Mia Tui Me

A short time ago I told you all about my little bag lady problem, of elephantine proportions. I was in serious need of organisational assistance, so I turned to the magical world of Mia Tui and their 'bags for all reasons' to help me find a solution.

Mia Tui is the stylish and creative brainchild of Charlotte and was born in Vietnam in 2010, after she'd spent many years searching for the perfect bag that would suit her busy lifestyle. A lifestyle involving being a working mum, doing school runs, shopping, going to the gym, travelling, etc; etc. Sound familiar?

Charlotte says that 'Mia Tui is the busy woman's best friend - it is stylish yet completely practical' and invites you to check out  her website: 'if you feel like you're juggling a thousand lives.'
Now that sounds very familiar!

So I then approached the very charming Charlotte, asking for her help in choosing a bag for my reasons.

We agreed on my requirements and so it was that my two new VBFs - Amelie and Grace - came to reside with me.

Would you like to meet them? You would? Oh good!

Let me first introduce you to the fabulous and very accommodating Amelie:

But, could Amelie accommodate all my requirements for a busy day involving gym, school run, show work (script, large dance notebook & clip board) and culminating in a long dance rehearsal? The novel is in case I need a break from doing show work while waiting around  for my Teen Boy!

I found that Amelie's compact and unique interior system, with it's multiple pockets including mobile phone pocket and pen-holders, insulated drinks holder, zips and extra bags - 2 PVC ones and a matching clutch bag....

You can just about see the key clip in between the 
2 blue pockets.... a marvelous idea. No more rooting for keys!

.... meant that I could indeed fit it all in...

And there I am, all packed and zipped up in my waterproof (inside and out), soft faux leather exteriored Mia Tui bag and ready to go. Anyone care to join me?

                                                         Burn Baby Burn!

The intention was to use Amelie for long rehearsal days when I may also have to bring snack foods, for me and Teen Boy, and a change of clothes for going out to dinner afterwards. Well, a busy, dancing mum can't be expected to cook dinner on long rehearsal days, now can she?! I could then use Grace for non-rehearsal busy days.

So far, I have to say, I'm living out of Amelie! I just pack her up with all my compartmentalised requirements for the day and pop her into the car boot. I then work from there, pulling out bits as required; the matching clutch bag, for example, if I'm going to the shops, or my ever-growing Book of Dance Steps (very much a work-in-progress!) pen and CD if I'm doing show work whilst on taxi-mum duty. It's fantastic!

Of course I also love to show her off, slinging her over my shoulder as I saunter stylishly into rehearsal!

Amelie is quite a large bag, recommended for women over 5ft 5ins (which I'm not!) and I can see how helpful it would be for travelling too. You may not be able to fit in the kitchen sink but it's certainly roomy enough for an inquisitive, bag-loving Pretty Cat......

And , in these frugal times, even the protective covering that a Mia Tui bag arrives in was put to excellent use in this house.....


Now let me introduce you to the more petite, but equally fabulous Grace, with her similar signature interior system of multiple pockets, matching clutch bag and one removable PVC bag...

                                      I just love the cute signature star on outside pocket!
Do not be fooled by Grace's diminutive size, as I was initially! I'm very excited as I've just found out that I can fit in my large Book of Dance Steps after all! I really didn't think that I could, so admittedly Grace hasn't been given the attention she deserves. I will soon remedy that! I also fit in my water bottle, a large novel, my Kindle and the usual purse, make up etc. I could also fit in Teen Boy's iPad, if only he'd share it with me! Think of all the show work I could store on that....... sigh! 

I am also very excited to discover that Grace also has a key clip.... a stretchy one! I let it over hang in the photo above so that you could see it. I won't even have to remove the key to open the door!

Note both bags also come with an attachable hands-free shoulder strap.

I think you can tell from this post that I'm in love with my new delights.

I can honestly say that my Mia Tui bags are this busy woman's new stylish best friends. I find that the unique interior system makes them highly multi-functional and begs that chocolatey question:

Is Mia Tui a system or a bag?

The answer being, of course, that Mia Tui is a system in a bag ;-)

It is fair to say that I've been well and truly Mia Tui-ed!

How about you?

Have a look here to see if you can find a bag for your reasons.

Happy shopping!


Note: Whilst chatting to Charlotte online, discussing my requirements, she very kindly gave me the Grace bag  to review with my Amelie purchase :-) This is my honest review of both bags. Well, I couldn't really review one without the other now could I?!

A Worthy Career....

There was a great piece by Geraldine Lynagh in the Irish Independent newspaper 2 days ago, about working mums who gave it all up for their children  which ponders on the belief held by some that you need an excuse to give up your career for your kids.

Geraldine rightly poses the question: 'Why is an excuse necessary at all?'

She gives examples of  some high profile career women who felt that people were unwilling to accept their family-based reasons for leaving their <paid> jobs behind them. The article then went on to ask two women why they made that decision and how it worked out for them; one of whom was the fabulous Lorraine Keane and her story  and the other was... um.... well.... me and mine!

Not only did we make it into a national newspaper 
but we got a rather nice photo too!

For personal reasons my story had to be diluted somewhat, but basically my fundamental reason for leaving my job was not only because I felt I was missing out, but because I felt my son was too.

I don't feel guilty about being a Stay-at-home-Mum but I will admit that the decision to leave was not easy. I honestly believed that going out to work on a job-sharing basis was my 'me-time' that gave me the best of both worlds and allowed me time spent in adult company. Therefore I was initially reluctant to give it up!

To be honest there are some careers where it is perfectly acceptable for a mum (or dad) to give up work to care for their children, no raising of inquisitive eyebrows whatsoever. It saves the company money, you see, and besides some work colleagues can view job-sharing/part-time mums  in a less than favourable light.

Ultimately I made my decision very quickly and have not regretted it for one moment. I  recently wrote about this pivotal decision and my thoughts on being Home Alone and of how I feel the role of the SAHM ( and Dad)  is viewed in this country.

I also recently wrote about the question you should never ask a Stay-at-home-Mum, aka: What Jazzy Does all day!

Not all contributions to our society can be measured in financial or economic terms. Which leads me to ask a question of my own....

Why is staying home to rear one's children not considered a career in it's own right?

One should never feel, or be made to feel, guilty or less-worthy, for making the decision to stay home with their children. Nor should anyone feel bad having made such a decision, then feeling the need to do something other than child-rearing and housework in any spare time. That's called me-time and everyone, whether in the paid or non-paid work force, deserves that.

Besides, some stay-at-home-mum's me time can turn into a new career, worked around family needs, or be of benefit to local communities or causes.

Speaking of which, you can support iPhones4Autism.ie, the campaign I contribute to in my spare time, by donating your old iPhone  if you have recently upgraded! You can even send me any old mobile phones you, your  work colleagues or fellow SAHMs, have lying around! Any donated iPhones will be given to children with Autism (and Special Needs) to assist with communication and all other phones will be pooled and used to avail of  Irish Autism Action's Mobile Phone Recycling scheme.

Please support if you can.

Many thanks.


Sod the Snake, I want an Elephant...and the Bag of all Bags.

I have not made any New Year' resolutions for 2013, the Chinese Year of the Snake. They are only meant to be broken after all.

I must make some changes though and I'm thinking the first one will be to invent a whole new Chinese year.......

So, welcome to Jazzy's Chinese Year: the Year of the Elephant.

I'm inventing this not to give us the freedom to assume the size of an elephant's body, more to give us, well me anyway, some sliver of hope of assuming the size of it's memory bank. Even half the size would be good!

I'm fed up of forgetting/losing things, you see. I spend an inordinate amount of time, most days of the week, searching for missing items or things I've forgotten to bring with me when out and about. Oh, you know; things like keys, phone, and money for example, things that can land a lady in a dilemma!

I am a serial rooter and loser of things and it must stop. No more must I be seen rooting through one of my bags in public places. No more upending said bag on shop floors or rehearsal halls looking for the illusive item du jour. And there must definitely be no more rooting through my Green Bin. Sigh...

This ridiculousness all came to a head when I recently lost my inhaler. For two whole days I searched everywhere, even in the most unusual places I could think of. At one point I was drawn to a drawer in a bathroom press, drawn by a vague memory of saying to myself  'don't put it in there, you'll never remember there'. So ridiculous was the thought that I'd deliberately put it somewhere I wouldn't ever remember, that I was convinced that's exactly where I'd find it. Nope. Wasn't there. Maybe there is some hope for me after all!

I eventually had no choice but to don the marigolds and delve head-first, yet again, into our very full post-Christmas Green Bin! Well, that's where my other lost medication had been found the previous week after all. Oops... Okay, maybe I really am a total lost cause!

Although I eventually recovered the latest missing item, in a very mundane place, this madness must end.

I need to get more organised. I need to put everything back in it's place, as soon as I'm finished with it and organise myself better when on my daily expeditions.

As I've said before though - if I didn't have so much to remember, I'd have less to forget!

Look at this for today's outing:

Four bags! Four!! 'Tis no wonder I forgot my water bottle.

The white bag is gym stuff,  then there's black handbag with  more stuff, blue bag with library books and purple one with show stuff, so I could do some work while doing taxi-mum for Teen Boy.

I have to ask myself, with the exception of the library books, isn't there a way I could organise all this stuff into one bag? And I don't mean a duffle bag or a black sack!

I think maybe there is.

I think, apart from all the personal changes, I need to get me a Mia Tui bag. Or two ;-)

What do you think?

Would be less cumbersome then assuming the size of an elephant and waayyy more stylish!