With Spring well and truly under way (and even some sunshine here in London!), there is no more avoiding the dreaded spring clean. One thing I am definitely guilty of over the winter is filling my bags up with an unlimited amount of junk (as you may remember reading about it in this post last year. To quote...
“…collection of beauty products and accessories that I had no idea were at the bottom of my satchel – 2 hair bands, 3 hair clips, a pair of earrings, my mascara and concealer, a huge pot of Vaseline, an empty tube of hand cream and 3 different colours of lip-gloss… …a pen, chewing gum, a sachet of sugar, a dummy (I am a mother you know), some sweet wrappers, tissues, mints, 3 coins (all of different currency) and finally, inexplicably, a pair of socks.”
In an attempt to embrace the (occasional) sunshine, I am trying to downsize my favourite, stuff-everything-in handbag - the medium leather weekend bag for a smaller, more summery bag like the vintage two pocket leather satchel. The main problem with this is that over the winter, my bag filled up with so much unnecessary rubbish that I could barely see inside it (I have just had my second son so I do have an excuse). It needs a proper clear out before I can even think about swapping to a smaller bag!
Spring cleaning my handbag was a tiring process; after emptying its contents onto the floor, the first thing I did was throw away all the rubbish: gum wrappers and receipts, squished cereal bars and empty hand creams. Then the remaining junk was sorted into piles - beauty products, accessories, toiletries, children’s stuff etc. That was when the fun began; I had to decide what I would desperately need in my new (miniature) handbag, my answer, of course, was “all of it!” I found out that I am very good at thinking of scenarios where having 7 lip-glosses and £5 in 3 different currencies by my side was a matter of life or death.
After a lot of deliberation, I managed to get rid of a few bits and bobs and I attempted to fit ‘the essentials’ into my summer bag. It was all going well, but then the bag started to look quite full, and I still had a pile of (very necessary) mascaras, dummies and tissues on my bed. I squeezed it all in but I couldn’t quite shut the bag. It was then that it dawned on me that maybe I just wasn’t made to use a small bag.
I decided that if downsizing wasn’t an option, and the small bag was best kept for when I could go out with no children in tow, I would give my current leather bag a loving refurbishment, and continue using it. I sponged it with rapeseed oil and left it near (but not too close or touching) a radiator for 24 hours to dry. It now looks like a new bag, without the hassle of actually having to cut down on what I carry with me – the best of both worlds! If you have a very well used leather bag, or you just want to give yours a bit of special care, you can use vegetable, sunflower or baby oil as well (test on a small hidden patch first).
For more tips on caring for your leather bag, including if you get it wet or the smell is a little overpowering, just read our full leather bag cleaning guide.
I hope this was useful in motivating you to clear out and revamp your bags – maybe you’ll be a bit more successful than I was! If so, after all that hard work, there is only one thing you can do – treat yourself with a new bag for the summer! You can have a look at our selection of gorgeous leather handbags.
February 14th is Fast Approaching so here is our guide to some of the perfect Vida Vida leather bags, satchels and accessories.
If you have been so busy sticking to your New Year’s Resolution that you’ve only just realised that Valentine’s Day is just under a week away, fear not! For all those times I have been in a similar, rushed situation, I thought I would help you out with my top five Vida Vida presents for men and women, whether you’re on a tight budget, or looking to splurge. Just remember to get your order in by Wednesday to be sure of delivery in time.
Gifts For The Man In Your Life
1. This Tan Leather Card Holder, £20, is perfect if your man is constantly on the move – the beautiful stitching compliments the suntanned leather so well and its size means it can fit inside a pocket easily. If you’re looking for something slightly more substantial, but you love the gorgeous leather, you can see our leather wallets here.
2. If his iPad is his pride and joy, this Dark Brown Leather iPad Case, £45, is just the thing. It is made of hardwearing buffalo leather and has a soft lining with leather and elastic straps to keep your iPad secure, as well as a zip to keep it shut and even a pop-out stand for when you’re out and about. We have a range of iPad covers as well as a selection of leather satchel style laptop cases
3. If you want to keep the present simple yet practical, this Large Black Leather Messenger Bag, £90, is the right choice. The sleek design can fit a 13” or 15” laptop, along with folders, books and whatever else is needed. The black leather looks great with anything and the whole bag oozes style – just the thing for a fussy recipient. We also have a range of sizes and colours of our leather messenger bags.
4. Our laptop bags come in different sizes, but the Extra Large Special Leather Laptop Bag, £120, might just be the best; with room for a change of clothes, lever arch files and even a 15” laptop, it can be used for practically any situation. With so much room inside, it will soon become your loved one’s favourite travelling partner (apart from you of course!). We have a huge array of men’s laptop bags
5. Finally, this Leather Duffle Bag, £170, really is the perfect bag. Whether used on a short holiday, a weekend away or even as a large gym bag, it is guaranteed to bring envy to everyone who lays eyes on it because of the beautiful suntanned leather and the detail and care put into the stitching. As well as this, the more it is used, the better it looks (if that’s even possible!) because the leather becomes softer and suppler until he won’t even think of leaving the house without it. See our other leather duffle bags here.
Gifts For The Woman In Your Life
2. Another great gift is this Small Ball Silver Ring, £30. It is sterling silver and comes in a range of sizes and looks great alone or with other rings – definitely a good one if you want a smaller present, but equally one that your partner will continue to wear. We have a large range of silver rings.
3. This Vintage Two Pocket Large Satchel, £65, is beautiful and brilliant. It can fit all your daily essentials; a bottle of water, mobile phone, iPad etc. and looks great with everything! From the beach to a muddy music festival, this is a great gift to give.
4. Another perfect present for your loved one could be this Black Padded Leather Laptop Bag, £120, which is fantastic if she’s constantly on the move with her laptop in tow. Fitting plenty of A4 documents and a 13” laptop in a bag has never been this stylish! We also have a variety of tan laptop bags.
5. Last but certainly not least is the Extra Large Leather Weekend Bag, £195. I could go on about this bag for days (as you can see from my blog post about it ) as could just about every newspaper or magazine who have reviewed it! From Vogue to The Telegraph, this is one popular bag, and coincidentally it would be an absolutely fabulous Valentine’s gift, whether she would use it as hand luggage or just for a romantic weekend away.
Although we are huge fans of the Cambridge Satchel Company, and would like to congratulate them for their success in opening their first shop in Covent Garden a few months ago, here at Vida Vida, we were a little confused with one of their more outlandish design ideas.
The clear (transparent - see through!) satchel!
We were thrilled to be mentioned on the Hg2 (Hedonists Guide To…) website which named one of our small leather handbags as the perfect accessory to take to the amazing Port Eliot Festival (the next festival takes place 24-27 July 2014).
This brilliant literature, music and visual arts festival, which was founded in 2003, takes place in St Germans, Cornwall. Although I’ve never been, the ‘festival of ideas’ (as called by frontman of Pulp, Jarvis Cocker) is well-known for a multitude of different acts, from spoken word artists to musicians, and with the festival full of fashion, food and the odd cabaret tent, it is definitely somewhere to consider next summer.
The Grace Embossed Vintage Leather Satchel [LINK] was picked as the best bag to take to a festival and its easy to see why! As it is a shoulder bag, your hands are "free to grab some Pimms and dance the night away", and your valuables can be kept safely across your body. As for space, this bag has more than enough – your phone, purse, digital camera, sun cream, make up and gum will fit in easily. To top it all off, the beautiful leather goes with anything and everything, so you can use it when wearing jeans and wellies, along with a maxi dress one evening – the perfect festival bag!