I love it when I receive things for ME to review so when I was asked to be a Shoe Zone Mummy blogger then I was happy to help. There are certain types of shoe that every woman should have in her wardrobe. Like a good pair of jeans, there are certain shoes which are staple items. Since having children, I admit I seem to spend 95% of my time wearing trainers now a days but it doesn’t stop me loving shoes! When Shoe Zone asked me to choose a pair of shoes to review, I decided I needed to start building my collection and the perfect pair to start with are these beautiful and simple nude patent wedges.
These are the type of shoes which can be worn with everything and anything, I honestly don’t know how I coped for so long without a pair of shoes like this in my collection!
What do I love about these shoes:
1. They can be worn with absolutely everything, a true wardrobe staple which every woman needs in her shoe collection.
2. They are extremely comfortable. I’d say they are true to size, I am a size 7 in most shoes and these in a size 7 fit me really well. They feel great to wear which is always a bonus as I simply don’t believe in crippling myself for the sake of a pair of shoes, no matter how pretty they are
3. The wedge heel makes these shoes so wearable. I’m tall anyway so I don’t particularly need skyscraper heels in my life (although I do own a couple of pairs) and wedges just feel so much more stable whilst still giving the elegant feel and look of heels. Ideal when trying to cope with two toddlers out and about
4. Quality – now I have to admit, when I saw the price of these shoes (£14.99), I was pretty dubious about what quality they would be but to my surprise they look and feel really well made. Of course I’ve only had them a couple of weeks but from my experience of them so far I’m expecting them to last quite a while.
So, overall am I impressed with these shoes? Definitely yes!
When Clarks Shoes challenged me to style up with some of their metallic Studio Beat Sandals and free my feet, well I couldn’t turn them down It seems like winter has lasted forever up here and now we are finally seeing some sunshine I couldn’t wait to get my toes out!
So what summer outfit did I style my Studio Beat Sandals with? Well I’d normally opt for shorts in this weather but I’m a little slow with the fake tan and so I thought I’d spare you my white legs and opt for my favourite maxi dress. It’s silk and I love the bright butterfly print, I feel like a million dollars whenever I wear this dress and so the studio beat sandals are the perfect footwear to go with it. The gold of the sandals seems to bring out the colours in the dress and they really are so comfy to wear which makes them practical too! I’m a big believer in not suffering for fashion so shoes and clothes which look stylish but are easy to wear are a must.
The dress, I got from Warehouse last summer and the sandals of course are from Clarks
Disclosure: I was given the sandals by Clarks for this challenge.
You know when you look at your wardrobe and you just want to weep? Well that!
I suppose I’m not the only mother of two young kids who has spent the last three years wiping snot, milk, sick and food off their clothes (all of these originating from my children not myself I hasten to add!). It’s no wonder that I’ve not been buying myself nice clothes for a while. I live in jeans (my current jeans were actually bought about 8-9 years ago) and v-neck jumpers. I look OK in them but they are just SOOOO boring!
It is only now as my children are getting less messy, that I look at my wardrobe with longing in the hope that I can just open the doors one day and find a beautiful selection of clothes waiting for me. There are only two real things stopping me from doing this though:
1) I HATE shopping! I’m just no good at clothes shopping, I see people walking past or on TV looking absolutely stunning and I wish I had their style – my problem is that when I walk into a shop and see rail after rail of clothes on hangers – well nothing looks appealing! I’d much rather see a whole outfit being modelled by somebody (or a mannequin) so that I can have some inspiration.
2) I don’t have TIME to shop. I work full time, run my own business and have two children under three. I work until midnight most nights, my weekends are fully occupied by my family so when exactly am I supposed to shop? It’s impossible to go shopping at the weekend with a 2yo and 3yo in tow!
I was really lucky towards the end of 2012 when I won £250 to spend at Boden! £250! Do you know what’s incredibly sad? That money is still sat in credit on my account waiting for me to spend it four months later because I simply haven’t had the time or the inspiration to choose anything. I’ve promised myself that this money is going to be spent on me and not the children as I could spend it in five minutes if it was for them. (Why is it so much easier to style children than it is myself?)
So – anybody fancy doing a bit of virtual shopping for me? What do you think I’d look nice in? If you’re feeling creative why not design me an outfit or shopping basket from Boden for £250 and I’ll publish them on here at a later date (with links back to you).
It’s no secret that MissB is obsessed with shoes, she has a bigger collection that me nowadays but when the lovely people from Barratts contacted me and asked if I would like to review a pair of their Girls Boots, I couldn’t say no After much deliberation (because there is such a huge choice on their website) I finally decided on this gorgeous pair of Hush Puppy Coley Boots! MissB has a new pink coat and so I thought they would match perfectly (and no matter how much I resist, we really are entering the pink and girly stage nowadays!) I was given credit to spend online so I could experience the full buying online process and I can only say how impressed was. I ordered the boots around 8pm on a Tuesday evening and they arrived Thursday morning. (There was even 25% off online and free delivery – it’s definitely worth checking out their website for current offers!)
MissB instantly fell in love with her new boots – I mean what isn’t to love about them? They are pink, furry and gorgeous! They are also extremely good quality and sturdy so I’m expecting them to hold up well to her busy toddler lifestyle! I ordered MissB size 7 boots as she currently has new trainers in this size, I was impressed that along with the boots arrived 2 spare insoles in different thicknesses which meant I can adjust the size slightly to ensure that they fit her perfectly (which they do). As you can see below, they complement her coat perfectly and she now looks like the uber trendy winter toddler
These boots sell for £40, when I got them there was a 25% off offer (I’ve just checked their website and there is currently a 30% off offer available!). I think with the discount it is an excellent price for these gorgeous boots, the quality is excellent and they really do look fantastic! MissB wants to wear them everywhere and if it were up to her she’d probably wear them in bed Would I shop with Barratts again? Definitely! I’m just about to order MasterB some new shoes from there as I’ve been so impressed with the service!
I’ve always loved Boden clothes, there is something that is just so beautiful about the bright prints and bold patterns. When I was asked if I’d like to choose some outfits from the Mini Boden range to review, well I was in reviewing heaven
I have two
very willing models who sat patiently refused to sit still for photographs but I think I’ve just about managed to capture how gorgeous the clothes are Let’s face it children’s clothes are meant to be worn not posed in and seeing clothes in action is a much more realistic way of looking at them
I’ve tried to create a mix and match wardrobe with a few key pieces that can be combined together to give several beautiful and striking outfits. Hopefully it’s worked These are the items I chose for MissB.
And this is how they look on MissB
MissB wears Retro Appliqué T-Shirt and Velvet Slim Fit Jeans in Mink. MissB loves her velvet jeans and they team up fantastically with all the tops you can see in this post so they add to a great mix and match wardrobe.
MissB wears Pretty Patchwork T-Shirt in Magenta/Tree We’ve teamed this up with the Easy Jersey Skirt in Emerald/Blue and the candy footless cable tights to create a bright and fun look This has to be my favourite combination of all the clothes and MissB absolutely loves it as you can tell by the smile (wellies are her own).
MissB chose this outfit combination herself, she obviously thinks that mismatched prints are in this season and who am I to argue with a three year old Though looking at the photos, I think I actually do like the combination of the Everyday T-Shirt in dusty sapphire sprout and the Easy Jersey Skirt as above. Striped socks and leggings are her own (and her choice to wear them with this outfit )
I absolutely love the doggy top (as MissB calls it), it looks great with the velvet jeans and the colour just happens to be my favourite
I loved this Fun Logo Dress when I saw it on their website and I decided to team it with the Emerald Footless Cable Tights from the twin pack. It also looks great with the candy coloured footless cable tights too Of course MissB had to team it with the obligatory striped socks
And finally I couldn’t leave MasterB out of the review. I’m a little stripe obsessed when it comes to MasterB’s wardrobe and I opted for this lovely Jersey Henley Top in turf/blue and combined it with an extremely practical pair of Cord Sailing Trousers in brown. If you look carefully you’ll notice I’ve had to roll the trouser legs up as MasterB only has little legs bless him but at least it means there is plenty of growing room
I love how this outfit brings out the blue of his eyes and makes him look grown up.
So there we have it, some fabulous Mini Boden outfits put through their tests and getting a big thumbs up from us. We love the quality and the beautiful designs and despite being put through the paces of a busy toddler lifestyle all the clothes are holding up well to constant washing
As a mum it’s easy to get stuck in a style rut. It’s so tempting to spend all our time and money on our children, and shopping for the latest must-haves isn’t exactly top of the to-do list! But it’s important to remember to take care of yourself once in a while. Take a bit of time out and make yourself feel special; whether that’s a trip to a spa or buying a special treat. If time isn’t on your side, here are a few ideas for any mums out there wanting to feel pampered from the comfort of your own home…
- Have some me time. Once the kids are tucked up in bed and the hubby is in front of the TV, it’s time to sneak off for some alone time. This does not mean putting on the washing, tidying the kitchen or taking the dog for a walk! Enjoy a bit of peace and quiet, run a bath and forget about the day’s stresses. It may sound obvious but it’s something that many of us forget to do. For a special treat, try some luxury bath soaps and a cleansing face mask.
- Wear something that makes you feel fantastic. Once you’re feeling relaxed and recharged find something to wear that makes you feel fantastic. This all starts with some figure flattering lingerie which gives you a confidence boost and makes you feel special. Whether you wear casual clothes or a little black dress, you could wear anything on top of sexy underwear and still feel great!
- Night out or a night in. Now you’ve been pampered and you’ve got that confidence boost you deserve, sit back and relax with a DVD and a bottle of wine. Or have a well-overdue trip to a restaurant or even night out with the girls.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you take the time to treat yourself and be a little selfish once in a while!
*reimbursement received for this post
Regular readers of this blog will know that we were lucky enough to be invited to a Mummy Blogger event held by NEXT recently where we got to preview their children’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. We were also given a gift card with which to buy some outfits for our children. I’ve finally got round to going shopping and so here is MissB and MasterB rocking their new clothes I love NEXT clothes, they always look beautiful, wash well and are really well made. I’ve managed to find links to most of the clothes online but there are a few items which we found instore which I can’t find online at the moment.
MissB wears top found instore costing £9.50 and navy leggings costing £3.50. I love this pretty top and it’s perfect with a pair of plain leggings for those warmer days
MissB wears Butterfly Print Blouse costing £13, I think this is so beautiful
MasterB wears Polo Shirt in blue and grey costing £7. I think MasterB looks so grown up in this, we can never have enough tops for him as he is constantly drooling everywhere at the moment bless him.
MissB wears Dad T-Shirt and Turn Up Jeans (see below). The Dad T-shirt and the big sister t-shirt were 2 for £8 instore. These were Daddy’s choice but very appropriate as MissB is a complete Daddy’s girl
MissB wears Super Star T-Shirt costing £7 and Rib Waist Turn Up Jeans costing £11. MissB loves anything sparkly so we had to get her this top
MasterB wears Train T-Shirt costing £7 (found instore, I can’t find it online at the moment) and Jeans costing £9. I tried so hard to get MasterB to stand still for a nice photo in this outfit but he was having none of it so this was the best I could do. The blue of the shirt makes his blue eyes really pop and I love the little train
I personally think they both look gorgeous in their new outfits (obviously I’m biased) and I can’t believe I managed to get all these clothes for around £75. We are off on holiday next week so it’s lovely to have some brand new outfits for them that they can show off
Today I was lucky enough to be invited by Next to see their new Children’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection. As well as beautiful clothes they really pulled out the stops with providing lovely food, beauty treatments and children’s entertainment. I was also given a £75 gift card with which I will be buying some outfits to review shortly
Below are a selection of the outfits which I loved…
I really like the combination of blues and mustard, I can see MasterB looking cute in this
I think MissB may be a bit big for this outfit now but I love the little cap and denim jacket combination
This outfit may be a little old for MissB yet but I really liked the tweed style waistcoat and shorts combination and I love love love the sparkly bag!
Disclosure: I’ve been thoroughly spoilt by Next today but my opinion of the clothes is honest. I received a gift card, goody bag and a lovely day out
I love my children wearing pretty clothes and so when I was contacted and asked if I would like to choose an item to review from Piccalilly, I of course said yes
Piccalilly launched in 2006 leading the way in producing a new generation of bright, fun and stylish organic cotton & fairly traded baby wear. This is what they have to say about their journey and their ethos:
“Here at Piccalilly we like to do things a little differently – we call it the Piccalilly way! And with this in mind we’ve worked hard to produce ranges that fit into our ethos and the things we believe in.
- First things first. We want children to be children and this means dressing them as children. At the same time we try to work beyond stereotypes, so pastel pinks and blues are dominated by bolder colours and gorgeous shapes.
- Creating timeless designs from premium quality organic cotton means a longer shelf life and ensures the products can be washed and washed before being handed down to another generation.
- Style versus function, our aim is to make great looking clothes that are comfortable and practical too! We’ve incorporated scratch mitts on our nightdresses and made towels into ponchos for functional yet stylish designs.
- We’re always trying to work out how we can get the maximum out of a product. By combining the best quality cotton with the right design we try to ensure the maximum wear out of a product. So, all our dresses are design to eventually be worn as tops and we know footless playsuits are popular with many mums who tire of cutting the feet out long legged grows.
- We’re a pretty conscientious bunch here at Piccalilly and are always looking to maximise the fabrics we use within our factories. Time is taken to think about ways to maximise the use of all the fabrics that we use. For example off-cuts of Fairtrade organic cotton towelling fabric get made into wash cloths and other cotton off-cuts get made into fabric bunting.
- Finally, the Piccalilly way is about doing it the right way ethically and never compromising in what we believe. Running an ethically conscious business certainly isn’t the fastest route to financial success. However by doing it the best way we possibly can, we hope we can go some way towards making a worthwhile contribution to the people that make our lovely products and our planet.”
I’m a big believer in everything they say! So I had a look through their website and thought the following dress would be perfect for MissB, lovely isn’t it?
“Don’t dare to miss out on this seasons hottest selling striped applique tunic dresses, perfect over bare legs or our signature yoga leggings. Made from soft sumptuous jersey cotton and finished with contrasting trims.
•Available in sizes: 6-12, 12-18, 18-24 months, 2, 3, 4, 5 years
•100% organic cotton interlock sourced through CHETNA Organic
•long lasting tunic style dress design
•Designed in the UK and manufactured to the highest ethical standards”
Of course the true test with anything relating to MissB is what she thinks of it. Miss B isn’t a classic girly girl, she is very much a tomboy when it comes to playing at nursery she’s usually the leader of the pack and it’s not dolls or prams for her, it’s anything she can climb on. She does however like pretty dresses, they just need to be practical. She doesn’t like things which get in the way of fun.
This dress is perfect for her, pretty but practical. It’s simple design is great as it means she can wear it over a pair of leggings. It also looks and feels like it will last and cope with her adventures for quite a while . It washed really well (always very important!), one small bug for me is that you can’t tumble dry it but seeing as it dries pretty quickly anyway that’s not a huge issue, I just have to remember to take it out of the rest of the washing before I switch the dryer on. I admit that at £22 the dress is a little more than I would usually spend on just one dress for MissB but it is lovely quality and I reckon it will fit her both this summer and next (I got size 3) as it’s a little big for her now. A nice pretty dress that will hopefully last 2 summers and is good quality? Yes I suppose £22 is a good price really. It is nice to have a few pretty, good quality items of clothing in her wardrobe