You Better Put A Ring on it…or a Popsocket

fashion, productivity, Technology

Popsockets or iRing: Which accessory should your phone carry.

I’m extremely picky about my accessories. I tend to favor the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci. My bags and small leather goods are on constant rotation (currently I’m using my LV Palm Springs Mini Backpack, LV toiletry 15, coin purse, key cles & a Chanel card holder). It’s no wonder I’ve added accessories to my accessories. I almost always have either a popsocket or an iRing attached to my phone case. I own 4 popsockets and two iRings with car mounts for both. I know some people are very passionate about team popsocket vs team ring (I kid you not, there is a YouTube channel practically devoted to Popsockets, the woman owns over 100 of them) but I’ve found I enjoy using both (I do favor one…slightly) for different reasons.

The common ground:

– Both offer a way to more easily hold your phone.

– Both provide stand functionality.

– Both have an optional car mount (the iRing come with one included, to get one for a popsocket you’ll have to fork out another $10).

– Both have a collapsible state, regardless, when attached to the back of your device neither will allow your phone to sit completely flat.

– Both use adhesive which will not damage your device but can be removed and replaced close to 100 times.

Materials:

A popsocket is made of plastic (although they just came out with a blinged out crystal version which retails for $50) while the iRing is a combination of plastic and metal.

Why I like the Popsocket:

Popsockets are extremely customizable. I have one with my daughter’s photo on it. If you use two popsockets on either end of your phone, you can wrap your headphones around them so they won’t become tangled in your bag. If you’re concerned about having your phone sit on a flat surface, the popsocket does sit flatter than the iRing.

Why I Prefer the iRing:

The iRing is exactly what it says it is, a ring which adheres to the back of your phone. This means that the iRing makes your phone completely hands free, you can literally flip your phone around and wear it like a giant ring (not recommended). But the reason I find the iRing more convenient is because I have small hands (let’s face it, I have small everything) which makes a popsocket slightly uncomfortable to hold for an extended period of time.

I also have an iPhone 7 Plus, and if I use a thicker or heavier case, a popsocket will collapse when I try to use it as a stand. Because the iRing uses a metal loop, it tends to support the phone.

Neither accessory is a major investment and because they’re reusable, I’d suggest trying both and coming to your own conclusion because, you know, you can never have too many accessories.

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A Case for Cards

fashion, Organization, Technology

When I think about subjects to write about, I think to myself, what’s important to me or what makes my life easier? One of the more difficult aspects of taking on freelance jobs is that the subject matter is often assigned to me (and my students think I don’t understand their struggle) so although I’ve been given the opportunity to try a product or service out, it’s usually something I’ve only had for a limited time. Here I have space to expand upon things which I actually use and rely on regularly. Which is why I want to talk about phone cases with card slots. Honestly, it’s not something I ever thought I’d use, and yet, since purchasing one last year it has proven to be one of the handiest accessories I own.

My current love is the Wally case from Ullu, which is an investment. I started off with a cheap non label case I found on Amazon for $12 in a beautiful red alligator print…pretty sure it wasn’t real alligator. Once I was able to see how useful the case was I upped my game to the 12 South relaxed leather case (with pockets) and finally, since I didn’t splurge on a new iPhone this year, I went for the ullu, which I think is one of the most beautiful and well designed card holder cases on the market.

I don’t actually use the case as a full time wallet, my cards only reside there when I need easy access or I have limited space. Here are the situations where I find the case to be the most useful:

1. Taking My Daughter to the Doctor:

Sick babies are not fun. Colicky, fussy, sick babies are the worst. You’ve got the baby and the diaper bag, sometimes the stroller, she’s screaming and the front desk needs to see your medical card, her medical card, your ID & you have to pay the copay. My daughter had several digestive issues as an infant and a card case just made my life so much easier. Everything is all laid out on the back of your phone, phone goes in and out of your pocket with ease, no digging through your bag. You can hand the receptionist your cards all while texting your worried husband that you arrived safely. I assume that this would also come in handy at a place like an amusement park (I’m not a big amusement park fan) or anywhere you have some kind of “pass”.

2. Tiny Clutch Bags:

Gentleman, this is probably not an issue for you, or maybe it is, who am I to judge. I don’t need to transfer my stuff to a smaller wallet and then back again. I just add what cards I need to my phone case and go. The next day, I can just put my phone back in my big bag and transfer the cards back into my wallet when I get the chance (which is actually kind of funny, because I don’t carry a wallet, I’ll write more about that later).

3. Travel Time:

I’m notorious for losing hotel keys. Now when I travel I just stick them in the back of my phone. Easy to grab and go to the pool or the vending machine. I’ve never had an issue with the phone demagnetizing the cards. Same for ticket stubs and coupons you’d otherwise forget.

Cracked Screens Aren’t Couture

fashion, productivity, Technology

Cracked screens aren’t couture. Your phone is the one accessory which accompanies you everywhere and it’s important that your phone looks well cared for and professional when you pull it out to enter important dates, add a new contact or scan a business card. Just like you, your phone needs to be dressed for the occasion. Here are my top three choices for dressing your iPhone with style and class in every situation.

Ullu

I’m not even sure how I originally heard about ullu, they aren’t sold in retail stores, but these cases are my go to for a slim and classy design. I have a leather snap on and a wally case. The cases are a bit pricey ranging from $75-$400 depending on the style and materials used (ostrich anyone?) but they’re so beautiful. I’d planned on only using these in my smallest handbags because of the slim form factor and lack of rugged protection. The Wally case with its three card slots (and my monogram) was purchased specifically to use in my Louis Vuitton Palm Springs mini backpack (because pulling out a wallet from that bag is annoying) but the case is so gorgeous I use it almost exclusively & am just careful with my phone. No handing it off to the toddler with this case & I’m not sticking a Popsocket to anything this pretty either, so no stand, but it’s worth it. *As a side note, my phone fell off my night stand last night (about a 3 foot drop) & on to a hardwood floor in the Wally case. It’s fine.

Pros:

– Luxury materials

– Light weight

– Slim

– Stylish

– Open ports/easy access

– Monogramming available ($10)

Velvet Caviar

If you’re looking for a trendy, stylish options which offers a modicum of protection, check out Velvet Caviar. These are my gym and exercise cases. They have a slim enough profile but I feel like my phone could actually survive a spill off the treadmill with this case on. The Velvet Caviar cases also work well with Popsockets (which is a great way to prop your phone up on a spin bike or other machine) the site even features some exclusive styles of those handy little stands. Not only is the selection of styles impressive they’re always adding new designs and have descent sales regularly.

Pros:

– Durable

– Easy to wipe down

– Decent protection against falls

– Trendy styles

– Good value for the price

12 South

So I have a thing for wallet cases. I’ve owned 12 South’s original BookBook case since my first iPhone. The case functions as a wallet and a stand but it also has the ability to remove the inner shell and use that as a slim case without the “wallet” portion (on a side note, Ullu offers a similar option with a magnetic backing, something I’m not a fan of, and a flap closure. Again, not a fan). This case does not offer a closure which, I believe, is a selling point. Having a folio style case adds protection to the screen, but it’s one extra step when trying to capture a quick photo. Any type of extra closure, like a flap, I find to be an annoying hindrance. I like this case for traveling. Essentially you’re getting two cases in one so you don’t have to pack an extra case to use in evening bags, it works well for watching movies on a flight and it has the card slots for whichever cards your using, your ID or hotel room keys.

Pros:

– Unique “book” design

– Two cases in one

– Clear plastic ID holder

– Acts as a stand

– Easy to access all ports

– Folio style protects screen in large bags

Happy New Year! What I’m Bringing From 2017 Into 2018: The Best of 2017

fashion, Technology

Goodbye 2017. Hello 2018. With everyone focused on starting anew, resolutions, and wiping the slate clean, I thought I’d share some of my favorites from 2017 which will be making the transition into the new year with me.

The Bags

Palm Springs Mini Backpack: Hands down my easiest go to bag for running around the neighborhood with my daughter. I’ll be posting my one year review and wear and tear on YouTube this week. I’ve never regretted splurging on this bag.

Gucci SoHo Disco Bag: I love this bag because it’s the crossover between a personal bag and a work bag. I can fit my work keys or a diaper in it and it’s small enough to walk around town or take to the playground.

The Accessories

Louis Vuitton Small Leather Goods:

It took me forever to find a system which worked for me. I change bags a lot and it’s easier when I can grab just a few items to transfer. The winners: a mini pochette (or toiletries 15), a cles, and the round coin purse. Every bag, every time.

Leather iPhone Case(s):

Although not the most protective, they are they most stylish and professional. Right now I’m sporting a snap on case from ullu but I have a soft spot for Twelve South as well. Some of my cases have credit card slots, some don’t , but they all have that soft, lived in, leather look and sleek design.

The Apps

Day One:

I’ve kept my digital journal since 2010 and I’ve never looked back. I started using DayOne back in ‘11 but it’s made my 2017 favorites list because I finally splurged on the subscription service enhancing my experience. Unlimited journals. Lost of photos. A secure server. Password protected.

Awesome Calendar:

Yep, that’s it’s name and that’s what it is, an awesome calendar. I’m not anti paper planner, I use an Erin Condren monthly planner for work and an LV pm agenda next to my bed. I carry a Field Notes notebook with me just about everywhere but my digital calendar is my life line. What I love about Awesome Calendar is how customizable it is. I can add photos, stickers, color code, attach notes, directions, and review what I did on this day in history (because sometimes you’re just curious). This is the closest app to my college planner I’d spend hours decorating with magazine cut outs.

The Beauty

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Foundation:

I’d heard somewhere that women over 40 shouldn’t use powder because it settles into fine lines and wrinkles. While I’m sure that’s true for some women, I’m still pretty oily and powder foundation helps control that. The formula is light and comfortable while providing complete coverage.

Bangs:

I’m not immune to wrinkles and the saying “bangs or Botox” definitely holds some truth. Besides, ever since my daughter saw Iron Man 3 and said I was Pepper Potts, I have a new affinity for my fringe. As much as I love changing up my look, I think I’ll keep the bangs another year.

The Fashion

Zara:

Zara still dominates my closet for shoes and tops. Unfortunately, the brand has vanity sized me out of pants. In an effort to be more inclusive and diverse the smallest pants size Zara carries in most styles has a 26” waist. But, the brand continues to be innovative, trendy, and affordable so I can spend top dollar on more expensive jeans elsewhere.

The Guilt App:

Speaking of denim, Guilt offers a wide variety of styles, brands, and sizes. I’ve even been able to find a size 22 on occasion. The best part is most of the merchandise is discounted. Guilt carries more than jeans, you can find everything from designer bags to vacation getaways.

Remember, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. There’s no need to get caught up in the hype. If you love something, keep it. Happy New Year.

The Bag Has Been Found!!!! 

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The bag has been found! Hallelujah. What couldn’t be accomplished in three weeks was accomplished in three days when I started to use my voice and the power of the internet. Go social media. If social media is the bane of interpersonal relationships, it’s the champion of customer service. Here is what I’ve learned from my experience:1. Pay attention! It turns out they did have camera footage, they just hadn’t received it when they made their first offer. I’m lucky that they keep their footage for an extended period of time. I should’ve paid closer attention, checked on my bags more often and caught the problem sooner. This wasn’t anyone’s “fault” but I should have been more vigilant. 

2. Call always. Call often. As great as email is for leaving a paper trail, noting beats speaking with a real person. The customer service representatives were great. And somehow, even though it was written in the emails, it was still being miscommunicated that we were looking for a Speedy 30 and not a Speedy 35b. It was Stacey in customer care who caught the error. 

3. Skip the validation. This wouldn’t have happened if I had sent the bags directly to the realreal company warehouse. I sent the bags to a validation specialist FIRST to get a price quote. It was somewhere in the transfer between validation and warehouse where things got funky. What I think happened was that the bag in question was removed from the box and brought in separately. I can’t be sure. But it fits with what happened. 

4. The words “legal” and “freelance writer” get some attention. Don’t use them lightly and don’t lie about your intentions. When they initially offered me $200 based, of course, on the wrong bag I meant it. I’ve subsequently been given a very fair price. 

So, it all worked out. Thankfully. And I learned something. Which is good, right? And maybe you’ve learned something…or gained knowledge from my experience. 

You Have to Know What You’re Looking For. 

fashion, Technology

The saga continues…First of all, I want to say that TheRealReal did reach out to me today and it appears someone is paying attention. Furthermore, just remember that every time you deal with a customer service representative, you’re dealing with someone totally unrelated to the problem. They’re just doing their job. So be nice to them. Today I spoke with Stacy who help ease my worry. It turns out that the company is NOT stopping their investigation, which is what I want. I want to find this bag. End goal. I kinda feel as though the money is already lost, but I want that bag found. It’s a personal pride issue. And I remember a time when I was home on maternity leave that this money would have made a huge difference, so I want to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. 

Here is what I learned today:

– First, the offer of $200 was based on them looking for the wrong bag. Yep. Not even looking for the correct bag. They were looking for a Speedy 30. Mine is a Speedy 35b. That’s a significant price difference. And now I have them trying to find the correct bag. For the record Speedys range in size from nano to 40. 40 is like luggage. I’d originally thought I’d use the 35 as a diaper bag, but it was just too large and cumbersome for my 5’2” 95 pound frame. I actually got tangled in it once. The “b” stands for BANDOULIERE. What it really comes down to is the “b” has a crossbody strap where the classic Speedy does not. The current retail price of this bag is $1,410. The retail price of the bag they thought they were looking for is $970. 

– Second, according to them, the monitory offer is not a settlement. It does not mean that they stop looking for the bag. I did not get this impression from the original email, but…maybe that was just the way I interpreted it. 

– Finally, although camera footage was requested, it was never obtained. Interesting. It was requested again at the time I was on the phone. 

So…we shall see. The fact that the company is willing to work with me says a lot. And now we’re looking for the correct bag, which makes a huge difference. Again, I shall keep you posted as the saga continues. 

A Very RealReal Problem With Online Consignment 

fashion, Technology

In 1951 Ray Bradbury predicted a futuristic world in which people wouldn’t leave their homes electing instead to remain indoors “Everything went on in the tomblike houses at night now, he thought, continuing his fancy. The tombs, ill-lit by television light, where the people sat like the dead, the gray or multicolored lights touching their faces, but never really touching them.” (“The Pedestrian”). Well, Mr. Bradbury, you were correct but it wasn’t television that dehumanized us: It was the internet. I’m going through a particularly stressful situation with a consignment company called TheRealReal. They’ve lost a fairly expensive bag I sent to them in July and are attempting to get me to settle for a nominal amount of money. I do want to be compensated for the bag (a Louis Vuitton Speedy B 35 purchased 8/4/16) but more than that I want to find out how this could have happened and prevent it from happening to anyone else. So how is this the fault of the internet? Technically, I guess it isn’t, but at no time in the past three weeks since the discovery of the problem, has anyone from the company called me personally. My only telephone conversation was initiated by me and despite the customer service representative acknowledging the fact that I was clearly upset no further personal communication was ever attempted. Everything was communicated via email. I find this an insult added to my injury. 

Let me explain exactly what happened and how the bag went missing:

– At the end of July 2017 I consigned five bags with TheRealReal, a highly reputable online consignment business. The company sent me a packing list which had all five items and assigned them each a bar code. 

– Shipped the bags. 

– I received an email that the bags were received and that I could expect a combined selling price of around $4,000. At this time all of the bags were accounted for. No one told me a bag was missing. They sent me a packing list for five bags, I was given an accurate and fair price for the five bags. Everything was in order. If a bag was missing, I’d assume this would have been the time to mention it. 

– All five bags were listed in my account. 

– Mid August I checked on the bags and they had all sold with the exception of the bag in question. I did not check on the remaining bag until mid September. 

– The bag had been removed from my account and when I made an inquiry, I was told the bag did not exist. 

What. Just. Happened? 

As soon as I discovered the bag was missing I called (the customer service rep said someone would call me shortly after looking into it, which never happened), emailed, and tweeted the company. When I hadn’t heard from them after a week I emailed them again. Finally I was told that there was camera footage from the warehouse. Thank goodness, right? Fail safes in place. Nope. I was told a week later that they could not locate the bag. So sorry. Please accept $200. I can’t tell you how sick to my stomach I felt after reading that email. 

The problem is I have no idea what I could have done differently. The bag was received and listed on my account. I should have paid closer attention, I guess. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. 

I have no idea what happened. Like I said, this is a reputable company and I’ve had positive experiences with them in the past but the way this was handled was (is…I’m not letting it go. I want to see that camera footage along with proof that they confirmed every LV SpeedyB 35 in mono print sold between 7-28 & 9-18 2017 was credited to the correct account) inappropriate and unacceptable. 

* As an amendment: I have all of my original emails concerning the consignment. After sending the bags they were received by a consignment specialist in the LA area. She held the bags, inspected the bags, and assigned them a value. It is 100% my fault that I did not realize that the bag in question was not named in the validation email. It was assessed and given a value, ironically enough, but not specifically named. I take full responsibility for not catching the error and I will post all of my email correspondence, but should that be a 1,000 dollar error? This woman had my bag in her hands. I’ve emailed her and am eagerly awaiting her response. My next step is to do a screencast of the email chain to send to customer service. I would like to believe that this is a clerical error and that somehow my bag was accredited to another account and not some “funny business” and at this point, I believe this is the case. Since tomorrow is Monday, I assume that I will hear from the company. I have no plans to reach out to them tomorrow since I’ve already sent several emails and tweets over the weekend. We shall see what happens. 

Finally Got Around to…

fashion

Finally got around to posting the Gucci Belt Bag Review video. Again, not the greatest video but it gets the job done. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even end up using the bag for the rest of that day. I went to the gym and then transferred my things into a Louis Vuitton Eva clutch. There’s a bit of irony there since I hadn’t been using my Eva on account that I’d felt it was too small, but it’s a lot larger than the belt bag. I’m even getting use out of the six key ring holder I’d been regretting. Turns out I like the key holder better than I like having the keys loose on a ring in a bag after all…thanks Gucci belt bag. If it hadn’t been for the belt bag I would still have the Eva in my closet and be less enthused about the six key holder. Of course I’m back to the LV mini Palm Springs backpack. I just love that bag. It is absolutely perfect for my needs. 

The Gucci Marmont Belt Bag

fashion

It’s a fanny pack. I didn’t exactly want a fanny pack…oh, I’m sorry “belt bag”, but I did want another hands free bag and I THOUGHT I had the perfect solution with the Gucci Marmont belt bag. Side note: I plan on doing a YouTube video on this bag sometime within the week when it’s more convenient. Because the plan was to wear the bag crossbody style. My mistake (huge mistake) was ordering the bag in the smallest size. I should have called the 800 number and asked for assistance in sizing, but I’m so accustom to being small. I made the assumption that the small size would fit crossbody on a small person, no such luck. For reference: I’m 5’2″ tall, weigh 98 (ok, technically 97.6) pounds, with a natural waist of 22.5″ (I’m guessing around 24 or 25″ in the sweatshirt). Crossbody is not really an option unless wearing the bag at this height becomes a “thing”. It’s not really uncomfortable, it just looks weird. 

And the bag is small! I mean really small. I can barely fit the iPhone 7 Plus in there. When looking at the measurements, it appeared to be comparable to a Chanel mini but now that I have the bag in my hands it feels smaller. What the bag can actually hold is:

The iPhone 7 Plus in a very slim case, RayBan aviator sunglasses, my keys (no keychains), an eyeliner, one lip product, a Bobbi Brown corrector, and an LV key cles. That’s it. It’s stuffed. 
How I plan on using this bag this week: for the most part I plan on using it as a bag within a bag for the next four days. In the gym bag in for the morning then take it out and use it alone on walks with my daughter. In my Speedy or Neverfull along with all my computer stuff for two days of work and then again take it out for trips around town with my baby girl. After that…I’m not really sure. I’m not sure this bag will make it into my regular rotation or end up being sold like my WOC. I guess I could try to return it for the larger size strap…but I’m not really much of a returner. I’ll have to think it over. I just hope my experience helps someone else. It makes a nice pouch or clutch without the belt if that’s helpful. If you have any styling suggestions, please let me know. Until then, wish me luck. Looks like I’ll be sporting a fanny pack. 

It’s About Time

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Wow, it’s been awhile. And, it’s hard to get back into the swing of things. Not to mention, it’s hard to find time to get back into the swing of things. There’s so much I want to write about it’s overwhelming which is exactly what has prevented me from posting anything at all. Do I even remember how to post? I’m not sure. I have apps I’m in love with (finally found a workflow solution), cases (do you know I own ALL of 12 South’s wallet cases? I can explain), I’ve found the perfect designer toddler mom bag…maybe two which brings me to my first unboxing video for YouTube which I’ll post as soon as I, you know, get the box. There’s so much banging and crashing along inside of my brain that in order to post anything I had to post *something*. My plans for the week: 
* Review of 12 South’s Relaxed Leather iPhone 7 Plus case. 

* What’s in my bag? And why I’m totally obsessed with my bag. 

* Finally the perfect calendar app…sorry Apple, I needed something more. 

* Overrated! Two high fashion accessories unworthy of all the hype. 
As you can see, I’m a list maker. So stick around. This blog is back.