Hotter Shoes Have A Secret ...

Have you heard of Hotter shoes? I hadn't until their PR emailed me with an invitation to attend a bloggers night at their shop in Bournemouth Town Centre.

Every couple of years I invest in a ruddy good pair of leather boots from Next. I get really excited about boot shopping but I'm incredibly fussy. Boots are my favourite footwear and I wear them almost every day until the Summer.

Of course I couldn't make the shoe event! With three children and a hubby working late it was impossible to make this event. However as I had researched the company before hand and learnt about their secret ingredient; air bubble filled soles, super soft leather creating breathable, pliable and indulgent treat for feet I was not going to miss the opportunity to put them to the test. The PR team kindly let me chose a pair of boots to take on my adventures.

Now this is a review but when it comes to my reviews I will always give an honest opinion. As boots are an incredibly big part of my life being a mummy on the run, on adventures and always in a hurry they need to be uber comfy!

Hotter started making slippers but then they moved into making shoes as comfortable as slippers. These aren't fuddy duddy shoes either. I was pleasantly surprised that comfortable shoes and boots were also trendy and marketed to a wide audience. They make ladies shoes in sizes 3 to 9 with some extra fit options.

In February 2010 there were 5 Hotter stores but now there are 65. I'm genuinely not surprised by this as I am totally in love with my boots and they are so incredibly comfortable. I wear them running the kids around and for work. My boots go with everything.

I have looked through their AW14 brochure and I have got my eye on 5 different style of shoes already! I am really loving that the 60's look is back! I love wearing short dresses with thick tights and boots and dainty shoes. The ones from Hotter are gorgeous, and what gets me really excited about them is the Hotter secret into making their shoes. My feet are feeling loved *insert happy face*

Donna heels in purple and black are gorgeous. See here.

Lauren shoes are also on my wish list. See here.

Lavish shoes for work? yes please! See here.

There's also a few pairs of my boots on my list.

Don't let the price put you off. Put comfort and quality before anything else.

A Few Of My Favourite Things - Craft

All of these can be found over on docrafts.com


Pictures Of My Weight Loss in Three Months

Three months down the line and I'm 1 stone lighter and able to run 12k. I feel really good. I'm feeling really focused. I'm feeling much fitter.

Only another 20lbs to go!


Making a Papercraft Christmas Tree

This is really sweet. I bet the kids would enjoy making this too.

The Clingy Stage. A Sad Post about depression.

I'm not sure if anyone will understand this post.

Recently I went to Fiona, from Childcare Is Fun for help. A backlog of issues all built up. From Matilda being unable to drink milk, to not eating, to not sleeping and so a simple message I wrote with tears in my eyes and a sinking feeling in my belly made me feel so much better...

"Gorgeous, lovely Fi I wonder if you could just offer me any tips? Matilda just looks so unhappy on the two days off work I'm with her on my own. She is so clingy, always demands her dummy, moans and cries a lot. I give her lots of attention but walked away from toddler playgroup as she moaned and cried all the time and I was embarrassed. I literally dread my days off with tilda. I dread waking up because I know that I have to look after a unhappy 18 month old for the next 12 hours... She seems happy at nursery and I find it a relief when she goes. I'm drained from working and looking after three kids whilst hubby works 13 hours of the day and falls asleep on the sofa in the evening. I remain upbeat and try not to show my frustration to the kids but deep down in side i'm happiest at work! This is a really personal matter which i am really embarrassed and ashamed about."

Fiona told me that this is a common thing to happen. The Clingon stage.

This has been happening since I returned to work in January. Do you know how rubbish this has been for me? My two days on my own to bond with her and she spends those days upset and unhappy. The guilt of being a working mummy had hit me AGAIN. Not a choice I have and I felt that I was being punished for going to work.

Recently I was told from a friend that I made that friend unhappy. Awful words to hear. Words that were the truth. From that moment I knew I had lost. I realised at that point that I had had enough. I felt that I couldn't do anything right. Depression had struck once more. 

It was time to simplify my life as much as possible and walk away from negativity and distractions...and hide!

A bad friend, a bad mummy. Juggling work, three school runs a day, sometimes four. On my own spinning plates until the kids bed time when my husband walks through the door. All on little sleep and awful anxiety. I really wanted a wine cellar installed and a good friend to cry to.

It was then that I waved my white flag and gave up. I'm not a perfect mum, i'm not super mum. I'm not super or perfect at anything.

I have learnt that things will only change if I become selfish. So I have.

I decided to give up on wasted friendships, toddler groups, freelance work and just focus on bonding with Matilda. Yes depression really did hit me.

Those small lifestyle changes have helped us all and Matilda changed a corner recently. A few changes made and we have turned a corner. Keen to eat everything, full of smiles and laughter. Trying to talk and communicate much more, happily playing on her own. Lots of kisses and cuddles. Sleeping better. I am so, so happy. I am bonding with her again and oh wow it feels so great!

So now, I can just look ahead to the New Year with positivity and less clutter and a happier toddler. 

Apologies for the honest dreary post xx


Anxiety from Weight Loss Journey

The hardest thing about losing weight is trying to be good with food and drink. Picking at the kids crisps "Mummy needs to taste these first" and seeing really cheesy pasta left on a plate when a child announces "I'm finished mum!" is just too hard to ignore! I never want to feel really deprived as I have already cut out loads, even takeaways with hubby. I actually cook a fat free dinner instead.

As most people know, I do love a nice glass (or two) of red wine on an evening and although this is allowed on Slimming World, it's not when you have used most of your syn allowance. I like to use my syns most days, either on biscuits with a cuppa whilst cooking the kids dinner, crisps if I'm in need of comfort eating or wine! With three kids, working and then doing the school run/nursery pick up and out of school activities, when I sit down with my dinner at 8pm I am in need of chocolate, wine or to punch someone! (only kidding about punching) I'm sure you understand the stress!

It's been a slow process shifting my first stone. I'm pretty sure it's because i like to run. My body has changed and i'm feeling good but my tummy always feels so bloated and still hangs over all my trousers and skirts. 

I'm now at that stage where i'm getting anxiety. I am 0.5lbs away from my first stone, but the other week when i thought i was going to see a good result, I had infact gained. I thought I knew my body and now I realise I don't. I have 30 syns left until Monday's weigh in and I have Afternoon Tea with the girls tomorrow. 

I found myself at the gym Wednesday night and 6am this morning and i'm already wondering when I can fit in another run before my weigh. It's silly I know!

I can't stop standing on the scales at home and they are not moving! 

I just wish my boobs and my belly would shrink. I'm all front! For me, I feel uncomfortable. I have always had an issue with my huge boobs since I gained them as a teenager. Now my belly (yes I know I have grown three children inside it) but I am really keento shape up. I think I need to get my Slimpod out again.

Any motivation tips? Why am I now feeling so deprived, so bloated, so worried. Will drinking more water help? Any foods in particular I should try eating more of? Do I need to go back onto anti-depressants? 


Etsy Identifies 4 Christmas Trends for 2014

Online handmade and vintage marketplace Etsy (www.etsy.com) has identified four key trends for Christmas 2014 by analysing new products being added to the 1 million+ active Etsy.com shops in the run up to Christmas.

This year, four key trends have emerged which are prevalent among products from Christmas decorations to homewares. 

Stockist informationwww.etsy.com
NeonLDN.etsy.com Triple Pack Neon Wool Pom Poms £3.75
"Independent creative businesses selling on Etsy are able to respond very quickly to trends they see on the high street, or in the media" says Emily Dean, Etsy UK spokesperson. "The four key product trends we are seeing this year are bold bright colours which we're calling Happy and Bright, the usage of subtle metallics which we are calling Subtle Shine, an increase in Textured Textiles, and finally a strong theme of Natural Scandi." 

Christmas Trend 1: Happy and Bright
"Last year we saw an increase in bright colours for Christmas decorations, with many sellers taking on a retro theme for Christmas. This year the trend is even more pronounced, with lots of bright pinks and even neons in place of the traditional red and green Christmas colours."

Christmas Trend 2: Subtle Shine
"Metallics are always big at Christmas" says Emily, "but this year we are seeing a shift away from the very glitzy gold and silver to a subtler shine across homewares and decorations. Notably in homewares, lots of sellers are finding ways to incorporate a touch of gold or silver using metallic materials, enabling cushions and textiles with shimmer to work in our homes all year round."

Christmas Trend 3: Textured Textiles
"The trend for cosy materials and natural fibres continues this season" explains Emily. "Knitting and crochet are popular crafts in the UK and we're seeing sellers use these techniques in non-traditional ways - for example knitted light fixtures and crochet jewellery".

Christmas Trend 4: Natural Scandi
"Our final trend identifies a theme which is always popular at Christmas - Scandinavian design wtih a focus on blond wood and traditional patterns in red and white. This year however, we are seeing a move to combine this trend with natural and sustainable materials such as reclaimed wood, cardboard and recycled paper."

About Etsy:
Etsy.com is an online marketplace for handmade goods and vintage items. Founded in New York City in 2005, it allows people around the world to buy and sell unique goods directly from each other – anything from food to furniture. In 2013 alone, Etsy sellers sold nearly $1.35B worth of goods and 14 million new members joined the marketplace, making our global community 40 million strong. Etsy offers a meaningful and personal shopping experience to consumers and gives independent, creative businesses around the world the tools to be successful. Our mission is to reimagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.


Mustard Coloured Tights

Trying my hardest to be trendy and shake off my tired, skint mummy image I headed to H&M at the weekend and purchased an outfit that I wouldn't usually wear.

Mustard tights! I honestly don't think I'm brave enough to wear these. 

What do you think?


Happy Halloween

I have never really been a big fan of Halloween. Growing up we would do some pumpkin carving and eat toffee apples but that was about it. I was always happy we didn't do much else as I'm scared of the dark and for me Halloween was a frightening time! I'm still petrified of anything remotely scary.

Now I have my own children, they are super excited about this spooky day!

Its a family occasion where the children get dressed up and attend the local community party with dancing, food and competitions.

My children also enjoy answering the door with me, holding a big bowl of sweets for the local trick or treaters. I don't let my children do this so they get enjoyment out of giving out the sweets ands looking at all the wonderful costumes. My girls are huge dressing up fans so this is pretty exciting!

Pumpkin carving is also a favourite that they do with daddy each year. An attempt to improve on last years carving masterpiece. I'm pretty sure my husband takes this more seriously than my children!

This year I did get some pretty flowers! These smell wonderful. This is more my kind of Halloween treat.

Are you a big Halloween fan?


Quick Fat Free Soup

Need a soup fix with healthy contents for guilt free feeding? Well I did so I made this... 

All you need is a pan of boiling water and add 1 leak finely chopped, 1 onion finely chopped, 5 peeled potatoes chopped into small chunks, veg stock, a tin of mixed pulses, spinich! Once it's all soft and bubbling in the pan mash it up with your potato masher, add a sprinkling of black pepper and it's done! Oh the smell is divine!