Sunday, 13 April 2014

Shoetopia // Spring Shoe Trends

Yes, Lego Louboutins!
Last month I was privileged to attend an exclusive blogger fashion evening excitingly entitled “Shoetopia” at Intu Trafford Centre, Manchester. We were treated to a Skinny Champagne reception at Circle 360 Champagne bar and tucked into yummy shoe cupcakes. Well actually I tell a lie; I was 12 week pregnant at this point (and still keeping schtum) and so begrudgingly had to sip virgin cocktails whilst the other bloggers quaffed champers all night.

The evening was great fun. We enjoyed a presentation from shoe psychologist Kate Nightingale, who took us through some of the key trends for SS14 in shoes and boots.

If you are intrigued to learn more about fashion psychology, read my interview with Kate tomorrow.
So without further ado, here are the spring footwear trends and what they say about you…..

We finished the evening with a vintage shoe quiz, testing our knowledge of shoes through the ages. I did appallingly badly at the quiz – but t'was very difficult!

If you fancy a go, have a look at the images below and try to identify which decade they come from (answers at the bottom of the page).


  1. 1935
  2. White stilettos, 1960-1965
  3. Men’s platforms, circa 1973
  4. Women’s pearlised shoe, 1956
  5. Men’s co-respondent shoe, circa 1930
  6. Gold kid bar shoes, 1905-1910
  7. Red or Dead loafer, 1988-1992

Friday, 11 April 2014

14 Week Bump Update

Sorry for the crap picture here. I've lost my camera charger so this was taken on my iPhone with appalling lighting.

How far along? 14 weeks + one day.

Total weight gain/loss? I don’t like to weigh myself but even my fat day jeans don’t fasten up! If I had to guess, it’s around 10lbs in total (yes already!).

Maternity clothes? Nothing as yet. I actually thought that since most of my tops and dresses are made from stretchy matrial, I could get away with a growing bump. Pah! No chance.

Stretch marks? None so far. I’ve been using moisturiser every day and am going to start using my BioOil that a lovely work colleague gave me today. Yay!

Sleep? It’s not too bad at the moment. I can’t sleep on my front like I used to as my boobs and bump hurt too much, I also get up for a wee approximately four times per night which winds me up no end.

Best moment this week? My sister giving me lots of reassurance and never getting fed up with my tirade of questions about boobs, bellies and fannies!

Miss anything? Being able to dash around without feeling breathless all the time!

Movement? Nothing yet. It’s all just around the corner though!

Food cravings? Salt. Specifically Golden Wonder Salt and Vinegar crisps.

Anything making you queasy or sick? Not really, praise the Lord! I think I’m totally over my ‘evening sickness’ now.

Labour Signs?  I’ve only just started reading about the labour process and it all sounds pretty complex. Apparently there are 3 stages and it could last hours and hours! I don’t know if I will be attending antenatal classes to learn all this stuff but I bloody hope so!

Current Symptoms? How long have you got? Ok, so the sore boobs are bearable now but I’ve started suffering from period-like cramps which I suffered from constantly up untill about 9 weeks. I take comfort in the fact that these pains are telling me baby is growing. I’m experiencing Chronic Hyperventilation which is the fancy name for mild breathlessness due to the increased oxygen demand. I’ve been suffering with a blocked nose on and off too, and apparently this is caused by the increased blood volume in my body. The blocked nose makes it harder to get a proper breath too!

Belly button in or out? In, With the sparkly diamante belly bar still in its place. I’m seriously considering removing the jewellery for good as it just doesn’t look right with a swelling bump!

Wedding rings on or off? On, and hopefully that is where they will stay!

Happy or moody most of the time? Hormonal! I cry and the strangest things these days, although I keep smiling like a lunatic when I think about our little Riglet!

Looking forward to? Getting together my ideas for the nursery. We are not finding out the sex so it will have to be a neutral design which limits us a little bit, but I am loving yellow ducking designs right now!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Baby's Bottom Drawer // Zippy Bibs Giveaway

Saving up for baby; protect baby's clothes with dribble bibs; and a celebratory giveaway!

An old fashioned thing to do, when you used to have to save up in order to get your own little place, was to gradually get your “bottom drawer ready”. This included buying bedding, towels, curtains etc all in preparation for the big move.

Babies are expensive creatures, so in order to keep costs down, we are already collecting things for baby’s bottom drawer. Every time I pop into the supermarket I try and pick up some baby wash, muslin clothes, wipes; you get the picture.

One exciting item in baby’s bottom drawer already is this cute little dribble bib by Zippy Suit.
I met the team at the Baby and Toddler Show in Manchester and couldn’t get enough of the lovely dribble bibs in a vast array of wonderful designs.

The cotton is so soft, soft, SOFT! I want a onesie made out of this material!

In addition to my sample, Zippy Suit have offered to give away:

4 Bibs of your choice!

 to one lucky reader!!

How cool is that?

Enter via Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Hello Second Trimester // Pregnant Blogger Alert

If you know anything about trimesters then you have probably guessed it – yes I’m pregnant!

I hope to add a little pregnancy / baby element to the blog, but don’t worry; things aren't going to change too much around here (although my outfits are gradually becoming more demure and looser).

Isn't my custom illustration by Jammy and Jelly just adorable? 

Pete and I are absolutely thrilled with our life-changing event  and I can’t wait to share this magical journey with you…….

Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Blogger

The bloggers mind is hardwired slightly differently to a normal person.

We are permanently observing, evaluating, and scrutinising every little menial event in our daily lives just in case it may possibly result in an interesting blog post. That new smoothie you just picked up from the supermarket and simply have to tell your readers about; an amazing deodorant that actually does prevent BO for 24 hours (shame about the white marks); that slice of cake you won’t let your friend tuck into until you have positioned the plate out of the shade and photographed it from twenty different angles. Our minds are working overtime, all in the name of a hobby.

When I actually stopped to think how much of my life I dedicate to blog stuff, the results surprised me.

The first thing I do on waking is check my phone: emails; twitter; Instagram; facebook in that order. This happens on my 2 breaks at work also. Every evening I spend writing or reading blog posts which leaves little time for anything else at all! I take my iPhone to bed with me and again check emails; twitter; Instagram; facebook. I secretly enjoy Saturdays in bed when Pete is working as I have the whole day to myself to indulge in bloggy stuff whilst in my pyjamas. 3 hours of blog work can flash by in a heartbeat.

But what did I used to do in my spare time?

I read books, I watched television, I played RPGs on my Xbox (Skyrim, Fable, Resident Evil, you know, all the boys games).

This saddens me.

I feel like I never have enough time to really get my teeth into my blog as it is, so if I rearranged my timetable and dedicated even less time to blogging, I really would be doing a half-arsed job of it, which I certainly don’t want to do.

But enough of being hard on myself – surely there are massive positives to being a blogger?
I take blogging very much for granted, but without sounding too egotistical, it is actually a great talent.

Friends say to me “I could never start a blog”

“Of course you can” I reply “it’s easy peasy”

Thinking about it right now, is blogging easy peasy? No it isn’t.

Although it feels like everyone is a blogger these days, it’s a bit like running a marathon:

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Facebook is easy. Everyone does it. Blogging requires dedication, passion, talent and constant inspiration. Blogging requires the skills to write in an expressive and interesting manner. It requires some basic photographic gear and the skills to use them; it requires proficiency in editing pictures and using HTML; it may require networking and it definitely requires heavy use of social media.

So no, not everybody has the time, skills, passion and desire to write and maintain a blog, but those who do should feel proud.

I am going to stop being so hard on myself.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Mother's Day Ideas in the North West

The Shopaholic Mum

This Mother’s Day, Selfridges are combining pamper packages, luxury gifts, delicious food and drink and bespoke complementary services to give shoppers the perfect way to say thank-you and spend quality time with mum, in style.

Exchange Square
On Saturday 29 March (12pm – 6pm), shoppers and their mothers can enjoy complimentary mini makeovers, a file and polish or a massage and exclusive gifts and services designed to make mum feel extra special.

Bespoke calligraphy, complimentary engraving with any purchase of 100ml fragrance and a beautiful posy to take away on the day (with every £150 spend) will also be available.

For those feeling a little peckish, Farmacia Del Dolce will be offering a variety of indulgent afternoon teas from traditional cream to luxurious champagne, in addition to their usual menu. Up on the second floor, bottega will be serving a spectacular Mother’s Day dish designed by San Carlo Group’s star chef Aldo Zilli. bottega’s Sparkling Seafood Pasta combines tender seafood, including clams, seabass and langoustine, with the freshness of Prosecco and the finest pasta to create a delicious dish; perfect served with a glass of chilled fizz.


On Saturday 29 March (12pm-6pm) Selfridges Trafford is making it a Mother's Day to remember with an exclusive beauty event.

From complimentary makeovers and prosecco to live music, a chocolate fountain and photo moments, it will be offering a range of special activities in store throughout the day. What's more, if you spend £150 or more, you'll receive a beautiful posy to take away on the day.

Tickets for the Mother's Day beauty event are £10 each, redeemable against any beauty purchase during the They’ll also have a calligrapher in store on Friday 28 March who will be on hard to add an extra special touch  to greeting cards.

For more information about Mother’s Day activity and gifts from Selfridges and to book a place at the events visit

The Foodie Mum

One of my favourite restaurants, The Old Bell Inn, Saddleworth, has a gorgeous menu for Mothers Day. It's not that far out of Manchester and it's a nice drive if you take the scenic route.

I would pick:

Chargrilled chicken with chicory, crisp Parma ham, apple, pine nuts and a mustard vinaigrette

‘Anna’s Happy Trotters’ oregano and portabello mushroom stuffed pork loin with caramalised onion Boulanger potatoes and a cider gravy

Warm banana and pecan cake with toffee panna cotta

All for a very reasonable £22.50 per person

The Mum - To - Be

Why should you miss out on mothers day just because your little squidge hasn't been born yet? Liverpool’s specialist boutique for expectant mums, The Pudding Club at Metquarter, has lined up some gorgeous Mother’s Day gifts for your yummy mummy-to-be.

From pamper sets to stylish changing bags, The Pudding Club has it covered, so if a partner or friend is expecting then you're sure to find the perfect gift.

The Amoralia Pewter Lace trimmed cami and pyjama-pant set (Priced at £59) is both pretty and practical. The cami features underbust support which will take you through your pregnancy into nursing. The soft and stretchy fabric gives you improved comfort combined
with the pretty detail and pewter colour.

If you are looking to pamper your mummy-to-be, then look no further than the Pamper Box by Bloom and Blossom (priced at £45). The box contains a selection of treats designed to relax and pamper the lucky lady, including indulgence bath oil, anti-stretch mark cream and vitalising leg and foot spray. 

The Mexican bola or pregnancy chime is a pretty and original necklace for pregnant women. Inside the bola, a tiny sort of xylophone is welded, on which a little ball 'dances' around. From approximately twenty weeks into pregnancy, a baby can hear and recognise sounds in the womb. By wearing the ball regularly, low on the belly, the baby will grow familiar with the chiming sound of the bell. The baby will experience the special sound as soothing, both before and after birth. 

From when baby arrives, it will soon be time to ditch that handbag, but that doesn’t mean compromising on style. A chic baby collection for savyy mothers everywhere, the Petunia  Pickle Bottom changing bags make it easy to travel in style. (From £135).

The Pudding Club is open now at Metquarter

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Win Tickets to the OM Yoga Show in Manchester

I have another great giveaway for you this evening.

The Yoga Show, Manchester, will be taking place on the 10th and 11th May 2014 at Manchester Central.

While you are at the OM Yoga Show why not drop in to the Mind Body Soul Experience to discover a whole new dimension. The Mind Body Soul Experience is being held in the neighbouring hall.

The Mind Body Soul Experience covers complementary health, spiritual awareness and personal development and it is the largest show of its type in the UK. The central feature of the show is the Stage Experience where you can try out a variety of fun activities including Zumba, Tai Chi, Bollywood Dance, Hula Hooping, Belly Dancing and even Salsa

With a full programme of lectures, workshops and demonstrations, Mind Body Soul offers an experience like no other.

I am giving away TWO pairs of tickets for either of the days. Just follow the instructions below.

UK only