Unauthorized uses for an Epiphanie Bag

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You see that pretty little bag up there? That's my Belle, from Epiphanie bags.


My friend Maile Wilson makes them. In fact she makes a whole range of amazing camera (and camera/laptop!) bags. You see, she's a photographer who saw a need for stylish bags that would hold and protect expensive photography equipment and (add a couple of years of blood, sweat and tears later) Epiphanie bags was born!


Inspiring, isn't it?


I got my bag as a gift at the Mighty Summit. It's a perfect fit, really, bloggers and Epiphanie bags -- so many of us are both photographers and writers.


But...the truth is, that I'm not as avid a photographer as some of my fellow bloggers. I'm more of a frazzled mom these days. My kids are still so little. I have two still in diapers and that means I always have diapers and wipes and baby food in my purse.


So, all those wonderful and customizable compartments in my fancy Epiphanie bag? They're filled with baby needs. And you know what? It works AWESOME:


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And that's just the bottom of the bag. I put my notebooks and sunglasses right on top of my now organized baby stuff. Did I mention that the bags are super lightweight and water-resistant? Because they are. (To protect the fragile cameras they carry, you see.)


I think, and this is just my opinion, that an Epiphanie bag would make a FABULOUS baby shower gift. I'm completely serious. Think about it: She can carry baby needs while the kid's in diapers and carry her DSLR when needed.


It's genius, I tell you.


Lovely Things: Talk To The Turtle

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I had a serious health scare last month. It wasn't fun. These things never are.


I'm 100% fine now, but at the time (the time being the entire month of July) I was subjected to many medical tests and there was a lot of uncertainty and fear as each test discovered something new that could or could not be A Serious Problem.


Needless to say, I was a wreck.


So when I received a short email from Rena Campbell about her feng-shui inspired jewelry line called Talk To The Turtle I was just about ready to delete her message when, for whatever reason, I clicked on the link.


(I remember when the eccentric new boss at one of my old jobs had the entire office rearranged according to feng shui principles as soon as he arrived from his post in Asia. I remember that they put a fish tank in the lobby and that they moved the furniture around, but I'm sure nothing was done about jewelry. I know tragically little about feng-shui but I was curious about what Rena's jewelry had to do with it.)


The first thing I noticed is that right at the center of the header picture was a charm with the word "Health" -- health had been on my mind, of course, so I read on. I read Rena's story and when I saw that her own health problems inspired her to start her company I decided to accept her offer for a free piece of jewelry.


I was about to ask for a "health" charm -- after all,  my health was on my mind, but then I read this: "Choose the possibility...pick the path that you most desire."


I realized that what I most desired wasn't health. It was Joy.


No matter what my health outcome would be, I knew that utlimately could do very little to control it. But as hokey as it sounds I knew I could choose Joy (trust me, I want to roll my eyes at this too, but it's true).  I didn't believe for a second that a piece of jewelry would give me joy, but I figured a little daily reminder wouldn't hurt.


So I wrote Rena and asked for Joy.


It was at my house in two days and has been with me ever since. Thank you, Rena. Your jewelry is lovely. What a touching gift.


#gapmagic

All of this year's speakers at Blogher were given the opportunity work with a GAP stylist to find our perfect pair of black pants and jeans. In addition, they helped us style outfits around those two key pieces -- and to do it all around a set budget. This time the budget was covered by the GAP (thank you!) but it gave me an idea: Why not do this in real life? You know, walk into the store, ask for a stylist (or personal shopper, or what have you) and say "I need clothes for this and I have so much (or little) to spend. Help?"



In all honesty, I was skeptical about the whole exercise. I am a proud solitary shopper. I don't like shopping with other people. (I love you, dear friends. But not when I need to buy clothes. Sorry.) But I found that working with a stylist was a very different thing because she was totally impartial to my feelings and gave me honest feedback.



I realize how obvious this is but it's not like I spend time thinking about personal shoppers in my daily life. I wish this was shocking to at least some of you but I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm just a normal person.



So my stylist, Jen at Miami's Dadeland store (hi, Jen!), convinced me to step out of my boot cut pants comfort zone and try a lot of new things. She even got me to put on jeggings, but I am scarred from that experience so there are no pictures.



You're welcome.



Jeggings are comfortable, but not flattering on me. AT ALL. Fortunately, she found me some new pants that aren't quite so underwear-like. (Hey, I live in Boston. Leggings are underwear when it's 7 degrees out!)



So what did I choose?



For my black pants I chose the "curvy" pants because (and this is genius, people) the back is higher than the front and thus eliminates the dreaded plumber's butt that has been rampant since low-cut jeans burst on the scene.



And for my jeans, I chose the "always skinny" -- which makes me laugh, because I ended up with pants from both extremes of the shape spectrum. The skinny pants are super comfy (like the jeggings) but, um, supportive (unlike the jeggings). They are my new favorite jeans. 



And here are the different outfits we came up with, all created around my curvy/skinny pant choices:







Almost forgot: The foldable Gap City Flats are the perfect commuting shoe. I wore them all around New York, for they saved my poor aching feet. They fit like padded socks -- is it any surprise then that I loved them so?