purses. However, variety is the spice of life! Handbags are another way to reflect your personal style. I change purses frequently (you know I believe in quantity), sometimes several times a week. I adore a well made, roomy and stylish handbag. My go to winter bags are a raspberry, quilted patent leather and a red, patent leather bucket bag. They go with everything and are so much more exciting than boring black or brown.

 The other day, I was running a few errands and took a quick detour to check out the purse department at Nordstrom’s. It was the happiest of days……

 

Soft and pretty is definitely a trend this upcoming season. Coach, who always makes a beautiful bag, was featuring lovely tone on tone combinations; pale pink, creamy ivory and neutral beiges. Of course, soft metallic gold and silver are a great way to transition shimmering elegance to the spring season. Their selections were, as always, lovely.

 

Burbery is keeping it traditionally plaid but with the wonderful addition of a white patent leather. So fresh and so clean!

 

 Vibrant and bold colors are a real treat! Hot pink, apple green and citrus orange just scream nice weather. I loved them especially in the slouchy bucket bag.

 

The iconic and elegant Kate Spade always showcases classic pieces with an irreverent and witty twist! Quilted Chanel inspired bags in Pepto-Bismol pink and finely woven straw bags embellished with beautiful, over size flowers. Absolutely to die for!

 

However, if a run to Nordstrom’s isn’t in your future, TJ Maxx had fabulous bags for a fraction of the price. There were great neutrals, metallic’s and bold colors; something for every occasion and budget.

More changing seasons, more handbags, more personal style…….

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Handbags and Hairbrushes……


As the More is More Mom® you know that I am a hoarder of all things; silly fun, connections to people, moments in time, meaningful experiences………..and lots and lots of stuff! My desire to create beautiful experiences is insatiable and rather time consuming. I am a huge treasure hunter, and when Nick and Amanda were little I would drag them along for the ride in my quest to find the perfect…….everything. Tuesday Morning is a fantastic place to dig for treasures. Perhaps you are familiar with this purveyor of fabulous finds. They are sooooo much fun! After they restock their shelves with amazing wares, Tuesday Morning opens their doors at 8:00 AM on a specified….Tuesday morning. My equally obsessed treasure hunting friends and I would load up our SUV’s, with our kidlet’s in tow (and plenty of bribes…..like doughnuts and drink boxes) and stand in line at 7:30 AM (in the blistering heat, damp rain or freezing cold….why it was better than a trip to Disney Land!) just for the opportunity to have the right of first refusal on fun stuff we didn’t need. Hey, if I had to suffer through an eternally boring afternoon at the Children’s Museum or Chuckie Cheese, these kids could certainly suck it up while I cruised the aisles in my own little Nirvana.

You know how much I like a good handbag and a sweet deal. About ten years ago my girlfriend Judy (well, she’s actually more like my sister, and since neither one of has a sister, we decided that we would be each other’s sister) invited me to a purse party. When we are not volunteering at school and caring for our homes, these are precisely the sorts of silly things that suburban housewives do to while away the hours until the real work starts when the kids get home from school. We packed up our Pre-Schooler’s, trekked two suburbs to the South of Winsome, all for the chance to ogle fake handbags, pashmina’s, and pretend Tiffany Jewelry in some strangers basement. It wasn’t at all cheap and tawdry. It was amazing. We had never seen such a thing……handbags, impersonating handbags like Kate Spade, Gucci and Todd’s, right here in the suburbs! Bliss. I knew right then and there that the girls in Winsome would sell their first born for such a deal, so I booked a party on the spot!

As you can imagine, word spread like wildfire and I had women in my basement, rifling through boxes of purses, cocktails in hand (I can make a party out of anything), with a line out the door, and around the block, all desperately wanting to buy fake handbags. They were making appointments to come for private showings and clandestine meetings. Husbands were ordering purses as Christmas gifts. It was absolute madness. Quite frankly, with all the activity at our house I was concerned that we were going to be raided by the fashionista police, and I didn’t want to hear Ricky, I mean Chuck, say, “Lucy….you have some es-plaining to do.” But the very best thing about my fake purse party was that I got to know Michelle, the gal that colors my hair, formerly of the Fabulous and Fancy Hair Salon.

I had this crazy flashback as I thought about how long I have known Michelle, and had quite a chuckle about how we got to know each other while on my most recent visit with her at her new Serene and Calm Hair Salon. I was self styling after my services when the gal at the reception desk was admiring my method for drying my hair. I have a method for everything, and as the More is More Mom® you know I love more of everything, which would include….hairbrushes. I apportion my hair in to seven different sections and enlist the aid of seven different round hairbrushes, one for each section naturally, to act in much the same way as hot rollers. Then I have a big flat brush and a skinny round brush for backcombing.

The gal at the front desk was very impressed with my unique and efficient method of drying my hair. She said she too would give it a try…….if only she owned seven hairbrushes. Oh shoot. How is it that I have acquired more hairbrushes than ladies that work at hair salons? It looks like I’ve got some more es-plaining to do. Oh, Ricky……

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TJ Maxx, a fabulous raspberry Cole Haan hand bag and a Nobel Peace Prize……..


Do you ever feel like you have a sixth sense? I’m not talking about anything creepy like seeing dead people, but rather having an inexplicable connection to something. Like being able to read someone’s aura, or being a clairvoyant. I have a similar such gift, only it’s my connection to things. They speak to me. Again, that would be how one comes to accumulate………MORE!

One time I was wandering the aisles at TJ Maxx and More (the name just says it all!), when out of the corner of my eye, something caught my attention. Fascinated, unable to look away, I slowly, and curiously, approached this most interesting, and beautiful object. I gazed at it, took it all in, and what I saw in it was…… potential. It held no practical purpose, but often we enjoy and appreciate beauty for its own sake, not because it holds any particular function or use. We get pleasure from admiring beauty; beautiful things, beautiful artwork, beautiful people. What I saw was a striking, red, Asian bust that stood a foot and a half tall. She was proud and impressive, lovely and resplendent in her jewels. I loved her, but felt that as a practical person (HA, HA, HA), I didn’t have a “need” for her, so I forced myself to walk away. As I continued to browse through the rows, and rows, of merchandise, all with their own stories to tell, I kept thinking about that red bust. I was obsessed with her. She tormented me, and beckoned that I come back to rescue her. It seemed cruel to ignore her plea’s to be saved, and as a humanitarian, with my heart racing, I ran back to find her, wrought with worry that someone else might have taken my beautiful treasure. As I turned the corner, relieved, there she sat, waiting for……. me. I swooped her up, carefully placing her in my cart and brought her home. She has become a familiar friend and we have shared many wonderful stories together. Sometimes she sits on my Dining Room table, keeping a watchful eye over all that enter our home. She has helped me celebrate many parties as the Goddess of Volunteering and the Tiki Princess. She has a beauty that is all her own, my beautiful Buddha. Nick reminds me, “What is it with you and the Buddha’s? You know we’re catholic right?” Our love knows no bounds.

Recently, on another such excursion to TJ Maxx and More (because that really is the very best place to find MORE), I stumbled upon a treasure of another sort. I really do love everything and am an equal opportunity hoarder, which is why I obsessively shop for steals and deals. It is the thrill of the hunt, and discovering the potential of all these wonderful things that excite me so! As a total bag lady I love purses, but not just any old ordinary purse, they have to be really good. By good I am suggesting that the purse needs to be made by a fine craftsman, be an outrageous color or have fantastic hardware, or be made of animal skin. Meow…….On this particular day the sheen of a raspberry patent leather caught my attention. Upon inspection I discovered that it was a Cole Haan handbag. Bliss! These bags retail for hundreds of dollars, but I unearthed one at a bargain. Oh, happiest of days. While I certainly should be more mindful, this was an opportunity not to be missed!

Fast forward another month or so, and you’ll find that I have been cruising the aisles of yet another TJ Maxx to discover, out of the corner of my eye, my Cole Haan handbag, but this time it is sporting a new red clearance sticker! Happy days are here again! Now my good deal had been transformed from a caterpillar, to the butterfly of super, extra, bargains! Proudly I take my bag to the register and make my purchase.

I race home, dig through my messy pile of disorganized receipts, and jump for joy when I actually lay my hands on the one I need. I zipity zip back to TJ Maxx to return the first bag, only to discover that it has been over 30 days since my initial purchase and will be issued a store credit rather than what I prefer, which is a refund on my credit card. Ugh! Think. Think. Think. Savvy and experienced shopper that I am………I have a plan.

1. Race back home, snag newly reduced priced fabulous Cole Haan bag, with receipt which is less than 30 days old.
2. Return bag for refund on my credit card.
3. Purchase newly reduced/returned bag using…….store credit
4. Have an additional $60.00 store credit for More fun nonsense at TJ Maxx and More!
5. Realize if I spent as much time focusing on solving real problems as I do on silly, self imposed, made up problems, then I could find a cure for cancer (if I were a scientist) or remedy the epidemic of world-wide hunger (I am a mother that reminds her pals to eat what’s on their plates, because there are starving children in Africa, so I could totally do that) and win a Nobel Peace Prize! Take that TJ Maxx and your 30 day return policy!

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