My love of shoes is a deep seeded one…so you can only imagine what my love of handbags is. Let’s just say that my next apartment will have a room dedicated to them. A shrine to all things pretty – featuring my Fendi’s, Gucci’s, Louis’ and Prada’s. But now, in addition to their high end sisters, there will also be spaces for my NEW FAVORITE indie handbags that I came across in my travels these past few weeks.

Straight from the streets of my beloved Newport, RI, where I spent many a beach day and drunken night while getting my undergrad at URI, arrives MIKIJA Papyrus handbags. It was the super-cute boxy shape and bold patterns and prints that initially caught my eye on these fabulous handbags, but it was the notion that they are constructed of paper that got me buying THREE (yes, three, sigh…I have issues!).  Started just one year ago, these exotic paper handbags have blown onto the fashion scene full force and will be accompanying me on my vacation in Montauk, NY next week (eat your heart out Hamptonites).  Thinking these beauties are going to collapse at the mere drop of water from the sky? Think again – these bags are made from durable chipboard with intricately designed paper selections mounted to them. Not for use toting the kitchen sink back and forth to work everyday, but certainly my choice purse for a special birthday dinner at East by Northeast this weekend for a certain special guy in my life. Ranging in price from $22- $29, there are currently 16 different designs available (with more in the wings) at Buy one, buy three, buy 10!!

Patricia Field was the style director on the set of Sex and the City, so it is safe to say that ANYTHING sold in her fabulous boutique on Bowery (in the uber fashionable NYC) is going to be incredible (with a cherry on top).  When I found L~Shandi’s newest creation – the Qui Qui Clutch – I nearly fell over myself. I instantly channeled into Charlotte (who I just adore!), with my strapless a-line dress, my large frame Jackie O shades and my darling clutch in hand. L~Shandi was created from a Nigerian street slang “Lepa Shandi” a complimentary term for a woman whose clothing, outfit, or ensemble has a flattering and sexy fit.  I want to be considered a Lepa Shandi every day. And now I can, with this stunning handbag made from African lace with edges that are always strategically placed in L~Shandi designs. What looks like holes in the fabrics are hand cut eyelets that are part of the fabric design! Very chic indeed. Not to mention there are embroidered flowers on the front that I swear are Gerber daisies (my all time favorite flower). My personal favorite is Brown Sugar, but all four shades are simply stunning.  Check out the new Qui-Qui clutch at and make SURE to click to the gorge dresses too! You will want to saunter down your own catwalk in an ensemble from L~Shandi.

And how, you ask, am I keeping my new treasures clean and free of germs? A whole lot easier since I came across ZookHooks.  Did you know the Today Show reported that the bottoms of handbags are “the 12th germiest place on Earth”? Yah…it made me vomit a little in my mouth as well. So, how do we keep our little designer babies from becoming this unnerving and quite frankly, disgusting statistic? Buy a ZOOKHOOK! The classy ladies from the 1950’s knew a thing or two about keeping their luxurious effects in tip-top condition and now Alexis Meisel has brought the notion of a “purse hanger” into the 21st century with ZookHooks. Simply place the disc on the table with the hook pointing underneath, hang your handbag, purse (or anything with handles) from the hook and keep germs, dirt and gunk OFF your belongings. The disc has a rubber backing to keep it from slipping off the table and doesn’t scratch or leave marks on the surface you attach it to. With dozens of designs to choose from (like Czech Crystal, Pet Lovers, Cocktail Collection, Bling and more), you will find yourself filling your cart to the brim with these ingenious bag savers! They even have gift sets that include a purse hanger and a key hook (to keep your keys within reach) – perfect pressie for your best friend or sister! Prices are all under $20, so you can afford to splurge and purchase a handful of these cuties (never too early to think stocking stuffers). Now if Alexis could only invent a subway hanger to keep NYC grim off my bag while I am riding the 2 train…help a sister out! Check out ZookHooks at and grab them while they are still in stock!

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