Momma Told Me: June 2011

Blog Archive

SpiritHoods Giveaway and Review!

Momma Told Me: Everyone has a wild side.

For some people, it has a name (several even), for others it's merely the Devil VS Angel sitting on their shoulder- for me, it's simply the feeling I get on a particularly gorgeous day, surrounded by nothing but nature. It starts in my toes and ripples out along the back of my spine to my very fingertips, the feeling that, for a single moment, nothing matters. There is no end, no beginning, no rules, no responsibilities. There is just me, in that instant, existing. Momma calls it my wild side, but it's also been known to respond to the title of 'freak flag', 'inner child', 'rebel', and more. When we're children, it's running through the backyard stark naked, not a sense of shame or modesty, giggling as the blades of grass tickle our ankles, and the warm sunlight drowns our bare skin. It's sneaking into the abandoned house on your way home from school, holding each breath, prepared to run on the turn of an instant. The older we get, the harder it becomes to feel so un-guarded, so alive.

So whee does our inner dinosaur go? It's not as if we wake up one day and decide the world is much to serious a place for make believe friends and puddle jumping. And why is is, when we grow older the things that once made us, well, us, soon become childish? It seems anyone over 14 who still admits a fondness for unicorns or kittens faces lifelong labels as 'different' or 'crazy'. And we trade in our ballerina slipper and Firemen hats for fancy degrees and briefcases, holding on for the day when we can vicariously relive these wonders with our own children. But I think it's time for a revolution. In a world where our idols, and even senators, are publicized for low morals and questionable conduct- who doesn't want to let loose with a little Roar??? I'm talking, of course, about the couture fashion trend sweeping the world, animal hoods.

This phenomenon was arguably started on the streets of New York, with an infamous photo of one panda donning local. I say arguably, because it's fair enough to say that art students and trendy teens were no doubt crafting similar looks in fringe cliques long before. However, there's one aspect of this wild trend that's indisputable; the brand that the buzz is all about, SpiritHoods. With a simple mission that transcends any one definition, SpiritHoods aims to unlock unique individual experiences for each wearer. Their market base isn't just trendy global towns, playful young adults, or even women. The SpiritHoods range spans children styles and sizes to even gender neutral styles worn by men. Perhaps what is most identifiable about the label, aside from the wide variety of primal inspiration, is the introduction of full length hoods. These are pieces of headgear designed to resemble a designated animal in silhouette and texture, featuring attached mitts (think scarf or long beanie).

These 'mitts' of sorts frequently feature mimicked paws, or pockets for the wearer to place their hands in. Others, such as the stunning Night Owl solely serve to add mystique, frame the face, or keep the wearer warm (yes, these are quite functional too!) Spirit Hoods animal inspirations range from Grizzly Bear and Zebra to Lion and Leopard. While it may be tempting to snap up the animal you favorite, some may be surprised to find I did not go with a Panda, SpiritHoods helps educate you about the embodiment of each hood's animalistic 'spirit'. Each hood possesses defined traits for the animal it represents, and statements about the wearers that may be drawn to it. Additionally, the brand's PRO BLUE initiative means 10% of all net profits, from items donning the PRO BLUE label, are donated directly to a non-profit organization benefiting the specific spirit animal! This truly makes a SpiritHood a wonderfully meaning gift, and priceless powerful statement.

I received a Husky Spirit Hood (SRV $129) for review here on Momma Told Me. My Husky arrived nestled neatly among tissue paper and with accompanying literature, and was breathtaking directly out of the box. Attached to the ear, via tiny safety pin, was a fabric label and breakdown of animal traits. The Husky, as it turns out, embodies spiritual well -being, resilience, and the ability to survive and guide others. This particular SpiritHood is similar to the Gray Wolf, but fluffier in texture and build. Made from 100% acrylic faux fur and a warm 100% cotton lining, this hood is plush and soft to the touch. The interior lining features a muted red and green plaid pattern, with embroidered paws on the 'pockets'. The pockets are actually intended for half-hand warming, and more casual, or posing use. Between the two flaps, below the chin, is a silver toned knob for fastening the hood and styling. I prefer to wear my hood open, or criss-cross the arms, but more active wear may call for buttoning.

I must say, in all, I consider SpiritHoods worth every cent in quality and execution. They are the highlight of my wardrobe, and I simply cannot wait for the cooler months! Whenever I wear my SpiritHood Husky out it draws so many compliments and jealous remarks, there simply is no substitution for an authentic SpiritHood. I should also mention that simply wearing my hood for a few hours out puts me in a playful and wonderful mood. It's hard not to smile, and feel incredibly sexy, in such a flirty piece of attire.

What Daughter Says: Unleash the wild side of fashion with an authentic SpiritHood!

One very lucky Momma Told Me follower will win a SpiritHood of their choice!

Mandatory Entry: You must be a Momma Told Me follower, then visit SpiritHoods, and tell me which you might pick if you won!
Giveaway begins June 23rd, 2011 at 9:01 PM PST and ends at 9:01 PM PST on July 14th, 2011. Winner will be notified via email, and posted here. Entries valid within the US. Winner has 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn. Prize will be transferred via sponsor. Full Contest Rules and Entry Requirements can be viewed here.

As required by the FTC: I received no monetary compensation for this post. I received a product sample for the purpose of my review. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

Miche Big Bag Interchangeable Purse Review and Giveaway!

Momma Told Me: I love purses, I just don't love shopping for them.

How many purses do you own? If you're like me, then your passion for shoes probably is mirrored by your attraction to a quality or designer purse. But, until houses come standard with an extra 'purse closet', the obsession can become quite overwhelming and bulky. Much like heels vs flats, a clutch is as necessary as a good duffle. Then, when you take into account seasons, outfits, and occasions a girl can easily justify 20+ designer handbags. The only problem being the cost is not as easy to justify. For my mother, it wasn't so much about fashion as it was about function. Every time she found a new bag and got 'settled in' her motherly duties would result in a superglue fiasco or milk spill mess. How bothersome it was to transfer her 'life' into a new carrier that often was smaller or less accommodating than the last. If only she could change her purse as easily as her hairstyle.

Back in 2004 Michelle Romero found herself faced with the dilemma many of us have known, after a disastrous spill onto her favorite purse. Would she invest time into repairing and masking the damage or deal with the hassle of 'interviewing' and 'training' new purses? Noticing the purse had a distinct 2 layer system, which enabled her to doctor the bag with a new covering, Michelle developed a concept now copycatted around the world. She set to work designing the original interchangeable purse system. A purse with a basic core that enabled owners to collect and change the outer shells on a whim. Versatile, convenient, affordable, and a fashionista's dream.
Michelle teamed up with a friend, and like so many great and wonderful new products began selling to family and friends. Before long these innovative bags were branded as Miche (MEE-chee), after their creator's nickname, and the changeable covers were dubbed 'chelles', for their shell like properties. You may have even become familiar with the Miche purse system while perusing home shopping networks, where they were first introduced to consumers. Not only does this purse offer a solution to expensive handbag collections, as the average purse runs $80+, but 20 Miche shells can be stored where one standard purse was prior! It's one of those products I find myself asking "Where have you been, and why weren't you thought of sooner?"

Just because you change the look of the Miche doesn't mean it any less designer. There are 3 basic base bags (the core of the purse); big, mini, and classic. These range from $20.95-$34.95, and you can own all 3 for less than $100! Each bag comes with standard handles to match, but alternate accessories and handles can be purchased through the website for additional personalization and styling. Can you imagine waking up in the morning and matching your purse to your outfit? With the Miche that's very much a real possibility for just about any budget. Because new Miche shells are constantly being introduced, and old ones retired, shells start as low as $19.95! And we're not talking the ugly leftovers, these are designer, high quality, chic and fashionable shells!

What I love most about the execution of Miche is the distinct shell designs. One would think using a standard base bag would limit the styling and functionality of a purse. Impressively, the addition or removal of pockets, clasps, ridges, and textures make these shells each unique. The result is a truly impressively individual collection of looks- from one bag! I do have to say though, Miche is highly addictive, and you'd be hard pressed to choose just one shell with your initial purchase. My only complaint about the set up and shopping experience? Word of Miche's amazing concept and fashion savvy designs is quickly spreading and you have to act fast to snap up your favorites. One day you'll be contemplating an 'Erin' shell, the next it's MIA and 'out of stock'.

Miche was kind enough to send me one Big Bag Base and Lauren and Lexi shell for review here on Momma Told Me. I'd never seen a Miche in person before and had only had the privilege of browsing online, so I was unsure of what to expect. I must confess as captivating and alluring both the bag and shells are online, images do not compare to a personal encounter. Everything about these bags are rave worthy. The Miche Big Bag Base is wonderfully ruffled for a relazed duffle look that is stylish and simple. The outside is composed of easy to clean, black, material, and the inside is a warm golden yellow with multiple pockets and zipping compartment. I love that in a pinch or emergency the base bag can function entirely as a purse without the shell- genius!

No matter the Miche base, all shells attach magnetically to the upper rim of the purse. The shells I received had flaps which snapped over the rim for a seamless fit that would be indistinguishable to anyone but a Miche owner. The purse looks and functions as one whole piece despite it's amazing versatility. As for the shells, well I had chosen the Lauren for it's orient inspired appeal, with soft silky exterior, feminine bunching, and frilly stitching. Retailing for $44.95, the Lauren Miche shell is exotic and distinguished, but what had most caught my eye originally was the Lexi. Currently featured in many of the Miche website adverts and banners, the Lexi is, in my opinion, the definition of high fashion and clamor worthy purses.

Miche's Lexi shell is styled with a textured giraffe print, and faux leather material that caught my eye for it's wild nature. Online, the crimson red accents contrast beautifully with shadowed spots of muddy green/brown. In person, the animal print is textured with realistic fur crevices that cause second looks and begs to be touched. The way this bag grabs the light is truly mesmerizing and delighted me instantly. I must confess I felt as though the bag was almost too nice for me, and looked as though it cost much more than the $85 retail value (for both pieces total!) My love for this bag, and new found passion for Miche was only confirmed when I days later brought the purse to our family's Thanksgiving celebration.

I had made the mistake of leaving my Miche unattended in the living room while helping with meal preparation as guests began to arrive. Almost immediately I began to pick up on pieces of conversation I was sure were related to my purse. Sure enough, my grandmother pulled me aside to question where on Earth I had found such a "captivating" purse. To give you better insight as to why this is a statement in itself, my grandmother is very well off and known for having what she desires- typically purses worth more than the laptop I'm typing on. The fact she was taking interest in my purse was shocking. Not only was she interested, she insisted I tell her where she could buy the exact same purse! I confessed that I did not know of a retail location, but that she could order one online. Unfortunately, anything involving the internet and shopping is a turn off for her, and she appeared quite upset that she could not simply walk into a store and buy one.

About this time my Aunt passed by and interjected herself into the conversation. When she learned we were discussing my Miche she became quite animated and professed her adoration for my new purse as well. What proceeded was a bit of quarreling and resulted in my grandmother scouring her checkbook for loose cash and tossing $60 into my hand. It wasn't enough that my new Lexi Miche had been confiscated, but my Aunt persisted with her intent to acquire one as well. In short, we next spent another hour online (during Thanksgiving dinner) browsing the shells and in the end buying her a purse. I did learn from the experience that there are 100s of alternate Miche shells in the custom Miche gallery, and users can even upload their own photos or artwork onto a Miche!

So, I literally spent my Thanksgiving with my purse contents in a grocery bag, but the response from my family speaks for itself. Miche was a hit with every woman present (age 19-68), and the men loved that the bag was an affordable solution to their wives' (and daughters') hand bag obsessions. Unfortunately for me, I am missing my Miche Big Bag terribly, and the online store is currently out-of-stock! Don't let my Thanksgiving be your Christmas, grab a Miche today, and make sure to stock up for gifts so yours doesn't end up purse-napped by your grandmother!

What Daughter Says: Don't change your purse, change your shell with the impressively affordable and addictive Miche handbag system.

One very lucky Momma Told Me follower (whom I'll be truly jealous of) will win a Miche Big Bag Base, Heidi, and Lauren shells (pictured above)! The Big Bag Base is frequently Out of Stock online, so this will be an excellent score!

Mandatory Entry: You must be a Momma Told Me follower, then visit Miche, and tell me your favorite shell!
Giveaway begins June 20th, 2011 at 9:01 PM PST and ends at 9:01 PM PST on July 5th, 2011. Winner will be notified via email, and posted here. Entries valid INTERNATIONALLY. Winner has 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn. Prize will be transferred via sponsor. Full Contest Rules and Entry Requirements can be viewed here.

As required by the FTC: I received no monetary compensation for this post. I received a product sample for the purpose of my review. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.