In the Handbag – I Can’t Leave Without These

bookhou canvas bag

Before we get into the handbag (pun 100% intended) I must admit that I’ve been desperate to try my hand at a flat lay since I’ve started this blog. Call me basic, but the level of satisfaction you attained from placing a bunch of random objects next to each other without them rolling around in your handbag is simply undeniable.

Trend-sheep disclaimer aside, let’s talk about this handmade beauty: SM DAY in waxed canvas by the Toronto based brand Bookhou. Its simple design and quality materials have made it last the test of time. The waxed canvas makes it reassuringly waterproof and embraces scuffs and scratches in the best way possible. I’m also fond of the light coloured lining as makes it easy to find things in the roomier-than-expected single cavity. The strap is as sturdy as it is comfortable. In brief, this handbag is simply ideal.

Moving swiftly along to what my handbag usually contains. Since being in Berlin and living my best cyclist life, there are a few items pertaining to this new-found lifestyle, which is very exciting! But more on those later, let’s start with what I like to call “personal enhancers” – the pamper/beauty accessories that some may find a little extra.

The “Personal Enhancer” Stuff

  1. Lip Balm I love a good lip balm. Granted this one from Nuxe is a little excessive but it never fails to soothe my lips, even on their worst days. Along with having a calm and inoffensive scent, the balm is so thick, you mustn’t constantly reapply it which is always a plus. A great little gift for the lavish one in your life or for yourself, naturally!
  2. Lip colour Because you never know if and when you’ll be invited to a fancy evening, have a Marilyn Monroe moment, or get struck with fatigue and need to put some life back into those cheeks. At the moment, I use this Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil either as a stain, or full-on.
  3. Perfume – I cannot get enough of this Issey Miyake perfume! I’ve been wearing it for the past two years after purchasing it on a whim and have received countless compliments. The smell is fresh and crisp yet comforting, with notes of lotus, freesia, cyclamen, rose water, fresh peonies, carnation, white lilies, precious woods, osmanthus, tuberose, amber seed and musk. It’s very Diane Keaton’s in Something’s Gotta Give if that makes sense.

4. Hand cream – It’s just one of those things, much like chewing gum, that serves as much for yourself as it does for others. Personally, I hate the feeling of slippery hands so I will only reach for it when I’m bored (or feel awkward and don’t want to make eye contact with people), and mostly concentrate it on my cuticles. Not too crazy about the smell of this L’Occitane cream, but it does its job and was GWP so who am I to complain?

5. Hair elastic – A must. These loopy ones that look as though they should be strapped to lifeguard’s wrist with a whistle hanging from it are awesome. They keep your updo intact even after physically intensive activities (running for instance), without snagging or breaking any hairs.

6. Face mist – By far the number one princess product. But it’s just so darn refreshing to mist yourself after a sweaty bike or subway ride.

The Useful Stuff

  1. Sunglasses – It may be grey 90% of the time in Berlin, but that doesn’t mean the sun’s rays won’t strike and you don’t need your fabulous optical protection! These classic round Ray-Ban glasses are comfortable and sleek, not to mention very on-trend (cue the eye roll). I also like that they feel luxurious without being outrageously expensive or branded.
  2. Handkerchief – Despite what some may say or think, these cloth squares are completely genius. Not only to sustainably blow your nose but to wipe away your tears and beer spills, protect something going in your handbag, etc. It’s so multifunctional! Not to mention it only get softer with time.
  3. Pen – Simple, essential, impressive when you go into an interview and are like, “A pen? No problem, I’ve got one ;)”. I use this über basic Parker fountain pen (with a cap – very important) because it’s one of those little pleasures in life.

4. Pocket knife – My Opinel has served me well over the summer, especially for cheese cutting purposes. As far as carrying a knife around goes, this model is quite handy as it folds up and remains secured with the metal notch.

5. Bike light – Since the lights on my bike are more of a fashun statement than anything, I make sure I always have two lights with me at all times. I love to live on the edge as much as the next person (not really) but Berliners drive like crazies (no offence) and being visible in traffic is high on my priority list, coupled with the fact that it’s the law…so there’s that. This particular light is from Decathlon. It loops around my bike with ease, it has 4 light settings (white and red light with a flashing option for each) and it charges by USB!

6. Phone strap – This one is the newest addition to my handbag. I will most likely talk more about it in a future post as it’s associated with the spectacular app I’ve recently discovered. In short, it wraps around the front handlebar and stretches over the four corners of your phone allowing you to use it as a hands-free GPS.

7. Tire pump attachment – Surprisingly useful to have in a pinch. Since the air pumps in gas stations don’t come with this attachment, there isn’t much you can do without it. Totally silly as they only cost a couple of Euros. I usually have mine hanging off my wallet with a piece of string.

Ouf! Not sure how many have made it to the end, if you have, thank you! See you in the next one.

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