Monday, 26 August 2013

A fresh start

I need to get out in the countryside and take some time to relax while it's still sunny!
It’s time to start a fresh in my house. Our whole lives have been in disarray recently as we have got really busy at work etc. But we have just got back from holiday and we start again tomorrow. 

For me I have lots I want to get organised, one of these things is my blog. I’ve decided to make this blog more organised and intend to try to create a series of posts, rather than random posts here and there. 

With that in mind I thought I might do a weekly update, probably every Sunday of how our new organised lives are going, particularly my new intentions for my health and beauty regimes. 

So here we go, these are my aims for the next few months:

Get my weight loss back on track. Between July 2012 and April this year I lost two stone in weight, at which point I stopped and intended to maintain my weight. Since then I have put on at least 3 pounds (I say at least because I haven’t weighed myself post-holiday yet!). 

Resume our healthy eating habits. To get my weight back on track I am not going to be dieting per se but will be taking a healthy approach to our food and meal planning to get us organised. 

Relax more. This one is important, I am someone who throws myself completely into my work and my job is currently quite stressful. I need to learn to switch off and take the time I do have off to relax more. More walking, chilling out with a movie and long bubble baths are in order I think. 

To accomplish my goals I think I might need to tackle this a week at a time so here are this week’s goals:

  • Eat healthily this week
  •  Meal plan for the week and go shopping for healthy goodness tomorrow morning. 

Do you ever get to those times when you feel you need a kick-start? What is your best tip for getting back on track?

Keep Well

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Bicester Village Haul - July 2013

This week my mum and I went for a girl's day out to Bicester Village, a discount outlet shopping village in Oxfordshire - north west of London.

Bicester Village has high end designer stores such as Dior, Jimmy Choo, Mulberry, Prada as well as the higher end high street stores such as LK Bennett, Reiss, French Connection and Hobbs. There are some really good bargains to be had and lots of shops to browse.

I really do love the carrier bags...

Today I thought I'd do a simple haul blog post to show you the pieces I picked up and how much I saved at Bicester Village. This will hopefully be useful to some people and give you a good idea of what you can get at Bicester Village, how much you will pay and more importantly how much you will save!!

My first stop was Jaegar. I wanted to purchase a plain white top to wear with skirts for work. I paid £20 reduced from £50.

Staying with clothing I also picked up this jacket from Reiss. The tag had been taken off but I paid £53 reduced from about £150.


In Hobbs I managed to pick up two pairs of court shoes. They are the exact same design, one in a nude colour the other in a patent black. They should have been £165 each but I paid just £50 each.

In DKNY they had a selection of these handbags by the front door at a bargain price of £35, reduced from £130. Unfortunately, the cashier got a new one from their stock room wrapped in plastic and it wasn't until I got home that I realised there was a security tag attached in side.

In Michael Kors I picked up some sunglasses for £59 reduced from £90, which included your choice of either a hard or soft case.

And finally in Mulberry I picked up a Tillie French Purse in silky snake print. I paid £135, it was reduced from £270.

In total I saved over £600 at Bicester Village and picked up some gorgeous pieces at the same time. Of course they do not have current season stock, but I tend to stick to staples when I shop at Bicester Village. There are some bargains to be had and it's a lovely place to shop and have a day out.

Have you picked up any beautiful bargains recently?
Keep well

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Mulberry Somerset Tote

This is the last of my recently acquired handbags, although I'm heading to Bicester Village next week so we shall see how long that lasts.

This is my first Mulberry handbag and because I am a very lucky girl this was a birthday present from my Mum and Dad. I had no idea what my parents had bought me and my mum was quite mean when it came to wrapping - she decided it didn't need wrapping paper as the Mulberry carrier bag was sufficient (I have been obsessed with bags, including carrier bags since I was little!). Instead she put the Mulberry bag inside a giant Primark carrier bag and presented me with that instead.

When I opened it I was so shocked I had no way expected such an amazing gift. My dad, who was in a meeting at the time, got a rather garbled thank you voicemail message as a result!

So here it is, my first ever Mulberry... the Somerset Tote in Pebbled leather in Black.

It is in fact gorgeous. I love the shape because I can match it with a casual jeans and t-shirt but it sits equally well with a suit, blouse and high heels. It has silver hardware, which is fantastic - all my other black handbags have gold detailing. The handles are the right length to wear over your shoulder, even with a coat or suit jacket, or it sits equally comfortably in the crook of your arm.

The size of the bag is brilliant it fits so much in, it isn't quite a big as my Love Moschino (review here), but this is more of a handbag style and throw it all in type bag. It still fits quite a bit, I usually carry my Filofax, Kindle, big LK Bennett purse, my handbag kit, a water bottle, an umbrella, my makeup, my travel and building passes and my keys. It also has an adjustable strap on the sides to provide a bit more room, I have mine set on the middle setting.

The bag also has two pockets, one larger zipped pocket on the inside and one smaller zip pocket on the front of the bag. I haven't really used these yet but I'm sure they will come in useful if I ever use this for travelling, for keeping my passport safe for example.

Although it was a birthday present, I do know the price as it was on the tags which I always keep. My parents purchased this bag at the Mulberry store at Bicester Village at the beginning of April for £385, the original retail price of this bag was £550. This bag is definitely an investment piece, but you can tell the quality of the bag just by looking at it. It is by far the best quality bag I have ever owned and will easily last years. I can see that this will be a bag I hand down one day to my daughter/niece/granddaughter and will tell them how lucky I was to have wonderful parents like mine.

What was your favorite birthday present this year or do you have something on your wishlist?
Keep well

Sunday, 30 June 2013

DKNY Saffiano Quilted Black Tote Bag & Black Card Holder

Today's blog post is about the second of my new bags - a DKNY evening bag and matching purse. For those of you who don't know I am trying to build up a new collection of higher end bags. I decided I wanted to create a good solid collection that can meet all my needs without having to rush out to Primarni to find something for an outfit that evening. In building this collection I decided to use higher end products that would last and could maybe one day be passed onto someone special. Plus I'm enjoying my ever growing collection of dustbags!

When planning for a weekend away that would involve an evening out with friends, I realised I needed a simple evening bag that I could also throw in a suitcase. I wanted a small black bag that I could throw on my shoulder but also use as a clutch. I found the DKNY Saffiano Quilted Black Tote in the House of Fraser near my office.

It has two removable straps which allow you to use it as a clutch, a little shoulder bag and bonus a cross body bag too! Multifunctional items like this one are an excellent way to build up a collection to meet all your needs.

With the shoulder strap the bag fits neatly under my arm and I feel comfortable that the bag is secure, particularly in a overcrowded bar. With the longer strap the bag offers two options either as a long shoulder bag or a cross body bag. I haven't used the bag in these ways yet but I can see that it would come in handy at perhaps a friend's party where you need both hands free for your food and drink or would look elegant with a fancy outfit for a night out at the theatre perhaps.

The design is simple and elegant. The plain but beautiful black means it will go with everything and the gold hardware is a kind of muted colour, meaning I think you could get away with wearing this with silver jewellery without it being too obviously mismatched.There is a small DKNY logo on the front which is far from in your face but a quick designer name drop if you like that kind of thing (yes I admit I do!). The attached DKNY key chain is a bit more obvious but this is removable.

The size of the bag is just what you would expect from an evening bag with ample room inside for your evening necessities. To make a bit more room for myself I picked up the matching DKNY Saffiano Black Card Holder, also from House of Fraser, to use on evenings out. It can hold up to 5 cards and some cash - I carry my ID, a debit and credit card plus some cash and it all fits in fine. The clear card holder on the back is a great place to fit your ID so you can easily flash it if needed (an occasion that is happening less frequently for me now - not sure if this is good (less hassle) or bad (I'm looking older)). It's also nice to carry a matching purse and bag set.

Other than the purse I can fit my keys, my travel pass, a lipstick, powder and mascara. Not sure you need much else on a night out so it's a perfect fit. There is also a slip pocket on the back but I haven't really found a use for this yet.

Finally the price was not cheap but nor was it astronomically expensive. The handbag cost £89 and the purse £35. Whilst there are cheaper evening bags in the shops, I think this has the added benefit of having multiple options for wearing it. The bag also feels and is good quality and will definitely last for many years.

Do you have a go to bag for a night out or do you prefer to find a new one for each outfit?
Keep well

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Love Moschino Bowling Bag

As promised here is the first of my new bag reviews. I'm starting with my Love Moschino bowling bag, I'm not sure of the exact name and I can't find it on House of Fraser at the moment but I'm sure many of you have seen this bag before.

Who doesn't love a bag that comes with it's own bag?

I bought this bag back in the January sales at House of Fraser. I believe I paid about £100 for it, getting maybe 30% off but I'm sorry I can't remember exactly.

I was looking for a work friendly bag, that could fit quite a bit in but was not too laptop case/brief case in style.

I am very pleased with this find. In terms of room, you could not ask for much more from a handbag. On an average day I carry my A4 notepad, my work pass, my keys, my travel card, my filofax, my make up bag, my emergencies kit (a handbag kit filled with everything I need day to day), my phone, my kindle, my large purse, a pair of heels (I commute in flats), my lunch, a drink, a can of red bull, sometimes a cardigan and the kitchen sink (just kidding!).

Size wise it really is the perfect bag for carrying lots of everyday items, but not so many that you feel justified or bothered to take an extra tote. I have also used this bag on a weekend away as my handbag carrying my Nexus 10 and keyboard, some work to do on the train, snacks for the journey, a scarf to keep warm and my regular handbag junk.

There are three useful pocket spaces in this bag; the main one on the front which is really useful for items you need to grab quickly - I normally keep my keys, building and travel passes, keys and lip balm in here. There is a zip pocket on the inside to keep things secure which is quite roomy and a narrow pockets in front of it which can keep cards, tissues or make up items.

The only downside of all this room is that I have a tendency to overload it making it quite heavy. This can cause the chain straps to dig into your shoulder which is a bit uncomfortable, but this is only a problem when I carry too much heavy stuff.

Other than that I really like the gold hardware and details on this bag. The logo and lock on the front tab are secure but easy to undo. I keep my work and travel pass in the front pocket and they're always really easy to grab, especially when I'm in a hurry.

I really like the look of the bag too. The black and gold is a classic combination that goes with everything. The sleek and understated look is perfect for work whilst avoiding being a boring choice. It looks and is functional, but is pretty too. I get several compliments on this bag, in fact I've had two in just the last week and its always nice to feel validated!

What do you think? Have you tried any Love Moschino bags or are they're others that you think are great for work?

Keep well!

Quick update upon return

Howdy there! I know, I know a very long time since I last posted. I have had a super busy start to the year with work, some professional exams, a leak in my ceiling and a break in! But alas, I have finally found a spot of time to start blogging again. (Although I am meant to be going for Sunday lunch in 45 min, probably should get dressed!)

For now I thought I would just post to say Hi, I'm back and I've re-jigged my blog. I'm quite proud of it now, I think it looks simple and pretty.

So  I have a lot of purchases to update you on, mainly handbags including Love Moschino, DKNY and, wait for it..... Mulberry!!! I also have some new shoes from LK Bennett. Look out for some posts and reviews on these coming up shortly. I'm going to Bicester Village next week, so hopefully some more exciting finds coming soon.

Is it only me who gets equally excited by the carrier bag...?

Btw, when adding the links to this page I have spotted some amazing sales which are worth checking out: I'm off to start shopping!

Hope you are all keeping well!
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