Update for A Frye Campus Tote Organizer & Irma’s Knocking On My Door

Welcome to the 450th Metamorphosis Monday!

I’m putting this post up early (Sunday evening) in case we lose power in the morning, compliments of Hurricane Irma. The bathtub is full of water, have plenty of bottled water, groceries, lanterns, batteries, phone back-up batteries and other supplies. The latest forecast for Atlanta shows tropical storm force winds of 30-45 mph with gusts to 55 mph starting Monday afternoon and going through Tuesday morning. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Hopefully it won’t bring down any trees or produce any tornadoes.

I’ve brought in all the lamps from the porch and the bottles from the bottle tree. They were all in need of a wash so this was a good time to get that done.


I also brought in all the chairs that are normally around the dining table. I wasn’t sure if they were light enough to get blown around or not, so figured I’d better bring them in. I hope the patio furniture chairs are heavy enough. They are metal and they feel quite heavy, so I didn’t try to do anything with those.


Wasn’t sure if it was necessary or not, but I brought in the benches from the front porch. This photo is from last year, but I had already hung up my fall wreath. I took it down, too.


Here’s where they’ll stay until what’s left of Irma passes on through.


Thank you so much for all the awesome suggestions you left in the comments on my previous post. I have followed many of them, including ordering the American Red Cross Blackout Buddy. I already have some similar lights that come on automatically when the electricity goes out, but the ones I have only stayed on for a hour or two. These last much longer–for many hours. I like that!

Mine probably won’t arrive in time for this storm since they are scheduled for delivery tomorrow, and I doubt Amazon will be making any deliveries tomorrow, but they will be great any time the electricity goes out in the future. You can read more about these where I purchased mine here: Blackout Buddy. I purchased two sets so I’ll have one on every level of my home.


Another suggestion that I followed was placing important papers/documents inside a plastic zip-lock bag, to prevent those from getting wet. I don’t expect the roof of my home to get ripped off since the winds won’t be strong enough for that, but I do worry about one of the big trees in my yard falling atop the house and rain getting inside.

Thanks again for all the excellent suggestions you left in that previous post. If you haven’t read the comments on that post, I definitely recommend taking time to do that if you can. The suggestions were so helpful and they came from BNOTP readers who have been through these type storms many times. Definitely worth a read!

You’ll find that previous post here: How I’ve Prepared for Hurricane Irma.

A Small Before and After

A while back I purchased Frye totes in different colors: Saddle and Walnut.

Frye Shopper Tote, Walnut and Saddle Color


Shortly after purchasing the totes, I purchased two organizers to go inside. The totes are approximately 14 inches long and 5 inches wide. After spending hours online trying to find an insert that was made of stiff felt (didn’t want a floppy organizer) and was the exact size needed for the totes, I finally ended up ordering this one shown below. It was the closest I could find to the size of the Frye tote.

I ordered it in two different colors–this light brown color…Tote Bag Organizer for Frye Bag

…and this darker brown.Bag Organizer, Brown



This is how the light brown organizer looked inside one of the bags. The fit is not bad but it was bugging me that it was approximately 1-1/2 to 2 inches wider than the bag itself.

Note: This organizer comes with an insert that divides the middle up into different sections. I removed it as soon as it came since I wanted that part to be open for larger items. I do enjoy using the various pockets that are on the inside and outside of the organizer, just prefer to keep the center open for larger items.

Travel with a Frye Campus Shpoper Tote Bag


Since it was bugging me that it wasn’t the perfect width for the Frye tote, I decided to see if a tailor I’ve taken clothes to over the years, could reduce the width. I would have attempted it myself, but I didn’t think my sewing machine would sew through the felt. It’s quite thick/heavy-duty.

I took the dark brown organizer to her first, this was before I left on my trip to Ireland. She did a great job and you can see the difference between the two organizers in this photo below.


Once I was back from Ireland, I took the other organizer to her, too. In this photo, they have both been reduced in width.


An Adjustment: When she first reduced the width of the brown organizer, she had the outer seams on the ends stitched where they pointed to the outside. That didn’t work very well inside the bag because the seam made the end panels of the bag protrude outward giving it an odd shape. It just didn’t look right.

I took it back to her and showed her the issue. She got it immediately and changed it to where the seams pointed inward into the organizer itself. So now, when the organizers are inside the bag, the end panels of the bag lay nice and flat.


Here’s how they look down inside the bag. I love having an insert inside a tote bag because not only does it give the bag support and help it to hold its shape, it protects the interior from pen marks, lipstick and other stains.


The cost for her to change the width was $15 per insert, totally worth it to get it exactly the way I wanted it.

In case you’re wondering, Frye doesn’t make an insert for this bag. I called to ask about that and suggested it would be a really good idea if they did. There’s not a doubt in my mind that they would sell like crazy. I’m sure a lot of their customers would buy them at the same time they are buying the tote.

They thanked me for the suggestion and said they get some of their best ideas for new products from their customers. I also thanked them for being one of the few companies that hasn’t compromised on the quality of their products. Really love their bags!


You’ll find the organizer I purchased here: Organizer Insert for Tote Bag. It comes in several sizes and the size I purchased and had reduced in width was the X-Large size.

The Frye Campus Tote is getting very hard to find now. I think it has been discontinued since it’s been out for several years. I found some here for around the same price as what I paid: Frye Campus Tote. I love the yellow one, too! Arggg, would buy this tote in every color, if I could!


Okay, I’m going to put this post up now while I still have power. I can hear the wind in the trees outside, things are starting to get breezy. Wish me well tomorrow when Irma comes knocking on my door! I have a feeling I’ll be in the basement much of the day, maybe working on a puzzle and reading if I can concentrate enough to do that.

Monday Update: Some good news: the forecast is looking better this morning. It doesn’t appear that Irma will have near as much power as had been forecasted by the time she reaches our area. There’s still a “Tropical Storm Warning” out with expected squalls, but it looks like the winds are expected to be around 35-37 mph. That’s definitely better than 55!

I haven’t had the heart to bring in the bird feeders because the birds have been all over them this morning. I should probably do that before this afternoon, though–when the winds will be picking up significantly.

Pssst: I post almost daily to Instagram. Follow Between Naps on the Porch on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch.

Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

Metamorphosis Monday

Metamorphosis Monday is a party that’s all about Before and Afters. If you are participating in Met Monday, please link up using the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address.

To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

Please observe these few rules:

Please link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, decorating, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, fashion or DIY related.

Be sure to include a link back to the party in your post, so your readers will be able to find and visit the other bloggers who are participating.

Do not link up to the party if you’re doing so to promote or sell a product.

To those who are linking up: If you notice a shop or store linking up to sell products (yes, unfortunately that does happen) please let me know so I can remove their link from the party. No one wants to click a link expecting a Before and After, only to find a spam link to an online business/store.

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  1. Six years ago a tornado came through and our electric went out for the night. I had my two grandchildren here at the time. I didn’t want to light to many candles with a two year old here. I noticed our solar yard lights were bright and I went outside and collect as many as I could carry. I put them in the bathrooms and on the stairs. The lights lasted through the night. I still keep one in my kitchen window. Be safe. Prayers for all in the path of Irma.

  2. Ginger Perkins says

    Stay dry! Aren’t those totes heavy? That looks like thick leather but would be good for travel. I have to find posts about your bottle tree. I’d like an iron worker here make me one. Hope your power stays on.

  3. Susan,
    I hope you are not alone during this frightening time. Prayers fir your protection and safety. Sounds like you are ready to
    Take “big Irma” on. God bless you.
    Ann ❤️

  4. Over the winter months, there’s a chance we’ll lose power during the storms. Being on a well and septic, you need to be resourceful. I used to fill my bathtub too, but never liked discarding all that water after the crisis was over. Now, I fill my washing machine, then I can run a load if the water isn’t used during the power outage.

    • That’s a great idea! I was thinking about what I’d do with the water. It’s in my guest bath tub so I’m just going to use it to water my outdoor potted plants. They will be outside for a couple more months.

  5. Cyndi Raines says

    Prayers for you and my extended family , aunts and cousins in Georgia and Florida. Stay safe sweet lady!

  6. Sherry Stuifbergen says

    I am curious about your bottle tree? Could you repost that some time? I have a blue bottle tree too. It was an apple three that died. I totally covered it with blue bottles and a wisteria now climbs its branches. It looks like it came back to life.

  7. Sue in Texas says

    I saw a great idea after Hurricane Harvey here in Texas. This person said to put important papers, photos, etc in the dishwasher. It’s watertight and attached to the cabinets. Who would’ve thunk it?!

  8. Elizabeth Roderick says

    Praying that all goes well…another safe place for pictures etc is in the dishwasher.

  9. I recently saw a suggestion to empty your dishwasher and place important documents and pictures in there, in case of flooding, it’s water tight.
    Dryer might also make a good secure place. Good luck, stay safe.

  10. Susan, I hope you don’t have any damage from the storm and hope you continue to have power. Stay safe!

  11. Hope that all goes well Susan and you remain safe.

  12. Deena Salvatore says

    We’ll be thinking of you here in the northeast Susan. Stay safe. God bless.

  13. Love the reader tips. Stay safe.

  14. I hope Irma continues to weaken, we have been trying to figure out the best place in Alabama to be all week! Your attention to detail and perfection continues to amaze me…

  15. Thanks so much for the party each week!!

  16. Firstly Susan, my thoughts will be with you today that you will remain safe. Re the tote organizer; so glad that the alterations worked. Recall a number of years ago when my son was studying Haute Couture he required the supply of drawing inks used for his illustrations that required a carrying case of some kind. Long story short; I came up with the idea of using a soft sided insulated (cooler type) zippered lunch bag and with the help of a hot glue gun and ‘dense foam’, created stacked level partitions for the bottles which served the purpose of easy transportation without the concern of damage/leakage. Just thought I would share it with you as the concept of using a liner within a tote, kind of reminded me of it. -Brenda-
    P.S.: The foam I used was that of a camping ground sheet as ‘craft foam’ at that time was unavailable but it worked like a charm. (If I recall correctly, though rigid it wasn’t all that thick and was blue in colour.)

  17. Susan,

    You and your family, hunker down and be safe!

  18. I hope Irma just passed you right by, Susan. Please take care and be safe…and I agree with Rita, lots of great reader tips here. 🙂

  19. Being thinking of you since I saw the switch in Irma’s path. You’re as prepared as you can be. We’ll all have you in our thoughts, Susan. Take care!!

  20. Even though Irma is quickly down-grading, you are wise to not ignore it. I too hope you have company in the worst of it though.

  21. Your birds know something is not right in the atmosphere, so they are overeating and bulking up in weight as a way to survive whatever is coming, just as you have planned and stocked up for your survival. We are all part of nature and it is shown to us if we only take the time to look.

  22. rattlebridge farm says

    We’re anticipating strong winds, too, and I’m gathering projectiles. I hope Hurricane Jose blows out to sea!

  23. Looks like you are all prepared!!! One suggestion…turn the table upside down and place something with some weight in between the legs…anything with height tends to fall over and catch in the wind…Thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of Irma’s wrath….My Florida families have not power but they are safe and sound. Stay safe Susan and thanks for hosting!
    P.S. I have a similar leather tote and love that organizer!!

  24. I think you are as prepared as you possibly can be. I’m putting lots of yard art in the garage and moving my porch furniture, too. Even though here in TN. I don’t think we’ll get the high winds that Atlanta will.
    Oh, I did order the lanterns from Amazon you mentioned the other day, too.
    Stay safe, Susan.

  25. Hope you don’t have any problems in Atlanta. I am just south of Birmingham, Alabama and our schools are out for 2 days here. Fortunately I can work from home and my husband is retired so we have fixed enough food for a couple of days and are staying in till it dries out around here. So far just a gentle rain but we expect it to pick up after lunch today. Stay safe and thanks for posting all these items for use during a power outage. I have the lanterns and will be ordering blackout buddies for us and for my mom.

  26. Iris McCloud says

    I didn’t take the time to read your whole article yet. I just saw some of the pictures and wanted to make sure that your porch swing is secured. You may mentioned this or already have taken care of it. I just worried that it could be dangerous if it were to be torn loose. Good Luck. With the prep that you have done you should be fine.

    • Thanks, Iris! I wedged it between the settee and a very heavy ceramic garden stool, so I think it will stay put. I was worried about that, too. If the winds had been in the 80 mph range like they first predicted, not sure that would have been enough, though.

  27. martha murphy says

    Hope all turns out well for you Susan. My family and friends were all blessed to survive Harvey here in Houston but one block over from me flooded. Heartbreaking but all are OK. We don’t have basements here and the thought of heavy rain and being in a basement scares me but I know people are used to them and take precautions. Best of luck and sending prayers.

  28. Bobbi Duncan says

    So glad you are well prepared and that the winds have died down. Keeping you in my thoughts. I love the tote organizer idea. I’ve only purchased a couple of totes over my lifetime because I hate everything just thrown into my bags whereby I have to dig through so much just to get to one article needed. Thanks for always sharing your great finds. Hugs!

  29. be safe. thinking about you and hoping that irmma has weakened and slowed down when she reaches you. xo- maryjo

  30. Just went through Miss Irma last night and she was bigger and badder than we expected, especially since she had moved from our coast to the west coast. Lots of wind and rain, but thankfully we only had broken branches in the garden.

    A big thank you to the best weather team on the Treasure Coast – News Channel 5, headed up by Steve Weagle. They are the best and kept us informed throughout the entire process.

    Stay safe and I love your beautiful, creative blog.

  31. Hi Susan, I sure hope you and yours are fairing okay in the aftermath. This is my first time joining in on Metamorphosis Monday, and I’m looking forward to checking out some links.

  32. This is off the subject, but has your friend Marie decorated her lovely porch for Fall yet? Will you be able to show pictures?

  33. I would love to have the number for your tailor. I have a Talbots raincoat that has a pleat in the back that I didn’t realize was there when I bought the coat. Once I took the threads out it is too full in the back and I thought that someone could alter it. I think that you may have the same coat, pink with blue and white check lining. Thank you for your blog, it is always enjoyable!

  34. I’ve been thinking of you as I’ve watched the news concerning Irma coming your way in Atlanta. I am hoping you came through the storm with no or minimal damage! Thoughts and prayers!

    • Thanks, Linda! I think there were a lot of trees down around Atlanta but our neighborhood seems to have come out okay. We didn’t lose power, although the lights flickered a few times. We were really lucky!

  35. Oh Susan,
    I have just read your reply to Linda, so glad you’re safe and sound and your house and neighborhood didn’t get damaged!
    I read beast Irma has subsided, thank heaven!
    But yet, prayers for everyone who’s been affected by Irma and may have lost beloved ones or his house. 🙁

  36. Susan, with the direction change, Erma came right over us in FL at 2:15 AM. My least favorite words are “outer wind bands” Thankfully, I didn’t have damage because of the south to north winds. Lot of trees down here. One of the best ideas I came up with (because supplies flew off the shelves here) was using strings of LED Christmas lights that were battery operated.
    I wrapped one string around the shower rod and another across the top of my kitchen cabinets, another one I left bunched up in a cluster. They worked great and inexpensive. Remember- you can never have too many batteries. I lost power late Sunday evening and they came back on today about 11:30 AM. Just grateful it’s over.

  37. Debra Robbins says

    Recently came across a website for Lo & Sons and thought you might want to take a look. Their tote bags have interchangeable OUTER shells…don’t have to change out everything inside, just change out another shell [available for purchase separately].

  38. Hi, Susan,
    I purchased that same handbag organizer a couple of months ago. I like all the pockets, but I’ve found that the velcro inside doesn’t hold the center section securely. Many items end up in a pile on the bottom of the organizer under the center section. Ugh! I hope you’re not having this problem.

    • No, I don’t use the inside insert. I knew when I ordered mine that I wouldn’t use that part since I planned to keep the inside open for large items like my laptop, books, etc… I used a seam ripper to completely remove the velcro from one of my inserts, still need to do that on the other one since it doesn’t need to be there. I almost threw away the inserts the other day since I don’t use them. I do use the inserts that are around the outer edge on the inside and outside of the organizer. And I like that it supports the bag and helps keep it clean. That’s a shame that it’s doing that.
      Some YouTubers that I watch like the Samorga inserts for their handbags, but I hear they are expensive.
      Okay, I just looked at their website http://samorga.com/and the prices don’t look that bad to me…looks like they are having a sale. You may want to email them and ask if the inside pockets on their organizers are attached to the organizer at the bottom. That would drive me crazy too…having stuff slipping out from underneath…totally defeats the purpose of having the center section.

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