Posts tagged ‘handbag’

June 21, 2013

What’s in your handbag?

Regular blog readers might remember me writing a ‘what’s in your handbag’ post ages ago. Shortly after which the bag in question, along with its contents, was stolen from my kitchen. Thankfully it was all insured, and therefore replaced with shiny new things! Huzzah!

I’m choosing not to think that lightening can strike twice and so I’m risking writing a new version of that post, because, if you’re as nosy as I am, the contents of a handbag are fascinating …

So, here goes.

The bag that I carry around switches between a silver Cambridge Satchel, a Mary Katrantzou for Longchamp tote, and a brown leather satchel that my Dad gave me to replace my beloved stolen Mulberry Antony. Each of the bags is useful for different occasions, but the one I have today is the brown leather one. Simple, logo-free and with enough pockets for me to endlessly think I’ve lost something, this bag is perfect for slinging across my shoulders and leaving my hands free for important things like ice-cream eating, hand-holding (romantically with my other half, or to stop my kids jumping into a lake) or endless Tweeting.

I like to carry a lot of stuff. So, small fancy bags are not really any good for me and this list really does prove it!


Inside the bag:

  • Suncream. I used some chemical peel pads earlier this year and although they’ve improved my skin lots, they have left it very sensitive to the sun. Daily suncream is essential now. This one is by ROC.
  • Moleskine diary and fineliner pen. Because although I love technology, nothing beats pen and paper.
  • My purse. I love, love, love this purse. It was made for me by the talented Abi of ‘Sew You’ and it’s large enough to hold my keys, lipbalm, iPhone earphones, and a tiny box of dental floss as well as my cash and cards. After my last one was stolen, she sent me a free replacement, which just proves how fabulous she is.
  • Lifeventure water bottle. Reason enough for a giant bag! I carry water with me all the time after a kidney infection earlier this year, and the bottle – bought for me by my beloved – is with me every day.
  • My essential make-up kit: Rodial Glam Balm, Nars Sheer Glow foundation (in Mont Blanc, which just shows you how pale I am!) classic Maybelline Great Lash mascara, a very old Shu Uemura eyeshadow in Medium Brown, YSL Touche Eclat, Kevyn Aucoin eye pencil (one of the best I’ve ever used) and finally, lip gloss in Jean Queen from Lipstick Queen which is the perfect everyday pink.  Most of this haul was bought from my local Space NK
  • A packet of Chewits. Because you never know when the Chewit Monster might strike! Remember him? Actually, I have to confess that, having discovered them in my bag when I emptied it to take the photo, I’m eating them right now, as I type.  I quite often have a little something sugary in my bag. To placate my children – what a mother – or to to give me a little energy boost at 3pm. I know, I know, I should be eating fruit or almonds or something. But I’m not.
  • A magazine. In this case, the wonderful stationery-special issue 17 of Uppercase. For many, many reasons. It has a scratch ‘n’ sniff cover, for a start! Scratch’n’sniff! I know that at the age of 37, I should have grown out of such things, but it’s cherry, so therefore brilliant. I always have something to read in my bag. Being a public transport user, I never know when I’ll end up stuck somewhere and I prefer my reading material in print, not via e-reader. Books never die.
  • A Rapha musette. A gift from my lovely boyfriend, this little bag is often with me so that I don’t have to use carrier bags in shops.
  • And finally, my beloved iPhone 5. At 64GB, this is worth more than my car and I love it almost as though it were my third child. I’m not even joking (much) about that. My addiction to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and, I confess here … Happy Street … mean that I never want to be without it.

So, that little lot is worth quite a lot. A quick tally up shows that replacing it would cost me roughly £950. Mostly because of the unlocked iPhone, to be honest but even the make-up would cost me a fair bit to replace in one go. That’s actually quite a surprise. I’d better go and check that insurance policy …

This post will be entered into a Money Supermarket competition. 

April 13, 2012

A New Bag: Mary Katrantzou for Longchamp.

I’ve been a fan of Mary Katrantzou for a long time now and so when I heard she was collaborating with Longchamp, another firm favourite company of mine, it felt like a match made in heaven.

I’m a bit feeble when it comes to wearing bold print or pattern in my clothing, as much as I adore to see it, so having a bag with a bold print on seemed like a great way of brightening up my wardrobe without taking that final brave step of really wearing it! Although, having said that, I have got bolder in my clothing choices, which I will tell you about in a blog post another day soon, I promise.

I bought this bag, which is the fourth of my little collection of Longchamp bags. I love my ‘Le pliage‘ range of nylon bags. Many of them fold up so they’re great for travelling and they’re robust enough to use all the time. Over the years, I’ve used them for a variety of things, from city breaks to nappy bags (the glamour…) and they’ve all lasted really well.

Photo from, where I bought my bag from. (Incidentally, the delivery was impressively quick.)

It has a Chinese lantern print on it, which you can see more clearly in the photo below and the handle is long enough to carry over your shoulder. It’s a bit larger than I was expecting (my maths isn’t great and I ordered it online!) so it will have a slightly different use than I originally intended – it’s my carry-on luggage for my Italy trip. As I have the Cambridge Satchel for everyday, this one will be reserved for overnight trips or longer days out.

Although I haven’t exactly replaced my Mulberry bag, I’m really happy with my two new additions. As I mentioned in a previous post, I really need to love the things I buy and surround myself with so it’s taken me a while to make my decisions, but I’m happy that I made the right ones and look forward to creating lots of memories with them…

April 4, 2012

Silver Satchel.

In my hunt for a replacement for my favourite, sadly lost bag, there is no one I have resembled more than Goldilocks.

My requirements for a bag? Not too big, not too small, not too expensive or too cheap looking. I don’t like lots of frills nor a bag that is so obviously from a particular season that it will date quickly. I prefer something with looks verging on the traditional and utilitarian, rather than over-feminine and it must be great to look at and great quality. I also prefer to be able to wear a bag diagonally across my chest to keep my hands free when I’m with the kids to stop them flinging themselves towards whatever danger they can find.

Most importantly, and this might sound a bit odd, but I really need to love the things I own. This isn’t meant to sound as though I’m advocating collecting lots of possessions, because I don’t have a lot of things myself, but if I’m going to spend money on something, it needs to be exactly right. Not just good enough. I want to have things that I can create memories with. Which is why everything I buy takes a lot of deliberating over. I’m certainly not an impulse shopper!

See what I mean about Goldilocks?

Thankfully I recently discovered the Cambridge Satchel Company. Handmade in Britain, and with a range of satchels in several sizes, batchels (with a top handle) music bags and backpacks, all in a rainbow of colours, it’s a company whose website I have spent ages poring over recently. If you order online they can also add embossed initials to personalise your bag even more.

However, I didn’t realise that they were also stocked in my local Harvey Nichols store until I came across them by chance and it felt like fate…

After a lot of deliberating, and one session in store trying to fit all my possessions in to make sure that it was big enough, I have bought my new silver satchel. I genuinely love it. It feels great, looks perfect and smells heavenly; just like new saddles. (note to self: stop smelling bag in public. It’s weird.)

The Cambridge Satchel Company make  this satchel in a lovely array of colours. I decided on the metallic silver because I wanted to inject a bit of boldness into what I wear every day instead of going for a more traditional colour. I love the contrast between the traditional satchel shape and the contemporary silver. Also, silver works really well as a neutral with whatever other colours I’m wearing. Since buying it, I’ve used it every day which is the ultimate test and it’s passed with flying colours!

I will be really happy to create some new happy memories with this bag. Starting with a trip to Rome over Easter…

March 5, 2012

Handbag Contents: What does a blogger carry?

I’ve seen quite a few of these posts over the years. The bag contents of bloggers are neatly laid out for us all to peruse and everything is chic, well designed and organised. So, feeling a bit inspired by this, I thought I might have a go myself.

The bag I carry around everyday is my beloved Mulberry Antony. The large version of this is big enough for a book or magazine, and even though I am notorious for over-filling bags to breaking point, it seems to absorb all my rubbish very well. Plus, and very importantly for me, it leaves my hands free for catching wayward toddlers before they step off the nearest ledge, hailing buses, messing about with Iphone apps or reading a book.

So let’s have a look what is in there. I’ve basically tipped everything out of it onto the floor. I may be doing this wrong…

The only thing you can’t see here is my iPhone because that’s what I used to take the photo, but believe me, it’s there ALL the time. iLimb, as my lovely friend calls it.

In amongst the jumble and ignoring the old bus tickets, there are things that I’ll point out.

  • My lovely dinosaur purse from Sew You.
  • This week’s edition of Stylist magazine. I adore Stylist magazine and the daily Emerald Street email they send out too.
  • Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. As someone who is often changing nappies, cooking or gardening, I wash my hands a lot, so they get sore. I’m really wary of having old lady hands so am obsessed with great hand cream.
  • One small sock. Probably the sole survivor of a pair. I have no idea why it is in my bag, but it’s the kind of thing I’m likely to be carrying around. To be honest, I’m surprised there isn’t a toy car in here.
  • A giant chewy sweet, taken from my son who decided it was perfect breakfast food. We disagreed. I may eat this to save him from the tooth decay.
  • My beloved orange leather gloves bought in Florence, Italy. I love orange but this is the closest I get to wearing it, as it doesn’t really suit my skin tone.
  • Two books. This is why the bloody bag is so heavy! One of these is my library book. I’m reading through all the Agatha Raisin murder-mystery series at the moment. They’re very engaging and so easy to read. The second book is called ‘A Boat in Our Baggage’ by Maria Coffey, which I’ve borrowed in preparation for my Epic Kayaking Adventure in the Lake District. Which is really a little paddle, but in my head is now ‘Swallows and Amazons’ (and before you say it, I know they didn’t kayak!) so I need the inspiration.

The silver bag is my Emergency Pouch. I recommend one of these. Inside this I keep painkillers and other medications, things that women need (you know…) spare contact lenses, lipstick, and for some reason, earrings. Never had an earring emergency but it could happen. Having it all in the pouch (and remembering to replace stuff you’ve used) means you can just take it all out of one bag at once and drop into another. Handy.

In the emergency pouch are also two make up saviours: Posie Tint by Benefit and Laura Mercier cheek cream in ‘Canyon’. If I’m looking for a bright, but light way of freshening up my face, I use the Posie Tint on my cheeks and lips. I love the Benefit stains, as they just don’t wear off. If I’m after a simpler but healthy look, I’ll use a bit of the cheek cream instead. It’s a great light terracotta type colour that seems to suit everyone and just gives me a healthy glow.

So, this what I carry around. Alongside this is usually a small notebook and pen too, in case I need to remember something. As an inveterate list writer, this is essential, although I’ve started to use the notes function on my phone more often. One thing you can’t see here is a giant DSLR camera. That’s because I don’t have one. There is a plan afoot though, so hopefully one day soon you’ll see better photos on the site!

What do you carry around in your bag every day? Do let me know, I’m unashamedly nosy…