Thursday, March 31, 2016

Planner Update - I'm a Bullet Journal Convert

I've been meaning forever to give an update on my planner

So I had moved into my NakedCow Fauxdori, using self-printed inserts from DIY Fish. I loved the small format and the portability that came with it. I really enjoyed many aspects of the inserts but others simply didn't work for me. The main issue I found was that on some days I had way too much space and on others, even though the layout was the same, I had not enough to write to fill the pages. I needed a more flexible layout.

That's when I came across the concept of the Bullet Journal. I'm not going explain what exactly it is or how it works, as the inventor Ryder Carroll does it so much better but I'm just going to say that it is totally customisable and ultimately can be whatever you want it to be. I am also going to give you a quick flick through of my first two months on this system. Ok, so I started in November. Yes, it took me rather a while to write this up. But I am still doing it!

The Cover is from Naked Cow
The inserts are from Clairefontaine
The pen is a Pilot Coleto, some parts bought on eBay, some on Amazon

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Late Late Winter Outfit Roundup

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I usually blog my outfit roundup the week after I posted them there - and yes, I'm a week late with these...

Dress: Intropia
Top worn underneath: H&M
Boots: LK Bennett

Dress & Boots: Zara
Necklace: Stella & Dot

Jumper: Boden
Skirt: All Saints
Boots: LK Bennett
Bag: Mulberry

Dress: OtherStories
Top worn underneath: H&M
Boots: Zara

Jumper & Boots: Zara
Skirt: Warehouse
Scarf: Next

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Another Nude Hobo

No, you haven't seen this review already. Really, I ought to have posted it another week a little bit away from the Mulberry Soho Hobo review from last week but the truth is that I had a rubbish week and didn't find the energy to write up anything else. 

So this is *not* the second showing of the Soho Hobo but the first showing of the Somerset Hobo. A very similar shape - and both in a neutral/nude tone, I'd absolutely forgive if you're having a bit of a deja-vu.

Either way, I hope you'll find it useful!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Lovable Rogue

I've been laid up with the flu all weekend and my head still feels like it's full of cotton wool. No big write up today but I have been coveting this bag for a while now and didn't want to wait any longer.

Coach haven't really been on my radar. I sort of passed by them, be it in Selfridges or in the outlet as nothing stood out to me. I can't even tell you how or when I came across this bag, I can just tell you that I stopped in my tracks, went "whoa!" - and instantly added it to my wish list.

It's the Coach Rogue Bag in glovetanned leather.

Not only does it look lovely, the leather seems lush, and the design so practical and perfect as a work bag. I mean, look at all those compartments! And the long strap!

And whilst it is lovely in light blue, this teal combo really pulls a punch. 

Not exactly cheap at £750 but compared to Mulberry's Bayswater Double Zip Tote in small or regular, you'll still be "saving" (yes, we are buying a handbag here, I know) £450.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sexy Soho

I'm always really flattered when people consider me to be a bit of an expert on Mulberry and contact me for advice. The truth is - and I always do make a point of this - I might know a few things but am far from the real experts. They all live on the PurseForum or admin Facebook fan pages. 

It  does happen regularly that I come across a model, which I've never seen before- just like this time. This easy to carry bag is a Mulberry Small Soho Hobo in pebbled leather. The clever PurseForum girls say it came out in Spring Summer 2007 and I think she has aged rather well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

End of Winter

Winter should be over by now, surely? I find myself reaching for the cosy/double layered/warm outfits that will probably be too warm once spring is raising the morning temperatures. Once that happens, I'll be phasing out the woollies and bringing in the thinner layers...

Dress & Cardigan: Boden
Boots: Hallhuber
Necklace: Stella & Dot

Dress: Mexx
Necklace: Zara
Bag: Mulberry

Top: Zara
Jeans: Boden
Boots: Kurt Geiger

Top: H&M
Skirt: Topshop
Charm: Stella & Dot

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Granny Chique Purse

I've always had a bit more than just a soft spot for the Mulberry Polly range. There's something about that pushlock that feels a bit granny chique yet functional. The leather of the bags and purses is shiny grain, which is lovely and full of character, yet very robust. I had the small bag in conker for a while and only sold her on as I had simply not used her for quite a while. I was also a tad worried about hitting little M in the head with the rather heavy lock. (But that's really more of a reflection on my clumsiness than the bag.) 

This purse is the smaller/French version. I love the compact style, you fit so much into a small space! The only downside for me is that you can't leave the coin compartment open, whilst rummaging through the notes/receipt section. (Again: hello clumsiness and lots of spilled change...)

Anyway, a truly charming and gorgeous piece!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

...but one road that lead to an important goal*

On Monday I took my mum to Frankfurt for a spot of shopping. Sounds a bit daft to say "I took her there" but she isn't keen on driving into big cities on her own and my dad isn't a big shopper. I guess that's partially due to the different definitions of "shopping"
Mum and I usually mean: "Let's pop into a few different shops, maybe we buy something - maybe we'll just have a look."  My dad means: "I have a list of items I need to purchase. I will go to the shops in the most logical order and tick off each item as and when I have obtained it." No wonder the question "what do you want to buy in here?!" would feature regularly when both go together.

Anyway, apart from a suitcase that I needed, as mine broke on the way over (thanks, Lufthansa), we didn't really have a list. My mum mentioned something of "another handbag, something a bit more casual than the blue one I got for my birthday" and I thought it would be fun to take her to Mulberry and pop into all the other designers on the way there. I'm not particularly familiar with Frankfurt but I'd guess that Goethestrasse, where Mulberry is situated, is the poshest shopping street in the area. Close to the banking quarter and near the end of one of Frankfurt's most famous high streets, "The Zeil", you'd be spoiled for choice over where to spend your hard-earned millions.

As on my last visit, we parked right next to Goethestrasse in the Goetheplatz underground car park. I'm not particularly shy but it's so much nicer to walk into designer shops with somebody else rather than alone - especially if you probably won't buy anything and just want a good mooch. So we kind of zigzagged our way along Goethestrasse - in a totally non-drunken way...

Louis Vuitton

Like the last time, the least friendly of all of the stores on the street. I felt a bit watched and almost didn't dare touch anything. Quite ridiculous when I consider that their bags are the least sensitive as 80% of them are plastic-covered canvas. Ok, I'm being a bit mean but just saying...


Trying to remember what we saw but nothing that stuck. Lots of monogram stuff for the tourist shoppers. Staff were attentive but not too pushy.


They hadn't been much on my radar and I had pegged this brand as fairly traditional and boring. I was surprised at some quite cute models though and almost came away with an adorable limited edition grey loden-covered Munich-themed grab bag. 

The quality is really nice: lovely leathers in even grain, lots of which feel really robust and perfect for every day use. Good overall choice of smaller, medium-sized and larger, as well as work, casual and dressy bags. Price-wise they're below Mulberry: small cross body bags from €279, medium totes around €500 up to exotic leather bags for €2,700. 

Continental purses are around €200, smaller leather items from €89.

The sales assistant was knowledgeable, a great ambassador for the brand, yet appeared candid in re. to the bags ("too big for you") and didn't try to recommend something that wouldn't be suitable. My mum found a bag she really liked and we said we'd come back after a cup of coffee - and seeing all the other shops. This is it, by the way:


Despite the fact that I said I just wanted to show my mum the bags "I'm always on about" - and not signalling too much of a "yes, we're gonna buy" message, the SA was friendly, helpful and patient. She showed us 2.55, Classic Flap and Boy and explained the different leathers. Would love a Classic Flap in Caviar leather but at over €4,000 I can't see myself committing that kind of money for a bag. Chanel or not.


Slightly more pushy SA but you have to give it to her: The Diorissimo she picked out for my mum did look lovely we suddenly thought €3,700 for a bag was fantastic value. She wasn't keen on me taking pics but said "I didn't see anything..."


Friendly SAs, happy to chat about what is happening to the brand at the moment and offering bags for me to have a good look.  

I finally played with the Kite Tote and think it works quite well: the square bottom means it won't fall over when put on the (gasp) floor. The handles seem a bit fiddly at first but I think like many other bags, once you get the hang of it, you will do it without thinking much and switch between hand-carrying and wearing on your shoulder. My pros and cons remain though: I still don't like the microfibre lining in the black and blue flat calf leather versions and I also think the flat leather is so prone to scratches. Not sure about the deep embossed leather - still a bit worried the "scales" might lift like they do with silky snake. If they did a version in NVT Oak I'd probably jump at it.

Talking about NVT: I had a good chat with the SA about Coca, the new collection, what we liked and what we didn't like and how many styles are clearly veering towards a Celine look. Then he dropped a bombshell: NVT is apparently to be discontinued. No more NVT?! Their most iconic and most beautiful leather? I'm not one to over-dramatize these kind of things. We're talking bags here and not world peace. But I do feel like Mulberry now really wouldn't be Mulberry anymore. Postman locks without the tree and no NVT? What is left? I wonder whether people thought the same when Darwin was retired..?

 Anyway, other than that lots of red ("foreign tourists buy a lot of red"), cream...

 taupe and blue,

and quite a bit in the deep embossed camel and oxblood.

We said our thanks and goodbyes - and there was absolutely no sense of them feeling that they wasted their time on us even though we did not purchase anything.

A quick lunch and a hop over to Kaufhof on the Zeil to finally buy that suitcase. 

I've got to say: nicest Kaufhof I've ever been in. Browsed the handbag department and found lots of brands such as Picard, DKNY, Michal Kors (though we don't look at those), Aigner, Liebeskind, Campomaggi and more.

I managed to get my suitcase (thanks to my dad who managed to measure my broken one whilst looking after little M, so that we could compare the volume!) and we quickly moved on. 

A hop and a skip back towards Goethestrasse and you'll pass Goertz, a big, multi label shoe shop - which also happens to sell bags. I know them as stocking decent higher level high-street brands, including UGG and Converse but this one was the best I've seen yet. Not only a range of more aspirational brands, including See by Chloe, Salvatore Ferragamo etc but also a a breadth of choice in terms of options. Fabulously different brogues, Chelsea and other boots as well as lovely ballerinas and, of course, tons of heels.

After that, we really just wanted to go back to Aigner and pick up that bag that my mum liked. Nothing else we had looked at, had even come close. She kind of liked the Mulberry Small Freya but not quite as much as the Aigner - and with it being roughly double the price, this was an easy decision to make.

On the way to Aigner we popped into Salvatore Ferragamo

Fairly small premise with only a few bags on display. Downstairs is all men's bags. Not much chance of just browsing. A guy jumped at us straight away, took a bag off the shelves and showed it to us with great flourishes. Impressed with the lovely and practical (!) medium-sized Sofia in a gorgeous colour combo. Just goes to show how much and what kind of price range we had been browsing all day, seemed entirely reasonable and good value for money at €1,890.

So, in the end we picked up that bag at Aigner. A really lovely bag and my mum is chuffed to bits - I will try and nab it off her for a quick reveal!

*Sorry. Deutsch Leistung (German major) and the best ever teacher who'd roll her eyes at the rubbish I'm reading these days. Goethestrasse meant a tedious link wasn't just an option.
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