How to Find Your Perfect Bag

I’m usually a one-bag-girl. Not in the sense that I only have one bag, oh hell no. But when it comes to my everyday bag, I don’t switch up my bags very often. I will most likely wear one bag continuously, until I find the next bag of my liking. Any particular reason? Yes, laziness.

Not going to lie, I’m basically Mary Poppins when it comes to having too much stuff in my bag, meaning that transporting this ‘stuff’ from one bag to another every. single. day. can be a tad impractical. Keys, purse, mirror, lipstick(s), tissues, hand sanitizer, a pen, paracetamol, Kindle… and usually an abundance of receipts that seems impossible to not exist in my bag. About 98% of the time before I have to leave on a morning, I am running around like a headless chicken, so believe it or not – I don’t have the time to transport my ‘stuff’.

What’s important when shopping for your perfect bag…

I bought this bag for the intention to become an everyday bag, meaning that it needed to be big enough to hold my ‘stuff’ previously mentioned. However, seeing as I am quite a busy girl, hopping from coffee shop to the library (and, let’s be realistic, probably to another coffee shop), I also wanted a bag big enough to be able to hold notebooks and my laptop if required.

The colour of your bag is everything

One thing that instantly drew me to this bag was its colour. Anyone who knows me well will know that natural/neutral colours are my absolute go-to, meaning that khaki is most definitely one of my preferred colours when it comes to my style. It matches every other colour in my wardrobe (brown, grey, black, white, beige shades), and its classic style is perfect for all-year round.

The tip when searching for a bag you are planning to wear copiously is make sure the bag is a dark(ish) colour. This means that you are guaranteed to be able to wear this bag with almost every outfit. And as a bonus, any dirt or even dye from your jeans won’t be as noticeable – win win!

My Top Tip

When I search for a bag, I also like to think about the hardware tones. It seems a little extravagant, but this really is one of my most important tips when it comes to nailing your bags. Firstly, I consider what type of bag I am searching for (casual/daytime, a work bag, evening, smart, special occasion). Knowing that this bag was going to be for everyday, I then thought about the jewellery I tend to wear on a day-to-day basis – which is gold. Choosing a bag with gold hardware accents will complement the jewellery I am most likely to wear, meaning the bag will match almost any outfit I choose to wear. This is a smart way to make sure you get the most wear out of your bags.

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SHOP THIS BAG

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Images: Harry Dyer, Rachel Jefferies

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A New Chapter

Why hello there, stranger.

So, it has felt like an extremely lengthy time since I last published a blog post… and that’s probably because it has been an extremely lengthy time. Normally I would bombard you all who kindly do take the time to read my blog posts with apologies, excuses and how I am embarrassed at how long it has been. However this time, I’m not sorry. And I’m not embarrassed. And without the cheesy cliche embellishment that nobody wants or needs (and nor does this blog), I’m coming clean.

the truth is, I just didn’t feel like writing”

I have had an abundance of people say to me “Rachel! When’s your next blog post coming out?”, and as flattered as I have been to hear readers are genuinely interested and follow my blog’s progress (a concept I still can’t get my head around), I would reply with “aww how sweet, I plan to post one shortly” – knowing it probably wouldn’t happen anytime soon. I tried blaming it on just being busy and not finding the time to write, and I tried blaming the fact I don’t have ‘blogger’ equipment to reach the standard I aspire. But the truth is, I just didn’t feel like writing.

If I had a pound for every time I sat down to finish just one, from the handful of unfinished blog posts I have lying in my drafts, well let’s just say I probably wouldn’t have to pay for a latte for the rest of the year. (Just take a look at my blog name if that has triggered any confusion). I just somehow found each post increasingly difficult to finish. Or just to even create content I was happy with. My inspiration had depleted to zero, and it took me a long time to stop feeling guilty about it. It was becoming more of a duty rather than something I enjoy. And that’s when I asked myself, I have created this blog as a hobby, as a creative outlet, as a way to put my writing ‘out there’. So why was it becoming almost a chore?

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“Your blog should reflect you”

Despite saying all of this, it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy blogging – it would be terribly ironic of me if that were the case. I enjoy blogging, however I think I have concluded that the content I was making wasn’t one hundred per-cent what I wanted to blog about. I am aiming to spruce up the content, style and appearance of my blog, meaning that what I put onto my platform will reflect more personality, but in a more tidy and polished sense. That, I think, is the art of creating and tailoring a blog, making the work you publish onto it a much more enjoyable process. Your blog should reflect you. And that’s not completely how I felt mine has been doing.

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After this sort of ‘break from blogging’, it has enabled a reflection on not only my blog, but the efforts I put into something I love. I’ve always been a strong believer in, if you’re not happy about something, then make the effort to change it instead of sitting and complaining. Because, let’s be honest, the alternate attitude gets you nowhere in life. Certainly not half as near as where you could be if you don’t take the time to put effort in to change something you’re not completely satisfied about.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I am back to the good ol’ blogging, which I will be adapting to my aspirations (to their maximum feasibility). Because let’s face it, my dream blog can’t happen overnight.

I hope you all enjoy the future plans I have for Coffee and Chapters, I look forward to sharing my journey with you.

Rach x

What I’m wearing:
Outfit 1:
Black top: H&M
Sunglasses: Quay Australia @ ASOS
White skirt: River Island

Outfit 2:
Grey crop top: Topshop
Black lace detail shorts: Zara
Sandals: Warehouse
Bag: Michael Kors

Image credits: Georgia Lidington and Kevin Jefferies
Editing thanks to: Aneesha Grewal

Are Humans Greedy For Wanting More?

Autumn. Thinking about it, I have never really appreciated autumn before. It’s the same with spring, in fact. Autumn and spring just seem like one of those transition seasons that you don’t really remember once it’s passed; you’re too busy reminiscing the sand between your toes, sun clinging to your skin. Or the competitive, stubborn chill trying to wrap up inside your coat with you, Christmas lights glowing in between pines of the festively decorated tree. Autumn is the acquaint of winter. Much like spring is the neighbour of summer. Problem is, everyone’s waiting for the leaves to already change colour, dry up, fall off branches and autumn to be over, in exchange for crisp, frosty, Christmas winter nights that were made for festive films and hot chocolate, right? And after the best parts of winter is over, everyone is then impatiently waiting for spring to make the ground beneath their tapping-foot-and-crossed-arms pose turn dry, and for the British “sunny” weather to bronze (or crisp, rather) their bodies. But the more I think about how humans are constantly waiting for the future, whether the previous anticipated moment is present or not, the more deluded it seems.

We long for winter during the closing of summer, and then we yearn for summer once we get fed up of the cold weather. Hmm, seems logical, doesn’t it?…

My theory to all of this narcissistic nonsense is that humans are just selfish. But maybe that isn’t a strictly fair answer (nor is it scientifically true). But c’mon, what else is it when you think about it? It’s greedy for humans to desire everything we don’t have, meaning that we can’t appreciate the things that we are lucky to have in the present. Or even to appreciate fully the things we have wanted for so long (for example, seasons). But it’s not just seasons we are constantly chasing our tails for- all year round too. We get bored of old clothes, we get bored of eating the same meal over and over, and most of all, we get bored of being bored. However, perhaps the constant need for something different than the present is our motivation for the future. Too many times people (even myself), have said “I can’t wait until Christmas!”, because it gives us something to invest our time in and look forward to. We do it for ourselves. The more conscious we may be about the fact that humans do this, the more people may appreciate things. Maybe instead of focusing solely on the future, we can appreciate the present; where the autumn coloured trees fall beneath our boots, or the moist dew that hazes over fields as newborn lambs are welcomed to the world. Are we capable of being satisfied with now, rather than wanting more later on?

Photograph: By Rachel Jefferies

Self Inflicted? More Like Book Inflicted

Have you ever watched a movie and wished your life was situated like the characters’? Or read a book and wished you held the same characteristics as the narrative’s? We all do. We all wish that our lives were slightly different, slightly more exciting, slightly more lucky when it comes to love. But isn’t it amazing how well books, movies, music can influence you so immensely? To make you wish that you had a similar life to a description on a page. Is that the power of literature, or the power of your imagination? You’ve all read a book, but have you read into a book?

One of the incredible beauties of reading a novel in my opinion is the way the writer can make you think, feel, agree or even disagree with a character. No two persons read the same book. A book is always interpreted in different ways, whether it’s due to personal experiences, how well you can relate to what the book is communicating, or whether you like/dislike the style of writing you are reading. However I find it astonishing how a book, words on a page, written by a complete stranger to you, can have such power, making you think about everything that is happening inside the pages between your fingers, escaping your own real life for that moment. Books that portray characters so well,  having the ability to profoundly creep into your mind during your everyday life is also incredibly fascinating. I have read books in the past, that when I reach the end, I am so disappointed that I won’t get to hear about the rest of the character’s everyday life, it genuinely takes time to detach from the fictional characters that I have built a one-way relationship with. Crazy isn’t it? I mean, becoming attached to fictional characters. Sound’s pathetic when you say it out loud, but it’s perfectly normal because it’s not just like a movie where you witness their actions in third person. No, a character in a book is much more than that; you learn intricate details about the character, you learn about their past (and potentially their present). You not only witness relationships around them, but if the narrative is first person, you understand, you empathise how they feel. I don’t know about you, but I reckon that is some pretty impressive stuff.

Another crazy, yet weirdly normal experience I have had with previous books are wishing I was more like the character that is narrating the story. Wishing I had their charismatic qualities, or clumsiness (may sound like a bizarre personal trait to want but trust me, books sell it to you). Thing is, authors create likable characters. They want you to fall in love with the character you read about, because when the twist comes, you are emotionally affected. It’s how books are made entertaining. So this means that you aspire to be like the characters you read about. You want to be as lovable as Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte), you want to be as grateful as Hazel Grace (The Fault In Our Stars, John Green), you want to be as fiery as Amy Elliot Dunne (Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn). And although you want to be similar to characters you read about, you also want sub-characters to enter in your life as easy as the author tells you they apparently can (to the protagonist). You want someone to adore you the way Gatsby adores Daisy (The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald). It’s the greed we feel when our imagination has no limits, and expectations rise when we read such novels.

Isn’t it amazing how much a book can affect your perception on the world, make you crave something you don’t already have? Everybody wants their life to be a collection of perfect moments we desirably witness through literature and even films, blurring the lines between expectations and reality. Comment how a book has influenced you, possibly being the reason why it might be a favourite book to you!

CORNWALL LOVIN’

I’m on holiday at Cornwall, England, at the moment. Yesterday we travelled to Fowey Harbour where we sat in the cutest little coffee shop and ironically had tea and cake. Here’s some pictures of the beautiful streets of South England.
Fowey Tea and Cake

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We headed to St. Ives on the Monday, where we caught the train into the harbour quay, a beautiful scenic ride. Unsuprisingly, the weather was grim and raining, however later on in the afternoon the sunshine perked up, glistening the clear sea, allowing visitors of St. Ives to paddle and surf the low tide.

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