Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Alternative Wedding Ideas

Whether you picture yourself alone on a private beach or dressed up to the nines in a stately home, every woman daydreams about getting married. Don't fancy the standard white dress and church set up? Step into the unknown with our unusual wedding themes and ideas.

The Fairytale Forest Dream

When the weather’s fine, there’s no better place to be than outdoors. Hold your wedding reception in the forest and benefit from rich scenes of sunlight peeping through trees and incredible outfit possibilities. Creative ladies will have a field day planning their forest wedding; adorn trees with lanterns, decorate tables with foliage and hold your evening do in ambient yurts.

Plenty of UK venues host woodland weddings but if you don’t want the risk of rain check out La Garriga near Barcelona in Spain.  An old medieval house dedicated to wine production, the venue now hosts out of this world weddings surrounded by trees and nature.

The Literal White Wedding

Take the conventional white wedding in a new direction by heading to Lapland for your big day. As far as alternative wedding reception ideas go, getting hitched in a snow chapel then partying on the holy island of Sami is pretty out there. Lapland is located in prime northern light territory so you can just imagine the photo opportunities!

Ride to your snow topped venue on a sleigh drawn by reindeer, search for gold at the venues special panning site and stay in the most unbelievable igloo for your first night as bride and groom.

The Bestival Inflatable Church Do

It’s a little unorthodox, but now you can legitimately get married at Bestival. Enter the Big Love Inflatable Church- the blow up wedding venue complete with live music, barmy outfits and theatrical fun. It’s definitely a unique choice and extroverts will love the ideal of a public wedding amongst festival goers.

And the fun doesn’t stop after the ceremony, out of the box evening entertainment ensures that the party goes on well into the small hours. Expect stage dancers, famous DJ’s, 70’s disco lights and huge confetti cannons. As for accommodation, if you don’t fancy slumming it in the main camping site, you can choose to go glamping in a themed tipi, bell tent or cloudhouse.

Do you have any unusual wedding themes to add to our list? Do let us know. Tweet us @Nica_Handbags or leave us a comment below.

Friday, 19 September 2014

How-To Style the Lauren Crossbody with The Magpie Girl Blog

Get ready for the weekend with a little outfit inspiration from the lovely blogger the MagpieGirl who’s been showing us how she’d style our Lauren crossbody in blue haze!

It’s time to start the transition into more of an autumnal colour palette and adding a pop of blue haze is the perfect accent colour to lift your outfits with. The Magpie Girl teamed it with a dark winter floral dress and a deep blue cardigan which complemented her Nica bag perfectly.

Combining a timeless Nica crossbody style with an easy colour palette, it’s a bag that’s simple to work into a range of different looks, and the Magpie Girl agrees; ‘I’ve literally been using it every day since I got it’. 

We’re also excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with her and are offering her followers the chance to win their very own Lauren crossbody! Head over to the Magpie Girl’s blog to find out more! – In addition to discovering lots of more lovely style photos and reading her full review.

As always, we’d love to see how you’re styling your Nica bags too, or simply just show us your new bag selfies! So, don’t forget to tag #NicaHandbags in your stylish photos with @nicahandbags on Instagram and @Nica_Handbags on Twitter. 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

LFW Round-Up: SS15 Forecast

With London Fashion Week over for another season, there’s no better time than the present to round-up of all the action from Somerset House. As always, the exclusive designer collections were bursting with vitality, the street style looks were fiercely bold and as for the clothes themselves? Pure wow!
The season of hats and scarves may be upon us, but after seeing what’s hot for SS15; our minds are firmly set to fast forward. Let’s ogle the latest designer collections and dream of endless summer. 

70’s Revival

Matthew Williamson and House of Holland brought 1970’s flower power to the runway respectively. Jam packed with psychedelic bright pops, top to toe florals and printed shift dresses, the Henry Holland collection was complemented by runway models sporting thick, long tresses and glowing suntans.

Meanwhile, Matthew Williamson brought his own blossoming blooms in the form of chic, billowing gowns and hibiscus motif blazers. The collections showstopper was one glitter drenched dress complete with a feather hem and embroidered flowers. Outstanding.

Whimsical Wow

Richard Nicoll proved that lilac hues and the holographic trend are here to stay with his illustrious collection which juxtaposed feminine pastels with simplistic sports luxe. Just when we thought it was impossible to look good at the gym…

And delicate, whimsical fashion wasn’t just reserved for Nicoll’s draped knits, fluid lines and calm colour palettes. London brand Sibling decided to take the whimsical movement in a new direction with their fairground inspired line of frou-frou skirts, loud prints and oversized bows. The colourways were bold and riotous confirming that experimentation and clashing prints will be all the rage come SS15.

Classic Silhouettes

If you’ve been reacting to all this talk of explosive colour and clashing prints with horror then fear not reader, there’s good news in store. The Marios Schwab show ensured that classic hues and silhouettes aren’t going anywhere. Stone white, strips of black and stainless steel grey ruled the roost with echoes of teal also in the mix.

Asymmetrical skirts, high waisted belts and shirts with exposed shoulders gave the conservative look a playful update. Meanwhile the Margaret Howell collection also honoured neutral colours in the form of grey, navy and taupe pleated skirts and pullovers.

Will you be embracing brights come spring or will you stick to neutral shades with the odd statement garnish? Whether it’s seventies style shift dresses or the holographic sports luxe trend which take your fancy, do let us know. Tweet us @Nica_Handbags or leave us a comment.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Style Revisited: The Best Cult Films of the 90’s

Last year, the style scene erupted with 90’s throwback fashion. But fast forward 12 months and we’re still on the hunt for the perfect check mini skirt. The nineties are here to stay and to celebrate we’re taking a look at 90’s fashion in cult films. From Clueless to Ghostworld, grab the popcorn and join us for a sartorial stalk!

Clueless Fashion

If there was ever any danger of everyone’s favourite 90’s film dying down, Iggy Azalea’s Fancy video has ensured that Clueless is here to stay. The star paid homage to Clueless by replicating iconic scenes from the film in a recent music video and the results are uncanny.

We can’t get enough of that yellow plaid co-ord and Cher’s revolving wardrobe in the film. If you’re not brave enough to flaunt an attention grabbing two-piece channel the nineties with hair scrunchies and neck choker accessories instead.

Out of all the films key looks, we love this red babydoll dress Cher wears for a date with Christian. Classic and chic, it’s easy to recreate this ensemble for a special occasion.


One of Scarlett Johansson’s first films, Ghostworld is all about that transiional period we go through after finishing school.Thora Birch and Scarlett Johannsson play Enid and Rebecca, two bored girls trundling through their sleepy hometown in search of an identity.

The fashion in the film is really striking with Rebecca (Scarlet) nailing the minimal look whilst Enid experiments with geeky and grungy pieces. The film’s fashion actually inspired the S/S 2008 Luella collection and explores the variety of tastes and styles we experiment with whilst growing up.

Love it or hate it, the 90’s bucket hat is having a moment. This unusual way of styling the bucket hat with cats eye glasses, a green peacoat and a red miniskirt manages to look sophisticated. Despite the fact that Thora Birch has a petite frame the film’s stylist didn’t make the character conform to the conventions of an hourglass figure, she chose to flaunt it instead. We approve. 

10 Things I Hate About You

Double hooped earrings, high-waisted ‘mom’ jeans and celtic necklaces…We can’t get enough of Julia Stile’s style in the film 10 Things I Hate About You.  And Heath Ledgers not bad either.

Aside from the outfits, the films major style feature is those classic 90’s hairstyles. From Stiles’ mermaid-esque plaits to half-up, half-down styles, it’s become all the rage to have long wavy hair. We’d better make sure we eat our crusts after all.

90’s style thrives on casual cool pieces which can be thrown together effortlessly and TTIHAY emulates this. Floral mix skirts paired with cropped tees, maxi skirts with cute blouses and matching bags with accessories all make the cut.

Recreate your own 90’s look this A/W by mixing a pleated skirt with a staple knit. Accessorize with a statement necklace and matching bag such as the Natalie grab in Wine.

And there we have it, our fave cult films of the 90’s all summed up. Tell us how you’ll be giving Cher Horowitz a run for her money this A/W. Drop us a comment below or tweet us @Nica_Handbags

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

#NicaBakeOff: An almost Healthy Sweet Treat - Pumpkin and Apple pie

This week, for our #NicaBakeOff, one of the team is sharing their own recipe for pumpkin and apple pie! Take a look at her recipe below, and  if you try it out for yourself, why not get in touch @Nica_Handbags on Twitter and let us know?


1 cup of puréed pumpkin (made from approx. 1 small pumpkin)
1 cup of apple sauce (with no added sugar) 
3/4 cup of wholemeal rye flour
3/4 cup of plain white flour
2 eggs (to make a vegan version substitute eggs for flax seeds)
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ginger (powder)
1/2tsp of freshly grated or powdered nutmeg
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup of organic bee friendly runny honey or agave nectar (dependant upon how sweet)
Toasted almonds to sprinkle
2 tsp of coconut oil for greasing (butter can be used as a substitute)

For the frosting (optional):
180g light cream cheese
2 1/2 tbsp of organic bee friendly runny honey or agave nectar (dependant upon how sweet)

Step by Step

For the pumpkin purée:
  • Begin by chopping your pumpkin in half and scooping out the seeds*. 
  • Stab the pumpkin several times on both sides to allow for steam to escape, and place in the microwave for approx 10 mins until soft (If you have extra time you may want to roast your pumpkin instead for a stronger flavour).
  • Once the pumpkin is soft, scrape out of the skin and place into a food processor. Whizz this until a purée forms – Easy peasy!

For the cream cheese frosting (optional):
  • Combine the tub of light cream cheese with the honey and stir until smooth, taste to see if you are happy with the sweetness. To  make it sweeter, simply add more honey. 

For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to gas mark 5 and grease two cake tins with coconut oil, then, place in the oven.
  • Begin by placing all of your dry ingredients into a bowl (sieved flour, spices, pinch of salt, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda) and mix together.;
  • Combine all of your wet ingredients and mix (eggs, honey, pumpkin purée & apple sauce).
  • Fold wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and stir to form a cake mixture – making sure all of the flour is mixed in.
  • Pour mixture half and half into your two pre-heated cake tins and bake for approx 35 mins, then, test to check if it's cooked through the middle by prodding with a folk. If still clean when removed, then, the cake is ready. Leave to stand.
  • Once cool, spread the cream cheese frosting onto the bottom base. Place the top cake onto the base as to form a sandwich effect. Add the rest of your frosting on top, smoothly decorating the top and sides.
  • Once finished, dust by carefully sprinkling cinnamon through an icing sieve from a distance over the top of the cake, and finish by generously sprinkling toasted almonds on top. 

*(Save the seeds for a healthy snack or to sprinkle over salads by washing and soaking over night, then, spread evenly over a greaseproof paper lined baking tray and bake until golden brown. Season with a sprinkle of your choice of seasoning – My favourite is a pinch of salt and paprika) 

We’d love to see what you've been baking, so, why not tag us in your photos @nicahandbags on Instagram? 

Friday, 5 September 2014

#NicasInspirations: Go behind the Lauren grab with Nica Kim

I hope that you’re loving our latest A/W 14 collection? I’m very pleased with the results, and of course, I have lots of favourites! One style that I just can’t put down is the Lauren grab. So, this week, I thought that I’d give you a little more of an insight into its design!

I love the Doctor’s bag shape, which is a style that comes and goes out of fashion, and I wanted to infuse its classic shape with a Nica twist! I decided to give it more of a minimal feel, and so, I looked towards sleek, linear influences.

Travels aside, when I'm designing, I often turn to sources such as Pinterest as it’s the quickest way to pull together lots of different kinds of inspiring images that I could never find in just one trip away. I love sharing my design influences with you.

I'm going to start sharing some of my Pinterest design mood boards with you too. First up is the beautiful Lauren grab! You can view its board here

As to stick to the non-conventional Doctor’s bag theme, I finished with a zip top closure, and added a detachable crossbody strap. The result is an ultra-modern twist upon a vintage feeling style that’s both stylish yet easy to carry around with you. - Be it as a crossbody or a grab.

I’d love to hear what you think about our new A/W14 collection. Take a look at our full range here and let me know which ones are your favourites by getting in touch @Nica_Handbags on Twitter and @nicahandbags on Instagram.   

Love Nica
- x - 

Who to Follow on Instagram

Single, fragmented shots have become all the rage in the digital world. Expansive photo galleries are out, specially selected snaps are in. When used as intended, Instagram is decidedly more diverse than other networks. We love the fact that we can follow everyone from celebrities to undiscovered chefs and the nature of posting singular pictures adds a sense of intrigue. From intrepid travellers to ultra-hip models, check out our favourite Instagrammers:

Best for Wanderlust: @thecoolhunter_

Burning Man Festival, Nevada

You know those jaw dropping places and pictures that are so spellbindingly awesome you can hardly believe they exist? The Cool Hunter is really, really good at finding them. From psychedelically designed Moroccan cathedrals to unbelievably located infinity pools, you’ll be blown away by founder Bill Tikos’ collection.

Sacre Coeur, Morroco

Best for Style: @natalieoffduty

There are an abundance of models on Instagram, but Natalie Suarez has to be our favourite. Having been in front of the camera since the age of 15, Suarez uses Instagram to snap her own personal style updates which are fierce, distinctive and always effortless. Whether she’s rocking a fedora with ripped knee jeans or a kimono and killer heels, this long legged beaut is an absolute style icon.  

Best for Inspiring Food: @thesashadiaries

Are you a stuck in a food rut? If you’re a stickler for routine or tired of the same old salad then The Sasha Diaries will help you to branch out. Forever posting a colourful array of healthy, inspiring food, nutritious grub doesn’t get more exciting than this. Whether it’s her raw carrot cake making us salivate or jam packed bento boxes, you’ll be expanding your palette in no time.

And the most interesting thing of all is all recipes are plant based proving that meat free doesn’t have to mean boring.

Best for Knockout Beauty: @Lilypebbles

If you want to know why Lilypebbles is one of our fave beauty blogger just look at her nail polish collection- swoon! All over the latest make-up must haves, this UK based lovely keeps us updated on everything from gotta-have-it shampoos to the best lip shades for AW. Add her regular food, style and travel pics to the mix and it’s a winning Instagram account.

Love Instagram as much as us? Let us know who we should be following by tweeting us @Nica_Handbags or leaving us a comment below. And don’t forget to check out Nica on Instagram @NicaHandbags!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

#NicaBakeOff: Italian Style Pizza

For this week’s #NicaBakeOff, one of the team is sharing a family recipe with you, as she dons the oven mitts and creates some delicious Italian pizza! Why not try out her recipe for yourself and let us know how it goes by dropping us a comment below?

Ingredients: Pizza Base
500g white flour
1 regular sachet of yeast 
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Add as much warm water as needed

Ingredients: Toppings (Quantities as desired)

Chopped tomatoes

Step by Step

1) Vigorously mix together all of the required ingredients for the base until it forms a soft springy dough.

2) Place the pizza dough into a large bowl and cover with a wet cloth.

3) Allow the dough to rise by leaving in a warm place for anything from 30 mins to 2 hours. The longer it’s left, the better the flavour will be. Or, if you don't have a warm spot in your house, you could heat the oven to 150 degrees instead, then, turn off allowing to cool a little and place the bowl of dough inside the oven to rise.

4) Remove the raised dough from the oven and bowl.

5) Brush some olive oil onto a baking tray, and flatten the dough on top of it.

6) Add chosen toppings ( Mozzarella and chopped tomatoes) and bake at around 150 degrees 15-20 minutes.

7) Cut into slices and enjoy! 

It’s a simple recipe that doesn’t take very long to make either, and of course, it also tastes much better than any shop bought frozen versions too!

Are you getting into the Great British Bake Off spirit and baking this week? If so, why not get in touch and show us your bakes by tagging us @Nica_Handbags on Twitter or @nicahandbags on Instagram?