Posted on

White Cane-Friendly Handbags

Abby is on the job sitting cross legged in her PJs (gray bottoms & white top with a gray collar) with a teal Abby logo laptop on her lap. Sporting her signature explosive hairstyle, she is wearing a headset with microphone and her white cane is propped up next to her.

White Cane-Friendly Handbags

white cane-friendly handbags description is in the body of the post
#1 Image

Handbags are a gal’s best friend, am I right or am I right? Like an extension of ourselves, we are practically one with our handbags.  On the rare occasions where I’ve misplaced or left home without my bag, I’ve nearly had major panic attacks.  

While handbags are necessary to carry our essentials they can also be a trendy fashion statement. Those of us who use handheld mobility devices need to keep in mind, portability, and practicality when selecting a bag. One of my faves, the fold over clutch, for example, may not be practical for the following reasons:

  1. Size restricts the number of contents
  2. This type of bag needs to be held in hand or under the arm
  3. The lack of straps or handles increases the likelihood of accidentally misplacing the bag
  4. When walking my focus needs to be on navigating safely with my white cane and not worrying about my bag

Thank heavens there are oodles of fashionable yet functional bags for us blind or visually impaired gals to choose from. Given the combination of handbag characteristics, there is no need to sacrifice style over function.

Seven Styles Of White Cane-Friendly Handbags

  1. Crossbody – These bags feature a strap long enough to hang on your shoulder and across your body. The shoulder strap allows you to be completely hands-free.
  2. Backpack – A bag with shoulder straps to carry on one’s back. Many of today’s backpack styles are chic and convertible.
  3. Bucket – A round or oval bottom with a drawstring closure, resulting in a shape similar to a bucket. They usually have an open top, but may have a magnetic closure for added security.
  4. Fanny Pack– A a small pouch on a belt, for money and small articles, worn around the waist or hips. Fanny packs used to get a bad rap but some of today’s styles are extraordinary.
  5. Hobo – Usually a large crescent-shape, slouchy bag with a long strap designed to wear over the shoulder. Hobo bags consist of soft, flexible materials that tend to slump or slouch when setting down.
  6. Satchel – Typically has an interior frame, rectangular shape, flat bottom, double handles, and a hinged or zippered opening.
  7. Tote – Totes are large handbags, usually with double handles and an open top.

With the exception of backpacks and fanny packs, I recommend handbags with a long strap to wear crossbody style. This gives you the hands-free option to safely use your white cane while your bag is secure on your person.

In addition to style, sizes, colors, materials, textures, designs, closures, and decorations, all make for a plethora of handbag choices. It’s great to know we can have sophisticated looking bags with all the bells and whistles while remaining safe.

#1 Image Description:

Three mini textured handbags (brown, black. and purple). Each has a flap with brass hardware closures on the front, handle on top and a flat bottom.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Posted on

The Red Barrel Bag, Shoes, And A Stink Bug

Close up photo of me holding the red barrel bag by the handles in my right hand while letting the adjustable strap hang. My white cane is in my left hand.

Crushing On A Red Barrel Bag

I’ve wanted a barrel bag for the longest time but after an extensive search I’d all but given up hopes of finding one. That is until the day I received a sign.

Actually, if I were being totally honest it was more like the stars, planets, and galaxies even, aligned. Angels were signing and everything went black except for this ray of light on the prettiest bag I’ve ever seen.

The late TV pitchman of all times, Billy Mays, confirmed my buying decision with a whispered “but wait, there’s more.” The original $200 price tag was slashed to a bargain-stealing cost of $30. Geez, was I gullible or what?

A Birthday Celebration

Two weeks after I ordered (in the voice of Gollum) “my precious,” it arrived and just in time for a birthday celebration with my cousin. When she picked me up because, you know, I can’t drive, I mean, I can drive, but I can’t see, well you catch my drift. Anyways she was like “WOW look at you” as she took in my bag and color-coordinated shoes.

“I love your bag,” my cousin says as I hopped in the vehicle. I tell her it’s made by brand X (code for I never heard of it). Going forward whenever anyone asks who X is my response will be “you don’t know who X is?” Why everyone’s wearing X. To sell it, even more, I’d throw in a Kardashian or two.

Blowing The Lid Off The Instagram Life

Standing profile pose with white cane.

Okay, so here’s the thing, you know those picture-perfect photographs of all the beautiful people on social media? Well, let tell you the pictures in this post are NOT as they appear.

For starters, I felt like a stuffed sausage in my Spanx. Even though I know I was born in heels, because my mother never lets me forget how much pain she was in when she had me, (I’d remember the pain too if I had a baby who came out in heels) but I digress. My feet hurt which was odd because typically the chunkier the heel, the more comfortable the shoe, but these are going in the giveaway pile.

If being uncomfortable weren’t enough, I have to take at least a gazillion pictures just for the money shot. Even then, the money shot really isn’t a money shot at all because I’m not being paid for this gig. This photo shoot was extraordinary because of a loud buzzing noise and what looked like a flying monster insect. I screamed, knocked over the tripod, phone, and tripped as I ran, then eerie silence.

While it’s against my nature to use my investigative skills to seek out the cause of unexplained noise I looked high and low. Then, I saw it—a stink bug had landed on my wall. I felt a bit relieved when I realized the cause of my panic but was still creeped out by the disgusting bug.

Standing pose rear view

Where was I? Oh, yeah, in today’s pictures I was very uncomfortable and I don’t give a hoot about the whole “beauty is pain” thing I’m too old for that nonsense. The photos are simply my attempt to put my best foot forward and to inspire styling ideas. It’s taken me a lifetime to become comfortable being not perfect and it feels good.

Barrel Bag Outfit Description:

  • Black midi dress with black hose
  • Cuffed chambray shirt tied at the waist
  • Red chunky heels with ankle straps
  • Accessories: red barrel handbag, silver bracelet, thumb ring, drop earrings

Have a very nice weekend everyone!

Posted on

Shoe Lovin’ Saturdays: Weigh in #6




My oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine heading my way

Nina Keiko Lime Colored Beaded Clutch
#1 – Nina Keiko

For those of you who remember this wonderful Disney song I apologize if it’s now going to be stuck in your head but if misery loves company what about pure unadulterated joy? Uh oh, now I’ve Got the Joy In My Heart and I must stop this before I start singing Pharrell Williams’ HAPPY and yes, I had to go there. In case you haven’t heard Happy you absolutely MUST take a listen click HAPPY. This song will have you clapping your hands, snapping your fingers and just make you want to dance.

So how is it that I can be so deliriously happy on such a chilly overcast day? Allow me to fill you in.

The Stars are Aligned

Orion, my favorite constellation, (probably because it’s the only one aside from the dippers, that I could find when I could still see), also happens to be the name of my little grandson. Orion is here with me today and will be spending the night with Gigi (my self-appointed grandma nickname). I never thought anything could top the births of my own children until this little guy arrived last year. He has stolen my heart and being that I’m no stranger to little children I am still constantly amazed at everything this little boy does.

Breckelles Blush Colored dOrsay Flats from
#2 – Breckelles 
Alternate ModCloth

Orion is the cutest, sweetest most precious grand baby in the whole world. When he was born he was completely bald and as his hair began to grow in it was bright red. Today, his head is covered in these long, curly, ringlets and he has the longest eyelashes and sweetest smile this side of the Mississippi. Even when he cries it’s cute!!

Spring Forward

Aaaaaahhhh, Spring Forward, the mere words had me breaking out in song. I know, I know, it’s only March and in this neck of the woods a blizzard or two wouldn’t be unusual but I’m feeling like we’ve finally turned the corner and it won’t be too long before we can send old man winter packing, bid Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) a fond farewell, and embrace a long-awaited rebirth of longer days and flowering blooms.

Michael Antonio Driver-BR Women's Shoes
#3 – Michael Antonio Driver-BR Women’s Shoes

I long for lush green trees, the cheerful sound of birds singing, flowers, warmer weather, the smell of fresh-cut grass and the overall awakening of life. To be outdoors soaking up the sun and enjoying a cup of hot coffee on the balcony in the morning hours is where I want to spend my daily devotions.

1st Milestone

The scale told me I was 157 this morning – music to my ears as this means I met my first goal. The hard work is beginning to pay off in great dividends. For the first time in my life I have energy and I feel more clear-headed. My asthma still bothers me first thing in the morning but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was about 1 month ago and as long as I stay on target it will continue to improve.

157 Pounds March 8, 2014
157 Pounds March 8, 2014
157 Pounds March 8, 2014
157 Pounds March 8, 2014

157.7 was my first goal and I vowed last week that I’d get here by weeks’ end. Here’s todays’ total numbers:

  • Weight:          minus 9 pounds
  • Thighs:           minus 5.5 inches
  • Arms:              minus 1 inch
  • Bust:               minus 0.5 inches
  • Waist:             minus 2 inches
  • Hips:               minus 1.5 inches

My main personal colors for the upcoming spring and summer 2014 are coral and turquoise. Last year I began incorporating more of these two colors into my wardrobe and I wanted to continue the trend this year because of their loveliness.

Brights Out Bright Yellow Handbag
#4 – Brights Out Bright Yellow Handbag

Coral reminds me of a beautiful sunset sky over the ocean with a mixture of reds, oranges, and yellows. The warm tropical color of coral evokes the sound of waves gently lapping the sands on the beach. You can almost hear the calming caws of the last of the sea gulls as they soar overhead to their resting place for the evening. This is such a mellow color that both calms and incites happiness inside me.

Alternatively, turquoise is soothingly cool and I can envision myself against the railing on a yacht in a flowing gauzy white dress with the wind blowing my hair from my upturned face. On a steamy, hot summer day sitting next to a fountain and feeling the spray of the water softly caressing my face also reminds me of turquoise.

Chinese Laundry Kalifornia Pink and Brown Ankle Strap Sandals from
#5- Chinese Laundry Kalifornia Pink and Brown Ankle Strap Sandals

I do not have a lot of clothing in these two colors however I have some jewelry, shoes, scarves and handbags that I’m going to have fun with. One other color I really like but will not be making too must use of this year is mint or lime.

The topic of mint brings me to one of my favorite newly acquired items that I got from This lime colored beaded clutch (picture #1) is so cute and roomy at 11 inches wide and 5 & ½ inches high. The silver detailing, chain and magnetic snap closure really make it pop. This will go real nice with my lime colored sleeveless top and a couple other printed ones that contain various shades of green.

CORMACK - handbags's satchels & handheld bags for sale at
#6 – CORMACK – handbags satchels & handheld bags

The blush colored d’Orsay flats (picture #2) are from ModCloth and I’ve been eyed them for several weeks before snapping them up. Because of their neutral color these shoes will go with just about anything although I can’t wait to pair them with some coral.

The remaining pics 3 through 5 are sandals and handbags I found online.

  • #3 – Michael Antonio Driver: Natural colored gladiator-type 1/2 inch heel sandals with zipper at the heel and braided strap to go between the big and second toe.
  • #4 – Brights Out Bright Yellow Handbag: “This colorful structured tote bag has a lightly textured exterior with gold hardware, plus an interior separated into five sections for all the room you could ever want. Carry from twin tote handles with a 5″ drop, or clip on the adjustable shoulder strap. Purse measures 14″ wide, 10″ tall, and 5.5” deep. 100% Polyurethan”e
  • #5 – Chinese Laundry Kalifornia Pink and Brown Ankle Strap Sandal: “A strip of shiny gold rounds the edge of a pointed peep toe with a neon pink snakeskin-textured toe strap nearby, while a chic brown ankle strap secures with golden closures. A 4″ heel zipper offers up even more sparkle with a gold pull above a 1.5″ stacked wood wedge heel. Smooth insole. Non-skid rubber sole.”
  • #6 – CORMACK – handbags: Mini bag in medium blue with gold accents including a decorative lock & key. This satchel has a double handle and shoulder strap with top zipper closure. Measurements are 10.7 inches wide, 8.3 inches high and 5.2 inches deep.

Have a fantabulous weekend!!

“All of us have wonders hidden in our breasts, only needing circumstances to evoke them.” ~Charles Dickens

Posted on

Budget Friendly Brother

Sibling Rivalry

It was nice growing up with someone like you – someone to lean on, someone to count on… someone to tell on!  ~Author Unknown

My brother, Robert, and I are so different I sometimes wonder if there was a mix up at the hospital before our mother brought him home. Weighing in at almost 3 pounds, he was a preemie who was quite fortunate he survived since the technology that allows such tiny babies to survive today, was not present in the early sixties.

For three years life was good and then the interloper a.k.a. little brother arrives. I have to admit that he was a cute little squirt and when I wasn’t beating him up, I was very protective of him. No one else was allowed to touch my baby brother.

I’m not quite sure when the animosity started. Possibly it had something to do with him being the favorite or since he was a natural extrovert and therefore very popular maybe I was envious. I can tell you one of the things that drove me nuts about him was his miserly ways. Even when we went to our local newsstand to buy candy I would share mine while he hoarded his until mine was all gone the brat!!

Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way.  ~Pamela Dugdale

Having very little when growing up in the same household, it’s understandable that my brother and I had an appreciation for stretching a dollar. My loathing of numbers could be the thing that set us apart because by comparison, my brother makes Scrooge look like a spendthrift. I mean, it can be embarrassing shopping with him because he does not believe in paying full price for anything and I pity the sales representative who is on the opposite end of the haggling process.

To give you an example, about a month or so ago he inadvertently bought the wrong cookies that were on sale for $2.00. What’s he do? He takes them back, exchanges them for the correct cookies and when the clerk tells him an additional 20 cents is owed, my brother explains that he bought the originals on sale and that he should be given the sale price for the exchange. The situation reminded me of that hilarious Indiana Jones scene where Indiana’s opponent brought a knife to a gun fight. End result, my brother won and didn’t have to part with 20 cents. It took about 20 minutes but he felt it was 20 minutes well spent.

If it were me in the same scenario, I would have told the guy keep the cookies, just give me my money back. I don’t have the strength to make a federal case over 20 cents.

I may not completely agree with Robert’s methodology when it comes to money but I have taken some of his advice and have fared well. So today I want to focus on a few money saving tips:

  • Membership Warehouse Clubs – A few years ago my ex-husband bought me this fabulous full length suede faux fur-lined coat at Sam’s or Costco for $40. It was absolutely gorgeous and talk about warmth. I never owned a winter coat prior to or since that has been able to withstand the frigid Pittsburgh winters. You can come across some great finds in these type stores that you may not necessarily find at the average retailer.
  • Keep Your Receipt – This is something I’ve seen work first-hand by a good friend of mine. She’ll buy something on sale and hang onto the receipt. She checks back within a few days or a week and if the price has come down she takes the receipt back to the and usually the store will give her the difference. Sometimes this doesn’t work depending on the store’s policy but when they won’t give her the difference she returns the items and buys it at the lower price. As my grandmother used to say “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” sometimes all it takes is a little ingenuity.
  • Punch Up Your Wardrobe – If you’ve already built your classic wardrobe you’re already ahead of the game and will only need, if you so desire, to add a few complementary pieces. For example, let’s say you have a pencil skirt, LBD (little black dress), white button down shirt, khakis, black pants, black blazer, jeans, assorted tee shirts and camisoles/tank tops. You might want to add a cute trendy top, shoes or a handbag to make your outfit pop. Earlier this year I said I was not buying any new clothes since my goal is to fit into my existing clothes. So what I’ve done is added a couple different styles and colors of shoes and jewelry to punch things up a bit.
  • Handbags – There are so many different types, sizes and colors from which to choose it will literally make your head spin. But this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your ensemble pop. Not too long ago I got this really cute fake leather bag that one of my friends was gaga over. Of course she wanted to know where I got it and was floored when I told her it only cost $13.
Khaki Colored Stylish Laconic Women's Tote Bag from
Stylish Laconic Women’s Tote Bag

The thing is, you can spend a boat load of money on clothing and look nice but it takes a little finesse to spend less and look just as nice. My motto is “I wear what I like and like what I wear.”

I invite you to leave a note below with questions or comments or if you prefer you can send an email directly to me at

Have an awesome day!!

“God wisely designed the human body so that we can neither pat our own backs nor kick ourselves too easily.” ~Author Unknown