Nothing Minimal About a Marc Jacobs Backpack

Nothing Minimal About a Marc Jacobs Backpack

You know those charity people who linger on the streets in bright t-shirts, holding clipboards, who wave and smile you over to hear their spiel? I usually feel guilty for rushing past them, but on this particular day over the summer, I had some spare time, so I thought I’d at least listen. 

His speech was vague, harsh, and dripping with guilt-trip. Something like “Did you know that x number of kids are starving right now? Do you feel good about that? No? Then give us $10 a month. Okay $5 a month.”

I politely declined. That all sounds theoretically compelling, but when it comes down to it, this is a stranger I just met on the street, telling me vaguely about horrible things that would make anyone feel bad. I prefer to research my charities before investing in them – and that’s part of the reason I stopped to listen: to hear out another story, to inform my decisions.

At first he was cool about my “no”, carrying on the conversation. “What do you do?” As usual, I responded with what I like to do rather than the factual answer. “I write about minimalism, about how having less stuff makes me more mindful.”

“There’s nothing minimal about a Marc Jacobs backpack,” he said with a smirk.

I was taken aback. I managed to reply with a smile that everyone has a different idea of minimalism, and that mine is having one bag that I really love. 

He didn’t know that I had been carrying the same backpack since third grade to its near breaking point, searching for the perfect replacement for nearly a year. He didn’t know that I happened to find this particular bag at the Marc Jacobs accessories store in New York as it entered the shop, still in the wrapping on its first day available for purchase: fate. He didn’t know that one of my best friends had recommended the shop, and that another was accompanying me on my browse, weaving memories into the purchase of what is otherwise just a backpack.

He didn’t need to make assumptions about me, my lifestyle, or my poor bag. He didn’t need to make me feel horrible. But that last one is my own fault, for letting it get to me.

Let’s put this back in context. Here’s a guy who waved me over to tell me about children starving, and ask for my money. Did he single me out because of my designer backpack? Does he think that he’s a better person, because he spends his time asking people for money for charity, while I traipse around with my fancy backpack instead of putting my dollars towards feeding the starving children?

It’s taken this long for me to process this, and now I’m ready to share. So what do you think? Have you been judged, or made to feel guilty because of the things you wear?

miss xandra bee

P.S. While we’re on the subject of questioning one’s purpose/self-worth

Mini Adventure: Tourist in my Own Town

Mini Adventure: Tourist in my Own Town

Despite seeing the Castle daily since arriving in Edinburgh, I had yet to go inside, or even up to its front doors. I knew that it would be beautiful, but of course, beauty is better in person than in theory, so it was worth the uphill trek.

Mini Adventure: Tourist in my Own TownMini Adventure: Tourist in my Own TownMini Adventure: Tourist in my Own TownMini Adventure: Tourist in my Own TownMini Adventure: Tourist in my Own TownMini Adventure: Tourist in my Own TownMini Adventure: Tourist in my Own TownWe often take for granted the wonders in our own backyard. Since they’re right around the corner, we could visit any time right? Why not take some time this week to stop by one of your city’s special sites? Let me know what you find :)

miss xandra bee

Sunday Sampling: Craft Some Magic


♡ Fabulous inspiration for starting your day with purpose

♡ Why you need to move at least 5 times in your life: as someone who’s lived in 9 cities and 3 countries I back this up completely! 

♡ A simple, free meditation, or just play the music in the background and you’ll feel calmer already!

♡ Are you choosing the right kind of challenges? Here’s how to tell the difference between a leap and a slog.

♡ A family lives in this super cool space atop Seattle’s Smith tower! I like how they display their books.

♡ An excellent guide to thrifting in style and on the cheap.

♡ Because who doesn’t love crafts and magic?

miss xandra bee

13 Ways to Lift Yourself Out of an Energy Slump

Ways to Lift Yourself Out of an Energy Slump
Maybe it’s the days getting shorter, maybe my flat is just too comfy, but I’ve been fighting the slumps lately.
The bright side: now I have a list of tried and true strategies for energizing myself, and I’ve ordered them from least to most amount of effort required. Find your place on the lazy scale and get hopping!

♡ Sit up. Get off the couch or out of bed and sit in an actual chair.

♡ Drink water. You should be a full glass within arm’s reach at all times, right? Sometimes I think I’m sleepy but I’m just dehydrated.

♡ Open a window. Let in some fresh air. 

♡ Make a cup of tea. It’s not great to rely on caffeine to stay awake, but even de-caff helps, because the act of putting on the kettle and awakening your taste buds will wake up the rest of you too.

♡ Sing along. Singing engages your abs, gets you working on your breath, and is a great emotional release as well. I recommend 1989.

♡ Journal. A couple of sentences about how lazy I’m feeling makes me feel silly enough to get up. Here’s my guide to getting started.

Brush your teeth. Feel that much fresher.

♡ Phone a friend. We get by with a little help from our friends, after all. Stop focusing on yourself and be awake for the sake of someone else.
♡ Take a shower. Get clean.
♡ Dress up. Dress awake, feel awake. Extra credit for putting on makeup that should discourage you from putting your head on the pillow.
♡ Go for a walk, even a short one. Soak up some vitamin D and breathe in the great outdoors.
♡ Take yourself out for coffee. Get out of your room and out in public, where it isn’t socially acceptable to lie your head down on the table.
♡ Exercise. Go for a quick jog, do a yoga or workout video, go for a cycle. something to get the heart pumping.
What do you do to drag yourself out of a slump?
miss xandra bee
P.S. You could also just watch a film that inspires productivity. <– Here are some of my favourites!

#1day12pics: A Typical Saturday

#1day12pics: A Typical SaturdayInstead of a mini adventure, I thought I’d document a typical day, #1day12pics style. I had so much fun with Gala’s #lovetober challenge that I couldn’t wait to hop onto Michelle and Emma’s

1. 1 November is Harry Potter day, so Deathly Hallows pride hung from my neck.

2. I couldn’t find a bookmark, so I used this friendship bracelet from The Darling.

#1day12pics: A Typical Saturday3. The Holyrood 9A filled my rumbling tummies and my eye for aesthetics.

4. We didn’t do anything particularly special, just walked around the city, but what a city it is!

#1day12pics: A Typical Saturday5. Castle in autumn.

6. Popped into Timberyard to make reservations for this weekend. What a gorgeous, rustic chic of a hidden gem!

#1day12pics: A Typical Saturday7. Shopping time. Finally stepped in Walter Slater, which is full of cosy design details.

8. Flowers at Godiva, my favourite boutique!

#1day12pics: A Typical Saturday9. Armchair Books is always worth a browse. You never know what you’ll find hidden among the crowded shelves!

10. My favourite weekend tradition is our trip to the farmers’ markets. The fruit bowl is ready to start the week!

#1day12pics: A Typical Saturday

11. Toothbrushes in a Butterbeer tumbler.

12. Night night!

Know any good Instagram challenges? I’m getting addicted…

miss xandra bee

P.S. Are you following me on Instagram [@missxandrabee]?

Being a Heroine

Mini Adventures


Simple Fix