Saturday, 14 May 2016

My Spring / Summer handbag pick from House of Fraser - Ollie & Nic 'Monroe: Cross Body' in Light Blue

First things first, I love bags. Even before I enjoyed fashion, when clothes were a thing of practicality but little else, I loved bags. And now that I love fashion I really, really love bags! In fact, when I get a new bag my husband groans because he believes I have enough bags (he is wrong). 

House of Fraser, very kindly, asked if I'd like to look at their handbags and, possibly, feature one of them. Azii may have had a couple of words to say about it but it would've been wrong to say no, I'm sure you agree. Even just the act of looking through all the bags, deciding what brands to look at, what styles and colours to consider, the act of shopping for bags is tonnes of fun, for me, and I spent ages going through the different categories, looking at different colours etc. Thankfully the House of Fraser website is really easy to navigate otherwise I'd have been there for days.


I decided that Azii was, partially, right. I have a lot of big bags so, this time, I wanted to go for a smaller bag (but that's not to say there won't be more big bags in the future, haha) and I wanted something that was a good spring/summer colour, that would be easy to wear with lots of outfits. When I found something that ticked those boxes, and it was also from one of my absolutely favourite bag brands, the decision was easy. 

The bag I picked is by Ollie & Nic (I already have three of their bags, and I love them, but I didn't realise they were stocked by House of Fraser) and it's called the Monroe cross body bag, in light blue. The biggest part of the bag is a, main, zip-up compartment and then it has a smaller pocket on the front which has the metal-work closure to fasten the flap which encloses the pocket.


To say I love this bag would be an understatement. The colour is exactly what I'm drawn to these days, a really pale blue that's got a hint of green, almost a pale duck egg colour. I love how well made the bag is, how strong it feels, how light it is to wear and I even love the colour of the metal parts. It's a thing of beauty. 

I can, easily, fit a small purse, inhaler, phone, keys, lip products and mirror in there and still have space for some other small bits. I wouldn't be able to fit bigger things in there but that's when I'd reach for one of my heavier bags, this is definitely the type of bag you take when you're travelling light or just popping out briefly.


Ollie & Nic are a brand who pay close attention to the small details, as the picture above shows. The branding is subtle, but distinctive, and the perfect stitching and all the little extra bits come together to make their bags some of the best I've ever owned. 


I know that the lining is no big detail, you rarely see it, it doesn't make any difference to your look or the over-all appearance of the bag. But even the lining of this bag makes me happy, I love the polka dots and it just finishes off the bag perfectly. 

I didn't realise how much I needed a bag this size (25cm x 18cm x 7cm, in case you wanted to be able to put it to scale), until I had it. I don't leave the house a lot, but when I do, I put a lot of stuff in to the changing bag so I only, really, need a smaller bag to put my essentials in. This is, also, ideal for my shoulders. In the past I've had to take big bags to make sure we have everything, but they end up causing me so much pain, this little bag is almost weightless and is so much more comfortable to wear. 

I know I'm just raving about this bag but I love it. My previous Ollie & Nic bags are great but two of them are huge and one of them is tiny so this just fills that gap. There were, keep in mind, other brands that I looked at during my bag search. There's many things that House of Fraser do well, and one of those things is definitely bags. There were so so many, I was tempted by; some beautiful  nude options, some gorgeous brighter colours, some big tote bags and some other smaller bags, but this one was just 'the one' this time. Always 'this time' because, of course, when it comes to bags, there'll always be a next time. 
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Friday, 13 May 2016

Birchbox UK - Unboxing / Review for May 2016

I really want to get back in to the habit of posting my Birchbox unboxings as they're fun posts to write and I know that people enjoy reading them too. It can be great to see what other people get (though sometimes makes us jealous when they get a much better box, haha) so I want to get back in to doing this every month. Watch me say this and then it not happen but at least I can try! 

If you love the look of this month's box, and decide to sign up, then I'd really appreciate you using my link to sign up as it'll get me £10 worth of points to spend in the Birchbox shop and it'll get you £5 worth of points too! https://www.birchbox.co.uk/invite/m6bv3


Make lifting your baby easier with Snugglebundl

I think it goes without saying that, before having Oliver, so many things went through my head in terms of allowances we'd need to make for my mobility and health issues. The moment I got those two lines on the test I was thinking over the things I could do to make our lives easier, adaptations I could make in order to be able to be the best parent I could be, whilst keeping my limitations in mind. 

I had, though, never heard of anything like a Snugglebundl (Cutest name ever? Quite possibly), a product designed as a solution for so many parenting issues. It's ideal for those who might struggle to lift a baby; be that a Mum recovering from a c-section, someone with mobility problems or someone who's more elderly. But it's also great for the able bodied as it is great for transferring your baby between different places without disturbing them. When I was asked if I wanted to trial this product I, quite simply, had to say yes. 

Friday, 6 May 2016

Keeping baby safe and snug with a Grobag

'The Gro Company' is a company which, I'd expect, most or all parents are familiar with. When you think about baby sleeping bags it's Grobags that spring to mind; it feels as though the other companies follow where Gro have taken the lead. 

I used Grobags when Ethan was a baby and Oliver has inherited those. But when Gro asked if I'd trial one of their products I was really excited as they're a company I really enjoy and who make unquestionably good products. 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

A Life update - Where I've been, baby Oliver, health and more

Time after time I say 'Sorry I've not been around ... has happened, I promise I'll  be around more soon'. And time after time something else goes and happens and the cycle repeats. My health was bad, my pregnancy was tough, I was looking after a newborn, all of these things are why my blogging was more sporadic last year and even more so in 2016. 

And that's not the end of it (of course, why wouldn't there be more!). As if all my health stuff wasn't enough I, now, have developed a drooping eye, mouth and face coupled with blurred vision (and associated headaches), worsened weakness in my limbs and a number of other symptoms. This has left me feeling pretty rubbish, not able to use my arms too much and not able to read, or look at screens, as much as I used to. Thankfully I saw a very understanding gp a couple of weeks ago who has referred me for an urgent neurologist appointment and, hopefully, that'll give me some answers. As such I can't promise I'll be around more, soon, but I can promise I'll do what I can!

That's not been the only reason for absence but that's been the reason why blogging has been even harder than normal, and even harder than I'd anticipated it to be with a newborn to care for. It still makes me very sad to write about it, but we lost someone we loved very recently, someone I hadn't seen for a few years due to my not being able to travel but who Ethan used to go and visit a lot; his Great Grandad. Although that didn't, literally, stop me from blogging, it has made us all very sad and, of course, it's much harder to feel motivated when you're feeling that way, as I'm sure you'll all understand.