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October 2015

Fashion, Home

Review: Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote

In my opinion the Prada Saffiano tote is one of the most classic bags along with the Hermes Birkin, Chanel 2.55, Lady Dior and LV Speedy just to name a few. Yet, the Prada Saffiano is more wallet-friendly than the Chanel 2.55, better fitted for the younger person than the Hermes Birkin, more work appropriate than the Lady Dior and more practical than the LV Speedy. That’s why I purchased the Prada Saffiano Double Zip tote after my first year of work. It has almost been 2.5 years since I got the Prada Saffiano and my opinions on the bag may be helpful if you are also eyeing the bag (especially the quality and wear and tear of this bag).

Prada Saffiano Lux Open Tote vs. Double Zip Tote
When I was looking at this bag in 2013 there were two options for the saffiano tote, the lux open tote or the double zip tote.

1. Prada Saffiano Lux Open Tote vs. Double Zip Tote


The prices for these two bags were very similar, I think the price for the double zip tote was around $100 more than the lux tote. In the end I purchased the double zip tote for several reasons:

  1. I liked the more structured and shaper silhouette of the double zip tote over the lux open tote
  2. I thought the zipped compartments would be useful especially for wallets and other valuables
  3. I liked the open internal design of the double zip tote vs. the lux open tote which previously had a divider in the middle

Two and a half years later, I still liked the more structured silhouette but it’s not worth the trouble with the sealants problems on the double zip tote (more details later). I rarely use the zipped compartments (see explanations later) and I still like the open internal design but later Prada came out with lux open totes with no internal dividers. Overall, I wished I had purchased the lux tote over the double zip tote (reference Wear & Tear section for more details).

Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote Design
The Prada Saffiano tote design may change slightly from season to season: zippers vs. no zipper rims, open vs. divided interior compartment, leather vs. cloth trimming on internal pockets, etc. However, the boxy rectangular shape of the bag remains the same. The classic shape of the bag is very appropriate for work. With minimal hardware the bag is not loud and in your face even though it is a designer bag. The bag is also very practical; it can be dressed up and down, especially when worn with the shoulder strap.

The bag I purchased is the Prada Saffiano Double Zip tote in the Cammeo color. I got the medium size that comes with a shoulder strap with five holes for the user to adjust the length (bag dimensions: 13 x 9.5 x 5.5 inches). The bag has two zipped compartments and four feet on the bottom of the bag. The center internal compartment is lined with a nylon cloth material. It has one zipped compartment, three additional smaller pockets and no dividers. I rarely use the two big zipper compartments on both sides of the bag because the zippers are not smooth and you will see a bulge of whatever you put in there.

The sides of the bag have two snap buttons. I snap the buttons close most of the time; it helps to reduce the size of the bag opening and I like the shape more. However, if you have to fill up your bag, you can unbuckle the sides for more room.

Overall, the bag came with a black box, a white dust bag and an authenticity card. You can hold the bag on your hand, at the crock of your arm, over the shoulder or cross body using the shoulder strap. I love the shoulder strap and wear the bag over the shoulder with the strap most of the time!

2.0 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Front2.1 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Back2.2 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Side2.3 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Side Buckle2.4 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Inside2.5 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Bottom2.6 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Long Strap2.7 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Hand Held2.8 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Hand Held 2.9 Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote_Shoulder

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Fashion, Home

Outfit of the Day – A Different Type of Winter Blues

1. Blue Coat

3. Blue Coat

4. Givenchy Antigona

5. Blue Coat

6. Blue Coat

7. Blue Coat

Coat: Old blue coat
Bag: Givenchy Antigona (Small Calfskin)
Shoe: Stuart Weitzman Mainline Boots
Scarf: Large scarf from Primark

My favorite fall coat for many years now has been this bright blue peacoat with half sleeves. The belt and bottom flares give the coat / wearer a curvier silhouette.

I love the water so the Boston Harborwalk was one of the first areas I explored. The Harborwalk is a public walkway around the Boston Harbor and one of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to sit on a bench and stare out into the water and enjoy the calmness.

As always thank you very much for reading!

Home, Personal Finance

Which Credit Card with No Foreign Transaction Fee is the Best?

In the past few months, I have been trying to decide which credit card with no foreign transaction fee I should apply. This seemingly easy task became a complicated decision due to different first time offers, annual fees and reward rates offered by different credit cards.

Personally, I think a credit card with no foreign transaction fee is a must for everyone. If you currently don’t have a credit card with no foreign transaction fee then when you apply for your next credit card, consider applying to a card that has this feature. International travel is fantastic but the idea that I have to “pay” to spend my money abroad bugs me. I prefer to minimize currency exchange rate fees on cash or foreign transaction fees on credit cards when I travel. Even if you don’t have a trip planned in the next few years, international eCommerce is growing and having a no foreign transaction fee card will save you ~3% of your purchases!

I want to share the top 4 no foreign transaction fee card prospects (which are also the popular ones) and hopefully this post will helpful if you also have this dilemma and are not sure of which card to choose.

My Top Four No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards
I narrowed my search down to 4 cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Capital One Venture Rewards, Discover it Miles and Bank Americard:

1. Chase Sapphired Preferred and Capital One Venture Rewards2. Discover It Miles and BankAmericard Travel Rewards

With the different first-time sign-up bonus offers, reward guidelines and annual fee structures, it is quite hard to compare across the credit cards. This is a great strategy by the firms because the ambiguity prevents the companies from competing more on offering better terms.

I don’t do well with ambiguity and unclear answers so I decided to pull up an excel spreadsheet and tried to compare across the cards:

3. Comparison Between Credit Card with No Foreign Transaction Fees

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