Sunday, 18 October 2015
I am a lucky lady, I can't deny that. And when Hotter, those amazing shoe people told me that they were holding an event in their Cardiff store, and asked if I would like to come along, the only question in my mind was how quickly I could say "Yes" without looking like a complete Billy-No-Mates. Especially when they said they were co-hosting the event with Taking Shape, a clothing store I'd never visited, but heard a lot of good things about. (Theirs is for another post, at least partly because I was having so much fun, I forgot to take any photos & that's a very good reason for a return visit!)
So, braving the rush hour traffic, albeit from the opposite side of the road, I headed into the bustling metropolis that is Cardiff on a Tuesday teatime. We started off by getting styled and our heads slightly swollen by the lovely ladies of Taking Shape, before we relocated just along Queen Street & into the St David's Centre for the comfort of Hotter. Comfort in every sense of the word.
Having come straight from work, and a meeting in a school, I was in my professional look which boils down to shiny and too-high wedge heels rather than a battered pair of trainers, so my feet were crying out for a properly comfortable alternative. This is where Hotter are amazing. I've never been anywhere where there are so many comfortable shoes. And not the sort of comfortable that Aunty Mabel would wear - though that is where Hotter started out. I remember a few years ago, next door to my office was a shoe shop. An old people's shoe shop. Orthopaedic shoes, zip up bootee slippers, and a Hotter logo in the window. That was what I knew about Hotter before visiting them. They don't hide from the fact they started out making slippers. But now, they make gorgeous shoes that are as comfortable as slippers.
Forget granny shoes. Forget shoes that look suspiciously like Cornish Pasties. And definitely forget the tartan zip up bootee slippers (though there are a pair under my boss's desk) Hotter make some STUNNING shoes. And boots. Oh yes. Boots. I had honestly given up on the idea of finding a pair of knee high boots that would do up on my calves. And I'm told I've got good legs - I know plenty of people slimmer than me who struggle even more than I do. But when I walked into Hotter on Tuesday, I think I must have entered some sort of alternate reality. Not just one pair, but I actually had a choice! I have actually died and gone to shoe heaven.
The hardest part was deciding. Beautiful shoes, amazing details, glorious colours. Or miracle boots. You know me, don't you? The boots it was. We won't mention the fact that by Wednesday morning I was all over their website like a rash, ordering one of the many pairs I'd left behind. And we will try our best not to think about the others, so many others, like seashells left on the beach, waiting for someone else to discover them, take them home and love them. (Am I taking this too seriously now?)
I won't pretend Hotter shoes are cheap. But I don't like cheap shoes. Cheap shoes fall apart quickly, rub your feet, and end up costing a fortune in replacements and plasters. Quality is where it's at. So, if your feet need a treat for the festive season, and you want to experience a Hotter Moment for yourself, then give them a go. I've got a lovely discount code for you... PNDTEN which will give you ten percent off any full price items on their website, and free delivery*. What are you waiting for? Seriously?
*New customers only. Full price items only. Excludes shoe care productss and gift vouchers.
DISCLAIMER: I was invited to attend the above event free of charge and gifted an item of my choice from the current range. I was not required to write this post, and not told what to say. All content remains my own. Links are provided for convenience only, I am not a member of any affiliate scheme and will not receive reward for their use, nor the use of the above discount code.
Monday, 17 August 2015
|Castle, of the falling down variety|
|Rock on Tommy|
|Do you know how difficult it is to take photos in soft play?|
|Cookies & face paints|
Sunday, 16 August 2015
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Why, hello there internets. How are you? I'm muddling through. Just taking a bit of a break from it all, but normal service will be resumed just as soon as I figure out what normal is.
In the meantime, why not sit back with a slice of cake & a g&t?
Saturday, 23 May 2015
- What has she done?
- What has she said?
- Where has she thrown up?
- Which part of her is bleeding?
- What has someone else's child done to her?
|Katie Morag - Who does not need to leave Struay, tears or no tears.|
Monday, 11 May 2015
I've dieted in the past, who hasn't? Sometimes I've lost weight, but eventually I fall off the wagon, usually with a fairly hard bump, and it all goes back where it came from. I've been a member of a gym, but I get bored after a fairly short time, when I realise I can't read on a treadmill, and I don't like looking at myself in the mirrors. (I don't mind Zumba, I can't see myself in the community centre's breezeblock walls, and everyone is so NICE it doesn't matter that I wobble even when I shouldn't).
So, time for a change of approach. I've always had a slightly wobbly relationship with food. It's been my comfort, and it's been my downfall. I craved pepperoni pizza while I was pregnant with Squeaky, and the cravings still haven't gone, despite the fact she's 5!
I was offered the chance to join in a trial with Thinking Slimmer, who are the people behind the Slimpod. They've given me (and a group of other amazing bloggers) the chance to try out the Slimpod for ourselves, in return for sharing with them how we are getting on. You know me though, I can't keep that to myself, I'm going to tell you as well.
Truth be told, I have kept it to myself for a little while, I wasn't sure whether you'd really want to know. But I've been listening to the lovely Trevor, a cognitive hypnotherapist, before I go to sleep (and often while I'm asleep) for the last few weeks, and I'm honestly noticing a difference. I'm not snacking so much, I'm choosing different foods, healthier foods, and I'm making better choices. It's slightly strange being part of a group, but being remote from them, kind of the opposite to slimming clubs. But for me it works. I've come to the conclusion that you can't change for anyone other than yourself, and that includes competing with others. I'll never be you, you'll never be me, it's a waste of good energy to try. But I can be the best me, and I'm using my slimpod to help me be the best me I can.
Want to join me? Well, don't go away, there's something exciting coming very soon!
Sunday, 10 May 2015
But really, this is me. We were visiting a friend, and only had a couple of days, which is nowhere near enough time to do the city justice. I want to go back for a week and fill in the gaps that I didn't have chance to explore properly. With an umbrella to deal with the next hailstorm, obviously, though considering the wind I might well have a Mary Poppins moment & end up flying all the way to Austria. Being my blog though, I have got some photos to share with you. You know the sort.
|Being artistic at the Olympic Park|
|Beer. One of many.|
|If Frozen's Elsa worked in a Beerhall.|
Friday, 8 May 2015
We're lucky in the respect that we only have one child - there's usually a limit to the number of free child spaces available per booking (a good reason to go on holiday with the grandparents maybe?), and there is definitely a limit to the number of free child spaces available on any given flight. But even one free space in a family of 4 or 5 presents a significant saving. And the cost of childcare for 2 or 3 children? Well, if you haven't got family nearby to ease the burden, the summer break can be financially crippling. Childcare vouchers only go so far, and they rely on your childcare providers being registered - which not all are. Same goes for Tax Credits, 70% of childcare costs is a help, but not enough. The last choice is taking time off work - 5 weeks paid holiday per year doesn't meet the 6 weeks summer holidays, never mind the other 7 weeks of school holidays per year, sick days & last-minute inset days, unpaid leave can be the only way.
Saturday, 4 April 2015
Outside one of the churches in the town centre is this beautiful drinking fountain, commemorating a previous Royal Wedding. What a strange way to mark a wedding. I can't find anything commemorating more recent Royal Weddings, or even the jubilee, but this fountain remains a happy reminder of days gone by.
Sunday, 29 March 2015
Therefore, I am declaring this blog an Election-Free Zone. Until May I will not entertain any mentions of politics, politicians, voting, schools being used as polling stations & therefore closed, or anything other than fairies, flowers and Frozen.
In fact, I am happily embracing watching children's telly with Squeaky for the next 5 weeks, at least they don't mention the election on Disney. I'm slightly dreading the next one already, in 5 years time we will firmly be in the grip of CBBC, and if my childhood was anything to go by, they start teaching political stuff in the top end of primary when there's an election to deal with.
In fact, this is as political as I will get. We had mock elections, linked up with the kids telly of the day when I was in the top end of primary, and again in the top end of secondary school. I don't really remember the first, but for the secondary episode, the school took it very, very seriously. As did a small number of the kind of kids that do at that age. The rest of us were slightly less interested. A group of the boys in my year took it upon themselves to stand in the name of one of the lesser parties, and launched the kind of election campaigning more commonly seen in the US than the UK, with rallies, entertainment, and full on electioneering. They won with a landslide majority. Unfortunately for the school it was a landslide majority for the Monster Raving Loony Party, and as such they refused to return our results to Children's BBC. I was desperate for our school's proudest moment to appear on Newsround. Instead we had a special assembly reinforcing the seriousness and importance of politics and why we should get properly involved in things rather than treating life as a big joke.
Friday, 20 March 2015
It was accidental, honest. I was browsing one of those Mums' forums yesterday, you know the ones. One is full of recipes, the other full of swearing and people being (or not being) unreasonable. I'm not even sure which, to tell the truth. And someone had said something about their precious offspring's school and their demands for specific items with which to view the solar eclipse.
I'll be honest here. Much of the build up to the eclipse has passed me by. I'd just kind of not noticed. Unlike the 1999 eclipse, where I owned a pair of Eclipse 99 pants, from one of the High Street fashion stores. (Sadly, even if I still owned them, there's no chance I'd fit more than a single bum cheek in them now) But NetMumsNet reminded me, and so I thought I'd give the school secretary a quick call to see if I'd missed a letter. Not unknown.
|Not the recommended way to view a solar eclipse|
The secretary sounded completely shocked that I'd asked her such a crazy question. Eclipse? Plans? School? And then promised to find out & send a text message to the parents. Which arrived as I was standing at the school gate yesterday afternoon, gossiping with other mums about this exact subject. Co-incidence? Conspiracy? Who knows.
Anyway, school, having not made any other plans, preparations, or even having discussed the eclipse with our beloved offspring were watching via the BBC's live stream. Not a bad thing, as it turns out, even though Squeaky said that they were talking in English, but it was so complicated she didn't understand and it was like they were talking Japanese (her words), so she just watched the pictures. We'd talked about it last night, so she had some idea about what was happening at least. More than some of the other children, I don't doubt.
|The eclipse, viewed from the safety of my car. Or a pretty pattern.|
I'm living in the vain hope that my colander wearing & boredom-related photo editing will attract me my very own Professor Brian Cox. It probably won't work out, but you can't blame me for trying, can you? Just think about that enthusiasm!
Sunday, 8 March 2015
|No-one needs a picture of the offending rash. Everyone needs gin in a tin.|
Friday, 6 March 2015
Thursday, 5 March 2015
Tuesday, 3 March 2015
|Honestly taken this February. Why can't the UK look like this?|
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
It's a weird thing, belonging. And I don't mean it in the sense people use in this town, to say being related to someone. It's something that comes from deep inside. I felt I belonged almost straight away when I lived in Yorkshire, but it's taken me much longer here. I'm quite a private person, and that goes against the Valleys (especially the villages) ethos of everybody knowing everybody's business. I guess maybe if I wasn't shy, I'd've fitted in much faster, because people actually are really welcoming, and knowing every last detail about you is their way of accepting you. But I don't work like that.
Monday, 16 February 2015
Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Yes, I actually did take a photo of the loo. And you've looked at it. That says something about us both, really, doesn't it?
We're joining in with Coombe Mill's Country Kids linky. Pop on over.
Friday, 6 February 2015
Saturday, 31 January 2015
|I should not be trusted with MS Paint. Fact.|
What am I trying to achieve here? Nothing really, I suppose, aside from venting. The government are hardly going to sit up & take notice of this little corner of the blogosphere, and I can't change the past. But Squeaky's still quite fixed on the idea that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up, and I'm going to to my best to encourage her to be what she wants to be, and achieve all she can, no matter who or what tries to stand in her way.
What was your experience? Please do tell, I'm intrigued.
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
|School water bottle left at school. Again.|
Monday, 19 January 2015
|The cold never bothered me anyway|