Lei Ann...Off Duty

acupuncturist kung fu sifu speed typist hawaiian-born bostonian zombie hunter...so what's a girl supposed to wear on her day off? leiannoffduty@gmail.com ~ FB: Lei Ann Off Duty

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*bag check*

phillip lim target bag, tory burch bag, michael kors bag, handbag, triple clutch, floral bag, purple handbag, white handbag

i’m a shoe girl at heart…through & through.  i do however go through periods of being a bag hag.  this is one of them…hahaha!  just some of my latest acquisitions…a tote bag for daily use, a convertible crossbody to clutch & a very ladylike floral purse.

phillip lim target bag, tory burch bag, michael kors bag, handbag, triple clutch, floral bag, purple handbag, white handbag

this tory burch faille handbag comes in such a pretty print with a resin chain handle & seems equally suitable for use during the fall & spring.  so demure & proper, yet fun & girly.  i fell in love with it as soon as i saw it in saks off fifth at wrentham premium outlets during a recent blogger shopping trip.  there were many other tory burch bags in all sizes & prints…i really wanted to take all of them home :(

phillip lim target bag, tory burch bag, michael kors bag, handbag, triple clutch, floral bag, purple handbag, white handbag

i was lucky to snag one of the covetable phillip lim x target bags…the large satchel tote in purple berry.  even though the zipper is not very stiff & wavy when unzipped, i am loving the bag & have received many compliments on it.  i’m not one to usually use a huge tote like this, but it’s very sturdy, structured & so far, holding up great to daily use!

finally, i had been loving the look of the celine triple clutch for a while now (even DIY’d my own) & was surprised that the michael kors outlet at wrentham had their own version…in lovely soft white leather with rose gold hardware.  ROSE GOLD HARDWARE!  when have you seen that?  coupled with the fact that i bought it courtesy of a gift card generously provided by wrentham premium outlets during our blogger field trip (my 3rd one that i’ve been invited to)…makes it even sweeter!  the 3-compartment clutch has a detachable strap, so could be easily used as a crossbody bag as well!  definitely putting the “fun” in functional!  there you have it, 3 different bags for 3 different occasions…should keep me busy & NO more bag shopping for a while…hahaha!

phillip lim target bag, tory burch bag, michael kors bag, handbag, triple clutch, floral bag, purple handbag, white handbag

disclaimer:  i was given a gift card by wrentham premium outlets management with which i bought the michael kors bag. all other purses purchased myself ^_^

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*DIY trio zip clutch*

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i’m a big fan of luxirare & coveted her iphone 5 cases for a long time.  i never pressed ‘purchase’ however due to me being an android girl & worried my phone would never fit the case.  still, i was in love with the triple compartment design.

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then, i saw a pair & a spare’s easy DIY of the similar (and bigger) celine trio bag & immediately wanted to try it (plus how adorable is little miss pair & a spare)!  i’m one of those rare species of girl that doesn’t carry a lot of stuff in my every day bag…my wallet, my phone, my camera & keys are pretty much it, but i do love how highly organized i can keep things now.

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i found these cheapie clutches in the clearance aisle at target & decided to give this DIY a whirl.  if/when i find proper leather or suede clutches (finding 3 identical is pretty tough), then i’ll make more.  at least this colorblocked cobalt blue/black one is still pretty on trend with a strap i added from another handbag to make it a shoulder bag.  i couldn’t resist also the whimsical animal cameos of these clutches below (also on clearance at target) & this will be my smaller party-time triple clutch.  check out a pair & a spare’s post for the tutorial.  if you can sew a button snap, this really is the easiest & chicest DIY ever!

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*DIY leather paper bag clutch*

as i partake of my huge thanksgiving meal this day like millions of you, i leave you with this DIY project that i had wanted to do for a long time :)  i’ve been obsessed lately with leather bags…but more in regular every day functional shapes, like the ubiquitous bodega bag or the trader joe’s/whole foods paper grocery bag.  something quirky for every day use :)

i had wanted to buy one in the shape of the good ol’ paper lunch bag that we all grew up with & use it like a clutch…similar to the jil sander men’s one, but even if it weren’t sold out, NOT for $630!  plus, this design just begs for a DIY in its simplicity, right?  first step was the hardest part…finding leather.  instead of scouring ebay & paying a premium, i just made a stop at my local goodwill & found the motherload of leather…a men’s 2X size leather jacket in that purrrrrrfect color of paper bag brown :)  all for a measly $8.

next, i found the size paper bag around the house that i found suited my needs.  i carefully tore the seams so i could get the approximate size.  then, i had a perfect rectangle that i handsewn the ends together to make the “tube” part of the paper bag.  now here came the tricky part.  with the smooshy leather, it was tough to “fold” the bag into the shape that i wanted.  so, i ended up folding the bottom part of the bag like i would when i’m gift wrapping a box.  i was satisfied that it achieved the same look that i wanted, so i went with it :)  i glued the seams & left under heavy books just to make it easier & wouldn’t come apart when i finally sewed the flaps to reinforce the bottom.  i put a cut piece of cardboard inside the shape of the bottom to give the bag structure when i finally use it & TADA…my version of the leather paper lunch bag :)  maybe i’ll use it to take home some thanksgiving leftovers…hahaha!  have a great holiday weekend, everyone ^_^

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*sold out items*

i was lucky enough to score 2 *big ticket* & HIGHLY desirable items last week that within minutes of their being available, sold the heck out!  hooray!

1.  i love my tech as much as i love my shoes. the nexus 4, google’s latest smartphone, was selling within minutes of being online worldwide.  hence, when USA sales began, i was there like a fiend, refreshing my computer screen & tablet at the same time & was lucky enough to score not 1, but 2 phones.  don’t ask for the extra phone though…my hubs already called dibs :)

2.  the next item, took much less work :)  blogger pal, najeema, lucked out at the maison martin margiela x h&m debut & got the silver candy wrapper clutch for herself & an extra for me!  it was definitely the most coveted item of the collection because even when i perused h&m later on, there seemed to be plenty of the clothing, shoes & other accessories but NO more clutches to be found. WINNING!

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*looking smart & fashionable*

i had a fat bitch of a cousin who was super mean to me in junior/high school :(  i remember her saying i had no life & no friends & would spend my saturday nights memorizing the dictionary & encyclopedia.  looking back…that was just jealousy because *i* was the smart one in the family *coughvaledictoriancough*.  just for that, i’ll carry around this kate spade dictionary clutch when i go out saturday nights…proving i’m still smart (saving 20% using the GODOTTY code) *and* have a social life!  take that, you hateful B!

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*another DIY - coco rocha’s BUY clutch*

you know that feature in the back of one of those magazines? people? us weekly? or ok magazine? i dunno…one of those. you know, where they put what looks like the same picture together & you have to pick out the 10 things different? can you spot the difference here?

AHAHAHAHA! ok, there’s a LOT different between uber-supermodel coco rocha and myself…like *everything*! how’s about what’s the *only* thing the same then? it’s ok…look it over. i’ll wait :)

yup, as soon as i saw her photo on tumblr, i knew i was recreating that BUY clutch. easily DIY-able. this was before the japan earthquake tragedy & so now the yen symbol, has even greater significance. i finished knitting the clutch up as quick as i can. now that it’s done, i LOVE it! it’s my new wallet. i’ll feature it in better detail in future posts. i might knit a reverse color (black with beige lettering) one as well.

speaking of coco rocha, i love that she has a tumblr & she’s so active on it. i’ve been on tumblr for years now & it’s funny how much more tumblr has become popular in the last year! yay!

finally, excuse my goofy face. coco can make it WERQ…i just look all kinds of lame. my husband kept rushing me because he wanted to hurry up & eat our burgers. hahaha! just can’t get good help these days…even with a burger bribe!

credits: photo of coco rocha via her tumblr; photo of me via the hubs

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to be honest, i’m not a big fan of clutches. only because i would be the dum-dum to lose them everywhere. i’ve even left restaurants with my regular purse sitting on the table. can you imagine?

years ago when i was working on my acupuncture degree, i developed horrible migraines…only on my left temple. i assumed it went along with the stress of grad school & just dealt with it. they got *much* better after school, but i would still be blindsided by them. then, i made a connection with how heavy my purse would be & how stiff my neck would feel. later on, learning from a chiropractor, i was actually pulling out cervical bones because of how heavy my bag was! eeekkk! i did notice that when i constantly yanked my neck up to pull my purse onto my shoulder (ladies…how many times a day do we do that?) i would develop migraines. once i switched to using crossbody bags & clutches more (heck, sometimes i’ve even made my own), i had noticeably DECREASED neck pain & hence less migraine incidences.

i still find it hard to use clutches more often because i tend to associate them with teeny weeny little things that are only good for evening events & holding a dollar bill & a lipstick. luckily, this AA leather clutch (i’m sure you’ve seen all over the fashionwebs by now) is large enough for daily use. here’s to more migraine-free days!

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i’m a consummate DIY-er. it’s fun to make stuff, especially when that stuff usually retails for super expensive & it’s relatively easy to make. when i saw the picture of natalie portman & her clutch that looks like a book & retails for $1250, i knew what was going to be my next DIY project. 

as much as i love gadgetry & the newest forms of technology, it’s also nice to hearken back to the “olden” days of holding books…hahaha. i found this tutorial on how to make a book safe & had plenty of fun constantly scoring & gluing pages…lemme tell you >.< screw on a heavy brass hook to the front of the book with an elastic from the back & voila…a functional book clutch that stays closed. hey it might even save me from being mugged one of these days. who would steal a book?

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