Sunday, January 29, 2012

Urban Junket Rocks My World!

Okay, for starters, I just have to say.... Urban Junket is AWESOME!!!
What do I LOVE about this company and product line? Only EVERYTHING. 

Back in September, I saw a review of the Laptop T.O.T.E 
 in magenta on and fell in love. We're talking, obsessive love. 

The cost of the bag itself was more than I normally spend, but I decided to treat myself. I've been on the hunt for a cute laptop bag for such a long time that when I finally found it, I couldn't let it get away. 

I was disappointed to learn that the spunky blue and white stripes featured in the Squidoo review were no longer used.  A couple of emails later,  and it was Robin Reimer to the rescue!

Robin recognized that when a girl wants striped straps, striped straps a girl shall have. She did the leg work and found some available, and that's when the real fun started. The straps were $15 each, and shipping for 1 lb from Minnesota (?) to Hawaii is $35, resulting in a total of $65. 

For straps. 

Cost prohibitive? Yes. 
Deal-breaker? Not for a second. 
The bag was too cute. 

All it took was a little creativity and the problem was solved. 
Shipping to Kansas (where my mom lives) is $11 and some change. 

Since my momma loves me, she sent them the rest of the way, no charge. :) 

The personal note from Tracy that came in the bag was sweet, and the packaging (sorry, no pic) was adorable. 

The T.O.T.E. and I became fast friends. In fact, we've been inseparable. 
"My name is Melissa and I am an Urban Junket Junkie". :)

       Even Darby's a fan. 

I wanted to use the bag for an extended period of time to give it a thorough review. So, several months later, here's the scoop:

Functionality: I give it a 10. A padded laptop compartment protects my computer, with room on each side for notebooks, etc. Since I carry two cell phones, I especially appreciate the two gadget pockets.  My favorite organizational feature is the detachable key ring snap. I haven't once had to dig for my keys.  Never have I been so organized. This alone is worth the price I paid for the bag. My only wish is that I had bought the larger size (but it wasn't available in this color at the time).

Durability: This back rocks. Definitely a 10. The coated canvas doesn't scratch or stain.  I don't have to worry about it in the rain (it rains a lot here) and it doesn't pick up cat hair. I was a little worried that Addi would try to use it as a scratching post, but she's completely left it alone. I'm hard on bags. This gets banged around and is still looking like new after daily use. 

Environmentally Friendly: Another 10, folks. The inside of this bag is made from 41 reclaimed plastic water bottles. The meaning of  T.O.T.E. is "To Observe The Earth".  I love a company with a sense of social responsibility. 

Customer Service: Hands down, another 10. Robin went above and beyond to work this out, she was personable and fun to work with. Not always the case in today's world of commerce. 

And last, but not least, 

The Fun Factor: A total 10, no doubt about it. My smile is bigger and brighter when I'm rockin' this bag. It puts a lil more pep in my step. Who knew a computer bag had such powers? 

It was worth every penny.

My only complaint?  I believe I have an addiction. 

New 2012 designs are available now. They have some beautiful new colors and great new designs. 
 Ellen Crossbody wallet in purple

Korri Carry-All bag in Grass

Korri Carry-All bag in Violet

Various colors available - Laptop T.O.T.E.

Robin Laptop Tote in Violet

Convertible T.O.T.E in grass
Robin Laptop bag in Grass

 I wish I could buy them all. 
Urban Junket, I only have eyes for you. 

"Imagine a Woman"

 I first encountered this writing by Patricia Lynn Reilly in my early 20's, when I clearly needed a lot of help to imagine what life could hold.

This poem has meant a lot of things to me, at different points of my life, and I predict it will continue to take on new meaning as the story of my life unfolds.


Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman. 
A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories. 
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and her life. 
Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself.
A woman who listens to her needs and desires.
Who meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the past’s influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through her past.

Who has healed into the present.
Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.
Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods.
A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.
Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body.
A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.
Who celebrates its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman who honors the body of the Goddess in her changing body.
A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.
Who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine yourself as this woman.

 © Patricia Lynn Reilly, 1995

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's The Little Things...

I've been following some bloggers who have a contagious habit of posting pictures on Friday - of the little things that made the week memorable. It's a nice way to be oriented to the present moment and to be in a state of appreciation.

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: "The present moment is full of joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it." 

Below are some simple pleasures from the past two weeks that made me smile. That will catch me up and I'll be sure to pay more attention during the coming week.

Without further ado:

We organized our kitchen cabinets and cupboards. I can't even begin to describe how much better we both feel having tamed the chaos. Things we didn't need were tossed out or packed away (if they belonged to Hawea's mom or grandparents). Freedom from clutter is so liberating. 

 I finally got my mojo back. For almost a full week, I've been skipping my workouts, working too much, and stressing too much. Finally laced on my tennies and got my sweat on. Felt great! The tattoo is healing nicely, and it looks cute with my new workout pants. Maybe I'll post a picture of that next week. :)

Yet another attempt at a "green" smoothie. This one was actually green. Made from greek yogurt, sliced kiwi, pineapple tidbits and juice, spinach leaves, and dark chocolate chips. It was okay, not great. Probably much better without the yogurt, IMO. 

After margaritas and mexican food last Friday night, I was craving cheesecake. We walked around the block and popped into Cafe Pesto. The writing in red says "New York Style Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberries". Hawea is a cheesecake purist. She hates toppings of any kind. So guess who didn't have to share? ;)

 I just like the advice here. Seems solid to me. 

 Just a good hair day. Hey, this post is about the about the little things, right? 

Lots of veggies for dinner. (Above) Spinach salad with hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, honey mustard.

(Right) Pork chop, dinner salad, and "fauxtatoes" aka mashed cauliflower. It is SOOOOOO good. What a sneaky (tasty) way to get the veggies in.

Caramel Frappucino from Starbucks. SO YUM.
And, I *heart* my new seat covers.

I discovered Instagram this week!!! ------->
(More veggies, goooo me!)
Steak, zucchini spears, and salad.
Yes, I likes me food.

Find a penny, pick it up....
I am overjoyed when I find pennies on the ground. I'm excited if I find one, and over the moon if I find 3 or 4 in the same walk.

Until next week..... :) 

The Shape Of Love

How wonderful it would be if this were actually true. And maybe technically, it is. Words alone, might be powerless. But how often are words spoken devoid of energy or feeling? Hardly ever. And strong emotion has the power to both create and destroy.

Masuro Emoto is a Japanese author who claimed that water, when exposed to loving, high vibrations, formed beautiful crystals.  Likewise, when  water is exposed to hateful, negative vibration or thought, it has difficulty forming crystals.

In essence, he claims that human consciousness can change the molecular structure of water.

This figure below is said to be a before and after picture of water that was surrounded by thirty people who formed a circle, clasped hands and recited to the water,

"Water, I love you."

 "Water, I thank you." 

"Water I respect you."

The first picture was before the prayerful recitation,
The second picture was taken after prayerful recitation.

 <------Water's response to the word CONFIDENCE.


                               Water exposed to the word HOPE----->


<----- NO GOOD

                         LOVE AND THANKS------->

                         "I WILL KILL YOU"------>




<-------------LOVE OF SELF

<------------ "DO IT!"

While the validity of these claims may be questionable, the greater question is, who can afford to speak with hate, if there's even a shred of truth?

"Love of Self"
"A person cannot love others without first loving him or herself."  - Masuro Emoto

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where I Am

A couple of days ago, I posted about where I'm from. Seems like the next logical thing to celebrate is where I am. 

I am at home...
kicking back
after a loooooooong day of work :)

I am in the company of my beloveds:

Jack and Tuxedo 


Queen Darby

And the most special one of all. 

I am in a state of relaxation and peace.
Is that because I'm in the state of Hawaii (wink, wink) ??

I'm in a tropical paradise. 
I am living beauty day in and day out. 
I am blissfully blessed

Even the simple things, like walking the dogs
or going for a run
or just slowing down to breathe 
are better here. 
It makes my heart happy. 

I am at home.... and I am in love. :)