Tuesday, 12 May 2015

For the love of leather

I have a bad shopping habit for lovely leather goods. I will NOT EVER buy something which can be described as "faux". One of the reasons I love leather is for its longevity - properly looked after, it will last and last and is easily repaired, in the right hands. Once you've found a good leather repair shop, you'll never look back. Mine is Brodequin Shoemakers in Teignmouth in Devon, which has now repaired several handbag straps for me, and also expertly patched a bag I managed to smear with wet paint. I popped in there at the weekend and a bargain basket in the corner proved a good hunting ground - I came away with the orange leather glasses case below and the blue coin purse, for a fiver each. I always have a good browse through the masses and masses of leather skins hanging up on the wall from which you can pick your favourite for them to make something up for you - I've just commissioned a leather comb case, and am looking forward to picking it up soon. And the keyring I bought from my favourite shop in Totnes, Inspired Buys, from amongst a whole stash of vintage initialled leather key rings, for just £1.50, in a whole range of colours.

{lovely new leather goods}

There are loads of lovely leather goods out there on the high street at the moment. & Other Stories have another collaboration with Clare Vivier this year, full of some great pieces, and there are some gems from GAP (sign up for their emails to get discount codes), Zara and more surprisingly Clark's. Here are my top picks.

{my favourites: Zara's braided leather bag or & Other Stories' blue snap hook bag}

Top row, left to right
Clare Vivier leather wallet, £25 & Other Stories; Snake-effect sunglasses case, £19 & Other Stories; Dusky pink leather bag, £65 Clarks; Clare Vivier luggage tag, £10 & Other Stories.

2nd row, left to right
Leather drawstring bucket bag, £59.95 GAP; Braided leather bag, £69.99 Zara; Clare Vivier leather pouch, £29 & Other Stories; Perforated leather clutch, £24.95 GAP.

3rd row, left to right
Black leather clutch bag, £65 Clarks; Folded leather card holder, £19 Cos; Metallic leather clutch, £29 & Other Stories.

Bottom row, left to right
Snap hook leather bag, £79 & Other Stories; Leather saddle bag, £59.99 GAP; Leather messenger bag, £119.99 Zara.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Birthday wish list

It's astonishing how quickly birthdays come around, although I don't know how considering the annual event is no surprise to any of us.
Anyway, another year, another birthday. Popeye and I have just bough our first house together, so the list showcases some of the beauty products I'll no longer be splashing out on, once the eye-watering mortgage re-payments start to kick in. I've also included a couple of things which I think would fit into the new house rather well (good that I'm thinking about these things when there's not even a kitchen or bathroom to speak of yet...) plus a couple of more fashion-led items which I've had my eye on recently.

Top row, left to right
Straw hat, £7.99 H&M - my current straw hat was an emergency airport purchase and has never really fitted the bill. I love the extra wide brim on this one for max sun protection.
Pineapple pot, £19.50 Holly's House - because my pineapple obsession is still strong.
Open teardrop stud earrings, £12 Orelia - classic and stylish design.
Philosophy The Great Mystery One-minute Daily Facial, £22 Boots - I steal a bit of this every time I stay at my mum's house. Gives good results in super quick time.
River Cottage "Veg Every Day" cookbook, £11.41 Abe Books - I want to eat less meat and fish, but I am lacking inspiration for new meal ideas, especially for our evening meal.

2nd row, left to right
DAY Gweneth bag, £35, Day Birger et Mikkelsen - for the masses of stuff I seem to carry around with me.
Brick Beech Click Clock, £42.99 Ginko Electronics - I want to stop relying on my phone as an alarm, and need something which has ABSOLUTELY NO ticking noise. This one is both stylish and clever.
Kiehl's Creme de Corps, from £16 John Lewis - this body cream is great, leaves a lovely sheen on the skin but is a little pricey for my everyday use. A little luxury.
Fig lace-up sandals, £39 Topshop - glad gladiator sandals are right back in, I love this look.
REN Guerande Salt Exfoliating Body Balm, £20 Look Fantastic (with free delivery) - gives great results at both exfoliation and moisturising.

3rd (little) row, left to right
Evey cage-effect mid heel shoes, £175 Reiss - is this the most perfect heel height ever? I think so. And the way they are completely secured to your trotters make them such a comfortable wear.
Square marble tray, £45 Holly's House - the marble kitchen worktop is a little out of our price range, so this tray is a lovely (and much cheaper) way of adding a splash of luxury.

Bottom row, left to right
Nike Internationalist trainers in black, £67 & Other Stories - I'm slow to buy into the "trainers paired with anything but sporty clothing" trend, but I'm on board now and these are the ones.
Acetate D-frame sunglasses, £45 & Other Stories - I know, these are ludicrously massive, but I saw them, loved them, tried them on and was smitten.
Linen cotton-blend blazer, £29.99 Mango - 8 years on, I have finally got rid of the greatest yellow jacket which I ruined by stashing it in the corner of a nightclub instead of paying the measly £1 to put it in the cloakroom. This would perfectly fill that void.
Lambswool "Lineas" blanket, £75 Decorator's Notebook - it's grey, it's striped, it's lambswool, it's perfect.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

A few of my favourite things

Oh hello, it's been a while. I suppose blogging is a bit of a habit and before I knew it, days had become weeks, and weeks had become months, and now it's been a fair old while since I last logged in. Someone asked me if I'd "lost my blogging mojo" and I think I had, or at least it was on sabbatical. Popeye was away with work for 3 months and so I've been filling my weekends with lots of fun, visiting friends up and down the country. But I've been drawn back to the blog, and here's a little update on some goings on over the last few months.

{gold stud earrings from & Other Stories}
the pancakes at Riding House Cafe}
{Valentino skirt - the skirt that dreams are made of, but pay packets fall short of}
{cheese straws with aioli dip from Cafe Ode}
{new purse and other carefully chosen items bought from Luiban in Berlin, most stylish stationery shop ever}
{ring from Accessorize}
{chocolate wafers from Vienna}
 I can't tell you just how nice these chocolate wafers are - they come in litre wrapped packets, inside that gorgeous shoe-box style tin, and each packet is wrapped up a bit like a cigarette packet, which I must confess I have always loved the packaging of - such dinky little boxes, especially the gold of those Benson & Hedges boxes, with their gold foil linings. Still, these biscuits make much better contents! And here's a UK supplier too.

And seeing as it's National Stationery Week this week (honestly, this is a real thing) I had to mention the very beautiful Luiban which I discovered on a trip to Berlin, and the lovely owner will explain to you the provenance of every single item, most of which are made in Germany. I splurged on the yellow leather purse, which has been receiving many admiring comments recently.

{lose all your holiday spends to Luiban, you won't regret it}
So, that's it from me for now, but more updates to come this week - it's good to be back!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Sale stalking

I haven't bought many new clothes in the last couple of months - a combination of not really seeing anything I liked in the shops, or the fact that what I did like costed more than I wanted to pay.

However, what I have been excelling at in these last few days is sale stalking, keeping an eye on those items which have caught my eye, which I'm hoping will be reduced further in the sale. There have been some heart-wrenching moments, when items I was hoping would go down in price in fact sold out instead - but most of them miraculously came back in stock, and when they did I pounced.

There's one strange thing I noticed though in Reiss - the prices on their website didn't match their prices in store. The prices in store were cheaper - my black leather and suede skirt below was £195 on the website but £95 in the shop. Also the Londra trousers in navy were £49 online, but £39 in the shop. So it's worth calling in to your nearest branch.

{sale bargains}

Top row, left to right
Leather bag with rigid handle, £69.99 Zara; Marmaduke crew-neck jumper, £80 Gerard Darel; Tortoiseshell resin necklace, £39 Jaeger; Cotton shirt by Kin, £19 John Lewis - I could only find the full price white one on their website, but there are plenty available still in blue in store in the sale. I found mine in Reading.

Middle row, left to right
Tribal Linton tweed jacket, £45 Jigsaw; Londra black straight legged trousers, £49 Reiss; An alternative to the blue Kin shirt - this one in the sale is available with a gold sequin side panel - swoon! £44 J Crew; Hayden textured leather skirt, £95 (in store) Reiss.

Bottom row, left to right
Snake skin effect ballerinas with leopard print, £54.90 Uterque; Cat flat point leopard print Chelsea boot, £36 Office.