I’ve decided to write about my new handbag for this week’s Tuesday Shoesday blog post. Okay, I know it’s not strictly a shoesday post without any shoes, but the handbag did come from shoe brand Hotter, so I think it’s the ideal time to talk about handbags.Now, I’m not someone who will buy a new handbag just because I like the look of it, or because it matches an outfit or follows a new trend. In fact, I don’t buy bags very often at all. I don’t have a different bag for every occasion or for different seasons. Nope, I tend to choose one bag and that one bag will do me very nicely until it falls apart. And that’s when I’ll buy another one.You may have guessed from this that I don’t see handbags as a fashion accessory. I see them as purely practical; something to carry my important stuff from one place to another. I’m not saying that it doesn’t matter at all what the handbag looks like, because I have my preferences in the looks department too. But most important is that it can fit everything in, with lots of pockets and is easy to carry. My last two handbags have been Disaster Designs satchels. The first one I tried was the best. I really liked how it looked, with a map-print design and brown faux-leather flap. It was big enough to fit in everything I needed to carry, even notepads and ipads could fit in there. In fact, it was a little too big at times – if I only needed to carry a purse, it seemed to get lost in the vast space inside the bag, swishing around like a teabag in a bucket. But it lasted for years. I’m taking maybe 2-3 years before it finally started coming apart. I’d already ruined the lining with a leaky pen and plenty of spilled makeup by this point, but I was still sad to see it go.
It may be Tuesday Shoesday but today I’m doing things a bit differently. Instead of focusing on beautiful shoes and fabulous bargains, I’ve decided to check out that ‘other’ all-important accessory instead: the handbag. It’s equally as important as shoes – you probably don’t ever leave the house without it – and it can have so many uses that it’s hard to know where to start when you’re shopping for a new one. That’s where I come in. Today’s blog post is a wishlist of handbags for every occasion and all purposes. Plus one of these bags is an absolute steal and I am definitely buying it! Can you guess which? Let’s get started…First up is satchels. I carry a satchel myself most days. They’re small enough to carry without putting too much of a strain on my arm or back (yes, I love a cross-body strap) and they’re big enough to hold everything I need day-to-day. They can look rather cool in a back-to-school kind of way too, and remind me of my college years. I posted a photo of my own satchel on Instagram recently for a ‘what’s in my bag’ tag, so you can have a nosy at my tiny little everyday satchel if you like. It’s embossed leather and deep blue so goes perfectly with most of my autumn/winter wardrobe. I’d quite like to have a brighter, summer version of my satchel to migrate over to during the warmer months.
I’m willing to bet that you too are carrying around at least one or two of the same things that I am in my handbag. I find it really interesting to see what other people have in their bags; it’s quite a private space and can reveal a lot about your personality. Actually, I never usually let others go rummaging through my bag unsupervised – who knows what they might find?! Even so, a handbag is an intriguing place and I’d love to share the contents of mine with you. I even find the choice of bag interesting, as it sometimes dictates what you can and can’t carry with you and obviously reflects your style.
What’s in my bag:
- My bag is Paperbird by Disaster Designs – I told my husband that I would ‘never need another bag ever again’ if he bought it for me for Christmas. So I’ve not been allowed to so much as look at another bag since December 2011. It’s getting a bit battered and faded now and a pen leaked all over the lining, but it IS the most useful bag I’ve ever had and I use it daily.
- My purse is an Accessorize one that my friend Claire bought for my birthday that same year, so now I don’t need to shop for purses anymore either! It’s great quality and can hold everything I need including business cards and a photo of hubby.
- My camera is usually in my bag to record ideas and things I see, and I store it in a grey knitted case.
- At the top left is a fold-out shopping bag from Joules – that’s the sort of thing my mum would carry, but I love it – as Tim Minchin sings; ‘take your canvas bags to the supermarket’.
- Nivea lipbalm (there’s usually 3 of these hanging around in there) the best I’ve ever used and this one has an SPF too
- My glasses and my lenses pot – just in case I have a contact lens disaster while I’m out and about
- Speaking of disasters, I’m always prepared – I have a couple of safety pins, paracetamol, Carex anti-bacterial gel, Aveda hand cream (the best in the world) and a tape measure (hubby always needs one) tucked in the back pocket of my bag. Plus, on my keys is a screwdriver keyring: I like to be able to help when someone needs something.
- Notebook (from Julia Rothman), pen and pencil –because I never stop working and I forget ideas really easily.
- Stila Lipglaze in Rosebud that my US friend Leslie sent me and bargain Collection 2000 XXL Volume Sensation mascara for quick touch-ups
- Sunglasses that my sister-in-law gave me – I carry these all year round because I hate squinting; I can’t afford the wrinkles!
That’s actually quite a lot to carry, and sometimes I’m also carting around my hubby’s wallet, iPad and a drink – that’s the trouble with having a large satchel handbag: everything can fit in and everyone asks me to carry their bits n bobs! I think that the contents of my bag show that I am well organised and ready for all eventualities, possibly a little pessimistic with all the ’emergency’ items I keep with me, and quite ‘mumsy’, wanting to take care of everyone I’m with. If you don’t mine me being nosy (and sharing photos on my blog!) please do send me snaps of what’s in your handbag and this might well turn into a feature on the blog! Email me Cassie@Cassiefairy.co.uk
Okay, okay. I know it was only last week that I declared myself ‘out’ of education for this school year. I was certain that this year was going to be the first academic year that I wasn’t going to be starting a new course or studying for another qualification. Yes, this year there would be no ceremonies to attend and no certificates arriving in the post. However…
Since writing about this during my Tuesday Shoesday blog post, I’ve had a bit of an ‘accidental’ browse online for short-courses, and have flicked through my local leisure-learning brochure. It’s an unusual change of heart, because I was actually looking forward to not writing assignments this year. But I just can’t help myself – perhaps I’m a little bit addicted to education, to gaining knowledge, and to getting new school supplies? Whatever it is, it means that I’ve impulsively signed myself up for a degree module on “Brands” at the UEA, which starts on the 14th October.
So surely that means that I will need to nip to the stationery shop and pick up some new pens and folders? I already have the school shoes that caused all this in the first place. And I definitely need a new satchel. Right now. This is a school-bag emergency, people!
I’ve had a browse around my favourite bag retailers online and have discovered how difficult it is to buy a simple bag. The problem I’ve found is that many online stores don’t list the dimensions of their handbags or important details like whether it has a phone pocket or zipped section inside. Any bag that I choose needs to fit in my tablet, a notebook and all other school-related paraphernalia, so it must be the right size! I know this wouldn’t be a problem if I just went to a shop to buy my school bag – but I work in my office all day (as soon as I finish work, the shops close, it’s as if they know I’m coming…), and the internet is right there for me to make my purchase at any time of day. Plus I can have my item placed in my hands within a couple of days without stepping foot on the high street. Very convenient. But a little difficult if the item you’re shopping for needs to fit a specific item into it.
Luckily I found a shop online that sells one of my favourite bag brands Nica and includes information on bag dimensions and pocket-content. After an enjoyable browse on the Bagable website during a tea-break, I found my ideal satchel for going back to school. I had my iPad and a tape-measure to hand to check the measurements, so after a couple of the bags turned out to be too small to accommodate my tablet, I found a satchel that was exactly the right size: this Nica Estelle shoulder bag.
I love the minty aqua colour (one of my new favourite colours that I’ve been wearing all summer, and will look great all year round) and this bag has a gorgeous floral lining with plenty of pockets for my mobile phone and pencil case! It’s a vintage-esque design with punched-out flower pattern and cute leather tassels, which is what stood out to me when I was browsing the website – I’d never seen anything like it before. I don’t know what it is about satchels, but it wouldn’t be right to go to school without one. Maybe it’s because I read The Story of Fuzzypeg as a child – do you remember that story by Alison Uttley where a little hedgehog has his first day at school? I loved it and the illustrations of a cute hedgehog carrying a satchel by Margaret Tempest were captivating. I think that’s why I need a school satchel so much!
Well, now that I have my satchel over my shoulder, I’m all organised and ready for going back to school next week. I know a lot of my course will involve distance learning online, but at least I feel like a student again and am getting into a new mindset of preparing for deadlines and assignments. I will keep you updated with my progress this semester and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t eat into my blogging time too much! So if you see the blog going quiet for a few days, at least you’ll know what I’m up to!
- Tuesday Shoesday ~ Back to school (cassiefairy.com)