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Latest Purchases #91 – Handbags

Handbags have never really been my thing – shoes yes, stationary yes and nail varnishes oh yes! However, I decided that for my 30th birthday I would treat myself to a designer handbag to remember my birthday holiday to America and also to have a beautiful item to use on a daily basis.

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Not content with one handbag, I actually ended up buying two bags, one statement and one classic, but I have quite different uses for them.

First of all, I bought this bright blue leather bag from Nine West. I love this colour and think it will work all year round. It has a lovely slouchy style and a folded over front which I think adds a cool twist. The inner lining is also really pretty. I have been using this as my everyday handbag and find it is quite roomy.

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Secondly, I wanted a ‘timeless classic’ that I could use for years to come and I decided that a black handbag would always be in style. I had a serious shopping dilemma between a Michael Kors and a DKNY bag but the latter won and I have worn this beauty a couple of times now.

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I tend to save it for nights out or the weekend just to keep it feeling special. I think the black snakeskin leather with the gold hardware is just stunning and I love the fact is a very simple, classic shape that won’t go out of style.

Latest Purchases #55 – A Summer Haul

As you know, I have spent this week redecorating my bedroom with my Mum. We have stripped wallpaper, glossed, sanded, painted, moved furniture and cleaned up the mess I seem to leave in my wake whenever I use a paintbrush! The bedroom is pretty much finished and now comes the fun part of shopping for bedding, art and accessories to perfect the look. After living in a room with three different colours on the walls for almost two years, it is so refreshing and calming to wake up in an all-white room but I am looking forward to adding pops of colour over the next few weeks before I share some pics with you.

My Mum and I worked really hard throughout the day this week and we rewarded ourselves in the afternoon/ evenings with a little trip either to the shops or to the pub for a well-deserved drink. Ian and I are toying with the idea of booking a super last-minute holiday next week so I had a few pieces I wanted to pick up to wear on holiday or during the rest of the summer.

First up was a kimono. I saw these in various shops this summer and love how cool they look thrown over a little dress or with skinny jeans. However, lots of them seem to come with long tassels or really garish designs and I wanted something a little more practical and subtle. I love this pastel blue one from Matalan. The print reminds me of blue and white china and the shape is so flattering and it’s flowing yet still quite structured.

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Whilst in Matalan, I also picked up this white laser-cut handbag. I know white handbags aren’t the most practical item but if we do go away next week, it would be a perfect holiday bag and I will just have to try my best not to spill anything on it!

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I had some vouchers to spend in Paperchase (one of my favourite shops!) so picked up a new phone case and a weekly planner. I love the nautical design on the phone case and it is made of a really soft rubbery plastic that makes it really easy to grip.

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Continuing with the nautical theme, this weekly desk planner will live on my desk at home and hopefully help me plan some blog posts out as I have been rather slack lately. I never want to put pressure on myself to post daily or have set content on specific days but sometimes I look through my photos and find a great recipe that I completely forgot to share s hopefully this planner will get me slightly more organised.

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When Mum and I were in Bath this week, we popped along to check out the new Primark that has recently opened. It is a really nice store actually and I didn’t see the usual disorganised piles of tops that can drive you crazy when you are trying to find the right size! I did want a lovely Fleetwood Mac t-shirt that a few girls on Instagram have been wearing recently but the girl I asked had never even heard of the band, let alone seen the t-shirt I had in mind!

Nonetheless, I did find a rather awesome replacement in this Jurassic Park top! I’m not really one for slogan or logo t-shirts but I love this film franchise so made an exception.

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I also picked up this lovely white lace t-shirt which will go with so many of the jeans and patterned trousers I own.

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With a holiday in mind, I wanted a new sun hat and saw this black one. It is 100% wool and I think it has a boho vibe to it. I think I quite suit hats but always find I’m a bit self-conscious wearing them for the first time. I wore this for dinner in Bath and didn’t feel too out of place!

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I love browsing the jewellery section in Primark and I bought two necklaces, both completely different. The first is a pretty horse shoe necklace made from little pale purple beads and I also got a statement ‘bib’ necklace in navy and gold – two colours I wear a lot. I love the bigger necklace as I have been after one for a while and this quite a statement piece without being too OTT.

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Despite it still being August, my mind is wandering to September and my ‘Back to School’ wardrobe so I picked up a few Autumnal items. Firstly, this navy striped dress. It’s flattering and has Breton stripes…need I say more?!

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I also found these gorgeous cut out tan ankle boots. I have a similar black pair and wore them to death last season so I know I will get a lot of wear out of these too.

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I recently threw out an old pair of black skinny jeans so decided to give Primark’s ‘Super Skinny’ jeans a try after a recommendation from my friend who lived in them! They fit really nicely and are a true black – such a bargain for £11 too!

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Finally – and I apologise for the overshare – I could not resist these pants after our camping trip last weekend!

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Mum and I also found time to pop over to IKEA for dinner and some shopping last night and I think I was quite constrained considering how much lovely stuff I saw as we walked around.

I came away with some lanterns, a vase, lampshade, candles (of course!), a frame for Ian’s new print, some succulents and Orla Kiely-style vases and a very Pinterest-worthy faux fur throw!

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Phew…a few rewards for a week of decorating which still works out cheaper than hiring somebody to do it professionally!

After watching the return of the Bake Off this week I have been bitten by the baking bug so am going to spend this evening perusing my recipe books to find something tasty to make tomorrow whilst looking for a last minute holiday bargain…have a great Saturday night! x

Latest Purchases #40 – New Bag

I hope you have made the most of this weekend. We spent it visiting Ian’s parents which meant a lovely pub lunch for his mum’s birthday, a shopping trip and plenty of cuddles with their gorgeous dog, George. bag11 bag12 bag13 bag29 We also spent the night in their new camper van which was very fun. I was worried about freezing overnight but we slightly overdid it with the layers and blankets and ended up boiling hot! It rained through the night and it was lovely listening to the pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof whilst feeling snug and cosy inside. We never managed to go camping this summer but as soon as it warms up next year, the tent will be in the back of the car and we will be off! bag8 bag10 Today’s post is all about my lovely new handbag! I bought this black leather number online a few weeks ago but have kept it wrapped up in its packaging until now. bag1 For years, I have always opted for a tan or lighter coloured handbag, but having just bought a pair of black leather boots, which I am wearing constantly, I fancied a bag that would sort of match. bag2 bag5 This is clearly inspired by the Mulberry Alexa, but cost a fraction of the price! I love satchel bags and this is a good size to keep all my bits and bobs in. It has a pretty jazzy inner lining and a few pockets and pouches for a phone and lipsticks, which are always handy. bag3 A simple yet cool design that will be perfect for day to day use. bag31 Despite it only being 2pm, it looks like it is starting to get dark or is about to rain, so I am going to pull on my trainers and go for a quick run to justify all the naughty food I have consumed this weekend!

Latest Purchases #14 – The Sales

As I may have mentioned previously, I love a bargain so I am in heaven when the sales start.

However, over the years I have honed my definition of a bargain and will not buy something simply because it has a large ‘reduced’ label stuck on it!

My golden rules for sales shopping are:

  • Make sure you aren’t buying something that is a fad and will be out of style in a few months. I try to use the sales to buy classic, staple items that won’t date such as a good quality coat, smart black trousers, leather boots etc…
  • Shop smart! I have my eye on various items in the run up to Christmas that I check as soon as the online sales start, like the stripy jacket below. I was going to buy it anyway but decided to wait and see if I could get it for a lower price, and I did!
  • Make sure you buy the right size! It is very tempting to buy smaller sizes during the sales with the intention of going on a diet in the New Year to fit into them. I have done this in the past and it rarely works!
  • Ask yourself if you would buy it if the item was full price. If the answer is ‘no’ then the chances are you are simply buying something for the sake of it, therefore it is not a bargain!

With these rules in mind, I popped into a few shops after Christmas and here is what I came away with:

Black ballet pumps reduced to £5 in Matalan: I actually find Matalan’s ballet pumps very comfortable and black ones go with everything. I thought the delicate bows on the front of these made them look very pretty too and I would wear these out to dinner as well as to work.

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Heart necklace reduced to £1.20 in Accessorize: I love charm necklaces and this red rose one is gorgeous. I have a thing for red accessories anyway so can see myself wearing this a lot.

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Blue and white peacock scarf reduced to £3 in Matalan: This scarf looks a lot more expensive than the £3 price tag and I really like peacock prints. You can never have enough scarves either and this one is lightweight enough to wear through to spring.

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Purple top reduced to £4.99 in Marks and Spencer: This top was reduced from £25 so was a real bargain. It is a very flattering cut so hides those extra festive pounds well! As it is one colour, it will be easy to dress this top up with some accessories.

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Black and white stripy blazer reduced to £9 in Matalan: I have had my eye on this jacket for a few weeks so I was very pleased when I found it for half price in the sales. This is obviously quite a statement print to wear so I will keep the rest of my outfit simple when I wear it – probably black skinny jeans and a plain top.

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Maroon Slippers reduced to £2 in Matalan: I love walking through the door and changing into a pair of slippers and I have them dotted all over the house. These maroon ones will be a lovely addition to my collection and are very comfortable.

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Long stripy t-shirt reduced to £9 in Marks and Spencer: I got some lovely black knitted leggings in my stocking this year and was looking for some long tops to wear with them. This stripy one looks great with them and is just a bit different from the usual black and white stripy tops I always wear.

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Black satchel reduced to £4 in Matalan: I favour satchel bags for work and was very annoyed when I noticed a tear in my current one. This replacement bag is a little on the small side but still looks smart and ‘geek-chic’.

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FCUK lip-glosses reduced to £6 in Boots: I haven’t used any beauty products or make up by FCUK before but these lip-glosses looked so lovely that I couldn’t resist trying them out…I will let you know if they are any good!

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Next Year’s Christmas Stuff: These items come under my ‘Shop Smart’ rule. I always buy my Christmas cards, crackers, stickers and wrapping paper in the January sales. It is so helpful the following Christmas to get all of it out of the loft knowing it is one thing ticked off the to-do list. It does mean you need the room to store it for the year, but if you have the space then I highly recommend it!

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I have also ordered a few bits and bobs online so will probably write about these when they arrive.

Have you managed to bag any bargains in the sales?! x