Friday, 1 August 2014


I am so happy it is Friday! Some weeks just seem long for no reason in particular.
In week two of Freestyle Friday I bring you one of my all time favorite styles, The Clutch.
Clutches dress up any outfit and sometimes it just feels good to carry less. I can't tell you how many pens, extra t-shirts and random utensils I carry around in my larger everyday bag for no reason.
So in honour of out aching shoulders, let's love a clutch.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Freestyle Fridays- Handbag of the Week

Every Friday I will add a new handbag to the shop. This bag will be a one-off and will be the outcome of my weekly experiments and inspirations. I would LOVE some suggestions as well! If you have a handbag or accessory idea please let me know. If I choose your handbag design I will name the style after you and send you a little something as a token of appreciation! Send me an email if you have a style you would love to see.

This week is a dark cherry tote made of repurposed leather and hand painted canvas lining. This light weight slouchy tote is perfect for travel or as a roomy overnight bag. All stitching has been reinforced, you would never know this bag used to be a jacket. Click HERE for more pictures.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Before & After- Leather Shell Satchel

This jacket was ready for a new life and after a little cutting and sewing I gave it one. I found the decorative shell hardware years ago at a vintage shop. I have been holding onto it trying to find the perfect bag to pair it with. I think it adds just enough shine to this bag to make it unique. I only had one little shell, so just one bag made. More photos here.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Before & After- Denim Satchel

I have been trying to find a way to use denim without having the end product look like a D.I.Y gone horribly wrong. I wanted to use the fabric because its soft and durable but I did not want it to look like I sewed the leg a some jeans up and threw it over my shoulder. I'm not sure if you have browsed Etsy lately, but there are PLENTY!!  I think I managed to stay clear of that look. CHECK HERE for more pictures.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Summer Reads- The Good, The Bad & The Fantasy

This summer I have got myself into the bad habit of reading 80% of a book then abandoning it. I am not sure if it is because of my some what chaotic attention span or if it is because I simply loose interest in the book. While I do have a stack of partially read books, I have managed to finish a few.

1. Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur
Over the years I have become increasingly interested in food production. From how the fruit and vegetables we eat have been grown to how the animals we eat are treated. Farm Sanctuary gives you an in-depth look into factory farms in North America without being shocking for the sake of sensationalism. This book is insightful, honest and really makes you think about the food we feed ourselves and our families. The days of cows grazing in the pastures are long gone for the animals that end up in most of our groceries stores today.
I think this book is a interesting read for everyone, vegan- meat lover. It's important and responsible to know how what we eat is effecting the planet. Highly recommend.

2. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
I have watched Sophia's career sky rocket from her days as a vintage eBay retailer to an online super star in a very short time so I was very excited to see this book come out. She shares her rags to riches story in an easy to read, fun way that allows you to read this book in one sitting. It was enjoyable and I did jot down a few interesting tips or inspirational quotes as I read, but I would not call this a book a guide to success and I am not sure that was her goal anyway.
After reading her book I headed to her online store, like a sucker and did some shopping.  As soon as my order arrived I felt duped. The quality of the items I received was horrible, less then I would expect for your average fast fashion retailer at the mall and far more expensive. I quickly returned my purchase only to wait a month for a refund that happened after 3 phone calls to customer service. Not what I was expecting from a store owned by someone who wrote an entire book about how wonderful her product and customer service was. In the end I feel like I bought into the hype.
But the book was fun and had a few helpful tips for business owners. I would suggest borrowing it from the library and skip the online shop that made her famous.

3. Porter Magazine
This new magazine is powered by, the high end online retailer. To be honest, I like this magazine on a very simple level. It's pretty. The garments are all so far out of my budget that there is no room for jealousy, this one is straight up fantasy for me and I need a little of fantasy in my life.

What are you reading this summer????

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Simple Almost Always Tastes Better- Salsa Recipe

I love food, a lot. The food I usually love the most is also the simplest. If it has 18 ingredients and 24 steps, I am probably not going to attempt it. So I thought I would share one the simplest recipes I make on a very regular basis. Salsa. If I was asked that old question, what would my last meal be?? I would really have to think about it, but I do know what part of it would be... Salsa, chips and guacamole. Spicy, salty, crunchy and creamy all in one, for me it doesn't get much better then that. Add add a glass of white wine or a beer and I am one happy lady.

So here it is.

Step One:
Toss a can of tomatoes, a chipolte pepper, onion, garlic, cumin & lime into a blender and blend for a few seconds.

Step Two:
Toss in the corn, black beans some torn up cilantro. Let it blend just enough to mix it up, you don't want the corn and beans to be pulverized.

Step Three:
Add some salt to season and your salsa is complete. It can last a few weeks in the fridge, although mine never does, it gets devoured pretty quickly.

I like mine simple.
Step One: Mash up an avocado with some lime juice, salt and a little cumin.

Done, now eat.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Perfectly Imperfect, Such a Comforting Phrase

The more I strive for perfection, the more out of reach it becomes. So I decided to let perfection go.
I quickly saw that what makes things, people, experiences memorable, are their quirks, their stories and rarity. Together these make experiences priceless, not perfect. 
The Perfectly Imperfect Clutch Collection embodies everything that is beautiful and desirable about those things that are unique, not perfect.
100% of the leather and fabric used is repurposed, meaning it had a previous life as a jacket, beat up sofa or rockin' 80's pants. Any canvas used to construct the body of the clutch has been hand painted and silkscreened with original artwork.
Every single clutch is one of a kind. Visit the whole collection HERE.

Gifts from CHA CHA!!

For every $100 you spend at CHACHALIFESTYLE.COM I will send one (or more, depending on order) of these lovely ladies for you to use in what ever way your heart desires!!!
Each pouch in unique and made of a mix of hand printed canvas and repurposed leather.
I use these for all kinds of purposes, pencil case, make up case, change purse, the list could go on.
I can never fully express how grateful I am for all the support a teeny tiny business like CHA CHA receives, so I figure a little gift here and there is a good start.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Love A Little Texture

I only found a tiny amount of this vintage leather. I was able to make 3 of these structured totes. They are so light weight and hold their shape perfectly.
More photos & details HERE.

Mixing & Matching, Colours & Textures

Mixing leathers and fabrics gives a simple shape a much more interesting look.
More photos and details HERE.

The Perfect Carry On is Essential

The right carry on makes all the difference. You need enough space to include all the necessities but you don't want it to weigh you down so much that you need a cart at the airport. Traveling light makes travelling enjoyable.
For more pictures and details check HERE.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Making Samples, Enjoying California & Getting Back to Work.

This was my attempt to  make a tie. Now I just have to learn to tie a tie, not as easy as I thought.

The Boyfriend Bag- Dan has been testing out the prototype. I think its the perfect size and will work well for men or women.

Over the last few weeks Dan and I drove from San Diego to San Francisco with many beach town stops on the way.  Pictures really could not capture how pretty much of that state is, but I still took a few.

We had a chance to visit Farm Animal Sanctuary in Los Angles. They do wonderful work educating the public on the current state of factory farming. The hour long tour is one I will never forget, definitely a highlight of the trip for me. The have a few locations around the USA, I highly recommend a visit.

Santa Barbara- We only stopped here for lunch and a little walk, but it sure is a pretty little city.

Me- Trying to learn how to use my camera again.  

Our last stop was San Francisco. We did a lot of walking while we were there and my thighs are just starting to regain feeling. The hills are serious, I have never felt so out of shape!

It's great to go away and just as sweet to come home. After a year long break I am happy that today is my first day back at cha cha full time. Often stepping away from something is the best way to realize how much you appreciate it.