2013 it’s been a joy

If I had £1 for every Facebook status that says “NeW yEaR nEw Me” I would probably be able to pay for a round trip to the moon, yes even when it’s double fare on NYE.

Although I am planning on some changes in 2014, I quite like the me that is sitting here at the end of 2013. This next sentence will have all of you ‘fitspo’ types recoiling in horror:

Since January I have gained 2 stone in weight and I’ve had an amazing time doing it. I’ve been on breaks to York, Hereford, Edinburgh, Manchester and Paris, and had a fantastic 5 days at Glastonbury Festival. I saw Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan just months apart. I lost my job that I hated and started a job in an industry that I love. I’ve made it to 9 years with my wonderful fiance. I’ve shed my materialistic ways and learned to love experiences more than possessions. I’ve started and finished a long process that involved dental surgery which has given me more confidence than I could have ever imagined. I have gotten all but 2 of my debts down to £0, and started to save (a tiny amount so far) for my wedding. Yep, 2013 has been kind and has helped me learn to love myself, even if I often wished there was a little less of me to love.

So, 2014, I have high expectations. You are going to help me better the me that I love. Here is what you have to contend with…


FEBRUARY: Celebrating the new job with red lipstick and tequila


APRIL: Trip to York. Cliffords Tower


MAY: Trip to Hereford/Monmouthshire to visit my namesake town.


JUNE: Dancing to Rolling Stones with my younger brother at Glastonbury


NOVEMBER: Manchester Christmas Markets



NOVEMBER: Bob Dylan at Blackpool Opera House


DECEMBER: Paris, outside the Louvre with my man


Thursday is the new Thursday

We all know that Friday is the new Saturday, but now Thursday is the new Friday. So that kind of makes Thursday the new Saturday doesn’t it? But those of us who don’t have the luxury of a lie in before lectures (bloody students) have to be in work on Friday morning, so how do you enjoy a schoolnight out on the tiles and still be bright and breezy for your 9-5? Let’s all agree to let Thursdays have their day (<- terrible pun alert) unless you’ve booked Friday off, then they’re the new Friday, which is the new Saturday. Confused? Me too, here’s my perfect Thursday night in Liverpool without the hangover.

Kazimier Winter Gardens, 32 Seel St
It’s the warmest outdoor seating in Merseyside, probably. Meet for drinks here and just try and tear yourself away from the fire grate and the mulled cider – £3.90 a pint!

Lucha Libre, 96 Wood St
Mexican street food in a no fuss canteen style surrounding. The food comes when it is ready and not a moment later so leave your table manners at the door and tuck in, even if your companions are sat drooling onto a bare table. Warning: steer clear of the Icarus wings unless you like your mouth to feel like fire for two days straight!

Berry & Rye, Berry St
1920’s Speakeasy at its best. You won’t find pints of Carling in here but some of the best whiskey and gin you have ever tasted. With a maximum capacity of 40 you have to get here early, if you can find it! The bar has no signage which only adds to its charm. The bartenders are regular cocktail competition winners and can whip up the absolute best Old Fashioned I have ever tasted. You might even find someone serenading you on the ole Joanna.

What’s in the Boux?

I got a very pretty package today…


I’m heading to Paris for my birthday so I have treated myself to some new underwear. If that’s not the right occasion then I don’t know what is!

Boux Avenue has recently opened in Liverpool and I had yet to venture in. Underwear shops scare me! I know all about the importance of wearing the right size but it’s so confusing trying to figure it out yourself, and I always worry that the sales assistants will judge me and my too big or too small plain t-shirt bras. I talked myself out of a bra fitting this time but I have vowed to go back.

I’ve been going through a 1920’s revival phase thanks to Boardwalk Empire, and have even found a speakeasy in Paris, so I fell in love with this Chloe Lace Longline Bra.


Boux Avenue – Chloe Lace Longline Bra

Part of what sold me was the attitude of the ‘body’ of Boux Avenue, Saffi Karina. In model circles, she is considered plus sized at a mere UK 10-12. She has founded Curve Project London which gives plus size girls the know how and the tools to be be taken seriously in the modeling world. Throw me a bit of female empowerment and I’m yours.

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Saffi Karina. This bra will make me look like that, right?

I’m off to do the Charleston!

Looks I Love: 9 to 5 Edition

Hands up, who has watched a film and lusted over the lead characters workwear wardrobe? Me, that’s who!

Hollywood has drummed it into me that I should be wearing pencil skirts that never crease and 6 inch toothpick thin heels for my 9 to 5. Have you seen my profile on wiwt.com?? I’m lucky if I get out of the door with matching (flat) shoes most days. As much as I plan and wash and iron I will never be able to dress like a Hollywood office worker. And do you know why I will never be able to dress like a Hollywood office worker? Because I found out their secrets! They have pins in the back of their clothes to make them fit ‘right’. They have clips in the back of the hair to make it look ‘better’. They only wear the heels when they are in a full length shot (I’m looking at you Jennifer Garner in 13 Going On 30 – Ugg Boots!). And here’s the clincher – they have a professional steamer on hand AT ALL TIMES!

Can you imagine working a busy day in an office with all of that going on?

Here are some of my favourite Hollywood Office looks (WARNING: most of these are from Devil Wears Prada)
13 going on 30

Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30 – working her 9-5 at the movie equivalent of Vogue.

Anne Hathaway - Devil Wears PradaDevil Wears Prada montage

Anne Hathaway Devil Wears Prada – working her all hours job at the movie equivalent of Vogue

Gisele Bundchen - Devil Wears Prada

Gisele Bundchen Devil Wears Prada – working her 9-5 at the movie equivalent of Vogue (we can see where this is going)

Jennifer Aniston - He's Just Not That Into You

Jennifer Aniston He’s Just Not That Into You – working her 9-5 at the… just kidding I don’t remember where she’s supposed to work, but she rocks office wear!

I am going to start small. Well, until someone gives me the secret to comfortable knock out shoes and a pencil skirt that doesn’t crease or go baggy at the bum, then I’m Hollywood ready. My version of the Gisele top knot/black tee combo. Oh God, why do I do it to myself.

Jen Other BagJen Other Bag

The angel style sleeves on this top are really flattering £7.99 H&M.

The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind: Bob Dylan at Blackpool Opera House

It has taken my 5 days to sit down and write this post as I’m still in awe of the man I saw perform on Saturday.


When I hear Bob Dylan I am transported back to warm summer evenings circa 1996. My parents liked us to eat dinner at the garden table and sit listening to music until the sun went down. My obsession with the likes of Take That and Backstreet Boys was permitted in the daytime but when evening came my worn out cassette tapes were ejected. My Mums album was always The Best of Cat Stevens, my Dad is quite the music snob and listens exclusively to “REAL musicians”, so his music of choice was Pink Floyd, The Who, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Dire Straits, Rolling Stones, and of course, Bob Dylan. Any of those artists instantly give me those feelings of warmth that only come from having a home cooked meal in your belly and sharing time together as a family. I was lucky enough to see Rolling Stones perform at Glastonbury this year – something I never thought I would see as Jagger and co are the rock stars of my parents generation – so when Dylan announced his Never Ending Tour (started in 1988) was coming to the UK I jumped at the chance to get tickets and round off a year of great music with another childhood musical idol.


Keeping in mind that dear Bob Dylan is now 73, has been doing 3 shows a week for near on 25 years, and keeps old classics fresh by changing the tempo, I didn’t have any expectations other than being in the same room as him – man did he amaze me! When he walked out onto the stage of the Blackpool Opera House the air became electric. He commanded the audience in a way that not many performers nowadays can and kept everyone captivated with songs from his newest albums until he stepped away from his piano and played the harmonica. I have never heard an audience have so much love for a harmonica before! I suppose it is the audio equivalent of seeing Michelangelo grab his paintbrushes. The band he was playing with were phenomenal. One guy was playing a banjo on one song, a double bass on the next, and something else afterwards. Although I haven’t heard much of the recent material I could have just sat and listened to them play for hours.

I suppose with me being of a fashion industry mindset, I can’t help but mention his outfit. The man knows how to rock a western trend! He wore a black blazer with gold appliqué detailing, black trousers with gold piping, and of course the classic Dylan hat. The original hipster.

There was absolutely no photography allowed in the auditorium, including press photography, so please excuse the few stolen shots I have from the night.


After a mumbled announcement of a short break, there was an old school style interval with an ice cream vendor (!) then the lights went down and the stage was filled with brilliance once again. He played more of the newer (by that I mean anything post 1960’s) tracks and toyed with us all by leaving the stage having played just a few of his best loved tunes. The encore had the entire Opera House waving their arms in the air and swaying along to All Along the Watchtower, and Blowin’ in the Wind.


I know I have fangirl’d all the way through this, but when I imagine all of the people who have saw him play and been influenced by his music it honestly feels like I have watched a piece of history.

When we left the venue we were drawn to a crowd gathered just beyond the guys selling the knock off t-shirts. A local busker had set himself up and was playing all of the fan favourites, harmonica and all. Blackpool Tourist Board need to employ him for his initiative alone – he must have earned at least £100 in the 20 minutes we stayed to listen to him. If you have ever been part of a Dylan group singalong then you will know the warm and fuzzy feeling I felt, although the cider probably contributed.

All in all it was magical.

Follow the link for the finale of Blowin’ in the Wind. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=I_YCh9h_JNw

Bloggers Anonymous

My name is Jen, and it’s been 9 days since my last post.

Almost every blog I have read has a “I’m such a crap blogger/I promise I will blog more” type post at the beginning, usually followed by a lengthy absence. Life gets in the way. On top of my regular 9-5 I’ve worked a fashion show (organiser, not model. Ha!), stayed in Manchester, stayed in Blackpool, and been to 2 live gigs. So I guess I have a lot of blog fodder for upcoming posts.

I will leave you with a few teaser pics…


Manchester Christmas Markets


Sleeping in style at The Palace Hotel


Bob Dylan at Blackpool Opera House


The Heavy on stage at Gorilla Manchester


Blackpool Tower

Weekend Wardrobe: Edinburgh Edition

Just in case you didn’t know, I went to Edinburgh in the summer.

This is a complete vanity post so bear with me. My outfits of the weekend:

FRIDAY River Island:  MTV Cropped Vest, Next: Denim Shirt, South @ Very: Maxi Skirt, H&M: sandals

River Island: MTV Cropped Vest, Next: Denim Shirt, South @ Very: Maxi Skirt, H&M: sandals

I love my MTV cropped vest but I don’t wear it all that often due to my rather large middle section. I wore it with a black maxi skirt and a denim shirt for an evening stroll and drinks around Edinburgh.

SATURDAY New Look: Hairpiece, Tube Skirt, Clutch Bag. Next: Peplum Top, Heels, Necklace.

New Look: Hairpiece, Tube Skirt, Clutch Bag. Next: Peplum Top, Heels, Necklace.

I originally bought a sleeveless empire line dress for the wedding but it just wasn’t quite right, so I opted for this peplum top from Next. Peplum is very flattering on my waist and skims over the podge, and the sleeves were just the right length. I chose the shoes because of the shape of the strap. They need a post all of their own.

SUNDAY New Look: Jeggings, Worn By: Tee, Internacionale: Jacket, Converse: Shoes

New Look: Jeggings, Worn By: Tee, Internacionale: Jacket, Converse: Shoes

This was my “I’m hungover and my feet hurt and I want to be comfortable” outfit. I love Bob Dylan (I’m going to see him next week!) and I have worn the tee so many times. It was from truffleshuffle.com. If you get the reference then you are showing your age and you will certainly want to buy everything from the website.

So, that was my weekend of very different outfits. How would you have styled any of these items?

A wee highland fling

I am in love. With a city.


Back in August I spent a weekend in Edinburgh and loved it so much that I immediately planned to go back. I was there to attend a wedding at the stunning Balmoral Hotel, and naturally had to sample a few of the bars too!

First stop was Stay City Apartments. These serviced apartments are around a 15 minute walk to the centre of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle. Although, everywhere you walk is uphill whether you are going or coming back! We stayed in an apartment for 4 people and it was large enough (2 bathrooms!) so that we weren’t getting under each others feet while trying to get ready. The floors are tiled and every door seemed to be a fire door (heavy and closes on its own) so there were a lot of echoing bangs but that was the only negative.


Once we were unpacked we needed to hydrate! Our feet took us uphill to the old part of Edinburgh through cobbled streets and stone steps then down an alley to escape the crowd gathered for The Fringe. We saw a pub called The Jolly Judge, and with Judge being the surname of the Groom, well it would have been rude not to go in! Many a scotch whiskey was drank and I fell in love (again) with the tartan carpet. Yes, tartan carpet. I want it for my home. As the daylight started to disappear we headed out for another look around. There was a spectacular light show projected onto the side of the Castle, and Eastern style music with bagpipes booming over the Royal Mile. We oohed and aahed then ducked into a lively looking Dragonfly Cocktail Bar. We had amazing cocktails; Raspberry Berry made with gin and sang to the tune of the Prince song, and a Grapefruit Old Fashioned. I was tempted by the Espresso Martini’s but Captain Sensible took over and decided that coffee at midnight is never a good idea. We wobbled uphill back to the apartments.

Dragonfly Cocktail Bar

The next morning, the day of the wedding, started with sideways rain, which I am told is the only type of rain Edinburgh gets. By the time we had to get 14 people to the ceremony the sun was out, then it rained again while we were stuck in traffic with the Groom so he got out and ran – bless him. The ceremony and reception were both held in The Balmoral Hotel and were both perfect. The wine flowed, as did the tears. The dance floor was packed and I think I may have broken a toe learning a traditional Scottish Céilidh (pronounced Kaylee). All in all, it was a great weekend and I would tell anybody that hasn’t visited Edinburgh to do so, right now!

All images are taken from Google Images. I was clearly enjoying myself too much to take my own photos.

My other bag is a mulberry

Oh hi there! Thanks for reading my very first post on My Other Bag. Grab a cuppa because I have a lot to say.

I’ve been bed bound with the obligatory November flu since last Wednesday, watched almost everything on Netflix, and read all of the blogs. So the next logical step is to start my own, right?

I’m gonna cut right to the chase and answer your question before you’ve even asked it.

Why are you called My Other Bag is a Mulberry?
You know that bumper sticker that people used to think was cool that read: ‘My other car is a Ferrari’ and you’d see it on the back of a really dirty Ford Escort? Well this blog is a bit like the old dirty Escort (I’m still talking cars, people!). My first choice of domain was My Other Blog is a ‘something really special which I hadn’t quite figured out yet’ but after a few hours of staring at an empty WordPress page and finding out that Other Blog, My Other Blog, and My Other Blog Is A were taken I decided to go with a good old fashioned Mulberry bag. When in doubt; Mulberry!


In the past I’ve written style, travel, music, and lifestyle blogs but never seemed to really stick to them. My latest idea was to blog everyday from January 1st but that only lasted to January 13th. Whoops. So, dear reader, if you come again another day you will be treated to a mash up of food, lifestyle, travel, beauty, health and fitness, music and style. Deep down, I’m a girl who just wants to take a selfie, while drinking a skinny latte, and booking a spa holiday which involves amazing live gigs, and have a lot of people read about it. Oh, and I want to have abs like 2001 Britney but currently have abs like Fat Amy.

If, for some crazy reason, you want more of me I’m on Twitter as @narkyparky and Instagram as NarkyParky – it was my childhood nickname given to me by my Granddad and probably says more about me than any other 10 letters ever could!