Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Our Pick of the Best Budget Bank Holiday Getaways: Prague, Bath and Brighton

The much anticipated April bank holiday is almost upon us, and here at Nica we’re excited to mark the occasion with a spot of travelling! From Eastern European jaunts to local luxury, join Nica as we scour the internet for the best budgetbank holiday getaways.

Prague on a Shoestring

April is a fantastic time to visit Prague; the temperature is pleasant and it’s not quite tourist season allowing visitors to make the most of exploring this olde-worlde city by foot. Take a free walking tour to learn about the rich history of this beautiful city, marvel at the fairytale-esque nature of the old town, pop to the Jewish quarter to sample the best cakes in the Czech Republic and sip 90p alcoholic drinks from the Letna Park beer garden, where you’ll enjoy an unrivalled view of the entire city- it’s Prague’s best kept secret.

Stay at: Hostels are the way to go with European budget breaks, and you’ll be amazed by the quality of accommodation you can get for the price. The Charles Bridge Hostel is situated a stone’s throw away from the iconic Charles Bridge, and the latest Easter bank holiday deals start from just £25per room per night.

Eat at: No trip to Prague is complete without sampling their signature dish; beef goulash. Ferdinand’s is located just off the main square and serves the best goulash for under £5.
Or Bohemia Bagel is an American run restaurant situated down a side street from old town square. Serving up delicious bagels, doorstop cakes and meaty burgers, you can get a large meal and drink for less than £6.

Stay in a Georgian Townhouse in Bath

Beautiful architecture, quaint shops, vibrant eateries... Bath is the kind of city we’d like to marry! From the best pizza we've ever tasted at The Real Italian Pizza Company to the picturesque cobbled streets and tempting cake spots dotted right, left and centre, Bath has it all. 

Take a trip to the the UK’s only natural thermal spa and make the most of the open-air rooftop pool where you can enjoy an aerial view of the city and relax in toasty, mineral-rich water.

For cheap eats head to Roscoff Deli Cafe- a charming Italian run deli in the centre of Bath. From authentic dishes such as chicken Milanese to butternut squash curry, all mains are priced under £7. And forget expensive hotels, Airbnb have a great selection of Georgian townhouses available to rent from just £50 per room per night.

 Seaside Fun in Brighton

For bank holiday fun with friends or adventures with a partner, you can’t beat the seaside town of Brighton. Bursting with character and vitality, the town has an addictive energy which will make you never want to leave.

Enjoy seaside larks on the pier before heading into the town centre to explore the famous Brighton Lanes. Root through vintage treasure, antique homeware and outlandish art pieces to your heart’s content in the lanes before stopping off for a bite to eat at Foodilic. Taking a healthy spin on the traditional buffet, for £6.95 diners can feast on Mediterranean salads, exotic fruits, meaty stews, sweet potato wedges and fair-trade coffee to name just a few menu highlights.

Come night time let your hair down by making your way around the town’s nightlife circuit. The Bee’s Mouth bar is the place to go for live music in a stylish setting. Fairy and neon lights ignite the bar while incense and candles make the place smell like paradise!

For a traditional seaside experience opt for a cute bed and breakfast near the pier. Strawberry Fields is a fruit themed bed and breakfast located just off Brighton seafront. Alternatively if you’re travelling in a large group then it’s always worth checking out Airbnb to see what’s available.

What’s your favourite city? Share your favourite places with us by tweeting @Nica_Handbags. And don’t forget to follow the Nica blog to stay up to date with the very latest Nica news and style updates.

Friday, 21 March 2014

How To Style the Darcia Doctors Bag with the Bumpkin Betty Blog

Have you seen our beautiful new Darcia doctor’s bag yet? Available in a black or coral raffia finish, it’s a lot easier to style than you might initially think! So, in order to demonstrate, we asked the wonderful BumpkinBetty blog to show us just that.

She kept it smart casual with a matching monochrome sweater, texture contrast jacket, a pair of jeans, and a very cool pair of silver shoes. You can read her full review over on BumpkinBetty.

What do you think of her outfit? How would you style it? You can purchase your very own Darcia doctors bag here as to try it out for yourself.

If you’re looking for more outfit inspiration, don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest and check out our Bloggers How To Style board!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Spring Cleaning: How to Organise your NICA

Rusty loose change, ink Biro leakage, receipt reels, hair ties, make-up residue, old train tickets… Are you sensing a theme here? Yes, you've guessed it, these are some of the most common handbag faux pas, and we’re all guilty of them. We bet when you first laid eyes upon your beloved handbag all shiny and pristine, you never dreamt that one day it could become a secondary dustbin. But alas, it has!
But fear not as we're here to restore order to messy arm candy and prevent today’s pay day purchase becoming tomorrow’s dumping ground. Read the Nica guide to organising your handbag and wave goodbye to unkempt accessories!

The Daily Rummage
Whether it's car keys lost beneath a sea of coupons or debit cards wedged in-between pages of a book, hands up if you’re a serial rummager? This is where compartment bags such as the Alicia Satchel* come in handy. 

Establish a set compartment to put your purse, keys and misc. pieces of paper, and stick to it. Pens are best avoided altogether due to potential ink stains, but if you do find yourself reaching for the more risqué handbag items such as pressed powders, lotions or pens, an accessories pouch or mini make-up bag which you can pop into a large compartment will work wonders at keeping your handbag in pristine condition. 

*The Alicia Satchel comes with a built in mirror, 2 zip compartments and 2 internal compartments making organising your handbag a breeze.

Spring Cleaning

Now that we've taken care of the organisational aspect of your prized handbag, it’s time for a spot of spring cleaning. Regularly clear the debris lurking at the bottom of the bag away and shake off the rubble before wiping away any imperfections. A splash of warm water and a mild detergent works wonders at banishing any stains on a synthetic finish. If you do invest in a high end cleaning product however, always be sure to test on a small hidden patch to ensure the desired effect will be achieved. 

Bags of Personality
Life would be pretty boring if we all looked the same, and that’s why we create unique arm candy with bags of creative personality. Whether it’s a branded bicycle motif, vintage scarf, intricate detailing or floral printed handbag, our staple accessories express individuality while serving a functional purpose too. 

Keep your Nica looking desirable throughout all four seasons by following our simple tips and tricks and that special purchase won’t need to be replaced. Who said handbags are seasonal only?

Are you mad about handbags? Be sure to follow the Nica blog to stay up to date with the very latest news and style updates. What are your handbag tips? Share them with us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter.  

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

#NicaBakes: Discover Our Organic Cheese Cake Recipe

As you’re probably already quite aware by now, we love discovering new recipes online and getting some tips from our favourite bloggers but we never get around to sharing our own baking attempts with you. Well, as of today, that’s about to change!

Each month, we’ll be donning our oven mitts and getting our bake on just for you! And just to make ourselves feel a little bit better about all of the extra sweet treats that we’ll now be sampling, all of our recipes will have an healthy edge… But of course that doesn't mean that they'll taste any less delicious! 

We've derived recipe inspiration from various sources online, added in a few of our own ideas, and we’re kicking off our baking fest with a scrummy organic cheese cake for which you’ll need the following ingredients:

1.5 cups raw cashews – soaked in water overnight or 4 hours +
1 lemon
1.5 cup coconut milk 
2 tbsp honey

1 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup raw brazil nuts
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

*Feel free to mix and match the seeds and nuts, you don't need to have a big selection – just add up the quantities.

Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

*Other toppings can be used such as strawberries, peanut butter, or passion-fruit.

1. Add dates into the food processor and blend until they clump together into a sticky ball.

2. Empty the dates from the food processor and add the rest of the base ingredients, pulsing the food processor until the nuts and seeds form smaller crumbs, next add the dates back in and blend all together.

3. Empty the base mixture into a lightly greased tupperware container or tin and spread the mixture along the bottom evenly, set aside.

4. Drain the soaked cashews and add into the food processor along with the juice of the lemon, (watch out for pips!) and the rest of the filling ingredients, then, blend until a cream mixture forms.

5. Evenly spread the filling mixture over the base and decorate with the washed blueberries, now all is left is to pop the cheesecake into the freezer for 4+ to set.

Et Voilà! Cut the cheese cake up into slices, and enjoy with a nice cup of herbal tea! Why not test out our recipe for yourself, and share how you get along by tagging your bagging photos with #NicaBakes on Twitter or Instagram

And we’re always looking for some healthy baking inspiration, so, please share your own recipes with us too! 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

How To Style the Sara Satchel with the LurchHoundLoves Blog

We were delighted when the lovely Lurchhound Loves blog decided to take our small Alicia satchel all the way over to the fashionable Copenhagen! Opting for a cool laid-back look, she teamed our beautiful bag with a pair of jeans, an edgy leather jacket, a pair of comfy UGG boots, and topped it all off with a rather chic furry hat. 

If you want to discover more about her style or even explore the beautiful Copenhagen that little bit more, head over to her blog

If you're looking to splash the cash this weekend, you could also purchase your own small Sara satchel here, and don't forget, we love to see how you're styling your own Nica Handbags, so, please share your stylish photos with us on Twitter or Instagram

Friday, 14 March 2014

#NicaDIY: Discover Our Organic Facial Masks

We love trying out DIYs or baking here at NICA HQ, and we've decided that we no longer want to keep our crafty trials to ourselves! So, we’re going to share them with you right here upon Nica's Notebook.

This week, we’re turning our hand to edible face masks. What could be better than creating a completely organic feast for the skin with leftovers that we can then scoff?!  

So, we've rounded up some lovely assistants from the Nica team with different skin types, and popped along to our local shop to pick up some very basic and rather cheap ingredients in order to create two different facial masks. And of course, we turned to some of our favourite blogs for recipe inspiration beforehand.

Best for Oily Skin: Apple and Pear Facial Mask


1 x Green apple

1 x Pear
1 x tablespoon of organic, low fat yogurt

If you suffer from oily skin and what to balance out your pores, then, one of the most effective organic facial masks to turn to combines a mixture of apple and pears. We learnt from Facial-Homemade that the apple contains ursolic acid which helps to banish oil, as well as, alpha hydroxy acids that helps to clear up the pores and even make them smaller! The yoghurt imbues your skin cells with much needed protein, and the pear helps to smooth out its overall appearance.

We simply grated one apple, mashed up a pear and mixed together with a table spoon of organic, low fat yoghurt. We must admit that it didn't have the best smell after adding the yoghurt though! It was a bit messy to apply and bits did keep falling off too. We left it for 15 minutes before removing with warm water, followed by a splash of cold water as to close up the pores again. 

Our Results?

Our skin is still feeling soft and balanced the next day, and it definitely helped to smoothen out and remove any graininess from its surface, so, we'd be interested in seeing the effect after a few more applications. It also makes a great summertime mask as it creates a cooling effect upon the skin. The process was a bit messy though... So, we're not too sure if we'll actually go to the effort of doing it all over again. 

Best for Banishing Breakouts: Strawberry Facial Mask

4 x Strawberries
1 x Tablespoon of Sour Cream

Inspired by Eco Beauty Secrets, our Strawberry facial mask is cheap yet effective, as this fruit of choice is packed with salicylic acid that is known to unblock pores and prevent breakouts. 

We simply took the four strawberries and mixed in the sour cream, and applied to the face for 15 minutes. 
Before testing out the mask, the complexion of our lovely NICA assistant was fairly mixed with some dry patches and a slightly oily T-zone, and hoped it'd even out her complexion.

Our Results?

The application of the mask was a bit tricky as the consistency was a mixture between runny and lumpy, so, parts of it kept sliding down the face. After washing the mixture off, the skin was left feeling quite soft, and also slightly more even the following morning– with less dry patches and oily spots!

Overall, we found the face mask quite messy but it did make a small difference after just the one use, so, it's definitely a good idea if you want a cheap and natural alternative to purchasing products from expensive brands.

Which natural facial masks do you recommend? Share them with us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter. Or try out our examples for yourself and let us know what you think!  

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Discover Nica’s Festival Wish List

Cast your mind back to last summer, what were your highlights? For us, it was picnics in the park, walks on the beach and watching our favourite bands take centre stage at fantastic festivals. The recent spell of sunshine has given us a taste of what’s to come during the warmer months of the year, so, in anticipation we've been scouring the internet for the very best music festivals of 2014!

From California dreaming to the grassy plains of South Wales, come with Nica as we take a look at this year’s hottest festivals based on location, surroundings and entertainment.

Secret Island Parties and Sunshine in Croatia

Wedged between Slovenia and Hungary, Croatia is the new must-visit destination. With over 20 major festivals planned for 2014 alone, the country has gained popularity with travellers worldwide for its unspoilt beaches, crystal clear waters, pleasant climate and inexpensive cost of living.

Hvar, Dubrovnik, Plitvice National Park and Zadar are tipped to be the best places to travel. Festival wise, The Garden Festival is the one we’ve set our sights on this year. Located in the beautiful village of Tisno (an hour’s drive from Zadar) Garden is Croatia’s founding electronic festival. Revellers can soak up the sun all day on the beach before hopping on one of the many boat parties at sundown.

World renowned DJ’s, secret island parties, a sublime atmosphere and affordable prices- what’s not to love?

Music Legends at Coachella

The Glastonbury of California, Coachella is often referred to as a ‘bucket list’ festival, and we’re definitely adding it to our festival wish list. After all, surely it’s everybody’s dream to watch Outkast perform Hey Ya in the Southern California valley?! 

Famed for its star-studded line-up, dreamy location and fantastic atmosphere, this year’s bill sees our personal favourites Arcade Fire take to the main stage, as well as, Lorde, Empire of the Sun, Bombay Bicycle Club, Foster the People and Haim to name but a few.

Taking place in mid-April, Coachella launches a teeny bit earlier than the majority of festivals, and we've actually missed the boat this year (tickets sold out in under 3 hours), sob sob. 

Get Back to Nature at Greenman

When it comes to surroundings, you can’t beat Greenman. Located in the Black Mountains of South Wales, festival goers can trek up mountains, indulge their creative passions at the themed Einstein’s Garden, sample dauphinoise potatoes from ex-British Bake Off contestants, enjoy tip-top comedy, take a dip in wood-fired saunas, and of course, enjoy live music with close friends.

A close contender for the friendliest festival ever, Greenman caters to a wide range of tastes and many enjoy the good-natured ambience so much they end up returning year after year.

Music wise, it’s the place to go to spot the next Laura Marling and future Brit nominees. Expect folk favourites too; this year Neutral Milk Hotel, Beirut and First Aid Kit will headline with Daughter, Mac Demarco and Anna Calvi are also joining the bill.

Let us know which festival you’ll be heading to this summer by tweeting us @Nica_Handbags. And don’t forget to follow us on our Facebook and Instagram channels to stay up to date with the very latest Nica news!

Monday, 10 March 2014

How To Style the Sara Satchel with That's Peachy

It’s finely stopped raining, and we hope that you’re enjoying the lovely blue skies just as much as us? The weather is still at that very much in between stage, though, which makes choosing an outfit all the more difficult. So, we’re looking towards the That’s Peachy blog for some much needed outfit inspiration. 

Opting for a kitsch bull dog print dress, cosy jacket and must-have boots for this time of the year, she shows us how we could be styling our lovely Sara satchel in this weather. If you want to learn more about her outfit choice, head over to That's Peachy, or snap up your very own Sara satchel, if you're inspired to start styling one yourself!

We love seeing how you're styling your Nica Handbags, so, please get sharing your photos with us on Twitter or Instagram

Saturday, 8 March 2014

One Bag Three Outfits with the Judy Crossbody

We love seeing how some of our favourite bloggers style our handbags, and they often inspire our own outfit choices too. This week however, we thought that we’d return the favour and inspire your outfits instead!

Using our pretty Judy crossbody in bone, we’re going to show you just how versatile a style it is by styling it in three entirely different outfits.

Time for Tea 

Team with a Peter Pan collar tea dress and flats for a smart yet casual daytime look. 

Glam Rock 

Switch to a black leather skirt to infuse an edgier vibe into your style, which is great for a night time outfit. And a floral blouse is perfect for softening the look too. 

Super Flower

Here we've created another smart but casual look by teaming the crossbody with a pair of floral trousers and a simple white top. It's a really practical yet stylish outfit if you fancy indulging in a spot of shopping!

Our Judy flat crossbody is currently available at, and if you're feeling inspired by our outfit suggestions, why not share some snaps of how you're styling your own Nica handbags with us  @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram. 

Friday, 7 March 2014

#NicaDesignAPrint: Winner Lili Price Launches her Satchel at Nica HQ

To celebrate the launch of my winning design being sold at, I was invited along for a sneak peek inside Nica's head office to see their collections, and to meet some of the people that I'll be working alongside when I do my work experience later this year.

Inside their showroom, I got to see how my satchel fits in with the rest of their S/S 14 collection, and I also got a special preview of their A/W 14 collection too. 

Here's me with Nica Kim modelling my Lili Price satchel! It's so exciting to see my design being sold. 

After visiting the office, I spent the day exploring London with a couple of my friends. My first stop was Covent Garden to check out the shops and the famous Apple Market. 

Time to refuel! We made a quick stop at Cafe Rouge for a spot of French food before... We went along to London Fashion Weekend for an afternoon of trend spotting. 

There were so many beautiful collections on show at London Fashion Weekend. I particularly loved seeing which jewellery and accessory trends are coming through this season. 

And of course, no London Fashion Weekend is complete without watching one of its trend catwalk shows. Here I am on the front row posing for a selfie with some friends! 

I had such a fun filled day in London and I can't wait to return in the summer to explore some more! 

See you soon! 
- x - 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

We Choose our Favourite Oscars' Moments

The Oscars came and went in a flurry of star studded selfies, A-list outfits and spontaneous pizza deliveries, but the biggest surprise came when Matthew McConnaughey scooped the Oscar for best actor leaving nominee Leonardo DiCaprio empty handed. From the best dressed attendees to 2014’s one to watch actresses, let’s take a look at the award show's highlights.

Oscars Best Dressed

Emma Watson has come a long way in the style stakes since the days of Harry Potter. Gone are the adolescent curly locks and burgundy neck-ties of Hogwarts, these days Emma prefers the demure, smart look. The 23 year old dazzled at the Oscars in a glitzy Vera Wang dress, which accentuated her slender figure.

Model Ireland Baldwin looked ravishing on the red carpet in a lacy Burberry dress with a thigh high slit. The blonde bombshell stood tall at a height of 6 ft 2 and was acting as a fashion reporter for television network Entertainment Tonight. She was joined by fellow presenters Nancy O’Dell and Joe Zee.

On the Rise

Mia Wasikowsa is one to watch, the Australian actress is currently making waves in the indie film circuit most recently starring in Stoker, Only Lovers Left Alive and The Kids Are All Right. They say the best actresses are constantly reinventing themselves and this is certainly true of Wasikowsa who has transformed her look and acting direction from film to film.

In psychological thriller Stoker, Wasikowsa played a moody brunette teenager whereas in vampire-romance flick Only Lovers Left Alive she became Eva, a century old vampire. With 4 upcoming films set for release this year, 24 year old Wasikowsa is most definitely on the rise.

Nica’s Oscar Film Favourites

American Hustle is for fashionistas. Amy Adams stole the film’s style credentials with an array of V-neck dresses in tantalising colours and textures, all of which evoked the free-spirited essence of the 70’s. Jennifer Lawrence dazzled too, she was styled in halter neck maxi dresses, fine fur and curly up-do’s. If just for the fashion alone, this was and still is a must watch!

Despite losing out on 5 potential Oscars, The Wolf of Wall Street was the film that everyone praised this season. Side splittingly funny, a little bit naughty and full of lavish scenes which will make you do a double take, The Wolf of Wall Street is a feel good snapshot of hedonism and living life to the full.

Are you a film fanatic? We’d love to hear your film recommendations, tweet us @Nica_Handbags.

Nica's Design Inspirations: What's Inspiring the Judy Collection?

Bumble bees have been popping up in all kinds of places in the fashion world for quite a while, and now, they’re even influencing some of my S/S 14 pieces too! The cute bee hardware upon our new Judy collection injects an element of fun into an otherwise classic design.

Have you noticed that the Judy collection’s hardware is also set upon honeycomb inspired laser cut detailing? So, it’s not just the pretty bee that we designers find inspiring but also its home… Or should that be its interior décor?! The beautiful hexagonal pattern of honeycomb has long inspired fashion designers, and one of the best recent examples of this is probably Alexander McQueen’s S/S 13 collection (below). 

As part of the Judy collection, I've chosen to adorn a classic shoulder, timeless crossbody, and a staple purse with busy bee aesthetics in a selection of colours, which are all available at   

What do you think of our bumble bee influences? Which mini beast would you decorate our handbags with? Please drop us a comment below or let us know at @Nica_Handbags on Twitter! 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

How To Style our Sara Satchel with the Essbeevee Blog

The Essbeevee blog recently declared our large Sara satchel the new bag for meetings, and it’s not difficult to see why! Big enough to fit a giant notebook and all of your essentials inside, yet finished with a very much covetable design, it’s the perfect business companion!

You can read Essbeevee’s full review over on her blog, and she offers not one but two different outfits for our Sara satchel to seamlessly sit alongside.

Or snap up your very own Sara satchel if you’re inspired to start styling if yourself, and don't forget to share your stylish photos with us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram.