Friday, 21 March 2014

Online Shopping Discount Codes

With Mother's Day fast approaching, I've had a deluge of discount codes and offers in my inbox this week. I'll update this page, if I find any more I've forgotten! The accompanying pictures (don't necessarily match the offer) as they are some banners I made for my shopping links page which I've just finished updating. All items on that page were in stock as of last week, if there's something that has caught your eye.

AX Paris: 50% off, click here for selected items, with the code MARCH50. For 50% off Curve items, enter CURVE50.  10% off the 'new in' section, code VIP10.

Boots: Free No7 Pink Blossom gift set (above), when you purchase 2 or more No7 items. Save up to half price on selected fragrances. 3 for 2 on all Soap & Glory cosmetics.   
Branch309: Irregular Choice from £20.
Coast: Shop throughout March and April to qualify for the 'summer pass', which will be included with your order.  The pass unlocks vouchers and discounts that can be used online and instore until the end of July. Friendly fyi (because I really adore it), the much coveted summer version of the Rita skirt is now available online in sizes 6-18, it's sure to sell-out quickly.  
Daniel Footwear: 12% off full price items, starting today and ending 28th march, code MOTHERS12, one use per customer.

Debenhams: 20% off Designers at Debenhams shoes and bags (discount already shown). Free £5 gift card when you spend £30 across any department, valid until 30th March. Plenty of bonus points for beauty club card holders across several brands; 1200 bonus points when you spend £40 on Givenchy, 1000 when spending £40 on YSL, 500 when spending £40 on Lancome, Clinique, BareMinerals, Versace or Ferragamo. All bonus points offers valid until 23rd March.  
Dorothy Perkins: There's free (standard) delivery with the code DPFREEDEL when you spend £30 or more, valid from today until Monday (24th) night. Until midnight on Saturday you can save £5 when you spend £25 with the code TAKE5, £10 off a £50 spend TAKE10 or £15 off when you spend £75 TAKE15. This offer is not valid on sale items and excludes certain brands. On Sunday/Monday they are running a promotion of 24% off selected dresses (discount automatically applied).
Escentual: Up to 1/3 off French pharmacy brands throughout March. Prices already reflect discount. 
Feel Unique: 10% off hair and makeup items, when you buy 2 or more products from those departments. Use code MAR210, until midnight 31st March. Cannot be used with another code/discount, excludes these brands Stila, Gatineau, ghd, Ole Henriksen, Lily Lolo, Dr Sebagh & Moroccanoil. Same brands excluded and same expiry for the following offers, save £2 and free delivery when you spend £30, code MARCH3, save £5 and free del with £50 spend, code MARCH5 and save £10 and free del when you spend £85 with the code MARCH10.  
Fragrance Direct: An extra 10% off all gift sets until Sunday with the code GIFTSET10.  
HQHair: 20% off today and tomorrow only. Code DELIGHT.  
Joules:  Extra 10% off sale items with code EXT10, valid until 23rd March.
LookFantastic: 17% off today and tomorrow only, code BEAT. 
M&Co: Free standard delivery on all UK orders and free international delivery on orders over £50, no code needed.

Mango:  Free delivery on all orders until Sunday, no code needed.
Miss Selfridge: Up to 50% off in their mid season sale which has just launched, along with free standard delivery on all orders until 23rd March, code MSMARCHTREAT.  
Paperchase:  New website launched yesterday. Free standard delivery when you spend £30, no code.   
Simple Be:  Up to 50% off these new season items.  Prices already marked down, ends Monday 24th March.   
Spartoo:  Get 10% off any order over £50 (full price items only) until 27th March, with the code 36c7875f8f.

Superdrug:  Save £10 when you spend £70, with the code MDAY10 or save £20 when you spend £100 using MDAY20, valid until 30th March.
The Entertainer: Up to half price toy sale, click here.
Urban Outfitters:  15% off full price items (excludes Wheels (Bikes, Skateboards and Scooters),Vivienne Westwood Anglomania (including Accessories), Cambridge Satchels, Vintage Typewriters, Nike, Fred Perry, Fuji, Polaroid) with code MIAMI, ends midnight 23rd March.

Go forth and spend : )

With every purchase made by clicking on my links in this post and on my shopping page, this blog will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.  All opinions are still my own and I was not paid to write this post or gifted any products.    

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Irregular Choice: Magic Pony & Purfect Pose Bags

I'm feeling a bit sensitive today, peaking in a strop that only a 3 year old would understand! Not leaving the house for 5 1/2 weeks (I did get out today to see the doctor), months of the house being upside down while the renovations are ongoing and my failing health all culminated in the silly tantrum this afternoon. Not a brilliant one actually, because I stormed off to my room then realised the floor was covered in wood shavings from the workmen and my bed was heaped with stuff (which had nowhere to go), so I had no place to sit! After feeling sorry for myself, I had a good cry, made a cup of tea (tea fixes everything, no?) and a couple of those new Cadburys Creme Egg biscuits (mmmm) and I'm feeling a little better (albeit with stinging eyes)! I'm now ready to face the world or at least write this overdue post! Oh and it's a goody...well aren't they all?
When you say "Irregular Choice" you immediately think 'footwear', but actually this post is all about bags. IC 'branched' out into handbags, accessories and clothing some time ago and while I've always quite liked their matchy-with-shoes bags (and probably own more than I realise), it's the last few seasons that have produced amazing (non-shoe related) bags. I'm still gutted I never got the Carnivale circus clutch and then the Deery Me, Paw Me or Pussy Cat from last winter. Obviously when I found out this season that they were launching a bag with unicorns on it though, I had to make a concerted effort to buy it. I got an inkling beforehand that these bags were extremely limited and there was a lot of interest in them.
"Magic Pony" came in off-white or dark blue and while the former would probably be more neutral and go with more things (including my unicorn shoes), I felt the unicorns weren't as prominent as they were on the dark background. I can justify (to myself) spending a lot of money on shoes, but somehow my logic doesn't really go as far as handbags. Yes, I've picked up quite the obsession and collection of Love Moschino (here and here) but I see shoes as my "first love" and that's where I'll spend the big bucks. I'm not going to try and make out like these weren't expensive because they were and it was a big extravagance and expense, as I'm sure it would be for many of you. I get a little irked by bloggers/anyone that spend several hundreds on an item of clothing (especially when they don't work) and make out like it's no big deal.  I know it's all relative, but certainly, I don't currently have a lifestyle where that's possible and I've been eBaying as much as I could to afford these luxuries lately.  Anyway, blooming unicorns are my thing (and seem to be costing me greatly lately), I just couldn't not get this.
There was a spanner in the works though, in the form of a cat bag. I'd previously bought the matching purse (still haven't shown you that post yet, sorry), but I adored the 'Purfect Pose' bag too. The colour, the shape, the sparkly cat, it ticked all the right boxes, but I'd already resigned myself to the fact I couldn't afford it and would make-do with the purse instead. So it turns out the bags are just as exclusive as the 'statement heels' and got their own release day and time. I was prepared, I was going for the blue Magic Pony. So I'm showing my Mum and Dad the photos and Mum was absolutely insistent I get the cat one. "You've already got the purse, it's nicer than the unicorn, the shape is nicer, I love it, I could borrow it for your cousins wedding" were just some of the statements she made. I think my only meek reply was "that would be naughty if I got both", knowing full well that all I needed was a little nudge or 'approval' to get both. The cat was £99 and the unicorn £85.  I'm supposed to be saving for my 'shoe room' and Mum actually said, "what's the point in having a nice new room without those lovely bags to display".  You had me at "what's"! 
Quite literally 10 minutes before they went on sale, I'm working out my finances and moving money between paypal and bank accounts so I have enough and obviously you've guessed I got both! I was not prepared for the major stress buying them though. I can only liken it to an intense eBay auction mixed with buying front row gig tickets!  Worse than any of the shoes, for sure. I was nearly hyperventilating when I saw all three bags on the site and clicked the cat because it was the first one, waited for what seemed like forever for the images to come up, clicked 'one size' then 'add to basket' and by the time I got back the other unicorn one had gone completely. Thank goodness I was going for the blue one. I paid for them and by the time I went back, the blue one had gone too. The bags could've been used, broken and £1,000,000 each and I'd have still bought them because I went through the whole process so quickly and without reading or checking anything!  I actually felt sick afterwards, I'd got myself into such a panic!  Even after the dispatch email, I still didn't believe I'd get them both, it wasn't until they arrived that I could feel relief!
I don't know if this is just me, but a) I wasn't expecting the cat to be smaller than the unicorn and b) I didn't expect the unicorn to be so big and strong. These bags are much larger than I'm accustomed to.  As you'll know I rarely venture far (well nowhere at the moment), so a small clutch is usually big enough for my purse, phone and lipstick.  Despite them being pricey (for me), I don't consider them overpriced. You are getting a lot of bag for your buck and a lot of details and fabrics and when you consider they are the same price as many IC shoes, it seems reasonable.
Ok, so onto the details, as you've seen, the unicorn one has this paint splatter pattern all over. The back is plain splatter and the unicorns are on the front. The base is so much bigger than I expected, there is a lot of depth to this bag! It's metallic, as is much of the unicorn face with the most wonderful, colourful glitter mane.  There's also a pink glitter heart and large 'jewel' between the unicorns.  It's lined with metallic fabric (which matches several of IC's shoe linings) and opens with large knobbles. You know I love frame bags and big knobbly bits! You really need to twist your hand with the knobs when opening rather than just 'snapping' your two fingers, because they are quite tough (especially at first) to pass each other. It comes with a long strap which I'm not very fussed with (although I like the pink sparkly hearts on it). With my body and boobs, it looks awkward as an across body style, but it feels too long and the bag too big for wearing on my shoulder. I'd prefer a short handle so it was hand held.  The bag itself is very stiff and won't be easily misshapen with heavy items inside.  I was trying to flatten the seams/shape a bit and I actually didn't have the strength to do it!  There's 4 studs on the base too, to protect the bag when you're placing it on surfaces.  Am I the only one that feels the need to name the unicorns?
The kitty bag has two sections and both open and close with knobs, smaller than the unicorn ones. Each section opens really wide (seems like it could be hard to lose stuff inside, because you can 'see' it so well) and there's a zipped pocket in one side and substantial 'mobile phone' pouch in the other side to accommodate the ever-growing mobiles these days. This one has a fixed short handle which I love and then a longer adjustable shoulder strap which can be attached and removed. I think I'd always use the short one.  The cat (again I want to name her) is made of smooth, shiny holographic material with embroidery and pink glitter details.  On the bag you get this huge corsage (I'm a little sad it restricts the view of her pretty face so much) and on the purse, this is just a flat fabric detail.  Another detail that gives her that 3 dimensional feel is her little plastic nose (again, just stitched on the purse).  On the bottom corners of the bag, you'll see metallic and glitter flowers with some beading and gold flowers placed randomly on the front of the bag and again the base is metallic with studs.  The background, almost a galaxy-like printed fabric is really pretty and also really soft, but again the bag can't be stretched out of shape easily (although it doesn't feel as stiff as the unicorn).  
I know from my 'What's In My Bag' posts that I'm in the minority when it comes to minimalist stuff inside a bag but I'd imagine both of these would carry quite an amount. I'm not saying as much as a big slouchy 'weekender' type bag, but certainly it feels bigger than most other structured, frame bags.  After I popped my cat purse inside (and it looked kinda lost and pathetic) I was like "hmm, not sure I have enough crap to fit in this"!  I have no idea how you ladies carry such full and heavy bags though! I get rather exasperated if I can't find stuff in my bag, so I can't see me changing my 'bag habits' just to fill it!  Look at their adorable matchy-matchy-ness below though, cute huh? 
So there we go, I made it through the post!  Thank you all for your lovely comments, prayers and well wishes recently, I'm rather saddened not just for myself, but for everyone that I'm not doing so well just now.  I put a brave face on it, but I'm basically back where I started 12 years ago and that's so very disappointing.  I'm also rather miffed that it's affected my blogs, which have been lifelines for me during my illness.  There's no makeup or outfits so my regular posts on The Shoe Girl Diaries along with Monster High Monday, Too Pretty To Swatch, Beloved Beauty Bits etc have had to take a back seat.  Just as I was almost at 1000 days of shoes too!!

Anyway, do we love these bags or are they not really your thing? Do you like a bag to match your shoes or think that's rather naff?  Let me know.