Pack Your Bags: Stella & Dot’s New Line of Bags is TDF

stella and dotI go through phases. First it was make-up, next it was handbags, it’s always been shoes, and now I’m a little obsessed with jewelry. Although I’ve been aware of Stella & Dot for a couple of years, I really never paid attention until (1) I started my jewelry phase and (2) a cousin became a Stella & Dot stylist. I was holding out pretty well on not making my first SD purchase until the bags launched a week or two ago. Another favorite of mine, ikat emblazons so many of the styles. It was all over. I caved and ordered the ‘How Does She Do It‘ tote. It came today, along with another little bauble: the Gilded Arrow Bangle in silver.

Uh, oh. I really, really like both pieces…as in I want more “like” both pieces. I plan to use the bag as an overnight bag when the baby is born, but it’s a manageable size for carrying just as a handbag/purse too. The fact that it snaps down to collapse in size also makes it pretty terrific for every day. I don’t think the handles are real leather, which is kind of a bummer, but it kept the price reasonable. I guess that also means it should clean easily. And although it really doesn’t matter much in the scheme of things, the interior is really pretty.

sd inside bag

collapsed bag

opened bag outside

The Gilded Arrow Bangle was a total impulse buy but it’s pretty amazing too. I’ve tried a few other arrow cuffs and bangles that have actually scratched me. If it scratches me, you know it’s going to maim a child who brushes up against it. This bangle has nice sharp-looking edges but feels very rounded.

arrow bracelet

Overall, thumbs up for both pieces. I probably will go back and order the Travel Case later. If the bags are as durable as they seem, it will be nice to have some coordinating companion pieces for the future.

Verdict: Buy!

Swoon-Worthy Tech Cases

ikat case closed

When I’m tapped to write any kind of gift guide featuring indie designers for, I always know I’m in trouble. Five minutes on Etsy turns into an hour and (usually) into several purchases for myself. One of the shops I discovered back around Thanksgiving, Pencil Shavings Studio, absolutely stunned me with cool products. The owner/designer/all around cool chick Rachel Shingleton creates some of the most gorgeous, vibrant lines of cases and stationary products that I’ve seen. I upgraded my iPhone in December, then my beloved Dodo iPad case fell apart a few weeks later. I’m not going to say I was really upset since that gave me the only reason I needed to place an order.

My Ikat iPhone case came first. At $39.99 plus an upgrade fee for the “tough” package (an extra insert to cushion and protect the phone), it was a little on the spendy side (I tend to use $10 cases off Amazon). It’s really holding up well, though, and it has totally protected my new iPhone through two traumatic (for me) drops.

Once I was sure I was going to love the Ikat cases, I went ahead and ordered the Ikat iPad case. It came Friday. As you can see in the second photo, the iPad is held in with leather (or leather-like?) straps.There is one internal slash pocket, which could be really handy for a notepad. The cases ring in at $65.

If you’re looking for interesting people to follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or to add to your blogroll, Rachel would be a smart pick, too. We’ve never met and have only conversed via Etsy for the purpose of placing orders, but I find her posts either humorous or really inspirational. Visit her blog at

open ipad case