Kate Spade Emerson Review

Five days ago I went to the Kate Spade store and I picked up a handbag that my dad purchased for me as an early birthday present. I never liked the quilted handbags, but lately they’ve been growing on me, having recently bought the White Rabbit quilted Loungefly purse for my upcoming wedding. Probably all the “Chanel” unboxing videos on YouTube.(Lol… Maybe one day…)

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White Rabbit by Loungefly

This year Kate Spade New York has been celebrating their 25th anniversary and they brought back their “Sam” bag and scrolling through the latest designs I came across the “Emerson Place Sam” and immediately fell in love.It was simple, elegant, would make the perfect special events bag and just the right size. I told my dad that is what I wanted for my 30th birthday this year and we ordered it early as there was a 30% off store wide sale going on.

The “Emerson Place” collection is quite gorgeous and they have quite a few styles and colors, so if you’re interested, here are all the available listings.¬†IMG_5502

Now about the bag. The bag itself was surprisingly very very light weight. This was surprising to me as I own quite a few Kate Spade purses and they all have some kind of weight to them, this one did not. The other surprising thing is that it didn’t have the Kate Spade signature stripes for the lining but rather a subtle light pink with small darker pink polka dots inside; which isn’t a bad thing as while I absolutely love the stripes this gives the bag a more sophisticated look.¬† The strap was also a little more classy with the addition of some gold chain hardware rather than just a plain leather strap.

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The size of the bag in my opinion, is perfect. I’m not a fan of the large handbags as I don’t carry enough stuff with me on a day to day basis to need such a large bag. Though I do own two tote bags and have two more on my wishlist, I don’t use them on a day to day basis. I prefer small to medium sized handbags for my day to day use and for special occasions. This handbag has two openings on the sides with some extra pockets and a zippered space in the middle and measures 10.1 x 7.7 x 5.1. Enough space to carry my wallet, keys, phone, coin purse, etc.

All in all I couldn’t be happier with this bag, I love the style, I love the quilted leather, and I couldn’t recommend it more.

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Cabazon Outlet Trip and What are the Outlets

This weekend my husband and I made the trip to the Cabezon Outlets to check out the Ted Baker Outlet during their Easter sale to buy him a suit for our upcoming wedding. He wound up getting his anniversary present a Coach leather brief case a few months early as we got a really great deal on it.

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For those with a budget and who would love to buy designer, the outlet is an amazing source to go and get some really nice looking designer merchandise without spending higher amounts of money. My first ever Kate Spade handbag was from an outlet and while it’s been long since sold to make way for more stuff in my collection, I loved that purse to the very end.

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Loved her, classy and spacious.

You can get up to 70% off for a designer handbag that would normally cost you about $300. However, there are differences between the different outlets as well as a difference in quality between made for outlet merchandise and the stuff you can get at the brand’s boutique.

IMG_5284¬†Some outlet stores tend to have the merchandise that didn’t sell from the previous year and the company is selling them either at cost or at a steep discount to make back their costs. This tends to be the case with some of the luxury and higher end brands like Gucci, Burberry, etc. It’s still going to be expensive but it will be less than what you would pay for it in a boutique store.¬† One exception from what I could see was the Prada outlet store also carried some made for outlet merchandise.¬† My husband suggested we go into the Burberry store as I absolutely adore their bags, but even at outlet prices I could not afford it. lol Perhaps maybe sometime in the future.¬† Was considering taking a picture of the bag, but some of the outlet stores don’t like people taking pictures inside the store, so out of respect I refrained from doing so.

 

For things like the designer brands, like Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors, etc they have some stuff from boutique but mostly it’s made for outlet and will have the colors and themes from the year before. I’ve never bought from the Michael Kors outlet before but I do plan to at some point in the future, but I have bought many of things from the coach and kate spade outlets in the recent years.

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People argue that the quality and design are poorer with the made for outlet stuff… and to some extent I will agree with them, but I will post a more in depth review on that later. For now here is what we scored! Until next time. ūüôā

Kate Spade Themed 29th Birthday Party

I love Kate Spade. You could call me Kate Spade addicted, I love her purses, her style, her accessories, etc. Her stuff just completes an outfit, with it’s simplicity and elegance. For my 29th birthday, ¬†I decided I wanted to do a Kate Spade themed party. From the invitation down to the floral arrangements. We decided to do it in our newly remodeled garage.

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I did some research on Pinterest and got some ideas, but one thing I noticed in all the Kate Spade themed party ideas was the overwhelming addition of pink. While pink is a color in Kate Spade items, it’s not really the main color of her designs. Her stuff is a lot of black and white, golds, silvers, with a bit of pastel pink thrown in and topped off with glitter. I decided to go the subtle route and focus on the black and white with the silver and golds thrown in and a dash of pastel pink and topped with glitter (gold glitter heart cupcake toppers) .

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Had fun planning my birthday party and hope I have given you all some inspiration!

 

 

Redoing our Garage on a $400 Budget

Two years ago my husband and I decided to purchase a condo in California and we found a cute little 2 bedroom, one bathroom place with a parking space and a one car garage. While condos get a reputation for being a glorified apartment, it’s quite awesome what you can do with it, once you’ve realize you actually own it and if you can think outside the box.

Early weekend in July, my husband and I decided that we wanted to redo our garage, not only so that he can have a nice space for him to do some woodworking or some other projects, but also so that we could have a nice outdoor space to entertain or have a BBQ once in a while.

Our garage had potential, but we first had to clean it out as we had quite a mess in there.

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Once we had it organized we needed to figure out a style and design that we liked, enter Pinterest. I spent a few weeks looking at different options, but none of them seemed to click, however on a trip to Michaels one day a sign in the store caught my eye.

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Our neighbors, like us, think outside the box and like to do BBQs in front of their garages. They don’t have yards, but they make it work and it usually works out great. ¬†We had been planning on following suit and doing BBQs in front of the garage and I thought that the sign would look kind of cool in there. I decided to wait on the sign but then it hit me, A chalkboard wall…

Chalkboard walls have been a trend the past few years and I’ve been in love with the concept ever since I became aware of it. However, we really didn’t have any place to put one in our actual condo. I ran it past my husband and he loved the idea as it would mean that not only would we have a neat place to draw on for entertaining but he would have an infinite note taking space.

We spent a day or two looking at different chalkboard walls and decided to go with urban loft look, with the chalkboard paint, a light blue color, and brick wallpaper for the back wall as the accent, in total for supplies as well as the paints and wallpaper it came out to about $300.

First my dad and my husband sanded and primed the wall, then taped off where we didn’t want to paint to get an even rectangle. All supplies were bought from Lowes hardware store.

Then we added the brick wallpaper to the back wall to give the illusion that we have brick back there. We bought the brick wallpaper from Bed, Bath and Beyond. 

Lastly we had to attach the wiring in so we could have light and power in the garage.

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Not all condos come with power in the garage, we were fortunate enough that ours did. ūüôā

Lastly just for those finishing touches we bought some lighting to add that something special. The lights were bought at Target and the wiring we bought from Lowes.

Once everything was done we hosted our first Fourth of July BBQ. ūüôā

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Why Teens Shouldn’t Be Forced Into College.

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There is a certain order, a good 90% or more of people believe in when it comes to “education”. I say that in quotation marks,¬†because many have a different idea of what “education” is; specifically when that certain order of education comes into question. A lot of parents and families believe that right after high school, you attend college, and then from college you get a billion dollar paying job as a doctor, CEO, or lawyer, you get married, you f***k and make babies, retire, and then you die.

Now lets back track to when you were in high school,¬†when the only things on your mind were what your peers thought of you, the latest bands, if Justin or Justine liked you, dances, and passing Mr. Jones’s Geometry class. Most of us don’t have any idea of what the real world is, let alone what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Most high schools don’t even prepare you for “real world” things like taxes or how to take out a credit card and grow your credit; two of the most important things in your adult life when it comes to money.

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Now, I’m not saying that all teens don’t know what they want to do, and if they do and want to go and pursue an education to achieve that right out of high school, then by all means they should. However, not all teens know what they want to do, and making them take up a higher education when they are not ready for it can damage their chances of going back later, when they are ready. In contrast, some teens do know what they want to do, but their parents or families don’t approve for one reason or another, and forcing your kid to pick a field that you approve of isn’t right either.

When I graduated high school I was exhausted and boarder line suicidal. I had been having trouble with geometry and the idea that I wasn’t going to graduate had been weighing on me heavily, plus the stress of passing every other class.

Once I graduated, I was done with school, I wanted to work and save some money to move out and maybe travel… But that wasn’t my family’s plan for me.

I had gotten a job offer to be a waitress at a neighbors new opening restaurant. It was going to be minimum wage but it was a start. The neighbor came over to my house to interview me, when my mother opened the door and said,

“Hi, yeah she’s not interested in the job anymore. Thank you so much.”

Afterwards, my mom came to me and said that she didn’t pay for twelve years of “private school” (I went to catholic school, I have some choice words for what that was like, but that’s a different story) for me to wind up waiting tables the rest of my life. And with that I ¬†started college just two weeks after I graduated high school and not surprising to say I failed all my classes.

Now, I’m not gonna say I didn’t at least have some idea of what¬†I wanted to do with my life at that time. I had always wanted to become a teacher because of how horrid of an education I had in elementary and middle school, but this was not something my family approved of because of how little teachers would get paid; so I settled for an animation certification because I liked anime at the time.

Not surprising to say, I got poor grades in all my classes and today I have 1.9 grade point average. I did get the animation certificate, but have nothing to show for it and probably never will, but at the very least it got my parents to shut up.

Jumping to six years down the line, I’m married, I’ve worked odd jobs like babysitting, personal assistant, and as a beach psychic for a new age shop, I’ve gotten scammed,¬†I’ve traveled, and I’ve decided I want to go back to school… The other day I went and sat down with a counselor at my local community college to discuss getting a bachelors degree in teaching, because it’s what I’ve always wanted to do and I didn’t have anyone to stop me. I was ready to start clean and not think about the 1.9 grade point average that was floating around in another life; that was until the counselor told me those grades never go away… ever.

See it’s a funny thing when you want to transfer to a four year college and you have that nasty low grade point average, you have to tell them about it. Even if you go to another community college to redo those grades, you have to disclose them, otherwise you run the risk of loosing your bachelors degree. Amazing right!?

But… Can’t you retake the class and they’ll replace it?

The answer is maybe and it depends on each individual college, and how many times you repeated the class in the first place, a lot of the times they will take both grades and average them out. So even if you retake the class and get an A, you’re not getting the A.

When I was told this, I wanted to cry. Not only had a ton of money been spent on getting a certificate that I will never ever use, but I had at least 8 or 10 years worth of schooling ahead of me if I even wanted to consider get my teaching credential.

I’ve heard many arguments of why college isn’t right for a lot of people, whether it be life long debt, no real world experience, or it’s just plain old not for me. However, for me, the one argument I have against it is that unlike your elementary and high school grades, your college grades will always follow you; and if you don’t take it seriously when you’re 18 and have no idea what you want to do it will come back and bite you when you do. It’ll wind up costing you not only in more money, but also emotionally and mentally because it will take that much longer to finish everything.

Right now I’m fighting with my old college to try and get academic renewal but to get that depends on each individual college and is a pain in the ass on it’s own. Long story short, don’t force your teenager straight out of high school to go to college unless it’s something he or she wants.

Living with a Binge Eating Disorder

 

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About a year and a half ago I was sitting in my therapists office when I came to the realization that I had an eating disorder. It took me a while to process this idea, as I knew I had the tendency to stress eat ever since I was very young, that was one of the reasons why I had become obese and had all the problems that came with it.

However, sitting in that recliner chair with my therapist sitting in front of me it kinda hit me that yeah, I did have an eating disorder. I couldn’t control my eating, depending on the day or rather my mood I could consume over 4000 calories or more and not realize I was doing it.

The thing was, I was unaware of the fact that a binge eating disorder even existed, growing up I had only heard of anorexia and bulimia or “designer eating disorders” (yes, this is a thing). People often confuse binge eating with bulimia as both involve consuming large amounts of food, however unlike bulimics we don’t throw up the food we consume; least not willingly.

So how does one develop a binge eating disorder?

The answer is different reasons.

Some, like in my case had a very stressful home and school life and as a result it caused anxiety and depression. My mom has narcasstic personality disorder, my dad is an alcoholic, and my aunt was a hoarder and control freak, it was always walking on egg shells at home, things would be fine one minute and then do a 180 the next. School was no better, the teachers were all crap and would bully the students with their catholic fear bull shit, and the students often attacked me because I didn’t have the latest shoes or play nintendo or because my dandruff was flaring up because I stressed out.

For others it can be triggered by a life event, like a sudden move or the death of a family member or loved one. Like with all eating disorders or disorders in general it comes down to needing to control something or a need to fill a void.

In my case it was needing to feel in control of my emotions, numbing the pain of depression, the anxiety, and the stress with food.

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I’ve lived with my eating disorder for about 21 years and I am currently 28 and it’s only now that I’ve accepted that I have one and that I want to do something about it.

The Road to Recovery So Far.

My whole life, I’ve been given multiple mixed messages about not caring about what people think and caring about what people think. For example, when I was little and I was being bullied for not having the latest trends in shoes, my mom and aunt would say “You shouldn’t care what people think!” however if I wore something they didn’t like they would say “What will people think?!”

The same thing can be said about body image. On the one hand you have someone saying “You should love your body, you’re beautiful big or small!” and then a few minutes later “Omg, how could she wear something like that! Does she not see what she’s wearing?” Granted not all people are like this, but even a few bringing in that toxic cycle can be decremental to the healing process.

In every job I have had, I have always gotten the: “If you lost weight you would be so pretty…” and being an binge eater as well as depressed this did not help in any way shape or form.

The first step to my healing process was detaching myself from people who brought in this toxic cycle and develop a healthy relationship with my own body and image. 

Developing a healthy relationship with my body, when I’ve hated the way I’ve looked since I was a teenager has not been easy. I’ve had an apple shaped body a good 90%¬†of my life and clothing shopping is torture, but slowly but surely I found a style that worked for me. ¬†I told myself that even with the body I had now I was allowed to dress nice and feel good about myself.

The second step was acknowledging that I needed help with the depression, lack of motivation, and anxiety; that it wasn’t going to fix itself nor could I do it without help. This one took a while, but after a few months I decided I would see a psychiatrist. We sat down and discussed it and now I take a pill everyday to help keep the depression and eating disorder at bay. I still deal with occasional anxiety, but decided that a service dog to help me with that was a better choice that pills.

The third step was accepting that it’s ok to fail at something. Last year my business went under and I lost a lot of money. I tried so very hard to get it to work, but it just wasn’t going anywhere and accepting that was one of the hardest things I had to do. Once I did however, new opportunities arose and things got way better.

The fourth¬†step which I’m still working on is getting me down to a healthy weight and pursuing the things I’ve always wanted to pursue. And so far since November I’ve lost a total of 22 pounds and I keep pushing everyday to get it to where it needs to be. I also started school in January to pursue a degree in Music and Linguistics, two of the things I’ve always had a knack for but never went for in fear of being judged or failing.

Conclusion?

So far, I have no conclusion and probably never will, living with a binge eating disorder for so long makes everyday a struggle to stay on top of things, but I do my best to try and avoid running to food when things go bad but instead learning to deal with things. And so far I think I’m doing alright. ūüôā

 

My Mother Hated My Wedding Dress

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My mother hated my wedding dress and she didn’t do anything to censor that. My relationship with my mother had always been until recently as I like to think of it as “How could you do this to me…” or “What will people think of me as a mother when they see you doing something like this…”

This happened all the time. Whether it be because I got bad grades, I was fat, or because I wanted to do something different with my life, it was because I hated her or something. It could never be because a.) The teachers and students were abusive towards me b.) I had an eating disorder because I was dealing with such abuse or c.) I was a creative person and I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life behind a desk for thirty years.

It was always about her.

Originally having¬†bought a dress that I loved I had to return it due to it being two sizes too small.¬†¬†The lady at the bridal store told me that it was going to be discontinued; she said “We can always adjust it to fit you.” Well, *insert laughter here* that turned out to be a big fat lie and I wound up having to go back to find a new dress.

I had spent the day before looking at the plus size selection on David Bridals website and one of them popped out at me. It was a simple dress, just a white gown with some lacy sleeves and it was perfect.

A little background about my sense of style, I was always a bit of a tom boy and my daily outfits usually consist of leggings and either a tank top or a t shirt. So a simple dress was perfect for me, it matched my sense of style and personality.

It may have also been that my fianc√© had snuck behind me and let it slip that he wanted to see me in that particular dress as well… but none the less I fell in love with¬†it.

Still needing to try it on, I went to the bridal store with my future sister-in-law. I tried to convince my mother to come with me but since I live a bit of a distance away and she works, she refused.  I decided to try on a few other dress options as well as the dress I had found online. The other dresses were nice but once had on thee dress I almost cried, it was perfect, simple yet gorgeous; this was my dress.

Needing to come back to get the dress hemmed I figured it would be a nice thing to have my mother¬†and aunt come to the final fitting with me, since my mother felt like she hadn’t been a part of my wedding planning . Given previous incidents of doing any kind of shopping with my mother and aunt together, my gut told me it would be a bad idea. However, since it was my wedding and it was my mother and my aunt, I wanted them to be a part of it.

Neither of them had seen the dress on the hanger as the lady at the bridal shop suggested I wait to have it on to show them.

“…Your mother is gonna be so proud…”

We had an uneventful drive to David’s Bridal and took the dress to the back where the seamstress happily greeted us and I was led into one of the fitting rooms.

I put on under garments and the dress and stepped out to show off my dress… and that is when it all went to hell. The moment I stepped out from behind the curtain I saw the look of disappointment on my mother’s face, the look she gave when she didn’t like something or when I had done something wrong. My aunt just kind of stared at it, as if not knowing what to think.

My heart sunk.

I turned and went back behind the curtain, seamstress behind me, and took a deep breath; then I heard it in a low voice but still loud enough for me to hear.

“What was she thinking…? That doesn’t look like a wedding dress, it looks like a slip, it looks awful…this isn’t what I wanted…”

The seamstress heard what she said and frowned.

I heard my mom get up and leave the area presumably to go and look at other dresses. Trying to keep it in, I felt like an over stuffed doll ripping at the seams until finally I exploded; I couldn’t keep it in anymore and¬†the tears just started to flow out.

The seamstress tried to calm me down.

“It’s¬†OK, you look gorgeous… your dress looks nice…”

However within those mere minutes, I was done, I didn’t want my wedding anymore. I wanted to call the whole thing off, get into my car and drive with my fiance as far away as I could and get married in some drive thru wedding chapel.

Every bride is told, “It’s your day, it should be about you, no one else.” Your told you should have what you want, your vision, your idea… but in that moment I realized that while people may say that, it’s not always the case and it can be either frustrating, heartbreaking, or both.

My aunt came in and saw me crying and as did my mom and a fight ensued,with them telling me that I was the one who made the whole experience terrible and my mom saying that she doesn’t tell me the pretty things I want to hear, but rather the truth….

“What do you want me to say? That I like it even though I don’t? Is that what you want me to say?”

When I got home my fiance hugged me and told me that it was ok, and that it was my wedding. My friends told me that my mom was crazy, and my therapist just let me cry it out.

Too my mother’s credit, however, she did apologize the next day and I have since then forgiven her, but going through this taught me a lesson.

Yes, my mother hated my wedding dress, but that’s all it was, a wedding dress.

We went through our wedding and I got a lot of compliments on my dress and the ceremony, but I realized that that wasn’t important. What was important was the adventure I was going to take with my loving fiance and now husband. When we said our vows and walked down the isle hand in hand that is what was important, ¬†no one else’s words or opinions mattered, just the words we said to each other.

Don’t get me wrong it still hurts thinking about that day at the bridal shop, seeing that disappointed look on my mother’s face. But I say this to all you brides out there: It’s OK. It’s gonna be OK. It’s OK to be frustrated, weddings are frustrating and everyone wants their piece in it. It’s OK to cry, it’s an emotional time, it doesn’t have to be smiles ¬†throughout the whole thing, you’re allowed to be angry, sad, and happy at the same time. ¬†It doesn’t matter if they’re your mom, your sister, your pastor, etc, if they have an opinion on the wedding let them have it, it doesn’t matter, do what you want within your limits, both financially and spiritually. If you try to please everyone you’ll wind up disappointed. Remember, what does matter is the words you and your fiance/husband speak to each other and in front of those you love and what happens in the years after the wedding.

After all a wedding is just a wedding.