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Vogue in Bhutan - a road less travelled

am absolutely loving the Tim Walker photo shoot in this months Vogue. I am a huge fan of Tim Walker’s work, having been to his amazing exhibition at Somerset House last year and owning two of his gorgeous coffee table books. This however is even more magical as its shot in Bhutan which I have been lucky enough to visit. His pictures from this Vogue in Bhutan convey the beauty and intrigue of this magical Kingdom perfectly. bhutan3 I visited in 2007 after our yearly visit to our workshop in Rajasthan. We made our way right across India and up into Bhutan. We felt very privileged as they only let a small number of visitors in a year as they are trying to restrict tourism so it doesn't ruin their incredible culture and landscape. Who cannot love a country who talks about Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than GNP. A phrase coined as a signal of commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan's culture, based on Buddhist spiritual values instead of western material development.   The Bhutanese people are amazing. They still all wear their traditional national dress on a day to day basis but they also have very modern views on subjects such as the roles of women in society, which are far more liberal than their neighbouring countries. It was a pleasant change form India to be able to chat freely with women in a bar who were having a beer!   bhutan2   The Tim walker shoot takes them to some of Bhutan’s most special places. In the Vogue article the photos are accompanied by a written piece by the model who is in the shoot who mentions the hard walk up to Tigers Nest Monastery .   bhutan1   The photos from this location are stunning and it brought back lots of memories from our visit there. Not nearly as glamorous but me in a similar spot wish my backpack had been filled with anything so fabulous. 

Such a special place.

Christmas is Coming - Get Organized NOW!

It seems ridiculous that we have started thinking about Christmas, but with Halloween out of the way and Guy Fawkes Night just over, winter seems truly to be upon us. Reminiscing last night on last year’s mad rush the week before Christmas Day, I decided that I would be more organised this time and try to have all of my Christmas presents bought before December really hits us.  As I’ve set myself this (seemingly improbable) target, I figured making it public may be the incentive I need to ensure that come 23rd December, I am not running around Oxford Street (although it’s beautiful at this time, it is also terrifying), desperately searching for that one specific toy that the boys wanted so desperately or the ‘sold out everywhere’ Christmas toy of the year.

 

To motivate myself, and maybe even a few of you, I thought I would share the top three tips I found for buying presents that friends and family will love for years to come:

 

1.  Although it sounds pretty obvious, finding out what your loved ones would like really is the start to buying them an awesome gift. Whether you ask them straight up, or try to discover what’s on their Christmas present wish list more subtly, it’s important to have an idea of what they would appreciate. So, before you impulse-buy something that not only they might never use, but could also be a waste of your own money, set out to uncover what they really want. And don’t forget to drop some subtle hints about the presents you’d like while doing this!

 

2.  This may sound like another obvious tip, but keeping organised is pretty important. Make a list of all of the people you want to buy Christmas gifts for, and when you covertly discover what they want, or just stumble upon an idea, write it down. You will therefore have a go-to list of all the options you have and there’ll be no mix-ups – hopefully! This is also really useful when it comes to Christmas budgeting and making sure you don’t forget anyone.

 

3.  Last but definitely not least (in fact, probably the best advice out there): order things online. Not only does it stop you from traipsing around every department store looking for the same item, but it means you have more time available and can really appreciate the beautiful Christmas Markets (which we have carefully researched and recommended to you) and all of the endless amazing events during the best season!

 

One last word of advice for any of you who successfully manage to get the Christmas shopping finished before December begins; find a good hiding place! Oh, and for some great gift ideas for those who don’t know themselves, check out some of our lovely bags, satchels and leather accessories.  This year we can even emboss any leather gift with your own personal message (more on that later).

Hedonists Love Vida Vida Handbags & Satchels

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.

Grace Leather Handbag Satchel

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! 

The Perfect Summer Festival Bag

As the festival season is finally upon us, I thought I would share with you my five favourite (tried and tested) festival bags and satchels and what you can fit inside of them to keep you looking stylish at any music festival this summer.  

1. Mini Mini Leather Bag  The Mini Mini is the perfect festival bag for wandering around, night or day, at a festival of your choice. This is because, although it’s only a tiny H15 x W17 x D5 cm, it has two zip pockets on the inside, and is secured by a buckle (so your valuables will always be safe). It can be slung over your shoulder easily and looks great whether paired with wellies, a pretty dress or even if you’re attempting a little bit of fancy dress! WHAT CAN IT FIT? This is the bag for you if you want to bring the necessities only; you can easily fit your phone, lip-gloss, paracetamol and most importantly some loo roll (a must have at festivals!) – you can also squeeze in your passport if you are lucky enough to be going abroad to a festival and you’re sorted. It’s the perfect festival bag!  

2. Vintage Leather Satchel – Andreya Embossed This beautiful handmade leather satchel is one of the more expensive festival bags on this list, but it’s worth it. It is handmade by a small family business in Mexico and this means the attention to detail is exquisite – from the gorgeous embossing to the unique wooden stopper, this bag is a must if you love interesting design mixed with the quality of handmade products. And it’s not just for festivals, you can use it anywhere, whether you’re out for dinner or you bring it with you on a trip away, this bag is stylish and fabulous wherever. WHAT CAN IT FIT? This bag can fit your purse and your phone along with some mascara and lip-gloss, a small bottle of water, loo roll, paracetamol, gum and your sunglasses (can even fit a pair of flip flops and cardi too!). Or, if you’re travelling up on the train, this can be your ‘hand luggage’ with a book, iPod and headphones all fitting easily inside.  

3. Vintage Leather Satchel – Kids Style This leather satchel is a favourite of mine, and one which I actually own and use often. It is a great looking bag which has two convenient (and secure) pockets on the outside, which definitely come in handy. As I use it out and about in London, I can tell it would be a great bag to bring to a music festival as it is nice and safe to keep valuables in because of the buckles, and has an adjustable shoulder strap so you can keep it close to you, as you party through the countryside. WHAT CAN IT FIT? As I said, I use this bag a lot when dashing around London and normally this involves me carrying my purse, phone, digital camera, iPod and earphones and other bits and bobs (lip-gloss, mascara, tissues, gum etc). As this deceivingly small looking bag can fit everything necessary for a day out in the city, I have no doubt it would also be perfect for any festival. By replacing the iPod and earphones with loo roll, and grabbing some sunglasses you’re all kitted out for a day (and night) out dancing and drinking!  

4. Vintage Leather Satchel – Small Sun This leather bag is another one of our more intricate designs, with a beautiful pattern running around the edge and with the thick buckle patterned with the ‘sun’. This is the right choice if you want a small but sturdy bag which will give any outfit some vintage character and style. The front pocket is perfect to keep things handy and the strap is adjustable so keeping this bag close to you at all times is an easy feat, and with this much style, you’ll want to keep it close to you! WHAT WILL IT FIT? This bag is small but can easily fit your camera, sunglasses, wet wipes and phone as well as some makeup and gum to keep you going from day to night. As well as this, the front pocket is the perfect size for your guide to the weekend and your purse, so they will be at hand whenever you need them.  

5. Mini Long Leather Satchel This is a true vintage bag with the slight modernization of it being long rather than wide. We kept the design gorgeous and simple, and because of this, you can use this bag with any outfit and at any festival, whether it be a huge party like Glastonbury, or a more family-friendly weekend like The Secret Garden Party. WHAT CAN IT FIT? This bag is the right size to fit everything you need for a full day out in the sun, with your sun cream and sunglasses fitting easily inside along with your phone, lip balm, money, gum and tissues. It’s a stylish bag which is easy and comfortable to wear and can fit all the necessities us ladies always have with us - what more could you want?