Monthly Archives: February 2010

Alicia Keys, Robin Thicke and Melanie Fiona, oh my!

On Saturday, April 10th, Alicia Keys is coming to Oakland’s Oracle Arena for her Element of Freedom Tour! And to sweeten the deal, she is coming with Robin Thicke and Melanie Fiona! I am still recovering from the amazing Maxwell concert, but I’m ready for Alicia Keys! If you haven’t listened to the Element of Freedom album yet, you should definitely do it now! Here are my favorite tracks off of the album:
“Try Sleeping With a Broken Heart”
“Unthinkable – I’m Ready”
“Doesn’t Mean Anything”
“Empire State of Mind – Part II”
“Love is My Disease”

Alicia’s previous album, As I Am, was also fantastic and included the tracks “No One”, “Like I’ll Never See You Again”, “Teenage Love Affair” and “Superwoman”. The Element of Freedom album differs from the As I Am album in the tone and mood of her lyrics and melodies. As I Am expresses passionate love and celebrating that love. However, the Element of Freedom explores the sadness and heartache of being away from your loved one and the complications that come with love. Even though this album is not as “upbeat” per se, I still love it and listen to it every morning.

I have seen Robin Thicke live twice before but this will be my first time seeing him perform his Sex Therapy album. If you have never heard of Robin Thicke, I am sure you know his dad, Alan Thicke. Alan Thicke is the dad on the old TV show, Growing Pains. And Robin Thicke looks just like his dad, but he has an awesome soulful voice. Check out his performance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show below. Be prepared for the sexy melody and lyrics! Be warned: If Robin Thicke reminds you too much of Alan Thicke, I would recommend closing your eyes. It’s kinda weird to picture Alan Thicke singing about giving you Sex Therapy. eeek. =P Anyways…check out his performance. Robin Thicke’s Sex Therapy performance

I am also excited to see Melanie Fiona. I have not heard many of her songs but I am anxious to be introduced to her music and I have heard a lot of great things about her. So if you haven’t bought your ticket for the concert yet, buy it here: Ticketmaster

Hope to see you there! You know how I love my live soul music! Please let us know if you hear of any other great soul concerts coming to the San Francisco Bay Area!

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Melinda Mae Handbags on YELP!

Oooooohhh Melinda Mae Handbags has 5 stars on Yelp! Yep! Melinda Mae is on Yelp! Thanks Nam for creating a Melinda Mae Handbags Yelp page!

Melinda Mae Mandarin Small Handbag

Yelp has always been my go-to place to find out if a restaurant is worth trying or to see what boutiques are great for bargain shopping at so I am super excited that Melinda Mae Handbags is also on Yelp! I know what you’re thinking…”Melinda Mae has 5 stars on Yelp because only one person reviewed it…psssshhh.” And you’re right, but I would love for more of you to put up a review on your Melinda Mae products and my customer service. It doesn’t matter if I have corresponded with you via email, met you at a vendor fair or created a custom order for you. I am very open to comments, suggestions and feedback so please do leave a review! Thanks again Nam for setting this up! =)

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As I have been going to more vendor shows and meeting other designers, I am always impressed by the creativity, hard work and dedication that I witness in these designers’ products.  The craftmanship is always extremely detailed. And if you take a moment to think about how much time and energy was put into each product, it truly is inspiring.

I am going to start highlighting some of the amazing independent designers that I meet on the Melinda Mae Handbags blog. The first designer that I am going to feature is a UCSD alumni, Angelina Fong of Angelina Fong Designs! I first met Angelina when I was a student at UCSD and we crossed paths again years later when we found out that we had each started our own business!  Angelina is an awesome person and makes awesome products as well…but don’t take my word for it, let her tell you!

Melinda Mae Handbags (MMH): Please tell the Melinda Mae Handbags blog readers about your background.

Angelina Fong Designs (AFD): My professional background is actually in media. I’ve worked in everything from newspaper to movies to radio. I currently work full time in digital marketing.

MMH: Tell us about your company and your products.

AFD: I started my company back in April of last year and my focus is on handmade accessories, art and home decor.

MMH: What made you decide to turn your hobby into a business?

AFD: It actually came about more by accident than out of careful planning. I’d been making handmade items for myself and as gifts to friends and family for years. People always told me “you could totally sell this!”  but I always thought they were just being nice. To my surprise, around March of last year, I actually started to receive requests to buy my handmade items (mostly from coworkers and friends) and it just took off from there.

MMH: What inspires you and keeps you motivated?

AFD: As you can see, a lot of my designs and patterns are Asian-influenced. I’m very inspired by the Asian Arts. I also find a lot of inspiration for my work in nature and all the amazing colors and textures She has to offer, as well as jazz music.What keeps me motivated is the dream of one day being able to quit my day job and pursue AFD full time! But on a daily basis, what really keeps me going is the satisfaction I feel each time I finish another beautiful design and the positive reactions of my customers.

MMH: How do you decide on which fabrics to use?

AFD: This is a tough one. It’s really just a matter of my personal taste. Everything I make is something that I would want for myself and that’s how I go about choosing fabrics. I tend to be drawn towards colorful patterns. Again, I’m also drawn towards Asian-inspired prints, but also more simplistic, contemporary prints.

MMH: Where can people go to buy your fabulous products?

AFD: and at Modern Mouse at the Alameda Towne Center.

MMH: What special offers do you have for MMH blog readers?

AFD: I’d like to offer an exclusive 10% discount to all your readers with code: MELINDA-MAE at checkout. On top of that, I’d also love to give away one of my Tadashi Zip Pouches– one of my most popular designs. To be entered in the give-away, please visit and leave a comment on this blog post on which is your favorite AFD product by Friday, February 25th!

Angelina Fong Designs Tadashi Zip Pouch

Thanks Angelina for offering a discount and give-away to MMH readers! Thank you for also taking the time to introduce yourself and your products. You are truly talented and I wish you great success! Okay folks! Don’t forget to leave a comment about your favorite AFD product by 2/25 and be entered to win the Tadashi Zip Pouch!

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UCSD Winner Announced!

Thank you to those UCSD students and alumni who joined the Melinda Mae Facebook Fanpage! As promised, I told you that those of you who joined by Valentine’s Day would be entered into a raffle for a Melinda Mae small handbag! And the winner is…Janice Lew! Congrats Janice! Just email your mailing address to me at or send me a message on Facebook! And here is Janice’s winning prize!

Melinda Mae Tokyo Small Handbag

Congrats Janice!

Thanks again to all of those for joining the Melinda Mae Facebook Fanpage! Look forward to more give-aways and discounts!

Calling all UCSD students and alum!

Thank you again to UCSD’s Fashion Quarterly magazine for featuring Melinda Mae handbags!  I wanted to remind you that I am still offering a 15% discount to all UCSD students and Alumni! Just use the code “UCSDFQ” when you purchase on my site,, to receive the 15% discount on your entire purchase. This offer ends on Sunday, February 14th!

I am also doing a raffle for a small Melinda Mae handbag for any UCSD students or alumni that join the Melinda Mae Facebook Fanpage at All you have to do is leave a comment that says you are a UCSD student or alumni by February 14th and you are automatically entered into the raffle for the small Melinda Mae handbag! If you are already a Melinda Mae fan, just leave a comment and show me your UCSD pride! Here is the Melinda Mae small handbag that you can win!!

Melinda Mae Tokyo Small Handbag

Leave a comment on the Melinda Mae Facebook Fanpage by 2/14!

I’ll also be doing some future posts about UCSD and featuring a UCSD alumni designer! Look out for more contests!

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Make It Work!

Project Runway Season 7 started on Lifetime a couple weeks ago and I am really impressed by all of the designers this season. It started with 16 incredibly talented designers, 2 of which are from the San Francisco Bay Area! My favorites are Amy who lives in Oakland and Seth Aaron that lives in San Diego!  Amy’s style is very fun, flirty and feminine. She rocked the 2nd challenge which was to make a cocktail dress out of a potato sack. Here are links to see photos of Amy and Seth Aaron’s work from the first 2 challenges:

Challenge 1:

Challenge 2:

Seth Aaron has a rocker style with a very youthful vibe. I like how modern his style is and it reminds me a little bit of Jeffrey Sebelia, Season 3 winner.

Challenge 1:

Challenge 2:

Challenge #3 was a team challenge, which I don’t really care for since you can’t see each designer’s creativity and strengths. Tim and Heidi are back along with Nina Garcia and Michael Kors.  I still love Tim Gunn, who is always so honest and helpful with his critiques. When are the designers going to learn that they will always do well if they follow Tim’s advice? Project Runway is back in NY and it’s definitely better than LA. Backdrops of Times Square, Bryant Park and Central Park are definitely much more exciting than the busy LA freeway shots.

This is the 2nd season that Lifetime is also running “Models of the Runway”, a reality show of the models of Project Runway and the drama that they endure with their designers. I only watched a couple episodes and gave up on it since I never really knew why the models of Project Runway also win if their designer wins. Oh well…

Well I definitely recommend watching this season of Project Runway. I think the creations this season are fashion forward and much more creative than past seasons. Don’t miss Challenge 4 of Thursday night on Lifetime!

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