7 Signs of Bag-Lady Chic: An Expat Triumphs over “Purse Temptation”


Hello, my name is Kathy, and I am a bag lady.

You see, we visited the beach in Ecuador last week–our first trip to the coast since moving to Cuenca 11 months ago–an adventure in its own right, most would think.  However, I had a victory that involved more than sand and surf.

I did NOT purchase a purse.

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You see, “mi esposa” Sara says I’m a bag lady.  Though she hasn’t indicated it’s terminal, she insists it’s a sickness, maybe even a curse.  (I think, she exaggerates.)

I’ve written before about my advanced luggaging skills.  I’ve even composed  “A Beginner’s Guide to Becoming a Better Bag Lady.”  I’ve posted about over-packing–both in the contexts of  travel and moving.

Bottom line–I know bags.

However, I’ve only once before confessed the embarrassingly large number of purses and pouches I possess.  And in the context of last week’s triumph over temptation, I thought I’d share again images of those carry-ables.

So, today I offer up again my guilt, a  coutured confession, of sorts.   I’ll even itemize it in images, bringing you 7 Signs of Bag Lady Chic.

1.  The dress-up purse

Sara and I don’t go a lot of fancy places.    We don’t eat out a lot, and we certainly don’t frequent many fine dining establishments.  Plus, we’ve lived in a number of developing countries where the need for beaded bags hasn’t been enormous.  However, there are a number of lovely restaurants in a city like Hanoi, even in a country like Haiti, so, I’ve needed a few.

Every girl needs at least one basic, black bag–

Hand-embroidered, Vietnamese silk–

Another embroidered bag–

2.  The pouch

Sara laughs mercilessly at me, insisting that I, not only have too many bags, but I carry bags within bags.  I think this demonstrates a keen lack of understanding on the part of a woman who wouldn’t be caught dead carrying anything and failure to remember my subsequent need to carry her cash and camera.   I have to put her money and my makeup in something, don’t I?

Beaded, voodoo-inspired, change purse from Haiti–

From Thailand–

From Vietnam–

Another from Vietnam–

3.  The boarding pass and passport purse

Since I tend to fly a lot, I’m a big fan of bags just the right size to hold travel documents.  We’ve all seen  balding, old men with passport pouches slipped over their heads like over-sized necklaces–the ones that scream, “I”m on my first trip over-seas, and I have the passport to prove it.”

The bags I refer to here are variations on that theme, equally convenient and serving the same purpose.  Only these have a little more style and a tad more ethnic funk.

My favorite–

Many-pocketed and most practical–

For summer fun–

Indonesian charm–

Mexican madness–

4.  Big Bag Bonanza

In case you hadn’t already guessed, I tend to carry a lot of stuff.  This causes  a problem every time I go almost anywhere—the grocery store, the gym, my mother’s house across town.  I need a big bag to carry books, notebooks, pens, drinks, phones, wallets, makeup—maybe even a snack.  It all adds up.

Vietnamese volume–

Another embroidered Vietnamese stunner–

A practical purse in my favorite color–

A Thai favorite–

A monster from Mexico–

Indian orange–

The biggest is best in winter wool–

5.  Phone Fun

Things might be simpler if I didn’t have to carry a phone on top of everything else.  I like to keep my smart phone in an easy-to-access, separate pouch.

Bought at the Bangkok Weekend Market–

From Sri Lanka–

From Vietnam–

6.  Book Bag /Laptop Case

When we moved to Vietnam, where there’s not an abundance of reading material in English, Sara bought me an e-reader, afraid I’d bring the inventory of a small university library along for the ride.  However, not even a newer Kindle Fire with its browsing capabilities has cured my propensity to carry a laptop or too many books.  And, unfortunately, I have the bags to prove it.

Ruggedly practical and reader ready–

Yet another book bag–(much to Sara’s chagrin)–

Then there’s the laptop case–again in green–

7.  Doggie Bags and Drink Dispensers

I know most folks don’t traipse the planet, canine companions in tow, but Sara and I, for whatever reason, have moved our mutts with us to the furthest corners of the earth.  And, always, these dogs want water.   It is, indeed, a thirst-inducing, globe-trotting trek we, too often, find ourselves on.  Inevitably, dehydrated dogs demand gear.

Puppy pouch–

Lucy’s backpack–

Doggie drink–

Human hydration–

In case you’re really thirsty–

So, the happily-hydrated and well-bagged bottom line is this–

Sara insists this calls for an intervention.  She thinks she’ll fix me–that she can help me “edit”—her word.

And maybe she’s right–right that the real problem involves my wearing such a surplus of bags–AllAtOnce!

But I’ll allow you to decide.   Am I overly-pursed?  And is this craze for carry-ables–sickness or curse–affliction or crime? 

What do you have too much of?

Note:

Thanks to the editors at WordPress for the upcoming feature of this post on Freshly Pressed.  It never gets old, and I am always honored!

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228 thoughts on “7 Signs of Bag-Lady Chic: An Expat Triumphs over “Purse Temptation”

  1. Have to say that the hand-embroidered ones are absolutely irresistible — I wouldn’t be able to not buy them either! Love Lucy in her carrier, so cute! I culled my purse collection recently but have approximately 12 … and use 1 at a time for 3 mos or so — no logic to it at all.

    Would you be surprised to know I have an Elvis wallet? 🙂

    too much of … shoes! Summer sandals, especially — cute kitten heels, darling mules, practical slip ons and dressy heels. More than I’ll ever wear!!

    MJ

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    • Ah, that sounds a lot like my pattern. I fall in love with a bag for a few months, only to dig another out of the closet and fall in love with IT all over again.

      I have too many shoes, too. Though maybe not enough to do an entire post about them. I’ve been tempted to, however. Maybe you should do one. Sounds like you have an awesome collection.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  2. You can never have too many bags. I love each and everyone of them! The cab of my van is filled with bags for various purposes, most of which you have already mentioned.

    Which bag is it in?

    A fellow vendor once asked why do you show 16 gooseneck lamps at a time? Why don’t you just bring out one?… Until I sell 16 Gooseneck lamps to one dealer, (two or three times a year). He has shut up about my groupings.

    Great post!

    R.

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    • So glad to hear you enjoyed the bags, dear Robert! But to be honest, what your fellow vendor said about the lamps doesn’t make much sense. Groupings of items make a huge impact when displayed. Plus, if I were shopping, I’d want to see all of what was available. Glad to hear he has shut up! Hugs to you today, my friend!

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  3. That was cute. I like your purses, though. My affliction is pens. I can’t possibly use all that I have. (Got a thing for office supplies, in general). I’m surprised you were able to resist those lovely purses on the beach. 😀

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    • Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed this one. I have a thing for office supplies, as well. I wonder what attracts us to the things we tend to accumulate. I’m sure there must be a science behind it.

      At any rate, it’s wonderful to hear from you this morning. Hope you have a great day!

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  4. I’m not a purse kinda gal. I hate to admit this, but I have a small wallet, my keys, and my cell in my pockets usually. On days this isn’t possible I have one small purse that I can use. However, I should confess that I’m a backpack person. Both of us are. We have so many!

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    • Sara is not a purse person either. In fact, she doesn’t like to carry anything. Thus, MY bags to carry my stuff, plus her camera. LOL I have got her to use a messenger bag here in Ecuador from time to time, however.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s wonderful to hear from you this morning!

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  5. You are not! Sara would have a field day in my closet let me tell you. By the way, I fell in passionate love with your purple and black bag at the top, the minute I saw it I was in tingling love.

    Now, I don’t carry mine all at once, though I carry some inside of others I admit. I do though have many and exchange them frequently. Your collection though, I am in awe. You outshine me. I love you for your collection, I love you for many reasons, but this simply adds to the list.

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    • Ah, thank you, dear Val! I love you for lots of reasons, but your loving bags, as well, only makes me appreciate YOU more, as well!

      It’s fun to hear which one you like best. I would LOVE to see some of yours. Hugs from both of us, my dear!!!

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    • The only reason I think I resisted was because so many of the bags said “Ecuador” on them. I would feel weird living in a country and carrying a purse that had its name written on the front. Does that make sense?

      At any rate, thanks so much for stopping by. It’s wonderful to hear from you today!

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  6. I am truly impressed at your restraint on the beach. I know how hard it is to pass up a good bag. Somewhere in my twisted mind I discovered that although I can’t do shoes and clothes in the right size are hard to find a bag always fits. I tend to have a variety depending on what my carrying weight limit might be on any given day, but there’s always an opportunity at some point for a good bag.

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    • Good point! A bag always fits. And they are so incredibly practical. Now I know that I’ve over done it. But the even more remarkable thing (and I forgot to mention it here) is that I have not bought a single bag since we’ve arrived in Ecuador. That’s a record for me!

      Thanks for stopping by, Lisa. I love hearing from you!!!!

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  7. Kathy,

    If I had a reason to carry a “bag” I would carry many of these!! I remember the first blog about “bag lady” sweet and humors, as well as serious, according to Sara.
    I think you have a beautiful collection of textiles, each land you have visited/live in you helped with the economy, you have sought out beautiful crafts, in most cases. Those bags in a the beach are just tourist items, not local creations.

    As I read this I as began to imagine something creative made from many of them, a collage, a quilt, etc.

    Happy to see your blog.

    Hugs Jeff

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    • Thank you, dear Jeff. You know I really love your next to last comment here–the notion that as they begin to get old and worn, I can recreate them into something else. And, yes, those bags are touristy items that announce the name of the country on the front. NOT my kind of thing.

      Wonderful to hear from you this morning, my friend. Hope some spring has come to New Jersey! Hugs to you, too!!!

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  8. Kathy, Very sassy and cute haircut in your last photo! Like the different purses from different countries. By the way who’s Lurch hovering over you in the first photo…….SCARY! He looks like he had returned from a casting call from the Addams Family……”Don’t TOUCH the purses”! Miss ya girls!

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    • LOL I knew someone would notice that, Juan! He’s the tempter! Imagine, that he actually was able to make himself seen in the photo! LOL

      God, we miss you, too. However, the workshop is going SO well! How is teaching?

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      • Love the kids! The Academic Director is horrible to where Howard resigned yesterday! Place is VERY disorganized. We’ ll talk about it tomorrow at Fabianos can’t wait! I am so HAPPY the work shop went so well. Love ya!

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      • Sorry to hear the place is run so poorly. One of the women in the workshop is going to start teaching there soon. I forget exactly when. Wish we could get together tomorrow. Sara just seems to be getting so exhausted. Hope David is okay! LOVE you, too!

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  9. Your handbags, etc. are truly works of art and could easily decorate a wall. Like yourself I carry, cell, makeup, snacks and more, but look for a single tote or purse. I’m a minimalist at my core. Loved the pics.

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    • Thanks so much, Claudia. Glad you enjoyed the photos! At one point, I considered doing some kind of display, which maybe is the weirdest part! LOL HOW FUNNY that you mention that! Wonderful to hear from you this morning!

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  10. Now, you are my kind of woman! I collected purses all my life. The problem was, when we moved to Nicaragua, I had to sell my collection. 😦 I stored my very favorite purses, but I still can’t resist buying cute little mola change purses. They don’t take up much room, do they? I wrote a story about what my purses contained throughout the transitions of my life. Now, that was an eye opener! We are presently packing for a trip to Ecuador. We’ll be in Ecuador the whole month of May!!!!! I’m so excited. Oh, what purse to take???? We’re hoping to be in Cuenca around May 11th. We fly into Quito May 1st and we’re following the backbone of the Andes down to Cuenca, then to Guayaquil, and over to the coast to see friends. We definitely have to meet. How can we get in touch with you when we’re in Cuenca? Hasta pronto mi amiga.

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  11. I love bags, too! I started when I had babies, with so many necessities. Now, I feel like I need some things close at hand wherever I am: one small sketch book, one inspiration journal, my Ereader plus a couple books…the snack is a good idea, in case one is ever trapped in a snowstorm…Have a lovely day, Kathy!

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    • Gosh, YOU sound so much like me–and I have never had babies! LOL I like to carry all of those same items. I, too, am a just-in-case kind of person!!!!! Wonder what makes one that way? Sara is just the opposite–though she is happy to have ME tote HER stuff in MY bag!!!!! Great to hear from you, my friend. You have a wonderful day, too!

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  12. I also love bags, although I don’t have as many as you. I admire your self control while at the beach though. Holidays are definitely when I am most likely to buy things. Your bag collection is beautiful, by the way.

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    • Oh, thank you, Heather! I think the only reason I’m still able to have so many bags is because we moved a container here. Now Sara might like to claim it was move my BAGS, but it was really to get our books and art here.

      Glad you like the bags. Thanks so much for stopping by! Gosh, I LOVE your blog’s new look, by the way!

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  13. Wow, what a colorful and eclectic collection of bags. I know all about those addictions, although my addictions mostly apply to scarves and cute tops and skirts! It can be quite costly, these addictions. But I love colorful additions to my life, whatever they are! Cool post!! 🙂

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  14. Hnmmmm, right now I am feeling I have too much of everything as I’m packing for a four month camping trip. Downsizing seems to be a lifelong project. I already have too much stuff to bring back to Canada. How did this happen in six months? Since coming to France I have bought four new scarves so that probably is what I have too much of the most! Oh the silliness of acquisition. I so long for simple and I’m trying, I’m trying….

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    • Oh, Joss, I LOVE that term–“the silliness of acquisition.” That is worth a blog post in and of itself–heck, it’s worth an entire book.

      I, too, have a thing for scarves, so you are not alone in this sickness–if that is any comfort? LOL

      I SOOOOOOOOOO empathize, my friend! Bring those scarves when you come to Cuenca, so I can see them!

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  15. My three handbags in black, brown and red look so pathetically conservative when compared to yours. I covet the embroidered ones your have though I don’t need them and there’s the rub – need versus desire. 😉

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    • Oh, THAT is SO true. I don’t need 9 out of 10 of these. But, I do love them. You know, however, I have not purchased a single bag in the year that we have lived here. That’s a record for me. Perhaps, it signals a recovery has started.

      Wonderful to hear from you today. Hope you have a great day, my friend!

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      • You have exquisite taste in bags so why recover from what you have such an obvious talent for? Life is short and no matter what we think we never have it in the bag … lol 😀

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      • Ha, ha! LOVE it, titi! We NEVER have it in the bag, indeed! Good one! I like the way you are thinking about this issue. In fact, it’s not an issue. It’s a gift. LOVE that! Thank you, my friend!

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  16. We all have our vices, Kathy. At least yours are colorful and practical. Some of those bags are works of art!

    Of course my favorite is Lucy’s bag. 🙂 Poor Ralph, doesn’t he get a bag too?

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    • Good point, Jackie. They are practical. I’m going to point that out to Sara the next time I want to buy a bag. LOL And, NO, poor Ralph doesn’t have a bag, only a big, plastic crate. Poor baby! Great to hear from you. Hope you’re having a good week!

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  17. I’m a shoe-aholic, but luckily you can only wear one pair at a time, so nobody has to be the wiser! Yeah, that’s a lot of purses, all right — but you’re the one who’s got to carry them, right?? Hugs to YOU, Kathy!

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  18. I will have to agree with Sara on this one. I carry what fits in my pocket and most recently in Ecuador I carry a backpack with raincoat and umbrella in case it rains. But I recently got my first Ecuadorian hair cut and find myself very interested in scarves and hats. I may have to review your first year in Ecuador pictures to get some idea’s.

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    • Oh, no! The haircut didn’t turn out so well? I had an issue a couple of weeks ago with an attempt at coloring my hair. We just won’t go there. I hear Jaci got a camera bag that is looking a lot like a puuuurrse! LOL Great to hear from you today!

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  19. first, I’ll answer your question … what do I have too much of?

    stories … entirely too many stories to tell

    in the physical sense, I suppose it would be jigsaw puzzles. I’m fairly sure they multiply in the dark corners of the closets they are stored. puppies and kittens and wild birds and landmarks and oh my! so many puzzles. never enough puzzles.

    secondly, I declare you a well-appointed bag lady. one can never have too many bags, in my humble opinion. the wide array of textiles alone is enough to make me swoon, but all those colors, and the multi-uses for the various sizes. you are worthy of being called a bag connoisseur, for sure. the fact that you are willing (and able) to layer them, one upon the other? well, that just makes you a bag genius. although I applaud your victory over being tempted to add yet another lovely bauble to the collection, please don’t be swayed by your lovely mate. she may have your best interests at heart, (or perhaps she’s craving some empty space in the closet), but bags are like little children. the more, the merrier. 🙂

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    • Ah, stories are an excellent thing to have in abundance, my friend! And you tell them well, I might add!

      Love your perspective on the bag issue. They are like children, only lots better, as they are QUITET–except when they SCREAM at me from shop windows! LOL

      Wonderful to hear from you today! Hope your week is doing well!

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  20. I’m showing this post to Jim because he thinks I have a lot of purses. I own three purses, one book bag, one messenger bag and one tote. Lightweight, in the purse department anyway.

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      • He complains to everyone he knows about how horribly addicted to purses I am! I’m sure they’ll both extol their purse pains!

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  21. And I thought I was bad…LOL you got me beat by far Girl! I love all the colors and varieties you have. My goodness, I’m still in shock. 😀

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    • Oh, Victoria, so glad you can appreciate my purse collection! I know. It’s crazy how many I have. Really, it’s wrong. But, what can I say? Just need to laugh, right? It really is a sickness.

      Great to hear from you today. Hope you are having an awesome week!

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      • Hi Kathy!
        I so appreciate your purse collection. I had a nice one going myself, but that darn minimalistic side of me took over. Drats!

        Hey, you only live once girlfriend, so go for it!
        I’m having a fab week.

        Hugs!

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  22. This post made me laugh! I’m a bag lady, too. However, I haven’t traveled to exotic countries to acquire mine. I’m usually very proud of myself when I make it out of TJ Maxx without buying another one!
    Yours are gorgeous, and so colorful!! I carry a little cooler bag similar to yours everywhere, too. I keep my grapefruit seltzer water and Optifast shakes in it. Lucy looks cute in her carrier! If I put my kitty in one of those and tried to wear her, I’d probably need back surgery! What a fun post! 🙂

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    • OMG–gotta avoid the back surgery! Don’t put kitty in carrier.

      But listen, TJ Maxx has great bags! I’m a fan. In fact, when I go back to the US in June, I need to pay it a visit. Thanks for the reminder.

      Wonderful to hear from you today, my friend! Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. What a fantastic bag collection! I have never carried a bag or purse, (a back pack at times if I’m going to be doing a lot of walking or traveling away from my truck ., yes) my truck is my purse, lol I have several bags, 2 emergency/survival bags ( I am on the ring of fire here on the Oregon Coast) Another full of straps and bungees (you never know what can be found at a passing garage sale!) another traveling kit incase I need to spend the night somewhere. And one with all the notebooks, pens, coupons, stuff-n-junk…I am never far from my truck! But when traveling, I seem to want to buy a purse or bag from other countries and have them displayed on my wall. BUT what I have too many of are sweatshirts and t-shirts, not only do I like to buy one in every country, but many times from several cities, At home my closet if FULL of sweatshirts and all lined up by color, lol, looks pretty that way! I’m really going to have a tough time with the upcoming downsizing for my move to Cuenca, for sure… I will have to become a bag lady too, since I will no longer have my trurse (thats a truck purse!) in Ecuador! And I will definitely not be buying the “tourist” bag since it will be for using and not displaying then!! 🙂 (I’m going to miss my little truck!!) My favorite bag is the one you are carrying in the first pic, love that!

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    • Gosh, Sue, your comment is PRICELESS! I miss my truck, too, to be honest! And I totally love your trurse term! That’s brilliant. Gonna have to remember that one. I have to admit, that I’m pretty fond of sweatshirts, myself. Plus, the t-shirt-sweatshirt collection will serve you well here because of the weather and the need to layer, since the days start our cool and end that way, also. But mid-day the t-shirts will be perfect! I got that first bag in New York last year, by the way. Glad you like it. Thank you so much!

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  24. Gee thanks Kathryn…now, mi espousa wants six of the various containers in your collection! And she notes that as you’re unlikely to give them up without kicking and screaming “Road trip! Now!” that we will have to plan a trip to, uh, Viet Nam, Thailand and that bag lady stall in Ecuador that so sorely tempted you but which she’s happy you resisted because that means more for her! She’s partial to that green one in #3 and the purple clutch from Viet Nam.

    I only have one request: Please don’t (Yes! Do!) do a post on office supplies because then I’ll have to spend my day off at Office Depot, and for sure don’t do (Yes! Do!) one on Pens as I’ll have to go back to Florence and buy the three I resisted. I should add here that mi espousa does not like office supplies and only rarely pens. She claims I have 9 staplers. It’s a bald-faced…partial lie. She’s counting the one with the chicken head that I got her when she got some chickens (any excuse to buy one will do!).

    Love your blog and ALL your ex-pat journeys and adventures! My somber nod of acknowledgement to your espousa! LOL

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    • OMG, your comment cracked me up!!!!! I mean seriously, you are hilarious. So sorry, your esposa may not have ANY of my bags, but YOU may not have any of MY office supplies either, as I am really in to them as well. And NOW, thanks to you, I have chicken-headed stapler envy! How dare you! LOL

      Seriously, thank you so much for your comment. Glad you enjoy my blog, and I SO hope you will come back and comment often, as what you have written above is priceless!

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  25. Now that I know all about your history of whimsical satchels, Kathy, here’s mine: I have carried the same crappy blue messenger bag for years. It’s the fashion statement equivalent of a Ford Fiesta: cheap and practical. In fact the shoulder strap almost has the texture of a seat belt and could almost strangle me if positioned uncomfortably. I also have it in black in a bigger size that has come in handy for “sleep-overs”. I suspect your satchel history is a living history. I have not bought a new satchel in years. It crosses my mind about as often as the thought of buying a dress i.e., never.

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    • Listen, I’m honored to have seen said blue messenger bag in REAL life! Sara is fan of the messenger bag. I bought her a new one in the Chicago airport when we were on our way to Ecuador. She loved it. But I do TOO, as it is green, my FAVORITE color!

      Yeah, can’t imagine you in a dress. Sara wouldn’t be caught dead in one either, though I have seen what-now-to-me are hilarious photos of her in a flow-y, flower-y thing from decades ago!

      Glad you are feeling better. Actually, I am, too. I think I may have escaped with only the soar throat pat of what preceded Sara’s sickness. Keep your toes crossed!

      Happy Thursday, buddy!

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  26. I don’t carry purses. But I have to have my stuff. Books. Paper. Pen. Computer. Etc. Solution: backpack. 🙂 And now….too many. For others maybe, not for me. They all have a purpose.

    And I have to say your bags have a dual purpose. They may be bags….but they appear to be “art” as well. How colorful!!!!!!

    Happy baggage to you Kathy. (Sorry Sara for encouraging her).

    I would hug you but the bags are in the way.

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  27. First, I have to tell you I always love visiting your blog because it’s so bright, colorful and cheery. Gives me a good positive start to my day.

    All of those purses are very snazzy, but would you believe I hate purses? I know! I am known for never carrying one, I’ll cram my wallet/cell phone in my pocket. I have exactly one purse right now, it’s a beat-up ugly brown one from Target and I will drag it around with me if I must, but I really really hate it.

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    • Oh, thank you, Darla. You are sweet. So glad my blog cheers and brightens your day. Yours ALWAYS manages to make me laugh.

      Had no idea that you hated purses. Sara also hates them. In fact, she wouldn’t be caught dead carrying one–thus, MY need for the purse surplus! Someone’s gotta carry her shit!

      Great to hear from you today. Hope your week is going well!

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  28. Hi Kathy

    Your blog rocks! I side with you for sure. It’s been a month since I bought my last bag and I do not want to reveal how many are stashed under my bed (Kipling is a favourite, in the absence of the wonderful embroidered versions you have being on sale in UK). Your Vietnamese silk bag is beautiful. They all are charming. I love your description of the chap at the airport with the passport necklace that screams it’s my first time to fly!! 😀 You are right, no one wants that look! Bags inside bags are the way forward!!

    Your dogs are gorgeous.

    Wishing you and Sara a marvellous Easter holiday, however you are celebrating, enjoy!

    Hugs

    Lita

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    • Oh, Lita you are such a sweetie. Your comments always delight! So happy you appreciate the bags and the dogs! I’m afraid the latter are awfully spoiled. And I won’t dare ask about the bags stashed under your bed! No sir, not me! LOL

      Hope you have a lovely holiday, as well. We will be doing little, but my nephew will be coming for dinner on Sunday. He’s here in Ecuador for 6 months. Hug to you, too, my dear!

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  29. Haha, I love that you’re wearing so many bags at once 😀 That’s fantastic.

    I have one very simple black bag–just one! Really!–and a backpack, and that’s all! I guess I’m just not a bag lady, but I can definitely appreciate the beauty of those you showed us. Especially those from Vietnam really appealed to me.

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    • Oh, thank you. So happy to hear you can appreciate the bags, even if you yourself are NOT a bag lady. Not everyone can be. I’m certain of that. My Sara wouldn’t be caught dead carrying a purse. It’s wonderful to hear from you today. Hope your week is going well!!!!!

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  30. Kathryn, you should definitely do a display with your bags–I’ve seen this done with vintage bags,”ethnic” bags, etc. Show off your addiction! Oh, are there any free spaces in your lovely home left? 🙂 Enjoying your blog and can’t wait to meet you and Sara!

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    • Thank you, Anna. It’s wonderful to hear from you! I must admit, I love the idea of displaying my bags. I may have to give that some thought. I may consider doing that in my studio. I’d love to look at them more often.

      So happy you are enjoying the blog. I look forward to meeting you, too!

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  31. Yes you are slightly obsessed, like me having 15 different cycling jerseys. And I wear 90% of them. But there are some lovely designs for purses.

    Enjoy them and maybe one day you can give them away as a gift bag containing a mini present for someone.

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    • Thank you, Jean. Glad for your vote of confidence. And congrats on your cycling jersey collection. I LOVE the idea of using them as gift bags. NOW THAT is a great idea!

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend! It’s always great to hear from you!

      Like

  32. I am probably a little guilty of having too many bags myself, but mine aren’t really purses as much as what we used to call “book bags.” I tend to have one with me at all times with all the things that don’t make it into my purse. Lunch, magazines, books, a soft hat…and inevitably old mail and bills. LOL! Occasionally I forget and leave fruit in it and then it’s handy to have extras, because if the “mush” at the bottom of the bag is too bad, I can throw the bag out and reach for another. So I can’t really say you have too many. Yours are much more attractive than most of mine, and they represent travel and memories and they are easily given away as gifts when you can no longer walk around your bedroom! Congrats on Freshly Pressed. 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you, Debra. And glad I am not the only one to have too many bags–though yours sound quite purposeful. Congrats, however, on not trying to carry all of those items in one bag. I fear that is an issue for me. And thanks for the congratulations on Freshly Pressed. Not sure when it will appear there–supposedly in the coming week. Have a lovely weekend, my friend. It’s always wonderful to hear from you!

      Like

  33. Far be it for me to criticize a woman who loves bags. I don’t have as many as you but that’s because I’m A) cheap and B) a purger. If I don’t need it or can’t afford it I won’t buy it but I will leave some drool on the bag when I walk away from it in the store and if I get so many that I forget I have them then it’s time we parted ways. My pragmatic side hurts my bag collection, you see. It’s not good on the shoes either! Congrats on your Freshly Pressed. Do you remember that’s how we “met”?

    Like

    • Yes, yes, I do remember meeting via Freshly Pressed. It’s a great venue for making friends. Not sure when this post will appear there. One day in the coming week, I was told.

      You know, I’m pretty cheap, too, but I travel in places where purses are incredibly affordable, so that helps.

      Hope you are having a lovely weekend, Nora. I love hearing from you!!!!

      Like

  34. Those are beautiful. And I’m not a bag chic. I’d be very tempted to buy, buy, buy in this case. I think the handmade work does me in, and those colors…You must’ve tossed and turned all night after such strong resistance. Bet you’ll be digging in your pockets next time ’cause I don’t think you could do it twice. 🙂

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    • Ah, thank you, my friend. Yes, I may not have quite the ability to resist the next time around. However, it does help me to resist when things say “Ecuador” on the front–if that makes any sense.

      Great to hear from you today. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

      Like

    • Thank you so much, Kim. Glad you like the bags. Except for the ones like the doggie back pack and things purchased in the US, none cost more than $20 and most were closer to $10 or $15–purchased in countries where most things are VERY affordable, by US standards.

      Have a lovely weekend–Easter, if you celebrate! Hugs and love to you, too, my friend.

      Like

  35. I have one leather messenger-type bag and a wallet that zips closed. The bag travels from the house to the vehicle and the wallet makes sorties from there.

    Once I learned to sew reversible fabric shopping bags things evolved but only into groceries territory. I’m with your SO: the bra is enough, I don’t need any more straps.

    Like

    • A leather messenger bag sounds cool. When I lived in the US and had a vehicle, my bags made a similarly limited journey. Now that I live in South America and use public transportation, I need them more. Now, your shopping bags sound awesome. I need to work on my sewing skills.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and please visit again soon. It’s wonderful to hear from you!

      Like

  36. I am in favor of your continuing the quest for the perfect bag AND continuing to post pictures. Love all of the colors, but the first green Kipling bag really caught my eye (second image under #2). It looks like the big bag version is the same color (maybe?). Lately that’s become one of my favorite colors.

    Now, let’s talk about shoes. Those sandals are groovy. 🙂

    Like

  37. Thank you for sharing those photos! I love them all! Having recently surrendered to using a small, lightweight wristlet, I must say I do miss having a fun bag or 100 to carry with me. Arthritis and fibromyalgia win THAT battle but I will find something else to make me fabulous! 😉 —- Patti

    Like

    • Oh, Patti, I’m sure you are fabulous with or without the perfect bag–or 100, as the case may be. LOL

      Sorry to hear you have arthritis and fibromyalgia. That must mean a lot of pain.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. I’d love you to stop by again soon!!!!

      Like

  38. Wonderful post. Bags are one of my weaknesses. You have a fabulous selection 😀 I see you have some Kipling one’s in there. They are my go to bags. Still in search of that perfect bag….

    Like

    • Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed the post and Kipling bags. Isn’t it amazing how we are always in search of the perfect bag? You have said that so well. I So appreciate your stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Please visit again soon!

      Like

  39. Hi Kathy! Just saw you’ve been freshly pressed so I had to read this one. Have been hectic at work.
    And I love the bags! What an awesome collection. I am often tempted to buy bags as well, but mostly restrain myself and have a small collection.
    Go bag lady!
    And congratulations!

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Gertie. I’m so happy to hear from you today! You are wise, my friend–very wise. Restraint is a good thing. I need to follow your fine example. Hope you and your girls are well! Hugs to you from Ecuador!

      Like

      • I guess being an accountant I tend to restrain a bit more! Sometimes I can kick myself though for NOT splurging at the time :-). We are excellent. Planning our trip to Italy which I will blog about soon!

        Like

      • Oh, I can’t wait to hear about that trip!!! I have NEVER been to Italy, so it will be a chance for me to do some virtual travel. Yes, I guess the accountant would always have the budget in mind! Hadn’t thought of that.

        Like

    • LOL LOVE your comment–and your name–“tigersdancing.” That’s a cool image. I’m delighted you enjoyed my bag collection, as well. Yes, I think the bag lady issue is bigger than just me. Wish this post would go viral——–

      Seriously, thanks for your comment. And have a lovely day!

      Like

  40. I love your bags, I too am regularly accused of being (as my Hubby calls it) a “bag hoarder”. I can’t help it, I love them so much! To placate him we came up with a deal that if I didn’t use a bag for 12 months I had to give it away. To be honest we don’t really have mucho space for storage so I was happy to accept these terms, it also makes me give love more equally to my bags 🙂 Great post, you have earnt a new follower.

    Like

    • Now that’s a pretty good deal–plus it gives all of your lovely bags the attention–and use–they deserve. Thank you so much for following–and please stop by again soon. I’m honored to have you along for the ride!

      Like

    • Oh, thank you. Yes, if you can go to Vietnam, I suspect you will love it. At least we did. Thanks for the congratulations and for taking the time to leave a comment. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday, and please stop by again soon!

      Like

    • Yes, yes, you have said that well–the bags have both purpose and story. What a perfect combination. Thanks so much for that insight and for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s wonderful to hear from you. Please visit again soon!

      Like

  41. hi there! it seems that you travel a lot. thus, I cant blame you if you buy stuff, in this case, bags or purses, in places/countries u go to. a traveler needs something to remind him/herself of the places he/she has been to, aside from having photos. if u can afford it, there’s no reason why deprive yourself of buying what u want especially if it’s something really unique.

    Like

    • Yes, good insight–the bags have memories attached and are a great addition to photos that one might take. You mention cost, and one thing I would add, is that most of these bags didn’t cost more than 10 or 15 dollars–many were as few as 5. I had forgotten to mention my budget when I bought them.

      Wonderful to hear from you. Hope you have an awesome day and will visit again soon!

      Like

  42. There is no such thing as ‘overly-pursed’ as every purse-aholic knows! As a bag lady myself, I think Sara should be grateful that you are all-prepared for any situation and indeed continue to look fabulous while being at the ready for any situation! What a lucky gal she is! 🙂 Giggle Giggle

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    • Thank you so much! You preparedness point is well taken–and I will be SURE to point that out to Sara! LOL Glad you enjoyed the bags and can appreciate the bag-lady phenomenon. Have a wonderful day, my friend! I LOVE hearing from you this morning.

      Like

  43. I feel for Sara. 🙂 My husband has a similar affliction. Not only does he like all sorts of travelling bags he even collects plastic shopping bags. Once my daughter brought him a gift from Australia and he was more excited about the plastic bag it came in than the present. Truly enjoyed your post.

    Like

    • I will be sure to share your empathy with Sara! She will appreciate it, I’m sure. LOL

      Can’t say that I’m a fan of plastic bags. Your story is a hoot. Hope your husband came to appreciate the gift itself, too.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Hope you will stop by again soon.

      Like

  44. Kathryn, I have been searching for the perfect bag for years, with zero luck. Everywhere we go, I drag the other half in bag shops, but to no avail. The closest I got was a TINY leather messenger bag from Turkey. Oh if only they’d have made them in a bigger size…

    Like

    • I fear that some of us may be eternally looking for the perfect bag. But, then again, it’s the perfect excuse to keep shopping. Oh, wow is me! LOL Your bag from Turkey sounds lovely.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Wonderful to hear from you today!

      Like

      • Oh it was wonderful to read that I’m not alone in my bagness! I really enjoyed your article, and yes, it does give us te excuse to keep shopping! I don’t know, maybe I should make my own lol, We are off to te Canary Islands in June so I’m hoping I’ll find something closer to what I want.

        Like

  45. Beautiful bag collection!

    I thought, while browsing through the photos, some of them are pretty enough to be displayed as art–have you thought of perhaps displaying them when not in use? Then they could be practical and decorative at the same time. I love the embroidered ones–and hurray for Timbuk2 bags!!

    Like

    • Ha, ha! Had to chuckle at your mentioning the bags could be displayed as art. A few folks mentioned that to me, but the thought had NEVER occurred to me. I know–hard to believe, isn’t it? I really may consider it, especially now that another lovely reader has thought the same thing. Thanks so much for sharing your idea. I hope you will visit again soon!

      Like

    • Oh, thank you for the congratulations! I have enjoyed the ride. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for taking a look and taking the time to leave a comment. And please visit again soon. It was SO nice to hear from you!

      Like

  46. I think you can never have enough bags. Especially when those bags can remind you of all of the places that you have been. I would love to travel the world collecting bags from all different places. I often frequent the thrift shops finding all sorts of new purses and have acquired quite the collection myself. But nothing like the variety that you have!!

    Like

    • Well, thank you for taking a look at my collection. When I lived in the US, I was quite the thrift store shopper myself. In fact, I will stop in at the Goodwill or Salvation Army when I am back there in about a month. Wonderful to hear from you, and please visit again soon!

      Like

  47. One can NEVER have too many purses! I love how colorful your collection is and you’ve got one for every need and occasion. I don’t think this is a sickness. I think you’re just extremely prepared for any situation!

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    • Aha–I LOVE your take on this, Terri! I will be sure to pass your perspective along to Sara. I like to think that I’m prepared, but hadn’t thought of that aspect of my purse collection. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

      Like

  48. In a way I can relate, but not with purses. I’m a borderline purse minimalist: little (but not too little) black purse in the winter, woven ribbon Sak-of-Many colors in the summer, gold clutch for special occasions, and that’s about it. What do I have to many of? Clothes! I have more skirts and sweaters than I’ve ever bothered counting, and certainly more than can fit in my closet. Added to that, I have 3 bathing suits and hardly ever swim! Why do I have so many clothes? My mother all-out hordes them – for every member of the family. She and I are about the same size, so I get hand-me-downs from her on top of the clearance and gently-used second hand finds. So many choices makes getting dressed in the morning harder some days, but then again having the perfect outfit for just about anything is great too. I imagine it’s the same way with purses, right?

    Like

    • You know, I think we all have our thing that we do to excess. Most folks are guilty of having too much of something. Your purse collection sounds like the purse-fect size for you. I, must, admit, however, that clothes tempt me too. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. And please visit again soon!

      Like

  49. Since I am from India, the first thing I searched was if there is a bag/purse from India. You have so many from Vietnam. WE always search for bags whenever we go out shopping or even travel sometimes. We as a family are under pursed or under bagged. If my mother reads this post, she will be Jelous of you.

    Like

    • Ha, ha. Hope you will show the post to your mother. Sorry to hear you all are under-pursed. LOL I think I only shared one bag from India here. I need to double check. Wonderful to hear from you. Hope you will visit again soon.

      Like

  50. I love how The Onion’s writers are subverting the blogosphere with posts like these. Keep up the good work, guys! Next time, make it even harder to spot the irony.

    Like

  51. Hello,
    the post really got me thinking: I’m a bag lady, too. When I was in my teen years, I had way too many bags, but I still had the need to buy new ones…
    Your post shows that a woman needs different bags for different occasions, so I’m relieved, because that’s what I explained to all my concerned friends and family.
    I tried to narrow the bags I carry and I only buy a bag every two years… I live in a small appartement and don’t have the space. And I love buying bags during vacation so I have a great memory!

    Perhaps I’ll do a bag post, too 🙂

    kat

    http://lucandrob.wordpress.com/

    Like

    • Happy to hear you appreciated this post. And I’m even happier to hear that you are a bag lady! However, your efforts to only buy a new bag every two years sound wise! Now I need to follow your good example! Wonderful to hear from you, Kat. Hope you will visit again soon.

      Like

    • Thank you. Glad you enjoyed seeing the bags. We used to travel to Asia a lot, since we lived in Vietnam. In the last couple of years we haven’t been there at all, I’m afraid. I appreciate your comment and hope you will stop by again soon!

      Like

  52. Kathy, I can’t believe I missed this when you first posted it! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed once more! You go, girl! As for me, I love purses. But me thinks you’ve outdone even me. I don’t carry more than two at a time and one is always a tote for my books, files, and whatnot. I also have a special purse for when I walk the dogs. It’s a small purse with compartments for snacks, poop bags, a flashlight for evening walks, earbuds for listening to music or audiobooks and my cell phone. Which makes it easy to find everything! I love your purses. They’re so pretty!

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Monica. Glad you found the post. It’s always fun to be Freshly Pressed. Love how you have your dog walking bag organized. I need to do something similar. Hope your week is going well, my friend.

      Like

    • Thank you. Glad you think I look nice, pursed or otherwise. LOL I don’t believe it’s possible to be addicted to something as practical as a purse. Wonderful to know you got 6 in Italy that you really like. So great to hear from you. Hope you’ll stop by again soon!

      Like

  53. you really are a bag lady, Kathryn! Nice collection, congratulations!….I use to buy one or two bags when traveling, the only problem is the space (needed for souvenirs and presents for the rest of the family) 😉

    Like

    • I know. I’m definitely a bag lady! Kind of funny, isn’t it? You are wise to only travel with one or two. To be honest, I do the same, sometimes even only one. But somehow living overseas and being able to buy bags so affordably has become a huge temptation for me. Alas! Great to hear from you today. Hope you will come back soon. Thank you for your comment!

      Like

  54. These bags are all beautiful, Kathy — and Sara. My favorites are the Vietnamese silk and the one with the embroidered purple flowers — irises? I just joined the Sierra Club so I’d get a free messenger bag — green. Not that I don’t believe in advocating for a clean and healthy environment, but, in this instance I got two for the price of one (can’t say here “killed two birds with one stone”), and I’d been wanting a messenger bag. It’s large enough to hold a laptop. Now all I need is the laptop.

    What I have too many of are magazines. Somebody’s gonna come in here, see my magazine towers and identify me as one of those weird old hoarders. Every time I sit down to go through them, I find something interesting to read. Besides, a writer can never have too much research material at hand….

    Like

    • Gosh, like you, I love magazines and have a terrible time getting rid of them! And like you, I love messenger bags. LOVE your comment about now only needing the laptop to go in the bag to carry it. SUCH a HOOT!

      SO wonderful to hear from you, Carol! Hope it’s a lovely weekend for you!

      Like

  55. Pingback: I’m a bag lady, too! | lucandrob

  56. I love your collection of bags, however I’m unlikely to accumulate such a collection myself.

    I find myself a devotee of the “healthy back bag” size medium. I run out of space in the small, and love my Scottevest Traveler, with it’s 17 pockets. With all those pockets, it’ll hold everything I need, ‘though sometimes can’t remember where I put things. Not to mention it is a pain to pack and, well people would think I was even weirder than they do already if I wore it all the time.

    Like

    • So happy to hear you enjoyed this post, Janet. Love the sound of your vest. I suppose, if I had one of those, I might need fewer bags. LOL Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!

      Like

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