A designer wishlist

February 10th, 2016

I’m not really what you would call a label junkie, but I do love designer bags and shoes. When it comes to clothing, I’m not really the right size for most designer collections, so although I have the odd piece in my wardrobe, I’m perfectly happy to stick to High Street and vintage pieces. But designer bags and shoes are another proposition altogether. These I find hard to resist.

The good news is that these days, you don’t actually have to break the bank when it comes to buying a designer piece. I have quite a few amazing buys that I have found in charity shops, including bags from Marc Jacobs, Tods, DKNY and Sonia Rykiel, and shoes from Ferragamo, Bally and Givenchy. There are also great companies like Xupes who sell pre-owned and second-hand luxury goods and offer finance to help you pay for the goods, so you can spread the cost.  Xupes currently has handbags from Chanel, Celine and Hermes so we are talking about real premium brands. (They also specialise in watches so well worth a look if you love quality timepieces.)

When it comes to designer bags, this season I have a few stunning bags that are most definitely on my radar. I love the design of the Chloe Drew bag, and this season it now comes in a stunning mini suede and calf leather variety in Misty Rose, which is very similar to this year’s pantone colour Rose Quartz.


Chloe Drew Misty Rose

Another bag in a pantone colour is the Dotcom leather bag from Fendi. In a beautiful sky blue that resembles the wonderfully named Serenity (the other colour sharing the Pantone title for 2016), this is a wonderfully grown up, structured bag that would be so lovely in Spring.

Fendi Dotcom

Fendi Dotcom

The Longchamp Pliage bag is iconic and is a definite favourite of mine, I have two and use them all the time.The bag has been re-imagined in a beautiful coral shade for 2016, and I totally love this, and it is a bargain for £100 too.

 LONGCHAMP Le Pliage Illusion shoulder bag

Le Pliage Illusion shoulder bag

Kate Spade is another favourite of mine when it comes to bags, I love the classic shapes and designs, but I also love the sense of fun she brings to her designs. The Cedar street harmony leather handbag reminds me of a beautiful kite with the bold primary colours looking fabulous.

 KATE SPADE NEW YORK Cedar street harmony leather handbag

Cedar street harmony leather handbag

Do you have a handbag wishlist for 2016?

Sorting finance for a new car

February 9th, 2016

There can be many reasons why you might be refused finance when you it comes to buying a new car. Bad credit can be a no-no, as can County Court Judgments or being found bankrupt. All these are perfectly understandable, although very frustrating if you find yourself in this position. But these are not the only reasons why finding finance for that dream car could become an issue that makes the dream turn into a nightmare.

If you are self employed, or work freelance, or literally work in any circumstances where your pay may differ from month to month, you may find yourself in a position where you are not accepted for finance. I have many friends who are in just this position who are quite literally fed up with being rejected, despite being in full-time work, albeit of a self employed nature.

Moneybarn is a company that is focused on helping people with car finance. A member of the Finance and Leasing Association, the official trade organisation of the motor finance industry, Moneybarn prides itself on a fairer system of decision making when it comes to offering finance, not just looking at your credit score which can be affected by debts like student loans, an odd missed payment or problems that were many years in the past. Moneybarn wants to be a responsible lender, so it assesses your current outgoings to see if you can afford to pay for the car, along with any current debts you have to ensure you are not getting yourself into a situation you genuinely can’t pay for.


You can apply online once you have found your dream motor, using the car finance calculator on the Moneybarn website, and then, once all your details are logged, you will get a call back to discuss in further detail.


Of course, you are ultimately responsible for making sure you don’t miss your payments, so you really should assess that you can afford the vehicle without pushing yourself into any financial hardship or difficulty. But if your problem has always been linked to the nature of your work, or from very old debts that are making your credit score an issue, Moneybarn may well be the answer to your prayers.

A Valentine’s gift idea from Snapfish

February 9th, 2016

With Valentine’s Day creeping up on us (I know, who stole the year so far), it is that time when we start to think about beautiful gift ideas for our loved ones. For me, the gift should be special and have meaning, whether this be a favourite perfume or aftershave, stunning flowers or something personalised. And that is why I always turn to Snapfish for a gift that will revoke memories and delight the person receiving it.


Snapfish offers great value, personalised photographic gifts that are perfect for all special occasions (Mother’s Day and Easter are also early this year, and Snapfish have gifts suitable for both these occasions.). The gift range includes mugs, canvas prints, keyrings and photo books of all sizes. I have been with my better half Peter for a long time now (22 years in fact), so we have enjoyed lots of amazing times together and have accumulated thousands of photographs, so I thought it would be nice to put them into some sort of photo book.

The Snapfish photo books come in varieties that range from small ‘brag books’ with Soft covers, to hard back books that can be personalised with your own photographic cover. You can also choose your layout, with two, three or four photographs on each page, and can add your own text. The amount of pages you need is also up to you, there is an offer at the moment for free extra pages that you can take advantage of.

snapfish two

Pages can also be personalised with a background pattern or print, I chose the vintage backdrop for my photographs but there are many more to choose from. In addition, it is easy to upload photographs from your own albums on your laptop, or from your Facebook albums. Once they are uploaded, you have the option to auto-fill the book, which again makes it very easy to create a book even if you are a bit of a Snapfish novice.


I went for the red Linen Cover as it reminded me a little of This is Your Life (with me) and decided not to add text – I wanted the pictures to speak for themselves, but this is a personal choice and you can add exactly what you want to each page.


There is still time to get your Valentine’s gift from Snapfish if you order today (9th February), then it will be here in time for the big day.