My mother-in-law and I were looking over (for the thousandth time) Boy's baby pictures and drinking tea and envisioning what our kids could look like, when I recalled a conversation my friend Robin, Aparna and I had about having boys.
Robin, a mother of two boys, was worried about having boys because she thought they would grow up and get married and run off with the wives' family and she would end up old and alone in her rocking chair during Thanksgiving. Aparna and I immediately disagreed and confessed that we experience the opposite --we're extremely close to our husbands' mom. Then we admitted it's probably because if there's any dispute, she will take our side over her sons'. (Ha!)
"That's true, because you girls are usually right," Mom agreed.
"Mom, you never worried that you would lose your sons to their wives?"
"Jenny," she said, "from day one, when Akshay told me that he met someone and was in a serious relationship, I didn't have any questions because I knew you made him happy and that he cared about you. That's all that mattered."
"All a mother can ask is for her sons to be happy."
Then she pinched my cheek and asked, "Do you want more tea, baby?"
So Robin, Aparna and I deduced that the key to avoiding lonely Thanksgivings is to be an awesome mother-in-law.
We couldn't ask for a more unconditionally loving and accepting mom.
And for the record, I have thoroughly enjoyed all my Thanksgivings with her and her boys. No rocking chairs necessary. Yet. :)
p.s. That curly hair is too cute, right?!
You've been asking for a Briefcase-sized bag in a landscape configuration. Now, I've finally made it just for you.
We've named it The Archive.
And when I say "we", I mean Boy named it, but I designed and made it, so it was quite a collaborative effort, really.
It easily carries school stuff, work stuff, baby stuff, business travel stuff (this counts under work stuff, huh?). Really, it'll carry a lot of your stuff.
The Archive has a doubly reinforced bottom which makes it doubly* resistant to sagging.
Currently available in this luxurious multi-toned Chestnut Brown leather.
Jenny & Boy
*I actually haven't performed extensive quantitative testing to conclude that statement. It is really durable, though!
Nothing makes me more broody than seeing my husband sing his nephew to sleep (with rock songs, but still).
I almost died watching this.
But I need to have a baby, first.
p.s. Mondays seem to be all about my nephew lately. Maybe I should title my Monday posts "Aunthood Mondays"? "Baby Talk Mondays"? I'll have to think about it. I'm not good with naming stuff.
I thought about saving this for July 4th, but it's on a Wednesday this year, and "Flashback Wednesday" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
At one stage of my childhood, I wanted to be a dancer.
My dad decided it was an impractical skill to learn so he
To appease my dancing desires, however, my mom took me to Goodwill for a costume and baton --that's when I taught myself to twirl a baton after a few broken vases and bruises on my head. (Also when I learned that you can buy everything awesome at Goodwill.)
It wasn't until my sophomore year in high school that I tried out for the dance team (and made it!) where I could dance my heart out. At pep rallies. Halftime at football games. Dance competitions. In an equally awesome red, white and blue costume. With stars. And fringe! With pompoms instead of a baton. And cowboy boots (which started that obsession, note exhibit A). It was the best year ever!
Then, my dad's job transferred to another city where I started my junior year at a new high school.
Instead of making new friends, I got a part-time job at Banana Republic and got knowledged on fashion, visual merchandising and retail over the next two years. I also amassed two closets full of clothing from BR. And a sizable (and continually growing) shoe collection.
Look how that turned out. :)
There are certain points in my work that I really enjoy... one being when I am done sewing the straps and body of the bags.
Before that, it's marking and cutting hides of leather to prepare for sewing...which is a lot like cutting vegetables --it's a little monotonous and time-consuming because you're too excited to get them in a pan of butter to make something delicious. Then next thing you know you're done and serving it to your husband, then praying to god he enjoys it.
I still get nervous when I package a bag to ship to a customer. I'm always like, "Oh god, what if they HATE IT?!" But I have to ship it anyway. Otherwise I would be stealing, which is a no-no for gaining customer loyalty.
See how much you're learning about running a business so far?
There's no reason to be nervous anyway; see #1 in my how-to on going full-time with your own business.
Pictured above is a pile of Packets in Arabian Spice and one in Olive Green that I'm finishing up to be shipped (so if you ordered one of these bags, it'll be on its way shortly!).
Before this batch of Packets, however, I took a break to add some new colors to the shop:
Also added: Mini Ruche in Dark Teal Leather, Packet in Neon Pink and Gray Canvas, Baby Ruche in Dark Olive Green Leather, Mini Ruche in Dark Olive Green Leather
It's spring! Yay!
I love this simple and effortless outfit.
High waist flares, boyfriend button down, high heels and a Packet-sized bag. So chic!
I have similar pair of jeans that I still need to take in (they were on clearance, and I can't really pass up an opportunity to tailor fit something). I'll get that done this weekend.
p.s. My mom in cute spring dresses.
You know, I realized that last Friday, I didn't finish my story on how my dad has influenced my life.
I'll continue now.
Recap: First, when I was a kid, I had to do push ups as punishment which resulted in
Secondly, my dad is never short of advice. (Is this a common trait of all dads?)
When my parents finally came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to use my biomedical engineering degree and actually pursue to work for myself to design and hand make bags, my dad had no problem whatsoever offering
The thing is, he likes to give advice by first discussing something interesting, and then he'll drop the "you know, you should try...." at the end.
I remember a time when he recalled some details about his Navy days during Vietnam. Of course for me, he talked about fabric and clothing, otherwise I'll zone out once I hear, "Back when I was in the Navy...". He described the white summer uniforms made from cotton twill, thicker navy blue winter uniforms... explained epaulets... brass buttons... then suggested this material that was impregnated with wax and used for tents and duffel bags and things... weather resistant... durable... Blah, blah blah, I roll my eyes as if my dad knows anything about fashion and making handbags.
Years later, here I am, with waxed canvas bags in my shop.
Story of my life.
I do admit, this fabric is fantastic. It's heavy-duty and naturally weather resistant. It also gets more distressed as it ages (much like my favorite leathers!).
You can find the Packet in Sepia Brown and Dark Shadow waxed canvas in the shop now. Both colors are also available in the Briefcase --just ask for a custom order. :)
I have a confession to make. I'm completely and madly in love with another boy. I can't stop thinking about him. His smell. His eyes...
His bald head, no teeth, little hands, button nose, and chubby legs.
I am smitten.
Head over heels in love,
p.s. Oh yeah, I should probably congratulate Adi and Aparna for their newborn bundle of joy/my current love. :)
If you've seen my brother you would think these were pictures of him on Halloween with a 1971 vintage filter on the photos. I swear, my parents cloned themselves rather than having children naturally.
Fortunately, if we are clones, I am happy to know that when I turn 55, I will look exactly like I do at 25... as long as I follow my mom's routine of going to the gym 6 days a week and eating super healthy whole grains and flax seed and oatmeal and all that nonsense.
Unfortunately for me, not enough green tea ice cream mochi can persuade me to go to the gym 6 days a week. But, maybe I don't have to worry about all that since we know how Asian women age.
Cloning theories aside, my father was a military man, and this had a big influence on our lives.
For one, my brother and I grew up doing push ups as punishment. Made for interesting conversations as a child...
"Pushups? What are push ups?"
"You've never done a push up? You don't have to do them when you get in trouble?"
"I get sent to my room. Or get grounded."
"What? That's awesome!"
However, now that I'm older, I am thankful for the many years of push up punishments.
My toned arms are thankful.
I was in need of a consistent light source for photographing my bags, so my brother pointed me to some photography lighting equipment.
Actually, let me backtrack a little bit.
My brother pointed me to some photography lighting equipment, then I realized that I was in need of a consistent (and nearby and always available despite working late into the night) light source for photographing my bags.
It's always a delight when solutions present themselves before you even realize you have a problem.
Like when I read Kendi's post about her obsession with colored pants, it was then that I realized my closet was experiencing a severe colored-pant deficiency.
Or when I walked into the grocery store last week and saw the Starbucks sitting there at the entrance (it's always there, but this time, much more obvious than the last), it was that moment I realized my problem was that I hadn't had my morning cup of tall Caramel Frappuccino.
Clearly, this logic is flawless.
Here are a few of the new bags!
My mom sent me these pictures (above) of herself at around my age. Those dresses are so cute, right?
I agree. Total cuteness. However, I can't help but be a little offended that she didn't save these outfits so that her future daughter would be able to wear them 30 years later (and blog about it). I mean. C'mon. Seriously?
But it inspired something new I can share with you on Fridays: Flashbacks.
"What?! I thought you were sharing links on Fridays, Jenny!" you exclaim.
Goodness. She's so fickle. First she says she'll post outfits on Fridays. Then link love. Now flashbacks. What will she do next? Maybe she'll alternate links and flashbacks and outfits. Or she'll post links on another day. You never know with her. So spontaneous. Keeps you on your toes, she will.
Happy (Flashback) Friday!
p.s. Why did she write the last paragraph in third person? She's so weird.