Thrifting magic: Filofax and Madewell Transport tote

Madewell tote and FilofaxIn the past few weeks I had the greatest luck thrifting: a Madewell Transport tote and a Filofax organizer materialized in front of me, straight out of my dreams. Deserving of a blog post, right? The bag was not something I had been looking for in the thrift shop because considering the bag’s Internet fame (I think every style blogger out there must have one) I didn’t imagine it would appear in thrift shops any time soon. And yet, there it was one day, exactly the color way that I liked the most. The corners were slightly worn and it had some dye rubbed off in some small splotched spots, but otherwise the bag looked great.

At home I used some black leather dye (I use this one to paint every shoe and bag I own lately, to the growing resentment of certain family members who don’t understand why the dinner table must be covered in newspapers and bags and black paint all the time. Sorry!) and conditioner to make it new again.

I am discovering lately that totes are not really the most comfortable of bags. One of the two handles always slips down my shoulder which is very annoying. I might add another strap to make this into a cross body/slouchy hobo thing. We’ll see.

Madewell tote and Filofax2Then, last week I found one thing that I’ve been dreaming of: a Filofax. I was not expecting to find one so quickly (only last fall I learned about Filofaxes and how apparently amazing they are), that was why I had bought another organizer off eBay. This Filofax is a personal size Kensington, a style that I understand is discontinued. It was burgundy in color when I found it (why don’t I ever take before photos, why?) but the same leather dye turned it into black. Now that red button stands out really nicely, doesn’t it? I moved all the inserts from the eBay organizer into the Filofax and again great luck: they fit perfectly. I’m all set.

Even the little frame wallet peeking out of the bag is a new thrift find. Not that I needed another wallet either (I don’t usually use wallets, but pouches that hold everything I own), but this one was too cute to resist. And I can alway put the other pouches to other good uses.

Now I’m promising myself that the only things I’ll look for at the thrift store for a while will be linen tops and dresses. Nothing else. Unless it’s something exceptional like these latest finds. But otherwise nothing else. For sure. Probably.

Consumerist guilt

IMG_6663For the past two months my family had quite a pleasant Sunday routine that involved my husband taking my daughter to skating lessons while the baby and I spent time in Savers looking around for treasures. There have been days when I didn’t buy anything, although the kids always seem to need one thing or another. They grow out of sizes at such a fast rate that clothes are consumables in our house. I should file the expenses under groceries. This post, however, is not about clothes needed by fast-growing children, but about an unnecessary bag for their mother.

I definitely didn’t need another bag. I didn’t. A year or two ago I had reached the perfect balance of bags. I have one bag (or two) for each imaginable situation: I have bags for winter and bags for summer, I have tiny fancy bags that work nicely for evening events, and slouchy, cross-body bags that I can travel well with me. I have big bags that can be diaper bag (or laptop bag) and purse at the same time, I have diaper bag/purse combos (the purse is small enough to go inside the diaper bag when needed, but also has enough space for essentials like phone, wallet, sunglasses and keys). I have tan, brown and black bags, and even a pink evening bag, because who knows when a little black dress (which I don’t own and possibly never will) might ask for a colorful little accessory. So, yeah, no need for a new bag. But then when I saw this pretty little leather one with it’s beautiful hardware and attractive rounded corners, I couldn’t resist. And it was only $4.

crossbody-bag-and-boyfriend-jeansI have been wearing it exclusively now for two weeks and I am very happy with it. I am happier than if I had resisted buying it, I think. Which I often think I should have, because I own enough crap already and I don’t have the time or the energy to take care of it all (my basement is a messy testimony to that). But it was cheap and small. At least I got stopped from purchasing two lounge chairs that were cheap and lovely. Really lovely. They only needed new upholstery, and maybe an extra room in the house. See, good that I bought that bag that helped me resist bigger temptations. I think that maybe I should just enjoy it for now and stop obsessing over needs versus wants. Sometimes there is little reason to our actions, and that should be acceptable. As long as it stays in the realm of sometimes and doesn’t become every day. As long as it’s small and cheap and beautiful. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. (The planet? Of course you had to remind me of that! Come on, stop giving me such a hard time. Just this once.)

The story inside my bag

inside-my-bagI have been thinking of doing one of these posts for a very long time. I do find them fascinating, and I know I am not the only one. Now that Angie posted her thoughts about her bag and its contents, I felt compelled to finally do this post.

Bags can tell a lot. They are keepers of secret lives and intimate selves. They are an important character in one’s story. This is what mine can unveil. You can interpret it any way you want. These are things that come with me, hidden, and when they peek out, they tell tales that might or might not be about the real me.