today’s outfit and a giveaway from ONA bags!

Today Alice and I took a break from work and ran around outside a little bit. As she’s getting older and more independent, our recess time outside is becoming part of our daily routine. We can share snacks on the picnic table behind my office, look at rocks and bricks scattered around the still-under-construction building, and occasionally run into a snake or some other creature. I can even sit and work on flowers while she runs around–it’s a really fun time of year to have a kid this age.

I just got a new Roma bag insert and camera organizer from ONA, a company that makes gorgeous camera bags and it’s already another product I can’t live without. I can insert it into my favorite fall purse and it instantly becomes a camera bag, keeping my little Canon Rebel XSi and all my lenses safe and secure inside my purse. With the pockets on the sides, there’s still plenty of room in my bag for my other necessities–keys, sunglasses, lipstick, wallet–but my camera is protected from rattling around among all of my other things.

ONA has offered to give away a Roma camera insert for one of my readers–all you have to do is leave a comment below. Do check out their website as well–I’ve never been able to find a camera bag that was well-designed, not too feminine, and not just plain ugly, and the ONA designs fit the bill perfectly. Their work is amazing. I’ll pick a winner for this giveaway on Saturday at midnight! And dude, spread the word–let’s give ONA some love–you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Mama: Blouse: Tucker for Target; Sweater: Target; Skirt: Made for my birthday by Emma Erickson; Black and grey houndstooth tights: Hue; Shoes: Xoxo; Bag: BCBG; Camera bag: ONA

Alice: Coat: Old Navy; Pants: Carter’s; Shoes: See Kai Run

Going out the door today: Felt Flower Bouquet Kits for Sandra and JoAnne, a felt flower pin for Marie, shoe clips for Rachel’s wedding

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+ 2 = eight

130 thoughts on “today’s outfit and a giveaway from ONA bags!”

  1. Liana says:

    what is the name of this bag? I have looked at so many websites but I can’t find an BCBGMAXAZRIA bag that looks like this one.

    1. I’ve been looking for a picture of it too for my polyvore but i can’t find it either. It’s BCBG, and I bought it in 2009 at Macy’s.

  2. Cait says:

    That camera bag is genius!!

  3. Holly says:

    Until this month I was getting by only toting a single card holder around. No purse, no wallet, no cell phone even! I’ve been living this way for a about a year since moving to Ann Arbor after a 1.5-year work stint in the very far north. After a whirlwind year (new job, new country, wedding, etc.) I’m FINALLY starting to feel settled. Two weeks ago I had this huge urge to ORGANIZE my life. I invested in a purse, wallet, and even a new smart phone! This little ONA bag would TOTALLY complete my organizaton kick; not to mention how happy and settled it would make my camera feel. Please, please, please pick me!
    ps – LOVING your shoes. You look great in red & navy.

  4. Meg says:

    You should post the winner in case there is any weirdo checking obsessively :)

  5. Dominique Horn says:

    I love the idea of having a purse insert so I could use of my bags for my camera.

  6. How cute is that Ona bag! Every lady/gent needs this to help organize her/his life. It looks so soft too. Camera shouldn’t be left behind just because bag is too disorganized to fit it! <3

  7. Steffie says:

    Wow, that’s a super cute bag! That’s definitely going on my wishlist.

  8. Mel says:

    This would make life so much easier!

  9. Michele Hahn says:

    I have been drooling over their Brooklyn Bag! Until I can afford it the Roma would be perfect!

  10. Erin says:

    Wow, this would sure beat my current means of carrying my camera… in a dust bag (received with a purse) wrapped carefully in my purse!

  11. Lisa says:

    Oh…love this camera carrying insert. Would be great to use in any bag.

  12. anna says:

    I need all the help I can get organizing! and I loathe my ugly black camera bag right now.

  13. Staci says:

    How neat is that! Love it!

  14. Jill says:

    Wow, that Ona bag is awesome! I need one in my life :-)

  15. Jenna says:

    Thats a cool bag! I hope I’m a winner!

  16. Mariam says:

    That bag looks awesome! I like the idea of being able to stuff my T3i in my diaper bag. :)

  17. Moncha says:

    So pretty!!

  18. Janice says:

    Quite nifty :)

  19. Briana says:

    Love this insert and the bag-freedom it allows!

  20. Mary says:

    I’ve always been floored by their designs–love seeing the insert in a “normal” bag!

  21. Vanessa :P says:

    Love your handbag, eye-catching and old skool looking.
    Thanks for the giveaway, consider me entered!

  22. Amy says:

    These are amazing.

    Also, loving your shoes.

  23. Tina says:

    Very neat idea!

  24. Terence says:

    Nice! need one of these! pick me pick me.

  25. Haley says:

    oh, I adore these! my camera would adore it as well! he needs protection!

  26. shelby says:

    that is a great bag! I never take my dslr because it’s a pain to carry but this might just make me get my $$$ worth!

  27. Brianna E says:

    so super cute!


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Alice Elfie’s Day Off

Alice and I stayed home today so we could start making presents for our family. It's hard to find much time to be together and do any of that between getting off work and bedtime, so we both took a day off! We listened to the Mariah Carey holiday Pandora station all day and had personal pan pizzas delivered for lunch, and ate all the cookies we wanted from a cookie exchange we went to last weekend. Here's what we made, including links!

OOTD: Clothes to covet

Today Alice and I are staying home to work on all of our Christmas gifts together! With my new work schedule, there isn't a lot of time between work and bed to finish any meaningful projects together, so we both took the day off to make and wrap all of our gifts. One thing on my gift list is this outfit. If we don't sell out of my size before the holidays, I'll definitely be buying it from the store. Usually I just buy whatever I want as things come in or order extra for myself, but during the holidays I want to give all of our extra inventory a chance to sell at full price before I snatch it up.

Clark & Company: Young guns in the Omaha music spotlight

This summer was the first time I heard Clark & Company’s music. I was at a friend’s house for a big party and the place was buzzing with lively discussions between friends reuniting and new introductions being made. I heard Clark & Company in the background of all this fun, and it was the kind of sound that you at first think is coming through some speakers somewhere. Soon, singer Sophie Clark’s beautiful, soulful voice caught my ear, and I began paying more attention to the music than the conversation.

Starting a Storefront

So I've never worked clothing retail before. In college I worked at a record store for a while, but it was pretty much exactly like the movie High Fidelity and thus not a legit retail experience. As we were preparing to open our first retail location for the Hello Holiday offices, everyone who knows me kept saying stuff like, "Well, I hope you can handle retail." "I think you're gonna find that running a physical store is a lot different." "Well, I look forward to hearing how THAT goes." It's like when you're a parent and you say stuff like, "I'm planning on taking my kid to work most days," and other parents knowingly go, "Oh, YOU'LLLLLL see."

I opened a store. Here’s what it looks like.

On November 25th, right before Thanksgiving, Sarah and I opened Hello Holiday's first brick-and-mortar location. When we started Hello Holiday, we had no intention of opening a physical store, but one thing we are both good at is seeing opportunities when they arise and reacting to them quickly to take advantage of them. We had had some success with local pop-up shop events, and when a retail space came over in one of Omaha's coolest neighborhoods, we knew we had to take it. We're excited for the store because it'll give us the space we need to grow. The front is the retail showroom, the back will be our offices when we finish construction, and our growing online fulfillment operations take place out of the full basement. With this space, we'll also have the opportunity to carry more independent designers from all over the world and take more risks with designers that would be harder to sell online. When customers can feel the clothing, see the lining, feel the zipper, see how it looks on, they're more likely to feel that emotional connection to these designers. It's not just a connection to an object, to an item of clothing, but a connection to a maker--a designer--who may live thousands of miles away. It's someone we believe in and support, and we're exposing their work to hundreds of thousands of new supporters through our store--both online and now with this physical location.
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