Thursday, December 31, 2015

Small But Perfectly Formed

This bag has got to be the cutest and prettiest Mulberry I have ever owned: A Kelly. In a mini version. In printed black leather. And since it's New Year's Eve, I thought this would be just the perfect time to present this little black bag. Not that you will have enough time to get one for tonight but if you like the idea of a Kelly and don't mind to reduce your stuff to fit a small bag, you could do a lot worse than find one of these for your nights out!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Outfit Roundup 2015 - And The Winner Is

I have to admit that since having had little M, getting dressed for work in the morning had somewhat lost its appeal
  1. Being on maternity leave for 9 months, meant I simply was out of practice and stuck in a "jeans and jumper" rut
  2. Starting back to work and dry-clean only dresses when the first stomach bug hit, was a bit of a wake-up call. I now needed outfits that were smart enough for work but practical enough not to be ruined by any possible spit up/unspeakable accident.
  3. Financial priorities have somewhat changed. I suddenly don't think it's entirely reasonable to spend £250 on a dress, which I wear a couple of times
Granted, all of the above happened around the beginning of 2014 but re-discovering my blog this year has made me think about it all a bit more consciously. So I thought I'd have a look at my favourite and best value for money pieces of 2015

Most Loved Separate: Boden Modern Pencil

I bought the neutral one end of SS14 and it had been lingering in the back of my wardrobe. The botanical and retro print one joined from SS15, made me re-discover the shape and I think this has to be the most worn style in my entire wardrobe!

Most worn Accessories: Zara chunky bi-colour necklace and Marni @ H&M flower necklace

I just couldn't decide between these two... I am not big on doing lots of accessories, so I tend to wear one piece that's chunky enough to be noticed. These two are complete no-brainers: colours that make them go with anything and a length that works with most necklines.

Most Dependable Item: Boden Cropped Cashmere Cardigan

A close call between one of my cropped jumpers and this one, I feel like a bit of a cheat, chosing another Boden piece, but this cardigan truly goes with everything. Be it casual with jeans or smart with a dress or skirt, I chuck it on whenever I want an extra layer for warmth. The fact that it contains cashmere, means it keeps me snuggly warm without being bulky and it's length doesn't interfere with any waistlines.

Which item is your winner for 2015 and do you think you'll continue to wear it in 2016?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas and Handbags

In Germany the main Christmas "event" happens on 24th December in the evening. That's when the whole family gets together, the Weihnachtsmann or the Christkind bring presents, some people go to church... So, I will be with my family tonight and thought I'd just post you all some warm Christmas wishes, links to my top 5 handbag posts - and some pretty bag shots...

Top 5

5. Tea and Bags - An interview with one of my handbag gurus, the lovely Aqila of Papillonkia.
4. Real or Fake - How to find out whether that designer handbag is the real deal.
3. Buying preloved Mulberry on Facebook - Where to find some Mulberry for a fraction of the usual price.
2. New Mulberry at discounted prices - Where to find that new Mulberry bag for less than the RRP. 
1. With a little help from SAMORGA - Introduce your Alexa to some structure.

And now the gratuitous bag pics, as promised!

 My two most used bags: Mulberry Alexa and Alexa Mini

 Just love this shot of the Mulberry Kelly in Teak Nile Leather

Some little and large shots with Mulberry Bayswater, Ledbury, del Rey, small del Rey, Alexa, Alexa Mini, Roxanne and Blenheim.

And one of my most treasured bags: my medium Mulberry Kelly.

Have a fabulous Christmas - or if you're not celebrating Christmas but maybe having a few days off, have a lovely holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Last Days Of Formal

I have now finished my job for this year and last week I was only in the office for a couple of days, hence only two dressy outfits. I am starting a new job mid January so until then things are going to be rather casual - so I'm not sure whether I'll bother sharing the outfits on here. We shall see...

Dress: Reiss
Boots: LK Bennett
Necklace: Topshop

Top: Boden
Skirt: Topshop
Boots: LK Bennett
Necklace: Monsoon (?)

Jumper: Fat Face
Top underneath: Primark
Jeans: Next
Boots: Kurt Geiger

Monday, December 21, 2015

Covet - Discipline

The year is coming to an end and that's usually a good time to take stock, evaluate and make new plans. I am not a big goal setter. I aim more to be happy in general. Try to let the niggles get to me less. And appreciate the little things that bring a smile to my face. 

However, new year's resolutions are pretty common even to people who normally don't do formal goal setting. Also, since I started using a journal/planner every day, I find I want to track more what I do and there is nothing quite like putting a big tick next to something you achieved. And if you regularly read my blog, you might have seen my resolutions that were supposed to give me a bit more time to do the stuff I love. So before I select a new set of goals for 2016, I thought I'd better have a look on how I did on these. (The very fact, that I need to look them up, is a big clue. Hm.)

1. Get up 10 minutes earlier every morning

Yeah right. If anything that's been worse. Due to coughs, colds and too late bedtimes (yes, we'll get to these later), I just haven't slept enough, which meant peeling myself out of bed was really hard. I feel really guilty though as little M needs some extra cuddles in the morning and if he doesn't get them is mega grumpy and not very cooperative. If he gets a few minutes of me for a chat and a cuddle, he is happy enough to get ready and get going. As I am due to start a new job in the new year, I have the best motivation to get this sorted though. So much nicer not having to run for the train and getting to the office a bit less dishevelled. 
Verdict: Fail

2. Get my Filofax sorted

Not only did I fully move into my DIYFish inserts, I used them for a couple of months in my Filofax and then moved into the same version of inserts but in Fieldnote sized booklets form for my Naked Cow Fauxori. I loved the size and bound pages so much that I am still in the Fauxdori but as I wanted something with more flexibility I am now using a Bullet Journal system.
So in a way I did get my Filofax sorted.  However, I have also ordered a full Traveller's Notebook sized van der Spek Nomad. I intend to use it for work and collections - but it may well throw a spanner into my recently achieved "planner peace".
Verdict: (temporary) Pass

3. Go to bed earlier, aim to be tucked in by 23:00

Yes. Right. I don't know how other people are doing it but by the time little M is in bed and we have eaten (huge thanks here to Mr G, who does all the cooking), it's around 21:00. I then try to do all my blogging, reading, bujo admin, online shopping etc and before I know it it's 23:00. I just want to do one more thing and before I know it, it's 23:40 - and then I end up going to bed after midnight. 
Verdict: Big Fat Fail

4. Use commuting time more efficiently

Hit and miss. Usually miss. Firstly, I need to have a seat and space to move my arms to get my diary out of my bag. Secondly, I need to be awake. Not going to bed early enough and running around like an idiot in the morning to catch that train usually means my brain is taking some time out before we reach the office and/or I douse it in caffeine.
Verdict: Fail

5. Make proper plans for the weekend

Whilst we haven't been out every weekend, I have managed to do some fun things with little M. He hugely enjoyed cutting apples for the apple compote I made. Or watching an old Disney movie whilst snuggling up to me. Point is: I have made a conscious effort to spend quality time with him and whilst I will always wish there was more of it, I am happy with where we are so far.
Verdict: Pass

Total score: (just about) 2/5

Ok. Not great. I think the main aim has got to be get a better balance in terms of sleep and "stuff to do in the evening". Theoretically that should help me with 1, 3 and 4!

Do you set goals? Or make new year's resolutions? Let me know. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

How to Care For Mulberry Printed Leather

Many of you clearly know that I have a bit of a thing for Mulberry printed leather and I received lots of questions about how to maintain it. Spending a few hundred pounds on a bag means you will want to protect your investment and I totally understand how you might be nervous about this initially. Smearing a load of stuff on it can be a bit unnerving but as long as you follow Mulberry's recommendation as to which product to use, you'll be absolutely fine. If you are unsure at all, check with them!

Mulberry tend to recommend Collonil Leather Gel for cleaning and protecting the leather. You can even buy it directly from Mulberry, though at £8 for 50ml, it is fairly expensive compared to £14.90 for 230ml. I will link to all items used in my video below.

Shopping List

Collonil Leather Gel, £14.90 for 230ml with free delivery
Collonil Waterstop Spray, £6.37 with free delivery
Collonil Suede Brush, £6 with free delivery 
Shoe Brush Set, £1.51 with free delivery

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Getting Cold Out There

The temperatures plummeted and I dug up some knits and woolly separates. Oh, and a dress I had completely forgotten about.

Top: LaRedoute
Skirt: Topshop
Boots: LK Bennett
Necklace: Marni at H&M

Sweatshirt: Zara
Skirt: Boden
Boots: LK Bennett

Jumper: Primark
Skirt: All Saints
Boots: LK Bennett

Dress: Jesire
Boots: LK Bennett
Necklace: Topshop
Jumper: Boden
Jeans: H&M
Boots: Kurt Geiger
Scarf: Next

Monday, December 14, 2015

Covet Monday - On The Hunt For My Nomad

As you might know, I moved from my Personal Filofax into a Field Note sized Naked Cow Fauxdori around 2 months ago. More recently than that, I changed my "system" and now loosely follow a Bullet Journal style, in which I am about to finish my first insert. 

I still really like the size and it was perfect to start off as it is not only utterly portable but also completely undaunting for somebody who hasn't really written much of a diary or journal before. No big scary expanse of paper. I now think though that I'd like a larger format to house my longer term collection and also to add an insert for my to dos and work notes as I am about to start a new job. I know, I'm really just justifying acquiring a regular size cover but given that it's a big birthday soon and Mr G. wants to get me something special, I think that's quite alright?

I was dithering between the Gillio Giramondo, a Pelledori (both of which I discovered a while ago) and a Van der Spek Nomad. The fact that you can fully customize this cover finally pushed me towards the Nomad and I am now in the process of selecting a suitable leather with the help of Petra Van der Spek.

Custom Made Nomad
As I am such a sucker for printed leather, my hope is to find a piece of black croco. Fingers crossed and watch this space!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Real Or Fake?

So you've found that bag you have been lusting after for a while. You were quite hesitant at first because you found it somewhere where fakes aren't uncommon but now you've taken the plunge. You're buying! What should you do?

Pay by Paypal Goods and Services
Paypal protects you for up to 180 days after purchase against the case that an item is not received or not matching its description, e.g. not genuine. I know that Paypal generally tend to come down hard on fakes but I have not had any experience if you were to buy something that was described as "in the style of", so do make sure you read the description carefully or get the seller to confirm first. If a bag is advertised as Mulberry then it has to be a Mulberry. 

Get your bag authenticated
Whilst you can turn to the Purseforum, your knowledgeable friends or various Facebook groups for help on whether a bag is genuine, you will want a professional's judgement once you hold it in your hands. Even if you had the bag authenticated prior to purchase, always take your own pictures and have it authenticated again.

There are a number of paid authentication services available online, all you have to do is type "designer handbag authentication" into google. 

I have always used authenticate4u: they are straightforward, quick to reply and at £5 for a Mulberry authentication, provide great value for money. Lesley will be happy to answer any questions, should you need help and she also runs the Facebook selling group Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Celine, Hermes etc., Buy and Sell as she knows a thing or two about designer handbags. A4U also offer a sourcing service for that impossible to find dream bag.

All you have to do is click on Payment, add the authentication service to the cart and then pay either via Paypal or a debit or credit card. You then simply email all the required photos to and quote your Paypal reference number. 

For Mulberry bags ensure you send pictures showing the following:

Front of bag

Mulberry Alexa in Red Polished Buffalo

Mulberry imprint, front and back of Mulberry fob
Mulberry imprint, front and back of Mulberry fob

Back of fob

Front and back of made in label 

Back of Mulberry Made In Tag

Front of made in label
Do make sure your pictures are well lit and straight on.

Once you've sent off the pictures, you should typically receive a reply within two days, it can take longer during busy times but I also had replies within a couple of hours. You will be supplied with a pdf document that certifies the bag's authenticity - or fake-ness. This will come in handy if you ever want to sell your bag on or, in case of non-authenticity, you need to raise a Paypal claim.

So there you have it: no reason not to buy that bag - go for it! 

This post was selected by the Independent Fashion Blogger's Site as one of their "Links à la Mode"! Do check out the others in the shortlist, I especially love Why the Hell Aren’t You Following Me?
SPONSOR: Amazon's Shopbop findersKEEPERS, 3x1 Jeans, Vince Sweaters, Stone Fox Swim, SALINAS, OYE Swimwear, Black and White Blouses, Statement Jewelry, Evening Gowns, Men's Belber 
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