Life Style

Weekend Update

1. Even though I love my Longchamp Le Pliage bag and would recommend it to almost anyone, sometimes I wish there was a teeny bit more padding, and some more pockets inside. I saw this quilted BP tote hanging at our local Nordstrom right before I left for Europe, and picked it up to see how it’d handle a week of carrying all of my electronics, work samples, and being generally thrashed around.

BP Totes

(pictured, right) Quilted Tote, $42

At $42, I’m very happy to report that I’m a big fan of this tote, especially for anybody looking for an easy to clean, comfortable to wear hold-all bag that can handle a laptop, chargers, bottles of water, a change of clothes, and more. It has two huge side pockets (great for items like chargers and water bottles), as well as a zip pocket, and several open pockets inside for items like smartphones.

It’s not often you find a great item at such a fantastic price point, so I’d mark this bag as highly recommended. Please note that the color in real life, at least for the black, is more matte (like in the photo above), than in some of the other pictures shown.

PS: The leopard tote above is pretty cool too, though sold out online. I did get a chance to check it out in person as well and while the pattern is very cute, it felt a lot more flimsy and didn’t have as many pockets.

2. I’m always a fan of Cathy Horyn’s writing, and I enjoyed this piece, from about a month back, about how straightforward, eminently wearable clothing is now coming back into fashion. A very interesting article that delves into a bit of a history on fashion, as well as how it reflects our times today. For me, personally? I’m happy for simpler, more “wearable” items…especially for the numbers I’ve been seeing on price tags!



3. Thank you to a lovely reader, Olivia, who sent me this fascinating NY Times article describing why some Chinese tourists are disillusioned after visiting Paris, when the city isn’t as welcoming or friendly as they had thought. I love Paris and feel lucky that I get to go on a regular cadence. Over the last two decades that I can remember of various visits to Paris, I have observed how the situation has evolved to where some newly arrived visitors – especially those without a working grasp of French or English – might feel confused or unwelcome. It sounds like the situation is improving however, and I hope that anybody who visits one of my favorite cities is able to have a wonderful time.

4. Can I share one more article with you all – this nice little piece from the WSJ about how great reading is for you (not to mention how satisfying).

5. Now on the topic of reading – I’ve liked the few books I’ve read by David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas and the Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet), so I was happy to pick up his latest work, The Bone Clocks, and enjoyed it enough to now recommend it here!

The book is a wide ranging saga that starts in England in the 1980s, and skips to the present day and even the future, while moving through a variety of settings and characters. I would recommend this book for any fans of Mitchell’s past work (and it’s easier to read than Cloud Atlas), or any lovers of good, character driven fiction with a little bit of fantasy thrown in as well. Recommended and my favorite by Mitchell so far!

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  • Revanche
    September 26, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Hah I nearly recently splurged on the Longchamp Le Pliage, thinking of you & your love for it as a durable bag, but couldn’t commit because it felt just a bit too small … probably because my traveling electronics stash is ridiculous. Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have a look at this first!

    • Katherine
      September 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Hi my friend!! Yes try out this one instead. A lot cheaper and big and perfect to haul lots of items. I’m using it my next trip as well. Let me know how you like it 🙂

  • Vivian
    September 26, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Dear Katherine, I also got my Le Pliage at Paris airport because of your recommendation! It’s such a great bag and I just use it all the time. But I do agree it can’t really carry heavy items but still it’s a very lovely bag. I can’t wait to check out the bone clocks you recommend, it sounds like a fascinating read!

    • Katherine
      September 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      I’m so glad that you got it and enjoy it!

  • Jenny
    September 26, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    As always, I adore your weekend updates, and this one is no different!

    Funny thing: while I was reading, I saw your use of “cadence” and it stuck out to me because I use that word so often in my line of work. A team mate of mine pointed out to me that our work’s usage of “cadence” is some sort of “corporatization” (excuse the non-word) of the the word, which has its definition tied to musical sequencing of notes and chords and rhythm. Looks like the corporate world took the repetition associated with “cadence” and started using it for frequency of meetings. A word which I associate with a world of beauty and art is now also associated with Powerpoint :/

    • Katherine
      September 26, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Jenny, thanks! That’s so funny about cadence, I do use it a ton and’s a mark of corporate. We just can’t escape!

  • shortiek
    September 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Excellent timing! I’ve been looking for a cheap bag that I could bring everywhere and beat up. I got a baggu duck bag thinking it would be great as a large casual bag, but 16″ was way too deep to be practical for my short arms. It’s now the farmer’s market bag lol. It can hard to find bags that are big enough without looking overwhelmingly large so this look great!

    That article is fascinating! I met up with friends who were also in France last summer, and they *hated* Paris. Americans definitely romanticize it as well, but Paris is like any city. Crowded, dirty, good and bad sections…There’s definitely a marked difference in how tourists who try to speak French and tourists who don’t are treated.

  • Victoria
    September 26, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Amazing find at an amazing price point! I was wondering if you could write a post about why/how you came to be a blogger and the process? How did you find methods of sharing your blog with people? Thank you:)!

  • S
    September 26, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Hi, Thanks again for recommending an interesting article [ about Asian tourists in Paris]. Have a lovely weekend.

  • Anonymous
    September 26, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    I love your blog Kat and love all the new additions your bring to your closet. How do you still keep your limit of 30 items a year with all your new purchases?

    • Katherine
      September 27, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      It’s REALLY hard! I try to only add a total of 2-3 pieces a month, that’s the number I keep in my head and some months I actually don’t add anything (I’m currently trying to build up a buffer for holiday season…)!

  • Olivia
    September 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Really enjoyed the WSJ article – thank you!! – and glad you found the NYT article fascinating – I was really interested in hearing your perspective since you’ve been to Paris many times. Enjoy the weekend!

  • Fashion Blawger
    September 27, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing the Times article and the WSJ one. As to cutting back on stress, I’ve noticed that the times that I get immersed into some reading while I’m stressed it has been a stress reliever even if only momentarily as the reading takes me away from thoughts of my stresses 🙂