A girl can never have too many shoes!

A girl can never have too many shoes!

Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye 2010

As the door to one year closes, another opens
Well 2010 is coming to a close.  It's been a mixed bag of a year: a new government in place, Royal Wedding announcements and the plight on miners trapped underground gripped the world. 

For me, there were two significant milestones - my first wedding anniversary and the first year since my sister underwent treatment for cancer with an all-clear (we will have five years of these yearly milestones to go through).  In addition, one of my best friends had her first baby and my cousin got engaged on Christmas Day so we have had a couple of great events, which has made a real change from the last couple of years!

This has also been my first year as a blogger, so I wanted to say thank your for popping by my blog, leaving comments and all your support.  I've really enjoyed blogging and hope to continue developing my blog in the year to come.

I'm not sure what the new year will bring but I can only wish that 2011 is a happy year for us all!

Clare xx

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

how was Christmas for you?

It seems like everyone has had a snowy Christmas in the UK this year.  While its great to have a White Christmas (especially if you have placed a bet at William Hills, it has meant traffic problems, delivery issues, shortages of supplies and for some people a change of plans. Therefore not such a wonderful time of the year for some.

As one of the only two drivers in the family, I'm finally glad the snow has thawed, no more ice to deal with, no more defrosting the inside of my car as well as the outside, no more ice-skating in the local Asda car park.  The final straw for me was my car skidding into a main road on Christmas Day, luckily I didn't manage to drive into a passing car so I think Father Christmas may have been looking out for me on that day!  The snow also plays havoc with my planned Christmas outfit, no glam heels or pretty dress for Christmas 201I 0, walking two Jack Russells home in sub-zero temperatures meant lots of layering, thick socks and Uggs!

Present wise, I think I did rather well: books, DVDs, makeup, jewellery, handbags and TWO cupcake cake stands! I will definitely have to fully bring out my domestic goddessness in 2011!  We also got a blender so we can whip up some recipes from the Jamie Oliver 30 minute meals cookbook we treated ourselves to.

On Boxing Day, I finally had the chance to get glammed up and sod the snow!  Every year, Boxing Day is our girl's night out with some drinks in Blackpool town centre.  I paired up a silver Brocade dress with a velvet jacket, tights and peep toe shoes with a new clutch bag I was given for Christmas (perfect timing for this gift).  Karoake, dancing and alcohol made a good late start to our festivities.

I'm now spending the day in my pjs catching up on blogs posts, looking after my nephews and niece watching Shrek Forever. I hope you are having a chilled out Christmas!
the jacket was needed to ensure no frostbite was suffered when walking from bar to bar

The Brocade print was perfectly matched for the snowy weather.

One of my three bags received this Christmas

Finally found an outfit to complement the shoes!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Joy to the world

Just want to wish you all a very merry Christmas, I hope the current bad weather in the UK doesn't stop your festive plans. 

My Christmas was nearly cancelled this year as my external pipes were frozen solid meaning we have had no bathroom for two days!  My husband and I have managed to get it sorted through sheer willpower and a power shower spurting hot water down the loo for hours!  Not a great start to the Christmas week but Christmas is back on!

I hoping to have a couple of relaxing days during the break to update my blog, I'm not sure if I've told you yet but my name is actually Clare, my username is CameronPoe but I haven't figured out how to change it yet but will figure this out whilst wearing my Christmas pjs and supping a Baileys! 

Have a fabulous holiday xx

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Shoe of the week

This week's nomination is from LK Bennett if any of you still can make it to the shops then these have been reduced from £175 to £110. The perfect colour for Christmas and wrapped up in a bow too! 

I think these shoes would be perfect for Mrs Christmas, so I've wrote an open letter to Santa . . .

Dear Santa

If you're reading this, then these shoes would be perfect present for Mrs Christmas.  After all, she's spent this past year keeping you and the elves happy while you have been busy in the workshop.  And don't forget living in the North Pole has limited her fashion choices so she definitely deserves these as a little treat under the tree!


PS I have been good too, so I would love to see this shoes hanging out of my Christmas stocking on the 25th! xx

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Party time

So we are now at the last weekend before Christmas, not many shopping days left till the big day!

Friday was the day of our office Christmas Do, each day I'd been checking the forecast for snow just in case I'd had to make some urgent changes to my planned outfit. I'm usually so organised that I've got my outfit sorted by November! This year, I bought a black lace dress, a bit fifties-style for the festivities and with no sign of snow, I was good to go.

The dress had a lovely lace pattern and I accessorized with red shoes, a black feather corsage and a sequin black shrug and of course, thick black opaque tights.

We had a gorgeous meal at a local restaurant Go Greek where the majority of us had Mezze which was lovely. It definitely made a change for the normal hotel party fare of turkey and the trimmings. From homemade pitta and humous, feta and spinach parcels to succulent roast lamb that fell of the bone (we have over seven dishes to try), everything was yummy, washed down with Greek beer and Rose wine.

Then it was off to Blackpool Town centre for more wine and a bit of dancing . . . then the snow came. We had to then stay in the bar a little longer for more wine and more dancing but who can argue with that!

After a couple of sambucas I was ready to brace the cold night, luckily there were a few taxis about so I managed to get home before midnight but unlike Cinderella I didn't manage to lose a shoe!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

I believe

So my Christmas Tree is up, my Christmas shopping almost complete, the Christmas TV Guide is bought and snow has arrived in Blackpool!  It means that I am 50% complete on my mission to get into the festive spirit!

Now, I am hoping to watch one of my favourite Christmas films.- Miracle on 34th Street, just need to find out which channel will be showing it.  I'm sure by the 24th December I will be counting down the hours until Santa arrives!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Okay well I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit, but its a bit slow in getting here!  I need a good 24 hours with Christmas films on constant play and Christmas CD's playing in the background.  I'm not sure why I'm not feeling in a festive spirit maybe its the current economic climate or missing loved ones at this time of year.  It can be a really hard time for a lot of people, so I've managed to do a good deed for someone else.  A facebook friend's local church is helping a homeless person move into a flat today before Christmas and needed donations of crockery, bedding, generally things to make a home.  I managed to pull together some stuff to help.  It helped put into perspective about how lucky I am to have a roof over my head.  Its a nice thought that I may have contributed to someone else having a lovely Christmas and a fresh start for 2010.

Now, continuing with a plan of action to locate my Christmas spirit,  I have put up my tree and my work's Christmas party is tomorrow so I'm sure that once I hear Last Christmas or I all want for Christmas then I'm sure I'll be counting down the days to Santa arrives!

Now I'm off to plan my oufit, I'll post details later.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Shoe of the week

Now as this is panto season, my shoe of the week is dedicated to Cinderella to give her an update on the glass slipper. 
These Office shoes are for the modern-day Cinderella. This princess-in-the-making will set her own destiny and won't be waiting for her Prince to find her, she'll be seeking him out whether its on a speed dating night or posting a message on Facebook!  If she's leaving the ball at Midnight its not because her carriage will turn into a pumkpkin, oh no, her faithful carriageman or black cab driver named Bob is whisking her off to another glamourous party when she'll be hitting the dance floor till dawn breaks.  Just what will the Ugly Sisters say!

PS In my role as Fairy Godmother, I did do a search for Glass Slippers but my results turned up more shoes suited for lap-dancing than a Royal Ball!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Ruby slippers

I'm combining my love of films with my love of shoes. Forget dramatic stunts, the introduction of 3d cinema and unnecessary remakes, for me its always been about the shoes.

So here is my first clip, courtesy of a YouTuber. Unless you have been living in a Kansas storm shelter for all your life, then you must have seen The Wizard of Oz. The story of Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas blown by a tornado to Oz, a technicolour world ruled by Wizards, tormented by wicked witches. Only those sparkly ruby slippers have to power to help her, repeat after me - there's no place like home, there's no place like home . . .

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Shoe of the week

For my shoe of the week, I'm feeling inspired by Christmas baubles! Now I would definitely like miniature versions of these hanging on my tree.

The Bordello Teeze Platform Shoes are available on the Viva La Diva website and priced at £72 (there's also a free delivery offer).  With a four inch heel and two inch platform I can't honestly say that you'd be dancing the night away but picture yourself sat at the bar, cosmopolitan in hand with this shoes sparkling away. 

The shoes remind me a little of the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, only these would be for a 21st century Dorothy where there's no chance of returning to Kansas due to snow, so she's dancing

the Coyote Munchkin bar whilst planning to win the Oz-Factor and that gingham dress has been tailored Vivienne Westwood style!

These shoes were made for . . .

have I met my match?
. . . tottering!

These were the other pair of shoes given to me as a present for my birthday.  I actually nominated them as a shoe of the week post over a month ago, so its quite nice to put 'my money where my mouth is' so to speak and actually purchase or receive something I nominated.  I've only just found out that they have this style in different colours but I think the cream and black would still be my first choice.

They are really comfortable and very very high!  I wore these out for a birthday meal and to be honest I tottered rather than walked.  Good job I insisted on a taxi-to-venue policy for the night! 

I wore these with some skinny black pants and a tweed jacket but I'm still not sure what other outfits would really show these off - any ideas are welcome. 

Saturday, 4 December 2010

New shoes for my collection

These shoes were a present from my mum for my birthday.  They are probably the brightest that I own, I just spotted them in a shop window and liked them.  They were in one of those little boutique style shops were everything is one size and never really have anything I like so these shoes really are a one-off purchase for me. 

I'm hoping to wear these for one event over Christmas, keeping it simple with some khaki cargo pants and top.  My sister and I have already started planning our festivities and have bought some Wii dance games for a party night so this might be the ideal opportunity to break these shoes in!

The heels are quite high so I think I'll have to practise walking in them before I actually wear them out!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Happy Birthday dad

Dad as popeye at a party in the mid nineties
Today was my dad's birthday, our birthdays are exactly a week apart so often we shared a joint celebration. Any excuse to have a family get together. 

He died seven months before his 60th birthday and regardless of the years that have passed he is still greatly missed.  His name was Jimmy Valentine, he was the kind of person that everyone liked, not a bad word was said about him.

Every year we ensure that we are together on his birthday, that we visit and say a little prayer and tell him how much he is missed.  His final resting place is really pretty by a pond and today it snowed so everywhere was beautiful with that first touch of snow.  He loved nature and the fact that around 20 ducks followed us to his graveside, like they were paying their respects rather than looking for bread, seemed like a sign.

Our grandmother, my mum, two of dad's sisters, me and my sisters went to put flowers on the grave.  My gran (89) asked us to sing; we actually sang happy birthday to him, goodness knows what anyone might have thought if they'd heard us.  After that we all went for lunch and chatted about Christmas plans and memories of my dad.

Today was all about family, we finally spent the evening with all his grandchildren watching Harry Potter at the pictures.  The kids were well behaved, the film good and my mum spent the day surrounded by her family on a day when she was upset on having to leave my dad behind at his resting place.  I can't say anything other than I hope he was watching over us and I think he would have said this has been a good day too.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cheap as chips

I wanted a pair of nude shoes for a planned Christmas outfit but needed to save the pennies to spend on Christmas presents.  Lucky for me then that I spotted this nude platform heels in my local Barratts shop priced at £13, with an extra instore discount I bought them for £10.97! These were part of their value range, no frills supplied with no shoe box but can you complain at those prices!  The range was quite simply consisting of these nude heels, the same in black, patent and peeptoe.

I've not found the range on the website so in must be just an instore promotion but not bad if you need a quick fix to a party outfit.  The online site currently has a 20% off  everything promotion, so if you don't have chance to pop to your local store then you might find a bargain online.

The shoes are really comfortable to wear and I hoping, snow permitting, to wear them for my first Christmas event on Sunday - a visit to Manchester for the Christmas markets, cocktails and karaoke at a private booth at Tiger Tiger.  Hopefully both me and the shoes will last the day!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Shoe of the week

I know with this current weather, that I should be nominating a sensible shoe or a sturdy boot. But in these times of snow, cancelled trains and difficulty in accessing the shops, I thought that I must brighten up our day with a shoe that will support you during the party season, with a online discount so you can purchase from the comfort of your sofa by a toasty fire!

This shoe available at Dorothy Perkins has been designed by Alexandra Burke and each purchase provides a donation to Breast Cancer Care.  So you can be glamorous and support a good cause.

They are currently priced at £40.50 and Dorothy Perkins currently have a exclusive 30% off everything online offer for a limited period so you might find a few more bargains.

Birthday review

I need to get baking!
I've been very lapse in producing posts this month, I was really busy last week at work and then celebrated my birthday this weekend. 

I've been really lucky, present and friend-wise, I've received some lovely gifts that are just what I wanted.  There's been a bit of a theme to my birthday too - cupcakes and shoes (possibly of no surprise to anyone that reads my blog). 

I received two pairs of shoes (posts to follow). I also got a couple of new handbags ...

My sister bought me a cake stand, pictured with a couple of cupcakes bought from my favourite Cupcake shop in Blackpool. I've also received a new baking cookbook so need to try out a few recipes for Christmas!

more presents . . .
 I also received Blow by Blow written by Isabella Blow's husband, I've been reading a couple of articles about her so I'm really looking forward to reading this. I've also received some vintage look jewellery that will be perfect with an outfit I'm planning for a trip to Manchester this Sunday.
My talented friend Sylvia made me this lovely lace corsage, so I'm planning to add this to one of my Christmas outfits. I wish I could create gifts like this so perhaps this will become a new year's resolution for me!

custom-made for me
As well as a lovely meal with my husband on the Friday night, I celebrated my birthday with a Chinese banquet, the X-Factor and Bombay Bramble cocktails on the Saturday. My younger sister has purchased an electric ice crusher (a great gadget for the party season), so the cocktail was sapphire gin, fresh lime juice, a raspberry liquor and fresh raspberries over ice, yummy! Will post the recipe later!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Shoe of the week

This shoe should get a royal approval
In honour of the recent news, that we will have a Spring Royal Wedding in 2011 (I can remember watching Charles and Diana's wedding on holiday at Butlins!), the shoe of the week is dedicated to Kate Middleton, our future Queen Catherine.

Dear Kate

Allow me to introduce you to Molly, a perfect companion to that stunning wedding dress that you've probably been dreaming about for the last five years.  Molly (currently in service at Dune) has recently been reduced in price to £35 therefore a good choice as consort for your walk down the aisle during 2011, the year of austerity for the majority of the United Kingdom. 

She's got a perfect little kitten heel which I'm sure will serve you well from those first steps into Westminster Abbey through to your first dance and finally when you're whisked away to your honeymoon. Just one question, where will William park his helicopter ready to jet off?

Your loyal Subject

Ps Let me know what you're planning for your hen night, I'm sure I'll be able to find you the perfect shoe!

The ex-factor

No, this isn't a confessional about an ex-boyfriend! This is a bit of a moan about the current series of X-Factor.  To be quite honest, I'm completely bored with it.  Over the past couple of years (I'd say the last three series) its been my un-official countdown to Christmas.  Each episode seemed bright, shiny and sparkly, always with a couple of stand-out performances.  The perfect complement to getting into the Christmas party spirit.  This year, more drama is being played on via the media or via the contestants.  To be honest I can't really tell what's going on but its impacting on how much I enjoy the show. 

Don't get me wrong, there are a couple of acts I think are good: Matt Cardle, Rebecca Ferguson and One Direction (I can't help it, the boys are so happy you can't help but be happy too!). But now, really the only key thing I look forward to, is seeing what outfit Danni has chosen to wear on the night, after that I kinda switch off and do something else while the show is on in the background.  Now according to the news, Wagner is still getting a high number of votes so could still be in with a chance of winning?!

Like Big Brother, has X-Factor lost its gloss?

As a contingency for this and next year, I'm going to try a different way to countdown to Christmas by watching Christmas themed films on the twelve days of Christmas.  So far I plan to watch Its a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooged, A Christmas Carol and Die Hard (well this did occur at Christmas and Bruce Willis looks good in a vest). If you can think of any more films that are worth a watch please let me know.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Save your heels this Christmas!

the gadget to save our feet!

Are you looking forward to the Christmas party season but dreading the impact its going to have on your feet?  Well, I've just heard about a new product that might help just help- Shulips.

If you're like me and 'breaking in' new shoes means a two weeks of wearing elastoplast plasters to recover, then this is a item that you might want to pop in your Fendi clutch to ensure you can dance the night away 'pain-free'.  I've spotted a few online reviews that are really positive so its sounds like they are worth a try.  I might have to purchase a pair to try out and review, I never need an excuse for a party and heels!

They're only available at a few stockists including Amazon.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

If in doubt, get a List out

I'm a great lover of writing lists, sometimes it can be seem as being rigid or anal retentive but I think they may life easier.

Invariably the list you're creating is relating to something fun:  from a shopping list (and who doesn't love those), your packing list for that much needed holiday and of course, the biggest list of all ... that all-important letter to Santa. 

Lists help you stick to a budget, can ensure you don't overpack your suitcase and also receive the presents you want.  It also helps buy your loved ones the presents they would like, spend money of nice things that they wouldn't normally buy or be able to consider buying when dealing with the costs of living.

This year, it seems like Christmas is fast approaching and I feel like I'm running out of time to get all my present shopping done.  It would be quite easy to panic shop and buy anything that simply has been dressed-up to look Christmassy with a much higher price tag.  I've asked all my family to write a list of things that they want for Christmas and I've still been able to get some lovely things that they both need and will enjoy. I'm halfway through my list now, and hopefully by the start of December will have bought all the gifts. There's method in this madness, I can then devote the rest of December to outfit planning and shopping for the Christmas dinner, but that's a whole other post to draft!

PS With Christmas approaching its nearly time to watch Miracle on 34th Street and consider whether you believe! So I must share with you a story about a letter to Father Christmas that my younger sister wrote.  This was years ago, when we were both very young and our dad was working in Saudi Arabia on a six month contract that meant he wouldn't be home for Christmas.   The local butchers had placed a postbox to the North Pole in their shop so that the kids could write their letters to Father Christmas and post them.  Now my sister wrote her letter and posted it.  No-one knew what was in the letter or what presents she had listed.  A few days before Christmas Day, the butcher approached my mum and told her that my sister's letter had made him cry.  All she had asked for . . . was her daddy home for Christmas. 

The day before Christmas Eve, my Aunt took us for some last minute shopping, as we drove past our house to park we noticed a man sat in our front room and didn't recognise who it was. When we unlocked the door, my dad was sat waiting for us in the front room.  For some unexplained reason, all British workers were asked to leave the country immediately and they were sent home to their families, so he was home for Christmas.  I like to think that Father Christmas had some involvement in this, so now I ask you - Do you believe?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Shoe of the week

I'm thinking of the perfect Christmas outfits when choosing my shoe of the week.  Now these suede pumps, Minerva's their name, by Charlotte Olympia would be the perfect companion to see the New Year in.  Priced at £820 at NET-A-PORTER, you really will have had to have been good to receive these from Santa! 

Picture yourself ( I know I do!) seeing the New Year in somewhere swish; maybe a balcony overlooking the Thames listening to Big Ben's chimes or a New York apartment bringing in the New Year with Manhattan's finest, no Times Square for these heels.  The way I see it is that you gotta dream big when wearing these shoes!

Now if you're like me and totally love shoes, then you'll love Fashion Pearls of Wisdoms latest post on her personal collection which I'm completely envious of!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Space filled by Jasper

who said fashion was just for girls!
 I haven't had chance to post for a few days now, a combination of a bad cold, wall-paper stripping at my mum's house and trying to commence Christmas shopping has kept me busy.  What I've found so far is that its easier to share a cold than chocolate, stripping 40 year old ceiling tiles plays havoc with your hands (I look like I've done a round with David Hays!) and that lists do make a Christmas shop easier!

We've been getting busy for the colder weather too, even the dogs have winter coats, Jasper is pictured wearing his.  He's looking a little scared while practicing his catwalk strut, Harvey's coat has just arrived today.  Speaking of Harvey, I've had success in my shirt for my missing shoe, my Zara shoe was found stashed in Harvey's favourite hiding space, under the bed in the spare bedroom.  It's relatively unscathed just a minor scratch on the toe.  Now I'm off to put them in a safe place but I'll be back to check on your lovely comments later xx

together again

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Shoe of the week

The perfect shoes for the party season

 Now perhaps for the next couple of weeks (is it around six?) I should really rename this post Dear Santa just so the big man in red, who likes snow, takes the hint! So here it is,

Dear Santa, I have been very very good this year, all I want for Christmas is . . .

These sparkly heels from Topshop, just the ticket for all diary commitments this Christmas.  They're neither silver or gold, but multi-coloured, perfect for catching the lights when dancing to Santa Baby.  Currently priced at £62.  I can just picture myself wearing an LBD, these sparkly heels and a glass of Baileys standing by my Christmas Tree waiting for the turkey to cook.  Santa or Topshop, make my dreams come true xx

Clare aged 38 and 3/4

Monday, 8 November 2010

Having a Cinderella moment

In the Grimm fairy tale of Cinderella, the Ugly Sisters cut off body parts to try and fit the Glass Slipper to win their prince.  Despite losing their toes, they didn't win their prince and you know how the story ends. Although if they were living in this day and age, they'd simply book a cosmetic appointment to do away with those pesky toes or reshape their calves and be able to wear that glass slipper following a week of recovery. With their extreme methods to make shoes fit, I definitely think they wouldn't not have a problem with today's shoes!

So are you having the same problem as me?  I love platform shoes (whether its hidden or part of the sole), at 5 foot three it gives me a bit more of a lift in the height department but sometimes I struggle to get the shoes on!  Its like my toes are struggling for space or I have to undertake some sort of toe-yoga to get my foot in (the problem mainly seems to occur with my right foot).

I'm an average size six, my feet aren't that chunky but it honestly feels like sometimes you need to resort to drastic cosmetic surgery to ensure you can wear the shoes currently available on the high street.  Well, I heard that fashion is pain, so if I want to have those extra inches, I'll have grit my teeth and keep on walking!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Destination anywhere . . .

. . .  east or west, I don't care.

Fastforward to 2011 and in November I will be forty.  Based on the current economical climate I could be celebrating my fortieth year with a bag of chips on Blackpool promenade.  Not a great option in November!

My husband has told me that he plans to take me away for the weekend, somewhere special, we just need to decide and its dependant on funds available.  Now the options could be endless - a weekend in New York, a snowy break in Krakow (weather permitting) or a show in London, but I honestly can't decide what I would want to do. 

New York on my birthday would be fabulous but the prices would be more expensive as it falls during Thanksgiving, but I'd love to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.  I also want to go to London to watch Wicked, eat at Marco Pierre-White's restaurant (steak and triple-cooked chips, yummy!) and visit the Selfridges shoe floor (if they let you do sleepovers here then it would save the cost of the hotel, Selfridges please consider this, it could be a money-spinner). 

Its a dilemma, so what I want to know is how did you celebrate your naughty forty or planning to celebrating the double-figured milestone?  I could do with a few ideas!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Let's talk tights people

I remember the days when your choice of tights was limited to 10 denier and American Tan!  Now we are spoilt for choice, with the tights becoming just as much of a fashion choice as the rest of your outfit; rather than a basic necessity.  It's only a year ago that I braved wearing tights that weren't black opaque but now I've embraced the changed wearing purple or jade green opaques to match a Beth Ditto @ Evans dress I bought last night and today I'm wearing some lovely thick grey tights for work to rework my working wardrobe of black dress and black shoes.

Many of you will have bought tights from Pretty Polly, a British firm providing hosiery since 1919.  Did you know that this famous firm's origins started with money won from a racehorse Pretty Polly, hence the name.

Pretty Polly's products range from sleep socks, a fashion range to a slimming option.  There's also a House of Holland range and the jewel colours in their opaques range are perfect to brighten up those Autumn mornings.  What's on offer can suit all your needs from working wardrobe basics, to fashion statements to subtle sexiness.  I just can't decide what to buy!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Shoe of the week

I have to be honest, as the nights have gone darker and the weather is definitely getting on the chilled side, I'd decided to search for a sensible boot or a comfortable shoe for this week's nomination.  Unfortunately, during my research I got distracted by a name, rather than the design of a shoe or the height of a heel.

Let me introduce Miss Cha Cha

She's a cheeky little patent shoe available in red, or ready to be seen in turquoise! As Schuh says 'get ready to cha cha away . . .'  Now reduced down to £40, so if you're preparing to celebrate Christmas Cuban style then these little numbers are right up your street (or Havana!).

I'm still not sure whether I would wear them (although I quite like the colour and the hot pink interior), but with a name like that I felt they had the right description when planning the all-important Christmas Do outfit.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Who needs Take That when we have John!

I have eclectic music taste, anything from Elvis, Steps, Feeder, Kylie to Oasis. To be honest, if I like the sound of it, I'll listen to it, regardless of its genre. The last time I actually have a favourite band was Deacon Blue in the late eighties, early nineties, who can resist singing to Real Gone Kid when its playing on the radio?

Due to the current financial climate, I'm trying to reduce my spending so unlike the rest of the country (or so it seems) I haven't been able to justify spending over £80 on a ticket to see Take That. Don't get me wrong, I quite like them, even saw them around three years ago. I just feel that the price is far too high, when their fans are probably going to be feeling the pinch by the time the concerts are held next year. But that's just my opinion, however on a pre-planned trip to the theatre to see John Barrowman last night, it was an opportunity to compare another entertainer's approaches to the current climate.

Now, I must explain that John Barrowman is a guilty pleasure for me, I can't explain why except that he is just quite perfect (botox is amazeballs) and an all-round entertainer. The tickets were a mothers Day present for my mum. He was straight on the stage at 7.30 pm and entertained us with show-tunes, current songs and jokes until we left just after 11.00pm. All for the cost of £20. Its what he said towards the end of the show that really made an impact. He thanked the audience for putting their hand in their pockets to buy a ticket when the country was experiencing such hard times.

With the increasing cost of concert tickets at odds with the real financial situation we are all in, wouldn't it be nice if the music industry could take John's lead and really appreciate music fans rather than creating a high demand for an expensive product.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

In search of Banksy

Clifton Suspension Bridge

I've had another busy week this week so haven't been able to blog much until now so apologies for late comment approvals or replies to all your lovely comments.

I've just spent a long weekend in Bristol with my husband after taking my in-laws to visit relatives in the city.  Things I've learnt about Bristol: famous residents have included JK Rowling to Blackbeard the Pirate, Tarmac, Ribena and Concorde were first made in Bristol, it's home to the Clifton Suspension Bridge which is higher, from bridge to water below, than the Golden Gate Bridge and its also where Banksy is from.

Rather than a weekend of cocktails and cool bars, we decided to chill out, relax and do a spot of sight-seeing. We took some bottles of red wine for back at the hotel (the Premier Lodge at Emersons Green which I can highly recommend as a good base for visiting Bristol and the surrounding areas) and treated ourselves to some lovely cheese and crackers from Sainsburys.  It was great just to chill out and watch the X-Factor after a day seeing the sights, despite a disappointing result - Wagner, seriously!

We visited a cute market town Chipping Sodbury full of organic butchers, cake shops and the smallest town hall I've ever seen. I can only imagine this town is gorgeous at Christmas, I saw some pictures there when it snowed last year and it was so pretty.

We didn't have enough time to visit the city centre (but we will return) but we did go to Clifton which is has some lovely bistros and bars, unfortunately was quite busy so difficult to park but we did manage to drive across the suspension bridge and take a walk over. Now I never knew I had a problem with heights until now, but when I was halfway across the bridge I made the big mistake of looking down and basically went weak at the knees!  I actually felt quite nauseous.  I did at one point think about asking my husband to walk back across the bridge alone to pick up the car and come back for me but he also was a bit afraid too.  Gripping eachother's hand we slowly made our way back across, we must have looked like we were having a romantic moment but we were gripping those hands like our lives depended on it!

We also visited the Mall at Cribbs Causeway where my husband bought me some shoes for my birthday that I'd nominated as a shoe of the week post.  I also discovered the Twenty One shop, which we don't have up North, where I managed to get a couple of bargains: socks, slippers and a bodywarmer with hood to use when walking the dogs.

When visiting a city I always like to make a list of things I should see.  For Bristol, it was to find a Banksy. We knew that there was one in the Fishponds area, less than 15 minutes away from the hotel but could we find it! Despite numerous trips down an extremely long road, we couldn't find it, even with Sat Nav. So unfortunately this will be an outstanding item on my list until our return visit to Bristol in 2011. If anyone can tell me where in Fishponds the Banksy is, I'd be more than grateful; there's nothing I hate more than unfinished lists!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Shoe of the week

I don't want a lot for Christmas . . .
I've noticed a few bloggers has started posting about their Christmas wish lists, so I thought that I'd better get writing mine!  Obviously my shoe of the week will definitely be on the list - hey I can dream can't I!

These Brian Atwood mauve leather pumps with embellished chain detail on the heel are available at NET-A-PORTER and priced at £720 .  With a six inch heel and hidden one inch platform, these shoes will definitely require a limo-to-venue policy.  Brian Atwood's shoes have been spotted on Posh and Eva Mendes to name a few stars who've also fallen in love with Mr Atwood's designs. 

The price of some designer shoes still manage to amaze me, these shoes are worth more than one and a half times the value of my car.  I wonder if NET-A-PORTER would accept my car as a trade-in? If so, those shoes better be made for walking!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

The replacement issue

So the search continues for the missing shoe, there have still been no sightings.  If Crimewatch could add a new 'missing shoe' section then I'd definitely be reporting this 'crime'. 

It put me in a wardrobe dilemma, I needed to buy a pair of flat shoes to go with some wide palazzo pants I've got for work, not that I need an excuse to buy shoes!.  Rather than stick to classic black, these printed Sacha London pumps at my local Dorothy Perkins can't my eye.  Reduced to £17, they were also a great option for my purse strings!

They were accompanied by a little dust bag (why can't all shoes have these!) in a great silver shoe box and were wrapped in tissue paper. They would have made a perfect gift to someone, well I would have been happy to receive them.

They've got a lovely print and chain detail at the front.  They also feel more sturdy then some of the cheaper options on the high street.  I wore them for work today and can't definitely give them the thumbs up, they were very comfortable. 

They are now safely tucked up on my wardrobe shelf away from prying paws!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

It's a Mad world

I have to thank Make Do Style for this, it definitely gave me something to do while the football was on!

If you want to dream of living in the Mad Men, world then this online game gives you the chance to create your own character in the Sterling Cooper Universe. 

Well done

Congratulations to Tamara Mellon who has been awarded an OBE for services to the fashion industry. I love her outfit for the Palace but to be honest I'd have made her a Dame for creating Jimmy Choo! 

Now I wonder if the Queen has a pair of Jimmy Choos stashed in a wardrobe at Buckingham Palace?

Monday, 18 October 2010

Shoe of the week

This week, I've taken a look at Mango.  I often forget to check out Mango as its not on my high street (sadly) so its a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'.  There's not a wide range of shoes available online and the colours seem limited mainly to black and tan but there is still a couple of items that I would definitely have added to my shopping trolley.

These sandals come in two colours, are priced at £69.90 and have a 10.5 cm killer heel. I also quite like the let us suggest section that shows some of their products that would really go with the shoes, I especially like the high waisted trousers. 

PS, Echinacea won last week's shoe factor, thanks for the 'votes'!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Introducing Harvey the shoe lover

This is our semi-permanent house guest - Harvey Valentine - a rough-haired Jack Russell, that seems to attract muck like a magnet and has a love of shoes that more than equals mine.  We're not sure how it started or why, he has always been this way.  It's like a shoe is his comfort blanket, he either has to have one by his side or if one of us is walking through the front door then he has a mad search to bring us a shoe like its a gift.

We've had a couple of mishaps along the way; usually I can restrict Harvey's access to shoes so that he can only enjoy my husbands old pair of trainers but previous a pair of M&S gold ballet pumps suffered a premature death.   Sadly I'm now suffering a Cinderella moment as my Zara ballet pumps have fallen victim to Harvey!  I now can only locate one shoe, the other has not been since for other a month despite numerous searches, I was considering the coastguard but I think Harvey is more than a match for them. 

I'm preserving the rest of my shoe collection by buying some plastic boxes to store away my shoes and thank goodness he can't reach the shelves in my wardrobe!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Something that makes me smile

I've been inspired by a fellow blogger Page Sixxx who blogged about one of her favourite skirts and asked what made you smile.

Now I've had this cropped gold brocade (not sure if I've spelt that right) jacket from M&S for a couple of years now.  My mum bought it for my birthday after I spotted it while passing through the store.

Its got an ornate brooch which classes as the button,

The sleeves are wide and cropped.

It think its the colour, texture and the pattern of jacket that just really makes it pleasing to me it.  Considering the material is quite delicate, its quite easy to wash too! (Always a bonus in my mind)  I usually team the jacket with a simple top, skinny jeans and some gold heels. 

What items in your wardrobe make you smile?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Week-long sales alert

Barratts have launched a week-long sale with 20% off all shoes! Just in time if you are starting to plan your outfits for Xmas or adding to your work wardrobe!  A bonus offer of free delivery for orders of £50 or more is also available!