Toting with Off Switch

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In high school I was really into tote bags. I would decorate blank canvas bags from craft stores by modpodging pictures torn out of magazines. Recently, I found my college messenger bag with a worn off picture of John Mayer glued to the front. Boy, did I love him, I mean it … I loved it, the bag.

Eventually after college, I veered from the canvas tote bag. The thing about purses is unless you pay for quality materials they fall apart easily. About three years ago, I paired down my collection to one Coach leather purse and some clutches for special occasions, plus one small crossbody bag from Kenneth Cole. I loved my crossbody purse, but after years of daily use it began to fall apart. The only downside about that purse was its size. I often brought another bag with me to keep in the car. I had reached bag lady status.

In NYC, over the summer, I bought a Dean & Deluca tote and I wondered, “Why did I veer from my high school ways?” Unlike some other manmade materials, canvas is durable and washable. I realized quickly a regular purse wasn’t necessary for my current lifestyle. I keep makeup and catch all’s such as receipts or gum in small zip containers, but I still have plenty of room for extras: snacks, reading material, a scarf, umbrella, or my camera. I like to be prepared. 🙂

I love my Dean & Deluca tote, but I wanted one that was a bit smaller. Enter the Be Kind tote from Off Switch. It’s the perfect everyday size and I don’t miss having a traditional purse.

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/ / What kind of purse/bag do you use daily?

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NYC / / Day One

Visiting New York City

In an alternate universe maybe I could manage blogging while on vacation, but that is really hard to do! I honestly don’t know how people do it. After a full day of walking all over the city the last thing I had energy to do was edit photos. So, in an effort to remember our week in New York City, be prepared for several vacation posts!

Day 1 / / Lower Manhattan/Flat Iron District

Jordan and I had the pleasure of staying with my aunt and uncle in New Jersey for most of the week. Our time together was wonderful and I wish we didn’t live so far away.

To optimize our city time more efficiently, we broke the metropolis into sections.

Our goal this day was to reach Battery Park, so we could view the Statue of Liberty. From Penn Station, we crossed eastward until we reached Broadway and walked south to SoHo, visiting shops along the way. I discovered only the day before that NY doesn’t have a clothing tax for purchases under $50! Chicago needs to get on that! After finding a couple of pieces at Uniqlo, we visited Felicity’s old stopping ground aka, Dean & Deluca. This place was hopping! It is part grocery store, part cafe; a smaller, more accessible Eataly. We weren’t planning on staying for lunch, but after browsing for a bit and seeing all of the great options, we found a little nook and enjoyed our meals (Jordan had Sushi and I had chicken salad).  After lunch we continued on towards Battery Park, where we got a great glimpse of her ladyship.

We both decided to forgo visiting the new 911 museum. I had heard The Slate Culture Gabfest recap their visit and while it seems that great care has been put into curating the space, I knew it wasn’t for me (a little too somber for our vacation). The actual memorial is breathtaking though. The fountain flowing into the seeming endless abyss below was extremely moving.

I have this affinity towards triangle-shaped buildings. They are remnants of the past that seem to be confused by the modern, right angle streets built around them. Chicago has a few and we saw several in London, but one of the most famous ones of course is the Flat Iron building in New York. Right across the street is Madison Square Park, a beautiful tree-lined park with lots of seating, a ping-pong table, space for street performers, and Shake Shack! We ended our day sitting in the park, enjoying our dinner, as the sun began to set.

I’m still dreaming of another black & white shake!

Dean & Deluca

^ About halfway through day one, I realized a tote bag is extremely useful. It held our umbrella, water bottles/snacks, and purchases we made throughout the week.

Freedom Tower in New York City

^  One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower).

World Trader Center Memorial

911 Memorial

^ The 911 Memorial is extremely moving with its simplistic design.

New York City Parks

Shake Shack

^ I’ve been on record saying that In-N-Out is my favorite “fast food” burger, but Shake Shack has become the winner! Something about the way the actual meat is seasoned makes it different from your typical quick burger. I heard rumblings that Chicago maybe getting a location, I hope that is true!

Visiting New York City

^ I’ve discovered that people seem to either love NYC or hate it. You can tell by both of our faces that we loved it. 😉

Jordan was the photographer for our trip. Photos were edited with photoshop by yours truly (which actually involves me starting and Jordan finishing with his magic photoshop skills).