A girl can never have too many shoes!

A girl can never have too many shoes!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

News about shoes

I never thought I would say this but I can really relate to Mariah Carey! Recently she took a tumble while performing at a concert in Singapore. The trooper that she is, she carried on singing but summoned an assistant to the stage to take off her shoes. I honestly thought that the diva behaviour was an urban legend (if rumours are true, JLo also displays similar behaviour.  Perhaps they attended a diva finishing school somewhere in Manhattan).  I too, have required an assistant (namely my friend Heather) to help me buckle up my shoes (below).  I blame having false nails and small buckles for my dilemma but perhaps its my inner diva coming up.  Now with the winter months approaching I need to employ an assistant to carry my brolly, I'll call Mariah and see who she recommends . . .

one, two, buckle my shoe . . . NOW!

Also in the news, The Telegraph reports on the shoe designs of Kobi Levy.  Describe in his own words as 'wearable sculptures' they certainly stand out as a work of art or something.  My personal favourites are the 'dog' shoes.  What are yours?

Monday, 27 September 2010

Shoe of the week

This week, I nominate these burgundy mid heels from Office priced at £67.  The colour is gorgeous and has my favourite design details - patent & buckles.  I'm guilty of forgetting that Office is on the high street, but its been around since 1981.  I'm glad that I can reignite my love for this shoe shop chain.  The website isn't that attractive but I do like the option to view your shoe in the other colours available, although it does make you spoiled for choice.

If you sign up for their free newsletter you'll be entered into their free monthly drawer for £100 worth of vouchers.  If I win (chance would be a fine thing) then these shoes would be straight in my online basket!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Kids stuff - the cinema experience

Unfortunately I've not been blessed with children but with three nephews and one niece, I've become well-practiced at being an Aunt.  Whether its baby-sitting, keeping them occupied or helping with homework, I am a bit of a pro.  Over the years I've learnt a couple of things.

Having nephews and nieces has been a great excuse to see films that you wouldn't really be expected to see on your own: Harry Potter, High School Musical and Twilight to name a few guilty pleasures.  Despite all their different characters, they've all managed to conduct the same behaviours on their early visits to the cinema.

  • will have popcorn, a drink and a snack but will always want 'to try' what you've bought for themselves. Yesterday at the cinema to watch Marmaduke with my nephew Max who's four, I caught him taking my sweets and sniffing them before putting them back in my bag! (I have slight OCD so inside I was traumatised while outside I gently tried to persuade him to stick to his own snacks).
  • will expect bathroom breaks at any part of the film, popping to the loo before or after the film just wouldn't make sense.  My nephew Tom, who is now 17, went to the loo an epic 7 times during one of the Star Wars films, I know the films are long but honestly?  Max exceeded my expectations as he waited five minutes into the film starting, before announcing he needed the loo then requiring it again ten minutes before the end!
  • want to remove their shoes and generally treat the cinema seats like their home sofa, although how they get comfy in those seats amazes me.
  • You are lucky in a child remains seated for at least 30 minutes of a film, usually by this point said child will have moved seats, changed positions, stood up, sat down, generally had a nosy round at what the rest of the cinema is doing, before wanting yet another loo break,
The cinema experience now, compared to when I was a kid is so much different.  You definitely wouldn't have a Ben and Jerrys ice cream bar - your choice would be a small tub of vanilla ice cream or a choc ice, the cinema screens would be limited to a couple of screens - no multiplex in those days, there were no midnight showings and the 3D cinema experience is far beyond comparison with that in the eighties.  So yes, things have improved and so have the length of movies.  The one thing that needs to be brought back for the eighties is the interval breaks in the middle of the movies (I believe Titanic might be the last time cinema-goers enjoyed this luxury).  It would definitely help with those pesky loo breaks!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The Shoe Interview

While it would be great to write about the latest addition to my shoe collection or what's on offer on the high street, in this current climate I can't simply write about what I've bought or what you can buy.  While I would honestly buy a new pair of shoes a week (okay, a new pair a day) the current financial climate means I can't and I won't. But I still want to write about shoes, I love shoes, it's not materialistic, some woman like handbags, others collect art or figurines . . . I love shoes, always have been a shoe person, always will be.  This blog is really about my love of shoes, with other bits about my life mingled in.  So to mix it up, but continue with the theme, I'm going to explore what my friends, families and colleagues think about shoes too.  Look at what they like, memories surrounding their shoes and why they were bought.  So here is my first 'shoe interview'.

Chrissie is both a friend and a work colleague, she's married with two children, loves travel especially biking holidays (so she definitely knows how to pack a capsule holiday wardrobe) and is known her love of multi-coloured painted toes.  So Chrissie brought three pairs of shoes, that are some of her favourites.

The family heirloom - These amazing green shoes were passed to Chrissie from her husband's aunt.  Bought and worn in 1976 for her sons wedding, the shoes today are in a great condition and bang on trend.  A great pair of vintage shoes, the colour and detail are so unusual they'd definitely make a statement!  Chrissie has not had chance to really show them off but I'm sure this Autumn would be a great time to wear them out with an LBD and some coloured tights.  I tried to attempt some research on Manfield shoes but didn't find any information on the company.  If anyone has any info then it would great to know.
keeping in it the family
Now the next pair of shoes, Chrissie had to travel miles to meet!  Bought on a trip to Singapore, at the Marina Boulevard shopping centre for $30 sing dollars (around £15).  Bought because she simply fell in love with them and had to have them!  The picture doesn't really do them justice, the colours are really unusual and the shoes are so delicate.  Chrissie is still looking for the perfect outfit to really show them off and is open to suggestions.

she just had to have them!
Now the last shoes are the most recent purchase, Chrissie is achieving the shoe boot trend for the Autumn/Winter months.  Like the majority of us, Chrissie loves a bargain and these grey-studded boots from Tesco definitely met the challenge. Originally priced at £18, Chrissie paid £12 at the till.  I like these kind of surprise bargains, doesn't everyone? The boots have made Chrissie's daughter green with envy so I can imagine she may have a struggle keeping them to herself.  Chrissie is currently rocking the boots with skinny jeans.

So there was my first shoe interview, I'm now looking for my next victim candidate, let me know if you are interested.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

What a wash out - the weekend part 2

From left, Linzi and Tara
 I can't believe how busy I've been this week and I've had little access to Internet (meaning no blogging or viewing your lovely blogs). Why can't the British Premiership football matches be broadcast on BBC rather than having to have a near epic search for an Internet radio broadcast! 

So how was your weekend? Well for me it was Super Soccer Sunday that completed the weekend.  The wash-out could be referencing the weather or the football results, whichever way you want to view it.  Well lets start with the football, Liverpool lost against Manchester United, sadly my husband was very disappointed (I have abridged the full reaction to the result to save those of a nervous disposition). Then Blackpool played the Giants of the premiership, sadly losing the match.  It still feels amazing to know that Blackpool is playing these teams and doing quite well.  The atmosphere in the pub was electric, the tension indescribable. I am disappointed that there is still no sign of premier shops coming to Blackpool, I would quite happily settle for Nandos!

So the weather was rainy, I mean that's the polite way to term it; there were sporadic showers, light rain (you know, that soaks you through) or torrential rain, the equivalent to a mini-monsoon on the Blackpool streets.  I can dress for snow, sun, and windy weather, but I can never plan an outfit to combat the rain.  I also am one of those people whose hair resembles a scarecrows, once the rain and humidity kicks in.  Hence no photo of me enjoying Super Soccer Sunday (SSS), but I have posted a picture of my friend and one of my sisters who had no hair malfunctions during SSS. 

I know I should be prepared for this weather, to be honest it feels like we've been dressing for Autumn since about July!

I'm now coveting these grey shoe boots that Tara got  from M and;S, a bargain at £35. It's just a pity that she's a size 5!  This weekend, I will be packing away my sandals, wedges and flip flops and preparing for Autumn - have you started getting ready?

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Shoe of the week

This week, I am nominating these Black Gardenia High Heels from Barratts with a current sale price of £35. Black patent and cream with square stitch detail. The main part of the shoe in cream has a quilted appearance and the shoes also have a hidden platform.  I did think the product name was a little strange, these are called Mudsllide, it doesn't really suit them, I think they would be better named 'Diana'.  These would definitely form part of my Autumn 2010 work wardrobe so if Barratts would like me to test drive them, I'd welcome a package in the post.  I'm a size 6, just so you know!

For a limited time, delivery for online purchases is £1.99 so its the right time to grab a bargain.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

French Sole goes retro

In 1989, Rain Man won the Oscar for best film, Nintendo launched the Game Boy and New Kids on the Block were in the charts.  It was also the year French Sole was 'born'. 

Now, French Sole is celebrating its 21st by selling 21 of its bestsellers at 1989 prices.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate a birthday!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Bad styling and a night in with Gerry - the weekend part 1

Well I'm halfway through the weekend and its been busy already.  My good friend Kath finally had her baby, a little beautiful girl called Violet and I met her yesterday.  I went with my sister Tara and friend Linzi (both mothers) who both have the natural confidence in holding babies while I (childless) have a complete fear of holding babies, I'm just so frightened of hurting or dropping them.  But I persevered, sat and held Violet for over five minutes (a personal achievement) with no mishaps!  Both Kath and her husband are soo happy and I'm just so pleased for them.

So last night after hospital visiting and a rack of lamb dinner cooked by Tara (yummy by the way) we watched the X-Factor and marvelled at how perfect and beautiful Nicole (not even going to attempt to spell her name) from Pussycat Dolls is.  As guest judge, she sat there looking a true A-List star in Victoria Beckham dresses, it gave us a perfect fashion fix until Danni M is back for the live shows.

We also watched a film and this is where the bad styling comes in!  The Back Up Plan stars Jennifer Lopez.  Its what I'd class as an easy-listening film, not that great but something that could pass away a few hours on a rainy afternoon.  Jennifer plays Zoe who hasn't found 'the one' and takes matters into her own hands and uses to sperm donor to have a baby.  On the day she is 'preginated' ,for want of a better word, she meets the man of her dreams!  Its a by-the-numbers chick flick/rom com.  What really surprised us was the bad styling.  Jennifer Lopez's outfits are to be frank, blooming awful. There are not flattering and in the majority of cases make her look downright frumpy!  She is renowned for her curvy figure but instead of clothes that would enhance her figure, they drowned it or some hemlines were so short that they made her looks dumpy.  The only consolation was that I spotted she was wearing some Louboutins!  I'm just really surprised, one of the key things you can guarantee from a chick flick, along with the happy ending, is that the star will always have a great wardrobe.  This just wasn't the case, the male lead had a better wardrobe!  Check out the trailer to get a taster of the wardrobe and see what you think! Let's hope she has a better back up plan for her next film.

Linzi knew that one day Gerry would be hers!

You know sometimes the best things in life are free.   My friend has a big crush on Gerald Butler and had spotted a large cardboard display in Blockbuster for Gerry's film The Bounty Hunter with Jennifer Aniston.  After a while the display boards get chucked out so I managed to get this one saved. Using a little bit of home-crafting, we managed to 'pair up' Linzi and Gerry (see above). I'm definitely Team Linzi rather than Team Aniston now!

As today is Super Soccer Sunday (Liverpool v Manchester United, Blackpool v Chelsea) I'm off out for a few drinks with the girls.  I just need to decide what outfit to wear and of course its all about the shoes!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Mid week special

picture courtesy of the BBC
We are halfway through the week, therefore the weekend is nearly here!  So its the perfect excuse to celebrate with something delicious for tea.  Herb-crusted haddock was chosen for our menu and the recipe which is easy to follow was kindly provided by the BBC website (thank you Aunty Beeb!).  We added an extra ingredient, with Parmesan cheese added to the herb-crust and it was gorgeous!  Takes around 30 minutes (if that) to prepare and cook.  I definitely recommend this as a quick and tasty treat on a cold Autumn night.

I also received my giveaway prize in the post today from Primp and Preen. I can't wait to test out these products at the weekend, I'm planning a couple of drinks with the girls so its the perfect excuse to glam up.  What are your plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Shoe of the week

These shoes from River Island really cut the mustard for me!

The yellow wedges,  priced at £64.99, have a heel height of 10.5 cm, so wearing them would be an uplifting experience for a shortie like me. I really love this colour for winter; the peep toe, ankle strap and stitching detail all add to its design.  The River Island website also provides outfit suggestions to create a whole look around the shoes.  I wasn't keen on the outfit it suggested for these yellow cuties but I can imagine if you've only got a limited time to do some online shopping, then this service would be really useful when you're in a rush to buy an outfit for the weekend.

I can picture myself wearing these with thick tights and a fine grey knit dress on Christmas Day 2010.  However, based on the weather last year with the snow and ice, I need to be investing in snow shoes or planning an outfit around a pair of wellies! Any suggestions gratefully received . . .

Monday, 13 September 2010

Reasons to be cheerful

Here's some cupcakes I made earlier

So this morning wasn't a great start to my week, this weather is just awful and my car (or the Valentine Limo as I like to call it, due to the fact only I and my husband can drive in my immediate family, therefore the 'limo' is called upon to perform various duties - moving house, transporting children or pets, shopping trips . . .) is knackered.  Its booked in at the mechanics on Wednesday but its not looking promising.  Sadly the older the car is, the more it costs to run.  I sometimes feel like I'm driving the Toyota equivalent of a Hummer with the amount of petrol the car seems to guzzle!

So what has brightened up my day?  Well to start with, I have won my first giveaway from fellow Blogger Primp and Preen. I can't wait for my parcel to arrive! I'm going to have to think long and hard about doing my own giveaway - maybe something shoe inspired or possibly a Blackpool-themed giveaway with some Blackpool rock part of the gift.

The second thing to brighten up my day,  was when I found out that today was the start of National Cupcake Week! It runs from today until 19th September.  I can't think of a more perfect excuse to indulge in one of my favourite food groups!  How will you be celebrating the week?

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Its all too quiet

Ever had one of those weekends when literally nothing has happened. Its over too soon and you're due back to work on Monday, feeling a little shortchanged that the weekend has resulted in not even one small instance of excitement.  I think I've let the bad weather get to me and its felt like a gloomy weekend and I had no enthusiasm to do anything.  Even the end of Big Brother got to me and I didn't even watch it this year. Its just sad when things come to an end.  What really got to me was the small feature they ran on Jade Goody.  While I wasn't a fan of her, it was just extremely sad to think she has such a short and sometimes horrid life (dying at 27 years old) and her young boys will grow up without their mum. 

I can't sit and complain about being bored and just wait for things to happen, I've got to make them happen, so that my weekends don't go to waste!  So from this day forward, I'm going to be making the most of my weekends whether its a short burst of domestic goddessness or something as simple as meeting a friend for coffee (maybe perhaps with a cupcake thrown in!).  To make up for a lost weekend, on Sunday I helped my mum with some gardening, met my friend Kath for a coffee and helped my husband make a fab roast beef dinner.

 My friend Kath is now officially nine months and one week pregnant: the baby is a week overdue and shows no sign of arriving. Perhaps due to the rubbish weather, the baby has decided its far too chilled and snug to make an appearance yet.  Kath amazes me, she is so relaxed, looks fabulous and has the most perfect baby bump I've seen.  After coffee, Kath, Baby Bump and me checked out the local Next. I spotted these nice stiletto boots with a 'tractor' sole and I took the opportunity to take a picture of said boot with baby bump.  The baby's first introduction to fashion - its always best to teach the young about fashion early!

As the weather has been inconsistent, I've dug out my Miss KG boots , bought last November. I'm not too sure how I'm supposed to wear them yet, so today I teamed them up with some old skinny jeans and a plaid shirt.  If you have any suggestions, they'd be gratefully received.  I hope your weekend was more eventful than mine!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Shoe of the week

This week is a good time to snap up a bargain if you are visiting the Debenhams site as there is 25% off all departments till Saturday 11th September!  I feel this is a great excuse to do some necessary shoe shopping, it makes sense to take advantage of money savings in this current climate!

My shoe of the week is the Miss KG Grey Minnie high heels which have been reduced to a bargain £60.  While these beauties could look fabulous on a night out, I would actually use these to make a statement in the office.  I'd team them up with a black shift dress, keep things simple and just stride on into the office with You've Got the Love playing in the background.  It would definitely be one way of making an entrance!

Enjoy the sales! xx

Monday, 6 September 2010

All the small things

Great things come in small packages or so the saying goes . . . So I've applying this mantra to my week!

In the spirit of being a recessionista and domestic goddess, I baked some cupcakes to provide as gifts.  With the amount of cupcakes I can produce from the batch of ingredients bought, I'm definitely making savings against shop-bought cakes, they also taste better too! I  tested out another recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, this time vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting and chocolate crispy bits.  I packaged them in a great cupcake gift box (available from Sainsbury's) so they really looked the business.  While everyone testing the cupcakes liked them, I honestly preferred the vanilla frosting and sprinkles.

I like receiving presents and parcels in the post too. I've just received the latest copies of Easy Living, Glamour and InStyle to read.  I just don't know which to start reading first! 

Perhaps it should be InStyle which has a shoe special feature.

The one thing I have noticed following the recession, is the lack of free gifts with magazines these days. Its really disappointing, what do you think?

Blackpool Illuminations are now on show every night here following the Robbie Williams switch-on.  This is always an indication that Autumn is on its way and the nights are drawing in. This is my favourite time of the year and as evenings get darker, I'll be curled up on the couch catching up on my reading, its a perfect excuse to do necessary research for my blog!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

What's your story?

I'm reminded by a blog post by Rose Beyond by the Thames, that we are only a few weeks away from Shoe Heaven finally being realised.  The Selfridges Shoe Galleries are due to open on September 16 with an entire floor devoted to shoes from high street to designer, so there's a shoe for everyone's budget!

To mark the occasion, you're invited to add your own shoe story and have the chance to win a year's supply of shoes . . . Of course, I've added my own story, have you?  I'd be quite happy to take part in any sleepover events they have planned too, it would be heavenly to be surrounded by such gorgeous shoes!

Getting creative

I spotted an interesting article on the Guardian online, where a reporter attended an ethical shoe making workshop for a day and ended up with a pair of shoes created by herself.

Green Shoes is the company based in Devon providing the workshops with ethical production at the heart of its principles.  They also produce shoes, sandals, boots and accessories for men, women and children.  I quite like the Gwen bag that has a timeless appeal to it.  They currently have a 75% archive sale on too, if you're interested in a browse. 

If they design a course to create the perfect pair of stilettos  I might be interested in taking part.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Shoe of the week

I have to thank Make Do Style for giving me the 'heads-up' on LK Bennett's current collection of nude shoes.  I've been searching for a pair of nude shoes and I haven't found anything I like, until now . . . I want them all!  Although, I have to say my favourite are these slingback heels priced at £140.

For the first time I am also nominating a runner-up, again from LK Bennett.
Priced at £170, the Jane shoe gives you that sexy secretary chic that you've been coveting ever since you've started watching Mad Men, even though these shoes seem to good to waste on the office!

I'm posting this during my week off work, sat in a pair of £3 primark jogging pants and a sex pistols t-shirt while I take a break from the huge pile of ironing I have to do! I live such a glamourous life! I hope your week is turning out to be more fabulous than mine!

A special nod goes to my good friend who is picking up her brand new white corsa today, did you know that white is the new black?  Here's to her fab new excuse to live life in the glam lane. xx