Monday, August 31, 2015

Covet Monday - Be Safe

A very simple request: don't drink and drive.

That car on the pictures below was coming around a corner towards us in the middle of the road and very fast. He crashed into our side before he hit a tree. Had I not manage to pull into the hedge on the left, he'd have hit us straight on. In the car were Mr G, I and little M. We were so lucky.



 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Filofax - This Didn't Work

This post was scheduled to go live tonight. Coming home from a day out today with Mr. G and little M. we were involved in an accident that could have been fatal, had I not been lucky enough to to see the oncoming vehicle in time and pull into a hedge. The other driver was not so lucky, swerved off the road and into a tree and I have no idea in which state he is right now. My point really: Sometimes coincidences change your life. Things that seem like a mistake work out for the better. Things that are going as per "the plan" lead you onto a path that might not have a happy outcome. All that I can take from that right now is to be thankful for whatever circumstance let us escape this situation, which could have so easily turned nasty. And I think I'll be thankful for that every day for quite some time.


I wasn't going to film the state of this setup. And then after I did and skipped through the clip (still don't really watch myself back on film), I was just going to delete it. All I could see was
  1. My messy handwriting
  2. My not very artistic layouts (quite offensive for somebody who likes aesthetically pleasing things)
  3. Inserts that are lovely but have just stopped working for me - mainly because of how I combined them
 
However, thinking about all of the above I thought that somebody might actually find this useful. It will certainly show you what didn't work for me and also why. The inserts are lovely and would probably work in a different combination or situation - links to them below! 


This is where the various bits and bobs are from:

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A New One For Me: Mulberry Beatrice

I still get excited if I manage to get my hands on a Mulberry bag that I have not owned before. Even if she only stays with me a few weeks and I then move her on, I love having a good play with her and doing a review. Apart from quite old, vintage pieces, it doesn't happen often that I come across a bag I never heard before, nevermind handled. However, this is exactly what happened with this one: the Mulberry Beatrice.

I had to have her identified during authentication and then googled. What I found out was that she was launched in SS10 and there were three bags, two purses and a belt in the Beatrice range.









Clear equestrian references in the hardware and saddle leather trim, the range looks sophisticated and classy but I think it is ultimately also very practical.

I don't know what the official name of this one I have here is but I assume it'll be either tote or messenger, due to the long strap. And the strap is one of my favourite features on there...




Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More August Outfits

I'm running out of things to say about the rubbish summer we had. Actually, there were a couple of nice days last week, so if September grants us a few more days like those, I'll revise my review from rubbish to mediocre. Anyway, these are some of last week's outfits...

Top & Skirt: Warehouse
Shoes: Boden

 Top: Zara
Skirt: Miss Selfridge
Trainers: Converse

 Top: Miss Selfridge
Stripy Top underneath: Topshop
Skirt: Zara
Trainers: Converse

 Top & Jeans: H&M
Vest: Topshop
Trainers: Converse

Monday, August 24, 2015

Too Early for Autumn?

It's still August and as much as I have moaned about us not having had a proper summer, I still managed to wear a fair amount of my summer (ok spring) wardrobe. Albeit layered. 

Anyway, it definitely feels too early to look at clothes for autumn/winter. Part of me is probably also superstitious enough to think that if I buy any A/W items I might send the wrong signal to the weather gods. 

BUT - I've just seen this... and I WANT...



Can you imagine this with a white shirt? A black top? Knee high boots? Brogues? Yes to all of them.

That's all.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Can I Keep This Up?

I'm dead proud that Independent Fashion Blogger's weekly roundup included my last my post from this Sunday, which means I've made it into their top 20 for the third time! Have a look at the links below, I particularly like the posts from Muscari Lane and She Got Her Own.
SPONSOR: Shopbop Vale, Pari Desai, South Parade, Running Bare Activewear, Eleven Thirty, Eytys Sneakers, Men's Eytys Sneakers, Tak. Ori, Peter & May Walk Sunglasses, APL Shoes

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Another Chuck It All In Bag: Mulberry Effie Tote

I can't believe it's already four months ago that I reviewed the Effie Tote. I thought she'd be the perfect bag to just chuck in my stuff when out and about with little M but in the end I found the lack of a long cross-body strap and zip closure too annoying. This Effie Tote definitely works better...




Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Late Summer Dressing

Last week we actually managed to squeeze in a couple of sunny days. I'd almost class these as summer outfits!

Top: Topshop
Skirt & Cardigan: Boden
Shoes: Dune

Top: Reiss
Skirt: Stefanel
Shoes: Zara
Necklace: Gift from best friend


Top: Mango
Vest: Topshop
Jean: H&M
Trainers: Converse

Monday, August 17, 2015

Covet Monday - Time

I know I'm swooning over lovely handbags and various other luxurious bits and bobs. However, there are, of course, things money can't buy and one of them is time.

Time to spend with your children. Time to read a book. Time to finish that task during which you kept getting interrupted. Time to go on a holiday.  Time to smell the flowers. Or, maybe especially so if you do have small children, time to sleep.

For me, the biggest one on the list probably would be time to spend with your children. Little M is racing towards his third birthday and I feel like the years are just passing by. Working full time means he spends all weekdays at nursery, which he does love but that bit of time we have at the morning and in the evening is often filled with me trying to do 4 things at once, not really being able to focus much on him.

Of course nobody can just conjure up these extra few minutes or hours. The day only has 24 of them. For all of us.  However, I have a plan to ignore reason and pretend that I can. Not by magic but by making a few simple adjustments.  


1. Get up 10 minutes earlier every morning



These 10 minutes sleep won't really do much difference to me being tired or not and, lets face it, they are usually just lost by me pressing the snooze button. But if I can get ready and get him ready and then have those 10 minutes to just have a chat or read a book with him, I will have spent some quality time with my favourite person in the world. Right at the beginning of the day.


2. Get my Filofax sorted




I am slowly moving into some DIYFish inserts, that I have received a few days ago. My plan is to have them set up in a way that I will avoid duplicating and re-writing lists as well as panicking and fixing stuff I had forgotten to sort out.  


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

 
I work full time then come home with little M, sort out his tea/snack and whatever else needs doing when we get in. He then has a bath at 19:00, story around 19:40 and usually is in bed at 20:00. I'm very lucky in that my OH does all the cooking and kitchen stuff, so we tend to eat around 20:15, which means I start to look at my blog and various online things (such as my bag obsession) from about 20:45. I probably get in a good 1.5 or maybe 2 productive hours. And then I should just go to bed. Instead, I faff around and start getting lost on Facebook or some other page and go to bed way too late. And then suffer the next day not being as productive I could be, which means I waste even more time.


4. Use commuting time more efficiently



I spend a total of about 60 minutes on the train to a from work and usually end up reading daft things on Facebook, Buzzfeed etc. Instead I'll try and get my Filofax out, review what I didn't achieve yesterday, what's planned for the day and how my week is shaping up. If I have a few minutes left, I might allow myself a quick peek on Facebook or Instagram.   


5. Make proper plans for the weekend
 



Quite often the weekend flies by in a blink-and-you-miss it kind of fashion. Monday comes and you feel like you haven't really had a weekend as all you did was run errands and try to keep the kids happy. The last couple of weekends though, on at least one day I took little M and went out. We're lucky enough that we live right at the edge of the Peak District so there are lots of lovely places to visit right on our doorstep. Last weekend Saturday we went to a hidden valley in a village nearby and on Sunday drove to Castleton. He climbed up all the way to Pevril Castle, we had a picnic and hours' worth of running about. This weekend we spent Saturday looking at a "big mountain", sheep, caves and then went for icecream. On Sunday we chased the Gruffalo through Lyme Park.
Not only do I know that I spent some real quality time with M, I also feel like I had a tiny little holiday. And we still talk about what we did for weeks afterwards.


I know there are tons of time saving tips out there but these 5 are what I'm starting with. They should either give me more time or ensure that I feel like I've had more. I'd love to hear what you do? 

(PS: The irony of me posting this on a Monday evening at 22:49 is not lost on me...) 
  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mulberry - Back to Basics

I thought it would be a good idea to list some of the resources and places of information that I use when feeding my Mulberry obsession. Whether you're a newbie to Mulberry or whether you've been buying for years, there will always be something you could still learn. I know I do. New models get released every season and my brain couldn't possibly retain all the information about past models, features, leathers and so on.  I therefore have a number of go-to places where I look for information, e.g. when I am thinking about buying a specific bag. In that case I'd want to know which leathers it has been made in, measurements, other features (especially length of handles/straps) and what kind of price in which condition this model is currently selling at.


Mulberry Facebook Groups

I already did a post on Facebook groups, where you can buy pre-loved Mulberry bags. These groups are also fantastic to ask questions and get opinions on models. Members are usually more than happy to post model shots and share their experience if they have owned a model you happen to covet.


Mulberry

A great starting point for all current models and leathers, you'll find
- measurements
- features, e.g. colour of hardware, inside pockets
- nice close up pictures, including the interior
- model shots - if there is none with the bag of a specific leather, try the same model in another leather, they are not always very consistent with the images assigned to a product
- leather - what type and how has it been treated to achieve the finish it has
- leather care - ok, so they are trying to sell you the Collonil gel or spray but it also just tells you that this is the recommended product to use when you come to clean or protect your bag
- price - good to know how much they go for when new. If this model is also available in the outlet, you'd expect to pay 30% less there, though bear in mind, they won't stock core leathers there unless they're subs.


NPN 

If I am looking for information on a leather, I usually check Naughtipidgins Nest's leather & care guide first as it has lots of different leathers and finishes listed and with a simple Ctrl + F you can find what you're looking for in seconds.
As just mentioned, Mulberry themselves are a good place to look but NPN has information on older leather types as well as current ones.

NPN are also a great place to find out what a specific model might be selling for. Just pop the bag name into the search box and you'll see all current and previously sold bags of that model. Shian is great at describing the bags' condition to a T, which gives you a good indication which amount to budget. Her photography is also lovely and on bags that are currently for sale you'll get pics of the bag from all angles.


The Purse Forum

With discussions around anything Mulberry and a vast reference section, TPF has a wealth of information and lots of helpful members, who are always happy to share their knowledge. 

Don't be intimidated by the need to sign up and create an account - it's well worth it and you'll be welcomed by the other members. Also don't get confused: you can add to a thread immediately, you just can't post your own thread until you have been there for a few days and contributed a certain number of times to other discussion.

You'll find tons of information on and pictures of the different models, their leather, leather care and all kinds of answers to questions you didn't dare ask. Have a rummage through the reference section and swoon over some of the member's collection.

The most popular thread has to be "Authenticate this Mulberry", which you find under "Shopping".  Here you can submit an eBay listing and ask for the bag on offer to be authenticated, which could save you from a costly mistake. Please do make sure you read the first post in the thread, which outlines the rules and explains what is needed for the authentication to be reliably carried out. Please also be fair and contribute to the community and do not just post numerour authentication requests without giving back.

Should you find yourself in a situation though, that you have purchased a non genuine item and need proof of this (e.g. for a Paypal claim), you will have to use one of the paid services on offer. I will do a future post on authentication, so keep your eyes peeled.


Effen Haute Forum

Similar to the Purse Forum, the Effen Haute Forum is run by knowledgeable and helpful Mulberry fans. And as on TPF you find a reference section and an authenticate this Mulberry thread. Just all a bit smaller than TPF.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Mulberry Mitzy East West Hobo - Another One?!

You might have seen my review of the Mulberry Mitzy Tote, in which case you'll know that she is a one of those "everything but the kitchen sink" bags. I found her a bit too big as a day to day bag. 

The Mitzy East West Hobo, however, is a much more manageable size and the fact that she comes both with a short hobo as well as the long cross body strap is a real bonus. Similar to the Sofia, she'd probably work really well as a day to day throw-it-all-in bag.








Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Another week in August...

I promise, I'll stop complaining about the weather soon but: another August picture with a scarf. That's. Just. Wrong.


Top: Boden
Skirt: Warehouse
Trainers: Converse
Necklace: Next


Dress: Primark
Cardigan: Boden
Shoes: Zara
Bag: Mulberry

Top: Mango
Jeans: H&M
Trainers: Converse
Scarf: no idea 

Top & Skirt: Zara
Cardigan: Boden
Trainers: Converse

Monday, August 10, 2015

One of my Five a Day - Strathberry

Ok, so you know I like handbags. Usually expensive handbags. Usually Mulberry. Though every now and then I come across another designer whose bags make me swoon just as much. If not more.

Strathberry of Scotland, who recently ridiculously overachieved their Kickstarter goal by 390% (!) describe themselves as an "independent luxury brand and design house". Their emphasis is on classic designs and craftsmanship and the video of how their signature style tote is created is pure bag porn.

I would be happy with pretty much any of their models and had initially pledged - via said Kickstarter project - for a MC Mini but then changed it to a MC Midi. I just think I'll use her much more and she won't compete with my Ledbury or Alexa. Whereas the Mini I would have liked in Powder Blue (which strangely wasn't offered), the Midi I went for in the end was a navy one.

I believe production will start shortly and delivery is planned for October - which makes this a perfect subject for my covet Monday - can't wait!


Image from Strathberry

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Not Just A Filofax

In a bid of becoming more organised, spending less time trying to remember things and having a record of what happened when, I decided a while ago to set up an oldfashioned planner again. A friend of mine kindly gave me one that she hadn't used in a while and off I went into Paperchase to buy some inserts.

All done, right? Wrong! 

Little did I know how much I might ponder over what kind of inserts, what kind of dividers, what kind of system I would adopt to keep me on the straight and narrow. And I had never even heard of the world of #plannering, #planneraddicts, #plannerpeace and the likes. 

I have since found an amazing community of creative, crafty and (obviously) highly organised people, where I can ask my silly beginner's questions, find inspiration and share my small wins, such as the dividers I made out of Morris&Co wallpaper samples.




I am now trying to document my journey from setting up this planner and will explain what worked and what didn't and why. 

My setup is a personal size Kingston Filofax. The idea is that it's small enough to carry with me every day but big enough to hold the essential sections. Once I have properly grown into that, I might set up another one, which will purely be used to keep track of blogging stuff.

I started out with just a couple of sections: the diary inserts in one and my notes and to dos in another one. I then dumped the entire contents out and put it into an order that I thought would work for me. Have a look at the following clip, which is a very quick run-through of my setup.



This is where the various bits and bobs are from:

As I am writing this, it has already changed so the next video won't be too long. Let me know what you think?

Friday, August 07, 2015

Top 20 - Again!

Yays! Wish and Wear was featured again in the Independent Fashion Blogger's weekly roundup - must be doing something right! :)

Here is the complete top 20 - some great reads again, I particularly love the photography in A Handful of Stories and the musings on the lack of pockets in women's wear.

Links à la Mode, August 6

SPONSOR: Amazon's Shopbop Designers, Schutz, Prada sunglasses, Versace, Gucci, Edun, Lacoste, Jelly shoes, Tunic Dresses, Party Clutches, Red Ballerinas, Men's Sweaters

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Discontinued Classic: Mulberry Small del Rey

I never understood why Mulberry discontinued their del Rey range: such a classic style in great leathers, which seem to have sold well and they appear to continue to be incredibly desireable. I'd say this applies even more to the small del Rey, or SDR as she is often called. At the moment still available at the Outlets (and, of course, pre-loved), a great option for a small day bag and one I have been using on and off for the past couple of months.

My way to settling on this beauty was a rather longwinded one though, as I owned:
  • First a Small del Rey in oak - loved the shape but thought I wanted a "dressier" leather >> sold her
  • Then a regular del Rey in slate blue - loved the colour but found her a bit too big as a handbag. >> sold her
  • Finally what you can see below: my SDR in slate blue.

So, have I found handbag peace?







Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Outfit Roundup - Not Your Typical August Dressing

You'd think there is some good spring-dressing going on Oh no, hold on: it's August...

Top: H&M
Skirt: Boden
Ballerinas: Dune
Boy's Outfit: Clarks Shoes, Matalan, Next


T-Shirt: Topshop
Skirt: Zara
Trainers: Converse


Top, Cardigan & Skirt: Boden
Boots: Zara


Top & Cardigan: Boden
Jeans: Next
Trainers: Converse

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

On Location: Mulberry at Selfridges Visit

In a bid to finally decide which size Cara I'd go for (Mini or Regular), I popped by Mulberry in Selfridges in the Trafford Centre, Manchester. After receiving lots of positive feedback on my quick write up of my Mulberry Frankfurt visit, I thought I'd do one on this one as well.

I've already published a graphic representation on my thoughts on the Cara, and I have since then also had the confirmation that Caras are unlined, so it's all good! :)

So now, straight to the store:


Setup:
Located on the ground floor with Beauty in front, ladieswear to the right and footwear to the left, Selfridges designer handbag section is home to brands such as Fendi, Gucci, Balenciaga, Stella MCartney and, of course, Mulberry. I am pretty sure no Louis Vuitton - though I may well have missed something else off.


Not a huge space but should be enough to show off the classics and current favourites. Some glass topped cabinets with small leather goods - always handy when you want to have a proper look at a bag. A chair - handy for waiting kids or spouses. ;)













Stock:
To my mind there should be enough space but I really missed a few models.
There were only 3 Caras (Mini and Regular in Blue Quilted, Mini in Oxblood with Rivets) and none in Oak. 



No Roxettes - very disappointing and surprising, considering this is the style that has been pushed recently. 
No Jamies
Not a huge amount of Bayswaters or Alexas.









Loads of Freyas, which I liked, especially with the cross body-ness of the small one. (hadn't expected that). 
Lots of Willows and Double Zip Bayswaters
Fair amount of Lilys and some items from the Tessie range.


Sales Assistant(s):
Came over when I started opening the Caras for comparison. Was clearly suspicious of me as I had a 2yo in tow and tried (unsuccessfully) to hide her dismay of a child in the section. Note: he was in his pushchair, watching me quietly. Had no idea what I was on about when I asked about the microfibre lining in the Cara (yuk) and did not sound convincing when she said "I don't think so" after I asked whether this was the same for the Oak Cara. Did not offer any further help or opinion or help me tidy the bags away afterwards. Just hovered watching me. Hm.

Location
Manchester's Trafford Centre is one of the biggest shopping centres in the UK. I remember when it was opened in 1998, just after I moved here (coincidence or did they see me coming?), it was declared the biggest in Europe but has since then been overtaken by others. Nonetheless it is still pretty big, offering free parking, lots of foodie places as well as housing all the usual highstreet shops and department stores. Selfridges is based right in the centre and carries its usual mix of highstreet and designer brands. 

Again: I should have taken more pictures. I hadn't planned on writing this up but I thought some of you might find especially the stock information interesting.

In all honesty: I don't get how Mulberry sells anything through department stores in cities, where a standalone store is available. Do you shop at Mulberry concessions at all and if so, just because you don't have a standalone store nearby or for other reasons?

Monday, August 03, 2015

Cara or not Cara? My Geeky Update

I have yet to make that next Mulberry purchase and this is turning into a bit of a saga. A very first-world-problem admittedly - my slightly geeky rundown of past events and the current state of affairs:

Before my visit to the Mulberry Frankfurt store I was so sure that the Roxette would fit the bill.


After seeing it in the flesh (or rather leather) and having a play with the Mini Cara, I changed my mind and thought I had found the perfect bag in that little rucksack-style.


Just a few days later and I was wondering whether the Mini Cara would actually be big enough. Cue me inundating various Facebook Mulberry groups with requests for model and "what's in my bag" shots of their Caras and Mini Caras. 

 

Then this weekend, after a thrilling performance by Iggle Piggle, Makka Pakka & Co and a quick visit at Mulberry in the Trafford Centre (concession in Selfridges) I had a play with the Regular and Mini Lily in steel blue quilted nappa. 

I  noticed that the inside was lined in the weird microfibre fabric that other people had mentioned previously. Unfortunately the sales assistant was pretty useless and had no idea what I was even talking about, nevermind being able to tell me if the same would be the case for the oak Cara.


So now I am now pretty much here as far as the purchase of a oak regular Cara goes:


If you haven't lost the will to live yet, watch this space.

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