Saturday, 24 March 2012

What's in my bag - Spring edition

Super Sunny Weymouth Harbour
So it feels like Spring has most definitely sprung in Weymouth today and its blooming lovely! Determined to make the most of it I ventured out for a walk into town to run some errands which were followed up by a spot of lunch with some friends - bliss! But of course a summery day calls for summery clothing so after rocking the rolled up jeans, vest, bright cardigan and FLIP FLOPS look -finally it is warm enough for bare I've missed my Havaianas (if you've not heard of Havaianas the are THE most comfortable flip flops in the world and they come in a massive range of colours and are really reasonable!) it also felt like time to start sporting a more summery bag.

Can you guess what kind of bag it is yet?

So out came my Mulberry Jody tote bag - which is in fact 2 bags in one! I've had this bag nearly 4 years, it was my splurge purchase to celebrate when I quit my old London life and decided to move to the seaside and start Loulou's Life Phase 2!

It is the softest leather and can be used as either a large hand/elbow crook carried bag or if it's not stuffed to the gills you can fold the top over and buckle the straps and use the shoulder strap instead. (You can see some better photos here)

The inside lining is a really cute pinstripe so you can see everything really easily as its not a dark black cave like many of my handbags.

Then there are the usual inside zip pocket and mobile phone pocket plus on the outside there are 2 pockets on each end of the bag secured by popper fastenings..very handy for easy keys/phone access.

Super cute mini pockets
It really is a super lovely bag.

Anyway as I was only walking into town I didn't need to take too much with me so it was just the following:

Malden Filofax
Kindle (in case from Tesco)
Purse (Ted Baker gift from Mr P)
Mini purse (Celia Birtwell for Boots - holds essentials like lens wipes, spare contacts etc)
Marc by Marc Jacobs re-useable shopping bag
Pack of tissues
Soap and Glory hand cream
Cherry chapstick
Orange Frixion pen (such a happy colour)

So that's my lot - barely anything for me!!

Happy Spring to you all hope you all have sunny weather like us


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Deco vs Enigma....chunky monkey Folifax

So as anyone who reads my blog/knows me knows I am totally obsessed with Filofax - and especially my Deco that I have been faithfully using since September last year when the super lovely Mr P managed to track down an Amethyst version for me.

And it has been perfect. Plenty of room, lots of little pockets, card slots, zipper and popper versions. Smooth suede interior, sumptuous leather exterior....sigh. It really is the Queen of the range in my opinion.

However as jam packed as I like to stuff my Filofax I cram even more into my day to day handbag....from pens, mobile, hand sanitiser, hand cream, Kindle, shopping bags, spare contacts lenses, a make up bag (I get to work v early so it's Face-On when I get there) the list is endless!!!

But twice this week I've caught myself cramming more in on top of my Deco and seeing things catching the gorgeous clasp and leather strap. Now don't get me wrong I don't think I'm being less careful or taking her for granted (she barely has a scratch or wear patch on her I'll have you know) but I think with how much I have in her and how hectic life is at the moment I'd rather switch to using a binder that's more robust/less precious.

And that's where my dilemma comes in. Not which binder to use, but the guilt factor over swapping out of the Deco! Tragic I know seriously but I'd hate Mr P to think that he wasted his money, or for Deco to think she wasn't loved anymore.

So I'm running an experiment for the week - out comes the Enigma that I won last year in a competition with Harpers Bazaar and into hibernation goes Deco. The Brindle (as I'm calling her as that's her colour description) is coated leather, smooth and soft but I don't think she'd scratch easily. Now opinion was divided over this style when she launched - I thought she looked lovely but Mr P's comments at the time mirrored others who called her "roadkill"....and she was free....

But she's been tucked away in the box since she arrived last November and apart from featuring in a blog post hasn't seen the light of day. Until now!

I've literally lifted all the contents of my Deco out and straight into Brindle and wowser chunky she seems now too!

But with no clasp, no foldable strips of gorgeous leather to worry about and the fact that she was free means I think Brindle and I will have an interesting week together as I put her through her paces.

The transfer in picture form ;0)

Chunky ol Deco vs the Enigma

Possibly too much in the Deco??

Front layout (note Eiffel Tower ticket from Paris weekend last year)

Empty Deco, sob

Hibernation cave time

The Enigma front layout transfered

Yep I fattened her up

A cute Filofax F on the popper clasp

So what do you all think? Still hate/love the Enigma? Think I'm making a huge mistake transferring out of the Deco??


Saturday, 10 March 2012

To fair or not to fair....

Hopefully this won't be how we end up!!  Image
As readers of my blog know last year Mr P was nuts enough to propose while we were in Paris (you can read all about here if you haven't already) and for a planner like me a large part of the fun of the wedding will be the planning. But before you can plan you need to seek information. And where does one seek wedding information I hear you ask? Well of course it is at your local wedding fair!

Now wedding fairs are strange places. Full of over excited brides and their mum's plus the odd stray fiancĂ© looking around with trepidation at the rows of stall holders eager to talk about "favours" or "chair covers" or "save the dates" all words that until you start planning a wedding are unknown to the average man.

My darling fiancĂ© is not dissimilar. I've managed to drag him to two wedding fairs - and that was purely so we could nose around the venue hosting it to see if it was to be "The One" (in fact the first one was, the second just a double check before securing venue no 1 with a deposit, so that was a winner of a show) however the teams of people with their pastel fabrics and old fashioned sales techniques did not appeal to my lovely man one bit.

For example he detests the current trend for using chair covers - especially at a £2.50 cost per cover (times that by 100 chairs for the ceremony and you can see why he's not keen) Colour coordination is one thing but a sea of swaddled chairs toning in with our colour scheme is a little too formal for us. Thankfully at our chosen venue the chairs are very nice - they have legs, seats and backs pretty much all you could wish for in a chair me thinks!

Videographers are another area Mr P is not keen on - not because having a video of our wedding is abhorrent (or at least I hope it isn't that!) but the ones we have met have been more Alfred Hitchcock (old and full of creepy ideas) than JJ Abrams (young and enthusiastic) and if their videos are as old fashioned as their DVD packaging then we may as well hire a sketch artist to caricature the wedding it would be more modern!!!

Of course there are always the photographers. Each of the wedding shows we have attended photographers have out-numbered the other stalls 3 to 1. We wither have a plethora of Dorset based photographers who focus on weddings or by hum they make a killing on the wedding circuit so its he who shows, wins! This is another area that Mr P and I are not yet aligned...I believe the photos are important - I mean after all those, the rings and memories are all you have left after the big day. And being a photo-phobe where a camera looms into view and I automatically pull my "camera" pose (think lunatic with a handbag and you won't be far off) I'm keen we find the "right" photographer who can take the obligatory few group shots but will miraculously disappear into the background and yet taking stunning natural shots as we enjoy our wedding reception. It's either that or I down 10 shots of vodka in an attempt to feel more comfortable in front of the camera - possibly not the best plan at 2 in the afternoon on my wedding day!

But back to the joys of wedding fairs...of course a big part of these shows are all the competitions to enter. I work in marketing, I know these competitions are purely to gather data so the firm can constantly try to sell us stuff. Does that matter when I'm faced with the chance to "win". Hell no, hand me a pen! Mr P simply rolls his eyes and edges nearer to the door knowing full well the plethora of direct mail recycling about to hit our doormat thanks to me.

Of course Mr P can relax in the knowledge that planning the wedding is well in hand with a freak planner like myself. He need only input and approve key items as he wishes (as well as sourcing all the music obviously) while I try and think out every element in advance - I mean that's why I have the wedding fact I can just imagine this being me on the morning of our wedding:

From the fabulous blog The Distracted Crab
So are you a wedding fair type person or are you like Mr P, see them as an unnecessary evil that were to be endured while we looked for a venue?


Friday, 9 March 2012

Shoes, shoes, glorious shoes........

Maria Carey's shoe closet...bigger than my house? I think so!! Image from here

Warning, this is a post purely about shoes. Mr P you need read no more, nothing to see here. Honest ;0)

So it struck me this week that either I'm getting (a lot) older or Clarks shoes are getting far more funky. This has come about as I'm currently in love with about 5 pairs of sandals in my local store...Clarks for those who don't know are a shoe manufacturer and retailer that started off based in Somerset and were the compulsory brand for school shoes. I cannot tell you the suffering over the years enduring flat, brown, basket style sandals will haunt me forever. We even went on a school trip to their factory to see how these shoes were made!! (no trips to Alton Towers for my somerset school no siree it was shoe factories and the ballet - can you tell it was an all girls school??)

Anyway as usual I've gone off track, back to the point of this post! It was while I was out at lunchtime one day this week running some errands that I popped into my local Clarks branch, lured in by the summery window display. It was all sunshine and beaches and smiling tanned models wafting around flaunting their cool shoes instead of being like me in a chilly, grey, miserable mid work week wearing cosy boots...Once indoors I spotted all these beautys...and it was lust at first sight. I'm a sucker for a bright summery shoe, and if there's a wedge involved then I'm all over it. Being a midget I love a good bit of wedge action - makes me considerably taller but I can still walk without being crippled after 5 steps!

Now with an average price tag of £55 a pair these are not cheap shoes - certainly not compared to New Look/Debenhams/even Marks and Spencer BUT they are generally very good quality in my experience and they're just so pretty!!

Yellow shoes of joy

Ickle wedge = comfy, funky straps = cool

Super red flowery loveliness

Gorgeous daytime sparkle anyone?

The ultimate wedge?

Of course I'm on a shopping bag (of sorts) while I pay off my new car and the new barbie laptop plus save for a wedding so shoe shopping is not coming under my "essential only spending" mantra at the moment (apart from the yellow ones they are MUST HAVES surely???)

But then I can always reply when Mr P asks "is that a new pair of shoes?" with "What? These old things? I've had them FOREVER they were just lurking in the back of my closet. Honest"

Although - blogging about them with pictures probably means he'll see through that ruse....Darn it.

So dear readers are you feeling spring like with your wardrobes yet? What do you think of my current shoe lust list? Can you think of any justifications for a new shoe purchases? Or can you help me reign in my shopaholic tendancies?