Cambridge Satchel Company come to Harvey Nichols, Birmingham

And so we’re on to a new year, and the school runs begin again. So what better reason do you need for investing in a new bag that will make you the yummiest mommy on the school run?

The Cambridge  Satchel company may just have the answer to all your bag needs. The stylish leather satchels that they produce came in a range of classic and vibrant neon shades and are roomy enough to carry everything you need for your day, whether it be related to work or pleasure.

These bags give a modern twist to the traditional school bag that any child of the 70s and 80s now wish they had held onto.  The satchels have been created by Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas who set up the business from their kitchen table in 2008. They were inspired by a love for Harry Potter, but discovered they had a cult hit on their hands, with the bags  featured in Italian Vogue, playing a starring role at some of the world’s leading Fashion Weeks and been subject to a very stylish collaboration with Commes des Garçons.

 “I honestly thought my market would be schoolchildren,” explains Julie Deane, who started the company to pay her daughter’s school fees. Instead, the satchels have become the perfect accessory for countless new season trends and their wistful nostalgia has made them a massive success with canny fashionistas. The choice of sizes and colours mean that they are suitable as school bags for fashion savvy  teens, work bags for stylish executives, and even mother and baby bags for Yummy Mummies. Soft leather makes them hardworking, and these bags only look better as they age, making them a real investment piece.

 

The great News for Midlands Fashionistas is that the bags are now available in Birmingham’s stylish Harvey Nichols store in the Mailbox. Prices start at £95 for the smaller size, £115 for the large size. So grab yourself a slice of retro nostalgia..I’m loving that apple green shade!

 

New Year, New You with Next and Davina McCall

I love Christmas! You eat, drink and be merry. Then you eat and drink some more. But come the New Year and you start to regret all that rich food and copious amounts of alcohol as you can no longer fasten the buttons on your favourite jeans. Hence the reason why so many diets and fitness plans are started in January. But this year Next has given us an extra incentive in the form of a fabulous new collection of workout and post workout clothing designed by the Queen of the fitness DVD’s, Davina McCall.

Blue burnout top £18/€24 Lime gradient print cropped top £25/€33

As a gymaphobe, Sports wear is usually something I avoid, but I have to admit to loving Davina’s gym wear. Bright citrus colours give this a cool retro feel, think fame crossed with Olivia Newton John getting ‘Physical’. I adore the blue burnout top with its sexy off-the-shoulder draping…I’d be tempted to wear this with jeans too.

Charcoal cowl neck top £22/€29 Blue cropped joggers £22/€29 Grey sports trainer £45/€58

But what I really love about this collection is the loungewear that is perfect post exercise. As someone who struggles back into jeans after swimming, whilst trying to simultaneously dress a three-year old, this collection of comfortable jersey pieces seems to have been sent from heaven. Warm, cosy and yet still stylish, this is as far from throwing on an old sweatshirt as it could be. The cowl top is just fabulous, a really stylish piece.

Charcoal marl sweat top £25/€33 Black loose joggers £25/€33

Davina says: “My approach was to concentrate on what I would wear, thinking very carefully about the details that matter to me, like a place for an MP3 player, or reflective strips on the bottoms – essential when you’re jogging in the early morning or at dusk. And I’ve ensured the workout tops are extremely solid and secure so your boobs won’t be bobbing around while you’re working out!”

Black patent ballerinas Pink patent ballerinas Zebra print ballerinas All £28/€36

But it’s not just stylish sportswear that Davina is tackling . Harnessing Next’s F.I.T. technology, she has developed a line of stylish everyday ballerina pumps in a range of cute prints that offer aspects of comfort, performance and muscle activation previously restricted to cumbersome sports footwear.   In pretty pink, elegant black and a gorgeous zebra print, these flatties are great for the school run, or a shopping trip or even for those who spend long hours standing up during their working day. They look great whilst reducing stress on load bearing joints. I want a pair in every colour, they’re perfect for running after my boisterous boy, and still maintaining a modicum of style.

Davina McCall’s collection for Next launches Spring 2012.

 

 

 

Snow is falling, all around us…Time for White Stuff!

Well that’s it, the snow is officially here…well not quite here in Wolverhampton due to me banning it until after  3pm on Saturday, but this morning my Twitter feed is all about snow! So it seems that a little bit of online shopping is in order to stock up on all those warm and chunky accessories that make it so much more fun when making snowmen and having snowball fights.

Here are some of the warmest, snuggest and cuddliest accessories on the market at the moment. And there really is only one place to shop when the snow starts to fall…here’s the stuff from White Stuff!

STRIPE HEART FAIRISLE BERET £19.95 

toasty scarf £25 

Love to you scarf £27.50 

SOPHIE DOUBLE GLOVE £19.95

JEMMA JAPANESE FLORAL £9.95