In Pursuit of the Perfect Vegan Backpack

“Maybe you’re trying too hard.”

That’s tugboat man’s sage response to my rhetorical question, “why is it so hard to find the perfect vegan pursepack?”

It’s my new mission/obsession/desire.

With all this travelling we’ve embarked upon lately, not all of it is strictly camping — like last week when we ended up in San Fran to see son/DIL and we were walking around the city — too much walking for a traditional purse (deffo not my Channies) nor a crossbody bag as we ended up at Lands End, and not rugged enough for my REI backpack, so I decided to go off on one of my totes obsesh mish to locate the PERFECT designer VEGAN small pursebackpack.

This is not an easy task.

More handbag companies need to design small pursepacks for their collections.
In my opinion, it’s the next big TREND.


  • Safety: I need it to have zippers for safety and security. There are lots of cute backpacks with flaps and drawstrings, but that’s not practical. It’s just asking for a criminal type to stick a thieving hand in and steal my wallet, phone, and camera.
  • Size: It can’t be too big nor too small. I don’t want to carry the weight of the world on my back, just the essentials.
  • Style: Classy, not childish (no Hello Kitty this time); able to look good with nice jeans or a maxi dress.

Here’s what I found in the marketplace:

For high (priced) fashion, there’s Stella McCartney but hub said NO in a very loud voice to a vegan backpack that’s around eleven hundred dollars, so…no Stella, unfortunately. Much love to her for not using any leather or fur in her designs. (Although if she’s reading this, please send one, OKAY??)

I found Gunas…High Fashion. Zero Cruelty. They have a really cool website and a decent quantity of well-designed backpacks in the one to two-hundred dollar range. 100% vegan and ethically made. Awesome!

Very cute backpack designs carried at Nordstrom by Matt & Nat…Ethics, sustainability, transparency. Committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in their designs, experimenting with different recycled materials such as recycled nylons, cardboard, rubber, and cork. Since 2007, they use linings only made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles.

Nasty Gal offers a variety of vegan handbag/backpack but not all of their other lines (like shoes) are vegan.

As I strolled the aisles at TJ Maxx after the gym,  I discovered an adorably simple and functional backpack by a company I had never before heard of, Violet Ray, so I did a little research.

Designed in the midst of New York’s fast paced high stress fashion industry, Violet Ray’s practical, utility-meets-trend approach, shines through. Classic shapes with modern purpose; polished custom hardware, varied textures juxtaposed; & embellishment that maintains function. A mecca of ideas & inspirations relayed into a streamlined product. Violet Ray invokes a familiar mood, while reconfiguring those ideas to portray a progressive, contemporary edge. Designs are ambitious at a attainable price point.”

Sounds good to me!

Here’s what I brought home: Blaire Zip Flap Backpack in navy (but it looks lighter than navy.)
Regularly priced at $88.00; on sale at TJ Maxx for $35.00.
It’s crafted
 from a smooth faux suede snakeskin material and has two front zipper pockets for extra storage. Its unique front zipper opening gives it a sassy flare and has adjustable backpack straps.

Zippers, comfort, function, style, VEGAN, and of course I added a little embellishment ‘cos that’s what I DO. This backpack is perfect for the essentials and more grownup looking than most of my accessories.pursepack vegan#vegan #veganbackpack #veganlifestyle

A Mirrored Pearl Project

101222_Roses_and_PearlsRoses And Pearls

YOUR spoken words are roses fine and sweet,
The songs you sing are perfect pearls of sound.
How lavish nature is about your feet,
To scatter flowers and jewels both around.
Blushing the stream of petal beauty flows,
Softly the white strings trickle down and shine.
Oh! speak to me, my love, I crave a rose.
Sing me a song, for I would pearls were mine. (Paul Laurence Dunbar)

It’s Project Time

I found a square mirror with beveled edges at the dollar store for….a dollar!
I thought of embellishing with seashells but that didn’t seem quite right.
Then I thought of small polished stones, but that didn’t feel right, either.
I looked around and barely heard the whisper of the mermaid.
Ahh, pearls you say?
Pearls it shall be.

It’s a sensual activity. The pearls are cool to the touch and slide lovingly into place.pearl1
The finished product.
With some friends.

Hairy Hannukah Harry and the story of Hannukah 2012

…or the continuing saga of my life. As my first husband’s mother said to my mom, “isn’t it such a shame you wasted so much money on her education. She doesn’t really seem to do much of anything, does she?”

Looky here, readers, you all need to stop whining right now. Right now, I say!

I’ve peeked inside your private lives. Here’s a typical scenario:

8:00 a.m. You’re home with your spouse before leaving the house to go to work or he goes to work while you “stay home to take care of the kids” which really means you’re going to Tweet and shop all day and change a diaper or two, only if necessary. Not all of you, but enough to make it true. And I know it’s true ‘cos who do you think I tweet with all day?

Spouse: “I’ll home home at six. See ya.”

{Smooch goodbye}

crzy cat lady bathrobe

This is awesome.

Wife pulls the ratty bathrobe a bit tighter and rebelts it because an important message is acoming…

“Now you come right home after work, don’t stop anywhere; no bars, no strip clubs, nothin’. You come right home, ya hear me?  I’m making something special for dinner tonight.”

Spouse: “OK”

He walks out to the car. Five seconds after leaving the house, before the car even backs out of the driveway, he totally forgot everything his wife said. Typical, right?

6:00 p.m.- no hubby

6:15 p.m – no hubby

6:30 p.m. Here it comes…the power texting, phoning, emailing commences.

{no response}

burned dinner in oven7:00 p.m. Dinner burns. wife drank all the wine, spends time sharpening knives. Candles burnt down to nubs, the smoke of one burnt out candle with its acrid scent floats through the air.

The scissors come out to make a few strategic alterations in his favorite t-shirt.

She opens another bottle of wine.

8:00 p.m. His car drives up, front door opens, “Hi honey, I’m home!”


‘Wha? Why is it so dark in here?”

Where. were. you. I called. I emailed. I texted.”

“Ohhh…didn’t I mention I’d be late today? I -uh- thought I did.”

-End scene-desperate housewives

OK, I could go on and on but the point is that when 99% of you get mad at your significant others when they’re late; when work or whatever–delays their arrival at the appointed hour–you all need to STOP WHINGING AND WHINING about it!!

Since the world revolves around me, take a walk around South Coast Plaza in my shoes (not the Gucci ones, tho. I wear a 5 1/2 and your feet’d stretch ’em all out.) I was expecting the captain tomorrow, Thursday. I cleaned the house, washed the windows, planned and anticipated the whole homecoming–even made a new welcome home sign–and he called and said he’d be LATE.



I’m not saying not to be pissed at your inconsiderate spouse–I would never think to deprive you of that joy–just think about ME next time.


Your “late” and my “late” are two different things altogether.

Ahem. Now, to give equal time to my cultural background as a full blooded Jewish American Princess, may I formally present to you my Hannukah installation….with the one and only Hairy Hannukah Harry holding the torah. Eight candles represent the eight days that I had to wait before I could spend more of the captain’s hard earned money and buy a huge bottle of Chance by Coco Chanel (of course.)

Hannukah candles

Forget Elf Shaming, try Hannukah Harry!

Chance by Chanel

Of course I got the larger size. ‘Cos I’m worth it.