Friday, November 16, 2012

The Perfect Work Bag for Women

Is almost impossible to find!

I know because I've searched for decades.  Only recently have I found some quality options.  I bring this up because the Wall Street Journal writes about the conundrum working women face when schlepping around their work items, along with their personal stuff in a solid bag that is functional yet stylish.

The woman profiled, Silicon Valley executive Kim DeCarlis, seems quite the practical professional carrying a medicine kit, eye mask and ear plugs in her surprisingly fun Johnston & Murphy computer bag.
Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag aka the Kitchen Sink Bag
Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag aka the Kitchen Sink Bag
I jaunt across North Texas from sports facilities to my story shoots to Mother's Day Out carpool lines.  I have a bag that goes everywhere and carries everything: my Gucci Soho Shoulder Bag.

Gucci Soho Metallic Leather Shoulder Bag
Gucci Soho Metallic Leather Shoulder Bag
It comes in a variety of colors.  The metallic color is chic and versatile, too. I call it a Kitchen Sink Bag because it would truly hold that and more while still being stylish enough to take someplace fun and not scream "WORKING MOTHER WITH A SIPPY CUP IN BAG!"  Candidly, I think if it came between the husband and the bag, the bag would win.

Sophie Hulme Leather Tote
Sophie Hulme Leather Tote
I am also in love with the Sophie Hulme Leather Tote.  It's professional, structured and holds my iPad, notebooks, cell phone makeup and jumbo bottle of hairspray.  I get more compliments on this bag than any I have ever carried.  Both men and women comment on it.  It also comes in tan and burgundy.  Just gorgeous.

Quality Work Bags Under $400
Both of those purses are investments but I will use them for years to come.  Here are some stylish options for under $400.  Still some major bucks, yes, but for something you will use daily, this is money well-spent.
Michael Kors Hamilton North South Tote
Michael Kors Hamilton North South Tote, $358

Coach Madison East/West Leather Tote
Coach Madison East/West Leather Tote, $298

Get These Fabulous Work Bags

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Paris Refresher for Traveling with a Baby

The Eiffel Tower from Les Ombres restaurant on top of the Musee du Quai Branly
Ah, the sport of travel.  Perhaps my favorite sport of all time.  I don't golf, play tennis or meet friends for bridge.  I save my time and money for traveling.  Nothing refreshes my soul or or energizes my spirit like getting the heck out of Dallas.  We're heading to Paris one week from today.  We're taking Jordan (a challenge itself) but I am looking forward to spending full days with her, something I never get to do in Texas while working.

While I'm good about assimilating into the local practices whenever I travel, I revisited my observations from my last trip to Paris in the summer of 2010.  I learned a valuable lesson from a bartender, that has really stuck with me, in town or out of it.
Harry's American Bar
My crash course in French culture came to life in, of all places, Harry's American Bar.  Cliche spot to drink, I know, but we stumbled across it and were thirsty.  It was dead empty save for the bartender, a Frenchmen named Gerard, and a British man who now lives in Paris.  We gave our customary "Bonjour" to both men and went to the bar.  We waited for Gerard, who was sharing a glass of champagne with the expat Brit, to come to us at the bar to ask for our order.  We ordered our champagne and thanked him. 

A couple of glasses later, the expat Brit left for his family's Sunday dinner and Gerard was deep in conversation with us.  About this time, an American couple walks in wearing jeans, tennis shoes and, yes, dual fanny bags worn tightly around their waists.  Already fitting the stereotype the gentleman barks "two Bloody Mary's!".

"You can always tell the Americans," Gerard whispers to me.  "They never say hello, please or thank you.

A great, yet basic lesson: manners!  Politeness is something every grandmother tells us to practice, yet it's forgotten in our harried world.  While graciousness and manners should be exhibited daily, traveling avec l'enfant is the absolute perfect time to be extra diligent about being polite, particularly when she's screaming.

Here are a few photos I stumbled across from our last hop across the pond.  They can occasionally cure my travel bug.

If you have any fabulous new suggestions, please share!
Arc de Triomphe

Monks at the Louvre

Jean-Michel Othoniel's Metro Station Kiosque des Noctambules (kiosk of the night-walkers)

I love their street signs
Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Cell Phone Diet. Really? Really. Sorta.

Ok, when I saw the headline "How the 'Cell Phone Diet' Works" my eyes immediately rolled and acquiesced to the full idiocy that seems to be invading the weight loss world.

But once I got past the headline, I realized, it's not that ridiculous.  Not so much the "diet" part but the essence of making your smartphone work for you to help you accomplish certain things.  And, at the end of the day, your cell can help you shed some pounds.

Follow me here:

Psychotherapist and weight loss expert William Anderson is touting his book, The Anderson Method - The Secret to Permanent Weight Loss and recently offered some advice on the Huffington Post The book title itself is a bit eye roll inducing.  Want to know the weight loss secret: move more, eat less crap and more of the good stuff.  I digress.  His clients are incorporating their phones into their broader plan of attack to get lean.
  • He has clients make their ringtones and other alerts motivate them to stay on the track.  The theme from Rocky works for one lady.  Ok, I'm all for whatever works. 
  • Use a picture of yourself at your target weight or some other inspirational photo as your wallpaper or screensaver.  I've done this.  I've used not a pic of myself but something that motivated me as a screensaver.  When trying to lose weight in the past, I have put Post-It notes of my target weight on my mirror.  Just a subtle, almost subliminal reminder. 
  • Download a calorie counting app onto your phone.  I've raved about The Daily Plate, my personal favorite diet log app.  This is a smart move.  Studies routinely show that logging your caloric intake is an effective weight loss tool.  I would also suggest logging your exercise, too.  It's a great way to track your progress. 
Here's another suggestion: set motivational reminders as appointments or tasks.  This might sound a tad Tony Robbins-esque (talk about eye-roll, ugh) but I have a 10am daily reminder of things I want to accomplish.  It can be as simple as working on my financial and professional goals or little notes to myself to serve as motivation.  Kind of corny, I know.  But it's a gentle nudge in the right direction.

If you need one to get you going on the exercise path, try this one I fully embrace:

“To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise we shall not be able to keep our minds strong and clear.” -Buddha