Tag Archives: tj maxx

Days 20 & 21

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Well, she did it! Our girl graduated from Bowling Green State University, and in her honor I carried this orange – and i do mean ORANGE Latico slouchy tote. I got this one at TJ Maxx a couple of years ago when orange was the color of the season. Like i always say – if you love a color, or marginally like it, get it while the getting is good. I looked for months before i found an orange i could tolerate at a good price. Latico bags are saturated with color, with the most supple, soft, scrunchy leather. It does have black hole qualities, but that’s ok. It’s a looker.

 

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After the Flying Pig 5K, i thought THERE’S NO WAY I’M LEAVING THE HOUSE. Whoops forgot about a friend’s show. Calvin Klein to the rescue, in this soft, buttery, chartreuse leather with khaki leather trim. I got this at Clothes Mentor for IDK around $14 or so. Ok, so the strap is coming loose and it has some scuffs. So what! The color makes it fabulous, especially with neutrals. WINNER

I’ll get caught up yet!

 

Day 12

IMG_0427This part of the blog is an Easter celebration for 50 days of my favorite bags. The hardest part about my personal Easter celebration is having to tell people they can’t have one of the bags. To be clearer – the 40 day Lent bag giveaway is over; it ended on Holy Saturday. Easter Sunday started the 50 favorite bag part, where i use a different bag every day for 50 days. This discipline celebrates the bags, and is an exercise in… a whole lot of things, actually. Having to switch bags daily means I can’t build up a lot of stuff. It forces me to choose and then release at the end of the day. There’s no getting into a bag rut during these 50 days. Anyway. If you asked for a bag since Easter, you won’t be receiving it. Sorry for any confusion.

Today’s bag is an old standby, my first Tignanello. This bag does it all except pay the bills. Read more here. I almost got rid of it this year, that’s how few bags I have left compared to the past. I don’t buy like i used to. I give away more than i used to. The collection is truly whittling down to the favorites. I’m thankful.

bag #11

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Since it’s Saturday, I’m going to reflect a bit on how this is going. But not before I introduce today’s bag, this Liz Claiborne chocolate-brown pleather duffle with gold hardware. I got this one at TJ Maxx maybe 6 or 7 years ago for $35. It’s got great interior organization with a zippered divider and 3 interior pockets. The handles are just long enough that they will fit on most shoulders (they fit on mine, so…). It’s about 15″ long.

This is a bag that I’m culling due to duplication. A true librarian knows that when you bring one in, one must go. Most librarians don’t practice this, though. And before you ask, once a librarian, always a librarian. I believe that since I had to get an advanced degree in it I can be it forever in my heart.

Email 50favbags@gmail.com if you’re interested. 

So on day 11, I can say that I really love giving bags away like this. I’ve had bag swaps in the past, and I’ve given bags to friends. I take stuff to Goodwill and to other charities on a regular basis. So giving is no new concept in my life, it’s part of who I am, who I was raised to be.

But giving away bags like this – this quantity to this many people who I know – is different and very cool, so far. Seeing the bag in action is what i love best. When I see my friends and they are carrying a bag from a purse swap or one that I just found and knew was perfect – and it is – it’s like I’m a WINNER! A matchmaker for people and bags. A bag whisperer.

But what kind of person is THAT? Who cares that much about bags and why? I care about bags that much, and have for so many years, because it’s the one piece of the fashion world that ALWAYS FITS. Beyond that, like everything, there’s the artistic elements: colors, quality, design, craftsmanship… thrifting, or bargain shopping in general, is like a treasure hunt. And many of you know that feeling when you strike it rich – it’s a feeling you want to repeat.

Alright, that’s enough musings for today – peace out, people.

TAKEN – thanks!

bag #10

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How many black pebbled leather bags should one person own? Clearly I am unqualified to answer this question, as I currently own a number that I don’t know off the top of my head and wouldn’t disclose if I did. But I can say that when someone claims this bag, I’ll have one less.

Black, pebbled leather, whipstitching, hobo – the quadfecta of bags for me. This one is super-soft leather with a snap closure and absolutely NO interior organization, which is it’s downfall. I have lost many an item in this black hole of a bag. I got this one at TJ Maxx many years ago, and happily have found other bags with more pockets and pouches. This is a great bag if you carry a smaller purse and a lot of other stuff and need one bag in which to put it all.

Email 50favbags@gmail.com if you’re interested.

One of the hard parts about this giveaway is having to tell some people no, the bag is already taken. Once a librarian, always a librarian – I can’t quit unless there’s an answer, a solution, that everyone likes. Once a teacher, always a teacher – I want the right person to get the right bag when they need it. But what i’ve learned so far is that there isn’t always a right answer, or a good answer. I can’t always say yes, I’ve solved it. But I can keep working, keep looking, keep trying. Or, I can stop. And sometimes, that’s ok too.

TAKEN – thanks!

day 47

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hype satchel hanging out at Music Hall after the May Festival concert

i remember the summer well – 2007. i was looking and looking for a white purse to no avail.  then i found this hype purse at tj maxx. i’m almost embarrassed to say how much i paid for this bag. but whatever. $100. or does $99.99 sound better?  i had just gotten promoted to homework center manager at the library, and i felt like for once, i could go for it. i was wrong.

don’t get it twisted – i really like this purse. it’s busting out with charm all over. whip-stitched, drawsting, satchel style, lots of buckles and pockets. but the thing is heavy. that summer, i ended up with a neck strain and my ortho doc partially blamed this purse. he wanted me to get rid of it. i gave him a look and he said “never mind. just lighten your load.”

now, i carry it sporadically and don’t overload it, which is sad, because it can really hold a lot. so, be careful what you wish for. it could be a pain in the neck.

day 46

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the sak silverlake convertible – hobo style20130516-230756.jpgthe sak silverlake convertible – satchel style

 

this bag was my 2012 Christmas present to me from my family – which means i picked it out, bought it, kept it in a bag under the bed and then put it under the tree on Christmas.

what an awesome gift – exactly what i wanted. no, i didn’t get it at my favorite goodwill, or any thrift store. this came from the one, the only, tj maxx. while it is always my dream to score quality bags at thrift store prices, that doesn’t always work when i have something specific in mind.

a few years ago, my close friend and 2nd mom joy wanted a yellow/mustard bag. she knew if anyone could find it, i could. she is very particular and won’t settle for just any style. well, i found her a london fog mustard colored purse for $70. instead of telling her about it, i splurged and bought it for as a birthday present. it barely begins to compensate for all the times she was there for me when i got locked out of the house, felt like no one understood me, and didn’t understand myself. i was thrilled to give it to her and she was beyond excited.

i loved the bag myself – so much that i went online and got myself one from overstock.com. if you find something you like at tj maxx and don’t buy it, then go back and it’s gone, try overstock or polyvore. so i got my yellow bag and i basically wore it out. the body is leather but the handles are covered in a thin, stretchy vinyl – the handles began to peel and that’s it for me. i can’t be too tacky.

so i started looking for a replacement last fall – and i looked for months and months. everything i liked was way out of my price range – i have this innate ability to select bags that cost $129 or more. not happening!

i found this bag by the sak at tj maxx for $60. well, $59.99 but who’s counting. as a present, i felt i could justify coughing up the dough. it’s a satchel that converts to a hobo; the shoulder strap folds underneath the purse and can be snapped into immobility. the pebbled leather is buttery goodness and i have to work hard to not just sit and pet it like a cat. what can i say, i have two kids with asthma. no pets. i loved this gift. having a yellow bag on a rainy or winter’s day brightens not only my mood, but others’ too. it’s the least i can do.

day 42

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liz claiborne pebbled leather drawstring hobo at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

mother’s day is a challenge for me, as my mom has been dead for 12 years. we came home from being at my in-laws for spring break the day before easter in 2001and stopped by my folks house before going home. as soon as we left, my dad took her to the hospital and she had triple bypass two days later – the day was going to have a biopsy, we later found out. when she did have the biopsy, she was diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to her liver. she died three months later – 3 weeks before 9.11.

having a personal death close to that event made it almost impossible for me to grieve for her. her death was unfair to me, but some of it she brought on herself. meanwhile, here was this unimaginable, horrifying event unfolding – it made my mom’s death seem like something i should just get over. my dad imploded. i still had to parent and then help my dad. i was in a suspended, sleepless state for many, many months and years. less now than then, but i still have my stretches.

time does heal wounds, but mother’s day is still tough. this year was probably my best yet in terms of tear flow. i know it’s important for my girls to be able to celebrate mother’s day. i’m just not that into it, but i’m trying to be better.

regardless, i took the opportunity to use one of my favorite bags of hers as a phone case: i remember it having a short strap at one time but i probably wore it out. i mentioned this purse in another post, and in another, i referenced her love for tooled leather. while we didn’t always have the best relationship, especially from age 13-26, she instilled in me a love of accessories. she was really telling me to love myself. she was a nurse, so she wore a lab coat most days. but when she went to church… watch out! she believed in hooking up an outfit from head to toe, leaving no jewelry, scarf or handbag left behind. the older i get, the more i understand how important it was for her to have that corner of the world for herself. actually, it was three closets, but who’s counting?

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one of my mom’s old purses

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i used to play with this clasp a LOT

fortunately, my oldest had another concert and i was able to enjoy the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Northern Kentucky. what a gorgeous location. it truly helped take my mind off of missing mom so much. peace, and happy mother’s day to all the moms out there. i appreciate you.

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