Hands free shopping

By now you’re all aware of my love for a great handbag, or purse as we call them here. Usually the bigger the better. However, I have recently been won over by the charms of a cross body bag – in this case the smaller the better. I took one to the UK with me – it was perfect – it meant I could carry a larger one on the plane and pack the small cross body. I used the cross body each time I went out shopping, thus freeing up my hands for a cup of coffee on the go, fiddling with change for public transport, and carrying the essential purchases. It fits a small coin purse, a compact, a lipstick and my phone – all I need for a day out shopping.

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(photos from Pinterest)

Now when I began researching this post I had a few bags in mind that I knew I wanted to share with you. Given the current popularity of the Gucci Soho (I think I know at least five friends who have one) I wasn’t surprised to find that there is no shortage of beautiful bags, of all price points to choose from, so bear with me as my edit is quite long.

First up the J.Crew Marlo. It is beautiful and it’s simplicity really reminds me of a Mansur Gavriel bag. In the US there is currently 20% off with code GETSHOPPING making it just $78.40 – a great price for a well made, versatile, leather bag that will age beautifully. It’s available in four colors plus leopard print which is slightly more.

JCrew Marlo all colors

Marlo leopard

If navy is your color check out the Parker cross body bag.

Parker navy

Now when I am shopping for bags, shoes or jeans I never make a purchase without first checking out TheOutnet.com. You never know what gems you’ll find. Unfortunately the stock on the UK and US site can vary drastically with some brands only being available in some regions. Here are the beauties I uncovered today – they are new on the site too.

I love Rag & Bone for their shoes and this bag of theirs is gorgeous. Really urban looking and not covered in branding. The grey with black is perfect. It’s listed on TheOutnet at 50% off retail.

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This mini bucket bag from Tory Burch is a great color – so versatile and the quality will be fabulous.

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This is the same bag but maybe in a more summer friendly color?

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Again a bag from Tory Burch – this one is particularly appealing with the top handle. I love my PS1 as it can be carried on the shoulder or in the hand. Be quick though at just $163 (50% off) it won’t stay in stock long.

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This Sandro bag is a real little gem – such a great cobalt color for summer, and just $138 (50% off).

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This bucket bag is also from Sandro – also a great choice as it has a longer strap and a top handle. It’s on TheOutnet at $278 (60% off) – amazing value for a leather bag from a great brand. This will last you a lifetime.

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Now Mango – oh lordy Mango. I swear I could spend my earnings at Mango this season. They are so on the ball with their offerings. So excuse me – the list of gorgeousness is long!

This stunning little number has some studding and comes in white and black too.

Mango stud cross body

I love everything about this one – the quilting, the tassel, the chain strap – again it comes in black too.

Mango quilted cross body

This Chloe-esque number is just $11.99 – yes $11.99 in the sale!

Mango stud cross body sale

Again I love a chain strap and I am really drawn to the cobalt blue but this bag comes in other colors too. It is beautifully neat.

Mango small cross body bag

You can’t go wrong with pink in the summer – go on make the boys wink 😉

Mango pink double compartment

Now another sales gem – I looked at this over and over again at full price, it is leather and now just $35.99 reduced from $119!!

Mango leopard cross body

Another animal print leather bag here, though less rigid looking.

Mango leather cross body

What can I say but top handle – the perfect combination of a hands free bag with a lady like appearance.

Mango handle cross body

This chain bag is a sales bargain as well – it’s slightly bigger than some of the others but reduced 70% to $23.99.

Mango hain cross body

Now if this isn’t the perfect Gucci Soho dupe I don’t know what is…it comes in off white too and it’s leather.

Mango Gucci dupe

Loving the clasp detail and fringing on this bag in the sale at just $23.99.

Mango fringe cross body

The shape of this flap bag is fabulous – it’s quite deep and the yellow is great for Easter best! It also comes in black and white.

Mango flap bag

Or if you prefer a saddle bag how about this one?

Mango chloe dupe

This one is a classic – so neat, also available in tan.

Mango buckle flap bag

Phew – are you still with me? I thought it only fair now to add some lust items, given the current popularity of the Gucci cross body.

Here it is – the Gucci Soho, perfect proportions, a zip closure and tassel detail.

Gucci Soho

This is the version I have – it is a flap closure rather than a zip, with the chain strap – which is basically why I chose it. Now the only draw back is I have to take my phone case off to fit my iPhone 6 plus in it  – first world problems indeed.

Gucci Soho small

Another version with the classic Gucci stripes.

Gucci Linea

Fancy something a little different? I adore this Balenciaga – and what a great crimson color!

Balenciaga

This bag from APC is a beautiful shape, minimal, clean and neat.

APC

Of course we can also add a bit of humor with the Anya Hindmarch smiley face bag – but I really do wonder why her prices are so high?

Anya Hindmarch

So there you go – plenty of food for thought. Not only are they fab for shopping but I love a cross body bag when traveling – they’re great for keeping close by when you’re moving through crowded areas.

This weekend is going to be crazy here – having just about recovered from the jet lag, Hugh turns 8 on Sunday so we have a weekend packed full of fun and surprises for him! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

AllSaints leather jacket, Givenchy PandoraTrousers – Mango (sale – size down!) // Sneakers – Adidas Superstars // Shirt – Mango (old) // Jacket – AllSaints // Scarf – M&S (old) // Bag – Givenchy Pandora

 

Planning for my trip

My trip to England each February is now a regular occurence – I look forward to it so much, and it is perfectly timed to battle the January blues. I have 5 or 6 weeks post Christmas to look forward to seeing my family and friends, and spend the dark, cold evenings with my excel spreadsheet planning what to pack! I actually don’t do too much shopping when I am back in England, except for my pilgrimage to M&S, so it’s always quite a challenge packing lightly for the cold and inevitable rain. I need ‘going out’ clothes, cool yet comfortable footwear for tramping around London, comfy loungewear, and enough layers and good shoes for a couple of long walks with Mum and Dad.

Of course in writing my list a couple of additional ‘wants’ have arisen. The first is this spectacular coat that I spotted on The Telegraph fashion pages online. It’s so Emmanuelle Alt with the tie belt and checks. It comes in two color ways – I’ve ordered both to try but LOVE the mustard. I’m thinking about it for London. I get so hot in and out of stores but I need a coat/jacket. It would be perfect with my JBrand Selenas and TopShop sock boots.

Mustard Mango coat Checked coat

Now it’s FREEZING here today and I’ve been living in my Uggs in and around the house. Mum and Dad have been sending me images of the deep snow in Bury and to say they’ve made me shiver is an understatement. I need to take my Uggs with me – but mine are a very light sand suede. Not made for Bury mud. These however are – and I can even venture out in them – the zips make them a little edgier than regular Uggs. They’ll be perfect for the airport too…justifying purchase….I know….They must be cool as Eve and Michelle both have them too.

Uggs

Now I really don’t need another pair of jeans. At all. How I adore these though. The Diesel Krailey coated joggjeans. I still love my Fayza joggjeans – so comfortable – and the coated Krailey is a little more elevated, yet still super cool.

Diesel jeans

Finally – as an option for wandering the Big Smoke in comfort – how about these stunners? I love flatforms and have a silver lace up pair from Zara last year. This season they have introduced these gold brogue Prada tributes.

Zara gold

So there you go. My spreadsheet list, needless to say, needs some refining. Helped along hopefully as we get closer to departure date and the weather forecast becomes a little more reliable! The first year I went it snowed in London and was FREEZING, but last year I was sitting outside and it really wasn’t that cold at all!

As I mentioned it is the coldest day of winter here today. It’s also MLK day so we’ve all been home. I started the day with a cold, brisk, invigorating run! Then we headed off to watch Norm of the North and out for a late lunch. Much fun was had! I got my new glasses too – I love them – they’re so comfortable!

Here’s my outfit round up from the past few days for those of you not on Instagram.

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Winter whiteJumper – H&M // Jeans – Zara (old in sale) // Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury // Bag – Anya Hindmarch (old off TheOutnet.com)

Haff dress (1)Dress – AllSaints Haff dress // Boots – Stuart Weitzman Highland // Bag – Alexander McQueen De Manta

1_15 Poppysstyle (1)Jumper – H&M (similar here on sale) // Trousers – Zara pleather leggings // Scarf – Zara (old) // Coat – Zara (sale) // Shoes – Adidas Superstar slip ons (similar here)

Friday evening in ER

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We had rather an eventful Friday. The kids and I were excited to head over to our friends’ house across the street for some Friday R&R. Our Husbands arrived after work and we were all settling into a fun evening of conversation and wine. I decided I needed the loo before I got comfortable chatting outside. I got up with gusto and headed promptly towards the powder room. Only I didn’t realize that their glass sliding door was shut…oh yes…it was dusk, there was no reflection and I walked smack bang right into it. All I remember saying as it shattered was ‘Oh no I thought it was open!’.

My Husband took me straight to ER where I had 8 stitches in my left boob where a shard had slit the skin – it could have been way worse and I am happy to report I still have 2 nipples. I have a very black eye and feel very remorseful about the damage I caused. On the plus side the doctor who stitched me was a hot and I got some great pain meds 🙂 Every cloud and all that!

stitches kids

I’ve been well cared for by the kids and my amazing husband – who is now applying tape to all our glass doors – laugh a minute hey!?

I actually managed to properly dress myself today, though makeup and contact lenses are still a step too far. If only it had been closer to Halloween I wouldn’t even need to think about a costume!

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Boots – Acne Pistols // Dress – AllSaints (old – currently 20% off selected items) // Cape – ASOS // Bag – Anya Hindmarch

At least I made it to 43 before having stitches or a black eye!

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Capes, blankets, shawls or throws?

I don’t care what you call them – I am officially obsessed. If you haven’t seen images similar to these then you have been hiding under a rock for the past two months – good for you! This is the Burberry Blanket which you can pay a ridiculous amount extra to have monogrammed with your initials. Unfortunately it is already sold out.

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So what happens now? Even if you have $1400 stuffed under your sofa cushions you can’t buy one. Well thank goodness we have ASOS. The only challenge now is to choose which one. Or, if you’re not one for challenges, just buy them all.

Plain black cape:

black

Cape with burgundy stripe:

burg

 

Reversible camel cape:

camel

 

Grey color blocked cape:

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Aren’t they gorgeous? I personally adore the burgundy striped cape – the perfect Fall color and one which you will see me wearing a lot of this year. I can see myself wearing it over jeans and a tee with my burgundy Newburys. I have, however, just ordered the camel cape in lieu of a camel coat. Not only are these capes gorgeous and well priced at less than $50, they also stink of practicality for our Atlanta Fall/Winter climate. I’ll even be using mine now for throwing around my shoulders in our frigid office air conditioning.

Another new purchase arrived this week, which I am head over heels with. Instead of the Chanel Boy bag that I’ve been holding out for (yeah right in my dreams!) I have been cruising for a bag with a chain. I ordered these to compare from Zara. Unfortunately they are all stunning and I haven’t brought myself to return any of them yet!

quilted bag

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clutch

 

The last one is definitely staying – it’s slightly smaller than the other two but has the added versatility of a clutch as you can remove the long strap. It’s a fabulous price for real leather too. I used it to go to my regular Friday lunch alone that has now become one of the highlights of my week!

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Here is what I wore, with the Anya Hindmarch bag before switching!

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Bag – Anya Hindmarch (old from TheOutnet.com) // Shoes – Vince Nina // Jeans – Zara (similar here) // Tee – Mango (old) // Jacket – Zara jersey jacket (old)

And finally my outfit from Thursday. which was crammed with work, conferences and vet visits!

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Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury (old from TheOutnet.com) // Dress – ASOS (on sale now at just $21)

So will you be donning a cape this season?

 

 

 

 

‘Tis brass out there.

I LOVE winter.  At 7.30am this morning, even though I knew I wanted to go straight back to bed after getting the kids to school, I dressed in my warmest running gear and ran like a banshee in the freezing cold and glorious sunshine – it was exhilarating.  The whole of the US (bar Florida of course) is shivering in Arctic conditions.  I love it – I get to wear hats, big coats and boots.

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Sneakers – Golden Goose (old – similar here) // Hat – Nordstrom // Jacket – J.Crew (old – similar here) // Jeans – Diesel Fayza // Sweater – Boden Off Duty Jumper

 

AS1 AS3

 

Boots – Rag & Bone Newbury Charcoal suede // Trousers – Zara pleather leggings // Tank – H&M (old) // Sweater – AllSaints (old – similar here) // Coat – Zara // Bag – Anya Hindmarch from TheOutnet.com

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Buying cheaper can backfire.

Do you remember earlier in the year I was considering buying the Alexander Wang Rocco in tangerine?  Sharron at StyleAtEveryAge had also blogged about her love for the neon Rocco and I was that close to ordering it.  At $850 it is not crazy expensive, but it was still more than I wanted to spend on an every day bag.  So I was over the moon when I saw the Alexander Wang Diego on TheOutnet.com at half price!

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I bought it and have had a love hate relationship with it ever since.  I love the style and the color, but the leather was laser cut  – it almost felt like velvet.  It meant that it lifted dye from every item of clothing it came into contact with.  I tried using baby wipes – apparently a fool proof way of removing clothing dye from bags – but the leather – as it was like a fabric – did not respond.  So sadly I returned it for a store credit this week.  Just goes to show trying to make a ‘saving’ is not always the best approach.  TheOutnet.com were brilliant about the return, as I had bought it way back in January, – and you know what – I knew immediately what to spend my credit on!!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the Anya Hindmarch shoulder bag in mushroom on sale at $472 reduced from $1350.

Anya Hindmarch

 

I personally refer to this bag as the “Kat” bag, as Kat over at DoesMyBumLook40 got hers late last year from the Bicester Village outlets (which I cannot wait to visit one trip back to the UK!).  I think it is the same shade as Kat’s – if so it will be perfect with my Acne Pistols, and of course most of my other boots!  It is winging it’s way to me as we speak thanks to the lovely Ashley at TheOutnet.com who held it for me until my Diego return was processed.  There are, however, still some left on the US site along with a lovely red color.  I’m not sure it is a brand that is well recognized over here yet, so they haven’t flown out of the door as quickly as I had anticipated.  For me it adds something special to it because the brand isn’t seen everywhere, unlike Coach for example.

You’ll never guess what too?  The lovely Husband, knowing about my disappointment over the the Diego, and hearing my ‘need’ for a summer bag, walked in today with this for me.  Spoiled, me?  Oh yes.

Rocco

 

 

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