POCKETBOOKS TOP MY FASHION PASSION: The Secret of How I Find Them

 

How My Pocketbook Passion Began

My pocketbook passion started about 30 years ago. Each year, I would buy myself a beautiful, popular, designer purse. To start my collection, I purchased numerous Dooney & Bourke bags, Coach bags, and then some Kate Spade bags.

vintage D & B
Vintage Dooney & Bourke Teton Style Multi Color bag from vintagedooney.com

My Pocketbook Passion Journey Proceeds

I began my journey searching for and purchasing the most attractive Dooney & Bourke ‘All Weather Leather’ bags.

Since the Internet was not yet a means of advertising and purchasing, items were available from beautifully designed mail order catalogs. That is where my passion for pocketbooks began. This bag at the left is very similar to one of my first purchases.

 

FAST FORWARD: Outlet Malls and The Internet
outlet mall
A photo of a Tanger Outlet Mall with plenty of parking and discount upscale stores.

Over the years, the technology for shopping has become more sophisticated, appealing and convenient. If I want to make a purchase without leaving home, the Internet has become the place to go. If I want a feast including entertainment and purchasing delights, destinations like the Tanger Outlets are the ideal place to go

INTRODUCING: 21st Century Shopping – POSHMARK

There is no end to what I have been able to find online, at upscale malls and at outlet malls. But isn’t that the whole idea of retail shopping today? The possibilities are endless. Here’s a video of the fascinating history of the immensely successful online social marketplace, Poshmark.

One brand, in particular has become my favorite vintage pocketbook passion, Italian made ARCADIA. This brand is one I recently discovered from the gangbuster technology for feeding my passion, online search and research. In fact, my favorite place to ‘window shop’ and purchase is on Poshmark. It is the hottest spot of them all. I visit everyday.

arcadia collage
Four of my favorite vintage Arcadia handbags found on Poshmark.com
The Evolution of How to Go Shopping

There is an evolutionary path to this search for collecting both new and vintage handbags. Collecting new handbags started with mail order catalogs and stayed there for many years. Then as technology was embraced, it evolved into the Internet.

Out of curiosity, I have even visited one of the Tanger Outlet Malls I had heard so much about. Of course I made a purchase. The mall was an appealing, well designed shopping village. In addition, it had a movie theatre so no parking space was wasted when shopping hours waned.

Three Primary Venues

At present, three venues have become my primary sources of feeding my pocketbook passion. They are online discount sources, like Poshmark, online company websites, and thrift stores.

Thrift stores are a great resource and a way that many non-profits raise money

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

1. The History of Online Shopping

2. 8 Amazing Things People Said When Online Shopping Was Born 20 Years Ago

3. Students Prefer Online Shopping to the Mall

4. The Future of the Outlet Mall Industry

5. Vintage Dooney

6. The History of eBay

7. The Iconic Marketplace: The Poshmark Story

8, The Best 10 Thrift Stores near Rockville Centre NY 11570

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The Happy Pig’s Clucket Bucket: A Review

 

plant-based-fried-chicken
The Happy Pig’s Clucket Bucket(TM)

PLANT BASED FRIED CHICKEN
Plant based fried chicken in The Happy Pig’s Clucket Bucket(TM) is absolutely delicious. In fact, it is as good as any fried chicken I have ever tasted, animal or plant based.

A Review Plus

The spicing is perfect. In addition, one would never know by the taste that this is a plant based rather than a chicken based product.
Therefore, this is not only a Happy Pig’s plant based fried chicken review. But it is also an acknowledgement of a fantastic plant-based product that I am delighted to eat as well as write about.

 

HOW I FOUND THE HAPPY PIG’S CLUCKET BUCKET(TM)
A Farmers Market Find

My social life began again last weekend after a long, barren winter. The past season was devoid of social activity due to to continued concerns about COVID. As a result, the spring and the Farmers Market season have come as an especially welcome time. To add to that, the find of a new product, The Happy Pig’s Plant Based Fried Chicken makes it extra special.
plant-based-fried-chicken
Sample pack and sandwich of plant based fried chicken. What a delicious meal!

SAMPLING THIS PRODUCT

I learned that the sample packet I received is not the usual selling portion. In fact it was a complementary sample. Actually, the plant based fried chicken and other products have been part of the circuit of growing Nassau County based food trucks.
plant-based-fried-chicken
The Happy Pig Food Truck
On Social Media, But Nowhere To Be Found
So when I went to the same farmers market this past weekend, plant based fried chicken was nowhere to be found. Another mystery and another ‘amateur detective’ project challenged me.

I had to start somewhere. Of course, the website was the best place to start. But I found no Farmers Market schedule there. Instead are these social media links:

Facebook

 
Instagram

 
Yelp

 

Now Where?
A good detective does not give up. Since I earned my Ace-Detective badge from my favorite call-in music radio show, I have an obligation to solve the mystery of where, when, and how to get more of this amazing plant-based-fried-chicken.

plant-based-fried-chicken
A stack of plant-based fried chicken from The Happy Pig’s Clucket Bucket (TM).

There is a saying, ‘when all else fails, read the directions’. In this case, all the social media sources and resources did not yield a solution, except one. This one was a phone number on the website. Since my writing started very early in the morning, I did not call it. But when a reasonable time came, I did call. Alas, Wendy Ann Lantigua, the owner of the company answered.

During our delightful conversation, I learned the following:
• Wendy was about to update the website providing additional information.
• She attends the Malverne, LI Farmers Market whenever possible.
• Delivery will be available. There is a $5. charge.
• The food truck has been sold.

Most important, I certainly would have enough options to get more of this amazing plant-based fried chicken. Just to be certain, I added this healthy, delicous resource to my own healthy food list on the Healthy Food Categories Page

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

All photos about The Happy Pig’s Clucket Bucket are © Little Kitchen Creations By Wendy LLC

The Happy Pig’s Clucket Bucket Chick’n (TM).
Website
email The Happy Pig
Facebook page
Instagram
Yelp Review
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FASHION: Luxury Accessories

 

AN HERMES SCARF

An Hermes scarf was one of the luxury accessories my mother brought back from her trip to Paris in 1964. Not only is it a luxury accessory but an Hermes scarf bought in 1964 is also a truly vintage item. In addition, it is in pristine condition. The scarf is from the Passementerie Silk Design Collection.
hermes-scarf
A Passementerie Silk Scarf that is now listed on the Tradesy.com website

This design came in many color themes. Actually the one show above is in my favorite colors. But it is not the one my mother chose. Hers was in a gold passementerie (tassel) theme with a light blue border. You can see a picture of her scarf at the end of this post.

HISTORY OF HERMES

I was able to locate an article on the history of Hermes. It expresses the history better than I could. Therefore, I am paraphrasing it below.

THE HISTORY OF THE HERMES SCARF: 1937 Hermes Scarf

One of the First Hermes Scarf Designs from 1937 Shows women playing a period game.
hermes-scarf
One of the first Hermes Scarf Designs from 1937 shows women playing a period game

‘The history of the Hermes scarves is a story of luxury. Even the name Hermes is synonymous with luxury—it really is the best of the best. The brand is known for its quality and desirability. I don’t know a single woman who doesn’t wish she had a beautiful Birkin or Kelly holy-grail-of-a-handbag to hang from her arm (even though she may never admit it).

Almost equally as coveted as the famous Hermes scarf is that trademark orange flat box it comes in. As many of us know, the Hermes brand started as a harness and bridle workshop for horses in Paris in 1837. Thierry Hermes catered to the elite of Europe. Eventually the company expanded into other leather goods (handbags, clothing, etc.). The company continued to grow in popularity over the decades. It became a global powerhouse in the fashion world and continually expanding into different avenues of design. Even today, the company is family-owned, with no licensing deals, and no mass-production. Nearly everything they make is done right in France by experienced artisans who understand the importance of quality.’

hermes-scarf
Thierry Hermes – The Founder of the Luxury Brand Hermes

The history of the Hermes scarf dates back to the introduction of the first scarf in 1937. Its design was based on a woodblock drawing by Robert Dumas, who was a member of the Hermes family. The Hermes scarf designs were produced from start to finish. They bought the raw silk from China, spun it into yarn, wove it into fabric, and screen-printed it.

hermes-scarf
Hermes Scarf Design – Handmade in 18 months

‘Each scarf is still individually screen-printed, and designers (of which there are many) are able to choose from tens of thousands of colors for their designs. Think $400+ is too much to pay for a square of silk? Consider this: Once a Hermes scarf design is complete, artisans in the Hermes workshops located outside Lyon take over (some 750 people are employed there!). It takes about 18 months to produce a scarf from that point. The engravers alone take some six months to determine each scarf’s distinct colors (on average about 27). In addition, it takes about 750 hours to engrave the screens for printing (one screen for each color).’

hermes-scarf
The website that the Hermes Scarf History Section is based on

HERMES TODAY

Today, Hermes scarves typically measure 90cm x 90cm (36 or so inches square), and are made from the silk of mulberry moth cocoons. Each edge is hand-rolled and hand-stitched (a great way to help determine if you’ve got a fake or genuine example), and I have read that one seamstress will roll and stitch only about seven scarves per day. (it’s about quality and craftsmanship, not quotas!) Two collections of silk scarves and two collections of cashmere/silk blend scarves are released each year (and sometimes reprints of old designs or limited editions are put out, as well).

The 2,000+ designs that have been made vary greatly, but many have equestrian motifs. We have seen the Hermes scarf everywhere—Princess Grace of Monaco used one as a sling for her broken arm in 1956. Emily Blunt’s character sent boxes and boxes of Hermes scarves flying into the air when she was (unfortunately) hit by a taxi in The Devil Wears Prada (apparently the devil also favors Hermes).

Queen Elizabeth is frequently photographed with a Hermes scarf covering her head (and a postage stamp featuring her wearing one of the famous scarves came out in the 1950s). Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn were fans, as are many contemporary celebrities and fashion icons. Need to know how to tie a Hermes scarf in different ways? There’s literally an app for that. I think owning a Hermes scarf is almost a rite of passage for anyone interested in fashion. We are in love with vintage printed Hermes scarves at Rice and Beans Vintage and always have a few in stock, so browse our selection of Vintage Hermes now and own a piece of history and art!

hermes scarf box
Hermès scarf and iconic orange box

Paraphrased article written by Heather Cox and Edited by Sarah Korsiak Cellier for Rice and Beans Vintage

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

The History of the Hermes Scarf
Top 3 Reasons We Love Vintage Hermes Scarves
The Hermes Scarf: History & Mystique Hardcover – July 15, 2010

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THE FRUGAL FASHIONISTA

 

MY PASSION FOR SHOPPING

Donations Passed On To Me, Online and In Stores Bargains
Becoming a frugal fashionista has increased my passion for shopping. In other words, my extremely tight clothes and accessories budget has not diminished my joy and ability to acquire new attire. In fact, the degree of savings is directly proportional to the fun and bountifulness I experience. It may surprise readers to learn that the least expensive and most fun ‘free’ (clothes) donations to me are from a local church food pantry.

frugal-fashionista
A selection of clothes including three Old Navy dresses I got from the church pantry at my favorite price, a ‘free’ donation to me. Thanks to St. Agnes in RVC, NY.

Then increasing in price from least to most, I frequent thrift shops, online bargains websites like Poshmark, and rarely something new at a discount chain like HomeGoods or Savers. In addition, I will buy a quality name brand when it is on sale. But the rule is, it must be at least 50-70% off.

frugal-fashionista
Two Diophy brand purses from Poshmark. One I bought ‘new’ and the other one I got for $11.97 slightly ‘reused’.

ALMOST PROFESSIONAL SHOPPER

Hobby to Pro
In fact, I am becoming so adept at this pastime that I feel like a pro. What amazes me the most is that I like the clothes and accessories I am acquiring as a frugal fashionista is better than regular retail shopping.

Believe it or not, my wardrobe is nicer and would be more expensive new than I could ever afford. For example, my accessories include numerous Coach Leather, Kate Spade, and Dooney & Bourke handbags.

frugal-fashionista
Over the years, I have collected vintage Coach, Dooney & Bourke, and Kate Spade bags, very affordable new bags and bags that would be a steal.
Mid to High End Treasures Finder
My skills as a frugal fashionista have resulted in labels like Old Navy Lands’ End, Talbots, L.L.Bean, and Lands End and more apparel in my closet.

frugal-fashionista
A collection of ‘free’ cardigan sweaters to match any purchase. Included are (from top left to bottom right) Charter Club, Lands’ End, Croft & Barrow, L.L.Bean, Merona, Izod. All from the church pantry at no cost to me as a low-income senior.

CONCLUSION

Becoming Even More Frugal

Within a fairly short period of time, I have gone from a middle class, middle aged shopper to a fixed income savvy senior shopper. When the concept was first presented to me, it took some time for me to adjust. But now, I love being a frugal fashionista and I plan to get better and better at this great way to go shopping.
P.S. To comment, please scroll all the way down to the comment box and make you entry with DISQUS.
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Credit Card Bonus Program Offers: Proceed with Caution

 
stop sign ‘Stop and Proceed Slowly’ Sign by ComplianceSigns.com
 

INTRODUCTION

My Financial Profile
A recent promotional bonus credit card program has allowed me to be very resourceful with credit cards. Even though I live on a fixed monthly stipend that is typical of a retired low income senior, credit card programs have been a benefit for me. This is because of the tools I have learned and benefited from.

I have written at length about the potential benefits from the responsible use of credit cards. Below are the four Ebook I have written about various credit card benefit offers. These minimally priced Ebooks are available on Amazon.

credit card bonus offer
Financial Ebooks I have written that are available on Amazon
Ebooks and Other Blog Posts
Different Types of Credit Cards And Their Best Uses, Part One – July 2019 was one of my first blog posts on this topic. This blog post is about my latest experience with credit cards benefit offers.

 

PROMOTIONAL BONUS CREDIT CARDS

A New Credit Card Promotional Bonus Program to Explore
Several months ago, I was able to apply for a new Promotional Bonus Program Credit Card. I applied and was immediately accepted. Much to my surprise, I had the opportunity to apply for several more of them. I was accepted by those as well.

Without blinking, I went from qualifying for one, then four, and even as many as six of these credit cards. Even then, I kept finding more of these offers. Since I did not want to miss out on a single one of them, I kept applying and being accepted.

promotional bonus credit card offers
Capital One Promotional Bonus Credit Card Offer

RULES OF THE PROGRAM

How To Play
At first, I thought the rules were simple. The Promotional Bonus Credit Card program required only that I charge a given amount of purchases ($500 to $1,000) within a three month period of time. As the bonus, I could receive the equivalent of two hundred dollars per card. Since I always charged many of my purchases, I assumed this was going to be an easy win.

promotional bonus credit card offers Wells Fargo Promotional Bonus Credit Card Offer

VISITING LAS VEGAS
A Grand Total of Ten Cards
By the time I finally got a denial, I was the recipient of ten promotional bonus credit cards. Wow, I was really feeling exuberant. What I didn’t realize was, like a gambler, feeling exuberant would not last. In other words, I was becoming addicted to applying for and acquiring more of these promotional bonus credit cards.

Because I couldn’t stop, things really got out of hand. With each new card, the game I was playing became increasingly complicated as well as much less manageable. It became harder to keep track of all the rules. I kept making charts of when and how charged were due. Even with this extra effort, I still went from feeling high to feeling totally overwhelmed.

promotional bonus credit card
Roulette Table of a Casino Stock photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

PROS AND CONS OF THE PROMOTIONAL BONUS PROGRAM

Not As Easy As It Appeared to Be
Given my history of a perfect payment record, I thought this program would work like a charm for me. I was confident that it would be an easy win. But so many complications plagued me along the way. At times, I have questioned my investment savvy even my sanity. I’ve sworn I would never get in over my head like this again.

 

CREDIT CARD REWARDS, STATEMENT CREDITS, OR GAMBLING

A Bit of Each
Depending on how intensely one dives into this game determines which level of risk one plays this promotional bonus credit card offer. The more one is tempted to use this program as a gambling gambit, the more one is likely to risk.
 

CONFUSION AND CHAOS SET IN

I Had Definitely Overdosed on This Program
At times I felt very confused, even sleep deprived by the amount of time some of the transactions required. Numerous ‘unk unks’ (unknown unknowns) have taken place. In other words, I had nothing to do with certain things that happened to complicate the process.
warning
Beware the dangers of this credit card program. Like the saying goes, ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’. Sign from CreativeMarket.com
credit card
Bank of America Promotional Bonus Credit Card Offer

A PROMOTIONAL BONUS IS NOT NECESSARILY A CASH REWARD

How Do You Know Which Is which?
In total, I theoretically could net many cash rewards or statement credits. Forms of redemption were unclear. For example, the funds may be held over towards the payment of the next month’s bill. Another scenario was ‘the check is in the mail.’ We all know ‘the check is in the mail’ scenario. In that case, it can take up to several monthly cycles.
Gift Cards
Let’s not forget the gift card option. But is that a gift to me? I didn’t know who it would go to. In conclusion, none of these alternate options was optimal. Given my preference, I like my promotional bonus to be deposited right into my checking account as a cash reward. But that is not always possible. In fact, if the only option is a statement credit, the promotional bonus tool is a guarantee to the credit card company that I will continue to charge in the future to make use of their bonus.
credit cards benefits offers
‘Danger Go Slow’ sign from SafetySupplyWarehouse.com

POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS

A Credit Card Gets Hacked
For example, while I was accumulating bonuses, one of these new cards got hacked. I had to replace it in the middle of my promotional bonus project. In addition, I tried to cancel items that were not refunded but turned into ‘honey points’. Other charges were also counted twice. Even though I did not cause these issues, their occuring caused me to have a severe lack of focus. It became very difficult for me to concentrate on the credit card bonus offers.
citi card
The Citi Custom Cash Promotional Bonus Card Offer

MAKE ONE CHANGE AT A TIME

New Tools Can Be Very Tempting To Use Simultaneously
In addition to signing up for these credit card bonus offers, I signed up for autopay. Making two major program changes at one time was a mistake. As a result, some bills got paid twice. It was becoming impossible to keep track of what I was doing.

 

BEWARE OF TRAVELING IN UNEXPLORED TERRITORY

Use a Reliable Map
Ultimately I realized what was wrong. It was that I had embarked on a new system that was going outside the box of familiar navigation. This new program was twice as hard to maneuver since I was exploring the unknown. Therefore I strongly advise readers to make one change at a time when adding a new element to an existing template.
credit card benefit offers
Bank of America Promotional Bonus Card

NOT QUITE THE CONCLUSION

Is This Calculus or Physics? It Can’t Just Be Bookkeeping
Using credit cards responsibly and profitably is not a strictly arithmetic endeavor. As I discovered with each new profit making tool, their value is equaled by their complexity. Although the original templates are the foundation of this program, with each new component the program goes further outside the original box.

 

PROMOTIONAL BONUS BAIT

Something Smells Fishy
Along these lines, credit card companies continue to make themselves increasingly tempting to individuals who think they can stay on top of the latest innovations. This requires that individuals stay more than sharp and continue to search for new and existing credit cards. These can improve as investment tools, not just a means of delaying payments on purchases. But they become very challenging to use.

 

ANOTHER WARNING

This Is Not Bookkeeping 101
As time has gone by, this project has become painfully complicated. What initially seemed like a straightforward giveaway has become a torturous maze of numbers and dates. I participated to see how far I could go outside the box. In other words, I wanted to see how much I could challenge myself. It has been several months with a total of ten new cards. But I am not yet finished with this program. I can hardly wait to be done with it.

This chart illustrates how my credit score was affected by the promotional bonus program. It was 820 before I started and went down to 800 at its lowest. It is rising again since I have almost completed the program.

MY FINANCIAL PROFILE GETS HIT

Effect on My Credit Score
My credit score dropped during this project. The reason is that each credit card application was a ‘hard’ check to my score. But since I have met each charge challenge in a timely manner, my score is rising again and is recovering it’s 800+ scores. Credit score chart courtesy of American Express.

But there is one catch to building an emergency fund with this program. Money has to go out before it can come in. For a while it has seemed that I have lost rather than gained financially.

credit card benefit offers
Warning sign from readers-digest-ca

 

CASH REWARDS OR CREDIT STATEMENTS

Read the Fine Print to Find Out
Besides the delay, the rewards are often available as statement credits rather than cash rewards. Since my tendency and necessity has been to buy more things, this project has not been a great source of emergency savings. Saving up for them was why I participated originally. Instead, it has also required constant vigilance with each card. Besides that, the amount that I have had to charge is requiring the use of partial payments to stay flush each month. Now I also have to keep track of the deadline on partial payments.

This is a very tricky game requiring numerous greater than rudimentary skills. It feels like the Olympic decathlon competition. In fact, I am now having to use the partial-pay 0% APR feature that comes with these cards. Therefore I am learning something else that is new. But I have been pulled deeper into this maze. I never paid attention to APR percentages in the past, nor did I need to. But now, how many months will I need to use this new tool keeping to the 0%APR?

A FINAL WARNING

Do What I Say, Not What I Did
I do not recommend going to the extremes I have. It has nearly driven me crazy. I may have even permanently burnt out some numerical brain cells besides spending a huge amount of time on this experiment. Has it been worth it?

Sometimes, the way I learn things is by going to extremes. It involves extending the limits of my existing skills to see what new ones I want to gain. Taking little steps would be more prudent. In fact, I suggest taking small, prudent steps for anyone who wants to sign on to this or any cash bonus program.

credit card benefit offers
A set of directional signs from Monexsafetyservices.com

 

A FINAL WORD ABOUT THIS CREDIT CARD BENEFIT OFFERS PROGRAM

On the Plus Side
One: Paying car insurance in four instead of six payments saving money on installments.
Two: Paying home contents insurance in full annually saving about $50 dollars.
Three: Paying car registration for the next two years, early, without a pinch, and in full.
Four: Being able to afford a healthy diet and avoid illness.
Five: Purchasing pleasant necessities rather than feeling very deprived.
Six: Occasionally buying something new, even secondhand, but not completely pantry hand-me-downs.

 

CONCLUSION

The Tip of the Iceberg
As you can see from this blog post, there are many credit card benefit offers. But they have complications that may outweigh their worth. These benefits are like an iceberg. What they appear to offer is actually only the tip of the iceberg of what they can cost.

Were you able to navigate this obstacle course? I’d love to hear your experience. Please share with the rest of us in the comments area. I will report in with my final results as soon as I am done. Right now, I’ve got two cards to go. One is to make a claim. The other is to charge $500 and then make my claim.

promotional bonus credit card offers
Bondi Beach Australia, Bondi Icebergs, Courtesy of Marley Clovelly

SOURCES & RESOURCES

1. Using Cash Reward Credit Cards for Survival & Profit
2. A Credit Card Rating System Introduction
3. The Rating System Used for Cash Back Credit Cards (Series Part 2 – June 2019)
4. Excellent Cash Reward Cards (Part 3 – June 2019)
5. Mixed Cash Reward Credit Card Benefits (Part 4 – June 2019)
6. Risky Cash Reward Credit Cards (Part 5-June 2019
7. How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?
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Faux Patent Leather Handbags

 

INTRODUCTION

Faux patent leather handbags are currently at the top of my favorites list of accessories. There is, in particular, a new brand handbag that is affordable, comes in brilliant colors, is shiny, roomy and their clever name Dasein, translated from German, means ‘Being there’. The hang tag image below explains the significance of their name with ‘About Us’.
Faux leather handbag hang tag
This is the front with logo (left) and back with About Us (right) of the Dasein faux patent leather handbag hang tag.

THE HANDBAG STORY

As discussed in previous blog posts, Designer Purse Gems ‎, I love handbags. In fact, I have a collection approaching 80 bags. It started out with ones I purchased decades ago. Then moved on to thrift store vintage bags. After that I started researching valuable vintage bags. But they started to get pricey. Suddenly and mysteriously, I discovered a company that I had never heard of before, Dasein. The name stands for ‘being there’.

faux patent handbag
Shiny Patent Faux Leather Handbags Barrel Top Handle Purse Satchel Bag Shoulder Bag for Women

I was amazed at their appearance, practicality, affordability, attention to detail, storage bag accessory, and brilliant colors. Most of all, I loved the name, ‘Faux Patent Handbags’.

DASEIN JOINS MY HANDBAG FAMILY

Because it was autumn and Halloween was approaching, it was easy to choose the color for my first Vegan Leather Dasein Handbag, autumn leaves or pumpkin orange.
Faux Patent Handbag
A photo of the Orange Vegan Patent Handbag. This is from Amazon.com. Bags are available directly from Daseinbags.com

MORE

Clearly, I had to adopt more Dasein bags. The many qualities I described above made having more irresistible. The choice was not difficult. Although the color was not as much in season as autumn orange, turquoise went well with my fall into winter wardrobe. So there I was ordering one more.
Faux Patent Handbag
Above is the Turquoise Vegan Handbag available from Amazon.com and Daseinbags.com

THEN A MISTAKE

What would I do next? Would I quit with two? Try for a third? Go for another style or another brand? How about PINK?!
faux patent handbag
Although on the pale side, I hoped the pink displayed by both retailers would still be pretty.

CORRECTION AND CONCLUSION

All was not lost. There was one more option, a leopard pattern vegan patent handbag. Actually, it appears very chix on the internet. So I ordered it. Hopefully, it will be as cool as my first two and not another pale pink disappointment.

pattern patent handbag
This is the only Dasein handbag in this style that has a pattern. I hope it is a winner.

I am hoping that the wonderful color fashionistas will follow suit with more brilliant colors for the Spring pr Summer of 2022. These include other brilliant hues such as yellow, hot pink or magenta and the 2022 Pantone Color of the Year, Very Peri.

Very Peri
The Pantone Color of the Year for 2022, Very Peri

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Anne Hathaway’s Cerulean Blue sweater in The Devil Wears Prada

Coach Gingham Purse

Mansur Gavriel Gingham purse on Rebag

Judith Leiber on Rebag

The 8 Most Expensive Birkin Bags Ever Sold

Coach Pink Mollie Tote

Dasein Bags

Kate Spade River Large Bucket Bag

Coach Leatherware

Coach Black Willis

Very Peri, Pantone Color of 2022

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The Mella Mushroom Fruiting Chamber

 

mushroom-fruiting-chamber
The Mella ‘mushroom fruiting chamber’ that fits on a kitchen countertop and perfectly regulates the growing environment. All photos ©Mella and NorthSpore.

INTRODUCTION

This is the new mushroom fruiting chamber machine made by Mella. It is coming to the market soon. The Mella machine is designed to offer a superior mushroom growing environment. I, for one am very curious about this new technology.This is because my beginner no-tech attempt at fruiting left much to be desired.
 
mushroom-fruiting-chamber
My first no-tech attempt at growing Lions Mane mushroom. Only ADG photo.

THE STORY FROM NORTH SPORE

Here is what NorthSpore has to say about the Mella mushroom fruiting chamber.
“Awhile back, the team at FirstBuild reached out to us about the Mella Smart Mushroom Fruiting Chamber they were creating and asked if we would like to help advise the development team. And, of course, we jumped at the opportunity. This automated mushroom growing appliance has been designed to fit into small spaces (e.g. kitchen countertops) and to make the process of mushroom growing easier, cleaner, more practical for smaller-scale growers and hobbyists. (Think high-tech tiny version of a Martha tent.)
 

THE LOVE LIST

“We recently received two of their latest prototypes to test, and we just finished our first round of growing. Suffice it to say, we were delighted with Mella’s ease and simplicity, and after much debate, the following six features made it on to our collective “love” list.

mushroom-fruiting-chamber
Set It and Forget It Feature
1. Mella is fully automated
“There is definitely something nice about the “set it and forget it” simplicity of Mella. Once you’ve assembled the unit and selected the humidity and fan speeds, you can pretty much leave it to do its thing for several days. The water tank (which sits on the outside) lasts for 5-7 days, and the filter and unit only need to be cleaned between mushroom harvests. There are even built-in LED lamps that create the optimal lighting environment for your fungi (which can be turned on and off, if nighttime light isn’t your thing).
2. The unit is compact, yet roomy
“The Mella unit makes excellent use of vertical and horizontal space. We were able to comfortably fit 3 of our Grow Your Own Mushroom bag kits into the unit, leaving enough room for the filter and fan to do their magic. (We also tried 3 of our Spray & Grow Mushroom Kits, which also left ample room for air and circulation.) Of course, we would be lying if we said the unit is small—it isn’t. It’s definitely larger than a standard counter-top toaster oven. That said, it isn’t huge either and took up a lot less room on our kitchen counter than expected. Added bonus—it actually looked good! The Mella design is sleek and minimalist, so it didn’t overpower the space and fit nicely on the counter-top.
mushroom-fruiting-chamber
The Me;;a Mushroom Fruiting Chamber fits easily on a Kitchen Counter Top
3. The unit is whisper quiet
“Mella’s dual fan has two jobs – air and humidity circulation. And in all honesty, we were a little worried that the fan would create an obnoxious wind-tunnel sound in the background. But it was surprisingly quiet, even at full speed. You can definitely hear it, but it’s more of a soft ambient background noise. Think calming white noise machine, not screeching industrial fan. Two thumbs up!
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The mechanism is whisper quiet.
4. Mella controlled smell and spores
“If you live with somebody that is sensitive to mushroom spores or doesn’t like the smell of mushrooms, the Mella is definitely for you. The unit is fully enclosed, and nothing gets in or out (except for highly-filtered air) thanks to the dual fan system. Added bonus – if you live in an area prone to fruit flies and gnats, this keeps them out!
mushroom-fruiting-chamber
This is how the Mella machine looks from the side.
5. The unit was easy to clean
“Mella has two clear acrylic side walls and a clear acrylic glass door. It also has a stainless-steel floor, roof, and back panel. And, while you do need to clean the unit between mushroom harvests, all inner and outer surfaces are easily wiped off with a damp cloth and soapy water or a water/alcohol mixture. The reusable humidity filter is also easy to clean. Simply run it through lukewarm water between harvests to remove any spore buildup.
6. Mella was easy to set up
“The Mella was packed with care using laser cut spongy foam pieces and only took about 5 minutes to unbox all of the components. After reading the instruction manual, it only took another 15 minutes to fully assemble, including filling the water tank. And, while we wouldn’t say it’s so easy a child could do it, it definitely wasn’t difficult. A quick read of the set-up instructions is all you need. (FirstBuild is also looking to add even easier controls in the next version of Mella.)
mushroom-fruiting-chamber
The machine with its easy to follow instructions.

CONCLUSION

“Want to get on Mella’s waitlist?
You can be one of the first in line for the upcoming Mella launch (the official date has yet to be announced.) Click here to sign up for their launch announcement and find links to their entertaining demo videos.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

The Review of the Mella mushroom fruiting chamber by North Spore

Mella: The Smart Mushroom Fruiting Chamber



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Mushroom Growing Kits

 

INTRODUCTION

Beginner Mushroom Enthusiasts Start Here

Mushroom Growing Kits are the safest and simplest way to begin your mushroom journey. For these reasons, it is essential to start with profession proven expertise. For example, I suggest the ease and expertise of a mushroom growing kit company like North Spore.

mushroom growing kits
Northspore Mushroom Growing Kits.
More About North Spore
In addition, I find it helpful to view the following videos. Along with a superior product, one wants both verbal and visual instructions for the best use. Because the following videos give detailed information about using their products, I recommend viewing them in addition to reading the written instructions.

To sum things up, I suggest that beginners start right here. Specifically, with a North Spore mushroom growing kit. Then carefully follow the directions provided in the box. Equally as important is to view the videos below.


Growing Kits | Part One
North Spore Spray & Grow Mushroom Kits | Setting-up and Maintaining Your Kit | FAQ Part 1
North Spore’s Spray & Grow mushroom kits are a great introduction to the wonders of edible mushroom cultivation. This video is Part 1 of a two video frequently asked questions series going through the process of starting your kit, harvesting your mushrooms, and tips and techniques for cooking them.

In this video, Mary, from North Spore will start each of the North Spore kits and talk about how to keep them healthy!

Video Sections

00:00:07 Introduction
00:01:02 What’s Inside
00:01:44 Starting your Kit
00:03:33 Kit Upkeep and Care


Growing Kits | Part Two
North Spore Spray & Grow Mushroom Kits | Harvesting and Cooking Your Mushrooms | FAQ Part 2
This is the second part of a two part FAQ series on North Spore’s Spray & Grow edible mushroom kits for growing mushrooms on your kitchen counter.

In this video, Lou goes over how to harvest your mushrooms and some tips and techniques for cooking them.

Video Sections

00:02:00 Harvesting your Mushrooms
00:02:50 Tips for Cooking your Harvest
00:03:30 Fat is your Friend
00:03:42 Don’t Crowd the Pan
00:04:01 Cook Your Mushrooms Longer
00:05:45 Tip for Cooking Lion’s Mane


mushroom growing kits
Mushroom Growing Kits from Northspore

CONCLUSION

Even though other brands may have wider selections, I still recommend this brand of kit to start with. That is because this kit has the simplest approach for beginners. In other words, there is no mess, no extra products are needed, the cost is fair.

So far, North Spore is the best mushroom growing kit I have discovered to date. That is because it requires no extra equipment and is reasonably priced at $28/kit. For an extra bonus, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you may be able to get them at an even better price.

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Mushrooms Cultivation on Logs

 

INTRODUCTION

Mushroom cultivation on logs is an option for growing mushrooms. As mentioned in an earlier blog post, it is not suggested for beginners. But it is the topic of this blog post. Here is a quote from the Fungi Ally Newsletter about it.

mushroom cultivation on logs

“Mushroom cultivation on logs has a long history. It’s also a great way to grow mushrooms over periods of time because the logs can produce for years. Sawdust spawn and plug spawn are great for inoculating logs, and there are a variety of mushroom species that you can grow on logs and stumps. What mushrooms are you most interested in currently? We have lots of audience members who love growing lion’s mane.

“Popular species to grow on logs include shiitake and oysters. Regardless of your preference, we hope to help you get growing this late summer into fall! ​​​​​​​It’s also a good time to start growing mushrooms indoors as well. The easiest way of doing this is by using our mushrooms kits that come ready-to-fruit. ​​​​​​Until next time, get down with some mycelium and stay tuned for the next newsletter.​​​​​​​”

mushroom cultivation on logs
Mushroom cultivation on logs. Image from the Fungi Ally Newsletter.
Mushroom cultivation on logs is just one option for growing mushrooms at home. It is an outdoor technique and not one for the beginner.

As mentioned earlier, growing mushrooms indoors from a kit is ideal since it is simple and safe. Many companies, including Fungi Ally, carry excellent kits for beginners.

 

CONCLUSION

There are various ways to obtain mushrooms:
•purchase them retail in stores or online
•grown them from a kit
•cultivate them (more to come about cultivation techniques)

Cultivating mushrooms on logs is on one of these options. Others will be presented in this series of blog posts about cultivating mushrooms.

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Growing Mushrooms at Home

 

INTRODUCTION

MUSHROOM GROWING KITS To start, mushroom growing kits are the safest and simplest way for a beginner enthusiast to grow their own mushrooms. To make things the safest and easier, there are many beginner kits available. Therefore this post will be a synopsis some of them.

Although this method can be expensive, I believe it is the best way to begin. Most likely, an ardent beginner will probably want to move on to more advanced ways of participating in this activity. That’s not a problem as long as a beginner has moved on in training and experience. Just For now, I suggest to start with a choice from one of the many mushroom growing kits.

GROW, GROW, GROW
As mentioned above, purchasing a kit can be an expense. But is the best way to begin growing mushrooms. You can grow them right in your own kitchen. Here are several kits to choose from. Just follow the directions to begin your journey to growing mushrooms at home.

Gourmet Mushroom Growing Kits

mushroom growing kits
Samples of products from Gourmet Mushroom Kits

Fungi Ally

mushroom growing kits
Fungi Ally offers mushroom growing kits as well as other mushroom products

Northspore

mushroom growing kits
North Spore Mushroom Growing Kits

Midwest Grow Kits

mushroom growing kits
Midwest Mushroom Growing Kits

A video from Fungi Ally about growing mushrooms at home from a mushroom growing kit.

Additional posts about Mushrooms
My Past Professions, Present Passions and Possible Future Explorations Mirror the World of Mushrooms
Reading Material About Mushrooms
Mushroom Growing Kits
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