Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Ultimate Mother's Day Gift?

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge,from Kelly Moore, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Since it Wordless Wednesday, it only makes sense to talk about this gift!

Ok, so you read the headline and thought Vacation, right?

Well, ya  that would be, if one had the funds and time to cover all of Mom's duties and work, right?

So if it's not vacation, what is it?

How about a gift she would never buy for herself, that is so well made it will last forever, and that she will USE all the time, and yet IS affordable?

You'd but that for her, right?

So meet the ultimate gift, aka 'did you hear MY scream of joy when I opened the box?',

kelly moore monroe bag

Yup- it is a 2-n-1 Camera, travel, baby, study, how did you live without it Messenger and Tote bag! 
But not just ANY tote bag!

Kelly Moore bags are designed to hold EVERYTHING you could possibly need as a busy mom on the go, AND provide protection for the expensive DSLR you bought, but hate to schlep around because protecting it, means carrying 2 bags. NOT any more!  Made of premium quality materials, Kelly Moore bags are sturdy and made to LAST. They literally will be the last bag you need. Though you may find yourself wanting different bags, in different colors, for different occasions....because, well, you know they really are a FASHION accessory too!

close up of cambrio fabric

The new Monroe bag is part of the new Kelly Moore Classic Collection, which includes eight styles hewn from Cambrio, a new material produced exclusively for the company, that is water resistant, abrasion resistant and vegan friendly.“It is not only luxe, but beautiful,” touts company founder and designer, Kelly Moore, “While still strong and functional, these bags offer the best of both worlds-quality luxury and an inexpensive price". The material looks and feels like leather, but isn't. Seriously, just LOOK at the picture above. Would you have guessed it wasn't leather? And I have to admit, I might miss that 'leather' smell, but the Cambrio has almost an essential oil smell, that is really nice and reminds you of being at a spa! (Just remember to smell it in private ok? People might think you're a bit odd, if you're constantly smelling your bag and sighing in public...just saying...). The KM logo adds a nice luxe touch too, don't you think?

kelly moore classic bag colelction collage

The 8 models in the new Classic line are the Monroe (as shown above), the Augusta, the Oxford, the Riverdale, the the Luna, the Austin, the Woodstock and the Ruston. This new line of Kelly Moore bags range from $139 - $249, which is about half the price of the traditional leather Kelly Moore bags! All of the Classic styles include the Kelly Moore signature removable camera holder basket (with its ample camera body and lens capacity and adjustable dividers), and plenty of pockets, guaranteed to fit an active lifestyle.

But I know you want to see INSIDE the bag, right?

kelly moore monroe bag contents

The Monroe bag comes complete with a removable messenger bag/clutch and padded shoulder strap, that attaches to the messenger bag for its use without the tote. It also has it's own cloth storage bag (I know, when are you gonna put this bag away? LOL), that can double as a rain cover. Though, hint hint, that fashionable rain cover I'm giving away (check out the sidebar), fits this bag very well too, and slides perfectly inside when not in use! The Monroe is made for everything a Mom or student can dish out! The bag can hold up to a 13” Macbook Pro, while its included internal pockets fit all your  notebooks, iPads, study essentials, cell phone and other essentials! One bag does it ALL!

Just look at how many POCKETS there are in the tote bag itself!  There is plenty of room on each side of the camera basket, to hold not only your laptop, but also notebooks, magazines, or file folders. On each side of the bag you have to different pocket sections as well! The large inside zipper pocket is very roomy, as you can see above, as I can fit my hold hand down in it and across. Below it, you have 2 material pockets, that are perfect for holding your cell phone and sunglasses. On the other side, you have a large clear envelope pocket, perfect for holding anything you need kept safe. These side pockets alone can hold a LOT of what you carry in your bag normally!

Now let's go back and look at the camera holder!  The camera holder basket is not only padded, it has 3 removable (padded) dividers, that allow you to change the configuration at any time! They have Velcro on THREE sides, so you know they will fit snugly around your camera and keep it in place! I love being able to keep the lens in place on my camera, so that I can pull it out and use it at a moments notice. Most camera bags don't let you do that! As you can see, it was easy for me to move the one divider closer to my camera, to keep it better in place, along with the extra lens. Because there is enough room, it is easy for me to use one of the sections for the padded camera strap I have, thus making it easy to keep the strap out of the way and contained too! That has been a huge problem in the current bag I had been using. And because the basket itself is removable, it is quick to take it out and keep it at home, when you don't need to bring your camera, but want to use the bag! But once you start using this bag, you probably will find like I did, that not only is the Monroe bag NOT uber heavy, but without the camera moving all around, there is room to store the rest of your items quite easily, making it great for everyday use too! 

Now let's talk about the attached messenger bag:

Monroe tote and bag unattached

I know you were wondering just HOW it attached, and consequently, how easy does the messenger bag come OFF, right? As you can see the bag is attached to the tote by not 2, but 6 solid magnetic snap closures. As you can see, you have 3 on each side. You really have to grab pretty hard to get the messenger bag off, without properly unattaching the snaps. Trust me, if a 9 yr old at full speed can run smack into the bag and NOT knock the messenger bag off, while still moving forward, you know you bag will be safe from accidental removal! 

monroe messenger bag collage 1

Both the tote and messenger bag look good by themselves too! The strap is easily placed on the messenger bag by using the flat snaps Which are SO much appreciated- Kelly understands if you have nails, or are in a hurry with multiple kids, that these type of snaps are quick and easy to use! 

monroe strap close up

The strap itself is adjustable, with a sturdy metal hook, so you can fit it snugly around your waist. As you can see, the strap has a small padded section, that is just right for carrying the large bag on your shoulder. It sits just where you want it to. And once again, check out the GRAIN on the Cambrio. It really mimics saddle leather, SO well! No one will know your bag is not leather, unless you tell them!

But let's look inside of the messenger bag too:

monroe messenger bag collage 1

As you can see you have not 1, but 2 clear pocket sections. The top clear pocket section has a mesh section, perfect for loose coins, tokens, or memory cards.  The second section sits below it and holds credit cards, your drivers license and cash. In front of it is another small section as well. You could easily also place your keys in the middle section, allowing you to grab the messenger bag and go!

monroe messenger bag in tote

My making this bag a perfect 2-n-1 tote, Kelly has designed a bag that is PERFECT for the busy mom/student/worker on the go! Which means just about everybody, right? It is especially perfect for taking with you on vacation, as your use the combined bag all day, taking your camera everywhere with you, and then snapping off the messenger bag for taking with you to dinner. Plus if you need to, you can carry the messenger bag inside of tote, allowing it to take up less space, if needed. once you realize just HOW much you can carry in this bag, you will realize it is the perfect all the time bag! 
monroe color choices
Plus it comes in 3 lovely colors as you can see above. Meaning there is the perfect color to fit your lifestyle! I chose the Hickory color, as I knew I could use it year round, and the lighter color would go better with most outfits.

For me, this is the PERFECT bag to take with me to Miss Grace's Irish Dance performances and competitions, now that she has her Zuca bag and is old enough to tote all of HER actual dance stuff. With this bag, I can have my camera, and all the extra lenses (YAY), all of my regular purse stuff, all of our travel plans or souvenir programs, in the large envelope pocket, to keep them safe, AND still have plenty of room for purchases. And really, I  am going to use it whenever we head off anywhere, as with it, I can always have my camera handy (how many times have you gone on a 2 hour trip and had to use your cell phone for a spur of the moment picture, because you didn't want to lug the heavy camera brag???). In fact, Miss Grace looked at my camera bag and asked if she could have it for her dance bag to hold some of her stuff, as she figured I was done using it (mighta had something to do with me holding the Monroe bag and hugging it..a lot.... LOL). We do like to recycle in our house! 

Did I mention I am in love with this bag? LOL I am!!!!

Kelly, who just happens to be from Louisiana (ahem!), has outdone herself with her line of bags! I can't believe they even come with a 1 year warranty! How many luxe fashion bags have that?

kelly more gift card

I promise if you get your Mom, your favorite student, new Mom-to-be, or yourself, one of these new Kelly Moore bags, you will see just how great these bags are too, Just think, it is the one gift that can GROW with the recipient! You can give it to a graduating student. They use it for college, then use it for work, then traveling, and then when the kids come. These bags literally will become your family classic! You can even get a Kelly Moore gift card, to let them pick out the bag that best fits THEIR personality (though I am really partial to the universality of the Monroe bag!). And don't be surprised if you give one as a gift, that you get bag envy pretty quickly and have to buy yourself one too!  

Be sure to sign up for the Kelly More newsletter and to follow her blog too- you get special sale notifications, special sales, GIVEAWAYS and some really great photography tips and inspiration!


About Kelly Moore:

Ruston, LA-based photographer, designer and mother of three,Kelly Moore, is the creator of a line of well-designed bags for moms, women photographers, travelers and students. She is married to the incomparable Kelly Moore (yes, they both have the same name).

Being a photographer for 15 years, Kelly always wanted to take my camera with her, wherever she left the house, so that meant taking her everyday handbag, her camera bag (which was bulky, black and unattractive), and once the kids came, a huge diaper bag. It was too much! Was it too much to ask for ONE bag that could do ALL these things?  After searching and finding nothing, a spark was born! In December 2009, after years of dreaming, sketching and planning, she launched a website, and started taking pre-orders for the first Kelly Moore Bag. By January 2010 they were shipping from their garage, and in 2013 they renovated a 100 yr old building into their first store and office in downtown Ruston. 

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