Thursday, January 24, 2013


I am a big fan of retro products and I'm also a big fan of great lines and aesthetics in design.  So SMEG fridges make me really happy.

They are an Italian company that has been around for about 60 years.  Here in Phoenix there are no dealers or stores where you can buy them.  But there are places you can order one online.  And you COULD drive to California where there are many places you can buy them (though it seems ordering online would be a bit easier and probably just as economical).

I'm not sure if I would ever switch over to one or not.  Only because they are a tiny bit smaller than the typical american fridge.  However, my fridge barely fits in it's space.  A SMEG would look fantastic there.

They run about $2,000 online.

The biggest dilema would be what color to choose...

(you guys have no idea how I actually worry over such decisions when I don't even have the money or the plan to buy the actual fridge.  but I like to visualize what I would do if I WERE buying one.  i'm ridiculous like that.  but that's okay, i like my brain this way...a girl can dream)

Do you have your color picked out yet?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why ARE Designer bags like Hermes so expensive?

Occasionally I will post a photo of an expensive bag I would like.  Truthfully, I realize I probably won't ever own an Hermes bag (notice I didn't say that I definitely won't....a girl can dream).  But that doesn't stop me from looking at them with admiration and yearning from time to time.  The most expensive bags I have are Kate Spade, and Kate Spade is relatively inexpensive when you start talking about Hermes or Chanel.  And last time I posted some photos of expensive bags someone (I think it was you Cynthia) made a comment about wondering why they are so darned expensive.  And maybe also something about a $40 purse seemingly doing the same job for far less money.

It is true if your main criteria for purse ownership is something that will allow you to port items around with you, your options are pretty wide open for far less expensive things that will serve that purpose.  However, let's look at why expensive bags are expensive.

First of all, an expensive bag is usually made of real leather.  Real leather comes from real animals, in case you didn't know. (duh, yeah you knew, I knew you knew)  I mean that sounds super OBVIOUS, but think about it.  Think about animals and how they live.  What sort of conditions they are exposed to.  If it's cowhide then it's easier to find a surface that is unflawed enough to make a handbag.  But still, there are normal things that happen to animals, birth defects, injuries, etc.  that make is a little tricky sometimes to find PERFECT hides which can be tanned into perfect leather.  Tanning itself is not a quick and easy process.  It's messy and laborious.  The hides are brain tanned which in and of itself is more tricky because you have to have brain matter to tan with.  Other tanners use chemical processes, but most of the major bag manufacturers do not.  They still find traditional tanning methods to be the best.  These are artisans who carefully chose the hides and then carefully tan them.  Then think about how difficult it is to find a crocodile or an alligator with no mars in their hide.  Think about how that animal survives and fights within it's own species.  They have scars.  And scars are not acceptable on an expensive bag.  So the price goes up if you want a leather from an animal with more natural scarification.  Then the leathers have to be dyed.  And that is no easy process either to get the perfect hues.  Fashion hues are very very specific.

The artisans trained to actually craft an Hermes bag spend a couple of years in training first before they are ever allowed to make an actual bag that will be sold to a customer.  A COUPLE OF YEARS of training.  The bags are made entirely by hand.  Every bit of it is hand stitched, cut, trimmed, etc.  Nothing is done on a machine.  Even when they are finally allowed to work on a bag, most new artisans take around 40 hours to complete ONE stitched together bag.  Here is a video that shows some of the stitching process:

And here is something else about an Hermes (or even some of the other high end hand bags).  They are considered an investment. If you get in a bind you can always sell your bag for cold hard cash.  I recently saw on a television show a women have to give up two of her Hermes bags as part of a lawsuit because she didn't have the cash to settle.  You won't ever be able to do that with a bag you bought at Target.  :)

I hope that answers some of the questions about why high end bags are so...well, high end.

Here are some beauties I've been pinning lately:

Chanel, Alligator, $5,500

Dior, Calfskin, $2,500

Hermes, Baby Bull Leather, $15,000

Valentino, Calfskin, $1,945

Dolce & Gabbana, Calfskin, $2,995

Michael Kors, Calfskin, $995 (look how reasonable this seems!  :)  Perspective!)

Fendi, Goatskin, $3,750

Marc Jacobs, Calfskin, $1795

Which is why I'm going to stick with Kate Spade for now...

This little beauty in pebbled cowhide is only $490

(and if I get lucky and find it at Last Chance or an outlet...even better!) 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

lia sophia's awesome January sale

So I haven't really posted on my blog about the fact that I'm a lia sophia advisor.  It's something I decided to do for two reasons; 1.  to make a little extra money and 2.  because I really do dig the jewelry.

This post is about the January sale.  It's really really good.  Unfortunately it's so good I probably won't make any money because I'm too tempted to spend it all on jewelry.

Here's the sale flyer.  Certain items are on a big discount and in ADDITION to that you have the sale of buy one, get two things half off!  You can't beat that!  Some things are retiring too so this is a last chance sale for certain items.

for reals you guys these are awesome deals.  I have two parties that I can add to this month and AND I can possibly even offer additional half priced items for a lucky few people.  So please let me know if you want to order this is a LAST CHANCE sale on a lot of jewelry.  Send me an email to if you're interested, or if you're my fb friend, send me a fb message.  Or obviously call me if you have my phone number.  I'm not going to post it here but you can email me for it if you want.  If you're not from Phoenix and you still want to order I am more than happy to mail it to you.  

Here are some of my favorite retiring pieces:

I really love this necklace called Windstorm.  I've got to get one of these before they go away.  

I already have this cute Verde bracelet which I love

I have only ONE of these bracelets and obviously I need far more of them before they disappear

I LOVE this bracelet.  I wear it all the time.  But I only have it in mint, and it also comes in lemon and navy and I feel like I really need those too.  

I probably shouldn't sell this jewelry because I BUY too much of it!  

They also have great necklaces as gifts for valentines day for your friends or little girls even - with this sale, it's a steal.  

(all gold is gold plated, and silver is silver plated with rhodium - a member of the platinum family - as the base metal.  All jewelry has a lifetime guarantee for full replacement)

To find the full catalog online just type in liasophia/lezleehays into your browser bar.  

Or follow this link:  lezlee's lia sophia page

You can actually enter your own order by searching for a party and choosing me as the hostess.  But some people find that process confusing, so feel free to just tell me what you'd like via email. 

Monday, January 07, 2013

In My Opinion - Best Movies of 2012

This is my list of the best movies I saw in 2012.  I will warn you my standards are pretty high.  And weird compared to the average person from what I can gather.  And quirky.  And prone to the disdain of many.  But I stand firmly behind my choices.

I  L O V E a good movie.  Movies are myth and truth.  Movies can be a narrative therapy.  Movies can be art when they strive for it.

Admittedly, sometimes, movies can just be fun.  To make my list you better be either really good, really thought provoking, really funny, really transcendent or some fantastic combination of those traits.

I'm a little snobby about my feelings about film.  I'm not snobby about much in my life, so I allow it in this one area.  The people I like best in life tend to like the same movies I do, or at least quite a lot of them.  Maybe that's a bad way to choose friends.  I mean, I sorta know it is.  Because I do have friends who really aren't feeling my movies sometimes.  So I'll allow that there are people who I dig who don't dig my movies.  BUT...generally speaking people who like some of my favorite movies always end up being some of my favorite people.  It's like you can communicate in a sort of shorthand.


2012's best according to me:

This Must Be The Place

I seriously loved this movie. Sean Penn is his usual genius at inhabiting a character and bringing them to life. The story is equal parts quirky and brilliant, contemplative and life-affirming, funny and serious. The photography is gorgeous. And it's a rare occasion that you can watch an Italian, French, Irish film made largely in the U.S. It's kind of miraculous how well it works. It could have been a disaster. But it's the opposite. This is probably my all time favorite of the year.

Take This Waltz

A magnificent though heartbreaking depiction of the illusory and illusive nature of relationships.  Probably the best, most realistic portrayal of how we complicate and over-value and under-value all the wrong things most of the time.  Brilliant acting.  The whole movie resonated with me.  Emotionally draining at times, but ultimately, fantastic I think.  If there is a movie that hits home with the message of why you should make a marriage work if you can, I think this is it.  

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

The whole premise of this sounds so boring. Who would watch an entire documentary on a guy making sushi? But it's completely compelling. Obsession on this level is art. The dedication to craft is both admirable and mesmerizing. I loved every moment of this.

Robot and Frank

Both equal parts tragic and sweet, this movie explores themes of aging, loss, and the tenacity of the human spirit.  It celebrates the individual and has asks some important questions about isolation and technology.  But it's also just a super great premise for a movie.  

The Queen of Versailles

What could be more delicious than a peek inside this insane life? Excellent and surprisingly thought provoking. These people attempted to build the largest house in the United States of America modeled on the Palace of Versailles, only to find themselves in the middle of the financial crisis. I admit a huge part of it's appeal is a big fat dose of schadenfreude. Which I enjoyed immensely. But it works on many levels. It asks a lot of important questions about wealth, class, and excess. Even in the midst of what looks like is going to be their tragic ruin and demise, just when you start to feel sorry for them, they say something that makes you question whether you really should.


The best thriller I've seen in years. Completely engaging, psychologically stimulating, tense, and intelligent. Too bad it's foreign because most people I know won't see it because of the subtitles. But they should.

Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom is further proof of the excellent talents of Wes Anderson. Here Anderson provides us with a peek into a summer for precocious and odd children, with ample time, fantastical 1960s set decor, and masterful storytelling. We watch rapt and smiling wryly while we take this kooky little journey with them. Quotable, likable, funny and heartfelt without being treacly. What more can you ask for?

Safety Not Guaranteed

    Loved everything abou it, including one of the best endings I've seen in a long time. Sometimes it's really fun to try to figure out if someone is really insane or if we are for losing some of our ability to believe.

    Ruby Sparks

    A romantic comedy that manages to subvert the genre. Loved it. That's all I'm going to say, because I feel like everything else is a spoiler. (but watch the trailer and you'll understand more what it's about)

    21 Jump Street

    Holden bought this on the Apple TV.  I wasn't planning on seeing this because it didn't really seem like my kind of movie really.  But on a Saturday, avoiding my impending homework doom I decided to kill a couple of hours watching it before I settled in to a long essay.  I'm so glad I did.  I laughed.  and I laughed.  It was truly really funny.  Having watched the original 21 Jump Street with Johnny Depp is probably a bonus to making it seem sort of even funnier too, but it stands up on it's own.  I'm glad we own it.  

    A Royal Affair

    Gorgeous.  Sad.  And apparently very historically accurate.  This is probably a bit of history that you really know next to nothing about simply because we really don't tend to know a whole lot about Danish history.  Fantastic.  

    17 Girls

    This is based on a true story except it happened here in the United States.  Remember that?  When all those girls in that school were all getting pregnant on purpose?  I loved this french version of the story.  Setting it in France gives it a whole different feel.  It's about the stupidity of teens to be sure.  But also about how much we hope and dream when we are young.  And make stupid choices but for the best reasons sometimes.  It's sort of maddening to watch, and yet, you get it.  You understand what these girls are thinking even as you wish you could stop them.  And set on the french coast, it's a pretty little film as well.  There were some scenes in this movie that really made me remember exactly what it's like to be a teen in small town totally and completely beyond bored.  And why sometimes, that becomes fertile ground for poor decisions.




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