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It is only a little over two weeks until BritMums Live, a fabulous blogging conference attended by 500 plus parent bloggers. There is an array of esteemed speakers, and sessions on all kinds of topics.

One of the speakers is me. I am a tad nervous about it, but also really looking forward to it. I am part of a panel discussing ‘The New Feminism- Rebuild or rebrand?’. I am a feminist, not a particularly well read one, but one with an opinion, and I am actually feeling OK about sharing that opinion. I know the environment is going to be friendly, even if the views are opposing, and I love a good debate.

Oddly the thing I am now more nervous about is my presentation of myself. I am a natural scruff bag, rarely clean for more than 5 minutes, and normally wearing threadbare old favourites teamed with a holey pair of converse. But I want to portray a slightly more polished and professional version of myself at the conference, especially now I am not only panelist, but a finalist in the BiB awards (thank you, thank you, thank you – beyond thrilled about that, if slightly anxious about what one wears to an awards ceremony!!).

Shoddy Shoes
Shoddily Shod.
(my favourite shoes)

Where do women my age (verging on 40) shop? I am an eternal indie kid, and normally get by on a few new t-shirts a year, the odd ditsy dress, and some past their best high tops. I still want to feel like myself, just a slightly smarter version, but I cannot for the life of me find a shop that suits me.

New Look and Top Shop have a few bits that I can still just about carry off, but not for the smarter me. Marks and Spencers still feels too grown up, and I definitely don’t want a suit. I still want to look like me, just a little less ragged around the edges. So dear readers, tell me, where do I go?!? Where caters for the ageing punk/hippy/indie clientele who have a conference to attend and a minimal budget?!?

In a similar vein however, I have resolved one thing. My bag. I am not a bag freak. Nor a shoe freak. In fact I fail to be thrilled generally by any accouterments, but I do get excited by vinyl box sets, thus proving I am not completely made of stone.

Β My current bag is a large leopard print number, bought in the Peacocks sale for Β£6 a few months back, Β and along with many mothers of toddlers, it is a haven for all kinds of crap. It has half eaten snack bars, plastic toys, day out leaflets, receipts, and currently an emptied bag of cress seeds that I bought for a project, forgot about, and that subsequently made a successful bid for freedom in the bottom of my bag. (They haven’t yet sprouted, obviously not fans of crumbs as soil.)

This is not the bag I want to reach into to pluck out my notepad and pen at BritMums, and because I know nothing about stylishness, I asked Twitter where I could get a smart bag, big enough for conference essentials.

And I had lots of responses, and most of you said MiaTui.

So many of you said MiaTui that you couldn’t possibly be wrong. And you weren’t. After much internal debate and indecision I ordered a Minnie Amelie, on the basis that it will function as an overnight bag, as well as an occasional work bag. It is NEVER going near children.

MiaTui Bag

It really is an ace bag, it did cost me Β£50, but I bet I will have it for years. It is my new confidence bag. It is my ‘yes, my shoes are holey, but someone with this bag clearly means business and knows her stuff’ bag. It is my 40th birthday present to myself. Love it. And I love the matching little Lottie bag that MiaTui popped in as a bonus gift, how smashing!!

I used it when I went to London the weekend just gone, and its array of extra little bags and pockets, and large interior made it the perfect weekend bag. I popped my tickets, purse etc in the Lottie bag, which I could keep packed inside its big sister when travelling, then whip out to use as my out and about bag once we had checked into the hotel. A perfect trial run for BritMums.

And now we are back on the subject of BritMums – what are you wearing? NOT NOW, not in a pervy what are you wearing heavy breathing phone call way….more, a if you are going to BritMums what are you wearing type thing. Clothes hopefully, or mascot costumes? Can we all dress as giant animals with huge heads? Or is that not the conference look this year?

Love Miss Cisco XXX



  1. penfold
    June 5, 2013 / 7:39 am

    Zara. Partner loves it and get’s loads of items in there for heading to work presentations and gigs. You can also check out the Zara men section in there. The smaller sizes are really well fitting for girls also, especially some of the jackets.

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 5, 2013 / 11:05 am

      Thanks for the tip, I dont think I have ever been in one so off to have a look at the website now!

  2. June 5, 2013 / 7:42 am

    My mum is still dressing me!? So if I look ok, its down to her. I’ve got 2 new snazzy pairs of highttops, some long and different shaped t shirts and 3/4 trousers (or my trusty leggings). I’m sure you’ll be stunning xx

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 5, 2013 / 11:04 am

      Definitely high tops for me, will have to hit the shops for something new to wear I think!

  3. schmindie
    June 5, 2013 / 8:06 am

    I promise you can have a shower here on the Friday night. You will smell of flowers and be at your tip-top best, and will get on the stage and be a natural on the Saturday! Unless it’s the Friday you’re talking of course.

    Mia Tui bags are ace!

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 5, 2013 / 11:04 am

      I am talking on the friday, on the saturday I can relax! Starting to get very excited!

  4. Older Mum
    June 5, 2013 / 9:37 am

    Oh I can so empathise with you!!!! I am a scruffy so and so too (will still be wearing converse though). I have being having this dilemma as I am delivering a key note speech. But what I have decided is that I need to be comfortable – so I am still keeping jeans and trainers on bottom half and getting myself a really nice new top – I shall see – I want to feel comfortable when I’m reading. And I have a Mia Tui handbag as well – it rocks! x.

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 5, 2013 / 11:03 am

      Yes, I will definitely be wearing converse, I have a slightly less decrepit pair than those pictured! I am torn, dress and leggings, or jeans, definitely won’t be posher than that!!

  5. Older Single Mum
    June 5, 2013 / 9:43 am

    Love the bag and being even older than you and finding m and s a bit too boring, I would suggest NEXT. Looking forward to meeting you at the conf πŸ™‚ xx

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 5, 2013 / 11:02 am

      One of the downsides of living in a small town is our Next is tiny, I will investigate their website!

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 5, 2013 / 11:02 am

      And looking forward to meeting you too! πŸ™‚

  6. June 5, 2013 / 10:53 am

    I totally agree with penfold, Zara is smart enough to look grown up but with enough of a funky edge that you won’t feel like a frump and they won’t break the bank either. I adore their kids clothes, I recently got Sausage a pair of leopard print high-tops and a pair of skinny jeans with swallows printed all over them!

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 5, 2013 / 11:01 am

      Can I borrow her clothes? Sounds ACE!

  7. Looking for Blue Sky
    June 5, 2013 / 11:52 am

    All the autie Mums in Ireland are big fans of Mia Tui too!

    And I hope you find a solution to the clothes problem: I still haven’t. Apart from the now notorious p*nis dress, I normally pick things up wherever I can. Mango is quite good, Next occasionally and at a tweet up last night I wore a skirt and black top from New look. And I’m (shhh) 10 years ahead of you πŸ™‚

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 6, 2013 / 6:53 am

      Ooh Mango, I think I saw some cool rock chick things that Kate Moss had done for them, not got her figure mind!! I might buy my own penis dress….well, I will look like a nob anyway! Hahaha!

  8. Actually Mummy...
    June 5, 2013 / 12:04 pm

    One word. Zalando. Oh God, now my fingers are itching…

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 6, 2013 / 6:50 am

      Wow, easily lost an hour pottering around, from the crazy to the sublime!!

  9. Suzanne Whitton
    June 5, 2013 / 4:29 pm

    What is Zalando???? I am a bag/shoe person and now have total bag envy! I was told that a lot of people will be wearing a dress for Friday (or at least smartish) as the awards ceremony is that evening, then Saturday is a bit more dress-down phew! I am still in a state of panic about it all! What about looking at Joe Browns online – reasonably priced and quite funky??? Zara is also a high street fave of mine πŸ™‚

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 6, 2013 / 6:49 am

      Ooh Joe Browns is a good idea, had forgotten about them!

  10. SarahMummy
    June 5, 2013 / 8:00 pm

    You and me really are cut from the same cloth! I love your bag! I had seriously never heard of these things until yesterday. I am wearing a new top with a crocodile on. I bought it in Barcelona. And jeans. And either Converse, flip flops or Doc Martens, depending on the temperature/ rainfall.

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 6, 2013 / 6:49 am

      Converse here, whatever the weather! Looking forward to seeing the croc top! πŸ™‚ and I hadn’t heard of the bags until I asked twitter for advice, twitter knows everything!!

  11. Nicola Thomas
    June 5, 2013 / 8:22 pm

    Oh god don’t get me started I have no idea at all but I do have a lovely Mia Tui bag too

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 6, 2013 / 6:48 am

      See see, our bags are SO good that it doesn’t matter what we wear, that’s right isn’t it?!

  12. Jennifer Jain
    June 5, 2013 / 8:23 pm

    What a gorgeous bag! I need to get a new bag for Britmums, something that will fit my overnight things in! I don’t know what to wear, I’m thinking it’s going to be jeans with a smartish top, then either trainers or sandals, like Sarah above depending on the weather! I was going to dress more smartly for the Friday night but then remembered that I’ll need to carry all my clothes about with me (hence needing a new smart bag that will fit clean clothes and my toothbrush!)

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 6, 2013 / 6:45 am

      Yes, I have the same dilemma, I will have to carry everything with me both days, luckily the new bag is big enough as long as I choose wisely! Am much relieved that several people have said jeans to me, I do love jeans!

  13. john adams
    June 5, 2013 / 8:59 pm

    Well Sonya, as a fellow speaker I am also wondering what on Earth I am going to wear. Alas it’ll probably be a suit without tie, though I worry this may be too formal. All advice greatly appreciated!

  14. john adams
    June 5, 2013 / 8:59 pm

    Well Sonya, as a fellow speaker I am also wondering what on Earth I am going to wear. Alas it’ll probably be a suit without tie, though I worry this may be too formal. All advice greatly appreciated!

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 6, 2013 / 6:44 am

      I am considering jeans now! πŸ™‚ from what I have heard, smart casual is acceptable!

  15. June 5, 2013 / 9:22 pm

    I have never been particularly into bags either but I NEED a Mia Tui but being skint I cannot afford one. Grr. Not going to Britmums (another grrr) so can’t help on the clothes front.

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 6, 2013 / 6:43 am

      It is at least 5 times the most I have spent on a bag before- special tat as I am going to be properly old soon! And such a shame you aren’t coming, I hope to meet you on another occassion! πŸ™‚

  16. June 5, 2013 / 11:16 pm

    Am totally in mid crisis re: clothes. I’m the same, I can’t do smart, the thought of wearing a dress is freaking me out! So am going as myself but more polished / put together with less Bean bogies wiped on my back πŸ˜‰ Will be going down the H&M route I think! Cannot wait to meet you! xx

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 6, 2013 / 6:41 am

      And likewise! It is going to be epic! πŸ™‚

  17. Family Affairs
    June 6, 2013 / 11:44 am

    Oh no lost my comment – said congrats and as a fellow finalist we can compare
    Converse states together at the conference. In the meantime check out Asos online and Urban Outfitters. Good luck and see you there. Lx

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 7, 2013 / 6:12 pm

      Congrats to you too! Will check out your recommendations!! See you there! πŸ™‚

  18. BavarianSojourn
    June 6, 2013 / 1:19 pm

    I have absolutely no idea what I am wearing… See you there though, and hope our panels don’t clash! Congrats on the BiB’s nomination too! πŸ™‚

    • Sonya Cisco
      June 7, 2013 / 6:14 pm

      Thanks, looking forward to meeting you!We are on different days I think! πŸ™‚

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