‘Hip’ Waist Bags That Make it Easy to Travel in Style

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I don’t really think anyone wants to say ‘fanny pack’, let alone wear one. Let’s face it, just the name conjures images of blue hairs and cream-coloured polyester pants, or serious trekkers who don’t care a lick about fashionable accessories. The only thing that bag has going for it is convenience. Travelling usually includes a lot of walking or activity that require my hands and/or arms to be free – like being able to efficiently hanger-slap while shopping, for instance! It can be a pain in the well, fanny, to carry a purse and have it load, or slide down, your shoulder especially if you’re also carrying a DSLR camera bag. Plus, all you usually need to bring along is a bit of cash, a credit card, your hotel key and a tissue.

I do have a cross-body Roots leather bag, which looks sharp and works well, but in the summer it can get sweaty underneath the strap and I don’t want a weird tan line across my chest, back and shoulder. Sooo, my challenge is trying to find a functional hip bag that also looks stylish. Because as any of my friends can attest, I don’t do ugly. πŸ™‚

Here are a few links I’ve found for hip bags that are both functional AND classically stylish. All of these are in the affordable range, except maybe for the Gucci version, which I’ve thrown in because it’s gorgeous, unisex, and it’s nice to dream! Let me know what you think and if you’ve come across any stylish hip bags…

Monzoon Leather Hip Bag

70s Vintage Leather Hip Bag

Roots Leather Waist Pack

Gucci Canvas Belt Bag

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Where to Find Good Eats in The Junction

The recently opened Raw Chemist Juice Bar, the local fromagerie and gourmet grilled cheese...

A recently opened Juice Bar, the local fromagerie and Cut the Cheese are just some Junction hot spots.

I took a wander along Dundas West in the Junction this morning, enjoying the morning sun while sipping my coffee and window shopping. Not much opens on this stretch until around 10:00 or 11:00am on Sunday, with the exception of some cafΓ©s and breakfast spots. I’m only a three minute drive away from here, and it seems every time I pass by something new has popped up; another sketchy old business replaced by a newer, trendier store or restaurant. The upside: a hip ‘hood with pretty, fresh exteriors lending curb appeal; interesting new indie, local business owners to support; (usually) quality products/services, and increased area property values. The downside: some pretentious people descending on the ‘hood and equally pretentious pricing, in some cases. Oh well.

Take the new juice bar that just recently opened up. The place is cute as a button, and features a lengthy menu with ingredient descriptions for healthy boosters that you can add to your fresh smoothie. It all looks lovely, and I’m sure the ingredients are super healthy, but I couldn’t bring myself to fork over $7-$10 for a smoothie (plus another dollar for the booster). Just saying. However, there were a few people happily putting in their orders during the few minutes I was there…so I’m glad someone is able to support the place.

That said, there are a few stand out spots that have surprisingly good nosh at reasonable prices. One of my faves is 3030 Dundas West (yes, that’s what it’s called), a non-descript restaurant (as you can tell by the name) that’s like a hidden gem. Chef Adis Glasgow (ex-Grand Electric) knocks out superb mains ($12-$21) and small plates ($5-$7), the quality of which you wouldn’t really expect from this quirky, retro spot. The front end looks like a cottage rec room, one wall lined with pinball machines and classic board games while the back offers a stage for live music bands that play at night. Other good bets for drinks and/or some good plates are Hole in the Wall (aptly named for its size), Playa Cabana and an oldie but goodie, Curry Twist, for delicious Indian fare. Beer lovers will appreciate Indie Ale House, a small craft brewery that combines bar, restaurant and store in one location.

Me, I’m just fascinated by watching the regeneration and happy to have a well-rounded selection of good, cool spots close by that don’t require a trip downtown. I’m interested to see what else pops up soon…

 

Packing Tips from the Frugalista

As someone who has travelled a fair bit for both business and pleasure, I have become pretty practiced at packing for trips. As much as possible, I try to avoid checking a bag, and I actually once managed to be away on a business trip for a week with only a carry on! Okay, it helps that my clothes and shoes are small but the most important tricks are rolling your clothes, and mixing and matching.

Last year I came across this great blog, http://www.prettyfrugalliving.com. You’ll find some great ideas for living a frugal lifestyle and DIY projects (while keeping it pretty) including these helpful, frugal packing tips that I thought were worth sharing. The video is part of a playlist and despite trying everything I can’t get it to start on the proper one, so please select 31 from the drop down list!

**Note: By sharing this video I am in no way endorsing or recommending the sponsoring travel company.